Saturday, December 27, 2008


When I think of Easter Camp, I think of you.
When I think of women of grace and courage I think of you.
When I think of enduring hard times with love and laughter, I think of you.
You, my friend, have been a blessing to more people than you can imagine.

This is a song that has been running through my head today.

Here are the lyrics for anyone on slow dial up -

After the Last Tear Falls (Andrew Peterson)

After the last tear falls
After the last secret's told
After the last bullet tears through flesh and bone
After the last child starves
And the last girl walks the boulevard
After the last year that's just too hard
There is love Love, love, love There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

After the last disgrace
After the last lie to save some face
After the last brutal jab from a poison tongue
After the last dirty politician
After the last meal down at the mission
After the last lonely night in prison
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales

'Cause after the last plan fails
After the last siren wails
After the last young husband sails off to join the war
After the last "this marriage is over"
After the last young girl's innocence is stolen
After the last years of silence that won't let a heart open
There is love
Love, love, love
There is love

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We'll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we'll look back on these tears as old tales
'Cause after the last tear falls
There is love

Missing you already, say hi to Sam for us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


First bath, first smile, first time sleeping through the night.

First shoes, first skinned knee, first fight with a friend.

First day of school, first book read, first original joke.

First soccer game, first plane flight, first declaration of faith.

We saw these things in together, Sam, but not this -

First year without you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


The silent chair, the empty room,
The morning solemn as a tomb.
No tousled hair, or cheeky grin,
To greet us when we wander in.

Instead we cling to slumber, deep,
Without him here to steal our sleep.
We Sleepy Ones lay still at rest,
Our Early Bird has flown the nest.

For years his voice began the day –
Such little feet to lead the way.
But now he’s travelled on instead –
Such little hands to join the dead.

So now we force ourselves to wake
And greet each day, for Heaven’s sake,
Until we see, with unveiled eyes,
The dead in Christ, the first to rise.

(1 Thessalonians 4:16)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Club Meeting.

Come, let us weep together.
More eloquent than words,
Tears without reason or meaning.
More varieties than Eskimo snow.
Remorse, regret, remembering.
Despair, heaviness, leaking.
A cloud-burst releasing the constriction.
Solving nothing, and yet –
Come, let us weep together.

Come, let us rage together.
Blood-thirst slaking,
Powerfully futile, and yet –
Come, let us rage together.

Come, let us laugh together.
Not as they do.
Not carefree or unfettered.
Let us open our mouths as the bitterness
escapes in staccato bursts.
Those without our knowledge, or empathy
Beware the fallout of this shrapnel.
Heavy-hearted anti-mirth, and yet –
Come, let us laugh together.

Come, let us sit together.
Clothed in common suffering,
These tattered rags we strive
To carry with dignity.
Hands touching softly,
Skin brushing, to comfort,
To be connected.
Muscles tensed against isolation, and yet –
Come, let us sit together.

Friday, February 01, 2008

BLOOD! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

So, true story.

My dad and my brother, Michael (not to be confused with my husband, Mike), do not always get along well. It may have something to do with the fact that Dad is still waiting for Michael to leave the nest, or the branch, or the tree… Actually, I think my brother has been living at home so long he could almost claim that Dad lives with him.

Some years ago Dad embarked upon a lengthy campaign to encourage Michael to donate blood. Dad had been a loyal blood donor since the invention of modern medicine, up until a recent change in medication made him no longer eligible. All his attempts at conversation or encouragement were met with non-committal mutterings. This went on for who knows how long, until one day Dad went into his local Red Cross blood bank to find his younger son sitting in the waiting room. It turns out Michael had been a regular blood donor for years!

This is my brother’s idea of rebellion.

This story did not just randomly cross my mind for no apparent reason (as most of my stories do). No, I’ve been thinking about it this week because of the blood drive a nearby Baptist church held on Wednesday.

Now, I’m not saying I’m a champion bleeder like Dad (he has made 99 donations in total - a regular Bradman, my dad), but I have given blood before on a semi-regular basis. This was, perhaps, the most poignant donation I have made, however.

You see, Sam received a blood transfusion as part of his medical treatment after his fatal accident.

It is unfortunate that this thought struck me as I sat waiting to give – I wouldn’t want people to think I’m a big wuss, brought to tears at the thought of the needle. Nope, I’m tough – and also it just doesn’t hurt that much.

To be honest, my first thought was that someone else had sat somewhere in a plastic chair and given one of the most personal gifts it is possible to give – and that it had been for nothing. It would have been really easy to get up and walk out at that point. I think everyone in the room would have understood too. However, the thought then occurred to me – ‘What could be worse than having a child receive critical care and still not survive? Well – a child needing critical care and not surviving because the blood wasn’t available.’

In the end my son was saved not by a stranger’s blood, but saved eternally by his Saviour’s blood.

You probably won’t ever get the chance to save the world, but you could save a life this week by giving up an hour of your time and a unit of your blood.

It’s not hard, it isn’t agonizing, it is not barbaric – it isn’t even rocket science.

Hey, if it helps, you can spend the hour practicing your mad Doctor Frankenstein laugh under your breath. Give it go. All together now –


Saturday, January 12, 2008

Happy Stinking New Year

It can be tough to hear wishes for happiness, even knowing that they are generally meaningless statements made in passing by random strangers. I was tempted more than once in the last week or so to reply "Well it can't possibly be worse than LAST year."

A friend of mine (who also lost a child last year) posted an excellent comment online that discussed the importance of not wallowing so much in our grief that we dishonour the ones we have lost. And I agree with him. Completely.

Of course the nature of grief is contrary. I can one hundred percent agree and at the same time disagree. You thought artists had it easy with pleading 'artistic licence' all the time!

While I am in no way about to turn my back on life I also feel it is important (for me, at least) to take the unhappy moments along with the happy. I believe that my tears honour him just as much as my laughter does.

I may take a moment, every now and then, to be sad. Not to wallow, but just to be... sad.

So, Happy Stinking New Year. Some days heavy on the happy, some days heavy on the stinking.