Life can change in an instant


life is short live it cherish love anger fear memories

In an instant it can all change. Your plans, you very life can change. All with a phone call, text or personal visit.
I may be graceless but I try to work on a schedule, which is harder now that I do freelance and work for myself. So when I schedule time for things, I reschedule other things and even tack on extra things to sometimes get yet another thing taken care of. The schedule is flexible and I juggle but I do pretty well most of the time. If something changes I can go with the flow and make arrangements to reschedule and work around the other things.
My original plans for this weekend included much overdue time needed with my girls, a bit of organization and many laughs and good friends. Since I was already going to be in the area, I also scheduled a needed doctor appointment prior to the getting together.
Then came the text I didn’t want to get. My friend’s aunt had passed. Although it was early in the week, I knew that our plans for the weekend would change. I knew she needed to be there for her family and I want her to be. She was apologizing to me for having to cancel. And asking if I would let our other friend know, she was coming in from yet another state, that she had to cancel and was sorry. This lady is quality let me tell you! Here she is with the loss of her beloved aunt, having to pack up and travel to another state and worrying about canceling plans with 2 friends. 2 friends who are immediately asking what we can do and saying not to worry, and meaning it, that of course we can re-schedule. Yes, you can call on your way there or anytime you need to talk! I feel for her and her family. It is hard enough when someone we love passes, it is also hard to coordinate your life, you job, your spouse/partner and family to be gone for several days to mourn the passing of your loved one. It takes it out of you both emotionally and physically. You deal with relatives, friends, people you haven’t seen in years or some you have never met and are meeting finally for the first time. It is bittersweet as you know it is the one you love who brought everyone together and they are no longer here
Of course we are sad we aren’t getting together and able to do the things we had “planned” to do, however certain things take precedence over “plans”.  Life Happens.
When my daddy died I was devastated. We all knew it was coming, and coming soon. We were blessed in respect to knowing that it would be quick and hopefully painless. It was fortuitous that I was there with my daddy, close family and friends when he left this plane. A part of my life was on hold while we took care of The Final Arrangements for my father. I called into work to let them know what was happening, I still took care of the boy, but was also helping my mom, uncle, brother and aunt as they were helping me. We are all trying to just get through, even with a “plan” for this event, it was not an “easy” process. I am grateful to family and friends that stepped up, either through actions or just kind words or gestures, of being there for me. My “little sister” Wucy took over packing up my home in TN before driving to AL with her wonderful fiancé for the services. She then helped the day of the funeral when our home turned into an impromptu large gathering of friends, family and business associates of my dad and family. There were so many people there that wanted to share their memory and be with others who loved and respected him. The night before the funeral it snowed. There were ice storms in the surrounding areas and there was concern we needed to move the funeral time. Fortunately, the day of the streets around us were clear enough for us to make it to the church and then to the cemetery and home safely. It was those little things that got us through, but now we were facing a different reality than the one we had previously. In an instant my mother went from married to widowed. In an instant, my brother and I no longer had a father and my uncle no longer had a brother. We knew it was coming as my dad had been fighting a brave fight against cancer for a second time. It did not make it any easier when the moment came and he wasn’t with us any longer. We were glad he was no longer suffering, but also upset that we were no longer here to share with us his love, humor and wisdom when we desperately needed it.

i dont grieve for moment of loved one

Life can change in an instant. You never know what will happen or when plans will change.
Tell you family and friends you love them and how much they mean to you every chance you get.
Always Keep Hope Alive and have a fabulous day.

stop n look around life amazing

 

On this Saturday I join others in The Walk to End Alzheimer’s


The day is here and today is the Walk to End Alzheimer’s for the Central Alabama Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association!

fight alzz

I’m so excited for today for so many reasons.

I worked for the Alzheimer’s Association, Georgia Chapter for 6 years and volunteered for 2 years prior to working with them.

Alzheimer’s is very personal for me as several of my family members have suffered from and even died from this disease. I have cared for many friends and others with this disease. I have consulted and worked with families to help manage the stages of this fatal disease. My grandfather had Alzheimer’s disease and eventually passed away 5 years ago after suffering with it for at least 10 years. His sister, my great aunt, had died from the disease 11 years prior and both of his parents died from Alzheimer’s. There was no chapter in Alabama, and the Alzheimer’s group that serviced the Birmingham area didn’t cover northern Alabama, and the Alzheimer’s Association of Middle Tennessee didn’t cover the area where he and my grandmother lived. They were in limbo as far as services and most of the local doctors were not as educated on the disease as they are now, though some smaller town doctors sometimes, not all and please I don’t want to get slayed for speaking the truth as I know it, do not know as much as is needed about the disease to help their patients.

This is where the Alzheimer’s Association becomes a guiding light for many. Their 800 # (1-800-272-3900) is a 24/7 hotline to help people any time day or night. You can also find them at www.alz.org. They may not always be to find you a support group or doctor close to you, however they are there to help assist you in time of need and make suggestions of where you go in your region, as well as give you tips and just be a voice on the end of the line when you truly need someone who can understand and talk to you.

