Heart of a Southern Woman

A snapshot of life one blog post at a time.


On the first day of Christmas, 2013…

I came down with PNEUMONIA!   NOW God? I just rejoined your church– doesn’t that count for anything? We have a new baby Granddaughter–born 6  weeks prematurely on Dec. 16,–her Mom and Papa need my help with the 2 and 6 year olds!  It’s Christmas…You saved her life, and you saved her mother’s life, and I am thankful, and humbled! To be quite honest, I thought maybe I was the one leaving this earthly life just Christmas night!  But it seems you have decided to keep us all around for a bit, thank you! Don’t think I don’ t recognize how blessed we are…how you sacrificed your Son so we could have life abundantly and eternally! Thank You! But what is this then? I can live but not help? No….I’m sure that’s not it…The three of us get to live, but not my neighbor, who died this week? WHAT!?!

You know Lord, when I first got sick with my heart disease back in 1999, yes, almost 15 years ago now, You and I had quite a few talks about it….why….how….what now. Patience you said, learn patience…..and I tried, I really did. I prayed, talked with my minister, others prayed for me, I studied the Bible, lead a support group, wrote, researched, and life moved on. Differently than I had thought it might…but with the blessings of daughters entering adulthood and now the birth of three grandchildren. Now, I admit, I have shook my fists at heaven more than once and said “Patience, smachience! Enough already! I failed! You knew I was flawed when you made me, and yet yu gave me free choice? ”   The doctors said I couldn’t/wouldn’t live this long–apparently You had other plans.  The doctors said Ali and Greg couldn’t have a child without fertility help, but here’s Evie! I’m not bashing doctors–Lord you know what a blessing they’ve been to our family!  But okay there’s only one Lord!  And a blessing this life is! With all its trials and tribulations Lord!  Thank You for pneumonia, it made me stop and listen again, but…now… give me a hand will ya please Lord, so I can get back into things, please Lord? Patience?? really??? I’m not Job you know. Love you and thankful for life!


The Second Day of Christmas is all about Turtle Doves…

        I could hardly breathe with pneumonia, and my throat was so sore it felt like pins were sticking in it, so even though my sweet hubby of 42 years was right beside me , being so kind and caring, I was more in the mood for turtle soup than doving! I was fun to be with also–coughing, sneezing, freezing, burning up…and whining all the way to the doctor’s office where yes, that precious man, my husband Max. took me! It was Christmas! 

        This was December 26, 2013, the second day of Christmas! I wanted to be cheerful! But my oldest daughter had just had her third child, a premature little girl named Evie! It was so devastating to have a grandchild in the intensive care unit of a big old hospital and not be able to be there with her to help rock and comfort! Ali was home now, the baby Evie was 2 weeks old today, but not very available to us! The other thing we could do was to keep 2 year old Katy, and Liam, aged 6. Had they really been here just a few hours ago? “Oh Dear Lord, please, please don’t let either of them or Ali or Greg get this pneumonia! You brought that little baby girl into this world, now let her family be there for her! Hope I’ll be sacrificial enough for you…go ahead, keep me away just not the parents or kids!”  (This is the way I pray most of the time, in running commentary throughout the day!  Sometimes I do pray more fervently, more focused and in a more reverent way I guess. ) I’d thought I just had a cold, one the kids had given me…so we were all sharing germs like all good families! 🙂  I was shocked when 3 hours after they left our house Christmas night, I began wheezing audibly and being very sick! 



   When my children were young, we celebrated the 12 days of Christmas in a very special way. We would choose a friend or neighbor, one who wasn’t well, or alone perhaps and each day during the 12 days of Christmas, starting December 26 and ending at Epiphany, Jan. 6, we would give a little gift  in secret to this friend. The kids enjoyed sneaking gingerbread men cookies drumming onto the porch, ringing the bell, and running away so our friend wouldn’t know it was us! It was especially fun to see our friends smiling from the joy, almost as much as we were! Sometimes we gave  things like  golden earrings for “five golden rings”! Of course, they were not expensive. Day one traditionally brought a basket of pears with a lovely bird perched on top, made by one of the children of course. Maybe I’ll get to do this with my grandchildren next year. Please know, that although I am not happy to be sick and isolated, I am already, here on day 5 of my illness, feeling better enough to be sitting up writing! Not true just yesterday! The kids and I will be laughing together again soon! I also know, that no matter what is going on with you…you can almost always look around and find someone having more difficulties at this celebratory time of year! In my own small group, I know three who’ve lost parents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day! So sad! My own Mom died on Epiphany, 1980, I still miss her!  I hope the ones who have lost loved ones will move to a place in their grief by next Christmas perhaps where they can  truly remember the joy of the relationship  and  not let the death dampen the holiday, but instead, let it sweeten it with very special memories and perhaps even new traditions of honoring the loved one. 

        I love the second day of Christmas actually, because I am very blessed to have my turtle-dove beside me, and beside me for 42 years! Love you honey, and thank you God!

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Life happens, even when you are hiding!

It’s hard to believe that it has been two months since I posted an entry on my blog! Many of you know that I let the events in Connecticut, the shooting in the elementary school, knock me for a loop! I was in the middle of a series of articles about angels, and the miracles they bring us, when this terrible tragedy occurred! I just couldn’t continue. I was sad, and I was angry. I know in my heart that angels exist, and I know they have saved me and my daughter, and several people I know. But…BUT…what about these adorable, innocent children, and of course, the incredible educators who sacrificed their lives trying to protect the children. Why  didn’t the angels protect them?! 

I know all the arguments–they’re in a better place–God called them home–bad things happen to good people. It doesn’t matter, I was sickened! I was angry at the angels and therefore felt I could not continue the angel stories, so I let myself be disheartened, and just stopped blogging for awhile. Christmas came and went, it was a nice respite from the grief since my family is still intact, is that terribly selfish? 

After Christmas, my grandchildren both got very ill with high fevers and a flu like illness. They got better, but both of their parents got sick! We were trying to travel out of state to see family, but all three times, we had to cancel! My other daughter Annie, who lives here at home also got sick, a full seven days of a flu like illness! Amazingly I didn’t get it, but my husband, who never gets these things did! He was sick for about ten days! Bronchitis the doctor finally said. Our daughter Ali got better, just in time to throw a family party for our one year old granddaughter, and during the party you could see her go downhill! 

By the end, Ali was feverish and sick, and a trip to the doctor the next day verified that she had relapsed into pneumonia! Then the baby got bronchiolus, then the five year old! Dad was not to be left out with a terrible cold and other symptoms! The whole family rallied to try to bring soup and help in any way we could. My sister had pneumonia also, and two of our red hatters! What a mess! 

Suddenly it was Valentine’s Day, and I had not been back to my blog! I missed it! I realized that I like writing about life, and that life was tough sometimes, even tragic…not that I didn’t already know this…but that it was also happy and fun! I needed to get back to nurturing the fun, highlighting the joy, while admitting the sad events as well. So, here we are my friends. I hope you will join me in this journey and share your fun and sad times through your comments. As you know, I love a group, a community!

What was your Christmas like? Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Mardi Gras? the Chinese New Year? I really want to know!  Hope to hear from you soon. Helen