Another Resident, Says Goodbye

I want to tell YOU, we said goodbye to Karl, last week. He was 86, give or take a few.

I will spare you the descriptive details.

Karl, had Liver cancer. He told me, and my co-workers when he found out he was dying. He did not want anyone feeling sorry for him. This blog is my way, of honoring him the best way I know how.

Karl, lived at our home for over thirty years. He was partially sighted, legally blind in our state, and the state he was originally from. In his younger years when the home was located on South 5th street. He would lead about four or five residents down to a restaurant called the “Chile Parlor.”

One resident told me: We would sit there and eat lunch together. When we were done he would walk us down to Travers, for ice-cream”.

She also told me when he was in the singing group. They had a song they sang, about the states. When they sang about Iowa, he would loudly, sing: Iowa Iowa where the tall corn grows!) and everyone would laugh, during singing practice.

He would always tell you what was going on in our home, gossip style.

Did you hear: Elle (our activity director) switched positions?

What do you think, of men dressing up in women’s clothing? 

Did you know, so and so cheats on his wife? 

Are you still married, do you have children?

He enjoyed all kinds of music, and ordered talking books, all the time. He had a stack of 6 to 7 blue cartridges waiting to be played on his counter. He was always pulled right up to his player, with his chin touching his talking book player which sat on his counter, blaring to smut. He even would adjust the speed of the player to slow motion. We could hear his player down the hallway.

I have worked for the home, sixteen years now. I work with a lot of the same residents, and staff. When a resident dies. I feel as though the home is picked up off the ground, and just THROWN down. The view out our windows of the green trees, flowers, and sun are cropped. The sun from the east side don’t shine in as bright as it once did. The hallway is colder, and un-level, making my rounds harder on my feet.

A few nights before Karl passed away. He shared with me: I have enjoyed my life here, Shelley. I’ve had a lot of laughs, and met some really good people.

Grace

Have you guy’s ever had Mrs.Freshly’s Pecan Twirls? I love to put butter on them, heat them up, and have them with my coffee.

On weekends, when my grandma was living. I would stay the night with her, and in the morning we would wake up, and she would fix us a plate of these rolls, with a cup of coffee. We would sit at her kitchen table and chat like friends.

Those deep belly talks we would have damn near made me feel like I was on vacation. I know YOU know what I’m talking about because anyone who has a friend knows what a good talk can do for you.

My grandma, as I got older, opened up a  bit about her life, not her whole life. She would say: “some things are none of your business.” She did share more insight about her family though. I asked her during one of our talks. Why, her side of the family was not as welcoming as she was?  Her eyes peered right into my eyes, her lips pressed against each other, forming a slight smile, barely opening her mouth.

“Shelley, are you trying to tell me my family is stuck-up?

We both let out a chuckle, and she sits quietly for a moment pondering if she’s going to move on with the answer, and she did. She told me not to focus so much on what I seen on the surface of people’s lives. No one has a perfect life, and NONE of us our perfect or better than anyone else.” Then she let me in on a few facts to support her argument. I won’t share those facts, just in case my blog goes viral, and gets into the wrong hands….

The other day, a lady from a few towns away from me, posted a video on fb. The video, went viral. She tells us in the video about her, and her husband going to Dairy Queen to take advantage of Free ice-cream cone day. They decide to sit outside because of the warm weather we were having. They were talking and enjoying their cones, when a car full of guys STOP in the middle of traffic to yell “enjoy your ice-cream you fat blip.” She spends fifteen minutes crying, and decides to go live on fb. Her message, touches on how WE don’t know anything about her, or the fact she’s been on a diet for almost two years. She also brings up where she’s at mentally in her life. She ask them.”What if your words were the straw that broke the camels back?” She clarify’s: she’s not in suicidal place, but what if she was at that point? Then she goes on to tell them she prays for them, and don’t hold any grudges!

The message I GOT from her. Is she was sticking up more for  others. This tells ME more about who and where she is in her life. The guys in the car were WRONG, by all means. I’m not going to go and on, about these guys. Unfortunately, this will do no good, for ME. I will only become, furious. I’ll say things I have no right saying.

I have no POWER to take back, what THEY said, neither does anyone else. They may, or may not resent how they made her feel.

I pinched this girl once when I was in school. The kind of pinch you only take a tiny piece of skin, and dig your two nails, into what you got a hold of. I knew it hurt. Her eye’s instantly let out these huge tears, along with a cough, because she couldn’t catch her breath. The teachers rushed over, asked her what happened, grabbed me by the arm, and marched me down to the principles office. I can’t tell you to this day, why I pinched her. The teachers, and principle spent the day trying to figure out, why I would do such a thing. They made me apologize, which was understandable. I wasn’t sorry though.

