Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shame on me....

It is pouring rain right now.  The skies are black.  The heavens are weeping.

I haven't been on social networking sites much recently.  There has been so very much going on in my little bubble.  I have dealt with some pretty intense things since 9/2/13.  But none as intense as a friend of mine.  I climbed on my social networking site this morning to learn that a friend from high school lost her nine month old baby on Saturday, 9/7/13. 

Shame on me for complaining about spending 10-15 hours combing my DQ's hair trying to get the lice out.  At least I could hold her in my arms when the combing was done, and she was irritated at me for making her sit for such long bouts of time... and I could tell her I love her.

Shame on me for sending V to bed early last night because she was getting on M's and my last nerve, causing every form of mischief she could.  At least I could kiss her on the forehead as she slept, and whisper how very much I love her. 

Shame on me for all of the times I have longed for my life before my children.  When things were simpler, and I didn't worry about them constantly.  At least they are alive to worry about.

Shame on me for the times I have chosen to work, clean, or watch T.V. instead of play with my children.  I should enjoy them while I have them.  None of us are promised tomorrow.  

I write this blog today with the heaviest of hearts.  I can not focus.  I can not concentrate.  I know that today, my friend will be laying her baby to rest.  I can only fathom how she feels, but I know she has to be questioning everything.  Why such a beautiful, vibrant, perfect little girl could be given to her, then ripped from her so quickly.  She is a woman of faith, and I hope that faith will be able to pull her through this tragedy.

She is also a single parent, and I know this has to be hard financially, although I am sure that is the last thing from her mind.  She has been a cheerleading coach for years, and through that, and the many other good deeds she has done, people from all over have pulled together, and created a fundraiser for her.  I am sure she is missing a lot of time at work, not to mention the unexpected burden of funeral costs....  for a nine month old baby.

I write this blog to remind myself, and anyone who reads it to cherish every moment with your loved ones.  I write this blog to raise awareness of Mindy's cause.  But above all else, I write this blog to give Mindy comfort.  To let her know that I love her.  To let her know that I am here for her.  To let her know that I want to help her in any way I can.  The only way I know to help her is to spread the word about the Memorial Fund set up in her honor, and to let her know I am here.

So please share this information on your social networking sites.   Then spend a little time with your loved ones, and hold them a little closer tonight.

TOPS Strong for Mindy

Sleep Well, Sweet Angel.

Aunt TT

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Never Give Up.... Never Surrender.

Twelve years ago today I was living with my parents.  I worked as a nurse aide at a local nursing home, and took on the project of turning the closet in my small room into a wardrobe.  I wish I had photos to add to this blog of my creation, but that was twelve years ago.  I didn't have a camera phone back then.  I don't think many people did.

I was in my parent's car port, listening to 103.9 the X (my favorite station back then), and diligently sanding every drawer front to a smooth finish that my 8th grade wood shop teacher would have been proud of.  I had purchased a template to do the dove tail joints on the corners because this was going to be done right, and I desperately wanted my parents to be proud of this fixture that would be there long after I left their house.  This wardrobe is now part of my mom's craft room, and seeing it twelve years later, it's apparent that a novice wood worker put it together, but it's the thought that counts?  Right?!?!

I was living with my parents because they rescued me from my abusive ex.  I was depressed, as I loved him, and wanted to make my relationship work with him.  This wardrobe was a project to keep my mind and hands busy... and hopefully help me recover from the loss that was so difficult for me.  But that is another story all together.

The radio suddenly stopped playing music.  Instead some news caster was talking about something terrible happening in New York City.  Saying that they were unsure what was going on, but one of the twin towers had just crumbled.  They were speaking of first responders, and of all the possible casualties.  It didn't sound real to me.  I thought it was a really sick joke.  Some War of the Worlds type of broadcast.  I kept listening for the punch line.  For someone to tell me to go get my little Orphan Annie Decoder to reveal the secret Ovaltine message, like Ralphie on A Christmas Story.

