Stand Up and Get the Tissues Ready: I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but in case you haven’t, here’s a beautiful spontaneous rendition of the national anthem from a choir conference.

If you are interested in Charlotte Mason education, the Childlight blog is a nice place to start. Here’s a good article from the last month called A First-Time Mother’s Perspective.

My wise friend Michelle wrote this article that I posted to the memorial site this week: How to Walk with a Friend in Grief (hint: it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and there is no finish line)

I’ve been taking in a lot of Rabbit Room artists over the last two weeks. You should probably just stick an IV in my arm and hook me up to Rabbit Room radio. Here’s one that will make you laugh, Andy Gullahorn’s “Skinny Jeans.”

A Last Time for Everything

Today we will go to a memorial service. The same church that has housed laughter and shouts from my children and their friends for six years will play a part in saying goodbye to one of them.

So today this song will be on repeat at our house, as it has been on my ipod most of the week.

Ben introduces this song by saying that as believers in Jesus, we believe that He will make all things new. What that reality means is that someday — maybe today — there will be a last funeral. No one will know it. The mourners will gather with tears and remembrances, flowers will be arranged, songs will be sung…and then death’s reign will be ushered out of this earthly realm for good.

It will be undignified, because death has been defeated. No one will grieve its passing.

You have to look death in the eye–
In the eye!
You need to see what’s hidden there:
You need to see that he’s afraid to die.

But you my love,
You’re gonna wake up soon
In your lonely room
To the sound of a singing bird

And throw the curtain back
To find your bag’s already packed
And the cab is at the curb.

And, like a bad dream–
Unreal in the morning light–
So will the world seem
When you see it in the mirror for the last time.

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Dragons Can Be Beaten

Our community is grieving here in Charlotte. This week we are saying goodbye to a 13 year old boy who was close to all of my boys. His loss was unexpected and quite sudden. His parents are some of our best friends.

I am grateful that the community is coming together to mourn and speaking truth to one another. I’m also grateful for music that tells the truth.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say in coming days, but for now, this should do:

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We’ll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all
And we’ll look back on these tears as old tales

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Nearness to Joy

The grief that came to me then was nothing like the grief I had felt for myself alone, at the end of my stay in Lexington. This grief had something in it of generosity, some nearness to joy. In a strange way it added to me what I had lost. I saw that, for me, this country would always be populated with presences and absences, presences of absences, the living and the dead. The world as it is would always be a reminder of the world that was, and of the world that is to come.

p. 132, Jayber Crow, by Wendell Berry

I just would like to put in another plug for Berry’s work.  I started reading his writing in a collection of short stories, called Fidelity, and moved on to Hannah Coulter. Now I’m deep into what most people say is his other masterwork, Jayber Crow.  It’s every bit as good as people say it is — maybe better.