Lynn's Continuing Journal

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

It's been a year since I posted last!  I can't believe that a year has passed already!  I look at this journal regularly and say to myself..."I've got to do an update and let everyone know how things are going.”  Then the next thing I know, a month has passed and then another month.  And now we're here, October 2002! 

The one thing I've noticed, that's helped to slow the days down, is the blanket of mist that lies over the valley floor that I travel through on my way to work each morning.  It's like Mother Nature is pulling her blanket over her earth trying to keep the last little bit of Indian Summer heat in the ground.  The days are getting shorter and soon we'll be "Falling Back" with that precious hour we're allowed back this time of year.  I always look forward to that hour and ask myself, "What will I do with it this year"? And, as usual, I don't sleep in an extra hour, I stay up one longer...not wanting to give it up, knowing that the morning comes way too quickly and I don't want to miss out on what might be... 

It's interesting to look back on this past many changes.  More deaths, new births, new, like a deliberately flowing river that changes only it's path but not it's course.  It has a destination but depending on what lies along its banks will help decide the path that it might take on its way to completion.  As the river rushes on, so it has been with my family and me. 

We've still been having puppies...Mercy had a litter here in June called the "Lunar Litter.”  This will be her last litter as I had her spayed in September.  It was kind of sad, like the end of an era...but she will be 6 in January and deserves to retire to a life of leisure.  She's given me 3 beautiful litters, her and Tucker, and now it's time for her to enjoy the rest of her life as a companion.  I think she knows too, she's been acting just like a puppy again.  Running through the house, playing with her squeaky toys and she sits in front of me with the biggest smile on her face as if to say..."Thanks Mom, I love you"! 

On the show front...we've not only finished Ruby's UKC Grand Champion title but also Spirit's AKC title.  This makes two finished dual UKC Grand CH/AKC CH champions under our belt with Faith coming up fast behind.  Faith is a finished UKC Champion with 2 champion class wins to her name.  We need 3 more champion class wins to finish her UKC Grand CH title and then we will put our efforts towards her AKC title.  Once she is finished I think the next step will be agility training for Ruby and therapy work for Spirit.  Faith?  Well Faith hasn't fallen into a category yet; she's only 2-1/2 and will be 3 in May.  Who knows maybe she'll go on to be my Westminster prospect in 2004....!  We do have some International shows coming up and I would like to enter the girls in some of those.  To say the least, my girls still keep me busy and will for quite a while to come.  It's the best!!!!!! 

I've bred Spirit to a gorgeous male Eskie by the name of Luke.  He's a finished 2-1/2 year old UKC Champion.  A lovely temperament that will compliment Spirit's wonderful sweet nature and produce puppies that will continue the loving nature a good companion animal should carry.  I breed for conformation, but temperament is the most important.  These animals are with a family way past the time they can actively show and some never show.  If you can't put your hands on the animal then you really don't have anything.  You can see all of puppy pictures on our web site at 

One of the biggest changes in this past year was a proposal of marriage from John while we were in Maui.  We set the date for 5/18/02 and had a beautiful garden wedding.  I never thought that I would ever do that again.  Being able to love another after the loss of a spouse is something that one thinks would never happen.  But humans are created with a hunger for love, companionship, and friendship that supersedes even grief.  I never would have believed it, especially in those early months.... but one of the gifts that Cees gave me in the time we had together was the ability to look forward and not backward.  Oh, he loved to reminisce and remember the old days, but he was always moving forward, planning for what the next day was going to bring...always up way earlier than me, excited to welcome the day.  He a morning person, me a night person....I never could figure that out then, but now I know.  He was just so much in love with life and couldn't wait to get on with it. 

In keeping with that thought, when John asked me to marry him, I said yes.  Not without some trepidation and much internal discussion with the countless personalities of which make me who I am (smile).  John brought with him, most importantly, unconditional friendship and offered love in immeasurable volumes.  He accepted me for who I was and who I had become, from the journey I had been on and was still going through.  He offered support and insight but most of all he said he just wanted to spend the rest of his days with me...and I had realized that I wanted to do the same.  Some people never have the opportunity of another relationship after a loss such as mine.  I can only say that this is a blessing that I will always treasure.  Even though there is not a day that goes by without acknowledging that wonderful spirit of what was...there is a beautiful door of opportunity to go forward through in love and life and what is to be...something that Cees would have been happy to have happen for me.  I know that without a doubt.  He would not have wished for any of his loved ones, or for me, to just sit and dwell on what could have been and wither on the vine.  That was not him...he was all for going forward in life and love...what a gift he gave us all. 

And in the motion of going forward our family has done that.  My son, Jeff Ray and his lovely bride of two years has presented us with a brand new grandson.  His name is Jacob Benjamin Ray and he'll be called Jake for short.  Tipping the scales at 9lbs. 6 oz. and 21 inches long he made his grand entrance into the world at 4:55 p.m. on October 10, 2002.  A wonderful journey into life, love, and happiness for a wonderful couple that is so very excited to have this little guy in their lives. 

