As the summer winds down the activity level in our household is ramping up. Back-to-school shopping, garage storage reorganizing and car decorating are all indicators that Max and Olivia are ready for the new school year. Olivia headed off today for her first day of her Senior year with a giant smile on her face. Max is dutifully organizing his boxes of college gear and getting packed up for his return to Point Loma on Sunday. Wilson is busy keeping in tip-top physical condition with his daily workout regimen and ruck-marches and with Rolf at work that leaves me to hold down the fort at home. I have slowed down to a literal standstill making my fear of missing out escalate to an all-time high. Just this morning, for example, Rolf and Olivia went out to take the traditional first-day-of-school pictures and it was so hard for me to not be out in the middle of it. The family has their full days of activity, constantly coming and going (as they should and as I want them to)…I watch them come and go with a deep longing to be a part of the action. Unfortunately this is the new normal and I better figure out a way to be at peace with it before it drives me stark mad.
A few months ago I mentioned that I got a speech-generating device. One of my frustrations has been the lack of technical support I received from the company. My speech pathologist encouraged me to work with the technology before I actually needed it but the company rep with whom I was supposed to train was never available. ‘Turns out, it’s all a moot point after all because I lost use of my hands and my ability to communicate effectively at the same time. As a result I am now in the process of getting eye gaze hardware installed in the unit. It is very intuitive and easy to use and will be a game-changer for me in my ability to communicate my needs so please pray for a speedy response from insurance and all the powers-that-be. I really would love to have this resource while I can still move my eyes. So much of this process has been trying to get ahead of and prepare for an unpredictable disease which is particularly difficult when you’re also trying to conserve your energy for things that really matter. If only we had a crystal ball. Ha Ha!
Speaking of technology…we pulled out Rudy’s old iPad a couple of weeks ago to do some streaming on an old TV and were delighted to discover a video he recorded on our road trip along Route 66 the day before he passed away…Technology is amazing!
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:
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!!
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!!!
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!
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!
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.
To say that last night may have shaved a few months off my life would not be an exaggeration but OH. WAS. IT. WORTH. IT!!! Not only was it DP GLAX’s last home game of the regular season AND Senior Night AND Olivia’s 100th Varsity Goal but it also included a nail-biter of a game that went into double overtime with friendly local rivals San Marcos!! Oh my gosh. SO FUN!!!!
This is a story better told in pictures and, lucky for us, Greg Lawler captured all the action!
San Marcos played a really strong game from the start and the SM defense targeted Olivia most of the game 🙂 …
…but she was able to score 3 times and this is the celebratory stick click after goal #100!
We’re not bitter or anything but Greg captured proof of a bad crease violation call that cost Brooke a key goal! Look at her amazing foot placement (white cleats) outside the blue line ! ! 😉 Ha
Celebrating Sydney’s double OT, sudden death, game winning goooooooooooooooooal!
The boys were close at heart as evidenced in the family text thread after the game!!!
My heart is full and I share in Olivia’s Insta-gratitude…
The girls have one more big game against Thatcher before play-offs. Watching Livy and her team play is the highlight of my weekly routine right now…oh how I hate to see the regular season end…may they go far in the play-offs!
Ok, I know I’m over posting this week but I was really moved by the Good Friday service we went to last night and I wanted to record it here for future reference. The service was personally significant because everyone in my family participated in it but me…Rolf was asked to share a reflection on a passage from Isaiah, Olivia sang and the boys were in charge of the “hammer” and bell percussion. It wasn’t hard for me to feel a little left out at first (I’m finding that it isn’t hard to let go of things I no longer have the energy to do but it is difficult to no longer feel useful…especially in the areas where I had legitimate skill) but then my heart responded to the invitation to engage in what was happening and I was all in. 🙂 I know I’m going to want to reflect on it some more so I’m including my favorite parts below…you’re welcome to join me. The videos aren’t much to look at so I recommend you find a comfy place to sit, dim the lights, close your eyes and soak it in…
The heaviness and sadness of Christ’s crucifixion continues today on this dark Saturday of the Christian calendar but the celebration of the resurrection is just hours away!!! May the weight of all the sad and difficult things in life be lifted for us all as we get swept up in the joy and hope of Easter Sunday…and may we bask in a holy weightlessness for a long, long season to come!
