Monday, June 30, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"A" has been married her loving husband for years and they have four children together. So when Hubs found "A", he also learned that he has a step-father, "H". When "H" met Brian for the first time, he threw his arms around him and welcomed him to the family. His family calls him "The Toasted Marshmallow"--crusty on the outside, but a big softy on the inside!
We went to the top of the Empire State Building, like proper tourists...
We rode the Staten Island Ferry to see Lady Liberty (and ate yummy hotdogs while on board).
We saw this show on Broadway, which was silly fun.
Then the real fun began! Our reason for going to New York was to attend the 10-year class reunion of my acting school. About 14 of us showed up, and had a ball! People flew in from England, Sweden, France and all over the US for this, so it was so amazing to be together again!
These are my girls!
Your kids might recognize my friend Donovan Patton as "Joe" from Nickelodeon's "Blue's Clues"!Of course, we crazy theatre people had to be a little artsy with our photo opps!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
God hath not promised we shall not know
Toil and temptation, trouble and woe;
He hath not told us we shall not bear
Many a burden, many a care.
God hath not promised smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel, needing no guide;
Never a mountain, rocky and steep,
Never a river, turbid and deep.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Saturday, June 14, 2008
When my Dad called me a little over two years ago to tell me that his cancer had spread and that the prognosis was grim, a number of thoughts and feelings surfaced in me. Tears gave way to denial, which was followed by reminiscence, gratitude for his life, what ifs, and whole lot of hope for healing. Part of the mix of this emotional journey has been the joy of remembering some of the great memories I have of life with my Dad over the years.
There are so many stories I could tell you about my Dad:
Of how I loved hearing him tell stories of his rodeo days as a bull rider and seeing pictures of him on bucking broncos. And how the real fun would start when my sister and I would gleefully run around our backyard as kids, laughing and howling as our Dad would rope us with his lariat.
Stories of going dove and deer hunting with him. Going hunting together involved long road trips out to the country, listening to old school country songs of the Mel Tillis variety on the radio. I would quietly accompany Dad on his hunts, enjoying nature and learning about hunting. It wasn’t long before I was begging him to let me try! I’m so thankful that my Dad was happy to share his passions of hunting and fishing with my sister and me, teaching us how to shoot a rifle or how to reel in a fish. Most of our girl friends can’t even comprehend such experiences!
Stories of how he taught me the Texas two-step in our kitchen and dancing with me at The Texas Tumbleweed.
Stories of pitching and batting practice.
The story of when he came to visit me when I was doing a show in Utah and we both agreed that autumn was our favorite season of the year, as we took in the multi-colored foliage at Zion State Park.
There is the story of when he got me my favorite WWF wrestler’s autograph. My Dad had a lot of moxie when it came to getting autographs. He also got me tennis great Virginia Wade’s autograph at and airport, and he breezed right by the secret service to get President Ford’s autograph!
There’s the story of when he took Jill and me to Las Vegas for the weekend and ordered us all room service for breakfast, and the three of us ate our Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries, as we sat around the table in our fluffy white hotel bathrobes, feeling very much like royalty!
There was the time I called him, heartbroken, after my first painful breakup, and he opened up to me about his first heartbreak, and assured me that I was not the first person in the world to feel such wretched emotions.
I could tell you about my wedding day, when he wisely told me to relish my walk down the aisle, just as we heard the music swell. And how after the wedding, our father-daughter dance at the reception was to “I’m Just a Coca-Cola Cowboy”, one of the great Mel Tillis songs that we used to listen to on our hunting trips.
And I could tell you about the first time he met his new grandson, my sister’s baby, Sam.
But the memory I will most cherish of my Dad was the last time I saw him. It was just six days before he died. My sister and I drove out to the ranch and had a wonderful visit with him. We read some of his favorite scriptures together, talked and prayed together. He told us about the Christian faith he had come to embrace during the recent years of his adult life. He told us about a clarifying conversation he had with a hospice minister who came to visit him (at his request)--they talked about how he could be sure he was going to Heaven. Dad told us that he was trusting in Jesus for that. It was so great to see him at peace with God and to see joy in his life in the midst of his suffering. He was even surprised himself at how he could be so happy in spite of his difficult circumstances. It was a visit we will treasure in our hearts for the rest of our lives. Knowing my Dad was at peace, that he was sure of his salvation, gave my sister and I peace. Though we are sad he has died and will miss him dearly, we are full of joy that Dad has been welcomed into the presence of our Loving God.
I love you, Dad, and we'll be seeing you soon!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
We had a fabulous time in New York for my reunion followed by a few days in Connecticut visiting Hubs' birth mother and family, which was also a wonderful time.
Shortly before leaving on our trip to NYC, my Dad told me that hospice would be starting to come to his house the next day. At the end of our trip to the Northeast, Hubs flew back to California, and I flew directly to Texas to spend some time with my Dad. Jilly and I had a very meaningful visit with him, which we will treasure in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
I'll write about all of these things soon, but wanted to let you know what's been up and where I've been. I'm flying back to CA on Monday, in time to be with Hubs for his birthday on Tuesday.
Lots of love,