Vacation Planing

February 2, 2018 at 9:33 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , , )

 

 

Today is another unseasonably warmer day. I took advantage of the sunny morning by having my moms gardener help me start my backyard makeover. I have been wanting to remove a few sad-looking pine trees for a couple of years. I could not believe the change taking out a couple of trees made – I can almost see a normal backyard again. I am planning on adding butterfly attracting plants where my trees once were, and adding shrubs along the back fence.

I found out the hard way last Winter it is difficult to have a lush planting bed in your front yard when you have a metal roof. Yep, four feet f snow dropped down on by shrubs last year and split them in half.  I planted a Hydrangea bushes last Spring and had a beautiful front garden. I did not however plan for the snowy conditions thumping my poor bushes flat. I am told they will come back, just trim them in the Spring. The older I get, I hope I getting a little wiser about how to care for my yard. I am not a gardener by any means, but I would like to have a simple yard I can enjoy in the warm months.

In a couple of weeks, I will be on my Stay-cation. I decided to put my money into fleshing up my home instead of traveling. My backyard is a good start. I feel good that I have less to worry about later. I can take some time and plan what I would like my outdoor retreat to look like. Even though it is still cold outside, I can look out the sliding glass doors and see the birds flying around the trees, I open the door a crack to hear them chirping to one another. I visit my friend and pass moose eating the neighbors trees. I went out to dinner the other night and a small deer walked across the road in front of me. I would rather stay here at home and enjoy what I have all around me than travel to a city and hear traffic, horns honking, another smoggy day, and maybe a day at the beach. The older I get, I like staying home surrounded by those I love to get together with.

Some of my friends are envious that I own my home. My husband and I found our forever home when I was pregnant with our son. Jerry was able to live in our home four years until he passed away from complications of his disease. I raised our son here until he moved out to help care for his grandma after his grandpa passed away. I was now an empty nester. This took some getting used to. You always dream when your child moves out, he is starving and begging to eat dinner with you. Not the case, I had to visit my mom or my neighbor to see my son. At least I saw him on Taco Tuesday every week. I look back at this time with fondness. My son died in 2007 when he involved in a fatal car accident. he was only 20.

I turned Levis’ old bedroom into my dressing room after he moved out. I love getting dressed in the morning and putting on my pajamas at night. I remember the phases his room went through,from cowboy bedspreads, to Ninja Turtles, Football Fantasy, and finally Military. When Levi was fifteen, he painted his bedroom a hideous shade of green while I was working. I came home that evening, he thought I would be mad at him and his friend. I told him he had to live with his choice not me. He turned the room into a cave with netting on the ceiling, his bed in the closet, and a sickly green color on the walls. he was happy in there. After he moved out, I painted the room a pretty beige color with Victorian accents on the wall. ( I know what you are thinking, he would not want to come home now anyway). This wasn’t my motive. It was a way for me to deal with the fact my son had moved out. All I had home was his cat-who was a great source of company. I think the cat talked more than Levi did.

Seasons come and go in our lives. I try to enjoy each one as it comes along. I enjoy all four season here, I get together with dear friends as much as possible. Sometimes, I stop over to see friends  when the grandkids are having a sleepover.   I have been asked if I was angry with God because I have lost both husband and son and have no grandchild.  I tell them no; I would have a hard time enjoying my grandchild if Levi was not here to share in the joy with me.My life took another direction than I had expected, but, I am able to care for my aging mom, I have a job in health care I love, a good church with plenty of love and support, a house I love to hang out in, and knowing my husband and son looks down from heaven and smiles upon my life gives me the most joy and courage to carry on.

 

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I Light A candle In Memory

December 21, 2017 at 7:31 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Memoir, Middle age) (, , , )

 

 

I light this candle in honor of all of those who have lost  loved on this season. I know how hard this time of year can be. With last-minute shopping to do, getting ready for the big holiday meal, finding the time to clean your house for guests, hoping you didn’t forget someone was coming after all, it can be a stressful time.