Wilson is getting a lot of blog press this week! 😉 He is two weeks away from graduating so there will be more fun to report soon but this is a packed season for him both literally and emotionally as he turns the page on this very special chapter in his life at APU and transitions to the next.
Thanks to technology, we got to tune into a livestream of Wilson’s last chapel on campus and his worship team led the students in one of my favorite hymns. How special! Wilson’s prayer after the song ministered to me specifically when he prayed “may we be reminded of the visceral reality of the crucifixion”. More on that in a minute but here is the hymn and prayer filmed from the comforts of home…;)
I led worship at our church on Palm Sunday and got a little weepy missing Rudy as the children paraded around the sanctuary with their palm fronds…
Through my tears, I shared an insight that came to light for me the day before while reading the gospel accounts of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem (what we commemorate on Palm Sunday). I always considered Jesus’ suffering beginning in the garden of Gethsemane right before He was arrested when he asked God to take away what was to come and cried tears of blood…such a vivid image of his anguish. When I read Luke’s account, however, it’s clear that Jesus was heartbroken even before entering the city days earlier. He knew what was coming and wept for Jerusalem. What a sad and lonely few days that must have been for Jesus.
Although I’ve spent lots of time thinking about it, I’ve never really been able to identify with Christ’s suffering. I don’t know why…maybe it’s because of my Protestant upbringing where we can sometimes rush past the sorrow of Good Friday to indulge in the much more fun truths of Easter morning…or maybe it’s just how I’m wired but because I have the benefit of knowing Christ’s amazing victory, the depth of His suffering is hard for me to grasp and I think that’s okay…maybe the practical take away and value of pondering the Passion is not that I identify with Christ’s suffering but rather that I know that Christ is able to identify with my suffering…particularly comforting to me now. So, for me, today, to be reminded “of the visceral reality of the crucifixion” is to be reminded that my God, my humble Savior, the One who conquered the consequences of sin for me understands what it means to suffer and therefore understands my deepest heart cries. Thank you Jesus! Thank you for your empathetic love in the here and now and for the gift of eternal life to come…your journey of suffering gives me both!!!
In other news:
Olivia is TWO goals away from reaching her 100th varsity goal…we’re hoping she’ll reach this LAX milestone at Tuesday’s home game against San Marcos. If you’re local, you’re welcome to join us at DPs football field at 6pm. No individual athlete reaches these kinds of milestones alone…it’s a reflection of the whole team working well together and it’s such a delight to watch these girls play!
The MOHD Squad is excited to have the boys home this weekend. ‘Wishing you a blessed Good Friday and Happy Easter dear ones!!!!
Our biggest boy turned 22 on Tuesday and he spent a good bit of his birthday preparing for and sharing at an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) meeting on his campus. Luckily a friend taped it so we could enjoy it too. I’m so grateful for Wilson’s willingness to share and glimpses like this into the kids’ lives whether it be them sharing from the heart or their musical performances or athletic competitions because it’s all evidence of life being fully lived – especially important to me right now. Being able to process and finding healthy outlets are key to navigating life’s challenges and I’m grateful the kids are learning these important life lessons early. We’re also learning that we process differently (i.e Olivia’s art, Rolf’s poems, Max’s songs, Wilson’s testimonies, my blog posts to name a few)….and that’s not only okay but is something I cherish because the variety makes the collective experience so much richer.
Wilson, thank you for your loving tribute, for the reminder of all the goodness in Psalm 23 and the challenge to “maximize God”…well done!
