Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Special Aunt - Part Two

This is the second part of my memories of Aunt Kay....Scroll down and read the first part then read this part two.

I wanted to add some more of my memories of my Aunt Kay.  I sure do miss her and sometimes I feel she is close by, especially when my thoughts turn to her for no reason.  She was someone I could talk to about any problem I had.  She had a way of knowing when something was wrong with me and could dig out my deepest secret.  Some of our family used to joke and say she should hang out her shingle. I wasn't the only one that she could dig out problems no matter if you had no intention of telling anyone. She could read your mind I swear.  She would talk you through the problem, knowing what questions to ask, and then would help you solve it.

She is the reason Frank and I are together.  Frank was married to Penny and Aunt Kay knew they were not happy together. She would tell Frank that we would be a good match, and then she would tell me the same thing.  We had never met at the time she told us, but she had planted the seed.  I am so grateful to her and Penny for Frank and I having a happy marriage of 35 years on the 25th of March.  Penny will tell you that she knows God played a part in our union.  If she hadn't been with Frank and brought him out to Salt Lake City from Oklahoma, Frank and I would have never met. Frank and I know that Heavenly Father had a hand in us meeting we feel He laid out a path for us to meet. The crazy thing is that my family knew Frank before I did.

Aunt Kay had a little mischievous spirit that came out every now and then.  She and my cousin Lee are the reason I am afraid of the dark.  When Mom took my sister and I back to North Carolina, I slept in the upstairs bedroom of the old Smith home.  Aunt Kay and Lee decided to scare me in that dark room and they did a good job. I think they acted like they were ghost wrapped in sheets. I was only four at the time, and I can't sleep to this day without a night light.  I am still afraid of the dark.

Aunt Kay told of the time she took one of her cousins down to the creek and they caught a frog and proceeded to dissect it.  Something I could have never done as I am a lover of animals.  Then there was the time I was visiting her on Marion Street when she wanted me to go out and see what their fenced in guard dog would do when I approached it.  She knew I had a way with animals and wanted to see what this mean dog would do with me.  He did what any guard dog who was penned up would do.  He tried to attack me through the fence, just as she was going to let me go in the pen with him. Thank Heavens, she didn't get that gate open.

Then there was the time she asked me if I wanted some gum.  Of course I did, and then in the night I woke up with stomach cramps, and was running to the bathroom all night long.  She had given me laxative gum. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny the night it happened.

Aunt Kay and I would dance and sing when I stayed with her.  We loved to harmonize and sing our hearts out.  She taught me that I never wanted to drink booze.  I had my heart broken by a boy friend who stood me up on New Years Eve so I went over to her house to cry on her shoulder.  She ended up giving me Cherry Slow Gin Fizzes, a very sweet drink.  I was dancing around singing "I'm Going to Wash That Man Right out of my Hair"  making the motions of washing my hair. She recorded me and we had many laughs later when we listened to it.  I was feeling good until the next morning when I woke up sicker than a dog.  I thought to myself  "why does anyone want to drink and then be sick,"  I never drank nor had any desire to do so after that.  Also I lived with alcoholic parents and I hated what it did to them, and my religion teaches us not to drink alcoholic beverages. I have seen too many of my family members destroy their lives due to Alcohol.

Aunt Kay had a lot of nervous energy and would talk on the phone while walking up and down the hallway in her home on Marion St.  She actually wore a path in the floor where she walked back and forth.  She had one of those stretch cords on her phone that would allow her to do this.  She also smoked starting the bad habit as a young girl in North Carolina where tobacco was grown.  It was a common thing for kids to start smoking at young ages in the South.  If it hadn't been for her nervous energy, and staying slim, she more than likely would have passed away at a much younger age from COPD.

Aunt Kay was a beautiful woman especially when she was all dressed up to go shopping, etc.  I drove her to some of the places she went as she and my mom never did learn to drive. I loved to walk with her and watch all the men give her the second look.  She was oblivious to the attention she was getting. I always wished I could have had her good looks, instead of being a red hair freckled faced girl.  Both my Mom and Aunt Kay had black hair.

When I was first pregnant with my first daughter, Aunt Kay took me to the doctor she had gone to, Dr. Latteire.  I was so scared as back in those days we didn't go to doctors very often.  Then when Aunt Kay told me how good looking he was, I about ran away. I made her come into the exam room with me.  He ended up being the best doctor I ever had.  I even went back to him when Larry was killed.  I will never forget how he came around from his desk and put his arm around me to comfort me and to talk to me.  Since I had my three children all so close, he knew Larry and I quite well.  In fact he even offered to come out to Grantsville and help Larry paint our new home we were building.  He was a very special man.

