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Friday, October 30, 2020

Celebrate Family: The Challenge to Keep on Living a Full Life!

By the way, before I begin, "Masks don't control viruses; they control you!" Follow the science, as Joe Biden and his Democrat tyrants always say while they throw scientific facts out the window! With regard to masks, the growing group of Frontline Physicians say:

"The big deal is, they may be soft, and they may look okay, but this is George Orwell’s boot on a human face forever...." 

And now to the subject of my post....

I haven't blogged for a week --- too busy celebrating family. We left Virginia for Texas on the 22nd to attend the first wedding in the grandchild generation. Friends were shocked when I said we were flying. I haven't set foot in an airport for years. Between the obnoxious TSA and the cattle car/sardine can airline model, I'd had it with flying. 

We generally drive to Texas, but neither of us was physically able to deal with a 22 hour car trip (one way) and the extended time involved. So, after a conversation with our oldest daughter, who assured me it was the best time to fly because passenger  traffic is down and the airlines have social distancing practices in place, I went to Priceline and made reservations. Not to Austin, our destination....but to Dallas since we could get direct flights both ways and fly on United Express which uses the smaller planes with two seats on each side of the aisle. That meant renting a car and driving three hours from Dallas to Austin, but it was well worth it. We had no traffic issues on either end of the trip. One mistake -- I left my prescription sunglasses in the car's beverage holder. Oh well -- they were a previous prescription and at least five years old, so I got my money's worth out of them.

It's good to be home and looking back on a wonderful visit with four of our five children and their families. So many happy memories from this event:

  • We met our son's littlest Texas rose for the first time. She was born last December when my husband was dealing with a knee replacement that soon went sour from an infection and kept us pretty much home bound for the past year. (Our little travel trailer is still in winterized mode from end-of-season 2018.) It took a day or two for her to warm up and go bouncing on my knee as we "Ride away to Boston to buy a penny cake...." but we were fast friends by the time we left yesterday.
  • The 3-year-old and I resumed our dance routine to "Yum, yum breakfast burritos" and "Raining tacos." She also introduced me to the grubs in the back yard.
  • The soon to be sweet 16 daughter shared her art portfolio with us and we went walking the neighborhood to see all the Halloween decorations. One dapper skeleton made the photos as her "prom date." I don't think she'd want me to post the photo, so I'll just say she is a good sport and we are already making a plan to fly her to Virginia for Spring break. A thrift store shopping trip is on the agenda and one to the Green Valley Book Fair if it's open. Some little local cousins who didn't make the wedding were excited to hear about our future plans. They can't wait to see their cousin from Round Rock!
Is one of them our granddaughter's prom date?
  • Lots of card games, a post wedding brunch, bouncing another baby granddaughter on my knee (who was happy to be passed around since she's too little yet to be in the "only mommy" mode) were other highlights.  
  • We and three of our children and families pretty much took over the lobby at the hotel for games and get-togethers with snacks. No one seemed to mind and I shared a bag of chips with a nice lady watching TV. We visited with her and other guests a bit, but mostly just enjoyed being family for a long weekend of fun and fellowship. So many hugs and conversations with our precious ones, as well as lots of euchre and phase 10 card games. 
Larry and I are so blessed in our five children and 28 plus grandchildren. Some grands we will only meet in heaven, including our youngest daughter's baby who lived under her heart for too short a time in our reckoning, but obviously not in God's. (They weren't able to make the wedding unfortunately.) How much we have to look forward to when we arrive at the family celebration in heaven and meet these grandchildren for the first time. 

So proud of all the cousins who planned a surprise song for the bride and groom. Little sis stuck to the bride like glue and even tried to join the Daddy-daughter dance. 

From the beginning of the Wuhan hysteria my husband and I have refused to isolate ourselves from family. My mantra was, "Stay home if you're sick and we will too, but come any time if everyone is well." We will not live in fear. We never have before and we will not now. Sunday brunch is a staple on the calendar! Everyone is welcome and the fuller the table the better. I hope the Californians being told to avoid gatherings for Thanksgiving, ignore their dictator-in-chief!

Several months ago I spoke to a good friend out West who wanted to visit her grandchildren. Her husband is terrified of the virus and didn't want her to go. He's over 80 and has underlying health conditions and they are both vulnerable by age. So are my husband and I. What amazes me about my friend's husband and other serious Catholics is, "Why are they afraid?"

Hey...any of us could die tomorrow or ten minutes from now from a stroke or heart attack...even if we live in a protective bubble. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE! 

But if I were going to die next week of the virus...or the flu...or cancer...or heart disease...or an accident...or anything else, how would I want to spend the last week of my life? 

Locked in my basement, bedroom, or kitchen isolated from my family would not be my first choice...or my second...or my 10th....

I don't judge other people's decisions, but I choose to live as normal a life as possible under these trying conditions until I die in God's good time -- not Andrew Cuomo's or Gavin Newsom's or Dr. Fauci's or Joe Biden's. 

God is the author of life and the time of my death has been in his book from the first moment of my conception. He called me when he let my dad be among the survivors of Pearl Harbor. I was only a gleam in His eye then (to be born in His time six years and three siblings later). He called me on the day of my conception. He called me to grow up in a large family with nine living brothers and sister and a little brother, Jimmy, who died only days before his scheduled arrival. 

He called me to meet my husband, marry, parent five children and live long enough to be in the matriarchal generation of my family fulfilling the marriage blessing to see my "children and children's children." 

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us! 

His final call is not that far off, and I like to remind myself to be prepared every day. Like St. Paul, I can say with assurance that the end of the race is near. Please, Lord, let me never fear the final adversary on the battlefield, for St. Paul tells us, "...the enemy death shall be destroyed last: For [the Lord] hath put all things under his feet." Death does not own the last word, only the last defeat! How exciting to think of that final victory in life...the moment of meeting the Lord. Why should any of us who love God and our neighbor and have striven to be faithful, fear death? He is only a horror movie extra in a costume who disappears in a cloud of dust at the name Jesus.

Come, Lord Jesus. Our Lady of Victory, pray for us!