Life is a Vapor

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It’s been almost 2-years since I’ve posted on this blog!

Life has taken me down a different road for about three years.  My Mother went to her heavenly home 3-years ago this coming July 1, 2017.  My Dad came to live with us and was not happy leaving Missouri, but he didn’t have a choice.  He could not take care of himself and his dementia was getting worse.  He was almost totally blind and couldn’t hear.  But his stubbornness came with him.  He was 24/7 care for us.  He did accept going to a PACE program for a few hours a day 3-4 days a week.  This gave Bud (my husband) some relief from caregiving.  He completely took over the physical care of my Dad without complaining. (I work M-F 8:45a – 5:00p to keep the home fires burning.)

 GOD has a way of working things out before you even anticipate them.

Bud retired from Erlanger Hospital in April of 2009 (not by choice, they had a big lay-off and since he was only there for 10-years and paid more for his experience, he was included in the lay-off).  While we struggled financially, little did we know that this would come as an advantage to us a few years later.  This made it possible for Bud to be here for my Dad.  Otherwise, he would have to go into a nursing home.  We did not want that and neither did he.

We had some rough times with his dementia but we survived them.   He had a heart attack that wasn’t diagnosed for several hours.  At first, everyone thought it was his gallbladder and were getting ready to schedule gallbladder surgery.  Then his labs came back!!  Heart Attack!  He stayed 4-days in the hospital and then was moved to Hospice care.  One of us was with him 24 hours a day.  He was never left alone. Everyone was so kind to us at both places.  I have no complaints.   Dad left this world  Sunday, February 5, 2017 1:15am.  He would have been 92 on the 25th of July this year.

It still seems unreal that both my parents are gone.  They were always there!  I still look in the rearview mirror expecting to see Dad’s face.   I still have their phone number on my phone.  It took me a long time before I didn’t think about calling my Mom.  I really didn’t have time to grieve my Mother’s death while taking care of Dad.  Now I grieve for both. Grief strikes at the strangest times.

I know this is a SEASON of Life, but one I don’t think we’re ever ready for.  When we’re young and raising our own children with our own commitments and responsibilities we don’t even let it enter our minds that LIFE is really just a vapor.

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Missing them!

FORTY-FOUR YEARS…

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 Where do the years go?  It seems like just yesterday that we exchanged those Wed Pix with With Parents 1967-jpgcovenant vows!  Vows to love, cherish, honor, …until death parts!

 

 

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This was our first non-professional Christmas card photo .

 

 

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Our engagement party.

 

 

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… now on to today…

 

Today, at PF Chang’s for our 44th Anniversary photo (4)dinner. We had been shopping (got a cover for my Kindle Touch that my boss gave me for Christmas).  We usually celebrate a day early because it’s too hectic on the 24th and places close early.

 

 

photo (7)Green Organic Tea!

I love green tea…this was very good, but I do like mine a bit stronger…however, this was pleasant.

photo (3)Now for dessert!!!

The Great Wall of Chocolate & Creamy Cheesecake.

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44th ANN Dinner-PF Changs 2011

Before and After… yum… and just enough to satisfy without elevating our glucose level!!  I forgot to take photos of our meal Sad smile.  I had Sweet and Sour Chicken with brown rice and Bud had ???Lamb…forgot what his was called.  We had spring rolls (they make the best I’ve ever eaten) for appetizers!  I could go to just eat the spring rolls!  Smile 

Now home and ready to relax, read, snack, drink more coffee, read, snack…  take a nap, read some more… snack…

To friends and family… “Merry Christmas, and Have a wonderful time with family and friends”… missing my kids!

Pam

Heartwhispers

Garden of the Gods

RendLakeFAMILY )9-2011 060Here are the promised photos from Garden of the Gods in So. Illinois.  I have also included this link to more photos that other’s have taken.  It is breathtaking-ly beautiful!!  ( )

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Jason conquering his fears!

 

 

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Gavin, Micah & Papa

 

 

 

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One of the trails

 

 

 

 

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Grandpa & his grandkids on one of the trails.

 

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Kailee & Tyler

 

                        

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Brian, Tina, & Chloe and Jason behind the tree (as usual).

