Posted in Memorials, Military, Patriotic

In Remembrance of Pearl Harbor

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May we never forget.

All rights reserved by Vanessence

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Other posts I’ve found about Pearl Harbor you might find interesting:

Photos stored in camera for 68 years – Pearl Harbor Bombing (RE-POST) « PUMABydesign001’s Blog

EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT ON THE ATTACK OF PEARL HARBOR, DECEMBER 7, 1941 (RE-POST) « PUMABydesign001’s Blog

Pearl Harbor was in smoke, and Utah pilot was alone in the sky | The Salt Lake Tribune

Marathon Pundit: Pearl Harbor Day: Crew removing WWII fighter from Lake Michigan

Bookworm Room » Let’s remember Pearl Harbor

Posted in Memorials, Patriotic

In Remembrance

In_Remembrance_of_September_11th

I will never forget.

~Vanessa

Posted in Memorials, Personal, Sorrow

The Memorial

Today weighs heavy on me.  Six months ago today, my husband died, happening even on the same day of the week.  My last Shabbat as a wife was Valentine’s Day.  Somehow that seems … appropriate, in a weird way.

  • 6 months is
  • 182 days is
  • 15,724,800 seconds is
  • 262,080 minutes is
  • 4368 hours is
  • 182 days is
  • 26 weeks is
  • 49.73% of 2020 is
  • Yesterday is
  • Forever

So I’m naturally a whirl of memories, about his death and the aftermath.  I don’t think I ever shared with you anything about the memorial we had for him in June, once the Corona “shelter-in” had mostly passed.  This six month “milestone” seemed like a good time to do that.

Thank you for listening.

Love, Vanessa ❤

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The Rabbi asked my son if he would like to speak at his father’s memorial.  I expected him to say, “No.”  He’s just 18, and that’s a pretty overwhelming thing – for anyone, but especially for a young man.  To my surprise he nodded and said, “Yeah, I think I would.”

The Rabbi and I encouraged him, strongly, to take notes on what he wanted to speak about.  Every few days I’d ask if he’d written anything and he’d tell me he hadn’t.  I didn’t want to nag, but this felt like too important an occasion to not prepare speech notes.  At some point my son said to me, “I’m just going to wing-it, mom.”  I didn’t want to add to any pressure so I decided to trust him and didn’t mention it again.

When it was time, he went to the mic and told a story.

He began [and I’m paraphrasing], “At the men’s retreat recently, we were talking about fathers and sons, and the way that fathers can sometimes wound their sons without meaning to, and how it can be hard for sons to overcome those wounds as they become men themselves.  Everyone seemed to have a story and then it was my turn and I thought a lot about that, and realized …  I don’t have any wounds from my dad.  My dad was a great dad.  We were friends, as well as father and son.  He never wounded me.  He just loved me.”

I could only weep.  Is there a better epitaph a son could make for his father?  I suspect most of us have a wound or scar from our parents, things and memories we struggle with, that can often impact our very identities.  I also suspect most of us parents worry about the scars we may leave on our own children.  I know my husband worried about that.  He’d have been blown away if he could have heard our son say what he did at the memorial.

My daughter didn’t speak, but she did sing.  She led a trio and sang “It Is Well With My Soul.”  My husband would be so flipping proud of her!  He’d be thrilled that she’s singing.

This was my contribution, which Mrs Rabbi graciously read for me.  This was printed up for the bulletins.

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From an email he sent to us a couple years ago:
”Good Morning, Ultrepically Ultrepic Ones!

I’m thankful to the Lord our God today (Adonai Eloheinu) for you, and the rich blessings you are to me. I’ve never known such joy, such love, so much wonder, as I have now that you’re all in my life. I have so many reasons to give thanks and praise to Yeshua and the Father and Ruach HaKodesh! Praise to the Most High God, blessed be His name! Glory, honor, power, dominion, and might are His forever and ever, amen!

And because of you, I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter His courts with praise! You fill me with the love and joy of the Holy Spirit every day, and I will never cease to be amazed by, and give thanks to Him for, you. All of you.”
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I was asked, “Can you write a paragraph or two about your husband … ?”

