About Me

  Patricia Hammell Kashtock

Aka: Pat Kashtock. Mother of three, wife of one. BA in Social Work and Biblical Studies. Graduate work at Virginia Tech interrupted, then derailed by oldest child’s brain tumor...

My life has not followed the course I planned. But I am not complaining. Pain is to be expected in a world broken apart from its Creator.

The miracle resides in the ability to find joy when least expected...


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For What It's Worth

Each life is a journey. The voices of many guides try to direct us, saying, “This is the path – walk in it!” Yet each one leads in a different direction.

I believe only one Voice can be true. That Voice will lead us in ways most unexpected, into worlds yet undiscovered. It will lead us up the hill, around the river and through the forest. And sometimes, it will lead without mercy.

Or so it seems.

I have made listening for that Voice and following it, my life’s quest. I will share some of what I have heard that Voice say with you. But I am not in the business of telling people how to think or what to believe. Each has to decide for himself. Only you can decide if you find the truth of the Voice in these words. And only you can decide how much it is worth to know the Voice, and follow.

But for me, it is worth the whole world.

And then some…

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Out of the Ashes - June 05, 2010

Families move on. Much like time, even great loss cannot force them to stand still. Often the wake from the loss surges forward and carries them to paces they do not want to go. Perhaps less frequently, it merely becomes a challenge one needs to tame.

But at no time, does it ever just go away.

Sometimes I wish it would. Then guilt pushes up through the choppy surface. And stares.

Yet to avoid celebrating new milestones in the wake of grief is to refuse the gifts from the Creator’s hand. While I am grateful that our initial heartbreak is a few years passed, I cringe thinking of a friend’ whose celebration comes while throes of unknowing grip her family.

Two families. Two weddings on the same day. One family where the loss of a child creates a persistent drone in the under currents. The other family living the nightmare of a son they cannot find.

We have moved on in a sort of a way, although often I feel tethered to something submerged just enough I cannot see its form. But I feel its weight as we drag it behind.

For the other family, at this point there is no place to move to because they do not yet know what they will move from – or whether they will have to move at all. Hope gives strength. But it can also be the knife that keeps the wound raw. Then again, when finality has torched one’s dreams, the acrid taste of the ashes left behind never quite goes away.

As I look and listen to our daughter-in-law to be, feelings of pride and tenderness fill my heart. Yet sorrow also resides there.

Mike will never walk his daughter down the aisle and place her hand into the hand of the young man God has chosen for her, knowing their Creator will watch over their life together. I will never joyously plan alongside of my daughter for that transitioning day when she steps into her new life.

We will never know the assurance of frequent time together a married daughter commonly retains. It seems that sons leave more firmly than daughters do.

And so I look forward with a mixture of pride and joy, and a sense of loss.

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