It's me

It's me
The Bedouin Woman

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Auntie Flo

Auntie Flo

Today I want to tell you a story about a very dear friend of mine. Her name is Florence Witko, we called her “auntie Flo. Even though she wasn’t my aunt, she was an aunt to my children and so we all picked up that nickname for her.

Auntie Flo was my sister-in-law, my husband Gene’s sister. Now my husband and I didn’t always get along but auntie Flo and I did! She was the kind of woman that always had time to sit with you and talk no matter what was going on in her life, she was just that kind of person. You don’t find someone like that very often in a lifetime.

I’m going to take you way back even before Gene and I were married. It was my 18th birthday and there was a surprise party for me at auntie Flo’s house, in the country, all planned by her. I can remember all my friends and all the food and unfortunately yes there was also beer. Don, auntie Flo’s youngest son was there and he was so dang cute and so sneaky. He was the one that made the best of the beer. But it caught up with him the next day, I can remember his color was like pea soup, the poor boy was so sick and it lasted the day with him, I think he learned a very valuable lesson that day.

I’m not just going to take you on a trip with me and aunty Flo but some of the other family members as well. Edna, Eddie and Marion will also be added in on this story because they all played such an integral part in my life. I hope you all enjoy this blast from the past!

Back to Auntie Flo, I have to tell you she was the glue that held the family together, even though she didn’t live with us(well, she and Eddie did for a very short time)but you could count on her no matter what time of day or night, she would be there for you!

As I developed this story in my head I was looking through some boxes looking for a certain picture of her and I that I couldn’t find. It was of us in her second story home in Renesselaer, we were both dressed up so we must have been to church or some other important function J I love that picture and will treasure it as my memory of auntie Flo. I know I have it somewhere as I’ve seen it several times in the past move.

I did find another picture equally as touching; it is a picture of Auntie Flo with her beloved “Rusty”, a little Chihuahua, that was indeed a part of the family. It was a sad day when “Rusty” passed one that I thought Auntie Flo would not recover, but she did. She was a very strong woman; she mourned her loss for awhile but then got right back on the road to life once again.

If you needed something and auntie Flo had it, it was yours, even if it was her last piece of bread or her last quarter, it was yours. She was the most giving woman I have ever met. She was a hard worker. Working in a printing press is not an easy job. Sometimes, if a family member needed her car, she would take a bus to work; seriously she was generous to a fault.

When my son Matt was 5 years old, aunty Flo, Eddie, Matt and I went on a “road trip” however we didn’t drive, we went by train. That was an experience, a fun one. We went to Florida to visit my oldest son Patrick and his girlfriend Christine. Imagine 24 hours on a train, she and Eddie kept me entertained. Anyone who knew Eddie at a younger age knows exactly what I’m talking about. He had auntie Flo wrapped right around his little finger, I say that in a good way, she loved Eddie as we all did and she wanted to provide him with memories, and that she did!

I may jump around a little in the telling of this story so bear with me please. I want to tell you the first time I met Marion. I was surprised that my boyfriend’s(at the time) sister had the same name I did and we both spelled it the same way, unusual. She was very intimidating to me, why you ask? She was very tall and at first she was very quiet and didn’t smile much, but as we got to know each other we formed a bond as well but not the same bond as auntie Flo and I. Auntie Flo and I clicked right away but with Marion it took some time to get in her good graces but once you did you were her forever friend.

Now I will tell you about Edna, Eddie’s mom and one of auntie Flo’s daughters. Edna was one of those people who didn’t let you in right away. She had to observe you from a distance and if she felt safe after awhile she would let you in little by little. Edna and I got along well, she was, like I said distant she was cordial, always made you feel welcome, but stayed a step back if you know what I mean.

