Thursday, November 29, 2007

They’re not who we think they are…

After reading another blog, which has since been edited to take a paragraph or so out, I feel the need to set some things straight.

While my mother is going to die from cancer, probably within the next 3 to 6 months, she is not a saint. She has made some choices in her life that I totally don’t agree with. She’s human. I’ve made choices in my life that others don’t agree with. That’s life. In fact, it’s our lives to lead as individuals. The choices we make are ours. That’s what makes our lives ours. Just because someone is going to die or has died does not make their lives automatically perfect and without fault.

Whether our parents/loved ones are alive or dead, the way we live our lives now is our choice. There comes a point in life where we have to take responsibility for our own actions and reactions. We can lament about how life is just not fair and how bad we’ve got it, but truly, if we allow those negatives to take over our lives, then we are to blame. No one else. We cannot let others tell us how to live our lives, how to dress, eat, act, etc. and expect to be satisfied with who we are as individuals. We will never realize our potential unless we stand up for ourselves and the decisions we make, even if it’s standing up to parents or people that are close to us.

Before my mother was diagnosed, I knew that her choices were just that – her choices. The way she lives her life is not my decision to make. However I have the right to stand up for my beliefs and she can either respect my beliefs and how I live my life, raise my family, etc. or we cannot have a relationship. It all boils down to choice.

I choose to not stay home crying about what’s happening or what’s happened in the past. I choose to try to look at the brighter side, even though at times that brighter side is barely a dim night-light. I choose to love my mother, even though she’s not perfect. I choose to not be a doormat to anyone anymore. I’ve been there and it’s a downtrodden, horrible feeling. This is my life. I’ve got this life to live and by gosh, I’m going to live it to the fullest and be the best me I can be without someone else telling me how to do it. 

If, at the end of my journey, I have the chance, I hope to look back and see that I've made mostly good choices. Good choices for my life. Choices that made me a better person, one my children can look up to. Choices that will allow the people I love to see my love for them reflected in the life choices I made. I certainly don't want them sitting around calling me a saint and putting me on a pedestal. While grief is a natural emotion, I hope that after my death they will see that life does go on. With or without them. It's up to them to get back on the road to their own lives and not waste any more time. Life goes on and they have choices to make.

Take care - Me

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Out the mouth, to the ear, in the heart...

In the car, coming from the 7 year olds in the back seat:

Them: Mama, how do girl dogs have babies
Me Thinking: Thank goodness they didn't ask Granny or Daddy...
Me Answering with the typical boy parts & girl parts mingle...
Them: But how does that work...
Me.... ..... .....
Me Answering about sperm & eggs & birth... in a very basic way
Them: Ewwwww... Uggh... Can we have cookies when we get home?
Me: We all need cookies when we get home

In my mother's house:

Mother: I have something I need to tell you
Me Thinking: Well, it can't really be all that bad, I already know that she's got a incurable cancer...
Mother:... You are one of the most beautiful people I know. Not just on the outside, but on the inside, where it counts. You are so special, not just to me, but anyone that knows you. I hope you realize how special you are. I hope you know just how proud I am of you.
Me... Thank you Mother. I love you.

Later on the phone...
Me: Mother, that was the best compliment I have ever had. Thank you.
Mother: I should have told you years ago.
Me: I might not have really heard it years ago like I did today.
Mother: It was from my heart.
Me: It went from yours straight to mine & I will always remember it. I love you.

You never know what a day holds. I certainly could have never guessed that these conversations would happen within the same day. I do believe that I shall always remember them both.

Take care - Me

Friday, November 23, 2007

Signed, Sealed, Delivered...

At long last, it is done. The Noah's Ark for the local church has been completed. Glory be unto God.

Thanksgiving Day, Happy?

While I am not the world's most consistent blogger, I've really let it go this time. For a week my family has been sick. I'm talking grab the toilet, walk around with puke-bucket sick. The.Whole.Family. Even the in-laws. I should be in Sikeston, MO celebrating this time of giving thanks and eating too much with my Mother and her family. I'm not. I'm here in LaLa trying to get over my sore throat, ear ache and ever-present fever while taking care of my two kids and a husband that is trying to work while feeling about as green as pea soup.

So, am I thankful? Yes. I'm thankful for the following:

Take care - me

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Bittersweet birthday...

So, yesterday at 6:59am I actually entered my 36th year. Moosie gave to me a hand-sewn elephant and 36 cents. Rokimus gave me a scarf he’s been knitting on for the past year. Speedy gifted me with a couple of wonderful cards and a picture of the digital camera body we’ll be ordering in the next day or two.

