Thursday, January 30, 2014

tie a knot and hang on

In the spring of last year my cousin Mo had a yard sale that I went by to scoop up some free towels and whatnot. That haul included a picture of a frog done in counted cross stitch by my cousin Deb. Mo pointed it out to me knowing that I'd want that particular memory. I've moved it from room to room so that I can remember her. In the bathroom there is one of her first stained glass creations against a yellow wall that is stunning. She was serious about the craft that she learned from her father. Debbie constructed large church windows that had to be installed by truck and stuff and they stood in line for 'em. I am to the point now where everything I possess has a story and I like it that way.

When my aunt was dying of colon cancer I took my turn at sitting after hospice took over. I remember one day vividly when I was there and a nurse who was trying to insert a catheter asked me to hold the table lamp up so she could get 'er done. It was painful and Sister was already beginning to slip toward death. What is commonly referred to as a "comfort measure" is really something that helps caregivers deal with the messiness of death. There was morphine and pain patches which were hidden securely and only dispensed by the watchdogs. The thing that struck me was the view from that window by her hospital bed. Her house sat behind Dyersburg High School close enough that you could open the back door and listen to a baseball or football game. The saddest thing of all is that colon cancer is totally preventable by the use of colonoscopy for those at high risk including a family history which was very much there. She never thought it would happen to her, you know. She was a diva of the finest sort, a true Southern lady who was both beautiful and sweet. She married a rich furniture dealer who died early leaving her with a son in high school who had always gotten everything he wanted. Like my uncle who died early from drug and alcohol abuse, he has had his good days and bad but we've always been friends.

As I was heading out for home I ran into a former co-worker and we chatted about Medicare and her current status of needing a bone density test which was taking a little too long. Her fiery temper made her one heck of an ER and cardio nurse for years. One year we sang in the alto section at the Easter sunrise service together, our voices blending as they will do when you know the part well. Just checked in with the mother load only to be told that she'll call me back 'cuz she's on hold with a Memphis TV station wanting to get them to interview a local writer. When she did she told me the same thing about ten times and then rambled on about our roots. Daddy's go all the way back to Scotland with that Stafford thing. The Agee side hails from France. I told her I had to go so I can file my income tax stuff and she said she was sorry if she talked me to death. I dread the day that I don't hear that voice telling me what's up.



  1. All the people from my past who could have done that are gone, so you are right to treasure her while you have her - even if she does drone on. I sure wish some of mine were still here. I would make it a point never to complain or scowl (like a may have done.)

  2. I remember so many wonderful conversations with my Daddy on our road trips. Now I look back and wish that I had recorded them so each detail would still be in my heart and mind. Thanks for the reminder.