Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today was dad's birthday, ok, well not quite today. I was busy with facebook and things so I didn't think about blogging until I am just about to head to bed. So, the 28th is pappy's birthday. He would have been 77. I couldn't help but wonder today what my life would be like right now if he was still alive. This is a man that would easily have lived to 100 and would never have looked like it, but that leukemia and diabetes ravaged a strong man's body. The man I rarely ever saw sick and who wouldn't take a sick day. He always just kept going. I miss him so much. It's so weird, because sometimes I forget what it was like to have that father figure around, feeling that fatherly love, feeling so safe, knowing that he would help take care of scary situations. I miss his smile, his laugh, his presence. He is always in my heart and I will never forget the joy of having him for my dad for so many wonderful years. So very thankful that he was my dad and that I got to love him for so much of his lifetime. There is nothing better. He was the man in my life. I miss that male companionship, that's kind of hard for me.
I slept in a little this morning, really didn't want to get up and do much, but I did. I feel pretty good. Took Bella out, took a little nap, got up and got breakfast ready for mom and I. Went back for a little nap. Got up, made phone calls to three places for mom to get information to help out with what we are trying to do for her. Called the nurse who is working with us to give her the info. I had just gotten. Filled up the bird feeder for those cute, hungry birds. Redid the driveway, well, at least the front of it, since the wonderful snowplow, plowed us back in. Then went to go see if I could find a pre-owned Wii, I got some money for Christmas, and even got a little money yesterday because I helped the neighbors across the street with their shoveling. I just felt bad since they only had shovels and there was lots of snow, so I brought the snow blower over and did the driveway for them and they insisted on giving me something. So, I figured, since I probably gained way too much weight over the holidays, it would be good to have the Wii to use to exercise with. Sadly this was the second Gamestop I went to and they didn't have anymore. Oh well, must not be what I am supposed to do with my money right now. Oh well. So, I went and "splurged" on the dvd Despicable Me. :) Mom and I had a little movie night tonight. We didn't finish the whole movie, but did watch about half of it. Before that, my cousin Dot called and we got the chance to talk to her for a little bit. She sounded good. She asked when we would be making a trip to Thomasville, I told her about mom's health and she was shocked that she wasn't doing that well. When I got off the phone, mom asked who it was, she said she couldn't place her. I kinda figured that much, pretty sad. It's been a tough Christmas break. She doesn't have a clue what the days are. She didn't realize it was Christmas, even after the whole day of celebrating it. We went to my aunt's house and she told my uncle that she didn't get anything for Christmas-even though she had opened up a coat, gloves, pj's, and slippers from me. Then she also got a robe from someone at her church. She didn't know who that person was and kept asking me who it was, then she kept saying it was some guy from her church. At first she was a little concerned as to why a guy would give her a robe, and asked me if he was trying to like her, but I told her that it was probably a woman. Then a day or so later, she says that it's from this man, but she knows him and his wife. So, finally I called my neighbor to ask her who this person was. It was a new lady that has been coming to the church. I was glad to finally get that figured out. She doesn't really remember her gifts at all, but we really did have a nice Christmas. Even though it's been a little stressful, it has been a good break.

Lord, let me not forget the reason for the season. Let me not miss the joy of mom's presence that I do still get to enjoy now. I hate to say it, but I'm not really looking forward to the new year, because I don't know what possible sadness I'll see. Help me not to focus on that, but on you and all the blessings you have given and know will give as we end 2010 and go into 2011. May I know you more, love you more, serve you more, and trust you more! Thank you for being my Heavenly Father! Give my pappy a big hug for me!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What a day!