Our oldest granddaughter, Jennifer, graduates next year; she'll be 17 the day after Christmas this year.  Our grandson, Curt, just turned 13 in August.  My nephew Brian and his lovely lady Laura are going to make me a Great Aunt; the baby is due in February.  Cees' son, Don, and his wife, Andrea, has had their first baby September 22nd.  A little girl that they have named Bryn Elise Crawford.  I haven’t seen her but I'll bet she's beautiful.  Just another affirmation that life continues on, you just can't stop it from doing that. 

So, here we are again.  The last three months of the second year in the new century.  November and December will pass as quickly as they did last year and 2003 will be here, without doubt, clanging and banging its way in here like prior years past.  Life rushes by for those that are in it... but for those that have recently lost loved ones they seem to drown in the currents that it creates.  My thoughts turn to Charlene's family this holiday season, a good friend who was diagnosed the same day as Cees was, she had ovarian cancer.  She stayed with us a year and 10 months longer than Cees did and then with such grace and dignity left to go to that place that offers peace and rest.  As much as I miss both of them, I have to laugh at the vision of her and Cees having this grand discussion while waiting for the rest of us to get there...  I can only imagine what they must be talking about.  They were so much fun to watch when they got together.  I miss her a lot and I know her family does too.  My thoughts will most definitely be with her husband and children this first Christmas of their loss.  My prayer is that they have had and will continue to have the same love and support I've been blessed with and continue to be given.  It's the only lifeline that one can be given to help pull themselves back to the shores of the living and not want to let go and let the current of that river sweep one away. 

I go back and read my journals quite frequently.  It amazes me how we count in minutes, hours, days, months and then years since our loved ones have been gone.  One can't tell someone that has lost the love of their life that one day things will be easier...  You would never be able to believe it until you've walked that path.  It takes time for the wound to close, the heart to begin to heal and the scar to thin out and fade.  But just like a scar, it may thin out and fade but it never entirely goes away it always leaves a mark.  That person will always leave their mark.  I know that Cees did!  The love you had for that person never leaves but the heart is so encompassing it is able to enlarge and make room for more love.  After all, that's what life is all about....LOVE! 

I don't know if I will post again on this page.  I started posting monthly, then every few months and now once a year.  This has been a place to come to reflect and share, a place to let feelings flow for the healing to begin.  We all need to go and live our lives to the fullest.  I've learned that much anyway from all of this.  I've learned so much good that has come out of so much bad...I am grateful for the lessons but wish it didn't have to come in the fashion that it did.  But such is life, as our mother's told us when we were young, "You don't always get what you want in life, but you will get what you need.”  "It's up to you what you do with it.” 

My mantra remains "Be a D.O.T.W.O.T.”  A Dandelion On The Wind Of Time and let the wind blow you where it wants you to go.  Life is much to short to worry about the small stuff and love is so very easy to give away. 

Here is a poem that was posted in my newsgroup, Widowed Young. This newsgroup is a group of folks that has walked with me this past 2 years plus, and has been the greatest support for me in times when there was no one else to reach out to.  I can't stress enough how important it is to reach out for a good support group, especially in the early days and months in the loss of a loved one.  They were my island when I was in the midst of an ocean of grief.  I love each and every one of them like a family member.

"Walk Within You" From "Smoke Jumper" 

a novel by Nicholas Evans

If I be the first of us to die,

Let grief not blacken long your sky.

Be bold yet modest in your grieving.

There is a change but not a leaving.

For just as death is part of life,

The dead live on forever in the living.

And all the gathered riches of our journey,

The moments shared, the mysteries explored,

The steady layering of intimacy stored,

The things that made us laugh or weep or sing,

The joy of sunlit snow or first unfurling of the spring,

The wordless language of look and touch,

The knowing,

Each giving and each taking,

These are not flowers that fade,

Nor trees that fall and crumble,

Nor are they stone,

For even stone cannot the wind and rain withstand

And mighty mountain peaks in time reduce to sand.

What we were, we are.

What we had, we have.

A conjoined past imperishably present.

So when you walk the woods where once we walked together

And scan in vain the dappled bank beside you for my shadow,

Or pause where we always did upon the hill to gaze across the land,

And spotting something, reach by habit for my hand,

And finding none, feel sorrow start to steal upon you,

Be still.

Close your eyes.


Listen for my footfall in your heart.

I am not gone but merely walk within you.

This pretty much says it all....  Please be kind to yourselves and to others especially if you are going through the loss of a loved one.  You'll need all your energy to heal yourself first and then, in time, be able to pass that healing on to others.  That's called "Love" and that's what we've been called to do, above and beyond all else.

God Bless,

Lynn Crawford & The Girls,
Mercy * Spirit * Faith * & Ruby

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Genesis 9:13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. KJV

Remember friends, Cees and all the others that have gone on before us are still on their first day. We're still working on those thousand.

II Peter 3:8 But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.