Love Until It Hurts

When you find yourself alone after 51 years of being loved and taken care of by your soulmate, your best friend, your knight in shining armor, it is an extremely lonely feeling! Not only are you having a difficult time in making daily decisions, but you find yourself having to learn how to do the things your “other half” has always done for you. Simple things like balancing your finances become a huge deal. I could write a book on the list of achievements I have accomplished in the last six and a half years, but I will not bore you with the list. Just let me tell you, it is quite lengthy. In addition, I have tried not to rely on my precious children, but I have had to call on them more than I like to admit.

I believe the hardest thing with which I have had to deal is the loneliness. When you have had that one special someone with whom you spent all your time and he is no longer present, it is a vast vacant place in your heart and life. When you always consulted him before you made any plans, you find yourself making fewer plans. When you always found your joy in making him smile and be happy, you find yourself smiling less and preferring to be alone rather than making others unhappy. It is difficult to explain to others because you do not want them to worry or feel sorry for you. You want others to be filled with joy and happiness.

I have always thought I had a lot of love to give. My daddy told me once that the more love you gave the more you had to give. I believe that is true because my heart just keeps overflowing with love for others. I love with no expectation of receiving anything in return. In fact, the best feeling in the world is to do something for someone and not letting them know it is coming from you. Even when I know I really cannot afford to do something, sometimes I feel led to do it anyway. That action has gotten me into trouble a few times!

I do not know what my future holds for me, but I do know who holds my future in His Hands. God has always had me in His Hands since I was a very young child and accepted Jesus as my Savior! I belonged to Him even before that because He created me. Through the years I made mistakes, but He always forgave me and protected me. I know God Loves Me, and His Plan for me is better than any plan I could make for myself.

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A Walk Down Memory Lane

Thanks to Mrs. Donya Selph Coggins, I was able to take a walk down Memory Lane recently, and it was precious to me. Mrs. Coggins was in one of my first classes and is one of my dearest friends. When I met up with her at my grandson’s, Cason Guest’s, basketball game, she asked if I would like to see her classroom after the game. Of course, old sentimental me had to say, “Yesssss!” After the game, I was ready for my tour of my old home away from home, which I had not seen in almost twenty years.

My older car knew its own way to Lowndes Middle School because I began my teaching career there in the 1982-83 school year! Mr. Fred Davis gave me my first teaching gig (cannot call it a job because it was too much fun). Most of my waking moments were spent either on LMS’s campus or at a function for the students (skating parties, dances, football and basketball games, and The Homecoming Parade each year). I enjoyed almost every moment of my time spent in the hallowed halls, in the gym, and on the campus of Lowndes Middle School.

During those almost 20 years, I taught Eighth Grade English/Language Arts, Literature, mathematics, and even science for a few years. I was a student Council Sponsor, put on the Book Fair, and even served as a cheerleading sponsor for a few years. When I became a Team Leader, it was awesome to be responsible for my/our team! We were like a family and truly loved and supported each other. The traditional Savannah Trip was an exciting time each year, and it allowed for a special time of bonding for not only the teachers/staff but also for the students! It was always rewarding to hear the compliments of praise for our wonderful students.

While I was serving my time as Student Council Sponsor, we had fund raisers on a regular basis and used our funds for various projects. When the student population increased and they placed portables on our campus, our members decided to do a beautification project and planted trees, shrubbery, and flowers all around the campus. Another year, the members donated a marble sign to the school. After I transferred to Lowndes High School in 2000-2001, one day on my way home, I decided to go by LMS because I was feeling nostalgic and a little homesick! I noticed the sign was gone, and it troubled me! I remembered how hard we all worked to be able to provide the sign as a memorial to former students and teachers. For the next several years, every time, I traveled down Copeland Road, I wondered about that sign.

Much to my surprise, the mystery was solved on November 5, 2020! Mrs. Coggins took me on my tour which included a walk down what I knew as my old home away from home. It brought tears to my eyes as I walked through and stood in the rooms which had been a huge part of my life. However, the greatest moment was soon to come on our way by the cafeteria and back to the gym. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw our sign. I was overwhelmed with the memories of all the students, faculty members, staff, and the amount of time we spent fundraising! Thank you to whoever came up with the idea of placing the sign in its present location. It is absolutely perfect, and it gave me an amazing feeling and sense of pride and happiness for time well spent.

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Children are Absolutely Awesome

When I am able to spend time with my grandchildren, it is a blessing, and wonderful memories are made. Yesterday, I took Cason to drum lessons; and as usual, he was “starving” and needed “real food!” After he finished his lesson, we quickly decided to go to Dairy Queen. He got a cheeseburger meal, and I got the chicken tender basket.

