Husband’s Eulogy

Ron’s eulogy for my folks.

Today we buried my wife’s parents in Flagstaff Arizona. These are the words I would like to have said at the service, but I can’t even think them without crying. There is no way I could have said them.

My favorite memories of Cleo and Jennifer show their humor. Cleo constantly joked with wait staff at the many restaurant meals we shared. They’d ask “Is there any thing else I can get you?”

He’d always – to the point of annoyance sometimes – answer “Money?”

My favorite story of Jennifer I didn’t experience directly but heard later, probably from Cleo. On one of the many trips the two of them took together they were on a beach. She noticed him check out a bikini clad woman walking along the shore and said, “Cleo, the only way you could get that girl was if you chased her down waving your W2.”

I was reminded of him at church last week when I noticed a woman in the aisle barefoot. Cleo once commented to someone who asked what Suanna and I’s church was like after he visited.

“No one at their church wears shoes.”

Which for Hope Chapel in Austin was funny but only half true.

The most important thing Cleo and Jennifer did for me though was to raise a daughter who knows how to be a better wife than I deserve. Their relationship taught her that life together isn’t always easy. You don’t always get along. You aren’t perfect toward each other.

But you approach life together. You try to make each other and everyone else laugh. You make the best of the bad times and in the end you are always there for each other.

And when you pass on, they take your bodies, turn them to ashes. Mingle those ashes together. Encase them in stone. And bury them in the ground side by side.

Then for as long as this planet circles its star the two of you will always be together.

Gone…

Three weeks ago today a radiologist said to my father, “You should get this checked out. It might be lymphoma.” Two weeks and two days ago I got a call that said to come now if I wanted to see Dad before he died. It was his 75th birthday. Three days ago I was with my father when he died.

Death was not swift, despite this timeline. He was ill for quite a while when we did not know what was wrong–even though he had pains and we went to a myriad of doctors.

I will miss Dad.

The funeral for both my parents will be next week in Flagstaff, Arizona, where my mother grew up.

Dad’s Last Days

Dad went home to hospice on October 8, nine days after being admitted to the hospital. Uncle Jimmy got to see him before he left.

Monday, October 12
Dad is far more talkative today.

When Steph was out sleeping, I just laid next to him and talked about whatever came to mind. Dad said, “Will you please stop talking?” I guess he is more like Steph than I thought.

Later on he asked me to give him a kiss.

“Give me another kiss, please.”

“Will you hold my hand?”

“Will you comb my hair?” That was addressed to Stephanie.

Dad had been trying to get up every half an hour with Stephanie (and literally every 5 minutes that morning). “It hurts laying down.”

I told him that I would help him sit up, but that he could not try to get up.

Almost as soon as he sat up, he tried to get up off the bed.

I was pleading with him. I told him I couldn’t help him. He couldn’t stand on his own. We would both fall down. One of us might get broken and it would probably be me. Then he’d be stuck trying to get help when he could not talk loud or move. It would be terrible. He stopped fighting me on that.

I sat up holding him for two hours.

They changed Dad’s meds this morning and he gets one every hour.

Steph had given up trying to sleep and come back into Dad’s apartment around 9 or so. Then she fell asleep.

I needed Dad’s medicine, but I didn’t want to wake her up to ask her to get it.

So I asked Daddy if he would lie down and not try to get up while I went to get his medicine so Stephie could sleep. He said, “Yes.” That was his last word.

That afternoon, around 4, Dad was cool and Mark remarked on it. Steph said he would get hot if we put a blanket on him. We did it anyway because he was cold at the time.

I went and got dinner, ate it.

Went back into the room and Dad was sweating, hot. I told Steph. (For the first time in two weeks she hadn’t been sitting staring at him, but had been reading a book.) She said, “I told you not to put a blanket on him.” I said, “four hours ago!” (But I don’t think he was that hot when I came in with dinner, so it had only been a little while, really.)

Dad was having trouble breathing. His eyes were bugged out. Steph didn’t realize (see above). We moved him around and Stephanie kept saying, “It’s okay, Dad. You can rest.” and petting his arm.

I was holding his other arm and touching his cheek and giving him kisses.

After about 2 hours (why everything in 2 hours today?) Dad calmed down and was breathing better.

Steph got on the bed to rest.

I pulled the couch pillows down and laid on the floor, holding onto Dad’s foot, so he would know I was there.

Jeanna came in around 12:30 and sent us both to bed. I thought Dad might be gone before we got up. He wasn’t.

