Happy Birthday to my little brother and Happy Father’s Day to all the true fathers


I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, however I realized I could not pass up the opportunity to wish my “baby” brother a very fabulous 42nd birthday. Lil bro, I hope you get all of the answers to the universe! You deserve it. I know I don’t tell you enough, but I am so proud of you and I truly love you so much. I know there were times when we wanted to take each other out, but I am so glad we have not only grown closer, but genuinely enjoy each other’s company. You are a man I know daddy would be proud of. I love you my brother! You are also a fabulous dad. I know you had the best example of a father. I know we both miss him more than most people know. He’s the one who showed us how to treat others and to be a man among me. We were blessed/lucky and so fortunate to have him as our father.

I know many fathers. Some aren’t so good, some are good and others are out of this world. Every one of them are human. I know moms that are both mom and dad. I know single fathers who are both dad and mom. These amazing humans who give for their children, and children who are not even “biologically” theirs, day after day because they want to, not because they have to. They aren’t fair weather parents, they are hard core, full on dads.

My complete and utter respect of all of those fathers. May you all have an excellent Father’s Day! Whether you are with your child or not, know there are those of us who are rooting for you and thank you for being a father and actually caring.

I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous day!

This Fabulously Graceless crazy mama is going spend the day with an amazing father and hopefully make his day a little better for all that he does for his son.

I’m wishing my brother, uncle, friends and family the best of Father’s Day!

Keep Hope Alive!

Reflections of my daddy’s life on the anniversary of his passing


I remember my mama waking me up gently. The boy was sleeping with me and I didn’t want him to wake up yet. I went downstairs to help daddy get ready for the day. It was Sunday so I knew he would get visitors. Here he was at the end of his life and still he had people coming to visit daily.

Everyone loved my daddy. You couldn’t help it as he was so easy to talk to. Even in business, he was respected and did a job he loved for over 40 years.

He was a man’s man and a gentleman. He played sports and seemed to be good at everyone he played. He started playing golf when he was young and we called him the “Yoda” of golf as he was the most serene golfer I have ever seen. We played tennis as a family and tons of games. We learned to be competitive and how to lose with grace. He grew up hunting and fishing. I was in about the 2nd grade before I realized not everyone ate venison and fish as staples like we did.

He was known as the negotiator and for his peace making skills. He was quite calm often in a sea of chaos.

When I was a young teenage girl dating, he was quite intimidating to any guy who wanted to go out with me. He used to interrogate anyone I planned to ride with. He would clean his gun, clean a deer or practice his bow and arrow (he was a great shot) all while questioning the young man’s intentions with his daughter. I knew how much my daddy loved me by everything he did.

I know a handful of times that I made him so mad he wanted to throttle me. We talked about it often. I had so much respect for him because as a teenager, I had a temper and he taught me how to control it. Not that I didn’t get in trouble as a result of my temper and actions, but I knew he loved me no matter what.

He told me he used to have a bad temper when he was younger and all it did was get him in trouble. He learned how to control it and channel it. He learned to read people and anticipate their reactions. He learned how to be kind to others when they all but spit in his face. He learned control.

He also learned kindness and compassion as well as good business practices. A person’s handshake meant their word of honor and you did not break that. He taught me about respect.

He taught me the love of the outdoors and the beautiful of the world.

He taught me to look beyond the outside of a person and see who they truly are. There are many wonderful people and may people who would do you harm. He taught me everyone is equal.

He fought for the equality through his business as this was the south and southerners can be hard to change their ways.

I was the firstborn. A daughter. My brother followed 3 ½ years later. We talked of how the world was more open to men. He saw the differences in how anyone who was considered a minority was treated and he worked to change and made a difference. No small feat here in Alabama where nearly all men of his stature in that time were expected to be a bit more narrow minded, see only one color, one gender and class was everything. He didn’t. He saw the human being where others saw the poor, females and those of a different color or class. Like his mama, my GrandMaMa, before him, he taught me so many things you can’t learn in a book. You have to open yourself and see things as they really are. Then you have to focus on the good and what is right.

We tend to almost saint those who have passed away. I am not doing that, I am honestly sharing how amazing this man truly was.

