Thoughts From a Navy Girl’s Mother

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My daughter Bethany is in the Navy.Right now she is out on the ocean on a big ship and I can’t just pick up the phone and talk to her like I normally do when I miss her.Now we email.She knows I love her with all of my heart but I wonder if she knows how much I appreciate how much she loves me and that it has taken me a long time to realize that.

Bethany came to this family when she was fifteen months old.If you haven’t read about it my little post Home Made or Imported That is the Question give it a look now.I have loved this beautiful creature since the minute I laid eyes on her.She was scared of everything at first and  wouldn’t go from the living room carpet to the linoleum in the kitchen.To think that now she is so far away from home on a ship and loving her job is almost unimaginable to me.

The reason I need to write this is to let her know how important she is to me.We have had our ups and downs and at times I am sure she thought I was from another planet.Sometimes I wasn’t understanding and maybe expected too much but I always wanted what was best for her.I now realize that when she was looking for her heritage it wasn’t because she wanted a new family,it was because she needed to know where she came from.I would do the same.Maybe what she doesn’t know was that I wanted to go on that journey with her.I wanted to be there when she needed me and I needed reassurance that she wanted me and not them.I hope that Bethany thinks back on our life together as I do my childhood with pride and the knowledge that her mother and father in this tiny town of Owendale were a spring board for the adventures that she now has.I want for her to think of a pink bedroom that she shared with a little Wheel as a soft place to fall and I hope when ever she sees the word home it reminds her of a big blue house with baking cookies in the oven and kids everywhere.

Bethany and Grandpa

I have to remember that my Bethany is a gift.God made her in His Image and she was given to me because He knew that we would be the right fit.I know now that she is doing important work and she is a soldier.She may be a world traveler but I know her heart is always where her family is.Her beginning in this world came from another woman but she is ours.She was the pride of her Grandpa and is a sweetheart in our family.I don’t want her so far away but I am so proud that she is serving our country.

She knows how to swim in the ocean and she can shoot a gun.She knows about airplanes and how to command respect.She is so much smarter in worldly things than her mother and I hope she knows that her mother is amazed at her resilience.When she couldn’t do what she set out to do in the Navy she learned something else and was first in her class.

Sometimes I  think of the song Blue Navy Blue sung by Diane Renay from a long time ago when I look at Bethany’s Navy picture that hangs on our wall.I change the words around a bit to suit her and me.

Blue navy blue I’m as blue as I can be

‘cause my steady girl said “ship ahoy’’

And joined the Nay-ee-ay-vee

Bethany is an adult woman protecting our country,but to me she is still my little girl,my baby that I rocked and that slept with her big sister Brooke.I can picture her long beautiful hair flying as she runs down our upstairs steps and I am sad right now because I miss her so.I want to touch her and I want to hear her goofy laugh.I need my baby home and can’t wait for her to get here.

beth baby 001This is the beginning of a Navy girl.Just a little baby in a foster home that came to live in a big blue house with a big sister,brother,mother and dad that thought she was the most precious thing on earth.She is all grown up now and I still carry her around.The only difference is it is in my heart.Love you Beth!

The Love Mobile

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This is the vehicle I get most excited about when I see it pull in the driveway. As you can tell it drives down our dirt road frequently.It is driven by Brooke the oldest of my kids and I laugh every time I think about how she came to be the proud owner of it.

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Brooke is a kindergarten teacher and so most of her adult life has been around the raising and development of little kids.She loves kids just like I do and we have many laughs over the things that we hear come out of the little one’s mouths.I am getting off track here but I really love this picture of her and Maddie my niece.She has taught several of the kids in the family and our Maddie was one of them.

Any way back to the Love Mobile.At the time Brooke and Mike had two little girls,Alexis and Peyton. Brooke’s little girl Peyton was the end of the line in the kids department for Brooke and her husband Mike. I guess she started thinking she would have just one more.They drove a little four wheel Blazer and it was perfect for the four of them.It was sturdy,went though the Michigan snow,and she never had any trouble coming down our plugged up road in the winter to see her doddering old parents.I think she really loved that Blazer.Plus it had the room for one more car seat.Here’s where it gets a little tricky.

