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A Unique Gift January 22, 2017


Once in a while, I am able to surprise someone with something special. Several weeks ago, a friend told me he was selling tickets to a Southern Gospel concert. I didn’t need to hear anymore. My Aunt Alice loves those  kind of concerts. I was so excited.

I told her what we were going to be doing on January 21st, a few weeks prior. She wanted to know what group. I hadn’t even asked. I was just so excited to come up with a unique gift. She had a listing of all the local events. As she was scanning through the dates, she let out a pleasant cheer. Turns out, The Booth Brothers are her favorite southern gospel group.20170122_103004.jpg Her joy was worth more than any “thank you”.  My aunt was thrilled to learn that ehss_logowere going to be performing, as well.

20170121_171621.jpgMy friend was at work, Friday. He is a trip driver. He asked if I was going to make the concert. Oh my word !!! It had been such a stressful week I hadn’t looked at my calendar.   I called my aunt to make sure she had kept that day open. Turns out, she had other activities she was going to add into our day. We had a blast. We had lunch. We talked for quite some time. We arrived at the church, in time to get a parking spot, in view of the entrance. It was chilly and rainy and I did not want my aunt getting sick from our adventure. When it was time, I made sure my aunt hurried to pick out where she wanted to sit~there were A LOT of us ready to invade the sanctuary !!! 

I loved all the talent. It is so fun to attend these concerts with my aunt !!! She claps and sings and gets so excited at the various songs she loves.  So often it is hard to know what gift to give someone who doesn’t need or want anything. When the precious reactions happen, like my aunt had, words cannot express how happy my heart was.


For whatever reason, lately, I have been having an extra extremely hard time, with Shawn’s goneness. I do not understand why I cannot handle things. An example would be in intense movies:  emotional hardships, meanness towards others, just plain ungodliness.   I was worried my emotions would invade our fun time. Oh and, quite often, a word~a sound~an action, will cause a flurry of emotions, making the reality of Shawn’s goneness ever so pungent. I try to hide when the emotions brew over, but, sometimes it is hard to escape quick enough.

Thus far, I was pleased with my emotions, but something was brewing. The Booth Brothers were on stage. Michael started singing: “I know you’re hurt”. Well, that was that. I needed to escape. Here is a sample of the song: Yep, God had to do that, have them sing a song that…hit ???   The only part I heard, as I made a quick exit, was:   “He heals
Broken hearts, broken bodies, broken minds
He heals
By His love, by His blood, and in His time”.

Here I go again. Does God really heal ??? Cause He didn’t heal Shawn. My mind and heart are broken because I cannot bear the weight of the decision I had to make regarding Shawn’s end. The torment is so exhausting.  I really do try to hide most of this anguish. The last phrase, “and in His time”. Can a person endure the turmoil, doubting and painful ache of a life taken too soon ???

AND when one finds a way to push forward, how does that person know how God wants to use them ???

I have seen many walk this path ahead of me. In fact, my dear aunt, is one of them. My Uncle John, her husband, died several years ago and she has survived.   So,  for now, I will let, whatever song God brings my way, be a type of balm. I will wait for my brokenness to be healed, someday, somehow.


 I have learned that when I am at a concert, I tend to not clap, sing or do a jig. I am watching every movement and listening to everyone-on stage, causing me to not want to break the delightfulness.

I was thrilled to be able to sort-of see the drums being played, a few times. I loved how easy he, Michael from the Booth Brothers, played. It looked like the more he had to do, the more he enjoyed it. He put a lot of power in each beat. It allowed me to move beyond my aching beat.

Audio is Available, Blotto, Endearingly Remembering Shawn, Memories To View, My Grief Challenges

Several Hallmark Movies January 14, 2017



I reread the post for Shawn’s  My apologies for being so glum. This was just a very tough Christmas season-the reality of Shawn’s goneness has been extremely piercing.

I watched several Hallmark movies, very few ended sadly. I do not know why I kept hoping I would find some hope,  for my situation, in their messages. None was to be found. I know my hope is in the Lord, it’s just that sometimes, when my heart is ripping,  I need some kind of salve. 


   I seem to miss the Christmas window display shows~or maybe those are not made anymore ??? I loved watching the creative detailing !!! It was my delight when I came across several Christmas light shows, on Discovery Family-dish #179. I was late in finding these shows. I recorded as many as possible.  I love all the ideas the folks have in mind. I found one I hadn’t deleted, “Extreme Christmas Lights Across Europe”. Mind you, all lights in the house, must be off~the effect is so much prettier. Hopefully, I will remember to check ahead of time and record ALL shows about Christmas light/decorating, next fall.







