Monday, October 31, 2011

Two days in a row!

I took this last night on my way to church. I'm getting pretty good with the timer on the camera, but it doesn't make me laugh like Don did when he was taking the pictures. I miss him so much! This has been the second day in a row that I haven't burst into sobs. I thank God for 2 days in a row that I could keep a straight face.

I'm going to go to bed early and hope the rest will get me started on another good day tomorrow. I've got my rice buddies already warming the bed. I'm heating another set that I'll put into the 'cooler' so they'll be warm when I get up in the middle of the night. I won't have to take time to warm the buddies! I'm getting creative.

Tomorrow is a busy day. I'm going to go to the school and talk to them about subbing. I think I won't sub this year, but I'll see what I have to do to to get re-certified. It's just good to have all my bases covered and be prepared in case I want to sub or teach. I don't think I really want to teach, but who knows?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

She can skip THREE rings!

This is Gracie skipping 3 rings. She is such a good monkey! I love that smile, too!

Today went really well. Bill preaches at Roosevelt, but Olya and the girls came to Hobart for church with their friends Sonia and Joseph Rhodes and their son, Mason. Joseph and Sonia are missionaries in Russia and they come here every 2 years, so it was good to see them. They all came home with Dorothy and I for lunch and Bill joined us here, too. It was a wonderful time of visiting and I thank God for more great memories.

At church tonight we had our 5th Sunday singing and it was good. Afterwards, I visited with a friend for a long time and that was good for me. Here I am up late, again! But, it's been a better day. No sobbing today. I cried some, but no sobbing. I'm making marks and this is my second day of no sobbing (not in a row). So, I think this could be good. I like not sobbing better than sobbing, but I think the sobbing must be something that is somehow good for me. You know, like they say crying is good for babies because it develops their lungs. Maybe my lungs need help? Maybe it's good for my heart; I know it needs help!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A family of loving behavior.

Trish has 6 kids and they greet each new one with welcome and love. This is a picture of Gracie helping Raynie 'learn to skate' in MY roller blades. They play with these every time they come. Grace is pretty good, now! The cool thing is that she wants to share it with Raynie. Just like helping her on the rings. They all amaze me how they look after each other and really function as a team and loving family. I love these pictures! (By the way, I have NO business on roller blades. I've had these for years and only had them on about 3 times. I only keep them because the kids have so much fun with them. I am way to rickety to roller blade these days! Can't you just see me roller blading with walking poles!)

Today has been busy. I cleaned the whole house and made a pie for tomorrow's dinner. The dinner is mostly ready except for a casserole I'll make in the morning before church. We'll grab rolls on our way to church (I go get Dorothy and take her.) I'm all set. Now, I just have to go get a bath, wash my hair and hit the clean sheets. That used to be fun with Don, but there's nobody to appreciate it with me. I guess they'll last two weeks; I can sleep on my side for a week and then sleep on his side for a week. That will cut my sheet changing chores in half; that's a good thing. Wonder what will happen when the memory foam feels me on his side instead of him. Nothing happened when Trish, Gretta or Terri slept over there. I guess that memory foam is very forgiving; maybe it's happier to have a smaller person there? Don had gotten pretty small; he was down to 184 the last time he weighed here. I thank God that he was healthy until right at the last; that was certainly his dream. God is taking good care of him, now; he doesn't have any worries and no pain or tears. Wow; that's a happy ending for him.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A family of monkeys. :)

Precious monkeys, that is! This is Gracie encouraging Raynie across the rings. She lifted her up there and turned her loose! Raynie has no fear and can do anything the bigger kids do. Amazing!

We went back to Exploration Station today, but this picture is from last week. Trish and I got a lot more accomplished today. It's been a huge help to have them here. I keep plugging and I'll make it.

I read some stuff about the stages of grief today. It said it's likely I will cry for 2 months and maybe longer. I hope I can stop soon. I made it through yesterday without sobbing and haven't sobbed today, but I bet I'll sob tomorrow when there's nobody here to stress over me. I know I need it. Some good sobs will shape me up and brace me for a bit. I'm kind of hooked on it. I guess it's better than boozing and drugging. They say if I take to drugs and booze I'm in trouble. No sweat; I'm not even tempted to do that. If it's okay to sob, then I'm in good shape, I guess.
The final stage is acceptance. I must be a hundred years from there. God will take care of me, though. I have the checkbook to prove it. :) (Remember, that was my sign and I'm clinging to it!)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

They give me smiles and warm my heart!

This picture was taken last week when the kids were here and we were at Exploration Station. Thank God for they precious little hearts and spirits! They keep a smile on my face most of the time. We hope to go to Exploration Station tomorrow if it's not too cold. Right now they are passed out asleep, waiting for Trish and I to go to bed. We're both catching up on the Internet.

We've been pretty busy all day, so we've got catching up to do. We got a lot done, so it's been a big help to me. We've got a lot more to do tomorrow, but things are beginning to take shape.

