Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas things & their memories

I sit here typing in my special room. My beloved piano that Mother & Daddy bought for me 13 years ago (!?!) is here; my antique drop-leaf table that Mother refinished for me is here. Amy & David's old couch is here; one of the lamps Susie gave me is here. One of the prints Rob and I bought on one of our many trips to Gatlinburg hangs over the couch; a portrait of the children when they were about 6, 5, 3, and 9 months hangs over the piano. My French country armoire/ computer desk is here; a couple of ladderbacks from Rob's Mom & Dad are here at the table and the armoire.

But the current piece de resistance is standing behind me -- no, it isn't Rob, he's in Boston right now. :-) Our Christmas tree is here. Getting it out, getting all the associated decorations out, all the ornaments -- lighting the tree -- what fun! (The tree is pre-lit, after all.) I think the most fun for me is the rediscovery of the ornaments, many of which hold special significance or are tied with memories.

The best way for me to go through them is, I think, chronologically, so I'll weave a tale of many Christmases for you. The ornament with the earliest birth of which I am aware is a small crocheted stocking. It is red with white trim. I believe that Alice Overton made it for my family of origin and Mother let me take it for some reason. Correct me if I'm wrong, Mother.

Then there is the cross-stitched ornament that Rob's old girlfriend did.

The next one? An "Our first Christmas together" ornament from 1992 -- a gift from Rob shortly after we became engaged -- the first time!! :-) Let's see ... oh, yes ... the stiffened crocheted wedding bells. Evelyn Powell made those for decorations at my wedding, August 1993, but now they are Christmas bells! Sure do miss her. Then there is a set of four cross-stitched ornaments I made -- I worked so hard to get them done before our first married Christmas.

We were rather slim on ornaments in '93, then only had a tabletop tree in '94 in a small on-campus apartment. The next year we were between apartments for two weeks at Christmas! So now it is '96. Mike and Jill West gave us a beautiful brass ornament with both of our names on it saying, "Christmas is love". I believe we also got some ornaments from Rob's coworkers that year.

Sometime or other some gas station was selling/giving away crystal/glass/plastic Energizer Bunny ornaments. For some reason we have two of these on our tree. In 1997, when I was great with child, Rob and I went with his parents and Amy & David to Washington, D.C. for some sight-seeing. Yep. Hugely pregnant. D.C. August. I don't recommend it! But we did get some pretty ornaments! We have an ornament of the White House -- it is brass with some white on the front. We also got a bell ornament from Mt. Vernon.

At that point I decided I wanted to try to commemorate trips with ornaments as much as possible. But first, Julianne was born, we moved from Memphis to Huntsville, and then Joey was born. That brings us to the next ornament -- Loren & Carrie Wisehart came to Huntsville Hospital that November of 1998 to bring a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament for Joey. Then in 1999, we got two personalized ornaments -- one from Aunt Amy -- teddy bears named Julianne and Joey. The other from Jennifer Vance (BFF shoutout!!) with all four of our names on it. I guess they thought our family was finished growing. Me? I didn't really know...hadn't quite decided...

Our next big trip, I think, was almost two years later, September 2000, to Vegas. But I forgot to buy an ornament. I was rather discombobulated having just found out I was pregnant again. But by this point the two older children have started attending Mother's Day Out a couple of days a week, and they were bringing home handcrafted ornaments for the tree. It never ceases to amaze me what the teachers come up with for them to make and do. My favorite may be the popsicle stick snowflakes. Or maybe the popsicle stick snowman ...

I don't remember what year, but Tony and Anita and Maria Arnold gave us the prettiest ornament -- the ornament itself is an apple, but all over it are fruited plants, trimmed in gold.

And the picture frame ornaments. Many teachers or room parents or Sunday school teachers have used those. I've bought some of those, too. I love those. Especially the one shaped like a football with Joey's football picture in it, and the soccer one with Abbie's soccer pic in it. But we have picture ornaments going back several years now, for several children. We could do a whole tree just with kid's ornaments.

We have been on a couple of trips to DisneyWorld this decade and several trips to Gatlinburg, and have several ornaments to show for those trips. Two years ago I accompanied Joey on a field trip to the Tennessee Aquarium and we bought a penguin bell ornament. This year I accompanied Abbie on the same trip and we bought a butterfly ball ornament. Also, this year Ginny (my mother-in-law) moved, which meant cleaning out. She let Amy and I go through her unwanted Christmas things ... I got several beautiful ornaments that way.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, December 1, 2008


what would you say if I told you I might be going back after a year's hiatus to take a class or two (not 19 hours!!!) in the spring? Reactions? Platitudes? Reprimands? I just love to stir the pot.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

PaPaw; friends

Here, for my enjoyment (and perhaps yours), is a picture of my grandfather at his 85th birthday party in the floor -- yes, I said in the floor, with all of his great-grandchildren so far. How many 85-year-olds do you know who can get down in the floor AND get back up off of it easily? He's probably more agile than I am, I didn't think to compare. This is Abbie, Julianne, PaPaw, my 2nd cousin Laney, Chloe, and Joey.
My friends are valuable to me. I count only a handful of people among my closest friends, though according to Facebook I have 293 friends (and counting.) While I am glad to know all of those people, and would help any of them in a pinch, I have a close-to-the-belt inner circle. [Well, I'm not a big belt-wearer, but you know what I mean.]

Some people are fortunate enough to have an inner circle where each member of the circle knows the others, and they're an intimate group. In my case, however, my nearest and dearest are spread from city to city, state to state. I long for times to gather them all up together and have a Clarissa session (you know, where they all analyze and fix me and love on me a bit.) But I get by on phone calls and the occasional lunches ... emails and text messages (got that bill the other day -- have to cut back on those puppies!)

The storms of life have decided to rage around me lately, and I have felt tossed and turned as a ship at sea -- but every time I've reached out to find solid footing, I've found strong support. My husband is my rock of support, though I don't deserve him ... thank you for the music, Rob. That is carrying me through my days. (My sweet husband made me a "mix tape" as one of my friends said ... some songs to bring back memories and some songs to encourage me. A blessing.)

My friends have also stood as my stalwart supporters when I was feeling too weak to stand. Life throws curve balls even at nicely settled thirty-something mothers sometimes, causing them to lose their focus on what is truly important ... and to me, what I want to be central to my life (barring my relationship with God, certainly) is my family.
It is so easy to forget about the little eyes watching me ... so easy to forget the little ears listening. So easy to forget my husband's need for time with me; so easy to retreat into my own world where I am consumed with selfishness. But my friends have stood up to me and stood up for my family and talked straight with me. Not many friends are the kind who will risk losing a friend in order to attempt to point her in the right direction.

I am a woman singularly blessed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

the pain of parting

I've had to face a new struggle over the last several days, a phenomenon for any of our children: Chloe cries when she has to leave me. She is begging not to go to school, didn't want to go to Sunday School; the crying even begins the night before. It calms her some if she knows I will make her lunch, for some reason. I need to do that every day, anyway ... this certainly provides additional much-needed motivation for this non-morning person.

This began last Thursday ... I got a call from her school about 1:40 that she was crying inconsolably. That just is not like my sunshine girl, so we all assumed she was feeling poorly in some way. I picked her up early, and kept her home Friday. Actually, I had picked up ALL the children early Thursday, because right after the call about Chloe, I heard from the big school that Abbie's temperature was 102 degrees. I decided to pull the rest of them out since I got there about 2 (school lets out at 3.)

It just occurred to me ... I don't think I signed them out!

So, I had to keep Abbie at home, thought I might as well keep Chloe, too. Rob and I took turns with them, working it around my lesson schedule. Not sure how you folks who are both full-time and can't get off work handle these things! It was complicated enough for us!

Anyway. This morning comes and Chloe is practically weeping. "But I don't want to go to school!" I asked her why. "I just don't want to." I kept pressing her, because I've been around the block enough times with my kids to know when they are keeping something from me. Finally, I got her to admit what was bothering her.

ALL her friends had been mean to her yesterday (Thursday, in Chloe-speak.) I said, All of them? She insisted, Yes, all of them. Rob and I both tried to encourage her that whatever the problem had been, that her friends would have long forgotten it by now. She wasn't so sure. When I dropped her off, she walked, crying, through the door.

Oh, the stabbing pain of parting.

Monday, September 8, 2008

back to the store

Those of you who've followed my writings for several years may recall that once I wrote about trips to the grocery store and the spectacle I made with my four children -- two in the car section of the buggy, one in a car seat in the top, and Julianne walking. And that doesn't even begin to touch the amount of groceries I would have to buy. People literally stared, said, "My, you have your hands full." One man even said to me, "You're going to regret that one day." The gall!! Children are blessings from the LORD. Doesn't mean every row to hoe will be without it's weeds and rocky patches; I'm no dummy. But I will never regret having had any of my four.

Well, folks, let me tell you: I have learned a few things since then. One is, not only is it easier to go grocery shopping without the children, but I spend less money when they aren't with me because I am not as concerned with people staring at the huge crowd of us. Two is, I had no idea what it meant, even just a few years ago, to buy a lot of groceries. And I believe I'll be saying the same in another few years. These kids can eat!!

