2nd Lieutenant Geyling

Our attention toward and various celebrations of Wilson in recent weeks culminated at his commissioning into the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant Infantry Officer on Saturday.  It was beautiful, sobering, full of hope & promise and overwhelming all at the same time…7b1a8251

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“Wilson Geyling is from Goleta, California. He is graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in History and Humanities. He is branching Active Duty Infantry. He is being pinned by his parents, Rolf and Trish Geyling, his siblings, Max and Olivia Geyling, and, in spirit, by his youngest brother, Rudy Geyling, who sure would have been happy to be here today. May he rest in peace. CPL(R) Joe Zombrano, U.S. Marine Corps will now render 2LT Geyling his first salute.”

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Our family had the honor of presenting Wilson with his bars.
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Olivia’s godfather and Marine veteran Joe Zambrano flew in from FL to give Wilson his first salute.

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‘So grateful to many of our friends and family for being a part of this special milestone
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Longtime friends Ryne and Miranda from youth group days surprised Wilson – so sweet
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Some circle time fun and sharing

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Words of affirmation from Uncle Steve
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‘Grateful Gma Jo and Oma could join us too

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The following day, the veterans in our church prayed over Wilson.  It was rich and sacred.

 

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Will you join us in their prayer?

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As if we hadn’t packed in enough goodness for one weekend, we tacked on a performance of Les Miserables at the Pantages in Hollywood.  I’m so glad we got to see this together as a family…it’s one of my favorite productions.

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I remember when I first saw Les Mis, I was deeply moved by the theme of redemption and love throughout the whole story but this time around, as I watched young Marius and his peers battle for freedom and reform, I cried the tears of a mother of a young soldier and sobbed at Jean Valjean’s prayer…

Click here to take a listen…

 
God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
 
He is young
He’s afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.
 
He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.
 
Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy
 
You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.
(Songwriters: Alain Boublil / Alain Albert Boublil / Claude Michel Schonberg / Herbert Kretzmer)

Oh! So moving!  Almost too much for this tender heart of mine.

Here’s another link to the whole 10th anniversary concert performance online…by far my favorite cast.

Sandwiched in between all that was Rolf’s birthday…it seems fitting he spent his birthday investing in his family.  I’m most grateful for the thousands of ways he invests in the children and influences their lives…critical thinking and humor are at the top of a very long list of attributes he is passing down.  Happy Birthday Rolfi!

Audio of prayer at church

A Sweet Tribute to Our Boy

My heart is deeply touched by Rolf’s dear colleagues who launched a precious tribute today for our little boy!  (I know, that’s a lot of descriptive verbiage but I’m excited.)

It is such an honor, I wanted to share it with you…

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Naming rights are typically reserved for $100,000+ pledges.  What a generous gesture for our Rudy.  Oh, how he loved the time he spent at the rescue mission…especially the courtyard.  We have asked you to participate in fundraisers for organizations like the American Heart Association and Camp del Corazon in Rudy’s honor over the years and our collective effort has raised over $60,000 for kids living with heart defects!!  Amazing. We have one more opportunity to honor Rudy benefitting others in crisis.  No obligation but if you feel moved to be a part of this tribute, you can click the link below OR print out the pledge card photo, fill it out and send it to 535 E. Yanonali St., SB, CA 93103!  🙂

Click here to donate

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Playing hide ‘n seek in the courtyard.

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Playing with trucks in the courtyard.

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Playing by  his own rules.

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Keep your eyes out for photos of the renovated facility and new Rudy courtyard next month!!   So special!  Thank you.

On Earth and In Heaven

My last post didn’t end with it’s publishing…God heard my heart and spoke directly to my concerns.  So here’s the rest of the story…

After writing about my struggle with “fading away”, the boys randomly shared one of their latest favorite songs with me and the third verse of the song took my breath away:

“Should the fire that once burned bright become an ember my eyes can’t see, I will remember Your sacrifice, I will abide in Your love for me”

Click HERE to listen to the whole song.  It is like salve to my soul every time I listen to it.  Now, I know that abide means to live or dwell but I wanted to see if there was a deeper meaning I could explore so I looked up its definition.  As if Merriam Webster wrote the third definition especially for me, I marveled at it’s relevance:

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Although the definition is in reference to a feeling or memory, it has a much more literal application for me..should the fire that once burned bright become an ember my eyes can’t see, I will remember Your sacrifice and continue without fading or being lost in Your love for me!!  Amen, Amen!!!!  Thanks Boys, your song recommendation rocks and the tender reminder of this simple truth helps cut the sting of today a bit – as do all the sweet, generous and inspired comments & messages from you, dear friends, thank you! 😉

Hey, speaking of inspired, the DP girls lacrosse team endured a tough loss at the championship on Friday but surfaced with big smiles thanks to good friends and some post-game IHOP pancakes!!

