Mom’s Miraculous Death

By these photos, taken by my friend at Arlington National Cemetery, you might feel this is a post about Memorial Day, but it’s not. My mom’s birthday falls on Memorial Day this year. I have wrote about mom’s death before, but I’m going to take another swing at. Warning this piece might be considered a little long, over 600 words.

My mom died on February 6, 1998 from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and spent most of ‘97 in and out of two hospitals. The closest one was Malcolm Grove on Andrews Air Force Base and the other was Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. She was always in a room with two beds no matter which venue we were at. As it worked out the other bed was never taken by another patient during any of her visits and I was allowed to sleep in it. Guess the Doctors new mom wasn’t long for this world and the bed was mine if it wasn’t needed.

Mom loved us kids and her grandchildren and was constantly praying for us. I drank and drugged for years and she prayed that I would stop and I did nine years before her death. I was given the blessing to give back the kindness and love that she gave me all my life and was able to move her in with me for her last year on earth. As a result of that year I lost almost everything I had after she died, because I neglected everything and concentrated on her. The one thing I did not give up was sharing the Gospel Message in the Charles County Detention Center (CCDC) every Thursday. I would go home to wash clothes and re-up for another week at the hospitals, then go to jail and give the message, before going back to mom the next day.

Here’s where the miracle takes place. She was moved from the west wing of the fifth floor at Malcolm Grove to Bethesda four days before she died. Side note, dad died at Malcom Groove in 1975 on the east wing of the fifth floor. The Doctors said she had two days to live, so they wanted to move her to a special bed. It was a noisy bed because of the movement needed to combat bed sores. I used the other bed to either sleep in or study for the next message at the CCDC. In order to concentrate on the message I needed to turn the TV up as back ground noise.

Picture this: I’m in the hospital room with mom, the noisy bed, loud TV and all of my study material is on my bed. All of a sudden the world went silent. The TV made no sound, even as I saw the actor’s lips moving, but no sound came from them. I looked at mom and she was fixed as I had grown use to – no change. The bed was muted, but it was still moving as normal. There was no sound from the hallway or outside, the wind was blowing the tree tops but hushed. I got up and walked to mom’s right side and cupped her right hand with my left one. After a few seconds God gave me the opportunity to wipe mom’s last tear from her right eye. I knew she was finally at peace – so was I. Then as an afterthought, all volume returned.

I packed my belongings, turned the TV off and stepped to the hallway after one last look at mom and the room. Standing outside of that unforgettable room I nodded to the Doctor down the hall on my right, then turned left for home. God gave mom and I that special moment to say goodbye. Mom is buried on top of dad and they share the same headstone.


How ya like my hat? Gary Clark hat

Is this story fact or fiction?

It was a nice indoor event with a lot of people hoping to meet one or all of the Redskin players that were in attendance. One former player was Sonny Jurgensen, and the two active players were Darrel Green and Gary Clark. I liked all three of these men, but I really wanted to meet Jurgensen, because I was wearing his jersey. That was a no go from the start, his line was so long but the Green and Clark lines weren’t short either. Stopping to survey the venue once I walked in, I noticed I was in Gary Clark’s line already.

I was hoping that my girlfriend Lisa would come with me, but she roots for another team, so she went to lunch with a Cowboy fan. Standing in the line for what seemed like hours, I remembered a recent conversation between us.

Weeks earlier I bought a Washington Redskin hat at a yard sale and gave it to her, but she

said, “I’m not wearing that filthy thing!”

My reply was, “It’s a gift, bought especially for you.”

“I don’t care. Get that thing away from me!”

The hat was actually bought to add to my collection of Skin hats and of course sit on my head till another hat came along. Later I noticed it was tight and barely fit me, so I thought maybe I’ll turn it into a gift for Lisa and it might turn her hatred for my team to at least respect – that didn’t happen. Realizing when I put the lie on my head it wasn’t a big lie, but a lie all the same.

However, while at the ‘Fan Fest’ I was in line hoping Gary Clark would sign the hat. He graciously did. After that I looked at the other lines and decided to leave for home. After I walked out the door I heard a commotion to the right, so I walked toward a crowd to see what was happening. Low and behold there she was, my girlfriend in the middle of a Dallas Cowboy rally. I stepped closer to the crowd unaware I was setting myself up for ridicule. I had no idea that Lisa overheard me explain the little lie to a friend and she set out to teach me a lesson. I got closer and closer to the crowd, then she pointed at me and shouted through a mega phone, “That’s him, the Redskin liar.” At that point I realized that cowboys and Indians didn’t mix and this relationship will probably never work. It reminded me of a country song where the wife gave the husband an ultimatum of fishing or her and he told the listener in the song, “I’m going to miss her.”

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Quote by Jim McDonald

My latest quote is “Write it in pencil, because life changes”

The photo below is of me on the left and my brother George Brian McDonald on the right. It was taken in Camp Busac, France, probably in 1956.

Graduated with my First Degree

Hi guys. I didn’t get lost, I just took a little hiatus from the pleasure of writing to complete my Arts and Sciences Degree at the College of Southern Maryland (CSM). I graduated that AA degree this spring (2021) and will pick up my diploma this summer. Now I am moving on to the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) toward a Bachelors’ Degree in English. I’m at the limit of transferable credits and will reverse transfer three English courses back to CSM and will graduate with my second AA Degree in January of 2022 – this one will be in English.

I have a lot of hat stories to incorporate in my ‘How ya like my hat?’ category and a good number of ‘Your three words, my little story’ stories will be coming up also. Please comment on them if you feel so inclined. Now back to writing!

The preceeding photos are from my latest craft/vendor sale at Coastal Arts Market (CAM) in Leonardtown, MD on May 15, 2021. The following photo is at CSM where spent a lot of time and finally will have something to hang on the wall.

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Your three words, my little story: Michelle’s words – revel, phoenix and shiny

Remember my stories are fiction and in no way should be confused with reality.

Standing on a street of the largest city she ever visited, Michelle was filled with excitement, expectation and apprehension. This trip was more than a visit though, she lost everything to the COVID-19 pandemic. So she left the little town she sprung from and headed toward hope, dreams and a new dawn.

It was hard to behold the skyscrapers for more than a glance, because the reflection of the sun was almost unbearable. As she tilted her head down to sneeze and shield her eyes she noticed a SHINY new penny. Superstitions told her heads up was good luck, so she bent down and picked up the first gift the city gave her. Straightening back up she adjusted her clothes and stared at the turnstile that held her future. Hesitation filled her, but she felt regenerated and born again somewhat like a PHOENIX rising from the destruction. To REVEL in her excitement, pleasure and satisfaction would not justify her emotions. She stood straight, tall and proudly took a step and proceeded straight to the top.

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Jim McDonald Writes,

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