Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought

Alice's Restaurant ~ Dishin' Up Food for Thought ~~~ A place to share what I am thinking, reading, feeling & contemplating as I travel on this journey called life.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

We are thankful for the many ways we have been blessed this year.  Most of all we are thankful for our boys, Jamie & Brandon and their sweeties, Suzanne & Danalyn, and four wonderful grands: Opal, daughter of Jamie & Suzanne and Max, Christopher & Treyson, sons of Brandon & Danalyn.

And here is Treyson (stole the picture from Facebook)!  Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

Isn't that the cutest smile you have seen!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Just Wondering

Just wondering why some people are not direct??? Any ideas???

If someone has an issue with me or Ron it would be so nice if they came directly to us...

How do you handle situations like this???

Trying not to be frustrated and let it go and just move forward.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Emotional Roller Coaster

The last week has had its ups and downs. 

~ Sunday night two phone calls in the middle of the night = sleepless night = :(

~ Tuesday good follow up appointment with Dr. Grabow, right eye is doing well = :)

~ Wednesday fun time at dinner and the movies; saw Happy Feet Two = :)

~ Wednesday night found out power was cut off to freezer, lost between $250-$300 worth of groceries = :(

~ Friday had major Quickbook problems; had to reenter everything from 12/8 & 12/9 not once, not twice but three times = :(

~ Friday could not get deposit to balance; took over an hour to figure out the problem = :(

~ Saturday feeling frustrated and irritated, its cold, wet and rainy (reminds me of Whatcom County weather which I thought we had gotten away from) = :(

~ Saturday received an anonymous gift of $$ with a note to buy some meat to replace what was lost = :))))

And remembered that even though life is rough some times and things just don't seem to be going well there is always a blessing just around the corner...thank you to our Secret Santa.  I will be doing some meat shopping tomorrow after church.

Thank you Lord for the many blessings and ways you take care of us.  Forgive me for feeling so down and frustrated over inconsequential things like a messy motor home and loads of dirty laundry that just seem to keep growing by the minute.  Thank you for the reminder that you are always watching over us and the little surprises that come our way.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Random Thoughts

Random thought #1 ~ had a dream that we were trying to leave the park and get the motor home  packed and we could not fit all our stuff into the motor home.  We had boxes and storage containers all over the place and I mean everywhere - in the shed, on the ground, in the bath tub, along side the bed on both sides, stacked on the benches of the dinette, under the side table by the recliner...and no more room to put anything.  I woke up feeling so frustrated and then looked at our rig and thought about the food in the shed, in the fridge in the shed and in Lane's fridge/freezer and wondering where the heck would we put everything if we did have to leave?  

So now I am thinking of what I need to do over the next 17 1/2 months ~~~ I need to clean out every cupboard and every tote in the motor home and I need a plan to do that...any suggestions out there???  And then after cleaning, purging and organizing how do I keep the "~ stuff" at a minimum ~~~ that is easy stop buying things!!!  So that's what my first two goals are: 1) no more buying except necessary groceries like meat and vegetables and 2) make a list of each cupboard and tote and tackle them one by one.

Random thought #2~ needing to vent ~~~ night before last (Sunday night) the phone rang at 2:01 a.m. and it was a dang fax with an unknown number on the phone = frustration!!!  It took me over two hours to fall back asleep and then at 5:03 a.m. the phone rang again.  This time with a phone number showing so I did something.  I called the number back three times and it was busy, busy, busy!!  So frustrating...this time it took me almost an hour to fall back asleep.  And then that made me late getting up leaving me with only 30 minutes to get up, get dressed and get to work ~ thank goodness the commute is only 20 seconds!!!

So I have decided that on Saturday mornings I am going to be turning the phone off here in the motor home and not turn them back on till 8 a.m. on Monday morning's.  Need to take advantage of having assistant managers on duty to answer the phones on the weekends.

Random thought #3 ~ We are so blessed!!!  This afternoon one of the couples from here in the park came by the office and invited us over for homemade lemon meringue pie and coffee after work.  So after closing down the office for the day we skidaddled over to the Andrews.  We had so much fun.  I think we did most of the talking and of course enjoyed the pie and before we knew it, it was almost 7 p.m.  We headed home with an open invite to stop by anytime and you can bet we will.  You see this is an answer to prayer that we have not shared with anyone - that we would find some friends like Gerald & Sandra or Mary & Jim or Pat & Pat where we could just drop in and enjoy some great company & fellowship!!!  Thank you Lord for showing us these new friends!!!

And now it is time to turn these brain cells off and head to bed.  It has been a great day!!!

Oh, before I forget - an update on my eye surgery.   Saw Dr. Grabow today and had a good report.  My eye looks great, can read the next to bottom line without my glasses and the bottom line with my glasses.  Just need to go back to Eye Masters and have the frames tweaked a little more - my inside glasses are still not sitting off to San Antonio we will go this weekend, just not sure if it will be Saturday or Sunday.  May have to see about different frames if they can't get these just right!!  Thank you Lord for finding a good surgeon and great results from my surgery!!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Continuing Celebrating My Birthday and an Early Anniversary Weekend

This past weekend we went to San Antonio and stayed at the Drury Inn right on the Riverwalk.  It was a fun time with lots of picture taking, walking and riding the boats along the Riverwalk.  We are so blessed to have had a weekend to reminisce about our 36 years of marriage.  We hope you enjoy this journey of our celebration weekend.
Having fun in the elevator!

An early morning walk on the Riverwalk.

The church in La Villita

Inside the little church in La Villita

Don't know who they are but they are a cute couple!

One of the many little fountains along the Riverwalk.

Inside the Drury Inn on the Riverwalk.

A scene inside the Azteca Theater where we saw the SA Rose Live show.

The stage in the Azteca.

And this was on a guy's hat that we just couldn't ignore!  And speaks such truth!!

We had a great time in San Antonio celebrating our anniversary.  God has blessed us so much.  We shared about some of the struggles we have faced but through it all we have felt God's love and blessings.  And like Ron said on the way up to our room last night - let's keep doing this for another 40 years!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Woke up this morning and hubby greeted me with "Happy Birthday, I Love You!"  what a great way to start my day.  I have had a wonderful day.  Had over 150 birthday greetings on Facebook, received a mushy card from Brandon, a phone message from Jamie, a sweet card from Dee : the outside says "I'm so lucky to have a friend like you."  Inside: "I tend to scare normal people away.  Happy Birthday." - I laughed so loud...we are definitely two peas in a pod.  Another funny card from Kay & Bill : front of the card had a group of people on an elevator and this grey haired gal swaying to the music as well as three other sweet birthday cards.  On the inside: "You know you're getting old when you "groove" to elevator music!"  I was blessed with my first two Texas ornaments, a box of sugar free pecan candies and a sign "God is Faithful" and spent the evening having dinner with new friends who have blessed me over and over since we have been in Texas: Thanks Kay & Bill, Jane & Jerry, Bonnie, Chuck & Rose and Hank & Euona and of course my sweet hubby!!

