Thursday, June 25, 2009


Ok, How strange would it be to be driving down the road, and you happen to glance up and see an adopt a highway sign with your dad's name on it. It's not near where he lived, you know nobody in YOUR family did it.....You shake your head, and end up pausing your trip, to stop the car, turn around, and go back to make sure it was the correct name.
Yep! Joe Madrid!
That would be my daddy! and the story happened to my sister, not me. I just think it's funny. Somebody, though not exactly sure who, but some have their guesses, put this up in memory of my dad. How sweet is that. Angie and Cimmeron first noticed it last year, and then a few weeks ago marnie and her gang passed it and decided to take pics.
Thanks marn. I just think it's neat. The two cuties are Korey, aka "Little Man" and Keilani.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

More house and entertainment center.

This post is mostly for Marnie...who told me to post pics of our house. I reminded her i had, but oh well. this is my awesome attempts at flowers. I definitely lack 'green thumb' skills!

The front of our house driving up the road!
The back is pretty darn plain.

The latest wall decor.

Here's the hallway from the front door. (which is on the right, just outside the photo.)

Below are two 'before' pics. This entertainment center Eric made. He finally finished it this weekend. you can't see that easily, but he painted it black, then he distressed it this weekend, and put clear coats on. It turned out awesome! he is so talented. Love it!

This is the other direction, where the shadow box is now on the right, and the wedding pics are on the left.

This is the center after just the black paint. Looks WAY better now!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


This week has been a week of reflection. Tomorrow is the 4-year mark of mom’s passing. With that I have had many thoughts, and some emotion. I know last year I also posted about mom and dad….and I will most likely continue to post about them every year, because every year I seem to appreciate them and miss them all the more. I’m beginning to believe in the phrase, “Time wounds all Heals!” :) I am certain this will be a long post, so if you don’t wanna get sucked in….stop here. Enjoy some random pictures. I realize the quality of many is not great…but it’s what I have.

Today…I remember Grandma Karen, or for me, “mom”.
Today…I think back on many memories I carry with me, wishing they were not final, but alas, they are and so I cherish them.

Today…I remember all the trouble I caused, and the many, Oh so many times she came flying through the front door after learning from her secret spies at school what I had done ‘that’ day.
Today…I remember the breakfasts and dinners she would prepare, not to mention my favorite- requested every year chocolate birthday cake!
Today…I tremendously miss her cooking and baking and treats-and wish for more of those moments.
Today…I remember the support she always rendered in my many activities. From Show Choir to Volleyball to Basketball, to plays. She never missed anything if she could help it.
Today…I remember holiday decorations and traditions. She always made our house so cozy. And no holiday has EVER been the same without her.
Today…I wish I had taken more notes on her creativity! The woman never ran out of ideas. I never seem to find them.

Today…I long for her bursting contagious laugh.
Today…I miss church, and her solo giggles...then looking at the Hamblin’s, just to see their faces, especially Lee’s face beat red from laughing at her. (with her) :)
Today…I remember learning of my father’s cancer, and my mother’s strength in carrying on although she herself felt ill.
Today…I remember the trips home from college and each time there was something different in the house. She was always making things better in our old house.
Today…I remember a birthday trip home from college, when I brought a bunch of friends to go skiing. She had the house spotless, awesome Christmas decorations and beds ready all over the house for each guest.
Today…I remember Her own diagnosis with Cancer, and once again her strength as she fought back with surgeries and radioactive treatments for years.
Today…I remember her last years as she had valleys and peaks with her health-yet just kept smiling and just kept going.
Today…I remember my last Christmas with her, KNOWING it was our last, only to be surprised that the day after Christmas events would start the down-hill spiral to her final days.
Today…I remember the beginning of a trip to mesa with my nephew Kameron, and getting a phone call from my sister that mom had fallen and broken her hip.
Today…I remember being flooded with tears, then drying them quickly so kameron would be calm.
Today…I remember Kameron telling on me for shedding those tears. :)

(This pic is shortly after the hip the Hospice house.)

(This is from decades ago, when they visited the polynesian cultural center in hawaii.)
(And this is visiting the PCC when she came to Hawaii for my graduation. Still the same fun lady!)

(This is from her visit to my graduation as well. We're at windy point.)

