Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Her children rise up and call her blessed..."

Well we have nearly walked the floor today, snow and cannot get out of the house. I am feeling good, eating too much, being off chemo, my appetite has returned. Food tastes good again. I have decided to talk about our four patents and mainly talked about Daddy yesterday,I want to finish telling about Mama today. I told how she and Daddy met, but starting at the beginning, she was the oldest child and I earlier told now her baby brother died when he was 17 months old and she was about three. There was another brother two years later; so many times parents never get over the loss of a child. We have seen that many times in our family. Grandma and Grandpa did not get over the loss of the first baby boy and spoiled the remaining two children so terribly.Mama grew up as a wonderful pianist, a beautiful, petite young woman. Mama was a cheer leader at tech,because as the coach said..."she added decoration"...Mama went from being spoiled by her Daddy to being spoiled by her husband. Daddy so adored her that it was easy to do. When John and I married he said he had never seen a family where the children took care of the parent, meaning we three girls took care of Mama instead of the other way around. We lived next door to the grandparents most of our lives and I guess Grandma was our "mother" so we just fell into the roles of taking care of Mama. Mama was a fantastically happy person, very social, optimistic in every way, a totally happy christian woman, loving parent, terrific hostess, good cook, ready to do everything with. We had so much fun with her. She was generous to a fault and thought her family was the best of everything in every way. But as she got older, we three would say, "what will we do if Daddy dies first...who can live with Mama?"
I know that sounds terrible, but it is the truth. But this was taken care of when they died together. She was truly "one of a kind"!!!
"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her." Proverbs 31:28

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"When God created man, He created him in the lifeness of God"

"He created them male and female and blessed them. An when they were created, He called them 'man'." Genesis 5:1-2
While I am going through my scrapbooks, I decided, since I feel pretty much "normal" for now, that I will talk about mine and John's parents, maybe telling information our children do not know, and those of you who are friends, maybe you will find some interest in these items about our parents.
I told already how Daddy was totally so in love with Mama, he was her hero always. Daddy was a poet, an artist, we was a businessman, teacher, politician, and a preacher ; he had just too many interests to be confined into one "pigeonhole".
When Mama was ready for college, she sat out a year to wait for her best friend so they could go together to Tennessee Tech. Was this fate or what. These two friends soon met a bunch of new friends and their cousins from the Cookeville area and soon were introduced to Jim...soon to be my dad. Mama's friend actually had the first date with Jim, but soon, Mama snatched Jim's picture off the dresser or the friend, and soon, there was no doubt who he was smitten with. When Grandma and Grandpa came to Cookeville for some meeting on campus, they could not find Mama and found her behind a bush, kissing Daddy. Also, she found herself in class without a needed notebook and guess who got the notebook, and pled her case with the teacher,... After Mama's first year in college, and Daddy's third year there, they were married in 1933.
I have many poems he wrote---and there were many letters and drawings sent when he was in Europe in World Way II.
Here is a short poem---realize he was probably very much besot in love at the time!!!!
"In dreams I vision a place so fair
Where lovers are ever true
Where one may know never a care..
And the sky is the bluest blue.
There's a little corner in this fair spot
That's fairer than others all,
Oh, come and disappoint me not..
Oh, love, please answer my call."

My dad, man of God, wonderful husband, character that we three girls all looked for in husbands, and Mama's hero. I think he was created in many images that God was please with.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The washing of rebirth ---He poured out on us...

Well, we are finally getting a real snow! The weather has changed numbers over and over, from 3 to 9 inches, so we will see, it has slowly snowed off and on all afternoon and now into the night so we will know in the morning if this is a "real snow like we used to have!"
A friend thought I sounded depressed in yesterday's blog--I did not mean to sound that way, as I rarely am depressed. I am aware on being closed-in feeling and maybe the winter time, lack of being able to walk and exercise make me feel less than what I used to be. (Of course, I am less than what I used to be!) Two years ago I was at the gym three times a week, lifting weights, walking on the treadmill, working out a routine of other weights and stationary bike. I was in great shape (for my age) and I felt so good, so toned. Amazing how quickly the toned muscles become flab,holding up an arm shows skinny whatever is not what it was!!!!
So, this is depressing in a way, but not Depression!
So our grandchildren are out sledding tonight, what we used to do...and another thing we will never do again (maybe not, or May be???) I still have a sled! If the conditions were right, I might just get out there and try it again!
"(God) saved us through the washing of rebirth and reneval by the Holy Spirit. Whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Lord." Titus 3: 5-6

