Chapter 22–Treasures, Trials, and a Tribute

Culling and Finding Treasuresimg_3144

It was time to tackle Roger’s stuff. Lance and I had already gone through much of it in April, but remember—Roger was a preacher—and a saver.  There was still a mountain of print material that we wouldn’t be able to touch for a while.  But what we had done needed a little organizing for when the rest of the kids came over the July 4th holiday. We prepped, culled, and categorized things in Roger’s office so when the kids came, they could sort and take what they wanted.  It was a major project, and we found many treasures that we thought were misplaced. 

Here was my system.  I had three sets of tubs.  One was labeled “I never want to see this stuff again.”  Another was labeled “I don’t necessarily need to keep these, but it would be nice for it to stay in the family for sentimental reasons.  The third said “I’ll keep these”—which is code for “You’ll have to go through this again after I die!”

So everyone was home for the “Fireworks at the Weldy’s” event for church folks and friends.

Someone was interested in me

Somewhere in the middle of July and odd thing happened to me. 

Della had called to tell me that a man had contacted her, saying that it was the only number he had for State of Grace.  She thought he was going to book us for a concert, but the more they talked she realized that it was for another reason.

A week earlier we had sung at a church in Minier, IL, and after the concert we went out to eat with the Pastor and his family.  I remember a gentleman sitting across from me; I believe he said he was a widower from Springfield, MO.

Well, that was the man who had called Della.  He said it was out of his character, and he had never done this before, but he asked if I was interested in talking with him. He just thought it might be of the Lord because he rarely was at the church in Illinois, and it was on the day he was there that he met me. He asked if she would pass his number to me. That brought such a loud laugh out of me, because if you know me, I hate talking on the phone! 

Della responded with “Two things.  

  1. You have to like Southern Gospel Music.  
  2. You can’t take Glenda away from State of Grace!”

As of this writing she hasn’t called him back.

Me?  I had a nice feeling about this.  I was attractive to someone.

The kids?  Of course, they were, “No, mama!”

Relay for Life

I had never participated in Relay for Life, but because friend Teri was persistent, Lance and I arrived at Richland Community College ready to walk.

It was a real eye-opener.  I was all geared up for walking with good shoes and my Fitbit.  Then the event began.  The order of walkers was announced:  Survivors, the first lap; Caregivers, the second lap; Relay Teams, the third lap. Then the rest of us could walk as much or as little as we desired.

We found some dear friends. Tammy was walking as a survivor, and Dave and sister-in-law Tabitha were walking for his beloved young wife, Johanna. As Lance and I moved from the “starting line” to the other side of the track, I became very somber and so aware of those people in the purple shirts, walking their “survivor” lap.  I watched some in wheel chairs, and others walking at a great clip with a spring in their step.  One woman was even on crutches with a leg missing.

Without any warning, the tears began to roll down my cheeks.  I had a selfish and jealous thought. Why couldn’t Roger have been part of the survivors?  Why couldn’t I walk around with him, happy that we had smitten the brain cancer beast?  

Lance, my ever sensitive child, could tell that I was struggling.  He came and put his arm around me, said he understood, and let me cry.

We found Roger’s bucket that Teri had placed in his memory, a luminary.  

When we finished our walking, we had logged in more steps, connected with some old friends, and felt like we had done something to honor Roger. Next year we shall do more.

What’s Brewing in Your Heart?

Lisa and I were privileged to speak at Salem Baptist Church’s Mother-Daughter Luncheon.  The “Coffee” theme made the planning easy.

And if you know anything about us, we made a video to go along with the theme.  Here it is. 

The Eye Adventure

I call this an adventure, but really it was an extreme trying of my patience.  Read on.

Later in July I had finished a rehearsal with State of Grace and stopped to get a soda.  My eye had begun to sting, so I took my contact out and drove the rest of the way home.  By the time I got home, I could hardly open it. Light hurt it, and I had to sit in a dark house.  

The next day I had an appointment with a new Primary Care doctor, and I mentioned to him that my eye was not good.  I couldn’t put my contact in, and the eye was very irritated.  He gave me a script for eye drops.  

By the following Monday, things got worse and worse.  I called on Wednesday to see if I could get into my optometrist, and he willingly squeezed me in before he left for a 10 day trip.  After lots of tests, he declared that I had bacterial conjunctivitis.  He prescribed Cipro drops and Bacitracin ointment.  I faithfully used the meds, and alas, things got worse.  I must have had an allergic reaction to something because by Friday night I was in urgent care with very swollen eyes.  Saturday morning I was in the ER, with the advice, “STOP those meds, and use Prednisone and Clindamycin.” I informed the doctor that I had a concert the next morning and asked if I would be able to sing?  In typical stand-up comedy style he replied, “Could you sing before?  The meds I’m giving you won’t make you a singer!”

On the way back from the ER, Lisa hit something on the road, and we got a flat tire. We (she) changed it at Wyckles corner, then we drove to Walmart, and after checking the tire the guy returned with the rim and said, “I have bad news for you. Your wheel is cracked. Whatever you hit must have punctured the rim.”

So we went to Bob Ridings, and Justin, my friend there told me about my options. A new wheel would be $1100! YIKES. I didn’t know I had such snazzy chrome rims. 

So good friend Mike called around (after expert “tire man” son Scott advised) and found me one at an auto parts place.

I called the auto parts place, ordered the rim, and felt like such a BIG GIRL! 

Some of the things I learned:

  1. I’m vain. Too vain. God taught me a lot through this adventure.
  2. I need to be more thankful when things are normal!
  3. I am so thankful for my contact lens!
  4. I am glad I didn’t get upset when we got the flat. It would have done no good anyway.
  5. I am thankful Lisa gave of her time to stay with me. Family. I needed them.
  6. Prednisone is great! I had no aches or pain. I had so much energy that I could sign up for the senior Olympics!

As I was driving to pick up the rim in Springfield a song came on Sirius. Great Is Thy Faithfulness  Do you remember how that song affected me in January of 2016?  I couldn’t even sing the words because they were so empty to me.  

Oh, how I smiled.  Yes.  Yes, His faithfulness was great. No matter what I felt.  No matter what I thought.  He was and is faithful.  I sure didn’t think I would EVER acknowledge that.

OBSERVATION:      Everyone is proud.  Everyone is self-centered.  Everyone thinks about himself more than others.

OBSERVATION:      People are important.  Things are not.

HELPFUL HINT:       Celebrate your loved one’s life at difficult times.  It may open up deep wounds, but each time you do it you are healing. 

HELPFUL HINT:      All during life you will do difficult things.  Not just when you become a widow.  Better get used to it.