Monday, June 26, 2017

The Bereaved Mom

Well I am on my blog to share a blog which I will link in a second. Last week a 14 year old teenager in our area asked a friend at a park to watch her dog for a second. She walked off and was found less than 48 hours later in a landfill murdered. She was taken from the area I grew up in just miles from my old high school. The details of the case have not completely been released and the situation haunted my dreams. I had a nightmare I couldn't find Jude and he needed his medications. I looked everywhere for him and was desperate to find him. So then today I read this blog posted by a mother in my loss forum. It is the very best description of the panic and fear a mother has when dealing with the loss of a child. I just sat and cried at work. I am not posting this to make anyone sad but to help express the emotions and true feelings surrounding someone that's lost a child. My heart aches for the mother of the teenager who is now a part of the club no one wants to join. 

https://bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/14/grieving-mom-to-non-grieving-mom/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true&calypso_token=c082eb16-2f0b-43b4-830d-0a8d48830caa




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. https://www.youcaring.com/allanfackler-837271

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.