Thursday, January 28, 2010

God's mercy

Last night was a better night. I woke up at 3 am, and actually went back to sleep until a normal 7:30-- that felt good!!! I went to the eye doctor today and he gave me a prescription for stronger lenses and that should help, and when my eyes change in a few months, I can change again. He did not see any real damage in my eyes and that was very thankful to us!
One of my dearest friends had her sister to die yesterday, and that is sad for my friend and for us to see her lose the third sibling within a year. A friend from high school died this week, the second of that group within a month. I guess when you "reach a certain age" the deaths come close and fast.
I am going through more scrapbook minutiae, and wow, the memories! I pick up letters I sent Daddy in Europe in the 1940's and cards from our children sent to us, then a piano recital notice, then a Sunday School paper from the 1940's. The years went by way too fast!!!
While I cannot drive, I feel like I am "marking time", not really "living"---don't know why???Is it because I feel like my independence is gone? I don't know that I will do that much differently with a car to go in but it seems as such.
I am anxious to get back into some church activities and yet, when I went last Sunday for three hours, I was really tired when I got home. Maybe each day will bring strength.
Titus 3:4,5 says "But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy..."
So because of this love or God's and because of His mercy, I boldly ask Him to continue to take away this cancer. Amen...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stand firm in the Lord...

I am so sad tonight--a young man, about the age of my "children" is perhaps losing ground in his battle with cancer. They have called in hospice. I am looking at this from two viewpoints--from a cancer patient and from a parents who has had a child to die young. Both of these aspects are sad, both are really "out of place and time" as far as normal lifetime is concerned. I have talked in the last few days, about how I seem to finally acknowledge that I am only here on this earth because of God's grace and goodness to let me live a little longer. This young man and I have talked-- he is such a strong believer in Jesus, he is such a rock of strength to his family and he certainly is not afraid to die. Those of us who are not yet gone or to have reached this point of passing over, are sad, some are mad, some question why ,someone who has so much to give to the world and have so much to offer his family is maybe "taken".
The last time I saw this young man was at our oncologist about two months ago. He was still very positive, hoping to live longer to see his sons grow up. This is a very dear, several, generational family and we have multiple ties to them. All I can offer is that God is our rock, He is our steadfast anchor, He makes no mistakes. I have to totally lean on His goodness and Know that "yes, I let you have me in any way, at any time, for any use."
This was another day of gnashing of teeth (too much steroids) waking up too early, rushing through the house like I am on a time frame of some sorts. I would love to be relaxed but guess that will not "be" until I am off these pills. I long to drive and be able to get out by myself. John has to take me anywhere I go. My eyes are less "sharp" so he will take me to the eye doctor tomorrow and see if the doctor can give me a better glasses prescription for a few months and see what my eyes do after the three months is up, and I am dismissed from the "skull doctor"..meanwhile, nights drag on and I pray a lot during the nights.
" brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how we should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends..." Phil. 4:1

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More night ramblings

In my 4 am ramblings, (will I EVER get off these steroids and sleep again?????)I got to thinking about old times in the creeks. I may have written about the creeks my friends and I played in along and under neath Gallatin road. In fact, where Briley Parkway and a Home Depot is today was our best "swimming hole" and favorite bluff to climb. There was a wonderful spring house which we lay on our stomachs and drank and the water cress made great sandwiches. There was another slate covered farm building---one day we kids decided to pull off the slate, did we get in trouble! It of course had to be replaces immediately (luckily we did not remove much slates).
The 200 year old house called "Evergreen" was there and it was my joy growing up to play in that home and grounds, tall trees, horse block, barns, and the creeks. If you walked across the creek and up the other side, where K Mart is today, there once was the remains of a small shack, which Rev. Thomas Craighead started a small school in the 1700's. Later he moved his school over to where the Springhil Cemetery is now, then to Nashville, building and growing into what became Peabody College and being part of today, Vanderbuild
University.When I was about 10 or so I went to the old house that was built back in the fields along that creek and it was called the Walton Place". Our little street was called appropriately Walton Lane.
Besides the Springhill Cemetery across from where the Walton Place used to be is the National Cemetery. There is a train track thru the middle of the cemetery--a great place, growing up to walk the track, watch for trains, wonderful rock walls around the cemetery about 3-6 feet high to ride bikes on (until Mama caught me one day!!!oops!!!)
So my nightly ramblings bring out all kinds of memories--forgive me if I already told any of this story!
Our grandaughter-in-law had her grandmother to pass away and the funeral was today. There were at least 50-60 children, cousins, grandchildren, great grandchildren to honor her memory. What a wonderful service. A bonus for us--we got to see and be with our grandson, that grandaughter and the babies for a brief time--and see the newest great for the first time. So this was a good, bittersweet day--sad for this family loss, joy to see our babies.
I have felt good today--wow, is God so good to heal me, and give me more days on top of joyous days!Glory to God in the highest!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Parents and memories

