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.

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?

Rabies

Because worrying about my dad isn’t enough… My brother was bitten by a raccoon and has now been waiting four hours at the ER for a rabies shot. Please pray they get him one soon. The CDC says he should have a shot “right away.”

Update: After 5 hours, he got the shot. Thank you, God!

Dad’s Cancer

My dad has B cell diffused Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Supposedly usually curable, but he also has double pneumonia, he has at least 3 of the contra-indicators, and his has been diagnosed (but not by MDAnderson yet) as high grade, which can mean it has spread.

They checked his heart yesterday. No news on that. His kidneys are not functioning. They did a renal ultrasound yesterday. Have not heard on that. Today is a bone marrow test and PET scan.

MDA has requested the specimen Hermann SW got in the biopsy Monday. They want to do their own diagnosis.

Our family is not expecting to hear from the 2nd doctor again till Tuesday–when all the tests will have been read.

Multiple Stories

My dad is in the hospital and going home on hospice today. Please pray for him to not be in pain.

Update: Change in plans. Doctor last night said, “No hope.” (Okay, literally it was, “He won’t live long enough to go home.”) Second doctor says, “Maybe we can cure him.” Now we’re sitting around getting 5 different kinds of tests to see if he can be helped. …

Dad’s living situation

The uni news said that they may be purchasing where Dad lives and turning it into dorms. They’ll decide by end of Sept. Residents will have to be out by Feb. Don’t know if that means he won’t be able to renew his lease and will have to be out by Oct. 15. That won’t be wonderful. I’ll be trying to teach and find him a place to live. That was not fun last time.

But, then again, we know where most of the options are now, so that should make it somewhat more simple.

Ice Day

I am apparently counting on having an ice day tomorrow, as I put the cake pops in the fridge and haven’t graded the papers I need to grade before tomorrow morning.

Instead I’ve been surfing the net and learning that my dad’s family is descended from Swiss-Germans (or at least we both share common ancestors) and that my maiden name is fairly common in West Lothian, Scotland. Since my greatx5 grandfather’s middle name was McComiskey, it seems more likely that we are related to the Swiss-Germans through a more remote ancestor… I can’t imagine how a Swiss-German child would have McComiskey as a middle name else wise.

Joined the family “I am X” board on Facebook. Most of the rest are Scots, though there’s an Alabaman, too.

Need to watch student videos and work on abstracts for presentations/submissions.

Dad’s surgery

Dad had eye surgery today. It was on his good eye. I was terrified, thinking he would be totally blind if it didn’t work.

Apparently blind in the eye was so unlikely it wasn’t even on the paperwork–good.

Took 3x as long as they said, started 1 hr later. However, it is over and he seems to be doing well.

Took the 5 prescriptions to the pharmacy. Was given a new medicine from the doctor instead of the one dad has been taking. (Not the eye doctor–the stupid/favorite doctor.)

I’ve got class tonight and so does R, so M is coming over for pizza and to be with Dad.

Dad has an appt in the morning to get the patch off. He’ll still have to wear an eye cover for a week whenever he is sleeping. That will be tricky, as he gets up at random times and goes to sleep at other random times.

Glad I was able to cover my Monday and Tuesday classes. Hope Wednesday is relatively painless.

Surprising News

Thursday I went to pick up my father at the airport in the Metroplex. After we were in the car he said, “I have something to tell you, but I will wait till you aren’t driving.”

As my father is a big kidder, I figured this was a joke and just moved on.

When we were sitting waiting for our lunch orders to be delivered he told me that the two-week trip I thought he was here for was actually a “I’m thinking I will move to Your Town” trip.

That was a shocker!

We have been looking into retirement communities, apartments, duplexes, and houses for rent.

He said he wanted somewhere where you could walk to the grocery store and some restaurants. There is a good place not far from my work where I could easily see him at least once a day and he could walk to 7 restaurants and a grocery story in two blocks, with sidewalks.

He didn’t like that place.

I like that place. I wouldn’t be worried about him getting lost or run over.

Where he wants to go is on the other side of town (about 4.5 miles from my house and 10 minute drive) near the mall. There are lots more places to go to, but there are no sidewalks and the traffic is constant.

