Nov 24, 2010

I am so Thankful because God is good. All the time!

The time was approximately 9 pm one Wednesday evening.  I had just laid the armload of things down on the tiny dining room/kitchen/coffee table.  I sat on the couch/bed and removed my shoes.  My feet were aching from standing on them for the 8 additional hours of work I willed myself to do so I wouldn't lose my apartment.  I was going through some very hard times.  But, no matter how hard they get, God is good. All the time.

I reached for the light switch and suddenly the ringing phone broke the dark silence. When I answered the phone, the voice that said my name was unrecognizable.  It was as though there were hundreds of miles between us and not a clear telephone connection.

The man on the phone but so far away sounded afraid. He sounded llonely. He sounded hurt.

The next words that came through the earpiece crippled me, leaving me in a heap at the floor.

Genny, your mother has had a heart attack.


Please call your brothers Genny, and get here as fast as you can.

I couldn't speak, I swear I was just nodding my head.  But he knew I would be there for him.  He knew I would do everything I could to keep him strong.  I got the number of the payphone he was standing at and told him not to move.  I told him that God will be with her because, God is good.  All the time.

Within the next few hours, two of my brothers and my sister and I already had our plane tickets to Albuquerque.  I learned the details of my mothers accident and didn't know what to do other than beg God to keep her alive until we get there.  I didn't sleep the entire night.  Nothing but thoughts of my mom filled my head.  Her voice, her smell.  Her really soft hands and perfect manicured fingernails.  I thought of the way she laughed and it made me smile.  She has the cutest laugh that comes straight from her tummy.  Almost every time she laughed she cried because she was laughing so hard it hurt. So, she would beg us to stop making her laugh.  Nine times out of ten, it was my two oldest brothers.  They were always telling her some story of some goofy kid they went to college with or some crazy lady that came in to try on some shoes at Nordstrom. 

Time seemed to crawl by.  Tomorrow couldn't get here fast enough.  I already called my boss to let her know what happened and that I would need to be off for a few days but I had to come to the office so I could print my e-ticket.  I didn't have a printer in my Studio Apartment that I was struggling to keep.  Back then the airports didn't have the printer kiosks yet.  I think I showered at 3 am and was ready to go about 7 hours early.

As I walked in the office the faces of my friends and co-workers said it all.  They were all pulling for my mom to make a recovery.  I hugged and hugged and hugged my way around the office.  I sat at my computer and printed my ticket.  As I was ready to leave and head to the airport, my favorite tall person tapped me on the shoulder.  She was trying to tell me something but couldn't get it out because she was crying too hard.  Instead, she handed me an envelope, hugged me and walked away.  I shoved the envelope in my purse and ran out the door.

My oldest brother was already in Albuquerque holding my moms hand during a very scary procedure.  My dad hadn't made it to the hospital yet because my mom had to be life-flighted to the Heart Hospital from the small hospital the ambulance took her too.  Dad couldn't be in the helicopter with her because they were already taking another patient.

From the small town they were stuck in, my dad had to hitch hike.  It would be a 3 hour drive to the Heart Hospital where the helicopter flew my mom, so far away from my dad.  He had the worst luck for so many hours trying to find someone, anyone headed to Albuquerque.  It seemed nobody was headed north then finally, a man driving a bus to California agreed to take the detour. God is good. All the time.

My flight was uneventful.  I was meeting my middle brother at the airport in Albuquerque since his flight landed 10 minutes after mine.  He reserved a car for us and we headed to the hospital.  He is always the positive one and could make anyone laugh in a tough situation.  He was my drink of whiskey to calm me down.  Today, he is considered my Xanax, to settle my nerves!  Thank you Lord, for my brother.  You are good.  All the time.

I have never in my life had such a flood of various emotions as I had when I walked into the room where my mother lay.  Relief washed over me when I saw the handsome man with pretty grey hair sitting in a small wooden chair in front of a large window, holding the hand of the woman he loved more than life itself.  But before the relief subdued my fear, my eyes landed on a small body, crippled and curled while laying motionless in a hospital bed.  Her face, her arm, her hand, leg and foot were not of the mother that left my tiny apartment 33 days prior.  Instead, they were turned in and stuck as though she were a coy little child, too embarrassed to look you in the eye.

I was speechless.  I didn't know what to say.  Inside, I just wanted to pick my small mommy up and run to safety where she wouldn't hurt or be crippled.  Outside, I wanted to be strong.  I walked over to where she lay and smiled.  A tiny tear leaked out of her left eye.  The right side of her mouth turned up in a smile and she spoke my name with slurred speech.  I hugged her like I have never, ever hugged anyone before.  I didn't want to let go.  Thank you God, for letting me hug her again. 

