Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Week in Pictures...

(Alternately Titled, "My chains are gone, i've been set free")

If you hadn't heard, our family lost 2 very precious souls last week. My great uncle (Doodle" was his nickname) became very sick and requested he be taken to the same hospital my papaw was already sent to the day before. My papaw had taken an experiemental chemo drug that upset his body and sent him to the emergency room Friday early morning at about 1:30am. Doodle, shortly followed. Doodle died Sunday, and Papaw passed Monday at 7:30pm. Neither knew the severity of each other's sickness. We know that God took them together for a reason. Papaw promised his mother that he would take care of his brother until the end, and that he most certainly did. They stormed the gates of Heaven together and are now resting peacefully in a much more beautiful, pain free, peaceful place that I can only dream about. I know I will see them one day again, but it just really hurts right now.

I was able to fly in on Monday late morning/early afternoon to be with him until he passed. We were all with him, praying over him until the very end and I held his hand until he went to be with Grandmother again. I will never forget the feeling of his hand in mine, and how warm and strong it felt. Those of you who never knew my papaw, never knew how much of a fighter he was and why this is such a shock to us all. He had been very sick before and always pulled through stronger than an ox. We knew he was sick, but didn't know how sick he really was...we were all expecting him to pull through this, after all it was just a little chemo drug, flush it out and he'll be fine right? We all thought that for awhile, but it was clear that that wasn't going to happen after we talked to the doctors. We learned that his lungs were full of tumors and he had little breathing capacity left, though i've never seen someone's heart beat as strongly as my papaw's. It was like a machine and stayed that way until the very end.

I am just so SHOCKED. How could this happen? Is this real?! Someone pinch me!

I sat and looked at him after his life on earth was over and he was peaceful and could only see the papaw that I always visited during the summer; hot, sweaty, shirtless and tanned as he came in from the garden working in it all day.

"Slick, you don't want to hug me, i'm all sweaty" I can hear him say that just like it was yesterday.

He called everyone slick.

The papaw I was looking at in the hospital was not the papaw I remember so strong and full of life. I still can't believe it.

We are all left with memories that no one will ever take away from us...

Here are some pictures of papaw last October when he took us all to the beach...

We loved climbing in this tree when we were little. We came back to it last October with Papaw.
Every year for as long as I can remember during the fall grandmother and papaw would rent a beach house in Kure Beach, in Wilmington, NC for a couple of months, and we would all visit him for a week or so coming and going. I remember grandmother staying up all night playing canasta, or scrabble. Anyway, when grandmother became sick we stopped going, and hadn't gone since. Last year, papaw started the tradition back up and he took us all to the same beach (though different beach house) and took us to all the same places we went when we were little. I always loved going to the aquarium, and looking for purple sea shells on the beaches. Papaw always took me. Here are some pictures of that trip...

Last October papaw took us to a beach house in Wilmington, NC for about a month. I was only able to make it down one weekend, but we had so much fun. He was so precious and took us back to the old places we loved to go when we were little. Little did we all know it would be our last beach trip together, how I will forever cherish these pictures.

None of the doctors could believe papaw was still living alone. Little did they know. He still took care of his garden this summer (though it didn't look as spiffy as previous years) and took care of his yard just how grandmother would have wanted it.
Papaw's apples
Papaw's squash

Papaw's tomatoes.
Grandmother loved her fish ponds, and when she died papaw kept the flowers and the garden just how she loved them, her fish pond included. The doctors couldn't believe how much papaw did on his own, in his condition. If they only knew how strong my papaw was, they would understand he was one heck of a fighter!
The swing we used to play on when we were little. Grandmother had 4 put in just for us. 2 for the big kids, and 2 for the little kids.
Papaw's delicious tomatoes.

Papaw grew, tomatoes, squash, and cantaloupe. Here is my aunt with one of the cantaloupes.

Papaw's roses.

The Sorrow...

A double funeral...

Red roses for papaw
White roses for Doodle
The family
Uncle Doodle.
My precious papaw.
"Amazing Grace" Bagpipe style. If you weren't crying before the song, the bagpipes would get to you eventually.

"Lord bring us something beautiful in all this suffering"

Despite all of the sadness we were able to become closer as a family and enjoy our time spent together despite everything..

After the funeral, we went to look through the empty house... were going through the house, and we found about 8 tubes of unopened lipstick of the color that grandmother used and that papaw had saved. Of course we had to put some on and find something to brighten our day, and here we are, doing just that. It was good to laugh thats for sure! I like to call this one "hooker hair" we look like streetwalkers.

