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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hope at Easter

The first Easter after Daniel died, we left Durham for the coast of
Virginia. On that Sunday, we attended a huge outdoor celebration,
happy with resurrection songs of praise and a lengthy sermon. I
recall telling the stranger next to me that my son had just died.
I also remember leaving the service early with my broken family.

Desperately, I wanted to see my own child alive, laughing and enjoying
his Easter basket, along with his new baby sister, brother, and older
sister.

Now thirteen years later, I still see in my mind, my little son
with his Easter basket, digging into all the gooey candy. Easter brings
back a cartful of memories. At age two, he had his photo taken at Olan
Mills in a gray suit (his Easter suit), his blond hair in need of a
haircut. He also had gum on his lapel. The Easter he was three was just
a month before his cancer diagnosis. We were naive then, content, joyful,
as Daniel searched for the colorful eggs his grandparents hid. We
didn't know what the future held.

Easter makes me grateful that because of the resurrection, that
because of forgiveness, mercy and grace, there is new life.
Easter is hope. Easter reminds me that those who have died are
still alive, just hidden, like eggs, from our earthly eyes.

See you soon, Daniel.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Newest Fan---Carolina Country

And so the mystery has been solved as to why I received three copies of
the April issue of Carolina Country in the mail last week.
Today, while flipping through the magazine (yes, I should have been
writing my fourth novel, tentatively titled, A Wedding Invitation),
I saw a familiar sight. On page 17 is a picture of my novel, Rain Song,
and beneath it, is a blurb about it. Thrilled, I posted my findings on
Facebook, and not only joined the Carolina Country Facebook Fan Page,
but wrote a thank-you email to the editor.

For all of you Carolinians, please come to my book signing and get your
own copy of Rain Song! I'll be at Family Christian Stores across
from Triangle Town Center in Raleigh from noon until 2 PM on Friday, April
2. I'll be at Family Christian Stores across from Southpoint Mall in Durham
on May 1 from noon until 2 PM. Chocolate and prizes! See you there!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A weekend of comfort








March 19 and 20, 2010, was the regional Compassionate
Friends Conference in Frankfort, KY. I was honored
to be part of this meaningful weekend. The Memorial Garden
was especially beautiful.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

How Sweet It Is in now avaiable in Dutch!




Rain Song---Regenlied---was published
in Dutch by Kok in the winter of 2008,
shortly after it came out in English in
October 2008.

Now How Sweet It Is---De Zoete Inval---is
in Dutch as well!

And as you can see, the cover remains the
same.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I Went to Your Grave Today

Here's a poem I wrote in 1998 in memory of Daniel. I placed it
in my first cookbook, Slices of Sunlight.

I went to your grave today,
taking daisies and roses.
I ate lemon poppy seed bread
and felt the warmth of the sun
As I sat on a yellow cloth
watching the children run.

I went to your grave today
and felt the soft wind whistle
and felt the grass tickle my bare feet
and heard the baby cry,
the older ones laugh---
and then I listened for you.

I could not see your face
with its bright blue eyes
Or feel your head on my shoulder.
I could not touch your hands,
for that body is no longer you,
covered in the grave.

It was the brilliance of your soul
that flooded my senses---
it was the radiance of knowing what you are,
And what you have become
That energized my heart
when I went to your grave today.

~ Alice J. Wisler

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Making Peace with the Month of March

March is one of those devious months. In the South, it holds
the potential of spring. In other parts of the USA, it's only
another cold month of winter.

For me, March is the month after. Daniel died in
February, and the first March after that, I was appalled to
see buds on the forsythia. What was life doing displaying
herself like that after my son had died? How could spring
make herself known when my child would never cradle a rose
or iris in his hand again (even if he did pick it from
the neighbor's garden)?

Since then, spring has flourished, sometimes early---at
times late---and yet my son has not joined her. In my
opinion, those first springs were gleaming with too much
life. I was not ready to let go of the damp and bitter
days of winter because the coldness better matched the
state of my damaged heart.

Gradually, I learned to handle the frustration. Under
weeping willow trees, I wrote out my pain. I cried.
I teetered between wanting to make the most of each day,
and wanting life to abruptly end.

Somewhere along the years, I came to embrace. Now the
colors of the irises and beauty of the delicate roses
are signs of hope as they thrive in the sun. I hold the
memories of Daniel close, and when I see spring's new
buds, I try to focus on his new life in Heaven.

That is usually too mind-boggling for a simpleton
like me. So, I simply watch the caterpillars on
the leaves, touch the petals of the azaleas, and
as the warm breezes blow, am grateful.

Even so, I cry. After all these years, I still
experience that tinge of emptiness when March
arrives. Like she doesn't quite belong in my
sorrow. Like she's trying to show-off when the
mood is supposed to be somber.

I guess it will always be this way for me.
Finally, I have realized, that's okay.