I left for Rockaway, January 1, at 1 0 AM.         I figured most folks would be sleeping after bringing in the new year.  As I made my way towards the zoo, the road seemed slick and the left side was not safe to drive in-for me. I made my way to the right, as soon as I did, a car zoomed past me on my left.

I took the road towards Tillamook, off to my left a car had gone off the road into a ditch. I was determined to drive extra careful. As I approached the Pacific Coast Range, the road seemed to be worsening. It wasn’t long until I saw a line of cars heading west, ahead of me. There must have been about 20 of us. We were averaging 20 mph. I was grateful for the snow plow rig, at the front of the line.  I looked to my left, the east bound road looked awful.   All along the road was evidence of work that had been done quite a lot earlier that morning.   I was glad I was not car #1, I was the last one.  Then, a big pick-up came behind me. My drive became stressy. The pick-up driver was very antsy.  When we were at the top of the range, the snow plow rig pulled over~bummer !!!  


  I had gotten to Rockaway too early to check in. surfside I decided to check the shore. It amazes me how different the beach looks at each visit. I was trying to figure where I would be doing my beach decorations. The water was almost to the stairs and was very robust. So, I decided to take Blotto and get a cute photo of a Christmas decoration in Garibaldi.


A crab cage Christmas tree, with lights, in Garibaldi


Blotto is on the Crab Cage Christmas tree.

 My main goal, while at the beach, was to get Shawn’s hospital photos off my phone.       cbaa0f59f5d08a1dd418b904d05a15b7


Every photo I viewed, I remembered clearly the moment it was taken. I was shocked as each image revealed the severity of Shawn’s situation. Up until then, a fact I could not give into. Shawn did not look like Shawn. I do not say this to be mean.  It was very difficult to look at each photo. When it came time to delete a Shawn photo, off my phone, my gut wrinkled. Each delete was another punch of reality regarding Shawn’s goneness~~~how I hate this grief journey !!!        Needless to say, it took me a long time to get through the photos. I thought I had gotten most photos, off my phone and  transferred to my laptop. When I checked my phone, several hours later,  all the photos I had deleted, were still on my phone. I decided to see if Bob could help me, when I got back home.


Frustrated with my problems transferring photos, somehow, I landed on some  I had totally forgotten:

Dad was showing Melissa all of his wonderful items. It was fun listening to them talking about everything !!!

I found a cow in Dad’s barn !!! This one needs no milking !!! Cute !!!




Tiger & Tuffy having a fun time exploring in this curious place.


On one of our no drive days, I looked up Facebook posts from Shawn’s Harborview days, I copied and moved them to a place they would be safe (?).


I think all the computer smart people (Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc.) who implement updates, do not get it: updates may be fine, but do not change my writings, calendars, phone lists, precious photos, etc. !!! If I want my stuff changed or deleted, I will do it !!! You techies need to learn how to not change my personal stuff when you are updating system workings !!!


   We have had some unexpected days off, because of bad weather. Just a side note. I have gotten tired of hearing how Oregonians are bad drivers in bad weather. Here’s the thing: we get freezing rain here, driving on ice is difficult !!!

So, all you drive-it-alls, lay off !!!

I have been grateful to not have to worry about my passengers being safe while waiting for the bus !!! 









Endearingly Remembering Shawn, My Grief Challenges, Songs I Like

For Shawn’s (2) January 3, 2017

At the beach I made a simple memorial for a few friends, whose children died. 20170101_165006.jpg


Just for fun, about a year ago, I asked one of my passengers, whose family is from China, if they could show me how Shawn’s name would be written. Here is the symbol they found for me: 


  I, also, asked my friend, who is Japanese, how Shawn’s name would be written.  This was the closest he could find.    I never noticed this before, but I think it looks like both symbols are the same.


As I was jotting words for this post,  news reported the death of Debbie Reynolds, less than a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died. The report has hit me extremely hard.     You see, many times since Shawn died,  even during his last moments, I experienced an unbelievable physical pain~ in my heart.  At first the intense pain scared me. Each time it happened, a  familiar word  played, over and over, in my mind: “relax”.      Yep, “relax” one of the words I said, A LOT,  to Shawn,  when he was having panic moments, in the hospital. I, later, learned that it is common for folks to have an actual pain in the heart, when someone dear dies. The pains are not as frequent, now, but they, still, kind of scare me.