My friend Kim Johnson (not my cousin Kim Johnson Yeaglin) has introduced me to thegrocerygame.com on which I can plan my purchases and utilize sales and coupons (how do you pronounce coupons?) much more advantageously than I've ever done. You pay 10 dollars every 2 months for the help with, say, Kroger, but it has saved me anywhere from 25 to 60 % off of my grocery bill ever since I began using it back in June. You just have to spend a little time in preparation and you actually have to clip the coupons from the Sunday paper. I love it when even the cashiers are impressed with how much money I've saved with store discounts and coupons combined. I saved almost $90 Saturday. :-)

However, to do all that, it takes me twice as long to shop because I am looking for specific items, and my buggy gets filled to overflowing thanks to buy one, get one free sales and 10 for 10$ sales and the sheer amount of food these children require. So now, people gawk at my buggy rather than my children. They rush to beat me to checkout. If they get stuck behind me, they'll say, aren't any other aisles open? The checkers and baggers say, "Oh, here comes a big one," and I don't think they're referring to my girth (she says with mirth.)

They always offer to help me out to the car now, and I'm like, no thank you. "Are you sure?" "No, I've got it." Now, if they'd come home and help me get it all into the house, that would be good, but that's not going to happen. Honestly. I can move everything from buggy to back of van.

Showers of blessings on all my friends and those yet to become my friends ...

Monday, September 1, 2008

School is into full swing by now. I have been blessed with an amazing number of piano students at Madison Academy ... 28 already! I have a couple more I teach at home, that makes 30. I'm about to add Joey and Abbie to my school schedule, this week; that will make 32, but they won't pay, I don't think! My schedule keeps me hopping, as I wander around following the P.E. schedule. I have no more than two lessons at a stretch, and then a break can be anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours, depending on the music room availability. Everyone has been so appreciative and cooperative and everything has gone so smoothly, so I am very thankful.

I have had many people ask me if I plan to go back to school. The answer is ... I don't know. I want to finish, I am only 3 semesters away from my degree if I attend full-time. However, I don't know if I will be able to attend full time anymore; it was too hard on our family, it was too hard on me. Especially 19 hours!!

We had a Labor Day cookout at Rob's folks place this evening. We hadn't all gotten together in awhile; it was nice. Found out recently that we're to be aunt and uncle again in the spring ... We're all very excited for Amy & David (& Sarah!) It is a long time until April, though. So we wait!

Rob is working very hard these days. When he's not at work, he's working in his office here. He's working on a huge program that seemingly will never end, but anyone out there who knows about these things knows programs can grow and grow. He says the light is now visible at the end of the tunnel. I can only hope.

The children are all settled nicely into school. Chloe has started reading some for us lately. She's been doing scattered words for quite some time, but is finally putting them together and is quite proud of herself. I think it is amazing what they can do even with parents who are spread too thin, don't you? (A little guilt coming through, there.)

My next big goals: strive for continuous punctuality (yikes!) and do at least two loads of laundry every day.

Aren't you uplifted by reading this blog? :-)

Blessings, friends ...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Chloe's picture

I wasn't EVEN thinking. I should have added a picture of this hilarious child on her birthday post. So, world, here is the inimitable Chloe Sierra Cox!! Gotta love her!! We sure do.

Blessings on all who read ...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chloe's fifth ...

So my Chloe girl is five now. Her birthday was Thursday. My baby is five. I'm not emotional about it ... I don't think. So my four children now range in age from 5 to 10 instead of from 0 to 5. What a lot can transpire in those 5 years, and how slowly and how quickly these years fly. And how joy-filled and how guilt-inducing they are.

Chloe is just about the happiest child you can possibly imagine unless she is too tired or is sick. She sings -- oh, how she sings, and how sweetly, and how constantly! She is so pretty and sweet and loving ... she is a much better daughter than I deserve. But then I feel that way about all of my children. Blonde of hair, fair of skin, with light brown eyes ... eyes that get so big ... precious girl.

We invited the girls from her class over for tomorrow afternoon, just a simple gathering ... that's all it takes for her to be happy. She is so easy to please. On her actual birthday, it was just the 6 of us together, and we had her favorite for dinner ... Macaroni and Cheese. :-) Then a small cake for us and a few presents, and we had a little visit from Nana and Papa, too. But tomorrow is the bigger gathering.

Mother came today and helped me ... we and the children cleaned all day in preparation! (with a few breaks!) Rob has been at a conference in Murfreesboro and dodged that bullet.

Shout-outs to all my friends in all your respective cities ... relay birthday wishes for Miss Chloe and I'll pass them on ...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

wandering ...

It is a strange thing, the way the mind goes to places you have never even been when you dream. I've been feeling unwell for about five days so far. Getting better now, though ... you can actually hear me talk again today -- my voice wandered away on Friday and has reappeared today. My poor piano students probably had difficulty from keeping their minds wandering during our lessons Friday, because listening to me became so hard. Not hearing me; listening to me.

Since I've been feeling so bad, I've been sleeping more than usual. That, for me, means dreaming more than usual. I have particularly vivid dreams, though I'm not always able to remember them completely. I remember right when I awaken, you know? but later it is more like a slew of colors painted throughout the far reaches of my mind.

I never dream in black and white.

Now my mind is wandering! I'm just posting because I feel a lack of connectedness with the world because I've been shut in all weekend, i guess. But since I'm so much better, back in the trenches tomorrow, likely absorbing new diseases from the precious ones. Germ-X and I may need to become better acquainted.

I love life ... it is like a wandering road around the bends of which you never know what you may find. Daughtry says it interestingly ... Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it all.

Then again, it might all be taken away. Clarissa just said that, sounding like her Julianne, a self-described "poptimist".

Man, I'm rambling. I'll spare you any more.

Monday, July 28, 2008

a mother's summer ending

The music of Suzy Bogguss is wafting in from Rob's office to mine this night. I hear him tapping some as he thinks and works -- working for his company on the side, Concresco Consulting, which he began in order to do software design on his own. That's his real joy and desire, to work for himself. It's taking time, as all good things do.

I am sorrowful that I am thankful that summer is almost over. The lack of routine, which can only be blamed on me, has not been good for any of us. We're getting on each other's nerves. There are nice moments, like today when we "met Daddy for lunch." That was a treat. Mostly, however, they've grown up and grown a little further away from being my babies.

Joey looks at me resignedly when I come to him with a kiss good-night, and he wipes it off when I walk away. When I tell him I love him, he merely says, "Ditto." Every now and then he'll hug me, but there's so little to hug -- who IS this long, spindly child, all arms and legs? Surely not the same one that was once my roly-poly 9 lb. 5 oz. baby boy with fat rolls to hold onto.

Abbie and Julianne are both rather pensive and moody by times. I think they just miss their friends. They were both very excited last week when the school lists were posted and they found out who would be in class with them -- it was nice to see them excited like that. Julianne and I had a nice time shopping tonight, too -- she needed a summer reading book (I know, I know). When we got it she said, "It's only 133 pages!" That's my girl. She'll read it in a night.

Joey, on the other hand, is not too interested in wrapping up Sarah, Plain And Tall. He has to read 2 chapters a day or so to finish. That will make life even more fun for me, I'm sure. Chloe is just generally happy and pleasant when she's not being whiny and demanding. Juxtaposition personified. Summer for disorganized mothers. That's my life!

I just finished arranging a song, "The Lord Reigns", for a church in Texas. I've also done three arrangements recently for my home church, plus one for ZOE which they have put on the back burner, maybe they'll use it next year. It will have to be changed in some places -- I think I got a little carried away! I've been enjoying arranging again -- I hadn't done any since last summer until the last month or so.

I'm preparing to teach piano lessons at Madison Academy beginning this fall semester. I'll do some here and there during the days when the music teacher is out of her room and some during the afterschool program. I'll also keep one afternoon of teaching at home for my non-MA students, hopefully that will be enough. It hasn't even been officially announced that I'm teaching at school, but I've already got 9 people who've heard about it some way or another who've called me or let me know they were interested. I just hope we have enough time to accommodate all those who want lessons! I suppose there will be a waiting list, if not. Or I'll be referring people to other teachers/studios with which I'm familiar.

Something in the laundry smells. Don't you hate it when that happens? I don't know which stack it is in, either, so I'll just have to keep washing until I don't smell it anymore. It may be a late night. I don't want that smell in here tomorrow. I didn't know it was here until we were gone running errands and to lunch and more errands for a few hours, then came home. It was pretty strong. I am now inspired to go light a candle.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

early morning, so many thoughts

I sit here in this quiet house, well aware that it will not be quiet for long. As my grandfather says at holiday gatherings each time one of his children arrives, I'm beginning to say myself, "Another country heard from!" when one of mine appears each morning. The expression is so apropos. They are each like countries unto themselves -- alike in a few ways, but so widely varied in their personalities. Their grandfather comments, including my niece, "How did I get five grandchildren with such different personalities?"

Our God is the Creator of creativity! What fun he must have had saying he would make Julianne be my brother made over (at least in her firstborn perfectionist angst) while Joey plays the class clown like my Uncle Calvin must have done, yet letting them be the best of friends? Unless they're cleaning the kitchen, of course. Then Julianne is mad at everyone because no one wants to help.

What was he thinking when he made sweet, emotional, yet so very bossy Abbie? What goals does he have in mind for her with her gentle yet controlling spirit? it is a fascinating combination. Will Chloe always be young at heart, or is she just savoring the role of being the baby as long as she can? Or is she jealous of baby cousin Sarah, so she acts more babyish to encroach on Sarah's attention territory?

