Benefits

We received word the first week of December that there was insurance money on Dad. When Chris called, they said it would be 2.5-3 weeks for them to process it and 2.5-3 weeks for the insurance company to process it.

When Chris called back, they said they sent it to the insurance company on Dec. 24, exactly three weeks later.

Okay. It’s the Christmas holidays. I don’t actually believe that the three weeks will apply now.

Jan. 6 the insurance company mails me a letter saying they have all the information and will begin processing the check.

I wait three more weeks from Jan. 6 to call them back.

Today when I called them, they said they contacted the company on Jan. 8 because they need to know if Dad actually worked for the insurance company long enough for the insurance to be viable. The insurance person said that on Jan. 11th, the company wrote back and said they would check into it.

Today is Jan. 28. She said she has not heard from the company.

So I called the company back (I had just called) and shared the information from the insurance company. The woman from Dad’s employer wasn’t happy, but neither was I.

First, Dad can’t be the first person to die insured from this company. So why didn’t they send the info to start with? If they did, why didn’t they immediately re-send it when insurance company either lost it or didn’t receive it?

So it is now 5 weeks from when the insurance information started and it looks like it will be another three weeks.

Plus, the IRA that was supposed to be finished yesterday is now “next week.”

I wouldn’t have this money if my father hadn’t died. I would give it all back to have him here. But he isn’t here and I don’t want to think about it any more. Please. Just get it done so that I don’t have to fill out any more paperwork, get any more signatures notarized, and once again receive a faux sympathy note from some company who doesn’t want to do the work they took Dad’s money to do.

Dream House

Found a remodel project that could have been my dream home–mostly untouched (though some ugly stuff) for 90 years… But the lady they brought in to do the auction bid it out from under me.

Here are pictures of what I would like… Though I didn’t know I would love the sleeping porch, but I did.

These are all from different restored Craftsmen.

Craftsman 6

Craftsman 5

Craftsman 4

Craftsman 3

Craftsman 2

Craftsman 1

craftsman kitchen detroit

This is from a Victorian (later) home, that just needs the fussiness reduced:
1916 Victorian dining rm take out ornate = beautiful

And this is a Tudor Revival that has the same sort of feel:
1916 Tudor revival like

KC said that there are LOTS of homes in Abilene that have this and aren’t painted. They have friends two blocks down from N3 house that bought cheap and put $100K into the house… It’s not finished yet, but she said it is beautiful. So there is hope.

Dream house wish list:
Craftsman or Craftsman-type
Should be well-built
Door frames not painted, wainscoting not painted, trim not painted.
hardwood floors, at least recoverable.
unpainted built-ins with leaded glass or some kind of cool glass.
Original fireplaces and/or originally updated gas fireplaces work.
Original windows and storm windows.
At least 10 ft ceilings (probably not going to find higher in a Craftsman)
Prefer:
red color (mahogany?) over oak, though oak is nice.
Trim that is more detailed
Sleeping porch (converted or not)
Cool outside details
Grand, eye-catching
General house:
4 bedrooms (at least)
lots of closets and/or big closets
at least two bathrooms, preferably large (which would be unusual)
2 car garage
large kitchen with gas
room that would be a good/great media room
open living/dining (and preferably kitchen, but I can deal)—big enough for all our furniture easily and a bit more
big pantry
good size yard with mature trees, preferably a mix of live oak and pecan
good neighborhood

Cleaning and the Kitchen

I suggested to Ron that we go through the kitchen and give away, throw away, and rehouse everything. He said it would take multiple days and he wasn’t up for that. I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t be. Just because my office and the media room are covered in things I’ve been “tidying” he thinks it will happen again?

Yes, he’s right. I’m not working on but I am thinking about my office.

Tidying

I need to clean up the house. I need to get rid of stuff. It is starting to stress me out to the max, but the idea of actually doing it is also freaking me out.

I wonder if I could find someone to come do it with me?

Today I spent most of the time doing Toastmasters and then driving around looking at potential home sites with Ron, even though we won’t be moving for quite a while.

I have hours, but I just can’t bear to deal with it. Maybe if I just hired someone to take it all away?

Weight and Measurements: A History of Mine

WEIGHT
Lowest/Highest
The lowest weight I have on record was 9/04 at 154.8. This was after another week (back) on BFL, 100 days on QWLC, following 48 weeks of BFL, and 12 or 15 weeks of Physique Transformation.

