Faith Journey

Get Over It Speech by My Lady

Get Over It Speech by My Lady

Get Over It

I have struggled with depression my whole life. There are short seasons, there are long seasons, then there are *really* long seasons. There have been a couple of times that I am missing a year because I simply cannot remember due to my depression. There are seasons that are circumstantial and once those circumstances have been dealt with, my sad cloud leaves. The other seasons are just plain ole crappy.

I withdraw. I sleep. I do not get out of my house. I do not change my clothes. I do not get out of bed. It takes too much effort. My husband does not know what to do with me. In our early years, he was oblivious because I was great at placing my mask. In our middle years, he recognized and then tried to fix the problems. Depression cannot be fixed by well-meaning spouses.

In Later Years

In the later years, he just sits and he loves on me. He lets me be me and he loves me through the valleys. We have come a very long way. I have learned to take off my masks and ask for help through lots of prayers, Jesus, therapy, and medication. He has learned to stop trying to fix me and to stop trying to understand the darkness that can consume me.

In 2015, I was struggling with a hard season of depression. There were days when I struggled in getting out of bed, getting dressed, brushing my hair, etc. I did the best I could, but at the end of the day, depression won. I would sit in my bed, sobbing about being a failure as a believer, wife, mom, daughter, sister, and human being. Deep down, I knew my worth in Christ but, sadly, I listened to what the evil one was whispering in my ear instead of the Truths of my Jesus.

In Walks My Lady

On a Wednesday night, my family and I went to church for dinner and our classes. We got there, got our food, and sat down to eat. The side door opened and my Lady walked through the doors. She is an amazing lady and she has taught me so much and I knew, regardless, that I was loved by her.

I got up, from my seat, and I went to give her a hug while my son ran and grabbed her some dinner. She has this ability to, not only, look at me but she can look THROUGH me.

That night, she looked through me and she asked me what was wrong. Tears welled up in my eyes and I just said “I don’t know, I’m really really sad and I can’t shake it.” My Lady looked at me and firmly said “well, get over it. You have a life to live, a husband who needs you, children who need you…now get over it.”

Absolutely Shocked

I think you could have knocked me over from the shock of that statement. There has never been a person, over my long history with depression, that has ever said anything like that to me. I almost let it hurt my feelings.  I almost listened to the evil one saying “she does not love you, she does not care, that was mean.”

Instead, Jesus took me and shook me, that night. With Jesus by my side, He flicked satan out of my ear and He said “I sent her to you. She is my gift. This is your kick in the pants from Me through her. Now, get over it!” I walked around in a bit of a daze, that night.

Purposing to Follow-Through

The next day, I got up and I purposed to do a few things to better myself. I am well aware of my deficiencies in the “follow-through” department. There is also the thought of wanting to succeed at something and if I set my goal too high, then I will not follow through and I will fail. I set the bar VERY low.

My first set of 30-day goals were incredibly simple. The first thing was to brush my teeth every day. The second was to put a bra on every day (you laugh…girls….but you know what I’m talking about…especially being a home school mom).

Next Up

I also purposed to read 1 chapter of Psalm and 1 chapter of Proverbs, daily. I did this by starting on whatever day of the month it was. It made it easier for me to remember. I had just received a great study bible, a new journal, highlighters, and pens for Christmas. I was set. In my journal, I listed 5 blessings first. Next, I listed prayer requests. Then, I would read my chapters, highlight the verses that meant something to me and I would write them in my journal.

I made it through that first month! I was so proud of myself and the Lord revealed SO much through His Word. I also maintained my two tiny goals of brushing my teeth and wearing a bra.

Month 2

The next two goals were pretty simple. The first was to take my medicine regularly (always take your meds as prescribed by your doctor) and to not wear my husband’s clothes, but to wear my own. Again, you people might be mocking me, but hey, my husband is a big man and I feel really skinny when I wear his clothes. I like to feel skinny!

I had powered through Proverbs and I still had a ways to go with Psalm, so I thought I would add in a short book of the bible to make myself, again, feel good about accomplishing something. I still kept my journal, but I was on a new journal because I had filled the first one up!

Getting Wild Up in Here

This time around, with my prayer request, I got wild and mixed things up! I went back through my prayer request and I highlighted the answered prayers and I dated them and wrote how they were answered. In my dark times, I was able to flip through my journal and I could physically see the answers and that God still moves even when I feel He is not moving.

