Our other children…. For the love of Pete


petey

Often times we as humans decide to adopt a pet.

Dogs, cats, pigs, lizards, ferrets – the list can go on!

Animal companionship is shown to lower blood pressure and even prolong life.

I have seen firsthand how pet therapy affects those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as with those with special needs and other medical challenges. They do wonders for the regular folks too.

About 14 years ago my good friend adopted this amazingly sweet pup on the fourth of July.

His name was Pete and we called him Pete the Sweet.

His chances of a long life were not great as he had a host of medical problems and kennel cough. However, Pete beat all of the odds and became the big brother of the family as they went on to adopt or acquire 5 other dogs.

But Petey was first.

His smiling face, soft, fuzzy body and the “harf harf” bark became the back drop for a visit.

As he aged he had problems with his hips, his vision and his hearing.

His mama loved him so much she would let him out and then if she wasn’t outside with him, would go bring him back up the stairs when he completed his business and his tour of the yard.

They talked about putting a ramp onto the porch so he could go in and out as he pleased.

Yes Pete was well loved.

I talk of him in the past tense as he finally crossed that Rainbow Bridge.

Our hearts are sad and the tears keep flowing.

The support on my friend’s Facebook page is overwhelming.

So many people loved that dog and she is a fabulous person.

I even changed my profile photo to one of the boy and Pete about 2 years ago.

To say that Pete was a family member is an understatement.

In the beginning it was Pete, then his brother Walter joined him.

Bootsy, Walter’s sister lived across the street, however she kept visiting and eventually ended up staying too.

Then Chunky and Pepper joined the party.

Supposedly there would be no more dog in their house. I mean 5 is a lot!

All well cared for house dogs and the mommy is OCD so clean was going to happen no matter what!

A few months ago, Pete got another sister in the form of Bella Bunny.

He was thrilled as he seemed to love most dogs and a few cats.

He was always barking. If someone moved, he barked to let them know to set down as he wanted to make sure all of his humans were together.

We have all said on many occasions, “Pete stop barking!”

I wish we could tell him that again.

They were fortunate the vet came to their home to deliver the “shot” to finally give him the peace he truly needed.

Everyone was home with him when he crossed over.

I have noticed more and more how people choose to do this over taking their pet somewhere.

It is so sweet to have them at home, surrounded by loved ones and familiar things, when they finally leave the planet.

Although it is hard, we know he is better off with no more pain and able to run again and bark at whatever he wants!

Selfishly I wish I could have had one more cuddle, one more lick from my buddy, but I am thankful I was just with him only a few weeks ago.

After talking with my friend I knew it was a matter of time.

It still doesn’t make it any easier.

I know when I walk into her house I will greet all the babies as I always do.

I also know the water works will start because they got Pete shortly after they moved into that house and he was one of the first to shove his way to you so he could get first loves.

It won’t be the same.

When someone we love dies we mourn that person and it takes us a while to get through it.

You never get over it but getting through it take times.

It is no different with animals who have become a part of our household.

For Pete, his humans were his mom, dad and big brother.

That was the “immediate” family.

Of course there is a host of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who are also grieving the loss of our beloved Petey.

So for all you animal lovers out there, give a hug or scratch to you babies.

You never know when it will be the last time you get to love them up.

Please do so often and with joy.

I know the tears will fall onto my pillow and I will wake up tomorrow and think I will get to see him in a few days.

Then I will remember that he has now gone on and crossed that Rainbow Bridge.

I like to think he is playing with his doggy cousins and pain free.

To my friend and her family, my heart cries with you and I know this pain.

I wish I could take it away, but I know it is part of the process of grief and you would never have it any other way.

Until we meet again, have fun chasing your friends and barking yourself horse!

I love you Sweet Pete with the Fuzzy Feet.

P.S. I urge anyone who is thinking about to adopt a dog or cat from your local shelter!

 

Manic Monday


In case you didn’t know it, it is Monday again!

