Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Marles Rose

We said good-bye to my grandmother last week. She was the last of my "Grand" set to go.
Her passing has put me in a somewhat reflective mood.

I say reflective, but that makes it sound like I'm sitting serenely on my grand Mississippi porch, listening to the whippoorwills in the willows and sipping on a mint julep. It would be closer to the truth to say my train of thought went way too fast, jumped track after track, and finally derailed in a heap of tears and smeared mascara.

Track 1: Grandma isn't going to make it. I'm nine hours away. I want and need to be with my family. But when? Should I go now and see grandma even if she doesn't know I'm there? Or should I wait and go after?

Track 2: God is in control. Joey can get a week off. We'll go now. If grandma lives the week, Praise God! If not, we'll be there for the funeral.

Track 3: How will I explain to the girls - who have been praying for weeks and making get well cards - that grandma isn't going to get better this time?

Track 4: Who is this frail woman I'm seeing? I don't recognize her at all! Non-responsive, no food or water for days. She's wasting away!

Track 5: Paddy, aunt S and cousins K and K are exhausted. They've been so careful to make sure that grandma is never alone. Thank you God for allowing us to come when we did. I'm glad to give them a little relief. And I find I love the quiet nights staying up with grandma. Just sweet memories for company.

Track 6: WHY!! Why God? It's been a week with no nourishment! If you are going to take her, what could possibly be the reason for allowing her to hold on like this? It's no good to her and it's agony for the family!

Track 7: Forgive me God. I remember Job and have no desire to hear your voice asking " where were you...?" It's not my place to ask why. Help me to trust your timing.

Track 8: What a wonderful couple of hours! Sitting at Hospice with Joey, and J and K and the other J and K! We've never all been together like that. It was wonderful sitting around grandma's bed and talking, laughing, and sharing stories. There's nothing like family.

Track 9: It's been days and days. Maddie wants to see grandma. Shelby does not. People are different. We each handle sadness in our own way. They'll never recognize her. Should I take them?

Track 10: It's been eleven days with no IV, fluids, or food. She slips away quietly. All family is there around her bed. Thank God this is over for her.

These were the thoughts that went through my head - some of them over and over, for days. Five times that I know of, the family was called in to say goodbye. And five times, grandma's breathing regulated and she pulled through all on her own. We had all kissed her and bid farewell so many times, that when she really did go I think peace rather than grief was the overwhelming emotion.

I did have one crazy emotional day when I broke down and just sobbed. We were away when the other "grands" passed and I didn't have days and days to say all that I wanted to them before they left. This last grandma had the whole of my pent up emotions spilled out. It was the end of a generation. And I am so thankful for every year I was given with them. There lifes journey is over.
We're next. 

All Aboard!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Itty bitty Smitty say what?!

Any of you who know my dad know he considers himself a bit of a wordsmith. He twists words around, reverses the first letters of words in a sentence, and sometimes just makes up nonsensical words that my girls refer to as 'Poppy-speak'! For example; daddy doesn't take a shower, he 'shakes a tower'. He says 'sinkoo berry mootzie' instead of 'thank you very much'. And for reasons known to him and him alone, milk is called 'bilko bodees'.

My mom (patience of Job) and dad were here week before last, and we had a great time!! While they were down, we had a little of the hurricane rain come through. It was really pouring and dad told the girls it was raining 'pitchforks and bull yearlings'. Well, the girls didn't seem to like that much at all! He asked them if they knew what a bull yearling was. Maddie didn't say anything, but Shelby leaned over and whispered. No wonder they didn't like it! Apparently what they heard was 'It's raining pitchforks and bull urine'!

One morning I offered Maddie a banana. I told her it was full of potassium. She thought I was joking! "That's not a real word!" I assured her it was and that it was good for her. She just shrugged and said, "Well I never know. You are Poppy's daughter!"

Although grandpa does it on purpose, the girls have done a pretty good job of saying crazy things accidentally. And usually at the most inopportune times! Let me share a few of my red-faced fav's:

*We were enjoying dinner out at a local steakhouse. Shelby, a bit of a picky eater, was trying to pull her peas out of their pods - she only eats the peas. She'd been working away for some time when she finally looked up and announced very loudly, "I gotta pea!" What did the rest of the restaurant hear? "I gotta pee!"

