Life’s Journey

February 2, 2017 at 12:46 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

images (4)The road up ahead is paved with uncertainty. Yesterday is gone,tomorrow is not promised so we make the most out of everyday. All our hopes and dreams yet unfulfilled, every goal yet to be reached, every sunrise and sunset gives us another chance to realize our full potential. Don’t let go of your dreams,don’t let life get in the way of your goals,don’t let now become tomorrow or believe it is too late.

Life as we all well know,doesn’t always go as we planned. A financial setback, health scare, death, divorce or child moving out can alter our goals. We all dream about one day when the honey and I are all alone, living by the lake, fishing until dusk everyday. We dream about the family and friends visiting us for the day,taking the boat out on the lake,watching the grand kids inner tubing behind the boat, then slowing down and enjoying the beautiful trees and lakeside homes. (sorry, I was day dreaming a minute). I cannot complain about my life; I have suffered a couple personal tragedies, but I really can say I am happy where my life is now. I have a good job,the love and support of family and friends, I still have my mom, and most important, I am learning to enjoy the beauty in each new day.

I lost two dear friends this week. One young man was a client,the other, an old family friend. Neil was the world’s greatest story tellers. He was the life of any party,he and his wife liked to host New years eve Murder Mystery Parties. My parents attended a few,good thing they walked around the block to the party because they couldn’t and shouldn’t have driven home. In between the murder mystery,was a seven course meal complete with wine. Neil took my young teenage son under his wing as a contract painter. He would pay Levi very well plus kept him out of trouble. The day before my sons funeral, Neil came and freshened up the paint on the front of my house. The next morning, Neil and his wife drove me to the Memorial service.One story I love was Neil loved donuts,he would wake his youngest son up at 3 am on Saturday whispering in his sons ear”they are fresh”.Off they would go at dark thirty. eating the first  hot, fresh donut of the morning. Cool dad.

Keep what is important, let go of what is not, look for the beauty in each new day, love a lot, forgive more for we do not know if this is the last time we will see our friends or family, hug your kids extra tight,let them know how much you love them, how proud you are of them, how glad you are they are in your life. Help them achieve their dreams.

 

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The Best Is Yet To Come

January 27, 2017 at 5:47 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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When my husband and I married,we thought we would go old together. On our honeymoon in Canada,we imagined buying our first house, talked about having kids, traveling after we retired,envisioned a life as proud Grandparents someday.My life took a different direction.

We start out with so many plans for our future. My husband had a seizure while in Canada on our honeymoon. After Jerry was released from the hospital,we came home (three days early). He really thought his marriage to me was over. I had ruined my life with him he thought. Funny….. I reminded him about our vows we just said to each other not a week earlier. After I convinced him I was not going anywhere,we started our lives together. We bought a single wide trailer not long after we were married. I remember our first night in our new home in our bed. We were pinch each other to see if it was real or not. Homeowners. We noticed there weren’t any kids playing in the neighborhood. We realised wer lived in an adult park. When were found out we were pregnant,we were told six months after the baby was born,we would have to move. We started looking for a permanent home the next day. When I was six months pregnant with our son,we moved into our first house. The original homeowners of the trailer came back from texas and asked if they could buy back the trailer.(Talk about God looking out for us). We turned them down-no we couldn’t believe how much God was blessing us. My cousins were also moving into a new home and had a Uhaul trailer ready to go back to the store. My mom asked if we could use the trailer for a few hours before it went back. With help from family,we were moved in that night. Again we played the pinching game not believing we just bought our forever house. There was an empty field across the street from our house-in fact we had only four houses on our street. Down the hill rom us is a bay. back then,you could launch your boat. You could hike around the trails in the summer,and sled down the hill in the winter.

