Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I worked at a new (to me) site today and have the utmost respect for these young adults that are working right along side us this week. The are profoundly loving, caring, hard working, funny, easy to laugh with, easy to get along with, easy to work on hard projects with. I told them tonight how great I thought they were. I've been so blessed to be in their presence. The light in their eyes shines differently then it does in most adults. I hope they never lose that spark. I hope these kids are encouraged and continually loved and nurtured. They are our future. And they are amazing.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
1. I'm completely convinced that painting a primer coat on a building has NOTHING to do with priming...and everything to do with getting a practice round in first before the real deal
2. Don't sit on flimsy upside down plastic buckets--not only will they break but you'll feel like an idiot
3. The local church fed us lunch today and it was DE.LI.CIOUS
4. If the Boss Man tells you he's "Proud as punch" with the work you just did, that totally one-ups the "Atta- boy"s. Feels good.
There are some things on the home front that have me a little distracted. I feel torn. Ok but torn. Story of my life really. I don't know why I'd expect that it would ever be any different. Kinda glad I'm here and don't really have to face those demons right now.
And, oh by the way, today is my birthday. B and I and 2 other ladies took a quick detour for a birthday coffee at Starbucks today. What a treat! Dad called on my cell and was so impressed that if he called my cell from California to Mississippi that he could actually reach me. Will wonders never cease? The work I did today was very much surface work. Painting mostly. And that's how I intended the rest of my day to be too. Today may just be any other day to everyone else, but today is a day that Mama used to really make special. And I miss it. A lot. So I did surface work both physically and emotionally, keeping anything of anxiety or sadness or stress at bay. No such luck.
Let me back up just a tad bit. Summer of 95 Mama and I are in the south of France. We were there for one day only and then were to start a journey north towards Paris. We went to the beach: the Mediterranean Sea. I like the beach...like to look at cause it's pretty, but the sand kinda ruins it for me. Mom's looking at me with this excitement in her face and says, "Aw come on Meg, you've gotta stick your toes in the water!" And so I did. And it was great. And now I can say that I've had my toes in Mediterranean Sea. Cool. After working today, our whole team took an hour or so to drive to the beach. Mind you it's my birthday, I don't like sand, I'm missing Mama, trying not to be a pill, and I have no intention of taking my dirty work boots off and tromping thru the sand. But it was beautiful at the beach and I was content standing on the side of the road surface, safe from the sand. Then B looks up at me from the water's edge and says, "Aw come on Meg, you've gotta stick your toes in the water!" It hit me like a ton of bricks...
Hi Mama. Are you here too right now? Are you part of this feeling? This beauty? This moment?
I'm now completely lost in my own emotional drama, trying to take off stupid boots and sweaty socks and not sob as I'm walking out to the water. It was so beautiful. Here's one of the pictures I took right then. I sent it to hubby and a few friends. Kelly sends me a text back right away that says: "Aw, I see God there too." Spot on Kelly, spot on.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Some of the stories coming our of this Mississippi trip are amazing. Sad. Thoughtful. Hard. Compassionate.
There is a story of 2 spoons that I'll post about later. Then there's a wheelchair bound man who had a wheel chair lift installed on the new house, but it doesn't work. Craig from our team went over to look at it. Couldn't fix it. Didn't give up. Went home that night and pulled up the wiring diagram for that make and model on the computer. Later was able to determine one small part missing that could be purchased at an electronics store. He fixed it. This man will get to see the inside of his house for the VERY FIRST TIME!
Part of our team is working on the oldest home in Pearlington. It dates back to the 1800's but the real date is not known as all those documents burned in a fire at the courthouse in the 1930's.
From what I hear Pearlington was not on the "radar" after Katrina. People were stranded in their attics and rooftops for 3 or 4 days before a helicopter saw them. They didn't know there was this tiny little town of people to look for. Can you imagine?