The highest weight I can find is 179/180 which is from 2012. But that’s also where I was (unrecorded) at the middle of November of 20015.

So 170s appears to be my “I can’t take it; gotta get it off” weight. My sticking/set point appears to have been 154/155.

154/155 is my lowest weight in 21 years.

I am within 14 pounds of that, which does not seem to be a stretch for do-able. But maybe the weight is just way slower than I think. … Looking at the 154 as my lowest weight, I must have been almost 200 when I started BFL. (I know I gained weight and never really got down low on Physique transformation.)

2002/2003:
Looking for measurements and weight on this blog, I found some the end results of my BFL experience from 2002/2003.
January 26, 2003
After 44 weeks on BFL and having lost a final count of 42 pounds and 27 inches, I am bailing. I’ve been losing muscle, not fat, in the last few weeks and nothing I could do would change it.

On BFL I lost 45 pounds of fat in 42 weeks or 40 pounds in 48 weeks. (It depends on whether you look at the end or where I lost the most.)

2004:

On October 6, 2004, I weighed 155.8. (That was after being off BFL for over a year.)

In 2008, looking through my paper reports I wrote:
My lowest weight in the last 12 years was in September of 2004 when I weighed 154.8 after 100 days on QWLC and a week [back] on BFL… Maybe to get the best weight loss, I need to cycle through the diets.

2008:
March 17, 2008 176.8

2015:
I started on the ketogenic diet with my measurements at 43-37-43 and with my weight at 176.6.

Two weeks and 7.7 pounds later (168.9), I am at 41-36.75-42.75, so all the weight loss appears to be in my bust. However, my new bras still fit well, so I am not too distressed at that. It may mean, however, that I need to wait to purchase more bras until another month or two into the program.

MEASUREMENTS
2008:
March 17, 2008- Happy St. Patrick’s day to ya’, darlin’.
176.8 43.9% fat (78 lbs)
I need to go get my measurements.
43-34-43 My waist is bigger than my ribs. (So that 34 was probably my belly button)
th 23.5 calf 15 upper arm 13.5 wrist 6.75 neck 14

2012:
Looking at “measurements” in my phone, I find that in 2012 I was on a diet. These measurements are from July and August.

The first two weeks (7/16/12-7/27/12), I lost 4.55 inches, but I had not written my measurements into my phone at that point.

On July 27, 2012 my measurements were
40.75 breasts
33.5 under ribs
38.25 belly button (which is the widest spot)
42.5 hips
13.8 upper arm
22.75 thigh
14.75 calf

I would guess that quite a bit of the measurement were off the breasts, but some off the other points. That is just guessing.

July 22, 2012 my weight was recorded at 176. This was in the middle of the first two weeks (mentioned above). I would guess that my weight was probably 179 or 180 when I started. That is only a guess though.

19 days later the measurements (August 20, 2012) were
39 breasts
32.75 under ribs
35.5 belly button
42 hip

At that point I was obviously lifting weights, because my arm and thighs went up and my calves, which went up in the interim, were back down to 14.75.

2013:
In November of 2013, I took measurements.
40.5 breasts
33 under ribs
35.75 belly buton
41.25 hips
13.5 arm
22.75 thigh
15 calf

I don’t know what my weight was.

2014:
July 20, 2014, when we had been in the UK for two months, I also took measurements.
41 breasts
35.5 under ribs
41 belly button
43 hips
24 thigh
15.5 calf

I am surprised that my belly was so large. That is quite a bit larger than I have been in years. Note that my breasts are smaller than my hips, which usually indicates I have been dieting or doing a lot of exercise. That’s a big belly.

I was a solid size 12 (16 UK) when we were in Holloway (London) at the end of our stay.

Based on the fact that we were doing quite a bit of walking, I would guess that the leg measurements are due to increased muscle.

2015:
November 30, 2015 are the first measurements I took this year. (Though the week before I had weighed 179.6.)
43 breasts
37 mid-belly (which is close to the belly button but not exactly, maybe a quarter of an inch difference)
43

Today (12/13/15) I took new measurements.
41 breasts
35 under ribs
36.75 mid belly
42.75 hips
13 arm
23/21 thigh (at largest and smallest)
15 calf
weight: (which was not recorded on some of the others) 168.9

Hip and breasts are very close today (12/13/15) to the measurements I took in England (7/20/14).