Hospice

Dad is going on hospice Friday (ASAP for MD Anderson). He has non-remittable bone cancer, in addition to the lymphoma, and they think he has a third kind. Some other stick test being done for that, but will take a week to come back. Why? Because inquiring minds want to know, apparently.

Please pray for my dad and for our family.

I am working on arranging to be off next week. Pray for all the folks who are helping me with that.

Rabies

Because worrying about my dad isn’t enough… My brother was bitten by a raccoon and has now been waiting four hours at the ER for a rabies shot. Please pray they get him one soon. The CDC says he should have a shot “right away.”

Update: After 5 hours, he got the shot. Thank you, God!

Dad’s Cancer

My dad has B cell diffused Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Supposedly usually curable, but he also has double pneumonia, he has at least 3 of the contra-indicators, and his has been diagnosed (but not by MDAnderson yet) as high grade, which can mean it has spread.

They checked his heart yesterday. No news on that. His kidneys are not functioning. They did a renal ultrasound yesterday. Have not heard on that. Today is a bone marrow test and PET scan.

MDA has requested the specimen Hermann SW got in the biopsy Monday. They want to do their own diagnosis.

Our family is not expecting to hear from the 2nd doctor again till Tuesday–when all the tests will have been read.

Multiple Stories

My dad is in the hospital and going home on hospice today. Please pray for him to not be in pain.

Update: Change in plans. Doctor last night said, “No hope.” (Okay, literally it was, “He won’t live long enough to go home.”) Second doctor says, “Maybe we can cure him.” Now we’re sitting around getting 5 different kinds of tests to see if he can be helped. …

Canvas carnival and other first day circus events

I couldn’t get Canvas to cross list courses until I deleted them. So I deleted. Then, oops, that didn’t work either. Now I have to wait till I get a new Canvas course created (which I can’t do) to re-import the information from. Thankfully I do still have that. Canvas Hero (BF) showed me how to do that. I wouldn’t have deleted otherwise. That would have been oh so bad.

But still, I told the students it would be up by 5, because that is what I expected. And it’s not up yet.

Guess I will keep watching.

Class went fine. 50 minutes is not long enough for ANYTHING…

Got the classes, syllabi, calendars, and Canvas courses ready for tomorrow. No crazy cross listing needed there.

Got a speaker for Thursdays business class. Awesome.

Need to contact the people from the challenge to see if we can do the paperwork for class. I’ll ask DH for admin’s name and contact info tonight. It would be way better if I knew whether it could be done before I get to class tomorrow.

The facilities people left the a/c on in my office over the weekend, thank goodness, because it was still plenty warm.

Kim’s Barley Soup

Ingredients:
1.5 c barley
96 oz of beef broth

sliced 3/4 small bag of baby carrots
4 stalks celery, chopped
soy sauce to taste

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 lb steak, cut very small (as little fat as possible–She used sirloin.)

Procedure:
Put barley and broth in heavy saucepan.
Cut the veggies up.
Brown the meat with the onion and garlic.
Add meat and veggies. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender.
Add soy sauce to taste. Remove from heat.

Kim doesn’t say how long the barley takes. She basically starts the barley, cuts the veggies and meat, and then, after browning, adds all of those.
The bag, where the very different original recipe came from, says to: Cover and simmer until barley is tender–about 1 hour.

We ate this with garlic pull bread. It had fresh parmesan in it. (I would have added more.)

It was awesome. I’d be willing to eat this over several meals.

receipt/recipe

Abilene Restaurants

Ron said he couldn’t figure out where to eat (because it takes too much brain power) and that for a town where eating out is the major entertainment, there sure weren’t many restaurants.

So we started making a list.
We made a list and checked it twice.
Then we drove around town.
Then I went to TripAdvisor and Yelp.

We now have 190 restaurants in Abilene. If there are multiple restaurants, we only counted it once. So Burger King, Grandy’s, and Chili’s are each only one time.

I definitely cannot eat at 14 of them.

