December 23, 2010

The Journey Home

Greg's grandfather passed away today. Our hearts are so heavy. And yet we know. We know. He's home. He's healed. He's whole.

I've treasured an article written about Clarence, and his life-long sweetheart Anita. I want to share it with you . . .

Clarence Burkett still remembers the words of his Navy buddy, Bruno: "I'll introduce you to a nice girl, provided you'll be good to her."

Fair enough, Clarence thought. But the introduction would have to wait. It was 1943, World War II was raging and both men were sailors aboard the USS Pennsylvania, a battleship that had survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The "nice girl" that Bruno had in mind was a young woman from his hometown of Renton, Wash. Anita Qualiotto was her name, and she was also friends with Bruno's girlfriend, Cleo.

Bruno provided an address. And sometime in late summer of 1943, Clarence, a country boy from Paintsville, KY, began writing to Anita, whom he had never met and knew little about.

She answered each letter.

The correspondence continued for months as he saw duty in Hawaii, on the West Coast and in the Aleutian Islands.

"We just kept writing," Anita says. "Evidently, something clicked."

Details of those thoughts have been lost to time. The letters are gone.

Clarence left the battleship after a bout of appendicitis. In January 1944, he found himself stationed in Bremerton, Washington, just across Puget Sound from Renton.

So he hopped aboard a ferry boat to visit Anita for the first time.

"It felt like we knew each other," she says, then adds with a chuckle: "Naturally he fell in love with me immediately."

"She chased me till she caught me," Clarence says. Then he admits he never went steady with anyone else.

They married in April 1944, just three months after meeting.

--Written by John Johnston for the Cincinnati Enquirer in November, 2006.

Tonight he's with my angel-baby, my first, who was due this very day, December 23, five years ago.

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

December 19, 2010

Christmas Card {Blogger Style}

If I had my act together, and I do not, but if I did . . . I might use this picture for a 2010 card. I love that he has his arm around her. I am, however, a perfectionist. It would drive me crazy that her arm is blurry.

Second contender. I love how she's looking up at him. I love this moment. Might have to re-crop it a bit. Lose the sidewalk. Perfectionist at work here!

This one gets it right. She's a pint-sized drama-queen. He's holding his little sister's hand, looking at her the same way her daddy does . . .

Truth be told, no card this year. I am just too broke busy. But more than any of the previous excuses, I am soaking up these precious few holiday moments. So Merry Christmas to each of you!!

"I bring you good news of great joy to all people. The Savior--yes, the Messiah, the Lord--has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." Luke 2:10-12
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