Ketogenic Diet

We’ve been on a ketogenic diet (or trying to be on one) for 2 weeks now. I have been looking at research into ketogenic diets, which still includes “high protein,” though the diet we are on limits ideal protein intake to 20% of calories. (Same for the carbs.)

This meta-analysis shows that a ketogenic diet improves the human body.

It lowers diabetic incidence.
It lowers epileptic seizure.
It encourages weight loss.
It lowers problems related to Alzheimer’s.
It reduces autism.

At two weeks on a (mostly) ketogenic diet, I have lost 7.7 pounds. I had lost 3 pounds the week before we started (which was Thanksgiving week); I attribute this to being at my in-laws and just eating less in general.

TMI: I slept in and after lunch today I had two large bowel movements, which lead me to believe that had they preceded lunch, I would have registered more weight loss.

Inches lost remains minimal in areas of interest.

I read somewhere related to Dr. D’Agostino (probably the keto-diet resource) that exercise is 20% of the change in body and diet is 80%. That has definitely been my experience.

December Thanks

Dec. 1
I am grateful for the internet, where I can see how friends and their kiddos are doing, look up calorie counts, and browse real estate. It can be fun, relaxing, and calming–in addition to other, less positive, attributes.

Dec. 3
I appreciate how much my students care. They have a lot of zeal.

Dec. 4
I am so grateful for second chances. I know that none of us is perfect; certainly I am not. And sometimes I don’t want to give second chances. I don’t want to regrade that paper because student wasn’t paying attention in class before the paper was written and therefore will get a 0 for not citing any of their sources. But I will. And I will be grateful that I can give second chances. I am grateful that many someones over the years have given me second chances.

November Thanks from FB

I am grateful to be with family over the holidays and to know that my dog is in good hands at home. I am grateful that not all the trees here had lost their leaves and I was able to see a bunch of beautiful autumn colors today as Ron Davis and I drove around NW Arkansas for about an hour. I am grateful for good food and football–especially since we got near malls, but everyone was home because the Razorbacks were playing.
I am grateful that I know what real love looks like and that I have seen so many other couples who love each other, too. (Link to What Real Love Looks Like.)

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Facebook friends, near and far. May the blessings you have received in the past year shine brightly in your memory this day. Thank you for being my friends!

Grateful for the opportunity to play board games with my family. We played several rounds of Splendor, Kim B! Thanks for the introduction.

I am grateful for a safe trip to Arkansas and in-laws who are blessings.

I am grateful for people who stand for right and compassion. Please, God, give me more compassion and the strength to stand up for what is right.

I am grateful for freedom of religion and assembly, for church and supper clubs, for sharing meals with folks and friends. (We had supper club that evening. It was awesome.)

Missed 21st.

I am grateful for my siblings. Chris calls me at least once a week–and often every day. Stephanie always opens her home for me to stay at, even when I don’t have time to hang out with her. Jeanna is such a caring, giving person–she took care of our folks when they were ill. Thank you, God, for sending me three great folks to call family.

I am grateful for students who are interested in doing well, who work hard throughout the semester, and come into the final weeks with a strong record behind them. I am also grateful for students who are less interested–or less knowledgable in how to do well–who continue working and come in for help so that they can finish strong. I guess I am grateful to have students. I have such awesome ones.

I am grateful for my husband, who listens when I want to talk, cheers me up when I am blue, holds me, encourages me, and generally walks beside me. I am grateful for MAD and EJ, the two sons that God gifted me with 23 and 24 years ago. I am grateful for my family and the wonderful memories that I have of the boys growing up.

I am grateful for rain–and the lack of it while walking the dog this morning, a dog to walk, a warm house to come home to, healthy and tasty food to eat (and the sugary really bad for you stuff, too), nice clothes, and a job I love. Thank you, God, for the blessings you have filled my life with.

Three sets of my students from my business writing class participated in the final rounds of Springboard’s Elevator Pitch. All of them did a good job. Two of the groups won cash prizes.

Missed 15, 14, 13, 12.

Honoring all who served… Special thanks. To all the veterans who have served this country, I give my thanks.
Thank you, God, for a wonderful place to live with freedom of speech, religion, assembly, press..

