Alzheimer's Life marriage Memoirs Parkinson's Disease

Today in (My) History

January 12 (the day I started this post) would have been my husband Jimmy’s and my 42nd wedding anniversary. We married in January of 1980, him fresh out of high school and me between college semesters. Our honeymoon consisted of a weekend trip to a town 40 miles away. We had to be at school and work that Monday, after all.

We married at my childhood church with about 50 guests in attendance. I bought my wedding dress and veil out of the Montgomery Ward catalog and didn’t have it altered. I didn’t even realize that might have been needed. My two sisters were my bridesmaids and they wore coordinating pink dresses. The groom and two groomsmen, his brothers-in-law, wore rented tuxes, that 70’s version with the ruffled shirt.

January 12, 1980

We didn’t even hire a photographer, and our cake came from the local grocery store. But by golly, we were married, and we made it last. Through thick and thin (both of us!), through poor and not-so-poor but definitely not rich, and through gain and loss (births of our children, deaths of his family members), we trudged on, committed to the vows we took in 1980. There were times when we didn’t like each other very much, when we wished we could walk away, when we wondered if this is all there is. Everyone does. But we were committed.

And what a surprise when the years passed so quickly and we found ourselves with no children at home and with grandchildren! What a blessing that we lived long enough and persevered long enough to enjoy grandchildren together!

Too soon though, Jimmy started showing symptoms of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. He was only in his mid-50’s. Both his mother and his older sister had passed away at age 59 from Alzheimer’s. We didn’t want to believe that it was happening to him as well. And with the Parkinson’s in the mix, his struggle seemed twice as difficult.

Picnicking on vacation in 2018

I lost him January 16, 2021 at age 59. I lost my best friend and lover, my supporter, my cheerleader, my confidante, my rock. I miss him. Happy anniversary, honey. Until we meet again.



FOLK Magazine’s Journal Challenge: My Favorite Trip of All Time

This week’s journal prompt from Folk Magazine mentions that this is the time of year when people begin planning summer vacations.  They then ask us to tell about our favorite vacation of all time, and then explain what makes it so special.

Another tough one, but out of all the family vacations I have taken in my life, first as a child with my family, then as a parent with my own children, I would have to choose the vacation that my son took me on just after he graduated from high school.

I will never forget when he asked me.
“Let’s go to New York, Mom,” he said.
I had to laugh.  “Yeah, right,” I said.
“No, really.  I’ll pay for it with my graduation money.  If you will buy the food, I will cover the hotel and flight.”
Suddenly a real live trip to a real live place that I never thought I would ever in a million years be able to visit became a possibility.  (That is SOME sentence, even for an English teacher. . .)

Soon, we found ourselves in the middle of a big ol’ city with not a clue as to how to get around.  My son is a pretty smart young man and he figured it out for us.  And this was pre-GPS and internet on your cell phone.  I will never forget the landmarks and sights we beheld, or the rush hour subway traffic and street vendors, or the way New Yorkers use their feet like Texans use their cars.  My feet were so sore one night I had to sit down in the shower!

Matt and me at Maxie’s in Times Square.  It was June, 2002.
But the thing that will stick in my mind forever is the fact that Matt invited me, his mom, to go with him when he could have invited any of his friends or other family members.  What a privilege for a mom to be included in a once-in-a-lifetime experience with her teenage son!

On Liberty Island with Manhattan behind us.  Gotta love those plaid pants!  And I was a redhead back in those days. . .
We had such a great time that I was invited AGAIN two years later to go with him and his best friend before Jordan entered the Army!
Yep, it was a great trip with a great kid.  I’d have to rank it up there as my all-time favorite.  

What would be your favorite trip of all time?



MONDAY/TUESDAY: Hey, I’m on vacation here. . .

I would like to apologize to my teeny fan base of 3 followers for not posting anything yesterday.  I failed to prepare my blog for my vacation, so I will write a little something from my little motel room.  Jimmy and I took off Saturday afternoon to take in a Ted Nugent concert (Yes, TED NUGENT: our first date was a Ted concert in 1978!) at Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, then we stayed overnight with my wonderful son Matt and his sweet wife Taylor at their new home in Dallas, and then we hit the road for Galveston to stay a couple of nights.

We picked a great week:  kids would be back in school!  But, we didn’t plan for an unruly one out in the Gulf.  Yes, Hurricane Isaac was brewing during our stay, which didn’t affect us very much if you don’t mind 67% humidity and no wind!  It seems Isaac was very jealous of any air movement besides his own, so yesterday was very sticky indeed.

However, Hubby and I did manage to stroll the beach, pick up a few seashells for my niece, grab some kitschy souvenirs, and relax on the new Murdoch’s deck.  Murdoch’s on the beach rebuilt after Hurricane Ike and to my utter delight they connected their two shops on piers with an awesome deck furnished with rocking chairs, benches, and a bar!  Murdoch’s began its historic presence on Galveston Island as a bathhouse in the late 1800’s.  It has seen several rebuildings and restorations but is one of the oldest establishments on the Seawall.

From our perfect seat on the deck, where we were able to catch a slight breeze and an occasional waft of air conditioning from the shops, we were able to watch the seagulls and even dolphins playing in the distance.  We could have sat there for the rest of the summer!

Sadly, with Isaac threatening the coastline, we decided to beat any possible evacuees and hit I-10 to Katy to check out their Bass Pro Shop and Katy Mills mall.  But not before detouring off I-45 to check out the Kemah Boardwalk.  We will definitely be making that a future destination!  Then we headed north along Hwy 71 and ended up here in a budget-friendly Marble Falls inn. 
On our plate tomorrow:  a scenic drive around the Marble Falls area and through more Hill Country towards East Texas.  Wish us a safe trip!  Happy trails to you. . .