Being Thankful

This has been a difficult time not only for me but my family as well. It started last year when my family learned my husband had fourth-stage, lymph-node cancer. And where was it located? In his legs.

Thus, I could not take care of him. He is in a nursing home and the place where he now resides is taking good care of him. I see him every day and stay about two hours each visit. We have good visits, though, I wish he was home.

Then this year the worse thing happened. My oldest nonverbal autistic son, who lived with us, passed away in January. It was so sudden. One morning he woke up with a fever and chills. The next day he was gone. We loved this sweetheart whom we had taken care of from birth to his death because he could not dress himself or feed himself.

My husband did most of his care until he became sick last year. (I centered on our youngest verbal autistic son.) I took over and Brad and I became a pair. I learned what he loved to eat and what he did not like, such as tomato sauce on his spaghetti. It was a busy time but a loving time.

We miss him so much. It still hurts. Every day something reminds me of him. I wish I could go back in time and have him reappear, but, of course, that cannot happen.

But even in these terrible times, God is there for us. The local Knights of Columbus has been awesome. They cleaned our yard last year, taking down the overgrown flower garden and planting grass in its stead. They trimmed bushes and made our yard look awesome, and this is a large yard of an acre of ground. This spring they cleaned the land, and when a huge tree branch fell last week, they cleaned it up. The Lord was there through it all since that branch could have fallen on our house. He protected us. Thank you, Lord.

Others have assisted us with monetary funds, which was badly needed. I also wondered how I was going to pay for items for our youngest autistic son since his birthday is July 6. However, God was there. A friend and I went to a local church garage sale and behold I found fun-scary toys like a stuffed Dracula and a CD player. I did not want to spend money on another CD player which Andrew has destroyed whenever he has had one in the past. He wants a fountain pop so he ruins them to get more pop.

This is why I did not want to buy another CD player that he would destroy. It gets expensive. However, I found a used one at that garage sale. God was there for me. He also was there for a great neighbor who moved my outside table and chairs to mow because the regular mowers do not move the table and chairs and the grass grows tall underneath.

So even in our heartache, the Lord is there. Be thankful for all who have been there for you. God is Gracious. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.”

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Moving Forward

I am moving forward. I finally am back to writing on the novel, Her Heart’s Secret, which I had not touched since February 2021. This is the third in my Bonnets and Beaus series. Below is its lovely cover:

Her Heart’s Secret, book three in Bonnets and Beaus series

So much has happened in my life I could not move forward. First, it was my husband’s fourth-stage cancer then it was the sudden death of our little sweetheart, Brad.

Two heartaches in a row is enough to bring anyone to their knees. It did that to me.

I thought about getting a part-time job, but how would I fit in my daily schedule and make sure my husband got the food he needed and more? So I ended up returning to my writing.

Writing can be done anytime. You don’t have to punch a time clock. However, you do need to work on a schedule.

The Schedule

When do I want this book released? When should I have the editing done? I will need to contact that editor and see when this person is available. Of course, it would have to be next year. There is no way all can be done before that. Also, who will do my final editing since the one who did this passed away in August.

Trying to Move Forward

I have never faced so many deaths of people around me. It’s left a hole in my heart, especially the loss of Brad, our non-verbal, autistic son who we took care of since he could not dress or feed himself. I took over these duties when my husband could no longer do them. I used to help my husband but he did a lot of Brad’s care.

I keep reviewing that day where he was sick on the day of the upcoming rain and snowstorm. What a time and the next day I found him dead. I can never forget the heartache and it lingers today.

However, it is difficult to concentrate because my eyes fill with tears. How many of you see your life in the rearview mirror? You don’t see a future like when you were younger. Instead you see only more anguish.

For instance, will I ever travel again? Will my life be full again? When can I laugh and joke around like I had done in the past? These are questions you ask when life brings you such terrible curves.

This is why it is difficult to move forward but you must. You cannot stay in the past. I know that; however, I had such a beautiful past in which you never appreciated until it vanishes.

What Helps you Move Forward

The good thing is I have three wonderful sons thus all is not lost, and I have a beautiful home. I appreciate and am grateful for everything. I must turn the corner. Moving forward is not easy.

