I am in a hotel room in Washington, DC. Bill is here with the MS Bankers Assoc. Board of Directors and I get to come along and enjoy! We got here Saturday afternoon and we fly out tomorrow at noon. Having a great time and the weather is beautiful! Been eating way too much delicious food but also done tons of walking! Yesterday, Bill and I and two other couples who are banking friends of ours... well we met because of banking but now they are just good friends....went out to Arlington Cemetery which is one of my favorite places here. One of the couples had never been before so we did the tour which Bill and I have been on several times before...we visited the Kennedy's graves, Robert E. Lee's home and saw the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. That is something that you can see over and over again and still be awe struck everytime. Once we finished the tour, my sweet husband and good friends accompanied me on the real reason I went out there this time, to find and visit the grave of my sweet friend Tammy Summers' husband, Sev. Sev lost his life last August while serving our country on his second tour in Afghanistan. Finding a gravesite at Arlington is not hard, you type the name in a computer and it prints out the section and number of the location, but getting there is a different story. We walked and walked and walked... up and down rows and rows of graves of men and women who loved our country so much that they fought and gave their lives for it! It was worth all that walking to find Sev's grave and honor his memory by visiting there and to take a picture for Tammy. If you come to DC to visit, Arlington would be the #1 place I would suggest you visit.
So, completely changing the subject, tomorrow is my 56th birthday. I know that age is just a number, but that number sure is getting on up there! It is very hard for me to believe that I am only 4 years away from turning 60, if the Lord allows me those years. The thing is, I just do not feel old! My body sometimes feels old...but not all the time...but ALL the time in my mind, I am young! I guess that is a good thing! I am so very blessed to be celebrating another birthday. Life is short and we are not promised our next breath. So, I want to live each day celebrating and enjoying my life... Praising God and thanking Him for all the JOY in my life! It's not always easy to do.. there is much sadness. Just this week my sweet friend Sheryl went to heaven at the age of 59. My dear mama is still in a fetel position in a nursing home unable to communicate. I lost my precious daddy just a little over a year ago and I miss him everyday! There are many around us suffering with cancer... some little children...so it's not easy.. BUT...then ... there ... is JESUS and so there is JOY!!! Joy watching my grandchildren play, joy being with my girls, joy having a wonderful husband who's cancer is in remission!!! Joy having a sister to share memories of my childhood, joy loving two nieces who are like daughters to me, joy having a generous, caring brother in law, joy having lots of loving extended family! Joy having been blessed with amazing, wonderful, fun, kind, friends.... some that are close by and some that live away but are still close at heart! So, dear friends.. I choose to celebrate the JOY and trust God to give me strength and comfort for the pain that must come along with living life!
Guess it's time for a new post. I have not done very well with my blogging lately, not promising I will do much better, but I will try. My last post was the first of July, so I will just catch you all up on what has been happening since then. Sarah and Jeremy got moved to Simpson County and are doing great. Sarah got the job teaching at Simpson Academy High School and starts tomorrow! She will be teaching Chemistry 1 and 2 and A &P. Please pray for her.. she is excited but also nervous. Will will go to Mendenhall Kindergarten so he will ride with Jeremy every day, Macy will go with Sarah to the preschool at SCA, and Wesley will be staying home with his sweet new babysitter, Angie and her 3 year old son!! Here again.. God has provided!!
We spent July 2 - 6 at Orange Beach with all the kids, except for Tony. Had a great time and took some good picts.. will post some here. We are so blessed to have access to a condo on the beach there and also a house in Destin!
Our BIG new of the month we got on July 13 - I am sure most of you have already heard..but BILL'S CANCER IS IN REMISSION!!! We are so very thankful and we are giving God all the glory!! Bill has two more rounds of chemo, 3 days next week and then 3 days the second week of September. He will then have to have 6 weeks of radiation, 5 days a week....not looking forward to that. Once that is done he will have maintenance chemo 4 days a month, every 6 months for 2 years and then we hope and pray this will all be behind us forever!!!! We cannot begin to say how very much we appreciate all of your prayers, love and support. The peace God has given us is amazing and we know it's because of our family and friends praying. Tomorrow is our 36th wedding anniversary and we thank God that we can celebrate knowing that there is NO cancer in Bill's body now!