Every block has houses and lots of land that are still ruined. Seems there was an initial call of help that was answered with work crews and money, but for the most part that faded out. There are people left with partially built new homes and no money left to finish them. But the deadline to get out of the Katrina cottages is fast approaching. If they don't have a certificate of occupancy-- they CAN'T move in. These projects were started in good faith, but have not been brought to fruition.
It's frustrating. There is so much to do. So little time. And such wonderful people. We were sent here to do more than just build. We have come to bring hope.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Today me and my little team finished putting up shelves and closet rods. It felt good to be able to stand back and see we had accomplished something. Nothing huge or newsbreaking. Just something to help this family move another load of stuff from their Katrina cottage to the new house. Every little bit helps.
I also painted today. I had on hubby's USMC sweatshirt and didn't want to get it painty, nor did I want to take it off cause it was chilly. Seems there was a seamstress/garbage-bag-transformer in our group who offered to make me a handy LARGE garbage bag poncho. I'm low on sleep, high on life, and really almost peed my pants when we were trying to get it on me cause I was laughing so darn hard.
PS: sweatshirt got painty anyhow. =( I tried to explain to hubby that I was taking his clothes to Pearlington to wear because his clothes are made to be durable--and mine are made to be cute.
PPS: There may have been a picture taken of me while I was wrangling that dang bag while standing on a paint bucket, trying not to pee, and trying to see thru tears of laughter and hysteria.
I am a bad painter. Will do it. But can't do it pretty. Aint gonna happen. Isn't in my blood. No can do.
I wore my hair in braids yesterday to keep my hair out of my face. It worked. But truth be told, when I took a shower last night all sorts of little bugs seemed to be washing out. Ew! So today I took it up a notch: braids + bandanna over the hair keeps hair and paint out of my eyes, and bugs out of my hair. Ah HAH!
It did rain today just a little bit. And oddly enough "It's raining men" (the song) managed to make its way into today's happenings. Who'd have thunk it.... on a church mission trip and all.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
~The flight attendants had us laughing. When we took off they put one bag of pretzels and one bag of peanuts in the middle aisle to se which bag would make it to the back of the plane first. And they were talking over the loud speaker like we were at the Kentucky Derby.
~Car rental is a nightmare. Like really a joke.
~There's still tons to do here in Pearlington. Every turn, every corner. Houses untouches. Katrina cottages more common than standing houses.
~I need ear plugs
~A stud finder may find you more than you bargained for. HA!
~I learned the diffrerence among rown molding, kick plates, shoe moldings and something else but can't remember right now.
~I successfully used an electric saw and a nail gun and didn't injure myself or others.
~Putting crown molding up is tricky! Especially at the corners. All the angles. Oh the lack of sleep. Oh the insanity and laughing that enuses then. AND THEN finding the very equation ON THE SAW that were were trying to figure out. Special.
~my new boots are totally worth having to deal with Dad's comment.
Love to you, I'll post more later. No time for spell check.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Christmas is great and all that holly-jolly stuff. But it's so commercial. That's the part I can't stand. This year I thoughtfully picked out each gift I was to give. I was inspired as I went. I refused to feel guilted into anything. If it wasn't right, I didn't get it just so I had something to give. It's about the process to me. AND... Christmas and my birthday just feel really really lame since Mama isn't here. Who else can make you feel SOOO special than your mommy? Last year amidst unruly postpartum depression and other unfortunate chaos, I could barely make it through the holidays. Barely.
This year as I celebrate Christmas, I will not sit home and let these awful thoughts go round and round in a head they can't escape from. I can not make Mama come back. I can not change the past. But I can make a difference in the future, in the name of Jesus Christ and what better way than to leave the day after Christmas to help the folks of Pearlington, MS rebuild? I can talk till I am blue in the face. Anyone can. But instead I will hush my mouth and hush my poor-me head, and I will walk the walk. I will use my hands to rebuild and restore. I will go in the strength of my Savior alone, and I will let Him speak to me and move me and take me where He needs me. I hope for clarity but I will not seek it or wait around for it. For if I am doing the Lord's work, perhaps clarity will find me instead. I am choosing hope over fear. Reign in me, dear Lord... I am yours for the taking.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
*The time we waited at PetSmart to get one fish took entirely too long.