Aunt Kay was a lot like my Mom as they both loved to be outside in the summer gardening and oh how they loved their tomatoes.  When I think of them, that is where I place them out in their gardens, vegetables and beautiful flowers.  Both did a lot of cooking, in fact I can picture Aunt Kay behind her kitchen island stirring something on her stove, and asking you to taste it.  She never felt like she was a good cook like my Mom, but she was.  The only difference was that Aunt Kay had to cook what ever Uncle Gene brought home from the store and she had to be creative.  Uncle Gene did all the grocery shopping, as he was a bargain shopper, and not only with groceries.

When I moved to Nevada, Aunt Kay and I would talk on the phone quite often.  When I visited family in Salt Lake, I spent most of my time with her.  When I had a nervous breakdown I left my Nevada home and went to stay with her, and she helped me back to good health, mostly with her way of talking to me and helping me to understand my problem of a very unhappy second marriage.  I loved her as a second Mom, and to this day, I miss her.  One day we will have a wonderful reunion on the other side, and I will finally get to meet my grandmother Cora.

When Aunt Kay moved to St. George, I was elated as then I got to see her more often. I loved visiting with her.  Frank and I almost moved to St. George, and I think it was mostly because of her. I am so grateful for having her in my life especially since my Mom became an alcoholic, and wasn't capable of taking care of  her family. Aunt Kay was there to mother me, and help me through some pretty tough times, including losing my husband Larry at such a young age.  When I find a penny, I always think of her and say "Aunt Kay is sending me pennies from Heaven."

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Special Aunt Kay-My Second Mom

Aunt Kay after my Dad's funeral
At her Rose Park, Salt Lake City Home

Aunt Kay and her granddaughter Tiff  A special birthday for Aunt Kay

This is part of the life sketch I gave at her funeral
Mary Kate Scoggins, known affectionately as Kay, was born on December 20, 1929 in Siler City, North Carolina.  Her parents were John Prichard Scoggins, and Cora Mae Smith.  She was the fifth child.  Hoyt, Lenna Aileen,(my mother), Lewis Hobson, and Samuel Green, her siblings, preceded her in death.

Aunt Kay was born in a small home without running water.  Her family was very poor in those days as were many families.  When she was old enough, one of her chores was to go to the creek and get a pail of water for household use. Her mother Cora passed away shortly after Aunt Kay's birth from child birth complications.  I was told she died from a kidney infection. I never could find a death certificate so I am not sure if it was in 1929, or 1930.

Family members told Aunt Kay she looked just like her Mother who was a beautiful woman. Aunt Kay was nursed by her Aunt Hattie who had a baby around the same time, so she nursed both of them.   She was raised by her maternal grandparents Samuel J. Smith and Susan Adalaide Campbell.  Aunt Kay loved her Grandparents dearly and told many stories of her life with them. One story I remember is that Grandmother Smith would make Aunt Kay wear long stockings to school.  She would get out of site of her home, and would take them off and hide them in a bush.  On the way home, she would put them on again.

Because of Cora's death, the family was split up as Grandpa John could not take care of five children.  Hoyt was able to stay with Aunt Kay.  Different family members took in her brothers Lewis, Samuel, and her sister Lenna Aileen (know as Leen), my mother.  My Mom was taken in by her step grandmother Spicey Ann Scoggins and was expected to work like a horse.  My Aunt Mary saw this and didn't like it, so she ended up taking my Mom back to Salt Lake City, to live with her.

In 1945 Mom took my sister, Patty and I to North Carolina to visit family.  Aunt Kay had been writing Mom and begged her to come and get her.  So I think one of the reasons for the trip was to bring Aunt Kay back to Salt Lake to live with our family.  I think Aunt Kay was unhappy living with old fashioned grandparents.

We lived in a home that was not too far from the Salt Lake City Fairgrounds located on North Temple St.and Aunt Kay slept with me. I remember she loved to read in bed at nights and this would frustrate me.  I would complain to my mother and get Aunt Kay in trouble.  She loved the little brat I was in spite of this.

