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We’ve been on the OBX this week visiting our little Zoë, and since her parents are here with her, we’re visiting with them, too! I’ll have some great photos to show you – here, and on my photo blog –  upon our return.

Lots going on in my life right now, and in the lives of my family. I’ll do my best to catch you up and maybe throw in some new poetry that has been working its way toward the screen recently, but it will all have to wait until next week following our return.

In the meantime, I send out to my very cherished friend, Caroline Merrell, and all of her wonderful family my deepest sympathy upon the sudden death of her husband, Donnie.  Caroline is the Director of Worship Ministries at our church, and Donnie was a vital and gifted, loving man who will be missed here on earth, even as angels are rejoicing at his heavenly homecoming.  I always find it hard to say what I really mean to say when offering my sympathy.  Shortly after getting the message about Donnie’s death, I read these words from a book, by – of all people – David Sedaris.  Mr. Sedaris is one of my favorite writers/memoirists.  Though he is generally thought of as side-splittingly funny, he is equally gifted in describing his feelings with heart and eloquence.  Describing his and his siblings’ feelings about the approaching death of his mother while the family is gathered for one of his sister’s weddings, he writes the following:

“Ever since arriving at the motor lodge, we’d gone back and forth from one room to another, holding secret meetings and exchanging private bits of information.  We hoped that by preparing ourselves for the worst, we might be able to endure the inevitable with some degree of courage or grace.  Anything we forecasted was puny compared to the future that awaited us.  You can’t brace yourself for famine if you’ve never known hunger; it is foolish even to try.”

And so I close tonight, my Gentle Readers, with a word of love to all who have suffered loss.  We would like to say that “we feel your pain,” or “we understand your loss,” but the fact of the matter is, we can’t do either.  What we can do, though, is be with you in whatever way we are able and needed, and send you our love, our thoughts, shared tears and laughter, and  keep our arms open, always, enough. . .

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