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Little Foot is Coming!!

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Little Foot is Coming!!

My husband and I are going to be Grandparents!! Our oldest daughter, Genette, (ok…and her husband, Abe) will be having a baby this Fall. I am so very excited!!

My family has had a long season of hard challenges and the happy news of a new little one coming is helping us all to have a feeling of renewal. Bryon (our son) and Carmen (our youngest) are both thrilled about this baby, too. They are going to be an amazing Aunt and Uncle.

Genette and Abe have nick-named the baby Little Foot. Cute, huh? If you remember the Dinosaur movie from long ago, you know that there is a possibility of a dinosaur theme in the nursery.  They haven’t decided officially, though. Since their house is a fixer upper, there are renovations to be done before the baby arrives. The projects are happening slowly because they are doing the renovating themselves, but they are underway.

This November will be a very busy and happy month for us. Bryon and Amber will be getting married so Steven and I will have a new “bonus kid,” and Genette and Abe will become parents in the same month . The family grows.  What a lovely holiday season this will be for us. With all that has happened and is happening still, it is nice to look forward to some sweet events to make life richer.

And as always we’ll have a new story to tell!!

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A Sore Throat

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A Sore Throat

I have a sore throat right now. My husband has been ill all week and I am afraid I have caught a bit of what he had. It is very inconvenient to get ill, but I am especially inconvenienced this time because I am out of town. I don’t like feeling this way when I am away from home. However, since I am, I will make the best of it and get some additional sleep.  I usually stay up until 11:00pm, but I’ll be going to bed about 9:30pm tonight. I’ve been drinking tea all day, trying to shake this off, but it is still hanging on.  Certainly, it is a virus and I’ll have to let it run its course.  

Isn’t that hard to do sometimes, letting something run its course?

It has interrupted my plans and expectations for today. Oh well, sleep is time when your body is healing and right now I am able to go get some extra sleep. It will give me time to dream and who knows, there might just be a good story in those dreams.

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Moments of Memories:M-O-M

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Moments of Memories:M-O-M

This past Sunday was the celebration of Mother’s Day. My children are all grown. I have one daughter living in Virginia, a son in California, and a daughter living here in Charlotte, NC. It is hard sometimes to have them scattered from coast to coast but as they were growing up my goal was to raise strong, independent adults, and they all are. The “bonus kids” (son and soon to be daughter- in- law) we have are strong and independent, too. It seems they have all found their place in this world, and I am proud.

This past weekend I talked with Genette (our oldest in VA) and Bryon (our son and middle child) on the phone. Carmen (our youngest here in the city) invited my husband and me to her house for dinner. It was lovely.

I certainly want to spend more time with all of them. But they all have full lives and distance certainly plays a part in that. Phone calls help, but it is nothing like putting your arms around a child you love.

Mother’s Day is one day a year, but if you have a child, you are a mom every day of the year. Although they are adults creating their own homes, making their own decisions, and providing for themselves, you are the one that holds the memories and the stories of rocking them to sleep, making mud pies in the rain, and singing silly songs in the doctor’s office.

M-O-M: We get through with our Moments of Memories, don’t we? Those memories make us laugh and cry, long for the past and look forward to the future.

A note to my kids:

Genette, Bryon, and Carmen, I love you all with my whole heart. I cannot tell you how proud I am of your endurance and love for each other. You are the best part of me. I am blessed to be your Mom, and the joy you have brought to my life is immeasurable. For all the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the trips to the emergency room and the challenges, it was all worth it because you are the ones that make the memories worth keeping. I love you all because you are you. By the way, G, B, and C the door is always open— come by anytime you have a place here. You and the ones you love are welcome. I love and treasure all three, no, all five of you.

Love you forever and a day,

Mom

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An Unplanned Journey

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An Unplanned Journey

My husband Steven and I took an unplanned trip to our “old stompin’ ground” in Upstate New York at the beginning of this month. Steven’s father’s health had taken a turn for the worse, and he left this earth in the early morning of April 4. Steven and I journeyed to New York to be with his family, so the trip was bittersweet.

