Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Joey + Rory - To Joey With Love

I don't know how you feel about Joey + Rory, or whether you are at all interested in their story, but I have been deeply moved by the faith, hope, and love that shone through them as they shared their "severe mercy" with the world. 

I don't watch television, other than occasional choice streaming of specific shows or movies, so I never saw them on the show that catapulted them into the public spotlight. I stumbled upon them online somehow near the time that Rory began his blog and Joey was first diagnosed with cervical cancer, and I was transfixed. 

I have a friend who has been battling cancer for over two years.  It has taken a lot from her, and she still manages to keep her faith in the Heavenly Father, present a positive attitude, and wants to help others to any extent she is able.  I have had female friends in their 30's, 40's, and 50's die from cancer in recent years. all leaving young children and bewildered, heartbroken husbands. I watched a family lose their 35-year-old father to cancer just over a year ago, after he bravely battled for over 4 years. I lost my father to cancer when he was just 52 years old.  Instead of searching for a cure, I believe we need to be searching for the cause.  If we could eliminate the cause of this increasing disease, we could save untold lives.

Cancer defeated my grandfather when I was 12 years old.  It wasn't as prevalent in those days. There weren't cancer hospitals in every city, and I didn't know one child or young person who had the disease.  I was, however, terrified that I would get cancer.  It looked painful and scary, and it robbed people (us) of their beloved family member (grandpa).  Little did I know that cancer was about to bloom to become one of the leading causes of death, and that almost every person I knew as I navigated adulthood would be in some way touched by cancer.  These days, there are cancer stories in abundance, and you cannot pass a person on the street who hasn't either had cancer or known someone who has.  I have escaped it thus far, but nobody knows the future.

What sets the Joey + Rory story apart, for me, is that it is magnified, inspiring, and beautifully rendered.  Rory was, and is, a song writer.  He was writing songs and giving small performances long before he met Joey.  He has a way with words that allows him to pour out heartrending emotion in a beautiful way, on his blog and now on the screen.  I saw the movie last night, and it was exactly what I expected (documentary style use of "home video" with narration), but also more.  It is not for everybody, but for those who wish to see, it is very moving. 

Some people have posted nasty comments about his motives, but I think that people can find ugliness in any place they choose to find it.  People can also find beauty and truth, if they are willing to see.  I see a mourning husband who believed in the higher good that sharing Joey's life could bring.  Rory has his own faith, but he has stated that Joeys' faith was bigger.  Rory believed in Joey's knowledge that this mortal realm is not our final resting place, and that the bigger picture is where our spirit resides after out body ceases to function. 

Whether we like it or not, cancer is a common thread that binds we humans together, even if we don't know each other personally, and even if we are so different from each other in lifestyle, beliefs, or tastes that nothing much else would bind us. It has become such a common story that many of us turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the human interest stories that we can read every day in almost every form of media.

Joey had a life force within her that even now defies death.  She was beautiful in physical appearance, and also in her soul and spirit.  Joey had a graceful, quiet bearing, and a magnificent singing voice.  She was humble and steadfast in her faith in the Heavenly Father and his love.  I felt that I could almost see light emanating from her in photos, in the video of her live performances, and in the video of her day-to-day life.  No matter what life threw at her, even when she was despondent and in tears, she had a sturdy rod of faith holding her upright and glowing.  

She smiled through her pain.  She wanted to comfort others when they were grieving for her as she went through the diagnosis and treatment.  She knelt to pray, and she sang hymns through it all.

I lament that she is gone, and that her clear and sterling voice will never again grace a live stage on this Earth.  I grieve for her family in the loss of their beloved Joey.  I revel in the legacy that she left behind, and in the shining example of faith she set.  My personal belief is that the Heavenly Father does not cause the afflictions of this world, but He does have a purpose for each of us, and perhaps her purpose was to be that shining example, that others may find Him through her story.  My hope is that, as Rory has been led to share Joey with the world, there will be those who find Joey's life as beautiful, full, and inspiring as I have, and it will lead them to a life of faith and love for others, even if they are in the process of navigating their own devastating life circumstances.  

