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Showing posts with label support. Show all posts
Showing posts with label support. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Hope Floats

Signs of recovery and restoration are in many places in our county following the Brazos River flood. While the river is still high, the area labeled as a Federal disaster and many homes have been destroyed or severely damaged, many more have been cleared out and cleaned so that some can return to the places they lived. Our church's Red Cross shelter has been closed; the remaining residents have received assistance to go to relatives or hotels. Agencies have come together in the previous shelter location (ordinarily our church gym and kitchen) for access by those who need help and direction. Friends, neighbors, and generous volunteers have helped to do the hard work necessary to clean and organize.  Fields that were under water show green beginnings under brown, withered foliage.  I have chosen to post photos and story of one of our favorite places as an example of the stories of many.

 Enchanted Forest is one of 2 garden centers owned and operated by the Linderman family.  Before our recent move, we lived near Enchanted Forest, so for 24 years have loved going there, stocking our garden and leaning on their advice in many ways.  Gary Lenderman and Danny Lenderman, his son, have in particular been good friends who have helped us over and over. We shook our heads sadly as we learned of the flooding at this beautiful place and saw pictures of what looked like a river instead of the place of beauty we have enjoyed with our family and friends.  So when they announced they would reopen on June 18, we were there along with others expressing the same "We are so glad you are back!"  Without exception, every Linderman family member there along with every employee smiled and welcomed us. We learned that all the plants floated away and all the plants now displayed were new ones. There was extensive damage to buildings, offices, and gift shop. But there were still smiles (along with aching backs, I am sure.)

Not every story of loss and grief will have the beauty and message of green growing things and poetry of flowers, but almost all the stories I hear contain somewhere a glimmer of one thing in common:  HOPE.  Last Saturday, T shirts were being sold at Enchanted Forest's reopening with this message:  "Even when the river gets high, hope always floats."  Typical of their generosity and gifts to this community, the proceeds all go to Fort Bend County charities.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Get Well

                                                    Alongside one another is a good thing!

We went to a wedding on Saturday. One of the familiar phrases in the ceremony rings in my head - "In sickness and in health..." At ceremonies like this, I often remember the vows that Joe and I repeated so many years ago when we became a family, when we numbered only two. Since baby Nora was born last year, our family numbers thirteen!

If I am to write about "the joy of journey as a family," honestly, I need to include the trying times, the upsetting times, the times when health is impaired. We all have those times, and the loving support of family is helpful beyond measure. I know of no better image of encouragement than that of coming alongside one another to share joys as well as loads.  With many extended families spread out with miles between, it is not always a relative who can do this coming alongside. Church family, friends, and neighbors may be ones who come with help and a hug.

 Three of my five granddaughters have been ill these past few days. Words like "pneumonia, RSV, ear infections, Strep" are not welcome words because they make our little ones very sick. Two of them live near enough for me to offer help. For the baby, it may mean a lap and loving arms to hold. I need to make sure our older girls know I care and that I pray for them, too. Supporting their parents who are trying to juggle busy jobs with the priorities of being good parents is also important. Offering a pot of soup or running an errand or early pick up from school can help. The miles that separate us from family in North Texas limit support to email, phone calls and a note, but there may be times when I am able to go there to help.

Of course, there are seasons when the sickness and offers of help are reversed. Joe has had many surgeries in recent years, and my own health sometimes takes a nosedive. Our family and friends offer hands and hearts. It is all part of our journey.