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.

Room 134 And Voices On The Radio

I’m working overtime today. Which is nothing new. I was in a funk when I first clocked in.

First, because today is my day off.

2.) This is my eighth straight day in a row.

3.) Once again, I was offered day shift. After sixteen years of working evenings, I had to decline. The way my husband, and I have our schedules work with raising Gabe. My husband works mornings, and I work evenings.

Working evenings, here at the home never ceases to amaze me. I’m always reminded, why I chose this shift.

My schedule was not my only reason.

1.) I wrote of LAUGHTER in my post: She didn’t leave me hanging

2.) I wrote of FAITH in my post: Nosy

3.) I wrote of  LOVE inside both of those post.

Back-paddle to earlier: I’m in a funk making my rounds around the building. One big circle. Karl is in his doorway

Ms. Lady Ms. lady

Could you come over here and help me write a letter? 

Sure I can.

Karl, has developed Dementia these last few years. I’m sure most of his memories are real. I’m just not sure of the timeline. As in, I’m not sure if these people are still living. I will do my best to find out, and I will mail the letter.

In the meantime I want to share with you good people.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin

When I first came to Fairfield many years ago. I heard the voices of you and your wife. Her name is Jen. I heard her voice first. I hope you two are enjoying your retirement? My name is Karl Graff. I would like to tell you about the circus we went to a long time ago. I’m trying to find somebody who knows how I can get the Guidepost on cassette. I forgot the gentlemen who took your place? I always enjoyed your voices on the radio they sounded so good!

Your friend, Karl Graff

 

 

Day Three Of Quote Challenge

I was nominated by Dru, to post three quotes for three days. This was a challenge. I thank you for thinking of me!

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I have learned over the last six years, how to “consider the source” this means you can’t take peoples snide remarks, and carry them around all day on the tip of your nose. I work a seven-day stretch, every other week. I will get Monday and Tuesday off, after the week-end, of my seven days. A lady, whom is a resident will say: “Shelley is this the week you get your two days off” I will tell her yes, and she will say: “you’re the only aid they give two days in a row off too, I asked the other aids why they don’t have two days in a row off and they said they’re not as special as you” she will not let me live the long vacation down. When the boss first started scheduling me with this huge vacation. I would explain, to my resident, why they had to schedule us the way they did. She would still, let me know, she didn’t think, the schedule was fair. She has been moved, three times from tables in the dining-room because she has bashed residents for personal issues about themselves. She told a resident the other day she had no business going to church, because she cussed and has a serious problem with over-eating. I know something has happened in this womans life. This by no means excuses her. I realize, it’s her, and not us!

 

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I clean for a woman, she is my boss at my job. Her daughter has a frame of this verse on her dresser. I think the verse is definitely, frame worthy. I think of certain issues going on in my life with my family, and my husbands ex-wife. I wish I could find my peace with both situations. I would love to go into detail and hear what advise you would have to give me but I can’t expose other people on my blog.

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I see why they call this a challenge. This has not been easy for me and I did not want to finish the job. I persevered!

Feel free to take part in this challenge if you wish!

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!

 

 

Life With An Earthling And Two Angels In Heaven

The day you were born, I didn’t hold you right away. The doctor showed you to me and then had to stitch me up. They pushed my bed through the lobby. Where your grandpa, uncles, aunts, and friends would greet us with smiles, and tears. They said how beautiful you were, and how much you looked like me.The nurse got me settled in my room and told me it would be an hour before they let friends and family in. They wanted the anatesia to wear off and monitor my stats. The nurse asked if I wanted to see you, I shook my head yes.

When she put you in my arms. I didn’t count your fingers and toes. I ran my hand over your face, arms and legs. I was in awe of the thickness of your skin. I not only, seen your hair, I lifted you up to my face, rubbing it up and down against my cheek. I rubbed my finger up and down your  perfectly in tact nose. The nurse was giving me pain meds, taking my vitals, checking my incision, and you were screaming your head off. I lied there, with you in my arms screaming. I wasn’t hearing a thing. The nurse must have had enough, because she came up to the head of my bed, put her arm around me, smiled and said, “I think he may be hungry”. We untied my gown to see if you would latch onto me but you wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding. They asked me if it was okay to give you a bottle, because your blood sugar tested low. In which I agreed.

