Category Archives: Parents

Time flies…… a good day for a wedding!


Way back when I was just a little girl, time was slow, really slow and steady. The thirty plus days between Thanksgiving  until Christmas were more like thirty months  and if the school year was any longer and summer break was any shorter then we would be in school full time! This is from the perspective of a child which I have found is the exact opposite when you become….middle aged. That being said, when the children that you watch be born and grow up, that are not your own seem to leap to adulthood in like a week, it makes one painfully aware that time does not stand still…it do fly!

This weekend we are a part of a wedding back in East Tennessee, the preacherman will unite in marriage a grown man and  a little girl who was just a little runt a few years back! How did this happen! I blinked. She is also a twin….a twin that although I have known them from birth…I still call…twins, as in not their real names…..because lets be real, they are twins and for the life of me I could never tell you which was which…ever…..! I mean put name tags on them, dress them differently it did not matter, I never really knew. This is not for lack of trying I was around them all the time. Their Dad is my husbands best friend and his wife is my best friend, we have a history yet I was lost. I did try, my kids knew which was which but not me.

They were always the twins, scary little mystery girls that I was never sure about what they were up to. Twins are a special secret club, they have a language…a underlying knowing that is a little creepy. I never felt like I could ever get the upper hand, even me an adult, I felt as if those two heads put together would always out smart me….and I was right! I have spent a lot of time with them in many situations and they were equipped with this sly grin that reminded me to be on my guard. My own sweet little daughter was one of their dear little friends…she always knew which was which….and she always came home a little wiser, sitting under the tutelage of these two masterminds. They have  extra jolt of energy and mischief than other kids, always up for fun and anything that is exciting.

They are for sure a rare breed and as time does fly, they are all grown up. One of them, Amber has already been in the Army and served our Country (thank you for your service Amber!) and now finished school and knocking it out of the park with a great career! The other one, Aubrey is  walking down the aisle tomorrow, she also has finished school and began her own successful career, raising a beautiful little boy and has found her one true love. This little girl has before our very eyes…grown up, along with her twin and her oldest sister, Ariel and her little brother, Lee. The original Ellis brood. There is a baby brother, thrown in for good measure, the extra blessing, Jeremy. I think they had to “one-up” us, WE…. Praise the Lord stopped with four kids!

These “kids” are making lives for themselves, I am proud of them and the job their Dad and Cheryl did with them…..they say it takes a village to raise kids these days, I would like to think that I had a tiny piece of influence…maybe. If nothing else I hope they see Gods grace and commitment to Him which is the only way to survive the flying of Time and the ups and downs of marriage especially. Congratulations Sweet Aubrey on the day of your marriage ceremony and I pray for many years of love and laughter. They are equal parts that are needed….but that is how you were raised so I’m not worried. Best wishes on your special day, Aubs….or is it Amber?

Much love from all of Us “indoor people”who love you!

 

 

Hands extended


My Mom looks at her hands constantly….she touches them, rubs and worries over them, she will even comment that her hands look so bad. I beg to differ with her…I consider them the strong symbols for a life lived, proof of her endurance.

wpid-photo-2.jpgYet she, seems surprised by the look of them….I know why, it is a daily reminder of the days lived, her age can’t  be hidden from her hands. All the beauty products in the world can’t conceal the well worn years, lipstick and blush can paint in our youth but, our hands reveal our true self.

Now that she has been overcome by the perils of Alzheimer’s, her life has shifted, she no longer is …”I am woman, hear me roar!”, a pseudo strength that propelled her to raise kids and work after divorce when not everyone was so understanding of her independence…she is although, still somewhat the master of her domain even within the realm of her small world now, it is baffling and yet touching to see these hardworking hands lend comfort to her new friends.

She extends kind words and a soft touch, holding the hands of those precious souls who have her same disease, maybe a little farther gone but, still in need of a friend. I witness hands that once cooked great food and that held my hands across my life, now helpful in the lives of others. She is showing kindness and love and actually ministering there in this home where she lives. I asked her once about her relationship with God, she quickly set me straight….”……..how do you think I ever got through my life without trusting in God!!!!!!!!” Special emphasis on the exclamation marks….she set me in my place! I will forever have hope that was her testimony and now her hands are His hands extended there in her world.

