Sunday, August 31, 2014

Catching Up!

Well!!!   It's been so long since I've blogged, and lots has happened as four month have sailed on by. Some happy things, some very sad, but that's what happens! Life has come tumbling tumbling tumbling along. I want to journal all of my happenings to have them in my sometimes forgetful memory. Here we are in August and I feel like I can finally catch a deep breath. If you know what I mean, how sometimes you can't really take a deep breath or maybe you don't want to?
Here we go!
Jocelyn turned four on Easter Sunday, so on the Saturday before Melanie and Andrew came down to celebrate her big day. Melanie made this adorable cake and we loved every bite! Yes, she made the bunnies.

The birthday girl is on the far left in the picture, then Charlotte, Audrey and Nathan.

And here is the real Easter bunny baby! Our sweetheart Harper.

In April as I was finishing my mom's history I ran into a snag and thought my life had come to an abrupt halt. I was working on the computer and suddenly I couldn't unscramble the screen at all. I knew right then that the vision in my one good eye was gone. I really felt like it was the end of my road. I told Rich something had caused my eye to blur out. At least I could see Rich, just not his face. This felt like my worst fear coming true. He said, "Maybe you should call the doctor."

And...I of course said, "I'll wait until morning to see if it changes at all." Then I sat down in my new chair and started crying. And crying! and I couldn't stop. Then I fell to my knees and starting praying and praying. Desperation can often send us to our knees. Right! During that prayer, I had the distinct impression to -- NOT WAIT to call the doctor. So I stood up and called the doctor who said to come in as soon as possible in the morning. Then I started the crying all over again. I decided to go for a walk and set off up the hill with tears streaming down my face. As I walked and cried I found some inner strength to balance my unraveling. By the time I made it to the top of the hill, I had stopped crying. I sat down on the park bench for a bit to try to gather myself. I didn't really feel like I could face what may be the future for me -- no reading, no driving, no computer! My macular degeneration has already taken so much away from me. I was definitely in a huge feel sorry for myself mode, but then I headed back down the hill with my tears under control. Good grief! What a mess I was.

The next day the doctor told me after the many tests that I had a ver large blood clot in my eye that was causing the problem. He said, "Hopefully it will eventually go away." I wanted more than hopefully, but was at least comforted a bit in knowing what the situation was. After an injection in my eye, I left with some hope, but dilated vision, no central vision in my right eye and no acuity in my left eye. It was worse than when I went in. But hope! I still couldn't see, but I had some hope. Four months later my left eye is back to 20/60. I am rejoicing that four eye shots later I have one good eye!!!

Life did not slow down during those last four months. I found that if I put the computer font on 78 I could slowly read one word at a time on the computer. I finished Mom's history in 78 font, but I was so happy to be ready to take it to her. I had already finished the ancesters' histories and especially my Neider grandparent's history. I was so happy. Gave my lesson in church! That was read from about 48 font! Rich was helping me edit -- thank goodness! Phew!

So here is Mom's book. Mom and Dad's history is finished. The rest of their kids and grand kids., have to worry about themselves from here on out.

I felt lucky to have finished the text and pictures. I couldn't wait to show it to Mom!

Then my next project.
We, my friend, Lisa Clubb and I had fun making these cute favors for Mother's Day for church. It had a little bag of chip dip/salad dressing mix inside. Cute right!!! We made about 100 of those for Mother's Day to give out with a flower. Fun
We squeezed in a birthday celebration for Rich. He turned the big "70". Gee I never thought I'd be married to someone that is 70 ! ! BUT...................He's still rockin and rollin, so I am happy. Sure love that guy! Cute smile! Cute grandkids !!


                                      Charlotte all dressed up to see "Sleeping Beauty" ballet!

Charlotte, Gabe, Jenna Palmer and I went to see the ballet, "Sleeping Beauty" at the State theater. It was so much fun -- but a little too long for Charlotte who was asleep by the end of the ballet. The State Theater is a restored part of history here in Culpeper and is beautiful.  It was our Mother's Day treat!

Lauren Graduates!

At the end of May Rich and I then headed for the West. Lauren, our oldest granddaughter and Matthew's daughter was graduating from high school. It was a really fun event to attend. Our Lauren is just adorable and of course was the cutest graduate. Matthew came and was with Lauren for her graduation too! It was a big event for all of us.

                             Lauren's four generation - Andrea, Matthew, Lauren and GrandmaDonna!
                                              We all went to Lauren's party afterward!

So much fun to be in Utah for Lauren's graduation. These pictures were from her grad party in Lehi at her home. All of her family were there and we had such a great time. Her graduation was at the Marriott Center at BYU. We were so proud of her!   Rich's sister, Annette and husband Terry were able to come to the party and Darryl and Anna Marie (my brother ans sister in law) came and were able to bring Mom! 
Fun Lunch!
The next day we managed to squeeze in a lunch with my brother, Mark, from Pocatello and his wife Renee who just happened to be in Utah for the day. Their son Ryan came, Matthew was with us and Shawn, my oldest nephew came. It was a short but sweet time together. We have such a great family and love getting together.  Then we picked Lauren up for a pre-birthday dinner before her dad flew home the next morning. 

