Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heaven Is For Real????

Our VBS this year is food themed and called  Shake It Up!  Each night the children learn about different stories from the Bible that are food related.  Last night they learned about the Last Supper.  The jist of the whole theme, though, is really that we should GIVE.  Give to others who may be less fortunate and Give Happily To God!!!!                       
My Sunday School Class has been studying the book Heaven Is For Real, which is about a 4 year old boy who had a near death experience.  Over the next few months, etc... he starts talking about the things he saw in Heaven.  I had already read this book.  I can't think off the top of my head what the boy's dad's name is, who authored the book.  Anyway, I went to a couple of classes and decided that I didn't want to talk about Heaven with a large group right now.  I'm not quite ready, even though it's been nine months since Mother died.  I still have questions that I know will never be answered by another person on Earth anyway.  I just still need to pray and search my own heart and soul.  I may never, ever have answers until the day that my soul leaves my own body.  I guess that's okay.  I just don't think that a 4 year old boy should determine what I think of Heaven, either.  Our new pastor told me he has some more books that he thinks I should read that might help me come to some kind of calm place.  We'll see.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Mom was My Dad

Since my father was not in the picture for most of my life, and when he was it wasn't usually very pleasant, I am going to honor my mother's memory on this Father's Day! 

Friday, June 3, 2011

EVERYDAY Five Minute Friday

This is Friday, isn't it?  I've been away from blogging just long enough to get out of the swing of things, but I'm trying to get back in gear.  I am linking to gypsy lady's blog and her Five Minute Fridays.   The rule is to check out her topic for the day and write non-stop for five minutes and five minutes only without any editing, etc......

Everyday is the topic for this week.
Here goes.......
Everyday, I get up, brush my teeth, take a shower and then decide what I'm going to do for the rest of the day.  That is what I do if my day hasn't already been planned for me, that is.
I used to go to the nursing home everyday, usually twice a day.  I would go at meal times to feed my mom.  Now, though, my days aren't so structured.
I usually sew some every day.  I have been writing in my journal almost every day.
But, that isn't really what I want to write about in this post.  Everyday is a new day with opportunities for new ideas, creations, fun, reflections, relationships (and to renew the ones I already have), etc...........  Most days I look forward to what I can accomplish by nighttime.  In the evenings, I usually look back over the day to see what I have done.  Some days I am very disappointed with myself, other days, I'm amazed by what all I did do!!!!  Then there are the days that I am glad I just got through halfway sane.
Everyday, though, I thank God for my many blessings!!!!
Well, times up.  This was very rambly wasn't it?

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Did I tell you that the photo in the last post is on a billboard in my town?   I've only had one person mention to me that they recognized me and Mother.  There are two other photographs of other folks on the same billboard, and it's not in the most prominent location.  But, that's ok.  I'm honored that they wanted to use this photo.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Mother and Me

May 24, 2010
Happy Mother's Day!
This will be the first Mother's Day without my mother-in-law or Mother.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Five Minute Friday on Sunday.......

Does it count if I write on Sunday for the Five Minute Friday challenge?  On Friday we were on the road coming back from SC.  We brought our daughter and her two little ones home with us for a week.  So, we are having too much fun for me to be on the computer very much.
Today I'm linking up to Lisa-Jo aka the gypsy mama, who chooses a topic every Friday and writes for five minutes.Only five minutes
And the rule is that whatever you write about in that five minutes is what you posts. No editing your thoughts. Today, her topic choice is "If I Knew I Could, I Would…...."

This week's topic is
If I knew I could, I would..........
do so many things that I have always wanted to do, like write a series of children's books.  I would design a line of clothing for children.  I would paint well enough to sell my work.  I would bake and design unbelievable cakes.  I would write a book for parents and teachers that would help them help their children who are students be more successful, and by that I don't necessarily mean make better grades, but that they would be happier.  I would cure allergies, cancer, COPD, staph infections, heart disease, arthritis, etc........................!  I would slow down time when I am sewing and/or when I am with my grands and daughters.  I would earn enough money to not ever have to worry or need for anything ever again.  Oh yeah, I think the number one thing I would do is figure out how every person in the world, especially older people would have better health care and not have to worry about the cost of it!!!
Times up!  That was quick.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My peonies

This last one is right outside of my sewing room window.  I sit facing this window when I am sewing. 

