Horsing Around

I liked riding with Dad. I preferred sitting behind him on the horse and looking up at the stars to being in the saddle myself. I wish I could say I was a daring horseback rider but National Velvet was on my bookshelf not in my blood. Dad said he could always tell when I had ridden because he’d have to retrain the horse. I never rode Sam, Lady was nice, Subi was slow, Fleta had a mind of her own and they all had their way with me. While my brothers were helping Dad around the farm, I was off making imaginary castles in the tall, golden grass carpet of a field behind the barn. When Ed and John were mowing it with their friends, I was busy organizing my friends into neighborhood productions—using any available garage, the roof over a big sandbox in the play-yard, or my friend’s backyard patio as a stage.

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Ed and me with our sheep Wiggles and Waggles in the play-yard. (Bruflats house in distance.)

Anyway, since we had all these horses, Dad thought we should have something for them to pull. He noticed a two wheel cart for sale at one of the neighbor’s farms.

“I thought that might be a good way to start to train them,” Dad said as he remembered the old cart. “A guy named Landsberg had a shop on the corner of Bluemound and Barker Road and he sold lots of horse equipment. I bought a harness and whatever else I needed to hook up a horse.

Dad leading Lady

Dad leading Lady

The first time I hooked Lady up we were behind the barn at the top of the field. When she heard the noise on her heels, she took off, trying to get away from it. She raced down the field to our property fence and managed to turn around, then came running back up and headed west towards Bruflats. I don’t know how she got that cart to turn with her, going as fast as she was, but she did. When she was heading back towards me, I stood right in front of her, waved my arms and finally got her to stop—which I was very grateful for. Oh, she was scared.

Ed and his friend Gary Robinson pulling us in the two wheel cart

The two wheel cart

I suppose this was a clue I shouldn’t have tried to train that horse but I kept at it until I thought I had succeeded. I hooked her up to take her over to Paul Mitchel’s farm across the road to share my achievement with Paul and his family. When the calves in the pasture saw me leading Lady down the Mitchels’ long driveway, they got excited and came running towards us. This startled Lady and with a full gallop she headed straight for a station wagon parked in front of the Mitchels’ house. Lady swerved to miss it but the side of the wagon hit the back of the car and broke the wheel off the cart. I was thrown over the top of the station wagon and landed on the hood. Paul was standing there with a veterinarian who owned the car—both of them with their mouths hanging wide open. I said I wanted to show him how I had trained the horse. The vet said I had a little work yet to do.

Meanwhile, Lady ran through their electric fence and out into the field, pulling the broken harness behind. I went after her, grabbed her mane like I often did to jump on her bareback, and pulled but realized both of my wrists were sprained so I led her back on foot. I stopped to talk to Paul and the Vet and told them I would check with my insurance company to see if I could get some help to cover all the damage we had done. When I called the company I asked my agent if they covered horse damage to cars. He said it was the first time he’d been asked about such a thing but thought maybe it would fall under general liability. I think I did end up getting a little money to help fix the damage we had done to the vet’s station wagon. The rest was up to me.

Winter came and I found a sleigh with red velvet seats called a cutter for a horse to pull. By this time I had broken Subi. It was great to work with her because the snow was deep so she was more manageable. I bought a toboggan and I’d put a rope from the toboggan to the horn of the saddle on the horse I was riding and I could pull you kids. I’d get Subi out there and she’d be so tired from the deep snow I wouldn’t have to worry about controlling her. I also came across a buckboard which I bought and I eventually found a buggy for sale and bought that too. I had several country school jobs at that time which kept me out on the country roads. It was easy to find these old horse-drawn things and they were all pretty cheap mostly because there wasn’t a big market for them. Subi was great to pull with her sore hoofs—she never tried to run away. Lady was too spooked and the others were too skittish.

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Subi and buggy alongside the farmhouse

I should mention we had a couple acres of grass to cut. I well remember the first time I was going to cut it with my little push mower from the city. I decided to go to Reinder’s and bought a used power mower which worked for a while. Then one day Ed, John and I were out looking for something that would cut faster and found the Ford dealer on HWY 100. They had a dandy 1948 Ford tractor. They also had a 60 inch mower to attach to it. We bought them both and this made what was a chore a ball. The boys would fight over who was going to cut the grass. The tractor was unique because the left main wheel was a farm tread and the right main wheel was a golf course tread. So we always knew which tractor was ours.”

