20 July 2009

Weekend activities...

What a weekend! I pray that yours was blessed with wonderful experiences. Mine was a mixed bag of very emotional encounters. It started on Friday evening with my reunion with my childhood friend, Deb(bie) Robinson. (Check out my earlier blog about that experience), and after that...it just got more and more interesting.

First, I am soliciting prayers on behalf of the Anderson/Wilson and Gazzells families. I have two very close friends, Linda and Charlie, who sitting by the bedsides of their sisters. Both of the sisters, Sylvia and Susie, have had the doctors have declared it is just a matter of time. Both Sylvia and Susie have been put on pain management regimens and friends and family are praying for God's will in both of these marvelous lives. My heart grieves with and for them during this time and I solicit your prayers and good thoughts on their behalf.

Second, my fellowships at church on Sabbath were uniquely special to me. I have been away from my church for a while, due to a variety of reasons. Sabbath it seemed like a big reunion to me. I got to have a long conversation with one of my favorite couples in the church, the Rossers. My friend Sherry Martin was in town from the islands. Friends who had traveled away for funerals were back in place. Sis. Knight, who'd been in Grenada for months, was finally back home. My girl Paige was in the house for one more weekend before jetting off again before school and other adventures. Ron James, saxaphone master and soon to be daddy again, was in the house. Stephanie Seay and her children were in town visiting from Memphis, TN. It was just one little reunion after another, and each one, in their own special way, did my heart and soul a world of good.

Then Saturday evening I had the opportunity to hang out (and cook for) a diverse group of single, professional, and Christian men and women. Gathering at a friend's house, we had a "make your own calzone/pizza" party while watching a very interesting documentary SOULMATES - which discussed the growing phenomenon of more and more African American, Christian women over the age of 40 who remain single - some by choice, but overwhelming not. What a spirited discussion was had after the viewing of the documentary...you shoulda oughta been there! As I reflected on the documentary and some of the (amazing) comments made about it, I personally was able to reaffirm my contentness with my life as a single woman. As a sidebar, can I just say this: men and women have differing views about being single over 40, but men are NOT that different from women when it comes to what they truly want in a relationship. They may express it differently than we do, but they really are pretty much on the same page - OR (like several of my male friends tell me all the time), maybe I just "think like a dude" so I "get" where they are coming from.

Finally, on Sunday, my mother and I, on a mission of mercy, took dinner to my uncle and his family. My uncle is recovering from surgery to repair his rotator cuff (shoulder). I have to admit, with the news of Lin and Charlie heavy on my heart and mind, I wasn't in the best frame of mind as we traveled to his house and really went out of a sense of duty, not necessarily love. But let me tell you, we had such a good time - laughing and fellowshipping and eating good food - that my mind was taken off of the cares and worries I was carrying aroung with me and I was truly blessed by the experience. I was humbled by how grateful my uncle was that my mother and I took the time to come to his house to check on him and spend some time with him. It is the little things that mean so much to people in the long run. Sometimes, the "sacrifice" you make means more than you can imagine. I'm glad I took the time out to do it.

Again, I pray you had a great weekend. That the experiences you had enriched your life. That you were able to reach out and touch someone with a gesture of friendship or love or comfort. I pray that you made some memories with some special people in your life and I pray that the week ahead will be equally fulfilling.

Be blessed.

18 July 2009

Hello, it's me again...

Yes, it has been a while...but I have been writing...just not here. I have been writing primarily to one person and believe me, what I have been writing to him cannot be shared here. (Bet you are intrigued now, aren't you? hahaha)

Life has been interesting (to say the least) lately. I have experienced loss on so many levels - new job, death of family members, changing friendships - it has been an interesting 2009 - and we are only halfway through it. I pray that your journey this year has not been as eventful (yeah, THAT is the word I am going to choose to use) as mine has been.

But for all the "bad", there has been good as well. For example, last night, my mother and I had the opportunity to reunite with a childhood friend of mine who was in town for a convention. When I was younger, my brother and I would spend every summer (and sometimes Christmas too) visiting my paternal grandparents in Hartford, CT. The friendships forged at Faith SDA Church are still some of my favorite memories. My "aunt" Joan Simmons and her four children were part of those memories, but Debbie, the youngest daughter, was my special friend/cousin. And yet somehow, after we attended college, we lost touch. Now, I always heard about her (through my grandmother) - how she was doing, etc., but the personal contact was broken for over 25 years. (We calculated that we had not seen each other since 1983). We reconnected when another Faith church member reached out to me on Facebook and then encouraged me to reach out to Debbie (who now goes by "Deb" - she'll always be "Debbie" to me)