 

 

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Cousins: Micah, Gavin & Chloe

 

 

 

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Gavin & Micah

 

 

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 Tim & Terri enjoying the day!

 

 

 

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Playing with Uncle & Pop Tim

 

 

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  Papa Bud (too close to the edge)

 

 

 

 

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Jason across the ravine from where I was taking the photo.

 

 

 

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Camel Rock

 

 

 

We enjoyed the few days with our family!                          _4-blog-heartwhispers-sig_thumb

Time with the GRANDS…

Grandsons Micah and Gavin have gone back home! Crying face  The house is quiet again (not that they were noisy).  We enjoyed our time with them.  I had to work but Grandpa Bud went with them to the Smokies from Thursday – Saturday late.  He had a wonderful time keeping the GRANDS entertained with his corny grandpa jokes.  Just ask our oldest grandson Brian about the “grandpa jokes”! 

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My handsome grandsons and son, relaxing at the cabin.

 

 

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Father & son at the top of the tower.

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Getting ready to tube down the river.  But first we’ve got to get Dad’s

blown up!!!Smokies 7-2011 037 Grandpa BUD did NOT go tubing.  He kept the home fires burning and watched out for them coming back down the river past the cabin!  He had to whistle at them or they’d have kept  floating on by!

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I think Marc had a hard time getting his tube aired up…

Just one of the quaint sights to see!

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A NEW friend finishing the uneaten breakfast…

 

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The lane leading to the cabin on the river.Smokies 7-2011 107

 

 

 

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Overlook stops on the way to Klingman’s Dome.

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Dad and his boys! They are growing up way to fast.  Micah is almost as tall as me!!  Gavin looked like he had grown a foot since I last saw him!

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It was time to say Good Byes and that is the hardest part of the visit…good byes are not fun! The car is packed, the granddogs and grandsons are all securely in the car… and now it’s time to….7-2011 Misc 030

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WAVE good bye!

Until another time…

 

 

I have hundreds of photos that Marc, Bud and Micah took … some beautiful scenery and I’ll save those for another blog.  Bud is anxious to take me there now… we’ll see.  I don’t think I’ll float down the river though!  That would be a sight or NOT!

Grandkids are God’s extreme blessings for grandparents! 

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Thank YOU…An Appreciation

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Beautiful Roses that Sister Melissa presented to me on Mother’s Day Sunday.  I have never seen such  beautiful shades of lavender and perfectly formed petals. Misc & Mother's Day 2011 075

They also presented me with a gift card to Red Lobster or Olive Garden…my choice! Misc & Mother's Day 2011 095All the sweet words written in the Mother’s Day card made my day…encouraging…my heart is full!

I appreciate the LADIES of First UPC of Dayton, TN.  You are precious in HIS sight and mine!

I spoke for just a few minutes on “Mother’s Prayers”. Misc & Mother's Day 2011 080

Then presented the gifts I had for my precious Sisters.

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I hope they enjoy(ed) the “Choc-o-Break” and take some “down-time” for a refreshing quiet time break!  Mother’s need some “thinking” time…no noise, no questions, no demands…just time for themselves…once in awhile!Misc & Mother's Day 2011 073

I had mugs lined up everywhere in the kitchen getting them ready to wrap..  It sure was tempting to eat the chocolate… Smile  all but a couple of pieces made it into the mugs though.  (I do not lie!) Really!

I missed not having my own mother with me, but I understand she had a good time on Mother’s Day with her church family and friends. 

I heard from all three of my sons before the day was ended… just a perfect day.  I chose to eat at home and my dear husband fixed a delicious dinner!  We’ll eat out when it’s NOT so crowded and can relax and enjoy the meal without being “rushed” to give up the table to someone else!

I hope all my friends and family had a wonderful day.  We could not have asked for better weather…it was a beautiful day!

Blessings to all Mothers & Grandmothers, & Mothers at Heart –

4-blog HeartWhispers Sig

60 and Moving on…

Beautiful Spring Saturday!

