JOURNAL OF NORMAL GOODWIN-BRAY
(1933 - 1997)
Wednesday, January 1, 1997
I didn’t venture out today in the snow and ice. Watched too much television. Audrey rang to tell me Chantelle (Maurice’s daughter) has a little boy [Christie] 9 months old, who is dying of Meningitis. It doesn’t sound true - it is so awful. Poor Chantelle. She has a baby and knows she is losing him. I know the pain. What can I do, but pray. Maurice is in a bad way emotionally He couldn’t talk to me. Linda had to do it. What a way to start a new year. Charlie (Audrey’s husband) has had a stroke as well and he is in hospital. It makes one realize how one never knows the future and to make the most of today. The gospel has all the answers and will give the support and guidance that one needs at all times and under all pressures of life!
Thursday, January 2, 1997
No news of Chantelle’s baby. Erika and Antons [Ducens] were fighting again. How can one get to age 89 and not have learned to sort out differences in an amicable way. They tire me out and I have to get cross to make any head way. They ought to live apart.
Friday, January 3, 1997
I feel a bit low today. I can’t be bothered showering and doing my hair. I usually go to the sports centre on Fridays, but I didn’t feel like that, either. It puzzles me when I have so many blessings why I should feel low. Maybe it’s the impending death of Chantelle’s baby. He was taken off the respirator at 10 o’clock this morning and he is still breathing, but there is no brain activity.
David Tremaine came and fixed our car again today. He is a good friend. I painted the side door today to try to protect it from the weather.
Joanne rang. She said Nicholas fixed Joseph’s bike for him, because it was too big. So he lowered the saddle, etc. Thomas was “helping” with his plastic tools and Joseph said, “Did you mend my bike, Thomas?” Thomas said he did with his tools, so Joseph said, “Tank you, Thomas Tanker. You are such a clever boy.” Isn’t that sweet?! The baby was cooing away. Joanne says he tries to catch her eye and when he does he smiles and coos at her. (clever child)
Cooked a turkey for the missionaries (4) today, and made a chocolate cake, which I haven’t done for a long time.
Saturday, January 4, 1997
I enjoyed preparing for Primary. It is nice to have a break, but I feel good to get back to work. I prepared a sharing time and lesson both on C. T. R. [Choose the Right]
Sunday, January 5, 1997
Chantelle’s baby died this morning. It is so sad. I never saw him. I do wish our family would stay in touch more. I will do our genealogy better and keep a record of babies being born.
My Primary class is so beautiful. I love them so much. If all children were as easy to each, it would be wonderful. In fact, if adults would learn as they [children] do, it would be wonderful. I can see now why Jesus said, “except ye become as little children, etc.” He was talking about children like Jessica Crowther and Victoria Fahey, and Robert Davies.
Joanne rang. Oh! How she loves her children and what a great mother she is.
Baptizm tonight for Patrick Stitt. I hope he understands what he has done. Neil [McEwen] told him he was wearing a cap with the logo “Jesus” and even if people couldn’t see a cap they would be able to tell by the way he acted that he bore Jesus’ name.
Monday, January 6, 1997
Did a fair bit of running around town. My hip held up well. Erika is in a better mood, but still hates her husband so.
I rang Chantelle - she is bearing up well (bless her). Ronnie helped me put some genealogy on the computer this afternoon. It was nice to work with him. I enjoyed it.
Took Susan [Blake] to Joyce’s [Dockery] for F.H.E. tonight. We spent a couple of hours there and it was good. I told them about the ways things are with Satan and Jesus. One entices one way, the other entices the other way. Depending on what you choose to do will depend who you follow. It cannot be both as they go in different directions.
Tuesday, January 7, 1997
Had a longer chat with Maurice today. He said Chantelle had bought a mobile for the baby and it played “You are my sunshine.” That is the song that always reminds me of Andrew, as I used to sing it all the time to him.
Wendy lent us a video of a concert of the songs from “Les Miserables.” It was really good. At the end, 17 men from 17 countries all come on stage and sing part of a song. These men had all played the role of Jean Valjean.
Wednesday, January 8, 1997
Went Visiting Teaching with Brenda [Parker]. We had a good visit with Pat Pickering and her son [Robert]. Ruth [Brook] was out and so was Sandra [Palfrey]. Took missionaries up to McEwen’s after tea to pick up some clothes for Sam [Jaffier], who we haven’t seen for some time. I ran them back over the hill then went to Asda shopping. Sat in on a missionary lesson with Michael [Blake]!
Thursday, January 9, 1997
Took some books to Wendy [McEwen] and had a nice visit. I looked in at the office [NMA] and offered my services if they needed help. Had a bath and drove over to Maurice and Linda’s. I had trouble getting through Bradford and onto Canal Road. When I arrived I felt ill, but after ½ hours nap I unwound and was able to go to the wake for Chantelle’s little boy, Christie. When we arrived he was laid in a little coffin and looked for all the world as if he were asleep. What a shame he had to die, but who are we to know the reason why! At least I know where he is now. If others would listen I would tell them. Chantelle’s in-laws were Irish and so in their culture people gather the night before [for a wake]. It was a lot more pleasant than I anticipated. I then slept at Maurice’s house so that I didn’t have to travel again.
Friday, January 10, 1997
The funeral was at 10 o’clock. The hearse was only a small one with only a white rose from his mother or father on top of the coffin. We all put into a box for the Leeds Baby Unit, instead of flowers which makes sense to me. There was no church service, but a Vicar came and spoke at the graveside. Then Mark read a poem written by Christie Brown. I was upset when they played “You are my Sunshine” and when they filled the grave in, which is not normally seen, but they had to do it to plant a tree on the grave. It was a nice little plot on its own in a small clearing surrounded by Christmas trees about 25 years old. It was beautiful and peaceful and as we left, and birds were twittering in the trees. I slept 2 hours when I got home. Pamela rang. She is doing some genealogy, which is good. I wish she would do the Redmonds line!
Saturday, January 11, 1997
Ronnie’s 62nd Birthday! Both Pete and Matt rang, which was nice. Karen rang, too, and she said Vic had rung her a couple of days ago and was on the phone to her over an hour. He got confused and thought it was me who had the heart attack, and wanted to know why he hadn’t been told!!!
Erika was shrieking at 7:30 a.m. this morning. She is getting worse. I dread going over. When I left today she said they would be pulling her out of the canal next news. I told her not to go swimming. It was too cold. Am I heartless?
Mike didn’t come for his lesson again.
Sunday, January 12, 1997
Took Susan [Blake] and Joyce [Dockery] to church. Paul and Michael [Blake] didn’t go today.
I love my class in Primary. They are 4 and 5 year olds and so sweet. Wendy [McEwen] gave us a chicken today. She had defrosted the fridge and couldn’t do it quick enough. It was delicious.
Rang Maurice and talked about Christie. He was pleased to hear from me. I wish he would want to know where he [Christie] is, because I could tell him!
Rang Joanne. She has been looking after her mother-in-law because there were no hospital beds and she was very ill with flu.
Monday, January 13, 1997
The sun came out. The weather was warm and my whole life changed. I felt better, I worked better and I was more able to cope with life. Erika, too, felt the difference. She was quite calm today! Susan [Blake] and I went to give Joyce [Dockery] her last discussion. She likes us to go as she likes to learn.
Tuesday, January 14, 1997
Had my eyes tested today. I am having 2 pair of glasses. One will be sunglasses. All together it will cost £150.00 --- that is terrible. They will have to last me now. If my eyesight gets worse in the future, I will buy a magnifying glass.
Took Paul Skeet, Joyce [Dockery] and Susan [Blake] to Leeds Vesper Road to hear a General Authority talk about the Book of Mormon. It was very good.