*Middle bebe has no concept of skipping incessantly in a parking lot NOT looking at moving vehicles.
*I need to come up with a name for my new "leash," ie: blackberry for work.
*Most people always have ulterior motives. I hate it. Truth is better.
*I have much to do, but totally prefer to be wrapped up in NCIS and HGTV.
* Love hurts
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Change the cute baby who has pee peed all over her bed again, but did sleep through the night. So don't make a fuss.
Drive carefully fast on the slippery roads and make it late to a morning appt. At this appt make sure your doctor laughs right at you when you tell him you are trying to cut down on the stress. Laughing in my face is always a swell start.
Once at work realize it's cold and will definitely be a 2-coffee day. Now armed, proceed to "supervise" staff not able to log into new computer systems, complaints, and oh yes and my email is full so I can neither receive email in nor send any out. That's a super productive way to conduct business. Escape before the place self destructs.
Arrive to parent, teacher, school nurse, school psychologist, principal meeting to talk about plan of action for Big Bebe and staying on track. Put on a normal "every thing's under control" grin and nod. Careful not to speak. Who knows what will come out.
Gather Big Bebe and proceed thru almost freezing rain to car. Little feet are quickly losing feeling. Take off little wet shoes and socks. Put feet on the car heater on the right. Hang wet little socks from the heater in the middle. Think for a second you are smart. Then think again that now that car smells like smelly wet little feet. Yum.
Get to Big Bebe's Stanford appt a few minutes early. How did this happen? Almost sit back and relax, then think better of it and go thru crap in the car. Found MANY items that contribute to the smelliness of the car.
After appt get back to car to make way back to home, stopping by for a quick bite to eat. Then take windy road home so Big Bebe turns green and almost returns food.
Get home, return to car, realize almost out of gas. Stop for gas, get to practice. After, give a ride home, then pick up Middle Bebe and get on the road to pick up Bitty Bebe.
On way to Bitty Bebe, get something large and unwelcome in left eye. Try to maintain poor but working right eye vision and safe driving skills. Try not to be snappy as Middle Bebe retells every second of her entire day and will not stop talking.
Pick up Bitty Bebe. Make sure Grandma tells you exactly how Bitty was extra constipated today and describes in detail just how it all "went down."
Return home to find Big Bebe feeling better, and making a lovely science project on the once pretty dining room table. Picture here all the new glassware each filled with water and each with its own special addition, like glue, or sand, and salt, and popsicle sticks. Oh yes and there is a "control" one too.
Find Hubby very comfortably snoozing in the recliner just a few feet away.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Christmas--it’s the thought that counts--really! This time of year is difficult. There's Christmas and my birthday within a week. I'm trying to adjust. Life without my mom isn't any fun anyhow, not to mention around the holidays. I try not to dread it too much. I try to make it exciting for my kids, just like my parents did.
So the other day I'm over at my dad's trying to find this piano keyboard that I know is somewhere in their storage. I searched high and low: in the house, in the garage, in the storage area, and then finally in the "barn" (a barn looking shed.) I came across all sorts of things that I had forgotten about. Like notes from high school Creative Writing class, and Big Chem notes too. I found an old dollhouse, my Lincoln logs, and other great treasures. Then on the very top shelf wrapped in a black plastic bag was my keyboard! Yeah for me! Now all I had to do was maneuver past all this crap blocking my way to it......
That's when I saw it.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I took a double take. I shut my eyes tight and then opened them again. Nope it was still there. Was this a joke? No, nobody would pull a joke like this.
Sitting perfectly wrapped in Christmas paper with handwriting I had longed to see for so long now.... Christmas presents from my sweet mama, wrapped up and tucked away for a special day. And apparently today was that day. Imagine that. Amazing..... When had she done this? Must have been sometime before she took a turn for the worse in September 2006. But here I was finding them, less than a week before Christmas 2007. What a gift.
Sometimes I feel so lost in the big world, and yet something this small, with such magnitude was meant for me. I am in awe.
