FAITH IS GREATER THAN FEAR

Dear Friends,

I stepped off a plane on Friday May 29 anxious to see my family and new grandson who was born Sunday March 22. Jamey was growing fast and I couldn’t wait to meet him before he started high school, ha ha. San Francisco International Airport was like a ghost town – I felt I was in the middle of a futuristic science fiction movie. I took photos because my commercial airplane loving and aspiring pilot grandson Donovan wanted documentation of what was going on in airports. I was happy to oblige:

One of the first things I noticed when I arrived at my son and daughter-in-law’s house was the chalkboard message in the kitchen:

FAITH > FEAR

I washed up and planted myself on the back deck, not pushing anything. I deferred to Krysti, a R.N. to lead the way.  If she didn’t want me to hold the baby, I understood. I believe that Krysti tapped into her nursing knowledge, faith and intuition and allowed that to steer her.  Before I knew it, she placed Jamey in my lap. I was in seventh heaven to finally be holding this beautiful little angel with twinkling eyes, dimpled smile, and flawless creamy skin:

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Nana and grandson meet for the first time

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A new soul bringing light into the world

My visit also coincided fortuitously with a return of my daughter Meghan who had moved to Texas in March, and was now in California for a business appointment.  We arranged to meet for an ocean hike. The minute Meghan saw me, she came up to me and gave me a hug and sweet greeting, “Hello Nana!”  Since she’s not a big hugger, I was taken off guard but absolutely delighted to receive this spontaneous gesture of love!  Not one ounce of fear in her courageous heart.

Here’s our old stomping grounds. What a wonderful June reunion of family.  Krysti and baby, Meghan, my sister Linda and me.

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A visit to Northern California would not be complete without seeing my East Bay grandchildren, Mary Sue and Maverick:

All of this is a lead up to a poignant story that, in my opinion, is illustrative of choosing faith over fear.

I was hiking on a new trail in Pacifica with friend Rosie and as we headed back, I saw a young boy climbing up the hill toward us. He smiled broadly at Rosie and I thought she knew him. I noticed that the little boy had a bent, stiff arm at his side and appeared as if he might have cerebral palsy. He walked with a bit of a limp too but it was overshadowed by a brilliant smile and life force emanating from his small body. He stopped in front of Rosie to get a high five and she gave one.  I was lagging a bit behind and caught up and asked, “where is my high five?”  He gave me a hardy slap and at the same time I saw his father making the climb up the hill, and he called out to Rosie and me:

He’s not contagious!”

“I’m not worried,” I replied.

“Oh God bless both of you,” he said to Rosie and me,

“I love you.”

Rosie said she got goosebumps.

The little boy, who appeared to be about six years old, didn’t know about the world’s new commandments, “thou shalt keep six feet distance” and “thou shalt not shake hands“.  He wanted to run up ahead on the trail, greet strangers close up and slap their hands. Rosie and I did not hesitate to make human contact and it moved the father to such a degree that he told two strangers he loved them. Perhaps he had experienced hikers jumping out of the way of his exuberant, high-five slapping son and was overtaken with emotion by two people who were not afraid.

What does it mean to be human, I’ve asked myself many times in 2020. I know I need human contact, love and friendship to feel human.  Sure it’s absolutely necessary to protect the elderly and vulnerable, but as a wise man once said, none of us are going to get out alive so I choose to live my life and not be afraid.  I can’t do otherwise.

That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change. But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.” *

As I end this June chapter on the arrival of summer solstice and ring of fire solar eclipse, I would like to take this opportunity to wish my husband Dan a happy wedding anniversary.  40 years ago on June 21st we exchanged vows in St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in San Mateo, California, and went to my parent’s back yard for a lively outdoor reception.  Three children and nine grandchildren later, I’m honored to have spent these years with Dan, my brave Celtic warrior, who chose to jump into that burning ring of fire with me.  It’s never been boring and his sense of humor and easy going disposition have been a good antidote to my more fiery nature!

