Mom’s memorial service is Sunday

Sunday June 27th would have been my mother’s 81st birthday. We are having her memorial service Sunday. We wanted to wait until all of her beautiful flowers were in full bloom and hopefully the weather would be nice. The weather forecast for Sunday is calling for sunny and 81 degrees.

Last Sunday three of my sisters, a niece and I got together to work on finalizing the plans for the memorial service. There is not going to be a formal ceremony. The memorial service will be open house style. We expect there may be as many as sixty people attending. We hope that some family and friends will speak about their memories of mom. Every family member contributed photos of mom and family to use in a slideshow. We have some great photos, some current and some very old that represent many memorable occasions of mom’s life. We are going to have the slide show running continuously on the TV in my mom’s bedroom. Mom’s Christmas toys and decorations will be displayed in her room since Christmas was her favorite time of year.

Some of mom’s favorite foods will be served. Mom always wanted KFC and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for her birthday parties. Maybe this time we will finally get the timing of the cake just right; not too melty or too frozen when it is served. My sister Debi and a niece will be making mom’s famous potato salad. Everybody always raved about it.

It will be a tough day to get through but it will be good to have all of the family together including some from out of state. I am sure that I will take lots of photos of the gathering.

I’m thankful for…

Although the last few weeks have been rough I do have a lot to be thankful for.

My mother has stage 4 cancer, lungs, colon, lymph nodes and liver. But I am thankful that she is alive and recently celebrated her 80th birthday.

My daughter Tara survived not one but two cardiac arrests 11 years apart. I am thankful that she survived both times and that the second time the doctors got to the root cause. I am thankful that I do have my wonderful daughter and the her husband living close by.

I am thankful that all of my siblings and their families are in good health.

I am thankful that I do have a job with good health benefits and a decent salary.

I am thankful that I have such wonderful friends who are there for me when I need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on.

I am thankful that I have an apartment on Isla now so I don’t have to haul everything back and forth when I visit.

Everyone take a moment today to think about the things you are thankful for. You may be surprised by how long your list is. This is just my short list.

A very special boy!

My daughter’s BF Cindy has a son named Marshall. Marshall was born quite prematurely. When I first saw him when he came home from the hospital at about 5 weeks old his little head fit in the palm of my hand like a baseball. He was tiny. As an infant and through his toddler years Marshall had difficulty eating. Everything that did go in his mouth was pretty much spit back up. Marshall spent a lot of time in speech therapy which was not so much to help him speak but to get his little throat to work to swallow food. At about age three or so Marshall was diagnosed as autistic. When Marshall started school he was assigned a personal aid which to this day he still has. Marshall has many of the classic traits of a person with autism. He only eats certain foods regardless of the meal. I have had several Thanksgiving dinners at Cindy’s house and sat next to Marshall who would only eat a toaster waffle or maybe a roll. He will eat french fries and just a few other foods. Marshall has social interaction issues and if you didn’t know that he was autistic you would think he was a rude child who may have ADD.

But all of this is not what makes Marshall “special“. What makes Marshall special is the absolutely unselfish, caring, loving thing he decided to do to help another kid. Over a year ago Marshall somehow heard about Locks of Love and decided to grow his hair so he could donate it to make wigs for kids. Not something your average nine or ten year old boy would think about doing. Right?

I saw Cindy’s comment on Facebook yesterday and it made me think of what a brave thing this was for Marshall to do.  Brave I say because I am sure more than once some bully made a crack about Marshall looking like a girl. Kids can be so cruel.

Cindy said “My beautiful boy grew his hair out for Locks of Love and finally had enough. It all came off yesterday!”

In a response to a comment about the photos on FB Cindy wrote He has a few sensory issues, so for him to even grow his hair that long is HUGE.”

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Put the hair in a ponytail and whack it off.

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Buzz the rest of the hair off. Then the next step is to mail the ponytail to Locks of Love so that a financially disadvantage kid can get a wig.

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YOU ROCK MARSHALL!

A stressful Chistmas Eve but all turned out good

I do not think that I ever had such stressful Christmas Eve in all of my life. Tara and Kelly came over about noon and Kelly shoveled a walk way in my driveway so I could get to their vehicle. We drove about 20 miles to Beavercreek  on  pretty horrendous streets. We saw several trucks and SUVs sideways on the side of the highway or street and one truck in a huge ditch. It took probably three times longer than normal to drive to Cindy and Randy’s house for their early Christmas Eve dinner. It was well worth it though because the prime rib was great not as awesome as last year but really great. The grilled bacon wrapped asparagus was absolutely fabulous.

The temperature got up to about 36 so the precipitation was pretty much rain for an hour or so. The drive home was much better until we got close to home and off of the main roads. Kelly had to put the vehicle back into 4 wheel drive. The low tonight is supposed to be below freezing so there will be a nice sheet of ice on the streets tomorrow.

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Yum O!!!!!!!!

