Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tears and Pictures

Yesterday was rough, there is just no sugar coating it. Jude was on my mind a lot. I also felt pressed for time like there are not enough hours in the day. I know many people feel that way in the hustle and bustle that we call everyday life. As the sun was setting and my day was still going I stood in line at the grocery store. While waiting my turn I looked to my right and my eyes drifted over the packs of gum and down to the magazines. There sat a front page that beamed with Halloween decorations that beckoned parents to try to imitate them and gorgeous children dressed in cute homemade costumes. My heart began to hurt a little and then my eyes continued to scan the shelves. Next up was a holiday magazine with the front laced in beautiful Christmas decorations and that's when the tears began to fall. I missed Jude and I began to think how unfair it is that he is not here and could never truly experience the holidays. A natural but selfish reaction.  I quickly tried to wipe away the tears streaming down my face before I reached the checkout and upset the clerk. Once I had paid I breathed a sigh of relief and began walking to my car. On my way I saw a big burly man with a tiny little daughter skipping beside him. She had on her dance outfit and had her daddy carrying her plastic doll carrier. She was humming with a large Halloween balloon trailing behind her that her dad had purchased. As she slipped her tiny hand in his large open palm I just smiled and remembered how amazing life can be. 

This morning I was silently still struggling but on my Facebook feed there was an adorable picture of Jude and his father at therapy several years ago. I smile every time I see this photo because I can literally hear Jude questioning what the therapist was planning to do. 

I also received several of Emily's senior pictures. I think that's another issue I am struggling with is Emily is a senior and will be leaving home soon. I am so incredibly proud but as time has passed I continue to parent her but she is also one of my best friends. We tell each other pretty much everything. I look forward to watching her flourish as life marches on. I think these pictures truly capture Emily's personality and I love the one with Felicia our chicken! If you ever need photography I highly recommend Sarah Miloud Photography. 

I look forward to getting Jude's bench in December so I can go spend some time sitting with him at his resting place. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

Jude, Emily, and the Weekend.

I thought a lot about Jude this weekend and I thought this picture was fitting. Mike was talking to me about Christmas and I told him I just don't want to celebrate this year. He explained Jude would want us to and was encouraging me to participate. All I could picture was Jude lying in his casket versus lying in his bed smiling at me on Christmas morning. I know that in time these images and feelings will begin to dissipate a bit. We took some mums to Jude's resting place last weekend and put a watering bulb in the planter. If anyone gets buy and could refill the bulb with water that would be great. We only get to go on weekends. 

Emily flew to Orlando with her father this weekend. She received an award from the National Caring Institute for being one of the most caring youth in the nation. It was a very great honor. We also just learned that Emily is being honored by the national stroke association but I cannot release those details yet. However, that is exciting. After all the work promoting pediatric stroke awareness we are THRILLED they contacted her. Emily doesn't need accolades because she only wants to give back but she knows the accolades only help her promote her charity more. 

We bought our tickets to go watch Emily compete for Texas teen again in November. We don't know if the results will be any different than before but I am proud of her for not giving up. Her tenacious spirit always makes me smile. 

This weekend I worked a craft fair for Perfectly Posh. It started off a bit slow but overall this small craft fair turned out to be very successful. Not very many people had heard of Posh which solidified my assumption that not many consultants exist right now so it's a great time to have signed up. The people that had heard or tried Posh raved about it! I even had a gentleman that makes the organic raw materials for large makeup manufactures pass by my booth. He picked up an item and started reading off the contents. Despite my knowledge on the product I cannot easily spout off pronunciations of ingredients. Anyway he looked at every single ingredient and said, "this is a really good product." Which made me smile. I am having a mystery bag opening party tonight which is so fun! Three bags are already gone but I have 4 bags left for women and 1 bag for men. If you would like to join us tonight I will be opening them live at 7:30. The bags are $30 and have more than $30 in product in them. Just claim your bag here then you can paypal.

Also at the craft fair I had Jude's book with me. I only sold one copy but Jude's book is not for profit it's for awareness and education. Awareness that pediatric strokes exist and education that love truly conquers all. What was amazing is that multiple people stopped to talk to me about the book including people from Shriners. Everyone that stopped had questions, listened, cried, and were inspired. The Shriners even asked me to come speak at their next meeting. So Jude did amazing work, as usual. 

We also planted Jude's tree from nurse Allan and nurse Charlotte. We placed the marker they had engraved in front of it and put it in a spot where we will see it everyday. May it bloom and grow for years to come. 

I am blessed. I miss my boy more than anything but I am blessed. 

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Day In The Life Of Jude

I ran across these pictures again today that my friend Sara took. It really reflects how our daily life was with Jude and what he was used to. As crazy as it sounds I miss every part of this. I wouldn't want this for him again but I would proudly do this again in a heartbeat. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Hard Worker

Recently I mentioned that I have started a side business selling Perfectly Posh. So far I have had great luck because this is a great product. This has reminded me of the days I sold Scentsy when Jude was younger and my family was struggling. Mike had to abruptly quit his job to care for Jude which left our young family in a lurch. We survived off my income for about two years before Mike was able to go back to work. It took awhile for us to play catch up and to get in a better position.  I have signed a few special needs moms up underneath me to sell Posh. I watch their Facebook posts and what an amazing job they are doing trying to launch their business. I would like to encourage people to support their business whether it's Posh, Scentsy, or another multi marketing company. See that was me once. I didn't want to ask for help financially so I worked as hard as I could to build up a side business to help support my family. When people ask what they can do to help another special needs family I encourage support. 

Help promote their business by sharing their posts.
Help by purchasing Christmas items from them if you can.
Share their business cards with others and tell them about their products. 
Offer to host a part for them, I know it's a pain but it will mean the world to a hard working mom who just needs a break.
Remember the products are normally amazing!