My husband son and I lived in our home six years before Jerry passed away from complications from a disease. I still live in the house my husband and I bought together on our second Anniversary. My son always complained he only lived in one house his whole life(tragedy isn’t it) Gosh,to have stable mother,what is the world coming to? Life as a single parent presented many challenges and difficulties-Levi and I survived them all. I am proud of the fine young man he had become.  At the ripe old age of 19 years old, my son and I agreed it was time he left the nest. He moved in with his Grandma to help take care of her after his Grandpa passed away. Levi would ask his grandma for a ride somewhere and she would tell him to look on the calendar to see if she could fit him into her schedule. I thought it was so cute. she was part of the Red Hat Ladies, went on weekend trips with the rambling Rovers, ate lunch at the Senior Center and had Monthly games of Bunco at her house. I remember when Levi got his driver’s license, his grandma didn’t have to drive anywhere. His first vehicle was a Dodge Ram truck. It was fun watching my mom trying to climb inside his truck; She almost needed a boost, but he wasn’t going to do it.

My life was again forever changed when my son passed away in a tragic car accident at the age of 20. I was just getting used to being an empty nester,my son stopping by for a short visit(three minutes,because he forgot something in his room.) I finally let him know I had plans for his old bedroom and if he didn’t want to pay a storage fee on his room, he needed to move out completely. That got him motivated. Halloween night,I can still remember it well Levi was all moved out. I sat in the dark drinking a cup of coffee with his cat enjoying the quiet. I turned his old bedroom into my dressing room. I love getting dressed in the morning and putting on pajamas in the evening. His room turned a beautiful shade of beige instead of a sickly green when his friend came over and helped him paint while I was at work(is there any other time?) I have so many memories of putting my son back to bed again and again, I bought Levi a fish tank. He still got into bed with me. I bought a light for the tank, he stayed in bed watching the bubbles and his fish swim around until he fell asleep. We moved into the tween years where I didn’t know if we could survive the bad attitude we came out of it unscathed. Time flies by so fast while raising our kids. If I could talk to a young mother today, my advice to her would be to enjoy every moment God gives you as a parent. Enjoy the good days and learn from the bad ones. Instruction books were not given at the hospital when your new baby was handed to you. (someone would have rewritten it anyway). parenthood even in difficult times is the most important job a parent will ever have.

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Merry Christmas

December 25, 2016 at 10:10 pm (Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , , , , )

 

Christmas relax after skiing in cabin in mountains with fireplace

Christmas relax after skiing in cabin in mountains with fireplace

I drove home this morning to snow gently falling. The snow-capped trees and mountains were beautiful. Not too many souls up this time of the morning to ruin a perfect moment. When the first snow hits, the brave ones who just happen to own four-wheel drive Dodge ram trucks zoom past you faster than the Fire Department going to a fire. The freeway is worse. You either get the drivers who are not sure of their driving ability and creep down the freeway and hold up traffic, or the big trucks going by you like a speeding bullet. The Police officers wait in the middle of town getting ready to call for a tow truck to pull the idiots out of the ditch or deal with the fender-benders of motorists driving to fast for conditions. Ahh, life in a small city.

I have lived in North Idaho for the past 35 years; I have watched my tiny town of 3,oo0 people with one blinking light in a four-way stop to 35,00 or so people. Many folks are moving to the rural towns to escape the madhouse crowds. (Those who live in a big City laugh because I talk about crowds) When I first moved to Post falls in 1981, I learned to drive in the snow for the first time.My dad towed the family around the neighborhood in his 1946 Willy’s jeep, folks were like family in the neighborhood. Now,most of the neighbors have moved and we are left with just a few families who more or less keep to themselves.

I went to my annual mandatory meeting at work Thursday afternoon. I thought it was funny to combine a meeting (never know what they are going to discuss) combined with a Christmas party(maybe to soften the blow?). We all had a good time at the party; Moms brought the kids who played elves to Santa Clause and passed out secrete santa gifts. We had plenty of food,fun,laughter and left feeling like part of a family again. I work in the health care field. I care for some amazing young adults in a total dependant care group home.  I am blessed getting to come to work every evening. When I first was married, I worked with adults with special needs on a janitorial crew. By far my favorite job I had ever had. When I went to work for my current employer, I was overjoyed to have some of my clients to work with again.

