The Long Goodbye

She bundles him up

Gonna be a cold one today

“Put on your shoes, Papa”

“Here are your gloves”

He looks at the shoes and then at the gloves with an empty gaze

This once virile man, her knight in shining armor

Now doesn’t know what to do with these items

He wants to please

But he has no clue

He vacantly stares

While she patiently begins the dressing of the man who once dressed her

The days are long

But the years past were short

She remembers so distinctly the countless times he patiently stood behind her

While she yelled, “Higher, Papa! Higher! Push me up to the sky!”

Or the many times he tickled her until she could barely catch her breath

She remembers vividly asking him to show her how to tie her sparkly pink shoes

And he did

Time and time again

She recalls, with ease, the day she brought home her beau

“Papa, he asked me to marry him!”

“Take good care of her, son.” he said

And now, he can’t remember either of them

But she remembers

The days play over and over in her mind

An endless loop with no beginning and no end

She takes great joy in the little things

This morning he remembered that bacon and eggs were his favorites

And last night

When she tucked him into bed he said

“I love you to the stars, Sparkles”

Their roles were reversed

But he knew her, if only for just a brief moment

Goodbyes are hard

But long goodbyes…

Much harder

Because you never know when there will be

No more glimmers of recognition and no more knowing

Only memories

The Last Goodbye

The Long Goodbye

(If you are a caretaker for an Alzheimer’s patient, I applaud you and want to pray for you! If you know someone who is in the midst of the long goodbye, reach out to them; offer a meal, a time to relax, or just a listening ear)

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You Need/I Need/We All Need

A post I wrote a couple of years ago

Came up in the memories of my Facebook page

A flood of emotion rose inside of me

It was a post about one elderly gentleman and his need for

New underwear!

He was standing in the aisle searching for the appropriately sized

T-shirts and boxers

He needed help

I was there

His matter of fact statement will be in my memory forever

                                                           “My wife always did this for me” he says

“I don’t have her no more.”


I don’t have her no more

I don’t have her no more…

Six little words that rocked his world

Six little words that made me think about mine

My parents are both gone

My siblings are both gone

Pastor Bill stepped in and was like a father to me

But he’s gone, too

I don’t have them no more


The fact of the matter is

We will all lose loved ones and friends


I’ve heard it said so many times

I don’t need to attend church

I can find God in nature

I hear good preaching on television

I read my Bible and pray at home

And that’s just fine

Good for you!

But what if we connected with a body of believers?

What if we remained connected in relationships?

What if we belonged to an even larger family?

We would never be alone

We would always have someone to share our burdens and our joys

We would always have someone to step in with fatherly advice

Someone to help us maneuver the scary places

The unfamiliar waters

Not only would we have relationship

We would have family


Maybe you really don’t NEED that connection right now

…you will one day

One day

Six words will rock your world

“I don’t have her no more”


“the cancer is in my liver”


“it’s just a matter of time”


Maybe YOU don’t need someone

But I promise

At this very moment



My challenge for you is this:

Find a group of believers

Connect with them

On Sunday

On Tuesday

In small groups

In your home




Someone needs you

You need someone

We need each other!


His Name Is Pastor


Not once in 25 years

Did I ever entertain the idea

That one day

I would have to say

Good bye, Pastor

We were all gonna go together

Hand in hand

To meet Jesus in the air

That was the deal

His name is Bill Lay

Given by his mother, Miss Georgia

But we called him


Given by his church family, Cornerstone

We have many pastors

But only one Pastor

The word pastor means

to shepherd or literally

to feed

The name Pastor means

One who worships God

And loves people!

And LOVE he did!

Each of us have stories we could tell

Of words fitly spoken in our time of need

Of wisdom given freely

Of hugs so heartfelt

Of a servant’s heart so big

Who taught us to hold on

And encouraged us to let go

Who dreamed dreams bigger than any of us could fathom

And worked right along side of us to make them come true

How he never expected more out of us than he expected out of himself

He beamed with pride when we caught the vision too

He fathered us all

And was Pastor Papa to our children

His door was always open

A listening ear always available

A true giver of grace and mercy

True leadership

True friendship

Pastor loved pasta

And soup

And peanuts

And peanut butter and crackers

And Excel spreadsheets

And reports

And order

And football

And us

And we love him!

He retired once

But said he flunked it and came back

I shared this poem with him at the retirement party

I have never called you Dad
And likely never will
But every time I say your name
The meaning is the same
It means I love you very much
And how proud I am to be
The daughter of the man
Who means so much to me


We will continue on with the work of the ministry

For you have taught us well

There is work to be done

And people to love

And we too

Will spend our lives

Mending broken people

His hat says it all



I just wanted to post this again

Not to cause pain

But to honor you again

We love you Pastor

And we miss you!

We are working in a different body now

But we are still following your vision for this area…

To worship God and love people!

I can’t believe it has been 4 years

Sometimes, the memories are so fresh that it seems like yesterday that

You hugged my neck and called me “Dear”

“C” you soon!!