I thank Joey's parents for guiding such a beautiful spirit from birth to adulthood, and I thank Rory for sharing her with us.  I hope people will see that the Heavenly Father has used her in an extraordinary way, but He did not "take her from us" or "cause her pain".  I hope people will see the light and beauty that shone from her while she was here, and the light that still shines on the wake she left behind her.

As Joey would say, "This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through...the angels beckon me from Heaven's open door, and I can't feel at home in this world anymore..."


Friday, September 16, 2016

Where are we going?

Harvest Time

Sometimes you have to stop and take notice of where you have been and revise the plan for where you are going.  You have to take the time to write down the direction goals, and make a plan for reaching those goals.  You have to be willing to sacrifice free time to the cause, which is one of the most painful parts of goal attainment.  You have to decide: DO YOU WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH?

Life is cyclical, and we live through varying seasons of want, need, reticence, apathy, procrastination, determination, failure, success, despair, and hope.  Behind it all, through it all, underneath the layers of whatever lies in the way, there should always be hope.  There should always be "The Dream".  When you forget what The Dream is, or you lose sight of The Dream, or you decide you don't care about The Dream anymore, it is time to stop and take that notice of where you really want to be going.

Are you content to stay in the spot where you are and simply drift lazily along the waters of life, or was there something you really wanted to do?  Was there something you started, but didn't finish?  Something you didn't start, but wish  you had?  Was there always that elusive something that you have never managed to reach?

Now is the time.  Decision will take you out of the state of indecision.  I have to always remind myself that one must have the courage to fail.  Even if failure costs money.  Not failing often means that no attempt was made (thus, no possibility of failure).  Attempting often means that failure follows - for a time.  Failure hurts.  Failure costs.  The attempt costs time that you won't get back. Is it worth your time?

Only you can decide.  For me, the question has always been: Which thing do I want most?  Which thing is actually "The Dream"? Which thing is worth my time, worth the attempt, worth failing at a few times?

I have decided that it is time to sit down with myself once again and decide the direction I want to take.  I am happily married.  I am happy with my family.  I have the college degree that provides the ticket to certain goal attaining venues.  I have the drive to get further than the place I now find myself.  I am at the place of determining how much time I am willing to give to finally complete the leap.  I am here at a crossroads where I need to strip away the apathy and decide to continue the journey.  

One element of The Dream is to be a published writer, and this blog was always for the exercise of the "writing muscle".  I have been on the fence about whether to continue that endeavor in the "Nature With Me" realm, or to begin anew with a more focused blog and a hosted site of my own.  Those answers are not yet clear to me, but I have decided to continue here for a time while I make some decisions about how and where to spend my precious free time.  The journey is long, but life itself is simply a journey; life is The Journey, and we must make of it what we are willing to make.  Our time on this earth is finite, though none of us knows when our time will end.  I think we owe it to ourselves and our Creator to find joy and success, and to help others find their joy and success.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Nantes Hat & Thankfulness

Life continues to fly by at breakneck speed. I continue to be thankful for every day.  No matter how bleak the world becomes, there is always a reason to find a bright thought and give thanks for the gift of life.  The daffodils are beginning to poke their greenery up through the earth, and the grape hyacinth say spring will be here in the blink of an eye.
I am knitting the Nantes hat again. I do so love this pattern! It was published in the Interweave Knits Winter 2011 magazine. It is also available for purchase on Ravelry. I am making my fourth Nantes hat, so I think it is definitely a pattern worth purchasing. In other news, the weather has been unseasonably warm lately. We have had no snow this year. I heard on the radio today that the temperature will be -27 tomorrow in parts of
Vermont. Brrrr!

I hope you all are staying warm and healthy this winter. Until next time,

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Picot Backpack for 18" Dolls such as American Girl, Götz, Madame Alexander

It is here! The Picot Backpack pdf Knitting Pattern for 18" dolls is available on for Free (free until further notice).

This sweet little backpack is a very fast knit and a great stash buster!  It features a ribbed flap and drawstring closure.  I have had good reviews from testers and others who have downloaded and made the backpack from this pattern.  Now that the testing period is over, it is available to all who would like to purchase.

Saige, our American Girl Doll, has been wearing hers non-stop for over a month, and it is still going strong.  She carries her fingerless mitts and her small Schleich toys in her Picot Backpack.

Try it out today...I would love to know what you think.

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