July 2019

Page A16 JULY 2019 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS S ec t i on A if he was to provide for eleven people, including himself. Again, Richard turned to the almighty for strength and direction. Believing no prayers go unanswered, it wouldn’t take long before Richard would meet Cheri (63). A widow with four children, Jenny (42), Jason (40), Lizzy (38) and Michelle (37), Cheri‘s life parallels Richard’s in sev- eral ways, including having served as a foster parent with her deceased husband Jim to over 100 foster children. Also like Richard and Terri, Cheri and Jim adopted some of their foster children, six to be exact, Lucy (24), Kayla (23), Emma (14), Daniel (12), Izabella (10) and Isiaih (9), three of whom have special needs. “I prayed the Lordwould point me in the direction of aman that I could love and who loves children,” said Cheri. Once introduced, the chemistry between Richard and Cheri was immediate. It didn’t take long before Richard asked Cheri to marry him, bringing the to- tal number of children in their now consolidated household to twenty. Yes… twenty chil- dren, several of who have spe- cial needs. With so many chil- dren residing in their home, one of their neighbors com- plained to the local authorities that Cheri and Richard were forming a “group home.” Cheri said, “I can’t help myself, I love babies, and I love God.” “We’re a good team,” added Cheri. Indeed. But their union did not come without significant sacrifices. At 62 years of age, Richard is unable to retire for another ten years. “We look at people our age who are empty nesters, enjoying their senior years realizing we won’t be able to re- tire until we’re in our 70s,” Cheri added. “At times, I feel as though I have lost my identity, I had to quit my career as a nurse.” Cheri went on to say, “It was all worth it.” Rich- ard added, “We make time for ourselves and our marriage, which includes a date night every Saturday.” He went on to add how the date may be a simple meal at a local diner or perhaps they’ll take in a movie. When asked what surprises arose raising 20 children, Richard said, “I’m surprised I could do it. I’ve become more humbled by the blessings I have received, includ- ing being able to provide our twenty children with a stable home and a sense of belonging to a family that loves them; I have also become closer to my Lord.” “Hi, my name is Richard.” Thus beganmy knowing a giant of a man named Richard Blount (62) as he sat down in the chair beside me. The occasion was my first meet- ing at GriefShare, a widely available program for those who have expe- rienced a loss in their life. I was at- tending the program as part of the research I was conducting for my then soon-to-be-released book, The Widowers Journey. I would soon come to realize that Richard, a native of Tampa, FL was no ordinary man. Built like a linebacker from your favorite football team, Richard is also a giant of a man in another way. You see, Richard loves people … especially children. He loves children so much, he and his previous wife had two children, Rebecca (35), and Matthew (34). When Rich- ard married Terri in 1991, her three children, Joshua (37), Ryan (36) and Tyler (35), joined the family. As deeply religious people, both Richard and Terri felt a calling from the Almighty to do more in the service of those in need. “We prayed over it,” says Richard. “We then decided to become foster parents.” Once approved by the State of Florida and over some time, Richard andTerri, opened their loving home to forty foster children. You heard me: forty. As any foster parent will tell you, foster parents become very attached to the children they are asked to care for as their own until the day a court orders otherwise. This sense of attachment caused Richard and Terri to adopt five of their foster children, Alex (19), Ricky (15), Sarah (14), Ab- igail (12), and Jacob (9), two of whom have special needs (autism and bipolar disorder). Ten children in all, each showered with love in the Richard and Terri Blount home. When asked why he and Terri felt a need to serve as par- ents to ten children, Richard replied, “You’ll have to ask the Lord that question. He placed it in our hearts to care for his children.” Tragedy struck when Terri passed away, leaving Richard as a single dad with 10 children, ranging in ages from 1 ½ to 30. As a widower, Richard needed time to grieve the loss of his wife Terri, but he had little time to do so. Af- ter all, he had ten children who needed him, a house to maintain and a career he desperately needed to preserve By Matt Black Embalming Tips & Tools Post Embalming Treatment of the Hands (Part 8) Covering a discoloration, especially on the back of the hands, poses the risk of concealing natural mark- ings or “personality spots” and coloration that will need to be recreated. The knuckles bear warm color and veins of the back hands can cast a