Met Elder Desou. He is a lovely young man.
I also met Gordon Williams and Margaret. Gordon is to have a triple bi-pass a week tomorrow. I hope it is successful. He is a wonderful man and could do so much more for the church. He is our Stake Patriarch! May God bless him and us.
Wednesday, January 15, 1997
Randhir came to visit Ronnie. He is such a nice young man. Then Ronnie and I played scrabble and he won. I love to play games, but I guess it’s a toil of pleasure for Ronnie. He is not a games person --- but he played!
Thursday, January 16, 1997
Rehearsal for our show at church. We had a super evening with Alan Webb playing the piano. What a brilliant musician he is.
We will miss Ronnie [who was recovering from a heart attack]. He had some good parts --- but the show must go on.
Sunday, January 26, 1997
Ronnie is improving daily, but still not back at church. Life goes on as usual.
Yesterday I went to Bradford to visit Peggy. We went for a walk around the Chellow Reservoirs.
It took me back in time to when we lived over there and Gary would swim in the reservoir in summer. (He has always loved the water).
I had happy memories of walking Ella and Shep [the dogs] especially early on Sunday morning when very few people were about, and the water was so still and mirrored the woods and sky. It was uncanny and made you feel you had to be reverent.
Peggy made a lovely chicken casserole with potatoes and leeks. Then I beat her at scrabble.
In the morning I visited Mary, a new convert, with Susan. She isn’t coming out to church and I feel she doesn’t yet have a proper testimony. Susan and I will do our best to teach her and more fully convert her. She didn’t come to church today.
Pam rang. She wants more genealogy. I must get it all on a disk and send it to her. How and when is the question.
They have had a lot of trees chopped down and sold to clear debts, so that Richard doesn’t have to do more than one job. They plan to sell the house in spring, and buy some land to put a “yert” on, which is a super type of tent with lots of room and all modern conveniences.
Lewis has rung to say he had got his mission call to Calgary in Canada. The whole family is delighted and everyone wants to support him.
We are paying £10.00 per month into the fund and with many family members doing the same, he will do well.
February 7, 1997
On Friday the Owls celebrated 2 years, and we had a celebration dinner. I have made some good friends there.
Joanne and Nicholas are at loggerheads. I pray that they will apply gospel principles in their lives to learn to live in peace. Marriage is not what we women dream it will be. There are only rare moments of the togetherness we desire. The thing to do is to find your contentment in other things. I find reading an escape for me. I can find my friends in the pages of a book.
We are rehearsing for the show at the end of this month and Jean Ford gave me a present --- 3 small blocks of toffee with a little hammer. She is a lovely friend.
We have booked our holidays today to go to Cornwall for 2 weeks with Nick, Joanne and the children. I can hardly wait.
February 19, 1997
It’s been hectic these last few weeks with the rehearsals and missionary work and visiting teaching and teaching my lovely CTR class, but I guess it’s worth it.
I am trying to decorate the little bedroom whilst the missionaries are not here, and the bathroom. Goodness knows when I will get round to the sun lounge.
Pam rang. She is pregnant again. It is a worry at her age, but wonderful really. Rachael was thought to be very ill, but they had made a mistake with her blood count. It was 38 and not 24 as they first said. I was so worried that I fasted on Sunday.
I must fast to give thanks this Sunday. Joanne and Nicholas are going away for a mid-week break and taking Luke. Ronnie and I will look after Joseph and Thomas.
We are going down after the show next week.
The show was wonderful. It was worth all the hard work we put into rehearsals. It was a nice feeling of togetherness when you are all pulling together. We need to work as hard to help each other live the Gospel.
Had a wonderful week at Joanne’s. We looked after Joseph and Thomas. They were a real treat. They are so different, but each is very special.
Got to see a fair bit of Karen’s children, too, which was nice. I took Jacob to the leisure centre where he is learning swimming. He is a strong little swimmer.
*** Mothers' Day ***
Karen took me and the boys out to a play area at a restaurant, then we had lunch. I really enjoyed it. Karen is so generous with her money. She bought me a pair of navy stretch trousers and a beautiful blouse for Mothers’ Day.
Gary came over with a big display of flowers. It was breathtaking.
Joanne took me to Marks and Spencer to choose sweets and smelly things.
The most exciting Mothers’ Day I have ever had! It is a good feeling to know you are loved by your children.
Gary has given his notice at work, and going into business with another man. The prospects seem good (but at what price, I wonder.)
Pam rang. She says the baby doesn’t seem to be growing. I keep praying that all will be well.
Finished decorating the little bedroom. It looks quite nice. Now I am papering the bathroom. I get very tired. I want to get back to painting wooden ornaments, if I can find the time. Missionary work takes quite a bit of my time, especially Wendy Hill, who is a sick girl and is in and out of hospital. I keep praying for help for her. She needs it!!!
April 6, 1997
This is the birthdate of the Saviour and the start of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The conference from Salt Lake was very inspiring. I felt good knowing Andrew was there, too. How grateful I am that my daughters kept faith with the church and are bringing their children up in righteousness. I had a temple recommend interview today. It is good because you can go through the things you need to do and be to be worthy to hold a recommend and it’s never bad to assess yourself. It shows where there is room for improvement.
Pam has rung quite a few times these past few weeks, as she has got a cheap rate phone company. It is 12 cents a minute, which is very good. Rachael had a bad experience last week. Even though Pam asked the nurse if there was any whooping cough medicine in the injection Rachael was having, and the nurse said “no!” But there was! And Rachael had an allergic attack and was unconscious for 4 hours. I am glad I wasn’t there. I think I would have had a nervous breakdown. I don’t know how Pam copes, especially now she is pregnant, with the trauma. All is well with her baby so far, which is good.
Joanne hasn’t been too well, so I went down for a week. Then Nicholas was away for a week, so I stayed on.
Ronnie seemed to miss me a lot this time, whilst I was away, yet he is always occupied or preoccupied when I’m around. I don’t understand. Now he is back at work he seems to be picking up fast. He is walking to work and home and gardening also. He is eating sensibly and losing quite a bit of weight. He is looking good.
I love being with Joanne’s children. They are so loveable and Thomas is so funny. Joseph is so sweet.
When we were preparing to leave to come up to Huddersfield, I told Joseph to go to the toilet before we set off. He looked at me puzzled and asked, “Don’t you have a toilet at your house?”
Wendy Hill seems to be digging herself into a hole. She keeps hurting herself and wants to be put into the secure unit at St. Luke’s. She bit a doctor at HRI, so they sent her to St. Luke’s. They said she could stay for the weekend, so she started a fire and finished up in the police cells. I don’t know what is going to happen to her.
She made a covenant with Ronnie and me not to hurt herself. It would appear she is using other methods of staying in St. Luke’s. I wish I understood her.
April 7, 1997
I try to fill my days with as much good as I can, always (if possible) finding time to learn something. After reading Nibley, one realizes how much there is to learn. The very reason we are here is not to be looking all the time for enjoyment, although it has a place in our lives, but to be continually learning. Had a good family home evening with Joyce and Susan. Ronnie did a lesson on the apostasy. I think we need to learn more of the history of the church, both old and new.
Joanne rang to say she wouldn’t be going to the temple this weekend with Lewis. I am so disappointed and a little worried. Satan would steal my children, I know.
April 8, 1997
Rang Gary to thank him for the cheque for £90.00. He is very generous. His new business seems to be going well. His business is called “Black Country Management.” I really don’t understand what he does for his money, even though he explains it to me.