Yes, the least favored day of the week for some, and for others the start of something new and exciting.

I personally have the lines of “Manic Monday” going through my head.

Only parts because even though I have a scary good memory, it seems not all songs made the cut in whatever area of my brain in charge of that so I get just loops of parts of a song. Very irritating I can assure you.

For example, “it’s just another manic Monday… oh oh. I wish it was Sunday… oh oh, cause that my fun day. My I don’t have to run day… oh. Oh. Just another manic Monday.” Yeah maybe a line or two more and that is IT for the song. And it loops. Over and over again.

I have read and been told in order to have a good day you have to visualize your day the previous day and it will be good. That works out as well as my poker game, about 50/50 that I do it often because well I have to keep hope alive.

Somehow I feel like I lost part of my weekend somewhere and I should get a few, say 12, more hours tacked on to my weekend.

I am not selfish I would share that extra 12 hours with everyone!

I don’t mean I would want to be with others per se, but I will share the extra hours with anyone who needs them.

The rest of you may place yourselves on pause.

I would take that time and spend half the time with the boy and the other half with blissful, good sleep!

Maybe 15 more hour instead of 12 so I can have 3 more hours to clean up around the house!

Heck why don’t we just add another 9 hours and call it an extra day!

Then I could spend more time with the boy, sleep, clean and write!

Yes a whole other day!

There has got to be a way to get one of those!

Can you imagine?

“Yes I need an extra 24 hours please. No, no emergency I just need an extra day I am not ready for Monday yet!”

But even as I write Monday approaches.

Closer and closer to the midnight hour.

And then it happens.

Monday is here and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Alarm not set and you’re late? Blame it on Monday.

Traffic got you running behind? Blame it on Monday.

Poor Monday.

It gets such a bad reputation just because it is the start of the week!

Everyone loves Fridays but Mondays? Not a lot of the Monday love so it seems.

Even when I try to “visualize” and make myself thing happy thoughts about the upcoming week, I can’t help but think “Oh Monday. We meet again. How will you play this one? Can we have a good Monday please?”

Because I sure could use one of those!

If it has to be Monday then it needs to be fabulous.

Only I have the power to make it so.

No matter what happens, I have to work to make it happen.

I feel it’s worth it.

So here’s to you.

Let’s make this Monday worth it!

Have a fabulously graceless Monday my friends!

The Static


It’s always there.

The static.

Trying to seep in when I am trying to be productive.

Trying to ooze into my life and create chaos.

During those times when I am not at my best.

Those times when my body aches and my brain hurts.

Those times when I am emotionally drained and fallen.

But I still hold up.

I am not alone.

I am responsible for more than myself.

I am taken by others.

I am running out of myself.

In creeps the static.

I breathe in.

I breathe out.

I find myself again.

Even for a moment so I can regain myself.

Escaping the static yet again.

But it is always there.

Taunting me.

Teasing me.

The static.

 

Happiness, History and Hope


This has been one of those wild, non-stop, emotionally charged, deliriously happy, historic, filled with hope exhausting days!

Technically it is now Saturday but since I haven’t been to sleep yet it’s still Friday night for me ha!

My morning started off a bit crazier than I would prefer, but I felt it in my soul it would be awesome. It was Friday, I was happy, the boy and I had/have plans for our weekend so all is good.

Then I am shopping for a few items in the local store and am inquiring about a movie I am looking to purchase for the boy (James and the Giant Peach – a classic). The young man helping me is 20 and we are discussing old school toys which are still awesome and he was impressed I shared with my son those toys, movies and I was just being me when I get The Text “SCOTUS rules marriage bans unconstitutional, marriage equality for all!

I literally shouted, “WhooooWhoo” out loud and started getting happy tears and dancing….then remembered I was talking to this really nice dude and so I tell him why, being kind of gentle with my words because I don’t want a confrontation, though you can tell he was open minded and whatever I had learned, it just made me happy. He looks at me a minute and tells me, “You are so cool I wish you were my mom…I hope that doesn’t sound creepy!” I just hugged him!

