Monday, September 22, 2008

Marty's Meanderings

Well, I finally decided to post something. Not that many people care to read my "meanderings," but after all, this is MY blog and I can post whatever falls on my heart. I do not intentionally post things that offend anyone, but should some of my thoughts clash with yours, I apologize. Isn't it wonderful that we have that privilege? In so many other countries, people have to speak and communicate in code. I have been told this by a lady that did mission work in Taiwan,

Today my main subject has to deal with our other child, Eddy. I haven't said much about him in previous writings. Anyone reading this that knows our family already knows the situation, but for those than are just dropping by I will kind of fill you in. (Who am I kidding? No on drops by my blog. If you do let me know.)

Eddy is 36 years old and is above average according to his school testing scores. The same applies to Trina. However, Eddy has a problem that many people have today, some are able to realize this problem and get help from professionals. Eddy was never diagnosed at an early age and as time progressed his "condition" seemed to escalate. I am in no way excusing his actions or behavior that resulted from this condition. However, I am his mother and I do have feelings for him, as any good mother would.

Eddy was never able to stay as enthused about something after a short while. He would begin a project with great fervor only to loose it after a couple of weeks. This applied to everything except music. His love of the band was very quickly dashed from people that thought athletics was the only way to go. So he abandoned band and took up football. He loved to watch football, but really did not care to play that much.

He finally got through with high school and enrolled in drafting and design technology for the fall at what was then Walker State. But shortly after graduation, he drove to the Dallas area to visit his half-brother for a couple of weeks. He made this trip alone there and back quite successfully. He had been home only about ten days when he was out on a Saturday night with guys he should not have been with. He was late coming home and Joe became very upset and got up to lock the doors and turn off the lights. Not too much later, the phone rang and it was the hospital. There had been a wreck and Eddy was in the emergency room. We were told he was being transferred to UAB and to go immediately to the ER over there. We decided to stop at the ER in Jasper and found him there. He had a very badly broken leg, cuts on his mouth and ear and a deep open wound on his leg that we did not find out about for a few days. Thus began a long summer of long days at UAB, Jefferson Towers West. He was over there from July 15 (in the wee hours of that morning) until August 24. He underwent numerous surgeries and many nights and days of pain. He was on high doses of medication during the whole time, some of it strong medication for pain. Even after getting him home, things were not over. We had home health for several weeks and I was taught to re-dress the wound every day. He had several skin grafts and other surgeries on it at later times. Now after 18 years that wound still bothers him. The broken leg required a plate and 12 screws to get it back in place, but these were taken out later thinking they might be the cause of the continued infections at the wound site.

Fast forward about 4 years. Eddy meets and marries a sweet young lady with a 4 year old daughter that we immediately fell in love with. He seemed happy for a time and then in late 95 things began to go down hill. Kim finally had taken as much as she could and in July 96 she divorced him. We still stay in touch though.

It seems that Eddy was asked to try some drugs. Being the person he is, he finally did and thought no big deal. However, the damage was done and so begins the years of frustration, damage, run ins with the local law enforcement, alienation from family and friends. The typical scenario associated with drug problems. Joe and I searched high and low for help. Unfortunately, we live in a county where there is no help. We kept trying everything from having him arrested, putting him in rehabs, and more jail and more rehabs. Still no improvements.

We did find out one thing during all this. Drug addiction is a viable medical disease. Hold on to your seat, but according to the AMA that is their finding and not only that, but the preponderance for drug/alcohol addiction can be inherited. Who would have believed? That is something a lot of the do gooders don't want to accept. That still does not excuse, but it does help explain it more.

It is a strange thing to me, but if a person is diagnosed with a socially acceptable disease (cancer, heart, TB, even HIV/Aids) people will rally round to offer all kinds of help, but if you are diagnosed with a socially unacceptable disease (addiction, alcoholism, etc) there is no help. The family is left to battle it alone. The very people that you think would and should help like the mental health department will just shun you away when they find out drugs/alcohol is involved. They do not want to look at the underlying causes such as bipolar disorder, ADD, depression, which they are supposed to deal with.

