Friday, January 15, 2010

Shepard Family Update January 15, 2010

[One] day all God's children
will be able to sing with new meaning,
"My country, 'tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty,
of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
land of the pilgrim's pride,
from every mountainside,
let freedom ring."
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hello Shepard Family and Friends,

Today is the birthday of a great American hero, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Though today is his birthday, this coming Monday is the day when most of us will have a holiday to celebrate him and remember his life. He was a minister and activist who championed peace and freedom for all families. Had he not been shot and killed in 1968, he would today be celebrating his 81th birthday. Families of all kinds and colors, shapes and sizes owe a great debt of gratitude to Dr. King.

This coming Thursday, January 21, is the birthday of Dane  and his son Nathan Shepard. Dane, the 6th of the 12 grandchildren of Will and Bura Shepard, grew up in San Diego with the rest of us Shepards of his generation, but is retired now and living in New Castle, Oklahoma. Happy Birthday to Dane and Nathan!

The first picture I am including today shows a young Dane Shepard in San Diego in 1953. With him in the picture are his parents Elmer and Beryl, and his teen aged aunt Thelma Shepard. Dane emailed me recently with the following update.

We are grateful to be doing well in spite of all the cold weather we've had since Christmas Eve. It was ten degrees this morning but the sun is out and it's supposed to warm up in the next few days. What a change from Southern California!  I can imagine what it was like for the Shepard and Davis families living in the "panhandle" of Oklahoma years ago.

Regarding birthdays, Nathan and I celebrate the same day, Jan. 21 (he will be 14 and I must admit to 59!).  Both he and Kaylan keep Cindy and I young with home school, bowling, church, and other activities. Elmer is doing about the same and is still able to get out for church services, visits, and appointments. We hope to celebrate his 92 birthday in May. We are truly thankful for the opportunity to be with and assist him, as well as Cindy's parents who struggle at times with their health.

As I think about family and look forward to the coming year, I'm reminded of a stanza from one of my favorite hymns by Folliott Pierpont:

For the joy of human love,
brother, sister, parent, child,
friends on earth and friends above,
for all gentle thoughts and mild,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
this our hymn of grateful praise.

The second picture I am including today shows Dane with his wife Cindy and children Nathan and Kaylan, and his father Elmer.

Dane passed on to me an email he received from cousin Becky Davis of Bartlesville with an update on how she is doing after her recent fall and hospitalization.

Thank you for the e-mail that I received in the hospital and also for checking to see how I am getting along. I came home 10 days ago and had to have Jessie get some equipment so I could get around. She has been wonderful. They put two rods in my leg so I would not have to wear a cast and can get around with a walker. The doc said I could do anything that the pain would allow. Am able to do everything except cook and wash my clothes. I have ordered a recumbent stationary bike which should be here on Monday. Used one at the hospital and could tell that is what I need to get some strength back. 

Mom and I have not been outside since I got back. It is just too cold. Have to go see the Doctor on Tues. but should be warmer and maybe all this snow will have melted. Mom is fine but gets a little disoriented after dark. I heard the name for that is Sundown Syndrome and a lot of older people have it. We don't get worried about it considering her age. She still has some spice in her. Love to all,  Becky Davis

Have a wonderful week as we make our way into these bleak midwinter days. Maybe you can even find some spice in the midst of it all.
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