Wednesday’s Visit With Addy

I didn’t realize how long it has been since I last wrote about my friend Addy. I swear I thought I’d written again since February’s post! Anyways, I’ve been to see her many times since my last story, but my visits have been much shorter than usual.

Guys, Addy isn’t doing so great. I never knew much about Multiple Sclerosis, but I can now tell you that it’s a horrible, horrible disease. It has effected her sight, thinking, and physical abilities.

I was supposed to visit my friend last Monday, but when I called to let her know I was on the way her son answered the phone, letting me know that Addy was not doing well, and that they were headed to the doctor. I kept in touch, and was able to visit two days later.

When I got to the house, the kids eagerly ran out to meet me in the driveway, like usual, but Addy wasn’t in the doorway smiling. I made my way inside, Jada and her little friend ran to the swingset to play, and Titus found some toy trucks to spread out on the living room floor.  The oldest daughter (12 yrs) went back into Addy’s room, and was in there for quite some time. I just sat on the sofa chair, looking around at all of the things they had there. The many bookshelves were crammed full of books- Bible books, cook books, gardening and herbal books, soap making books, and encyclopedias. There were shelves lined with mason jars full of goodies. I noticed a dozen or so oil lamps around the room. Many antiques were also spotted here and there.

After about 15 minutes or so, I heard Addy’s bedroom door open. Her daughter came out walking backwards through the kitchen toward the living room, holding Addy’s hands and guiding her to the couch. Addy slowly followed along, taking very small steps, and didn’t seem to be able to see anything at all. Her hair was wet, like she’d just showered. As she was helped to her seat, and gently eased down, she smiled in my general direction when I gave a cheerful “Hi!”, but her eyes were unfocused. Her daughter went to get Addy’s glasses, so that she was able to see a bit better.

I just sat quietly as they went through their routine. Once Addy was settled into the corner of the couch, her daughter got a glass of milk and some pills and made sure her mother had taken them. It was obvious that it was very difficult for Addy to hold that cup, and to get it to her mouth. She tried to brush her own hair, but soon had to give in and allow her daughter to do it for her.

I asked her how she was feeling, and she smiled and said that she was fine.

My visits this year have been extremely different from last year’s visits. I’m afraid the lesions on my friend’s brain have taken their toll. She isn’t able to think of much to say anymore. Conversation is somewhat awkward, as I try my best to keep it going by myself. I sit and tell her all of the things I’ve been learning to do, and the crazy and funny things that have happened on our little homestead, and she sits there nodding and smiling, looking like she is just about to say something, but she isn’t able to get it out. She doesn’t say much of anything at all, just sits and smiles.

I try to bring things to show her, to help encourage conversation. This time I brought some foraging materials I just got, that tell you which wild plants are edible or medicinal. She seemed very interested, her daughter was as well. They took the cards I showed them, and her daughter flipped through naming which plants she recognized and read a little about them out loud. I asked Addy if she’d ever heard of a Soapberry tree , and she hadn’t, so I told her how the nuts from the tree make soap, and how I’d love to have one one day. Her expression told me that she’d love to have one as well.

Addy asked me if I’ve done any canning, and I proudly shared all that I’ve accomplished so far. I had brought her a jar of my bread and butter pickles, but before handing them over I asked if she liked them. Her daughter told me that none of them really liked them, so I kept the jar tucked in my diaper bag, and didn’t offer it.

Her young son came in from outdoors, with a fresh plum in his hand. He brought one in for me as well. Addy suggested that I save the seed to grow my own plum tree, which I quickly agreed was a great idea!

We sat for about an hour. Most of the conversation was between me and her daughter, though I tried to direct most of what I said towards Addy so as not to make her feel left out. Normally we would have been walking around outside, doing chores or observing nature, but this time she did not move from her spot. Her muscles are too weak now.

Before I left, I leaned down to where she was sitting and gave her a big hug, promising to come again soon.