I am so blessed and thankful for family and friends.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Where Have I Been???

Wow it's been a month since I posted on here...I bet some of you are wondering where I have been.  Well let's see....

.... we took 2 1/2 days off 11/9 - to 11 and went Garner State Park and Lost Maples State Park all about an hour or so from here.  What a peaceful time we had.  No internet, no cell phone service.  Just quiet.  We never even hooked up the television set.  We read, went for a couple of walks, took a drive to Leakey, TX and went to a few antique shops.

... and then we worked the weekend of 11/12 & 13.  That Saturday was the Annual Flea Market here in the park.  WOW what a lot of stuff people had to sell.  I bought  few cross-stitch kits and lots of earrings and a necklace handmade by Bonnie, the VP.  I just love her jewelry.  If you want some nice dangly type earrings they are $5 a pair...let me know what color and I will pick them up and send them onto you.  She uses the most beautiful stones and even has special holiday ones too.  The evening of the 12th we went to a fundraiser in D'Hanis where they had bands playing, a huge raffle and live auction.  The fundraiser was for a local man who is facing some major health issues.  Heard they had raised over $10,000 for him.  And the best part was I won two of the raffle items: a bottle of red wine in a basket and a $24 gift certificate for the Buckhorn Saloon Restaurant & Bar.  We will be going there sometime in December.

... and then on 11/14 we picked up Dee from the airport.  Dee came for a week's visit as a gift to her and I for our birthday's from Ron.  We had a ton of fun, ate way too much, gabbed a lot, and then played tourist for two days.  Saturday we went to Christmas in God's Country in Hondo, then to a fiddler show and potluck here at the park and then back into Hondo for the lighted Christmas parade.  It was a fun, fun day.  On Sunday we went into San Antonio - went to the Golden Corral for breakfast then off to the Alamo and then to the Riverwalk where we road the boat for tour and then walked around for quite awhile and then we headed to the Buckhorn Saloon in San Antonio - what a beautiful museum.  They have a huge western museum with a room about Bonnie & Clyde, lots of exotic animals, a fun house and the Texas Rangers museum.   And then we returned to the motor home for light dinner of salad.  Oh and we had a Daily's one evening...I got another friend hooked on them :)

And then before we knew it it was time to take her back to the airport and send her back to Blaine.  But first we had to stop at Heavy's for BBQ for lunch together.  After lots of hugs and some tears I waved her through security so she could return to her family.  

And then back to work on Tuesday for us.  And that brings us to Thanksgiving Day.  We shared a meal in the clubhouse.  We hosted our table.  We were eleven people: Jack & Liz, Jane & Jerry, Kay & Bill, Mike & Elaine, Bill C and Ron & I.  We had so much food and great company.  After sharing the meal and visiting for a few hours we all headed back to our rigs for a good ole afternoon nap.  (That's what Ron is doing right now).

Tomorrow I am venturing out at 5:45 a.m. w/Bonnie and Rose to go to Beall's (kinda like JC Penney's)  they have Sketchers on sale for $29.99 regularly $120 - hopefully they will have a pair in my size.  And after a whirlwind shopping trip we will go to McDonalds for a quick breakfast before I head to the office and Bonnie & Rose do what ever they do - they are the retired ones of the bunch :)

So that's what I've been up to!!  Hope y'all have had a nice Thanksgiving Day with family or friends.  I know we did.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Think I Know Why I Am Feeling a Little Funky

I have been feeling a little funky the last couple of days and so I have been taking it easy.  This afternoon I went and laid down to take a nap and woke up with tears streaming down my face ~ I woke from a dream about my Dad.  And then I remembered...

10 years ago today he passed away.  I have been told I have a gift of being able to remember dates and events but sometimes I think it can be a curse.  I remember the morning I heard so vividly.  I had been at work about 15 minutes when I got a call from Ron asking if I had any meetings or anything this morning.  I told him no, he said well don't go run any errands.  He would be there in a few.  Now I am thinking why would I go run errands at 8:00 in the morning.  And then my mind started racing...what is wrong?  what happened to the boys?  did something happen to his Mom?  my Mom?    I didn't have to wait long.

Ron walked into my office and shut the door.  And then he told me my sister, Kathy, had called him and told him my Dad had died that morning.  I stood there and in walked Charles U. and Darlene E. (later I found out I had let out a blood curdling scream) and Ron was hugging me and I was crying.  Ron told them what happened.  Charles told me I could go home.  I just sat there dazed not knowing what to do.  After about 10 minutes I said I would go home after I got all the paychecks organized and distributed ~ it was pay day and I couldn't let the employees not get paid.  And straighten a few things in the office. 

I also called Kathy and told her I would call her back in a couple of hours to see what was going to happen ~ you know arrangements and stuff.

I worked till about 10:30 telling Charles I would call him to let him know what was going on and then drove home.  I remember crying and praying and wondering what was I supposed to do.  After arriving home Ron and I talked then called Kathy back.  There would be no service but if I wanted to come and see him I could.  We were in WA state and they were in Sacramento, CA.  So phone calls were made along with arrangements to have Brandon fly from Idaho to CA and for Ron, Jamie and I to drive down.  We left Ferndale about noonish and arrived at my sister's in Sacramento at 6:00 the next morning.

I wish I could say the next few days were a blur but they are clearly etched in my mind ~ seeing my dad with his stomach bloated and extended.  And replaying something he said many years prior to me "that he would always have us girls but not his friends."  (That is another post ~ it had to do with the accident where I lost my eye and the following lawsuit.)  And that is who was there ~ us three girls, George, Kathy's husband, her daughter Christi and Ron and our boys.  After seeing my Dad at the mortuary we drove over and saw my Mom.  Even though they had been divorced and remarried a couple of times each, Mom was dealing with her own grief and sadness related to my Dad.  We stayed in CA for a few days and then made our way home. 

Saying good-bye to my Dad was bittersweet.  We were saying good-bye to him and yet we had done that five years prior when he had tried to commit suicide in summer of 1995.  After that he was moved to a locked care facility.  He didn't always know who his kids were or how long time had passed.  Sometimes he knew us and other times we met him in the moment of where he was.  In his last 10 years of life he dealt with Parkinson's Disease and Dementia due to alcoholism.  The last few years of his life we enjoyed short fun visits with him ~ bringing him chocolate or strawberry milkshakes and sending him small packages of M&M's and at Christmas time sending him Aplets & Cotlets from Liberty Orchards...he found those candies on one of his trips to our home in WA.  To this day we buy little packages of Aplets & Cotlets and put them in the kids and grands Christmas stocking's as a way of remembering my Dad.

