A Moment of Remembrance: For My Mom

Originally posted January 29, 2007  (edited 7-14-2014)

Note from the author:

I was prompted to write the following poem during my grieving process.  I recall a day my mom (Nellie) came to Uncle Chris and my house.  I was in the front yard watering a small apple tree when she drove up.  Only one apple (a small one) was on the tree.  When Mom sees the apple, she giggles, shakes, and boldly stumbles out, “That apple is mine!”

I smile, and reply, “It is in my yard.  I care for it, so it is going to be mine!”

She giggles some more and with a shaky voice says, “We’ll see.”

I knew there is a story somewhere behind her request just by the way she was acting with her giggle and shaky voice.  So, I ask, “What is it about this apple that makes you want it so?”

She giggles and shakes some more, then replies, “When our family first move from the Sherman, Texas to the Denison, Texas farm, there is a huge apple tree on the property.  It had only one live branch.  On that branch, was one large apple (not quite ripe)?”

Papa tells all of us children, “Do not touch that apple; that apple is mine!”

“But the temptation wears me down.  I can’t resist.  I climb that tree.  I get that apple. I caress that apple. I shine that apple and then I sit under the dying tree and I eat it.  It is the best.  It is juicy.  Never had I tasted an apple so sweet,” my mom says.  “The apple on your tree reminds me of that day. I have never told anyone about it until just now.  It has been a secret.  A secret I have clung to and cherished since my youth.”

Neither of us ate the apple from my tree.  Instead, a strong Ridgecrest wind came and blew it away.  Only the memory returned so I can share the story with you.

I hope you will enjoy the following poem about my mom,

Nellie Mae Coffin, Smith, De Juan  (12-13-1911 thru 01-28 -2007)          

How Will I Be Remembered?

By Trudy A. Martinez

Ninety-five years have flown by since I came to be,

I sat under a dying tree,

Savoring the flavor of an apple

My dad forbade me to eat,

This is one thing I will remember until my dying day,

How stubborn I was,

And how determined I was

To have my own way,

Who’s to say that apple was NOT meant for me,

I taste the sweet juice of the apple,

When I recall sitting under that tree.

Now that I have passed

How will I be remembered?

A tender touch, a game of Dominos.

A shiny piece of glass?

Or by the taste of life the apple gave to me.

Nothing lasts forever,

Not even me.

The apple tree died and so do we.

But memories live on,

Just the memories,

The memories we share together,

Just the memories of you and me,

Memories live forever when they are savored

Like  my apple tree.

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Dear Dad:

Pete & michael 50007

Pete & michael 50005

Pete & michael 50006

Dear Dad,

You went to be with the Lord December 31st, 2009. I spent New Year’s Day in remembrance of how great a Dad you were and how much I am going to miss you. When it came to us girls, your grandchildren, and your great grandchildren you were always patient and loving. You were always willing to help family, friends, co-workers, and even a stranger if in need. You taught me the gift of helping others to the best of my ability. In my eyes YOU WERE SELFLESS! At times it was hard to get you to open up; sometimes I had to work really REALLY hard to get you to talk without the typical yes or no answers. However, my efforts were greatly rewarded; we developed a close bond, the best relationship a Daughter could ever want. I love you Dad and I will miss you!

Love Always Your Daughter, Genevieve

P.S. Michael says I love you Papa.

If I could talk to my Dad this is what I would say. Do you remember Dad? I was just a teen and I wrote you that I think life is about finding happiness. You encouraged me on my quest to find it!! Well through the toils oflife experiences I found it in Christ. God our creator drew me to Him, forgave my sins, and set me free of the bondage of sin and death!

Christ has given me JOY which affords a greater meaning to happiness! He gives PEACE which surpasseth all understanding. He gives CONTENTMENT: the knowing He works all things to the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose. That path you sent me down became life giving.

But mostly DAD, I pray you found forgiveness in Christ and all that are here may also come to the feet of Jesus …. Dad, Immanuel gave me saving faith.

Family and friend have gathered in memory of you, I pray that through your death others may find eternal life through repentance and faith in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Your Loving Daughter, Grace

January 7,2010

Dad,

I love you … You have always been there for me whenever I needed you the most. Through the years, I have learned that I am just like you in many ways, but so different too. And I loved and appreciated that about our relationship. Thank you for being my Dad in all the ways you knew how, for being there for me, and for allowing me to count on you in so many ways.

