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Dad’s Words – My Eulogy for Earle C. Williams

Posted on Apr 1, 2016 in Blog |

I think I knew Dad wasn’t going to survive on the second day of his hospitalization. He was having so much trouble breathing. I was rubbing his head and trying to comfort him. The most frequent question we asked was, “What do you need Dad?” And this one time he replied with, “I just need to REST.” The finality of his statement loomed heavily in the room that night. I started this eulogy two weeks ago when we first learned of Dad’s terminal diagnosis. It started out as “Dad’s Words” – some things Dad wanted to make sure were said in a particular, articulate manner. I believe that if he had the energy to prepare for his Judgment Day with God, Dad probably would have written his own eulogy. It wasn’t about bragging on himself. Rather, it was important for Dad to make certain that each of you understand why he did what he did in life. And he asked me to explain it for him. There is nothing quite like having to a write a eulogy for someone as superstar as my father. And, when he asked me to read him my rough draft just 24 hours after being given the assignment, I was intimidated. The best way I know to honor my father on this day, is to not only relay the words he wanted me to share with you, but to also tell you how he responded at certain points when I read him his own eulogy. Just two months prior to his death he was parasailing in Turks and Caicos with two of his granddaughters. Mom and Dad had gifted all 17 family members with the vacation of a lifetime, which was a life changing, healing event for everyone. When Dad was initially pondering the safety and sanity of parasailing at age 86, Heather responded, “Granddaddy, if you died while parasailing, that would make you such a badass.” To which he chuckled and agreed and said, “Let’s do it.” On Monday, February 29th, our lives changed forever. Dad was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for pneumonia and sepsis. Dad fought with every cell in...

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Death of My Dad

Posted on Mar 28, 2016 in Blog |

After 26 days in the hospital, my dad died this past Good Friday at 5:43 am. We didn’t know his illness was terminal until a week before he passed.  Until then, my sisters and I kept vigil 24/7, promising never to leave Dad alone as per his request. I am attaching his obituary here.  Many people in the Northern Virginia area knew my dad (Earle C. Williams).  He left quite a legacy for so many. Visitation will be at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home on Wednesday from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. The funeral is tentatively set for Thursday morning, exact time and location still being determined.  It has been a bit difficult to get things locked in on a holiday weekend. Death, grief, sadness, all play a significant part in a person’s healing or lack therof. I am very fortunate to be surrounded by people who are sensitive to my physical needs for rest and quiet.  But as anyone who has experienced the death of a parent or close grandparent knows, this is not easy. I still can’t talk much. Just going through the motions and trying to take care of Mom. Please pray for her to find comfort and peace during this time.  They were married for 64 years. I cry at the oddest, insignificant and significant moments. “Who will say grace?” was today’s moment. Share...

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Power in Making a Choice, Not in Having Control

Posted on Feb 6, 2016 in Blog |

My friend whom I have never met in person, Laurie Foley, entered hospice this week. You know when you talk to someone about something that you have been seeking wisdom for and they just HAVE it? Like it’s no big deal? And you are standing there trying to figure out how the hell to get a piece of it? You know . . . when you want what they have . . . I want Laurie’s heart, her wisdom. My favorite line in here: “I spent many, many, many hours on the Internet scared the crap outta me, and it just made me want more control. But what I learned in the process of all that suffering, through wanting control, was that what felt better was to make a choice. So the power – MY power – lies in making a choice, not in having control.”,%20and%20entitlement%20into%20hope Share...

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Traveling to that In Between Place

Posted on Feb 4, 2016 in Blog |

It takes me awhile to process things. good or bad. I have to pull in and figure out the swirl in my head. The death of Tom Garell, the husband of my friend i never met Kari Garell, and my other friend i never met, Laurie Foley, entering hospice today, has me at “over my limit.” I know death is part of the process. in some ways, but it certainly doesn’t make it any easier for the ones dying or for the ones left behind. I had a “dream” last week about my Aunt Betty – only this dream, i am now convinced, was an experience where my soul traveled and i met her soul somewhere “in between.” I HELD my Aunt Betty. I held her for a long, long hug. I FELT her skin. My fingers trailed from her wrist to her shoulder, feeling her soft skin. We talked. She talked. I listened. I could see my grandparents and my uncle behind her, smiling, filled with joy. I wanted to go closer to see them and touch them as well. She would not let me. Aunt Betty was beautiful, thin, in no pain, not suffering. She was smiling, joyous. She gave me a message and then she said it was time for me to go back. I didn’t want to go back. And when I woke up, I SOBBED all over again. It was as if she had just died all over again. The grief this week has been fresh and raw. I desperately want to go back to where ever it was I went, to that in between place. The experience was incredible. But I am not sure I can take that intensity of grief again. I don’t know what the purpose of all this is. But I know there is one. I know dying is hard work. I know grieving is hard work. I know love prevails over everything. I know my loved ones, even when they are dead, they are with me everywhere I go, with all my thoughts, all my feelings, all my energy. They are here with me now. Being able to TOUCH...

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Healing from the Cellular Level and Up

Posted on Jan 1, 2016 in Blog |

I’m not a fan of resolutions. I found this on a few people’s blogs and so I am stealing it! I started the list but then my thoughts started to wander . . . A new skill I would like to learn: Well, I would like to learn how to quilt, but I think that would be the start of a new obsession/addiction. I think I have enough skills that I have learned; I just need to hone them a bit more. I hope to have two of my books published in 2016 and I have ideas for two more, so writing is what I really want to do more of. A person I hope to be more like: maybe because it is the anniversary of his death, but I want to be more like Jim Rainey b/c he was a man who exuded pure kindness. I want that. A bad habit I would like to break: Biting my nails? I wouldn’t put money on this one though. A place I would like to visit: Turks and Caicos – going there very soon! A book I would like to read: I have about 150 on my Want to Read list . . . I don’t think it will ever reduce to below 50. A letter I am going to write: I already wrote it. I thanked Brightview Senior Living for the care they gave my father in law during his last three months of life. It has been a year, but I wanted them to know we still appreciate all they did for him. A food I am going to try: Hmm . . . I am pretty open to trying new foods, so I guess I will have to see what comes up. Jeff is the best chef ever, so I have already tried many, many things. I am going to do better at: being patient with the healing process. Ok, I really don’t think my patience level is going to improve, but that’s what I want to improve. I will remember: That just because I can help someone doesn’t mean I have to.   Especially when it...

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