November 21st, 2012
The late 80′s were great years for me. I had finally mastered the English language and made some amazing friends I hold dear to this day. This is the time when I met Heather. She was this fun, petite blonde that rocked my world! Our backgrounds and family history were different, but we bonded over Jr. High School and Wednesday night youth group. Those years were a blast, summer/winter/anytime camps were so much fun and I have nothing but the fondest memories of my early teenage years.
The last summer of the 80′s into 1990 is when our friendship thrived. We would hop on our bikes on Saturday mornings and just go wherever the road would take us, it was a nice little taste of freedom before we got our licenses. We had to have our weekend break from bike riding when we reached Thrifty. One scoop of chocolate brownie ice cream for $0.25… yup, you read that right… 25 CENTS!!! Best scoop of ice cream there ever was.
1990 was our last year of school together. Choir, more camps and then our lives took separate paths but we were able to remain close… closer at times not so much other times. Then came her wedding and her beautiful children. Years later she was the Matron of Honor at my wedding while her oldest daughter was my flower girl. And many, many years later came my babies. We’ve experienced the ups and downs in each other’s lives and have been able to maintain the love that holds our friendship.
As the years go by it gets harder and harder to get together often. Between work, home and keeping up with the kids, it doesn’t happen very often. The last time we got together was two years ago until this past weekend. I was going to be in the area and had to make my way to her, and it dawned on us, that we had never been together with all our kids at the same time. It was a short visit full of long hugs and kind words and a photo session, of course.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I know I am thankful for great, long lasting friendships.
November 19th, 2012
Thanks to social media time slips through our fingers without actually weighing how fast time flies, until you realize it’s been over a year since you’ve seen your friends! One year and a half ago I wrote this post about my dear friend being pregnant again after 16 loooong years. We had an awesome baby shower last October and baby Sophia was born last November.
I’ve seen her baby pictures since day one. I’ve kept up with her first little steps and funny little laugh on Facebook. So you can see why I was in total shock when her birthday invitation came in the mail, and it hit me that a year had gone by and I had yet to meet little Sophia. Her mama calls me bad Auntie, and that’s fine with me. I was a very bad auntie.
Yesterday was a wonderful day full of fun and laughs and it was also a great reminder that real face time and human interaction is so much better that keeping up online.
I promise not to let another year go by without soaking up all this baby goodness. Say hello to little Sophia.
November 9th, 2012
The last few months have been hectic and I’m happy to finally have some time to write a new post. However, the circumstances that bring me to this post are heartbreaking.
As you all know, the East Coast was hit by hurricane Sandy last week and the devastation it caused is beyond comprehension. What is also beyond comprehension is the lack of response by those in charge and the sense that these great people have been left to fend for themselves. A lot of places are still without power, without heat and without anything except the clothes on their backs after losing everything!
Because when catastrophe strikes I always feel the need to find a way to help, I wanted to find a way to help locally. Don’t get me wrong, I think donating to the Red Cross or The Salvation Army (my favorite) is great, but sometimes it seems as though things fall through the cracks and the ones that need to most help go unnoticed. So I came across Laura who is based out of New Jersey. She has a great blog about crafts and artsy goodies but over the last week she has transformed it as an outreach program to get some basic necessities to NJ.
This is how Socks for Sandy was born. With the cold already arriving and the overwhelming donations of clothes, the tiny basic things are missing like NEW underwear and socks. She has put together a drive to collect these items. It’s not a lot she’s asking for, just undies and socks. You can do that, right? You can click on the picture below to read her personal experience with Sandy and to get more information on how to help. Donations of socks and underwear can be sent to:
Socks for Sandy
P.O. Box 520
Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087
Because the need is urgent, a deadline of November 14th has been set to receive donations, but anything coming in after that will still be accepted. Please look inside your heart and help a worthy cause. Thank you!
August 17th, 2012
Her claim to fame came in the late 80′s when it was discovered that Betty Wagner and her sister Juanita had been pen pals of Anne Frank and her sister, to us she was just Aunt Betty.
She was this gentle, kind old lady that was the instrument God used to bring us to the United States. I met her for the first time when I was 10. My dad referred to her as his adoptive mother, his mom passed when he was 21 and Aunt Betty became that figure in his life. He met her on one of her mission trips to Chile.
She traveled throughout the world and left a long lasting footprint in many lives and many hearts, not just ours. She began Wayfarers Ministry whose sole purpose was to meet the financial needs of so many missionaries throughout the world in their time of need. Her ministry ran like a well oiled machine, leading many to think that they were dealing with a huge operation. Every Saturday after we came to the States we would meet up with Aunt Betty in her garage in Burbank, CA and, alongside other seminary students and volunteers, we would put together care packages for missionaries worldwide.
She always wore pastel colored, polyester pants. She was a no non-sense type of lady, stern but loving with a heart of gold. She had a map of the world in her home with little pins marking every place in the world she had been to. I used to love staring at that map and seeing all the great and strange places she had visited.
Two years ago we all got together at her house. She had recently suffered a stroke and we had not been all together with her in some time, we had an amazing time. It was during that visit that my brother and I sat with her for hours asking about her correspondence with Anne Frank and about her life. She shared pictures and letters with us and she gave me a book, “Wayfarers: Pilgrims and Strangers Seek the City Not Made With Hands”. She wrote and published this book in the late 1990′s and it’s about her life and ministry. I can’t believe I didn’t ask for it before. I was able to see what made her the amazing, tough woman she was and how she set to change the world. I learned through her book that you don’t have to be rich or famous to make a difference. That we are all meant to make small or big differences based on our circumstances, we just need to be willing. Some travel the world, and some stay home and send in a check. It’s all an important aspect of helping those in need. No amount of work is too small, it all matters.
Some time last year my dad relocated her to a senior home nearby, she could no longer live on her own. The last few weeks I kept telling myself I needed to go visit her. We get so caught up with the daily routine that time slips through our fingers and then we’re left with regret. I finally decided that now was the time, rain or shine… Aunt Betty or bust. I received news from my dad last night that she passed and all of a sudden I can’t recall what kept me so busy from seeing her one last time. My heart aches for my loss but I know that she is in a place where all the hard work she did on this earth is being rewarded. I will miss her terribly and will always be grateful for the opportunity of a better life that she provided for my family and so many other families. I will read her book again and hope that at the end of my life I would have lived it with purpose and passion like she did. Aunt Betty, you were loved by all your adoptive children and you will be missed.