Friday, December 2, 2016

Writing about Mom

First, my writing for the Yell County Record in her stead as a goodbye to her readers.
She had a few.

Gravelly News
Glenna Goodson

My Mom, Glenna Goodson (Oglesbee) passed away Tuesday, Oct 29th, 2016. She is survived by me, her son Ellis. Her youngest son Russell. Her sister Kathy Minnie. Grandkids Robyn and Ryan. And a few great-grandkids.

Glenna had been suffering from a bad cold cough. I took her to the family physician who decided that in case some of the chest sounds might be pneumonia, an antibiotic should be prescribed. That night, in the AM, Mom lost her ability to get out of bed and take herself to the bathroom. She also lost the ability to hold her head up. Her chin drooping into her chest. I took her to the bathroom about 10 times, saying we should go to the hospital. Mom said no. Only after her granddaughter Robyn arrived was the hospital trip arranged. 911 ambulance response people bundled her up and took her to St Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City. This was Thanksgiving.

While I visited late that night, she became harder to understand by using less breath to speak. The little finger clip monitoring her blood oxygen level triggered an alarm and a crash team responded to Mom’s inability to breath for herself. After an ER visit, she emerged with a tube down her throat. She spent all the next day like this, miserable with a machine breathing for her. The next day (we are now in ICU where we will stay) she has slightly improved and has the tube out of her throat but has a full face mask on that still does the breathing for her. I’m told that without the mask, Mom would die.

Especially exasperating to Mom is that her speech is gone. She mouths words we can’t understand and she makes motions we never interpret right. But it is very clear from nods and shakes of her head that Mom understands everything we ask her. And she hates that mask. Her most common hand motion is centered on the mask and how much discomfort it is causing.

A day passes like this. Bad discussions occur about DNR (do not resuscitate) eventualities  I ask Mom pointedly if she wants to die by taking the mask off. The mask is staying on. But then we’re told to prepare for the idea that the tube may need to be used again soon. And also to consider having a trachea surgery to permit a tube direct access to her throat. Bad stuff but it is what it is.

Mom spends another full day with the mask on. Her sister Kathy and her daughter Kathleen come for a visit and spend Saturday and part of Sunday with her while she is wearing the mask and unable to speak. But she knows who they are and it’s very clear she understands everything they say to her.

Monday the mask remains on, I do a fairly extended visit for that day. Shifting her pillows around, stroking her hair, holding her hand. Talking to her.

I arrive early Tuesday the next day, and what gives? Mom isn’t wearing the mask and she’s doing a decent but weak job of talking and making words. She’s happy to have the mask off. There is still a discussion about the trachea surgery. But she is obviously regrouping. In fact I stay for about two hours and then go home to send out the good news that Mom is going to make it and I hope I can bring her home soon.

I hung out at the house until about 2 PM, using the computer and Skype to make the calls. When I got back to the hospital her room was full of people, working hard to keep her alive. I got a bit faint. I had a nurse suggest I go to the waiting room until someone comes for me.

That’s it. They lost her in those next minutes. Everyone involved expressed their regrets to me. I was allowed time alone with her. And I went home to make more phone calls. And arrangements.

Glenna Goodson will have services at Resthaven Funeral Home, the Chapel there, on Monday, Dec 5th, 10 AM. There is a viewing the Sunday prior from 1pm until 8 pm.

Part of memorials always involve photos. I’ve been working on that the past couple of days. Doing a lot of scanning. Here is a blog I created as a hub for the photos and videos.
Here is a playlist of the youtube videos.

Glenna Goodson loved life. She loved teaching kids. And a lot of people loved her. Her Christian faith was often spoken of in this column. She got that greatest of gifts from her outstanding parents, Hestor and Doc Oglesbee.

Enjoy Heaven Mom. Most everyone you loved in Gravelly Arkansas is already there waiting for you. Your folks, Bob Roy, Dad, lots of Fourche Valley classmates. ( would this column be complete without a mention of Fourche Valley school )

Glenna Goodson, born 5-14-1932, passed away 11-29-2016. RIP. Love you Mom. No more suffering.

