Love Can Build a Bridge

This was another side of my family that I’m sure gave me the wanderlust bug. Five sisters, Grandma Deloris, her twin, Doris, Henrietta (Het), Verda (Vert), and Maxine. Sisters and their husbands would spend much time together–adventuring across the U.S.A. in a van (wonder where I get it?). One van even came to pick me up at age 18 after a trip to Mexico. They were all adventurous and fun. When my parents would be gone on trips, we stayed with great aunt Vert and great uncle Charlie. Their basement was a museum to me. The smell is in my soul. Old trunks, clothes, books, games, and mannequins… it was if I was part of another world. In that basement I was a librarian, pool player, researcher, historian, and detective (Nancy Drew, preferably).

It was Christmas 1990-something. In that living room sat my parents, MANY cousins, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, and my grandparents. I often wonder if my own sons remember the wooden marble maze made by great uncle “Snuffy”. It wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t hear the sounds of the marbles and a LOT of laughter (or eat Aunt Vert’s Cowboy Beans). I wanted to hear EVERY story my family told. Grandpa was sitting on the couch. Someone asked my twin and I to sing, “Grandpa” by The Judd’s. You see, singing at the Grand Ol Opry seemed like a great dream, too. But that meant being in front of a lot of people-church was a “safe” place to sing, but oh the nerves! But with family? I can barely get through any song without crying. Kristy could pull us through. Our twin powers would activate and we could muster the strength to entertain all the older members of the family. And yes, we one time sang “Love Can Build a Bridge”.

As we near closer to Mother’s Day I have to share how my Momma would have ALL of them around her Sunday table as much as possible (you should all know about my Momma’s table by now ;-). How fortunate was I that I grew up in such an environment? Two different sides of the family. Many different beliefs, backgrounds, and personalities. No cell phones were present. All of our attention was on each other. Yes, I was young, married, working, and with small children. We checked in with each other when we weren’t together. Yes, it was exhausting at times taking the kids to every family event and function. But as life seemed to unravel around me at times, I realize it was those special memories and times that kept my heart pumping. God nods. He just knows.

In honor of Naomi and those that have suffered with mental illness, you’re not alone. If you have NEVER felt despair or loneliness, you are blessed. There’s a LOT of good in our world today–HOWEVER, there’s a lot that can be better. We can always be better. We can be kinder. Gentler. Understanding. We live in such an argumentative world. Everyone wants to be right. Step over the line and extend a hand. Don’t slam a Bible on someone’s head and tell them you know the problem. That ain’t gonna fix it. Admit your mistakes and move on. If we genuinely desire for others to KNOW God,…to BELIEVE in his goodness, then we need to stop putting people in boxes (oh, the divorcees go here, the ones with issues go here, health issues go in this box, while we’re at it, let’s throw the “old” ones in this box, put the teenagers over there). What works? LOVE. Love is the ONLY thing that will build a bridge.

Due to illness I didn’t complete my past poem posts before April ended! Here’s one I wrote in 2021.

Shackled Assurance 

It’s a prison I don’t wish to escape.
It’s a confinement with confidence. 
It’s finding your voice without a need to use it.
It’s seeking his will-not probing for problems.

It’s bravery with buoyancy. 
It’s being hitched with hope.
It’s being fastened to faith.
It’s being restrained by radiance.

I’m shackled with assurance,
there’s beauty between the bars.
A cell of contentment 
is a surrender to the scars.

If you feel you’re in prison
How do you find the key?
It’s been with you for life,
unlock love and be free. 

K.L. Hale 

 
Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com
Photo by Vie Studio on Pexels.com

I cannot say thank you enough to my parents (I realize that I’m so blessed to have them–I’ll never take them for granted) for bringing me chicken noodle soup, sugar free cake, and goodies and to my neighbors, Sara and Vern, for picking up my groceries, and my friend, Rita, for bringing medicine. My friend, Nicky, for helping, and my other friends and family who checked on me. To my WP family and friends–thank you for hanging in here with me and wishing me well. I’ve never quite experienced anything like Covid before. It may take a bit to get strength back. But after having it, the world looks brighter! To all of you, I hope you have faith and good health. If you ever need prayer or you feel hopeless, email me. Do you really know how much you’re loved?

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78 thoughts on “Love Can Build a Bridge

  1. A beautiful tribute to your family and the love they surrounded you with and you grew up. And a wonderful tribute to Naomi Judd who found the struggles of this life more than she could bear! Well done! Hope you are back to normal soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, MAK. Yes, I’ve been there, too. It makes you see life in a whole new perspective for sure. I appreciate you so much. Finn and I are sending soggy hugs from rainy MO to you, Bear, and Teddy. 💛💕🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your posts touch my heart. Love my family and thinking back on past memories of large gatherings when I was a child. The warm, cozy feeling of being surrounded by loved ones. Just nothing quite like it.
    My heart goes out to the Wyonna and Ashley right now in the loss of Naomi, so sad. And Love can Build a Bridge was their favorite song of mine. YOu say it well, don’t put people in boxes and and put them aside. LOVE definitely is the key!! ❤
    So sorry that you have struggled with Covid, glad you are over the worst of it, but I know it can take a while to get back to 100 percent. Prayers and love for a full recovery.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Joy, thank you for your heartfelt words. I’m so happy you can relate to the posts. I love how you describe it as a warm and cozy feeling. That’s perfect. Such a tragic loss in Naomi and I personally know others. Awareness is such a key. And keeping spaces safe for people to openly empty the thoughts that are bringing them down. Rather than treat it as there’s something wrong, it needs to be treated as any other illness or disease~not a character trait. I will take it easy. The cough is lingering and frustrating. And energy level low. I will take the best care I can. Prayers and love right back to you! 💛🤗💚

