Dear Family and Friends,
So much has happened this last year, it is hard to know of where to begin and how much to tell in this one short letter. In January and the first of February, I was still teaching Old Testament seminary class to high school seniors before they went off to school each morning. Then Cliff came down with a sore throat that started making it harder for him to catch his breath, even with the oxygen and meds he was taking. He was rushed to the hospital on February 8th and passed away on the 12th. After 50 years of smoking, and two years of being on oxygen, he just couldn’t fight to draw a breath any longer. As much as I miss him and as lonely as I get around here, I am thankful he no longer has to suffer just to take a breath of air that so many of us take for granted each day. Cliff’s death ended my time teaching Old Testament and my life became full with taking care of things around here as well as legal matters.
In March, I visited a friend and my aunt in Arizona and then my sister and two high school classmates in Hawaii. In April and May, I had both the roof on the house and the windows replaced. Also, David married Kendell Duering May 3rd in our living room and then they moved to Utah.
June, I started working on the backyard by replacing the patio, putting in a larger pond, and some other landscaping. I was in the middle of working on the pond in July when I fell and broke my leg just below the knee, banging it on the edge of the pond. Surgery required the insertion of a metal plate and 5 pins so now I get to set off all the metal detectors when I travel or serve jury duty. I was 2 ½ weeks in the hospital and rehab and then a week at my daughter’s home before I was able to come back to my own home, spending a total of 12 weeks in a wheelchair. My son, Russell, had gone through my house, widening all the doors and building ramps for the step-down living room and the front and back doors so I could get around on my own. Breaking my leg and having to depend so much on others has been the most humbling experience I have ever gone through in my life so far. Thankfully, with all the help I received from both family and friends, I was able to make it through all the challenges. Even with my broken leg and spending so much time in the wheelchair, work still continued in the backyard. I have put photos on our family website at heaps.heapsclan.com if you are interested in seeing what we have done.
I started walking once again in October and driving in November, making a trip to Utah with my daughter, Karlyn and her kids to visit David and Kendell for Thanksgiving week. While we were there, we visited Cliff’s sister and some of her children as well as several other old friends and had a great time.
After coming back from Utah, I discovered that my fireplace was cracked and leaking heat through the back wall, into the garage, leaving a big burn mark on a piece of sheet rock that was leaning up against the backside of the fireplace. Right now, I am in the process of getting the fireplace repaired in time to enjoy for Christmas.
Yes, this has been an eventful and challenging year, but one filled with blessings as well. I am thankful for my home and the means to take care of the necessary repairs as well as Russell’s help with many of those repairs. I am thankful that my house didn’t burn down this last year with Cliff’s oxygen tanks here. I have been very blessed to have the support of both family and friends that have helped me get through the hard times. And I am very thankful to have a Heavenly Father who loves me and has sent the help and comfort that I have needed throughout the year. I pray that all of you will have a very joyous Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year. Even with the pour economy, I am looking forward to a better new year.
Love to all,