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Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for visiting. If you care to follow my story from the beginning, I encourage you to click on the oldest post first and make your way to newer entries. In so doing, hopefully, you will see the hand of God in my healing journey that started in April, 2009.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Memorial Miracle And Memories ~ Part 1

Posted July, 3, 2009 ~ (Two months into widowhood)

The week prior to Buck’s memorial was very busy for me; finalizing details, making phone calls and planning and writing my tribute to my Bofren. Wanting to honor my Sweetheart was my primary focus as the days counted down. I asked several close friends to pray for me because this was a task that I knew I could not accomplish in my own strength.

When I was in grade school, had I been given the option, I would have chosen to write a book in place of doing a three-minute oral book report. Somehow I got through high school only having to stand before my classmates on one occasion, to do an oral presentation. In anticipation of the memorial, just the thought of standing before my friends and loved ones made my heart pound with anxiety. I added a new word to my vocabulary last week, as I learned that what I was experiencing is known as glossophobia. It was not comforting to know that, as much as 75% of the population are affected by this common phobia. Fear of public speaking is ranked even above that of death! Yes… that pretty much described how I felt!

When I sensed the Lord speaking to my heart and asking me to step way out of my comfort zone, I thought to myself: “Lord, You have got to be kidding… You know I can’t do that!” He spoke to my heart again and I sensed He was telling me, “You’re right, you can’t… but I can. Just trust Me and I will empower you!” My response: "All right Lord, You're giving me another opportunity to trust You."

I have learned so much throughout this journey and my relationship with the Lord has grown in a way I never dreamed was possible! I confess, I dealt with lots of anxiety right up until the evening before the memorial. Thursday evening was the worst part as I was feeling physically ill and didn’t sleep well. Friday was much better as I spent some quality quiet time, one on one with the Lord before I headed to Sarah and Bob’s house in the early afternoon. It was just what I needed and I came away feeling much calmer and comforted but still somewhat anxious.

On Friday evening, Sarah’s family and I had a great time sharing a meal at one of their favorite restaurants in North East, Md. When we returned to their home, I got to preview the slide show that would be such an important part of the memorial. They had invested countless hours into this precious gift. What an amazing visual tribute it was, sharing Buck’s life in such a powerful manner! My heart was overwhelmed as I watched Buck go from infancy to school age…then from his teenage years to manhood. They captured the essence of who Buck was in a creative compilation of photos and moving music. I was quickly reduced to a torrent of tears as I was so powerfully impacted by the beautiful testimony of a life so well lived.

I am so thankful for the photos that witnessed his love and devotion for his children and grandchildren as they grew and all his family in addition to all his many passions captured on film, clearly sharing the many sides of Buck: tough and tender, handsome and athletic, strong and gentle, serious and fun-loving , capable and adventurous, handy and helpful, manly and godly. What a feast for my healing heart, as I watched his obvious love for me and the visual memories of our courtship, wedding day and honeymoon unfolding before my eyes. I have such mixed feelings as I relive the precious moments we spent together as a couple. The pictures represent so many of the very best, joy filled days of my life! I had forgotten about many of those pictures, so I liken seeing them again to finding buried treasure. How thankful I am for the gift of photography, that helps us recreate those memories in our hearts that we would lose otherwise.

We made the decision to include Buck’s hospital days in the slide show because they were such a significant part of his story. In spite of his lengthy, life threatening illness; his sweetness, courage, character and faith came shining through. There was never any doubt that this was a man who loved God “with all his heart”.

This fine collection of memories simultaneously brings me great joy and breaks my heart as they intensify the reality of my Bofren’s absence! It is often painful and difficult , but more often I continue to have a greater number of good and joyful days than sad ones as I depend on the Lord to move me forward. Every day, He goes before me and shows me His faithfulness through the love of my family and friends!

I will forever cherish this wonderful gift that Sarah and Bob created for Kevin, Jessi and I!

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