A few years ago, I went to a candle light memorial service in honor of my son Levi who had died in a tragic car accident in 2007. He was only 20. I was scared to go for the first time because I didn’t want to sit alone, fearful the pain would overflow in me during the service. I put on my brave face and warm coat and scarf as it was snowing that evening. I went inside the building and found the most warm reception. I went in to sit down and saw two familiar faces I didn’t know their mother had passed away. I was invited to sit with them. I was glad I had went not only to honor my son, but I had friends to share my time of sorrow with. We were each given a beautiful cream-colored bird ornament to take home.

I will always remember the message the Chaplin had given that evening. I realized you don’t have to celebrate every tradition. If you do not want the big tree this year, choose a smaller one, you don’t have to deck every inch of your home this year, you can be an absentee participant in your many committees, take time for yourself this holiday season it is easy to become overwhelmed and remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own. the holidays are a great time to reconnect with good friends to help out.  Instead of preparing all the meal this year, have a more casual dinner or ask other guests to bring a dish to share. Tensions may be high because of your loss, people do not know what to say to you. Encourage them to share a fond story about your loved one after dinner; If they had a favorite dessert, this is a nice way to celebrate the awesome person you are remembering.

For many this is a hard time of year indeed.  I know it is easy to hibernate and wish christmas to be over. I know I have so many wonderful friends who really love me and care about me.  I went looking at holiday light displays in an upscale neighborhoods beautiful. They community decorates with red-lit trees in the front yard. I even sneaked in a christmas party in one beautiful mansion on the hill. I started buying for the tree of sharing after my son died. This way I could buy a teenager gifts he could enjoy. My mom and I celebrate a quiet christmas. Most of our family moved to florida a few years ago. Mom has a couple of people who visit her several times a week and I have dinner with her so she is not lonely. I think that is the key, don’t isolate yourself because you feel sad. Have a girlfriend over for dinner and your favorite movie. have a family game night where one person chooses the game for that week; keep active and connected. This is a truly a wonderful time of year. Wheather you live in the City or a small town, there are so much to see and do. Many communities hold a Winter festival. I love seeing the ice carvings and seeing old friends bundled up to keep warm on these chilly evenings.

Merry christmas and have an awesome New years.

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Letters From heaven

February 25, 2015 at 10:12 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Middle age, Poetry, Single Parent) (, , , , , )

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I was sitting here at my computer thinking of a new story idea.

I glanced over at my son Levi’s photo taken eight years ago. So much has changed my son passed away in a tragic car accident at age 20. My life was forever changed in so many ways that day. I went from looking forward to my son visiting me( once he moved out, I had to track him down) to thoughts of seeing him again one day in heaven.

I can almost imagine one last conversation we could have. I love you mom, you were the best mother I could have ever wanted. You took good care of my dad and I until my dad died one day. I didn’t really understand why he didn’t come home that morning. I remember how sad you were. you tried to explain to me that daddy was really sick and Jesus took him home to be with him. I remember you threw me my birthday party when I turned four(ten days after daddy died). I cannot imagine how hard it was for you trying to take care of me and work. I know I could be a brat( nooo not Levi). I watched you struggle in working,providing for me, keeping the house warm, and making sure I was home on time for dinner- we always ate at the dinner table together because we were a family. I cannot tell you how proud I am of you mom. When I died, you did not let anger and depression rule your life. You trusted Jesus to get you through the dark days like you did when we lost my dad. I always remember you started everyday with coffee and Jesus. You were always writing in your journal. I often wanted to take a peak,but was afraid most of it was about me. I always thought to myself that if I had kids one day, I hope I could be half the dad that my mom was to me. You are pretty special mom.  keep smiling mom and I will see you really soon.

Love always,

Levi

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Would You Live your Life Over Again?

January 6, 2015 at 4:36 am (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Single Parent, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

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Someone once asked me if I could live my life over again would I.

I answered him yes I would.He was surprised at my answer because he had known me for several years. He knew of the many struggles I have had in my life. I also reminded my dear friend that I have had God watching over me and I trust in Him. I remember he told me I was a brave person because if I had lived my life over, my husband and son would still be here. I told my friend God has walked me through some of the darkest days of my life and He would stand beside me again and again . I appreciate the question though. Many people cannot believe I live with such a strong belief in God, after loosing my son in a tragic car accident in 2007, I chose to trust God not become bitter and angry at him.

