Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scotty Angel Goes Home To Jesus -- Our Loss & Heaven's Gain...

When I watch the above video, it brings back lots of fond memories -- among them, how I must have talked my folks into taking me to see Mary Poppins at least one more (if not two more) times after I saw it the first time -- with them being used to this after seeing how I responded to the It's A Small World ride at the 1964 World's Fair that was held in Queens, New York (which I must have ridden at least four or five times after my initial trip).

When I watch the video below, it takes me back to when I played a duet on the church organ (between the end of Youth Fellowship and the beginning of choir practice) with my then-boyfriend's friend, Rick.

He did that guitar part on the keyboard, and I played the chimes.

I hate to brag, but we were good!!!

Years later, I would meet Scotty Miller, and both of these videos would take on meanings related to him.

You see, during his 43 years in our dimension of life, he had always had special needs to one degree or another. 

By the time I met him (around the turn of the century when he and his folks started attending our church), his special needs had left him to where he could still walk with assistance but no longer spoke more than one-word sentences with one of his favorite words to say being, "Biiiiiiiiiiiiite!" which showed that he was a fellow foodie.

You should have seen his face when he ate a favorite food.  He looked as if he were already in Heaven.  His expressive, dark-brown eyes said it all.

Carol (his mom) told me that there had been a time when Scotty talked in sentences and could sing as well.  He enjoyed singing the soundtrack from Mary Poppins with his favorite selection being Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Right around that time, he had also developed selective hearing -- that is, there didn't seem to be any actual nerve damage to his ears, but he only seemed to hear what he wanted to hear with one of those things being music.

He especially seemed to respond to the chimes on our church organ, so, one Sunday after church, I played some Mary Poppins songs for him on the church organ, making sure to use the chime keyboard as well.

According to Carol, she saw at least some response from him when I did this.

Scotty would eventually get to the place where he was no longer able to walk but, instead, used a wheelchair--a far cry from some long-ago day related to me by Carol where he actually managed to climb on the roof of their home back when he was knee-high to a grasshopper.  He also no longer spoke even in one-word sentences, though he did still make sounds at times.

Mostly, though, he spoke with his expressions -- and he still enjoyed food and other parts of his life.

In 2013, I became homeless for awhile and ended up spending a little over three months of this period living in with Bob, Carol, Scotty, and their two cats (actually, the only officially had ONE cat, but this yellow stray finally convinced them that they had TWO cats).

I also went to visit him in respite care at a local nursing home (ManorCare -- the same one where I would also end up spending a month right before I got my apartment) while Carol and Bob were away on an Alaskan cruise and played the piano for him.  He loved it, and so did I.

One of the many memories I have of my time living with Scotty and his family was listening to him sleep at night.  He had this adorable way or snoring, and, if I had to use the bathroom or wanted to sneak a wee-hours snack, I would hear him making his special melody that sounded like the sigh of an angel with a little squeak-toy sound punctuating the end of each individual snore.

Carol told me that another thing he still seemed to notice after his hearing became selective was train whistles.

I caught the bus from Muncie to Anderson on Easter Sunday and decided to walk out to my motel from the downtown bus station, stopping at various places along the way.

One of the places where I stopped was at Bob, Carol, and Scotty's place -- and I was escorted there by a special angel named Mary C. who had seen me walking and was worried about me.  I guess that a 62 year old lady using a rollator (rolling walker) doesn't look like somebody who'd be walking along Columbus Avenue for her health and/or pleasure.

Actually, I was -- though I was also walking because the city buses weren't running, the price of a taxi ride from Downtown Anderson to my motel would cost $8 that I needed to cover other expenses, and my minivan won't run again without repairs that I can't afford to make at this time (the latter meaning that the only way I could stop at various places where I wanted to stop along the way was to either find one or more drivers who could drop me off here and there or else hoof it).

Mary ended up not only accompanying me from around the former site of Nicholson File all the way to their front door but, also, hanging onto me almost the entire time to keep me from realizing her worst fears that I was going to lose my balance and have a fatal fall.

When we got there, nobody answered the door, and she asked me what I'd planned on doing if nobody came to the door. 

I finally convinced her that I would be fine.