Yesterday was an interesting day. My morning is getting up, getting washed up, taking Bella out, telling mom she needs to get up and go to the bathroom so she doesn't wet the bed. I bring Bella back in and start to get ready for school. I figure out what I am going to wear, go get my breakfast and try to remember to check mom's plate to be sure she has her pills on it. Then have my cereal. I make sure Bella has food and water, make sure mom is set, make sure the leash is where mom can get to it from the door, get all my bags and things and head to school. Well, yesterday as I pulled into the parking lot Satan put the foolish thought in my mind: "What have you done that is so bad that you can't seem to catch a break?" I was thinking of all the things I have to do and was feeling so overwhelmed. I went in and started to get things ready for the morning. At restroom break, I went into the teacher's lounge, Mama Gallucci came in and asked me how mom was and how I was doing. I was able to talk to her for a while telling her about some of what was going on, all of the things that I need to get done-phone calls I needed to make, places I needed to go, papers I needed to find. She just let me talk and encouraged me so much. I was able to cry and share and let her know exactly what I was thinking and feeling. She understands because she had to deal with some of the same things with her mom. She also told me that she would be my mom when I needed one. That was such an encouragement to my heart!! I love and appreciate her so much! The part that was interesting was that it was so nice to finally be able to talk to someone and have them listen, not just for a few seconds, but for several minutes! But the next thing is that when I got back to my classroom and got my kids started with their work, I looked at my phone and Christina Kellogg sent me a text just letting me know that she was thinking of me and praying for me. The Lord laid me on her heart! What a blessing to get that extra little special blessing! Had a bit of a crazy time as I was teaching Arithmetic. One of my students said he wasn't good in Math, but I told him he needed to practice more. I did a couple of flashcards with him, but he wasn't able to get them quickly at all. Then we came to 66 divided by 6. He wasn't sure at all. I broke it down and asked him how many 6's are in 6 and then how many 6's are in the other 6. After a little thinking he figured it was one for each. When I asked him to put those two numbers together, he asked if he was supposed to add them or multiply them. I told him to just put the two numbers together side by side. I asked what the answer was and he said 12. We went through all the ways of breaking it down again and then asked for the answer, and once again he said 12. I finally put it on the board and he was able to see and understand the answer was 11. We had other issues in Bible class that maybe I'll tell about later, very interesting! Then later in the day, I had to call Amy Hunt to ask her something and she also asked me how my mom was doing and allowed me to share several things with her. It was just neat to see how the Lord sent the right people at the right time to encourage me. I hadn't even felt that down, but it was so amazing to me and I wonder what could have been the case if the Lord hadn't laid my mom and I on people's hearts. What a huge blessing!! God reminds me that He does care and watch over me even when I have trouble seeing it. He also reminded me that there are others who care as well! How thankful I am for my Heavenly Father and for all the wonderful, special saints He uses to encourage His child. God, thank you for loving me and showing me you care, especially in those moments when Satan wants to bring me down. Help me remember these moments whenever I get down!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How quickly things change

I really need to start blogging again, especially with how things are going with mom. It is important for me to share my thoughts and feelings. A couple of months ago mom had an appointment at UCONN health center to see Dr. Greenspan to see how things were going with her memory. I asked what she thought it was. She said she did think mom was starting with Alzheimers. Though I knew this was probably the case, it was difficult to hear. It is hard to not have the mom I know here with me. It makes me a little sad and lonely sometimes. It is a difficult thing to deal with answering the same questions over and over and over again without feeling a little crazy. This has been an interesting week. I set up the Christmas decorations and she watched and enjoyed, but I have had to move the lighters and matches to my room. I came home Saturday night from a party to find lots of candles lit on the mantle. The problem was that some of the candles were just on the mantle and not in a candle holder. She lit some that were just on the mantle. The wax was all over the mantle and one of the candles had burned all the way down to the silver piece right against the mantle. I am so thankful I got home when I did. That's one of my struggles. I am afraid to leave her alone for too long. After I told her not to light the candles on the mantle, I come home the next day to find the taper candles on the