Skipping Stones With Ghosts 

There are times when I just want to be alone

Left to my own mind to find my way home

Then as I throw another stone off the coast

I realize I’m skipping stones with ghosts

Memories of a past I can’t let go

Crashing like the waves with each throw

The girl’s heart I broke

With each harsh word I spoke

The tears my mom would cry

With each and every lie

The one I let get away

Because the words I couldn’t say

Antique shopping every Saturday afternoon

I’d say no, a million other things I’d rather do

The show you wanted to see I said we couldn’t afford

The truth is I thought I would be bored

More thoughts, more regrets, kept pouring in

Like they were riding the ocean wind

The far away sound of a single sea gull

Another memory I wish I couldn’t recall

During the holidays how you loved to decorate

Singing We Wish You A Merry Christmas and Jingle All The Way

All the presents you loved to give

All these memories I can’t relive

It’s time to clear my head

Wake my heart from being dead

Time to put these memories on a stone

Let each go with each stone thrown

Every regret, every emotion

Drown them in the ocean

I’m no longer the person I was

Forgiven, me and all my flaws

Three Feet Of Water by Brantley Gilbert – 

Find You Here by Ellie Holcomb – 

Never Been A Moment by Micah Tyler – 

Seasons by Fight The Fade – 

That Was Then, This Is Now by Josh Wilson – 

A Lot Of Things Different by Kenny Chesney – 

Burdens Of The Past by Amber Pacific – 

My Past by Donnie McClurkin – 

Leave The Memories Alone by Fuel – 

Dead Memories by CrossFade – 

The Last Leaf

Image result for last leaf on a tree
painting by John Edwards

 

I watched her clinging to life. The last leaf on the tree.  I didn’t know if I should feel sad for her or if I should admire her.

Should I feel sad for her? I mean, she is the last leaf. All the other leaves are gone. Her husband, her kids, her close friends, her distant relatives. All of them were gone. Why was she still clinging to life?  Why would she want to hang on?

It was then that I thought I should admire her.  She was strong. She had more to say. Yes, she longed to be with her friends and family but she wasn’t done with this life yet.

She gave me hope.  She gave me a reason to continue. The cold winds blew, she held on.  The rains came, she held on. The snow came, she held on. I knew if she could do it that I could do it too. There wasn’t anything that could take me down. I had a story to tell. I had a reason to hold on.

Every day I looked at that leaf. I wondered how she could do it. Some days were worse than others.  At least that’s how I felt. I swear that she smiled at me. Even in the worst conditions I felt like she was smiling. I wondered what she was up to. I wondered what did she know that I didn’t know.  Where did she find her joy?

Winter faded to spring. The warmer weather brought the green buds to life. The leaf held on. The new leaves overtook the tree.  I had to look hard to find her but she was still there.

Then one day she was gone. I saw her on the ground.  I imagined she stayed long enough to teach the new leaves what she knew. I could see her looking around with a smile on her face. I could see her saying it’s okay. I could see her saying it is now my time and then letting go of the branch.

Image result for one leaf on the ground

I had to pick her up and take her home. I put her in my scrapbook along with the picture of my grandma. She reminded me a lot of my grandma.  Tenacious, stubborn, lived longer than most of the people she knew, and she passed down her words of wisdom. She passed down her Bible, with all her underlined and highlighted passages. Words that spoke to her.

I know it may be silly, since she was just a leaf, but she taught me a lot. She helped me to remember a lot. She helped me to be thankful for what I have. She taught me to cling to life.  It is precious.

I am thankful for that leaf. I am thankful for my grandmas and grandpas. I am thankful for my parents. I am thankful for my teachers. I am thankful for all the military. I am thankful for all those that have come before me, that have paved the way for me.  The ones who gave me words of wisdom and taught me lessons. The ones that encouraged me, that gave me life, that gave my dreams life. To all of you I say thank you.

Image result for the fall of freddie the leaf
If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it.

