measuring time

“In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence,
and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.”

St. John of the Cross

(she’s already cheering on her DAWGS despite her great-grandfather’s love for Tech / Julie Cook
/ 2018)

We are a measuring sort of people.
We measure heights, weights, sizes, shapes, lengths, distances, amounts, numbers,
comings and goings…
You name it, we’ll measure it.
And we particularly like to measure time…

We enjoy measuring time so much that each year we mark time with a New Year’s celebration.
Just as we mark days of birth.

Any kid will tell you just how important the marking of a birthday really is…

And so it is that I am bittersweetly reminded that this time last year, on March the 10th,
we marked Dad’s 89th birthday.

You may remember he was gravely ill but was so excited to have “lived” long enough
just to have one last piece of cake.
Dad loved his sweets—chocolate especially.

He was born on his mother’s birthday in 1928 and died just hours before what would
have been his brother’s 97th birthday–
a brother who had preceded him in death by 8 years.

Dad died just 9 days after we celebrated his birthday.

The passing of a year’s time has brought with it a great deal of change.
All from one March to the next.
Seasons have come and gone… just like they usually do…
but within those seasons there has been a great deal of measuring…
both pluses and minuses.

This time last year, here in this house of my youth, we held a vigil for a life slipping away.
This year, 365 days later to the very day, we joyously mark a 3 week birthday of a new
life full of expectant hopes and dreams.

I find myself sitting in the same room that I once called my own, rocking a
young new life blessedly to sleep.
One who now claims my old room as her own.

I sit in the dimly lit room, illuminated only by a single bulb closet light
that cuts softly through the slats of the closet door. A small projected patch of stars
dance across the ceiling emanating from a novel little owl nightlight.
The sound of crickets and tree frogs gently pierce the silence, also coming from the
little owl nightlight.

The walls are the same.
The windows are the same.
The closet is the same…
Gone is the carpeting, long since stiped away, now exposing the original hardwoods of
this 1950’s house.
Gone are the gossamer sheer drapes, replaced by white wooden shutters.
The colors of paint have evolved with the changing times.

My thoughts drift back and forth over the near 60 years that I’ve known this house.
With memories and feelings being mixed—some pleasant, some not.
There is an unsettling mixed with a calming sense of hope.

My prayer is that for this new precious child, this house, this home, will be one of
I am reminded of the prayers and anointing of both house and crib.
The imploring of God’s grace to be poured down abundantly upon this family’s
new generation.

So happy birthday Dad and happy birthday to your new great-granddaughter…
a great-granddaughter who now calls the house you were so proud to purchase so long ago,
A house you and mother were so proud to have for your own young family.
As a new generation calls it their own…

By wisdom, a house is built, and by understanding, it is established;
by knowledge, the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.

Proverbs 24:3-4

40 comments on “measuring time

  1. Lynda says:

    Another beautiful photo of Autumn! It is truly a gift to have the continuity of your granddaughter living in the bedroom in which you grew up. Blessings on your day.

  2. Wally Fry says:

    Very pretty baby.

  3. SharaC says:

    So beautiful, what a legacy!

  4. Tricia says:

    What a precious child Autumn is. And happy birthday to your dad Julie. It’s wonderful that something he and your mom put in action all those years ago (buying and tending to that house) is being used today to shelter and protect their offspring. You are a part of that legacy too Julie, nurturing and eventually guiding young Autumn as she grows older.

    I lost my dad two years ago this May and I often think about his legacy and how that plays out in my life and others today. It’s amazing how many people one person can effect.

  5. How beautiful that Autumn will grow up in the same house you did! And what a beauty she is! It is no wonder that you are “smitten.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your dad would be so happy to know that a new generation will enjoy the home that sheltered so many of his dearest memories… and I’m so glad that Autumn’s life will replace the mourning you last experienced there with new and ongoing joy. Love and huge hugs, dear Julie! โค

  6. says:

    Lovely words and thoughts. I remember your frequent trips to Atlanta to tend to your dad before his passing last year and now you again make the journey to care for a brand new life. Autumn is a beauty. I wouldn’t be able to stay away either โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’ค

  7. oneta hayes says:

    Lovely child, lovely heritage of family and faith.

  8. I loved this Julie and can very much relate. I did not realize our parents passed so close to one another. March 3rd marked a year for me. I still have my moments but I can manage them (for the most part). However, you are very blessed with a BEAUTIFUL addition to the family and new memories yet to come. Peace to you!
    I see ya’ll are training her up in the way she should go (Dawgs!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Mother died in 86 so it had been pretty much me and dadโ€” til he remarriedโ€” but it was still pretty much me and dadโ€”
      The last three years were hard โ€” but Autumn has really been such a renewed spirit for us allโ€” and you better believe GO DAWGS ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
      I know losing your mom still hurtsโ€” mine has been gone 32 yrs and I still miss her!!
      A big hug Lilka

  9. So sweet and touching. Beautiful baby girl, beautiful thoughts, beautiful memories, beautiful you!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค xoxoxoxo

  10. Such precious memories, Julie. I am sure your heart is bursting with love for this new addition to your family.

  11. hatrack4 says:

    Adorable. I wish many happy moments for you and a beautiful baby.

  12. Citizen Tom says:

    ๐Ÿ™‚Children are both answered prayers and reasons to pray.

  13. Sarah says:

    How wonderful to be able to pass your childhood room on to your granddaughter. Beautiful. And I remember the birthday chocolate cake. Bittersweet memory. I still pray for your dad every now and then. I will add Autumn to my prayers. God bless you all.

  14. Adorable…Autumn! Praise God…it would be hard not to be smitten!

  15. SLIMJIM says:

    Awww…how precious!!!

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