Sunday, December 18, 2011

JUMBLED

I have so many things floating around in my head that I want to talk about, but it seems like I just haven't had the time to do it. So here's my life in a nutshell:


  • School is going great. For the first time in my life I have a 4.0!
  • My son is thriving at his school. Sending him there turned out to be the best decision ever. 
  • My husband is still working, which is great because we weren't sure how long this job was going to last. Now we are being told it's a five year project. Awesome.
  • I am still moving forward with plans on opening my own business. I can't wait. 
  • My brother moved out of our house a few weeks ago. I miss having him around, but I'm glad that he's happy. 
  • My grandmother came home from the nursing home, and my grandpa went into the hospital. 
Now here is your reward for even caring about what's happening in my life:



Merry Christmas!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

THIS IS MY THANKSGIVING RANT

Two Thanksgivings ago I wrote this post about my grandparents. My grandfather was in a rehab facility and we took my grandma to visit him. I remember it fondly.

This year the tables are turned- my grandma is in the same rehab/nursing home and my grandpa is home.

My grandparents have seven children. Three don't live in our state, and quite honestly my grandparents don't talk to them very often. They probably don't even know my grandma is in the nursing home.

The other four- my mother, my aunt, and my two uncles- all live in the same town as my grandparents.

My grandparents also have a lot of grandchildren. I have lost count, but I know it's close to 20. Five of them still live in the same town I grew up in. (I don't, I live about an hour away).

Yesterday, after having Thanksgiving dinner at my parent's house, my son, husband and I stopped over to see my grandpa and then went to the nursing home to see my grandma. My grandma had came home the day before to celebrate Thanksgiving with my grandpa, so I knew she would be at the nursing home. (We invited him to my parents house, but he declined).

Still, I was heartbroken when I went to see them- my grandpa was alone the entire day. No one came to see him, no one called. Same for my grandma. When we went to see her she was so happy. But, the first thing she said to me was, "Where is everyone?".

My mom was busy cooking dinner, my aunt and one uncle had to work, my other uncle busy with his family. I realize people get caught up in life. I know how it goes. But really, no one could pick up the fricking phone? Couldn't take five minutes out of their day to tell their elderly parents/grandparents Happy Thanksgiving? Especially knowing the physical condition they are in and that this could very well be their last on this earth.

My husband's family is far from close. But after his dad died a day never went by that someone wasn't calling or visiting my mother in law. Someone was always visiting or calling her. Even towards the end of her life, when a broken hip forced us to make the horrible decision to put her in a nursing home. Even though none of us lived closer than an hour away, she had a visitor every day. Even if it was only for twenty minutes. Even if she didn't know we were there. We still were.

Maybe it's because I took care of my mother in law for the last year and a half of her life. Maybe it's because I know that one day you will regret how frustrated you became taking care of them. Maybe it's because I've been there that I can look at my grandparent's now and realize that one day their children and grandchildren are going to regret what they are doing to them. It seems like an inconvenience now, but one day you will long for it with a broken heart...

Why is it that it's only after someone is gone that we truly appreciate them?

My grandparents are far from perfect. But they don't deserve to spend the holidays alone.

Your children will treat you the way you treat your parents. 

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and four-year-old grandson.  The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table but the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult.  Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.  When he grasped the glass milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became unhappy with the mess.  “We must do something about Grandfather,” said the son. “I don’t like this spilled milk, noisy eating and food on the floor.”

The husband and wife then set a small table in the corner.  There Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dining-table.  Since Grandfather had broken a plate or two his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather’s direction they noticed he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.  Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.  One evening, before supper, the father noticed his son playing with his wooden blocks - especially the curved ones.  He asked the child sweetly, “What ARE you making?”

Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up.”  The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents that they were speechless.  Tears then started to stream down their cheeks.  Though no word was spoken both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table.  For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family and for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled or the tablecloth soiled.


Monday, November 7, 2011

CHEATER, CHEATER?

I had to write a paper in one of my classes that had to include my personal thoughts and experiences. I struggled with this paper because I knew what I wanted to write, but I didn't want to write it. I was afraid that if I wrote about my losing Brenna and the physical and emotional recovery that I endured that I would get a "pity" grade. Oh, poor girl, how can I give her an E when she just wrote about losing her child and nearly dying. I wanted to make sure that I earned the grade.

I tried to write the paper and leave that part out, but it just didn't work. It was flat and unauthentic.  How do you write about your life and leave out the most defining moment of it?

You can't.

I ended up writing it the way I wanted. It was personal and passionate and I knew it was a good paper.

I got an A.