Please go to my other blog   to vote on a name for my dress form.  I have a poll set up on my sidebar.  Thanks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Pretty Picture

This is a photo I took at one of my daughter's house a couple of years ago.  I haven't had time to take any photos, let alone do any posting lately.  I thought this was so pretty.  I've been working in my yard lately.  I've got to get photos of my peonies!  I started with one bush.  I dug it up several years ago and separated it.  I've done that a couple of times.  Now, I have 11 separate peony plants.  They are starting to bloom and are beautiful!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Me - A flower girl? Reminiscing with old photos

 I was a flower girl in 1957.  The beautiful bride in the photo above is still just as beautiful today as she was then.  I tell her all the time that it isn't right that she looks younger than her flower girl, now, 50+ years later!!!  Her husband died yesterday.  I am sending my thoughts and prayers her way.
Below is a photo of my mother that was taken in the 40s.  Wasn't she pretty?  She had strawberry blonde hair and blue, blue, blue eyes!!!!! 
This is a photo of my Sunday School class when I was 3 years old.  I'm the square kid who is the last one to the right on the back row.  My cousin, Malinda, is next to me.  She's the one with the pretty smile and curls.  My brother is the tallest one in the middle of the back row with the bow tie.
This is a photo of my grandmother, Honey, and her brother.  He died shortly after this was taken.  She's the one who taught me to sew and who wrote all the poetry and the journals.
                                                          Here she is with her parents.

This photo was taken in 1970 of my boyfriend (my husband of 38 years, now) and me at a formal dance.  Sorry about the glare of the glass in the frame.  I really need to get a scanner.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Update on My Brother

My brother woke up with a new hip prostheses in place!  Yea!!!!  Let's just hope that the infection really is gone!!!  He is in a lot more pain this time around because while the spacer was in place his leg drew up and the tissue, etc.... grew around the "dummy" hip. During the surgery, they had to pull on his leg to fit the prostheses into place.  Also, they had to remove a lot of tissue to test and to be able to fit the new hip in.  But, he is now home, in great spirits.  He is somewhat anemic.  They are talking about the possibility of a blood transfusion!  We sure are praying that he doesn't have to have that done!
His attitude is way better than mine would be if I were in his place. 
We've been to the NE to see two of our daughters and their families.  Two of our grands were in a musical.  It was great!  They are so talented!  I am so very proud of them.  We're home, and we're tired. The 14 hour drive is tiring but worth it to see our girls.Our other daughter has moved to SC which is just a few hours drive for us compared to the all day airplane trip we had while she was in AZ!  Yea!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Prayers for my brother, again, please

Tomorrow my brother is undergoing the 4th major surgery on his hip since last May.  He had a hip replacement done in May, by June he realized something wasn't right.  He had a major staph infection.  They opened him up, drained more infectious gunk than you would believe from the hip area (4 liters!), took out part of the prostheses, cleaned the area, put the prostheses back in, and sent him home with antibiotics by iv for 6 weeks.  He was off the antibiotics (off and on) till January.  The infection would not go away.  So, they opened him back up, took out the entire prostheses, and put an antibiotic filled "dummy" hip spacer in its place.  He went home with another 6 weeks of antibiotic by iv.  The past couple of weeks he's been off the antibiotics to see what would happen.  The blood work doesn't look good, but the fluid they drained from his hip last week did look ok.  So, tomorrow, they are going back in.  They will take tissue samples and run tests on them while he is in the operating room.  If they look good, he will wake up with a new hip prostheses.  If it doesn't look good, he will wake up with another "dummy" hip spacer and will go home to another 6 weeks of antibiotic by iv and facing yet another surgery.  He does not think the infection is gone because his hip is hurting again like it did when all this started.  So, please pray that the tissue samples are clear of infection and that this is the last surgery he will have to have.  Thanks

