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- The love of my family and friends.
- Spring flowers blooming everywhere.
- God’s mercy and His untiring desire to pick us up when we fall.
- Food on the table, a roof over our head and material blessings we often take for granted.
- Many special intentions from friends.
- Those fighting addiction and mental illness.
- Those suffering from illness, injustice and abuse.
- For peace in the heart of all men/women.
- All pregnant moms (especially family members), those trying to get pregnant, those who have lost their babies and for moms contemplating an abortion.
- The souls in purgatory, especially family, friends and those most forgotten.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. I was looking over my Daybook post I wrote a year ago and it brought all the memories and tears back. I wrote…
It was a Wednesday and I stopped by the nursing home to visit with him. After his third stroke he was no longer able to speak but I chatted with him about the kids and Brian. At one point I felt like an idiot, not knowing if he even knew who I was or if he understood what I was saying. I was hoping that my voice wasn’t like an annoying buzz in his ear. He looked at me and smiled but there was no connection when our eyes met. He drifted off to sleep and I was going to leave but I thought I would stay just a few more minutes.
He woke back up and he looked at me and smiled but then he looked at me more intently and I saw it in his eyes, that glimmer. He smiled deeper and I saw the recognition. He knew it was me. I chatted a little and them he tried to talk to me. He grunted and tried to speak with emphasis but his words came out like gibberish. I listened then smiled and kissed his cheek and said, “I know, dad. That’s great.” He smiled back at me contently and I rubbed his shoulder until he dosed off again. Finally I kissed him good bye and let him sleep. I’d never see him open his eyes again.
The next day Brian went to see his dad on his lunch break and the nurse said he was not doing well. He was asleep in bed and unresponsive. They could not get him to wake up to eat or drink. They told us that he’d most likely pass away in a day or two. Luckily the kids were off of school for Easter break so we all went over to the Center to sit with him, hold his hand and just be with him. Afterwards we said our final goodbyes to Opa and told him we loved him in case he passed away in the night while we were gone. I took the kids home and Brian stayed with my mother-in-law. Later he came home and my MIL stayed until the nurses told her to go home and get some sleep and they’d call her if anything happened.
The next morning Brian took the day off work and instead went to sit with Opa. He had a feeling today would be the day. He took the first shift to sit with Opa and then we’d meet him there after I fed the kids breakfast. Brian texted me and said Opa was just the same as yesterday. He was still sleeping and his heart rate was still low. While Brian was there he prayed for Opa and read to him the scripture about the Jesus’ resurrection. When he finished reading, Opa opened his eyes for the first time in two days. He stared off into the distance and then turned his head and looked at Brian. Then he closed his eyes and fell back asleep. Then he passed away. Brian said the whole room was filled with peace. Moments later I arrived with the kids. Brian told us that he just passed so we went in and kissed him goodbye again one last time. I took the kids back to the car so they would not have to see my MIL grieve over my FIL’s body. It was a piercing scene that leaves me in tears whenever I remember it.
The grief completely drained me but later I was able to feel relief that my FIL’s physical suffering was over. I am glad that his last days were filled with smiles and his eyes lighting up when he saw the kids. Even if he could not speak, we treasured the moments when we could see his joy in the simple pleasures of a kiss on the check or a picture the kids drew for him. He will always live on as we remember his loving smile, his tenacious spirit and his generous heart. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.
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Sometimes, I feel close to Opa and ask him to pray for us, as we pray for him each day. Other times I feel the emptiness of not having him around. I miss him.
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Around the House…
You will find pockets of quiet prayer and pockets of wild abandon.
Family Chit Chat…
Here are some of the things we did this month…enjoyed the warmer weather, got stomach bugs, planted spring flowers, took field trips, went to the movies, had library days, had mom and daughter days out, took walks on the beach and went on a out-of-the-house date. 🙂
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In the Kitchen…
Earlier this week on Instagram’s instastories I made Spanish cauliflower rice. Some watchers wanted to know where I got the recipe. I used the recipe from Wholesomelicious.com. (See the pin below.) The only difference is that I also added a tsp of chili powder to the recipe. 🙂
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Okay, I seriously need to sit down and write a post about the last few books I’ve read, which includes these…
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
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The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
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Truly, Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
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The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
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Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
I saw a number of movies in February and March. I wanted to see all the movies nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. I watched three more on the list. My favorite of the three was Hidden Figures.
