Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway. Psalms 119:105

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have had a full weekend with a one year Memorial at the cemetery to view Don's newly installed headstone and to remember the person of integrity that he was. It was very well supported. Then we returned to my house to have a Baty family reunion. Almost the whole family was there, even ones who had other plans later and I certainly appreciated the love show to me. Many friends also were there.

I have decided to end this blog. It has served it purpose: To get us (me and you) through one of the most difficult times in our lives. This is some of what I learned in the past year:

Each one of us has to make it our business to be happy. When we are happy, we wish life would never end, for us or for our loved ones, even strangers. Happiness is not optional. Jehovah God commands us to be happy at Deuteronomy 16:13-15.

I have thought about it. What is happiness? It is the outward manifestation of the internal condition of joy that comes from a good heart and is connected with contentment. It comes from peace of mind and joy of heart.

The Bible says that those people whose God is Jehovah should be happy. This is a statement that I and my Sweetie believed with all our hearts. In fact, happiness is a gift from God, a fruit of His spirit. He is the happy God and he sincerely wants us to be happy NOW, not in some distant future. Every day I ask myself if I am happy. I know that I will be if I have my life under control. I know I must continue to have self discipline and self control. I now realize that I have to control fleshly desires instead of trying to satisfying them all. I know how to be happy at home by myself or with friends and family. I have come a long way.

Happiness isn't in THINGS. - a car, a home, a mate or so on. It is inside of us. If our happiness is dependent on things or conditions, whom we are with, then an accident or tragedy, like my Sweetie's death, can rob us of happiness.

I know I must protect my happiness with all my might. I never want to lose my joy of living. I am determined not to allow other people to hold the key to my happiness as if I was plugged into them, I refuse to be robbed of my happiness by gossip or by what others say or do, I will try hard not to let them affect me overmuch. I have learned that once unhappiness enters into your life, it is very hard to get it out.

Another lesson that I have learned and would like to express is that I MUST love what Jehovah God loves. I know I live in an imperfect world and so that calls for many adjustments. I, as well as everyone else, am imperfect. One thing that is consistent about life is that there are always changes. Disappointments could discourage me. I have learned that happiness is up to me. It is dependent on what I do with my mind and heart. I am determined to adjust my thinking as I continue to age. I know that nobody can do this for me but I also know that Jehovah will help me. Happiness is not dependent on where we are or with whom we are. It is not just knowing, it is in the doing! Happiness isn't so much doing what we like, but liking what we do. It is not being where we like but liking where you are. It is having what you like, but liking what you have. I am determined to enjoy what I have and who I am. That is being Christlike.

I am confident that a joyful heart and a mind at peace with Jehovah and the peace from Him that excels all thought, is what has made me truly happy still.

Nowhere does the Bible say that happiness depends on a good job because physical things can not bring lasting joy and happiness. This can only come from within. I know that true happiness is linked with the thoughts of God. That is why I try to read His word daily and meditate on it and work on applying His lessons in my life.

Also, I have learned that secret faults of pride or selfishness can eat away happiness. I pray for Jehovah's correction.

Some people tryy only find counterfeit happiness. Like counterfeit money, it robs them of contentment.

For any who have not found happiness, you need to prepare yourself for happiness with a good personal Bible study program. You need to be close to people who likewise are concerned about spiritual things.

Lastly, I am cultivating endurance. I have years before Don and I can be together again on the Paradise earth. That was our hope. I know that it is not everyone's hope but it was ours. I have found that nothing triumphs over sadness as much as day at a Jesus stated. We don't serve Jehovah because we want him to make us happy, but because we truly love Him and our neighbor.

I have made it my business to be happy. I am succeeding!!!!!

I send my love to all my family and friends. Any messages/comments, please send them to Barbara Baty

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Papa's Truck

A few months ago, I parted with Don's truck, selling it to Teri and Dan for Brandon when he turned 16. He, of all the grandchildren, have sweet memories of "Papa's truck". When he was a little "Squirt", we would take him camping, using the truck and our pop-up camper. We spent time fishing and hiking, but the thing Brandon liked the most was traveling in "Papa's truck".

Brandon has been driving now since March and uses the truck to get back and forth to school and to work. He has "spruced" up the truck, coming over to show me new wheels and sound system. He made it his own. So the following incident took on much emotion.

Sunday evening, June 5th, Dan and one of Brandon's friends, took the two boys' vehicles over to Dan's work and worked on brakes for the boys. Brandon was at work. After finishing Brandon's truck, they were working on John's, forgetting to take out the keys. They were just walking back into the garage when John heard Brandon's truck start. Someone was stealing it!!!!

After making the police report, they called Teri and Brandon, who started over to the shop after a fellow employee dropped a very upset Brandon home. How dare they steal Papa's and my truck!!!!!!!!

Upon arriving over to the shop, the guys decided to look for the truck. An uncle, who works as a dispatcher, suggested a perimeter to search. Teri wanted to be part of the search. They each took a mile road between Ryan and Mound, Teri getting the "safest" between 9 and 10 in Warren, John taking between 8 and 9 and Dan and Brandon taking between 8 and 7.

Who finds the truck? Mom. She spied it in a driveway and called John to come over to confirm it. Upon arriving, they walk up to check out the truck and, sure enough, it was Brandon's. Talk about a needle in a haystack. The men in the house saw them and headed out to their vehicles, one trying to push Teri's car out of the way, while Papa's truck took off over the neighbor's lawn and headed down the street with my foolish daughter following after it.

She following after it, tooting her horn the whole way and called the police and her husband to inform them as to what was going on. The police took over the chase around 8 Mile. They followed the truck into Detroit and found it abandoned after briefly losing it. It must have sideswiped another vehicle because there was some damage on the passenger door. So the truck was retrieved.

My daughter was so shaken that John drove from that point. Talk about an adrenaline rush!!!!!! The police talking with Teri asked her why she hang on like a bull dog. She explained that it was Papa's and Brandon's truck and that she was not going to just go away. The police discovered that the address where the truck was found was a vacant house and that the other car also had been stolen. They retrieved lots of prints from the truck and, no doubt, the house.

How do I feel about the whole incident? Now that it is over, I am so proud of Teri but when I heard of it, I was very horrified. The treasured truck was just something material and her life and the other lives were too precious to be put in danger for it. Her other son said she was "stupid" to put herself in such danger. Her brothers' were horrified at the position she put herself in. In hindsight she would have chosen to just wait down the street and let the police handle it. At the time, a mother's and daughter's love took over.

She may have cracked a car theft ring. I am so thankful that she is OK. It is just a bonus that the truck was retrieved.

That is enough excitement for the month!!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Enduring Expressions of Love

Every morning that I wake up and open my shade, I see and feel Don's love...for me and for Jehovah's creation. It is like a big hug. This morning my eyes rested on yellow and red tulips, Monsella tulips (large yellow tulips with red stripes, blue lungwort, white paper daffodils with orange centers rimmed in red, golden daffodils that measure 5 1/2 inches across and full like a peony, his ice cream tulips that are just starting to open to show me their white scoop out of their pink cone, dianthus that are just starting to open in colors of red, pink, white and varigated. (This means mixed colors.) My eyes see the poppies getting bushier and ready to put up their pretty faces. Don's day lilies are also busy and soon I will see their faces. How can I be overly sad when My Sweetie presents me with flowers every morning? It is like and eternal hug. I can honestly say that I appreciated his love and efforts then and more so now. We shared many passions together, one of them for the beautiful flowers and to soil to work in.

I could go on and on because I have just scratched the surface although I am over half way through spring cleaning the yard. I worked about three hours on clean up detail yesterday and it was so beautiful. I remember our habit of working together every spring, cutting down the ornamental grasses and cultivating around the emerging babies. Stop by and get a hug from Don, too.

I had cataract surgery over the last two weeks and I can now see afar. I have always been nearsighted. Now I can count the bricks on the neighbor's house across the street. I must get a different hobby.

I checked on Don's headstone and it should be ready before July, I took a lot of time and prayer choosing the headstone. It is of pink granite cut into two hearts. The hearts are joined in the middle, overlapping a bit. On that overlapping space are two wedding rings intertwined, with our wedding date inscribed there. We are having a little ceremony and prayer that day. One of Don's best friends, Joel has agreed to do it for me. I intend to fix food so that we can spend the day together enjoying each others company.

