January 1998

Hello Again Friends;

My mommy is able to walk much better now, so we are going to catch up on some news and then I will be doing it like I used to.

Over Christmas vacation, I was doing some e-mail with new friends and two of them said they would like to see it here, so I am putting up an e-mail page today like our guestbook for our homepage here on the internet. You can click on it on my front page or right here Brandi-Mail
It is taking me a lot of time to pick the background and then the color for the text! It is hard to choose things sometimes. Mommy says that if I don't pick one soon, we won't get it done today after we catch up the news here in my journal.

Mommy had her feet operated on in November, so we weren't writing much. She was supposed to come home that night, but they kept her in there for two more days. She got a flu or something the day that they did the surgery on the 11th. They said it could not be an infection because she was on antibiotics because of them cutting her foot-bones, so her fever must have been a virus they told us. I got to go in and see her two times each day.

Right after she came home, I was really sick with a flu too! Or a virus maybe like she had, we don't know. Peach took me to the doctor because mommy was worried about my breathing. There were a lot of kids at school sick with it. I got to sleep with mommy two nights because I was so sick and she could not get up and walk to see if I was okay in the night.

Mommy healed up really better and faster than the doctor thought she would. He says she is his best patient of all of them.
So when Thanksgiving came - we were able to all go to Aunt Jeannes' house like we did last year. It was a nice dinner and we all got so full we couldn't even eat dessert. It was nice to drive home and see the Christmas lights that people had up already that night.

On Friday, December 5, I went to a new dentist in Front Royal. I had a filling that came out and we had to get it fixed. We had to find a new dentist. I liked him. He said we had to come back on Monday so he could pull the tooth though. I will get another one when I am 12. He said that he is going to have to put something in that space until my new one comes, but we will have to wait for a while for it to come. He will also fill another one. But we did not know that he didn't have any way for mommy to get up their stairs in her wheelchair and she could not walk very well with two broken feet! They had front doors and back doors but all of them had stairs and we had a terrible time with her having to get up and down them and hurting because of that.

On Monday, December 8, 1997 - I didn't get to go to school because the dentist thought I should not when he was done working on me. He said my teeth were all okay now - there was just that one small cavity that he had to fill and the tooth he took out.
Mommy said I was very brave and strong and she was very proud of me. I had my tooth and was going to put it under my pillow so that we could play the pretend "Tooth-Fairy game"! *giggle* but...... then, I lost it and I think Pinky ate it! We couldn't find it anywhere at all and we all looked and looked! I would not eat a tooth even if I was a dog!

About a week before Christmas, we went to BurgerKing to eat Kids' meals and to get the train. It is so cute! We even bought one for my great-grandparents because they have such a little tree that the train can go under it. I think that old people are sometimes like us kids and they enjoy things like we do. I wonder why the people in the middle of their age, (between childhood and old age) seem too be too busy to have fun like we do?

December 9, 1997, it snowed and I got to stay home again! We even had some snow cream which we love SOOOoooo much!

We have more stuff to put in here tomorrow.......

Saturday, January 17, 1998

We are trying very hard to catch up on our page here. Today we have made up my three e-mail pages already.... but didn't finish putting all my mail up because mommy is going to have to quit for now.
But we wanted to tell you about today like we're supposed to do. *S* We are both working at our computers and it has been a fun day together.
It is very wet outside.
We had lots of rain the last week, most of it turned into ice and then it broke parts of our two biggest trees, a Mimosa and BIG old Cedar tree. The green part of it gets so heavy with the ice that we lose some branches every year, This year though - It is a real big part. My pappy is going to cut it and put that black stuff which he uses on our trees when they break off or get hurt. It is like a Band-Aid and protects it just like when we get wounds which need to be covered. Mommy was very, very sad when it happened yesterday. She kept going to the window in her room and in the kitchen and even out on the ice-covered deck to look at them and she was hoping no more would break. We were both hoping that! Ice storms are very sad when you live around forests and mountains like we do. But we heard of people who live in big cities who don't have any power and their food is going bad and they are cold and maybe even their houseplants and the fish in their aquariums and things like that - might be dying. It is really very sad, we think. We are very blessed in our house which has a stove which keeps us warm even if there is no power. We have lots of candles too. Some of them are long-burning ones - but some are just mostly to smell good, (I like those kind the best! *S*)
Good-bye for today, from Brandi

Sunday, January 18, 1998

I woke up REALLY sick today, so we will probably not do more on the computer here until I am better. I have a fever and a headache and this flu or whatever it is, got into my lungs or Asthma... Cathy has Pleurisy, and there is a flu going around that gets into your chest like I think it did mine. I was fine when I went to bed.    I had chicken-noodle soup for breakfast and a big glass of grape juice and some Motrin.    I am taking herbs and a homeopathic-remedy too. I feel much better with herbs than I do with antibiotics - so I hope I won't need any of them.    That is all I can say now - I need to lay down and snuggle with my mommy for a while. If I feel better later, I will write with her some more.

