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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Camping, Creativty, and Courage

Mom and Dad, the day after the wedding of my youngest nephew, summer before last. This photo taken in my older brothers and SIL's back yard where we all just chilled after the wedding, the rehearsal dinner. We were celebrating hubby and my Anniversary (35), younger brother's Mike and his wife Dee's Anniversary and both of their birthdays, AND the end of chemo for young Janet...many of you will remember my niece Janet and her battle with bone cancer.

Remember the good times, which aside from my nature; Mom said in some of her last moments.

Mike, Mom and Dad and I were camping locally on an Island that we got to from our small fishing boat. Took several trips to get the 4 of us, and our camping equipment there. The Island was soft and sandy and we were the ONLY people on it. Soooooooo cool. (older brother Chuck was working and couldn't go). Mike and Dad fished and Mom and I set up camp, made dinner and did our thing. Sleeping on the soft sand in our tent was comfy.....

Mom and Dad were up having their morning coffee at the picnic table, Mike and I racked out. Next up me. Sorta. As I started out of the tent (no doubt to make my way to the woods to go potty), bees surrounded me. Quickly I zipped the tent shut and yelled at Mike to wake up. Mom and I decided, with Mikes help the bees were waking up. The bees that lived in the sand, that were asleep when we pitched our tent. So, I jumped back in the tent to help Mike hit the floor of the tent to stun or better yet kill those bees. Mom and Dad were at the ready to drop the tent poles the minute we escape. Naturally, we're all moving fast; and laughing.

Whew, made it. Bees stunned, escape made, tent downed super fast and moved quickly off the nests.

Some how, we all managed not to get stung.

I know anyone who knows me is immediately thinking, knitting and crocheting. Sure, Mom taught me to knit when I was very young and that will always be with me. She didn't teach me to crochet; but......being creative is more than that. Being creative with how you cook, how you stretch the family budget to get the most for the dollar. You know, look in the fridge...not much there. Take a look in the cupboards...even less and still make a meal so the family you love will have something to eat. And really not just something; but a balanced meal. Being creative means taking clothing and furniture and making something worthwhile from it.

The dining room table still in use at Mom and Dad's house is a table Mom rescued from the curbside when we were young. We lived in half a duplex, a rented duplex. The older woman next door had died and her place was being emptied. She was the owner. A table carried from her basement in parts (legs and top separate, with burn holes we were told had been used by the guys to play poker) held possibilities for my Mother. She got help to carry the table to our basement. She spent months working on it. Cleaning it, sanding it, filling the holes with wood putty, staining it, and using a nail made what looked like a knot hole in a couple of larger holes. She and Dad put the table together. It's Oak, it's beautiful. The family ate more meals there then I can count. I don't remember how many leaves there are; but a huge number. As the family grew with us kids getting married; we could still all sit around this table at Thanksgiving.
Fine china, linen table cloth and the family around that table is a memory I will never forget.

The courage Mom showed at the hospital is something to marvel at. She never cried, not when they put in 3 different chest tubes, not when she wasn't able to speak due to a respirator being inserted a 2nd time, not when she watched them hang the 16th unit of blood, or when they had to get ultrasound to help place her 4th arterial line because her veins were so bad. In her long 7 week hospital stay, she never ate a meal. She had a feeding tube and went weeks without water except for a swab in her mouth, or an occasional pop cycle. When she had so much fluid in her system that it oozed out her pores she showed courage. When she had the opposite problem and had so many tubes/hole that she drank a swallow of juice and it came out her side, she showed courage. When she made the decision that it was time to stop all the medical intervention; she showed courage. Not a tear did she shed.

Just some of the things I will always remember that start with the letter C.

Love you Mom


  1. Thanks for sharing the happy memories!

  2. Glad you could share. Thanks for doing so.
    No one can take our memories from us. I find they are such comfort to me ; ones of my parents and my dear husband.

  3. Hello My dear friend......what a great testiment to your mom....and just like her, you also have great courage...

    take care and we look forward to hearing from you again soon...


  4. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman.

  5. Thank goodness for your memories! Cherish them :)

  6. Thanks for sharing. Hang onto all those wonderful memories. It takes time. I lost my dad about 20 yrs. ago. The first few yrs., whenever my mom & I would talk about him, we'd get weepy. Now, we laugh whenever we talk or reminisce about my dad. Nobody could stretch a meal like our moms.

    It's good to see you here back your blog again. I've been thinking about you & you've been missed.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing these memories. *HUG*

  8. That was beautiful, Sandy...I'm crying...


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