Thursday, May 21, 2020


Today would have been Dwayne's and my 31st wedding anniversary.
We had been married almost half of my life at the time of his death (I was 29 years, 10 months when we married, and we were married 29 years, 9 months).
I was "older" when we got married; I remember telling co-workers a little while before we started dating that I didn't think I was going to get married, that it wasn't God's plan for me.

But, it was...

And I never anticipated what a blessing it would be to be married to Dwayne.

And then, I never expected to marry again after being widowed. I thought God had a plan for me as an "undistracted widow" - available to do things for Him that I couldn't easily do as a married woman.

I am so grateful that God brought Carl into my life. I am so blessed with him.

Which makes days like today difficult.

Shouldn't I be so grateful for my relationship with Carl that I wouldn't sorrow over the loss of my relationship with Dwayne? Doesn't it seem inappropriate?

And yet, even though I would not be sharing my life with Carl, a life that I am so incredibly thankful for, had Dwayne not passed away, even so, days of remembering bring tears for the loss of Dwayne.

But, I am also grateful that Carl goes through similar sorrow - sorrow at losing Sue - even in the midst of the joy of our relationship. It doesn't make sense to either of us, but there it is...

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Dwayne!

I posted on Dwayne's CaringBridge today:

I'll copy in the text here in case you weren't following us there:

Journal entry by Patti Cartwright

My sweet Dwayne went home to heaven one year ago today on the 73rd anniversary of his earthly birth...
In many ways, it seems like it was just a few days ago, but in other ways, it seems like a long time ago. Grief changes your perspective on so many things.

God has taught me SO much over this past year. I learned to depend on Him in ways that I never had to previously. I learned to allow God to be present in my life in ways I had not done previously. I learned who God *is* in ways that I had never previously experienced. Without going through the grief of losing Dwayne, I am not sure that I could have learned these lessons. While I never would have chosen to lose Dwayne, I am thankful for the lessons I have learned.

I've also learned about grief and other people. A lot of folks seem to know the exact right things to do when you are grieving... I now know that I have *no* clue about how grief is supposed to be done... only the person in the midst of it has any clue, and they will do the best they can do with the resources that they have. It isn't up to me to tell anyone else how they should or should not grieve.

However, having someone to listen, to be an available shoulder to cry on, to walk alongside and not have any expectations of you, to be understanding when you are totally non-understandable, to show compassion... wow, that is a precious gift. I have been blessed to have a number of those "someones" in my life.

Dwayne had some specific sayings that meant so much to us through his sickness, and to me after his death.
I know that the readers of this CaringBridge know about "two words" : "Trust God". It was really hard at times to trust God after Dwayne's death. Honestly, it is still hard for me to trust God with some things -- for example, I have a hard time with praise songs that declare that "He's my Healer", but, factually, I know He is, and, I know that Dwayne is perfectly and completely healed in heaven, but it is still "one of those things" with which I am struggling.
The other thing that Dwayne would always say, when someone asked, "How are you?", he would respond, "Wonderfully Blessed!" He would say, "I can't say, 'I'm good' because Jesus said that only God is good, and I can't say, 'I'm fine' because a lot of the time I'm not really fine, and that would be a lie, and I don't want to be a liar. But, I can say that I'm 'Wonderfully Blessed' because that is always true." I started using that response - even when many days I did not *feel* wonderfully blessed, I was nevertheless and am indeed wonderfully blessed, regardless of my feelings.

Dwayne's presence in my life, his love for me, continues to impact my life. I am so grateful for this man that God allowed me to share my life with for such a long time.

I am also grateful for those of you who followed along this journey with me and with us - I am thankful for the blessing you have been in my life.

With love and gratitude,

Monday, February 10, 2020

Keeping up with the Williamses

Hi, Folks - I know that I have not been keeping my blog updated very effectively recently, and some of you have noticed various things (like I left my volunteer position) and have asked what is going on...

Carl and I got married last Sunday -- and I started a new blog for our travels and adventures. You can find it here:

If you currently are an email subscriber to "Trekin' with the Cartwrights", there is the capability to "Follow by email" on the "Journey in God's Amazing Grace" blog page too.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Friday was my last day to volunteer here at the International Linguistics Center, and we had scheduled a Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to be held Friday night.

Volunteers set up the tables after PBT had their chapel in the morning, and other volunteers decorated...

Western theme

So prettily decorated...

BBQ food!

A good crowd!

Enjoying our meals...


Serving tables
After eating, we had a hymn sing!
One of our volunteers brought a YouTube video:

This is the website of the folks who do the gospel music hymn sings:

We sang along with the video - it was great fun!

After it was all done, folks helped take down the tables, set up chairs for the next event (church on Sunday in this building), and a couple of the guys (Bob and Steve) vacuumed!
So, my last "official" duty as volunteer coordinator is complete!

Friday, January 31, 2020

Last trip to Houston - at least for now

Carl and I made our last trip to pick up a food donation from Houston on last Monday.

Some pictures...
This was actually not from the latest trip - but... we learned to go with the Home Depot person (where we rent the Penske truck) when they go to do the inspection to make sure all damage is noted, taking pictures so we could let the return person know if necessary - this almost looked like the bumper was designed to be bent in!

All of the trucks have scrapes along the sides - this one had a bent part on the corner too...

At the warehouse, awaiting our load.

We take quilts with us to wrap the food to help keep it cool...

"I got in here, now how do I get out?"

This particular load, we had a lot more produce than we could use on the center, and in large packaging that Crisis Ministries could not easily use, so we loaded some into the Jeep...

A lot in the Jeep!

And went to Union Gospel Mission the next morning to make a donation.
Carl said he was going to start marking the boxes every time he moved them - one week, I think he figured he had moved some of the specific individual boxes 6 different times!

This past week, again we got a lot of produce...

Loading it on...
 We ended up with 7 pallet stacks of food this past week - 6 refrigerated (mostly produce) and 1 of frozen food (meats, bread).

One of our co-workers got a picture of the Penske truck drivers after the food was unloaded.
Note that I said we brought back 7 pallet stacks of food, but there are 13 empty pallets after unloading... some of the pallet stacks have a layer of boxes with another pallet on top - maybe part of the shipment got moved somewhere else and another partial pallet was put on top...

Even though it was a long drive each Monday, we enjoyed the time to talk and get to know each other even better!

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

A thought about science

I saw this on Facebook:
Lasers were once a huge scientific breakthrough; now we use them to play with cats.
Computers were once a huge scientific breakthrough; now we use them to look at cats.
Conclusion: Science was made for cats.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Funding Bible Translation

One of Carl's adult children attended the Passion 2020 conference over New Years. He had shared with Carl that a collection was taken for Bible translation at this year's conference. I saw this article recently that indicates that $1.2M was raised:

I hope that, even more than the funds raised, the awareness of the need was placed in the hearts of the young people who attended and that many may dedicate their lives to seeing the Bible made available in every language!