I'm sure, unless you are one of the Golden Girls, you will remember the popular TV show of the same name, rather than the group of crazy women who banded together once a month to keep our sanity. We have been friends for more years than I am willing to admit. We brought our pocket calendars, and set the next monthly "Golden Girl meeting." To be honest, I don't remember how many years we did that either. What I do remember is a few times the management came to our table and asked us to tone it down, because our laughter was bothering some of the people sitting close to us. But that was our purpose, for an hour and a half, once a month we "brought everything to that table." We talked about problems with our kids, our parents health issues. Later we discussed the "empty nest syndrome." We attended each other's childrens weddings, and sometimes bridal or (grand)baby showers. We eventually talked about the issues our parents were having, and finally dealing with the death of our parents. Today, as Golden Girls, we are reaching out to each other, just as we have for so many years, even though we are scattered over the county, to say good-bye to Ellie. Ellie finally moved to the head of the line.
In addition to being Golden Girls, Ellie and I were best friends.
When I first learned that she had a stroke, I did what I always do. I started praying for complete healing and asking the Lord to heal her body. Over the next few weeks, the Golden Girls reached out to each other for "updates from Steve (her son)." Rather than accept the fact that this stroke was a major game changer for Ellie, I focused completely on the last conversation I had with her. She called to tell me that her family, was planning a vacation to Florida, "probably not until next year." She went on to say, "I could stay with you and maybe we could get together with the Golden Girls one more time." Absolutely! We laughed about old ladies being asked to leave a restaurant because we were too loud. I focused on the thousands of memories I have with Ellie, rather than focus on the fact that she was not getting better. Her son Steve was amazing, in that he kept us (Golden Girls) aware of what was happening with our precious El.
I reflected on that last conversation when she said, "I'm gonna try to loose about 50 pounds before we head to Florida." That statement is only significant to another Golden Girl, because Ellie was always "going to lose 50 pounds by the week-end, before vacation I need to lose 20 pounds, I started a diet yesterday." But then she would order "diet coke, and supersize everything!"
When Steve let me know that she had passed away, it was a mixed blessing. At that point I knew she couldn't survive, and she had been in so much pain, and was so frustrated, I knew I had to let her go. However, it wasn't until Steve text her "final arrangements to me" that it all came tumbling down around me.
I knew if Ellie could see me, she would have laughed at me, at my tears. I think in all the years we knew each other, I could count on one hand the times I saw Ellie cry. She was a strong person, but she saw herself as weak. She was kind and genuine, but she wasn't sure people accepted her. She was faithful and loyal to her friends and family. She was beautiful, inside and out, but she always thought of herself "as fat."
You are at the head of the line Ellie. It's up to you to make the arrangements for the "next Golden Girl reunion." We'll all be there with you, sooner than we know. I remember over the years, Ellie didn't like any public show of affection, such as a hug when we were leaving each other. However, in the past ten years we never hung up the phone without saying "I love you." The last time I saw her she actually let me hug her! She knew each of the Golden Girls loved her too. She loved almost everyone.
I'm sad I can't call her and read this to her, however, I know she had no doubt that I loved her to pieces.
Rest in Peace my precious loyal and loving friend. Rest in His arms, until we get there!
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Ellie and I vacationed together. After she retired, I talked her into getting a part-time job in the same town as me. One time she was getting ready to go visit her son, who was stationed in Hawaii at the time, and she told me she was worried that she couldn't keep up. So, I got the brilliant idea to "make her walk with me over our lunch hour." I picked her up from her office, drove the couple miles to a "safe spot" for us to walk. I measured the telephone poles and knew about how far I could walk in an hour. I suggested she try to walk to at least two of them. I took off, my usual speed. When I turned to go back to my car, I noticed she was already in the car. I was so happy, and feeling like I had been an encouragement, and inspiration to her! When I got to the car, I said, "Ok, El, it wasn't as difficult as you thought, right?" She didn't say anything at first. I said, "How far did you get?" She said, "I started out, planning to just go to the first pole. Then I realized I forgot my purse, so I came back to the car." What??? "Why did you need your purse?" She said, in typical Only Ellie Fashion, "Well, I just thought if I passed out, the paramedic's wouldn't know who I was, so I needed my purse with my identification!"
