Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Cancer, Death, Survival February 4, 2012

This is my cousin, Rose Messmer.
She was diagnosed with a common form of Leukemia a few days ago.
Pray for her.
She is responding very well to treatment, but she has a battle that has only begun.

This is my husband’s cousin, Rudy.
On the same day we found out about Rose’s cancer, Rudy died in a car accident.
He left behind a wife, 3 daughters, and his first grandchild.
Please pray for them and our whole family during this difficult time.

This is my personal hero, Austin. My nephew.
He was born at 26 weeks gestation weighing 1 lb and 14 oz.
This tiny little baby has a will to live and he is a miracle.
He is now 3 months old and weighs 7 lbs.
He is a micro-preemie survivor.
Please pray for him to be able to go home with his family soon.
Pray for his lungs to be strong too.

This is a recent photo of our champion, Austin.


Poem October 13, 2010

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 9:14 pm
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When God sends forth a little soul
To learn the ways of earth
A mother’s love is waiting there
We call this miracle birth.

When God calls back a tiny soul
And stills a fleeting breath
A Father’s love is waiting there
This too is birth, not death.


Honor Your Father April 15, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 8:34 pm
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I met a great man recently. He was loving and nurturing. He was a wonderful father and husband and grandfather. He gave the best of himself to his family. And his family, well, they love him so very much.

But, today, this family — well, they had to let him go. Today was the day for goodbye.

Mister Melanie’s Daddy. I don’t even know his name. I know he is her daddy though. And I have never met him in person. But I saw pictures of him loving his daughter and his grandchildren. I saw a picture of his wife, Mrs. Melanie’s Mommy, with unbearable pain in her eyes as she looked at the camera.

Yet I knew this great man by knowing his great daughter. When the Lord takes my own Daddy home to heaven I hope if anyone didn’t meet him in person — but did meet me — that I have reflected what a wonderful man he is by how I have been viewed. That’s what Melanie has done. Her daddy had to be a great man because great men have great children. She was so devoted to him.

Crushed beyond belief just a few short months ago to find out he had a terminal illness, she rose to the occassion doing everything humanly possible to spend as much time with him as she could. She agonized over his illness. She fought tooth and nail to give him the best care she could. She did things for her father that she never in a million years thought she would need to do. But she did them with tender love. Her heart overwhelmed with grief, she trudged on — giving, giving, giving of herself — while, deep inside her soul, she was feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Melanie, my sweet friend and soulmate. Girl, I am so sorry for you. I am so incredibly sorry. And I wish I could come hold you through the pain. I have been touched by your Father’s story. I have been touched by your family’s struggle. I have been shown what it means to honor your Father. You have been an excellent daughter. You are an excellent friend. My prayers are with you, honey. My thoughts surround you at this moment of harshest grief. I love you!

The Bible tells us to Honor our Fathers and Mothers.

Melanie, girl, you are a prime example of what it means to honor your Father. Honor him you did and it has touched my life. Thank you for showing me, by example, what this means. God has used you, my dear. He has.

Honor your parents, folks. And, remember, you are the example of your family to the world. Even if you don’t live near your parents, like me, you are still responsible for honoring them. For some people, we are all they’ll know of our parents.

Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.


Death April 12, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:06 am
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This has been on my mind frequently probably since my Grandma died and then my unborn baby died and a friend of mine is losing her Dad and another friend of mine lost her sister-in-law and another friend of mine has lost much these last few months (she had 2 miscarriages and lost 2 or 3 friends as well).

Death is so mysterious. I wonder things like, “how will I die?” Geeesh. I hope it’s not painful. I hope I don’t suffer. I hope I am not murdered. I hope I am not tortured. I hope it doesn’t happen when my kids are around. I hope that I am an old lady who has lived a full and healthy life when I die. I hope I die in my sleep.

But I don’t know how I will die. The only people who know how they will die, it seems, are the ones who commit suicide. Or maybe there is a moment right before our hearts beat for the last time when we are aware, “oh heck, well I guess this is how I die”… then lights out… the end. I guess if you’re in an airplane and it starts to crash you pretty much know right then how you will die. Not too many people have survived plane wrecks.

