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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Grandmother's Eulogy

Tuesday February 4, 2014  0941
A very surreal morning with the knowledge that today we lay my Grandma in the ground.  We have gathered the past two days, but this day was different because this day it was over.  This day made Grandma's death over.  This day means tomorrow we move forward in the circle of life, but I wanted to do was sit in this moment and be with my Grandma.  Even knowing she is at peace in her new home with my Grandfather it was hard to let her go, but upon her leaving I wrote this Eulogy.   

The last day I saw my Grandma alive.
She is here with my granddaughters,
and her great-great-granddaughters.

           There are stories I could tell you about being left in a pumpkin patch, but I do not honestly remember that day.  I could go on about the tigers that now mark my parents driveway.  I went with my grandparents the day they picked them out, but that is not one of the memories that bring the essence of my Grandma. I could talk about her brownies, but all of us in this room have eaten them.  But, I think she is explained best when I simply say she is my Grandma.  She was “Grandma” to every one.  My friends, my children, and everyone she met called her Grandma.
            I was here in October to say my good-byes, so when I heard she was about to pass I did not know if I would make the long journey from Florida to repeat a good-bye she cannot hear.  I secretly have this belief that if I had not come she would have haunted me saying, “You went to your other Grandma’s funeral.”  But the reason I am here is because no one else could have impacted my life the way she did.
            I received a text at 3:34 in the morning informing me of the news.  I read the text about 4a.m. just minutes after my boyfriend had left for work.  As I lay alone in my bed and cried the morning away all I wanted to do was jump up onto my kitchen counter and eat graham crackers and milk.
            I remember the lilac bushes around her front porch.  They were purple and white, but mostly purple.  I have always loved the smell of lilacs.  In Florida lilacs do not grow.  There is a nice smelling impostor, but to those of us who have experience of the lure of a lilac know it smells just a smidgen differently.
            My cousins and me would play every Sunday while the entire family gathered in the garage and ate all the good cooking.  The one thing my family does well is eat.  The porch was surrounded almost completely with bushes, trees, and lilacs like a secret garden.  I have countless hours of play on that porch.  I think of the lilacs every time I drive by the old house.
            I have realized as I have gathered with family I only see at events like this that even now Grandma is holding this family together.  She would be happy to see all of you here today and the past few days getting reacquainted, talking, laughing, and remembering. 
            April said it best when she said, “ She was the glue that held our family together and in this sad time that has never been more obvious. I have caught up with my cousins who I have lost contact with for many years and it saddens me that it has been so long. They were my first friends and it hardens my heart we have let Grandmas traditions go as we have gotten older.”
            We all have memories of her dear to our heart.  I remember writing mystery stories with my cousin.  I remember picking rhubarb and making rhubarb pie with my grandma.  All of us sat on her counter and ate bowls of graham crackers and milk.  I remember playing hide and seek in her boiler room and putting on plays for all of the adults in the basement. For years, every one of us kids hid Scott’s little grey mouse around the house and then her apartment.
            Amanda remembers making pancakes with Tammy while Grandma patiently watched from the little yellow table giving advise.  “We were making a terrible mess in her kitchen creating something that was never gonna be edible.”
            Her patients did not stop there.  April too remembers a patient helpful Grandma, “She taught me to sew buttons.  She would be so patient as I learned and would sit for hours as I practiced.  She always made sure we had the best time while we were with her and she always played with us. It was nothing to be able to play restaurant and take any order to her and just like a restaurant you would get your order. She would do my hair and let me sit under the dryer. One time the curler got stuck in my hair. She would always chuckle telling that story because we had to cut it out of my hair. “
            Grandma was always there for me whenever I needed her.  When I was younger Stacey and I would leave her letters on the bed asking to stay the night with her and she would always ask our parents for the okay like it was her idea.  When I was sick she gave me Verner’s floats, and when I needed a babysitter she watched my children.
            Her legacy lives through me and it lives through them.  She spent hours sewing, crocheting, and knitting with Amber and Amber now teaches her girls.  When Ania came to visitation yesterday she sang a song to Grandma.  My Grandma sang songs to me about whatever we were doing at the time and I sang songs to my granddaughter about whatever we were dong at the time.  Now Ania sings her good bye.
            Many of us have used “Pee-Pee corns” to potty train our children.  Some of us did not discover they were called “Pee-Pee corns” until we were adults.  I am willing to bet every one of us in this room has something Grandma made or a treasured recipe she has shared.  It sure would be nice to have measurements for the ingredients.
            I remember my grandma fondly.  Over the years I have travelled farther and farther away from those lilacs, but I think of her every time I smell lilacs.  I think about the way she would crinkle up her nose and smile from across the room.  That crinkle was the same as a kiss or a hug.  She passed that onto my father; He too crinkles his nose.
            I cannot hold her hand and tell her to quit worrying.  I can’t crinkle my nose for her.  But I can write this eulogy for her.  Because we all know she wanted nothing more than to feel the love we have brought here today and to see us all together being family.
            April writes my closing when she says, “Going to grandmas was just like all the stories you read, it was always the whole family there.  The adults upstairs and the kids playing in the basement with plenty of treats and games to be done.
            Not matter what anyone can say she was the best grandma we all could have asked for and my life is richer and more joyful with her being such a part of it.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A force to be reckoned with!