The last two weeks of July were spent with me directing a wedding, giving a wedding shower and taking a short trip back to the beach with my cousins and sister for our girls trip! And now.. here it is August! And my goodness it is HOT!!! It scares me to death for kids to be practicing football in this heat. Our heat index today was 115!! Why would anybody want to put pads on kids and have them out in that heat? I don't get it.. they could skip a practice or two! The school year really needs to be moved back to start the day after Labor Day!!!
Didn't finsh this post last night.... Just returned from a lovely dinner with my sweet husband, sister and brother in law celebrating our 36th wedding anniversary!!! So hard to believe it's been that long. The years really have flown by. I am so very thankful that my life has been spent with the two most wonderful men I have ever known...I was blessed to be one's daughter and am blessed to be the other ones wife. Bill and I married when I was 19 was I went straight from my daddy's arms into his. Through all the ups and downs and joys and sorrows of life.. it has been and continues to be such a privilege to be his wife!! Praying and asking God for many more healthy years together!!
Guess it is way past time for a post.. .so hear goes. Let' see.. my last post was when the virus had attacked while we had Will, Macy and Wesley and Sarah and Jeremy were on a short get away to the beach. I was so sorry that they had to come back a day early but man I was sick! Anyway, what you didn't know at that time was that while they were down south that week Jeremy had an interview at Mendenhall High School! I tried really hard not to get up hopes up, but that really didn't work! I did however pray that God would show them if this was His will for them. Yes, I want them closer! Yes, Mendenhall is where Sydney lives!! But more than anything in my children's lives I want them to be right where God wants them! I am just glad that this particular time He agreed with me!! Jeremy will be the offensive line coach at Mendenhall High School! He will also be the golf coach, which he is quite excited about! Of course once he was offered the job and he and Sarah prayed and discussed it and decided he would accept it, things went into fast motion. God has gone before them every step of the way! They were able to find a house to rent on a month to month basis that they could move into immediately. A good friend of Jeremy's in Tupelo is going to rent their house there for the upcoming school year. Toyota just announced they are going forward with their new plant in Tupelo so by next spring property values should be up and the house should sell with no problem! Many of you know that since Wesley was born 14 months ago Sarah has not worked. She loves being home and doesnt want to go back to hygiene. She went the "alternate route" and got her teaching certificate last year and would really like to teach school so they she and Jeremy and one day the kids have the same vacations. When Jeremy accepted the job he asked about a teaching position for Sarah in the Simpson Cty system. So far that hasn't happened, but she does have an interview at Simpson Academy which is where Sydney is now the elementary principal! Some people would say that things just have a way of working out...wish they knew that it is God who is working His pleasure! So, today they loaded up the truck and tomorrow morning will leave Tupelo and head to Mendenhall. They have mixed emotions! God has blessed them with wonderful friends and a great church that they love in Tupelo. Saying goodbye, even when you know you are on the right path is hard. I know because Bill and I did the exact same thing 27 years ago when we left Shreveport and moved home. We wanted to come back to Natchez and God had worked it out for us to be able to but we left some great friends and an amazing church family. I shared with Sarah and Jeremy that I specifically prayed for God to provide good friends for us in Natchez and of course.. He did! I wish I could say that we have kept up with all our friends in Shreveport all through the years. But things like raising children, working, caring for parents, etc got in the way. I am SO thankful that recently through the miracle of Facebook we are back in contact with some of those dear friends! So, I know that Sarah and Jeremy will find the church He has for them to be involved in and that He will provide good friends for them. And of course, one of her best friends who also happens to be her sister, will be just down the road!!
Okay, you are up to date on Sarah and Jeremy! Let me catch you up on Bill. He is doing amazingly well! Praise the Good Lord!! If he didnt have to go get chemo 3 days a month or blood work twice a month you would really never know that he is sick! He has finished 3 rounds of chemo and has 3 more to go. This week he has repeated the scans that he had just after he was diagnosed. We will get those results week after next and are praying NO cancer will show up!! He does get tired on the chemo days and still has some indigestion but overall he feels good most of the time and we are SO thankful.