Thank you so much for thinking of me as I think of you often. Thank you for the ongoing cards and expressions of love. I am a blessed woman and I know it. Luv U All, Barb

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ireland and Beyond

Well, I fulfilled Don's dream of going to Ireland. It was bitter-sweet because he was not with me but I enjoyed every minute of it.....for both of us. I know that he is not aware of me going because he is sleeping (Ecclesiastes 9:5-10). It comforted me to be where we were longing to go. I enjoyed the "Emerald Isle" and have many memories to share. The violin concerts that Elana was in were spectacular...bringing tears to my eyes at times. What a treat to share it with Don's family and the Waters. In addition to castles and the countryside with its stone walls, the trees were in full bloom and the flowers were everywhere. Don would have loved it. Grandson David is going to post a video of some pictures. He took 800. He, however, seldom takes them of people unless we force him too. He is a scenery guy. I will let you know how to access them.

I looked at the Irish clan names and found Baty. No O'Baty but Baty. Obviously, no crest was shown because the family must have left during the famine. We visited the museum in Cork where most of the emigrants left from. I can just see Don's family leaving for America. When we were in Wales in 2002, Don checked to find the name there, believing that the Baty's were Welsh. But the name was not there. Maybe the manifesto of the people is somewhere to find. I will try.

I am auxillary pioneering this month...that means I signed up to volunteer 30 hours to try and teach others. Because I was sick with bronchitis when I came home, I did not quite succeed but I came close and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I feel such a need to give back because of all the blessings I have had in my life. Jehovah had been exceptionally good to Don and I.

I have ordered the headstone for our grave.It is a double heart with wedding rings intertwined Our wedding date is there as is our dates of birth/death. My children saw the proofs and agreed with my choice. I had definite ideas about it and was successful and accomplishing it. The family is invited to the unveiling in June. i am not sure when but I will try to pick a convenient date. I will fix a simple meal so that we can be together for a bit more.

Thank you for reading my blog. I know I haven't been writing as much but it has proven to be a healing thing for me to express my feelings and my progress as I live my life on my own after 54 years....not something I was looking forward to but was thrust upon me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I find myself regressing. I have days that I am profoundly sad. I thought it was just an uphill battle. It seems to be one step up and two back. I guess everyone deals with profound grief in different ways but I am surprised to see some of my progress reverse itself.

I am following the advice given at Proverbs 18:1 "The one isolating himself will seek his own selfish longing. Against all practical wisdom, they will break forth." I find myself wanting to just quit struggling. It would so easy just to fall asleep permenanty. Of course, I have no thoughts of suicide just an emptiness that wakes me up at night sometimes. I reach over and touch Don's pillow. So many times have I done that in the past. I also reached my foot over to touch his warm flesh but, of course, that is not now an option.

I went yesterday to start the process of picking out our gravestone. I have an idea of what I would like. Hopefully, it will be ready in May or June. I thought it would give me closure but I now know that only his resurrection will give me that.

I think about his unselfishness and know that I must go on and think of others who are also hurting. A little 4 year old boy in our congregation is dying of a brain tumor that the family valiantly fought until there was no more hope. I am so glad I know why we die and the hope for the dead or I would be very, very mad at Jehovah. Truly our God of Love does not cause death but is saddened by death, the enemy of mankind. He was so sad about it that he gave us his son to undo death and restore paradise in the future. I kidded with the Grandmother of the little boy that when Don comes back he will probably have Alante by the hand guiding him back to his family. He always had a special place for the children.

For now I try to keep busy doing unselfish things. I try to give something to someone every day, even if it just a smile or a prayer. I know that, as far as widows go, Don prepared me better than most. He pre-guided me. He assured me so strongly of his love by asking EVERYONE to watch out after me. He is not an equal to Jesus but he certainly has learned from him.

Thank you for reading my rambling thoughts. I had someone ask me if I was finished writing on my Blog. I guess not, as long as I have something to contribute to others. I know many family members are suffering as I am. His love reached to many people......even me. Barb

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Fun

I just had the most enjoyable weekend. Elana spent Friday-through-Sunday with me. I planned on making it a vacation for me, too. We went out for Hani's at National Coney Island at her recommendation. We walked for about 30 minutes, too, at the Macomb Mall. She had forgotten her tennis shoes so she walked in her boots. She tried on a pair of mine but she takes an 8 1/2 and mine are only 7 1/2. She is now almost a head taller than me. I really don't mind being a short grandmother. We talked like two old people, one of the topics being Papa. It is so nice that she can finally be really open about his death. She, too, has faith in the resurrection, which pleases me no end.

We played games (Inner Circle & Sequense). For those of you who have not played them yet, they both require stategy and concentration. We were pretty even as to wins and losses but I really tried very hard to "beat her butt". She is no easy target. At Four O'clock, she went with me on a Bible Study. She was really contributing, too.

Saturday, we went out in Field Service. We worked with the Prieto girls (one older and one younger than Elana). The girls were a riot. Sister Daily was also. I had suggested a mature sister go with us and Sister Daily was perfect. We laughed and laughed and enjoyed the work and being together tremendously. All the girls had positive responses because it is so nice to see such nice young ladies taking their spiritual need seriously. We lunched at Mc Donalds afterwards, Don's treat. (He had about $100 in his money clip when he died. I stuck it in my Service bag and have been using it on breaks. Don would have been pleased that his spending money bought lunch for the five of us. He was partial to young people. I really loved him for that. We went out for a pizza in the evening even though we had quite a bit of new snow and BAM,.....I cut it short at the end of my street and caught my front end in a snowbank. EEEEKKKS!!!! Thanks to good neighbors and Elana's shoveling efforts, we got out. Then I could not get up my driveway because the car would not climb. We went inside and enjoyed the HOT pizza and then went out and shoveled the driveway and I easily pulled into the garage. Life is exciting.

On Sunday, we studied our Bible lesson together. It was about Zeal and how Jesus showed zeal for his father's house with the moneychangers. Some very good points and comments at the meeting, Elana commenting also. When we got home, Elana practiced her violin. She is preparing for a Suzuki trip to Ireland with the teenage players where she takes lessons. I would like to go with her but bowed out when I found out that it will be 40 degrees and rainy. After hearing the sweetness of the songs she was practicing, I am determined to go. The opportunity to go with the group ends tomorrow so I hope that I can still squeeze in. We were playing games again when Mom and Dad came back from up north. They told me that they had a great time...Honey and Honey Time. But they could not have possibly had as good a time at Elana and I. I miss Don terribly but I know that life goes on. I await his resurrection in the future when Jehovah has one government over the earth and brings his servants back to live on the earth. I know that this is not what I was taught as a Catholic but the Bible doesn't lie, nor does Jehovah God. For those of you who do not yet know who Jehovah is, please do some research into the subject in your Bible and in the History Books. Luv U All Barb

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

6 Months

It has been 6 long months since my Sweetie died. I still have difficulty reading obituaries. Too sad to think of all that experience and knowledge and abilities ending. I know that it is not permanently ended but the world is poorer for the loss. I know my life is "poorer" because of Don's death.

The snowstorm wasn't as bad as forecasted (Is it ever?). Bob Harris was over by 8;30 a.m. starting up Don's snowplow, the dear. Before he was half done, Brian Brennan was here too, shoveling off the front before Bob could get to it. I feel almost selfish because I have so many people helping me. I don't take it for granted, but I know other women in my position who have to get out and shovel. I guess it a return for all that Don and I did when we were younger. I guess we "cast our bread upon the water". In the afternoon, Matt Elie called and inquired about my snow. He was planning on coming over with Deanna and Evan for a visit. They came around 4:30 p.m. Before they arrived, Bill Koch and two young men (brothers?) came over and plowed the 3 inches or so that had fallen.Then Angie called and inquired about the snow situation because Phil was ready to come over and dig me out. Thank you seems inadequate. But Don offered to pay Brian once and he said "Brother Baty, I am not a teenager who needs the money." Don gave in.

I thought about Don a lot today and still shudder when I think of him in the cold, hard ground. I know that he is sleeping awaiting a resurrection and that Jehovah will not use the same elements to recreate him but it still saddens me to think of that body that I loved to lay there. It never affected me before when someone died but then that was my Best Friend and Sweetie.