There are many we have not yet eaten at. A total of 56 restaurants that we haven’t eaten at.
2 donut places
1 coffee house
19 Mexican food restaurants (where I usually am limited to the beans and the chips, but sometimes not even the beans or the chips)

Those are:
• Abilene Donuts Ambler
• Alfonso Hernandez at S 7th and Butternut (I have, but Ron hasn’t.)
• Alfredo’s (next to church)
• Armando’s Mexican
• Beltway Coffee
• Bill’s Burgers S 11th and Oak
• BK Donuts Texas and S 14th
• BlueBonnet Cafe N 1st
• Burgers and Fries 4458 Buff Gap
• Casa Herrera near the mall (I have, but Ron hasn’t.)
• Catfish Corner
• China Star
• Chinese Express on Judge Ely
• Cinnabon
• CK Seafood
• Daniela’s Breakfast and Lunch on Butternut
• Dante’s Pizza on Buffalo Gap
• Don Luis
• El Pulgarito S 7th
• Firehouse Subs
• Great American Grill in Hilton Garden Inn
• Harvest Moon (I have eaten there years ago. We were going to go for lunch today, but it is closed on Saturdays.)
• Hashi Teppan Japanese on Rebecca
• Ichi Ban
• Keyhole Cafe and Bakery 1665 Antilley
• La Familia N 8th and Grape
• La Farolita
• La Mexicana on Mockingbird
• La Popular (Ron has. I haven’t.)
• Larry’s Burgers (We’ve both eaten there decades ago.)
• Leonardo’s Mex 5695 S 1st
• Little Italy next to Tokyo Fusion
• Little Italy on Ambler and Treadaway
• Loas Arcos on Old Anson and Ambler
• Mary’s Mexican
• Mi Ranchito Ambler
• Mister Burger on Buffalo Gap (We both have eaten there years ago.)
• Monterrey N 10th and Willis
• Nathan’s Hot Dogs in Kmart
• Papa Murphy’s Pizza on Barrow
• Remington’s Restaurant and Bar on Ridgemont (in a hotel? says good lunch buffet)
• Rice Bowl 1525 Pine (go for lunch)
• Rocky’s Bbq Tread and Ambler, north of Ambler
• Roja’s 3413 Ambler
• Skeet’s Tx Grill 4325 Buff Gap
• Sweetwater Bbq
• Taco Casa (Ron has. I haven’t.)
• Tamolly’s Restaurant
• Taqueria on Ambler
• The Loft (Ron has. I haven’t.)
• The Mill
• The Sunrise
• Toby’s Westside Pizzeria S 7th and Leggett

JoJos Bbq (Potosi) FM 1750

I’m Okay… Mostly.

Everything is fine but I don’t feel fine. My head keeps playing all the stupid I’ve been in the last week.

Why am I imperfect? Why do I repeat all the things I’ve done wrong (by my standards and/or someone else’s)?

Really, nothing is that bad. I gave extra credit points. I shouldn’t in college. Okay. Fine. I won’t for quizzes. It was an idea. But now 12 people I don’t know all know I considered it.

We’ll see when it will quit bothering me.

Stressed

I’m in the last day of PCA and am very stressed. I think it is somewhat because I haven’t talked to a lot of people. I also think it is partially because I bought Island in the Sea of Time and it has lots of rape and attempted rape. I know it’s a classic, but I may not finish reading it.

Thinking about pulling up a book I’ve already read to calm my thoughts some.

Also food is very limited around here when you’re by yourself. Arby’s, McDonald’s, the bar downstairs. Haven’t even walked to Cafe Du Monde.

12 = Plus Size

I just found out (officially and for sure) that US size 12 is a plus size. It makes sense when I look at my body in the mirror, but I definitely do not like it.

Ice Day

I am apparently counting on having an ice day tomorrow, as I put the cake pops in the fridge and haven’t graded the papers I need to grade before tomorrow morning.

Instead I’ve been surfing the net and learning that my dad’s family is descended from Swiss-Germans (or at least we both share common ancestors) and that my maiden name is fairly common in West Lothian, Scotland. Since my greatx5 grandfather’s middle name was McComiskey, it seems more likely that we are related to the Swiss-Germans through a more remote ancestor… I can’t imagine how a Swiss-German child would have McComiskey as a middle name else wise.

Joined the family “I am X” board on Facebook. Most of the rest are Scots, though there’s an Alabaman, too.

Need to watch student videos and work on abstracts for presentations/submissions.

Raspberry Cranachan

For the Burns dinner Saturday night, we made Scottish Raspberry Cranachan.

Original recipe called for:
6 TBS porridge oats (steel cut oats)
150 ml whipping cream
6 TBS good honey (purchased from Natural Grocers for non-pasteurized)
4 TBS good single malt whisky
1 punnet of fresh raspberries (about 14 ounces)

We tripled the recipe, except for the whisky (which we only used half of) and the raspberries (which we could have used quite a bit more of). We had a few more porridge oats than we needed, but not a lot more.