Misc April 2011 012I can feel the humidity building…Sad smile   But otherwise a gorgeous day.  I have been tracking the greening of our backyard woods… in less than two weeks we have gone from mostly bare trees to a haze of feathery shades of green and endless groundcover containing who knows what.

The dogwoods are in full bloom and the purple Irises Rainy Spring 03-26-2011 013have almost lived out their days… Hubby has the “planting” bug and has purchased several six-packs of flowering bedding plants.  My tin porch planter awaits my design.

I on the other hand…am physically not up to par!  I guess whatever was going around at church and the office has finally won out!  I am extremely fatigued, weak, blowing and croaking.  But my heart and mind is overflowing with the abundance of God’s awesomeness and mercy toward mankind.  He is so patient with us!

Sometimes I think He allows this just to slow us down and gives us time to be introspective!  Life is a constant state of busyness without the downtime of “thinking” about things and life in general.  I crave the “quiet time”, time to think of the Glory and Honor due my God.  Time to dig into and devour His Word without interruption.  Time to reminisce and time to wonder about the future! 

StorenGo Pics 026I’ve discovered, for me, it’s in the early morning hours…beginning my day with His sweet presence and Word is a cherished time of fellowship divine! During this time, no matter what my circumstance or situations in life…I can focus with a clear mind and heart. woman readiing

It may have taken me years to discover this about myself… when younger, I didn’t like getting up EARLY… and I would stay up late into the night… and that worked OK for me then (kind of).  Perhaps, it’s a matter of aging that has changed that, but maybe not.  Did I miss out all those years?  I’ll never know and cannot recall those days…but I’m “MOVING ON” and finding it works for me now!  I’m discovering the consistency and desire to “seek Him” is consuming me now more than ever before! 

I’ve always had a respect for the “sanctuary” the building…I was taught from an early age to respect the “House of God”.  And I believe that created in me the awesomeness of feeling His presence in the “sanctuary”.  I know, it’s just a building…but it is a designated building, just as the Tabernacle was for the Israelites.  This learned respect has caused me to realize more and more what I hold within me.  I am the “temple of the Holy Ghost”!  Therefore, with the same respect that I give to the “sanctuary”  (building) I give to my body the temple!  Wow…that should get us pondering!!!

We would never consider not feeding this body of ours…(other than a designated fast) so we should be just as consistent with feeding our spiritual body(heart, mind & soul).  If we are purposefully feeding our physical body, should we not do the same for our Spiritual body?  Growth and nourishment comes from feeding ourselves the “healthy” food. 

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All this goes back to the simple matter of “our choice”.  We do exactly as our body and heart desires.  This is not mythical or mysterious…if you believe His Word is Truth! 

In all my 60 years I have not seen so many things occurring all over this world within such a short period of time.  Not just earthly disasters, but changes in morals, beliefs, and laws.  I recently read on CNN that in just a few years “religion” will become extinct!  I am profoundly glad that I don’t have “religion” but I have an “experience” that is with me constantly…He IS, WAS, and ALWAYS will be… the FIRST and the LAST…the BEGINNING and the END. 

I am thankful today beyond measure (even with my physical ailments)… that I know Him and am still in awesome amazement of His Power, Love, and Longsuffering towards His creation!

I still desire to know Him in a deeper way than ever before…still seeking His face…still loving His presence…

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I’m just 60”and moving on

Have a blessed weekend,

             Heartwhispers

The Grandsons…

We’ve had a wonderful visit with our two youngest grandsons, Micah and Gavin.  They are our youngest son Marc and Shenyle’s boys.

This is our first time getting to keep them for a week and we have enjoyed every moment!  Papa has got to spend time getting to know them.  I took Friday off-work and we went to the IMAX 3-D and saw the WILD Misc July 2010 033OCEAN. 

  

 It was fun just watching Gavin’s expressions

as the sharks and dolphins came right up to his face. 

 

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Gavin getting his 3-D glasses ready and

Big Brother, Micah with his ready to SEE.

 

   

 

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  And Papa with his …double vision…

I’m carrying the camera, so NO PHOTOS of me!

 

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All is quiet except for the ooohs and aahs and

sometimes covering the eyes.