I am grateful for my bunko group–and our regular subs, like Stephanie Hamm. Thank you, God, for my friends and sisters in bunko.
Thank you for your service. Happy birthday, Marines.

I am grateful for the friends who made my transition back to Abilene a blessing: KLC, MD, and DJW. I’ve enjoyed working with y’all.

My sister Jeanna’s birthday. I am thankful for all three of my siblings: Chris, Jeanna, and Stephanie.

Ethnos was AWESOME!

Today I am grateful for my boys who ate lunch with me at Pizza Hut.

I am especially grateful today for five dear, close friends who have supported me throughout the years: KB, AB, AC, BG, and PM.

I love fall. I miss forests of trees in burnt oranges, burgundies, scarlets, and golds. One thing I am grateful for is that the trees were turning when we were in Flagstaff.
I am grateful for my nephew, Ashton, and my three nieces, Emily, Reagan, and Aby. KVT, when you see the Houston three, please give them hugs for me.

On this third of November, a month of blessings among all the years of blessings, I am grateful for a comfortable bed, a cool pillow, and a sexy man to sleep with. Thank you, God.

For dia de los muertos, and the month of thanksgiving, I am remembering those who have gone on before.
My great-grandmother Rill who taught me Psalm 117 when I was two years old and let me dip crackers in my hot tea at the Chinese restaurant.
My grandma Helen who had a basement full of art supplies. Even though I rarely found anything I could use, I loved to investigate her treasures, and she was always willing to let me.
My grandma Haston would make a 10-pound bag of potatoes for my brother and I for breakfast. (This was before I knew about my nightshade allergies.)
My great-grandfather Ben who bought me a yarn and cloth doll with blond hair, blue eyes, and a blue dress.
My grampa Guy whose rough voice and hands were gentle talking to the grands. I loved cigar smoke because of Grampa Guy.
My uncle Guy who would carry us around on his shoulders and let us be 8 feet tall.
My great-grandmother Lee, the granddaughter of Annie Fisher, Cherokee from the Trail of Tears, and how quiet she was when we visited her.
My grampa Haston who said “a whistling woman and a crowing hen will always come to no good end.” So far, I’ve avoided that prophecy! He would pick cherries and give us some straight out of the bucket. Same for grapes. I remember him tipping his coffee into his saucer and drinking it from there. I loved pipe smoke because of Grampa Haston.
Oma White, who I know was waiting for Momma when she arrived.
Bee Shaver who was also there, waiting to welcome my parents home.
I’m old enough now that I could write a long time on this post. Mostly though, I just wanted to say, thank you, God, for sending me folks to love me throughout my life who have marked the trail ahead of me and let me know that while the passage isn’t always comfortable, it is a journey worth completing.

November 1, All Saints’ Day. I am thankful for my parents–Mom and Dad–who have been gone 6 years and 2 weeks… I am thankful that God gave them to me and me to them. I am thankful that they were with me for so long (though it feels too short). I am thankful for photographs with them in it, my father’s journals, my mother’s firm belief in God and his willingness to answer our prayers. Thank you, God, for all the saints who have gone before us–especially our parents.

Nov 2 Thanks

Barnstar_Día_de_los_muertos Ph03nix1986 WC CC4For dia de los muertos, and the month of thanksgiving, I am remembering those who have gone on before.

My great-grandmother Rill who taught me Psalm 117 when I was two years old and let me dip crackers in my hot tea at the Chinese restaurant.

My grandma Helen who had a basement full of art supplies. Even though I rarely found anything I could use, I loved to investigate her treasures, and she was always willing to let me.

My grandma Haston would make a 10-pound bag of potatoes for my brother and I for breakfast. (This was before I knew about my nightshade allergies.)

My great-grandfather Ben who bought me a yarn and cloth doll with blond hair, blue eyes, and a blue dress.

My grampa Guy whose rough voice and hands were gentle talking to the grands. I loved cigar smoke because of Grampa Guy.

My uncle Guy who would carry us around on his shoulders and let us be 8 feet tall.

My great-grandmother Lee, the granddaughter of Annie Fisher, Cherokee from the Trail of Tears, and how quiet she was when we visited her.

