Category Archives: death

Take a letter … Maria?

Is this the party to whom I am writing?

I just got done writing a letter to my older sister. Now, she does not do email. Texting. Facebook. Nothing. If it doesn’t have a stamp on it, she can’t read it. No won’t about it. Can’t.

I remember when I used to love corresponding with different friends. My friend Barbara moved from Falmouth, Maine, up the coast to Thomaston, Maine. Our folks couldn’t drive us back and forth to see each other every day (gasp!), so we wrote.

My friend Sabrina moved a whole 20 minutes away from me one year. We were attached at the hip before then. Agony! And so, we wrote. I think we even “taped” our letters on cassette tapes now and then. Anybody here remember cassette tapes? LOL!

Sheryl moved to Boston for college.

Beth moved to North Carolina for a nursing position.

It was no big deal to pick up a pen and write. In fact, it was kind of fun to find different papers and pens to write with. And I loved going to the mailbox and finding a “real” letter! To this day I am still addicted to different pens and papers to write with. If I go to the store with friends, they know where to find me when I disappear.

And I still look forward to getting the mail, just in case.

But now it’s a big deal to pick up a pen and write. And I don’t know what happened to change things. I guess electronic communication is so much easier, faster. You get a more immediate response. And you don’t really have to think about it too much (whiiich can lead to some pretty bad foot-in-mouth snafus, so be careful!). It’s “short attention span theater” at its finest. Not to mention, I have developed a familial tremor that makes it really difficult to write legibly – it’s work!

So what does one write about in a letter?

Oh, there’s the weather. Work. Church. My son. I also go line by line through someone’s letter to see if there are questions or comments they’d want me to address. (See what I did there? address?) And I always try to write something to make people chuckle. Sometimes I will print out a comic or other kind of picture that will make people laugh, or think.

Ok, so I’m not always funny …

Really, it’s the same stuff you’d say on the phone, I guess. Only I’m not really partial to the phone anymore. Used to spend HOURS! on the phone with friends, boyfriends, people I hoped would be boyfriends …

What’s funny is that half the time I’ve just sent a letter out, and that person calls me. Before their letter arrives. And I’m like, I don’t want to tell you anything! It’s in my letter!

Even though my letter writing is pretty rare, and I type it out in Word and print it to send, it’s still pretty mundane. To me, pretty boring; not much to say.

One year my friend Valerie from ninth grade went to camp. I couldn’t live without her during those brief times that she and her family would go during the summer, so we wrote.

One summer, she ended up passing away while at camp, from a long-standing heart problem. It’s funny (not really funny) because that weekend was the only time that she’d invited me to come join her and her family. Mom had said flat out NO, no matter how much I begged, cried, bargained, and cried some more. I mean, Valerie had never asked before! I was so, so angry! Especially when I found out that she’d died, and I knew that, had I been there, I would have been there for her. So much left unsaid. But thankfully, we had written to each other numerous times before then. We had that. And I know God had His reasons for not allowing me to be there. It still hurts, but it’s comforting to know that He knows, and He cares what I care about.

So where my sister is concerned, even though I’d rather just zip off an email or a Facebook message, I write the letters. Fold them up, stick them in an envelope, stick on the stamp, put ’em in the mailbox. Because my letters to her are her love language. And they are just our way of saying, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

And that is priceless. Because nowadays, it’s sometimes hard to say, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

Just Another 9/11 Story?

I really don’t know where I was or what I was doing on 9/11/2001. I do remember watching the TV, and seeing how at first it was presented as an accident. Then the 2nd plane hit, and my stomach dropped. I’m sure every American watching it was horrified, just like me, because it was then we knew: it was out and out terrorism. Hatred against America. Hatred against you, and me, and our children.

I was torn between not being able to keep my eyes from the screen, and not wanting to believe it was true. No one who was around at that time was the same after that. The only good thing that came from it was that we were drawn together to help one another. We saw what human compassion was, and, most important, we drew close to God and begged for His help, together.

This compassion, this help, this love and care for one another, and especially, this turning toward God, did not last. In fact, many in our great Nation have become violent, unruly, disrespectful, and selfish. People have many explanations for why this is happening. Some are silent, some outspoken, some engaged in out-and-out war. This has been happening in different degrees over time, long before 9/11, but seeing it now breaks my heart. It has become the norm to see terrorism nearly every day on the news, whether it’s by a large group or a few individuals.

Who knows if something like 9/11 might happen again? Then again, as I said, terrorism is happening right on our streets today. I don’t point my finger at any one group or person, and you shouldn’t either. Jesus said, “… He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…” (from John 8:7). We also read that “… all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23).

What if our land is attacked once again? Why do we have to wait ’til then? What is it going to take, how bad does it have to get NOW, before we start over with the caring and compassion? Most important, when do we start begging God, like the Israelites did, for mercy, for a cease-fire?

But we CAN have peace. God has indeed provided a way for all of us to receive His grace and mercy: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16). Peace may not happen all around us, but we will have peace with God through Christ (Romans 5:1).

Think this is unrelated? For me to “sneak in” a little Bible, “just because I can?”

Think on this, and this is my point: How many people died that day, outside of Christ? The statistics can be found anywhere online. They left their homes that morning, having no idea they would not return. Now, think on how many people, young and old, lose their lives unexpectedly now, from different causes. Frightening thought if they no longer have the opportunity to come before God, because they thought they had time.

God made a big investment in us, while we were yet sinners. He has made it quite simple for us to receive His salvation. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

Send me a message if you need to know more about Jesus!