 

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This is the waiting area of the IMAX before the crowd assembled. 

The light through the glass globe is beautiful.

 

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This is better color.

 

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The grandsons with the TN aquarium in the background.

 

 

 

 

  

  

We’re at “Stickey Fingers”.  It was yummmmmm…

hadn’t been there in awhile.  The ribs were delicious! 

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 Papa Bud and Granny Pam with the grandsons, Micah and Gavin.

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The ending of a beautiful very HOT day in Chattanooga,TN

Their Mom and Dad will be here Saturday to take them away again!  It’s hard to believe Micah will be in 7th grade and Gavin in 2nd grade.  Time sails by! 

Gaylord Opryland Reprieve…

My agent decided to give my husband and I a night at the Gaylord in Nashville, TN.  We appreciated the time-off and the chance to just “relax” and do nothing except what we wanted to do. 

Our room and balcony overlooked the Cascade Garden Atrium.

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Our balcony is to the left of the open door.  We were on the 5th floor.

 

 Misc & GayLord 7-31-2009 025 The VIEW from the left of our Balcony…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The outdoor Cascade Restaurant was just below us.3Gaylord 2009 006

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We could see them cooking (with the ZOOM)and SMELL the delicious aroma!  UMMMMMMMM.

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A closer view of the Cascade Restaurant just below our balcony.  There were cozy-romantic alcoves (the round table in the back of the photo) toward the back of the restaurant. 

 

 

 

 

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We ordered lunch from an Italian Bistro and ate it on our balcony. 

After a mid-afternoon nap, we decided to “stroll” all the different gardens.  I have numerous photos of all the beautiful exotic floral and fauna.  Even managed to capture a photo of a 4’ Carp in the Delta Island Atrium.   We were kind of tired after all the walking.  And finally ended up by the Irish Pub and after reading the menu posted on the outside, again decided to order carry-out and take it back to our room.  It was delicious… a THICK prime rib sandwich with seasoned fries and of course, we had a salad with it too!  The salad dressing was made with goat cheese.  Ummm is was so good!  I am salivating (LOL) just thinking about it.

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2-Gaylord 2009 081This lady was playing and singing for donations.  And she could sing.  She was comical too!  There were sofas and lounge chairs to sit in while you listened to her entertain. 

 

 

 

 

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Bud … “another picture”… that’s what his expression looks like.  LOL  and one he took of me.

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We truly enjoyed  our time alone together and the freedom of doing what we wanted, when we wanted and to do nothing if we felt like it.  

Saturday we check out just a little before 11 am and loaded up the car and walked a little more in the gardens… then went to the Opry Mills Outlet nearby.  I’m not a mall person, but I enjoyed finding a few bargains, one of them being another rooster for my kitchen.  There were a couple of items at the Apple Barn that  I contemplated purchasing, but talked myself out of it with a “and where would you put it?” dialog.   Not being able to answer that question truthfully, I chose not to make the purchase.

On the way home we stopped in Murfreesboro and found this unique little Mexican Cafe, I think it was Mi Patria ???? not sure if I remember correctly.  Oh it was so good.  We’d not had authentic Mexican food that good since California.  It wasn’t a large place, but colorful and comfortable and quaint.  They were doing a big business of “carryout” we noticed while enjoying our meal. It seemed to be a very popular place.  We plan to go back when we’re that way again… we’ll time our traveling so we hit there at just the right time!!!  I failed to get a photo of inside or out… I wish I had.

Well, enough for now… sorry we weren’t there the weekend of the National Youth Convention… we could be visiting with friends we’ve not seen in years and years!  It just didn’t work out that way!

Only ONE LIFE to live…

We received a call early FRIDAY morning on the 19th of December.  Judy (sister-in-law) had called an ambulance to take Fred (my husband’s younger brother) to the hospital Thursday evening.  His Oxygen level was down drastically and he was very weak.  Fred received a diagnoses, I believe this past April,  of renal cancer that had metastasized.   He fought a hard fight and had 8-months to be with family.  Everything was organized and in place for his family.  He took great care of his family.  He passed from this life on Friday evening around 6:30pm EST.

