This is my Father……How can this be?

Bill Finnell
Simpsonville, SC

Bill  Finnell

William F. Finnell, Sr., born February 17, 1933 in Randolph, MA, died peacefully in his home September 30, 2009 surrounded by his devoted family.

Bill was a loving and faithful husband to Grace Coleman Finnell for 56 years, father to Karen F. Lopez, William F. Jr., George D. Finnell, Margaret F. Hoverath and Lisa F. Advent, father-in-law to Linda, Bernard, Riener and Mark.

He was also the loving grandfather to sixteen grandchildren, Joseph, William and Kristen Lopez; William III and Rebecca Finnell; George Finnell, Jr.; Stephanie F. Peterson, Bailey and Eva Finnell, James Byerly, Alexander and Brian Hoverath, Mathew, Stephen, Kathryn and Mary Elizabeth Advent; two step grandchildren Scott Templeton and Michelle Upchurch; two great grandchildren, Anthony Lopez and Aubrey Peterson; and seven step great grandchildren, Breanna, Emma, Walker Templeton; Kristian, Katie, Karmen and Keleb Upchurch.

Also surviving are his three brothers, Joseph; Robert; and James Finnell; two sisters, Jean Hoffman, and Joan Savia; and devoted sister-in-law, Mary Foley Cooney.

Bill attended Wentworth Institute in Boston, MA and was a US Veteran. He was a Designer for Bendix Engineering with Cape Kennedy Space Center, Florida where he was part of the Gemini and Apollo programs. He was also employed with General Electric.

Bill designed and was a visionary for Coachwood Acres, Coachwood Forest and Powderhorn subdivisions in Simpsonville and the Golden Strip area.

His legacy and dreams will live on his family.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, October 3, 2009 at 10am at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church, with Father Robert Falabella officiating.

The family will receive friends Friday, October 2, 2009 from 7 – 9pm at The Mackey Mortuary, 311 Century Drive.

Obituaries and online registry at http://www.mackeymortuary.com/

This is my father…..How can this be?

An Old English Poem ~ Written By Matthew 2009

This is a Poem my son wrote: He is studying British Literature this year and was required to write a Beowulf Style Poem.

This Poem tells our story beautifully:

Creeping Death

My ancestor was diagnosed,

As I, entered my twelfth year.

He fought valiantly, though for him

The treatment, was worse

Than the disease. No mortal

Can live without the necessities.

No man, regardless of strength

Can survive without a functioning body.

He succumbed that same year.

The next year, my forefather,

The model of health, had a darker prognosis.

Death was inside him,

Creeping up, Ceaselessly advancing.

He had not six months left.

This time, death would not prevail so quickly.

For 5 long years, he has battled.

Today, he is weakened, but

Not destroyed. An emblem of strength,

A hero for all.

But why was this cross,

Given to him? Why has one

Who was a model of health,

Received this, the disease of sinners?

Only the Creator knows. Perhaps

This is not a burden, but a crown.

Like the martyrs of old,

Who wear crowns of honor.

They too fought ceaselessly.

They too gave all.

They too understood the Almighty is in control.

In the end, that is all that matters,

That the Almighty is in control.

By: Matthew Advent

Catching up

It has been at least two weeks since I have last posted anything:
In that time, Aunt Mary Lou got married and we couldn’t be happier about the union. She has been alone a long time and I for one couldn’t be more delighted with the man she picked.
Stephen is now 6 ft 4 1/8th inches….The 1/8th is of the utmost importance to him. He insists I add the 1/8th. I find that so funny…..On September 7, he turned 15. All he really wanted for his birthday were shoes that fit. Size 16…..Yes 16. I had so much trouble finding them it took me several trips to several stores and several phone calls. It does not seem stores carry that size around here. Finally I found them at Academy Sports. They had two pairs, one black and one white.


