"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good News

The pathology report came back from Dr. Icaza's office today with some good results! From the most recent surgery the margins are officially cleared and no cancer is found! Pathology report it Negative!
The oncologist would like to rescan 3 weeks post surgery and determine if chemotherapy will be recommended. We won't think about that right now. Just healing up and eating clean!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In Memory of Nancy

In loving memory of our beloved Aunt Nancy


From the Obituary

JOHNSTON CITY - Nancy Elizabeth Smith, 59, of Johnston City, went home to be with her Lord at 1:45 p.m., Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at Herrin Hospital with her loving family by her side.
Nancy was born August 24, 1952 in Springfield, Illinois, the daughter of Otto F. and Alma E. (Fischer) Franke.
She was united in marriage to Michael L. "Mickey" Smith on December 21, 1974 in Marion, Illinois.
Nancy was a 1970 graduate of Springfield High. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale with a BS in History Education in 1974.
Nancy worked for the City of Carbondale for several years and left the work force to raise her three wonderful children. She later taught at Grace Christian School in West Frankfort; where she taught 7th through 12th grade History, English and Bible. She taught there for three years where she instilled Christian values into many grateful students. She has been the office manager at Southern Engineering Corporation in Johnston City since 1995. It is a place where her beautiful face will be greatly missed.
Nancy loved tending to her flower garden. She enjoyed nature and loved watching and feeding the many birds that would come visit her. She also enjoyed photography.
Nancy is survived by her husband of thirty-seven wonderful years, Mike Smith of Johnston City; son, Sean Michael Smith of St. Louis; twin daughters, Amy Elizabeth Gerwe and husband Jeremy of Mt. Vernon, Melissa Ann Pickens and husband Jay of Carterville; two brothers, Larry Franke of Petersburg, IL, Mark Franke of Springfield; aunt, Frances Shelden of Springfield; uncle, Bill Fischer of Springfield; cousins, Jerry Fischer of Hillsboro, TX; David Fischer of Princeton, TX, Cindy Pacheco of Dallas, TX; special cousins, Jacki and Don Baylor, Susie Gillen, Pat Maxwell all of Avon, NY; sisters-in-law, Pat Summers and husband Willie of Johnston City, Rosie Clayton and husband Jerry, Betty Smith, Judy Culbreth all of West Frankfort; brother-in-law, Paul Smith and wife Darlene of Marion; several nieces and nephews, Kim Evans, Bryan Clayton, Mitch Summers, Tonja Clayton, Stacy Culbreth, Dena McLochlin, Holli Smith, Jessica Skaaren, Jaclyn Franke, Jenelle Collins, and Josh Franke. She is also survived by several great nieces and nephews.
She was preceded to heaven by her parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Loren Ray and Eva Irene Smith; brother-in-law, Larry Culbreth; niece, Vicki Summers and a cousin Billy Fischer.
Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 18, 2012 in Pyle Funeral Home in Johnston City with Pastors, Bill and Vicki Clark officiating. Interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery in Johnston City.
Visitation will be 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., Saturday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to a local charity of donors choice.
Memorial envelopes are available at the funeral home.
Please join the family in honoring the memory of Nancy Elizabeth Smith by visiting www.pylefuneralhome.com and posting your memories and tributes.


Published in The State Journal-Register on March 16, 2012

In Memory of Ron

In loving memory of Mom's cousin Ron


From the Obituary

THAYNE, WY - Ron Ahrens left peacefully for heaven on Monday, March 12, 2012 at his home in Thayne, Wyoming surrounded by his wife, sister, son and daughter after an inspirational 15 month battle with brain cancer.
Born Nov. 29, 1945 in Springfield to Edward and Virginia Ahrens where he lived and graduated from Lanphier High School and played on their basketball team. He earned a Ceramic Engineering degree at the U. of Ill. and was an avid Illini fan. Ron retired from Bethlehem Steel after 30 years of service as ceramic engineer.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife and best friend of 45 years, Mary Ann (Wilson); son, Craig of Salt Lake City, (wife, Micki); daughter, Jodi Wager, Charleston, SC (Jeff) and the latest joy of his life, granddaughter, Allison. Also mourning his loss is sister, Connie Kluckman, Wheaton (Tim), brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunt, cousins, nieces and nephews. Parents preceded him to heaven.
He did extensive work building and remodeling his properties in Baltimore and his ranch in Wyoming. Ron welcomed many guests in his home showing them the beautiful Tetons, Jackson Hole and Yellowstone area he loved, taking them on snowmobile trips through the canyons and back country mountains, Cutter Races, downhill skiing in Jackson Hole and Teton Mountains, hiking, riding horseback and camping out in the mountains. He loved to cross country ski around his ranch in Star Valley with his dogs following him. He was an expert black trail, mogul skier, and enjoyed snow shoeing and cross country skiing to explore the mountains, valley, and Yellowstone. He was a golfer, mountain biker, white water rafter in Snake River and other areas as well as fishing the streams and lakes. He traveled to South Carolina, Florida, Alaska and various other places to ski and visit his family when he wasn't working or clearing snow on his ranch.
He was proficient on the computer and in mathematics and used his skills to volunteer as bookkeeper at the Baptist church, as well as being a youth leader taking boys on camping trips and volunteered to do janitor work for the church for years.
Ron obtained funding to build an animal shelter in Star Valley and has kept it going for years doing much of the maintenance and bookwork himself. He rescued and sheltered hundreds of homeless, injured or abandoned animals until homes were found for them. He welcomed dog sledders and their dogs on his ranch during their races and enjoyed hearing the sledders' stories.
Ron served the Lord as a helping friend, a big brother and fatherly figure to many, living life to the fullest. He encouraged others to have a good time and enjoy life as he did.
At his request, there were no funeral services. A memorial gathering will be held at a later date. Instead of flowers, Ron preferred to be remembered with donations to "Lucky's Place" Animal Humane Association of Star Valley, PO Box 654, Thayne, WY 83127.


Published in The State Journal-Register on March 17, 2012

After the Storm


And after the storm,
I run and run as the rains come
And I look up, I look up,
on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart,
I won't rot.

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.
That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.

I will die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and mine so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.

And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.


lyrics by Mumford and Sons
photo Atlantic ocean after the storm by Victoria Savostianova

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Surgery Day

Thanking everyone for the love, support and prayers!

The "Operation" was swift and successful. Mom was already home resting this afternoon! Now it's time to recover and heal emotionally and physically!

Great job Mom!
We love you!

Trivia question: How many surgeries does this make?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

5 Days


I've been counting down the days until Mom's next surgery. I've been looking through the blog at all of our postings each month for the past 3, going on 4 years. I'm so grateful for this time we've had and everything we've been through has been such a hard fight. Mom is a huge inspiration from her strength and courage she shows each day. {I'm so proud of you Mom!} There just are not enough songs, lyrics or pictures to describe the joy and pains we go through but here's another post trying to make an attempt to share.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Woman's Beauty


The beauty of a woman
Is not in the clothes she wears,
The figure that she carries,
Or the way she combs her hair.

The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
Because that is the doorway to her heart,
The place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole
But true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.

It is the caring that she lovingly gives,
The passion that she shows,
And the beauty of a woman
With passing years only grows!

written by
Teresa Mahieu