Tuesday, February 28, 2012

" Dia de Los VIVOS" (The Day of the Living)

Dark of daynight,
 Weary warriors leave the bunker to gather and hunt.
Alone, with dreams blanketing, tucked into trust,
sun surges up,
grabbing day-promise as the last one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six days horizon.

Expectation rouses the slumber; its loud voice proclaiming a chorus.
Listen carefully, “Do you hear it?”

“This is the day…”






Rekindle a blaze never relinquished to ash.

Grace pours out hotwarm,
Sweetened in Love
 And Gracewords…they flash across the touch screen of my heart.

"We never knew him but…”

“We miss him too.”

“Your God—He is good.”

(Can my God be so good?)

Same God.

Same Love.

The skyfountain showers thirsty earth.
Fellowship gathers round, shelter through the storms.

God-tilled, mother-teared soil yields Harvest.
Prepared Bounty.
Hope messages:
“Set aside seeds for spring planting.”

“TODAY is the day you ask of me Lord?”

(Spirit on Pilgrim’s Pathway swoops down).

“It is your time to walk among the living,” He coos in the Psalm page of the day.

Choose Life.

Choose to Trust.

Choose to Live.

One thousand eight hundred and twenty-SEVEN days.

My grateful heart ticks toward Eternity’s reunion.

“Walk in the Land of the Living…

And Be Glad In It."

Psalm 27:13-14

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
 Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dia De Las Muertas--Final Chapter, Section 1

Since my last "Dia De..." post, I am leaving the Gothic font behind and starting fresh. The last picture, a smiley-faced pebble,  symbol of affection left in cemetery by someone who wanted to leave a message, foreshadowed a message of Hope, beginning this venture.   In this next trip--it took two days by the way, my Sis and I set off looking forward to more adventure and discovery.  First stop, the gas station.  Parked in front of us, a car with a hopeful message. I know God is always with me, and then there are those days, days when I have things on my mind, some concerns, some fears...and God just grabs my attention and reminds me.  This was one of those days.

  But Jesus hearing it, answered him, Fear not: only believe, and she shall be made whole. Luke 8:50 

 The trunk of our family tree, our first stop, my parents place of rest.  Forest Lawn Covina Hills, just a few miles from where we grew up and a few miles to the west of where I live now, their burial places overlook the beautiful East San Gabriel Valley.

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the uneven shall be made level, and the rough places a plain: Isaiah 40:4

My father, Lynwood, "Lindy" Markham died from Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma when I was a new mother and he a new grandfather. I always feel so sad about that,  and wonder what difference he would have made in his grandchildren's lives.  The hardest working, most creative man I know, my Dad labored with joy as  a machinist and maintenance engineer extraordinaire.  My mother, Joyce Diane Greer (Markham), thirteen years younger than my dad, enjoyed many careers, all in which she excelled at.  Waitressing night shifts when we were small, kept us from having to go to a sitter and secretarial work for the school district kept her home holidays and summers. A widow at 49, she enjoyed thoroughly spoiling her grand kids (5) taking trips and SHOPPING!  I am most proud of her extreme shift of careers, becoming a corporate travel agent in the few years before the internet totally took charge.  She died from complications of pneumonia and what I believe, a broken heart, on Thanksgiving Day, 2000.
My mom, bridesmaid at her brother Bruce's wedding and my father (1953) 

Mother and Father of the bride, 1977 

Their headstones, together line up with this tree just down the hill a bit, the landmark the leads us always to their place of remembrance.

 Lauren's itinerary and timeline in hand, we headed out after a stop to purchase camera  batteries. Going west again to explore the stomping grounds of Joyce and Lindy, ( in Section 2 of this blog to follow) Forest Lawn, Cemetery, Glendale awaited our arrival as our next destination. 

My Grandfather, Joyce's father Vaughn H. Greer, owned a shop in what is now know as the jewelry district.We didn't get out of the car-- a lot of stuff happening around the city including "OCCUPY LA and of course, a movie in production--but I snapped this photo of the buildings which housed his business on 7th and Hill Street, Los Angeles.

 Forest Lawn Glendale is expansive.  As much as I'd like to fill you in on all there is to see there, I suggest you link on over to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Lawn_Memorial_Park,_Glendale. A history museum in itself displaying magnificent works of art and statuary, this cemetery is also the final home of many Hollywood notables including Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor.

Here are some shots as we traveled up the hill to locate my great grandmother, who, if you remembered from  a previous blog, we discovered that she was not at Hollywood Hills, but here, in Glendale. (This would be my Father's grandmother, Mary Trout).

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (Psalms 23).

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10 

Lauren is looking for Great Grandma 

Mary L. Trout  lived in the same home with my father, and passed away on his 16th birthday.

A few more pictures here of Forest Lawn, Glendale, while we looked for my maternal grandparents, Vaughn and Inez Greer.

George Washington 

The signing of the Declaration of Independence 

I Samuel 47:17 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

My Grandpa and Grandma Greer, as I called them, leave me with fond memories, a very integral part of my growing up years.  My grandmother was one of five sisters, including twins, Stella and Ella.  She carried that gene and my mom's twin sisters Marjorie and Marian delighted me as well.  My grandfather, being of Mormon ancestry has an extensive, well-documented family tree. Born in Missouri, my grandmother made her way to New Mexico, where she met my grandfather.

Vaughn and Inez, 1920 and again, with first great-grandchild, Chantil

    1 Corinthians 15:54-57 
    Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
    “Death is swallowed up in victory.
    O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”
    For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Stay tuned for the second section of this trip.  Finished with cemeteries, Lauren and I trek the same hills and streets my parents grew up around, visiting both their childhood homes, schools and more. We encountered and were blessed by two amazing gifts, treasures really; a day I will not soon forget.  
I'd like to leave you all with one of my favorite scriptures, a reminder that although loved ones pass away and life is not always easy, God gave us a promise. Some people in our lives may be gone from us physically, but God never will leave us and if you believe in the resurrection, then you now that Christ conquered death for those who believe on His Name. Nothing can ever take that away, and we need to take it a step further and live victoriously in this promise if we say we believe. 

Romans 8:38-39

New International Version (NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.