Here is when Edna and I became sisters. Back in 1970 I was pregnant for Gene Jr. I was about 7 months along when the doctors found a tumor on my lung. They had no idea what it was so they sent me to Thoracic Surgeons, who told me as soon as this child was born I would need major surgery to find out what kind of tumor this was and to remove it! I was shocked. I had no idea what I was in for. I needed child care and I need a baby sitter for a newborn, as Gene Jr. was 10 days old when I went in the hospital for major surgery. Who stepped up to the plate, you ask? Yes, you guessed it Edna. She didn’t have to be asked, she volunteered. For nearly 3 months she took care of my precious baby boy with love, care and nurturing. She lived close to us and brought him to me every day to see him and let me know that he was doing well, she did a marvelous job. Thank you Edna, I know I must have thanked you before but as I bring all this to memory, what would we have done without you?

I don’t think I mentioned the youngest daughter of Auntie Flo’s Nancy. She was about 6 or 7 I think when I met Flo and bless her heart she was plagued with Asthma, she had many trips to the ER from what I remember with asthma attacks. Even with all this going on, Auntie Flo had time for us.

This story could go on and on but my memory is not what it used to be and I see scattered pieces of life with auntie Flo, her marriages and her fight just to survive at times. But I want to, I have to remember the good times we spent together, the bingo parlors we visited, New Years Eve parties, the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners we shared together, such happy memories with this sweet, sweet lady.

When we got the call that she had passed I was as shocked as everyone was. They told me she was found sitting in her chair, at peace. One day I will see her again, dancing in the presence of Jesus her King, how do I know this you ask because the bible says when you are absent from the body you are in the presence of the Lord. Auntie Flo accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior several years before her passing and that’s how I know.

I hope this little jaunt back in time was enjoyed by all and brought as many pleasant memories to you as it did to me.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Arise- from my perspective

Arise 2012 with John Bevere on our opening night of Thursday March 15. We were so blessed to have the Bevere’s here with us on our 3rd year of Arise. John started our first night with this question: WHAT IS THE FEAR OF THE LORD? Now, I don’t know about you but this to me meant that we don’t want to do anything wrong to have the wrath of God down upon us. Oh, my dear friend it goes a lot deeper than that! John went on to explain what the fear of the Lord really is and if you are a person who truly fears the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is to be terrified(not of God)of being out of the presence of the Lord. You hate what God hates and Love what God loves. All who fear the Lord will hate evil. Here is some evidence of someone who fears the Lord:

*They will obey God instantly. You know, sometimes you hear God and He wants you to do something, but we, in our human state, usually will put off what God is telling us to do until we are sure, it was Him speaking, that my friend is disobedience and therefore you do not fear the Lord. Almost obedience is not complete obedience.

*They will obey God even if it doesn’t make sense. You’re in service, worshiping God, and suddenly He whispers to you to tell the person in front of you that He loves them and He sees what they are going through, you think to yourself is this just me or is this really God? Don’t think about it just do it!

*They will obey God even if it hurts. Even if you can’t see the benefit of it. Obey God to completion.

God’s victorious secret: Psalm 25:14

The secret of the Lord is with those who FEAR HIM, and He will show them His covenant.

Arise day 2, March 16, 2012 Morning Session Heidi Reisner


As a young person we all have had our dreams. Some dream of going into a field of medicine or being a great athlete. Sometimes those dreams never come true. A disappointment is to fail to fulfill expectations.

Lazarus was the hopes and dreams of Mary and Martha, when he suddenly became ill and it took Jesus 4 days to get to them, they were devastated. Read the story of Lazarus, Mary and Martha John 11:17-44. Jesus knew exactly what He was doing even though Mary and Martha did not. They both reacted differently to His delay, Martha, when she saw Him coming ran to meet Him, while Mary stayed in the house.

How to reclaim your God given dream:

*You must acknowledge your disappointment. Martha and Mary were both disappointed that Jesus took so long to get to Lazarus and in the meantime he had died. Now, that is a disappointment. Both knowing that IF Jesus had come sooner, He could have save Lazarus. Vs 21.

*You have to believe again. Vs. 23, here Jesus is telling Martha and Mary that Lazarus will rise again. They thought He was talking about in the resurrection, but He was talking about then and there, but they didn’t realize that then. Your hopes and dreams can and will rise again, you must believe that.

*Allow Gods dreams for you to become your dreams for yourself. Healing>Resurrection. Gods dreams for us is far better than any dream for ourselves.