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's going to be a sad day

My father-in-law's dog, Honey, a beautiful boxer, is so very sick and old.  My father-in-law loves this dog so much.  Since my mother-in-law died, Honey has been his 24/7 companion, well, actually she was his and her companion for so many years.  She was the delight of my mother-in-law's last few years!!!!!  She used to slip her bites of food, let her do anything she wanted, etc.....then she'd say, "She's only a dog once."
Honey has been really slipping for the past few months.  We have noticed a considerable difference in her every day.  Last night, we went over to watch the Lady Vols lose to Notre Dame ( BoooooHoooooo).  Honey was just laying there, breathing with that short, little, fast breath that is the indicator, I've learned, that a person's (or dog's) life is coming to an end.  She had that glazed look in her eyes, too.  The saddest thing was to see her try to stand up and not be able to raise her hips off the floor.  She hasn't eaten for a few days.  My father-in-law got her up and took her outside, but it took him and my husband both to get her back inside.  He took her out this morning and she couldn't stand up long enough to pee.  I think he has come to the conclusion that her time has come.  He's going to call the vet this morning to make an appointment to have her put down.  He always said he wouldn't do this, but watching her suffer is more than he can stand to see.
He is going to bury her in her dog lot, next to the rose bush that someone sent when my mother-in-law died exactly 11 months ago, today.  Marie will be so happy to see her Honey again!
So, please be thinking about and praying for my father-in-law today.  It's going to be a hard one.
This has been a rough year for our families, with my mother-in-law and my mother both dying, and our 19 1/2 year old cat, Vanilla,  and now, Honey.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Still Off Track, Or Maybe, Just Going A Different Direction

For right now, I don't "feel like" getting inside my mother's head.  I can't do it anyway, so for now, I'm going to go a different direction.  It's not like I haven't been off the track anyway.  So, today I want to share a prayer that I found in one of my grandmother's journals.  It was written by my Aunt Cissy.  She was in several clubs, etc..., and I have a feeling she wrote this to be prayed at the beginning or end of a meeting.  It is titled:

A Prayer For the Middle-Aged

Lord, thou knowest better than I would know myself that I am growing older and that some day I shall be old.  Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.  Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.  Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy.  With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all, but thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from recital of endless details, give me wings to get at the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains.  They are increasing, and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.  I dare not ask for grace to enjoy the tales of others' pains, but help me to endure with patience.

I dare not ask for improved memory, but for growing humility, and a lessening of cocksureness when my memory seems to clash with the memory of others.  Teach me the glorious lesson that, occasionally, I may be mistaken.  Keep me reasonably sweet - - I do not want to be a saint - - some of them are so hard to live with, but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people.  And give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.


Saturday, March 19, 2011

I have read about Pay it Forward a couple of times and liked the idea. When I read Sherry's post at Blessings From Our Nest I decided I would sign up and give it a try. 
This is how it works. 
 The first five people who leave a comment on this post will receive a gift  handmade by me for you. 
There is an important catch, First you must create a post explaining Pay it Forward 2011.
Then for the best part, make and send a gift to the first five visitors who comment on your post and who agree to do the same. 
Don't worry you don't have to send these gifts out tomorrow, your gifts from the heart will take a little time. Also, your gift doesn't have to be elaborate or difficult to make.  It could be as simple as a bookmark or whatever you feel like and have time to make.
 This should be a fun way to make new friends and share your creativity. 
Pay it Forward is about friendship and sharing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sadness Is A State of Mind

Sadness Is A State of Mind

Sadness is a state of mind
And of body and soul, I find.

If all I see is darkness and gloom
and sadness in my life, it will consume.

So, when things just aren't right
I must look around and seek the light.

It is all around me every day,
Even in just a smile that comes my way.

I need to let the warmth of love come in
And fill my heart to let happiness win.

Without happiness there cannot be success.
I sometimes forget this, I must confess.

I will try harder to remember this
When things don't go as I wish.