In fact, I received the highest grade in the class.

My teacher gave me a gift for getting the highest grade, which I thought was very nice. He pointed out that I made points (beside my loss) that no one else had ever done in any of his classes. He was impressed with my way of thinking and said he enjoyed my paper. But I can't help but feel like I didn't really earn that grade. I sort of feel like a cheater. Like I pulled the pity card to get a good grade. It feels like an empty victory.

Am I a cheater? What would you have done?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

BRIDGE DAY

Ever since I met my husband he's wanted to to to West Virginia for their annual Bridge Day. It where these people with a screw loose base jump off from an 800 foot bridge. It was actually pretty crazy to see. I was nervous just standing on the bridge (it is HIGH), I couldn't imagine jumping off from the thing. It was crazy.

Afterwards, there was enough daylight that we were able to visit several of the State Parks. That was my favorite part of our trip. We saw some of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen. My brother and sister in law went with us and we have just a really great time.








Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Remember the scandal from a few years ago when someone had a fake blog about her pregnancy and then tried to pass off a doll as her dead child? I believe she called her "baby" April Rose, and it was even reported in the Chicago Tribune. (If not you can read my posts on it here, here, and here.) Well, an alert reader just sent me a link to a new post on the once defunct Little One April blog. Funny thing is the new post (supposedly written by a friend) is a word-for-word copy of a comment left on my blog over two years ago.

Check it out for yourself:

Comment on my blog (Scroll down half way, it's the one from "Lynn")

New Post on the Little One April blog.

Craziest thing ever.



Friday, September 30, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

DIVORCE PART 2

Part 1 is Here

My style of parenting has always been to allow my children to make their own decisions- this is especially true since my stepdaughter has grown into an adult. I don't appreciate being lectured, and that isn't something I do to my kids. I will give them advice if needed; for my stepdaughter I usually only offer it if she asks.

It was very difficult for me when she separated from her husband last April because I honestly thought it was a mistake. They loved each other and had been together for eight years. It seemed like such a waste. They started out trying to be civil to each other, especially for the sake of their two very young children. But emotions got in the way, and there were times it got very ugly. I finally said something to them the night my grandson started crying at my house. It broke my heart to see him like that, and I wanted to kick them both in the ass for putting him through that.

The hardest part as a parent is sitting by and watching your children make mistakes and all the while hoping they will learn the lesson in it.

They moved back in together a few weeks ago. I wasn't surprised at all, but I was really happy.

I hope they remember that no matter how bad it gets, they were miserable without each other, and they can work through it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again- Great marriages don't just happen, they are made.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

DEALS

I love "deals". It makes me so happy to get something on sale or better yet clearance! I literally do not know the last time I paid full price for anything. With the exception of some grocery items, everything I buy is discounted. Everything. Even our cars.

When I say discounted, I don't mean something that is marked up and then the price is dropped down so I feel like I'm saving money. I mean real sales or discounts that actually save me thousands of dollars a year.

Here are the things I've bought recently:


Table and Lamp

Table $17.50 at an estate auction. 
Lamp $40 at T.J. Maxx. Retail price $75.

I've never been to an estate auction before but I highly recommend it. This auction had tons of old antiques, and they were going for dirt cheap. (My friend got a Victor Victrola phonograph worth several hundred dollars for only $2! And it WORKS!!!) I wouldn't call this table an "antique" since I believe it was built in the 30's or 40's. It's still a beautiful piece, and I really like it. I know you can't tell from the picture, but it has a magazine/newspaper holder under the table. 


Paid $7 for it at Goodwill. 



 
Paid just $2.50 for each costume, new in package.
(In case you can't tell one is a Puffer Fish, the other is a Submarine)


Briefcase, paid $14.99 at goodwill. New with tags. Retail $59.99

These shoes retail for between $50 and $60, I got them for $3.99!

I also got a multi-line business phone new in the box for $5.99. (The tag was still attached and it cost $54 at Office Depot.) Sorry, too lazy to take a picture of this! :)

What about you? Any good deals this week?




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

┌∩┐

Monday was our anniversary. My husband and I have been married for 13 years, together for 16. There were a lot of doubters at our wedding. They were polite, but I know that there was a lot of whispering behind our back about a 21 year old girl marrying a 36 year old man.

You know what I have to say to that?

┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐


Still (HAPPILY) together after all these years! We've stayed married longer than some of our haters! 


