The Blundell family has had a very long two weeks. We had funeral services for Donna Bowlin, Jim’s mom, last Friday. Jim had spent time in Tulsa at the Cancer Treatment of America with his mother. She had called and asked for all of her kids to come she wanted to visit with all three of them. His sister, Verna, his brother, John, and Jim had not been in the same place at the same time in over 18 years. It was not that there were problems- they had got caught up in raising their families and Verna has many health issues that made travel difficult. Donna was fighting for her life- along with her lung cancer she had an infection in her lungs- her platelet count was down to three- and she had developed congestive heart failure. Even with all of those things against her she never gave up she fought to the very end.
Donna had many accomplishments in her life. After her divorce from Vernon Blundell she went back to school and received her RN degree. I was told that she was an excellent nurse. She had worked in Branson Missouri in the hospital there. She had a heart for those who had been abused whether it was babies- children, wives, or anyone else. She went to work for the Government in the Indian Health Department. Her husband, Jerry Bowlin, moved with her to the Shiprock, New Mexico area and White River Arizona area to work on the Reservations. She was quick to love the Indian babies- she told me that the babies did not have blankets or clothes when they left the hospital. She had a way of making you want to help out so I talked to the ladies in our church and we made a baby blankets and gowns. Donna was really pleased when the hospital received the huge box that we had sent. Later on they moved to Biloxi, Mississippi and she worked there in the hospital- when she was unable to work on the floor- she worked with heart patients watching heart monitors. She was very involved with the Cancer Treatment Center- she talked with the legislators of Georgia to help convince them to support the construction of a Cancer Treatment Center in Atlanta. She was successful in persuading them to build.
There was nothing lazy about Donna. One of her sister-in-laws said that Donna was always busy even if she was sitting under a cedar tree she would be cleaning the dirt.
I learned many things from my mother-in-law. I learned was that she thought her children were as near perfect as possible. Living with one of them I knew that was not entirely true. I learned that it was not a good idea to point out that there might be a flaw. I learned that I was mistaken. I found out and try to pass on to newly wedded brides that no matter what - you never complain to the mother-in-law about men, especially, your husband. Even if she is grumbling about men- you either stay silent (which I have never been good at) or you say that your husband never does anything annoying. Then you thank her for raising such a wonderful man. This means that you are more than likely lying through your teeth but it certainly makes life easier. But I really do have a great husband and have very little to gripe about, but I did not whine to Donna, not over three or four times, I am such a slow learner.