Karen rang to say we can travel from Telford with her and Lewis to the temple. Nathan is going to do baptisms for the dead. It thrills me to see the progress of my grandchildren. I thank God everyday for them and ask Him to protect them.
April 9, 1997
We went with Brenda and Phillip to Flockton Prison to see Wendy Hill who is on remand for setting fire to her room at St. Luke’s Hospital. It was an experience I didn’t enjoy and I only hope Wendy received some comfort. Pam rang to have a whine, as she feels so tired. Richard said he will send me a ticket if she gets so she can’t cope. It is wonderful to know I am free to go notwithstanding I would have to give up my church callings for a while. Who knows how long I would be away.
April 11, 1997
Had a good day at Owls once I got going. It shows how if you persevere things turn out well. I didn’t feel like any exercise today to start with.
Set off for Telford at 6:15 p.m. When we arrived, Thomas stood with lovely big eyes and said, “Have you got a present, Nanny?” I didn’t have the clown coat hangers I had made for them with me --- next time.
Had a bad night’s sleep and so did Joanne. I heard her up and down in the night. If that baby didn’t have the most delightful smile, he would probably have had his bottom smacked.
April 12, 1997
We set off for the temple about 7 o’clock with Lewis, Karen and Lewis Jnr. Little Lewis was to go through the temple for his own endowments before he goes on his mission. I developed a migraine, which kept me out of the endowment, but I was allowed to go up to the Celestial room to meet Lewis when he came through. He walked through like it was the most natural thing in the world and he didn’t look uncomfortable or out of place. It was a joy to watch Lewis and Karen meet him first. He hugged me a long time, which I really appreciated. What a wonderful event!!!!!
We went to the book shop and bought Nibley’s fourth book on Book of Mormon lectures, which we were missing. Then we set off for home.
I was too ill at High Wycombe to go any further so Ronnie booked m in at a hotel and travelled back to Telford then back down again to stay the night.
Then we drove home Sunday morning at a leisurely pace. I can’t believe how blessed I am. It is a feeling like nothing else in the world gives you.
Monday, April 14, 1997
Left my coat and keys at Joanne’s. Ronnie had to come home from work to let me out.
Visited Erika. She said it is months since she saw me. Actually, it was last Wednesday.
Slept 1 ½ hours after dinner.
Phillip rang to say Wendy was up in court this morning and has been remanded again until next Thursday, because she won’t see the doctor from St. Luke’s. (I don’t know what to make of her. Is she responsible for her actions or not?)
Had a nice F.H.E. with Susan and Joyce. Ronnie was tired and didn’t join us.
Last night Elder Legge came with his young lady. They are getting married In June in America. He was an excellent missionary.
How I wish Gary had married in the church. I hope money isn’t becoming his “God.”
Friday, April 25, 1997
Pam rang early this morning. She was just going to bed, Thursday night and had to be on the early morning ferry as her baby has died! The children were very upset. She has some very sensitive children, which is very sweet. It seems very sad when she has struggled with illness for so many weeks, but we can’t always have it the way we want it. I just pray that Pam will be OK. We travelled down to Telford for Lewis’s farewell weekend.
Saturday, April 26, 1997
Went up to Karen’s to see if I could help. She had the sister missionaries there, helping with the food. So I sat and went through her books looking for an error which I found after an hour or so.
We had a nice family party in the afternoon, then a fireside at 7:30 p.m. at the chapel with a buffet of sandwiches and biscuits. It was very well-attended and a sweet spirit prevailed. I felt so grateful to Lewis that he was paying back for the joy our family has had since we had the gospel brought to us.
Karen called it “Pay Back Time.” Big Lewis was so proud of his son.
Pam rang to say she was OK and back home. I am so thankful!
Sunday, April 27, 1997
I took the Sharing Time down to give to the young children in Karen’s ward. Joseph was in my class and he joined in. I gave it last week to my own Primary children, and felt it was too good not to do again. I had some scales made from wood on which I hung the wrong choice. When a piece of wood with “sorry” on was hung on the other side, it didn’t balance. When a piece of wood with the restitution on was hung on, it still didn’t balance. Only when a picture of Jesus on a heart was hung on as well would there be a balance. Jesus Christ made all the difference. It was a way of teaching about the Atonement and what it would do us if we repent.
We travelled over to the branch at Telford to meet up with the Stake President who set Lewis apart for his mission. I really felt a good spirit there and am so proud of my grandson.
Wednesday, April 30, 1997
Lovely sunny day today. It is so uplifting. I read a book about a Saint in the Catholic Church. She was a nun and it was interesting to read what she had done with her life. All her life she looked forward to when she could be married to Christ in a convent and spend all her life praying for the priests who were trying to convert people to the church. I know she could have used her life more wisely, but we can learn a lot from her devotion to the Saviour. Maybe if we loved him more we would work harder to build up his Kingdom.
Went to see Wendy Hill. She is a poor little thing who wants to hurt herself all the time. What, oh, what can one do to help?!!
Karen rang. Lewis arrived safely in New York, where he had a 5 hour wait. He saw 3 missionaries returning home from Greece, who quickly befriended him and spent the 5 hours with him, then travelled together. What other organization in the world can you meet 3 complete strangers, who you know are your friends and you can be safe with them. I am thankful to the Lord for being part of it.
Ken [Leonard]feels that Gary might have been moved by the spirit on Saturday night at the fireside. I hope so!!
May 20, 1997
Lewis appears to be doing alright. He has probably moved to Canada now.
I sent a letter with a program of his farewell fireside to the two elders who brought our family into the church, Elder Bott and Elder Peary. I felt they should know that their work is still going on.
It was Ronnie and my 12th Wedding Anniversary this May. How time passes. We went to the theatre to see “Iolanthe” for our treat together. It was a very enjoyable evening.
Pam rang to say Andrew had won a match and his team had moved up to being an A team. Pam was so excited. Andrew seems to excel at all he sets his mind to. I can see him becoming a great missionary.
Went to the temple on the 17th. I am so glad I went, even though it was an overnight trip and we were lacking badly in sleep. I did 4 sessions and was spiritually recharged. I felt a lovely peace within when I got home.
May 21, 1997
Went to visit Wendy Hill in Remand Prison today. She seemed in good spirits. The doctor says she shouldn’t be in there, so maybe they can get her out, but where would she go? St. Luke’s don’t want her back. I’m sure Heavenly Father must be sad when he sees His children like Wendy suffering so, and no one seems to know how to help them.
Ronnie and I support her with our love, which is all we can do, of course. I pray for her everyday. Pam rang again!!
May 22, 1997
Joanne was 27 years old today. She seemed bright and breezy when I rang her this morning before going to Owls, my Keep Fit Club.
There was a Primary activity today up at church. Ronnie and I helped out. The kids had a load of fun and ate hot dogs by the score.
We brought Eileen Webb home with us to find some information on Emma Smith. We talked about her and decided she was a very brave lady to have gone through what she did even if she didn’t follow the church after Joseph died.
May 24, 1997
Jeff and Veronica Whitehead celebrated their Silver Wedding today at Keighley. We were invited and it was so nice to be in the company of old friends again like Les and Margery Ryan, Alice Young, Newsome and his wife Lou, Gladys Waite and Joyce Waite, Rodney and Pat Crossley, Jack and Pam Stacey, and more, whose names elude me, but whose hugs were welcome. When we talked about “old times” we realized how times and the church have changed. Not Church principles and doctrine, but people’s attitude. No one wants to talk doctrine these days and people will only come to church if they are given lifts.
(The biggest spider I ever saw just walked out from under my pillow. I screamed and shot off the bed. Ronnie has taken it away in a plastic cup, muttering, “what a beauty.” I don’t’ wish it any harm, but hope it and it’s companions will refrain from visiting me again.)
