Thursday, February 14, 2019

Waiting on the shoe to drop? Make it stop raining shoes!

Sometimes it gets to a point to where I feel like Eeyore always saying something has gone wrong. So here is the gist of the situation at hand. Mike is better but still having some issues regarding his heart so we still work to keep stress down, which isn't happening. Emily called us the other day and told us she just hasn't felt well for awhile now so she decided to go have a blood test. We haven't really said anything except to close friends and family but Emily mentioned she hasn't felt well on social media so I thought I would explain. Anyway basically per the blood test Emily is in fact dealing with an illness and one that's most likely an autoimmune. I am super impressed this dedicated girl made the Dean's list while she was SO sick. She is really suffering so if you could keep her in your prayers that would be great. She started her medication today and we are praying it helps her and gives her some relief. At first I was mad that I have another child that's ill but then I become grateful it was diagnosed and that it wasn't anything worse. Again, trying to see the silver lining. 

Then we encountered some more stress this week that isn't worth going into but then even more hit when this morning about 10am Mike called my work. He simply told me that he had been hit by an 18 wheeler. I asked, "Are you okay????" He replied, "Yes. Police are here I have to go." So I felt relieved he wasn't hurt but was wanting more information and very concerned and laughing because what the heck else are you going to do at this point but stress laugh. So finally Mike called me back and a semi backed into Mike pushing him into the car behind him. So we are grateful he wasn't hurt, grateful he was in a large truck, and thankful he wasn't in my Beetle because as Mike said, "He would have been up in your engine." His bumper is gone, his hood won't open, and his front is messed up but it's nothing that cannot be repaired. So again finding the silver lining. 

When does it become enough? About 10 years ago!! lol. I am a bit tired of looking for silver linings in life but Mike ever the best player of this mad game said, I would let everyday be like this if I could just have Jude back. Isn't that the truth so as hectic as life gets it's never as hectic as not having him with us. When I called Mike to tell him about Emily he said, "You know let's add more to the plate because I don't think there is enough. You know there are a lot of people out there that have had difficult lives and we really need to take some of their burden." haaaaaaa! The truth is that we are blessed and there are people that have VERY difficult lives and like I always say, everyone has a story it's what you do with yours that counts. 

God Bless and Happy Valentines Day. 

Friday, February 8, 2019

Another Hard Blog With Good Tears

Mike and I have been dealing with a high stress situation yet again. One that landed him in the ER yesterday, he will be okay. However being back in the hospital always induces anxiety in both of us. Overall we handled the situation well but on the way home I just started crying at the thought of possibly losing him and the thoughts of when we lost Jude. I thought I would write out what happened when Jude passed for therapy reasons and because others just may relate. It's also my chance to finally thank so many that helped us. I have talked about a bit of this before but not the exact company's. 

It's strange when someone dies and being around death many times I can attest it's even more uncomfortable when it's a child's death. It's a mixture of feeling you don't know what to do but knowing you know exactly what to do all at the same time. I cannot truly explain what it's like to watch your child die but I can tell you that it leaves you in utter shock, then somehow you find a way to move even though you feel frozen in place. I called my dad and step-mom, I called Jude's nurse, and I called Mike's mother. All three families contacted asked if they could come over. It was odd to me at first because you think people just want to attend the funeral but they wanted to come see him before he left. I also called my aunt in Missouri. Those core people were all in charge of informing the rest of the family but not saying a word to Emily until we reached her. If you remember, Emily was away in Dallas. 

I remember picking up the phone and calling the funeral home and making arrangements for them to come pick Jude up. I then looked at Mike and asked him to go get some new Superman Pajama's from the store. It gave him a project because he was stunned in silence. I then contacted Trey Ganem who made his custom Superman casket and he had that item turned around and delivered within 48 hours. Mike made it to the store and said he was just standing in the children's clothing section and a clerk came over to ask him if he could help him locate something. Mike said, My son just died and my wife asked me to get him Superman pajama's." The clerk had him covered and helped Mike every step of the way. 

Once home with Jude's clothing his nurse Charlotte helped me bathe Jude, dress him, and fix his hair. That was disturbing to see Jude like that but comforting that Charlotte helped me make Jude look handsome. As family flowed in so did the funeral home who had a director by the name of Matthew who since had become a friend. He was kind, talked slow and calm, and helped every step of the way. He cried with us saying he had young children and he put his heart into everything he did. Lucas Funeral homes were truly amazing to us. They even joined in with Jude's theme. 