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40 years ago in my parents’ backyard

This solar eclipse, the only one of its kind this year, unveils to us a bold, breathtaking and blazing ring of fiery light since the moon’s disk is not quite enough to cover the sun.  This is a reminder that darkness can never completely overpower light.  If I focus on the divine light within and protection of my Higher Power, then…

I shall not fear “the terror of night or the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” **

Keep the faith dear friends and readers.

Love,

S.G.

*Chinese proverb quoted in Courage to Change, page 305

**Psalm 91

 

 

 

 

27 thoughts on “FAITH IS GREATER THAN FEAR

    • Thank you so much for reading, Donna. That story was brewing in my head since June 4, and I really felt I needed to share it with people on a wider basis. The first time I told my daughter-in-law about the little boy, I cried and could barely get the words out. It was so profound. Things like this happen to me quite often and I feel somehow I need to write them down and share them with people.

      Goosebumps are good. It means we are feeling! Interesting that your life and mine have had some very similar parallels of late! Both our latest posts have been about reunions and relationships! A good thing to write about.

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

  1. ON FAITH AND CONVICTION; BELIEF AND CONVINCED

    ♡ We Often Ask what is The Difference between Being Believing and Convincing as Opposed to Faithful and Convicted; perhaps the Latter is UnShakeable and the Former is Malleable, so ALL THOUGHTS!!! EveryOne, Please 🤔 ?

    …♡♡♡…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Yernasia,

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting. You bring up a powerful point and I really don’t have the answer. I suppose faith enhanced with conviction is the strongest position, and we all get there at our own pace.

      God Bless.

      Love,
      S.G.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jennifer,

      thank you dearest daughter-in-law for reading and commenting. You and Ian and the kids help to keep me on the side of Faith; I couldn’t do it without you!

      Love,
      Nana

      Like

    • Dear Suzanne,

      Thank you so much for reading and your kind and generous comment. I was on hiatus for a bit but I didn’t want to wait too much longer to share the story of that little boy on the trail!

      It was so good to share good (and somewhat normal) times with family. No restaurants were open yet during my visit and my Mother’s gym in her condo building was still closed, but we all made the best of it. Afterall, the most important thing was that we were together.

      I hope you and your family are well!

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

    • Dear Maria,

      I’m so honored to hear from you and I treasure all the history we’ve had and the shared experience of faith! I knew when I saw that sign in Krysti’s kitchen that I had to write about it, especially in conjunction with the encounter of that little fearless boy! I hope to see you this year when I visit again.

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

    • Dear Elizabeth,

      So wonderful to hear from you! I’m so honored to have you here and to see your comment. I’m having such a good retirement life in spite of major hiccups such as mandatory lockdowns and what not. It really underscores for me what matters most in life, and not to take anything for granted. I was getting a bit of Zoom fatigue; I know it served me greatly in a pinch, and it was better than nothing, but I don’t want to get used to forging intimacy through technology, so I took a break. I’m trying to spend as much time outdoors as I can (when it’s not 108 degrees outside! ha ha)

      Miss you.

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

  2. Thank you for your heart warming blog!
    So glad you were able to receive some physical affection from your family.
    Love your pics… how your beautiful family has grown!

    And congratulations to you & Dan on 40 years of bliss !! . 🙂
    Stay safe. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dearest Friend,

      Thank you so much for reading and your beautiful and kind words. I remember seeing the photos of you and your family finally getting together and it warmed my heart. I know we can all sacrifice for a bit, but taking away our “hearts” can do more harm than good.

      I’ll always remember the good ol’ days when we raised our kids one block from each other. I have such fond memories, and now look at us! We’ve got loving strong families and beautiful grandchildren. I told my daughter a story about a Mom and daughter (age 30) who would not hug each other on Mother’s Day and stayed in their separate cars and spoke to each other through open windows. My daughter said “that is not me” and I said, “that is not me.” Everyone makes their own decisions and I err on the side of the heart.

