Thursday, January 20, 2011


Fifty years ago Marlene and I were in the first grade together.  She remembers everything.  We had the same shoes, and our Mom's stood behind us in the classroom.  My Grandmother would be our first grade teacher.    We lived in Sadieville, population 350 and of course our Mom's knew one another.   Fast forward 50 years...............

There is a lot since then but right now all I can think about is two days ago when her son, Bobby, called me to say she was in the hospital.  They had called 911 at work and she was in the emergency room.
I jumped up and started getting ready and just as I was going to walk out the door Marlene called, said she was okay and  would be going home soon.  she had had a spell but they did an EKG and it was all good.  I told her I would bring soup up later that day.  In a few hours Bobby called to say that they got some blood results and they think she had a heart attack.  I told him I'd be right there.

On the drive to Lexington I was thinking I have to be strong, I can't cry when I go in there.  I walked in the emergency room and she looked good.  No ashy color and she showed me that she had her boots on and that if she died at least she would die with her boots on.  That's just like Marlene, to make people around here feel at ease, to crack a joke and laugh that distinctive happy laugh she has.

The Doctor came in and told her that she would not be going home,  she would be admitted and that she would need a heart cath in the morning, that she would get blood thinners and some blood pressure meds.  They would check for blockage and put stints in if there was blockage and if not she would go home after the heart cath.  Marlene wanted to go home but the doctor would not hear of it.  In hind sight she only lives a mile from the hospital and she would have rested much better but that was not to be.  They needed to check her blood through the night.

Can I just say, it's impossible to rest in the hospital.  From the crummy beds to the noises, and people in and out of the room and one's own nerves about the test to come makes it impossible.  I should have kept count on how many times Marlene said she wanted to go home.    At 4:00am this lady comes in the room to draw blood for another enzyme test.  It was dark and she had to turn the lights on so while we are trying to adjust our eyesight the lady says would you tell me your name and birthday please.  Marlene says,  Linda Goepper.  Then the happy laugh.  I said, "You little stinker."  the lady never cracked a smile.  That isn't the first time we've been in trouble for laughing.  One time in high school we were sent to the greenhouse from our horticulture class for cutting up.  That's probably the only time Marlene was ever in trouble in high school.

So at 8:00am they came to take her for the heart cath.  I remember thinking if Marlene has blockage then I am probably a walking time bomb.  She never overeats.  She eats healthy.  She rides horses and gets exercise.  They gave us a pager and Bobby and I went for coffee and tea.  In less than 30 minutes she was done.

The doctor came in and told us there was no blockage and minimal damage.  She would be put on blood pressure meds. and go home in a few hours.   So stress and high blood pressure are the problem.  Marlene never knew she had high blood pressure.  This is a wake up call.

We had her home by 1:00pm, where she could rest.  Todd, Marylee and I took the soup back later.   It's been a tough couple of days.  She'll be OK.  Thank God.

Marlene and I have been through a lot in 50 years;  the death of many loved ones,  the birth of our children and now a grandchild,  weddings,  milestone birthdays,  high school reunions, and the day to day struggles and joys of living in the world.   God has blessed me with the best of friends.  Some I haven't known long and many I've known for years.  Not having sisters makes me so grateful for my friends.  They are the "aunts" to my girls.  I know they will be there for them if something happens to me.  I can be real with them and they still love me.  They show me Jesus  with skin on.

Whew... I'm tired.


  1. OK, now I am crying. How awesome to have a friend that is closer than a brother [or sister-as the case may be]. Our prayers are with Marlene as they have been over the past few days.

  2. Beautiful words for a beautiful woman.