Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Events Are Hard

I have been meaning to write for a few days but I just haven't had the words. It's not that I don't have feelings or emotions I want to share I am just not sure what to share lately. I have been missing Jude again and I am sure that will happen for the rest of my life. However this time I realized I am beginning to forget things. His scent is growing faint, our nurses schedules are becoming more murky, and the detailed schedule we followed is become hard to remember. Although I know time heals this makes me a bit sad. I am thankful for my Facebook memory feed and my you tube video's. I can only imagine what it was like for my grandmother when she lost my mom at such an early age and had zero social media and little technology for remembrance. 

I am also thankful for social media for my loss forums and learning I am not alone in many of my thoughts and feelings. I have a VERY hard time going to events such a birthday parties, funerals, weddings, or other large functions. I can however have events at my house and hold parties without issue. I can go out with Mike and be with him all day without issue but put me in a scheduled large event and I don't handle it well.  I thought I had lost my mind until I read a paragraph someone posted on the forum today asking if others had issues with this very same topic. Most EVERY single grieving mother posted they did. Many of them posted that their family and friends were scolding them and turning them away for not attending events. Man I am glad I have understanding friends and family! Sometimes I will get right up to being ready to leave for an event and I just have a complete meltdown........again I read today very normal. We all struggle with our own inner demons and emotions and I am again glad to have understanding people in my life. While in town for Emily's graduation I even discussed going away for Christmas somewhere because it's very difficult to be at home. I wanted to go somewhere quiet and serene. My family stepped up and suggested we go somewhere together and that meant a lot to me. I am not sure that will happen but it's so nice they were so thoughtful about the situation. 

Emily is getting ready for her competition in August and getting ready for Alabama.  I will keep everyone updated on her progress. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

When Life Hands You Lemons.

You know you reach a point in life where you wonder what you can do to make your life easier. Do you find a new job, get rid of debt, stop accepting invites to functions, or maybe even move out of state and start over. It seems like we keep getting hit with one blow after another and this morning after a property tax protest meeting I just was angry. I just vented to Mike about how we never ever catch a break and believe it or not he was the positive one. What?????? Mike positive? Whoa Nellie! The universe just froze.

He pointed out that everyone has troubles we just don't see them and how there are always options. If we have to sell our home we will or just work extra and figure it out. I finally calmed down and told him that throughout my life and hardships one thing has always been steady and that's that God always provides what I need. Through my teens, my divorce, Jude's death, and more God always provided financially what I needed. We may live pay check to pay check but we have money and the bills are met. So Mike is working Saturday's to earn the money we will need to put into our escrow for the tax bill. In the mean time I am joining our Governor's fight about the over inflation of property taxes in TX. This could be a serious situation in TX where many people are priced out of their homes and have no where they can go thus affecting the economy.  The problem is the TX market has sky rocketed but the tax rate is still the same based on the lower value homes so the counties are bringing in a lot more money than before. I even have friends that have a homestead that are receiving very large increases based on not raising the prior years. 

I still have good days and bad days and when I have a bad grief day the littlest thing can set up a sand storm of anxiety. This is one of those days. From things like setting up a flight for Emily to making dinner the situations and tasks seem overwhelming. Throughout the sand storm there are glimpses into functioning reality and an understanding that things will work out in the end. 

So when life hands your lemons grab a shot tequila and salt. Then I will think on this little face and a beach somewhere with zero bills or worries. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

My looks and a story about Dragonfly Farms

I saw this video today and I was compelled to write about it. 

Before I get to my point I do have to giggle and admit I can relate to her about the flesh in between her and her husband. My skin was so stretched from my kids and not all of us look pretty during pregnancy.  I was so pumped full of steroids due to complications that it's amazing I didn't gain 100 pounds. I was bloated, tired, and NOT cute but it was all worth it.  Anyway, I have been on both sides of this situation. Years ago after working out very hard I had plastic surgery that I now regret but I wanted to maintain that youthful look. Mike and I were in the car today on the way to work and he started talking about how the time we spent with Jude was almost 2 presidential terms. We always say that the president goes into office lean, spry, and with color in their hair but most come out heavier, tired, and full of grey hair. We feel the same way. We loved our time with Jude but it did take a toll on us. Of course I still think my husband looks great but I have been ran over. I hear that I look tired from people A LOT and I have gotten to the point where I nicely want to respond, "Yes I am tired I have been through hell and back and I may be tired the rest of my life," but I know people mean well.  I wear my tired and looks with pride because it was a battle and I fought very hard and learned that what's most important was keeping my child well and then comfortable. I feel like our society just focuses on the wrong things sometimes and this isn't pointing anyone out even my sweet family thought I looked tired. 