All these thoughts have been running through my head since I woke up from my nap.  Also probably why I am missing Jamie & Suzanne & Opal and Brandon & Danalyn, Max, Christopher & Treyson...missing my family and being reminded that family is the most important thing we have.  So hug your kids and grands extra hard today and let those close to you know how much they mean to you.

Love and miss you Dad!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Thinking about the tomorrow's in our life.

As we were heading home today from a weekend with blogger I asked Ron what one thing would he like to do before he dies...and he said go to Alaska by driving there and then working up there for a summer season.  So we had a long conversation and have come to the conclusion to do that we would definitely need a different rig and to do that we definitely need to refine our budget to build our savings up and think how we can do this. So keep us in your prayers as we work through all this thinking and planning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Opinions & Comments

I am a bit perplexed.  Someone posted on Facebook a comment about abortion "it should be totally abolished and anyone who performs an abortion or has one should be charged with murder."  Definitely a hot topic and I hesitated before responding but I did.  I replied "I don't think we can make blanket statements about such personal things.  As a 17 year old who was raped by my step dad on numerous occasions I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt had I gotten pregnant due to those rapes I would have had an abortion."

And boy did I get a response "murder is murder and anyone who commits murder should be punished.  Abortion is murder!"  and then she quoted scripture upon scripture.  I told her I didn't want to argue.  She would never change my mind and I would never change hers.  She came back two more times saying how wrong my thinking was, that I needed to forgive my step dad and move on.  Now nowhere in that dialog did I say I had or had not forgiven my step dad (and I have but that is a post for another day).  I replied for the final time "I hope you are never faced with the situation of being raped ~ and till you are you really don't know what you would do."  She then replied "what about this scenario: a man & woman are married, they have a child.  3 years later he becomes abusive to the mother and she decides to kill the child."  Now what do you say to that.  I did not respond.  I don't believe the two scenarios are any where near the same. 

So then I started thinking ~ I sure hope I have never tried to force my opinion/beliefs on someone especially  if I have never walked in their shoes.  If I have, I am sorry.  And I hope I never do that in the future.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Sweetness of Friends

You never know how your relationships with people will develop.  I belong to many different groups on Facebook.  Some of them include: Families on the Road, Nomadicmomma's, Jiggly Bits, Where Two or More are Gathered as well as many others.  All the ones listed above have one thing in common - many of us in those group are RV'rs and have never met in person - but our friendships are just as sweet as ones I have with church friends, school friends, or work friends.

And today one of my fellow RV'r friends went way above and beyond.  As y'all know, we had a  baby boy who died when he was 3 days old.  We were stationed at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas at the time Royce was born and died.  And because of life and situations we have not been able to go to the cemetery where Royce is buried only three times.  

Well today, my friend Carolyn Sasek took time out of her busy day and went to the cemetery in Las Vegas and put a lovely bouquet of flowers and a sweet balloon on our baby's grave.  As well as a single carnation from his momma right on his marker.  Just like I would have done.

What Carolyn didn't know is that carnations are my favorite flower.  We have always used carnations for special occasions - our wedding, the and if Ron buys me flowers he usually buys be carnations.

Thank you so much Carolyn for going above and beyond and doing something so sweet that I am not able to do.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

In Shock :(

Last night Ron and I found out a sweet dear friend had passed away.  Needless to say we were/are in shock.  And so I found myself writing...

When I heard Cory had passed I sat in shock.  How? When? Why?  Karen must be devastated and numb.  My heart goes out to her.  We first met Cory when he was our son, Jamie’s 3rd grade teacher at Dick Scobee Elementary.  A few memories that quickly come to mind was the day I got a call from the secretary telling me I was needed at the school and not to be alarmed when I arrived and saw the paramedics in front of the school.  You may be asking “what happened?”  I quickly drove to the school and went directly to the office.  There I was greeted by Cory and a paramedic explaining that after lunch Jamie was walking back to the class room, tossing a quarter up in the air and as kids will do – his mouth was wide open in excitement and voila, the quarter went down his throat and he started choking.  911 was called, Cory stayed with Jamie till both the paramedics and I arrived.  And after lots of reassurance going around the room, Jamie went back to class.  Late the next evening Jamie came out of the bathroom and said he had to call Mr. Crawford.  He wanted to let him know it was not a quarter but a nickel  - no big deal now J. 

The next memory is probably the one that has meant the most to my husband and I over the years.  Jamie had a pet rabbit that passed away about two weeks before Christmas.  Jamie went to school that next morning and was very upset.  Cory asked him what was wrong and Jamie told him his rabbit died.  Cory called that afternoon and asked if he could take Jamie out for an ice cream cone and to spend some time with him.  And of course I said o k.  A couple of hours later Jamie and Cory came into our home.  I met them at the door and Jamie said “Mom, I told Mr. Crawford about our little Christmas tree.”  I looked puzzled as we had spent the previous weekend cutting down an 11’ tall Christmas tree and decorating it with many lights and decorations.  Jamie took Cory into the living room and he just laughed and hugged Jamie.  We often talked about how Jamie pulled a joke on Cory.

We were also privileged to attend Cory & Karen’s wedding in Portland, OR.  Jamie felt so grown up being invited and included in such a special day.  We have kept in touch with Cory & Karen over the years.  Jamie is now 34 and has a daughter of his own.  Last year found my hubby and I working and traveling with Funtastic shows, the carnival that is at the Puyallup Spring Fair and the big Fair in September.  We made arrangements April 2010 to stop by the school on the hill and see Cory.  It was a busy day for him as kids were doing some special testing.  He took about 20 minutes out of his busy day and we were able to visit and get caught and show off pictures of Jamie, his girlfriend and his little girl, Opal.  Cory was so excited to see and hear about how one of his students and grown into such a wonderful young man.  After the big Fair in September 2010 and before we headed off to a much needed 3 week vacation we met Cory & Karen at Applebees on the hill.  We had so much fun visiting and sharing about our lives, where the Lord has led us in such different paths and rejoicing with each other that God is good and faithful even through the difficult times.

And then we heard about Cory’s death.  Shock is what we felt.  Sadness to know Karen is alone and having to eal with some difficult days, weeks, and months ahead.  Yet in our shock, grief and sadness we know that God is faithful and is in control even when we don’t understand.  Our prayers are with you Karen and the rest of Cory’s extended family.

