Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Okay, This is Really Cracking Me Up Right Now

Apparently Baylor's baseball team has a new sub-mascot and new team slogan....

If You Feed the Beaver The Hits Will Come

Click the link (from Waco news channel KWTX). Watch the video. It's really pretty cute!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life and Death

It's been over a week since I've played in the kitchen. Over a week since I've sliced, diced, minced or slivered. My finger are itching for the smooth steel of a skillet handle. My ears are twitching for the soft shush of a saute. My nose is tingling in anticipation of the smells, my mouth is watering, my stomach is rumbling. I guess I'd better start a grocery list.

It's also been over a week since I've written one single sentence that doesn't have to do with either work or my grandfather's passing. I've been writing obituaries, tributes, funeral programs, and thank you notes. I've written lots and lots of to-do lists. I've written press releases, product descriptions and direct mail messages. But it's been too long since I've picked up a pen and just poured my thoughts, my heart, onto a page.

Life sort of stops for me for a while in the aftermath of death.

It has to. Because it's hard for me to absorb such a blow on the move. And it is a blow. And I must absorb it if I want a healthy grief. So I've had to sit with it a while. I've had to let it in.

Life sort of stopped for me over the last week.

But then, eventually, it has to keep moving.

This week is a beautiful one, if still tinged with sadness around the edges. It's sunny and cool. The world outside is completely different every single day. Being from Texas I'd never experienced a true Spring before, so I'd never truly realized just how much Spring is about transformation. Everything around me looks different with each new morning. It happens overnight, and it just keeps happening.

It's an achingly beautiful image of the way all of creation will one day be transformed, renewed, restored. Every reminder of winter's death has been swallowed up in an overflowing, riotous explosion of life. Redemption has spread itself over the landscape, and life is all that's left behind.

"What's lost is nothing to what's found...And all the death that ever was, set next to life, would scarcely fill a cup." -Frederick Buechner

Monday, April 2, 2012

Celebrating the Life of Marvin Albert Schwarz

On March 23, 2012 Pop greeted his favorite kind of day. With an unstoppable smile on his face, a mischievous twinkle in his eye, a purposeful stride and shoulders squared, he couldn’t wait for the day to begin. He planned a full day of working on the ranch in his caterpillar. He grabbed a tacquito, danced a little jig around Grandmom, smacked her good on the lips, and with a big smile said, “See you later.” He skipped and danced out the door because he was so enthusiastic and excited about his day. But that won’t surprise anyone. He started every day that way.

He insisted on doing the work himself, even at 84 years old. There was no stopping him and no reasoning with him. And to tell you the truth, we wouldn’t have had him any other way. One minute he was sitting on the caterpillar in his cowboy hat and jeans and the next he was in glory. He left this earth just as he would have chosen: doing something he loved with his family nearby.

When a man is larger than life itself, it’s hard to imagine this world without him. His life and presence overflowed even the largest rooms. His laugh shook the rafters and lifted our hearts. His hands were big and strong and kind. He spent his life working the land, living with joy, and loving every single person he met. He was a hero, a true Texas cowboy. He was a singer, a story teller, a track and football star, an amazing husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a friend to everyone he met.

I have been so blessed to have this amazing man for 84 years. He loved this life. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He taught me to live this life with utter, complete joy. Joy in little things. Joy even in the face of adversity. He knew from the top of his cowboy hat to the tips of his boots that we belong to a Good Lord, who gave us a Good life, and a Good world. He believed, no matter what, that Good was always coming to him, and to all of us.

Thanks to all for your thoughts, prayers, and support through this last week. We have been surrounded, uplifted, and strengthened through your love and the through the Grace of our Good Lord. Death is not the end of this story. It's never the end of any story. Our Savior defeated death and now He reigns, full of Grace and Truth, offering abundant life forever.