34 years ago today,

Susan and I were married. We had no idea what the future held in store for us, but we were willing to face it together. Through the years, we encountered rough times along with the good. I would not trade a single moment of the times we shared, good or bad. I loved Susan before we were married, and I loved her more each day we were together, and my love will never diminish.

I thank the Good Lord for time I was allowed to spend with Susan. She was and is the best part of me. Susan’s passing has taken a lot out of me, but nothing can take away my love or the memories I have.

Today is our anniversary. There will be tears, but there will also be the beautiful memories.

I love you, Susan, and I will love you always. Thank you for all the wonderful years and beautiful memories.

Ernie

Life on the bayou

goes on. Not as smoothly and a lot more lonely. Sometimes the emptiness of the house comes crashing down and I have to leave for a while. I thank the Good Lord for family and friends that take some of the loneliness away.

Our daughter Laura comes down and spends the weekend with me as often as she can.  We try to go fishing every time she is here.  We both enjoy the sport of fishing.  We both believe in catch and release.

Son Lance, Laura and myself journeyed to Port Aransas, on Oct 16th, and went out on a charter that night.  We didn’t have a lot of luck that evening, but we did catch a few.  The following morning we took  another charter and went about 15 or so miles out and tied up to a oilrig stand pipe.  There we commenced to catch fish.  We caught quite a few sharks, some snapper and pompano.  We traveled back to home that evening, tired but happy with the catch.

Quilting: I don’t quilt, but our daughter Christy does.  She has the HQ Sixteen (Susan’s long arm quilter) there with her in Wisconsin.  Christy plans to finish the quilts that Susan had started, and to continue to quilt charity quilts, as Susan was doing.  I know that she will do an excellent job with the HQ Sixteen.  Christy had also taken part of Susan’s fabric stash to use on the quilts.  Some individuals had suggested that I sell the fabric.  I want Susan’s fabric to go to the needy in the form of donated quilts.

Our friend Wanda, who some of you are familiar with, also has taken some of the fabric to donate to quilters who are doing charity quilts.  I think that is an excellent use for the fabric.

Kitties: I will admit that in a lot of instances the cats make life interesting at times.  FraidyCat, I’m convinced has it in his mind that if he can just get into the bedroom, he will find Susan.  He would spend time snuggling with
Susan after he was fed.  The Brat Pack (Snuggles, Spooky, Shadowfire, and Lil Pup (Scamp)), will all four get into my lap while I’m sitting in the recliner. All of them, with the exception of Shadowfire spend a lot of time outside. Muckley’s Muckley and Blaze still wants to keep me all to himself. Apache’s coat has grown back, the sores are gone and she has gained some weight. The Vet’s are all amazed that she has done so well. Susan was convinced that if we continued to watch what Apache came in contact with, and keep her on healthy can food only, she would recover. Susan believed and she was right.

I do apologize for taking so long to post again. I know that Susan could say things better, and make it more interesting, but I will do my best. I thank all of you who support this blog. May the Good Lord bless all of you. He has certainly blessed me.

Ernie

If It All Fell To Pieces

The year was 1984, and I was on assignment to Kuwait. It was the first overseas trip I made while employed by Raytheon.

The mail system in Kuwait was one of the better ones in the Middle East. Susan and I exchanged letters almost on a daily basis.

There was one letter from Susan that I will never forget, for in the letter she wrote:

“You can spend all your time making money,
You can spend all your love making time,
If it all fell to pieces tomorrow,
Would you still be mine?”

I know that most people recognize the lyrics from the Eagles’ song, “Take It To The Limit”.

During that particular time in our life together, there was certainly no guarantee that career, job, finances would not all fall to pieces. But knowing that this could happen, my answer then was the same as it would be today. Would I still be hers? No question about it, Yes I would. The longer Susan and I were together, the stronger our love.

In so many relationships today, when trials and tribulations arise, the individuals seem to forget that love, true love, will always see you over the hurdles. It is heartbreaking to see relationships fall apart at the first sign of adversity.

Things were not always smooth for Susan and myself, but through love and faith, we smoothed the bumps.

The advise I would give if anyone asked for it, would be to first examine your heart, for this is where love is. Love, faith, and prayer will see you through the hard times.

Ernie

In Memory Of Susan

Susan was not only an influence to the community of Burkett, but along with her job at the Coleman Housing Authority, she was the treasurer for the Burkett Volunteer Fire Department. Needless to say, Susan not only approached the duties of treasurer with the same enthusiasm as she did life, but being an officer she was instrumental in helping organize the fund raisers and along with a couple of other ladies, worked tirelessly to ensure that events ran smoothly. Everyone in the Burkett VFD held Susan in the highest regard.

To honor Susan, The Burkett Volunteer Fire Department is dedicating the department’s newest truck to her. The truck is a 5-ton, military vehicle that is being fitted out as a brush truck. The truck will have the latest equipment, and will carry 1200 gallons of water. The 5-ton will provide the fire department with a versatile truck that can be used in smooth or rough terrain.