What is the church worth if you don’t sacrifice something.
Sunday, May 25, 1997
Had a lovely Primary class today. We made paper boats by being obedient to the instructions given, like Nephi of old, who was instructed by the Lord Himself. Obedience to me has always been one of the most important principles of the Gospel!!!
June 7th to 21st, 1997
Spent at Bude in Cornwall with Nicholas, Joanne, Joseph, Thomas, and Luke. We had 2 lovely weeks mostly sunshine. Sundays we travelled to Bideford to a branch of the church there. They are a struggling branch, but lovely people and striving to do what is right.
Ronnie and I went to dinner at a couple’s [Gordon Slade and Sister Slade] home on the Thursday . He used to be a Branch President and Ronnie had been in touch with him before about some anti-Mormon literature. His wife wanted some help in choosing a subject for a paper she was writing for a degree, and Ronnie was able to help her.
We took Joseph and Thomas to a working farm called The Big Sheep, whilst Joanne and Nick went to “Penzance” and had a plane ride over the Scilly Isles. They really enjoyed their day and we liked the Big Sheep so much that we all went back the next day.
We saw sheep dog trials and a sheep being shorn and watched them milking the sheep. We also got to feed the lambs.
There were some Indian running ducks, which looked like skittles and the dogs [Border Collies] were rounding them up, too. We learned how to spin and which sheep were bred for what kind of wool. They also had a sheep race with knitted jockeys bouncing around on their backs.
That was fun --- but the funniest thing of all was Thomas and Joseph sliding down on a slide so steep that I couldn’t even look down it. They went into a pile of plastic balls at the bottom and Thomas would lay for ages underneath them, until everyone started to worry, then he would jump up smiling. He is so funny. Joseph was terrified at first, but he overcame his fear, and went back for more, which I think is real courage.
I have been thinking about my grandchildren and I have come to the conclusion that I did something really good in the pre-existence to have such wonderful blessings. Each grandchild is a little gem. Even Adam, who crashed his mother’s car not long after we left for our holidays. Luke cut his front teeth whilst we were on holiday , but he was very good.
It was Pamela’s 42nd birthday on Saturday. I rang her when we got home on Sunday. She is having problems coping with a teenage boy with hormones. After going through the menopause, I can sympathize with him. It really makes a mess of your reasoning when your hormones swing. In fact, I still have a few problems with them.
June 23, 1997
Erika is not too good. She is very dramatic and makes herself ill by worrying over things which she imagines and over long past offences. Sometimes I wonder if I do any good visiting her, but one has to try.
Gary rang. We had a nice chat and he tells me he is going into business with Chris Leonard. I am delighted because he can only be influenced for good (I pray).
June 24th, 1997
Erika is not much better. She wants me to stay, but I can’t cope with much more than 30 to 45 minutes of her talking as it is all bad, and I can’t get her to talk about good things.
Visited Wendy Hill today. She was very disappointed that she couldn’t come home this week, but the house that she is moving into has to be decorated first. She can’t cope with not having things her way, and takes it out on Phillip.
We have a windfall of nearly £3,000.00 from Halifax [Bank]. Tonight we sat down to decide what to do with it. When we made a list of things that we really needed doing, I don’t know what we would have done without it. The central heating boiler is our first priority, and we plan a visit to America next year.
Saturday, June 28, 1997
Went with Ronnie and Phillip to visit Wendy Hill in prison this morning. She is happy now she knows she will be released next Thursday. The charge is now arson and not combined with intent to injure life. I hope this young woman can settle down to live some kind of peaceful life.
Had a long talk with Joanne. She is reading, “Long Walk to Freedom.” Which is the autobiography of Nelson Mandela. He has given his life to his countrymen and he has not tried to win for power of black over white, but for freedom for all. A book well worth reading and a man well worth admiring.
The weather has been cloudy and rainy for most of the week and quite windy. Yesterday I felt depressed, but worked it off at the sports centre.
1st July 1997
Hong Kong is given back to China today. I have been busy cleaning all day for some company coming for tea from Devon - two sisters from Devon and a young man, Nathan, who is working at Leeds University Library on computers. I think they are all semi-active [Worse - they have turned ] in the church, yet 2 of them have been on missions. How can you have had the spirit testify as they must have had, and go inactive. I pray that I might not desert my Saviour.
Susan Blake went for her patriarchal blessing tonight. I took her to Gordon William’s home and sat in with them as Margaret had to go out. It was a nice experience.
17 July, 1997
Today was Adam’s 18th birthday. Do we expect too much of these young men? When they get to 18 they are expected to be like adults, but it doesn’t work like that. I am 63 and still learning behavioural skills.
18 July 1997
Adam’s party --- it is nice to be together with the family. In fact I love it. I am only sorry Ronnie had to go back, but he had a baptism to attend, which he had promised to be there to confirm a little girl. Sunday morning he is to be singing in a quartet, also there was a fireside to be given Sunday night. He serves the Lord well with his love and talents.
20 July 1997, Sunday
I enjoyed church today. Relief Society was on D & C 25, and women’s role in life. President Hinckley’s talk was in the Relief Society Manual. He is such a wonderful man. I feel I could learn from him all the time, and want to do what he asks of us. Spent the afternoon with Joanne’s boys in the garden. They are so lovely. Took a walk up to Karen’s and enjoyed Abigail, Nathan and Jacob’s company. I am most fortunate to have such grandchildren.
21 July 1997 - Monday
Had a lovely day. Sat knitting in the garden whilst the boys played, then we took Joseph and Thomas to the dentist for a checkup. Had ½ hour in the park, then walked back up the hill from Oakengates. It was a long, hard pull. I must be getting old ! I am amazed at how Joanne does it, with 3 children to take care of and her shopping, when I am not here. I’ve been watching Joseph today. He is so kind to Thomas and constantly gives him his own way. What a sweet child he is. We had a lovely F.H.E. and went on a bear hunt with them. It was such good fun. I love being here. Miss Ronnie though. His computer is going to cost a lot to mend, but he needs it I feel, so one cannot always count the cost.
22 July 1997 - Tuesday
A lovely day in Telford Park with Jo and the boys and Abby. The day was long and hot. We started watching a lovely film called, “While You Were Sleeping” when Karen called at 9:30 to go for a walk ‘round the “flash” which is a lake with ducks etc. Lewis came and Joanne, Karen and I we saw lots of beautiful frogs, some Swans with their young (you can hardly believe these ugly ducklings will one day be beautiful swans. It’s a bit like us really. We have the potential to be something great.) We also saw some spiders fighting and 2 bats. Then Joanne picked up a large frog, which turned out to be a toad. It was a beautiful creation in its own way. Unfortunately, it urinated on Joanne so she put it down in disgust, saying it was to story of her life. With 3 young boys at home I can see her point. I really enjoyed our walk.
23 July 1997 - Wednesday
Had a quieter day today. After yesterday we needed it. Still very hot, but Joanne has a lovely tree on her lawn, which we sat under. The baby loved it out there on a big quilt, which Pam made for Joanne many years ago. I am doing well on the machine Karen has for exercising.
200 - 5 ½ minutes
300 - 8 minutes
422 - 10 minutes
Tomorrow I’ll go for 500, which should take me approximately 12 minutes.
24 July 1997, Thursday
Shopped with Joanne this morning, and out with Karen this afternoon to “Much Wenlock” a lovely village. I bought a dress, blue with butterflies on it. Abby said it looked OK, so I believe her. Karen wanted a dress, but found nothing she liked. We went into a shop and the lady asked us if we would look after the shop whilst she went home for a cardigan, as she was cold. She said we looked honest! Well, we are, so I’m glad it shows. I bought a little rabbit for ‘Nooky’ [Luke] for Christmas from there. (Wrote to Wendy Hill today.)
