Sunday, June 27, 2010

♥ Our Wedding

This picture is, of course from July 3, 1985 in Springfield TN at a place called The Wedding Chapel. I found out this year that my cousin Vickie and her husband Lyle were married at the same place by the same man Judge Earl Swann just 2 years before. I knew my secretary in TN when I was a nurse manager at Baptist was married there by the same man just a couple years after us. After we drove all the way there, the clerk told us it would have been cheaper to get married in Bowling Green than to go all the way there. I told her I hate to have blood drawn and at that time I believe KY still required blood testing. It was stopped within a few months of us getting married in KY. TN did not require the test. We had all these plans, and I had my dress, invitations picked out ready to order and we decided to go there instead. I took my dress back. They didn't ask any questions, just refunded my money, it had been shortened about 2 inches and they still took it back! We went to TN that morning, drove through Russellville to Springfield. There was a Sonic on the way, we stopped there for lunch. After we got married, we came back to Bowling Green, I had a trailer that was 3 bedroom, one bath. It was our first home. That night we went out to supper at Bonanza Steak House. Then there were fireworks at Greenwood Mall for the 4th of July. They had moved them to the Mall for a couple of years back then, then they moved to WKU. We were poor, couldn't afford to go anywhere. I took a weeks vacation and we just stayed in Bowling Green. We had a cookout at my brother's house with a home made sheet cake on July 4th.

I believe it was in August of that year that Rick's grandmother Sanders passed away. She had been in a nursing home, unaware of her surroundings for some time. When we got home from the funeral, I ate a bowl of chili and a peanut butter sandwich. Oh, the pain! I had a gall bladder attack from you know where! It hurt bad! It was almost 2 years later when I had gall bladder surgery.

Our first years were difficult sometimes, he was trying, but not quite hard enough. He was having trouble holding a job at that time. I was the only one working. It wasn't long, though, that GM called and he got on at the Corvette plant. Then when the 2nd shift was shut down, he was laid off. I have already posted about moving to Massachusetts previously. Once, before Valarie was born, it was still a whole week away to payday. All we had in the house was a couple of potatoes and some chicken broth cubes and a little onion. I decided to make potato soup. Well, that soup was almost done and Rick decided it needed pepper. Instead of putting it in his own bowl, he put it in the soup. I told him it was enough, but he didn't listen. He put so much pepper in the soup that neither of us could eat it. I was so pregnant and so very hungry! We had to give in and go spend a few days with my parents to be able to eat! He did love me though, and sometimes when I would be mad at him I would remind him of the potato soup and pepper. He would say I never let anything go! I wasn't holding a grudge, I was just reminding him he was not always right!

I loved him from the very first time I met him in my living room that Saturday night in October 1984. My life changed forever! And for the better! He was my soul mate. I will always love him forever and ever.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

♥ This is a difficult week!

In one week we would have had an awesome party. We were planning to renew our vows and spend many more years together. However, God had other plans for us. Though I still don't know my part in God's plan for this, I do know He will help me through it! This has been a difficult summer actually, many things have been put in front of me and my family and God has chosen to bring us through everything a little wiser. This man you see here on this page was the kindest, most gentle man you could ever know. He could also have the worst temper you could ever see....but so could I if I wanted to! We would have an argument over something silly, and I always wanted to settle it right away and he would want his space. We would always work it out in the end.

Valarie and Nicholas have been here for me during this time, sometimes I think though that they believe I can't take care of myself or something. I tell them I will handle something or the other and they want to take care of it instead. Finally, though, I think I have convinced them that I can take care of myself.

I went for a checkup with Dr. Phillips on Tuesday. He called me Friday to let me know my labs were good. I really appreciate all he has done for both me and Rick over the years. Rick went to him after the tumor was diagnosed, just to let him know what was going on. He had tears in his eyes. We have been going to him for many years. When Rick got saved in the garden, he told Dr. Phillips about that too. He had tears in his eyes then too!

This weekend is a traditional weekend that Rick and I would go camping at Barren River with some really great people, and this year Nick and I went up. It was hard to be there without Rick, but we got to see some friends we haven't seen in a while. We were in the very same spot we were in the past 2 years. We did come home a day early, though because it was thundering, and Nick is going with Brooke's parents to see her at U of L tomorrow. Love all y'all lots!

I think this is all for tonight.

To be continued......

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

♥ More thoughts.......

While you have likely seen this photo as my profile picture right now on facebook, I will tell you a little story about this time in my life. This was in 1978. I was a student at Glasgow School for Practical Nurses, which became Glasgow School for Health Occupations. I think it is now part of the vo-tech system in Bowling Green, and they recently added an RN program there. I was 19 years old in May of that year. I had wanted to be a nurse from as far back as I could remember. I had applied to school, had an interview, and was chosen as an alternate. I thought I would not get in. I had an interview for a factory job in Bowling Green, it was at Firestone. The day before my interview in July of 1977, I found out I could start nursing school in August. WOW! I got in. I was so very excited and scared at the same time. I was painfully shy. I was told I would have to get over it. Hum. How do you do that? I had only once been out of the state of KY at that time and the only times I'd been out of the Edmonson County area were few! My friends from 1st grade and I would go to Cave City and if we were lucky we would get to go to Glasgow. And if it was really special we could go to Bowling Green, but a parent had to be with us for that. We weren't allowed to drive all the way to Bowling Green. We hung out at the Dairy Queen between Cave City and Horse Cave. It is still there in the same place. The building next to it was a skating rink; however, we weren't allowed there.

I stated nursing school with my cousin Donna. We were only a couple of weeks into school when on August 16, 1977 we heard the news Elvis Presley was dead....and I'm pretty sure Donna and I heard it on the radio on the way to class. It was the talk of the morning. It was very difficult to concentrate on school with the King of Rock and Roll having just died! But we had good teachers, they let us talk a little about it then we had to hit the books. In LPN school then, we had 6 weeks of straight class at some point we started having skills labs. I can not remember how that went though. We were there just like a "day shift" back then, 7am to 3pm. And they were strict about it too! And we had evaluations after we started clinicals a lot like the evaluations we receive now. And passing school depended on GPA and our evaluations. We had to be on the floor at 7 am and get our assignments. WOW. It was amazing to me. My cousin Donna was a CNA for a year before we got into school, so she knew a lot about it before I got there. I wanted to learn everything I could soak in. When the doctors would round, the other students would hide. I wanted to learn. I even asked some of them questions. I wanted to know and they took the time to answer sometimes. On one of our last days of school we were finished with clinicals, we were wrapping up testing preparing for boards and graduation, we had a picnic. At the picnic, they had an awards ceremony. I received an award for "making rounds with the doctors" and it hurt my feelings so very badly. They meant it as a joke, but it actually hurt my feelings. I wouldn't go up and get it. I don't know if they knew they hurt me or not--it does not matter really, I wouldn't change a thing. I am not holding a grudge over it, but I do remember it.

I remained very shy for 2 or 3 years after graduation. I was still shy when I was accepted to WKU 2 years after getting out of LPN school. I did eventually get over it for the most part. I do still blush on occasion. There are still things I do not like to discuss. Goes back to how I was raised I think. There were things never spoken but you knew. I don't know if you know what I mean or not. I do.

I graduated from RN school in December 1981. I had been working in CCU since August of 1980, and after graduation, nothing really changed except the way I signed my name. Things were quite different back then compared to now.

I really didn't date much, didn't expect to ever marry. There is a previous post that describes how Rick and I met. He was the person who I knew the minute I met him that I would marry him. I had never thought that before. And it happened. And it was a good life. And I miss him.

