Friday, December 23, 2005

12/23/05 Friday
I am a bit slow this morning. Running a five. Showered, shaved, took my pill, and fixed breakfast. I need to write a letter to Norma and the VA. I was going to try and take Barb to Social Security but the lines to all the offices are busy except one where I was simply disconnected. I think they either have a huge end of the year rush or are having a day long Christmas party. Nah, probably many of them have or took the day off so they are short handed. I think I will take Barb down later. Besides I just want to go back to bed.
It is 10:45. As I was talking to Cherie on the cell phone it beeped to let me know some one else was calling. I looked at the number and saw it was long distance so I told Cherie that and said “got to go”. Switching over I find it is Aunt Virginia. She told me that my grandmother, Minnie Lee, had died at nine o’clock this morning. Bam! We knew this day was coming but thought she might make it to her 100th birthday in February. Now I am reeling as I try to process what this means. I asked when the funeral might be and Virginia said “Not Sunday, I can’t handle that”. That wasn’t a possibility. I don’t think you could find any one for a funeral on Christmas though I am sure someone would. I told her that there was no hurry, in fact give us time.
I called Cherie back as soon as I hung up with Virginia. Of course it is a shock to her. She asked if she should drop everything and come home and I said “No Cherie, I’m fine. I dealt with this mentally a long time ago. Yeah there are emotions coming up but I’m ok”. I told her we might have to leave as early as Monday or Tuesday but would be alright.
I just called Fred next and let him know that we would be going to Texas for the funeral. I asked if we could use his Cadillac but he wasn’t too keen about that. “That’s an awful lot of miles” he said. “That’s why we would like your car Fred. That little thing of ours will beat us up” was my reply. Then I told him I would make sure he was taken care of before we left and also Barb and Wayne. There is much to do.
OK, This put a kibash on everything. Don’t feel like doing anything much except getting out and visiting Eileen and maybe passing out pear bread.
I called Cherie. Asked her about the pear bread, what I can do to help before she comes home. She had wanted to bake all the bread so we agreed for me to make half and her the other. I did OK while I could concentrate on that but now that I stopped I feel bad. I washed the dishes and have the back pain it always causes.

Cherie came home as I was still baking the bread. We got that done and then went to see Eileen. It was a great long meeting with Eileen telling all kinds of stories of the years she worked for me. As always the stories helped me recover memories of those days. How much of it stays I won’t know till later and right now don’t feel like writing down the threads that still remain.
After the visit we headed home. We had discussed getting hamburgers but I had forgotten this and was heading for the house. Cherie reminded me and we decided on going to Big Boy. We got seated and ordered the Swiss Miss burgers we both like. Then we got the Hot Fudge cake and were eating that when I heard a voice say “Oh My God”. Looking up I saw a face that was vaguely familiar. Cherie goes “That’s Jeanie Blessing” and with the name I could put together who it was. This is another in a series of amazing coincidences regarding her. In this city of a half million people, roughly the size of New Orleans, Cherie and I have run into her many times. Cherie had just seen her in a store a week or three ago. We had talked about getting together for dinner but never got it worked out. Now she was being seated next to us and was with her sister, Kay. Evidently I had met her at the Cedar Creek home group but couldn’t place her for a while but it finally, partially, came back to me.
We talked of things and my cognizance, lucidity, or whatever you call it rose to a 9 on the Bob scale. It is a reminder how much stimulus wakes up this brain. I have to wonder how much the herbal medicine I had earlier contributed but regardless it was during the conversation that I brightened up the most. I wasn’t doing to bad at Eileen’s either. Jeanie said she reads my blog on occasion. I am always surprised and happy to know there are readers out there. Makes you feel a little less alone in the world.
Right now I want to start putting together stuff to honor my grandmother in this blog.

Not bad for 99 years old. This is my mother’s mother, the woman who took me in and raised me when I was fourteen. She has seen much and told of coming to Texas in a covered wagon. She was one of a bunch of kids. I’m not sure of the number but I think it was in the teens. She saw much of life as any one will at her age.

Here she is with me as a baby. It was her and her husband Rudy, who first rescued my brother and I from the 24 hour day care our mom had put us in. Then she handed us over to our other grandmother, who paid our mom for legal custody

She loved and helped me despite my obvious problems. I know I was handful (that is an understatement) but I had more of a life with her and Rudy than I had ever experienced. They saw me through the military and prison and I always had a home there. It has been hard for me to not be able to be with her for the last years of her life but we did get to record some of her tales of her early life. I understand that other relatives have also done that and look forward to compiling as much of this family history as I can.

This is Cherie at Minnie Lee’s farm which I helped build and repair with Rudy. She wanted to die there and was amazingly self sufficient but got to the point she could no longer take care of herself. Virginia got her into a real nice place that took pretty good care of her.

Here is Virginia with my grandmother at the home. (Hope she is not upset with me putting her picture on this blog) It was her goal to make it to 100 and she was only two months away. She was almost too good of a person and some took advantage of that. It is my hope that there is an after life and I can just imagine her meeting her husband, Rudy, in heaven. She loved him dearly and kept his ashes close, some times talking to him.

I love you Mee Maw. Hope to see you one day as we move on from this life. I will take care of the farm and honor you by living the way you taught me.

This is where the garden was. As you can see there is lots of sand blowing around in West Texas. Almost drifted up over the the fence. The farm is in great disrepair because of years of neglect and her inability to take care of things.
All of this puts our lives in an uncertain state. We don’t know how this will settle out regarding the inheritance and wonder what changes will come from this. We also wonder how my brother, Larry, will act in these times. He does not have a good track record regarding how he handles these things as indicated by his helping himself on my mothers death and not even letting me know she died till five months later. I despise how death brings out greed and fighting between relatives. I will be relieved and maybe even surprised if there are no conflicts. I’ll keep y’all up to date as these things unfold.

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