My mom was born and grew up on "the hill." At some point, Grannie and Granddaddy built a house on the highway, only about a mile away, and that's were we lived from the time I was born in 1966 until Mom and I joined Dad in Virginia in 1969. My great-grandmother lived in the old homeplace until she died around 1971 (maybe '72??) so I have some vague memories of times spent there. I can close my eyes and still see the inside of Grandmother's house.
When I was 11 or 12, Mom and Dad built their house on the hill just a stone's throw away from where Mom was born. Our house was up on a small hill, and the house just down the hill belonged to Jo and Ed Stover. Jo and Ed had three daughters: Donna, who was a couple of years older than I was; Debbie, who is my age; and Stacy, who is about 6 years younger than I am. Debbie and I had known each other and been friends for years. Being from a small town and attending a small school, it would have been hard NOT to know her.
Once we moved to the hill, Debbie and I began hanging around each other more often. Before long, we became best friends and were inseparable. We spent so much time going between each other's houses that we wore a path between the two. It was nothing for me to get home from school and call her. This was after having spent most of the day in classes together and spending another couple of hours together at band practice. Like all best friends, we swore life-long allegiance to one another, but like many best friends, we each went our different ways and eventually lost touch.
Funny story...the summer between our 8th and 9th grade years, Mom had a hysterectomy. Even though Dad was home at night, I spent every night that she was in the hospital at Debbie's. Ed was fussing one day about the house not being cleaned up. As he was fussing, he made a comment that went something like this: "There are five women who live in this house." I stopped for a minute and counted. 1) Jo. 2) Donna. 3) Debbie. 4) Stacy. 5)??? Ohhhhh....he is counting me, too! LOL
After high school, I moved to Tuscaloosa to attend the university, and she stayed home to attend the local junior college. We still hung out when I came home on weekends, but once I began dating Tony (big mistake!) I didn't go home as much, and we began growing apart. She married and moved to Columbus, MS. (Her husband was in the Air Force.) That wasn't very far from Tuscaloosa, so I went to visit for a weekend, and then they ended up in Germany for a while. Once they were sent overseas, our communications became even more infrequent. Even after they returned Stateside, we didn't pick up where we left off.
In October of 2009, I got a friend request from her on Facebook. Immediately, I accepted! And since that time, we've been rebuilding our friendship. She had moved to Bradenton, FL, so we still haven't seen each other in years, but we have been in touch through FB and through text. We've talked about getting together when she comes home, but she's like me...she doesn't get "home" as much anymore, and when she has, it was at times when I couldn't go myself. I've even tossed around the idea of going to Florida for a weekend, but I've never acted on those thoughts.
The day after Christmas, she posted a picture of her and a very handsome man on Facebook. (She and Charlie had divorced many years ago.) I commented that she looked happy, and her mom commented back, saying she was very happy. That made me happy! On Wednesday after Christmas, I sent her a text telling her I wanted DETAILS about this handsome guy she was pictured with as soon as she had time.. It was in the middle of the day, so I knew she may be at work and not have time to give me all the details. She sent a text right back saying she would fill me in later. The next day, I realized I hadn't heard from her, but again it was the middle of the day, and we were on our way to the lake, so I decided I'd not bother her.
Thursday night John and I were sitting at Danny and Linda's watching football when I checked my phone. I had a missed call, so I checked it. (Took forever to find the right spot so I could get in to my voice mail.) It was Mom saying that Debbie had taken an overdose and was in the hospital. It didn't look good. Since it was nearly 10 PM, I decided not to call Mom back. I had the hardest time sleeping that night. Ali and Bama walking all night long (they were uncomfortable since this was the first time we'd stayed at D & L's new house), not being able to breath from my cold, and being worried about Debbie made for a really long night.
As soon as I got up the next morning, I called Mom to find out more. She really had no details at that time, but she promised to call whenever she knew something. When she called back later, she had talked to Debbie's aunt, who had talked to her dad, and the news then was that her condition was not insurmountable, but it was going to be a long road back. She again promised to call if she heard anything else. Fortunately, she never called back, and I am one of those who believes no news is good news!
Stacy began posting updates on Facebook, so several times during the day, I was checking for ANY news. (Stacy is now texting me the many of the updates she puts on Facebook, so I'm getting them right away.) Every single update has had positive news! Even though her progress has been slow, it has been progress, and that is what we all want to hear! I would love for her to make huge steps toward recovery, but baby steps are just as good, especially since doctors are now saying they expect a full recovery! Praise can be given only to God! He is showing his power through the doctors and caregivers!
Debbie came off the vent yesterday, and was still breathing on her own today. She was following their voices with her eyes and her head, but she was not responding to any commands. While that frightens me, I am also keeping in mind that she has been under fairly heavy sedation for over a week now, and when she was taken in, they weren't positive. Stacy said she was responding to pain by wincing as the sitter was combing through her hair with dry shampoo. (Doctors wanted a sitter with her to watch for any problems.)
I decided today that I would check on a plane ticket to Sarasota. Now that she is coming around, I thought I could fly down for a quick visit (as long as her doctors and her family felt it would be okay.) Boy! I knew airfare wasn't cheap, but I wasn't expecting almost $400. Unfortunately, I can't swing that right now, so that plan will have to be nixed. I did go by Hallmark to get some cards to send her. I need to put one in the mail. I'm also going to go through my high school pictures to find some of us together to copy and send to her.
I'll be the first to admit that my prayer life has not been what it should be, but since Dec. 30, 2010, I have prayed more and harder than I have in a long time. I know that God is answering those prayers, too. Every time I see an update, I send God a thank you, and I ask that He continue to heal her. And I know that if it is His will, she will make a full recovery with no adverse side effects! Nothing is too big for MY GOD!
And with that, I leave you! Have a GREAT day, and try to stay warm with this winter storm that is being forecast!
Holiday Road, part I
23 minutes ago