Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Beautiful Godly Woman....My Mama

Zoie Wilson Shaw
(October 3, 1938 - November 25, 2010)

The name ZOE has it's origin in the Greek language.

The word zoe is used 134 times in the New Testament to indicate eternal life.

My grandparents named their firstborn daughter very well, for she truly lived well and fought to live life as long as she could against the great beast called Cancer.

In the wee hours of Thanksgiving Thursday morning, sometime between midnight and 4:15 when my dad checked on her once mom left this earth and went home. She is in Heaven, of this I have no doubts, that she IS there, and that there IS a Heaven. She died at home and not in a hospital as were her wishes. My dad was an honorable and faithful and committed caregiver to her to the very end. It was my privilege to help him in her last weeks. Caring for someone that you love ....who is dying, and doing it in the home, not the hospital, is a stretching and hard experience. But knowing that mama was as comfortable as she could be and so glad to be in her own familiar home and room and not having different aides and medical help in and out everyday made all of the longsuffering that caregivers must go through...worthwhile. Hospice was an additional help to my dad as my mom went downhill. They are a treasure of an organization.

On Wednesday, I kissed my mom goodbye before I left as I did every visit....leaned down and told her in her ear that I LOVED HER, and though she was heavily medicated, she could STILL hear, and made noises from her mouth to let me know she was saying "I love you, too!". I did not see mama again. My dad called me at 5:30 on Thanksgiving morning to tell me mama was in heaven with her mama and daddy. I went straight over to be with him before Hospice got there. Mama's earthsuit was there on the bed...but not mama. It was so strikingly obvious that her soul and spirit were absent. I will never forget it.

We shall lay her body to rest tomorrow and celebrate the homecoming of her soul to Heaven to see her Savior and Lord. I am so thankful that Kurt was here for Thanksgiving and was able to switch his departure time to a later date. I am grateful that Justin is back in the States. He and his two brothers will be pallbearers along with other family.

Thank you all for your prayers through these past hard weeks for my family. We are all so grateful and feel privileged to have you lift us up before the Lord. You are all special sisters.

I will truly miss my mom, and I KNOW my dad already is, so much, but I am so so so so thankful that she is not suffering any more. It was too hard to bear for much longer.
She is healed, finally, after a long 15 year battle with cancer. What a trooper. She is my role model to always be positive, look for the silver lining every day, to trust in the Lord and Obey Him only, to love your hubby with all your might, and always wear lipstick and you'll look just fine!

Love you Mom. I will miss that you are just one block away anymore. We shall all see you soon. (A blink of an eye for you!) I know that God said, "Welcome Home, thou good and faithful daughter. Enter into this kingdom where you are a Princess and receive your eternal rewards and joy."

Here is the obituary that my dad composed for my mom the night after she passed.

Mrs. Zoie Wilson Shaw, 72, of Charlotte, NC died at her home and entered the joy of her heavenly Father and her Savior Jesus Christ on November 25, 2010. She received the aid of Hospice in the last few months of her long and courageous battle with cancer. Zoie was born October 3, 1938 in Charlotte to Samuel Moore Wilson and Frances Christenbury Wilson. She graduated from North Mecklenburg High School where she was known for her Christian faith and witness. She received numerous honors in 4-H and won awards for her abilities in sewing and service. She attended Columbia Bible College and after her marriage worked at the Presbyterian Board of Women’s Work in Atlanta GA. As a pastor’s wife she served her church as a SS teacher and youth leader. Her musical ability was used in organ and piano ministry. Her radiant smile and personality enriched the lives of all who knew her. She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Rev. Richard P. Shaw, her daughter Deborah Applegate (husband David) and their children, Christopher and Catherine and daughter Julie Smith (husband Kurt) and their children Katherine, Justin, Jonny and Kameron. She is also survived by her son Richard Shaw, Jr. Also surviving are her sister Linda Smith and brother Samuel Wilson, Jr. A service to celebrate her life will be held Monday, November 29 at 2:00 pm at Hopewell Presbyterian Church, 10500 Beatties Ford Road, Huntersville, NC 28078 following a private burial in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends following the service of celebration which will be conducted by Rev. Walt DeHart and Dr. Nathan Frazier. Heartfelt gratitude is expressed to Dr James Boyd and the chemo nurses of Oncology Specialist and to Hospice of Charlotte. Memorials may be made to Good Shepherd Community Church, 5850 W Hwy 74 # 100 Union Town Center, Indian Trail, NC 28079 or to Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 E 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

White Furry Wednesday

Joining Kathleen for a special White Wednesday!!! Go here for more whites!:

My post today is about a very, very, very special treasure in my life. That would be this boy...


