A Repost of a Happy Day from the Blog July 2005

Ginny & I enjoyed an unexpected pleasant day; she’d clustered several doctors’ appointments for this morning and we held grim prospects of a day sitting around a waiting room, but it didn’t work out that way at all.

I was up at my usual 4 a.m. filling out online government forms to register books with the Library of Congress and puzzling over their conversion software for converting ten digit ISBNs to the new 13 digit ones. Of course after you do all that, there are still only ten blanks on the forms where you can insert the numbers ???? Mysterious. Maybe I got it right. I’m sure they’ll let me know if I didn’t.

Workmen have been replacing wooden ties along the railroad tracks near our home. They piled the old ties in a field for later pick up. We thought these might be a good textured background for a new author’s photo for the back of Glog, a novel I plan to publish next month about a dinosaur who prays for divine guidance. So early, before the first doctor visit, we posed:

tTo our surprise, Gin’s first test proved to be a walk-in-walk out affair. So we enjoyed a leisure breakfast at Denny’s. Over morning coffee we compared our experience with prayer to going to a charity hospital’s emergency room. You go in hurting only to find 38 people there ahead of you. You put in your request with full confidence that the Doctor will help you – but, until He gets around to you, all you can do is endure. You may be miserable in that waiting room, but you know that help will eventually come… It’s just that they haven’t pulled your number yet.

Not a cheerful view of prayer, but that describes our personal experience best.

Since we had extra time, we drove to a store to shop for stuff we’ve been meaning to buy but just haven’t gotten around to: bird seed, a dishpan, shower curtain, etc. Nothing urgently needed but things we were glad to mark off our list.

Off to a new doctor’s office for Ginny’s next two tests. I told the tech doing the bone density test that it was not needed because Ginny is the densest woman I’ve ever met, but he gave her the test anyhow.

Then we drove to a hardware store to replace a broken drawer handle. Of course the salesman said, “They don’t make ‘em in that size anymore”. He wanted to special order a new one for $38; but since, years ago, we’d only paid $40 for that chest anyhow, we decided to pass on that bargain.

We enjoyed lunch at Harpoon Louie’s. We ate outside on the deck overlooking Fishweir Creek. No other customers were there so we sat for two hours sipping tea, munching fried onion rings, smoking, watching birds and tide, and talking: Here’s a photo we took of Fishweir Creek:Back home we discovered four pleasant surprises:

  1. Ginny’s mother sent us a nice birthday check.
  2. My computer blog, which had disappeared for some reason this mo0rning, is back online.
  3. Ginny applied for a job as a budget analyst months ago and today personnel called arranging an interview with her. I have no idea what a budget analyst does, but Ginny understands and she’s excited at the prospect.
  4. The Library of Congress sent me the control numbers for both Glog and Letters From Stacy. So all systems are go for those two books.

Gin & I spent the afternoon dabbling in the garden, napping, reading and talking about books.

Our Bible reading after supper came from John’s Gospel, about the second miracle Jesus performed and we puzzled over the structure of the passage. Gin said the word “believed” is used with two different meanings and I’m confused over the time element mentioned. The more we read of Scripture, the less we understand.

We transferred, with much pain and anguish, wailing and gnashing of teeth, the photos we took this morning. Then tried to decided which one made me look less like a dork to use on the Glog book jacket…. Maybe a pix of the other dinosaur would be better.

Spent the evening reading novels and so to bed.

We thought we were going to spend this day hanging around waiting rooms, instead, we enjoyed a delightful time together. You can never tell what a day may bring forth.

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Muppets by Jennifer

“Saturday nights God watches the Muppets!” Dad decreed.

Growing up each night we sat around the dinner table, afterwards having family bible readings, jokes and songs. Devotions. But Saturday nights our families favorite show came on, The Muppets! No DVRs back then! One night after eating we began the discussion with Mom and Dad that it was not fair that other kids didn’t have to do devotions, we were missing our tv shows! Donald, I believe, came up with the logical argument that God created TV and the muppets.  Therefore, God watched it from heaven! So it became a family tradition that every Saturday night devotions consisted of watching the muppets  together with God.