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother--which is the first commandment with promise--that it may go well with you and you may enjoy long life on the earth." Ephesians 6:1-3
As I am still looking through this scrapbook, I came across the note Daddy wrote to each of us three girls (know as "the three B's", much to our chagrin as we grew up!)
He wrote this in November 1983 following the occasion of his and Mama's 50th wedding anniversary party.
"Our very Dear --Three Little B's...
You have given us cause many times to be proud of you---and maybe we don't tell you often enough what you mean to us--so--to begin with:
The 50th Anniversary Party was such a memorial event, well planned and equally well carried out. Everything was beautiful--especially you three!
Your constant care and concern for us as "the shadows lengthen" is a source of much comfort and pleasure.
Now, as we observe the passing of another year, we can look back and count the many blessings it has brought to us. To you, the passing of a year is lightly taken, but to us, it is the spending of a precious asset that dwindles to less and less---So let us make each day a "good day" and pray for their use in His plan for us.
We love you each one, dearly, and thank God He gave you to us.
Mother and Daddy"

At this point in time, Mama had been stricken with diabetes and a stroke, Daddy had heart problems and their health was not the best. They were able to stay in their home until January 1987 and Mama died April 29, was buried May 1, Daddy died May 2, and was buried May 4---all 1987. They lived happily together and died together. The doctor put on Daddy's death certificate.."broken heart"!
Us two sisters left (our middle sister died in 2002) carry on our legacy of love, memories and honoring our parents.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"The precepts of the Lord are right...the law of the Lord is perfect..."

This was a great Sunday---I got to go to Sunday school and church, for the first time in several months. In Psalm 19, David says "The law of the Lord is perfect...the precepts of the Lord are right..." he goes on to describe many attributes of our Lord...all perfect, all being in the right relationship to life.
Going to church was very tiring and I slept all afternoon. It is amazing how little things tire you after brain surgery! I thought I was tougher that this! Oh well, it takes time.
In my ramblings since I cannot do normal things, I look for things to do,so I drug out an old scrapbook I have worked on for YEARS! I have three of these scrapbooks, they are in no chronological order, and have no rime or reason. When I save an article from a newspaper, a wedding invitation, a child's hand made card ( from 50 years ago), old letters, death notices, you name it....this is a family history!!!I am about ready for number four scrapbook!
So looking through this, I found letters from 1915. My grandma had a baby, age 17 months old, to die in his "second summer". Babies used to die about this age, cutting stomach and eye teeth, maybe not properly nourished, and the summer heat...who knows, but it was a malady of that era. I have these letters from her brothers and sisters, from Grandpa's family and from business friends. All so sad. When I was growing up, we would talk about "Little Horace Edgar", as we was always called --this baby who did not survive. He was my Mother's brother. Grandma would talk about him and she would cry and as a child, I wondered why she was still sad, after 30 years or more. They I grew up and when our Johny died at age 29, and even though it has been nearly that long for his being gone, I see how you never really get over the loss of a child. I think I especially love the poignancy and the timelessness of the way love and sorrow mix in families and how our strength carries us through... and God supplies all our needs and He is always there and perfect.
I pray for more strength this week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Love of friends

Talking of love for friends, then talking about Pearl Harbor Day, seems contradictory, yet these were times these friends lived through and this time period is part of their story. We spent part of today with dear old friends...this couple were starting out on their married life , in fact, cutting up fruit for fruit cake when the radio news came on telling about Japan attacking the US navy at Hawaii...on December 7, 1941 . I remember the same day, younger than they, I was playing on the floor, Grandpa was listening to the big radio and we heard the same news. So we all lived through this era and years later met and have been dear friends for 50 years.
They went through many hardships ,being in the army, his being a radio/radar instructor---radar was so new, they were not allowed to say the word, "radar". These friends, he and family army men ended up in Europe, and India, and served well for the four years of the war. They today are active in veterans affairs, and our "ex-soldier" who is in his 90's, writes articles for American Legion papers .
We have been so blessed by the wealth of their experiences and their friendship over the years. After we met them, we became fast friends of their entire family and along with four other couples, camped together for 40 years, raising our children together, enjoying so many wonderful and fun times times --great memories--and just think when that day of December 7, 1941, we were in opposite parts of this city, not really close in age, yet we ended up becoming such good friends and being blessed by their family in so many ways.
"Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friend." John 15:13...They truly love their friends .