Sydney and her family are well. She started her new job June 1st and is getting things in order for school to start. We are so proud of her! Skyler will be in the 7th grade and is playing football which scares me to death!! If you know me at all you know that I LOVE football! But, I had girls.. I never had to worry about one of them getting hurt playing fb! I will be a nervous wreck watching Skyler!! And I worry about the heat probably more than him getting hurt on the field... it is just too hot to play football in August!! Miss Mylie will be in the 1st grade. We were over there last Sunday to see her be baptised.. oh what joy!!! We are excited too that she is going to be a Page during Pilgrimage next Spring! We are honored and looking forward to it so much!
Sunny, Bud and baby Silas are also doing great! Silas is 4 months old already!! Time is just going way too fast these days!! Sunny is going to have a hard time going back to work in August. The good thing is that she gets to take Silas to school with her since they have a daycare for teachers children there!
We are headed to Orange Beach tomorrow afternoon even with the oil situation. It is so very sad and I am not looking forward to seeing it. But I am looking forward to being with Bill and the girls and their families(everybody except Tony who we will miss!!) for several days. We will come back next Wednesday and I will go over and help Sarah unpack and get her house in order.
So, I know this is a long rambling post but I think I have you caught up. I will post some pics from over the last few months! Please continue to pray for Bill. Also we just went through daddy's birthday and Father's day and we are coming up on the time when we found out he was sick last year. We miss him so very much! Mama is just here.. she weighs 90 lbs. I am ready for God to take her to heaven to be with Him, daddy and all her loved ones. Any time now would be fine with me.
love you all and thank you for your love, concern and prayers for us!!
UPDATE....virus arrived hot and heavy Friday night 11pm... first Macy threw up.. and then around 1am, I started throwing up :( so our weekend has definitely not gone according to plan...Sarah and Jeremy drove back to Natchez from beach yesterday and they all left for Tupelo this morning. We missed Mylie's dance recital :( but had THE most wonderful news from her yesterday.. she prayed to ask Jesus in her heart :) :) :) - what wonderful news to make even a sick Mimi feel wonderful!!! Thanks for all your prayers...seems God thought it would be best for us to go through this... wonder why???
okay.... so Sarah and Jeremy left Wed afternoon for a few days of togetherness and adult conversation and are having a great time! Bless their hearts I don't know any two that needed it more!! Well, NaeNae and I have been sharing babysitting duties with Will, Macy and Wesley and it has worked fine. Except.... I go to Nae's yesterday morning and she tells me that Del has been sick with a stomach virus all night and is still sick... now remember everybody... including Del had been at my house Sunday night for Wesley's bd party....so, I try not to freak out and she says he is staying hold up in his room away from kids. So... then Sunny calls me last night and she is not feeling good at all... stomach isssues....aches all over... typical virus feelings and over the course of today she has gone from bad to worse. I guess I should have said at the beginning that if ANYBODY will catch a virus it is Sunny Salters McGehee and me!!! oh and the Loy kids! Well, this morning when the kids awakened me at 6:15AM....I felt okay, then had a few stomach issues but still felt pretty good. Took the kids to NaeNae while I started packing up to take kids with Bill and I to Mendenhall tomorrow for Mylie's dance recital and then to meet Sarah and Jer on Sunday. So next, I ran to Sonic at lunch... small hamburger and onion rings, diet coke....hmmm not feeling so well after eating....chewed some tums, took some advil and layed down for awhile and felt well enought to deal with kids again... which I have done from 4pm until about 10 minutes ago when they went sleep...however... my stomach is quesy and I have that low back pain I get with a virus... SO.. all of that to ask ALL of you this.. PLEASE pray this virus away... I have got to be able to get to Mendenhall tomorrow, taking these 3 with me and then to Hattiesburg to meet their parents on Sunday morning and then home... I can be sick Sunday night.. but PLEASE pray that I dont get sick until then!!!! Also, pray that Will, Macy and Wesley dont get it at all but especially not until they get home to Tupelo!!! Thank you in advance!!!!