25 July 1997 - Friday
We had a birthday party for Gary at Joanne’s and Nicks. Karen and Lewis came. Everyone was in high spirits and we enjoyed each other’s company. It is good to see your children being kind and loving to each other. I wish Pam could have been with us, and Ronnie. He would have loved the company and the supper which was Chinese. We sent out for 6 dishes and everyone shared. Once again I notice how we are all so different - each of us chose a different dish. I was telling Adam the other day the reason we are here on this earth is to learn to love each other despite our differences and to allow each other to be different without being critical. Gary was saying they (the children) should respect their father because he is their father, and not to criticize his past actions which they have no right to do. I was pleased that he should think that way. We are all fashioned and moulded to some extent by our background and upbringing and Victor’s was not a very good one. He was and is a very talented man in many ways and with the right people to guide him he could probably have been very successful in life. The church could have helped him if he had let it. I feel the church has helped a great deal to mould my children and give them confidence in themselves, knowing they are children of God!
We played a game like “Call My Bluff” after our meal and had a lovely time with lots of laughs. I hope they all enjoyed it as much as I did. Gary was 31 years old, or will be tomorrow.
26 July 1997 - Saturday
Quiet day. Babysat for Nick and Joanne, who went out to dinner with Mark [Scholes] and his wife [Andrea]. The baby [Luke] didn’t fret or anything. He snuggles down as if I was his mother. I love it.
27 July 1997 - Sunday
Good Sacrament Service about fasting and tithing. I haven’t fasted properly for a long time. I am a little afraid of getting a migraine, but after the talk today I have a strong desire to fast properly. I remember the wonderful spiritual feelings I have had from time to time in the past and also how I have had my prayers answered through fasting. Went to bed for 2 hours and woke up feeling really grotty. Karen and Lewis came down for an hour. Joanne and I sang songs with the boys for a while. The baby sits and shouts and waves his arms about. He is so funny. Ronnie has rung every day while I have been here. I hope he isn’t feeling too lonely.
28 July 1997 - Monday
Karen had a letter from Lewis today. She says they had a work event and invited non-members, investigators, inactives, and “not to be visiteds” and it was a huge success. About 150 people turned up. He sounds enthusiastic and I am so glad, because this is a great work he is involved in. I was reading about our modern day prophets and Harold B. Lee said that we each have to strive to build Zion by doing our callings, loving our neighbours, not being covetous and worldly, and if we do God can come and live with us on the earth. I can’t imagine something so astounding, but I would love to be part of it – “Zion.” Ronnie says he is lonely. I would like to stay longer with these beautiful boys, but I must go home and comfort my husband, and do my callings, and help to build Zion.
Tuesday, 29 July 1997
Another lovely day in the park with 6 grandchildren --- every one a gem --- Abigail, Nathan, Jacob, Joseph, Thomas and Luke. Sister missionaries came for tea. Thy are hard-working and enthusiastic. How do they keep it up? It must be the spirit.
I looked at the hundreds of children in the park and wondered how many of them know anything about Jesus. I thank God for the missionaries, or perhaps my grandchildren might not have known about their Saviour.
Wednesday, 30 July 1997
Today the rabbit was chased out of the garden by a cat. I was feeding Luke and shouted to Joanne as I ran with the baby to rescue the rabbit. Unfortunately, the patio door was closed and I ran right into it, bumping my head and the baby’s. It was a funny sensation. We couldn’t find the cat or the rabbit, so we knelt with Joseph and asked Heavenly Father to look after and protect the rabbit and to help us find it. About 2 hours later, it hopped back into the garden, safe and apparently unhurt. So we gathered together to thank Heavenly Father for looking after the rabbit and hearing our prayers. I hope Joseph will learn to turn to his Heavenly Father in times of need. It was Nathan’s 13th birthday today, and his mum and dad bought him a snooker table.
Thursday, 31 July 1997
Karen took me over to Kiverton where Gary has his office for “Black Country Management. It is a lovely little village, by a canal with lovely boats on it. There are flowers all down the main street in baskets and barrels. Gary’s office is an upstairs room in a large old house. I loved the smell of the place. He is very excited about the way his business is going and I feel happy for him about that, but worry about his life as a whole. It seems to be too concentrated on work. Maybe that’s because he has just set up in business. I wish, oh how I wish, he would go to church. He is not a bad person, but there are covenants which have been broken and I just hope he doesn’t feel there is no way back, because that would really please Satan.
Karen teases him, but underneath she really cares about him and what will become of him. I pray he will always stay close to his family at least he will know he has some support there. Gary tool us out to lunch. It was nice just being together as a family group, but the lunch was good, too.
Saturday, 2 August 1997
Went home today. I was sorry to leave. I really have enjoyed being with Joanne and Nick and the boys, and to have spent some time with Karen and family. My girls are each good mothers, every one of them. The love they have for their children is wonderful to behold.
Sunday, 3 August 1997
Enjoyed church and teaching my class again. The 4/5 year olds are so charming.
Ronnie did a fireside on The Great Apostasy over in Eccles Manchester. I was an excellent presentation.
Monday, 4 August 1997
Went to see Erika today. She misses me when I’m away.
Tuesday, 5 August 1997
Went with Phillip to visit Wendy at Flockton today. She was in good spirits and looking forward to Thursday when she might be able to come home. We went by bus and had a long walk to Flockton village to get a bus home. I was exhausted.
Did some genealogy with Susan tonight and found my great-grandfather’s family!!!!! I was so excited.
Wednesday, 6 August 1997
I’m still trying to decorate the back room (Will it ever get done?).
Visited Erika again.
Missionaries came for tea today. After tea we had a good discussion about baptism.
Thursday, 7 August 1997
Went with Susan to do some missionary work, but Yvonne Stitt was away. Her grandfather in Scotland had died. We chatted to Paul for a while.
When I came home I rang Phillip to see how Wendy was. He said she had rung him and she was in good spirits. Today was her trial in Bradford. The Judge (Grant) was very sympathetic, but had to send her back to prison until he gets a report from her doctor at St. Luke’s who has treated her for a long time. I can understand his concern.
Friday, 8 August 1997
Swam 40 lengths today. 62 lengths is a mile, so I am quite pleased.
Ronnie got bunk beds for Joanne and took them down in our Fiat Panda (Don’t ask me how!).
After he had been there ½ an hour, Joanne said, “You can go let Thomas out if you want.” When he opened the bedroom door the contents of the cupboard were scattered all over the floor. Thomas looked up and said, “The bear did it.”
When Ronnie told Joanne, she said, “Do you know that’s the 3rd time this week that bear has done that.” It’s a laugh a minute down there.
Luke keeps trying to find an arm or a leg to bite. Joseph and Thomas are very wary of him crawling about.
Saturday, 9 August 1997
Very hot these last few days. Ronnie spent hours in the garden today. It is looking nice.
Visited Wendy with Phillip this afternoon, then prepared my lesson for Primary.
Wendy [Hill] not too good - she has been trying to cut herself again. What a mixed up girl she is.
Sunday, 10 August 1997
My class was very receptive today. I feel that I got my point across. It was about being accountable. Only one child failed and I will give her another chance next week just as Heavenly Father gives us chances to try again.
Monday, 11 August 1997
Fasting today for Millie. She had a plastic lens put into her eye. Can you believe such a thing could happen. All seems to have gone well.
Visited Erika. She seems in fairly good spirits.
Had a nice F.H.E. with Susan. We talked about adversity and how it can help you grow.
