Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Measure of Greatness

Like most of us, my grandmother had both a public and a private life. And the two, like most of us, were not always congruent. She was active in community politics which is a passion I did not inherit. It brought her a lot of satisfaction personally as well as recognition within her city. At the funeral home, her badges and awards were displayed on a pedestal. I think she would've liked that. Many years of hard work by a very smart woman were just barely represented by those items. And appropriately, people asked about the display giving us an opportunity to share her accomplishments. She earned that final recognition.
Not having shared her interest in politics, I admire her dedication to the worthwhile cause of bettering life for herself and the citizens around her. But as I sat in the funeral home thinking about my grandma, this was not a measure of greatness for me.
Her greatness, like all true greatness, cannot be represented by objects on a pedestal. It can only be seen by those who measure it more quietly. And so here is Diana's granddaughter's measure of her greatness.
My father went every single day to visit with his mother, be it in her home or in a hospital. His final act of devotion was a determination laid before God that she would not die alone. His prayer was honored and my dad ushered his mother into the arms of her Father.
My son has slept poorly for several days first worrying about her comfort in her final hours and then in grief that she was gone.
My mom ordering food for grandma in the hospital knew her well enough to know she wouldn't want lemon yogurt without needing to ask.
My sister went to the hospital late to trim her nails.
She made each of us special without being favorites by giving us nicknames that were like a special password between us.
And let's not forget, there is a whole new generation of pilaf makers already stepping forward bearing her fingerprints despite never having met her.
I did not inherit my grandmother's love of politics and government. None of that passion lives in me. Still, I think I have a chance at that other measurement of greatness. The greatness of knowing and being known well. The greatness of three generations christened with a nickname all with the same meaning, beloved child.
It is this measure of greatness that I long for. It is this measure of greatness that is my true inheritance.

Philipians 3:8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Laid To Rest

Today we laid my grandma finally to rest, although that seems rather silly to say. I don't imagine her resting at all. I imagine her laughing with Jesus, and him laughing right back. Her new body doesn't need to rest.
More accurately, I was laid to rest today. On the way home from the luncheon daboyz and the Mr. said they felt like they needed a nap and I felt perfectly awake. When we got home and changed I sat on the deck for a while in the warm breeze and that is when the sleepiness settled in. I came inside and laid on the couch under the ceiling fan and dozed. It wasn't long before I crawled into my bed and fell into a sound sleep. I was a few hours there and when I awoke I hadn't changed position. The bed was made and wasn't even rumpled I had laid so still.
Yesterday morning before the first viewing, I felt that my demeanor was on shaky ground. It felt for a while there like the grief of the three grandparents who have already passed had returned and my sadness was multiplied by four. I was a little worried that I was going to be one of those people who every one hovers around worried about their imminent collapse. I cried and cried and cried and ended up with a cold cloth on my eyes to reduce the swelling so I could put on mascara. I think I cried myself out because I didn't do a Scarlett O'Hara swoon at the funeral home as I feared I might. I am not generally given to such displays and don't care to start now.
So with the flood gates having opened yesterday morning, I cried myself right out and into a state of calm which has yet to leave me. I had a return of tears during the service but they were soothing and grateful tears for my grandma's life and more importantly, her death that I know marks her birth in heaven.
Maybe that's why I was laid to rest this afternoon. I don't doubt I will have days of missing my grandma, more tears are sure to flow. But at the center of my spirit, I am quieted. There is no restlessness in me.
At the official end of life and sickness and the death of my grandma, all is well with me. In knowing that she is truly and literally with Christ, I find rest.

1 Kings 5:4 But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Two Days In Heaven; July 27

Psalm 23
1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Services for Grandma Trent.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Diana Margaret Mezigian Trent


Rice Pilaf Recipe
1 bag Mahatma rice
1/3 box fettuccine
1 stick of butter
Pepper to taste
2 large cans of chicken broth

Cut in half for smaller portion.

Melt butter in large pot with lid. When butter has melted, stir in rice and fettuccine. Pepper to taste. Brown rice and fettuccine, add 2 cans of chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover. Check frequently until all broth is absorbed and pilaf is soft. DO NOT STIR DURING SIMMER! For some reason, that messes everything up.

Psalm 23 1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


My grandmother was transfered into hospice care and now we begin what will be our last days with her. I am fortunate to have not only the peace of my relationship with her but the peace of my relationship with Christ to be my comfort. Although we would all like to believe our loved ones will be those 100 year olds celebrated by Willard Scott as they continue to ride bikes and square dance, it is the normal course of life that our bodies are left behind at some point as we enter in to what our real lives are made of. Eternity.
I will admit to you that during these moments, especially so soon after my gramma's death, I find myself pausing to be sure that my life is well-lived. I do not want loved ones at my bedside wracked with pain or what-ifs. I will admit that three of my four grandparents had cancer. I will admit to rethinking the way I care for my body so that I am being properly responsible for what my life and death will mean to those who love me.
It is not the time now to share all the stories of my Grandma Trent. And let me tell you, there are some good ones! All of the stories are now the quiltwork of her life; wrapped around me to give me rest that in God, all things are complete. I am very sad. It comes upon me at unexpected moments. It is not her passing that overwhelms me but what it represents, the last of the stories. The open-ended way of life is quietly closing.
I made pilaf this week. For her as she lays in a hospital bed I made the food that she made to say, she lives in me. And in laughter and Christmas Eves and my son's Armenian hair and the voice that I will forever hear calling out to my husband, "There's my number one!"; she lives with me.
I am not sure if I am bowed with grief or with gratitude. I think they are intertwined. I know this, I am ready to carry on. The good things she poured out I have collected in my heart to pour out again.
And she will always live with me.
Very soon she will walk with Jesus. And here below I will take a breath and lift my head and continue my walk until it is my turn.
And someday make pilaf for my grandchildren. And she will live with them.

