Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bob's mother's death

Bob's sweet mother Maxine left this world to be with Jesus on December 3rd about 3:05 a.m. She had Alzheimer's so the last 4 or 5 years have been challenging for Bob. About 3 weeks before she died we had to move her to Quail Ridge to a Alzheimer's facility so things were going to get worse for her. She did know Bob the day before she died so that was good. She was in good health for the most part and so we are glad she did not have to endure what was sure to come had she stayed with us for awhile longer. The hardest thing to endure was typical of the disease and that was the anger and rage at the caregiver, Bob and the outbursts of profanity that was so unlike her.

Most of her life were devoted to sharing the gospel of Jesus and trying to help those in need. She had a hard life in that she lost a son Richard at 8 years of age and another son, Raymond when he was grown. It would be so hard to outlive your child.

I wanted to write this blog to share what an experience we had in laying her to rest. First we had a small funeral for her here in Lubbock, Texas and that went very well. She wanted to be buried next to her husband Ray who had died in 1996 and her youngest son Richard in Dakota City, Nebraska, so Bob had to work with not only the funeral home here but another one up there. Sanders Funeral Home delivered the body to Delta Airlines in Dallas on Saturday evening and we took a plane out on Tuesday morning. We were supposed to arrive in Sioux City, Iowa at 3:46 in the afternoon. The only airlines that go into Sioux City, is Delta-Northwest so from Lubbock we had to fly to Memphis, Tenn, then transfer to a flight that went to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and from there we were supposed to transfer to a plane that would take us to Sioux City. Before we left, Bob's cousin Irene, called and said a blizzard was on the way and maybe we should postpone things but knowing how unpredicatible the weather can be, we decided to take a chance and go on after talking with the director of the funeral home there.

While in Memphis, we got word that the boday did not arrive in Omaha, so they were not sure when it would or where her remains were. Poor Bob got on the phone with the funeral home in Sioux City, and then his cousins to cancel the funeral which was scheduled the next day. After arriving in Minneapolis, after several hours of delay, they cancelled our flight. We decided to try to get closer to Sioux City if possible so we flew into Sioux Falls, South Dakota where we spent the night. The next morning we rented a car and drove down to Sioux City.

We were able to have the services the next day as they located Mrs. Strong in Minneapolis and finally got her remains in Sioux City. The blizzard did come as predicted so we were at the cemetary with temperatures at -5 degrees with a wind chill of 17 below zero. The crowd was much smaller due to the weather being so nasty, but we finally did get her laid to rest.

Next came the challenge of trying to get our flights changed to the next day. So we flew home a day later than planned.

Wish you could plan not to leave this earth in December, in the middle of a blizzard. We missed Rose's performance in the Nutcracker and also Cody's Nutcracker performance and Brianna's Choir concert due to our untimely travels. So sorry for this for the girls sake.

Here it is December 16th and I don't have all of those 32 presents purchased or wrapped or any of the decorations up. I am feeling extremely sorry for myself. I am sure that as time passes we will laugh about all of this as it was an unbelievable experience. I understand Maxine was a little fire-cracker in life and she sure went out with a bang. Bob was lucky as was I to have a good woman for his mother. We will miss her but we would never want her back the way she was.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Whew!! Birthdays are special especially for little ones. Not so much for old ladies like myself. Recently Bob and I went to one of our great grandson's 2 1/2 year old party. Why a 2 1/2 year old party you ask? Well Ryan's birthday is December 22nd, not a great time to have a birthday let alone a party. How do I know.....because my birthday is December 23rd. Anyway it was a great idea to have a 2 1/2 year old party.

They had it at a big health club here called Bodyworks for Women. they have a wonderful indoor children's pool with two slides, big buckets that periodically fill with water that dump water all over the place, big valves like fire fighter valves and things to climb on and so on. The place was crawling with little people and their parents.