I’m going to have to put one foot in front of the other. The Lord will help me pick up my heels and take tiny moving forward steps. I would appreciate your prayers. God bless.

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Hospice, a word I hate

Our hearts together

With 41 years of marriage under our belt, we will separate at some point. I know we all do but mine, for me, is especially heartbreaking when God takes my husband.

It is heartbreaking because I had to make the decision to put him under HOSPICE. Why?

Finances. It comes down to money. If I didn’t, we already would be bankrupt. It’s our survival. Mine and our handicapped son who lives with us. Our youngest autistic child is in a group home.

I remember the day Paul was in the hospital, and they found the cancer in his right leg. Fourth-stage cancer. This was why he kept falling, but we never anticipated the hateful word, Cancer.

The hospital’s CARE DOCTOR who really had no care. She stood there in her high heels telling my two older sons (there by Zoom) and myself and Paul’s daughter that I should agree to put him on hospice. However, we decided to send him to rehab to at least give him a chance to strengthen that right cancer leg.

Thus he was sent to a nursing home to receive rehab. But Paul didn’t rebound from the therapy and instead I either had to pay $2,000 and something every two weeks or put him on HOSPICE.

I hated the choice I was forced to make. It’s awful when people look at another and say, “Well, he’s old.” Yes, he is but he has been a great husband and supported my two older sons from a former marriage.

People never think about what the person did in his life and what a great father he has been, especially to our two different autistic sons. There are men who would walk away from a situation like that, but Paul didn’t and he has a bound with our older non-verbal son that is unimaginable. It shows in every time I talk to my husband on the phone and Brad, the low-functioning, non-verbal son, makes sounds.

Paul wants to talk to him and every morning after I dress Brad he stands and studies two photos of my husband, taken in his younger days. Then Brad makes his way downstairs.

It’s so sad when people think of the “older” as something not valuable and forget the LIFE they LIVED and the VALUE they brought to others. Paul is a strong Christian, never missing mass until this all happened in February.

HOSPICE, I believe, in some incidents is a way to calm your conscience of letting a person die with comfort, and for some, that is a good way for their loved one to go. However, for others, there should be other options. Mine is heartache and watching my husband on the road to die, and I am the one who had to make that decision in order to have money to survive.

It’s awful. I pray none of you will ever have to go through something this. It saddens me every day and I wish I had other options. God bless.

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My Personal Dilemma

I never thought I would face poverty, but here I am about to plunge into it.

How did this happen, you ask?

It all occurred after my husband kept falling and had to go to the hospital. There they found his fourth-stage lymph node cancer. When he would step on his right leg it would go numb, this made him fall. Never would you think this was causing his problem.

The cancer doctor gave him a chemo treatment, but he ended up in ICU twice with low blood pressure and she, the doctor, was afraid to give him any more since he was weak and at his age probably would not survive.

So he went into the nursing home for rehab. The hope was with a feeding tube (the hospital did not open tops of containers, etc. so he at least could try to eat) and receiving nourishment from the tube he could walk, etc. on that leg. However, he was unable to improve and I was left with only one option and that was hospice.

Why do you say: ONLY ONE OPTION?

Because the nursing home required $2,000 and something every 17 days for his rehab. I could see poverty at the end of this journey thus I opted for the hospice.

However, my prayer continues to be he would be healed and be able to come home. So far that has not happened. However, with food in his stomach, he is more alert and is even reading the newspaper again. That’s a good sign and the news once more by watching it on television as well.

Cancer, by the way, makes its victims have no appetite. This was why I was adamant about getting him nourishment.

We both miss each other terribly. You do that when you have been married to a wonderful husband and father of two handicapped children for 40 years. My husband also took in my two older sons to raise.

In addition, my husband did a lot of care for our oldest, non-verbal son which now has fallen to me. I am happy to take care of our eldest son. He fills my days with joy. Our youngest autistic son resides in a group home. I see him twice a week and talk to him daily.

But what is your dilemma, you ask?

The state has caused me an awful dilemma. I want my husband to be around as long as God allows him to live. However, each nursing home day is costly about $350 a day. Medicare pays for the hospice but not the nursing home care.

Bring him home and care for him there, you ask?

