Tag Archives: encouragement

Family Memories

Long View: Find Your Family Legacy

My mom and Aunt Winona were riding in my car, discussing the latest family birth, when I asked them each what hospital they were born in. They both laughed and said they were born at home.

When I asked them who helped my grandmother with the birth, they told me their Grandma (Lucy) Smith was there. “Grandma Smith was a very well-known midwife in the area and even helped deliver Omar Bradley.”

I said “What? Wait. Do you mean Omar Bradley, the famous Five-Star General?”

My mom said, “Yes, and she was very proud of it.”

This prompted me to do an Internet search and gather some family history to learn more. Lucy Belle Carter, my great-grandmother, was born in 1860 in Moberly, MO. She married John O. Smith in 1878 and moved to Renick, MO, where she gave birth to six children; the last surviving child, my grandmother, was born in 1898.

Omar Bradley was born near Clark, MO, in 1893, the son of John Smith Bradley and Mary Elizabeth Hubbard. The distance from Renick to Clark is 7 miles. My great-grandmother Lucy was 33 years old at the time of Omar’s birth and had four children of her own by then. The math and the geography make Lucy’s involvement in Omar’s birth feasible. Very interesting.

I know many of you probably do not know who Omar Bradley is, but he is definitely worth a Google. The point is a random question gave me a glimpse into my family’s history that I would have never known about otherwise. More discussion focused on the many changes my mother and aunt have witnessed in their lives. I remember when there were no color televisions. They remember when there were no televisions, and record players came with a crank. That’s quite a span of human development.

Encouraging your family members to share stories becomes their legacy to future generations. Without a little effort, these experiences could be lost or forgotten. Patience and a few open-ended questions can be rewarded by an insight into a fascinating family story or encounter. With a little encouragement, I might tell you why my brother and I were featured in a full-page picture in our local paper when we were kids … or the time I was introduced to Miss America at a car show in Pittsburg. Maybe in another column.

Helping Heart Disease

Vantage Point: Walk to Mend Hearts

As a child, I folded and cut red, heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cards. As a teenager, I experienced my first broken heart. And as adults, we learn the importance of taking care of our hearts by eating right, exercising, and avoiding damaging habits, like smoking, to avoid heart disease.

Heart disease, a disorder of the heart and blood vessels, affects people of all ages and is the number one killer of women. You should also know about atrial fibrillation (AFib) and stroke. AFib is where upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly, causing dizziness, fainting and a racing, pounding sensation. Stroke is a brain attack that occurs when blood clots block an artery or blood vessel, interrupting blood flow to the brain. People with AFib are five times more likely to have a stroke.

People diagnosed with heart problems may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and afraid, opening the door for depression. That’s where Greater Wenatchee Mended Hearts, a volunteer peer-to-peer support organization, comes in to inspire hope through people who are heart patients themselves. I recently had the privilege to attend one of Mended Hearts’ monthly meetings. The room was buzzing with encouragement. Mended Hearts also hosts educational speakers and sends monthly newsletters full of valuable information about heart disease.

One of the most valuable aspects of Mended Hearts is its Heart Patient Visiting Room program that lets heart patients meet other people who have gone through or are going through the same thing. Natalie Noyd, director of the cardiovascular service line at Confluence Health, says peer support coming from someone who has walked the walk helps heart disease patients feel they can get through the experience and aids the overall recovery process. Confluence Health and Mended Hearts work together, mutually spreading heart disease awareness and education, and helping patients, throughout North Central Washington.

Health Alliance provides therapy to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and also offers rehab and testing. Sometimes heart disease runs in the family, so creating habits to help prevent the disease becomes extra important for people with a family history of heart problems. Health Alliance encourages you to learn more by joining the Go Red for Women Heart & Sole Walk on February 6 in various locations throughout Wenatchee.

Walks will also take place at Confluence Health Clinics in Omak and Moses Lake. To learn more about Mended Hearts, call Ann at 509-679-8181 or email mendedhearts91@frontier.com.