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The Light in the Woods

Words from my Grandfather

My Aunt Carol passed along this poem my grandfather had written the year I was born. His light touched thousands. I miss him dearly.

The Surprising New Year

There are so many things unknown of this coming new year;
So many thing that are yet to come into being,
And I am not only unaware of what, but of when and where,
And most of all, why.

Of one thing, though, I am sure: I will be surprised!
I can not engage in childish anticipation of these
surprises, for some, I Know, shall be surprises which
Dishearten, and better left undone.

My Master shall many times ask, Lovest Thou Me?
And I will be surprised how easy it is to answer,
Yes, Lord, I Do. And further surprised at times
By how very little it shows.

But, on some of its days ere they have all flown,
I hope to answer Him in facts and by deeds
Which speak louder and last longer than words;
And surprise myself, not Him.

Other people will provide many of the surprises I have.
Though I watch them each day and am aware of them
Continually, there are some who will enter the new year as
aimless children and leave it as youths, with direction.

Some will be, in its opening weeks, awkward and restless
In their teens, destined to consider its closing days
With the mind and logic of maturity–as men and women.
I can not see this growth by day, but by the year–It’s surprising!

Many of them, whom I know best because we have been
Entrusted with about the same number of these
Persistent and regular new years, will seem to change
Very little, and end this one as they began;
But I’ll be surprised if we DO.

With all of these, and the others who will be working,
Worshiping, and serving together in reality
And in Spirit, will grow, and with them there will be
A visible image growing: Their Church.
Their God will be pleased, and we–surprised.

RWH (Robert W. Hughey) 3 Jan. 1965

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Celebration of Life

We celebrated the life of my grandfather today.  It was mixed with many emotions as we sat there at the funeral home.  He has been the most influential person in my life.  As we go through the different paths in our lives and reflections come, I have to force myself to take the time to really think about things.  I very easily remember what “was” and hope for what “will be” but recently have had trouble thinking about what “is” at the moment.

As we traveled to Fayetteville on Monday for the funeral I received a quote in my e-mail.

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose” Robert Byrne (American Chess Player)

Most of my life I have felt that I have had a life of purpose.  Many times I see the purpose as what I am working towards, planning for, or the end result.  These are important and part of the process of the “big” picture.  But, it dawned on me to think about the moments of purpose?  Those brief encounters or daily activities.

I heard many times these past few days that those memories of our childhood that are most vivid to us may not be the ones our parents would think we remembered.  Many memories I cherish are things from everyday life, routine events, somehow reflected in a snapshot in my mind.  They bring a smile.

Reflecting, Granddad always seemed to live in the moment.  When he talked with folks he always seemed to glean the most information from them about whatever the topic.  What was most important at that moment was that person.

The word that comes to mind about him……genuine.  My hope is to be as genuine as him.

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Power of Many

Memories, stories, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, words of kindness, and words of comfort were all shared this weekend.  My Grandfather, who is 90, has a body that is being subjected to an infection that may soon end up taking his life.  He has fought so many times before and won. 

Many of his children and grandchildren gathered to spend some time with him and each other.  The next week is uncertain.  But one thing is clear – comfort was given, stories shared, appreciation expressed, hearts healed, and bonds formed. 

My heart is full.

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Brave Heart

A friend, Beth G., gave me a call a few months ago.  She was very calm and positive as she told me that she not be around much the next few weeks.  She went on to explain she was scheduled to have open heart surgery to repair a problem with her aorta (she had not had any symptoms – they just found it during a regular physical).  It took me a few minutes to realize the full impact of what she said.  She was making plans so that during her time in the hospital and recovery her 7 year old son would be be able to keep doing the things in his regular schedule .

All I could think was…..she is so calm telling me this and so confident all would turn out well.  I got off the phone later and told my husband.  I just kept thinking to myself and telling him, she was so calm and assured of the whole thing.  I know she had time to process the news and make plans before she started telling folks.  Her strength gave me strength. 

Everything went very well during the surgery and recovery.  She was always positive and never complained.  I saw her the other day as our boys were swimming and did not even think about the scar – she had gotten a new swimsuit so the scar would not show as much.  All I kept thinking was that for those that knew her and knew about her surgery could only view it as a beauty mark.

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A Video

I’m sick and tired a’hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have.

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