Even my youngest granddaughter, Silas who is one year old wanted to be part of the action. She thinks so is so big. I came directly from work and did not have a bathing suit on. Not sure I want one on right now either. I got soaked trying to keep silas safe. Her bigger brother Memphis loved it so much. He must have gone down the slide 100,000 times.

I am writing about this with a bit of nostalgia. It brought back memories of my dear sweet mother. She loved parties especially family parties and she would have loved this one. It was filled with little people having a good time and their parents watching them carefully. Mother had a few more grandchildren than I do ( I have 18) and quite a few more great grandchildren. She was never happier than getting together with the family. I hope there will be times in heaven when we get together with all our loved ones to celebrate the love we have for one another. I sit here crying, longing for her and the sweet memories we shared but glad she has gone on to be with Jesus. I guess it strikes me most when I am enjoying something I know she would have loved.

Friday, February 27, 2009


This story requires a little background. Bob and I are not young anymore, much as we wish we were, but we have always been willing to learn new things for the most part. A number of years ago we got our first computer and have since upgraded 3 times. When we got the first one Bob dutyfully went to some computer classes and promptly never touched the computer again for several years. By the time he got back to the computer he had forgotten everything they taught him in the class so it was back to square one.

Now fast forward a few years; I have tried to teach him a bit of navigation several times over the years and he would take copious notes, practice the routine, then promptly put the notes up so good, they were never to be found again. This process has been repeated several times over. However in the past 6 to 8 months he has determined to learn the process again. He can now type in "Google" and then type in the key word and then generally find what he wants. He has gotten especially good on looking up the weather in Manuel Benavides, in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico.

What makes this story a scream follows. This evening we went to the Drug Emporium. Bob was looking at a natural sweetner and wanted to know the glycemic index of it, since we were unfamiliar with that product. He asked the young man to look it up on the computer and the kid said I don't know if I know how. Anyway Bob said just go the the address line and type in and then when on google, type in the word of the product which he did. Then the kid said, I don't know how to find out the glycemic number on this. Bob said just type in the product name and then type glycemic index number after it, which the kid did. It immediately pulled up the information.

What is so funny is that as Bob was leaving, the kid said "You Sure Do Know Your Computers". I laughed until I nearly cried as Bob has been so frustrated over trying to learn this. We have not even tried to learn email yet.

Now I want you to know Bob is really smart and can learn anything, he just has trouble with his wife teaching him and he has trouble sitting still long enough to learn the process. Anyway laughter is said to be good for the soul and so we had a good soul day.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Missing Mother

As February winds down and we only have another week left in the month I think back to what we were all doing this time last year. Starting in January mother started her final journey which ended in Heaven. Her health had gotten so bad that Linda Mae and I summoned Patti, Neale, Greg, Joy, and Linda Lou and all came to see her in the following weeks. Patti, Neale, Greg and Lita all were so alarmed with her condition that they all decided to stay which finally culminated in mother's passing on March 5, 2008.

I find myself crying often as I think of all the firsts of this past year starting with Easter, Mother's day, 4th of July, mother's birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas and now the anniversary of her final journey. I still find myself wanting to pick up the phone and discuss something going on in our lives. She was always such a willing ear and always looked for the best in each situation no matter what.

I posted a photo of her on facebook and many of the family have all been thinking of her just like I have. A good friend of mine sent me a message and said that it had been 6 years since his mother's passing and not a day goes by that he does not miss her.

I ask myself what is the good in thinking about her like this and I guess I hope that I can have somewhat of the same impact on my children and grandchildren as she did and live a life worthy of her memory.

My niece, Lori lives in Germany and she made a chocolate pie today and was reminded of mother. Mother made the most devine chocolate pies and as far as I can tell no one can equal her. Some of us try but never quite achieve the perfection she did. Another niece Kristen who lives in the state of Washington expressed a similar experience around Christmas or Thanksgiving.

We are all missing you mother and although we would not want you to be sad or to back here, we do hope you know how much we all love you and miss you.