Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Mom

My Mom

My mom was a single mom back in the 60’s when it was hard for a woman to raise two kids.  She did have family help but it was still tough for her. 

She married my dad and we moved to Aline, Ok and she helped raise his 4 children on a dairy farm.  She went from cooking for 3 to cooking for 8.  When Dennis and I had to move to Houston I asked her what she thought about us building on to our house and her and daddy moving in because quite frankly I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to care for Dennis or that something would go wrong.  She never hesitated one second and she put her house up for sale immediately.  The people that were renovating on our house started in on my garage.  Kaiser Webb bought my mom’s house and my dad and mom moved in with us.  I leaned heavily on my mom during my 60 days in Houston.  Every night after the end of  what seemed like an endless day, I would go out in the court yard and sit and sob and let my mom tell me that everything was going to be OK and that we were going to take one day at a time.  I always believed her and would go back in and face the next day.  She always knew exactly what I needed to hear and somehow she always made me feel better.  I feel so blessed to have had my daddy here in my house for what would be the last three years of his life and my mom is the one constant stable thing in my life.  She is here 24/7 to fix our meals, help get Dennis up in the morning, always stays here with him if I need a break and has never once has complained.  The other day my daughter told me she didn’t know what she would do without me and I told her I feel the same way about my mom. I hope I am half the mom she is. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Small Town

My friend Dawn,who writes the Cobweb's Corner blog, wrote recently about life in a small town and I loved that blog. She gave reasons why she would always be a small town girl and I wanted to do the same.

We have events at the Historical Society and everyone shows up.  That's Dennis's dad, Larry and A fellow employee I work with Sharie Smith.  They are "Lions"!
We have parades and the clowns are really nice!
Dennis's Grandma Martha lives right across the street from us.  She is in her 90's and we have loved having her live here.
My father-in-law's pool is only two miles away.
We can sit outside and listen to the rodeo .
We ALL know where we sit every Sunday morning!  (Third row piano side).  Missing my church family....
Making life long friends...

And people in a small town coming together for people in need. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Our Prayer Group

I have a journal that I kept when a group of ladies and I met once a week for prayer.  We would get together and pray for various people that we knew or didn't know.  Each of us would go around and lead prayer for one or two of the people and although my little group doesn't meet anymore I try to keep a journal of people that need prayer so Dennis and I can at least pray.  I miss those ladies and the time we had dedicated to praying and just being together.  I was looking back at my list and many of those people that we were praying for have made their new home in heaven and many had made recoveries and some of us are still in the midst of our trial.  I always wonder why some go on to be with God, some don't and some circumstances stay the same.  What is the determining factor?  Is it fair?  I had the same questions when Dennis had his accidnet.  Why? Why God, why him?  He is a man of God, faithful to you.  I know I am not the only one with questions of this sort and I do know that God did not put this on Dennis, but it doesn't stop the wondering.  The one thing I am sure of is that God tells us to pray without ceasing and to keep our eyes focused on Him.  The reward of heaven and seeing our loved ones again is to great to give up on and He will be with us through it all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Coincidence part 2

Coincidences part 2

In my previous post I was telling of things that happened to Dennis and I that we believe are not coincidences.
3) Dennis was drugged the first 40 days we were in OU yet he managed to pass his swallow test so he could eat regular food.  Some people never pass this test yet he did it completely drugged and he has no memory of doing so.  Every hospital we would go to after that would make him take it again because they didn’t believe us.  4)  We got accepted to T.I.R.R. rehab center, they did not want us but something changed their minds and they accepted us.  We had been praying for God’s heavenly army to go before us and prepare the place we were suppose to be.  TIRR was that place and they brought Dennis back to life.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Coincidences part 1

I’m going to be writing about things that happened that we have had some people say are coincidences. Dennis and I don’t believe in coincidences.  Here are the first two.  1) Dennis had his wreck on a track very close to town instead of their usual out in the middle of the valley track.  They usually always went to the mountains out in Cheyenne Valley or out of town.  But, today they chose the track a couple of miles from town .  2)  Max and Blake were there.  If Max had not been there I doubt if Dennis would have been with us these last 5 years.  Every year is precious.  As I have said many times, I have a lot of questions when I get to heaven but I believe firmly God had nothing to do with Dennis’s accident, but I do think He had something to do with the location and friends we put around us.

