Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Friend Ellie

When Pat was fighting cancer, one of the things we had to deal with on a daily basis is that I can't drive. At this time, Pat was also not to drive because he had become so weak from the chemo and radiation. We relied on our church family to help us out. However, it seemed to us that it was always the same few we had to call on. One Sunday morning at worship, a new couple who had not been attending long came up to me and asked if they could help. Well, that was the start of a wonderful friendship that continues to this day, at least with Charlie.

Charlie and Ellie introduced themselves to me, wanting to be of assistance. The next day, Ellie took Pat and me to his radiation appointment. After that trip, they became our regular taxi service. You get to know people real quick when you ride with them in the cab of a pick-up truck and sit with them in a doctor's waiting rooms. Much of the time, Ellie was the driver. When she had other things on her calendar, Charlie picked up the slack. These trips included not only Pat's doctor's offices but the drug store, grocery store, grandkids' schools, grandkids' doctors, grandkid's orthodontist, my doctors, and anywhere else we needed to go.

I'll never forget one trip we made to the grocery store. Charlie drove that day and Hali went with us. We went to one of those "self service" grocery stores where you put in a quarter to get your cart and have to "bag" your own groceries. Hali was packing up the groceries before checkout was completely done and Charlie couldn't get over how well and quickly she got all of our groceries boxed up. He wanted to know if he could hire her to go to the store with him. She said no, but she'd do it for free. She is such a sweetheart as are all of our grandchildren. We do however, have a special place for the three that lived with us for quite a while.

Getting back to Charlie and Ellie, it was not long after Pat won his battle with cancer that we found out Ellie had cancer and that she was not going to win her battle, at least not here on earth. One of the most wonderful things about Ellie was her sense of humor. Their truck was one of those great big trucks that you need a step ladder to get into. My arthritis made it quite difficult for me to climb into the thing. After two or three trips of watching me struggle, Ellie got behind me, put one hand on each "cheek" and gave me a push. It worked so well that the practice was continued, but only when Ellie drove. The first time it was necessary for her to take Pat to the doctor without me, the first thing she said when they got back was that she had not touched Pat's "booty" but had only lifted him by his belt loops. As thin as he was at that time, that would have been all it took.

Much of the time Ellie was in the hospital, she was not allowed visitors outside of family. Because of that, I didn't get to say goodbye to her personally. I had to tell her goodbye in some fashion, so here is my goodbye to Ellie.

God Bless,

Of My Friend Ellie

It shames me that I have to say
That my friend Eleanor,
Was just a face midst those who sat
In the pews when open the doors.

One Sunday she came up to me,
Should have been the other way round.
She said for me to let her know
If I needed help in any sort found.

It seemed that those I chose to call
Had always been the same.
The next time that we had to go
To the doctor I chose her name.

At that time life consisted
Of daily trips for Pat’s radiation,
On the days that Ellie drove
Our hearts were full of elation.

Getting me into the "monster" truck
Was no little undertaking.
Once I had just one foot in
Ellie made sure the rest did make it.

She’d put one hand on each hiney cheek,
Then give me a gentle, firm shove,
I was soon not on the ground
But in our taxi filled with love.

On the days that I was unable
To with Pat make the trip,
She promised me that belt loops
Were as close as she came to hips.

We soon began to sit and chat
About the wonderful West Virginia
Where we both had ties to loved ones
You just can’t forget it once it’s in ya.

They would pick the kids up from their schools
When to the doctor they needed to go,
Would take us to the grocery
When the pantry was getting low.

I could never ever begin to count
All the wonderful times we shared,
When she and Charlie took us
Not from duty, but out of care.

The trips were full of laughter,
Brotherly love and fun.
That truck was never quiet
When in the "cab" we made a run.

When we heard that she was very ill
In the hospital for a stay
She was added to my prayer list
For each and every day.

Soon I heard she’d not recover
My friend would soon be gone,
I thought of all the times she helped
Wondering then if it was at a cost.

We surely were not the only ones
That she and Charlie had aided.
I knew from watching my Mama pass
She’d had pain long before she stated.

She never complained or murmured
At least not that I ever heard,
When she spoke to me of others
It was always with a kind gentle word.

So Ellie my friend, though I’ll miss you,
I would never have you return
To the life of pain and anguish
That was ahead of you here on earth.

I only regret I was not there
At the end of your journey of love,
To give you a great big "bootie push"
To your home with our Father above.

Your heart felt friend,
January, 2008

P.S. My blogging friend, Country Mom, received two awards and she is passing them along to all of those who are followers of her blog. Go and check it out. There are a few questions that need to be answered with only one word. Here they are. It's harder than you think it will be. Just answer the questions, link back to her blog, and if you are one of her followers, it is my understanding that she passes along the "Over The Top" and "Blogger Buddy" awards. Thanks Country Mom and hope you are having a super week.

God Bless,

1. Where is your cell phone? Bedroom
2. Your hair? Brown
3. Your mother? Heavenly
4. Your father? Loving
5. Your favorite food? Sherbet
6. Your dream last night? None
7. Your favorite drink? Water
8. Your dream/goal? Heaven
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? Poetry


  1. Mimmy,

    My heart just breaks for you and this priceless treasure of your relationship with Ellie. Here is hoping that you can have a peace that passes all understanding and know that the poem you have dedicated to her would be perfect for her.

    Here is my list playing along with yours:

    1. Where is your cell phone? pocket
    2. Your hair? Hopeless
    3. Your mother? Grieving
    4. Your father? Estranged
    5. Your favorite food? Chocolate
    6. Your dream last night? None
    7. Your favorite drink? Coffee
    8. Your dream/goal? Heaven
    9. What room are you in? Home
    10. Your hobby? Blogging

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  3. Joyce, What a touching post. I am sorry for your loss. I Thank You for accepting the awards. I am blessed to have you as my friend. What great answers... To the questions. Thank You !!! Have a great day. Audrey

  4. Your poetry, once again, shows your soul and heart...Your caring, your empathy, your love of the other human...
    And, your 10 questions, how fun~!
    1. Where is your cell phone? Near...
    2. Your hair? Grey...
    3. Your mother? Gone...
    4. Your father? Gone...
    5. Your favorite food? Lasagna
    6. Your dream last night? Animals
    7. Your favorite drink? Coffee
    8. Your dream/goal? Light
    9. What room are you in? Office
    10. Your hobby? Writing

  5. I'm sorry for your loss! You write beautiful words and the poem is wonderful.

  6. What a beautiful story of your friendship and how the new couple was so kind and helpful, and then how heartbreaking when you lost Ellie.
    One day there will a reunion in heaven for y'all.


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