This picture is us with mom at her younger sister's 90th birthday party. She rallied and came out of the hospital to go to the party then the next day went back to the hospital never to come home again. It could not be more clear that God gave her that day to say goodbye.
I have been humbled and astonished by the outpouring of love and concern on the passing of my mother. There have literally been hundreds of emails, blog responses, facebook and twitter notes, cards and letters and flowers, my goodness at the flowers. There were also a lot of memorials sent to the building fund at the church. Just amazing! I'm sorry I could not respond to them individually.
It is true with all the time spent at the hospital, the hospice, and the funeral that I am impossibly behind and struggling to get into the frame of mind to work. My clients have rallied behind me saying submissions on their behalf could wait. A large group of them have offered to be first readers on incoming submissions to help whittle down the stack. And their unfailing love and support has been some of the strongest of all. What a wonderful group of clients I have.
Please accept this as a response to all of those notes that have flooded in and know that the gratitude that Saundra and I feel is as strong and sincere as if we were able to write you individually.
God bless you each and every one.
Terry and Saundra
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Erma Ruth Burns, 96, died at 8:45 am July 10th at the BSA Hospice. One of eleven children of Emmett and Lizzie Tunnell, she is survived by her son Terry Burns and Daughter in law Saundra Burns of Amarillo and two sisters, Nell Thomas of Nashville TN and Meta Graves of Electra TX, grandchildren Teresa Burns of Houston TX, Bryan Burns of Carlsbad NM, and step-grandchildren Kristi Butler of Ennis, TX; Jeff Waters of Elk City OK and Marcie Gunter of Elk City OK. The Great Grandchildren are Jacob Lambright of Palestine TX, Mandy Lambright of Abilene TX, Preston Burns, Bryce Burns and Sean Burns of Carlsbad NM, Shanda Henrichs of Rowlett TX, Kasey Seeberger of Little Rock, AR, Alex Waters of Elk City OK and Jalen Gunter and Makayla Gunter of Elk City OK.
Born in Electra TX she lived in Pampa TX for more than 60 years and was the wife of Melton Burns who preceded her in death as did her only other child, her son Trent. She worked for many years as a manager of a cafeteria at the Pampa school system and lacked only a few weeks being a charter member of the Central Baptist Church in Pampa. In latter years she lived in Amarillo and was a beloved member of Bolton Street Baptist Church.
In life, the inevitable squabbles and events occurred on both sides of the family but she was never involved, being genuinely loved and cherished by all, the most sweet and gentle spirit any of us ever knew. Of herself she once said, "I've never been hurt, never been mistreated or abused, or never been hungry. I've walked with the Lord all my life and I guess it's been a pretty good life."
In our garden of life, she was our rose.
There will be a visitation at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home here in Amarillo from 6-8 pm tomorrow. The funeral will be Monday the 12th (mom's 96th birthday) at 11 am at Bolton Street Baptist Church, 2555 Bolton Street, Amarillo TX 79103. Memorials may be sent to the Bolton Street Building Fund at that address. Brother Leon Green will officiate.
The graveside service will be at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Pampa at 3:00 p.m. officiated by Brother Norman Rushing of Central Baptist Church where mother attended many years and only lacked a couple of weeks being a charter member.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
In case you haven't heard we brought my mother to the hospital in an ambulance unable to breathe. It turns out that she has congestive heart failure with water in her lungs - and after the blood work was processed discovered she has a staph infection on top of that.
Before this happened, after a difficult week in the hospital she rallied and got to go to her sister's 90th birthday party where she got to see most of her relatives and visit with them at length. Her recovery was amazing. Immediately after the party it hit in earnest and that was when she had to go back to the hospital. God gave her that little gift, and time to say goodbye. We just didn't know at the time that was what it was.
It has been necessary to transfer her to the BSA Hospice and after a couple of weeks of extreme pain she is now comfortable and pain free.
They had an Alan Jackson gospel tape playing and Saundra and I sang harmony to it for the whole CD to help her relax until the medicine took effect. She has always liked to hear us sing.
We had a long meeting with Saundra and I and the grandkids and came to the conclusion that buying her a limited number of months (she's 96) at the cost of an indefinite period of agony was not what she deserved. It was not a difficult decision to make, but it was a difficult decision to accept. It was better after we made it but of course we are not at all ready to see her go.
But what is important is the fact that she is pain free now. When she finally relaxed we were amazed to see the wrinkles disappear from her face. One of the nurses said she had her "angel makeup" on. The people that care for her here are loving and tender and very respectful. As soon as they began to minister to her we knew we had made the right decision.
There have literally been hundreds of emails and facebook messages. I can't answer all of them, of course, but your prayers and expressions of concern mean a lot to us.
Needless to say we are here 24/7 so if you are waiting on me for something I apologize and I do try to do what I can in small snatches of time here but I know I am getting behind. My clients are being wonderful about it and my five assistants are helping take up the slack but still I know it is going to continue to be a problem until we get her over the hump.
Thank you for your patience . . . and we do covet your prayers.