My little Morgan Mae

Posted on July 8, 2011

I attended the Spring Social at my mother’s church in May 2011. I had NO IDEA that one of the topics they would talk about was aborted or miscarried babies. One of the speakers told of a wonderful place in Chattanooga that has a wall where people associated with aborted babies by abortion can order a plaque in memory of a child that was aborted…doesnt have to be mother, can be anyone in family…BUT they ALSO have bricks for the garden area in memory of miscarried babies. It is called the National Memorial for the Unborn.

While I was sitting there hearing the ladies tell their many stories of healing and also closure, I kept thinking about the time I had a positive pregnancy stick in Spring of 2002. We had only been married since Nov 2001, still young’uns.

This beautiful Spring day in 2002 was best and worst day of my life. I went through all the emotions of one who just found out she was pregnant. I did the test at WORK! I was so shocked that it was positive that I ran out of the stall…had the sense to pull up my pants first…and asked another lady who happened to be in there if I was imagining there were two lines because the second line was faint. She verified there were DEFINITELY two blue lines. We got the kit and verified this meant positive, EVEN if the second line was faint, it said it right there on the box. I cried and told her when I was 15 I had an ovarian cyst and was scheduled to have a partial hysterectomy, but miraculously the cyst was gone when the doctors went in to do the surgery. I was told at the time that I would likely have to have some type of procedure to help me if I ever wanted to conceive (I assume he meant IVF, etc., I was too young to discuss at the time). I was in shock from the pregnancy test, but had been sick and had all symptoms, which is why I took the test in the first place. I knew I could only be a month or two along because I hadn’t missed a period, but wasn’t heavy at last period, either so I could have been wrong as to how far along I would be at this point. The point is I WAS PREGNANT!!! The lady was as nervous as I was…keep in mind I worked for a lawyer at a bank and this lady in the restroom that day was one of the VP’s of the whole bank. It was funny that a mere administrative assistant was sharing her pee stick w/a VP! ANYWAY, my boss was not in yet and I was a wreck. This kind lady told me I needed to go to the doctor and she would take the heat because I would be no use until I went to my doctor. I hugged her and left.

I had not seen this doctor for very long. I knew practically nothing about her EXCEPT she could see me right away, a gynecologist. She did another urine test and this was at least a full hour later. It was negative. She came in the room and said “Thank God you are NOT pregnant!” Then she lit into me about not scheduling “preconception counseling” with her before my husband and I tried to conceive! I was so upset and taken aback! I had just finished telling my husband we were pregnant and this lady is telling me it is a blessing we are not!!! She rambled and I tuned her out. I got up and went to the waiting room to leave. I had been too stunned to tell the doctor what I thought of her. I was in SHOCK. I recall the waiting room receptionist had been excited for me and asked me “well are you okay?” I burst into tears and told her NO and that she worked for a VERY MEAN WOMAN. I told her what happened and not to ever expect me back there again. I left.

I sat in my car in the parking lot crying as I had never cried before. I still felt pregnant. I was still so sick I had to hold my head in my hands for the spinning. I called my husband and he said to call our family doctor. This was a good idea. My family doctor had known my family before I was ever born. I called and he agreed to see me right away. By this time it was getting later in the day. He decided to do a blood test. He came in the room with tears in his eyes and told me it was negative. He was so brokenhearted to have to tell me this. I had already told him what my day had been like and he had told me it was not normal to get false positives, only false negatives and that the lady gynecologist had taken the test with urine that was not first of the day, so is common to get false negative early in pregnancy. This is why he decided to do the bloodtest.

I called my husband again and had to tell him the worst news imaginable was confirmed. He was at work all this time and a wreck. He was just getting used to the idea that he was a dad and then I had to tell him he was not a dad. He asked me not to tell him if I do another HPT again, just to wait until the doctor confirms it because he could not take it, especially while working. I agreed and I told him I could not either!

Well the next day, I had one of the worst periods I had ever had. I truly believe I miscarried regardless of any of the tests. I had no way of confirming it, though since they had ruled out pregnancy.

Four years later after many attempts through fertility drugs, surgeries to clear up endometriosis, lupron shots and keeping up with my ovulation EVERY SINGLE MONTH with a kit, I had finally had to have a hysterectomy. Two weeks after the hysterectomy, I went in for my pathology results. I should mention I now have the most wonderful doctor ever for a gynecologist and he and his staff are definitely an answer to my prayer after that awful woman…well Dr. Griggs looked at me and his first words were “when were you pregnant, Teresa?”. I told him I had not had any children. He asked me when I had miscarried. I then with a relieved expression on my face told him of my ordeal. He told me that he believed wholeheartedly I was correct, that I did miscarry. He then told me that my pathology results showed that I had a disease in the wall of my uterus that only pregnant women can get. It is similar to endometriosis and occurs as the wall stretches from pregnancy. He said I would be the only woman in history that he has ever heard of to get it without ever being pregnant and he highly doubts statistically that is the case.