I went to the doctor yesterday. I have not slept over 4 hours a night since he was diagnosed with the tumor. I have been feeling very short of breath but different than in the past. I thought it was heat related. I am very intolerant to heat. Also been having many palpitations I blamed on my thyroid as well as more than usual esophageal spasms. I mainly went because I am exhausted. I can not sleep more than a couple hours at a time and not over 4 hours per night. He ordered some labs and a chest xray and EKG both of which were fine. Labs are still pending. I think they will be OK too, though. He believes it is just anxiety. I tend to agree. It goes along with not sleeping. Rick's death is not the only trauma we have suffered. In the past year we have had one nurse with breast cancer, another with her husband diagnosed with lung cancer, and another with pulmonary hypertension. That pulmonary hypertension is not something you want to hear. It is a serious illness and she is the sweetest girl you could want to meet with a husband who has the faith of Daniel. (See Bible Daniel 6 : 1-28)And they have the sweetest almost 3 year old daughter. Please pray for her-pray that her medication will get adjusted so she can breathe and take care of that precious child. Anyway, I told all this to Dr. Phillips, he smiled, gave me a hug and said "I will fix you just remember, this will take time for you to get over his loss." So, he gave me some things to help me. I believe it will work. I had hoped writing here would help, and it has but not as quickly as I would like. Unless you have lost a spouse, you have no idea what I am feeling. In 1 and 1/2 weeks we would have been married 25 years. I think that is part of this now.

That is all for tonight. Take care, watch what you say about people and how you say it. Don't be a part of rumor. Love your neighbors.

To be continued......... ♥

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Craig Morgan - This Ain't Nothin'

Though I didn't lose anything to a tornado, I do understand this! I was right there with my loving husband of almost 25 years died, we were holding hands when that golden heart stopped pumping! I had one hand, Sissy had the other.

Monday, June 21, 2010

More on Family

These are all the great grand-children of Carlos and Lorene (Wilson) Sanders. From left is Jason Yates daughter, Melissa Yates; (Judy's son is the baby's father) Valarie's son, Perry Dale Suttle, Jr. (Valarie is our daughter); Ricky Hooten's sons Adrian and Aidan (Rick is Teresa's son); and Valarie's daughter October Rose Suttle. Carlos only knew Aidan. The others came after he passed away. He was fond of Aidan. I think he would have been fond of them all.

There are different types of families! There is your Heavenly Father. He is the one you turn to in times of stress and trouble, He is the one you forget to thank when He helps you through a difficult time, He is the one you DO thank when he helps you through a difficult time! He is there for you. All you have to do is ask Him. He is there waiting for you right where you left Him! (I say this for myself as much as for anyone I might help by saying it!) Then there is your immediate family. I believe that is the parents and children whether or not they live under the same roof, (hopefully they do live under the same roof and may include step parents!) next is the extended family including possible step family who may or may not live under the same roof, grandparents then aunts and uncles and cousins. I was raised to love my cousins and to be close to them. I believe I am. I have many cousins from first to third as facebook friends and I have many in-laws as facebook friends.

Next on my list is your church family. Those are the people you worship and fellowship with on a regular basis. These folks are there for you in the good times and the bad, just like your "blood" family. In this list may include close friends that you see in church on occasion and maybe they are your neighbors or close friends, outside of this area.

Next I think is the work family. These are the people you live with for several hours a day, several days per week. These are the folks who help you out in many ways, at work during a difficult day, and in life during difficult times! Even folks you worked with several years ago can still be part of your "work family" even though you may not have seen them in a few years. I was blessed to re-connect with many of those during Rick's stay for the surgery. It was a great blessing to have my 'blood' family, church family and work family all there together pulling for us, praying for and with us, helping out in ways they may not have known they were even helping in!

As I said in an earlier post Rick cherished his family. He cherished his relationship with his Heavenly Father most of all! If you knew Rick at all, you knew that the past 8 or so years he put God above all else! He always said grace before the morning meal. He learned that from his grandfather who he said never failed to offer thanks before breakfast. He also cherished the fact that he had worked on his relationship with he natural father. When I first met Rick he had not seen his dad in a couple of years. He made the first move. One regret he had though was that his dad never told him he loved him that he could remember. Rick made it a priority to say and show those he loved how he felt. Right up to the end he showed folks how he felt. That was his way.

That is all for tonight. I love you all.

To be continued...........

Sunday, June 20, 2010

new developments

Well apparently there is a sign, I never saw it until around 10:30 or 11:00 tonight that says the flowers will be removed if we don't remove them. However, I have always placed flowers on Carlos' Lorene's, and Ronnie's' graves and have NEVER had any removed until this. I just don't understand. If I could move his grave I would. I don't want him in a place where you are not allowed to put flowers on a grave. That seems silly to me. Why do we send them to the funeral home if the person can't place them on their loved ones grave? Lorene died before I married into the family. That is how long I have been placing flowers on her grave. I removed the old ones before memorial day and placed a fresh cross on her grave. Carlos' too and Ronnie. They are still there. Hum mm. Oh, well. God apparently has a lesson in this for me and Nick somewhere. Carlos has been gone a little over 2 years. I place flowers on his grave regularly too. They've never been removed. This hurts so bad.

The Happy Goodman Family- I Hold A Clear Title (vestal)

This is the song I told you about, that Nick testified after the first Homecoming we attended at Miller Hill about 7 years ago.

Father's Day 2010

I went to the cemetery today to spend part of Father's Day with Rick. When I got there to my surprise the wreath you see to the left which I placed on Rick's grave on Memorial Day was missing as were the red roses someone had placed on his grave and the flowers Teresa placed there on Friday. I looked all over the cemetery. The wreath is not there. The grave next to Rick is his Aunt Delta. She had a wreath of pink roses and another wreath, those are not there either, but I don't know if her family removed those or not. I only know I didn't remove mine. That wreath was the wreath sent to his funeral by Aunt Bonita. I saved it for early summer. I have another I had saved to use closer to late summer/fall and I am afraid to place anything on his grave now. Is there some rule I didn't know about? Do they not allow wreaths? Nobody told me if they don't. They could have let me pick it up and bring it back home instead of throwing it away. I haven't stopped crying yet. My heart actually hurts. Those flowers were there for a reason. I love Rick even if he is gone. The flowers Teresa placed on their mom and dads graves and their baby brother are all still there, the ones she placed on Ricks are gone too. I just don't understand.

On another note, we had homecoming at Miller Hill today. Lots of food, brought lots back home. No one left hungry, as usual. I would like to thank my friend Paula for covering call for me today from 1000 to 3pm so I could attend service. That was so very nice of her. I owe her lots. There was an empty spot in the bass section today where Rick always stood. He always said he "couldn't sing a lick but he would try because that was what the Lord wanted. And it is much easier to get into the service if you are in the circle" I am still having trouble being in the building where I last saw him let alone stand where or close to where he laid. I am trying to get over that but all I can do is cry. But you don't spend nearly 25 years married to someone and 26 years together and not miss them--unless you don't have a heart I think. In 13 days from today we would have been married 25 years. There was a lot of what I thought at the time difficult times between us, but we always worked it out. Those are just vague memories now. It was Rick and Myra a little longer than it was just Myra. Can't say that about him, he was older than me! It was the first homecoming service we were at there about 7 years ago. Nick had been saved a little over a year. After dinner, we went back inside the church for singing and prayer, Nick testified after the song "I Hold a Clear Title" and Rick did his leg slap, a sure sign he felt the Lord. That was what he did every time! Uncle Lelan was still the pastor then. I will never forget that testimony. That connected to my heart.

That is all for today.

To be continued..........
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) In case you did not know I love the Psalms, the songs of King David

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Parents and Kids

These beautiful roses are from my son. He had them delivered to CCU on Saturday before Mothers Day this year. Nick has a temper like his dad. He also loves his momma!

Tomorrow is Fathers Day. It will be our first without the kids Dad. It is going to be a bit difficult for us. They have not mentioned it one way or the other except Val asked me if I would go with her to "see" her Dad tomorrow. I am scheduled to work. I have asked for "call" which means if our census stays low, I can have the day off, or at least part of it. Tomorrow is also our homecoming service at church. I really want to be there. My friend Paula at work (who was there for us along with Sally the day the tumor was found) will take call for me between 10:30 am and 3 pm if I can just get call in the morning! I am hoping everyone in our area will stay healthy tonight! NO heart attacks, NO overdoses! NO critical patients tonight please! But if there people who become ill tonight and need our care, I will go in and take care of them and they will never know I wanted off! I missed church tonight. In August, the calendar rotates back to where I will be off on the weekend we have church! I can hardly wait even if it does "wish" my life away as the old people used to say. I'm old now anyway. When I was Val's age and met someone like me I thought they were old. Now, the older I get the older "old" is to to me!