Love and prayers, Ron & Alice, Jamie & Brandon Workentin

I just got off the phone.  He wanted details.  I have none.  He too has a special place in his heart for Cory Crawford.  And after hanging up the phone I remembered another conversation that Cory had with Ron & I when Jamie was in 3rd grade.  It was parent/teacher conferences and Cory said he had a do you tell a student he can't read right is time to do xyz.  You see, Jamie was and is a voracious reader.  Cory never wanted to tell Jamie he couldn't read but yet there were sometimes other things that needed to be done like math, science, language.  We have often chuckled about that conversation.  And we are so thankful that Jamie grew up loving to read and that he still does read, everything he can get his hands on.  Thank you Cory for not squashing Jamie's love for reading.

If you think about this post in the next week or two, please say a prayer for Karen and the rest of Cory's extended family  and friends who are dealing with this unexpected loss.  The memorial service for Cory is being held next Saturday in Puyallup, WA.  I know our thoughts and prayers will be with Karen that day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wrestling with a Couple of Things

I don't know about y'all but sometimes when I go to bed at night and I turn the lights out and think I am about ready to go to sleep my mind starts running at 100 miles per hours.  Not just little thoughts about day to day things, well sometimes it's like the day to day things.   But the last few nights I find myself with my thoughts just running and running.

The first issue has to do with sharing my blog.  I have a whole list of people who I send an email to whenever I update either of my blogs.  Not all the same names are the same on both lists.  And specifically I have been thinking of who I send this blog to and thinking I want to take some of those names out of that email list.  You may be asking yourself why would I want to remove someone from that list?  Well I wonder if the people on my list really want to know what I am thinking about, what is going on in my life, what issues I struggle with or is it that I want them to know all those things about me, about my family, about my job.  And that therein lies the problem - if people who really wanted to know about me, about my family, about my job, about my life would they not contact me in some way.  Many people on this list I communicate with on Facebook, via the telephone, email or snail mail but there are a handful that I never communicate with and so I wonder why do I keep sending them the emails.  If someone really wanted to be a part of my life, wouldn't you they would at least acknowledge an email or a blog post once in awhile.

I am sure I will struggle with this issue for a while longer, but if you stop hearing about postings on my blog via email that would mean that I am not struggling with that issue any more.  What do you think?  Do  I just blindly keep sending emails to people to let them know when I post or do I clean up my list? I am not sure what I am going to do - guess I will keep mulling things over.  And then I wrestle with if someone really wants to know what I am up to they could choose to follow along on my blogs.  I know people can do that because I have 101 followers on The Wandering Workentins and there are over 15 followers on this blog. Thoughts, suggestions, ideas?

The other issue I have been struggling with is a moral issue.  IF you know someone has done something very wrong and others know about that wrong and those others were affected by that wrong but no one reports that wrong to the appropriate people (the authorities) do you just continue to go along with them and not say or do anything?  I know I am being somewhat vague about this and I am sorry about that BUT until I can wrestle with my own mind about what to do it is best that way.  I would just like some feedback or thoughts on this very vague issue.

That's all from this brain for now.  Hope you are all doing fine.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Monday, Aug. 15, 1977 - Difficult, Scary and most of all Thankful,

We slept well that Sunday night ~ I think more from exhaustion than anything.

Our day got off to a rough start - (this gets kinda graphic).  Before starting my day I expressed milk for Jamie, the nurses at the NICU (Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit) kept encouraging me to do so for Jamie.  And then it was time to get in the shower.  And then I got dressed and then started crying ~ I was leaking all over everything!  Ron kept trying to tell me it was okay.  How could it be okay,  I had just leaked all over the only dress that fit me!  Now what was I going to wear to Royce's funeral? After much reassurances from Ron and my mom I put on one of my favorite dresses that I wore throughout my pregnancy and felt a little better.  First crisis of the day averted.

We then got ready to go to the church.   I think we (Ron & I) were pretty nervous.  What was going to happen, what would people say, could I get through the funeral without collapsing?  And then we were walking into the sanctuary.  Ron and I went in alone.  That little casket looked so tiny compared to the altar.  And we walked up to it and ran our hands across it.  And we looked at the flowers placed on the altar.  I don't remember who all sent flowers but I remember the Tupper's had sent a bouquet of blue & white flowers.  The Tupper's were my bosses from the real estate office where I had worked.  We had decided to have a closed casket.  We knew how hard it was to see our little boy in there and knew that it would make most people uncomfortable to see him like that.

The service began by the playing of Jesus Loves Me by the organist.  And then Adrian shared John 14 and some other scriptures.   And then we sang Jesus Loves the Little Children and .Jesus Loves Me.  And then Adrian prayed for God to be near us as we mourned the loss of Royce.  And then people walked by us, giving us hugs and loving on us.  We could not believe the number of people who were there.  Guys and couples from Ron's work, my bosses from the real estate office where I had worked, some friends from the radiologists office where I had worked and people from our church. And our family: my mom and my two sisters.  Ron's parents  and his brother and sister.  After everyone left the church Ron and I stood by the casket and told our precious little boy good-bye.  Definitely one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.
Royce is buried in at Palm Mortuary, 7600 S Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV.  We know his little body was buried there and we do go there when we are in Las Vegas we know without a shadow of a doubt, that Royce is in heaven with all four of his grandparents and other loved ones. 
And then we went back to the house where my step-dad had made finger foods for all of us.  And then the phone rang.  My mom answered and said it was the doctor from the NICU.  Immediately Ron & I froze and our thoughts jumped to what is wrong with Jamie.  We can't lose him after just losing Royce.  My anxiety must have been evident because immediately the doctor said everything was okay with Jamie.  In fact, they were going to move him back to Women's Hospital where he had been born.  They needed his spot in the NICU - great news for sure!!  The doctor told us to give them a couple of hours and then we could go to Women's Hospital to see Jamie but to call first to make sure he was all settled.  No problem I said with a smile.

We continued to visit with family and friends till about 4:00 when we called the hospital to make sure it was okay for us to come to the hospital.  And then crisis #2 hit.  Women's Hospital said Jamie was not there.  We then called the NICU - no Jamie was not there.  Where the heck was my baby????  I started crying and screaming.  What had they done with my baby?  No one seemed to know.  Ron took the phone from me and spoke with them at the NICU.  He then called Women's Hospital back and spoke to someone in the nursery.  Jamie was in the nursery - he was just not listed as a patient at the hospital.  The hospital had never had a male admitted to the hospital that was not a newborn and they didn't know how to do that.  After a lot of reassurance from the nurse and making sure Jamie was okay we made plans to go and see him that evening.  

Ron's family also went with us to the hospital to see Jamie - their first glimpse at our other precious baby boy. 