This is when I told him I knew my little Morgan is waiting for me in heaven and I will be reunited with her one day. He was astonished that I was not upset or bothered by his news. I think he is always perplexed by me, though. I told him I am a christian and I believe God took my baby on with Him (and I also believe my baby is a she, cannot explain why, I just know that). I also told him that my good friend in high school’s mother passed away a few years ago and her last words on earth as she stretched her arms out toward the ceiling were “oh, its my baby!”. My friend was perplexed, but his dad just had a smile on his face. He explained that they had lost a child after their firstborn. They had never told the next two children because it was too painful to talk about. That child was the first thing God let her see as she went to Heaven.

WELL so after this dinner at my mom’s church, I talked to my husband about the memorial garden, then I contacted one of the speakers from mom’s church who works at the memorial garden. I ordered a brick in memory of our Morgan Mae Smith.

We placed the brick in the garden today. We found a serene spot by a beautiful pond and it just felt like the right place to me.

This has helped give me a bit of closure and validation somehow that others will see her name, too. I don’t know that it really matters, but have certainly been looking forward to seeing it on the brick. The gardens are very peaceful. They also have a little chapel and you can have a service if you’d like, but I chose not to since it has been 9 years now. I figured just the two of us going that first time to place the brick will be ideal. Inside the chapel is a wall of plaques dedicated to names of aborted babies where mothers or family members have found a way to come to terms with this decision and get forgiveness, closure, a way to let the baby know they are wanted afterall. The pictures below are taken inside the chapel.


Pictures from Mother’s Day at my parents’ house

My mother and one of my sisters took a walk around my parents’ property on Mother’s Day. Here are some of the things we saw:

A field of wildflowers

Betty Boop roses

Catawba trees in bloom with homemade birdhouse

Close-up of Catawba blooms

Peonies just planted in this bed

White Iris

Purple Iris and Pink Honeysuckle

I always love visiting my parents’ property with all the birds and butterflies flying about! It is a lovely place to be and a true reminder of the beauty God put here on earth. There will be many more flowers soon as my dad’s daylilies will be in bloom before we know it! I will try to remember to post pics of his daylily beds.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


My sister just published her first book!!!

If you are a pet lover, you will love the book my oldest sister Tina just published! This was her FIRST BOOK PUBLISHED! I am so proud of her! She is a professor at a local college and lives with her husband in Ooltewah, TN.

Warning! You’ll need to get some tissues if you read this one…it made me LAUGH and CRY and LAUGH some more and CRY some more…lol…I could NOT put it down until I had read the entire little book! (I proofread her manuscript before she published it). I know she’s my sister and I am partial, but I LOVED this little book!

Here is the link to the amazon page to order the eBook My Wedding Present by Tina R. Cannon…it is only available in electronic form. If you do not have a kindle, you can use the software Kindle for PC to read eBooks. Amazon also has apps for iPhone, iPad, Blackberry and android. Just go to the page for the book and then look in the right column for the free download.

My Mother…Happy Mother’s Day!