She obviously doesn’t have any trouble getting kids when she prays for them because soon she was pregnant again.She kept telling me she felt like she was getting bigger so much faster with this baby.I smiled knowing she was going to have twins but I never told her.Twins run on both sides of the family and when she had her first ultra sound there was the proof.

It was a shock of course and there was much preparation for two more kids in the house.Their house was small and the Blazer wasn’t big enough for two more car seats.They finally stacked the baby beds in a tiny third bedroom and started looking for a bigger vehicle.We would talk about the new car hunt and she would be aggravated because every four wheel drive was so expensive that she could load up four little kids in.Finally one day she looked at me and said,”I guess we’ll have to get a stupid van.”Hence came the The Love Mobile.

Back when we were young vans were cool and I remember my grandparents having a talk with my sister Linda and me one afternoon when we were visiting.We were heading to the city to do some shopping and Grandpa warned us not to park by any of those panel trucks with curtains.He told us they would nab us and we would be kidnapped never to be seen again.I remember laughing with Linda after we left.A van was a party on wheels back then and I for one loved riding in them.This isn’t really the case today.I don’t see any vans with curtains. They are smaller in size and just scream- family rides in me- when you pull up beside them.This is Brooke’s lot in life for a long time now.She has to drive the family van and if we go anywhere it is her vehicle we take because no one else has enough room to load up all the monkeys.It is a party on wheels yet but now a little different.We have the girl that always has to go to the bathroom,a laugher,the talker,and the weepy drunk.The difference is they are all under ten and being driven by the designated driver that happens to be their mother.

We had to go to a baby shower for my youngest daughter in a town far away last week and had to take all of the kids with us because Papa and Daddy had to work.I met Brooke at her house to catch a ride and  when it was time to go I said to Alexis,”Let’s get everybody loaded up in The Love Mobile.”

“Nana,why do you call our van The Love Mobile?”

To this I answered,”Because I love it when this mobile pulls in my driveway.”

My sweet girl had the biggest grin on her face and you can’t buy that.I am so blessed to have them.This van might not have been the car of her choice but I guess it really doesn’t matter when it is filled to the brim with our most precious of all gifts—–your children.

The Big House Our Dogs And Here Comes Number Five

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I have told you about our little Love Nest in Sebewaing that I loved and after Mom had four kids in that little one bedroom garage turned house we moved.My sister Linette was the baby and not quite a month old.About this time Mom’s Dad my Grandpa Jahr bought a farm and it had a HUGE sand brick house on it.He would pay us and we could live there for free if we did the chores and fed the feeder cattle or pigs which ever Grandpa was getting ready for the stock market at the time.I was pitching silage with Mom and Dad before I was eight years old.It has both good and bad memories attached to it and I try to focus on the the good.

The house had four big bedrooms upstairs and one downstairs.We turned a parlor  into another bedroom so there was two bedrooms to sleep in downstairs.We girls slept in the bedroom and Mom and Daddy slept in the parlor.The first summer we saw the place before we even moved in my mom and grandma were hoeing the fields of that farm.They would have us take naps in the cool of the house in the afternoon with Grandma’s famous green sponge things we slept on that my sister Linette has commented on.Two girls in a closet,I guess for darkness and two in the room we would later use as our living room.I remember one time Linette and I were in the closet and we heard a like buzzing sound and then the smell of burnt wires.It seems that Lori stuck something in a outlet socket and we shorted out something.I was scared to death and knew we were in trouble.It wasn’t long before Grandma came in and started snooping around saying what happened.I was glad it was her because she never spanked and got everything under control.

us2 001It was here that the last of the little Hahn girls made her appearance and here she is with Linda and Lori.I love this picture of her and as you can see Linda is holding her hand.She always was Linda’s baby.We always had the babies with us even before they could walk.We played in that big yard and pretended with our cousins all the time.