I have been reading several other blogs, one is several years old, Trey, get to writing! The others are updated regularly. I find I enjoy reading the blogs and I also find they help me. I also find I am not alone in the way I think, feel and believe about a lot of things! I noticed I have two followers on here, one I recognize and one I don't. I started writing these not necessarily because I wanted anyone to read them (but I'm happy that they are and I hope I can be of a help to them the way the blogs I read have helped me) but because I needed to "say" things that helped me to get it out. I'd found reading a couple of the ones I read helped me and I felt like it helped them to write so I thought it couldn't hurt and might help, and it has! I encourage anyone who is going through a difficult time in their life to put it to paper--whether or not you publish a blog is up to you. It is just like keeping a diary except it is in the computer. You can be as anonymous as you want to be or as public as you want to be. You can write every day, or whenever you just 'take a notion' to write. So far, I have posted every day since I started. I may slow down, I don't know yet.

I am waiting for the day when I won't have to go to work anymore on the weekend. I can be home to be free to come and go when I want to, not to have to be ready to go to work. I want to go to church on Sunday, worship my Lord, love my family and visit my family and friends and have them visit me.

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15 (KJV)

This is posted in my dining room, I read it daily. I hope my kids read it. I hope they heed the word of God. When you are young you think you have time to serve God later. You might, then you might not! If I could go back to when I was Valarie's age, I would do things a little differently. I would have found a way to go to church more. I would have found a way....but I didn't and I will answer for that some day. Good thing God is forgiving! All you gotta do is ask, believe and obey! He is right there. If you have strayed away, He is right there waiting for you to come back. All you have to do is ask Him. He will help you!

Goodnight all. I love you all.......

To be continued............

Friday, June 18, 2010

A little about me before Rick......

I graduated high school in January 1977, actually I think it was more like February because of all the snow! That winter, in January actually, one of my classmates gave birth to not one, not two but three little girls, Jennifer, Julie and Joanie. They were so tiny, their momma was tiny too. They came during our time off with all the snow. They are all grown up now with lives of their own. It is hard to believe I have been out of high school that long. It is also hard to believe I am 51 years old now. WOW! I guess, though, that with all I have been able to do, I would have to be this old!

In August 1977 I started nursing school at Glasgow School for Practical Nurses, which became Glasgow School for Health Occupations while we were there. It is now part of KCTCS and one of my LPN classmates is over the nursing department, in fact he is the President of the Kentucky Board of Nursing. He really has moved up since 1977! He has a doctorate degree now. He was always very helpful when we were in school.

I was a very shy person back then. All anyone had to do was look at me and I would turn red. It only took a look. I had a lot to overcome! I used to get in trouble for not being friendly enough. I was just so very painfully shy! People took it for being a snob. Oh, well, I will talk to anyone now.

I graduated from GSPN in 1978, started my first nursing job at a nursing home in Leitchfield. It was a good job, wasn't hard to do but I felt like I couldn't use many skills there. City-County Hospital had sent a letter to several in my class offering positions, so I pulled out that letter and went to apply. I got an interview that very day and was hired! I was so excited to be working in a big hospital. Some of you might not think it is a big hospital. Remember where I came from. I was a shy country girl. We rarely got to go to Bowling Green- and when we did it was usually because someone needed to see a "specialist" or was sick enough to be in the hospital. I started work with Faye White and Brother Britt, both are still there. Those were good days, we just didn't know it! Sometimes we take our lives for granted, we think "if only this" or "if only that" but life is what we make of it. Period.

In March 1980, we moved from City County Hospital to The Medical Center at Bowling Green. The move went very smooth. It was in the fall of that year I got to move to CCU to work. I was in the ADN program at WKU, working full time as a LPN, and school full time to receive my RN license. There wasn't a lot of free time that way! I got close to several people I worked with then. Kitty, Susan, DW, Donna (we were already close, we are cousins). We used to go out to eat after work back then. Then when the married girls had to get home, the rest of us would drive around. Back in those days, LPN's did a bit more than they do now. I was the only licensed nurse on my floor when we were at the old hospital. We did always have a house supervisor to assist with any problems. I used her a lot. But that independence helped me grow as a nurse.

The first year I was a nurse, I had to work Christmas eve, and the night before Christmas eve. Well, the morning of December 24 came, and about 5:30 in the morning, the house supervisor came up to me and said, "you'd better sit down". I said "what happened?" She proceeded to tell me the only nurse scheduled to work that day was my Unit Director and she was 9 months pregnant and her water just broke and she was coming in to labor and delivery. I said OK, that is great. She said "uh, no. I can't find anyone to relieve you. You have to stay!" The good part is you wont have to come back tonight! I said, I don't think I can stay all day. She said, we will try the evening nurse to see if she can come in early. She got there at 1 pm, 2 hrs early. I had a rough day. The house supervisor came and passed my 9am meds for me. Dr. Baird had a very sick patient with no ICU beds available. I had to keep him. Dr. Baird stayed most of the day. Had it not been for him and Mrs. Lovan (the house supervisor) I would not have survived. That too helped me grow! That day made me realize I wanted to go back to school to complete my RN degree. And I did just that, I enrolled in WKU that following January and took one class to "get my feet wet" and I loved it. I challenged out of nursing fundamentals. Got right in to the next semester first. I had to go full time and take summer classes to be able to graduate and we moved to the new building all at the same time. I started the actual nursing classes in August of 1980 and went 3 semesters to complete my degree. The other time was spent in the general ed classes, 2 English classes, 1 sociology, 2 psych classes, 1 nutrition, 1 elective, 1 chem class 1 microbiology class with lab, 1 anatomy class with lab, I think that was all. I paid for all of this myself. Looking back, my guidance counselor in high school said I should go to RN school first. I let him know we could not afford it that way. I paid my own way as I worked full time as a LPN.
If I wasn't fifty one years old now, I would get a BSN in nursing or even a MSN. But, I am too old for traditional classes, and computer based learning is too expensive and funding is not there. So, it doesn't matter that much.

You may notice I don't talk about boyfriends during this time. I didn't really have any. I did go out with a friend of a friend once, but I wasn't his type because I didn't drink. One, I wasn't old enough, and two, my conscious would not let me drink. I was raised not to do that. Friends would go to bars after work and want me to go. That still small voice would remind me that was no place for me to be. I listened most of the time. I did go with my cousin once. I was so very bored! I ordered a coke. They asked what I wanted in the coke. I said I just want a coke. Period. I felt so guilty for even being there. I left. Before I left about 10 different guys asked me to dance. Well, I was so shy and I didn't know how to dance. I just said, I don't think so, sorry. They didn't even look old enough to be there either!

I did meet a guy once, we went out for a couple of months, but he liked to drink beer (to the point of being very, very drunk) and go fishing. Neither was in my like list, so we didn't last long either. I did meet one guy I kind of liked, but he was from Michigan, just here visiting his parents. That didn't work either. I had decided dating was not in my future. I had prayed one night while I was driving around that if God wanted me to find someone, He would take care of it. About 2 years later, Richard Alvin Sanders came into my life and he stayed until March 6, 2010. Actually, he is still in my heart. He will always be there.

That is all for tonight. I love you all,

To be continued........

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I love hummingbirds!

So, I have enjoyed watching hummingbirds since the very first one I saw feeding on my mother's 4 O'clocks that grew along side of our home when I was just a small child. I thought I could catch one. Right! They are so very tiny, dainty, almost angel-like in ways. Maybe it is their delicate nature.

Have you ever watched hummingbirds? The males are tiny, aggressive little things. They lie in wait watching "their" feeder. When another bird comes near, he swoops down and attacks. Sometimes they go straight up in the air, dive down and fly up again. Their little needle-like beaks do a sort of sword fight. Then they fly their separate ways. The females take advantage of this time and get their meal at this time.

Have you ever seen a male court his female? It is amazing. He will see her perched on a limb, then he will fly to her and begin a "U" shaped flight/dance, making several swoops. He also makes chirping noises as he flies. Then if she likes him, they will fly straight up and dive down together, very similar to the above but without the sword/beak fight. I have yet to find a nest though. I would love very much to see a nest maybe even with babies in it.

