My mother was born June 10, 1932 as Martha Ida Frieda Lampe to Karl and Ida Lampe near Arend Sea in Germany. Karl was a blacksmith who worked hard for his family. Martha was the oldest of five children. Her siblings were Hannelore who lives in Germany, Karl who died in June, Marianne who lives in New York state and Sabine who has passed many years ago.
Martha grew up as a child during World War II in Germany. My mother told us that all the care packages that were sent to Germany for the people in need went to the rich. My mother made sure that there was food on the table for us in Canada because she never wanted to be hungry again.
Life in Germany was difficult during the war and after. My mother actually answered an ad in her local German paper from a German man named Dieter Patzold who was living in Canada. The land of opportunity. This man was living in an area of Ontario that had a strong German presence. My father paid for the ship ticket that would bring my mother over from Germany to Canada in February of 1956.
Both people did not know what the other was like. They didn’t know what they would be getting into but they married February 25, 1956 and had a loving relationship for over 62 years.
I was the firstborn and Martin came shortly after that. My parents bought a piece of land on the outskirts of Kitchener. It was Waldau Crescent and they built themselves a modest bungalow for $10,000. My mother worked for a while at the same skate factory that my father was working at, Bauer Skates. I can remember the large garden that my father and mother had in the back yard. It was huge. My mother would jar and pickle and can and freeze the produce from that garden.
My mother was an excellent seamstress and loved to crochet. Most of my clothes were handmade. An early memory of her handiwork is that she dressed me in this beautiful white outfit for Sunday church, then told me to go outside and play until we were ready to go. Well what is a child to do when she sees a mud puddle except make an angel? My bottom was sore for a few days after that.
My father then decided he wanted to buy a farm. So off we moved to a hog farm. Unfortunately, my parents bought when prices were high and they steadily declined. My parents worked hard to maintain the farm with my brother’s help. I decided to finish high school and found work at an insurance company.
My parents sold the farm shortly after my first marriage and they moved to a house in Kitchener where my father started a landscaping business with my brother. My children remember that house and their dog, Lady. My mother and father loved their grandchildren and showered them with love.
Since we didn’t have relatives in Kitchener as my father’s family was all in what was then called East Germany and my mother’s relatives were all in Germany, we tended to take people in and make them our aunts, uncles and cousins. My mother was called Oma by many people.
My mother did manage to live to quite a good old age. She developed dementia in the past few years. As Andre said, she died a good death which is something I am thankful for. I think my mother waited until her grandchildren and I were at her beside to see her and talk to her before she passed. I am thankful for that.
It is hard to see your parents age. We always think of them being ageless and always there to be our mom and dad. As children we think our parents will live forever. Our parents are always there to help us out. For those of us who are lucky enough to have our parents live a good, long time.
My mother is falling victim to dementia. But my father is quite remarkable for his age and he is determined to take care of my mother. He keeps saying that my mother took care of him during their sixty plus years of marriage and now it is his turn to take care of her.
My father is still able to do their shopping with his moped. They live in a quiet part of Ontario where he is able to travel around with his moped fairly safely. He enjoys getting out and about. He also now does all the cooking for them. Fortunately, my brother has been living with them but my brother is now looking to move out fairly soon.
I have tried to get my father help with the care of my mother but my mother has refused all help. My father, helplessly gives in to my mother. I wish I could do more.
Once I found out that my brother was moving out, I looked into retirement homes. What a shock that was. The minimum cost for a retirement village is $2700 per month. But it quickly goes up to $3,000 per month and can reach $6,000 per month easily when nursing care is added. All of these places do not allow cooking on the premises as meals are provided. This would not work for my parents.
The only affordable retirement place in their city requires so many applications and interviews that my father was overwhelmed with everything that was needed. Problem is, there is a four year waiting list to get into this particular retirement home. I tried to set up an interview with my father with the local LHIN (Local Health Insurance Network) but he didn’t quite understand what was happening and told the person on the phone that they didn’t want help. I tried to tell my father that he needed to answer their questions so they could get on the waiting list.
The other problem was that even though LHIN provides assistance, none of it was free. So for anyone who thinks that the health care system in Canada is wonderful, it isn’t. I would have had to still pay for the assistance but there were waiting lists for all of it. Pretty much a minimum of eighteen months. Great.