When all of the brothers and sisters arrived, we arranged a vigil in my moms room.  We would each take turns sitting with her.  Mine started immediately, thank the Lord.  I just couldn't leave her.  We talked, and laughed.  I brushed her hair even though she hated it.  I brushed her teeth too, and put lotion on her sweet, soft hands and perfectly manicured nails.  When my vigil shift ended, I went to the house my middle brother lined up for us.  I tried with every thing I had to go to sleep but I couldn't.  I showered, watched TV and prayed so hard I thought my hands would be stuck together!  I know, that God is good.  All the time.

The next morning it was time to go back to the hospital to talk with the doctor.  You would not believe the surprise we had waiting for us.  As we walked in the door, my sweet mom was sitting up!  I couldn't believe it.  When I turned the corner to look at her face, I noticed that her left leg was straight and her left arm was resting nicely on top of her left leg!  Her face was no longer distorted and this time she *felt* the tears streaming down her face.  She couldn't believe it either.  The doctor had already been in to talk to mom and dad and lined them up with instructions and a REALLY, REALLY long list of medications.

That is where the problem lies.  My parents didn't have health insurance.  Mom was just 60 and not eligible for Medicare yet.  My middle brother called us out into the hallway and asked if we could all contribute money for her meds for the next three months.  When she gets back to Mississippi, she would have to get a doctor on a regular basis and he would set her up with meds, and perhaps some samples.  We all agreed.  I can't remember who but one of us got the Rx's from my dad and walked them to the pharmacy in the hospital.  All of us were there to cover the costs.  When I reached into my purse to get my wallet, I remembered the envelope my friend handed me.  When I opened it, once again I was speechless.  In that envelope was hundreds of dollars that my co-workers had collected for me.  How in the world did they know?  I had not ever told them that my parents didn't have insurance and, I didn't have any way of knowing that I would need that kind of money. God is so good.  All the time.

It was difficult getting used to a new lifestyle.  Different eating habits and what medication to take and when.  But, my mom and dad will be sitting at my dining room table this year, as they have for the last 4 years, and I am so very thankful that God is good.  All the time.

I wish all my friends and family a very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. 

Tell me, what are you Thankful for?

Nov 23, 2010

When Will they be TOO old?

It's Thanksgiving week.

Which means I either enroll the boys in daycare or find a babysitter.

They hate the daycare because they are in the "older kids" group and it's boring.  They have to be quiet when the others take a nap and most every single day they get into trouble for being loud.

By babysitter I meant mine and hubby's parents.  It's great that they offer up their services and that we are so blessed to have both sets less than 25 miles from us.  They always take care of the boys when we work and can't get away.  Even sometimes (the one time) hubs and I go on vacation without the boys.  Both of our parents split up the days/nights of taking care of the boys.

But now, it's like they're getting too old to keep them.  When will it be time to stop asking for their help? I wonder if they boys even notice that they're slower these days?

Today my parents are keeping them.  At my house. My parents think the boys need to stay in their home so they have plenty of things to keep them busy.  I say it's because my mother doesn't want two boys tearing up her neatly kept house!  Plus there are not toys and video games at Noni and Papa's house.  So, they come over to ours. 

My parents walk in the door this am carrying a bag of donuts for the boys!  Well, there goes the eggs and bacon they requested this am.  They ditched the E&B and dove into the donuts.  As I walked out the door I mentioned the available things for lunch. Around 10:30 this morning I get a call from the house.  I immediately freak out because they NEVER call me at work.  Apparently, they think I'm some important person that stays so busy I don't have time for phone calls!  Anyway, fear runs through me and I frantically answer the phone. 

Hi mom, is everything OK?

Why wouldn't it be Genevieve, I know how to take care of children, I had 6 of them you know!

Right, it's just that you never call me at work.

Your father and I are taking the boys to lunch and just wanted to let you know. I didn't want you to worry if you called the house and we didn't answer the phone.

Oh, sure.  Thanks for letting me know, have fun and make sure the boys wear their seat belts.

Jesus Genevieve!  You'd think I was born yesterday.  You grew up just fine, now didn't you?  I can handle this, I'm not that old!


I was about to say good-bye when she blurted out;

Oh Hun, tell me where the Wendy's is again?

Mom, we were just there last week.  In front of Kohl's remember?

Oh yes, now I remember.