So I wrote a little story that I thought about publishing but I am just going to share it. I hope your kids enjoy it.  I am sorry the structure of the story is off for some reason Blogger is defaulting it that way and won't allow me to fix it. 

Dragonfly Farms
The Great Adventure

The sun rose brightly at Dragonfly Farms on the day Emily brought her piglet Buddy home.
Emily was a bright young girl who had begged her father for the tiny piglet with the little
spotted nose. At first, her dad was hesitant, but Emily just knew the little pig would make a great addition to their wonderful farm. Emily loved animals so much that she had many different ones living at her place. Some were work animals, like horses, cattle, and chickens, and some were her pets, like the dogs, cat, and, now, the little piglet.
     Emily took Buddy inside their ranch-style house and set up a dog crate for him to stay in,
since he was so little. Buddy would need to grow much bigger before he could stay outside
because there were so many animals out there that could be a danger to him. Emily put a little
bed in the crate, with several blankets to keep Buddy warm. She then fed him his bottle full of
warm milk and placed him gently in his bed; Buddy fell fast asleep. Since Emily lived on a farm,she had a lot of chores to complete, so she left Buddy to get his much-needed rest.
Soon, Ollie the orange and white tabby cat came running down the stairs. Ollie was so
full of excitement that when he ran up to Buddy’s cage, Buddy was frightened. “Who are you?”
Ollie quickly and happily asked. Meekly, the little pig replied, “I am Buddy.” “What ARE you?
You barely have any fur, and you don’t look like a cat. You also don’t look like the big dogs that
run around here,” Ollie said. “I am a pig!” Buddy replied. Ollie looked at Buddy, and then he
slowly stuck his paw through the wire of the crate and touched Buddy on the back. Buddy
jumped and asked “what are you doing?” Ollie replied, “I just wanted to see what you felt like
without fur. My fur is beautiful and keeps me warm. You must be cold; do you need a sweater?”Buddy just shook his head and went to lie back down.
       “Oh, don’t go to sleep! Come out and play with me,” Ollie said. “I don’t think Emily wants
me to go anywhere. Plus, I am stuck in this crate and cannot get out,” Buddy replied. Ollie
looked the crate over and noticed a latch at the top, just out of his reach. Ollie climbed up the
stairs beside the crate and looked down at the latch, studying it as best he could. Suddenly, he
had an idea. Ollie went running to the other room and dragged a fishing pole back to his spot on the stairs. He positioned the fishing pole upward and pushed it under the railing for stability. He then lowered the hook all the way down and caught it on the latch. Next, Ollie started reeling the line back in, and BOOM! it lifted. Ollie ran back down the stairs and yelled,
“Come on, let’s go!” Buddy wasn’t sure about this, but Ollie was insistent. “My mom always
told me I shouldn’t listen to a bad influence,” Buddy said. “I am not a bad influence. I am an
adventurer, like a great heroic pirate!” Ollie insisted. Buddy looked confused and said, “I don’t
think pirates are heroes.” Ollie replied, “Well, I am still an adventurer. Now, come on!”
Ollie went flying through the dog door separating the pair from the outside. Buddy
looked concerned but slowly climbed through the door, too. Suddenly, a big brown coonhound
bounded toward them. Buddy was terrified, but to his surprise, the dog gave him a big lick on the face. As Buddy wiped the drool away, the dog, in a slow Texas drawl, said, “Hi ya, I am Blue. What’s your name?” Buddy told him who he was, and then Blue wanted to know what the pair was up to. “We’re going on an adventure!” Ollie piped up. “What kind of an adventure?” Blue asked. “I am not sure yet, but I will know it when I see it!” Ollie replied. Blue looked at both of them and decided he wanted to join the party. “Alright, I’mma comin’ with ya, but we gotta look out for Lee,” Blue said.
Just as Buddy was wondering who Lee was, a large German Shepherd appeared from
around the corner. Buddy was frozen in place he was so scared. Ollie hugged Buddy and
told him not to be afraid of the big dog because, even though she was big, she had a very soft
