Friday, June 15, 2012

looking back...

Audrey Lorea, my one and only child turned 26 last week.  I was 26 when I had her so of course the occasion brought on some reflection.  

        When Audrey's dad and I moved to Miami, Texas in 1984 we began to think about starting a family. The first year went by and I was so disappointed when there was no baby on the way. During the summer of 1985 our church had a special time of revival and prayer with a guest minister.  We had prayer time at the end of the service and the speaker was given a word of knowledge to share with me.  For those that are not familiar with this it is one of the gifts of the Spirit.  He told me that God wanted me to know that my tubes had been blocked but God was opening them in the right time and I would be pregnant soon and have a child within a year.  Well sure enough I found out I was pregnant in late September.
        During the pregnancy my marriage with Audrey's dad begin to be very strained.  We kept things together but it was really difficult to stay positive.   When it was finally time for her arrival I had to deliver with an emergency c-section that left no-time for an epidural which I would have preferred so that I could have been awake to experience the birth.  I woke up in a hospital room and was very disoriented and confused.  No one was there. I had no idea where my mom and David were.  I buzzed the nurses' station and soon a sweet woman came in and asked, Mrs. Thweatt, would you like to see your daughter?  "A daughter?!?  Oh that's what happened...I have a baby girl!"  Now "AUDREY LOREA" wasn't just a name anymore....she was my daughter.  In just a few minutes I held in my arms the most precious creature that I had ever seen. There are truly no words to adequately express all the emotions that engulf you.  
          As I continued to hold her I experienced something spiritually powerful as well.  I did not hear an audible voice but I heard some kind of an inner voice say to me...."It is no coincidence that your first moments with her are alone.  Even though there will be difficult days ahead remember that I am here with you and I will give you strength.  This is the child I promised you."   
          Exactly one year later Audrey's dad and I separated. We had gone to counseling but even the counselor agreed that a separation would be necessary to ease the stressful situation.  My own father had suffered a massive stroke in April and still wasn't out of the hospital. I decided to move back to Kilgore.  As I got settled in to my new little apartment, the words came back to me that I had heard in the hospital that first morning of Audrey's life.  The difficult days were here.  The husband I loved no longer loved me and my father whom I adored and relied on for advice could no longer speak.  Oh how much those words meant to me, now. I knew that my heavenly Father was still there and I was learning to find my strength from Him.   
          Later that summer Audrey's dad decided that he wanted a divorce and that we would be starting a visitation schedule.  I packed her favorite toys and that special blanket she loved so much.  I watched them drive away and thought to'll be'll be okay!!   I walked from the front door to the bathroom and then the reassuring thoughts went to extreme panic. In that moment I fell down on the floor of that tiny restroom and fell apart.  This was too hard.  I didn't want her to be away from me.  I didn't want this.  How could I be sure she was okay?  How could I know what was going on in her life if she wasn't with me?  
         Once again there was a inaudible inner voice that spoke very clearly to my heart.  "I can take care of Audrey whether she is with you or with David.  I  will watch over her and my angels will protect her."   From that moment on I knew that I had to release her to the care of a loving God - an omnipotent being that had more power than I could possibly fathom.  Over the last 25 years I've had to let go many, many, many times:  from countless visits with her dad to going to New York City for college, to Quebec for summer classes and to Paris and other places in Europe all by herself.                
          Audrey is now a strong, adventurous and determined young woman.  I am so proud of what she has become and of how she has made strong choices to show kindness and concern for others. 
I am forever grateful for the incredible blessing that God gave me in the midst of heartache and trials.  She is my "rose of sharon" rose amidst the thorns.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas Pictures and Mom's Birthday

Before school let out Tim and I entertained at Kennedy Powell.  The kids were amazed to see Mr. Lightfoot rockin' it out on his electric guitar.  

next.....a wonderful lunch with friends

On December 18th, My "Steel Magnolias" group got together.  We have been meeting since we were all separated from working at Jefferson in 1999.  Jez, Sue, Billie and Bev!   Love you so much.