I haven't sobbed all day! I think this is the first day of no sobbing, so maybe I'm turning a corner of sorts? We'll see. I had to turn heat on today, so certainly I'm turning that corner! Brrrrrrr. It's supposed to warm up this weekend, so I'll be glad to see that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blowing and going.

This is a picture of the kids at the park, Exploration Station, here in Hobart. They are all incredible monkeys! You see Mason in the background on the left, obviously on the run. Sadie had put Raynie up on the monkey bars and she'd made it to the end and needed help to get down. Grace was right there to help her and Sadie jumped to the job, too. They are an amazing family to play so well together and look after each other. Gabe wasn't in this picture, but I'm sure he was somewhere timing Mason as he ran through his assigned course. These pictures bring back great memories for me. I sat there and cried as I watched them because Don used to lift them up to the monkey bars and push them in the swings. Everything, even the happy times are so sad. I don't know how I will ever get past this, but it must happen somehow. God promises comfort and blessing to those who mourn. No doubt I am blessed. Comforting me is tough, but God can do it. I know He will take care of me; I just have to be willing to follow Him and trust Him.

My Internet has been running perfectly yesterday and today. Now, two new modems arrived by UPS! I called to ask what to do with them and they said to go online after 8 tonight and register and then send them back tomorrow. Now, there's no telling what will happen when I attempt to register tonight. I hope it goes smoothly and doesn't get all fouled up, but I thought I'd better post now, while I can, just in case.

Thanks for hanging tough with me. I hate to be such a baby, but I feel so broken. I want to be honest and nothing pretty I say is honest. I see the title of this blog and it seemed so right when I made it. I was living after breast cancer and that was the bottom line; it was exciting. I wanted to share that. Now, it seems grim; I live, but the rest of the story is that Don doesn't live and it's not exciting. It's grim. If we were unhappily married and just tolerating each other his death would not be so hard to take. But, we were happy. We loved each other with every ounce of energy that we had. Now it seems like I spend all my energy sobbing. Sobs come out of nowhere. It's like I'm walking a balance beam and fall off from time to time. I'm ashamed. I should be focusing on giving thanks to God for all the wonderful years we had and for having the opportunity to truly love and be loved. I do give that thanks; that's when I'm on the balance beam. When I fall off is when I sob. It's just so hard. I'm working on it. Thanks so much for caring; don't worry, just care and keep me in your prayers, please. I know God is here and is helping me. I'm just so weak with only this half of me remaining. Trish is coming tomorrow with Mason, Grace and Raynie. I will be up with them here, so good days are ahead.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday is done.

Pictured tonight is Gracie and Raynie; Gracie is 8 and Raynie is 4. They were here last week and they'll come, again, on Thursday and Friday. I'm blessed to have their sunshine in my life.

Today is one of our last warm days for a while, so I got to spend a little time in the sun. My new modem was supposed to come from ATT, but it didn't. Thankfully, everything is working fine. I don't think it was a problem with the modem at all; it was just a problem with ATT. I guess they'd rather send out new modems than fix the real problem, but saying they'll send a new modem gets me off their back for a few days. As long as it's working, I'm happy. Even my email is working fine, now. I don't get it at all, but I'm happy today since it's working.

Last night I was able to get vitamins and herbs thrown for the next 2 months. I need to do 4 more months to get me through the winter until spring. I guess I'll be traveling this winter. It's hard to imagine what I'll do, but I think I can get some ladies to go with me so it won't be so bland without Don. I won't get all that out until next Monday, though. It works pretty well to do them while I watch Dancing with the Stars.

I got one of Don's file cabinets ordered (so that I understand the order) today. That's a start. Little by little I'm starting to get a grasp of things around here. God is good to give me strength and a clear head from time to time. He showed me the checkbook and that was a big help. Now, if He'll fund it, I'll be in better shape. :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy birthday, Janelle and Jessie!

Pictured today are Janelle and Jessie, sisters who are turning 21 and 19 today! These girls grew up in Las Vegas and I'm so happy to have them back in Oklahoma! It's wonderful to get to see them more. Janelle is in Norman, so that's within 2 hours of me. Jessie is playing ball for Rogers State University in Claremore, so I'm hoping to get to go see some of her games this year. They're beautiful girls and I'm so proud of them for their internal beauty as well as their good looks.

Today has been a better day. I got some things accomplished. Some of the Internet is working. My email receives, but it won't send. So, I thought I had better get this blog posted while I can. I've got to throw herbs tonight, so I guess I'll do that in front of the TV and watch Dancing with the Stars. I've only watched a part of it one time this season. It's hard to get into it because it's a thing I always watched with Don. I'm down to two days of herbs and vitamins, though, so I'd better get with that business.

