Freddie the Frog does Christmas…

Freddie red chair itouchLet me introduce you to Freddie the Frog (here he is listening to Pink Martini Christmas carols while keeping Virginia company.)

Freddie is SOFT, BIG & GREEN – a cuddly buddy. The kind of friend Virginia likes to have about. But, you see, he was actually my Papa’s.

This four foot gigantic frog belonged to my 83 year old bed-fast quadriplegic Papa?  Yes, there is a good reason…

Three weeks before Papa died I saw Freddie in the pharmacy whilst picking up Papa’s meds. Leaving the store, I went back in to get him after thinking about how he would make my worn out Papa smile. He did. Many times.

freddie eyesFreddie has these eyes that cut over to you (kind of like Papa’s did.)  I would put him in Papa’s line of sight next to his hospital bed in the living room. Peeking around the corner to check on Papa, I would see him cut his eyes to Freddie & then smile.

Big smiles – with a hint of chuckle.  No small feat when Papa had been incessantly sick since the beginning of January.

The thing is, we have a history with frogs. When Mama & Papa called every week while I worked in Tanzania, they could hear frogs croaking through several thousand miles of phone waves (they were really loud!) Papa said when they got on my nerves (late at night trying to sleep) to remember F.R.O.G.:  Full. Reliance. On. God.

Methinks Freddie helped him during his tough sickness, not just with his funky eyes, but as a reminder of what my Papa was all about: doing & being the impossible for God.  Papa lived over 25 years with a debilitating disease but didn’t let it stop him from believing & relying on God each & every day.

To me, my Papa’s 4 Spiritual Secrets sum up what Mary believed when the Angel Gabriel brought the message of Christ’s birth to her: Nothing is impossible with God.  Here are Papa’s secrets..

I’m not, but He is.
And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I can’t, but He can.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I don’t want to, but He wants to.

And I am in Him, and He is in me.

I didn’t, but He did.
Because I was in Him and He was in me.

How we miss Papa, especially at this time of year that he so enjoyed. His vibrant spirit centered our celebrations & his presence made our presents to each other all the more meaningful. There’s a big hole in our hearts – but it’s overflowing with the love Papa instilled in us & shared in so many ways.

The love of Jesus Christ Who comforts, trusts, believes, heals & lifts our spirits with joy that doesn’t always make sense, but is & does grace & joy.

This morning while listening to Andrea Bocelli sing “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” (from his My Christmas CD- a total fav!), Mama spoke out the words of the refrain, “just like the ones I used to know.”  We teared up.  Maybe this Christmas will not be like the ones we used to know, but we have Papa’s memory, his love in our hearts, and …

Freddie and mama….FREDDIE THE FROG.

As we hang out with Freddie, we will remember F.R.O.G (to Fully Rely On God!) and we’ll think of Papa cutting his eyes at him & smiling.

grace, peace & a F.R.O.G Christmas

Virginia : )

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7 Responses to Freddie the Frog does Christmas…

  1. Cindy Kranich says:

    Aww… Freddie does bring back memories of the final weeks of Dad’s life. We are bringing his niece, Gracie, which constantly reminds us of “full reliance on God” thanks to your gifting her to us! It will be strange without Dad this Christmas, but as Dean said at the memorial service, it’s as if Dad has been divided into pieces and is in all of us! It truly is deepening our love for mother and each other from The Well that never runs dry! It’s amazing to think that Dad is basking in the warm embrace of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit this Christmas. xo

  2. Mark says:

    Great memories and an encouragement to “FROG on”! Thanks!

  3. Dean Woodward says:

    Amen Ginny!

    Sent from my iPhone

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