Rick enjoyed sitting on the porch or deck with me and watching the hummingbirds. He bought me several feeders over the years, helped hang them, but he never helped fill them! He would tell me when my feeders were empty though. The birds tell me that too, they will come peer into the kitchen window and hover. I know to look at the feeders for food.

Another thing he liked to do was go for long drives. We took many trips to the Amish down in Allen County near Perrytown Road. There is a little girl there, Sharlot, who really thought Rick was all of it! She liked that every time he went down there he would bring her gummie bears! (sugar free, of course!) Her dad, Sam, owns a greenhouse and produce stand. Rick went there every spring for plants. He took Brother David and his wife Betty down there. They have been back several times. Sam and Rick bonded. Rick's surgeon and Sam's surgeon were the same. Sam had colon cancer, hopefully cured 3 years ago by surgery. He has two other daughters, twins. They are very cute little girls. Sams wife is very nice too. We have been in their home several times. Rick went to tell them about the brain cancer when he found out about it. He took Sharlot and her sisters little gifts to remember him by. We got a letter from Sam and his wife a couple of weeks ago. Sharlot does not understand why Rick hasn't been back to see her. Brother David went to tell Sam about Rick's death for me. He cried. Sam talks about the Lord just like Rick did. I truly believe we will see Sam in Heaven!

You know, when I was a small child, we were taught only a "few" will be in Heaven. Some interpreted that to mean just one religion. I do not feel that way. I know there are differences in the way different religions believe. The only requirement to get into heaven is to be "born again." And I have been. And Rick was in his garden. I was there when Nick was saved. I was with Valarie shortly after she got saved. (I had to work that day). I believe that is how you get to Heaven, it is in the Bible. God said so. I trust Him. He has never led me wrong. He has never left me. I leave Him from time to time. When I look, He is right there where I left Him, looking at me, welcoming me back. There was a facebook status that asked: "If you and God are not as close as you once were, who moved?" I know that answer. I did!

The one thing I do know is the bible says:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
And it says:
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. John 14:6

I know that every person who has been saved will all be together in Heaven. I know I will be there I know Rick will be there. I know my children will be there. For that I am eternally grateful. I also know from a promise I received from the Lord that my grandchildren will be there. Rick believed in salvation from the Lord. If you don't have it, please find a church somewhere and hear the word of God, ask Him to save your soul, have faith and believe. Live what you believe.There is a saying on facebook right now something like: Going to church does not make anyone a christian any more that going to a garage makes someone a car. How true. If you really have it, you will live it at some point. If you have it and don't live it, think of all the people you could help if you lived it. Think of all the explaining we will have to do on Judgment Day. Actually, we will have no excuse. I don't live it like I should. I do live it better than I did before Rick got saved. But I will have no defense for all the missed opportunities. I do not deserve the Grace of God. But He is so gracious and forgiving. I have a lot to learn.

I love you all.

To be continued.......

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thinking can be a dangerous thing!

I know this is a small picture, but it is the best I can do. It is a picture of me in about 1982. That was about a two years before I met Rick. I was about 23 years old. I "won" the photo session with Olan Mills Photography. That "free" shoot cost me about $50.00. That was a lot of money to a broke 23 year old!

That was also half a life time for me ago! Actually, more that half of my life ago! It was 2 years before I met Rick. I lived in an apartment behind Warren Central High School, it was new then, I was the first to live in mine, and I was the only one there on the ground floor for several months. From there I bought a trailer in a trailer park on Nashville Road. I was living in the trailer when I met Rick.

Rick liked the picture above. He had it in a frame on top of his computer desk. Aunt Bonita says I was just a baby when Rick met me. She still says that! That does not look like a baby picture to me!

I was watching my grandson sleep, he was having a hard time earlier tonight, so he is in my bed for now. He played and played for about an hour. Now, he is sleeping so peacefully. He smiles most of the time. Bless his heart, he has a hard time with his sister. She has decided to bite him and she does this a couple times a week. I don't know how to break her from it. I am hoping he will break her himself. He has 4 teeth now. We shall see. It was too bad papaw didn't get a chance to get to know him. I believe he would have been as close with PD as he was with Tober.

Short post tonight.

I love you all..........

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Family! What would we do without them!

From left, my brother Doug (he is the baby of the family); Rick and my brother Greg. Greg is next to me. This is from this past Thanksgiving. Doug and Donita don't always get to come home from Ohio over the winter holidays, but this past one they did because of Rick's diagnosis. They have all loved Rick since they first met him in 1984. They got me in more trouble than they could ever know telling Rick stories about our childhood. One time they asked him: "has she pulled the crying thing on you?" "you know, it's just fake tears!" Well that did it. They were right and I never really cried, just tried to make him feel sorry for me. Sometimes I wish I'd been an only child!

Have you ever been shot with a bee bee gun? I have! Have you ever had the very life scared out of you? I have! Have you ever had lie after lie told on you? I have. All by my 3 brothers!

When Rick and I first started dating, Bruce (absent from Thanksgiving this year) and his wife at the time, Lisa, would come to my place at least once a week and we'd all go out to eat and to a movie. It hurt really bad when Bruce and Lisa split up.

When Greg and Teresa split up, that hurt bad too. Teresa was my first sister in law, and she was the mother of my first nephew. That was a special place in my heart you know. We are still close, though I do know they will never be back together. They both have their own lives now.

When Doug and Kathy split up, that hurt too. They were very young and had suffered the death of their baby girl. Jessica was so tiny. She was just way too early in 1984 and they could not save her. Had she been born today, she might have been ok with no deficits. I know it happens sometimes.

I have 3 sisters-in-law now. Donita is Doug's wife, they have been together since 1987. They have Josh, Brittany and Jacob. She is like a sister to me, though I don't get to see her very often since they live in Ohio and I usually have to work when they come "home". They will be traveling to Florida in July I believe. Josh is getting married. He lives in Florida. He was 3 years old when Donita came into our lives. She is a great sister-in-law. She loves my parents and treats them well. Doug's daughter, Heather gave birth to the first great grand child in the family. Jonas Ian Miller, Jr. was born November 3 2004. He missed his papaw's birthday by hours! Doug's birthday is November 2.

Janice is Greg's wife. We are pretty close. They live here in Edmonson county. They have a home in Bee Spring. They have Adam, he is in high school. He is a quiet child. You hardly know he is around. Janice loves my parents and treats them well, too. She is very good to them. That means a lot, too. And Greg's grandson, Thomas loves her lots! She is very sweet. When we have dinners she brings banana pudding. Rick loved it! Rick was close to Janice as well. She was kind of shy when we all first met her. They bonded. His illness and death hit her hard.

Bruce's wife is Genuita. She has been around about 5 years I think. She has 2 sons and a daughter and a grand daughter. Bruce has Jessie. Jessie and Rick really bonded well. Jessie was born with many difficulties, had to be taken to Vandy when he was just an hour old. He had a stroke that would have killed an adult. Although they live just a mile or so from my parents in Pa Bird's old house, I hardly ever see them. I do see Jessie sometimes, he lives here in Wingfield. He loves tractors! And he loves big trucks. She has been good to my parents as well. When Pop had to have surgery, she was right there in the waiting room with mom and me. It has been a job trying to get close to her though.

I hope to be able to see Doug and Donita this summer. Their daughter, Brittany is taking after her mom and me, she is in school right now to be a nurses assistant, and is planning to attend nursing school, in the fall I believe. She looks so much like me when I was the age she is now. She turned 18 back in May.

Family has always been a priority of mine. And it was for Rick, especially the last 8 years. I believe in family, I believe there is strength in the family unit. I believe the family that prays together stays together. I think that is something I need to get back to. I would love to see all of us in church together. I would love for my own kids to get back into church. They have both slipped away a bit, Val more so than Nick. I love my kids, I want the very best for them.

That is all for tonight. I love you all.

To be continued................

Monday, June 14, 2010

It has not been an easy day today

God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be So He put his arms around you and whispered "come with me". With tearful eyes I watched you and saw you pass away Although I loved you dearly I could not make you stay A golden heart stopped beating hardworking hands at rest God broke my heart to prove to me he only takes the BEST

This has been a day filled with memories of days past, hot summer days picking beans or just out in the garden. I have had several calls for beans. Some forgot he'd passed away, some didn't know about it, some say, but don't you have a garden? NO I don't that was his thing. I could never begin to raise the garden the way he did.