I also began branching out with my prayers. When I felt myself closing up and moving inward with my sadness, I forced myself to look to someone else. I texted people in my contacts how I could pray for them. The replies, to my texts, were humbling.

My friends would say “How did you know? What do you know? Who told you? I was just praying about that and I feel like I have confirmation. In my darkest, you reached out.” Oh my goodness. This was such a source of light and comfort for me. The Lord was using my depression to further His Kingdom!

My Prayer Journal

My journal filled up REAL quick and I had to upgrade to a notebook. For each person that I asked how I could pray for them, I gave them their own page and added any requests on that page. I would follow up with their requests to see if the Lord had answered them and when they were answered, I highlighted and dated that request.

Eventually, I branched out even further and I extended prayer to my friends on Facebook. The responses were overwhelming. I was and still am humbled to stand in the gap, with prayer, for people. My notebook got full and I have since moved to a binder! I love my binder. It is never far from me and I have my pens and highlighter ready to go.

What I Learned in my Season of Depression

In this season of depression, I not only learned how to pray, but I also ended up reading through the entire bible in about a year and a half. There were the dreaded books of the bible that came to life because I was reading it through a new set of eyes. The Lord revealed so much, I started sending out lessons I had learned along the journey. My season lifted because one person spoke what I needed to hear. “Get over it!”’

Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness

Depression is real and it is not talked about in society. Please, I am urging whoever is reading this, seek counsel. If counseling does not help, go to your doctor and look to getting on medication. There is no shame in that. I have been on medication, on and off, for several years.

There are seasons of your life when “get over it” does not cut it and you need more help. My hope is that the stigma of depression and other mental illnesses is eradicated and that we can talk freely, get support, and become free from this disease.

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from any type of mental illness, and you are afraid that they may do the unthinkable, the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. They are there 24 hours a day. Never be ashamed. Never think you are alone. Never not know your options. Reach out! Live! Teach others! Through your ashes, beauty will be found.

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Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

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Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend

Today, I am Honoring My Lady and My Best Friend. Every time I see this picture, my goodness this Lady is GORGEOUS in red! That was my favorite color on her. She is smiling because it was her 81st birthday and her “boyfriend,” aka Big Daddy, was taking her on a fish date. I was the third wheel because all best friends are great third wheels.

How She Loved Bart

She loved him so much. Even during a very trying time in our marriage, where she could have just said: “Leave him,” but she did not say that. What she did was carry my weary body into her home, place her beautiful hand on my hand and the other on my head, and prayed.

Then, she picked up the phone and called a trusted and amazing human. She briefly (and discreetly) said a few things and then hung up the phone. As she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and a smile on her face, she said: “It is going to be okay.”

In Time

It was, but during that “it time” part, she held me accountable in my words and actions. She also had another man work with Bart. Together, they walked with us through the mud. Our marriage is stronger because of the prayers and the advice that we received.

I miss her so much that I physically ache. Everyone should have a Ms. Jo. I mean everyone. Someone strong, not afraid to speak her mind, and loves so completely. I never doubted that she loved me. She never doubted that I loved her.

I Wish We Had More Time

We had little time, ten years maybe, not long enough. It is as simple as that. What started as me admiring grace and beauty (and her voice) moved onto noticing her beautifully crooked finger. Then it matriculated into me timidly requesting her to be my mentor. Quickly, followed by me sitting on her porch and squalling. I cried so bad that she said we were making the neighbors talk, and for the love of all to get in the house.

Next, it moved to me helping out here and there. Going to lunch and running errands. Lastly, it moved more into caregiving and sitting with my Lady. Many nights of me making supper and us eating it together while watching Jag. Cleaning. Oh my goodness, I cleaned things out. We looked at her billions of pictures, and I soaked up all her memories.

Find a Mentor

Talk to your church and see if you can set up a mentor/mentee program. It is so worth every moment! “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:3-5).

You will not regret it. I miss you, Lady. More than I can even describe. My best friend, person, mentor, accountability partner, teacher. I am so excited to see you again! Until we see each other again, in heaven, I love your face off!

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Emotions From This Week’s Story

Emotions From This Week's Story

Emotions From This Week’s Story

My Emotions From This Week’s Story are all over the place.  I have loved this woman since before I even knew she existed and came into my life.  When I met her, it was like my other half.  The fun we have had, the tears we have cried, the food we have cooked, and the yardsales we have done.  My goodness.  Shared histories, shared life stories, so much of my adulthood has had her and her family in it.

