Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Birthday, Bill!

My husband, Bill turns 58 on Jan 31. When he tells people his age, they almost universally express disbelief. Bill has NEVER looked his age.

Bill has accomplished a lot over this past year. He put together a book compiling and cross referencing Claiborne County marriage records from the 19th century. This was almost 4 years in the making, and sometimes involved crawling under things to get to reference materials at the Claiborne County Courthouse in Port Gibson.

Bill also went to Southaven to help my best friend move back upstairs when her recently widowed mother returned to live with her and needed the first floor. Not just one trip, but two.

Bill also was invaluable in helping with my Daddy during that last 3 months. He helped chauffer Daddy to the hospital in Jackson, sat in waiting rooms with me, and even spent nights with Daddy when he was needed. Bill was the one who went out in the rain the night of December 15th to take sweet stepmom Sara to the hospital when Daddy died.

I am proud of the things Bill has done in his life, but this year, he went above and beyond the call of duty for me, my family, and my friends. And I hope he has a wonderful birthday tomorrow. Hopefully lunch at Roca, a movie, and this gift (being delivered in the morning by neighbor Ross Ables) will make it so.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A New Bag

Sunday afternoon, I took myself shopping for a new purse. I had nothing against my old purses, but they were simply too small to carry my ever growing portable pharmacy in. I had to have easy acccess to my asthma inhalor, my Epi-Pen, Baby aspirin, eye drops, neosporin, and regular meds as well.

On the other hand, however, I am not supposed to carry a purse that is too heavy due to long standing neck and back problems. I needed to find something lightweight in a medium size. And, as I am far too lazy to regularly change purses, it needed to go with everything I own!

So, after looking through racks of dull, neutral colored purses, I found this one by Lily Bloom. Made out of recycled plastic bottles, it is lightweight and feels like nylon. And it has enough pockets to separate out things that need to be separated, but not so many that I get confused! (Not hard to do these days.) And the price was right. $35.00 on sale. I even had enough left over to buy a new wallet!

There is just something about a new purse that seems like I am making a fresh start.

Fresh starts are good. :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Goodbye Joe

I was saddened today to hear of the death of Joe Pa. And even more saddened by the way his career ended. I still think there is much more to the story and that Joe did what he personally thought was right taking into account his generation and the information as it was presented to him. And I say this as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse myself. 

I hope history is ultimately kind to Joe. The number of kids he helped over his long and storied career has to carry some weight. 

Rest in Peace, Joe. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Game

Much has been made of the BCS Championship game that was played Monday night. It was a disaster for the LSU offense, led by a very shaky and apparently nervous quarterback. Some people seem ready to lynch Les Miles and even so-called die hard fans are trashing the team they rooted for up until now.

Yes, as a life long LSU fan, (born during football season 1959 while my Daddy was an engineering student there)  I am disappointed in the way this game was played and certainly in the final score. But, I really can't complain.

Why? Because overall, this season was awesome for LSU. They went 13 and 1 and won their 14th conference title. But most importantly, this season of LSU football helped distract my Daddy from the indignities, pain, and suffering caused by the return of his cancer. It gave him something to focus on, enjoy, and take pride in. The last gift I gave him was the SEC championship ball cap I ordered as soon as we clobbered Georgia. Despite the fact that he was very ill by the time it arrived, Daddy smiled when he saw it. 

Did we win the big game? No. But LSU gave Daddy a great "last" season. And, this year, that is all that matters. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Gown Day

The last few weeks have been overwhelming, to say the least. My Daddy's last hospitalization, death, helping take care of his immediate affairs, and the holidays have all taken a major toll on both my physical, spiritual, and mental health. 

So today, I skipped church and had a "gown day." This is not something I do lightly, but I just needed some time to nurture myself. I made homemade vegetable-beef soup, watched football, napped, did a frivolous painting exercise, played endless games of Angry Birds, and streamed Star Trek, Voyager from my iPad to my TV. 

I needed today. 

And I am (at least partially) restored. 

Thursday, January 05, 2012


The numbness that protected me when my Daddy first passed away is leaving me now. That relatively blissful bubble that allowed me to make funeral preparations, sort through his things, and write coherent (I hope!) thank you notes. 

But that numbness has given way to that next stage. The stage anyone who has ever lost a dearly loved one knows all too well. That crushing, "I can't breathe", weight that settles in as the numbness wears off. 

So I struggle to remember to take one breath at a time, knowing this stage will, at some merciful point, end. But it must play out in its' own time and in its own way.

And it will.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Good Riddance?

Yesterday I read post after post on Facebook about how glad people were that 2011 was ending. There were even several somewhat vulgar renditions of the numbers 2011, signifying "good riddance." 

Long ago, I found myself occasionally "wishing years away to the cornfield." (Twilight Zone reference), but as I get older, I no longer have the desire to do that. Time is just too darn precious to me now. 

Yes, 2011 was a tough year in many respects. My beloved Daddy passed away on December 15. My sweet father in law has been ill. I spent two months of the summer in severe pain from a chest wall inflammation. I have struggled to find my singing voice again as I no longer have many opportunities to sing the solos that keep me practicing. There is no time for me, I am told. 

But, as difficult as 2011 was at times, I was also blessed beyond belief. Watching my husband blossom after retiring from a stressful job has been a joy.  Having the opportunity to touch children and senior citizens by teaching art classes has been a source of much happiness for me. I got to celebrate my best friend's 50th birthday with a wonderful weekend in a new city. I began stretching my singing wings by beginning to record a Christmas CD that hopefully will be ready for 2012 and have met delightful people in that process. I saw my niece graduate high school and begin her college career. Would I wish any of this away? I don't think so!

So don't be too hard on old 2011. Bad stuff is going to happen. That is life. 2012 may be better. It may be worse. Just take it day by day and try to see the blessings as they come. 

And they will. 

Billy Cannon's Halloween Run

I read today where Billy Cannon passed away at the age of 80.  Whenever I hear the name Billy Cannon, I automatically remember my Mama t...