The best part of the weekend was when Ann surprised us all by showing up out of the blue. What a great surprise it was to see her. I have so many warm memories of doing things with her. She always has something wonderful going on and many laughs to share.
She just showed up …….It was perfect. We made the cinnamon rolls from Pioneer Woman’s blog. We laughed; cooked, cried, and had a birthday party …..It was just great! Seeing and spending time with Ann was good medicine for the soul.
The weekend before; Uncle Joe surprised us with a visit. Uncle Joe is my dad’s brother. This was the first time I have really gotten to talk to and spend time with Uncle Joe. Let me tell you, he is a joy! I loved everything about him; the way he talked with his hands and shoulders, the way he walked, they way he told stories. He was such a character and a joy to listen to while he reminisced about the boyhood trails and tribulations of their lives running and working in the streets of South Boston at a ripe old age of 8…..Joe and his “lille bruddr” Billy………Joe loves his little brother.
Uncle Joe reminded me of an Irish boxer…..I hope he comes back again when my father is feeling better and up to talking. Those will be some great stories.
UMMM and that brings me to the big question………….How is he doing? To answer this honestly I really don’t know what to say.
I will tell you this:
My father’s sprit is strong…….So amazingly strong. The thrush is mostly gone now so he is smiling and talking more. By now everyone knows he had received brain radiation about 3 weeks ago………The cancer has metastasized…..and the doctors are saying all type of ugly things we really don’t care to hear. What do they know anyway???…..Four years ago these very doctors gave him 3 months to live……..3 months turned into four wonderful years and we are still counting.
Anyway, the radiation is over. That alone will bring any one to their knees….It was tough…brutal is really more like. But, He did it! He also received another perseverance award from the cancer center and balloons and a home made rhubarb pie from me. ((His favorite))
So now here we are……….It is 3 A.M. and I am wide awake. I am supposed to meet Margaret at 6 to run. I wonder if I will make it.
We have started school and that is a whole different story.
Oh! Speaking of exercising I must tell you………My father is still exercising. He is strength training by just using his body. From what he describes to me he is working on his triceps by pushing himself up and down on the bed. He is doing leg lifts and holds……like 40 or 60! That just thrills me. He is so weak and sick but is still exercising……so being a little tired at 6 AM really sounds babyish doesn’t?
Drats! Now I have to get up! Maybe I just won’t go back to bed.

For the Love of Graceland

I am simply amazed at the kindness of James, Matthew and Stephen. Over the past couple of years……….and mostly this summer……..these three young ‘men’ have kept the grounds beautiful at my parents house.

~ Graceland~

Lovingly named after our mother by our father

Every weekend these three guys meet at their grandparents house. They ask what needs to be done around the area and then………they simply do it.

They have kept the yard beautiful.

Tulips  by you.

They mow the grass, keep the pool going, till the gardens and try very hard to make things grow.


~ Wonderful Willy ~

They know their grandfather is sick this summer and some days doing the simple things he loves to do like; cutting the grass, weeding the flower beds, keeping the fountain running and cleaning out the pool maybe to much of a chore for him.
I am amazed and delighted at the love and dedication they show for both my parents.
We all know they just want to show how much they love both of their Grandparents and they just want to make these……….sick days…….. as easy as possible for them both.
~ My dad often says ~
“I don’t go out much these days but I love to look out and see all the work being done.”
Although, I admire and love the loyalty, dedication and perseverance James, Matthew and Stephen have shown through out this summer: I admire and simply love the fact they have become teachers to the other children.
I find it all so heart warming to know “THEY” understand the difference between saying I love you Nana and Grandpa and Showing the love they have for their Nana, Grandpa…….. and Graceland.

The Faith of my Father

This is father’s day and my birthday………June 21, 2009

It was four years ago tomorrow we got the news “Our Father has Terminal Lung Cancer’. The Doctor said…”We will ‘call it’ stage 3B”…….and he only had a few months to live….like about three.

I can’t express to you how devastating this news was for us….all of us. First of all, we were terribly confused. If anyone could NOT get cancer it would have been our father…….he never smoked….he ate right….he exercised and did all the things right for a body you are suppose to do.

When we heard this news……for me…..it was like being slammed in the face with a bat. I stood there in the dark…….. stunned…… not knowing what was coming next. I felt like I was caught in head lights …… unable to move when the trucks came to plow over me ……and over…..and over…….. and over again.

That night, my father took each one of us alone …….He promised he would fight this thing and he loved us and we each meant the world to him…….and he didn’t know what he would have done without us in his life. He thanked us for giving him courage and he told us what he admired most about us. He told us all how special we are to him and again how much he loves us……….it all came so naturally for him: Streight from his heart. Hearing these words and just knowing how he feels about us is such an incredible gift, for all of us…..a gift that can never be bought. He made us all feel like we where the one that he loved the most……just like he always has.

Have you ever known anyone who makes you feel like you are their favorite person, ever? My father has this wonderful gift of sharing his time…….and making anyone around him feel like he is there for them. I don’t even think he knows he has this gift……….but, we know…….and so do the people that are drawn to him.