Although she frets the aged-ness revealed in her hands, I enjoy the touch of her gentle hands, the mother’s love that I long for, for which i felt I didn’t always get as much as I wanted, I am blessed to receive now. I find myself noticing my hands more, a few age spots….dang Sun worship.…now I know why Southern Belles wore those cute white gloves….should have thought that one out…oops. I am learning how important it is to connect with people, be present at the moment, especially now when the few moments I get to sit with her are running low.

Life is a gift…..our parents are gifts…..our children and grandchildren are our joy…..Life goes full circle. (I feel like I am about to break out singing The Lion King …….and no one wants that to happen!!!!)
But, I will say one line from an old song…..”put your hand in the hand of man that stilled the water…” and in the hand of someone who needs it. Thanks Mom for holding mine….still.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Put_Your_Hand_in_the_Hand

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Tradition


This year my family traveled to visit our family for Thanksgiving in East Tennessee. This is never my first choice, to travel I mean, I am a home body as a rule and especially on a big holiday. I like to be the one doing the cooking. This year though, it worked out for us to go so we did.

My side of the family had a reunion a couple of weeks ago instead of the usual Thanksgiving celebration. We were blessed to have our precious Uncle Leon and Aunt Ornella as well as cousins John and Susan, which is always a special treat for us all. They have always lived far away so when they come home it is always a joy. My Aunt and Uncle are getting up in years and I have to catch myself when I hug them to not hug too hard because the thought always crosses my mind that this may be the last time. Morbid I know. Just trying to be prepared and enjoy them as long as I can.

It is not my intent, but I rarely get to see them and I just can’t bear the thought…..I as well feel this way about a lot of people in my life. We never know when this may be the last hug or laugh or words. Since my Mom has spent the last few years becoming less and less capable of knowing all of us, I am ever mindful of just how short life is.

Energizer Bunny

This became even more relevant to me yesterday during our visit to my mother in laws home. I don’t see here as often now and when I do, it is always shocking at the amount of “slowing down” she has done. If you had asked me if it ever would have happened I would have never believed it, she was the Energizer Bunny before the bunny was….she never knew how to rest, take it easy…..always doing something. Even at a time of relaxation, she would be embroidering.

I learned how to cook for the most part from her. When I married the preacherman and moved to his hometown and was thrust amongst all the good cookin’ church ladies and I was enlightened to the world of casseroles and some of the best in Southern cooking. I mastered the Thanksgiving Dinner from my mother in law, this was the first food of hers I had ever eaten….on a trip there with my room-mate(pre-marriage) to see University of Tennessee vs Vanderbilt. Reason number twenty-eight on why I went…got to see boyfriend and check out his hometown. Mission accomplished and some great food for us hungry college kids!

It was evident this week that she is slowing down, she was more frail and smaller…..just like my own Mom, although my Moms mind is failing her, my Mom in law is still pretty sharp. It is just her body that is tuckering out. But I swear if she still wont hardly let me help her….frustrating. What is it about the

English: at 955 Airport Boulevard, near , in .
English: at 955 Airport Boulevard, near , in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

elderly that makes them not stop or rather allow us to help. I hope I will be different, I hope I allow my kids to do all they can……or maybe that is how I feel now, sorry kids!

We had our lunch at a local, very popular restaurant, The Cracker Barrel. I was amazed at the amount of people who ate out for their Traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Do people not cook anymore? The over whelming part also was the amount of elderly people. I know this restaurant is a favorite of

the elderly as well as the Hardee’s breakfast, but it seemed there was mostly older folks. It actually made me sad and wonder…..where are all the children that go with these people. Did they choose to not be there with the Moms and Dads or maybe just like us went to the other side of the families dinner. I don’t know, it just seemed like of all the people there, ninety percent of them were older.

Maybe they have just “been there done that”, cooked the big meals, had the big house destroying family get together’s, broke the bank on all the pretty foods and accessories……maybe they are happy going out to eat and just driving home, in peace and quiet. I just don’t know. I think I was the only one who even cared, probably because two of my brood were not with us, I missed them and I missed not cooking for them all. My romantic view of life tends to get the best of me when I miss my kids.