My mom or dad came out.  I can't remember which it was.  They asked, "did you hear what happened?"  I told them my theory.  Sick joke.  Wasn't falling for it.  See... I was a cynic even then!  The 2nd plane hit the 2nd tower.  I listened to the radio of the blow by blow accounts of what was happening.  I listened in shock and disbelief...  this wasn't a sick joke.  It was worse.  It was real.  People were dying.  Why???  I asked my dad, "HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN, Who would bomb the towers."  While it was happening it wasn't widespread news that it was a jihad act.  That terrorists were actually using a plane to kill themselves as they killed countless other innocents.  Most in the country were asking the same questions as I, trying to learn what was going on.  I stopped working on the wardrobe, but I couldn't stop listening.  I kept getting angrier and angrier.  This wasn't right.  This couldn't be happening.  How could this happen???

Those were my feelings all day.  Anger.  Sadness.  Being enraged.  Wanting desperately to do something to help.  Someone on a news channel announced that the Red Cross needed blood for the survivors.  They were requesting rare blood types especially.  My dad being type O- (6.6% of the American population), and myself being A- (6.3% of the American population) decided it was best we made a trip to the local red cross and donate.  I know it was small, but maybe it helped.  I really wished I could do more.

Over the next few days and weeks the truth of what happened came out.  It was a shock to all.  Everyone in the country mourned the loss of so many innocent people.  A friend of mine mourned the loss of a dear friend of hers.  Almost everyone knew someone who perished on that horrific day, 9/11/01.  I would like to think that that awful act of terrorism pulled us closer together.  Made us stronger as a country.  Made us realize how precious life really is, and how much we should live it to the best we can.  I know 9/11 means something different to everyone, but to me...  it means to never give up.  Never surrender.  To live and enjoy life, because so many lives were cut short that fateful day.

I carry this into my raising two children whom I didn't birth.  I continue fighting against everything that happens.  I continue to be a voice for V at school, trying to keep her on the right path.  I continue to make DQ do her home work, practice her dancing, and get a good night's sleep no matter how much she fights me on it.  I will not give up.  I will not surrender.

The week of Labor Day is one of the worst weeks I have had since I was in an abusive relationship.  One after another, things just went wrong.  I can not go into too much detail, but something happened on Labor Day, and now the girls are going to have limited time with their brother.  My parents have custody of their brother, so I fear that will strain my relationship with them.  Found lice in DQ's hair, and spent countless hours treating it (treated everyone in the house... bugs creep me out!!!).  Ripped the house apart and cleaned everything in fear of lice.  Basement flooded again.  I have awful plumbing.  Guess I can't complain.  it is nearly 70 years old.  Hot water heater quit working a few days later, thank goodness my dad is a genius and could fix it.  M and I had a huge fight and he was so angry that he drove to his home town....  5 hours away.  I am not exaggerating.  It was one of the worst weeks of my life.  But that week is over.  I have done all of the cleaning and damage control that I could.  I learned a lot.  I hope my kids learned a lot.  I hope M learned a lot.  And now we move on.  We never give up on each other.  We never surrender to the awful things that happen.  We hold our heads high, and keep fighting the good fight.  It is all we can do.

DQ has been asking about her biological mom a lot this last week.  I am again encouraging her to write her a letter, and ask her some of these questions herself.  Hoping to fend off any rebellious, "I'm going to find my mom" teenage actions.  DQ is doing a solo in competition this year, and her dance teacher seems to be proud of how far she is coming in it.  She said she is where she needs to be right now to compete in February.  So I am quite proud as well.  It is beautiful!  I am making the costume!!!!  She is doing well in school, and bringing home a lot of A's on the work she is doing.  She is a wonderful kid.

V is doing fairly well in the ED class at her school.  She is riding the school bus, and I am praying she doesn't get kicked off.  Her teacher and I stay in constant communication.  I really like her, she is good for V.  V has decided not to dance this year.  She is taking Karate instead, and the Karate instructor is amazing.  I can't say enough good about him.  I am really glad that fate brought us to him, and have high hopes that he will help her to be more disciplined, and less impulsive.  She melts my heart with how sweet she can be.  Just this morning, she threw her arms around me and proclaimed very loudly, "I love you mommy.  You are the best mommy."  I must be doing something right.  

Today is a day of remembrance for our country.  I hope we all take a moment to reflect on what is truly important in life, because it is so short.  My heart goes out to all of those who lost a loved one twelve years ago.  May you find peace, and may your memories of that loved one never fade with time.  May you never give up...  never surrender.

Aunt TT