Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Machester and Anger!

I am sorry it's been awhile since I blogged but it's taken weeks to get over this horrible respiratory illness. In fact I am still coughing which is very annoying but it is what it is. 

Last night when I got home I was going about my normal routine when Mike called out to me and said, "There has been a bombing in England." My sister had just flown out from Heathrow to Scotland that morning so I immediately stopped and sat down with Mike to watch the news. Then I learned it was at an Ariana Grande concert and I realized the target was children and teens. "Jesus" I muttered in shock and in a way of prayer. More than 70% of the 21,000 people there were made up of children and teens. Who does this? What type of mindset do you have to have to strap a nail bomb to your waist and walk into an area filled with young people full of aspirations and dreams and end their lives? A person with no soul. 

This attack has really affected me and I feel myself drawn to watch the stories unfolding of those who have been lost. Maybe it's because as a  mother who has lost a child my heart just ached for the parents last night. My own daughter attended the Ariana Grande concert in our city and I couldn't imagine standing outside the arena waiting and hoping to see her in a sea of people. The news made reference last night that out of 21,000 people the situation could have been worse. To those injured and killed it cannot get any worse and the numbers make no difference to their family's. Many people are refusing to watch the news and while I understand I also feel we have a responsibility to know this is really happening and this carnage truly exists because it's time a solution is found. I have no idea what that solution is but these radical terrorists have infiltrated our country and those countries around us. They no longer only exist in the Middle East. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our clients, and they walk among us without fear. 

In my research I have found that suicide bombings became a staple to inflict terror in Lebanon. In 1983 one of the worst attacks carried out on the US military was on a Marine barracks in Lebanon and the blast killed 241 people. Unfortunately, the use of suicide bombings has become a staple that now encompasses not only men but women and children. Israel has taken steps to deter these actions by stripping the family of the bomber left behind of any monetary gain and destroying their homes. That's an interesting approach. Through research I have also learned that there are arguments on if each suicide bombing should be labeled a terrorist attack or a movement. In my opinion it's always a terrorist attack. Any act of violence that inflicts death and fear in my opinion should always be labeled terror. 

I know we cannot live in fear but I do live more aware and I believe that's the educated approach to the situation. I am not fond of large crowded arenas but when I am out I do spot the exit and I use common sense when I can. If someone is at a function that wouldn't necessitate the need for a backpack I do make note. I also have zero fear in reporting something or someone I think is suspicious. We are lucky here in America because most of us live in our protected little bubbles but I think we also need to remember it's not hard to pop a bubble. My hope is that someday our world finds a way to peace and that all the children of the world once again feel safe and loved. 

Prayers to the family's of those that were lost in this senseless act and wishes for a speedy recover to those that were injured. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Loyal Dog

May 10, 2014 - We took Jude to Sea World and to Morgans Wonderland for his Make A Wish trip and it was amazing. On top of the fabulous trip we picked up our new puppy Liebe.  She was originally picked to become a therapy dog for Jude. When Mike went to go meet the breeder and pick up the new puppy I handed him a pink carrier and waited for their return. I knew I was in trouble when he walked through the door and I see a tiny little German Shepherd head sticking out of a freshly chewed hole in the carrier. It was instant love and Jude loved her too and how fitting since that's the very meaning of her name. When he first saw her he truly looked at her and even put his hand on her which was a huge accomplishment for Jude. 

We could tell in an instant how smart Liebe was and to this day she is still incredibly intelligent. She never really got to be Jude's therapy dog because he became so ill after his surgery. However Liebe was always there. 

She even let me dress her up. 

She was always there looking over the railing at Jude. Sometimes she would just sit on the couch with us while I held Jude and we watched TV together. 

When Jude died one of the saddest moments to me was watching Liebe sniff his bed all over like she was looking for him. She wasn't used to the sides of the bed being down and she looked a bit confused. I think she eventually got it. She took his green turtle blanket my sister made Jude and I just let her have it. She is a good dog! She is smart, kind, gentle, and loyal. Happy family anniversary Liebe. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Great Sickness

My co-worker Chandi came down with flu A. Since I have already had that strain I wasn't to worried as I should be immune. However on Friday she stated she still wasn't feeling very well. A fleeting thought ran through my head wondering if her flu could have turned into pneumonia. Sure enough on Saturday she sent me a message she had the dreaded P word and would not be at work. I felt really bad for her. Then she kept trying to make herself come to work because she felt bad and I finally just forced her to go to the ER and then go home. I pulled the husband card and contacted her man who does a good job of looking out for her and he got her to the proper place. 

On Tuesday I noticed I got a bit winded on my evening walk so I just did one lap. I figured I was just tired and went about my day by Wednesday and Thursday I was dragging a bit more. On Friday the holy rain of hell hit and I was sicker than I have ever been. I dragged myself to work since Chandi was out and that wasn't wise. I loathe being sick and this year I have been more sick than I have every been. It annoys me, it annoys others, and I am over it. My thieves oil is letting me down lately. Anyway, by Sunday I thought I was feeling a bit better but boy was I wrong. I have reasoning for telling you all this so bear with me. 

