Wednesday, September 16, 2015


A conversation with my very dear nephew last night spurred me to write this today. It started out a silly limirick, (as you can see), and turned into an essay! This often happens, and apparently, for a reason. Writing this was very cathartic for me. I needed to write it and I feel better now. I share it because there may be someone out there it will help. God always has a reason when He lays someting on our hearts. A LITTLE GIRL’S LIFE There once was a man named Slaughter who couldn’t understand his daughter. ”She is spoiled and lazy, maybe a little crazy. But she isn’t sick and, THAT I know. SHE just needs to get up and go!” Over the years there were struggles and strife. No one could fix them, not even his wife. His wife loved her child, but was mild and meek. So the child suffered week after week. Her pains were real as she tried to tell him, but there was so much stubbornness and jealousy between them. He pushed and pushed trying to teach her what was right. She tried and tried with all of her might. You see she loved him so much and coveted his favor, But all she received were harsh words too bitter to savor. She simply could not work as hard as he demanded. There were things inside of her - real things that nature had planted. We will never know why things inside her went wrong, but these problems persisted and the weeks and years were long. “It’s all in your head”, the words would fly. “Whether in my head or my stomach, it still hurts,” she would cry. Even her mother couldn’t understand and there was no way she was going to stand UP to her man. “Every girl has a period since the beginning of time. You must go to school, or I’ve committed a crime.” So over the years through all of her pains, the girl went to school and tried to fill her brain. What else could she do? She was but a child. She had no way of knowing things inside her were wild. Her insides were scrambled – too much of this, too few of those. How this happened, nobody knows. Finally one day after 25 years of travail, a doctor looked at her and realized she was so pale. “Her life is not worth a nickel,” he said to the wife. “We must find out what is wrong or this will end her life.” After three weeks in the hospital, two surgeries and many tests, the mystery was finally put to rest. “There may have been a twin daughter with her in your womb. We removed a huge cyst and tried to make room. She needs room for two sets of female organs to do their jobs. But we are afraid of bearing children your daughter has been robbed.” Then the third surgeon who had worked inside of her body, said “she has but one kidney and is such an oddity. She should be fine with just the one, but though the rest of her life she must be careful – it won’t be fun. Medical journals will be filled with her plight, for we are all writing this very night.” The girl was so hurt and crushed to the bone. Now in her old age she would be alone. No children to love, teach and cherish, and in her old age, alone she would perish. She didn’t know just how many children her life would touch, for God really did love her so very much. Nephews and nieces, step-daughters and their babies, would all fill her life with love and the crazies! So, she really was sick all of those years and her problems would continue – the pain and the tears. She let it get so bad that in her sixties she could hardly walk. Then one day God sat her down for a talk. He made her realize though a rough life she had be dealt, she was still very blessed and had a lot of wealth. A wealth of people she loved and they loved her back. She had many talents she also must get back on track. He sent her a doctor filled with knowledge and truth and made him listen, the first time since her youth. God gave him the answers to her ills, and led him to give her the right treatment and pills! With the doctor’s help and a drive to be whole, she worked through the pain and let nothing take a toll. For the first time in her life she has hope for a cure and of a bright future she is sure. Thank God someone listened after all of these years! She is getting well, of that she has no fear. She spent the summer playing with kids and being bold. Her husband tells everyone, “that is my 12 year old.” She reads her bible, (God’s instruction book), and up to heaven for her answers does she look. She does not dwell on the years that were wasted, but looks to God and her spirit He chastens. There is still much work that needs to be done, and with her healing she is the one. The one to sing His praises whenever He calls and He will catch her when she falls. The one to share His love and the story of His Son, to tell of the three who make up the One. She was born to serve Him and to mother the lost: to give shelter, love and food whatever the cost. She is not really barren, but the mother of many, for of motherless children there are plenty. There are so many who need her care and she is blessed by just being there. Loving God and sharing His grace, has given her new life and put a smile on her face. It is God shining in her face and singing with her voice. She is so filled with gratitude, it is the only choice. God, thank you for giving her these words today, and reminding her we now look at things in a new way. Please keep her thoughts on a higher plain and her eyes on you. Don’t let the devil and his doubts break through. There is much to be done and she needs to keep busy. Though she is a bit lonely and her head is dizzy. Lift her up with Your Arms and keep her gait steady. She has so much to give and wants to be ready! No one knows what the future might hold, but we have our bibles with words of old. Truths then and now to guide our way so on the path to heaven we can stay. God lead the girl and work in her life so the rest of her years she can be a good wife. A good wife and mother to all who are pleading, and help her to show them Your love they are needing. Laura Blanton September 16, 2015