My grampa Haston who said “a whistling woman and a crowing hen will always come to no good end.” So far, I’ve avoided that prophecy! He would pick cherries and give us some straight out of the bucket. Same for grapes. I remember him tipping his coffee into his saucer and drinking it from there. I loved pipe smoke because of Grampa Haston.

Oma White, who I know was waiting for Momma when she arrived.

Bee Shaver who was also there, waiting to welcome my parents home.

I’m old enough now that I could write a long time on this post. Mostly though, I just wanted to say, thank you, God, for sending me folks to love me throughout my life who have marked the trail ahead of me and let me know that while the passage isn’t always comfortable, it is a journey worth completing.

Dying and Funeral

This is for my children, Micah and Elijah.

First, and you both know this, if any of my organs are usable, have them take my organs.

Second, if they can’t take my organs, see if you can donate my body. Science Care will/may take my body. If they do, they will provide the cremation for free. (They may not. Body condition/illnesses must match current research.)

Only if this mortal coil I’ve shuffled out of cannot be donated should you simply cremate me.

What I want when I am dying:
I would like y’all to be there, but you don’t have to stay 24/7. If it is too stressful, feel free to leave. I love you and always will. I have spent a lot of my life without you and I will be okay without you at the end, if I need to be. Please know, though, that if I had the choice, I would have you with me because I love you.

If anyone wants to come see me, let them. Let them come. Let them talk. Let them stay. Even if they yell at me, let them. If someone is making you upset, though, you can ask them to let me rest. It’s not worth your pain to let someone else do that.

I would say you could go through my phone and text all the people on it. What would be a sample text you could just copy and paste?
My mother, S… H… D…, is dying. You are in her phone list. If you would like to see her, she is at XXX. You may come XXX. If you cannot come or do not desire to, please remember us in your prayers during this difficult time.

When I am dying, don’t just stare at me. Feel free to talk to me. That doesn’t mean you have to talk to me the whole time, but the watching television instead of the family talking–I don’t want that. The long hours of someone staring without saying anything, nah, I’ll pass. Music is okay if you don’t have anything to say. Reggae or your dad’s country and Christian playlists. Maybe his happy playlist, if you can stand that.

You can have conversations with others while I am there. I’d even like it if you had good things to say about me, but the topic of conversation does not have to be me.

Please don’t talk about my care without talking to me–even if I can’t answer you. I probably want to know what you are thinking and doing.

For my funeral or memorial service:
I expect to be cremated, but that is not a requirement. Do whatever you need to do.

Mom (Gram) had Grama Bunny embalmed, pre-cremation, and you boys, me, Mom, and Oma White went to the funeral home and had a service. We sang songs from church and other songs you wanted to sing. Elijah said it wasn’t a very good statue of Grama Bunny because it wasn’t missing a toe. Gram slipped Grama’s shoe off and showed y’all that it was missing. Elijah did not like that. I think he did know it was Grama Bunny and she was dead and thinking of her as a statue had been easier–but that is just what I think because he never said. Songs I think we sang included Jesus Loves Me and the Barney song–“I love you. You love me. We’re a happy family, with a great big hug and a kiss from me to you. Won’t you say you love me too?”

If you want to have me embalmed, fine.

Otherwise skip it. It costs more money. (Well, if I am going to be cremated. If you decide to bury me, don’t skip it. If you do, the body will stink soon.)

From my own experience, I believe a funeral or a memorial would be easier than not having one. If you have one, folks can write down what they want said and have someone who doesn’t know me read it. I’m okay with that. I just don’t want an impersonal funeral/memorial. But I also don’t want anyone trying to talk who can’t or doesn’t want to.

I don’t want all white flowers, if you have any flowers at all. I like bright colors–yellow roses, orange day lilies (or anything else), hot pink and purple are good too. If they have delphinium (the blue flowers I gave Dad and Mom for their funeral) that would be fine. Or lilies of the valley, if they are in season. Do NOT order flowers that are out of season for my funeral. Too much money. You don’t have to have flowers. Just that folks send them, so you might.

Songs:
Your Dad wanted Billy Sprague’s What a Way To Go and that’s a good song. I would not mind it.

My favorite song recently has been How Great Thou Art.
I also always liked “I Come to the Garden Alone.”