heart. Lee walked over to the three and peered down at the little pig. In a regal voice, she said, “I am Lee, and I am the queen of this farm. What are you doing here?” Ollie spoke up, “Oh, come on, Lee, don’t scare the little pig! We are going on an adventure together!” Lee didn’t seem impressed with Ollie and looked down at him with disapproving eyes. “You know this little pig is far too small to go on an adventure and far too little to help anyone.” Just then, the little pig felt quite strong and said, “I may be small, but that doesn’t mean I am not brave.” Lee looked a  bit shocked, smiled, and said, “Okay, little pig, whatever you say.” She then turned to Ollie: “I don’t approve of this adventure, Ollie; you’d better watch for hawks because they will snatch your little friend.” Buddy nervously looked to the sky, as Lee turned and walked back toward the house. He realized then that acting brave was not the same thing as being brave.
So, Buddy, Ollie, and Blue began walking through the tall trees that lined the acreage
of Dragonfly Farms. The leaves whistled in the wind like they were playing a song just for the
cheerful trio. Through the winding paths they went, dodging large rocks and enjoying the tall
grass. They passed squirrels, a friendly owl, and a sweet fox named Gina. They asked if anyone
knew of an adventure for them, but alas, no one did. So, they laced through a large brown gate
with a hole in the front and saw a big green chicken coop up ahead.
The three walked up to the coop and saw all of the hens with their babies, digging in the
dirt and eating their lunch. “Hello, in there!” Ollie yelled. The white alpha hen turned her
big feathery body around and gazed at the three. She lifted one eyebrow with interest and said,
“Well, this is an odd combination of animals. What are you three up to?” Ollie looked at her with pride and said “We are going on an adventure!” “Now, Ollie, you know that baby pig shouldn’t be out here, and how can he go on a proper adventure? He is way too small to be of any help!” Buddy looked up at her and cleared his throat, “I am NOT a baby. I am old enough to be without my mom, and I am brave—well, kind of brave!” The hen looked again at the little pig and shook her head. “Well, nice to meet you, little pig. My name is Felicia, and I am the queen of this farm.” Buddy looked confused and said, “Wait, I thought Lee, the big dog, was the queen?” Felicia laughed and said, “She may think she is queen, but I rule the roost around here, and everyone knows it, don’t they, girls?” Felicia, with her head held high, looked around her coop,as all of the other hens bowed to her. Felicia looked back at the little pig and said, “See?” Buddy suggested, “Maybe Lee is the princess, then,” and everyone chuckled. The chickens seemed very amused by the pig. They were so entertained that Felicia didn’t notice one of her babies make his way through a small hole in the coop and head toward the front pasture. Quickly, Felicia looked up and realized little Jimmy was heading out toward territory
laced with snakes and other scary creatures. “MY BABY!!” Felicia shouted. She tried to fit
through the small hole in the coop, but she couldn’t get through. Ollie looked at Buddy and Blue and said, “This is it! This is our adventure!” Felicia looked at them, desperate but doubtful, and pleaded with them to save her baby. So, the three ran toward the pasture in pursuit of the little chick. Since many bushes and much ground cover stood between them and the front pasture,Ollie told Buddy he needed to stay close. Buddy grabbed Ollie’s tail with his little mouth, and the three headed into the thorn-laced bushes in search of the wandering chick. Abruptly, a large commotion erupted above them, and they saw a hawk land neatly on a branch. The hawk could not get through the thorny branches, but he could easily spot the trio from his perch.“Hmmmmm, well, this is an interesting situation, don’t you think?” the hawk said. Buddy was petrified of the intimidating bird with the sharp beak and large talons. Buddy looked at Ollie and Blue in fear and then looked out into the pasture and saw the little chick hiding under a rock by a big tree. “I cannot go out there and help that little chick; the hawk will eat me!” Buddy cried. Ollie and Blue exchanged looks of concern.  Ollie was so little the hawk could get him too and Blue knew he would need help defeating the great bird.