We were so hungry we couldn’t wait to eat. Cason decided he wanted one of my chicken tenders and began eating it. A few seconds later, I looked over at him; and he was holding part of a tooth. He had broken off part of a tooth. Needless to say, his eating was cut short, and he called his mother to inform her of his dilemma and requested she call his dentist.

Fast forward to the next morning, Lisa called and asked me to meet her at the dentist’s office. Little did I know what a treat I had before me. The dentist had to extract the tooth so they prepared Cason with “laughing gas,” and the fun began.

From the moment he got in the car, he began telling “his story.” I laughed all the way home. Part of our conversation will be a memory I will never forget.

Cason: The dentist put this thing over my nose, and it didn’t smell good. All of a sudden, things started to look funny with colors running together. I was trying to Snapchat, but my arms wouldn’t let me. He didn’t tell me he got the tooth out until I asked him. Mimi, he didn’t even cry.

I laughed and told him the dentist wasn’t supposed to cry because it wasn’t his tooth. He talked nonstop until we got home. I couldn’t help laughing because he was so silly.

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Faith over Fear—Answer is Prayer!

For the past few months, I have tried to stay off the radar. Recovery from spinal surgery has not been as quickly as I hoped. There is truly a lot to be thankful for, but complications from trigemenial neuralgia threw a curve into my plans! Then, add to that a problem with my parotid salivary gland which has been horrible. I am so appreciative of all the prayers, cards, calls, and concern shown by my family and friends.

As Cason is quick to remind me, I can be “mean”! Pain that persists is something difficult to deal with at any age; however, I am truly blessed and know God IS not finished with me! Please pray for me to be able to deal with this situation. Having been healthy for most of my life, I definitely was not prepared for this stage of my life.

God assures me that “Happy Days” are on the horizon. I look forward to the world coming back to its senses so that things are more peaceful and safe. Praying for each of you to be happy, healthy, and secure.

Until next time,

Hester

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Pity Party vs Praise Party

Well, I am struggling with my present condition! If you want to scroll right on by this post, I will not blame you. Life can really be a challenge sometimes. The rioting and coronavirus added more drama and turmoil, but the evidence of old age has truly taken its toil.

I am not bragging, just stating facts. I have a secretarial degree with a concentration in finances, a cosmetology degree, bachelors, masters, and Education Specialist Degrees in Middle School Education, and Secondary English, and I am a self-taught seamstress. I have always been able to do most anything I attempted, however, I am almost useless now. I tried to do my hair today, and my hands no longer cooperate with me. I became so frustrated, and I wanted to just sit down and cry. I love to help others, and it seems like I cannot even help myself. I don’t ask others for help very often, but I had a epiphany right then. It occurred to me that things happen to us for a reason.

God, in his infinite wisdom, mercy, and Grace shows me daily that I am His Child! He doesn’t love me because I can sew, cook, teach, give a permanent, or anything else I am capable of doing! He JUST L O V E S ME!! It doesn’t matter what I can do or cannot do. HE LOVES ME!

Therefore, from this point forward, I vow to stop my Pity Party, and I will be having an unending Praise Party! Heaven is my destination! Thank You, Heavenly Father for creating me! Thank You for all the things I can and cannot do! It makes life so interesting! Help me confront my inabilities and give me the strength and knowledge to ask for help, when it is needed. In Jesus’s Holy Name, AMEN

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Yesterday, May 26, 2020

My birthday was truly a celebration of love. My heart is overflowing with emotion because God has shown me how blessed I am. Thank you for all of the warm wishes, beautiful words, and awesome reminders that I serve a Risen Savior and Living God! Each of you have given me another memory which I will treasure forever! I am so happy I am alive and able to enjoy life, and I am thankful for each of you who shared my day with me!

If you don’t believe in angels here on earth, I can make a believer out of you. God knows how hard holidays, birthdays, and celebration are for me now. My children, grandchildren, and friends have been my guardian angels for a long time. Every day we are in the presence of angels, and we can be His angels! All we have to do is keep our eyes and ears open and keep our hearts, hands, and feet ready and be his “tools” here on earth. Guardian angels come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and species. They do little things and large things. The beauty is they help and save us!

With everything that has occurred since before Christmas, it would be easy to throw a pity party with just Me, Myself, and I. However, when I begin to feel sorry for myself, I stop and remember I am a child of My King, Jesus! If He can Love a sinner like me and give His Precious Life on the Cross for me, I know I can do more for Him and for the world in which I live. No matter our age, health, or financial status, we can help others by sharing what we have. A sense of humor and a smile on our faces can do more to enhance the beauty and happiness of others than any thing else. Today, I am beginning a new journey of spreading joy! Okay, for the present, within the boundaries of social distancing.

