Thursday, February 19, 2015

happy birthday, Pat!

My big brother Pat's birthday is today.
Happy birthday, brother.
You always looked out for me
and I admired you something fierce.
When we were kids,
 you were smart, caring, and a great example to me.
(Even if you did show me how to hitch hike on
Martha's Vineyard.)
Have a special day!
I love you.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lily's turning 3!

The recent weeks have been a little rough,
but then the Haller birthdays roll around and
I'm reminded how incredibly blessed I am by my family.
Never would I have dreamed to have 7 grandchildren in 5 years!
It's pretty awesome.
So today, Lily Jane turns three!
I was inadvertently present at her birth and
what a tiny treasure she was!
Now Lily is a fun-loving little girl who loves puzzles and books
and walking to the park to play or being outside. 
Love, love playing and reading with her!
It's awful living so far apart, but makes our reunions that much sweeter.
Wishing Lily Jane a special, wonder-filled birthday.
Love you, sweet girl.

Thank you, God, for grandchildren.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

happy birthday, Mark!

on his wedding day ~ August 1, 2009

Today is my son Mark's 27th birthday.
We've been with him on his birthday for the last several years (partly because
his daughter Lily's birthday is tomorrow: three years ago Jill was in labor
on Mark's birthday) ... but not this year.
Here's a birthday acrostic:
M - man-boy. It's a familiar family story, how from a very early age Mark loved to work. At about 6 years old, he volunteered to help Taylor, a neighbor, erect a stone wall. Taylor sent Mark home for a lunch break but Mark was back at Taylor's door in 15 minutes, ready to work. The boy just wanted to grow up quickly!
A - Amiable. He was such a shy little boy. And though still kind of quiet, Mark gets along well with people: his job requires it. I always told our kids, learn to get along well with people and it'll take you far.
R - reticent. The guy has little to say. But when he does, you want to listen. 
K - Kids! In about 4 months, Mark's wife Jill will have their third baby in just over 3 years. He's a firm and loving dad and (of course) works hard for his family.
Have a happy birthday, Mark.
You're an amazing son and we love you!

Friday, February 6, 2015

the hard and the holy

Hard stuff has been going on with us but I haven't written about it because, well,
it isn't just my stuff. Not like with my dad.
Bill's mother Elizabeth has been under Hospice care at her assisted living facility
since new year's. She'd been in obvious decline for many months but
the past month, and this week in particular, she has declined dramatically.
Elizabeth is being kept as comfortable as possible; her care is excellent.
Many of us are in and out checking on her;
Bill and his brother split the day to be with her: they are so attentive.
But today was very hard. 
Those bright blue eyes tried to stay open and focus. 
She tried to talk but the medication has slowed her speech.
When I held her hand, her grip was firm.
These are the hard but holy moments.
It is hard to see a person dying. God never intended death for us.
But there is stunning holiness in witnessing the end
of an amazing 98-year life.
When it comes time for you to lose a loved one,
I hope you can sense the holiness in the hard moments.
It is there.
We covet prayers for Elizabeth's comfort and her homecoming.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7