Most anybody reading this already knows that a week ago yesterday our lives were forever changed. My sweet, wonderful husband of almost 36 years, Bill, was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin's Follicular Lymphoma...cancer. He is ONLY 54 years old and is the picture of good health. Bill had an enlarged lymph node in his groin that we had been watching for several months. He saw Dr. Flattman 3 weeks ago and since it had been there a while and not gone down, he thought it needed to come out. So, on Monday, April 5, it was removed. We anxiously waited for the pathology report to come back hoping and praying for those great words, it's benign. Unfortunately, that is not what happened. On Wednesday, April 7 at about 3:00pm the door to my office opened and Bill walked in. Of course I knew immediately that it was bad news. I put my head down on my desk and the tears began. He said, "it's lymphoma" and his next words were exactly what I wanted to hear..BUT it's very treatable, low grade and slow growing! Thank you God!!
And so, our "new normal" began.
Obviously I never did finish and publish the above post. That was written on April 15 and today is May 15. Not sure why but I just have not been able to come back here and finish writing about Bill's cancer. It's been a little over a month now since his diagnoses. He has had a bone marrow biopsy, ct scan, blood work several times. a pet scan, a port put in and his first round of chemo. And .. he stills feels good... like nothing is wrong with him. It is hard to rationalize that you are sick and have to take a strong drug that makes you feel bad(at least for a few days) when you feel SO good! I think probably all of you reading this know that his cancer is Stage 2 for which we are very grateful! The only places that showed up on the pet scan were his groin where the original lymph node was removed and a few, mildly, enlarged lymph nodes in his abdomen. Dr. Rodriguez, Bill's oncologist, is a remarkable man and doctor. He has been so very encouraging from the first visit. He has put Bill on a regimen of chemo with a fairly new drug called Treanda. Bill has the chemo two days in a row and on the third day get a drug called Rituxin which is a an antibody from what I understand. The first round 3 weeks ago only included the chemo they will add the rituxin week after next during his second round. He will have 6 rounds of this regimen, then have radiation, then a maintenance dose of chemo every 4 months for 2 years. And then we are praying he will be done!!! We have been told that his type of cancer is one that often comes back later...but we are praying it will NEVER do that! The first round of chemo did not make Bill very sick and we are SO thankful. He had a little nausea and some indigestion that medicine took care of. The worst thing was 3 days afterward his heart began to skip beats and got quite bad for awhile. Bill had felt his heart doing this about 4 years ago and Dr. Daly had him wear a heart monitor for a few days then. He was having whatever PVC's are and Ed said it was nothing to worry about. He has hardly felt it all over the last 4 years. Anyway, we think the chemo is what triggered the bad episode. So the two doctors are talking about it before his next chemo. The heart thing was bad that Friday night and gradually improved the next few days and for the last 2 weeks he had been feeling wonderful! We Praise God!!
Bill will have blood drawn Monday and see Dr Rodriguez Tuesday around noon and then we are headed to Destin for the Ms Bankers Convention for the rest of the week. We are excited that Bill feels good and we are still able to be there. We always enjoy the convention and of course I find at least a few hours to sit on "my beach!" So we are looking forward to that. Then on Sunday, May 23rd we will head back to reality. His next round of chemo will begin on Monday, May 24th
Things are good with the girls and their families. We celebrated Mother's Day at Sunny's & Bud's church having baby dedication and then going out to eat. Sydney, Tony, Skyler and Mylie came up too, which was wonderful. Sarah and her family had planned to be there as well but Wesley got sick with strep throat and didn't need to be around Silas or Bill. We missed them so much!! Baby dedication was great! Of course out of all those babies, about 13, he was the most precious!!!
We all went to a MS Braves game the night before Mothers Day and had a wonderful time. But we missed Sarah, Jeremy, Will, Macy and Wesley. Skyler was so sweet.. he met a MS State football player and came and told me about his, he said "Mimi, I am going to go get his autograph for Will." and he did!! Skyler turned 12 years old the end of March...how is that possible??? He is playing baseball and I finally got to get over there Thursday night to watch a game and also see Mylie play tee ball. Still hoping it will work out for Poppa to go over to watch them play and for us to get to Tupelo to see Will play some coach pitch, but not sure it will be possible
Well... that is just really a catch you all up and let you know what is going on post. I will write another post soon about my feelings and how I am doing with everything soon. Let's just say I thought I was doing pretty well but my ugly old anxiety disease reared its ugly head Friday morning with a bad panic attack... more on that later.
