I haven't been blogging much this past week because I will be honest, chemo is still controlling what I can and can't do. The neuopathy has gotten so bad I can't feel the tips of my fingers at all and for every word I type I have to delete about two because my breakneck speed typing is not so breakneck and about half as accurate. I actually upped my meds for that yesterday and will up them again on Friday since I am allowed to add two more at three-day intervals. That along with the dreary rainy days is what I suspect is making me blue this week. On a happier note, I am not at chemo today and I am crocheting a lot more loosely so maybe a hat pattern will actually fit me when it is done!
All of that is overwhelming but I have to say, reading Jo's blog turned me into a puddle on the floor. I couldn't even send her a text to tell her how much I appreciated all of her kindness and her words of encouragement. I didn't know what to say. Not to mention her blog readers who have always been so gracious to her and now me with their words of encouragement and their donations on our GoFundMe page. I don't have to tell them why Jo is so great! One thing I did notice on her blog was a lack of vintage pictures. But have no fear...I know where to find some!
blogged about Jo before back when it was her 50th birthday celebration over a year ago now. We have come along way.
|Riding one the hay wagon. Me, my brother and Jo|
(my uncle Jay is driving and uncle Jim is on top
in the wagon)
So you could say the pictures I do find of us are pretty special. Back in those days I wanted to be just like Jo. Through her teen years I wished that I could be less serious and more fun like she seemed to be from my younger vantage point. (I am a firstborn of five, she is a fifth born of five. I think I envied her lack of overlythinking "firstborness") After we had moved from the farm, we would come for a visit and she and I would stay awake talking in bed until one of us would fall asleep. It was usually her.
During my teen years, there were some tumultuous times and she was there. During my college years being her early marriage and motherhood years she and my mom's relationship strengthened since they had more in common. I was away in college and then married a southern boy so just by reason of geography we didn't see each other much. I missed her a lot during that time.
Moving back to Iowa and me being in the throws of early motherhood it was great to be around my mom and aunt too. Now we live about 2 hours apart and I am thrilled that my kids know and love "Auntie Jo Gracie" not just because we are related but because they have shared life experience. Jo's kids and my kids are quite different in age since I was married ten years before mine came on the scene, but every one of her five have shown their love to each of mine and they have fond memories of time with Jo, Uncle Roger and the whole family.
I am overwhelmed by all of this because Jo started out as "larger than life" to me. How could she not? She was bigger, she knew so much more, like one day while we were playing dolls under the big tree, she told me how babies are born - I had to confirm with my mom later because in my young mind that didn't make any sense at all!) I just remember having that huge sense of "WOW" when I was with her.
Since the younger years I have experienced EVERY. SINGLE. EMOTION in her presence and she has continued to be there. As the years have gone by, I know that she is not some kind of superhero. She would be the first to tell you that as well. As we have both gone through a rough 2016 with cancer and a few other side health issues, our goal has become to grow old. Something very important she has taught me is that when life is tough you hold on to those people who "get" you!