My Mother
My mother was born during a time when dresses were made out of fertilizer sacks and she could see the chickens pecking under the floor of their home. She was one of six children, one passed away at an early age, and one just this past year. She shared her bed with her sisters because no one had their own room. They slept under utilitarian quilts made lovingly by and with her mother from those same fertilizer sack cloth already mentioned. Her mother would rise early in the morning and cook for the entire family, beginning with homemade biscuits that somehow always turned out even and perfect as though they were turned out by a machine. She recalls her mother soaking her hands in warm water to be able to use them each day, but never a complaint would anyone hear. She then made the other meals of the day as well, every day.
Her mother taught her to sew and make her own clothes. My mother became an accomplished seamstress quickly and made very stylish clothes often with her sisters’ help. She also made her own children’s clothes many times through the years, just as her mother had, except she always used her trusty electric machine. A couple years ago my mother pulled out four quilt tops that have never been finished. She washed them and because of how trusty that fertilizer sack material is, they held up pretty well to be approximately 60 year old quilt tops. She gave them to me to work on for my sisters, myself and her. One of these days I hope to get them finished. I am halfway through the first, but hand quilting is not so easy on my psoriasis laden thumbs…I will post pics when I finish the first one…
My mother recalls special church services as all day events including dinner on the ground. They had old time music with the banjo and similar instruments playing along with the congregation. To this day, she loves the sound of bluegrass gospel because it sounds much like the old time music of her childhood church days.
My mother played on and along dirt roads as a child in her bare feet. Cotton fields were part of everyday life. Everyone in the family did their part, youngest to oldest. Her brother joined the military and went off to service. Somehow although they had no phone, the very day he would be on his way home on leave, her mother somehow sensed it and prepared the house and meal for his homecoming every time.
As time went on, my mother graduated from high school. At this time, her two older sisters and brother had already married and had children. Her sister Marie’s husband left her with two children, one with disability, so my mother packed her bags at age 18 and left the only home she ever knew in Alabama and moved to Tennessee. She moved in with her sister, got a job and helped take care of her niece and nephew. They came to know her as a second mother.
It was during this time of her life that my mother met my father. They worked near each other. They got married and proceeded in having a family together. Life was not always easy with many layoffs from jobs due to economic turns many times, but they managed to buy 20 acres of land at one point and always had at least one large garden, and often times two. Some years I recall also having strawberry plots as a special treat. Canning and storing food was a way of life for their growing family just as it was for them as children. My father also hunted on a regular basis and we ate the wild game, usually rabbit. I often recall meals of pinto beans, fried rabbit and cornbread. As a matter of fact, the story of my birth starts out with my mother and her mother-in-law (my Granny) canned tomatoes all dayl Dad picked corn when he got home from work. BUT I surprised them and decided to come a little early. At least mom did not have to put up corn the next day as they had planned to do! :O)
My mother and father let me join the 4-H club when I was old enough and I proceeded in raising blue ribbon chickens. My dad added to my flock and we had laying chickens and meat chickens. We also had miniature game roosters strutting around our property like they owned the place. They were great to help control the bug population, especially ticks given that my dad raised beagles and both hunted with and field trialed his dogs.
My parents are now retired, but even though my dad is 72 years old, he still raises a garden every year and has enough yield to feed every neighbor in walking distance. My mother and dad can salsas, vegetable soup, chow chow, cans and freezes tomatoes, okra, and green beans. They have fresh peppers of many varieties all summer, as well as cooking herbs and squash of all types and sizes, including butternut squash (yummy pies!).
One of my mother’s absolute favorite things to do is to cook Sunday dinners after church for the extended family of 30 plus members. She cooks fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and whatever vegetables are in season or in her freezer and handy. The extended family has often included family that is not even related by blood, just by fried chicken! These dinners have brought many a folk to my parents’ door.
My parents often go to Hardee’s restaurant, especially my dad. They bring buckets of vegetables with them and pass them out to their friends. Nothing goes to waste if my dad can keep it from happening. My dad also has a compost pile going to help assure nothing is wasted.
Did I mention my dad has as many flowers as he does vegetables? My parents both LOVE birds and butterflies. Their flowerbeds cater to hummingbirds and butterflies in the area. I think word has gotten out about the place because more birds arrive every year. They feed the birds sunflower seeds and also put up suete blocks for woodpeckers.
Frugality was engrained in me from an early age. My tiny garden is MUCH smaller than my dad’s garden. It really does not have to be very large because I can enjoy the fruit of my dad’s labor just like many other folks, but I like to be able to do it myself, to know that I can and to have that satisfaction that I grew it myself. I do not turn his okra away, do not get me wrong! HA…I would not kick a gifthorse in the mouth! I am so thankful, though that both my parents passed on to me how they were raised and instilled the importance of doing as much myself as possible.
My mother taught me to sew when I was very young. She also taught me to crochet. The ladies at my church taught me to quilt, but I have made quilt projects with my mother, as well. She has often helped me piece through the early years or fix my mistakes when I was perplexed as I learned the art. I recall the good feeling I had when I was able to give my parents a quilt for their 40th wedding anniversary approximately 8 years ago. I was finally able to give something back to them. They are primarily givers, not takers. Since then, we have worked on a few projects together again, like when I was growing up. My dad is a precision cutter, so we let him do that. I like to design and lay out quilts while my mother prefers to run the machine, so we make a good team.
I am so blessed to be close to my parents and to have learned such important life lessons from them about how to treat the earth God put in our care. I thought Mother’s Day would be an appropriate time to write a little about it.
Happy Mother’s Day from our little plot to yours!