On a side note: …..I also do not even want to obsess over the amount of people who play with those little wooden games with the golf tees that are on every table; the ones that have been scattered on the floor a zillion times and put back on the table and never disinfected. Then, while I watched people over and over touch those germ laced games and then pick up their fresh hot biscuits and jelly and eat them with the same dirty fingers……ugh, STOP!   STOP I would think, yelling in my head…..then I notice my own people doing the same thing….just as I had also done before…..ewe, wish I had not remembered that part…….I must have been tired, obsessing about all that. Some days it just doesn’t help to think so much!

So in the end, I chose pork chops for my special holiday meal….seemed to be a good choice, it had to be made fresh and it was good… unlike the big piles of turkey and vats of gravy and pans of mashed potatoes that have been made for hours …there I go obsessing again! I also knew I had a great home cooked meal waiting for me in a few hours when we traveled back home at my own Mom and sisters house. Happy to report is was awesome!

Thanksgiving deems to be getting squished out with all the shopping deals….I have never shopped on this day, truthfully, I have never had a large supply of money to do shopping with and I am also pretty protective of sleep and I have large crows issues…someone always gets trampled…..it ain’t gonna be me, sista! I have great Thanksgiving memories….a day for slowing down, a long weekend, throwing a football. Watching the parades and dreaming of living in New York……oh to be a kid again, the truth is my days are numbered and I know it. Soon I too will be enjoying my meals where everyone knows my name…..not CHEERS!…but my local Cracker Barrel!

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Is this what is has come to?


In my effort to be a good daughter, which by the way, I fail most days…..I went over to my Mom’s this afternoon for a visit. To my joy my sister was there, also and they were in one of their usual Scrabble games. My joy was big because it is easier to be there when she is there too. It is painfully hard to visit with my Mom and it is shameful that I even say this thing. This thing that she would...”jerk a knot in me!” for even saying. My Momma, of before  Alzheimer’s,would have scolded me for such an attitude…but now she is a mere shade of her old self.

It isn’t only the Alzheimer’s to contend with but he is…. hard-a-hearin’ too, as the old folks used to call it. If I am not close by and looking at her straight on she is clueless to what I am saying. This brings up another frustrating subject. About the time my Mom started showing signs of the Alzheimer’s, my sister took her and paid for her a set of hearing aids. Sweetest thing in this world BUT….as I had guessed would happen (because I am younger and smarter!) my Mom would not even wear them! Ugh!

This of course has been a lesson in patience for my dear sister who was doing her best to love our Mom through this act of kindness. But to no avai….l she may have worn them once and no more….the cost was not cheap and at this point down the drain or still in the box, as it were. So during this visit it was me speaking, as loud as I could (and I have a big loud mouth…no comments please!) only to hear HUH????....augh!!!Jesus take the wheel!

The only good part was that every time…I would crack my sister up while saying something funny or smarmy under my breath as to not let my Mom hear me(because somehow she hears that stuff)….my sis would bust up laughing and so would I and our poor Mom siting there saying ……HUH! Bless her heart….in my sick mind it has become a sort of drinking game (without the alcohol!) for me to see how many times I can make my sister laugh after our mom says…HUH!

I am sure there is a special layer of Hell for people like me….and this will come back to haunt me when  I am eighty-three.  The conversation could not get more depressing though…(Mom)…”I have a knot on my head,…(sister) might be a mole?…..(ME)…I can call you Knot-head!…(Mom)……you would have to call me knot-face it’s on my face! Oh geez…the next time she brought it up (ten minutes later) the knot was on the other side of her head/face! Is this what it has come too? Sitting around talking about all the aches and pains we have and to top it off….. also she informed us we need to do sit ups as to lose the weight around our middles and then showed us how!….. for which my response was….”I think sit-ups are out of style now!”