Just an example of Fred’s “thinking ahead”.  While there I noticed a beautiful vase of roses and a card leaning against the vase.   He had ordered these flowers the day before going into the hospital for Judy’s birthday on the 26th.  That’s Fred, always thinking ahead, always thoughtful.  Here is what Fred wrote on the card:

FredsBDtoJudy2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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He desired an informal funeral/memorial service and that’s what we did.  His older brother, my husband, spoke and then Robin his daughter gave her memories and thoughts (more than a eulogy) but spoke from her heart of what her DAD meant to her.

Teresa and Bob (his sister and brother) spoke of fond “family” memories.  Marc talked about his Uncle Fred.  And there were others who spoke fondly of Fred.

We cried, we laughed, and we cried some more.  But we did laugh and that I know is what Fred wanted us to do.  He loved family get-togethers.

Round the table.. Micah, Marc, Eva, Kaylee, A_____, Brynn, Shenyle, and Gavin. P1010042

On the left is Judy, Teresa, Eva, and Craig.

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Uncle Bob and I, keeping the kids occupied.

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Papa Bud with Micah and Gavin(our handsome youngest grandsons).

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Judy, Fred’s wife, looking at the memories of their life together, 41-years!  Best Friends for longer than that!

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Scott, Fred’s son, in quiet thoughtfulness.  A brother’s moment of contemplation.

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Fred’s military (Navy) medals and a signed photo with President Reagan.

 

 

 

 

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21 Gun Salute.

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Taps… such a solemn, sad sound.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fred’s HAT… 

 

 

 

 

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Judy and me.  Judy is stronger than she realizes and while I know there will be “sad” days and moments of grief and just missing him..the memories of a loving husband and father will carry her through.  She has family that loves her very much and will keep her daily in their prayers. 

Maggie will miss him too!  P1010026

 

 

 

 

 

The end of one day in our lives and one life, P1010104but Fred will never be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If Fred were watching us today, he would have been pleased.  He would have laughed with us and cried with us and enjoyed the grandchildren at play.  He would have added his own special memories of times past.  His spirit was there with us!  He left us with a “smile” on his face. We can only give him a “smile” in return.

 

Real Beauty or a Deathly Stench

A recent testimony from one of the Sisters in our church caused me to reflect on WATER, if my cup was just full and stagnant, or if it was overflowing my cup.

As I’m known to do, I pursued the topic in my mind and pondered upon it for several days. I went back to a day years ago in my childhood when I had wandered off from our trailer parked in a remote “trailer park” and headed out into the desert investigating my surroundings (being the curious child that I was).

After walking, what seemed like a long time to me, I saw a group of green trees and shrubs off in the distance and proceeded to find my way to them. Soon, I could see water beyond the tree line and being in the middle of the desert it looked so inviting and beautiful. I started walking faster as my excitement mounted at my “discovery.”

It was so pretty, the green trees and the water was so still and quiet. Nothing moved. Quickly I approached the trees and moved down to the edge of the water…. Yeeeweee, what an awful, disgusting smell penetrated my nostrils. As I knelt down to move the water with a stick I could see the green slime and the green swirling blobs moving around under the surface of the water. It was a deathly stench that swirled up from the depths of this pond!

This reminiscence made me consider… Do we sometimes look so pretty (HOLY) on the outside but we are filled with green slime and stink on the inside (decaying from inside out)? Do we look good from a distance, but when approached, there is a stench inundating from the source of “stagnant” water! Aren’t we supposed to be full of the “living water?”

John 7:38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Oh, my prayer is “never let me be filled with the stagnant water of self-worth, pride, an unholy attitude, unmerciful, unloving, uncompassionate, uncaring, and self-centeredness. Let me remember your WORD, your MERCY, your COMPASSION, your KINDNESS, your CARING, your UNENDING LOVE toward mankind. I never want to be “too good” to hug the unhuggable, love the unlovable, speak to the unspeakable, and pray for the PRAYERLESS.

Are we “beauty at a distance” with an Ungodly STENCH when approached? LORD help us to be full and overflowing with Your LIVING WATER!!!

Real inward beauty or a deathly stench, it’s our choice to make.