This being Christmas time, hmmm~~~let me put it this way; a few weeks ago I met a mother. This is the 4th year since her son died. She told me this has been the hardest year, for her, since her son died.  Hmmm~~~for me, this has been a super hard Christmas. Maybe  because I was trying to plan Shawn’s  33rd, which means dealing with the harsh reality of his goneness. Maybe, this is how life will be from now on ???

This is the ivy Shawn planted for me.


  I thought I made great strides decorating for Christmas, on December 3rd.








One of my ideas took some early planning. Last summer I had the arborvitaes, out the front porch, cut down to the height of the handrail. 20160728_134627.jpg Oh, I know, most folks would want the privacy.  I had a couple reasons to have the arborvitaes trimmed: one was because they were blocking my view out the front window, I couldn’t see sunsets. The second reason, I was thinking of my pledge to myself about decorating this the 3rd Christmas since Shawn died.  I wanted to try and decorate the top of the arborvitae, a heavenward view. I have enjoyed the pretty twinkling lights !!!arbervitea-tops



I will close with a song that speaks for me.


Endearingly Remembering Shawn, My Grief Challenges, Songs I Like

Shawn’s 33rd January 3, 2017


I attended a Compassionate Friends Candle lighting, this past December 11th.  A song was played at the beginning of our meeting: Alan Pederson: “Tonight I Hold This Candle”.

I have been trying to work on a post for Shawn’s 33rd   I am just super stuck. How do I honor Shawn, when I ache so…???

Apparently, I am experiencing a bit of a set back. I have been assured it is expected for this time of year,  Shawn’s being so close to the Christmas celebrations and the new year beginnings.  My emotions and guilt are immense and intense.  So much so that I do not want to talk to anyone.  

Before Christmas break, I was getting ready to putting together Christmas gifts, for my bus passengers. My drunk squirrel ringtone sounded. Would I be able to talk to the person calling ???  It was Melissa. I was afraid to speak not sure I could squash my emotions. We talked about many things and for quite some time. My emotions were brewing, earnestly. I didn’t think I could contain the tears any longer. Both of us kept mentioning Shawn things.  As time was winding down I mustered the courage to ask Melissa  a question that had been plaguing me. Mind you, I know I have spoken to Melissa about this topic before.

I feel bad for Melissa, because she has parents who are tortured by their actions regarding Shawn’s end. Did we kept Shawn’ alive too long ???                         I needed to know if Melissa was upset with me~did I give Shawn enough time ??? My guilt was building~as it does frequently, the nagging thought~did I, selfishly, make the hospital staff care for a body that wasn’t going to survive ??? How will ALL the staff-those who cleaned Shawn’s room, those in the cafeteria, those who tended to Shawn’s various needs~~~so many more~~~ at Harborview, ever know how much I appreciate ALL the care they showed our family ??? How do I thank all the rescuers ???

  Was it wrong of me to want to give Shawn more time, in case his body decided to start healing ? 

Melissa gave a profound response~~~I believe it was providential !!!    She was talking about all the issues that were happening, all the folks involved in the decision, and then, in the middle of her response,  she simply said:  “It is not that we kept Shawn alive, torturously, too long.  Its not that we didn’t give Shawn’s body time to heal it was just his time to go…”

A long open, here is my tribute to Shawn:


My favorite number is 33. Today is Shawn’s 33rd It is a simple tribute. For some reason I could not muster more.  At first, I felt awful for not having a wonderful, jubilant and captivating design, and I only made one.  BUT, as reality sets in, and the ache of Shawn’s goneness has increased, how could I do otherwise ???  

 Shawn, I hope the lights for your decoration will shine bright and show my love for you !!!   20170102_172101.jpg






Audio is Available, My Grief Challenges, PorQ

How I Hope~~~ November 12, 2016


I have worked so hard to get Shawn photos sorted. It has been emotionally taxing. On my last group of  photos, I came across 3, which I had to enlarge for a better view. I kid you not, they were of times when Shawn was resting his cheek on my hand. I have no idea who took the photos or when. Those moments were very intense, as I was so exhausted. I had no other helpful thing I could  think of to do for my precious Shawner. How I hope my tired hand gave him some comfort. I will not share those photos. Shawn was so burned and I do not want his children to see them. Maybe when they are adults ???