I can honestly say that if what goes around comes around and I know it does (I am living proof) then good luck kids…all four of you can flip a coin to see who is stuck coming to see me on Sunday afternoon! Please know that I don’t blame you a bit….I know how you feel. What is the big deal about getting old? The big deal is we want things to stay the same…some things like our Momma’s. I want chicken and dumplins’ and chocolate pie like she can only make. That I will never get again…..bummer!I want to be able to tell her all my woes and her listen.

So to my crew….I will be with you in my heart…even if you don’t realize it and I have to say I know my Mom would be the first to gripe if this was her Mom…..actually I think she did, less than me of course because I am way more sarcastic than her….like I said, special layer of Hell waiting on me…..ouch!

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Am I Mother Enough!?…don’t get me started!


In honor of Mother’s Day I feel compelled to give the real and freakishly truthful NEWS about motherhood. This is not only a gripe session but is a call out to all the sensible mothers out there.

Being a mother is the hardest job in the world but also the most rewarding. We women are pretty special. We create people in our womb. Yes, we need help from the guys but still pretty awesome nonetheless! I see it as a great honor as well as a place of great responsibility.

I am not amused by the happy-go-lucky attitude of some people. This brings me to the point …

AM I MOM ENOUGH?

Get real!!!

Are you Mom enough?

If TIME Magazine can write a story on it, I suppose I can too!

Y’all had to take something so sweet and turn it into a curiosity, a non-news event.

Report on news that will cause us all to have good jobs or how to be millionaires in ten easy steps or something equally as moronic.

For Pete’s sake, we’ve been doing this for years. Y’all just now figuring all this out!?! I don’t remember anyone doing an expose’ on me nursing my four kids!

It is nauseating — your compelling news story on the FRONT PAGE is asking — am I mom enough!?!

SHUT UP!!

Is this the deciding factor? Nursing or staying attached longer to our children?

Do not get me wrong. I am all for it, breast-feeding that is. I had this honor — times four. It was joyful and precious and sweet and a special time in my life. I think any woman who chooses to experience this should be commended and honored, as well as those who choose not to.

It is each women’s “RIGHT” to choose what they do with their own body, if I am not mistaken. At least that is what I heard growing up in the ’60’s and I do still believe to this day. I also believe we all have a moral compass which guides us in all areas of our womanhood.

What happened to good taste and etiquette?

I do think that it shouldn’t be anything goes, which brings me to this article. Since when do we feel the need to broadcast one of the most intimate things between a woman and her child? What happened to the element of good taste?

Many years ago, when I was a young mother, still nursing my first-born, we had another couple over for dinner. About the time for dessert, the woman “whips out her left breast” and begins to nurse her baby right there at the dinner table!

My husband, being a man of great strength, looked straight ahead at me, never staring at this woman directly (much like the sun) while watching me nearly blow a gasket. No blanket to cover up, nothing! How rude could she be? Apparently VERY RUDE!

When I finally commented on it, the only answer I got was, “it is as natural as can be!”

BULL — she was an exhibitionist!

Don’t get me wrong. It is natural. And if I lived in the jungles of Africa, and that was the norm, then, by all means, I would be whipping it out with all the other women. They also had to carry big baskets on their heads and draw water miles away from their home and so on. We live in a MODERN WORLD here in America! I would like to see her work like a mule in that culture — selective freedoms I say!

God has blessed us with smart people who invented indoor plumbing and wagons to haul stuff and nice little comfortable recliner chairs — and doors with locks, behind which to go and nurse our babies in peace and quiet. We can enjoy this precious time with our little ones — instead of being out in a noisy room with people gawking at us. That cannot be peaceful and satisfying for babies.

Am I wrong here?

"Joan of Arc Saved France," a 1918 U...

The unabashed drama of women who swagger around like Joan of Arc to prove a point — to prove they can! Oh Lordy, makes me want to choke. And, just in case anyone reads this and thinks — what a prude — wrong, so very wrong! I am the least prudish person you would ever meet. I have no false pride and am very aware of the world around me. That is the problem.

Back to the story …

I knew then this chick, who felt so free to sprawl out in front of God and everybody, was going to be a pill. A few years later this woman proved me right.