Sunday, September 11, 2011

TEN YEARS AGO

Ten years ago my son was starting four year old preschool. It was his second day. I got him up and put him on the bus, and then went back to sleep. I was caring for my mother in law at the time, she was very ill. I remember being mad when she woke me up shortly after I fell asleep. I specifically remember cooking her eggs that morning. I walked into the living room with her breakfast and she had the NBC Today Show on. I noticed that a building was on fire, and she told me a plane had hit it. At that time I thought maybe someone was learning how to fly and crashed into the building. I could not even comprehend anyone doing this on purpose. I was 24 at the time, and part of that might have been innocent due to my age, but at that time terrorism wasn't a real threat to me. I never even thought about it.

I sat across from my mother in law, and we both watched as the second plane flew into the second tower. I distinctly remember looking at her and saying, "What is going on?" I couldn't understand how a second plan could make the same mistake the first one did. It still didn't occur to me that this was on purpose.

It also didn't occur to me how many people actually worked in those towers, and how many lives would be lost that day. I didn't even think about the people who were trapped in the upper floors.

I found the footage from that morning on NBC on You Tube. I watched it, and it gave me goosebumps. It's exactly as I remember:


I'm not sure when I realize it may be a terrorist attack, but I do remember when they show Bin Laden's picture on the news. it was the first time I'd ever heard his name.

The first person I called was my mother (or maybe she called me?). My aunt and my uncle's wife were flight attendants, and I wanted to make sure they were OK. (Later I would find out that one aunt was supposed to be on one of the flights, but had called in sick. The guilt haunts her to this day.)

I was on the phone with a friend when the towers fell.

I had goosebumps and chills all morning.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Life was very different ten years ago. Our world undoubtedly changed that day. Sometimes it saddens me because I feel like my children and grandchildren are never going to grow up the care free way that I did. Terrorism is something that they are used to, and that is so very sad to me.
_______________________________________________________________________________

And, because today is no doubt going to be sad, I thought maybe you could use a laugh (or two).

 John Stewert. 





Saturday, September 10, 2011

CHARMED (PART 2)

My last post got me thinking. Many of you commented that you wished famous people spoke more openly about their losses so that this wasn't such a taboo subject. I did a little digging, and I found several instances where people did speak of their loss- I just don't think it receives much press because it's so depressing. Speaking of dead children will never sell as many copies of a magazine as the cast of Jersey Shore. Sad, but true.


In 2008 Annie Lennox spoke about her son's stillbirth.  She expressed the same feelings that many people who suffer a tragedy realize- life is fragile. She explained how his death effected her songwriting, and how it brought depth to her music.


Mike Tyson spoke with Oprah about his daughter accidental death. It was his darkest day. No matter what you think about Tyson, you can't help but realize that he truly loved his daughter and her death took an enormous toll on him.


Lily Allen spoke about her son's stillbirth last year. She expressed something which I've actually felt myself which is anger when people refer to her loss as a "miscarriage". She actually labored and bore a son. Like myself, Ms. Allen nearly died when her son was born. She talked about it at great length in the final episode of the documentary Lily Allen: Rags to Riches.


Gordon Brown wept as he recalled his daughter's death.


Xzibit reminded us to hold our children closer.


Then there are the comments that just don't sit right with the baby loss community in general:


Oprah Winfrey admitted that she felt relieved when her infant son died. She told Piers Morgan that she felt it gave her a second chance at life. I have to admit, when I first read this I was sickened. I couldn't imagine feeling relief over the death of my child. But I've never been a 14 year old victim of sexual assault. I don't know what that's like, and I can imagine that not having the constant reminder would be a relief. What I can't agree with, and what still bothers me, is that Oprah said she never thinks about her child. She never imagines what life would be like if her child had lived. She's glad he isn't here. That just rubs me the wrong way. It would have bothered me even if I didn't lose a child. To me it implies that the money and fame are more important than a human life. I watched the interview, and Oprah talk about her son's death in a nonchalant way. I've seen this woman on TV bawling about the death of her dog, but when it came to her son she was emotionless. That just doesn't sit right with me.


Reverend Run and his wife Justine spoke to People Magazine about their daughter's death. I first read this article a few years ago and it pissed me off. I was especially irritated by Justine's statement: "Women need to know you only need to mourn quickly." She suggested that you, "Don't try to think of [the baby's] eyes." And Rev Run said "We don't have pictures [of Victoria Anne]. We don't look back." 


Wow. Just, wow. 


I don't even know where to start with these two. First of all, they had the perfect platform to help people and to bring awareness to a taboo subject and they failed miserably. Instead they basically suggested that you forget about the baby and move on. Don't dwell on it, don't talk about it, don't feel. Just pretend it didn't happen and everything will be OK. (Maybe I'm exaggerating, but not much). 