I am going to see about the headstone when the weather breaks. I spoke with David and Don, Jr. and they left it up to me to decide. David seemed to rather prefer that I purchased the stone in Michigan so I will.

Am I lonely? Sometimes. Am I depressed? Sometimes. Do I cry? Sometimes. Do I miss Don? All the time. I am really glad that we studied the Bible together and proved to ourselves what the Truth is about death, sin, the ransom, the resurrection, God's name, God's purpose for man and the earth and his plans to have one government over the earth someday soon. This knowledge shores me up and stabilizes me to endure being alone. I'll never like it but I can endure it. Don't get me wrong, I like "me" time but I have too much of it.

I have a "warm fuzzy" yesterday when I found a copy of a talk that Don had given several years ago. I listened to his sweet voice explaining scripture and my heart was warmed. He loved teaching the "Truth" and for those who took the time to learn (including us) our lives changed vastly for the better.

I liked being a Catholic but I LOVE being one of Jehovah's people. His strength continues to shore me up and give me hope for the future. I know that someday in the future, I will see my Don again. He died to soon!!!! I just want to hug him again and do "spoons" in bed. I wear socks to bed now because my feet stay cold for hours. He used to warm them up. He would say "Put your feet on my leg and I will warm you up". Does it get any better than that? Quite a man, a real man! I know that he could be controlling but it seemed always to protect. His motives were always good. Did he have a selfish bone in his body? In 54 years, I never found one. I'll love him forever.

With love,


Sunday, January 2, 2011

5 Months

It has now been 5 months since my Sweetie left me. He left me some sweet memories but I would trade them for a few more days talking to him and holding him. What a difference in my life. It is not as though my life is over but I know the best part of my life is over. At 72, even if I have special mightiness, I cannot hope to live much longer than 25 years more. What a tragedy that our life span is so short. It may not seem short to a youngster but it passes so quickly...too quickly. I think a lot about what I would like to say to Don...wishing for an opportunity to hug him one more time.

I have been listening to our song: Unchained Melody by Al Hibbler. I have one copy in the C drive of the computer and on in my CD player in the car. I cried the first time I had the courage to listen to it again. But I was touched deeply by the sweet memories of falling in love with Don to that music. It had a melting effect. I listened to Patsy Cline's songs too but they just made me weep.

I have been spending the last 5 months in recovery mode. I have established my own pattern and schedule. I think of Don a lot. He is on my mind so much of the time when I make decisions. He always looked out for me. Now I open my own door, put on my own coat and hold my own counsel. I always thought I appreciated and did not take for granted the love we shared for so long. Not true! No way can you anticipate the void that the death of your best friend makes.

I have also been spending the last 5 months reaffirming my love and trust in my God, Jehovah. We trusted in His promises before but never were tested to the degree that I find myself tested. Do I really believe in the hope of the Resurrection? Have I been taught the truth about the Resurrection? Is there more to learn about the Resurrection? I have searched the scriptures and prayed for guidance. I have come to the conclusion that we DID understand the truth about what happens when we die and what the hope is for people who have died in the past. As difficult as it is to go on after you have lost your life's companion, it is a reality that I must deal with. I trust the Bible's explanation about why we die and what God's thinking is on what He will do about it. Jesus demonstrated God's will when he resurrected people in the first century. I trust that account. I also trust Jesus' words about a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous.

I know that my marriage contract was severed when my marriage mate died. I also know that my emotional attachment will never end....and my love for my special Don. Life is still worth living but not in the same way as before. Now I grieve daily but don't allow it to immobilize me into inactivity. I continue to serve my God Jehovah to the best of my ability. Loving Jehovah is easy. Who could not love a God who wants us to be happy and has orchestrated a plan to undo the curse that mankind is presently under. No wonder 1John 5:7 says "God is love".

I look ahead today on the 5th month anniversary of Don's death and my heart is humbled by all the love that has been and continues to be shown in my behalf. I have so many blessings and so many good, godly friends and family. I am a blessed woman and I know it. I love you all, Barb, Gram, Mom, Sister

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thank you

I recently wrote on my blog about falling in love to the sweet sound of Al Hibbler singing "Unchained Melody.' " I walking into the Kingdom Hall Tuesday night for a special program and Zach Pfropper came up and gave me a copy that he had taken upon himself to find and download for me. He had read about my desire on Don's Blog. He even decorated it with Al Hibbler's name and the year it was recorded. It really touched my heart to have a young man Zach's age who is so sensitive to my feelings.

The special talk tonight was about displaying the quality of goodness. Goodness differs from righteousness because you can be a righteous person in that you do the right things, but a good person goes beyond that. A good person expresses his goodness in acts. Zach,you are a good person. I am so pleased and blessed to have you in my life.

Just before I sat down at the meeting, a second CD was handed to me by my old friend,Carol. I did not get a chance to look at it but she told me something to the effect that it was what I was looking for. You guessed it. Carol had also downloaded "Unchained Melody" by Al Hibbler for me too. I am so blessed to have such "good" friends. Goodness expressed by kind, loving deeds. I do not take them for granted. It made me more aware of how important those special deeds mean.

I just passed the fourth month anniversary of Don's death. I must be healing somewhat because I did not dwell on the date as much as the three previous months. Thank you for your love in my behalf.

Luv U Barb

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Love Song

Last Thursday, some friends and I viewed two videos. The one was an uncut version of our 50th Anniversary Party taken by my sister, Betty Robinson. The other was a very well done DVD of the party with stills and music done by Asa Parker, Cindy (Cowell) Parker's son, as a gift to us.

How special both of them were. They showed the beauty of the night, along with many shots that are extra special now. Alice Horn was there with husband,Ransom (now deceased). Geri Humphreys was there with her husband, David (who is now also deceased). I got so many glimpses of that night but the sweetest one was Don and I dancing to our Love Song: Unclained Melody. His kiss during the dance warmed me.

For those of you who don't remember this song, it was recorded in the 50's by a singer named Al Hibbler. So many young couple fell in love listening to him sing in his warm, sweet voice. I wish I could get a copy of that version. An updated version was sung by The Righteous Brothers. I remember the lyrics well:

Oh, My Love, My Darling, I hunger for your touch
A long, lonely time
Time goes by so slowly and time can mean so much
Are you still mine?

I need your love, I need your love,
God speed your love to me.

Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea,
Lonely rivers ....sea,
Lonely rivers say "Wait for me. Wait for me.
I'll be coming back, Wait.. for... me"

Yes, I know that We fell in love to that song because we were anxiously waiting to get married so that Don would no longer have to take me home at night. It was so hard to say Goodbye to him when we saw each other several times a week. I was still in school and he was working.

Now the melody and the words keep going around in my head. "I need your Love"
"God speed your Love to me" What a warmth passes over me when I reflect on those tender words, not so much sadness but a joy in what we had.

Because we studied the Bible for over 40 years, delving deeply into the Word of God and reflecting on His purposes and Intent and Promises, we both believed deeply that Don would come back to live on the earth in the restored Paradise under the Kingdom of God with Jesus ruling over the whole earth. This would vindicate Jehovah's name (reputation) and as His son, Jesus will restore Paradise. Don and I deeply believed that this the message of the Bible is true.

I need Don's love. None other will do. Jehovah in his love will have Jesus bring My Sweetie back to the cleaned-up earth into my arms. Jehovah God will "speed his love to me." Funny isn't it: We started our love with that song and it is that song that reflects my waiting attitude.

Oh, My Love, My Darling, I hunger for your touch.


Sunday, November 21, 2010


JWNL stands for Jehovah's Witness Not Looking. Some of the JWNLs got together to engage in Bible study Saturday night. We shared a good meal and then studied together for Sunday's lesson. I did not get home until almost 10 o'clock. I almost turned into a pumpkin. Seriously, I had difficulty getting up for the 9 a.m. meeting but I made it just under the wire. I will be more conscious of the time in the future. At least I was duly prepared and could contribute to the group discussion. We talked about how Jesus leads the congregation both in the 1st century and present day. I was very interested in the thought that it was most probably Jesus (as Michael) who lead the Israelites out of Egypt. That was a new thought for me but the scriptural proof is pretty thought provoking. I love to delve into the scriptures and get new insight into history.