Speaking of healthy outlets, here’s some more…
The DP Lady Laxers are on a fun winning streak as they near the end of their regular season…
Rolf’s latest poem:
Put down the scalpel Take off the apron no need for the broom or the gloves
Too many words only bring more confusion
The deepest mining won’t unearth a reason
Or uncover any satisfactory solution
The suggestions were all obvious before they were made None would be as welcome as some company in the helplessness Another to simply marvel at the mess
Yearning to draw close enough to feel the fire’s warmth against my cheeks Yet primed to leap back into darkness Your eyes know Your touch welcomes me where a grab will scare me off
Let me hear your small talk Let me chuckle at your jokes Not looking to be fixed Just to be OK for a moment
No right thing to say Words don’t bring the comfort Of a companion in the quiet
Hold on to your hats, folks, this is going to be a LONG post. If ever there was an event difficult to capture in words, it would be the reunion I enjoyed this past weekend. I spent a gap year in college touring with Up With People and my amazing cast gathered in Santa Barbara over the long President’s Day weekend for our nearly 33 year reunion!
For the unfortunate ones out there who have never experienced an encounter with Up With People, here’s a little background…
What would become known as UWP began in the mid-sixties through regional “Sing Out” performances linked to the Moral Re-armament movement (MRA). By 1968, J. Blanton Belk took leadership and separated from the MRA to create a non-profit, cross-cultural educational organization for the purpose of inspiring young people to make a difference in the world and build bridges of communication between people of all nations through music and community service. By the time I began my year in 1986, UWP had grown in popularity with 5 casts of 120 students each criss-crossing the world every year performing anywhere from venues in rural communities to high profile appearances like the Super Bowl Halftime!
My cast was made up of 120+ students and staff who came from 35 U.S. States, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Mexico, Panama, Canada, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Ireland, France, Italy, Switzerland, what was West Germany at the time, Holland, Belgium and Bermuda! (Did I leave anyone out? That’s me on the top row about a third of the way in from the left)
Some of the highlights for my cast included performing on TV at the World Cycling Championships, touring the Olympic Village in Colorado Springs, performing special corporate shows in Las Vegas, San Diego and Phoenix, participating in the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon in Canada with Shari Lewis (you know, the Lamb Chop lady) and Pat & Debby Boone, performing for the first lady (Nancy Reagan) and touring the White House, working at the Special Olympics in Connecticut, a meet and greet with singer Natalie Cole and the hundreds of school assemblies and classroom visits we had with children all over the world! 😉
I pulled out my UWP photo albums and memorabilia in preparation for the reunion and discovered this forgotten letter I wrote to my supporters when I returned from my tour. It’s kind of interesting to listen to my 21 year old self try to communicate the impact the experience had on me…
This time around we had over 50 (!) cast mates, a couple of spouses and a handful of the next generation descend upon our small town to “Raise A Ruckus” (*show tune reference) for 4 days in chilly, breezy Santa Barbara.
The weekend began with a group headed to Costco to stock up on food and beverages…5 carts and $1500 later…
Shortly after this picture was taken, I got a text from a friend of mine who works at Costco that read “I just saw a bunch of people who love you so much at Costco!”. Ha Ha I am NOT surprised that random small world connection was made. “Up, up with people. You meet ’em wherever you go.” (*another show tune reference)
The excitement for me built to a fever pitch on Friday as I anticipated seeing everyone that night AND having the boys home for a couple of days!!!! YAY!!!
I heard from several people prior to the reunion that they were nervous about coming…for some it was rooted in the insecurities that come with not having seen this group in so long, for many it was anxiety about seeing me. I totally get it and prayed that any fear or concern people were bringing with them would be wiped away completely once we were together and that is CERTAINLY what happened…
Saturday was another full day of hanging out. The cast assembled mid-afternoon for a circle time centered on ME and extending love and support to my family. Much to my surprise “TrishFest 2019” was unveiled in full!! Ha Ha Although it was very surreal and most humbling to have a significant amount of time focused on me, I felt the enormous love and embraced it all with much gratitude.
We dusted off the old songbook and serenaded each other with our show’s inspiring final anthem…(the kids brought their instruments and jumped in to accompany us with no run through! I LOVE that!!!)
Oh, and just in case you think the singing ended there…think again!
