Archive for November, 2007

Turkey Gone?

November 26, 2007

Well Sunday night has came and now you must stop rubbing your belly and get ready to go back to work and school. Abigail told me today how lucky I was because I could stay at home and do what I wanted, not like her having to go face school, the third grade after the Thanksgiving Holidays. Well my first thought was that no I wasn’t lucky, because I had rather be headed back to work. That was a dumb response on my part because she was right, I am lucky. I am the luckiest, no the most blessed man alive. First of all God has given me more than I deserve, just to be alive is more that I deserve and then there is my family, my friends well that stops me there. You are either my family or my friend and my friends are my family and I don’t deserve that but you are stuck with me. Remember, careful what you pray for because God answers prayers. Even if the doctors only gave me until November 2007 to live, God gave me that transplant that you prayed for, so you see I am here a whole lot longer because God answered your prayer.

This was a wonderful Thanksgiving for me and my family, one thing I love to do is cook on the smoker. I got out the ole smoker out of the loft of the barn and cleaned it up, took some hickory that Daddy cut for firewood and cut it into one inch thick chunks and soaked them in good ole Possum Kingdom water. I smoked a ham, Claire out done herself with some pan fried fresh corn, pea salad and an awesome red velvet cake. This was just a small part of the feast that we enjoyed, everyone vittles were just awesome dishes and boy did we get full. Strange things were going on after we ate, like I will never eat again and people just walking around rubbing their bellies. It was wonderful having all of the family together. Justin came down Wednesday night and stayed until he had to go back to work at May-Lan Christmas Tree Farm at 1045hrs on Thursday morning. The rest of the family arrived at Daddy & Deeda’s around 1200hrs with baskets full of goodies. It was awesome sitting at the table with all my family. Just to catch you up in case you are not sure of who all my family are. Claire & Abigail, Daddy & step-mother Deeda, sister Meleeda & Anthony with his scrapes and bruises from his wreck on Wednesday morning going to work and we thank God for his safety during the incident of the big rig (bob tailed) hitting his Nissan pickup in the drivers door at the Ware Place, step-brother Larry & Kim, step-sister Vicky & Jerry and all our kids. After we ate and the ladies cleaned up we sat around and chatted a while and then slowly one by one we all returned to our homes. Claire, Abigail & I then went on another visit, this was to see PaPa (Claire’s Daddy) so off to the lake we went and it sure was great to see him and spend some time with him. We knew this weekend was out for a visit, due to the Clemson football game on Saturday. PaPa may not be able to go to all the games but his true Clemson spirit is not getting older, because he will get his orange on and sit and watch or listen to those tigers, and I found out early on not to bother the Clemson game day.

Speaking of Saturday’s football game, Claire was planning on her way home from work as to what she had to do before she could sit down and watch the game. Well the game was well worth watching but it was even better in my house, Claire pulling for Clemson and Abigail pulling for Carolina. Well we all know how it ended!! Go Clemson.

Well the night is growing on and I must retire to bed so I can arise on time in the morning so Abigail isn’t late to school.

Claire and I will be headed to Charleston for a test this week. Keep us in your prayers and pray for my donor’s family every day.

God Bless You,



Prayers Answered

November 21, 2007

Hello My Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for the prayer for Brother Allen Billings & Family. He had his cath today and they found that the stent he had put in back in 1999 had some blockage. The doctor said it was not as important to fix it right now as it was for him to have his neck fixed first. He said his heart was good enough for the surgery and they would fix his heart later. Thank God for answered prayers. Please keep the Billings family in your prayers, for as of now he is scheduled for surgery on his neck next Thursday.

Thank You for your prayers,

God Bless You,


Urgent Prayer Request

November 20, 2007

Good Evening,

I was not sure how to get the word out the quickest and duh, I thought of the blog.

I am requesting prayer for a true dear friend of mine and yours, his name is Allen Billings (Fire Marshal – Retired). Allen is in need of our prayers because he is faced with some tough days ahead. Allen has a problem with his neck C-6 to T-2, will have to have some removal of the bone and replaced with a rod and screws. The doctors have told him to be very careful of how he moves between now and the surgery or he could be paralyzed. The surgery was set for November 27, 2007, but he had to have his heart checked out first, he has already had two open heart surgeries, one in 1982 and one stint placed in 1999 and another open heart in 2000. He went today for the ole treadmill test and after about two minutes the doctor stopped the test and instructed him as soon as a room came open at AnMed, he would be admitted. Allen is resting at the hospital tonight, awaiting his turn tomorrow for the catheterization, and if need be any other procedures the doctors see that needs to be conducted. The doctor told him that he must have his neck fixed or he could be paralyzed, but his heart had to be able to stand up to the stress of the surgery. Please pray for Brother Allen as we all know the unknown can be scary. Please pray for his wife Glenda and their children as the days ahead approach. Brother Al we love you and we are praying for you, keep you faith in God and he will see you through, for God is in control.