I haven’t always been the “ideal” daughter. I tended to push the boundaries and tried my parents on so many occasions it’s amazing they didn’t ship me off. I felt I had “failed” at so of life’s big moments. My daddy helped me see that I didn’t fail. Sometimes I had to learn the hard way or maybe in a way that wasn’t the easiest, but he would never see me as a failure. He saw me for who I was and accepted me for who I was. Flaws and all.

That morning I went downstairs with my mom, I saw my daddy. I knew that it was only a matter of time before he left this plane and the pain of the disease that took over his body. The pain and disease that could claim his body but could not lay claim to his heart, mind and soul.

It is clear to me, 2 years later on this very day, every detail about that morning. I remember my last conversation with him. He was so very weak. He was saving all of his energy I realize now, so he could tell his family how much he loved them. He told me how much he loved me and how proud he was of me. He asked me to be strong, as he knew I would be.

When I left his room I knew this was the day. I got the boy dressed and talked to my family as we were all there.

I had gone to the store earlier for his medications and was running back again when my sister-in-law called me to tell me to come home then. I am sure I broke several laws but all I could think was “Please hang on daddy, I’m coming.” I knew he heard me. I pulled into the garage and turned the car off and jumped out as my sister-in-law opened the door. “Go, I have this. I love you.” As I ran to the bedroom I passed my aunt and son.

My mother, brother and uncle were all around my daddy. I felt like I just slid into base. More like into place. We surrounded him with love as he left this life. Peacefully and just like that he stopped breathing. I know I felt his love surround us. I remember looking at my mother, brother and my uncle. We were all crying. My uncle prayed a beautiful prayer.

To this day it gets to me. I feel my breath stop because that’s what it feels like. Your breath just stops and you wonder if it will ever start again. My heart hurts. 2 years and my heart and my soul can still feel like they are being ripped apart with grief. Knowing I can’t call, I can hear you voice and feel your arms around me undoes me at times. I miss you so much daddy. Your little girl still needs you. I know you have made me a better human being, but sometimes it’s so hard.

Yet I push on just like I did 2 years ago today.

The anniversary is hard. It can be numbing, emotional and static like all at once.

The greatest man I ever loved passed from this earth on February 9, 2014.

At his funeral I sang his favorite song, Amazing Grace. Afterwards, someone asked me how I could do it. That’s easy, I love him and that was the least I could do for him after all he had done for me.

Go tell those you love how you feel. No matter their reaction, just let them know. We never know how much time we have here.

Keep Hope Alive.

 

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost but now I’m found.

Was blind but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fears relieved.

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Then when we first begun.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I’m found.

Was blind, but now I see

 

This is my life and I am not ashamed


Currently I should be getting things done… housework, birthday plans (the boy turns 5 on Monday!), writing, organizing – you know doing whatever it is you need to do. Note I said I should be but at the moment I am not!

No I am still vegging out after another lovely procedure and fortunately not another mis-procedure!

I love how people can look at me and think, “Gee she must be lazy! She looks fine!” Oh thank you so for the backhanded compliment. Why yes, yes I do look quite fine. In fact, for someone with my medical challenges I think I look fabulous!

For a while I have been back and forth with writing about my personal medical challenges.

I follow several amazing bloggers who share their journeys through their blogs (The Tube Fed Wife and The Respiratory Therapist who needed help breathing are two off the top of my head who are damn inspiring.). But because I write about so many topics I wasn’t sure what writing about my own personal issues, then I realized I am not alone. Other people suffer from similar or worse problems. People don’t like to hear about anyone’s suffering or pain. People like me, with chronic pain issues are expected to somewhat “keep it to ourselves” or “don’t share that it’s personal”. Yes it is. Very personal and this is My Blog. So why shouldn’t I talk about something personal to me? Something that affects me on a daily basis?

I am an active crazy mama. I am 44 with an almost 5 year old boy child. I work, clean, cook, play, live. I go as much as I can and often push myself further than I probably should most days. I have pretty severe back issues and just recently was told I need to think about hip replacements. Emphasis on the “s” as in both hips.