Monday, May 26, 2014

WITH SOME WE ARE BORN WITH SOME WE ARE BLESSED Many people come into our lives at birth – whether ours or theirs. Most of these people are very cherished and enjoyed for our whole lives. It obviously starts with our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, etc. As we grow, we gather others along the way and our circle of loved ones and acquaintances is larger than we could ever imagine. As the circle widens, we invariably gather those we just tolerate for any number of reasons. We either keep them or put them out of our lives. One of the most difficult or blessed large gathering of new people is when we marry. Our relationship with our spouse and our children should be the biggest blessing of our lives. We choose the spouse, hopefully with prayer and much care, and we nurture and guide the children. If God is the center of our lives, we have chosen well and we will bring up our children in His ways. Sometimes we have disappointments, but we usually sort those out with God’s direction. The difficult part can come with the parents, siblings and extended family of our spouses. Those of us who have been married more than once may have experienced enough difficulty with these people that it greatly contributed to the end of that marriage. Through history “in-laws and out-laws” have been the building blocks for comedy routines and many complaining conversations with friends. Is the comedy funny? Yes, most of the time it is quite funny. Is the complaining constructive? Very seldom unless there is abuse involved and we need to be led to help. Through my long life experience, some of my closest and most rewarding relationships have been with my three aunts, three great-aunts, their spouses and my cousins. I was not blessed to grow up with my cousins on my dad’s side, but have been reunited and some of us are growing quite close. These people are important to me and they will always be important. They have contributed greatly to the richness of my life and the wonderful memories will remain with me to my death if I am blessed to keep a sound mind. Are there disagreements and the occasional spat? Most certainly there are. But we love each other through them. Twenty two years ago I met a wonderful man, his two precious daughters, his parents and extended family. We fell in love, married and I helped to bring up the girls. They now have blessed all of the family with three precious grandsons that are the light of my life. We lost my father-in-law soon after we met and I miss his presence in our lives. Bill’s mother calls me her “daughter-in-love.” We are very close and I love her so much, as she loves me. I wouldn’t trade her for the world and I am so thankful for her and for our relationship. As we know, most women do not share this kind of love with the mother of their husbands. Glenis is one of seven children – three girls and four boys. One sister and three brothers remain. Two siblings were lost at birth which would have made a total of nine. Her mother was so busy having babies and trying to recover that a lot of the mothering fell to the oldest daughter, our Aunt Vaudell. This dear woman is the one behind this thesis. My earliest and most vivid memory of Aunt Vaudell is the first Halloween after Bill and I met. We took the girls to her house to trick-or-treat. Who opens the door but UNCLE Vaudell and AUNT Lyman! They had changed places. I was utterly enchanted and laughed so hard it hurt. They were so funny and happy. I was instantly accepted and brought into the fold. I cannot say enough about Aunt Vaudell or express my joy that she entered my life. She is one of those people you instantly love. I could spend hours telling what I know of her life from her early childhood, but I will try to sum it up. I have already said that much of the mothering of her siblings fell to her. She was also the chief cook trying to feed the large family who lived on a farm and grew most of their own food. She is in her 93rd year. Need I describe the kitchen and what it took to put a meal on the table? No modern appliances, no indoor plumbing, no electricity for many years. It was hard work to feed a hard working family who had to milk cows and care for other stock before the sun came up and before they ate breakfast. By the time breakfast was finished, dinner had to be started, and the same for their supper. Her work was not confined to the kitchen, or even to the house. When she was needed in the fields, to the fields she went. When WWII started, the boys went to war except the baby. Baby Roger had Polio at the age of 18 months. His high fever burned a part of his brain and left him with some paralysis and mentally challenged. Though he was, and continues to be, a blessing, he was also more work added onto the almost unmanageable list of chores. One girl worked at a “Five and Dime” to bring in money, Glenis was left to help her daddy in the fields and her mother in the house. Where was Aunt Vaudell? She was doing her part for the war effort as “Rosy the Riveter.” How many of us have a “Rosy” in our family? She married and raised a son and daughter with much love and always with God’s direction. They grew up in the Baptist church. She enjoyed two grandchildren and helped to care for them with much love. Several years ago she developed Alzheimer’s Disease, or dementia, and eventually moved into the home of her daughter and son-in-law where they could care for her - at first on their own, and then with the help of care-givers. When they could no longer give her the care she needed, she moved into an assisted living and recently into a nursing home. Through all of this, she has remained the same loving, giving, smiling Aunt Vaudell with whom I fell in love. She has the sweetest smile, most precious kisses and the biggest hugs with pats on the back you have ever had the pleasure to enjoy. She most likely doesn’t know who you are, but it doesn’t matter. She loves you anyway and makes sure that you know it. With the nature of this dreadful disease, it wipes out memory of the most important ones in your life. The ones you chose, the ones you birthed, the ones who love you so dearly cannot be called by name. She knows they belong and she loves them, but that is about it. She only remembers those she knew so very long ago. When her sister and baby brother Roger go see her, she calls them by name and tells everyone who they are. She fusses at Roger for smoking, swats at him playfully and they laugh together. It is so very special. Now, Aunt Vaudell is not doing well. Last