The main character in my book is about to die. I have to admit that the last 1/4 of the book has been pretty darn good. I guess this is why Hemingway is considered a literary genius? I don’t know. But he is a fantastic writer. He really is. Unfortunately, I don’t get into manly war things and I don’t really give a flip about the Spanish war he writes about. Maybe I should? I don’t though. But it is about to get tragic. Tragedy is life.

So what?

Well I am taking a plane trip to Ohio in June. I think about death whenever I’m about to fly anywhere. I don’t like for Rich to fly either. Not without me. I worry when my sister takes so many trips for her job. I hate planes. I really do. I don’t freak out while I’m flying. But there is a slight panic that settles in my chest until we land. But I don’t freak out. I sit there and try to read the stupid Sky Mall magazine or catch a nap or a conversation with another passenger. The panic leaves me the moment our wheels hit the asphalt.

Life is something we cherish. We prolong it if we can. When we get sick we try to get better. If we’re really serious about life we do all we can to take care of ourselves — eat right, exercise, spend time with our loved ones. Ever notice what happens when someone gets terminally ill? They start to long for the things that are truly important — family, friends, laughter, love. No one I’ve ever heard of wants to die beside their Mercedes or their Yacht. Has anyone ever heard of anyone’s last dying wish to be surrounded by their jewelry, shoes, clothes, make-up, and purses? Has anyone ever felt guilty for not spending enough time with their home theatre or motorcycle? No, that’s silly.

Death. It is so mysterious. It can be so tragic.

How can anyone have hope in this life without faith? At least I know, no matter how I die, that Jesus will be waiting for me on the other side of it. Is dying worth that? I submit that it most certainly is.

It      Most       Certainly       Is


Denial April 11, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 7:37 am
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Yesterday as I sipped coffee in my kitchen, I noticed the clock on my wall made of a China saucer that used to be in my Grandma’s China collection. My Uncle Rik is extremely talented and made some of her pieces of China into clocks. He then gave them to all the girls as gifts one Christmas. Mine has made it through 3 moves even though it is very delicate. It still works, and I totally love it!

Then I looked across the family room at a picture on the wall. It is a puzzle that my Grandma put together and had framed for me. She wrote on the back of it. It was meant as a Christmas present, but she died before Christmas.

On my neck hung a pear shaped diamond solitaire pendant she left for me after she passed away. There is a story behind the necklace that I was involved in and it touches me deeply that she left it for me. I was so stunned when I got it that I called my mom to be sure it wasn’t a mistake.

Finally, I was drawn to the pictures on my fridge. One is of my new little precious niece, Riley Brooke; one is of my friend’s sons; one is of the missionaries we help support in India; and two are of her – my Grandma.

That’s when it hit me.

I could trick myself into believing she is still alive. I know that sounds really weird so just hang with me a minute. My Grandma and I were soulmates. She didn’t live near me for the majority of my life. But it didn’t matter. I felt as close to her as if she lived right next door. She was my favorite relative outside of my immediate family. She was so real and so much fun. She didn’t pretend to be all cookies and cream with a cherry on top. I’ve seen her get really upset with my PopPop. We had some serious heart-to-heart talks during my divorce. She revealed some of her lifelong secrets to me then. She helped get me through the beginning of the end of my first marriage. She gave me the confidence I needed and the encouragement to keep going. She made me feel like it was “ok” to do what I was doing. My ex-husband was mean and controlling and manipulative. She understood me. At that time of my life, she was the only one who understood me.

But since I hardly saw my Grandma, I could trick my heart into forgetting that she died. I could just give myself that comfort if I wanted to that she is just in Arizona living her life and I am here in Florida living mine and I’ll see her someday if I ever get enough money to fly west.

That’s how it was. Even though I had this connection with her my entire life that cannot be described accurately, we didn’t live close by each other. I’d send e-mails and pictures of the kids. I also sent things they colored and put stickers on with little notes from me to her.

Wow. I miss my Grandma. I miss her, yet she’s not really gone.

But she is.

She’s gone.

Heaven will be wonderful. Why not today? Jesus, please come take us away…