table lit and the candles in the sconces. The taper candles made me nervous because we have never lit those and they were out in the open where anything could have happened. Thankfully it was ok. I told mom to just use the battery operated tealights that I have. As I was turning them on and off the other night, I noticed that one had a black tip, which means she also tried to light that. So therefore, my room gets more junk added to it, as I confiscated the lighters and matches from as many places as I could find them and hid them in here away from her. It's hard because no one is going through this same thing right now, so it's hard to talk about it because people don't understand. This blog is a bit sporadic and isn't exactly the way I would like to voice my thoughts as I have done in some of my earlier blogs, but I just need to start keeping track of things for myself and maybe for mom and for others that are helping us in this endeavor to keep mom home and healthy for as long as possible. Last year this time, there wasn't this much stress about these things. Things have changed so quickly and sometimes it is difficult to keep my poise. Sometimes mom acts like some of the kids I deal with all day long. Some people just quickly throw out the thought that now I know what it's like to have kids. I don't really like that thought, because this is so different from that. Not in all ways, but in many. You can discipline a child, I can't discipline my mom. The goal is to see a child's behavior improve, but in my case the goal is to try to keep her as stable as possible, but things don't improve, they are getting worse. I have to repeat things so much, I'm learning to deal with that, though some days because I have a class that seems to need that same treatment, it kind of wears me down. With children you could hide matches and things from them, but it's hard to hide them from mom and she wonders why they are not there. She often asks why she can't do some of the things I ask her not to do. She doesn't understand! It's hard to explain and hard to deal with. Things have been a little overwhelming, I know I need to just trust the Lord, it's easy to say, but it's another matter to put feet to those prayers. I just continue to ask God for help and guidance. I need you, Lord. Please help me to rest, nest, and be blessed in You and You alone. Things are too hard without you! Help me. Strengthen me! Guide me! I need you!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Special Times and Memories

It's been a while since I have blogged, this will be like my journal, and that's not good. This is Father's Day today. It's always going to be a tough day for me from now on, obviously. The Lord allowed me to plan a weekend getaway with mom. We went to New London and stayed at a Radisson Hotel. It was nice. Not nearly as nice as Saybrook Point Inn and Spa, but it was doable. It was a nice clean room, the bathroom was nice and clean. We have a nice big king size bed. I say have because we're still here! Tonight's our last night sadly, but I am kinda excited to get home. I miss my Bella and so does my mom. She's been asking about her lots, probably every hour or so. This has been a great weekend for the both of us! I think mom is ready for bed so I am going to end this here. I will either add more on here later or just make a new blog, we'll see! :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It's Olympic time!!! I love, love, LOVE the Olympics. I watched the opening ceremonies last week and enjoyed that so much! I have been watching every night for as long as I can last. It's been great to see the American spirit from the American team. One thing that was a shock was the day right before the Olympics started a young 21 year old man from the Georgian team was participating in a luge practice run. He was going about 80-90 miles an hour when he lost control, he was thrown against one of the poles and he was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries. That was such a shock before the games. It definitely made people think about life more and how precious it is. Well, just a week later that same theme of how precious life is and the shock of an unexpected death reared up again. As I was preparing to leave for school on Friday morning, my mom told me the phone was for me. I was a little bothered that it was going to make me a little behind in getting ready for school. It was a lady from my mom's church, Ms. Lavenda. She called to tell me the terrible tragic news that a wonderful friend that we knew and loved died from an accident the night before. She didn't want to tell my mom because she knew how upset she would be, and she figured I would figure out the best way to be able to tell her. Now I had to think of how I was going to do that before I left for school. I decided I needed to tell her then so she wouldn't get a phone call about it when I wasn't there. I called my neighbor to tell her and then to ask her to keep an eye and an ear out for my mom throughout the day. Then I shared the awful news about the death of Ms. Ivy. My mom as I expected was very shocked and upset. Before I left for school though, she called another neighbor and was talking to her, so I knew she would be ok. It was easier to leave knowing that