Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Topics


It has been quite a week. The girlies were with us from Wednesday night until I got them to school yesterday morning. The big girls were very glad to go home after school. We decided to keep the littles one more night, since I have them on Tuesdays normally. They were very good, but I am tired.


Sometimes the words just jump off my keyboard onto the page. Such is not the case today. I know what I want to talk about, but I'm having a hard time getting it said. I'll keep trying!

Friday was a sad day in our church - but also a joyous one. How is that possible? When you are in the same church for almost 40 years, and it is not a large church, you become very close to the people in that church family. When you lose someone to death, it is hard.

This is Phyllis - she came to our church just two months after my dad became the pastor of this church. When my mom and dad left our town several years later, they kept in touch with Phyllis' family. Phyllis became a widow in the 1980s. Five years ago my folks moved back here in their retirement and Mom and Phyllis were best of friends.

Phyllis had a hard life - farming with her husband, losing two infants, being a widow for a long time. But she was a very positive, joyful person. She was a prayer warrior and we will miss that part the most. I missed her white haired self sitting in the row right in front of my parents last Sunday.

I think it would be very neat if saints of God would be able to see their funeral and hear the wonderful things people say about them - wouldn't it be better if we said them while they're alive? One thing several people said - I am sure it will be said at my funeral - "she loved to talk!" And she did - she could out-talk me, believe it or not.

I was privileged to play the organ for her service. She had everything planned and her children honored all of her requests. I played joyful songs that I knew she would have loved to sing. We will definitely miss Phyllis, but I am picturing her enjoyment of her new home!







Several months ago I did a post on the Cambodian family our church sponsored back in the 1980s (click here if you'd like to read it). They had family members here in town already, being sponsored by my in-laws' church, and we were asked to bring the brother and his family. We agreed and our much smaller (at that time) church took on this challenge and privilege. I was the coordinator of the "project."

When we agreed to bring the Yim family, there were 3 daughters. By the time everything was arranged and they got out of the refugee camp in Thailand, they had added twin boys to the family. I could tell you many stories. I'll never forget the trip to the airport to get them, seeing them arrive with one huge box on Chhien's shoulder, serving them a dinner of food they'd never seen before and probably didn't like.










We moved them into a 4-bedroom apartment which we got through city housing. They were overwhelmed with the size and often we'd find that they'd moved their mattresses all into one bedroom - they were used to being together 24/7.









That was in April, and for 5 months we had a wonderful time getting acquainted and doing what needed to be done for them - and with them. But as fall came and winter loomed, they became very fearful of winter in Colorado. Noral, the mom, had a brother in California and Chhien's sisters had left Colorado and also gone to California, so they began to ask if they could leave, too. We took them to the bus station, sadly, but with 30+ boxes of belongings.

We heard from them a couple of times after they left. But it had been a long time since we'd heard anything. I tried everything to find them over the years. I had this dream that one day they'd drive into my driveway to visit.

Imagine my amazement when, 27 years later, I got a phone call from the secretary at church that there was a young woman from California with the last name of Yim who was trying to reach me. I knew immediately that this was the call I'd been wanting for years. I could not believe that they had found us instead of us finding them. Shannon told me that they had found a picture with our last name on the back. They remembered all of our first names, since we'd spent quite a bit of time with them, even remembering our dog's name. But they couldn't remember the last name until they found this picture hiding in a dictionary. She and her co-worker found us and the church on the internet. What a wonderful surprise!

I have talked to Shannon (who was Chauna when she was here) several times now and we're keeping in touch by Facebook. I've also connected with Sarah, who was the two year old when they came. The whole family went together and sent our family a wonderful, generous Christmas gift. And the best surprise ever - as many of them as possible are coming to visit us in March! I can hardly wait.

The children have all done very well in school and have careers and families, as I knew they would. Here is a picture of the two I've been in contact with. They are so beautiful.






Last, but not least - the weight loss journey. I weighed last Saturday morning and the result is below. But in Saturday's lesson, we learned that we are not to weigh for 4 more weeks. That will be hard, but also exciting. So - I'll let you know in a month how it went! Here's my favorite verse from the last week of this journey: Romans 5:3-5 - Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseveance; perseverance character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us (NIV).






By the way, if you missed the last very short post, please go below and read the news.




50 comments:

Sherry said...

Sweet Phyllis. I was so sad to hear of her passing. She made Breklinn and Silas a blanket when they were born, I wished we could have been there for the funeral to honor such a great woman. The church was a better place because of her!

Midlife Mom said...

I know exactly how you feel when someone dear from the church goes home to be with the Lord! You are happy for them but sad for everyone else as you will miss them and what they added to the church body. She certainly touched your life and the lives of many more.

The story about the Yim family is wonderful! So glad that after all those years they found you again and that there is to be a reunion! How exciting for all of you!!!

So glad that Kristen is going to start blogging again! We all feel like we have been a part of her life as she has gone through hard times and happy times.

Good job on the weight loss! I'm jealous! :o)

Amy said...

So glad you met up with your friends again. That is very exciting!

Good luck on your weight loss

Hootin' Anni said...

Oh boy...there for a second, I thought I wasn't going to be able to comment after I read your blog entry. I kept getting Blogger 'error' text. Finally able t'see the comment box and I'll type it up quickly before it goes 'haywire' again. ;o)

Love all you've posted. It's so filled with love, caring and sadly, a loss of a great woman...but such fond memories and positive thoughts about her...I always look at a passing of a good friend or loved one as not OUR loss, but a knowing that they enriched our lives for the better.

