A Closer Look at the Book: Daddy Was A Carpenter

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Sometime the middle of the night, at some point in the Spring of 1977, Mother woke us.

She was hurried.

She was serious.

Something was wrong.

I learned about loss that night. I would get to know the feelings of hardship. It would be the first time I had ever seen my daddy cry.

Prior to that night, our family had been enjoying a season of splendor. Days were filled with much laughter. Much joy. Even as a very young child I could see the value of hard work. I witnessed a community, working together, building the Wilsey Lumber Yard strong. It was a time of rejoicing. Of giving thanks.

And then suddenly, in the dark of night, began a season of sorrow. Daddy’s business became a smoldering heap of ash.

This new moment? Confusion. Disbelief. An abrupt introduction to mourning.

These are the devastations we could choose to stash away and forget.

Forget the tears.

Forget the loss.

Forget the ashes.

But what if we choose to remember? What if we choose to share the disappointments that make us cry? What if we choose to share those memories that we would rather forget?

That moment, the memory, becomes truly significant.

And we can be changed.

And those ashes? They can become a song of hope. Yes. In their own way, they can become beautiful.

If you would like to know more about this story visit http://www.shellysimoneaustories.com

I would love to hear from you. Until then…

Always Hope,

Shelly Simoneau

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Change of Season

I haven’t spent time here for a while.

Life has been gritty.

Uncomfortable.

Pressing.

Changing.

It has been like the coming of Autumn.

I’ve held the hand of the dying. Gripping every gifted moment tightly. Releasing encouragement. Saying you can make it, when I knew they would not. Not here.

I’ve gathered every brilliant moment of time and celebrated every breath of living.

Like harvest. We spend our time in the fields. We gather and preserve every blessing, knowing as we enjoy the Fall death still comes.

I’ve been looking into faces of dignity.

They are the forgetful ones.

They are the diseased.

They are the widowed.

They are the homeless.

It’s uncomfortable yet satisfying. Like trying to laugh through crying. Like the blasts of cool air readying you for the winter, and then warming again as the day wears. We just add a sweater on those cool mornings. If only it could be this simple.

Spending time with those longing for a memory.

Enjoying the same conversation again and again.

Asking for mercy in the middle of the storm.

Sometimes the colors of Fall are beautiful. Sometimes we have to look past the gray that withers away.

They all have something in common. Their eyes all search for the same thing.

Hope.

Seasons like this move us. We are their hope. We can change and be changed.

I am changed.

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It’s a new season.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken from it. God does it so that men will revere Him. -Ecclesiastes 3:1,1

And Then Suddenly…

Lately I have been suffering from the “and then suddenlies”. You know those kinds of moments that you know are coming and then suddenly they are here and then gone. And then suddenly moments are the bittersweets. The hang-on-just-a-little-bit-longer moments. They are a true blend of wanting to keep, but must let go.

Momma always told me time has a way of speeding up as you get older. I am beginning to see what she meant. This past month has been a whirlwind of the “and then suddenlies” of life and of death.

Near the beginning of April my oldest son turned 22. Our children’s birthdays always bring about a sentimental case of the “and then suddenlies”, don’t they?

Do you remember watching them teeter and toddle, and then suddenly they were walking?

How about watching them pretend as they looked through books, and then suddenly they were reading?

I’m sure, like me, you sent them into a Kindergarten classroom years ago, and then suddenly they walked out as a high school graduate!

No more training wheels. Remember that day? Well, that oldest son just removed his training wheels, landing his first full time job with all the benefits. He bought his own car and purchased his own insurance. Suddenly he became independent. And then suddenly he was truly riding along without me.

It was a bittersweet moment watching him drive away. I wanted to say wait, there must be something I need to tell you. But he just looked back. And then suddenly he was gone.

As I was growing up, my parents reminded me to always look back when I left the ones I loved. They taught me this because “you never know what life ahead of you holds”. You should take the time to look back because suddenly…

Tomorrow I will say goodbye to a dear friend. We met just a short time ago. We shared time and stories together on Wednesdays. We didn’t know each other long, before suddenly we had known each other forever. She was never able to remember my name, but it didn’t matter. We started talking and then suddenly she smiled and we began to remember. Most days my sweet friend looked up and smiled at me knowingly. Every day, as I was leaving, I looked back. There she was, smiling after me.

It seems like yesterday we just laughed together, we just held hands, and we just said I love you.

And then suddenly she’s gone.

I’m so glad I took the time to look back.