      I miss you!

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

  3. Congrats. on your 40th wedding anniversary and your new grandson Jamey and all your grandkids. You have quite a large litter!!! Wow 40 years! You don’t look that much different.

    I like what you had to say about human contact. It’s really ironic that the thing we need the most – loving human contact – now can put us at risk or put us into fear. One just has to trust God and stay in love during these crazy times. This too will pass. It’s not easy with our media but I try to not watch much news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear SAH,

      Your comment is so kind and deeply appreciated. I’ve decided that loving in-person human contact is essential business for me, so I will try to grab it whenever I can. People can assess their risks and make their own decisions, and I’m lucky in that I have a family who doesn’t fear hugging me, nor I them. I’ve seen a lot of fear rearing its ugly head everywhere and it makes me sad.

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

  4. Dear Susan, Hee hee. Definitely need to see Jamey before he starts high school. 💕 I have read how surreal the airports are right now. You remind me again how times have changed. I am overcome with emotion on your description how Kristi placed Jamey in your lap. The first time you hold your new little angel. There is no better feeling. No words to truly describe. It warms my heart how you are looking at each other.

    The story about the young boy speaks volumes in its simplicity. It could have been an uncomfortable scarring incidence. Instead, a joyful lesson on what makes us human.

    You really describe well the lessons I have learned over the last few months. We followed “the rules.” Six feet distance, no shaking hands, no hugs, not even seeing the children and daughters for close to three months. A few incidences happened where is life really worth living when we cannot be human. Yes, temporarily, yet will isolation go on for months and months/years? Before the virus, I always told the children every week, “they are the best part of my week.” Later on virtual face time connections did not cut it.

    Huge Congratulations to you and Dan on your wedding anniversary! The wedding photo is beautiful! You are gorgeous, Susan! Thank you for sharing a beautiful, timely post with a profound message. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear E/E,

      Your comment WARMS my heart! I know we have all been willing to make sacrifices for the greater good; in my parts it was originally going to be two weeks, and people and small businesses could definitely hang with that, but it got extended and extended into months and months. I know I lasted about two weeks before I needed to have some contact with friends, etc. And I too survived on zoom ukulele, yoga, chats with friends and family, etc., but nothing could take the place of seeing my family and friends in person!

      I feel that tech titans are salivating over our dependence on devices, and wish to sell us on the idea of more and more tech use for school, meetings, work, recreation, exercise, fellowship, etc. There is a place for technology, I know, but it’s a two edged sword. I’ve reduced my usage and dependence on smart devices, zoom etc that attempt to take the place of *real intimacy*! Friends I had connected with either thru Zoom or WhatsApp asked where I went. Well I went out… to exercise, to see people, to hike and play golf, to swim….in short to find and nourish human connections. (but Facetime with my daughter in Texas will NOT get old for the time being; and I’ve planned a little trip in August to see her and my granddchildren in person.<3 )

      BTW,my oldest grandson age 15, does not like depending mostly on tech for his classes; he actually wants to go to school, but what the schools have planned for fall are a page out of Orwell's 1984. I feel so bad for him – he really wants a boy's life, friends, sports, activities, dances, wood and auto shop, in person connections and he is being denied that.

      I am still swooning from holding Jamey! That was such a special, spontaneous moment I was not expecting: my daughter-in-law all of a sudden dropping Jamey into my lap.

      I also so appreciate your happy anniversary wishes. That also got me motivated to sit down and write. I wasn't going to write this blog as I was on hiatus, BUT the story of the little boy tugged at my heart and I knew I had to share it. I think not to share it would have been a mistake. It really was profound when it happened. When I tried to tell my daughter-in-law about it, I cried, and then she cried.

      If I've learned anything (and of course I've learned something) throughout this crisis , it is to not take anything for granted and that we can always get by with less.