Friday, January 22, 2010

Proverbs 31--The Wife of Noble Character

I have told many people that this chapter in the Bible is what I would always wanted to be spoken of...not yet, but someday! It is the epitome of a "perfect" woman. She is industrious, energetic, full of dignity, a woman who "has it all". I hope over my lifetime I have emulated these characteristics. Well, just a little evening "musings" I say, not ready to go yet!
Today was first "brain doctor" day. I got my staples out, found out I still have to be on steroids for another two months to guard against brain seizures. I also am aware that even though the reading is coming back steadily, my eyesight may not be as sharp as it was. I need to go check on this now! I still cannot drive or lift or bend over (oops?) but I am trying to remember these things. The MRI showed no tumors the morning of surgery, just a little leakage and the blood. I am still on a "high" over God's removal of the tumor before the surgery! I see the doctor in two weeks and hopefully he will kind of dismiss me for a while. Then I see the oncologist that week for a kind of "let this rest for a month or so" visit...I think in two months, I will be so rested and ready to fight this again, or who knows, God may have just taken care of the rest of the cancer by then! We certainly know He is Able.
"her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also..." verse 28

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Another quick post-------tomorrow is my first post-op and the staples removal from my scalp. It has been 11 days tomorrow since the brain surgery and from the point of despair on January 11 and 12 during the first diagnosis and surgery to the point today for healing and recovery achieving more than I even hoped and imagined---Praise God!!!!!!!! To Him be the Glory!

more snow and ice!!!

While talking about the "blizzard" last night, John and I were talking about an adventure in the 90's during a big ice storm here. I don't remember the amount of ice but it was a deep ice storm, that paralyzed our area for days. All trees were bent over and broken, many of ours had to be cut down later. Electricity was out for days. For some strange reason, our street had an electric transformer over beyond other houses and inside a woods, which meant we WERE THE LAST HOUSE TO BE RESTORED!!! The electric company could not get over in this woods to get to the transformer, so we had no electricity for 11 days!!! After about 4-5 days, our neighbors had lights! Our streets thawed! We just had NO LIGHTS! So we lived an adventure for those days. We had water, a Vermont Castings wood stove, and a kerosene heater (used very sparingly).
We closed off part of the house and some heat went up the stairs to our bedroom, we cooked soups and oatmeal, etc. on the wood stove. Most nights, we drove to friends and family for dinner and to take showers.It really "hurt" to see the lights all around us and our having none! But we had fun. We would go to bed about dark, pile on lots of blankets, and listen to books on tape on a battery radio.
Every time, I would go through a room, I would turn on the lights!!!Funny how habits are there.
At this time, we had a B&B in our home, but luckily had no customers at that time (could not manage it anyway!) It only takes nature a few minutes to put us back to candles and firelight!
God always will [bring] "us out of darkness and deepest gloom...Let us give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love"...Psalms 107... and my eternal thankfulness and love for our God who heals and never fails.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


In my rambling thoughts as I don't sleep well these nights (the steroids for brain surgery keep me hyper and not sleeping as well) I got to thinking about the "Blizzard of '51" which is a legend here in Nashville. Since it is nearing time here for usually cold weather and snow (following the January thaw we are going through now), I was remembering this event in '51. It snowed for four days, and ended up with 11 inches of ice and snow, temperatures down to -13 degrees (yes that is minus). Many , many homes and businesses were without heat and electricity. Many like us had coal furnaces so even without the electric "stoker" we still had heat, and many had fireplaces. Somehow we kept our water going (we had a well). There was a grocery about two miles from us and Mr. Gillihan was close by and able to open his grocery...Daddy and I took the sled and walked to this grocery at least once, up the Gallatin road which was deserted, so we were not without any provisions. Our house had a long, gentle, slope from the far back to the front yard, around the house and down the drive, across the creek and up the hill to the road. Daddy, and neighbor kids and I built a sled "run" which was very long???don't know, in reality, but seemed long!!! and we road that sled over and over...even in those cold temperatures. I still have that sled!!! What fun days those were. There was no school in this area for two weeks. Daddy was always ready to "play" with us and we had such great family times growing up. I truly had a great childhood. I looked the statistics up on a historical Nashville site to get the facts correct for this true phenomenon here .
God always surprises us with weather, even the Bible talks about snow in Psalm 147..."He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes." verse 16 .A real blessing this last two days, my reading is better and I read an entire book this week...still some pages to wonder about, but less wondering "what is this word"...Thank you, God, for restoring my reading!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"...we have peace with God..."

