Wednesday, May 10, 2017

World Lupus Day


I have not been vocal about my most recent struggles. That is because I do not want sympathy. Apparently I have had Lupus for quite some time, but only in a perfect storm of conditions, has it reared its ugly head and all the symptoms occuring at once in a giant flare, have made it possible for a diagnosis. I have been diagnosed with Acute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Go big or go home, right?

Translation=I am super photosensitive to sunlight, tanning beds and fluroescent lights with UV rays. So I now have to wear long sleeves in the sun, big floppy hats and lots of sunscreen. No more retail management under fluroescent lights all day. No more spending all summer at the beach uncovered. 

My body's immune system attacks its own tissues and as the disease progresses it can attack the organs. This affects all of my joints, as the tissue around them become severly inflammed. It is difficult to walk at times, and some days I have to ice my hands and wrists for a few hours before bed for them to work the next day. Too much sun or expose to UV light? I had hives continually for almost 9 months. Fatigue is a big part of my disease. I now have a reason to take naps! Disease control!! I now have to be careful to not overschedule myself, as it can take several days to recover. Constant headaches are also part of SLE. There are many other symptoms, and many other severe complications. I have had to learn to take better care of myself, to listen to my body , and to slow down. I am still coming to terms with the fact that I have a disease that will never go away. I am finding my new normal. It is a daunting process.


I have been silent long enough. I don't look like there is anything wrong with me. That is because there is not anything 'wrong' with me. I have a disease, I am not my disease! I refuse to let it define me. 

I am posting this because today is World Lupus Day. May is Lupus Awareness Month! If you are living with any form of lupus, please feel free to leave a comment with your story or struggles! You are not alone! I . I understand not wanting to talk about this awful disease. But I cannot wait to hear from others that are dealing with this life altering auto-immune disease, like me, that do want to talk about it and spread awareness! 

I know I am not alone! Can't wait to hear from you! 💜💜💜

Today I am taking the first annual Gingerssnaps Ride for Lupus Awareness!
Because I can, while I can. 

#purplewarrior #lupus #lupusawareness #lupusawarenessmonth #SLE #ACLE #worldlupusday #boatloadofsunscreen

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Missing Piece

The door is open, the lid is off

My soul is laid bare to the rush of memories

The last birthday, the last embrace

The sweetest and final kisses you laid upon my face

Our last hours spent, the passage of time

Far too quickly it all went

The last days played out as destined by fate

The onslaught of a reckoning would not abate

The reaper by my side, awaiting the inevitable

Me recounting your precious memories for you

All the while turning the table

Mother becomes the child, the child the mother

Big shoes to fill, however uncomfortable

The void is coming, the time is drawing near

A life without my mother is my biggest fear

Everything in it's own good time they say

It was hell watching you slowly slip away

Time slowed down, yet the day was over so fast

And before I knew it, before my eyes and holding my hand, you passed

You carried me inside of you, and were there when I was born

You walked beside me, raised me right

Taught me to always love the lord 

To do unto others and live your life as an example

Most of all, in example and in teaching

You taught me that in love, to always practice what your preaching.

You were there when I came into this world

And so I knew it just wouldn't be right 

If I wasn't there holding your hand when God extinguished your light

Immediately I assumed my new mantle with grace

Filling mother's shoes would take a lot of time and grace

I don't know if I ever can be as great as the woman who created me, if I can ever take her place

All I can do is try, to fill the role you spent my entire life training me for

How to live a full and happy life when you are there no more

Allegory suits me this day

However this emptiness, this endless aching void 

Is something I cannot write away

However I try to spin it, its been a hard week, 

Seems as if my eyes are set to a constant leak

Marked days are the worst, and today happens to be one

Your last birthday on earth, five years ago, you turned sixty one

Today you would have been sixty six, and flowers I will take to your grave and fix

No amount of tears shed nor prayers in vain, will ever bring you my way again

Putting the puzzle pieces together again, it all seems wrong

The one piece I need to glue it all together is gone

It all seems wrong and will forever

This broken life I walk without you mother

Love you forever, miss you always!

