Friday, October 31, 2008

And I'm Back

This blog isn't nearly long enough to sum up the last several days. There are many places I can't go mentally right now. What I've decided in the meantime is this: I need something mid-week to re-center, to spiritually ground me. So I'm on the look out.

Here are my favorite things about being in the new house:
* The sound of the cleansing rain lulling me to sleep

* The way the dish washer WASHES dishes...meaning NOT ME washing the dishes (1st dish washer EVER!!)

* The dining room that has gigantic windows on 3 walls

* The garage to temporarily house my junk until I find another clever place to stash it in the house

* The sound of neighborhood kids running up the back steps

* Passing out Halloween candy for the first time ever as a family in a neighborhood

* The wood burning stove that makes the house feel and smell SO COZY

* Loving that Bitty is sleeping in another bedroom

Also in the week we've been here without telephone or computer access, I've fully thrown myself into this book:
I know the movie is about to come out (has already come out?) and I am determined to finish the book first before seeing the movie myself. Anybody care to join me? I forgot how much I like reading. And this book is beautiful beautiful BEAUTIFUL. Loving it and the places it takes my scattered brain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On The Move, Part Deux

We've had 3 nights in the new place, and I've slept like a log each night, I think due to exhaustion. Each day we make trips from the old house to the new house. Work and pack. Eat and move. Sleep and dream about packing and moving.

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

On The Move

I haven't completely figured out if I've just been off a day all week, or if plans changed and I wasn't told, or both. In any case, we are moving today. Or should I say--have moved. The majority of our crap, er um...STUFF is at the new house. All the furniture, beds, etc. There's still a ton of stuff to still cart out of here though.

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

If Jesus Came to Visit Me

A friend gave Bitty a late birthday gift yesterday. Today Bitty and I opened that gift. It was a sweet little book and so we opened it and read it. Title of the book is If Jesus Came to Visit Me. Just in case I thought I could keep it all together today...I was wrong...again... See here the words I read aloud to my little baby girl:

If Jesus Came to Visit Me...

I'd fill my little teapot and
Then pour two cups of tea.
I'd thank God for the food we have
and He'd say "Thanks" to me!
I'd ask him how things in heaven were
and see if he would tell
If Grandma's found some friends up there,
and if she's doing well.

On a day when I fought very hard to remain composed, I lost it all.

2 (TWO!) Starbucks today to try and give me enough pep so I wouldn't have the option to just sit and think. And there you go. Read your kid a story and it's a complete waste of make up and caffeine all in one shot.

I know I've posted this picture before, and I have it plastered any where I can put it, but here it is again. Because 2 years ago today my mommy died, and this little picture envelopes my soul:

Oh the love I feel for my own kids that I never knew was possible, is perfectly reflected in my own Mama's face here as she's holding me. She felt it too.

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

October 18th 1969

Mama graduated high school on the East Coast in 1962. She'd been an "army brat" and moved around a lot growing up. She then enrolled in Dominican College -San Rafael, CA.

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

Blog Take 2

I started a blog at least an hour ago. I just re-read it and it was so negative. What a shame. Is that what I have become? I hope not. I can't keep going there. So I erased the whole thing and instead found a picture to inspire me...and this is what I found...I think I'd like to go here instead:

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

A Letter

Dear Friend-

I know that you are hurting. I know that you are questioning, and confused and lost. I know that we may have had our differences in the past, but you must know I'd do anything in the world for you. I know that you are scared and must tread lightly and still be a mighty mom. I know that life is at the very edge and that it's all or nothing. My heart aches with you dear friend. This very second I want nothing more than to just see you smile and know that there is hope beyond this. I don't know what I should be doing for you. Anything I have is yours. I can listen. I can pray. I can cry with you. I can walk with you and hold your hand. I will hug you and hold you and just sit by your side. I am so blessed by your friendship, dear friend. I am here for the long haul and your sleepless nights too. If nothing else, I can remind you gently and lovingly that you can hold tightly to God. Lean to Him dear friend; For He is strong enough to handle everything on your plate...with grace and mercy and unending love. You and He are an unbeatable pair. And you and I are friends for life.
You can't lose me.
Love you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Packing Up

There is something very soothing about going through my old things. They conjure up old memories and stories. They bring me back to times of peacefulness and tranquility and thoughtfulness to see how I've grown as a result or what has changed since. There is something incredibly freeing about throwing out junk that I've held on to for far too long. Spring cleaning of sorts, except it's getting to winter and it's for my entire house this time, as I attempt to pack us up and out and into a new home. The definition of my being does not equate into my belongings. What I possess in my heart should suffice as my testament.

