Sep 20, 2012

blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.

 Alice Lee Erwin Thurmond Sasser. 1917-2005. Covington, TN

" ....Mrs. Sasser also was a pioneer... a former tax assessor of Tipton County...  first women to be elected to that office in the state... long-term member First United Methodist Church of Covington. .. first woman to serve on the Board of Stewards ..Sunday School teacher many years... . also involved in numerous book clubs and other civic associations.
The joys of Alice Lee's life were her family, her church, her friends, Tipton county and all the children of the world. She never met a young person, of any age, whom she did not love and for whom she did not have time. She touched many lives."

   one of those lives was mine...

 It was the summer of 1945...I was 10 years old...  my father was not the kind of man who could or "would" accept the responsibility of caring for his family...he had someone drive us..mother and  her five small children..from Houston to her  home town, Covington,Tennessee.. my grandmother took us in..520 West Liberty. It was the large, two-story house that my mother had grownup in...but at that time it had been turned into three apartments...2 on the lower level and one upstairs.  The 7 of us  (grandmother, mother and the five children) occupied two rooms and a small kitchen on the upper level)..I think the kitchen had, at one time, been a large closet..the ceiling sloping down on one side. There was a table, of sorts, a bench on the side of the table that had the low, sloping ceiling..(standing was not an option on that side of the room)...and wooden crates (boxes) turned upside down to use to sit on.... one cabinet on a wall and another closed-in area with shelves...Storage space was really not needed for we had nothing...There was an old gas stove for cooking but no running water...we would draw a bucket of water from the bathroom across the large hallway, carry it  to the kitchen to wash dishes in a tin dishpan.. I don't remember how our clothes were washed...maybe in the bathtub..The upstairs bathroom was shared with  tenants who also rented a bedroom and kitchen on the upper elderly couple....well, not sure how elderly they the time, to me,  anyone over 50 was elderly :).
One of our two bedrooms was "Minnie's room"..She had a bed and dresser, a rocking chair and a card table ...I remember her working puzzles on that table...her only pleasure other than her church. She grew a garden in the back yard and raised chickens for us to eat.She was 70 years old when we moved in with her...what a hardship that must have been...
She was a tiny, frail looking lady but she was anything but frail!!! she lived another 22 years.
The second bedroom that was part of Minnie's apt. was occupied by mother and us five children (ages newborn to 12 yr.) ..there was one bed that the 3 oldest of us slept in..a "roll-away" bed that mother and Nickey (the baby) used for sleeping: a  walk-in type closet that had a cot in it where brother Ed slept.

Picture: the child was my mother..her mother and her grandmother... this is the home mother grew up in and where she and her five children lived for 10 years..

I write about this to show the comparison  between our home and life...and the home and life that was across the street...
Ms Alice Lee lived across the street....

hers was a small modest home...but one filled with "living" ...normal "family" activities.. meals being prepared, laundry being folded, clothes being ironed, her 3 children running in and out, laughter, someone playing on the piano...just the regular routine of "home"...but for me it was a God send.
I spent many hours just sitting watching her do her chores...she talked to me, encouraged me, and comforted me when Bob left for Germany, and she was always...always there for me sharing her life and family.

 a picture taken on one of our trips back to Tn...

Mother did the best that she could under the circumstances and I  certainly admire her as well...but her life at that time and many years to follow was bleak, cheerless, dismal and's very hard to give any kind of joy to others, even your children, when there is NO joy in our own life.

 Mother   1914 - 1993


Sep 18, 2012

A Grief Observed

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He
 knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock,the witness box

 and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of 
making me realize the fact was to knock it down.

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

Sep 11, 2012

from letter #23 dated Aug.5th. 1951

"All my dreams seem so futile when I think of the time and distance that separates us. But, again, that's life.  Sometimes I think it's all just a plot to keep me from reaching the unattainable, "perfect happiness.".   I realize now that those hours were the happiest of my life"

Sep 9, 2012


“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”
Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember


Sep 8, 2012

On Grief

Part of every misery is, so to speak, the misery's shadow or reflection: the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer.
I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief.

CS Lewis

first love - last love