Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Remembering Madelyn Richards

Thoughts By Colleen:

Our grandma Madelyn was one of the classiest women you could have met. She taught us what it meant to live life. After knowing our grandfather John for only two weeks, she married him and that's when it all began. Being that he was a higher ranking career marine, they traveled the world living in both Japan and Taiwan. Our parents, Patricia, John, and Neal always talked so fondly of their time in Taiwan with gramp and gram. They dined with Chang Kai Shek and many other notable figures while overseas. They retired to Montgomery, New York so gram could be close to her family at "the farm." Eventually us grandkids, Patrick, Brian, Colleen, Jason, Kari Jenny and Kasey as well as great grandkids, Jonathan, Becca, Mikey and Sara arrived to hear all the wonderful stories of a life well lived. We will never tire of hearing them and we will always hold you in our hearts grandma.
We can only assume that grandpa needed your help with keeping Uncle John and Uncle Neal in line.

Madelyn Malley Richards of Montgomery, NY, passed away peacefully on April 16, 2012 at home.  Born in Montgomery, NY on the Malley Farm to Cornelius and Margaret Malley on February 22, 1914.  Madelyn had a very full life. She was a school nurse in Virginia and a public health nurse for Orange County.  Madelyn loved her family. She enjoyed her flowers and watching the backyard birds. She was an avid Yankee fan. Madelyn traveled the world with her husband and three children. She lived in Japan and Taiwan. She always looked forward to coming home to the farm for vacations.  Madelyn is survived by her daughter Patricia A. Conroy and husband Peter daughter-in-law Anne Richards
grandchildren Patrick Kiernan, Brian Kiernan and Colleen Kiernan, Jason Richards and his wife Mami, Kari Conklin and husband Barry, Jennifer Richards and Kasey Richards
great grandchildren Jonathan Kiernan, Rebecca, Mikey and Sara Richards
several loving nieces and nephews also former son-in-law Robert Kiernan and former daughter-in-law Sherri Davenport and special neighbors and friends Pat Geraghty and Ann Zeider.  She was predeceased by her husband Major John J Richards (USMC Ret.)
sons John J. Richards and Neal E. Richards, brothers William, Raymond, Harold, Art Malley and sister Marion Droney

Charitable donations may be made in Madelyn's memory to the following organizations:

Walden Humane Society
PO Box 135 Walden, NY 12586

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Life Is A Journey- Thank You For Letting Me Journey With You!

I can honestly say that I am who I am today because of the wonderful John and Anne Richards Family! (Lt to Rt Jason, Jennifer, Anne, Kari, John).  I was blessed to have had their influence and learned many good character traits from them along the way.  

Where do I even begin?
  • Kari and I learned the meaning of friendship.  We navigated the evil waters of teenage dating together.  Kari is one of my Always friends- Time and distance come and go, but we are always connected in our hearts.  For ever and always- the quilts of our lives are inter woven in many ways!  Resourcefulness- Is the greatest gift you have ever given me.  We think outside of the box.  The best adventures begin that way!
  • Anne is my ideal mother figure! (Sorry MOM)  I have never seen her overcome by parental frustration or heard her raise her voice in a yell.  She is calm, cool, collected and fun!  She has celebrated and supported me from training bra to new mother and homeowner.  She gives great advice and always lets people know that she treasures them in her life!  Thank you for the living example you have been to me!  If I can be half as level headed and supportive to my Emma then I think we will get out of childhood unscathed! 
  • John was always the life of the party.  I can remember I thought he was "quiet" at first.  I quickly learned some "need to know information about the Yankees" and he talked to me a lot more after that.   Baseball playoffs were times of great fun at the Richards house.  John was quick to voice his pride in academic accomplishment and over the years he cheered many young family friends to chase their dreams and shoot for the stars!  I can clearly see myself sitting with him one summer evening waiting for Kari to get home from a shift as Super Duper (real blast from the past).  It was shortly after I lost my father.  John and I talked about both of our fathers and he reinforced how proud of me my father was.   It was a great pep talk to keep chasing my dreams and achieve my goals.  Mutual loss and lonesomeness bonded us that night.  Thank you for tolerating Kari &  Carrie in the kitchen!  I know we fed you some slop over the years, but  you ate it and praised us anyways! 
  • Jason and Jenny- Thank you for the experience of having an older brother and younger sister.  So many great memories! 
  • I can't complete this post without acknowledging some Richards family pets that have been near and dear to my heart.....Beauty, Donald (the sneezing snot throwing cat), Horses (trips to the barn in all kinds of weather bright and early builds good character!)

Life Is A Journey

Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
and youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to desecration
and then perhaps to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or
from strength to weakness
and often back again;
From health to sickness
and we pray to health again.
From offense to forgiveness
from loneliness to love
from joy to gratitude
from pain to compassion
from grief to understanding
from fear to faith.
From defeat to defeat to defeat
until looking backwards or ahead
We see that victory lies not
at some high point along the way
but in having made the journey
step by step
a sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey;
A sacred journey to life everlasting.

With Love,

A Daughters Tribute to John Joseph Richards Jr

Love From Kari (Today 3/27/12)
My heart was shattered this morning with the passing of my father, an amazing man who I adored, honored, and loved so much. I am only grateful that he is no longer suffering, and that I have family and friends equipped with glue to help me slowly put back the pieces. I will miss you Poppa John. I will treasure the memories, of which there are many. RIP John Joseph Richards, Jr. Oxox

A Message From Kari (3/26/12)

I love, I love, I hate I hate,
I like, I wish, for goodness sake?..
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray,
I will, I won't, and for today...