Psalm 4:8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

In case you were wondering, Mahatma rice makes the best pilaf.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


1. For my home.
2. For the people I work with.
3. For my family.
4. For having had four grandparents and being able to face having none with peace.
5. For my health.
6. For my garden.
7. For my friends.
8. For a sound mind.
9. For more things than I can list.
10. For Christ in me.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe...

Above: Painting of Hagphat Monastery in Armenia.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Donny's Vacation

It's too pretty outside to sit and blog, so here's Donny's vacation scrap book!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A New Week...

It's back to work for me on Monday although the Mr. has another week off, factory shut-down. Although I'd love to be at home, I'm grateful for a job I love that I don't dread returning to. So I won't complain.
My friend Janet is home from the hospital and doing much better. Please continue to keep her in your prayers. I haven't seen her since before we went on vacation but my sister has kept in touch and kept an eye on her. She has an illness that she will continue to deal with. Pray for grace and strength in her life. And most of all, praise the Lord for his healing already begun in her body!
My grandmother, my dad's mom, is in the hospital. She is in the final stages of illness although what that means in terms of actual time is uncertain. She has a sweet spirit and a very silly side that are still there despite her discomfort. Although we know that life as we know it is just the prologue to eternity; these times are bittersweet. Please pray for her now that these will be days of the full understanding and experience of God's love and grace resting on her, that she will continue to have joy and that she will not experience pain. Pray for my dad and his sister Kathy as well that they too will experience peace that passes understanding.
I awoke this morning to what I can only describe as Farm weather. Warm breezes, bright blue skies and fluffy clouds. I will admit to you that I did not attend church although I spent the morning in the tabernacle. I went outside to prune my flowers and the smell of marigolds with the beautiful summer day took me back and washed over me with deep quiet happiness. I spent a long time in my grampa's yard with the song Great Is Thy Faithfulness on my heart. I thought for a moment about writing a lengthy blog post about my morning of worship but instead, the Holy Spirit seemed to whisper to me that the morning was created to fill and renew me and so instead of taking notes, I let the divine surround me. I have a peaceful heart for a new week and new days yet to come.

Lamentations 3:22 & 23 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

July 13, 2008

Ezekial 37:26 & 27 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever. My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Back From Vacation

1. Home yesterday afternoon.
2. Please pray for my grandma, my dad's mom.
3. Pray for my dad and Kathy (his sister) as well.
4. Back to work on Monday.
5. The Mr. is off for another week!
6. Donny enjoyed English muffin toast & his first swim.
7. Had a wonderful quiet week together.
8. My crop circle is growing and the swamp is doing much better after a week without Donny rescuing the plants and throwing them on dry land.
9. My deadheading and haircutting worked, will post pics this week.
10. Happy to be home.

Pic: Donny's first experience swimming, in Moon Lake.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


First of all, and most importantly, my friend Janet had a better day today. Procedures and tests have ruled out the stuff that we were most worried about. The doctors think they have a working diagnosis and are starting treatment. She was able to walk the halls today and talk more. Still not completely well and having bouts of symptoms so please, continue to lift her up before the Lord.
Secondly....Happy birthday Donny! He is one year old today! In celebration, he is headed up north with us tomorrow for a week's vacation. He has never been up north before so he doesn't know the most important up north secret. Up north, dogs eat English muffin toast for breakfast.
And there you have it, we're off line and headed north. We are at the point when every year that daboyz still go with us is extra special. So we are packing up and getting organized and will likely head out late tonight or early tomorrow.
Have a wonderful week and a safe fourth of July!

Pic: Baby Donny's first day home, about 4 months old.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pray For Janet

Please pray for my sweet friend Janet. The only picture I have of her is a silly one and I just didn't feel like using it, not today. Janet is in the hospital as doctors try to figure out what's wrong with her. She has a high temperature and indescribable headache. Her muscles are sore and tense and she cannot get enough sleep. She had an episode like this about a year ago after returning from Mexico and now this one is much worse.
Please take a moment to pray for Janet and add her to your prayer chains. On behalf of Janet, her family and all of us who love her; thank you.

Update: Janet's symptoms have not improved since yesterday. She had another round of different procedures/tests today. The doctors are hopeful for an answer after the results are in. No word yet. Please continue to pray, as I know you are. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Herb But No Peaches

I have planted lemon balm
and mint.

Now what do I do with them?