The poem above was posted by a facebook friend today. I had seen it before. I've posted it before. It just hurts today. My heart is heavy. I know there are going to be days like this. Nick saw how I felt today and tried to help me. He wanted me to ride to Glasgow with him when he took the lawn mower to Vance. I went with him. He scares me a little sometimes, but his driving is ten thousand times better than his sisters! I refuse to ride with her! Period. End of story!

I know that time is supposed to help and that it has only been a little over 14 weeks since he passed away. It still feels like yesterday. There was so much to do after he died that my time was occupied. There was not much time to think about it. Now, that all that is over, I have blank, empty time on my hands. That is what is so hard. I feel like I am not needed anymore. Val has her life and her babies, Nick has his mowing and his girlfriend. I am just me. Here. I get out and drive around. That is what I used to do before I met Rick. I find that I am out doing that a bit more the past month. Oh, well.

It is also hard because in 19 days we would have celebrated 25 years married. We had planned to celebrate by renewing our vows since we eloped in 1985. I am happy for each and every couple that makes it that far though. Don't get me wrong. I do not hold ill feelings towards anyone for any milestone. My neighbors celebrate 7 years today. In this day and age, I think that is wonderful! I see them reaching 25 then 40 just as we celebrated on Saturday with Sandy and Jerry. Chris and Megan are happy together and have a wonderful little boy, Will. Rick loved Will. They were buddies when Will was a baby. Rick had a quilt made for Will when we found out they were having a baby and it was going to be a boy. He picked it out himself.

I miss him. I always will.

To be continued................

Sunday, June 13, 2010

♥ And our story continues.......

This was Thanksgiving Day 2009. It was also the day before Rick's 62 birthday and 3 days after the tumor was found. We had high hopes for beating that tumor. We were at my parents house. This is the same house they were in in 1984 when Rick asked my parent's permission to marry me. A lot has gone on in that house.

I did not grow up in that house. They built it one year after I moved out. I told them I thought it was not nice to build after I move out. They did build me a bedroom there, though I never lived in it. All 3 brothers did live there, though Greg only about a year or so, he married Jeffrey's mother and moved into town in Brownsville. Jeffrey was born a year or two later. When I think of going 'home', I think of going to Stockholm. I grew up right beside the church. When the new owners of the property tore down the house I grew up in, I cried. It was like losing part of your past. If you may recall from an earlier post Rick and I had owned that land for about 3 or 4 years before selling it.

I remember when Jeffrey was about 4 or so, Teddy Ruxpin came out. If you remember, Teddy Ruxpin was a teddy bear that was slightly animated. he would 'read' from a book different stories that were on cassette. His eyes and mouth would move as he read. He still has that bear!
His favorite aunt got him that bear for his birthday.

Thinking back, when he was born, he was very late and his mom had been in the hospital. Finally he arrived. He had a little breathing trouble. You wouldn't be able to tell it now though. When I first started seeing Rick, Rick became an imaginary friend to Jeffrey. He would talk to him and 'play' with him when no one else was around. Kids know when someone is a good person. They have an instinct that adults sometimes don't have.

When we moved to Massachusetts, Jeff quit talking. He would only whisper to his mom and dad. He would not talk in school. Later, when he started talking again we found out he was mad that we moved away. He now has a baby boy, Thomas Ryan James born July 21, 2009. He married Ashley Raymer about four years ago. They still seem so very happy. I hope that continues for them.

Even though today has basically been a good day, I still have times during the days that all I can think about is Rick. I will think that I need to ask him about something, then I am reminded of the fact he is gone. Sometimes I will hear his voice from another room. I guess it happens to everyone. He would say "Myra" and I would say "Rick" back at him. Sometimes he wouldn't finish his sentence for several minutes. That seemed to be worse in the months preceding the finding of the tumor.

Summer is nearly here by the calendar. It is already here by temperature. We always used to have a family get together on Sunday around the 4th of July. Sometimes it was on the day, sometimes either a week before or after....depended on my work schedule. We would take the tractor and wagon, load it up with food and people and head to Tommy's creek. It was so much fun. Some would get in the water, most would not. One year, Rick and his brother Lester went out on the four wheeler through the woods. They left all the girls and kids at the creek. I had driven the tractor a few times but never without Rick. We decided we wanted to leave. We loaded up and I hopped in the driver's seat, got it started and we made it back to the house without tearing up the tractor or wagon! When Rick and Lester made it back, they said 'how'd y'all get out?' I said, 'I drove it out!' They said 'no, really, how'd you get out?' Debbie said, 'really she drove us out' I got on the tractor and showed them! Oops, now he knew I could drive it. I did on occasion help him out until he sold the John Deere, I never learned to drive the Case.

Talking about that made me remember a story about when we lived in Massachusetts. There was an area in town where we lived that "rented" out garden plots and we had not one but two. He had so much stuff planted. One day, he asked me to go hoe it out for him. I did and when he got home we went to see it. He re-hoed every row. That hurt my feelings. I had done a good job and had the blistered hands to prove it; but evidently he didn't agree. I told him I would never touch another hoe to anything in his garden. And I never did. And I don't regret it either!

I love you all.

To be continued........

Saturday, June 12, 2010

❤ Jerry and Sandy

❤ Jerry and Sandy 40 years!

Today I was blessed to be a part of sharing a joyous day -- the celebration of forty years married plus it was Jerry's birthday and it was kept a surprise from them for several weeks now. I don't know how they didn't know but they did not! Jerry has been wanting a motorcycle and that is what Sandy got him. She got a new wedding set. It was beautiful. They all did an excellent job putting on the party. Toejoe had the job of keeping them out until party time. Tonya put together a computer photo display set to music. The day was great! It is a good thing when family and friends come together to celebrate together. Its a good thing when folks get together period.

People used to visit more. That is a custom we have gotten away from. I remember when I was a child we would go visit neighbors every week. They would come visit us as well. We had potluck suppers, as well as just having supper and neighbors come over. Didn't matter if it was beans and taters or meatloaf or chicken. It was the getting together that mattered. It seems now for some reason or another there is just not time to visit. Everyone is so busy. We also had a "PTA" at school and all the parents and teachers were very active in it. The children also participated. We had fund raisers like pie suppers, fall festivals, cake walks, auctions etc. If you don't know what an old fashioned pie supper is, just watch "Coal Miners Daughter" and it will show you exactly what it is. Doo buys Loretta's pie and can not eat it because she didn't know salt from sugar. Anyway, it was my job to hold the pies while Clifton Sanders and Nelson Sanders auctioned them off. No, I never took a pie. I was related to most of the kids there and really didn't care anything about some boy I didn't like buying my pie.

That is one thing Rick loved to do on Sundays after church. We would go over to one of his sisters and visit for a while. We'd also visit neighbors a little, but mostly one of his sisters or his brother. After the tumor was found, his sisters started coming to church with him. I hope they continue to do that. In fact, Sue who lives in Tompkinsville has found a little country church there that she and Jimmy like and they have started going there. I think it is a good thing.

Rick would have loved to have been a part of pulling this over on Jerry and Sandy today. I remember the thrill he had over helping with Bonita's surprise birthday party just before he went to the hospital. He would have been right in there helping with this! And it delighted him to no end to pull that surprise over on me when I turned fifty! And when Keith Saling turned fifty, he had Chris help us and we decorated the store after Keith closed the night before his fiftieth last year. He went up to the store at 6 am when he opened to see the look on Keith's face when he saw what we had done! Pure JOY!

I think this is all for tonight. I love you all. ❤

To be continued.............

Friday, June 11, 2010

❤You tell me, who does he look like Papaw Rick Sanders or Great Uncle Greg James?

You tell me who does he look like? Papaw to the far left, and Uncle Greg (James) below?

"Our" babies!❤

Perry Dale, Suttle Jr.

October Rose Suttle

So on October 12, 2008 Val calls late at night and says, I'm going to the hospital. I said are you in labor, she says I don't know that's why I'm going. OK, call me when you know. They sent her home.