Pam rang. She talked for a long time. It is so comforting to be able to chat about her children especially, and hear about their growth both physically and spiritually. Emily is really growing up and doing well. Pam was sitting on the deck snapping beans, I wish I was there helping!!
Tuesday, 12 August 1997
Picked Brenda [Bodsworth] up at church. She works in the genealogy library on Tuesday mornings. We visited Millie, who is doing well. Then we went to visit teach Pat Pickering. Took Susan to the genealogy library tonight. I need to settle down to working on my direct family line first. I get distracted.
Wednesday, 13 August 1997
Popped in to see Erika. She always wants me to stay longer, no matter how long I stay. It makes me feel mean sometimes, but I have to get away when she talks about people. I know she is ill.
Wrote to Wendy today, she must be finding it hard not having visitors. I think Phillip must be at a loose end, too. Fed the missionaries.
Thursday, 14 August 1997
The weather is so hot!! I am reading Hugh Nibley’s Approaching Zion. Sometimes I just don’t know what he’s on about, but I feel he is on the right track. We are not doing what we should be doing, which is working only long enough to keep ourselves and then studying and preaching the gospel.
Karen rang. Adam has passed his “A” level exams. She is quite pleased with him.
Friday, 15 August 1997
Swam 44 lengths this morning. I had been to Erika’s to put drops in her eye. Took a card and gift to Joyce, because it’s her birthday today. Picked 1 ¾ pounds of blackberries (God provides). Fed the missionaries
I’m knitting some dolls’ clothes for Richard. It’s difficult when it’s so hot and my hands are sweating. Susan and I visited Yvonne Stitt. She was very upset about an incident in her home, so we weren’t able to teach her. We had a prayer and left.
Saturday, 4 October 1997
Today was the General Conference from Salt Lake. This afternoon we had a special Women’s Program, which was so good. Sis. Smoot is the new President for Relief Society. She told us that for 1998 and 1999 we will be studying for 2 Sundays a month the Teachings of Brigham Young. I think that’s wonderful. I won’t be able to get in there as I teach in Primary, but I will ask for some special lessons for Primary and Young Women workers. We used to have some before.
I took Wendy Hill to this afternoon’s meeting, but I don’t know if she enjoyed it or not. I hope she felt the spirit at least. She is to be married soon, so I gave her my wedding dress to try on. It’s a lovely dress. Pamela made it for me.
At tonight’s conference, the prophet was so funny. He said Elder Nelson had taken liberties by talking about the prophet and he would meet him later in the basement for a dual. Later he said he had repented and withdrew his challenge. He is such a loveable man. If only the world would accept him for the prophet he surely is, and follow his wonderful example and teachings. I am so grateful to be a member of this church and to have the knowledge I do have that sometimes it overwhelms me.
Yesterday, I posted a blanket that I had knit for Christian, out of odd balls of wool. I think he’ll like it. A few weeks ago I sent Rachael a little shawl for her dolly and Christian thought it was wonderful. He liked the feel of it, so his mum said, “Why not ask Grandma to knit you one.” He said, “Oh dear, how can I ever ask that? What would she think of me?” I only hope any and all of my children and grandchildren will never be afraid to ask me to do something for them, because it makes me so happy to do them. I baby-sat 2 days a week for 2 weeks for Joanne, so she could do a job. I made Karen a frill for over her bed. I showed Abigail how to make Christmas bags. I told Gary I would take phone calls for his business with Chris Leonard, and I played with my young grandsons just for the sheer joy of being with them.
Lewis and Nicholas gave me a blessing whilst I was down in Telford because my voice has practically gone. Since I came home I have had 3 lots of different medicine and it is no different. I keep praying that I might have the gift to be healed. I just don’t seem to have the faith even though I have witnessed the miracle of such blessings.
Sunday, 5 October 1997
Spent the day at church from 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock, listening to Conference and fellowshipping with the saints. I can’t think of a more wonderful way to spend a Sabbath day. What a great prophet President Hinckley is, so honest and straightforward. There is no way you can say, “I didn’t understand” when he has told us in such a way how to live and love our fellowmen. Pam just rang. She is anxious to be off to hear the rest of the Conference.
I wish Gary could have been there. I’m sure he would have appreciated what was said.
Tuesday, 7 October 1997
The weather has been so beautiful, warm and pleasant today. It rained a bit, but even that was good. Had F.H.E. yesterday with Susan [Blake] and Joyce [Dockery]. They have a long way to go and I hope we can help them learn and grow.
Today I went with Brenda Parker to visit Yvonne Stitt. She is going to Scotland in a week or so with 5 children. I hope she is fellowshipped there and goes to church.
Susan and I went up to church tonight to do some genealogy, but there wasn’t anyone there so I came home to try and sort some out because w are hoping to go to the temple in December for 3 days, and then I can do my own family.
My voice is no better. Sometimes I can hardly speak. Tomorrow I will ask the doctor to look into it further. 5 weeks is too long, and I must admit I am a bit worried. I have a lot I want to do before I leave this earth. To serve a mission is one of them.
The lady next door, Devinder [Kaur Kohli], has got a new baby girl [Priya]. It is so nice to have a baby close by.
Wednesday, 8 October 1997
We got a nice letter from Lewis on Monday. He is working very hard in Calgary and very excited because he saw someone feel the spirit and wanted to be baptized.
Today Ronnie went with me to see Dr. Handa, because I felt so ill. The doctor doesn't know what to do to help me and I am to go to hospital for them to put a camera down my throat to have a look. Jean Ford said, “Don’t worry. It won’t be a big camera.” She is so funny.
Practised the road show tonight. It is coming along nicely.
We have a student called Chris Brown. He served a mission up here in Meltham and Sheffield. He is a very nice young man.
Had a nice chat to Karen and later Joanne today. I wish I lived closer.
Friday, 10 October 1997
Ronnie gave me a blessing last night. I felt so ill and it was a great comfort. Today I spent all day in bed. It is not something I care to do but I must admit I was glad to do it. Ronnie made my meals. He came home at lunch time. I am grateful for a good man.
Pam rang tonight. I am a worry to her.
Joanne sent me a lovely picture of the boys taken at school. She has done well. I wonder why I am so blessed?
Saturday, 11 October 1997
Another day in bed with Ronnie running after me. Hope I will be well soon.
Pam rang. Christian had just received his parcel - a blanket I knit for him. I could almost see the smile in his face. It is a good feeling to make someone happy.
Sunday, 12 October 1997
I had another complete rest day. It is good to have someone to look after me and pamper to my every wish.
Karen rang and talked about her children. She loves them to bits. Adam is showing compassionate qualities. He has had a good example shown by his mother, but after all is said and done each of us decides what we will do for others with a willing heart. Adam went home teaching with a brother whose companion was ill. He made arrangements to take a sister to church. When he took Trimpy’s dinner, he stopped over an hour just to talk to him. I guess he is something special.
Monday, 13 October 1997
What a pleasure to wake up to sunshine. I feel better today than I have for quite a while, but my voice is still missing.
Still reading D & C Commentaries. The be all and end all of the gospel is our attitude to material things. If we can get the spirit of the Law of Consecration, we have just about got it right. It is a great testing ground.
Ronnie rang the hospital. They say it could be 2-3 weeks before I get an appointment, that is if it’s urgent. After 7 weeks with no voice and getting more ill, I would have thought it was urgent. I need to know what is wrong with me.
Pam rang. She is so frustrated because nothing is being done to help me. I don’t want her to worry when she is so far away. If only I could give her some positive news. Christian loves his blanket. He sits with it wrapped around him during the day and goes to bed with it wrapped around him. I can just imagine him doing it. Andrew has moved into a trailer home just up the road from where they live and didn’t come to church on Sunday. Now is the time for him to make his own decisions. Some will be right, some will be wrong, but I’m sure he’ll come through it OK.
