Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mom and Dad

Thank you so much for your prayers and concern for my dad. Mom got sick and was unable to go up to the hospital for the last two days. I think she slept 18 hours straight, and today is feeling much better. She was able to spend some time up there, but not long, since they released him. They were home a bit after noon. Morning Glory, my SIL, hopped on a plane to come and help. It's good, because I'm the only one in my office all this week because of Spring Break, and my sister is just returning from a trip visiting her grandchildren tomorrow. Thanks MG!

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.


Tammy said...

So glad your dad is doing better...they make such a fine looking couple...I loved all the pictures you shared!!

Looney Mom said...

Ewww... mold. Glad he's better. And your poor mom. No fun when everyone is sick. So good that MG can help you out.

You are so CUTE in those pics - like a little baby doll.

kpjara said...

I'm glad your dad is better. I can't get over how much Kristen resembles you! That's amazing!!!

I love the pictures and the stories.

Tell you dad to stay away from those moldy leaves!

Michelle-ozark crafter said...

That is such a touching story of your mom and dad. How blessed they have been and you! I will be praying for them both. They are precious people. I see where you got your wonderful faith. Huggles.

Linda said...

That was lovely Dawn. You are a wonderful storyteller. I felt like I was right there with you.
The pictures are wonderful - the three of you look so cute (and you were an adorable little one).
There is something so sweet about those older wedding pictures.
I'm so glad your Dad is home and doing better. He sounds like my Dad. They just can't seem to reconcile this old body with the youthful spirit inside.
I too treasure the days, weeks and months. I think it is a wise thing to do.
I know you have an exhuasting week ahead of you. You are in my prayers dear friend.

Judith said...

Thank you again for sharing such precious memories from the past. I especially appreciate the details of how your Mom and Dad began their life.

Thank goodness somebody stepped up and showed it's important to lead young people in the right direction. Our country could use more of that.

I hope the pneumonia stays under good control, also the dental problem your son was having.

Looking forward to more of your stories.

A Woman Who is: said...

Nice of you to stop by my blog. What a lovely story honoring your folks. My dad of 83 was very sick last fall. He is still in a slow recovery. It can be a stressful time. My dad's illness has given me a heads up to count the days and be thankful for them. May God give extra strength for your week, and precious moments with your dad and mom.

PEA said...

This is truly a wonderful post...I'm glad to hear that your dad is now home again and hopefully, that's all it was, an asthma attack!! I so enjoyed hearing about their lives and seeing all the do realize that some of us only get ONE birthday cake?? lol Love it! It seemed to be a hard life but a happy one...bless both their hearts!! xox

Susie said...

Lovely photo tribute to your parent's long and happy marriage!
My prayers are with you and your family as your dad and mom recover.

groovyoldlady said...

I'm praying for him...glad he's doing better. What a blessing to know He belongs to the Lord!

Thanks for sharing your life with us

Kristen said...

Great pictures and great post. I like that one of you with all your birthday cakes. Very cute.

Barb said...

Wonderful old photos, Dawn. My goodness, it looks like everyone brought a birthday cake to your party. How fun.

What a scare with your father. I wonder how much of it was caused by that mold. I didn't realize he had asthma.

And I'm not sure what the "unskoken request" is. Am I missing something? Glad Kevin and Sema are doing OK. Looking forward to his next chapter.

Dawn said...

An "unspoken request" is just the way I've always heard it - it means something that is really important, that needs prayer, but you don't feel like you can share what it is. But God knows what it is! Thanks for asking.

Kev is still having a hard time, and we're thankful it's spring break, so he wouldn't be in class or at work anyway, since he works on campus.

It's gorgeous here today!!! Over 70 degrees and I'm thoroughly enjoying my patio.

Tammy said...

I'm just now catching up...just finding out your dad had pneumonia but so glad he is now getting better! How very scary for your family.

Dawn, I just loved all of the old photos! You were such a cute baby and it was interesting to hear about your parents early life together. They are such a handsome couple! How blessed you are to still have both of them!

Midlife Mom said...

Hummmmm.....three cakes???!!! That is so adorable! I loved the wedding pictures, very elegant! Glad your Dad is doing better, keep him away from that mold! My Dad will go out and do the same thing and then wonder why his allergies are acting up. lol He just can't stand to have any stray leaves in the yard. I love your parents story, and can just see you kids playing Billy Graham Crusade, that is precious!

Diane J. said...

I love those old pictures, Dawn. They really speak to my heart and bring back the memories!

I'm so happy to hear that your Mom and Dad are doing better. What blessing that Morning Glory was able to be there to help and spend some time with them. I know it takes a burden off your heart to know that she is caring for them since you can't be there all the time.

Yes, these are precious days with your parents. I know from experience that you all should treasure every moment with them. I miss my Mama and Daddy so very much, but I am so glad I was able to help care for them in their final days. I could never repay them for the good raising they gave me, but I honored them by caring for them the best I could.

Hope this week is better for y'all than the last one.



Maine Mom said...

I loved looking at all the photos you posted and learning more about you.
I'm glad your dad is doing better.

Lala's world said...

oh I loved all the pictures! my sister and I were raised in church too and would play baptizm in the bathtub! thanks for sharing more your story and I am so glad your dad is doing better! and your mom!
and 52????!!!! WOW what an inheritance your parents have!

Rachel said...

this is beautiful. it's been difficult not really knowing what's going on over there. i'm glad g'pa is back home now.

i really love all the pictures.