Archive for the ‘Mary’s Musings’ Category


July 17th, 2017 No comments

 Thank you for coming back to this blog even though I haven’t been adding anything to it for the last few weeks. My brother was on the last of his journey on this earth and my mind was preoccupied with him and his struggle.

 I’m grateful I was able to go to Arkansas and honor him with the tribute that I wrote. It was a mixture of  emotions, but I look at it with the resounding thought “no more pain!” Jamie is free of the excruciating pain he had endured for too long.

I’m grateful to God that in the last four years Jamie and I became close as brother and sister and as friends.  I am not left with regret that I didn’t call him, that I didn’t tell him I loved him,  that I didn’t try to help him as much as I could. 

I will miss calling him, miss knowing he is in the home where mama and daddy lived their last years, and the memory of all of those years that were so very good with all the family could get together and have laugh filled time together.

for now, I’m trying to rest up from the trip, I don’t travel as well as when I was young, then I don’t do many things as well as when I was young,  do you?  

Thanks again for dropping by, my best to you!

Tribute to My Brother Jamie, With Love

July 5th, 2017 No comments


My Tribute to Jamie, With Love


When Jamie was born in Black Rock, it is said that the whole town came to see him, not because he was so cute, which of course he was, but because after having 4 baby girls, Doyle Ward finally had a son!

I’m sure he would have loved having a brother but he got me. I apologized to him a couple of years ago for not being a boy. He was surprised and said he hadn’t thought about that.

But when Linda came along she was more fun for him, athletic, energetic and competitive.  They shared many good times growing up, and their relationship remained strong.

When he was about 3 years old he decided to take off all his clothes and go outside before Mama could catch him.  Just at that time, as it would happen, one of the more easily shocked church ladies came walking by with her 2 year-old little girl. Here comes Jamie running down Burrow Street naked as a JAYbird.

She was mortified, convinced her child would be traumatized for life having seen 3 yr. old Jamie au natural.   She said she grabbed up her daughter, ran home, and showed her a religious  picture hanging on the wall.

When it was time for his first grade picture to be taken. Mama dressed Jamie in a pretty little suit with a tie.  When he came home he proclaimed he was never going to wear a suit again.

Why not? Mama asked, ” Cause the kids called me preacher boy.”

Well the little preacher boy grew up to love good clothes.  He took excellent care of them and always looked perfectly groomed before he left the house.

When he was around seven years old Mama asked Jamie to pat the bed so baby Linda could go to sleep, and so he did.   Mama said she looked around and he was bouncing the bed so hard that his feet were coming up off the floor. Baby Linda was probably loving it.

One day he didn’t want to go to school, so he began limping around, hamming it up for Mama, but she was on to him. Go on to school Jamie Doyle, there’s nothing wrong with you.

But just to make sure, she watched him thru the kitchen window.   He limped dramatically, until he thought she couldn’t see him any more and then he took off full speed, running up the hill.

Apparently running was good for him. Years later he would set track records at University of Central Arkansas that would last for decades, he would go to college on a football scholarship, and in his senior year he would be honored as the most outstanding athlete in the entire athletic department at UCA.

But back to childhood: The news at recess was that a boy got hurt and was bleeding.  So my friend and I peaked in the doorway and saw a boy lying on the floor. Oh no! It was Jamie! I was so scared.  

A boy had pulled a chair out from under him. When he fell he got a cut on his head that bled profusely. The nurse bandaged him up and fortunately he was OK, but I’ll never forget how scared I was for my brother.

Now, Jamie could do no wrong in Mama’s eyes. She explained that she felt sorry for him because he was outnumbered by sisters, and that when he was young, kids had picked on him.

It was true, he was outnumbered, and he was bullied, which caused oldest sister Martha to rush to his rescue!  She retained that big sister protective attitude toward Jamie for the rest of her days. They had a special bond.

