REFLECTIONS ON MEMORIAL DAY

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We gather on Memorial Day with our families and friends, and food and celebrate and laugh and talk and just enjoy ourselves. Many of us are glad that we get a day off of work. Others are glad to sleep in a little later than normal; still others go about their day doing what they do.

But on this Memorial Day, let’s make it a point to stop and reflect on all of those who gave their lives so that we can sleep in a little later, so that we can gather with our family, friends, and food all around this great nation and relax. Reflect on the fact that we have laws that protect our freedoms that may not be in other countries. Reflect on the fact that we have the privilege to worship God. Reflect on the great privileges we have and please never take them for granted. 

More than all of that, reflect and bow in humble gratitude at those men and women who gave their all so that we can have this wonderful freedom. It cost so many all, now let’s all give praise and thanks to God for these brave ones who made it all possible.  

Remember we promised not to forget them nor take their sacrifice for granted.

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DEAR GOD THANK YOU FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR ARMED FORCES WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO BLOG TODAY. BLESS ALL THOSE WHO ARE IN THE SERVICES AROUND THE WORLD TODAY FIGHTING FOR OUR WAY OF LIFE. BLESS THEIR FAMILIES HERE AT HOME WHO MISS THEM. CARE FOR THEM AND BRING THEM SAFELY BACK TO THEIR OWN LOVED ONES. WE ASK IT IN YOUR NAME, AMEN!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL!

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To all of you I want to say a heart-felt Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

So, I must confess that this year has had its share of challenges for our family and relatives, too. But I also have to say that we  have made it this far into the year, and we’re looking at the end of 2016 and glimpsing the beginning of 2017. It stands to reason that God has brought us each and every day of this trying year to this very day. 

I think that if He carries us further, we’ll be able to weather the storms that may be ahead of us; and bask in the times of refreshing that lie ahead, as well. 

So from my family to your family, God bless you and have a wonderful holiday season. Make sure to hug someone and genuinely smile. 

Don’t be bullied by this politically correct atmosphere, please. Christmas is a time of family, friends, laughter, crying and more.

Always remember, too that….

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Rosa

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 5

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Johanna and her older sister Erika brighter and happier days

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Johanna and her sister Erika difficult days

 

You  may or may not know that Johanna is a writer and has published two books. She has publishing contract for 3 books. The problem with the 3rd book isn’t that she cannot write it. The problem is getting the strength and stamina to write it. I said that because when I saw how sick she was last week, I really thought she was going to have to go back into the hospital. Not only that, but twice she said to me, “Ma, I can’t think straight. I can’t think.” I was so concerned about it when she said that. We both found out that her not being able to think clearly is what the Chemo nurse called “Chemo Brain.” Have you ever heard such a thing?! The treatment makes her fuzzy for a time. I have been totally helpless as to what to do. But after about 2 days, she’s sharp as ever. When she’s clear-headed, she can think once again. 

I confess that her illness has taken its toll on me, too. But, my own feelings aside, I’ve seen my youngest daughter blossom under this affliction of cancer into a much more mature  young woman who is already thinking about relocating to begin her life anew after she wins this battle with cancer. I love the human spirit that God gave. It never gives up. It may get down at times, but it never gives up.  

More tomorrow.

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Johanna at Chemo clinic for her treatment – sad days

 

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 3

This past week of intense Chemotherapy has left Johanna, in her own words: ‘SICK.’ She has been heaving every day. When she gets up she up-chucks, during the day she is throwing up. At night she can’t even take the medicine to help her stop heaving because she can’t get anything in or keep it down. It’s been a long week for her.

Johanna has an angelic voice. She writes music and sings it. She wrote a song some years ago and she sang it in church once, too. Here are the lyrics. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by them as you go throughout your day.

 

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LIFE WILL BE BETTER

Verse 1

So you’ve got problems, I’ve got some, too.

Feels like the whole world is against you

Like there is no one who knows what you’re going through

Well, I’ve been there and I can tell you.

Chorus

When you learn to trust in Jesus

When you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better.

Verse 2

Feels like there’s no hope. I’ve felt that too.

Pain is your present, your future, too.

Just want a day when your heart’s not in two.

Well, I’ve been there, and I can tell you…

Chorus

 

Verse 3

Cried through some long nights, I’ve cried some, too.

Praying for the moment when dreams will come true

Life ain’t so easy. It’s harder on you

So just do as I tell you to do.

Special Chorus

Life ain’t the best and you’re just living

Things can’t get worse but then it is

How can you see the forest for the trees

Well, I know just what you mean

Chorus

But it’s when you learn to trust in Jesus

It’s when you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better

(Written by Johanna Parker, who lovingly gave me permission to reprint it.)

More tomorrow.

Rosa

 

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 2

It’s very interesting to watch twins grow up. In a nutshell Jennifer the older twin is an African Violet. Johanna the younger twin is a shrinking violet. Truth. But where Johanna shies away from the public eye, she makes up in love for her family. She is one of those people who love to be around her family and that’s enough for her. High school  not withstanding, Johanna made very few waves. That’s just not her personality. When something happened or she became more of an extrovert, it was because I insisted on it or she was with her sisters. 

