Sunday, March 22, 2015
There have been a LOT of changes in my life lately. It seems like too many sometimes.
Since I lost my sweet mama, not only have I had to deal with the grief, but I have had to deal with the changes that her death brought about. See, I have always been my mama’s ‘go to person’. In earlier days, I paid her bills, bought her groceries, took her to therapy, to the doctor and to the hospital or anywhere else she needed or wanted to go. Living so close to each other, we had many, many phone conversations and loads of face to face, and heart to heart time.
This changed in latter years, right before Alzheimer's started creeping up on her, her phone calls were getting less frequent and a lot shorter. She didn’t cook much anymore, so I began cooking and taking her meals to her everyday. Right before she was placed in the nursing home I began keeping her medicines in my purse because she would forget if she took them and either miss a dose or double up. So, I began taking them to her; two, three and four times daily. Thank God she lived right around the corner from me and that Danny was still alive at the time… he helped me so much when I had to be at work.
For many years, this was my life.
Things changed again when she became a resident of the nursing home. I no longer had to take her meds to her, cook for her or take her to her to medical appointment, but sadly she no longer called me ...instead I went to see her. Oh, I still sat down at my desk the first of every month and made out the checks that had to go to the post office. I bought her clothes and other odds and ends. I did all the paper work for her nursing home stay each and every year and of course I visited her…which would most always break my heart. You could find me walking out the nursing home door crying if it were a bad day and she didn’t know me and also when it was a good day and she did know me.
For years, this was my life.
That all changed the day my mama died. At 61 year old, I am now an orphan and just as when Danny died, I have had to learn some things all over again and make a new routine for myself. I don’t know how to describe it, except to say that I feel lost without her, and also without my routine.
This is little less traumatic, although traumatic is the right word and it also involves change.
My car died.
I have had my 1996 Ford Taurus for 19 years. I wish I could say that it was the best car I ever had, but if I did I would be telling the biggest lie!That dog-gone thing was a a dang lemon from the get go. No, on second thought, it was not just a lemon, it was an all out sour lemon. The gear shift handle falling off into my hand as I placed it in reverse (just two months after we got it BRAND NEW) should have been my first warning! A soon as we got it out of the shop and back home, the heater core went out! Not too bad when you still have a full warranty, but It went from bad to worse. Every year I had to replace or fix something and trust me, it was NEVER something simple or cheap. I should have traded it in when it was still new, but I kept hoping the last repair would fix it!
I kept hoping that for 19 long years folks! I wanted to be like my first grade teacher, Miss Sally Purks, who drove her old T Model Ford (or was it an old A model?) until she died.
( I told you I hated change!)
Then one day earlier this month, I was in my 1996 Ford Taurus. I was on my way to the bank to deposit my check when I stopped at the stop sign at Mr. Glass’s home. I pulled out about 3 feet and the car stopped going. Oh, it was still getting the gas, but it wasn’t going anywhere! Like a dummy, I kept revving up the engine, hoping against hope that something would catch and all would be fine. HA! I ended up rolling to the Bank and calling for a tow truck. ( How lovely it was that Dan was with me and panicking the whole time! ha! ) My mechanic and I were hoping it would be a simple fix but oh nooooo…..
It was the transmission.
We all know that one of the most costly repairs there is on a car is the transmission. The only thing left to go wrong would be the motor and I just knew it would be next. So, after 19 years of that old Taurus being a pain in our butts, but also hauling our family hither and yon ( when it worked) I pulled the plug.
I felt like I was knocking off a family member, albeit a highly aggravating one, and it hurt!
How ironic was that the only luck I ever had with my 1996 Ford Taurus, was that it took it’s last breath on Main Street in Greensboro, Georgia and not on the interstate miles from home. Thank You God.
I also want to give thanks to God for sending some good friends to me in my time of need. I was worried to death about what I would do about a car, when a friend, out of the blue, messaged me and said their family had a car for sell.
So I bought it.
