Thursday, July 9, 2015


I'm sure I'm not alone in my nightly mommy-routine of carefully sneaking up the stairs before I head to bed to check on my babies.  I make sure they aren't too hot or too cold, I lightly brush their hair out of their face, and I whisper to them, "Momma loves you..." and then sometimes I just watch them for a few moments. I watch their peaceful expressions as they dream and rest, I smile at the joy they have brought me from the day, and I find my heart filled with thankfulness that I get to be their momma. And then sometimes, I can't help but want to bottle up that moment and snap a picture. Tonight was one of those nights...

See poor Pluto over there? He's not completely out of the picture, because Pluto and Gabriel are BIG time pals. Gabriel "can't" sleep without Pluto at naps or bedtimes, and ONLY this specific Pluto will do. (I tried taking him to the Disney store for a new Pluto, and his response to me was, "That's not funny!") Now, Gabriel is very particular in that he likes ALL of his stuffies in his bed with him (we have to have Pluto, other Pluto, and OTHER Pluto, plus three different puppies, Captain America, Scout, and the most recent addition, Blue.) He's recently taken a huge liking to Iron Man (DH couldn't be prouder that his son loves super heroes!), but we decided that a plastic boy barbie (um, excuse me, "ACTION figure") wasn't the safest thing to cuddle with at bedtime, so the heroes have been moved to the table across the room and they keep an eye on GP;-)
 All of this being said,  I've never seen Gabriel snuggle up asleep to another stuffie other than Pluto, so when I walked in tonight to find him snuggled up with Blue, I just had to snap a picture of it.

My mom purchased Blue for Gabriel the night before he had his second tubes surgery last month. Gabriel has always loved puppies, and we thought it would be special for him to have a new friend to take with him to the hospital.
 He instantly took a liking to him and when we tried to figure out what to call him, I think it was Mom who blurted out "Blue." I didn't think much about the name at the time--it rang a bell to me, but it mostly just seemed to fit since the dog does happen to be, well, BLUE. Anyway, after I came downstairs tonight, I was editing the picture and decided to caption it "Gabriel and Blue," and that's when it hit me...

I remembered another dog by the name of Blue. I'm sure it's what my mother was thinking when she blurted out the stuffie's name, and I'm not sure how I could have forgotten it then, but I remember it now: Blue was the name of Will Stockdale's dog in the Andy Griffith movie, "No Time for Sergeants." My entire family has this movie memorized, because it was my daddy's very favorite movie, and we watched it all.the.time! 

If you don't know, my Daddy passed away 8 years ago this week. The anniversary of his death usually strikes me pretty hard, and so this week is just an emotional week over all for me. And while I know it may sound kind of silly, I can't tell you how comforting it was to see Gabriel snuggled up next to Blue on this particular night. It felt like a special hug from my Daddy-God saying, "I know you miss him," and then giving me a sweet reminder of my daddy. I mentioned on facebook earlier this week how one of the things I miss most about him is his laugh. He had such a unique and hearty chuckle that was so inviting.
He loved to tell jokes and quote lines from his favorite movies. I've said many times in these past eight years how I wish I could hear his voice just one more time. And tonight, as I looked at that sweet image of Gabriel and Blue, I felt like I could almost hear my Daddy in his thick, southern drawl, imitating Will Stockdale saying, "Bluuuue! Bluuuuue! C'mon, Bluuuuue!"

I've cried a lot of tears this week over many different things. In fact, you could easily say I've been pretty "blue." And while feeling the "blues" often is a marker of sadness, I'm also reminded that the color blue represents other things, too, like blue skies that appear after a storm. My daddy's death has always been a very hard thing for me to swallow, but I know my Daddy-GOD wants to remind me that there are blue skies after the storm. And just like Will Stockdale urged his lazy dog along, the Lord is urging me along to look for the blue skies after life's storms. 

"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."  Psalm 30:5

Oh, how I long for the day when I can see those blue skies, but in the mean time, my Daddy-God gave me a pretty special glimpse of some blue in my night...

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