My next option now is to find a one bedroom apartment for my parents that is in a good location where my father can buzz around on his moped and pick up the groceries that my parents enjoy. An affordable one bedroom where they have onsite laundry facilities, is pet friendly and with an elevator so my parents can handle the laundry, is not that easy to find.
On top of that, living in the States while dealing with this is not easy. My brother is working full time. I have signed up to various websites to look for affordable, clean apartments with the specifics needed for my parents. When I find suitable apartments, I forward the information to my brother and he will have to take them for a tour.
My husband was wonderful enough to offer that we move my parents to us so that I could take care of them. But that won’t work. My parents would lose their health benefits and it would most definitely confuse my mother.
I feel better trying to find a good one bedroom apartment for my parents. Also, there is always the option of hiring a private nursing service should my father finally give in and ask for help. My brother has also said that when one of our parents passes, he will take the surviving one in with him.
None of this is easy. But it is my turn now. And it is my brother’s turn as well. They took care of us. It is my turn to help my parents and I will work hard to get them the best I can.
I finally found a job I love doing. I signed up with an online company to do transcription work from home. I love doing transcription work. Or dictation if you are old school like me. All I needed was an operable computer and good internet.
Suggestions were made to get noise cancelling headphones, which I purchased. It was also suggested to get an ergonomic keyboard, which I purchased from Microsoft. It is a wireless keyboard and came with a mouse. I downloaded audio player software products. Then I decided to get a foot pedal. I used to do a lot of dictaphone work and used a foot pedal back in the day.
So there I was. All set and ready to go, right? I went through the company’s tests and samples. Everything worked well. Great. I was loving it. Now play the dark music. Da-da-da-dun.
One day before I was to begin an actual assignment, my laptop went haywire. I was typing away and suddenly 000’s went racing across my screen. I quickly saved my document which became all kinds of 0000’s. I tried to shut down but it filled with 00’s and then 11’s. What is a girl supposed to do then? I pushed the power button to turn it off and started to panic.
Turned my laptop back on and it was clear. Started typing again, only to have ^^^’s racing across my screen. Again, I had to push the power button to turn the laptop off. Did one of the audio programs have a virus attached to it? Uninstalled Express Scribe, FTR Player and Liberty Court Player. Then reinstalled just Express Scribe. Started typing again and now *****’s raced across my screen.
Thank goodness I paid for the Geek Squad Support. Let me just say, I have already given them many challenges. Bonus part is that I contacted them remotely and they could access my computer to see what was going on. The technician I chatted with did not know what was going on but he said he would clean up what he could. It took him two hours to clean it up and he did say it was challenging.
The next day I thought everything was fine and started on my work again. I was going along for quite some time and feeling pretty good when &&&’s started to race across my screen. I had a real hissy fit and started to cry. Turned off my laptop and took it to Best Buy and Geek Squad. I was ready to drive over my laptop with the truck. Geek Squad asked me to try to replicate the problem. It wouldn’t happen obviously. Things like this never replicate themselves in front of technicians. They took the laptop in for repairs and told me I might want to consider getting a new laptop. Which I did. A 15.3″ Lenovo Yoga.
Went home with the new laptop, totally frustrated. Set it all up with the wireless keyboard and mouse. But I didn’t need the keyboard right away and set it to the side in the box. I was working along for quite some time, thinking well, that’s that. 1111’s started racing across the screen. I don’t know about you but tears ran down my face. I stayed quiet because after telling my husband about taking the other laptop in for repairs and having to purchase a new laptop only to have the same thing happening on the new laptop, would not go over well.
Removed all the audio programs again. But then I thought, what if it’s the foot pedal? It was not responding quite well. So I removed the foot pedal and continued typing my current assignment. I started to breath and then 000’s. Racing across my screen. Silent screams. Really silent screams inside the pit of my stomach. I managed to finish the assignment that night but my head was ready to explode.
The next day the same things happened. 000’s and/or 111’s. It wasn’t the foot pedal and I couldn’t tell which audio program was doing it when I thought, what if it’s the wireless keyboard sitting in the box beside me? I took the keyboard and put it into another room. Started typing on another assignment and all went well with my world.
