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  • Written Oct 4, 2010 10:58pm

    What a Week!
    Saturday-  the 25th Jessica was honored to be the first Chris Klicka award winner.  (She is still embarrassed that she did not even say, "Thank you" to Mike and Mike and Tracy!)  She then gave her talk at the Ladies' Tea.
    Sunday - the 26th, we flew home from Chicago
    Monday - the 27th, Jessica and her sisters caught an early flight to Amarillo with their mom to attend a family funeral of a much-loved cousin, arriving home at 11pm.
    Tues - the 28th, was a rest day
    Wed - the 29th, they cooked and canned 35 jars of pear preserves and pear chow-chow.
    Thurs - the 30th, Betty had afternoon chest pains.  Nitro-glycerine failed to help so 911 sent paramedics.  Betty had a mild heart attack.  Jessica slept in a chair (sort of) at the hospital.
    Fri.- Oct. 1st, two coronaries were totally blocked so stents were inserted to open up the blood flow. Betty's heart now working at 75% capacity.
    Sat. - Oct. 2nd, day of observation.  Jessica's family takes turns attending Betty.
    Sun - the 3rd, released from hospital at the end of a long day.  Betty went to bed at 6pm for the night.
    Mon. - the 4th, Betty tired but up and around.  She helped Jessica fix dinner and helped me do the dishes.  Not bad for an 84 year old Alzheimer's patient coming out of a heart attack and micro surgery three days before!
         Jessica is ready for a quiet week at home.  Be sure of one thing; she has the most amazing ability to meet a crisis head-on of anyone in history.  Years ago, a political friend gave Jessica a ceramic bulldog after a campaign she ran for him.  He said "She was as tenacious as a bulldog."  True!  Wonder if Jessica gets her tenacity from her mom??
    God is the Great Physician (for mother and daughter),

         Are you aware that life is but a vapor?  Do you have a mom or dad, son or daughter or beloved cousin that deserves a phone call or person to person visit?  Don't call for yourself, call for their sake.  Do so today and then, promise yourself to make calls once a week.  Or . . . you might forget, then find out, it's too late!

  • Written Oct 2, 2010 8:08am

    A picture is worth . . .
         I have added some photos from the award ceremony at the National Leaders Conference.  Pretty cute!

    God is good,

  • Written Sep 26, 2010 10:17pm

    Fitting End of the Story!
        You might recall that Jessica was supposed to be the speaker for the Ladies' Tea at the National Homeschool Leadership Conference in September of 2009, but vehemently declined every time I brought it up during her convalescence.  And . . . she was right.  Her brain injury could not have handled a crowded airliner to Colorado Springs last September.
         But, Mike and Elizabeth Smith, of HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Assoc.) were kind enough to extend the invitation again this year for Chicago.  Fortunately, my own dear mother, Jordan, and Lydia consented to stay with Jessica's mother in our absence, so, "Look out Chi-Town, here we come!"  But not before Jessica spent more time preparing her talk for the Ladies' Tea than for any public address she had ever given.  She even allowed me to add in a paragraph or two which she altered to make my words into her words.
        We arrived at the conference hotel Wednesday afternoon.  One after another of the state homeschool leaders from all over the US came up to Jessica to give her a hug and marvel at how wonderful she looked (true). We were so blessed to see so many of our long-time friends and co-laborers in this ministry to homeschool families.
         But Jessica was pretty tired Thursday morning so she stayed in our room and tweaked her talk the entire day.  Some friends took her to dinner while I dashed off for the thrill of any true sports fan, to go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field.  What a treat!  Thanks Jerry and Susan.
         While we anxiously awaited John Trent’s talk at lunch Saturday, I slipped over to Mike Smith and queried, “Are y’all going to do any kind of tribute to Chris Klicka this year?”  (Chris succumbed to the final stages of MS at last year’s conference and went home to his heavenly reward on October 12th.)  Mike said, “Yes.  In fact, we are going to do it during the lunch hour today.  I think you will be pleased.” 

         After lunch, Mike Smith called Mike Farris and Tracy Klicka to the stage and began to tell about the incredible life of work and service Chris Klicka had given to win and maintain the freedoms for parents to teach their children at home.  He then told us that HSLDA was establishing a new award to be presented to the person who most exemplified Chrises’ courage, his passion for homeschooling, and his selfless commitment to the movement.  Mike Smith then said, “The winner of the first Chris Klicka award is . . . .  Jessica Hulcy.”  Jessica was totally stunned, (see photo).  She could scarcely believe it.  She could not make her legs pick her body off her chair, but she finally arose and wobbled toward the stage.  (I should have escorted her but did not want to steal any of her limelight.)  She struggled to get up the single step to the stage and even lost a shoe in the process.  She regained her shoe, but not her composure.    
         Chris has always been such a hero and a kindred spirit of hers, that she was deeply touched to win an award in his name.  During her short, but time-consuming trip to the stage, the luncheon attendees: the heads of state organizations around the country and the spearheads of our 50,000 closest friends, stood up and clapped.      
         Their tribute to Jessica was warm, it was genuine, and it was a spontaneous standing ovation for this miracle person who stood before them, and for her body of work in homeschooling for the last 26 years.  
         Jessica finally moved to the microphone and said these glorious words, “I didn’t know.  I had no idea.  I didn’t know.”  Then she gathered herself and said, “For the first time in my life, I am speechless!”   The neat thing was, she did not need to utter a word because her countenance said more than mere words could have ever expressed.   
         The beautiful glass plaque she received had her name engraved on it and the visage of Chris Klicka, (see photo). Wow! We were shocked and more than that, we were humbled.  
        Jessica's response was as genuine and warm as the ovation she received on the way to the microphone.  The entire presentation was so touching, and so special.  I just wish you could have been there.  

    One last post coming,

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Parkland Health & Hospital System
5201 Harry Hines Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75235-7731
United States