Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I've Learned

Today I am one year older.
Youth is disappearing in my rear view mirror, faster than I can slow down.
I sat on the porch this morning, having coffee with God, and the hummers, and thought about what I'd learned in all these years.
I've learned that I am dying by millimeters, everyday...even as I am living the best that I can.
The race isn't really about WHEN you finish, though, as much as it is HOW you finish.
I've learned to walk in the woods...that the laundry will still be there waiting for me.
I've learned that my animal's are probably the only being's in my life, who truely love me unconditionally, especially since Momma and Daddy are gone.
They loved me unconditionally too...Hell, they loved me in spite of me, a lot of times.
My husband of almost 40 years, has no other choice, but to love me unconditionally now...I mean..he ain't gong anywhere, at this point, and neither am I.
My kid's come pretty close to it, but they are still learning, so I allow them the room they need to grow...they'll get there too.
I've learned that old folk's are treasure's, and the time you spend with them can be one of the greatest gift's you can give yourself (as well as them) !
I've learned that good friend's, good food, good music, and maybe some good wine, or a really good cup of coffee, makes for a really GOOD time.
It doesn't have to be expensive fact, I've learned that I'd much rather de-bra, kick off my earth shoes, and wear pant's with an elastic waist, than to dress up in heel's and frill's !
I've learned that saying I Love You is well and good, but showing "I love you" is even better, and sometimes all it cost is a smile.
I've learned that a lot of preacher's and politician's are psycho, and it isn't healthy to pay that much attention to them. It's better for your blood pressure if you don't...besides, Nut's fall off the tree eventually anyway.
I've learned that the only money you REALLY need in life is "enough".
I've learned that Life, even with all the heartache that you may experience, is really quite comical, most of the time, and that babies, and laughter and petting your animal's are the BEST high !
I've learned that I can STILL learn, and laugh when I can't...(think...SMART PHONE, here) !!
I've learned that the miracle really IS the journey....and, I'm loving this roadtrip, bumps and all....

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Missing Momma

She would have been 85 today.
She died in 1972...just 46 years old.
It takes my breath away when I think that I am now ten whole years older than she was, when she died.
I was seventeen, and WAY too full of myself...and thought my world had come to an end.
My sister and I left everything we'd ever known as "normal" and headed out for places that neither of us wanted to be.
I'm not sure we "ever" got used to it either.
Oh, we adjusted, and went on...made lives for ourselves, but there hasn't been one day in all of these 39 years, that Momma's absence has not been felt.
She never saw either one of us graduate, get married, have children...never knew the sweet smell of those newborn babies, or cuddled them close to her breast.
Never did a birthday party or a first Christmas, or watched with pride, as they hit a home run or scored a touchdown...
Never saw them graduate and start having her GREAT grandchildren.
I wish I had a nickel for every time I've said, "I wish I knew how Momma did"....(whatever)
We couldn't call her and say "Hey Momma, How do I make this baby stop crying....or, how do you make "your" gumbo...or what goes in Hungarian Gouloush ? (Took YEARS to finally figure THAT one out)
We could never go "home to Momma" when we fought with our spouse, or when we divorced them, or when we just REALLY needed to get away from them, before we killed, we had to go elsewhere...most times to each other...
I mean, don't get me wrong... Daddies have their place too, but for some things, only a Momma will do !
I sat on the porch this morning, as the sun came up, and thought about all the things I've missed with her...and, knowing it just makes me miss her more...
My heart breaks when someone loses their parent, because I know that, no matter what age we are when it happens, it creates a void that lasts forever.
Anyway, these are my thoughts today, and later I will raise a glass in Momma's honor, and send birthday greetings toward the stars...
Miss you Momma....Happy Birthday...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Here it is - in black and white

When I die, I want someone to promise me, that you will find a canary yellow 1967 Chev Malibu (with black interior) and start at one end of Beaver Dam Road,and get that car up to about 75 mph (like I used to do) and then, just let my ashes fly.
I ran that road again yesterday, for the 999th time, and it was as fabulous as the very first time. A Hyundai doesn't get it like the Malibu did, even though the road is paved now, but I gave it my best. With the windows down and the smell of Mississippi farmland blowing in my face, it came to me, that that was as close to heaven as I could get ALIVE...
The freedom of being sixteen, having no responsibility, and just looking for joy, hit me in the face as I took each curve, making me grin and holler, just as big and loud as it ever did and reminded me that, sometimes you have to take a little risk to find joy, but odds are, you'll appreciate all that much more when the risk pays off...
So, whoever ends up taking care of the business of getting me settled...THIS is how I want it done.
Wouldn't hurt my feelings at all, either, if you slide in a Mississippi Fred McDowell CD, and turn the volume up wide open too...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Think About It...