Fast way to cut the grass

John on the Ford tractor mowing with friends

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Horse Stories!

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Dad’s love of horses goes way back

One day at the farm, a young neighbor girl stopped by and knocked on our door with a question……

Dad starts his story as the rain pounds on the roof of the car and the wind rattles the windows. It’s Sunday after church and we’re sitting in his car outside my house. There had been tornado warnings and sirens on our way to church. I was feeling like the weather. I start to get out of the car and Dad says, “Wait a minute. I’ll come around with the umbrella.”

“I’m fine Dad. It’s only water.”

“Well, I don’t want to let you go when you’re feeling like this. Stay there. Let me pull the car over to the curb.” The gutters are gushing with rain water so Dad was letting me out in the middle of the street. We sit in silence. “I have a thought,” he says as he parks the car. “Why don’t you write about not having a story? Or….you could tell them you realize there’s so much more you want to write about before you get into the story you just wrote.”

“I don’t know about that Dad…..”

“Yeah well, I don’t’ know about that either. Okay, then how about this?” he clears his throat and starts in.

“…….One day at the farm, a young neighbor girl stopped by and knocked on our door with a question. The young neighbor girl told me she wanted to have a horse but needed one close enough to ride because she didn’t drive yet. She asked if we’d board her horse for her. I thought that sounded like fun so we did. It was white. I didn’t really understand the horse’s temperament nor did I check into it as much as I should have. It managed to get out of the fence I had put up and Mom went to retrieve her. She put a lead rope on the horse’s halter and was leading her back when it started getting balky. The horse kicked at Mom who was pregnant with Joanie at the time. Mom managed to get her leg up fast enough so that the horse ended up kicking her thigh and not her stomach. After that, I told the young lady to take her horse somewhere else. We got rid of the horse but the idea of horses stayed. There’s your story!”

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Easter Sunday with a barn waiting for horses.

“But how did we get our horses, Dad? Tell me about that.” The rain was not letting up anyway.

“You want more horse stories?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, one of my clients and I had been talking about our mutual interest in horses. He had a stable and asked if I wanted to go for a ride. So we went, he saddled up a couple horses and we rode.This is when I decided I wanted a horse for the farm. I let him know and it wasn’t too long after that when he called to tell me he found a horse he thought would be perfect for me. We set a date to go take a look. It was a brown mare and was fairly old—10 to 12 years. He said she was gentle and you kids could ride it. I told him it sounded perfect and when I found out it was 100 bucks I told him he had himself a deal.

So we named our first horse Lady. We all enjoyed having her. Of course I had to also buy a saddle, bridle, blanket, a grooming brush and some baled hay along with other miscellaneous things. It wasn’t long after that, that somebody told me about another horse. Ed and I went to look at it and bought that one too. I rented a horse trailer and we went to pick it up. I tied her in the trailer—apparently not very well because as we were coming down Bluemound Road the trailer started bumping around. I pulled over and here the horse is looking at me. She’d gotten lose in the trailer and turned herself around so she could see out. I tied her back up and finished our trip home. Joanie was born by this time and we all went up to look at the new horse Ed and I had bought. We wanted to name her and Joanie, who was not quite two years old, pointed at the horse and said “Subi Sa.” We thought that was a good name for her so that’s what we called her—Subi Sa—Subi for short. We didn’t know enough about horses at the time to know she had sore hoofs.

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Friends riding horses

Lady had gotten out on several occasions so I realized I had to get better fencing. I started looking into electric fences. I went to Sears and Roebuck and bought a fence charger, a bunch of insulators and some barb wire. I figured out how to put it all together—stretched the barb wire around the pasture and rigged up the electric part and attached the electric fence. So now we had two horses kept reasonably well and staying where they belonged with the electric fence. Although there were times that our neighbor Mabel Mitchel called from across the road and said, “Bill, will you come get your horses? They’re in our cornfield and eating all our sweet corn.” Or a call from the police department saying, “I think one of your horses is downtown Brookfield. Will you come and get her?”