When my husband and I were first married,we had Christmas in our new trailer we bought for a song. We didn’t have much money, so family and friends gave us furniture and household items that believe it or not went quite well together. My husband and his brother would take off for the afternoon to buy my gift, Jerry had really good taste in my gifts. Living in a cold climate,he bought me the nicest sweat suit outfits. Our last christmas, Jerry didn’t live long enough for me to open my gifts. He told my mom he wanted me to keep warm. He bought me feeted pajamas,a couple of sweat suit outfits and an angel I put on my tv. I made the best of the holiday with my four-year old son Levi. We decorated our new house with the tree,and he was excited I bought him a tree of his own for his bedroom. Today is hard for me,I will soon be on my way to my mom’s house to make her a nice dinner,open gifts, and the off to work I go. I hope all has a wonderful christmas day filled with laughter, good food,awesome stories to tell at the table, and most of all last memories to remember for years to come.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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I light a Candle For You

December 18, 2016 at 9:54 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

images (8)I light a candle celebrating my son Levi. I look back on how far I have come in my healing,finding inner peace among my struggles, and I am thankful for my many wonderful friends I can count on in times of trouble.

When talking about the incomparable Levi De Gon, many thoughts comes to many minds. He was generous, I love the sparkle in his eyes,his infectious laugh, his compassion for others. When Levi was 19 years old, he and I decided it was time for him to move out. He moved in with his Grandmother to help her after his beloved Grandpa passed away. My mom sure kept Levi honest; The front door locked at 10:00 p.m. Levi’s friends would call my mom at 9:59 asking her to wait another 5 minutes, he was on his way home. My mom was the perfect bank,once you handed her money to put away,well you guessed it-you would not be seeing it for a while. (called a savings account son).

When Levi bought his first truck,he proudly drove his Grandma around in style. He helped her get her weekly groceries,well he was able to suggest items for the next weeks dinner menu if he came along. My mom was helping him save up for his first apartment; not many young adults had the whole place furnished, Levi would have. I raised a good kid. He had made a  few poor choices he had to deal, with but we all got through it.

I went to a candle memorial service in honor of my son. We were all given a dove Christmas decoration. I placed three on my pencil tree. What a great way to remember the love, laughter, life Levi had brought me. I find peace in the midst of my struggles knowing he touched so many lives in his young life. I do not live my life with regrets-yes I am sad he had to leave so young, but I have so many others I help in his honor.Hug your kids extra tight tonight,don’t let a day go by you don’t tell your loved ones how much you love them,how much they mean to you and how proud you are of them. Life can truly change forever in a moment.

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Stay True To Who You Are

October 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, positive thinking, Single Parent, Survivor) (, , , , )

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When I started my blog over four years ago, It was never to get fame or fortune. I started writing stories from my first book . I hoped my friends would read my posts and maybe like them. I had no idea how many people my stories would touch. I have met so many wonderful readers who have  moving stories forward bout thier loss. Some readers have told me my stories are painful to read and have stopped reading my posts. At first my feelings were hurt,but then I realized it was not a reflection off of me. I have read some blogs on grief and so many are so broken after many years; There is no time period on healing.

Life has thrown me many curve balls; I could have become bitter and angry but then I realized friends and family would avoid me and my pity party. We were never promised a rose garden life. years ago, I wrote my first book a couple of years after my only son Levi’s car accident. I would be asked ” how many copies have I sold so far?” I would tell people” if my book brought some peace to a grieving family, I could not ask for more.” I found out my book is in the waiting area of my local hospital and it was in the waiting room of the Critical care Unit;  River City Hospice recommends the book to hurting families. My book has gone farther than I could have hoped for.