We are so thankful for our family and friends who were there for us 34 years ago and every day sense.  We have lost contact with most of the friends we had when we lived in Las Vegas and yet God has  blessed us with many friend since and through this day.  We were blessed and surprised to see Pastor Adrian & his wife, Nancy, in Beaverton, OR when Brandon had surgery when he was 13 years old.  It had been 15 years since we had seen them but that didn't  seem to matter - we visited and prayed together.  Shared about our families and enjoyed that unexpected treat of seeing them after so many years.  

Our family has faced many challenges and trials over the past 34 years but through it all the Lord has walked right beside us.  And for that we are thankful.  

Update on Jamie: he is 34 years old, lives with his sweet girlfriend, Suzanne and precious daughter Opal.  They reside in Washington State and we look forward to seeing them when we get back to that area.

Jamie, Suzanne & Opal, Summer of 2011

Thank you for reading along as I shared one of the hardest journeys we have ever been on.  Again, we give thanks to the Lord for his faithfulness, care and love along this journey we call life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Part 4 ~ A Very Long Weekend

Part 4 of life 34 years ago ~ if you are reading this and have not read the previous posts, please go back to here and begin reading if you want the whole story.

At times that week seemed to go by in a flash and at other times it went by very slow.  As you can imagine our emotions were running high, anxiety climbing the walls and tears of joy and sorrow were shared with many.  It is so hard to explain ~ on one hand we were young parents celebrating the birth of new babies and on the other hand we were grieving the loss of a precious baby boy.

When we were in the neonatal unit our focus was on Jamie - was he gaining or losing weight? Was he retaining his body heat?  Was he in distress or pain?  Was he tolerating the mother's milk?  And always Jamie seemed to grasp onto daddy's finger...I so wish we had pictures of those days.  We have a few pictures of those early days but not many ~ one of the times we were robbed boxes of things were stolen and a lot of our pictures were taken.

And then there were the trips to the mortuary ~ having to go sign papers.  I remember the time I had to print Royce's name on one of the forms I started to cry realizing he would never learn how to write his name, no teacher would ever call his name in a classroom and I would never swing him and say he was our happy boy!!

Saturday we went to the hospital four times to spend time with Jamie.  Each time we would hold and rock him, look at his super tiny feet and fingers.  And just watch him breathe.  Even months later I would go in his room and watch him sleep in his crib just because I loved to watch his little heart beat in his chest.

In between visits to the hospital that day we went by the church to meet with Pastor Adrian to plan the service for Royce.  One of the scriptures that was shared was John 14.  And we picked out the music - Jesus Loves Me and Jesus Loves the Little Children.  To this day when I hear either of these songs sung or played tears spring to my eyes.  Yes, even after 34 years some days are harder than others.

Late in the afternoon on Saturday Ron & I went to the mortuary to see Royce.  I wanted to see him before anyone else did.  I wanted to make sure he looked perfect and that they had dressed him properly.  I was so scared to go into the room where he was.  They had set the room up very nice.  There was a love seat and a couple of chairs that sort of made a semi-circle around one side of the room and then they had the little casket in the corner at an angle.  It was open and we hesitantly made out way over to him.  I had only seen one other person dead and that was my great-grandma.  And all I remembered from seeing her was that my grandma leaned over and kissed her.  And I had touched her hand and it was cold.  I didn't know if we could hold Royce or not.  We just sort of stared down at him.  He looked so peaceful.  After we were in there a minute or two one of the men from the mortuary came in and told us we could hold him if we wanted.  I immediately leaned down and picked him.  He was so cold and heavy.  I couldn't believe how heavy he was.  He was such a tiny baby ~ how could he be so heavy I wondered?  I sat on the couch and rocked him in my arms.  I pulled the little blanket from his head to see where they had shaved the hair behind his right ear to put in an IV.  I looked at his chest.  I had to see where they had cut him from the autopsy - it looked like a little cross with the line going down his chest about 2" long and the cross line about 1" and his skin was put back to make it look like he had a small cut there.  It was hard to see but it was not as bad as I thought it would have been.  After I held him for awhile, Ron held him.  It was the only time he got to hold his little boy, his first born.  There are times even now that we talk about that time and that is the one thing Ron says he misses the most - he didn't ever get to cuddle Royce while he was alive.  It is a sad memory for him.  I think we stayed at the mortuary about 2 hours before returning to the hospital to see Jamie ~ that is what kept us going ~~ returning again and again to the hospital to see life in Jamie, to see his little chest rise and fall with each beat.

Saturday night my sister Kathy arrived from Sacramento.  Looking back at her being there it must have been a hard weekend for her as I remember asking her over and over "why did you come?" and "why didn't dad come, I asked him to come."  As I think about it now, she was probably very hurt that I was not appreciative of her coming for such a sad occasion.  I remember that I just tolerated her being there.  We didn't talk much and I think we only shared two hugs - one when we walked in the house and she was there having just arrived from the airport and Monday morning when she gave us greetings after the service at the church.   And now I will never have the chance to tell her I am sorry for not appreciating her for all the things she has done in my life as my big sister as she died unexpectedly on Sept. 12th, 2008.*

I don't remember if we went to church Sunday morning or not.  My mom did not attend church and with my sister there I am pretty sure we did not go.  Sunday afternoon my little sister, Joanie ~ age 13, wanted to go the mortuary to see Royce.  Ron said we would take her.  And so the three of us went to the mortuary again.  We tried to prepare her for what she would see.  I don't think we did a very good job but then again we were only 19 & 21 how good of a job could we be expected to do.  We were all very quiet when we entered the little room.  Royce looked just like we had left him ~ laying peacefully in his little bed - it was so hard for me to call it a casket, with the tip of the blanket folded over the right side of his head covering where he had been shaved and the little giraffe propped up looking down at him.  Joanie walked hesitantly over to him for about 30 seconds and then she turned and rushed out of the room.  We immediately followed her.  She went right back to the car and said she had to see mom, see mom right now.  So Ron drove us to the Silver Nugget as mom was working.  When we walked into the restaurant Joanie ran right up to my mom and started crying and hugging my mom.  And then she blurted out "please tell me they are going to bury you with your teeth.  Royce's mouth was all sunk in, please make them bury you with your teeth in."  My mom hugged her and reassured her that she would get buried with her teeth in.  And after that Joanie was okay, well as okay as a 13 year old can be after just seeing a dead little baby.*

We stayed at the restaurant for a little while.  I remember eating soup and rolls.  Maybe that's why soups and breads of all kinds are my comfort foods ~ whenever I feel stressed a good creamy soup and fresh rolls & butter always makes me feel better.