Love and Prayers always, Linda

Memorial Services for Pete C. Martinez, Jr.

 Pete C. Martinez, Jr.

Pete C. Martinez, Jr.

Oct. 01, 1938 – Dec. 31, 2009

  1. Memorial Service was held  Friday, Jan.  08, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. at V.F.W. Ship # 4084,  117 N. Alvord,  Ridgecrest, CA  93555 .  Service was followed by a procession to Desert Memorial Park, 801 S. San Bernardino County Line Rd., Ridgecrest, CA  93555 for Ash Burial and Honor Guard Service.

Memorial for Nellie Mae Coffin, Smith, De Juan

Dec 13, 1911 through  Jan. 28, 2007

by Pastor Stu

One of the things I found out that just surprised me is that Nellie was a great Elvis Presley fan.  Loved his music and collected his memorabilia, such as calendars, clock’s, key chains, plates, or whatever she found displaying her musical hero.

It is dangerous to describe any individual, as we are very complex, but she was without a doubt good-hearted, kind, loved children, good-humored and adored by her grand children.

Her favorite flower was the rose, and her food was spare ribs or cornbread.  Also chili beans.

Nellie was a special gift from heaven, delightful incense from above, who brought a delightful aroma to her surroundings. 

Nellie was preceded in death by her two husbands (Terry C. Smith and Antonio De Juan) and her oldest child, son George Richard (Dick) Smith.  She is survived by three daughters…..

Peggy Jane Bakke, and husband OB of Cathedral City, CA.,

Trudy Annette Martinez, of Lancaster, CA and

Connie Banez of Everett, WA

Nellie had 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great grandchildren.

Nellie De Juan walked among us as a mortal, tasted deeply of the joys and the sorrows of life, and now has made the upward trip to be with her Lord and master and begin the enjoyments of the heavenly kingdom.

May we give thanks to God for her life and rejoice in all that made her the woman she was.

Memories shared by daughters Peg and then Trudy with Scriptures read by grand-daughter, Kelley.

Memorial:

Nellie Mae Coffin, Smith, De Juan

Dec 13, 1911 – Jan 28, 2007

We are gathered to remember and celebrate the life of Nellie Mae Coffin, Smith, De Juan.

Gathered at this grave side, I am reminded of the old Puritan divine, John Owen.

While he was lying on his death-bed, his secretary was reading a letter he had written in John

Owens’s name and he read,

“I am still in the land of the living.” 

Owens said, stop, change that and say, “I am yet in the land of the dying; but shall soon be in the land of the living.”

Your friend and loved one left the land of the dying for the land of the living.

It was just a couple of weeks before Christmas, in the year 1911, when the family of George A and Katie Everett Coffin welcomed a new little girl into the family circle.  The new darling of the family was named Nellie Mae.  She was the fourth child in a family which in time would include 13 children.

Though born in Sherman, the family moved shortly after, a few miles north to Dennison, Texas, just south of the Oklahoma border, where they lived on a farm. 

We don’t know a lot about her childhood except that there must have been a lot of birthday parties, with 13 kids, always babies, lots of washing, ironing, cooking, taking care of a large garden, canning, there were chickens to feed and eggs to collect and of course cows to milk, butter to churn.  

When Nellie was 11 years old, her mother gave birth to twins.  Since mother had to work in the cotton mill, Nellie was taken out of school and given the responsibility of caring for the little twins.

Her adolescent and teen age years were filled with the things which pertain to managing and operating a household. 

I am not sure of the particulars but in her early 20’s, Nellie met a man, Terry Charles Smith and fell in love, and at the age of 24 they married in Dennison, Texas.  Shortly after the marriage, they moved to Los Angeles in Southern California. Her husband was a conductor on the famous Red line, (Street Car) and she worked at home as a housewife and homemaker.

To this marriage were born four children, one son, the oldest George, who was killed in a motorcycle accident, and three daughters.

The marriage in time became tumultuous, and in 1946 they divorced. Reading between the lines, I think that even though there was obvious tension, these were perhaps good years for Nellie and the young family. After their separation, Nellie and the children moved to Bell, a Los Angeles suburb.

