Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Missouri Family, the Conrad's

Do you know someone you would actually trust your life with? I mean really put your life in their hands. Is there someone who has the integrity you know CANNOT be shaken?
I have known such a man. The man lives presently in Moberly, Missouri. We went to visit him and Most of his family, yesterday. Kenneth was a full time farmer and a full time employee of Chance Inc. (?). (Chance manufactured guyline hardware for power poles for one thing. ) We met him and his family in 1961 at a very small church.

(Sherry and Eileen, this lady is talented, a voice like an angel. She has passed that on to the fmaily also.)
(Kenneth and I, This man was a paratrooper in WWII)
It didn't take long to know this man was strong, strong willed, a Christian and absolutely honest. He and his beautiful wife Eileen raised 6 girls and 4 boys. This is a wonderful family; dedicated to their family unit. Kenneth is nearing the 90th year of his life. Yesterday his grip in a handshake would be the envy of some 20 year olds. At 90 I still recognized that strong profile and slight bow of his legs. A taunt and slender body. I didn't fail to see that man I knew nearly 50 years ago. BUT due to a mean, mind stealing disease called Alzheimer’s Kenneth did not know me. His dear wife now lives in the same care facility so she can be near him at all meals, otherwise they are separated. Eileen understands this, endures the time in between, but wants to be near her sweet Kenneth.

(Kenny,Kenneth, Harry, Me and Robert)

( Harry, Robert and I with Kenneth)

(Lil, Sherry, Eileen, Jaunelle, Mary and Irma)
After work the family gathered to visit. We were missing David Luke, Vickie and Glenda. They live and work in Florida. But even they make pilgrimages often to see Dad and comfort mom. But without them we still had a great time. There was Harry (Proud, but disabled Vet), Kenny and Robert (spitting images of Dad, both strong and handsome), the beautiful and successful girls, Juanelle (who sorta fills in for a mom (sorry Jua)), Mary, Lil, and Irma (Punk). This family has a perpetual smile and bubbly outlook. We also had Kenny’s girlfriend Debbie with us.

(After the visit with our dear friends Eileen and Kenneth, The family introduced us to a local Mexican restaurant, great food. I spent time talking to Robert & Lil, that is all my hearing would allow, I enjoyed it so much. BTW Debbie is the third in on the left!))

We left with gifts and a couple apples I had picked off an apple tree near the Care facility.

Kenneth was an example of a true Missouri Farmer. Honest straight forward and a neighbor. I remember once he was late for church on Sunday morning. When he arrived he had a lot of cuts and bruises we talked after church. Mr. Dodd, a wealthy but elderly neighbor, had called to say one of his cows was tangled in barbed wire and in the creek. This is mid winter and ice on the creek. Kenneth went down to the creek alone, stripped down to his shorts went in wrestled the cow and untangled the barbed wire and treated the cuts on the cow with grease. True to his lifestyle; his only reward, and the only thing he expected or accept was, ‘Thank you, Kenneth.’
What a great visit. We have tried to visit Missouri and the Conrads every few years. This is probably the last time we will make the trip, due to age. But we will never forget this family. We will of course in the winter we will see Vickie (an aircraft mechanic), Glenda (presently a medical care-giver) and David Luke (a general contractor) all of Florida.
Thanks for visiting, a unique and wonderful family with me.
Nite Shipslog
PS: I have been unable to get on the net for a day. But now that I am here, with the start of this entry I asked, ‘who would you trust with your life?’ Someone asked me once about Kenneth’s integrity. I responded with, “I would trust him with my life!”
“Jack, that is pretty strong, your life?”
Without hesitation I said, “YES, it is.”
I do know another, and if you know someone like that, you are very fortunate.
I also know that some who reads this are very familiar with the disease of Alzheimers.


jack69 said...

If any of the Conrad's read this, I want you to know I had very little help from Sherry putting names with faces. LOL Love you guys.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a wonderful family! You both have met some wonderful people. The only thing I can say for Alzheimer is that is so sad. Not for them that has it as they don't know, but for any of us with someone with that in our family. Isn't it a blessing though that you were able to visit them.

Deanna said...

What a wonderful post. This Missouri gal lost her mother to that dreadful disease 2 years ago in October. Memories of the toll it took on her and on my dad, who only lasted 9 months after she passed away, will stay with me forever.

Kenneth sounds like a wonderful man with a family to match him.

I know a number of people I would trust with my life. I am married to one of them and gave birth to three others. I go to church with the others.

Have a great day and safe traveling.

Lindie said...

I know a man like that. He's an old retired Misouri farmer too. I don't know that a week goes by that he is not helping someone, a neighbor, a friend a church member. "Old Ed" has been his name since young Ed was born! He came over and helped finish the garage wiring that my husband was doing the day before he died, He came over and helped me bury our dog. He has given away mountains of vegetables from his garden to those in need, helped dig septic systems, bought tires for someones car etc. I am blessed to know him.

Lucy said...

Jack and Sherry. God bless you both. When I posted this morning I had no idea what you would be saying . My sister came to mind over something I had done. She had alzheimers and it is such a long goodbye and so painful for the ones that know what is going on. You 2 have to be special to show all your kindness to this wonderful family.

Sheila said...

Hi Jack and Sherry, I've been enjoying your travels. We have had the packers here the last two days and tomorrow they are supposed to load the truck. Won't be long before we are in NC. Take care, Sheila

Shirl 72 said...

Jack what a wonderful family. God love them.
I am glad you got to visit them again.
So few families around like that.


Fred Alton said...

It is great when you meet someone whom you can have utter confidence in. It seems to me it was a great part of what made the settling of this country successful. There are still some men (and women too) whose word is as good as their bond. I'm impressed with your compassion and care for those who are suffering in any way. We need more men and women like you and Sherry. God Bless you in your travels.

Our grand-daughter Rebecca from New York is here to visit us for a week. She's just turned 18 and has more maturity than lots of 25 year old young folks. Am I prejudiced just a little? You betcha!

Paula said...

Nice post. Yes I can think of at least three I could put my life in thier hands.