40 days with God, Oct. 1-Nov. 9, 2003, continued

"But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another" (I Thess. 4:9).

OCT. 8: After posting all entries on the books of Word Holdings, I added the general ledger and got a trial balance the first time! I said a prayer of thanks to God for giving me a good mind for bookkeeping which has been my livelihood all my life. "In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (I Thessalonians 5:18).

In the hospital room next to Nicole's, laid another motorcycle accident victim. He was a member of the Viet Nam Servicemen Motorcycle Club. Members from all over the U.S.A. came to visit him. When they heard about Nicole, they held hands forming a circle around her bed and prayed for her. It was tearfully heartwarming. Words cannot explain the heartbreaking anguish the family endured. Every one, 100%, had to agree before life support could be removed. Wayne was the last to consent. Her funeral will be Saturday in New Braunfels, Texas.

OCT. 9: All night the torrential rains fell, accompanied by rumbling thunder, streaking lightning and tornado warnings. This morning, I beheld the huge tree limb which made up nearly half the pin oak tree, lying across my driveway. A dismal sight! I was bemoaning my plight as an elderly widow trying to manage my homestead. But not for long: at 10:00 a.m. my doorbell rang. I could not have dreamed of a more welcoming sight, when I opened my door and saw Bill standing on my doorstep. He and Jack were partners in their handyman business after their retirements from Western Electric Company. Bill lives in Dickinson. It was a year ago that he came over to fix a dozen little jobs around my house. He was halfway through the list when he left for their annual 30-day vacation in Rockport, Texas. Then his wife became ill, and life just got busy…until today. Isn't God good? Sometimes He takes care of things before I have a chance to ask Him! He cleared Bill's schedule for me at a time I needed him most. I praised God and continually thanked Him for sending Bill my way.

He did not have a chainsaw with him. "Jack has one," I said. "It's in the water softener closet where he always kept it." What a shocking discovery: the chainsaw, dripping oil and thickly coated with rust, looked like it had been fished up from the bottom of the ocean! It must have been affected by the salt from the water softener. Incidentally, the tank was empty of salt--another thing I must remember to check on every three months. It began raining again. This was great for the newly planted grass pallets where the City repaired my broken water line. The electricity was off for two hours, preventing Bill from doing some of the chores. He put up the towel rack in the guest bathroom; secured the bedroom ceiling fan and the den air-conditioning vent; fixed the outside garage light so it would once again go off and come on with daylight.

OCT. 10: Bill returned this morning with a new chainsaw, which I will keep in a garage cabinet

--not with the water softener! He was cutting up the tree when my sister Elaine and I left to go

to a luncheon. We were entertained by a young 24-year-old man whose lyrical tenor voice was the most beautiful I have ever heard. Nick Phan sang both classical and contemporary material and was accompanied by the piano played by another talented young man, Luis Ballestero. Nick's singing engagements have taken him all over the world and earned him many high honors. He often sings in the Wortham Center. He takes singing lessons to keep his voice in shape and practices every day. I was refreshed, pleased and blessed by the singing of lovely words--unlike many young "punk rock singers" who scream out words I'm thankful I can't under- stand. In my bedtime prayers, I thanked God for today and the two men who made it so special.

OCT. 11: This was a day for reminiscing with wonderful old friends I've known since the 40's. Today, we celebrated Marie's 80th birthday at the Aldine Lodge. We were neighbors when Jack and I bought our farm after WWII. Thank you Lord for lifelong friends to share happiness in the good times, and to help and comfort us in the sad days. I have been wonderfully blessed.

OCT. 12: My heart was thrilled and I was deeply touched in church this morning when the con- gregation sang, "Just a Closer Walk With Thee." Among those baptized, were Tony and Denise, a young couple especially dear to me. Blessings fell all around.

There are eight of us widows who go out to eat after church on Sundays. Today we went to the Steak and Ale. Janet, our church secretary, shared with us this past week with her granddaughter Nicole after the accident and the funeral. Two weeks ago, Nicole told her mother the names of two songs, "I want them sung at my funeral." Her mother asked, "Why are you telling ME this? I'll be long gone before your funeral." "No reason," Nicole replied. "I just wanted you to know." This reminded me of a Sunday morning in the 50's when Daisy Sloan, our pastor's wife, sang "Pearly White City." I told Jack I wanted her to sing it at my funeral. Both of them are already in Heaven with Jesus.

About five minutes before the funeral, our pastor, Bro. Jeff, and Al, one of the church administrators, arrived--unexpected to Janet. There is no greater comfort or proof of love and caring than to travel a great distance to share a time of sorrowing with a friend. The pastor holding the services invited Bro. Jeff to also speak. The two songs Nicole requested were sung.

God is so good, every day. Janet did not have transportation back to Houston. She returned with Bro. Jeff and Al. Jesus promised, "I will not leave you comfortless" (John 14:18).

OCT. 13: Last night, Wanda came in from Florida. I picked her up at the airport at 8:30. We talked until midnight! She had an appointment with her attorney at 7:30 a.m. at the downtown court house. She reset her alarm clock since there is one hour difference here than in Florida. Speaking of alarm clocks, I have been having trouble with mine--not waking me up. I heard the screaming alarm, so loud I acknowledged I wouldn't sleep through it this time. I staggered over to my dresser. In the darkness, I began feeling the buttons on top of the clock. The third one shuts off the alarm. It didn't! Frantically I tried the buttons on each side as the shrieking uproar continued. It was 4:41 a.m.! I haven't gotten up that early since the last time Jack went fishing. I pushed every button on that clock. Then it went silent just as I began tracing the cord to the wall so I could unplug it. With a sigh of relief, I crept back under the warm covers on my bed.

My thoughts: "I've GOT to get a new alarm clock TOMORROW. I can't have my sleep interrupted by the clock's whim, and yet not be awaken at my timing. Why is it suddenly ear-splitting loud? Oh! Oh! That wasn't my alarm clock--it was my burglar alarm!" I threw back the covers and rushed into Wanda's bedroom. I flipped on the light. She was gone. She must have had a code problem. I laughed. If a burglar had come in while I was struggling with my clock, I couldn't throw it at him because it was plugged into the wall! What if I'd unplugged it and "it" kept on blaring? I don't do mornings! Wanda returned a half hour later. She had reset her clock in the wrong direction. She was downtown at 5:00 instead of 7:00. Everything was closed--even the parking garage. There was nothing to do but return home and go back to sleep!

Wanda came home and said the court date would be in two weeks. She laughed. "That's the week-end of daylight savings time! How will I set my alarm for that?" I replied, "Why do you always come to my house? Why can't you stay with your brother or sister? Why me?"

Tonight, Dortha, Jennifer, Clint, Ethel Rose, Wanda and I dined at the Olive Garden on the Gulf Freeway. Afterwards, we visited Ronnie, still recovering from his fall off the ladder.

It's a common thing for me to walk through my house barefooted in the darkness. It was after midnight when I finished addressing birthday cards. I took them into the kitchen where I put outgoing mail. I was barefooted; in my nightgown; no lights on. A piece of Wanda's soft luggage in a steel frame was on the den floor. My left foot slid along the middle! A quick prayer of thanks was sent to God. I could have kicked it with my little toe. You know what pain that would have brought. God takes good care of me. He is always there beside me. Praises!

(to be continued…)

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