It will be interesting to watch them grow up if they don't kill each other first.


Papa Bob, my father-in-law, whom you know if you have been reading along this year, has progressed rapidly over the last month or two, and I would be remiss if I did not mention how incredibly he is doing now. We've had a couple of emotional times, at least for me! that I have not yet written about.

One was Mother's Day. We spent that with the greater Cox family this year, spending time with my mother the night before. We ate lunch at Amy's house (Rob's sister), and, standing, Bob led us all in prayer. By the time he was finished I was in tears, and they're all asking me what is wrong. Well, nothing was wrong! :-) Everything was right. Ginny said, now, I'm the one that's supposed to do that. Don't get me started! as she teared up. It was just the first time we'd all been together like that to share a meal and pray together and have Bob standing, even if it was on a crutch, since Christmas -- and since the accident.

God does answer prayers. Not always the way we want -- but in this case He did. He spared the use of Bob's hip, leg, and foot; and praise His name, He spared Bob's life.

Now? Bob Cox is walking without ANY kind of help, thank you very much! He still has a slight limp, but thrilled us all a few weeks back (and thrilled himself by showing us!) when he said to watch, and he rose out of his chair and walked unassisted. Praise GOD!!


Several others known to us are dealing with the loss of friends and family members right now, so we are especially mindful of the fragility of life and the graciousness of God in our circumstances. We don't know, and of course may never know, how or why he allows or chooses the events that occur in this world. What keeps me going is a faith in a grander design that I may never see or understand fully -- maybe I'm part of a corner or side piece of it somewhere, or an obscure mid piece. All I need be concerned with is doing the best I can and trusting that He will NOT abandon me, as a new friend and I were discussing just last night. Faith -- the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, isn't that right?


God bless your day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

school's out for summer

So the little ones have been out of school for almost a week. I almost laugh when I say little ... almost ... for while Chloe is still head & shoulders below the growing-at-phenomenal-rates Abbie, she is a only a few inches shorter than Joey, who is only an inch or so behind Julianne, who reaches my shoulder! What do they mean, getting all tall like that?!? Honestly.

With the end of the school year come awards. I will not go into detail about how well my children did, just that they did as well as I expected they would and I am proud of each of them. There is one thing I don't understand, though -- never have. I remember this same exact sort of thing from my own childhood. When one child excels, why must another cut him/her down? I just don't understand. I suppose you see it in adults for varying reasons, too ... but jealousy is an ugly thing. On the flip side, so is pride. Anyway.

Creative juices have been flowing lately. I feel like writing, but am not staying up 'til all hours to do it. Sometimes I awaken and if I can't go to sleep after 30 minutes or so I give up and get up and go to the manuscript paper with a perfectly sharpened pencil ... not needle-sharp, nor dull ... just close to sharp. A good eraser, too. I would go to Finale, but my computer is in our bedroom and Rob would not appreciate my sleep interruption interrupting his, too, you know?

Sometimes I write in the middle of the day. Sometimes I take an old song of mine (I started songwriting 13 years ago and recently gathered them all into one place) and attempt to complete it or work on it or love on it a bit.

Piano lessons are going well. I have 2 new students who will begin in about 6 weeks after traveling abroad. I started with a new student today. With the commencing of school in August, I anticipate an onslaught of students. (Many don't want to begin something new in the summer.)

My God and I? We're going over the Beatitudes this week. I forgot until today that I'd committed to go over them every day this week, so I'll do it twice a day for the rest of the week! Plus read the Sermon on the Mount. Rob is teaching a class on this topic as we study it churchwide. This will help me not sound like an idiot in the class, maybe? I always have such random comments that sound like they end with question marks? You know?


More some other day when these children are [hopefully] NOT penned up inside yelling like banshees and accusing each other to me every 3 seconds or so. Where's a good Bill Cosby record when you need it?


Friday, April 25, 2008

If ya'd like to know ...

I am ready to begin teaching piano again! I already have five students set to begin next week. If you're 'round these here parts and would like your child to learn a little something about music from me, send her -- or him! -- my way. I am getting excited about all the little books and all the little hands exploring the piano keyboard; I'm also willing to take on some who are a little more advanced if anyone needs me!

The house has been on the market for less than two weeks, but it doesn't take long to get anxious, does it? Basically it is the feeling that you're never ready and someone will knock on the door at any time. Yikes. Better get busy. Blessings on your day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

So, 9 more days have passed

And life continues. Birthday parties, house showings (or scheduled ones that never occur -- argh, the frustration), open houses, time with family, friends, neighbors, church family. Time spent working and playing and cleaning and sharing and loving and bringing fights to a halt. The time of my life, or so many say!

I have a few things on my mind, and one is teaching my children how to handle themselves when they are around people whose belief system is, if not radically, at least somewhat different than theirs. An incident came up recently that brought this to mind, and my child handled it very well and with maturity beyond expectation. I remember so many times handling similar issues so poorly myself. I'm glad when they outdo me, yet surprised. :-) If you really know me you'll understand that I mean that in the best possible way.

Sorry that sounds so random and wandering and generic, but I don't want to embarrass anyone. The topic in general is just something to be prepared for, and there is no way to prepare for every possible specific instance of differences in beliefs.

The other thing is the sermon this morning. The word "convicted" just makes a lot of sense today. Almost everything said seemed to be just for my ears, though it was not specific to my situation in life more than anyone else's. Just simple truths! Work! Do your best at everything you do for the admiration of people so that you can give glory to God! I just haven't had that focus in a long time. If you are good at something, you need to work in that area. (If it can't support you, then do it on the side, but don't waste it.) If you LOVE to do something, WORK at it and develop your skills -- become the best you can.

Just a much-needed refresher for this oft-weary soul.

Friday, April 11, 2008

for Melissa Royster ...

... who apparently doesn't realize that we could easily grab lunch or share a phone call. No, I must blog whimsically for her to make her life complete. Just for you, babe.

Yes, I am up at 5:30 in the morning. Don't die of shock -- neither shall you scold me, if you please -- (Rob, Mother, Ginny.) I mean, most mothers are probably up at that time every day anyway. I learned long ago that I am not most mothers, bless the poor dears. And I would awaken like this when there is no school today!!!!!!!! Only I. April 11th was set aside as a weather day; it was never used. So no school! And it's supposed to rain all day !!!
W h o o p e e ! ! ! (Only a tiny bit of sarcasm there. Not really detectable, is it?) I do love the poor dears. The sibling issues are not at a good place right now, though, and we have sooooo much to do to get our house show-ready, and I refuse to yell over the din to get attention -- not good for the ol' voice, don'tcha know! I just go stare at them. That will put the fear of the Lord into anyone.

You heard me. We're getting our house show-ready. I mean, hey, we are Coxes. We've lived in this house almost two years. It's time to move. And who else's house is show-ready? Well, some other Coxes I've been writing about! And who are the lucky ones who get to move but don't have to fool with showing their house because we want it? David and Amy (Cox) Hunter.

Let's just call it "Fruit Basket Turnover". We all have our eyes on the next place, each looking toward a more suitable place for our current needs. Bob and Ginny have been in a rambling 2-story -- they don't even go upstairs unless Sarah comes over, really. A one-level will be easier for a variety of reasons now.

Amy & David need fewer rooms, but want larger rooms. She's a realtor, and he flips houses, and I think they already know which house they'd love. Rob and I would greatly benefit from more rooms and a little more space. This would add a playroom (5th bedroom, when they're older,) a 3rd full bath, and a formal living room (would be Rob's office.) I'd get my dining room back! (Has been Rob's office here.) Plus Bob built it -- Rob has always wanted to live in one of his dad's homes. It is beautiful. I'd post pics, but they're on my computer and Rob's asleep in there and he's a total bear when awakened unecessarily. Maybe later today.

Earlier this month Rob and I took Julianne and Joey to Nashville's Lads to Leaders Convention for the first time. We thought it was just "Bible Bowl" but it was L 2 L. They have a ton of other "competitions," some of them really great, and some strike me as just odd. But we weren't there much, and it was our first year. The kids loved it. Joey's team got first place in Bible Bowl competition. We were so proud of him! He stuck with it, though he would much rather have been outside playing most days. Julianne's team (she was on the 11TH and 12TH grade team, yes, she's in 4th grade) got 2nd place. Not bad for their first year.

I opened a savings account today. La, la la, la la, la la. (Yes, of COURSE it's joint, don'tcha know.)

Julianne sprained her wrist when she fell off of some neighbor kid's scooter. It stopped at a crack in the sidewalk. She did not. She caught herself with her palms -- left one was sprained. I was afraid it was cracked -- she held it just like Abbie last summer. But 'twasn't, thankfully.

I was looking through some pictures as I packed up stuff to take to Amy's empty storage building (tee-hee) and I found a photo of my father speaking at my high school baccalaureate service. I attended a public school with about 350 in my graduating class. Anyway; I don't remember at all. Probably because the Madrigals were performing and I had a solo or maybe a duet with Nanci (Long) Frey -- I don't remember.

It is so very hard to believe he is gone -- he has been gone. That the only one that will carry somewhat strong memories of him will be Julianne, and over the years those will be replaced with stories and pictures. She was not yet five. I know she is extremely intelligent (rather scarily so,) but time fades hurts away and only leaves a gentle, spice-laden scent of distant pleasantries in the far reaches of the mind. That's how it has been for me, anyway; all praise to God the Father for His faithfulness and everlasting love. He has my father now; He IS my father now, and He always WAS. Blessed be HIS name.