kids 001We had this stroller thing and the babies were always in it being pushed around.I don’t know where that thing came from but we racked up miles and miles pushing our little sisters.This is our dog Tippy that I tried to train like Grandma Jahr did her dogs but I was never any good at it.We lost more dogs at that house because it was on a very busy road and there was a chicken coop across from us that the dogs always wanted to go to.We never had a refrigerator in that house just the big freezer so we always put our milk in between the door and the screen door in the winter to keep it cold and Mom would freeze and unthaw from the freezer  in the summer.One time Grandpa gave Mom some money for feeding the cattle and she gave it to Daddy to go by a used refrigerator from one of his friends that had a gas station in town.She wasn’t very happy that he brought us back a little dog instead of the fridge.There was some words, I remember, but that was Dad.We loved that little dog.I finally had a dog that could do tricks and climb ladders and everything.Her name was Mitzy and we just adored her.Before the end of the summer she was killed on that crazy road down by the corner and I saw her.Daddy and I went down and got the little dog to bury and I remember him being as sad as I was.He took me in his arms and just let me sob and he cried too because I was so sad.You know I can almost feel his arms around me right now as I think of it.I guess there are some things that never leave you and that day was one of them.He hated to see us cry and when one of the animals died it was horrible.This reminds me of our cat Joey that we had in Sebewaing.I was looking for it in the winter and couldn’t find it so I told Daddy.We went hunting outside and found that cat frozen in our shed out back.I begged Daddy to put in on the stove to thaw it out and I remember Mom and him being so sad telling me that we couldn’t do that.Mom remembers that day too and her smile when we said the same words at the same time I will treasure.

That house gave me many things,my last Hahn sister that I love,many fun times with our cousins there(remember the Deeg boys)and it also brought me much unhappiness.I refuse to let the bad take over my memories.I have much to be thankful for.I know that my stepfathers were horrible to us five girls but you know what,Ward trumped them all.He gave me back my childhood memories and I hope he knows it.His childhood was terrible too and he never treated me with anything but kindness and I will treasure his memory like I do my LBS(life before stepfathers).I love my sisters and all that Ward gave me.I hope he is in Heaven telling my dad what good girls that we turned out to be.Thank you God for giving me a dad and a mom that loved me and for Ward.You have given me much Lord and I  hope that I can give it to someone in return.God bless my family,warts and all.

Jami Sue I Love You

jami 001I have been involved with kids all of my life and this little girl was the one that as an adult I cut my grown up teeth on.My sister Linda had the first baby in the family and I was besotted the minute that I laid eyes on her.I was at the hospital with Linda and we played scrabble and walked around worried sick until she was born.I knew I wasn’t her mother but I am telling you I love her as if I am.After she was born I would rock and rock her,singing Merle Haggard songs and holding her while she slept.We were a team my Jami and me.I had toxemia when I was pregnant for Brooke and it was my little partner here that made the days go by swiftly as I waited for my terrible pregnancy to be over.

jami1 001She wasn’t the happiest of campers when her cousin Brooke was born and I think her face shows it here.When I brought Brooke home from the hospital she wanted on my lap immediately  and Linda wouldn’t let her because I had over thirty stitches after delivery and was very sore.You never had to worry about her brother wanting on your lap because I think they forgot to cut the umbilical cord when he was born but not my Jami,she wanted her Aunt Liz,and oh how I wanted her.I heard a thousand times in my life from Brooke that I always liked Jami better and now I know she thinks that is silly but at the time we were so close they were like sisters and brothers so I can see how she felt.I bet it was hard for Brooke because Jami did everything first because she was older just like Jared felt about Brooke.I know for sure that they all loved each other and I hope that is what they take away from that time in their lives.I loved those days and I know my sisters do too.