            Presently, a beautiful dragonfly with glittering wings flew into the bushes and landed
next to Buddy. “I have been watching you,” the dragonfly said, in a sweet silvery voice. “You  
know, Buddy, you are braver than you think.” Buddy just shook his head “no” and then looked
miserably at the ground. “Would you like to hear why Emily’s parents named this beautiful place Dragonfly Farms?” Buddy wasn’t sure what that had to do with him, but he agreed, and the dragonfly began to tell Buddy the story. “Several years ago, Emily had a lovely little
brother named Jude who she loved very much. They played and played, but one day, Jude got
very sick. He was so very brave, and he fought so hard to get better, but...” the dragonfly stopped talking and lowered his head. Ollie and Blue lowered their heads, too. Buddy looked around at his new friends and asked, “Is Jude an angel now?” The dragonfly sadly shook his head “yes” and then continued to speak: “Emily’s parents thought Jude was so heroic that he reminded them of a dragonfly. You see, dragonflies have survived for over 300 million years because, even though they are little, they are very strong and are very good flyers. So, Buddy, just because you are little doesn’t mean you can’t be brave!” Just then, Buddy felt stronger than he ever had felt before. He looked out into the pasture and noticed a large rattlesnake slithering up the rock near the chick, whispering “Here, chickie chickie...” Buddy looked up at the hawk and then looked at his friends and said, “I have an idea.”Buddy leaned over and whispered his plan to Ollie, Blue, and the dragonfly.
“Let’s do this!” Ollie proclaimed. Blue backed out of the bush and leapt up toward the
hawk, scaring the angry bird off its perch. Then, Ollie and Buddy dashed out into the pasture as fast as they could. At that moment, the hawk spotted them and took off flying after them. The dragonfly, showing off his speed, raced in front of the hawk to distract him. The hawk, thinking of what a tasty little morsel the dragonfly would be, quickly chased after him. Ollie and Buddy approached the rock, just as the rattlesnake saw them heading his direction. “What a treat this will be, like Thanksgiving, with all of this yummy food coming my way,” the snake said in his slithery voice. Now, if you didn’t know, piglets are very fast runners and hard to keep up with. Buddy darted to the left of the rock to get behind the snake, and this caught the
attention of the hawk, who was still chasing the dragonfly. The dragonfly changed direction
to fly directly toward Buddy, and the hawk became very excited. “Looks like I will get two
meals in one,” he said and flew faster. Just then, Buddy jumped onto the rock and, with his
mouth, grabbed the back of the snake’s neck, pulling him backward. Ollie sprang into action,
scratching the snake, who yelled “OUCH!” Then, Blue rushed up from behind, grabbed
the snake from Buddy, and threw him at the hawk, who caught the snake in his claws. The hawk was so happy with his impending feast that he forgot about everyone else and flew off into the sunset with his prize.The farmyard trio and the dragonfly rested, panting in exhaustion, and then they all hugged. “Why did you help me?” Buddy asked the dragonfly. The dragonfly thought for a moment and replied, “I guess I did it for Jude and Emily.” Then, he flew away.
So, Ollie grabbed the baby chick and placed him gently into Blue’s big mouth, and they
all headed back to the chicken coop. As they came around the corner, they could hear Felicia
crying with joy. Ollie told Felicia exactly what had happened. Felicia looked at the little pig and
said, “I should never judge someone based how big he looks, but only on how big his heart is.
Buddy, I have an idea you may be king of this farm someday.” Buddy smiled with pride as he
marched happily back toward the house. He and Ollie popped back through the dog door and
saw Emily standing by Buddy’s crate. She looked at little Buddy and gently picked him up,
wiping some dirt from his face. She smiled big and said, “Now, have you two been on some
grand adventure?” and tucked Buddy back in his bed, and the brave little pig fell fast asleep.
  -The End

