Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New year

I didn't send cards, didn't write a pre-Christmas blog I was barely keeping my head above the proverbial water,  So much has happened this year and when I sat down to write I was blocked.  Everyone wants their Christmas letter to be full of good news or to be funny.  This has been a difficult year and a wonderful year at the same time.  My sister Barbara died on Father's Day and it rocked the world for my sister Patti and myself.  Patti spent a long time with her the month before she died and Barbara told me what a blessing it was to have her there.  Barbara said she experienced such a closeness with her and that she felt that God had really given her a gift.  On March 24 my precious daughter gave birth to twins, Aster and Patton.  Aster Leigh is named after my daughter's friend Leigh Billeaud and Patton Lee is named after my mom, his great grandma, Ina Lee.  My daughter wanted Barbara to see the twins so we packed up her three kids and Rebekah, Stan and I went to Perrysburg Ohio to visit.  Barbara badly wanted to see the twins so because of my daughter we were able to fulfill that wish.  My son and his wife Syndi separated in the summer.  When a marriage ends there are no winners but I do know without a doubt that they both adore their children and will do what it takes to keep them happy.  Allison and Aries have grandparents who also adore them and I am grateful to God that Kurt and Stephanie love those two angels as much as I do and are such a positive influence.  I have prayed and will continue to pray for blessings to surround both Josh and Sydni.  Joshua is moving to St. Thomas Island in a few days and my heart grieves BUT I know and I have been assured that God is directing his life.   Thank you Jesus. 

Life is a continuous river that ebbs and flows with joy and sorrow.  I have learned to praise the Lord through the sorrow because I know that as a daughter of the King he is in control.  This is the season that we celebrate the birth of the Son of God.  People argue that this is not when He was born but they just don't understand.  For those that believe it is enough that he was born.  It's not the when it's the WHY.  Christians honor his birth during Christmas and we give gifts to each other to celebrate.  Some of us go a little overboard..uh-hum....and we decorate our houses in greenery and trees which is to some pagan in design.  The evergreen was an ancient symbol of life during the dark of winter: a symbol of rebirth.  What is the birth of Jesus but a rebirth of hope.  I am keeping my trees, keeping Christmas as the celebrations of Jesus birth and ignoring those who want to throw water on my joy. 

While I am writing let me briefly discuss  Santa Clause.  St. Nicholas was a Christian Bishop who was noted for helping the needy.  After he died his legend of gift giving grew and morphed into a fat man in a red suit who gives gifts to all the children in the world. We take our children to see Santa and it is magical.  One of my favorite figurines is one of Santa kneeling at the foot of the manger.  One day I will buy it as it will offer and opportunity to explain the difference to my grandchildren.  In my home with my grandchildren we will let them know the "reason for the season".  I see nothing wrong with Santa,  that is my personal feeling.  If you don't do the Santa thing then good for you.

This year I am grateful for so many things.  I am grateful for my family and my extended family.  I am grateful for friends who are as good as family. I am grateful for my job and the opportunity to minister to the sick and I vow to do better this year.  I am grateful for my sister Patti  I am  grateful for the time I spent with her when she was ill because I learned strength thru her.  I am grateful that I quit smoking in May and (this is going to be tough) I am grateful that I have gained 30 pounds as soon as I quit. I am especially grateful for the five little angels Allison, Winston, Aries, Patton and baby girl Aster.  My heart is renewed each time I see them.

It is often said that Christmas is for children but in truth it is not.  Christmas is for all of us.  Jesus came for all and I am grateful that this time of year renews my focus and my faith when I think of the baby born in a manger who came to save the world.  Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

This year I forgot to write my daily thankful list on Facebook like I did last year.  I really liked doing that because it brought to my mind daily each blessing that I have.    I am blessed with my husband, my  wonderful children and grandchildren. I love being a grandmother(Mimi) and  each time I see Winston, Allison, Aries and my little twins, Patton and Aster, I am filled with such awe that these little people are part of me.  Watching them grow has given me back all that I missed when my children were growing up.  I get up each day with a new ache and pain  BUT I am still getting up and each day I thank God for that big blessing.  I have a job that I really love and get to take care of people that over the years have become a part of my life.  I took care of a young girl last week and her mom reminded me that I was the one that told her she was pregnant and now the girl is 16.  Where has the time gone.  I quit smoking in May this year.  I still use a Vuse occasionally but my cough is gone.  I am thankful for that but I am having trouble being thankful  about the 20 lbs I have gained since then! I am thankful for the man in the ER who told me that I was a "big booteefull" woman because he made me laugh.  I am grateful for all my friends for without them I would be so much less.  I am thankful  for my interest in politics.  I would have never believed that a news program would be my choice for excellent television. I am thankful that I still believe that I can make a difference with my voice and with my vote.  I am thankful that there are those that don't believe the way I believe because it keeps me studying and on my toes.  I am thankful for the arthritis in my hands because it is a daily reminder that for the past 40 years I have taken care of others in their time of need.  I am thankful for my house with its  worn carpet and old kitchen flooring because so many don't have a home. I am thankful that I am  able to remember the touch of my mom and her voice.  I still miss her after all this time.  I am thankful that I am able to feel even if I do cry a lot.  I am thankful that I am able to cry because it is then that I am most able to go to God and intercede in prayer. I am thankful that each day still brings a new adventure, a new book to read, a new person to meet, a new idea to explore, and a new prayer to offer.  Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy birthday Rebekah

