Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer Time

Summer time, and the living is easy? Not at my house. Not this summer.

I suspect that this blog entry will be like the conversations that take place between good friends catching up with the events of each other’s lives over coffee. It’s a bit of an explanation as to why I haven’t posted recently. So pour yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.

A couple of weeks ago my last living uncle, James Copenhaver (“Uncle Cope”), died, one month short of 92 years old. He was a smart, funny, and personable guy whose mind stayed sharp up until the end. You can read about him here.

From the generations of my family ahead of me, now only my Aunt Wanda remains. I’ve been remembering the relatives who nurtured me throughout my youth and into adulthood. Most of them lived long lives, but I wish I had had more time with each of them.

(This is a picture of my father with my grandparents in the forties, before I was born.)

(And this is a photo of my parents, Wanda and Cope, and my aunt and uncle, probably taken during the sixties.)

While I was still with family in California because of Uncle Cope’s death, my long time friend Marcy died. She was an amazing woman who somehow managed to live with lung cancer for five years. You can read about her grace and courage here. Her memorial service occurred on the day I flew home from California, so I was unable to attend, and that saddens me. But a few weeks ago, I had a deep and meaningful conversation with Marcy. That hour with her was such a gift, and I am grateful.

Here's Marcy, in April or May of this year.

This summer has also brought a couple of situations that tear at my heart. I’ve prayed my way through a lot of dark days.

Still, life is good. Dr. Lobo and I just completed another year of marriage, marking forty-three years together, and most days I feel lucky to have him. (And the other days? Well, let’s just call them interesting. I’ve never been bored with the man.) I’m healthy, and in a couple of weeks I’ll celebrate another year of life—a year that has been mostly very good. I’ve lost some people who were treasures in my life, but I’m surrounded by friends and family members who amuse me, comfort me, and love me beyond anything I deserve. And although some situations are presently causing pain, I know I’ll get through them. During the years I raised my children, whenever they went through difficult stages, I would tell myself “This, too, shall pass.” And it always did.

Even summer’s hottest, stickiest, most miserable days don’t last forever. Until my life becomes more comfortable, I’ll spend time in front of the air conditioner, drink my Diet Dr. Pepper with plenty of ice, and look forward to days when living will be easier than it is now.


Oklahoma Granny said...

Years ago we had some very dear church friends - Jim and Priscilla Copenhaver. They've both been gone for several years now. I have to wonder if the two James' were related somehow. Our Jim was as wonderful a man as your uncle sounds.

Joan said...

But, that Diet DP allows you to really enjoy the moment. =)

Life is not about living the dream, but really living in all our moments.

Okie Book Woman said...

Granny, your Copenhavers were probably related in some way to my Copenhavers. My Uncle Cope was born in Peoria, Oklahoma. I am pretty sure he grew up in Newkirk. If not Newkirk, some other northern Oklahoma small town. He moved to California after WW II.

Okie Book Woman said...

You're right, Joan. Don't think I could get through the summer without Diet DP. And my life is made up of lots of moments to savor.

smeade said...

Jeannie- I'm so sorry for your losses. Just hold on to those memories and it'll be almost like they are still here. You are right, this too shall pass but it's hard. Hang in there. Hugs.

Okie Book Woman said...

Thanks, Sara. I can use a lot of hugs right now. You're a good friend.

Kim Rogers said...

Jeannie, your post really touched me. I'm so sorry for your pain and loosing people you love. I'll be praying that you find that peace that transcends all understanding during this tough time. Sending lots of hugs, too.

Okie Book Woman said...

Thanks, Kim. I appreciate the prayers and hugs. (And I wish I had some of your pumpkin bread. That would cheer me up!)

drlobojo said...

Yes, Diet DP, it has saved our marriage many time over.