This picture was taken when I was at the Tag office getting the title and tag changed over. It is a 2000 Ford Lincoln Town Car. No, it’s not new. It is 15 ears old, and it is not perfect, but it only has 68,000 miles on it. It’s a lot bigger than what I am use to, with a lot of fancy electrical equipment, (hey, I am still learning all the buttons!), but as long as it will get me from point A to point B, without breaking down, I will be more than satisfied! I like it and am going to welcome it into my family with all the love and care it’s previous owner had for it.
Change can be scary and it can be soooooo hard to deal with. You know what though?
I STILL KNOW THAT I AM BLESSED.
How truly lucky I am to have good friends who really care, ( you know who you are) my children, my son-in-law, my sweet grandchildren, my family, a roof over my head, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet and food on my table.The amazing thing is…
I could go on and on.
Thank You Lord for Your many blessings on me.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Monday, October 13, 2014
My mama cut the poem below out of a newspaper of some kind. It may have been The Market Bulletin , because she use to get that in the mail once a week. She also got The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. She was a voracious reader and read anything she got her hands on. So I don't know which paper for sure, but I do remember that she use to have it taped to her refrigerator for so long that it turned yellow. I asked her once why she liked it so much and she told me that it reminded her of her mama. She also told me that one day it would remind me of her.
Well, that was a long, long time ago...back in the days before home computers and such, so I used my old trusty typewriter and made a copy of it and later on even laminated it for her. It remained on her refrigerator for years. When she went into the Nursing Home, I took that poem off the refrigerator and brought it home with me.
Now it stays on my refrigerator…..
She always leaned to watch for us
Anxious if we were late
In winter by the window
In summer by the gate.
And though we mocked her tenderly
Who had such foolish care
The long way home would seem more safe
Because she waited there.
Her thoughts were all so full of us
She never would forget
And so I think that's where she is
She must be watching yet.
Waiting til we come home to her
Anxious if we are late...
Watching from Heaven's window
Leaning from Heaven's Gate.
The longer I live, the more I realize how very smart my mama actually was. I know without a doubt, that my mama is there, at Heaven's Gate, waiting and watching for me to come home.
Thank You Lord for blessing me with a caring and loving mother.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
My son Dan doesn’t ask for much.
If I take him to Walmart or to Ingles every week, that makes him happy. Yeah, I get frustrated on having to go to Wally World every week. These all day shopping trips he loves are wearing me down here lately. Considering that the only other thing he has to look forward to daily is watching Boomerang TV with the old cartoons on it, I figure that’s not too much for him to ask. So, as long as my old bones hold out, as long as my 18 year old car holds up and as long as I can afford the gas, I guess a weekly shopping(looking) trip is not such a big deal. What gets me is, he never ends up buying anything but bottled water or diet drinks!
It is actually the going and looking he likes.
Dan does have a bucket list of bigger wishes. Things he has always wanted to do, such as these in no certain order…
1. Go to a Braves game….Before Danny died, we managed to take him to a couple.
2. Go to a Ga. Basket Ball Game…We managed to take him to a couple of those too.
3. Go to Six Flags…Yep, been there and done that….several times.
There are a few other more things on his wish list that he has or hasn’t done, but the one thing he has constantly talked about for years is that he wanted to go to a Georgia Bulldog Game. He has mentioned it from time to time and mentioned it again a few weeks ago. Dan, being a true Bulldog fan, has watched every game he could on TV and heaven forbid that they happen to lose. That boy will fuss for two days!
I have wondered for a while now how I could get this wish of his to come true. I have to work on Saturdays and I do not want to even drive in Athens on a Game day, much less actually park and walk a long ways to the stadium!
When I mentioned to my daughter about how much Dan wanted to go, my son-in-law, who is also a Ga. fan, volunteered to take Dan; if and when I could come up with enough money for the ticket. Well, about a week ago, I bought two tickets to the GEORGIA VS TROY Football Game. One for Dan and one for my son-in-law. For a week now I have prayed that it wouldn’t rain on game day. I also prayed that the Bulldogs won!
