Monday, June 25, 2012

A Tribute To Another Dearly Departed Friend

The Dash Of Life

I read of a man who stood to speak

at the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on his tombstone

from the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of his birth

and spoke of the second with tears,

but, he said what mattered the most of all

was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

that he spent alive here on earth,

and now only those who loved him know

what that little line was worth.

For it matters, not how much we won, the cars,

the house, the cash,

what matters is how we live and love

and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard,

are there things that you'd like to change?

for you never know how much time is left,

you could be at " dash mid-range "

If we could just slow down enough to consider

what's true and what is real,

and always try to understand

the way folks feel.

And be less quick to anger,

and show appreciation more,

and love the people in our lives

like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,

and more often wear a smile,

remembering that this special dash

might last a little while.

So when your euology is being

read with your life's actions to rehash

would you be pleased with what they say,

about how you spent your dash?

In Loving memory Of

Robert Allen Pippen

" Bob "

April 27, 1935-June 17 2012

On Friday June 22 I attended a Memorial Service

for a long time friend.

This is something I find myself doing a lot more

than I like to but at my age sadly it will continue

to happen as a lot of my friends are as old or

older that me.

The dates on the tombstone will show the date

Bob was born and the date he passed away but

what matters to his family and friends as the poem says was the dash in between.

They showed a beautiful slide tribute to Bob and it was easy to see that he had lived a very fulfilling life up to

ten years ago, then he had a major stroke.

What I took away the most from the video was that after his stroke, due to the loving care of his devoted wife Julie and his family and friends was the fact that Bob was never shut out of their lives. Pictures of him at the bowling lanes, at the golf course, holding his beloved grandson, his dogs and often with a big smile on his face.

God Bless his family and friends for always treating him just the way they always had and staying faithful to him.

My daughter had her major stroke two years after Bob and sadly she has not had the type of support from family and friends that Bob did.

I called her up right after Julie called me and told her about Bob. Over the phone I could tell how sad and hurt she was.

Martha goes back a long way with Bob and Julie. Her and Bubba bowled with Julie for many years and Bob was always there.

Martha actually married them on New Year's Eve 21 years ago.

Martha has a hard time talking but she called me all excited and after a bit of a struggle I was able to determine that she had talked to Julie after I did and she was so excited about that.

I just assumed that Julie had called her. When I got to the church Julie said I talked to Martha and she was excited about that. I said thank you for calling Martha, she oh no Joe she called me. It brought a lump to my throat and a tear to my eyes that Martha had actually called her.

So Rest In Peace Dear Bob, free from all your struggles of the last ten years. I would almost bet that Bubba was one of the first ones to greet you when you got to Heaven.

Bob and Julie had three great passions, bowling, golf, and bingo.

I don't know where this poem came from but it was on the program and was so appropriate for any one who bowls or has ever bowled.

A Bowler's Prayer

Heavenly Father,

May we always be strong in our purpose of living by the rules of the game.

May we accept the 10 frames of your commandments, not only as a challenge, but as an opportunity to distinguish ourselves in your service.

May we choose for ourselves a lane through life, which is straight and true.

May our grip on ourselves be a firm one.

May we tow the line of all out obligations.

May our approach to life be smooth and steady.

May there be no split between you and me.

O' Lord, whether you strike or spare me, give me the strength like your servant Job, to praise your holy name and when you come O'Lord to check the final score sheet, may it find a winner in this tournament of life, whose praise is as rich so that all of us may share it.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Little Set Back In My Life, But Not To Worry

In 2007 I was experiencing a lot of pain in my back. My Primary Doctor sent me to a Doctor that specialized in pain. After a series of tests, X-Rays, and MRI's they diagnosed me with Spinal Stenosis. He told me that before they would even consider back surgery there is some thing they always try first. They would do what they called an Epidural Injection. He said if need be they could do up to three of them. The first one worked and I was virtually pain free.

He recommended I start going to the fitness center and start exercising. I did join and started slowly and after awhile I was pain free. Things were going great until about November of 2010. Then all of a sudden the back pain reoccurred. I went back to the pain Doctor who helped me the first time. This time after three Epidural Injections the pain was not improving.

They can only do three of those treatments. When the pain was actually getting worse my Primary Doctor recommended I see a back surgeon. I told him I had heard so many horror stories about back surgeries that I would only do that as a last resort. The pain just kept getting worse so I told Joan I think I am at the last resort.

He compared the MRI's from 2007 with new ones he had me go for. He said the reason the Epidural didn't work was because my condition has gotten much worse.

I had the surgery in April 2011 and the pain went away almost instantly. When I went back for my first follow up I told him thank God that excruciating pain was gone but I was having some tingling in my legs from the knees down and that my legs felt weak. He told me that I had under went very evasive surgery and that was probably normal and it should start going away. Said it could take up to a year.

After a few months it was some what better but I told my Primary Doctor I would like another opinion. He sent me to a Neurologist. After a series of tests he told me I had Neuropathy. Neuropathy can present many differing symptoms, including numbness, pain, weakness and loss of balance. It is an abnormal and usually degenerative state of the nervous system or nerves.

At first I didn't want to believe it, I thought it was too much of a coincidence that it started so soon after my back surgery.

Yesterday I went to see my Primary Doctor and after reviewing every thing he said I do have Neuropathy. I said what is the worst case scenario. He said lets start with the best case scenario first which is, lets hope it will be a slow process. He said there is no cure but it can progress very slowly.

So right now so far I can still do almost every thing I always have been able to do, but just have to do it a lot slower. The only thing so far I can't do is like climb up ladders and climbing stairs it takes a lot longer. It does not affect my ability to drive , thank God for that.

The worst part for me is I can't do all the things I used to do with Carter and Griffin. We were at our Hilton Vacation Club for Memorial Day Weekend. They have this great water slide and the last time we were there every time Carter came down I did also. It is a bunch of steps as it is very high so I had to pass this time. I was sitting there watching him, started to have a bit of a pity party and quickly got that out of my head by saying God I am sad I can't do it with him today but I am so thankful that I have done it with him, and I think he will remember that.

After going to my Primary Doctor yesterday when I got up this morning and flipped over my perpetual calendar this was my saying for the day. There is a different saying every day, kind of eerie that this was what came up today:

Teach me, O God, to be patient with myself. As I grow older and discover I cannot do as many things as I used to, help me to accept the changes happening to me. Amen

So now I will be put to the test to see if I can follow all the advice I have been giving all of you. Which is get up each day thank God I am here for another day and make the best of each day.

When I look at my Dear Daughter Martha, my little problem is very miniscule compared to what she has to go through with every day of her life.

I have had and am still having a great life. One of the consolations that Bubba's family and friends always used was that Bubba packed more life into her fifty five years than most people would in seventy five years.

If I every get my book done I think you will see that I have packed more life into my 71 plus years than a lot of people could pack into a hundred years. LOL

So I will still be urging to you live life to the fullest every day and if you find me not doing that give me a big kick in the ass. LOL

A couple of weeks ago I did start using a cane just as security against falling. This is the last time I will refer to it as a cane and you are forbidden to use that word also. It is my walking stick. LOL Remember that it is a walking stick.

If you want to say a little prayer for me that my condition will go slow, please do that but don't spend any time worrying about me, I am doing just fine.

Sending lots of love and best wishes to all of my Dear Family And Friends.

Cherish Each Step You Have In Life. We Are Only Here Just A Short Time. Live, Laugh, Love, And Never Forget Those Who Touch Your Life.