One night there was a knock on our bedroom window, and I looked out and saw a man looking in.  It scared me to death, as I thought it was the bogeyman.  Aunt Kay put her hand over my mouth and told me to be quite.  This man turned out to be the handsome tenant in the basement apartment of our home.  His name was Eugene Kocinski, who was in the army at that time. Aunt Kay would wait for me to fall asleep and sneak out to see him.

When my Dad found out, he was spitting fire and I am sure had words with Gene.  Dad thought Gene was too old for Aunt Kay, and wanted her to finish school. Gene was 10 years older than my Aunt. She was attending night school at West High. One night I remember Uncle Gene at the back door and both my Dad and Gene's faces were red with anger.  Dad punched him in the face.  My Dad had a horrible temper and over the years I grew to hate him because of his heavy hand on my family.

Aunt Kay and Uncle Gene eloped to Ely, Nevada on January 21, 1946 where they could marry without permission as Aunt Kay was only sixteen at the time. They came back and lived in the basement apartment.  I used to sneak down to their apartment for visits, as my Dad forbid me to see them.  One time I got caught and got a good spanking.  It still didn't stop me from going down to the basement apartment to see them.  There was always a treat for me and I loved them very much and felt their love for me.

Some time in 1946, Aunt Kay and Uncle Gene moved to Wendover, UT where Uncle Gene was stationed in the Army.  As soon as he got out of the service he and a very good friend, Slim Olsen, went into a partnership running a towing truck service, coffee shop, and garage in Knolls, Utah.  Aunt Kay worked in the coffee shop. Uncle Gene eventually started working for the State Road Shops.

In the mean time Mom and her family moved to a duplex on 5th North, and eventually peace was made between Uncle Gene and my Dad.  Uncle Gene and Aunt Kay would come to Salt Lake and stay with us.  When Aunt Kay was expecting Penny her first child, they came more often for Aunt Kay's doctor's visits.  She stayed with us in the last weeks of her pregnancy so she would be close the the hospital.  Penelopoe K. Kocinski, was born on May 26 1947.  While they were still living in Knolls, Christoper, was born on September 28, 1949.  In 1953 Penny was approaching school age, so they bought a home on 358 Marion St. in Salt Lake.  While living on Marion St. John Douglas was born August 11, 1953.  Lorri was born on July 10, 1960. I was married by this time and was expecting my first baby.  I remember baby sitting Lorri while I was still pregnant, and I couldn't believe what a beautiful baby she was.

I spent a lot of time with my Aunt and her family on Marion St. I rode my bike from our Rose Park home to her place and spent many a weekend there.  During the summer I spent several days at a time.  I think my Mother was a little jealous of my closeness with Aunt Kay.

Some time in the 60's. Uncle Gene bought a home in the newer section of Rose Park, 1152 Oakley St. not too far from our home.  Now the two families were closer and since there were cousins around the same age, they were at one home or another.  We felt more like brothers and sisters than cousins.

Aunt Kay was like my Mom as her home was always filled with the aroma of something good being cooked.  A cup of coffee and a good chat were available to any visitor that came through the door. I will always remember Aunt Kay in her kitchen stirring a pot of something good to eat, or out in her garden in the summer tending to her flowers, tomatoes, and other vegetables.  How she loved tomatoes.  Richard Eugene was born February 27, 1967.  He was her surprise package.  She spoiled him rotten.  She laid out his freshly ironed clothes for school and weighted on him hand and foot.

In 1988, Uncle Gene bought a winter home in St. George, UT and they became snowbirds. They loved their little home in St. George, even though Uncle Genes heart condition was getting worse.  He loved fixing things, and puttering around just a little slower now.  Aunt Kay kept her homes spotless and enjoyed furnishing and decorating her new home in St. George. After a few years of traveling back and forth, Uncle Gene had been advised by his doctor not to travel to St. George, but he didn't listen and on his last trip, after he had unloaded the truck; he was sitting at the bar and eating some dinner when he fell over with a massive heart attack and died right there on the floor of his St. George home on February 3, 1995.

Aunt Kay's health was deteriorating from COPD she had smoked since she was a small child, and was on oxygen.  She eventually had to live in St. George permanently.  This was hard for her as she missed her beloved neighbors Ruth, Bev, and Jim.  They were more like family than friends.  Aunt Kay passed away on April 19, 2001 with her daughter Lorri at her side.  She was able to die at home, this was her wish.  God gave us a gift of letting her stay with us a lot longer than any of us would have guessed, and we are all grateful for this gift.  Aunt Kay fought the battle right up to the end.  I am sure she didn't want to leave her loved ones here on earth.  What a reunion on the other side.  I visualize her mother there with open arms to hold the baby she didn't get to be with and raise.  Husband, son, brothers, sister, nephew, and friends were all there to greet her.  We here on earth will miss her, but she will always be in our hearts and memories.

