THE WRITE PLACE…

to find Patti Singleton these days.


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Honoring Our Veterans; My Great Aunt Mercy

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There are many veterans in the long line of our Halls, from my brothers and father, all the way back to my 3rd great grandfather in the American Revolution. My late husband and his father were Vietnam veterans, and my mother’s side of the family did their part during war times also.

I’ve decided to feature the only female veteran in our Hall line that I am aware of. She was an unpublished writer and had the grand name of Mercedes, but we just called her Aunt Mercy. She was my great aunt, my father’s aunt. Her father served, and was crippled by a bullet wound, in the Spanish-American War at the Battle of San Juan Hill.

While touring the U.S. with my two children in 2001, we spent some time with Aunt Mercy. Our little r.v. was being repaired, so we left most of our belongings with Aunt Mercy and rented a car for the east coast part of our trip. She had one request: she wanted us to go to the Women In Military Service For America Memorial in Washington, D.C. and look up her name.

The east coast trip was memorable for many reasons, but one of the most moving things that took place was typing “Mercedes Hall” into the computer at the women’s memorial, and then looking up to see her beautiful photo and service record (above) on a massive wall. Sara, Jon and I just stood and looked in awe.

007We got two color copies of the image on the wall and took one back to Aunt Mercy. I also have a book (see image), The Giving of Self; The History of St. Joseph Infirmary School of Nursing, which features a photo of my aunt’s 1939 graduating class. The image is blurry, so I did not include it here.

Aunt Mercy was a proud woman, yet she practically giggled when we told her about our visit to the memorial, and then brought out our souvenirs. She recounted more tales about her Navy Nurse adventures and we spent hours going over family photos and stories. She kept telling friends and family, “They went and saw me in Washington, D.C.!”

I’m especially glad that we included Aunt Mercy on our itinerary, because she passed away less than a year later, 10 days before her 86th birthday; she was the last of 11 Hall siblings.

I hope you enjoyed this Veterans Day post. It was good to revisit Aunt Mercy’s pride and happiness about her service for America.

Peace,

Patti


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Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-One

CASPIAN TERNS & A LOST SEAGULL Ready-Set-Take Off!!

CASPIAN TERNS & A LOST SEAGULL
Ready-Set-Take Off!!

First, please go see my “gutsy story” at http://www.gutsyliving.com  You can make a comment at the very bottom of the page.

The post title conveys that this is part 1 of a serialized version from a portion of my memoir-in-progress. It varies slightly from the actual book, in that it is not a book, but a blog post. Smile. My intention is to keep my writing focused on the memoir project, including blog posts here on The Write Place. If I bore the socks off you, then my new intention will be to move to a deserted island and never write again. Either that, or rewrite the damn thing, I mean, the host object of all my worldly dreams.  So, on with it!

This post could be about you or someone you love.

The contents of this post don’t come with citations, statistics, links, or expert opinions. You get souvenir postcards, instead.

The words within come from my heart; these are not happy souvenirs from my heart, but practical souvenirs, with bits of humor to buffer the fear, pain and sadness. (Plus Paul and I really loved to laugh)

These souvenirs were collected along our travels through many hospital stays. My late husband, Paul, and I gathered ways to help others who would be fighting for their lives, like we were fighting for his at the time.

We wiled away many hours in the hospital and temporary housing, talking about the physical clues we may have missed. I made a few notes about what we could put in a book for people in our situation. Paul’s first suggestion about our future book was to include his health information, from a few years before, right up to the day he was diagnosed with cancer.

That part was easy; I had already dug through doctor bills, lab reports and even our family wall calendar. My mission had been to make a document, specific to Paul’s health, for the millions of times doctors, nurses, administrators and others asked about Paul’s medical history.

I’m giving you the nitty-gritty truth here; even if you hand them a copy of the medical history, they will still want to hear it from the patient. In our case, Paul had made me his unofficial health advocate right after we became a couple, so he would defer their questions to me. I just read the answers from our copy of the document, or used it as a reminder of dates, lab values and other details. It did take months for me to think of making the document, but it sure saved our brain power once I had it completed.

Postcard 1: Make a written health history for yourself and family members, BEFORE it is needed, like now. Okay, maybe wait until you finish reading this post.

To be continued…

See, I told you it would be short, but that also means I had to cut it off sometime.

Watch for Souvenirs from My Heart; Postcards-Two with another beautiful picture that has nothing to do with the post.

As usual, I am happy to read your comments, questions, and critiques. However, mind reading isn’t my forte, so you’ll have to actually click on the button and write me a note. I’m so happy if you “like” this post, but why do you like it?

If you can’t “comment” or “like” because of technical difficulties, send me an email at 1writeplacewordpress at symbol gmail dot com. Weird, but that is so spammies can’t glom onto me. Please use the blog post title in the subject line.

Thanks ever so much,

Patti