Posts from the ‘Family Matters’ Category

Lookin’ Up…

Hey there, Chickens!

Things are lookin’ up over Collie Way…

I have a new job.  Another one. The other New Job was not something I could deal with.  I realize now I’d have done better to stay on the Unemployment instead of take that job (it paid SQUAT-not enough to live on and considering what all was expected of you…no thanks).  I guess I thought that it would be better to do that than NOT work at all. 

It was not a totally negative experience.  I met some interesting people, learned some things I didn’t know, it got me out of the house for 9 weeks and gave me something to do (I really think I’da ended up at the Nuthouse had I not had something to do) but it also gave me something I’d never had before-migraines, unless of course, that was totally coincidental that I started having those the same time I started working there.  I only get them around that “special” time of the month, which I really don’t have anymore.  A friend of mine calls it “The Phantom Rag.”  Heh. 

Anyway, so I’m going to work for this other company and you know how you feel stuff in your gut and know something’s right?  That’s how this is.  I’m very excited.  I will be working close to my Mom’s house, which is good considering she has her surgery this coming Wednesday to deal with this damn cancer.   I’m glad I’ll be close to her.

I still have rent to pay in a week.  I had done a little house cleaning and would love to do a few more this week if anybody wants it and I can swing it with Mom’s surgery and all that.  I’m not too worried about that sorta thing though cause God’s been awfully good to provide for me. 

Speaking of Mom….If praying is your thang, do pray for Mimi/Mom/Barbara/Bobbie/Mrs. Collie-whatever she is to you.  The prognosis is positive.  It’s gonna be hard on her beforehand not being able to smoke her Marblies or drink her coffee.   It’s a rough surgery at any age, but, at going on 75 with COPD, it’s not gonna be easy. 

Foster went to his first Training class this week.  Oh my gosh!  This is the coolest thing.  Miz Nikki knows her stuff and I’m amazed just since Monday, our first class, how Foster is really…I don’t know how to explain it really-it’s like he really wants to please me.   He does sooo good with the Sitting and with the whole Control thing with the food.  His biggest problem is mouthing and nipping.  I know that’s part of the whole working breed that he is and we’re working on it. 

Foster is also a very horny dog.  I notice when he gets nippy and irritating is the same time he is wanting to hump everything he sees.  Dr. Heather the Vet won’t neuter him til he’s 6 months old.  Nikki said I should find somebody who would neuter him sooner.  What to do?  

I’m noticing this week that he’s really getting affectionate towards me.  I mean, he’s liked me since the day I got him and all but he knows his name now, knows me and my habits (he hides under the bed when I get in the shower because he knows that usually means I’m going somewhere and he’ll have to get in the crate!) and the Potty Training thing is really going good.  I took him for his 2nd Vet visit yesterday and the Vet said his kinda breed is the kind that outsmarts their owners.  He is smart for sure.  He has doubled his weight since I first took him to the vet.  He weighed 7 lbs that day.  He weighed 17.5 yesterday. 

The other night, I had gone to Spin Class and I was tired and thought maybe we could skip our Daily Constitutional for just one night but Foster would have none of it.  He started the nippin’ thing and was staring at me, with that one Photo-1327ear up and one down thing, tongue hanging out as if to say “Um…aren’t you forgetting something”  So we went and walked later in the evening and he was very happy. 

He’s done something for me here lately that I can’t quite describe.  I don’t even mind (too much) when passing cars at the park stop me to ask what kind of dog he is.  That happens just about everyday.  He seems to make other people, besides me, smile.    That is very cool.

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The One Where I Sound Like Eyeore

I wish I could get my pal Holly to write me a blog post.  She is so incredibly gifted at writing about deep things that frankly, I’m not always smart enough to totally get what she’s saying, but, it’s always so poetic and gorgeous, even if what she’s relating   may not make her feel so poetic and gorgeous.  (That was a mouthful, wasn’t it? See how un-coordinated I am?)

I’m totally overwhelmed this evening. 

First on my mind, is my mother’s upcoming surgery.  It is scheduled for next week.  I’m not sure if it will happen because she is fighting some crud. 

She called me last night, voicing concern over her crud and the impending surgery.  I don’t think I was able to comfort her and I feel like a horrible daughter.  I can’t stand to hear my mother have fear or sadness in her voice.  She and I both have a tendency to mask our pain and because we aren’t ooey-gooey affectionate with one another, I didn’t know what to say to her but my gosh…I can’t stand for my mother to be scared, sad, or anything like that. 

In other news…work? Totally sucks.  Trying to avoid being victim-ish, but, in a word, it’s a horrible job and I’m totally beating myself up for giving up my State job back in the fall for the higher paying job.  I’m sure there’s some deep lesson to be learned but you know what?  F&#k deep lessons.  I’ve bout had it up to Here with deep lessons.  

