Texan of the Year

For any of you who know who Gordon Keith is you would probably be expecting some kind of Tom-Foolery.

Read this story all the way to the end here. Texan of the Year Nomination

 

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The Seasons of Life

Ecclesiastes 3 

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. 

Seasons

 As I write this my sister-in-law who I have known all of her life and is one of my favorite relatives is dying in the hospital with acute leukemia. 

My wife, understandably, is extremely upset. 

This young woman (early 50’s) has already survived a bout with breast cancer a couple of years ago only to be stricken again by this terrible disease. 

As I thought about this tonight I remembered reading somewhere that it is God Who is in charge of the times and the seasons of our lives. I think on the internetmonk site but in a different context.

My sister-in-law is in His hands and has been since before the beginning of time. 

It is hard for us to understand and accept but accept we must. 

I don’t mean to not fight and try everything possible but when all is done and the science is insufficient then it is time to let go and seek peace. 

She is in pain and suffers. If this suffering is to no point then I pray that it will end. Soon.


Another passing

Last week we buried my father-in-law.

He was my father-in-law and my friend.

He was a remarkable man in many ways and a very simple man in other ways.

He was quick witted and quick tempered.

He was cruel and he was kind.

He was a war hero who refused to discuss it but in other ways one of the most vain men I have ever met.

I loved him.

About 3 weeks before his passing I had an opportunity to talk with him alone for couple of hours.

The conversation veered from the profane to the divine.

He told me many things I will remember but one stands out.

He said he was not ready to go yet. He put it this way,” I have not seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet but when I do I know where I am going.”

His faith was uncomplicated.

Believe and you are saved.

I will miss his jokes and music and wisdom.

I am comforted knowing that he is with the Lord and no longer suffering.

God bless you Glen and thank you for the beautiful daughter and the genes you added to my beautiful children and grandchildren.

Now rest a bit and then pick up your D28 and play some old time country gospel. I’m sure Jesus will enjoy it. I always did.


Passing

MED2097I am at an age (56) that finds me, my wife and siblings and my friends at another of the crossroads of life.

We are not necessarily looking forward any longer. We are not dead (yet) and yet in truth we know that the better part of our time here is gone.

Older relatives and friends are passing.

Our parents are changing before our eyes.

Those stalwarts of strength and stability are now frail and in need of us. 

The mother who just yesterday was so vivid and alive is tired and cannot remember conversations, dates and times. 

The father who has always taken such pride in his independence and ability to take of af things can no longer climb the roof and work all day repairing shingles.

Brushes with death are becoming common. 

We all knew these times would come but had hoped against hope that they would be forestalled somehow. That our parents would be the exceptions. The ones who lived to 105 and still were healthy and awake.

It is not to be.

Nor should it I suppose.

We have a time allotted to us here on this earth and the we must “shuffle off this mortal coil.”

So we self absorbed and spoiled baby boomers must both care for our parents and learn to be the patriarchs and matriarchs for our children and grandchildren.

Rather than fight the inevitable it is now my hope that when the time comes that they can with grace and dignity lay down their burdens and lie in the arms of our loving Saviour and hear,”Well done my child. Rest now.”


A Life Well Lived

A couple of weeks ago we buried the mortal remains of my last uncle that was still alive on my father’s side of my family.

Uncle Thomas was 82 years old when he died of a heart attack.

He was a rancher. He was still working his cattle about 3 years ago on an ATV and had an accident from which he should have died but never fully recovered either.

When I was a child he was our neighbor.

I never remember hearing one cross word out of him for any child except for a mild scolding if we frightened his sheep.

He raised with his wife Vera four daughters. Two older than me and twins a little younger. I can’t imagine raising four girls.

As we sat in the church waiting to carry his casket out into the cold rain I heard of another side of my uncle.

The pastor who officiated over the service spoke of how Thomas and Vera never missed a Sunday.

He spoke of their faithfulness in giving both of their money and their time.

He spoke of how my uncle was a big man physically, mentally and spiritually.

He told of how when the church was facing a problem he could go to Thomas and a few others and always depend on sound and reasoned advice.

He was never going to the pastor and griping about this or that it wasn’t his style or in his personality. But he was there and faithful when needed.

One of his daughters rebelled and was lost for a time to us when many of us were lost during the 60’s.

She came home from California with a beautiful son who is now a wonderful man in his own right.

The girls are all successful on many levels some extraordinarily so.

He leaves his daughters and several grandchildren and even some great-grandchildren as a legacy.

He leaves his wife of over 60 years alone for the first time in all those decades since WWII.

He leaves my dad who idolized his older brother and two sisters both older.

He leaves my brothers and I and other cousins with the empty place that Uncle Thomas was in our lives especially as children.

He was a quiet man with a dry wit much like my grandfather.

No flash, no loudness. He didn’t question his place in the world or his relationship with God. He accepted both as normal and lived.

He was not famous nor do I think he would have wanted it. 

He was not rich so to speak but he and his did not want. He worked hard every day. Physical work.

He lived a good life.

He was a good man.

We should hope that as much can be said about us when the time comes.