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.

Long Time No Talk

I know how much you’ve missed me… I’ve been missing you too. And that’s on the real.

I think, all of you, will be happy to know, I’m reading my second book since the year 2009. I’m bound and determined to finish what I’ve  started. I ask that you stay with me, through my hiatus?

The book I’m reading, is “fiction”.

To tell the truth I’m not a fan of fiction. I thrive on real life stories of people who have survived addictions, abuse, and illnesses.

I love when people dig into themselves and all their obstacles life has given them.

The book, I’m reading, might be based on SOME truths. In my opinion!

I believe the Lord does give us visions and dreams. I have written about them in some of my blogs.

Yes, the book is about an encounter with God!

One time, I dreamed, I was walking on clouds in the sky.Walking cotton ball after cotton ball. For miles.

To my right there were tables with blinding white tablecloths. There were people of all kinds surrounding these tables.

They all had porcelain skin, skin so radiant their glow would guide you through any black night. They were watching me, and I them.

The walk didn’t seem to bother me.

I felt time on my side, and nothing hanging on my shoulders. I felt like a piece of fuzz from a dandelion someone blew into the air.

The people whom turned my head, appeared the same way.

In front of me, far into the distance.

I seen a woman with her hand up. She waved back and forth, like a flag in a gentle breeze. At first I squinted my eyes, and forehead, in wonder, who this could be?

I got closer, and  recognized my Grandma.

She looked to be in her late forties early fifties. Her skin smooth and radiant just like I described the other people to you..

Her hair was short, black, thick, freshly, curled, and set. I waved back at her as she stared into my eyes, with that smile that lit up her cheeks. I had to keep moving with the clouds and she kept moving too, staying in the distance, letting me know she’s always with me.

A GIFT from God, I BELIEVE to get me through the times we are not together…

Fiction or Non Fiction?

You’re FREE to decide.

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!

If-I-waiting-e1468896525915

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.

IMG_1594

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.

Introducing, Freebird16 To The Platform

I want to introduce YOU to my dear friend.

I will try my best to give you an intro without spoiling anything she would like to write about. The name of her blog is Freebird16. She writes about being newly divorced, abuse, and love. I have been friends with her for six or seven years now. We met at work, the job I often talk about. We have sons who are around the same age and they have given us something in common. We started out meeting at the park with our boys, then she had my son and I come over. She guided my faith in Jesus, and confirmed to me that my dreams, and visions were real. She cried with me on more than one occasion about the loss of my twin boys. When she told me about her mother being sick, and how she would lie with her in bed, I knew she was someone I would want to spend my time knowing. I think you would as well. Please when you have a minute welcome her the way you have me. You as well have much to give. Even if it’s just a piece of advice, it will go a long way. Thank you

Freebird16, I would like to introduce you to some of the blogs, I roll with!

 

Hometogo, Dian was the first blogger who followed me. She showed me how to find and create a layout, how to create an about me page, how to tag, and also supported me through a few dark post, she did this not even knowing me and I-am grateful to have come across her. I wouldn’t be the professional, popular, blogger, today without her. She has gone through a lot this past year and does not post as much as she used to. When she does she talks about depression, family, her single mother, and her life with her husband.

Raspberry’s Daydreams, Raspberry was my second follower. She has read and commented on my blogs from the beginning. She’s encouraged me with her comments and responded with heartfelt concern. I dig Raspberrys photos, food, and marriage. The fact she lives in Singapore makes her life even more interesting.

Hummingbird Redemption, Raphael is someone you want to follow as well. She has an amazing survival story, she home schools her daughter, and they’re constantly out on the town exploring and learning. Her writing is just as eccentric as she is. She grabs the heart usually in the middle of her post, I love how she twist and turns your heart in her writing.

Thelonerose, She is good people. I think you may be following her, but I still want to mention her blog. She has lost it all. She has a way of writing on grief that I can’t explain but it’s moving. She lets you in on her every day life all the way down to the guy who delivers her groceries. I also like that she gets involved with her readers and involves you in her walk. She’s down to earth and if she lived near me. I know we would have coffee and hang out.

DearLilyJune, She writes life lessons of what she has learned to her daughter. She writes on mental illness, marriage, love, and lots more. Her writing is clean, she’s descriptive, and always heartfelt. She is another gal, I think we could be friends in life. I will tell her now why I have the chance. We are both in the Mid-West just so she knows…

Last but not least

Opinionated Man, You will learn a lot of do’s and do not’s, you will meet other bloggers, and he will be a voice in your head, if you can roll with his flow. You don’t have to agree with everything. I have taken his advice on several things when it has come to my blog, He didn’t steer me wrong at all. He always gets back to you when you ask questions and he’s busy but always makes time.

Enjoy yourself freebird, blogging takes time. I think if you stick with it, you will find people like yourself. If it’s just a few, it’s the greatest thing in the world to meet people who understand where you’re coming from.

