MSH

In my mind today, I’m so very sad. My sweet husband (MSH as my daughter says for short) left for heaven July 2nd, 2022.  I cry and then I laugh and then cry some more.  Watching someone you love fade away in front of your eyes is so very hard. I do not have a corner on the market though.  This is indeed a tale as old as time. I am just so blessed for the 33 years that we spent together. We shared such a special kind of love. 

Students, I want to share a little bit about MSH.  Our kids would tell me, “Oh no, mom is talking about my sweet husband again!” (Editor’s note from Abbey: that’s exactly what I just did.)  33 years ago I did marry the sweetest man ever. When we decided to get married, I was 20 and he was 34. He told me I had to be okay with him dying first.  I told him that I understood and he was the kind of man I wanted: a good father. You see, after I came home from college after quitting basketball and a full scholarship at the University of Memphis or Memphis State, I was floundering. I took a job at a daycare. That’s where I met Nicholas, Ken’s son.  

Nick and I hit it off. He was the worst napper ever. I, Miss Sarah, had to rub his back to try to get him to sleep. Nap time was serious and I had to rescue a lot of restless nappers; but Nick was a frequent flyer!  I always noticed when Nick’s dad would come and he would be so happy. I could tell his dad was a hard worker. He came in with a bright blue hard hat and covered with white polymer from a local factory. The way he ran to Ken melted my heart. I thought, “That is the kind of man I want to be a father to my kids.”  Well, he then started coming in all cleaned up. Nick had told me his parents were divorced. I had also noticed “no ring.” We were definitely “zinging” on one another, so when opportunity and chance met, we took it. Nick had fallen on a block and had to have stitches. Ken wanted me to go and help. I can still remember the day. The hard hat matched his blue truck (and his eyes, but we won’t get into that!). He had Memphis State stuff in the cab. We talked about the Tigers and he asked me to come over and watch the game with them. That was it. No other man would ever be in my heart again.  He popped in a cassette tape of REM and we headed to the hospital. Recently he told the kids he knew that I had a rock’n’roll heart from that first ride in his blue pickup truck because I knew all the words from “It’s the end of the world as we know it” by REM. I miss my sweet husband. MSH!

I had accepted a scholarship offer to play basketball in the fall to Lambeth University but I didn’t go. Instead Ken and I went to Crockett county courthouse and we got our marriage license. I still remember the questions: Name, birthday, social number, and have you ever been married before?  I breathed through the questions. And then it was his turn. “Have you ever been married before?” Asks the clerk. Ken answered, “Yes.” “How many times?” Asks the clerk. “3 times.” answered Ken.  My eyes bugged out and my ears felt like they were deceiving me. I said, “What?  I only know about 2.” We then went to the hallway and talked about this. I was shaken but I was crazy in love. We did not immediately get married after this but waited until I was over the shock of another life/wife to deal with because two was hard enough. 

In November 1989, we went down the bluff to the Bogota bottoms and got married. Mr. Don Childress, County commissioner, was slopping his hogs in his hog pen. His sweet, spunky, beautiful wife said, “Get out of that pen and clean up. I want you to get The Bible and say some good words and not just you are married.” Ken’s daughter, Andi, and his best friend David Jones stood up for us. We went to Pizza Hut for supper and then home. 

The next morning I called my mother and I told her that I was married. She said I didn’t think you were really going to get married. She was very upset. She said she wanted me to have a nice wedding. She said over and over that she just wanted more for me. My father on the other hand told her to let go.  He said Rachel, he is a good man; he will take care of our daughter. He did, he still does and he always will take care of their girl.  This is how this crazy love began. I thank God for this love because love endures all. Students I hope one day you are blessed with a love like ours. RIP MSH

Quotes of the Day:

Alleyisms

Ken aka Papa Smurf by Clarissa Haymon, Papa Razzi by Ab, me, and  Lady Gaga, Rop by Ab

In the memorial video look for odd pictures. He loved to take and look for odd pictures. He also liked to take pictures of abandoned old businesses in Memphis.

Birthdays were his favorite (even though he always joked that they were canceled, along with Christmas, every single year). He filmed almost every birthday.

He loved loved loved music. His music collection is astounding.  He loved to discover new bands and home-tapers.  Book of Kills, R.Stevie Moore, Barty Aum, etc.

He was a Trivia master of music history and bands as well as sports statistics. I never heard him ever misspell a word or not know how to spell a word.  Thanks be to the nuns at Our Lady of Sorrows School in Memphis Tennessee.

Another one of our songs. ­čÖé

What I feel, I can’t say

But my love is there for you any time of day

But if it’s not love that you need

Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love?

Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

What I know, I can do

If I give my love now to everyone like you

But if it’s not love that you need

Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love?

Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

Tell me, what is my life without your love?

Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

What I feel, I can’t say

But my love is there for you any time of day

But if it’s not love that you need

Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love?

Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

Oh, tell me, what is my life without your love?

Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

What is my life without your love?

Tell me, who am I without you by my side?

Oh, tell me, what is my life without your love?

Songwriters: George Harrison

Snow Days, Valentine’s, and Gratitude

In my mind today, I’m thinking about snow days, Valentine’s, and gratitude. Oh snow days! I know all of my back row students are just having such a good time. I have spent my morning in prayers and devotions watching the beauty of the children in my neighborhood. They are sledding like wild fire down the drive into my front yard. I had messaged them to please let the kids sled down the neighbor’s drive into my own yard. It brings back such great memories of me with my children. If it is done just right, you can catch air at the bottom and jump up and go into our yard. We were always ready for a good snow day but it was even better when ice was involved. That means you can really jet on your sled. I also think of the sweet parents that are out there with their children enduring the cold. Many would love to just sit inside and get an extra day to relax and if you’re a teacher to get grades done as well as curriculum plans. It makes my heart so happy that these parents sacrifice for their children. That is what it’s all about sacrificing for others happiness. Sure I didn’t want to go out all the time in the cold and the mess that it made was rough as well. The joy that my children got was worth more to me. Those moments that we get to be with our children are fleeting. If you’re reading this today, grab a sled, a piece of cardboard, garbage can lid or anything that gives less friction (Yes back row students this is a lesson. Less friction the faster you go!) then get out there with those children!
Valentine’s day has always been such a beautiful holiday for me. I have the most thoughtful husband. He always gives me the most beautiful flowers. He even signs the card himself every year. I know this is frivolous but it is such a beautiful sign of love. Today, I read about how a man should not be alone. God knew that Adam was lonely. He had created such an abundance of creatures but he knew that Adam needed a helpmate. I am so glad and grateful I thank God because He gave me such a wonderful partner in life. I hope your Valentine’s day is full of gratitude and love for the one you spend your life with on this earth. We only get one life. It is so sad we spend our time making plans and not enjoying it.
Today I joined a book club discussion with several different women. I was so grateful to see other women of faith wanting to stay as close as they can to the word of God. I am just grateful for the ability to still be a part of God’s plan. Gratitude is so beautiful. Since you’re having a good day out of school here is a little bit of homework. Think of three things that you are grateful for and yes back row you could say snow days for one. I am grateful for my sweet neighbors and their beautiful children who unbeknownst to them fill me was so much joy as I watch them through my window. I am grateful for this life even if it is in a wheelchair. I am so very grateful for each and every moment that I can spend with you and my family. Last but not least, I am grateful for this time given to me so I can become closer to God. Have a wonderful snow day and Valentine’s day! May your heart be full.
Sarah Anderson Alley Sal the Grateful Gal
Quotes of the Day:Kindness is like┬ásnow– It beautifies everything it covers.
A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky, unbidden, and seems like a thing of wonder. .