Thursday, July 23, 2015

Six Months

  Yesterday was the 6 month mark since the day my 19 year old nephew died. It is unfathomable to me it has been that long. It is inconceivable to me it hasn't been much longer. Time has become something warped in those six months. He would now be 20 years old, graduating with his EMS license, ready to join the military to become Special Ops and about to head off to see the world. He had big dreams, big plans. Had. That has to be the saddest word on earth. 'Had'.  He had so much going for  him. His future shined as brightly as any could. His family loved and supported him. He was on the verge of stepping out into the world to make his mark and oh what a mark he would make!!!!

  Instead there are broken hearts, so many questions, so much pain and grief. Why? We will never know. It is not for us to understand. We must simply learn to accept and be okay with that. I think we all struggle with the questions, the guilt, the anger, the senselessness of what happened. Suicide. What an ugly word that describes the world ceasing to exist as we once knew it. The tremendous loss cannot be understood unless you have felt it. Unfortunately, as we have learned, way too many lives have been  upended suddenly by suicide. I never knew so many people around me had suffered this sort of loss. It isn't often discussed. I mean, how do you launch into that discussion? "I am planning to stop at the store on my lunch hour and my nephew/brother/cousin/etc killed themselves." I am not sure if it made me feel better that so many people truly understand what we are going through, or if it upsets me more because so many people have had this particularly difficult experience in their lives.

  What I do know is that Zane's death affected many, many people. Not just family, but friends, church members, mentors, and the families of Zane's friends. It's a huge ripple effect. Strangely, part of why he died is that he felt so unloved. If he could just see how many, many people he left behind hurting and broken hearted. If he could just have had a sense of how much he was truly loved!

 We love you Zane!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Quote of the day

  Yesterday's post was very emotional for me. After losing my nephew in January at the tender age of 19 I am a raw nerve. Learning that Rachel is once again fighting for her life has hit me hard. Children should be naive, have fun and never have to deal with anything harder than whether they want vanilla or chocolate ice cream. I tend to start feeling sorry for myself when dealing with Jon's issues but something like this reminds me of my favorite saying:

                            I felt sorry for I had no shoes until,I saw a man who had no feet.

So, instead of feeling sorry for myself and then feeling guilty, I bring you the quote of the day......

Levi: "I don't like hotdogs. They taste like they are made from pigs' buttholes."

Nothing truer has ever been said. Just saying. I still love them though. Here piggy piggy piggy.....

Friday, June 26, 2015

Rachel…..Please Pray


Rachel is the 9 year old daughter of a friend of mine. Anne and I worked together for many years, we have been at each other's kids birthday parties and Rachel is in the same class with Ahren and Jon at our school.


Over the past six years Rachel has fought and beaten cancer, not once but twice! She is an amazing little girl with amazing parents. 

A few weeks ago she began to experience weird symptoms. Tests found an inoperable brain tumor. It is a glioblastoma multiforme, Level 4. It is an aggressive cancer that is difficult to treat. They have placed her survival rate at 10-20%.

BUT…
Rachel has heard this before and beaten it. 

What she needs now is lots and lots of prayers and donations. Two rounds of cancer have depleted this family emotionally and financially. Now is the time to rally around them and prove that there are great people in this world. Caring, loving people who take care of others in their greatest time of need.

Here is the link to Rachel's Go Fund Me page. 
http://www.gofundme.com/xuv2uw

I will keep you posted as her treatment plan is decided on and the treatment begins. 

God Bless you all.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hurricane Bill

We can rebuild!



We live in Houston. Well, a suburb of Houston, north west of the city proper. The media were in full swing the last couple of days with their dire warnings and scary predictions about what this Tropical Storm/Hurricane was going to do to our area. Memories of tropical storm Allison and Hurricane Ike drove the feeling of fear. And then…..pfft. We got rain. Lots of gentle rain. I know areas along the coast flooded and all the normal areas that flood did too. Not as bad as a few weeks ago but still significant. But all in all the terrible storm they were hyping didn't materialize and that is a GOOD thing. Now I need to go and start repairing the damage done to our property.