In the article it says that they found out in the middle of their pregnancy that they baby likely had a genetic disease (which is sometimes incompatible with life). They decided not to tell anyone, even their children. As a parent I find this incredibly irresponsible. They mentioned that one of their sons was having an especially hard time with the loss- did it not dawn on them that if he had time to process what was happening that maybe he would have dealt with it better? How cruel to drop something on their children when they could have had months to process it (especially in front of cameras, which was for their reality show). They said they didn't tell anyone because they didn't know how it was going to turn out. The defect she had (Omphalocele) was very serious, even if she had survived she would have had to had surgery shortly after birth followed by a NICU stay of at least a month, probably longer. Best case scenario is surgery and lengthy hospital stay, worst case scenario is death. Isn't that something you want to prepare your children for? I couldn't imagine just dropping that bomb on them after the baby was born. 


Then, after the baby died they made it even worse by not allowing anyone to dwell on it. "...You only need to mourn quickly". "We don't look back". Really? I think I have recovered from the stillbirth of my child very well. I have a picture of her in my living room. I believe that you have to fully experience the emotions before you can move past them. I think it's especially harmful for a parent to not allow their children to experience those emotions.


There is a fine line here, and I really think the Simmons family did a huge disservice to the baby loss community. They had the perfect platform to speak about this and let people know that losing a baby is painful. It's not something that you just bounce back from the next day, but they made it seem as if that is exactly what they did. (They even mention how they had their kids out on skateboards the very next day!) While I don't doubt that this was an extremely painful experience for this family, I wish that they didn't feel the need to prove how tough they are and how easily they recovered from this loss. It does a great disservice to parents who've suffered a loss. Especially those who's family and friend expect them to "get over" it. They missed a huge opportunity to help people who don't have the voice they have, and instead they used it for ratings for their show and that just doesn't sit well with me at all. 


Maybe I'm being harsh. I know it's easy to look back and criticize, but these last two examples just really get to me. 


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CHARMED

Being famous does not automatically lead to a charmed life.

Below are some famous people who have lost children:


  • John F. and Jackie Kennedy, a stillborn daughter Arabella, in 1956 & premature son, Patrick, in 1963.
  • Lamar Odom's six month old son, Jayden, died from SIDS in 2006.
  • Mike Tyson's four year old daughter. Exodus, strangled by a power cord in 2009.
  • Eric Clapton's four year old son, Connor,  fell out of a window in 1991.
  • Vince Neil, of Motley Crue, lost his four year old daughter, Skylar, to cancer 1995.
  • O.J. Simpson's 1 year old daughter, Aaren, drown in the family pool in 1979.
  • Rapper Xzibit's premature son, Xavier, died in 2008.
  • Mark Twain lost his son, Langdon, to diptheria at age 19 months. 
  • Abraham Lincoln had four sons, three of which did not survive to adulthood. 
  • Singer Sonique had a stillborn son. 
  • Senator John Edwards' 17 year old son, Wade, died in a car accident. 
  • Model Kelly Brook lost her daughter during pregnancy this past spring. 
  • Katey Sagal (Peg from Married With Children) had a stillborn daughter, Ruby Jean, in 1991. 
  • Singer Prince & his then wife actress Mayte lost their week old son to a rare genetic disorder in 1996.
  • Actress Amanda Holden gave birth to a stillborn son earlier this year. 
  • Singer Lilly Allen lost a son prematurely in 2010 (and another pregnancy at four months in 2008).
  • Audrey Hepburn had a stillborn child.
  • Yoko Ono had a stillborn son, John Ono Lennon II, in 1968.
  • Jane Pratt (founder of Jane and Sassy magazines) had stillborn twins in 2005.
  • Oprah Winfrey had a son in 1968 who only lived two weeks. 
  • Rick Schroeder and wife Andrea Bernard had a child that was stillborn in 2004
  • English Prime Minister Gordon Brown lost his premature daughter, Jennifer Jane, in 2002.
  • Supermodel Linda Evangelista had a stillborn child in 1999. 
  • Rev Run of Run DMC and wife Justine lost their daughter, Victoria, shortly after birth in 2006 due to a genetic disease. 
  • Keanu Reeves and his then girlfriend Jennifer Syme had a daughter, Ava, who was stillborn in 1999.
  • Keith Richards and actress Anita Pallenberg had a son, Tara, who died at 3 moths of age due to SIDS.
  • Luciano Povarotti & his wife had twins 2003. Their daughter survived, but their son, Riccardo, was stilborn. 
  • Vice President Joe Biden's one year old daughter, Amy, died in a car accident (along with his wife) in 1972.
  • English singer and actress Kym Marsh had a son, Archie Jay, who died shortly after birth in 2009.
  • Singer Annie Lennox had a son, Daniel, who was stillborn in 1988.
  • Senator Ted Kennedy and his wife had a stillborn son in 1964.
  • Famous parents Joe and Katherine Jackson had a stillborn son, Brandon, in 1957 (twin to Marlon). 
  • Reality TV star Jane Goody lost twins in 2007- one was miscarried and a daughter, Summer, was stillborn.
  • Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie had a stillborn child in 1971.
  • John Travolta and Kelly Preston lost their 16 year old son, Jett, in early 2009. 
  • Roy Orbison's two young sons died in a house fire in 1968 (he lost his wife two years before that in a motorcycle accident). 
  • Anothony Quinn's first child, Christopher, drown in a neighbor's swimming pool at age 2. (The neighbor was W.C. Fields). 
  • Lou Costello of Abbot and Costello lost his son, Lou Jr. (Butch) to a drowning accident. He died two days before his first birthday in 1943.
  • George and Barbara Bush lost their two year old daughter, Robin, to leukemia in 1953.
  • Singer Steve Harwell of Smashmouth lost his 6 month old son, Prestley, to lukemia in 2001. 
  • Mary Wilson of the Supremes lost her 14 year old son, Rafael, in a car accident 1994. (Apparently while fleeing an earthquake, although I can't confirm that).
  • Robert Plant lead singer of Led Zeppelin had a five year old son, Karac, who died of a virus in 1977.
  • Red Skelton's 10 year old son, Richard Jr., died from lukemia in 1958.
  • Jerry Lee Lewis's three year old son, Steve, drown in 1962. (He also lost his 19 year old son in a car accident in 1973.)
  • George Strait's 13 year old daughter, Jenifer, died in a car accident in 1986.
  • John Walsh's 6 year old son, Adam, was kidnapped and murdered in 1981.
  • Charlie Chaplin's son, Norman, died when he was 3 days old in 1919. 
  • UK Star Sara Parish lost her eight month old daughter, Ella-Jayne, to a heart defect in 2009.
  • Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger and then girlfriend Maryann Faithful had a stillborn daughter, Corrina, in 1968.
  • Writer Anne Rice's daughter, Michele, died from leukemia in 1972 at age 5. 
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneer kicker Matt Bryant lost his three month old son to SIDS in 2008. 

