A Bittersweet Weekend

The weekend was a celebration, a frustration, a time of saying good-byes, and a time of turning a corner toward a new journey into the unknown.

My daughter Amy made a grand debut on the mainstage of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Conservatory of Music’s Theatre program. She played a leading role in Anonymous, by Naomi Iizuka. Anonymous is the story of an immigrant family fleeing to America to escape a war, but a storm destroys their ship just off the coast, and they are separated, each finding themselves lost in a bewildering and frightening new world. Amy played the mother, and did it with great heart and voice and even got mentioned in local reviews here and here. The play was gorgeous, doing exactly what theatre ought to do, exploring the heart of contemporary culture in fresh and bold ways. The play was beautifully directed by the head of the UC’s program, Richard Hess. It was a strong affirmation that Amy is where she needs to be for this part of her journey.

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Saturday morning, we got the sad news that Abby, our 14-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, suffered a heart attack and did not survive. It was an emotional loss for all of us. I will probably blog later in the week a full tribute to Abby. We are still processing this loss–she was definitely a part of the family, always there for most of our kids’ growing years.

Yesterday (I missed another day in my blogging discipline for the month of October–again, there just wasn’t time), we got up at 5:30 a.m. EST (2:30 a.m. PST) and caught a plane for Seattle, which arrived around 11:00 a.m. PST. Which meant I did not get to hear Milton Jones’ last sermon at the Northwest Church. From all reports, it was a strong finish to an incredible career at Northwest, bittersweet though it was. There was also a time to celebrate Pat Jones, our illustrious worship leader who is also moving on, and I so wish I could have been there to just say thank you for his time at Northwest. He will be deeply missed in worship each Sunday for a long time.

From the airport, we came home, and I almost immediately turned around and headed for a rehearsal for the Northwest Church’s Christmas musical, which is a little behind at the moment, yet which promises to be something pretty special. The cast seems to be having fun despite the hardships of the changing culture at church, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds. We were scheduled to go until 5:00, but we stopped at 3:30 so we could all get to the big event of the evening, the farewell dinner and tribute to Milton and Barbie Jones.

The details of the evening were daunting, and the volunteer efforts of 50+ people made the whole event pretty magic. Brother’s Four members Mark Pearson and Mike McCoy, good friends of Milton’s for many years, did a concert after dinner, with Pearson’s heartfelt tribute especially moving. It was a bittersweet ending to a bittersweet weekend, but as one person said to me at the close, “It was a perfect evening.” In the sense that it seemed to be just what we needed in that moment, I would agree.

Now comes the next chapter, with all of us watching closely for what God is up to.

He’s the one doin’ stuff…

2 Comments

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  1. I’m so sorry about Abby. Losing a beloved pet is very hard. We grieve with you and the family.

  2. “Bittersweet” is a good word. It was a day of mixed emotions for me. The last 3-4 months have run the gamut of emotions. You name it, I’ve felt it. Crazy days.

    If you follow the seasons of the poem I wrote, I’d say autumn is over and we’re in the dead of winter. Spring is coming. In due time, it will be here. We have to be patient and trust and hope…and remember what God has faithfully brought us through. He will continue to faithfully lead. It is His plan He is moving into place.

    I’m sorry to hear about Abby, too. She was a sweet little furball. She will be missed.

    Congratulations to Amy! Sounds like she’s having a great time out there.

    Love you guys (and gals!)

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