This has been a season of crap and I know it will pass.

On the Upside…Foster is fun and makes me laugh…

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Becomes Final Today

This is not a celebratory post.  This is just fact of what today is. I’m not sad, but, I am also not jumping up and down happy neither.

I am grateful that I can sit here and tell you that Terry and I are dealing with each other very well. Our kids are coping well. They’ve had their moments and I’m sure there will be things about all this that will stay with them forever. I hate that.

In some ways, Terry and I communicate better than we did when married. If we can continue to have as cordial and positive of a relationship as we do today, it will be nothing but positive for our kids and for future grandkids. I mean, the best thing we ever acccomplished together was those three kids. No question.

I hate that with the Judge’s proclamation of us as officially Not Married, I not only have an ex husband, but, also Ex In Laws. They were my family for almost 20 years.

I want to say here, to them, that I still love them. That goes for the immediate In Laws to the Extended In Laws out in the Carolinas. I still think of my nephews and niece as my nephews and niece and will always think that way.

I became my nephews aunt when they were 5 and not yet 3. They are now almost 25 and 22. I was younger than both of them when I married their Uncle. I’ve had quite a number of laughs with those boys. I I hope they don’t forget the Florida Trip of 1999 especially and I hope it makes them laugh to remember it. I was at the hospital the day my niece was born and have thoroughly enjoyed watching her grow into one of the most charming little girls I’ve ever known. She’s only 3 so she won’t have any memory of me being her Aunt, I don’t guess. I still love that little girl though. I hope they will still think of me as their Aunt and know that I’m always here for them.

It’s a crappy situation. Divorce sucks.

Nobody could put a tear in a song like Tammy.

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas…

I don’t know what I was thinking this evening when I had this thought:

“I think I’ll just run into Wal Mart.”

It was when I walked into the Rivergate Wal Mart on Christmas Eve Eve that I was reminded of a couple things:

I really have been a little “detached” from Christmas shopping this year. I’ve done some but not like I’ve done in years past.  That’s one of the pluses about the kids being older.  Teens have more expensive wishes, but, as a rule, it requires much less “put-togetherness”. 

Had I not been so detached from the Shoppingpalooza, I would have thought better than to go into Wal Mart at 7:00 on the 23rd of December.  Baaaaad choice.

The Rivergate Wal Mart IS the Armpit and Groin Lent of Nashville-Never in my life have I smelt as strong an odor of cigarette smoke and seen more women in DIRE need of root touchups, poor grammar, baggy britches….it’s good in ‘da hood, boys and girls.

This whole holiday season has been a plethora of visiting with old friends.  I got to visit a little bit today with my good friend from 3rd and 4th grade, Kelly and loved seeing her and her kids. 009

Look at her beautiful, blue eyes, y’all.  I had forgotten how blue her eyes were.   (Note to self…scan photos of Dance Recital in 1978 in which Kelly and I both wore heinous costumes to give readers a REALLY good belly laugh)

Kelly gave me this Woodstock Christmas ornament in 1979 and it has hung on my Christmas tree every year since.  It’s made of some sort of ceramic and I’m really surprised it hasn’t broken in all these years.  One of my favorite ornaments. 

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Stuff like getting to visit with Kelly today are the things I love most about Christmas.  Forget the standing in line at Wal Mart and busting your bank account….for me, besides the whole Jesus’ Birthday thing, it’s about getting to visit with the Kelly’s in our lives and remembering.

I went out to Cool Springs tonight for a gathering of people who went to Brentwood and Franklin High Schools (thank you for organizing, Paige!) courtesy of Facebook. 

I ran into a kid I have not seen since probably 6th grade. 

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 Donald and I were in Elementary school together all the way through, but, I remember him being in my  5th grade class, especially.   I told him that one of my most warmest, fuzziest memories of childhood, (back when life was good, before the dreaded Puberty Monster hit, before cancer, car accidents came and I got hip to realities of life ) was at Christmas that year, our entire class went to Donald’s house and then went caroling. 

 Donald’s mom was one of these just fabulous, June Cleaver kinda moms, and that evening is one of those things I’ve always remembered and often wished I could escape back into.  He had no recollection of the event at all, but,  I told him to be sure and tell his Mama I’ve always remembered being in her home at Christmastime. 

THAT is the kinda feeling I’ve always tried to create at Christmas with my own family.  Just like what was in my home, especially those last few days before Christmas.   Warm, fuzzy, magical…the lights all seem to have a different glow. 

I’m praying that my kids, even though this Christmas has found our lives rearranged and different…I hope there is still some of that element for them.

The One Where The Manchild Dives For The Ball…And Missed

You know how you wake up in the morning to have your regular ol’ day…you are pretty happy that the humidity is low so YES! It’s a Good-Hair-Day-Tuesday.  You’re feeling right good about yourself and your future, life is good, heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off-to-work-you-go?  It’s a productive morning, get lots done and you’re thinking “So, what will I do at lunchtime?” …..