He was always on the move, playing hard, and enjoying life. Nearest to his age Norma Sue wouldn’t fall for his obvious ploys, nor would younger sister Linda, but I fell for them every time.

For instance:

Seven-year-old Jamie would say to four year-old me,   “Crackers sure would be good.  Marietta, go get crackers and I’ll give you some.”

“Huh? Go get us some crackers.”  

His sudden hunger for saltines just happened to coincide with the fact that I was sitting on the sofa where he wanted to sit.

“Will you get my place?”  What? No. You sure? Yeah.  OK but don’t get my place. 

And just like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, as soon as I got up he lunged for the sofa. Oh he could make me mad, but I remained in awe of him.  Another example:

At about that same age 7 and 4, he suggested that we hold onto the bumper of the car that had come to visit us.  He said to let go when the car started up.

I said Okay.

Apparently, no one standing around, talking, waving goodbye to the folks in the car, took notice of Jamie and me, on our knees, hanging on to the back bumper.  The car started up, and as planned, Jamie let go. But I froze.

Everyone started screaming stop, stop, stop, as I was being dragged down the street.  When Jamie got to me he said with great brotherly compassion, why didn’t you let go, stupid?

I said I couldn’t. Thank God my knees were not permanently damaged and I didn’t fall for his big ideas as much after that.

Daddy was about 5’7 so everyone assumed that Jamie was just going to be built like daddy, and he was, until one summer when he went from being one of the smallest kids on the block to one of the tallest!  Martha didn’t have to fight his battles for him anymore she was 5’2 and by college age he was 6’4 with a gorgeous physique and a handsome face.

After graduating from college he followed his love of sports into coaching at West Memphis, but in time left that to become an award winning sales rep for Procter & Gamble.

He got married and like 50% of marriages including my own, it didn’t last forever, but from it came his daughter Emily and her two beautiful daughters, Abby and Katie, who live in Louisiana.

Emily spent several summers in Pocahontas with Mama and Daddy they always had a wonderful time together.  She was smart, creative and independent. But divorce complicates life so very much, and he didn’t get to see Emily nearly as much as he wanted. She was never far from his mind and he loved her with all his heart.

Mama saw Daddy failing more every day with Alzheimer’s.  Jamie, living in Little Rock, answered her desperate cry for help. He left the home he loved, his friends, his work, and moved into their guest room.  With assistance by family, Daddy remained at home until the last 15 months of his life. 

In 1995, when Mama and Jamie came for their daily visit, they recognized the end was near, but he was lingering. He needed permission to go.

With both of them holding his hands, Jamie told Daddy, “Don’t worry Daddy, I’ll take good care of Mama. We love you, but you can go.”  

Mama said that a big tear rolled down daddy’s cheek and he peacefully went to be with the Lord.

But Jamie still couldn’t return to his former life.  He had promised to take care of Mama and he was a man of his word. By this time he was well established in sales at the local radio station. Not only was he a natural born athlete but he was a natural salesman, too.

Friendly, extroverted, with Mama’s gift of gab and sense of humor, he could tell a whopper of a story with the best of them.

She cooked the meals and he took care of the big yard.  They watched TV together every night until 9 o’clock. Then he would go home next door.

He said the hardest thing he ever had to do was to take Daddy to the nursing home and then years later in her late 90’s, take Mama.

He visited her every day, many times while in pain.  We sisters Martha, Audrey, Norma Sue, Linda and I, could never thank Jamie enough for the sacrifice he made for our parents. Without him I’m sure Mama would never have lived to be almost 102.

Jamie didn’t have much of a social life until he became reacquainted with Louise Riddle.  What a joy to find a wonderful woman who was loving to Mama, knowledgeable about sports, watched the games on TV as much as he did, who enjoyed going to PHS football games on Friday nights, liked going out to dinner, having fun, and just spending time together. A woman who could help him find his way back to church and a rededication of his life to Christ.

Louise helped him through all kinds of critical situations as his health deteriorated.