I found a spare mouse in the study. Unplugged the doey for the mouse and keyboard. Plugged in the thingey for the new mouse and absolutely nothing happened, in that no more numbers or signs racing across the screen. Oh my goodness! It was the wireless keyboard. In the box which caused the start of my mental breakdown. Exchanged the keyboard and mouse because I was not sure if the keyboard was broken. Simple me figured out the problem but now I have two perfectly good laptops. Well, if my daughter’s laptop crashes, she can have the Asus. Hers is getting old.
Now, when I am not doing my transcription work, I unplug the doey for the mouse and keyboard and plug in the thingey for my purple mouse. Everything works just fine now. I just don’t know what to say.
I am in Canada with my oldest daughter, Veronika, and my granddaughter, Eliora as I am writing this. My youngest daughter, Natasha, is also here with us. Unfortunately, my husband, Bill, could not get the time off to be with us.
Christmas will be different for all of us this year. Although, Christmas changed dramatically when I made the decision to leave my, now ex-husband of thirty plus years in 2013. We did manage to share Christmas together with the entire family (son, Peter and daughter-in-law, Carol included) in 2013. Then the following years, the children did Christmas with their father and then did either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with me.
Veronika and Eliora will be leaving December 23rd to meet Veronika’s husband, Joe, in the Netherlands and they will be celebrating Christmas in the Netherlands. Peter and Carol can only get Christmas Day off from their work schedule. Bill is only able to get Christmas Day off as well. I decided to come up to Canada prior to the 23rd so I could get some time with Veronika and Eliora. Natasha has a break from her college program and is in Canada with us. Peter and Carol did take a long weekend and we all managed to get together with my parents and had a small Christmas exchange.
Veronika, Eliora, Natasha and I also got together with very close family friends last weekend for a Christmas celebration. My parents and brother were also there. It was wonderful to see everyone and be with the babies.
My daughter-in-law Carol, is not happy that she only has Christmas day off and is pretty depressed that she can’t be with family. I suggested, to my son, that they help out at a homeless shelter and he is looking into that. Natasha is going to be with her brother and sister-in-law for the week. I wish I could be with my son and his wife Christmas Day but the drive back and forth is not comfortable for us. I want to be with Bill. I have invited Bill’s sisters, brothers-in-law and nieces and nephews over for Christmas cheer.
But I will not have my children with me for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. I am still not sure how I will feel about that. I am grateful that I could spend time with my parents and the children when I could. Family time is what Christmas means for me. This is my favorite time of year.
Yes, it also means the birth of Jesus and that is important to me. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son to us. We have watched many nativity stories and I have cried over all of them. This is the greatest gift of all. For all the Christmas wish lists that everyone makes up, the giving is more important to me than the receiving. So when God gave us Jesus, I can only imagine the depth of love God has for us. This is what Christmas means to me.
Yes, there is a chapter 4. Chapter 5 too. Probably Chapter 6. Unfortunately. You would think I would catch on and just leave it all alone. But after the ex’s comments and everything that I had heard through the years, I did hope that there was someone for me.
I did go out on a couple of dates. Dating is difficult after so many years of being married. Although, dating as a teenager and young woman was hard. Back in the 70s, everyone knew that going on a date with a guy meant that at the end of the night, you treated the guy back. You know. I just wasn’t willing to do that because I was a really shy teenager. Then when I started dating again, I still had those same thoughts. I just wasn’t willing to be a part of that.
I stayed with Christian Mingle. Bad idea but I was determined. Kept sending hellos to various men. I also tried out a couple other online dating sites. On one of them, I met several local men which was encouraging and actually met them over dinner. But, then one man who was in a city close to me suggested to meet for coffee. Great, I thought. Until he said that after the coffee if I was willing to go to his place. You see, he had strong sexual cravings and needed sex at least twice per day and if I was good with that.
You can imagine how quickly I ended that. It was as if my phone had thrown up on me. All I said was no and goodbye. I did not meet with him for coffee. I was debating about reporting him to customer service. But this was not Christian Mingle and, obviously, too many people would regard this as normal American male lustiness. I, obviously, was not a normal lusty female.
