Thursday, September 29, 2011
If I were to compare today with the most frustrating day ever, I would have to say it was much worse. And I am going to give you the new address for Kris tonight, but I will send out a caveat in the next day or so confirming she made the move. That should give you some idea of where we are.
Yes, the approvals were all done. Yes, the military, the insurance company, the VA: all approved. The medical records were sent, the application was filled out, all admission information was completed. We had Kris packed up, everything loaded up on a cart, and we were just waiting for delivery of a new special walker for Kris, with every intention of leaving at noon today. Then I received the phone call from the admissions person down at the facility where she will (hopefully) be going. Someone on their board needed a written letter attesting to the fact that Humana (Tricare) will definitely being paying for Kris’s to stay there. It was an afterthought. It was a snafu. It was an oversight. But it extremely upsetting, took us by surprise, and ruined what was to be an easy transition for Kris.
Well, we managed to contact all the right people (military liaison, case workers, Tricare liaison: anyone who might be able to help on short notice), and I think we will move Kris tomorrow (Friday). The frustration and telephone calls going and coming all afternoon made it very difficult to be positive and, by the end of the day, we are still not 100 percent certain. But, here is where you can send those wonderful cards and letters:
Maj Kristine Ratliff
[new address will be posted later]
As always, Kris is so aware of everything that is going on and, when phone calls started coming and going and worried comments were being made, I know she was worried, too. Thinking how she must feel is our foremost concern, and I must tell you it was difficult to conceal our frustration and anger so that it would not affect her any more than necessary.
As to whether we have made the right decision to send her there or not: we just have to hope that we have. It is close to her home, it will be easier for Russell and the children to visit (especially Joshua, who will turn 18 in December, by the way!). As soon as Russell gets the renovations at their house completed (enlarging a bedroom and adding a full handicap accessible bathroom), Kris will be going home, which will make Kris and the family very happy, I’m sure.
The facility is only ten years old and we were able to visit there again yesterday. We talked to several of the folks who will work with Kris and saw her room – a lovely private room with full bath. So... as you receive this update, please pray for our continued guidance and that we have chosen wisely. But, most of all, continue to pray for Kris. George and I truly must leave here in a week or so to return to Florida. It is going to be even more difficult to leave now than it was last December, because I know the winter months will be very long. I have already talked about coming out several times and that will help, but there is just no way to be comfortable not being here every day.
Physically, I do need some time, I’m afraid. We both do. George keeps reminding me I’m not as young as I used to be and, much as I hate to admit it, he’s right! But Kris has plateaued and my greatest fear is that she will decline again as she did during the three months we were not here last year. There have been beautiful, caring Christian folks working with her at RIOSA, and they have uplifted our spirits on numerous occasions. A retired pastor and present employee at RIOSA prayed with us and anointed Kris with oil today. It was just that extra “portion” we needed. Our prayer and strong hope that his prayers (and yours) will be answered: Kris will walk and talk again one day.
George and I bought Kris a special hat last Saturday. (See attached photo.) Across the front, it reads: Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She was so tickled when we gave it to her and wears it every day to go to therapy. Today, Russell brought in one of her oak leaf cluster pins signifying her position as Major, and George pinned it on the front of the hat. Watching her smile and realizing how very proud of her service she is helped make the day bearable, truly. And watching her salute fellow veterans who are at RIOSA as patients is a definite heart warming experience. Kris is a very special little lady, and the respect that has been shown her is an indication everyone agrees on that. Without being able to speak, her smile, those sparkling blue eyes and that salute... you just can’t imagine! God is not done with her yet, and He will use her in a very special work for Him... I have no doubt.
Blessings and love,
Carol and George
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
I’m just thinking how things change, but stay the same. When I was a kid, I loved taking pictures, too, but it was expensive to have pictures developed, so I couldn’t just carry a camera with me all the time and take pictures of everything and everyone. Now, it’s different and I think it’s wonderful. Now I’m wondering what taking pictures will look like for Emma’s children.
What a fun day we had!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
We were excited that we are here when Camden had Grandparent’s Day at school.
First, they served breakfast for all the kids and grandparents and then all the students and grandparents went into the auditorium for their Thursday chapel time. It was really good and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
After chapel, I went back to Camden’s classroom to take a picture of him with his teacher.
