Sunday, September 30, 2007

Playtime and Praytime

I will warn you this post will be all over the place, for there are grand celebrations right now, coupled with a great sadness. First the happy news...last night marked the annual Celebration of Bands. My nephew began the tradition by becoming a member of the marching band four years ago. This year he celebrated his eighteenth birthday and then began the pivotal "Senior Year"! I remember the first time I held him - I was sure he hung the moon and to this day, I think I am still that enamoured. Imagine our joy when two sisters would join him. The next oldest has now hit the high school circuit and she too, marches in the same band. The youngest in their tribe has her own set of activities, but she continues to be a great sport attending all of the band functions and cheering on her brother and sister.

My nephew's eighteenth birthday (choke, sputter, I must be wrong about that)

And marching last night

His beautiful sister

And his other beautiful sister!

My brother and sister-in-law are exceptional parents. I have learned so much watching them and am so thankful they entrusted their children to me early on. They were my practice:-) As chairpeople for last night's event and a definite presence in any and every activity their children have taken on, they make a difference in not only the lives of their kids, but in the lives of others. My brother celebrated his 45th birthday yesterday - Happy Birthday Big Brother, I could not be more proud!

Emily had a ball, making a new friend and watching for her cousins...and the highlight of her evening was a giant soft pretzel offered to her by Aunt Janet - thanks!

Hannah clapped and clapped, she sat rapt with attention and thoroughly enjoyed the whole night - how cool is that?


This is Sam. (It is not the best picture of Sam, but one most easily accessed and I like it because it looks like he is praying, which would make Sam very happy) I have known Sam as long as I can remember. I was blessed to grow up in a church where the members were family to one another. Sam and Anne were members and friends and I went to Sunday School and Choir with their daughters. In recent years, the church experienced some issues, nothing that I would ever discuss here, but it caused members to disperse, and now many of us who clung together find ourselves attending different churches and spread out, a situation out of our control ,but certainly heavy in our hearts. We know God has a plan for this experience, but that does not make it easier.

My first impressions of Sam were that he was way too cerebral for me. A scholar and an educator, Sam is wise beyond anyone's wildest expectation. I would learn, many years later, there was much more to Sam than that which may have intimidated me at first. He is a leader, a teacher, a friend, a husband, a father, a grandfather and a servant. He is truly a servant. A few years ago, Sam and Anne and a group of people, including my parents, forged a vision into a reality by implementing their own mission. This mission is a passion to those who serve through it, and those who support it in whatever ways they can.

So, what about the prayers? Sam was diagnosed several years ago with pancreatic cancer - after a very scary operation that did not go well, and treatments that proved difficult, even for the strongest man, Sam did the incredible. He healed and received a clean bill of health. Doctors called him a miracle, so did we.

Some weeks ago, Sam began having fevers for no apparent reason. Tests would conclude that the news was not especially good. Now, as he faces more treatment and some painful days, I would pray for a multitude of things:
~ for the doctors to have wisdom for treating Sam
~ for painfree days and treatments that will help, not hinder
~ for complete healing
~ for strength
~ for Anne
~ for his daughters and their children
~ for his peace of mind - he loves serving and prayers for his continued service

I believe in prayer. I love this family. I know you will join me in lifting them up.
Many, many thanks.


Don and Lisa Osborn said...


I am so sorry about Sam. He sounds like he's an amazing person who has been such a special part of your life. I will pray for him as YOU have requested.

Your nephew and nieces are blessed to have an aunt and cousins who come cheer them on as they perform under the Friday Night Lights...I think you are EXTRA proud because they go to your alma mater, too--right???? I noticed the colors and the WT on their uniform...

I never had much of a life in high school but I do have fond memories of going to football games and loved the chill in the air of autumn. Seeing the girls in their coats made me really miss that.


When We Were Young said...


What a lovely post about your family!

As for Sam and his family, they will be added to my prayers!


mommy24treasures said...

I will certainly include Sam and his family in my prayers. thank you for telling us about him.

Angie said...

Oh...I love going to Friday night high school football games!! Looks like everyone had a great time!
I will be praying for Sam. May God give him and his family peace and comfort during this time.

Leslie said...

You are a great aunt! Just as I suspected! I will keep Sam in our prayers. What a special man. Happy bday to your brother, I know how much he means to you!

Lori said...

Of course I will pray for Sam and through that list, please keep us posted.
The football game looks and sounds like a great time for your family, and how wonderful to support your niece and nephew.
And a soft pretzel to top it off!!

Danielle said...


I stopped to say a prayer for Sam and his family. I will continue to pray for him.

Your nephew and nieces are so lucky to have such a great aunt! And they have Em and Hannah for cousins! Lucky kids.

Oh I really wanted to get to talk to you Sunday so I could say hi to Em. Now once I get off work she's in bed. :(

I need to call this weekend so I can say hi. I have to thank her for my beautiful Tiger named Tippy. She's so cute!

Love the photo of Hannah. She's so precious.

Thanks for the chat today. If you have a late night tomorrow please do call. I am going to dinner with a friend at 8:00 but if you're up at midnight you know what to do, right?

Talk soon.

Lots of love,


sheryl said...

Happy Birthday to your nephew! Isn't it amazing how fast they grow up?!! Love the pictures. It looks like fall has arrived your way. I love the picture of Hannah enjoying the football game in her little jacket. So precious. I will most definitely keep Sam and his family in my prayers. He sounds like an amazing presence in your life. We should all be so lucky to have someone that special close to us.

Christy said...

I will pray for Sam.

It looks like you guys had such a great time at the game. How cool to get to watch your niece and nephew play! How fun!!

Christy :)

Sheri said...

We'll keep Sam in our prayers. Hannah looks so adorable in her fuzzy brown coat. What a fun night of watching the cousins. Glad you all enjoyed it.

Kimber said...


I will lift Sam and his family up in prayer.



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