Family and friends came in and took over. Holding you, feeding you, changing you, and enjoying a new baby like they should. I must have fell asleep during visiting hours, because when I woke up. The room was empty, except daddy he was asleep. I pushed the call bell to ask them to bring you down and they did. I tried waking your dad up but he was dead to the world. I grabbed you out of your warmer to  hold and enjoy you in my arms. I thought for a minute, the lining around your lips was turning blue but chucked it up to nerves, then it happened again. I called the nurse, I  yelled he’s “turning blue” they raced in, grabbed you, held you up to the light, turned you from side to side, shaking her head saying “I don’t see anything”. She handed you back and I was scared frozen. She left the room. I held you like I was balancing a spoon on my nose. I looked down at you, without moving my head,  your lips turned blue again. I yelled and they came running. They held you up to the light, and said “were gonna take him down to the nursery, we can keep an eye on him”. She didn’t tell me she agreed.  I asked, her what she seen?  She said “we will keep an eye on him”. The old, no jumping to conclusions move. I know this move all to well, and it’s not a good place to be standing.

That night, they came in, and told me and your dad that your oxygen level was dipping down into the forties. They had to keep you in the neonatal unit, to observe you. They kept oxygen, by your bed, in case they had to use it. They said once it lowered it would rise back up instantly and because of it rising up, you didn’t have to wear the oxygen full-time. This is also called destating, it happens to premature babies, although you weighed eight pounds and six ounces, you were big, but little. They delivered you at thirty-six weeks, there is forty in gestation.

I shut down, when they gave me this news. It was another punch in the upper left side of my chest.There was no reason, for no hope, but to a grieving mother it’s all or nothing. I have sat on pins and needles ever since that day. I have beat myself up over these last years, realizing you were behind and blaming myself for holding you to close. Checking on you through the night, making sure, I seen the rise and fall, keeping you from others without being there, in case someone decided to run off with you, driving by the school playground just so I can see that your alive and well. I realized as I sat in the doctor’s office with you earlier today and pondered on all these thoughts as I watched you jumping, skipping, and rolling around on the floor.

That you are my sunshine

My only sunshine, son, you

make me happy when

skies are gray

only God knows how much

I love you and I know he can

take you any day.

I hand his life over to you, because, even here on earth, with me. He is still yours, and he needs you just as much as I do.

I sat at my twin boys grave, that day in August. I closed my eyes, visioning,  Jesus, holding both of my baby boys in each of his arms, swaddled perfectly, in white. In that field of green, and the bluest of skies with peace that surpasses all understanding.

A Stranger, A baby, The Doctors Office, Any Thoughts?

I had an appointment, with the doctor’s office today. I left about 1: 40. I planned out which route I was taking and figured, I had plenty of time. I ended up being off on my directions. I realized I wasn’t making time like I should. I  started talking out loud to the drivers around me, my heart sped up, my breathing sounded like I just finished a marathon, I put my blinkers on and pulled over on the side of the road. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. Then decided to type the address into the gps. I thought about calling the office and telling them to forget it, but pressed on. When I got there, I rode  an elevator to the fourth floor. I checked in at the desk. They told me my doctor was one floor down, I went down to the third floor and checked in.

They called me back. They checked my vitals, asked me what was going on, and  ran a few test. I had asked them to refer me to a specialist. After giving me a new medicine; she asked if it was okay if they could get back with me tomorrow. They were a  nurse down and running behind. I told them it was okay by me. On my way out, I decided to ask the front desk for a doctor’s note, just in case my job wanted proof of my visit. The lady told me she would ask the nurse in the mean time, have a seat. It will be a minute.

I headed towards the back and couldn’t help but notice a  thin woman, with shoulder link, dirty blonde hair, and a baby seat at her feet. The baby was cooing, screaming, jabbering, and laughing at the fact his mom was in his presence. I sat down and he was making his joyful noise. I looked over contemplating to ask her if I could see him. I decided to leave well enough alone. I checked my email, social network, and games, I hear a woman say, “mam” I looked up. That thin blonde says, “My phone broke seven days ago can I use yours? I need to call my mom.”  Sure you can! She dials her number “Mom can you pick up Zoe? The doctor’s office is running behind. Matt says she’s been missing me lately.” I think her mom asked her again what she said, because she repeated Matt says she’s been missing me lately. They said goodbye. She handed my phone back, and said thank you. She said she had been sitting in the waiting room for a while. I explained that one nurse was doing the job of two. She said she was looking forward to seeing her daughter and that her daughter loved being a big sister.

She took about three steps back. Grabbed the car seat, putting this short, chunky, fuzzy, light red-headed, brown-eyed, hunk, of burning baby love. Right smack dab in front of this BABY FEVER MAMA!

