The Year Before Forty, And The Comments People Are Making, And Have Made To Me.

a friend of mine asked me “Shelley are YOU going to the class reunion?”I had went the last few years mind you, and none of my friends, whom I  went to school with, and still hang out with now, attended the reunion. There wasn’t a lot of people who showed up at the reunions in the past.

I said: no I think I will pass this year.

Shelley you should go”

Why, no one went last year?

“Shelley this is the year people start dying, and Shit”

Gabe

The other morning, when dropping him off at school. He makes his way to the middle, where he is sitting next to me. I’m thinking he’s going to give me a goodbye KISS…

“Mom, when you were a kid did they have televisions in the olden days”

Um Gabe, yes, it was not that long ago. Get out of my car!

A Friend

Her daughter, told us she would take our picture together. We give her the camera, scoot in close, and smile. She just stands there giving us a-deer-in-the-headlights, look.

Her Mom says: “what are you waiting for?”

“You guys need to do duck lips or do something in the photo?”

We purse our lips, she shakes her head, we give each other bunny ears, she shakes her head, we stick our tongues out, She shakes her head, we grab one another laughing uncontrollably, and she hands the camera back to her Mom, and says:never mind!”

Coffee with a neighbor

SHE got on the subject of talking about Sex. I joined in on the conversation, and was agreeing with her about certain techniques, and she says: “Oh, so you and your husband still do it?”

Yea, we do

“that so Awesome”

Umm we have only been together nine years were freaking newly weds for crying-out-loud

Last Night At Work

I made a wise-crack to the cook. I’m sorry I cannot remember what I said (It’s a part of my old age.) He told me what you said you reminded me of “Steve Marten on Saturday Night Live he always used to say that same phrase.”

“Do you remember?”

No, what year are you talking about?

“In the seventies”

No, I wasn’t born until 1977!

“Oh really, how old are you”

I’m forty, 

“Really, when did you turn forty?

Monday, I turned forty, three days ago!

 

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.

Journal, Entry

Yesterday, was my first day off I had since last Monday. I told you last time we had gone in to overtime at work, because we WERE short-staffed. We have two residents who are on hospice care. The boss wants two people on duty at all times, because both of the residents are total care.

When Steve (my husband) came home from work, he fired up the grill. I wrapped up potatoes in foil, to have him put on the grill. I finished doing what was left of the dishes, and HE sucked up the leaves, with the blower!

The sun was shining, kids were laughing, playing, and I could smell freshly cut grass.

I decided to walk over to the school, and pick Gabe up from after school care. He was on the swing by himself, and I quietly stood there watching him swing. One of his friends came up to him holding a soccer ball. He asked Gabe if he would play soccer with him? Gabe, said no. I then spoke up from behind him, and said: why not? He said “Mom where did you come from?”

We gathered up his backpack, jacket, and signed him out. He told me he was on green (which is good.) Then told me there was a note in his bag. I un-zipped the bag as we walked home, and he helped me pull the note out of his blue folder. The note read “Is Yelling A Daily Event At Your House” I stopped, and looked at Gabe after I finished reading the invite to the school from a speaker who is going to share “effective techniques of getting through to our kids without yelling.”

I asked him if he thought we needed the class? “he said: “well Dad does.”

I shoved the paper back into the bag. I could see my husband working in the yard, as Gabe, and I got closer to the driveway.

Gabe, crossed the street, and I paused as I watched him walk up into the yard.I couldn’t help but ask God, how did I ever get here? what in the world, did I do deserve this moment?

The sun shining, Gabe laughing, and Steve in the front yard, working, and waiting for us to come home. If I happen not to make it through the day Lord, thank you, thank you, for another beautiful day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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Reading And Writing And The Places They Have Taken Me

I have a small count, of the amount of books, I have read in my life. I wish someone like Bernie Freeman would’ve introduced me, to a love of books, in my childhood. I can’t help to raise my eyes into the rearview, touch the road behind me, wishing  for a portal, to change my “who has time for reading attitude”.

A lot of my high-school years were spent looking through windows of others trying to seal up their cracks, even if there was nothing to seal. I stood there creating a persona of support knowing support would create friendships.

School was not easy for me educationally, socially, or physically. The friends I did have, and still have today, I worked hard for. I wonder if I was able to go back, and change the person I was then. To whom I’m now, in this second. If I would end-up with the same results. I think I would, but I would have saved some energy for the reading, writing, and other educational subjects.