Sunday evening around 7:45 p.m. Ron's brother, John called to say they were almost to Las Vegas.  Since the mortuary closed at 9 p.m. we decided to just meet them there.  We all arrived about 8:15 p.m.  After hugs and tears were shared - we had not seen them since our wedding December 20th, 1975, we went into the mortuary and Royce's room (at least if felt like it was his room and it was for those few days).  After a few minutes Ron's mom asked if she could take pictures of Royce.  I was flabbergasted.  I had never heard of such a thing.  Take pictures of a dead person.  My response "absolutely not!!!" and so no pictures were taken.  About five years after Royce died I would have given anything to have at least one picture of that sweet baby boy.  Because we did not have any pictures of Royce, one of the things Ron & I do when talking/sharing with parents who are going through the same/similar things as we did ~ we encourage them to get pictures, to hold their little one as long as possible and not rush through those last minutes ~ they cannot be redone.

Once we got back home we called and checked on Jamie.  He had had a good evening and was sleeping well.  We could sleep well now ourselves for we knew Monday was going to be a hard day ~ we just didn't realize how hard it was going to be.

*Joanie and I have never talked about that day.  I do hope the scene didn't haunt her in her dreams.  And knowing Joanie after my mom died, she probably put mom's teeth in before they removed her from the house after she passed away on 10/31/2005.*

*One thing I have learned in my life is that there are no guarantees.  That if something or someone comes to mind I need to act - write, call or do something - and I look at those moments as God reminders - He is reminding me to do or say something.  Not that I follow this all the time, but it is one thing I strive to do whenever I can.  I try to let my family and friends know that I care about them, when I think of them by calling or dropping them a note via email or a card.*

Part 3 Continued - August 11, 1977

Sorry for ending so abruptly...

We remained at the hospital for about 2 hours and then the doctor came in to talk to Ron and I.  He wanted us to give permission for them to do an autopsy on Royce.  At first I was adamant that no, they could not do that.  I just did not want them cutting on his little body.  He had been through so much and I just wanted him to be left alone.  After talking with Adrian, the doctor, and Ron and hearing the doctor's reasons for wanting to do the autopsy, we agreed to let them go ahead.  One of the arguments was that because I had miscarried one little boy at 20 weeks and then Royce dying, the twins being born 8 weeks early they (the doctors) wanted to see if there was anything genetically going on that could be prevented in the future.  It would be a couple of weeks before we would get the results.*

And then we drove home.  Again with empty arms and a grieving heart.  Asking questions that could not be answered.  Once home and through many tears we made the calls that needed to be made.  Calling Ron's mom ~ Ron knew to call her at the berry fields.  So hard to tell a grandmother that her first born grandson was now gone.  Anne would call Pete in Alaska.  Calling my dad and sister in California.  I told my dad that I really wanted him to come to Las Vegas.  He said he would see what he could do.  I just knew in my heart this little girl needed her daddy during this difficult time.  And with all the phone calls we ended with we will call when we know when the funeral would happen.  Such difficult phone calls to make all the while worrying if Jamie would continue to get stronger and remain with us.

Thursday evening we did go back to the hospital and spent another hour with Jamie.  We talked with the nurses and they encouraged us to call anytime we wanted to see how our little guy was doing.  And we did.  Sometimes when I would wake up in the middle of the night I would call the neonatal unit just to check on him ~ and then fall asleep in Ron's arms. 

Friday was another difficult day.  In the morning we went to the neonatal unit to see Jamie.  It was so good to hold him in our arms.  And he always seemed to enjoy grasping his daddy's finger.  Jamie's weight dropped down to 3 lbs 7 oz.  Believe me he was a teeny, tiny little boy.  After visiting with Jamie and telling him he could cry all he wanted while we were gone (crying would build up his lungs and he really didn't cry much.  One time we watched him as he scrunched up his face and pulled his little legs up towards his chest like he was going to cry and then his arms and legs just flopped - he was exhausted from just trying to cry.  So it sorta became a joke for us to tell him to cry while we were gone.)  We went to the funeral home.  That is something that I don't wish on anyone.  No parent should ever have to bury a little one but we had to do it.  So we did.

We met with a very nice couple who walked us through the paperwork, talked about our options and what we wanted to happen.  We called Adrian and asked if we could have the funeral on Saturday afternoon at the church.  And then we had to pick out our baby's final bed.  As we walked into the room the first thing we saw was this casket that looked like it was for a 6 or 7 year old.  It was all white and satiny on the outside and lined with pink silk.  I just bawled.  And then we were shown this little white pine box - very plain.  And then we saw the one for Royce - it was about 2 ft long, light blue in color and lined with blue satin.  We just touched it over and over.  And then we were escorted out of the room.

And then we went back to see Jamie.  I just needed to see and hold him and know he was okay.  After about another hour we went to Sears.  We had to get an outfit to lay our baby boy at rest.  Do you know how hard it is to shop for a baby boy's last outfit.  A young girl came up to us and asked how she could help us.  I blurted out "we have to pick out an outfit to bury our baby.  He died yesterday.  She looked at us with big eyes and started to walk away saying "I will be right back."  A few minutes later, this gramma type lady walked up, asked if she could help us (the other gal told her what we were needing to do).  She was so kind and helpful.  She was gentle in spirit and helped us pick out a little blue hand knitted outfit that had a stuffed giraffe with it along with receiving blankets and some little blue booties.  And then she hugged us after we paid for the things for Royce.  One of the things I remember is that you could not buy just one receiving blanket - they came in packages of two.  We still have the second blanket, it is tucked into a trunk along with Royce's baby book and the many cards we received from friends.  We then took the little clothes and giraffe back to the mortuary.  They said we would be able to see Royce on Saturday morning.

And then back to the hospital for another visit with Jamie.  I think we ended up going to the hospital four or five times on Friday and Saturday.

Friday night as we walked into the house after visiting and checking up on Jamie, my mom looked at us and said she had something to tell us.  Immediately Ron and I just grabbed each others hands and asked what?  (Both of us later would tell each other we thought something had happened to Jamie in the time it took us to drive from the hospital to the house.)  Mom said we had to postpone the funeral from Saturday afternoon to Monday because Ron's dad, Pete and his sister, Kathy were flying into Seattle Saturday morning and then they would drive straight through to Las Vegas.  Ron just started crying ~ he had said he wanted his dad there but he just knew that was not possible.  But God was gracious and granted the desires of his heart and made it possible for Pete to be there with us on one of the most difficult days of our lives.  And then my mom told me my dad decided not to come but to pay for my sister Kathy to come for the funeral.  Needless to say I got very angry with my dad over that.  Not that I didn't love my sister and it had been almost a year since I had seen her but I really wanted/needed my daddy there.  Though I wasn't very surprised as he had disappointed me many times in the 10 years since my parents had divorced (that's probably 5 or more blog posts.)  But there was nothing I could do.  Kathy would arrive on Saturday evening.  And Ron's parents and brother John  and sister Kathy would arrive on Sunday late afternoon.