Monday, March 21, 2016


 I remember when I was little, your house was my favorite place to be. I was your cherished granddaughter. As I grew, we were so close that Pawpaw called me your third daughter. Mom, you and I went everywhere together. We shared a rare three generational closeness that many don't have the luxury of experiencing. A bond my daughter will never know. 

One of
my oldest memories is of you and Pawpaw returning from a motorcycle trip and bringing me a blow up chair and my favorite teddy bear in all the world, Jellybean. Who now belongs to my daughter.

I remember waking up to the smell of Gunnoe's sausage and biscuits on the mornings after nights spent at your house. 

I remember you teaching me how to make your peculiar pineapple, lettuce, cheddar cheese and miracle whip salads to accompany your homemade spaghetti. I was so excited when you taught me how to make them, and you made me feel so trustworthy when the salads were entrusted to my hands. You told me they were perfect, even though they were
Not as pretty as yours.

You always made me feel beautiful, and so loved. You showed me an excellent example of a hard working, godly woman, who cherished her God and family
before all else.
You showed me how to be a tireless worker bee as well as a leader. You were always there at all of my youth group functions, serving as an advisor and in the kitchen. You worked tirelessly for me and all of the girls. 

I remember you in the audience at each and every band concert, dance recital, and rainbow meeting, always cheering me on.

I remember calling you while I was in college and asking you for your hot dog chili recipe, and learning that the mainingredient  was love. 

I remember writing an essay in the seventh grade about my hero. It was about you. You were so proud of that essay!

I remember being at the hospital with you and the family when Pawpaw died, and the hours spent caring for him in the years and days before his hospitalization and eventual death. 

I remember in the days after his passing, writing out all the thank you cards for you to all the lovely people who provided cards, gifts and food after he passed. I remember the discussion about how you felt that it was not appropriate to wear your wedding rings anymore because you were not married and didn't feel that it was right.

I remember serving in the women's social service organization with you and mom, dad and grandpa, it was a family
affair. I cannot stomach the thought of going back with out you all there. Only Dad and I are left.

I remember the pictures in my baby book of you holding me for the first time, and of you holding my daughter for the first time. 

I remember you and mom babysitting and helping to raise my daughter for the first few years of her life.

I remember the way you smell. I could never forget.

I remember the way that your arms felt around me. I remember the way you always kissed me on the lips, and how dainty your lips always seemed to me.

I remember the way you always tucked
Me in at night when I spent
The night at your house.

I remember that you were the only other person in the world who felt my mother's death as deeply as I did. One of our three had died. I miss being able to talk to you about her.

I miss the last person on earth that could tell me stories of my life. And of my mother's.

I miss the times that you would visit, after you moved in out of state with your youngest daughter. I miss our days spent shopping, having slumber parties, girl time, playing babies, picking up my daughter from school, and lunching with all of your girlfriends.

I miss being able
to call you on the phone. I miss phone calls on my birthday. I miss being able to cry to you about losing my mother. I miss the last direct link to my maternal lineage.  I miss your laughter, and your silliness. I miss your green eyes. 

I look down at my finger everyday and I miss the hand that your wedding and anniversary rings belong on. 

I miss holding hands while walking through the mall with you until just a couple of years ago.

I miss your never ending smile, your eternal happiness, and the way your eyes would light up when I entered a room. 

I miss seeing the joy on your face that my daughter brought you. The last baby that you helped raise.