Tuesday, 14 October 1997
Andrew Redmonds would have been 37 years old today if he had lived. He waits for me in the Celestial Kingdom. Went to visit Erika for awhile. She has so much pain. I wish I could help her. Phillip and Wendy called and I persuaded Wendy to go to the Homemaking Meeting tonight. I hope she enjoyed it.
Pam rang this afternoon. She is so worried that she wants me to go over to America and see a doctor there. She had a long talk with Andrew last night and he seems to be OK! She is a good mother and she told me how much she loves and adores me and I thought about people who never know such love, and I can’t believe how fortunate I am.
Ronnie rang Nuffield and asked how much it would cost for me to go private. It was £950.00 Phew! I hope I get a letter from the hospital soon. Joanne rang whilst I was up at church. I think she is worried, too.
Spoke to Gary today. He is very happy with his work and being involved with Chris Leonard, too. They now have a business set up ready to distribute goods.
Been reading church history --- such wonderful brave men and women. I thank the Lord for them. Wendy McEwen opened with prayer at Homemaking and when she asked the Lord to bless me and make me well, she cried. How do I deserve to be so loved?
Wednesday, 15 October 1997
Today I had a migraine. These little things come to try us.
Mavis Crisp and Jean Isles came to visit me and they vacuumed around the house for me and dusted. Now that’s what I call good visiting teachers.
Pam rang again. She is putting a parcel in the post. I am still a child and love the idea of getting a parcel.
Karen gave me some good advice today. She suggested I ask the doctor if there is another hospital that will take me straight away, or if I can pay for a consultant to have a look and then go on to NHS for treatment.
Will see Dr. Handa tomorrow.
Thursday, 16 October 1997
Dr. Handa sent me for [blood] tests, but I had drunk a cup of Barley Cup, so made another appointment for morning. Surely things are moving and they will know what I ail, so I can be treated.
Pam (bless her) rang again. She has put me some medicine in the post. Who knows? It could be just what I need.
I rang Joanne. The baby is not well, and wants picking up all the time. I know how he feels.
[Friday 17th October, 1997 - Norma did not take her Distalgesic last night because she could have nothing by mouth ready for the blood tests. As a result the pain she had was beyond endurance. I put her in a wheelchair in the car park and took her down to the laboratory. After her blood was drawn I wheeled her into the casualty ward and said I was not leaving until she had been seen by a doctor. She was so obviously unwell that she was taken for X-rays. When she returned the doctor said they needed to keep her in for more tests. I immediately had my suspicions whjen he said they needed to investigate further. Norma resumes her journal the next day]
Saturday, 18 October 1997
Everything changes so quickly. Sometimes it is amazing. Thursday night was awful. I had a sharp pain in my chest that kept me awake. When I went for my blood test at 8:00 o’clock Friday morning I was still in a lot of pain.
The hospital immediately thought of heart attack, so they did some tests on me and after talking to three doctors, I was admitted for further tests. The staff works so hard and are so helpful.
Last night Pam rang and I was taken to the phone on the desk for a chat with her. I didn’t sleep a great deal last night.
There is an old lady opposite who wanted a commode quite frequently. She can’t keep anything down and is sick every time she eats. That must be awful.
The sweet lady next to me was from St. Luke’s [Hospital, Psychiatric ward]. She was so full of anxiety that I wanted to hug her all the time. She kept telling me she was afraid. During the night she was sitting on my bed and I held her hand to comfort her when she just died and fell on the floor. I’m not sure why she died, but at the time I was telling her Heavenly Father loved her and was aware of her fears.
Did He feel so sorry that when I prayed for relief for her, He took her away from all the sorrow and distress that she felt.
Life is so fragile and who knows if it won’t be my turn to go today. If it is I hope my husband and children will cope OK knowing I will be in a good place and waiting, for in time it will be their turn to move on.
Pam rang again. She is lovely. It is strange how cut off one feels in hospital.
Millie came this morning and brought me flowers, grapes and a card. She is so sweet and caring. Her hugs gave her away.
Ronnie came at tea time for a couple of hours. He looked tired. I think it must be a stressful time for him, not knowing what is wrong with me. Trust in the Lord I keep telling myself and I feel more at peace.
Sent Erika a letter. She will wonder what has happened to me.
There are a lot of sick people here in this hospital. I am glad we live in a day and age when help is available and more science for medication.
The Lord told me to seek for help and that is what I have done. Then He said, be patient. That’s sometimes difficult, but I am trying. It should have been my Sharing Time this week in Primary. It forgot. It’s so easy to get involved with oneself and forget what we should be doing.
Sunday, 19 October 1997
Slept better last night. The headaches are a pest. It is a beautiful morning and so far peaceful, except for the lady down the corridor who keeps shouting, “Save me.” She sounds very aggressive, poor soul.
After lunch, the 3 Musketeers arrived --- Karen, Gary and Joanne. It was a lovely surprise. I had no idea that they were coming and I longed to see them, so it made my day. They make me laugh so much. I was thinking after they had gone how we always laugh a lot when we are together. I think we know each other’s weaknesses and forgive each other so easily that it is comfortable to be together. They brought me lots of lovely things: cards, flowers, and a beautiful ornament of a lady in blue, fruit and chocolates. Then they went out and bought me a dressing gown and some drinks. It was like Christmas, almost. They were really only tokens. It was the love behind them that was so warming and beautiful to me.
Pamela rang whilst they were here so it was quite a party. I said Pam rings every day. Karen said, “Does anybody ring from Telford?” I said, “No.” They all sat hanging their heads, then Gary said, “Well! Pam didn’t make the effort to be here today.” When I told Pam, she laughed too. We all seem to have the same sense of humour.
Ronnie came for the afternoon. He looked a bit better and enjoyed the company. He is looking after Chris, our student who is a shy young man and needs someone to turn to and talk about his worries. Ronnie is the man to do it.
Kath Crowther called in for ½ hour, which was nice, and then after tea the missionaries cme for a chat.
Not long after them Jean Ford and Liza and Richard [Taylor] with Max came. Max has something wrong with his hip so he was able to go home for the weekend and was coming back in. He is over the other side of the hospital.
I was really, really tired when they had all gone, and could hardly wait to get my pain killers and get down to sleep.
Monday, 20 October 1997
I felt quite well this morning and after breakfast was told to fast until 4 o’clock when I would be taken down for a test, which is a camera put up my nose and down into my lungs.
I rang Ronnie. I felt more comforted if he knew what was happening. It was an experience that if I had to have again I would, but you would never make me like it. The doctors and nurses were lovely and one of the nurses rocked me in her arms afterwards and let me cry my tensions away. There is a lot of love in this world.
Pam rang just as I got back onto the ward, but I was too shook up to speak to her.
Ronnie said he would ring her.
Maurice, Linda and Janet came to visit. Wasn’t that lovely.
I was told I have a blockage on the left side of my lung and my larynx isn’t working properly. Just waiting now to find out what it is and what is to be done. Trust in the Lord and lean not to thine own understanding has to really mean something now.
I think about my children and grandchildren a lot these days. I am truly blessed and on top of that to have a good man beside me. Who could ask for anything more?!
Tuesday, 21 October 1997
Three doctors came to introduce themselves today. They said they will be looking after me, so I feel something is already being planned for my future treatment. I don’t feel over anxious.
Silva [Silva Jan Scott] was here at the time. She bought me some underwear and Dove shower gel and a bottle of spring water. She is so kind and thoughtful.