week she became unresponsive and the doctor called in hospice. Hospice thought within five days she would be gone. My husband and I had to tell “our” mom and uncle and let them decide if they wanted to go see her in this state. Yesterday morning, her daughter Jan called me and said, “Mother is awake! She is drinking sips of fluids and eating small bites of strawberry yogurt.” I picked up Mom and we went to see her precious. It was such a sweet, special day. We shared so much love between the four of us and from, and for, God. We helped care for her and make her more comfortable. We gave her drink and nourishment when she wanted it. We prayed, sang lullabies and hymns, shared scripture, and “went to church.” At first she was resistant to the singing. Her daughter said she never will let her sing, but she changed her mind. She wanted to go to church so we had church right there. How blessed and wonderful our God is that we can gather together in His name and He is there – no matter where we are. If we call on His name, HE IS THERE! I left that room in the nursing home knowing we had been in the presence of God and we had been blessed! Sometimes we forget, no matter how close our walk with God that only He knows our appointed time. We listen to the doctors and rely on past experiences, or just plainly make assumptions. None of us know when our time will come. We must be prepared at all times and do as God charges us – help others to be ready. I know Aunt Vaudell is ready. Do I know when it will be? No, I don’t. Yesterday I might have said as much as two weeks. This morning after talking with our cousin, I might say a few days. She is asking for her mama and daddy and Aunt Cassie. She is starting to remember her dear Lyman of whom she hasn’t spoken for years. From my vast experience in these situations, it will be soon unless God is not ready and heals her to a degree. We never know why “bad things happen to good people.” We never know why some people die instantly and some linger for a seemingly endless time. But God knows and that is all that is important. He has a purpose. He is our loving Father and that purpose will always be for our good even though we may not understand it in this lifetime. If we are living according to His will and His teachings, all will be for the good of His Kingdom and thus for us. If you take only one thing from this, I pray it will be that through God all things are possible. Through God our lives are enriched and blessed. Only through God and His Son Jesus Christ are we saved and brought through to heaven therein to dwell with Him and our loved ones forever! Laura Blanton October 22, 2013
NOW THEY HAVE WINGS God made them Himself when earth He was creating. He made them special – He knew the world was waiting. They came to earth with four little paws, a little round belly and eyes filled with awe. Adam named them, it seems to honor God. He spelled it backwards and it came out “dog.” You know when He made them, God had a plan. Dogs would become the best friend of man. Some would pull sleds, herd cattle, or sheep. Some would protect others as they sleep. They lead the blind, aide the lame and weak. Others work with policemen and drugs they seek. Some can find bombs, chase felons, locate the lost. We train them to help whatever the cost. They are soldiers at war worthy and strong, protecting America from those who do wrong. Many are mistreated, left, abused, or made to fight. Their hearts don’t want this. They know it’s not right. Man is the beast thinking only to profit from their pain. In the end man will find there is no gain. No gains from the suffering of hearts of gold – hearts who want to love, comfort and grow old. No matter what their jobs or their duties, each one is filled with love, trust and beauty. Some run their hearts out around a ring. They ask for nothing, these dogs regal as kings. They run and they run, win, place or lose. They do as they are told, their lot they can’t choose. Happy as can be as each day passes, they run to win past lads and lasses. When one day their time to run is over, you might think they’d dream of rolling in clover. But of rolling in clover, they do not know and I doubt that many have rolled in snow. Their life is the ring until they are through, then we must find them a life brand new. They are tested to see if with cats they can live then we search for homes new life to give. A mommy and/or daddy with time and love, giving them what God intends looking down from above. A home full of love, a soft bed, kisses and hugs, a yard to run in to chase squirrels and bugs. Maybe some children who love to play or curl up beside them and on their bed lay. They steal our hearts, put stars in our eyes and make us happy as we watch them fly by. So loyal, so sweet, so patient and undemanding. The best pets and companions all others withstanding. Sometimes they are young and we have many years together. Sometimes they are old and many storms they have weathered. These old ones are so special, their hearts so sweet. Their eyes so big and wise, only love do they seek. Those of us who know this and give them a home, are blessed from above with more joy than most have known. It is as if they know we are their last ones to love, their last chance to shine before God takes them above. It might be a few years, it might be months or just weeks. But each day is precious, though more we would seek. We want to hold on to such a precious gift, but God knows the time and their spirits He will lift. He lifts them to run on golden streets, and maybe at night they sleep at His feet. We don’t really know what they do or where they wait, but I expect them to meet me at the gate! Is there really a bridge of rainbows, with flowers blooming purple on low hanging vines. Is it here they are playing until our time? We are not promised a number of days or a length of time in which to mend our ways. I just know dogs go to Heaven, no matter what some people say. There are many people waiting for me to join them above. I’ve had a long life filled with love. These people, of course, mean more than pets, but how sad a world without pets – as sad as it gets. Many pets wait for me of many breeds. Each and every one I am anxious to see. Each one was different, they all were sweet. I know one day again we will meet! They have worked with servants, they have feasted with kings, THEY ARE BORN WITH PAWS AND NOW THEY HAVE WINGS! Dedicated to, and in memory of Dude and Pooter, Amanda Moore’s special angels. Copyright Laura Blanton January 31, 2014

