On Remembering

What do you want to be this Halloween? I called a friend to ask him what his children were going to be this Halloween and he said that is yet to be decided… what I always loved about Halloween was that every year you had a do over… what worked last year hardly ever was repeated… new ideas… new directions… new interests and trends had to be carefully taken into consideration… two Halloweens in my childhood stick out in my mind

one when I was very young and my older brother and sister took me walking around the block in our hometown at the time, LaPlace, La… I might have been eight… they were older than me and I don’t even remember what I wore that year… but what I do remember was being with them… feeling safe that they were with me… and the fun we had… and walking quickly past some lady’s home that gave me the willies (she had spooky music playing on her porch… I didn’t even knock on her door!)

another year I remember going it alone… my brother and sister were off to college… I recall dressing up that year in some ballerina/fairy outfit… tutu, wand and all…it rained that year… trick or treating in the rain… ugh!!

oh yea the candy…I remember the candy… mounds of candy… much more candy than any child should consume… smiles from my neighbors… every once and awhile running into someone who did not give candy… who maybe gave a little toy… or the one year someone give me a fifty cent piece… I thought that was neat… and always the quest for the quintessential costume… some years a mask from the local discount store would suffice… remember those things… how funky it was to look out of those eye holes… and I’d always stick my tongue through the mouth… funny what we remember… and other years I needed something more elaborate… more creative… more unique… kids talking at school who already knew who they were going to be… and sometimes not knowing

Sometimes I find myself… right back at that question… What am I going to be? forget the mask.. the costume… the candy… this year in my life what am I going to be… now

Halloween has many meanings for folks… and really I’ve always seen the fun in kids dressing up … family and neighborhoods getting into it… also I remember that Halloween came from All Hallows Eve, before All Saints Day (Websters calls All Saints Day a festival in honor of all the saints… November 1)… remembering those who have gone before… those whose lives have touched us… maybe that’s where the spooky part got involved… Halloween was never about something really evil for me.. (although I believe in evil, but that’s another newsletter – see Psalm 23 if you are having trouble with that evil thing… it helps me)

All Saints Day is about remembering those who have gone before… what they changed about this life… how they made it better… how they are remembered… how will I be remembered… what was important in their lives… what is important in my life .. some churches have services or moments in services to reflect on these people in our lives… and maybe to look at our own lives and ask ourselves who we want to be? Who does God want us to be… want do I want to change in my life this year… what do I have the power to change… what resources are available to me… what worked last year might not work this year… on a personal note, this year we lost our saint of-a-dog Smokey… he died on Easter morning… he had been with us for 14 and 1/2 years… what we could learn about living and loving from that dog…

I don’t know where you are in your life but those are some great questions for me… what I am going to be in many areas of my life has yet to be decided… but what I do know is, I am following God’s lead a little more… trying to listen better… spending more time giving than taking… kissing Max and Ron and our other dog Blue as often as I can… celebrating my work and all the people I get to meet as I’m out singing… telling family and friends that I love them… laughing out loud as much humanly possible… accepting people for who they are, instead of who I want them to be… continuing to let go of past hurts and forgiving quicker… feeling really good about who I am today and what’s important in my life right now… so who do you want to be this year?… if you haven’t decided that’s OK

may you hear God in your life… may you smile when you remember someone in your life who is no longer here and have a moment of thanksgiving… may you always know that you can be anything you want to be… with God’s help… you can be yourself and that’s enough…


by the way the Whitlers this year have decided to be clowns (I know, it’s a stretch)… we’ve got our red noses ready… and we like chocolate!!!!!

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