I went to see this movie on a whim since the movie was starting at the time I was available. After walking out of the movie it became my favorite of 2016. Hidden Figures is the story of three amazing women mathematicians working at NASA – Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. They lived in a time when society viewed them as “less than” for being both African American and women. I bristled at some of the scenes of prejudice and it made me want to knock some heads together but their frustration did not squelch their passion. Katherine, Dorothy and Mary’s stories of perseverance and determination was able to shine thanks to a well written story, excellent acting and touches of humor. This is a must-see movie. (Parental note: Rated PG for thematic elements and some language.)
After the death of his older brother, Lee is shocked to find out that he has been named his 16 year old nephew’s guardian. Lee moves back to his hometown where he must face his demons and a painful past. This is the perfect movie to watch when you want to wallow in some sadness and have an ugly cry. I rated it 3.5 out of 5 stars, Parental note: Rated R for some sexual content and language throughout.
This movie is about two brothers who live a modern day story or David and Goliath or Robin Hood in the setting of a dusty Texan town. I found myself torn between rooting for the good “bad guys” or the likable sheriff trying to track them down. Franky, I was a little surprised this was one of the best movies of the year. I enjoyed it and Brian liked all the action but it didn’t seem like the typical nominee. I rated it 3 out of 5 stars. Parental note: Rated R for some strong violence, language throughout and brief sexuality.
On the tamer sides of things, I also watched…
The Lego Batman Movie was hilarious. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – me or the kids. There are a few scary parts with the villains (some of the chosen villains are genius) that may upset the youngest of your little ones but otherwise, if you enjoyed The Lego Movie, make sure to watch this one too. I rated it a 4.5 out of 5. Parental note: Rated PG for rude humor and some action.
There was a lot of controversy surrounding Beauty and the Beast and rumbles that it wasn’t that good, but personally, I loved it. I thought it was beautiful as it stayed true to the story of love and redemption from the original and added more depth to the story line of Belle and the Beast in regards to their mothers. The music was wonderful and I enjoyed the added songs. For those who asked me about a gay agenda in the movie, there was innuendo done for laughs that would most likely go over a child’s head. Frankly, if I was someone hoping for a “gay moment” I would have disappointed that I received so little. (Granted that is just my opinion. If you are concerned, screen it before you take your children.) My boys had no interest in the movie since there were no light sabers or super heroes but Bella and I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to see it again. Parental note: Rated PG for peril, frightening images and some action violence. (If you want a more in-depth review, I found this one helpful.)
Most of the usual shows we watch of winding down for the season. Tonight we’ll watch the final Grimm episode and continue with Ironfist on Netflix.
We also are looking forward to season 2 of Homefires, which I believe starts Sunday on PBS.
Listening to …
Human by Rag’n’Bone Man
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I’ve been on a blogging break so there’s not much.
From the Archives
I Am the Handmaid of the Lord (March 2015)
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Five Favorites & Five Things & Liebster Award (March 2013) This was a funny one to go back and read. 🙂
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Cauliflower Spanish Rice by Wholesomelicious.com.
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I love these new products in the Blessed Is She shop…
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Blessed Is She Knotted Rosary (I just purchased this one!)
Around the blogosphere…
Here are some posts I’ve been reading…
- How to Become A Better Cook by The Surly Housewife.com
- The Heart That Receives by The Littlest Way.
- The moral life of the child and how to nurture it. Part 5 by Like Mother, Like Daughter.
- A Constant Inconvenience by The Fike Life
- Celebrating Catholic Sacraments, Like a Boss by Team Whitaker
- Listening for God’s Call… Keeping our children’s hearts open to vocational life by Parenting with Peer Review
Also, did you know that Blessed Is She also has a blog?? There are some great posts on their about faith, life, entertainment and more! Check it out.
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I’ve been participating in the Dogwood Photography 52 Week Challenge and these are my photos from February and March.
Week 5: Take 10 shots and choose your favorite.
I love the water drop that almost looks metallic.
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Week 6: Candy
My eye candy. #penandpapernerd
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Week 7: Forgotten
You are guaranteed to find a forgotten warrior around the house any day of the week. #lifewithboys
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Week 8: One Shot
Dewdrops after the morning rain.
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Week 9: Still Life
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Week 10: Perspective
Changing the perspective changes a mug and a cloud into a cuppa Joe. 😉
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Lastly, this one wasn’t part of the photo challenge but I snapped it on my phone during a walk this week and I’m smitten with the loveliness of God’s creation.
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So that’s what I’ve been up to lately. What about you? What’s currently happening in your life? Any recommendations? Do share.
I’m linking up with Kelly for 7 Quick Takes.
Have a great week!
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