The last time we spoke, we talked about a Golden Girl reunion of sorts. She said, "I would really love to get together with everyone at least one more time." We all used to live within miles of each other, now we are all over the country. Two of us live in Florida, one in Arizona, one in Ohio, and Ellie lives in Virginia with her son and his family.
In the past few weeks Ellie had a stroke, and the right side of her body was affected. She also needed to learn to speak again. Her son has been awesome to keep me up-to-date. He said this week she was doing better, awake and alert, but had a long way to go.
The last text I received stated that Ellie had pulled out the trach again, and the nurses did not get to her in time. She had no heartbeat and was not breathing. They were able to resuscitate her. When he sent the text, the ER sent her for a CAT scan to determine if she is brain dead or not.
I have been waiting to hear from him, regarding how she is. I started praying differently last night. I do not want her to suffer anymore. I love her so much, and can't imagine life without her, but I'll see her again!
I love you Ellie......"could we stop at Walmart, I need to pick up, just one thing!"
I know just what you will say!!!!!
Sunday, July 14, 2019
Several weeks ago, during his morning message, our Pastor stated, "Freedom isn't free." I have heard that expression for so many years. As I get older, that phrase means more to me than ever. That morning Pastor Jim asked, "How many of you have someone in your family who is, or was in the military? I would like you to stand." I stood to honor my Father, my Aunt, Uncle, my Husband and my son. He added, "don't just look at me, but turn around and look at all the people who are standing." I turned around to see what he was talking about. I'm guessing more than half of the congregation was standing. He hesitated, and I sensed he was overcome by what he was seeing too. Some of those men and women did not come home. He asked those who lost a loved one while serving in the military to remain standing. Our church is small, by comparison, however there were more people standing that I realized. It did not have to be an immediate family member, but someone in their family or extended family.
When I learn about someone burning the flag, I literally see red. Or when I see on the news, people protesting something, anything, I often wonder why they stay in this country...if they were living in another country they would be punished harshly, maybe even killed for voicing their opinion, positive or negative. I am always amused when Jessie Waters (Waters World, Fox News), randomly interviews people on the street. He asks people to identify a picture of someone one. One day he chose Nancy Pelosi. The people he interviewed had absolutely no idea who she is. I remember one occasion when Waters asked a person why she was protesting, her answer...because it isn't right! When Jessie probed a little further, he asked, "what isn't right?" She said, "stuff, all this stuff." Hmmm, I guess that clears it up.
I know the 4th of July was several days ago, but I can't get the image of the people left standing, who have lost loved ones, fighting for that very flag people are burning, or protesting.
I don't know about you, but I will fight to the death to fight for my country. I will always stand for my flag, and I will continue to kneel at the cross. I think some people just have it backwards.
Friday, June 14, 2019
Bailey was a West Highland Terrier, and Marley is a Maltese...so they should not have any of the same characteristics. And the fact that Marley did not "know" Bailey, he didn't pick up any of Bailey's traits.
Marley seems to be getting a "signal" from someone, because he does have many of Bailey's characteristics. One of them is he barks like he's a Rottweiler, only when one of us is with him. Bailey adored my husband, and Marley is worse. I was in the living room one day and I heard the most awful sound....it kinda sounded like a beagle??? You know how they howl? I walked into my office, and there was "little Marley perched on the back of the loveseat looking out the window." Howling! When he loses site of my husband, he whines, cries, and runs from one door to the next. And just last week, "learned" to howl!
Another of Bailey's characteristics was fear. Only of loud noises, like the crack of thunder, and the flash of lightening. He hated the mail truck, and fireworks. My daughter suggested a "thunder-shirt", and I think she sent it to me. Bailey would not let either of us comfort him. It truly broke my heart to watch him shake because of the storm. The thunder-shirt worked only if I put it on him before the storm started.
Unfortunately, Marley does the same thing. The major difference is Marley will let us hold him, and he stops shaking. I bought a new one for Marley because he weighs a lot less than Bailey did.
My husband and I are idiots when it comes to our fur babies. Last week I had an appointment, and left before the storm came.