Nellie moved her family to Banning where they lived for three years and then out here to the Palm Springs desert.  The move was precipitated by a doctor’s suggestion that she move to a drier climate for her son’s health.

In the desert, Nellie blossomed, finding she excelled in the hotel industry.  She worked for many of the major resort hotels in the capacity of a maid, till she got on with the Biltmore, where she worked for over 10 years as the executive housekeeper.  Not bad for a little gal from Sherman, Texas.  She retired in 1977.

Following her retirement she was the personal housekeeper and personal assistant to the former singer & actress Ginny Simms. 

In or around 1979, she moved to Ridgecrest, CA to stay with daughter Trudy and then in 2001 came back to the Palm Springs desert and stayed with daughter Peg and husband OB.

In July of 1957 she married Tony de Juan, whom she met through her work, and they had pleasant years together, till his death July 19, 1971. 

Nellie was an amazing lady.  Growing up deprived of the opportunity to get a high school education, she raised four wonderful children, rose to the top of her profession.  As the saying goes, ‘the cream rises to the top.’

A few things about Nellie before we hear from family:  Nellie was a quilter.   She belonged to the Ridgecrest Quilting Club and entered some of her work at the county fair.  The quality of her work was noted in that she won a number of blue ribbons.   I think all of the grand children have a quilt made with love by Nell, and she also passed on her quilting skills to one of her daughters. 

She had an infectious laugh and the grand kids just loved to be around her as she was such fun and an inspiration.  

Somewhere along the way she learned to make jewelry, and this was a great way for her to bond with her grandchildren, especially the girls.  They remember many fun and funny times with her.

Square dancing and also ball room dancing were activities she participated in and she spent many evenings on the dance floor. 

 Committal Ceremony

It is with joy in our hearts born of years of association with Nellie De Juan, and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ who said:

 I am the resurrection and the life; she that believes in Me, though she were dead, yet shall she live; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die!

That we bring the body of Nellie to its final resting place. 

Nellie lived the good life.   Nellie fought the good fight.  Like the apostle said, ‘there is laid up for her in heaven a crown of righteousness.

Nellie has gone to take up her residence in that new place her Lord has prepared for her.  

With faith in Jesus Christ, we lovingly bring the body of our sister Nellie Mae De Juan to be buried in its human imperfection.

With confidence in God who gives life to all things, we pray that he will rise up her mortal body to the perfection and company of the saints.

May God give her merciful judgment and forgive all her sins.  May Christ, the Good Shepherd, lead her safely home to be at peace with God our Father, and may she be happy forever with all the saints in the presence of the eternal king.

Let us pray:

Loving God, we give thanks and praise for you created the earth and the heavens and set the stars in their places.  When mankind was caught in the snare of death, you set us free through your Son Jesus Christ.

 In fulfillment of your will, our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death and rose to life to bring salvation and resurrection life to those who belong to him by faith.

 We ask you, Lord, to bless this grave.  Give our sister peace and rest, and on the Day of Judgment raise her to eternal life with all your saints.

Benediction:

The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, be among you , and remain with you always.  Amen.

Warm summer sun,
shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind,
blow softly here;
Green sod above,
lie light, lie light.
Good-night, dear heart,
good-night, good-night.
Mark Twain
Epitaph for his daughter (1896)

    Meditation
For my meditation this afternoon, I share some scriptures   from the book considered the oldest book in the Bible, the book of Job.

The book of Job deals with life as we all know it, difficulty, trials, suffering, questions, doubt and where is God when the going gets tough?

Listen to these words from the ancient past.

  “Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.    (Job 14:1)
 He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.    (Job 14:2)
 If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.    (Job 14:14)

Job asks the same question that we have all asked at one time or another.

 If we die, is that it?  Or, do we continue to live in some form or another? 

Life and death or Birth and death.  Beginning and end.

Our human condition doesn’t get much more basic than this, does it?  I don’t think so.

Now Job not only asked the question, but he answers it.

A few pages later, he is found to say:
 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.    (Job 19:25)
 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God;    (Job 19:26)
 I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!    (Job 19:27)
Listen to these assertions.  These are not the ramblings of a mad man, but the assurance of faith.

 Job’s soul has touched the Almighty, and he knows, oh how he knows, that death is not the end.

