Family reunion
Recently my family joined up with the rest of the Mathews clan in Baton Rouge, LA, to celebrate the 90th birthday of their remaining grandparent, “Gogo” Ellen Ervin. A descendant of the Scottish clan Campbell, she proudly wore her colors for the event.


Here the clan gathers. All 40-something of us. Children, grandchildren, greats, and a few grand-nephews and cousins. The only thing we regret about the event (other than the slow food service) is not scheduling enough time for visiting all around. There just weren’t enough minutes in the evening to make the rounds so that everyone got to talk with everyone.

At dinner…my sweet oldest boy.Happy 90th birthday, Gogo! We love you 🙂

More to Learn from Natasha Richardson’s Death

This morning I logged in to ABC news, where reports about Natasha Richardson’s recent death abound. I’ve been one of those in shock, finding it difficult to grasp that this beautiful, healthy, vibrant mother and wife could take a simple tumble on her ski lesson and end up brain dead within hours.

I’ve been reminded of the surreal fog that surrounded so many when Diana died; sudden, untimely, unexplainable–or at least indefensible–deaths of public figures whom we feel we know at least a bit because they lived partly on stage, as it were, causes perfect strangers to mourn. In Richardson’s case, attention has focused on her brain injury, and how it could have happened. Or been prevented.

So this morning, I read this short piece on “a lesson” from her death. I’m glad they used the article “a” — implying only one of many possible lessons — because I was appalled that this is the best they can come up with. “I guess we’ll all have to start wearing ski helmets now.” Sheez.

I would hope that Richardson and those she leaves behind would want a more meaningful legacy than “be safe on the slopes.” How about “make every moment count…love well…don’t take your time for granted…”

I was struck by the truth that our bodies are fragile, complicated creations. I remembered that God numbers our days–we don’t. We live our time by His grace. Society likes to say “life is a gift” — I know the Giver. I hope Natasha did, too.

So hug your mom today. Hug your kids. Tell your loved ones that you love them. Be aware of and grateful for your blessings.