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{Straight From the Heart}   *When Daddy Died*  3/5/01


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A very special Happy 19th Birthday to our Jillian! (Jill Lucas)  We love you Jill and
hope you know how special you are to not only us, but to the many friends and
family who love you dearly!
Michael & Kristi

Important message from Michael:

How many times have you received an email asking you to "Please forward this to all of your friends."  Did you send it along?  Maybe it looked legitimate, or maybe it was from a trusted source such as a close friend.  Did you check it out first, or did you just forward it to everyone in your address book?
It might be an email stating that Madalyn Murray O'Hair is trying to get religious broadcasting banned from radio and television.  It might be an email about a little girl named Kelsey Brooke Jones who is supposedly missing.  Or it might be one where attorney Janet Reno supposedly states on 60 Minutes that all Christians are members of cults...

David Barnett writes: "As Christians, it is our duty and responsibility to avoid spreading falsehoods and untruths, and to put a stop to their spread when we can. There are many
Internet stories and "urban legends" being circulated on the Internet, and they often sound very legitimate.  Many times, they prey on the Christian's sense of duty, of wanting to do what's right, of wanting to help right a wrong.  Oftentimes, they prey on our natural fears.  Unfortunately, many of these are also false stories; sometimes they were never true in the first place; sometimes they were true at one time, but are now outdated; and sometimes they simply twist facts to suit the author's purpose."
In this article David Barnett explains just how dangerous and irresponsible forwarding these types of emails can be...
I greatly encourage every single one of us to read this article and then share it with
as many people as you can!

Check it out on our website at:



By Irene Budzynski


Filled with the frenetic restlessness of my 14 years, I impatiently stood in my parents kitchen listening to the drone of their conversation.   Hurry up, hurry up, was my sole thought as I beat an accompanying tap with my foot.  The city bus would be arriving at the corner stop any minute and I was tired of listening to chatter about doctor's appointments and chest pain and shortness of breath.  My main goal was to get to school on time and to avoid a detention slip. 

I couldn't wait any longer.  "Bye, Pop," I called out.  Totally out of character, my father was lying in bed while I tore through the house grabbing my jacket, lunch, and bus fare.  Mother was making Daddy a cup of tea when I hesitated at the door.  It was the first time in my life that I could remember not kissing him good-bye.  Oh, well. No time for a kiss today.  Nosiree.  Gotta go.  My friends were waiting. He'll be here this afternoon.  I'll kiss him then. 

Besides, Daddy, at age 54, was a strapping 5' 11.  He was a railroad engineer working long, unorthodox hours on his daily train routes.  He led the life of the rails, playing cards at the station house with the rest of the crew until his next "run."   Sure, he smoked unfiltered Camel cigarettes, but who didn't in 1964?  He was usually the first one on the dance floor, whirling my mother around in a dizzying polka, stopping long enough to quench his thirst with a beer.

In between his extended train trips Pop tilled and weeded his garden, coaxing abundant crops from the earth.  Back porches of the neighbors were filled with the fruits of his labor, and, if the neighbor lady was home, as most women were in the early 1960's, he'd stop by for a cup of coffee and a good joke.  Everyone loved to see his big smile. 

So, on that cold February morning, I didn't give it much of a thought when I naively decided to exit without my usual hug and kiss.  There was nothing to worry about.  Besides, my father had promised to refinish a piece of battered furniture he'd picked up at the salvage yard.  His workshop in the cellar was outfitted with the lifetime collection of a man who saw beauty in wood and castoffs.  A favorite comment of his after a trip to the dump was, "Look at this beauty.  Why, just a little sanding and it will be as good as new." Our home was filled with little beauties.

His lesson to look beyond the outer shell of a piece of a furniture also included people we met.  A particularly grouchy salesclerk was excused with, "Well, her husband is sick.  She has a lot on her mind."   He didn't let other people's bad moods ruin his day. 

As I ran into the brisk air I called over my shoulder, "See ya later!"   Hopeful words which never came true. 

The guilty nagging of unfinished business bore into my conscience. I tried to relieve the ache by calling home at the end of the school day.  Daddy was about to drive to the doctor's office for his appointment, and he'd see me when I got home.  Absolved, I went about the business of a high school freshman.

