Jesus take the wheel

I’ve been blessed today to be able to accompany my son to his Jr. Beta convention.

Watching the talent segment a young lady began to sing “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood.

My son knows me well. He knew I would be in tears. He was sitting with his friends and looked up at me with deep concern in his gray eyes. I nodded and took a deep breath. Praying to hold it together in the gym full of BETA members and chaperones.

The lyrics touched me……
Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I’m on
Jesus take the wheel

The song was over. I took a deep breathe. I smelled thieves and Joy essential oils from my diffuser necklace.

Next, 2 young ladies walked up. The music started and within 2 notes my son looked up at me once again. This time he said, “Mom, don’t do it.” He KNEW I was about to lose it. One of the girls began “I heard there was a secret chord- that David played and it pleased the Lord…”

Oh no….hold it together, take a deep breathe., get out of here, don’t listen, look at facebook. Do SOMETHING! Anything to keep from losing it.- went through my head all at once.

On a good day I can’t listen to “Hallelujah” without crying. I can’t listen to kids sing without crying and I certainly cannot when I’m on the brink of tears every second of every day since my dads diagnosis.

I picked up my diffuser necklace and inhaled deeply and tears ran down my face. No one paid attention.

Next up, group talent. A group of three walked up and the young MC announced they were dancing to “Bulletproof” in honor of those effected by cancer.

What the —–? What is this? Why?!!!!!

I wanted a day with my son, to forget about life’s troubles. I wanted to enjoy him and his innocence and sweetness.

“Jesus take the wheel”, I said inside my head.

We got through the day. We had a blast. Pushing through the emotions to make it about what it was supposed to be. A mom and son day. That is exactly what it was and I will never forget it. I even embarrassed him by dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle” with his friends.

When you are dealing with a loved one diagnosed with stage 4 cancer it/ they NEVER leave your mind. (Atleast that is the case for me.) It’s almost like when you have kids and they never leave your mind. Everything reminds you of them.

I see gray- brain cancer comes to mind. I see a man with white hair- I think of my dad. A motorcycle drives by- my dad. My youngest wants to play with his tool set- my dad. Bud light- my dad. My house- my dad. One of the kids needs something and it’s not the best time for me- I think – if I could only have a few minutes with my dad. I give them a few more hugs and a few more kisses, always remembering what is most important. Our connection. Our love.

Today my phone rang. The name on the screen read “DAD”! I was so excited to answer the phone. My dad was calling me. Sitting in his hospital room and he thought to call me! I used to talk to him every day. I shared everything with him. We talked about everything. He would give me his opinion. He would show support. We shared so much of our lives. If something happened good or bad he was the person I talked to after my husband. That came to a screeching halt and I miss it more than imaginable.

I knew he would not sound great. I imagined he would sound tired and his speech would be weak again. When I heard his voice I had to fight back the tears. Hearing his voice was awesome. He is alive and we are talking! Hallelujah! He sounded weak, slurred. Heavy tongued is how I describe it. He was worse than at Christmas time. He asked if I knew about his seizures. We talked about his muscle strength. He said he loved me and wanted to talk to Handsome Hubby.

I hung up the phone In tears and have not recuperated.

A few days ago a friend told me she hoped I had someone to lean on right now. Someone to vent to. I simply replied “Thank you.” What else could I say?

I have my husband who is almost as emotionally vested in this as I am. My other ROCK is lying in his hospital room and needs me to be his rock.

JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!

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Newlywed Game

Today our teenage girls decided that it would be fun for Handsome Hubby and I to play the Newlywed Game. We were married in 2009 so I guess we might still be considered newlyweds.

They asked us a total of 16 questions.  We answered 2 differently.  I cannot say incorrectly because we interpreted the question differently. For example, one question was “What was the biggest surprise present he has given you?”  He answered,” A new car.” I answered, “A candle.” He forgot he even bought me a candle so many years ago and because he talked to me the whole time he was at the dealership buying me the car I didn’t think it was much of a surprise!

The other question we missed was, “Name something Cyndi does too much of.” I answered, “wash”. He said, “talk.” Oh well, we cannot win them all.

The other questions?

If you were going to bring a sweet treat to you husband/ wife, what would it be?

Who would your husband marry if he could marry any celebrity?

My spouse is a great _____, but a horrible ______.

My husband is a natural born ______.

My wife is a natural born _______.

Who is the better cook between the two of you?

Where was your first date?

How much did you spend?

If there was a fire I would grab_____. My spouse would grab _____.

You get the idea. It was a great reminder of our connection. We always are aware of our love for one another and do not take it for granted but this was a great way to show our children how connected and in love we are.  

 

 

Happy Days are here again but without Fonz

I’ve been way for a while. I actually have 4 posts waiting to be completed. Is it writers block? Maybe? Maybe I need to go back to the way the posts were originally written. Today would be “Terrific Tuesday”…..