I miss and love you Nana! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

For the Love of....My Junkie Friend


I suppose that I have been in shock for the better part of the last two weeks. I have been meaning to write this letter to you. I know that you are watching, waiting. I  have been at a loss for words. Words usually never escape me, but they have fled and left me wanting. Wanting to put down on paper all the many things I want, no, need to say to you. Things you need to hear in the hopes you can see yourself through my eyes, as you are, and as you can be, that scared little girl who is still running away from all the things that have plagued her in life. I need you to see that brave, strong girl who has survived so much adversity in her life thus far. I need you to see that the hardest part is over, the barely surviving is over. You have to be strong a while longer, but I promise if you stay strong just a little bit longer, that it will be worth it. It will all be worth it in the end. Your dreams can come true. You and only you have the power to make that happen.

I remember you when you were young. Twelve years old to be exact. You were young and impressionable. You were assigned as my little sis in our fraternal service youth organization. You were almost six years younger than me. You adored me, and looked up to me. You always wanted for me to be proud of you. And I was. I was your biggest cheerleader when you were filled with self doubt, that voice always in the back of your head rooting for you. Always cheering you on to do your best, and to work harder. To get the result you have to put in the work.

I listened to little girl dreams, about boys, marriage and babies. I watched the heartbreak when the other girls would not pick you for their best friend, and silly boys passed you by in favor of thinner, more fashionable girls, as young boys often do. I watched as your health problems made you different from other girls, and how you related to grown ups better than children your own age. I watched you struggle with finding your niche' and the constant search for acceptance. I watched as your mother's heart broke at your heartbreak over not having an active father figure in your life. I watched you struggle with self imposed demons. Never being good enough, loved enough, thin enough, pretty enough, popular enough, and just being enough. Our self imposed standards are the toughest we will ever have to live up to. All I could do was love you and be there for you. I want you to know that I love you still. Even now.

After I went off to college and began getting on with the whole growing up business, we still kept in touch. So it has been for the last twenty or so years. We would get together off and on, with and without our mothers, for lunch, dinner, or random youth group slumber parties. I would enjoy hearing about your life, and you of mine. You kept me sane on a number of occasions when I was going through a rough patch, and needed to vent. We have always been there for each other when we needed each other the most. You and your sweet momma were at my mothers wake, even though she had just gotten out of the hospital. Our families meant that much to each other. That is what we do. We are there for each other.

I have heard all about your past and how Mr. Right never seemed to come along. Plenty of Mr.'s did though, Mr. Abusive, Mr. Controlling, Mr. Possessive, Mr. Drama-King, Mr. Drug King, Mr. Self-Absorbed, Mr. Right Now, and Mr. Enabler. You have been chasing the fairy tale for far too long my friend. You are exhausted. You are tired. You are putting your all into being there for someone else. Fairy tales don't always happen as we imagine them. Isn't it time to love yourself best? To be there for yourself first?  Isn't it time to treat yourself right? Nobody else is going to do it unless you show them. Stop settling for less than you deserve. Stop selling my friend short. She deserves better. She is an amazing person with a heart the size of Texas, surely she can learn to love herself!

I know that one of your biggest fears turned reality was when you could not have a child. That was one of your biggest dreams. I know the heartbreak of infertility firsthand. You threw yourself into partying and getting high to dull the pain. It also dulled the pain of having to deal with reality, and the deep seated issues that remain, just under the surface. You got sober and quit drugs cold turkey when your mother's declining health continued to worsen and you got away from the abusive relationship that you had been in for far too long. You pulled your big girl boots on and climbed right out of a big 'ol pile of adversity. All by yourself. Lookit baby! You did that!

There was a brief interlude when you began dating a decent guy. He was certainly older than you, but he was good for you. Your relationship had its issues, as all do, and went your separate ways. You loved his kids like they were your own, even though they were closer to you in age. This left you raw, and conducive to the suggestive Mr.'s agin. Who were all to happy to lead you right back down your former path.