I have had back problems since I was 13 and broke my back/tailbone. At the time, it was thought 6 weeks of “rest” and “taking it easy” with aspirin, cold and heat and a bit of “physical therapy” would be just fine. First of all it was summer. One of the last weekends in June there was no way I was going to “rest up” all summer. I took the aspirin, did the heat/cold therapy and went on with my life. I stayed busy for the next several years in sports, gymnastics, tennis, cheerleading, water skiing, soft ball and general activities as per usual for me.

When I was 17 I was diagnosed with migraines. In the late 80’s there weren’t many option for folks who had migraines. There were some heavy duty pain meds and then there were injections. I remember my aunt coming over and showing my mom and I how to inject a needle into an orange over and over. I reminded myself that others had to inject themselves daily and I could do this. The migraines were awful and a few years later they were so bad that I considered going into some sort of program to help with my migraines. Extensive testing showed I was allergic to nearly everything, I mean the results were like a small book of things I should “stay away from” and/or that I was allergic to. I thought of the bubble boy movie. I was not going to let this keep me down. Slowly but surely I took out a large chunk of items that set off my migraines. I could do nothing about the great outdoors or the weather, but I could control the things that tended to make my migraines worse. Having that milkshake during allergy season or when the barometric pressure was no longer an option. It was combinations of items I had to systematically cut back or remove as well. I couldn’t control my hormones no matter how many vitamins, natural teas and supplements I took.

I continued to push my body. I moved so many times I was better than a service for packing, unpacking and lifting. I could pack up a moving truck or van with an efficiency that would make Martha Stewart proud. I moved all over Alabama, then decided to move beyond the borders of my home state. I moved to Florida, Georgia, California, back to Georgia then Tennessee. It was in Tennessee that my boy was born. By then I had been going for 4 years to a specialist for my numerous aches and pains in my back, hips and front. I loved, not, hearing the term “advanced maternal age” while I was carrying the boy. I wasn’t 40 yet come on! I was just thrilled I was having a bebe as I was told I couldn’t get pregnant.

It wasn’t without wear and tear on my body though. Wear and tear I would do 10 times over because life with him is beyond worth it and I will do any and everything within my power to keep moving, keep going and keep up with him!

When I made the decision to move back to Alabama it was not taken lightly. I have family here and the boy’s dad does too. I would be closer to my doctor in GA and my friends too.

It was during my packing that I got the call that my father’s condition had gotten worse. I packed up my jeep and the boy and headed home. I was scheduled to move in a month to help my parents but I knew I was going to see my daddy for the last time. I stayed for 10 days before returning. I buried my father during that time as well.

Once back in Tennessee I continued to work and pack up my home. My close friends, my cousin and her husband helped me get all my belongings loaded up and we managed to move it to Alabama. It took two trips of the big stuff and the final trip a few weeks later but I finally moved back “home”.

I have been battling issues with my back, hips and front pain for so many years the pain is like an old friend. Earlier this year I finally had a total hysterectomy in the hopes of alleviating some of my pain. I feel like it did help. It also set my body into some kind of weird tail spin back and forth. I never know what normal or new pain is now.

I try not to show it. I know I overdo it but my thoughts are do it while I can.

I go at least 4 times a year to “get a tune up” and overhaul my spine and hips. I am in year 8 of this so getting told “think about replacing your hips” truly shouldn’t come as a shock, but it does. I should not be surprised I was given the paper work for a handicap placard but I don’t know if I am ready to do that yet. I mean I still have many good days. I also have days where when I drive to the store and wait for a closer parking spot so I don’t have to walk so far.

I know my battles and my journey isn’t over yet. I know that I won’t give up. I know that every post I write won’t feature the daily challenges I have. Trust me even I don’t like to think about it all the time much less write about it. However, I did feel the urge to share, and apparently share I have.

I hope this shows people that no matter what anyone looks like, acts like you can’t always tell how someone feels on the inside.

I also hope it shows others you aren’t alone. You may not be able to be as active as you want to be but know you are still breathing and still here.

Never forget to keep hope alive and never give up.

Stay fabulous my friends!