I have been talking, calling, emailing since about 2007 to the national office about a chapter in Central Alabama. We have part of the northern section of the state covered by the Middle TN chapter and Lower Alabama covered by the Panhandle chapter but the rest was pretty much hanging out with no assistance.

At the end of 2013, the Alzheimer’s Association of Central Alabama was opened and I have volunteered, and badgered them for employment, since I moved here in 2014! To say I am thrilled is an understatement.

That is why todays walk means so much to me.

From the Alzheimer’s Association, the 2015 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures:

  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • It’s the only cause of death in the top 10 in America that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed
  • 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • Almost two thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women
  • Only 45% of people with Alzheimer’s disease or their caregivers report being told of their diagnosis versus more than 90% of people with the four most common types of cancer have been told of their diagnosis
  • Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined
  • In 2015, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $226 billion
  • By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion

alz global epidemic

The disease is not pretty, it isn’t sexy or isn’t something a lot of people want to even talk about. Alzheimer’s knows no borders or boundaries, it takes people of all races, classes, socioeconomic background and all genders. It destroys their lives and the lives of those who care for them.

I’ve noticed several ads for Alzheimer’s medications on television recently and it angers me because it makes it seem as if “Oh you get Alzheimer’s you can take a pill and go on with your life.” If it were only that easy. There isn’t a magical pill. We are closer now than 10 years ago but we do not yet have a cure or even a way to stop the progression of the disease. It does “help” but unfortunately it doesn’t help everyone.

I want to walk, volunteer, spread awareness and help funding to prevent, halt and eventually find a cure for this terminal disease. I want my son and any grandchildren I may have to live in a world without Alzheimer’s.

So today I walk in memory of my grandfather, my Papa. Papa’s Posse will be at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Railroad Park volunteering and spreading hope! *Photo below of my beloved Papa & GrandMaMa

PAPA POSSE

Now I just hope the rains end prior to the walk and that we have massive attendance!

For my part, the Fabulously Graceless Lady Maos is all in!

Keep Hope Alive!

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!

 

 

 

 

Courting Nostalgia


Currently I am courting nostalgia of only 2 short years ago.

I had dropped an email into the wrong file and I clicked onto another file, still not the right one but this was much, much better.

I tumbled into my memories from where I was and what was happening in my life.

I stepped back into a world where my loved ones had not departed this plane and my big love dog was loping around the house to dance party time. The boy was yet to be potty trained and I was on the wild ride of life.

I was learning how to be a single parent.

I was employed and one of my best friends and I had reunited for another go as roomies.

I was preparing to head north for our yearly trek for the annual pig roast at my sister’s home.

I was driving back and forth from Tennessee to Alabama to spend time with my family, my parents, and my daddy.

So much of my life felt like it was on hold or in a holding pattern due to circumstances beyond my control.

Two years doesn’t seem like long but now seems like a lifetime.

I dig deeper into my memories.

I remember laughing hysterically with my roomie, my boy, big dog and the kitties.

She taught the boy goofy games and silly things to do and how to eat with clothespins.

I remember going to the lake with my family and watching my son and my daddy “fish” together. The boat ride we went on and how I knew that time was precious and I took none of it for granted.

I remember the trip to Pennsylvania with 3 adults and a kid in diapers and how we laughed so hard we cried and even had to pull over, a flawlessly executed maneuver in major traffic, so my girl could get sick and then felt better. Our trip was sorely needed and I got to see my sister, brother in law, niece and nephew along with the rest of my Yankee family.

No I did not take this for granted. Not one minute of the time.

The movies in my mind of this time of my life seem almost like old black and whites now.

I allow them all to wash over me and assault me for I will never forget them.

I hold them close to my heart, these precious memories.

For you see, my wonderful roomie passed away peacefully, but unexpectedly in her sleep one night. I still miss my sister and the woman who was tiny yet impossibly strong and would give you the clothes off her back and help anyone who needed it.

My strong daddy, my rock, finally lost his brave battle to the insidious cancer that ravaged his body in the end. I miss him daily and sometimes so much that it pains me physically.

Big Love aka Jethro aka our fur bebe doggy passed because it was just his time.

My career path has changed along with my state of residence.

My son is now well potty trained along with growing up to no longer be considered by son as my “little” boy.

One of my happy constants is our annual pilgrimage to PA for the pig roast with my sister and the Yankees.

But as I dip my toes into the memories of my past I remember the happiness, the conversations, and the love.

I pull from my family and friends, old and new, and new again.

I harness the love, hope and prayers and I make it through another day.

I watch my boy grow into a young man, slowly but it’s happening far faster than I would like.

So I slide back into this warm pool of my past.

I close my eyes and hear the laughter, the advice, feel the love and happiness, taste the worry but always I keep hope alive.

The bridge from then to now is my hope.

Have a fabulous Sunday!