Five years ago, I took a basic English class. The teacher had us first free-writing: she told us to set the timer, and for fifteen minutes write whatever came to our minds. She said: “Don’t  worry about any grammar, just write”. We did this for a few weeks in and out of the classroom. She would also have us reading “Dead End in Norvelt” Which I instantly drew interest in the American author: Jack Gantos. She would have questions for us after every chapter and then ask us to describe in detail how we felt about the chapter. She also brought in a jean jacket, of hers. The jacket had been personalized. She wanted us to pick one material item, meaningful to us, and describe in detail what the material looked like on the outside, but also what the piece meant to us on the inside. She had us write our first draft in the beginning of the class, the second in the middle, then the third, fourth and fifth. Then at the end of our last class she showed us how far our writing had come from the beginning.

The final came around, and of course the topic the teacher had for the essay, took me all of the two hours. I poured my heart out writing about an old colleague of mine. After she told me “times up’.  She met me at the door, and took my paper. I was embarrassed, because I cry when I write. I was hoping to bow my head, put the essay on her desk, and get the hell out of dodge!

“Shelley I know you’re going to school for nursing, but I think you should continue an education in writing. A lot of people have a hard time tuning into the characters of  books they read, and you seem to do this well. I have enjoyed reading your work and hope to see you when time allows. Keep practicing”

I then found this platform and met others who encouraged me, as well.

A little over a year ago I started reading a blog about a mother, who writes to her daughter. She writes beautiful content, about life and the lessons she has learned. She led me to self discovery when she wrote about an old flame here. And how she ended the relationship without any explanation.

“I stopped talking to him altogether. And it was the cruelest and kindest thing I could think of”.

When commenting on her post about this particular line. I explained to her how she showed to me his side of the story instead of my own. Then she wrote a post on poetry where she removed another road block. One, I had put up myself. I used to think certain poetry was above me, and I wasn’t smart enough to read and understand certain poets and the poems they wrote.

“Poetry, though, is like a window on train: You see through it what you want to see, while simultaneously, the glass reflects you back. What I mean by “you own it,” is that your interpretation is equally valid to the poem’s meaning as that of the Poet’s. Too many people read poetry as if they’re trying to get to the right answer”.

I found myself diving into poetry on social media here. Author: Lang Leav writes brevity poems, powerful snippets about life and love. On her page, I then found Leo Christopher who wrote this:

“You assume I chose the most painful path, That my actions hurt you the most, but you’ll never know the sacrifices I made to spare you much grater heartache, sometimes that is the best love can do”.

Through these writers I was able find the peace from the past of my first love.

A while back Alyssa, you wrote a letter explaining where you’re with God. I try not to preach, although in person, you may tag me as such. I do not spit out verses because, I have never read the bible. I have gone to church and feel I have given my life to God. A while back I fell off the wagon of attending church.

I tried befriending a family from the church I was attending. They shot me down, snubbed me, and on my third attempt I could have sworn, I received an eye roll. I thought to myself.  This place is full of shit! However, I continue to pray and thank God for my family. I don’t have answers on why bad things happen or why he lets them happen. I do know, as you have shown me, in many post, like the examples I gave above. There is another side of the story.

When you wrote Leaning-into-the-lyre-on-the-occasion-that-you-need-hope, again with all your links you helped me understand depression, which my mother (step-mom) has suffered half my life.  On this particular blog post you posted another link  to a blogger who takes you “down the rabbit hole” of Sexual abuse. She compares her life to Virgina Woolf another writer I have heard of, but knew nothing about. When reading Woolf’s suicide letter.  I instantly heard my moms voice. She never committed suicide, but there were many times she wanted too. I was sorry for thinking one could come out of such hell so easily. I thank my mom, Lin from those depths, for loving my father all these years the way she has. I know you have made my father a happy man.

I’m no longer standing outside people’s windows to try to seal up cracks. I’m sitting here looking out my own window. Reading, writing, and getting educated. So, maybe one day, instead of trying to support the world. I can support myself and in turn. Be the person, I have always been.

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!

147491-consider-the-source-quotes

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.

bltn

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!