He gave me that look, babies give when they don”t turn their head, just there eyes. We were both in a stare down. She whipped out her wallet, showing me her daughter, then tells me she has two more but they’re her husbands. I’m still in a trance with the baby and trying to focus on what she’s saying. I gave him a big smile and asked him if he had stranger danger, in my softest, overwhelmed with joy way. His mom is telling  me she lives with this baby boys father and his two kids. They have full-time. The state took the children permanently from their mother. We live with his grandma because she raised him since he was born. “How many children do you have?” I have one boy with my husband and he has two children with his ex-wife. “Does he see them a lot”  He sees them about four times a year, give or take a few. “I can’t have any more children, did you know, they take the whole fallopian tube out now, when you get a hysterectomy” no, I did not. ” Do you think you will have anymore” Well, I’m pushing forty more than thirty, my sources say, no. “I’m thirty-five and understand where you’re coming from” The baby begins to work up a fuss. She rocks him with her foot, it’s not helping, she bends down to pat his head and he starts crying. ” I didn’t want to bring him to my appointment today”  I asked my mom, my friend, and my boyfriend, all they had to do was sit with him while I went into the office” The lady from the front desk comes up and hands her gift certificates to the Bean counter, it’s a coffee shop. “These are for you, since you have been waiting a while”  She says: “thank you” and the nurse comes out and calls her name to see the doctor. “It was nice to meet you”  I said likewise. Then I bent down to that short, chunky, fuzzy red-headed, brown-eyed, hunk, of burning baby love, with my softest, overwhelmed with joy way and said it was nice meeting you more!

His cheeks shot up to his eyes, making them wider, brighter, just like he made my day!

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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Laughing To The Grave

Too Soon

Can anything be funny or are some things off-limits?

In my opinion, there are times you need to be serious and try not to make light of a situation. I also believe in serious moments, humor happens. Here are a few examples.

After our twins were born. The hospital gave us an option to have a visitation, people could come and see Willy and Gabe before they took them. I wasn’t for sure I was up to it or not but my husband had purchased mementos he wanted to give to everyone. That night all my friends, his parents, and brothers came up to visit. I was sitting up in bed, most of my friends were sitting on the side with me. A nurse who was assigned to my room when they first diagnosed my Premature Labor came in to tell me she was sorry to hear about my loss. She did this out of  genuine compassion because she was not assigned to me during this time. The whole room was quiet as she expressed her sympathy, which wasn’t easy at all for her to do. The only noise you could hear was people catching their breath and sniffing. My friend Sarah pats my arm, gets up off my bed, walks over and pulls a wad of kleenex out of the box and blows her nose like an eighty year old man in the doctor’s office with a hanky!  My friend Allison was the first one to laugh than me and after that there we all were!

I also chose for the hospital to put the funeral on for Gabe and Willy. Which took us to a cemetery here in town, it’s a big cemetery. They have a designated area for the babies, on top of a hill. You have to walk over another hill before you get to the top of this one. My mom, me and my friend Allison were watching people as they were trying to carefully walk down this muddy hill. One lady wasn’t so lucky as the mud got the best of her. To the ground she went and rolled like a barrel all the way down…

My dad is the serious one in my parents marriage. He secretly digs my moms humor, which sometimes involves him. Not long ago we were all out to eat together. We got on the subject of an acquaintance of theres who had a spouse that recently passed. They had found another companion. I asked my mom if she thought it was weird that she was “back in the saddle”. My mom says. “Shelley not at all, I’m engaged to be married the day after your dads funeral…” I laughed hard as my dad sat there shaking his head, rolling his eyes, and not even giving the slightest smile.

We have talked many times about where I work. My residents are Visually Impaired. When one of them passes on its hard for some of are residents to get out and go to their funeral. We have memorials here in the building in honor of the resident who passes away. This allows residents to be able to talk about their “good times”. We did this recently for “Jack” when he died. We had quite a few who came down. They sat in the dining-room. We have couches that make a square all the way around the room, They started from right to left, “Emmet” was on the other side which would make her last. They let everyone know that they had to wait their turn. Each one of the residents were standing up telling the preacher about one thing they remember doing with “Jack” or something funny he said. All the other residents and staff quietly sat and listened meanwhile Emmett was raising her hand, standing halfway up to try to raise it further, she would get tired of holding that hand up and start in with the other, grunting, moaning, whispering pick me pick me…

I call these “hold Ons” constellations to shine down on us in times of darkness giving us hope and a future.

 

Foster-Care

Recently On Life In My Tin Can I have written about conversations I have had with woman who were not ready for motherhood.

I believe some events in life set the sail for who we are and where were going.

I wrote this back in 2010 in a beginners writing class. I have been waiting to share it with you because I felt  you needed to see some of my backlog leading up to why I became a Foster-Parent. The teacher asked us to pick a paragraph out of the book we were reading “Dead End In Norvelt” and tie it in with our own life. I choose page 196 paragraph two.

 In such a fertile home devoted to beauty, love and understanding only one thing was missing-A child. My sister was a little too old for motherhood but in 1942 after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when Japanese Americans were being rounded up and sent to internment camps, a Japanese couple with a new baby arranged for their infant son to be adopted by my sister and her husband. This way the child would have a loving home and not have to be sent to prison camp and suffer the hardship and shame of that life. I remember that beautiful baby and the love my sister and her husband graced upon him. They had an angelic 6 months together until the federal government tracked that baby down and took him all because he was of Japanese origin An enemy of America in diapers.”