I haven't opened my present yet. It's not even under my tree. It's up high and out of the way so it doesn't get damaged. I kind of like having one last present from my mommy, and I haven't a clue what it is. Honestly --to me it doesn't matter what is in that present. It's the concept that my mom thought far enough ahead to do this. It's the thought that counts-- and it's the most perfect gift ever.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Called him Wednesday morning and left a message. By noon I hadn't heard back and now I was worried. If you know my dad, he has a way of not wanting to bother anyone. So, let's say he's having a heart attack or just totaled his car--he isn't likely to want to bother anyone. At one I hadn't heard anything from him. I called his daily diner and they hadn't seen him since Sunday either. Ugh. I finished things up at work to head to his house. I get in my car and Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" is playing. Oh crap. Now I'm having a real serious conversation with God. Now listen here Buddy, thanks for the signs and everything, let's just hope I'm a little paranoid right now. I drove away from work thinking rationally about where he could be. I was ok. Calm.
By the time I'm turning down his road 20 minutes later, I'm a mess crying, trying to prepare myself to find him dead in his house. He's getting older and he's not in the best of health. I'm so far gone emotionally I'm already debating with myself if I call 911 first or call Hubby? The evolution of these thoughts are capsizing my mind. It's not that far-fetched of an idea, but these are the things that I deal with. Anti-depressants are now my friends. So I pull into the driveway. No car. This is good...and bad. I check his house, he's not there, and all looks fine. But that means he could be ANYWHERE. Ok. Breathe deep. At least I didn't find him dead. I go to my house and furiously clean it to keep busy and do to something constructive with my time. At 4 I call again. No answer. My dad does carry a cell phone, but always has it off. (He's the type doesn't have a computer, barely has a microwave, barely has VCR...) He only uses the cell on rare occasions for out going calls. Breathe Meg, breathe. Breathing is good.
I pick up the girls from their afternoon program and we head back to Dad's. Oh thank the Lord. His car is there, I get out and RUN into the house. He's there, a little disheveled looking, tired, and breathing. I unload all my worries on him, gently. He looks at me and says, "Aww Honey, you don't have to worry. You don't need to keep tabs on me. I know how busy you are." This is where my little Come to Jesus talk comes in..."Let me break it down for you...Let me remind you: you are my only parent left, you are not a bother, you are my father. If nothing else, EXPECT me to keep tabs on you and care how you are. You are loved and I would be lost without you. "
This morning he calls me to tell me he is fine and that he just got back from his daily diner and he said as soon as he walked through the door there, they were ALL OVER him shaking their fingers at him and telling him he was in TROUBLE (based on my call to them yesterday looking for him.) They really read him the riot act! Love it. Love the small town . These are the same great ladies who refuse to give Dad potatoes with his breakfast after his heart attack a few years ago. Even if he orders it, they nod and write down cantaloupe. HA!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Bitty Baby is learning how to walk. She's learning how to fall too, by tripping over the rug and then falling face first into the table leg she was trying to get to. Oh Bitty. She's learned that she likes mommy's lap to snuggle in when she's not feeling well. She feels better when she wipes her sticky snotty runny nose right across my blouse before work. Maybe she's marking her territory?
Middle Bebe has been quite perfect lately. This is excellent, especially considering the chaos that encompasses our world has offered her. Nonetheless, she borrowed a pair of Ugg boots from a friend for her Halloween costume. The mom left a message a few days ago that they need the Ugg boots back before a trip down south. Of course I did not get this message until after they left. That was the first mistake. The second was thinking that a 2nd grader could dutifully take care of a pair of Ugg boots. Not only did she wear them in the rain, and into the puddles, but they were a little snug on her feet, and so apparently her toes are just peeking through the toe of the boot in a nice BIG HOLE! I asked her what she thought we should do. "Give them back," was her answer. Smart but wrong. Here is a prime time to teach this dear little one about borrowing. If you borrow something, you'd better return in the same shape IF NOT IN BETTER shape than how it was first received. It's just what you do. She wrote the friend a note saying thank you for loaning them, sorry I ruined them. She will return the damaged boots in a bag to the friend with this note. And at the bottom of the bag will be a new pair that she has put allowance towards and will work off the rest. She said on the way home tonight that she was sad about the whole thing. I said yes, that is okay to feel sad. But it's also okay to feel good about doing the right thing now. That's how we learn to make and keep good friends.