Later
I wanted to talk some more but I can't - my throat is too sore to tell mommy what to write. My fever came back too - so we are going to go to bed and watch a movie. Mommy is getting a sore throat already too and some fever, so we will both get better together.

Monday, January 19, 1998

I am very sick. I think this is the worst I have ever been sick that I could remember. Mommy says that I was really more sick when I was a baby and had Whooping Cough. Children who have seizures cannot be vaccinated against that and I wasn't and then I was in a hospital for two weeks and other kids got it there too which is how I think I got it. But I don't remember that time. Of the times I remember, this one is the worst. Mommy is starting to get it too, we think. So we are just posting this because she had to come and update Camerons'' news anyway.
We will write more when I feel better.

Love, Brandi

Sunday, January 25, 1998

*<note from Nina>* We decided that we had better just forget trying to catch up on our notes and keep up with our days as best we can when they happen ..... Today we were going to enter some news but I'm back to running a fever and we thought it would be nice for us to just share what our wonderful friend, Mr. Jim <Kaylas' grandfather> sent to Brandi!
(Then it's "BACK to bed" for Mommy!)


My Dear Miss Brandi;
Sorry to hear you are sick again. I hope you are much better very soon and are able to finish the work on your journal. It is really looking great so far as if you can ever get done with more coming in all the time'

Just wanting to tell you that we still love you and please get well soon.

Love and {{{{{{{Miss Brandi}}}}}}}
There is one for ever day this week. Your friend Jim


SECOND card.....<text only here>

Dear Miss Brandi; Just one more short note to say we hope you are feeling better this day. I am sending you this Rose mainly because I have always loved them for some reason. Whenever I pass a rose bush I stop to feel the soft petals and smell the beauty. If I was blind I could still feel and smell so things would not be so bad after all. Will go now Dear you hurry up and get better. Love and {{{{{Miss Brandi}}}} Jim.

THANK YOU Mr JIM! *Big Smile!*


Sorry you're feline under the weather Get well soon
Hi Brandi!! I hope that you are feeling better!!!
Take good care of yourself and Mommy too!! ~ Don


THANK YOU Mr. DON!!!!! *Nuther Big Smile!!!*

January 30, 1998
We couldn't write last week, but even when my mommy got over that flu we had, she got more sick with Pleurisy and pneumonia in one lung. She gets sick a lot more since my Uncle Eric was killed. Since we were both so sick for so long, we didn't want to write about being sick so much, so we waited. Then today something really bad happened and mommy said it would be good to write about it because writing about it helps to think about our feelings and sort them out and we can feel them like we need to. So we were writing about it - but not putting it in here until today (which is in March, because many more things happened too!)

This is my Mamaw and Papaw Ross together

Friday, January 30, 1998
This morning when I was in school, my father called mommy to tell her that my Papaw died in his sleep! He was a nice man. I loved him very much. He always took good care of my Mamaw, who is blind. I don't know if it will be okay for her to be alone in their house.
They live about 5 miles from us. The last time I got to see them was at my PizzaHut birthday party! They had a good time there. They liked the little presents I gave them for my birthday too. I am so glad that they came to it.

Mommy explained to me that my Mamaw told her that he had not been feeling good for a few days. He called the doctor On Thursday to tell him he was feeling real bad and wanted to go in and see him that morning, but they didn't have any more appointments, so he made one for the next day at 10:30. He probably should have gone in to the emergency room at the hospital, but he didn't. I wish that he would have.
So then, Mamaw said he went to bed early and she heard him get up at about 1:30 to go to the bathroom, so she knew he lived until that time. But then when she woke up this morning knew that something was wrong. Papaw would usually get colder in the early morning and he would always pull the blanket up over them. When Mamaw woke up, this morning, she noticed right away that the blanket was still at the bottom of the bed. Then she could not wake him up and she called 911....... and they did try to see if they could do anything, but it was too late. He was already dead.... and they couldn't. The doctor at the emergency room said Papaw had probably been dead about two hours when she woke up at 7:00. Mommy waited until I came home from school and ate a hot supper she had ready for me, and then she told me.
My mommy had a doctors' appointment too today. She had to get some medicines and started on antibiotic for this pneumonia and pleurisy which she has. I was worried about her all day at school because she has been so sick since we got the flu. I was afraid she might die. And then it was my Papaw who died and I didn't even think about him dying.

