one of "those" days ...

So ... today is one of "those days"!

And by "those days" I mean one where I'm counting the hours until I can go back to bed!

I don't feel that way because it's Rickey's Birthday.

 I feel that way because it's a day where there's an elephant in the room.

I feel that way because even though I love the texts and messages, it really is "just another day".

I feel that way because I don't know what I'm supposed to do or say or how I'm supposed to "act" ... do I ignore the significance of the day, do I wear sackcloth and ashes so I'm grieving properly, do I tiptoe around the fact that it's Rickey's Birthday, just in case I might offend someone?

I feel that way because I don't know what to write today, because it might not be the "right" thing in somebody's eyes.

I feel this way because on a day like today, I feel the weight of expectations. How do people expect me to act? How do they expect me to "respond" to the day.  Will they judge me if I respond wrongly to the day, not the way they expected? Will I hurt someone by my response to the day? 


"Special" days are never easy in the aftermath of losing someone ... even when we are 4 years out from losing Rickey.  

Everyone has their own memories.  Everyone copes with their memories in their own way.  Everyone has expectations of how others should cope with their memories ... and that's where the "hard" part of the day happens!  

So rather than "tip-toe" through the rest of the day ... here's where I am at today, on this celebration of the day that Rickey Roger Rye was born ...

Today, I will choose to celebrate the man that he was ...

He was a man who loved God first and most!

He was a man who loved his family!

He was a man who loved ALL THINGS hunting!

He was a man who loved his GREEN BAY PACKERS {and Brett Favre}!

I will also celebrate memories ...

I will remember with pride the moment he held each of his newborn children {and grandchildren} in his arms!

I will remember the smile on his face when he posed for a picture with the deer or bear he just shot!

I will remember him cheering for his Green  Bay Packers - win or lose, he still loved them!

I will remember the peace on his face when he spoke of his salvation and his assurance that whenever and however the LORD took him home, he was ready!

I will remember how he loved me, his parents, his siblings and his children/grandchildren!

I will remember how he treated everyone he met with kindness and love!

I will remember birthdays gone by ....

I will remember the year I decided to make a German chocolate cake, from scratch, in 90+ degree weather, in a house with no air conditioning ... and after 3 attempts I finally got a cake out of the oven that didn't "fall" from the humidity!

I will remember pulling off a surprise 50th Birthday party!

I will remember celebrating him turning the speed limit {55}!

I will remember that we had no idea that he would forever be 55 in our minds, for in just 2.5 short months after that Birthday, God called him home.

I will also remember that any grief that is felt today is for those left behind for even if Rickey COULD come back to celebrate his Birthday with us, he wouldn't want to!

I will remember that he is celebrating his Birthday {they probably don't really celebrate in Heaven, I know!} with his Heavenly Father and his earthly father, and it is a more joyous celebration than you or I can ever imagine!

I will remember today with fondness and with thankfulness the almost 20 years that I was given with him here on this earth.

I will be thankful for the kind and loving husband and Daddy that he was and I'll be thankful that he pointed me and his children to Jesus!

I will pray that I learned something from his kind, gentle spirit and that I can carry that legacy with me, and treat others with the love and respect that he did!

I will remember that each of us was created in the image of Jesus and before we ever took our first breath on earth, our days were written by the King of the Universe and in His sovereignty HE and he alone knows the number of those days!

I will CHOOSE today to live the day to the fullest, CHOOSING to honor the memory of Rickey while enjoying the blessings that I have today!

Won't you do the same ...

Remember Rickey with fond memories today!

Recall the love that you felt when you were in his presence!

Share a fun story you remember about him!

Laugh, smile, be happy for the fact that you were blessed to know him!

Trust that God does not make mistakes and that He was there the day Rickey was called to his Heavenly home, and that it was in God's timing {even though it seems too soon for our earthly finite minds}!

And then, won't you give Rickey the BEST gift you could ever give him ...

Make sure you know that when the Lord calls your name, you'll be joining Rickey in Heaven!

Love like there's no tomorrow {for it isn't promised to anyone}!

Grieve if you must, but not without hope!

Smile and do something kind for someone else - to honor Rickey's memory!

Have a Mountain Dew, a cup of coffee or a piece of raspberry pie or German chocolate cake in his memory!

Shoot your gun or your bow and remember that time you hunted with him!

Do something good and fun and happy ... he would not ask you to grieve, he would want you to live and be happy and to serve God well in the days you have left on this earth!

So go out and do just that ... it's o.k. ... really it is!

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