Another day, trying to heal, weak and shaky but reading better each day for which I am very thankful! As we ate dinner, John said he thinks I am at peace more and not so worried about having this cancer.I told him, and I do feel, like all of a sudden, I just feel at peace.I feel that no matter what, I am in God's hands and that He is really for the first time in my life, taking hold of me and says, "here I am, my child and I am taking care of you."...boy I am a slow learner...The awesome feeling last Sunday during the prayer sacrament really left an awareness that lifted us all up to a higher plain.
None of us know how long we will live and we really have no control over this part of our being. We worry all our lives, do all we can to live longer, and when you totally turn all this over to God and know His will, it really takes away the stress. I love life and family and living and want to live as long as He will allow me to. I pray I can reach others and show that even with cancer, life is good, we can do much to glorify God and lead others to know this glory.
"...since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God..." Romans 5:1

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Oh may all your enemies perish..."

"Oh may all your enemies perish, O Lord! But may they who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength." Judges 5"31...this verse was sent to me by a new friend I met on this blog. I love "finding" new verses that especially speak to my soul. Today was another dull, sleepy day...I cannot wait to be "normal" again. I told my daughter today to send me some sewing work to do!
In my lazy, lying around day, I was thinking about the fun trips we took all the grandchildren as they grew up. Each summer we would take four or five of them somewhere, camping or Florida or the mountains, bikes in tow, usually for about a week, many times to our favorite place, Falls Creek Falls Park here in Tennessee. There is a swimming hole there which says "no swimming" but of course is every ones favorite place. There is a space to go across to a flat rock under the water and when you are old enough and able to swim that far, you have made it to "THE ROCK"...this is a major achievement. Above this rock is a climb up to a jumping off rock and you don't touch the bottom when you jump in. At the very top rock was waterfalls (great sliding) that wore out many a swim suit! Also, there was an area to climb around under the waterfall, and be back in a very special "hiding place". What a wonderful paradise this is. It was so special and we will never do this again but have lots of fond memories and pictures. One year the water was really high and we would catch each other as we floated down the water was scare, exciting, fun and we sure had to be CAUGHT as you went down the water!
One by one, as grandchildren grew up and got jobs and quit going on the trips, it wended down to just John and I and one grandchild..we think of that last trip so fondly. They five grandchildren are married and many have the seven greats whom we adore.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"I will lie down and sleep in peace...:

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8...Amazingly, I have no headaches...but I can sleep almost around the clock. I need to call tomorrow and see if I can come off some meds because of this sleepy being. I am trying to read and it is sssslooooooow going. I did a little x-stitch and that is slow but better than reading. I just hate doing nothing. Really I cannot formulate the Bible especially, so John and I have tried listening to the Bible on CD and we usually go to sleep listening to this, so it is slow going also--- I know I am impatient, and should be so thankful for what I can do at all. I may not have told about our newest great grandaughter born January 11 and she is so pretty...we cannot wait to see her some time in February. I go to the surgeon this Friday for the staples out (the screws stay in) and then thankfully, I can wash my hair!
God has been so gracious and good to me and I feel "honored" to have this cancer gone from my head. Now we need to pray hard to have the rest of the cancer gone from my body...there are lots of things I need to do for God and I need to be alive to do these things! Glory to God!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Lord has heard my cry....

Edited by my friendly blogger....

Monday I had an MRI that showed a brain tumor as large as my thumb. I was so distraught. The bleeding it had caused left me unable to articulate. My nurse asked if I had false teeth and I said, "No, but I have...," I could not think. Several nearby patients tried to help me find my words. It was like playing charades. Finally we found "crown" and everyone applauded. I sat down and cried... and I cried all through the MRI. It was a hard day.
Tuesday I had surgery, and when the doctor opened up my brain, NO TUMOR!!!!!!!!!!!! God had taken it from me!!!!!!!! It was a glorious day! The surgeon then performed a good bloodletting and brainwashing all at once! He's very talented that way. Then it was on to ICU for a day and a half, then on to a room, then on home the next day. After all, I've to much to do to idle away in the hospital, plus I had to get away from all those sick people! Now I have permanent titanium screws in my head and staples holding a plate in place for the next two weeks. I am really anxious to hear the pathology results and to find out more about the disappearing cyst soon. Prayerfully, I'll fully recover from this setback after a year or so, but its really difficult for me not being able to read. Its so strange that I can formulate words like these but cannot read or write them. The doctor says practice will help, but I sure do miss reading books in the meantime, which I love to do so much! When I write, I seem to be writing normally, but when I read back what I wrote all the letters are jumbled. Spell check never came in so handy!
Anyway, this turned out to be just another stop on my cancer trip, but there's no place like home! So, as far as the liver tumors and chemo are concerned, I'll let those rest for a month or two to resume a "normal" life before I "hit it [the road] again." I really needed this hiatus from the the tough rounds of chemo. Rather than wall-hugging nausea and exhaustion all the time, my wonderful and caring oncologist is ordering John and I to take some semblance of our old life back and call him in two!

