Thursday, January 14, 2016

Making a Difference In The Life of a Child

I love children. I love all children. If I make a difference in the life of one child, mine or another, my life was not lived in vain. I have loved this motto for as long as I can remember. I have loved children for as long as I can remember.

 I have three children, the youngest being seven and a half. I read a story that brought me to tears a few days ago. There is a little boy who is almost eight, the same age as my daughter. His name is Dorian. He wants to be famous. He wants to be famous all the way to China. China is where they have "that bridge"...(the Great Wall of China.)

                                           
  

Most people don't ever make a difference in this world. Most people don't know how they can make a difference in this world. At eight years old, I definitely did not know how to become famous or make a difference in this world, spread my message, or to touch lives as our sweet Dorian has at the tender age of eight. 

                                    
  
You see, Dorian has a finite amount of time to accomplish his dream. Dorian has cancer. He has rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer.  It has spread to his brain. He has been sick for half of his young life. There is nothing more the doctors can do for him. Dorian's dream has an expiration date which is labeled unknown and too soon. Dorian has seen and experienced things in his eight years that most of us will never experience. He knows the pain of battling cancer. He has had to deal with his impending mortality, and face the fact that he will never get to grow up. He has had to watch his parents and loved ones grieve because he will be gone too soon. I cannot fathom the depths of their grief while having to stay strong for their baby, their little boy. He knows things that no eight year old should know about, let alone have to experience. Dorian is a very strong and brave little boy. Dorian wants to be famous. He wants to be famous all the way to China.


                                   
  
Dorian and his parents have found a way to make Dorian famous all the way to China. They have started an online movement called #DSTRONG all across the internet on social media sites. They have asked everyone to take a selfie with a sign saying #DSTRONG and the place that you are in the world. This movement has spread like wildfire across the world, getting all the way to China and many far reaching places. #DSTRONG is a message of hope, love, compassion, and determination in helping Dorian accomplish his dreams in the short time that he has left. Celebrities have posted pictures for him, he has reached many exotic places, and his reach has spread to all corners of the world! His message of hope and accomplishing his dream gives me chills. So take a minute out of your busy days today, on January 15, 2016 , to make a sign, take a selfie, and post it to all of your social media with the hashtag #DSTRONG. 


        


Because today Dorian is alive. Today Dorian is spreading his message of hope. Because today you can help make a difference in the life of a child. Because somehow if we all can help this small brave soldier make a difference, accomplish his dream, spread his message of hope, then we have all made a difference in the life of a child. And his parents. And love and hope wins.





So today let's do this! Let's blow up the internet #DSTRONG style! 



                                   
 




Sunday, January 3, 2016

Home

I had one of those dreams last night with all of my dead in it. It was in my Nana's old house that we all basically grew up in. The house that was always my home away from home. The house that was always filled with love, where I spent so many waking hours. 

The dream was set sometime after my Pawpaw had died, but my Mom and Nana were there. My Aunt and Uncle and their spouses were there too, as well as my Daddy. My Momma, and her sister and brother were heatedly discussing what to sell to get the most money for my Nana. There was no detail as to why she needed money, although I assume it was because my grandfather had died or she was very sick. My Nana wasn't paying attention to the very opinionated discussion, she was smiling and as happy as a lark having her three babies home under one roof. 

My Nana was a wife and a mother first and foremost, and what she prided herself on being. Her family was the single most important thing in her life.

 I remember some details that were out of place, that did not belong. My Nana was sick. Although not the kind of sick she died from. A different sick, that made her bloated and puffy. The landlord had ripped out all of the bricks in the fireplace after 45 years, and there was an attached condo on the other side of the fireplace. My grandparents owned their home. There was no condo on the other side of the fireplace, but the outside corner of the house, that had a small foliage pathway leading around from the driveway and back door. Even with the odd differences, it was my Nana's house.

It was a lovely dream. It felt like home. I was home. I miss my Mom. I miss my  Nana. My dream took me back to a place that is forever lost to me in the here and now, except for in my memories. 