He said many times I wouldn’t be alive without Louise. He knew she got him to the hospital in the nick of time more than once. She made innumerable trips to Jonesboro taking him to the doctor, for chemo and radiation treatments, and various appointments.  I’m sure many times it was a sacrifice of time, energy and her own health, but her devotion was immense to the very end.

It was Louise’s hand he was holding July 2nd when he was released from the bondage of this painful life and entered into the awesome presence of Almighty God.

Thank you Louise, for loving our brother and being so good to him.  May God bless you always.





May 30th, 2017 Comments off

 I live in Los Angeles and most of the time the weather is really nice. It is not too hot or too cold but just about right for Pleasant existence. I think we are spoiled to having the sun Shining down on us almost every day, so that when it is May gray or June gloom we don’t like it very much.   During those periods it is easier for some people to get depressed, discouraged or pessimistic.   I know there is a lamp treatment to give people artificial  sunshine that is recommended  for people who are especially sensitive to the the darker days of winter.

 I don’t have too many problems with it unless it goes on for several days and then I get a bit antsy. I do like seeing the rain  and giving us a change in the weather, as long as it doesn’t create havoc on our freeways and mountain areas.  Unfortunately it seems we have either too much or too little of the wet stuff. After six years of drought we had more rain then we’ve had in years but all in a short amount of time. 

 Oh well, when you don’t have anything else to talk about you talk about the weather. Hope you’re having a great day no matter what it is like where you live.

We need the sunshine to come from within us and carry it with us wherever we go to brighten up not only our lives but those of the people we come in contact with. Have a good one. Be a shing light


Hanging in There?

May 17th, 2017 Comments off

I think most of us have a low level, if not a high level, of anxiety as related to our new administration.

It seems every day the news from the White House makes us wonder what next may put our country in jeopardy. 

How long can we continue this way?  I don’t know. I do know I am not alone in my feelings of serious concern. 

Since you may have supported DT, as you had a right to, I can’t help but wonder if you too are concerned that your vote, however sincere,  has placed us in this position. At this time it is not a time to stand staunch just for the sake of saving face.  We are now about saving our country.

I suggest we pray, frequently and fervently. God works in mysterious ways and I am trusting Him to take charge.  God is not a member of any party.  We must trust Him to make the ultimate decision of where we go next.


Remembering Children who Are ill

April 7th, 2017 Comments off

 Feel better baby girl!   Juliana has been sick the last couple of  days with the stomach virus.  She is normally an energetic, independent, playful child and it is very hard to see her not feeling well. The side affect of your baby being sick is that the parents don’t get any sleep and they have to deal with missing work, going to the doctor, etc. etc. if you have gone through those times then you understand how they are feeling today.

 We fully expect her to bounce back and be her own sweet self again very soon. But there are many children in hospitals today with serious, debilitating, life-threatening illnesses and we want to take a moment and remember them in prayer.

 Our heavenly father, we know you love all the children and it is not your will that they would suffer, but our bodies are weak and illness is part of the human experience. We ask you God,  to be with each little child whether it is the flu for the day or if it is a matter for chemotherapy or other strong treatment. We pray that their young lives will be spared and given a chance to serve you and to know you better as they grow up and have a witness of your healing power. Be with the parents God who struggle to meet all the needs of their children,  especially during the time of serious illness. Be with each one as they deal with whatever is attacking their child. Give them comfort and strength God to go forward day after day. Help them to meet their financial needs, the stress on their family, childcare for their well children.  Let them draw strength from you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Thanks Cynthia

March 24th, 2017 Comments off

 Thanks to our good friend Cynthia for letting me know that she still comes to the blog and that I have been neglecting it. She was checking to make sure I am OK since she lives in Arizona and I live in California.  We don’t see each other but we care for each other and I certainly appreciate her checking up on me. 