Please send get well wishes to
Allen & Glinda Billings

or to me Pelham Medlock
as I will see that they get them.

God Bless You,


Happy Thanksgiving Week

November 19, 2007
Good Monday Morning,
I trust that you had a wonderful week. Well down here in Possum Kingdom all things are Great because God is in it. This week has been good, but it also held it’s challenges. Daddy & I hauled some logs to the saw mill. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but Daddy had already done all the work, he cut the trees over a year ago. Daddy then loaded them on the trailer and tied them down, really all I done was drive the truck. Anyway on our second load, of course something must go wrong, it was just a small thing. Well at least that was the way we told Claire and DeDa (Joyce). The only thing that happened was just one of the straps holding the logs on the trailer broke, course we only had two on it. I slowed the trailer down and stopped and as we regained our thoughts we applied a chain and a smaller strap to the load, then Daddy discovered what caused the strap to go flying up in that yard. The strap broke due to the fact that one of our tires on the trailer had separated and broke the strap, so what do we do, we went on to the mill, very slow. God got us there and said all right boys fix this before you do something really dumb. Therefore we emptied our load and came home without the lumber due to the tire issue, on Wednesday after two return trips we had all the sewn lumber back in Possum Kingdom. I had grown very tired during the week and was having a lot of stomach pain, so Daddy & DeDa started stacking the lumber and a little after dinner (12:00PM) the lumber was stacked safely away. I retired to my chair at the house and have remained there through out the week. I picked Abigail up at school on Friday, after her trip to the Upcountry Museum and discovered that she to was sick. Claire came home from work Friday sick as well. Claire had to carry Abigail to the doctor on Sunday afternoon and she has strep throat and will be out of school Monday and Tuesday. Claire was hurting so when she came home Friday that she had made an appointment to see her doctor on Monday. On Friday, Dr. Sahan’s office called and advised me that they had scheduled the nuclear medicine test for me on November 29, 2007 in Charleston. I guess he just wanted an after Thanksgiving gathering in Charleston. They will skeet some nuclear (glowing stuff) in my belly and see if it winds up in my chest, sound like fun? I am not sure what kind of prize I will win if it does wind up in my chest, maybe it will be something fun? Then after the the prize ceremony they will then skeet some other nuclear (glowing stuff) in my foot and that is suppose to show them where the leak is, I’m still thinking stop leak is all I need! I am just not sure how soon after one test the next test will be and then when the leak stopping, or patching will be? I sure hope this Thanksgiving turns out different that last year, because if you remember I spent the Thanksgiving Holidays with the fine folks at AnMed Hospital, and my family sneaking in turkey, they could have brought just a little more. This year I am going to be standing by when the turkey is ready so I can taste first, to see if it is done, then I will need to test just before everyone eats to be sure it is warm, and then one final taste to be sure it has not sit out to long, last year the turkey they brought me just sang and danced. My family thought it was funny, but it was hard to eat, I don’t think it was done.
Well any way I sure do have a lot to be thankful for, do you? I want to Thank God for saving my soul and allowing me to live through this transplant and all the other wonderful blessings he gives me each day. I am so thankful to my donor’s family, to allow him to Donate Life. I have a wonderful family that I am so proud of and thankful for. My wife Claire, she sure took each one of those words she spoke on June 19, 1996 to it’s true limit, you know the part about in sickness and in health, she could have threw me away and who could have blamed her, but I thank God she kept me. I have Justin, our son who has stood tall as a man and took care of us all and Abigail, our daughter who always wanted to be there with her Daddy and still keeps me young, both I am so proud of and I am so thankful of. I have Daddy & DeDa who has stood by us each step of the way, you know I am suppose to be helping them but they are still helping me. I have Meleeda & Anthony who was always there with us and at home with us. I have so many other family and friends that has helped us in so many ways, from raising money to visits and phone calls, but most of all I have all of you who have always been there for me and my family through your prayer, I could never thank ya’ll enough. I thank God for our millitary men and women and their families, pray that they remain safe. OK so I have sit here late at night or early in the morning I should say, writing what I thought to myself was going to be short and now you have a knot on your head from banging it on the monitor, so wake up. I hope that you take that extra moment and tell the ones around you that you love them and thank them for being there for you. I sure do love you and thank you for being there for me, this thing is not over so keep praying and don’t be surprised that one day I come knocking on your door just to whine and cry on your shoulder. If you have a friend you have not talked with in a while, stop and do it, hug your Mama and Daddy or at least call them and let them know how much you love them, you never know when you won’t have that chance again. If you have not ask Jesus into your heart do it now and tell everyone, we all have been praying for you, you never know when it will be to late. What will you leave behind? Will your soul go where your Mama always prayed it would go? Have you made you decision to Donate Life, if so have you told your family, tell them over the Holiday, remember 18 people will die each day waiting on a life saving transplant. If you remember November 2007 was my project death date, but Thank God my donor’s family decided to Donate Life.