My oldest daughter, Sisse the Eldest, always used to say she missed home, even though she didn't know where that was. She was always searching for someplace that felt like home to her. My husband and her mother divorced before she was one, and lived with Daddy from the age of four. 

Only now do I understand what she was searching for, for all the years of her childhood. I tried to be a fun, safe place, full of love for her, but I could never be her 'home.'

It was such a nice, odd, lovely, remembrance of that which I have been so fortunate to have been blessed with in this life.  And that I will miss in the here and now forever. I was blessed to go home again, if only for a dream. 



Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back...

What is in a year? 2015 has been an incredible and incredibly tough year for my family. Words have escaped me for the majority of this year. We have been very blessed and weathered some very tough storms. 

At the beginning of 2015, as Homeroom mommy for my daughters 1st grade class, we had a teacher we adored, and a spectacular Valenine's Day/Spring Party at her elementary school. The second week in March, I was shopping with my best friend when I got the call from my Aunt that my Nana was dying. My Nana spoke with me on the phone and told me, "Ginger, I love you. Goodbye. Now don't you cry! Tell everyone up there I said goodbye!" 



A week later she passed away. We drove to Charlotte, NC, where she lived with my aunt. She waited on my daughter and I to arrive. She passed Sunday morning 3-22-15, after here was one big last family gathering in her honor. The next generation learned how we treat and care for our dying. The torch was passed. She died peacefully the next morning after we had all given her permission to go. I wrote her Eulogy, gathered the pictures for her display boards for the funeral home, and went to do her makeup at the funeral home. My brother did not speak to my father or to my family at the wake or funeral. I went to thank him for coming and he walked to the other side of the chapel. He disowned us a year after my mother passed away. I was the good big sister and sent unanswered text messages to him, updating him on Nana's rapidly declining progress. Never once did I get a thank you. I have not done a single thing to him. He cannot accept responsibility for his own actions, and so I assume blames me for a fight between my father and Himself. He was not raised that way. Narcissism and addiction are two very ugly beasts.

Nana was the last in my direct maternal lineage, and the last link to my mother. Losing her was especially hard. I often, since her death, find myself a a loss for words. The world is a lot less sparkly without her and her ornery twinkling eyes in it. Her death in March has been followed by nine months of firsts without her.

 
In June we went to the beach with my Daddy, for our annual family beach trip to the OBX. Next up was BuschGardens, Great Wolf Lodge, and Kings Island where my daughter fell in love with the big kid roller coasters. Just like her Mommy. 


Next up was a road trip to sunny Florida on our first ever family trip without anyone else coming along. We met and visited with family while we were there. The seven year old made her first beach bff and pen pal. They have written back and forth several times since then.


In August, my daughter missed the first two days of school due to a stomach virus. Her first day back, I received a call from my husband that he got chased by dogs, and injured at work. We found out later, that he had completely ruptured his Achilles Tendon and would require surgery. Because of the reduced blood flow to the bottom of the foot, it was a difficult wound to heal and surgery to recover from. This has since turned into a two surgery, four month long ordeal, soon to be five months. I sent my seven year old back to school, only to find myself taking care of a mostly immobile forty one year old. A week after my forty first birthday and a month before his. 


 At the three month mark we began worrying that my husband would no longer have a job, after his protected leave was up. We lost our health insurance. The Worker's Comp only payed a portion of his salary. Then a plastic surgeon scared the bejesus out of us, advising us of the worst case scenario, when referred for wound care options. Infectious Disease Doctor is not something you ever want to hear. Especially when it
Is regarding the love of your life, your soul mate! We made plans for his possible demise, went through all the motions and emotions, only to learn that the plastics guy freaked us out for no reason. The second opinion told us everyyhing was okay. There is nothing in the world that can prepare you for the news that your hubbie may have the same thing that killed your mother. Thank the lird for answered prayers! It has been a long five months. Laid up Hubbie means Mommy is doing everything. Has to take care of everything. Has to fix everything. Has to do and be everything. I am tired.


We had my daughter's annual Halloween party, and I have read to her second grade class six times. It brings me such joy to read to her class! Second grade has been a bit of a challenge. An attitude challenge. My happy go lucky little girl found herself with a strict teacher and there was a big adjustment period. There has been bullying this year as well. It was successfully handled. But this too happened.