... I love all of the amazing memories I have with my father that I will treasure forever. Thoughts that will put a smile on through my tears for years to come.
I love that my father has touched the lives of so many with his witty and fun personality.
I hate that lives circumstance make it unsafe for me to be with my father and my family at this time when we should all be together.
I hate that our family has suffered so many tragedies in the past few years, way to many people taken to soon.
I like that when I am crying in my husbands arm Talia comes howling at me, I imagine she's saying cheer up mommy.
I wish the doctor had said it was safe for me to be with my dad.
For goodness sake.. Start doling out the good news to our family, it starts with Delaney's birth and Kasey's engagement, keep it coming.
I hope that my father can feel the love that surrounds him here and sees the open arms he will be received with over there.
I hope that my voice is enough in place of my physical presence.
I pray that when it comes it's painless and peaceful.
I pray that my family leans on each other and reaches out for a hug if they need it.
I will try to keep my mind busy over the next few days so in don't go nuts.
I won't beat myself up for circumstances I can't control.
And for today... I will fill my mind with as many good memories as I can and send good vibes to my amazing father.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In Loving Memory of Neal Richards

If you are finding this post, you know that the Richard's family has suffered a great loss this week.  Kari's Uncle Neal Richards passed away and today's post is dedicated to him.  Uncle Neal had a larger than life personality and every story I know is filled with love, laughter, jokes, and fun!  I could write post after post about Kari's wonderful family.  Neal's family has requested donations in his memory be made to Care4Kari to help with Kari and Barry's ongoing medical expenses.  A huge gift and a true gesture of love.

Funds raised will go directly to Kari and Barry via Paypal.   Kari continues to recover from colon cancer and Dermatomyositis. Funds raised will help with ongoing medical expenses. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Thank You and An Update!

Thank You to everyone who has said a prayer, send a message, mailed a card, deposited a donation, and cooked a meal.  Your love and support is much appreciated and has turned many gloomy days bright. 
  • Kari is now at Horton Medical Center (60 Prospect Avenue, Middletown, NY 10940) 2nd Floor- Rehab.  Please join me in mailing her some happy mail.  The funnier the better.
  • Kari's skin rash from Dermatomyositis  is almost gone and the endless itching is a memory!
  • Kari had a bit of a careless caregiver (PC for Nurses Aid) and now has a bit of a shoulder injury.  This makes her therapy and exercise a bit more challenging. The good caregivers earn the new preferred title. May the bad ones encounter some poo throwing patients!
  • Kari enjoyed an orange slush today and has another swallow study tomorrow.  Let's keep our fingers crossed that things are moving in a good direction.  Kari is gaining weight (sorry Kari, but it is a GOOD thing) and getting excellent nutrition from a PEG tube.  She has visions of Red Robin dancing in her head, hopefully tomorrow's test will tell us how soon we can all start "The great burger drop".
  • There will be a few new missions this week. Please check back on Thursday for details on how you can help!
  • Every day Kari is making progress.  Her strong spirit and ability to love through all she is going through; reaffirms how grateful I am to have her in my life. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Calling All Cooks- Mission Feed Barry Some Non Institutionalized Food

It is tradition for newlyweds to plump up a bit- these 2 are losing weight and this week's mission is to try to stop that.  Kari's doctors are working to get her calories and nutrition, so our focus needs to be Barry (& Jen).  He is a champ and has been at the hospital with Kari over the past week.  Has anyone tried to eat hospital food for a week?  Enough Said.  If you live nearby and are cooking for your family anyway,  please consider setting aside a portion for Barry or Jen.  Sometimes homemade food can lift you out of the druthers.  If you need help getting the food to them please email and I can make arrangements for someone to pick it up.  Freezer meals are wonderful.  Thank you to everyone who has showered love upon Kari and Barry! 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wants-vs-Needs and Love For The Landlord

When I started this blog, I was deliberate in my intentions.  My goals are simple, but they are outrageous given these economic times.  I am upfront and honest and will continue to be.  If nothing else, friends and relatives are offering vast emotional support for Kari & Barry.  Kari & Barry are touched by many generous monetary donations that have poured in via Chip In this week. I think it is very important for everyone to understand that housing, transportation, and an over the top bed are really NEEDS in my Opinion, not Wants or fanciful wishes. 

Today I learned that I may have offended Kari & Barry's landlord, and for that I am truly sorry.  I have great love for someone who allows a tenant to modify entry ways without batting an eyelash.  Kari & Barry truly have a good landlord.  I am sure he would likely let them out of a lease if we are so blessed to find them another living arrangement.  Kari & Barry are good people who honor their words and fulfil their contracts and their lease is no exception.  Kari's apartment is safe and well kept, it is just not safe for her. 

My intention was never to make her landlord feel bad.  We can't ask him to rearrange the apartment into a single level configuration.  That is beyond his control.  Likewise, it is next to impossible to find housing when you can't go looking for it.  Renting in a small town like Malone is easy- word of mouth would likely find us something safe and reasonable, but downstate is another ball of wax.  My hope is that someone downstate can help us locate a safe rental (To rent until Regis & Kelly award them a dream home- I have faith that it will happen).  Safe in this context means safe for Kari.  Her current apartment is safe for the rest of us, just not for her.  Kari needs an open floor plan, single story apartment with 2 bedrooms.  A bathtub or large shower stall to allow her to use a shower chair.  Kari needs a place that has very few stairs and hopefully none at all.  She has a long recovery ahead of her.  I hope that we can all network and spread their story with the hope that we can find them a rental that will meet their needs.