The theme this week is Lazy. I looked through my photos and didn't find anything that I thought fit the bill. After reading a beautiful post by Swampwitch, and since I've been wanting to do my own post to honor some special people as October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, I've decided to combine the PhotoHunt and that post into one - the only thing lazy about this post is me.
I really admired the way Swampwitch honored people using her photos and I hope she doesn't mind me borrowing her idea in this post. If there is anyone that you would like to have honored during this month, please visit her site. Not only will she post a photo and the person's name and any information you want to share, but she will also donate $1.00 to Breast Cancer Research for each person listed on her site. UPDATE: Swampwitch has an anonymous donor who is matching her donations, which means that for each honoree on her site, $2.00 will be donated to Breast Cancer Research. She is also honoring the honorees from my blog, which means an additional $6.00 is being donated for them.
The first person I want to honor is Pam, who was recently diagnosed for the second time with breast cancer, after being cancer-free for 10 years. Pam is married to my cousin, Woody, and I've loved her from the first time he brought her home when they were dating. I'm so glad he chose to add her to our family. Pam and Woody have three daughters: Natalie, Erin and Meghan. Everyone is holding Pam in their hearts, knowing that she will beat this thing again.
The photo was taken at a fresh market in Nice, France when we visited our son at the end of his semester abroad.
I would also like to honor Donna, who lost her battle with breast cancer in October, 2007, after a courageous battle. Even though I didn't know Donna personally, I felt as though I did because she was so loved by my very dear friend, Anne. Donna loved teaching high school math and was loved in return by her students. She is survived by her husband, Gene, and her children: Chris and his wife, Jessica, and Heather and her husband, Gary. Donna is missed by many friends, but Anne asked that I mention Drexel and Becky who have been especially supportive to both Donna, during her illness, and Gene in learning to cope with the trauma of losing his love and best friend.
The photo was taken at Atlantic Beach, NC. Donna enjoyed spending time at the beach with her friends and family each summer.
I saved my Grandma, Mary Carter Starling, for last, not because she's the least important, but because I wanted to write a bit more about her. My Grandma had breast cancer twice, but she still lived to be 85 years old. This amazing woman raised 18, yes 18! children. My grandmother was 20 years old when she married my grandfather, who had 5 children from his first marriage. What was she thinking!?! She then had 12 of her own children (one died when she was 5 months old). Her youngest son was just 4 years old when my grandfather died, which was 3 months before I was born - yes, I had an uncle only 4 years older than me! A couple of years later, Grandma married my step-grandfather, who had 2 young sons. Again, what was she thinking!?! Grandma actually helped to raise even more children. Her sister was 9 months old and Grandma was 12 years old when their mother died, so she had to take care of her baby sister. Then there are all of us grandchildren who were sent to Grandma's at some time or another. Some of them stayed with Grandma most of their lives. I spent about 6 months with her when my mother was going through a divorce. In other words, it's hard to say, how many of us she helped to raise, but it was a lot! The woman was BUSY!
Sometimes when I'm complaining about things like my dryer being broken, or when my microwave died, I think about my Grandma and her life. Not just that she had all those kids and I only had one to deal with - I'm talking about the things that I take for granted, which has become everything! The first time that I remember going to her house I wouldn't use the bathroom because it was an outhouse. Yes, people, those still existed in our lifetimes - at least in mine. I was 6 years old and I saw a spider as soon as my mother opened the door - no way was I going in there! and I was supposed to pull my pants down! Then, when my mother pulled me in there trying to convince me to use it, I saw the hole I was supposed to sit on - NO! I knew I would fall in! I ran out, screaming that I'd rather pee in the woods! The next time I came, I was 7, and a bathroom had been added on to her house - thank heavens! I had worried the whole way there about that hole!
That was the time I stayed 6 months with Grandma, and I remember that she used a washing machine that she had to wring the clothes by hand, and she had no dryer - maybe nobody did in 1958? I'm not sure, but she still had at least 6 boys at home that I can remember, a cousin and me staying there, her and my Pop - that's a LOT of laundry to wash, wring by hand and hang on the line! Then she had the IRONING to do! Even the sheets got ironed by Grandma - in Florida, in a house with no air conditioning! In between all of this, she cooked 3 FULL meals, with biscuits, each day for all of us! She couldn't get away with giving us PB&J, you know? Lunch, which was called "dinner", had to be almost as big as supper. The boys came home from their jobs, or school, to eat and they ate a lot! Cooking and washing dishes for this crowd three times a day, in a kitchen that did not have a microwave or a dishwasher, or anyone willing or able to help her. I guess you do what you have to do, but when I think about this and compare it to my life - I have it soooooooooooooo easy, yet I bitch and moan at the drop of a hat. And I never heard Grandma complain.
The photo is a lilac tree in my yard.