I guess I have just about bored those that may have started reading this. I had done a post earlier about Trina when someone wanted to belittle her for being a childless teacher. They are not supposed to be able to adequately relate to students therefore not be able to adequately teach them. So today I thought I would give equal time to Eddy. I just wanted the world to know that he is not the monster that most people around here want him to be. He just chose some wrong roads to go down and took some of us with him as far as our time and finances are concerned. He is still my son and even though I hate the life style that he was in I loved HIM the same. I did not care for him nine months prior to his birth just to throw him away.

I pray daily for both my children. And I know God will look over them. I just pray that time will be on their side and that life will deal kindly with both of them and their lives will be both fulfilling and spent in His service.

Life is short and we should each make the most of each day. I try, but I know I fall short at times. Don't we all? As long as we walk this earth and live a human existence we will make mistakes. The biggest mistake is not admitting you have made that mistake.

Have a wonderful day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm one tired woman

Today has been a typical Monday. My plans were to clean the house, but when I got home from life group last night, I had a pile of peas to shell. And not one but 3 gallons of scuppernong grapes. That shot down cleaning. Anyway, I had some washing that had to be done, so I got that started. Since I had shelled the peas last night, I got them on the stove. I washed the scuppernongs and put them on the stove. It took my huge stainless steel bowl plus my dutch oven. I had to watch them and keep them down low to keep them from sticking. The bottom line is that I got the washing done, got a country supper cooked and now have over a gallon of juice ready to turn into jelly. That will involve most of a day, but I know this winter it will be nice to just open a jar of my home-made jelly rather than paying for it at the store. Joe says there will be some muscadines too. As Rachel Ray says, "Yum-O."

I attended Ma Pounds Black's services on Friday. It was an amazing celebration of an amazing woman's life. There were four ministers that helped conduct the services and at least four or five in the audience. The family made up the better part of the audience. At one point, one of the ministers referred to them as a tribe. That was pretty fitting since there is the Cherokee connection. Her presence will be missed, but she will live on in the many lives she has touched over her 93 years. She would have turned 94 on the 29th of this month.

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful church family. Several years ago, I was talking to one of my "sisters" Kathy Walker about how I didn't have any grandchildren close enough to see very often. She said I could just adopt her two, Sally and Christian. They are super kids, too. I told her that would be just fine. I thought that would be the end of that, but since then they never forget my birthday, mother's day, Christmas, Easter and even Grandparent's Day. They met me in the parking lot yesterday with a gift bag. Do you want to know what was in it? OK, I'll tell you - a big fat slab of home-made peanut butter fudge. Oh my goodness, it is soooo gooood. How lucky I am to be associated with such loving, caring and giving people. I know this has to be a minute glimpse of what heaven will be like. Kathy is great to just talk to when I need it. And of course, everybody knows how I feel about my Tuesday Morning Sisters. It is bad to say, but I am closer to them than I am my own sister. I do love Pam, but we just travel on different tracks through life. And I know she would be here in a heart beat if I called and said I needed her.

We have our fall "Cup of Cool Water" project underway. We are buying diapers for Childhaven.

Since I am about nasty, I think a good hot shower is in order and then it will be lap time for my little buddies, Gizmo and Mule. Poor Mule has something wrong with one of his eyes. Looks like he may have a cold settled in it. Pam at the vet's office said to flush it out with some artificial tears. I'll try that and then if it doesn't clear up it will be time to go see the doggy doctor. Dr. Cain is just a great vet. He is so kind and considerate.

Have a great week or day or whatever time span you choose to be in.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Legend Goes Home

On Tuesday, September 2, 2008, Gracie Lois Tuggle Pounds Black lay her earthly cloak aside and entered into that heavenly realm that is provided for all of God's saints.

"Ma Pounds" as she was so lovingly called by everyone that knew her was a woman of the earth. She could take nothing, a cast off from someone else, and make something very useful. I guess she was a pioneer in the field of recycling.

There are probably thousands upon thousands of now grown children that have sat under the trees at Indian Creek Youth Camp south of Oakman and listened as she brought to life the events and peoples of the Bible. And add those same chldren to the number that she taught to swim either in the creek or the swimming pool, once there was enough money to build one.

Ma Pounds was of Cherokee descent and it was very evident in her physical features. She had that beautiful dark hair and eyes and those lovely high cheek bones. Her heritage could probably account for her ability to make something of nothing. It is said she even whittled her own crochet hooks.