I am reading a book: “A Son For Glory”, Job Through New Eyes, by Toby Sumpter. This is a quote from the top of  page 56:  “Yahweh of course knows what He is doing. He offers His son to be cut in order to be glorified. Just as Adam was cut, just as his rib was torn out, He offers Job so that He can create him again with more glory. In this way, we ought to understand Job as being “blameless” and “upright”as parallel to the evaluation of creation as  “good.” Job as he is introduced to us,is in the midst of creation. God sees Job and says that he is “good,” but we know how the Spirit loves to blow and divide and renew His “good” creation so that it can become “very good”.    Matthew West has a song; “Mended”. Do we get to see the “very good” that God is working in us ???


Stars Go Dim has a song; “Walking Like Giants”. One of the phrases,”through fire or rain”: I do not know why, but when I heard this phrase, I thought of Shawn. Well, before that I had heard another song about Jesus being beside us in the fire-I cannot figure out what song it was ??? BUT,  the tears came a gushing as I wondered: did Shawn feel God with was him, in the fire ??? I hope he didn’t fell alone. The fireman who recovered Shawn, found him in the fetal position. Truth be told, I think that position is what saved his life. How strange. Shawn’s birth was a very traumatic experience, for his little body. His death was a very traumatic experience, as well. Will I ever understand the why ???


Do you have a sanctuary ?  Do you have a safe or comfortable place ? Do you have a place where you can let your emotions flow freely, away from the rest of the world ? For some of us that space may be where we keep treasured memories, in hopes they (the memories of our loved ones) will never fade.

A friend was talking about her son’s room. You see, he died April 18, 2016. His Mom (Linda) was already at work when she received a call from her husband, Michael. Their son had died,  sometime, in the night. Michael had gone into Tim’s room to make sure he was getting ready for work or to say goodbye, as he was leaving for work. Something didn’t look right with Tim. Michael performed CPR, for some time, but he knew it was too late, by many minutes.

A few days before their son’s death, Linda and I had made plans for her to use my, Rug Doctor, before her upcoming surgery. Even though Michael and Linda were in the process of making arrangements for their son’s body, my friend still wanted to try and get ALL their carpets cleaned. I told her she could keep the machine as long as she needed.              One of our bus driving friends, her husband cleans carpets.  I was trying to find a way to be a support to them, as well.  So, the Comforts were going to clean my carpets. Comforts Carpet Cleaning Linda can go into Tim’s room and think about how to tidy it up.  It is still hard for Michael to walk past their son’s room. I think he is going through the PTSD part of grief because of his efforts of CPR on their son. I think, for quite some time, that room will be an agony for Michael.   Linda cleaned all their carpets, amazingly fast.                                  This past week when Linda and I were talking, she was mentioning some things she wanted to do in Tim’s room; like letting a friend  put up a TV up on the wall. Then Linda said that “Tim’s room is almost like a sanctuary”. Yep, she was right and then my mind started thinking. My little room has been my kind-0f sanctuary.                                                When our master bedroom became available, this past Memorial weekend, I never once thought what a great place for me to set up my exercise, sauna and craft things. Nope, I, immediately thought of making it into: Bob’s Project Room. I was able to move his things from my little room and fill the empty shelves with lot’s of my craft supplies. I hadn’t really put it together, but Linda was right.                                      You see, after Shawn died I couldn’t feel comfortable in our house. My counselor told me to find a room I could fix for myself . I had not realized until this past week that my little room is the room Shawn stayed in for a few weeks, several years ago, when he was trying to figure out where he was going to make home. His Grandmother, in Spokane, was dying so he went back to Spokane.   Why didn’t I  find ways to visit Shawn more or call more or do more for and with Shawn?         The room has a window that faces the west, and an alcove that fits my chair, a tiny shelf for my laptop and a footstool which holds my electric blanket. Someday when my menopause season, is over, I will once again enjoy my electric blanket.                 For whatever reason, since Shawn died, I have to have west facing views and curtains not closed.  So, for me, this little room is my safe place, a place where Shawn once slept, a room where I can freely shed tears and not worry about my emotions. A place where I can keep Shawn’s memory alive. Guess my counselor was right, that I needed a place of escape. My little room is a type of sanctuary~~~and there is nothing wrong with that !!!



Hello folks, PorQ here. Kathy mentioned going through photos. She has all my photos and videos, she just has not learned how to make various video helps to work. Plus, she has to do a fix on her Christmas card ornaments. All these things are extremely hard for Kathy, she will get it figured out, I just know it !!! PorQ signing out.