The Path to the Park

Dearest Rachel – So I must say, the wheelchair affords both Chompers and I a little extra freedom. He can wander about the front lawn as much as he wants for as long as he wants, while I sit here on the porch and take in the sights and sounds. And yes, even as emptyContinue reading “The Path to the Park”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part two – Major)

Dearest Rachel – So yesterday, I mentioned how I rarely ever consulted with God about my plans for the future – or at least, I don’t really recall having engaged in in deep, prayerful discussions with Him on the subject. I know I never heard His voice on any major decision or turning point inContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part two – Major)”

The Middle of the Bed

Dearest Rachel – At home, there’s always something that prevents me from taking up the entirety of the bed. It’s partially a physical question of real estate, where some of your stuff has been lying there. Indeed, I’ve been keeping a couple of your Bible study books there as a reference to flip through andContinue reading “The Middle of the Bed”

from Rachel: False Accusations

Can you think of a time when you were falsely accused of something? “Yes and no (Something I totally didn’t do, only by Jokun, doing on purpose with hurtful motives, something I did carelessly, lots of times)” What was the outcome? “(hiccup cured) With Sally we would eventually reconcile, the one time with Suzy, itContinue reading “from Rachel: False Accusations”

The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part one – Introduction)

Dearest Rachel – Looking back over a number of these entries, it’s somewhat embarrassing to see how often everything is peppered with first-person pronouns. “I,” “me,” “my,” and the like are spread all over the place, when this is supposed to be about you. And yet, just about everything I know about you comes fromContinue reading “The Lord Never Spoke to Me (part one – Introduction)”

Road Trip

Dearest Rachel – Well, it’s that time of year again. Memorial Day, and we would be heading down to Tennessee to visit Kevin, and just hang out at his place, watching television and YouTube, playing video games, and just enjoying each others’ company. And we’re still doing that this year. It’s just that there’s aContinue reading “Road Trip”

A Game We’ll Never Play

Dearest Rachel – It’s true that, thanks to the likes of Amazon and online shopping, you can come home nearly every day to find a package on your doorstep. After all, I just found the box with Chompers’ wheelchair on the front porch just this past Tuesday. However, that was the last order I’d placedContinue reading “A Game We’ll Never Play”

Thy Kingdom Come

Dearest Rachel – I know the thoughts that I have in the shower will never be registered in r/showerthoughts. They’re just neither original nor bizarre enough to qualify, and I guess I’m okay with that. Which is of course, not to say that I don’t have thoughts in the shower. I mean, don’t we all?Continue reading “Thy Kingdom Come”

These Can’t Be Keepsakes…?

Dearest Rachel – So yesterday, Jan was over, and we continued cleaning out your side of the bedroom. Most of the books under the nightstand are being donated (the rule is, if I don’t see myself reading these books – and they don’t have any notes from you in them, so I don’t, for theContinue reading “These Can’t Be Keepsakes…?”

Never All At Once

Dearest Rachel – As frustrating as dealing with Chompers can be, one of the most difficult has been the fact that he never seems to be satisfied with what he has or where he is. As a result, there are times when all the boxes are ticked – he’s been fed (although that only happensContinue reading “Never All At Once”

Cleaned Out

Dearest Rachel – Here’s something you probably didn’t ever get to see once we moved into this house some twenty-five years ago: That’s it. That’s the corner of the laundry room where all the dirty clothes would be piled up awaiting processing. We (and by ‘we,’ I admit it almost always meant ‘you,’ with theContinue reading “Cleaned Out”

Longer Than Intended, But Never Long Enough

Dearest Rachel – It’s a good thing that, back when ours was a long-distance relationship only in terms of physical distance, I didn’t use titles for each letter. Well… that’s not entirely accurate, as the mix tapes that accompanied most of our letters (from each of us) did have titles we’d given them, but itContinue reading “Longer Than Intended, But Never Long Enough”

from Rachel: Lacking Nothing

“‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.’ Psalm 23:1 (most accurate translation for the Hebrew phrase) “Surviving attempted takeovers by the enemy: Colossians 2:8 ‘See to it that no one takes you captive.’ [We have an] active responsibility to protect ourselves. “Who is the authority in my life?” Is it My Life in theContinue reading “from Rachel: Lacking Nothing”