JR  March 2011

After finishing my grandmother's journals, I felt very sad.  I'm glad I've had the opportunity to read them, but it saddened me to realize how lonesome she was the last couple of years of her life.  We were all too busy to see it.  I could have spent more time with her.  I'm not going to beat myself up over it, because I didn't know.  I hope this will help me to see that sadness in other people's eyes, and perhaps I can bring a little joy to them with a smile, an extra "hello", a note, a card, a phone call, or a visit.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I Have Strayed

I haven't kept this blog on the right vein, or at least not on the vein I intended when I started it.  Of course, things changed drastically when Mother died.  BUT, I have been reading my grandmother's journals and it has taken me way back to when Mother was a young mother and wife.  I think I will try to get in her head, just a little bit, from way back then.
A little background info:
My mother had a college degree in Zoology from the University of Tennessee.  She went to Atlanta  for training at Grady Hospital in lab technology.  That is where she met my dad.  He had been off to "war".  Actually, he quit high school to join the Merchant Marine's.  He wasn't able to get into one of the three big branches of the military due to a heart condition he had since birth.  His big brothers had joined up though, and I guess he thought he should, too.  It's hard for me to imagine that my grandparents let him quit high school to join the war effort, but that was a different time.  He never did finish high school.

Mother and Daddy met on a blind date.  I don't know a lot of details, but I did find a letter that Mother's best friend from home wrote to her.  Mother had saved a whole box of these letters, but when I found them they were very mildewed.  I only read one, and then decided that what they wrote to each other wasn't my business, so since they were in such bad shape anyway, I threw them away.  Sometimes I wish I had read the rest, but..........  Anyway, in that letter, Mother's friend said something like, "If you don't tell me more about this tall, dark, and handsome man you met, I'm going to go crazy."  Daddy really was a tall, dark, and handsome man!  He and his brothers all were.  His mom had some Cherokee Indian in her ancestry.  You could see that gorgeousness in him.  In this letter, Mother's friend also makes mention of Mother going to meet his parents.

Like I said, I know little about this period.  Mother didn't talk about it much.
They married in 1946 in an afternoon service at the church where I am a member now.  This is the church where my great grandparents went.  Anyway, the friend, who wrote the letters, and her husband (one of Mother's lifelong friends, too) hosted a reception for them at their tiny little house!
My grandmother made Mother's dress.  I still have it.  It is short and has a detachable peplum.  The fabric is yellowed now, so I really don't know if it was white or off white.  My grandmother also made, by hand, not machine, a beautiful gown and robe for Mother.  My parents went on a honeymoon in the Cherokee National Forest.  They stayed in a friend's cabin.
My dad worked for my grandfather, who owned a hardware/farmer's supply store in town.  He must have had "issues" with my grandfather.  He worked at various other jobs when we were little.  I don't know all those details, either.  My grandmother mentions that,  "R___ worked his last last day at the store today.  O____was sick in body and mind over it."  So, like I said, I don't know what happened.  I do know that my grandfather was a demanding person and perhaps he didn't like "something" about my dad's work habits.  I don't know, this is speculation.
My sister was born within the first year of their marriage.  Mother almost died from toxemia.  She was rushed to a hospital about 60 miles away.  She had convulsions, etc....  My sister was born 2 months early by C-Section.  She was tiny.  However, she was able to leave the hospital before my mother was.  Mother was told that she shouldn't have any more children.  I don't know if birth control methods were just about non-existent was the reason that she had my brother three years later or not.  He was also born by C-Section at the same hospital where my sister was born.  Mother was in better health when he was born, however, and she actually recovered more quickly than she did with my sister.  The doctors tied Mother's tubes when he was born.
SOoooooooooooooooo, 18 months later when Mother fainted in a department store,  she was taken to the same hospital where my sister and brother were born.  It was then that she learned she was 5 months pregnant with ME!  Uh....... back then, they only tied the tubes.  They didn't cut, tie, and cauterize them as they do now.  But, Mother always said I was her BONUS BABY.  She had the least trouble with my birth of either of the others, even though she did have another C-Section.
I always thought that I was the cause of the stress, etc.... that caused my parents break-up.  Of course, I know that wasn't the case, but really, it made sense to me when I was a kid.  I was the third, and unexpected child, born when Daddy was not settled in a job.  So, doesn't it make sense that my birth is what shook up their marriage.  Our house wasn't really big enough for 3 kids, only 2.  No one ever said anything to me to make me feel this way, but until I was an adult, I thought that I was the cause of their problems.  I still have to stop and tell myself that this wasn't true.  First of all, I had nothing to do with the fact that I was born.  I think, they were having issues long before I came along, etc.........  All of the sensible explanations in the world didn't make me feel any better, though.  I never verbalized how I thought to Mother.  I just felt guilty.