I am so incredibly thankful for the short time that I knew her before this disease took  a good hold on her. I don’t know if she will ever realize how completely she changed the course of my life, and my family’s life. Everything that I am learning to do now is a direct result of her inspiration. I don’t know if she will ever get better, or how bad it will get in the years to come, but I will never stop visiting with her. She will always be my mentor, my inspiration, my model of what a mother and wife should be.

Sadly, this is probably the last of my Butterberry Farm series. If you’d like an occasional update, just shoot me an email. Otherwise, I’m afraid there isn’t much more to write. I know Addy wouldn’t want me going on and on about how pitiful she is at every visit. Pray for her. If the Lord sees fit to take this affliction from her, and things miraculously improve, I will be the first to praise Him publicly for it.

Thank you all for following along with me and my friend! I know she has been an encouragement to many of you as well.

24 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Visit With Addy”

  1. Hi Kendra,
    I just found your website yesterday and have been devouring it ever since…I think I stayed up until nearl 4am this morning reading!!! Thank you so much for all of your posts and sharing so much with us all. Like everyone else I was so moved by all of your posts about Addy. I noticed that the date on all of these posts were in 2010. Have you continued to keep up with her in these last two years? How is she doing? I have looked trying to find a more recent update but cannont find anything.
    Blessings to you and your family. Merry Christmas!!!

    Shelley in Florida

  2. Hello friend. I hope all is going well at your homestead. The baby is beautiful!! Have you visited with Mrs. Addy lately? Just thinking of her and missing those posts. Praying for you and yours, Lona

  3. Friend, my Aunt Gwen suffers from this disease. It is just horribly sad and she is just….*sigh*….pitiful for lack of a better word. She found out she had this when she was 22. The doctor told her she would not live 20 years…yet, here she is at 45. She is always trying new things from the latest shots, drugs, to even bee sting therapy, and I’m sad to say that things work, but only for a very short time. She had to leave a good job b/c she kept falling, and she now permanently drags one of her feet. She has good days and bad days, but I think that most the time the bad outweigh the good. I will pray for your friend, and I hope you will pray for my sweet aunt. I really hate to hear this. What a wonderful she has been…and I know you have certainly returned the love. 🙂 –S

  4. Kendra,

    I was wondering if you have any updates on Addy? I see this post was from July, I didn’t know if you had any more news on how she is doing/ feeling? I am still praying for her and her family! 🙂


  5. Kendra,

    I just visited your site for the first time today and liked what I saw. When I saw your story about Addy it hit close to home. I also have MS and have been in really really bad shape before. But I wanted to let you know there’s a chance she will go into remission and feel better again. I have done exactly that and hope I continue to feel good. I also have septic arthritis, fibromyalgia and thyroid disease and have good and bad days, but there’s hope she will improve.

    God Bless!

    Sydney in Wichita, Kansas

  6. I haven’t visited this site in a while, but I so enjoyed the Butterberry Farms series, as a “wannabe homesteader” living in the suburbs. I am so sorry to hear about Addy’s decline in health. I am glad you had time to know her when she was well and share your wonderful stories about her here, and I agree that your visits probably mean a great deal to her, even if she doesn’t communicate as much. I do have to admit that I worry about her family. It seems like she did *SO* much to care for everyone and the homestead, I can’t imagine how they are managing.

    I will definitely add Addy and her family to my prayer list.

  7. Kendra darlin,
    I can empathize with you. Over the years I have lost a few friends to MS and I have also seen a few of them healed.
    I have some information on evening primrose and how it miraculously helps those who are battling this horrible dis-ease.
    If you like, I can send you all the info I have on it to your email. It’s quite lengthy or I’d post it here.
    I have added Miss Addy to my prayers and will also share her name and condition with my prayer warrior list.
    You are a doll and I know that your love and presence have been a blessing to all who know you.

    You are truly a bright light in this world.