While Dad (Grampa) was dying, “I Can Only Imagine” came on the radio. That made sense to me and I’ve been singing it a lot since then. I’m okay with a song on the phone (or whatever tech we have then), as long as it’s a fairly standard rendition. Make sure people can recognize the songs.

While Grampa was dying, “It’s Just My Temporary Home” came on. That is somewhat apropos, but so sad. That’s not what I want.

My favorite song of that topic is, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” I learned in in West Virginia at a youth meeting when my family lived in North Carolina, maybe 1975.

Chris’ favorite song used to be “Low in the Grave He Lay.”
Grama Haston (Pa’s mom) used to sing “I’ll Fly Away” when she was sweeping.
Grama Jenn, my mom, liked “Safe in the Arms of Jesus” for funerals.
Grampa liked the song “Just a Few More Days.”
I would love to have a bagpipe rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Uncle Chris played one right after Grama died.

I like singing, though. Many of my favorite memories of growing up and churches involve singing. I’ve thought about trying to put a timeline of my life together via song, and I think I could do it, but I also think it would take more effort than I have the energy for right now. (I can’t sleep and it is 3 am less than 10 days after Grama and Grampa’s funeral. Really I should be grading, since I’m up anyway, but I don’t want to do that.)

Favorite verses?
“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me and I will listen. You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with your whole heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

I John 4:7-21
I used that, along with some verses from John, in a Bible reading I did in a contest at Bandina Christian Camp when I was 10 or 11 and we lived in Corpus Christi. I won the contest. But I’ve always loved John’s writings.

Favorite memories:
Too many to list.

When Micah was a little baby, people would hold him and pat him on the back. So he learned to pat us on the back. We’d pick him up and put him against our shoulder and his little hand would come out and pat our back. Such a sweet baby (and boy and man).

When Elijah was about two, I was really upset about something–I have no idea what–and I was crying, but trying not to upset the boys. Elijah came up and asked me what was wrong. “Mommy’s just sad,” I said. He climbed up into my lap. “Mommy, don’t be sad. I’s a good boy,” Elijah told me. He patted my cheek.

I guess I liked the boys patting me!

I will try to come back to these some time, but if I don’t manage it, know that I have many memories I am so grateful for having held on to and probably many more that were wonderful that I don’t remember.

You were loved and you loved me.

November Thanks

November 1, All Saints’ Day. I am thankful for my parents–Mom and Dad–who have been gone 6 years and 2 weeks… I am thankful that God gave them to me and me to them. I am thankful that they were with me for so long (though it feels too short). I am thankful for photographs with them in it, my father’s journals, my mother’s firm belief in God and his willingness to answer our prayers. Thank you, God, for all the saints who have gone before us–especially our parents.

Folks Notes on FB

There were 100+ more. These are just the ones that either talked about my folks or from folks who knew them.

October 1
Sherry: I’m so thankful you’ve had these past months with him nearby. I’m sorry your family is having to go through this time. I love you.

Susan: I bless your grieving heart, Suanna. Hugging you from afar. Jesus, surprise Suanna and her dad with your grace and peace. Assign ministering angels to deal with the pain and terror of reduced lung capacity.

Paula: Glad you made it there.

October 7
Rex: I remember many visits with you and them when I was new to Houston.

Karen: What’s your teaching schedule? How can I help? I teach MWF 10 & 1; TR 9:30, 12:00, & 1:30.

October 16
Ted: I believe they are quite proud of you and I know you are a great source of encouragement and love to your entire family.

Dora: so sorry to hear of your loss. I am very glad you were with him through all this. You are a good daughter and yes missing your Dad will be hard. Thinking of you.

Heidi: Good words escape me right now. Celebrate what was good, let go of the mundane and bad. Ponder the goodness of the ordinary and seek to flourish as I know they would want. You are deeply loved still, and they would want you to cherish that. I will lift you and yours up to God.

Rachel M from KW: Praying for your family. I hope that getting together you can all smile, laugh and cry as you reflect on the memories that made him the man & father you respect so much.

Leslie: Your family was so kind to me in high school. Your mother was an angel then, driving us like 10 hours to watch that basketball game. She never seemed overwhelmed she just kept smiling and moving. Your dad was so quiet, I only heard a few loving words he said to you all…You were blessed with a wonderfully warm and generous set of parents. I know you miss them, but I am so grateful for how they raised you all to be so open and generous with your friendships. I am sad for your loss, but I know he isn’t hurting any longer, and that is a blessing. I wish you had more time with them both. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Bev: I am so glad you were able to spend his last days with him. Continuing to pray for you and your family.