I knew of Ma Pounds reputation long before I ever met one of her daughters-in-law. Judi was a young lady from the Chicago area that was introduced to Wheeler Pounds by an Alabamian that was living up there. It seems that the love bug bit them both. Judi married Wheeler and he promptly brought her south and began the process of making a southern of her. The house they live in was constructed largely by them. It was only recently that the roof was replaced. They had covered the house originally with hand cut shakes.

Judi and I became acquainted when she began volunteering at the school. It was as if we were supposed to friends and now some thirty years lately we are very close to each other.

Wheeler is currently in Russia on a teaching mission. He and the other siblings talked to their mother before he left about his going. She assured all of them that he should go and when asked what she wanted him to teach while there, she quickly said, "The truth." With that said she closed her eyes and never waked again.

The entire Pounds family is a very devoted Christian family. Their father, Bro. J.G. Pounds preached around Walker County and various parts of the south until age prevented it. After he passed away, Ma married Mr. Black who was equally as devoted to God as she was.

I dare say there are not many people in Walker County, Alabama and parts of the south that have not heard of the Pounds family, especially those among the brotherhood of the churches of Christ.

Ma Pounds will be missed, because her earthly self will no longer be around. Ma Pounds is now free of the terrible pain she had in her legs and will be able to walk unaided and be joined with the other saints.

My sympathy pours out to all her family. She was a good wife, mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt and friend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Catch Up Time

It seems I cannot get my act together. I have good intentions of posting and then on the way to the computer something gets in the way. I think my area of focusing has about gone out the window.

We had our homecoming at church on the 24th of August. It was really a wonderful day especially since the official ground breaking for the addition to the building took place. All the kids (and some "big" kids) were given Bob the Builder hard hats to commerate the day. There was a phrase on them about this building project being for their future. Someone laughingly said, "And the payments, too."

That week was also doctor check up week. On Monday was a visit to the dentist for teeth cleaning, Tuesday was my visit to the cancer center to see my hemotologist, Wednesday was my check up with my primary care physician. Got a good report from Dr. Cummings (dentist); Dr. Hamilton (hemotologist) ordered a Procrit and said my counts were OK and to come back in 2 weeks; Dr. Barton (primary doctor) gave me a good report also. I hope that about winds things up except for the visits to get my blood work done every two weeks.

We had a wonderful ladies' class yesterday. Our numbers continue to grow and that is very exciting to all of us. We had 12 there yesterday with 3 absent and 3 they only come during the fall seasons. Our hospice cooking is sort of caught up at least for a week or so. That always fluctuates depending on the census of each unit. Now we are into our fall Childhaven project which is to furnish diapers and baby wipes for the Genesis project. This consists of 3 homes that house 4 teen age girls each. These girls are unwed mothers-to-be/mothers. They receive medical care, counseling, additional schooling if needed and day care for the babies. Some girls that don't go to school go to work. It is a wonderful work. Of course, we will naturally have lunch while in Cullman. Let me see, just where would we want to share a meal? Anyone ever heard of the All Steak and their famous orange rolls? We just might have to try that.

Monday night Joe and I made a trip to the funeral home. Trina's best friend during high school, Debbie, had called on Sunday and said her Granny Taff had died. Mr. & Mrs. Taff both lived up on the hill for a long time. She was rather old, but since Debbie had always been a part of our family for so many years and Jo and Ed have lived next door for as along as we have been here.

It is strange but when you go to a visitation like that it usually ends up being sort of a reunion. Debbie and I talked for a long time. She was in Italy back in the spring to visit her son as he graduated from high school. He is currently in basic training with the Air Force in Texas. She gave me one of his graduation pictures. I am posting it below.

Marcus has really made a handsome young man.

I know Debbie is extremely proud of him. It is wonderful that she and Charlie can be friends after all these years. She and I are having lunch sometime before she leaves, I hope. She wants to show me her Italy pictures.

This just about catches me up for now. That is not to say my "projects" are caught up. They just seem to do like rabbits - multiply, multiply, multiply. And since I have been elected historian of the volunteers at the hospital that means another project. Oh well. I guess I could always so "NO," but that's no fun. I got my 500 hundred hour pin yesterday. I made my goal of 500 hours in under two years. Now on to the next level.

Have a great day, World.