I woke up one day in my twenties, and have thought about that day ever since. I can’t tell you the time, and places. I think about her, or that day. I will tell YOU this.

Amy,

I’m so sorry I hurt you physically, and emotionally that day. I realize YOU might have moved on from that day. I though, will remember YOU till my dying day. We were friends, and I betrayed you. I hope you can forgive me. I understand if we can’t hang out, that is not what this is about. This is about, grace.

I know EVERYONE, could use, some GRACE.

Christmas Eve, And Christmas Day

I would like to share how our Christmas went. This was the first year, my husband had his children here on Christmas. We had them the day after Christmas last year, and we were grateful. This year even more so, because all of our kids were together on Christmas morning.

Gabe, woke up at about 12:30 a.m and informed me Santa had been here. He climbed into bed right beside me, and was shaking to the point I thought something was wrong. I asked him if he was alright? 

Yes, Mom I’m so excited!

He did tell me his legs were hurting. He gets growing pains during the night. (The doctor is aware and has told me they’re growing pains). We got up to get him pain reliever, and as we walked through the kitchen, he stopped, and stared into the living-room at our small white tree, with gifts underneath.

I could stand here all night, mom!

I chuckled, gave him his medicine, and told him we had to go back to bed. I drift off for about an hour and a half and wake up to him telling his brother:

I got another Bowser amibo! 

I slapped Steven  awake, and told him their in their opening presents! He hops right up like someone is breaking into the house. Before he leaves the room, I said don’t yell their excited. I hear him say:

Did you open all your gifts without us…

Gabe, continued to tell him what he got. He pushed him back to bed, and told him to not get up until morning.

They all woke up around 8:00 a.m and we watched them open their presents. I was worried, because a few of them had a bit more than the other. Neither one of our children said anything about their amount of presents.

This was also the first year, I did Christmas dinner. Steve asked me if we could have dinner here since he had to take the kids back the next morning, I agreed. I kept dinner real simple, especially being my first time. We had a ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green been casserole, and rolls. I burnt the rolls.

I sipped on Bailey’s’ while I cooked. It felt good, to know, I had two more days off to spend  with my family. Steve’s Mom helped me clean up, and do dishes. She said I did a nice job, and that this was the first time in twenty-two years she had off the hook from having Christmas dinner at her house.

My Step-daughter, practiced her flute downstairs, and I watched. She is making great progress. She played a favorite of mine.

I dreamed a dream

When she was done, she went upstairs to call her Mom. She told her Merry Christmas, and asked her if they could stay one more night. Her Mom said, Yes.

I must admit.

This was a great Christmas.

He used all the good notes!

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For Some, The Bell Still Rings

A few days before Christmas. A few of the residents asked the CNA if she’d be working on Christmas? She cleared her throat, caught her breath, as she guided five (Visually Impaired) residents into the dining room for supper.

“Yes” she hollered!

A few of the residents, cheered. They told her about gifts their family sent them in the mail. They asked her if she would stop by their rooms, and sit with them so they could open their gifts with her? She said she would be glad too, she only had forty other residents to take care of!

She worked straight through the morning without sitting down to drink her traditional spiked Egg Nog!

Finally, lunch was over, and her choirs were done. She headed down to Karl’s room. She called him Karl because he reminded her of the main character off of the movie  Sling Blade. He  was about three inches shorter, hunched  over, and sounded like him when he talked.

She went into his apartment, and he asked her to grab his box on the bed? She put the box on his lap, and sat directly across from him. The box was taped up on all four sides. He worked hard trying to the pull the tape off himself, for sometime. She didn’t offer to help him right away, she could tell by the smile on his face he was enjoying the fact he had something to open.

He turned the box to each corner to see if one side was easier than the other. He stopped a few times, bringing the box up to his ear and giving the box a shake. She asked him if he would like help? He replied in his raspy, nasally, loud voice, yes! 

She opened one side of the box, and gave it back to him. He ripped the other side open himself, and quickly tossed the wadded paper out that had been put in for padding. The aid could see there was individual presents inside for him to un-wrap.

Karl, was so excited about getting his box open. He pulled his first present out of the box like a rocket-ship over his head, then waved the gift with victory!

look what I got, look what I got, look what got!

Laughing To The Grave Part III

My mind, has more, than five or six subjects racing around the groves of my brain, at high-speed. I can catch flickers and share those easier, with you.

My friend Chris and I have been friends for almost thirty-years. She can still make me laugh, to the point of tears.