Somehow we heard about another horse that was also the type we were looking for—it was also $100. She was another mare but much younger.This was the time when your Mom was singing at the Skylight. She was in Iolanthe and somebody came up with the idea to name the horse after one of the characters—a fairy called Fleta. Now we had three horses. Sometime after that we got a call from a person who had a gelding. He was larger than the mares and also had a lot more spunk. We ended up buying him too so now we had four horses, four saddles, four bridles and four kids. We had to name this horse and I have no idea where the name came from but we called him Sam. So that’s how we ended up with four horses and I never paid more than $150 for any of them. They were either old and tired or so full of pep and vinegar that nobody else wanted to ride them.

It was great living at the farm.  I could get rid of my tensions from architecture by hanging out at the barn.The west side of the barn was much older than the east side and it was made out of field stone.The east side was made out of poured concrete. One of the things I loved to do was go home from the office and stack up a bunch of newspapers, set up targets and shoot my 22. Other times I’d come home from work and surprise you kids—I’d saddle up an extra horse and ride over to Brookfield Elementary to pick you up after school. I’d wait for you to come out—Ed and John would get on one and you’d climb on the back of mine. Joanie was not in school yet and still had this to look forward to.

There was a stone road that connected our house to the Kiekaver’s Estate (they owned the farm we rented). It went through their property up to their residence—or the castle as we called it. One of the times I was taking the horses to pick you all up, I was riding through the stone road and ran into a group of nuns. They were from a home for unwed mothers. I stopped to talk to them and one of the older nuns said to the younger nun, “Don’t you like horses?”

“Yes!” the young nun exclaimed.

I asked her if she’d like to go for a ride and she said, “Yes!” So she pulled up her habit and revealed her knee length green stockings. I don’t know if it’s typical for nuns to have knee length green stockings but anyway, this one did.

There, how’s that for a story?”

“Really good Dad….Thanks.” I smile and lean over and give him a kiss.  He drives me up to the back door and I prepare to make a dash for it.  “I’ll figure out what I’m doing with all this…..slow and steady the turtle won the race, right?”

“You can’t rush it, Debbie. Take your time.”

It Snowed!

I wake up to pitch black and hear some rumblings going on downstairs. It sounds like sheets of metal are being dragged around. I wonder what Dad is up to at this hour then fall back to sleep. Next comes the faint smell of something burning. I open my eyes and sniff. I imagine tying sheets together to lower Sam out the window. The thought crosses my mind to get up and check to see what is going on but I’m all cozy in my little nest of a room which overlooks the woods at the cabin and opt instead to pull the quilt up around me. I yank hard and Sam travels up with it. It was freezing when we arrived the night before and Dad had said he would make a fire.

When I wake again it’s light out and there’s white stuff blowing around outside the window. “It snowed!” I yell down the steps all excited. “What’s going on down there?”

“I looked at the thermometer before I went to bed last night and it said zero. I woke up at 4:15 and thought I may as well get up and make a fire.” A man of his word, Dad had the wood burning stove shooting out heat before the sun came up. “How’s the temp up there?”

“Perfect, I didn’t turn the heater on in my bedroom.” I stand on the landing looking out over the lake. There sits Dad below, in front of his fire, on the couch with a Reader’s Digest in his lap. Sam thuds down the steps and jumps on top of him.

20131122_081749_resizedDad and I came to the Island this weekend on a mission. He had seen a Lannon stone company in Green Bay on his last trip up. The idea came to him to have a stone engraved for Mom and placed near the sandy beach she had always kept free of beach grass. She had pulled it out right up to the last summer she was here in 2011. Dad wanted a special place for her ashes. Earlier, they had decided on a sunflower field just past Mishicot on the drive up but we’ve tried several times and haven’t been able to find any sunflowers. As an alternative, Dad decided he would lay the stone overlooking the water at the cabin. “That’s where we’ll both go.” He told me. I thought it was a great idea because I had never really been sure how we would get their ashes scattered over a stranger’s sunflower field.

20131122_155733_resizedDad hadn’t been exactly sure where the stone company was so I googled it when we left Milwaukee and then typed the address into my GPS—1003 Rogue Street. We got across the bridge in Green Bay and Dad said he thought the place he had seen was before the bridge.

“Huh, maybe this is a better place,” I coax him on. There was a lot of construction and neither of us had any idea where we were headed but I trusted the lady in my phone who was giving us our directions. I was determined to find this place, to buy the stone and finish our mission.

“Heavens,” Dad says. “Where are we going?”

“We’re getting close,” I say pretty confidently but feeling like this is more of a trip than we had bargained for.

