Jensen Beach, Florida!
Don’t think for one minute this trip was ALL fun and games.
And here is another thing . . . Day two of our mother’s trip: The word is Nurse Auntie had to rush up to Nana’s apartment to assist in a sliced foot incident. This was due to an attack made by shattered glass that cut the top of Nana’s foot rather badly.
All this made us wonder. . . Is this place safe?
We did our best to make due in this breathtaking land:
|(Margaret, Karen, Me
Peggy and Regina)
There was so much singing going on…we just couldn’t get away.
Now that we are back to school…..well mostly, I have 2 high school boys in the house this year and a 7th grade Kathryn. She is taking a high school speech class. The competition for the computer is fierce.
You know who is always last and posting just has to wait.
It is okay though…….I have a lot to do with helping this one or that one research and find what they need for an outside class or research something I am requiring. Even though we are not in a full groove yet ………I still think we just may learn something.
Since Halloween we have been very busy doing this or that, running here or there.
The Halloween party at Bill’s was a success. We didn’t mind the rain that put the bonfire out. All in all the rain was refreshing…There is something comforting getting together huddled in a cozy spot with family for another occasion.
As my mother has said many times these past months
~ “Our Father is always with us……The Beat will go on…..”
Stephanie surprised us with her remarkable cake decorating skills.
And things felt just a little normal… if we pretended …. While we listened to the rain, the Blues being played on the CD player, the voices singing along with Scott, Linda’s oldest son, strumming his guitar in time, Bill and I talked about the terrible loss we both felt. The rain seemed to be making an attempt to wash away some of the pain. Bill and I pretended to be brave for each other. We could feel our father smiling down on us knowing his family was together celebrating the fall, Halloween and letting the children play late into the night.
Sunday morning came all too fast. An early morning Mass and the boys served on the Alter again. An afternoon visit to my mothers turned into an impromptu birthday party for Eva. In good old George fashion he called his mother and said: “Today is Eva’s birthday.” “We are going to be over in about 10 minutes for a party.”
Without much persuading his mother came through once again. With quick phone calls to Margaret and Linda asking them if they knew and could they possibly come by to celebrate Eva’s 9th “surprise on us” birthday party……. after all….This is what we do. We celebrate life….Of course Margaret and Linda came through. Linda is one to have a closet of goodies just for these surprise occasions.
Margaret followed suit and came through with a book and a bracelet she had picked up for a dollar some where. My mother dug through her old pocketbooks and Christmas presents she had forgotten to give years past. I dug through the Goodwill bag I had in the car and luckily came up with a proper gift for a nine year old girl on my own.
As the men talked and laughed in the kitchen that afternoon, the women prepared the meal, set the table, wrapped the gifts and put together a proper party. As I chopped vegetables for the salad I looked out the kitchen window and saw the most important site of the day….
It was James initiating some normalcy with a Fall football game among the younger children in the back yard…and things felt almost whole again if only for a second.
We could feel our father smiling on us…knowing his family was together again celebrating.
My mom was right… The beat will go on.
Monday now and Auntie had a simple surgery performed on her eyes……The result was not so simple as she does not seem to do well with these things. A little TLC was thrown her way and with lots of rest she soon began to recover.
Soon Wednesday would be upon us and Stephen’s Confirmation. Which he was all too ready for. He tried on the shirt I had him measure for and bought only a month ago for my father’s funeral. It was quickly discovered the shirt must have shrunk in the wash…. It was a mad dash back to the store….I took Stephen and the shirt with me. I explained to the man at the store the shirt was too small. I followed the washing direction and it was only a month old.
With another quick measure we soon found the culprit…. Stephen. His arms had grown an inch in just a month. This man told me; I needed to take my little boy over to the big and tall section to find his proper length. Stephen could not have been more delighted to learn he had grown and inch and was now to long for the clothing of average size men.
And the beat goes on.
Wednesday nights confirmation could not have been more beautiful. Our new Bishop came and celebrated the confirmation mass. The family came and once again that day Stephen could not have been more excited. He had prepared a long time for this night. Even though we where short one very important family member we all could feel him there.
A confirmation celebration during the month of All Souls could not have been more fitting for our family.
After the Mass there were pictures and wouldn’t you know I dropped my camera breaking the little clip that holds the batteries in. The only picture I was able to take was one quick test picture before the whole thing died for the night.
There was the confirmation celebration over in the church hall and I met an old friend from the karate school. She told me how sorry she was when she heard about my father through another friend. She knew about his courageous fight from the beginning and thought she would tell me just how terrible she felt that she had not done anything. She had not sent a card, called me or even sent a simple e-mail. She told me over and over again just how bad SHE felt that she just didn’t do anything to say just how very, very sorry she was.
