The Heroes Among Us: Second in a Series

 Dear Faithful Praying Family & Friends,

 Stephen & I will be returning to Gainesville, FL for Round Two of Chemo this week.  I am not sure which day, however, because Dr. Carroll wants me to be stronger/healthier before I begin chemo again.   Dr. Carroll, to my great relief, assured me that my side effects were unusually devastating and we are brainstorming about how to prevent the severity of these.  [At least I know I am not a wimp!]
I wrote this tribute to my grandmother [below the photograph] two weeks ago.  Last month, I cut my hair into a “bob,” which greatly pleased me because it reminded me of “Mommo” in the 1920’s.  This past week, my hair started falling out in “hanks” so I had it cut into a “pixie,” very short.  Now, the trauma of the hair falling is worse than the thought of a bald head.  So, I’ll ask Stephen to shave it off; I have plenty of hats to wear — all I need is some cool weather to go with them.  
Many thanks to all of you who wrote comments on my last blog.  Your words of concern, your sharing of Scripture, hymns, and your assurances of prayer were all very encouraging to me!  Two reminders about blog comments:  They will automatically be published, for everyone to read.  Also, every week, I will reply to each comment. So, be sure to click onto your comment and you will see my reply to you, below your comment!
One final word:  May I encourage you to read Georgia’s comment from the update entitled, “Deep Waters?”  She gives a comprehensive list of ways we can pray together.  Thanks, Georgia!
Susan Hope Long Blair

Susan Hope Long Blair

Susan Hope Long Blair [1898-1965]

 Raised in NC, in a hard-working trade and farming community, Susan Hope Long was the eldest of eight children.  She quit her formal education, after grade eight, in order to work and help support her large family.  She and Raymond Blair were married in 1918 and had two children, both boys [Alton and Raymond].  During the next few years, she designed and supervised the building of the first and last home she and Raymond owned:  an Arts & Crafts style bungalow, in Winston-Salem, NC.  In 1943, Susan Hope sent both of her sons off to WWII, one to the Air Corps and one to the Navy.  Not knowing if they would ever return, this selfless act was one of supreme sacrifice and valor. 

Both sons did return from WWII, married, finished their education, began careers, and raised families.  Over the next two decades, Susan Hope became the matriarch of her entire family:  siblings, nieces, nephews, children, and grandchildren.  Long before the term “Elder Care” was first coined, she humbly dedicated herself to caring for her ailing parents in their own home

 She became the quintessential grandmother, creating beauty, as she lived out this motto of the Shakers“Our hearts to God and our hands to work:”  She played the piano and sang in the church choir, under the direction of her father, David Israel Long.  From her church, I learned to love ancient hymns and liturgy.  In her home, she sewed, baked, and cooked.  She also cut her own lawn, gardened, and canned her own fruit and vegetables. 

Hope Susan lovingly provided for me some of the happiest moments of my childhood.  She still inspires me today, in my new role as a grandmother.  I have only to look in the mirror each morning to be reminded of her, as I inherited her wavy, silver hair.  If I also inherited her virtue and strength of character, I will be very grateful.  Only time and suffering will bring this transformation to light.

 Mommo Blair, [pronounced “MAH-mah”], Round Two is dedicated to you! 

 Coram Deo,



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14 responses to “The Heroes Among Us: Second in a Series

  1. Rebecca Hollister

    I have an article for you about wholistic methods for overcoming the side effects of chemo. I’ll send it to your email now. Some of it is rather obvious, but there are some ideas I hadn’t yet heard about.
    Lots of love and healing thoughts coming your way!

    • margopayne

      Dear Rebecca,

      Thank you for the email re: wholistic methods for overcoming chemo toxicity. I’ll be interested in anything else you find about this. Thanks for “love & healing thoughts,” too. Won’t we celebrate, as a family, when this is all over?

      Aunt Margo

  2. Jane Chichetti

    I have been meaning to comment for some time. God bless you! You have been going through a lot. I saw you at Dover farm today. so happy to see you there.
    Just remember chemo is a means to an end. An end to cancer!!!
    I have no idea what you are going through,but I support you in this effort. You are brave and strong.
    Love you! Love You!
    Hang in there!

