Friday, January 25, 2013

A Life Well Lived

Dale was my stepdad. My dad died on March 23, 1994. It was one of the hardest days of my life and I can remember it like it was yesterday.

Dale came into our lives a few months later and my mom and him married on January 1, 1995. It was the talk of the town because let's face it, it just isn't proper for someone to remarry so soon after the death of a spouse. It's in the Southern Book of Etiquette. My mother is a rule breaker:)

Brady was only 5 weeks old when my dad died. I felt very robbed and probably still do. But it wasn't meant to be and Dale has been my children's grandfather and I could not have asked for a better one.

He was diagnosed with Alzheimers several years ago and my mother has spent the last years taking care of him and doing a magnificent job of it. Over the last few months things have gotten worse and over the last few weeks he had become essentially full time care. Hospice was called 3 weeks ago and yesterday he had the privilege of being called to Heaven. I had the privilege of witnessing it. It was not easy because he struggled for several hours to complete his journey. It was even harder to watch my mother. But at 1:45 yesterday afternoon, he entered into Heaven and he had a host of folks waiting on him, including his daughter who died much too young of cancer.

My dad died suddenly and the shock of that was harder than you can imagine. My mother was only 49.  I am 45 so that means even more to me now. But my mother has said so many times, "your dad lived until he died" and that is true. He died doing what he loved doing with his son beside him. He didn't have to suffer and for that I am so grateful. Dale didn't have that luxury. He had to suffer the indignity of a disease that robs you of your memory. Those precious things that we all hope we never lose. Unfair. Unfair. I don't know why that was and why so many people have to face that. We don't get to choose our endings.

So yesterday was spent watching a Godly man try to complete his journey to Heaven. I am a nurse and very practical. I have witnessed death and will again. It is not pleasant but it is a reality. Ashton also witnessed yesterday and I think that is a gift. He may not realize it now, but he will come to know that more in the future. He learned a lot about being a man yesterday. I am proud of him.

Emma has a lot of questions about where Pap is. I don't have any answers. How do you explain things like this to a 5 year old. She just knows that Pap's "sick is all better". She made a reference to pap being a butterfly since he has gone up to the sky. That is fine with me. We will deal with it as it comes.

So my mom, who is the strongest woman I know, will face a new chapter in her life. She is a woman of grace. We have shared some very intimate moments over the last few days. I spent 3 nights with her as we took care of him. That really is a gift. We laughed and cried and shared. Death is a journey and it is something that we all face. No one looks forward to it. You can be prepared spiritually but it is still hard to think about. But to be able to care for someone until the end is a gift. Tiring and trying yes, but a gift to get to hold that person's hand as they take their last breath and enter into the next life. That is truly a privilege. It is a sacred moment and I am glad that I was a part of it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Phone Pics

Emma got a gift card for Christmas and guess what she picks out while shopping. It was a toss up between Spider Man and a chainsaw. No dolls here.
I seem to take a lot of pictures of my girl when she is sleeping in the car. Why not, she just looks too cute.
Not the greatest pictures of these two, put I was practcing with my new IPhone.
Yes, another sweet sleeping picture.
My poor baby boy after he had his teeth out. I also have a video that is hilarious but I wouldn't subject him to that ridicule. Well, actually I would.

We had just enough snow a couple of weeks ago for her to play on the deck. She was loving it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A New Year Ahead

Yes, I know it has been FOREVER since I posted. Sorry. It's just been busy and when I started to post early this morning Blogger was doing something funny and I couldn't upload my pictures. Fortunately, there is a problem with the system because I assumed it was just me.
Life has returned back to some version of "normal". School is back in session, although today they were 2 hours late because of a chance of ice on the road and then they dismissed at 1:15 because of the chance of more ice. So far no ice, but we shall see.
Brady headed back to school today. He has enjoyed his break and Emma has become his new BFF. She has been in his room with him everyday and constantly telling him "Brother, don't close the door. Emma be right back". It has been adorable and I suspect they are both going to miss each other a lot. Even Ashton was a little bummed to see big brother heading back to school.
I started a new shift at work and had to work all weekend. The good thing is that I have several days off in a row and maybe, just maybe, I can get something done around here. That remains to be seen.
Life is a funny thing sometimes. During the holidays I had gone shopping one afternoon with the boys and one of their friends. It was a horrendous day. The wind was horrible. Unfortunately, when the boys were getting out of the car, the wind caught the door and slammed it in to the car next to me. It was actually the friend that it happened to, but that really is beside the point. Let me say, if you don't have teenagers, specifically teenage boys that you are insuring, you cannot possibly understand the panic you feel every time they get in a car. Insurance is more than expensive and unfortunately we have had a couple of hits on our policy already. To make a long story short, the sweet girl that was in the car next to me suffered a rather large dent in the side of her car. We exchanged information and after the holidays her mother called. We had the best conversation. Unfortunately it involved the estimate for the damage. After talking with our agent and each other it was decided it would just be cheaper for us to pay it out of pocket and so I spoke with the mother again today. It's so funny how people come in to our lives. Granted, I have not met this lady, but we have enjoyed talking on the phone so much. It was a very expensive way to make a new friend, but I am thankful that if the accident had to happen at least it was to someone very nice. Small world.
 Emma is using wrapping paper rolls as her skies. Pretty creative.
 Yes, that dress came from China and is a size 2. She was convinced it still fit. I have some jeans that I have felt the same way about.....
Emma helping Daddy make dinner Sunday. Love the shower cap
Poor Emma has suffered horribly from Eczema. We went to see Dr. H on Friday and he immediately diagnosed her with a Staph infection. He started her on medications and told me to start using a bleach bath twice a week. Yes, I know that sounds like something from the dark ages, but we did it and I seriously think it is helping. We also started using a new cream and I think that is making a big difference too. The bleach concept is to help reduce the Staph on her skin and I am on board so far. She did great keeping her head out of the water and granted she smelled a little strong when she got out, if it works, we can deal with it.