This was supposed to make 4 servings originally, so when we ended up with about 14 small cups, that was good. They were gone after the first 3 tables went to eat, though, so next time we might should make a big tub of it. (Like the aluminum foil pan I took the full cups in.)

From allrecipes.co.uk, the recipe said:
Method
Prep: 10 min › Cook: 10 min › Ready in:20 min

1. Toast the oats in a hot dry pan over medium heat until browned and fragrant. Leave to cool.
2. Mix five tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of the whisky into the cream and whip until thick but still floppy.
3. Mix the rest of the honey and whisky into the oats. Layer the oat mixture, cream and raspberries into shallow individual bowls. Decorate with a little oatmeal and one raspberry. Serve chilled.

We skipped the mixing of the rest of honey and whisky into the oats. We thought the whipping cream was plenty sweet and potent.

Next time I make it, I would say probably 9x the oats and 9x the whipping cream, 3x the honey and 3x the whisky, and at least 3x the raspberries.

Having the rest of the honey and the whisky in the oats probably would have made the oats taste better. They would have been less crunchy too and, while I didn’t eat them, they probably were very crunchy. So maybe next time I will add some honey and some whisky to the cooled oats.

It’s a pretty dessert and everything in it except the whisky tastes good, so it should have tasted good, too.

R walked around to make sure that no children received this as a dessert. (Even with as little as we put in, for a wee one, the whisky probably would have been too much.)

Thoughts from Our Wedding

I told R that I was going to be content.

His definition of content is “giving up for good enough, because it takes more energy than you want to expend to do something else.”

My definition of content is “a decision to accept and rejoice in whatever circumstances and work in and through and beyond those.”

Very different.

He told me what he remembers from our wedding service is that he said, “I ain’t going to stop love you for nothing.”

He has kept that vow.

Thank you, God, for 26+ years of blessings.

Church Today

From the Lord’ Supper comments:
I am in the presence of greatness every day because God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit is/are with me.

From the sermon:
What if the voice of God had spoken to you? Why to me, when there are others who long for it? I don’t know, but I am very grateful, God. Thank you.

I know God has spoken to me multiple times, though I only remember a few of them.

“an amazing relationship with God”
I have been blessed with an amazing relationship with God. I have not kept up my end of that relationship, but he is always faithful and willing to meet me where I am whenever I come back.

We all want to stay in the most enjoyable time/place/moment. We want to build a house and stay right in that awesomeness.
But we have to come down (off the mount of Transfiguration, Mark chapter 9) because there’s a cross that needs to be carried.

Jesus is our safe place.
He wants us to become safe places for those around us.

Question:
Jesus said (Mark 9:2-13) that Elijah has come. Is this reincarnation or an archetype?

When I am giving a talk:
I try to do too much at the same time. I wonder if I do that with my teaching as well? I need to focus on making my speeches short and about only one thing.

Suffering and Pain

I have been considering for the last few Sundays (and I am unsure why it is only on Sunday, put perhaps that is the only day I slow down and actually think) about God’s view of suffering and pain.

Jesus came, knowing his life would be hard and his end would be horrible. God/Jesus was “good” with that. It was important and it was necessary.

When I moved to NewTown I hoped life would be perfect, but it is not. Somewhere along the way of this move I realized that God did not promise surcease of pain or suffering. He only promises that I can endure it and that he will be there with me through it.

I have often wondered if there is a point to pain and suffering. When we are experiencing pain is there something we need to learn? Are others supposed to learn from our suffering? Are we here as an example? And I don’t know. I’ve often heard people say so, but as I age I realize that there are many things I have heard people say that are not true.

Right now all I can say is that suffering and pain exist, sometimes because of our own choices, often because of the bad choices of others, and often because of “natural” things that (as far as I now know) have no human cause. Pain and suffering are here to stay–at least until Jesus returns.

Singing in the Hall

Quote from: proftowanda on March 20, 2013, 5:22:57 PM
Quote from: kaysixteen on March 20, 2013, 5:21:38 PM
Correct me if I err, but there was a time in American history where people singing to themselves in public was significantly more common, right? It is a common enough occurrence in old movies, esp. westerns, to hear this…

That’s not history.

That’s Hollywood.

from the CHE fora

Oh, so I’m Truman? Because I sing to myself in public–though not usually when I realize anyone is around. Then I just hum.