We were on the subject, of her moms second marriage. Which took place when she and I were growing up. She was telling me, when they moved into their first home. Her step-dad, immediately started to finish her a room in the basement. She said, he could not get her down there fast enough. She lived down there all through high-school. When her brother, the son of her mom, and step-dad, grew up. He told his mom, he would like, her old room, in the basement. When their mom mentioned this to his dad, He said: “absolutely not, that basement is a death-trap!”

When my husband gets his feathers ruffled. He has a tendency to puff up the upper part of his chest. A few weekends ago. He was mowing the lawn. He hit a valve on the air-conditioner, it started leaking anti-freeze! When he came in, and told me. I made a snide remark to him, to slow-down. His fist was still down at his sides, as he bawled them up and puffed out his chest. (think of Pop-Eye and how he used to stand.) To fuel-the-fire, I puffed up  my chest, and put a bit of a twerk on the move to exaggerate and lighten up the situation. He then, in turn, battles my move. He throws his shoulders back so hard, his pearl-snaps came un-done and he pulls off an Incredible-Hulk move!

A fb friend of mine, who I barely know. She was having a few problems, which is not funny, I know. The reason you could tell something was wrong is because she was posting a post every five minutes. She was blasting people, and things they had done years ago. She received a message from her inbox, a lady who told her “get back on your meds” she gave us the name, of the woman, who sent her the message, on a post. The lady’s  last name was Dick. She said in her post, “it isn’t a wonder her last name is what it is.”

We had company yesterday afternoon. She showed up, and my son had just got, into the shower. We were standing in the kitchen door-way which also faces the bathroom. I seen him grabbing a towel, as he put the towel around him. He yells: “Keep distracting her mom!”

I got a selfie stick from a co-worker, last week. I went to my parents house and we gave it a whirl!

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Day Two, Of Three, Quote Challenge

I have been nominated by Dru, to post three quotes for a three-day challenge. Thank you, Dru, for thinking of my blog. If you haven’t noticed my writing is like the process of sap collection to make maple syrup.

I have a guy friend, he asked me: “Why can’t I find a woman who wants a relationship” this quote came to mind. When I told him he chuckled. I said maybe you should try to give the girl you’re looking for a break. She’s not perfect and neither are you my friend. I was shocked, a few months later. He brought over his better half to meet me. I had to look away, to chuckle. Not because of her. Because, I think, he took Henry’s advice!

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If there is one thing I want to do on my blog its to be honest, not with you but with myself. The truth may hurt my readers or you may have honed in on my feelings by now. I can hardly stand to type or write. I find writing time-consuming and a lot of work, especially typing as slow as I do. I will say after a few paragraphs or three, I’m in my element. Writing does not come easy for me. However, I feel I can express my feelings better than I can when talking.

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I love, Corrie ten Boom, I love her book The Hiding place. Her faith in Jesus seen her through dark times. When she was in the concentration camp. Jesus flooded her mind with names of people. She prayed for all the people Jesus showed her, in her mind, to pray for. Not only was she saving lives by praying. He saved her life too.  She say’s “There is no hole to deep, where gods love is not deeper.” When I read her words, to Jesus. She puts a new perspective on my past. Thinking about my babies. One that every now and then, will haunt me. “If Only” I would have tried, to hold them inside my womb for another week maybe they would have lived? With August fourth slithering  around the corner. Memories roll down my face, creating a pool, that I could drowned in. I lift my chin out of the water. Enough to reach the heavens and give my “If Only” to Jesus over and over again and he saves me from the Hell created inside my mind.

I challenge any one of my readers who would like to participate, in this challenge!

 

 

Eighteen Years Ago

You called me, and asked me to give you another chance. You said, you would call me when you got off work. Nine, ten, eleven twelve, and one came and went. I turned out all the lights in my apartment. I walked down the quiet, dark, hallway. I laid across my four-post bed. The black night, was a spotlight, on the white, cordless phone. I dialed up the story line, and played it over and over, hoping for the beep, letting me know, I had another call. And I would click over to my happiness. I don’t know, how long, I held on to the phone that night. I do know, how long, I have hung on to you.

I ran into you, a week ago today, since you left me hanging that night. Clearly, seeing you took me back like it was last night and here is MY story.

I was fresh out of high-school, a late bloomer to the core. It was the second time I kissed a boy, and the first time my body moved in ways I wasn’t quite familiar with. You wanted to take it a bit further, but I wasn’t ready. We were up all night long.We repeated the same scene the next night. In the morning I went home. You came by my house to tell me you were going back to the town. Witch was thirty-miles away. No, it was not far. But for a girl who only had her license for a few weeks, and her first car. I had never left town on my own. And, you had no car.

