Family

Recent Articles

OICA Announces Award Winners to be Recognized at Aug. 10 Heroes Ball  

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy’s (OICA) has announced the winners of three awards that will be presented at the OICA Heroes Ball on August 10 at the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City. Each award winner was chosen by the OICA Board of Directors for their outstanding contribution to children’s well-being in Oklahoma. The winners of the Kate Barnard Perseverance Award are Jasmine and Melvin Moran, the creators of the Jasmine Moran Childen’s Museum in Seminole, Oklahoma. Their museum has inspired and educated countless children since its opening in 1993. The award is named after Oklahoma’s first female elected official, who worked to end child labor and the mistreatment of Native children. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Kaiden Parris Suicide Prevention Awareness Softball Tournament

Redwater, TX- On September 9 at 9:00 a.m. the Redwater Sports Complex will host the first Kaiden Parris Suicide Prevention Awareness Co-Ed Softball Tournament.   There will be several events throughout the day including a butterfly and lantern release, a home run derby, music, concessions, a raffle, vendors and door prizes.  In addition counselors will be on site to help anyone needing assistance. The prevention is an outreach of Kaiden Parris’ parents.  Kaiden became a victim of suicide on May 21, 2017.   His family notes that he would have been 17 this year on September 9.   The event is a way to celebrate Kaiden’s life and help raise awareness and promote prevention of suicide. Kaiden had been a football player and student at Mount Vernon and Redwater.  His Facebook page is still maintained and notes that he had also taken classes at Texas Community College.   He was a well-liked young man and had over 370 friends on his site.  Kaiden has been described by his family and friends as having “a heart like tiger and a spirit like dragon.”   It is hoped that the event on September 9 will continue to help raise awareness and help prevent future suicides. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Best Ways to Cut Funeral Costs

I have been an Insurance Agent for quite some time. When one becomes a Funeral Director, Insurance is one of those collateral duties that compliments your skill set and assists clients as they come to the funeral home looking for assistance for their future end of life (death) needs. Insurance offers a vast selection of products based on the needs of the client. The issues related to product selection are that although clients can vocalize their concerns, they often do not understand which product provides the most efficient solution for them. In most cases, their purchase decision will be based on one of two facts. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Isolation Increases Risk of Suicide

Last night I was surfing social media when I came upon a friend’s post stating that upon reflection, he was taking a break from social media.  He stated that since the passing of his wife six months ago, his opinion posting had become offensive to his son.  He was confused and hurt by his son’s chastisements, and to discontinue causing his son discomfort or embarrassment, he had concluded that his withdrawal was in order.  His post was filled with sadness, despair, pain, and anguish.  Regret was apparent that he had not foreseen that his posts might wedge a wound in his father/son relationship, and he was solemnly announcing his intention to bend to his son’s harsh rebuke. To show my support of this man’s right to post his opinion on a social media platform based solely on opinion posting, I went through his history and began liking every one of his opinion posts with which I could agree.  It was not enough though.  As I lay in my bed last night, I found that sleep was elusive.  I tossed and turned all night worrying about this friend.  
Grief Brief 7
Social Withdrawal
People who have recently lost a loved one may tend to withdraw from family or friends in intimate and social situations. This tendency is generally brief and usually corrects itself without intervention. If one continues to withdraw from social interactions over an extended length of time, one might find it comforting to consult with a counselor. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Fouke Farmers Market “Fish Fry Picnic and Largest Catfish Catch”

Fouke, AR-Fouke Farmers Market would like to invite everyone out to celebrate our market, this Saturday July 15, come see what all the fuss is about at the first ever Fouke Farmers Market “Fish Fry Picnic and Largest Catfish Catch” this is a free event and all are welcome! We will start cooking at 9:30am and your more than welcomed to bring your favorite dish to share with other market comers! And don’t forget your favorite picnic blanket! We will be weighing all day for the Largest Catfish Catch and will announce the winner at 12pm. Winner revives a 25$ gift card from Academy! Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