This list doesn't include those who've suffered from miscarriages or the death of their adult children. 

You are not alone. 




Monday, September 5, 2011

STRENGTH

I had heard before that Jackie Kennedy lost a child shortly before her husband's assassination. I had heard it in passing, but never really thought about it.

It wasn't until I experienced a stillbirth that it really hit home with me. Maybe it's because I'm sensitive to these issues now, but her story really hits home with me.

Jacqueline Kennedy's first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. The next year she had a daughter, Arabella, who was stillborn. Her daughter Caroline was born the year after that, followed by son John. In  August 1963 (when John was two) she became pregnant again. She went into labor and delivered her son, Patrick, 5 1/2 weeks early. He died two days later.

If you are doing the math you would realize that the death of her last child occurred just three months before her husband was assassinated.

After JFK died at the hospital, Jackie slipped her wedding ring on his finger and said, "Now I have nothing left". She refused to remove her blood stained clothing (the now famous pink Chanel suit), and even wore it during the swearing in of President Johnson. She buried her husband on her son's third birthday. (The bodies of her infant daughter and son were moved to be buried with their father.)

She wanted her children to have a normal life.  I think she probably tried, but during the year following JFK's death her daughter Caroline told her teacher that mommy cried all the time.

When her brother-in-law was assassinated in 1968 she feared for the lives of her children. Many believe she married Aristotle Onassis partly because he could provide the security she desired. (They were married just four months after Robert was assassinated).

Her step-son died in a plane crash in 1973, and her husband died two years after that.

When I first read about JFK years ago, I glazed over the parts about Jacqueline. At that time in my life I only saw her as having a supporting part in the story. Now, that I'm a mother and wife, and now that I've had some of the same experiences she had I look back on her story with amazement. She must have been an incredible woman. I kind of feel bad for not giving her the credit she deserved.

When you are suffering in pain, I think it sometimes helps to know that you are not alone. Other people have suffered as much, or even more, than you. Jackie is just one of those stories.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

PERSPECTIVE

Another young life was lost to cancer today. The young girl I blogged about several years ago lost her battle today. I've been following her story, and my heart just breaks for her family, especially her mother.