 You are 34 today and on the way to the hospital to have tubes put in the ears of your oldest child. It's a minor surgery unless you're  the mom of the child....I know honey. I have been there.......twice and I was terrified both times because I turned over the care of my son and daughter to a surgical team who didn't love them like I did.  What a start of your birthday.  This has been an eventful year as you have added two  more babies to your family,taken on a new job, and somehow continued to provide time to listen and advise those in your family who have grown to depend on your matter of fact wisdom.  I am so proud of you sweetheart in all that you do.  My wish for you this year is babies who sleep through the night, time to spend with your husband, alone time for you, and a moment or two to have fun in your craft room.  I wish you a year of blessings. You are now and always have been my baby girl and I love you to the moon and back

Friday, September 11, 2015

September 11, 2015

This day is the most difficult day in the year for me.  I wake up and when I realize the day, the tears start.  I cannot express adequately the heaviness on my heart that the memories evoke.  We have moved on but yet not. Our freedoms have been curtailed, we are suspicious of a whole religious group, we have to be aware in large groups for fear someone will decide they want to be a martyr for the cause of jihad.  We are fighting an enemy that holds no value for human life unless their religious beliefs are espoused.  Islamic terrorists are like a cancer that is slowly spreading throughout the world and has its tentacles in our great country.   We have lone wolf terrorists who believe that the killing of innocent men, women, and children is the way to please their Allah and usher their way into their Jannah where untold riches await them.  In their world there is no place for the "great satan" America and the state of Israel.  Our President has chosen to ignore the horrific spread of this cancer thus "they that shall not be named" is spreading  with the protection of political correctness. I worry for my grandchildren and their children. 

September 11, 2001 is the worst and best day that I have experienced in my lifetime.  It was a day that we were brought to our knees  and the last time that I can remember that we came together, all religions, all races, all AMERICANS and told the world that we are bruised but not broken.  It was the last time that our country has been united and stood together shoulder to shoulder.

Oh God, bless the families that were intimately touched by loss 14 years ago.  Protect our country from those outside forces and those internally who are working against us.  Protect Israel and provide safety to those in that country that battle daily for survival. Oh Lord put leaders in place in America that will put our country and its people first in their thoughts.  Lord make this anniversary a day that will reawaken the hearts of those who have become complacent and make them say "Never Again"

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Barbara Heibel November 4, 1942 - June 21 2015 Beloved Sister Home at Last,

Today my sister went home to join her husband Bob and our mom.  My heart is broken but my spirit is lifted because I know that she is residing in glory with those that left before.  Barbara Lee was the first child of Ina Lee.  Her father was Bill Gibson, my mom's first husband.  She lived with my mom's grandparents, Pappy and Grandma White until she was nearly 4 when my mom remarried H. E. Shurtz and she was brought back to live with them in Columbus.  Our sister Patti was born in 1948 and by the time I was born in 1951 my parents marriage was nearly over and Barbara took over the "mothering" of her sisters as our mom was trying to cope. I have been told that Barb was near totally responsible for me for the first year.  Patti would have been almost 4 and Barbara was 9. 

 Memory: I was watching Barbara get ready for a date and putting on makeupI told her that I guess I'm just going to be a plain  Jane
My sister was politically a conservative and mourned with me when Mitt Romney lost the election.  She wasn't a huge fan of Mitt but she felt that Obama was leading us down a road that we will not recover.  But she would continue that God had control and that this is all part of the plan for the end times.  She never finished college but was one of the most well read people that  I know.  She read voraciously and spend hours in her bible.  She was a born again Christian and walked the walk.  She understood that good works alone were not enough to gain entrance into heaven.  She despaired over the path that the church is taking in getting away from the word into a secular feel good movement.  But again she would say "these times are exciting, this has all been prophesied. Her guilty passion after her bible was true crime books.  I couldn't get her to read a regular novel to save my life!

Memory: Seeing her dressed up for homecoming at West High School.  She was nominated for Homecoming Queen and did not make it but was on the court. I remember telling her I would rather be homecoming queen than Miss America.