I will stop here for today..........  I'll try to get into Mother's head during this period of her life in my next post.  I am not going to go back to reread this and make grammatical or typographical corrections, so please just overlook any you see.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Wonderful Day With Old Friends

Yesterday, I went with one of my junior high/high school/life long friends to visit another of our j.h./h.s./l.l. friends.  We visited, went to lunch, and shopped in some great shops.  I should have taken  my camera, but I didn't.  These are two friends who knew my mother, as I knew theirs.  We have many, many memories that we talked and talked and talked about.  What fun we had reminiscing. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Really Listen was the theme of our sermon at church today.  I am so guilty of not stopping to notice what's going on around me and in the lives of others.  I am also guilty of not seeing (looking) at the body language of those I love to see how they are really feeling, rather than just going with what they tell me.  Most of all, I am guilty of not REALLY listening to others.  One ear is always hearing something else, somewhere else.  I intend to do better!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

First, Fifth, Forever
Last month, I linked up to Coloradolady's Letter Writing Challenge.  As I love to get and send mail, this really isn't a challenge for me.  Please visit her site and watch the joy on the face of this man as he opens his birthday cards!
This month, I sent:
1. A note to my friend who has just recently found out she's going to be a grandmom soon.  I taught school with this lady for YEARS!  I taught her daughter who is giving her this grandchild. 
2.  A 100th Birthday card to Miss Lena, with whom I worked in a fabric store when I was a teenager.  She was such a great mentor to me.  I loved working with her.
3.  A note to my sweet, dear friend, who was also my mother's, aunts', grandmother's dear, sweet friend.  She sits right behind my husband at church where she always sat with her husband and beautiful little girls when we were growing up.  I'm reading my grandmother's journals from when I was a child.  This dear lady is on every other page.  She was always bringing a cake, or hosting the Women's Club, or the Circle Meeting, etc.....  She lives alone now, and has recently celebrated her 90th birthday, even though you wouldn't believe me if you could see her.  She is beautiful and doesn't look like she's out of her 60s!
4.  A note to another sweet lady from our church who is now in an assisted living facility.  She came to church with her son recently and told me how much she enjoyed my note from last month.  Seeing that smile on her face has encouraged me to send her cards and notes more often.  I used to go visit her mother when I was a teenager.  I baked Snickerdoodles to take to her.  Her daughter sings in the choir with me at church now.
5.  A note to my dear cousin, Malinda.  She is always doing the most thoughtful things for everyone!
6.  A Sympathy Card to my friend whose mother recently passed away.  Her mother and mine were roommates for a while at the nursing home.  Her mother taught school at the elementary school when I was a kid.  She was either 94 or 95  when she died.
7.  A Get Well greeting to my friend, who is also the church secretary.  She had shoulder surgery recently.  
8.  A Get Well greeting to yet another dear lady who goes to our church.  In reading my grandmother's journals I am learning about just how much these families are tied to mine from many decades ago.  This lady grew up down the street from where I grew up (and where my mom grew up).  She lives just a bit beyond there now.  She was in my mother-in-law's high school class.   She's not felt well for a couple of months now.  She's had a BAD COLD type illness and just can't seem to get over it. 
9.  A package to our oldest granddaughter who broke her thumb last week.  I sent her the popcorn sweater that I knitted for her.  I was going to wait until I finished her sister's sweater, but decided that she needed a pick-me-up now.  Her sister will understand.  I included a note.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Here is an inspiring poem that my grandmother, Honey, wrote.  Her real name was Beulah, but we called her Honey.  The oldest of the cousins thought that was her name because that's what our granddaddy called her.