I hope each one of you have a great Thanksgiving Holiday, be thankful unto God who all things belong to.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Love Ya,


Bad News!!

November 9, 2007

I am sure that this will be some bad news for some; well the bad news for some is that just because it has been a while since my last posting, I am not dead. Thing are going good for me and I don’t want to complain all the time. I will however catch you up on the past few weeks.

In October we had the great privilege of attending an event for all people involved in transplants from donors & family to recipients & families, this was in Charleston SC and it was wonderful because Claire, Abigail & Justin were all there with me. We had the opportunity to talk with other family members and even meet people from the upcountry that I had only heard about. The booths that were set up provided fun for both the young and the old. Then there was the food, and we all know that a fat boy from Possum Kingdom is going to find the food. They served us a lowcountry boil in a wooden serving trough and I think that made it taste even better. The day grew to an end much sooner than I wanted, because that was going to cause a separation of my family. Claire and Abigail loaded up and were heading back to Possum Kingdom, Justin Loaded up and headed back to Rock Hill and I headed to the Donate Life booth, to gather items that were left over so I could carry them to my next stop. My next direction was up the east coast from Charleston, Myrtle Beach. I loaded up my supplies and headed up the coast to my next destination, which was the Crown Reef motel at Myrtle Beach and to meet up with my dear friend, Bum (aka Curt Bumgarner). This was a meeting that I was looking forward to. The 11th NC / SC IAAI this conference was something I had missed the past two years and was not sure about this year, but God worked it all out.

How did I get there? Well it all started with a conversation with Chief Ken Taylor and I were talking about the need for more intense investigations being conducted from the fire department side in Greenville County. I spoke of the great training that was available at the annual conference, so he suggested that Curt and I go. I thought this was an awesome idea, to have the opportunity to go to the conference and to spend a week with my awesome friend, Bum. Let me tell you just a little bit about Bum and how far we go back. He was hired as the 26th person at South Greenville Fire Department and I was the 27th, so you can tell we have been close a long time, such as taking one of the first field classes of the trio of the interior fire fighting classes, to going to the SCCJA for two weeks to take our basic arson training. I knew just from the beginning this was going to be a great week at the beach. OK so we arrived at the beach and wow the people that I think so much of and had not seen for a couple of years, I knew my week could not go bad. We then went to an invitation only lowcountry boil for the staff and instructors of the conference. I was so honored to be among such a room full of professional and to be greeted with such open arms. To think this was just the beginning of the week. We then retired for the evening and arrived back at the conference center at 0630hrs on Monday morning to set up the booth for Donate Life SC and to set information on each row of the tables.

The greetings I received from everyone from North and South Carolina was outstanding. I was then asked to set at the head table to pray during the opening ceremony as well as speak.

I was able to thank God in front of my piers for all that he had done for me and I was as well able to thank each chapter for all that they had done for me and my family. I was also able to tell them about the need for organ & tissue donation. They did give me a time limit so I tried to keep it brief. This was an awesome start of the week and training had not even started yet. The week went on and the classes were great. I got to talk to people one on one and train with the best of the best, not just in North & South Carolina but the nation. We even got the flash back of our school days because we went on a field trip on a school bus. On Wednesday night we had the banquet and again more good eating. I was ask to sit at the front, but I did not think nothing was up, I sure was wrong. They are up there giving talks and then giving out awards and I was just proud to be there. SC President Jeff Allen was giving out SC awards and then he started talking about a special award that award being a Life Membership, then he ask me to come up front. I was overwhelmed and as I arrived up front I looked out at all of those people standing up, clapping and I knew they were clapping for me, but I knew how unworthy I was for that caliber of people to stand up and clap for me. Jeff then asks me to speak if I wanted to.

You know me I am not going to give up that chance, but you know I was so surprised that I don’t remember what I said, other than as I was wiping tears away I told them that it was OK for a fat boy to cry. Why does God bless me so much? I hope I can live up to the expectations God has for me and maybe one day I could be half as good as those who stood up and clapped for me. Thank You God, the SC IAAI board and members, my family, my donor’s family and all the ones at the conference. This was again another proud moment for a country boy and my new liver.