Once More, With Feeling

Dearest Rachel – “This had better be some roller coaster.” Yeah, the line was that much longer today than the first time. I’m not sure why. To be honest, I thought I’d heard that doses were starting to go begging at this point. Although, to be fair, it has been quite the roller coaster, thisContinue reading “Once More, With Feeling”

Stories I’ll Never Know / Ιστορίες Που Δεν Θα Μάθω Ποτέ

Dearest Rachel – Jan and I are continuing to make progress on cleaning the house, although the going is considerably slower than before. It’s one thing to bundle up your clothes for donation, knowing no one in this household will ever wear them again. It’s another to determine which of my clothes need to go,Continue reading “Stories I’ll Never Know / Ιστορίες Που Δεν Θα Μάθω Ποτέ”

In Praise of 20/200 Vision

What kind of friends do friends becomeWhen a blind eye turns on the damage done?What kind of friend could I become?What kind of friend am I? Mark Heard, “What Kind of Friend,” from Second Hand (1992) Dearest Rachel – There’s a story about the great Admiral Nelson, who, during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801,Continue reading “In Praise of 20/200 Vision”

Parting Words

Dearest Rachel – I was leaving the ‘office’ the other day. Mom was out for physical therapy, I believe. So the house was quiet, and I slipped out the door, only to find myself realizing that I forgot something: I forgot to say goodbye to Dad before heading out. So I immediately ducked back inContinue reading “Parting Words”

In Lieu Of…

Dearest Rachel – I’m really not entirely sure if this is the week that Anime Central was supposed to happen. However, since the annual celebration for the church is happening today, I’m going to assume it was. After all, the church had a knack for holding the annual celebration on the same weekend as ourContinue reading “In Lieu Of…”

from Rachel: Sermon Notes

“Some of us live like we have no control over our time and our schedules.” Psalm 90 – “Written by Moses – prince – shepherd – spokesperson/prophet – leader of people” Our time is “limited”, therefore we need to “limit” what we do with our time “‘From everlasting to everlasting, You are God’ (90:26)” “‘TeachContinue reading “from Rachel: Sermon Notes”

Without the Guest of Honor

Dearest Rachel – So. After planning off and on for the better part of a week, we’re actually holding your birthday party. Just… without you. No singing “Happy Birthday,” either. Not only aren’t you here to hear it, but that song sets Daniel off, as you well know. His synesthesia causes him to have perfectContinue reading “Without the Guest of Honor”

from Rachel: Soul Memoirs

(Note: Honey, this post is taken verbatim from a file found on one of your computers the other day. The file itself dates from October 2011, as you were intent on putting together an explanation of your faith journey in order to reach out to your parents, whose spiritual position you were beginning to haveContinue reading “from Rachel: Soul Memoirs”

The Brief Revisitation

Dearest Rachel – So, before last night’s online Bible study with Pastor Joel, I went through the usual routine of feeding Chompers and taking him outside to deal with the usual business. While out there, I bent down at some point to keep him from walking through the puddles he’d just made – and asContinue reading “The Brief Revisitation”

What You Considered Important

Dearest Rachel – I hope you don’t mind too much, but I’ve jailbroken four of the computers you left behind. There was a span of time when I couldn’t get into any of them unless I was listed as a secondary user, and could log in with my own Microsoft password. And the alleged RosettaContinue reading “What You Considered Important”

The Weight of Soup Stones

Dearest Rachel – In the ad copy for The Most Interesting Man in the World, it was said that “his words carry weight that would break a lesser man’s jaw.” Personally, I always thought that that would be something to aspire to – to be able to speak such weighty words that people would hangContinue reading “The Weight of Soup Stones”

