Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25
by Aunt Amy (with photos of the sweet siblings a few years later)
The precious newborn baby girl safely snuggled in her mother Sarah’s arms on the left side of the big couch, in front of the big window in their family room. Thirty-three days old Penelope Grace did little more than eat, sleep, and fill her diaper. In fact, her own fabulous hardworking Mother admitted just that, while in Northville to pick up business forms three days before Tax Day.
“You’re like a bull in a china shop,” Sarah said to Penelope’s older brother Max as he clambered onto the couch.
He was trying to get a closer look and probably sneak in a kiss, to his adored younger sister. The problem with that is that Max, at his tender toddler age, often acts a little too aggressively in his attempts to shower her with big-brother-love and affection.
In the car not much later that day to retrieve the aforementioned paperwork, Penelope and her Mom were accompanied by me, her aunt, as well as decked out Maxwell James. Max wore a long-sleeved grey t-shirt and plaid shorts with light blue and red in them, along with light brown loafers with of course no socks. He had long since ditched the navy blue Tigers baseball cap he wore earlier at his house for a brief time.
Cute Max could almost pass for a little man, and I say almost because of two accessories in particular that helped shed the light on his true age of nearly two: the bink frequently found dangling from his mouth and the sunglasses, upside-down, perched on his little face. They both screamed that the youngster had a ways to grow.
Usually napping if she’s not eating or grunting with slowly reddening cheeks, the baby called “Princess Penelope” by her doting Mom sits back for now as action unfolds around her.
One more thing about Penelope’s small but super smart sibling: He can name the colors of the “Yo Gabba Gabba” characters who are wearing one of the three colors – “byou,” “geen” and “lellow” – he knows well.
To wrap things up, the tale of the adorable brother and sister could not help but focus a bit more on the one who moves around a lot more. The story had no intention to overshadow precious Penelope with comments and descriptions of her older brother. If he was made aware of this minor discrepancy at hand, Max would surely stick up for his beloved tiny sister, starting with his signature exclamation when things go awry:
British accent 1st, American accent 2nd
Penned in 2004 when I was 20:
The trip to Boston was over fourteen hours long.
Right from the start, lots of things unfortunately went wrong.
To get my eyes better is the reason I have come.
The journey here was rough for several reasons, here are some:
Leaving Canada, the border patrol guard asked Mom how long we’d been
in the land.
The stern-faced guy raised his voice because his question she didn’t clearly
She tried to explain that we were just passing by,
But he wanted to know days and hours, so her answer didn’t fly.
On the drive Mom paid toll after toll,
Before and after our run-in with border patrol.
I ignored my aching back because getting Scleral Lenses was my mission.
Mom commented that her rear end was sore from sitting in the same position.
We didn’t see signs for Boston until about 4:45.
This trip turned out to be a long, long, long, long, long, long drive.
At 7:25 Sunday night, a state cop flashed lights behind us for the way that we
We weren’t speeding enough on a highway where the sign said we should only
As far as delays, there’s been enough, and trials, I’ve had plenty.
After a trip like this, my vision better be twenty/twenty.
Presently as I live with my mother & father as an adult cancer survivor, I’m thankful:
◊ that I am respected as an adult which means freedom to make my own choices in everyday living
◊ out of that respect also comes NOT nagging or pestering me to adhere to a strict & healthy diet (I can’t emphasize enough how much that means to me) to supposedly improve my quality of life – which is just fine as it stands, by the way – because NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING, I consume will
∗ miraculously return my balance back on my brain stem;
∗ restore my broken-beyond-repair joints;
∗ suddenly grow a headful of hair;
∗ or magically cause my chronically dry eyes or dry mouth to begin functioning properly, etc. etc.
For that matter, why would I even ever want to prolong my life on earth? At the risk of sounding callous, I’d much rather die & be with Jesus than swallow supplements & foul-tasting “healing” foods to be stuck here for an extra year or two . . . Now, the poem.
Written well over a decade ago & still very true today (displayed in pink ink per my magnificent mom’s preference):
You’ve been caring for me throughout all of these years,
Through the ups and the downs, through the smiles and tears.
No matter the circumstances, you have been by my side,
When I’m happy and feeling better, or heard I’ve relapsed again and cried.
So diligently written are the records that you take
To record every pill taken, all procedures, to avoid any mistake.
Monitoring meds and asking informed questions are just two things that you do.
I couldn’t have survived this ordeal without you.
Searching online for further information,
In contact with doctors all over the nation.
You are encouraging and always looked ahead,
Even as I lay sickly in my hospital bed.
When I could not do even a simple task,
You were right there to help me before I could ask.
When kitten scratches made my hands infected and red,
You wheeled me to floor eight to do crafts and get out of bed.
You never let me wallow in my grief and get depressed.
Your stick-by-me-till-we’ve-beaten-this-thing attitude was the best.
Helping with meals and showering and staying steady on my feet,
When I was down in the dumps, your words kept me upbeat.
You wrote Bible verses on the dry erase board during each hospital stay
And helped me walk the halls to socialize throughout the day.
You never wanted any credit, “It’s my job, I’m just a mom,” you’d repeat,
But you’re one like no other because cancer you more than helped me defeat.
You have been an amazing advocate when things have gotten rough.
I love you more than words can say, Mom, words just aren’t enough.
- Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9
As I grow & learn that nothing productive comes out of being angry, only harsh words spoken in a moment of rage or other pointless actions, my (very-maybe-impossibly-difficult-but-it-doesn’t-hurt-trying) goal is to be committed to exercising self-control to become less or even not at all, angry in situations that make my blood boil.
Let’s see how long that lasts. Coming from previously similar vows to myself, I’m guessing not very long at all. I am merely a full-of-flaws human trying to make it work. (“Trying” is the operative word.)
Here’s a great idea I just read that makes a ton of sense: “Turn negative thoughts into prayers.” Will try!
From my devotional, which is written as though Jesus is speaking to you, came this:
“Walk with Me in holy trust, responding to My initiatives rather than trying to make things fit your plans. I died to set you free, and that includes freedom from compulsive planning.”
“When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, you cannot hear My voice.”