I have to share this. I always listen to Joel Osteen on Sunday mornings. This Sunday he said we should ask God to give us a sign when we really are counting on Him to do something for us. He said it will encourage us to know that the answer is coming to our prayer, maybe not immediately, but it's coming. So, last night I asked God to send me a sign that He would direct me in the way that He wants me to go. I had lost the checkbook and searched the house and van for it to no avail. So, I asked God to lead me to the checkbook and that would be my sign that He will lead me in the direction I need to go. I usually fall right to sleep, but asking for that led me to think of all the places that checkbook might be. I had taken it with me to pay for having plugs put into the van over a week ago, so I thought I might have stuck it into the glove box with the receipt. I got right out of bed and went to FIND it right there in the glove box! It's my sign. I knew that God would direct me, but it gives me a tangible thing I can touch and be reminded that He will take care of me. I'm sure that's a great thing because the checkbook represents a big stress zone for me, but now it's a comfort and encouragement to me. Thank you, Joel, and thanks to our wonderful Father!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

RIP, Tom Martin

Look! I finally got onto the blog to post. I hope it works! I've had problems all day with my Internet connection and ATT is shipping a new modem to me tomorrow. I had called Trish and asked her to post for me; she meant to post after she ran. I tried one more time and got to connect. Wow. Technology is wild!

This is a picture I took last week of Gracie skipping THREE of the loop! She is an awesome little monkey; she can readily skip one and two loops, but she had to really get going to skip THREE! There is Raynie down on the right admiring her success. I can't believe I actually caught it! Fun, fun memories. They were busy playing, so they didn't notice I had to cry. I had never been to this park without Don, who held them up to reach these monkey rings and bars. They can all get up there by themselves, now, except for Raynie and Gabe held her up to do the swinging. Man, every direction I turn, I miss Don. Folks do their best to help me, but the grief seems to get bigger, not smaller.

Ruthie wrote today that our good friend, [whose mother-in-law (Dot) and wife (Jane) are ardent viewers and posters on this blog] Tom Martin, had a heart attack and passed away today! Tom was about my age, give or take a year or two. He and Jane had their annual trip to Branson scheduled for November 2, I think. He was a healthy guy. It's another wake up call, folks. Life is not anything we can count on. God we can count on. I don't know what I would do if I didn't know that God is there to receive us when we die and he's also here to help us who survive. RIP, precious Tom. God be with you, Jane, Dot and Frances. (Dot is staying with her sister, Frances, during this time; Jane dropped her off there as she headed home to be with Tom as soon as she learned of his heart attack. Jane moved to Tennessee to help take care of her mom and dad after she retired. Her dad passed away a couple of months ago. Tom had stayed in Indiana to help look after his mom, who is 92. Jane and Tom commuted back and forth to spend time with each other.)

I thought old age was bad, but I'm learning that it's even worse than bad. Losing loved ones is just too awful. Please, please hug the people you love and savor every moment with them. Don't wait. Do it, now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Suvived the wedding.

The wedding was beautiful. I took this picture before I left for the wedding. Everything about this wedding was very different than usual, so I was so interested in everything that I didn't let my emotions get away from me. A good friend from church was going in as I was and his wife had gone to help their daughter buy an interview suit, so he became my escort for the wedding. It was nice to have an escort! The wedding was so lovely. She had four nieces be flower girls and they dropped leaves instead of flower petals. It was really cute. On the table were arrangements of wild flowers and the smelled so good and were beautiful, too. It was all very, very interesting and nice. I pray that they can be as happy as Don and I were, and that they can be married for a long, long time.

Alyssa came for a couple of hours this morning and I forgot to take picture, again. Ugh. Her mom came and had lunch with us before they left. Then I laid in the sun on the deck for a couple of hours this afternoon, so that was a good rest for me. Then I came in and got cleaned up for the wedding. I even trimmed and buffed my nails, so I'm all groomed for a while. Tomorrow we have a young guy here to preach for us; he's trying out for the preacher position. I'd sure like it if we could hire someone, so there would be a neighbor on that side of me. Of course, it's nice to have a preacher, too, but our men at church are really handling that task so well. I think it's even bringing us all closer.

I'm headed to bed early. Yahoo!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lizard wins.

This picture was taken when we went to the heart rock, after we had climbed up the mountain and come back down. What a full day we had. This was on our way to the heart rock and Gabe spotted a collared lizard. They chased him around these two rocks and another huge one for about an hour and finally gave up on him. You can see how they were all involved! I'm telling you, it was an intense hour! This is Raynie, closest to the camera, then Gracie, then Mason. Then Gabe and Sadie are on the back of the rock. Precious memories! I'll have lots more pics like this to share. These kids are an awesome team and family; they were so fun to have all week. I thank God for them!

The kids left around noon today. At 1 I had lunch with Diana Clark, Jo Ann Meier, and Dorothy. We'd like to make a habit of this, but Diana is going back to Kazakhstan soon, so we may have to do just the 3 of us or pick up someone else. We'll see how that works. After lunch I took Dorothy home and helped her set up her electric blanket and inventoried her deep freeze with her. She's a dear, dear friend. We had time to cry some, too; we are both in such trouble without David and Don. We both loved those guys so much. We're doing our best to be positive and happy and thank God for all our blessings, but the loss is so tremendous for both of us and we admit we are having a hard time.