When there's no breeze, row.
Bend to your oars and go.
Look up, not down
With never a frown
For the man with a smile
Wins the race worthwhile.
So, row, man, row.

I just heard a few minutes ago, that the lady who lived across the hall from my mom at the nursing home, died this morning.  Her daughter and I became very close while visiting our moms.  She had had a stroke and couldn't really move her body much, and could only speak very quietly.  But, she was so very sweet. Her children were very devoted to her.  The daughter I became close to was there every day.

Monday, February 28, 2011

More of Honey's poetry

No Title

A little more tired at close of day
A little less anxious to have our way
A little less ready to scold and blame
A little more care for a brother's name
And so we are nearing the journey's end
Where time and eternity meet and blend
The book is closed and prayers are said
And we are a part of the countless dead
Thrice happy there if some soul can say,
"I live because she has passed this way."

This sounds a little morbid, but I have a feeling it was written soon after my grandfather died.  I'm reading her journals.  She was pretty sad for a long while.  She wrote that she didn't want to let anyone know how sad she was because she didn't want to make them sad.  I know how she feels about this.

I can honestly say that I do live because she passed this way, and not just because she was my grandmother, but because she was my role model, mentor, teacher of sewing, and a great and real Southern Lady!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Another poem by Honey - this one a Prayer

A Prayer

Lord let me live from day to day
In a most self forgetful way
That when I hear Thee call, "It's just a little while."
I'll be ready to fall asleep with a smile.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"House Cleaning" by our grandmother, Honey

This isn't really about house cleaning.

House Cleaning by Honey Brakebill

When winter is over
With its clutter and muss,
We clean all the corners
And sweep out the dust.
We climb the stairs
From bottom to top,
Rubbing and scrubbing,
Until we're ready to drop.
The house is all shining
Gone the must and the mold,
But there's something fine
We've left untold.
Have we let in the sun and pure fresh air
And washed away prejudice, discontent and care?
Have we opened the way for meekness,
Self discipline, and inspiration
And set up a pattern of self purification?
By brushing out the cobwebs
And brushing off the mold, have we
Opened the windows of heart, mind, and soul?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Honey's Journals

My grandmother started keeping a journal the year I was born.  Her first entry is to tell that my cousin Malinda had been born a few days before.  Her first entry also was about her and my granddaddy's 38th wedding anniversary.
My sister is visiting this week.  We've had fun reading these.  We have laughed and almost cried about some of the entries. 
Our mother started keeping journals the year our grandmother died (I think).  My sister has those.  She said she would bring them to me. 
I've now started keeping a journal.  I hope I will be as faithful as my mother and grandmother were.
This photo shows just a few of Honey's journals.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I need help!

I have been trying to change the color of my background and text on my other blog and on this one.  For some reason I cannot find how to do that anymore.  I've never had a problem with this.  Has Blogger changed the way this is done?  Is is because I'm using a background from outside blogger?  I always have, so that shouldn't be the problem unless Blogger has changed its policy. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mother's Favorite Season

This is why Mother liked Winter the best of all the seasons.  She could see through and beyond the trees.  She liked seeing the things that she couldn't see the rest of the year.  She felt smothered in the summer.
This photo was taken off my deck this morning.  If I had gotten out there just 5 minutes earlier you would have seen much more vivid colors in that sunrise!!!  It was ORANGE and PINK!  The color isn't showing up on this photo like it looked even when I took the shot.

Here's a poem my grandmother, Mother's mother, wrote to her four children.  Reading this and thinking about how she was a mom watching her children at the stages that mine are in now, makes this poem especially special to me.

At night when I lie down
And can't go to sleep
I try counting my blessings
And in memories cree[

Of course with the sweet
There's sure to be bitter
For we can't always
Have sunshine and glitter.

There were the golden years
When you children were small
And we loved you and spoiled you
And answered your call.

