Monday, February 20, 2017

The First Welcome Back Party

To see photos of the first welcome back party to Jordan, click on the link below:


Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Land of the Old Testament

I arrived safely to the sacred land of the Old Testament. This is the land of:

·      The reputed site of the Garden of Eden.
·      Abraham and Lot: After setting up many altars through his travels from Iraq, Abraham agreed to take the land west of the Jordan while Lot took the land to the East.
·      Moses: when the Hebrews wandered in the desert for 40 years and Moses stayed behind after sending the people across the Jordan River.
·      Three of the Twelve Tribes of Israel settled east of the fast-flowing river.
·      Tobit and other minor prophets found refuge in the mountainous caves.
·      The author of the Song of Songs composed his lyrical verses.
·      Elijah and Elisha lived and performed miracles; Elijah ascended with his chariot to the heavens.
·      The parched desert bloomed, the mountains were made low and the valleys raised up as the Israelites returned through the Desert Highway, says Isaiah.
·      Ruth found Naomi.
·      David sent Uriah the Hittite to the Citadel to fight and die.
·      The Romans, Umayyads, and Byzantines occupied the land.
·      John the Baptist and the Essene monks settled in Qmran and Bethany across the Jordan.
·      Jesus healed many around the Sea of Tiberius (Galilee), cured the Gerasene Demoniac, found refuge at Bethany, and preached the kingdom of heaven.

...and much more.... 

Be assured of my prayers for you at these holy places. It is great to be back.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Beauty's Charm

As I visited my mother in the nursing home today, I brought her into the social room where she could sit with other residents. They welcomed her and made her feel very comfortable.

I noticed as every woman came into the room, someone always had something remarkable to say to the newly arrived person. "I love your sweater. I like your earrings. I like the color of your pants. You look wonderful. You looks so beautiful today."

The recipient of the compliment beamed and said "Thank you." I was touched by their tender care of one another.

Once everyone gathered, we started to do some artwork: colored pencils and printed images. My mother and another lady sat there uninvolved. I asked if they would like to join in and they said, "I don't know how to do it." I asked, "May I teach you?" and they picked up the pencils and started coloring. When they hesitated, I asked, "What color would you like to do next?" When they picked up a pencil, I suggested another part of the image to color and they just beamed. My mother said, "I didn't think I could do this." I said, "It looks beautiful," and she beamed.

Later on we talked about her train ride. I told her I talked with Grandpa and Grandma and Dawn Mari and said, "They are looking forward to your arrival. You can go when you like." My mother burst into another smile and said, "Yes, but I'm not ready yet." On your own time. They just want you to know that they are excited to see you again.

As it was time to leave, we talked about a few minor things. I hugged her, kissed her, and said, "Youa are so beautiful." She simply smiled.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Train Conductor

I visited my mother today and after breaking her hip in November, she is now suffering dementia and is cared for well in a rehabilitation center. The last several times I was with her, she kept talking about being on a train. One day, she talked about a pilot on a plane, and she is afraid of flying.

My mother was reluctant to go on the train ride because she might miss her stop. When she was a young girl, she overshot her train stop once and it caused her to be fearful. Since she kept talking about traveling language, I let her know that I know the conductor and that he told me specifically that he would look after her. He would make sure she was comfortable and safe and would arrive at her location at the right stop and at the right time. I told her that I already paid for her ticket and she did not need any money because all her needs were already covered. She felt relieved.

She asked whether she would know anyone. I said, "O, yes. You will see Dawn Mari, Aunt Betty, your mother and father, your friends from the Air Force, and many other people who want to greet you and give you a big warm hug." She said, "Really? They'll all be there?" I said, "Yes, they are very excited because you are going to see them soon."

My mother started crying and she shook her fists fervently. I asked, "How are you feeling?" She said, "I'm so happy. These are happy tears. I want to see them again."