This is the house Mom grew up in: 3312 Bradley Street SW
They made a documentary about Mom's
Neighborhood and School:
Mom was beautiful! She married her high school sweetheart - Dad!
She raised 3 kids (me, then my sister Johanna, then my sister Jerrie).
She took care of her dad with no legs. She did odd jobs like washing and ironing our neighbors' clothes to make ends meet while Dad worked at Genesco making shoes. We had a wonderful childhood! Great friends. Awesome memories. Camping, Little League baseball, basketball in the yard, dad put up floodlights and we had music from my Longines Symphonette stereo in my bedroom window. No color TV or air conditioning so we sit on the porch and listened to the Cardinals on KMOX at night or the Braves when they came in. We knew all of our neighbors. I had my best friend Stevie. Life was great.
Then Daddy got sick. Really sick. We got an air conditioner (a window unit in the living room where Dad slept, and a color TV for him to watch.) Cancer. He died when I was 12. Mom was left with her ill Dad and 3 kids to take care of.
Mom went to work. And to school. She drove me from one side of Huntsville, Alabama to the other side, to Huntsville Junior High School, every day, for my 7th and 8th grade years so I could go to a newly formed 'special' school for 'gifted' kids from around town. Every morning. Every afternoon. She went to school at night to learn to be an LPN, passing with flying colors! Uncle Alford watched Papa during the day and we helped with Papa when he got home from school. Papa told great stories about his World War I experiences and US History and bought me some awesome Time Life Books on History and we had National Geographic and Readers Digest subscriptions. Then Papa died.
Mom met a man named Steve. We didn't like Steve, did we Stevie? During my freshman year of high school Steve convinced Mom to marry him. The summer after my freshman year Steve convinced Mom to sell our house on 3312 Bradley Street to our Uncle John and Aunt Lot next door (did I forget to mention I grew up in the same neighborhood Mom did and we had a lot of aunts and uncles in the neighborhood?) and we moved first to Manchester, Tennessee and then Smyrna, Tennessee. I was blessed to make some new great friends like Wade and Greg. One night after my sophomore year Steve just left. He didn't forget to clean out the bank account with the money from selling our house or to not drive off in the new car that was under mom's name. Mom was left with a lot of bills, rent to pay, and 3 kids to take care of. Our landlord was SO nice, telling Mom to not worry about the rent until she got caught up. I will never forget that man or his gesture of kindness. An uncle drove up from Alabama with a car mom could use.
Mom then met Pat, a good man. We had some great times. Then Pat got sick. We lost Pat.
Years later Mom met Billy. He was an awesome man. Mom was happy. One day, Billy felt weak and fell on the porch, bruising some ribs on the rail. He went to the hospital to get looked at. He had a terrible case of lung cancer and it was too late to do anything for him. Mom lost her Billy.
Fast forward to August of 2003. My sister Johanna is in Gatlinburg with her fiance Ronnie (a good man!). Phone rings. Ronnie is crying. Johanna has died. She was in the bathroom and had a heart attack. My healthy, 41 year old, 5'5 150 lb sister. Her autopsy would reveal that over the years she had several small heart attacks and was never diagnosed with heart problems, never had a stress test. That was a rough drive to Gatlinburg and back. We were all numb. We would later lose Ronnie to a heart attack as well.
Mom's dream for me was for me to graduate college and become a teacher. After 30 years in the CAD industry, I went back to school full-time to become a teacher. I am in my last semester at MTSU. Graduate in May. It is late April. I am in a coach's car with another coach on the way to a baseball game. Cell phone rings. Mom is crying. She is with my sister at the doctor's office. Mom has been told she has Stage IV lung cancer that has metastasized to her lymph nodes and kidneys. She has to have 16 weeks of daily chemo and 3 day a week radiation. I ask her if I need to have coach drive me home and she tells me no, go to your game, she is with Jerrie and we will get this fixed. This is her third time having cancer.
I graduate from MTSU. Mom, family and friends are there to see me be the first member of our family to ever graduate from a 4-year institution. First Bachelors Degree ever for the Limbaugh family. We went to her favorite restaurant to celebrate. (We got a table thanks to a friend of a friend) Mom has had cancer for about a month, on her second week of chemo and radiation (she never lost her hair)
Mom was so proud of me. After 16 weeks, the doctor told
Mom she was getting close to being OK, 2 more weeks. She
sucked it up and said we got this.
It has been five years since then. So far she is still cancer free.
The day she was told she was cancer free, she ate at another
of her favorite restaurants to celebrate:
That day the doctor told her she would have to stop taking her pain medicine and her nerve medicine. She told the doctor she still needed to take both. He asked her why. She said she was still old, with arthritis and bad shoulders, so the pain medicine helped with her pain. He laughed and asked about her nerve medicine. She replied "Have you seen my medical bills?" He laughed again. That is mom. She loves her animals.
She loves her birds and her squirrels and her pets. (We lost Pickles last summer) She loves her 5 grand kids and her 10 great grandkids. She loves her word search books. She loves her DVR. She loves life. A hard life. Mom lives with me now. I give her her medicine. My awesome sister comes over to take her to her doctor visits. Her trips to Kroger are not as often as they used to be. She loves her pedicures! She turned 79 in June. She was so proud of going to vote for me for President. She loved the buttons. I love you Mom!
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