I have been holding her hand for almost a quarter of a century.  Or maybe she has been holding my hand.  How’s about we just hold each other’s hands!  When one is up, the other is down.  Then when one is down, the other is up.  When we are both down, we say inappropriate things and bleach our homes.  It’s a thing and it’s our thing, so why mess with what works.

How We Operate

When we are both up, we are a bit hard to handle.  We giggle like schoolgirls, bake, talk, and fix the world’s problems.  I love all of our history.  It has shaped me into who I am today.  It’s like we can read each other’s thoughts.  We feel when things are not right and we call each other out, in love, when we are screwing up.

Life was good until it wasn’t for a season.

A Difficult Time

There was a moment…or decade…that we struggled.  That was a hard chunk of time because I missed my friend.  I knew she was struggling but there was nothing I could do.  Letting her go and not be a daily part of each other’s lives was the hardest thing ever.

Things happened, as you can read in her story.  Yet, there is so much of her story that had to be left out for a variety of reasons.  One day, she is going to share it for all to hear and it is going to be used for God’s glory.  The strength she has exuded has been that of Christ.

Even in the darkest moments, she knew that she was His daughter.  A daughter of the King.  I cannot even properly articulate how proud I am of where she is now compared to where she was 20+ years ago.  Honestly, or even last year!

Getting the Call

When I received the call that something had happened, I did not hesitate.  I rushed to the hospital and I stood by her side.  There were moments when I fixed her hair, cleaned her up, and whispered in her ear on things that she would find funny.  I prayed over her.  With her family, we all prayed.  We didn’t know if she was going to live or die that day.

Anger ensued as a particular person was there and I made a decision to “use my words” with this human.  It wasn’t received well, threats were made, and I stood my ground for my friend.  He was no longer going to hurt her.  Her family was rallying around her, I was there, where I should have been and we were all going to protect her.

That we did.

The Days Following

Man, they were hard for her and her family.  She woke up and saw the people she loved most.  Her children and family.  She and I talked like we had not missed a beat.  Things were discussed.  Plans were in place.  She had a system and everyone was working towards helping her.  It was amazing.  God is so good.

There have been a couple of relapses where she didn’t use the plan.  Yet, this time, she made a call.  She wanted to live but for a moment, she yielded to the internal pain of all that has happened in her life.  It has been unspeakable the pain that her family went through.  That I went through, as her friend.  Yet, her pain was 1000 times more.  In her right mind, she would have never chosen this.  She was sick and needed help.  The first time help almost didn’t arrive in time. The relapses…they did because SHE made the call for help.

She Has Come So Far

My goodness…it seems like a lifetime ago that all this happened, but it wasn’t a lifetime.  It is still fresh and raw in my mind. This is a situation that I still have not fully allowed myself to feel because if I did, I would explode.  Now, we have talked about it, some, but not much.

When she has a bad day, she calls and we work through it.  She has an amazing husband and bonus daughter now.  She has 3 grown children who still like to come over and eat and play games.  Sometimes she has to be reminded how strong she is and how proud we all are that she chose to live.

Her relationship with Jesus is wonderful and she is a strong prayer warrior.  She is in counseling, seeking help, in church, and reaching out to those she loves and feels safe with.  Every day is a day that is filled with blessings and challenges.

For Me

I am SO glad she lived.  My life has been better with her in it.  I never want anyone to feel the pain and desperation of what she felt.  Never do I want someone to yield…for just one moment.  I can barely breathe when I think about those times.  She is loved by me.  Loved by her husband and children.  She is loved by her family.

I have to go and cry now…my feels are really feeling things.

My friend…I simply love you.

Resources

If you or someone you know is being abused, PLEASE reach out.

Domestic Abuse Hotline

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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2 Years Have Passed

2 Years Have Passed

2 Years Have Passed

Welp, 2 Years Have Passed since my beautiful Lady saw Jesus (and Jerome) face to face.  Somedays, it feels like an eternity.  Then, there are days that the stinging pain is fresh.

Grief is a beast.

I have never been one that has been okay with the loss.  Like never have I been okay in the history of ever.  Never.  I try to be all mature and stoic.  Then, that moment when I am alone, it hits.