I wish I could, but with the cancer in his leg, he cannot walk. He can barely sit up on the edge of the bed. How could I manage him? Bathe him? Dress him? Clean him up after accidents, etc.? Especially in light of our oldest son who cannot feed, dress or bathe himself.

So I visit my husband daily and keep praying he can return home.

However, until God answers this prayer, I am stuck with a terrible dilemma. My finances will improve once he passes away, but now the Medicaid I applied for does not pay for ALL of his nursing room care.

My husband has a great retirement. He worked hard for it with hours upon hours of overtime and being with the post office for 43 years. This, though, will be of little benefit when OUR share of the Medicaid to pay the nursing home almost wipes out all of his retirement income. This income is our main source to pay bills, food and more.

Now I face poverty. I never thought I would ever be in such a predicament.

In addition, I had to cash out all our assets to apply for Medicaid. I was under the impression once we got his bank account down that Medicaid would pay for his nursing room care. I was mistaken. We have to pay a portion, and that leaves my oldest handicapped child and me with little to live upon.

What a dilemma. If my husband dies, WHICH I DON’T WANT TO HAPPEN, I am better off financially because my husband set up a financial plan for me after he passes away.

BUT I DON’T WANT HIM TO PASS AWAY. WHAT A MESS. I hope no one faces what I am going through. God bless.

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The Priest

Rev. David Fulton of Central City, Neb. attended President Donald Trump’s rally Jan. 6. He was inspired to attend, according to a Jan. 30, 2021, Omaha World-Herald article, because he believed evil is dissolving our country.

His attendance was documented by a video photographer, and that video was posted on You Tube, “Voices from the Capitol.” The video was shot by Eddie Becker and according to Fulton, a man who was anti-Catholic. In his conversation, Fulton said he tried to sway the video photographer to believe in God.

However, this taped conversation brought a lot of trouble for Fulton.

The incident was reported to the Omaha World Herald and from there two articles were written on this. The first was Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, and the second Tuesday, February 2, 2021.

The first article included where he had done his priestly duties and to me attacked this Christian man for attending the rally and doing so wearing his priestly collar.

Perhaps he should not have worn that. However, the man has a right to attend and support the candidate he believes has the best interest of the country. Besides, according to the Omaha World Herald’s first reporting of the incident, one parishioner stated she never saw him not wearing his collar.

Fulton was not aware of the later capitol insurrection since he had returned to his hotel before that happened, Fulton said in a news report.

I feel sorry for Fulton not only from the attacks from some of his parishioners and former parishioners who not only did not believe he should have attended the rally but also because they did not like the way he managed the church. Some decided to attend other churches.

Really? What has that to do with him attending the rally? This journalist was out of line.

In addition, the journalist who wrote the second article, went on and on about those who disagreed with the priest, including the Omaha archdiocese.

All of this sickened me as well. Fulton believed a demon is dissolving the country. I believe the same. Look at what is happening in our country right now. We have lost many of our Christian principles.

The journalist, who wrote the second article, only included a person who defended the priest near the end of the long, winding article. Fulton was under so much pressure from church leaders he was forced to apologize to his congregation, stated the second news article.

This is sad. Tormenting a man who attended a rally because he loves America and worried about its future. I am appalled at that.

I feel sorry for this priest. Of course, the good book says in 1 Peter: 7: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”

God bless and I would love your input on this post.

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Funerals of the 1800s

Doing some research for my latest book, Her Heart’s Secret, which is the third in the Bonnets and Beaus series I am writing, I found fascinating information on funerals of the 1800s. What did I learn?

(1)Funerals were held in homes either in the parlor or in the decease’s bedroom.

For your information, a few years ago I learned from visiting a historical home that the reason no one uses the term parlor is because parlors were connected to death. Thus this is why today we call our place where we watch television, read, etc. our living room. We live in there, not die in there.

(2)The body would be displayed in the parlor or in that person’s bedroom and sometimes were removed by the undertaker to be embalmed. If removed, the deceased was taken out feet first in fears the dead person may look back into the house, and this could lure others to join them in death.

(3)Someone had to be with the body day and night. This was done out of respect or to ward off evil spirits. Family would stay with the deceased during the day and close friends would come at night.