Feeling better on my new beta-blocker meds. The doctor said that it would probably take a week and he was right. My strength is returning I am more productive. I will get back on my treadmill tomorrow for a few minutes to see how my heart reacts. The monitor on the treadmill lets me know what my heart rate is so I can monitor it. Bye for now. Love you all Barb

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Good Day in Service to my God Jehovah

I worked in the door to door witness work with my dears, Catherine and Betsy Prieto. I am studying with them and assisting their mother with their spiritual progress. Now that she (Sally) is a single parent, she needs more help nurturing these sweet young people to keep on keeping on serving our Great God Jehovah...whalla...Gram Baty there to assist. It is a win-win situation because I need them as much as they need me. We had an enjoyable morning working with the J.P. Wyne family.

I started to get shaky around 12 (the new medicine?) but now after eating lunch and baking a pumpkin pie, I am ready to get ready for tonight. Some of us widowed ones are getting together for a study in preparation for tomorrow's meeting. I call us the JWNL's This stands for Jehovah's Witnesses Not Looking. We are all wearing our wedding rings of our dead spouses.... all of whom died recently. We have shared a couple of dinners together, gone to a 3 Stooges Festival together and now a WT study together with a dinner cooked with love at Geri Humphreys.

I had an extremely pleasant evening last evening. I invited some of the girls (ages 8 - 19) over to have a pizza party, including a craft night. I also invited several experienced sisters in needlework to assist. Kaitlyn was learning to cross stitch from Brooklyn. I assisted Kayla to learn the starting techniques with crocheting. She can crochet a mean chain stitch which is a big deal because she learned how to manage the needle and yarn. Next month I will build on that and teach her how to single crochet and with these two stitches she can make a scarf. Carol was teaching two other girls how to crochet and was making fairly good progress. I taught one married sister how to sew a button on properly on her coat. She said her husband would be pleased. She may move on to crochet.
My sweet Elana (grand daughter) was over too. We played a silly game after eating and I shared an experience when I first learned about Jehovah God.

I know that my contact and interaction with the young of the congregation is making my healing quicker. Some of the girls were talking about getting old enough to drive and are counting forward. I commented that I wish I could count backwards. We laughed. I will not wait for others to keep comforting me because each of us has some heartache or heartbreak or challenge that we are working through.

I send my love to all my dear ones who are reading this. Luv U All. Gram/Mom/Sister Baty.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Don's sister asked my WHY? She is still having a real hard time with Don's death. I think that she is having a harder time than I am. She posed the thought that maybe it is because of my faith. I KNOW it is because of my in Jehovah's promise pf a resurrection and faith in Don's integrity to the end. I was so proud of him. Courage in the certain face of death...and who concerns him? Me and the people who he loved and loved him in return. Does it get any more unselfish. I know he did not want to die. I know he fought it with all his being. Yet he accepted the inevitable and counseled me and the rest of the family how to carry on after he died.

I see his picture on the Blog and my heart smiles and breaks at the same time. How could that be? I have many, many more sweet memories of Don than I have of the other sort. He was imperfect and was not always patient and kind through the years. He occasionally repeated a saying that a high school teacher taught him.

Patience is a virtue
Possess it if you can
It is seldom found in a woman
And never found in a man.

We had an ongoing discussion on that poem. I think the writer of that poem was a man who wanted an excuse for his impatience. I sited Jehovah and Jesus as examples of patience. Certainly a goal that is not entirely out of our reach. Don was an honest, humble person and worked on his shortcomings... overcoming a quick temper and trying to be more mild and kind. While he didn't succeed entirely on his endeavors, he really did exceptionally good. He learned to be a public speaker and teacher which was major for him because he was somewhat introverted at times.

I entitled this blog WHY because I wanted to explain that my faith is based on solid footing...the Bible. So much that was taught to me growing up was correct but there were glaring errors. A deep study of the Bible helped me to see things from Jehovah's viewpoint. Any one of Jehovah's Witnesses could explain these differences and back their thoughts with Bible verses. This faith strengthened us (Don and I) to look forward to seeing each other again in the future ON THE EARTH. If anyone wants to know more, I will show them what our faith is based on.

I have had a glitch this last week. My heart was in AFib and I spent the day and night at the emergency room. The home monitor recorded what had happened so the doctor changed my medication so I could be in better control. I think my heart went in AFib because I drank several cups of caffinated coffee on Sunday. I didn't realize that it was not decaff. So I am back in sinus (normal) rhythm and going through the transition period of adjusting to my new meds.

I am touched that so many want me to keep posting on my blog and so I will do so. My family and friends have been so supportive that I am really humbled by the continuous outpouring of love and concern....never too much, Anna.

I'll try to update this blog at least once a week. One thing that I am pleased with is that a rose from one of Don's flower arrangements seems to be doing well in the yard. My mother called it a "slip" Does anyone else remember somebody in their family doing this? It was a common thing for my mother to try to grow things and to start rose bushes from a cutting.

All of you have a nice day/week. All my love Barb

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time Passes

It has been almost three months since my Sweetie left me...not of his own accord. I think a divorce would be harder in many ways. Don tried so hard to stay with me but the cancer was stronger than he was. Life moves on for me.

I still am picking up the pieces of my life. I still have most of Don's clothes. I have given some of the things away. I have given his service bag to a young father who was in need of a good bag to make calls. I have given his first meeting bag and his house to house record book to a young man who is thirteen and making good spiritual progress. I hope it inspires him to treasure the gift of the knowledge of Jehovah in his heart. At thirteen he is such a nice wholesome young man. His name is Alex. Don would be pleased with both of these choices. I am trying to match the item with the person. Grandson Brian has Don's Bible that he used when he gave public talks. He used that Bible when he gave a talk in Toledo, Ohio District Convention. I was so proud of his courage.

I went shopping yesterday and purchased a treadmill. Don and I had talked about getting one for the winter. I can now get my doctor-suggested 30 minutes of walking 3 times a week. I have a friend Carol who likewise is going to walk on hers. She and I will encourage each other. She is in her fifties but not in as good as health as I am.

I had a busy weekend. I went out in the ministry for about 3 hours on Saturday then went with 3 friends to see the chic flick "You again." It was a riot. Then on Sunday after the morning meeting, I took some young people with me and an older friend, Marline, to the cider mill. What a nice time we had. I am speaking for myself but the other four seemed to really enjoy it...especially the cider and donuts and the walk. We went to Yates Cider Mill on Mound and 23 mile Road.

I passed another birth milestone. I am now 72. Because I do not celebrate birthdays, it was not too bad but it was a disquieting reminder that this is the first birthday since I was 16 that my sweetheart Don was not by my side. Quite an empty spot that guy left. So much of him is still left in my mind and heart.

I have planted the bulbs that Don ordered from Brecks. I have plans to move his favorite one -the ice cream tulip - to his grave in spring after it blooms and his gravestone is set.

I am planning to go over to the grave with Betty, Don's sister, on Friday. I will pick up a pretty mum to put on his grave for the winter and one of the stones from his funeral flowers that reads: If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. Insightful, because we (Don and I) believe that the love of Jehovah and Jesus will someday open up the situation where we will live forever on earth. I dream of that day and I don't consider it a pipe dream or pie in the sky. Am I dating myself by using those old fashioned expressions?

It is after nine in the evening so I will sign off for now. I was told that some people were still checking Don's Blog to see an update. If you are, let me know and I will keep posting on it. If not, I will stop.

The many prayers in my behalf have strengthened me to face the winter and the future with a smile on my face. Life is precious even if I am now finishing mine by myself.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Picking up parts of my life

It is as though my life was compiled of many little pieces put carefully into a large box. When Don died, it was as though someone tipped the box upside down and all routines became obsolete. I started by picking up the most important pieces first: my theocratic schedule. Meetings became a life line. Prayer came with much groaning. Service was numbing. I have gotten into the swing of things for the last month.I now have my own schedule: Mondays and Fridays are cleaning and housework days. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are service days. I meet the group of fellow Witnesses at 8 a.m. and start talking about my Great God Jehovah. It is only through Jehovah's undeserved kindness that I live, breathe and hope to see My Sweetie again. Many people perceive that Don is in heaven keeping other loved ones company. Somebody said "Tell Jokes". This was not at all our hope. According to Ecclesiates 9: 5 Don is not conscious of anything at all. It is Greek Mythology that incorporated into the Christian doctrine the immortality of the soul. It is a perpetuation of the lie Satan told to Eve "you will positively not die". But she and Adam did and so did my life's partner in crime.