July 4, Fireworks, Shows, Parades, and God

It started with a suggestion in June, followed by a meeting on July 2, and finally a formal signing on July 4, 1776.  From that moment on, the cry would go up around the world that the colonies of the North American Continent, all thirteen of them, had declared independence from Great Britain.  Like any country, Britain would not take kindly to losing the colonies.  In fact, no country in the history of the world has ever simply said, “Sure, go ahead and leave us and take all the investments we made into your area with you.”  No, instead the greatest empire in the world set out to reclaim the colonies and force them back into the British realm.  The rest of the story, you know as the United States won independence in the war that followed.  To this day, we still hear our friends across the pond in England wish us a “Happy Traitor’s Day.”  Naturally, this is done more in good humor now that we are friends so many years after the revolution. The founding fathers were by no means blind to the fact that they were setting in motion something that would be celebrated for years, and perhaps forever.  John Adams wrote to his wife of the importance of the entire event that officially started on July 2 and ended on July 4.  He sent his letter on July 3, 1776 that included the following statement:

“The second day of July 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Gumbo

Some of my fondest memories as I was growing up are of those spent with my family.  Moments in time with parents, grandparents, and great grandparents that were once common are now priceless recollections that I hold dear to my heart.  Yesterday as I sat in church, I sent out a text to my brother asking him to cook a Cajun dinner for my eldest daughter and her family who are visiting us from the northern states for a week.  Fortunately, he graciously accepted, so last night, we traveled from Texas to Louisiana for dinner at his house. As I arrived at his home, the aroma of his cooking brought precious memories back to my mind of my childhood.  Arriving at my grandmother’s house in south Louisiana was always a culinary treat.  We entered his house through the back door directly into his kitchen and immediately my children and grandchildren began hugging their aunts, uncle, and great grandparents.  The moment was so touching, I could barely hold my emotions. We enjoyed our dinner.  The gumbo was excellent.  Afterward, we walked next door to my father’s home.  We gathered in his music room, played our instruments, and sang fun songs.  When my father was a schoolboy, he played the bass clarinet.  It just so happens that my granddaughter plays the same instrument.  As my father played the bass guitar, he asked my granddaughter if she would like to play it.  She accepted the invitation and within 60 seconds was playing the foundation base of each song.  Her younger sister strummed along on the autoharp and we all learned the complicated vocal control needed for yodeling. We had a wonderful family evening.  An evening I hope they will recall with fondness when they are grandparents and have the opportunity to spend time with their grandchildren.  I see my grandchildren rarely, but that does not mean I do not love them.  It means that they live far away and that my heart yearns for them daily.  I was fortunate to grow up in the company of my grandparents, great-grandparents, and multitudes of cousins.  My grandchildren do not enjoy that privilege. When I was a child, summer vacation meant fun and play to me.   Now that I am a grandmother, it means my heartbreak will have a moment’s relief when my grandchildren pull up in my driveway and stay with me for a week.  I hope last night will be one of those memories that will bring them strength and comfort once I am gone.  I hope they will know that I loved them, that I lived all year for the moment I would be able to see them, and that I would give my last breath on earth in their defense. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Youth Programs Can Lead to Future Careers

 

Oklahoma-I had the great pleasure last week of visiting a summer youth program at Bridgestone Intermediate School in western Oklahoma City.  This group of about thirty students in the 5th and 6th grade was a joy to meet with, and many of them were already expressing an interest in politics. They asked me to share my story with them: how I became a state legislator, a gubernatorial candidate and now the director of OICA. As I related that story, I realized that many of my lifelong passions developed when I was only slightly older than them. My interest in politics really started in earnest when I served as a page for Senator Ray Giles as a high school student.  From that experience, I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to a career path of helping shape policy and working in the best interest of my fellow Oklahomans. I had this experience thanks to a 4-H award which I won my junior year.  I had joined 4-H when I was the same age as the Bridgestone students I met last week, and I experienced many wonderful leadership development opportunities which not only took me outside the town limits of Rush Springs, but all across the United States. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