 Death is merely a transition; the moving from this existence to another, better, fairer, and more wonderful than human mind can comprehend.

 Someone has put it like this:  “For the believer, death does not extinguish the light.  It puts out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

 The Judea-Christian traditions are solidly grounded in the fact that Death does not end it all, but rather, that death is the means of passage from this life to the next.

This is the Christian Gospel.  It is good news.   Nellie believed it and I pray you do as well.

(edited by Trudy A. Martinez)

My Aunt Peg

“My Aunt Peg”

By Trudy A. Martinez

How do I describe my Aunt Peg? I have difficulty finding enough adjectives. She once told me, “God broke that mold when I was born.” She was born on April 19, 1917 to her parents: Blanche Jones and David Smith. I think she was right–the mold was broken–because the Aunt Peg I knew was one of a kind.

Of course, she was always right! She said, “It’s my parents fault!” And when I asked her what she meant she said, “Anytime you put a blank-ka-de-blank Smith with a blank-ka-de-blank Jones–you’re bound to get something unusual!” And unusual she was! She made a lasting impression on everyone she met and I know she did on me.

In preparation, I was going to share a few moments with a collage of pictures. I needed something to put the pictures on. At first, I thought I’d use one of Peg’s quilts–but I didn’t want to take a chance of messing up one of her masterpieces. So I got into this box Aunt Peg had shown me that had some sample patterns she had fixed so I’d be able to figure out how to put them together. Beautiful Patterns–but they were put together where everything fit together perfectly–uniform like–you know what I mean?

But as Aunt Peg always said, “You can’t put a square PEG into a round hole.” The perfect patterns were Aunt Peg’s creations–Aunt Peg was not perfect. So I certainly couldn’t fit MY AUNT PEG on a uniform pattern–She’d look out-of-place!

So I dug to the bottom of this box, there I found–I found these unusual little squares that Peg made–they didn’t match–yet they did–what I mean–is the squares didn’t match each other–but when I sewed them all together–they matched my Aunt Peg! –as a result I had a peculiar quilt! I think she’d be proud–that the first quilt I attempted represents her life.

Those bunch of squares looked like they were put together without rhyme or reason! There are still rough edges on the quilt. But I think you’ll agree: My Aunt Peg had a lot of rough edges! The lines go every which way—in all directions. Her life did the same. I was asked what my Aunt’s occupation was. I couldn’t answer that question with one answer. Because in her life time, she had many occupations:

She told me once–she drove a one of those big trucks. The owner of the truck wired four by four’s to pedals, so her short legs could reach them. Texas had both wet and dry counties. She attempted to make them all wet by running bootleg in that truck over those county lines. I didn’t believe her. But her dad, my granddad, confirmed it.

She worked on the assembly lines during world-war II, making radios.

She drove a greyhound bus across the United States.

She sang in a Nightclub. Her favorite song was “Peg of my heart I LOVE YOU!”

She was a hairdresser.

It was 1936 when my mother and Aunt Peg’s life were thrown together. As my mom tells it, Peg thumbed (hitchhiked) her way back to Texas. When she got to Texas, she got Don Mac Kennzie’s (her second husband) Open Top T Model Ford, one of those one-seat-jobs with the rumble seat in the back and NO TOP, picked up my mom, and headed for California. To make a long story short, the highlight of their trip took place somewhere outside of San Diego on a hill or mountain with an elevation of 6,000 ft. It was freezing cold. And it was Middle-of-the-night. The brakes on the car went out. Peg, as stubborn as she was, was determined to make it down that hill, brakes or not. So she took my mom’s quilts and threw them over mom’s head, telling her to keep her head down and then she took off down the mountain without any brakes. That was only the beginning. Aunt Peg ran without brakes ever since.

The diagonal pattern that extends top right corner of the quilt to the bottom left corner represents her travel through life.

Very few of her occupations were rewarded with money. And very few squares in the quilt have the money green color. However, the PEA GREEN color (as she called it) can be seen through out the quilt. This color represents the occupations she took on without reward and the outward-stretched lines of the diagonal pattern represent her giving nature:

1. She was a Nurse. She cared for her sick mother, My Granny Blanche, for years–until she died in 1957 at the age of 63.

2. She was a relief mother to my mother, Nellie De Juan. The only vacation my mother ever got was when My Aunt Peg hauled all four of us monsters off with her for the experiences of our lifetimes.