After 25 years, she admitted that she wondered if we would recognize each other. Oh pa-leeze! She looks just like her mother and time I saw her, I knew EXACTLY who she was - and vice versa. It was soooooo good to see her, hug her neck and just catch up on what is going on in each of our lives. Our visit was way too short, but the promise is there to keep in touch - through email, Facebook and Charita. (hahaha)

Of course, this reminds me of an even more important reunion that will be happening soon. The reunion with our loved ones who have fallen asleep in the Lord. We are told that we will be changed, in a twinkling of an eye, and the only thing we will have that will identify us to each other will be our characters - so getting those right and in line with God's desires for our lives is paramount. I long for the day when I see my grandparents, my cousins, and other friends and loved ones again - never to be parted again by death or sickness or even distance. What a wonderful day that will be. Hope to see you there.

Be blessed.

08 July 2009

Settlin' in...

Moving from one desk to another desk within the same firm has been very interesting...and liberating in a lot of ways. I got rid of a lot of "stuff" while cleaning out one desk - and yet, at the new desk, every night I find myself reaching for something that is not at the new desk (yet) and making notes of what to bring in the next night...ahh, it's a process. But I am settling into the new gig - with all its challenges and excitement - with the time change and the effects that is having on my body (and sleep patterns). And this is just the beginning...more changes are sure to come when my (re)training period is over and my actual adventure begins - in just two short weeks. I am looking forward to how God unfolds His plan for this stage in my life. Stay tuned. I'm sure it is going to be an interesting adventure.

Be blessed.

07 July 2009

Change is good...right?

I truly sincerely honestly hope so, because it seems like I have had nothing but in the last few weeks. Nothing but changes everywhere. I've changed my job, my work hours, the people I will be associating with on a daily basis, and those are just the changes (sort of) within my control. Outside of my control: I have lost two family members within a one week period. I have, along with everyone else, lost childhood icons and heroes and TV show memories. My health has been crazy - blood sugars up and down, seemingly without rhyme or reason and without responding to proven medical advice of food, exercise and medication...although, maybe - just maybe, I have not been as compliant as I should have been...I'm just saying...I'm trying, but not always so successful.

Friendships have changed. People who I used to hold near and dear, knowing they had my back no matter what - seem to have drifted away...and knowing that every relationship takes two people to make it work, I wonder and worry about my participation in the loss and wonder how to mend the fences - or if the fences are better left unmended. On the other hand, people who I never expected to "step up to the plate" have done just that. As word of the changes I was making in my work life experience made its rounds among my friends, I found out who my "true friends" were - the ones who, while they would never decide to work my new crazy hours, still supported my decision to change my world on its head. The ones who said, "I'm glad you didn't talk to me about this because (for purely selfish reasons), I would have tried to talk you out of it" - and yet, followed that statement with, "But I know you thought this through and made the best decision for you." - knowing that I didn't NEED their validation, but appreciated it none the same.

My family structure has changed. As I said, within a one week period, I lost my Uncle Clinton - he just fell asleep one night at the ripe old age of 87. As my family gathered for his funeral in Washington DC on a Friday morning, we got word that my cousin Janie had lost her battle with cancer and died - minutes before midnight - on the same day that we lost two cherished childhood celebrity icons: Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. I spent my 4th of July holiday attending her funeral and celebrating her life. But our family will never be the same without her smile and dimples and joie de vivre...she was a special person. Talking to her neighbor and staff members who gave up a holiday Friday to attend her services, I discovered a new side of my cousin - how other people saw her - and was so happy to hear that she was beloved and respected, even outside of our family. What a blessing that was to me. As was seeing my maternal grandmother's siblings. Out of 9 children, 5 remain. Ranging in age from 79 to 94, they were all there to mourn the death of one of their neices. And it was a joy and blessing to be in their presence...even if one of them (who shall remain nameless) greeted me with, "Kristina, I almost didn't recognize you - you have put on a little weight, haven't you?" (sigh...you gotta love old people...hahaha)

One thing has not changed though. The love my Heavenly Father has shown me through all these other changes in my life. All of my relatives, who traveled from as far away as Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL, Washington DC, and Detroit MI to Chicago IL for the funeral - whether by plane, train or automobile - have all arrived home safely without any incident. That is a blessing and not something taken lightly or for granted. God is good - even through change - He never changes and is always there for us.

I am holding on to that promise as I navigate the changing tides of my existence. I hope you will do the same.

Be blessed.