(Josh and Andy holding a 6 week old baby Lion this past summer)
If you have noticed the past month I have been a little absent - especially the last week, I want to apologize. Our family has suffered two losses recently and we are trying to work through everything to find our new ‘normal’. Andy is not my son’s biological father. He is proof that a father is much more than just blood and a last name, but rather than the love between a man and his child. I am very thankful not only to him, but to his parents, sisters, aunts, uncles and to his grandmother for bringing us into their families and loving us. I know that this is the place and these are the people that we belong with.
(Andy’s Mom and Dad. This was taken on the last day he was awake and able to get up and move around. I feel so blessed that we were able to get pictures taken that day!)
But the past week has been hard. Andy’s dad, Earl, lost his fight with cancer on January 31st. He was strong, funny, honest and true to his faith. He was a man of true talent, a loving heart and he would drive you crazy shooting the moon in Euchre. The love that he shared with his wife was inspiring and has set the bar high for my marriage with Andy. I’m sad because my son has lost a wonderful role model, Andy has lost one of his best friends and I have lost someone who I have a lot of love and respect for.
The day of Earl’s funeral we got a phone call that Grandma Mary (Earl’s mother and Andy’s grandmother) had been admitted into the hospital. She was one of the sweetest women I have met who loved her family and God more than anything. She also loved shopping and getting great deals at Kohl’s so you can see why we got along so well! She has suffered through health problems of her own as well as suffering from the loss of her son a few days prior. She was a true hero in the eyes of her family who worked hard raising her children, was there for each one of her grandchildren (and great grandchildren and even great, great grandchildren) and worked hard to shine God’s love on each person that she met. If you asked her about her dialysis she didn’t grumble about being there nine hours a week, instead she would tell you about the friends who she had met. She is a true example of a Godly woman.
Today we laid Grandma to rest. During both services, for Earl and Mary, the same thought has crossed my mind – look at all of these people. Look at the influence, the impact that one person has had on so many people. And while I watched people come and go at the viewings I thought about the impact that they have had and will have on my heart, but I couldn’t help but think what kind of impact am I making on the people I meet? If something were to happen what would people have to say about me? Would I have made the impact that I wanted? It was a true reminder that I needed to evaluate myself and to set my own kind of personal goals.
I’m so privileged and glad that I got to meet these amazing people. I think both of them have left a wonderful legacy with their family and I hope that I can carry on their love, compassion, and zest for life and make the world around me a better place.
So while this may not be a Mom Challenge this week, it’s more of a personal challenge. Think of the legacy that you are working on. Is it one that you would be proud to leave?