Matt gently explained at the house that they would be taking Jude out covered and loading him in the hearse to go to the funeral home. They told us to take our time but everyone was ready. Silently they covered his little body with a golden type of blanket and they asked Mike if he would like to push him. Mike agreed and it was one of the best things the funeral home could have done. We all silently followed behind Jude, then Matt advised us we would meet the next day, and then Jude was gone. It was so strange and so final. 

After that we had meetings with churches, friends, pastors, and more regarding music, speech's, flowers, and other items that were for the living. Jude however didn't have to worry about any of that. I think he just sat back and watched how much everyone loved him and how much he touched everyone's lives. 

So the waves of grief are smaller in height now and grower fewer between crashes but when one does hit me these are the flickering pictures that run through my head of the very worst day of my life but the best day of Jude's. He got to see heaven that day and that was pretty amazing I am sure.  I have learned through this difficult course that it's okay to have a grief day every once in awhile and to have a really good cry. I think it soothes the soul. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dear Child 17 And Over, We Parents Owe You ZERO Financially

Most people know that my kiddo is at the University Of Alabama and I am proud to say that she is now thriving in her environment. Last year was rough for her and I truly believe Emily was thrust into a breakdown due to her grief and change in life patterns. Now she is doing so well and just made the Dean's list, which is not an easy thing to do. She also is maintaining a part-time job where she moves files online for my office. It's a pretty easy job but it allows her the opportunity to earn extra funds for her extracurricular activities. Not everyone approves of her working and that's okay, to each their own but I was raised to help contribute to my expenses and I wanted Emily to learn the same. So that made me start thinking about my childhood. Minus all the traumatic experiences it was full of valuable lessons. I sometimes stop and wonder if children are entitled these days or if times have changed so much that we have cash more readily available to give to them. 

As a child, we didn't have much money and my parents worked very hard for what we did have. I still believe we all work hard now but the income level has increased for many and therefore there is more to give. However, do we give too much? I remember never really knowing we were struggling as a child and having only fond memories. We lived in a small house in Fort Worth and I had plenty to eat and a cozy bed. I remember my mom couldn't afford a Halloween costume one year so she took one of my dad's oversized T-shirts and colored a big pumpkin on the front, she was quite artsy. This combined with a dollar store pumpkin hat made the perfect trick-or-treating attire. Our fun outdoors generally consisted of an old black intertube in a lake somewhere in our area. I am pretty sure that old floating device would be a costly vintage item now.  I remember my mom telling me not to turn on the Christmas bubble lights because they used too much electricity. If you don't know what those are you are missing out. 

My mom made great adventures out of very little money and I appreciated them very much. I am afraid my mom passed when I was 7, ironic since my son was 7 when he passed. Anyway, when my dad remarried we had two more children to add to the house and it was once again crafty on entertainment. Everyone helped out in the household with chores, there were no questions it was expected. Also as soon as my step brothers turned 15 they got a job. Everyone contributed and everyone helped and that's just how it was. Complaining wasn't allowed and rightfully so. 

I lived with my grandparents from 14 on and it was the same in their household. They were absolutely wonderful to me but you were expected to 1. help your family and 2. get a job. So it's very odd to me when I hear people tell me Emily shouldn't have a part-time job. Again everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I wanted her to learn what it's like to work for what you need and want. All of my friends had jobs in high school, it just was the norm. I remember when making weekend plans we just immediately asked, "what time do you get off work?" 

Let's face the facts. At 18 your parent owes you nothing financially according to the government and that's the harsh truth. To get technical the legal age in my state is 17. At that point you are living in THEIR house while they are paying YOUR bills. Of course, we all want to care for our children to the best of our ability and give them more than we had. However, sometimes I wonder if kids appreciate it all. I promise my grandparents made it perfectly clear, I will always be here for you, and I will always love you, but I don't OWE you. In fact, you're staying in my home while I feed, clothe, and school you so the least you can do is get a part-time job to help with your wants versus your needs. AMEN! There was never a lack of love in any of the places I lived but there were strict rules. 