Psalm 6:9
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

from friendly blogger...

I know this is kinda late and out of order. Bev and I met yesterday and couldn't reconnect to finalize this entry as she mentioned last night. She should be in the hospital right now readying for surgery. Hoping she doesn't mind, and can always delete later, I decided to compose this to reflect my notion of what she wanted to convey....

Sunday was a very busy day and today will be as well. This busyness keeps me sane. As surgery reaches closer, I am a whirl of emotion, up and down and up again. I feel very much like a mother about to give birth to her first child. Filled with love, trepidation, hope, excitement, fear, sadness and joy, here we go (again!) Am I starring in a soap opera about to have brain surgery? Seems surreal much of the time. Not only traumatic, but dramatic.
5 out of 100 won't survive this surgery, I'm told. However, I've been surrounded with prayer, love, and well wishes by friends and family. I'm cradled in the promises of God's word, and if I leave here now, what a wonderful way to go! If I get to stay, what a blessing!
Yesterday John and I attended worship services and then went before the elders for prayer. This is not the first time the elders have prayed over me, but it is always a very special experience from which I draw immense strength. I feel very honored, comforted, and protected beyond measure. I know that everything is going to be O.K.. The elders anointed me with oil as commanded in the book of James and it was wonderful. I cannot express the sense of calm it brought over me.

James 5:14-16
1s any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up.... 16... The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

Monday, January 11, 2010

God bless...

This morning, my friend wrote some ideas for my blog tonight...I got home too late from all the prep for tomorrow to send her my ideas for tonight, I really think my ability to WRITE is better, but the ability to read sentences is not better...I pray that comes back after the surgery!!! Today was seeing the doctor (surgeon) then going to the hospital for another blood letting (several and one really, really hurt!) then the MRI and the (I cannot find the right word!!!!!!) jewels! to mark the parts of my head--they are glued onto my head...I cried thru the MRI and cried thru the blood things and cried when the nurse asked me a question and I could not think of the work and other patients helps me think of the right word..., then the usual ekg, more blood, check nose for mersa, Xray and sign my life away...yes I know I could have 20 things happen in this surgery! I will be in ICU for two days, then go to a I guess I am ready, I have been anointed with oil by our elders, prayed over, sent a hundred or more prayers from friends and family... "Is anyone of you sick? He should call for the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well...James 5:14-15"... So good night, all my dear friends and loved ones. God bless. ( and thanks for spell check)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

We are the people of his pasture...

(blogged with a little help from my dear friend)

Saturday, as I busied myself with as much normalcy as possible, I was thinking about my dear cousin Anna.
What would Anna Do?

In her early years she was inspired to become a nurse in Birmingham, Alabama.

When John’s brother, her 20 year old cousin, and several others close to her died in WWII, to her mother's sorrow, she was inspired to join the war effort. In North Africa she would work in a field unit burn center as Patton fought nearby. Day temperatures reached 130 degrees. Its hard to imagine the suffering. The bedsheets of the wounded doubled as table clothes for the staff, who dined on military meals prepared by a drafted chef from the Waldorf Astoria.
Later she was transferred to Pisa, Italy and stationed by the leaning tower there for the European War until getting a transfer to Japan. On board the Sea Cat, she learned Japan had surrendered and the ship was rerouted to New York City, where she would be photographed with other nurses on the cover of the New York Daily Mirror, 1945.

Coming home to Tennessee, she was rerouted once again by a brother’s invitation for a visit to his home in Missouri. It would be at a party held by his wife that she would meet and three months later marry her husband.
She never reached Japan or Tennessee on that journey and instead settled in Missouri with her husband to have 4 children.
When her youngest girls were 9 and 11 and her husband was 54, the car they were traveling in was hit by a drunk driver. Upon waking days later in the hospital, she learned that the three others were killed and already buried. Again, its hard to imagine the anguish she must have felt. She was left with her son of 16, and her daughter of 15 to persevere. Her living children still thrive today along with 7 grandchildren, their spouses, and 18 great grandchildren who range in age from 1 to 11.

Although she has recently been diagnosed with bone cancer, at 91 her doctor says its not terminal. She still drives daily to her favorite hamburger joint with a friend. Those hamburgers will get her one day though, its just a matter of time.

