Friday, October 15, 2010

Angels on Earth

David James

David James grew up in my hometown.  

He was a few years my senior, liked and respected by many.  I had the honor of playing in the high school band with him, in the trombone section.  

Back then, I was a pipsqueak freshman and he was every freshman girl's idea of McDreamy... an accomplished athlete, confident and handsome with a thousand-kilowatt smile, and nice to boot. While I don't recall visiting with him one-on-one very much, what I do remember is that he was kind and always carried himself with such class.  It was no surprise to hear that he went on after high school to serve twenty years in the Air Force, both in the Gulf War and Desert Storm.  He really was the kind of guy that would make a career of serving his country with honor.

So the news two weeks ago that David was gunned down in a public park in front of his eight-year-old daughter, while defending some skateboarding kids from an idiot on a rant (you can read the news article here)... it was one of those things that hits you square in the chest as being such a senseless, horrific tragedy.  

David and his family have been on my mind a lot these past couple weeks.  I've been praying for his wife and children, that God grant them peace and comfort... and especially for his little daughter Danielle.  She was at the park that day with her dad to play basketball, a game they both loved.  Even as I write this, long-forgotten memories of David playing basketball for our high school rise to the surface; I have an image in my head of him smiling out there on the court, enjoying the game.  One can only imagine the special bond that David and Danielle shared, for love of the game.

Cledus T. Judd

It seems I'm not the only one whose heart was touched by this sad story.  Today, a friend posted to Facebook an audio in which the musician/comedian Cledus T. Judd read, on the radio, the most incredibly touching letter to Danielle James.  He has never met her, but wanted to reach out to her in the spirit of compassion and friendship.  One can hear the tears in his voice, the true feeling behind his words, and I feel compelled to share it.  Please listen here.

There will always be tragedies and losses in this world; some of them close to home.  It is so difficult to make sense of them... but I thank God for people such as Mr. Judd, who step up and step out in the face of such tragedy, to lift up those who grieve.  While such acts cannot bring back loved ones lost or turn back time, they do bring comfort and restore our faith in humanity.

Thank you, Mr. Cledus T. Judd... and David, may you rest in peace knowing there are angels here on Earth, too.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This Is Your Life.

This was posted on the blog and I just had to share it.  I may just have to frame it to hang in my kitchen... especially love the "All emotions are beautiful." So true.  There is beauty in tears, in anger, in love... they are what make us human.

Help Me God

Sometimes things happen in life which leave us bereft, lost, hurting so deeply and so afraid, that even a believer cannot form the words to pray.  Challenges seem insurmountable, the night so black and without end.  We've all been there, at some point... every single one of us.  Probably more times than one would care to admit, as being strong and self-reliant is what's valued in this society, after all.

A friend posted this beautiful video to Facebook today, and it literally brought me to my knees.

Sometimes all we can say is, "Help me God.  I'm lost and hurting, I can't see You, but I know You are there. Help me."

I share this for all those who are lost and hurting.

"Help Me God"
    by Kathy Troccoli

Help me God I'm scared
And I'm unprepared to face the night alone
Hear me, hear my prayer
My soul it aches and I've nowhere to go
Help me God

In this dark hour
I know only the power that made the stars
Can mend my heart
Oh I've tried on my own but I'm not that strong
You're all I've got
You're all I've got
Help me God

Sometimes, people leave
And I can grieve cause life's not always fair
help me to hold on
though I can't see you, I believe you're there
I know you're there


Monday, October 11, 2010

Haying in October

In all my years as a farm girl, I cannot recall ever putting up hay in October.

So, this would be a first.

Let me just say, for the record, I'm okay with it.  
When you're looking at six months of snow up to your derrière...

and temperatures plunging, at times, to -40F...

and herds of horses and calves looking to you as their sole means of survival...

hay put up at any time of year is good.  But hay put up in October is an unexpected blessing.

As is having kids now old enough to help!

Dad giving instruction to the new driver.

She's twelve.  Going on twenty.  
And driving a five-speed, four-wheel-drive, turbo-diesel pullin' truck.

Daddy does the baling, and he stacks the bales I pitch onto the trailer.
The little one helps too.  She fetched my camera for me. And keeps us in stitches.

Oh, and Grace keeps an eye out for varmints.  

Life is good.