Friday, December 30, 2011


***Thanks to our kids, our friends and even a few thoughtful strangers, we had a wonderful Christmas Holiday gathering. The most precious gift of all, with the obvious exception of celebrating the Birth and Incarnation of a Savior, was having Betty to cherish, honor, and even spoil a little. All the activity and attention including the opening of presents by the grandsons really centered on making sure “Memaw” was comfortable, involved, served, and the focus of all that was going on.
***Our family custom of taking turns opening gifts one at a time, starting with the youngest, while the rest watch to see what is revealed and the reaction of the recipient took a long time this year with all fifteen of us assembled and a mountain of wrapped presents surrounding the tree and covering the lower limbs. Still, we kept up a lively pace and eventually all was revealed and each of us had ample evidence that Santa and family truly loved each one of us best.
***The usual grand meal was delayed until late in the afternoon, and this year it was scaled back to only two or three times as much as we could actually consume at a single sitting. There was ham and a dozen trimmings and enough left-overs for several days of additional meals. There were bottles of bubbly soda, a multitude of desserts, and every sort of extra treat.
***Betty and I agreed that much of our joys came from (1) time we were able to spend with each adult, and (2) watching the precious way the cousins (shorthand for all the kids) interacted. There are special combinations of older girls and younger girls but they all mix in special and loving ways. Each of these also made special efforts to monitor and spend play-time with the boys (3 yrs & 20 mos.). Both Grandma and Papa John had individual time with each grandkid, so our “quivers are full” and we are most content indeed.
***With the continuing onslaught of her cancer, Betty’s physical condition continues to weaken and she seems to spend much more time a-bed, napping or simply resting this week. Nasty nausea continues to cause the greatest discomfort as the non-narcotic medications are still able to control the basic bone pain. One considerable concern is her lack of appetite and her loss of desire to eat more than a few bites early in the day. She has tried but just can’t keep much down. Now we are starting to notice weight loss and will be monitoring that factor as another indicator of her daily condition.
***All of us who are close to Betty testify together that she remains strong in spirit and faith and in her determination to make this process as easy and pleasant for the rest of us as possible. There are no complaints, no regrets, no demands, no whining, and no negative comments. She is cheerful, encouraging, sometimes witty, and generous with her kind words. If she has a fault, it might be in apologizing for “being a burden” or for letting us wait upon her every little need when she thinks she can get up and take care of it herself. (When she can, we let her, but much of the time she can’t really do all she thinks she should be doing, so we are constantly trying to anticipate what she needs and what she is plotting to do.)
***Let me continue to state that the mail and calls Betty is receiving so faithfully from you is usually the highlight of the day. Her mother used to send long handwritten letters every few days and Betty always looked forward to those letters of love more than anything else. Even now, nothing delights her more than to receive even a card merely signed. A card with a message is treasured, and a real letter is read and reread, and every nuance of love and joy is extracted from each word and phrase of the text. Our day is not complete until I have visited the mailbox and should I forget, I will be reminded. Let me write this boldly: Take a moment to send her a Happy Birthday Card right away (Jan.3, 2012) and jot in it a few words of encouragement and include something about yourself and how you are doing. Thank You.

[Here's our address: 2109 NE 185th Ave. Vancouver, WA-USA 98684]


Post a Comment

<< Home