Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Weep With Those Who Weep

I mourn for the living.
I mourn for those
gathered around the grave.
I mourn for the loved ones
left behind.

I mourn for those mourning.

I mourn for the widow,
sleeping alone
for the first time in sixty-five years.

I mourn for the child,
forced to wander through life
without their hero.

I mourn for words left unspoken,
the Thank yous,
the I'm sorrys,
the unsaid good bye.

I mourn for the living.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Mourn Not

I Mourn Not

I mourn not for the dead.

I mourn not for those

In their Eternal Home.

I mourn not for those in Hell.

I mourn not for those in Heaven.

I mourn not for the loved ones,

Lost to this Cursed World.

I mourn not for the life

They left behind,

Their Past,

Their unfinished Future.

I mourn not for things left undone,

Mistakes made,

Victories won,

Wounds inflicted,

Kindnesses shown.

I mourn not for the good they did,

The wrongs they wrought.

No, I mourn not for the dead.

(copyright 2011, Juliana M. Cobb)

Friday, August 5, 2011

BAA: Day 2: Our Two Year Old Hikes Giant Mountain

It rained, and it rained and it rained . . . At least until after lunch!

We ate breakfast, lazed around reading (or in my case writing) and making sure the kids didn’t injury someone with the pool balls. By the time the rain stopped after lunch, we all had cases of Cabin Fever. Mom had spent the morning looking up various, children (aka—easy) friendly hikes. My sister and her family opted out of hiking, they arrived late the night before and needed to buy some groceries.

We left Grandma to hold down the fort and headed off. Our destination: Owl Head, listed as a children friendly hike. We piled into the van and my parent’s car. After several cell calls and many turns, we decided the map was not very accurate. Owl Head was not to be found and conquered this day.

Dad stopped at a random trail – Rooster Comb. It looked promising. The trail map showed various length hikes. Bug spray applied, we headed off. Only to be thwarted by 4 inches of walk covering the first 500 feet or so.

Back to the car we went to tackle the next trail, Giant Mountain. Again, the map showed various levels of difficulty. The simplest trail led down along the river, very flat. Overly confident, I pointed everyone up the waterfall view trail, about a mile long. The three older kids ran ahead with Mom and Dad. The littlest chugged along on her short legs, but was unable to keep up. Matt walked with her, while I tried to keep the rest of the group in sight.

Alas, we lost them about half-way up. Knowing my parents are experienced hikers (and it’s rare for Dad to get lost anywhere), we trusted we would find them waiting at the waterfall. Our 2yo chugged her way up over rocks, stream beds and squelched through mud. All the while, the waterfall roared louder and louder. A flat, tree filled, area greeted us near the top of the waterfall. No sign, or sound, of my parents and three older children.

Various paths lead from the flat area to views of the waterfall. Matt looked down a couple until he found the one that lead to the very top of the falls. No sign of the rest of our little group. Only one trail branched off from where we were -- a 2.6 mile hike to the top of the mountain. We doubted my parents would take the kids up there, but we weren’t sure where they could be. With the 2yo gamely tagging along, we started up and we started praying. And up it was, straight up.

Fortunately the mud consistency led it to be wet enough for footprints, but firm enough to leave a good imprint. Unfortunately, neither Matt nor I can read tracks. In full fledged panic, my prayers turned into a chant of ‘Help, help, help.’

After 15 minutes we stopped. Pushing my anxiety into the back of my mind, Matt and I discussed it logically. We did not believe my parents would ever take the kids on a trail so steep. So, off we set, back down Giant Mountain, with the 2yo now being carried by her Daddy.

Unknown to us, my parents were going through a similar experience. They also thought we should have met up near the waterfall. When we did not appear, they assumed the Little One had grown tired and we took her down. No cell service equaled no communications. (Note to self – Bring walkie-talkie’s next time!) The set off back down the trail and walked the path along the river to the base of the falls. Not finding us there they headed back to the cars to see if we were there.

After what seemed like days, Matt, I and our sleepy 2yo emerged from the wilderness. The three older kids very excited and Mom and Dad relieved we were not lost. Still unable to to think in complete sentences, never the less I praised and thank God for keeping my family safe.

Meanwhile, Grandma spent and uneventful, quiet day at the house. My sister and her husband also had a nice afternoon shopping and looking at where my brother-in-law used to live.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The GPS - Day 1 of the Benson Adirondack Adventures!

This year's family vacation fell to my family. While vacations with Matt's family are peaceful and uneventful, the same cannot be said of going on vacation with mine. Benson Adventures are the norm for us. We've camped through hurricane landfalls, found the literal end of the highway and visited many emergency rooms across the country. One thing that always happens on vacation with my family (actually my parents, since this doesn't happen to my siblings or I on vacations without my parents!) - rain. Not just a little rain, but often raining more than half of the vacation. We've been to places in the midst of droughts. People praying for rain. We show up for vacation and it rains and rains. We leave and their drought conditions return. My parents should sell their services!

Despite the threat of rain, we headed off to the Benson Adirondack Adventure (or BAA)! The drive out was disarmingly uneventful, including the expected rain. Our four little ones rode happily and uncomplaining the whole way. The mountains beautiful, the road wending its way between them, awed our children who had only ever seen hills.

Our GPS, set for the fastest route, provided some amusement as it directed us off the main road at one point and onto ever decreasing sizes of roads. When we hit a one lane road, we joked that the next road would be a deer path. After a few miles though, we turned onto a new main road and continued on our merry way.

We arrived and settled in, the rented “lodge” a little more worn than the pictures on the website. Everyone else loved it. Not so much myself, my gross meter went off due to the fact that the air freshener used in the “lodge” was the same scent the hospital uses to mask unpleasant smells.

The real adventures started the next day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Preventative Medicine

This past year my four-year-old was finally diagnosed with asthma. Now that asthma is an official diagnosis we can treat her before she contracts pneumonia or bronchitis.

From her first cold at a month old until now, she coughed and wheezed through the winters. Her energy would be low and she spent most of her time lying around. It was hard to watch her go through all the effects of having asthma, especially the pneumonia and subsequent hospitalization.

This past winter she took a preventative medication, twice a day. It works wonderfully! She’s only had 2 colds so far, instead of a constant one, no bronchitis or pneumonia. We’ve only had to use other medication for wheezing a handful of times.

Some people question our use of steroids on such a young child. I simply tell them that the amount of medication she received in the hospital for pneumonia equals a full two years of the home medication. I’d much rather give her mild steroids for 6 months a year than strong ones.

Just like my daughter, we all have a chronic illness – “My Way” (as Frank Sinatra put it). “My Way” takes me through difficult, sometimes horrific times, as I step farther and farther from God’s Way. God then needs to give me serious and powerful medication in order to bring me back to His Way, medication that ranges from a guilty conscious to being broken and sobbing. Treatment s are hard, often painful. It’s not a lot of fun. But God knows it needs to be done - better to remove the cancer, endure a painful recovery and be done with it.

Just like my daughter needs preventative medication for her asthma, I need preventative medication for my own way. Preventative medication such as: reading a verse a day, praying (even short prayers count), spending time worshiping with other Christians, and actively seeking those things that make God happy.

Preventative medicine isn't perfect, not yet. We still live in a sin cursed world. Just like my daughter, from time to time, comes down with the colds, coughs and wheezes, I catch a case of "My Ways." Just like my daughters illnesses no longer escalate into bronchitis or pneumonia, "My Ways" are shorter and I often don't stray as far. As long as I'm keeping up my preventative medications "My Ways" are few and far between (aiming to have them never occur again!).