We all tried to figure out who was which Muppet then and as the years passed by. Mom and Dad were Jim Henson and Frank Oz creating and encouraging whimsical dreams. Donald was a mix of Fozzie Bear and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew.  Helen would be sweet, kind Robin the frog. Eve hits the pitches of Beaker! Eve is like the down to earth wisdom of Rowlf and the “stand by your man” pretty cuteness of Camilla the chicken. Mark, her husband, and the newest muppet, Walter, have the same gentleness and courage. Our little, Patricia, we teased was “The Great Gonzo” but she argued she was dropped off by Gonzo and resembled Lew Zealand, the crazy boomerang fish thrower! Personally, I think she is more like the rare, beautiful dancing bird muppets preformed by the London ballet. After her husband, Rob’s recent skateboard accident, I figure he is one of the lost Zucchini Brothers! Wes Basset and Dad were dead ringers for the sarcastic, humourous Statler and Waldorf! (Or at times Burt and Ernie!) The Lees – GranRandy, Lisa and Rachel we compared to the Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem! Cool, musical, entertaining and some of the most awesome people to be with! Rachel and my godson, Brandon, share the antics of Animal! Fred was the Swedish Chef. Johnny a cross of Sam the Eagle and Bruno.

As for me, everyone agreed early that I am Miss Piggy incarnate! I take that as such a fun compliment. Miss Piggy does have the best fashion sense and karate chop kicks! My Kermit is definitely Terri, coordinating the characters in our home!

Watching the Muppets all those years we saw how they always pulled together, had fun, never left a man or muppet behind, shared good times and bad jokes. The zany cast of characters: regulars, walk ins and celebrities easily mirrored our life.

Fast forward to two days after dads death. Patricia had an early flight back to Illinois. We didn’t want her to go. She didn’t want to go. I felt raw. I felt like the world was collapsing. We were emotionally and physically exhausted from caring for Dad. Watching the last curtain of his life fall.

But God sent the muppets.

Sad and tired we got in the car taking Patti to the airport.  Eves phone synced to the radio playing softly as we chatted. Eve was driving with Patricia in the front seat, me behind her in the backseat.

Have you ever had a moment happen in life that seemed straight out of a movie? A magical moment where life is perfect, all the world is good, butterflies flutter, birds sing, love is all you need, rainbows beam and it feels like your heart is soaring.

Our magical moment began with “Lifes a Happy Song!” Eve, Patti and I began singing along with the Muppets going down the highway. My sadness swirled into so many happy memories of our family. We were singing, holding hands. If this had have been on a movie, Eve’s car would have been glowing with the soft yellow glow of love, a rainbow trailing us and a glorious sun rise! Next came “Rainbow Connection” a song that as a children we sang in celebration of God, life, fun and Muppet joy.

Being in that magical moment, I felt all the love between us and utter joy. It was like God and Dad  (and Mom) got together to wonderfully remind us that we were ok. We could sing in chaos and sorrow. Exploding with the childlike happiness of a favorite shared memory.

One of the lyrics in “Rainbow Connection” is “..Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices….The voice might be one and the same…”

That early morning God’s voice came thru the Muppets

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Father’s Day by Jennifer

Father’s Day

Today is bittersweet.

I celebrate the super dad we had. I cry for my awesome batty-daddy I miss. I mourn for those who had sucky fathers, or no father at all. I cheer for the men who are trying everyday for their kids!

There have been so many emotions I have gone thru this week.

I didn’t think it would bother me on Monday when I looked at the calendar. Tuesday, I thought all day how wonderful God our father is. I said prayers for Fred and Johnny. Wednesday, I was missing Donald so I sent him a card. Thursday I felt bored, grouchy, hungry (well, that’s most days!). Friday, Eve and I enjoyed spending the day together. Saturday, I laughed and vented with Patricia calling. Sunday, Father’s Day, I have cried with Terri and am heading out to put flowers on the headstones.

Last year, our last Father’s Day with dad, we all met at Arden’s. The restaurant was hot, packed, busy. I know I got dad something, but I can’t remember. I remember he was in so much pain walking. He was in so much pain missing mom. Dad was happy just being with each of us hearing our inane chattering. Asking each of us what was going on in our lives. He always loved celebrating us, our family.

I told dad many times that if everyone had a dad like him the world would be a better place.

Dad humbly reminded me he was human. Dad never realized how great he was to so many. I am proud that in the last months of his life, he finally began to see how loved he was. He said “All I’ve ever done is be me. I didn’t do anything special for folks.”

Sometimes you get a glimpse of how the threads in your life build and entwine to impact others. I think that was a gift the Holy Spirit gave dad.
Our blessing was having him as our dad. Dad never stopped reminding us that God,our Father is perfect. God loves you unconditionally.