We then called Adrian to explain the situation, made arrangements for the funeral on Monday morning at 11 and then called the mortuary to explain the change of plans.  Guess they were used to people's plans changing because it was not a problem.

Another long day had come to an end.

*The results of the autopsy showed that Royce's brain had not developed the way it should have.  The doctors believed that if he had lived he would have mentally always remained a new born but that physically he would have grown in size like a child.  At times in the first 15 years or so after he died, sometimes I would look at Jamie and think "Lord you did know what you were doing (even though it hurt and still does at times) but how could I have ever taken care of newborn who was 5'9" tall weighing 175 lbs or more."  Even though we miss Royce we are thankful he did not have to deal with a life that would have been filled with complications and problems.*

To be continued...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

48 to 72 hours old

Part 3 of the Week of August 6 to 15, 1977 -  if you missed Part 2 - click here; if you missed Part 1 - click here...otherwise keep on reading :)

After going home and resting for a few hours and pumping twice (the doctor had told me even though I couldn't nurse, my breast milk would be the best thing for the twins so being the good little girl and wanting to be the best mommy in the world ~ I pumped and pumped some more).  I wanted to go back to the hospital.  So about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon Ron and I made the trek into the hospital.  We stayed about an hour ~ I must say the hardest thing is having a baby or two babies and not be able to take them home with you :(  It was so good to see Jamie in the incubator breathing on his own.  We just could not believe how tiny he was and how well he was doing.  Seeing Royce was so hard, he struggled with breathing and had so many tubes going into his little body.  As we stood there and gently touched him tears streamed down both our faces.  And said many prayers.  Our prayers were mixed ~ seeking healing for Royce's little body ~ he was fighting a Class D infection (the highest classification they would give) and pneumonia from swallowing the amniotic fluid. 

After seeing the boys we went by the Silver Nugget to get some dinner and see my mom.  She said she would be home around 11:15 that night.  After dinner we went home and I tried to rest some more.  I called the hospital a couple of times to check on the boys.  After my mom got home I asked her if she wanted to go to the hospital to see the boys - she had only had a glimpse of Jamie before they transferred him to the neonatal unit and she hadn't seen Royce since early Monday morning.  After talking and begging her to take me to the hospital, she called the neonatal unit and asked if it was okay to come so late at night.  The nurse she spoke with, unbeknown to me, told my mom she thought it would be a good thing for her to bring me to see the babies as Royce was continuing to go down hill.

(I should say here I was 19 when I had the twins and Ron was 21 - I was very niave and neither of us knew what kinds of questions to ask or even if it was appropriate to ask questions ~ things are so different now a days as we saw in the birth of Opal and the loss of little Emerald~both in how things are handled and what is said and done for the parents of these little preemie babies.)

So we drove the 45 minutes to the hospital arriving a little after 12:30 a.m.  We gowned and scrubbed up and went into see the boys.  My mom talked to the nurse for quite awhile, I just kept moving from baby to baby.  It was so quiet in there except for the noises of the different machines.  If I remember correctly there were six or eight little ones in the nursery.  Sometimes even today I wonder about those other babies.  The nurses let us stay over two hours with the boys.  And as we left the hospital to go back home both my mom and I were crying, tears running down our cheeks inwardly praying that they would be okay.

After getting home about 4 in the morning we both crawled into our beds and slept.  I remember waking a few times and cuddling & crying with Ron - and I kept saying to him "God wouldn't give us two babies and then take them away would he?"  And then we would pray and cry together and drift off to sleep.  We got up about 8:30 and called the hospital to see how the babies were doing.  Jamie was upgraded from to serious but stable yet Royce was still on the critical list.  After showering and breakfast we decided to go back to the hospital.  I had a couple more bags of milk to take in and I really wanted to see the boys.  While we were preparing to leave to go to the hospital the phone rang.  It was the neonatologist calling to tell us Royce was not doing well and that they wanted to do a blood transfusion on him and would we give permission for them to do that.  Of course!! I almost yelled into the phone ~ I don't even remember asking Ron what he thought.  I just knew that I wanted them to do whatever it was they needed to do to make my baby healthy.  The doctor than said we should wait a couple of hours till we came in to give them time to do the transfusion and make sure all was well with him.  He said they would call when we could come to the hospital.  This was about 11:30 a.m.

I think the next three hours have been some of the longest hours in my life.  Right about 2:30 the doctor called and talked to Ron.  He told him that the transfusion was not successful and it did not look like Royce would live much longer.  He said we should get to the hospital as quick as we could - Royce probably only had about 15 minutes to live.  The tears and cries just rocked our bodies.  My mom quickly called work and said she would not be in and the three of us (me, Ron and my mom) got in her car and went to the hospital.  Ron was driving, speeding all the way, I just prayed 1) that we would get to the hospital before Royce died and 2) that we would not get stopped by the police with the way Ron was driving.  As we pulled up to the red light by the driveway leading into the hospital parking lot Ron stopped.  My mom and I just looked at him, no traffic was coming, we had just arrived with him speeding all the way and then he stopped!!!  We yelled at him to run the light, just run the damn light!!  And then he did.  He pulled up by the doors closest to the entry by the neonatal unit and Ron & I jumped out of the car.  Mom went to park it.  We ran into the unit, grabbed gowns and scurried through the double doors.  I remember one of the nurses saying something about we needed to scrub and I said "why, he is dying anyway."  She just looked at me and we went onto where Royce was laying.

He was so tiny.  There was a hospital chaplain standing nearby talking with the doctor.  We just looked at Royce with tears streaming down our faces.  We couldn't believe he was dying, he looked like he was sleeping.  About that time my mom came into the neonatal unit with a gown on.  She joined us at Royce's bedside.  Standing around Royce was the doctor, then my mom, then me, then Ron and then the chaplain.  I remember asking the doctor how long it would be?  Was he hurting?  Was he in pain?  I never thought to ask if we could hold him.  Neither did Ron.  That is something that bothers us to this day - I got to hold him once in the early hours after he was born and Ron never did get to hold him while he was alive.  The doctor told us it would not be long, no he was not in pain and he was not hurting.  I remember touching his little legs, and my mom rubbing his little arm and Ron rubbing his legs as well.  After a few minutes my mom told me to tell Ron to ask the chaplain if he would pray.  Ron did.  When the chaplain said "Almighty Father" - Royce breathed his last breath on this earth.  It was 3:15 p.m.  Exactly 45 minutes since we had received the call that he had only 20 minutes or so to live.

I truly believe that the Lord kept Royce there waiting for us to be with him before he died and returned to heaven.  We were at the hospital with Royce for a total of about 10 minutes before he died.  When I think of those minutes I say again, thank you Lord for giving us those minutes with that sweet little baby.  After a few minutes of just standing there by his little lifeless body I said I wanted to hold Jamie.  And Ron asked the chaplain to call Pastor Adrian to come to the hospital.