We cried with you and laughed with you
And saw you grow tall
Yet watched you and guarded you
Lest you stumble and fall.

Now, you have children, too
I trust you look up above
And give thanks as I do
That my cup runneth over with love.

by Honey (that's what we called our grandmother - she really was a honey!)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mother Loved Valentine's Day!

These are Valentine's Day cards that Mother received when she was a child.  She saved them all these years.  She had them framed for my siblings and me, and for our grandchildren.  I think they are beautiful!  We had our Valentine's Dinner at our church last night.  She loved, loved, loved going to that dinner.  I have kept the pretty red blouse that she liked to wear to it.
  I know I've posted these on my other blog, but I wanted a record of them on this blog, too.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Today, I've got to get mother's stuff together to take to her accountant on Monday for filing for her income taxes.  This will be the last time I do this. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm okay

My last couple of posts make it sound like all I'm doing is sitting around moping and mourning and crying, etc......  But, I'm not.  It's just that sometimes, out of the blue, some something will trigger a memory, a feeling, a ????? that makes me tear up.  Really, I'm okay.  I'm going on with my "normal" life.  If you read my other blog, you will see that I am very busy sewing, etc.....  So, you see, I am not depressed or anything like that.  I just have weepy moments.  I understand that is pretty common. I  thank you all so much for all of your concern and encouragement.  It truly helps.  It's been harder here lately because of my brother's issues.  My sister isn't well either, so that doesn't help. But, hey, I'm in great health.  I take meds for the few little issues I have, and on the days that I exercise (which are much more frequent lately), eat right ( my husband and I are really working on this), keep busy, etc.... I am feeling GOOD.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tears again

when will they ever stop?

Monday, January 31, 2011


Yesterday's sermon given by a guest preacher was based on the Beatitudes.  I am really struggling with thinking that my mother was blessed during her last year, but the first beatitude is,  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."  I would not consider that the horror that my mother experienced during her last year was very blessed.  I certainly did not feel blessed during that time.  Certainly when she took her last breath, I felt that she was finally blessed, but why did she have to struggle for all that time first?  I know there is no answer to my question, so I'm not really asking for anyone to answer it, unless you really know why.  I really liked this pastor, though.  His enthusiasm was great!  We're presently looking for a pastor. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011


 My mother started : falling, having more trouble driving, problems with her shoulders, having difficulties with cooking, having problems with a wound on her foot that wouldn't heal, etc... very soon after we moved back to town - 5 minutes from her house.
 My mother had long term care insurance that would cover three years of care.  She was in assisted living three years to the month!
My mother became really ill in May of the year that I was retiring from teaching - May being my last month, of course,
My mother's money was starting to get low, so I had made an appointment to talk with the medicaid people.  The appointment was to be the day after her memorial service.

Update on my brother.  He went home last night!  He is very uncomfortable, but doing ok.  There wasn't as much infection as the doctors thought there would be!  Yea!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Update and Dedication

My brother's surgery went as well as it could.  It took 4 hours!  He now has a concrete non-articulate separator in his hip.  He is not going to be able to walk, even with a walker, more than likely.  He is in for a long process of healing, getting rid of staph, and then having another surgery to take this dummy hip out and another prosthesis put in!

Last night at the nursing home there was a dedication service to honor the memory of Mother's dear, dear friend who died back in July.  He was a doctor and at one time had been the medical director at this nursing home.  They named the hall that Mother had been on for him.  Instead of the 200 hall they will now call it the Dr. H______ L_______ Hall.  I think it is awesome that this hall was named for him.  Mother would have been so happy to know it, too.  He is the one whom Mother dreamed about back in June.  She was crying buckets when I went in one day at lunchtime.  When I asked her what was wrong, she said, "H_________ died!"  Now, my mother was not one to cry over people's deaths.  I had never seen her cry even when her own parents, sisters, brother, or other friends had died.  So, when I told her that he hadn't died that it was a dream, her response was, "Well, it was a BAD dream."  I agreed with her that it was.  I relayed this story to Dr. L at church that evening.  He said he would go to see her soon.  He had polio that he contracted when he was in med school.  It was hard for him to get around in his wheelchair, but believe me, he did!  He was very active in the community, the church, and his practice.  He went to people's homes and had an office in his house where he would see patients after hours.  He had 8 children, whom I played with all my life.  I recently found and read Mother's diary that she kept in 8th grade.  He is on every other page.  He and my uncle were good friends, too, and spent the night with each other often.  They also grew up in church together. 
He never made it to visit Mother that time, though, because he had lung cancer (he hadn't told many people that he was sick).  He went into the hospital soon after Mother had her dream and died a few weeks later.
I was proud to be at the dedication service last night and to sit with his family.
I like to think that Mother and Dr. L are visiting together now.  He was about a year and a half younger than Mother, and he loved teasing her about this.  I guess she can tease him, now, about how he may have been younger, but she outlived him ( by  3 months). 