I wanted Emily to know you are always on time at work, you cannot just quit, and you better never ever get fired! If you do there are consequences for your actions and they aren't pleasant. Like you better get some Ramen girlfriend. Because this is real life...........if you don't work you don't eat. If you don't work you don't have a place to live, you don't go on nice vacations, and you don't get those expensive shoes that are sitting on your feet. It may not even be an outside job but if you're not working outside (because of school) then you're most definitely working inside the house by helping cook, clean, and do household chores........every single day! 

Maybe I am just old school but it's just how I feel. We all parent different but I wanted to make sure the way I raised Emily was to instill a good work ethic in her. My cousin is the expert at raising her kids with a good work ethic. From a very young age, each child has their daily chore list and there is no question it has to be completed. By the time they're of work age they maintain their own job and take care of things like their cell phones, etc. I didn't put any bills on Em but that doesn't mean I cannot admire my cousin's plan. Her youngest daughter has maintained the same job for years while going to school and now at 20 fully pays all her own living expenses. That's something to be admired. 

What if all our kids understood that at a specific age we owe them NOTHING financially. I owe you love, I owe you respect, and I owe you my time/attention. I don't owe you your bills, your entertainment, presents, or your daily expenses. I do those things because I want to see you succeed, I do those things because I want to help, and I do those things to help you travel an easier path.  Again I just wonder if kids truly comprehended that nothing was "owed" to them how much more appreciative versus demanding they would be. 

Monday, January 21, 2019

What has happened to America?

Before I start this blog I want to explain that I understand I am going to get backlash on this post and I may even lose a few followers. With that being said I feel like we as American citizens don't speak up enough for what we believe is right. So today I am speaking up. I want you the reader to try to read this with an open heart and open mind. I believe we have gotten so filled with political hatred we don't have the ability to see another's viewpoint on anything that doesn't mesh with our own opinions. We are so fueled with hatred right now that we cannot fathom anything different from what we believe, even when evidence is lying in front of us. I don't affiliate myself with any one political party and I look at that as a blessing because I try to be open-minded to all sides of the spectrum. 

My blog is about the situation that happened yesterday in Washington DC with the Catholic high school boy and the elder Native American Mr. Phillips. The brief video snippet shared through the media showed a white male being disrespectful to an elder by smirking while Mr. Phillips was playing his drum. They then showed an interview of Mr.Phillips crying about how the boys were taunting and harassing him.  At first, I was very upset but then I noticed that in the video there was another tribe member behind Mr. Phillips with a camera and wondered why? I also noticed Mr. Phillips was extremely close invading the boy's personal space, and I wondered why. I began reading more information on the incident and watching more clips from various angles. I also began noticing the hate-filled mob mentality that began streaming through the various news station's comment section. Grown adults even went so far as to post this students school address instructing other adults too, "Hunt the boy down." WHOA. I still wasn't sure exactly what transpired but I knew hate only breed's more hate and this wasn't okay. 

First I saw this post, posted by an attendee

“The CCH boys were waiting at the Lincoln Memorial for their buses to show up, after participating in the March for Life. While standing there, first they were verbally assaulted by a group of guys who used abusive, foul language, and in particular targeted an African-American CCH student. The CCH boys did not retaliate or respond, other than to start singing some of their school chants in order to drown the guys out. The guys left, and while the boys were still hyped up from doing their school chants, the gentleman in question walked into the middle of the CCH boys, walked up and faced the boy in question, and began banging his drum and chanting. The boy and his friends didn't quite know what to do. The boy in question tried to politely listen to him. Some of the others danced a bit and clapped along. Then after 5 minutes or so, the gentleman left. That's it. No one blocked him, touched him, or even said anything negative to him. The boy in question didn't laugh at him, turn his back on him, or any such thing. No one chanted "build the wall." The boy in question was just trying to listen to him, not "smirk," "mock him," or any similar thing. No one tried to intimidate the gentleman. He intentionally walked into the middle of the CCH boys and started his drum/chant in front of the boy. Now this boy, who is all of 16 years old, and the rest of the CCH boys, are being vilified across the nation. This is ridiculous. There are videos circulating that support the foregoing. But of course there are people who will instead choose to believe the stories being circulated in the media.”

and that was my first indication that something just wasn't right with this entire situation. Then I began to see more video's and it was VERY clear the Native American group walked directly into the crowd of boys. I basically agree with everything Anthony Brian Logan had to say about the situation. For those that are about to attack me for being white (I will get to why I posted this in a bit), Mr. Logan is an admired black man. 

