A Sunday Morning Visit With Me and “Mr. Church”


I’m branching out this morning–taking that little fork in the road, if you will.  This post still shares with you my feelings about my love of God, church, family, special moments, memories, and family histories.  However, in it, I also reveal my love for good music, a good book or a good movie; and, how I spend and appreciate my infrequent solitude that lets me remember back to times and emotions from earlier seasons in my life.

Yesterday was Saturday and my husband Bob is attending a weekend-long firefighters’ leadership seminar in Northern Montgomery County, MD.  So, after running errands I attended our church on Saturday night with my daughter and her family.  And, as always the music, message, and multitude of faithful friends and family filled my heart and spirit as together we worshipped.  This worship was deeply moving to me as one of the older hymns, “Blessed Assurance,” from 1873,  reminded me of my maternal grandmother, Loretta Ford–this hymn was one of her favorites and it was played at her wake.  In fact, grandma’s birthday is tomorrow, and had she lived until now, she would be 122 years old.  Loretta was an adventurer, a pioneering spirit, a fighter, a lover of life and of God. From her I got my confidence, initiative, inventiveness, and drive.  She continues to be my inspiration and not a day passes when I don’t realize that she is still here with me as my guardian angel. So, in the quiet of my home this sunny Sunday morning with only my loving Chihuahuas by my side, I decided to stay nestled in and curled up under my warm blankets to watch a good movie, without any interruption from the cold world outside just beyond my bedroom.

As I casually browsed the list of movies using my relatively new cordless Amazon TV fire stick,  I happened upon a thumbnail for a 2016 no-name, no-hype film called “Mr. Church,” with an image of an older and very pensive looking Eddie Murphy.  So it’s Sunday, I went to church last night, and no church-going for me this morning–and next I spot a movie with “church” in its title.  I tell you it was sheer providence.  So, why bother watching the movie’s trailer, or reading its reviews, when this film literally leapt from ten feet out off my TV screen and triggered my fingers to click the “watch” button on my TV remote.  

Eddie Murphy as Mr. Church

Eddie Murphy as Mr. Church

Now, I’m only a few moments in, and I realize that talented and absurdly funny man Eddie Murphy was giving us an inspired and new look at his first and flawless dramatic performance–one that we’ve never seen from him in his 30 years of producing and starring in comedic movies.  And a performance, that I hope will lead to many more like it.  So, if you’re looking for a pure story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother receive gifted services of a talented cook, “Mr. Henry Joseph Church,” as a six-month arrangement that instead spans 15 years and creates a family bond that lasts forever, this film is for you.  Its story’s overwhelming moments will choke you up with heartrending emotion and your tears quite likely will flow.  But conversely, the easy display of warmth and love within family relationships will grab you up and make you feel like you’re floating on air, or dancing on the ceiling.

If you’re interested in watching the full movie, it’s available for free, here on YouTube

Remembering Loved Ones for Their Military Services


Thank You Veterans

Home of the Brave

About 1-1/2 years ago, I wrote a blog post From Everyday Moments May Come Precious Memories where I noted my feelings, ties, and respect for my mom’s grandfather, John Carpenter Ford; her parents, Robert Gideon and Loretta Ford; and her brother, my uncle, John Austin Ford.  The Ford family was intricately involved with me in my formative years.  You know the saying, “It takes a village…”.  Well this was especially true in my life because I spent nearly as many days living with them as I did with living my parents–every chance I could!

Each of these Ford men bravely fought for their country during historic wars and conflicts. And, we can never be sure to what degree their lives and personalities changed because of their individual wartime circumstances and conditions.  And, this is why I so appreciate them placing their lives on the line for us during these incursions.

Our Men Who Served

John Carpenter Ford  (1864-1961)

John Carpenter Ford
(1864-1961)

My maternal great grandfather, John Carpenter Ford, was born January 15, 1864, (a capricorn like myself), in the midst of the American Civil War, in Wake County, North Carolina (a Confederate state).  The Civil War was the bloodiest war in America’s history taking the lives of about 600,000 men right on their own lands and among their own people! When “Grandpop” or “Pappaw” as we called him, enlisted for a five year stint, he was nearly 25 years old.  According to his military records, he served in Company D of the 17th Infantry Regiment. Reviewing the timeline of Indian Wars and the involvements of the 17th Infantry, his enlistment would have placed him in 1890 in the midst of the Apache Indian War in Arizona and New Mexico, and at the Sioux Indian disturbances in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, November, 1890 – January, 1891.

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John Carpenter and Mary Susan (Morris) Ford 1943

My great grandfather lived to be nearly 100 and in 1961 was one of only two of the last surviving veterans of the Indian Wars. Ironically, in 1894, he married my great grandmother, Mary Susan Morris, who claimed to be a full-blooded Cherokee from North Carolina. 

 

RGFordandPals

Private Robert “Roy” Ford (center)

????????????????????????John Carpenter Ford’s son, Robert Gideon “Roy” Ford, my maternal grandfather, at age 19 enlisted in the U.S. Army Signal Corps. On June 28, 1914, six assassins (five Serbs and one Bosnian Muslim) led by Gavrilo Princip killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg.  Just weeks later Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia–adding fuel to the fire that exploded into the Great War. Fortunately, four months after Roy enlisted, World War I ended with the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.  Shortly after his discharge from the Signal Corps in 1919, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served on the “Big Island” on the Central Pacific Ocean from September 1920 until September 1922.

 

PvtJohnAFordThe Invasion of Italy was fought September 3-16, 1943, during World War II (1939-1945). My Uncle John Austin Ford, was there having enlisted in the U.S. Army immediately following high school graduation.  He was only 19. During the course of the invasion, Allied forces sustained 2,009 killed, 7,050 wounded,  and 3,501 missing while German casualties numbered around 3,500. My uncle John was one of those wounded. Unfortunately, he lost his left eye.  Following his injuries, he was awarded the Bronze Star, and Purple Heart Medals for his valor during the battle.  Uncle Johnny passed away at the young age of 37, leaving a wife, a 15 year-old son, John, Jr., and a 5 month old baby girl, Tammy, whom he loved dearly.

A Hearty Thank You to All Veterans of All Wars and Conflicts for your services to me and our country!