He is special.

So, on this father’s day and my birthday……..I can’t tell you how very special it is to share this day with him. and I am SO Thankful God has given us four more years……..and all I ((WE)) will ask of Him is 400 more.

There is nothing wrong with that.
As I think about my father, I have to go back to when I was a little girl…….I thought he could jump over tall buildings with a single bound. I thought he was the strongest, most handsome man ever. I thought he really was superman, and my mother never discouraged the fantasy.

There are so many warm thoughts and memories I cherish of him dancing, singing, playing and just taking time with me that I couldn’t possibly put them all down. But, the one memory that stands out the most in my mind ((today)) is the one that I think will tell you what kind of man my father is….the INTERGRITY he possesses. To me this story shows his true character ……

I was about 16. I had a speeding ticket I had to go to traffic court for and he went along with me…… to help me fight the fine. As we waited in the court room there was a young man standing in front of the judge who was in trouble for something pretty minor…… I can’t even remember what it was now. The young man was visibly shaking…… the judge asked him some questions and then charged him a fine that he could not pay. The judge then gave this young guy jail time because he had NO money………

When my father heard this, he jumped up from his seat…. and said, “What? You’re sending this young kid to jail because he is down on his luck?” The judge asked, “Who are you?” And then she asked the kid, “Do you know this man?” He said, “No”….

My father was told to sit down. He told the court he would not……..he said he couldn’t sit there and listen to the judge send this young man to jail for something so minor and asked how much he owed the court. He also asked if the fine was paid would the young man be free to go. ((I can’t remember the price of the fine now, but, I remember the shaking kid….. I know he was all alone…….and I know he couldn’t believe what he was hearing….)) I remember my father approaching the judge and asking if he could stand with this young man and represent him…..the kid told my father he could not repay him and my father said he didn’t want the money back. I remember my father saying, “I don’t care about the money….I have it and I want to pay your fine. I just don’t see this happening.” He told this kid he wanted him to get into school and make something out of himself and give “it” back to someone else….. when he could.

Now that I think of it……..he was paying it forward…….. way before it was popular.

I remember getting in the car after it was all over and my dad looked at me with this look of “oooohhhh”…..and then he said that he was worried about having enough cash for my fine after paying the young man’s. But, he did…..and I remember thinking “ You’re wonderful. Of course you had enough. I never doubted him for a minute. ” That day…..as I had many times…… I had a sense of real pride that he was my father. I knew he could move mountains, jump over tall buildings and save strangers…..anywhere, anytime, any place.

Now that I am older and things have changed (like him having cancer now) I still find myself in awe over the things he has accomplished…… over the things that he has done…… over the time he gives to each one of us, even when he is sick and does not feel like it, he still gives to us.

My father has a faith that is untouchable:

He carries his cross and never complains.
He goes to the cancer center to visit his team of doctors and calls them coach.
He does what is asked of him and more.
He carries on.
He has fulfilled his promises to his family 10 – fold and still he carries on and moves forward.

THANK GOD!

Now, four years later, our father is still planning his next move. He is planning to build apartments. He is planning on the fall planting of the muscadines. He is planning to go to Europe for his 60th wedding anniversary in four more years. He is planning on meeting his 2nd great grandchild in November.

No one knows what their future holds. No one knows what will happen to the people they love or themselves. No one knows what tomorrow will bring……..but, I think we should all hold on to the FAITH my father has in his tomorrows.

It seems to me, my father’s faith is carrying us all through this journey we are on.

Where’s the Chocolate??

It has taken me a long time to accept ~ I have to run to get back into shape……….because let’s face it……the way the economy is going for “us” ((the nation as a whole)) it will be a long time before I can play Karate again.

The acceptance of just liking to run has been hard for me………..actually I hate running. I would much rather go to a really hard and long sparing class………….I remember many Saturday mornings walking of the mat bleeding, hurt and in pain….and someone would say Wow! That was a great class…….. Everyone would nod their heads in agreement and say “YAY!!”

I have been trying to run for quite a long time now……maybe 2 1/2 years …… and my resistance to running has taken it’s toil on me. However, I have decided…… I have to like it………..almost as much as I like chocolate.

Okay……. Not that much.

But, I love to have Ice Cream for dinner.

AND

If I am going to have Ice Cream for dinner, I have to exercise. Right now that exercise has to be running.

