Monday, June 18, 2012

Magnolias....a rerun of a beautiful story

I am sharing a post i received via email tonight. It is a story that has been circulated before, and will be again. Sorry no idea who wrote it.

MAGNOLIAS - I really hope all of you will read this.

I was getting ready for my daughter June's wedding which was taking place
in a church about forty miles away, and felt loaded with responsibilities as
I watched my budget dwindle..... So many details, so many bills, and so little

My son Jack said he would walk his younger sister down the aisle, taking the
place of his dad who had died a few years before. He teased Patsy, saying
he'd wanted to give her away since she was about three years old!

To save money, I gathered blossoms from several friends who had large
magnolia trees. Their luscious, creamy-white blooms and slick green leaves
would make beautiful arrangements against the rich dark wood inside the

The big day arrived - the busiest day of my life - and while her bridesmaids
helped Patsy to dress, her fiancé Tim walked with me to the sanctuary to do
a final check. When we opened the door and felt a rush of hot air, I almost
fainted; and then I saw them - all the beautiful white flowers were black.
Funeral black. An electrical storm during the night had knocked out the air
conditioning system, and on that hot summer day, the flowers had wilted
and died.

I panicked, knowing I didn't have time to drive back to our hometown, gather
more flowers, and return in time for the wedding and I certainly didn't have
extra money to buy a new set from the florist in town.

Tim turned to me. 'Edna, can you get more flowers? I'll throw away these
dead ones and put fresh flowers in these arrangements.'
I mumbled, 'Sure,' as he be-bopped down the hall to put on his cuff links.

Alone in the large sanctuary, I looked up at the dark wooden beams in the
arched ceiling. 'Lord,' I prayed, 'please help me. I don't know anyone in
this town. Help me find someone willing to give me flowers - in a hurry!'
I scurried out praying for the blessing of white magnolias.

As I left the church, I saw magnolia trees in the distance. I approached a
house.... no dog in sight.... knocked on the door and an older man answered.
So far so good. No shotgun. When I stated my plea the man beamed....
'I'd be happy to!'

He climbed a stepladder and cut large boughs and handed them down to me.
Minutes later, as I lifted the last armload into my car trunk, I said, 'Sir,
you've made the mother of a bride happy today.'

No, Ma'am,' he said. 'You don't understand what's happening here.'

'What?' I asked.

'You see, my wife of sixty-seven years died on Monday. On Tuesday I
received friends at the funeral home, and on Wednesday..... He paused.
I saw tears welling up in his eyes. 'On Wednesday I buried her.' He looked
away. 'On Thursday most of my out-of-town relatives went back home, and
on Friday - yesterday - my children left.'

I nodded.

'This morning,' he continued, 'I was sitting in my den crying out loud. I
miss her so much. For the last sixteen years, as her health got worse, she
needed me. But now nobody needs me. This morning I cried, 'Who needs
an eighty-six-year-old wore-out man? Nobody!' I began to cry louder.
'Nobody needs me!'

About that time, you knocked, and said, 'Sir, I need you.'

I stood with my mouth open. He asked, 'Are you an angel? I assured him
I was no angel.

He smiled. 'Do you know what I was thinking when I handed you those


'I decided I'm needed. My flowers are needed. Why, I might have a flower
ministry! I could give them to everyone! Some caskets at the funeral home
have no flowers. People need flowers at times like that and I have lots of
them. They're all over the backyard! I can give them to hospitals, churches
- all sorts of places. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to serve
the Lord until the day He calls me home!'

I drove back to the church, filled with wonder. On Patsy's wedding day, if
anyone had asked me to encourage someone who was hurting, I would have
said, 'Forget it! It's my only daughter's wedding, for goodness' sake! There
is no way I can minister to anyone today.'

But God found a way. Through dead flowers. 'Life is not the way it's
supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes
the difference.'

If you have missed knowing me, you have missed nothing.
If you have missed some of my emails, you may have missed a laugh.

But, if you have missed knowing God you have missed everything in the world!!
He can be your everything. May God's blessings be upon you.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012

First of all, Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and dad figures out there. Just as someone can have a mother's heart without having children, so you can have a father heart without children.

It's a rainy afternoon here in the Three Hills/Linden/Swalwell area. How totally blessed we were though that the rain stayed away and the sun shone warmly this morning, and through the graveside service for Aunt Anna Baerg. It was only after while we sat downstairs at the church having lunch with the family that the skies opened up and it rained.

i didn't post last weekend, but i had brought Mom down then, too and we visited family and loved ones in this area, including Aunt Anna, who knew us, but did not respond well. Actually Mom and i came down Thursday, bringing Karen along to see her family as well. We stopped at Barrhead to drop her off at her sister Kim's and then carried on, stopping at Innisfail to see Mom's aunt Helen who turned 100 years young in February before going to Three Hills for the night. Friday we went to Red Deer to see her cousin Luise who lost her husband in May, stopped in Innisfail to see Aunt Helen again, then to Linden to see Aunt Anna. That was a rough day for Mom, seeing those three in the same day. Saturday we saw friends and family in the Linden area, Sunday we took Helen Rose to see her mom in Innisfail, than came back to Linden to visit more. Monday morning we met Karen, her mom and sister and niece for breakfast in Linden and left for home. We met Peter in Fahler, had supper in Eaglesham and were very happy to get home that night.  Either that night or Tuesday we were told Aunt Anna had been moved to palliative care, and she passed away Wednesday.
Friday afternoon Mom and i were on the road to Linden again. It is so great to have a place like the Diamond Inn - Best Western to stay in at Three Hills when we com to the area. Today has been tiring, although Aunt Anna was 95 years old (or young?) and was more than ready to go home. It is really a day of reunion...meeting cousins and friends we hadn't seen, since perhaps 8 years ago when Uncle Peter Baerg passed away.
Now we're taking a break from family. Peter and Karen arrived last night, but left for home just a bit ago. i brought Mom and Aunt Doris (Uncle Abe's widow from Abbotsford, B.C.) to the motel for naps. We plan on going to the Swalwell Hall for 6:00 for supper and memories with the family.

As for life on the Barkman Farms? We have all but 200 acres seeded into either canola, wheat or barley. The 200 acres is hopefully drying this weekend, so we can put canola in there yet. The 200 acres of fescue we had last year will be sprayed out and we plan on seeding that to winter wheat.
Our canola from last year has all be hauled to the elevator, and this last week and next we have wheat to haul to the elevator, and spraying for weeds to do. We don't have a garden, not this year nor last year, and perhaps we will put our garden spot into something else. We do have our flower gardens for when we need garden therapy, and i have strawberry plants. As for fresh produce? we have market gardens and farmer's markets to keep us supplied. And we don't need make work projects.
Now that i've talked your ears off, i will close. Have a great week.