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!