 As most of you regular readers know I have been quite upset over the election results. Yes I realize it was in November and this is March but it has had a daily effect on our lives.  I am not upset just because my party lost although I thought it would be amazing to have a first woman president however flawed she may have been. I really doubt that you can get to this level of political life without having a lot of baggage dragging along behind you. 

 Considering our choice I thought she was the most prepared for the job and I think she is basically a good person. I cannot say that about the person who won.  The possibility that  another country  May have influenced the results has captivated my attention. I also firmly believe that the FBI director cost her to lose many valuable votes.  It also hurts to know that she got more votes actual votes from citizens then DT, yet she lost. I say get rid of the electoral college. 

 One reader was very upset that I had become political but at age 74 I changed my mind whether I should speak up or not. I now care more about speaking the truth as I see it than the number of people who come to read my blog . To thine own self be true.

Please pray for our country.

Fannie Flagg

March 3rd, 2017 Comments off

In watching the old old old game shows it makes me sad to realize that almost everyone I’m seeing on the screen is deceased. I looked them up on Google and find out how long they lived what their lives have been like and how they died. Because  in that era 40s and 50s specially we didn’t really know the impact of cigarettes on our lives and that may be the reason that so many of these people we learn to enjoy on television succumbed to throat cancer or other smoke related illnesses.

 Two who survive are Betty White and Fanny flagg. Most are familiar with Betty white and I think she is universally  loved,  but fewer may be familiar with Fanny flag.  Apparently when she was on match game she was one of the youngest ones on the show. With flaming red hair, Alabama accent, and a wonderful sense of humor, she became a favorite. 

 More people became familiar with her when she wrote the book Fried Green Tomatoes, and it became a popular movie starring Jessica Tandy and Kathy Bates. Fanny Flagg was nominated for an Academy award for writing it. She has written other books that I have enjoyed immensely. If you haven’t read any of her books and if you like wholesome, humorous, warm southern settings then give her a try. I see she has written a new book and I hope to read it.

In reading about her today I learned that her name at birth was Patricia Neal. Since there was already a well-known actor by  that name, her father suggested she be called Fannie and a friend suggested Flagg. She is now 72 and I’m so happy that she is still with us. I hope she continues for many more years in good health and continues writing.



25th Amendment

February 21st, 2017 Comments off

 If you have never read the 25th amendment you might want to read it. Although some people are hoping that it might be the answer to get DT out of the White House, it doesn’t sound very likely to me.

            I think the fact that so many people are talking about it is indicative of the deep deep concern many people have over the mental stability of the man with the nuclear codes.

I  have a feeling that many people who voted for him are now feeling some regret. I have come to believe that many many people voted for him because he was the nominee of the Republican Party. They were not voting for someone they wanted in the office they just wanted the Republicans to win because they believe more in the  republican platform.

Believing that helps me to accept  it better than to think people actually would vote for a man of his Instability.

Starting Early

February 21st, 2017 Comments off

Today I went to a toddler class with Juliana and Alice. There were about 15 two year olds and one adult each.  No, it was not noisy and chaotic, but well structured into a routine that ran smoothly.

I won’t bore you with details of their activities, of recognizing and tracing letters, art, story, visual motor games, and rug time with toys, but they are similar to Preschool and kindergarten activities.  Ninety minutes went quickly for me, as segments of activity were geared to the short attention span of two year olds.

It is Juliana’s first introduction to formal education and I thought she did very well. She appeared confident and engaged.  I hope the rest of her educational experience will be as successful and I hope I will be around to cheer her on!

What did we do before them?

February 21st, 2017 Comments off

Years ago I saw a news post from Japan showing a typical group of shoppers walking through a common area. In every person’s hand, held to the ear, was a cellphone. How outrageous, unbelievable!

We were just being introduced to this marvel of communication and were shocked at the thought that so many people would have them, and use them so often.  They were ahead of us, but no more.  

There are reportedly 382 million adults with cell phones in the United States. Yackety-yack! 

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