My husband loved to write.  He wrote books, blog posts, journals, and emails.  Hundreds of emails.  I must have read, literally, millions of his words.  And over the last twenty years, we talked.  All. The. Time.  The two of us were never at a loss for words and we could while away hours chatting like magpies – from silly things to things of eternal import.  I believe I knew him better than anyone else on the planet.

But my pen goes blank at the notion of writing a few words about my husband.  My mind explodes with memories and they scatter to and fro and I can’t seem to catch one to focus on.

He loved to draw.  He considered drawing almost part of his identity.  All of his journals and notebooks are filled with little pictures scattered throughout.

He loved to laugh, and he loved making people laugh.  He loved scaring people by sneaking up on them.  As a writer, he was absolutely thrilled if someone said, “Oh, your book gave me nightmares!”  The written form of a “scare-cam,” you see.  That gave him near-endless giggles.

He adored his children and loved spending time with them.  They could hang out for hours, just talking or playing games.  He loved them for who they were and not just because they were his children.

And because of my husband, I finally understood what it felt like to be loved and wanted.  He was my guy and I was his girl and that’s just how it was for us.

The Asperger’s made it hard for him to connect with people on a lot of levels, but I think in some ways, it also made it simpler for him to just be who he was.  He didn’t know how to “fake it” with people.  In many ways, he wore his heart on his sleeve.

He loved the Lord with all his heart.  While he often struggled in his relationship with God, he only struggled, I believe, because he loved God so much.  He wanted to be closer, to understand more, and those things can sometimes to be difficult to achieve on this side of the divide.  I am confident he no longer sees through a glass darkly, but is now face to face with the One he loved most of all.

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These are the songs that were played at the memorial.  The 1st was a song my husband loved.  He had me watch it with him sometime a year or two ago, and I fell in love with it, too.  It just captured how we feel about our faith, about our relationship with God.

This song, if you don’t know the story of the man who wrote it, Spafford, you might be interested in checking it out.  He wrote the words, actually, as a poem, at a major point of grief and sorrow in his life.  Someone later put the words to music and now we have a classic hymn.  I love how this guy did all the harmonies for it.

This last one, my husband and I heard it either while we were dating, or newly married.  We both said this was one of our songs, a song that defined and described us.

 

Posted in Memorials, Military, Patriotic

Remembering Pearl Harbor

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May we never forget.
All rights reserved by Vanessence

Other posts I’ve found about Pearl Harbor you might find interesting:

Posted in Friends, Memorials, Soap, Sorrow

#PinkPositiveLight

People inspire me.  A lot of soapers find amazing inspiration in nature, and lots of other things, but I’ve found that for me, it’s people. 

imageOne of the people I knew was Minaxi.  Maybe you had the good fortune of knowing her too.  She knew a lot of people!  We didn’t talk as much as I would have liked.  She ended up gravitating toward Instagram and wasn’t blogging as much anymore.  (Her family has taken down her blog but her IG is still up if you’d like to see her pictures.)  I miss her.  More than I can say. 

Minaxi exuded a lot of joy, no matter what might be going on for her.  One of her favorite tags was #PinkPositiveLight, because pink was her favorite color and she believed in being a positive light.  It suited her.  🙂

I made a soap in her honor.  I scented it with Pink Magnolia Blossom.  I was going to look for a cotton candy fragrance but when I saw that Pink Magnolia, I knew that was the perfect choice for a soap for Minaxi.  It’s light and sweet and delicate. 

I didn’t get to put in the swirls like I was hoping as the soap started setting up on me much sooner than I expected, but I think it turned out okay.  I hope she would have liked it. 

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Minaxi and her husband Vishnu left the world way too soon, but they will always remain in my heart. 

Requiescat in Pace.

Love, Vanessa

Posted in Memorials, Military, Patriotic

Remembering Pearl Harbor

pearl-harbor-1

image2

 

image
May we never forget.
All rights reserved by Vanessence 

Other posts I’ve found about Pearl Harbor you might find interesting:

Posted in Memorials

In Remembrance

Of those whose lives were lost.

I will not forget.

Vanessa ~~