jami3 001jami2 001Here are a few of my favorite school pictures of her.She was in KDG in the purple I believe.You can tell she is going to be a beautiful woman even here already.She was very fussy about her clothes even when she was little and sometimes I would get aggravated with her because she refused to wear some of the beautiful clothes her mom would buy for her.It was at this time I was thankful Brooke wasn’t like that.That was our Miss Independence.!She would clean her room and hate anybody in it and I didn’t blame her when she got mad at Tornado Jared going in there and messing her stuff up.Everybody knows he had The Dumping Disease and couldn’t be trusted.I hope she looks back and remembers how much we all loved her.Jared too!

cousins1 001Holidays we were always together.

cousins8 001This is how I remember our kids and Jami was the oldest of them all and pretty much knew what was going on.Look at our Dee and Derek.Did someone put Danielle in a Goose?I think little Sarah is just sick about it.By the looks of things here I think Brooke is trying to look innocent………..

jami4 001The teenage  years were hard I will admit but then most teenage years are.I listen to Jami talk about raising teens and I laugh because believe me we remember.Dakota reminds me so much of Jami it isn’t funny.She is beautiful and independent and will be a force to be reckoned with some day.I love my Dakota,Hope,and Brayden.Thank you Jami for giving them to us.

 

jami5 001She graduated with honors and I was there as proud of her as ever.I think my girl turned out great.

jami&al 001Her Uncle Albert thought she was so beautiful pregnant.I can remember her telling me when she felt ugly pregnant she would come over because Uncle Albert always made her feel good.He loves his Jami too.

IMG_0053Here she is today with the guy of my dreams.I hope she marries him and I want to be there.In a church,with a pastor and our family there to join in the happiness.Not at the justice of the peace.They are a wonderful couple and as you can see she is still beautiful and fashionable to boot.Get the pun? These guys rock!

I hope that everybody has a Jami in their life.I know my girl has made my time here on earth a pleasure when we are together and I thank God because my little girl grew up so good.I miss my little snitch that would call to squeal on Brooke when she did something wrong in school and I smile just thinking about it,but it is so wonderful to have this honest caring woman that she now is.

Some of God’s blessings just grow and grow and now we have Chuck because of Jami.I hope Chuck takes good care of this girl.She is special and always has been to me.I love my Jami and I know she loves me.Thank you God for Family.

Peeling Potatoes Loving A Woman And Kids Are A Blessing

daddyservice 001A long time ago there was a young man that joined the service.He was a paratrooper in the Korean war.That guy,Charles Edward Hahn was my Dad.He was something else from what I am told and from what I can remember.

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He came from a family of thirteen kids and my Mom only had one brother so the beginning of their lives must have been very different and from what my Mom told me she loved being in that big family.She especially loved my Grandma Hahn as did everyone that knew her.Daddy especially adored his mother and she was also very proud of him.I remember going to Aunt Pal’s house and Grandma laughing about how Daddy told her that the most important job he learned in the service was how to peel potatoes on a ship on his way to his deployment.I am sure that he kept things light because he didn’t want to worry her and did the same in the letters he wrote home.He bought her a pillow from Korea and she was so proud of it she had it mounted in a frame and she gave it to me about a year before she died.My Grandma suffered much with death as her husband died before my Mom and Dad were married and she lost three of her boys before she went to be with the Lord.I can’t even imagine living after you lose a child.She truly was an amazing woman.

The first time Mom saw Dad she was sitting in his driveway with his sister ,my Aunt Loll and their two dates,my Uncle Roy and his brother Jake.She said they would all sit and talk for a few minutes after they got to Aunt Loll’s house and then the boys would take Mom home.On this particular evening they were chatting and there was a car racing in the drive with the police in hot pursuit behind him.Mom asked who that stupid blankity blank was and my Aunt Loll said it was her brother Chuck.She never met him and never wanted to.I was more curious as what happened with the cops.Mom was grinning from ear to ear with this answer,”Nothing,he out ran the cops.”It seems back then if you made it in your driveway before the cops got you they couldn’t do anything.I was thinking WOW Dad!