October 22

Rex: I love you tons, and will always remember your parents fondly.

Paula: That made me cry to see the pic Suanna. My prayers were with you all day. Especially at sunset.

October 23

Gail: Suanna is funny, smart, beautiful and most of all, a believer in God and Jesus. she homeschooled her boys for years, i tried it for five minutes. what else could parents want? smile emoticon

Susan: I didn’t have the pleasure of getting to know them personally, it I figured they had to have been pretty potent people to produce such a witty person as Suanna. Ron’s words helped bring them to life for me.

Kristy Vick: Very well said and so accurate. Two very precious people I had the privilege of knowing.

Denise Wolfe: WOW! I cried and I never meet them.

For a Meeting

Al asked me to present to students on a book that had made an impact on my life and a difficulty I was facing. Obviously, my dad’s death would be the main difficulty/challenge recently.

I wrote stuff down so I could stay within the time limit and not cry.

A recent challenge is that I became an orphan. My father died two weeks ago. We buried both my parents last Thursday. How am I dealing with it? In the best ways I know how. I am doing little things that remind me of them but don’t make me cry. This necklace is one my father purchased for me on an international trip when I was in high school. These earrings were my graduation gift when I got my PhD. When I was about 13 years old I said I wanted emeralds and my mother remembered.

Truthfully I’m sad and lonesome and my brain doesn’t concentrate. I am making notes and setting alarms for everything. I’m issuing lots of apologies, working long hours to catch up with the time I was gone when my father went on hospice, and mostly ignoring the loss.

Other professor friends have told me that I’ll slow down over Christmas and it will hit me then. To tell you the truth that terrifies me; if it is going to be worse over the holidays, I may become a hermit.

Husband’s Eulogy

Ron’s eulogy for my folks.

Today we buried my wife’s parents in Flagstaff Arizona. These are the words I would like to have said at the service, but I can’t even think them without crying. There is no way I could have said them.

My favorite memories of Cleo and Jennifer show their humor. Cleo constantly joked with wait staff at the many restaurant meals we shared. They’d ask “Is there any thing else I can get you?”

He’d always – to the point of annoyance sometimes – answer “Money?”

My favorite story of Jennifer I didn’t experience directly but heard later, probably from Cleo. On one of the many trips the two of them took together they were on a beach. She noticed him check out a bikini clad woman walking along the shore and said, “Cleo, the only way you could get that girl was if you chased her down waving your W2.”

I was reminded of him at church last week when I noticed a woman in the aisle barefoot. Cleo once commented to someone who asked what Suanna and I’s church was like after he visited.

“No one at their church wears shoes.”

Which for Hope Chapel in Austin was funny but only half true.

The most important thing Cleo and Jennifer did for me though was to raise a daughter who knows how to be a better wife than I deserve. Their relationship taught her that life together isn’t always easy. You don’t always get along. You aren’t perfect toward each other.

But you approach life together. You try to make each other and everyone else laugh. You make the best of the bad times and in the end you are always there for each other.

And when you pass on, they take your bodies, turn them to ashes. Mingle those ashes together. Encase them in stone. And bury them in the ground side by side.

Then for as long as this planet circles its star the two of you will always be together.

Gone…

Three weeks ago today a radiologist said to my father, “You should get this checked out. It might be lymphoma.” Two weeks and two days ago I got a call that said to come now if I wanted to see Dad before he died. It was his 75th birthday. Three days ago I was with my father when he died.

Death was not swift, despite this timeline. He was ill for quite a while when we did not know what was wrong–even though he had pains and we went to a myriad of doctors.

I will miss Dad.

The funeral for both my parents will be next week in Flagstaff, Arizona, where my mother grew up.

Dad’s Last Days

Dad went home to hospice on October 8, nine days after being admitted to the hospital. Uncle Jimmy got to see him before he left.

Monday, October 12
Dad is far more talkative today.

When Steph was out sleeping, I just laid next to him and talked about whatever came to mind. Dad said, “Will you please stop talking?” I guess he is more like Steph than I thought.

Later on he asked me to give him a kiss.

“Give me another kiss, please.”

