Saturday, December 6, 2008

Old Friends

Foreground is Cracker, Vickie (youngest daughter), Kenneth, Eileen, and Glenda the seniore daughter of the clan.
This is my friend, Kenneth, that is the smile I remember!

Okay I could not resist, Me with the pretty girls! ( I did warn them, I BITE). But Cracker was eyeing me, so I was good. Figured she bit worse than I did.

WE just returned from Okeechobee, Florida. We drove down to visit very dear friends from Missouri. They are here visiting with their family here in Florida. Kenneth and Eileen.

Kenneth was returning from WWII when he met and married Eileen here in Florida. He took his young bride back to Missouri with him. Eventually they settled on a Farm and raised ten children. WE met them when they had nine children Vickie was the youngest. While we knew them the last was born David Luke.

NEVER will we (or you) meet a more honest, loving and God loving family. A true farmer. He farmed forty acres I think while working a full time job with H.B. Chance company. He had time for his church, his family and his neighbors. We all attended a very small church. They drove about 30 miles from the South to Moberly, we drove from Kirksville, 60 miles North. One Sunday they were later than usual to church. It was 20 degrees. One of his neighbor’s, an old man by the name of Dodd, had problems with a cow. She was in a creek tangled in barbed wire. He stripped and went in the creek wrestled the cow and the wire to get her released. Came back ashore, dressed and came to church. He was a man’s man.

I talked to Ken today, we even went for a ride to look at Lake Okeechobee. We talked some more. He doesn’t know me. He has no idea who I am, nor most of his family. Alzheimer’s has stolen his past. He is as amiable now as he was back in his youth. He is mannerly and respectful. He is even witty. But you know what? I am so glad I still know him. He stares into space, or presses his napkin into geometric shapes. He looks at a table to see how it is put together. He matches up the 45 degree corners of place settings. In effect he is lost. BUT at times that smile of his breaks thourgh, and I am thrilled, this is still Kenneth.

I remember what a friend, Lucy, said on her journal once about Alzheimer’s. It is a long goodbye. Yes, I think that is right.

Eileen his sweet wife of 60+ years says, “I am losing my sweet Kenneth!” But the love of the family is still there and flourishing.

Nite Shipslog and good night Kenneth.

PS: >

Words of Wisdom
> Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.
> -Unknown
> An elephant: A mouse built to government specifications.
> -Robert Heinlein
> The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the
> blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of
> misery.
> -Winston Churchill
> The only difference between a tax man and a taxidermist is that the
> taxidermist leaves the skin.
> -Mark Twain


Helen said...

I know it would be hard to see a loved one's mind slowly drift away. May God bless and be with Kenneth and his family and give them the strength to see this through. Helen

shirl72 said...

A real good entry about your friends. It just
breaks my heart to hear a wonderful person go
through Alzheimer's. A Gentleman at the assisted living had Alzheimer but he still knows
how to waltz and other dances and treats us
ladies very delicate. Glad you had a good time
and got the see your friends. I will always
remember that Jim always prayed let my mind
out live my body. God was Good. He said tell
everybody I love them and I will save them a
place. Life is precious and we need to enjoy each second that God gives us.


betty said...

wow 10 kids! and had time to farm and work full time; I think people managed their time so much more better back in those days without the lure of computers and technology! it must be hard to lose your memory and to be affected by Alzheimer's; you often wonder, if given a choice, if you would want to lose your physical health or mental facilities as you age; I think I'd choose physical health to lose; I'd would like, if possible, to still know my loved ones and remember those special memories of them; always so sad to hear about people like Kenneth; so glad that it seems like he has a supportive family and friends


Paula said...

It is a sad disease. Interesting about him rescueing the cow before going to church. John had a cow get tangled in wire and wrapped around a tree. No one knew it and it died.

Randy said...

Hello Mr. Jack,

Such a great entry. So wonderful to read about such wonder people.

God Bless


Terri said...

So glad you got to meet with friends...

Keeping Kenneth in my thoughts and prayers...I had a great uncle that had's so sad seeing what they go through, as well as their family...I too believe it is a long goodbye. Glad you got to see a glimpse of Kenneth's give you comfort in knowing it is still Kenneth.