So, I have been trying……….I have been drinking my water and eating right……..Well, most of the time. I am trying to take care of myself for many reasons………..The biggest is my father, who has cancer and has survived much longer then the doctors ever imagined he would……….One of the things he contributes his survival to is exercise……….He has always and still does exercise even on his sick days.

AND

CANCER STINKS!! IT REALLY DOES!

Over the past three years, I have struggled with these big issues; I am not as physically fit as I was BFME……..that is……BeFore Mary Elizabeth. It has taken me a long time to accept………I have a long way to go from pre-baby……..to post-baby…………even though she will be 3 next month.

And SO, I have struggled!

I think I am getting there. I think I have convinced myself……….It is okay to be where I am and I am learning to like “the” running and not pout about it “all” so much.

So here I am…………With my “I love exercise Finnell Grin”

………We have a secret……..”We” the Finnell’s and the Advent’s are far from being athletes…..all we do is……”TRY“. We pick a sport we like or in my case right now……. can tolerate and learn to like it. Then, we give it our all. We are not fast…………We persevere…….We work through the humiliation of always being last. We work through the pain of what ever it is that hurts and we just ‘do it’. We put our hearts into it and get the job done.

And

We do it with a Grin……….My sister and I have named it “That Finnell Grin”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So anyway, I have been getting up really early……..I mean really early and getting out there. The sun comes up at six. I have my shoes on. I am ready to go with my phone and my daughter’s I-pod………… I am excited about seeing how long the miles will take me and what my plan of action is for the day…………..I am trying to increase my mileage and cut down on my time.

It is fun right??????

That was until Monday morning……….I was going by my neighbors house……..I should tell you, he has JUST started running again after 1o, 12 maybe he said 15 years…….. I forget………..the most important thing here………. IS………… HE! SMOKES!! He smokes!…………..He just started running and he smokes……..

Okay ya……..Good for him, right?? ~ Maybe he will cut down on his smoking and all that great stuff. He will be healthy AND we all have to start some where. RIGHT??

It was about 7:00 am……..and I had been running for about an hour. He sees me and says, “Why don’t you run with me to the top of the hill?…….It is only a mile. I am just trying to run a mile.”
Being the nice, caring, encouraging person that I am ~ I said, “Okay” I have 10 more minutes……..I can do that.

He says, “Let’s go!”

He takes off……………..He “smokes” me…………..He “smokes” me!! I am way behind……..huffing and puffing and starting to cough like the smoker HE IS……….my asthma is starting to kick in……….. I can’t breath……….I can’t stop coughing.

I can only say………THANK GOD! My phone rang and it was a customer……..I had to stop to answer my cell phone……..out of breath……….I got to tell this guy……….”I am running and that is why I am sooooo out of breath and please forgive me………could you please call my husbands phone and he will be able to help you.” …………..

I didn’t tell this guy………I was losing badly to my neighbor who just started running like 2 days ago and by the way he smokes………….

BUT! there is good news “he” can run a 9………..I said a 9 minute mile…………and he smokes………and he just started running again…….He has gone from doing nothing……..NOTHING!! to running a 10 minute mile….now down to a 9…….and he beat me…… bad!!

Stupid Rick!!

Where’s the chocolate???

Oh! The good news…………..Today ………He has shaved 12 seconds of his time…………..Stupid Rick!

Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon!!!!!!!

Today is the Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon!!!!!!!

My sister, Margaret, cousins Jen and Charlie are running in this Marathon…..Today!

It should be VERY exciting! I am going to do my best to keep up with all the happenings of the GREAT event.

Margaret, Jen and Charlie decided to join this race because of the effects that cancer has taken on in their lives. Jen and Charlie have dedicated this run to a lot of people, mostly to their friend Deana and my father…..
My sister, of course, has dedicated her run to our father…………….WHO will be there waiting for her at the finish line. Our father has suffered the effects of Nonsmokers lung cancer ~ found in the late stages and given only 3 months to live……………4 years ago.

What do the doctors know? Hopeful a lot….

I know that Margaret worked very hard at her training. She ran when she was suppose too ~ She tried to eat right ((well not really, but it sounds good)) BUT! She ran!! …..Her husband very lovingly gave her wings to be able to do this run and should be commended for his patients, dedication and loyalty to her and the marathon she felt so strongly about. The training took a lot of work, dedication and perseverance on every ones part.

They all did a great job and now is the time…………….they PLAY!!

So exciting!

I am going to try to keep up with this event on line…………….TRY!!