October 13, 2008 about 10pm she calls again. "Mom, I'm going to the hospital, it is real this time." OK, I said. Call me when you need me to be there. She said OK. So about 8 am the CRNA was placing her epidural. I went on then. October Rose Suttle made her debut about early afternoon. She weighed in at 8 pounds 4 ounces. She was about 21 inches long. Her papaw thought she hung the moon and flung the stars in the sky! Up until recently, every time Tober would come in her first glance was in the computer room, then she would run to where he always sat on the couch. She noticed he was not here. She is too little to understand. She does, however, recognize who he is. She will look at his picture and say "papaw" or "pop pop pop".

December 24, 2008 October Rose Suttle spent her first night away from her parents. She stayed here with us after Christmas eve supper. I was lucky enough to have call on Christmas Day. Good thing because I spent that night on the couch. About midnight I was talking to the Lord. I received a promise for her salvation as long as I live for Him. I am trying my very best. Sometimes I don't do as well as I could. The good thing is, He is a forgiving God! He knows how we are and He forgives! All we have to do is ask! Tober and papaw had many conversations together. She tried her best to talk to him. They were like two peas in a pod! If she was here, he had her!

Sometime in April or so Val told us baby number 2 would be arriving in the fall. OK.

On October 21, 2009 about 8 pm Valarie decided something was wrong and she wanted to be checked. So up to L and D we went. They interviewed her, kind of decided nothing was wrong but they would monitor her anyway. After a couple of hours with nothing going on, they decided to send her home. OK we can do that but she still felt something was wrong. They decided to call the Dr. and while the nurse was at the desk, her premonition came true. The baby's heart rate dropped drastically to the 70's without a contraction of any kind, it went back to normal (150's) about as quickly. They came in there running! We are keeping you they said as they started an IV, drew blood and other things all at the same time. They started Pitocin to start labor because he could potentially be in trouble. After about 2 hours of nothing else happening I decided to go on home to sleep because Dale (daddy) was there. He could call if anything changed. He called about 4 am, they were placing her epidural. OK. We went on to the hospital then.

Even then though, we knew Rick was not well. He had absolutely no energy and was much quieter than usual. It would be one month to the day later that we would find out he had a tumor. But even though he did not feel well, he was still there for the birth of our babies. He went out and found baby stuff all on his own. I was quite proud of him. He took the papaw thing a lot more seriously than I though he would. ❤

Perry Dale Suttle, Jr. made his debut mid morning weighing in at 7 pounds 9 3/4 ounces and 19 inches long. He was smaller than his sister, and seemed so much more fragile. Rick was almost afraid to hold him. I wish they had time to get to know each other. They will one day though!
I have a promise of his salvation as well. As he grows, he looks like his papaw. At least I think he does. And there have been comments on how much he looks "like a Sanders!" Hum, I think he kind of looks like a James!

Tonight when I got home from work both babies were sleeping. They are so very precious and I love them both. Of course, if the phone wouldn't ring at 9:50 at night they might sleep better Val!

I love you all!

To be continued........❤

Thursday, June 10, 2010

And our story continues......

We always wanted a flagpole in the yard, we just never got around to it. Nick and I bought a flagpole back in late winter. When I got home this afternoon, Nick had the flagpole in place. He put it exactly where I wanted it! Thanks Nick. I do love you Bubby.

With the 4th of July less than a month away, I am reminded of a funny story. Every year, we spend the 4th (sometimes not exactly on the day but whenever we celebrate it) with our friends and neighbors just up the road. Sandy and Jerry have a picnic cookout get together with their family and we are lucky enough to be included in that. A couple of years ago, we were getting ready to eat, fixing cokes, tea etc and Rick picked up a 2 liter bottle of diet coke to pour himself a glass of coke. Well, he picked it up and somehow the bottle collapsed on him and he dropped it on the floor. Coke was spewing everywhere. He was a bit flustered and a bit embarrassed by what had happened. After all, coke was spewing all over Sandy's kitchen table, floor, Rick, you name it and it was going there. I was cracking up. Sandy, Jerry and others in the room didn't know what to do. Now, if you know Sandy you know you don't touch her Strawberry Towels hanging up to clean up a mess with. Rick reached for one of those, she said NO not that and he said "well give me something!" He was panicked. That made me crack up more. He then said "it's not funny!" You should have seen the look on the Miller's faces! They thought he was serious. I laughed harder! Then he got tickled and everyone laughed then. He cleaned up the mess and Sandy made him a "sippy cup" That was a running joke for everything we did together after that!

Last year, Rick was not feeling well, he ate but he left before the fireworks started. Looking back there were several signs that something was terribly wrong, but nothing "concrete" that you could say what it was. I made him go to the doctor several times, but his exam was always OK.

About 3 years ago, we decided that we would both join the fire department. He would become a certified fire fighter and I would be a first responder. Nick was not of age yet, and he could be a Jr. fire fighter. Rick took fire fighter training, I took some of it with him. I took and passed a first responder class. Our department probably has 2 or 3 to 1 medical to fire runs. He would always go with me to the medical runs because he did not want me to be alone in houses where we didn't know the people. For the most part, I really didn't need him to be there, but there were a few occasions I was very glad he was there. I really can't describe those here because of confidentiality. Yep, even fire fighters and first responders must maintain that confidential information they receive about people's medical conditions. So, no we don't go around gossiping with our friends about the houses we go in or people's private business. Just remember though, when we are dispatched to anything suspicious, the law is also dispatched at the same time!

Rick and I (along with WVFD members of course) have worked a shooting, many MVA's (both minor and major), medical runs, chest pains, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, among other things. That shooting was really bad. It bothered me to no end. I still think about that. No details here, but it bothered me in that one human being could actually do that to another human being! Whether or not it was meant to be done or an accident is left up to others to judge!

We both had over 100 hours of training when he got sick. Our plans were to finish before this spring. He loved serving on the department.

The last 8 years before he died Rick was a gentle, kind, loving man. But he did have a temper at times. he would say, "so and so loves me" if we were arguing about something, and I would say, I love you too, but so and so does not live with you! He would laugh then and most of the time it would be OK.

Right now, I don't know when the next post will be, it may be tomorrow night then it may be a few nights. I have summed up the last 26 years in 10 or 12 posts. I am sure there are many more "stories" like the one above, and some that would curl your hair that happened before he was saved. While they are all in the past, those stories from prior to 8 years ago will stay forever in only my memory . Most of them don't seem to even be as bad as they felt like they were back then. Not that I am being selfish, it is just that those things were forgiven him in May 2002 out in our garden. He made many amends with people over the years. There is no reason to bring them up here.

Know that Rick loved the Lord with all his heart. Know that one day if you are ready to meet the Lord on that great day of judgment, we will see him again and all go to Heaven for eternity. If you are not ready to meet the Lord, just know that there is a way to find Him. It is on you knees, it does not have to be in a church. Rick found Him in his garden and he would want you to be ready. Get there! Don't put it off. Remember eternity is a VERY long time. Amazing Grace says, "when we've been there ten thousand years bright shining as the sun we've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun." When we have been in Heaven ten thousand years and it is as if we just begun the sinners in hell will have been there that long too.....pray for your friends and neighbors who do not know the Lord!

I love you all. To be continued.........

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thoughts on life

So, I was just thinking about things, and reviewing all the previous posts. Today at work I was reminded about things that are really important in life. God, family, friends.....all those should come first. And in that order. God should be number one in everyone's life. Period. End of story. If He is not number one, then all the other "stuff" won't really matter anyway, and it may not even exist. God has to come first. That is how it is meant to be. When God was not first in my life, there were problems after problems. As soon as I let God be God and let Him lead me, then those problems went away. I am not telling you my life is perfect. It is not. But it is so much better with me out of the way! Try that way of life, you will find life means so much more. You may use the excuse, well God leads your life and He took your husband from you. I do not know God's plan for me and my family; but HE does! And while some may think that my loss was harm, I am sure God has plans that included all of us, including Rick, my co-workers, friends and family, all of us to experience everything we went through. What reason you may ask? All I can say is some day we will all understand. Rick always said if he lived to 60 he would consider himself lucky. The Lord let him see his 62nd birthday. What a blessing!

JOSHUA 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.'