My answer to her was simple: “Don’t feel bad….If you want to send a card, call me or come over that would be greatly appreciated. We ALL still feel just terrible. There is still plenty of time. After all it has only been a month. We are not talking about losing a puppy….This is my father and the loss is so very great. There is still plenty of time if you want to do something for any of us. Once again it would be greatly appreciated.
The night ended and Stephen was so very proud.
Thursday my mother decided she would visit Karen for a couple of days. Off she went to North Carolina and they had a wonderful time.
Saturday night brought a game of tag phone when Margaret was trying to get in touch with me to share a letter written to her from a woman she had met on the Internet. Margaret told me Amy and she became friends through e-mail because of the marathon. Amy had donated money to her through Jenny’s blog. Margaret said they had written e-mails to each other a couple of times and how this wonderful woman was kind enough to send a care package just before the big race.
Margaret was over whelmed with the kindness of Amy and just the thought that she cared enough to write a real letter with her thoughts and show her love was over whelming to all of us.
These are Amy’s words:
I can’t begin to tell you how overwhelmed I am by the extraordinary family that you are a part of! From reading Jen’s blog and from reading your sister’s blog too, honestly I am always, every time, finding myself moved in some way. Certainly the warm and beautiful tributes to your Dad’s incredible “life well lived” left me in tears over and over again (because I read them over and over again!). But there are so many delightful and uplifting and meaningful stories about who you all are as a family… I just want to say “thank you” for the example you all set and for the reminder that family is out greatest blessing. How have I learned so much from people I have never met?!?! ………………………….Well just wanted to let you know that your life and your family and your humor and your optimism…. they continue to inspire!
And once again WE are over whelmed with the kindness of strangers. The people that have poured their love on us has been truly for a lack of a better word…..just simply over whelming.
The Amy’s of the world are the extraordinary ones. We are just a family….trying to get through. I want to say Thank you Amy for being kind and thoughtful enough to carry threw…You truly humble us.
Sunday my mother arrived home safely and a surprise knock came to the door. It was Rebecca, a friend of mine and Margaret’s, with a cake, smiles, warm conversation, hugs and most of all love. She and her teenage daughter had dropped by to check on our mom. She wanted to let my mother know she knew her pain and most of all she was thinking of our mother.
It always amazes Margaret and I when these woman we know and love check on our mom. It is over whelming to think they care about us this much to show their love…..over and over and over again.
And the Beat goes on.
Monday again and Matthew could not be more excited about the lecture he, Stephen and I were going to an hour and a half drive away from our home; Dr. Ron Paul would be speaking at USC in Columbia on The Constitution, Tolerance and the State of the Economic Crises……we feel everyday.
After the lecture Matthew stood in a crowd to meet this man he so admires….I took his picture as Stephen patiently waited off to the side.
After the final Photo we where on our way home for a late night drive.
There was a late dinner and warm conversation with my boys. Matthew told me how excited he was to have finely met Dr. Paul and that The excitement was so much for him he said almost didn’t feel as depressed as he has felt in months. Stephen cracked jokes and we laughed, ate and talked about the lecture.
Matthew said he wished he could share it all with his grandpa and he just knew Grandpa would be as excited as he was. He told me he felt Grandpa would have come to the lecture….If he could have. We talked about the future and things almost felt whole again…if we pretended only for a second.
And the Beat goes on.
Tuesday I get the mail from Monday and an amazing thing happened….I open a card. It reads In Memory of from the American Cancer Society:
In Remembrance of
William Finnell, Sr
A Memorial Gift has been made to
The American Cancer Society.
Our prayer are with you always.
We love you! Karate Girls
And I am truly over whelmed and think boy these woman are amazing. They really do love us and they do pray for us…..We can feel it. How is it we have been so blessed with such wonderful DO-ERS in our lives?
As I prepared for the dinner guest we would be welcoming for the night Ann calls and asks me about a Breast Cancer Walk in Washington DC 2010 that Jen said I was going to do….I give her huuuuh??? What??? As Ann fills me in on the details we laugh and say well let’s look into it. It sounds like it would be fun…….. Jen, Margaret, Karen, Regina? Ohhhh that does sound like a good time…….I tell her Maybe I will be able go….I’ll check it out and let her know.
Father Theo and Mom came for dinner that night. Baked Lasagna and chocolate cake.