No matter if they sprint,walk or crawl across the finish line we are soooooooo very proud and excited about this HUGE achievement for all of them! ((…..Mostly Margaret!….ssshhhh…..don’t tell the others I said that! )) We are excited for them too.

AND THEY ARE OFF!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update 1

I forgot to ask for Jen and Charlie’s bib numbers and I can’t find information on them but

Margaret is doing AWESOME!!

Here are the results as of an hour ago:

20203 Margaret Hoverath F
TNT Fundraising Half Start: Gun 6:30:03 Chip 6:41:12
Times:1:10:53 Pace:11:25
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Update 2

I went to the Zoo with the family and NOW! I cannot remember how to access the information I had before……..UUGGG!!………..STUPID Computer!!

((It is always the machine and never the operator))

This Just In!!

7:40 PM

~ I just got this E-mail from a friend of my sisters ~

I just talked to Maggie a few minutes ago and she finished the race in under 6 hours!!!! She had a great start to the race and ran the first 13-14 miles without stopping! Unfortunately around mile 21 Maggie stepped wrong and rolled her ankle. From then on she had to walk and was pretty upset. Someone told her to focus on all the people who were at home cheering her on and she got emotional thinking about all of us. I think it was her cousin that let her know we were all walking/running today while she was competing and that just meant the world to her! Maggie’s parents were at the finish line and she cried when she saw her dad. You’ll have to talk to her about the entire experience – she said it was just amazing! Also, 8.8 million dollars was raised for cancer! She said there were runners/walkers who were survivors and some that were in treatment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is over and everyone did great! Jen, Charlie and Margaret all finished and we are very proud of them all!!

YAY!!!!

GREAT! Job Everyone!!

SO? WHO NEXT????

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I found the results!! June 1 – 12:30AM

Just for Margaret…….

Bib20203

FName LNameMargaret Hoverath City Simpsonville State SC Country USA
Sex F ChipTime 5:59:15 ClockTime 6:10:25 Overall 11428 SexPl 5159 DivPl 371 Pace 13:43

The May Birthday

Tuesday, May 12, was my mother’s 29th, 28th or 39th Birthday.

All though we are all very confused about exactly how old she is we celebrated anyway ……
After all, there was Chocolate Cake.
Even though the cake was not Simply Sweeter’s……….It was good!
I must tell all my cousins ,for those that don’t know,…………my mother GOT the COOKIES!!
AND
THEY WHERE “Simply” Fabulous!!
BUT!
The best present came from my father’s Oncologist. When he told my parents things where going nicely for my dad and he is doing very well…Better then they had ever expected…..Dr Stephenson also said, my parents should go to San Diego and Cheer on the Marathoners!! for the BIG run.

Maybe there will be more Cake when they get home!!

Well! We have to Celebrate……………26.2 miles is a long way for my sister to go.

Need Inspiration?

There are some days I really just don’t want to workout. I can come up with a million and one excuses of why I can’t or why I shouldn’t; There is always the kids. I like the martial arts and I don’t have a punching bag. I LOVE! the old it is raining excuse. I have to clean the house. School is too hectic………..you get the idea.
But then there are these simple facts; I love the way I feel when everything on my body does not feel fat! I hate! tight clothes. When I have to buy larger clothing I take it really hard……. Exercise gives me energy. I eat better. It is good for my heart, head and my family if I get a workout in.
AND
The biggest fact of all!
My Father! Or sometimes known as my GUILT!
This is the gym my dad has worked out in for decades. It is his gym. It is our gym. It is a room off the side of his house that he has turned into a place of fitness. In this room we could spend time with him; doing sit ups, jumping rope, get on the rowing machine he use to have or simply do an aerobics tape. I remember many nights going out for a run with my dad and then going into this room to have a sit up competition or watch him do his push ups with his toes placed high on a stool he made to get the job done.
See the punching bag?
We had great times in this room.
AND
We still do.

Even though he now has NON smokers lung cancer (found in the late stages in 2005) and he has been getting heavy doses of Chemo treatments for almost 4 years now; He still finds the energy and mental strength to exercise in this room. Some days he does more then most his age. Some days he may not be able to do much at all. Some days he may just do sit ups in bed. There are times he may go out to this gym and try something but he may turn around after 10 minutes or less in exhaustion. BUT! Even though he may not have felt good that day, you can bet sit ups where tried, a little walking may have been done…..or even some type of leg lifts……… something in the form of an exercise was approached.