Through all her adventures and experiences and tragedy, she has weathered each storm with God beside her. She has seen, touched, smelled, and felt more calamity than most will ever endure. Yet it is evident she is held in God’s gentle hand and he has kept her lifted up and inspired to be an inspiration to others. Always with a positive joyful heart, Christ’s light still shines as bright as ever through her.

Psalm 95:6-7
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Remembering the sisters...

(My friend is blogging again for me.)

Well, today has been a hectic day of details and spinning wheels filled with phone calls from the doctor's office nurse, the hospital, and anesthesia, errands and visiting all in preparation for next week's hospital stay. We'll start Monday with an MRI and other hospital minutia, Tuesday will be the surgery, and I may get to go home Friday. The nurse says 4 weeks of recuperation without travel. We'll see what the doctor has to say. I'm hoping to hear something different since this is so emotionally confining. John and I are bummed at the idea of feeling stuck at home because now is a time when I really feel the need to get away for awhile or at least enjoy the freedom of choice in the matter. I'm so glad we took advantage of the many opportunities we've had to travel and we've never regretted one trip. I think you should always have fun when you can and every time you get a chance.

As I've mentioned, I said to my doctor that maybe we're gonna lose this battle this time. His response was that I had lost the battle 5 years ago...God knows how long you're going to live. To those who don't understand our relationship, that may have sounded harsh, and perhaps requires more explanation. My doctor is my brother in Christ. We both know that this is not our battle to fight. God expects us to do what we can, and its up to him to do what we can't. Left to nature, we're both sure the cancer would've taken my life years ago. It is only by God's hand that my doctor and I have been around to fight this fight with all the blessings God has given us. This is my 5th round in the rink against this disease because of the grace of God and I glorify him for each day he stands beside me giving me strength and peace to strive in his light. Praise to God!

I've been thinking alot of my Grandma and her sisters today. She was one of eight girls and three boys. Their mother died young with the oldest sister. TB of the bowels? This was the late 1800's, so who knows? The other 7 girls all lived into their 80s with Grandma being 98 when she passed. These sisters were a clan amongst themselves meeting for "bowl dinners" (pot luck,) summer Croquet games, winter Rook, and at Christmas time, of course...joined often by extended family. They always traded homemade gifts of pillowcases, table clothes, napkins, and the like (apparently the penchant for sewing is hereditary.)
All grew up as Methodists, but each in turn adopted the worship style of their husbands and enjoyed mutual debates of doctrine well into their senior years. Which worship style was most favored by God? Depended on who you asked, still does. Sometimes asking isn't necessary to get your ears full, never has been. Some things never change.
To add to the friendly discord, one sister or another was always cheating at Rook or shoving during Croquet. Always lots of important arguing to do to keep the family close. Polite conversation, however, required limits. For example, regarding the first marital dissolution on a nearby branch of the family tree (involving a cousin) the nasty "D" word was better spelled out than pronounced outright. Some things have changed, alot.

-So much has much has stayed the same. Life is change, God is constant. So the word of thousands of years is our unchanging rock upon which we lie and rely....

Psalm 42:5

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I praise you...

(First off, my friend, who is not nearly as articulate or as bright as I, is writing this entry since my own writing skills are hopefully only temporarily diminished ;>)...don't believe --she is wonderful...i wrote my blog and my friend typed this and transferred this to my blog...

Because of a newly discovered tumor in my brain that bled out Sunday, I can't write, spell, or read very well now. I really miss reading my bible already, but I do have a copy on CD that is helpful.
I have surgery to remove the tumor Tuesday. The good news is, it is operable, and the damage that has been done appears to be from the bleeding rather than the tumor itself. The neurosurgeon thinks the tumor can be removed completely and easily, and he is confident that it is the same cancer that we've been treating in my liver.
Its possible that I won't regain any coherency at all that would allow me to read very much at a time or write with consistency, but with lots of prayer and therapy, if its God's will, I may be able to relearn what has been lost. It may be that my peripheral vision is damaged, which the therapy could help as well. Please pray with me that such is the case.
As far as my chemotherapy for the liver tumors go, thats all on hold now until this new situation is addressed. So no more chemo until further notice.
I'm trying to be very honest and candid with my feelings as I established when starting this blog months ago primarily because I want others who are suffering with cancer and all the side effects of treatment to be comforted in understanding and knowing that they are not alone. The truth is, after coming home from the doctor Tuesday with the bad news, I screamed, I cried, I cowered in John's arms. I railed against life and the reality that we are being cheated out of joy in our lives and our living by this disease. I've no anger towards God, but I'm very angry at the cancer.
Now I've a 91 year old cousin who has newly been diagnosed with a blood cancer...more sorrow and sadness in our family.

