A few weeks ago our daughter reflected on Facebook all the wonderful places she has had the opportunity to live. She now lives in Now she lives in the San Francisco Bay area in Concord. She is married to a wonderful, caring man, Ken. They have an energy-driven, smiling, laughing, playful seven year old son, Thomas. On my grandson’s behalf I say: HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. HAPPPY DAUGHTER’S DAY!
On the eve of seeing Emily and her family, the first time while we have been quarantined in our homes with the current pandemic, I’m awake at four in the morning excited to see them from a “socially appropriate distance”. We will visit in the court yard at our home in Rio Vista, about 35 minutes from their home. My chair will be inside the Casita that has an entrance into the courtyard–and I will be wearing my mask. Emily and her family will be seated with masks six feet away in the corners of the court yard. We’re going to order burgers from a local restaurant that delivers. Nancy has made cup cakes for the occasion.
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During this pandemic, Emily has been 500% involved with her husband in caring for their active seven year old son and young puppy Pike— a beautiful Boxer. While it hasn’t been easy, time has gone pretty fast with all the activities Emily plans for Tommy. We also spend time on Facetime and a neat interactive program called Caribu.
Emily has shared with us how happy they have been, amid the tragedy of a society closed down, to have been blessed with so much quality time together as a family. My reflections take me to how much my wife and I have been blessed to watch our daughter (mom and wife) grow through the years–especially during these weeks/months confined to home.
Some background on Emily: Readers of this blog may need to know that Emily is a PK = preachers kid. Her life has taken her to many cities through the years. She was born in 1980 and baptized in Davenport, Iowa. As a baby, I spent a lot of time with Nancy and me and our church youth group. I especially remember long work trips with the youth with a baby in tow. We had a lot of teenagers willing to help us with babysitting. Emily’s youngest years were at my second Call as an Associate Pastor in Evanston Illinois. Her playground was the back yard of the manse next door to the church in sharing this sacred play-space with the church day care. Happy, social Emily was always surrounded with lots of children.
Our move to a Saginaw Michigan in 1987 put her Emily in a school system that would take her from Kindercare, Kempton Elementary Scool, South Middle School until she graduated from Arthur Hill High School in 1999. I’ll never forget crying that rainy night at her graduation from High school.
Emily moves quickly through Delta College and Michigan State University with a wonderful internship in Washington DC working for Senator Debbie Stabenow. She had the chance to ‘rub shoulders’ with Hillary Clinton. (Sorry for dropping names!) She worked for the Whirlpool Corporation that took her professionally, to Nashville Tennessee, Charleston North Carolina and then to the San Francisco Bay area where she currently lives. Health issues, another story, has caused Emily to go on disability. Nothing she has encountered has kept her from being a strong woman in caring for her family! That’s why I am writing this short essay.
I firmly believe, as parents, we’ve been called to be trustees of of our children. Emily is first and foremost a Child of God. Along with her family, she is a precious soul God has given us. I can’t imagine the world without her.
There will always be ups and downs. I know that Emily and her family will be able to work through anything the world throws their way. As I’ve said before, next to her mother she is the strongest women I know!
On Mother’s Day our journey continues. We will be safe from the dangerous virus that lurks all around us. I know Emily will weather the storms in always finding the God-filled sunny days ahead as shed grows as a woman and MOTHER.
This year of our Lord, 2020, I pray that our journey together will continue in marvelous ways. God only knows.
May God continue to bless Emily and her family.
Happy Mother’s Day–daughter day!