Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Top 10

10. Do I continually say to strangers on behalf of my sons, "I'm sorry."
9. I think about buying a children's leash.
8. the AC is on 24/7
7. Someone else cooks dinner.
6. My toenails get painted hot pink.
5. Parents consider lolly pop's gifts from Heaven.
4. it's okay to buy cheep and cheesy gifts and t-shirts.
3. There is an unspoken agreement of "Don't ask, Don't tell" when it comes to bathroom breaks.
2. Is it excepted to pee in a used coffee cup while driving on the highway.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer time aches and pains

The heat can make people do all sorts of crazy things right? Like going out in public in too little clothing, paying $3 for 1 popsicle off the "ice cream truck", or even taking a turn on the slip-n-slide as a grown adult. I haven't gone out in public with too little clothing yet...that's this weekend, however I have paid an arm and a leg for ice cream (which is going to make swimming tricky) and I went down the slip-n-slide last weekend.
Saturday morning was HOT and the kids were bursting at the screen door seems. So after Nate mowed the lawn we filled the kiddie pool and hooked up the slip-n-slide. I stood by and watched the boys run onto the plastic and then "slide". Needless to say that was dangerous and not really getting them anywhere. So I just HAD to show them how it was to be done. So I told them to, "Watch out boys! It's Mama's turn. Watch-n-Learn" I stood a few steps back and aimed straight ahead. Eye's trained on my destination (the pool of water at the end) I took off at a fast step and dove, arms straight out. My form was perfect (for a belly flop) unfortunately my body didn't agree. When landing my ribs and all other bodily organs shouted out in agony. I don't know if it was the cold water Nate was spraying on me from the hose or my pride, but I refused to listen to Nate when he said, "Suzie, that sounded really loud." a touch of warning was in his voice, but I took it as, "Suzie you're too heavy for that." So I just had to do it again and again and again and (just one more time) again. After the first plop the others went by with a breeze and I was having fun.
Fast forward to Sunday morning when the sun was up and I rolled over in bed. I was smacked with pain across my abdomen, when I sat up it felt like I had been doing sit ups all night long. I stumbled down stairs and headed past my bright eyed and bushy tailed kids and husband on towards the coffee pot. After starting the heavenly brew I shuffled to Nate and told him my woes. He didn't hesitate when he said, "It was that dive you did on the Slip-n-Slide! I told you it was loud!" Ugh...he was right. I did absolutely nothing else that would have come close to breaking ribs. For the next three days I took it easy and steered clear of the Slip-n-Slide.
Age has truly robbed me of one pretty cool summer time water activity. sigh. Let this be a warning to any other almost 30 and above person who may be reading this. The next time I go down a slip-n-slide I'll be in a seated position with my children pulling me down by my feet....or not.

Relay Recovery

It involves a lot of coffee.
I didn't know what to expect from Relay for Life because it was my first year going to one. When I first got there I saw tables set up in the middle of the arena where people were selling food and other things to help raise money and a bunch of people walking around checking things out. As it became closer for the ceremonies to begin, more family and friends showed up to support the walkers and Relay.
Survivors of Cancer were the first ones to walk a lap while everyone else stood on the sides clapping as they went sending out love and support. I couldn't help feeling sad as I wished Mom was walking with them but of course it was wonderful to see that people can survive Cancer and to see them walking was awesome! I walked during the caretakers lap with two of my girlfriends who also lost their mom to cancer each of us looking WAY too young to have had to take care of their mothers. It was emotional and rewarding at the same time. All those strangers standing there, no one knew my story but they have their own which probably doesn't very too much from my own. They knew our struggle and they were honoring it with their smiles, tears and applause. It was the first time I've ever "shared" something so personal with so many people under one roof. I think you would have to go to understand what I mean, it's hard to explain.
After the laps we stood by our Luminaries (white paper bags w/candle inside) that lined the track and we each lit ours when they said it was time. They had bags for in memory of or in Honor of and we put the persons name on it ourselves and could decorate it. I put a flower on mom's because she always doodled flowers...I would have put a cow on it but I'm not an artist. Mom loved cows. She was a teacher so it was always known amongst the kids and parents that she liked cows so over the years she collected many a cow figurine. They were all over our house:) She was a true southern farmer in heart from her love of sweet tea and sweet deserts all the way down to her bare feet digging into the garden soil.
A man played taps on the bagpipes as the candles flickered in the dark and we all thought of our loved ones. When the lights came on it was time to get back to selling soup and walking. Our team sold French onion soup that did pretty well thanks to the cold and rain. :) A DJ played music all night to keep us going and Elvis made an appearance around 2am dressed in an electrifying blue diamond studded jump suit. Elvis was missing his hair and height so if you've seen them kindly collect them and send it to him.
I noticed around 3am that my eyes were really having trouble focusing on things and they were pretty red when I looked in the mirror so I decided to lay down on the cot and try to rest for a few minutes. Before I knew it I woke up to hear the announcer say "Good Morning everyone it's 6 o'clock." I had somehow managed to sleep :) Most of my team stayed awake the whole night!! Suckers:) haha just kidding:)
What I learned about Relay for Life is that we really are raising money for a great cause. With some of the money raised they were able to start up a call center to answer questions about cancer as well as to be there when someone just needs to talk. What a great thing to do! I also saw for my self how Relay can bring hundreds of people together to celebrate those who have beat cancer, honor those who have passed on and to fight back so hopefully no one will have to experience Cancer ever again.
So be careful of what you eat, wear sunscreen, and visit your doctor. If you know someone who has or had cancer I encourage you to come out and be apart of Relay next year. Weather that means joining a team or just being there for support it's all very much appreciated. It shows you care and that's something special.