Psalm 139:13-14,16
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

I've quoted these verses many times. They are some of my favorites because they faithfully remind me that God is in control, he knows our days before we begin them, and God will fulfill each and every promise that he is made to us. He is ever faithful.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I guess you have wondered why I cannot spell...I found out today I have a brain tumor, the same cancer that is in my liver and it had a bleed on sunday...the doctor did an mri today and hopefully will see the neurosurgeon tomorrow and have the surgery the first of next week. John is helping me write and seeing my mistakes as I go along. The main symptom was inability to read and compute!
Please pray for this surgery and for God who is still in control.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Lord is my rock...

Well, chemo tomorrow, A friend at church is seriously ill with cancer complications..I hate this disease and how it robs us of our time . Our new baby is not here yet, but any day now with our hext "great". "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my Lord is my rock, in whom I will trust." Psalm 18:2
Please Lord, keep me positive!

I am grateful that the 3/4 chemo is not as harsh, and after tomorrow, I have a week off before chemo. This is the week I enjoy eating, and food tastes better.
A friend told me she grew up with her father killing hogs, making sausage, and all the farm things. We neither one knew this about each other until I put this on here and now we can share this growing up time.
The very cold time of year is here and yet in about six weeks, we will begin to see dafocitts coming up...there is always that promise of spring..also the promise of healing and redemption. Praise God!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I have had a headache so mad, I could not see...a migraine?? I have maybe had three or four headaches in my entire life, so I am not one to qualify headache strength, but was around a 10 on the bane register. I see the doctor tomorrow and need to see what on earth brought this on! I got to go to church today, not Sunday school, too many people to talk to and avoid hugs. I am still nauseous, even taking the Zorana, and another chemo coming up in two days. I must not get discouraged! Jeremiah 1:5 says " before I formed you in the womb I knew you...: O, God, heal so many friends who are battling this cancer and heal me also.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Then He went down to Capernaum..."

This week I read and saw on TV a "dig" in Nazareth, showing a house foundation of the time of Jesus. This foundation was found in the middle of what is now a city, then a village--nothing like we picture in our minds. When we were in the Holy Land, in Israel in 1995, we saw the foundation of what is said to be Peter's house, right beside the Sea of Galilee. We also saw the floor and foundation of a synagogue of Jesus' earthly time period. We went up to Meggido and saw where Solomon's horses were stabled and saw stone mangers, which may be similar to Jesus' first "cradle". I sat on the steps of the old temple in Jerusalem (all that remains) and rubbed my hand over the steps and thought, "Jesus walked right here---at one time, His feet were on these very steps!"These of course are only a few of many things seen and experienced, but they stand out because of knowing, biblical, that Jesus was in these exact locations! I guess I am on another memory trip!
Today was another day of mixed blessings, seeing cousins from out of town and feeling the sorrow and loss of a family member.I am still feeling the nausea and tiredness, taste coming back somewhat. I was told by a church friend that I may inadvertently offended some people by telling everyone not to get too near me. I am so afraid, and rightly so, of getting any infection, especially since I was deathly ill two weeks ago. So I tell others "no hugs" and use lots of hand sanitizers, and unless a person has been in this situation, they don't realize the dangers involved in picking up bacteria when one (like me) has few red and white blood cells to fight infection. So if I have offended anyone, I apologize and pray for your understanding.
So, then " He (Jesus) went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people..." Luke 4:31

Friday, January 1, 2010

Feeling bad again

This chemo is so insidious, you feel good one day then the next, for no reason, it knocks you down again!Maybe I am emotional because of my cousin's death yesterday, but today, I have been nauseous, more than usual. My hands and feet are cracking (could be the really cold weather), and inside my mouth is sore. I just don't feel good! However I have been busy, sewing on two great granddaughters' dresses....One for the five year old and a baby gown for the newest one, due any day now. I have written cards for some of our friends who also have cancer, and the list is growing! I did not, could not, had NO energy for sending Christmas cards this year, and I feel so guilty, because we received so many beautiful cards and I feel so blessed to be remembered so nicely. So I am in a quandary, wanting to do as always, trying to do some of what I always did and just collapsing most of the time and doing NOTHING! I just hate being less than what I used to be--full of energy, getting things done on time, making lists and marking things off my list as I did them. Now I don't have the energy to even make a list, let along do much on such a list! In my Bible, beside of
Psalm 30:8-10, I have written "when God healed my cancer"...written the last bout I had and He healed me for a period of time. I would like to claim these verses again and write beside these verses, "God healed me again"!
"To you, O Lord,I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy; What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help."