Martha and Mary wanted a healing for Lazarus, they called but Jesus delayed because He wanted a resurrection for Lazarus Vs 18. The place where Lazarus was is only a 2 mile journey. Sometimes God will wait, in order for our dreams to die Vs 34.

Jesus wanted Martha and Mary to take Him to their greatest disappointment Vs 35. Jesus wept, not because Lazarus had died but because Martha and Mary had lost faith in Him.

Arise, next session with Dr. Barry Henry, speaks on Health and Wellness has a test you can take to find out just how unhealthy we all really are. I highly discourage this test but OK, go ahead, don’t listen to me, take it BUT I WARNED YOU!

He started out by saying stress can take 30 years off your life where smoking takes off 20 so you see stress is worse than smoking. Ok, but YOU still need to quit smoking!! Romans 12:1

Management of stress:

*Breathe deeply, learn to meditate, slow your mind(no, not the new age stuff)put on some good worship music, close your eyes and think of God and how good He is to us.

*Relax your muscles

*Exercise 4 times a week

*Think positive thoughts about things you enjoy

*Make changes in your schedule

*Surround yourself with people who provide positive and healthy feedback, suggestions and laughter.

*LAUGH A LOT even at yourself.(my insert)

*Get your sleeping patterns in order

*Find 60 minutes a day for YOURSELF

*When you can, spend 60 minutes or more helping others

I Cor. 6:20 We were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit which is God’s.

Arise, Saturday Night 3/15/12 Lisa Bevere


If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.

Matthew Arnold, Ninteenth-Century British Poet and Author From the book Lioness Arising, by Lisa Bevere.

Jesus, our Lion of Judah. Ever seen the movie Narnia? Ladies, we are His Lionesses. But do we act like it? Awake, Awake, daughters of Zion! Wake up to who we are!! Awake from the dreamless slumber. Isaiah 52:1-3 It is later than we think!!

We are most alive when we are on the edge of danger.

Clothe yourself like a garment(strength) You have a strength find out what it is and put it on.

Proverbs 6:6-8, Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you, be strong and of good courage,,,,,

Excerpt from the book Lioness Arising:

To all my lioness sisters who feel something wild, fierce and beautiful stirring within them.

You are stunning. You were born for this moment. Don’t be afraid of your strength, questions or insights. Awaken, rise up, and dare to realize all you were created to be.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Blast from the past and a jump to the future

Hello my faithful Bedouinwoman and Facebook note readers!!!

It has been several weeks since I have written anything and I thought it was about time because on Sunday of last week something profoundly sweet happened to me while walking around in New Orleans.

I had spent about 7 days in Florida visiting family members and had a great time. My daughter and family was kind enough to drive to NO to pick me up at the airport. My equally kind son-in-law Tim decided to give me a short tour of NO, I’m so glad he did. Even though I was tired from my visit to FL and the early hour in which I had to arise to catch a plane, I felt very blessed to have this time with them.

Having said all the above I must take a step back in time and tell you about my brother “Knobby”. You heard right, I have no idea where or how that nickname came about. Ever since I can remember that was the name his friends called him. He was 9 years older than me and I loved him with all my heart. I was the youngest of 7 children, a very unexpected arrival. My brother’s full name was Robert Emmett Walsh, I called him Bobby.

Bobby was a very talented man, he played the banjo and guitar. Ever since I can remember he practiced these musical instruments, our house was always full of this music, no matter how dysfunctional my family was I could always depend on my brother calming the house down with his music.

Fast forward many years later, my sweet brother developed Hodgkin’s Disease. This disease should not have been a death sentence for my brother. In fact, I have a niece that also developed this disease and she is still living a highly functional life. There is a medical regime you must follow in order to stay healthy to put this disease into remission, unfortunately he did not do this and passed away at the tender age of 41 years old, a very, very sad day for me and my family.