And He's left me with a wonderful father figure here. The day of Daddy's funeral, August 16th 2002, I told Bob through the first tears I'd cried, "I'm glad you're here." I didn't mean "here at the funeral," but "still here for us all, for my children, for me." He understood, he said he was glad he was there, too. He had just turned 55 the week before, bless his heart. My Daddy had turned 60 the week before.

Even so -- this man was NOT made to be a convalescent! LORD, PLEASE LET THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS PASS QUICKLY!! AMEN AND AMEN!! :-) Props to caregivers everywhere!
He is rapidly becoming more independent -- sometimes too much so, I fear! He finally got on the scale. I said, sternly, "Did you stand on that foot?!?" He said, no, I just stood on my left foot and had the walker in front of me in case I lost balance. He is down 20 pounds; I imagine it was more than that before he started eating well again.

I'll try to post pics of house and Rob's birthday and Lad's to Leader, etc...

Oh! And Rob had a Birthday. You won't beLIEVE all the candles -- or the depth of the dimple I caught in the picture as he blew them out -- ALL in one blow. What a man. :-)

Have a good day, Melissa ...

(Nuthin' but love fer ya, Bob, nuthin but love!!)

Monday, March 3, 2008

and here he is (her, too!)

Bob and Ginny. Careworn, but happy to be home.

That's not artfully styled hair on his forehead (as if!) -- that's his "battle-scar." Ginny faithfully rubs vitamin so-and-so on it every night so it will fade.

Bob Cox, the man of steel.
Not really -- titanium. Won't set off metal detectors after all, he corrected me.
I was rather disappointed.

Papa with our kids and the cake they decorated for him. His other granddaughter, Sarah, was there but had to leave as we arrived. She pulled her arm out of socket again. Her daddy learned how to pop it back in this time from the E.R. people, so hopefully no more trips to the E.R.!

Welcome home!
(They really are good spellers ... I guess sometimes it's hard to see what's right in front of your face, especially when it's finger-lickin' good. I wonder how many of you would never have noticed if I had not said a word?)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

man of steel is home at last

Bob's Chevy Trailblazer (I got his permission to post.)

Four weeks ago, on January 30th, Amy got the call a little after 9 AM and quickly called Ginny and then me and I called Rob. We didn't know if it was a bad accident or not, only that Bob wasn't able to make the phone call himself. Four hours later, at around 1 PM that day, he crashed. His blood pressure dropped to life-threateningly low levels, and he was not breathing well due to intense chest pain. He doesn't remember any of that, nor does he remember the day of or even the day before the accident itself, apparently.

He had to be put to sleep to be intubated; he had to receive blood, and lots of it, and quickly. Dr. Nijar and all the wonderful trauma care personnel in the Huntsville Hospital ER, with God looking over their shoulders, pulled him through. And we are so very grateful to them and to our God for allowing him to be spared. We're not finished with him yet, that's for certain, and apparently neither is the Lord.

The day of the accident Greg Johnson offered to go get anything that had been left in the car. Bob often wears caps, and he had worn one of his favorites that morning -- it has the symbol for Superman on the front and says Man of Steel on the back closure. Greg found it, intact, in what was left of the vehicle. Judging from the picture above and knowing personally everything about what he's been through, it seems ironic he would've been wearing a hat with that sentiment.

His Bible was also there and absolutely intact. He always kept that particular Bible in the car with him. That's surprising because of the amount of glass and blood that could have damaged it. He usually kept it in the back, though. Also, Bob's glasses were there, and were intact as well! We suppose the glasses and cap were simply thrown off at impact, and fortunately the glasses hit whatever they hit in such a way that they didn't break. His cell phone was scratched up a bit, but it still works just fine with its loud, annoying ring. Err, I mean, the Nokia factory ring, I think it is. You know, like on "Medium"? I think. Whatever it is, it is LOUD. But he doesn't need hearing aids, noooo.

When he was ready to leave the hospital, he wore his Man of Steel cap again. Perhaps he really is a man of steel now with the plates, screws, and metal rod. He'll certainly always set off metal detectors! He is learning how to maneuver around the house well, though of course he tires easily still. Also, he was used to rolling on smooth floors, and they have deep-pile carpet at home, so he's having to work harder with his arms to use the chair. Ginny's making him do laps with the walker, too. She knows how to crack that whip. (Only around the kitchen island; she's not too cruel of a taskmaster.)

I haven't let this be known, but I can tell it now. Ginny only spent one night at home for the entire month. She just wanted to be where he was. She's even been back at work for the last two weeks while still sleeping in a hospital recliner every night. Now, that's dedication for you. Also, I love this: I went to sit with him while she ran some errands, and before she left she went over and kissed him! On the lips! Right there in front of me! I told them I don't think I've ever seen them kiss (and I've known them for 16 years.) They just laughed at me.

We all told him we are SOOO glad he is HOME! He said he is, too. He said, "You just don't know."

I picked up his handicapped placard so they can park in one of the many empty spaces marked handicapped everywhere (well, not EVERYwhere, but a lot of places.) It will expire eventually, though.

Maybe I'll get a picture of him in his spiffy new wheelchair with the "S" hat on for you soon. He has been so touched and surprised by the outpouring of cards, love, cards, gifts, cards, candy, cards, gift certificates, cards, plants, cards, even money. My favorite story is of a certain visitor who gave Ginny some one dollar bills to have for snacks or parking as he was leaving. He came back later -- he didn't have any ones to pay for his own parking. Hilarious. We love you, friend, you know who you are.

The Coxes (well, the elder Coxes; I suppose we're the Coxes, too) have a huge basket filled just about to overflowing with cards, and I believe I've been the one to open almost every one of them! Ginny opened a few, but just didn't always feel like it. Amy opened a few, too, I think. I love to read with a dramatic flair, dontcha know, so I took it upon myself to do that whenever he'd let me. We were finally caught up yesterday. And then even MORE cards came today!! But that is not a complaint. It is awesome. Not a word I throw out often, so don't take it that way. Bob, ever so humble, can't understand why so many people would care that much about him. He just doesn't know what a ripple effect one life can have, I suppose ...

Cards from Kentucky, Middle Tennessee, East Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and all over North Alabama, at least. Wow. Monday I take him to his first Outpatient Physical Therapy session (don't worry, Lindsey, Amy will relieve me so I can get to you in time!)

God bless you, every one.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

UPDATED PICTURES; all my children; Bob's hard work

***Bob will be released from the rehab hospital tomorrow, Wednesday. We are so excited to get him home!! I had lunch with him today and he's doing well and in good spirits.***
I updated the early pictures so you could see baby-ish pics of all. Mainly Chloe's crying picture!
Here is a picture of Julianne on her 1st birthday. Joey was 12 days old. She started walking about a week before he was born, so she was an old pro by this point. She was generally pleasant and very curious about everything; never met a stranger.
Now here she is. My 10-year-old. I am not normally weepy or nostalgic about my childrens' rites of passage; preschool and kindergarten were a relief, to me. But somehow, today, as I filled out applications for next fall, it hit me hard. Julianne will be in the 5th grade. (I remember that age very well.) A grown-up, compassionate, deep-thinking mind she has, yet in a child's body. She has grown a lot in the last year, though, and she wears size 7 shoes! Same as Aunt Amy.

Here is Joey on his first birthday. See how I had them side-by-side in cribs. It was just easier to keep all the diapers and mess in one room. They loved it. It wasn't long after this that he learned to get out of his crib. He'd climb over into hers and they'd play, or he'd climb out. She was much more cautious.

And now. My "sweet boy" will be a 4th grader; although he excels in every subject, he is much more concerned with finishing quickly than with working carefully. Plus he'd rather be playing outside than doing any of that! He still lets me hug and kiss him -- at home -- but I don't know for how much longer. (I'm realizing it is time to relish those moments.) He is within an inch of his sister's height, but no matter how much he eats, nothing sticks! No broken bones lately, though.

Here is Abbie at about eight months. From the moment she could smile, this was pretty much the expression we saw all the time. Her name means "source of joy." Often I've thought there never was a child more aptly named. Clouds and drama appear occasionally now, though!

Now we're looking ahead to 2nd grade! She has lost her two top front teeth recently, so that pretty baby smile will never be the same. She'll still be beautiful -- but not my baby any longer. Like her siblings, she does very well in every subject, though she's not always happy about schoolwork. She loves to sing! I usually play worship music in the van, and her clear little voice is always singing along. Sometimes they all sing (and well), and it thrills my heart inexpressibly.

And my little Chloe, in Julianne's arms, at about three months old. This is what much of her first year or two looked like, bless her heart. She is "The least of my little ones," to borrow words from a poem of my late grandmother, Ruth Johnson. I think she always will be, at least in stature. Time will tell.