I was in my car, driving home when my husband called me. He said, "are you ok? We are having a really bad storm?" I assured him I was fine and would be home soon. Then my husband said, "Did you put Marley's shirt on him before you left?" No honey, he put it on himself...
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
We have been blessed for many years to have a dependable guy cut the grass, and trim all the bushes. Unfortunately he was in an auto accident about a month ago, and will not be able to do all that he has in the past, at least for a while. I tell him all the time, this hibiscus bush does better when he cuts it back. He never argued with me, but he never cut it all the way back. I don't think he believed me when I told him you have to cut out the "dead wood." I think he has always been afraid to do that. So in his absence, I have taken over that role of "bushes trimmer." This particular bush started out as a potted plant. It is beautiful because it has "double flowers on it." As you can see, there's not much left of this poor little bush.
As I was pruning the branches I realized that all the flowers were at the very top of the bush. There were no flowers anywhere on the rest of the bush. As I got into the middle, each of the branches were spindly, and weak. It finally occurred to me that only the very top of the bush got sun, and rain.
Wiping the sweat from my face, I stood back and looked at this now pathetic little tree. And realized the similarities. Lately, it feels like the Lord has been pruning my "branches". When I don't take the time to sit in the morning, and get all the "sonshine" from my devotions, and Bible, my "flowers" are only on the outside. Not much on the inside. My heart and soul become weak and spindly.
I think writing this blog had a two-fold message. The other one is maybe Jack will see what I did to "his" hibiscus, before he comes back. I wanted to break it to him slowly. I only meant to trim that bush.
It will grow back, hopefully before he sees it!
Sunday, June 2, 2019
Last week I shared a post written by Franklin Graham regarding praying for our President today. It was not a political endorsement, so I was surprised when two of the responses were negative.
I picked up the paper this morning, and the headline read "11 killed in Virginia by a disgruntled employee." There is an ugly divide in our country that I don't ever remember in its history. At least not my time on this earth. The person who killed 11 "coworkers" was angry. So angry that he decided to kill 11 innocent people? Just recently, not five miles from my home, 5 people, 4 of them were doing their job, while the 5th person was a bank customer, when a monster decided to play god, and take their lives...all 5 of them! Why?
When I asked people to pray for our President this morning, like him or not, he is still the President of this country that my father, husband and son fought for! When I ask people to pray for our President, pray that the Lord will touch his heart, and lead us in the direction He wishes us to go, and they refuse, what does that mean? I pray for a day when we will all come together in a loving, supportive manner. When I shared that thought with a friend, she said, "I don't think that will happen until we get to heaven." She may be right. However, I am praying for our President, and all the people who have so much hate in their hearts.
We have to come together as a country, United we stand! Divided we fall. Every day I learn about another mass shooting (anger). Innocent people are gunned down for no reason(anger). Except for the fact that the shooter is ANGRY with someone! If we continue to fight among ourselves, and refuse to pray for people we don't like....where does that leave this country.
Jesus reminds us often we shall love each other. In Luke 6:27 But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (NIV).
Today, I stand with Franklin Graham and thousands of other Christians who are praying for our President, and this great United States of America! I'm also praying for you.
Monday, December 17, 2018
My husband tries his best to surprise me for Christmas or birthdays or our anniversary. He started asking me several weeks ago to give him a clue about what I wanted for Christmas. Several days ago, I mentioned I would love an Elliptical. He didn't seem very interested when I mentioned that. So, I just assumed he really didn't think it was a good idea, or maybe he had another idea. I kinda forgot about the Elliptical, until this morning. I approached my husband again, and said "did you think about the Elliptical, or did you come up with a different idea?" He was folding clothes, and said, "Just once, I would like to surprise you!"
What??? He continued, "I'm supposed to go look at one later this morning." I wondered if he knew what I was talking about. Yup, he did! He showed me the picture! He asked one of our sweet neighbors to help him bring it home. I thought it would fit in the back of my car!
Well, they delivered it a few minutes ago. To say I'm excited is an understatement. I stepped up on the machine, and realized it has an extra feature! A cup holder! I can eat a Frosty while I'm working out!!!
He did surprise me!