Greetings from Alberta.
1. I am home again, having had a wonderful trip to Arkansas to see the southern family. Deborah went with me, her first trip to Arkansas since she was four. Her highlight was spending lots of time with her biggest sister Stephanie.
2. I saw my precious grandchildren. I didn't just "see" them, I babysat them while Stephanie and John Mark took a little vacation to Cancun. (Sucks to be them, eh?) Babysitting Roman and Avery was amazing. I got really familiar with and fell more deeply in love with them. It was truly awesome.
(Memaw, Deborah and me, 2000)
3. There were a couple of unexpected turns during my trip that left me feeling extraordinarily blessed. My grandmother, the last of my grandparents, got very ill and the family was "called in" thinking she was dying. Because of this, I got to see extended family I haven't seen in 20-25 years. Specifically, I was very happy to see my cousins Paula, Vicki and Lisa. It had been so long. Without Memaw's illness, I wouldn't have seen them. Seeing them was a definite highlight of the trip.
4. My Uncle Corkey, on the other side of the family, passed away. It was very sad to see my cousins suffering, but I was so very glad that I got to see them. I haven't seen them in 20-25 years either. Seeing these cousins was another highlight.
5. It was great getting to be with my dad at his brother's funeral. All Daddy's kids were there and that was very very special for him.
6. My grandmother is still in the dying process. Her family is with her right now, probably singing and reading the Bible to her as I type this. That's what they've been doing over the past couple of days. They've expected her to die for several days now. All her remaining kids are with her and a number of grandchildren and great grandchildren. I can't be there, but I'm so very very thankful I got my goodbyes in last week when I saw her. As I was leaving her bedside last week I told her I was going back to Canada and she responded with "When will you be back?" Then we exchanged I love yous. I'm so so thankful.
(Memaw last year when I was down there, 2009)
7. To be honest, I assumed my last three trips to Arkansas were my last time to see Memaw. But this time, I'm relatively sure was indeed the final one. She is 94. Thankfully she's been lucid up to now.
8. Deborah, who hasn't seen Memaw since she was four, got to sit by her bedside too. A couple times Deborah was briefly all alone with Memaw. When I walked in Deborah was stroking Memaw's arm. I was touched by her tenderness and sweetness. I was also touched by Memaw's gentleness. I'm sure she didn't know Deborah from Adam, but she smiled lovingly as if to tell Deborah she was special.
9. My book, which was dedicated to my dad, was a big hit with him. I just realized I've not posted since holding the first copy of my book, don't count the cows. It's a lovely little book, I must say. Chock full of mistakes though, typographical, grammatical, layout, etc. 66 mistakes. Yep, I counted 'em. And that's just the ones I caught. Very, very hard on my anal retentive tendencies.
10. School's back in session and this mama is very, very happy about that.
11. My work is going well. My friend Shelly pointed out that I never mention my job. That's because I want to keep it. Have you read about the people who've lost jobs because of saying things on the web? I don't want to be in that number. However, I love my job and am thankful to have it.
12. The sky was spitting white stuff today. What's up with that? It's September.
13. Rachael's boyfriend was over last night. He went into her bedroom. I jumped up and went in there and said, "Excuse me Rachael, is there a boy in your bedroom?" They both turned toward me as Rachael said, "He's just looking at my cds." I said, "So it's true, there is a boy in your bedroom? I thought we had some sort of house rule about this." While she and I talked around Scott, he left her room. I felt powerful and smooth.