Notes from Jan

Good to Go

March 9, 2016

Shepherd’s Pie for supper tonight reminded me of one of Heather’s gifts to her Dad during his final weeks at MGH. I bought mine today at Common Crow,  kind of a local Whole Foods, just up the road. My choice motivated by convenience, Heather’s by love.

Some days I hurt, not just for myself, but for our children and grandchildren, for what they are missing since Jud’s not here to listen, advise when asked and just enjoy their growing-up and good company. Memories help.

One afternoon in October  2014, Heather left MGH, walked to the store, hauled groceries up three flights to the lovely apartment on loan to us in the North End, then prepared what she knew her Dad would love, Shepherd’s Pie. Jud’s Mother often made it.  I never did.

Maybe Heather remembered times her Dad got up in the night with her when she was a baby, read the Chronicles of Narnia to her long before she could read herself.  He’d been a good Dad, reading her papers, talking ideas when she was older, listening to her and her friends.   So now, she did what she could and made Shepherd’s Pie.

So who cares? I think God does.  We get stuck on BIG down here: BIG accomplishments, trophies, honors, bank accounts, degrees.  Yet, most of life’s made up of small, almost incidental choices, sometimes spontaneous acts.  Maybe suppertime matters more than we think to the One who said,”I was hungry and you fed me.”

Well, it didn’t look like communion at MGH when Heather brought dinner to her Dad but it was. Acts of LOVE become significant ways we remember Jesus, the Christ. The Twenty-Third Psalm, often read at bedsides of those who are dying, seemed more like a meal-time prayer on this occasion. “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.”…and for one supper on Lunder 10, a daughter and her dad did not want for much. The Good Shepherd blessed the shepherd’s pie, prepared by a caring daughter, served in a borrowed dish from a borrowed apartment, and declared gift, giver and recipient Good.

Good to go.


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  • Reply Dale Lefever March 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks, as always. From time to time, Marty and I will receive mail addressed to Dale and Marty Leftover. Apparently, spellcheck has its limitations. For me, shepherd’s pie was made, by my mom, from leftover meat and mash potatoes. Memories are “leftovers” and I know you treasure them as a combination of all Jud was and wanted to be for his family and friends.

    Love, Dale

  • Reply Shelly Travis March 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Jan, I’ve been enjoying your blog since Priscilla have it to me at the last wives brunch she always hosts at the board mtgs. You were missed and prayed for! I have enjoyed reading your thoughts, memories and words of wisdom! We have a Heather also and as I read your story, I thought of her showing her dad love in special ways! We are thankful to be back in Denver close to family! Praying for peace & comfort for you and your family. Blessings, Shelly

  • Reply Jim Trent March 9, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I’ve been thinking lately about “big” and “small.” – the first so valued and the second so ignored or denied. Thank you for helping me put these two ways of living (and of being) in context. I value your insights.

  • Reply Wendy Lane March 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Whew… tears are streaming down my cheeks. Beautiful memories, beautifully shared, puts life’s “problems” in perspective. <3

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