Carol, at one of the overlooks on The Blue Ridge Parkway
Dad & I at one of the highest points --He was having trouble breathing here.
We made the drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, soaking up the Spring sunshine & enjoying the dogwoods & redbuds that were bursting with blossoms. It was a beautiful drive. We exited off at Little Switzerland & knew immediately where the little village got it's name. The winding little mountain highway lead us to Bill & Nadine's mountain hideaway, literally built on the side of the mountain!
Fern was Dad's oldest sister. She had lived in Eldon, Missouri for years but her health was failing & she had no choice but to come live with her daughter. She was hard of hearing & her mind wasn't very sharp. Dad thought that she might not even recognize him. But when we walked into her charming little room, her eyes met his & with a big smile, she breathed out "Duane!". She immediately knew him. We could tell that Dad was absolutely delighted that we had made the trip, hard as it was for him to breathe in the thin mountain air.Her room was tiny, but Nadine had painted it Fern's very favorite color...purple! A beautiful old quilt covered her & she was surrounded with photographs of her loved ones, a picture of "Little Brook", the farm that she & Tom had lived on back in Missouri, & little mementos of her past. There was a double window facing the road in front of the house, & just past it, a mountain!
Nadine told us that Fern could sit for hours, watching her mountain. And just for her, Nadine had place a bird feeder so her Mother could watch them feed out her window.
Nadine & Aunt Fern The view out their back door
Aunt Fern was a devout Christian. Her first husband died suddenly, leaving her as a widow way too soon. She married a Baptist preacher, moved back to her roots in Missouri, & served as a pastor's wife for several years. She was a loving & very generous person. She was a hard worker, loved to plant a large vegetable garden so she could share with her neighbors & family, maintained gorgeous flower gardens, & never passed up the opportunity to go fishing. She loved people. She loved her family. But most of all, she loved her Jesus.
The picture above was taken from an article in the McDowell, North Carolina Hospice newsletter, featuring an article about Aunt Fern, back in May, 2004. In the article is a paragraph telling of her mountain she loved to watch out her window.
"Mother had a special prayer place up over the hill across from the house. She would go there every day to have her quiet prayer with God." When asked if she were going today, Mrs.Bunch replied, "No, I can't get up the mountain".
Her special care givers...daughter Nadine & son-in-law, Bill
Hospice took wonderful care of Aunt Fern & eventually she had to be in a Nursing Home for a few weeks. They thought she was precious.
Even before Fern was gone, Bill became ill & found out he had cancer. And now he is gone also.
This morning I called Nadine to tell her of my surprise. She told me that the local Hospice representative had brought her a framed print of the Hospice poster. And they told her that there were plans for it to be somewhere out there on a billboard. Who knew that we had celebrities among us!