P.S.  Yes, one is a "sooner" and I married him anyway, and one is a Cowboy fan!  You still can be friends!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth was a Christian man who was a preacher, evangelist, and writer in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.  He was raised in the Methodist faith but began to teach in the Assembly of God church later.  He was documented doing many miracles and he was a man of great faith.  I read a couple of his books while Dennis was in the hospital and he had a saying that stuck with me to this day.  He said “I am not moved by what I see.  I am not moved by what I feel.  I am moved by what I believe.”  When we were going through the biggest trial of our lives, I had to keep the Word of God in front of me at all times or I knew I would begin to crumble with all the emotions that are going through your mind.  That is the only thing that kept me sane, God’s word…truth…promises.  It is the only thing that keeps me going today.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cry Baby!

I think when some kind of tragic circumstance hits close to home, your emotions take on a mind of their own. I am now a bawl baby of the biggest sort. I will admit I have always been a crier but this is waterworks galore. My daughter who was never big on crying commented the other day that every time she turned around she was crying about something. She doesn't like this new phenomenon in her personality but I told her she didn't have a chance with me as a mother. I had a favorite song called "untitled hymn", Come to Jesus sang by Chris Rice. Someone sang it at my daddy's funeral and now when I hear the first chord I am bawling. We also played "This day" by Point of Grace, same thing. I went to a funeral recently where they played "Blessings" and I can't hear it without crying. I have decided that I am excited to get to Heaven where I will not have to cry and have a big red nose anymore!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cast your cares

My daughter has 3 classes she has to get in before she can take her boards.  They are hard and of course things aren’t going as smoothly as we would like.  OSU only offers one in the spring and one class is full and the one she has a Saturday lab.  Then there are other problems and then Dennis still can’t talk and doesn’t always feel good.  Some days you want to scream and cry and walk away.  Then you stop and say God I am casting this care on you because you said I could so here you go.  And then God says “it’s about time.”  And while this is all going on in your head, you forget to turn off your water and you water the entire neighborhood concrete.  But on the bright side,  where the water runs out of your backyard one half of the grass is green.
My poor honeysuckle!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

McMuprhy's Law

The day that Dennis’s dad left for vacation I came home from work and walked in the house.  It was 82 degrees.  I asked the people that are here all day (mom and Dennis) if it felt a little warm to them.  The assured me it did but thought nothing of it.  Yes, the A/C was out.  I called our friend Max who came over and I called our local plumber Mike McMurphy.  This is one of the reasons I love living in a small town where people care about each other.  My motor was out and in 20 minutes Mike had it replaced and changed.  Dennis can’t get overly heated with a SCI because he can’t tell if he is getting over heated and he can have a heat stroke.  An SCI patient can only sweat above their injury line and Dennis’s is high so there is no way to help with the heat.  The people in my town are always there to help when we need it. 
It's old and has lived a good life.

A couple of days later we had a storm south of us and our electricity went out.  Once again we had a fireman (thanks Brant) call us to make sure we had a generator, which we do, and we waited till it got stuffy enough and fired it up.  That generator was a gift to us when we got home from Houston and we have been ever grateful.  I have to have instructions on how to start it but I can and it comes in very handy.  Dennis has an air bed that runs on electricity and we had T.V. and fans that helped a lot.  I know God has blessed us by putting us in this community and we know how blessed we are.

Yes, my generator has a flat tire and no I do not know how to change it!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last Week

Last week Larry, (Dennis’s dad) took a much deserved vacation with his wife Stephanie.  They went to California to see her son, daughter- in-law and grandson.  I was kind of dreading this vacation because I knew it was going to be a little harder with me working and Larry not here.  They went on vacation last year the same time we did and it worked out great.  Circumstances prevented that from happening this year.  I had it planned that I would go to work after I got Dennis all ready except for getting him out of bed.  Then, I would come home on my break and get him up, (nice thing about living one mile from work).  It worked fine!  Plus my daughter came home on one of the days and I took a vacation day on one of the days.  My mom is a trouper because she is here 24/7.  I don’t know what I would do without her and I try not to look down that road because God give us grace for today.  Once again I have to read Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And also Matthew 6:34, therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enought trouble of it's own.

