Today was #6's third birthday. When I asked what she would like for her birthday, her Dad said anything Doc McStuffins. Well, am I out of touch with the newest children's programming or what. I had to look that up. With the Heather's help I was able to come up with some gifts. It was quite the party at a local pizza/game place in Corpus Christi as you can see from the pics.
Birthday Girl blowing out the candles
There was also a lot of funny faces;
Happy Birthday #6. Your Pappy and Meme love you.
Good night my sweet Beth, I really missed you today.
The weekend ended. We braved pirate attacks, watched dolphins, petted puffer fish, went surfing, swam in the canal and had a birthday party. What a weekend! But something is just not right. She should be rocking beside me, sipping coffee that was delivered with a kiss, and discussing the weekend. How do I recover from her loss? I fear that I might become the sad old man that no one wants to be around, if it weren't for my incredible family. Even in their own grief, they lift me up.
Today I hung back just because, well, just because I can. I'm retired, yeah. We like to try and do some maintenance at the house so that it is ready for Steve and Mel, when they come down. It is very quiet. As I was doing a little cleaning, not much to do as the kids cleaned everything before they left, I discovered these and it gave me quite a lift.
Can you see them? Hand prints, nose prints, all sorts and at every height. I hated to wipe them away. Every grandkid, pressed against the glass watching for dolphins in the canal or waving at passing boats. I could almost put numbers 1-7 on them as to which grandkid made them. Soon as #8 starts walking there will be another set.
Thank you family for an incredible weekend and thank you God for an incredible family.
Good night my sweet Beth. We all miss you so much.
So yesterday we celebrated Beth's birthday. She would have been 62 years old. The grandkids decided we should have a party for Meme and so my daughter, in her usual creative fashion, arranged it. She made cupcakes with rainbow icing and everyone got a candle in theirs. It was a good time remembering her. She sure is missed by all.
We did things that we have done in the past that Meme loved to do; the dolphin cruise, the beach and discovering small creatures in the floating seaweed. The grandkids even started their own aquarium with the crabs and shrimp they found. She would of had great fun.
She made fun of me when I bought my last surfboard, an 8ft soft top. I told her it was for the grandkids to which she would repeat in a mockingly sarcastic way; "It's for the grandkids" all in fun. But I did get to use the board for the purpose it was intended. Wish she was here to see.
No better way celebrate Father's day than with some pictures from deep in the archives!
Beth and I maintained a dark room for quite a while. We both enjoyed taking pictures and then developing the film and printing the photographs. The result was a lot of negatives that never got printed. We saved all of these. So these are never before seen pictures, some of which got passed up during the printing process. One is from a print. I know there are more negatives somewhere.
My beautiful wife Beth, she didn't like me to try to get artsy with her, but I like the results, 'cept Pete crept into the background.
Her mom's smile.
He was born with wheels.
He still does this at least once a day.
God, through my best friend and wife Beth Coleman, sure put together a great family.
I feel that I can talk about this now. I've had a while to think about it and received spiritual guidance from some very special people.
There are some groups that have decided to use the rainbow as a symbol of their cause, a badge of their sinfulness. God's glory, however, will not be corrupted.
We needed to be at the viewing early on Saturday, May 31, about 3:00pm. Just in case Beth needed her hair adjusted or there was something we wanted changed. We made some minor adjustments and she was ready for the the viewing from 6:00-8:00pm. Two of the grandchildren had made drawings and they placed them in the casket next to Meme. Our sweet little #4 drew two hearts on piece of paper and colored the center of each with different colors. She said that they were "Rainbow Hearts"
We had to run to Bayside (about 20 miles) to close the deal on our new real estate (at the cemetery). We returned to the Funeral Home just before 6:00 pm. As we pulled into the parking space, which faces east, there appeared before us a very large rainbow.
It was full, 180deg, end to end and very bright. The picture doesn't do it justice. It took our breath because it was so striking. Now we do get rainbows in South Texas, but we have limited rainfall and rainbows are not rare but I would call them not usually seen. Everyone there saw it. My brother and his wife drove in from the coast a little later and said "Did you see the rainbow? It was a double one!" From their viewing angle it was two complete stacked rainbows. That is rare. There were comments from several people, about Beth sending us a sign that everything is alright.
The next few days there were a lot of rainbows spotted by family members. This is very unusual. The rainbows ended on June 3rd with this text message exchange:
June 3, 2014 8:52am (Jeremy) More from mom this morning...(with attached pictures of rainbows)
June 3, 2014 (Jeremy) #5 said: "meme gave us those rainbows
because she loves us"
3, 2014 11:33am (Heather) #4 and I
saw them too! She said that it was because God and meme were happy with
her card she made her. She was so excited
Heather explained that #4 had been real sad that morning as they drove to summer camp and was missing her Meme. When she saw the rainbow it brought her out of her sadness. The rainbow disappeared and that upset her again. But Heather said that the rainbow re-appeared behind them. They had actually driven through the rainbow!
Then this exchange on June 4:
June 4, 2014 8:57am (Pappy) Working today? (To Jeremy)
4, 2014 8:57am (Jeremy) Yeah,
June 4, 2014 9:02am (Jeremy) Yessir. I scanned the
skyline all the way to work hoping to see a rainbow, but I know it will be when
we need it most
June 4, 2014 9:10am (Heather) Looking at the blog again. #1 and #3 drew her with rainbows :)
June 4, 2014 11:29am (Pappy) Are the drawings posted
June 4, 2014 11:33am (Heather) You posted them on meme-pappy
pudding. You must have the original paintings too
I had forgot that #1 and #3 gave Meme paintings for Mother's day, just a few days before she left. I
posted them on this blog and the originals were there right beside me,
waiting to be hung on the wall. That was the tipping point. From the
hands of and out of the mouths of our Grandchildren. Glory to God!
Now, I am not one to look for signs from beyond the grave and I cannot judge those that do. But I cannot ignore these events. Do I think this is from Beth? I know that our God is big enough to do anything and I do know a rainbow is God's Promise.
"I'm putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the earth" Genesis 9:13 MSG.
"And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I've set up between me and everything living on the Earth."" Genesis 9:17 MSG.
We are told we should have faith like a child:
"Mark this: Unless you accept God's Kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get
in." Luke 18:17 MSG
"For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room and said, I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in." Matthew 18:2-3
"The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in. Then, gathering the children up in his arms , he laid his hands of blessing on them." Mark 10:13-16
So if my little grandchildren say the rainbows are from their Meme and gain comfort in their sorrow, then I believe. How can I not. They have no doubt that the rainbows were from their Meme, pure faith.
I know this, I will NEVER look at a rainbow in the same way again. I will immediately begin praising God and thank him for the life that was Beth (Meme) Coleman. Rainbows will be a good topic of discussion when I get to see her again.