She managed to cause pain and discourse through her own family. Mostly, because she didn’t want anyone to be the boss of her! Give me a break! She had no character. And, if she had, she would have been more discreet about what is one of the most lovely acts any woman can perform.

These babies that we are given deserve the attention they should receive, not in a hurry up and get this done fashion, or as if they’re in the way of our lives. Take the time to nurture them.

So, after seeing this magazine cover, I must say it has become an homogenized world out there. Take something so sweet and make it mundane and common. Take all the goodness out of it and add in filthy stares and glares.

I promise you this, as the mother of three men, they were not looking at the picture with “oh how sweet that is” eyes. It was more like, what a babe! Wish that kid wasn’t in the way!

Once again, sex sells! Can’t fight city hall, I guess.

Furthermore, as if my rant hasn’t been enough, a word on the principle of “the attachment philosophy.”

Heaven help us!

Take it from a mother who nurtured ’til the cows came home, I couldn’t have been a more cuddly or huggy or kissy or allow my kids to pile up in the bed with us parent. We absolutely smothered them with attention and affirmation as well as a good whippin’ when they needed it. Not that I condone that. I have evolved! And, I wish we hadn’t, but we learn from this and it wasn’t done harshly. Just hard to think of it now.

Although, ours were normal kids with all the lies and trouble three kids can cause. We were a very close family and still are so we must have not done too badly with them.They are still pretty darn clingy, which I must say I love — most of the time!

I do feel that the twenty years (ugh!) I stayed home with them may have been better if I had left them a bit more. As I look back, a tour of duty at a daycare may not have been too harmful. It could have toughened them up. Helped them learn some street smarts and how to fend for themselves. My kids were woefully unprepared for real life and they weren’t even home schooled! (No offense to home schooled kids. That is just the banter people say — that they won’t be socialized enough!) My kids were socialized. I just think they were attached to me too much, which was my own doing I know! Mother guilt hard at work!

So when I see the front cover of a national magazine with a picture of a three-year-old boy attached to his momma‘s breast, I want to yell, “come talk to me in twenty years!!” I’ll be saying, “How’s that working for ya!”

Mother's Day card
Mother’s Day card (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Mother’s Day to all the girls out there who have sacrificed their lives, bodies and heart for their children. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it was all worth it but I wouldn’t have minded not losing my twenty-something body. Yes, I am blaming my four for that!

It is Mother’s Day. I can do that just today!!!

Senior Citizens aka old folks


Today I was on my way home from my Mom’s house, after enjoying the little time with her while she still remembers me, walking her yard and looking at all her many flowers. I have commented before how she is this amazing ‘flower-whisperer’ — and I do wish that was the gift that she had given me — but, NO! I do love them as much as her but the ability to stick a lone seed in the rough dirt and grow an abundance of beautiful flowers … well that gene must have skipped me! Try as I might I only have about a tenth of her success … probably because of the dirt and rain and sun, no help from me!Image It is something that causes me to marvel at her ability to get up everyday and do her chores and at eighty-three it is a blessing she still can.

This brings me to the … on the way home part! I pulled up to a stop light in the rural part of two towns that are seemingly conjoined and I spied an old man, sitting in an old school wheel chair out near the road, pulling a pretty good size tree limb as best he could. Backing up, scooting his feet backwards, hauling that dead tree limb across his yard! With each little scoot of his heel in that kind-of-high grass, he pulled with his one good arm, the other looked paralyzed, but with all he could , he was clearing his yard of debris. It seemed impossible for the wheels to turn very well and it made me tired just watching him.

So as I sat there at thisImage traffic light, in my nice car with air conditioning, a body that is without any known conditions (I am usually holding out hope for a reason for my “out-of-shaped-ness”) (besides the obvious! which is my point) and I am humbled by him. I watched him and he watched me, or I felt like he was … guilt I am sure! He had on dark glasses and what appeared to be not so many teeth and it reminded me of my own dear grandfather.