she was ok and talking and sharing with someone else. It was a tough ride to school, I heard some songs that brought lots of tears to my eyes. You see, part of the difficulty of this tragic death is that Ms. Ivy's husband and my dad were very good friends. They really enjoyed each other's company. She also was a huge blessing to my mom and I after my dad's death. She and Ms. Lavenda would come over and check on us, bring food and just chat. I also thought of her son Brian, Jr. who relied on her so much, as he's not able to take care of himself fully. Then I thought of her son who lives in another state and is established where he is. Life will be so different for them now. They just lost their dad 3 years ago. My heart was breaking. Then when I got to school, Pete came to see how I was and see if I knew anything. Then Pastor Jason came in my room also. I was just telling Pete the hard thing is that they were so good to my dad. When Pastor came in I broke down, he hugged me and was really teary too. We talked for a little bit about it. That's when I found out the real story, how Ms. Ivy and Brian, Jr. were rear ended when they were almost home. The guy that hit them never stopped and just drove off. Ms. Ivy got out to see the damage done to the car and while she was out there, she was hit by another car. That guy did stay, but it was so bad. She broke pretty much every bone in her body that could be broken and there was severe head trauma. The EMT's lost her while they were treating her out on the road, but they brought her back. She was just on machines at the hospital and eventually she died sometime Friday morning. It was just such a shock. I still don't believe it. As Pastor Jason said in his daily email, he just can't seem to find the words to say. This is such a difficult thing. I don't quite understand how and why this could happen, but as the song reminded me that I was listening to- "He is with you". Even when we don't understand, He's never left us and He is there for us to hold to.

Lord, please be with this family during this awful time in their lives. My heart breaks for them, but help me to remember that your heart breaks for them too. You care for them and their sorrow is real to you. Help me to remember that even though we don't always understand, we can't always trace your hand, we have to trust your heart. Thank you for being with us!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I'm sitting here tonight watching Biggest Loser, I love that show! I'm a bit tired and wish I could take a nap, but I don't want to miss anything! Today was pretty interesting, first of all, I snoozed my alarm clock for over an hour...what in the world??!!?? Oh well, I still got to school the time I normally do. I started my day with the kids and at one point checked my phone to see that my doctor had called. I was going to call her anyway today to find out the results of my ultrasound...uh, no, not because I'm pregnant, please!!! I would love to think that someday it could happen, but that's in the Lord's hands. Anyway, this was because I have been feeling pressure in my lower abdomen. I have been feeling it for about a month now. I also felt like that this past summer. I just had my yearly physical, so I mentioned this to my doctor. I'm so thankful I did. The doctor told me today that I have a mass on my ovaries. That was kind of a shock, even though I thought in the back of my mind that it may have been something like that because of the way it feels. It doesn't hurt me, but it's just a very uncomfortable pressure that doesn't ever go away. So, my doctor said that's what the ultrasound showed, I don't think she said how big it was. She said that it was benign as far as they could tell. The radiologist really felt that it was benign, which is a blessing. My doctor said it was called a dermoid. Well, Angie and I looked it up and it's a pretty common cyst, and most of the time it is benign. The only freaky thing is that the information said these cysts are not filled with blood or fluid like some others, but...ugh get this...these cysts can have hair, bone, and teeth as part of them. Talk about wanting to gag....eeewwwww!! How gross! Of course I couldn't have a normal one, oh my. I trust the Lord, He knows what He is doing and I just have to leave it with Him. Job is my Bible hero and he had to deal with family death, financial difficulty, sadness, and then physical discomfort. Through it all he just kept his trust and let the Lord do His will. Why should I be any different? The Lord has been so good to me. I have been feeling some of that joy that I had been looking and asking the Lord for. I have wonderful friends, old and new. My mom has gotten new medication from the doctor that I like. I was able to call and take care of a bill that needed to be taken care of by her Medicare and I think it is settled. I know that the Lord is guiding in my life and I am so thankful for that! I have seen some strong answers to prayer. I have an appointment next week, to I guess recheck the situation and see what else they need to do. They can do laproscopic surgery and it would be in and out same day. So, I am just looking forward to getting this taken care of so I can get rid of this pressure. I know the Lord will take care of me.