First of all let me say what this means to me.

My child will be able to grow up in a world I did not have.

Equality. For Real.

When I was a child it was a “sin” for couples of different races to marry. I never understood this and always went to my daddy with these kinds of questions. I understood he didn’t always agree with people, but he was one of the most honest, compassionate, genuine and fair people I have ever known. He cared for everyone involved in a situation.

This was a subject he and I had discussed several times together.

Coming from the deep south where it’s a “sin” just to be different, I valued his opinion and he was very respected both in his personal and his business life.

I was always questioning things, rooting for the underdog and generally trying to figure out why people couldn’t accept others for who they were.

He told me the fight for gays and marriage equality was very much like the civil rights movement in the 60’s and 70’s.

He would know. He stood up for what was right and believed in those who could make a difference and do a good job no matter the color of their skin. He fought to make the industry in which he worked here in Alabama equal across the board. Black, white, male, female. We were all equal in his eyes.

Though he did not agree with the gay lifestyle per se, he did understand their need to be equal and as human beings they deserved the same “luxuries” we are all given.

He had strong Christian values and told me “He wasn’t God and it wasn’t his place to judge.”

This is why I love and miss my daddy every day.

I think he would be proud that I am standing up for what I believe in.

That I choose to teach my son ALL Human Beings are Equal finally in the eyes of the law.

I have always taught him, and continue to do so, that everyone of us are HUMAN. We are all the same creatures who have different faces and personalities. You may not like everyone, you may not agree with everyone, but you need to respect everyone from a human standpoint.

We haven’t gotten into some people you just have to step away from yet!

I KNOW there is still a long road ahead.

I know there are battles to be fought.

I know, and it saddens me, that some people will resort to violence and hatred to get their point across. Needlessly.

However I Never thought I would see this ruling, this historic moment in history!

Happiness fills my soul for so many friends and a long battle finally coming to an end allowing anyone to marry the one they truly love.

It gives me hope to think of our future of more tolerance.

That my son will hopefully know less hate and have more compassion for others.

He doesn’t see “color” unless he’s referring to “my skin is white or golden when I get sun. Mommy’s skin is light brown but when she gets sun she gets browner but not as brown as my friend Nicolas at school he is brown brown.” It is only a description of his friends and people. I will teach him no different because it is beautiful and real the way he sees the world now.

Yes happiness, history and hope.

Love wins.

It does my soul good to feel all three in a single day!

Have a fabulously graceless Saturday!

I will be enjoying ribs and home cooking with friends this evening! All in happiness!

 

 

expectations


Often times in life we have so many expectations placed on us.

It seems like they are there daily to keep you on your course or drive you out of your mind.

I know I place expectations on myself.

I often wonder if I am too hard on myself or not hard enough.

I know that others have expectations of me and I know that I let them down sometimes.

I hate letting people down.

Some matter more than other, but to me, they all matter to varying degrees.

I love being told I should raise or lower my expectations.

Please tell me about the how and why I should!

For general things, movies, going out in public, etc. I have placed lower expectations so that when I have a pleasant experience I am often surprised and happy that they met and exceeded my original expectation.

With people I place a higher expectation. Though I realize it is not more than I place on myself.

We all have quirks, issues and faults.

It isn’t about that.

More of the basic human decency to communicate, respect and not take each other for granted.

Lately I am finding that many friends and family have gone above and beyond when it comes to me and my own expectations.

I am constantly amazed when someone tells me I inspired them or I performed much better than anticipated.

I recently found myself facing the first time of not being able to meet a deadline. I physically could not do it.

One of my fabulous friends stepped up to the plate and just offered, no strings, to help me.

This is how my friends and I are. We just step in and help.

I can’t tell you how much this meant to me.