So imagine when, out of left field, you got your heart's desire! How very happy I was for you! You were pregnant! You were going to be a single, unwed mother? Baby's daddy is still stuck in another relationship? So what, we're having a baby! Babies are one of life's greatest blessings. We talked of how he was your little miracle baby. Your boy, your son. How funny it was to say those words. You were becoming a mother! We talked of making the best of any situation! You showed me all of your plans and his nursery. We talked about your hopes and dreams for his future, and yours. Anything was possible! I was there right before he was born, in the hospital. I laid my hands and head on your belly and felt your miracle. I was there shortly after he was born once you came home. I was there for his first Christmas. We had lunch several times, and caught up! I was so happy that things were turning around for you. Life was finally looking up!

The next time I saw you, the stress of being the sole caretaker of your mother, and your baby son had begun to take it's toll. I came to visit, and you slept while I held your sleeping wee munchkin. Baby's daddy had split, and was stringing you along. You were talking to someone new. You were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally.  You were trying to be all things to all the people in your life. Too many people. You were suffering from post partum depression. You promised me that you would go to the doctor and get help. You had no support system. You were stretched too thin. and still searching for love and acceptance. You were starting to party again, and to turn back to your old habits.

I saw you again in June at our statewide youth group meeting, to have your baby dedicated to a life of service. You had lost a lot of weight and you looked tired and stressed, but happy. We took silly selfies and had a good time. You had met a new guy, a genuinely nice guy, and really liked him. We parted with the promise to have lunch in the near future.

Oh the tangled webs we weave, when we practice to deceive.

The next time we spoke on the phone, it was in the fall, and your little man needed to have surgery. The nice guy had disappeared, and little man appeared to be the focus. Getting him the surgery he needed, and taking him to a specialty children's hospital in Ohio. This would be the last time I ever spoke to my friend.

In the interim, your brother sent me a friend request on Facebook. We chatted for a minute and he told me that you were a mess. I knew that you two were not as close as you used to be, but I had no idea of the reality of the situation.

Two weeks ago, you texted me with a request to have lunch. You had big news and wanted to tell me in person. I had no idea what an afternoon I was in for. I picked you up at a local hotel that you and the father of your son were holed up in until you moved out of state in a few days. You and baby's daddy were giving it another go 'round, and you had moved out of your mom's house. I knew immediately when you got into my car, that there was something very wrong with you. In twenty three plus years of knowing you, I know your mannerisms and speech patterns like the back of my hand. I had never been around anyone who used drugs on a regular basis. I had never been around a junkie before. My mind didn't want to make sense of it. I knew immediately.

I was determined that you needed a real, warm meal and a true friend. You had lost one hundred plus pounds in record time, and I gather that you were not currently employed. So I took you to a restaurant, not a fast food joint, and fed you while you told me all about what was going on. Because that's what we do. We love no matter what.

Apparently you started using drugs again in August. Your family had tried to help you, but you thought they were trying to tell you what to do and boss you around. You and the babies daddy were trying to make it work again. For the umpteen thousandth time. You told me that you were going to slowly quit the drugs, and that moving to Maryland would help you get away from all of your contacts and enablers. You sat there and told me that you were going to give up your baby. Your dream come true, your life, was being given to the daddy's sister to raise until you could get clean. Apparently she and her husband are successful, and are unable to have children. You told me that you trusted her. I told you that I thougt that was a smart decision because you were in no way, shape or form able to take care of or provide for a child.When you are high on drugs, there is no possible way that you can provide the love, care and attention that a one year old baby needs. He deserves better than that. He deserves better than what you are giving him right now. He deserves a chance in life, and all the love and support that requires. I told you that every time that you held a needle full of death in your hand, I wanted you to see my face telling you that you were choosing meth over your baby, your dream. Because that is the sad, unfortunate nightmare of it all, isn't it sweetheart? You are choosing Meth over the fairytale, over your miracle baby.

As I sat listening to you pour out your story to me, my heart was breaking. You told me you knew that you had disappointed everyone in your life, that you knew you were disappointing me too and that you were sorry. Sensing that you were still fighting that old demon of trying to please everybody else, and make everybody else proud of you, of never being enough, I looked into your drug ravaged face and told you the truth. The god's honest awful truth. I cried. Many times, with you during our lunch. You didn't notice it, but the waiter looked at you with disgust. People in that restaurant were staring at you. It did not bother me because I was trying to save your life. I was trying to say something, anything, that would maybe be the one thing that would get through to you. How far you have fallen, how deep Meth has it's clutches into you, are apparent to everyone but you. I hope my attempts were not in vain.

