Monday, October 28, 2013

This is how I roll.............

One of my favorite nieces asked one of my favorite siblings, "What is Aunt Lynne doing?"

I assume her questions has to do with my many along-the-road Facebook posts. In the last week, the burnt orange Caliber and I have logged 1765 miles, circling through Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, and then home.

(Sainted sister-in-law made room for one more dog: Ivy got to hang out with her buddies)

That doesn't completely answer the question.

Over the course of Mike's last 5 years, I latched on to a message board connected with The Dennis Miller Show. If you pay a few bucks, you get to be a 'premium member.' That means you can chat away with other fan boys about the show; you can also opine on politics, movies, sports, and etc.

I had just dipped my toe in and was learning the ropes....someone told me that the site uses 'ancient technology'....when our lives took a turn. And even though I was busy with helping to close the office, as well as caring for my guy, I escaped every once in a while to this message board. I became known as LynneB to kiddos all over the country...and even in Germany and S. Korea, and Canada.

The show and this site was a break from some very tense days. Then, as the tension lifted for a while, I was already there.

No where on the site does one's faith form a topic, but it doesn't take too long to pick up that someone is a believer, or an atheist, or whatever. Mainly, I had fun. And, to my surprise, I got to know these folks pretty well.

Eventually, there were PMs (private messages) and exchange of emails, and revelations of real names. I would say that I made some great friends in the DMZ (zone).

As Mike's illness progressed, some of theses friends found our blog; watched Mike's testimony; and prayed for us. On the day that Mike died, one friend called into the live show. Mr. Miller stopped the show and prayed for us on the air. Amazing.

Anyway, one thing I thought about for my post funeral days: I wanted to put some faces with some names. So, I've been traveling....Illinois, California, and my latest trek meet my cyberfriends. I must say, it's a blast.

A "Grub" Shack
As I want to take them to dinner, most pick some unique place in their city. Many bring spouse and children and we have a party. So, that's what I've been doing.

So far, I've connected with 15 people. In November, I plan to meet at least two more. That will leave a few in New Hampshire, a few in Boston, and one special lady in Anchorage. I may have to wait until the winter passes for these. But those trips are penciled in.

On this last trip, I met in Milford with Jen at Copper Blue. I met 'Rafe" and his wife and boys and we supped at The Olive Tree, an authentic Mediterranean restaurant, in Columbus. Then, I was off to Erie and a dear brother, Dean, and his wife Shirley. What a treat! He was speaking in church on Sunday.
Cuba Libre

Then, off to Philadelphia and 'Gene in Philly.'  Gene is Gene Baretta, an author and illustrator of children's books. He arranged for his pal, a Ben Franklin expert, to stroll around with me in the historical downtown. Also, we ate at Cuba Libre: I learned that this is Bill Clinton's favorite restaurant when he's in town.

A few more stops and it was time to head back to Kokomo. Logging those miles wore me out but it was so much fun. I'm resting up for the next trek.

So, THAT's what Aunt Lynne (or whatever you call me)l is doing.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The New Meyers Household

I got invited to a wedding recently; a former student had found THE ONE, and asked me to share in their special day.

When I was younger, it was friends getting married. I’d join in as one soon-to-be-married or as one already married. Planning, party, promises.  All sorts of excitement. And every bride certain that her bridesmaids would be able to wear their dresses again.

Now, weddings feature children of friends or young people in my circle for other reasons. And my reaction is much different. When the bride and groom are believers, as is the case here, I can step back and take a longer view. No matter when they ‘found’ each other, sometime in an ancient past their Father knew that they would come together and pledge to love each other for life. And on this sunny summer evening, all is beautiful; all is perfect; everybody is smiling.

I found a blank card and penned: May your lives be filled shared joy. After all, it is not good for man to be alone.

 Later, Jesus compared Christ’s union with His church to a marriage. The apostles taught that husband and wife will share values and duties to the glory of God. 

I believe that when God orchestrates such unions, it is His will that joy be the primary product. There is joy, even when hard times come, when God is in the center.