Thank you, Lord, that you already knew about this, allowed me to mention it to my doctor, not really knowing if it would really be anything. Thank you for doctors and the wisdom you give them. Thank you for friends who care and share this with me and encourage me. Thank you for being the great Physician. I love and trust you and pray that you will allow me to keep my eyes stayed on you. What a mighty God I serve!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today is my mom's birthday. She is 71 years young. I am so thankful for her. Even though she has not been the same since my dad's death and her mind seems to be fading, I'm just thankful that I still have her. Last year this time we had a huge surprise party for her. Tonight was just a smidge more low-key. I bought her a card, and an ice cream cake which we both love!! Then I also bought her a nice poem from a guy that was standing outside Stop & Shop. He said he just got out of jail and was trying to make a decent living for himself. He calls himself God's poet. He had some beautiful poems that he wrote and had displayed. So I bought a card for my mom with two poems on it. Then I got a couple of free poem things from him. He was very nice and just asked that I would remember him when I needed some nice cards and asked if I would tell at least two people about him. We had dinner, then I told my mom to come downstairs so we could watch a movie. I had her watch UP with me. I love that movie and wanted to share it with her. I think she enjoyed it. During the halfway point of the movie I got out the ice cream cake and gave her her cards. She loved them. She especially loved the poems, I think they brought tears to her eyes. One was called Higher Ground and the other was A Work of Art. They really touched her. We ate our ice cream cake, finished the movie and now we are heading to bed. I want to treasure each moment because they go too quickly. I thank the Lord for this special night together. I debated on what to do and I am so thankful that I truly believe I made the right choice for us.
Thank you, Lord for the parents you give us. Thank you for blessing me with an amazing family. Thanks for allowing me to try to take care of her as she has faithfully taken care of me all these years. Please allow us many more years together.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I am sitting here tonight reflecting-looking at old pictures and thinking of my pappy. It still does not seem possible to me that he is gone, let alone that it has been two years. I don't think my mom remembers that today was the day, so unfortunately I am unable to share memories and thoughts with her. I think I am afraid that it will make things worse with her if I bring it up, so I'll just reflect on here and in my own mind. Two years ago I woke up excited because my best friend Chinita and I were supposed to go to a UCONN girls game at the XL Center. I was so looking forward to it, I love UCONN games! The night before was a little hard for me. I went to the hospital because my mom's back was bothering her and she couldn't get to the hospital. Dad seemed a little weaker, but was doing ok. We got his dinner, which was I think fish and green beans, and I don't remember what else. He said that he didn't really want to put his teeth in his mouth. So, the poor guy was trying to gum his food. He was struggling a little bit, but he got some down. A little after he ended up throwing up what he had eaten. I felt so bad for him, called the nurse to come and help him. I helped clean him up a little until they got there. Who knew that I would have enough strength to do that, the Lord gave me so much strength through these tough moments with him. When the nurses got him cleaned up I sat with him for a while. He kept saying that he thought he would be going home the next day. I told him we would see what the doctors said. I would have loved for him to come home, but not if he wasn't going to be ok.