I lived with my parents, and worked at Subway. You called, around ten every night. I can’t for the life of me remember what we talked about. However, it was brief. My best friend  took me up to see you one Friday. When we got there you came running out. You had  black, shiny, straight hair. Your bangs brushed your eyelashes, your white pasty skin was a beautiful backdrop for your sky blue eyes and you kept  them open when you wrapped your arms around me, pressing your forehead against mine and whispering how you missed me.

We crammed into my friends Taurus and drove around the big city for a while. I cannot remember where we went, but I was on your lap the whole way. We played R. Kelley the whole time, you sang certain lyrics in my ear. The contact-high I was getting inside that car, made me feel like our lives together were the only ones on earth. I felt nothing, saw nothing, wanted to do nothing, except you.We got back to where you were staying, and my friend told me we had to leave. We went into the laundry-room and said our goodbyes. I can still see your smile, the way you stared right at me with your eyes, the way you ran your hand up in down my cheek and told me how nice it was to see me, you couldn’t wait to see me again.

I got home that night, and we talked briefly on the phone. I worked the rest of the week and you called every-night. We disgust me coming up on my own for the week-end. I was scared shitless, it was gutsy move, and my parents knew nothing about my planned get-a-way. You gave me directions. They must have been easy, because I made the drive. Until I got to your town and missed my turn. You seen me miss my turn and hopped in the car with your grandma. I looked up in my rearview, and you were running after me, waving, and chasing me down, like I was about to go off a cliff. I stopped my car, in the middle of the road and you told me to “scoot over I will drive”. We barely came up for air the whole time I was there. However, the conversation, you did bring up, was your time limit at your cousin’s house. You both had been staying with your cousins dad. He had given you BOTH a time-limit to get a job. If you could not find a job. You had to find somewhere else to live. We did go over a few places you could put your application in. I named a few fast-food places I seen on the way up to your house, you told me you had filled them out for those places I mentioned. When I got ready to leave my car wouldn’t start. We had to call my dad. When I told him where I was. He said  “find a way to get your ass home”. We looked at each-other and both decided I would stay one more night. The next day you got the car running and I went home.

The next night at work I never got your call. I did not think nothing of it, until the next night you didn’t call. After that, my chest felt like it was cut open, placed on the outside of my body, with someone tightly squeezing. The next few weeks went by, was like watching a movie in slow-motion. The reason, I did not call you at the time, is because it was long-distance. I was able, on my next day off to go over to a family members house of yours. They lived in the same town. We tried to call and only got a machine. She ended up getting a hold of me after a few days. She let me know you were staying with your sister. When I was able to get to a pay-phone you wasn’t there either.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpkS2DU_qMs

“Like sands through an hour-glass, these are the days of our lives”

To Be Continued

 

 

 

 

 

10 Minutes Ago

I gave Emmet her medicine. She asked me to look up a song by Skeeter Davis. The name of the song is called “Oh The Loneliness Goes On And On And On”. I could not find it anywhere for her on YouTube? I asked if she knew the album it could be on, she shook her had no. She asked me to name the albums that did come up. I named the albums plus a few of the songs on each one, one of the songs were “Tell Laura I Love Her”. She asked me to play that and then play “The Answer Song”.

Me: What is “The Answer Song”

Emmet: “Tell Tommy I Love Him”

If you haven’t listened to them, you should, sometime.

I found the song and played it for her. My curiosity got the best of me as I sat and watched her sing the song word for word, her neck tilted, and her hands on her heart.

Me: Emmett, do you think of anyone in-particular when you listen to all these love songs by Skeeter Davis?

Her: Yes, well I used to anyway. We broke up a while back ago. You remember Archy Bunker?

Me: Yes Emmett, I do. What happened with you two?

Emmett: I can’t talk about it, it wouldn’t be right.

Me: Ooo, come on

Emmett: Well on our “last Date” (which by the way is another song by Skeeter Davis) Archy, he passed gas and the Odor was too much…

Million Dollar Night Gown

This post is older. I wanted to share it with you. I have gained three or four more followers since. I also wanted to thank all of you for following me and all your encouragement. You know how to make a gal feel welcome.. I have enjoyed your journey’s as well and look forward to many more of your post. Thanks again.

Life In My Tin Can

As a young girl my grandma helped my dad out a lot on the weekends. When my dad had to work. On Friday’s she would come to get me and my brother.

My grandma was a bit more laid back then my father with getting our way. We’d   go shopping for clothes, toys, and out to eat. You know the things most grandmas do?

She always enjoyed having us stay over.

The second you walked into her house it was like walking into a different world. She would greet us with a smile and hug. My childhood troubles would be lifted like a book-bag loaded with seven or eight books at her door. She would ask questions about our lives. What our you working on in school? Do you like your teacher? hows your dad been? I would answer her questions but tell her more about the bullies in…

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