“Do I turn here?” Dad asks as he turns.

“No, next one.”  We make a U turn. “Make a left and then another left. It looks to me like we’re getting close from what I can tell on the screen of my phone.” We drive on for another five miles or so. As we reach a residential area I’m hopeful that there will be a Lannon Stone Company just past the street with houses we turn onto. “There it is, Dad. Roque Street!”  Dad’s staring out the window. My theory is squashed when I see the numbers 1003 on the side of one of the houses on Rogue St. “Do you think they keep it in the basement……?”  I reset my GPS with just enough battery left to get us back en route to the Ferry. We were aiming for the 3:00 o’clock. with a backup plan for the 5:00. Good thing. It was the last one of the day and except for one space, it was full.

So, click click click go my computer keys the next morning as I sit at the table a jig saw puzzle is often spread out on. I have a plan to get a lot of writing done over the next two days. I’m trying to focus on my story while Dad putters around.

“Debbie, I guess I need your help here.” I need you to climb up and loosen the screen at the top of this window. Someone put the screen in here and we always leave it out because this is the window we load the wood in through for the stove.

I climb up and we lift the screen out then I start to crank the window open as Dad goes outside. He suddenly stops.

“Oh I need to sweep the snow off the wood first. Close ‘er back up. You go on with what what you were doing.” He had fetched his work shoes out of the garage where they were now stored because Mom had said they smelled up the bedroom. I had heated them by the fire for him. “I guess I’ll go put on some heavier socks first.” He says as he disappears into the bedroom.

“I guess I have to go buy some heavier socks.” He comes back out.

Click click click click click. “Do you want to try mine?” I ask him. “I have some stretchy ones.” Click click click click click….

“No, your stretchy ones won’t be thick enough.”

“Yes they will. I’ll go get ’em.”

“Oh…..these are nice,” he says taking them from my hand. Why they’re perfect.”

I sit back down…..now, where was I………..?

“Okay I’m ready,” Dad says. “Open that window.”

I’m up and cranking.

“Turn the handle on the stove to the left.”

It won’t budge.

“….to the right.”

Still won’t budge.

“Use your knee, that’s what I do. Maybe it’s the left.”

It opens.

“Have I ever shown you how to lay the wood in the stove? Like this, lay two of them flat—get them all the way in there or you won’t be able to close the door. Leave 1/4 inch between them.”

“What if it’s an inch?”

“That’s too much.”

The wood pops and crackles as I get them positioned on the pile of red coals and then Dad starts passing the wood in to me to fill up the box. “Aww Honey…” he says to Mom. Do you see what she’s doing? Just like you would do. Standing where you stood, wearing the gloves you wore. She’s doing a good job!” Then he looks at me as I’m reaching for another log, “You’ve got room for more?!”

“You’re questioning my ability to tell when the box is full? One more.”

“Wow, you fit a lot in there.”

We finish and I go back to my typing.

Dad comes in through the porch door and announces, “This is when I’m happy! Work shoes with stretch socks!

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“Did you get my boots in the picture?”

I think I love it here in the winter too—maybe even more than in the summer because you have to build a fire.” He goes to check out the wood box, “Why you laid them vertically. We always laid them horizontally!” then heads out the kitchen door towards the garage.

Now where was I……….?  Click….click….click……

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Grace Under Fire

The Island’s charm captures you as you make the final stretch down the winding road before the ferry dock. The call of the gulls echoing through the air is its serenade to you, “All is well..…”.

Dad had the cabin on Washington Island completed in 2000. It stood looking out across the water as a stunning representation of 50 years of marriage.

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It was also the perfect place to celebrate those 50 years. My parents began making plans to have the members of their wedding party, family and a few close friends take the ferry ride and stay for the weekend.

Samsung 062713a 193Everyone was excited—no more tents!

Samsung 033While Dad was busy with the design and construction of the cabin, Mom took charge of the interior furnishings—complimenting the line of Dad’s design with durable elegance. She wasn’t expecting to discover that she needed eye surgery that would call for two weeks of healing time lying face down in a special chair. Though upset by the news and suddenly concerned about the condition of her eyes, she got through it one day at a time. But then there was a bout with shingles, followed by the loss of her younger brother Joel—leaving her as the sole member of her immediate family. Too sick to attend his funeral, she was already sad, sad, sad when the next news arrived—her cancer had returned.