Back to that morning, mom went early to get to the hospital to see him, she had been getting there as early as she could to be with him and stayed as long as she could. I got up and was getting ready to go to the game. I was actually on my way to go pick Chinita up, then to go get the tickets, and then head to the game. On my way to pick her up I got a phone call from my mom telling me that my dad wasn't doing that great. I asked her what she meant and she just said he didn't look that good and didn't seem as if he was feeling that well. I asked her what she wanted me to do. She told me that I needed to do what I thought was right. I asked her if she thought I could go to the game and then come to the hospital later. Again she said that it was up to me, but that he didn't look good. So, I decided, sad to say, a little reluctantly, to call Chinita to tell her that we wouldn't be able to go to the game because my dad wasn't doing well and I was going to the hospital. Of course she understood. I drove to the hospital and saw my dad and he didn't seem as if was feeling that well. Mom and I just sat with him. The nurses kept coming in to check on him. Next thing I knew Chinita and her mom were there, coming in the door. It was truly a blessing to have them there, it really helped. Cousin Pam (Chinita's mom) would joke around with my dad and laugh with him. Even though I could tell he wasn't feeling well he still found a way to joke and laugh a little bit. That's what I wanted for be able to keep a good sense of humor. The nurses said they needed to move him to another floor. They also wanted him to have a cat scan because they thought he was bleeding internally and they needed to see where. He wasn't able to get one right away because I guess there were lots of cat scans going that day. So, he just had to hang in there. We called Pastor Jason and told him not to worry about coming out, but he listens as well as a husband watching a really good football game. Pretty soon he showed up to be there with us. At one point my dad went around the room saying, "Sandy, I love you, Stacey, I love you, Browns, I love you guys, Pastor I love you. We all said we loved him back. He also would say, "Ok, I'll see you later, take care." We told him we weren't going anywhere. A bit later he did the same thing, "Sandy, I love you, Stacey, I love you, Browns, love you guys, love you, Pastor, you guys take it easy, I'll see you later." He seemed to be getting a little more uncomfortable at that point. The nurse asked him about his pain level and for him to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 and he said 10. That really bothered me and brought on some sadness and emotion, though I would not dare show it. But I knew he must have really been struggling because he never complained, he would always say he was doing fine. So to hear him say that made me realize something was not right. The nurse was trying to get blood from him, but she couldn't get any, it was too thick or congealing or something. At one point he told me, "Tell your mom to sit down, I don't want her looking at that thing." He was afraid that she was looking at the monitor. The numbers on the monitor were getting weaker I noticed, but my mom hadn't been looking at it so I told him she wasn't looking. A little later he coughed up a blood clot, it was kinda big. That was hard for me to see. He kept pulling the sheets up kinda over his head and then back down. He kept moving around and just didn't seem like he could be still. We just stayed with him so he would sense us and know the love that we were feeling for him at that point. In the later afternoon, I think around 4 p.m. or so he was finally going to be able to go down to get his cat scan. They got him prepped to go, and we decided since he was going to be out of the room that we would go get something to eat. I made sure to give him a kiss on the forehead, and told him I loved him so much. I told my mom, come over and give him a kiss before we go. So she came over and kissed him too and told him she loved him. We kissed him again and told him we loved him and would see him later when he came back from the cat scan. We went down to I think it's Cafe Au Lait, downstairs in the hospital. We got some sandwiches and stuff I think. After a while of fellowship and eating Chinita and I went to the bathroom, on the way back from the bathroom, there were a couple of doctors that asked to see us and asked where everyone else was. We went to go get them and brought them back to the doctors. They asked us to come with them. When we got on the floor they were headed to the waiting room, but saw there were people in there, so looked for another room. You would think that that may have given us some inkling that something might not have been good. I think we were just hoping to maybe have them tell us about the cat scan results. Why they would need to do that in a private room I don't know. You'll never understand why you would think like that unless you're in that situation. The doctors got chairs for us and made sure we were sitting and then shared that on the way back up to his room from the cat scan my dad passed. My mom and I just both broke down, my mom just moaned and sounded so broken. I just bawled...hard. It was so hard, but what a blessing that we weren't alone. Thankfully