Seven years ago today my family gathered around Maggie Lee’s bedside and John commended her spirit to The Lord. Test results concluded beyond a doubt that she was already gone. The beautiful, creative brain which produced hilarity and song lyrics showed no activity. We said our initial farewells, signed organ-donor consents and updated thousands of faithful petitioners that we had not received our miracle.
I remember so vividly our seventh anniversary in Dallas in 2001. The card John gave me as we ate dinner in some Irish restaurant on Knox Street had the words, “The only thing I’m itching for is more of you.” I know, I got a keeper. At that point seven years seemed a lifetime.
Reflecting on those building years brings an ooze of blissful gratitutude; not only because we were all together but because those training-wheel trials of parental cancer readied our marriage and souls for the biggie which was to come. Silly me, I thought those were the biggies. Without such warm-up, though, I could have easily now be living out of a shopping cart with five dogs. Rather than four.
Earthly life as the book of James reminds us is a vapor. A mist quickly fading. A pan flash of 12 or 82 years. All comparatively nano-seconds to an eternal God. But even if it’s just a vapor, I long to have my vapor matter. If we are mere vapes then may we vape well. I only want the power of God’s grace to make its way through me. I long for the everlasting to abide and energize me because time is indeed so short.
The thought hit me as I taxied Jack and three of his squad home from Six Flags last week. The weather was stormy and there was lots of mist to drive through. Maybe it was the amalgamation of rain, perspiration and netflix in that cab but I swear it was a holy insight. I know life is short and I want my time to matter. I have found the bird’s eye view of connecting those in need to those who have a little extra to give intoxicating. Like setting up two friends who desperately need one another.
To that end Khaki Fair will happen tomorrow. Maggie Lee’s Closet along with a slew of community partners will provide uniforms, education and books to some of NW Louisiana’s most vulnerable little people. Hair dressers and barbers on hand to spiff them up for their first day of school.
Step Forward, a group which is combating root causes of our cities’ poverty has brought to our attention the 30 million word gap issue. Essentially kids who succeed in our schools have been exposed to 30 million more words by age three than those who will fail.
Get this: the brain actually feeds on words as our kids bodies feed on food it turns out. The interaction between parent / guardian and child sets up kids for success or failure. Now that we’re aware of this, we can bring this information to parents seeking uniforms to equip them to change their lives while meeting the emergent need of clothing for those in crisis.
Maggie Lee’s brain and soul I shall never be able to duplicate or describe but I am inspired by her memorable spirit to nurture these beautiful kids in some small way. And in uniform form help them to know that immense, amazing love I have by God’s grace discovered. Which does not by the way make me a good detective. It’s everywhere.
11 thoughts on “Seven Year Itch”
tearfully beautiful Jinny
I just read your post—Seven Year Itch. You really struck a chord in me. As my emotions have run wild, as my thoughts have remembered the tragedy in your life as well as the tragedy in mine, I realized that I have been in that mist you described for the last few minutes, and am just now returning to the here and now. I have shed a lot of tears during the past few minutes—not sure how many of those are tears of sadness, and how many of those are tears of joy—I just know that I have been forever moved by your love, your kindness, your strength, and your courage—and yes your sharing of this journey.
God bless you Jinny,
You are simply the sweetest. I praise God for allowing our paths to cross. Your work, your family, your faith & your heart inspire me. I love you, Tom.
I love you Jinny Henson. Always have and always will. You inspire so many people and I’m so grateful for you. I think of Maggie Lee and you often and always remember to do GOOD.
Jinny, you are a miracle in my life. Thank you for encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring me (and all who pass through your vaping mist). You are such a blessing!
A beautiful message, Jinny, and thank you. A prayer has been lifted for your wonderful family at this difficult time.
Love & Hugs, Judy
Thank you so much, Judy!
I love your courage to make your vaper count and even more for you turning the worst moment of your life into countless moments of love and hope for others. Although we did not get the miracle we hoped for seven years ago, you used it for good. So, so much good. Much love to you and the memory of Maggie.
Thank you so very much!
Jinny, as always… your words are so eloquent and touching! My thoughts and prayers are with you and I am sending you lots of love.
Love you, sweet Elisa!