Yesterday my sweet son-in-law helped me make one of Dan’s big dreams come true. Dan got to go to a Georgia Bulldog Game for the very first time!
It didn’t rain and the Bulldogs slaughtered Troy 66-0. ( Ha-ha, I realize now that maybe I should have asked for a tighter game, but hey, they won!!!) Dan is still talking about what all he saw, how good the band sounded and how much fun he and his brother-in-law had. He will probably still be talking about it for months from now, but that’s okay. I think I am about as happy as my son is.
Thank you God.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
My mama taught me about God.
Oh, I went to church and learned my Bible lessons. Mama use to play the piano there every once in a while. Sometimes my daddy came, sometimes he would go fishing. I also went to Sunday School. Then came Bible School with my little friends during every summer. Oh we had so much fun during those times. (I thank God my grandchildren’s other Gamma takes them to Bible School at her church every summer, so they too can hear about God.)
What I am talking about is how grateful I am that my mama used to talk to me about God and the Bible. She taught me this little blessing; “God is great, God is Good, let us thank him for our food, by HIS hands we all are fed, thank YOU Lord for our daily bread.” She taught me this one when I could barely reach the table.
When I was a little older, I remember asking mama how I should pray at night…what should I say? She had of course already taught me the “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take” prayer, but most importantly she also taught me to always ask God to bless others…even those who were mean to me.
She told me to talk to God like a good friend and to do it often. She told me that you didn't have to wait until night to talk to God and she was so right. The older I get, I find myself talking to him more and more. Sometimes I wonder if HE gets tired of me. The trouble is that I keep finding people to pray for…not to mention our state, our county, our country, etc. There is just so much that needs fixing and I believe some of it has come to a point so that only HE can fix it!
So I go to HIM.
Look, I am in NO WAY a saint. In fact I am a huge sinner. My mama, who I often put on a pedestal, God rest her soul, was not a saint. We all have our faults and our downfalls. We are, after all human, with human frailties and problems. There is none perfect except ONE and they nailed HIM to a cross on Calvary.
Back in my younger days, I drank way too much alcohol and partied hardy every weekend for years. I also did some mean and hurtful things. Things that shame me now when I dare to think of them. I was so stupid back in the days when I thought I knew it all.
The morning Preacher Robinson Baptized me at West End Baptist Church, I fully believe that God forgave me my sins, even though I have had a hard time forgiving myself of them.
That doesn't mean that I do not sin anymore either, I still tell a white lie to keep from hurting someone's feelings…I still curse when I get really angry (but not nearly as much as I use to, Lord forbid) and I have very little patience at all, among many other bad things.
But I do KNOW God and I do have HIM in my heart.
I also know GOD loves me .
Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but he is strong….
I can thank my mama for teaching me that too. I only wish I had been like my mama and did a better job at teaching my own children about Him.
Funny how my prayer petitions to God have changed throughout the years:
Back when I was in high school I use to pray;
“God please don’t let me die until I get to be 18”…(which meant that I could drink and do as I want…God help me.)
Then later it was;
“God please don’t let me die until I marry .” (So I wouldn’t be an old maid! ha-ha!)
Then after I had my children:
“God please don’t let me die until my children are grown.” (Yep, I finally got a little sense, thank You Jesus.)
Here lately it has been;
“God please don’t let me die until my grandchildren are grown” (which means: Mawmaw needs to be around to save them, by making sure they don’t go hungry! A little family joke there.)
Well today I realized that this is most important thing I should be asking God for;
“God, please don’t let me die until I make sure that my children and my grandchildren know YOU, have a close relationship with YOU and have YOU in their hearts.”
To God be the Glory. In Jesus Holy Name. AMEN.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
It just so happens that I got to do something today that I have been wanting to do for a long time.
