Whitesburg KY
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Storm cuts off electricity, phone

Blair Branch

Hello everyone. I hope this finds each of you doing well. Like the old saying goes, Michael, the boys, and I are as fine as frog’s hair.

We had some bad storms here late Wednesday night and went almost 24 hours without electricity. Some trees had fallen on the lines and the power company had to cut trees and run new lines. Thankfully, they were quick to get to work. However, as of Sunday night, our home phone still isn’t working.

The boys having been participating in a lot of activities at the Letcher County Extension Office this summer. They recently learned how to make strawberry jam and how to can fresh salsa. Their favorite part was slicing up the strawberries with plastic butter knives and then actually seeing the jelly and salsa in jars. Hopefully some will be state fair quality and they will be able to enter them. Keep your fingers crossed.

Around the middle of July, Mom, Sylvania Whitaker, spoke with the coordinator at UK transplant center. He said she was now number nine on the transplant list and she could receive a call at any time.

On Friday, Mom got the call saying they had a possible kidney for her. She and Dad, Allen Whitaker, left immediately. My sisters, Opal and Missy, and I drove down a few hours later. We were all very hopeful that everything would work out this time.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Though she was the only one called and would have been a match, the kidney wasn’t functioning as they would like it to. So, after many hours of waiting and praying, she didn’t receive the kidney. No one did.

We made a brokenhearted trip back home on Saturday afternoon.

Mom handled the news better than I did. I’ve really been struggling with it. I just can’t understand how I am supposed to accept disappointment and heartbreak with grace and dignity.

I know in my mind God has a plan; Mom will get the perfect kidney in His time. I also know that faith is not hoping God can, it is knowing He will. But how do I tell that to my heart?

Yet again, my precious Momma will have to be hooked up to that machine for three hours a day, three days a week, and have her blood pumped out of her body to be cleaned.

Not only is this time consuming and the gas prices a financial strain, it is a physical and emotional strain on her as well. The last few treatments her blood pressure has dropped dangerously low, she isn’t allowed to eat the foods she wants to eat, and has suck on ice chips to wet her mouth because she can only have a tiny amount of water.

This is only the beginning of the things she can’t have and can’t do. No one knows how hard her life is unless they are going through it as well. It breaks my heart.

She was excited to think that in a few days she could actually eat a banana! A banana, people. Imagine that you are absolutely not allowed to have one of your favorite foods. Ever.

I’m sorry. I can’t just accept it and go on. It is a tough pill to swallow and I can’t pretend that I am okay with it. I just have to pray that God will forgive me for getting so mad and upset.

Mom is such an amazing woman with an unbelievable faith who never complains, no matter how bad things are going for her. I wish I could be half the woman she is.

Although, things didn’t work out the way I would have liked and Mom wasn’t able to receive the kidney, I want to take a moment to thank that precious angel, whoever they may be, for signing those organ donation papers and selflessly attempting to give my Mom her life back. Your gift was not in vain. We appreciate what you did more than you could know and pray that God eases the pain your family is feeling during their time of loss.

Once again, I sincerely thank you for your precious gift.

You too can be an angel. Sign the back of your driver’s license, talk to your family, register with http:// donatelife.net/. As of right now 113,115 patients on the national waiting list; 1,801 of those are children.

Every single day, 130 new people are added to the list, 79 transplants take place in the United States, and 18 people die needless deaths while waiting for a transplant. One donor, one person, can save nine lives through organ donation, give sight to two people, and help 50 or more people through tissue donation. Think about it.

Friday was a busy day for our family. My niece, Tonya Fields, had surgery at 7 a.m. that morning on her leg. She came through fine and everything went as planned. Hopefully there are pain-free days in her future, though at the moment she is miserable.

There were church services and communion at Dixon Memorial on Sunday. Dad along with Roger and Debbie Whitaker took communion to Wilma Halcomb at Hazard Nursing Home on Sunday evening. They said both she and Jake were happy and doing well.

I’d like to send out a special hello to my Great- Aunt Gloria and her husband Charles. When I was at Mom and Dad’s house today, she let me read the note you wrote, and I thank you for your kind words. I am thrilled you both enjoy my column. I hope you two are doing well. We love you!

Gardner Allen Jent has returned home. He really enjoyed his trip to Pennsylvania, though he said flying was an experience. Apparently they had some bad storms to fly through. I would have been a nervous wreck. Jessica and the kids are thrilled to have him back home safe and sound.

David Jent visited with Lester Blair and Virgil Combs on Sunday. They are both in the hospital, but doing better.

Speaking of David, he is having some problems with his defibrulator and needs your prayers. I know Opal has been real worried about him.

Mom said that Hazel Back is doing a little bit better. I’m so glad to hear that.

I hated to hear that Lois Blair’s sister, Gaye, died. She had been in to visit with Lois the weekend before. I know the family is devastated.

Dorothy Mae Ison, a daughter of the late Elbert and Rachel Blair, entered eternal life Tuesday, July 24. She was 70 years old. Dorothy married Harvey M. Ison, February 23, 1963, in Gary, Indiana. He passed away August 24, 1991. She is survived by her two loving sons, Mike Ison (Valeria) of Mayking, and Jeff Ison (Donna Morton) of Little Dry Fork; five sisters, Brenda (Curtis) Warner of Missouri, Verna Halcomb of Kentucky, Linda (Wes) Cormican; Myrtle Thomas, and Alza Blair all of Indiana; and six brothers; Jerry (Brenda) Halcomb and Jimmy (Sherry) Halcomb both of Kentucky, Dan Blair, Billy Blair, Enoch Blair all of Indiana, and Greg Halcomb of Tennessee.

Also surviving are eight grandchildren; Jackie Adams, Tony Cantu, Vena Ison, Melissa Ison, James Ison, Chad Ison, John Ison, and Gavin Ison, four greatgrandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends to mourn her passing. She is preceded in death by a son, Harvey J. Ison, two brothers, Bob Blair, and Russell Blair, and one sister, Joyce Blair.

Please keep both families in your prayers.

Charlene Halcomb, Ryan Phillips, and Robbie Williams will celebrate their birthdays on Aug. 6. Lisa Hampton and Kenneth Hensley, Aug. 8. Happy birthday to each of you!

And just a little something we should all try to remember: “Today will never come again. Be a blessing. Be a friend. Encourage someone. Take time to care. Let your words heal and not wound.”

If I have left anyone or anything out, just let me know and I will be glad to get you next time. I hope everyone has a healthy and happy week.

If you would like to contact me, feel free to give me a call or you may email me at alanacouch@hotmail.com.



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