With Dad’s support, together they decided to go ahead with their anniversary plans.

When in doubt, plan a party. Mom had the most delicious assortment of cakes made by a baker on the Island for the event. A good family friend/musician named Julian was invited to play and along with his band filled the celebration with music—everyone dined at Bitter’s Inn, dancing and singing well into the night. Mom took the stage briefly and shared her latest news with those she dearly loved saying, “But that’s not why we’re here. We are here to celebrate and that’s what we’re going to do!” And that’s what we did.

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Mom directed church choirs and worship for decades and the Sunday morning following the anniversary party was no different. We all received our assignments for the service which Mom put together that took place at the cabin. It was followed by a breakfast including freshly made Island bagels delivered still warm that morning. There was plenty of coffee and the world’s best fresh air and glittering sunshine.

To paint the full picture, fast forward seven years. Mom and Dad took a trip to New York to get away and see some shows. Mom wanted to visit Brooklyn Tabernacle while they were there because she had been using their choir music for years so they took the subway to Brooklyn before their flight home on Sunday. They listened to Jim Cymbala preach and heard the choir which was led and conducted by his wife Carol. Someone told them about Tabernacle’s Learning Center and after the service they went across the street to visit. Though it began with a small number, it was now serving well over a 1000 students gaining skills in reading, writing, math and computers with many achieving their GEDs.

Mom saw a great need to strengthen the connection between her church and its community. A learning center at Eastbrook would be an opportunity to do that. The year following their New York trip, she was asked by the senior pastor to help train a new staff member for city ministry. Mom thought a trip to Brooklyn would be helpful. The staff member arranged for the two of them to stay with a Russian family that he was working with through his foreign missions.

It was important for the trip that they travel light so Mom flew to Brooklyn several weeks later with nothing more than a backpack. She ignored the pain in her ribs and shortness of breath which the doctors couldn’t explain and kept dismissing. She and the staff member used the train to get around the city and the young man’s eyes would light up when they experienced anything Russian. It became apparent to Mom pretty quickly that the young man’s interest was foreign missions not city ministry.

Mom commented later she really didn’t know how she was able to go up and down all those subways steps. She did it one step at a time.

The learning center Mom founded at Eastbrook

The learning center Mom founded at Eastbrook

Shortly after her trip they discovered the cancer had indeed returned and this time it had metastasized.

Mom’s will to live was strong. She looked to her faith for guidance through each and every twist and turn. She longed to know Jesus intimately and went deep. What followed next would be her greatest trial of all….the loss of her 54 year old son to an unexpected heart attack.

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The first moonrise I ever saw was on the Island. It amazed me how it looked like a path across the water leading right into Heaven….its metaphor calling to you, “Follow Me….”

But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark…. Philippians 3:13-14 KJV

Angels and Burgers

Predestined love…a girl on a farm, a boy in the city. Their lives woven together by their creator. Each as children, opened their hearts to faith in something larger than themselves and never let go of it.

Step by step my parents were drawn together then side by side they walked through life until one prepared to leave for a place unknown.

Which is harder, going ahead or staying behind?

On most days, I could easily smile when I walked into my parents’ presence. I had been away from home for so many years, it was a gift to be near them now. But this morning it wouldn’t come. I hadn’t slept well when I got the call that they were on their way to the hospital unexpectedly. I was worried.

Dad was sitting alone in the waiting area outside the changing room when I arrived. Mom had already gone in to get ready for the test so I went in and took a seat near her curtained cubicle.

Two women sat across from me. I kept my head down.

Mom came out, carrying a bag with her belongings and sat down carefully beside me. The sight of her warmed me but she looked more drained by her pain than I’d ever seen. My breath felt trapped in my chest as I gave her a kiss.

Wanting us to somehow escape the situation, I opened up the pictures in my camera. Just a couple months earlier Mom had played piano for her grandson’s wedding on the Island, hosted a big brunch the following morning and then led a worship service for all the guests. She gave me a scripture to read and afterwards told me she loved the way I had read the words, “You said them so naturally Debbie.”

She’d say little things like that to me and make me feel so good. Valued. I thought how she brightened up everything. I scrolled through each of the pictures as she looked on and steadied her breath by exhaling audibly.

