Monday, February 20, 2017

Goodbye Hot Stuff

I was deeply saddened to learn that a lifelong friend had gained his wings yesterday.
I knew him from church. We grew up together. Youth trips and choir tour.

 He was the main reason I got involved with the Miracle League.

He was a fixture with the Moody Blue Devil Marching Band. They called him "Hot Stuff." He could be seen marching out front, waving a flag, emblazoned with that nick name. He was even featured on a local new show.

Things will never be the same without you Gentry.

You will be missed.

On a related and horribly tragic note:

Gentry's visitation Thursday packed out the church I once attended. When I reached the front, I hugged his mother, who mused what she would do now that her "shadow" of 54 years was gone.  His step father, a man my kids called "Mr. Johnny," sat beside her, wheelchair bound, his oxygen tank behind him. He was so horribly frail that he would often stop to rest his head in his hands on the pillow in his lap. I chatted briefly with Gentry's brother and his wife. Our sons had played football together many years ago.

The funeral was held during the day on Friday. I am told Mr. Johnny passed out and was rushed to the hospital.

He died on Saturday.

Please keep Miss Gayle and the family in your prayers as she deals with losing both a son and a husband in the same week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine:s Day!

Today as Valentine's Day, or as I have come to call it, just plain old February 14th. 

It used to be a day set aside for fun and excitement and a tangible commitment of love. Now it is just another day. All the fake gestures of my past life were just that. Fake.

Being sick since last Thursday (not the flu though, like Dooder! Just a nasty upper respiratory infection) the last few days at work have been nothing less than challenging. 

Yesterday, I left work yesterday before lunch, after nearly coughing up my right lung. The rest of the day was a fever-induced blur, that included falling asleep on the bench at the pharmacy, and cutting my finger open, but only God knows exactly how.  I do remember receiving a Valentine's card from the Maternals but not much else. After waking up in cold sweat sometime around 2:00 a.m. I thought today I was good to go.

Feeling a little more peppy, I headed off to work.  Around 8;30 a.m. KitKat sent me a text  to remind me that I would always be her Valentine and that all I do for her does not go unnoticed. Hacking a coughing my way through the day, my condition began to decline. Apparently I was not crushing it like I thought I was, as my boss sent me home around 3:00 p.m. today. I dutifully arrived home, changed into my pajamas and crawled under the covers.

I must have nodded off because I was awakened by the phone ringing. It was a number I did not recognize.  I answered, and a cheerful little voice on the other end of the line asked if I as Joy. I said that I was. The cheerful voice said she had a message from Julz. Still groggy from sleep, I asked what she said again, and she repeated that she had a message from Julz. Someone else in the back ground, a male voice, said " We are going to SING it to you"

The next think I know, I am being serenaded by none other than the UAB ACapella Choir!  It was beautiful! Probably the best Valentine's gift I have received in a very, very long time.
At the end of the song, the cheerful voice wished me a Happy Valentine's Day!

I texted Julz to thank her for the very sweet message. She was delighted that I had enjoyed it.

Highlight of a day that had been pretty rotten up to that point.

Here is the song they sang in unmatched harmony.