The experiences we had on those trips could fill a book. Once, (and only once that I can recall) I gave her some problems. It all started with her sticking up for me and being protective of me like a mother hen. But My Aunt Peg, with her colorful speech and fiery eyes, got herself arrested for being drunk and disorderly when all she had had to drink was coke-a-cola–and it was my fault! My granddad let her sit in jail for a day to cool off, for fear she might kill me. On the way home that same trip, she stopped at a greyhound bus station, bought a ticket, and put me on it, thinking I was headed for home. However, that didn’t happen. The bus broke down, leaving me stranded in Las Vegas for eight hours. And when I finally got home–my mom had moved. It took me two days to find her. And then the feathers flew–I’m not going to go into what happened to me and My Aunt Peg when my mother got wind of it.

3. She was a seamstress and dressmaker. Every year a few weeks before school started, we all went to Aunt Peg’s and Granny’s. There Aunt Peg, cut and sewed our entire wardrobe for the coming school year. On one of those trips Granny told me, “Your Aunt Peg is all bark and no bite! She yells and hollers to keep control.” She said it had something to do with her being so short. Her brother, my dad, was 6′ 4″ and yelling and screaming kept him at arm’s length. And we were getting so big she was scared we’d clobber her someday the way he did. Granny, without Aunt Peg’s knowledge, egged me on to get her down in a hammer hold and make her say uncle. When I did, my Granny laughed so hard–I thought she was going to keel over and die laughing. However, now that I had her pinned, what was I going to do? I couldn’t get up for fear of death. You would have thought I had pinned a sailor who had been out to sea too long. Aunt Peg’s voice got hoarse before she said UNCLE–I still didn’t let her up until she promised she wasn’t going to kill me and I didn’t EVEN then –until she started laughing.

4. She was a teacher. My Aunt Peg and Granny had their own chickens in her backyard in Los Angeles. It was quite a sight to see her chase the chickens around the yard. I didn’t watch the rest. Then she brought the chicken in the house, minus its head, plopped it in a pan of boiling water, and told me it was my job to clean it. I plucked the feathers. I managed that feat and I thought I was through. However, Aunt Peg said I wasn’t. I had to clean it too. All my excuses: “I’m only nine (9)” “Get my brother–he loves to do gory stuff”, failed. She stood behind me–I cried–but I cleaned the chicken, pulling out an egg I quenched and said, “There’s an egg in here,” and Aunt Peg replied in her colorful manner: “Where did you think a blank-ka-de-blank egg comes from?” With this experience and many, many others, she instilled in me this feeling that there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I set my mind to it. 

The words “I can’t” were not in her vocabulary. Even though she only completed the eighth grade, she was not handicapped because of her lack of education. She was her own teacher. She taught herself through trial an error. She could repair a car better than most men–if she wanted to. My Granddad use to call her “His little grease monkey”. Her brother relied on her to fix his car when it broke down. She had said, “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I was born with a wrench in my hand.”

5. She was a gardener and farmer. She loved flowers and plants of all kinds. Her favorite flower was the “Poor Man’s Orchid” (Iris). She was never rich with material wealth. When she lived in the country side of Guadeloupe, California, we located her house for the first time by her fence of “Poor Man’s Orchid’s”. Pete said, “We’re here–this is got to be your Aunt’s!” He was right!

6. She Leather tooled. She made wallets, purses, belts, watch bands, and the like. You had to be special to receive a gift made by her. She did beautiful work. She was an Artist.

7. She was a Quilt maker, self-taught at the age of 55. Her quilts were as unique, as she.

8. She was my Aunt.

Her life went in all directions, just as the lines of the unfinished quilt. She had a zest for life. She learned to ride a motorcycle along with my Uncle Chris late in life after she moved to Ridgecrest because of her health in 1974.

 As you can see by one of the pictures on the quilt, she also attempted riding a Go-cart.

She’d try anything once. Those that knew her knew how generous she was: She would give you the shirt off her if you needed it.

The gingham checks represent–the little bit of country that will always remind me of her. The bright colors and flowers represent the way she lived her life and her colorful and flowery speech she shared with those who didn’t want to do things her way. The red represents her fiery temper.