The following week the the group was going to a place over by Caro to dance.Mom was sitting by Jake her date when this guy came up to her and asked to dance.She told him no and Aunt Loll told her it was OK because it was just her brother Chuck.She was a little nervous but she went out on the dance floor with him.It was here, the first time they met he told her he was going to marry her.Guess what happened?

daddy5 001    momwedding 001     My Mom said that’s how those Hahn men were.Once they saw their woman that was it,they never looked back and I can relate.I often thought back then people married so young,but if these two didn’t we wouldn’t be the family we are today.They barely had ten years together dating and all before he was killed.I love these pictures of them.I think Dad has that cat ate the canary smile and Mom looks so young and innocent.

daddyghahns 001 They lived for three months with Grandma Hahn.Notice Uncle Bud in the background,the splitting image of Daddy.After Dad died my sister Loretta was only nineteen months old and never went to any men except for our Uncle Bud and Mom thought it was because he looked so much like Dad.

auntmarthalinda 001This is my Uncle Arn and Aunt Martha with Linda on her baptism in our little love nest in Sebewaing.I can remember Daddy always sitting in that chair in the kitchen by the fridge.Uncle Arn let them live in a little house he owned before they had kids but it didn’t last to long.The place was over run with mice.Mom was pregnant for me and was so scared because if she was in the living room mother mouse and a whole passel of her kids would march around and drive her nuts.The last straw was one day she made a cake and had it all decorated and ready for supper.She fell asleep and when she woke up the mice had destroyed her masterpiece.She was crying when Dad walked in from work and it was shortly after they moved to the little house in Sebewaing.Uncle Arn and Aunt Martha were a big part of our lives and it was Uncle Arn that went with Daddy taking Lori to the hospital right after she was born and that doesn’t surprise me.He was a hands on Dad .I can’t imagine how afraid they both were driving a little baby with no roof to her mouth and leaving Mom at home,worried about them both.He probably would have loved the help of the police then.Lori and I were both born in that little house in Sebewaing.Mom always had the kids at home if there wasn’t any insurance.That was Lori and me.Grandma Hahn helped deliver me and I was the last to have that honor.Mom said Grandma hung up her doula shingle after I was born because it was too hard on her.Al and I were also the last wedding Grandma went to and I am so glad she was at both.Thank you Grandma Hahn.

I am so thankful for these times in our lives even though they were not always easy.Our little family was a part of a very big family.We had aunts and uncles and cousins and Grandmas and Grandpa Jahr that loved us.Every picture that I look at of us before Daddy was killed we look so happy and this is one of my favorites of little Lori..

l&l4 001With this I will leave you food for thought.You might think you need a lot of things to be happy but you really don’t.God gives us much happiness in the arms of family.I know this is true because my sisters and I had it.I just hope we can give that same happiness to our own kids.I try with mine.Will there be a kid in this family that is a story teller?I hope so.Memories are meant to be shared and love is meant to be given.I know that was true for five little girls that belonged to a young painter and his little wife that hated mice.God’s Blessings to you family,I love you all.

Peyton Punts

100_0730If you have something to say don’t hold it back.

Here are a few of my favorites…………

Grandma your breath stinks.

I accidentally put the kitten in a bush.

I just love puck cakes.

I used to be in love with Lucas but now we are just friends.He is kind of like my stepbrother.

If a guy says to come with you because we are going to pick up a pony for my birthday party start to holler because he is a kidnapper,but what if he has a pony with him?

My grandpa is retired that means he’s old and wore out.

After using the bathroom she goes back out to play and comes running in a minute later and says in front of the cable guy—Nana, I forgot to wipe.

Nana do you know you’re going to have surgery?

I told her one day that she was pretty and her answer was— I know it.

When it thunders it means God is clapping.

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Grandchildren are the crown of the aged

and the glory of children is their fathers.

                                             Proverbs 17:6

Out of the mouths of babes and into the loving ears of a nana.

 

 

 

 

Eight is Great But Sisters Are Better

IMG_0051Yesterday was just an ordinary Monday to some people but it wasn’t to a little girl I know.Her name is Ariana Emma Deering and her mom I am sure remembers this day eight years ago very vividly.Please excuse the robber in the background.