Even through all this ………..He is always thinking of others. He wants us all to be healthy and even though we can all come up with very good excuses of why we shouldn’t workout and we can all take care of our own needs……..well………mostly. He wants to take away all the obstacles and keep us all healthy.

For his 56 wedding anniversary he bought my mother a treadmill and an exercises bike to go in this room. My mother saw this gift of love for what it really was…………He was saying to her; “Hey, I am going to make it and I want you around with me. So let’s get to work.”

It seems there are no more excuses of why some type of exercise can’t be done by the healthy people around him……..He will often say………..You can only workout early in the morning…….”Come on over. Workout in the gym.”…………You can’t sleep and feel like hitting the bag?……..”Come on over.”……..It’s raining and you want to run?……..”Come on over……..No one will hear you. No one will see you……just come.”

I find it all very loving……….No, because of the cancer, chemo and radiation treatments he is not what he use to be in terms of physical fitness……….I personally don’t even think that matters.

To me ~ He is more of an inspiration these days then ever. If you ask me, he should be the Nike Poster Boy of the decade. He just does it…….. Even if it is not what he wants it be………..He does it.

We should all take a lesson from this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He gave me my love for physical fitness.

AND

My mother gave me my love for chocolate cake.

See, there is a balance. I guess that is why the marriage has lasted for 56 years.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With these thoughts out there……….I really need to get it together and just do it. No more excuses!

The Concert

One day last month I thought it would be a good idea to put on a concert for the residents at the Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Spartanburg.

I got the idea only after an illness my father had because of a Chemo treatment.

My daughter, Kathryn, had a recital that my parents had to miss because my father was to sick from the “cure”. After the recital Kathryn called my mom to let her know how she did and that she had missed her nana. My mother as involved as always, asked Kathryn if she would take her harp over to their house and play the songs they could not hear.

With much delight Kathryn obliged her requests……..The next day with the harp in hand Kathryn played for my mom and dad.

As usual, we stayed most of the day and Kathryn practiced much of that time. Even though my dad really didn’t feel well he sat in the room with Kathryn as she softly practiced.

When we talked during the week my father told me how he “thoroughly enjoyed” her playing. He told me, her playing lifted his spirits and it all seemed to help him feel better that weekend.

Without knowing it, my 11 year old daughter gave her grandfather a gift of love.

Even though Kathryn is a novice player, I started to think……………my father is very much a positive person and the music really seemed to help him find strength that day.

I started to wonder, what would it do for someone who does not have the optimistic out look that my father does? I wondered, what would it do for Kathryn? She loves music. She is always playing her harp or the piano. I thought maybe if we look into this she may find this to be something she would like to do as a career……….Music Therapy……..

I e-mailed the other moms in the home school co-op Kathryn belongs too to find out if anyone would be interested in putting on a little concert for the folks in the nursing home we as a group have visited.

There was lot a of interest. The nursing home could not wait for us to come and the children in the co-op could not have been more enthusiastic about it all. All the kids were so delighted to play their instruments.

Some of the kids where excellent and some only pecked at the key boards. But, all the children wanted to share what they knew.
When we first started our concert the hall was mostly empty with only a few residents in the room. One by one men and woman came into the hall. One by one the men and woman sat down and listened. One by one the children became more and more excited andthe “Captive Audience” enjoyed our concert .
When I think back on the experience; I think once again I am the one who received the gift that day. Even though everyone seemed to really love the whole thing, I walked away in ‘awww’ and a full heart.

I was so impressed with the enthusiasm of the children and the residents.

BUT,

I was most impressed with my daughter who, after the concert, went over to talk to a woman and answered the same questions over and over again. This woman was most definitely suffering from Alzheimer’s. She could not remember that she had told us, many times ,about her son who played in a band . She had told us about her husband who died and she told us about her little dog. She told us she did not get many visitors and she really enjoyed it when children came to the home.

She would then tell Kathryn, she had beautiful skin and then ask about her school. The conversation went like this; “Oh yeah, you told me that……..and did I tell you about the time my son played in a band and I really loved the music today………and Kathryn answered and answered and knew………..Even though this lady looked perfectly fine this woman needed a little extra care. Kathryn gave it to her………..I was so impressed with my daughter once again. This experience filled me with pride to see what a wonderful woman Kathryn is growing up to be.

It is funny to me, how I think I am the one that is giving but then for me, the giving always turns to receiving more then I could have imagined.

I guess I am just lucky that way.