She was mother to Mindy, Carrie, and Mark.  Grandmother to Suzanne, Joel, Drew, Evan, Mia and Ashley.  She loved her family and every conversation with her had some anecdote  from one of the grandkids.  She was so proud of Suzanne, Mindy's daughter, because she became a nurse. I heard about Carrie's boys every time I called and the funny things they would say or do.  I learned how Ashley and Mia, Mark's daughters, were so very very creative.   She came to stay with Becky for a week when Winston was born.  She lamented that  she was too sick to meet the twins so  Stan, Becky and I  took her kids to meet Barbara while she was in rehab.  It was the last time I would see her and it was a blessed trip.

Memory: Barbara was "chatty" and Bob was more taciturn.  She told a story that just after they got married they were lying in bed and she was just chattering away.  Bob turned and looked at her and said " why don't you turn over and play your flip side". 

Because she was in Ohio she had primary care of our mom in later years.  It was hard on her and she later reflected that she was able to come to terms with the resentment that she harbored from childhood.  She said that God revealed to her the issues and she was able to let go of the past and have a spiritual healing that gave her abundant love for our mom.  Those reading this don't misunderstand, we had a wonderful mom but for a time she was unable to provide those things that moms need to give because of what was happening in her life.  Barb was the one who had to pick up the reins and keep us going. 

Barbara had a life time of illness that really didn't keep her down but caused her great  discomfort  As a teenager she would have frequent fevers that were termed "fevers of unknown origin"  She had trouble sleeping and other vague complaints that caused one of her doctors to tell her she needed a psychiatrist. She was finally diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Memory:  Bob, Barb and all her kids brought mom to  Pensacola, Florida to visit me.  She had a rash on her hairline and asked me, the nurse, what she should do.  I told her it looked like  psoriasis so go lay out in the sun.  I had pictures  developed just after they went home and called mom telling her I know what is wrong with Barb.  The pictures showed a perfect "butterfly rash" and combined with all her other symptoms was very suspicious of SLE.  Mom told me "you almost killed her having her go in the sun"  She had to go to the hospital  as soon as she got home BUT she finally did get diagnosed. 

Sisters.  Always three.  Different in many ways but united by love and family.  We always met for weddings and family gatherings.  We had a sisters weekend in New Orleans a few years back and promised that we would do that again.  We never really did.  We agreed that we would get together for the birthdays that started a decade.  40, 50, 60 etc.  That did work out for a while but work and events sort of  took precedence. Sisters now two united in love and in grief. 

Memory: Patti, Barb and I were staying in a old B and B in New Orleans.  They were arguing politics and I took my coffee, cigarettes and book to the balcony to quiet.  Patti came out and ask me how I pick a president.  I told her that I pick the man I would most like to sleep with. Patti was disgusted and I went back to reading. It was the Bush and Kerry year.  Really no contest Kerry made me gag.

I call my sisters every week(almost) Friday is Joann Page day.  Joann is my father's first child and my oldest  half sister.  Saturday is Barbara day and Sunday is Patti day.  Recently the past year or so I took to calling Barb several times a week to discuss politics and religion.  She was so very knowledgeable and well read on both subjects and would give me ideas for my blog.  I am sitting here looking at notes that I have taken from conversations to put on blogs and it makes me sad that I didn't blog sooner about things that she was interested in.  I promise Barb that I will start blogging again. 
Patti went down and spent several weeks with her while she was  in rehab.  Barbara commented again and again what a blessing it was to have Patti with her.  She told me that she had such love for her and her exact wording was that they had really bonded even though she was driving Patti crazy. 

Memories:  Red beef stew, green iced Christmas Tree cookies, lemon bars, potato casserole, baked asparagus and dill salmon dinner, bathing the dogs(before the final goodbye), my black leather coat with the silver fox collar that I gave her, Johnny Marzetti (its a dinner dish), Pepsi not Coke, my potato soup, grandchildren,  weddings, funerals, sitting in the airport in Lafayette talking with mom about French kissing and oral sex(Patti, Barb, and me), Martha, Freddie, Dianne( I thought they were so glamorous when I was a child), backrubs, unconditional love no matter what I did, surprising Patti when she got Rotarian of the year, no PJ's, her wedding to Bob..she was so beautiful, Mark sticking a hatpin in her butt while at the store, Carvel Ice cream shop,  West Third Ave apartment, foster child Althea,  putting Queenie our collie to sleep( it took me years to get over that),  Andy her basset hound, Cincinnati on Woodmill Lane, Joshua's wedding, Rebekah's wedding,  the family cruise, Aunt Bee,  I could go on and on as the scenes flash  in my head...  it's a kaleidoscope of laughter, tears, joy and sorrow. 

