Happy Birthday — to Me!

It’s the eve of my 70th birthday. I can’t remember how I got here, but here it is. Age is but a number, I’ve heard. A BIG number (laughing to myself).

Snowy Villa Courtyard

But not here. Here at “The Villa” I’m a kid. Daily I nearly get mowed down by 90 year olds, scooterless, walker-free adults who apparently can’t count and are intent on just living. Who knew a 104 year old could boast a very snazzy hairdo and not succumb to white hair Afro perms?

70. Seems like just yesterday I was trying to convince my parents that at age 11, I was a teenager, since – in my mind – I just wrapped up my first decade, and it seemed logical I should be in another 10 years as a teen. I fought with them for the next two years until they realized I had been right all along, and I allowed them to call me a teenager.

I had so many dreams of what I could be, would be. When I was a Mercy-ette I was sure I would be a nurse. Or a Carmelite, following in the footsteps of St. Therese of Lisieux, my favorite saint; or maybe a Sacramentine sister after attending a retreat at their convent near Petoskey. But mostly, since I was 3, I wanted to be a wife. And a mother.

young Vicki with a doll

The route getting there took awhile and had some twists and turns, but it happened. While the marriage was short, my life has been long in blessings, having given birth to four amazing children, watching 3 of them grow into beautiful, funny, and smart adults, who in turn married. Giving me seven – yes, 7! – grandchildren. Wait. 7 1/2 grandchildren. Yup. There will be 8 of them in August.

I have more sunsets than sunrises ahead of me I suppose. But as I teeter on the precipice of my next decade, I can smile. Just as I made it as a teenager, now I’m about to accept the honor of being a Septuagenarian. Feels pretty satisfying. And damned lucky.

Thank you Papa, for giving me enough extra time to meet my growing family, to find new friends and to still be able to recall all my old Pals. For deep, rich memories. For having a very happy Birthday. –It’s me, Vicki

Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2019/01/happy-birthday-to-me/

At Home

Vick's Front Porch - Summertime

It has always brought me peace, whether pulling in the driveway or sitting on my porch. My prayer was to never leave here. My last journey would lead from here.

I fought so hard to keep this home, but got ill, and slowly withdrew to within its 4 walls. David Rosenberg, dear friend, fought with me, and gave me 4 extra years here. Charles Irvin was my support when days weren’t good, giving me the example I will need to keep following in the time ahead. Jim Coyle, friend of friends and his family made sure Christmas arrived each year. Greg Friedman found time to put in a garden.

Vickis Home at Christmas

This week I will be moving to Grand Rapids to a Senior Retirement home, Villa Maria.

To my family – Beth, Andrea, Nick & Jessica, and Beanni Frizzlebottom – and friends including Dee Esch, Johnathan Allen Esch, Ruth Landis, Jean Louise, Rick Ferguson, St Jude Parish and Franciscan Center, thank you for watching over me all these years. To my Facebook friends, I will miss you all so much. You are my miracles.

All my love & blessings,
Vicki Wells Bedard

Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2018/05/at-home/

Hi, Fr. Charlie

About 9 years ago, Vicki introduced me to a most delightful person, Fr. Charles Irvin – better known as Fr. Charlie. Fr. Charlie is a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, and celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination several months ago. He not only served in Michigan parishes, but spearheaded a new form of diocesan communication – replacing the traditional Catholic newspaper with a high-quality magazine for the Diocese, sowing the seed for what is now Faith Catholic which offers communication resources to the Church throughout the United States.

I met Fr. Charlie after he had retired from full-time ministry. He is kind, witty, curious – and was born and lived in Ann Arbor,  Michigan, where I lived as a young ‘un. We are both graduates of the University of Michigan and love bragging about that with Vicki and her family who are diehard fans of intra-state rival Michigan State University in East Lansing. Most important to me, though, is that Fr. Charlie has regularly checked with Vicki over the last several years to see how she was doing handling her life with FTD.

Fr Charlie Irvin and Vicki Wells Bedars 2010

Fr. Charlie and Vicki at the 2010 Catholic Academy’s annual conference

Vicki has worked at Faith Catholic, and in 2010, at the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, was escorted to the stage by Fr. Charlie when she received the President’s Medallion, the organization’s highest award, for her distinguished career in Catholic Communications.

Thanks, Vicki, for bringing Fr. Charlie into my life!

Last summer Faith Catholic produced a video of Fr. Charlie recalling a few highlights of his 50 years as a priest. I’m wrapping up this post by sharing the video.

God bless you, Fr. Charlie.


Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2018/04/hi-fr-charlie/

Jim’s Tinkering with the Website

Drawing of MazeStatus Report – May 19, 2018:  The under-the-hood website changes are finished. Those “couple of days” I mentioned in my original post turned out to be just the start of a digital journey in the maze of the interwebs. But we’ve made it through. (And, we think, the weather has finally realized it’s Spring.) 

There’s at least one lesson in this for me: it’s OK to ask other people for help when something I though I knew just wasn’t working. I know that in my head, but I usually try to fix things myself. Once I asked for help, everything was indeed done in just 2 days.

I like helping other people and appreciate it when they ask (most of the time, to be honest). I’m sure other people feel the same way. So I hope to remember ask for help when I need it.

People and Computer Cables

computer wiresOriginal Post:  I’m doing some work behind the scenes here at Vicki’s Voice and our Internet connection may be interrupted or you’ll see a temporary site occasionally. I hope to have things all polished up and running smoothly again in a couple of days. Nothing to worry about.

Jim Coyle

Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2017/10/jims-tinkering-website/

“I’m not a robot”

Vicki and I appreciate people taking time to share a comment with Vicki about her ongoing story told through posts here on Vicki’s Voice. One of the good things about the Internet is the ability to connect with friends, real and virtual.

I’ve been working “behind the screens” on websites today and have added the “ReCAPTCHA” box to the Comment form. Most of you have probably seen it on other websites already. It’s a way to help deal with spam comments, and we’ve had over 90,000 of them caught since Vicki’s Voice was started. Before you submit your comment you just have to check a box next to “I’m not a robot”.

Don’t get me wrong – I like robots. And I’m glad there are places where broken robots can be fixed, such as the Robot Repair Shop at the Pittsburgh Airport.
Robot Repair Shop PittsburghIn fact, remembering about the Robot Repair Shop is what led to this post. It brings a smile to my face – and I hope to yours.

Jim Coyle


Permanent link to this article: https://soncountry.net/voice/2017/05/im-not-robot/