Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Charlie's Costume


My three-year-old granddaughter Charlie will be in her first dance recital, and she is so excited. She couldn’t wait to try on her beautiful yellow costume; however, her joy was short-lived.
            “It itches,” Charlie cried. And by ‘cried’ I mean she clutched at her costume, screamed, and had a full-blown meltdown.
            I examined the inside of the costume, cut away excess material, and even sewed a soft fabric over some of the seams. I tried to fix her costume three times, but nothing helped. Charlie continued to complain.
            Someone suggested numbing cream. Although tempted to try that route, instead Charlie’s mom Monique said, “You’re just going to have to suck it up, wear the costume, and do your dance.”
            The recital is still a few days away, but I attended the dress rehearsal. By the time I got there, Charlie was already fully dressed and happy. She led her line, tapped her foot, and smiled throughout the entire dance.
            “Charlie, I’m so proud of you! Your dance is just beautiful!” I said.
            “And, Lolli, I didn’t even cry. But my costume is still itchy!”
            Charlie taught me an important lesson that day. Even when my circumstances don’t change, I can.
            In Philippians 4:6,7, we are told to present our requests to God and His peace, the peace that transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds.
            I want to be like Charlie. After handing my problem to God through prayer, even if the circumstances never change, I know that I can change. I can have God’s grace and peace to walk through challenging times, move in obedience to His Word, and smile through it all.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Ann's Radiation Graduation


            If you ever see someone who looks exactly like me, but doesn’t seem to recognize you, it’s my sister Ann. She and I have confused people for years, and our parents are unable to identify our voices on the phone. Forget about our baby pictures. My mom didn’t write our names on the back and we have given up trying to guess who’s who.
            Whenever Ann tells me of a mix-up, I have the same response.
            “Ann, it’s a compliment for me! You’re younger and thinner and nicer!”
            It’s true, and it’s her sweet personality that helps us to overlook the fact that she is known for placing an order for food and showing up at a different location to pick it up. (I’ve only done this once.) I guess that’s another way we are similar. Neither of us likes to cook.
            However, my family wasn’t confused about the focus of our recent Girls Night. We gathered to celebrate Ann’s completion of radiation.
            In January, we found out that her yearly mammogram revealed a small lump which was soon diagnosed as breast cancer. Surgery was followed by radiation, and she handled it all with faith and strength. I’ve never been more proud of my little sister.
            Our celebration included a Happy Radiation Graduation cake and a special edition of the board game Guess Who. My daughter Monique replaced the pictures on the game with photos of the girls in our family. As I stared at the pictures on the game pieces, I realized how much we all resemble each other. Guess I’ll spend today writing names on photos.

Ronny can be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Moving Day



I’m moving. I’m not going far - just three miles away - nevertheless the process of packing up the house has not been fun for me. I did manage to unearth clothes I thought my daughters had taken, shoes lonely for their mates, and my high school yearbooks.
While I’m happy about the new house, leaving the one I’ve lived in for over twenty-two years is bittersweet. It’s the place I fled to right after I finished about a year’s worth of chemotherapy (when my then-present house had become more of a hospital than a home), and it’s next door to my sister Kay, the only one of my siblings who is a bone marrow match. I’m grateful to have never needed her in that capacity; however, living next to her, her husband Tony, and their four children has been a life-saver in many other ways.
Kay’s a great cook and my children often ran to her home when they didn’t like what I had prepared. She was also their mediator. If they were grounded or had their phones taken away, Kay would come to my house, sit at my table and say something to the effect of, “Now, Ronny, they didn’t mean to do it. I think they’ve been punished long enough.”
Now that the search for a single-story house has ended, I’m saying goodbye to the one that echoes with conversations and laughter from years of family gatherings, Bible studies, slumber parties, the Christmas when it snowed, and the many holidays when it didn’t.
Another family will get to enjoy the roses from the bush that Aunt Judy gave to me when my first grandchild was born, the trees that shaded my children’s play, and volleyball games in the pool.
And Kay can still walk to my house for dessert. I’ll only be three miles away.
Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.