The family pieces came next. My sister was calling every day as were Ann Marie and Teri. Teri was stopping over for lunch when she could. The family got together out at Aunt Pat's house in Meade today. It was nice to see the nieces and nephews and the new babies. As usual, Uncle Ray cooked smoked pork and it was delicious. Aunt Pat and Uncle Ray put a lot of love and effort into the gathering for the family. We were together so much while Don was dying that none of us wanted to lose the closeness again. Only missing ones: David's family in Colorado, Larissa and David Matthew, Don,Jr.'s son.

I have been sleeping better and getting more exercise. I have one closet put back together and intend to paint another one tomorrow. My flowers are still pretty although they have their fall legginess.

I am keeping the blog because so many people said they still check on me. Leave me a note about how you are doing, too.

Had a busy week last week with special visit by our traveling overseer in our congregation. Fun but busy. Love you all, Barb

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keeping busy

I refuse to sit at home and feel sorry for myself. That would go against all that Don and I stood for. I have decided to play the hand I was dealt even though I don't like it this way.

I had the 45,000 mile service on my car and had new tires put on. I forgot the white walls. Don always got white wall tires. Oh, well. Cars are for getting from point A to point B to me. I was never as crazy about transportation as Don was. Maybe it was a man thing.

I started to empty Don's closet. Ann Marie helped me on Monday. She emptied all the top of the closet and the bottom side shelves and all the suits and sport coats. He did love to dress and had a lot of suits (not a 100). I have to still size all his pants (dress and casual)and his dress shirts so that I can start giving them away. I could have a garage sale but clothes don't sell well and they will be good dress clothes for the Brothers at the Kingdom Hall. When I have sized them, I will post it so if you know someone who could wear them, let me know.

I have a pair of winter gulashes (black with zippers) to slip over shoes to keep feet dry in large. Don wore a size 12 shoe. I guess I will wait until I try to give the suits away and ask about the shoes. Some are like brand new. Don was very careful about his clothing. I also have a pair of rubber short boots to fit over shoes, again large to fit size 12. I guess I will ask around.

I am enjoying working in the ministry with the sisters and brothers in the congregation. I had a couple of excellent discussions today, one with a catholic woman and one with a former 7th day Adventist. I am getting ready for bed now as I have an 8o'clock appointment with friends Stephanie and Diane. They keep me young. I'll check in again in a couple of days. Until them, you keep busy too.

Love, Barb

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Making Progress

Every day I work some on the multiple tasks that I have to do. Today I filed all the paperwork that had been building up. This week I learned how to do online banking and paid my summer taxes and transferred some money from one account to another to pay most of the funeral expenses. Thankfully, the insurance check came in time so that I did not have to dig into any IRA accounts.

I have been using my days productively....trying to keep busy. Service on Tuesday and Wednesday. Today I took off to get the rest of Don's shirts ready to give away when I find someone who wears 16 1/2 34 shirts. I think I have found someone who cam use Don's almost new winter woolen grey dress coat. He looked so nice in it but I know that I will feel better if someone can use it this winter.

I have not yet tackled his closet though my daughter Ann has volunteered to help me switch the clothes. I intend to put all of Don's good clothes in the computer room closet and my clothes in the master bedroom closet. I hope to empty the closet with Ann's help and paint it fresh, then switch my clothes in there.

I am still numb. I seldom cry though I am sad a lot. I keep busy so I don't think too much. When I do think of Don, I think of him cold in the ground. I wish I could hold him. I wish it was just a bad dream but I know better than that.

I used this evening for my personal study night this week. I have had several offers to sit in on other families study. I did one week. Usually I have a meeting on Thursday night but it is switched to Friday night this week because the CO is visiting Central Mount Clemens Congregation.

I am going to get new tires on the car tomorrow. Don had already made the decision before he died. I was supposed to get them last Friday but the dealership was out of my size tire. I hear Brandon is pleased to have Papa's truck and polished it already. He cannot drive it without Mom or Dad. It is in Mom and Dad's name.

Well, I think it is about time "for me to roost". That is a country term meaning that all good chickens are going to bed now. All my love, Barb

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Different Life

Some things are the the flowers outside my window, my study materials, where I keep my toothbrush. But some things are so when I eat, what I eat, how often I wash, My going to the gas station to get gas, even how I sleep. I sleep with my hand on his pillow. It comforts me somehow.

Don anticipated so many of my needs. I see his hand when I do so many I cleaned the hall closet where I keep the medicines and the supplies like deodorant. I found an extra shaving creme, an extra deodorant and Don's Efferdent for his dental partial. My goal is to find out where all the things are. I will start in his office next week. I am planning on switching all my study material upstairs and to combine with his.

One thing that I did do today that I haven't done in ages. I played Tetra on the computer. Don did not want me to load it on the computer because it would slow down our computer, plus it is a time waster. I recognized both of these valid points. I circumvented them in this way. We now have high speed internet which Don had gotten about six months ago. Also, I have more time on my hands now. I seldom watch TV. The Tetra Game is on Facebook, one of my friends informed me. So I do not load up my computer.

My morning in service went well. I had some every heartening discussions with some very nice people. So,all in all, my days have been passing pleasantly and productively. I enjoyed that the weather was cooler.

Thank you for checking on me. Barb

Thursday, September 2, 2010


For the last two days, I have been out in service to our God Jehovah. I have gone on three Bible studies, in the business territory, in the door to door work, in the return visit work and in the street work and I am tired but very happy. Jehovah is strengthening me tremendously. My friends have been very supportive and I have been using my Bible to strengthen others. What better use of my time? This afternoon, I have my personal study time and my meeting tonight, after I rest my tired body for about 1/1/2 hours. Tonight I have my meeting. I am mourning but not overly sad. So many things remind me of going out to serve our God Jehovah, our study times together to prepare for out meetings together. Life is not lonely, like Don is still walking with me though I know it is just a memory.... but a sweet memory. My heart is smiling through the tears.

Tomorrow, I have a full schedule for my day off. I will start with a walk if it is not raining. I will then keep an appointment to get new tires on my car to keep it safe for me to drive and for others to ride in. Don had already told me that I needed to get it done before winter....looking out for me yet. Then I will meet Anne and Colin and, perhaps Larissa, to pick up Colin's watch. He spent the money from Papa to buy a new Bulova watch. On the back, he had engraved one of the sayings that Papa said so often. I don't remember which one but I will see it tomorrow. Then in the afternoon, I have an appointment to get my hair cut. I guess Don's hair is still growing, too. I used to cut it but I cannot still do it. I will keep his barber set until I hear of someone else who can use it.

But it is still today, so I will go now and start my personal study period. That was also very important for Don and I. It keep us close to our God Jehovah, each other and tuned into God's thoughts and purposes.

Love you all,


Monday, August 30, 2010

Moving Faster

I am truly starting to feel stronger and moving faster. My throat glands are going down and I am finished with my antibiotic. I went for a half hour walk in the neighborhood this morning and the air was sweet.

The counsel that I took home from my recent Convention in Toledo was to mourn but not to be sad overmuch. I am trying to live in today and to keep busy. I had such a good Christian marriage and a loving, though imperfect, sweetheart. I treasure so many memories of the good times that we shared. We had 12 years of retirement together. We took some nice trips, we ate at some nice places, we walked in some beautiful forests, along the banks of many rivers and streams, holding hands and smiling at each other. I was so blessed and am still so blessed. My family has been rock solid behind me and Don, assisting in every way possible. My friends were and are a loving support system. My God Jehovah has been the Rock that he promised. Who had or has a much as me? I dare not complain.

I went to my meeting yesterday. One of my former Bible studies, Alison Chambers, was in town for a family funeral and called for me to pick her up. She is now in Georgia telling about our great God Jehovah. She is a wonderful lady. Her husband is in a wheelchair or uses a walker so Alison must be a hard worker. She is!!!!It was nice to see her again. We may go out Tuesday together, talking to people about Jehovah. I would love that as she is a wonderful companion.

Well, I have to get a few groceries and run some errands and write some thank you cards so I had better get going or it will be noon. I have to make hay while the sun shines....and it is shining brightly today. All your prayers are helping me to move on with my life.