USS FITZGERALD – The Co-Victims

This past week was a particularly sad one for our entire nation.  As the world held its breath, my husband and I awaited news of the seven missing sailors on the USS Fitzgerald broadsided by the 29,000-ton container ship ACX Crystal off Japan’s Izu Peninsula.  During the days that followed, we monitored social media awaiting any news from families who had loved one stationed aboard the USS Fitzgerald.  As communication slowly trickled out to families anxiously awaiting word, our relief for them was great.  One by one, the list of possible victims narrowed.  One by one, families without word grew more and more anxious.  My husband is a retired US Navy Sailor.  I recall a time when I was one of those family members waiting anxiously for news of my beloved sailor. The seven bereft families from the USS Fitzgerald live in an age where the news is everywhere.  They were able to see the details of this event unfold before their very eyes half a world away.  Does that make it any easier for them?  I think not.  Unfortunately, for these families, the deaths of their loved ones fall into two different categories.  These family members will suffer the effects of sudden death as well as those of high profile deaths with heavy media coverage and speculation. Greif Brief 123
REGRET (SUDDEN DEATH)
Sudden death can bring feelings of regret to the survivor. Regret for things said or unsaid, actions, inactions, and lost dreams.
Counseling can serve to redirect these regrets allowing a better grief recovery experience and closure. (Mourning Light II, Tracy Renee Lee 2016)
 

When the crewmembers of the USS Fitzgerald left base Friday for “routine operations” they probably experienced a “routine farewell” from family members.  After all, when things are routine, they are usually mundane and do not call for any sort of special recognition.  It was not as though they were leaving for a six-month deployment; right?  If you have not ever realized it before, being in the military is not routine.  The men and women of the US Military risk their lives each and every day at work.  Their routine jobs put them in harm’s way almost every moment, even when they are on US soil.  Their jobs are not like civilian jobs.  Their jobs are to die so that civilians might live.  Yes in truth, a service member’s job is to do whatever it takes to protect your life, up to and including sacrificing his or her own.  Moreover, they are honored to do it. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Cherished Memories

As I was preparing to leave my office at the close of a busy day, my phone rang.  A gentleman asked if he could speak with me about the recent loss of his dear wife.  His anguish was heartbreaking and as he recounted his experience and emotions to me, I was impressed in so many ways by the depth of his love for her, his devotion to her, his ability to evaluate his spiritual reliance on her, his awareness of his emotional wound without her beside him, his ability and willingness to express his loneliness and fear of life without her by his side, and his desire to openly seek assistance.  There were so many impressive attributes expressed during our conversation, that when it was over, although I remained worried and deeply saddened for him, I was comforted that he was on the right track for recovery. A loved one’s death is overwhelming.  Prior to your loved one’s death, you understand that you love that person deeply; however, you may not realize that without that person, your life is barely manageable; barely maintainable.  Upon the other’s death, your life is suddenly in danger as well.  Your life is filled with turmoil.  Disorganization rules every aspect of your functionality.  Indeed, at times, your will to live may be called into question.  These are very frightening facts.  Moreover, upon the death of a significant loved one, someone with whom you have been married for decades upon decades, with whom you have created generations of descendants, with whom you have established reputation, successful business, wealth, and happiness; these facts do indeed become burdens of distress, that if not properly managed will end your life.  The gentleman caller on the other end of my phone understood the gravity of these issues and wanted to understand and apply the remedies for them. Unfortunately, the only quick fix for grief is to be a shallow person – a person who does not love others.  To be this type of person is undesirable.  To live this type of life is empty and lonely.  For my caller to swiftly recover from his wife’s death, he would have to forget about the many wonderful years they spent together, the trials they conquered together, the foes they battled together, the fears they triumphed over, their accomplishments, their setbacks, their hardships, their disagreements, their makeup’s, their holidays, their illnesses, their recoveries, the births of their children and grandchildren, the accomplishments of their children and grandchildren, and the list continues.  These are things this man would not give up if his life depended on it, and at this point, it does. These experiences that have built his life with his wife, strengthened his resolve to be her eternal companion and solidified his love for her are exactly what have caused his grief upon her death.  They are also the exact same experiences that will save his life and cause his recovery as he begins to reorganize his existence without her by his side.  Day by day, he will understand more and more that these sweet memories are what get him through his days and allow him to keep breathing.  Although his heart is momentarily rent in two, these memories that he sees as reminders too painful to recall, are slowly turning into bandages that will spiritually bridge his existence to that of his wife’s beyond the veil.  As he opens his heart to celestial infusion, he will realize that his wife’s love remains with him, that she has not and will not forget him, and that she awaits his arrival with the greatest anticipation just beyond his view, but never beyond his reach, in that glorious place called paradise.  And that one day, they will reunite where families are forever, where love is eternal, and where the trials and sorrows of this life will become cherished memories. My name is Tracy Renee Lee. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,