My Friend, Jane

My friend Jane passed away Saturday evening. She was 91. Her desire was to have her body donated to science. She was hopeful that if they studied an “old” body, maybe they could learn how to help older people lead a healthier and richer life.
There will be no service. No hearse for family and friends to follow to a cemetery, no grave to place flowers. No sad hymns sung.
But I mourn for Jane. I weep for Jane. I will write words to honor the life that her family had no time for any longer.

We didn’t mean to be friends. I knocked on her door one day, while visiting at the nursing home, and she invited me into her room. She then proceeded to tell me that if I was going to talk to her, I’d have to speak up! So I did. ~Smile~ She was polite, yet direct. Sweet, but bossy. A very picky eater. Maybe what I saw was myself in forty something more years? She loved to read, had a sweet tooth, and had to have her daily diet Pepsi. She was soon to be moving to another state to live with her granddaughter.
Jane was an only child. She adored her mother, an RN, and her daddy, a pharmacist. She never knew of hard times because no matter what, her daddy spoiled her. She went to a dance with her girlfriends one night at the canteen in Kansas City….and she danced with a soldier that soon became her husband. They had a son, though at a young age, a childhood disease crippled him for life. Years later a daughter was born. When Jane lost her mother, too young….she was broken and depressed. The family doctor asked her into his office one day. Jane, he said, you have to move on. You need to do something with your life. She asked him, “What could I do?” And he told her to go to school and become a registered nurse, and that’s just what she did. She eventually ended up in the pediatrics department of a children’s hospital. But before that, she did private nursing, and loved talking about when she took care of Elizabeth Taylor’s father for a time while in California. In her later years, she was a beloved nanny for a Tulsa newscaster’s family. She loved their boys as if they were her grandsons.
Jane called Kansas City home, though she lived in Oklahoma longer. She was of the Cherokee Tribe, and the history she shared was just amazing.
Jane was not an old person in a nursing home. She was smart and witty, sad & alone, she was living history with so much to share! Her last year was rough though. When she finally resolved that she would end her life where she was, she gave up. She was tired. She was finished. But we did give it a good fight, didn’t we Jane?

This is real life. Thousands are in nursing home facilities that would love for you to knock on their door. But it is a commitment. I had no idea of the commitment. And advocates are needed because I would guess that maybe two out of twelve people that work in such a place are there to actually help and care for the patients. God bless those that do!
The others ignore the call lights or bring food that cannot be eaten, or let them live in filth and pain and stench. They speak in a condescending manner to the resident. They abuse. They neglect. They steal.
Every person in a nursing home needs a person. Jane wanted you to know this.
So here’s to marshmallows, cinnamon discs, and diet Pepsi, sweet Jane. You can rest in peace now, my friend. I told them. Go with the angels.

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Victim or Warrior?

stuff i tell my sister

We are fortunate as we go through life, to be introduced to many people along the way.  A young man who I knew while still in his mama’s womb is now sharing with others what he is learning in life. The words are powerful and  I feel honored to share them.  Thank you, Kannon Manis!  I am proud of you!

Regime Change

One of the most beneficial lessons I have learned in 14 years of martial arts training is the ability to hold myself accountable for my actions.  This was no easy feat.  In fact, it required a complete mindset change for me.  For a long time I wasn’t living up to my potential as a leader and mentor because it was far too easy to blame my failures and mistakes on my circumstances, or worse, on someone else.  If you have the mindset of a victim, then nothing is your fault.  Every…

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From This Day Forward….Sixty Years Later

Today makes 62 years of marriage for my mom and dad. Happy Anniversary! Thank you for all you do and have done for so many, myself included! We hit the jackpot when God chose you for our parents. ♥♥♥ Love and hugs….

stuff i tell my sister

sixty yrsAugust 8th, 1954, my parents were married in the parsonage of a little Nazarene Church in Marlow, Oklahoma.  There is much I could share with you about them and the positive influence that they have had on the lives of our family and most anyone who’s ever known them….but I think the words below pretty much sum it up~

I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me inside. When I needed clothes, you clothed me…

Whatever you did for one in need, you did for ME. (a paraphrase of a portion of Matthew 25)
sixty dadsixty mom

 Happy Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Thank you both for all you do for others.  Still.  Much love and enjoy your celebration!

(Want to know more?  Read “Love Story“, by my mom.)

 

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Celebrating Independence ~

Celebrating Independence Day!

stuff i tell my sister

A few of my favorite shots from our town’s fireworks display.  Happy Birthday, United States of America!  May God continue to bless this nation, even when we don’t deserve it ~  Be Safe, Friends!