Coming up with weekly blog topics are sometimes difficult for me.I try and blog twice a week. I sit and sometimes stare at the computer screen, but the stories unfortunately do not write themselves. When in doubt, I use a story from my book . Life is wonderful,exciting, I look at the beauty at each new day and really thank God for it. My glass is not half empty. It is brimming over with life, I don’t feel sorry for myself because I will not be a grandmother . I do sometimes wonder where Levi would be today at age thirty. Wow, I am feeling old. Yep,sometimes life throws you a curve ball. it depends on what you do with it.

I have lived in the same town for thirty-five years,in the same house for thirty. I truly feel blessed,I am glad I have my mom,a good jog I love, good co-workers, I turned my sons old bedroom into my dressing room I love to get dressed in there in the morning and pj’s on at night. I am grateful to God who has walked me through some of the darkest days of my life and we still have coffee everyday. I am a blessed woman indeed!

 

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The Changing Season

October 20, 2016 at 6:46 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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Today is another rainy day here in the Inland Northwest.

Fall is in the air. Gone are the sunny summer day with days spent at the beach with the kids and grandkids,camping for the weekend, backyard get-together with family and friends. The summer festivals and outdoor shops and car shows. Making home-made ice cream and having family fun night in the backyard. I will not  miss the bugs millions of nats flying around and mosquitos buzzing in your ears. The extra bonus of waking up sporting a new bite. The endless watering of the lawn and plants to keep them alive. It is interesting what we fit into our annual budget. It is said that lawn care is a billion dollar business.

We trade our summer dresses, crop pants and cute t-shirts,and strappy sandals for jegging, light jackets, warm boots and sweaters. Lemon-ade is traded for warm cups of inviting tea and coffee with good creamers. The outdoor fire pit is covered up and making way for the warmth of the fire-place. Football season with chil cook-offs,fruit pies made from your Farmers Market produce, taking scenic drives around the lake seeing the changing color of the leaves. The cooler temperatures bring out the deer, elk, wild turkeys, and quail  included in your fall drive. It is always a treat to see wild life. in a neighborhoods eating grass. Where I live, moose come into the neighborhoods and stay for 3-4 days laying down in the front or back yards.doeWhen you live in an area that has the four seasons,thereare so many activities to participate in.My favorite seasons are Fall and Winter. I tolerate the rest of the year for the decent looking lawn, scenic boat cruises, Parade of Homes, local B&B open houses, shopping in the quaint town of Sandpoint, having lunch with good friends.

My days are now spent finding creative ways to get mom out of her bathrobe and weekly outings other than her Dr. appointments. My life has went from that of a wife and mother to widow, loosing my son and still taking part in the sandwich generation. It is interesting as some of you know caring for two households. I still find time twice a week to post a story plus working in my job as a health care provider. The season is rapidly changing. Soon it will old man winters turn to shoveling, ice melt, more layers to wear,winter activities.

 

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It Can happen To you

October 12, 2016 at 6:04 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , )

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Last night, while watching one of my returning favorite shows, I saw a commercial about the dangers of texting and driving. I remember a few years ago,texting was banned while driving. The local high school students even created a mock drunk driving scenario to show step-by-step what happens after the crash. From the time 911 is called until the first responders arrive at the scene: It has made a big impact on families as well: New drivers were signing a promise to turn off cell phone while driving and not have friends in the car: no blasting the radio,and watch all rail road tract crossings. So many have died also by not hearing the train due to the Favorite Song playing. So much has changed since I learned to drive. We had no cell phones,or advanced technology available to us.

Living in a small community has its advantages and imperfections as well. We have many ATVs cruising around neighborhoods with small children riding along. Some have on helmets while most do not. I understand the idea of taking the ATV hunting; It is easier to haul your dressed animal to the butcher. Motorcycles, ATVs and dune buggies are a fun-filled afternoon of recreation if driven safely. Many accidents have been caused because of distracted driving.