Good job, Camden! Thanks for inviting us to your school.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
This has been the longest week! Always, we begin to get excited about going to see our kids and grandkids about two weeks before it’s ‘moving’ day. And today has finally arrived. By 9:00 AM, we are hooked up to the Q and rolling.
We stopped at the Evant Café (nothing to write home about) and ate lunch because … we were hungry.
Back on the road and about twenty-five minutes from Waco, we crossed a small bridge, felt a bump and instantly heard KAAAPOWW! We both new instantly that we’d had a blow out on the Q.
We didn’t want to see it, but we couldn’t wait to get stopped to assess the damage. It wasn’t pretty. Why can’t someone invent a tire that doesn’t blow out? I mean, really, think about it. How difficult could it be? It’s like the tire has been invented and it works, with a few flaws, so we’ll just let it go at that. Cone on, Creative People, you’re missing a golden opportunity to GET RICH!
Standing on the side of the highway with traffic going by, not slowing down at all, by the way, and watching the Q rocking as it is parked on a slope and I think for sure the next big truck that comes by is going to blow it over. Anyway, Don and I are both thinking that it’s going to take a big wrecker type truck to attach to the Q or something big to take care of this problem of getting the spare tire on. Well, me more than Don, probably. So, you can imagine my surprise when this little Kia pulls up behinds us. We get out and I keep looking down the highway expecting a wrecker to be following, but it’s just this little car and Ray Walker, who isn’t as tall as I, who had assured me, on the phone, that he had jacks that would handle tons of weight. Mr. Walker was so nice and reassuring, stating that he’d changed a tire on a 5th wheel about a week ago. He even asked if we needed a bottle of water or anything. He gets all the needed equipment out of the trunk of his little car and goes to work jacking up the Q, getting the spare off it’s wrack and replacing the rude tire. See that yellow tank in his car? He used that to put air in the spare.
We were delayed only about two hours and were soon parked at our destination in Waco.
Before we arrived at our park, I took this picture of a huge Texas flag along the way. Can someone explain to me how a flag flying outside, with the blue sky in the background, creates a shadow? Is that weird or what?
Waco Time in the Fall was slow getting started with a little delay, but it’s off to a good start.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
We have fallen in love with her and she kept telling me this morning, “I am sure going to miss y’all.” Ms. Etta will be 95 in October and she has been in church every Sunday we’ve been there, since May 12th.
I pray that I have as sweet a spirit as she has should I live to be 95.
God bless you, Ms. Etta. We’re going to miss you, too.
Took a picture of Chris Dahse, the pastor. It’s not a very good picture, but at least, I got a picture.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
There’s a Sisters on the Fly rally going on at Johnson Creek RV Park and Resort this weekend. They started rolling in here on Thursday in their cute vintage trailers.
One of the Sisters happens to be Suzie Humphreys on her “maiden voyage” with the Sisters. “Who’s Suzie Humphreys?” you ask. Suzie is a radio and TV personality that I loved during the late 60’s and early 70’s in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
When I rolled up to her site on the park golf cart, we hit it off like we’d been friends forever. Yesterday, while I was working in the office, she brought me her autographed book, “If All Else Fails, Laugh!” and invited me to come see her trailer.
>>> Click here <<< to see pictures of some of the vintage trailers and a picture of Suzie and I.
The Sisters love it here and are having a wonderful time together.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
On this 10th anniversary of 9/11, we heard two really good sermons.
There are so many emotions and thoughts in my head, that I can’t process them all right now. I thought I should watch something on TV to remember that horrible day and honor the lives taken, but I just couldn’t. It just makes my heart hurt too much.
Instead, I walked outside and prayed and took pictures of the setting sun.
When I got back to the Q, it was almost dark. I sat down outside and called my mama. While we were talking, the deer entered the orchard. You have to look real hard to see them in the distance, but I wanted a picture that showed the pecan orchard. We still need rain here.
Tomorrow starts our last week here at Johnson Creek RV Resort and Park. Our summer here has been wonderful and relaxing. As beautiful as it is here, the best of all are the friends we have made.
I will be working all next week, so I may not be able to take very many pictures, so I hope you have enjoyed these today as much as I enjoyed taking them.
I do remember. I remember how life in the United States changed ten years ago in a matter of a few minutes. I remember how this nation has lost it’s way.
We are in a “storm” and our “ship is sinking” unless we cry out, “help us lest we perish, Lord Jesus!”
Here’s the declaration: The problem is our SINful condition!
Here’s the solution: Jesus Christ