Fall soccer practices and games and the orchestrating of the first ever soccer banquet hapened. I was also the team photographer.



I am again Homeroom mommy for second grade, and loving every minute of it. 

I have volunteered at the school as much as I could, and we had a spectacular Halloween Dance, First ever movie night, and an awesome Christmas party!



We also hit the Gritts WV Pumpkin Park and The Pumpkin house this fall.


My Daddy and I made it to WVU for football, 

And the hubbie and I celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary with Uncork and Create painting and wine.



 I never thought I would find myself working at the mall again, but after twenty years, I have foud myself in the throws of retail mall middle management. Less than a month before Christmas.

I am a very fortunate, spoiled girl and am definitely blessed with those who love me. My Daddy is still alive, as are my husband and child, my big kids, and my in laws and grand parents in law, and my multitude of lifelong best friends. 

I have joined several writing groups this year and made many new online friends that I wouldn't trade for the world. 



I have more blessings than I can count, and along with the blessings come the bad. I found out at a young age that it's all how you handle what life throws at you. There will be bumps, twists, and turns and lots of unexpected things in his life. It is all how you handle the obstacles and trying times. I always try to talk positively on my blog and pages, but just because I choose to focus on the good and positive does not mean the bad isn't happening,it is that I choose not to focus on the bad. 

Two phrases I live by are
1- Everything happens for a reason and
2-This too shall pass

It has been a rocky 2015, but I am looking forward to 
All the good 2016 holds in store for us all!

Happy New Year! See you in 2016!










Friday, October 2, 2015

There Is A Storm Coming....


It's almost your birthday again Momma. October was always your month. The weather has changed  from summer and there is a chill in the air, and in my heart. There is a storm coming. One that I cannot fend off alone.

As I go through the motions of eating, I cannot enjoy my dinner this night. In the wake of the taste of grief, everything tastes bland and lifeless. I close my eyes to try to savor the sweetness. It is no use. Everything is bitter. I feign happiness for my sweet, innocent daughter. But there is no happiness  for these tired eyes on this night.

There will be no calling her grandmother to brag on her latest achievement at school, nor any inviting to tomorrow's soccer game. There will be no laughing at horrible school picture faces or the resounding cacophony of my child's voice bouncing off of the walls of Granny's house. Your home  is no longer. It remains, but is falling into disrepair much like the unkempt weeds that grow across your gravestone, both too long unvisited. The house and your grave both hold hollow echoes of you and a cherished time gone by.

A time that held the greatest love of all, as the late Whitney Houston sang. A love I will cherish all of my days and one that I could never forget. A heartbreak that my heart cannot ever truly begin to heal. A loss so tragic that somedays, on the raw days, my mind still cannot begin to fully comprehend.

But comprehend I do. I have no choice. The chill sweeps outward from inside. A cold, suffocating wave envelops me as the tears run unchecked down my face. The realization has set in that my memories are all that I have. There will never be any shiny new ones. This is the fourth year that I have replayed the same worn memories over and again in my head. There will never be any more memories than what I have at this exact moment. I am heartbroken. Yet I have a lifetime full of memories, but it is not enough. It is never enough. I want more. I want more of you. But there is no you anymore, only what I carry in my heart and my mind.


I close my eyes and remember. One at a time I take out my cherished memories and replay them in my mind's eye. Mommy and Daddy kissing, the last hug on our visit before your final hospital stay, you imploring me to never let my three year old, now seven, forget you. Birthday shopping with you that last year to bring you into the technological age, and your birth date on a sticker from our last ever shopping trip on my computer tablet, a mere six weeks before your journey was at it's end. Precariously sealed in time with scotch tape, my attempt at preservation. Preservation of the proof of a precious memory. Something physical from that last birthday with you. Something that marks a specific moment in time and says that she was here. You were here together. You were with me this day.