Going home was some nice 'medicine' for homesickness and Daddy took me 4-wheelin' while I was there, it was great fun. We also went down to a creek just below our house and found a 'hole' that was deep enough, and we went fishing. I hadn't done this since I was 8 or 9 and it was so fun, we caught 2 in less than 15 minutes. They were very small, but it was still fun.
A little Uriah time...
Azteca Mexican restaurant
Heather enjoying her birthday festivities!

Before Tiffany and I had to head back home, we decided to go out to dinner, all 9 of us, which hasn't happened for quite some years, and it was so very fun and food for the soul. (The food was good too) :) Heather celebrated her birthday earlier that week (on the 17th) so we decided to surprise her with a birthday song, mexican style. It was hilarious, and here is the video.

All that said...I know I will see all my loved ones again one day, but I can't help but to miss Papaw and Grandmother until then, but am happy that they are happy together again, pain free, and cancer free with our Savior. I know once I get there papaw will be there to meet me and I can hear him now: "Slick, let me show you my garden" and it will be so beautiful. I how I miss you Papaw and Grandmother.

Friday, August 22, 2008


My papaw, and my great uncle both died within a day apart from each other. I will try and update more news soon, but right now, no words will come. Our whole family is so very shocked.
We are however thankful for Gods mercy and peace for they are both in His arms right now and we will see them again one day. All that I can say right now is that I miss and love you so much...I just wish I could hear you laugh one more time...

Please pray for us all.



Is this real? This cannot be real...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I don't have much to say for this post, but a picture is worth a thousand words.

It is as sparkly and shiny just as the first time it was slipped on my grandmother's finger so many years ago. I am so happy to be it's new caretaker, and I will truly cherish it as much as she did all the years of her life...even when it was lost in the garden. Here it is laying beside my wedding rings, just to give you an idea to compare it to how 'new' it looks. Amazing. I should have done a before shot.

I can't wait to show papaw, he will be so proud to see it back to looking like the day he bought it.

Thanks Papaw and Grandmother.

I miss and love you more than words can say.

Drumroll Please....

I now present to you Tuff's first day officially off lead...and this time it was 'legal', complete with the vet's okay herself at 5pm today! I was so excited for him, I could barely contain myself. I hurried over to the barn fully prepared for some excitment with my brand spankin' new halter.

Video camera in tow all ready for evidence of the turn out, I was expecting it to be full of high kicks, lots of skipping, and frolicking through the clover with the butterflies hovering overhead in the sunlight, the birds chirping...(you get the idea) and all I got was this...

...and more of...

....and some more of....

While I waited I was visited by frick and frack...(I don't know their real names) But they seemed to enjoy keeping me company. The black one always follows me around no matter where I go, he is sure to follow.

All in all, it was a 2 hour grass fest, and I enjoyed watching him finally have what he has wanted for oh about 6 months now! It has been the 6 longest months ever let me tell you. Finally I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Finally. Thank you Jesus!

Pray for continued healing and more speedy recovery please.



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuff's New Barn!!

Side 2 of his stall
His stall opens out to a concrete flat that is enclosed, i can let him out in it while i clean his stall.
Visiting another new horse 'Calvin' who also got here the same day Tuff did, a couple of hours later

One of the many barn cats
The big pasture with 10 horses or so in it, no grass, but plenty of hay.
Tuff's Barn and Run in Shed that has a window that opens up to his stall, so other horses can poke their head in and visit
The big pasture and one of the many run ins, with hay.

Checkin' things out.

Tuff's Stall, yeah, i know, it's old-one of the negatives of the place.
The view from the stall, this is the run in shed that has a window to his stall.
The big barn

Tuff and Calvin

Tuffs stall. He has the run of both of them until another horse comes.
That's it! It's 7 minutes away from my house, the only thing I don't like is the pasture not having any grass, but he won't go out with the big horses, he is going to first be let out in the smaller pasture with the older horses (which does have grass). I also just wish the stalls were a bit cleaner and fresher, but hey it's a barn, Tuff doesn't care about cosmetics (just I do). It gets the job done. This place also has a heated/cooled 'coffee' room with fridge and microwave, couches and tv's, a bathroom, and a seperate tack room that is enclosed and so my saddle and tack won't get all dirty and dusty! Did I mention it is 7 minutes away!??! YESSSSSSS. Anyway, thats all the pictures I have for now...more to follow i'm sure. Love to all.