Saturday, January 31, 1998
Mommy's been real sick today. She coughs and it hurts her so bad that she has to take medicine for pain too. I hope she will get better soon. She says it even hurts to sit up and use this laptop so we won't write much in it today. That is okay because I am too sad anyway to think of words much. I am glad that it is Saturday because I don't think I could have gone to school.
Mommy gave me a picture to write on the back of so that I can put it in the coffin with my Papaw. She got a beautiful red rose for that too. She bought two of them, one for him and another one for us to give to my Mamaw on the day of the funeral, (Monday) so that she will remember that we love her and we are going to be sure that she is okay so she won't need anything she can't get. Mommy called her to see if it was okay for me to put the picture and rose in there, if she minded or not and she said she thought that was a nice idea. She had never heard of it before but she was glad we were going to do it.
If my father forgets about her like he does about me, she might get lonely. I hope she will get along okay since she is mostly blind. Mommy said we will be sure of it. Sometimes when I am at her house, she walks with me and she knows where she is going by counting the steps to places she goes.... she remembers how many steps to go to get where she wants to go. My father uses a cane but he does not have one of those special dogs like one of his girlfriends did who lived with him a while. If I was blind - I will have a dog like that to help me.    Mommy is coughing too much to write more. We will use the little recorder and then write from it later, so I will stop now and I will shut down her laptop for her. I know how to do that because we have four computers and one of them is mine and I know how to work all of them.

February,  1998

My Papaw Ross
Edward Ross
Edinburg Virginia

April 12, 1931 - January 30, 1998

Sunday, February 1, 1998
Last night I cried. I was trying to think of not ever seeing my Papaw again and it made me sad. I slept with my mommy. I always worry about something happening to her like Uncle Eric. She thought I should sleep in my bed because she is coughing so much, but I think she might need me, so I wanted to be with her. The medicine must be helping her some because she didn't cough as much tonight. I am glad. I prayed for my mommy.
I had not seen my Papaw since my birthday. That was a long time. My father used to take me over there when he sometimes came to get me for a few hours to visit with me. We always went to Mamaw and Papaws' house and ate lunch or dinner with them. He liked to grow food in his garden in the yard. I liked the corn-on-the-cob best of all. They had a basketball hoop and I liked to play with that too in the yard.

Later We went to Dellingers' Funeral Home tonight Pappy came and drove us there because my mommy can't drive yet since the surgery. She said she couldn't drive anyway because of the Pleurisy hurting like it does. He is going to go to my Papaws funeral too. He doesn't have to because Peach could drive us because she is going to it too... But he said he wanted to be with me for it because we are a family. I wish that we were all a family like The Waltons that mommy and I watch in the evening before I go to bed. That is the kind of family I would like to be. They all lived together and saw each other all the time.
At the funeral parlor, there were a lot of people, I think, but there were only four flowers from people. And one of them was from all of us, Peach and Pappy and mommy and me, and the prettiest one was from friends of ours who didn't even know him at all. They are our friends from the computer, Jim and Barbara Coyne and their granddaughter is Kayla, my e-mail pen-pal. They live in South Carolina and we are going to meet in June when they come here for a week. (I am real excited about that!) I have been to two other funerals and I remember lots and lots of flowers. Eric had so many flowers that we had to have a van just for them when we went to Freesoul Rock. Mommys' friends' husband Larry died last year and there were almost as many flowers as Erics' at his funeral too.
I took the picture of me and put it in the coffin with my Papaw and the red rose too. My Mamaw had brought two more pictures of my cousins. She told mommy that she was really glad she thought of that idea because it made her feel better to do that too. They are the children of my fathers' sister, Debbie. She could not come to the funeral because she has seizures sometimes and when Papaw died they had to take her to the hospital and then the doctor said she could not travel to come here. Papaw never even got to see his only little grandson at all. He is two years old and it has been so long since they came to visit because of Debbie having those seizures again. Mommy told me that I have met Beth, but I don't remember her - I guess it was too long ago for me. She is in the fifth grade. She must not be too much older than I am,
Some of the people there I did not know. They had to tell my Mamaw who they were, so I don't know if she knew them either. But none of them brought flowers with them, I guess. But I heard one man saying that it was a too bad that they had had children and passed on the blindness and that they should not have. He was sitting right behind my mommy and I was glad that my Mamaw did not hear about that and feel bad. It made me feel bad. I don't know why people say mean things like that. They should not do it.
I met my fathers' brother who is my uncle Robert. I never met them before now. They have a little girl too and I have never met her either. She will not be at the funeral, so I still will not meet her.
We are done talking now so I will go to bed because it is a school night. I will go to school and they will pick me up at lunchtime for the funeral. It won't be at the funeral home. He is having a military *honors* funeral at the cemetery in a special place they have for that. Mommy is using her little recorder on the nightstand for us because she can't stay up and use the computer now. We will put it in my journal when she is better.