He suffered a stroke several years before he died and he would not let that get him down. Papa Maxwell was a strong man, lived a hard life but took care of his wife and six (ugh!) kids the best he could. He was my Mom’s Daddy and she loved him more than anyone else, probably even more than us kids if the truth be known. When he suffered his stroke it took a bit for him to get his bearings but it wasn’t long before he was up and going. He had a riding lawnmower that he rode all over his yard and property. He even rode it up and down that old country road … everyone knew to watch for him. He was not going to be that old guy who sat in a chair and died. He was tough and he kept on keeping on until he couldn’t anymore.

Eventually he asked to be Baptized. If I remember correctly, Papa Maxwell never went to church very much .. .or ever. My Granny did, every time the doors were open but I don’t think he did (my family may correct me if needed). But at this point in his life he felt the need to do the thing he knew to do. Makes me wonder if my Granny had ever nagged him about it? Stupid question I guess, she was a wife!

My theology tells me that Baptism isn’t salvation, we must make a conscious decision in our hearts to accept Christ then be born again. Then, as a sign of what has happened on the inside we are baptized as a public confession of our faith.

I never knew if anything ever happened in that order with my papa. I wouldn’t have understood any of it back then anyway and, if he had spoken, it would have been (because of his stroke he couldn’t really speak real words) a cuss word, which he did speak, not one of the big ones, only the same one over and over.

This always cracked me up. Somewhere in my crazy mind I think if I couldn’t speak but a tiny bit, a cuss word would come in handy and I would worry about etiquette later! But, I do know one thing … GOD saw his heart and HE knew what my Papa wanted to do and say in the bowing in reverence through this baptism. And I believe HE honored him in that and my Papa is there with him now.

What does that do to my so-called theology? I don’t know but I believe it anyway!

My Papa worked hard his whole life and was good to every one. He was a fair and just man, not perfect but a good man all the same. SO, when I saw this poor old man today it reminded me first to pray for him, that if he needs help someone will come to his aid. Also, to get up off my keester and make something of my self.

Truth be known, even if someone had stopped to help that old man he probably would have said NO! That’s the way old people are. They don’t make them that way anymore. I am glad that I am old enough to know folks who are that way. I am still humbled by the older generation and the fortitude and character they have. If I could relay this to my own kids I would be a happy momma!

Lord, bless that old man and all senior citizens. They have a right to be crabby — they’ve been pulling us all along for generations!

Nostalgia


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Nostalgia is a good thing and if I were to be honest it can also be a sad thing. Looking back was a game ender for Lot’s wife(Genesis 19:26)….silly woman! The one time she should have listened and minded! Ugh! I am not attempting to look back with sadness or regret, but ahead. This photo was taken at least forty-eight years ago(ugh again) and it is from a wonderful time in my life. I am the precocious little girl third from the left on the truck bed side, sitting.
This was pre divorce of my parents and pre death of a precious Uncle, J.T. and the stroke of my Papa…..As well as pre injury of my cousin Junior who in his early twenties fell from a construction sight nearly to his death, only to be paralyzed and has lived his life in a rest home. Sad days were ahead for our family but on this one day it was the best of days. All of the grandkids together with the exception of one who had not been born yet!
We were a fun bunch, and all of us together, having a day at Granny and Papa’s home was a rarity.
A few lived far away and those times when they were home were priceless. Even as we got older we lived for those days again and our tight knit group within the group would come together to “hang out.” We would spend the night at the gparents and eat great food, my granny cooked with lard! Oh the dangers of amazing biscuits and really sweet Tea…..chicken n dumplins’ and pie! Omg… Makes me crave even as I speak. Later we would go into town which used to be about an hour away from the country home but as it turns out… Only about fifteen minutes! Odd when that happens!
Being the cool college girl as I was! I would take my cousins to a party or cruise the town but it was not about where we went… It was about being together….laughing and loving and having the time if our lives. I think this kind of friendships are fleeting these days …we all live farther away and maybe it is just me but our families are scattered to and fro and I think we have lost something in that. Just like siblings, cousins can be some of our closest lifelong friends. I wish my own kids had that kind of bond with their cousins.
I have said this before publicly but I want to say it again… I love you all! Those times under the trees, playing tag and hide n seek were my most cherished memories. You all enriched my life and I hope that your memories are as good as mine. We had a great place to have fun and great grandparents. No matter what our parents think or say about them! (meaning no disrespect, I get they were their parents and they had hard times) They loved us all and loved all of us being there with them and I am a stronger person for the people who they were. I am from a tough family, courage and strength, faith and failures. All of which give me pause to say thank you.

