Hope this finds you relaxed and enjoying day 2 of a three-day weekend.
I am back from the gym and we are cooling off before we hit the outlet mall sales this afternoon. I am truly trying not to buy anything until the GYPO FallStyle 2015 challenge. I’ll let you know how that goes when I get back from the mall.
I am so touched that this Cross Wall series has been well received by my friends.
My friend Martha shared her cross wall, and then my blogger buddy and friend Sheila at Making the Most of Every Day commented that she has crosses, too, so we are linking up together to share today’s posts. If you are a blogger and would like to join us, please click on the Inlinkz button below to link your post.
The crosses I am featuring today are some that I have for my family and Paul’s family.
This first cross is one my sister, Valerie has given me.
If you have been coming by my blog for awhile, you have no doubt seen comments by my sweet baby sister on many of my posts. Val always leaves precious notes to let me know she stopped by. She is not only my sister but my friend and my hero(ine). Please read a little more about Valerie here.
Tomorrow, Monday, September 7, would have been our father’s 88th birthday. Hope there is cake and ice cream for him in Heaven. And tomorrow, Valerie’s son Trey begins a new journey in his life. He is moving to Boston to start an internship through a program called Dynamy. Check it out here. This experience guides high school graduates through the process of taking the lead in their own lives while pursuing their passion or life’s work. It is designed to guide young people through a gap-year examination of themselves, their strengths and abilities, and prepares them to move into a place in their community. Valerie mentioned she would be looking for a special cross for Trey to keep with him while he participates in Dynamy. And she is going to be creating a cross wall in her home.
The cross above represents Valerie and her family to me for several reasons. Each of the four crossbars represents either Valerie, Roby, Trey or Andrew. Valerie and Roby’s son Andrew died at the age of three with Wilm’s Tumor, a form of kidney cancer. While the crossbars all seem to be pointing outward with the tear-drop shaped pieces on the ends, the crossbars are also pointing inward. The clear glass triangles seem to be pointing in toward the center blue glass ball, Heaven. I like to think that while Valerie, Roby, Trey are apart from Andrew for now, they will somebody be together again in Heaven.
Today’s second cross is one that I pray at for my brother, Kevin.
Kevin probably should have been the oldest of the three of us siblings.
Or maybe Valerie, then Kevin.
They are both wise and have such common sense. I am the oldest in gray hairs and wrinkles and birthdays but the most immature for sure!
This cross is sturdy. It isn’t fancy or glitzy, it is strong and it is dependable and it is always there. My brother embodies all of those characteristics, too. He has always been there for me. Always. Even when he was 14 or 15 and should have been the impulsive, emotional teen. But instead, I was the impulsive, emotional 22 or 23 year old “big” sister and he was the grounded little brother. By no means, should grounded be confused with lackluster or dull, though. Kevin is spirited, fun and fun-loving. He is a big personality with a big, frequent laugh.
When I was pregnant with my daughter Lauren, I was living in Panama with Brennyn and my now ex-husband Daniel. I was resentful toward Daniel for requesting a second tour of duty in Panama just months after our return to the U.S. from a previous three year tour there. In early spring, Albrook Air Force Base in Panama began advertising an upcoming Military Air Command (MAC) direct flight from Panama to Memphis, Tennessee on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Network, our only American TV channel. The Air Force was promoting the flight because it was so rare that anything would fly from Panama to Memphis…absolutely unheard of…and they were hoping to fill the flight with soldiers going home on leave and their dependents. Every time I saw the ticker tape ad running along the bottom of my TV screen for that flight, I would say to myself that somehow I was going to be on that plane with Brennyn.
And I was.
On the late afternoon of April 8, 1986, my brother Kevin had just left our parents’ home for a toga party at his frat house at Memphis State University. As he came up over a hill, the sun blinded him and he lost control of his Toyota Corona. It swerved to the left across two lanes of oncoming traffic and into a van that was exiting a parking lot. The accident was very serious and my brother sustained some life-threatening injuries.
We didn’t have a phone in our Panama City, Panama apartment (out on the economy) so my parents had to call a neighbor who came down to tell me about my brother’s wreck late in the evening of the night it happened. The flight for Memphis that I had been watching advertised was leaving for home the next day. Thanks to the Red Cross and Army Emergency Relief (AER), and Daniel who scrambled to put in the paperwork with them, we were on that plane.
Kevin had 70 stitches in his chin, stitches in his forehead, a shattered knee cap and torn ligament where the emergency hand brake broke off into his leg. He had a broken left ankle, lost several teeth and probably most potentially serious injury was a hole in his pancreas. When we arrived at the hospital almost 24 hours after his accident, he was hooked up to a half dozen machines with wires and tubes leading from him to them. And his mouth was wired shut. But he was alive.
I don’t remember how long we stayed in Memphis but I know it wasn’t long enough to see Kevin released from the hospital. On the day that I had to say good-bye, I was so emotional. I was so grateful to God that my brother was alive and going to be ok but I was so sad to have to go back to my “temporary home” in Panama and not be able to be there for him as he healed. Before I left his bedside that day, Kevin handed me the little pillow sachet in the picture below. He still couldn’t talk so my mom explained that he had asked her to get me something from the hospital gift shop for coming all the way from Panama to be with him. A thank you present. Can you believe it? My baby brother was thinking of me. Of me! When he was lying in bed banged up and bandaged from head to toe.
That’s my brother, Kevin, for you.
I love him so.
I had some other crosses that I had planned to share today but I think they will keep til next time. I just want to dedicate this post to my brother and sister who have been by my side through thick and thin. I am so very blessed.
Ok, let me grab a Kleenex.
I was very touched when one of my favorite bloggers in the whole, wide world, Carrie at Curly, Crafty Mom commented that she has favorite crosses, too. I asked if she would share her crosses with me so I could share them with you and Carrie graciously agreed.
Carrie explained that the cross on the left was hers as a child and it now hangs in her daughter Autumn’s room. What a perfect gift to pass down. The cross in the center hangs in Carrie’s son Nathan’s room. She found it at Hobby Lobby and shared that her store has an entire aisle with crosses. Boy could I go hog wild in there. I love the solid, strong cross surrounded by a little filigree. Beautiful. But look at Carrie’s third cross. I think it is so magnificent. Nothing flashy just a simple, humble, lovely cross. This cross was given to Carrie at her confirmation. I love it. I love the cross created by its shadow on the wall, too.
Thank you, dear friends – Martha, Sheila and Carrie – for sharing a little bit of you with me.
Please share a picture of your special spiritual piece with us. You can email me a picture (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message me on Facebook through my blog page or my personal FB page. Or link up with us by clicking on the Inlinkz button.
Be sure to stop by Sheila’s blog, too. And hug your loved ones a little tighter tonight.
Hugs and kisses,