(Thank you Charlene, Deanna and ALL for putting yourselves out there…these videos definitely capture the thoughtful and fun spirit of this group)
The party continued well into the night with entertainment provided by Wilson, Max, J.D., our family friend Jeremy and a handful of others on shaker eggs and tambourines! 🙂
Coast Community Church nearly doubled in size on Sunday morning with the inclusion of the visiting Uppies! How precious is was for our family to share our church community with our out of town friends and vice versa…it was a magical morning of worship and friendship!
The fun continued throughout the day on Sunday and we all enjoyed dinner prepared by this capable crew:
Honestly, the greatest joy for me throughout the weekend was sitting back and watching small groups gather all over the house and backyard at any given time literally soaking each other up…there was so much catching up to do and laughter to be shared! Everyone really took advantage of every second!
I was sharing all about the reunion with a friend and she stopped me mid-sentence and pointed out that I used the word “freedom” several times in my description of the weekend and how poignant it is that I’d feel so free while being so restricted physically. I love that observation. It’s so true! Without the typical distractions of daily living, I have the freedom to truly live in. the. moment. FULLY and boy, I sure did that all weekend. I also experienced a refreshing freedom to speak bold words of encouragement into the lives of my friends. Not that I haven’t said encouraging things in the past but it hit me this weekend how many thousands of opportunities I missed out on in my lifetime to speak into the lives of others because I was shy or didn’t want to intrude on a person’s personal life or was too busy to sit and really observe what was going on around me. There were no such obstacles this weekend and it was a rich, rich time for me emotionally. In the same way, I felt the freedom to communicate my love but it didn’t feel sad like “this is the last time I’m gonna get to say it so I’ll say it” kind of thing…just a real genuine, “grab your face and look you in the eye” kind of thing. Of course, this is an easy crowd to encourage and love but there is a precious shift in perspective, nonetheless, when you live your emotional life knowing you have absolutely nothing to lose.
So now what? I kind of feel like 21 year old Trish after the tour ended not knowing where to go from here…my heart is so full, my body is so tired, I’m sad to see all the social media posts of everyone headed home and I so wish I could go to our 35th in Scottsdale, AZ! Who knows, maybe I will be able to. 😉
I asked Rolf what his take away was from the weekend and he said it was good for he and the kids to see me loved so well and how touched he is by the extravagance of Cast C! So sweet.
Well Cast C, you heard from the big guy himself! You are a loving and an extravagant group and we thank you for lavishing all that goodness on us! As I said in our circle time, the circumstances suck and I would give anything for things to be different but I am tremendously grateful for the time and presence of mind to be able to say “I love you and I’m so grateful for the remarkable history we share”.
P.S. I was so busy “living in the moment” I didn’t take any pictures this weekend so thank you all for the pictures and videos you shared with me…I give you photo and video credit! 😉
I recognize I ended my last post boasting about how gracefully I’m letting go of certain things in the ALS process and today’s post is about the not-so-very graceful subject of jealousy…it’s a contradiction, I know, but both are true…
Jealousy actually isn’t something I struggled with in my life in general…especially in recent years. I’ve certainly had my share of insecurities but those insecurities rarely manifested in being jealous of others which is why I’m surprised by the jealousy I’m experiencing now. It isn’t a constant feeling but is just under the surface and rears it’s ugly head from time to time…it surfaces when I’m out and about and see able bodied people busily going about their day without having to think twice about how they’re going to navigate their day…it surfaces when I swipe through my FB feed and see all the fun life being lived…it even surfaced this past week as I watched all the Kay and Zales Valentines commercials on tv wishing I could build my “Silver By Trish” business and fulfill by dreams of being the next “Tiffany and Co”. Ha Ha Ha Did you catch that? I’m jealous of Kay and Zales Jewelers?!?! That’s silly!