This is definitely MY Dog...Mama's DAWG... He is beside me every step of the way whatever I go through, thick and thin, sad and happy, healthy and sick. He is my best fur-bud. He loves unconditionally and everybody in life should be so blessed to have such a LOYAL friend.

Love my Gideon. Happy Birthday Gid. Today you shall have your bacon cheeseburger from Wendy's! And a BIG HUG from mom...and probably a BUNCH of other treats snuck to you on the professional begger... :-)

And that is my VERY special white for today. WAY better than any other white I could possibly find to share with all who visit.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Musings

Yesterday began early with a visit to care for a Senior Chocolate Lab named Emma. Beautiful girl with grey on her muzzle and circling her cheerful sparkley eyes. She adores playing fetch with a tennis ball. Truly a delight to pet sit.

Then back home to get ready for church.

After Church, back home to quick make chicken pot pie and Southern Buttermilk Coconut pie (with heavy cream!!)

Then back to church to do childcare for any choir families practicing for our Church's annual Christmas Messiah musical.

Then over to mama and dad's to find my sister and her daughter, and a big surprise, my brother had driven up from SC....all there to visit with mom. We had urged my brother to come now instead of this coming weekend. Yes it's that doubtful. We are waiting now.

Then left there to go home and change clothes and head back out to do one final visit with Precious Emma for the weekend.

Then headed back home and spoke with hubby who was on his trek back across Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and into Iowa after a weekend with family.

Talked to my brother on his trip back home to he needed to talk about my moms' condition. He knew now why we had begged him to come.

Talked to my hubby again to make sure he was staying awake and getting through the frustrations of toll roads!

Talked to my sister til 11:30, who called after she got back home to High Point.

Final call with hubby when he arrived back to Iowa City. Hung up at 12:50 am.

Fast Forward 6am...I hear a pst pst pst in the darkness...Justin wants to know where my flashlight is. He is taking off earlier than I had known, because his roommate had called and wanted a pickup from the airport in Wilmington. He was checking under his hood before he took off.

I get up before he leaves to get a hug and give last second instructions on a different way he is taking back. (country back roads)

My daughter is up and leaving EARLY for work today...Jonny is already gone to work for his usual Monday morning 5 am shift. Leaves me and Kam the man at home.

The house is quiet and still in the darkness. I grab some coffee and come to check in for any Monday morning posts.

I think of all that's going on. A new part of my journey in this life. Watching one of my beloved parents travelling the last stages of life on this earth. It is something you know will come, but something you don't like to watch. Especially if it is drawn out. The emotions become so raw. The body feels tiredness, and yet you couldn't even possibly complain as you watch the two who have been through 50+ years together face the path with such grace.

Thank you for your prayers. Knowing with certainty that there are people who have never even met me, and yet they say a prayer for my family as we face this moment, precious and priceless. What wonderful hearts are beating in the bodies of beautiful sisters out there.

I am thankful for the sisterhood. I am grateful to be one of those women. To be made in the softer image of God that makes us empathizing, intuitive, sensitive, and nurturing. So necessary. Truly all characteristics of our Father's image.

And today I am thankful for the stronger side of the man, made in the stronger image of the Father. The rough/tough, courageous, powerful, protective, providing, and sometimes fierce side of God.

I am grateful for my dad who has been this and, as he takes on the role of nurturer and caregiver for my mom in her final days.
I am grateful for my Kurt, who is tackling great hurdles and challenges to do hard things, and pursue... better and best.... for our family.

I watch my parents and realize my dad has to say goodbye...before he really wants to.
I realize that even in the hardest moments in life, God is still shaping, molding, changing, and growing us into who HE wants us to be as we spend eternity to come with Him. He wants us to be totally dependent and committed to HIM, above kindred and goods.

Life is Good, Life is Hard, Life is truly God...predestined, planned, perfected, and
permanent in the end in our homeland of Heaven. Pilgrims we are until that day. All of us will make the final steps on the path God charted individually for each one, and when we step over the threshold from earth's domain to Heaven's awaiting gates, what a day it shall be.

Until then we can only wait....and anticipate....the day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Sunshine and Shadows and Smiles

Sitting here listening to nice Christmas music, posting a really quick one today. It's Saturday...another beautiful weekend in North Carolina. Blue skies...Sunshine... Bringing Smiles all around. Have all four of my treasures here still. Justin goes back to LeJeune Monday, but will return for Thanksgiving holiday. Kurt is with his family in Ohio this weekend, so I know he is having a GREAT weekend. Happy for him!! He will fly in to Charlotte next Wednesday.

Shadow Play today...