Then you get a phone call telling you your kid has split his head open in PE class. You call the school and are told that 911 has been called, your kid is bleeding oh and be sure you get a plastic surgeon to do his sutures?  So much for a leisurely lunch time, eh?I’ve never had one of those kinds of phone calls before until today.

  Now, I’ve had kids get stitched up, (one with an unfortunate encounter with a merry go round, the other an encounter with bare feet and a rake) broken bones, (big toe and wrist) the Vapors, an ambulance ride, handed my not-yet-one year old-baby to a stranger to put him to sleep to put tubes in his ears, had the same baby about a year later, severely dehydrated, suffering from Rotavirus, in the hospital hooked up to IV’s for three days, rocked and held a feverish little one (and not so little) more times than I could possibly remember, sat in the bathroom in the middle of the night with the shower running, letting the steam clear a croupy cough, my 2 year old drink bleach, saw one of my kids nearly drown at 3 years old, an ER trip thinking one had appendicitis, been thrown up on, pooped on , peed on, all those things more times than I could begin to remember.  January 2 I will have been a parent 17 years.  I’ve done a lotta stuff, like every other parent has.

Something about hearing the numbers “911” in relation to your child, who is about 25 minutes away makes your heart just stop for a second.  Mine sure did today.  I waited at Hendersonville Hospital for a good 25 minutes before the ambulance arrived with the Manchild in tow.  I wasn’t even sure if they were bringing him there because the ER people hadn’t gotten a call, the office lady at Station Camp didn’t know if they took him there or to Sumner Regional.

Finally, the ambulance pulls up and I go over to the back, nervous, not totally knowing what I’m gonna see, kinda on the verge of tears, in total Talk-To-Jesus-Out-Loud mode…and they pull the Manchild out on the stretcher. 

Now, you gotta realize, I haven’t seen the Manchild wear anything except a black tshirt with some sort of band name on the front for probably two years and baggy blue jeans.  He had on his Gym shirt, which is gray and has his school name on the front and he had on shorts!  I forgot the boy had legs.  We also don’t live in the same house anymore.

So, he’s got on a totally different color than I’m accustomed to seeing, his head is wrapped in gauze, oxygen thingies up his nose, blood on him and I say something very motherly (and very sincere) like “Oh Tyler” and my firstborn child waves at me and says “Mom….I look like a retard.”

The Wellness Class (what happened to “Gym” or “PE?”) was playing “Flash Football.”  I don’t even know what that is.  A friend of mine asked me if that was when you run down the field and show your ass. I don’t know. I’m assuming it’s something akin to Flag Football.  They were inside the gym and Tyler went to dive for a catch and…well…he missed. 

He doesn’t remember the missed catch so that means he went to his Special, Happy Place for a moment.  He was pretty pale when he got to the hospital and he was chattering.  Tyler is a big talker but he’s usually very calm.  He was almost hyper.  I guess part of that was nerves, part of it mighta been a little shock…he was cracking me up though.

They ran him through the CAT scanner and that all came out fine.   A plastic surgeon looked at his boo boo and said that he narrowly missed hitting a major artery in his forehead as well as narrowly missed the muscle that controls the eyebrow movement.   4 cms with tissue and skull exposed.  Yee haw. The Manchild is fortunate all around and that is not lost on his Dad or myself. (There are more pictures on the Flickr over there but some are a little…ick so I wanted to be sensitive to my more sensitive readers)

 I got paper towels and washed his hands and face (first time he’s let me do anything for him like that since I can remember) and even though it was a crappy thing to have happen, I enjoyed getting to play Mommy to my big boy, even for just a minute.  (Enjoy is probably not the right word)   I couldn’t believe he wasn’t fighting me.  This boy likes to be independent.  I respect that and totally encourage him to take care of himself but it’s interesting how when your kid is sick or hurting. that mother instinct just kicks in.

The changes that have occurred in our family the last few weeks, the logistical changes, etc.  I don’t know…I’m glad he let me be Mom and do my job, even though when he first got in the room he said “Mom…I’m 16. I’m ok.”  After the EMT guy said something about how much he bled and that “that’s your Mom, man” it was ok for me to slip into that mode cause none of his buddies were around or nothing. 

All the stuff that’s gone on lately has been difficult for all of us.  It’s so important to me that Tyler knows that just because I’m at a different address (he chose to stay with his Dad) that I’m still his Mom and my love for him is no different.  I may not be a perfect mother, but, those kids are my heart.  Even big, tall and hairy like the Manchild is, he’s still my baby boy.