(4) If there was no family or friends to take care of the deceased, the person was taken to a funeral parlor.

(5) Since no telephones, smart phones, etc., existed, family alerted the death by placing black crepe on wreaths, over doors, doorknobs or doorknockers. this announced the family was in mourning. Neighbors would offer to help the family, express their condolences and bring food.

(6) Home clocks were stopped to prevent bad luck.

(7) Mirrors were covered or removed from the house based on the fear if someone saw a reflection of the deceased in a mirror, they too could die. In addition, some believed the loved one’s soul could get trapped and unable to pass to the other side.

(8) Family photographs also could be turned face-down to prevent deceased close relatives and friends from being possessed by the spirit of the dead.

(9) Family members would build the coffin.

This is a poem my mother would recite:

Did you ever think when a hearse rode by? That sometimes you and also I would be riding down in that same old hack never, never to come back.

They put you in a parlor with flowers and mourners all standing around.

Then they bury you six feet under the ground and all goes well for about a week when the coffin begins to leak. The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out until there’s nothing left of you.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment. God bless.

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Imagery and Writing

What gives writers inspiration to write scenes?

For me, it’s seeing an image and using that to build a scene. Although the details of the below picture I did not use in my description of that mean and corrupt Mayor Brian Dickenson’s office, it enabled me to set the mood. Here is the picture and below is an  excerpt from The Librarian’s Secret, released June 6 in e-book and paperback:

Old pic 1

“Mayor Brian Dickenson returned to his office and settled into his seat. Stacked high on his desk were an assortment of papers, he pulled out the folder, titled Nebraska City Library, then opened it. Studying the ledger and the library’s small balance, he hoped he could, indeed, implement some new methods. They needed to; otherwise, other communities would outdo them, and he did not want that to happen. His office door squeaked open. “Yes.”

            “It’s me.”

            “Come on in.” The mayor beckoned his clerk to sit in the chair in front of him.

            Oscar Lieben, his carrot-topped assistant and clerk, sat down. “So what do you think of the new librarian?”

            “Well, she’s a pretty lady with those brown eyes and chestnut-brown hair. She’ll sure make a great addition to that dreary library.”

            Lieben laughed. “But is she going to be able to bring new life to that place?”

            “You bet with looks like hers, why not?”

The town’s Fall Festival plays an important part in this story. It’s near the book’s climax and sets up the exciting ending. Below are two pictures, which shows the Fall Festival’s parade:

Old pic 2

“Next, came the surrey with its fringed top, pulled by a chocolate-brown and snow-white gelding. The mother, who held the reins, urged the horse forward. Her two sons sat stolidly inside the wagon while the little daughter, who sat in the rear and wore a big bow in her hair, flapped her arms in the air while the horse moved onward.”

Old pic 3

“Another fancy carriage pulled up with several more following. Then a young girl sat in a small wagon. She tugged on the reins to lead her goat forward. The people cheered, hooted and hollered.”

So, imagery makes scenes. I often look at Pinterest for period clothing, scenery and dilapidated barns to describe. For me, it helps me make a scene come alive, and at times, gives me ideas for what will come next in the plot and more.

The new librarian’s mysterious past meets

preacher son hunting for deceased father’s

journal, which is hidden in that library and

contains his pa’s secret.

E-book Buy Links: Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo

Paperback: Amazon.com

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Release Date Announced

Well, The Librarian’s Secret, the second in the Bonnets and Beaus series is released June 6, 2020. However, it is ready in e-book NOW for pre-order for $2.99.

The new librarian’s mysterious past meets preacher son hunting for deceased father’s journal, which is hidden in that library and contains  his pa’s secret.

Love, Suspense, Mystery, Historical Romance

Click links below to get your pre-order copy:

Kindle  Nook  iBooks  Kobo

Paperback available NOW: Click here for your copy!

20190705_BCD_TheLibrariansSecret

Newly hired librarian Edna Hopper holds a mysterious past

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The Librarian’s Secret

Coming soon in 2020. A June book signing is being planned at a Christian bookstore in the Omaha area.

The library door creaked open. Footsteps approached. The elderly librarian glanced up as a man dressed in a hooded midnight-black cloak stopped in front of her and presented her his journal.