Silas joined our family 4 weeks ago tonight, on Sunday, February 28 at 6:48pm. He weighed 6lbs and 15 ounces and was 20" long and absolutely perfect!! That Saturday had been an extremely busy and tiring day for me. I had helped give two wedding showers and then worked at daddy's helping Becky continue to clean out and pack up. I did notice on my way in the house for the night that the moon was FULL! After showering, getting on my pajamas and curling up in the bed for what I hoped would be a good nights rest.. my phone rang. As I picked it up, I saw it was Sunny and that it was 10:30pm. "Mama, I think my water broke" were the next words I heard! To be perfectly honest my first thought was, "oh please..not tonight, I am SO tired" but that quickly turned to..."oh how wonderful, we are about to have another beautiful baby!" So, Bill and I threw on clothes, grabbed a suitcase and threw things in it and headed to Jackson, praying for Sunny, Bud and Silas and for a quick and safe trip for us! We arrived at River Oak Baby Suites about 1:00am and were greeted by a very nervous but excited son-in-law who led us up to the labor and delivery suite where our Sunny was all hooked up to the monitors but having very few contractions! The doctor on call decided to let her try to get into active labor on her own over night with the plan to start labor inducing med in the morning if she did not. Bud's mama and daddy had arrived shortly after Bill and I so the four of us along with Bud spent the night in various places and positions in the hospital. Sunny did not begin having regular contractions so early on Sunday morning the potocin was started. It has been amazing for me with all three of the girls to see how differently things are done than when they were born. There were lots of people allowed back to visit her all during the day while things were progressing. We have pictures of her with just about every member of both families, including her nieces and nephews! As the day went along the potocin did it's job and she began having contractions and dilating. Around noon(I think) the anethesiologist came in and gave her an epidural... ah, relief. I agree that epidurals are a marvelous thing but I have seen them slow down the progress of labor many times and that is what happened. Something else I have witnessed, that happens with epidurals, is the mothers are so numb that when it is time to push they cannot feel their muscles to use and it is very hard... this happened with Sunny as well. After turning her potocin up and getting the contractions going strong again, sometime around 4 the doctor said it was time to push. Oh, let me back up and tell you about the doctor. Dr. Donna Breland has been my ob-gyn for about 15 years so naturally when my girls needed to start those visits they all went to Donna. She is in a group of wonderful, Christian doctors there at River Oaks and has been such a blessing in my life. Donna has delivered one of all 3 of my girls babies now! She delivered Mylie for Sydney, Will for Sarah(they were living in Vicksburg) and now Silas for Sunny! We were so thankful that she was able to come in on a Sunday afternoon when she was not on call and deliver Silas! Now, back to pushing. I will not go into all the details but just let me say that it was definitely a group effort getting Silas to enter this world! And it took about 2 1/2 hours. Sunny was amazing!!! I could not have been more proud of her!! And how blessed am I that I have been in the delivery room when all SIX of my grandchildren have been ushered into this world, wonderful and healthy! God absolutely amazes me with His unbelievable love, grace and mercy to us. He amazes me with the blessings that He continually pours into my life! I cannot help but PRAISE HIM!!! Yes, life has it's troubles and things do not always go like we want them too... but OH MY the blessings FAR outweigh the troubles and I am SO thankful!! So, baby Silas decided to be a February baby instead of a March baby and is one month old today! Sunny and Bud are amazing parents already and they as we all are, are totally in love with our youngest blessing. So, now.. there is the story of Silas' birth, which by the way resembles the way his mother was born a whole lot...I went into labor around 11pm one night, there was a full moon and Sunny arrived the next day....and we are trusting God day by day for his future, praying that more than anything this sweet baby boy will grow up knowing how very loved he is, by his family and by His God. And that as soon as he is able to understand, he will ask Jesus into his heart and spend the rest of his life, knowing, loving and serving the One who gave him life!!
So, I am SO tired of cold, dreary weather! We were in Tupelo over the weekend and Saturday was actually a beautiful day with the sun shining. Bill, Jeremy and Will went down to Starkville to a baseball game and came back with tanned faces! I guess God gives us a glipse of Spring every once in a while during January and February to remind that winter WILL soon be over. Back to reality though, the forecast is saying we may have MORE snow tomorrow night. I just do not function well in cold weather. I just want to stay inside in my warm bed or by my warm fire and do absolutely nothing! We did enjoy playing in the snow Friday before last once we got to Mendenhall and had Skyler and Mylie to enjoy it with! It's lots more fun when there are children around. We had a good visit with Syd and her family that weekend... watched Skyler play basketball, went out to eat some great catfish and just enjoyed being with them.