A friend was sweeping off the front porch of the little mill house that Danny and I use to live in when I rode by it this evening. (It still stands in front of the old Cotton Mill.) I stopped and asked if he had bought it and he said he had. I then asked if I could go inside and look around it, as Danny and I were the last Mill workers to live in it.
He said I could!
It has been over 42 years since I was last in that little house that we use to think of as home. I stepped into the living room and it surprised me that it was still painted the same color! The old wooden mantle piece had been taken out by someone, but you could tell where it had once been. I use to have two crystal lamps sitting on that mantle. My mama and daddy gave them to us when we got married. They were both accidently knocked off and broken before we ever moved out of that little house. I cried for days about those two little lamps. We didn’t have money for much furniture, so we had one big sitting chair and a single iron bed upside the wall with huge pillows on it for our sofa! Come to think of it, I guess that means that we actually had a daybed before most country folks ever heard of them didn’t we?!
This little house was what they call a shotgun house or a rabbit box house which meant that it had three rooms, straight in a row, one right after the other. So the next room use to be our bedroom. I went in there and saw the tiny closet which we used to put our clothes in. Guess we didn’t need a big closet back then. I could see in my mind how our double iron bed sat catty cornered next to the wall…how we had to use a string to pull the ceiling light on and how we tied it to our headboard, so when we got up in the dark we could cut the light on first!
When I stepped into the kitchen, I saw that the sticky shelf paper with tiny flowers printed on it was still on the top of old white sink in there where I had put it ! I could just picture the old wringer washer sitting by the window and the white push button stove with the double oven and the deep well, sitting up against the wall.
I stepped into the little bathroom off the kitchen and immediately a long gone memory came rushing back to me. One day when I got up to fix Danny's breakfast as usual, that smell of the sausage that I was frying made me sick as a dog. I barely made it to the bathroom in time before I got violently ill!
Lord, I thought I had a stomach virus that morning…I found out a few days later that I was pregnant with my first born.
If I were a rich woman, I would buy that little house…just so I could go sit in it from time to time and ponder these precious memories of days past. I could go there when I need to feel close to Danny again.
As it is, I am grateful that I got to do something today that most folks don’t ever get to do.
Just for a few minutes, I got to go back home again.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
This is Maw-maw’s house…
It’s an old, old house, with creaky floors and a little bitty bathroom.
But it is also known as:
The house where 2 little boys came to ‘MAWMAW CAMP’ in the summer 2014 for one overnight and two whole days.
To play….to have fun….to relax….
to get away from parents…hehehe
To be loved on and spoiled rotten by their Maw-maw.
They also got to eat….
Because everyone knows that little boys stay hungry.
They even got to order their own food at Mawmaw’s Kitchen Café.
For their first night’s meal they ordered:
chicken noodle soup*their favorite food, they informed me.
macaroni and cheese
corn on the cob
sausage*also their favorite food
great northern beans (aka as lava beans to these boys)
They ate everything they ordered including a piece of cold watermelon for dessert !
Next morning for breakfast, they ordered:
pancakes with lots of syrup
sausage * their favorite food
And they ate everything they ordered.
They got to watch their favorite cartoons…
While the other one got a Strawberry Sundae
We had loads of fun at Maw-Maw’s Camp. We even visited FREDS STORE and got gummy worms and dinosaurs and trucks…
Unfortunately, we soon found out that dinosaurs LOVE TO EAT gummy worms…
Leave it to Will…hehehe
It is school time now and my grandsons are going. Wyatt is in first grade and little Will is in Pre-K .
Where did the time go?
These are not only my grandsons…
they are my heart and soul.
Right along with their little sister Kenzie;
The little girl that I prayed Amanda would have for her last child.
She will more than likely come to Maw-maw Camp in the near future or we may have a girls only camp.
I haven’t decided yet.
We will wait until she is a little older, so she too can have memories of Maw-maw Camp.
You know; it doesn’t take much to make a child happy…
Just feed them good. Give them plenty of time to play and be kids. Let them have a few treats every now and then.
Above all else…
GOD BLESS YOU ALL