Something was very wrong when I got off the bus at the end of my road.  I could see a black stretch limousine parked in front of my house.  The kind of car only the funeral director in town drove. I tried to run on rubbery legs, but, no matter how hard I pushed myself, it felt like I was going in slow motion.  Breathlessly I flung open the kitchen door and stopped in my tracks.  My mother's face told the story.  Next to her, the mortician began his technical explanation of what had happened.  I couldn't hear for the blood rushing into my ears.  The only sound was an empty roar.  

The next few days were tearless and raw.  I sat in the back of the funeral parlor looking at the body of my father in the casket.  I'm only a kid!  He's not supposed to die yet!  My friends all had their fathers. He's too good and too young.  It isn't fair.  I spiraled into my empty core and knew that life was over as I knew it.

There was no rushing to go out the door now.  I didn't care about school or my friends.  Burning into my brain was the memory of the lost moment, words never spoken, the hug never felt.  Time was the enemy and it overwhelmed me as the clock tick-tocked through the night.  Hour after hour I heard the chime and dawn viciously invaded my room.  I was in no hurry for the day's events.

I wouldn't allow the tears that were pushing against my eyes to fall for fear that I'd be unable stop the torrent.  The pain that saturated every pore of my body prevented me from hearing or seeing anything but my father.  I wanted to be invisible, to be with Daddy.  Who would come to my concerts?  My graduation?  My whole being screamed, "I need you!"   How could God do this?

The hours, the days, the years after my father's death were blurry and turbulent as I foolishly tried to escape reality.  Attempting to fill the aching void in my heart with the empty promises of a fast life delivered only trouble, and time did not heal my wounds.  I was too busy being angry about my loss, but the day came when my grades couldn't fall any lower, when there were no more parties, when my dearest and oldest friends stopped calling, when I couldn't look at myself in the mirror without shame, and the dam of tears broke. 

For the first time, I mourned the death of my father, allowing emotion to wash over me.  I cried for the loss of my childhood, for the way things used to be when my father was in our home, for the good times never to be realized, but, most of all, for the person I had become.  I felt like I could never be normal again.

Powerless, I called on the God of my childhood, and the healing began. The simple act of asking for help was the first step of a long and difficult journey.  Daddy's death lost its sting as my rebellious, destructive existence became a new life filled with self-discipline and responsibility.  There were many times when I felt like a jigsaw piece that didn't fit into a puzzle, but eventually that feeling left.  Gratitude stepped in and took its place.

I had known pain.  I learned to know joy.  Finally, I had become my Father's daughter.

Irene Budzynski

Send Irene an email and let her know what you thought of her story!

Irene is a registered nurse living in Connecticut who is fully aware how quickly life can be changed.  Death is a double-edged sword.  It takes away the physical life of a loved one, but it leaves us the memory of love which we need to pass along.  I try to not miss a moment to say, "I love you."   The chance may never come again.
From: (Judy)

I would like you to pray for my grandson Ryan Caleb Hickey who is in the hospital. I have told you the story as my son Montie has of his life and health problems. They think he may have pneumonia. Please pray for his mommy and daddy to have strength to go thru this one time. They depend on the Lord for their strength. Thank you again and thank you for a wonderful site to come to and be refreshed.
Lord Bless You.
Judy (GRAMS)

Thought For The Day:

"It is what we give up, not what we lay up, that adds to our lasting store."
--Hosea Ballou

Verse for the Day:

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth... but store up for yourselves
treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is there your heart will be also."
--Matthew 6:19-21

Toddler's Thought For The Day:

"If it is closed, it must be opened. If it does not open, it must be screamed at."

Parent's Thought For The Day:

"The main purpose of holding children's parties is to remind yourself that there are
children more awful than your own."

Coach's Thought For The Day:

"The Lord gave us two ends to use; one to think with, the other to sit on.  Which
one we use will determine how well we do in life.  In other words, heads you win,
tails you lose."

Deep Thought For The Day:

"Have you seen the latest invention?  It's a microwave fireplace. You can sit around it for a whole evening in eight minutes!"

\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but
\_\/\ \   Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live for the Son
   \_\/   of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20 

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by the individual writer.  Thanks!

Video Imagery (Michael's Video Production Business.)

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have given them!!  You did such a beautiful job!  They were so surprised and so
touched---they really, really, really loved it.  Thanks for helping to make it so
special to us all.  My mom mentioned how the songs were perfect for the
video too!  Thanks again!"
Kelli-- College Station, TX

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