Pastor and the Browns were still there to comfort us. My mom asked if we could see him. They said they were getting him prepared and that they would soon. They brought my mom in a wheel chair and I was walking next to her. We went into the room and both sobbed so loud. I have never heard myself cry like that in front of anyone. I just went over and kissed him over and over. I thanked him for being so amazing, and for being such a wonderful dad. I told him that I missed him, but that I was so glad he was no longer in pain. At one point my mom had to sit down and breathe into a paper bag because she started hyperventilating. That scared me so much, I just thought Lord, please don't do this, I can't handle anything happening to her. She calmed down and was ok. We called family and friends and people started showing up to the room. My uncle Cephus and cousin Karen came. They both broke down and I had never seen them like that before. At that point after I said hi to them and hugged and cried on them I just went over to my dad's bedside and just held his hand. Those strong hands that took such good care of me as a little girl. Holding me, playing with me, helping me walk, helping me ride a bike, dancing with me, and praying with me. I just wanted to keep holding that strong hand that I loved so much. The Russel's came, Mrs. Moore came. I think a few other people from church came. Then my Uncle Henry and Uncle John came. It was sad to see my Uncle Henry cry over his brother. My Uncle John really broke down and had to leave the room, they put him in a wheelchair to recover for a bit. Then he came back in to see his brother. The room was packed and the people spilled out into the hall. It was a blessing to see how many people were there because they loved him and us. It was so hard to finally have to leave him, I just kept kissing him and telling him how amazing he is, thanking God for him. We finally left. What a night for mom and I. We just laid together in bed for a while and cried. Even though dad hadn't been at the house for about a week, boy did things seem so different, there was no man to be here for us anymore. Thinking back I remember those feelings so strongly. There are so many special memories and I'm so glad to have an avenue to write them down and share them whether anyone else reads them or not. I'm just glad to be able to share this, it helps so much.
Lord, thank you for the strength you give me every day. I never realized I was this strong, but you knew all along. Thank you for not letting me go this alone, and for being there for me any time I need you. Thanks for being my Father now that mine is home with you. Please give him my love and tell him I can't wait to see him. Thanks for giving him to me for the time that you did.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Looking forward...

Who knows what a day, weekend, or year will bring. Almost two years ago this weekend, a day brought me the saddest moment of my life. That weekend changed my life forever. That also made for a difficult year as mom and I adjusted to life without the love of our lives. I think I'll save the details for the actual anniversary day. It'll be good for me to share it that day, I think. My only hope that year was just to make it through while keeping my mind intact. I knew it would be a tough year and it was, but God helped me through it. He gave me a great class that year. I was truly blessed. Last year I remember a friend telling me that 2009 would be a much better year for me and she hoped I just enjoyed it. wasn't really a better year for me, and many moments I didn't enjoy at all. My mom started showing more memory loss, so I was trying to take care of many of the house needs and bills and whatever else needed to be taken care of. It was tough, because I didn't know what exactly I was doing or how to make it work for us. That's a frustrating thing. Money was also quite tight, so cars couldn't get fixed, bills had to wait a little, phone calls had to be made to take care of some things. I felt like I was being pulled in so many different ways, and didn't know how much more I could handle without cracking. The Lord knew though, and even though I didn't understand and became frustrated and questioned His love for me, He was in control the whole time. Sometimes I wouldn't feel Him, but I kept praying and asking Him to bring us through. He didn' least not when I was ready for Him to. He did...when it was His time. The fall of 2009 brought some very dark moments for me, Satan really tried to discourage me so much and bring me down. So many times I cried and begged God for my joy. Just when I thought there was no joy in sight, the Lord did what He does best. He provided in His time and in His way. I was so ready to be done with 2009, I needed to put that behind me and move on. That's what I'm trying to do...move on. With the Lord's help, He is allowing me to be able to move on. He has provided friends, some old and some new, family, and church family to truly be a blessing in my life. So, saying goodbye to 2009 was great, now I'm pressing on to see what the Lord has in store for 2010. It was definitely an interesting day today, but I am really looking forward to a good weekend this weekend. Sunday will be interesting I think! I am looking forward to seeing what this year will bring.