Even in her death, my Aunt helped me. I was having problems describing her, until I put her little block pieces together and let the pieces she left for me, unknowingly, do it for me. The quilt describes her best–it is unique, just as she was.

In the hospital, when she was stripped of her speech because her vocal cords had been paralyzed from the respiratory tube down her throat, I had an opportunity to communicate her needs for her. I told her to mouth her words and I would read her lips. I told her to go slow because I was rusty. She did. I repeated her words, she nodded. Then I asked her a question–I don’t remember the question, but I’ll never forget the answer. I was speaking her words out loud to ensure what she said was what I was reading from her lips. I asked the question. And she mouthed “Hello”. I said, “Hello”. Her facial expression expressed a question mark. And my sister-in-law, Emily Marquez started laughing and told me she did not say “Hello”–She said, “Hell No!” I turned to My Aunt Peg and said, “That’s not fair, you have to use words that are in my vocabulary.” And Aunt Peg nearly choked to death from trying to laugh.

Emilie’s Miracle

By Trudy A. Martinez
 
 What shall I say about my best friend, my sister, Emilie Marquez?  Emilie asked if I would talk about our experiences together.  But which ones where left up to me?   We shared so many.  Starting back in 1958 the year she married Benjamin, it took two to tango, two to really get the feeling of romance.  In my eyes as ballroom dancers, they were romantics.  It was then Emilie danced her way into my heart.
More recently the concept of romantic was expanded.  My granddaughter, Sandra, wrote me an e-mail which started out with “Grama, you are such a romantic! I am so excited about coming to visit.”  Before I could scroll down, my mind raced.  What did I do now?  I didn’t even have a boyfriend.
Sandra went on to say, “Dad just told me Aunt Emilie is on her way to your house.  Please give her my love and tell her that I will be there soon to see her.   She is such a strong woman and I have always looked up to her.  My love and prayers are with you both.”
When I read the e-mail, Emilie was right at my side.  It was the middle of the night.  We were having a pajama party!  That was a treasured moment when Emilie smiled from ear to ear from the praise and love that was singing out to her from the words on the page.  My most treasured moments with Emilie were the most recent.
 
A few weeks before we were saying our goodbyes.  She was going to Florida to take up residence with Ronda, her daughter.  We had let go of our dream of living in the same town.
 
Then everything changed!  Her doctor said, “There is nothing more medically I can do for you.”  The hospital was releasing her.  She couldn’t fly to Florida as planned.  She was going to a nursing facility to die.
 
However, it was not her wish to die in a facility.  Once Ronda became aware of her wish, not to die in a facility, and the other options available to her, the wheels started grinding.  Emilie was on her way to Ridgecrest.
 
Just after Emilie’s arrival, I found out Emilie was fulfilling God’s Will.  This became apparent when she was sitting on a stretcher just inside my front door waiting for her bed to be set up.
 
She called me over and whispered loudly to me.  “It is a miracle, Trudy.  A miracle is happening.  I can’t explain what I mean.  I can see–I can’t explain how I feel inside, so different.  I love you.  I am so glad to be here.  I am so hungry.”  She was full of energy.
 
In the background, I could hear Tessa Loudmouth Roo (short for the rude kangaroo), my crazy dog, whining because she was locked in the bedroom and wasn’t able to properly greet Emilie on her arrival.  I could hear Ben or Tanya (her adult children) saying, ” She is blind.  She only sees shadows.”
 
Other things happened in the days to come that made me question her blindness.  There were the birds chirping just outside her window.  Emilie spoke of them as is she could see them fly from one limb to another..  I passed it off as her verbal descriptions were coming from her mind’s eye, her memories.  How else could it be explained?  She was considered legally blind.
 
When it was decided by the nurse in charge the bed that was delivered was not adequate, another was delivered to take its place.  Emilie was put in a wheel chair and wheeled into the dinning room, where Tanya (her second daughter) fed her a meal of mashed potatoes, gravy, and Swiss steak.  She became irritated and exclaimed loudly, ” Keep that fly away from my food!”
 
Tessa was whining again, but now it was because she wanted Emilie to hurry and finish eating so she could have the leftover and lick her plate.
 
To Em’s outcry Ben (her son) or Tanya said, “There is no fly!  You’re just seeing black spots.” Then Ben turned to see the fly that had landed right next to her plate.  “There is no way she could see that fly!  She is blind.”
 