Tomorrow Alyssa is coming to stay a couple of hours with me in the morning. Then tomorrow night is a friend's wedding. I hope I can sit through that and remember that it's all about THAT couple and not me! It would be a terrible shame to break out into sobs right there at a wedding! Maybe I can get away with it, though; people cry at weddings a lot.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On our way up Elk Mountain.

This is Mason, Sadie, Raynie, Gracie and Gabe, on the bridge before going up Elk Mountain. Man, it was a tough hike, but we all made it. Grace and Raynie were really good sports! Sadie was a sweetheart to keep an eye on me to make sure I made it! We just about wore ourselves out on that hike, but it was one to remember!

Tonight is our last night. Trish and Rob will be here around midnight and then they'll leave in the morning. I'll miss them! They've been great company. The rest will be good for me, though.

Tomorrow I'm having lunch with my card playing girlfriends; then Saturday is a friend's wedding. That'll keep me busy for a bit. Then Trish is coming back next week to help me do some paper work. What a relief that will be!

It's nice to have Internet access. My phone is not working right, but it works a bit. I can call out, but when someone calls me the answering machine gets it and then I call them back. It's a little funky, but it works if I just figure out the 'code.' I think I can get it to work right, but it'll take some more time than I have right now. Another project. God bless!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Finally, the picture!

This is the picture of Jo Ann and Diana. Man. This seems like an eon ago. It's a pit not having Internet access. Finally, I got connected today. Then after struggling for 4 hours with magicJack I have the phone, again. My phone number is the same as it has been for years. 580-726-2232. Whew. Sometimes it's not the greatest connection, but usually it works good. If it doesn't work, call my cell phone. 405-823-6453 Closing my land line saves me $27 a month and I'm into saving! I didn't mean to go cold turkey, though. This has been a real fiasco, but I think I'm okay and set up to communicate, again.

The kids are here (5 of them: Gabe, nearly 17; Sadie, 14; Mason, 11; Grace, 9; and Raynie, 4. They are precious! They've entertained themselves this evening while I worked on all this stuff. We've had a ton of fun with them. Thank God for grandkids!

Must go crash! Thanks for your patience with my offline status! And, thanks to Trish for covering for me!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Don't panic! This is just normal.

Hi guys! This is Tricia, posting for mom. Mom made some adjustments with her phone and inadvertently disconnected her phone line. No phone line = no internet. That all gets fixed on Wed, so just hang loose till then.

Oh - and that last post was supposed to have a picture, but we don't know what happened to it. It'll be here eventually.

Thanks for loving mom and keeping up with her!


The picture you've been waiting to see.

This is Jo Ann Meier and Diana Clark; we took this the day we all went to lunch with Dorothy. It was a wonderful lunch and visit! Diana is married to my friend, Bob, who went to school with me in Japan in the 8th grade. They moved to Hobart about 9 years ago, and it feels like I went to school with Diana! Jo Ann is married to Frank and they are really good friends. They came to OKC when Don was in the hospital and spent the night. Diana and Bob were in Kazakhstan at the time or they would have come, too. They came to Houston when we were down there for my surgery and radiation. These folks are just the very best of friends. Diana will go back to Kazakhstan soon. She'll be here this weekend for our slumber party, though! Three more of our friends from school in Japan are coming and we're going to have a big slumber party; that means we're all going to get some sleep, unlike the slumber parties we had years ago! Nobody is coming until tomorrow, but I've still got my nose stuck to the window, watching!Some days are better than others. No days can be good, yet. I'm just not so good at this life without Don right here. I know all the things like, he lives as long as he touches me; he's in a better place; he feels no pain; he has no tears; he'd want me to be happy, etc. All that is good and I get through most of the days clinging to all those things and being grateful for all the time we shared, but then I MISS him so much and the hole in me is so huge that I crash. I thank God for telling us, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." I thank Him for sending folks to make sure that comforting happens!Just when I think I can have a good day I find something that sets me off into a sob session. Or someone says something that isn't even intended for me and it sets me off into a sob session. I guess I'm still peeling the onion of grief. This time last month was worse, so maybe things are getting better. I thank God for all the support I had this time last month. Thank you all so much for hanging with me so strong! I thought I posted this last night, but it didn't post for some reason. Ugh. Now, my Internet and phone are both DISCONNECTED! I didn't do that on purpose, but I ported my land line number to MagicJack and it disconnected the phone! That automatically took the Internet connection. I meant to do that NEXT week! Ugh. Anyway, I'm at Bob and Diana's house posting this. Hopefully I'll get a post on tonight, but no promises. Don't worry! The girls are all here for the weekend and we're having great fun, already. Diana is touring them through their house. Gotta run! God bless, and thanks for your patience!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy birthday, Gina!

This is Gina, our oldest daughter, listening to Donna, our niece, telling her story. Donna is Don's brother's daughter, who was named after Don. Gina lives in Scottsburg, Indiana and she is the mother to Kyle, Elise and Ethan, three of our grandchildren. Gina is much like her Daddy, in her lo0ks and her personality. She looks so much like Don's mom and a lot like his sister, Doris. She has the wisdom that Don's mother had. She's a powerful woman, though especially sensitive and kind. It's no wonder that her daughter Elise is probably the most compassionate person I know; she learned it from her mom. I hope your birthday was happy, Gina!