These simple steps can help encourage and uplift mothers who already have a lot on their plate. There are of course other ways to help special needs family's but I wanted to point this one out because I watch these women. I admire them! 

If you cannot do this then maybe one of the following;

1. Call to say hello because that mom probably has zero time to think about calling someone else. 
2. Be graceful if she forgets your birthday or cannot make it to an event. Give her the benefit of the doubt. 
3. Stop by and see her. One of the greatest things for me was Gina coming by and just sitting with me and watching TV. She knew I couldn't leave Jude and she never once complained. 
4. Another great thing was a friend hired a housekeeper for me for three months. I know this isn't feasible for most people but MAN that was amazing!!!  
5. Listen to them when they cry. They don't need advice they just need to vent. 
6. Try to make things easier for them because their life is already hard enough. 

I hope this inspires someone. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Pendulum

I have read that grief is like a pendulum, one day you feel hopeful and happy but the next you are struggling again. I related to the analogy and thought it was well expressed. Yesterday was a pretty good day despite the looming septic replacement. Today everything seems trivial again in comparison to Jude's loss. I am also having anxiety about the upcoming holidays. As the stores line their shelves with smiling pumpkins, cornucopia's filled with glittering fruit, and bright sparkling ornaments my heart just sinks.  The holidays were always difficult because Jude could not participate the way we wanted him to but now he won't be able to participate at all. It's back to the realization that the child I birthed will never be embraced in this lifetime again. As I watch everyone's Facebook posts showing happy smiling children in their holiday and fall apparel I smile but cry. Halloween is around the corner which is always a holiday we went overboard with. Jude participated as long as he could sitting outside with us as we ran the Emily's Smile Boxes haunted graveyard. This year we gave all our Halloween items to friends because it was just a reminder of the loss. 

I also truly have zero desire to put up my Christmas decorations this year but I will for Emily. She is very excited about decorating the new house and this is my last year before she heads off to college. Emily is also going to go stay with her father the week of Christmas so I would really prefer just to go somewhere. The idea of waking up on Christmas morning without Jude's precious smile is almost to much to bear. However with the septic problem I doubt getting away will be a possibility but we will see. 

On a more positive note my grandmother called me to tell me she had read Jude's book. She was so positive and sweet and said she had never been more proud. This made me smile. It meant a lot coming from someone who was an educator for so long. 

Tomorrow I am sure the pendulum will switch again and my sadness will be replaced with hope again. It's just the process. 

This was the quote I had found. 
"Grief is the pendulum swing of love. The stronger and deeper the love the more grief will be created on the other side. Consider it a sacred opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with someone who have endured one of life's most frightening events. Rise up with us."

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Septic Woes and Picnics.

So today the septic company number 3 came out to the house. This was a referral from a friend and honestly the first person that sounded professional and educated. After a complete inspection and inspecting the soil we didn't get good news. Around noon I texted Mike asking if he would like to go to an anniversary dinner on Saturday. He simply texted, "we can't we will be broke." I knew what was coming next. Mike called and explained that the soil at the house had failed and cannot support the septic system and the lateral lines we have. We would need a completely new system put in a different part of the yard, don't google the cost it's scary. I cried for awhile, I wondered why we cannot catch a break, and I thought a lot of Jude. Then I began to financially calculate everything and figure out the next steps. 

This will work out just like it always does. I told Mike we will have a bologna sammy picnic for our anniversary out under the pecan trees (far away from the septic). I then emailed Emily's dad and explained the situation and asked if he could cover Emily's hair for Miss Texas in November and I would take care of the rest. He didn't say a word and just sent a large amount to cover everything for her so I wouldn't have to worry. He is an amazing father. 

I sat back and wondered how we could have prevented this in a new home. We would have had to actually collected soil samples and had them tested.  All I could think of was me in a white jumpsuit scraping soil samples into a test tube and running it to a lab for analysis and then I laughed. I mean that's all you can do is laugh. 

So we pray that nothing catastrophic happens in the next two years that would require a large sum of money while we catch up. The good thing is we have access to cover this, it will increase the value of our home, and we shouldn't have septic issues again. So again it will work out. We are blessed with that positive.

Things like this can compound grief and vice versa. So if you are a parent who lost a child know that feelings of being out of control and crazy when a stressful situation arises is normal. Trust me I need a bat and a foam room.........and maybe some plates to break. 

God Bless. 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I just LOST it.

Mike and I took Emily to finish up her wardrobe for Miss Texas yesterday and then we had a day to ourselves. We decided to go have lunch and then we came home to finish working on the chicken coop that's being built. Doesn't sound like an exciting day but it was nice to have time with each other. We have both had very sad moments over the last few days so we needed some down time. Then............the septic in our new house started having issues again and I just lost it. I am not sure what it was, the grief, the move, the items breaking, but I officially lost it. I just bawled, screamed, and panicked. To be honest I have no idea what's going on with the septic but I do know we have had an inspector and multiple professionals out here looking at it and so far no one has caught the major issue. We keep thinking it's been fixed only for it to happen again. So my guess is it's either a complete failure or something wrong in the leech field. Regardless it's a lot of money. Just a fluke weird thing that no one could have seen coming.

I had hit my max last night. I guess that can be normal especially after this year. Emily's birthday party was suppose to be today at our house but we had to cancel for obvious reasons. I guess on your 18th birthday there is nothing better than to learn to be an adult and that parties are secondary to a crisis. At least she will have lots of cake left and it's her favorite.  Sometimes I feel like we can never catch a break but then again it could be worse and we know that all to well. So at least we have water, a home, and hopefully a working septic soon. Oh and we have chickens, chickens make me happy.