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


DANCING WITH ISAAC I was dancing with my grandson today. He is only 17 months old. He wanted me to teach him. Who’d think he would be so bold? (He didn’t really ask me, it was more of an unspoken request. He doesn’t have to talk a lot, hugs and kisses still work best.) I clasped his little hands and started to sway, moving with the beat, when low and behold I looked down and he was moving his feet! He couldn’t match the beat, of course. He simply is too small. But he looked up at me and smiled like he felt 10 feet tall. I left the music behind and matched my steps to his own, and soon he was pulling me across the floor just like he was grown. He was stepping sideways and back and I just followed his lead. He looked up in amazement and filled my heart with greed. How could I absorb enough of this love and joy before adolescence plants its ugly seed? He seemed to find it so funny that I was following him sideways and back. His smile was wide from ear to ear like his face was going to crack. I turned one hand loose, held the other and told him to spin around. He smiled and started spinning then fell laughing to the ground. It seems no one has told him “That’s not what white men do.” You can move your head, you can move your hips, maybe a wiggle or two. You never pick your feet up or act like Fred Astair. You never shake and shimmy as if you haven’t a care. God forbid a Pirouette or a leap into the air. I’m glad he is too young to know these things just are not done. I’m not looking for a Baryshnikov, just a child happy enough to dance in the sun. A child left free to laugh and learn to dance in his own way, to grow into a young man with the confidence to ask a girl to dance one day. Laura Blanton August 14, 2007


GREAT JOY WILL COME IN THE MORNING Great joy will come in the morning when we see His shining face. Great joy will come in the morning when we reach that promised place. No tears will there be dwelling, no more sadness, no heartbreak. Great joy will come in the morning when our place by Him we take. I was thinking of my mother, of her kisses, her soft face. Great joy will come in the morning when we see His shining face. I was thinking of my daddy and those hugs that made me shake. Of the love and laws they taught me so one day I’d walk with God. To wake up in His Heaven with my name there in His logs. My mother had no concept of her beauty and her grace. She didn’t know the light shown down from Heaven on her face. She thought herself unworthy to meet God on Heaven’s shore. I knew God dwelt within her and she was His forever more My daddy was a man of God and always did his best. He worked so hard to care for us and stand up to the test. He sang us songs and taught us how to work and make our way. I know he’s there in Heaven singing praises to this day. Great joy will come in the morning when we see His shining face. Great joy will come in the morning when we reach that promised place. No tears will there be dwelling, no more sadness, no heartbreak. Great joy will come in the morning when our place by Him we take.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Holiday Celebrations