Today has been busy. I've gotten a lot done around here, but there is so much more to do! It's hard to take over everything Don did, as well as do what I need to do. This widow journey is not an easy one, but I look around and see lots of widows, so I can get the hang of it, I guess.

Last night I predicted that I'd post a picture of Diana and Jo Ann from our lunch Monday, but I'll post that tomorrow. I wanted to post Gina's picture tonight since I'm celebrating her today, especially. I thank God for wonderful kids and grandchildren!

Ta da: the picture you've waited to see.

This is Jo Ann Meier and Diana Clark; we took this the day we all went to lunch with Dorothy. It was a wonderful lunch and visit! Diana is married to my friend, Bob, who went to school with me in Japan in the 8th grade. They moved to Hobart about 9 years ago, and it feels like I went to school with Diana! Jo Ann is married to Frank and they are really good friends. They came to OKC when Don was in the hospital and spent the night. Diana and Bob were in Kazakhstan at the time or they would have come, too. They came to Houston when we were down there for my surgery and radiation. These folks are just the very best of friends. Diana will go back to Kazakhstan soon. She'll be here this weekend for our slumber party, though! Three more of our friends from school in Japan are coming and we're going to have a big slumber party; that means we're all going to get some sleep, unlike the slumber parties we had years ago! Nobody is coming until tomorrow, but I've still got my nose stuck to the window, watching!

Some days are better than others. No days can be good, yet. I'm just not so good at this life without Don right here. I know all the things like, he lives as long as he touches me; he's in a better place; he feels no pain; he has no tears; he'd want me to be happy, etc. All that is good and I get through most of the days clinging to all those things and being grateful for all the time we shared, but then I MISS him so much and the hole in me is so huge that I crash. I thank God for telling us, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." I thank Him for sending folks to make sure that comforting happens!

Just when I think I can have a good day I find something that sets me off into a sob session. Or someone says something that isn't even intended for me and it sets me off into a sob session. I guess I'm still peeling the onion of grief. This time last month was worse, so maybe things are getting better. I thank God for all the support I had this time last month. Thank you all so much for hanging with me so strong!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don and David would be pleased.

I can't believe that Dorothy and I can smile, but we can and we do. We so enjoy time together and we share a huge loss and void. Don and David loved us dearly and I know they would want us to be smiling. I am so thankful that we have each other. We are good for each other. We love time together and we laugh a lot and cry some, but it's okay. Around other people we feel like we have to keep our guard up and not cry because we don't want to worry folks. She and I know that the tears are healthy. I think we can't keep these feeling pinned up inside; sometimes we just have to let it fly. and we feel safe together. This picture was taken Monday when we went to lunch with Jo Ann and Diana. I'll post a picture of them on the other side of the table tomorrow night. Precious friends mean so much and I thank God for them!

Notice Dorothy's necklace? That's her lifeline. She wears it all the time and if she falls it will alert a company who will call for help. She dropped it the other day and they called to make sure she was all right! The whole community is so glad she has that necklace since she lives out in the country by herself. Her grandson stops in to see her every morning on his way to the farms, and he checks on her again a couple more times each day, but he insisted that she have this necklace. I'm so proud of him for taking such good care of her.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gabe's way cool hat.

I was writing the blog earlier, when suddenly it began to storm, so I hurriedly shut everything down to keep from losing equipment due to a lightning strike. So, I apologize to you who got the notice of the blog and it wasn't yet complete! It is quiet, now, so I'm back up and running. Thankfully, there is a steady rain out there. We so need the moisture!

I had to put all these pictures on of Gabe's hat that he decorated. I'm sorry for those of you using dial up (is there still anyone out there using dial up???) because I know the pictures make it slower to load. They just wouldn't be the same one at a time over 4 days, though. Thanks for bearing with me on these pictures and my blundering along with this blog.

Tonight was the Ladies' Salad Supper at church, and it was a good event. One of our ladies gave our devotional and it was particularly touching. Right now her grandpa is dying with bone cancer and he is so ready to be done with his life and suffering here on earth. We all have something difficult in our lives, but we all have access to God and the strength He gives. I thank God for a wonderful church family who is very supportive of each other. I volunteered to give the devotional at the salad supper next month. I might be crazy. I will bring a big box of tissues because we may all be in tears. I'm never afraid to speak, but I am afraid of crashing in front of everyone. I just hate to make them all miserable, but these are people who love me and have been so strong for me, so I feel safe with them. I believe God left me for a reason and it's not to be pitiful; if I can say something that will return some strength they've given to me, then that will be good. I will share some of my notes with you when I get them ready. YOU have been so strong and supportive for me, too! Thank you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A micro mini reunion.