      Thanks for understanding my writing and where I am coming from. You are indeed a kindred spirit and words can't capture the deep well of gratitude I feel for your support.

      Love,
      S.G.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan, I definitely learned a great deal these past three months. My husband and I did have some very blue periods, all because we could not see the children. Then when we were able to social distance, we had to stay away from the two year old, since of course, he did not understand why he couldn’t run up to us and hug us as usual. Yes, stay smart, keep everyone healthy. It was/is that small bubble that means a great deal to us. Facetime with your daughter is still the good option right now. Many years ago, I saw my family once a year plus once a week/month phone calls because we lived thousands of miles away. It was the norm for us and the only option.

        Okay on the long comments, Susan. You and I seem to have this thing. Layers of thoughts. A similar wavelength of values. I set aside uninterrupted Susan time to fully absorb your posts.💕❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  5. So touching! Amazing how perfect strangers can impact our lives.
    Even with our “aging” memories I’ll never forget your wedding and the reception in your parents’ Hillsborough home. How radiant you were! I even remember when you met good ol’ Danny Boy. Wonderful -all the offspring and the many joys you share.
    Who would’ve thought when you were a Cathedral Pom-Pom girl where you’d be nearly 50 years later.
    Congratulations!
    Long may you cheer!
    Love,
    Mooley

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Molly

      I am so honored that you read and commented! It gives me great joy to know that we have so much shared history and you were there for the momentous occasions of my life. It does seem like yesterday that Dan’s and my wedding reception was held in my parents’ backyard.

      We never know when an encounter will change our lives: yes, meeting Dan on St. Patrick’s Day, you moving to France to forge a life there, that little disabled boy on the hiking trail (forever etched in my memory). It’s these beautiful moments I’ll remember when all is said and done. And none of them have to do with material riches. 😉

      I’ll keep on cheering if you keep on plucking (uke) 🙂

      Love,
      S.G.

      Like

  6. Ted and I just returned from a two-week road-trip across ten states. In a sense, it was our way of escaping the grip of the pandemic, venturing forward, a call to feel human again and live without fear. Thanks for your post. The message was well received.

    I enjoyed your family photos! My two favorites were the one of you and Dan on your wedding day, and the one of you and your ninth grandchild meeting for the first time. What a journey you and Dan have traveled together for 40 years, in faith and without fear! Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Virginia,

      Your comment is gratefully received on my end and is a high point in my day to hear from you on this page. You and I have spoken a lot about faith and what is important in life. I’m so glad you and Ted got to see the country and I hope and pray you got to experience a semblance of normality to the degree that you could. Riverside County, per governor orders, is closing up small businesses again and my heart goes out to these small operators. The fitness centers are closed now at our community even though these centers and small businesses in our county including restaurants, hair salons, nail salons, gyms were all following safety protocol: masks, distancing, limited numbers in the establishment, zealous spraying of disinfectant. You just can’t win. It takes such a huge leap of faith to trust that all will be okay.

      Your favorite photos were also my favorite photos: Jamey looking up at his Nana for the first time, and the day Dan and I exchanged our vows. Dan and I did take a big leap of faith as we got engaged after only 3 months of dating, ha ha. But I guess when you know, you know.

      Much love,
      S.G.

      Like

  7. I am soooo happy you were able to get out and see family! All of these pictures are wonderful – what a beautiful bride you were. Congratulations on 40 years – that’s incredible. Definitely not living in fear here…just more cautious 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Pam,

      I still have such fond memories of my visit up north and when I saw my new grandson for the first time. I would risk anything to make it happen and I would do it again, in a heartbeat. I agree that caution is always good…assessing our risks, etc., and making informed decisions. That is wise, and at the same time we don’t want to completely lose the things that make us feel human and give us joy and a reason to live.

      I look forward to catching up on your latest adventures!

      Love,
      S.G.

      Liked by 1 person

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