On a day that I long to hear your voice, I close my eyes and try to replay it in my head. Only this time, I cannot recall your voice immediately. My eyes fly open, my breathing becomes labored, and I start to panic. The tears fall unabashedly down my face, as I try to remember your laughter, and I cannot. Time stands still. I can hear my heartbeat in my throat, as I  desperately play memory after memory in my head. I can almost hear your voice. But I cannot find your laughter. It is on the edge of my remembering, just out of my grasp. No, no, no my inner voice screams, you cannot have lost her laughter. It's in there, just remember. We have to find the laughter! I cannot lose another piece of her. I am hysterical on the inside as my grief ridden brain desperately searches for the laughter, her laughter. My mother's laughter.

The emotional storm rages as I desperately search my mental archives for the laughter. I find it, and as I replay the memory in my mind, there is no sound. It is as if the sound has altogether been stripped from my memory. I continuously wipe the tears from my eyes and face in an attempt to keep my daughter from seeing the storm raging within me, that is leaking out of my eyes.

Another piece of her lost today as another little piece of me died. I have lost my mother's laughter. "It was all you had of her, how could you lose it!", my mind screams at me. "But it's been so long since I have heard it..."another piece cries.  I am so very weary. So tired of all of the grief. So tired of the maelstrom of swirling emotions. Grief, guilt, loss, sadness, depression, exhaustion, bravery, strength, selfishness, and loneliness. Tired of feigning excuses tonight for the little one so as not to have to explain myself, and stir up her grief as well as my own. Trying to control this storm that always rages within me just below the surface, threatening to break free.


There is always something constantly reminding me of you; a familiar smell, a rainbow or a butterfly, or your favorite colors. Eating dinner on your favorite color purple plate, just to feel closer to you when I feel the storm coming.



I miss you Momma. Just like storms that reach their shore, they rage awhile and then they are no more, so is my grief. At least kept at bay for a little while.

Good night Momma, I love you!

     -Your cherished daughter

Friday, September 11, 2015

Lividity

I must say I never post rants of any kind. That being said......Tonight I AM LIVID that the the 4 major networks teamed up to air the 'Think It Up' Public Education Initiative. To beg for money from the public that already pays 
MORE than enough taxes to fund an excellent public education system, but has yet to allocate billions more on EDUCATION, our kids, their future, and the future of our country, rather than on political agenda. Shame on whoever was behind the idea to mass beg the public for more money for education, and completely ignore the fact that it was the 14th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on our country in history. I am sadly disappointed to turn on any of the 4 major networks and find Justin Beiber leading the country away from our promise to 'Never Forget'! I have been looking forward to the 9-11 specials all day long, to watch the first time with my 7yo daughter... to share this all important day and it's meaning with her, only to find our country having the wool pulled over our eyes... And blindly being led away from the truth. 
We should 'never forget' because the threat is very real and has moved even further into our country. The enemy is among us. Hate and discrimination is being promulgated, turning us against our own countrymen. I am disgusted and feel that this is sacrilege akin to treading upon our flag. It is blatant disregard of this all important marked day. It is trampling on the memory of all those that lost their lives in the attacks on 9-11-2001. It is disrespectful to all of the survivors, the families of the lost, the heroes of that day and the days that followed, and all those that were affected or touched by this tragedy

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Waiting Game

The last time that I was in this waiting room, was with my mother, months before her death. Countless hours spent over forty plus hospitalizations in this very hospital. Many surgeries for mom and dad, cancer, two open heart surgeries, digit removal surgeries, and surgeries to debreed and clean out infected wounds due to diabetes. I have lived through female surgery to remove an ovary and a fallopian tube, given birth, and had my uterus cleaned, scraped, and burned. I have had the middle of my remaining fallopian tube cut out and tied on both sides to prevent more pregnancies and miscarriages due to female problems. I almost bled to death two weeks after my mother died, which was two weeks before Christmas. I can handle anything, but what is killing me, is that I cannot handle this for him.


I have quite the pedigree in personal hospital time and hospital waiting room time and etiquette. I know that surgeries often run longer than estimated, that anesthesia can take longer than expected to take affect, I am aware of every possible time extender and complication. I was raised in a home of medical professionals. I know what to expect. I know when to worry. Knowledge is not power in this case. My heart and my nerves are not listening to my calm, cool and collected brain.