Chloe marches to her own beat. She has never been "like" the others. As a baby she didn't "have the same look about her," a friend said curiously. Her disposition was different, maybe because she battled reflux. She cried. A lot. And she spit up. A lot. Nursery workers would tell me she was sick, that she had thrown up. It was just how her spit-up was. With what I know now, I think she probably had G.E.R.D., but thankfully she's outgrown it. Now she is 4 1/2. No more reflux. She looks like a Cox kid and she sings constantly, so we're pretty sure she's ours! She looks and acts rather like Joey; she is full of hilarity. Way too many nonsensical knock-knock jokes, though!! It would be better if she wouldn't end them all the same way.
My children ... about whom almost everyone says,
"Your children are so well-behaved."
"You have a beautiful family!"
"What do you do to make them be so good?"
I'm not sure which kids they're looking at; but the ones I see here in my house?
Love to pick at each other.
And fight.
And pull each other's clothes.
And take things from each other.
And push each other.
And yell at each other.
At least sometimes. We have pleasant times, too, like looking for the lunar eclipse the other night, or when we have game night, or when we watch American Idol (I know, I know, it has the word Idol in it. But it's singing, and we are the Coxes! What do you expect?) There are precious moments that I will always treasure.
But this fighting is getting on my NERVES.
Lately the unpleasantness seems much more common than the pleasantness. Perhaps, possibly, the disarray of our lives for the last 3 1/2 weeks is taking its toll ... but I cannot stand the bickering. Neither can I constantly spank or constantly banish. As I've told them since they were old enough, "You're going to have to work this out yourselves." They've just grown in volume and in number since then! So, when I must, I retreat through my bedroom. Into the bathroom. And then, into the closet. There I can sit in the insulated silence as long as my nerves require that I do so.
Funny, if we take even one child out of the mix the fighting seems to magically stop. Doesn't matter which one. I guess that's true if you have three children as well. I know it's true for two! I was one of two. I daresay my brother's battlescars outrival anything my children have yet to experience. (I was the baby, so I got away with a lot.)
I suppose it has always been thus.


We met with all the therapists Thursday and saw what good progress Bob is making. He won't require any more Speech Therapy! He won't require any more Occupational Therapy! He will require a good bit more Physical Therapy; that's as we expected. He should go home next Wednesday. Party, anyone?!?

Bob will be using a wheelchair for several weeks. He can use a walker, but has to bear all his weight with his left leg. Before long he becomes exhausted and wants to switch his weight to that right leg, so he has to sit down. Today some men built a ramp in their garage. Don't worry, we will NOT let him go down the ramp by himself. Actually, he can't be by himself until told otherwise. But between us all that won't be a problem.

Bob was in the bed so long, he has rubbed a bald spot on his head. Just like my babies did when I had to put them to sleep on their backs, you know? Don't worry, though, Claude, he's got nothin' on you. (Oh, you're gonna get me now!) It's kind of funny in the middle of all that thick black hair. Well, it was to me. He didn't quite get the humor, I'm afraid. Oh, well, me and my perpetual foot-in-mouth disease. I come by it honestly. :-)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

(shh ... Bob's in rehab ...)

All in good fun, folks, all in good fun. No, he won't be seeing Lindsay Lohan during his stint at Betty Ford -- I mean, the Rehab Hospital.

My apologies to any of you who have been waiting with bated breath for my next post. Time kind of got away from me, and I've just been living my life.

Rob went Saturday to help load everything on a cart, and Bob rode in a wheelchair (instead of on a bed) across the skywalk. He is working hard; he wants to go home as soon as possible. Ginny started back at school today, and I'm sure there were lots of happy kindergarteners this morning.

Bob is receiving Physical therapy, Occupational Therapy, and some sort of memory therapy. He is busy until about 4 PM; then he is ready for his supper. (Greg & Holly, you know what I mean!) I don't think he would mind a few visitors; that said, do be cognizant of his energy level and don't stay too long. He needs lots of energy for his therapy. [Parking can be a bear over there, so don't say you weren't warned.]

Blessings on you today.

Oh, and a reminder -- I did adjust the comment settings the first week. You do not have to have a Google account to post. (Some still had questions about that.)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Papa's girls; physical therapy

Sarah got to see her Papa Wednesday night. Then yesterday, after over two weeks, our girls got to see their Papa again. Joey's cough is still deep, though not frequent, but we didn't want him to have to walk so far. Huntsville Hospital is almost as much of a maze as the Winchester House -- they just keep adding on and on. Bob's room is in the furthest section from the visitor parking garage, I think.

They were happy to see him, and he them, but Abbie was rather uncertain of the surroundings. Julianne's old enough not to be, and Chloe's young enough not to be. She had all kinds of questions, like, "What's that on your nose?" (Oxygen.) "What's that on your hand?" (Boo-boo.) "What's that on your leg?" Etc. I got her out of there after she started jumping up and down on the hard tile floor. I think her visit lasted two minutes or less, but that was enough to satisfy her. Abbie mostly looked at him shyly from afar. Julianne regaled him with tales of school to which he tried valiantly to respond, but she talks so quickly it is even difficult for those of us at full capacity to keep up with her.

Sarah is quite comfortable in a hospital room so long as she has "MY mommy." That's pretty much what she says all day, Amy reported, over and over and over. She spent several days in the hospital herself in January due to a serious case of RSV. She's in great shape now, though.
Physical therapists began to work with Bob yesterday. He now knows the tricks of maneuvering from bed to chair with the help of a walker. That much, right now, is exhausting. But, to our surprise, he will be wheeled across the Governor's Dr. bridge that extends from Huntsville Hospital to the Rehab Hospital tomorrow! He'll relocate in the morning, and will be there anywhere from 7-10 days, the rep said. He'll have 1.5 hours of therapy each morning and 1.5 hours again each afternoon. Break that up with meals and the rest he'll desperately need between sessions -- he'll have very full days there.

I have no doubt that the power and the multitude of prayers on his behalf are having a strong impact on his recovery. But beyond the prayers for healing, he also needs prayers that the God of all comfort and strength will surround him and uphold him. He wants to do so much, and he can't yet -- his spirit is willing, but his flesh is literally weak right now. Let's pray for him to remember that the length of time from winter to spring really isn't all that long -- how many times in the past, do you think, has he wondered where the time went? How many times have we all wondered that? I pray that, in his estimation, this period of time does go by quickly.

Good weekend to all. Cox out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Yesterday the childrens' fevers were gone, almost as quickly as they'd come. Joey's had lasted the longest. Now I'm not convinced the others even had the flu. The rest of us remain unscathed, although Rob has been dealing with an annoying cold for almost two weeks. Anyway, the kids were glad to attend their Valentine parties at school today.
Yesterday some X-rays came back from the night before. They were checking Bob's right foot, which he said was hurting. They found some broken bones in his foot -- they didn't catch that before, I suppose because the other injuries were so much more severe. So now he has a boot on that foot.
Bob got his room just in time for supper last night. He enjoyed it. He's shaky, though, and somewhat disoriented. That is not unusual after all the trauma, medicine, and time in the ICU he's had. Being back on a regular schedule, not having a room open to a bright hallway day and night, and being with his family should help. I hope he won't be too disappointed when he learns he hasn't actually sold houses to sixty doctors during his hospital stay (he told Rob last night that he had.) It seems rather like he's dreaming while awake. We pray this will pass quickly, for all the imaginings are not as pleasant as that one.
Bob has received a total of 15 units of blood since being in the hospital, we added up. Six right away the first day, then two more later that day. You may remember me saying the human body holds roughly eight units -- so he got an entire body's worth that day. Two more during the leg surgery, I think (or in the next day or two after.) Two before the hip surgery and two during it; one more a few days ago, as a booster. Our Madison Academy family had an impromptu LifeSouth blood drive in his honor last week, and about 40 people gave blood. We are thankful for that, and how it will impact other families. Were it not for the blood Bob received on January 30th, he would not be with us any longer.

The gift of blood truly saved his life.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

morpheine madness; Get me a room!

Last night was a bad night for Bob (perhaps more so for the nurses) with the morpheine. He was hallucinating; he thought people were trying to attack him. That's the version I got from Rob, who got it from Ginny, so no doubt it is abridged.

This morning he was sitting in a chair, facing the hall. He was asking every person he saw when he could have a room. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, of course; he'll be in a room later today. However, since he tires so quickly still, he doesn't need visitors. There will be plenty of time for that when he's sitting in his recliner for the better part of the next three months. I'll keep you informed.

Next week, hopefully, he'll be ready to go to the rehab hospital to learn to maneuver himself just enough to take care of basic needs. However, most of the rehab will happen after the 12 (now less than 11) weeks are up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Grandmommy Ruby, Dec. '07
Opening presents at her house

For those of you who read the comments, so you'll know what my mother looks like (me in 25 years!) Love you, Mother. And I'm sure you'll love me for posting that. :-)

grumpy gramps; influenza

While Bob is awake and all is going as it should, he is a wee bit grumpy, so I've heard. I imagine you get sore after being mostly supine for 12 days. I had to "go on bedrest" for about three weeks before Julianne was born, but I wasn't unconscious and strapped down, so I'm sure it's not the same level of soreness.

He is still rather confused, and asking repetitive questions, but that seems to be part of the waking process. When Ginny called last, he was drinking some Coke and preparing to have some Jell-o. Yum! :-) He asked her to help him get back into bed while Rob was there yest., and she said she couldn't, the nurses would do that. But he asked again at least two more times, as though he forgot he'd asked.

Rob asked if he wanted to know who won the Superbowl, and, irritated, he said, "How long have I been in here?" Oh, boy. Long road ahead!


Three down, three to go. The flu has struck our home. (Yes, we ALL had flu shots.)

*Joey is feeling much better, just still has that cough; it was bothersome enough that I still took him to the doc yesterday and he tested positive for flu. Yesterday his temp only reached about 100; it is normal today. The doctor told him, though, "Maybe you can go back to school Thursday!!! That seems like a long time to be out, but now it's Tuesday and his cough is still deep.