A Mother's day Story

I am going to tell you about the day my mom died, but before I do I have to take you back, way back to when I was a little girl so you can understand my depth of love and my connection to her.

It was a day like any other, spent playing with my brother Jeff and my sister Becky and we were all geared up for that night because Mom was going to sit down with us and watch a special TV movie. Mom turned off the lights, popped the pop corn and we all settled down in our seats to watch the Disney movie DUMBO.

My excitement soon turned into sadness when Dumbo sneezed and the other mommy elephants started making fun of him for his BIG EARS. My sadness only deepened when a boy visiting the circus made fun and scared Dumbo sending Dumbo's mom into a frenzy. I finally broke down and started crying when the circus handlers came and forced Dumbo's mom into a small boxcar separating Dumbo and his mother. Dumbo was alone and forced away from his mother. There in the darkness curled up on our gold sofa I sniffed and quietly wiped away tears. Mom had been sitting on the floor with my brother and sister. She looked back at me with concern and asked why I was crying. Then she told me that in the end everything would be okay. What I really felt inside was not only a sadness for Dumbo but I realized that something could somehow come between me and my mother. I could loose her!!! She had turned back to the movie but I couldn't. For the first time ever I saw her there and was afraid that one day she might not be. My heart ached and all I could do was cry because I didn't have the understanding and words to describe how I felt. There were more sad parts in the movie along with some funny ones and in the end Mom was right, every thing did turn out okay. Dumbo was re united with his mother and everything was even better than before. I on the other hand clung to my mother for the next decade or so, much to her annoyance. If she went out of town (which was hardly ever) I would cry and worry the whole time she was gone and I didn't enjoy one minute of the time she was gone. When she came home I could breath again and be happy. Mom was my every thing! I loved her beyond words or expression.

Now fast forward to my teen years when just about everyone takes their mothers for granted. I was no exception unfortunately. I still would have "Dumbo" moments but for the most part I was happy to branch off. Then one day that fear became real when mom and Dad told us kids that mom's lump was cancer. For the next few years we were all on an emotional roller coaster. I was that little girl again. I was afraid of every moment of every day because some day she was going to be taken away. I lived every day keeping that fear inside, trying to be hopeful and pray for a miracle. I couldn't help wondering though that maybe it wasn't Gods' plan to heal her.

Early in the morning of May 4, 1998 Mom's breathing became very labored and she was struggling to stay alive. Dad called the hospice nurse and she told us today was the day. Mom was dieing and it was time for each of us to say our good byes. Dad left to pick Becky up from school and called Jeff to come home. I sat on the edge of Mom's hospital bed that was placed in our dining room and held her hand. I took a minute or two to compose myself. Our very helpful hospice nurse explained how we should say good bye to help Mom pass. We were to not let mom hear us cry and to be strong for her. We had to let her know that we would be okay and that it was okay for her to let go. It was the HARDEST thing I ever had to do in my life. I held her limp hand and studied her face as I pushed the lump in my throat down further so I could speak. I told her it was me and had to pause because I just wanted to cry. I told her I loved her and that I always would love her. Mom made some sounds as if she were trying to say something and her eyes fluttered open. I saw here eyes for a moment and then she was struggling for air again. I told her I saw her beautiful brown eyes and that I would tell everyone that she loves them. She settled after that and her labored breathing continued. I told her I would miss her so much but that we would be okay and that it was okay for her to go. We would all take care of each other and mostly Becky. I gave her a kiss and held her hand until it was someone else's turn to come say goodbye. More family and friends arrived and before we knew it we were all gathered around her for it was time for her to pass. I sat on her left and listened as Pastor Grant read from the Bible just as Mom asked him to do. As he read I prayed for God to send Angel's to come get mom and soon for I couldn't bare to see her in pain anymore. I wanted her to be whole again, to be without pain and sadness even if that meant I would be without her. Slowly her breaths spaced out and finally she breathed out her last and that's when we all let out our sadness in our sobs. In that same moment of pain and loss there was a peace. I could feel Mom's presence, a lightness and a release. I felt that everything was going to be okay. Mom was on her way to Jesus and He was telling her that He would take care of us. Isn't that just what she needed to hear? What any mother who had to leave her children and husband would want to hear, and we are okay. She on the other hand is WAY more than okay. She's whole again and she's waiting for us. What a day that will be when I can run into her arms and feel her arms around me and hear her voice in my ear.