Thursday, July 3, 2008

MI wanderings...

We spent three weeks in MI... making memories and saying good-bye. It was a long process... i guess to make sure they were good and tired of us before we left. We spent almost two weeks there without Shawn (he was in timeout... not really, he was in Oz). Then my sweetheart returned (there was much rejoicing) and we finished up our time there. Here's an overview of our fun... mostly pics... not my normal lenthy posts... (and i'm sure there's a collective sigh of relief from my two readers)....

our trip to Tawas... Lake Huron in the background... this was just part of the crew...

Climbing a super-sandhill on our Harley trip... D was already up the hill... Bryan, my bro, came down to help his daughter get back up... it was a long way... but the run down the hill was a blast!

The Johnson clan at the Harley ride... 5 of 10 are in Harley appearal... thankfully they didn't boot us out.

A sweet moment at the Lumberman's monument! We got to cut some logs w/ a long saw... what a workout.

A fun trip w/ Jane and Rayne to "America's Roller Coast".... Cedar Point! lots of fun, yelling and fabulous food!

a day at Aunt Jillie's horse farm... fun with family and horses... Oddly enough it was National Jillie Day... so we had to take Jill (actually my cousin) out to dinner.

Time with the Morgans. some good friends...

Hanging out with some special friends... the Weiss Family. They have four fantastic kids. We all had a grand time.

Marching around a park to get some Johnson family photos... can you guess with person is not part of the family???

A family barbeque (grilling) on our last evening there... complete w/ plaid burgers and falling off the hammock. and not just by Poppa and Brenna. Darian and Rayne were there to save the day... or maybe help them over. who knows.

Saying Goodbye...

Good-byes are hard. I've been getting some practice doing just that. Saying good-bye to friends in Memphis, goodbye to our teammates for the summer, goodbye to Shawn for his trip to Oz... Most of the time, you know that somehow you'll see, or hear from, the one you're saying good-bye to. So, although it's good-bye, there's still a hope of seeing that person again.

Recently, I had to say good-bye to someone very special. Someone for whom this good-bye just might be the last. Someone who's had a deep impact on my life, both physically and spiritually. Needless to say, this good-bye has been the hardest, the most cutting.

If you've spent much time with me, you've probably heard about Grandma Grace, aka Gram. She took me to church when i was little and spent the night at her house. She tricked me in to massaging her feet by saying they needed some lotion on them. Most of all, she loved Jesus and she loved me. To me, she was an outpouring of love for everyone. She was also an example of endurance through hard times. I have lots of Gram-isms... one that i often think of is, "keep on, keepin' on"... I love my Gram. I said good-bye to her a couple days ago. A good-bye that might be forever. How is that okay? How do i just walk away? My heart aches to think, to understand that this pillar of my life may not be here when i come back to visit. it breaks at that thought, that thought that doesn't go far from my mind.

But there's more than ache in my heart. There's an amazing sense of thankfulness. I praise God that Gram is part of my life. She helped shape who i am. I shout for joy that my children know her, have experienced her love and gentleness (and sometimes not-so-gentleness). I am greatful that she has touched our lives.

I pray that she'll be making homemade apple sauce and mac-n-cheese when we visit MI again. But no matter what, i'll know her love for God has showered on many lives, her acts of service have lightened many loads, her stories have guided many paths, and mostly i'll know, i am loved by a very special lady.

Sometimes good-byes are very hard indeed.
especially when you don't know if there's another hello in the future.