Note: pic copied off the internet, not sure who to give credit to

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

And with the good comes…….fallout

  We knew there would be fallout over us being gone for several days. We prepared as best we could, called multiple tomes a day, sent pictures, had special surprises delivered while we were gone, and an amazing nanny lined up. The boys stayed in our home, in their own beds, with their own things.   The Nanny kept them busy, very very busy. It cost us a good chunk of change but those boys were on the move constantly. Here is a run-down of their activities: in-door trampoline park, movies, kayaking, Incredible Pizza, swimming, The Aquarium, and out to eat numerous times.  They never stopped moving.
  Was it enough? Not quite. One little guy (I bet you can guess who) still struggled. He punched his brother multiple times, threw fits, was loud and obnoxious (still trying to decide if that one is normal for a 9 year old boy….) 'hated' the activities even though he was laughing and participating, had nightmares and trouble sleeping. Poor sweet boy. At what point will he ever know deep in his soul that we will be back? He knows it on the surface, but not deep down. He may never truly feel that safe.
  When we got home we found a bloody paw print on the floor. It looked like a dog had cut his paw. Chris then found that a small knife he kept on his desk to open mail with was missing. We found the pouch for it in Jon's bed. When it was mentioned to him, he lost his shiznit, began screaming and crying that HE DIDN'T DO IT! DID NOOOOTTTTTT!!!!! The only thing we asked was if anyone knew where it was because someone or some dog was going o get hurt. This was followed by much huffing and puffing, tears and slammed doors. It was late and we put them to bed.
  Next morning, Levi decides he is going to look for the knife. Jon dashes past him on the stairs and Voila, in less than 30 seconds finds the knife and is a self proclaimed hero. Is anyone buying this? If you are, then how was that recent fall from the turnip wagon?
  I calmly took the knife from him, thanked him and asked him to sit down for a minute. He began the eye-rolling, twitchy, 'I have been cornered' routine but i just talked calmly. I told him that I really didn't care about the knife as long as no one got hurt. What I was really concerned about was his lying and especially not being truthful with himself. He twitched and cried and lied and got very angry but I just reiterated the point calmly and let him go.
  This is not the first time this has happened. Heck, this isn't even the 100th time. Just in the past few weeks there was the case of the girl's favorite pen disappearing at school. Everyone said Jon had it, but HE DID NOOOOTTTTT! Later, in a different room, he magically found it on the floor and returned it to her. The Hero. Then the last week of school I had a baggie of change on the table alongside Levi's lunch. They were having a little economics fait that day and he needed the money to purchase items from the sellers. I showed him the bag so he wouldn't forget it. Jon grabbed it and yelled MONEY'. I told him to put it on the table and told everyone to load up their backpacks. The table was cleared and we headed to school. Levi asked for the money and I said he had put it into his backpack. He said, no, it wasn't on the table and he thought I had it. Soooo, Jon gets home from school and I ask him if he knows where the bag went. Kaboom, tears, anger, lying and HE DID NOOOTTTT DO IT!!!! I let it go for a little while. Thirty minutes later Jon 'finds' the money on the table, underneath one of his Dad's t-shirts. Look Mom, it was there the whole time. It was just under the shirt. I am a hero! Never mind that the table had been empty and his Dad's shirt had been in his closet…..
  Does anyone else have this issue? I keep bringing it up to his therapist but I think he has her totally charmed and manipulated. She doesn't seem to take this issue as seriously as I do. Sure, at 9 years old it is an annoyance. But what about at 13, 15, 18? He thinks he is getting away with it. He thinks he can steal whatever he wants and then 'find it', therefore not only escaping any consequences but becoming the hero too. I am about to impose severe consequences for this behavior. Something that really hurts him where it counts, makes him stop short and THINK for once.(Not talking physical hurt)  I just don't know what that is…..
 

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

We did it!


For the first time in over 13 years Chris and I went away by ourselves for a  bit of vacation. In the past, we we're waiting on adoption news, in the middle of an adoption, just adopted or having to deal with an adopted child with major abandonment issues. We did what was best at the time, but we were the ones who sacrificed greatly. We don't mind, it is what we chose, but  now we have opportunities. They are small and short lived, and they take great coordination and resources, but we do have them!

We flew out on a Thursday. The nanny had met the boys several times prior to this and was all set. We flew to Park City, Utah and made our way to a 4 star resort. The resort room we had usually rents for up to $1100, especially during the Sundance Film Festival held there. We did not pay a fraction of that but we still felt like celebrities.Our bed was huge, we had a fireplace, and the staff was amazing.

Scenery


One day we spent putting around the old town Main Street area with local shops and eateries. We ate amazing food, talked to amazing people and bought perfect souvenirs.

Then another day we road tripped to three states to see state/national parks. We talked and laughed more than we have in years until I got motion sickness on the way down the mountain and things got a bit quiet. Chris was so sweet. I love him more than anything!



We dined and ate cheese, crackers and wine. Slept in and cuddled. Watched our favorite TV and took naps. What could have been more perfect!!!


My sweet. loveable bear of a hubby rocking on the porch. I love this man more than oxygen itself…...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

End of the school year....ugh

  Anyone with a kid who has 'issues' knows from experience that change is a very bad thing. Very bad. Big change is just that much more bad. Sorry, bad grammar. The strain of this has turned me into a brainless lump of mush.
  So we have been dealing with the fallout of an unexpected death of a young person, the extreme and scary emotions a parent has displayed, and the abandonment of the mom in the midst of such upheaval. (I went to my sister's house for a week after my nephew died). Add in the extreme stress of the state mandated tests that the kids have been working towards all year. Poor Jon, he is an anxious mess.
  Now we have the end of the school year anxiety. What is going to happen?  This is exacerbated by the question if he is going to get to go to fourth grade or not. This is the recipe for extreme dis-regulation.  He wakes up each morning growling and snarling at me. Not just a poor morning person, truly nasty. He tells his brother he wants him to die. He puts his shoes on and then takes them off and we can't find them. He blames me. He can't get his pants on. He can't find his backpack. I hand him his lunch and it is gone.
  I am also stressed. I am down to the last few days of school with my class. I have not slept because of the extreme storms our area ( Houston) has been having. I am on alert for the Red Cross but when they asked me to open a shelter on Monday I turned them down. My family comes first. I am not at my best. Not so patient and understanding.
  Then there is Ahren. He is negative about everything. I say school has been delayed and he wails like a stabbed sheep. Why? Because he thinks he has to stay at school that much later. No. Just a shorter day. He still wails. Why? He doubts I know what I am talking about and he will be in trouble for showing up late. This is a bit understandable, but when he screams because I give Jon a plate,of,breakfast and he thinks that means I won't give him  some? Of course I made some for him. Where is this coming from? Anxiety. Ahrens version. I hate it.
  Now tonight, Levi began throwing up. First time he made it to the doorway of my bathroom where he projectile vomited all over everything. Toilet, walls, toilet paper, floor, door, everything. It was nasty. I had to hold my breath while I cleaned it up. Poor Chris thought I wa mad because I huffed at him but it was only because I had been holding my breath. I think he understands....

  Two more days of school and then two days of I service where I work half days. Then I am 100% mom. Hopefully that will turn things around. If not, I am looking for a circus job for an overweight, middle aged woman........