Another friend knew I was upset about having to go for a medical procedure and offered, again, to take off work and to the appointment. She had just done it and was offering to ask off again to take little old me downtown again and wait while I have the procedure done. She will then take me back to another mutual friend’s home where I will recover for the day.

These people don’t have to do these things for me.

I do not expect it.

Yet they show me they care by stepping up and going beyond “the basics”.

I am so blessed to be around folks like this the majority of the time.

I must say when I collect my friends, I only collect the best!

Have a fabulously graceless Friday my friends!

 

Happy Birthday to My Sister from another mister!


Sometimes in this life we get lucky.

We meet a friend who is so rare that we become friends with them as children and are able to carry that friendship through the years.

We make it through puberty, marriage, kids, moves, divorce, family craziness, friends together with others and even deaths.

If we are very, very fortunate that person becomes family to us.

Today I celebrate my sister from another mister!

Since I change all names to protect the innocent and insane alike I just have to say that one is hard because I want the world to know how my sister has literally saved my life in the over 35 years we have known each other.

I will call her Peevley because yes, there is an inside joke to that, but it makes me laugh every time I type it!

Some of you may can remember the song “Our house in the middle of our street”, well those words anyway. If you can’t then just go with it!

Our houses were right across the street from each other.

We literally could and would meet in the street and go to each other’s homes.

She is two years older than me but we are both about 20 in our minds so it all works out!

We tell people we share a memory and it’s actually true.

Parts of her childhood were not pleasant, so when she took protective measures to move on with her life, she blocked out more than just the bad parts.

So she has big Swiss cheese size holes in parts of her memory and I supply the information back to her.

It can really suck having such a good memory at times, especially when you have seen things you wish you could un-see but it’s there because that “steel trap” metaphor is for real in my world.

And yes, sometimes I make up stuff to “remind” her and usually get called on it. Most of the time!

Her “biological” parents and brother are no longer in our lives.

We just say we are twins and my family claims her.

Though we look Nothing alike, we do tell folks we are twins and amazingly many people believe us.

We are about the same height, no matter what she says about being taller, but that would be where the similarities end on the looks.

I have dark hair and olive skin and she has red hair and glowy white see through skin.

You see why I question those who think we’re twins?!

Not to mention our body parts are different sizes, her waist is smaller while I will never know the joy of the junk in the trunk comments she gets!

I tan and she burns turning red with green freckles.

We know when the other one is mad or upset sometimes by just a feeling.

Example, one of us feels strange and calls the other.

First question is “What is it?” Then the other proceeds to go on rant or explain what is getting to them.

No questions of “how did you know” we just know.

I know twins who have this and close sisters but we aren’t blood related.

She isn’t the only one I am this way with.

For the most part, we have a lot of the same friends.

However, we both have friends we will ask, “Please explain again why we like that person?” but will respect each other’s choices and reasons.

We don’t need nor do we “seek approval” we merely ask for advice and automatically accept each other for who we are.

We don’t have to like the decisions, actions or words of the other but we always accept and love each other no matter what.

I can’t imagine my life without her.

She lives nearly 13 hours away now and we still talk weekly and see each other at least once a year.

She was blessed to find her happily ever after when we were young, ok I know I am younger but she still wasn’t able to legally drink when she married “the boss”!

We are a part of each other and our families are so intertwined you need an index, compass and subscriptions to Psycho Weekly and National Geographic just to keep up!

We raised her kids and now mine.

It’s freaky really that my son could be her grandchild!

Her son is the eldest of our kids at like 27. If he is any older my mind can’t think of that right now as I remember when she was pregnant with him!

Our only girl is 25ish and of course the youngest boy turns 5 this year.

See what I mean by he could be the age of a grandchild if she had one?!

And she knows I am just messing with her by writing that!

Seriously, we have talked each other down off the proverbial cliff, listened, held hands, wiped tears and puke for each other.

I truly would give her a kidney if needed.

One of our “sharable” stories from the years was when we were teens, about 15 & 17, we snuck out of her house and met her boyfriend, also my good friend, and rode around until we could meet my boyfriend.

