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Monthly Archives: August 2011

1st Annual CureSearch Walk for Children’s Hospital

This is going to be the most personal blog I ever post. I don’t relish in talking about myself and to be honest, I just don’t like exposing myself to the public. But I thought I would take the risk, in hopes of bringing awareness to this worthwhile cause.

A little history…

My parents, like many, divorced when I was young. My dad remarried a wonderful woman. She became the mother to my two youngest brothers. I was grown by the time, Shane, my youngest brother was born. My dad and I never did have a good relationship, and now in my adult life, it’s safe to say we don’t have one at all. No pity is needed since in all reality this is for the best. The only thing I really regret is not getting to know my brothers. Mikel and I are slowly getting to know each other as adults, and for this I am truly thankful. Shane and I, well, that is a sad story.

See, we got to know each other through secret phone call when he was in the hospital at Children’s being treated for leukemia. He was thirteen when he was diagnosed. For a little over three years he battled. When he was in the hospital, and when he was feeling up to talking, he would call me. The calls were never enough for me. I wanted to see him, but at the time that just wasn’t a possibility. Neither of us wanted to make matters worse for those we loved.

He grew up a lot within those hospital walls. More than he should have had too. During our talks I learned how much he cared and worried for his mom. I learned how much he liked electronics and that he wanted to be an electrical engineer like my husband. Shane was like a typical teenager in many ways. He liked music, cars, video games and just wanted to enjoy life. He did for as long as he had.

When the time came for him to leave this world, he insisted to my dad that he wanted me visit. She’s my sister. I want to see her. I did, the weekend of Mother’s Day 2006. Shane passed on June 2, 2006. I miss him dearly, even though I know he is in a much better place. On that last trip he made one simple request when we were alone, Please take care of Mom. I made him that one promise. We, both knew it was going to be more than difficult for her. And for the first time, I realized he knew the distance I had kept from them would be the strength to help his mom through all that was promising to come. His mom and I are close to this day and I can’t imagine my life without her in it.

Shane had told me about the some of the nurses and the doctors that cared for him. He knew they were doing all they could to save his life and they did it with a smile and humor to brighten his days. I thank them for that. It is because of Shane I am supporting this walk. And I will continue to support it in one fashion or another. This year is the first walk in St. Louis and a friend of mine from high school, Tonya Greshem will be walking with her daughter, Kinleigh. Kinleigh was diagnosed with cancer when she was eight months old. Today she is four!

I will be at the walk signing copies of Torn Hearts and donating the proceeds to Kinleigh’s Cause. All of the donations collected with go toward research for Children’s Hospital. Please, take the time to view the following link on the right side of this blog, and consider donating to this most worthwhile cause. It goes without saying it is near and dear to my heart.

If you happen to be in the area, please, stop by, say hello and cheer on the walkers.

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Travel, Traveling, Traveled… Home

I set out on July 29 to meet my cousin (who had broken her arm) at my mom’s house in Springfield, Missouri.  We visited and stayed the night, staying up much too late for the early morning departure.  It had been eight years since we had last seen each other.  On Saturday, we voyaged out, making our way to Antlers, Oklahoma to pick up her son (who had broken his leg), and then drove back to Poplar Bluff, Missouri, stopping in Springfield to get my car.

Over the ten hour drive, we caught up over the last few years.  Life has a way of carrying on, and sometimes it seems as though it goes faster than reasonably possible.  Our children are grown now, and making choices that will dictate the rest of their lives.  It is a sobering thought, but one we tried hard to keep on the lighter side while we drove.  Two things we both agreed on… our sons are good boys and we are proud of them.

I stayed with Cheryl and Jakeob for a few days in Poplar Bluff.  While there we had a great time visiting.  I met some wonderful christians at the church I visited on Sunday morning.  Jakeob and I spent some time riding around the area looking at the flood damage near the Wappapello dam, stopping for ice cream, and seeing the sights around Poplar Bluff.  The area has grown since I was last there twenty-two years ago.

While I was with them I also visited my grandma’s grave in Patterson, Missouri.  The emotions were more intense than I thought they would be.  It has been eight years since her death.  I miss her terribly some days, and the day I was there certainly qualifies as one of  them.  After sitting by her headstone for minutes I didn’t count, I went to see my aunt and uncle.  They live in what will always be my grandma’s house.  I like that they are making the home their own, and the changes seem to all be for the better, ones Grandma would have liked herself.

On my second trip to Patterson, I was able to do some research at the Wayne County Historical Society.  The heat drove me out of the building long before I was ready to leave, but I comforted myself with the knowledge I will be coming back.  I met Susan Eaton, who allowed me access to the library, and who has a love of history that rivals my own.  I think if I lived in the area we could do some serious organizing of the library, which appears to be a diamond in the rough.  After leaving the library, I went back to my uncle’s to claim some of his home-grown tomatoes.  Which were really yummy, if you were wondering.

On Tuesday evening, I met a friend I haven’t seen in nearly twenty-two years for dinner.  We spent several hours catching up.  We, both, have two boys that are closer to being grown than children.  And like when Cheryl and I caught up on our drive, too much time had passed in much too short a span than seemed possible.  It is an odd feeling to realize how much I’ve missed her company over the years.  Hopefully, we will better keep in touch from now on.

Wednesday morning I set out for my hometown to visit a few more folks.  One, the mother of one of my best friends in high school, and the other, his uncle, whom we all affectionately called, Uncle Sam.  That is his real name, by the way.  Time seemed to reverse when I was at Jennie’s house, and that was truly refreshing.  After leaving, I went by The Pig for a combination sandwich and nostalgia.  Somethings really never do change.  This makes me happy.

As I ate and drove (not recommended when driving a stick) toward St. Louis to meet my sister for her birthday.  I won’t say how old she is, since she will always be younger than me.  We enjoyed light chit-chat with her family over pizza at a place called Pi.  Haley, my niece has the cutest glasses!  She is growing up fast, and plans to enter a beauty pageant in the fall.  Jake, my nephew is going to be attending college while he is still finishing high school.  He is working a lot this summer as a lifeguard and at the same place my sister works.  My sister’s husband indulged our chatter after having a long day of his own.  I thought that was a sweet thing for him to do.

For the next couple days I hid out and tried to get some editing done before I met up with Steve and the boys, along with Sarah, Paul’s girlfriend.  Steve’s brother had come up from Georgia to visit and the plan was to meet up with him.  After a day and a half, and lunch with my other sister and her family (I was required to return my other niece, Madison, before leaving town, even after we plotted otherwise), Jared and I headed back to Lincoln, arriving late Sunday night so he could make it to Marching Band camp.  He is section leader again this year.  I’m proud of his accomplishments and talent.

I am tired, but home.  I missed my bed!  Which I will blame for sleeping WAY to late on Monday morning.  Today, I tutored.  My student told me she will be on vacation for about five weeks.  She is going back to visit family in Russia.  After being gone for a week myself, I could only imagine being away for five weeks.  I hope she has a wonderful time and that the gap in lessons does not slow down the progress we have made.  She is planning to take a workbook with her to practice.  She is so smart, I think she will be just fine.

Personally, I am thankful to be home and am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the rest of my family this evening.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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