“… My confession is written in this journal.”

20190705_BCD_TheLibrariansSecret

Newly hired librarian Edna Hopper holds a mysterious past.

Six years later, Heath Barrymore entered that same library to fulfill his deceased father’s wishes – to discover where the librarian had placed the journal and expose the secret his father could not.

Heath stepped toward the librarian’s desk, expecting to find gray-headed, librarian Bessey, but instead his gaze met pretty Edna Hopper, the newly hired librarian who held a mysterious past.

Return to the 1890s in Nebraska City, Neb., and witness the love and heartache The Librarian’s Secret presents to our hero and heroine, and what it holds for their futures.

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The December Miracle

As many of you know, I fell down my basement steps on March 21, 2019. Stupid me tugged on a coat’s belt as I was carrying it down stairs to put it away, so I could bring up some lightweight coats. Instead, the tug made me miss a couple of steps, and I hit concrete. It could have been a fatal fall, but through God’s grace I survived.

However, I never have faced such an injury before, thus I thought I would pull out of this in a couple of months. But the Lord had other plans, the surgeon ordered me to not put any weight on my left leg for three months. I was forced to use a walker during that time.

I learned what I no longer could do. I had to sleep downstairs in a bed unfamiliar to me. There I tossed and turned and several nights I did not believe I would wake up in the morning. This downstairs bedroom also was below our oldest autistic son’s bedroom. He would make sounds and that and the unfamiliar bed made it difficult to sleep. Of course, the leg ached as well and that also contributed to the agony.

But my husband was quite helpful to me, he had to make some of the meals and serve them to me and our oldest autistic son. It was a terrible time which became worse when weeks later my husband fell down a different set of stairs. He had to wear a boot for a while.

Thank God we made it through that horrible time. The Lord held our hands and a few weeks later my husband was well. I, though, continued to remain on the walker. I would come to the computer and my eyes would close from weakness. I could not write. My health prevented me from doing much of anything.

However, there also were many friends and people in the community who helped get us through this. They brought in food and for that I am ever grateful.

I did make a few easy meals, all thanks to a dear friend who bought some groceries for me. It took all the energy I had to even do this. I had never been this weak.

I am grateful also to the church’s secretary next door. She and her sons brought me home and enabled me to get into my house. She also loaned me an extra walker since I needed one to walk upstairs once I could sleep upstairs again. She also publicized my plight, and a church member dropped off a wheelchair for me. I remember using it to go around the downstairs rooms and dust.

Once I finished in-house therapy, I transferred to driving to physical therapy. One thing I could do with pride was drive. I even drove to Nebraska City — where my books were displayed — and back one day. The people down there were nice and set up my books for me and even sent me a card saying they were praying for me.

My Circle of Friends group also were very supportive. They brought over a meal and when I was able to go out they helped me inside a restaurant and carried my carryout meals for me. This is something you never would think of having trouble with until you face a serious injury as I did.

What I learned is how many people are there for you when things go wrong. I cannot thank them enough. Each person left their mark of caring.

After three months, I was off the walker and shifted to the cane. I used the cane when I worked the Sarpy County Fair in early August. It was not easy navigating it down to the bathroom, which was a couple blocks away from where I signed and sold books. I felt like an old, old woman, hunched over, and I know the pain of this ordeal showed on my face.

Physical therapy was no easy picnic. They pulled on my leg. At times, my eyes filled with tears of pain. But in the end, they helped me get better.

My spirits were down at times. My friends pumped me up because when you are going through something like this you wonder if you are ever going to get better. Healing is slow, especially when you are older. I prayed I could walk again and then the Christmas miracle happened on Saturday, December 21, 2019, (which was nine months later from the exact day I fell) when I walked without the cane!

I have been walking ever since that day.  Some days I walk better than others; however, as I continue to grow stronger, this, too, will pass.

This all reminded me of the miracle of Jesus’s birth when a tiny baby was born who would change the state of the world. My youngest autistic son drew this nativity scene a few years ago. Thus I thought it was fitting to share it with you. Remember the Lord is there for you no matter what you face. God bless.

AndrewsNativityScene

 

 

 

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