We met back up later, snuck back into her house and thought we were so cool and had gotten away with it.

Except we grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew everyone and everyone watched each other’s kids.

We were so busy sneaking out and then back in that we failed to note our neighbors, who had been at midnight mass, in their driveway with a direct view to the window we climbed out of.

Of course they told our parents.

They all met at the local Burger King to plot our death over coffee!

Both her and my parents had been taping our phone calls.

BUSTED.

We both got a whopping and severely grounded for several months.

We were not “allowed” to “play together” for that summer, however, when school started back up I was allowed to ride with her to school and we had to come straight home and check in!

Never once did it cross our minds to “no longer be friends”.

If anything it was one of the many things that brought us closer.

Fast forward about 20 years and her husband was deployed to a warzone as he was in the Army Reserves.

This was his second deployment and their kids were now teens.

I thought nothing of driving up to be with her and the kids over the winter break.

Just as I would have it no other way to go back 6 months later when he returned and we held a celebration for his safe return.

Being so far apart makes life so challenging when you can just drive over, sit down with your friend and share time talking face to face.

But Peevley and I can just pick up the phone and we are right where we need to be.

I have made and collected so many friends in my life, but I was lucky to find and keep my Peevley this long.

We both make the effort to keep in touch and talk whether phone, text or emails. And, of course, the occasional SnapChat!

If we go more than a week without talking, which happens due to schedules, families and living in different time zones, we get weirded out and have to call just to “hear you irritatingly lovely voice” as we like to say.

Really it’s a sanity check for us both.

Without her I know I would be lost.

So to my sister, Thank You.

Thank you for always being there for me, for believing in me and staying with me even when it was hard, and I know it was at times!

You are the Best Sister, Friend, co-conspirator and woman I am privileged to share my life with!

Happy Birthday Peevley!

I love you!

From birth to earth my steel magnolia sister!

Have a Fabulously Graceless Wednesday!

me n peevleey

Please, tell me how I should “feel”


As everyone is aware, or at least the majority of folks, there is a lot going on in the world today.

Here in the good old USA, we have so much happening and watching the news can be depressing.

Recently, with the latest shooting, I was watching the newscast with a friend and we were discussing how horrible it was, wondering if the boy was mentally ill or a young man who got caught up in hate and “lost it”.

Several news reporters used the phrase, “We are trying to report how you should feel” regarding the shootings.

Really.

You want to tell me, and millions of viewers, how to feel about this situation?

Do you know me and my friends? Do you know all of those millions you try to delude?

I know that my friends and I have had varying feelings from shock, to anger, to disgust and just shaking our heads that yet another mass shooting had occurred by one of our own on American soil.

I have been stewing on this one for almost a week now, reading different opinions and reports.

Reading all that I can regarding this barely legal young man and, in my opinion, not only the hate crime that he committed but the domestic terrorism as well.

I have not seen where he has been charged with domestic terrorism.

To me that is odd because that is what he did.

He terrorized innocent people on American soil.

At a historic church no less and at a Bible study.

True peaceful human beings.

He sat with them for “close” to an hour, accounts vary on time but all say nearly an hour or more, then pulled out his gun and shot them. Reloaded and kept shooting.

Calculated, cold blooded murder.

I cannot imagine those in that room how they felt.

The terror. The confusion. The shock.

To be in a place of peace and be gunned down like an animal has got to be one of the worst feelings.

I know I cannot imagine nor would I disrespect those who have gone through this tragedy by trying to do so.

Losing you loved ones in front of you and having to play dead.

Thinking your loved one was just going to bible study and will be coming back home and they never make it.

I cannot fathom that kind of pain.

So to be told by the media that they were “working to report how we should feel in the wake of this shooting” is callous and disrespectful of the victims and their families.

It is disrespectful to the viewers.

Everyone reacts differently to situations.

Being told “how to feel” makes me feel very Orwellian.

And a bit creepy.