Talked to a very good friend of mine yesterday, and she informed me that her Momma's Alzheimer's Disease had progressed to the point where (in her words) she is crazier than a junk yard dawg !
Now, I love her Momma better than grits, and it hurt my heart so bad to hear that.
I HATE that disease. It means you watch your loved one die in bits and pieces and, it is slow and both physically and emotionally draining for the caregiver.
I know she and her Daddy and brother have their hands full, but they are determined to keep her at home as long as they can.
It got me to thinking about my own situation too.
My greatest fear is having to be dependant on others for my care, and I know, with MS, it's very likely that could eventually happen, but I am doing all that I can to prevent it, or at the very least, postpone it, as long as I can.
It's not that I mind someone else taking care of me...I got over that a long time of the benefit's of 30+ years of Nursing.
I just don't want to be a burden on my family or anyone else.
That's the main thing.
So, I have a living will.
WHY ??
Well, if I had a nickel for all those poor people I witnessed, suffer SO much, throughout my career, because they did NOT have one, I'd be sitting pretty right now...financially, anyway!
My own Grandmother stayed in the hospital on a ventilator for fourteen months (on Medicaid...your dime and mine) begging anyone who would listen, to be taken off of it...but, SHE was deemed incompetent to make that decision for herself at that point, and since all of her children couldn't agree on what to do....she (and they) suffered .
Her little body finally just gave out, but not before she suffered the loss of her independence, the loss of her dignity, the loss of control over her own life.
I saw this happen to so many people, and it is probably one of the hardest aspect's of Nursing.
You want to help, but you also know that most of what you are doing is only prolonging someones misery, and THAT guilt is a bitter pill to swallow!
I later watched my Dad die, after two months of extreme misery, for everyone.
He was SO sick !
But, he had a living will.
He had it drawn up almost immediately after what happened to my Grandmother.
He made the decision three times, to be put on a vent, before he died.
I was his designated health care proxy, and I'll be honest....I was scared to death, that he'd slip into a coma or something, and I'd have to make that, I DO know how hard it is to be in that place...I still don't know if I could have done it or not, and I am eternally grateful, that I did NOT have to make that call.
I'll go to my grave believing that Daddy decided to die so that we would not have to care for him though.
I was set to bring him home on Monday, and he stayed on me, worrying about how I could take care of him, and WORK !
He was still worrying about ME !
I just kept telling him, "Don't worry about it, we will handle it."
and...we WOULD have, but...a couple of nights before he died... in his "absolute" right mind, he told his Doctor, that he did not want to be put on a ventilator again... insisted that I stay with him that night, which I did, and he spent the entire night, telling me exactly what he expected me to do !
Then, on Saturday, he did slip into that coma, and just after midnight, my sister and step-sister's, who were sitting with me, got up to go to the bathroom, and I stayed in the room with Daddy.
Holding his hand, I felt him tense...
I checked his pulse, which was very rapid and thready at first, then it slowed and became even more erratic...and, I knew he was leaving...
I bent over him and kissed his cheek, and told him, " it was ok... we would be ok, and that God was holding out his hand to him, and that I wanted him to take it and go home"...second hardest thing I have ever done in my life...but, he relaxed and exhaled one last time, and he was gone...but, the presence of God, in that room, was as thick as a foggy morning on the Bay...I felt it as I never had before, and in that moment, my absolute faith in HIM was reassured, and I knew Daddy was ok...but, you will never convince me that he didn't have a part in deciding how his life ended....
So, if and when I wind up in that situation, or if I can't speak for myself, there are clear cut instructions to my family regarding what my wishes are.
I have someone named to be my health care proxy, as well, if, for some reason I can't speak for myself. Someone I trust to carry out my wishes, regarding what I want and DON' T want done.
I will NOT repeat my Grandmother's fate. I will NOT put that burden on my family.
It is something we ALL need to think about...
Having a living will does NOT mean that what you put in it is "written on a rock' though !
YOU can change anything on it, or your health care proxy can, if you can' anytime.
So...just PLEASE think about it...
Most of the time, Medicine is admirable and ethical, and works to the advantage of everyone who needs it, but this is not a perfect world, and, Medicine too, is flawed...I would not want to see any of you go through the misery of being at the mercy of Medicine alone.
If you do NOT have a living will...think about getting one....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Coping Mechanism's of a (Forever and EVER -AMEN) Marriage