Tuesday January 21, 2014 0818

            The other day, a subjective time period I can actually remember, The Goat Man and I went to the dollar store for shampoo and conditioner.  Although, I seem to have found peace with pissing in the woods, it still feels odd to shop at the dollar store.  Prior to this adventure the dollar store was a place where my grandmother shopped.  But this day we went to the dollar store.
            The night before somebody had broken into the dollar store and stole all of the non-perishable food items.  Nothing else was missing.  How disturbing is that?  I am not sure I even consider them criminals.  Maybe they were just providing for their children.  So many children on the streets these days in this record cold winter and the government does nothing.
            I do not think socialism when I think about the best government, but I believe in the old adage it takes a whole village to raise a child.  I see our world dividing in two.  It is those who find people more important than possessions against those that find possessions more important than people.  Those children are growing up in a world with no mercy, in a world where they have nothing to lose, and in a world where death is an everyday event.  They are strong and hardy.  They have immune systems of steel and they have remedies from nature.  Those Americans the government has forgotten with rebel.
            When the rebellion comes what side are you going to be on?  I, honestly, do not know where I stand, but I am starting to think about it.  I’m starting to wonder how I will protect my family, where is the best place for my family, and how prepared am I to survive through the battle?  I am not a fighter, but I need to stay safe until those that are fighting finish.  I need adversity for whatever conditions may come. 
            Each morning I come to the YMCA and I do my homework, chart for my job, and work out.  Yes, this fat female in her forties works out almost every morning at 0530.  I lift in the three digits, just 20lbs less that The Goat Man, not too bad.  I am weaker now since last year’s problem with the thyroid, but that is in the past and I am now a force to be reckoned with.  Never judge a book by their cover, right?
            I watch everyone socialize here at the YMCA.  Everyone here is very nice, but none of them seem to be concerned about people being shot in the movie theatre, only food being stolen from the dollar store, or the amount of homeless Americans, including children, are now apart of this world.  It has nothing to do with age, sex, religion, or race.  It has to do with a failing government, a struggling economy, and our leaders messed up priorities.
            I live in a country where I am allowed to post I am unhappy with the way things are going in my America and I love that!  I am worried that my right to feel this way and to talk about it is in jeopardy.  I sleep in a mini-van, but I lay down last night with a full belly and a warm bed with protection from the elements.  I just want the same for all Americans.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Shame on me!

This is taken from the link below.
I want to make sure the correct person gets credit for the photo.