warm to blueish color. Take note of little age spots or freckles and sometime those popular moles that may need to be replaced for natural effect. Just imag- ine if we covered up Cindy Crawford’s mole on her lip! A finishing touch when using these opaque cosmetics is to finish with powder to reduce the sheen. A final, fine spray mist application of the Ultra Setting Spray over the cosmetics will dry quickly and has a matte finish. After all your work, you don’t want the cosmetics to smudge off and this product will effectively make the cosmetics smudge proof by creating an invisible protective barrier over the application. This added protection makes rub- bing off by touching more difficult. The cosmetic airbrush, introduced by the Chicago, Illi- nois based Pasche Company in 1936, is an application op- tion that is enjoying increased popularity in recent years. The airbrush is a versatile tool that, with a minimal amount of practice, can be utilized for all cosmetic applica- tions. While the airbrush does demand a commitment to cleaning and maintenance, the care becomes a simple rou- tine and the positive results are more than worth the effort. ter based or alcohol-based cosmetics consisting of thou- sands of liquid droplets that bear a chromatic pigment. This chromatic pigment is the color is the cosmetic itself broken down into microcosmic droplets. These droplets are sprayed on the skin or discoloration and absorbed into the pores of skin as the liquid alcohol or water is evaporat- ed. The chromatic pigment gives off a hue in all the pores. Airbrush cosmetics are being increasingly employed in the mortuary field. Some are alcohol based, which could have advantage of amazing staying power. This class of cosmetics are over 95-99% alcohol and their use are large- ly limited specific circumstances. Water based airbrush cosmetics are the most popular and are pigment based cosmetics that are already mixed. These cosmetics present a matte finish on the skin and eas- ily build coverage unlike traditional cosmetics that are dif- ficult to layer for coverage. Airbrush cosmetic application makes this task infinitely easier. The first layer is sprayed on lightly and dries quickly allowing for the application of additional layers as needed. It may seem counterintui- tive when attempting to cover a discoloration but suc- cess with the airbrush truly rests on the concept of “less is more”. Like any equipment used in the preparation room there is an initial cost and ongoing cost for replacement cosmetics. The airbrush is available from several sources from television infomercials to the sales representative that calls on you in your own funeral home. Costs vary from one source to an- other and, as always, “You get what you pay for.” I encourage consultation with your sales representatives for an on-site demonstration that will allow you to “test drive” an airbrush before making a commitment and to ask questions of an individual that is experienced in the product’s use. One should not equate airbrush cosmetic application with airbrushing a photo, but that confusion is common. The two processes are truly an apple versus orange comparison. Additionally, do not be misled to believe that the airbrush is the end all cosmetic application device. There will be times that, despite our best efforts, we feel we have come up short in achieving a desired result. We are frequently our own worst critics, but honestly, who are we to judge? The family is the judge. A true statement is we cannot change texture of the skin and imperfections, only Photoshop can. Airbrush appli- cation is not flawless as long as human frailty plays a role Why use the airbrush if some perceive it to be high mainte- nance and the cosmetic application may not be perfect? The airbrush applies a much thinner cosmetic layer than a brush, sponge or finger is capable of. The concept behind the airbrush application is to spray wa- Matt Black has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Pennsylvania for over 20 years. He represents The Dodge Company in Central and Western Pennsylvania. In addi- tion to being a graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortu- ary Science, Matt also holds degrees in Bio-Medical Engineering Technology and Industrial Management. Matt has also attended the Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills, Springfield, MO, and is licensed in eye and corneal enucleation. He has presented at Dodge Embalming Seminars as well as numer- ous local seminars in Pennsylvania. He can be reached by email at mblack@Dodgeco.com. www.nomispublications.com Funeral Home & Cemetery News Contributors share insights and exchange ideas. Blogs Angels Walk Among Us By Herb Knoll Herb Knoll Cheri and Richard Blount Cheri and Jim with their family. Richard and Terri with their family. Continued on Page A18 New s Funeral Home & Cemetery online Visit www.nomispublications.com