Image result for 1 timothy 5:1-3

In The Time That You Gave Me by Bradley Walker feat Joey Feek – 

My Last Breath Here (Joey’s Song) by JK Nick Nichols – 

Tears Of Joy by Phil Wickham – 

See You There by Joey Feek – 

To Say Goodbye by Joey & Rory – 

Live On by Olivia Newton John – 

After You’re Gone by Iris Dement – 

Love, Me by Collin Raye – 

Sing Me To Heaven by Bradley Walker – 

The Last Leaf by Blackmore’s Night – 

Last Leaf by Tom Waits – 

Last Leaf by Ok Go – 

Last Leaf On The Tree poem spoken by Dr. James Dobson – 

 

I Remember

001

Growing up I always felt like I had a photographic memory. If not, I think it was pretty close. School was pretty easy for me and I hardly ever had to study because I could remember a lot. I know I didn’t have a true photographic memory because I did struggle in some classes, geometry for one. I did have a pretty good memory though.

I remember the one and only home run I ever gave up. It was in little league. I still remember how I felt. I knew as soon as it hit the bat it was going to go far. I think that 35 years later it is probably still be going. That’s how hard it was hit.

I remember the cold and snowy day my parents told my brother and me they weren’t going to get a divorce. I don’t remember knowing they were getting a divorce but I remember when they said they were staying together.

I’ve never been able to remember quotes from movies. I remember a lot of music though. I can’t memorize a bible verse. I know the gist of the verse and can look it up but to say Romans 1:8 or John 2:9 says this, I can’t do it. I can remember who my favorite athletes were growing up and most of their stats.

As I have gotten older, I still remember most things, except where I put my car keys. Strangely enough, I seem to forget a lot of things my wife asks me to do also. I catch myself forgetting some things though. I don’t think I would remember anyone’s birthday without Facebook. Phone numbers, forget it. I can barely remember mine but I blame that more on technology and not having to memorize them like we had to do when we were younger.

I worry about our younger generation. It doesn’t seem like they have to use their brains like we used to. Technology has let them not memorize things because they are stored in their devices. They can do an entire research paper from their laptop. When we had to go to library and get 3-4 books and read and translate it to paper and proofread it etc, our brains had to think. Now it’s copy and paste, proofreading is done for them – as long as the right word is used (red vs read, two vs too, etc.) There is not a computer that would correct that, it takes making your brain think about what you are writing.

The brain is a funny instrument. If you don’t use it, you can lose parts of it. Just like any other muscle in your body, it will deteriorate with time if you don’t use it. Challenge your brain, try memorizing phone numbers. Try doing brain game puzzles and thinking games. Keep alert.

I am writing this today because my wife is currently in Florida taking care of her mom who was recently diagnosed with early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her mom is having some depression because of it. Her mom passed away from Alzheimer’s Disease. Medicine and technology have came a long way since then but there is still no cure. Kim is also worried for her future since this seems to be hereditary. I pray that she cast her anxieties, worries and fears on you God.

I just can’t imagine what people with Alzheimer’s Disease go through. Forgetting how to do simple tasks, forgetting who your spouse, your children are, forgetting where you are or not remembering how to get home. I do know that God is always with you and He will never forget who you are. He knows what you are going through and I pray you will remember the peace that God can bring.

Dear God, I pray that You will comfort Pat as she begins this phase of her life. You know what she is going through and I pray that You will bring her comfort and peace in her times of confusion. I pray that she will find rest in Your arms. I pray for her husband Frank that You will give him strength and patience during this time. I pray for Kim and all her siblings that they know You are there and that You are walking beside their mom. I pray You are with all the grand-kids as they learn more and try to understand what is going on. In your name, amen.

I love you Meme.

For more information on Alzheimer’s Disease please visit alz.org or call the helpline 1-800-272-3900.

Could I Have This Dance by Anne Murray – Mom and Frank’s song 

Grandpa Tell Me About The Good Ole Days by The Judds – 

You Carry Me by Moriah Peters – 

Just Be Held by Casting Crowns – 

Shoulders by For King & Country – 

I Am by Crowder – 

Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets – 

Healing Hand of God by Jeremy Camp (devotional video)  – 

Hope Now by Addison Road – 

I Will Remind You by Brian Asselin – 

Sometimes by Charlie McGettigan – 

I Will Remember For You by David Michael Mainelli –

That’s How I’ll Remember You by David Nail – 

I’m Not Gonna Miss You by Glen Campbell – 

Where’ve You Been by Kathy Mattea – 

Remember Me by Chris Mann – 

From His Window by John Smith (musicians for a cause) – 

Let Go by Dewayne Woods – 

Mighty To Save by many but this one Laura Story – 

House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert – 

This Is The Time by Billy Joel –