Dorothy, Jo Ann, Diana and me at lunch today. What a great treat! Diana comes to all the reunions with Bob and I feel like we went to the same school! It was wonderful to have lunch with her and Dorothy and Jo Ann today! We had a great visit for a couple of hours right here at the Pizza Place on the square in Hobart. It was absolutely delicious and the company could not be beat.

We all play cards together, but of the 4 of us only one has a husband available because Bob is in Kazakhstan. We all still have the gift of gab, though, so we had a wonderful visit. I took Dorothy home and stayed until 7:30! I shortened the blinds for her in her other bathroom, so I made myself useful. Then we just visited. We laughed and cried, but it was all good. We counted blessings and enjoyed precious memories. I thank God for a great day like today and for awesome friends He has placed in my life.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Tonight's picture is one I got of Trish last night. I thank God for her coming with the kids for the weekend. She only brought Garrett and Gabe and Raynie, but that was a wonderful mix. The guys were great; well, everyone was. We had fully intended to go hiking in the refuge, but we got rained out. They didn't complain the first time! They played pool in the basement and Garrett played on his laptop and Gabe learned to crochet a hat. I've got to show you pictures of his hats in the coming week. The kids were great and I loved having them at church with me this morning. Dorothy fell in love with the guys because they were so chivalrous with her. They are great guys and they're that good to me, too. Gabe said he'd like to come back every other weekend! How cool is that? I think he won't but the thought was sure precious!

I've got the floors mopped and the sheets clean. I just have to get the sheets on, so the beds will be ready for my girlfriends who are coming this weekend! I've got to vacuum and dust, but the hard floors are the hardest part for me, I think.

Dorothy and Jo Ann and Diana are going to lunch tomorrow, so we're going to start this week off on a happy note. We are all old card players. We've lost David and Don and Bob is still in Kazakhstan, so we're settling for lunch instead of cards until we can figure out another way to play. God bless family and friends!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Look what the wind blew into Hobart!

We had wind gusting up to 46 mph in Hobart yesterday. Look who I found in the driveway! Trish came, too, and she took the picture. I'll have to be sure to get one of her before they leave tomorrow. This is Garrett, me, Gabe and Raynie. I've got to get some up close pictures of Gabe's hat. He has drawn details all over it; it's quite a novelty! I love Garrett's haircut; thanks to ROTC for revealing his face!

We fully intended to go hiking at the refuge today, but it has rained all day long. We haven't had this much rain all year, so we're glad to have the rain, but it made hiking not sound fun at all. So the guys played pool and Trish and I explored the garage sales in town. Today was Hobart's town wide yard sale, so there were lots to see.

Trish has helped me with a bunch of paperwork. Man, there is so much yet to do. It's sure nice to have help. It's great to have company, too. God is good: I thank Him for sending help and love.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Play date with my escorts.

This is Gabe and Garrett, cousins who will be my play dates and escorts this weekend. Labor Day weekend Garrett came and spent with Don and I. Trish had planned to come, too, but since Don was in a lot of pain from what we thought was muscle spasms she decided to not come and wait for a time when Don felt better. So, it was just Garrett and me to goof off because Don was just resting. He was so tired because he couldn't sleep in the bed. This was the time period when he did most of his sleeping at the desk with his head on a pillow and his arms hanging down. Garrett and I had fun, but when we went to the refuge most of it was closed due to wild fires. So, we're eager to return.

On the day of Don's memorial service, Garrett had put together the pictures and music to be used and he was working all of that in the back. When the family started to file into the auditorium, I looked at Gabe and told him I needed an escort; would he be mine? He was such a dear! I held onto his elbow as he walked me in and he sat right there with me and sang with me and held the book for me. When he felt me weakening, he put his arm around me and squeezed me. Don would have been so proud; I was! So, these guys are coming this weekend to rescue me, again. Trish is coming with them and she's also bringing Raynie. She and Raynie will be a big boost, but the guys and I will love the hiking. Trish and Raynie will likely tolerate the hiking, but the guys and I will escape. I've made chocolate chip pie for Garrett and cherry for Gabe. Grammies do that, right? This is Hobart's town wide yard sale weekend, so Trish will enjoy shopping in the morning.

She's going to help me with some technical stuff, like listing the car for sale online, etc. I'm hoping she'll take me to school about online banking, too. I'm thinking this weekend may not be long enough! It'll be so good to have them here, though. Teenage guys have no idea how much a hug means and time spent with Grammy; I think it's special to them, but it means everything to me right now.

I wanted to get this blog done so I won't have it to do tonight. I'll get good pictures this weekend for future blogs. God blesses!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Trish and Kendra.

Trish is our daughter who lives in OKC. Kendra is her sister-in-law; she's married to Robert's brother, Randy. Kendra works at Baptist hospital in some administrative position and she came up to see if she could do anything to help us. It was very supportive of her to come up and help us dig up some smiles. I'm amazed as I look back over the pictures and appreciate so much the pictures people let me get. These are precious memories even if it was the worst day of our lives. It's amazing how much people help. One of the many cards I've gotten really stands out to me. It said, "It helps to know that others care and I'm sending this card, so you'll know I care." It's so simple, but so very true. It sure does help to know that others care.