For me, my heart and prayers go out to the victims, their families and everyone dealing with this situation.

Also to the shooter’s family.

Again I can’t imagine it.

As to how I feel, I feel like I wish I could take away this pain, this hate, this obsession people have with harming others.

I don’t need the media to dissect my feeling or tell me how I should feel.

Believe me I feel.

Have a fabulous Tuesday my graceless friends!

“My mind is frozen and it got ice in it”


Lately I have been exhausted.

I mean it’s been crazy hectic and I am struggling to meet dates, deadlines, life lines and all kinds of things for people and myself.

Of course there is always conflict, I mean this is life so I expect a certain amount.

But sometimes I am just ready to scream and yell and basically have a tantrum like a toddler.

I am blessed to have wonderful friends and family to talk to, rant to, or just be there and say nothing but know they are there.

I am also blessed, lucky or whatever you want to call it to have my boy.

He makes me laugh and reminds me to be real without even realizing what he does.

I was asking him why he wasn’t paying attention to me, again, and reminded him of the consequences of his actions if he did not follow through on his promises and actions.

He turned to me so very serious and said, “Mommy, I’m sorry. I think my mind is frozen and it got ice in it. That’s why I wasn’t paying ‘tention to you and I’m sorry.”

He was so genuine and I tried to hold back my laughter at his very honest statement.

I got to thinking, maybe that’s what’s going on with myself and so many others.

Our brains get frozen and gets ice in it so we aren’t paying attention to what needs to be done.

I think I may be a tiny bit sleep deprived and have some discomfort (next week’s procedure can’t come soon enough I tell you – read “Mis-Procedure” if you really want to know what I am referring to) but I feel like my brain gets frozen and I can’t accomplish everything I need to because the ice sticks to it and I get zoned in on something so completely off track!

Wow!

I do sound like a crazy person… goooooo me!

I do think it’s true that out of the mouths of babes we hear the truth of things.

Kids do not hold back on how they feel and their opinions of life in general.

They do not judge unless you teach them to judge.

They just say whatever is on their mind.

We have to teach them how to filter it.

Since this has been an ongoing lesson in my household, filtering as well as discretion, the boy asked me if he said something wrong.

He knew I was amused by his response but he also knew he had not being doing as told.

I told him that I was proud of him for acknowledging that he wasn’t paying attention and that the way he said it was just funny to me because it was so very true.

He then said, “Lots of people walk around with frozen brains and their not even zombies! I don’t think their mommies tell them to pay attention enough and they can’t shake the ice out!”

At this I just began laughing hysterically.

He started giggling and then told me he was “on my side like nationwide. Cause you know, they’re on your side!”

And that is a perfect ending to a challenging day!

I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday my friends!

Keep Hope Alive!

 

Family Dynamics


I have been rolling this topic around in my mind knowing that if I chose to write about it I would probably have to be very cautious because I do not really want to offend folks.

Everyone has different family dynamics and often times, the “family” is not blood relations, but people that we chose as family in addition, or replacing, those kin folk we were born into.

My own original family was pretty basic.

Mother, father, daughter and son.

We had grandparents, great-grandparents, uncle, aunt, cousin, and many great aunts, great-uncles and cousins.

I have one son as does my brother.

I think they are “trying” for more children, well maybe one more, but my baby making days are done.

It’s sad sometimes to think I can’t have anymore and add to our family legacy, but also it can be a relief to not have to worry with it. If I get all crazy and want another child, I can adopt!

We are all pretty close, even though I don’t get to see my uncle, aunt and cousin and some family often as I would like as distance does separate us and schedules can be hard to coordinate. It doesn’t mean I don’t think of them often and still miss them.

I am close with my mom, brother and sister-in-law and we all live within 20 or so miles from each other so we do gather together on a semi-regular basis.

My son calls his cousin his “baby brother” since he is the eldest. They are the same age apart as my brother and I which is 3 ½ years.