Today…I remember that night in the Springerville hospital, and the stupid events that took place. Scott being kicked out of the ER for asking the MD for pain medication for mom, and the MD being completely inappropriate.
Today…I remember I was threatened to be thrown out of said hospital, with police escort.
Today…I remember Marnie being the only one who could keep her cool and communicate with the incompetent staff that night. She is “mom” in every way possible.
Today…I remember aunt Wilda and Grandma Neita racing the wheel chairs up the hallway of that same hospital!
Today…I remember the brief airplane ride down to the Mayo Clinic…where we learned the true extent of this hip break. Did the fall cause the break? Or did the cancer, which had eaten the bone, cause the weakness, that caused the fall, which ended in the break, which couldn’t be repaired due to the non-existing bone, due to the cancer.
Today...I remember going over options for mom after this episode.
Today…I remember finally taking mom to Angie’s house so we could be the ones to care for her.
Today…I remember the selflessness of my oldest sister Angie, whom I’m afraid has never been adequately thanked.

(Just a fun picture I sent mom when I was attending BYU-H.)
Today…I remember the opportunity of caring for mom. From the days of Hawaii, I KNEW, she would be ‘crippled’ before she passed, and that it was my duty. I needed to be the caregiver. (one of the many.)
Today…I remember a sweet grandchild, Cimmeron, who brought so much joy to her life everyday. As did all her grandchildren. He was the lucky one who got to see her everyday!
Today…I remember mom yelling at Cimm from the other room as he practiced piano, to fix the wrong notes, just as she did to me…and all my sisters I’m certain. We laughed!
Today…I remember the years mom spent changing, and stopping her little habit of swearing.
Today…I remember the last time I heard her say Sh**, as she accidently dumped water all over her table and nightgown.
Today…I realize some habits die hard!
Today...I remember mom trying to dial the remote control to make a phone call. :) Technology these days! :)
Today…I remember taking her home to Eagar. A gift from Jason and Tim Eagar…and Neita. They drove to the valley in their van, put a recliner in the back, loaded her up and off we went. Neita kept her company in the Van, and I followed close behind for any needs that should arise.
Today…I remember finally getting back to her own home, and saw how glad she was.
Today…I remember the MANY visitors and friends who offered such service and love to mom through those last months. She was blessed with friendships!
Today…I remember mom being pushed in her wheelchair by Neita up to Bashas to buy Ice-cream. (our favorite food group.) -though we had 4 or 5 different types in our freezer! Who could tell her that.
Today...I remember mom using Bill Franks motored scooter...and us almost getting caught in the middle of main street due to a little mal function.
Today…I remember mom wanting to be pushed down to the bank to see Scott.
Today…I remember dad, having Jr. drive him around town in his last days, until he found where Scott was working for the day, where they sat and watched him.
Today…I remember mom asking “if Scott would be embarrassed.” I assured her No. Hopefully I was right.
Today…I remember making my bed on the floor, by mom’s bed each night as it got dark. She didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t blame her.
Today…I remember that each night, I would read to her one, two or three talks from the latest General Conference ensign. She loved the gospel more than anything, and it ALWAYS brought her such comfort.
Today...I remember Tracy as the back-up. Always ready to come at a phone call. I took a shower one morning, and got out to Tracy there, helping mom. Apparently she got nervous by herself for a few minutes.
Today…I remember my siblings and their effort to visit at every opportunity. Angie, Cimm and I there daily. Leisel and her kid’s daily visits and meals. Her one-on-one time with mom to quickly get stories recorded for each child. Marnie came with her kids, as often as she could. And Scott drove down from Eagar every weekend. Nothing brought mom more happiness than her family.
Today…I remember our disparity, to take away mom’s pain.
Today…I remember Kissing mom good-bye to go start nursing school. The 2 phone calls that I received the following week, from a weak and tired lady who wanted to say hi and check in! She wasn't quite all there...but her intentions were pure.
Today…I remember the phone call to tell of her final breaths. I hadn’t wanted to be there. But I quickly regretted it.
Today…I realize that time will not heal the hole left behind when you lose your parents. It merely dulls the sting.
Today…I wish I had spent more time appreciating and loving and living every moment I could with my parents those many years ago.
Today...I realize regret gets us no-where.
Today...I realize that though I feel somewhat shorted, there is NO DOUBT in my mind there is a reason for EVERYTHING.
Today...I realize one day everything will be oh so clear! the hurt will only be worth it.
Today…I wish my Love Eric had the opportunity to meet some great in-laws, and know of their love and get to know their awesome personalities.
TODAY...I miss my parents!
Love you Mom and Dad!