I hope she remembers where Kohl's is!! Perhaps my dad will remember since it's RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR SUBDIVISION!!  Good thing dad is driving too, mom can't even remove the emergency brake, even though she's the one who pulled it up.  However, in his older age he drives very slow.  They may not make it to Wendy's until 3pm this afternoon!

I just called the house.

No answer.

It's been 4 hours.

The next closest Kohl's is in Hattiesburg.  Perhaps there is a Wendy's there too?

Nov 22, 2010

Happy Holidays?

It's that time of year again - time to decorate the entire house.  Every single room will have a touch of Christmas.

It's not that I don't like decorating because I do.  That's why there's something for every room. It's just that it seems like every year something happens that makes me enjoy it even less!  It started happening about 5 years ago. No matter what I did to keep the tree upright, it seemed like every afternoon when I came home from work that damn tree would be laying on it's side in the middle of the living room floor!  After several broken ornaments and enough gorilla glue to hold a house together, I finally had to tie the stupid thing to the wall.  The very next year, we bought a brand new PRE-LIT tree. Except, none of the friggen lights worked.  I had to buy new lights since I tossed the old ones out with the old tree!  The year after that I decided to change the colors scheme and bought all new, pretty silver ornaments at Target, who by the way has the best after Christmas Sales on holiday trimmings.  What else do you think goes perfectly with those nice silver ornaments?  Blue lights!!!  So, I bought them too. Because they were on sale.  Thanks to my dad who, upon seeing my tree, sang "I have a little Dreidel", those ornaments and lights have been donated to Goodwill. Last year was crazy busy, and I don't know why but I didn't get my tree up until the 20th of December!  My poor boys were beginning to think we weren't having Christmas at all!

So, this year, I'm starting early and going to pace myself.  I decided that I would be the one to go up into the attic this weekend to retreive the decor.  Hubby gets to "put it away", so I'll be nice and bring it down. Both mine and my parents.  The parents stuff can stay in the garage until Thanksgiving and then they can take them home after they eat.  Anyway, I'm all gung-ho for the retreival.  Hubby is going to be at the ladder, which I'm convinced is made out of matchsticks because every time I take a step higher the damn thing cracks like it's going to collaps out from under me!  So, he'll be there to catch the stuff as I throw it hand it down to him.  Even though it's only 53 degrees outside it's like 137 degrees in the attic.  WHY?  Clearly there is air circulation up there or else there wouldn't be a gigantic wasp nest glaring at me from the little window above the garage. 

Once in the attic, I take an inventory of the 17 boxes and two Christmas trees that I have to haul down and I'm already sweating.  I shed my clothes and make my hubby promise not to laugh when he sees me in just a sports bra and boy short underwear. Hush, it's hot up there!  Time to work.  I have a rythm down and things are getting done.  I have just about mastered walking along the 6 inch plank which is the length of the attic/garage all while carrying at least two boxes stacked on top of each other AND, hunched down so don't bang my head on the rafters.  Three more boxes to go and wouldn't you know it. I lose it!  It was totally like the movies.  Like I had practiced this move over and over to get the sequence just right.  I had two boxes and turned to the left to go back down the plank towards the attic door and ladder where my husband was waiting.  Suddenly, I lost my balance and yes, my life flashed before my eyes all before the final words of my hubby screamed through my ear.  "Whatever you do, do NOT step off of that plank or you'll come flying through the ceiling and land right on your car!".  I promise you it was the last thing he just said to me before making the final lap for Christmas decor.  Fear seared through me from my head to the very tip of my toes and I stopped breathing.  I fell backwards and screamed....."ADRIAN!!!!!", no, kidding....I screamed "son of a bi*^!"  My eyes were closed and when I opened them, I was laying across my son's toddler bed that was neatly placed in the attic.  I quickly jumped up, left all three boxes where they fell, stepped my naked ass down the matchsticks and sent my husband up after the last boxes.  I was through with the attic and I would no longer be making any trips to the attic. Ever. This marks  the 5th year in a row of Christmas decorating hell.  I'll be damned if I'm going to do it with a broken foot/leg/arm/back/neck.  So, after a got dressed again and took a quick water break I sent hubby up to get the rest. He makes it two steps up and suddenly jumps down and is running in circles.  He's frantic and mumbling something like "head...dying...don't feel so good, pass out" and the next thing I know he's laying on the floor of the garage! 

I thought he was kidding becuase he does that shit all the damn time.  I told him to get up and quit messing around.  There was no need in making fun of me just because I almost ripped a hole in the ceiling of the garage by falling through it. I was tired and hot and ready to be inside the house so we could start decorating. 


He's still laying on his back. On the ground. In the Garage. 