Nevertheless, she saw the fly!  And later from her bed, she saw Ben, her son, walking up the walk in his green shirt.  She told everyone who it was before we were able to see for ourselves.
 
How can a blind person see?  I for one say she was no longer blind!  She could see not only with her eyes, but also with her heart.
 
At first it was difficult getting Emilie to accept she was not going to get up and stroll down the hall in the middle of the night.  Nevertheless she kept insisting.  She told me, “Well maybe I could remember I need to relax if I had a picture hanging on my wall that told me, “It is Time to Relax!”
 
To that I laughed.  I really think she had it all planned.  She was referring to a picture I had taken from the window of a moving bus in London, England of an old man sitting on a bench next to a big sign, which said, “It is Time to Relax.”  At the time I took the picture. my heart nearly jumped out of my chest.  I wanted to get off the bus right then and go out and help the poor man button his coat correctly.  Emilie knew that picture was hanging on my bedroom wall.  She wanted it on hers.  Of course, she got her way.  I brought it in and hung it up after she promised she would try to do what it said.
 
We both felt this picture reminded us of Ecclesiastes chapter 3 through chapter 12.  “To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven.  A time to be born, and a time to die . . . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing whether it be good or whether it be evil.”
 
Emilie couldn’t sleep and neither could I., so we went to the Internet site, classmates.  And there viewed and read and remembered all the people we went to high school with and shared our remembrances of the familiar names.  Even her brother’s name was listed as Joe Jones to which I quickly changed to Joe Bones.  We laughed and giggled like we were teenagers again.
 
This task, along with the occasional licks from Tessa and the rubbing and purring from Kit (my cat) brought smiles to both our faces.  We had to check out our e-mail before we signed off.
 
There was another letter from Sandra.  She said she was drooling over her keyboard just thinking of what
Emilie had for breakfast.  Tamales!
 
We told her, “When you get our age you make your own decisions on what to eat and when and where and with whom.  Just wait and see.”  Emilie was dictating some of this letter as I typed and said it aloud.  She input the words into my mouth, fingers, and ears.
 
It was tomorrow already.  We started this e-mail yesterday, but the day slipped away in what seemed just minutes, just like our lives were passing before us in memories.
 
Emilie and I made plans for the next night and what we would do, but someone else had other plans.  she got new meds.  When it came time for us to start another pajama  party, she was sleeping.  Rhonda (Her oldest daughter) had been granted a good QUIET nights sleep on my couch without the loud laughs, giggles, and singing.  All our plans were put on hold.
 
We had planned to write a letter together to thank Sandra for the beautiful roses she had sent and the love expressed to Emilie in the words on the card.  But God gave Emilie the “Time to Relax”, so I had to do it for her.  We had planned to evaluate the news in the world and how it affects us as God’s chosen to be on watch as watchmen waiting for his final return.
 
How the deceptions of the devil’s work are so cleverly disguised as Christ’s when in actuality it is the work of the devil, the beast, or the antichrist.  Each picks away and tempts us to turn from the true Christ, our Lord, Jesus Christ (Who in us we are His).  We had been analyzing the concepts.
 
Emilie had asked if I would take her to Church.  I said, “We need not worry of gathering in a man-made building.  Instead, we as His elect, carrying the temple of God in Christ in us, have only to open our hearts to him and each other.  For through Christ, Our Lord and Savior, the corner-stone of our church within us, uses each of us to fulfill God’s Will, His Will, not our own.”
 
How if we are his brethren we are known by our fruits, and how (like the mustard seed) they (our fruits) grow when God’s elect join together to pray to Our Father Who Art in Heaven, asking as sinner’s to be allowed to fulfill His Will.
 
God’s Will leads to eternal life through our joining together in Christ (Our Cornerstone).  He is our foundation.  Emily and I joining together in prayer, through our hope and faith, which is in Jesus Christ, became His church.
 
And how, with the faith of that mustard seed, we as two disabled individuals were able to move mountains even when we were constantly reminded by everyone and by the world that we are unable to care for each other.
 