"For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper, not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. " Jeremiah 29:11

We are all born to die. Period. That is how this thing works. Some leave us sooner than others. I really wish none of us ever had to experience the things we do, but then where would we be? If not for trials, then how could we know victory? While I was hurt, and still have a large hole in my heart that will never completely heal, I am not "harmed" just part of life that we all go through at one time or another. I still have a future and I still have a hope. And though Rick is not part of that on earth, he is waiting for me. I am not writing this to make anyone cry or be upset about anything. I am reminding all of us, myself included, that there are more important things to think about. And getting back to where I need to be between myself and God is first on my list. It may take me a while, but I will get back there!

The two babies you see to your left and above are our grandbabies. This photo was taken after Rick's tumor was found but before it was removed. This is a copy of the photo that I put in a frame that says "Our Grandchildren" on it. This photo was at Rick's bedside the whole time he was in Baptist Hospital. All he had to do was look over at it and he could see his baby girl. She loved her papaw with all her heart!

I love you all!

To be continued...........

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gettin ready for a fry

So remember I told you about days getting ready for a fry? Well those days could actually start earlier, when they would go fishing. Norman and Rick fished every spring and fall. Actually, they would line fish for blue gill for bait for their trot lines, set and bait their lines and go run them the next morning. This is about ten am after running a line and getting a lot of flatheads. They would fillet them together and share in the "bounty" after they were done. In this particular instance, Normans' brother "Pap" had gone with them. The folks he'd been fishing with weren't having any luck. These guys sure did!

2004 - Leaving Baptist and moving back closer to home to work meant giving up my weekends and holidays off, it meant going back to night shift again and somewhat of a pay cut but those concessions far outweighed the benefits of being 15 miles from work versus 84 miles from work! And it meant going back to only 3 12 hr shifts in a week instead of 5...(with pay for 8hr shifts). Being closer to home meant more time at home with my family :) December 25, 2006 found me working day shift finally! Whew, nights was about to get the best of me. And to start on Christmas day! You know usually Christmas is pretty slow in hospitals but that Christmas was very busy! Probably the busiest I have experienced in all my 32 years of nursing. We had some sick people in our unit around then.
Our farmers market experiences were wild sometimes. There were days when I wanted to say get real. My vegetables are homegrown. You wont find that anywhere else in this market! Some people would look at my tomatoes and green beans and whatever else I had and look at my "neighbors" next to me and would by from his because his tomatoes were "perfect" and mine were not; there was a good reason for that! Mine were picked fresh off the vine and his were picked green and shipped to an Amish food market where he bought them by the box! Then I had my regular customers who would not buy from anyone but me. It would make some people so jealous, I would catch them staring at me.....oh well! My father-in-law loved to come down to the market and sit and watch and talk with the customers. Many of them knew him from the days when he had a produce stand in Rhoda. (that is between Chalybeate and Brownsville) I will miss the market. Got a call yesterday from a regular customer who wanted to know if I was going to have beans this year. I told her I didn't even set out tomatoes. That part was Rick's and he took care of all of that. Last year I had a lady call me everything in the book because I didn't have a bushel of potatoes for her! I told her I was out and it was first come, first served and I couldn't save them for her. It was the end of the season and there were no more. She said "but I told you I wanted them" I reminded her I'd told her to come early! Many, many times folks would ask for special things and we'd lose them because we wouldn't sell them to anyone else and then they'd be a no show. But not everyone bought their produce that they sold. Amanda grew 100% of hers as did Angie; but they were not there as often as I was. So on many, many days my produce was the only "home grown" produce there. And, just in case you are wondering, if you make a request at a farmer's market and they tell you when to be it!

Nick had planned on having potatoes and corn, but the early May rain caused the potatoes to rot. It also stunted the corn so he may not have anything! It will be interesting at the market this year to see if anything is really home grown!

Enough on the farmers market!

One thing we really loved to do together was go camping. We bought a camper, sold it and bought another one. Sometimes I wish we'd kept the first one, anyway. We go to Barren River Tailwaters each June and camping with a group of neighbors (yes, we move Wingfield to the lake) in July. We have a blast! One day while we are there we go out for breakfast, and one day while we are there we cook all together and I am in charge of the biscuits. Homemade from scratch and we bake them on the grill! They are so good! We make gravy and cook bacon and sausage, eggs and potatoes. We have sliced tomatoes and jellies. The campground smells great! And every time we go it STORMS the first night there! Last year, my "neighbor" was in a tent. I was up early and had a pot of coffee made. I was the only one from our group up already. (Well, except for Rick, who had to leave early and go sell veggies until 1pm.) Anyway, I offered this neighbor a cup of coffee. He had been in that tent when it stormed, he looked like he'd been soaked. He growled at me and I didn't speak to him anymore. I was just trying to be a neighbor! That is what I do!

I'm A Winner Either Way by Bird Youmans

Well, Rick loved this song so much! This fella sings it well, and there is music, Noots is his favorite singing it, no video of him however. Noots sang this several times for Rick at church and sang it for him that night he left us and one last time at the funeral. Rick's sisters love this song too, and Norma.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Little addition to today's posting....

My baby girl had to go to the ER tonight she swallowed something unknown. She is showing no symptoms, but Val wanted to be safe and I surely understand that. When Val was two years and one month old she woke me at 6 am with tears in her eyes. She said, "mommy I swallow penny." I took her to the ER. They xrayed her. The doctor came back in, said, Mrs. Sanders Valarie didn't swallow a penny. I said but.....he said she swallowed something for sure come look at the xray. It was a quarter! You could see it so easily. We had to spend most of the day in ER taking xrays until that quarter passed through several turns to make sure it didn't get stuck! She had to take mineral oil daily until the quarter passed! Try to give a 2 year old something that tastes bad! Had to mix it with Hershey's syrup. What a time. (It was in Massachusetts.)

And we continue....

This handsome fella to the right is Rick as a baby. Those eyes and that smile were the same!

The years between 2000 and 2002 were very difficult for us. I was in my early 40's and he was in his early 50's. There were times when I wondered if we were going to make it another week together let alone another month. Forget the years! Every time I would think that I'd had about all I could take, he would do something nice and I would forget all that had happened for a while. A lot of people would have called it quits and moved on. But, I did say for better or worse and I wanted some better! It was time. Early May of 2002 I had the opportunity to go to Atlanta Georgia for a week long conference. Rick said he would watch the kids and take care of things. I was still working at Baptist then and Baptist agreed to give me education days so I wouldn't have to use my vacation time. There were friends going from Bowling Green, so I rode down with them and shared a room with some of them. That made it cheaper for all of us!

Atlanta was hot in May! We stayed a few blocks from the conference center and could walk weather permitting. The conference people also provided shuttles. We had a good time and learned a lot.

I was homesick while I was gone. I called home two and three times a day. During my trip, Rick changed. I noticed his tone became more loving, and he was a different person than the one I left. hum. When I got home, he was waiting for me. He was all smiles. He took me out to eat.

He raised a large garden every year. I found out 3 days after I got home why he was so different. We got up on Sunday morning and he said "lets go to church". We had not done that as a family in our entire marriage. We went to mom's Sunday morning. She said "I really do believe Rick got saved in his garden last week, don't you?" Light bulb went on! That is what had happened. I asked him about it and he told me he was saved in his garden. I also asked him why he didn't tell me. He said he thought he did. I knew there was something different! He was not the same man I left at home when I got back! We went to church that day. They started a revival that night and we went back. Nick was saved in that revival. He joined that church. Rick wanted to but didn't.

We started going to different churches every weekend. One day we were at Ryan's and ran into Ray and Kathy there. They saw us first and spoke. We talked a few minutes, Rick told them about being saved. They invited us to Miller Hill the next day. We went. They treated us like family from the first visit. He joined there and was baptized in November. One of his best friends from growing up is a preacher. He baptized him. He also preached his funeral. He was also the first person Rick told about being saved when it happened.

Somewhere around 2004 we joined the farmers market in Brownsville. He grew such a big garden we needed something to do with it! That in itself was a chore! At the end of July of 04 I gave notice at Baptist that I would be leaving to work closer to home. I was in a management position and wanted to go back to patient care. I also was tired of driving 84 miles one way and paying $1.58/gal for gas! (boy don't I wish I could pay that now!) When I gave notice, we waited about a week to tell my staff. They were so upset that the chief nursing officer had me take off with pay for the remainder of my notice period. WOW! One of the reasons I was leaving was that I felt I was not doing the job to the best of my ability. The expectations from both sides was just overwhelming. And, more importantly, my home time was dwindling away. I needed to go back to what was the most important--my family!