Thank you and I love you,


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Don's Clothes

I was working on the front closet today. I saw Don's good Trench Coat that he wore to meetings and his Trench Coats that he wore out in service and his nice new woolen Overcoat for winter. I could not even touch them. I finished my closet, moving only some pull-on boots and several heavy winter coats downstairs. I guess this is a part of missing him and mourning but it is very difficult and puts a catch in my throat.

I have many suits of Don's because, being a public speaker and a regular publisher of the Good News in the Mount Clemens area, he dressed up a lot. He wore his clothes so well. He had three new suits that he bought last fall. I found one brother who wears the same size. He cannot possibly need all these suits, wonderful dress shirts, dress and casual pants and nice sweaters. Maybe I will wear some of his sweaters this winter around the house. Don was so careful with his clothes and his shoes that they are all in good shape. How do I empty his closet? I am not ready yet. I am not even ready to empty his dresser. Am I a chicken or what?

One of my Bible students is up from Georgia: Alison Chambers. Some of you know her. I am going to pick her up for the meeting tomorrow. Maybe we can spend some time together.

Signing Off,


Friday, August 27, 2010

Wren's Nest

Today a loving sister had invited myself, another newly widowed sister a little younger than myself and a young sister out to A TEA. We were all looking forward to it. The name of the place was the Wren's Nest located at a Bed and Breakfast over in Bloomfield Hills (I believe). When we got to the place, it was a little disconcerting. The flower beds looked unattended and there were chickens running around. There were to be 14 of us sisters at THE TEA. When we went in, Laura (who invited me) stepped into some bird waste. What a start!!! While she cleaned that off, we sat at one of the tea tables. The lace tablecloth was soiled (probably stained) but it was also slightly ripped. The toilets were not clean either. An old woman came out to greet us and she looked rather bedraggled. I have no sense of smell left because of my sjogren's (autoimmune). The other sisters were not pleased with the smell. When some of the other sisters, including Rene Sprankle, who booked The TEA, they were dismayed at the appearance of the place. The sister who went into the restroom found human waste in the toilet which was not very clean either. Rene informed the lady that we couldn't possibly have tea under those conditions and we left and stopped at the Kona Grill in Troy for lunch. We were really starved by that time.

So the moral of the story is if you want to go to The TEA, don't go to the Wren's Nest. Still had a wonderful afternoon with Laura, Geri and Kelly. Thanks Laura for thinking of me. Barb

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Today would have been our 54th Anniversary. I planned on going out in the door to door work with some of my friends and then Don's 3 sisters had invited me out to lunch. My sister Betty was invited also.

When we got to the restaurant, Ann Marie and Lara were there too. I found out that Anne Kimberly and Elana were coming. What a nice time we had. I was still given an Anniversary card by the sisters and a GIFT. What could they have gotten for me? Upon opening the gift I found a very personal gift: A statue for my yard with three little girls back to back mimicing see-no-evil, hear-no evil, speak-no-evil. I was told that it was a gift from my three little sisters.

When Don and I married, Betty was 15, Pat was 7 (our flower girl) and Bobbie was 3. I gained three younger sisters then. And great little sisters they were and are!!!! I was very teary eyed. They announced that "same date next year." What sweet gals.

I was not looking forward to my Anniversary date and they must have known that. They have been cooking this up for a while. After I arrived back home, my friend Peggy stopped by after work because she remembered it was my Anniversary Date. She just came over to hug me and let me know that she was thinking of me. I also received a "thinking of you" card from my Maid of Honor, Mary Ann. I am truly blessed, I know. I didn't know I cast so much bread on the waters.

Love you all,


Monday, August 23, 2010


Started my day by walking around the block. I have to get my right hip in shape again. It crunches sometimes when I walk. Starting to get the house in order again. Feeling better today. My throat is not as sore and my glands not as swollen. Finally put the suitcases back from going to Convention and finished Thank You cards.

Tomorrow I go down to Children's Hospital with Teri to get Brandon testing again for neurological problems. Hopefully, he has outgrown his epilepsy. Wednesday I have plans to go out in service starting early at 8. It would have been my 54th Anniversary on Wednesday. Don's sweet sisters called to invite me out to lunch that day. I think I will do OK. Who knows what lurks in our minds?

I'm going to bed early because have an early day tomorrow. Thanks for continuing to check on me. Barb

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Lights Back On

Well, the last two days have been quite a trip. A tornado touched down about a mile from me. A tree fell across the road just west of my driveway and a big branch from the neighbor's tree fell into the apron of my driveway. I was at my meeting so I missed all of the excitement. We heard the tornado siren, the lights flickered one time but the storm passed quickly and soon it was light out again.

By the time I arrived home, my neighbors had pulled the debris from my driveway so I was able to drive right on in. The electricity was out so the neighborhood was dark. My garage door wouldn't open so I parked between the two houses because that tree was still leaning over. As I got out of the car, Sister Sue Mundy from down the street came up my driveway with her dog and asked if I was OK. She told me about the excitement and asked if I needed help getting inside and getting a flashlight. I knew just where the flashlight was and had my key out. As I walked into the bedroom to get the flashlight, I thought: "Jehovah is still taking care of me."

I slept fitfully that night. The next day, Friday, was a blur. I know that I went for a walk. I caught up on my sleep. I read my paper, I read my Bible. I answered the corded landline phone. I went to the doctor's again because my glands on each side of my jaw were swollen and my salivary glands were like hard bunches of grapes. He put me on a strong antibiotic, saying that my immune system must be very weak.

I was told that the power should be on by 7 at night. Sister Pfropper kept in touch with me several times, offering to come and get me or get her guys to set up a generator. I declined because I was not afraid, just tired. Ben and Zack Pfropper and Jon Wyne came over around 8 and hooked up a generator so I did not lose my refrigerator contents. I was again so thankful to Jehovah. I now had a lamp but I went to bed almost right away. I was exhausted....must have been the trauma.

I woke up Saturday morning to darkness again. Brother Borgne came over and refilled the generator gas around 9 am. Again I saw Jehovah's loving hand through his people. I was thankful that the day was fairly cool. It was cool in the basement but with no lights, it would be difficult to stay down there. My lights came on at 9 that night while Jen was checking on me. I was exhausted when I went to bed. I guess trauma does exhaust one. I was thankful that it had not happened while Don was so sick.

Today I am getting ready to go go my Sunday meeting. My alarm was a welcome sound and I felt more able. My answering machine was blinking with two messages that I would have gotten Thursday night if the power had been on. I'm going to hop in the shower and get ready. Thank you for checking up on me. Barb

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Not Skipping About Yet

As I start another day, I think about all I have left. Don has left me with so many sweet memories and learning experiences. He touched so many lives but I was the one he touched the most. Being so young when we married, we kind of grew up together. So many of life's lessons were learned together. I must say that he had a sense of direction that I lacked. I was just starry eyed. He, on the other hand, was mature beyond his years due to his experiences at the oldest in the family.

I, of course, brought into the marriage a good work ethic. No traces of drone in me. I was very book learned but not very world learned. Having older parents, I grew up in a secure protected nest, seeing little conflict. I grew up to be a good student who felt I had a responsibility to use my intellect. I was very studious and a reader. My favorite pasttime was reading.

Don was my intellectual equal. I think he may have had an even higher IQ. There was never any conflict between our minds as we respected each others thoughts. He was prone to correct me when I made a misstep. Sometimes it aggravated me but I knew he was only looking out for me, wanting me not to offend or be rude to someone. I am glad I was humble and trainable.

I credit him with the person I am. My kindness came from my mother and father as I grew up with kindness. My religious need was implanted in me by both of my parents. I would not date Don unless he was a Catholic because I was serious about remaining a Catholic. I only changed when I found the Bible truths that conflicted. Again, I credit Don with looking at the Bible honestly. My life was changed forever because of his direction and self sacrificing nature.

I tried to be a good mother. I was a young mother. 18 years old and a baby who needed lots of care. Again, Don knew more about children than I,having 3 younger sisters, and guided me. He always went with me to the Doctor's appointment, both when I was pregnant and when the children went. He would come home from work, eat and then drive to the doctor's. He was much firmer with the children than I was. I would have been a pushover...doing for them all the time, as I saw the need. He counseled me to teach them to do for themselves. We became a true team with our children. He was better at talking with them while I worked unceasingly.