I don’t think he will really end up walking to very many of the places he could walk to, but he might. Getting out and walking would certainly be good for him, if he didn’t get run over.

I am a little concerned that he will just end up staying in his apartment all the time. But I am also concerned that he will get out to walk somewhere and end up unable to return because he either got lost or he was too worn out.

However, this is the town he is most likely to be able to live in and walk to places like he wants to. It will work, I think.

I do want to take him to one of the complexes and then get out and walk with him to one of the restaurants for lunch. Give him a taste of what it will be like. It’s about a quarter of a mile to a half mile walk–which isn’t that far and he’s done it before. BUT he is out of shape right now and he’ll be walking that when it is very cold and potentially icy as well as when it is 100 degrees–which will not be good for him.

I don’t think it will actually hurt him; it will just be difficult. But it will be something that he can do on his own and that may help keep him alive because he enjoys being independent.

Probably before I take him to walk it, I should go and walk it. Then I’ll know whether the ground is flat or full of holes and can see how difficult it will be.

Checking on him will be more difficult at these apartments–as I will have to go there specifically to check on him, but that’s okay, too. He’s my dad and I love him.

God, please let him do the kinds of things he wants to do safely. Help him make good choices.

Grama Delker’s Coconut Cookies

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 c (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 c sugar

1 c packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 entire package of shredded coconut.
Beat butter, the sugars, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each. Gradually beat in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the coconut.
Cook on ungreased cookie pan at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes, depending on how brown you like them. Cool for two minutes.
These freeze well in airtight containers.

Recipe/receipt garnered for my son so he could contribute a family recipe to some cookbook collection. I don’t know why.

Saying Good-bye

We’re heading to Europe for three months. We’ll live and work in the UK (remotely). It’s an adventure!

Last time I went to Europe, I went to my folks’ house to say good-bye to my father, in case he had a stroke and died before I came home two weeks later. I fussed at mom for using the wheelchair. “Mom! You’re going to be around for another twenty years. You cannot get dependent on the wheelchair.”

Two weeks later, when I arrived in Houston, I had 17 texts and phone messages telling me that Mom was in ICU for her heart. (Her heart was the one thing my mother had never had any trouble with. The doctors were always shocked. “You have the heart of an 18 year old!” they would tell her.) Turns out the heart problem was meds they were giving her for what would turn out to be (though we did not know until a week before she died) brain tumors.

I am a little concerned to be leaving the country for three months.

I know that my father would be happy to go to Heaven. We would miss him, but we would also know that he was better off.

I’m a little afraid someone else I’m not expecting to lose will be gone though…

Pray for me and for my extended family.

A Different Take on a Blessings List

For several years, I kept a blessings list where I wrote down each day something I was grateful for.

I still wish I had done it every day.

Today (just past the first day of the new year), I saw a video on the 365Grateful campaign from the woman who started it all.

She took a photo each day of something she was grateful for and wrote down why she was grateful for it.

Thankfully I already took photographs yesterday, so I can start with those.

I am thankful for my nieces–who love me with open arms and hearts, who spend time with me willingly, who help me in my poetry projects, who look at my photography/book projects, and who want me to cheer them on in their lives, too.

Conflicting Marital Advice

We went to Jon and Angela’s baby shower (boy) the day after Christmas. Since the day before Christmas Eve is our official wedding anniversary, I told Jon we had been married 25 years now. He asked what advice we would give.

I told him, “Hold on.” Don’t let go. Don’t give up. Don’t give in.

Ron, on the other hand, said later that, if he had been able to (some big shower thing happened and stopped the conversation), he would have said, “Let go.” Don’t hold on to every little thing. Don’t focus on the things that are going wrong or that you don’t like. Don’t get all caught up in what is wrong.

So, if we had given advice, it would have been (apparently) conflicting, but I don’t think that it is at heart.

Don’t give up on the big things. Don’t focus on the problems. We’d both agree with that, I think. Though Ron would probably mention that a lot fewer things are “big” than you might think.

marriage advice from themetapicture dot com

Image from themetapicture.com