If you are like me just mixing up a can of tuna with onions and dill pickles will remind me of her.  My tomatoes plants and flowers make me think of her.  It gives me peace to know that she is suffering no more and that she is smiling down on us.  I know there are lots of hugs going on with all those loved ones who have been waiting for her.  I can just see her dancing and singing among all the beautiful gardens of heaven.  Good by for now, Aunt Kay, I love you and will miss you.  God be with you until we meet again.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy 50th Birthday Bret

Today is my oldest son Bret's 50th birthday.  I can't believe that 50 years have flown by.  Bret was almost a month overdue when I had him.  We were living in Grantsville, Utah and Doctor Latteier wanted me closer to Salt Lake as I deliverd too fast and he was worried about me making it to the hospital.  So I was staying in Salt Lake City with Grandma and Grandpa Staley.

I didn't think I was ever going to have Bret and asked Larry if I could go home for a few days.  So I went back to Grantsville and was elated to be back in my own home.  I cleaned the house and was making pizza when the labor pains hit.  I knew I had to get to the hospital fast.  We dropped off the pizza at Grant's (Larry's brother) home for them to enjoy, and we headed to the Holy Cross hospital in Salt Lake.

Dr. Latteier was waiting for me as we had called to let him know I was in labor. He was worried about me making it especially since there was fire or wreck, (I can't remember which would affect the direction we were driving.  Luckily, we had the radio on, and there was a news break about it; so Larry was able to drive around it and we made it to the hospital.  My labor had started somewhere around 5:PM and Bret was born at 7:43 PM.

It was a real hard delivery, and I begged to have Larry there with me.  Later Larry told me he would have never been able to handle it and would have more than likely passed out.  In those days no one was allowed in the delivery room.  While I was having such a hard time, I felt myself floating into unconsciousness and I let go of the bars that you hung onto.  They would make a clanking noise as you pulled on them with each pain.   Then all of a sudden I felt my self rising from my body and I can't explain how wonderful I felt.  I could hear someone saying "We are losing her"!! And then all of a sudden I felt a jolt or shock and I was back into my body racked with labor pain.

I never thought about the experience again until Larry was killed in the bank robbery and my Aunt Mary came to be with me.  She told me that Larry had told her a long time ago that I had almost died having Bret.  Then the experience I had came back to me and it all made sense.  Why I was never told, I will never know to this day.  The following are pictures of Bret.

Bret always loved Pizza and I told him it was because I was making pizza the day he was born and he could smell it and decided it was time to make his entrance into the world. Bret is really sick in bed with pneumonia.  One of the first times he was sick. He never got sick when he was a young kid.

Bret is six years old
Bret's six year birthday party
Baptism  8 years old
Brothers Bret and Garen
Graduation from Moapa High School
Family Picture Mom, Pops, Renee, Bret, and Garen
Special day with Grandpa Staley
Coming home from Mission -Missionary companion Kent 
A young Bret and Laura
My favorite of brother and Sister- Bret & Sherry

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I saw this on facebook today and really liked it. This is how I have always felt about family.  We have problems that lead to saying things that we shouldn't, but in the end we get over it and still love one another unconditionally.

I was wrong in thinking this would happen with extended family, and wish with all my heart that it was true. Why do we sometimes think we are perfect when someone has offended us, maybe thinking that we have never done or said anything to hurt others?  I know I have made more mistakes in life than I care to count, but if I am wrong, I am willing to admit it and ask for forgiveness, but for some reason this isn't enough, and the forgiveness is not accepted.  Life can sure be one big puzzle.

I guess why this is hitting home for me today is that the other night I had a dream that a family member invited me for a talk, and when I got there, this family member turned on me and wasn't willing to forgive and forget.  It was so real and I am still trying to analyze the dream.  I woke up in a sweat.  Maybe we both are afraid of the outcome of trying to talk in person and forgive.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Once Again Cancer Sucks!!!!

