I chose today to start sorting Goobie's pictures. One of the first things I found was a little yellow pocket notebook of Mama's. I flipped randomly to a page to see what she'd written and it was dated September 1, 1987, one month and one day before her mother died, my sweet Goobie. "Didn't see the Dr today. Mother is about the same no response. No temp today. I went out for a couple of hours to Sugars. Hot outside. Good to get out. Pat Called 7:15 P.M." I don't know what Sugars was - store or restaurant. Goobie was in the same hospital that Mama was, twenty years to the day later...
I know why I've postponed going through these. It will be easier with someone. I probably will just take this whole big gold dress box with me to Sher's in October. She and I can go through them, or JoAnn and I, or all of us. Some pictures I have already penciled on the back who they were, what the relationship is. There was a picture of "Little Larry," my little cousin who died around age five or six. Goobie had written "Larry Joslin" on the back. This was the first Larry whose mother's name was JoAnn; Uncle Charles and his second wife Claribel years later had a son and named him Larry, also. I have a brother Mike and a cousin Mike; still not quite the same... What a sweet baby.
So three years ago today, we were waiting to hear about a room at Sanctuary Hospice House and as soon as one was available, Mama was transferred there. I can't imagine how hard that was on her, looking back. But it was better than the hospital and the palliative medication that just wasn't working. She was finally peaceful at SHH, a beautiful place in the country, away from the noise and uncertainty of the hospital. At Sanctuary, we knew. We didn't know how long, but we had come to terms...
Here's a yellow legal pad with Scriptures written it. I Peter 4:1, 2: Relates the will of God in suffering. The will of God is something we live; it may involve suffering but it ought not to involve sin. I Peter 4:19: Reiterates the concept of suffering according to the Will of God. Keep doing the right thing and if in so doing you suffer, you suffer according to the will of God.
Mama had her share of suffering on this earth, and I am so thankful to God that He has her in that wonderful mansion He prepared for her. I hope God puts families together in Heaven, for surely Mama and Goobie are sharing a mansion! Goobie lost a lot in her lifetime, too: a four year old child, a five year old grandson, her husband of 37 years, other family tragedies and shattered dreams. She wrote Scriptures, too; they focused on God's Word and the comfort it gave her. (It seems like all the women in my family were born to write something. Great Aunts Clara and Arie wrote, too.)
On down into the box - isn't this funny? The brochure is dated 1-65. I don't know whose new phone this was - maybe Goobie's. But they're still rotary dial!
My priority with these old pictures is writing on the backs as much as I know about them. After a while, you realize you become the go-to person for questions about who these people are! Some have been lost to me, I just don't know who they are, but many are ingrained in my young memory. Someday Amy may want to know.
I love you, too, Mama.
Footnote: Sher said Goobie didn't have a phone and I should have remembered that. She sure didn't. This brochure was about our phone, which was on a party line, which is why my girlfriend Bren and I made up our own language so the neighbors couldn't understand us.