Please take a moment to send thoughts and prayers to this family.

And take a minute to be thankful for what you have.



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

EMPLOYED (Part 2)

My husband went back to work for his old company about a  month ago. Although I appreciate the extra money, I really miss having him around. I loved working with him. I look back on that time as some of the best in my life. We still plan on opening our own business, but we are not on the fast track to that right now. School is much more time consuming than I remembered, and with him working there isn't any reason to hurry it. We want to take our time and do it right.

I spoke about my previous employer before (here), and it seems like the story never ends. I received an anonymous letter in the mail, but by the postmark (and handwriting) I could tell it came from my former employer. When I opened it up I found a copy of the statement that my former boss sent to my state contesting my unemployment. Keep in mind that I received nothing but rave reviews and was even given a $5 per hour raise after only a few months there. Five month before I was "laid off" they paid for my husband and I to go to Hawaii for 10 days! Obviously I was doing something right.

I'm coming to realize that I am very naive about the world. I had no idea that someone could make things up like that. I really mean it. He had me working on days I wasn't working, even dates I wasn't any longer employed! The entire statement was one lie after another, capped off with him saying that I continue to contact clients and cause trouble for the company. In this field your client base is constantly changing. Since I haven't worked there for almost nine months, how would I know who their clients are? Better yet, how would I know their contact information?

Naturally this letter has me upset. I want to rebut the lies he said, but I don't know what the purpose of that would be. I have half a mind to write him a letter, call him out on all his lies, and CC the corporate office so they know what is going on as well. (Although, they are like most corporate offices and don't care what happens as long as they are getting royalties.)

What do you think? What would you do if you were in my position?

Edited for clarification: He had already submitted this to the state months ago. I had been keeping a log, so I sent copies of that to Unemployment. They found in my favor within a week (unheard of in my state). I just want to send this letter to make myself feel better. There really isn't any other reason to write it. Just to make my side of the story heard. I don't know... what would you do?


Sunday, August 28, 2011

BACK TO SCHOOL

Tomorrow I start college (again). My son also starts high school the same day. I can not believe it.

I remember when he was born, I dreaded the day he turned 12, the day he started high school, and the day he would turn 18. I have passed one of those days, I'm facing one tomorrow, and the other seems far off but I know it isn't.

Oh, and on a funny sad funny note, my son is taking a higher math class than I am!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

8/8

My original due date with Brenna was August 8, 2008. (8/8/08). I remember at the time thinking it was the coolest thing ever.

I now know that this due date was way off, I have female problems and at first didn't realize I was even pregnant. So even though this date isn't accurate, I still consider it my due date. My doctor didn't get a chance to do the anatomy scan and issue a new due date. My uterus ruptured before that happened.

I remember the first August 8th after she died. I thought I may die myself. I did not want to face that day. I wanted to stay in bed all weekend. My husband's side of the family was having a reunion that weekend. One which we didn't plan on going to since I was supposed to be delivering a baby. But the baby had already been delivered, and buried, so we went to the reunion. No one probably knew it, but I was dying inside.

This is my third August 8th without her, and to be honest I didn't realize the date until late last night. I didn't even really think about it.

When you lose a baby, it seems that your life is made up on dates: The day you found out your were pregnant. The day you told your parents. The day you first had an ultrasound. The day you found out the sex. The day you were due. The day they died. The day you buried them... Dates.

The first year after you lose them you remember each and every date with painful precision. This time last year I was (fill in the blank).  It seems like we torture ourselves with these dates. We seem to think that if we don't remember relive them then we are forgetting our children.

I've come to realize that a day is just a day. August 8th isn't any different that August 7th or August 9th. It's just a day. I don't miss her any more on August 8th than I do other days of the year.

I choose not to give those dates any power in my life. Instead I chose to remember my child however and whenever I want.

Everyday.



Monday, August 8, 2011

SELFISH?

I used to think that people who committed suicide were selfish. I never thought about the mental state they must be in, or how hopeless their life must seem. I never thought beyond the act. What causes someone to take their own life? Especially someone who has a family that they love, and who loves them?

We recently lost a friend who took his own life. To say that my husband and I (and our whole community for that matter) were shocked would be an understatement. We all knew he was having problems at home, but this was a person who always had a smile on his face and always volunteered his time. No one ever realized how hurt he was inside. He had many, many friends. What surprises me is that no one knew how painful his life was. My husband and I saw him the day before he died, he was with his family out in the yard and we had no idea anything was wrong. The next morning he left at 8 am to go to a meeting (like he did every week), but  drove to a desolate spot and killed himself. Several people saw  him that morning and had no idea what he intended to do. Lots of people saw him the night before and said he was in good spirits, laughing and joking all night.