Being a survivor has its struggles. I miss the bright spot in my life. Levi was the best gift god could have given to me. I am proud of the fine young man he had become. I also feel blessed to have been a wife and mother even if for a little while. My life had changed in a moment, but by the love and support of my family and friends, I living my life to the fullest. I did not know then I would become a writer, or a published author. I write because I enjoy sharing with you the many happy memories I had with my young family. My life has forever changed, but for the better. I know I will see my husband and son again soon. I live each day with thankfulness in my heart. There is so much beauty around us from falling snow to listening to the children as they sled down the hill again. I love hearing the families as they are walking the dog (or the dog pulling the kids in the sled).

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball you didn’t see coming. I heard it said you can’t change your circumstances but you can change your attitude in your circumstances. What a true statement. I look forward to a wonderful 2015. I thank you so much for your support and visiting my blog.

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Squeezing Out Every Drop Of Life

August 6, 2014 at 8:25 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

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The road ahead is paved with uncertainty.

Not knowing where this journey will take us.

Some walk in and out of our lives,leaving a gentle

reminder of how precious life is,to savor each moment.

A reminder of how short life is,for every season must end.

Looking ahead for a bright tomorrow,we forget today’s failures.

 

 

 

 

 

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Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

May 15, 2014 at 6:40 pm (positive thinking, Survivor, Uncategorized) (, , , )

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My dad had been sick ever since I could remember.

As a girl, I helped care for my dad while mom worked. This taught me responsibility as well as compassion. As a result, my dream job would have been as a paramedic. There was a height and weight restriction for the job, I was devastated to learn I did not meet the requirements. After caring for my dad,I decided I wanted to pursue a career in health care. I find my job very rewarding.

When my husband and I married, we thought we would grow old together. We dreamed of buying our first home,having children,envisioned a life traveling when we retired someday. We imagined being proud grandparents to our son Levi’s children. My life had taken a different direction.

My husband died in 1990 from complications from diabetes. Single parenthood presented many challenges. I was mom and dad both, sole provider of my family of two, and learning my income was cut in half. I learned creative ways to cut costs to make ends meet. Levi and I had many hardships and difficulties,but we survived them all. I raised him from childhood through his teens-no easy feat.

My life was forever changed again in July 2007 when my son set out on sunny sunday morning to float the river with his friends. By that evening, Levi was fighting for his life. he was involved in a tragic car accident. After 5 days and countless prayers later,God stood with me as the machines were turned off. With the love a support of family and fiends, I am moving forward in my life. 

We never know what tomorrow holds, we face difficult challenges everyday. I learned how to turn the lemons in my life into lemonade. I had to realize the deaths of both my husband and my son did not mean it was the death of me as well. 

Life is short,enjoy the beauty of each new day,hug your kids extra tight,let them know how much you love them, you are proud of them, take the time to go on a bike ride,hiking,fishing,making a back yard fort and camp for the night. They become lasing and treasured memories. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Different Take On Things

March 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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I was watching a re-run of a favorite show.

It seems in the household of the Jim Anderson’s, someone is always complaining. Sound familiar? One of Jim’s colleges offered him a weekend at his lake cabin. At dinner that evening,dad proposed the idea to the family.(Keep in mind they had ham for dinner again!) At first the family said no, there were too many things to be done. Betty needs her own phone, Bud needs a power saw, Mom needs a new stove and sink. Jim talks the family into driving up just for the day to see the place. Well- the cabin was falling down after Betty falls into the lake because the boat was not tied properly. Swiss family Anderson they become.Dad finds some onions and potatoes for dinner, they clean up the cabin best they can and settle in for what seems a long night. the next morning they are rescued and back to civilization again. BUT, they have a new perspective on the old house, they no longer feel the need to move into a larger home, Betty does not really need her own phone anymore and Bud does not need another power saw. Mom is just fine with her old stove and oven and they can all take a nice shower tonight. I love this episode because sometimes I need the reminder that my life is perfect the way it is now. The Anderson’s got a taste of what roughing it really was. the family even sat down to a ham dinner again the next night- and enjoyed every bite.