When I left the Altus hospital in route to Baptist Hospital in Oklahoma City, where they were taking Don, I called Trish. She dropped everything and went to the hospital so she was there when he got there. She scoped out where he would be and where we should wait. She came and met me at the front door when I arrived. She met everyone at the front door if she knew they were there. We were up at the hospital for her son, Mason's birthday. We were up there on her birthday and that was the day Don passed. She took the role of being in charge; she made sure I had food and she made sure I ate it. She's coming tomorrow with 3 of the grandkids. I know all the kids are worried about me. I hate to be a worry to them or to anyone, but everyone seems to be worried about me.

I don't think there is any reason to worry. I've never seen anyone sob to death. I must need to do a lot of cleansing because the tears keep coming along with sobs. Today was the worst day, yet, for that. The first day I dug into the finances was really bad, but I've gotten a handle on that, even though it was scary. The emptiness is what's horrible. Trish and the kids will come tomorrow and they will fill the emptiness. Then next week my friends from Itazuke are coming for the weekend. After they leave Trish and Rob are bringing their kids to stay a week with me! That'll see me through this month. Maybe by then I'll have the habit of behaving myself and won't lapse so into sobbing. Think? I am so grateful, but I can't help being so sad. I believe that surely time will help with that. I thank God for precious memories and for all the precious people who are still in my life and who have all stepped up to help in any way they can. I thank all of you for doing just that, too.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Meet, Janelle, another of our beautiful granddaughters! She is sitting on her dad's lap (Jeff); behind her is Don's older brother's daughter, Mary Beth. This picture depicts some of the happy times we were able to share when Don was in the hospital. It's truely amazing how on the worst day of your life you can still smile from love that is deep down inside. Love overcomes all pain. Janelle is Jessie's older sister; Jessie and Erica were on last night's post. Janelle and Erica are both 21 this fall. (We often call Janelle Nelly.)

I've handled today better than I did yesterday. I went to the nursing home before church tonight and took one of the programs from Don's service to the friend who asked about him yesterday. I needed to do that. She profusely apologized. She said she did know that he had passed, but it was just a habit to always ask me how he is when she sees me. She felt terrible after she asked and I lost it. She is a dear friend and Don loved and respected her very much, as I do. I didn't want her to feel bad. She was so grateful for the program. I felt better facing the issue head on and I was braced for it, so it went well.

I taught the 3 year olds at church tonight because their regular teacher was out of town. God blessed me and only Alyssa was there. It would have been fun if the usual other two little girls had been there, but Alyssa and I had a big time with just the two of us. She made my job easy. Maybe she taught the class; she's such a little dear!

I'm headed to bed early, again. I think plenty of rest is a thing I need right now. It'll help me to make it through the days better. I thank God for helping me to make it through this day. God bless.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A couple of beautiful granddaughters, inside and out!.

This is the picture of Jessie I promised the day before yesterday. This is Jessie on the left and Erica on the right. This was a day of broken hearts because it was the day after Don's death and we were gathering at Davy's house for our family's private session. Erica is in college in Stillwater, but she came home (She's Davy's daughter.) to be with us. Jessie is in college in Claremore, but she came to be with us, too. Her sister, Janelle, came that day, also but I didn't get her in any pictures that day. Anyway, these two are always so happy to see each other, so even on a tough day they have big smiles. I thank God for granddaughters who are so beautiful inside and out; I'm so richly blessed.

Today I managed to trim some branches of the trees in the driveway that were dragging on the van when I passed them. It feels good to accomplish something. I sang at the nursing home this morning, but that turned into a fiasco. After we were through singing one of my precious friends asked me, "How's Don?" I lost it. I just wasn't expecting that; I told her I couldn't talk and to ask one of the others, and I rushed out to the car for a big cry. I guess that's as bad as it gets and I can't seem to stop it from happening. I don't think the answer is to hole up in the house. She is a good friend; she used to play cards with us. She's sharp; she just didn't know about Don's death. I assumed that she knew because she manages to keep up with things pretty well. Saturday when I went to the shower, a lady, who had been away on vacation, came up and asked if Don and I were still walking. I managed that one, okay, but she almost flipped when I told her. Later I overheard a daughter asking her mom, "Is Daddy home?" It wasn't even directed at me, but it got to me. I managed to make it until I got the van before I lost it over that one.

I'm leaning so heavily on the scripture that says, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." Mostly I do pretty well, but sometimes I get caught off guard and it's all over. I'm going to bed early tonight; I say that every night, but I'm going to do it tonight. I think I need rest; I've been up late most nights and I think the rest will help me to be better braced for whatever comes with the next day. I thank God for awesome blessings and the promise of comfort. Wow; that's a lot!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy birthday, Elise!

This is a treasured picture of Elise with Don when they came and spent a night with us in Branson last winter. I'm so glad I caught this picture of them hugging as they were leaving to head home. Don could not have been more proud than he was of Elise. Happy birthday to the most compassionate and caring 12 year old I know! God bless you!