Joshua put it best when he said Aunt Bee had a life well lived.  I will miss her so very much. Barbara you had a great impact on my life and my faith and really no better thing can be said,   I will cherish each memory until we meet again.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day Rebekah and Sydni

This day is bittersweet for me every year since mom died.  I miss her every day. I have blogged before that every once in a while I will dream a dream about her.  I am always so happy to see her and talk with her.  In my dream I know that she is supposed to be dead but somehow it doesn't matter.  I talk with her and can feel her love for me like a tangible thing.  For a short time I am enveloped in her love and all is right with my world.  Then I wake up.  And cry.  She would be so thrilled with her family and her great grandchildren.  I see her in things that my children say or do so she is never far from my thoughts.  I am grateful that she was my mom.  I am grateful that she loved my sisters and me and that she believed in us. 

I am the mom to my two children and they have children of their own and it makes my heart happy to see the mothers of my grandchildren interact with their offspring.  My daughter-in-law Sydni Hart is a wonderful mom to Aries and to Allison.  I watched her yesterday at Winston's birthday  and I am so grateful that she is their mom.  She is unflappable.  I know she is probably laughing at this statement but that is the way that I see her.  She is such a wonderful  mom and my grandchildren are safe in her arms and heart. 

Rebekah, my youngest child, gave me my last two grandchildren at once.  She is mom to Winston, Patton and Aster.  I have had the honor of helping her for the last month and a half and I am so grateful that I had that opportunity.  I have been able to shift my work schedule to the weekends and have been staying with her during the week.  I have been so blessed to be able to watch the changes in the babies.   She is a full time working mom just like I was and will be returning to work in June.  She will juggle work and home.  I am and always have been in awe of her.  She is a wonderful mom and I am thrilled when I see her with her babies.  The love that she has is a visible thing and I sometimes will watch her with the twins and I am so glad that they have her for a mom.  Grandma Lucky would be so very proud. 

Lord on this day I ask you to put angels around Rebekah and Sydni and give them the strength, love, wisdom and joy that it takes to raise their babies.  I ask that you pour blessing down on them and give them the energy and patience that it takes to raise their young.  I pray for their health and their happiness.  I ask that you guard and protect them each day as they go about their lives.  I ask this in Jesus name. 

Happy Mother's Day.  I love you both. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy 38th Birthday Joshua Edward Hart April 8, 2015

Happy birthday to my precious firstborn.  From that first day I loved you and I love you still.  I pray for your success and safety each day and know that God has his hand on you.  My prayer for you this year is that you will continue to be a witness to your faith and for  abundant blessings to manifest in your life and work.   In  those blessings you will see God's hand on your life.  I love you more than all the stars in the sky. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Welcome to the World Patton Lee and Aster Leigh Garrard

Early in the morning of March 24 2015 I was waking up to go to Becky's to watch Winston so that she could go to work. She was to have an elected C-section on Friday March 27th. and intended to work up to that day.  Well she did work up to the day considering she worked on Monday.  Tuesday morning I got a call telling me her water broke and they were on their way over to drop Winston off for his Pawpaw to keep him.  I jumped up and got a shower and washed my hair.  I did NOT want my new grandchildren to meet me without hair fixed and makeup done.  Taunte Jill Forbes was notified and made arrangements to come to the hospital just a little later.  Becky was in the surgical waiting area when I arrived and was comfortable.  I was terrified.  I am a nurse and I know what kind of things can happen in surgery.  I really prayed that Jesus would be with her and the babies.   I got teary eyed when they took her in.  The scrub nurse reassured me when I told her to watch my baby.  She reassured me that the twins were going to be carefully monitored. NOT THEM!!!  I told her, of course everyone would have their eyes on the twins I have no doubt about that.  I made her promise that she would closely monitor my daughter. She hugged me and promised that Becky would be her first priority,  Francis Garrad(Grandma Gigi) Taunte Jill Forbes(Godmother to Patton) were with me when we heard the first cries.  And we cried.  They brought the babies out to us and the above are the first pix.  Becky came thru like a champ.  Dr. Bourque came out and reassured all of us that everyone was fine.  Patton weighed 6 lbs 11oz and Aster weighed 6 lbs 10 oz.  I was overjoyed at the blessings that God granted us.   Becky, Shane, and babies came home on the following Saturday.  Poor Winston was sick and did not return home for a week and that took a toll on his mom and dad.  Winston stayed with us and with Grandma Gigi and his poppop.  It is now Easter and I have purposed myself to get this blog out and I am happy to report that the babies are fine.  Winston has had some expected emotional issues but Shane and Becky are wonderful parents and are easing his way to big brotherhood.  On this day of rebirth when Jesus rose from the dead to open the gates of heaven for us I am ever minded of my great and abundant blessings.  Praise the Lord.