God loves you when you don’t get it.
God celebrates your joys.
God knows your pain,sorrow, losses, sins.
God knows the core of you. The you that no one sees. The you He created.
You will always be the one He designed and purposes to thread in this world.
On this Father’s Day, I hope the Holy Spirit opens your eyes to those who love you, especially your Father.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Fantastic Father

Neither Father’s Day or Mother’sDay had a big influence in our family.  Sure, we did the card or presents but it was never really a big deal.  But we always knew that they were wonderful parents even if we didn’t make a big deal about their day.  So here’s one example of dad being a fantastic father.

I have never been a loud person.  I do it for my job or sometimes around my sisters, I am louder but it doesn’t feel natural to me to be loud.

So Dad took me out on “dates”.  We would go out to lunch just the two of us.   And we would talk or I would talk and he would always listen to me.  I didn’t have to be loud to be heard.   My favorite time was when he took me out to experience a poo-poo platter for the first time.  He had written to me about it while we were visiting Grandparents in Maryland.   Apparently, he had tried it at a local Chinese restaurant and was going to take me out to have it when we came back.  It was this funny sounding dish and it was fun experiencing it with Dad.  They basically bring out this tiny little charcoal grill to your table and you get to cook or warm up your own food.   We cooked and ate and talked.  It wasn’t an everyday experience but it always made me feel so special.  Not the what we did but the taking time out of everything and everyday stresses to be listened to by my dad.  He was and is a fantastic father (as explained in the picture below) and I miss him every day.  I drew it while he was sitting at his desk working but decided that he might not be recognized if I didn’t include a drawing of his face.  It was published in the Pennywhistle Press (a local kids insert) in 1984 and this copy hung up at my parent’s house for almost as long : )

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Slow to recover but something to remember…

Good times, bad times and everything in between - God has never, ever left my side.    Join me on Facebook    Join me on Instagram

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Two years – Two months

Today, April 22, 2015, is the two year anniversary of mom’s passing and two month anniversary since dad passed away.

Strangely, Eve, is in the hospital due to an emergency gallbladder bursting. Eve said it feels “surreal” to be in the hospital today. When we first heard Eve had gallbladder issues, Patricia and I immediately worried about gallbladder cancer because of mom’s rare bile duct cancer. I even asked her surgeon to check out her insides while he was in there anyway to be sure!

Strange where your mind goes in grief!

Thankfully, Eve is doing much better and should go home to recuperate.

Dad wrote every month in his personal calendar on the 22nd, Ginny’s been gone one month, two, twelve…etc all the way till February 22 when he passed.  On the 22nd, Dad would go visit mom’s resting place. He often went other times because he missed her so.

We all knew he was holding on for something when he was at the end. The goodbyes were said. His body was failing. We realized that he was holding on to pass on the 22nd. We tried to lie and say it was the 22nd on the 21st, but dad’s always know when their kids fib.

I think it was another way dad wanted to be joined to mom. Theirs was such an amazing love. Us kids and everyone who knew mom and dad witnessed that deep love they shared.

So the 22nd is not just a sad reminder that they are gone…it is also a reminder of a beautiful love.

A love that lives on in our hearts, in our memories. We feel their love with us still.

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• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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My life was a love story

This post is from my oldest sister, Jennifer.  Hers is a love story too…

I woke with a man’s voice on the answering machine. I froze cold. ” Ms Wilson, This is Jason from the Hardage Giddeons…”

I couldn’t do it.

I knew why he was calling.

Poor guy is just doing his job. Trying to give great customer service, being cheerful and polite. I just could not talk to him. I begged my roommate to call him back. Terri did not ask why, she knew.

All I could do is cry, desperate to go back to sleep.

Last night, I read the King James family bible. I grew up reading it with Dad and Mom leading nightly devotions with my family.

” Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent(TORE) them: and likewise all the men that were with him. And they mourned and wept, and fasted until even(ing), for Saul and, for Jonathan, his son…” Second Samuel ch 1 vs 11-12.

The 1st to 3rd chapter of Second Samuel is about death (killing in their time) and grieving. (I am no biblical scholar, this is the Jennifer translation of what I read!) King David in his grief ripped his clothes, fasted, cried… the King that Jesus would later be a descendant of.