  8. Dear Kendra, Thank you for the update. I have been wondering about her for a while now. I was really hoping she was getting better. It made me very sad to know she is suffering. The children must be heartbroken. She has become a part of our lives too through your site and I am very grateful for her beautiful inspiration. She would be amazed at how many people she and her family have touched and inspired. Is there a post office box we could send cards to? I know it’s not much, but maybe she and the children would enjoy knowing others are praying for and thinking of them. It’s just a thought. Thank you again for letting us know how they are.

    • That’s sweet Rose. When I first started writing about her, she let it be known that it was very important to her that she keep her privacy, so I cannot give an address, but if you’d like to send her a note you can email me and I’ll print it off for her. Thank you for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers.

  9. They say MS doesn’t run in families, but it sure does in ours. Never stop your visits. They mean sooo much. Even if you carry all the conversation and she only hears your voice and feels your hand on hers, that alone has special meaning to her.

  10. I have to agree with everyone’s comments…She has inspired me thru your stories….I believe everytime I open up your blog that God sent me to you so I can learn the self-suffient way of life , and the happier way of life 🙂 I love reading your blogs and I really did enjoy reading about Ms. Addy…My cousin has MS and this saddens me to see such a beautiful person like Ms. Addy suffer so much and know my cousin will be suffering the same someday….Thanks again

  11. Kendra
    Like I said before, I WISH I could have met Addy while we were back there. MS is such a devastating disease. We have had a couple of family friends that have passed on with this horrible malady. My Uncle was only in his 50’s but it took almost 20 years. The Lord has placed Miss Addy on this earth to inspire us all to do our very best for ourselves and for others and to share our God given talents. She certainly has been an inspiration to all the lives she has touched.
    We will keep praying for her and her family for strength and courage during this most difficult time.

    Thank you Kendra for sharing her lives with us. You are a better person for knowing her. I pray you carry on her beautiful inspiration to others.

  12. Those time are hard and praying for you and your friend and yes please tell her how important she as been to you : ) . My friend as MS as well but we are trying a new thing right now (Shaklee vitamins) that from other people with MS are coming out of this horrible desease thank you for those vitamins. I am sorry I had to share this in case your friend ask for help : ) just never know! Will pray for you ladies.

  13. Not only did she change your life but she changed the lives of those who read your blog and found inspiration in the stories of your visits with her. The stories brought back memories of short times in my childhood when I lived much like her children are living today. Thank you for posting those stories.

  14. Oh, I’m so sorry. An old co-worker’s wife had MS, but it was a much slower progression (20 years). We only knew her in the later years as the disease was *really* taking it’s toll. It was tough on everybody around her. 🙁

  15. I’m kind of guessing you have, but if you haven’t already, please say to her what you said to us. Knowing the impact that we have had on someone else’s life is such a gift. Especially given that she is sufferening physically and is unable to do things she did before, I think it would be such an encouragement to her.

  16. Yes, let her know what an inspiration she has been to you, it may make all the difference in the world to her!!

    How sad, I have always loved the Miss Addy stories!!

    Saying a prayer for her as well!!

    • Yeah, you guys, I have told Addy these things. At Christmas I wrote her a little note in a card telling her just what an impact she has made on me, and how she has changed us all for the better. I have told her how incredible I think she is… but I don’t think she’ll ever really know just how tremendous her example has been!

  17. Oh my, I’m in tears. What a beautiful, yet heart wrenching story. I hope you tell her exactly that:

    “if she will ever realize how completely she changed the course of my life, and my family’s life. Everything that I am learning to do now is a direct result of her inspiration. I don’t know if she will ever get better, or how bad it will get in the years to come, but I will never stop visiting with her. She will always be my mentor, my inspiration, my model of what a mother and wife should be.”

    God Bless You All,

  18. Will continue to pray for her. MS is a horrible disease, and I am glad she has such a loving family, and friends like you to support her.

  19. I agree with Jen! You should really tell her how important she has been in your life! She’ll love to hear it! And you will feel much better knowing that she knows how important she is/was to you!



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