Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Bookstore

Yesterday we took Sierra to The Voracious Reader. Author Matthew Van Fleet and photographer Brian Stanton were there signing their new book, Cat. Sierra has a copy of Dog, which she loves, so we thought this would be a nice birthday present for her.

I've spoken before of this bookstore. It is independently owned by a homeschooling family. Their family suffered a tragic loss recently. Their 19 year old son died from a seizure. Francine, his mother and the owner of the bookstore, sent around a note regarding this loss. I asked for permission to reprint part of it here.

And so, my message to you is something learned from my son in these richly fulfilling 19 years. It's the same message from when we opened our doors two years ago, although perhaps with a bit more urgency: treasure your families, find more ways to say yes, know that we're all simply learning no matter our time/space coordinates, help each other in the best ways possible.

Our son helped me learn that relationship with our children is just that, a relationship, not a project, not a top down job. It is a side by side relationship where each of us likely knows some things the other doesn't. Share what you know and listen for what you don't.

Such wise words. I am grateful for the opportunity to reprint them. As a homeschooler, I'm not immune to taking my family for granted. I think when they are around so much, it's easy to forget what a gift it is to have them. This past year has been so full of activities, classes, and projects sprinkled and spiced with six year old attitude, preteen moodiness, and teenage worries. I've spent so much time driving one or more of the children to their various things and managing my own worries and self consciousness about making sure they are learning and filling in three quarterly reports. So many times I've fantasized about ditching all of my extra responsibilities by putting them in school. But in spite of all, I do like having them around and sharing life with them. I am grateful for them and for my husband. I do not regret choosing this crazy life. Francine's experience makes this path all the more important to me. What I do is so much more than teaching my kids or trying to be a good mom. My family enriches my life and I am thankful for every moment I am blessed to spend with them, the hard times as well as the easy times.

If you would like to make a donation in memory of Francine's son, these are the charities she listed on her newsletter:

C.U.R.E. Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy
730 N. Franklin St. Suite 404
Chicago, Illinois, 60654

The New Rochelle Public Library
In memory of Alex William Reichman
1 Library Plaza New Rochelle NY 10801


Mama Self said...

It's a great reminder, isn't it? Thank you, Lord, for the families You have given us and the time we have been granted to be with them. May we learn to treasure and use this short time wisely.

Jacque said...

Thank you for sharing this. We do need reminders such as these sometimes. May the LORD bless the family and comfort them in their grief.


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