Thursday, December 31, 2015

Thank you Momma

December 31, 2015
Life is good, God is waaaay better.  I’m starting with that statement this time – I am reassured of that each day – really each hour these past couple of days.  People – family, friends, folks on the street or in the store have all been incredible.  People know – they ‘sense’ hurt and respond appropriately.  That is so very treasured.  My Momma died on Tuesday, December 29th at 13:49 PST.  Dad, Phyllis, Bob via FaceTime, Susan, Nathan, Jesse and I were all there…holding her hand, stroking her arm, leg, shoulder, forehead, making sure she could ‘feel’ us and hoping she could hear us.  I whispered to her a lot that day…the nurses would kind of talk loudly to her as they swabbed out her mouth or did some routine on her.  I couldn’t do that – I wanted to be gentle with my Momma…loud noises would startle her at home recently.  She would wake up and say ‘what was that’…I didn’t want her startled.  I wanted her to go from this world gently, peacefully and walk right into heaven knowing she is loved – by many and beyond measure.  I can just picture her walking – well, running really, right up to Jesus, and my Grandpa that I never knew and my Grandma that I so admired – saying – I’m here!...I’m here!  She wasn’t a ‘huggy’ person really…she was huggable…but not real huggy so I don’t know how she would greet them but I can imagine them running to her as well.  I lay awake Tuesday night just knowing that my Grandpa Kuhlman was waiting to see her…she was the first of his children to join him in heaven. 

Momma couldn’t wait – she was ready…she said that from the moment the diagnosis was heard – we talked about it on the phone when she called me in Budapest on October 26th with the news.  She told a lot of people that…she was ready to walk and talk with Jesus.  She is doing that now – and I am very glad.  I miss her – I woke up this morning and instantly knew she wasn’t here – and I miss her.  I love you Momma…I miss you terribly and always will – thank you for being my Momma, thank you for teaching, sharing, disciplining, and loving me – but most of all – thank you for being my Momma.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Amazing family, snow and emotions!

Parked the car in a snow bank at my sistersJ.  She has some serious snow up here at her house!  She lives ‘up in them thar hills’ outside of Boise, Idaho…and we will have a white Christmas!!  It is beautiful and cold for sure so we’ll see how adventurous I am over the next few days. 

Tanner (#7 nephew) said I should write about family…but I wasn’t sure.  And then it hit me scrolling through my FaceBook...I have a LOT of family!  I know, the story has it that family is who you are born or adopted into…and the family I was born into is AMAZING.  Love, love, love – parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, kids of cousins – AMAZING.  Such greatness.  

But along life’s merry way – there have been other people in my life who have become ‘family’. 

I experienced living overseas that being so far away from my first family…others became family!  My brother’s kids (3 nephews) grew up living in Ukraine – and they used to call other people ‘Aunt’ and ‘Uncle’; it created a twinge in my heart.   Probably not a good twinge…I must admit.  How can they call others Aunt and Uncle – when they are not?  Then I realized…others do and can become AMAZING family!  It’s okay Aunt Carol…simmer down. 

Work family – seriously – spending at the minimum 40 hours a week with people – will make you family or otherwise!  I shared a lot of meals, time and memories with people at work – AMAZING.

Church/prayer family – there is something special about being involved at church and sharing a common belief, faith and prayers with people – it bonds the heart together like no other – AMAZING.

School family – growing up in a (very) small town definitely lends itself to creating some serious family relationships around town – to this day some of those people are very dear to my heart even if I haven’t seen them in a while – AMAZING!

Sports family – those that I play(ed) sports with – during and after school.  I guess sweating and working through to victory with people makes a family bond!  Those coaches too – all AMAZING!

That’s the beauty of family – time can lapse – and the connection is still there.  My heart literally ‘overflows’ with emotion when seeing family by all definitions. So on this snow-filled absolutely beautiful Christmas Eve – I wish ALL my AMAZING FAMILY a very Merry Christmas.  Life is very good…God is waaaaaay better and my heart is overflowing today with emotion for many!  Much love, Carol

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Love, love, love this time of year!