Until next time,

Hester

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My Story

My life has had its share of highs and lows. Growing up was a lot different for me than most girls. From an early age, I had to be a mother figure for my brothers and sister. My mother and daddy worked really hard. That meant from the time I was in fourth grade, I had to assume responsibilities that most girls don’t have until they are grown and married. I cooked, cleaned and tended to my siblings and still managed to make good grades and have fun. My parents had a restaurant–drive-in with curb hops, etc., and worked long hours. I learned the value of good work habits as a very young girl. I graduated from high school as an honor graduate.

After I graduated from high school, I went to school in Tallahassee FL. That was my first experience being away from home. My uncle was a motorcycle cop and kept a close eye on me. That year was filled with new and different experiences for me. I met some wonderful people who have been true friends for life. I went back home for the summer and worked in a hair salon for the next several months until I decided to go back to college to become a teacher. That was the career I had wanted since I was a little girl playing with dolls.

I promised myself a long time ago I would write my story of my life. This is just the beginning. I have many stories to share.

Until next time,

Hester

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My Heart is so full.

For several years, I suffered with so much pain. Sometimes, I felt as though my own body was attacking itself. At times, it was so horrible and nothing gave any relief except the knowledge that God had a plan for my life. As I reflect on memories, my heart is filled with a feeling of happiness and joy. God has provided many blessings through the people he has placed in and on my path.

April 1, 2014– My life changed forever! GONE!! But never forgotten! If I listen closely, I can still hear your voice and feel that last warm and precious hug! The last words you spoke to me as you hugged me still linger in my heart and brain as I remember them. The look in your eyes and on your face haunt my memories and bless me! I know you love me! You said, “Hester, honey, you just don’t know how much I love you!” Clyde, you always made it perfectly clear that you loved me and your family and friends! You did it daily with your words and deeds! You gave us so much love and so many blessings! God truly blessed us! You were a gentle giant with a beautiful giving heart!

Observing my children, grandchildren, and family as they continue on their paths has given me pleasure and comfort. I am so thankful and proud that they are all involved in their own missions of helping others. Each of them has their own ministry and continue to worship and serve our Heavenly Father. What more could a mother or grandmother ask!!

During this pandemic of 2020, I have learned once more how important human contact is to a person’s sanity! I miss my children, grandchildren, family, and friends! Being alone is certainly no picnic or fun. After having surgery and being hospitalized for three weeks, I was looking forward to more than isolation and “alone time!” God works in mysterious ways. He certainly has an amazing sense of humor!

One method of keeping myself entertained has been diving into my Bible. That renewed search for truth has given me a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. Reminiscing about the past and all the times God has been right where he promised to be has been a blessing. I know His Purpose and Plan is always best for me. I look forward to many more years of happiness and joy. He is not finished with me!

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Making the Most of My Time

When I was teaching, I often was guilty of “burning the candle at both ends” without actually realizing it. At any given time, I would be involved in several projects. I was also guilty of procrastination! I seemed to do better under pressure.

I remember one time in the early years of my career, I was teaching all day, working at Penney’s in the afternoon, and working on my Master’s Degree at night. I had two teenage sons, an elementary school daughter, and a wonderful husband. Clyde and I were youth counselors at Bemiss United Methodist Church. Our youth group spent a lot of time at our home. To say we stayed busy was an understatement. Many nights we would have at least twenty young people eating with us and enjoying time together. As busy as we were, it was a happy and wonderful experience. Teenagers can keep a person young.

I remember wishing and thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to stop and rest. In our present situation, I can only imagine what life will be like when the chaos is over and we are able to regain some semblance of normalcy! My prayer is that we will not return to the habits and negativity with which we have filled our lives. I keep reminding myself that God created man and woman for a relationship with Him. However, just like the early people of the Bible, we have removed God from all areas of our lives and began to worship things of the world. God is in control, and we need to pay attention and continue praying and talking to God.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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Praying Keeps Me Close to God

April 1, 2014– My life changed forever! GONE!! But never forgotten! If I listen closely, I can still hear your voice and feel that last warm and precious hug! The last words you spoke to me as you hugged me still linger in my heart and brain as I remember them. The look in your eyes and on your face haunt my memories and bless me! I know you love me! You said, “Hester, honey, you just don’t know how much I love you!” Clyde, you always made it perfectly clear that you loved me and your family and friends! You did it daily with your words and deeds! You gave us so much love and so many blessings! God truly blessed us! You were a gentle giant with a beautiful giving heart!

In the last few years, we had some very enlightening conversations. We talked about the past and discussed events in our lives. We were both very open and honest, and our reminiscing brought us closer together. We talked about things we had never discussed, and it made our relationship even sweeter. I asked you about different times in our relationship, and you did the same thing. The complete honesty brought a sweetness and bond which comforts me even now!

Praying and talking to God has replaced our nightly conversations! I can no longer hold your hand while I fall asleep, however, God holds me in His Hand and comforts me. My memories of our talks fill my heart and give me comfort! You and I made a commitment on August 3, 1963, and it was for eternity! R.I.P.

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