Monday, January 24, 2011

my brother's surgery

My brother's surgery for his staph infection in his hip is today at noon.

Friday, January 14, 2011

This is a newsletter that my husband and I sent to family and friends after the new year began.  We didn't get Christmas cards out this year.  This is the first year in 38 that we haven't sent Christmas cards, but I just didn't have it in me this year.   I have edited this for cyber space.  I left out names, etc... You just can't be too careful these days, you know!

My husband and I experienced the true meaning of the Circle of Life in 2010.
In April, we lost my husbands’s mom.  She had fallen and broken her hip a few weeks before.  She seemed to be recuperating well from the fall after a brief period of rehab.  She was home and as happy as she could be.  However, she died unexpectedly and suddenly.  We were stunned but relieved that she didn’t suffer more than she did.  She was a strong woman who taught us the value of hard work and family.  I remember, when I first started dating my husband, thinking that no one person could possibly do all that she did: raise 5 children, teach school, help on the farm, cook huge breakfasts and dinners every day, keep her house immaculate, and always look so beautiful!  We will miss her forever, but the memories of her will always be present with us and our children to be passed on to future generations.
My mother died in October.  Mother had always been the one upon whom others relied for remembering everything: experiences from her childhood, events of our town's history, happenings at our church (along with the the other churches in town, etc...) everyone’s birthday (family and friends), and so on...........  She never forgot anything! Mother’s main concern in life seemed to be trying to make everyone around he happy.  She worked hard to raise the three of us and help out with our cousins.  She was the most selfless person I think I ever knew. However, during her last year she struggled so much. It was difficult for us to see her this way.  On her last night, my cousin and I sat by her side.  We witnessed the peace that came over her face. What a blessing that was!  Her legacy will remain in our hearts and be passed down for generations to come.
In July, we welcomed our 6th grandchild, Lil' B. She is the sister to Lil' E (3 years old) and the daughter of our middle daughter and her husband.  Lil' B is a happy, little cherub-faced doll. Imagine the joy her birth brought to our family after we had been through the sadness of losing her Great Mamaw!
Then, in November, we were blessed with the birth of grandchild number 7!!!  "Little" Little Man, brother to "Big" Little Man (2 1/2 years old) and son to our youngest daughter and her husband,    joined our family!  He is a sweet big brown-eyed little fellow who loves to be held and rocked; this is no hardship for us, believe me!  He was born just a few weeks after Mother died, so again, the Circle of Life was evident in our lives.

These two new babies are cousins to our oldest daughter and her husband's three girls:  Miss K (10 1/2 years old), Miss J (8 years old), and Miss R(5 years old).
All of our daughters, their husbands, and children were able to come home for the Christmas
holidays!  We had a house full of laughter, squeals of delight, running and pattering feet, 
card playing, food, more food, and still more food.  There was snow with which to build a 
snowman and a hill to sled down.  There was a tractor to ride with Papaw, my husband's dad.  
Many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends gathered to reminisce and to enjoy the company of 
each other.
How blessed we are to have had such strong mothers, and the blessing continues with our friends, Papaw, and our extended families, wonderful daughters, sons-in-law, and seven healthy grandchildren!

We hope you have a wonderful 2011!