Yesterday morning I woke up about 4:30 am and I couldn't breathe. I was panicked but I evaluated the situation like I used to for Jude. I have a pediatric dose of xanex that has been given to me for the PTSD I suffer from Jude's passing. I took a half to calm myself down, then I took a breathing treatment, gave myself some CPT, took my temp which had spiked again and then took a steaming bath. Then I gathered up my items and took myself to the ER. The doctor was very kind and very patient. He said this has been going around and he believed my fever spike was not from the infection but a systemic reaction to the inflammation in my respiratory system. I thought he might be crazy but he ordered a shot of a high dose steroid and I swear within 30 minutes I went from feeling like death to feeling awful. HUGE improvement. Later while I was waiting in my room I overheard him briefing the doctor who was relieving him and he was explaining my situation. He said after all his built up immunity he wound up catching what I have also and there have been a lot of people in with it. He explained he has MRSA and actually wound up hospitalized and lost 28lb in 3 weeks. I thought omg MRSA. So I mentioned when they came in that Jude had MRSA and we had nurses in our house all the time. They explained this could be a super bug then and that's why it hit so hard. This is my breathing last night and I felt SO much better so that gives you an idea of how sick I really was. I used to always tell Jude he sounded like he had pop rocks in his throat. 

I really just removed myself from life in general to get better which I think was a hard concept for some because I always just keep going. I didn't go go this time I stop stopped. I also noticed many people no longer follow me on Facebook because they didn't know my condition and that's understandable. I have a lot on my Facebook regarding Jude and businesses and that can be tough. 

All I could do during all of this was think of Jude. I thought of how he struggled with this 16 times and how awful it must have been for him. I thought of that last time he struggled and how he didn't win the fight and how scary it must have been to not get air into his lungs. I can hope that it wasn't hard for him but I know it was. I know my grief for Jude will always be there and always be strong but this weekend also inspired me to make some changes in my life. I want happiness again and I am looking for that and praying for the right path. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Follow Up To Yesterday's Blog.

My blog I posted yesterday seemed to incite two different reactions from people. On one hand people were highly concerned about my mental stability while another side completely related and loved the post. I shared the post in my loss forum and the response has been amazing from people. The blog has received almost 3000 views and hundreds of shares in 24 hours. I have received emails, posts, and private messages thanking me for posting the raw truth of how gritty grief can be. So I thank those that took the time to reach out and letting me know the blog helped. 

I also thank those that are highly concerned and can only tell you that this is how it is. I don't mince words or emotions and I never have. I feel when we cover up our emotional turmoil or struggles we do an injustice to those that may travel our path someday. I think people can become proficient at wearing a mask each day to disguise their true feelings. When you peel back that mask you still find tears and only time will help dry those tears up. I read a quote today that said, "It's difficult to accept death in this society because it's unfamiliar. Despite the fact it happens all the time - We never see it." Oh man that rang true to me and I think it can also apply to many aspects of life not just death. Many times we as humans just don't see the struggle someone may be facing and we don't want to see it. Why would we want to subject ourselves to something so painful? I think that's why we always say you have to live in someone else's shoes because you truly grasp the situation they are in. I remind myself of this on a constant basis. I have no idea what someone else is dealing with so the best thing I can do is just be kind. I sometimes have to get myself in check and realize that even though my family is hurting others are hurting as well and just being kind can go a very long way. 

So again I thank you for your patience and I only hope that Jude's blog will continue to help others in need. On a more positive note this sweet little face was on my memory feed and that always makes me smile. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dear Parent Who Just Lost A Child

Dear parent who just lost a child - 

I am writing to you because I have been in your shoes and I want you to know there are others out there that understand your pain. I say this because when I first lost my son I felt very alone and as if no one could truly understand what I was going through. The days first following your child's death will feel like a bad dream and you will feel like you are walking through a smokey haze. You may sit in a funeral home decorated with ornate over the top artificial flowers and just stare into the Kleenex box that's sitting in front of you. You will wonder how you got there and what you did wrong in your life to have this fate. The hole that is bleeding for your child in the pit of your stomach will have waves of pain rush through it. You will feel like you hit every portion of the 5 steps of grief in multiple ten second intervals and then you may decide the entire 5 step process is not accurate at all. You may sit in your car when no one is around and scream at the very top of your lungs until your chest hurts. 

Your heart will be shattered and you will wonder how it could ever possibly be repaired. The nights are long, quiet, and the hardest part of the 24 hours you try to exist in. People will offer advice to you and words of possible encouragement that will grate on the exposed nerves in your body. You just have to remember they mean the best and it's because they love you that they say these things. You may question God or lose your faith all together and it will be up to you if you want to seek him out again. The lack of sleep you struggle with will become at times overwhelming and this does not get better any time soon. 