Below are Buddy, Ollie, Felicia, Blue, Lee, and of course Emily. 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Disney and Loss

Last night I had a rare night with Emily without anyone having to work or be consumed in schoolwork. We decided to watch the new release of Beauty And The Beast and it was everything I had hoped it would be. It was surreal and lovely watching it with Emily who will soon be leaving for college. I felt luck that I had the opportunity to be her mother and enjoy Disney with her as a child. I thought back to all the days of costumes, cartoons, and princesses. Then I began to think about Jude and although the moment could have been sad it wasn't. Jude loved musicals and although he couldn't run and play imitating his favorite character who could smile continuously as the actors sang. So in summary I would say Disney has provided me many lasting memories with my children which I will always be grateful for. 

Mike and I have a ten year anniversary coming up in October. I cannot believe it's been ten years and it's definitely been a journey laced with good and bad. We have discussed all types of options for a celebration from going out of town to throwing a party everyone could attend. It will honestly come down to finances and then we will figure out what will be best. 

For some reason there has been an influx of people we are hearing about that are passing away at a relatively young age. They range from 31 - 56 and the deaths just seems to be coming in waves lately. I have been pushing everyone I know to get life insurance either through me or someone else. It's so sad to hear about someone passing now because my heart just aches for their family. I can imagine how terrible their next days are while they plan the funeral and how their lives will move forward. The daunting task of packing up all the belongings that once inhabited their loved ones closet and room. I only pray they will be able to find some peace some day and find happiness again. 

Nurse Allan should get his check today and I thank all those that participated in raising funds for his recovery. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Emily's graduation

Emily graduated from High school on Tuesday and I was very proud of her. I cried at her royal awards but I didn't at her graduation I mostly just felt satisfied. I know that sounds odd but I did. As parents I feel our job is to get our children to adulthood with good hearts, an education, and determination. I feel like Emily has these qualities and although I am going to miss her being at my house I know her adult life is now starting. I will miss her bounding down the stairs, her missing the point of every joke, and her sweetness. She will be back though and I will get to see her smiley face. I am not sure how it will be at my house without Emily and Jude but I am sure a bit quiet. 

Emily will be leaving 8/11 for the University of Alabama, in fact I am about to book her flight. I will then fly down with Gina and help get her dorm set up.  We will see how the first year away from home goes but I have faith that in 4 years Emily will be a nurse helping others as much as she can. 

Jude's sweet nurse Allan is having heart surgery today. He has given so much to so many that I thought I would try to raise some funds to help him out while he cannot work. I know he and Larry don't read my blog so I am pretty sure we are safe posting here because I am trying to keep it a surprise. So I am asking that no one share the link on Facebook but privately. If you would like to contribute here is the link.

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 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. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Heart Wrenching But Spot On!

I don't know how you do it. 

I never could handle my child being so sick. 

You are super woman. 

I don't know how you cope. 

I just cannot imagine. 

These are all expressions I have heard and although I understand the statements it's not always accurate. Sometimes parents of sick children fall apart. Sometimes we cry, we scream, and we feel very lost. The video below made me do the ugly cry at work. I have done every single one of these acts and once you get yourself together you wipe your tears and keep walking. You do it because your child needs you and they deserve the best possible care. I have cried learning about the feeding tube just like the mom below, I have crumbled in the shower bawling, I have screamed in the car asking why Jude, and I have cried in an elevator while people were around. So could handle it but sometimes it breaks you. Then if you lose that child the glue that held you together is no longer there so you have to find a new formula to keep moving forward.   

Thursday, April 13, 2017

My first Vlog - Suicide Prevention

Welcome to my first VLOG! I didn't feel I could properly write my feelings regarding this subject. So if you feel compelled to watch my video about suicide prevention and the show 1:3 Reasons Why," then please tune in. This is a very personal subject for me and I remind you I am not a therapist I am simply a person that lived through a tragic suicide loss. NWISD lost another child this week and I needed to say these words. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

One Year

We made it through Jude's one year mark and we now keep walking the path ahead of us. I used the description today that I have before that grief feels like you have lost a limb and you learn to live your life without that major component. On Sunday we went to visit Jude and took him a few things to decorate his headstone even more than it already is. I think Jude may have the most festive place of rest there is. We put a large pinwheel up that fascinated children as I walked through the store when I purchased it so I am sure Jude would have liked it too. We also put out a basket of rocks for people to place on top of his marker to indicate they were there and said a prayer for Jude. 

It's hard for me to put into words my exact feelings a year later so I will share with you my husband raw feelings that he posted on Facebook. I relate to them completely. 

"Even after taking the worst blows of my life I have managed to survive a year. Have you ever seen the pictures of houses after a horrible tornado or hurricane? A single stoic house still standing in midst of total destruction. Although the house is standing and appears to be unscathed, what you don't see is that the house is just an empty shell of itself. What the photo doesn't show is the devastation caused in the inside and like those other houses around it that house too will soon be demolished. I sometimes wonder if my fate is the same. 
I wish I could tell you everything is ok. It's not. I'm not. I've gotten good at lying everyday. I'm ashamed to say sometimes I just don't want to be here. It's just not the same without You.
I have succumbed to the fact that this unbearable pain will always be my cross to bear. They say time lessens the pain but for that to be possible my love for You would have to lessen as well.
So like the year-passed I will forge through. I will try to live my life not like the man I'd thought I'd should be but more like the man You taught me to be.
Over the years I had told several people that I prepared for your passing as much as I could by mourning you every single day. The idea was that I wouldn't end up with a large payment of grief after you passed. Yeah, well that was another futile attempt on my part to control the uncontrollable.
It wasn't till You were born that I finally understood what I was looking for this whole time. I always new you were special but it wasn't till you were gone that I knew how blessed I was.
Now that You are gone I am left confused and unsure. Unsure what Life has in store for me. Confused about how people even manage to overcome tragedies. I used to say it is just random chaos and things just happen. I'm not so sure now. I'm having a hard time finding a purpose in life. Nothing seems as important as taking care of You.
You will always be my Son. I will always love You immensely. I ask You to keep sending me those signs. I still need those little crumbs to lead me down the right path. Until we laugh again Jude."

