My cousin Michelle was the first of our cousins to leave this life. It is hard to say "the first one who died." But, she was. She LIVED her life. She did a lot of things. But, she didn't win her battle with cancer. It's been 2 years and I still cry.
My mother's side of the family seems very healthy and especially long lived. We've taken that for granted over the years. I've always thought belonging to the Appleman's was something very special, and I felt sorry for the people that didn't belong to my Grandpa and Grandma. Grandpa died the same year Jim's dad died, 2005, two months to the day, shy of being 100 years old, He'd had skin cancer surgery, but didn't make it through. Two years later Grandma died. This photo was taken at her funeral. Michelle was between cancer treatments and was feeling really good. Her hair had grown in for several months and she was beautiful and full of life. But, there was a dark spot in there, one that we weren't really looking at. Those numbers, that tell somehow in blood work, that there is probably cancer there, were going up. We had no way of really knowing that the next funeral would be hers. They sang my favorite hymn there, the whole congregation:
"Precious thought, my Father knoweth, In His love I rest, For whate'er my Father doeth, Must be always best. Well I know the heart that planneth, Naught but good for me, Joy and sorrow interwoven, Love in all I see. Precious thought, my Father knoweth, Careth for His child, Biddeth me to nestle closer, When the storm beats wild. Though my earthly hopes be shattered, And the teardrops fall. Yet he is himself my solace, Yea, my All in all!"
I just think Lynette is cute here. We always took our nicest clothes when we went visiting anywhere. We wouldn't want people to think we just wore any old thing. It sure seems like when the kids have a lot of choice, it wouldn't be mine. I'm also guilty of saving too many things for "good", and then they don't get worn. Lynette is on the play set of the elementary school where I went to school. Only, they didn't have any fancy play sets, 30 some years ago. Now the school is abandoned, and a new school is built. So, someday, that school will likely be torn down. What sort of use would a large two story building be used for. It had too many problems to fix for school children. It will have too many problems for anything else, too.
I love this photo. And his dad loves it too. Every dad hopes his son will one day follow in his footsteps. So, Jim was especially pleased to watch Nathan take to the excavator like a pro. It seems to be one of those things, that comes easily, or it doesn't come at all. I can't remember what we needed the hole for. Perhaps we only needed it for Nathan to learn to dig.
These are some of my favorite photos of all time. Lynette's sewing Auntie, did the smocking for these dresses, and I sewed them up. I was going through a spell of whatever I made for Lynette, I made one for her dolly, too. We went out to some of our friends in the country who had a picturesque setting for the photos, and made ourselves at home. (They weren't.)