I Think I’m Your Sister’s Child

A scared young girl finds herself “in the family way”

A family coping with the shame the only way they knew

A baby boy and a few years later, another

Given a chance by their loving Mother

Making the hardest decision of her life

Not once, but twice


A young man longing to know about the blood that ran through his veins

A young man who was chosen by the heart of his mama but not birthed from her womb

A young man who was loved before he was born by a woman who wanted more for him than she felt she could give

A young man with the wings to fly from his heart mama and only the name of his birth mama

Searching for years with no success

Trying one more time

And finding his birth mama had passed away

But he saw another name


Taking a leap of faith and searching Facebook

He saw my name once again

He sent a  message and received no reply

One week

Two weeks

His hope waning

Maybe he had the wrong person or maybe no one wanted this connection he so desperately desired

Pain and fear starting to settle in

But then…

Divine Connections

The prompting of the Holy Spirit that had me look in the “other” folder

And a message that hit me like a ton of bricks!


All these years I’ve believed there was never going to be a reunion

I had nothing to go on to begin a search of my own

Only a hope that one day I would be found

By someone whose name I didn’t know

With a face I had never seen

And a laugh I had never heard

A nephew I had never hugged

But have always held in my heart

I finally was found and so was he!


A reunion of brothers

Can it be called that when neither knew of the other?

They are both very intelligent and have so many of the same mannerisms

A crazy sense of humor

Sarcasm and wit

I sat and watched this connection take place

And cried

Tears of joy

But a few tears of sadness

Sad for lost years

Sad because my sister and brother, mother and daddy weren’t here to witness this day

A day when differences and distance were set aside

And the only thing that mattered was the sameness

From ordinary to extraordinary

Our lives entwined

Never to be the same again

One day soon

Younger sister will join the mix

Oh what a day that will be! 🙂



Slow Me Down, Lord


Fast paced lives

Rushing here

Rushing there

Always rushing

Bolt your food and gulp your coffee

Throw some laundry in the machine

Toss the dishes in the sink

Dash out the door

Meetings, meeting, meetings

Lunch with clients

Then off to the next thing

Even stay-at-home moms are not immune

Get the kids up and out the door

Kiss the air by the husbands ear

Hit the gym

Go to the store

Visit the sick at the hospital

Back home to fix food for family and an extra for the sick friend

Boot and re-boot the laundry

Fix lunch

Wash the kitchen floor

Bake cookies for a teacher’s gift

Remember we haven’t had a shower today

Jump in for a 5 minute wash


The kids are off the bus

Time for homework, sports and choir practice

No time to dawdle

Why do we do it to ourselves?

No white space at all in our frantic life

Where in all this frantic pace can we hear the Shepherd’s voice?

We say we have no time to listen

No time to tune in

No time

God will meet us where we are

Over the sink of dishes or sitting at our desk

But we have to shut out some of the noise

We have to create a white space in our lives

We can not fill every moment of every day with stuff

It is not what God intended

Even Jesus had to get away to pray and hear His Father’s voice

Slow me down, Lord

A friend gave me a magnet with this on it

A great reminder

So, as we rush through this life filled to the brim with good things and not so good things,

Let’s pause



I firmly believe if God is in it

He will work out all the details


Button-Poppin’ Proud

We look at the children God has given us

By birth, adoption or marriage

And we stand in awe






Why were we chosen to love these?

How were we so blessed?

And where did the chubby hands and faces go?

The sibling rivalry?
(I sure don’t miss that)

The toothless grins and grubby feet?

Where did they go?

They now reside in tiny little bodies called


There’s nothing like your children crying out for Mama in the middle of a scary moment

And there is nothing like a grandchild squealing with delight when you walk into the room

Melts my heart


Now the kids are grown and have children of their own

What’s a Mama to do?

I love being Nana

But I’m still Mama

I want my children to know that I will ALWAYS be Mama

Even when they are old and grey

And I am older and purple 🙂

I want them to know that I will always be their biggest fan

The loudest cheerleader

The softest shoulder

And their greatest defender

I want them to know that I don’t say these things to make me sound like the Mother of the Year

I say them because

Forever and Always

I Love You

My Firstborn Daughter

Twenty-six years ago

A beautiful

Dark haired

Blue eyed

Bundle of love

Came into our lives!

This child for which we had prayed

This little sister for big brother to protect

Our Princess had arrived

We were in love

She was perfect in every way

A doll to dress and photograph

She grew so fast, it seemed

I can still remember watching her toddle around

She always wanted to help

Always had a wash cloth or napkin in her hand

Wanting to clean up messes

Real or imagined

Her long, long blonde hair

‘Most always in a braid

Flying behind her as she ran or rode her bike

She loved to swim

Play barbies and skate

She hated to be photographed

A lot of the pictures of her are with her hand in front of her face

A beautiful soul with a beautiful smile

I’m glad she outgrew that NO PHOTO stage!

Now she is a wife and mommy

How did that happen?

I can still remember

Her riding her trike

Her first day of school

Birthday parties with giggly girls

Eating cake and doritos

Drinking soda and koolaid

Playing games in the front room

I’m sure they are still there

I hear them laughing


Just my memories

Good ones

Thank You, God for memories

You knew how fast the time would fly

Thank You for my baby girl

Thank you, Sara

For giving this mommy so much joy

Thank you for making me a better mommy

Thank you for being not only my daughter


My friend

I love you now and forever

Happy Birthday

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!

(you are!)

Love, Mama

Sara Collage