IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER
- I am the shortest person in my "first" family
- our first family pet was a beagle named Judith Abigail Matilda Gertrude Violet Ann Marie - we called her Judy. I think my Mom and my aunt were tanked when they named the dog!
- many years ago an enterprising member of my grandmother's family built a hotel across from a train station. The hope was the railway would buy the place but they never did. The hotel was passed down to the oldest daughter with the understanding that if any of the siblings ever needed a place they would be welcome at the hotel. Had that tradition continued the hotel would now be mine.
- my parents rented the upstairs of the hotel until I was 9. My grandparents lived downstairs with my Mom's youngest sister Deborah who is 4 years older than I am. As a result Deb is more like my sister than my aunt.
- my mother insisted that brothers and I all have first names of 5 letters because our last name has 5 letters.
- One of my major all time pet peeves is a grammatical error made by WAY too many people - would of, should of, could of. The word is HAVE, people. The expressions are would have, should have, could have!
- my mother had 8 siblings and at one time I could name them in order - sibling, spouse, children - but can't any more. Too many of the children are now married with children so I have given up on that. Two of my cousins are currently working on a family tree and I wish them good luck in that!
- my Mother developed viral pneumonia in 1999. She was one of the first people in town that was put into a drug induced coma to give her body time to heal. She was in ICU for 7.5 weeks and in hospital a total of 100 days. She came out of hospital more than 100 pounds lighter than she went in and with damage to her heart and lungs but basically doing okay. After a brief "honeymoon" period of being pretty good, Mom's health started to decline. She suffered a stroke and a compression fracture in her back. Her lungs deteriorated to the point that she had to be on oxygen 24/7. This also took a toll on her physical health and she became basically bed ridden. Following 2 heart attacks, she was admitted to hospital in November of 2002. She remained in hospital for about 3 months then was released to a nursing home as she was too ill to go home. She remained in a nursing home until she suffered a massive and fatal heart attack on November 01 2003. While i would never wish on anyone what Mom went through the last years of her life there was one silver lining. Everything that needed to be said was said. I can honestly say I do not suffer from "if only" syndrome. Cherish the people you love and tell them how you feel. You never know when the opportunity will be gone.
- Many years ago when he was teaching CPR my Dad became friends with a nurse named Heather. Her and her husband Al became my parents' best friends. Age wise Heather is kind of half way between my parents and me. Over the years Heather and I have developed a wonderful friendship. I refer to her as our Family Best Friend and am so very grateful we have had her in our lives.