Through our love for each other and with the help of Tessa and Kit and the Ridgecrest Hospice Care, We have proved the world wrong.  Tessa stood guard during the day and met everyone, friend and foe, at the front gate.  Kit worked at night keeping watch over Emilie and waking me if Emilie woke during the night.
 
we needed only our faith, given us by God as a gift, to move the mountains.  God provides for the needs of His elect.  Emilie and I knew our gift from God, our faith, was moving that mountain to achieve His Will.  Because we love each other, we are known as brethren.  Through our faith in Him, as a gift from God (not of our own doing or through our own earnings by doing), and the work of the Holy Ghost in us, we were made able to move mountains and make our dreams and prayers come true.
 
The majority of the religious world feels their acts earn them the blessings of God.  They feel they earn the blessings of God of their own free will, making God a debtor who must reward them for their righteousness.  When in actuality we are all debtors because we are all sinners and because God’s word tells us “. . . We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, and we all do fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6).
 
I thought my cat, Kit,  had graced Emilie with something she had brought in from outside.  Anyways, she was running around her room, acting like a kitten and playing, trying to earn herself a reward.  I warned her not to bring any birds in here because Emilie has a perfect view of them out the window.  The chirping sound provides her a perfect view.  Her view is beautiful.
 
God does not have us work for His blessings.  God does not give rewards for our obedience, nor does he set a definite timetable for salvation.
 
Instead, good works and obedience reveals the Will of God.  Good works and obedience is the evidence and the fruits of a true living faith.  The children of God merely reveal their gratitude by glorifying God who has saved them by His Grace, by encouraging the brethren, and by their profession of the gospel.
 
Emilie left this world as she came in, beautiful (as a baby in Christ) nearly bald, with her blue eyes flashing the love she sees all around her.  I know she was in Christ by her ability to forgive.  The Lord had said to “love those who despite-fully use you and persecute you.”
 
Emilie had no hard feelings toward anyone, not even those who had wronged her.  She told me, “I love them.”  Only God can give one the ability to forgive completely and fully.  Emilie is one of His.
 
She greeted everyone that came to see her with open arms and a big smile and sometimes even a hug.  Pete (my former husband) almost got away without getting his hug.  I told him, “Em will be upset if you don’t put your hand on hers and say something.”  As soon as he did, her big blues came open, she sat up in bed, and she reached over for her hug.  Pete was surprised for she appeared to be sleeping.  But she was playing possum with her eyes closed.  I had told him, “She isn’t asleep.  She is just tired of looking at my ugly mug all the time.”
 
Emilie Marquez, my best friend and sister, passed away at the house we shared in Ridgecrest for just a short time.  Her passing was peaceful.  I will miss her greatly.  One of the last things she said to me was,  “Thank you, Trudy.  I love you.”
 
To which I answered, ” I should be thanking you.  I have been blessed by your presence here.”
 
She questioned, “Really?”
 
“Really,”  I answered.  “I love you too, now and forever.”  Emilie was a joy to the end.  I thank God for blessing me with such an honor.  Giving alone is not enough for as St Paul explains in Corinthians Chapter 13 “If I have not Charity, I am nothing.”
 
Galatians chapter 5:1-26 provides good reading if you are interested in what God wants for His elect to understand.
 
I pray everyone who reads this will come to know the Lord through His Word.  Thank you for reading or listening to what I have titled:  Emilie’s Miracle.

 

Uncle Chris, My Friend

By Trudy A. Martinez
CHRIS DAGUIO
Came:  March 03, 1906—–Went: March 05, 1999
In Between, he left 93 years of memories
WHO KNEW?
Who was he?
He was my friend.
Never will there be
One like him again.
 
Who Knew?
He was a quiet man:
Giiving, Faithful,and True!
Rarely did he speak . . . Unless spoken to.
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew?
He was a Seaman:
Most of his life–living on the ocean blue,
Giving of himself,
Being Faithful,
And making dreams come true.
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew? Who Knew?
He was a he-man,
Not a give-it-to-me man.
He could move a mountain for a friend.
 
Who Knew?
Very few words could explain
Just what he meant to be,
Just what he meant to me,
Just what he meant to you?
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew?
In such a small frame
So much love grew
And grew and grew.
 
Who Knew?  Who Knew?  Who Knew?
The seeds that he sowed would continue to grow,
Harvesting love for you and me.
Who Knew?
 
Trudy Martinez