I want to tell you about how this brother of mine loved and cared for me though the years. When he went into the Army I was devastated and missed him so much, but the 2 years he was away, he wrote me short letters and many small gifts from Korea and Japan, some of which I still have safely tucked away. Every once in awhile when cleaning out stuff I come across them and sit and remember my sweet brother. When my mom told me he was coming home I went to the store and bought him handkerchiefs with his initials on them. I was so happy to see him walk through that door! He hugged me and I knew he was happy to see me, but something was different, he had changed. I guess the military has that effect on people. I was sad, disappointed and mad, so very mad. So mad that I took that handkerchief that I had spent my hard earned allowance on and blew my nose on it after having cried my heart out.

He never knew that but it made me feel better, for some unknown reason. Things settled down and he became a regular part of my day. Once again the music started and my life was back on track with my brother home at last.

Several more years had passed, I had married and began my family, my brother was an integral part of me and my kids lives. Unfortunately, only my 3 oldest kids got to know this great man.

Several more years passed and I was now divorced and my kids and I were living with my father(a whole nother story, for another time). My father was an asthmatic and an asthma attack and a clot to the brain and he was gone! My brother was there for me, he literally moved in with me and the kids to get me through this very hard time of my life.

I don’t know about you, my readers, but I absolutely love Jazz and blues music, I think it’s because this is the music I grew up with. Bobby, in the living room practicing his Banjo. Going to a certain local club where he and his band “The Old Wazoo Good Time Band”played every Friday and Saturday night. They were all friends, he and his band, and they were good! One time they decided to have a “flapper” night, all music from the 20’s and 30’s and he asked me to help him out with opening night by dressing as a “flapper” and serving food. This was one of those times that go into your memory bank as one of the best times of your life.

Then Hodgkin’s Disease hit and it hit hard. Hospital stays, medications, weight lose, depression and virtually helplessness set in. I remember his appetite was so poor that when he did eat it was a great accomplishment. At this point in time we lived quite a ways away from each other but when a call came from him I was on the road to be with him. I remember one night in particular when a call came asking me to fix him some bacon and eggs, so I was on the road and 20 minutes later I was standing at his stove cooking the requested bacon and eggs. He couldn’t eat them, just made him so sick. I sat with him this night and rubbed lotion on his very dry, pealing and cracked skin on his legs and feet. I cherish the nights I spent with him helping him and supporting him.

Another hospital stay, during which time my brother was visited by my pastor. He, my brother, accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. This was also a special time for me as I was in nursing school, something Bobby was so proud of, he bragged to the doctors and nurses about his sister, the nursing student, I think he knows that I did graduate and spent the next 30+ years working in that field.

Isn’t it strange that you never really see extended family members unless someone dies or gets married, a sad fact. It was a closed casket, something he requested and we adhered to. My brother Gordie was with him at the end. It was the middle of the night when the call came to me. Babies come into the world and people leave the world in the middle of the night.

I needed to give you, my readers, just a small peek into my world with my brother to give you an idea how profound the rest of this story is. Fast forward, once again, back to Sunday and my tour of NO. The day was cool and windy but comfortable as we walked the quaint streets, looking at the buildings and people of this city. We heard the music and followed it to this side street where a very unique group of people were playing, a tuba, horn, washboard and banjo like instrument. The tune was jazzy and bluesy and it was mesmerizing to say the least, along with the people playing them.

If it wasn’t for my daughter I would have been clueless. As we began walking away, she asked me, “did you see the washboard player”? I said “no, why”? She said “you need to”, as I turned around, I was blown away. You see this guy was hidden by one of the other players and had I not turned around to see once again, I would have missed this man that was an exact replica of my brother Bobby. My brother had red hair, a full red beard and always wore a cap, a typical Irishman he was. The washboard player, had red hair, a full red beard and had a cap on his head, very much like my brother, he was also the height and body build of my brother.

Tears filled my eyes as I watched this man, who could have been Bobby, playing his instrument, making sweet, bluesy music. I wanted to run up to him, put my arms around him and tell him how much I miss him. In my mind that is exactly what I did.

I believe God had given me this vision to let me know that someday, we will be reunited in a place called heaven. I look forward to the day I can put my arms around Bobby and tell him how much I missed him.