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Island Wedding with Groom, Grandson Mike and Bride Lauren

Smile for the picture! Whoops. Clunk.

Smile for the camera Mom and Joanie. Whoops. Clunk.

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That’s a little better.

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Good one Mom and Dad.

Her eyes had faint reddish rims around them. I knew she was weary of yet one more procedure. I put my arm around her and we sat quietly side by side, thigh against thigh. The room was cold. When the nurse came and called her name Mom rose dutifully, turning to hand me the bag containing her neatly folded clothes, then followed the nurse out the door.

Left alone, I only wanted to protest the unfairness and cruelty of life but the woman across from me said softly, “What a beautiful relationship”.

I lifted my eyes but not my head.

“It’s beautiful. Your mother and you—you can see the love.”

I tried to smile but could only manage a nod.

Just let me sulk I grumbled inwardly as my eyes moistened. I felt raw. I wanted to be mad but being mad changed everything—my energy was gone, I was impatient, I pushed people away, I frowned, my head pounded and my eyes hurt. I lifted my chin. One woman had a hat on—the kind you’d wear to church if you lived in the south, were older and maybe Baptist. The other was clasping a purse in her lap—her ankles crossed and arms neatly tucked at her sides. I swallowed back the rising emotion then closed my eyes to rest the pain behind them.

“She’s going to be alright you know.” Purse lady said.

“And so are you,” Hat lady chimed in.

Tears slipped from the corners of my eyes—I wasn’t so sure about that.

We sat quietly for a while and then little by little I began talking with these two kind strangers while I waited for Mom. I wish I could remember what exactly they had said to me that day. What I remember is that their understanding soothed me. I left the waiting room without the baggage I had carried into it. I thought how a little compassion really is like lighting a candle in the dark for someone.

When Mom, Dad and I walked out of the hospital I wondered if the ladies in the waiting room were angels—the hat hiding a halo and by clasping the purse the other was hiding wings….

A battle ends, relief follows. You could see it wash over Mom when Dr. Charleson gave her the news that the MRI had revealed the shaded area they had found was a tumor growing in her skull. As odd as this may sound, it gave Mom some relief. It helped her to understand why she was having difficulty reading, was struggling with her balance when she walked and was so often nauseous. She wasn’t imagining it.

“I’ll do another round of chemo,” was her response.

The last sessions of radiation were given to help her pain but it hadn’t. She had worried lately about being an imposition on their neighbors who were preparing meals and always wondering if she and Dad needed help. She’d worried about the strain she was putting on the family.

Dad had retired so he would be able to care for her, Joanie had been flying in from Tucson every few weeks to help out. It was a double edged sword—she wanted care and support but she didn’t want to need them. She didn’t want to be a burden.

It angered her that she couldn’t do the things she cared about—live how she had hoped. She was working on her anger.

Mom wanted to move somewhere to make the situation easier on everyone. She didn’t know where exactly and maybe it was more about getting away from her body and away from the loss of her eldest child. There was no consolation for that. Was that the source of the anger she was trying so hard to push away? How could she ever reconcile that? At least now with Dr. Charleson’s report she knew there was a reason for feeling the way she was and she would let the worry of the condo residents go, along with the worry of needing to be something for somebody else, which was so inherent in all of us.

She’d settle in, closer to the womb of comfort. She’d try to let the futility of trying to overcome what was happening to her, had been happening throughout the 15 years of her cancer, come to an end. She would prepare for what was next.

Dr. Charelson looked directly into Mom’s sharp, deep brown eyes, so filled with wisdom and love, and simply said, “No. No more chemo, Dolores. It’s not working anymore.”

Dad and Joanie sat in the small hospital room along with Mom, listening to Dr. Charleson who had been stunned that she would even consider another round. They all sat incredibly still.

Mom made the slightest little gasp, then let the doctor’s words wash over her. There would be no more battle. The end was now near. They’d given her four to six months before the tumor was detected. Now what, weeks, days? Was she ready to say goodbye?

“Well, let’s get in touch with Hospice. I think it’s time we call in a little help,” was her response.

The three of them walked to the car and someone said, “What should we do now?”

Mom said, “I have an idea.”

“What’s that?” Dad asked.

“Let’s go to Solly’s.”

Joan and Mom stayed in the car while Dad went in to get the butter burgers, fries and shakes. The three of them sat in the car together and ate.

018I know what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12