Monday, February 2, 1998
My Mawmaw was hoping the weather would be ~pretty today, and in a way - it was. The sun was out and it looked prety - but there was a very cold wind which was awful. The place where we had the funeral in the cemetery, had a roof over it but not any walls and so it was colder in there than outside of it where the sun could make you a little bit warm.
We did not stay to watch them put him into the ground. I saw the grave though. There was one more basket of flowers there, so that was five for him. When we gave Mamaw her rose and mommy told her that we were her family and would always be around for her, she started to cry. I think that was because she was glad of it.
We all went to Mamaws' brothers' house - I think he is my uncle too - and I had seen him before when my father went to his house. He is my fathers' uncle. He is blind too. He lives in the house where he and my Mamaw were kids. He didn't come to the funeral, he and some other people were getting all that food ready for after the funeral. I was hungry too! There was so much food, I just couldn't believe it!

The people were all real nice. They were mostly family but I do not know them yet. They were all really friendly though. My mother-Cathy came to the funeral with mommy and me too. Since I don't get to see her much, it was nice to spend time together with her.

  March  ~  1998

A lot of things happened last month and this month - but we were not on the computer very much. I will tell you what I remember and what we wrote in mommys' laptop which we call "Toshi" (it sounds like you are saying toe-she) because it is a Toshiba one.

Right after Papaw died, Mamaw started going to church with us every Sunday. She never went to church before. She knows about God and she says she prays too, but she doesn't know much about the Bible or Jesus and stuff like that. She goes to Sunday-school with us too and she tells us that she loves going with us to Waterbrook (our church).

Today we got Pizzas and went over to Mamaws' house and had a Pizza party with her there. It was fun. She got some of her peaches from the basement for our dessert. These are peaches from her own tree and she canned them when Papaw picked them. They both did those things together.

My cousin, Beth, who is my fathers', sisters', daughter, moved back here to Virginia from Connecticut when our Papaw died. It was two weeks later that they got here. Now Beth has started going to church with us too. Mommy picks them up and takes them home - our car is full now. We have to leave earlier than before. Sometimes we go in and visit at Beths' house when we drop her off. She has a little brother, Zachary, and a dog too. They live in Woodstock in the town. We live in Woodstock too, but we live out in the country of it. Beths' mother is my Aunt Debbie. She is nice. Sometimes Mamaw stays there at their house and then they take her home later.

I used to ask my mommy if she would marry somebody else who would be a daddy for me. I think kids need a daddy. It seems like kids have many daddies! Some have three or four - even! I would just like to have one. I am praying to God about that now, asking Him to send us a man who listens to Him and does what He wants him to do when He shows him. That is the kind of daddy that mommy and I need to have with us.

Mommy has been thinking a lot about Uncle Eric because it is close to the time when he died... that is why she does not work at her computer like she did before. She works real hard around the house so that she won't be hurting so much. She always does that when she is sad. She said that it helps her to feel better inside her heart. Even right now, we are in her bed doing these words on her Laptop computer and she says she will put them in my journal soon. It is the end of March now, and we still haven't even put any of this stuff in my journal. I guess anybody who reads my journal will think that I am forgetting to do it. In a few days we will be going to Freesoul Rock where we took my Uncle Erics' ashes. I asked mommy to be sure if something happens to me, she will do that with me too because I want to have my ashes with Uncle Erics' and in that beautiful place. She says that I will be the one taking HER ashes up there before I die. That will be very hard for me to be without my mommy here in the world. When I think about that - I really understand how much she hurts about my Uncle Eric. I miss him so much too.

My Uncle Eric used to do neat things with me - things that were special... he would call me Punky-Ross and other silly names he would make up - like Sneezing-baby when I would sneeze, or laughing-baby when I was laughing.... He made up good silly names . He used to call Buffy, Boochas! Names like that.
Sometimes he would lift me high up in the air and let me drop on mommys' waterbed and it was so much fun. He would say "Ready" and I would say yes and then he was so strong that he would lift me way up high, almost to the ceiling and I would be laying in his arms and he would kind-of toss me up a little and move his arms and not catch me so I would fall on the bed. Nobody else ever did that special thing with me, just me and Uncle Eric. Even mommy would giggle when we played like that. He would drop me in my little bed too when I wanted him to tuck me in some nights when he was home from college with us - but he would not lift me up so high those times... because my bed was not a water bed and he said I could get hurt. It was fun no matter how high or low it happened. I can even rememver when I was so little that he did that when he put me into my crib!

Later.... (actually, this morning it is April 21!)

These are the reasons that I have been not writing so much - It has been a lot of sad time for me and for all of us. We just put some stuff in the laptop and now this morning, mommy is working on it while I am waiting for the schoolbus. When I get home, she says that we might begin again - but it will be in the next journal for April because that is when it is now.

Written materials by Nina Roberta Baker 1998

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