“Will you hold my hand?”

“Will you comb my hair?” That was addressed to Stephanie.

Dad had been trying to get up every half an hour with Stephanie (and literally every 5 minutes that morning). “It hurts laying down.”

I told him that I would help him sit up, but that he could not try to get up.

Almost as soon as he sat up, he tried to get up off the bed.

I was pleading with him. I told him I couldn’t help him. He couldn’t stand on his own. We would both fall down. One of us might get broken and it would probably be me. Then he’d be stuck trying to get help when he could not talk loud or move. It would be terrible. He stopped fighting me on that.

I sat up holding him for two hours.

They changed Dad’s meds this morning and he gets one every hour.

Steph had given up trying to sleep and come back into Dad’s apartment around 9 or so. Then she fell asleep.

I needed Dad’s medicine, but I didn’t want to wake her up to ask her to get it.

So I asked Daddy if he would lie down and not try to get up while I went to get his medicine so Stephie could sleep. He said, “Yes.” That was his last word.

That afternoon, around 4, Dad was cool and Mark remarked on it. Steph said he would get hot if we put a blanket on him. We did it anyway because he was cold at the time.

I went and got dinner, ate it.

Went back into the room and Dad was sweating, hot. I told Steph. (For the first time in two weeks she hadn’t been sitting staring at him, but had been reading a book.) She said, “I told you not to put a blanket on him.” I said, “four hours ago!” (But I don’t think he was that hot when I came in with dinner, so it had only been a little while, really.)

Dad was having trouble breathing. His eyes were bugged out. Steph didn’t realize (see above). We moved him around and Stephanie kept saying, “It’s okay, Dad. You can rest.” and petting his arm.

I was holding his other arm and touching his cheek and giving him kisses.

After about 2 hours (why everything in 2 hours today?) Dad calmed down and was breathing better.

Steph got on the bed to rest.

I pulled the couch pillows down and laid on the floor, holding onto Dad’s foot, so he would know I was there.

Jeanna came in around 12:30 and sent us both to bed. I thought Dad might be gone before we got up. He wasn’t.

Hospice

Dad is going on hospice Friday (ASAP for MD Anderson). He has non-remittable bone cancer, in addition to the lymphoma, and they think he has a third kind. Some other stick test being done for that, but will take a week to come back. Why? Because inquiring minds want to know, apparently.

Please pray for my dad and for our family.

I am working on arranging to be off next week. Pray for all the folks who are helping me with that.

Dad

Wednesday was Dad’s 75th birthday. Tuesday night I was wishing that it fell on a Saturday, so I could get there to see him on his birthday.

Wednesday morning I started getting texts from Stephanie. Dad had been up from 3 to 6:30 and wasn’t lucid. He was talking about hoeing cotton, something he hadn’t done in over 50 years.

At some point, early on, Stephanie said to come in because she didn’t think Dad was going to survive. I got through my two morning classes, having told them what was going on, handed the tests over to Kori to do for Friday, canceled my two T/R classes, and started to go to the house to pack.

Ron had texted me that Micah was coming with us. I called Micah to see if I could pick him up. He said he hadn’t packed yet. I said I would wait. He told me he was taking that OT test for grad school. So I hung up.

Went home. Packed. Ron arrived from getting his car cleaned out. I told him that Micah was in a test. He told me to go on without them and they would follow. I asked him to get me lunch so I could finish sending emails to students. He did. We ate together and I started driving to Houston.

I left around noon and I got there around 6. The traffic wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible either.

On the way Steph had sent a text saying Dad was in the ER at MD Anderson. Went straight to MD Anderson. Dad had been given an IV and was more lucid. I asked if he had been dehydrated. She said no.

That morning, sometime, the hospital had called with Dad’s diagnosis from the biopsy on Monday. They said he has diffused large high grade B-Cell lymphoma.

The lymphoma doc kept saying 80% cure rate, but she didn’t even know Dad had had a stroke or that his kidneys weren’t functioning or any of that.


Yesterday the texts were that
Dad has to have another biopsy because MDA says the biopsy wasn’t big enough.
Dad may die from the chemo.
If they do chemo, he might live for as much as 5 months.
If they don’t do chemo, he will die within 2 weeks.

I am not sure why that has changed. Did the lymphoma doctor finally start saying that? Or what?