Friday, August 12, 2011


The day after Dennis got out of the hospital, our daughter graduated from Respiratory Therapy school.  At first I told Dennis that he couldn't go and I would video it for him as he was very weak.  He wanted to go and a few tears from Whitney convinced me to let him go with us.  I'm so glad I did.  He did very well and she was very happy we were all there together.  He is doing really well at this point but just can't talk and we can't figure out why.  Anyway, we were very proud and very glad the evening went without a hitch.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bass Integris Hospital

After we got home Dennis got worse and worse and one morning he was bad enough to want us to call the EMT’s.  They took us to Bass hospital in Enid and after scans and x-rays found nothing but they did find a doctor to admit us so off to the 3rd floor we go.  When you have SCI starting from scratch with a new doctor is pull your hair out frustrating but you have to deal with it.  So when the new lung doctor came in he started in.  I would try and interject what we knew it wasn’t and he would interrupt me with the attitude that I was not a doctor.  True, but I have played one for five years!  So after Dennis gave me that “please don’t mouth off any more” look I stopped and let the doctor ask Dennis if I was starving him because he had lost 35 pounds from the last time he was there.  He was in a safe place so he could talk to them.  OK, yes I am starving him and I thought I would just bring him in so you could confirm that for me!!!  Anyway the doctor who was going to scope his intestines was great and he was going to make sure all bases were covered this time.  So he scoped and scanned and did everything to make sure.  Nothing…..  So after seven days of being in the hospital we still came away with nothing is wrong.  Good news is Dennis is not on oxygen anymore and can breathe well.  Bad news is he doesn’t make enough breath sounds to talk with his speaking valve.  So since he can’t talk he can’t run his computer or his phone.  Frustrating…..

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 2 at Grand

The second day of Grand Dennis started feeling better.  He stayed in during the hot part of the day and came out on the dock in late afternoon.  We had a great day and ordered pizza to eat on the dock.  It was still a little hot but it was Ok.  Then the third day he felt really bad so on Wednesday we loaded up and came home.  The night before we came home my best friend Debbie and I sat out on the swing, that had been there for the 18 years that we had been coming, and had ourselves a good cry.  We wanted things the way they used to be and everything to stay the same.  Unfortunately, life gets in the way and things do change.  But we had a good cry and talked about how things used to be and I said good-bye to a place I love because I couldn’t see us trying to come back and fight the heat. But, time will tell and you never know what can happen in a year.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


After the pacemaker fix Dennis had a scope and it was determined he had an ulcer and some gastritis.  We got some new medicine and started in on fixing the ulcer.  But....things did not get better they got worse.  His breathing got worse, he was on oxygen 24/7 and he could not sit up for any length of time.  But after he got into about a week of the ulcer medicine he turned a corner and he was feeling a lot better.  I was going to let him make the call about going to Grand Lake and he wanted to go so away we went.  The first night we were there we did great.  It was 112 in the shade on day 2 and Dennis stayed indoors and was not feeling well at all.  Our daughter Whitney had come also and she was a huge help to me.  We did some girl things while Dennis stayed in the cabin but all the time you are out there you have a nagging feeling of guilt in your head.  I still wanted to make this as fun as possible for Whitney so I took her out to eat that night.  We were hoping for the best the next day.

Monday, August 8, 2011


The month of May we went to my cousin Frankie and Marlin's 50th wedding anniversary at Canton Lake.  Dennis was feeling pretty good that day so we had a great time seeing all my family.  It had been a long time since we all had gotten together and we vowed to get together every year (as we always do when we get together!)  Right after the party we had some issues with Dennis's pacer that involved little bitty wires coming out of the pacer.  We called Cleveland and we had three options.  1)  Gt on a plane and go to Cleveland.  Dennis was having breathing issues so that was not an option.  2)  we could fly a repairman out here on our dime and have him fix it.  3)  they would send us a power point and we could try and fix it.  Well, our friend is not nicknamed Mr. Wizard for nothing!  Max watched the power point with Dennis's dad and they said peice of cake.  The wires are so little it is about the size of an unfolded paper clip.  That morning Max and his son Blake with Larry came over and sautered the wires.  Job well done! 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