Big bebe said today in the store that she'd like some body wash for the shower. Ok. She is getting into a more girlie stage, so what the hey, she wants body wash and not black eyeliner and a tattoo? We've got a deal. So we are looking through the shelves and she says she really needs body wash...she's already got something for her head and shoulders and now she needs body wash. (apparently good ol bar soap is not in the equation.) Hahahaha I'm laughing because I know I just stocked the little girls' shower with "Head and Shoulders" shampoo. Oh to live and learn. I explained to her that the NAME of the shampoo was head and shoulders....hahahaha
Hubby learned that if you get mad at a raccoon who keeps getting into the trash NO MATTER WHAT, that if you shoot at the raccoon to scare him away, and that if you accidentally actually hit him and kill him on the front lawn, you'd better have a plan what to do with it. Don't tell me you're a marine who is trained for war, but now you're squeemish at a dead raccoon. Sorry buddy, you're on your own.
I've learned this week that when I wear high heels and then my back hurts, I feel oddly guilty when I go to the chiropractor. Hmph. I've learned that in the move I've misplaced:
2/my new checks (great way to save money!)
3/the key to my home desk.
**note here that items 1+2 could very well be IN the desk that I cannot open. **
I just can't win. But I can laugh!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
I have a medium filled shopping cart of groceries. (Very healthy-- I might add. Tons of veggies, milk, rice milk, bananas, long grain brown rice, whole wheat bread...) There are only two check out lines open, both of which are 15 items or less. I actually walk the ENTIRE length of ALL the stands to make sure there isn't a regular one open. Nope. I then let the little lady behind me go in front as she has so few items.
I'm making a conscious effort here. Then out of NO WHERE, maybe 15 (FIFTEEN!!!!) people are now over flowing into the aisles WAITING for ME and my MORE than 15 stupid grocery items. They are glaring at me. Then the checker has the nerve to GLARE at me. Maybe I'm too sensitive. They call 2 extra checkers who have just left for the day, or are outside getting carts. The glares continue.
I open my purse. No checks. Oh hell. No credit card. Oh you have got to be kidding me. But never fear: I am a super-multi-planner-ahead-er, so I pull out the "back -up" check book. (This would be the savings account and not the regular checking account.) Write the check. Hand it over. It's over $100 so they need the manager's approval. More glares. Wait for the manager. Then process the check. "Is this a new account Ma'am. Cause now I'm gonna need to call the manager back down here to approve this too." Glares continue.
No it's not a new flipping account. It's old as all hell cause I try and do the right thing and actually save a little cash when I get a chance. I just choose NOT to always write checks to the grocery store with it. DUH! Please make me feel MORE insecure here standing in YOUR stupid line when YOU didn't provide ANY OTHER check out stands. Is there a law I missed that said no one can purchase more than 15 items after 8pm? I am paying for GROCERIES. I don't expect my money to pay for your fabulous attitude, but it sure as hell better not buy my your mean, glaring eye balls while I'm buying veggies, rice milk and long grain brown rice.
But you know what. Even though I know your job description says you should ask me if I need help out to my car, and you didn't ask, I won't hold it against you. I said thank you when you handed me my receipt. If our paths ever cross again I hope you recognize me. Maybe your family member will be sick and need help with their bill, And I'll be the one to help. Maybe you'll come to my church and I can pray with you there. Maybe your child will ride in my car on the next 2nd grade field trip. I'll make sure to give your kid an extra hug and smile. Cause the good Lord knows it sure as hell isn't coming from you.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Jarhead - Anthony Swafford
Books are a safe place for me and always have been. I've always loved to be lost in writing and reading, scripture and poetry, music and lyrics. Can't wait to have the piano in the house soon too. It will add another much needed dimension to help transform my heart and house into a home. And so I nest.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
What I don't understand is why some people think that taking down someone else's signs or defacing them is a way of getting a leg up at the polls. Is their self worth and ethical beliefs so poor that they would actually PREFER winning this way? What is heroic about win this way? Wouldn't it feel better to them to know that they won the people's vote because they BELIEVED in their cause, and NOT because they had to prove the other party wrong?
