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Hi. I still think about you.

Two post in one day, I know.. .it’s a lot. Especially from the sporadic blogger who goes months with nothing and then, BAM, two in one day.

Tonight is Camp Out here at Quisqueya and being the Student Activities Director, I am sort of in charge/obligated to be here all night. My Student Council has done so much work, an amazing job planning, its going to be a really fun night and I am looking forward to it (except for the pressure of the whole being in charge/responsible-for-everything-that-could-go-wrong-thing). I really wanted to blog about camp out, after camp out, but I was taking a minute and found myself in my lazy chair in my apartment reading this book someone borrowed me. This book that had some hype among our teens, this book that I am either reading at such a perfect time or it was a totally terrible decision to pick it up at all.

I’m reading “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green, which is a quick read and I have to say I am enjoying it. I have heard great reviews. Its about girl with cancer, terminal cancer, who meets boy in cancer remission.

Today is one of those days that crept up on me, one of those days that all the sudden out of no where is here. Every year on March 20th I write some post about Todd. On this day, the anniversary of day he lost his battle with cancer. This day for the last few years has sucked.

But today didn’t suck when I woke up. I am sort of jazzed for the kids and I think its going to be a great Camp Out. Its sort of perfect actually, they have a bon fire planned and so many memories I have of Todd are sitting around a bon fire. I’m finding this year on this 5th anniversary I am not so much sad, I’m more just flooded with memories. Some really good ones and some well Todd ones. As I’m sitting in my chair reading this book about cancer and terminal illness the words resonate with me.

“The thing about dead people,” he said, and the stopped himself. “The thing is you sound like a bastard if you don’t romanticize them, but the truth is…complicated, I guess. Like, you are familiar with the trope of the stoic and determined cancer victim who heroically fights her cancer with inhuman strength and never complains or stops smiling even at the very end, etcetera?”

Please don’t hear me say that Todd was not heroic, he fought a hard battle and lost and it sucked. But he complained, as he should have, cancer sort of gives you that right. I remember the time I saw him cry because it hurt and the time I was there when he  was doing his daily injection of Interferon treatment into his own leg. He was tough and he fought. And he lost. As I remember him and try to honor his memory, I feel a need to remember him as he was. Tough and kind, sort of a grump-a little bit mean even, sly and a big giant baby at times (pre and post cancer), loving and strong. He had this power to make me love and forgive him with just a smile, that smirk I can still see when I close my eyes.

I can still see your face, there are certain smells that stop me in my tracks. You are so missed and so loved by so many. It might be cliche, but I know you’re in heaven smiling down, shining on us all. Today I just want to say Hi. To tell you, I still think about you. This picture is a moment frozen in time. The rest of us don’t look quite the same, we have all traveled down different paths, paths we never could have foreseen since it was taken. But we have all taken you with us. We keep you in our hearts.

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Speaking of love.

This weekend I was reminded of the power of love through the power of our words. Often we get caught up in our busy day to day lives, we can forget to tell someone we love them. We can forget the power in speaking these words to others.

Have you ever stopped to focus on someone else in the middle of your day? Written them a note or dropped them an email or text just to say “Hey dude, thinking about you. Love ya.”

Well, let me tell you, I have been on both ends of that message and as the receiver during a time of need, it was greatly appreciated. I have been reminding my students about the power of their words. We never know what another person is going thru…

…when they might need to hear “Hey, thinking about you today.” Or “Love ya.”

Maybe moving away from my family has brought my appreciation of words to a new level. Or maybe it is from the loss of so many loved ones, so many things left unsaid.

I try hard to never go to bed mad, to never leave things unsaid.

The power of our words is important. Love, honesty, sincerity. Kindness matters, and it just might be your words that are a breaking point in some one else’s life.

I hope we can all choose the words that show the love of Christ today.

Before you speak, think. Be selfless. Show kindness. Love with your words.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 2:13

Thankful for friendships near and far who help me understand the power of love through their words.

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To my cousins, I love you crazy fools!!!

ImageTo my best friend, I’m here…I love you.

ImageTo my brother, I am so proud of the man you are, I love you.

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To my roomie, thank you will never be enough, I love you.

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To the friends of my soul, thank you for showing me the meaning of friendship.

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To those who are left out…

to the twins and lynds, all of my moms and dads, peanut in Minnesota, the one whos home shares a wall, shares a name, share my blood, to those who have crossed my path today, yesterday and tomorrow…

you are in my heart and I love you. I am no further from you than across the water.

ALL THINGS DELICIOUS

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