Today has been some better I guess. I finally was able to post on Facebook the pictures that we used in the video at Don's memorial service. I could never have limited them to only 56! I would have made it all the pictures I have of Don! Gretta went through all my pictures and found as many as she could of Don with others in the family. Then her son, Garrett, put them all together on a video and he ran it at the service! He was also in charge of running a cd of music during the photos that was made by the Richland Hills Church of Christ. It was really beautiful to watch and to hear.

We had congregational singing during the service, and Gretta chose those songs, too. I was totally overwhelmed and couldn't make any decisions. Gretta sad right down with our songbook and dug in like she was taking a college entrance exam that she needed to ace. She came up with these songs and these reasons why she chose them:

How Great Thou Art: God is bigger
Anywhere With Jesus: obvious reason
It Is Well With My Soul: we've accepted
Have Thine Own Way: God's plan
All To Jesus I Surrender: trust - always could trust Daddy
Just As I Am: forgiveness - Daddy taught
Great is Thy Faithfulness - courage - we all need
Our God He is Alive - pure memory of Dad belting this out with fun

Thank you so much, Gretta and Garrett, for really pulling together the details of the service! When I left the Altus hospital, knowing the helicopter was on the way to get Don to take him to OKC, I called Trish and told her what was happening. She dropped everything and went to the hospital and found where he would be in surgery; where his room would be, etc. She was there to meet me when I got there and took me right to where I needed to be. I also called Davy and he was on the way home from Tulsa. He called Jeff and Gina for me and then he and his wife Susan, got to the hospital just shortly after I did. They were there almost 24/7 with me. Jeff and Gina got there as quickly as they could, as did Don's sister, Doris. I guess I called Doris on the way to the hospital. I really forget. I just know what tremendous support they all were and we built even more awesome memories during those worst days of our lives. I called my precious friend, Terri, who calls me Sissy because we are so close. I asked her to please tell all our Facebook friends, because they were all concerned about Don as he'd had a high fever the night before and several days of angina, which we thought was muscle spasms; anyway, I needed their support and got it, too! I thank God for all the wonderful love everyone has shown. For a horrible experience, this has been one to treasure because of all the love.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Two precious ladies!

I got this picture of Dorothy and her little sister, Ada, today! Ada and her husband just g0t here today and they plan to stay 3 days with Dorothy. Dorothy and Ada are so close and have so much fun, so this will be really good for both of them. I'm so pleased to see Dorothy smiling so big!

I took her to church this morning and then she went straight home because she was expecting Ada and Spike to come any minute. I went back out on my way to church tonight and got this picture.

Trish called tonight and she's bringing the kids out here for fall break, so I'm all excited about that, too. She and Rob are going to take a little trip and I get to have all the kids. The weather will be awesome and I'm excited to have them for a week. Woo hoo! I'm not sure when fall break is, but it's sometime toward the end of this month. This is going to be a great month. My girlfriends are coming the 15th and then the kids will come after that, sometime. This next weekend Trish may come with Gabe and Garrett so we can go hiking in the refuge. My 'dance card' is getting full!

My good friend, Pamela, reminded me that God expects us to mourn or He wouldn't have put in the beatitudes (Matt. 5:10), "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Duh, I should have thought of that. I've been thinking I was being selfish to be so self centered about losing Don. Thanks, Pamela! I needed the reminder that I will even be blessed and comforted; mourning is the right thing to do. Wow; we have an awesome God!

Our granddaughter, Jessie, wrote this on Facebook tonight:
"There are things we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and things we can't live without but just have to let go!"
This is her freshman year in college and I don't know if that's original with her or if she copied it, but it's registered with her and I think it is very wise; tough, but true. I'll post a picture of Jessie tomorrow night on the blog.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We can smile; Joel, this is for you!

We went to a wedding shower for a girl who is precious in the lives of all of Hobart this morning. Then I went over to Dorothy's house and trimmed her hair and fixed a window blind and we shared soup. We shared lots of good memories. We cried some, but laughed a lot. We have all treasured memories of David and Don. When I got there she was talking on the phone to Joel, David's son, so I set the timer on the camera and got this shot of us for him. The day was gorgeous and we so enjoyed sitting out on her patio pretty much being lazy, but it was such good time that we shared! She had done something with the blinds in her bathroom and they dropped down to about 2 feet below the window, which took up the strings that pull to pull them back into place. For someone who can't see that's a big deal. Blinds are a thing I can do, so I shortened them for her, so that they'll never drop below the window, again. It felt so good to be able to do something I was comfortable doing and the blinds and cutting her hair were two things I enjoy. Sitting around and visiting was just awesome, too. So, we had a great day. I needed a great day. I sure thank God for wonderful, wonderful friends all across the world. Lucky me!

I'm on the lookout for a day I can get through without crying. I think that may turn me into a better direction. I'm not there, yet, but that day will come. God blesses and I trust Him.