I just saw a friend of mine whom we'll call Y. Y and I have been friends for long enough that they could tell I was a little shaken. And so they asked. And so I vaguely shed light on recent stresses. Y pushed a little more, and so I shed a larger amount of light on specifically where my heart is heavy...Now I'm not one to open up in general, if at all. But this is a friend. But this "friend" was disinterested and didn't want to hear it. I got about 3 sentences into it and it was clear that's not what Y expected to hear, and so Y was done listening. Remember that wall? I'd gotten several rows lower than I ever have before. Hand me those bricks now please, cause it's going right back up.

When we brought Mama home from the hospital on hospice, I was a wreck. I was doing everything to keep it together on the outside, but I was absolutely chaotic and lost on the inside. Y happened to call on day #2 of Mama being home and said they'd be in town soon and would like to swing by. Oh and I'm thinking Glory Hallelujah! Y will come and I can have a few moments of extra support; this is just what I need. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And so I waited, expectantly, excitedly. But Y never came. I should have known better. I don't know why I get my hopes up. Y never even called until long after Mama had died. I didn't know this would become Y's pattern.

So as I'm cleaning out my house, I'm also cleaning out my heart. Sometimes it's beautiful and mostly it's not. Mostly it's hard to face fears head on. I need not place my expectations and faith on any being on this Earth. And I need not place my personal worth on any tangible object, just the love of my Savior in my soul. I will still love Y too, but no longer will Y have permission to hurt me any more. Because I'm throwing that out too, right into the trash, right where it belongs.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Party For One

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...

Bitty did not sleep last night. I thought that maybe she instinctively KNEW it was her birthday the next day and could hardly contain her excitement. Not the case. Bitty is a sick Bitty Babe. High fever and saddest little look on her face. She knows some thing's not right and she feels icky and she just doesn't know what to do with herself.
Well *lucky* for her, mom was a good mom and scheduled her 1 year well-child-check-up appointment today....for which she received 4 unhappy birthday shots. Ooooh UGH. She looked so BETRAYED when she was screaming at me after the first one. I'm so sorry sweet baby.

She got a special jumbo birthday cupcake all for herself. She didn't have a clue what to do with it. And didn't like it on her hands. And then her eyes were itchy and her little caked up hands smudged cake and frosting all over her feverish little face.
She got a quick birthday bath to wash off all the stickiness. But her royal duties were not done yet. Nooo... the princess has presents you see...
She was a good sport. She sat while her sissies opened her presents. She did not have a tantrum. She stuck it out. And then as soon as Grandma picked her up she just melted right into her arms. Oh Grandmas are so good and cuddly and comforting.

Thank God for Grandmas. =)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Reunion Day

Today was my 10 year high school reunion at a local park. I'm still processing it all. It was GREAT to see so many many faces of people I haven't seen since graduating. High school can be weird and awkward and catty. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all these folks all grown up. I never would have thought growing up that our class would produce such an exciting variety of professions! Really! I think I always just hoped I wouldn't trip walking across the senior lawn, didn't have a booger hanging on the end of my nose during class, hoped my friends would still like me even if I didn't get my driver's license right away. Funny how high school should have been preparing me (or I should have cared enough) for the life adventure ahead. But all I could see was what was right in front of me. Huh.

Our graduating class has:
3 PhD's
9 teachers
2 lawyers
1 medical social worker
1 civil engineer
1 professional dancer
2 RN's
1 Para jumper with special forces in the Air Force
2 Marines
1 paramedic
1 career fire fighter
1 Financial Services Supervisor
1 producer
1 electrician
1 Legislative advocate
1 Army soldier
1 chef
1 photographer
2 stay at home moms
1 musician
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

A Sickie

My sweet Big Bebe is very sick today. =( She's not responding well to the medicine and it makes her sick too. Poor thing. As if school isn't hard enough, then she starts throwing up. At least she was close to a door and made it outside. Can you imagine the humiliation of a tender 9 year old who just heaved in a classroom? Ugh. When I got to the school she had barricaded herself in the office bathroom, where she was still throwing up even 25 minutes later. This does mean we *might* get an early jump on today's trip to Lucile Packard. They need more tests. Looks like next week will be Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sat. Prayers please. This little girl is a lot like someone else I know. Rock solid exterior, and fragile as can be inside.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quick History of a Meg

Here's a totally random list of fun/odd/interesting factoids about moi..and those I've blackmailed into saying they are related to me.....
  • 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:

  • I am ambidextrous and dyslexic

  • Most of my second grade year mom and I got to stay with dad here:
  • 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: 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 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: 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:

  • 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 :

  • Big bebe has this:

  • 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