It turned out that nobody answered the door -- and nobody showed up as if just returning from church, so I decided that they had probably all gone to visit one of Scotty's sisters in the Shelbyville area and went on to my next destination (which was to go where my minivan was now parked) so that I could sit in it as well as reassure the property owner that I would be moving it elsewhere a.s.a.p.

From there, I went on to Yip's Chopstick House with plans to have a fortune cookie, an almond cookie, and a pot of hot tea (which could be worked into my budget).  However, Sam (one of the owners of this Mom & Pop place that had been a long-time favorite eatery) wouldn't let me get away with that and gave me more food than I could eat from the Sunday buffet.  She wouldn't even let me pay for what I'd actually ordered!

After eating at Yip's and getting over to where JaySue crosses E. 53rd Street, I decided to accept a ride the rest of the way to my motel from an angel named Diane S. 

But all of what I'm telling you is another story.

Getting back to Scotty, I was finally able to reach somebody at their house a couple of days later and learned that Scotty had been in the hospital and that they had been picking him up on Easter Sunday to bring him home.  He was still (according to Bob) very weak but he had been in Intensive Care and had just gotten out of there and was brought home instead of going to a regular room as planned.

During his time at home, he rallied some -- becoming more like his old self when it came to food, but it turned out not to have been enough.

He had an infection that caused his skin to break out in blisters all over so that being touched became painful for him, so he had to be returned to the hospital in hopes of both making him more comfortable and fighting the infection.

He ended up passing away the morning of April 22 -- just a week and a day after his 43rd birthday.

Today is Tuesday, April 28, and I'm finishing this entry and linking it to a special page I've made for Scotty in my Empowerment blog.

However, this won't be the last time that I write about Scotty, as there's so much more to share about this precious manchild who made the world a better place just by being in it.

The final video in this entry is a tribute to Scotty, both because he chose to keep hearing the trains go whistling by and, also, because this song is about an end of an era.  Even though it's a New Beginning, the passing of one from this earthly life is, in its own way, the end of an era, and Scotty will be very much both missed and fondly remembered here.

There will come a time when trains might be no more  --  but there will never be a time when Scotty is no more, because he's simply moved on to a Better Place where life is always Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Betty's Party Was Yesterday, & She'll Be Leaving For Virginia On May 1

It's hard to believe that it will soon be May 1, and Betty will be on her way to Virginia -- and, eventually, to Georgia (estimated time for the latter is August).

I wonder who my next next-door neighbor will be...

In a sense, my new next-door neighbor will be living in Betty's apartment, because there will always be a part of Betty left behind at Gillespie Tower, even if she ends up living Down Under in Australia.

Yesterday (April 20, 2015) was her going-away party (along with a celebration of April birthdays in our seven-story neighborhood), almost all of it her treat with several of us also helping her out with it in one way or another.

We had a wonderful turn-out, and everybody seemed to enjoy themselves.

You've seen some movies and TV shows when that time when the end credits rolled included exhibits of boo-boos and rough spots.

We had some of those behind-the-scenes sort of things going on with us.

One of the people who was providing some of the decorations and parts of one of the games ended up being a no-show -- but it really wasn't her fault, because she ended up needing to go to the hospital.  We were able to tweak the game (a door-prize raffle) and do it well, and some of the decorations that she had ready to hang but were in her apartment or somewhere where they couldn't be reached.

However, the decorations at people-level (the ones that the involuntary no-show had were balloons and streamers to hang from the ceiling) were all there:  things such as tablecloths with glitter and candy strewn along them.  None of the food was missing, either.  We had more than enough.  As for the balloons and streamers, Betty will, likely, be using them to help decorate when her youngest granddaughter, Lizzie, turns nine years old on May 12!

On top of health problems keeping that volunteer away, she wasn't even able to enjoy some of what was left of the refreshments when she returned home, as she had been put on a liquid diet.

Betty was also thinking that the white of the decorating icing would be a different shade of white from the frosting icing and that the lettering she'd put on one of the two cakes that she'd had baked and frosted by somebody else where she would just be responsible for decorating them.  Anyway, her message was almost invisible against its background with the exception of the purple lettering and other decorations. 