Jez inspired me to get crafty so I copied her artistry and made gifts for the sweet nieces and nephews this year.  

That smile says it all!

The first stop on Christmas day was in Rosebud at Tim's Dad's house.   I didn't get  a lot of pictures.  We had a fun dinner and Chinese Gift Exchange with Joe and Patti, Trent and Jamie, Tracy, Paula, Kevin, Keith and Paula's Dad and Aunt.   

Pattie's new toy this Christmas was a MARSHMELLOW Gun!  She surprised us all.  

Erasten hugging her Scooby-Doo Color Book.  

Erasten kept finding more stuff in her bag!

Now onto our 2nd stop at Janice and Frankie's.

Brad and Bella enjoying her first Christmas.
A few days later we got to see Erasten again for a swap of dinner for haircuts by Trent and Pattie.

We can't forget that Sasha and Blossom got some special treats from furcuzzins Ruby and Baxter.

Mom turned 84 on January 12th.  Her niece, Debra flew in from Oregon for a special visit.  We hadn't seen her for almost 30 years.  She is mom's sister's daughter.  We had a great visit.  I think we need to plan a trip to Oregon!

Well Audrey didn't get to get to Texas for the official holidays but she will be here next weekend. 
I'm sure we will have some pictures to add then.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Smiles of Thanksgiving and more

Thanksgiving at Janice and Frankie's new house brought lots of smiles.   They were so gracious to open up their home in the midst of the the stress of a building a new home.  The house is surrounded by beautiful trees and needless to say there is no sonic booms coming from car stereos on the street.  I am so happy that they will have such a beautiful place to spend their retirement years....that is if they ever really retire!

 We were so happy to get to see Stephanie.  We also missed Crystal, Audrey, Emily and Josh, and Vern's family. Maybe next year!

I somehow didn't get many pictures of Brad and Amy.  Hopefully JoCarol and Janice did.
Here are some other pictures from the play-off game in Elgin.  We are all so proud of Brad and his team for having a great first year together.  

Back in September - Janice's 60th Birthday Party

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Barbie, Belinda, and oh so many others!

Earlier today I had to fill out a form and the person that was taking the information had to ask my age.  I proudly told him 51.  You see I never mind sharing my age after seeing two of my friends die young. I have the blessing to still be here on this earth so telling my age is a joyful thing.  

Today would have been Barbie Vander Linden's 52nd birthday.  Barbie died in September of 2000. She turned 40 at MD Anderson while undergoing treatment for melanoma cancer.  
Belinda Berryman would have been 52 back on the 6th of October.  She died in the summer of 2004 from cancer.  

Obviously all the pink ribbons in October have brought much awareness to the breast cancer fight.  Of course this is great but let's remember throughout the year that all kinds of cancer take so many lives prematurely.  

Barbie was such a wonderful friend.  I still miss her so much. She could make me laugh and laugh. I remember one day after school was out she was going to take me home. She was driving her parents Plymouth.  Burr Hall was the hottest thing to her in his black Trans Am  Somehow we got into a "drag race"   going down Stone Road.  I remember closing my eyes when the speedometer went to 120 but the little plymouth sedan was no match Burr's fast sports car.  

Belinda and I lost touch with each other in our adult lives but as young girls we spent a lot of time together due to church activities, etc.  I remember one particular day not long after she had gotten her contacts.  We were in the bathroom forever trying to get them in. I decided then that I never wanted to wear contacts after seeing her work and cry and try so many times to get them in her eyes!  

The most recent loss to cancer was my beautiful Aunt Imogene.  She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last May and died the end of August.  She was a graceful woman that could have been the Proverbs 31 model.  

Still fighting cancer is Jim - Imogene's son-in-law, the wonderful husband to Jane, who also has had breast cancer and is now doing well.   I pray for him as he courageously battles his terminal condiation.

God Bless all of those who are battling cancer.  Maybe one day this terrible disease will be gone.