I have started yet another adventure but one I have always dreamed up. My hope is to someday expand and have a store front. Please do me a favor and go like this page. Also if you know someone shopping for prom or pageant dresses I would appreciate the referral.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Hard Night and 13 Reasons Review

I didn't sleep well last night. It was a year ago today that there were two entries made in my blog. The later one said, "Jude has taken a rapid decline," before I sped home to see his little face. I will never forget that drive home and holding him in my arms. It's a sad but precious memory. I was up way to late, I didn't sleep well when I did lay down, and I don't want to be at work today so please have patience with me. We know it's just a weekend we have to get through. 

On a different note, I have been watching the Netflix series 13 Reasons. It's no secret that this show is based on a girl who committed suicide in high school and gives 13 reasons why she performed the act. I have been rather mesmerized with this series and honestly wish it had been available when I was in high school. The acting is superb and the direction of a regular TV show mixed with an outstanding play performance look is resonating. This is the first show that I have seen that exposes every aspect of the challenges facing teens today. From bullying, sexual assault, drugs, poor home lives, selfishness, self discovery, sexual preferences, loneliness, depression, athletic performance, and the stress of grades. It's also the first show I believe that doesn't glorify the suicide because they tell you how it really is. It's death and it's final and you are basically thrown in a body bag. I know it sounds like a depressing show and it's challenging to watch but if you have young children that will be moving into teens or a teen I highly recommend watching it to remember how difficult it is to navigate through that age. Emily is currently watching it and I am glad because I wish I had seen it at that age.  I could see myself feeling like I wasn't alone and realizing that although life is hard people around you DO care. That you do get through high school and your situation DOES and WILL change. 

I appreciate the little things people have done for our family this week. I notice the texts, the little gifts, and everyone changing their profiles to the remembrance candle on Facebook. It's strange because the efforts make me feel comforted but there is a part of me that just doesn't want to remember so I don't say much. Just know you are appreciated. I am going to turn my phone off Sunday so if I don't answer you know why. I also dropped the freaking thing in the bath last night because that's how life rolls lately and I can only hear you on speaker if you call me. You know you giggled. I mean it sucks but it's so my luck, lol. So I have no idea when someone is calling or texting until I actually look. 

Thank you for caring. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Sadness In The World

Yesterday friends on Facebook were posting pictures of the devastation from the tragedy in Syria. I looked as little boys bodies lay strewn around with looks of shock still displayed on their faces and Jude just flashed in my mind. It broke my heart. I thought to myself how horribly cruel this world can be sometimes. I choose not to look at the photo's any further but that doesn't mean the devastation isn't there. Regardless of whatever political affiliation you lean towards everyone can admit people losing their lives by chemical warfare is terrible. I question what we can truly do to make the world a better place and to stop all the cruelty. I wonder if world peace will ever be a possibility. 

The other night I was taking my evening walk and I took in the serenity lacing the air in the warm spring breeze. For a fleeting moment I was overcome with excitement regarding the moment my life would be over. That sounds like a terrible thought but it was actually a very peaceful one. For the first time I realized I truly would get to see Jude again and if I make it through my life as a good and decent person that would really come to pass. I felt relief and hope and realized I no longer questioned an afterlife. 

I sometimes wonder why the world has to have so much loss, grief, and sadness. We all have our own religious thoughts or scientific based evidence but that still doesn't answer or fulfill my curiosity. I figure that the only thing I can do is try to find the beauty hidden in each day that I am here on Earth. I guess if we spread beauty and positivity then that in itself is a way to make a difference. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Quick Follow Up

Well the good news is my heart is no longer physically hurting. I tried to relax this weekend and get some extra sleep and it seems to have helped. Then I came to work and it's been so busy I have only literally been to the bathroom twice in 9 hours. 

