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Examiner
  • Diane Mack: Memories saved from the trash

  • As my parents age and their health rapidly declines, four of my five siblings, who live close by, carry the responsibility of their daily care.



    My other sister, Debbie, lives in Arizona, and I, of course, live in Missouri.

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  • As my parents age and their health rapidly declines, four of my five siblings, who live close by, carry the responsibility of their daily care.
    My other sister, Debbie, lives in Arizona, and I, of course, live in Missouri.
    Debbie and I take trips home to assist with mom and dad.
    Dad is nine years out from his stroke and mom is facing some difficult health challenges. She is losing the feeling in her legs and the ability to walk.
    About three months ago, mom was told she can no longer drive. This saddens her and all of us.
    Living a thousand miles away is difficult when they both need round the clock care. So we do the best we can.
    During past trips home, I’ve been helping mom to clean out old boxes of memorabilia. Mom found a bag containing their 50th wedding anniversary cards.
    Mom kept trying to throw the cards out, while I kept pulling them back out of the trash can. Later, mom would see the cards and tell me, once again, to throw them out.
    I didn’t listen. I tucked the bag aside, and hoped for the time to read them.
    During the moments, when mom and dad were asleep, I would sneak into a spare bedroom, read the anniversary cards, and type the handwritten messages on my lap top.
    The messages contained incredible family memories and history.
    Late, one night, I found two cards, which had pictures inside them.
    The pictures were black and white copies, dated 1955 and 1958, and made on a copy machine. They were not perfect . . . but they were priceless. I was so glad that mom was not successful in throwing the cards out.
    Anyway, I’d like to share a few of the card messages with you. FYI, mom and dad’s names are Dot and Harold.
    My favorite memory is when I was invited to join the family on a Sunday afternoon trip to the farm to visit Grandpa! We always got to ride on Harold’s brightly colored Chevy and Dot always had a great meal which included jello with diced bananas on the top . .
    I never thought when we were dropping “Little Dickie“ off at your house for Aunt Sue Ross to baby sit in 1943 and Paul wanted you to meet his sister “Dot” that I would be writing this note 53 years later. You weren’t too eager to meet her because she was a “country girl” remember? . . .
    My most favorite memory is the day our kids were playing in the car and Judy took it out of gear. The car started leaving. As usual the aunts and uncles were playing pinochle. You looked out the window and waved. Upon realizing you all (the aunts and uncles) were still at the table, Aunt Dot, like a shot was out of the house and holding onto the car as if she was going to stop it. Only the walnut tree died.
    Page 2 of 2 - Do you remember when Paul and Rhoda, Chuck and I, and you two went to Ocean City? It was June 29, 1947 and remember, how we got sunburned! We had a great time until we started to drive home and we began to hurt!
    Mom and dad, I love you. I’ll be back soon.
    Diane
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.
     
     

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