Monday, December 26, 2011


Sister of

Still Here,
With my only gift,
Given by God,
Given to share
Given to others
My Blessed example
My sister,

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Gift of Time

I believe in the example God set for this season, of our Savior’s birth, as a time of giving of one’s self. This year my gift to family and friends is so precious to me, that I am having difficulty explaining my reasoning and its value, even to my own family. I hope someday they will understand me better and know that I actually have a new and deeper sense of the Spirit of Christmas.

Until I lost my sister, Joanne, original blogger of this blog I am not sure I realized how time could be so painfully short and priceless. I also am more aware that this is a difficult to package gift. It surely does not come with any warranty or guarantee of anything, either!

My time is difficult to measure for the recipient on the pleasure scale too! Apparently enjoyment is not promised! Patrick probably doesn’t enjoy every minute with Nana and as I help my dad this past week review his eating habits and find new ways to limit his salt intake, he has doubts about the current value of this gift too!

As a matter of fact, I am thinking about weighting out six pounds of water and setting them on his kitchen counter today. He has lost 6 pounds in six days. Do you think he can see sometimes a gift is not having something, like this much water weight, leaning on his failing heart valves?

There is no exchange policy either! It can’t be given back or returned and once it is gone, it is gone. I hope that as I give this most precious gift, it will be a time of thoughtful consideration at least for me of what the Gift is that I am celebrating this Christmas. Thank you dear heavenly Father, for Your Son, for His Birth, His Life, and His Death so that I have Your Eternal Gift of Salvation!

Merry Christmas to All….Re (Nana)

PS, In the Spirit of Joanne and giving time, my sister Margaret has put together and published Joanne's writings so everyone can read her truly inspirational Christian jounal. Here is the link to download or purchase a paper copy-bless you Margaret and Michael too!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sister Still Here Celebrates Joanne's Birth Date

Today, Joanne would be 50 years old. A milestone hard to appreciate for many. I wish she was here to celebrate it with us but since she is not physically here, I will eat some candy in her honor!

Although I have several sisters, ( I am one of 5) it was only the last girl-my baby sister Joanne that I had any awareness of our family preparing for her birth. I am not sure how prepared we ever really were but I hope as Jesus's birth celebration draws near, I am learning how to prepare!

A simple memory about Joanne's pending arrival reminds me the importance of sharing good news, especially with family members!

Joanne’s expected birth was pointed out to me by my nun/ teacher who asked me if I was excited about “getting a new brother or sister”?

I was clueless about the pending arrival at that point so I listened as the teacher explained about my mom’s expanding waistline. (This was sometime after school had started in September, I was eight years old).

I remember going home that day, excited to inquire about this new information. I can remember looking up at my mom’s tummy and thinking about what my teacher had said to me. My mom had on dark blue plaid top. She seemed please about my question and I remember her letting me rest my hand on her midsection as she spoke about the baby growing inside of her.

I have wondered after I grew up had she told me before and it hadn't registered? I can see now that might have been the case especially when I see how many times I missed hearing and understanding other important details in my life. I am blessed that when God wanted me to know about Him, he marked it with very impressive events to catch my attention. I wish sometimes I was not so slow with my progress of getting to know Jesus. I would want to tell Joanne how key she was in my journey, but if Joanne hadn't shown me how to depend on God in her final days, I am not sure where I would be now, surly things would be different, but it is hard to know if it could be "better".

I think back to the day of learning about Joanne and I remember telling the nun we already “had” a baby as Margaret was less than two years old at the time and mom still called her “baby”.

I think there was some explaining from my mom about how big Margaret was, how she could walk and say little words so she was not going to be a "baby" much longer . Margaret was only 16-18 months old, clearly deciding who is a baby and for how long infancy lasts is relevant to .

It may have been the same day or several days or weeks later I remember her showing me the bassenet and explaining that was where the baby would sleep. I wondered later if I was asking about the arrangements because even as little as I was I do think I was aware that we lived in a very small two bedroom, one bathroom house.

Now, I particularly enjoy remembering and talking about any specific occasion. Please share any of your favorite times with Joanne. I know several of us sister’s recall the “famous to all that were involved, car trip” but surely there are many others as Joanne had so many friends!

My Secret Place

Where are the words that are in my heart?

Why are they hiding when I want to start,

To let you know I’ve received a gift?

God gave me a secret place to go,

With a reason to pray, that only I know.

The place is my darkened room at night,

When things go bad and nothing is right.

It’s a lonesome place you’d probably say,

But a perfect place to kneel and pray.

God hears my woes and my silly cries,

And I hear Him say “Child dry your eyes”

How could I forget this gift that He gave,

His Son crucified so I could be saved?

Then all of a sudden my doubts disappeared

All of my worries and all of my tears.

Don’t keep your worries in a secret place

Invite God in and accept His grace.

God knows your worries, doubts, and fears

So give them to Him-I’ve done it for years

My secret place is a secret no more.

Jesus has my heart and the guilt I wore!

J.J. Bowman

I was gifted with this poem over the weekend as I shared my faith and heart

with my neighbor / friend, Joyce. I wanted to somehow share and celebrate Joanne’s gift to me, not by being my baby sister, but as a Christian woman of strong faith. She entered this world 50 years ago today!