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The tears we shed, we all agreed, were over the fact that the season is over.  Selfishly, I wish lax were a year-round sport.  Thanks Girls for such a thrilling season and so many wonderful memory-making moments!!!

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Another season ended this weekend.  I officially handed my worship baton off to the kids on Sunday.  Although it’s not something I planned to do on Mother’s Day specifically, it seems poetic in retrospect.  😉  God used my involvement in worship ministry over the years to shape me and give me a special community of friends with whom I share a love for God and music!  To be entrusted with the task of leading others in worship is something I always considered an honor and never took for granted.  Though my heart will continue to worship, I’ll miss leading desperately.  How grateful I am it’s one activity done on earth AND in heaven!IMG_3610

Someday I’ll be able to do this again!

Livy and I got to go to a friend’s baby shower on Saturday too so I dusted off the Anna Quindlen essay I’ve given to all my new mom friends for decades…best advice ever and a sweet reflection to be reminded of on Mother’s Day weekend!

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So true!!  Olivia asked me at dinner last night what age I enjoyed parenting the most and I couldn’t choose.  I simply adored my babies, my toddlers were soooooo cute, I loved all the activity of the school years and, like Anna, I wound up with the three people I like best in the world (plus Rolf and Rudy, of course).  How grateful I am that love is something that exists on earth and in heaven!  😉  Praying for peace and lightheartedness in the midst of a string of emotionally packed days.

 

A Gradual Fade

Our family had another special evening out last night ;)…Olivia was honored at the SBART annual awards ceremony as athlete of the year for girls lacrosse.  ‘Such a sweet affirmation and I’m so grateful for the positive year she’s having.  I pray all this goodness is seared into her heart (all the kids’ hearts frankly) and buoys that precious heart for a long while!  After a string of evening commitments, however, I’m glad we’re staying in tonight, I need to rest up before tomorrow’s big game!!  Ha, ha

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The past couple of weeks have not only been an exercise in pacing myself physically, they’ve been an exercise in us pacing ourselves in midst of this disease as well.  I say “us” because, as you know, this is a team effort and the continual adjustments impact all involved in my care.  We’ve had a lot coming at us…more dr. appts than usual, the delivery of my breathing machine and not-so-smooth learning curve, the boys’ return and their adjustment to my greater dependency, my first cortisone shot to combat the tweaks that come with my continual loss of muscle, an increase in choking incidents, a brand new issue with pressure points and my losing the ability to lift a cup to take a drink depending on the time of day.  Frustration and irritability on my part seem to be on the rise too…understandable, no doubt, but certainly not optimal for all involved.  I so want to endure this journey with grace and dignity and patience…but sometimes that requires more energy than I can muster.  My frustration came to a head last night when I wanted to engage in a discussion with the kids about general life stuff and I just couldn’t…the brilliant insights 😉 are all there, what I lack is the ability to express them and that breaks my heart.  ‘Thousands of thoughts but only a few words.  Today I’m grieving all the things I feel I haven’t taught the kids yet…oh, I know, they’re smart and will figure life out beautifully, it’s just that we do life so well together and a big part of that for me has been the processing of life we’ve done together.  It’s one thing to fade from public life, it’s entirely different to feel like you’re fading from personal life.   How foreign it all is!

Ok, boo hoo, that’s enough.  I’m still praying for healing or a plateau or, better yet, Jesus’ second coming…join me?  Thanks friends!!!

My, Oh My!

This week has had so many fun thrills and it’s not over yet! The DP lady laxers pulled out a great win over Thatcher last Thursday to advance to the playoff semi finals!!!

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After a late night of celebrating…well, late for a school night…Rolf hit the road by 5am the following morning to get to San Diego, get Max and his stuff loaded and back up to Azusa in time for Wilson’s baccalaureate.  It was a long day I couldn’t do but I’m grateful Rolf and Max managed to make it all happen seamlessly.IMG_3454

Saturday was graduation and we all headed down together that day!  Wilson graduated with a double major in History and Honors College.  He had a full plate the past four years with ROTC and his on campus involvement (ie chapel band)…his determination served him well and it was a gift to celebrate him…

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Tuesday night was the semi finals game back at home against Valencia and, again, the girls emerged winners…

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Greg captured a sweet shovel shot on goal by Olivia that left the Valencia defense scratching their heads a bit 😉

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And Brooke had some amazing one-armed face-off saves like this one..so pretty to watch!

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Another solid goal pic (thanks Greg).

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A win so much sweeter with brothers home to cheer and share in the celebration!

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The championship game is THIS Friday!!  Win or lose the season will be over and that makes my heart hurt.  I wish it weren’t ending but I guess it’s time to move past the spring season and on to whatever summer has in store.  Go get ’em girls!  Finish strong!!!