*This morning Julianne wakes me up with, "My temperature is 100.8." Later it was over 101, and she mentioned that it "hurts when I swallow." Plus she has a headache. So, Motrin for her. No cough, interestingly.

*A couple of hours ago, Madison Academy's school nurse called saying Abbie wasn't feeling well and her temp was 99.8. Guess who's home now? A little headache, but no other symptoms.

Dr. Zbell thankfully had the foresight to prescribe Tamiflu to all four of the children as a preventative measure (and a treatment if needed.) Dr. O'Neill obliged with the same for Rob and me, so maybe the affliction won't remain for too long. Dr. Zbell said the shots didn't work so well this year, but those who got one have fared better than those who did not.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Ginny went to see Bob at the 10:30 visit time, and lo and behold, he was sitting in a chair ... no breathing tube! He wanted to know what happened; again, she told him she didn't know. I'm hoping she told him he was in a wreck, at least! He was a little confused, but after being asleep for that long, confusion seems the logical result. (Anyone ever answer the phone instead of turning off your alarm?)
Bob asked the doctor if he knew Jack Brown. Ginny said, "Do you mean Jack Moore?" Yes, he meant Jack Moore (of the church and school community here.) Yes, the doctor knew Jack.
Ginny gave Bob some ice chips. Tomorrow his feeding tube comes out. Maybe he'll be in a regular room by Thursday. Woot!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

couple pics; quick update

Sweet Sarah, at our house, Nov. '07
(so you can see how much she's changed)

Papa reading to Chloe, Sept. '07
(I just think that's one of the sweetest pics ever.)

Well, I finally saw the real Bob Cox again today. He is definitely back with us. He held my hand firmly, looked at each of us, tried to say Amy's name when she came in, tried to say bye when I left -- but of course, couldn't speak. Everything looks good; the only reason he is on the ventilator now is that the doctor hasn't gotten by to take it out. Bob doesn't know quite how long he's been out ... and Ginny doesn't want to tell him until that tube is out, for he needs to stay calm. He'll be in for several surprises. A lot happens in the world over twelve days, and he keeps up with the news. Hopefully he can get it in small doses and not be too overwhelmed.
G'night, all, and have a good Monday. I'll be with my Joey, who turned up with a temp of almost 103 today and a deep chest cough. He fell asleep in the family room last night, and I thought he was just tired from a long day, but he probably was getting sick then. I don't like this cough at all, so off to the doctor we'll go as soon as they'll have us, and I'll be reliant upon others for updates from the hospital -- I'm certainly not taking whatever Joey has to Bob.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

thoughts; waking up

So much on my mind ... so much in my heart. I remembered music today. Somehow it has been strangely absent over the last [can it have only been] eleven days. Today I needed to receive, and let words and truths wash over me, refreshing and renewing my spirit. Tears have not come often, somehow, through this; neither did they appear today as more than a glimmer. How can tears come when truth is able to shine through?

You are God alone.
From before time began,
You were on Your throne.
You are God alone!

And right now,
In the good times and bad,
You are on Your throne.
You are God alone!

Ginny pondered the other night that there must be some reason all this has happened; she just has no idea what it is. I told her she might never know, and she nodded, though even my Pollyanna-ish self knows that is little consolation in a rough moment. Whatever the reason, may God be glorified; I am confident that Bob wants God to be glorified, no matter what.

I remember when Bob and Ginny were living in Paducah, KY, and he began reading a one-year Daily Bible in answer to the challenge of the preacher, Mike Tanaro, to the Lone Oak Church of Christ. I believe that was in 1994. He read the whole thing. He read it again the next year. To the best of my knowledge, he has read it all the way through every year since then. He doesn't read much else, but he reads his Bible. When I'm not sure where something is, or when I have a question about biblical history, I often turn to him.

A couple of years back an exhibit came to Huntsville that displayed and detailed what it took to preserve the Bible through the ages, what it took for people to translate it; people risked their lives for the Word -- the Living Word. Bob and Ginny purchased a page of one of the earliest printings of the Bible in English. It is a focal point in their family room, adorning their mantel; it is encased in protective glass. The fact that they want to decorate their home in that way is beautiful to me.

I am blessed with a rich, strong, generations-old heritage of faith; being united with Rob (and thereby, his family) gives our children an even stronger heritage. Praise God! And may we never forget or take for granted these blessings; may we see those who suffer, alone, and share the wealth of our God's love and our Savior's sacrifice with them!

Okay. Enough thoughts.


Rip van Winkle is waking up! This morning Ginny and I got to talk to him, his eyes were open most of the time. This afternoon, Amy was with her and he was awake the whole time and squeezed their hands. Tonight, Rob got to enjoy the same thing. We all have a new spring in our step, and Bob is another step closer to home.

quick post

Running out the door to hospital for "the 10:30", then off to accompany a flute lesson at 11:30. Sorry not to have posted last night but Rob and I were trying to do some catching up on our "His Needs, Her Needs" homework -- last week put us behind. We're getting there, though.


Things were looking good yesterday. The ventilator was turned back down to one breath per minute, oxygen at 40 % (the same as someone with an oxygen mask would have.) Temp. good, liver function improved (he had been a bit yellow the day before), and 16-18 good breaths per minute, deep breaths. Now he just has to wake up. It takes awhile for Adavan to get out of one's system. The morpheine has been turned down very low now, just enough to keep him from freaking out if he wakes up really well and sees all these things attached to him! He was responding (with closed eyes), especially to his grandchildren's names.

More later. Gotta run.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

guilefully guilty go-go Ginny; Bob's baby blues

******I forgot infraction #8. Adding it, 9:15 Fri. morn.******

Sound like great song titles, hmm?

I was conversing with my best friend tonight (or as they say now, my bff,) Jennifer. She was quite curious about the trouble that my dear, sweet, innocent mother-in-law could have found at the hospital. Well, she didn't have to find any trouble, buddy, 'cause it found her -- over and over and over!! We think she knows all the rules now, but it seems new ones turn up each day in the beautifully appointed, employee-donated ICU waiting room for which we are all extremely grateful.

Let's see if I can remember all the way back to that first night ... yes, you of the "Wayne's World" era, do it with me ... fingers going down like rain in front of your face as you say, "Duhdleduhdleduhdle, duhdleduhdleduhdle." We're only going back a week, so you don't have to say it for too long. Now. Imagine your spouse (assuming you have one) was severely injured just that morning in a horrible car accident and you are walking around in a daze. That was Ginny last Wednesday evening, and I was with her (in just as much of a daze, I'm afraid.) C.P. and Ruthie Rieser showed up, and Ruthie had the perfect basket with everything Ginny could need to be comfortable and organized. Notepad, flannel throw blanket, snacks galore, water bottles, magazines, etc. A welcome sight after an exhausting day!!

Later, ICU waiting has just been cleaned around 8:50 P.M. - again - for the night. We go in and sit down in two recliners which are under a rather bright light, but we don't really feel chatty, you know? Trying to be apart from others at that point. Just as we're getting settled with the blankets and pillows already laid out, one of the staff members comes and tells us that we are in someone else's spot. Whoops! We didn't realize seats were assigned at night. (Infraction 1.) So we gather our things and move them. Then she says we have to check in if we are staying for the night. Not just check in at the ICU waiting desk, but go all the way back to the main lobby desk to sign in and get badges. We didn't know! (Infractions 2 & 3.) We thought you could just go in, take a place, and park it, you know?

I do understand why the ICU folks want to know who is where -- that way they do not have to wake up everyone to find a family member if there is a problem. But the front desk? I don't get it. Maybe it's some insurance safeguard for the hospital or something.

That was done, we were settled, and Ginny slept so well under her warm flannel blanket from "Miss" Ruthie (Chloe's current teacher and Abbie's past teacher.) I was sleeping just fine with the hospital pillow and blankets until Ginny woke me up at midnight to tell me something about Bob's condition -- some kind of good news, can't remember now. I couldn't go back to sleep, and that is when I wrote the first post last week. Now she knows not to wake me up!

The next morning, as linens were being collected, one of the staff members, a very nice young woman, said to Ginny,

"Did anyone speak to you about your blanket?"
"No ..."
"You're not supposed to use personal blankets or pillows here."
"Oh ... but my friend brought it for me, and I get so cold, and it is so warm ..."
"I'm sorry, ma'am."

To me she says, aside, "Well, I never." (Infraction 4.)

Later Thursday, more friends brought more goodies. One of the containers was clear, and you could see some packages of food inside it. We were thankful for all the food and snacks -- saves time and money and effort, you know? BUT, it was mentioned Thursday that there was to be no food in the waiting area. Okay, we understand, no eating. We saw the signs, we knew not to eat in there. It's understandable when you think about it, because so many might take advantage of the situation and make messes. However, Friday morning I awakened to a staff member speaking rather sternly to Ginny because she saw food in that clear container. Ginny was so busted. Hilarious. She said,

"I can't even have an unopened package of crackers?"
"No ma'am, not in the waiting room. You need to keep food in your car."
Ginny, getting frustrated,
"I don't have a car. I came in an ambulance!!!"

To me she says, mumbling under her breath, "I'd better put all this away; they're probably going to frisk me next." (Infraction 5.)