Friday January 17, 2014

            I have been sick all week.  I cannot remember the last time I felt this bad.  It is to the point that people keep telling me how terrible I look.  The last couple of days I have slowly gotten better and today I made it to the YMCA dressed and upright.  I managed to finish my homework for this week and now I am writing to you.
            I stopped comments on my blog a few months ago when my very own daughter placed comments I thought inappropriate.  I was ashamed to be her mother.  I know over all she is a wonderful woman with a big heart, great values, and a drive to succeed, but like everyone else she has her moment.  She is human. 
            I am torn about whether I should have continued to allow comments because I got my first hate mail this week.  I am not talking about the message I received from Cindy (the camper from Crew Lake).  I received an eye opening reaction from a lady who showed excellent class and scolded me, as I should have been.  Unlike the hate mailer who was unable to speak mature, respectful, or honestly about this person they have never met, Cindy was honest and respectful.
            You may remember back in August I introduce Cindy and her son to you this way,
 “We met three new people today.  Cindy is a woman in her fifties that walks with a quad cane.  She was widowed three years ago.  She travels with Cory, her fifteen year old son and Brian.  It is unclear who Brian is because he stays in their Astro van most of the time and rarely speaks when he comes out.
            He is a mysterious man.  He stands tall, but is quite thin.  His hair was dark and his nose was large.  He would be cute except some indefinable trait sends his appearance toward ugly.  He had a large atom’s apple and his knee never stopped bouncing.            They have openly admitted to begging for money, stealing food, and having arrest warrants out for Brian.  It was clear our moral fortitude was different.  I found myself concerned about the values being taught to the young fifteen-year-old boy.”
            Her wisdom was unseen by me in the middle of my own crisis I was unable to understand any circumstances other than my own.  I think this may be why my God has sent me on this journey because I have seen thing, done things, thought things, and experienced things I would have never imagined in my world ever. 
            Cindy was hurtful in her response, but she was tactful and correct.  I have sent a message of apology and I would like to apologize now where everyone who read my false assumptions can read my humble realization I was wrong.  I do not deny that I make mistakes and every criticism I receive does not mean I was wrong, but when I know I am I will admit it.
            I now believe that under the right circumstances anyone will do anything.  I look back and think about our summer in Crew Lake (just babies to homelessness) I now see how big a heart Cindy has.  I do still worry about any kid who has to grow up homeless, but I know that Cindy has his best interest in heart.  The love between the two of them has always been apparent to me.  I have learned that sometimes in this world all you need is somebody to love you.
            I do not know if she will accept my apology that is up to her.  I would also like to thank you for the work boots because they have turned out to be a very precious commodity that The Goat Man benefits from.  I hope you are doing well and I wish the both of you all the best.
            Now back to the hate-mailers.  I do not wish to distribute negativity, hatred, or language like they express or I would post the comments they send anonymously (We can pretend I do not know who said them).  In my opinion, if you cannot identify yourself to me then you’re a coward and possibly unsure of yourself and what you truly believe in.  I make mistakes and I put my foot in my mouth, I have been put in my place, and I have been proven wrong and had to humbly admit it.  But, I am always myself.  I always stand up for what I believe in and I am never afraid to tell anyone my name.
            Please feel free to send me helpful, objective, critical critique of my writing and please feel free to ask me about my beliefs and challenge my thoughts because I am an intellectual and I am always looking to improve me.  But I do not have time for drama, name-calling, and time wasting.  I am busy living my life and contributing to society the best way I can.
            So, for the second time, (because you did not understand your place once before as well) please do not contact me in any way.  I do not want your friends or you via your friends to contact me.  I have no desire for you in my life at all.  Please send no email, no texts, no calls, no message on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any others I did not mention.
            You have an obvious dislike for my lifestyle, my friend, my family and me.  Your rants and drama stirring messages are starting to worry me.  I wonder how far you may go to harass me.  All of it is unwarranted.  So, STOP!
            I apologize readers I needed to leave no room for misunderstanding.  But what I was saying is I think it is great that my simple thoughts (even sometimes wrong thoughts) are generating such emotion that I received hate mail.  I am a very happy writer today!  They took the time to read my things, think about me, and write and send a message.  I did not give them any thought.  Shame on me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Reality is subjective