I see on Facebook, that day after tomorrow is my...hang on a minute, I gotta count...36th wedding anniversary...hummm...or is it 360 ?
Sometime's it feels like it...and sometimes, it still seems like it was just yesterday.
I think back to the two people we were in 1975, and don't recognize either one of them.
The ONLY thing that has NOT changed, is that with FEW exception's...we have nothing in common, which is proof still, that opposites attract !
Back then, he had hair and I was skinny. Now he is bald, and I am not so skinny.
(But, I STILL have hair, and plenty of it, which really pisses him off) !!!
(Insert wicked grin here)
Both of us have always loved music, and that remains a constant...and, both of us still believe in God and family FIRST.
We love our kid's more than life...kid's we didn't think we'd ever have...and, THEY are our BEST work.
The thing's that we differ in....there are not enough GB on this computer to list them, but...we've each learned a thing or two about how to overcome them, and make this marriage last...
First of all...communicate...when necessary !
It is imparitive that you listen to each other and talk to each other, but only about those thing's you have in common...When something else comes up, punch the IGNORE button.
There is a trick to that though...
I can have a complete conversation with my husband, about something we disagee on (political issue's, for instance) respond appropriately to everything he say's and send him off, under the impression that I totally "got it" although I couldn't tell you one word he said.
He does the same thing to me too...
It takes TIME to learn how to do that too , but it CAN be mastered.
These past three years have really been a test in that for me though...See, He had open heart surgery, and I swear...I don't know WHAT they did, but they put him to sleep, and he woke up, Republican !
More than just Republican....he just flat woke up Nucking Fut'z when it comes to politic's.
Used too, he could care less about political stuff...oh, we'd discuss it, but we never argued about it...because we pretty much agreed on it...but, NOW....OMG !
It's really not even about party lines either...I mean, He will crank up the bitch machine on any politician, or any issue, depending on how mad it makes him...and it keeps him stirred up most all the time.
POX news play's on one (or more, if he has HIS way about it) TV in our house, just about 24/7.
I cannot TELL you how ILL it makes me... to wake up at 1am to go to the bathroom, and see Glenn Beck's ugly mug on TV (insert THREE eyeroll's here) !!!
I honestly think I do pretty good, but that ignore button only works for just so long, on some thing's (like Glenn Beck at 1am) and then I can't help it...I throw me one hell of a hissy fit, banning POX News, and politic's in general, OR ELSE....
OR ELSE, means somebody's gonna have a new address ...if it's me, I have a place to go, and if it's him, it might very well be under that bridge down on Moffat Rd, because , you can write it on a ROCK...NO ONE (in their right mind) is going to put up with POX News 24/7...
So, you might be wondering "What about MY faults" ...
I don't have any...
well, maybe a couple.
I used to be a NICE lady....sweet, kind, calm, loving....until I turned fifty.
Fifty freed me from all that nonsense.
I'm still not a mean person, but my filter is much thinner than it used to be, and I am just as liable to moon a redneck flying down the road, with my bigole white grannie panties, as to look at him...and...YES, I did...and he damn well deserved it too !
So, yeah..I say what I think now...and if you don't like it...well...that's pretty much just TUFF !
I am not as good a housekeeper as I used to be...I admit it, and I don't cook every night either.
I used to LOVE to cook, and fed my family HUGE meals...not anymore !
I take it in spells now...when I FEEL like it (which isn't very often)
So, NO...I'm not the perfect little wife I used to be, but...Oh Well !
There is always "OR ELSE"....
So, after 36's really more like 38, since we've been together since 1973...we are at the very least "tolerable" to each other, and at the most....still at it.
Maybe not "rip your clothes off" at it anymore, but we can still sit on the porch together, in total silence and relish nature ...finish each other's sentences, and sometimes, answer each other's question's before they are even, it isn't so bad....
In's pretty darn good most of the time...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Allergies = Sulfa and Demerol !

Today is my oldest son's birthday.
Brought back a couple of memories, I thought I'd share !
About this time, 32 years ago, Doc was rolling me on a stretcher, to the neo-natal intensive care nursery to see my son for the first time.
I was pre-eclamptic and had abrupto placenta with Erik, and went into the delivery room that cold Jan night, not sure if I or my child would see daylight, but we did, Praise God !
Well, being high as a kite on demerol, I saw a few "other" things besides daylight !
Talk about tripping !!!
As I lay on that stretcher, looking at my child for the first time, my first thought was, "Oh, what a beautiful color he is." ....cause he was GOLD !!!!
I thought, Lord, you have given me "The Golden Child" !
Doc quickly explained to me, Sandy...He isn't are drugged and it just looks that way because of the lighting in that room...
Oooooo-K !!!
He grew up to be a fine young man, and I am PROUD to be his Mom....