So it's the week of Jude's loss and we are dealing with it. We are marching ahead even though at times we don't want to. I have been communicating with my loss group and you something that's normal, fighting with your spouse and others. You know what else? Seeming absolutely bat shit crazy. Oh forgive my curse words lately but I am just writing how I feel. I had someone tell me the other day I seemed crazy and like I have put it on display. I probably do at times but I decided that's okay because it could be a whole lot worse. I have maintained my job and my sanity for the most part so I figure I am a few steps ahead in this search for peace. I have watched people, marriages, jobs, and lives crumble in my group from the stress of losing a child so I am grateful God has given me the strength I do have so far. 

As stated we cannot go to Colorado but Mike and I are still planning on taking Monday off. I am not sure what we are doing yet but the right thing will come to us. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

A Scare And Stress

It's been a long year and one that's been filled with a lot of stress and heartache. However throughout that heartache I have always tried to find the positive in each situation. I believe it's up to us as individuals to find the road that leads to the most positive outcome. It may take me a few days to find the silver lining but I eventually tackle the problem that lies ahead and find my way to a better attitude. Today I am rather disheartened and I know it's because I am close to Jude' one year but I am also aggravated. Yesterday I kept complaining that I was having sharp pains in the left side of my chest above my heart. I have had these before and I am fairly medically educated due to Jude and know sharp pains when resting don't normally signify anything to worry about. However they lasted throughout the day and at night they became increasingly worse. About 2 am I got up and went to take a hot bath and took some medication to make myself feel better. I am SURE what happened is I was having some muscle issues and scared myself into an anxiety attack. Anyway, I calmed myself down and finally went to sleep. We women have a way of worrying ourselves silly. 

However just to err on the side of caution I did decide to go see the doctor today when the issues persisted. The doctor did an EKG and when I saw her scanning the computer for awhile I felt like I was back in the hospital with Jude. Sigh "What?" I asked point blank. She told me my EKG was abnormal. "Well of COURSE it is!" I said, "You know 2016 wasn't great and 2017 is really beginning to irritate me." She knew I was serious but being light hearted so she asked me a battery of questions and explained the EKG showed something about abnormal artery flow. So here is the run down. Three things were mentioned a build up of plaque, stress, or lupus. So the doctor ordered a calcium test and passed me along to the other side of the office. Once completed the nurse said my heart and valves show ZERO plaque build up and look great for my age (yay me). Then she talked to me about stress and was super sweet. She acknowledged our family has had an unusual amount of high stress issues and that what they see in women is that women are strong and hold up great during the actual stressful situation. However then they see the woman's body start to fall apart and it's their job to not let that happen. She said "One day a woman looks around wondering how she wound up in the hospital when she was perfectly fine. It just takes a toll." The third option discussed was Lupus. I have MANY of the symptoms relating to this disease and it's a high probability. It could even relate all the way back to the blood clotting issue I had with Jude. However it takes batteries of tests to diagnose this and I am not even sure I would want to go through that to have a label on something. I remember Jude's doctor once telling me when I asked him if Jude had Lennox Gestaut that he didn't like labels. He said "Jude has seizures and no matter what label you put on it he has them." Could it help knowing? Maybe. It helps my friend but I think I will just continue to try to live a healthy life. I am increasing my walking each night and the doctor told me if I ever get winded then that's when it gets serious and that's when we have a big issue.  

I felt aggravated today more than concerned and if something did happen to me someday then I will be with Jude. I was however very frustrated with work, Jude's loss, and just being a woman (ha), all the claims, and my claim are taxing. It seems like there aren't enough ours in the day to get everything done from working and taking care of the home. Is it really possible for women to reduce the amount of stress they have because for me it's not the big things it's all the little things that add up. Today I went Office Space on the printer while my co-worker just looked on. That darn printer had it coming! 

I don't need anyone concerned or worried I am fine. I am just venting and fielding more texts or calls would just increase my anxiety but it's nice to get it off my chest. So why put this on a blog, because it's just like Jude and it helps me spread informational items at once. It's all good. I still live in a beautiful all be it damaged but beautiful home. I have my family and my animals and they all make me happy. I have FAITH that eventually my life will calm down and I am saying that in Jesus Name!