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Tara’s French boots

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Dinner out and Melissa Etheridge concert

Last night dinner at Kincaid’s formerly the Portland Steak and Chophouse was great. We each had something very different. I had ahi prepared with chili sauce; Erika had Seafood Louie with grilled salmon, Dungeness crab, bay shrimp, deviled egg, and Tara had the petite filet mignon. Everything was perfect including the service.

The concert was at the Schnitzer Concert Hall which is a pretty small venue. Although I purchased tickets the second they were available online we were in the 17th row off to the far right. I took my binoculars with me but we were close enough that they were not needed.
Melissa was fantastic! She has so much energy and her personality shows that she really appreciates her fans. About an hour and forty-five minutes into the show she talked about being told that she had cancer. She said that at 43 she thought she had experienced most everything in life but then she was told she had cancer. She said that rock stars don’t have time for cancer.

It’s been years since they told her about it

The darkness her body possessed

And the scars are still there in the mirror

Everyday that she gets herself dressed

Though the pain is miles and miles behind her

And the fear is now a docile beast

If you ask her why she is still running

She’ll tell you it makes her complete

[Chorus:]I run for hopeI run to feel

I run for the truth

For all that is real

I run for your mother, your sister, your wife

I run for you and me, my friend

I run for life

It’s a blur since they told me about it

How the darkness had taken its toll

And they cut into my skin and they cut into my body

But they will never get a piece of my soul

And now I’m still learning the lesson

To awake when I hear the call

And if you ask me why I am still running
I’ll tell you I run for us all

[Chorus:]I run for hope

I run to feelI run for the truth

For all that is real

I run for your mother your sister your wife

I run for you and me my friend

I run for life

And someday if they tell you about it

If the darkness knocks on your door

Remember her remember me

We will be running as we have before

Running for answers

Running for more

I run for hope

I run to feel

I run for the truth

For all that is real

I run for your mother, your sister, your wife

I run for you and me my friend

I run for hope
I run to feel

I run for the truth

For all that is real

I run for your mother your sister, your daughter, your wife

For you and me my friend

I run for life

Ohohohoh

I run for your mother your sister your wife

I run for you and me my friend
I run for life

Friends and family made the wedding perfect for Tara and Kelly

Tara is Rene’s supervisor at the credit union. Rene is building her portfolio so that she can take on some professional photo jobs. She would not let Tara pay her so we slipped some money into her purse. Rene took a ton of photos and I can’t wait to see them.

Cindy, Tara and Kim. Cindy and Tara have been best friends for twenty-two years. Cindy gave a toast and that made many of us cry.

Cousin Erika, Cindy, Tara and Kim. Erika was pretty much in charge of creating all of the crafty stuff. She and her mother sewed fifty chair covers. Erika and her husband Alan made the arch that the ceremony took place under.

Tara with my sister Debi whose yard the wedding took place in. Debi loves to entertain and be in charge so she was in her element that day.

Kim and Rob are very good friends of Tara and Kelly’s. Two years ago when they got married TnK were their witnesses. Kim wrote the vows and did an excellent job even though a couple of times she started to cry while reading them. Rob was in charge of the music and video camera.

I would be a really bad mother or grandmother if I didn’t post a photo of TnK’s gurlz. Cindy walked down the aisle with them and then they had to give love to TnK when the ceremony was over.

Wedding cake and decorations checked off the to do list

Tara, her friend Cindy and I had an appointment with the cake lady on Sunday. The cake lady, Amy has been making cakes for celebrations for thirty years. After quite a bit of discussion and looking at photos the decision was made to have a three layer cake. The bottom and top layers look like packages and the center layer looks like a box with a lid. It is going to pretty simple with dots on one layer, lace on another and kind swirls on the third. There will be thin ribbons around the bottom of the lower two layers and a bow on the top layer. The smallest top layer will be strawberry something, middle layer chocolate and the third will be a yellow cake. All layers will be iced with a butter cream frosting.

Tara looking at photos of cakes

Really Cindy, it’s nothing to cry about

After finishing up at Amy’s we went to my sisters where the wedding and reception will be held. We spent about four hours working on decorations, place setting cards, wrapping the silverware in the napkins and tying with ribbon. Tara kept saying “we can do that the day of the wedding” and we all kept saying “no, let’s get it done now”. Tara was relieved that we got so much done so she can relax some now.

The sample chair cover Tara’s cousin Erika made for the plastic rental chairs


Place setting cards for the tables


The plastic champagne glasses will be filled with jelly beans

Saturday Tara’s friend Kim is hosting the bridal shower at her house. After the shower the girls are taking Tara out for her bachelorette party. Tara is thirty fours years old. She and Kelly have been together for over 5 ½ years. Ever since Tara met Kelly they talked about getting married and having children. This is just one step closer for her to fullfill those dreams. I am so happy for Tara and proud to see her moving into this next phase of her life.

Now the big question is “how will I not cry at the wedding if I get teary eyed just writing this?”