...30 years ago, on the night of December 10, my then hubby-to-be gave me my engagement ring. We had been dating for sometime and he had
asked me to marry him three times since April of that year. I just wasn't ready to commit, although we had dating exclusively and had spoken often of marriage, I just wasn't ready to take our relationship to the next level. In August I moved to Seattle, in October he broke up with me stating that not living in the same town wasn't working well (we had done that for 8 months already and it really WASN'T working well), in November I realized that I loved him and that absence DOES make the heart grow fonder...early in December I
proposed to HIM
while talking on a payphone! He drove up to Seattle a few days later and slapped that ring on my finger before I changed my mind. LOL The whole thing wasn't as funny then as it has been since...and he has NEVER hesitated to tell people that I asked him to marry me!!
and I never let him forget he had to explain to my mother why he thought he should be allowed to marry me! That WAS as hilarious then as it is now!!! My dad?...well, I think my daddy was just glad to get his youngest child (of 5) married off!!! LOL
And then.....25 years ago, December 10, 1981 my niece Traci-Roo was born. Just thinking about Traci makes me smile! Traci is the youngest daughter of my oldest brother and is 8 weeks younger than our son Ryan. When our children were young and we had family gatherings, Ryan and Traci were two peas in a pod. I didn't realize
how much Ryan means to her until Traci came for a visit a couple of years ago. Each time she comes she and I spend time together, just the two of us...they are times I will treasure forever. She is such a blessing to my life. Traci lives in North Carolina and is a true Southern Belle! Oh my, as soon as I answer the phone and hear "Aunt Pam
" I know it is Traci, boy...sometimes I have to stop and really listen because her accent is so strong! She lives the farthest from my momma but has more contact with grandma than anyone. She calls, sends cards, always a gift for the special days of my mothers life. Traci has been out for several visits with my mother and usually stays for severals days to a week, she pampers grandma and makes her laugh, she is creative with her time spent with grandma. Traci is beautiful, tall, intelligent and her spirit is just as beautiful. I wish she lived closer but we make the best use of email and our cell phones and I always look forward to her visits.
Eight years ago, on December 10, Ryan (then 17 yrs old) underwent the last of many surgeries to correct a life threatening case of pectus excavatum
at the UCLA hospital. Ryan, my sister (have I thanked you Nancy??) and I flew to CA a couple of days before for all of the pre-op stuff.
My sister and I had an appointment at the bloodbank (Nancy, just for you, I won't go into detail about that ~¿*) Ryan had a long list of appts all day and into the late afternoon. My sister, MY HERO
(the bag lady)!!!, found us an awesome suite (this is a story OF LOVE that has to be told but at a later time!!) while Ryan and I finished up his appointments. The next morning he was admitted to the surgical unit and whisked away. Surgery was to be 7 hrs. I was not going to leave the hospital so Nancy and I set up camp in the lobby (I am very experienced at setting up camp in hospitals while waiting!!). Nancy kept me company, she was my second set of ears when we would get updates throughout the day, she made sure I ate and made me laugh. When Dr. Fonkalsrud finally
finished and came out to talk to us she was the first one to jump up and hug him, even though she was NOT excited about the picture he showed us of the bar implanted IN Ryan ~ as in seeing the INSIDE of Ryan~bones, bar, muscle etc bleck!!! Ryan and I stayed in LA until the end of the month(again, my sissy is the bestest!), but Nancy had something else to do...she boarded a plane (while I cried like a baby and begged her not to leave me alone in a strange place with my baby boy laying in the hospital!!!) and flew to CO one day ahead of her first grandchild's birth...I think Nancy had had enough of Dr's and hospitals! Ryan's surgery was a success! We love Dr Fonkalsrud for what he did for Ryan! While Ryan was in the hospital Mark Hamill was touring, giving away gifts and etc to people (mostly kids) who were stuck in the hospital during the holidays. Ryan doesn't have much memory of this....but Mark interviewed my sister (who was hilarious!!!) and I and gave Ryan a truck load of gifts. When Ryan and I flew home we were greeted at our teeny tiny commuter airport by so many people! There were signs, balloons, and people...friends, family, Ryan's boss, some of his teachers, his local Dr...all Ryan wanted to do was go home but these people came to show their love for this young man. That wasn't all....we were escorted by more friends for the 20 mile drive home...and when we got home Ed had decorated the house knowing that I could not get a tree up nor would I have the energy to decorate! Roy arrived home from college the next day.
Five years ago ~ December 10, 2001 ~ myself along with many of our family members woke up early and headed to yet another hospital, Legacy Emmanuel in Portland. This was a day we, as a family, had waited for for a long time - infact we
had had two other dates set for this life saving surgery but my brother was not well enough...isn't it strange NOT be well enough for something that will save your life? Well, his medical team did not think he would survive surgery...he was too weak...his labs weren't off...something had always been not quite right...BUT on December 10 it was time!
...so off we went...several cars worth. Our siblings and some of their children had come from miles away so that we could be together as a family. Our son took the train down from Seattle to be with us. Cell phones were close by to call my parents with progress updates (my mother had stroked exactly 4 months earlier and wasn't able to travel). I was the first to be checked in, but first my sister had to write in INK..."cut here, remove kidney, liposuction please, stitch up with care
" across my side from my back to my belly button. LOL Gary checked in next (he didn't and doesn't need liposuction!!). We were quickly separated from our family and each other...I was given one more time to "confidentially" back out???? What? are you crazy??? let's get this show on the road!!!
(the process for the donor is a very interesting process to say the least and took months!!) We went through the final hoopes and then were put in the surgical holding area with our spouses....I was first...as they wheeled my gurney past Gary I hopped off...we held each other tight, told him I love him...grinned at him big time then gave him a hormone patch, telling him that since he was soon to be part female he might want to keep it handy!! and off I went....many many hours later I was informed that my surgery was a success...my kidney was perfect for Gary...Gary's surgery was successful and the very second HIS NEW kidney was transplanted it began to function!!! We could ask for nothing more!!! Thank you Jesus!!! Gary and I were a perfect match...his medical team had never seen a match so perfect. Here is a picture of Gary and I taken in January of this year.