Then one day, I had emails from two men. Frank and Stephen. Interesting. Frank McKnee was dark haired and quite an attractive man. He was an entrepreneur and an artist who did paintings. He lived in Florida. Great. Stephen Feldman was blonde and drop dead gorgeous. Robert Redford is just so-so beside Stephen. But, get this, Stephen was a contractor for oil rigs and was currently working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He was out there until the project ended.
You know the expression, do as I say, not as I do? I just cannot believe I let myself continue with these two men. What was the possibility of meeting up for coffee with either Frank or Stephen? Zip when they apparently were con men. Why, oh why, was I so gullible and why did I keep talking to them? But I did. I thought, I know better. I will just chat with them and know this for what it was.
Except for a couple of things. I chatted with both men for a good month and during that time, neither one asked for money. In fact, Frank recorded himself singing a song for me. Frank also sent me pictures of his paintings. He was a really good artist. Stephen was so freaking handsome that I just wanted to keep chatting with him.
I am warning everyone, it was just the beginning. As is with all con artists, some just want to get the hook into you as deeply as possible so that you won’t be able to say no. If anyone thinks you can fall in love over emails and a phone line, please rethink that. Do not let yourself fall in love until you are actually face to face. I am so hoping to save you from the heartache of having your heart broken, and losing money in the process. I can safely say, more in Chapter 5.
It seems like so many couples I now know have met over online dating. When I ask them which service, ninety percent say with match.com. It feels like with today’s busy lifestyles, more and more people are resorting to this service. However, my experiences with online dating were horrible. If I can save even one woman or man from the pitfalls, I will be happy.
I had been in a horrible marriage for thirty two years. I was verbally abused, controlled and manipulated. I was made to feel worthless. I finally found the courage to break free. While we were separated, I was told by my ex that he would give me one year to come to my senses, then after that he would start dating. During that time, there was never one moment where he tried to take me out for coffee or dinner to just talk. During that year, I began to breathe. I did not think for one minute that I wanted to start dating or even look at another man. I needed time to be able to breathe and try to heal.
However, after one year, my ex calls me to tell me that he had gone to a dating service. He said he had roughly twenty women lined up to meet him. He picked out three potentials, then managed to settle with one woman. After the conversation, I hung up the phone and decided that I did not need to talk to him ever again. Like what happened to seeing if there is an attraction? What about trying to find that person that will connect with you?
Then I realized that I just wasn’t good enough. No man has ever, or would ever, look at me. I mean, my ex never complimented me. Never said I looked good. Never said anything positive about me. So it must be me, right? I would be alone for the rest of my life. When all I ever wanted was a man who loved me for me.
I searched out online dating websites and the first one I went to was ChristianMingle.com. At that time, I could sign up for free. However, your access was limited so I signed up for a monthly account. I was pretty active and I tried to fill out my details as much as possible. I mean, I thought I was safe on a Christian based dating site. I set out details for men that I would be interested in.
Got some bites pretty quickly. The first one was a sergeant in the US Military who was divorced. He wanted to know my personal email. Big mistake. Don’t give that out to anyone ever. There is an email account with the dating website where you can send and receive emails and you can do online chats. I didn’t give my email address out for this guy because I was wondering about him being in the military. Apparently, he was in Saudi Arabia.
I googled his name and it did come up. The news article that I found was maybe six months old. The article definitely said he was married with one son. During our emails, he said his son had died and he was divorced. I asked him how long he was divorced. I told him I found a news article from six months ago which said he was married. He ranted, actually ranted, about how news reporters were getting their facts all messed up and they lied about everything.
I had a friend and her husband who were living with me at the time, He was in the army perhaps fifteen to twenty years ago. He told me that when a person is on tour, you cannot participate in online dating sites. Especially when you are on tour. I asked this sergeant about what he was doing in Saudi Arabia. He suddenly shut down and said he had to go out on watch, or some other thing.
I admit it that I did try to mess with the guy as I knew he was a con artist. Every time he contacted me, I would ask questions that I knew he wouldn’t be able to answer. I found a number of articles on this sergeant and I would ask him things about the article, which this dumb bum couldn’t answer. Finally, I had enough and told him I would be reporting him to the website and said better luck next time. He ranted something fierce but I cut him off. I reported him and they quickly closed his account down.
