Lemon tree Nolstagia: a Letter Home

It's an interesting thing to grow up.
 I think that I have it all together one day being a mom, a wife, a friend, a mentor even! But then I often go back to my childhood- in my day to day thoughts and imagination.  I often see the faded pink brick walls of the backyard and the summer mornings with the dew-glazed grass. And the roly-polies in the corner by the bricks and the soil softly upheaved. This was my imagination station. 

I also loved the lemon trees,  oh how I remember the lemon trees! I used to look up at them and find myself wanting to grab one like it was a new, unearthed experience every time. I would find my way into those thorny branches,  a climbing child, camouflaged in the leaves, and reach in to grab one just to know that I could, and peel it like it was an orange. 

I knew that it would be sour and it wasn't for a kid like me, but I tried it like it wasn't- every summer. Looking back, it's kind of funny.  

This would become a pattern in my life.

I believe that my Dad planted that tree, because if he didn't, he sure tended them to grow. And one day, these sour fruits that I had bitten into, were understood; they were bitter. The thorns I cut myself on would hurt. I got it. They weren't sweet. And I would leave it there...

I remember the  dogs barking behind the walls that were too tall for me back then, and I'd have to climb my way up the bricks and taunt the doberman that would bark viciously. I probably could lift myself easily over them now. But I have no need to ...With no good judgement back then, fortified in my mind, climbing over walls, could prove to be bring danger in later days. ... But these are the days that I remember.  

I remember being comfortable in my mom and dad's bed and I remember knowing that no troubles were mine, but no troubles were anybody's really. 
 I was my parents' kid and all was well.   I remember watching PITFALL and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with my brother every day at 11 o'clock a.m. in the summers.  I remember watching Top Gun & Nadia and acting it out on repeat with the kids on the street till the street lights came on. I remember riding bikes and flagging down the ice cream man, all to get some Lemon Heads and Pink Panther ice creams with the gumball for the eye!
 I could watch television in the comfort of my family room at evening, with my Family, and get into my bed comfortably and securely!
 These days one of my favorite things about life is when you get to the end of the day and there's your Pajamas waiting there for you- like the family dog when you open the front door, with it's tail wagging, and a smile from ear to ear!  
You can  get into bed and be comfortable go to sleep- O great sleep! 
It's comforting to know that all of my children are in their bed breathing calmly knowing that their bodies need rest after the hard play of the day and school work in foreign languages. 

I often ponder nostalgically - the thoughts dance in my mind often- and I come to remember My mom, my Dad and my big Brother.  And even though there are people that have added to this group as my Husband's Parents and family, with our nieces and nephews, and my own brother's wife and children,  all of these people I care for deeply, and in a new way; It doesn't stop to make you think back to your childhood when it was just my dad, my mom & my brother and I.  

Today, from across the world, I had to send a note to each of them and tell them that I love them because time is precious, and it is slipping away. I don't want to ever find myself regretting one single moment of not telling them that I love them and not telling them that I think of them and not telling them that I pray for them. I know death does swallow up 1 for 1 on this earth, but I do wonder and entertain- how I can escape it, at least for a life time.

The news of a well-known Southern Californian,  Calvary Chapel pastor has died yesterday and it just hit me that the age was similar to my loved ones. 
I am not sure why I am so aware of death. I tend to feel it too deeply sometimes.  I should be more aware of Life!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
 1 Thessalonians 4:13

  I just want to say it: 
 …That I love my parents. I love you!  And that I'm following God like you taught me, Mom and Dad. I'm praying like you showed me. I'm reading verses in His Word like you used to help me. And I'm loving my kids like you loved me. I know Love because God Loves. And this was the example of Him, that was shown through you. You have passed the baton through His Spirit.

 I don't want those Bitter tasting Fruits. Those that you tried to steer me away from while young.  But the Fruit of the Spirit is now where my appetite craves. It's a rough climb, but it's worth it!

 I am longing for us all to meet the Lord in heaven together! It gives me such a great Hope of being together!  I can't wait to meet you all at the finish line where we will all be giving 'Good jobs' and 'High-fives' and 'You've done it -Wow!' and 'You made it here! It is Finished. We're done. 
Finally. . .  Security, Comfort.
It is because of You, Jesus.
We followed YOU to the end and we are  rejoicing!  "That will be the day."

 Jesus, Thank you for making it all worth it, Thank you for dying on the cross for me because without you, I wouldn't have the finish line...I wouldn't be rejoicing!

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Psalm 84


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