Elaine [Wain], Netta [Platt] and 2 children came just before Silva went..
Then as they left Olive [Kilner] and Brenda Parker came.
Mark Fahey had called earlier with some cards from Victoria and Darryl.
I had a little sleep and my dear friend, Wendy [McEwen], came. She is so sweet. I love her a lot.
Maurice and Linda came back to see if I had got any results which I thought was really nice.
Silva came back with Craig and I got a kiss from him.
Pam rang me again so that was lovely, too.
When Ronnie came, it was nice to be alone with him – just us. He is feeling the strain a bit, but I am so proud of him, the way he carries on working and serving in the church.
The Lord promises the strengths that we need and I know we get it. The outpouring of love is something I shall never forget. It is almost tangible and wraps me in its warmth.
I rang Joanne, but she was out shopping, so I spoke to Nicholas. I feel his love, too.
Wednesday, 22 October 1997
A constant stream of visitors with flowers, cards and presents --- so many people care. I felt so tired when Ronnie came that I cried. It’s tension, I think, and not knowing the results doesn’t help.
Anna, my friend from Owls, came to see me and Wendy [Hill] and Phillip called. She looks well at the moment. I hope she stays that way.
Susan [Blake] came and Helen Fahey popped in to say hello.
Thursday, 23 October 1997
Well my Dr. Heaton came to see me. What a gentle man he was. He told me it wasn’t good news. I have cancer in my left lung, which has spread across to my larynx and damaged a nerve so half my larynx is paralyzed. That’s why I can’t talk or cough. He told me that they could give me radio therapy, which will shrivel up the growth somewhat, but they can’t get rid of it completely. I could live 2 years or more, no one can say just low long. I didn’t feel much emotion. I’m sure Heavenly Father gives you the strengths you need.
Poor Ronnie was so brave for most of the time, then he broke down and cried. It was nice to comfort him. Had a warm drink and went to bed to sleep. Ronnie went home to ring around the news.
The Scotts came straight away to comfort him and John said he was calling a fast for Monday and he believed in miracles. I do, too, and I am going to make the most of what time I have left in service.
My biggest worry is the kids. They have all they need to cope, but will they fall back on these strengths. I hope so!
I know if I ask Pam to come over, she would do so. It seems very selfish. Her family is as dependent on her as I am.
Shahida came with her 2 daughters tonight and she cried as she left and told me she loved me. I have a terrible headache. I wish it would clear up, because that makes me feel ill.
Friday, 24 October 1997
Well, this has been a wonderful day. I woke up free from headache. I think maybe because I don’t have the tension of wondering what is happening. Even though the news isn’t what I would have hoped for at least I know and can start thinking about the best way to spend the future that I do have.
Ronnie spent today cleaning the house and shopping. Then he popped in to see me at lunch time and Millie came, too. They tell me everyone is upset at the news. It’s nice to be loved, but I do hate to upset people.
Wendy Hill called and Phillip later. She was very upset too.
Pam called and I had quite a long chat to her. She seems to be in control and it was a pleasure to talk to her especially when she says such lovely things about me. It makes me feel like the song say, “My life will not have been in vain.”
I am planning to go home tomorrow and hopefully start my treatment soon.
I have just heard a record played in the hospital radio. It was “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I enjoyed it very much.
It is nice to think of going home, but there are 12 beds in the ward with a lot of old ladies who need a hug and someone to hold their hand and tell them what time it is and I worry about leaving them.
There is a Pakistani lady who can’t speak English, but she needs a hug and a wave, too, especially as people don’t know how to communicate without words.
Saturday, 25 October 1997
Came home today. It is so peaceful and comfortable to be home.
Brenda Parker sent me a most beautiful arrangement of flowers, with a card which said “To an elect lady and the dearest of friends.” I was very moved.
Pat Pickering came with a scripture in a frame for me. She was quite strong and I hope I have strengthened her testimony of the plan and how wonderful it is, even the passing back through the veil.
Tanya Crowther rang and Kath Crowther called for a hug and she was so calm and it was lovely.
Helen Taylor rang to say she loved me.
Wendy McEwen came and played Scrabble with me, and we laughed together. She is lovely.
Millie rang to see if all was well.
Pam rang and told me John Casperson had given her a free ticket, so now she has 2 free tickets, so I asked her to come over now because I needed a hug from her, so she will be on her way.
Joanne rang and was calm and collected and very strong. She said she cried all night Thursday until she couldn’t cry any more. But now she wants to make some happy family memories, like going to the temple together as a family, and spending Christmas together.
I said Pam had 2 tickets, so she said they would put together and buy her another one to come at Christmas. I hope it works out for her. I would enjoy it, but she so desperately wants it to happen.
Karen and Gary are still very upset, but they are all coming up tomorrow, so I hope they will feel better after that.
Joanne said she spoke to Sandy (Vic’s wife) and she said he was very upset. I would like to see him if he wants to, and I know Ronnie wouldn’t mind.
Every day seems so full just now. I suppose it will settle down eventually.
Sunday, 26 October 1997
Went to church this morning. There were lots of quiet hugs. Everyone seems shocked, but they don’t know how the love from those hugs strengthens me. The bishop announced my illness and called for a fast tomorrow. The Stake is fasting and all the Bradford wards are fasting.
Karen and Lewis, Gary, Joanne and Nicholas with the boys and Abigail came up to visit. I really enjoyed the day. We talked about what will happen at the end. I want to donate my eyes and organs to benefit others, if they are of any use and I wanted them to agree. That was settled.
Joanne wants to be with me and Pam at the end and Karen wants to dress me for burial. It was very comforting to be able to talk about these things.
Then we planned some activities like going on the broads for a few days and going to see Torvil and Dean. Karen is going to withdraw my money from her insurance company, so that I can have a spending spree and Gary gave me some money to buy a new and comfortable bed.
Millie said she spent Relief Society talking to the sisters about me and telling them if they want to visit to ring first and stay for short times.
Joanne said to Joseph, “We are going to see Nanna because she’s poorly.” So Joseph asked if I would get better, whereby Joanne told him. “No.” Joseph was quiet for a moment, then he said, “Is that because she’s had a lot of birthdays?” Now I think for a 4 year old, that is very clever.
Monday, 27 October 1997
I had rather a bad night, coughing, last night, and it took me a while to come ‘round. I am surprised at how weak and tired I feel already. Maybe that will change after the treatment.
The phone rang a lot today with well wishes, especially from Bradford where I am not forgotten and still loved. Ruth Jackson called, because she thinks I am her mother really --- bless her.
Audrey rang and I couldn’t believe her composure.
She came at lunch time with Ronnie [Goodwin] and we chatted happily. I wish we had been a closer family and met more often, but we still care about each other and that’s nice.
My Bishop [David] Wain and Stake President [John] Scott called to give me a blessing after the Fast and plead with the Lord for their selfish desires to keep me here. But they asked that the Lord’s will be done. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. They also gave Ronnie a blessing of comfort.
Maurice and Linda came. They are so sweet. Linda brought me a bar of Lavender soap and a bar of chocolate for Ronnie, which was very thoughtful. They, too, were very composed.
I think I need Ronnie at home. I really don’t feel well enough to cope with a day on my own. Everybody keeps saying how wonderful I am, and I know I have tried to be good, but I’m not that good, really. I have the same ups and downs as most people.
I must go to bed. Today has been a long day.
HERE THE JOURNAL ENDS.
Norma made no more entries into her Journal because her strength failed her rapidly and she became extremely ill. It was soon evident that she would not live very much longer. This was a very unpleasant shock to me and to many others who had hoped that she would survive for at least a year.