Busy Day, Busy Weekend . . .
Today is "Paint the Town Red" in Petal. One of the big time football rivalries between Petal and Oak Grove is being played tonight on our field. I'm told that ESPN is coming to town and that it is being televised, sponsored by C-Spire, a Mississippi based telecommunications company. Big game! So big, that the schools are being dismissed at noon. Not only are the SEC and the Univ. of Southern Mississippi big around here, but so is high school football. You can be sure there will a packed house!
However, I won't be in attendance. Beginning tonight and going through Sunday afternoon there is a spiritual development (for lack of something to call it) retreat being held at a retreat center close to Jackson and I am going. The Presbytery puts on two a year, but I have resisted going until now. My prayer is that being on retreat will help me chase away some of the blues I've been feeling lately. The changes that have taken place since Tom died have been a hard adjustment and the loss of MANY friends and Aunt May during this time keeps me in a fog of sadness. Even the announcement of the death of Andy Williams yesterday caused sorrow because of all the memories associated with him. Everything stopped at the Suttle Senior house when Andy's show came on the air. Everywhere I look, everywhere I turn, I see Tom. My college 50 year reunion is in a couple of weeks and I am beginning to dread going instead of looking forward as I was for a long time. Tom and I met and began to date while I was a student there. The memories are sweet and painful at the same time. Standing to sing in church Sunday next to Jacob was almost like being next to Tom, especially when I heard this bass voice coming from Jacob. The good part of all the memories is that the memory of how devastated his body was at the end is fading. I have fought letting this get me down, but lately I've been slipping lower and lower. It will be good to be with people who experience the joy of Christ and want to share. I never want to sound ungrateful, but I have.
I've also been thinking about my brother a lot and have wondered about him. It's a long story that doesn't need laying out, but he and I have not had a relationship since we were very young. I last saw him the year Tom was in Vietnam in 1967-68, but have spoken with him on the phone mainly to keep him in touch with my mother. After she died in 2003 we lost touch and I have wondered about him. The source of much information, the computer, revealed when I searched that he died in 2009. I really didn't know him, but we did have the same parents. My thoughts have been crowded with "what if's" and a little guilt because I made no effort to contact him on my own.
When you answer the phone and the person on the other end begins with "Are you sitting down?" you're ususally in for big news. My brother-in-law and his wife called yesterday to alert me to the fact that it looks like we have a problem with the IRS over Dad Suttle's estate. The IRS claims that we owe back taxes and I'm standing firm on advice we received and the integrity of Tom! Papers from a CPA they hired are enroute to both me and my CPA and I'll know more then. It was hard to contain my anger as I thought of the man Tom hired to be the executor of Dad's estate since we were in California, not Mississippi. That lawyer mad a big mess of things and the estate itself was not even settled for eight years. You would think, with all this fuss, that there were millions of dollars involved. Not so!!! When nature called about 3:30 this morning, I began thinking about the huge amount of money we aapparently owe and the thoughts ended my sleep.
Later, as I was praying for a sick person on my prayer list, I thought about fear and the verse, "Perfect love casts out fear," suddenly came to mind. Heretofore, I've focused on my love for God, but after thinking on that, I realized that the verse speaks to God's love for us. My love in no way is perfect; it wavers; it stumps its toe; falls flat on its face. But God's love is unconditional, unchanging and eternal. God's love never depends on what I do or don't do. God's love is perfect - - - and God who loves me perfectly sent the fear I have of the IRS on its way. Duh! I need so many reminders.
I covet your prayers this weekend.