    • margopayne

      Dear Jane,

      Thank you for writing! I saw you, also, at Dover Farm but you were too far away to flag down. [You looked great, by the way!]

      If I am ever brave & strong, it is because of the “prayers of the people,” upon which I depend entirely. Thank you for being one of those people, upon whom I can rely.

      Coram Deo,

  3. Judy Levan

    Hi Margo,
    I’ll be praying for you as you go for round 2. I love your dedications, what a positive frame it puts it in. Through reading your blog I also went to David Brewer’s. I’ve kept up with them over the years but was glad to get the updates on Krista.
    Will be lifting you up.

    • margopayne

      Dear Judy,

      Thanks for writing! I love writing my dedications and I am glad you enjoy reading them. Within my family tree, I see the remarkable virtue and character that runs through the generations.

      I am glad you are reading about Krista and praying for you, as I also rely on you to pray for me.

      Coram Deo,

  4. Kathy Ciarlariello

    2 Corinthians 12:9

    “Sufficient for you is the grace of me.”

    God is so good!

    Hi Margo,

    I love this arrangement of words translated right from the Greek. I love how you lean on Him for your every need. I love your strength in Him. And your grandmother…so precious. I see where you get that Proverbs 31 courage! March on Christian soldier, march on…

    • margopayne

      Dear Kathy,

      Thank you for that Scripture. How I need to be continually reminded of that! I am glad you enjoyed the tribute to my grandmother. I’m already looking forward to writing the next tribute.

      Thanks for your encouragement and prayers!

      Coram Deo,

  5. Georgia

    Dear Margo,

    What beautiful tributes to your beautiful family. Having no such gift, I love to read about families that serve God and live in His will.

    Please let us know when you will be going back to Shands.

    I posted my prayer points last week in the hope that your other intercessors would add their inspirations so we can all agree ‘as one’ with each other and in the Spirit, love and truth of God.

    Your posts and the commentors here have become a great source of strength for me. As I pray for you, I am also helped. Job 42:10 says Job’s ‘captivity was turned when he prayed for his friends.’ I believe this is a spiritual principle…perhaps akin to the principle of sowing and reaping. Many times when I am sinking into the ‘slough of despond,’ (Pilgrim’s Progress) if I remember to pray for others, I am always lifted up and redirected. We are all connected… one in Him and in each other. We reinforce, reorient and encourage each other in the Faith, in our journeys through pain, peril and perplexity…pulling each other out of quicksand traps of fear, doubt and reminding each other to remember the wonder, peace and joy of God being present with us and in us. When we cannot see the way, Someone and/or someone will speak or write or pray the Word that lights light the path and invokes God’s redemptive power.

    Grateful for the privilege of walking with you and your companions,

    • margopayne

      Dear Georgia,

      Thank you for taking time to write! You are thoughtful, deep, insightful, and discerning. Your thoughts have been “soaked in Scripture” and your words express an understanding of the Truth of Scripture.

      Please continue to pray for me, as I also pray for you.

      Thank you for your compassion, encouragement, and friendship.

      Coram Deo,

  6. Betsy Poepping

    What a wonderful tribute! How great that you have such fond memories of your grandmother and to hear of the positive effect it left on you and your family. May her gift of grace and strength of spirit be yours this week; praising God with you that Dr. Carroll is working on a good plan that will hopefully help the after effects of the chemo. Keep us posted. We will be praying.

    • margopayne

      Dear Betsy,

      Thank you for reading, writing, and praying! Glad you enjoyed the tribute to my grandmother.

      Yes, continue to pray for wisdom for Dr. Carroll and for me, as we come up with a “good plan.”

      Coram Deo,

  7. Margo,
    I pray that your chemo is going well this week, and much better than the last round. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. I have followed your lead and set up a blog at where my sister will share updates. I hope when I return that you chemo has progressed well and that you may be done with it.
    Nellie B

    • margopayne

      Dear Nellie,

      Thanks for reading, writing, and praying! I immediately read your blog and am so glad that I will have a way to read updates. I will be praying for you and when all of this is over [for both of us], how we will celebrate! In the meantime, we have ahead of each of us “a long obedience in the same direction.” I see on your blog that you have our mutual friend, Georgia, praying for you. I will pray according to her excellent list of prayer points.

      Coram Deo,

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