And then this is my attempt at cobbling together her obituary.
Forgive omissions. This is just the big shapes.

 Glenna Goodson. 84 years of age. SW 57th pl Oklahoma City. Passed away while at St Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City , OK.

Daughter born in 5-14-1932 to Herschel ‘Doc’ Oglesbee and Hestor Oglesbee.

 Masters Degree in education from OCU.

Glenna began life in her beloved Gravelly, Arkansas. Moved to Little Rock to attend university and train for her long career as a teacher. She married Fred Goodson in 1952 and moved to the Tulsa area where Fred Goodson worked for Douglas Aircraft and soon transitioned to his career in the Elevator trade.

Glenna continued her education and was ready with a teaching degree when the couple and their two sons, Ellis and Russell, moved to Oklahoma City in 1960. Glenna worked for a short time for Moore school systems. Transitioning  in the mid 1960s to Oklahoma Public schools and her long career as an elementary school teacher at Coolidge Elementary located in SW Oklahoma City. (About a 5 minute commute from her SW Oklahoma City home.)

She continued her schooling and achieved her Masters in Eduction degree at OCU. Her parents were present at the Oklahoma City diploma ceremony. Glenna was a great source of pride to her father and mother as their first college educated child.

Coolidge was home until she retired 20 years ago. But her love of teaching was so great that she continued to work almost full time as a substitute teacher. During this retirement period Mom enjoyed good times spent at the Texoma lake cabin with her husband Fred and all his fishing cronys.

But she also had her heart set on moving back to Gravelly, Arkansas. She did move back and lived several years in a small bungalow directly across the street from her parents old home. Staying in constant touch with Maxine, the former wife of her brother Bob, now living in the old family house. Glenna was also constantly in touch with her sister Kathy, living in Nola and a teacher herself.

She was very active in Church and commuted far and wide working for the Masonic lodge and the church. Glenna belonged to Gravelly Chapter #580 Order of the Eastern Star of Arkansas.  Her sister Kathy is bringing a star that all OES members have at their funeral.

Glenna returned to her home in Oklahoma City about 10 years ago when her health became problem prone. Diabetes contributed to some of these health worries and she wanted to be closer to convenient doctor options..  She continued her long time relationship with Mayridge Baptist Church when she moved back.

Some time after her return, Fred Goodson is also forced to return to the Oklahoma City home. In his case, strokes forced his move. So the couple were together again. Fred died Jan 2011. Almost 6 years ago. Glenna continued to live in her home with her youngest son Russell as caretaker. Her eldest son Ellis joined her 4 years ago and added to the caretaking.

Glenna Goodson loved life. She loved teaching kids. And a lot of people loved her. Her Christian faith was often spoken of in her regular newspaper column. She got that greatest of gifts from her outstanding parents, Hestor and Doc Oglesbee. Glenna will enjoy being in Heaven with everyone she loved in Gravelly, Arkansas already there waiting for her. Her folks, Hestor and Doc, her brother Bob Roy, husband Fred Goodson and lots of Fourche Valley classmates.

Glenna Goodson is survived by her sister Kathy Minnie, her husband Lacey and their daughter Kathleen, Glenna’s sons Ellis and Russell, and Russell’s children, Ryan and Robyn. Mom is also survived by her adopted daughter Annette Raiden and her husband David Raiden and their children.

Glenna Goodson will have services at Resthaven Funeral Home, the Chapel there, on Monday, Dec 5th, 10 AM. There is a viewing the Sunday prior from 1pm until 8 pm.  500 SW 104th St in Oklahoma City.

The longer obit will be appearing in the Yell County Record.
A much shorter Obit will be in the Daily Oklahoman with a link included to this blog.

The skimpy version in the Oklahoman-
(will include the topmost photo of her as a young teacher.)

Glenna Goodson. Retired teacher. 84 years of age. Born 5-14-32. Passed 11-29-16  Services at Resthaven Funeral Home. 500 SW 104th St in OKC- Monday, Dec 5th, 10 AM. Viewing is Sunday Dec 4th 1 -8.  Memorial blog located at