This dummie was easy to figure out. Unfortunately, this was not the last experience with a con man. I had quite a few that I will share with you in the next blog. As I said, if I can save one person from doing some of the stupid things I did, I will be grateful.
My husband and I were having a discussion this weekend. There are many times when my husband will ask me something rhetorical just to see my response. Then he will answer it as well.
This weekend the issue came up about our past lives and what is going on with us now. I have told my husband pretty much everything there is to tell about my previous marriage. There are still issues going on that need resolutions and I am finding it difficult. My husband does not want to know much more about what is going on because it is stressful and frustrating. So anything that happens, I just keep it to myself and talk to my friend.
My husband has had two previous marriages that were very short lived. He has been in the navy and in the marines as a corpsman. Needless to say, what they say about navy men is very true. Especially when the man is as handsome as my husband. Also, knowing the culture and attitudes of both Canada and the US, I can just imagine what went on in his past.
I told my husband that there are things I won’t discuss with him. But they are pretty much everything that he already knows. I just won’t update him. Then he said there are things he won’t talk about to me.
I just sat there and thought out loud. So is it better for me to know about it or not? I am a writer so my imagination can take me places that would probably be far worse than what is real. Although, if I would know, it would eat at me. Could I think it through and then let it go?
This is a very difficult question to answer for anyone. Would you rather know or not? There are many times that people have questioned when they have found out that someone is cheating on their spouse. Do you tell the spouse that is being cheated on, or not? There have been television shows and movies about this issue. There have not been any good answers.
We are not just talking about spouses who cheat. It could be any number of issues. Would you want to know? For me, I really do need to know. Like I said, I have an over active imagination. I can be melodramatic but it is the way I am and with all the things I am going through, I think I deserve some slack.
I see as knowing what is going on as being honest with your partner. A spouse knows when something is not quite right with their partner. If you are truly in love, then there shouldn’t be any secrets. Whatever happened in the past, can be resolved, especially if it was against the partner. Or I should say, it needs to be recognized, resolved, apologized and forgiveness needs to happen. Otherwise, keeping secrets from your partner just festers. What other secrets are you willing to hold against your partner? If it was in the past and not against your partner, then your partner has a right to know.
There needs to be total honesty in relationships. If you can’t be honest with the person you love the most in the world, what kind of a relationship is that? Jesus hears and sees and knows everything. You can’t hide anything from Him. You need to be totally honest with him. And so it holds for the person you are bound to in marriage. Marriage is sacrosanct. It is what God intended for us.
I am fortunate. I have always been able to get up out of bed in the mornings. There are many who just can’t. For the most part, I am able to complete my tasks for the day but there are some days when I have to push myself to work on my novel or complete the tasks I started the day before. There are many who fall apart and just can’t.
I have depression and with the proper medication, I can accomplish my day to day activities. Some days are better than others although there are lows. It is exactly like being on a roller coaster. The rush and anticipation of climbing upwards, knowing that you are soon at the edge and about to plummet down. The pit of your stomach eats at you, knowing what is about to happen. But I am able to find joy and beauty in most days. I am also able to find peace and enjoy knowing God is there.
However, to anyone who thinks that one should be able to cope without medication, I must laugh. I am lucky in that my depression is not as bad as others who experience it. The medication I have, lets me cope rationally. If there are Christians who think our depression can be controlled or managed by God alone, in this case, I think God needs help. I am a sinner and human. I need help.
I know a woman, who after she started taking vitamins and a shake program, stopped taking her medications. A mistake? Absolutely. This woman is now certifiably crazy. She has become this person who blows up at the slightest issue. She plans her day on the best way to terrorize others. She will pick on people and devise ways to make them miserable. Then when they stand up to her, she gets rid of them and blames them for their crazy and unacceptable behavior. She calls herself a good Christian woman.
