Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Days of Refreshing Proceeded the Grief

If you read the blog in February, you know that I enjoyed a fun filled trip to New Orleans with friends and family just before the loss of my dad.  I am thankful for the days of refreshing -- though if I am honest with myself, I sometimes wonder if I should have made a different decision for the use of that time.  I'm sure I will keep wrestling with that in the days to come.  But here is what I know for sure:

  • Daddy did not want us to watch him fade away.  He worried more about the effect his cancer was having on his family as they took care of him than he did about his illness.
  • If I had been there, nothing would have changed.  There would have been no words exchanged that would have made it better or easier for him, for Donna or for me.
  • He and I said our goodbyes back in January, and I truly believe that we both knew it at the time.  That is why it was so difficult for me to walk out the door that Sunday afternoon...and why I drowned my emotions in an audiobook for the drive home, waiting to fall apart the next day when I was home alone.
  • If I am especially honest, I have to admit that I worry more about what other people think I should have done.  And that is just silly!  I discussed my travel plans with my husband first, and everyone knew that I would be out on the next flight if I received the word to do so. 
  • It was good to laugh...and to enjoy an experience I had always dreamed of with people that I love.  Those small joys bring a smile to my face even as the tears flow.
  • The Lord was very tender with me during the moments preceding me finding out that Daddy was with Him.  It was a rare moment of silence as Rita and I drove through NE Texas and my cries to Him were both brutally honest and filled with deep conviction that He had everything in His hands.  I let go of my expectations mere minutes before the news reached me.  Jesus can be so tender with me like that sometimes.  He has done it numerous times during this journey.
And so it is that the Lord has used My One Word to minister to my deeper needs this new year.  He does provide those moments of refreshing that we need...even before we knew we needed them.

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." Jeremiah 31:25

He is doing a marvelous work indeed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saying Goodbye Is Never Easy

Donald Jenkins, 69, of Crossett, died Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at his residence.  Mr. Jenkins was a native and life long resident of Crossett and Ashley County.  He worked for Steve Bolin Logging for 23 years and he operated the NAPA Parts Store in Parkdale for many years.  He was an avid outdoors man, fisherman, turkey and deer hunter and a board member of the Pine Lodge Inn Hunting Club. 

He is preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Desi Rodgers and his parents, Arlee & Lurlene Maxwell Jenkins. 

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Donna Doyon Jenkins of Crossett; three daughters, Fonda Goode and husband, Jim, of Waller, Texas, Rosa Bolin and husband, Steve, of New Albany, Mississippi and Cecily Jenkins of Crossett; three brothers, Bobby Jenkins and wife, Kathy, of Crossett, James Jenkins and wife, Glenda, of Benton and Glen Jenkins and wife, Debbie, of Crossett; two sisters, Camille Brookings and husband, Dale, of McGehee and Carolyn Morin and husband, Fred, of Kalamazoo, Michigan; 8 grandchildren, Meagan Goode Rodgers and husband, Derrick, Kelli Goode Ham and husband, Matt, Brianne Goode Allen and husband, Josh, Naiz Bolin, Brian Goode, Jana Bolin, Stevi Bolin and William Goode; seven great-grandchildren, Davin, Delayne & Dayton Rodgers, Brooke, Maddux, Elliot & Weston Ham and a host of nieces and nephews. 

Funeral services are 10 a.m., Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Wallers Chapel United Methodist Church with Rev. James Morris and Rev. Toby Austin officiating.  Burial will be in the Crossroad Cemetery.  Pallbearers are Brian Goode, William Goode, Casy Jenkins, Justin Jenkins, Jerry Don Clark and Jimmy Chalk.  Memorials may be made to Ashley County Cares, PO Box 366, Hamburg, AR  71646. 

Visitation is 6-8 p.m., Friday at the church. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mardi Gras: Day 4

The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Lundi Gras around here. On this day the festivities include the arrival of Rex and Zulu where the Mayor of New Orleans turns over symbolic control of the city for the following day. This year Rex was to arrive by train instead of boat...but we saw none of that because we spent Lundi Gras rather low key.

We began our day slowly. After being in the crowds for days, we decided to sleep in a bit and then visit until time for our brunch reservations at The Court of Two Sisters. This was a charming little restaurant that reminded me a lot of Tavern on the Green.

We were seated in the courtyard under the large expanse of what may have been either a willow tree or a wisteria strung with twinkle lights. Though it dropped fuzzy seeds all during our meal, it was a thoroughly pleasant experience. Even though brunch was served buffet style, the staff was very attentive.

As we left, Rita noticed the 'Charmed' gates hanging at the front entrance. Supposedly Queen Isabella had them blessed before they were shipped from Spain so that their charm would pass to anyone who touched them. As Rita said, the people here certainly are quite charming.

After brunch, we decided to spend our day wandering the shops and enjoying
ourselves. We bought souvenirs and keepsakes as we strolled the streets off of Boubon. We stopped at Pat O'Brien's for a Hurricane to go...at The Royal Oyster House for appetizers...and then dropped our packages at the hotel before dinner.

The temperature dropped twenty degrees in the thirty minutes it took us to get to our rooms and freshen up. The rain was moving in so we decided to run into Walgreens for umbrellas and a poncho.

Now let me preface this part of the story by saying that I am just not an umbrella girl anyway...but especially not in a large crowd. That is the real reason why I walked out in a poncho and the other three grandmas were carrying umbrellas when our "You Tube" moment of the trip occurred.

While we were in Walgreens choosing our rain apparatus, one member of our party was advising us all on the proper rain attire...as well as anyone else who would listen. As the doors slid open and the umbrellas popped open, they promptly flipped ALL THE WAY OPEN. The umbrella of the EXPERT ended up on the Walgreens floor like this:

Let's just say a lot of people got a big laugh out of it.

Since the temperature was still dropping and the rain was getting heavier, we decided to totally skip the parades and go to dinner at Mr. B's Bistro across the street from the hotel.

And this is where I'll let Robin take over the story....which she has repeated at least fifty times already. It's time for me to head to bed.

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Location:Royal St,New Orleans,United States