Sunday, January 8, 2012

And so it continues...

For all you loyal followers out there (aka parents), I will post at some point about our luxurious cruise to the Whitsundays.  We may have had a few roommates for the trip which may or may not have looked a lot like small cockroaches...but that is for you to decide.  No worries, Mom, it really was fantastic and I didn't even look at the water...or maybe I scuba dived with sharks? I don't know.  Guess we will see.

A picture I took today gave me another topic to discuss, which I promise to keep as light as possible. Now close your eyes and envision me standing on the edge of a mountain holding up my baby niece while a choir of animals sings "The Circle of Life" Lion King style.

Now that we are clear on where this is going...

The Century Plant (next to that brilliant plantologist in the picture above) doesn't grow in NC or NY as far as I know, but Brian and I got to see these wonders when we were living in Arizona last summer.  And today, I jumped with excitement when we saw a giant one in Brisbane.  These plants live as a bush like cacti for about 25 years of their life.  In the final few months, they sprout a large stalk and flowers that drop seeds for the future generation.  Within months of them blossoming, they tip-over, uproot, and die; leaving a few offspring in the surrounding area.  About the perfect illustration of the circle of life.

Last August was the most monumental month of 2011 for me.  We said goodbye to my grandmother -- Lois Tedder "Mama T" -- on the 10th of August.  And my brother and sister-in-law welcomed their precious daughter -- Evelyn Louise "Evie" -- on the 20th.  Never have I been more reminded that through the tears, life goes on and that all is exactly as it should be.

Even though Mama T. was physically with us until August, her mind left us years before.  Alzheimer's is a painful, selfish disease that leaves many wondering how there can be a disease so evil it robs a person of their life's memories and relationships with family.  Mama T.'s departure was gradual and I'm not sure if that is better or worse for those left behind to mourn the loss.  She had accepted Jesus as her Savior decades ago and told me on a visit that she was ready to meet Him.  Which left us wondering what God was thinking as she gradually transformed into a person we didn't know.  But as time went on, we saw something amazing take place, which I will share at some point.  She lived a full and happy life and remained a mystery to us in many ways.  Mama T. never ceased to give and always put others before her and I am so grateful she passed those same qualities onto her son, my dad.  I didn't share her death with many people, so I hope you don't feel offended if this is the first you are hearing of it.  It's hard to grieve for someone you feel you truly lost many years before and even harder to share the sadness with people who never had the opportunity to meet her.  But I have been scolded by a few of you, and for leaving you out, I am sorry...and thank you.

I think I got a little off topic here and this really isn't the most organized introduction to the HAPPY story I want to share about the birth of my niece.  And I promise that all my posts will not be so...heavy.  But I think it is important to remember that saying farewell to someone is one of the most humbling, strengthening things we ever go through in life.  Along with the loss of relationships and the heartache of break-ups.  But celebrating eternal life should be one of our happiest moments.  And as one door closes, another opens.  As one century plant dies, another sprouts.  And as one soul departs, another joins.  And so it continues...

Which leads me into the arrival of the baby! And it's a GIRL?! 
I won the bet...Brian lost.  Brian lost to me in a bet.  He didn't win.  
Am I making it clear that I beat Brian? Ok good.  I'll get to the 
topic of my lovely niece next post.  Until then...

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