We packed up our van in the rain and drove to West Virginia to my niece Samantha’s house. It was nice seeing her, her husband, and her two little girls that I call my “redheaded fairies.” Those two are just so cute and lively you can’t help but smile when you see them. The following day we headed for Albany, NY, by way of Brook’s B-B-Q in Oneonta, a local favorite you can only get in that area (It’s a must for us whenever we go back to Upstate!). We completed the trip to Albany, (through more rain), and stopped by Steven’s mother Wanda’s place. His sister (Kristen) had arrived from California, so we were able to visit with them for a couple of hours before going on to our hotel.

The next day we found time to go to my brother Joel’s house to have lunch with him, his wife (Donna), and my nephew (Millard). Joel still lives on the property where my father lived as a boy and where my parents raised my siblings and me. All of the original buildings were built in the 1800s and are in rough shape, but it still feels like home. The people on our mountain speak a bit differently than most; I enjoyed being able to speak in the tone, lilt, and vocabulary that I grew up knowing. After lunch, Joel and I walked around the property, and I was able to collect a few relics to take home to North Carolina.

The next few days were spent with Steven’s family making plans. We settled on the obituary write up for the newspaper and a date for the burial ceremony during the summer. It is not uncommon for people in the north to wait for warmer months to bury remains; the frozen ground makes it almost impossible to dig a grave. Steven and I also took some time out to walk around a couple of thrift stores to debrief; sometimes you have to step away.

After several days, it was time for Steven and me to begin the trip back to North Carolina. We said our goodbyes to his family and left Albany. We decided to take a detour and drive past the house Steven grew up in. We were surprised by all of the very interesting changes made to the home and property: buildings were being constructed and several statues were placed on the grounds. A lot was going on; still, the house remained the original dark red color that we were both familiar with.

From there we drove past the country church where Steven and I were married. There it was, still looking the same. About 30 miles later we passed by SUNY Cobleskill, where Steven and I met, & smiled as we drove by. It's been nearly 40 years since we said, "hello" to each other there (and 36 since we said, "I do.")… I think it's gonna work out for us.

Then it was back to my family farm to pick up the relics I had collected. After a brief visit with Joel and Donna, we packed up the van and got back on the road. We spent the day traveling back to West Virginia, spent the night with Samantha’s family, then drove on to Lynchburg, VA to spend a couple of days with Genette (our oldest daughter) and her husband, Abe. Steven and I were glad we stopped there for a couple of days. We are now home again in North Carolina.

There are stories in all that we do; people in our lives, the journeys we take, and the choices we make. Then the day comes when we pass on and leave a space on this earth for someone else.

For now, this time belongs to you and me, so let’s LIVE!!

Dance, sing, go outside, visit friends, call someone, have a smoothie, pick strawberries, collect relics, jump in the water, splash in the rain, play with the redheaded fairies in your life… just don’t pass on without leaving a story behind.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Today, April 17, is our son Bryon’s birthday.

This time last year, our lives looked a lot different than they do today. Steven (my husband) was in California with Bryon taking him to his final week of chemo. I was at my daughter Genette’s house in Virginia on April 13th when he finished his last treatment. I found myself there again this year, but with my husband. I flashed back to receiving Steven’s phone call that chemo was finished; I had a total meltdown when I heard that news! Finished!

The picture of Bryon that Steven sent me on that final treatment day was hard to see; he looked completely drugged out. But this year? This year Bryon is, well, Bryon again. His beard is back, his smile is back, and his joking attitude is back. There are residual effects from having the chemo, of course (he fights with neuropathy in his feet), but Bryon, my son, is returning.

This year, Bryon has a fiancé, Amber, and they will be getting married in November. Amber stayed by Bryon’s side and helped him fight his way through the challenges of cancer and chemo. I would say that I am excited about her joining our family, however I feel as though she is already a part of us.

Last year in February I went out to California to be with Bryon as he started his fight with chemotherapy. Carmen (our youngest daughter) went next to be with him for the second week-long round, Genette went out for his third round, and Steven went for the fourth. This year we will all be in California together, and it will be for a much happier occasion.

Yes, today is Bryon’s birthday and what a difference a year makes.

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