No Shadow here, but a pic I GRABBED of my Marine playing around with the dawgs this morning!!

And Son #2 (Here ya go Dad...the son you didn't get to see last weekend!!) is participating with some other guys in a crazy "No Shave November" pact! Can you tell??? He and Justin are getting ready to go out and play football with a bunch of rough and rowdy guys! :-)

Hope all of you wherever you are have a wonderful weekend whether it is Sunny or Cloudy, Warm or Chilly, Colorful leaves on the ground or SNOW! God bless you. Thankful for all God gives to us every single day both in His common grace gifts and in His overwhelming Special Grace gifts.

Today ...this reminded me that I am very thankful to have my Marine home for Thanksgiving...knowing that he and many others will most likely be deployed and far away next Thanksgiving. Please remember to pray for all our military heroes who are away from family and home this Thanksgiving. Thanks from this Marine mom...

Hugs a Plenty!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sisters reaching out to Sisters...

Well, let me just say, the sisterhood of blogland is still thriving and if others who are not experiencing it only knew, they would be blown away. I have written a post about this phenomenon before. Women reaching out to touch the lives of other women whom they have never met in person, and yet they feel like sisters. The world of web-logging allows many women an outlet to find others who are like themselves.

We can write and share, and ask and tell, and cry and laugh, and completely commiserate or empathize at any given time.

This sweet bloggy sis and I met a while back...and have kept up with each other through our posts and comments. She is the sweetest friend and encourager. It just so happens to be that currently we are travelling a very similar path. My husband took a new job in Iowa and is now living 15 hours away from the family. Mari's sweetie took a job in Indiana, and is now,.I'm not sure, but probably just as far (because Mari is trailing him in Florida).

We can identify with each other. We know what the other one is going through. Not totally alike, but very very similar. And that is of great value. Someone who KNOWS what you are experiencing. And there are many other gals out there who have had to do this same thing at one time or another, if only for a brief time. So THEY know what it's like to be MAN-less... be left behind to try and take care of business with the home...and the SALE...

Today, I walked out to my mailbox. There was a box addressed to me...(moi?) I wasn't expecting anything...!!! On the top I saw Mari's name...Oh my. I got teary....just like that. I was having a "down" morning. My mama is getting worse at a more rapid pace, and it has been difficult this past week. Especially without my man here to hug me and console me. He is good at that...and I ache, I miss it so much right about now.

But this girl wanted to reach out and touch me to let me know...she knows. She has been thinking about me. She has been praying for me. (**and I do HOPE she knows I think of and pray for her as she walks this same journey of moving) :-)

She sent me a little loving care package. Inside were these adorable little bags filled with shells from a beach she has walked on...little colorful shell candy sours, chocolate-filled shells, and a beautiful little shell candle.

What a beautiful gift that more than anything, touched my heart...more than she knows...and on a day most needed. God bless her, and all my sweet bloggy sisters who comment and encourage every single day.

Mari, just for you...

The chocolates will be all gone after being shared...before this post hits tomorrow morning...

The candle is now gracing my bathroom with it's beautiful blue color and awesome shells. I do so love the mini starfish. soooo tiny.

The sours are now sitting within arm's reach of my computer seat in my little heart storage tower... YUM!! I like to keep sours like Jolly Ranchers there, and it was EMPTY!!! Not any more. :-)

And the "real" shells are in this little urn in my living room ....Pretty!

Thank you Mari. You are a dear and a treasure. I just wanted to give special attention to your sweet and generous and sensitive spirit, and a shout out for the world of blogging sisterhood.

Most of you out there have experienced this yourselves. Thankful today for the way God can use so many tools and resources to connect loving souls and caring sisters in this mega-electronic world. God bless you all.

Big Hugs going out across the miles to Mari!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Time...Marching ever forward.

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the Heavens..." ~ Ecc. 3:1

If we could save time....bottle it....make it slow down, make it speed up...make it freeze for a season,...wouldn't we?

Time marches on. It waits for no one.

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” ~ Henry Van Dyke

Cherish the time you are given. It is a gift from God. Use it wisely. Fill it with Love. Consider it's limit. For now it is measured by the Hand of God. One day it will be diminished. Eternity shall surround us and no thought of it shall enter our souls. This I ponder today, as I look back over this year...keenly feel the passing of days in the present, and look ahead at what is not yet time arrived.

God bless you all. God bless your minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years.
Do not grieve what is past. Do not long for the future so much that in so doing you miss the present.

Hugs to all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ain't No Mountain High enough....


Love and Miss you, babe...

Eight Days and counting down!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

They're BACK!