January 14, 2014 0711

            So much has happened I can hardly keep my head above water.  I feel like my focus has been drunk for the last year.  The vision is still blurry and the walk is still unsteady.  But the momentum is forcing me forward like a roller coaster in the dark.
            Like a lone wolf I continue on my path, each day going to work, doing my homework, and try to keep it together.  I have learned a few things in this rough drunken night.
1.     If the road has no road sign it is the one I am trying to find.
2.     If the house has no house number it is the one I want. (I think is should be illegal to not have a clear and visible house number on your house.)
3.     Disney is not as magical a place for me as it use to be.
            As I drive from house to house to see my patients without OnStar. (That car was repossessed last summer, thus thrusting me into a new life of decades ago.)  I use MapQuest, memory, and common sense.  Thank goodness I learned how to read a map and how to read addresses.  I function, once again, without a smart phone, without OnStar, and without Internet to call my own.  I live in my car and use public Internet.  It is amazing what we are capable of.
            As I drive the most irritating thing is when all of the mailboxes are on one side of the road because without house numbers I have no way to know which address goes to which house.  I drive through windy roads, stop at corners where both roads have the same name, and I do it in any weather condition.  I would say except snow, but last week it was only 30 degree high for the daytime.  Any precipitation that day would have resulted in snow.
            I saw all the snow I want to see when The Goat Man and I went home for Christmas.  We drove 1300 miles to be denied even five minutes alone with the goat kids, unable to see The Goat Man’s family because plans changed without warning at the whim of others.  Then the Kindle Fire given to the goat daughter, that we spent close to $300 dollars customizing and placing parental controls on because that is what good parents do, was basically stolen and erased.  I cannot wait until Karma brings the unethical, inappropriate adult to her knees.  You did not have the password because it is not your Kindle Fire!
            This selfish behavior of takers is slowly overtaking what once was a good America.  At Disney world the crowd of non-English speakers walked into us like we were invisible, drove strollers over our feet without notice, and never apologize for almost knocking you over. 
            American’s are said to be rude, but those speaking English at Disney were saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘excuse me.’  We were amazed at how many unattended children roamed the streets of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.  I do not mean teenagers.  I am talking about kids that have trouble walking and talking at the same time because they have just learned those skills.
no, this is not the same street sign
as the one above.  Look close.
            In one particular line a dark haired boy of about seven or eight began to stand in line with us.  His mother was back about four people.  She once looked up from her smart phone and stopped texting to tell him to come back to her side.  The boy simply said “no” and continued doing whatever he wanted.  How sad is that?
            There is no parent that doesn’t make mistakes.  But children are precious commodities and sometimes one simple moment of disinterest is enough to lose them forever.  This world is becoming a scary place to raise a child.  What has our society placed as a priority? Drugs? The newest phone? Social media? Or possibly society no longer places priority in society.
            So those that follow this blog please know that The Goat Man and I are trudging along in this world we live in.  We are bouncing back from the blows and celebrating the successes.  We long for a day to be in nature together with the animals, but right now we struggle just to keep warm, healthy, and get enough money to eat.
            We heard I.H. passed away not long after Thanksgiving.  My book will address the haunting in that house.  I wonder if the ghost left when she died or if they are still there?  Reality is so subjective.

Friday, December 27, 2013

North to the Cold

Monday December 23, 2013

            The morning was beautiful yesterday.  It was almost 80 degrees before I saw my first patient at 0800.  It was 86 when we finished our dinner and finally headed north.  In the seventies until midnight when we finally stopped we both wanted to put the top down, but the Christmas presents were over-taking all the extra space in the car.  We did not want any small ones to fly out.  Who knew the wind noise in the convertible would be worse with the top up?
            We woke to a downpour of rain and a small newly formed river flowing down the middle of the road going through the rest stop.  I had charting to finish for work and didn’t mind the delay.  The only problem was that I had to pee.  We, of course, parked at the end where it was dark to sleep.  It was the farthest we could go from the bathroom and still be in the rest stop.  So, I did get my morning shower and then we headed down the road.
            The rain began to slow and the flooding dissipated, but the sun had not come up.  At 0700 it was still as dark as it had been at midnight.  I was beginning to gather concern that I had bounced into the twilight zone.  The idea of being in a famous TV show is somewhat appealing, but I did not want to be late for Christmas.  What excuse can you possibly use for that?  Christmas is scheduled for December 25th every year until the end of time.  It is not like we don’t all know when it is.  Late is just not an option for any reason.
            The ride has included a truck full of kindling headed to “stick city.”  At least that was the name on the side of the truck.  It was full of the kindling size sticks I was sent to fetch as a kid every time we went camping.  I was thinking Stick city must be next to Straw city and Brick City.  I think that is where the three little pigs live.
            What I have found most humorous thus far is the “Falling Rock” sign that was crushed by a falling rock.  As we drove down the road I saw two signposts with no sign.  Placed in front of the posts was a small wooden sign with the words “falling rock” spray-painted on it.  When we got closer I realized a large rock was resting on top of the original sign on the ground.
            What I find the least humorous is the temperature gage in my car that now tells me as we drive through Tennessee that it is 35 degrees.  At the last rest stop I said, “I am going to get my hat and gloves out of the trunk.”  The Goat Man just laughed at me.  We have not seen any snow yet.