Hanging On To My family By A Thread

This morning hasn’t started off good. I had made an appointment, a  month ago, for today. I thought it was for ten-o-clock but it was for nine-o-clock, which is weird, Gabe starts school around then. This was the second time, they have re-scheduled me. The receptionist called me at nine, asking if I was there?  I said no, I thought it was at ten? She shuffled through her papers while continuing to say hmm, “no, my Calendar says nine” (swallowing crow) I said: it’s my fault and I’m nowhere near the office, I’m sorry. I talked to my mom a bit about the situation. She told me to start writing things down, and how there is an app, that will remind you, of the appointments you have.

It’s all well in good, but writing things down is a downfall of mine. I hung up the phone and checked the weather. I noticed one of the anchor ladies, on the news site. Stacey Skrysak. My mother had posted this post of her’s, on my fb page, a while back ago. It has been my favorite piece of writing ever since.

My eye’s filled up this morning with tears as I read her post this morning. I thought about having to wait another month to get Ativan for my panic-attacks. They come on like a deer jumping out in front of your  car. I do have some daily medication, it don’t always cut it. It helps but not fully.

They started over a year ago.

One night, around three, I woke up to what felt like a water hose of adrenaline filling up my body. I shot STRAIGHT UP into a sitting position and gasped for air, slid out of bed, and into the bathroom. Where I noticed my melons shaking back and forth with every beat of my heart. I thought about taking a Xanax that belonged to my husband. I stared at them thinking about the knowledge I knew. With being a nurses aid. My heart was going to need medical assistance and the hospital would not like to hear that I took medication that was not mine.

I woke up my husband and told him he would have to stay with our son. I called the ambulance to take me to the emergency room. He hated doing such, but all in all this is why we have each other. I told him to take him to school in the morning and he could meet me afterwards.

When the ambulance picked me up. I walked out and climbed into the back and laid on the stretcher. The guy started to put in a Iv. He told me if  my heart rate did not slow down he was going to be ordered to give me a medicine, that basically stops the heart for a second. He did not want to have to use it on the ambulance but would if he had too. He asked me some questions about my life. I was able to get comfortable with him. I asked if he had seen this happen with a lot patients? “all the time” we got to the hospital and they had a room waiting for me and started asking me questions.

Had I taken illegal drugs?

Did I take anything at all?

I told them a Sudafed, actually two within that day.

If you took anything illegal, you can tell us, we won’t turn you in?

No, I did not take any drugs!

The doctor came in and ordered medicine that would drip slow. He thought it may help bring down my heart-rate and if he could bring it down. He could see more about what was going on.

I laid there in that one moment, thinking this could be the beginning to the end of my life.

Who knows, what they would tell me?

I’ve had a heart problem before.

Where there is one rat there are a hundred more you don’t see.

What about my husband, my son, my dad, my mom, how will they get through it?

I’ve been in the shallow part of water when it comes to loosing a child

After placing my feet on dry land, I changed.

In one blink of one eye

I lost a family of four. I lost a piece of my husband, my sons Will and Gabe, I lost half of myself, and any thought that life, would last into our thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, and so on. I lost being grateful, for my family, when hearing of another families misfortune. Because just as you thank God it wasn’t your son or your daughter. You’re  thinking to soon. I’m thankful every second, every minute, of every hour for the life with my family.

The fear I have, isn’t the dying part. It’s the loss, the grief, one would have to feel. It’s the hollowness in a room filled with furniture, clothes, and toys. The silence when all you want to hear is crying. The passerby’s you don’t know but wish you did, so they would stop for a second, while you try to wrap your head around what had happened. It’s the guilt and the choices you made before the boom. It’s the guilt that your gone and I’m here. It’s the triggers, like missing an appointment to the psychiatrist.

The other day I was reading another writers post on loss. Her words as a survivor touched my heart.  “I have to keep living and loving because they can’t. And it breaks my heart. And it mends it too”

 

 

 

Update

Longstockings, is in her mid forties. Years ago she developed a rare brain disease. The disease has affected her eyes, speech, and walking.  It’s not a fatal disease but it has come with neurological problems.

You can’t walk past her room without her calling out your name to either show you some move she learned in exercise or to complain about the argument her and her mother had.

Her parents are involved in our home activities. Her mom helps the activity director  with the residents when taking them to the Muni, fundraisers, Special Olympics, and she always helps me organize Longstockings room

Her siblings that live in our town will also show up to our chili supper, Christmas party, and once in a great moon to fix or give her something.

This particular brother that she had on the phone the other night lives In another state. He don’t get in as much as the others, however he will call, write, and send updated pictures to her.

He did make it to the home. He brought his wife and kids. They played a few  games in then went out for pizza!