Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mom's Visit to Florida

Soon after Dad passed away on January 29, we started planning for Mom to visit Florida. We purchased plane tickets, but the trip seemed in jeopardy when she was hospitalized on March 11, shaking and incoherent.

Thankfully, her symptoms were resolved by a medication change and she was discharged on March 15. Her doctor wanted to send her to a rehab hospital, but she told him "No, I have to go to Florida!" :-) Many of you prayed, and her strength returned in time for the trip. On March 22, Aunt Jane took her to the Portland airport, wheelchair assistance saw her to her gate, and she flew nonstop to Orlando.
Mom stayed in NTM's comfortable Guest House next to our building. Amazingly, she was able to climb the stairs to our apartment on the third floor! (Occasionally, when she was tired, she accepted a ride on our 1925 hand-operated elevator. :-)

We had so much fun showing Mom around and introducing her to everyone. The kids showed her their school and she got to meet their friends.

With June (Jack's mom) and Regan at Evan's baseball game

Enjoying our church's missions conference

On an outing with two of her college friends, Jacky Riley and Peggy Bragg. She also saw another college classmate, Paul Rasmussen, who serves here at NTM.

The weather was beautiful for the most part, and we enjoyed some great day trips. One was a boat ride up the St. Johns River to Blue Spring State Park. Alligators were everywhere--we saw about 20 of them!

With Jack's dad on our boat ride

At the Thursby house museum, Blue Spring State Park

Our whole crew after the boat ride

We went to New Smyrna Beach . . .. . . and to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando . . .

Overall, we tried to have fun while still allowing Mom adequate rest. Most days she got a good nap, but after she returned home on April 6, I think she still needed a few days to recover. :-)

We received some good news on financial matters. Mom got her check from the life insurance company that gave us a hard time, and MaineCare is helping with Dad's nursing home bill. We are still trying to sell the house in Gorham. If anyone is interested in a fixer-upper in a great location, let us know!!

At Dairy Queen

Jack and I are planning to move back to New England in June. We hope to eventually find a house with an "in-law apartment" that will enable us to care for Mom.

Many of you know Jack's parents, Art and June, and we ask your prayers for them also. Jack's dad has a malignant tumor on his cheek that is invading his mouth. Radiation proved ineffective. Surgery and chemo are not options. So they are trying to manage the pain (he's allergic to morphine). He can open his mouth only slightly now, so he's living on Ensure and yogurt. A feeding tube is a possibility.

They have Amtrak tickets to go North in May, and Jack's dad is asking God for a good summer and the opportunity to enjoy his grandchildren one more time. Then he says he will be ready to go Home.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Moving On . . .

Dad has been gone for two weeks now, and I (Alice) am back in Florida. Mom is alone in the apartment at Ledgeview. Dad hadn't been there since September, but now she has to get used to the fact that she can't visit him down the hall anymore, either. She says, "That's ok--I know where he is."

After the funeral, my time in Maine was spent going through files, making phone calls and writing letters about financial matters. Most accounts were straightforward, but one was not. Dad had converted a matured life insurance policy to an interest-bearing checking account in 1996, and didn't name a beneficiary for it because he thought the beneficiary on the life insurance would carry over. It didn't.

Thankfully, the amount was small enough to qualify as a "small estate," which simplifies things considerably in the eyes of the probate court.

The other wrinkle is that Maine Medicaid denied our application for help with Dad's nursing home bill. There were several errors on their case summary, so they have agreed to take another look at the case, as long as we send some additional documentation. Please pray that we can get everything to them in a timely fashion and that it may be approved this time.

Mom is doing well, though very tired. She has plenty to keep her busy: answering correspondence, going through stuff, putting pictures in albums, and we are hoping she can visit us in Florida next month!

Thank you all for your prayers, cards, and expressions of love for us. It is so comforting!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It looks like nobody should plan to be out driving tomorrow. SO, we are going to change the day/time for the funeral to:

THURSDAY, FEB. 3 at 4:00 p.m. Same place -- West Paris Baptist Church.

We figured that would give everyone time to get plowed/shoveled out, and the roads should be a lot better and safer.