To be continued......

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Memories, Unforgettable memories!

This is Rick just a few weeks before we found the tumor. He is sitting in his favorite spot on the couch. I am not sure if he is sleeping or reading. I believe he was sleeping. The other picture is with Tober.

On with the story:

So we have had our ups and downs over the years. I think if most every couple is honest they all have those difficult patches of times. We were no exception. When he would get mad about something, he had to have the last word and he wanted to be alone. Me, I wanted the last word too and I wanted to settle it right then. We clashed a little in this area. But you know, we never stayed mad at each other for a really long time. We always got over it. The decision to stay with GM and move to Massachusetts was one of those conflict areas. I did not want to move that far away. He had moved to many different areas all his life and it was no big deal to him. It surely was to me. That move turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made even though it took us so far away. I learned to be independent and how to live in a completely different area of the country.

When I married Rick, I said the words below I meant them!

Do you Myra Lynn James take Richard Alvin Sanders to be your husband – to live together after God’s ordinance – in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy, to cherish and continually bestow upon him your heart’s deepest devotion, forsaking all others, keep yourself only unto him as long as you both shall live?

After the Judge said those words to me and I replied I do I never broke that vow. Neither did he. There were times in our life together that I wondered if I'd done the right thing. There were times when we would joke with each other and say how much we wanted to do bodily harm to the mutual friend who introduced us to each other. There were other times when we'd say "If I ever get rid of you, I will never do this again!" Of course, we never really meant those statements. We laughed about them many times.

One thing we both really loved to do was have family dinners and I don't mean the four of us either. I means sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors. And there would be fifty to sixty people here for us to feed. The planning and prep took a couple of days, head counts to be sure we had enough food was always just a best guess but nobody ever left our house hungry. That is one thing for sure. Rick loved to fish for "flathead cat fish" and have "a fry". That included fried potatoes, slaw, home made hushpuppies and corn bread as well as my home made white bread, green beans, corn, some other meat because I HATE FISH!!! There were home made desserts too, lemon meringue pies, apple cobbler, strawberry cobbler, chocolate pies, cakes, no bake cookies and this was not pot luck either. Some of his sisters and my sisters in law would bring desserts, but for the most part we did all the cooking. We were up at 4 am for a 2pm fry. But he really enjoyed those so very much.

Another thing we both really loved to do was go to church. Rick loved the Lord with all his heart and you could tell when the Spirit of the Lord was dealing with him whether it was during the singing, preaching or when ever! He would slap the side of his leg three times and that foot would swing back and forth and he had this little sound he made, kind of a little giggle sound mixed with kinda clearing his throat at the same time--can't describe it hereto do it justice. But if you knew him, you knew what I mean. When the kids were going to church with us, Sissy would get tickled at him. I have not backed off from going, but it is still difficult because that is the last place I got to see him. I am sure time will help that. I am learning to deal with it, but it will take time.

Another thing we both loved was our babies! He was a little afraid of PD, but Tober and he bonded when she was about 6 weeks old. She tried to talk to him. And he would say "tell pa all about it" and she would coo and goo at him from very early! Perry Dale, Jr (PD) seemed much more fragile. He was only 2 months old when Rick was diagnosed with the tumor. They never really got to know each other. We will teach each of them about their papaw though!

February 7, 1999 was another day we will never forget! Earlier in January, we had so much rain, kind of like this past early May, but I do believe there was more or it came is less time...anyway we had a water problem in the house because of a sump pump and all the rain. Our house flooded and oh, it was bad. It took me about 2 weeks to clean it all up. That morning was a Sunday. It was warm and windy for February. I had windows up airing out the house. I left for a few minutes to take the kids to my mom's so they could go to church with her and Rick went to his Dad's after breakfast. I know I didn't leave anything on and we have no idea how but on my way back (my mom is 15 minutes from my house) I saw thick black smoke. I didn't know it was my house! When I came down Cline Road, I couldn't see that smoke so I had no clue. I rounded the curve at the mailbox, and looked over towards the house. There were so many flames! It was horrible! But, you know, you hear horror stories how insurance companies can hold you hostage for months....Farm Bureau did not. They gave us money right away for clothes, helped us get a temporary home, and paid for the clean up. They did such a good job that we were ready to re-build by April first and moved back in the first week in August. While that was a horrible time in our lives, we realized how important things, belongings really aren't and how precious life is. Had it been just a couple hours earlier, as fast as that went up, we may have all perished! God truly works in mysterious ways.

That was the same spring that Rick's dad called one morning about 3 am, woke us up and said he was in the worst pain of his life. He wanted Rick to come take him to the ER. He refused to go in an ambulance. Something told me he had an abdominal aneurysm, and he did. He went to emergency surgery. He was in the hospital 21 days on the ventilator most of those. Then he went to a rehab hospital who shall remain nameless. He wanted out of there so bad! He found an opening one day and escaped. He said he got to Wal-mart, they said he only got to an office next door. When he was discharged he was fine. He lived until lung cancer took him away in March 2008.

January of 2000 found me getting my reflux and hiatal hernia fixed. Boy that was a rough surgery! But it was over, I could lie flat and not have reflux! Amazing. I would have to be in terrible shape to ever do that again though. But I was in that shape then. I had reflux standing up. I wasn't sleeping. I had been out of the hospital about 2 weeks, wasn't even supposed to drive yet and Rick said, "my belly hurts" and something like "worst pain in my life" where had I just heard those words a year earlier? Trip to the ER. Sent home with "stomach virus" as a diagnosis. Now, mind you I didn't believe one word of that! He had a small bowel obstruction and it was blatantly obvious to me. Remember, I was a surgical ICU nurse then and I'd seen 100's of those same symptoms. And when he vomited, I knew what it was. I just couldn't convince the ER doctors. Well, after being up all night with him, I had him at the doctor's office when they opened the next morning. We had to see the on call doctor, our doctor was out on Thursdays. OK. He said go to ER. I said been there, done that sent home. He said I think he's obstructed. I said Duh! Tell them that! He called the ER and sent us back. Noon came and went and they'd tried to CAT scan his abdomen several times, and the contrast he drank had not moved out of his stomach. DUH again. He was obstructed! 3 pm came, he is hurting so bad and they still had not scanned him. He went back to the scanner, they said gee, the barium is still in his stomach. I said "do ya think?" They said, we will scan him anyway. I said good do it! they did. Sent him back to his room in ER. 30 minutes later he is in so much pain he about can't take it anymore. I went out and begged for pain medication. They finally gave him a little. The ER doc came in and said "well, there is good news and bad news....the good news is he's not obstructed but we are keeping him anyway" I said to call Dr. Bush. He had been Carlos' doctor. I didn't know any other surgeons here at that time. Dr. Bush came in, he said hey man, you're obstructed! We are going to OR. YAY!!!! By the time he opened him up his small bowel was so obstructed he had so many adhesions he had to "take down" to relieve the obstruction. It was a thousand wonders and the grace of God that he didn't have ischemic bowel (tissue that doesn't get good blood flow and is compromised by the lack of oxygen). I complained to administration. I received a call from someone saying they meant he didn't have a "gastric outlet obstruction" I said whatever, I am not stupid. He hushed and I didn't push the matter, but I could have. Had I not been a nurse, he could have died then. After he got home, he had quite a bit of trouble. He re-obstructed when Dr. Bush was off over the weekend. He was having problems with his oxygen and perfusion. He was really sick. He was re-admitted. It did not require further operations, but it did require a fit out of me for the on call surgeon to see him. By the way, you really DON'T want to see me mad! Most of you have seen me upset, a little steamed but you have not seen MAD. When he did a test I asked him to do and I was right, he had to eat crow. Anyway, he stayed in the hospital this time until he was definitely well. When it was time for me to go back to work I had to teach a then 10 year old Nick how to change his Dad's dressings because his 14 year old sister couldn't do it!

I think that is all for be continued...............