I have never been on this end of the waiting. I have been the granddaughter, daughter, niece, daughter in law, granddaughter in law and friend.
I have never been the wife. 

I have never had to endure the ticking as a wife before. Countless seconds turn into minutes with each tick of the second hand. Endless waiting for the surgeon to come out and talk to me, to let me know my world is still intact. Each second an eternity past when the surgeon told us he would be out to speak with us. Agony... The waiting. 

Tick, tick, tick...forty-five minutes past the  estimated two hours. My brain has kicked into overdrive. There must be some difficulty or complication. I am struggling to hold back the tears, drawing quiet strength from my father beside me.

His last words to me were if you should need help with the life insurance, call my boss. She can help you. Tears, streaming down my face held in check until these words crack my carefully constructed shield of bravery. I am reduced to tears by the man I love most in all the world, as he tried to prepare me for the worst possible outcome of his surgery.  He was more nervous than I have ever seen him, as he waited for the surgery that however minor, will make him whole once again. Allow him to return to life and work and walking.


Wy haven't they come out yet? Did something go wrong? De he have an unforseen allergy to add to his list of many? All of the worst case scenarios play out in my mind, all the what if's while we, us, and our family hangs in the balance, playing the waiting game.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fixing My Pipes

My landlord had scheduled an appointment during our vacaton, to rip out our bathroom floors, move the sink and cabinet, and the toilet, in order to fix the bathroom pipes and rebuild the floor that had sustained water damage due to a leak.


Turns out he needed to come in the week before our vacation because the problem suddenly worsened. I was not pleased that the appointment was moved up.

The landlord and his contractor came in, started the job, and made every effort at expediently finishing everything in one day. They were there from daylight until dark, and got everything finished except the trim work, which he would finish while we were away. I was thankful that it was taken care of quickly. 

We went to Florida, came back, the rest of the summer passed and it wasn't until one day while I was searching for something under that bathroom cabinet, that I made a horrifying realization.

I digress. 

When informed that the landlord would be coming in the next day, not on vaction as scheduled, I was in a rush to pick up and clean my house. I was more worried about picking up the playroom and baskets of laundry, than I was the bathroom they would be working in.

I picked up dirty clothes and dusted, and moved the things off of the sink in the master bath, but never once did I think to clean out the cabinet under the sink. Where they had to move the cabinet and sink out into the bedroom, they had to either, A-remove the contents of the cabinet, or B- the contents fell out and they had to be picked up.

Why, you ask, would this be so awful that I refuse to ever look my landlord in the face again and to avoid him at all costs?

Because I forgot what I had hidden away in that bathroom cabinet. I forgot that my husband left the boxes of our new bedroom toys in the master bath floor, and one day when my child needed to use the potty, I hurriedly stuffed the boxes away under the counter from her innocent eyes.


Yes, I forgot to clean out my sex toy
boxes before the landlord had to move that cabinet. So either he had to take them out, or pick them up when the cabinet was moved, because everything that was under that sink previously, boxes and all, were organized in a nice little bag. AND I NEVER ORGANIZED THEM! 

Let's take this a step further if you will. The contents of the boxes were haphazardly stashed in the master bath mirror that does not latch all the way. The mirror that is directly over the cabinet, that covered the trap door in the floor to under the house, which gave them access to the pipes. 

Picture with me, this image that I cannot get out of my head. 

They start banging on the linoleum on the floor, to pull it up, which jolts the mirrored cabinet door open, and dildos come raining down onto their heads. They replace the toys. They resume working, having to pound on the floor to get the trap door open, which jars the mirror open, and causes the dildos to come crashing down on their heads again. They replace them. They then spend countless hours pounding and banging and fixing my pipes, while being pummeled, banged, and pounded from above with the very instruments that frequently fix my, ahem, pipes. The following lyrics have been playing on repeat in my head; It's Raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men......or plastic parts of men! The irony is not lost on me. 

The horrifying realization that I spoke of earlier? It comes from the realization that two someone elses on the planet unequivically know your exact level of kink. Have seen , and have in all likelihood, touched, and have been pummeled by your kinky toys as well.