(As cross-posted from the Georgia PGR forum)
Hey guys, sorry I haven't been around much. Things here are OK, but still kinda crazy... Much better from my knee surgery, mostly don't need the cane anymore and all is well... next week should be cleared to jump back into the backseat again, LOL! Yay! I'm just about recovered from the bronchitis that seriously clobbered me for a coupla weeks, and I'm turning back into a human being again, LOL! Still job-searching but I got the unemployment office visit outta the way today, so that's a relief at least.
But anyway, this post isn't about me. It's about a very very special family out in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2004, our family adopted a soldier serving his first tour in Iraq. We REALLY adopted this kid, and his whole family. His parents call me "their other daughter" and his mom refers to me as her son's "other mother" (Never mind he's only nine or ten years younger than me, but so's my oldest stepdaughter, so it's all normal to me, lol!). In 2006, his parents flew me up to MO to surprise their son on the first anniversary of his being home from Iraq - and to meet his dear daddy and momma, because his daddy had just been diagnosed with lung cancer. (There's a pic/story about it here... http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com/2006/01/kat-is-back.html and here - http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com/2006/02/war-pen-pals-united-walton-tribune.html - now that I'm wandering down memory lane again, I can't help but re-read this stuff and wish I'd managed to put the pics from my visit on photobucket - the hard copies (in my pre-digital camera days) are in a box "somewhere" to my great sorrow now.
During that trip to MO, the family was awesome - my two favorite memories (aside from surprising my "soldier-baby") are: the "family sing-a-long" that happened on one of the last nights of my visit. Pa Byrd, as I called him, was a lifelong musician and had a local band for decades that sang the country gold classics I so love. His love of music was passed to his children. Me? I adore music but can't carry a tune in a bucket, lol. So, just like in a scene from a holiday film, one night we were all sitting around the kitchen table - Ma Byrd, Pa Byrd, my Soldier, his fiance, his cousin (or nephew, I never can remember) - and they proceeded to pick those guitars and sing the country classics for several hours. I can picture the scene in my mind clearly, and know i have tons of pics from those moments that I can't find right now. It was a moment to remember!
The other thing I remember is Ma and Pa Byrd cheerfully and willingly driving me all over Missouri to visit as many "Jesse James" historical places as humanly possible in one day. As it so happened, our family at this time had adopted a Georgia soldier, a guy who adored "the wild west" and the exploits of Jesse James. So, they happily indulged me in helping to assemble a "Jesse James" themed care package - pics of all the major sites, souvenirs, the works. Care package was a big success when it was received. :) And what a fun day it was, too!!!
Then, in April 2007, our Soldier flew down to Georgia to visit us! That was really cool, too. He'd wanted to be here to work on our house when the whole tv production thing was going on and be there to surprise us when we learned we'd won the house in Feb. 07 (from a now-off-air reality show, for those who may not know the story). That didn't work out, though, and he and his family were greatly distressed to not have been here then. But, it did work out for him to fly down just a couple months later. I DO have a couple pics from that visit, at least! :)
Below: our Soldier, me, and PGR’s very own Scoutdoc! (wonder what he’s up to these days? Anyoene ever hear from him?) We were at a local banquet along with my hubby & kidz, and a Vietnam Veteran neighbor and a Gold Star dad friend of ours.
Sorry for dragging y’all down Memory Lane with me – especially since I have NO sense of direction!
On November 4, 2008 – yesterday – my Missouri Pa lost his battle with lung cancer and heart issues. I found out late last night. It wasn’t until I started writing this post that the full impact really hit me. In my own tiny bubble of life, where so much has diverted my attention from “others” to “surviving right this second and getting thru the current dire crisis of the moment,” I haven’t had time to stop till now and think on it. Maybe I haven’t wanted to, maybe if I didn’t think about it, it wouldn’t be so. Life doesn’t work that way tho, as we all know.
My request, the point of this whole post? If you can, please, please take a minute and post – or email to me at Jeffskat@gmail.com - a message of condolence and support for my Adopted Kid Brother and my Adopted Ma & Family up there in KC. I hope it’s ok to ask this… I’m not online much these days, and it was just far easier to post about this than send out and manage a zillion emails of request. This is a very, very tight-knit, close family, and Pa Byrd was and always will be adored by his family – those related by blood and simply by heart. I worry about how this will affect Kid Bro, who’s had a hard hard time since his return from the Sandbox, from the aftereffects of war.. something I know many of y’all understand all too well. I know in time they’ll be just fine – but the Mama in me worries about my brood… and my heart grieves with theirs… deeply.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
(As cross-posted from the Georgia PGR forum)
Posted by Kat at 9:50 PM