We got a locker and put a few things in there, and I took a few things to my car. She kept that clear container, though, for it was big and light and easy to maneuver. The lady came back by later and said authoritatively,

"Is there still food in there?!?"
"No, just water!" Ginny retorted -- well, as much as she is capable of retorting.
(Assumed infraction ... 5.5.)

Then, I believe it was Saturday night when the next batch of trouble came. (She just can't help herself.) The 8:30 visit had passed, and it was after 9 PM once again. Ginny was settling into her spot in the waiting room when her phone vibrated and she answered, I'm sure in a soft tone of voice (she only speaks softly, in my experience.) A staff member came running up to her and said there is to be no talking on cell phones "after hours." She wearily complied, moving out into the hall to talk to her daughter for a few minutes. (Infraction 6.)

When she went back to her seat, she made the grave mistake of putting her bag on the seat next to hers. Heavens to Betsy!! The same staff member came running up and said she could NOT leave her bag there -- that chair had been sanitized, and someone else might need it later that night. Of course there were two empty recliners across from her, but ... (Infraction 7.)

Sure as the coyotes howl at the moon, at 2:30 AM someone came in and the staff placed her right beside Ginny. Not in one of the chairs across -- oh, no. And the woman apparently had bronchitis or pneumonia! She proceeded to fall asleep facing Ginny, and she coughed and hacked her way through the night. Ginny turned to the other side, curled up as tightly as she could, and tried her best not to breathe the contaminated air. :-) I'm sure it was a sight to behold. She has made sure to ask to be isolated since that night!!

***the one I remembered***
Then came Sunday night. After the 8:30 visit, Ginny wanted to get her shower so she'd be ready bright and early when the call came before Bob's surgery. She went to the desk and asked for towels and to be let in -- not knowing you are NOT supposed to take showers "after hours." (Infraction 8!) She cajoled, however, and explained that she didn't want to have to do that in the morning and risk missing the doctor's call. After much pleading, the staff relented, even though it gave them more work to do (dealing with towels and such.) Ah, well. Live and learn, I always say. We understand now, and try to help the newbies learn the ropes. :-)

This afternoon we had a treat. Bob opened his eyes for a good portion of the 4:30 visit. Ginny tried to talk some sense into him. She told him he'd better get to breathing so he could go home! That was an encouraging visit. They're ever-so-slowly turning the respirator down ... maybe tomorrow he'll do better than yesterday. We watch and wait. Thank you for your prayers.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

minor setback; about me

The doctor decided today that Bob didn't need to move off of the ventilator so quickly. They did have it down to one breath per minute at one point, but then Bob was breathing a little too rapidly, and not deeply enough. These things just can't be rushed after all he has been through. His body hasn't had to breathe for itself for over a week now, so it is just going to take time to get him ready. They put the ventilator back up to 8 breaths per minute and that lessened the effort -- his energy needs to be reserved for healing, and not spent on labored breathing. So... a few more days, perhaps? We just don't know for sure how much longer he'll be in the SICU.


For my blogfriends who have known me through this venue for about the last four years -- it occurred to me that you might wonder how I suddenly have time to post again. I am not in school this semester; 19 hours in the fall nearly killed me. My whole little family desperately needed a break from my schooling! Of course that pushes back my anticipated graduation date ... if I ever get there at all. Ugh. But I am pretty proud that I completed 53 hours in 16 months and earned scholarships in the process. I just hope my little ones didn't suffer too much for it. I'm enjoying the time I have with them now.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

breathing more

Today began the methodical process of weaning Bob from the ventilator. Now it is only breathing 10 of his breaths per minute, and he does the other 6 (or more.) The machine will be turned down by just 2 breaths per minute only once every 4 hours. By Wednesday afternoon sometime, we anticipate the machine will only be doing 1 breath per minute for him. At that point the level of oxygen will be reduced little by little (on that one breath,) and his oxygen level will be monitored continually. We don't really expect him to be awake before Thursday.

Through all this they're having to continually monitor for infection. Bob's temp was over 101.5 again today, so more tylenol and more cultures, but everything has proven fine thus far. (Pneumonia is always a concern during intubation.)


Maybe in a few days I will do a post telling you about all the ways Ginny has gotten in trouble at the hospital. She's a rulebreaker, that one. :-) Pure rebel -- don't let that sweet smile deceive you.

Monday, February 4, 2008

just the facts

Bob's surgery went well. It started after 10, and he got out around 1. As they had said, he pretty well shattered his pelvis. It is a T-shaped fracture. The acetabulum was in about 6 different pieces, which they put back together the best they could, Dr. Griffin said. The bone fragments are held together with two metal plates and several screws.

He will be in the hospital at least 4-5 more days, and maybe a good deal longer. He will be on the respirator at least through tomorrow, so he will be in the SICU until he's weaned off of that satisfactorily.

He cannot put weight on the broken area of the pelvis for 12 weeks, but he will learn to use a walker before leaving the hospital so he can get around unaided. His sciatic nerve is bruised very badly -- it took a good bit of the trauma, which we didn't know before the surgery. They had to move it during the procedure, so they got a good look. That may limit his foot function for awhile, but we don't expect long-lasting problems there.

Bob should be able to get comfortable in a sitting position long before the 12 weeks are up, thankfully.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Bob's surgery is set for Monday morning at 9 A.M., Ginny just called to say. She said the procedure is called an O.R.I.F. of the right acetabulum, "in case anyone wanted to look that up." This is encouraging news! The sooner this is done, the sooner he can wake UP.

We continue to covet your prayers.

recent pic

This is who you're praying for:

Bob Cox, with his wife Ginny & their grandchildren. Kids, clockwise from left; Abbie, Julianne, Joey, and Chloe Cox, and Sarah Hunter, Christmas 2006.

We never sat down to do family pictures this year, (Christmas '07.) That was my fault (sorry, Amy.) At any rate, this is how happy he is at times like these.
[Sarah has grown a lot, as have her hair and her independence; the others are just taller!]

surgery soon; family activities

Two apologies upfront:

I'm sorry not to have posted since Thursday night. Little has changed and I'm just so very tired; we all are. Amazing how tiring it can be to just sit there all day. I feel like a piece of concrete. I fell into bed at around eight last night and was only awakened when Julianne came to check on us at 8:30 this morning.

Also, I'm sorry the comments were not enabled for anyone who would like to comment. I adjusted the comment settings for you after a friend brought that to my attention.

There has been little change since the surgery Thursday. Bob is still on the respirator, still on a feeding tube, still on an IV, still sedated. We just wish we could talk with him; that will happen a day or two after the surgery on his pelvis if he is willing to cough at that time. Ginny expects that he will be just so he can stay awake and be able to communicate, even though it will be painful. The trauma doctor said that he saw no reason for Bob not to have surgery on Monday. Last night we learned that if X-rays look good and his temperature is satisfactory, they'll do it. His temp has been running from 102-100, roughly, most of the time, but that's not unusual with all that's happened to his body. It was around 99.7 last time I was in there yesterday, and they had his legs covered and the fan turned off, so he's made progress in that area.

Friday Bob's brother, Claude, drove in from Atlanta. He's always ready to offer support in times of crisis. Their niece, Janice, drove down from Chattanooga as well. It is comforting to have family near during these times. My brother got the kids from school Friday -- my mother was out of town with cousin Dr. Jason Stephenson (her employer) at a chiropractic convention or something. Janice had to get back Friday evening to her little one, but Claude stayed the night at Bob & Ginny's. Ginny won't come home to sleep, though. I had to, Friday, because Joey and Abbie had basketball games Saturday morning.

After the games, around lunchtime, we went on to the hospital with all the kids in tow so Rob could see his dad at the 1:30 visiting time. The kids got to meet Uncle Claude, and they just went right up and hugged him. It was good. He looks a good bit like his brother, so I suppose they all felt like they sort of knew him already. Amy's Sarah was quite taken with him, too. Saturday afternoon some of Bob and Ginny's long-time friends from Chattanooga came by. The Browns visited a couple of hours, and the Twitchells for a little while (they were in town visiting one of their sons.)

We went home for a bit and then my cousin Kate came to stay with the kids while we went back to the hospital (her husband had gone hunting, so she was free.) :-) The girls now adore her, and she made the mistake of giving them her phone number. Abbie called her before church this morning just to talk! They are insistent that she must come and go to Bridge Street with them (the latest shopping center, 5 min. from our house.) They introduced her to Hannah Montana, and she's now a fan. Too funny.

Ginny did get away from the hospital to go to school Saturday morning for awhile and put things in order ("organized" just is NOT a sufficient word to describe this woman) and to get things ready for her sub(s) for the week. Amy also got her to go to Cracker Barrell for supper. I don't know what she ate, but hopefully it was more than 1/4 of a sandwich (she's not had much of an appetite.) We begged her to go home for the night, but she stands firm. She'd rather be there, so we won't push anymore.

Thank you again for all the prayers, calls, visits, and thank you Lincoln for the barbeque! (I assume that's who brought it since you said you would.) Kate, the kids, and Rob loved it! I didn't eat, just fell into bed. I'll try some today.

I hope that catches everyone up. Oh, and Ms. Trammell, I totally forgot to get Abbie's WEB ready. Sorry!! We'll do it today. And thank you to the MusicMAnia judges for letting us postpone Abbie's callback. After we get through the next surgery we'll all feel better (except maybe Bob!)