When we left the hospital, I hugged the Manchild and told him I loved him and was glad he was ok.  I decided when I moved that I have to start telling those kids every single day I love them.  They aren’t really warm/fuzzy/”I love you” saying kinda kids and I’m not so good at saying it but thats another thing about my life I’m trying to change.  Days like today are such a reminder that you don’t know from day to day, how your life can change in the drop of a football.

Reason #3,875 Why I Hate Cancer

I hate cancer.  It’s always been lurking in the background, which I guess, it does for a lot of people.  My mom was the latest family member to have a round with it of late. 

Back in January, I did a post on the cool fundraiser, Driving For A Cure, to raise money for Breast Cancer research.  In that post, I talked about my Aunt Junie and her gallant battle against breast cancer and that’s part of why I’m so interested in the whole thing.

I found out this morning that Junie’s daughter, my most wonderful cousin, Judi, is now facing the same damn battle.  It pisses me off.  It just does.  In fact, I emailed Judi this morning after I found out what’s going on with her and instead of throwing some heavy, Jesus-y stuff at her, this was my greeting to my beloved cousin:  “Well, shit.  This sucks.”  It does.

I know that Judi is going to be fine.  She taught Middle School for 30 years and survived that.  She’s always been an independent, free spirit…heck, she raises mules.  Me and Judi can get on the phone and just babble for hours, solving problems of the world and what-not.  I wish there weren’t something like 1500 miles between us or I’d be hanging out at Judi’s farm in Texas all the time.   Hers was caught during a routine mammogram and she’s always been pretty diligent about matters of health.

I know Judi’s gonna be fine.  Still, it pisses me off that she’s got breast cancer. Why?

I guess it was about 1972, her mother, Junie…was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was diagnosed after being mis-diagnosed for a long time.  I don’t know how long it was, but, it was awhile.  I also realize that in 1972, they didn’t have all the stuff they have now to diagnose, treat BC. 

Junie fought that danged cancer.  I swear….8 or 9 years.  She fought that sucker tooth and nail.  She died in June of 1979…I will never forget that day…we went to Opryland with my Louisiana cousins.  I heard my mother’s name paged over the loudspeaker and even though I was 10 and was not told a lot of details about Junie’s illness (it was kinda whispered…like in that movie “St Elmo’s Fire” where the girl’s mother whispered anything negative like “cancer”) but I KNEW that Junie was probably gone and dadgum…a little later, me and Buddy walked up to Mom and her sister sitting in that theater there in the 50’s part of Opryland and she blurted out that Junie was gone.  Weird how some things stay with you.

Anyway…it makes me so mad that my Uncle Wesley, who is 80 years old, in the last year has dealt with the death of a grandson…he watched his wife suffer and die with cancer and blast-it…now his baby girl has to confront the same thing.  I’m more worried about him than Judi, really.  Stuff like that’s  hard on a Dad. 

Judi, though…she’s gonna be fine.  She’s having surgery next week and I have no doubt she’s gonna be an octagenerian on her farm with all her various and sundry critters and will outlive all of us.  She is blessed with two sisters, who will stand with her through this whole ordeal, the rest of us in her family, lots of friends….she’s gonna do fine.

I still hate she has to even deal with this at all. 

 

Cancer…Fly Fishing…Vacation Anyone?

My mother is in the middle of having these immunotherapy treatments for a little bladdah cancer…they call it the BCG. I don’t know a whole lot about it but I do know it involves using live tuberculosis. Mom could actually get TB from this thing…ew. Anyway….she’s having this thing done once a week. The after affects aren’t as bad as chemo or nothing like that but they make her feel kindly puny.

When we were all over at Mom’s house the other day, my sister noticed this brochure on the table about this whole BCG thing. Sandra made the comment that they made the whole BCG trip look like a vacation brochure. See? Notice how they have the man fly-fishing and catching the treatment? Doesn’t that make it look like fun??? It’s almost like once you go through this fabulous treatment…you can fly-fish. Yes!

Look…they even give her her very own, special card! Almost like “punch card everytime you get a treatment, and you get the 7th treatment free!” Whee!

Mom is even learning all kinds of info about the human body. Here, she describes how long the female urethera is.

The BCG…giving Mimi a new lease on life AND increasing her knowledge.

Barb is stoked about her BCG.

So is the Engineering Brother in Law. Todd gives it a big thumbs up!

Yeah…we’re a bunch of sickos.  We’ve dealt with cancer in this family so much…sheesh.  We have to find the humor in the situation.  I mean, heck…to this day, anytime I hear “All Hail The Power of Jesus’ Name” I crack up laughing cause we always would nudge each other and laugh in church when that hymn was sung when I was a teenager …Dad died of Prostate (get that…its Pro-STATE…not Pro-STRATE) cancer and he was the ringleader of that sicko joke…leave it to us to giggle about something serious. 

Gotta get through it….