The diagnosis was pneumonia, then Dad told me they thought it was a severe asthma attack. In truth, it was pneumonia, but there was some involvement became of his asthma as well, I am certain. I really need to talk to the doctor! We noticed yesterday morning that his lawn looked nice and raked. DC asked him who had done that and he said, "Oh, I did that on Tuesday - there was a pile of moldy leaves out there and I was afraid they were going to kill the grass, so I had to get rid of them." Ding Ding Ding. An asthmatic person stirring up a dirty, dusty, moldy pile of leaves! A recipe for a health disaster. I still want to talk to the doctor about that, but Dad is now home, so don't know if I'll get a chance. I asked Dad to be sure and ask him about it, but I don't know if he got a chance either.
My parents were extremely young when they were married. They began seeing each other when they were 14 and 17. Dad was from a Christian home and Mom was not. The only way they could date was if she went to church with him, or to Youth for Christ meetings. So she did. She became a Christian and they were married at age 17 and 20.
I have written earlier about my birth 13 months later, while Dad was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas, about his coming home, having to go back before I was born, and finding out that orders had been given allowing him to stay longer, but not knowing it until he got back (long before the days of instantaneous methods of communication!). He then hitchhiked back to Minnesota to see me. He was moved to Memphis shortly after that, where we all lived together in a tiny little place.
Here I am on Daddy's knee in Memphis.
This is a picture of my first birthday party, back in Minnesota. Can you guess I was the first grandchild on both sides??
Here is one of my favorite pictures - I'm 17 months old.
There are so many, many stories I could tell here, but don't have the time, energy, or space. I'll have to spread them out over the next few months. I was the first of 5, the first 3 of us born in 3 years. Then Dad went to college to become a minister. I have written in past posts about the wonderful life I experienced as a P.K.
Dad is one we refer to as "a stubborn Swede," and he constantly says, "I'm not stubborn!" I am afraid that I gained a lot of my personality from him as well! I have wonderful memories from my childhood. We had very little money, but did we have fun with our imaginations! Our whole lives revolved around the church. We played missionary, Bible School, Billy Graham Crusade, as well as the normal things like school teacher, mommy, and secretary.
When my brother, sister, and I were 5, 4, and 3, we used to go to little country schools in Arkansas and sing for the students. They earned their way to Bible camp by learning scripture verses. Mom and Dad helped run the camp, so we lived right there on the grounds.
Here are the three of us in front of one of the luxurious dorms at the camp! It was truly a "roughing it" kind of place - I can remember each of us having a tin can, going outside, getting water in it, and brushing our teeth behind the dorm.
When we moved to Heber Springs, Arkansas, we began attending a tiny church where the pastor was an older woman in failing health. Dad was asked to take over the pastorate when she was unable to serve any longer. The church was unable to pay a regular salary, so we survived partially with the proceeds from a used clothing store downtown. Dad also ran a "fix-it" shop out of our house - there was not an applicance known to man that he couldn't fix. We didn't have a t.v. ourselves at the time, so we always tried to get him to keep the ones he fixed until after Saturday morning cartoons! We spent Saturdays at the clothing store, having the greatest time. We each got a 5 cent candy bar (the extra large size that now costs $1.89) and a 5 cent RC Cola each Saturday. What a treat! We loved to go through the boxes when they came and find things that fit us. We also loved to play dress-up.
Here we are in front of our "parsonage" on top of the hill.
It was at the bottom of this hill, down the back side, where the Hackworths lived. I told the story in a previous post about giving piano lessons without a piano to Shelby Dean Hackworth.
All of these memories have come to me today as I think of my dad being so sick. He has had a hard time growing old, because he has always had so much energy, and has been able to accomplish so much every day of his life until recently. He turned 81 in February, which is young when you consider how old his kids are! But he has had many health problems in the last year. We must cherish the months and years that we have left with him. He and Mom celebrated their 60th anniversary last summer - we were together for the family reunion in July, where most of our very large family was able to get together. What a blessing. There are now 52 of us, just counting Mom and Dad, their 5 children, our children, and their children.
This is my most recent picture of them:
We praise God for bringing him safely through the latest health crisis.
With other updates, Kev is doing some better, Sema had one of her wisdom teeth removed on an emergency basis and is very relieved, and the unspoken request is still critical.
Thank you for your friendship out there in cyberspace. Kev plans to do Chapter 4 this week during spring break.