If you love somebody, even if you’re scared or it will cause problems, or burn your life to the ground – say it loud and go from there.
I love you! Say it loud to everyone you truly care for.
Don’t let someone leave your life without them knowing how you feel.
Tell people the wonderful things that rest on the tip of your tongue or the edges of your mind. Speak the words.
Tell your friends and family how special they are to you. I was able to write my Dad a letter, telling him all the special memories he had filled my life with. When we heard he was dying, I had time. But we don’t always have time to tell the people we love – that we love them.
I don’t even remember what my last conversation with my little sister was before she passed. I didn’t get the chance to hug her and tell her how much I loved her. I’m sure she knew, but I wanted to tell her – and I didn’t get to.
I love you Andrea, I love you Dad, I love you Mom. Say it loud and go from there.
I love my three children and their families more than words can express, but I still try, every chance I get, to let them know how much I love them, how greatly they have impacted my life. They have added so much value to who I am, so much joy to my living.
To my children and grandchildren – I love you!
I love my friends and family who have enriched my lives with their kindness, their generosity and their understanding. I have met some of the most amazing people in the world, and every day I give thanks.
Many years ago I was living in Spokane, Washington, working for a large law firm downtown. On my way to work one morning I got behind a car with a bumper sticker that read “Expect a Miracle!”
I went through the entire day with a feeling of excitement, expecting my miracle. I knew something fantastic was going to happen. I was going to get a miracle that day!
Just before quitting time, the HR Manager called me into his office. He explained some restructuring they were going through, and they were letting me go.
What? On my way home that evening I had me a little conversation with God. “Okay, God,” I said, “we need a clarification of terms here! This is NOT what I call a miracle.”
It’s funny how things turn out. But because of that loss of job, I ended up moving back home to Idaho, back to my family and close friends.
It really was a miracle, and I’m glad it happened. But we don’t always understand why things happen a certain way at the time that they happen. But when we put enough distance between ourselves and the event, we begin to see clearly the miracle in it all.
December in Nuremberg, Germany was magical. The market place in the center of town was filled with the Christ Kindles Markt (Christ Child Market). 100 canvas-topped booths featured delicious German foods such as gingerbread and spicy sausages hot off the griddle, brass tinsel angels, delicately handcrafted wooden toys, model trains and candles.
I didn’t want to be alone this time of year, so I sent my sister Karen a round trip plane ticket to come spend Christmas with me.
On December 23rd I drove to Frankfurt and picked her up at the airport. She had her purse and her makeup bag in hand, and a sad look on her face. None of her luggage had made the trip with her. Her money, her clothes, and Christmas presents sent with her from our parents were lost somewhere along the way.
I didn’t care, she was the best Christmas present for me!
Military units are family. And when we got back to the barracks, another gal Karen’s size loaned her clothes for the two week stay, and others pitched in money to compensate her loss. We were set!
The next day Karen and I took the strasse to downtown Nuremberg and toured the old castle, along with churches, the market place and shops.
We caught a ride to the bahnhoff and boarded a train for Munich, where we stayed at the Columbia hotel. Dinner at the Hofbrauhaus and the best beer ever, our night was complete with the old German band playing and everyone full of cheer, or beer, or both!
We toured the sites, ate fantastic food, and even enjoyed a New Year’s Eve party in a penthouse suite with celebrities!
January 1, 1976, Karen and I got on the train again and headed for Garmisch. We toured more castles and monasteries and places we had never dreamed of.
A train ride back and the holiday was over, and Karen went back home. It was one of the best Christmas vacations ever.
I hope that you have cherished memories of Christmases past to fill your heart. And I pray that this year you are spending the holiday season with those nearest and dearest to you.
November is always the month that reminds us to reflect on the things and people we are thankful for. I am thankful for so much, I could write a whole book, and maybe someday I will.
But this week I want to talk about my mother. Ann Rutledge. She was always my inspiration, my courage, my determination to do better, to be better. She believed in all of us kids in ways we never knew. She was my best friend.
My mom didn’t have the easiest of lives, but she had an inner strength that pulled her through it. Then she taught us kids how to find that inner strength in ourselves. She was always so positive, so loving, and so kind. Mom didn’t know a stranger, and everyone looked to her for advice.
Her children were truly her life, me, Warren, Dauna, Daniel, and Andrea. But she loved her step-daughter Karen as much as the rest of us. To mom, a daughter was a daughter.
I miss her so much, I still cry at times when I think of her. It’s been over 4 years now since she left this world. But she will always and forever be in my heart.
I love you mom. And I am so thankful to be your daughter.