The truck will have “In Memory Of Susan” along with ribbons of stars and stripes and a pink one denoting our fight against cancer.

I will do my best to include a picture of the truck when it is completely fitted out. Hopefully by then I will learn how to insert pictures into the posts.

Susan will never be forgotten by those in the community of Burkett, and the members of the Burkett Volunteer Fire Department. Susan is, and will continue to loved by those who had the opportunity to know her.

Ernie

Thank You

I wish to thank all that commented on the “Beloved Susan” post. The comments were greatly appreciated. I knew that Susan reached a lot of people through the blog, but I had no idea how far reaching it was.

I apologize for not posting earlier, but please forgive me. It is still difficult for me to sit down and put my thoughts into to the post. I find it almost impossible to type through the tears. But, life on the bayou goes on.

Susan was a beautiful person, and her faith was reflected in everything she did. She always had a ready smile and kind word for all. I don’t know if you are familiar with the song “What faith Can Do” by a group called Kutless. They have a video of the song on You Tube. I don’t know how to put a link to it. But it is a beautiful song, and shows just what can be accomplished by one’s faith.

Our daughter Stacie put together a collage (I pray that I’m calling it by the right term) of pictures with Susan in them. (if I learn how to embed pictures in the post, I’ll post a picture of it.) Also with the photos there is a poem that Stacie placed in the middle. Stacie did a beautiful job on it. I’d like to share the poem with you.

God Took Her To His Loving Home

God saw her getting tired, a cure was not to be.
He wrapped her in his loving arms and whispered ‘Come with me.’
She suffered much in silence, her spirit did not bend.
She faced her pain with courage, until the very end.
She tried so hard to stay with us, but her fight was not in vain.
God took her to his loving home, and freed her from her pain.

Susan touched so many individuals in her life. She touched me thirty six years ago, and I thank the Good Lord that she did. She still touches me today. She is, and will be always, in my heart.

Ernie

Beloved Susan

was called by the Lord on Memorial Day, May 26th. Susan passed away surrounded by loved ones. Our loss here on Earth is certainly heaven’s gain.

I’m her husband Ernie. I have wrestled with my feelings about posting to the blog, but feel that I owe it to those who follow her blog.  I know so many out there read her blog, as I did.  

We held a memorial service for Susan Saturday, June 15, here at the community center in Burkett. It was incredible the number of individuals who attended. There was standing room only.  She loved Burkett, and that community center.

Our beautiful Granddaughter had asked to read something she had written concerning Susan’s passing.   I would like to share this with you as it so appropriate.

For Grandma Susan,

I miss my Grandma Susan.

Sometimes remembering can be the most painful part of death. We want to remember what someone meant to us without the influence of the looming dread we felt over the inevitability of their death coloring our memory. We want to forget the pain and suffering we witnessed and felt too, ourselves, and piece by piece we block out what hurts the most and paint over the bad while the good heals us.

One of Grandma Susan’s favorite saying was “This too shall pass,” and the phrase did not fail to make its way to my ears only weeks before she herself passed away. It’s a painful memory that I will carry with me always, and something that I sometimes wish hadn’t been said because wrestling between hopefulness and reality isn’t easy, but her words rang with the truth.

This too shall pass.

We know Grandma Susan was not alone because she took a piece of all of us when she left, but one day we will be whole again.

Her time came not because she was weak, but because she’d been strong for too long.

Her strength, her spirit, and her memory will live on through us, and the lessons we learned from her are the very same that I hope to pass on myself someday.

This too shall pass,

and one day we will be strong again.
Emylee

With the passage of time the pain will diminish, the love never will.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

As Emylee said it so well—“This too will pass”
Ernie

Do you know how boring it is….

to be in a hospital bed and unable to do anything?

Had this horrible nagging cough since the last bout of radiation.    Kept getting worse, so Sunday night saw us in the ER in Abilene.   Seems I found me a nasty case of pneumonia.   They’ve got me on high powered antibiotics and breathing treatments.  Looks like I’ll probably be here at least another 2-5 days while they try to clear it up and run more tests.

It’s the pits to not be able to breathe.   If I get up to move around the room,  it almost brings me to my knees as my legs get  weak and I’m fighting for oxygen.

Stacie came in Sunday night and is staying with the herd.  Ernie is running back and forth between home and the hospital.  And me,  I’m just sucking on the oxygen, picking through bad hospital food, and praying for relief.

On a positive note….remember the chemo problem…well,  the Dr’s office appealed their decision and the meds have been approved.   Should have them tomorrow.   Cannot start them till the current issues are cleared up, but at least,  we’ll have them available as soon as I’m cleared to start taking them.

Time to lay back down.

Susan ~ Patchkat