There are many forms of mental illness. Some of the major types are depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar mood disorder, personality disorders, trauma and eating disorders. Personally, schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder scares me. These are truly life altering mental illnesses. Anyone with these disorders or anyone who has a family member or friend with these disorders has my heartfelt sympathy. My husband and I watched “A Beautiful Mind” the story of John Forbes Nash Jr. This movie touched me deeply. John’s wife, Tilly, is so beautiful. She looked past his illness and loved him at a time where so little was known about mental illness. What a strong and courageous woman.
We cannot see what goes on in a person’s life. We cannot know exactly how a person is living day to day. We do not know their struggles whether it be a physical or mental struggle. The pain from either struggle is real and can be difficult to cope with. A person should not be judged by either pain. Each one of us needs to give every person we meet, grace and kindness. We need to treat others the way we, ourselves, would like to be treated. We are all children of God. We have only one life to live. We need to live it in a way that honors God.
It has been one year that Bill and I have been married. One year since we said for better for worse. In sickness and in health. Until death do us part.
It has been a very difficult year for the two of us. One week before our wedding I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Then two months later, Bill fell and had two hemorrhages on the brain. He was hospitalized for one and a half weeks. He was told to stay at home for two months and grow a beard. Which he did. It is a beautiful beard.
Through it all, my love has grown deeper for this man. My love for him leaves me breathless. I feel my love for him like a thread that weaves its way around me. All of me. Into my heart and around my soul. I dream about him. I think about him every second of every day. We found each other late in life but Bill is a blessing to me. God has granted us this time together.
And yet. Things are not perfect. I dream too much. I think too much. I think about my past and all the mistakes I made. I think about Bill’s past and all the women he has known. Bill is a handsome man with charisma. Then, stupidly, I think about what if we had met when we were younger? I keep imagining that Bill would have glanced at me, briefly, and walked past me. I imagine I would have fallen head over heels in love with the man. And then been crushed as he walked past me. His blonde hair, his stunning blue eyes would have captured my heart and not let go. Why do I do this to myself?
I tell myself that I am a creative person and I am a writer. That is how I get myself into trouble. My imagination just does not stop going. It is better than the Eveready battery. That is how I am able to write stories. My stupid imagination gets me into trouble so much. So I waste time crying over the past and my mistakes and faults. I see myself as imperfect, not good enough for a man like Bill. I would like to kick my imagination in the butt and out the door. Yet, if it wasn’t for my imagination, I would not be able to come up with the stories I write and God would get less frustrated with me. I think I am giving God a good run.
Head over heels in love. That is me. I look at Bill and wonder what he sees in me. And then I thank God that Bill is in my life and that he loves me. At times I am torn. I finally deserve Bill and then, because of my faults and mistakes, I don’t deserve him.
For better for worse. For richer for poorer. Well, I think Bill and I have pretty much covered those. Until death do us part. But I pray to God that, should I die first, I must watch over Bill. I need to be with him until the end of time. Forever. I want to be able to greet him when he joins me in heaven. I would give my life for Bill, as I would for my children and grandchildren. Such is my love for this wonderful man.
2017 – I hope a year like this doesn’t happen again. I shouldn’t say that because my daughter and I both got married to the most wonderful men. My year started off fairly normally. Except, I was tired of the travel back and forth from Reidsville to Charlotte.
Move closer to Charlotte, I thought. Buy a house and be closer to Bill, I thought. Be somewhere between Charlotte and Columbia where Bill has his office. Piece of cake, right? First I had to find a horse barn that had a good reputation and would be a good fit financially for my beautiful mare. Bill was overwhelmed that I had to find a good barn before I would consider where I would end up purchasing a house. We spent many weekends driving on back country roads and I spent many hours looking up horse barns on the internet.
I finally found a barn that was perfect for Gizmo and I. Only problem was that it was close to Fort Mill – close to Charlotte. Not anywhere close to Columbia. Another problem was that there really weren’t any great communities between Charlotte and Columbia. Bill and I ended up purchasing a bungalow – oh, right, ranch style house – in Indian Land which really has a Lancaster address. The community we purchased our house in is young and thriving.
While our house purchase was happening, people kept advising Bill that he and I should marry. It would make it so much easier with the house purchase and everything else. I would just look at Bill when he said this to me and shrug my shoulders. I had found the man of my dreams but had he found the woman of his?