Defiance and Discipline

Dearest Rachel – You know that I never liked being the disciplinarian in the family. I would get frustrated when Daniel wouldn’t – for whatever reason – comply with our requests (I got particularly upset about homework, as I had always wanted to get it out of the way when I was a student, andContinue reading “Defiance and Discipline”

Diamonds and Ash

Dearest Rachel – I would say “I wish you had been there” for this year’s Mother’s Day sermon, but when I am always wishing you were here as it is, it really doesn’t carry the weight that I mean for it to. The thing is, as a general rule, we don’t really have a sermonContinue reading “Diamonds and Ash”

from Rachel: Ministering to Other Mothers

Think of a time when God hinted that He desired to use you in His kingdom purposes. Describe what He laid on your heart. “I can think of several. Every ministry I’ve been involved in has a moment like that. Generally I say ‘Yes!’, occasionally ‘No!’ “One slightly different one that comes to mind wasContinue reading “from Rachel: Ministering to Other Mothers”

Aunt Ellie

Dearest Rachel – So I got myself home early the other afternoon to find a letter to ‘Jo Brunner’ in the mail. These days, I don’t generally bother with any mail addressed to either of your parents; rather than bothering with them, I just toss them in the recycling bin straightaway. I mean, if it’sContinue reading “Aunt Ellie”

Balancing Axioms

Dearest Rachel – For all of the places we’ve gone, and the things that we’ve done, we were always limited in what we could and could not do. Indeed, it’s considered axiomatic that we humans, as we go through life, always find ourselves limited against what we truly want to do: When we are children,Continue reading “Balancing Axioms”

Running Out of Footage

Dearest Rachel – Well, I knew it had to happen someday. After all, we only had the camcorder with us for a limited amount of time before it disappeared somewhere amongst the piles – to say nothing of the fact that digital mini-tapes turned out not to be the wave of the future as farContinue reading “Running Out of Footage”

No One to Reminisce With

Dear Rachel – I don’t know if you’re aware of it – I realize that there are a lot of people to meet and greet up there in heaven, and a hundred days is probably not enough to even familiarize yourself with the smallest portion of your new-found eternal family members – but my AuntContinue reading “No One to Reminisce With”

Bill, Melinda, and What Constitutes ‘Enough’

Dearest Rachel – Normally, I wouldn’t comment on current events in these letters. What happens in the wider world was of little concern to us even when we both were here; how much less so, now that the world itself is no longer a concern of yours. But I had to pause when I sawContinue reading “Bill, Melinda, and What Constitutes ‘Enough’”

If There Be Aloneness

Dearest Rachel – If there be alonenessLet it befor the pleasure of one’s own company for the striving to understand oneself for the joy of relaxation but most of allLet it beby choice. Mya Anderson (PHS Class of 1988) Roundtable 1986 I have carried this little slice of wisdom, penned by a classmate your ageContinue reading “If There Be Aloneness”

Keeping Upright

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, I find myself wondering how far Chompers has declined since your passing, or if you were just that uncomplaining about dealing with him – apart from the fact that no amount of massaging your lower back (which I know, you were always thoroughly grateful for) had any lasting effect. Keeping upContinue reading “Keeping Upright”

from Rachel: The Importance of Loving Parents

Would you describe yourself as having been filled with the knowledge of God’s love for you? Why or why not? “Yes, I’m sure largely this is easier for me than for some because I grew up with parents who were so grateful to have me and so proud of me and so open about howContinue reading “from Rachel: The Importance of Loving Parents”

May Day Mystery

Dearest Rachel – Sometimes, little things appear, and you chalk it up to coincidence. I know it wasn’t really you who left that balloon on the yard for me to find on my birthday, but there wasn’t anything to suggest that it was left there purposely by anyone – and the most likely suspects categoricallyContinue reading “May Day Mystery”

The Legend of Bryan Hamilton

Dearest Rachel – You already know the bulk of this story, but Jan and I have just written what basically amounts to the final chapter of this story, and I figure I might as well fill you in on it while I tell the full story to anyone else who might be interested. The tooContinue reading “The Legend of Bryan Hamilton”