I don't really like posting on Facebook shared items about politics but I did yesterday because I was again watching a mob attack this young man. When explaining that at 16 if gentlemen singled out my child in front of her classmates to bang a drum in her face that she would smile awkwardly too, I received a message that I obviously just parent differently. In other words not up to this poster's standards. So my question is...........what did you want him to do? I am talking about just this particular part of this incident, what would you want him to do? If he turned around he would be slammed, if he backed up he would be slammed, yet he stands there smiling and listens to the elder and he is STILL slammed. What has America come to? If you watch the video above at one point the young man even motions to another student telling him to "cut it out". I had one person tell me that "whitewashing" the situation, no we are providing you with hard proof. That she believes the elder that was crying on the interview and that the boys told him "build the wall". Not once in any angle at any point did any of the students say this, in fact the only one that mentions that is the Native tribe (again watch video above). Yet because he was crying on TV it must be true, well ladies and gentleman he is an actor......

The reason I decided to post was primarily that of the hate-filled message I received yesterday from someone I thought I knew. Because I posted that there might be other angles and facts we might take into consideration before condemning someone,  I received the most disturbing email I have ever gotten. Now bear in mind that my family is part Indian. In fact my sister went to school on a scholarship because of her Sioux heritage. The person sent me the long video which I acknowledge I had seen. She then proceeded to tell me this is always the way it is that the white man always wins. She actually told me, "I know ur not like that but the color of your skin doesn't help you see stuff." I explained that no one should be evaluating situations based on the color of their skin. She then told me "Anyone that don't know u u r white!" I thought that was sad because I never once looked at her in terms of race, I only looked at her as a beautiful woman who was a great mom. In fact, there are so many times I admired just how beautiful she was and laughed along with her posts. All the while I am just the white woman. So I decided I didn't need that negativity in my life. 

I think people hate Trump so much they see a red hat and automatically assume the worst. I don't get it. I don't judge people unless I am there and I don't judge unless I know the facts. I don't care if you voted for Hillary, Trump, or Bert and Ernie, if you're a good person you're a good person. Until you PROVE to me otherwise I will love you all the same. I think this world needs MORE love and less judgment and LESS shaming. More education during times that are less than savory and again LESS shaming. More ...............just more. I 100% think there is blatant racism in America and we still have a long way to go but we aren't going to get there if we all hate each other. We have to find a common ground to take each other's hands. 

I just wonder if we took all our energy that we are using to bicker and fight and put it into loving and giving, what would the world be like? 

In closing, I didn't post this so people could argue about the situation further so let's try to keep our comments positive. Maybe post about someone who has influenced your life for the positive manner, someone that's made a difference in your life. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

A Display Sign Of Sickness

Anyone on my social media knows I have been battling an illness since July and I have now been plagued with pneumonia.  I wouldn't say I used to get annoyed with people that were sick or their posts but I would wonder why they just couldn't be positive. I used to be sure that those particular people who were constantly experiencing an illness or tragedy had to have their own negative underlying force propelling their situation. It seems karma took a big flat flyswatter and smacked me in the head with it teaching me humility and empathy. I cannot explain how irritated I am with resting in my bed because I am such a person on the go. Yet again this weekend I will be spending the majority of my time resting and trying to get better. Ironically all this came on after I started working out again. I had a friend joke that I should just get rid of the sage in my office and all things healthy and try the complete unhealthy route. We had a giggle over his comments. 

The consideration came up that maybe I was letting the grief over Jude control my life and my health. I don't think this is the case. I have no doubt that it has had a profound effect especially because Mike and I didn't sleep for more than 7 years. In fact, the doctor recently told Mike (who is ill too) that Jude's situation ravaged our bodies, but we wouldn't have changed anything. I believe that although grief effects us we also grow from it and learn to live again. We had a choice to give up or keep marching and out of a promise to Jude we kept marching. My aunt sent me this article yesterday and I think it perfectly describes our personal feelings regarding grief and it's lasting effects.

I am ready to get better though I can tell you that! I am looking forward to being healthy and take a weekend trip away with my husband somewhere! All those out there dealing with daily illness situations, you have my complete and total respect.