 

I wrote

The last post  to build more story, Does anyone else use this method?

It was hard trying to keep some sort of normalcy for Gabe while “Saltine Cracker” was fighting for his life. My friend Audra, named her, her first name. We finished her middle and last. We bought her at Pet Smart when she was Ten weeks old. She had light green feathers, two or three red feathers under her right-wing, a black tail, with a black cap head and a sweet disposition. Gabe ruffled those green feathers of hers one to many times. Towards the end of her life if she was out of her cage. She enjoyed sitting by him and watching his every move. When he “tried” to pick her up she would peck him! She loved my husband because he was the one who held her, cleaned her cage, and fed her. Steven acted like he always does during sad times. The middle wrinkle on his forehead gets bigger, his face looks clammy, he shuts down, and always look as if he’s about to flee the scene. When I asked him if he was okay he said he was feeling stressed out and he hated to see Saltine die.

When calling my mom for comfort, she asked me if we were taking care of the bird. She said when she was here last the bird was picking at itself. First off, that is what birds do, it’s called Preening. Lets just say when my moms bird died it had lost all its feathers. Saltine was loaded to the gills with feathers! My parents did not like the bird. They said it was the source for Gave and I always being sick.

My friend Audra had lost her cat the night before, my friend Nico lost her gecko, minutes before my bird died. I felt uncanny about how close together they all died and wondered if something was in the air. I mentioned my thoughts to Steve, he didn’t say much. I have to watch my thoughts. My anxiety gets the best of me. This last year I have had panic attacks. I TAKE medicine for them but it doesn’t ALWAYS help. I have heard if a bird drops dead it is usually the sign of a gas leak. At one point during this turmoil I just knew the air in our home was looking smokey, everything around me was blurry, and my stomach was bilious. I couldn’t tell you what snapped me out of it, maybe the medicine?

I had also taken a pregnancy test this same night and we found it negative. We have been trying for another baby for about three years now and haven’t had any news. We are not devastated just disappointed. It’s hard to believe the sun is going down on this part of my life.

Stay tuned

Crying-Out-Loud

Last night cooking supper I noticed our bird hanging upside from his food bowl. I gave our parrot a smile and continued fixing our supper. When I walked by the cage again he was sitting on the bottom with his green feathers puffed out. I stood at his cage for a moment staring in on him. He usually don’t  sit in one place at the bottom of his cage. He either rubs his beak trying to get something off or he’s picking food off his floor. I read one time in a parrot pamphlet, “its abnormal behavior for them to be sitting on the bottom” I bent down opened his door and grabbed him out to take a closer look. When I put him on my finger he didn’t clinch it with his tight sharp grip, I embraced him in my hand and gently flipped him over to check out his feet thinking he may of hurt one, this was not the case. He did not fight me at all while accessing him and upon noticing this my heart started beating faster, thoughts racing and it was getting harder to focus. I then notice him opening his beak but nothing  was coming out, not a chirp or peck. There was a bit of food on his beak which calmed me down, for a second thinking this was the problem. Unfortunately, he was still struggling to breath. I put him back down realizing he was on his way out, opened the back door where my husband hangs out on the deck and chain smokes. “Steve the bird is dying, what the hell did you do to him”? My husband being his calm self “nothing” he continued to puff away as the door slammed! It took a minute to start rationalizing because of hurt and panic. I knew he was dying and also new that it was too late in the game to head into town to the vet. The last time one of my animals went into respiratory distress. I got to the office, handed him over to the vet, as he started toward the back to check him out, the kitten died. The vet billed me for the hand off…

When Steven came in, I shared my thoughts on the subject, he did not disagree. We took Saltine in our room to pass. I felt this was to heavy for Gabe to know and watch.”Salty” died minutes later. I cried the rest of the time cooking supper my husband called out my name which was a prompt to “get a hold of myself'” I still stood at the sink slowly washing dishes with my back turned to my son. He then started telling me a story and when he was done. He asked me a question about his story. When I wouldn’t turn around he started digging his way in front of the sink and me “mom answer my question” ( I would have if I knew what he had asked).

“mom are you crying over my story”

“yes with a loud wail”

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.

 

Private Room

Mouth Drop,
In exactly 100 words creatively describe one moment when your mouth dropped open, chin hit the ground, and tears rolled down your face (figuratively or not). If you prefer to develop this into a longer post, that’s fine too!

The sun shined through the window of my cold, quiet, private, hospital room that mid July day. The thin white blanket covered my bare legs stopping beneath my twenty-two week belly. I somberly glared at the wall with both hands gripping each side of my belly, feeling the lives inside me. The doctor came in and sat in the wooden chair next to my bed.

Gabe and willy 08/04/08

” I ache for the day I can kiss your foreheads and hold you in my arms again” Danielle Walker

Shelley, your water has broken and you will most likely go into labor in the next forty-eight hours. My mouth opens and my chin drops as tears still roll down my cheeks.