His family was understandably devastated. As I watched them at the funeral all I could think of was how they must be feeling. How sad they are going to be without him. He has a brand new grandbaby who is only a few weeks old, and another one is on the way in a few months. They are going to grow up without him. How could he do that to them? Did he really think they were better off without him?

As I watched them during the funeral all I could think was that his actions told them that they were not enough. Their love was not enough. His problems were bigger than they were. His problems were more important than them.

I know that is not how he truly felt, but his actions spoke otherwise.

I don't really understand suicide. I know what it's like to be depressed, I even know what it's like to feel hopeless. Deep, endless hopelessness with nothing to look forward to... It's a scary place to be.

But I never wanted to hurt myself. I never even thought about it.

Because my family is enough.

They are enough to keep me going. For me to want to be alive. Even when I wasn't really enjoying life, I still loved them.

That was enough for me.

I wish it had been enough for my friend.

Friday, July 22, 2011

HOW MUCH IS NORMAL?




We are having a heatwave here in Michigan. It is so hot and humid here you can't even breathe. My air conditioners couldn't keep up with the heat, so we decided to shut off the bedrooms and at least let them be cooled down. Seriously, it's so hot here that during the day I think it's safe to say my air conditioned bedroom was at least 80 degrees!

In an effort to stay busy while locked up in my bedroom (my son is away at camp and hubby is off to work) I decided to organize my closets. Now, let me tell you, I love a good "deal". I never pay retail for anything. (Not even my wedding dress!) I use that to justify why I buy so much. I love to shop. I almost get a high off from it. I love news things. I don't necessarily buy very expensive things, but I buy a lot.

I don't think I realize how much stuff I actually bought until I started organizing the closets. I use to have it set up so that all my "casual" pants (khakis and such) were folded up on shelves. Well, I got a closet unit and it gave me twice the hanger space, so I hung all my pants up on hangers. I'm not sure I like this new way because the majority of my clothes are staring right at me when I open the closet door. No more ignoring them on the shelves. Not counting jeans (or what was in the wash) I had 27 pairs of pants. My husband counted because he was appalled. I think that sounds like a lot, but I'm not sure that's so out of the ordinary. I probably have about 15 pairs of jeans, and I'd say 10 pairs of sweats, and only 5 pairs of shorts. Add it together it sounds like a lot. Look at it in my closet, not so much.

Which leads me to the question: How much is normal? How many pieces of clothing does the average woman have?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

HOME


I had a dream about Hawaii. I dreamt that I was back in Hawaii and I just feel so complete and kept on saying, "I'm home. I'm home. This is where I belong."

My heart belongs to Hawaii. There is no doubt in my mind. Even know, writing about it makes my heart hurt. I feel homsick for it, even though Michigan is where I've lived all my life. My heart truly belongs to Hawaii. 

Someday we will move there. 


Monday, July 18, 2011

TIME FLIES

Has it really been a month since I last posted. That is the longest I've went without writing since I started this blog.

So many things have been happening in my life: I was awarded enough grant money to finish up my degree. Awesome. My son received a scholarship that will pay for about half of his tuition. More awesome! My husband went back to work today. MOST awesome!

We took my son to talk with his guidance counselor at his new school. We all left there feeling like this is where he is supposed to be. I think it's going to be a great experience for him. I can not wait. I went from being really anxious, to being super excited.

Our puppies are growing like crazy.
They are so cute. But are getting into the whiny stage, especially at night, which drives me C-R-A-Z-Y!

Like I said, my husband is back to work, but he is still planning on starting his own business. We talked with our attorney last week, and he advised me that if I really wanted to push the issue he believes my former employer would have to buy me out of my contract, which had three and a half years left. I'm sure they don't want to do that. I know they don't have the money to do that. I don't think he will be a problem.

Funny side note to that situation: they had a temp in the office, and instead of sending me a copy of my contract as requested she sent me a copy of what my employer submitted to the Unemployment Office. I could have died. It was one full page of (very poorly written) lies, signed by the owner of the company. He claimed I did things in the office on dates I wasn't even employed! It was completely insane. Now I know what kind of person I am dealing with, and I can not be more thankful to be out of there.

With all the good things that have been happening for us, there have been bad. A few weeks ago a family friend took his own life. It was a complete shock to everyone who knew him- especially his wife and children. We knew he was having some problems, but nothing that would lead to this. Nothing. I will write more about it later, because I want to share with you the amazing funeral they had for him. It was amazing.