I've been trying to explain to my kids the differences in McCain and Obama and this and that and on and on, and what each brings to the table. Just because we choose to vote for one, does NOT mean it makes all other opponents wrong. All can be an okay choice, and we get to vote for our preference. It doesn't need to be a taking sides thing. In a time in this world when we're trying to desperately teach our children acceptance and caring and community, there is this election that pits us against each other. It doesn't have to be that way. We are all "fighting" for the same team. Remember?
Just because my husband is a Marine does not mean I support the war. It doesn't mean I DON'T support the war either. He didn't join because he wanted to kill or be killed. He joined to make a difference.
This is how I define it:
A veteran is someone who at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' That is honor and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.
So many people are talking. I think we've got to shut up and listen in order to get anything accomplished and moving in the right direction. You have to know when to prod and when to be quiet and when to let things take their course.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Hubby and his buddys moved all the big stuff; God bless 'em. I'm in charge of the rest of the stuff. So today mid afternoon I leave Hubby and the bebes at the new house and venture to the old house to continue packing and cleaning, sorting and trashing. I'm driving Hubby's truck and need to back it up the gravel driveway, which means switching from 2wheel drive to 4wheel drive. No biggie, and I back up as close as I can to the steps and trees, without running into them. Well, you see, I might have just over-accelerated a tad bit, it was a love tap really.
I then spend 4+ hours cleaning out 2 bedrooms, a laundry room, living room and half the kitchen. I am so proud of myself. I have a pile to throw away, a pile for Good Will, and I fit a lot of stuff in the truck. Yay me! I go to close the tail gate of the truck. No go. I try again, harder, CLANG! This is its way of telling me, "DENIED!" Awww shoot. The tail gate clearly isn't about to close because it's off about a 1/2 inch and won't latch. I can't drive to the new house with the bed of the truck full and the tail gate not closed.
So I call Hubby and I say, "Hey, want to call Justin for me" (he lives right around the corner) "and see if he can come up and help me close the tailgate?" I would have done this myself but I don't have his number because I lost my cell phone, and it's a little ways down the road. I tell Hubby (while crossing my fingers) that maybe there's too much stuff so it won't close, but I don't want to undo the packing if it just needs a little muscle. I'm thinking here I can tell Justin what really happened and he can help me. Again, no go. Hubby says, "I'll be right down."
Hubby tells me I must have hit something. Hmmm, interesting. I nod, and try to look a little shocked. Then he turns around and points to the tree and the very large dent in the tree at EXACTLY the same height and width of the tail gate. Crap. I'm caught.
"See. You hit the tree, did you even feel that?"
And I say, "Is that what that was?"
Oh he loves me. I know he loves me because he just shook his head and rolled his eyes and walked into the house to get his tools. Nothing more. Nothing less. Can't wait to have all this moving stuff be over with though.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
It may be a few days until we get the computer all hooked up and working. So- until then, I probably won't be able to blog. Now I'm off to find a clean set of clothes for each of us tomorrow, my tooth brush, purse, shoes, milk, cereal, diapers for the baby, paper plates and my cell phone charger...that should tide me over til I can come back tomorrow...
Monday, October 20, 2008
Here's the last family pic (sans hubby, away in the Marines at the time.) This is where the countdown really started. You can see it in her face.
And here is the last picture of Mama. Me, Chris, Mama at her retirement celebration. Exactly one month before she died. That was one of the hardest days I've even endured. Then we knew it was only a matter of days. And here was this celebration for Mama, where the teachers and school administrators and friends got up to speak and tell how Mama had changed their lives. It was like a living funeral. Very uncomfortable and awkward, but so so necessary.