Mike and I thought it was our idea. We chose each other. We formed a union, a team.  And, at the beginning, we saw only what we expected from our marriage. Certainly, it was social acceptance. Stability. Companionship. Financial security. Legitimate status within the community.

I figured that children and a home would be part of the deal. Not sure Mike looked that far ahead. But no matter. Neither of us really recognized then what we came to know so clearly: before the foundation of the earth, in the infinite past, God chose Mike for Lynne and Lynne for Mike. And God saw the path that our lives would take, both separately and together.

When we held hands on June 8, 1974, and repeated the vows, sure we knew the words: richer/poorer, in sickness and in health, for better and worse, until death do us part. But nobody was giving audience to poverty, illness, or death. And nobody was thinking about how far away death might be. We were signing up for life. What? 40 years is a lifetime when you are 23.

God saw the path of our 39 years. He knew that our first child, so carefully planned, would be stillborn. He knew we would weather this and would grow in our faith. He knew that we would grow closer together. He knew.

God knew that as we approached our 35th anniversary, doctors would find metastatic cancer in my husband; God knew that this would knock us for a loop and then bring us into such a sweet time of fellowship with Him.

He knew that we would confound the medical community. He knew that as we prepared for Heaven, He had a task for Mike, one final job, before he got to walk the Streets of Gold. And so He prepared the way for us by equipping us with skills and tools that would make the task less daunting.

My prayer for this special couple is a life of happiness. That doesn’t always mean smiles. It can mean an adventure as a team. It can mean that, someday, they will look back and marvel at the path their Father had in mind.

Bless them and their union, Holy Father.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ah Autumn

I have not fallen off the side of anything; at least, not lately. I AM nursing a slightly cracked metatarsal that made itself known when I twisted my ankle. I'm in an air boot for 8 weeks. Cute knee socks make it tolerable.

I've been meandering through my Kokomo house, sorting, selecting, gifting, and making decisions about what goes to the new residence and what stays here. By spring, I hope to be in one place and have this place ready to sell.

Up at the cottage, we've paved the driveway and replaced the deck. We'll be replacing some windows and adding a gas fireplace insert. It's getting homey.

I work..that's not really accurate...through closets and rooms, piling and discarding, sending and keeping. I pepper these tasks with travel. If you're with me on Facebook, you may know about this.

Over the years of Mike's illness, people reached out to me; besides my church family, neighbors, kin, and colleagues, there's a group of folks who came to our blog and/or made friends on the Dennis Miller message board. Although I had never met them in person, many have reached out to me and made themselves dear.

So, one thing I wanted to do, once Mike was safely home, was to travel and put faces with names. And that's what I've been doing.

Last month, I drove to Chicago and then to Springfield, meeting some friends. Later, spent a week with sister Kris in the Los Angeles area: six folks, including the crew at the radio studio, now have faces.

Soon, I'll swing through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey: 5 more friends live there. I don't even wonder if this is creepy, strange, eccentric. It feels good. It IS good.

And, I continue to navigate the new path of my life. Quite often, a friend will say something like, "You know, I look up every once in a while and just expect to see Mike."

Yeah. Me, too. As we were closing, my very athletic husband could handle short strolls around our neighborhood. We live in a great place to walk. Just today, I rested on a bench in one of our pocket parks, just where Mike and I sat not so long ago. The trees are starting to turn but the view is much the same. It's sweetly sad and happy at the same time.

Also, the Holy Spirit keeps His presence close. I'm learning and growing.

Yesterday, I needed to make a trip to school. Although I planned it for a time when most students should be in class, I gathered a  lot of hugs. (What a great job I've had) Then, I stopped in a friend's room where tutoring was in progress. I found that I can drop by and help when I feel like it. And there's some more joy. It's the teaching part that I love. It's the teaching part that I miss.

(There's a lot more to being a teacher these days.)

So, for now, I'm taking care of business, cleaning out my house, and walking with my Lord. Thanks for your continued prayers. Our God is taking good care of me.