We are still having the visiting hours TONIGHT from 6-8 p.m. at the Andrews Funeral Home in Woodstock.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, and the winter clothes some of you have loaned us! :-)

Sorry About the Snow

We have heard from many of you who are concerned about trying to make it to Dad's service tomorrow through the storm. We certainly understand, and are considering changing it.

I'm worried that if we do, some people might not learn of the change, and come anyway. But Pastor Scott, who is officiating, is worried that HE won't make it, and that could be a problem! :-) We will decide very soon and let you know.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

John Lyndon Ames passed away on Saturday, January 29, 2011 at Ledgeview Nursing Home in West Paris, Maine, after a battle with cancer. He was 80.

John was born on July 26, 1930 in Auburn, Maine to Chauncey Ames and Maude Chute Ames. His family moved to South Paris when he was about ten years old, and he graduated from Paris High School in 1948.

John loved trains. At the age of 19 he began his lifelong career with the Canadian National Railroad as a telegraph operator, which he greatly enjoyed. He worked at railroad stations in New England, New York and Ontario and took thousands of photographs of trains, many of which were later published.

Although unable to serve in the military, John volunteered for Civil Defense, and was also a member of the Grange in West Paris.

He married Mary Jane Abbott on May 24, 1969 and they moved to Gorham, New Hampshire in 1970, because John was working primarily at the station in Berlin. They became active in the Community Baptist Church, where John served as deacon, trustee and Sunday School superintendent for many years. He was a loving and faithful husband and father, and a great encouragement and support to his two daughters when they became missionaries.

John’s hobbies included building model railroad cars, doing crossword puzzles, and playing Scrabble. He was a good cook and made many delicious soups. He enjoyed living near Mt. Washington and taking visitors up the Auto Road to the summit. For several years, he had his own backyard weather station and kept careful records of his observations.

After John retired from the railroad in 1992, he joined the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and became a volunteer driver for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), taking patients to the VA hospital in White River Junction, VT, which he enjoyed very much. In 2007, he was recognized for having driven more than 200,000 miles for the DAV.

In 2009, John and Mary Jane moved to Ledgeview Living Center in West Paris, Maine. For the last four months he was a resident of Ledgeview Nursing Home, where he received excellent, loving care.

John is survived by his wife of 41 years, Mary Jane Ames of West Paris; daughter Alice Corbett and husband Jack of Sanford, Florida and their children Danielle, Evan and Regan; daughter Lois Tignor and husband Chris of Portoviejo, Ecuador and their children Elisabeth, James, Grace, Christina and Daniel; several nieces and nephews; and his beloved cat, Josey.

He was predeceased by his parents and two older siblings, Leona Ames James and Harold C. Ames.

Andrews Funeral Home in Woodstock, Maine is in charge of the arrangements. Relatives and friends are invited to visit there on Tuesday evening, February 1 from 6:00-8:00 pm. A memorial service is planned at the West Paris Baptist Church on Wednesday, February 2 at 11:00 am.

“But as many as received Him [Jesus], to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

Dad is Home!

Dad slipped away peacefully, Home to heaven about 10:00 this morning. Mom and I were with him, and my Aunt Betty. We are sad for us, but happy for him! Arrangements are still being finalized, so I will post the details when we have them.

In Heaven, people are young and healthy, because there is no sickness or aging! So here is a picture of Dad as he looks now.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Holding On

Dad was alert this morning for a few minutes, and patted Daniel's head when we went in. Lois kissed Dad and said, "I'll see you later." And she will.

Lois, Daniel and I had a safe trip to the airport. It was a beautiful sunny morning, not too cold and roads were clear of snow.

We got them checked in, and bags checked all the way to Guayaquil -- Lois won't have to deal with them in Miami this trip! :-) We had a little time to get a muffin and hang out together before she went through security, which was sweet, in more ways than one. Took a few pictures on Lois' camera, but I don't have those yet.

This afternoon Dad drank several sips of water, which made me happy. He is not really talking though. He needs morphine shots every 2 hours now, so is mostly sleeping. Mom and I are glad, because he is in a lot of pain when awake.

Here are a couple more pictures of Daniel with his Nannie: