kindness


On June 8, 2013 two of my favorite people in the entire world celebrate a rare and wonderful  milestone. My parents, Greg and Carol have been married for 50 years!

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These two people have blessed me with a fun, exciting, and loving upbringing. To this day, they still help me with the basics of growing up. They share their wisdom, patience, love, and kindness with me and the rest of our extended family as well as a plethora of friends around the globe. They deserve much happiness and love from all of us.

So what does it take to be married to someone for 50 years? Who knows. I’m not sure there is a formula—except the basics like love, trust, generosity, kindness, laughter, joy, forgiveness. You know what that sounds like to me? The fruit of the Spirit. These two souls have God’s Spirit working in them and through them and it shows.

My dad and my mom probably have some other words of wisdom on how they’ve stayed together for so long. Maybe some selective hearing, some earplugs, some giving up of the remote control and so forth. All I know is that I love them and I am so glad they are taking care of each other.

Congratulations mom and dad!!

Below are some photos from their wedding. I can see some of my cousins in there plus and aunt and uncle and some grandparents. The wedding photographer was a friend  who took some shots for them and the getaway hot rod mobile is there—the thing that made dad look “cool” back then, I’m sure.

Aunt Elaine and Uncle Johnny and cousins with Mom.

Aunt Elaine and Uncle Johnny and cousins with Mom.

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Mom with grandpa Crowe

Mom with grandpa Crowe

The Wedding Party.

The Wedding Party.

The explaining starts today, the selective hearing starts tomorrow

The explaining starts today, the selective hearing starts tomorrow

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The new Mrs Carol and Mr. Greg Crowe

The new Mrs Carol and Mr. Greg Crowe

With Grandma Andrews.

With Grandma Andrews.

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The hot ride!

The hot ride!

Mom and grandpa Crowe

Mom and grandpa Crowe

My baby girl kitty cat is missing. I don’t know where she is or if she’s even alive. Some of you may not understand the love and bond you can feel with an animal, but if you do, you know that our little furry companions are part of our families. And when they are lost, it’s a BIG deal.

My little Karma got out of the house last weekend and instead of jumping over to my neighbor’s deck for an hour to sunbathe and stare at their dog through the safety of the glass window, she got lost and has not returned. I don’t know if Greg the owl got her, or if she got hurt in a fight and crawled somewhere to die, or if some kind-hearted person took her in and is feeding her. What I do know is that even with my other pets around, my house feels empty and I miss her very, very much.

For 15 years Karma has made me mad with her scratching up my paperwork, messed up my computer by sitting on it, stuck her paw in my water glass, meowed in my ear when I was sleeping, punched out the dog she resents, and thrown up in my bed. But, over the course of the last horrible year as I cried and cried over the loss of my family, she comforted me. Is she gone for good? I don’t know. It’s like Schrödinger’s cat. (Look it up if you’re not a Big Bang Theory fan or a physicist.)

What I really was moved to write about today is the profound support and help I’ve been getting from my friends and neighbors. My HOA board sent out a blast email for me to alert neighbors about Karma. Other neighbors have physically gone out looking for her and talked to their neighbors to see if they’ve seen anything. I’ve gotten half a dozen phones calls and lots of prayers and support from work colleagues and other friends.

Ten years ago when I moved into this house I thought I’d be here maybe five years then would go on to bigger and nicer digs. Well, obviously life and the economy got in the way of that. And I’m glad. I’ve refinanced twice and am finally fixing up the place because (and I’m just saying God—don’t make this a test or anything) I’m staying. I’ve never lived around such nice, friendly, caring people before. As I get to know more and more of my neighbors (the place is a townhome community with about 500 units), the more I am amazed at what a great place this is and it’s all because of the people here. I don’t know what the magic formula is. We are a mixed bag of races, religions, and ages. There are singles, families, blue and white collar workers, and long-and short-term transplants and locals. Of course there are occasionally the disagreements and issues here and there but I have to give a shout out to my peeps in Amberleigh—there’s lots of “good Karma” in the hood.

So, Karma is still missing and in between my bouts of tears I am getting by because of the amazing and wonderful caring support of my neighborhood family. How blessed am I? Well, God is putting me through some trials this year but he’s also giving me a great support system to survive the storm.

Oh, and if you see my baby, please give me a shout.

Karma, tuxedo cat missing since March 16.

Karma, tuxedo cat missing since March 16.

Karma, sweet kitty hanging on the neighbors deck.

Karma, sweet kitty hanging on the neighbors deck.

Karma boxing with the Grendel dog.

Karma boxing with the Grendel dog.

Karma on her throne. Have cushion, will sleep. Anywhere.

Karma on her throne. Have cushion, will sleep. Anywhere.

Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone, I can talk about real love. I say that because I’m an anti-Valentine’s day kind of person. Now, hold your judgment for one minute while I explain. I actually love romance. I’m a hopeless romantic. But to me, stamping a date on a calendar that puts pressure on men to deliver something special takes the fun and the romance out of the equation. We’ve commercialized this romantic love into a special love-day package. Step one; make reservations at a restaurant where they have a special meal including dessert and wine at a neatly packaged price. Step two; buy a bouquet of flowers and some chocolate (or if you’re a lucky girl, some major bling). Step three; smile, and know that any responsibility or creativity in displaying your love and feelings for your wonderful girlfriend has been taken care of for you so any real intimate sentimentality or originality has been squashed.

Me? I want to know that my true Love is thinking about me at random times during the day when we are apart. I want him to show me that—in his own unique way—be it a text, a flower on a random day, a note that shows he’s been paying attention to what’s important to me, or maybe just a smile and a kiss when we are standing in line. Romance for me is that he knows I hate calling repairmen to come fix things so he does that for me without asking. That he knows I love to watch Downton Abby so he stays quiet during the episode and records it for me if I’m going to miss it. Or that he listens when I rant and doesn’t always try to fix what’s wrong, just supports me and lets me know he’s on my side and there for me. That’s love to me. That’s romance. Oh, and a quiet lovely vacation on a secluded beach “don’t stink much neether.”

But let’s talk about love in general—not just romantic love. Love has many meanings, both in the dictionary and to each individual. It is the most talked about subject on the planet and for good reason. Want to know why we are here? It’s to love. To love each other and to love our creator, God.

One of the things that made me know I was on the right track when I finally put my faith in Christ was that all the questions I was having about things I didn’t understand in the Bible and in the world were put aside as something that I could trust God about and that would be revealed to me later (or not). Why could I trust Him? Faith. But also because Jesus told us what we really need to remember.

“Love one another; just as I have loved you, you are to love one another.”

He said “love” three times in one sentence and since Jesus didn’t stutter, I’m pretty sure he was emphasizing the word, love.

All of us—Christians and non Christians alike could use a dose of this every morning. A daily reminder of how wonderful the world would be if we first chose to love.

I was listening to the radio the other day and the speaker I was listening to said we are living in an “I” world. There’s the iPhone, the iPad, iTunes…you get my drift. He said we need to get out of that thinking and start helping each other. Interesting thought.

So, how to start.

Well, for me, I’ll start by not getting upset at the other drivers on my way to work tomorrow morning. I’ll look in the eye of the guy with his hand out and give him at the very least my respect and concern. I’ll pray for the people who hurt me and my family and friends and boldly ask God to turn their hearts toward love. And I’ll keep looking for my allusive true Love. But in the meantime am very blessed and thankful for the love of my family and friends.

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