I can relate a bit to this part in the book because six or seven years ago I got my Foster Care license and fostered a little boy by the name of Jordan . He was around six weeks and weighed maybe a little over five pounds. I had only been a foster parent to one other little guy before Jordan his name was Thomas and I only had him for three or four weeks.

When I had gotten the call to see if I wanted an infant, I was so excited! Usually in foster care if you get a call for an infant seven times out of ten you will be able to adopt the child. So I made a few calls before picking him up. I called my mom for advice, did she think I was ready for this. I lined up a babysitter that I trusted for when I had to work. I wanted to be prepared.

When I went and got him at the State Office (DCFS) all by myself all he had with him was this plastic sack full of formula and diapers, and what looked like used stuff animals, and extra used clothing. I could not quit thinking of that plastic sack and how it spoke volumes of his abandonment and how very alone this child was. The things in that sack should have been his, picked out with him in mind new things to welcome him to a new place. He should not have to be checked out of a hospital into a state office, surrounded by strangers. In this moment I realized how sad I felt in a moment when I thought that I would only feel excitement. The fact that he didn’t realize any of this made the lump in my throat so much bigger.

At the time I did not have a child of my own, so this is the path I decided to take, because I so much wanted to be a mother. This is why, while in that state office I was so happy but so sad. Happy to have a baby to take care of but so sad about the cards he was dealt. I decided regardless of how scared I was to take him home, because of his medical history, addicted to crack and methadone, and born from an abruption because his mother decided she was going to do heroine one night which caused her to go into labor. I was just going to love him, spend my entire time holding, rocking, kissing and singing to him and I did throughout his entire detox, which would cause him to shiver and shake. I held him through two seizures. I took of work to stay and lay with him at the hospital. I just knew in my heart that love was the answer for him, and I gave him all of it for the six months that I spent with him.

Then the call came. There was a woman who wanted to step up and claim him. After the DNA testing was done she was his father’s mother. His grandmother had three of his brothers and she wanted him as well. I struggled with the fact that she decided to take him too. I felt that because she had three children already and because I didn’t have any; she should see that I would be the better choice for him. Why couldn’t she see that? Why was she so selfish? She had enough on her plate as it was with the three other boys, a full-time job, plus she was older and couldn’t keep up with his needs the way that I could. I know she felt that he should be there with her and with his brothers. They were his blood family.

Why is “flesh and blood” so important? Wouldn’t the whole process be much easier if they didn’t search for the “real” family? They could save a whole lot of time and money that way. Unfortunately children cannot just be distributed out to people just because they want a child so badly. I know morally that they shouldn’t be, but at the time those thoughts were a way that I could vent my frustration. If the world worked like that it would be better for people like me. In that fantasy, I found comfort.

The day they came to take him away, and drove away just like that, after all the heart that I put into this child, I cried in my mother’s arms like a baby. She just held me and let me cry, lost, powerless, helpless and empty, something you can’t feel unless you are there yourself. Children have a way no matter biological or not, if you let them in your heart you are never the same. The day he left I felt as if I gave him more than just a plastic sack. I gave him a stable place to live, a crib every night to sleep in, cloths that were fresh, food that was hot, and love to hopefully last that little guy a lifetime and with this said I too was also proud of what I gave him. Being a foster parent was bitter-sweet.

One Night In June

 Are you patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?

It was more towards the end of the month. when people start decorating for the fourth of July. We are from The United States. We had been out late this particular night and Gabe was still wound for sound. I told my husband to drive around for a few minutes he agreed. We drove down a road that seemed a bit more lit up with red, white and blue. Gabe pointed out “look mom it’s the American flag?” (He Is five.)

Mom: Yes Gabe

Gabe: Can we get out and say the Pledge Of Allegiance

Steve and I looked at one another like we didn’t know what he was talking about?  Steve whispered to me. “I thought they took the Pledge out of schools”

Me: I’m not sure… Gabe who taught you the Pledge?

My husband and son. They are laying down at a festival watching fireworks

My husband and son. They are laying down at a festival watching fireworks

Gabe: Mrs W

I told Steve we need to do as he asked us because of what it represents and to MYSELF and my HUSBAND it’s freedom, sacrifice, and God

Me: Park across the street in that vacant lot. We step out of the car, we put our right hand over our hearts and say the pledge. Gabe knew the whole pledge and never missed or skipped a beat. I was not only proud to be his mother at that moment (and many others of course.) I was also proud of the teacher who taught him about the flag and the pledge!