around the frame nov/dec 2008

Hey Frances,

Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you. Have been switching jobs within the company so things have been off-kilter. Good news is that I get to keep working — my regular job’s being pulled back to the US — and it looks like this one will be a little less stressful.

I’m still house hunting. Although banks have recently changed rules and the amount I can go for is reduced, I know the perfect duplex will come along any time now.

My two kids are good. My daughter’s pregnancy is at seven months now. She’s still upset it’ll be a girl but I can’t wait to meet her :- ).



LynnTROR (July’08) says, “Since I wrote the above letter, I found a house I want,

but in the middle of trying to get it bought, I hit some snags with financing and lawyers.”


Hi there Fritzie,

Well… you will be proud of me! I chaired a weekly discussion meeting and chose the topic, “Change.” This was my first turn to lead the sharing and I was very excited. I chose the topic because I have been struggling with all the changes in my life and needed to hear what others had to say about their life experiences.

Your love and guidance and concern for me has been an enlightening experience in my life. You are my angel. I am very happy we crossed paths in this world. I just wish we lived closer again. Thank you.

I am doing good. Life has been so very interesting.

Take care.

Love to you my dear friend,


Jodi (Jan.’08) adds, “Things are looking up and I am careful of any further changes.”


Hello Frances,

Our family continues to grieve over our loss of my granddaughter Keely and the tragic accident. Cate’s court proceedings continue. The prosecuting attorney for Genessee County wants to charge her with second degree murder in her daughter’s death. The

charge is excessive and unjust in our opinion, but our hands are tied.

I attended the Preliminary Examination and witnesses testified. It was so very depressing. As usual with these court experiences, I didn’t sleep much for a couple of days.

Our powerlessness seems overwhelming, but we are doing our best to accept each day as it comes. We need prayers for faith, courage, forgiveness, love, and acceptance.

Many thanks for all prayers and concern.



Gail (Oct.’08) adds, “My husband and I will have lots of company over the next two weekends due to his birthday. For fun we have been reading books together Last week we read a Louis L’Amour, Dark Canyon . This week we have turned to Janet Evanovich’s Hot Six. That’s a real change of pace from the seriousness of my daughter’s situation.”


Well Frances,

What my daughter and I have is a long story with a big sigh of relief at the end. (I KNOW how you like stories…) Anyway here is the short version. My younger daughter has been prone to ovarian cysts. She’s had three in five years: two pre-cancerous, one small and one baseball-size. Her latest cancer and tumor was larger: 31x19x9 cm. (Egads, eh?) The biopsies returned and it WAS ovarian cancer! Scary!

Docs say no further treatment — chemo or radiation– is required as they got it all with the removal and the last 10% of test results showed no spreading. She has had a very close brush with death! (Phew! What a relief!)

God bless and thanx be to God!



CaT (Oct.’08) adds, “She was well enough to attend my other daughter’s five year- memorial service with me. You’ll recall Melissa was killed by a drunk driver five years ago. Jen had never been to the site where her sister lost her life and while it was traumatic for her it helped her with some serious closure issues– more than I ever thought it would.”


Hi Frances,

I’m pregnant! We found out almost four months ago, but I kept it quiet for a fairly long time. Then I gave up and shared our news because even if I did miscarry, why would I want to hide that fact? My mother-in-law says keeping pregnancy secret is an old tradition from the days when women who miscarried were blamed for it. (She should know. She miscarried quite a long time ago — before my husband was born.) Her words made sense to me.

So last month I told everyone. Things are going well: we’ve heard the heartbeat and I’ll have an ultrasound soon.

If the baby cooperates we’ll find out if it’s a boy or a girl. We have names picked out already — for a boy: Hunter Stuart Antonio and for a girl: Paloma Hazel Pamela. The two middle names are because we couldn’t decide, and all the middle names are heritage names or family names.



Christa Terry (Aug.’08) adds, “I’ve been swamped with work, and now that I don’t feel sick anymore, I haven’t been thinking much about my pregnancy.”


Dear Frances,

When I didn’t know what to say about my daughter and her husband asking to move the family in with us, I prayed and tried to give myself “time” for a decision. However, “time” did not tip the scales. My husband did. He had said “Sure!” to their initial request and that was it.

He seems to think the kids and I will take care of everything. He can relax, watch TV take naps and do what he wants. (He’s still not looking for another job.)

I feel angry but I try to stay positive. It’s harder and harder as my personal space gets smaller now that every corner of this house is filled!

On a brighter note, Anita, my older daughter who had been living on the street, got into a mobile home. Molly, my daughter who’s moving in with us, had taken her in. When she could not stand Anita anymore, Molly found a mobile home park where the owners had abandoned trailers. All Anita has to do is pay the lot rent.

You’ll remember Anita’s caseworker had tried all sorts of interventions with her, but when Anita would not cooperate, the caseworker gave up. So, Molly also arranged for Anita’s SSI to cover the rent and expenses.

When Molly first asked to move in, you had suggested I might go to an open church to sit, pray and think. I did that when I was first married and found out I was going to have a baby. Harold was very angry — he did not want children. Back then, there was a church at the end of our street. There’s no church near me now.

Thank you for your prayers and suggestion. I still pray and try to take just one day at a time.

Love and prayers,


LindaSue (Oct.’08) says, “I have my job, chores, laundry, housework and general routine. I just keep myself busy.”


Francesca ,

This summer I shared regular phone calls with my older sister, who lives near my mother. Mom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but still lives at home with her husband.

During these conversations filled with all kinds of contingency plans for Mom’s future, Ann and I slip into brief discussions

about our childhoods and our relationships with our critical and emotionally distant mother. As we carefully release these secret snippets of childhood feelings and experiences, we are quick to remind each other that Mom did the best mothering she was capable of and how she made a good home for our family. (A good home meant the house was clean and we were well fed and clothed.) Ann and I have agreed that we must do everything in our power to contribute to the quality of her life now because, after all, she is our mother. I wonder — what if we stopped protecting Mom to each other and truly spilled the hurt that has followed us through adulthood? Would that promote healing or would it cause the old wounds to gather power? Are we behaving like martyrs, stoically forgiving the past as we dutifully plan Mom’s future care? Is there a middle ground?

Perhaps we have already found it.

Take care.


Elaine (Oct.’08) adds, “I also broke my knee cap this summer and spent six weeks in a full length cast. This happened a month after I adopted a three-month old puppy. It was a trying summer but the cast is off and now I’m engaged in physical therapy.”

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