Hanukkah: The Hidden Truth Teaching Review

Hanukkah is nearly upon us!!  Read my Archived Teaching Review BEFORE you purchase any Hanukkah paraphernalia. I can get easily distracted by adults and children in front of me at the teachings, so I like sitting near the front.  I am usually in the second row.  That way I am assured I won’t miss a bit of the verbal and nonverbal message.  Read more

Choosing Sides

A situation with Floyd during the 2017 Basketball Finals made me think of repentance.  Repentance means to turn from sin and turn to righteousness.  Floyd was sitting in his favorite stuffed chair, with snacks on the table, waiting for Game 5 of the NBA Read more

What is the Reason for the Season?

As a child, only once, did I question the honesty and integrity of my maternal Grandma. Even then, when I reflected on all the facts, Grandma was absolved. I remember the incident as clear as if it were this morning. I was playing in the front room (living room) and our German neighbor, Mrs. Raymond, came up on the enclosed Read more

Faith Means Action

The six weeks between June 22nd and July 30th 2013 were loaded with change, chaos, miracles, and a lot of stepping out in faith. For two years, Floyd and I had been hoping and praying that Yehovah would make a way for us to move from Alabama to be near Charlotte, NC. We wanted to be a part of the Read more

Pet Enticed into the Arms of a Neighbor?

In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food Read more

Secrets in the Buffet Drawer

My father's mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on Read more

infertility

The Saga of Trying to Have Children–Part 3 of 3

Read The Saga of Trying to Have Children – Part 2 of 3 here

Aunt Mamie (Southerners pronounce it Ain’t Mamie.) hustled the four of us into Uncle Richard’s car and we headed down in the country. Now, I already thought we were in the country. We went down some dirt roads and stopped in front of a dilapidated house that was leaning at least 60 degrees to the right. For non-mathematicians, it was worst than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It was nearly covered with brush, vines and kudzu. I sighed heavily at the thought of going into that house, but I had kinfolk in there and my curiosity was overwhelming. Besides that, Aunt Mamie was on a mission and she would have pulled me in there at my least hesitation.

001-001

Aunt Mamie

Inside was Rev Sam (short for Samuel; he was a former preacher) and his wife, Betty Mae. They both were 90 something. Rev Sam was dressed in an insulated hunting outfit that went from his neck to his ankles and he had on long johns underneath. He was sitting in front of a kerosene heater that was on full blast, talking to his 70’s something brother. I was about to pass out from the heat because the temperature outside was at least 95 degrees. Betty Mae had Alzheimer’s and was sitting in the kitchen while a neighbor was combing her hair.

This is my cousin with Betty Mae in 2005; she’s 103 or 104. She lived in the Greene County, AL Nursing Home. Rev Sam had died some years earlier.

When we left, Aunt Mamie started in on me.  “That’s what happens when you don’t have children to take care of you. Rev Sam’s brother is the one who comes to make sure they have food and he’s old himself. You better have some kids, or you’ll end up the same way!”

I was too stunned and respectful of Aunt Mamie to start explaining the reasons why I didn’t have children. I just agreed and said I’d better get some kids soon.

When I returned to Floyd in Detroit, I remember sitting on his knee, crying and stressing out about how we were going to end up like Rev Sam and Betty Mae.  Floyd, the poor man, couldn’t do anymore than he was already doing. And I know he was probably making a mental note, “Last time she’s going to visit those crazy relatives!”

006-002

Shar and Floyd.

Well, miracles of miracles, I got pregnant the next month.

After six weeks of elation and lots of doctor ordered bed rest, I miscarried at 10 weeks. That was the last time I got pregnant.

A year or so later, my Mom and I went to visit some elderly friends, Edgar and Emma. I hadn’t seen them in years. We were all sitting around the kitchen nook and Edgar started with the questions.

Family friend, Edgar

You married?”

Who did you marry?”

How many children do you have?”

No children!! What’s the matter?!! He can’t pitch, or you can’t catch?”

I laughed, and in a flash I answered, “He pitched, I caught it, but I couldn’t hold on to it!”

We all laughed!!

Looking back on the highs and lows of our journey, I am so grateful to have had the experience of pregnancy. I wanted so much to feel the unique blessing of a woman to carry life inside of me.