In July 2007, I lost my son to a tragic traffic accident due to another’s inattentive driving. Words cannot describe the amount of grief I felt that day.  After five days and countless prayers, Levi was taken off life support.Our lives had been forever changed in a moment. I am still so grateful to the folks who worked tirelessly to save my son. My life can feel empty some days. I miss my sons laughter,the sparkle in his eyes, and his appetite for life itself. levilaptoppix 020

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We Will Never Forget

September 11, 2016 at 8:04 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, positive thinking, Survivor) (, , , )

New York City, NY, September 16, 2001 -- FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams work to clear rubble and search for survivors at the World Trade Center. Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

New York City, NY, September 16, 2001 — FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams work to clear rubble and search for survivors at the World Trade Center.
Photo by Andrea Booher/ FEMA News Photo

 

My day started out like any other. I was getting ready to open my daycare on this life changing day. I thought it odd that one by one, the parents called to keep the children home this morning. With the day off, I thought I could run some errands and make the most of it. I drove by my church to and I saw many cars in the parking lot. I wondered what could be going on. I parked my car and went inside the coffee shop and watched with others that day the horror unfolding before our eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

My Pastor is a former police officer in Las Vegas , he was called upon to help with the recover efforts at The World trade center. He helped with the bodies being brought in to the make shift morgue. I can remember when he came back he told the congregation that even if a finger came through the door,the finger was saluted because that is how much respect was given tot he heroes who died that tragic day.

It has taken awhile to feel safe again for many Americans. You did not know could happen next. The World trade Center has rebuilt telling the world America is a great nation that will not fold over a coward act. Continue to pray for this next election and continued grace given by God over this nation we love so much.

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The Value Of Friendships

July 31, 2016 at 9:10 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking) (, , )

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My son died in a tragic car accident in July 2007, I remember feeling lost. their are no words to describe the depth of grief that had felt. I remember not long after my son Levi’s memorial service, a dear couple,who live 3 houses down from me,we cleaning up the side of my house. Lei and I were going to get to the mess,but not quite had the job done. It was the couples only day off, and they spent 3 hours,hauling accumulated items to the dump and helping me fix my back gate. The act of kindness touched my heart, the love and support of family and friends helped me through my difficult journey.

School is starting again soon,each year in Levi’s honor I buy school supplies for a couple of kids to give them a good start to the school year. My son went to his church one summer and helped put together 3,000 back packs for the kids. he told me when he got home some kids went up and down the isles 4 times to pick the one they wanted. I don’t think I had ever seen a brighter smile on Levi when he arrived home than this day.

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The Last Time We Got Gas

July 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Single Parent) (, , , , , )

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Nine years ago today I said goodbye to the most important part of my life. my son Levi died in a tragic car accident. He was only 20. My fondest memory and one I am most thankful to God for was the evening before Levi’s accident, I was at my mom’s house having dinner with her and my son. Levi moved out the previous year to help his Grandmother after his Grandpa passed away. Levi was telling us he again was short on cash for his bills. when I was heading home,I sensed from God’s heart to give my son gas money. I went back to mom’s house and shared my tips with Levi. I also asked if we could go put gas in his car together not knowing this was our last evening I would see him. We had fun driving to the gas station. We laughed and joked in his car. When Levi dropped me off at his Grandmas we said I love and goodbye not knowing these would be the last words we would speak to each other. the next day,both our lives were forever changed.

I also did not know until my son was on life support,he was an organ donor. his eyes went to help a six-year-old girl see. She is now 15 years old  and I bet beautiful. Thank you all of you who are organ donors it changes so many lives. Beauty did come from the ashes. God has touched two families lives that day, mine was forever changed in a moment, but another family was given new hope.

Today, I am having dinner with mom, we celebrate with mexican food(Levi’s favorite) I have so many fond memories of the son I raised as a single parent after my husband died from complications of diabetes. Levi and I survived many hardships and difficulties,with the love and support of family and friends, I am moving forward in a brighter future.

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