All the attention, food, and condolences will at times seem unbearable but hang on to those around you because after the funeral it gets very quiet. You may sit in your child's room wondering what to do with all their items or you may shut the door and leave it undisturbed for months or years. As you pack their treasured keepsakes in a cardboard box you will wonder how life can be so cruel. You will then wonder if far after your gone if others will know the significance of the items that neatly line that box. 

You may question your very existence and wonder what your purpose in life now entails. I am personally still looking for that purpose and pray for enlightenment for myself and my husband. I can tell you that you will remember the love you have for that child and always will have and somehow that love is what keeps you going. One day you laugh again and you feel guilty for it but somehow you laugh again and continue to. You may begin to venture out of your home again and try to find some hope for the future and the beauty in life. Your work may feel like a concrete shell wrapping your body in a tight squeeze but somehow you manage to do what has to be done. Somehow you just survive. 

You will cry more tears than you can ever count and you will ruin multiple contact lenses. You will realize that the cliche' that time heals all wounds is really just that a cliche'. Time will not heal your wound but it may make it easier to bandage and treat. On the one year mark of losing your child you will feel like you are reliving the nightmare all over again. You will search how to properly honor them and then you will feel like everyone is ready for you to somehow move on. Just know there is no moving on from losing a child only acceptance and heartache. There will be things called triggers that you may not even be aware your subconsciousness picked up until you are crying in a bath late at night and realize what the issue is. It may be an outfit, a specific date, a holiday, or even their favorite song on the radio. Then the only way you can describe it is that your heart hurts. 

What I have learned is to be kind to yourself and give yourself as much time as you need. To eliminate what negativity you can and to accept things will never be the same. I realized it's up to me to bring myself out of the dark hole that's labeled grief and maneuver the dark waters that lay ahead. It's not easy and it's a dark heart wrenching time but somehow we parents in all our sadness find a way to make it. Maybe we find a way to live because our children couldn't. There are many of us out there it's a type of club that no one wants to join or pay dues to. A club of broken hearts filled with mothers and fathers on a journey together to find peace and a ray of hope. 


Monday, April 24, 2017

A Pity Party

I am not sure where I am going to go with this blog but it will be raw and honest as usual. On Friday we received some news that will impact us financially. Rather than weighing out the options all I could think of was the amount was half our mortgage and began to panic. My mind wasn't working rationally. If it had been working correctly I would have realized we could find extra work or find some way to make it up. I felt a little........insane Friday. Like I was going to finally just lose my damn mind. It wasn't the news it was just an abundance of everything. On Friday I felt like since I was 7 years old life has just continuously smacked me down. I had one big huge nasty freaking pity party and I do mean nasty. I thank my husband for sitting down with me that night and talking to me. I told him I am sure I needed to listen to others and realize things could be worse. He said, "like what?" and he looked at me completely serious, it shocked me because I expected him to get on to me and tell me to lighten up. He said "out of all the horrific things you have been through in your life what could be worse then losing Jude? What could be worse than losing a child"..........then he paused.........."Nothing. You have a right to be upset." 

However it's a little beyond upset. I am NOT well mentally at all and I am very well aware of that. I could see a counselor but lack health insurance however from reading my loss forums I have learned this is normal. It's just hard. That's really the only way to explain it losing someone is just hard. I think of Jude every single day and wish I could have just one more hour with him. I would give everything for him to have a normal healthy life and be here with us. I miss his nurses and our way of life even though it was difficult. Looking back this weekend was the Miss Dallas pageant and that's where we went to immediately following Jude's death to find Emily. I am sure that's what my trigger was. However it was still good to see friends and get out of the house for a bit. The house seems to be my safe haven and if anyone were to ask me what would truly help me I think I would say to be at home and just rest. Work kills me and I know I should be grateful I have a good job but I am so very tired. I just want time to properly grieve and to heal but I feel like commuting, working, and commuting back has kept me from doing that. So do I pray to have my house paid off miraculously? No. I just pray for peace and pray for those around me then I still thank God for all I have and all my blessings. 

Some days are harder than others and some days I grieve okay. Now I am just hoping that going forward we don't have anymore hail, major disasters, and that we keep everyone healthy, I would be eternally grateful. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Picture and More

Last night was not a good night. I sat in my bath tub and sipped on wine, listened to music, and cried my eyes out for Jude. It happens..........you have good days and bad days. Suddenly I felt like something was surrounding me and I felt compelled to snap a picture. Forgive the nature that this was snapped from my bath tub but this is what my photo showed. There are ZERO filters applied to this picture and I have the original time stamped photo. 

Two minutes later the bathroom was back to normal. 

I felt a little better so I tucked the piggy in and went to bed. 

I want to thank all of you for continuing to follow our story and for putting up with my social media posts regarding life in general and my business ventures. My therapy seems to be social media and those that have stuck with me will always be appreciated. 

Also I received this picture today!! My car has been fixed from the hail. I am so happy and cannot wait to get her back. Thanks Express Auto Hail Repair.