At times, though, it’s also more personal…I’m jealous of my friends who are living out or anticipating life transitions that I long to experience, I’m jealous of those I watch seemingly making all the “wrong” choices in life and yet are also seemingly thriving (OUCH! Super judgmental, I know!! Forgive me!) and I’m jealous of Rolf and the unique relationship he’ll have with our children in my absence. Eew! I don’t like the way any of that sounds but it’s good to speak honestly because I’m learning that jealousy loses a good bit of it’s power when it’s exposed. And just in case you fall into any of the categories listed above, DON’T FRET, because I’m also learning that my being jealous has NOTHING to do with the object of my jealousy and EVERYTHING to do with… me. It’s my burden to work through and grow from! Being jealous and bitter isn’t where I want to land but I am discovering some beautiful expressions of God’s mercy in the act of confronting and interacting with the dark feelings.
For example, the reason I’m jealous of Rolf also happens to be my deepest comfort in facing death! How grateful I am that Rolf is a good dad, has a close relationship with our kids, communicates well with them and will be living life with our kids for us BOTH!!! What a huge gift!! God has also given me a gift in the area of music…especially as it relates to worship. It’s no secret that leading worship is something I’ve cherished since I was a young adult and is the last remaining commitment on my weekly calendar. With an amazing amount of practical support from my bandmates, I’ve been able to continue to lead worship at my church much longer than I thought possible. My contributions are stripped down though…I’m no longer able to sing lead in most of our songs and I packed away my guitar for the last time this past week…I just don’t have the arm strength to keep up with any kind of tempo anymore. What I can offer musically has been whittled down to a few harmony lines and a strike or two of the tambourine 🙂 and it’s clear that my season as a music maker and corporate worship leader is nearing it’s end. I can feel it coming and it breaks my heart.
God’s mercy in all this for me is the kids. God has allowed life to unfold in such a way that one of my greatest personal heartbreaks is being met with one of my greatest joys…the partnership I’ve had with my kids over the years in leading worship at our church is allowing me to pass the baton of leadership (figuratively and literally) to these precious souls that I know intimately, wholly trust and couldn’t be more inspired by! Wow! What. a. gift. Instead of being jealous, I’m overjoyed! I don’t put this in writing to put any kind of expectation on my children because their journey will be their own and I trust that…this is about me…in this moment…and how God is lovingly dulling the sharp pain of this transition through my kids. It makes me chuckle, really, because it’s not like our kids’ involvement in music is something we orchestrated or pushed in our household…Rolf and I didn’t even invest in music lessons for our kids for heaven’s sake!! I think music was just something Rolf and I valued through our different tastes in music and various expressions of appreciation and we invited the kids to enjoy it with us. Once introduced, they took control of their own relationship with music and are already far more musically literate and gifted than me. Combine that with a thirst for God and, wow, there’s power in that.
(The expression of Wilson’s heart means the most to me in this recent video…at 4:20 especially – sing it Wilson!)
(Max has the gift of making worship FUN…)
(Olivia has a confidence in her expression through singing that inspires me…and how grateful I am that she can sing my soprano parts!)
I praise God for entrusting these three to me and, in turn, I’m able to entrust something I cherish to them – without hesitation. May God continue to reveal Himself through their pursuit of Him and in their offering of praise…individually and together!!! 🙂
We are soaking up the richness of this time together in so many ways…through the sweet spirit of our church’s Christmas Eve service last night followed by time with good friends playing fun games late into the night risking crossing paths with Santa and quietly cozied up at home together today. 🙂 It’s precious and peaceful.
Max wrote a 4-part a’cappella arrangement to this Chris Tomlin song and pulled it together for the Christmas Eve service with the help of his siblings and the Knight sisters!!!
I was also able to carry out the traditional singing of “Silent Night” in German despite doubting whether or not I could pull it off with my limitations! Yay! Luckily, most people don’t know whether or not I’m butchering the enunciation anyway!! Ha Ha…Yay! This is for you, Oma 😉
We’ll spend the rest of today relaxing and resting up for the invasion of Geyling cousins arriving tomorrow. We’re looking forward to 4 days of extended family fun…as we anticipate Rolf’s family’s arrival, I can’t help but think about how thrilled Rudy would be to be here and in the middle of all the fun to come but I guess that’s true for me everyday. Merry Christmas Rudy…give Jesus a birthday hug for us please!