Back to being in Tupelo over the weekend... we had a great visit with Sarah, Jeremy and those other 3 precious grandbabies. They are growing up so fast! I got some cute pictures that I will post. Most of them are of Macy and Wesley since Will was at MS State Saturday afternoon. Sarah and I took Macy and Wesley to the Tupelo mall where they have a wonderful playground for kids. There is so much to do in Tupelo and such good shopping.. but gosh I miss them and wish there lived closer to home.
Before we went to Tupelo on Friday we spend Thursday night at Sunny and Bud's. Baby Silas' arrival is probably less than two weeks away!! We worked on finishing touches in his room and I washed and dryed about 5 loads of "baby things." We are so excited and so grateful to God for adding another precious baby to our family. Sunny and Bud are nervous, as I think all first time parents are. Please pray for a safe, normal delivery and a healthy baby! I cannot believe that this will be grandchild number SIX for Bill and I! We are so blessed to be here and be fairly young(as grandparents go) and healthy and able to enjoy them so very much! Our cup runneth over.. thank you Lord!
Okay....time for bed... I imagine my next post will be just before or just after Silas' birth.. so y'all be watching!!
Well, I finally got my blog to look at least half way decent so I guess it's time for a new post. Wow, it's already February in 2010. I never really got in the habit of writing 2009 on my checks.. not sure why..so I thought I would be glad to go to 2010 but now I find myself writing 2009. Guess that's just the way it is. Change is hard for me...even something as insignificant as writing the year on checks. Accepting the fact that I am the mother of grown children, that I am about to have 6 grandbabies, that I am the "matriarch" of our family...well, it's just hard to deal with! Sydney called last Thursday morning in terrible pain with a kidney stone and ended up in the hospital. As soon as I find out they were keeping her I left work, ran home to pack, and was about to hit the road. Bill came in for lunch and even though I had told him the circumstances on the phone, he said "now why do you need to go?" He said "she is in the hospital, Tony is there, I am not sure why you need to go." With tears welling up in my eyes I said, "because I know what it feels like when you want your mama." I know men don't understand that or at least most of them don't. Anyway, on the way to Jackson I was thinking how there are so many times when I just want my mama or my daddy for that matter! And I do not like it that I cannot run to either one of them! It's hard to accept that, after 55 years of being able to get in daddy's lap or talk to mama on the phone and feel like everything was going to be fine.
Becky and I have still been going through mama and daddy's house,it looks like it is going to take us a year to finish. We found some precious letters that daddy wrote to mama in 1947, 48 and up until their wedding in Sept of 49. He wrote to her just about everyday begging her to marry him, declaring his undying love for her and just sharing what was going on in his life. Mother's parents were totally against her marrying my daddy.. I don't think they wanted her to marry anybody. Over the course of the 2 1/2 years that he wrote the letters mama would tell him yes and then change her mind...I think she must of done that several times. It is a miracle they ever married! Of course her family came to know very quickly what a jewel mama had married and they loved my daddy very much. After reading the letters it was very obvious to me why mama and daddy were so quick to agree for Bill and I to marry at age 19. They would never have said no after what they had been through!
I just looked back and my last real post was before Christmas. We had a wonderful Christmas with all the kids here, but I will be honest, it was hard for me without my daddy. I knew it was going to be sad but I didn't realize how much it would effect me. I went through a few days of a mini depression. Having the kids here helped tremendously but I missed my daddy. The kids(big and small) had a ball and as always had way too many gifts! Every year I say I am cutting back but this year.. I mean it!! Guess we will have to wait til December and see if I follow through.
Well.. guess that's about it.. except SuperBowl Sunday is just a few days away and the New Orleans Saints are finally there!!! GEAUX SAINTS!!!
Okay.. you people who read my blog and have blogs of your own.. I have been trying to learn more about designing my blog..and am very frustrated....HELP!! I want to rearrange the different elements on my blog.. do I HAVE to use one of the templates on here? Post on here, email me or Facebook me and help me out please!!! As soon as I can figure all this out.. I will make a new post!!!