Well, at 11:30 last night I pulled back in to Home Sweet Home with my two Iowa travellers. I know that they enjoyed their time with their dad, just hanging out and eating and watching football, and getting a taste of Iowa City people. They both said it was great. Outstanding Man time...

Their stuff is laying around, and it's all good.

Made some Orange Cranberry Muffins right before I took off for the airport just to have the house smelling good and a homey treat for when they walked in.

They were more interested in the leftover enchiladas and rice in the

I've been reading about everybody in blogland "getting their Thanksgiving or Christmas on"...getting their house all ready for the season pretties and holidays.

I don't usually do much for Fall/Thanksgiving, except for pumpkins, and Outdoor Autumn wreath on the house and a Pilgrim Garden flag out front. But at Thanksgiving I try to start the Christmas...

I did shop the closets while the house was quiet, and put this together for a Christmas start.

These beautiful pearlescent balls were a recent find at GW. Love the way they match the sparkley colander. I have had that for YEARS (another find at GW long ago) and just now am using it for specific Christmas decor. I like the look. You know...what they say....(my kids)'s the magpie in eyes are drawn to sparkleys!

Saw this at Salvation Army when I was there on a trip I talked about previously. Thought it would make a sparkling pretty pedestal for Christmas to lift up this little cloche I showed you in an earlier post. I didn't want to leave it there for only .99!!!!

I am going to my mama's the rest of this day. My dad got very little sleep last night and he absolutely needs relief. I hope he will nap...I pray....
Thank you for continuing to pray for that situation, those of you who do when we cross your mind. The transitional stages taking place as my mom gets worse are hard and do take a toll on my dad...of course it ripples out to the rest of us.

God bless you ALL! Have a wonderful Tuesday. Give away a smile today to someone who looks like they don't have one to give away. It might be just the encouragement they needed to make it through the day.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Quiet house, Quick project

Once again, I have done a weekend project that I don't have a before picture of. Honestly, when I grab time to do some of these long-put-off projects that have been visions just floating in my head...I never think about the "before" photos to show in my blog. ~~~ not til after I have gotten halfway in, or I am finished...

Some time earlier, I had found a fireplace-tool floor stand at the Goodwill store, and immediately thought *repurpose.* It was cheap since the tools were not with it. It has been leaning against the wall in my bedroom corner, waiting for it's new lease on life...

I went and searched on-line file images to try and show you a somewhat similar look. Here are a couple of close "before" examples.

The curved feet were attached to the frame with nuts and bolts, so they were easy to remove. I took some chicken wire and stretched, snipped, and formed it to the rectangular frame. Then I began to twist the wire around the rods with pliers and took one long strand of wire and wrapped and secured the chicken wire to the frame all the way around. A little bit of pain involved here with the sharp ends!... ouch... I took it outside, hung it on a branch and lightly spray painted it. And voila, what you have is below. A fun, quick inexpensive project. Takes about an hour.

Because this has the hooks on it, it could go in an entry hall or mudroom to hold leashes or collars for dogs, hang at a back door to hold keys or work badges, or dress the wall in your office or little nook (moi)and hold pretties and photos clipped to the chicken wire with novelty clips. Many uses for this tool holder's new lease and job description.

I think I'll head over to Susan's and join a Metamorphosis Monday party.

When you see something that is no longer useful for it's old purpose, do the "Create" wheels in your head start spinning like mine do??? Have you repurposed something lately? Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful Monday.

I'll be headed out late tonight to pick up my two (most likely weary) IOWA travellers. The house will not be quiet anymore. It will be good to have them back.

Blessings to you!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Guys Weekend...

LOL! This is not the best picture of any one of these three guys! happened to be the one pic I could find in files with just this trio in it. Little Dude Kameron is giving his FAMOUS "will NOT smile one more time" mug shot. Big Dude Justin is clowning with his Dad's glasses, even though he looks extremely serious. And THE Dude Dad is having fun with them.

Well that's what I hope is going on this entire weekend through Monday evening.

Yesterday morning before the crack of dawn, (4 am)......

arrggh, TOO early. Notice my BIG numbers alarm I can READ it!!

We got up and on the road headed for Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Justin and Kameron were headed out on a flight to Iowa to visit with their dad. Of course we were running late, and they jumped out of the van and scooted in the doors. pics...

It took a bit longer than they thought it would, since the first leg of their flight to Detroit got diverted to NEW JERSEY!!! (fog). Eight hours later they were FINALLY landing in Iowa City and getting to greet their dad.

Here's hoping they have an outstanding fun time,..... it will be cold! Wish Jonny could have gotten off work to go. He will go after the holidays and his trip to Africa.

Give Dad double hugs for me guys! See you late Monday night...

Thanking God for my most precious men today.