The dinner went off wonderfully. As the rain and the wind came down around the house in the woods that Bill built we laughed, enjoyed the great company, ate dinner, shared conversation and talked about father. We talked about how beautiful it was to share the last couple of months with him and truly care for him. We talked about the future……and things almost felt whole again if we pretended….. only for a second.
Today is Wednesday there is an Environmental Lecture the boys need to go to for Debate at Clemson University another hour and a half drive away. Should be interesting.
Ummm ~ Mom was right….The Beat does go on.
It is October 30, 2009. Today it has been one month.
One month since. It is still so hard to believe.
I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to pick up the phone, headed up stairs or even started to go back to my parent’s bedroom to visit with my dad. Hearing the side door open and close by the garage always gets my attention. My first thought is Oh! Good, he is home…….And then I stop, take a breath, sigh and turn away.
I know, for my mother these feeling are a million times more.
Last Friday my mother and Stephen paid a visit to the mortuary and picked up the urn that holds my father’s ashes. It seems to bring my mother comfort….just having him home again. I know it brings me comfort.
The Urn could not be more beautiful. It sits on my mother’s dresser while it waits for its final resting place by the pool. For now, Just seeing it gives us great comfort. We can walk out of our way, touch it gently and softly whisper….”I love you.”
Last Saturday Auntie wanted to have a little party. She thought it would be nice if we all got together to just have lunch and celebrate. Reluctantly, we all said….”okay”….but thought… What in the world could we be celebrating?
Everyone made something for the lunch. Karen and Mary Elizabeth set the tables with decorations.
Auntie came in with Jim along with their big smiles and all types of goodies she had wiped up . When we asked what we were celebrating……. Auntie said “Fall” It is a beautiful time of year here in the country and we should celebrate Fall.”
In good old auntie fashion she knew……We needed a party. She knew the thoughts of celebrating Thanks Giving, Christmas and even Halloween weighed heavily on us.
She knows we celebrate life. We will celebrate almost every occasion. “If you can bake it we will come.” That is our family policy…
She knew we needed her to have the party, to let us know it was okay. She knew we needed her to show us we could do this.
I hope she knows just how much we all think of her.
She supports. I guess it takes times like these to understand there are doers and there are talkers. I have learned this month…..these past months….If your “friends” don’t support you through the bad times…through the worst times in your life….Who needs them to come to the party?
I have a lot of great friends and even more wonderful family members…Like Auntie.
We have been busy in school this week studying. We are trying to get back into a real school grove. But, it is very hard…..We are trying.
Thank goodness we have debate….This years debate topic is ~ Should the US Environmental Policy be Reformed. This is not a simple question….Stephen has taken an great interest in coal slurry and how it is poisoning the water supplies and killing the people of West Virginia. It always amazes and out-rages me when I learn making money is allowed to get in the way of peoples health.
To think this is happening in this country is just mind boggling to me.
Kathryn has had to research Health Care Reform Bill, cash for clunkers and the dangers of cell phone use while driving for her speech class. I think we are going to actually learn something this year in spite of all that has happened.
Matthew is studying so very hard ~ When he is stressed, upset or just confused he reads. He is taking the loss of his grandfather very hard. He does not cry…I just see him with his head down and his face tight…He handles stress just like his father.
Matthew tells me when he goes to “the” house he feels lost….He walks around looking for something to do. So he and Stephen work on the fountain and other pool related things. Just like there grandfather has taught them to do.
Today we celebrate a Mass for my father given by the woman at the co-op and the “Little Flowers group Kathryn belongs too. For some reason I am worried about this one too…Just the thought of hearing his name makes me want to cry. I hope I don’t.
Tomorrow we celebrate Halloween. Margaret and I will take the little kids out for their Trick or Treating fun and then we will all go to Bill’s house for a bonfire…and a Halloween party.
Next week we have Stephen’s conformation and then of course another celebration.
…I need to start taking more pictures again…
I know we can do these celebrations. Auntie showed us it was alright…She showed we can.
Thanks Auntie ~ What would we do without you?
Allow me to introduce…
Mr. and Mrs. James Cooney
Best Man and Matron of Honor
Mr. and Mrs. William F. Finnell, Sr.
Signing of the Wedding Nuptials
They took the official plunge.
September 3, 2009
Yes, Indeed it was a Very Happy Day!
Lots of Presents!! We had a great time!
…..There was someone missing…..
He had a stroke last week.
He is doing much better this week and he is in rehab.
Even though, he is in the hospital and could not make our party
~ He didn’t miss it~
We took the party to him.
He loved it!
He is the nicest man.
They are a great team and really love each other very much.
I know he and Aunt Mary Lou would appreciate prayers for his healing.
~ So if you could ~
They will not be wasted.