Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harried Guys and Wandering Women, October 11, 2011

The family is the fundamental unit of society
as well as the root of culture.
It is a perpetual source of encouragement,
assurance and emotional refueling.
~Marianne Neifert

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this warm fall day in San Diego. Cindy and I are in the middle of a wonderful 10 day experience as full time grandparents, precipitated by the recovery of our daughter-in-law Chenda from her recent surgery. She is doing well and will soon return to her duties as full time mom and wife.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day we went to the San Diego Zoo and enjoyed ourselves with Preslea and Logan and some friends and fellow grand parents and their young ones. The first picture was taken near the end of that memorable adventure. It shows a rather harried Logan and me on the left with a smiling and composed Cindy and Preslea on the right.

Oklahoma Update. I received word just the other day from Dane Shepard of Newcastle, Oklahoma, updating me on the status of his father Elmer Shepard. (The picture below shows Elmer Shepard with his sister Pauline Shepard Russell. It was also taken here in San Diego, not far from where the first picture was taken, but 65 years ago, when the Will and Bura Davis Shepard family was living in San Diego.)

Dane: Greetings and I hope you're enjoying the fall season. We are finally receiving some much needed rain after a dry and warm September. There's been no cool or cold weather so far.

Regarding Elmer, he seems to be consistently calmer and a bit more active than last month. When I am with him, he has a good appetite, consuming his meal plus the ice cream I bring. He sleeps a lot but gets up on his own and sometimes falls. So far nothing serious has happened. His short term memory is indeed very short but he retains a lot of the past. He remembered a lot about Edwin Kilpatrick of recent family emails.

He is in a memory care unit where many of the residents have Alzheimer related issues. He gets visits from wandering women who want to make his bed or do something to the room. One of the male residents, Neal, has given some comic relief to the situation. Last month, at the supper table, for some reason he mentioned that he would be glad when Christmas was over. I asked him how old he was and he said that he didn't remember as it was a long time ago (he is younger than Dad).

As time slips by it is interesting (if not sobering) as to one's view of their role and family position. You see yourself gradually but surely taking the place of those who are going or who have gone ahead.  Having children at an older age has tempered that reality somewhat for me but I am quickly reminded being with Dad. Lord willing, the years ahead hold the promise of fulfillment and even more service and productivity. Indeed, "we walk by faith and not by sight." Most lovingly, Dane.

Thanks to Dane for these words and best wishes to him and Elmer and their family.
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