And your family from California...how awesome is that that they are once again in contact with you.

What a perfect post Dawn.

Now, I must ask...have you two sweet ones gone public in your posting? Reason I ask is....I didn't see your post link in my reader.

Happy day to you.

grammy said...

Sorry for the loss of a dear friend.
We had Cambodian families at our church too (o: We still see the one family some.
I think you have done a great job in your weight loss journey. Nine ponds is great.
We have had 2 girls for three days and three nights.
I am worn to a frazzle. Having them all night seems to make me way tired. Anyway, I eat like crazy when they are here. The old habits come back. the ones that say "You deserve something special Girlfriend" I am not proud of myself...but eating at Chick Filet and having custard at that other place...seemed like what I needed to survive.
I think that is why I was basically FAT my whole young adult life...I did daycare and had three kids and 'deserved' a pop and candy bar...whenever.
All that to say congrats on loosing weight and being such a super grammy at the same time (o:

Morning Glory said...

Touching story. Here is the previous post on the Yim family.

http://grandmaofthree.blogspot.com/2008/07/freedom-isnt-free.html

grammy said...

more on overnight Grandkids...
The first night the 2 year old went to sleep about 9:00
The second night she ended up on my lap till ten
the third night, last night, she was asleep at 8, butttt
cried out after an hour and I laid down with her, I almost fell asleep...then sat up and she was not in the bed with me... but sitting on the floor...
so I took her in my room and put her in a small playpen that is in there for day care. It,s close to my bed, so I read and she fell asleep and i just left her there. At five or so I snuck to the bathroom and it was so dark, it scared me to death when she was standing right there by me (she can climb out, but how could she do it soooo quietly?). Now I put her in bed with me. What a crazy night. Is it any wonder I am so tired (o: I wish she would sleep like your two.

nancygrayce said...

Happiness and sadness woven into one! Isn't that life as a Christian! Even though we know the joy of a dear saint going home, we are left with that empty place.

You're doing great with the weight loss. I'm a stress eater....enough said!

Sammy said...

God bless Phyllis.

The story of the Yim family brings tears to my eyes. What a beautiful story. My husband's family were refugees just like the Yim family. (But from Vietnam, not Cambodia.) They were able to escape the war and come to the US because of the generosity of an American family who sponsored them. My husband was 2 years old and he had three older siblings. What you all did for the Yim family is amazing. I am so glad they have found you and I am so glad that they are all doing so well.

I'm right along side you on the weight loss journey. I have a few baby-weight pounds left that I have to lose! No more chocolate for me!

Maine Mom said...

I'm sorry that you and your church family lost Phyllis to death. Even with faith and knowledge of God, it's still hard to say goodbye to someone we love.

That is so neat that you are in touch with the Yim family again!

Good luck staying off the scale for the next 4 weeks. That is a long time! I know you can do it, though. :-) Continue to rely on the support system you have for your weight loss journey.

SentimentsbyDenise said...

Such a great post, Dawn!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

What a dear post. Phyllis sounded like a wonderful woman! And that delightful family! how precious.

A Hint of Home said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.
I'm sure it's heaven's gain though. She sounds like a sweet lady.
How exciting to reconnect with old friends.
Congrats! on your weight loss.
I know you must be thrilled to get started on those pictures.
I'm glad you and Kristen are feeling secure enough to open your blogs to the public again.

Robin said...

We lost a dear lady in our church this week too - one of our greeters who made everyone feel so welcome. She was only 61 and her death was so unexpected.
Loved your story about the Yim family - what a precious reward for you to actually get to visit them! I love when God arranges things like that.
Congrats on the weight loss! You are doing so good.

Sharon Lynne said...

Phyllis's picture radiates God's love. It seems as though he shines through her!

That's an amazing story and happening regarding the family you helped. It will be interesting to hear about the upcoming visit.

Keep up the good work on the weight loss. The scripture ministered to me. We all have situations we have to endure and the verse helped.

PEA said...

How very sad to hear about Phyllis having passed away. As you say, you get so used to seeing a person sitting at a certain place and when they're not, you really feel the emptiness. No doubt she is smiling down on all of you and is loving her new home:)

What a wonderful story about the Yim family and even more wonderful that you are now in contact with them again!! The impact you made on their lives is amazing and it's so thrilling to know that they've all done so well in the many years since they were first brought over to the States. It's no wonder you're so looking forward to seeing them again come March:-)

Good for you on losing 9 lbs already!! So proud of you:-) I really need to find my willpower too!!!! xoxo

Brenda said...

Loved this post.
How neat that your friends found you and will be visiting. We'll all look forward to hearing about that!

Susan said...

Lots of good stuff here. So wonderful about the re-connection after so many years!!!! Proud of you on the weight loss. I've lost 15 since Jan. 1. Trust me fasting works, not only on the Spiritual level, but the weight. I'll have to be very careful when I go off my fast on the 10th!!!

I guess you weren't able to add Hearts to your invite list??

Needled Mom said...

I can imagine what a wonderful tribute was paid to Phyllis. It is always hard to loose someone like that.

How exciting to reconnect with the Yim family! I know that you will have a fabulous visit. It is so nice to hear that they have done well. You will have to update us after your meeting.

Way to go on the weight loss. I can't imagine having to wait so long to get the weigh in, but I know that patience is a virtue.

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