It seems like life goes on for everybody. There's something humbling about that, but only when I'm in a good space to reflect on it like that. The rest of the time I feel like everyone else has a life that is continuing, and here I am still trying to put back all the pieces of the past.
Sad but true. This is my lament.
Good night sweet Mama. Don't give up on me yet.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Dad graduated from St. Joseph's in 1960. After a year or so at Cal-Berkley he realized he needed to be doing something else. He enlisted in the Navy. There he graduated top of his class and got first pick of specialties. He became a radioman on the USS Nathaniel Greene, one of the first nuclear submarines.
Back in San Rafael Mama became friends with a fellow student named Judith. They were fast friends. Soon Jude was telling Mama about Jude's brother who was away on a submarine in the Navy and could really use a new pen pal. Mama obliged, and there starts the fairy tale...
They were married on October 18th, 1969 in Washington D.C. That was 39 years ago today.
Dad went back to school and followed his new found interest of physics and chemistry. Mama became a teacher. (At one point Mama took a chem class from Dad at UCSC. He told her she had to follow the same rules as the rest of the students: help can only be given during class time and office hours. Though cuddling at night would still be appreciated.)
They bought their first and only home in 1978. They paid $42K for it and didn't know how they were going to make ends meet. But they did. They always pulled it together. Dad worked for AT+T teaching physics, and mom taught at the local high school. They were good together.
When I was in 6th grade Dad was laid off from his job though. He was devastated. Mama took up the slack while dad took a year or so deal with new depression. Just as Dad started getting a handle on things again, Mama was getting tired. More than the usual. And her ankles were swollen. She wasn't worried about it, just bothered that her ankles looked chubby. She eventually saw a doctor and mentioned it. A simple urine test confirmed that her urine protein was through the roof, indicating her kidneys were damaged, thus causing her ankles to swell with the fluid the kidneys weren't able to clean out. They eventually learned that the Amyloidosis had attacked her kidneys, and would slowly move to the rest of her organs.
Dad always felt bad about not getting another job right away. I thank God that Dad took the time he needed, because his biggest and most important job was just about to surface: taking care of Mama. And he did. There was such little known information about Mama's disease. He didn't want to waste any of Mama's precious time. So they went to the Mayo clinic--to the very best for a confirmed diagnosis. From there, a referral back to Stanford would start them on their path. Dad did research day and night. Reading the most recent medical journals, the very latest, cutting edge treatments and findings. He'd report back to the doctors and THEY'D ask HIM what the next step should be. And Dad would tell them.
Mama trusted Dad completely. There were many times when Mama didn't want to know what was going on. She couldn't handle any more. So she'd go in for the lab work and tests, and then sit in the waiting room while Dad and the doctors talked in the exam room, carefully crafting the next step.
I am so moved by the love they had for each other. Dad without a clue how to cure his wife, but a love and dedication that rose to the top. And Mama, scared to death, but trusting her husband to take care of her and her life's fate completely. When she couldn't hear any more of the results, she would turn it over to him. She knew he would make the very best decisions. I love love love that I was blessed into this family, and am a product of this love.
By October 2006 Mama was at home and fading fast. I absolutely believe she held on long enough to NOT DIE on her wedding anniversary. Although she wasn't eating any more by then, I still made them a nice anniversary dinner. She was roused long enough to acknowledge what day it was, and smiled. She made it through the 18th, and 25 hours later she was gone.
This is the kind of love that fairy tales should be made of. Not heroic or flashy. Just humble and modest and honest.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
And soon we will be in OUR OWN home, and I will do my best to infuse peace, love and gentleness into our new household and music too.. Music is a constant ever changing, every beautiful, ever soothing element in my life. Be it Worship Team practice, singing, playing the piano, radio, live music, anything with a tune...and I'm happy. Our home will now have room for the family piano, originally brought to California in the late 1800's by horse and wagon when my Great Grandmother Vonnie was a child. Music fills a void in my life. Music takes me to a better place.