Don’t get me wrong, I have lots of cousins and relatives I never see. I do not even know where some of them live or if they are still living.

It isn’t, that I know of, because of a family feud, but due to circumstance of just not being in each other’s life and growing apart.

My father’s father had one sister and she didn’t have children.

His mother was one of 12 children so I do have lots of cousins on that side.

My mother’s father had 2 sisters as did her mother.

I do see some of my cousins from one side but not the other.

I do not know anyone that doesn’t have some type of family drama somewhere in their trees!

They may not tell you or bring it out in the open, but I guarantee someone in everyone’s family has some type of drama!

Growing up I was fortunate I had 2 sets of grandparents and 3 great-grandmothers. It wasn’t until I was older and learned that not everyone has that family and not everyone was close to family they did have.

I am so fortunate to have so many cousins scattered around that I still am in touch with!

Though I wish I could see them more and spend time with them I am grateful for the opportunity to still be in contact, or reconnect with them.

I will admit there are a few that I have no idea what has happened to them nor does anyone else.

One cousin seems to have dropped off the face of the planet. Seriously.

It seems at times the only time I ever even see certain relatives is at weddings and funerals.

That’s pretty sad when you think about it but also, it may not be by your choice, but theirs or another relative.

I am fascinated with family dynamics.

I have friends who are twins who have an older brother.

Their parents divorced and their father remarried.

They have not only half brothers and sisters from them, but also found out their father spread his seed a bit more and have many half brothers and sisters.

I must say they have taken it quite well to find out they have half siblings the same age as them and to, for the most part, get to know several of them.

I can’t imagine finding other siblings when I was older and how I would react to that!

I have worked in assisted livings and as a caregiver for families.

It is so interesting to see who steps up during a medical crisis and who is nowhere to be found.

I know in my own family, no matter what is going on or who is not happy with each other, when a medical crisis arises, we are all there.

For me I could not imagine Not being there.

But I have realized throughout this life not everyone feels the same.

One lady I used to care for, “Miss Jane” (*names changed to protect the living), had 3 children. I never saw the children who lived in town but every few months. Then for only a brief period of time.

However her son who had moved to another country, would make the trek yearly to visit his mother and stayed at least a month. The majority of his time would be spent with his mother.

This lady had other relatives, however, during her life she wasn’t always so nice. She was diagnosed with dementia and after her husband died, was placed in an assisted living facility.

This was where I met her as I worked at the facility.

I met so many people whose family dynamics were fascinating to me to watch.

At times, it was also very sad as in the case of Miss Jane.

Here was a lady who had wealth beyond comprehension and yet her only visitors was a few times a year with random family coming to visit.

Only her one son who lived thousands of miles away came with any regularity and that was just once a year.

Another lady, “Miss Carmen”, had no children and only a niece. She had moved from Florida so her niece could care for her at our facility.

Her niece, Betty, came several times a week and always worried when she would go out of town that Carmen would need something and she wouldn’t be there.

Here Betty was worrying about how Carmen would miss her, knowing she had dementia and that prior to her moving her close did not see her aunt regularly due to distance but always talked on the phone.

She cared enough to go to her home when Carmen’s husband died and pay attention to her situation to see that she needed to step in and help.

And Jane’s “guardians” would have to be contacted when she needed new clothes because they didn’t see her on a regular basis.

Of course now we have instant access to the internet and being able to call, text or send a message on Facebook to get in touch with relatives far and wide.

However I still have to look at Jane and Carmen.

In my humble opinion, it seems that once some people get older, or aren’t as “nice” all the time, family members and even friends just stop coming around.

I did find out in Miss Jane’s case there were many friends who didn’t know where she was.

The two children who lived closer made a decision to not tell anyone because of her “condition”. Her son who lived far away rectified that after a visit and I was happy to see her have visitors.

We are all human and need the companionship and touch of others.

It does make a difference.

I understand some people chose to cut themselves off from their family and friends.

That is their choice.