I remember the first day I met you and was quite shocked at how you looked.The spitting image of your dad and I really thought you would look like your mother.It didn’t matter because you were cute as a bugs ear and your mom and dad were two of the proudest people I have ever seen.Both of them waited a long time to have a baby and you were very much a wonder to them.

ariana2 001This is what you looked like the day I went to see you in the hospital,your beloved Binky by your side already.You got that habit very naturally because your mother was addicted to the fake nipple as much as you were.Your similarities were already starting.I remember when you were much to big to have it I went over to Grandma and Grandpa Perkies and Grandpa Perkie told me to look at your pocket.You had five binkies shoved in it and Grandpa and I laughed and laughed.

ariana1 001Can you see why her mother is so crazy about her? On this picture I could bite your cheeks.

 

 

IMG_0055You are loved by many people and I hope you know it.I can see you love this guy.Thank goodness for Grandpa Deering!IMG_0071Your mom and Grandma Deering are a constant in your young life and are always there for you.

mom and ward 001These two love you with all of their heart and you have been a blessing to them both.Can you believe Grandpa bought you a card last year for this day already?It was like he was almost there.Here they are when they renewed their wedding vows last year at church.I remember Grandpa gave me the thumbs up sign that day that you two always did to each other.I am so thankful he asked Uncle Al and me to keep an eye out for you because I don’t know if I would have known you as well as I do.Your mom and Vern are going to do just fine with you and I am happy you have them.IMG_0058So happy Birthday, Sister!I know you tell me I am not your sister,but ask your mom,that’s what we call each other in this family.A sister is as a sister is and eight is great,but sisters are better.Remember all of your aunts love you and especially your Aunt Liz.

The Morning Ritual

boom boxI was rocking this morning man!I am glad we live in the country because it wasn’t pretty but it was fun.Sometimes all you need is a little music to change your attitude and bring back some fun memories.

 

I was the oldest of six girls and getting ready for school was something else in our house.When we were little I am sure more than one of us went to school with what my grandma called a rats nest in our hair.You know what they look like,that ball of entangled hair in the back of your head that you had to wet down to get a comb through it and then when it dried it looked like softball guts.As we got older we started paying attention to our looks and our little sisters looks and a morning ritual became a fun get ready for school thing.

We had a little tiny bathroom with just a sink and a toilet.You could barely turn around in it and another room with a bathtub and a sink.These were ok but we usually got ready for school in our bedrooms.It was where some of mine and Linda’s greatest master pieces were born.We would tease the little girls hair and fix them up so they looked like one of the back up singers for Diana Ross.Little did I know until years later my sister Loretta told me she didn’t like going to school always looking like the teacher.That is probably why she went to beauty school and became a hair dresser.In a way she can thank us for putting her through the humiliation.

 

th_archiesIt was one morning that we realized our morning ritual consisted of The Archie’s and the song Sugar Sugar.It came on every morning about the same time as we were getting ready for school.

musical note

    Sugar,ah,honey,honey

   You are my candy girl

  And you got me wanting you

  Honey,ah,sugar, sugar

  You are my candy girl

  And you got me wanting you

After that song was over it would be a few minutes and Lori the bus watcher would go running down the hallway yelling BUSSSSSSSSS.She acted like Paul Revere telling us The Redcoats were coming.Linda would be in the kitchen packing Linette and Loretta’s lunch(Lori always packed her own)and I would be putting the final touches on my look,scared half the time to go to school with the hair cut Linda gave me the night before.She could always talk me into some style she said she could make me look like in a magazine and it  never did.

school bus2We pretty much always made it on the bus thanks to Lori.So hear is the second verse to our song girls,from me to you and I mean every word of it.

 

I just can’t believe the loveliness of loving you

(I just can’t believe it’s true)

I just can’t believe the wonder of this feeling too

(I just can’t believe it’s true)

That song made me rock this morning just like it did forty years a go.It is a classic Hahn Girl rat your hair song and I will never forget it.Love you sisters.