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      1. You nailed it when saying “treated as any other illness, not as a character trait!”
        I know the low energy has to be frustrating. Hang in there! And I hate coughs! Hope the cough doesn’t keep you up at night. 💛❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you my friend. 💛💚 I’ve actually slept good despite it. Except last night, lol (partly because of storms rolling through and Finley, lol). I’m winning! I feel even stronger today. Hugs and love! YOU take care! 💛💕🤗

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    1. Thank you, Bill. I’m winning. But it’s at a slow pace. I can’t get rid of the cough. I’ll give myself time to heal for sure. I hope you’re doing well and healthy!

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  3. Thank you kind lady and I am very glad you are feeling better. And always a light even in the hard times is a reminder of what we mean to others, and they to us. And the love in that connection that is there always is a strength like no other. Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine Karla, it too loves to warm your bones, your heart and the words you share 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

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    1. How kind, Mark. Thank you so much. It truly is the connection we need. I’ll be ready for sunshine again (we had a beautiful weekend) but storms and rain most of the week again. I’ll have to make my own sunshine ☀️. 🎶🙏🏻🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  4. atimetoshare.me

    Thanks for this heartfelt post about the importance of family in building a solid future generation. Your memories are much like mine even though we grew up at different times. I remember family gatherings with relatives I didn’t even know. Now we’re all spread so far apart the connection seems to be unraveling. The good old days are right now in the moments we turn onto memories. Your poem is lovely too. Hope you are recovering and will back up to speed soon. Love you and think of you every day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sweet Kathy, I love you. I think of you and Paul everyday, too. I’ve missed reading. How are you? Thank you for your support and encouragement always. I feel so blessed to have these memories all tucked away. Some come out when I least expect it! And it makes me smile 😊. I’m glad you enjoyed the poem~when I wrote it, I was thinking about how being “shackled” in a place of peace is much better than the alternative! I hope and pray my cough will subside. Right now it’s just wearing me out! It seems no matter what I take it creeps back within an hour. I’m positive I’ll recover, just maybe not in the time frame I thought at first. 💛❤️🙏🏻🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Deloris and Doris. That makes me smile. My mother-in-law and her twin sister are Dana and Tana. And you’re a twin, too?

    Such heartfelt memories and a poignant reflection on love, Naomi, and mental health.

    Take care of yourself, Karla! Prayers for continued recovery and strength.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Crystal, how thoughtful and kind. Just seeing their names makes me smile again. Dana and Tana~I love that. Yes, I’m a twin. I appreciate your support and thoughtfulness so much. And definitely the prayers. I hope you take care, too. 💛

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  6. I love this post! Love is indeed the key and the essence of what makes us children of a loving God. I’m so sorry to hear that you were laid low by COVID. Being ill (and terribly so) is no fun. On the bright side you were surrounded by care provided by your friends and family! That must make it so much better, knowing you are loved!! Hope you recover quickly! (my sister had it twice and is still regaining her sense of taste and smell.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Val! It did make me feel better knowing I had family and friends. I truly didn’t want anyone to get though, so it’s a slippery slope! The whole sense of taste and smell is very strange. I’m recovering with some cough, but the smell and taste still are not there 100%. Finley and I smell great to me! Lol! 🤪😝

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  7. Karla, thank you for this most beautiful post. Family is so important! My Mother was from a large family and I have fond memories of being together with aunts, uncles, and cousins. I didn’t know much about mental illness until I had a friend who suffered greatly. Love the poem and you remain in my prayers. Hugs🙏🏻 🌺💛

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome, Pam and thank you for your love and support. Memories of all the family traditions are fun. Simply, marinating on all the good ones is what makes me smile 😊 Depression and other forms of mental illness can be debilitating. I’m so happy there’s an awareness to it in our society {versus a stigma}. I appreciate the prayers so much! I’m still coughing a bit, but every day is better! Hugs to you and your sweet family, too. Thank you, Pam. 💛💕🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Brings a lot of memories back to me, also of a family not quite as interesting as yours, but definitely big-table oriented, with love and loud conversations and louder laughter. Glad you have mended. Stay well inside and out, and keep writing and drawing pictures with words. Shalom, Jane

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    1. Dear Jane,…it’s so good to see you. Thank you so much for your sweet words of encouragement. I love the words, “big-tabled oriented, with love and loud conversations and louder laughter”. I’m getting better each day. I hope you stay well too my friend. Peace and blessings! 💛🤗

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  9. I got Covid too recently! I think it’s just coming after everyone now. I do hope you are feeling a little better. Your writing, as always, both the prose and poem is beautiful and inspiring.