I go over to him and say his name. He opens one eye and says: "Am I alive?"  I almost slapped him right there.  Then I saw the blood.  Now I know that our heads bleed profusely even with the tiniest cuts but holy crap there was a lot of blood.  The look on my face said it all and if I weren't such a good liar (I only do it when necessary and if it is to avoid hurting someone) he probably would have passed out again.  I told him there was a little blood and he'd better go clean it up.  I have NEVER seen anyone as white as he was when he heard the word "blood".  He made it to the bathroom and cleaned up, relieved it was a small cut and no trip to the hospital for stitches was necessary.  He is lucky though because he hit his head on that thin bar that sticks out right above the springs that hold the stairs up.  It could have been much worse.

We went back outside. Yep. We turned the attic light off and closed the attic door.  The boxes stayed where they lay and not one Christmas decoration was adorned.  Even the next day I didn't touch the boxes fearing the worst.  I went about my business.  I moved furniture, and pictures.  Vases and chotsky's were put in boxes to make room for the decorations.  But not a snowman or nutcracker was touched by me.  I took my parents to the Mannheim Steamroller concert and when I returned later that night it looked like Santa and all of his elves had thrown up in my house. It was beautiful!  My sweet, wounded hubby and our boys had themselves a blast putting up the decorations.

It seems like the yearly bad luck has gotten worse by the year.  What in the world will happen next year?

Fun with Mom and Dad

Last night I took my parents to Mannheim Steamroller.  It was fantastic!  We were so close and the music was so loud but phenomenal!

Nov 19, 2010

My Leftovers

I always look forward to Thanksgiving.  There is just so much goin on. It's the beginning of the Holiday Whirlwind!

There's the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, football and more football and the Saints play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day this year.  There will be food, family and games.  It's going to be fun!

It's like once the last day of October arrives, the Holiday madness begins.  This has always been my favorite time of the year.  I love to decorate for the fall season and make my house all cozy.  Traditionally, Thanksgiving Dinner is at our house.  My mom is a fabulous chef.  But not everyone (in the South) appreciates her very eclectic taste.  My mother-in-law doesn't cook at all.  I mean, she can make a mean banana pudding and her chilli is great too, but I'm allergic to banana's and we don't eat chilli on Thanksgiving Day.  I'm not knocking ya if you do.  Good for you, but we don't.  So, everyone compromises and I do most of the cooking for Turkey Day.  It's fine with me though because I really enjoy cooking. 

Usually, both my parents and my husbands parents come over as well as my S&BIL and their two brats children.  But this year, it's just going to be the moms and dads.  Yep!  The S&BIL and their really boring totally wonderful kids are not coming. 

It's not because she's still mad at my dad. Last year after when everyone was about to leave, my dad told her that he and my mom would be over to their house later on in the afternoon for leftovers because he noticed she took plenty of them.  In her own Tupperware.  That she brough over.  In a GIANT BAG.  She just giggled but, no one else even smiled.  I for one was steaming mad.  Who the hell brings their own Tupperware over so they can have leftovers?  Not to mention, she didn't even contribute to the feast!

It can't be because I Unfriended her on Facebook.  And her husband.  And their 11 year old son.  Oh, don't worry he drinks Starbucks coffee so he's mature enough to be on Facebook.  This was way before Jimmy Kimmel declared November 17th the first annual National Unfriend Day.  Anyway, my husband inherited some beautiful furniture from a family member.  We put a lot of hard work into actually getting the furniture, not to mention an entire truckload for some other family members. We didn't get any physical help moving the furniture. And do you know how HEAVY expensive furniture is?  I didn't until now.  I can only afford the cheap shit and cheap ain't heavy.  Nice, intricately designed, handcrafted furniture from the early 1900's is VERY HEAVY!!!  And because I was so proud of it and how beautiful it made my home look I posted a few pictures of Facebook.  My SIL was not happy.  She complained and made a crazy story up about how I shouldn't have put it on there because some cousin or other family member might be jealous that we got the furniture.  We all know who the jealous one is now don't we?  My husbands dad called and politely asked me to remove the pictures from MY Facebook.  I did.  Only because I absolutely adore my father in law.  I was totally hurt though.  I was so proud of the new stuff I had because I don't have a lot of very nice things.  She does, because she acts like she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.  I wasn't.  I work very hard for the things I have.

I really don't know why after 6 years they have decided to go elsewhere for Thanksgiving.  What I do know, is that I'm willing to bet anyone out there that she will send her own Tupperware by her mother for left overs. 

Guess What?  There won't be any left overs this year!