Some years later, Floyd and I adopted two children. In 1989, Joel, at 5½ months old, became a part of our family. We brought Ruth home from the hospital at 10 days old in 1999. 

027

Ruth and Joel!

I love my children and our family is whole.

 

Mama, Aunt Mamie and Ruth in 2006.

 

 

 

 What was your favorite part of this story?

Shar

 

“Is she your real daughter?” they asked me. “Real?” I questioned. “What do you mean real? She is a child not born of my flesh, that’s true. But she is a child truly born within my heart….within my soul. Yes, she is real.” An adoptive mother

Posted on by Shar in Children, Marriage 7 Comments

The Saga of Trying to Have Children–Part 2 of 3

Read The Saga of Trying to Have Children – Part 1 here

I spent a day at my sister’s house, and then we took a train to San Francisco.

001

My sister, Laurie.

My sister and I have very different outlooks on life. (If you have read any of my stories, you are probably saying, “Yeah, I know you do… unless Shar’s outlook runs in the family!”)

For instance, when we got settled for the 45-minute train trip to San Francisco, I suggested we pray. She was in agreement. I started off, “Dear heavenly Father, thank You that I safely arrived in California to visit Laurie. Please give us a safe trip to and from San Francisco. Help us to have a great time. Help us to meet some nice people…

 “Hold it! Hold the prayer!  We aren’t meeting anyone!”

OK. OK”.

So…you get the picture.

 We had a grand time walking up and down the streets, walking the wharf, buying maternity clothes and just having a good sisterly time.

Photos of Shar 001

This photo was taken at Pier 39 in San Francisco a few years after this story happened.

 However, after the wonderful trip, I returned home and miscarried at 6 weeks. My uncle said, “She had no business going to San Francisco. She walked that baby out!”

 Well, it was back to square one. We started with the temperature taking all over again.

007

Shar and Floyd in the early 90’s.

Trying to conceive is an emotionally draining business. For half the month you are in high expectations that “this is the month”. And for the other half of the month, you are depressed because it turned out to be “not the month”. The highs and lows were nerve racking.

 In May 1992, my Mom and I went to visit relatives in Dollarhide, Alabama. It was so named because the early settlers, my maternal family, sold animal hides for a dollar. Mom and I stayed with Uncle Richard and Aunt Mamie (my grandfather’s sister).  I hadn’t seen them in 20+ years.

Upon arrival, I was questioned:

 “Where you live now?”

What kind of work you do?’

You married?”

How many children you got?”

 “What!! No children?!! Girl, I’m gonna take you to see what happens to old folks that don’t have no children!”

 READ PART 3 HERE!

Posted on by Shar in Children, Marriage 4 Comments

The Saga of Trying to Have Children–Part 1 of 3

Floyd and I were married when we both were age 41 in 1989. Neither one of us had children. I had never been pregnant. Father’s Day, June 1990, we decided to start a family. Actually to enlarge our family. Husband and wife are family.

002

Our wedding day, December 24, 1989 in Detroit, Michigan.

After many months of trying with no results, we decided to go for a professional medical consultation. We already had layperson medical advice from my mother, “Your eggs are too old!”.

008

Mom in her early twenties.

 The fertility doctor examined both of us, ran tests and determined that I had a blocked fallopian tube and Floyd’s “little men were mostly sunning on the beach instead of swimming in the ocean”. Now with that explanation, I had flashbacks of my mom’s terminology.

 So, I had my tube blown out. These were the terms the professionals were using!

 It was so painful. I asked the nurse, “Is childbirth worst than this?” When she said, “Oh, yeah!!”, I was nearly ready to give up the pursuit of children.

 After all the tests, the doctor told us that I could get pregnant without any medical interventions. He suggested I take my temperature to know when ovulation occurs in order to maximize our efforts.

Sure enough, several months later, I became pregnant.

Before I became aware of this blessed news, I had scheduled a trip from Detroit to San Jose, CA to see my sister. We had planned to go to San Francisco shopping. With this amazing news, I really wanted to spend time with my sister, Laurie, and celebrate.

READ PART TWO HERE!

Posted on by Shar in Children, Marriage 5 Comments