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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trouble Always Comes in Threes......Now Trouble - Leave Us Alone

As we all know, bad things tend to run in threes, or so the saying goes.  My year started with my Dad being diagnosed with lymphoma and renal failure and going home from the hospital to live out his nine remaining days in Hospice with his family and friends providing his care.  He died on January 21, 2013 and his funeral was scheduled for January 29, 2013.  If you have read my last couple of blog posts, you already know that.

What I haven't shared yet is that during the night of January 27-28, 2013, my Mom suffered a stroke while sleeping.   She had slept on the couch that evening in the living room and when my husband got up and spoke to her, he couldn't understand her.  He is hard of hearing anyway, so he thought he just wasn't hearing her.  In her mind she knew what she was trying to say, but also knew that it wasn't coming out of her mouth as she intended.  Both of them are much earlier risers than I am so by the time I got up she was pretty much speaking normal and my husband had left the house to meet my brother to begin the task of going through some of Dad's tools.  Mom was preparing to drive to meet my husband and brother to assist them.  She was the one in charge of making the list.   She was having a bit of trouble with her gait, however, and walked into things and I asked her if she thought maybe she shouldn't be driving.  She declared that she was fine and took off in her little Eucalyptus Green Honda.

My husband called me and told me that he was concerned that she had a stroke because by the time she got to where they were working (she did arrive safely) her mouth was drawn.  I called 911 and when she refused to go to the hospital in the ambulance, I made her go to the hospital in my car.  She spent the next 24 hours having every test known to man and it was determined that she had a stroke, NOT a TIA, but a full blown stroke.  She did make a total recovery and was discharged the next day in time to attend the funeral.

The funeral was beautiful.  There were many relatives and more friends that I knew he even had.  Dad was a square dancer and I had no idea the friends he had made.  Dad also had a military funeral.  Wow!  It evoked such an emotional response in me.  In was fabulous!  I felt so proud to be an American.  The 21 gun salute, the flag ceremony - if you have never seen one then you don't know what you have missed.  They presented me with the folded flag and a medallion along with the spent shells used in the salute.  It was amazing.

With the funeral behind us and Mom doing well, I returned home.  During my three-hour drive home I couldn't help but wonder what would be #3 in our chain of bad luck.  Well, yesterday, my baby sister, Karla (she and Kathy are the babies and are identical twins) was driving into her office and was involved in a very bad car accident which landed her in the emergency room and totaled her almost new Honda CRV.  Karla is okay, nothing was broken, no head injuries, etc.  Her airbag deployed and if you have ever had the good fortune to experience one of those, you know that they hit you like a brick wall.  They may save your life, but they hit like a ton of bricks.  As far as we know, the other woman involved in the accident is okay as well.

So, now, I figure my family has finished with its bad luck and we can get onto the things we all love in this life.  For me, its making jewelry.

But, before I get back to blogging about jewelry, I want to share a few pictures of my Dad, my Mom and Dad, and my brothers and sisters.

This is my Dad's high school graduation picture.  When we were going through his things, I ran across his high school graduation ring.  He must of worn it a lot because it certainly shows wear.  My Mom wanted to run it straight to a bottle of jewelry cleaner, but I stopped her, telling her that the aged patina of it was one of the best things about it.  I just don't understand why people are so quick to want old things to look new and shiny.

Dad went on to university to complete a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering in Ames, Iowa and then obtained a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering at Drury College in Springfield, MO

This is my Mom and Dad after they married, but I'm pretty sure it was before they had me.  I was their first surviving child, although they had two children that died in infancy before I came along.

I think my Mom and Dad were a very handsome couple, but if you will look at the next picture you will see what raising seven children can do to you.

This picture was taken at Mom's retirement party in 1999.  Yep, that's Mom and Dad standing in the back.

From left to right, my sister, Diana.  She is the medical doctor - specializes in Internal Medicine.  Next sitting on the sofa is me, lawyer, jewelry designer and lover of all things dog; my brother Jim - Materials Manager for a large international company - he holds an MBA.  He spends most of his time out of the country in places like Brazil, Mexico, England, Portugal, China.  I am so jealous of his being able to see the world while getting paid to do it. Sharon is next to him - she holds a degree in accounting and has passed most of the CPA exam - she is taking it as fast as she can....
Karen is sitting on the other arm of the sofa.  She is a court reporter.
Sitting in front are the twins, Kathy - a Nuclear Medicine Techologist and Karla - She is a clinical psychologist and holds the same degree as Dr. Phil - a Psy.D. in Psychology.  She is the one that was in the accident. 

Tune in tomorrow for a full reveal of the special set of jewelry I made over Christmas for Lydia's grandmother.  Lydia is a little girl that lives across the street from me and I do believe she is one of the cutest little girls I've seen in a long time.  What do you think? 


Jenni said...

I hope your Mum and sister are recovering nicely, now.
Hopefully life can become a little less stressful for you and that you can find some time to renew and enjoy it, whatever you choose to do.

Lori Anderson said...

I am so very sorry. I know it feels like way too much. I'm thinking of you!

potterygirl1 said...

Your mom and dad look so cute in that picture.
Also what a nice picture of all of you together.
I hope your mom and sister will be okay.
And you are right that little girl in the pic is really cute!

Sending you love and hugs♥

Kepi said...

You have had your three and now on to better, happier things. I wish you good luck from now on because you have had more than your share of bad things happening. That is a gorgeous necklace and you are so right....beautiful child.

Sharon Driscoll said...

Okay - enough is enough. You're right...that was entirely too much. I hope your sister and Mom are feeling better. You could all use some rest now. I'm thinking about you and hoping for lots of jewelry and better times. If I had a magic wand I'd give you a wish.

Kristi Bowman said...

Oh my Jean, I've been meaning to drop you a note and see how you were doing. More trials for you I'm sorry to hear it but it sounds like you're turning the corner I hope. I love seeing the old photos, what an accomplished family!! Take care!!

BackstoryBeads said...

What a beautiful and talented family, Jean! I know all seven of you are a great source of strength for your Mom right now. Wishing you only happier days ahead.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing with us; the pictures are wonderful--what a great shot of your dad. Jean, may you have a wonderful rest of the year with lots of jewelry making and time with the dogs and your family.

Sharyl said...

I'm so glad your mom and sister are doing well. Your family has had enough of hard times for a while.