Monday, August 22, 2011

Joys and Concerns Here and There, August 22, 2011

No other success
can compensate 
for failure in the home.
~suggested quote
at a tattoo parlor

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this fine August day in Southern California. The following are some joys and a concern regarding people in our family around the country.

Happy 25th Anniversary to Russ and Pam. Tomorrow, August 23, is the 25th anniversary of my brother Russ and his wife Pam Engan Shepard of Anacortes, Washington.

I remember well that warm and pleasant Saturday afternoon in Anacortes 25 years ago when the families of Russ and Pam gathered in the front yard of the Shepard home on Wildwood Lane for the wedding ceremony. (see first picture) It was the last family event that our Grandmother Bura Davis Shepard attended before her death in October that year.

Happy 18th birthday to Linda Shepard! Russ and Pam are the proud parents of two children, Steven and Linda. (see second picture) Steve reached the milestone age of 21 earlier this year, and Linda reached her own milestone when she turned 18 just last Tuesday (August 16). Linda and friends enjoyed a tattoo trip to Seattle to celebrate the day. (How the rites of passage change!) Happy Birthday, Linda!

Happy Birthday Amanda. This coming Thursday, August 25, is the birthday of Amanda Ortiz who lives in Blue Springs, Missouri. She is the daughter of Kim Boyd Clark, also of Blue Springs, and the granddaughter of Terry and Thelma Shepard Boyd of Gallup, New Mexico.

Amanda: "My birthday is approaching quickly! Mom, Jeff and the family are taking me for a steak dinner. It should be a good day! 

"I am enjoying what I have left of my twenty's. :(  I am having a blast with my nieces and nephew here in Missouri. I have missed them so much living so far away from them since I moved away in 2006. I may live in the Midwest now but I am still a San Diego girl at heart :)  

"I am currently living in Blue Springs, MO and am coming up on 3 years working with Allstate's Flood division and look forward to many more years with them. I am currently in school and will be obtaining my business degree in Human Resources in October. I am looking forward to the next year of my life and hoping to experience new and exciting things. Thanks for the birthday wishes!"

Update on Elmer Shepard. As you probably know, my uncle Elmer Shepard, who lives in Mustang, Oklahoma, is the senior member of our Shepard clan at 93 years old. His son Dane Shepard wrote me recently with an update on how his dad is doing.

In the last few weeks, Dad had a couple of days where his blood pressure dropped so low he was unresponsive. They have adjusted his medication and he seems stable now. He is weaker and is unable to get out anymore. He spends more time in bed and it is easier now to use a wheel chair instead of his walker to get him from his room to wherever he needs to go. I usually try to take him some Braums ice cream which he enjoys. I am now not immune to his short fuse and aggression. He likes to eat but there is very little else he enjoys. He doesn't like TV and is unable to sit for any period of time especially to read. He still hangs on and is aware of his surroundings and who people are yet seems to remain mentally uncomfortable most of the time. He stills receives hospice care and observation. Obviously, my reports on Dad will continue to go downhill as he slowly weakens. It will be such a blessing when the Lord takes him home. He's not the Elmer we once knew.

Our prayers and best wishes are with Elmer; and with Dane as he continues to care for and watch over his father.
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