5 year anniversary

The Christmas before Dennis had his accident, Dennis's mom took us all on a Bahama cruise.  I will forever be thankful to her for that trip and the memories we made on that trip.  We had the best time and little did we know then it would be one of the last trips we would all make together.  You can take away a lot of things but memories are not one of them.  I cherish every memory made on that cruise.  When his 5 year anniversary of the wreck rolled around I simply could not believe it had been 5 years.  How far we had come in those five years!  My grief had subsided a little, not all together but a little.  They always tell you that your patients are still the same people they were before the accident and that is very true, but you still have to grieve for what you have lost just a little.  I grieved for Dennis holding my hand during prayer time at church, or Dennis putting his arm around me if I got chilly.  I greived for Dennis killing a spider for me or changing a light fixture if I didn't like it.  It's the little things we take for granted.  This anniversary Dennis still was not feeling great so it was a little more sad than most for me but on the other hand we had made it 5 years and to me that was a huge accomplishment.  We know we would not have made it this far without God walking on this journey and holding us up every step of the way without Him we are nothing.  We also couldn't have made it without our family and friends, God blessed us with the best. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Winter 2011

The winter was brutal and one day we had 10 inches of snow, but it quickly passed and spring arrived.  With the arrival of spring Dennis started having issues with his breathing.  The first of April he started not being able to take deep breaths and his oxygen level would go way down.  So off to the hospital here in Fairview who sent us on to Bass in Enid.  We celebrated our 31st anniversary at Bass Integris Hospital in Enid, Ok.  Our daughter Whitney was doing her clinical rotation at Bass that week so we were blessed to have her while we were ther.  She let me know when I was crossing the line and apparently I don't know everything!  But they couldn’t find anything wrong, so once again they decide it is an impacted bowel.  That is the common diagnosis for a patient with SCI when they don’t know what the problem is.  So a couple of enemas later and they send Dennis home.  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Christmas 2010

The holidays came and went (getting faster every year).  We had a great Thanksgiving and a great Christmas.  This was the second Christmas without daddy and there is just something missing.  I love getting together with family because even though we all live close by we never get to see each other.  I also like having my daughter home!  Then we celebrated New Year’s with friends of course.  This winter was very cold and we had some huge snow falls.  Dennis was still doing his training but had to stop for awhile because Krysler and Lori’s daughter passed away.  It was very tough on them especially Lori and they needed some time.  They asked us to put them on our prayer list and we told them that went without saying, our hearts broke for them.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Dennis was also in the process of getting lights, remotes, home phones and doors that he could operate.  It was really exciting and giving Dennis just a bit of independence.  He was now serving on the Sandra Beasley Independent Living board and we were both on the church finance committee.  He also decided to be a mentor.  Now this in theory is a great idea but once again I feel like a Debbie downer.  When Dennis decides to be involved in something, it doesn’t just take Dennis, it involves other people….who work all day…and is tired…and they feel guilty if they don’t do it.  But he got a little boy who fit him perfectly and it went really well.
We added a pergola to the north side of our house where it is all cement.  We were hoping Dennis could sit out there in the evenings but now we need a fire pit!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Chair!!

We had a surprise call while we were at Grand Lake and the new chair is in!  Mike (the guy we got the chair from) came Tuesday after we got back and worked on it and then the next day till 1:30.  It was super nice.  Dennis could lift his feet, lay his back down, it was just really a really nice chair.  It had a contoured back so it fit Dennis really well.  Dennis was also looking into a new computer and with DRS help he got one.  This was a joy because he felt like he could really communicate with the outside world again.  It took awhile to get used to it and we had some great help from a man in OKC named Sterling Krysler and his wife Lori.  They are wonderful people and they drive up here to help Dennis with his new equipment and he also calls him on the phone for sessions. Dennis uses a program called Dragon Naturally speaking and he also got a cell phone that works by voice command.  Big steps!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Grand Lake 2010

We were getting ready to go back to Grand Lake and we were so hoping Dennis’s new chair would get here, but the time arrived to leave and it had not shown up.  This year my daughter was in school so she would not be able to come for a visit and I was a little bummed.  When we got there we were so grateful that God had provided us with the friends we had and had managed to help us find a way to come back once again.  We would pull Dennis to the dock with the swimming dock once again and we got this down to a ten minute ordeal.  The weather was wonderful and we had a great time.  This year went a little smoother and I was not quite so emotional.  It was still a little hard we had made so many memories here and everywhere you turn there is a memory about something, but time and prayer had healed a little bit of hurt and it was better.