Saturday, February 22, 2014


They say that adversity makes you stronger. I don't know about that. Adversity strikes all of us sooner or later but so many people are having so many difficult problems here lately that it sometimes seems like we are under a curse.

We had a double dose of adversity recently when my father passed away suddenly. We were reeling from that blow when Daddy's sister, Vivian, passed away. 

I couldn't fathom a world without Daddy or Vivian. Vivian died 26 years to the day after her father passed away. The irony wasn't lost on me. I never dreamed we would lose two important members of our family at the same time like that.

Two funerals so close together would be hard enough but within that two month span another death touched our lives. Scout's sweet and lovely brown eyed girlfriend, Katie, lost her father when he suffered a rapid decline. He didn't live long enough to even have hospice assistance

We all traveled to Tennessee to his funeral to pay respects to Katie and her father's family and friends. He must have been a wonderful guy, and I wish I had known him. He had lots of friends.

Not long ago I found out about an old friend who had an incurable debilitating disease. Another old friend had a daughter who died of an inoperable brain tumor. It seems like everybody is having hard times. I can't imagine their pain.

Several friends are unemployed, or homeless, or have mental or physical health issues. There are too many poor people struggling to pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads. There aren't enough jobs for them to help them pay their bills. I worry about everybody.

I've always had a weak spot for poor people even though I never had to depend on government assistance myself, except for the time I had the wonderful opportunity to go to junior college on a CETA grant when I was young. 

Now that Donny is suffering from his own health issues I am more adamant than ever about shoring up government programs to help the needy and relieve the burden that too many people face during a crisis. Crushing medical debt can decimate a family.

If you thought I was a bitch before, wait until you see me now. I wasn't afraid of voicing my opinion about programs for helping the needy before, and I sure won't be quiet now. 

It is frightening to have to decide between paying your bills or getting food or medicine. I used to argue about it in a theoretical sense since we have always been fortunate enough to have an income and be able to pay our living expenses without it being very much of a problem. Now I am walking in their shoes and I don't like it. I don't know how people do it. 

Donny is going on temporary disability but we will still have to pay insurance out of his disability check. Our income has been cut into and we won't have enough money to pay basic bills without getting behind.

Let me assure you that nobody is immune to disaster. Nobody can predict a medical crisis, or losing their job, or having an accident. Most people don't have any money saved up to carry them through months of unemployment without suffering the consequences and getting behind. Neither do we.

Basic needs will have to be reevaluated and prioritized. Some things will suffer. Doctor and dental appointments will have to be delayed and the pets will probably starve. Everything will be affected because Donny is on disability. 

Our most important goal will be taking care of Donny and getting him medication for his heart condition. That will take precedence over everything.

I will certainly have a new understanding about the difficulties that people suffer when their income is cut and they are hanging on by their fingernails. 


Saturday, February 15, 2014


Greetings Y'all. If you have a honey and want to show them how much you love them, don't buy them one of those giant teddy bears. That is such a creepy gift. "Hey honey. I got a gift for you. A life size bear!"

I can imagine the woman thinking, "What the hell kind of gift is this? Does he think I'm a twelve year old girl? Nice. Now where am I going to stash this thing?" Yikes! Well, not to worry. I'm not expecting anything, big or small. a nice, quiet holiday. No drama. Please!  
I'm afraid I didn't get what I wanted for Valentine's day. My husband blacked out and fell in the bathroom recently. I helped him up and his head was cold and clammy. He said he felt weak but wasn't hurting anywhere. I thought he might be getting the flu. He monitored his blood pressure and it was too low for him. He called the doctor the next week. After taking blood tests, they called the next day and told me to get him to the emergency room immediately because his blood work showed he had a heart attack. That's why he fell.

We went to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton and they admitted him after poking and prodding him for hours. They planned a stress test for the next day but the cardiologist said it was too dangerous to run a stress test until they found out the problem. They scheduled a heart catheterization for the next day.

Instead of getting good news from the doctor, we were told that Don needed bypass surgery. I rode in the ambulance with Don as he was transported to Chattanooga at Memorial Hospital. We went to the same hospital that Daddy had been in only a couple of months before. He was supposed to have surgery on Friday, a week after his bathroom fall but they wanted to do some tests on his liver first. His surgery was postponed until the next Monday.

After five hours of surgery, he was moved to recovery in the CVICU. They kept him in ICU monitoring his blood pressure and pumping him full of drugs in IV's. 

Colt and I camped out in his room the night before his surgery. We intended in traveling back and forth to see him in the hospital but the south was slammed with a snowstorm. I was hospital bound in the waiting room until Scout was able to come to the hospital and rescue me. I was so happy to get back home and take care of things, not to mention sleep in my own bed.

Colt was supposed to take me back to Chattanooga today but Don said he was still in ICU and told me to wait. He thinks he will be placed in a room tomorrow. I certainly hope so. It is very hard sleeping on a little bench in the waiting room. 

I was able to snag a recliner after a couple of days when most of the families cleared out. They didn't want to be stuck at the hospital because of the storm. I didn't have that luxury. I don't trust my car enough to drive it to Chattanooga so I rode with Colt up there. Scout came to pick me up in Mama's car. I don't mind driving an old car but it is really inconvenient when you want to go somewhere and don't know how reliable it will be.

My sweetie is in the hospital after having quadruple bypass surgery and valve repair. He was a walking timebomb. I am so grateful that he went to the doctor in time to correct it. That is the best Valentine's gift I can thing of. Our wonderful family has been right there to support and encourage us throughout all this. Friends who are going through their own difficulties are so kind and caring and have been invaluable to our family. It is times like this that you learn who cares and who doesn't. Thank you all. I love you, each and every one. 

I hope you all had a happy and healthy Valentine's day. I hope we don't get any more snow this winter. It's too much. Everything is too much. This has been a difficult year, so far, and it's only February.

Mikki, Alicia, Brooke, Don, Douglas, Bailey




Delbert Callahan

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