*When she was much younger, Shelby and I were at the check-out in Wally World and I noticed she was intently staring at the cashier. The lady had a rather large, tan colored mole right under her nose. I immediately knew what was coming, but there was no stopping it. I braced myself for the inevitable. "You got a booger on your nose." And there it was. But she had said it a little timidly and the cashier hadn't heard! I gave Shelby a slight shake of the head. "But mommy," she said a bit louder, "she got a booger on her nose." Still no response. Wow! I might actually get out of this! I grabbed the receipt and bolted for the exit. Shelby gave me a confused little look, turned back, and shouted at the lady. "Hey! You got a booger on your nose!!"
oooohhh! And I was so close!

*In Tennessee, we had just finished eating at our favorite Chinese buffet. At this particular restaurant, my favorite treat was a combination of vanilla, chocolate, and caramel ice cream goodness called 'Moose Tracks'. Joey was asking if anyone wanted dessert. Madison, always wanting to be helpful, chimed in, "Mommy likes moose crap!"

*After service one Sunday morning, I went to the preschool department to pick up Madison (5 at the time). It was the last week of October and one of the teachers asked Maddie on the way out what she wanted to be for Halloween. Without missing a beat, Maddie turned around and scolded, "We don't do Halloween! It's ungodly behavior!" Preach it sister.
(FYI: Last Halloween Maddie had two costumes - a doctor and a ghost!)

I guess the girls really do come by it honestly. Daddy never lets me forget the time we were planning a party. I was in the sixth grade or so and was trying to help with the supply list. I said, "Don't forget the condoms." (condiments, yes!)
He couldn't let it slide. He turned and asked, "Just exactly what kind of party are we planning here anyway?"

I have to say, in spite of all the craziness, or probably because of it, I never smile more than when our family is together. Dad's slapstick is perfectly offset by mom's dry wit. With just a look the two of them can have me rolling with laughter!
Actually, as those of you in the family can attest, the only thing crazier than daddy's rambling is teaming him up with this guy!

Dad and cousin Jim (BroCo) have been polishing their act for years!!

Let the mayhem begin!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Power of Prayer

The Prayer At Valley Forge

The account of this particular prayer comes from Isaac Potts, a Valley Forge resident who was 26 year old at the time. Isaac Potts was a Quaker. Like many other Quakers he was opposed to war, and therefore a "Loyalist", one who sided with the British during the American Revolutionary War.
The "Diary and Remembrances" of Reverend Nathaniel Randolph Snowden gives the fullest account of Isaac Pott's encounter with Washington praying:

"I was riding with him (Mr. Potts) in Montgomery County, Penn'a near to the Valley Forge, where the army lay during the war of ye Revolution. Mr. Potts was a Senator in our State & a Whig. I told him I was agreeably surprised to find him a friend to his country as the Quakers were mostly Tories.
He said, "It was so and I was a rank Tory once, for I never believed that America c'd proceed against Great Britain whose fleets and armies covered the land and ocean, but something very extraordinary converted me to the Good Faith!"
"What was that," I inquired? "Do you see that woods, & that plain?" It was about a quarter of a mile off from the place we were riding, as it happened. "There," said he, "laid the army of Washington. It was a most distressing time of ye war, and all were for giving up the Ship but that great and good man. In that woods pointing to a close in view, I heard a plaintive sound as, of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling & went quietly into the woods & to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, & the cause of the country, of humanity & of the world.
Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying. I went home & told my wife, I saw a sight and heard today what I never saw or heard before, and just related to her what I had seen & heard & observed. We never thought a man c'd be a soldier & a Christian, but if there is one in the world, it is Washington. She also was astonished. We thought it was the cause of God, & America could prevail."

Isaac Potts was not the only man who saw Washington praying at Valley Forge. Another account of Washington praying was recorded in "The Aldine Press" based on the reporter's interviews with those who had fought in the war. In the Aldine article, Washington was seen kneeling in silent prayer in a barn where his white horse was kept. (partyof1776.net)
All those who came to see him before, during, or after the Revolutionary War, knew George Washington to be the Founding Father most likely to be interrupted while praying. This great but humble man set an example not only in word, but in deed.
The distance of time will never erase Washington's example of unwavering faith; in His God, and in the power of prayer. His example is before us still. If we will listen - and REMEMBER.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.
George Washington

Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and
John Adams

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.
Thomas Paine

Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.
Benjamin Franklin

A company commander’s first object should be to gain the love of his men, by treating them with every possible kindness and humanity, enquiring into their complaints, and when well–founded, seeing them redressed. He should know every man of his company by name and character.
Baron von Steuben


My husband has served in the military for fourteen years. He is fiercely patriotic and has a deep love of American history. The men listed above, for all their successes and failures, are his heroes.

He is mine.