I went to the store to do the accounting things that need to be done every few days or so, then attending lunch with Mother, the Crazy Norwegian Woman, and a friend of my Mom’s whom I’ve known for many years. After a delicious lunch and visit, Mom wanted to go back to the store to work on some things that she still does and then I was off to pick up the kids from school. After homework we went to the closest town to meet my dad, sister, mother and CNW for a birthday supper. The service was lacking, but the food was great.

Speedy, the kids and I then went to Wally World to find Moosie a new book bag as her old one quit zipping up and Rokimus some new pants/shoes as his latest growth spurt has left us with 2 pairs of shoes & 3 pairs of school pants that are actually long enough. Then, it was home, where Moosie screamed for hours because she didn’t get any new clothes & Rokimus just sat quietly as he has gotten in MAJOR trouble lately and knew my patience was short. Then, off to bed. What a day.

Now, I know that all that sounds like a really trivial day. Very ho-hum. And I wasn’t sure if I’d actually post anymore than what I’ve already said. But, maybe, by writing this stuff out, it will help me get a grip.

You see, all day yesterday I knew that it was the last birthday I’d ever spend with my Mother there. I did not get any alone time with her. I forgot my camera; so there are no pictures for me to look back on to help remember that day. I had to hear her talk about how when she’s gone & I come across some quilting project that she hasn’t finished, I’m to give it to Ms. Faye to finish for me. I remembered some of the birthdays I had growing up. Like the one at MSMS when she traveled, by herself, to take me and some friends out to eat. You look back and think, I’ve been here 36 years, and I cannot imagine her not being there to call me on my birthday. Or to tell me that I’m doing a good job raising my children. Or to feel her arms around me when I feel so lost and confused about what I’m doing. She has always been the one to encourage my artistic nature. The one that’s excited about my new projects or ideas. We may not have always seen eye to eye, but there was never any doubt about her love for me. It’s a hard thing to swallow that a year from now, barring a miracle, she will not be the voice on the other end of the phone telling me happy birthday.

This too shall pass.

Take care.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Raise Your Voice!

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Wear purple, tell people and spread hope.


Take care - Me

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A week in the life... and some pics... a week late of course

OK, hang on, ‘cause this one is going to be quick.

Turtle cake made, gocart cake bought. However, as with all things connected to our household, it doesn’t take long for a bit of added, not wanted, stress to be piled on. Like trying to get my mother and her mother from Wisconsin down here via Nashville on the day before the party. And, oh yeah, the party being moved up two days per her request. Or stress that comes from the place you ordered the picture gocart cake from calling the morning before the party to say their printer broke. Do we just want a plain cake? Hum…. Let me think…. NO!??! Rushing to town to get that photo to take 30 minutes south to another grocery store that stops taking orders at noon. Thank you Lord for my racecar-driving husband. Party went well though. Getting house clean enough for other people to see it, buying gifts for my kids & the kid whose party they attended the night before the party left me very glad to see the end of that weekend.

Homemade potato leek soup with homemade whole wheat bread made for my mother & her mother. Entire day spent with them.

For their actual birthday, I made cookies & took them to the school. That night we had a family meal of boiled shrimp, cole slaw, cracklin’ cornbread, black olives, cucumbers, avocados, and tomatoes… you know, their favorites. Oh yeah, and left over cake.

The next night was Halloween. One turtle (Moosie), one mummy (Rokimus), one witch (me), one gypsy (Mother), one IS Director (Speedy) and one crazy Old Norwegian woman (my grandmother as herself). Enough said.

I realize that I've not blurred out our images as I normally do. If you feel the need to actually come to my house, knock on my door and mess with my life, then woe be unto you. I have so much stress in my life right now that I really need a good stress relief, so bring it on. We live in the country & we do own guns. I'm even certified to use it. How's that for redneck?!

Thursday – Saturday:
The next couple of days were busy getting ready for local Middle La La Day. That’s right, a day when people fill up my front yard with their vehicles & junk. Literally. Cars & trucks were parked in my front yard so that they could sell their junk to the folks attending this thing. Those folks even had the nerve to cut some of my pecan branches, with pecans still attached. This day, for our community, is HUGE. People actually look forward to this day. They travel to get here. Amazing. There were cracklins to be bought, homemade hominy, and yes, even chitlins. There was bad country music out the wazoo. Practically in my front yard. And there were a bunch of people that attended. Over 100. And for someone like myself, who feels as though I live in a fish bowl on an average day, I felt horrified that there were so many people near my private space. My private space being the 5 acres we live on. I need tall ceilings and room around me.

All of this doesn’t include the month-end stuff that goes with running a small business, Mother's oncology doctor visit or the daily housework, but there’s only so much time I’ve got. So, that’s it for now. I’ve got to get busy with all the stuff that should have been done last week, but didn’t. Along with the stuff that needs to be done this week, but probably won’t.

Take care - Me