It's funny how sometimes things fall together around a common theme. It's nice, because I'm always searching for themes for birthday parties and Halloween and stuff like that, usually many months before the event.
It looks like this year we should have a Wizard of Oz-themed Halloween. We loved the stage show, Wicked, which is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. My son even likes to sing songs from it every now and then. A few weeks ago I found some red glittery shoes for my daughter on sale, along with a t-shirt ideal for my little-league star son: it had baseball graphics on it, with the slogan, "There's No Place Like Home." And we don't live in Kansas, but it's that time of year when we have exciting weather in Texas. So it's been on our minds.
Speaking of minds, I figured that I would be the scarecrow: "If I only had a brain" (at least a cancer-free one).
Our prayers have recently turned to my dad, who is having heart surgery this week. Unlike his daughter (the professional patient) my dad has never been hospitalized before, so it's a doozy of an adjustment. I'm hoping that he will feel the same strength and comfort that has carried me through my ordeals, which emanates from the faith and prayers of many.
Dad's situation is sobering, but since I have learned to instinctively extract something light out of heavy situations, it occurred to me that we now have a tin man for our ensemble: "If I only had a heart" (He has a real heart in the good sense, but anatomically speaking, he'd like a disease-free one).
We can't double up our parts, so we have to summon our own courage (which again, is fueled by faith and prayers). The part of the Cowardly Lion remains to be cast. Once in a while we torment my youngest brother, a very eligible bachelor of twenty-six, teasing him about how Brigham Young once declared that an unmarried man of that age was a "menace to society". The reality, of course, is that all good things will happen in their right time and way (as I learned during the long wait for my children). My brother is a good sport, so maybe he'll indulge us and be the guy in the lion costume wishing, "If I only had the nerve" (as well as the right woman in his universe).
The nice thing is that we don't need to traipse down a yellow brick road in search of a fake wizard. Instead, we walk by faith down the paths of life, knowing that Someone very real knows our needs and provides amply. We walk arm in arm with loving family and friends who are always there to support us and help us.