My precious brother, Steve holding my equally precious niece, Kimberly. The supreme Slaughter in front is my nephew, Jason Slaughter. I've got to see if I can work my great-nephew, Cameron into this picture. Yesterday was difficult for me. Though I still have some family here and I find great joy in, and with them, so many memories assaulted my senses. We have always been such a close, loving family and our celebrations were filled with love and lots of good food. NOTHING tasted good yesterday. I miss my mother, daddy, Steve, my grandparents and aunts Lora and Mary who have gone on to be with God. I miss my uncles Jerry and Oscar who are with Daddy in Heaven probably still arguing over the potato salad and ice cream. I miss my brother Kevin and his wife Chris who live 10 hours away and my Aunt Betty DeFoor Reed in Georgia. Sometimes I wonder if happy memories that make us yearn for the past are good or bad. I know the answer - it is better to have loved and lost..... I wouldn't wash the memories away for anything. It just hurts. I have lots of cousins who are feeling these same pains. Some much fresher than mine. I love you all and hope that you can find comfort knowing we will all be united in Heaven with God one day. My blessings are many. I have a wonderful husband at my side and two sweet daughters I love as my own. They will never fully realize how much I love them and how empty my heart would be without them. Krista and Candace also gave me the joy that is being a grandmother to three wonderful grandsons. I don't have to tell any of you what that means to me. They are gifts straight from our God. Bill also shares his mother with me and she is priceless. She treats me as a daughter and calls me her "daughter-in-love." There is nothing I can not ask of her or say to her. I also have my brothers friends who grew up with us and are my brothers along with their families. They look after me as my brothers would if they could be here. They share their children and grandchildren with me. Most of the time I can concentrate on the ones here and not let my grief take away the blessings I have. Yesterday just wasn't one of those days. I have two foster puppies here from a raid on a horrible "shelter" last Friday night. They are so sweet and good, but just too big and untrained to be in the house. Last night they were afraid when the fireworks started so I went outside to sit on the deck with them. One at a time I rocked them and sang to them. I thought, "Huh. I'm doing pretty good. I can sing to them and not cry." They seemed to like it and all was well. (I haven't had any complaints from the neighbors, so maybe the fireworks covered my singing.) Even singing Daddy's favorite, "Fill My Cup Lord", wasn't making me cry. Then a vision of our home flashed into my mind. It was full of family and friends cooking and eating and telling jokes and I was down for the count. Tears flowing and no more words could get out of my throat. The puppies looked at me with great knowing and just snuggled in closer. Sometimes I think God puts a special part of Himself into dogs so that they recognize our pain and try to heal it. Eventually the three of us calmed each other down, I came in and they curled up and went to sleep. They are on the deck playing without a care in the world. I didn't mean for this to turn into an essay, but that happens a lot when I sit down to write. The words just fly from my brain to my fingers until they are spent. I started out meaning to share the picture and it grew from there. Several people yesterday were moaning about being apart from family and friends on yet another holiday. This is part of life. Bill and I spent the day alone and that was fine. Families grow and join to other families and things get busy. I have spent many holidays away from family and I survive still. What hurts is knowing there are so many we will not see again until God calls us home. I will have lots of fun times with the ones still here. It may not be every holiday or as often as we would like, but I know they are alive and well and I can get to them if I have to. The rest is up to God. We must live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him and make the most of our time here. Enjoy what you have and "Don't worry. Be happy!"

Friday, February 1, 2013

WHAT HAS HE GIVEN ME? He won’t come home with roses and boxes of chocolates are not his thing. Expensive dinners and movies are as likely as big diamond rings. For years I wondered why I was not honored on important days. Then I saw how our money was growing and decided I would try it his way. With two daughters growing and needing support, we passed up tickets to sit on the court. No football tickets or concerts downtown. More fun to pack a picnic and eat on the ground. There are lots of free concerts in parks and malls. Bach and Beethoven beat games with balls. We don’t run to theaters for opening nights. I haven’t yet seen the last Twilight. The dollar menu was our best friend. You could have a meal out with little money to spend. It’s the company that counts with the one you love. We are blessed to have each other by God above. Why pay more and have less to eat? Food at home is better and steak is a treat. We mistakenly think we are entitled to all things. Young people must own homes before they exchange rings. A new kitchen, new bathroom, the old must go. My parents were in their 40’s before home ownership they would know. What did I receive for Christmas, time with boys and girls. He gave me this gift of two girls with golden curls. One Christmas Eve night after candle light service, he asked me to share his life, to be part of his world. The girls gave us three boys of utter delight. Our lives are so full and all is right. My niece and nephew are more gifts from above. There is also a great-nephew to hug and love. One brother is still a part of my life and his friends are my brothers and for sisters, their wives. Though my parents are gone, I have a mom indeed - a mother-in-law with no malice or greed. No jealousy or resentment, no guilt or coercing. She takes only what we offer and understands when we are working. What has he given me over the years - a house full of joy, though not without tears. He has given me companionship, love, laughter and teasing – some bossing, some nagging, but happiness without ceasing. You see, the best things in life really are free. So what if there is a great big world we’ve yet to see. Not one cruise or long trip have we made, but the table of our life is heavily laden. Our family is well and there is food to eat. We are not rich, but life is so sweet. It is sweet with loved ones and the security of salvation. It is sweet with little debt and the comfort of home. Sometimes we look back and say we have sacrificed much to be where we are, but where we are is a very good place. The best place by far! Laura Blanton Copyright February 1, 2013