Frisbee kinda day!


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Nothin’ better than sittin’ on the front porch watching three of your grown kids throwin’ a frisbee! These lazy peaceful Sundays are what make the other dreary days survivable… Even lessens stress and reminds you that the most simple of times are still the best.
These days when the sun isn’t so hot and the trees are budding leaves; birds are chirpin’ and our lil’ black…..thinks he’s a rotweiller! Dawg trips over his tongue from all the running. I have never seen a dog more interested in the chase than this one and would rather die than get a drink of water.
I am loving’ this tiny moment in time, it is what keeps a family strong. I will never be more thankful than to see my kids be best friends. They have learned the hard way that the four of them are the most trusted compadres and even when they are sworn enemies for the moment( usually boys against girl!)they would defend one another with the fierceness of warriors.
Of course this is usually when in opposition to us…the parents. Not much ever changes in the family dynamic which these days makes me even more thankful for my little piece of the pie. I am the luckiest momma in the world and I know it!
My prayer is they will always love/hate each other more than anyone else and remember no other people know what they all know collectively, the battles fought and the hearts broken; secrets kept as well as lives saved. Siblings are a unique group and it is still odd the differences in them even though the experiences were nearly the same. Ah birth order, you are a fickle fate!
But on this lazy afternoon of Scrabble, Sorry(a game of many screams and defeat!) and now frisbee, life couldn’t get much sweeter!

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MOM or 666!


My darling daughter let me in on her private (not so much any more) secret that makes her giggle every time she calls me on her cell phone. I must say it is pretty funny although it does involve mean and cruel jokes at my expense. It appears that on her phone she can type the word MOM and the numbers that show up are 666!

“NO WAY!!!” I respond but, to my dismay it is true! Kinda makes you wonder about, way back when Alexander Graham Bell was toying with this new fangled idea of a way to communicate…the Telephone, he possibly…”accidentally”….. “on purpose”… worked it out that the “O” and “M” letters would be on the same key and end up with the dreaded sign of the ANTICHRIST! He could have quite easily had “M and N” on a number and let “O” dangle over there with “P”...I mean he was the one designing the darn thing!

Could it have been that the memories of his own sainted mother rang out in a nagging voice, during this time of inspiration and invention, reminding him of all the late night sessions of creativity of his godly mother (telling him to turn the light off and go to bed!)….who only loves her son Alex and wants him to get a good nights sleep and eat well and do good in school and meet a nice girl and settle down and…and…and….all those things mothers for centuries have wanted for their children…could it be that he might have possibly jumbled those letters up all on one number, just to have his own private joke?I shutter to think it and at the same time I would be so proud of him!

Or was this just the luck of the draw and became a treat for all those kids who just now and then need a laugh? Odds are good that is the case but it is comforting, as a mother, that my kids are overjoyed when they type my name in their phone and be reminded…..”don’t mess with ME….I am dangerous!!!” Children have really so little true power, ultimately we do hold the keys to the kingdom and it is little comfort to them to once in a while they get to …”stick it to the MAN!”…or MOM in this case.

It has not been that long ago (well, I am lying it has, go with me here!) that I was one of those kids and I too would have liked to get my mom once in a while. I seem to remember a dread full pleated skirt that I thought made be look huge…I was like 4’11” and weighed probably all of 98lbs….yep I was soooo huge! Makes me gag thinking how skinny I once was! But to me, then..those pleats all the way around that ugly skirt were awful! and I NEVER WORE THE SKIRT!…never even had the tags off, hung in my closet till it eventually disappeared. Send it to the poor girls around the world that “would love to have a nice ugly skirt”….but I did hear about it over and over…blah, blah,blah!

But because ..what goes around comes around, I too have my wars with my precious God sent angel face little girl and I think it probably was over an outfit. Funny how I have so little memories of those arguments with my own daughter…hmm, selective memory I would guess! The last time I mentioned that atrocious skirt of mine to my MOM she rolled her eyes and had no memories of it either….ouch, I feel ya Momma!