But for so many, that choice is taken from them in many different ways due to their family dynamics.

I guess you can call me lucky and blessed because in my own life, I have not only my family, but a large collection of friends as well.

I know that they can send out an SOS and if I can’t be there in person, I am there for them in spirit and let them know.

Because if you don’t let people know you’re thinking about them, you care and you will do whatever you are able to do they don’t know that for sure.

You can’t assume they know.

You have to tell them.

So reach out to that random family member/friend that’s been on your mind.

Call, text, email, send a message to them just do it.

We never know how much time we have left.

We never know if that brief “hello I miss you” may be what they need to get through their day.

Always Keep Hope Alive.

I hope you all have a fabulously graceless Monday my friends!

 

Father’s Day 2015


fathers day

As I was thinking of what to write for my Sunday post I realized that today is Father’s Day.

For me this is a hard day to get through as my own daddy passed away in February of last year with stage 4 kidney cancer.

Our family was with him when he passed and that is something to be thankful for.

I was blessed to have him in my life for 43 years.

I was a “daddy’s girl”. I guess I always will be.

I am the eldest child and my brother is 3 ½ years younger than me.

I was always the rebel and the one who paved the way for him to be the “golden child” haha

My brother and I are very close and I know that on that account, I am lucky.

Father’s Day is bittersweet for him as well.

Two months after my daddy passed away my nephew was born and he became a father.

I remember walking into the hospital room seeing my little bro holding his newborn son and bursting into tears as I felt like I was in a magical place.

I was seeing a photo in my mind of our father holding me with the same look of pure love I was now seeing on the face of my brother.

Like father like son.

My own son was blessed to have known his “Pops”.

He still talks about him, misses him and promises he will tell his cousin all about Pops and how great he is.

I said “is” because that is how we keep him alive is by talking about him.

We aren’t obsessed with making sure he is in our conversations daily, however I know that a single day doesn’t go by without me thinking about him and I know my mom and brother feel the same.

My parents were married for 45 years.

A true until death us do part.

Our house was not “Leave it to Beaver” bliss but then there was Always love, even in the best and worst of times.

My daddy was ALWAYS there for me and so many others whenever needed.

He had more patience than anyone I know.

I know when he was younger he had a temper, he often told me about it and I heard stories from family and friends.

However he realized very young that a bad temper would get you nowhere and being calm even in a storm was the better way to move through life.

Often times when someone passes we tend to canonize them and make them more “saintly” than when they were living.

I can say that isn’t the case with my father.

My daddy was a well known and loved respected business man.

He knew and met people from all around the world.

The love and light he cast out to family, friends and strangers was astounding.

When he died, after the funeral, which was massive, there was a reporter from the local paper there to do an article on him.

I couldn’t find the words to describe the man who is my father.

Understanding, strong, loving, caring, compassionate, believed in equality for all humans, was the Yoda of golf, hunting and fishing, always there, never judging, always thought before he spoke knowing his words were taken to heart.

How do you really convey that?

I have said many times I do not like crowds.

I am pretty weird about it nor am I going to draw attention to myself.

However when daddy died I had made him a promise.

I keep my promises.

I sang “Amazing Grace” a Capella at his funeral.

There were hundreds of people there but I sang for him and my family as they knew it was his favorite and I would sing it for him.

I completely zoned out and saw him there smiling as he always did while I sang my heart out with tears streaming down my face.

I didn’t care about if I was off key or looked strange.

I only cared that my daddy knew how much I loved him so I sang to him.

This will be my second Father’s Day without my daddy “here” with me.

I know I will shed tears.

I know I will sing his song out loud.

I know that many of my friends and family members are also thinking of their fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles and friends who are no longer with us.

I know I do.

But I also know my daddy would want me to remember those who are still here too.

So to all of the fathers out there, and mothers who are both mom and dad, I send out a Happy Father’s Day to you!

I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday!

I am including one of my all-time favorite photos of my son and my daddy.

It means the world to me.