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  10. Inspiring post! Karla, your affirmation of what love truly means enriches each of us. The Resurrection reminds daily of God’s love for us, that He would sacrifice His Son to bear our sins. There is no greater love. May our families and relationships walk in the love of Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this rich picture you paint of your family gatherings and the love that fills the room. Family gatherings don’t happen nearly often enough these days for me and sadly, when they do, most of the grandkids have their noses buried in one kind of device or another. But we are going to have three of them visit us out here next month and keep them so busy they won’t have time to look at a post!

    Blessings to you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Russell! I definitely cling to these memories as they are few and far between now. I bet you’ll keep them busy to avoid the devices. Grand idea, Grandpa! I’m sure they will make memories with you both that you will all hold dear! Take care and blessings to you and Joan!

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  12. wonderful post; I empathise with this; one of the happiest time of my life — and this lasted four years — was when my daughter. son in law and grandees came to live with us a few time in those early years; bonds were forged that are still active 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Life is full of struggles. In fact, that’s what life is all about. Learning to take them
    with a smile on your face a and love in your heart is how best to go through this
    wonderful, delightful, surprising, challenging life of ours. Hugs with love, Eddie

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Karla, so grateful you are feeling a tidge stronger now. And big hugs to you for sharing your precious childhood memories – although all of us may not have fond ones to look back upon it does help us to cherish the few that you help to conjur up. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dawn, thank you so much my friend. I appreciate your kinds words and friendship. I may have taken a step back. I can’t figure this Covid out. I’m trying to be so patient, but my congestion, cough, and lack of energy is tiring! But I know I’ll get better. I’m a bit shocked! Yes, not all memories are good. So focusing on the great ones truly keeps me grateful! Love you my friend! ❤️💛🤗🥰

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      1. My dear Dawn,…it’s been a strange few weeks. I was diagnosed with cancer after my Covid sickness. It’s rare. Pancreatic Neuroendocrine cancer. The tumor (quite large) on my pancreas spread to my liver. It’s metastasized to a couple of lymph nodes, a small one on my skull, thoracic spine, hip, pelvis,….I start Chemo pills this Friday and several appts coming up. It’s all surreal. Thankfully, my relationship with Christ Jesus gives me hope. The pain is managed, now comes new routines . I’m so fatigued and I pray, specifically, that the side effects are minimal. Thanks to the Red Cross both of my sons and their families are here. Everyone taking turns to stay with me. It’s overwhelming, yet lovely. I pray that my ultimate physician has his way. As a Christ follower, no matter what, it’s a win win. Sending you love and hugs, Dawn, I love you. 🙏🏻💪🏻❤️💛😍😘🥰🤗🥹

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      2. My dear Karla. I cannot even like this reply as my heart aches over this unexpected news.☹️ I immediately run to you as Mary to Elizabeth with my hugs, my prayers and my blessings. May you find solace in Luke 1:39-56 during this time and continue to embrace the greatness of the Lord in your own way. “the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.” Always know my prayers are not far from you especially this friday, as I shall unite myself to you in steadfast prayer as you begin this journey of healing. And just like Mary I shall remain with you…united in faith, hope, and belief in a God who loves us beyond measure. 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘

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      3. Dawn, thank you thank you thank you. United in faith and hope is what this life requires! Much love to you! 💛💕❤️💕💛🥰😘🤗🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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    1. Mark, I’m going to create a post for all of you. I appreciate you checking in and I left you a note on your post. There will be more to share! Have a blessed and beautiful Sunday! 😊🙏🏻

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    1. Thank you, Gary. I’m so glad you’re recovering. Right after Covid, I got diagnosed with cancer. The last several weeks have been challenging. It’s rare ~pancreatic neuroendocrine. It’s low grade tumor, however, it spread to liver, a few lymph nodes, small one on skull, thoracic spine, hip, and pelvis. I start chemo pills this Friday as it’s inoperable since it’s stage 4 cancer. I haven’t developed a new routine with this, but I know God is my ultimate physician. My adult kids and their families flew in and my Mom and sister are helping as everyone is taking turns staying with me until I can get through first days of chemo. I believe in a God that can heal. No matter what, as a Christian, it’s a win-win for me. I hope to get back on WP soon! Take care, Gary. Blessings and prayers for you and yours. 🙏🏻💪🏻

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  15. Oh Karla, You have a Journey within our journey ahead of you. You will be in my prayer notebook that I use daily. Trust His Heart.
    We know of pain, suffering and healing from care-giving for 40 years. God allows it all and He heals, as you say one way or the other. 50 years from now it might not even be worth talking about. Most of us bloggers will have compared a lot of life notes by then with Jesus and one another.

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Tangie! I’m enjoying my time off of chemo. I’m not as strong as I used to be, physically anyway. But mentally and spiritually I feel strong—stronger! I thank God for every new day. I hope you’re well too my friend. I know your struggles. 🙏🏻❤️💛

      Liked by 2 people

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