Fun in Utah

Rich and I were able to stay with is sister and bro in law for a couple of days in Springville, Utah.  We had a great visit with them (Terry and Annette) and were able to spend some tme with some of their grand kids who were all grown up since we had seen them. 

We then headed up to Logan to visit our good friend Jim King. We had such a nice visit with Jim and he took us to visit his wife and our dear friend, Jeneane's grave in Providence. It was a sweet goodbye to one of my very dearest friends. She passed away in September of 2013 in Virginia, but is buried where she grew up in Providence, Utah. Jeneane and Jim both graduated from Utah State University. They now have and auditorium named in their honor. They are such quality people and very dear friends. We were in the West and missed Jeneane's funeral in Virginia and visiting her grave was a special for us.
Here are Jim and Jeneane King.  We were privileged to be with them at the Pentagon the day Jim made General.  He received more stars after, but it was a very special occasion.  I could go on and on about the fun Jeneane and I had -- shopping, the beach, literary club, work, church, babies, weddings, lunches, laughing, crying -- you know, everything you do with your best friend.  She battled cancer for many years.  And she was a warrior!  I really miss my sassy, darling, good friend.

The summer of 1998, the Kings invited our family and my mom and dad to celebrate the 4th of July with them.  It was such an amazing invitation.  We had a fun cookout at their home on Ft Myers, Virginia which is attached to Arlington Cemetery.   We  then walked through the back gate at the Cemetery to watch the fireworks across the Potomac River in Washington, D.C.  We sat with the Army generals on the lawn at the Custis-Lee Mansion.  My dad was so honored to shake hands and speak with these men who were so respectful to him as a veteran of World War II.  It was a solemn event for all of us.  It was the nicest thing these dear friends could have done for me.  My dad talked about being able to be at this 4th of July event in Arlington Cemetary.  It meant so much to him and my mom.

Loved seeing this beautiful cemetery where Jeneane is buried and paying our respects to her.

On to Vegas

Heading back south we made a quick trip to Las Vegas to meet up with Jeremy to pick up Tanner and his friend, Kenan for a BYU basketball camp. We stayed with Mike and Rosy for two nights and had the wonderful benefit of having our own private fireside in their home. They were soon to be released as the mission president and listening to their experiences and having them talk about missionary work to two 12 year old boys was very impressive. Rosy was very ill and she pressed forward to talk with these two future missionaries.

                                              My brother, Mike and his wife, Rosy

These two are just an amazing couple!  Work hard, Play hard, Love everyone, Love The Lord, Serve others -- in other words, they are just wonderful examples to the rest of us.  We had so much fun seeing them before they left Las Vegas.

                                               Jeremy and Chase in Las Vegas
Some people will do anything to make their children smile.  Only this time, it didn't work.

                                                        Grandpa and Tanner at BYU Basketball Camp

Rich headed back to Virginia and I stayed on in Utah to spend some more time with Mom. She was getting so weak and fragile, but I was able to spend time  at her assisted living apartment and had fun reading her history to her. She was really thrilled with  it. We invited her two sisters for a lunch at her place and had a fun get together with them. Mom's older sister, Helen is now 95 and her younger sister, June is now 85. My cousins, Diana and Doreen  also came. For dessert we all had a chocolate covered twinkie! Who knew those existed. 

Here's my mom with her sisters.  My mom,Donna is in the middle.  Helen is on the left and June is on the right.  My mom was bearly able to find her smile.  She was so weak and at this point couldn't do much for herself.  She really loved her sisters and they her.  What a fun time we had.

Here is Chef Don.  Mom loved him and he loved her right back.  Here they are in the dining area of the kitchen.

I bravely went on a field trip with Mom on the assisted living center bus to an ice cream parlor. I was thinking -- "Dream Team" the whole way. Mom is always game to go anywhere and had such fun having her hot fudge sundae. It was a tradition she had with several of her kids. If we were out and about, we ended up getting hot fudge sundaes for a treat.
Mom doesn't look to happy here, but she was having fun.  I told her I didn't want to go on the field trip, but would stay and continue to organize her clothes and drawers.  She would have none of that.  She said, "Oh come on and go.  You'll have fun."  Boy, I really didn't want to go, but she was right!  I did have fun. 
Like I said, it doesn't look like she was having fun here, but she was.  Chef Don drove the bus!  What an adventure.  This falls under the category -- you can't make this stuff up!

At the end of the week, Margo (my sis-in-law) came down to SLC to help drive me around (eye issue and can't drive). We had fun keeping the road hot between Darryl's,  where we were staying,  Mom's assisted living and Shawn and Jeanine's home. Shawn is Margo and Kenny's oldest and was helping me adjust the pictures for the history.  No matter what we were doing, we had fun.

So June was coming to an end and I had to get home to welcome Jeremy's family from California who were coming for two weeks. Hooray! They haven't been to Virginia for a couple of years. Way too long.

As I left Utah I felt a dread of sorrow leaving my mom. She was so weak and fragile and I knew her time was probably short. Darn it, it was.  I was happy to have had an extra week with my mom after Rich left and before Margo came.  Looking back now, it was a sweet time to be with her.

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