This morning my friend, more like a sister, called to let me know that she is having surgery tomorrow.  She will get a phone call later from the hospital letting her know when.  I was glad to hear from her as I tried to call her last Saturday and no one answered.  After the surgery, she is going to have radiation treatments for five days a week and I think she said for a month maybe longer?  This will be in St. George and so they are thinking about taking their travel trailer over to an RV park so they won't have to travel back and forth. Charlie, her husband has Parkinson's Disease and is in a lot of pain so this is going to be hard on him. I am hoping and praying for my friend that they will be able to cure her. It has been hard on her family and she worries more about them than herself, but that is the kind of person she is.  She has been a wonderful friend to me for many years.  Our kids grew up together and we have gone through a lot of trials together.  This will be another one for us to go through.  I am thinking positive and feel the outcome will be good.

I also got some bad news from my sister in law that her lung cancer has found a way to get around the treatment she was having.  She will be going into a test study and taking a new medication soon.  They have been able to keep the cancer at bay for four years now so I am hoping and praying the new medicine will do the same and give her some more time on this earth to enjoy her family and friends. The good news is that it won't cost them anything.  She is amazing as she has worked through all the treatments, and has such a good positive attitude which I am sure has helped her make it through it all and will continue to help her through this next phase.

My son will be going in this week for a CT-Scan to make sure his kidney cancer is gone. So I am hoping to hear good news on this.

I haven't heard what kind of treatment my cousin will be having for his lung cancer.  For some reason they can't operate on him to do a biopsy, and they are going to do some kind of testing to see how bad it is.  He has been a smoker most of his life, and I am sure this is what caused the cancer. We are hoping to spend some time with him soon in St. George.  Who knows how much longer he has on this earth?  Well, I hope to post something fun on my next post.  My great granddaughter is here for a day and I hope to get some pictures of her.  She is so much fun.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Catching Up - Heart Test - Birthday

Bret and his family helped me celebrate my birthday early as I had to have a Angiogram on my birthday.  Bret treated us to Los Lupies our favorite Mexican restaurant.  I am looking a little pale as I had a day of testing the day before at my cardiologist office.  It was an all day thing.  The worst test was the Chemical Stress Test. I almost didn't post the birthday pictures as I look horrible and looks like a bad hair day.  The wind was blowing, but the rest of the family looks so good I decided to post them any way.

Birthday Dinner at Los Lupies
Me, Sierra, Laura, and Bret

Merritt and Me (I don't know when I will get to see Merritt again as he has moved to Texas where he is working.  He left on my birthday February 12.  I will miss seeing him.)

The Day of the Angiogram
The nurse had a hard time finding a vein  for the IV

This is how I felt during the Angiogram

On my birthday I headed for the UMC Heart Care Center.  We got up early as I had to check in and was supposed to be there by 8:AM.  My test was scheduled for 10:AM, but that was changed to 10:30 AM.  When everyone found out it was my birthday by looking at my chart, I was given many Happy Birthday wishes.  I told the nurse I was hoping for the best birthday preset of having a good heart.

When I was in the Cath lab, everyone was busy hooking me up to an IV and getting me ready for the test.  I had told my doctor I didn't want to watch the process as I am a big stresser.  Frank told the nurse to make sure and give me something to make me groggy.  They gave me some shots around the area of entry so I couldn't feel the pain.  Then my doctor came in and started the process of looking at my veins in my heart. They did give me something in my IV that made me feel relaxed right before the doctor started the procedure.  I was in for a surprise as it wasn't really that bad.  Then the wonderful news came that I had no blockages, nor plaque.  I was elated.  While I was in the Cath lab, one of the nurses wished me a Happy Birthday over a sound system.  I told everyone that to have a good heart was the best birthday present ever.

The worst part of the whole thing was I was leaking blood at the entry site, and had to lay flat a few hours longer than normal.  I couldn't move my right leg at all, and had to be on my back for four hours.  It was so nice when it was over and I could walk out of the hospital and head for home.  It was nice to have Bret, Laura, and Sierra come to my home and see how I was doing and they all wished me a Happy Birthday.

The bad thing was that I ended up with the bug that is going around, and was sick for a good two weeks.  It was similar to the bug I had at Christmas.  I am still coughing, and on top of that allergy season has started.  Frank wants me to go see my doctor about the cough.  I had a horrible night last night not sleeping too well, and then the coughing began.  I had to go and sit up in my recliner for a while and then spent a couple of hours on the couch.

When we got home there was a message on our phone from Shirley, Frank's sister.  She wanted him to call her, which he did.  Harold had died on Monday when they unhooked him from life support.  Needless to say Frank was feeling bad and I held him while he cried.  He and his brother were so close these past few years.