Holy Moly – what an amazing season – I love this time of year!  I’m sitting here looking out a window into a beautiful backyard covered in fresh snow.  It isn’t snowing at this very moment but it sure has for the past 18 hours or so!  If you know me – snow is not my favorite but looking at it from the inside is okJ!  Actually last night I was a bit more brave -  it was kind of snow/rain and I was standing out on the main street of John Day, OR (total population = 1800) watching a trucker’s light parade.  It was so awesome…so small town, some really decorated log trucks, work trucks, whatever – all so great!  So I guess I can brave the elements for the ‘right’ reason!

I don’t really have much to say; just been hanging out here helping at Mom and Dad’s.  Busy – painted a few rooms, hosted a ‘tea’ (crazy…doesn’t sound like me but it was Christmasy and nice!), spoke at a coffee shop and this week I’m headed to California.  I’m excited to see a bunch of people, speak again on Sunday and then head back home in time to get over to Boise for Christmas.  Christmas! – woo hooJ!!!  I love it!  I love the carols being sung, amazing church services, the people bustling around (not many people here but I’ll spend some time in San Francisco…they bustle there for sure!).  All of it – I love it all.  At this time of year it seems a bit easier to say that life is good and God is waaaay better.  I do believe that – may you have a blessed Christmas!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Free, thankful and breathing...

Free, thankful and breathing – that’s what I feel tonight .

Free - My time is free; after dinner I kind of wandered around for a while – what do I do since I don’t have my online class to do?  I must admit; it was a nice feeling.  My TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) is over…woo hoo!  Man that took a lot of time!  It was worth it but I’m glad it’s over as well.

Thankful – I am very thankful for friends and family.  It has been a good past few weeks just basking in peace and the love of many people surrounding my family and me.  Thank you…!

Breathing – there have been a few moments that it seemed like that is all I could do was breathe!  I couldn’t really talk, think or move but I could breathe!  That’s a good thingJ.

It is good to be home with my parents in Oregon.  Mom rests quite a bit but is determined to do certain things each day – good, bad or indifferent!  I told her today that she reaps what she sows – I think she used to tell me growing up ‘you play, you pay’.  Ahhhh…life comes full circle – it’s good that wayJ.  Dad and I have been working – we will have 16 people here for Thanksgiving so that will be lots of people and fun.  Lots to do – so that’s good – we sleep well at night (at least I do, not sure when Dad sleeps to be quite honest)!  Looking forward to a good time had by all.

I must admit; I miss all the ‘goings on’ and people in Budapest and beyond in Europe.  It’s crazy to think I was there almost a year and I really kind of got attached to many people!  I look forward to being back there sometime but am really good with being here for now.

Life is good and I’m thankful for many people and places.  God is still waaaaaay better – so enjoy your Thanksgiving and may God truly bless you!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Mama - frieden (peace)

November 6, 2015

There is one word that I can use anywhere in the world and it seems to be understood – Mama.  And this blog is about just that…my Mama.  She called me 10 days ago with not great news – her cancer is back and in her bones.  Since that time she has had many tests and appointments and found out that the cancer is not in her organs or brain; the first reason I am thankful today.

So this ‘wave’ in life is a big one…we talked in our English Bible Study tonight about the waves of life.  We even made a little ‘ocean in a jar’ – you know…with water, food coloring and oil.  And I shared with these teenagers that I have come to know and love – about my Mom and the pain she is in.  I cried…they cried.  We prayed…not for healing even really…just peace.  It was amazing….

I recently was at a conference and was involved with doing the PowerPoint and songs etc on the ‘big screen’ – it was really big and there were lots of people which was awesome but nerve wracking at the same time.  But the guy I sat by was the sound guy and he was a rock (actually a German rock:).  I mean nothing got to him – he was efficient, good at his job and mostly very patient with me as I was learning a lot!  My favorite thing was that he taught me the German word for peace…frieden.  I like that….it sounds like ‘free’ and that is what I’m asking for my Mom…for her to be at peace – and free of pain whatever that may mean.  And her attitude is just that – she really is at peace.  It is really good to hear and see from afar.  But I must go and see and hear it in person.  So I am – I am leaving Hungary for a time…not sure how long but we’ll see how it goes.  I am in a place of service/life/whatever you want to call it that I can go and be with Mom and Dad; a second reason I am thankful today.

I do believe that life is good…my Mom believes that as well but mostly we believe together that God is waaaayyy better.  He is bringing that ‘frieden’ to my Mom – which is the third and final reason I am thankful today.