Vacation March 2011

My friend Kim and I started the vacation out in Destin, Florida. We stayed with my sweet cousins Roberta and Sarah, her daughter. We had a WONDERFUL lunch at my uncle and aunt’s house in Niceville, Florida during the day, including grilled shrimp and chicken among many other items! Then that night my cousin Leonard found the perfect spot for a sunset picture over the beach. I do not have any pictures of Glow Golf, but everyone but me also played Glow in the Dark Golf (similar to Putt-Putt, but everything glows flourescent!). Everyone had fun, even me as a spectator! OH and my cousin got me a coconut drink that was also a souvenir penny bank tiki doll! I left it in Kim’s car, so have no picture of it, but my cousin took pics at the time and if he sends them soon, I will post one and explain…was pretty funny!

The next day, we were off to Louisiana where we attended at St. Patrick’s Day Parade and visited with more cousins. On our way, we went by Pensacola Beach, Florida.

These are two of my cousins and their friend at Pensacola Beach. They’re the sweetest kids!

The driver is my cousin Leonard who took charge as our tour guide. He told me this crazy story that the reason it is illegal to pick the seagrass is because at night, seahorse come out of the ocean and graze on it! We had a good laugh. He did a great job showing us all the sites and figuring out things for us to do on the trip!

This was my first visit to Louisiana and I was dumbfounded that 6 years later so much of New Orleans sits just as it did when Katrina hit it. It was so disheartening to see, really words cannot describe. We had a wonderful time at the parade and this city is resilient in spite of all it is facing even now.

This was me after I got ready for parade…humidity was pretty bad, though so I depleted pretty quickly!

This is me and my friend Kim who took me on the trip. We had so much fun together! Thanks so much Kim!!! You’re the best!!!

This car signified the beginning of the parade.

My cousin Kelly holding her little friend. The little girl’s shirt says “Kiss me I’m American”.

My cousin from Destin, Florida with me above

The floats with the beads New Orleans is famous for started coming through…but at St Patrick’s Day parades, they ALSO throw cabbages!!!

I love this pic of my cousin Katelynn. The young baby is graduating from high school this Spring!!! :O) OH and if you are wondering about the stickers, Katelynn’s mother is a Pre-K teacher, as are some of her friends. One of them brought stickers and thought it’d be fun if we wore them.

This is Katelynn’s (pictured in last picture) boyfriend James and our cousin Sarah. Sarah’s mother is in the picture above with me who has the blond hair.

Here is Sarah posing with her beads!


Katelynn’s boyfriend James took this pic with his iPhone. This is the SuperDome in New Orleans…beautiful picture!

As fun as the day was, seeing the parade and sites, my favorite part was just getting to know my cousins and friend Kim better. That night, we went to my cousin Junior and his wife Wendi’s beautiful house that Junior and Leonard built themselves after Hurricane Katrina. We had pizza and games the rest of the evening and just enjoyed each others’ company. It was so nice to look around the room and see all the kids having such a good time in their home. Really and truly, it was a moment I shared with my cousin Junior as we talked about moments just like that which I won’t forget. It reminds me that family is what is important, not THINGS! Love and support of those you are closest to is so important in your life!

It turns out that Kim also had a friend in the New Orleans area, so we had lunch with her before we left the area. Pictured above is Kim and Connie.

NEXT, Kim and I were off to Biloxi, Mississippi…and YOU GUESSED IT, we went to a casino! Kim had never been to one and I had only been once, so we were in awe of everything.

Our hotel room at Beau Rivage

You know me, I like the flowers more than anything else in the picture! the hydrangas and lilies were beautiful!

This is Kim playing the last $5 the night before we left Biloxi, MS.

We made another stop on our way home…we went to Mobile, Alabama and visited a family friend. I brought her a birthday cake. She is turning 98 years old on the 26th of this month!!! Happy birthday Mrs. Nena!!!

We had a great visit with the Fitzgeralds before heading home in the rain! I would take a trip with Kim anytime! Thanks so much Kim for helping make our trip so great!

I love my family and friends and I am so blessed!!!

Little tidbits of my life…

My West Virginia Trip

Here are a couple pics from my West Virginia trip:

New River Gorge Bridge

The Capitol Building in Charleston, West Virginia

My sister Tina took these two pictures. She has been taking photography classes and is doing a great job. She learned the week after taking the first pic that if you are facing the sun, you should use a flash and apologized for not using it. I thought it turned out cute just like it was. My whole idea was to “hold up the bridge with one finger” and that is exactly what she portrayed. The Capitol building with the trees around it looks amazing!

Little Tidbits of my Life!