After mom died, I went with Dad, Johnny and Fred. We took the free Community Hospice course on dealing with the loss of a loved one. Katie McConnell – the bereavement counselor, later wonderful friend of Dad, wife and also mother to beautiful baby Celia – lead the class with a brochure titled “Understanding Grief, Loss and Bereavement.” Katie gave a wonderful explanation that grief is not a series of stages to go thru neat and orderly, but rather a roller coaster – full of ups and downs, highs and lows.

WELCOME to the RIDE OF GRIEF. BUCKLE IN – HOLD ON!
Your ride starts with the shock and disbelief that the person you love is gone. SUDDENLY SWERVES thru the twists of sobbing, crying, lack of sleep. JERKS UP – confusion, anxiety. DOWN – panic, searching, UP – physical illness. I feel ok, Peace. NOW -LOOP after LOOP of guilt, emotional fear, numbness, fatigue, depression, Calm then TWIST to obsessively thinking about the loved one,confusion, then WEEEEH! Throw in some anger, maybe using alcohol and drugs, POW -hatred, loneliness, limbo, BACK UP to relief, laughter, missing OOOPS there we go DOWN again with missing. Then the TWIST of “struggle with new life patterns” and finally ENDS WITH “life is worth living!”

Disney and Universal probably study this roller coaster design!

Oh, and while your on this grief ride expect to have some wierd dreams! Just a little extra to physically and emotionally add on top! AND THERE IS NOT A TIME LIMIT TO THE RIDE ENDING! You can be off the ride and slip back on with a memory. King David did it and now I am doing it. Everyone will have this ride sometime.

 

Sooo   – Terri talked with Jason, went to the cemetary. Today they removed dad’s plastic marker and secured his permanent bronze marker. Dad’s marker says “My life was a love story.” Terri made sure dad was tucked in tight and safe. Right under mom’s spot.

She came home with a Hardee’s Monstor Bacon Burger for lunch. I cried and couldn’t eat my burger… ok well I got half in (and some fries), despite my grief, it sure was good. I didn’t tear any clothes. I did get dressed.

I thought how the bronze marker feels so final.

Permanent. The end.

Then God reminded me. I remembered what I was taught. What I believe.

Dad and Mom are together forever. Not just in their niches with coordinating bronze markers. They truly are together in heaven with our Father, God.

I can’t stop thanking God for that.

My ride has bumper padding. I have a Savior and King that are helping me on my ride, carrying me when it turns to hard, holding my hand in the darkness, reminding me it’s going to be alright. I remember God’s promises. I will be in many seasons of rough rides that is this world and this life, but my wonderful God is WITH me and FOR me every twist and turn.

In the meantime, while I am currently not enjoying the grief ride, I am ok. We will be ok. God promised me, just like David, Saul, Jonathan, Moses, Jacob, Peter, Paul and Mary… John and Virginia. We have the promise that HE is with us. My earthly father is gone. My heavenly Father, who is immortal and perfect, loves me so much that he sent his son Jesus to die for me so I CAN be with my family forever.

My life will begin AGAIN with my beautiful savior welcoming me home. I know mom and dad, grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts, uncles, friends and people who I don’t yet know will with there. That to me is the best thing dad ever taught me. He wanted everyone to know JESUS IS REAL!! Our hope and our lives will just be beginning when we die. And while we ride, we are loved!

Thanks be to God. My life is a love story too.

So is yours. Just ask God if you don’t believe me.

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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O Happy Day!

easteranimals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s hoping this adds a little more happiness to your day.  He is risen indeed!

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Familiar Sights

To say that my parents were comfortable with one another was an understatement.  It was unusual to see one without the other.  Much more familiar was the sight of them together holding hands, kissing, talking or cuddling.  It was often that I would hear about how they had been out to this place or that place and be asked if they were newlyweds or how long they had been married.  To them, it was nothing beyond the enjoyment of being with your spouse.  I doubt that they considered it extraordinary.  It is something that I think effected all of us kids when it came to looking for a significant other.  I can’t speak for anyone else but I am pretty sure my prayers about that topic often referred to wanting a relationship like Mom and Dad.  Not that it was easy or second nature.  But they saw something within the other person that made the effort worth it.  Something to be treasured.  Something that made every day an adventure and a chance to learn anew about the other.  So today, I post a couple of pictures of some newlyweds who spent each day as if it was their first day of marriage.

 

Ginny and John 43 anniversary GCSP

Still in love Ginny & John at Luminaries 12.18.11 Gin in hospital More-than-friendship image image image

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Going Home

Poem by Fred Estep

• Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info, posted by John Cowart. Or contact John at johnwcowart (at) gmail (dot) com.

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