This coming week poses an entirely new set of challenges. And at the same time I will be re-living many things this week as well...and so I will pray, pray, pray and surround myself with an abundance of music...cause I haven't got a clue what else to do to keep me on this side of sanity.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Little Bitty Bebe turned a big n' mighty ONE year's old today. Oh my goodness. It honestly seems like yesterday that I was in labor with her. Wow wow wow. Not to be so cliche. But time REALLY does fly. Why in the world do I try to rush through ANYTHING when things go by so quickly already as it is...
Thank God for Grandmas. =)
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Our graduating class has:
1 medical social worker
1 civil engineer
1 professional dancer
1 Para jumper with special forces in the Air Force
1 career fire fighter
1 Financial Services Supervisor
1 Legislative advocate
1 Army soldier
2 stay at home moms
1 PR for Big Brothers Big Sisters
1 Moody Bible Institute student
2 Physical therapists
2 hair stylists
1 professional car mechanic on TV
1 Horse Shoe-er <-- I know there's a real name for that but don't remember what it is
.....and the list goes on.....
I don't think it ever crossed my mind that we would all end up growing up and making something of our lives that was more than the pettiness of high school. I'm so pleased to say that we have. WE HAVE collectively as a group forged a bond that only we know. That is a beautiful beautiful thing to have, and to have experienced today.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
- My parents were each carried for 10 months in their mama's wombs. I told them that's why they got along so well...cause they were both freaks of nature...Hahahahaha I always found this super funny and dad did too--but mom-not so much.
- I was named after a dead nun.
- Got scarlet fever as a child and almost kicked the bucket. Mama Hen was my saving grace even back then
- Spent several months in a condo in Hawaii before I went to kindergarten, here: http://www.liliuokalanigardens.com/
- I am ambidextrous and dyslexic
- Most of my second grade year mom and I got to stay with dad here:http://www.passionasia.com/south-korea/busan/commodore.html
- My mom taught College Writing, English Lit, Journalism, and French at my High School. I thought I'd hate it (having her so close by). But I loved every second of it.
- In High School I was an avid soccer player
- In High School I also was very involved with this: http://www.every15minutes.com/enter/enter.html Less than 2 months later, my partner from this, along with 3 other people died in a devastating fiery car crash July 4th 2007
- Hubby and I met as cadets at the local fire department
- Our wedding was just a few elements short of getting eloped...here: I always thought it would be more like this:
- Both of Hubby's parents are adopted
- Each of my big girl's best friends are adopted
- I don't want to bear any more children, but love the idea of adopting
- My grandpa and great uncle were heavily involved in the Manhattan project. Mom was born in Oakridge, TN
- My great aunt was kinda famous too: http://www.answers.com/topic/hillary-brooke She had a poodle named Dulcie. When that one would die, she'd get another one that looked exactly the same and name it Dulcie. Again and again....
- And our family likes our food: http://www.girardsdressings.com/online-store/scstore/sitepages/aboutus.html
- My big kids went to the same pre-school I did, and are currently going to the same elementary school I did
- I thoroughly enjoy retail therapy....and my checkbook does not
- I grew up in the same house my entire childhood. We've moved on average once a year since Big bebe was born. I hope that comes to halt real quick like
- Certain smells can bring me right back to an old memory, same with certain songs
- My parents would have celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary this October 18th.
- I'm going to my 10th High School reunion this Saturday and I'm scared to death
- This is the most handsome fellow I know
- My mom died of this and was diagnosed here :http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/amyloidosis/DS00431
- Big bebe has this: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dystonia/DS00684
- I don't have any siblings. So I celebrated my cabbage patch doll's birthdays instead growing up. Her name is Sarah Marie and her birthday is today!
- My mom secretly got me a cat against my dad's wishes when I turned 12. Dad hated that cat. After mom died, that cat was the only one in the house to keep dad company.
- I am officially going here for my Christmas vacation, to help continue to clean up from this:
- There is much to do