Monday, December 22, 2014

from Jessica W. Garrison

Hi! How are you?

I saw it on TV! CNN said it really works!

Jessica W. Garrison
Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

From: Jessica W. Garrison

You can read about it in the new Oprah's book.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Last Wednesday at 1:36am my paternal Grandmother passed away. She was the strongest woman I know besides my own mother. Her husband died when she was 52 years old and she spent her remaining years being a businesswoman, philanthropist and family keeper-together-er.

She took me and my girl cousin to Europe when I was 10. Just the three of us. It was an amazing trip and I will never forget vacillating between amazement and thinking it was perfectly normal to be looking out on the Swiss Alps. Two years later she took all four grandkids out west. It was a wonderfully hilarious trip.

We had a long time to prepare her death. She was 94 for heaven's sake. She lived an amazingly full life and the last thing she wanted was to wither away in a bed. Nevertheless, when I was told she was close to passing I became so sad. Helpless to stop the inevitable. It was her time.

On February 26th, 2014 I was given an amazing gift. It is one that I will never forget. I was able to hold her in her last moments. And then be with her, praying, as the final arrangements were made to retrieve her.

My children adored her. They would tell her endless stories about school and their friends. Things they never talked about ("what did you do today?" "oh, nothing") were shared between them like an exciting tale not to be missed. They drew pictures for her. Constantly. She in turn sent them cards and notes and asked about what each one was doing.

My brother and I were very close to her. Growing up we spent a lot of time with her in Josephine, AL.

She taught me to never settle. She always said that education is so important and that we must never stop learning. She also taught me to help those in need. Seek out people who need us. We are God's hands here on earth. She spoke her mind. No matter what. I envy her for that.

She is the only grandparent I have known in my adult life. There is something about a relationship as it moves from being taken care of to friend to caretaker that bonds you eternally.

I will miss you Grandmom. Every day.

Her Obituary:
Long, Full Life Ends for Helen Weekley Wood. Helen Odeel (Weekley) Wood, born in Rabun, Alabama August 24, 1920, died on February 26th, 2014 in Spanish Fort. She was a member of many civic and church organizations and active in Baldwin and Mobile Counties where she lived her whole life. Born to Clifford Woodrow and Lillian (Reuter) Weekley, she was one of five children. Her high school days were divided between Robertsdale and Fruitdale, where she graduated. She was a member of the basketball team, Beta Club and was Salutatorian of her class. After graduation, she attended Huffstattler Business College in Mobile and was first employed by the Mobile Press Register. She later worked several bookkeeping jobs at the Alabama Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Company during World War II. Helen met George Raymond Wood in Mobile and they were married in Biloxi on August 10, 1945. She worked with Raymond in his electrical contracting business (G.R. Wood & Co., Inc.) in Mobile for many years. They also enjoyed boating together with family and friends in the power cruiser Raymond designed and built (featured in Motor Boating magazine). He was a decorated teacher of Advanced Piloting as a volunteer (11th Merit Mark) for the Power Squadron, where Helen also earned a certificate in "Seamanship, Piloting and Small Boat Handling". Raymond passed away in 1972. Helen continued to develop the land they loved on Perdido Bay in Josephine. Faith was prominent in Helen's life. She served in a number of roles in multiple churches locally. While living in Josephine, Alabama, she led a youth choir at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Elberta that performed on radio, at the town Christmas tree lighting and a joint Easter Sunrise Service with Foley Lutheran Church. She was Secretary-Treasurer of the Gulf States Lutheran Missionary League (two years) and worked in Vacation Bible School. Helen joined the Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church in 1966. Her many activities included being Treasurer of the Women of the Church (15 years) and of the District (two years). She donated funds and oversaw the building of the church parking lot, renovated the church kitchen, furnished the pastor's office, among other projects. She received the Honorary Life Membership from the Women of the Church in 1997. Philanthropy and community service were important to Helen. In 1949, she was one of five women who canvassed the community to gain support for a natural gas system from the City of Fairhope, resulting in the project's success and a donation to the United Methodist Church Sanctuary Fund. Mr. & Mrs. Wood donated waterfront property on Perdido Bay in 1953 to the Lutheran Layman's League, leading to the founding of the Camp Dixie, Inc. center – an outdoor ministry for youth. She was instrumental in getting two boat ramps built in 2001 in Josephine Park. In Fairhope, Helen was active in the P.T.A., was a home room mother and a Cub Scout Leader. She was quick to assist those in need on a number of occasions. Helen was active in community service, as was her family.  Her brother-in-law Jim Gaston, Sr. and her uncle Clyde Weekley served together for sixteen years on the Baldwin County Commission. She helped her communities in many ways. Helen supported the repair of the Fruitdale High School (1995-2003), in honor of which her portrait hangs in the Washington County "Hall of Fame" in the Chatom court house. In 2001, Helen donated 7.4 acres of waterfront property near Dog River on Mobile Bay. The State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the City of Mobile developed it, naming it the Helen W. Wood Park in her honor. Helen loved to travel, having visited over fifty countries globally. And, she involved her beloved grandchildren in the process, taking her grandsons to Kenya (1989), her granddaughters to the European Alpine countries (1991), and the whole group on a tour of the parks and canyons of the western U.S. (1993). She is survived by her sisters, Mrs. Bernice Weekley Brandon of Mobile, Mrs. Carol Weekley Thomas of Greensboro, NC, and her brother Charles Fields of Mobile. Her children are her daughter, Evelyn L. (Bob) Young of Fairhope and her son Norman E. (Victoria) Wood of Mobile. She has four grandchildren: Daniel Raymond Young of Washington, DC; Mary Helen Young (Matt Short) of London, England; Norman Staples (Dr. Nancy) Wood of Mobile, and Jessica Kimbrough Wood (Kevin) Garrison of Birmingham, Alabama – all of whom she was very proud. There are four great-grandchildren and numerous other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her husband, George Raymond, her sister Laura Weekley, and her brother Clifford Woodrow Weekley. A private, family service is planned with burial in Fairhope Memorial Gardens March 1st, 2014. Rev. Bert Tuggle of Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church will preside. Arrangements are by Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home & Crematory of Fairhope. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church.