We were then escorted intoa room with a rocking chair, a couple of other chairs and a hospital bed.  While waiting for Pastor Adrian and for the nurse to bring me Jamie I kept saying "Why, why would God give me a baby and then take him away????"  over and over and then I changed it to "I am not going to ask Pastor Adrian why God would give me a baby and then take him away, I am just not going to do that!!!"  As I was saying these questions, which really no one could answer they brought Jamie into us.  I sat in the rocking chair and they put this tiny, squirly little guy who was wrapped up in a little blanket into my arms.  I just cried - it was the first time I actually got to hold him.  I cried and rocked and rocked and cried holding that little baby.  I would not give him to anyone, not even Ron.  I don't know how long I rocked him but finally the nurse standing behind me said she thought she shoudl take him back to the incubator as they didn't want him to lose his body heat.  I reluctantly gave him back to the nurse.  And cried and rocked some more.  About 45 minutes after Royce died Pastor Adrian came into the room.  Ron and I were sitting on the hospital bed and I jumped up and grabbed his arms and yelled at him "Why,  why would God give me a baby and then take him away????"  And I remember him and Ron putting their arms around me and repeating "I don't know."

Note - I need to stop right now as I can barely see the page through my tears.  I think this is the very first time I have ever sat down and written out this whole story.  I will write more later.

12 Hours Old - How Fast Things Can Change

Part Two of "34 Years Ago Today" ~ if you did not read the previous post and want to start at the beginning of the story click here.

After finally getting settled into my room I slept for about four hours.  I then got up and walked down to the nursery to check on Royce.  He was so tiny they had him in an incubator.  I could not hold him, but oh how my arms ached to just do that.  And then I wondered what was going on with Jamie (James was too formal for such a little guy and I didn't want Big Ron/Little Ron and I hate the name Ronnie so my mom suggested Jamie and it has stuck.  And I think it fits him just perfectly!).  After watching Royce and stroking his skin for a little while I went back to my room and cried.  I was so worried about the boys.  Jamie was born so sick and Royce seemed okay.  I had a few visitors - Pastor Adrian Hall, my mom, sister, and of course Ron was there as often as could be.  

He shared with me what had happened at the neonatal unit once Jamie was settled in there.  Ron was touching Jamie and he grasped his daddy's finger.  Ron has talked often about that first touch and Jamie's response.  I think it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship that Father and Son have.

About 3:00 p.m. (Monday 8/8) the doctor came into my room and told Ron and I that Royce was struggling and needed to be transported to the neonatal unit too.  All I remember is Ron holding me and we both crying into each others arms.  Our babies were so little, 8 weeks early and so very sick.  About 8 p.m. the doctor came back into my room and wanted to talk with Ron & I.  He said the situation was serious.  He said 5 years earlier and who knows if even one of them would have been born alive.  10 years before neither of them would have born alive.  I heard what he was talking about but I just kept thinking...please tell me they will be okay, they just have to be okay.  He then said he would do his damndest to give us one baby to take home BUT the next 48 to 72 hours were going to be the hard ones.  We called our pastor and he came back to the hospital.  We prayed.  He put it out on the prayer chain - to lift those little boys up for healing and for me to not be too stressed being separated from Ron, from the boys.

Tuesday was mostly a blur.  The one thing that I remember from that day was the interactions with the lady from the business office about naming our boys.  We had six names picked out - 2 for two girls, 1 boy & 1 girl and then the boys names and the order the boys would be named.  We had to wait for the 2nd birth to know the name of the first!!!  Royce Alan was named for one of my best friends from high school...Royce Jones.  He encouraged me to attend Young Life about a month before I graduated from high school and that is where I accepted the Lord as my savior!  Thank you Royce for facilitating that life changing moment in my life.  Ron had said if we had two boys he wanted to name one of them after him...we laugh that he had no ego problem!!! So that is how the boys were named.  Well this gal came into my room and said we needed to complete the birth certificates.  Twin A - Royce Alan (spelled A-L-A-N) first argument with the lady - the spelling of Alan.  Twin B - Ronald James, Jr.  You would have thought I said name him the devil or something.  She started saying no, twin A should be the junior, no twin B is the junior.  After about 20 minutes of arguing and my crying I yelled her right out of my room.  About two hours later the doctor came in and asked what was wrong...I was still peeved and letting everyone who came into my room how much that lady was wrong.  Ron and I told the doctor and he said he would be right back...that same lady came back in along with the doctor and she filled out their birth certificates the way we wanted.  I don't think she said five words to either of us the whole time which was just fine for me.

Ron spent his time on Tuesday going back and forth to the neonatal unit and seeing me in the hospital.  Late Tuesday night he went to the neonatal unit and got worried.  Jamie was no longer on the Ohio Open Bed and in an incubator.  He thought Jamie was worse - so not the truth.  Jamie was doing better, no more on Oxygen, breathing on his own and all his blood tests were coming back with good numbers.  Thank you Lord for healing his little body.  He wasn't out of the woods but it was a good sign.

Royce was on an Ohio Open Bed - he had tubes coming out of his little foot, his head and one arm.  And Oxygen tube in his nose.  He was a very sick baby.  Each time Ron went to the neonatal unit he prayed over both babies.  And he hated to leave them but he felt he should be with me as well.  Tuesday was a very long day.

Wednesday morning I begged the doctor to release me.  I did not have a cesarean and I was feeling okay, just tired and a little sore, after all I gave birth to both of them vaginally with no meds - they didn't want to give me medication because it would affect the babies.  After much pleading and promising to go right home the doctor let me leave (little white lie #2).

As soon as we got out to the truck I told Ron he had better take me to the hospital to see the boys.  Ron said "you promised the doctor you would go home."  "I Know, but I have to see them!!!"  "Please!!!" and 35 years later he still doesn't deny me anything I want.  We went to the hospital.  We had to gown up when we got there.  It seemed to take forever and then finally we were in the neonatal unit.  And then there they were.  Jamie was in a diaper, in the incubator...he looked so tiny and that diaper was so big on him (they didn't have preemie diapers then).  And then we went to see Royce - in comparison he was so big compared to Jamie.  The difference of 1 1/4" in length and about 8 ounces really made a big difference.  The boys were fraternal twins - Royce was dark haired and chubby, Jamie was so blond he looked almost bald and so long and skinny!!!

We stayed in the neonatal unit for about an hour and then the nurses suggested that Ron take me home, I was having a hard time staying on my feet and not wobbling.  I think they were afraid that I was going to pass out on them.

So we went home early Wednesday afternoon.

**Stay tuned for part three**