Blessings on you today.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

making our nests for the night

Ginny and I are making our nests for the night again. We (Ginny, Rob, Amy, David, and I) have all gotten to see Bob now. He responds a little, but is still so heavily sedated that he can't do much. Some blinking, hand-squeezing, arm movement, and faint mouth movement (as though he is speaking in his dreams.) They have added a feeding tube to waken his stomach a little, and tomorrow hopefully they'll let him be a little bit more alert. It just depends on his pain threshold, which is not very high from what I know! He'll endure, though, I've no doubt.

I do not know if we (or Ginny and someone else) will spend tomorrow night here at the hospital. This did just happen yesterday, and the trauma doctor said the first 48-72 hours are critical. Bob is headed in the right direction, though.

It amazes me when I consider the number of churches and individuals that are praying for Bob's recovery and healing. Well, it does and it doesn't amaze, you know? By our love ... that's how others know to whom we belong. Believe me, there are many other families in this waiting room as well -- more names than I can remember. All lost in their own private dramas, but we notice each other every now and again. A few stories get shared here, a few annoyances get shared there, like how we have to take EVERYTHING out of the waiting room at 8:30! But they are watching, and we are mindful of that. Let your prayers include open minds and hearts for all of us as we spend time at the hospital -- let us not become consumed with despair, for Bob will heal. Some of the people here don't have that hope or that expectation for their loved ones.

So many are praying -- and it must be making things go so well so far. Studies have shown that prayer improves patients' conditions even when they don't know they're being prayed for! And is he ever! Some of those praying for him:

~Mayfair Church of Christ -- Home to Bob & Ginny Cox, David, Amy, & Sarah Hunter
~Twickenham Church of Christ -- Home to Rob, Clarissa, Julianne, Joey, Abbie, & Chloe Cox
~Madison Academy -- Ginny teaches, Amy taught, 4 Coxes attend, Rob's beginning volunteer software work, Clarissa accompanies on occasion

~Lake Hills Church of Christ -- One of B & G's former churches. Thanks, Wes -- all of Chattanooga knows, and beyond!
~Otter Creek Church of Christ -- R & C's former church
~Friends to all/each of us, old and new, from all corners of the country
~Cookeville Community Bible Study -- Thank you, Jenn. I love you, too.

~Bob's family doctor; his gastroenterologist; Ginny's orthopaedist; an OB/GYN from Mayfair!
~The volunteer chaplain who came by early this morning.

~Some of Bob's former customers have even come by and said they'll be praying.
~Some of his fellow builders and/or laborers from the homebuilding community here in Huntsville.

~My Facebook friends. Thanks for updating there, Dave (my brother.)
~My Blogging friends, of course -- you've said as much in your comments!

~Coxes, Pelhams and Plemmons.
~Johnsons and Spurlins.
(There's something extra special about Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.)

I'm sure there are more. Add names/churches/groups to the comments section if you like. I'm going to preserve this chronicling for Bob to peruse when he is able; I want him to have a fresh awareness of how valued he and his family are. I have tried to write down the names of each and every one of you that has called, visited, left a message, sent an email, brought a gift, or prayed for us and him. I was gone for a few hours today but Ginny, Rob, and Amy helped piece together who came, called, etc. I will be gone much longer tomorrow, for Julianne has a temperature of 101 degrees or so and must stay home tomorrow; Rob must work a few hours, too. It will be juggle time, but there are reinforcements coming in from Chattanooga and Atlanta tomorrow; I guess things will go on without me for awhile.


We are a family richly blessed.

one surgery down; the children

Although we have not actually spoken with the surgeon this afternoon, the nurses assure us that Bob came through the surgery very well. He now has a metal rod in his right femur -- healing can begin there. I haven't seen him since the surgery, but Rob and Ginny say he looks much better -- more like he's resting, and less like a trauma patient. He is very swollen, but that is par for the course and will last for some time.

There have still been several visitors today -- thank you for all the goodies some of you have brought! However ... as long as Bob remains in the surgical ICU, we ask that you refrain from bringing anything else of bulk, because the room is cleared a few times each day and we have to remove all of our belongings. They don't want the room piling up and looking too cluttered, and we understand that. If you want to bring food, gift cards to local restaurants might be a better option. Parking garage tokens would be a good thing. Small things, but very helpful.

The ladies at Little Madison Academy, where Ginny teaches Kindergarten, put together bags full of groceries and gave them to Rob this morning when he dropped Chloe off for preschool. Those are at our house for us kids and grandkids. Others have offered to keep our children fed with cooked meals in the evenings for awhile. And the phone calls! There have been many phone calls from many states today.


Bob is a godly man; he is a man of his word. He cares for others and loves his family passionately -- especially the grandchildren. You grandparents out there understand, I'm sure. When I got to see him in the ER, he asked Ginny if he had hit another car; he was concerned someone else might be hurt. Then she told him I was there and he said, "How's Julianne?" Those of you who know her understand. Funny ... immediately after, he asked, "How's Sarah?" Oh, to be two years old and oblivious to his pain and suffering.

When my mother told our children yesterday afternoon about the accident, Julianne asked, "Is he dead?" Mother immediately assured her this was not the case! Both Julianne and Abbie cried for a little while, and the four of them prayed with Mother. Then they all went to get Sarah, and she had a big time with her cousins. She really doesn't know my mother, so we're impressed with how well she did.

Anyway. I'm tired of typing and there are more people here and I tell it better than anybody else.

good news first

Cindy Bradley came by this morning and said Bob's vitals were still stable this morning. Ginny and I just saw one of the orthopaedic surgeons, Dr. Bryant, who will repair Bob's leg "around lunchtime" today by putting a metal rod in to keep the upper part of the femur attached to the lower part. Once that is done they will be able to put him in traction to relieve some of the pressure on his pelvic fracture.

She said the leg fracture is not nearly as concerning as the pelvic fracture. He has acetablum fractures. She described the hip joint like a ball and a cup, with the acetablum (acetablam?) being the cup. The ball went through the cup and broke it into multiple pieces. Dr. Bryant said that Dr. Griffin (in the same orthopaedic practice) will probably do surgery on the pelvis in 4-5 days. He specializes in that type of fracture.

It is unlikely that Bob will leave the Surgical ICU (SICU) between surgeries, as he is still on a ventilator. They will probably want to keep a very close eye on him, and that's fine with us.

in a moment everything can change

As many of you have heard by now, Rob's dad, Robert (Bob) was in a bad car accident Wednesday morning. Many of you have also been offering up prayers in his behalf -- thank you! Please continue to do so -- he'll need it today especially. The accident occurred around 9:00 A.M. on Martin Road halfway between the Lake Forest development and Zeirdt Road. We don't know what caused his vehicle to veer off of the road to the right, and a friend and fellow builder who was driving right behind him does not know what happened either. One moment everything was fine, the next Bob smashed head-on into a concrete telephone pole. Both airbags deployed.

There was another wreck very close by a little earlier in the morning, and the possibility exists that there was black ice that caused both accidents, but we don't know that for certain. Bob can't remember what happened. He had a brief time of lucidity during transport to the hospital and after his arrival. He wanted to know if anyone else had been hurt and what had happened, so he clearly has no recollection of the accident as of yet. The medics at the scene said his shirt was drenched with perspiration -- odd since it was freezing outside and he is generally cold, anyway. A heart attack or any other cardiac event has been ruled out.

He sustained a very bad compound fracture of the right femur (front right thigh-bone, exposed break, if you've forgotten your science classes.) He also has several broken pelvic bones, some broken ribs, a bruised lung, and a bad gash on his forehead that is about four inches long and almost an inch deep. He lost a great deal of blood.

The doctors were hoping to do surgery on his leg during the afternoon, but his blood pressure dropped to dangerously low levels due to all the blood loss. They gave him 6 units of blood (the human body only holds about 8 units.) Also, he wasn't breathing well because the broken ribs were causing him so much pain, so they had to intubate him to get his oxygen level back where it needed to be. That means he is pretty deeply sedated now. He has been through a CT scan from head-to-toe, ultrasounds around all the breaks, and x-rays now from every angle of every break. He has been through a cistogram and a pelvic arteriogram and it has been determined that he is not losing blood anywhere now.

I am spending the night at Huntsville Main with Rob's mother, Ginny. She called up to check on things around midnight. The orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Griffin, says Bob is stable enough to have the surgery on his broken leg today (Thursday.) When Ginny and I visited Bob at 8:30, the nurse said he was technically still critical, but very stable; I assume that still applies. He remains intubated, has a central line for IV fluids/antibiotics, and has a tube on top of his right hand from which blood is easily drawn -- nice that they don't have to continually stick him for that. They're not only keeping a close eye on his blood pressure after it dropped so badly yesterday, but they're also monitoring his blood levels every four hours, so they are accessing the tube frequently. He was a little anemic. He was also going to need some plasma, she said.

Amy (Rob's sister), Ginny, and Rob arrived on the scene of the accident in time for Ginny to ride in the ambulance with Bob; then Rob met me while Amy took her daughter Sarah to preschool, and by the time we arrived at the hospital there were already 5-6 church members/family friends there. Amy's husband David met us there. There was a steady stream of visitors throughout the day with only a few breaks; several people took the time to pray with us. Ginny is understandably emotional, but strong. It will be better when he is out of ICU and in a room where she can be with him - that is where she wants to be. They've been married 39 years, but together for 45. They come as a set.