As to skipping about, I do have a slight spring in my step so the future looks tolerable ahead. My family and friends have been "sticking close". I have so much to live for that sometimes I feel guilty. Don is no longer here to enjoy life. I have much more support than some other widows. Widow is a strange thought. I had to put that information on a paper the other day. Seemed strange!!Rather barren.

Today I am accomplishing some more tasks surrounding paperwork. Maybe I will clean out a closet (mine). I am not ready to go into Don's closet yet.

Bye for now. Thank you for allowing me to sound off in memories.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Going On With Life With a Smile

I returned last night from Toledo, Ohio, where I attended the JW Convention. It was a three day high as it usually is. I wasn't sure how I would do. Anne Kimberly and Elana stayed with me Friday night and Saturday night because they missed their convention when David and Donna were home to see Dad and I.I found out how it felt to sleep triple in a King Sized Bed. I have already read one of the releases that deals with "The Origins of Life: 5 questions worth asking". I loved it because of the break down of the DNA among other reasoning. Amazing!!!! Science proves creation to me.

I was very tired this morning as is normal after a convention. But I was emotionally strong because of all the good counsel and love given to me. One point that I will put into practice is the comment referring to losing a loved one in death: Mourn but do not let sorrow distract you from the important task that all Christians have this day...that is: declaring the Good News as stated in Matthew 24:14.

Last night when I arrived home from Toledo, there were a teddy bear and vase of flowers on my kitchen table. Beautiful golden roses smiled at me from the vase. Friend Jenny had sent them. What a warm fuzzy!!!

I started my day a little later with a glimpse of Don's flowers outside my bedroom window. They said to me: "Good Morning, Sweetheart". There are some huge white cosmos around the patio. The burgundy hibiscus is still ablaze. The cone flowers need some deadheading. (Tomorrow's job)

I then went for a morning walk although, for the first time, I had to push myself. Teri stopped over at lunchtime. I have unpacked and put most of the things away so this afternoon's joy is to work on the Thank You cards. How can I put into words my thankfulness for all the kind deeds that have been extended to me? Words seem inadequate but I will try.

My throat is sore again as are my ears. My eyes burn. My chronic bronchitis is acting up again: I am whooping, but I am eating fruit for the vitamin C. I am drinking lots of fluids. Hopefully, I can avoid going to the doctor again.

All my love, Thanks for checking on me. Barb

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Moving On

I am still cleaning up the house after the times of neglect and more important things to do. I still have my grandson's air mattress and other momentoes of the time so much of the family camped out here. They took care of both of us.

I stopped by the funeral home and picked up additional thank you cards and memorial cards. I keep running out. My cup truly runs over. I am tackling all the thank you cards and am making progress. I need to personally thank all my loved ones for their support and prayers. I will fill all of them out before I mail them, probably by next weekend. I stopped working on them to prepare for the District Convention in Toledo, Ohio, this weekend.

I just received a call from Anne and Elana. They are planning on staying with me for Friday and Saturday night. Their DC was while David (of Colorado) was back in Michigan. They stayed at their house so even one day was out of the question.

I am planning on signing up for auxiliary pioneer for September with a higher goal in mind for the future. I will look for Jehovah's blessing on my plans.

I finished cleaning my living room today. After the weekend, I will tackle the basement laundry room which has become the catchall place. Thank you for your continued expressions. They warm my heart. I love you, Barb

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Still Blogging

I signed on to Facebook but found out that I was innundated with requests to be my friend. That was not why I thought to go to Facebook. I don't have time for a social network. I already have a great social network with my family and friends. So I guess I will continue to blog so as to keep in touch with so many of my friends and family. If you are not interested in hearing about my daily tediousnesses, then don't go to the blog anymore. I mean that in the nicest way possible. I wouldn't want anyone to compromise their integrity or use too much time that could be used constructively elsewhere.

I have been busy today. I started with a walk then worked on my kitchen some more. I just have my freezer to organize. So many things got stuffed in there. I still have some raspberries in there to make some jam. That is one of next week's jobs. That will make some room.

I went to the bank today and got accounts switched and questions answered. Don used to take care of all of that. He had, however, taken the time to explain a lot to me so I am not too in the dark. My life insurance agent is coming over tomorrow and then I will know how much I will have to draw out of savings. Don was very good about saving. I think he has saved a part of his check since we were married. This left me with a little nest egg. Don didn't want me to have to ask for the price of ticket to fly out to Colorado to see Dave's family. He even counseled me "don't be a mooch".

I took a long nap this afternoon. I still tire out pretty easily, although I am sleeping fairly well at night. I awake in the morning, check out the back yard flowers from my bedroom window every morning. One of the family members asked me if I was depressed. I thought about that question. I answered: No. I don't know why not, but there it is. Jehovah still has me under both arms and holding me up. I awake every day with energy and plans. Although I miss Don terribly, I will go on with my life. That was what he wanted me to do. I write out a list every morning, or the night before. I have tomorrow's list jammed already.

I am going to the District Convention with the Wyne family. They will pick me up at 6 tomorrow night. I am going to use the room that Don booked in January for us. Perhaps my daughter-in-law Anne and granddaughter Elana will spend one night with me. Same price for 1 or 4 so I could allow it. I would like that.

Well, I am going to start my Family Worship Night on Wednesday instead of Tuesday so I am going to sign off and start hitting the books. Thank you for sticking with me. Love you, Barb

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cleaning Up

I almost felt back to normal (minus my other half). I went out for a walk at 7 then got showered and dressed and went out with some friends to deliver invitations to the upcoming District Convention in Toledo this weekend. This is the second time I was able to get out in this special work. It felt good.

I did some cleaning this afternoon so that my kitchen is almost back to normal. Don was going to cut some extra carpeting for a piece of rug by the back door but never got strong enough to do it so I tackled it. I found a cutting tool and started in the back of the carpeting. It did not seem to make a dent, just a scratch. After working about ten minutes, I noticed there was no blade in the cutter. I went back in the garage and found a cutter with a razor blade in it and this time it went pretty smooth. I almost got it straight. Chanya Hasan came into my driveway while I was out cutting the carpeting and she hollered: Sister Baty, What are you doing? I told her. She asked me how old I was. I said 71. She thought it was great that I was trying to do it. I thought it was pretty dumb that I hadn't notice that there was no blade. At least I know where to find it next time I have a little project.

I am working on sorting out all the cards and flowers I received. I need to send notes of appreciation to all the wonderful people who showed their love for Don and I. I just know I will forget someone so please forgive me if it is you.

Good night. I had a busy day and some laughs out in service. Tomorrow will have its own anxieties. Hopefully some laughter along with it.


Monday, August 9, 2010

Still Blogging

I signed up for Facebook but will use it cautiously. I am going to continue to blog because I can share my thoughts more easily. Who ever thought that this old lady would blog and be on facebook!!! A scandal!!!! (Kidding).....only if I let it take me over. Different one's advice was to continue to blog and do Facebook if I desired but only accept as Friends those I know. I was especially warned not to befriend someone who CLAIMS to worship Jehovah. Talk is cheap and Satan is tricky. I am on it!!! Thanks for guiding me. Love you all. Barb

Thinking About It

When I mentioned to my daughter, Teri, about quitting the blog, she suggested that I continue with it because it is simpler than Facebook. So for the time being, while I decide, I will continue to blog on this site. Let me know what you think. I don't want to act like a special person to have my own site. Barb


This is the last time I will write on this blog. I really appreciated the opportunity to chronicle Don's last days and his struggles. The outpouring of love and prayers was very heartwarming. His life is over for now but his memory will live on to inspire. Even with the sadness came much joy and tenderness. There is so much of him in our yard, house, family and congregation that I now know how he can be alive in Jehovah's memory. How could I forget his tenderness? How could I forget "the face" he gave me to steer me right? How could I forget his love for the truth? How could I forget his quip "You have to look yourself in the mirror every day? How could I forget his love and devotion? How could I forget his unselfish interest in me and others? How could I forget his work ethic? How could I forget his deep compassion? How could I forget his sense of humor? How could I forget his old socks (I've got socks older than you)? How could I forget his deep love for his God, Jehovah? I insisted that Jehovah should come before me. It did!!!

Well, dear loved ones. I am going to start up a blog on Facebook to keep up with everyone. I have learned to love being in such close contact with all of you on an almost daily basis. Access it if you have the time. If not, I understand. I know the dangers of Facebook: taking large amounts of time that could be better spent constructively; getting too involved in others' lives; etc. I intent to use it responsibly to keep in touch and work out my day to day life.