I asked her if she had any white icing left, and she said that she did, so what we did was to smooth out the surface of said cake so that the purple and white would blend together in a nice shade of lavender. Then, I applied some more confetti sprinkles, after which I wrote a simple "Bye-Bye Betty" on it and used the rest of the white to make nice designs consisting of squiggles, hearts, and a smiley-face at the top.

Betty was also sick over the weekend and still wasn't quite well during the party.  However, very few people who didn't already know that she was sick would realize how sick she still was.  In fact, once the party was over and everything was picked up and packed away, Betty wanted nothing more than to head for bed.

Even feeling really punk, she was a very gracious and fun hostess.  That's just Betty for you!!!

She had a beautiful cardboard for all of her guests to sign.  I wrote on it that I had no idea that, when I bought some much-needed Scotch Tape from her shortly after moving in (she would have, more than likely, given it to me free, but I wasn't about to let that happen -- even though I accepted several wonderful gifts from her in the months to come), that the two of us would end up becoming "adopted" sisters forever!

You will be getting to know Betty better when I write more about her in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.  I'm not sure when I'll be writing in here next, but, likely, it will be after she's gone and either while I'm next in Anderson or else when I return from Anderson to Muncie again.

That means that I'll, likely, not be writing anything else until at least May 4.  Then, I'll be writing about the days to come.

When I have more time to do so, I'll be writing about what it was like having Betty for a neighbor as well as keeping up with her life in the Southeast.

I wonder what will happen to her plastic bag angel (will explain that in a future writing) after she leaves.  We both believe it might take off and fly away on May 1.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if it lands in another tree -- this time, in Suffolk, Virginia -- to keep her company.

However, by then, she will be living with her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, so only God knows whether the angel will go there to be with all of them; if it will stay here for at least awhile longer; or if it just might go to find a place where Lover-Boy (what I call her husband, Charles) will see it.

Even though Betty and Charles do better with their own places, they still visited each other nearly every day, and, with hundreds of miles between them, this is a part of their lives that will be coming to an end, even though they'll, likely, still be on the phone to each other a couple of times a day.

I made up the invitations to Betty's party.  At the top of them, I put this one baby picture of her that really melts my heart.  Even at eighteen months, she looked so much like she does today at 58 -- that same determined expression of an empowered survivor and a very special angel in a human body.

The picture had been creased at some time, and the creasing made a couple of white lines that formed a cross.  Betty hadn't noticed this until I pointed it out to her, but she thought it was really neat.

God has created Betty for a very special and empowering mission of bringing courage and hope to people and helping them to see Jesus more clearly.  He's used her in a mighty way already, and He's far from finished with her!!!

Like Glen Campbell, Betty has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's.  She sees signs of it in herself already, but I'm amazed at how little it shows.  Had she not told me, I never would have guessed it.  In a lot of ways, Betty's more organized than I've ever been.

I'd like to close this entry by dedicating a song to her that describes what kind of a person she is when it comes to making the world a better place.  It's an oldie but a goodie by someone who is, in his own place-in-life, taking this challenging journey with her...

Please keep precious Betty in your prayers always!!!

And This Is How He Looks When He Waves!!!

Here is another picture of my favorite CanMan to go along with the one I shared with you a few days ago...

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Enjoy the view!!!

One more thing: If you click on either picture, you'll get introduced to my picture developer, Star Photo, which is one of Anderson, Indiana's local family businesses.

When I have more time, I'll share more with you about the history of what started out as Star China and now is totally-devoted to various kinds of media.

Long before they had this online presence, they had (as they still do) a physical business on the southeast corner of 9th and Main Streets.

You won't be automatically signed up to anything -- just shown information about what they have to offer.

I've only recently gotten back to taking film there, as my budget wasn't allowing for either buying new disposable cameras or developing rolls of film.  In fact, I have several rolls of film in need of developing that, hopefully, will still be good.  Star Photo won't develop photos that are duds.

They'll be getting my business when I'm able to afford to start going back and developing rolls of film.  This will all come in God's good timing and according to His will.

For now, I'm moving forward and starting to capture the new parts of my life such as Larry and Betty...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Experimenting...Adorable Subject Matter!!!

I'm experimenting to see how to use this photo-sharing service.  It would be easier if I had my own computer, but I think this is the next best thing...

This is a picture of my favorite CanMan (Larry Eugene Van Ness) that I took (along with several others) on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.

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