With that thought in mind I would like to share my new Facebook page again– Happy Days Challenge. The page focuses on being happy everyday through out the day. According to the 100 Happy Days Challenge site we cannot be happy more thank 20 days in a row. This site disappointed me though. If you challenge someone to be happy for 100 days shouldn’t you help them along the way rather than set them up for failure? Happy
Days Challenge helps you learn to see differently, HAPPYily. The focus is on teaching you how to be HAPPY and then executing it! Please check it out. I would love the followers. I would love your HAPPYness!

Timing

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My paternal grandfather……

When I look at him I see the backbone of our family. That’s probably what most think of when thinking of their grandfathers. I’m not sure. Coming from a divorced marriage where both parents remarried as well as grandparents who were divorced and remarried you can imagine the sets of grandparents I had! Seeing pictures of them as children or anywhere near the age I am at the time always amazes me.

Who were they really? Don’t get me wrong I knew my grandparents but only as a child. Only what they wanted me to know, so to speak.

Well as usual I begin my topic in one direction and head another.

I received this picture in the mail today.

My paternal grandmother passed away in July. She was my last remaining grandparent and had suffered from Alzheimer’s for some years. My paternal grandfather passed away many years ago.

As a child I would go to my PopPops bedroom. The picture above was framed on his dresser. He met my grandmother, in uniform at A Niagra Falls photo shop. He told her he was off to war and would return in 1 year to marry her. He did exactly that. She immigrated from Canada to the United States. They had 5 kids, Army brats. They lived all over the world. I would look at this picture, try to imagine what his deep blue eyes had seen. I knew he had a rough childhood. Is that why he joined the Army. I wondered if he looked like this before he went to war or after. I didn’t know what the rankings were or metals.

He was my hero. My protector.

Although in reality arthritis had set in and he could barely move at times, he was a recovering alcoholic and not as
my imagination made him to everyone else, he was that perfect to me. He was MY POP POP! We counted rail road cars together, visited friends at the dry cleaners, went to the hardware store, bbq’d, tinkered in his shop, worked in his office which was his enclosed garage. We just hung out.

I was extremely blessed with a relationship like this with most of my grandparents. By the grace of God!

When my grandmother passed my dad asked if there was anything I wanted from their home. I told him of the picture. He was unsure exactly which one. He said he would do what he could.

Months went by. At my brothers wedding last weekend my aunt brought an envelope to my dad with a special something she saved just for him, as the eldest son. As my dad opened the envelope I began to see my new spark of light that comes in my right eye. I knew who the light was and I knew what was in the package. ( my spark of light just flew by as I typed this). He opened it. I said “that’s the picture”.

My youngest brother was standing there. The one I least understand. My dad held the picture up to him. The resemblance is uncanny. Timing is everything. I got the message that I needed to be more understanding and I received the picture. Oh and I finally figured out who my new angel was! Blessings everywhere!!!!

Would you be your friend?

Hey, y’all !

I have a simple question that truly requires a simple answer.

Are you or would you be your friend?

Some of us have thought about this before and others have not.
The ones that have not thought of this probably come with the hard shell that also doesn’t care what others think of them as well. Some could call them shallow, maybe egotistical. Others would say secure in who they are. Whatever the case may be, either you have given this thought or you haven’t. I say your life’s circumstances probably have not led you to ask this question if you haven’t. No matter what your core beliefs are at one time or another we question them. Well, I guess, I hope we all do, as that is a sign of growth.

A few days ago I wrote about perspective. My kids always put things into perspective for me. Simple pleasures put things into perspective. Enjoying traditions, for example. Getting hot water again after not having it since Thanksgiving ( as happened for us a week or so ago) puts things into perspective. Losing it soon after ( within an hour) REALLY put things into perspective. Waiting another week to figure out what the issue was, boiling pots and pots of water, me taking wipey baths and using (form the first time) dry shampoo puts our first world essentials into perspective.

Hot water seemed like nothing when both of my sons got sick. They had a 102-103 fever and the only other symptom was a headache. My brother at 6 weeks contracted encephalitis. Fever was his only symptom. My mom has had meningitis 3 times over the past 7 years. The 3 times occurred within 4 years. Needless to say, I do not like fevers, especially accompanied by a headache……perspective.

My oldest started with his first. He got better within 3 days. The youngest started as the oldest got better. He still has a low grade fever but seems to be doing well…..when your child is sick other things don’t matter. Your life shifts to caring for them. Your perspective on things is altered.

So to get back to my original question. As you see yourself, from your own perspective of you, would you be your own friend? If you met you would you like who you are?