Keep me in your prayers for the struggle ahead for me.

I say goodbye for now. I'll think of you all who have corresponded with me this way. I hope the closeness that I feel to all of you will continue. I will be there for your struggles, now and in the future.

Don's Barbie Doll

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Don's Love Continues to say Good Morning

As is my custom, I opened my bedroom curtains this morning. I was greeted by a new flower blooming in the yard: a burgundy hibiscus. It was open with all its beautiful faces, over 6 saucer sized blooms.

It is truly a paradise garden with rocks around the year in a curved pattern, getting wider as it reaches the picket fence and the grape arbor. An abundance of blooms from spring to late fall and an abundance of colors. He planned it that way. So when I look out every day, it is as if he is saying "Good Morning Sweetheart".

I am going to my meeting this morning. Why would I be anywhere else? The loving arms of our many friends comfort and warm my heart and let me know that life will be full again even if it does not seem possible because of the enormous loss I am feeling.

Have a day filled with laughter, dear loved ones. I plan on it. Love Barb

Saturday, August 7, 2010


After the Memorial service I went home and slept. My baby girl, Teri, stayed with me. I woke up around 7 p.m. I was heartened to hear all the wonderful memories you hold of my Sweetie. Some are laugh-out-loud funny. I took the opportunity to read the ones written in the Green Memory Book provided by my precious daughter-in-law Anne.

I was also heartened to hear of the many expressions of love and respect you held for him. He truly was my hero. I considered it a privilege to be married to such a giving man. Thank you for your comments.

I know that many of you did not have the opportunity to share a memory yet. I would appreciate it if you would write it out and I will put it in the book at a future time. Perhaps this may sound silly to you but I, once again, am reminded how he touched so much lives. They warm my heart especially the funny ones.

I plan on going to my meeting tomorrow morning early at 9:00 a.m. I recall how hard it was for him to get to that 9:00 meeting after the cancer matastasized. Even getting up at 7 am, he barely got ready in time. I would fix him something to eat on the way and then we just barely made it. The cancer sapped his strength and diminished his appetite. He could not stand for any length of time so even to shave in the morning required he sit on a stool in the bathroom. To put shoes on were impossible and the sox not much easier. I even combed his hair for him.

I never had to pick out his clothes. He always knew what he wanted to wear. He must have thought of it in advance. Some friends asked on time if I picked out his suits and ties. No. He had a much been eye for color and style than I did. I was a country girl and was happier in jeans and plaid shirts.

Well, goodbye for now. Enjoy each day with your loved ones, never forget to tell them how much they mean to you. If you don't know about Jehovah, find out of Him and his purposes. Love you all. Barb

Good Morning Dear Ones

I slept well last night. I thought I would have a hard time sleeping alone but I didn't. I am thankful for that because I know I need my sleep to continue on. My cough is better and my throat is not as sore so I am feeling better.

I look forward to/dread the memorial for Don. I know that "it is better to go to the house of mourning than a banquet house" so I can take to heart the lessons I just learned.

I already did learn many lessons. One is to not delay telling your loved ones how special they are to you because you may not get another chance. I learned, again, how much I loved my Don. I learned how much He and I are loved. I learned the price of love. I learned the bitterness and pain of watching a loved one suffer so much that you would rejoice at their death.

So, dear ones, I know you won't forget me. I also know that Jehovah will never forget me or Don. I know He will give me His strength even more to carry on with the rest of my life, knowing that I now carry Don's torch.

I Love You All, Barb

Friday, August 6, 2010

Resting and Healing

I went to the Doctor's office today and got an antibiotic for a throat, ear and chest infection. My immunity must be compromised. My sister, Betty, went with me. I slept most of the afternoon. I am breathing a little better now.

For the first time, I wanted share a funny tidbit with Don and could not. It seems so strange as is a part of me is missing. I have heard that phrase before but now know the depth of that part of the loss: My Life's Companion. Lover, Jokester and sounding board.

I am sure you are getting bored reading of my day to day life. I don't know how soon it is appropriate to close this site out, but it has been a wonderful cathartic.

I love you, my friends. I can feel yours and Jehovah's love as I struggle to set up a new routine for my life. Don was a strong force in my life and, while he didn't make all the decisions as to our direction, he and I planned together.

Now, just call me the Lone Planner without a horse called Trigger. Oh, My, did I date myself?

With love, Barb

Picking up the pieces

David and his family just left to catch the plane to Colorado. I hugged Connor goodbye and his warm hug back and his whispered "I love you, Grandma" really warmed my heart. I am not ready to go back to sleep yet so I thought I would start my day with my current sentiments.

Tomorrow the memorial for Don at the Kingdom Hall at 2 will be a final end to this part of the ordeal. It will be filled with love extended by Don and I's many friends and our loving family. This ordeal has strengthened our family bonds.

My sweet daughter-in-law, Anne, has started a Memory Book for me. I am asking everyone who can to write a favorite memory of My Sweetie in the book. I will be bringing it to the memorial on Saturday. Please record a thought or two.

I have heard so many funny and heartfelt stories from people who have touched our lives. I hope you will take the time to tell me about them in his Memory Book. I also am heartened daily with the tender thoughts and comments on the Blog. That,too, will become a record to keep of our struggle and our triumph over tragedy. Your many cards tell me how much Don was loved.

I did go to my meeting last night. For the first time in years, I had no time to study ahead of time. I just went to absorb and absorb I did. Mom and Dad Burke allowed (or insisted) me to sit between them. They held my hand during the prayers. Don loved them both so much.

My voice and throat are scratchy from all the talking and crying during the last few days. I can just imagine Don saying: "Barb, don't you ever shut up!" One thing that I will not shut up about until the day I can no longer speak is declaring the Good News of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14) I know that the Kingdom of God is the means by which God will undo the pangs of death. I know that the Kingdom is the God's means of bringing peace back to the earth....and important to me: The Kingdom is the means by which I will be able to hold Don in my arms once again. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want people to know of my hope founded firmly on the Bible promises.

Well, I am getting sleepy again, so I am going to snatch a few more winks before daylight. It smells like a good day outside and I hope to use it to the full to cure my pain. I hope all of you will, too.

Love you all, Bab

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The family has been busy shoring each other up. We went to the school down the street to swing on the swings(yes, I did) climb the monkey bars (yes, I did) and play on the other playground equipment(no, I couldn't, even if I wanted to)

We are taking some of the grandchildren swimming today. David has to be on his way to the airport by 4 in the morning tomorrow. I plan on going to my meeting tonight to get strengthened while David and his family pack for their trip back to Colorado.

This blog has proved to be a wonderful idea. I will read of our journey in times to come. I will reread the comments you left for me....comments that warmed my heart.

I will see some of you on Saturday at Don's Memorial at 2p.m. at the Kingdom Hall.

I slept OK last night, not perfectly but OK. I continue to pray for strength, knowing that the future will be a struggle some times. I plan on continuing to serve Jehovah to the best of my ability. It is one thing that really gives me Joy.

All my love and appreciation,


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Final Farewell

I said goodbye to my Sweetie today. I hope to live a number of years yet so that my children will not be orphans. I remember when my Mother died and I was now effectively an orphan. It was a strange and sad thought. The ones who had nurtured and taught me many of life's lesson would be there not more to share my life.

I, like Don, firmly believe in the Bible's promises. I have faith based on those promises that someday I will see Don again and can hold his hand in the Paradise.

I recall the last time we heard our song together. Son-in-law Jack had turned on the music channel on TV and they were playing our song : Unchained Melody. We fell in love to the voice of Al Hibler singing it. "I need your love, God speed your love to me." I went over to the couch where Don was laying and hugged him. He put out his arm as if to dance. He held me for a while. Sweet!!!!!

I am bone tired now and I am going to take a nap. I know it is a different kind of sleep than he is in because I will wake up again soon. I will have to wait until Jesus removes the corrupt governments that stand in opposition to God's Kingdom and bring peace to the earth, at last.

My heart will yearn for him until then. Until then I plan on serving Jehovah who taught me how to truly love.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts. Pray for our family and friends in their time of grief. We loved a lot and we lost a lot. But, then again, that is the price of Love. Barb