The Potato Salad Was Ordered

ward 001Death is a funny thing.I make that statement because it has consumed the life of our family for about four years now.We have had a lot of time to analyze it,be afraid of it,dread it,and finally long for it.Our wonderful brilliant stepdad finally made it a reality a few days ago and as usual he made it a learning experience for my sisters and me and we all agree even though we are so missing him already we will be eternally grateful for the experience.

I really hate calling Ward my stepdad because it doesn’t clarify what he was to my sisters and me.There are six of us and we all have had many experiences with STEP fathers and to put our Ward in the same category is almost unthinkable.Step is like wicked to me in the family department and he never was.We knew we weren’t his kids and I personally was glad we didn’t go down that road because I remember my dad and really didn’t need a replacement.I needed someone to replace the sourness in my heart from the men that where put in the stepfather position before him.What we got was a man that could teach us to trust again,to not be afraid for our mother,and to mentor us in the world of living right and he did that and more.I am proud to call him something more than stepfather,I call him friend.

Ward explained everything in detail to us and his death was no exception.He taught us to never give up hope and to live each day as an example to our children.He took the time to explain what would happen to his body as it began shutting down and even though at the time I didn’t want to hear it I am now glad that I listened.I am a Christian and I know where I am going after I die but the actual act of dying has always scared me and touching a dead body was out of the question.Ward changed that not just for me but for my sisters Linda and Loretta also.We hugged and kissed him in the middle of  his ragged breathing and even after his death we laid quietly beside him.Thank you so much dear friend for teaching us even in your darkest hour.You not only took the fear of the unknown away from me but you gave me back the same love I had for my sisters when we were growing up afraid.My aching heart has mended.As I know yours is my soul is also at peace.

We laughed and we cried and it now reminds me of just how witty you were.I remember when you were first diagnosed and then came over to talk to us about it.You said maybe we should just call Luke’s and order the potato salad and I was amazed how you could laugh about your own funeral dinner.Mom looked at me and just shook her white head……………and smiled.

I want you to know we will continue to do as you wanted us to.We have always been your work horses and we won’t let you down Our aim is to make you proud and to try to repay you in some small way for the wisdom and guidance you gave us all.We did it for love not for money.

Oh and if you are by chance stopping your conversation with your brother Larry right now we want you to know —————-the potato salad was good.

Thank You Ward

He asked my Mother,”Are you going to miss me?” and now I can’t quit thinking about it.My dear dear friend is in the last stages of a long fight with the dreaded diagnosis of cancer.I can’t sleep thinking about it and I can’t quit crying about it.I love him so and I am going to miss him more than he can ever imagine.I sometimes think he doesn’t know how very much he is loved in this family and how grateful we are to him.He came to us quietly and now He is in the process of leaving us quietly.As always trying to get everything in order and making sure we all know how it is going to be.If I had the courage to tell him I would say he is about the most wonderful man I know and even though I wasn’t that excited when Mom told me she was getting married again I am so glad that she did.Here are just a very few of the things I am thankful to you for………….

Thank you for all the years of taking this family in stride even though I know some of us drove you nuts in the process.

Thank you for giving my kids a grandpa even though I know it was hard to let them in at first.

Thank you for the words of advice and encouragement to tell the truth to my daughter even though you knew it would hurt her.You said the truth makes you stronger and as usual you were right.

Thank you for loving my mother and taking such good care of her.You never missed a day of being there when she was in the hospital and I will never forget it.

Thank you for showing me that no matter what your kids do you get over it and get on with it.

Thank you for the wonderful stories of you life.I told you to write them down and even if you didn’t they will never be forgotten.

Thank you for giving my husband a figure he could look up to and our “Sundays with Ward” he loved them.

Thank you for your humor.Your wit never ceases to amaze me.

Thank you for showing me that it doesn’t matter how you got started it is how you finish that makes the difference.