Lord, I don't know what you have in store for me this year, but I do know that I just want to go through it with you. For only in your strength can I handle what you have for me, good or bad.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Learning through the struggles

11 days into the start of the new year, and as I said before, I am so ready to get into this year! I am just looking forward to putting the stresses and sadness of last year behind me. Just a few months ago, I was so stressed and struggling-even spiritually. Satan was really trying to bring me down. This really all stemmed from the event that took place almost two years ago when my dad went home to be with the Lord. That was one of the toughest moments in my life. The rest of 2008 was ok, it was sad and difficult going through so many special times without him, but it was ok. 2009 was a little bit of a different story. There was a major misunderstanding on our part with Bank of America and they were pretty relentless. It was very discouraging. We owe them major money because of a loan my dad took out on the equity of the house. I was trying to get things settled with them, but nothing seemed to be working, I couldn't get anyone to help me, or work with me. Mom was shelling out big bucks to them because of past due payments that we did not understand we were responsible to pay. There were other things as well that I was trying to take care of. My mom hasn't been the same since my dad's death. She has become very forgetful. So now it's like I am taking care of her. It's just a little hard to be thrust into it so quickly. I also had been feeling very lonely. It's difficult to be my age (which will remain unspoken, hee hee), still be single (with such a strong desire to have a family), and have this new life thrust on me. I know the Lord is teaching me something through all of this, but it is difficult. Satan kept putting wrong thoughts in my mind, sadly there were moments when I could not bring my spirits up, not with good music, not with Scripture, not with prayer. That was tough. I just kept begging the Lord to bring me peace and I kept asking for MY JOY. Through all of these struggles I kept thinking about Job, my Bible hero. I just knew that no matter what I had to keep trusting the Lord. That's not always easy when so many things are coming at you all at the same time. It's much easier said than done. Not only did we have the Bank of America thing to deal with. I also could not get my mom's doctor to help me with a mental health assessment or referral to a gerentologist (sp?). I also needed to make calls to see if my mom should be getting a pension because she hasn't been getting it. That would be a help to us because money has been so tight. There were a couple of months there for a while where neither mom nor I had any money by the end of the month, and I didn't know what we were going to do. Our stove went out at one point, the bottom coil didn't work, so we couldn't do any baking or major cooking in it. Both cars needed oil changes and more, but we didn't have the money for that. The sink started clogging, and we have a drip from an outside faucet. It was just one thing after the other. The Lord was so gracious, though, because there were days where I would ask the Lord to send someone to be an encouragement or for Him to show Himself to me here on earth. He would do that each time and I truly felt blessed.

November brought a little change in the air. My mom's pastor and assistant pastor came to the house to see what things needed to be done. They tried to help with the stove, but the problem was internal and would not be able to be fixed. They took care of my mom's car and what needed to be done. They took mine to check out what needs to be done with it. We received a Visa card for $50 that someone wanted to give us. My church also helped us out with some needs. There were other things that the Lord provided and showed me and did for us in November, but I will share more next time.

I even have a picture that I took that the Lord allowed me to see. There were a bunch of old leaves on the ground and there was a random bright yellow leaf in the middle of them. The Lord showed and taught me that, "Even when things seem bleak and dreary all around us, the Lord gives us little glimpses of beauty to remind us of Him." That kept me trying to hold on and I still am, but I am seeing the Lord's grace and goodness.

Lord, I am so thankful for your grace and for your lessons that you teach even though I am sometimes too stubborn to notice.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The start

I had a friend suggest that I should write some of the things that have been going on in my life...thought it would make great way to share what the Lord has done in my life. I'm just not sure how to begin this. I don't think I necessarily have that much to share, so many people have so much more that they are going through. Maybe, though, this will be interesting to someone, and someone can see what I have learned and be encouraged. I also am not that great at opening up, so this should be pretty interesting. I am so ready for this new year, I need to put the old year behind me, it was a rough time. God has shown himself to me in some very special ways lately and I am so thankful for that! I think as I write some of these blogs I will go back to some of the hard times, though, so I can truly share what the Lord has done. So, here's to trying this out and seeing what the Lord can do through it, for me and maybe someone else. I think I am just going to leave this first one as a start/introduction, then we'll see where we go from here. Should be interesting...please bear with me as I attempt this, not sure how successful I will be at it, but I gotta try I think!