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Bend, But Do Not Break

You are stronger than you think you are…….♡

stuff i tell my sister

debris flower

This flower is hanging on the front porch at my parent’s home in Moore, Oklahoma. It was there before the tornado, and it remained after the storm as well.  The window directly behind this plant is shattered to pieces.  The siding is obviously coated in muck and ick.  But just look at this flower!  What a wonderful representation of the spirit of the people of Oklahoma. . .

Happy Monday, friends.  Be nice to each other ♥

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The 10 reasons being a twin mum rocks!

As the G-Ma of twin baby girls….this is an awesome read! My daughter-in-love is definitely SUPER MOM! (And daddy is terrific as well) Love my girls! #girlcrush


Those who have read my blog before will know that I have openly written about the challenges and stresses of motherhood, I think it’s important to share not only the good but the difficult side of being a mum too because for many that is the reality and one that we sometimes feel embarrassed to discuss. Being a mum is the most elating, all-consuming, wonderful and fulfilling job, experience, whatever you want to label it but it also pushes you at times to within an inch of your sanity.

Twin mums are no different and as much as we hate it when people say it to us the old adage ‘double trouble’ is at times true, every twin mum reading this will know just how stressful it can be when you have not one but two children kicking off in the middle of the supermarket or crying all night long…

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The Survivor Tree ~ Remembering April 19, 1995

We will never forget….

stuff i tell my sister

Today should probably be a silent day, out of honor and respect to each person lost and so many touched by the terrorism that occurred in the heartland of Oklahoma.  April 19, 1995.  I have no words of wisdom.  There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said.  It is simply a day of reflection. Of grieving hearts. Of questions that will never be answered.

My thoughts now go to the tree.  The Survivor Tree.  An old elm in downtown Oklahoma City. It witnessed everything.  It endured the blast.  And because of the love and care from those who surrounded it, it still stands tall. Kinda like Oklahoma. ♥

Witness to Tragedy, Survivor Tree:   Symbol of Strength

(from www.OklahomaCityNationalMemorial.org)

“It is more than 80 years old. An American Elm Tree in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City, it survived the bomb’s blast and witnessed one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil. Today, we call…

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A Mama’s Hope

Thinking of Him…..from the eyes of her…..

stuff i tell my sister

cross by malachi

Good Friday.  I never really understood why it was called good.  I’ve read the account repeatedly.  I could understand Easter being called “Good Sunday”.  But Friday was a horrific day for Jesus.  For those that loved Him.  For His mama.

When I ponder on the heartache I have held for my own children, I cannot begin to  imagine Mary’s.  Illness.  Struggles. Disappointment.  Mistakes.  A mama wants to fix these things for her children, no matter their age.  The hardest place is when you come to the realization that you have no power to change a circumstance.  Were the many prayers sent up for this child all in vain?

And then I reflect upon Mary.  She had no power.  No prayer left.  Her heart exposed.  I cannot help but wonder, when her eyes met His eyes that day ~did she know?  Did she know through the tears, the blood, and…

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From My Heart ~

A reminder to myself to not judge……. and to be kind to others……cause we don’t know what they might be dealing with today.

stuff i tell my sister

 It was a gorgeous sunshiny and very windy day in Joplin, had I stopped to notice.  But I didn’t slow down as I was in hurry mode that afternoon. I had a check off list with many “to do’s” still left undone.  Across town I ran into my realtor’s office to drop off what I hoped to be the last of extensive paperwork before finally selling our house.  You see, I had been living in this ninety year old house of our dreams, alone. Now having dealt with open houses, realtors, criticism, frozen pipes and a tree branch that crashed through the front porch, the dream was long gone. It just HAD to sell this time.  My husband had been forced to move on to start his new career in Oklahoma where he was living in a hotel.  The entire situation was growing older with each day and I’m afraid…

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Sometimes~ A Person Needs Help

Never be afraid to ask for help….

stuff i tell my sister

Sometimes, a person needs help.  Your car won’t start and needs a jump; you need a ride somewhere; you are sick and you need a few things from the store or maybe you simply need to bounce an idea or a heartache off of someone.  There are people who don’t mind asking for help from a friend or a complete stranger.  And then there are folks who will never ask for anything, even when they really need it.

On this particular day, she was walking down a main street in our town, and he was following behind her aggressively, yet with a little distance.  Anyone paying attention could see he was up to no good.  She was walking fast with her arms wrapped tightly around her waist. He was yelling and slapping his coke bottle against his fist.  I turned the car around to follow and they had already crossed the busy street.  When I was…

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