Greetings From the Sky

As Scott and I are thousands of feet above the ground, winging our way from Tampa to Chicago (and then on to Dayton), I will update here a bit and share highlights from our trip to Tampa.

We arrived in rainy Tampa Wednesday evening, January 27, and had the pleasure of sharing dinner with the brother and cousin of another young man who died on the ship with my brother in 1980. We spent several hours together and could easily have chatted for several more hours if time had allowed. We are all pretty bummed that we forgot to get any pictures that night.

Sadly, the rain continued on through Wednesday night and all through the day Thursday, which was the day of the annual Blackthorn Memorial Service. The rain forced the ceremony inside, causing some loss of the poignancy and beauty that is always present when the service can be held at the site of the monument in Blackthorn Memorial Park. We were told that in the thirty-five years of these annual services, this has only happened twice now. In spite of the change of venue, though, it was still a blessing to be there among so many people who continue gathering each year to honor and remember that tragic night and the many lives that were changed. We weren’t able to get many pictures that day, but we did mange to get a few.

Blackthorn Memorial Service #1

Many people and businesses in the community still place wreaths each year.

Blackthorn Memorial Service #2

Amazing Grace

We joined some of the other family members and survivors for lunch again, just as we did last year, and enjoyed that time of warm fellowship.

Blackthorn Memorial Service #4

Blackthorn Memorial Service #3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That evening the brother of one of the ship’s survivors kindly opened up his home and prepared a FL shrimp boil for the family members who were able to make it for that.

Thankfully, we awoke Friday morning to sunny skies. Scott and I had a very long phone conversation in our hotel room with a key person in MA who is providing some guidance as we continue searching for the right treatment for Scott’s cancer. We have been so encouraged to see how God is opening doors and guiding us through this already, and we feel like we are getting close to the right decision about this. We hope to have a more definite plan within the next couple of weeks now, and we will keep you posted. As I said, this was an encouraging phone conversation overall, but it was also emotionally draining.

Friday evening, we met with a small group of parents who have already adopted and wanted to just spend time together and discuss this life of parenting very broken children — its joys and its  challenges. We were blessed and revived through this time with people of such like minds. Once again, we forgot to get any pictures.

Saturday was a great, but absolutely exhausting day. It began with a four-hour book-signing session at the Family Christian Bookstore in Lakeland, FL. Scott and I were privileged to meet quite a number of very interesting people with touching stories. One of these was an older man who had spent his childhood in a Catholic orphanage in the 1930’s, was kicked out onto the streets at the age of fourteen, spent many years “hobo-ing” across the country, and plummeted into a dark and depressing life before becoming a Christian in 1971. He has spent his life since, serving God through a number of Christian ministries. He and his wife talked with us for a long time before buying one of our books. We were so shocked when we realized that our four hours had passed and that it was time for us to pack up and move on to our next gathering. The manager of this store told us that they are the fourth biggest Family Christian in the nation, and that this had been their most successful book signing in a really long time. They also asked us to leave some books behind for them to stock on their shelves, and as we were leaving, one of those also sold. The whole day was a huge energy boost as we continue trying to learn what it means to be authors.

FCB Book signing 1-30-16 #1

Our first book signing!

FCB Book signing 1-30-16 #2

With the manager of the Lakeland, FL Family Christian Bookstore

FCB Book signing 1-30-16 #3

We are on a shelf inside a real book store!

That evening, we were welcomed into the Lakeland home of Garry and Jan Seitz, TSC parents to at least 20 children (Sorry, Jan, I get confused about your numbers.) Almost all of their children are grown now, and they hosted another book signing in their family room and even provided dinner for everyone. We enjoyed our time there reconnecting with friends who have huge hearts for adoption, and it was a wonderful way to end our day. Sadly, we only got one picture of that time.

Book Signing at Seitz House #1

Dear friend Teresa and her daughter, Jaelynn who lived at the same center with Roslyn and Jaden in China

On Sunday, Scott and I spoke in a Hispanic church (with much English, thankfully) down in Tampa. Our time with this very warm and welcoming congregation reminded us so much of time spent worshiping with nationals in Bolivia (except in those cases, there was no English at all). And one more time — we didn’t get any pictures. Not sure why we had so much trouble remembering that piece this time.

We are so thankful that we were able to spend this time in Tampa, and now we are looking forward to getting back home. Our baby of the family, Jaden, turns six today, and we are anxious to be back with our children.

We still have many appointments coming at us this month, but we are slowly working our way through those. Lilyan’s spine surgeon had already heard about Scott’s cancer when we saw him last week, and he assured us that while he doesn’t want to postpone Lilyan’s major spine surgery too long, it would be okay for her to wait another six months to a year while we tackle this new piece of our lives. He expressed great concern for Scott and urged us to just put all of our focus on him for now.

We will continue to update you as we know more. Thank you all so much for your prayers.

2 thoughts on “Greetings From the Sky

  1. Welcome home Rosenow’s! I assume you have made it there by now.

    Happy Birthday to Jaden…hope you enjoyed your Big #6 Birthday!

    I am happy your were able to post this update and loved the pictures!

    God is so good and with all your news from FL we can see God’s Hand all throughout your visit there.

    I know you will be so happy to be back with all your children as they will be so happy to have your home!

    Love and prayers, Helen Harris

    PS I loved our Mission weekend kicked off on Saturday with the fun and tasty brunch and fellowship with others there. I was blessed to have as a chance to get to know Meg Wilson, she sat next to me at our table of 7 and was a delight. Her husband Aaron was one of our speakers during the 10:30 service. Both Meg and Aaron attended our “Community” at 9:00 am. We were asked to participate in a Q and A time with them and Krista White which was also interesting and rewarding as we had a chance to get to know them better and hear about their ministries.

    Well I better say good night now. God Bless all of you!

    On Mon, Feb 1, 2016 at 2:24 PM, Where Love Learns Its Lessons wrote:

    > kmrosenow posted: “As Scott and I are thousands of feet above the ground, > winging our way from Tampa to Chicago (and then on to Dayton), I will > update here a bit and share highlights from our trip to Tampa. We arrived > in rainy Tampa Wednesday evening, January 27, and had t” >

    Like

  2. Pingback: It Doesn’t Really Matter Now | Owning My Nothingness

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