(Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Important Note: You will need to click this icon to download the free needed to view most of the images on this Web site - just a couple of clicks and you're "good to go." For reasons why - go here.
A listing and access link to all:
song lyrics and mp3 audio files http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/ (all of which are a part of this Web site) can be accessed simply by selecting the "htm" file for the song you want;
quotations http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations.htm; and
essays written by Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/articles_larry_blakeley.htm,
all of which are used to tell the story in this Web site, can be accessed by going to each respective link set out above.
My son, Larry Blakeley http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/larryblakeley_photos_jpeg.htm manages this Web site and the following Web sites:
Larry Blakeley (Contact Info: larry at larryblakeley.com)
Leslie (Blakeley) Adkins - my granddaughter
Lori Ann Blakeley (June 20, 1985 - May 4, 2005) - my granddaughter
Evan Blakeley- my grandson
Major Roy James Blakeley (December 10, 1928 - July 22, 1965) - USAF (KIA)
When I was young my dad would say
Come on son let's go out and play
No matter how hard I try
No matter how many tears I cry
No matter how many years go by
I still can't say goodbye
- "I Still Can't Say Goodbye," Performer: Chet Atkins
MP3 audio file/lyrics http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/still_cant_say_goodbye.htm
For a larger image click on the photograph.
My beloved daughter, Lori http://www.loriblakeley.name started this cross stitch project - "A Day at the Beach" http://www.loriblakeley.name/lori_cross_stitch_beach.djvu (Go to LizardTech here http://www.celartem.com/en/download/djvu.asp for the DjVu plug-in for your web browser) - after being transferred from the Intensive Care Unit to the Inpatient Unit of the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center. We framed it and left her needle in the fabric right where she left it.
As I look at this I wonder, "Who is the extra chair for? Could it be me, or you, a friend that wants to visit?" Many times during Lori's journey http://www.loriblakeley.name/lori_medical_updates.htm with this dreadful disease http://www.loriblakeley.name/research_articles.htm, adrenocortical carcinoma, I witnessed the same welcome. She would look up, smile, point to a chair, and say to her visitor, "Have a seat, right there, and rest."
I asked Lori one day, "If you had a chance to go anywhere you wanted to, where would you go?" She said, "I would go to the beach."
And, around this same time I asked her mother, Jackie, "If you knew Lori was ultimately going to die, regardless of the chemotherapy (which made her terribly sick, as did the tumor itself), the massive number of pills she was required to swallow daily, and the ultimate requirement, in her case, of surgery in an attempt to resection the tumor, would you take her to a peaceful place of her choice for her short time left here on earth?" It's one of those "what if" questions that you just can't seem to settle on the right answer. Lori was never aware of this question to Jackie, but nevertheless, she ultimately answered it for us.
You see, for Lori, throughout this journey, her routine life with her family and friends coming by to visit, was her beach. And, the extra chair was for family and friends to relax and visit. It was the simple life of having loved ones around her that she enjoyed most during her last days here on earth. She took comfort in that. She wanted that. She needed that. These precious moments meant so much to her. She, in effect, was saying her goodbyes.
And, I believe that the last occupant of that extra chair was either an angel of God from heaven, or Jesus Christ Himself - the Son of God - just as He had been beside her from the very moment in her life many years ago when she turned her life over to Him and accepted Him as her Personal Lord and Savior. And, ever since then she trusted God - as she wrote in her journal of a camping/hiking trip http://www.loriblakeley.name/lori_scrapbook/lori_journal_hiking.htm she made to New Mexico as a Junior Christian Camp Counselor:
Monday ... I learned that if we trust in God then you can do anything. When I was climbing the mountain I didn't think I could do it, but I did it with the help of God ...
Tuesday .... I learned that no matter what, we have to trust God. He will be there ...
Wednesday ... I learned that God will never give me something I can't handle."
And, I believe that Lori was comforted and strengthened by His presence while crossing "through the valley of the shadow of death" ("The Twenty-third Psalm," http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/quotations/twenty-third_psalm_king_james.htm); as Jesus Christ, Himself was comforted and strengthened by an angel from heaven at his side in the garden at the Mount of Olives.
And, I believe that Lori looked up, smiled, pointed to the chair, and said to Him, "I love You, Jesus http://www.loriblakeley.name/lori_favorite_bible_verses.htm. Have a seat, right there, and rest. Into Your hand I commit my spirit." (Psalm 31:5 http://bible.gospelcom.net/passage/?search=Psalm%2031:5&version=31, Bible Gateway.com http://bible.gospelcom.net/, New International Version http://bible.gospelcom.net/versions/index.php?action=getVersionInfo&vid=31&lang=2)
And, I believe, as Lori believed, that she went immediately to Paradise, as did the thief on the cross that said, "Lord, remember me whey You come into Your kingdom;" And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:42-43 http://bible.gospelcom.net/passage/?search=Luke%2023:42-43&version=31, Bible Gateway.com http://bible.gospelcom.net/, New International Version http://bible.gospelcom.net/versions/index.php?action=getVersionInfo&vid=31&lang=2)
And, I believe that Lori will someday look up, smile, point to the chair, and say to me, and possibly you, "It's so good to have you here. Have a seat, right there, and rest."
Now that is a day that I look forward to - a day possibly in mind, when Eleanor Farjeon wrote these words, "Morning Has Broken." MP3 audio file/lyrics at http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/songs/morning_has_broken.htm For that will be a day in the words of C. S. Lewis, "the bad dream will be over: it will be morning" (Mere Christianity, 1952).
- "The Extra Chair," http://www.royblakeley.name/larry_blakeley/articles/extra_chair20051026.htm, Larry Blakeley - Lori's father, October 26, 2005.