Flash forward a few years...I am recovering from another surgery...on my neck this time.
High on demerol, AGAIN....I had this awesome dream, that QVC was featuring the most wonderful, CHEAP, linens, and I was determined to get them.
I dreamed I reached over to my my credit card out...called the number on the screen and ordered me some sheets !
Then, the dream faded, and when I woke up, I thought, "What a strange thing to dream."...because I had never ordered anything from QVC in my life and wouldn't be caught dead doing so....never thought about it again.....
Several day's later, after I'd gone home...laying on the sofa, just chilling...I hear this knock on the door.
I get up and go see who is there, and find out it's Fed-Ex, and some guy is handing me a box....that contains a set of sheets in it !
Hummmm....guess it wasn't a dream after all...
What's more....I get ANOTHER box, containing ANOTHER set of sheets the next day !
Not only had I NOT dreamed I'd ordered sheets...I'd ordered TWO set's of for me, and one for my best friend !
and, believe me it was NOT cheap !!!!
so, from now on.....I am ALLERGIC to Demerol !!!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sweet Potato Love...

Some years back, I was browsing around the bookstore, and saw this book, "The Sweet Potato Queen's Book of Love" by Jill Conner Browne...
On the cover were a group of women dressed up in the most outlandish outfit's I'd ever seen !
Big red hair, BIGGER BOOBS, sequins and majorette boots !
I'm like..."What in THE world" !!!
First of all, it was the Sweet Potato Queen thing that drew me to it...see, my Momma alway's called herself "The Sweet Potato Queen" because she HATED sweet potatoes !
I remember her tellin' about how they walked 200 miles to school in the snow, rain, sleet....whatEVER...carrying with them a sweet patato and a biscuit, in a syrup can for their lunch everyday...consequently, she always said, " I am the sweet patato queen...If I never eat another sweet patato, it'll be TOO SOON " !!!
I LOVE them, but she wouldn't eat them, and never bought them.

Anyway, I picked up this book..took it home, and read it !
One of the most amazing book's I've ever read...AND, turn's out, I KNEW the author...well, used too anyway !
Back in the day, when thing's were usually alway's REALLY foggy, if you know what I mean !
We hung around some of the same people, and met several times, but that was about the same time I left Jackson too, so we never became what you would call friends...but, I was in instant awe of Jill, her message , and her people !
I went to her website, which housed "The Messageboard of Love" at the time, and met some of them...this HUGE following of some of the funniest, wittiest, dearest women on the planet.
I knew immediately, I had found "My People" !

One of the first people to greet me was amazing little sprite of a woman, who had the MOST energy ! She absolutely vibrated with life ! FUNNY and kind and compassionate, are just a few of the words that describe Dutchy, and they don't do her justice.
You just had to know her.
Well, a couple of years into my experience there, Dutchy got cancer.
She fought the good fight !
She fought hard, but she didn't win...or maybe she did...I guess it's all in how you look at it.
She was a shining example of how one deals with something like that with grace and dignity though, and she taught us all a lesson , not in dying...but in LIVING !
Dutchy still the hearts of so many.

Another fabulous person I met there, was Pateeta.
Pateeta is another one who can make you split your britches, laughing...
Funny and CRAZY...good crazy though....I am smiling right now, as I type this, thinking about how many times she has made me laugh.
Funny and kind and compassionate...Pateeta took care of Dutchy during her battle with cancer...there for her, when no one else could be...
She taught us all a lesson in caring...what it means to REALLY do it.

Now, Pateeta is fighting her own battle with Cancer...
She has for sometime now...and through it all, she has remained...funny, witty, kind, compassionate, full of grace and dignity...and she is teaching us another lesson in love and living...and, how to do it.

My heart is heavy today, as I think of Patty and what she is going through...and, I pray so hard, that she is no pain...with all her loved one's near...
My heart is also full of joy too though...the joy of knowing her...
I am so grateful that God saw fit to lead me to Pateeta and Dutchy, and all of the wonderful women and men, I have met through Sweet Patato Love...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If you can't say something good about someone...

Just, SHUT-UP !
I am SO TIRED of nasty politic's, I could scream !
Saturday, a horrible tragedy happened at the hands of a madman.
Never mind what color he was, if he was left, right, liberal, extremist, gay, straight...whatever !
He was/is C-R-A-Z-Y !!!

My husband is a POX News junkie, and everytime I go in the room, where he has it on, and hear ; OBAMANATION, or hear President Obama referred to as "The Annointed One" or just being being bashed in some form... When I hear past President's being bashed, and just flat out disrespected...
At first I was just sad that we seem to have lost our RESPECT, but now I'm actually getting angry.
I mean...WHAT has happened to us...
We may be Democrat or Republican, or Liberal or Conservative, or Tea Party or whatever...but we are FIRST...AMERICAN'S !
The America that I grew up in and remember and MISS....was respectful ...regardless of our differences.
That's one of the basic freedom's that we have...the freedom to be different....and, it be O.K. !
Are we losing that ?
I have to wonder...

I want MY America back !
I want people to just start being respectful don't even have to be nice...just civil and that too much to ask ?
OK...Rant over !