I was able to hand out a lot of information during the week; we had over 300 at the conference. I was able to talk to very good friends about all my liver troubles and about some of their liver troubles. I was able to provide information both to SC & NC member as well as President Tom Fee IAAI The web sites are,
SC Donate Life SC
NC Donate Life NC
Carolina Donor Services
Life Share Of The Carolinas
The week progressed on and the great instructors continued the task of trying to make us smarter. My time with all the NC & SC members was growing to a close and as well as the time with my great friend Bum, Friday came and as all good weeks this one ended with a test. Test is which a curse word to a dumb country boy but by the end of the grading I had survived the test and received my certificate. We all then went our separate ways and traveled home, but before I left the beach I had to stop for that most important item, the souvenir for Abigail, so with gifts in tow I was homeward bound. I was looking so forward to seeing Claire & Abigail, Justin was still away trying to get smarter. Many Thanks to Ricky Seel of Columbia for the photographs.

The weekend was a night mare for the victims, families and friends of the house fire at the beach; it was also a big task for my dear friends who had the weight on their shoulders to figure out what snuffed the life away from those seven young men and women. The firefighters who fought the fire did so, bravely and with pride, to yet suffer the sadness that no matter how hard they tried the loss of life had happened. May God bless all who are involved in this tragic loss.

The weekend at home was great, but then on Sunday night we received some very sadden news, our pastor was leaving. Rev. Frank Dooley would be moving on in reverence to God’s will. Our church members and community will miss Brother Frank more than he will ever know. We all know that it’s not our will but God’s will, God Bless You Brother Frank. I wish I could tell you the words I feel for you, you have been a pastor, friend, brother to me and my family, from Mama’s death to my sickness. We Love You Brother Frank.

Monday came about and I got to go to my visit to see the vampires. The blood work came back and as usual some things were elevated but nothing real bad, my uric acid was the one of concern right now and my liver doctor in Charleston wanted to wait until this Monday and test it again before treating, I guess that way I get stuck an extra time, ha ha.
My fluid levels are still going up, on Monday I drained 1100ml, so if your keeping score the numbers go from 325ml in the start to 1100ml now and still no buyers for the liquid gold. I went into town during the week and seen some good ole friends that were truly a blessing for me to see. Some I haven’t seen in a while and some I just lost contact with but it sure was an awesome experience for me to reunite with them. Some explain how much they enjoyed reading my blog and that made me feel bad since I have not update in a while, so now you all get to read a lot. I remained around the house the rest of the week moaning and groaning, but they tell me the aches and pains will go away once my troubles are fixed with this fluid. We will see!! The weekend began with a blast for me I went to Greenville on Saturday for some training through Donate Life SC. It was called TSI, Transplant Speakers International. The training was to teach the ones of us who are shy and don’t like to talk in front of people how to get up and tell our story, which the ones of you that know me the more the merry for me. The next part of the training was to teach us how to tell our story with the power statement, body and ending all in five minutes. I laughed to myself and thought I would still be telling my name by the end of that short time but I guessed the training worked because I told my story in 4:59 ½ minutes, and I got a good rating on that, I sure felt like I had a hole lot more to say but my time was up. Sunday was a lazy day as I just went to church and lay around until church time again. Claire, Abigail, Samson, Rebel & the chickens went for a walk in the woods and the dogs played in the branch. They returned just before dark and then Abigail wanted me to go down there, I put her off until Monday night.

Monday I went to the Anderson County Arson Unit and gathered the last things I still had over there in their way, I think after two days maybe when they look around the office they won’t see my junk in their way. I was also able to congratulate a very good friend of mine into the position of arson investigator in the Anderson County Arson Unit, my friend Brother Ken Blakely.

On Thursday I went to see Dr. Kopp in Anderson and he made some adjustment and told me to hang on for the word from Dr. Sahn in Charleston, every one tells me how much he knows. Well then today while I was writing in the blog, I got a phone call from Charleston; it was Dr. Sahn himself calling to tell me what he wanted to do next. He stated that he thought I had a leak from my transplant and that he wanted to have some glowing medicine put in my belly, not my stomach, and see if it glowed, I mean flowed up to my chest. He said if my chest then wound up with the medicine, he meant glowing, that they would then put some other kind of medicine, some other glowing stuff, in my foot and as it worked it’s way to my chest that could possible tell them where my leak is, I still think a good dose of stop leak should do the trick, guess they don’t have a medical grade of that yet. Once they find the leak then they will decide how to fix it, I am not sure if they will solder it or weld it. I am confused about one part of this test, I know the old saying about a way to a man’s heart is through he stomach, but I have never heard of the way to a man’s chest is through his foot, oh well what do I know. Well now you are caught up to Friday afternoon, November 9, 2007.

This Sunday November 11, 2007 is Donor Sabbath.

I will be speaking at Fair View Street Baptist Church Sunday morning at 1030hrs., please come and join us for worship, fellowship and a whole lot of praising God.

God Bless You,