Yes, Marie, my mom will turn 86 on September 10. She is bedbound but dad and the grandchildren are taking care of her. Her mind is not as good as it was but better than it had been for a while. she is prepared for her call to the Lord, but it just has not happened. Here are a couple of stories if you want to use them.
1960 &1961 were a stressful years for Marie. In the spring of 1960, Louise, her mom, was diagnosed as having bladder cancer. They operated but the technology of the time meant that Grandma Louise had to go back to the hospital every 6 months to have the growths burned off. Marie visited her mother in the hospital every day, because although Aunt Louise, Marie’s younger sister, and Uncle Mike were also close, they only lived 2 1/2 miles from us Louise had a younger family and she did not drive at that time. In February 1961, my dad, Frank, just about cut his thumb off with the table saw. They were abled to sew it back on and he spent no time in the hospital. However, on Easter, dad collapsed because the stress of healing the thumb had weakened the body’s healing of an ulcer which then had bled out so that there was almost no blood left in him. They filled him with blood and then has to remove 3/4 of his stomach. Dad did not come home for three months. Mom went to be with him every day. I went to school at the same school as Mike and Louise’s oldest daughter, Valerie, and arrangements were made for me to go there after school on the bus. While dad was in the hospital, Grandma Louise’s scheduled hospital visit occurred. Marie faithfully visited both of them each day even though they were in different hospitals that were about a half-hour apart and at least a half-hour from our home. Marie kept the spirits up of her mother, husband, sister, brothers, and her two children during this entire difficult time while driving a fair distance daily to visit those in the hospital.. I was only 9 years old and according to the hospital rules I could not go to see my dad until just three weeks before he came home.
A story of my Confirmation. Part of the Ritual of Confirmation was that the Sunday before there was Question Sunday. We were given 400 questions covering all the material from both years of instruction. These questions were asked by the Pastor in a random manner. Your name would be called, you stood up and the Pastor asked you one of the 400 questions, you answered and then sat down. There were 17 in my class. On Saturday we had a full blown rehearsal and we were told that no confirmand would be getting the same questions on Sunday. The last question on Saturday, which fell to me. was, “Name the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and give their explanations. I answered it, however on the way home I told mom, Marie, that I knew the answers I just had trouble getting them out.
Sunday morning and the church is packed. The Questioning Service is the late service so that there was time to go longer. As we are getting into our robes we learn that one of the girls in the class had come down with the Measles over night. The questioning would be different. We go through the questioning when the Pastor calls my name and says,”You weren’t suppose to get this one since you had it yesterday, but, Name the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer and give their explanations.” Now even going through this smoothly, this is not a short answer. The church was quiet as I gave the answer. As I finished and sat down we all heard a long, loud sigh of relief. If I had been any longer Mom might have passed out because she had been holding her breathe during the entire answer because she had been concerned.