I’ve asked myself this question, obviously. Looking at every nook and cranny of my being, soul searching, is time consuming as well as necessary. I have strained relations with most of my family ( there I said it…..that’s hard to admit) which has prompted my soul searching in my personal life. I could get angry and retaliate or I could become introspective. A few years ago, I would have beyond a shadow of a doubt retaliated. Not now. Why? Perspective. Believe me, I had some soul searching to do, I still want to defend myself and as much of a people pleaser I am I just want them to like me. But then I realized they never did. There is a phrase “it’s not about you”. I’ve realized their issues with me are not about me. Their issues are with them. There is nothing I can say to them to change that. Their perspective of life through their thought processes and circumstances has dictated to them the negative thoughts towards me. Unfortunately their perspective of the world is so tarnished that these people expect the worst out of people. Maybe they conduct their life the way they described what I supposedly did. Who knows? My perspective has not changed. Jesus has forgiven me more times than I can count and will continue to. Who am I not to do the same. I will continue to live my life as I do. Live for my husband and kids. The perspective of someone who has lost much and knows how fragile life is, knows how deep someone can physically and mentally hurt and knows the power of The Lord is priceless.

Would I be my own friend? For sure. Do I like myself? Absolutely.

How about you?

I’ve turned into my dad

Growing up I spent holidays and summers with my dad, step mom and brothers in Texas. Living year round with my mom, until she remarried when I was 12. I was then gifted with 3 other siblings with her marriage. Growing up an only child, being a latch key kid was all I knew. When I went to my dads, my step mom was a crafty, hands on, thrifty, and quite strict. Strict compared to what I was used to.
Examples? I had to make my bed immediately upon waking up and not touch it for the rest of the day. I did the dishes, by hand, by myself at 8 years old. No laying on the furniture. She taught many things too. I learned to cooks many things from her as her cooking style is much different than my moms. I learned to sew, cross stitch, latch hook, paint ceramics, iron and clean, as well as how to be a wife. Greeting my dad with a smile, serving him first, making sure he was well cared for, for example. Learning from my mom and my step mom made me well rounded. I’m very fortunate.

My visits with them got harder as I got
older. I didn’t want to leave my friends. I always went. I remember not going for the whole summer when I got into high school but still a majority.

My dad was a United States Border Patrolman. He loved undercover
work. He received many awards for it. We had death threats with armed guards outside the house a few times. He saw it all- enough crack houses, dead bodies and horror to be scared for his kids.

During my short visits my dad did all he could to teach me life skills. I would refer to this as S & D talks. Sex and Drugs. Sometimes we sat at the dining room table or took a drive to the ranch. At the table he usually had materials. ( pictures of gang tattoos I needed to memorize in case someone hurt me I could possibly identify them by their tattoo, we updated my photos, changes on scars or freckles and i saw pictures of missing teenage girls, for example) On the drives we usually ended up in a drug laden area. I have seen drug deals, a guy put his crack on a spoon,
melt it and shoot up. I have seen a lot through pictures and our drives.

He didn’t filter his words. He said what he meant and meant what he said.

At 13 the basics were:
1. Boys will tell you whatever they want to get down your pants. Don’t believe them.
2. If a boy gets his hand in your shirt, he knows he can get in your pants.
3. Boys will never tell the truth of what really happened. If you let him touch your breast he will say he f***** you. Your reputation will be ruined.

There were more.

At 15 the basics were all of the above plus he added talk about the use of alcohol.

1. Don’t drink — if you drink make sure you get your own. Someone can put something in it– drug you, rape you.
2. If you have a drink, never leave it alone, keep a top on it and drink from a straw. Someone will drug you and rape you.
3. Don’t take candy from anyone. ( here he showed me pictures of all the drugs that looked like candy). Showed and explained what they did to you.

This scared me enough to never do a drug and break up with a boyfriend at the age of 23 for smoking marihuana.

As well as more

At 16/17:
All of the above continued plus car safety:
1. Check under the car as you walk up to it
2. Don’t get in it if there is a van parked next to you.
3. Check the backseat before getting in even if the car is locked
4. Before walking in the parking lot. Stop look around, carry yourself proud/ strong, put your sharpest key in between your index and middle finger as if it were a knife ready to stab.
5. If someone tries to rob you, throw your stuff at them and run
6. If someone tries to rape you pee and poo on yourself. If you can throw up, do it.
7. Don’t get close to the car in front of you at an intersection. Car jacking’s happened a lot then. This gave me an escape.
8. Don’t pull over for a police car in a secluded area. Turn on your flashers so he knows you know to stop and wait until you get to a well populated, well lit place.
9. Don’t ride with your windows down.

I could go on and on.

As you can see he really instilled this stuff in me. These talks came every visit. Who knows how they saved me.

My how the table has turned!

