One Year Ago

Ward

My daughter Alisha sent me this picture  and I wanted to share it.I guess everybody in my family is thinking about Ward today.I must admit I was too.Alisha is really good at taking pictures and making them special and I love this one.It made me think of how different today was compared to a year ago.I know now what the saying about time healing means.Last year at this time was probably one of the saddest days of my life.It was the day that Ward and cancer parted.Today I can rejoice in the end of suffering and not be selfish in letting go of a very dear person that I so loved.I love that smile on Wards face.Our Bethy was home from the Navy the day this picture was taken and she had just given Ward this hat from one of the officers in the Navy.I remember she told him that not everybody had a hat like that,it was an officers hat and he was thrilled to get it.

I don’t want to get sad because he is gone.I want to be thankful that I knew him.I know that I will see him again some day and he is in good company.Last year as I laid beside him as he was dying and even after he died I was so amazed that I wasn’t afraid.Death was a blessing for Ward because he was suffering.He fought the good fight up until the end and I am so proud how he left this earth.He was such a gentleman that even in death he was no trouble for me.He slipped away in quietness just like he came into my life.I didn’t want to meet him and I was as stubborn as a mule whenever Mom talked about him.All I could think was,here we go again.We never had an easy time with blended families and I wasn’t looking forward to another one.He was kind of stubborn too because it took him a while to warm up to us.After we adopted Bethany and Alisha they just one day started calling him Grandpa and he never corrected them.He was the only grandpa they ever knew.Bethy would crawl up on his lap and he would sit there like a statue.After a while he caved and he grew to love those little ones.He taught the girls how to drive in his Mustang and would take them for long car rides.They are the ones that really got him to go to church too.They kept bugging him to come to their Christmas program at church and one day Mom called me and announced that Perky wanted to get a new suit because he was going to the Christmas program.Once he went to church he was committed to that church.He went to everything and everybody loved him there.My Mom and he became good friends with every pastor we had.He cherished Bible study and he never missed.I knew those last few Sundays that he didn’t go to church the end was near.Perky knew where he was going and he was ready.

There is a lesson in this I want to share with my sweet grandkids.If I would have been as bullheaded as I wanted to be when Mom married Ward I would never have had this amazing man in my life.I wouldn’t have learned how to forgive things in my past and they would have anchored me down for the rest of my life.My walk with the Lord would have been compromised and I would have never healed.Sometimes you have to know when to fold and listen to that voice in your heart.Rejoice in the good and forget the bad.

I know that I never had the blood that ran through his veins in me and I accept that,but I did feel the same love in his heart and that means something to me.I miss him but he had to go and even in death he had this way about him.

Here is his tombstone and you can see what kind of a guy he was just by the words on it.It says I’m outta here and has a thumbs up for Little Ariana one of the grandkids he so cherished and spoiled rotten.

IMG_0209A year ago I couldn’t quit being sad but today I am thankful for the times we had before he was sick.Today I want to honor him and all he stood for in my life.I want to thank God that he sent me this man to help me and guide me and listen to me.I am a better person because I let him in.I hope that he realized how much he meant to me and if he didn’t I am sure my grandma is telling him now that he was blessed to have my sisters and me.I think they will be bragging about how good we turned out and proud they are of us.I can only imagine……………….

Breast Cancer Awareness and My Mom

IMG_0343October is breast cancer awareness month and very appropriate for my family.My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last month.Our family is no stranger to cancer.We lost Mom’s husband in January to the miserable disease and now Mom had to have a mastectomy.I am so sick of cancer.Every time I think we are going to get a reprieve it rears it’s ugly head.I know that usually I write things on the upbeat,but bare with me people because I need to vent and I hope you all understand.

I was off work all summer getting a new knee and so whenever my mom needed somebody to ride along anywhere she would drag my limping butt with her and we would have fun.She had esophageal cancer about five years ago and had her check ups with her cancer doctors.They love my mom and she is a wonder to them because most people don’t survive this kind of cancer.When we went this summer she had an all clear and one more check up before she could switch to a yearly check up instead of every six months.After her check up her family doctor called her because they noticed that she missed her mammogram by a couple of months.She did not want to go.Mom is a strong woman but she wanted to be left alone.Finally after a little prodding she had her mammogram and got the diagnosis.Breast Cancer.

Five of her daughters went with her to talk to the surgeon and mom decided to have a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy because she is not going to have any more drugs put in her body.She wants to live her life and chemo is not going to be a part of it.The doctors say she is cancer free again and I am thankful for that.

My mother had her breast removed at eight o’clock in the morning and  she was eating her lunch about four hours later.She was laughing and talking and loving all of her kids there.She had grandkids and son-in-laws at her beck and call.It was like a party in the hospital and that’s how things go when she is around.She went home the next morning by nine thirty and all she took was two Tylenol for pain.That is the kind of stock I come from.

I really hope this is the end of it.I need to say this.I have always told my kids that hate is a very strong word not to be used,but I really hate cancer.I hate cancer.I can’t say it enough.It took my stepdad away from me and I wasn’t ready for him to go.It brought heartache a hundred fold to us and it left me without the best man you could ever ask for.It changed our life.I hate suffering and being a witness to it.I hate that it was cancer that took our wonderful Ward.

So this is a warning to you cancer.We have been told by the doctors that attitude is half the battle and you have your hands full with this family.We have attitude and we got it from our mother.My mother has looked you right in the eye and she has given you warning and she has an army of us behind her.I may hate you but I refuse to be afraid of you.

So there stupid cancer—-get lost and don’t come back.