Right around this time, Joe Bahemuka, Veronika’s boyfriend proposed to her before he had to leave for South Sudan. Joe had accepted a position with the UN to work in South Sudan to set up food and health programs for this newly developing country. I could look forward to a wedding.
Then, out of the blue, Bill calls me one day and told me that my father had given his blessing to us. So Bill proposed to me while I was driving. I accepted. Wait! What kind of a proposal was this? Bill ended up proposing to me three times before I told him that his proposal was good enough. His very good friend, Dee Dee, also shamed him into getting me an engagement ring since he hadn’t thought of purchasing something before the proposal. Seems like he wasn’t going to do anything like his previous two marriages. But no engagement ring? Bill was lucky that I did not want a typical diamond ring. I love pearls and a pearl ring with diamonds was exactly what I wanted.
Plans for our wedding were started. My son, Peter, was having two graduations at the end of May and June. One was for his Masters in Business and the other was from law school. We wanted to plan our wedding after that. And with Bill being in the navy and previously owning a yacht, I thought, wouldn’t it be perfect to have our wedding on a boat. Bill told me Lake Norman had a paddle wheel and we should drive up there to take a look. the wedding planner and I had a date booked and arrangements for our wedding before Bill could flutter his beautiful eyes. Bill kept mumbling, “I thought we were just going to look at the paddle wheel.”
We happily told our children about our wedding date when Veronika announced that she and Joe had set their wedding date. Bill and I were getting married June 24. Veronika and Joe set their date for May 21. Okay! I thought that the reason for the date was that Veronika would then be joining Joe in South Sudan until we were told that she was pregnant. Okay! Yippee! I was going to be a grandmother.
Veronika and Joe’s wedding was beautiful. I cried and was happy to see their happiness. Unfortunately, Joe could only get one week away from his work. Their time together was short but sweet. My oldest daughter is married!
Every year in April I dutifully do my mammogram. In previous years, I was always called back for abnormalities in my right breast. This year, I was called back for abnormalities in my left breast. Something was there. I went in for a biopsy. One week before my wedding, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Bill and I did not plan on going on a honeymoon after our wedding. We thought with the purchase of a new house, our honeymoon and especially now with the breast cancer diagnosis, it could wait. With all the screening and tests, my decision to have a lumpectomy waited until August. Once my decision was made, the lumpectomy was performed. During the lumpectomy, two of four lymph nodes were diseased and my cancer was upgraded to Stage 2A.
Two nights after my lumpectomy, Bill fell in our house. We went to emergency only to discover that he had fractured his skull and had two hematomas. Thank goodness I was sitting. I was still recovering from my lumpectomy and now the horrible thought that Bill could have died from this injury. Bill spent three days in the hospital. He was released but that night he started vomiting and could not stop. We went back to emergency and he was admitted to the hospital where he stayed for one week.
Bill is recovering although this could very well take one year to finally be resolved. His short term memory is terrible. He suffers with balance issues although the balance is getting better. He has gone back to work. His headaches, fortunately, are not anything what they were like after the fall.
My chemo treatments started in September. The first drugs knocked me off my feet. The second drug is much better. I still tire easily and find I need to rest often. I am so tired of being tired. But there is an end in sight for me.
My very first grandchild, a girl, was born October 21st. Eliora Louise came into our lives at a robust 9.2 pounds with a very healthy set of lungs. I, unfortunately, am not advised to travel so I am waiting to meet my granddaughter Christmas day.
My son, Peter, his wife, Carol, my daughter, Veronika with Eliora and my youngest daughter, Natasha with her boyfriend, Darren will be arriving here on Christmas day. I am beyond excited and happy to have my children here with me. Bill has not spent Christmas with family for a long time. To have a house full of people who do not have indoor voices will be quite an adjustment for Bill. Bill knows how much this means to me and I think he is looking forward to a house full of vocal adults and a baby who is as stubborn as her mother.
As i make preparations for a house full of people, I wish everyone true blessings over this holiday season. Treating others with kindness and love is the most wonderful gift to receive. Always remember that we do not always know what others are going through or dealing with. Angry actions cannot be undone. Kindness will always be remembered and treasured. I am hoping for a healthy new year and good fortune for 2018. As Ellen DeGeneres says, Be kind to one another.