Another Mennonite Story

28 05 2008

My mennonite visits are nearly always associated with the community that my daughter, Maria, lives in.  Maria comes to our town once or twice a week because there are no places to shop where she lives.  There isn’t even a gas station. Sometimes, I take her visits by our home for granted. Moreover, I don’t make enough effort to visit her these days. 

Last Friday, she called and asked me to spend the day with her.  She wanted to make homemade laundry detergent.  She said:” It’s just no fun making laundry detergent by myself.”  I  hestitated because I was thinking about all the things I wanted to accomplish.  That is getting to be a real hang up lately for me.  It seems like I’m not as sharp as I used to be and I’m struggling to find my ground in keeping up with my priorities.  I had plenty of excuses to stay home but I relented and told Maria  that I would take her up on her invitation.

Dealing with cancer has slowed me down.  I take a very heavy duty pill each morning called Arimidex.  I’ve noticed some real personality changes in my life.  There are times when I don’t want to be around or talk with anyone. My energy is not the same as it was before I started taking this pill.  However, I don’t want to whine or make excuses for myself.  It is a battle that I fight and hope to make progress.  So it was very important to take the opportunity to visit Maria.

When I arrived –I told Maria to jump in my car.  I wanted to visit my Mennonite friend, Rebecca.  I had not visited her home since last summer.  Each trip I made to Maria’s–it just seemed like we were to busy to visit Rebecca.  Rebecca was working in her garden when we arrived.  The youngest daughter was carrying around a baby goat that was just a few days old.  The other little girls went and got a couple of their puppies and showed them to us.  Rebecca took a break from her gardening.  We all went inside for visit.

The girls seemed so happy to see me.  Maria had been down to their home twice that week.  Rebecca’s family who live in Pennsylvania called Maria to tell her that a sister had died of cancer.  So Maria delievered that message early in the week.  Thus, we sat and talked with Rebecca about her sister.   Her sister had won the battle with cancer and had some goods years. Then a couple of months ago–cancer raged through her body once again.  She didn’t feel strong enough to go through treatment again .  Sadly, she died within a couple of months of finding out she had cancer again. 

While we were talking, the girls were wrapping their puppies up in little receiving blankets and putting them in the little doll beds.  The family is training a miniature pony.  They had to go get the pony to show me.  They also had two sets of kittens in the barn.  We were on our way to the barn to see the kittens–when  Rebecca stopped me in the doorway and told me that she had a lump on one of her breasts.

I talked with her about the importance of getting the lump checked out. Right now, she is too afraid to seek medical help.  I offered to come get her and take her to the doctor.  I told her I would try to help her find just the right medical help each step of the way.  Rebecca just can’t face dealing with her breast lump for right now.  I know that I will pray for her and at some point go see her again.  Most of the time–by the time one finds a lump–the cancer has become way beyond stage I cancer.  My heart really aches for Rebecca.

Maria and I did make our laundry detergent.  We each got a real big bucket of detergent from our efforts.  We ate a nice lunch then I was ready to go home.  We did drive down to another Mennonite  family’s home to buy some strawberries.  Then I dropped Maria off at her house and drove home. 

By the way –for those who remember that Kirk and Maria almost lost their trucking business–they are doing great now.  KIrk has signed on with another company and is making some good money these days.  Maria is getting more work as an assistant postmaster  in another little hamlet.

Cancer is not something that we can ignore.  Please, my readers, if anyone has a lump or something strange going on–get the medical help that you need.  And if anyone has a similar experience with the cancer drug , I Arimidex, I would like to hear your story.

God bless each of you!

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8 responses

29 05 2008
Maria

Mom – I apologize for not reading your blogs in a very long time. I guess I don’t really think about it since I get to talk to you on the the phone everyday and see you in person maybe twice a week or so. I get to have the “real” you instead of having to read about you. So please don’t be offended that I am not a regular visiter to your blog pages. I did enjoy reading what you wrote about coming out to see me last Friday. You certainly have a charming way of telling a story. I love you mome, You are precious to me. Love Maria

29 05 2008
nichole3

Dear Maria,
You are so precious to me. Thanks for reading this particular blog.

Love,
Mom

30 05 2008
David Web

Nichole:

I wonder what kind of help you are supposed to get from Arimidex? Is it supposed to enhance remission, or safeguard against reappearance?

Yes, we are battling against the clock now to retain our wits as sharp and cunning. I find Ginko Biloba to be a real help with memory and focus. I refuse to get old. I had a nice ride to the Barber and around East Denver & West Aurora this morning on my Shadow, and rode to work once this week as well.

How old is Rebecca? I have always secretly admired the German/Dutch Amish & Mennonites, and their love of the simple life. I hope the lump isn’t cancer.

It sounds like they certainly have a lot of pets to go along with their domestic animals.

What do you use to make laundry detergent?
Is it worth the time you spend making it?

Little Brother

31 05 2008
nichole3

Little Brother,
Yes, the Arimedex is an estrogen blocker which is supposed to help prevent the reappearance of cancer.

Yes, I enjoy the Mennonite people. About breast cancer. It can take up to 10 years for a lump to be felt. That is why screening is so important. My cancer was found before it ever had a chance to become a lump. A lump means grave danger.

The laundry detergent is made out of Fels Naptha soap, Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and 20 Mule Team Borax. There is a recipe for either liguid or powdered laundry detergent. Maria and I make the powdered recipe. It is fun to make. It is worth the effort and time.

love,
Sis

31 05 2008
Tiny

Hi Nicole,
I have become a faithful reader. I have actually read all of your blogs.
Questions: Where do you get 20 Mule Team Borax (an absolutely wonderful hand cleaner)? I have not seen a box of it since we moved away from San Antonio in 1962.
Does “Little Brother” live in the Denver area now? I have family there.
God Bless You, Tiny

1 06 2008
nichole3

Dear Tiny,
How wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for reading my blogs. All of the ingredients for the home made laundry detergent can be found at Kroger. If you don’t have a Kroger near by I can give you a website that sells it. If you are interested in making the soap I can email you the recipe. “Little brother” is one of my three brothers. I don’t know if you ever met any of them. He has lived in Denver since l985.

Nichole

1 06 2008
Tiny

Nichole,
I have met 2 of them, about 1970. Little Brother went tp Paris, TN. with me in 1970 to help me bring an old Karman Ghia back from Paris. We had problems with it on the way back. It made me dislike the car so much that I never drove it again. I know now hat t was just a weak condenser, but at that time, I didn’t know what it was. I havn’t seen Little Brother since 1970. God bless ya’ll.
In His service, Tiny

1 06 2008
nichole3

Tiny,
I’m glad you know ” little brother”. That is an interesting story. I never knew that he went to Paris, Tn. with you. Thanks again for writing.

Blessings,
Nichole

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