Monday, June 13, 2011

What God took away . . .

but only physically.

I love you Daddy.



What God gave me. . .

Flesh and all that goes with it are temporary things. It is illustrated in Ecclesiastes this way:

  • To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  • A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  • A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  • A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  • A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  • A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  • A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  • A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

We as humans are here for an appointed time and then our physical being is no longer useful. Flesh is that way for each and every person, even Jesus Christ.

The spirit is not that way. It lives on in a laugh, a sideways glance or the Holy Ghost. This spirit can be passed on. It is the legacy that is remembered and felt in our hearts.

We all have our own personal remembrances of my Father. We will each carry those in our hearts until our bodies are no more.

One thing we can all agree on was Daddy’s love for others. It was out of this love that he chose to keep his illness quiet until he knew that it would overcome his flesh. That love was not unrequited. It was returned more that he could have ever imagined here on earth. And for that our family thanks you.

Out of his love for humankind, Jesus chose to die on the cross. When Jesus said “It is finished and gave up the ghost” in John 19:30, he really said “The work of my flesh is complete. Here is my spirit to comfort you.” Earlier in the book of John, Jesus identified the Holy Ghost, His Spirit, as the Comforter that would live in us.

During Daddy’s last days, he said to my Mom, “Don’t forget”. I believe what he meant was “God’s work in my flesh is complete. Here is my spirit to comfort you.”

Please pray with me –

Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing our family and friends here safely today. Thank you for the Spirit you said would be our comfort in time of loss.

We celebrate the life of Maurice Conn and honor his memory and legacy. We return to you his ashes and thank you for his touch in each of our lives.

We ask that you continue to watch over our lives and return us safely to our homes.

In the precious name of Jesus we pray. AMEN

Ellen Conn Taylor April, 2011

Have you ever . . .

had that feeling of panic when someone asked you to speak at an important function?

My Mom asked me to say the prayer for Daddy's funeral. Mom doesn't go to church and doesn't believe what I believe.

I prayed about what to say and nothing came. I kept praying and still nothing. I was at a ladies' retreat and part of the message came. During a service in my church, the message came flowing including what had been given at the ladies' retreat. I was writing furiously during the alter call. Sister Leaman came to me and asked if I was alright. I told her what was going on and continued to write. Later, I gave her the prayer to read. She said not to change a thing. So I emailed it to Mom.

I waited. I knew she was busy so I waited some more. About 10 days went by and I hadn't heard a thing. So I called her. She said "I've read it through 4 times and cried every time." She only had one small change.

So I tried saying it out loud before a test audience. The Monday night prayer group cried with me and said not to change a thing. One of my friends heard it over the phone and said not to change a thing.

One of the ladies that hasn't attended long thanked me for sharing it because she too had recently lost a loved one.

The Thursday before Daddy's interment, my prayer request was that this prayer reach someone at his service.

My aunts, sisters and several of my parents' friends all thanked me for what I shared and said that really helped them.

I just realized that my prayer request had already been answered before I even made it.

God is still good even if we don't like our situation. Situations and circumstances do not make HIM less worthy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Strangely quiet . . .

It has been a really hard year or so.

At the beginning of 2009, our oldest daughter had a very large terratoma removed from her abdomen. Thank God it was a benign cyst. Following that she had a seizure. It had been several years since she had had one.

I had a kidney stone attack a week after my daughter's surgery.

God found me a temporary job. It turned into a very enjoyable permanent one.

The doctors ordered blood tests that turned out to be twice the high limit for indicators of Crohn's Disease.

We took what turned out to be our last Conn family vacation to Cape Cod. I really didn't enjoy the trip because I felt horrible. My father had a hernia at the time and really didn't feel well either.

At the end of 2009, the diagnosis of Crohn's Disease was made official by visual confirmation. Between Christmas 2009 and Easter 2010, I was in the hospital 5 times culminating in a bowel resection. Following surgery I weighed 96 pounds and was 7 handknit sweaters warmer.

I still had a job but due to the economy, hours were reduced. I was just lucky to still have one at all.

By the fall of 2010, I had gained back 70 pounds and have since taken off about 10 of those. The doctor said to wait till my weight plateaued and then start to lose. Something that is not quite as easy as it used to be. Being over 40 has some challenges of its own.

You would think that would be enough to keep me quiet on its own but God thought I could handle more.

In August, my husband's grandmother died.

In September, my mother-in law's second husband died. She had just lost her Mom.

After my surgery in 2010, my brother bought a new house in California. In September, my parents decided that we should all help with the beautification. They sent us girls to see what we could do to help. During the beautification process, we discovered mold. Not just a little but large, tree like mold growing in the walls. we ripped out walls in the kitchen and living room. We also took out the ceiling in the living room, dining room and kitchen. Lifted up and discarded about 4 layers of linoleum and some ceramic tile. We really didn't beautify anything. But we did leave him with new drywall on the ceilings and enough piles of drywall to finish the walls we had destroyed.

While we were all together, my parents told us that our father had terminal bone cancer and had 6-12 months left. It was their intent to come to California also but Daddy was too sick already. We talked about a rotating visiting schedule to help Mom care for him. We were all able to see him and spend time with him before he passed on November 1, 2010. This was all in a fast forwarded 8 weeks.

My immediate family survived our first grandpa-less Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Just this past Saturday, we attended the last interment of ashes.

I am ready for something uplifting.