I now have a 14 year old daughter. She lives with her mom full time. We are seeing her less and less. It’s understandable. But when we get her I am my dad all over again except I have to add social media safety to my talks.
Q

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We as parents these days, as I’m sure every generation before us has said, have our work cut out for us. Teenagers these days have their work cut out for them. As long as we do our human part by having an open dialogue, teach our children how to be safe and the realities of life as well as take every safety measure possible to protect our kids we have to give the rest up to faith. We cannot live in fear. We have to show our children and the universe we have ABSOLUTE FAITH in both of them.

Thanks for reading! I would love your comments!!!

Here are a few social media safety tips. I made up my own but wanted to post a link social media contract.

Here are mine specific for one daughter They are not just social media specific. Each child is different. I think each child needs their own.

1. I understand these rules can be changed at any time.

2. I will be respectful of myself, my family and my life. Therefore, I will only post POSITIVE, uplifting comments or pictures. If I am not sure, I will ask.

3. I will ask before downloading ANY app.

4. I will give my mom/dad/ cyndi ALL account usernames and passwords. I understand they can and will look at the accounts periodically.

5. If I want to join a new social network I will ask for approval from my mom or cyndi FIRST.

6. I understand my mom, dad, or cyndi will follow me, etc on all social media accounts.

7. I understand that ALL of my accounts will be PRIVATE and set to the safest settings possible and I will not change the settings for any reason. I will ask if I need to.

8. I agree that I will post, tweet, etc 5x a day per account. For example, 5 tweets a day, and 5 Instagram posts a day. You can ask for permission for more — permission will be granted or not based on current grades.

9. I will not have my phone at the table when I eat any meal as a family.

10. I can use my phone to go to sleep. I will only listen to music. I will put my phone in AIRPLANE mode to avoid getting texts. – if your mom allows.

11 I will keep my phone put away at school at all times. No excuses.

12. I will tell my mom/ dad or cyndi about any bullying and will not respond.

13. I will not post pictures of a place I’m at until I leave. For example, if I’m at the movies with my friends and take a picture I will post the picture after I leave the movie. This is for my safety.

14. I will not take a picture or be in a picture I know my mom/ dad or cyndi would not approve of.

15. I will find my inner leader and help my friends make great choices too.

16. I understand my social media persona is my reputation. It stays with me, other parents even teachers see it. It stays with me FOREVER. Once something is posted and someone sees it, that creates their idea of who I am, even if I delete it. Good colleges, jobs and even high school organizations look at my social media accounts. I want to show them who I am.

Consequences of breaking the rules:
Lose your iphone for good
Pay early termination fee -around $300
Pay for your own “firefly” phone for safety reasons.

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Mommy Monday

If you happen to follow me ( which I totally appreciate!) you can probably tell that some posts are better written than others. ( At least I hope some would
be considered good!) Some literally take me a few days to write because of my method.

My method: write, play with kids, write, clean the toilet, write, maybe go to the grocery and write some more alternating until the post is complete. Then there are typos I notice after the fact and I have to update the post.

Some, are written late in the evening when nothing is stirring not even a mouse. Those are more off the cuff. Not much time is spent re-reading, adjusting content layout, etc. These are sometimes my more “deep” posts.

Mommy Monday—

When the thought of this day came to
me for the blog,ideas were flowing. It seems now I have nothing.

To be honest, it is hard to write about taking care of yourself first when you
don’t do it yourself. I feel like a hypocrite. That’s the last thing I want. Having everyday ideas of how we can take care of ourselves is one thing. Actually doing them another.

I’m not one to spend family time or family money on manicures and pedicures. I received a pedicure as a birthday present- $50. It lasted 2 days. I can’t see getting a pedicure once a week , biweekly or monthly. When I have all the disposable income in the world I can’t see me getting mani/pedis. To each his own.

My Achilles heel? Office supplies, organizational supplies. Give me unlimited funds, I will most likely buy every container, folder, different colored paper, label machine, file cabinet and folders I can get my hands on. A cricket machine? Dream!!! Laminating machine? Yes! PLEASE!

So my point is we are all different. What works for you to make you feel good and whole might not work for someone else. What is important is we figure out what we enjoy that we can do everyday.

Here’s my list:
1. Write either the blog or on my book
2. Organize a section of the house. It might be 1 drawer but its something.
3. Take a bath BY MYSELF, if possible. They are usually taken with my 3 year old in the back living it up and honestly me too. These days are short lived!
4. My bed has to be made as soon as handsome hubby and I are up.
5. Spend as much alone time as possible with each child and handsome hubby. Sometimes, it’s 5 minutes! But I do make an effort and they know it.
6. Last but not least, I need to read something uplifting, motivating, enriching, thoughtful.

Simple.

What’s yours? What do you NEED every day??

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