Bittersweet times...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Well, yes, again it has been a while since I have posted. Sometimes life takes control and we just have to go along with the flow, asking for God's strength and guidance as we forge ahead each day. Today, I am just going to post a bit about my recent challenges. Challenges that have kept me from my creative play, but after this cathartic post, I will be sharing some new things I have begun to work on as I get my creative juices flowing again. I hope you will bear with me and visit again in the next couple of days to see some fun stuff :-) like found-object charms and a silver bracelet.

Just after the death of my Aunt Julie in March, I moved my my mother here to Texas to an independent living facility so she could be close to Dad (actually right next door) and me. As you can imagine my days have been filled to the brim...basically taking care of four households; Dad's, Mom's, my Aunt's and mine. Many hours were spent with doctors and in the hospital once Dad's health began to fail. Sadly, he passed away on May 14th. I count myself blessed to have spent special time with Dad these past months, even though it was a challenging time. We had a lovely memorial service for Dad here at my church in Lake Jackson, Texas and even though only a few people here had even met my father, so much love was poured forth for me, my mom and my family - it was amazing, so awesome, definitely a "God thing"!

Often when we are going through life's challenges, we just put our nose to the grindstone and do what we have to do, then when we have the time to reflect later, we can see how all the pieces of our life fit together in such a miraculous fashion ultimately for our good. It is truly amazing and mystical how God works in our lives. We have read so many stories about this very thing in the Bible, but somehow it is hard to realize that it is happening every single day in our own lives. How patient God is with us - isn't He?

I am going to put my Dad's obit here so that you can see what a unique powerhouse he was. It was fortunate for Dad that he did not sit and waste away month after month and year after year because that just wasn't my Dad and I am so grateful for that - he was not one to just idle away the hours. Alzheimers is such a strange disease - you never know what to expect and it changes the personality and ability of your loved one so much. Dad couldn't watch TV or even read a book anymore. So, although it has been one of the most difficult times in my life to watch him slip away, I know that it was a blessing for my Dad to go quickly. To view a video of Dad and his life:

I miss him so much and still can't believe he is not close by so that I could pick up the phone and hear his voice, or go get a sweet hug. It is such a bittersweet time - happy for him to have gone on to meet Christ, but sad for me to be without his smile, the mischievous twinkle in his eye, his parental concern for me and continual instruction. I know many of my friends have already experienced this loss and they say, that like anything else, it will take time, time to adjust, time to heal the wounded heart; and I know with God's help that will happen. So, I look to God each day for the strength to continue on - to make my Dad proud of the life I am leading as he and Christ look down on me from above.

Gayle A. Oglesby, age 84, passed away Thursday, May 14, 2009 in Lake Jackson,Texas. Mr. Oglesby was born in McGehee, Arkansas,March 11, 1925, but spent his formative years in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where his favorite activity was as a drummer in the high school band. He graduated from Pine Bluff High School in 1942 and immediately enlisted in the United States Navy where he served as a first class signalman in the 5th Amphibious Force attached to the 2nd and 4th Division Marines in the South Pacific. He was involved in five assault landings in the Marshal and Marianas Islands. Upon returning to the states after WWII, Mr. Oglesby married his high school sweetheart and then focused on his education. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana and graduated with a BS and an MS in Geology from the University of Arkansas, where he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and the honors geology fraternity, Sigma Gamma Epsilon. Mr. Oglesby’s career spanned over 36 years in the geologic and oil and gas industry. He began his career with the Arkansas State Geological Survey in 1953. His work experience also included time with the Ohio Oil Company in Midland, Texas, the Reynolds Mining Corporation in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Petrobras Exploracao in Bahia, Brazil. Mr. Oglesby then joined the United States Geological Survey in 1958 where he worked for over 20 years. His career with the USGS began as Supervisory Investigator-In-Charge of the East and Southeast Texas Oil Fields per the Connally “Hot Oil” Compliance Act and ended as Chief of the Branch of Marine Evaluation at the USGS headquarters in Reston, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Upon leaving the USGS, Mr. Oglesby joined the General Accounting Office as a supervisory geologist working on many environmental issues facing our country. In this position, he wrote environmental speeches for President Carter and other key government personnel. Mr. Oglesby retired from the government in 1981 and moved into the private sector working with Superior Oil Company in the Woodlands, Texas, Mobil Oil Company, and finally retiring from Exxon/Mobil in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1989. During his career, Mr. Oglesby was recognized and published in “Who’s Who In the South and Southwest”, “Who’s Who in Technology”, and “American Men And Women of Science”. He was a registered Professional Geologist, a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Institute of Professional Geologists, the American Geological Institute and the New Orleans Geological Society.

Upon retiring in 1989, Mr. Oglesby and his wife moved to Hot Springs Village, Arkansas where he built two custom homes in the mountains that he loved. He was a member of the HSV Lawn Bowlers, loved to write editorials in the local paper, and served on the Board of the Property Owner’s Association in Hot Springs Village for six years, as a board member and one term as President.Mr. Oglesby was a voracious reader. He loved etymology and had quite an interesting library. Travelling the world was also a joy for Mr. Oglesby and he and his wife traveled extensively over the years, with Austria being his favorite location. Mr. Oglesby was a long-time ordained deacon in the Presbyterian Church and was at the time of his death, a member of the Kirk of the Pines Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

Mr. Oglesby was preceded in death by his parents, Meryl Sims and Fay Oglesby, and a sister, Mary Edna Finley. He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Edwina Carnahan Oglesby of Lake Jackson, Texas; his daughter Julie Yonge and husband John of Angleton,Texas; son, Gayle A. Oglesby, Jr. and wife Ita of Spring Branch, Texas; twin grandsons, Jeremy and Jason Klahorst of Austin,Texas; and sister Billie Faye Gailey of Pine Bluff Arkansas.

Well, thank you for letting me share my Dad and a bit of my recent life with you. As a Christian, I can rejoice in the gift of eternal life even after the sting of the earthly death of my father. I know I will see Dad again. God is my strength and I am so thankful that God continues to do His work in and with me, chiseling me in His image, forgives me my weaknesses and sins, and that I am His masterpiece! There would be no joy, no hope without Christ. Check out the video clip below to further understand how you are God's masterpiece too!


Stacy said...

Love you, Julie!!

FredaB said...

Jules what a wonderful tribute to your father. He sounds like a wonderful man and the picture at the end of the video with the whole family was so nice for you to have. I have never seen one like this before and it was very moving.

Hugs to you


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