This Day 8 Years Ago

On this day 8 years ago, I was preparing to say goodbye to a dear friend.

You see, a few days before this day my best friend’s (Amy’s) husband died during an MS150 training ride. That day is engraved in my mind. I remember everything about it. The call from my then husband who was also on the ride, the sound of his voice that told me something was terribly wrong, the call I made to Amy’s Mom because I couldn’t reach Amy on the phone, how frantic I felt, the moment I walked into the hospital, the smells there, the tears, the group of church members there already praying, the look in Amy’s eyes when I saw her. In fact, everything about that day seems like it happened yesterday.

So on this day 8 years ago I was at the Katy Family YMCA, gathered with literally hundreds of others, to say goodbye to a man who loved his family, his church family and everyone he met. We were there to celebrate his life. Before the first song sang my water broke. Yep… I was pregnant and my due date was Jan. 25th. I couldn’t believe it… I remember thinking, “God, please let me be able to stay and celebrate my friend’s life, support my best friend in her darkest hour and not take away from this day.” So I sat down next to Judy, a good friend who took it upon herself to make sure I was OK (don’t you just love friends like that?) As others stood to sing praises to the One who “gives and takes away” I sat in my chair…. wet. No one could tell and I greeted everyone as if nothing had happened. (That’s probably the stubborn side of me. I didn’t want anyone telling me that I had to go to the hospital.) I was NOT missing it… no matter what.  The service was beautiful. Amy spoke at the service, something I knew God gave her the strength to do. She was graceful, strong, and obviously filled with God’s peace. It was beautiful to see and I was thankful to be there.

During the closing prayer, I ran out to the bathroom. Judy, along with a few other friends, came to see what was going on and I told them that my water broke. They were so sweet to take my pants and hold them under the dryer so I wouldn’t be soaking wet going to the hospital. Judy told my husband and a few minutes later we were rushing over to Christus St Catherine’s Hospital.

Before I gave birth to our second child, I asked my husband if he minded if we named our new baby after our friend (we had not chosen a boy name as we couldn’t settle on one). We both agreed that question needed to be asked to Amy, so when she came to the hospital I asked. As we all cried and hugged, she gave us her blessing to name our baby Kenneth, after her husband, if we had a boy.

And in God’s great way… we had a boy and named him Kenneth Wayne Ochsner.

Today Kenneth is 8. I could not have known what a blessing he would be to our family.  And what a tremendous honor it would be for one of my children to carry the name of my best friend’s late husband, Kenneth Wagoner.

So today, I celebrate my son’s birthday and remember Ken Wagoner’s legacy of faith he left for his family and others. He continues to live in those who knew and loved him. And I am honored to be counted as one of those.

Happy Birthday Kenneth! You have a mommy who is beyond proud of you :-)  You are truly a gift!!!

Romance and Love

No, this is not a post about finding someone new. That is not my desire. God knows my deepest desire but that’s between him and me.

It is, however, about my First Love, my Creator, my Savior, my Friend and YES my Lover. There are times when you are being loved and do not realize it. In fact, you may wonder… What in the heck is going on? Why are things going the way they are?

Well… yesterday was just one of those sort of days. It was a Monday (I could stop there… right?) and as I was running errands for the office I ran over a key. Let me stop there. What are the chances that a key would be right in the spot I was parking in… sticking up at just the right angle to actually stick in my tire…. yeah, my point exactly. Anyway, ran into Randalls to restock the office kitchen and as I pulled out of the parking spot realized something was not right. I pulled over to see that my back tire was flat. After posting it on FaceBook (priorities…) I called my boss to “rescue” me. On his way over a very nice mechanic from the Land Rover dealership stopped and put my spare on. Not a coincidence, I’m sure.

Now… although I consider myself to be handy and yes, I could have fixed my tire myself I was wearing white and going back to work. Need I go on?

With the spare on and an appointment set with Discount Tire to get it fixed I was back on track with Monday’s “To Do” list… which was growing. I knew I needed two new front tires so I scheduled to have those changed as well. A sweet friend had stopped by one night to give me brownies and money during the Christmas holidays. When the tire thing happened I knew that money was to get tires so feeling all loved and cared for that’s what I planned to do. Check that off my list.

After work I went to Discount Tire to get the tire fixed and to put on the 2 new tires. 15 minutes later the technician informed me that because the key was too wide and thick the hole could not be patched and I would need ANOTHER tire. I could feel my anxiety surface as I was calculating in my mind what I would have in my bank account since I had just paid taxes. He suggested getting two more new tires so that they would balance correctly but said I could go a few weeks if I needed to wait for financial reasons. That’s when the tears surfaced. I held them back as I talked about the whys of needing 4 new tires, the financial reality of that and knowing if it needed to be done I should do it while I was without my children. So I made the decision to go ahead and purchase 4 new tires.

Driving away on my 4 new tires brought many tears and questions aimed at the one that hears all my woes… God. After taking Milo to see his doctor for the first time I decided to exercise then watched a movie and folded the mountains of laundry I had put off all during Christmas and finally dropped into bed at 1am but with the deep down feeling that God would provide what I needed for the other 2 tires.

This morning as I drove to work in the rain God reminded me of the last rainy day we had. My tires were slipping and several times I could feel the car slide. It was scary, to say the least. I prayed every time I had to go somewhere that day. I knew, then, that I needed new tires but being on a tight budget I put it off. And I would have continued to put it off because, well, buying tires is not fun. They are not cute or sassy… they are tires.

God knows me all too well. There was no way I would buy new tires if I did not have to. Well, yesterday I HAD to. It occurred to me this morning on my drive to work that even though at the time it didn’t seem like it, God was loving me. He was “gently” (ha,ha) guiding me to get new tires in order to protect me.

DUH! How often do I do that with my children? Guiding them to make the wise decision, not just the fun one. Yeah. Well… I’m obviously a slow learner and it takes a very random key to get me to do the wise thing. I’m thankful and blessed to have a Love that romances and loves me… even when I don’t know that’s what He’s doing.