Her  mindset for many years was that of a young child. What I mean by that is she argued vehemently with a 6-year old and she was 14. You would have thought that they were two grown women arguing. It was so funny. She saw nothing wrong with arguing with her 6-year old cousin. So, she was baby-like in those matters. Another aspect of Johanna is that more than any of the other children, she knows her daddy well. She can understand what’s in his mind. She’s been able to do that since she was about 6 years old herself. Johanna had a simple wisdom then and she has a much more mature wisdom now. She hangs onto every word that daddy says:

Johanna: Mom, my ponytail came out at school today (she was about 10 years old) and the other kids laughed at me.

Me: Oh that’s not nice. I am so sorry.

Johanna: That’s alright Mom, because Dad says that when people laugh at you and make fun of you they will be laughed at, too.

Nuf said.

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Daddy and daughter just before surgery in August, 2016

She and her dad have always been close, but this illness has made them compadres. My husband takes her to all her appointments, the pharmacy, clinic for chemo, surgeries she had to endure. He cooks her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, he calls her “princess” at times, too. He takes her food to her most of the time because she is often weak and sickly these days. She was crying once and I wasn’t home, but on the phone with her. She stopped and said, “Mom, I have to hang up. I need to go and get a hug from my dad.” I am grateful for their closeness during this journey back to health. It’s a true blessing.

More tomorrow.

Rosa

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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I was born at 1:30 a.m. in the morning, 63 years ago. My mother is on the phone right now relaying how I was born. She had gone to the movies late night ( she saw “The Man From the Alamo with Glen Ford) and was on her way back to her house (1-1/2 blocks away from the movies). As she was walking, a dog came out and scared her. She picked up a brick and threw it at the dog and it ran away from her. It was then that her water broke. She said she was afraid to be alone, and asked another lady who was out that time of night (it was much safer then) if she would stay with her because her water broke. When the lady heard that my mom’s water had broken, SHE RAN! So, Mom made her way home, and her brother-in-law took her to the house, she woke my dad up and when they got to the hospital and an hour later at 1:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, I was born.

  • The name of the theater she went to was called the Castle Theater 3412 Hastings Street, Detroit, MI 48211.
  • The Castle Theatre opened in 1914. It seated 1,350. The theatre closed in the early-1960’s. The site is now an empty lot. 

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Guess what, it cost her $.35 to see two movies and all the previews in 1953. She said that you’d see a cartoon and the news reels back then, all for $.35. Also, if women came on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, they would receive bowls or plates. A box of popcorn cost $.07, a hot dog was  $.10, and candy bars cost $.05. She said that if you wanted a larger candy the size of a rolling-pin it would cost you $.25. That was good marketing at that time. Can you see how full those theaters were in the 1950s? We can’t market that good now! We used to dwell in a Live and Let Live world. Not anymore. 

There’s nothing like family history. Keep it and never let it go.

Rosa 

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MEET MY FAMILY – SIBLINGS – OLDEST BROTHER ROY

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This is a picture of my brother Roy. Here he is a Marine. Gunnery Sergeant Roy L. Payne, Jr. My brother was in the Marines from the age of 19 years to 30  years. He had initially planned to make a career of it. He was a Judo expert while in the Marines. My dad was a Marine, and so it followed suit that my brother went into the military as a Marine. He married a woman and had two children. But before that he held a distinguished position in 1969 before enlisting in the Marines and before management positions were really available to minorities. He was a manager at what used to be called Ma Bell – Bell Telephone Company, at the ripe old age of 20 years old. He had gotten his electronics certificate after graduating from High School, from RETS Electronics School. He was expert at that, as well.

When he enlisted in the Marines, he was stationed in Japan for about 3  years. He settled in 29 Palm, CA when he married in 1972. He and my sister-in-law had two children, Ruth, and Roy III. My brother grew and learned a lot before he turned 30 years old. A Christian man, he raised his family with delight. Ruth was 6 and Roy III was about 2 years old. 

November 16, 1980 at about 1:45 a.m. early morning, my two brothers-in-law rang my doorbell and told me that my Mom would need  me. I knew something had happened, but for the life of me I couldn’t have believed that when I got to my Mom and Dad’s house that I would hear that Roy had been killed in a car accident in California, that day. That was devastating enough, but he was killed by a drunk driver, and the drunk driver was a Marine also. WOW! My parents flew to California for the services. The rest of us had a memorial for him, where we lived. You know for so long I was angry with that drunk driver and wanted to hurt him, but he was killed, too. There was nothing but anger and pain as I thought of my sister-in-law and young niece and nephew who would only know their dad through pictures and word of mouth memories. He was married only 8 years and died at 30 years old. He would have been 67 this coming December. Ruth is 42 and Roy III is 37. My brother is missed, but never forgotten. 

DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE! THE EFFECTS LAST A LIFETIME.