Published in the Rains County Leader on October 17, 2017:
Celebrating Life, the title of this article, is an accurate description of how I spent this past weekend. In a period of forty-eight hours, I attended a gender reveal, a tenth birthday party, a wedding shower, and a memorial service. Each celebration was very different, but each one marked the importance of an event that most of us experience during our time on this earth.
The gender reveal was my first. I’ve seen pictures of them on Facebook had never attended one until Saturday. When I had my son, the gender reveal came in the delivery room when the doctor declared, “It’s a boy!” Medical advances have allowed earlier announcements, and the process has evolved.
This recent reveal was done at a family fish fry. During lunch, young cousins of some designation made the rounds, taking an opinion poll of the gender of the cousin-in-utero and applying Team Pink or Team Blue stickers as appropriate. I was on Team Pink, and David was on Team Blue in the gender reveal game, but in the game of life, we’re both on Team Brendle! (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on January 19, 2016:
Wednesday, January 20 was my Aunt Fay’s 92nd birthday. Anyone who has read much of my writing, especially my book, knows that Aunt Fay is my mother’s younger sister. Since she was married to my dad’s brother, and since we lived within a few miles of them for most of my childhood, she has been a big part of my life. This was especially true after I became a caregiver. I leaned heavily on her experience in caring for her mother and her husband and even more heavily on her strength and her faith. (more…)
Last year on October 7, I wrote about the day Christian was born. This year, I thought I’d tell you about his first birthday.
We didn’t have a big blowout on his big day–no clowns or ponies or giant mice serving pizza–just four adoring adults celebrating the new life that had come into our family twelve months before. His dad and I drove down to Mom and Dad’s weekend retreat at Cedar Creek Lake for the weekend, and we had a party for five. Instead of a traditional cake, I made cupcakes. I inverted ice cream cones over the batter so the cakes would rise into them. The idea was that the cone would provide a clean and easy way for a one-year-old boy to eat his cake. As you can see, he had other ideas.
His presents were simple ones. He received a couple of toys he could push or pull as he practiced his newly acquired walking skills. He also got a Busy Bath which we put to good use once he was finished smearing cake and frosting all over himself.
Christian, even though their memories of you got lost in the dementia,Mom and Dad adored you to the end. As for me, I still consider being you mom as one of the greatest blessings of my life.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
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