I told you that I was not disappointed. I was brokenhearted. I was brokenhearted that a year after you promised me that you would get help, you had not. And it has oh so obviously gotten worse. You hid this from me. From many. Your demons have snowballed into you not caring if you lived or died, giving your son away, seeing him occasionally and 'playing' at being a mother, still chasing a man, trying to please a man, judging your self worth by having a man, abusing your mind and your body, and screwing up my friend's life. Your demons have gotten ahold of you. A ghost nor the devil himself would have shocked me more than the shell of my former friend sitting across that booth from me. No greater rattle me to my core, shock than the Junkie that was sitting across the booth from me.

The Junkie who sat across from me and tried to downplay how bad drugs were. How deep the addiction ran. The Junkie who sat right there in that booth in a family restaurant, and feature benefitted me on why she chose shooting up meth instead of heroin. I felt like I was being sold a new car over a used up, worn out one. The same girl who once looked me in the eye and was proud to call me friend, now scarcely could hold my gaze. She even went so far as to make up a story as to how she had never looked anybody in the eye. Well I call bullshit. You used to look me in the eye, searching for love and acceptance of a big sister, and you always received it. I told you I called bullshit. I reminded you of that beautiful girl who had a happy face, bright shining eyes, and an infectious laugh. She is no more. You have replaced her with a downtrodden, shot full of meth, can't meet my gaze, shifty, fidgety, nervous, scared, weak individual who continually every day, gives away all of her power. You have given away all of your power over your own life. You have given away your baby and have an incurable disease. What is it going to take for you to wake up? I am angry at what you have done to yourself. Stop it already! Haven't you been through enough?

You sat in that booth and told me of how you were going to detox yourself slowly instead of seeking an intensive inpatient treatment facility, because it wasn't your style. You didn't like the way they tried to get you to read a bunch of stuff. Excuse me, do you even hear yourself, I wanted to shout! I watched you fidgit and not be able to hold you hands still, even when you concentrated after I mentioned that little fact. You head was constantly in motion, and as we sat there, you began picking at your face. An imaginary scab that did not exist. I urged you repeatedly to go to a facility. Meth has changed your genetic makeup. You need help to get off of the poison. I sat there and pointed out all the things that you were not aware of about your own appearance. I pointed out the harsh truth that your addiction is now a very apparent and noticable condition. I advised you, that having hired employees in my former career, that nobody would hire you in your current condition least of all to work in the medical field. You couldn't sit still for thirty seconds. Nobody will hire a junkie, especially when patients lives would be in your care.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you listened, but did not hear a thing I said about getting the help you need. I am heartbroken for you, my friend. At what you has done to yourself. I am heartbroken that I may be attending your funeral sometime in the near future, unless you decide to take back your life. Take back your power, your baby, and find your way out to get help. I am not writing this to be mean, I said everything contained herein, to you at lunch, as you well know...if you can even remember.


I am writing this because I love you. I want to remind you that you are worth it. I want you to get the help you so desperately need. I want you to decide that you are going to be strong, and stand up for yourself like you never have before. You have several medical conditions, and need to reclaim your life before this toxic choice kills you. It is a decision you make every day, so today make a different decision and reach out for help! I want you to make that decision to seek help and call a family member, or call one of the numbers listed below for help! You have nowhere to go but up! You have nothing else to lose...except for your life. Call now!

Meth Addiction + Depression= You need help my friend. You cannot do this alone! Please call!


WV Drug Abuse Information & Referral.................1-800-662-4357

 National  Meth Hotline..................We're Ready. Are You? Call (866) 697-1481 Now

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


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!