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.

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”

 

 

 

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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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.

My First Guest Post

My son Gabe, is in kindergarten this year. He is doing good. He says he likes kindergarten but also enjoys stay home days, (which are Saturday and Sunday). Every week they have “Person Of The Day”  and Gabe was the guy. I thought all of you would enjoy seeing what my main squeeze had to say. All of the kids had to draw a picture of Gabe doing what he loved. I picked one out of twenty-four because its too much right now to put them all up here!IMG_0889

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!