Until then.

God bless.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

EMPLOYED

I've written about my employment issues here in the past, but have taken most of those down because I don't want to get sued! (Seriously). Long story short is that two years ago I went back to work and got a job that I didn't think I'd like, but actually loved. I was hired for sales, but moved into another position when I discovered I had a hidden talent for it. Truth is, I am very good at what I do.

The first year and a half at my job was pretty great. My husband started working there with me and it was an awesome time in my life. I loved going to work with him everyday. It was as close to perfect as I could have pictured.

I flourished at my job, and gained experience and became certified in several areas. I was building a reputation for myself, and had become known as an honest and trustworthy person to work with (in an industry that isn't always honest or trustworthy). I did almost $1 Million worth of business, which was huge for a company only in it's second year.

The owner of the company was pretty flighty and made some very poor business decisions. During my last several months with the company I began keeping a log about the things that were happening in the office. Illegal things I was asked to do. Illegal things my boss was doing. I was instructed to overcharge for services, and to submit false paperwork. I refused, and flat out told the owners that I was not going to do that, and if that is what they wanted they needed to find someone else. I don't lie for myself, I'm surely not going to lie for someone else! I don't know if he was into drugs or woman or what, but something very serious was going on. My last month there they couldn't even cover our paychecks.

The owner ended up laying me off on my first day back after Christmas. I saw it coming, and was actually relieved because working there had become unbearable. I dreaded work each day. My husband and I are a package, so if I went he automatically went too. Great, now we're both unemployed.

About three weeks after I was laid off I received a letter from my former employer that said my position had been consolidated with another and there was no position for me to return to at the company. Great. But I had a bad feeling about the letter. I didn't understand why they were sending it. I knew they were up to something. Two weeks later I found out what it was: they were fighting my unemployment. Saying I was fired for "not having the company's best interested in mind". I rebutted by sending in my log that I had been keeping, emails I saved, and the letter that they send me saying I was laid off. The very next week I received a decision from the state. They found that I was not fired for insubordination. I was in fact laid off. Basically they told my former employer that you can't lay someone off and then later tell them you meant to fire them instead. It doesn't work that way.

The lady I work with was "sent home" but not laid off or fired according to the owners. This was because she objected to him bugging our offices (no, I'm not kidding. Can you say paranoid?). She is still fighting for her unemployment because she didn't keep the records that I did.

Karma is a bitch because their business is circling the toilet. All the employees are laid off. They had a  family member take my position, and she didn't even know how to use the software. I don't feel bad for them one bit- you reap what you sow.

These are people I considered friends. We went on vacation to Hawaii together last summer! It stings, but I don't dwell on it.

My husband and I live in Michigan. The job market in this state sucks, to say the least. I did almost all of the work for the business, and when we were talking about how I did everything it dawned on us at the same time that we should just open up our own business. It's an idea we've been tossing around for the last six months. Now it is real. We are planning on opening our own business before the end of the year. I've done a lot of praying about it and I feel in my heart of hearts that this is the next step for my life. I had one crappy job that lead to the one I just had, and I know there has to be some reason for me going through all that.

So, my husband and I are going to put all our eggs in this basket and hope and pray that this is the path for us.

Eeeek!


Friday, June 17, 2011

IS THIS MY LIFE?

Even now, three years later. After all the healing I proclaim to have gone through. Even after coming to terms and accepting everything that has happened. Even after all of this, I still find myself jolted awake some nights and I find myself wondering, "Is this really my life? Did that really happen to me?"

And I still can't believe it.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

PUPPIES

My shih tzu had puppies last week. Oh my gosh! It was crazy! She labored all night and wouldn't let me sleep. I couldn't figure out if she was in labor or not because the vet (and everyone else) told me that I would know if she was in labor because she wouldn't eat. Well, she was still eating like a champ. I finally got up and spent a couple hours on the internet reading about dog labor and the signs. BIG MISTAKE! I must have read every horror story out there. Puppies heads falling off, the mom's dying... it was horrible. By the time my husband woke up at 6:30 I was in full on panic! He definitely had to talk me down and remind me that dogs have been giving birth since the beginning of time. In the end all that reading came in handy. She only had two puppies but they both were breech. The first one was pretty big, especially for a dog her size, and she freaked out a little and the sack broke and I ended up having to help her deliver him. Second one was smaller, the the same thing happened. After it was all said and done I felt like a doggy midwife.  :)  They both were boys. I am in love with them. I already have several people who want them, so I'm happy.