The great thing about this funny quip is that we all dial that MOM number a lot….and the coincidence is just that and I hope that my girl never stops. Just don’t fret I am a writer ya know! I have my ways to retaliate!!

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Soothes MY Soul


Today I spent some time at my Mom’s. It was later in the afternoon and I was getting a feeling for nap time! Mostly because her house is always warm, well to be honest it is HOT! But that is to be expected, she is elderly. I can’t believe I just called her that. Never in all my born days have I thought of my mom as elderly. She never has been until now. Truth be known, if she knew I called her that she would probably skin me alive!

I wish that she could know. I wish she was the same, quick to set things straight, lady I have always known. She is but a shadow of her former self. Her mind has retreated in so many ways and her momentary memory is all that is left. Thankfully she is in good health otherwise, for which I am so thankful, it would be more sorrowful if not. Even so, she is sweet and kindhearted now, two adjectives I would have thought of her in the past, just not as obvious. She was always a good woman, strong and forthright. But she wasn’t much drama, pretty much just a straight shooter. “Just the facts!” (I must be more like my Dad…all drama!)

The time I spend with her now is hard and taxing. The crazy part is that it has gotten hard for me just in the last few months. Before I was able to take it in stride, dealt with it pretty good before, and I even felt pretty proud of myself and felt the need to help my sisters wrap their heads around this disease. Pretty smug considering now it is a struggle for me. I am not sure why, maybe because the amount of loss we have had lately. Losing my sister-in-law to cancer last year took a toll on me I know.

Daily I miss her. Daily I search my mind for remnants of her. I still have the last four voice mails on my cell phone she sent me. I listen to them often as well as the last stream of texts. She was reminding me to be careful on the cruise we were about to board with all the mishaps, husbands and wives falling overboard and all. I think she had an over and under bet on me and her brother and if you knew her and us that would be believable. We constantly ragged her poor brother about everything — not that he ever knew it! It was our own little world. Her being his OLDER sister made for plenty of wars. He was pretty obnoxious I am sure as any little brother can be. I think their mom would make her take him on dates with her and her boyfriends! Recipe for murder I say!! SO who could blame them for their lack of warm fuzzies about each other! She would describe the little boy and I would defend the grown up man — a never-ending test of wills. I eventually won that battle and she agreed. She loved him despite herself which is the best ending of all.

I often remember the crazy conversations we had. One minute we would be deciding on what to cook our crews for supper and then without skipping a beat go into a story of our many yard sale adventures and my search EVERY TIME for a bathroom. YES, I did ask people to use theirs. She would go hide in the car, humiliated yet laughing her a#& off! (only word that can be used there, it is a Bible word, by the way! Just in case, forgive me Lord!) It would almost be a dare and the funny thing was people would let me. She would say she couldn’t believe I had the nerve to ask and I would say I couldn’t believe they would be so dumb to let me!! Me a stranger, though my only agenda was to potty and not have to leave such a good sale to drive a gazillion miles to a gas station. As a side bonus I did get to see some pretty cool houses! We were also famous for dragging home old furniture from the curbs….good times! The best of times and had I known they would be over so soon….whew makes me tear up again.

So when I go to my Mom’s house I guess I am realizing that the time will come when I will have to say good-bye to her. It is all so “in your face” this slow death. It is a fact of life that is a bitter pill. Not for the one who dies but for those of us left behind. I know where my sister-in-law is and I know she wouldn’t come back if given the choice but, still so very hard. Today her son made a funny (to me) comment on Facebook about a driver in front of him and I belly laughed because it was HER spit out! She, like me, was a verbal driver and had no patience for ignoramuses who pretend to know how to drive and when I read his comment it was hysterical.

Things like that give me comfort…maybe I am the only one, but when I hear or see something that reminds me of someone I love it is soothing to my soul. Her children do arise and call her blessed and every time I see a red bird — Cardinal — I am reminded of my Mom, though she doesn’t remember know that she used to love to see them. I do and it soothes my soul. I too will arise and call her blessed.

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