Sometimes I feel like I have too much on my plate. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. I have to think up creative outlets for the times I am struggling. Writing has always been an outlet for me. I am winging this story as I am going along. I know spring is around the corner(which one I don’t know,but I hear it is coming) smile. Our lives has become so fast paced, we don’t hardly have enough time to breath before going to the next project. No wonder we fall into bed exhausted. I need to take time and unwind, relax with a cup of tea on occasion. I am blessed I have my writing as a way to escape and remember the good times in my life. I found out through personal tragedies life can forever change in a moment, but we can always see the beauty around us God has given to us. Even a snowy day! So the next time life comes at you hard, just remember all you do have, the stress will leave soon. In this great country of ours, we have so much to be thankful for. Make the most of everyday you have. Hug the kids extra tight tonight and cheer them on in their games, they will be grown before you know it. 

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Have Happy And Safe New year’s Eve Everyone

January 1, 2014 at 6:25 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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I would like to wish all my readers a safe and happy New years.

So many speculate about what the new year will bring and worry what tomorrow will bring.Many are worried there won’t be health care coverage, others worry about their job for next year. Many struggle with not enough food to eat or having heat for their homes tonight. Even with so many concerns there is so much to be thankful for. We will get through tomorrow, there will be a dial tone,and health care will be figured out eventually.

 As we get ready to ring in the new year, let us be filled with anticipation of what it will bring. Get ready, the new year is coming in like a lion. May God comfort all who mourn this evening, grace and peace be to you and may His face shine upon you in 2014.

Thank you for reading and supporting my blog. The new year brings hope,new beginnings and new stories of finding happiness again. God Bless.

 

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Publishing Your First Book

October 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

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Three years ago I had my first book published.

 It has been san amazing adventure from the concept of my book, writing the book, and finally seeing it published. The first time you see your first box of books on your doorstep is exciting. The realization sets in-you are an author. Deciding to write my manuscript took some time. It was not untill after the deaths of both my husband and my son did friends and family suggest I write my story. I am glad I listened  because God had blessed this project above my wildest dreams. When people ask me how many copies I have sold or how much money I have made so far, I tell that is not important to me. When I found out the Hospice staff had all read my book and recommend it to their clients, it doesn’t get any better than this. I did not write my first book to sell a million copies or get rich, I wanted to help families who have suffered some of the loss I had and encourage them through the stories that life does move forward and the pain will lessen. 

I have had friends tell me they thought they knew me. After reading the book they now tell me they know me on a deeper level. Some of the stories were easy to write, others more painful. I have been asked what was the hardest story to write? Writing about my son isn’t easy,  I write to help keep his memory alive. My life had changed in a moment, I was a wife and mother living in a lively house filled with friends and family.One day it all changed. Life keeps us moving forward not only in healing but in the good things God still has for us. I find it is the small things in life that are worthwhile. I take time to smell the roses in this hectic life we live. Life is good indeed!

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Thank You To all Who Served In The Armed Forces

May 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

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We remember our men and women who serve our country today. We  honor our fallen hero’s and those who serve today with a parade and a celebration. We never forget the freedoms we as a nation enjoy everyday because of the sacrifices made. Some parents are celebrating the safe return of their son or daughter, some parents are waiting for their son and daughters to return, some parents today are mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Some parents today are estranged from their child and would like nothing more than to hear their voice today, some parents like I have lost their son or daughters to a tragic accident-they also was taken too soon. Today is filled with many emotions,we will celebrate with a lawn party, honor our veteran’s with a parade, catch up with old friends take the time to visit with one our older veteran’s and listen to the stories they have to tell. We can learn so much today if we take the time to listen and really understand what we celebrate today. Many have emotional scares they would like to forget, many bear the physical scares of war, many who have served our country come home to no jobs, many say our great nation is falling, THEN LET’S TAKE HER BACK!!

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