Overwhelming sadness and tears.  When I am alone, I can let my guard down and just mourn.  Boo says that I can’t cry because that would be like Superman with a broken arm.  It isn’t the norm and, to him, it isn’t okay.  He does not like to see me upset at all.

Frankly, none of my kids do and when I do get emotional, Big Daddy buys me something LOL.  I guess that is their way of “fixing” the giant hole in my heart that she left.  In a creepy way, I drive by her house.  I’m sickened with how they have let the yard go.  One day, there were mattresses on her front lawn.

Freaking.  Mattresses.

She would have NEVER allowed that.  Honestly, she would have strapped those things on my back like a pack mule and I would have hauled them out.  Or, in her fashion, she’d call her ‘boyfriend’ (Big Daddy) to come and get them.  In his true fashion, he would hop at her command.

Oh, she had a hold on him.  I loved how she loved him.  One day, she called me, in a panic.  I thought something was wrong.  She says get over there and I stop everything and go.  That was our thing.

Walked in on a Disturbed Lady

She was standing in the kitchen when I flew in and this was the conversation that we had:

L:  Look what was on my front porch and back porch!

**Holds up 2 baggies that had a letter and a mint in each baggie.  I get the baggie and pull out the letter.  It was an invitation to the KKK.**

Me:  Josephine…what on earth!  Did you hear anyone?

L:  No but I don’t have a gun anymore either so what am I supposed to do?  They must have seen your kids out here working in the yard.  Those **insert dirty words**.

Me:  What would you like me to do?

L:  Take that filth home with you.  Get it out of my house.

Me:  Yes, Ma’am.

L:  When are you bringing supper?

Me:  When I get it fixed.

L:  Are you eating with me?

Me:  I always do!

L:  Are the mints safe to eat or are they tainted with hate?

Me:  I vote tainted with hate.

L:  Shame, I love those mints.  See you soon.  Love you.

Me:  I love you more.

L:  That is not possible.

My Heart

So, now, recounting that…I’m going to have to go and cry now.  I’m alone, licked the cheese off a 1/2 a bag of Doritos, no one will see me…it’s all good.

Lady…until I see you again.  We are gonna make some Poke Salad, Cornbread, and fry some fish.  Plus, as a bonus, I can finally meet your Jerome.

I love your face off and I miss you every single day.

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Boss, Professional, and Judgy People

Boss, Professional, and Judgy PeopleBoss, Professional, and Judgy People

Once upon a time, there was a Boss, Professional, and Judgy People.  Well, there were a couple of more people in that group, but I shall refrain from speaking on that.  This past week has been riddled with my frustration with the human race.  I have zero tolerance right now and I really don’t know why.

Normally, I can look past things.  I can chalk it up to immaturity, triggers that are mine that was activated by an action of another.  Normally, I can regroup and then be done and okay.  I try hard not to let it affect me, emotionally.

As my Lady said, “your emotions are yours.  No one can control them but you.  Pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move on!”  That statement would make me cry every time but now, it is my mantra.

Kindness Goes a Long Way

When you follow the rules, talk to the person in charge, clear the issue and then the second in charge scares your child.  Uhm…not okay.  That has been one little issue that we have had.  It is not okay to scare a child or to use your authority to force an issue.  Especially when that issue was resolved by the said person’s boss.

Luckily, I have a friend on the inside that was able to run as a buffer for this little moment.  Once she knew of the problem, she had it resolved immediately.  However, I did make sure that my voice was heard as well.  I opted to show kindness but to be firm in that what happened was not okay.  Hopefully, this is resolved.

Mistake of One Leads to Misfortune for the Other

At a time when money is tight (as in always), this is not the time to go without a paycheck.  Yet, I have for the last 3 weeks.  When I was told that I would not be paid until a certain thing was done, I had a hard time using my words.  My son was in the car.  I was not going to let the actions of another trigger the intense emotion of anger that I was feeling.  There were so many words that I wanted to use.  Yet, I refrained.

In saying that, my tone was quite evident by my son and the person I was speaking to.  He quickly got off the phone with me.  My son never said a word.  Smart on both parts.  My fingers, however, did a lot of speaking when I translated the news to my husband.  All I have gotten was a haphazard “sorry.”

Judginess of Others

Oh.  My.  Goodness.  The rate people judge others is TREMENDOUS!  Disgusting actually.  I have to be really careful with how I phrase things.  We have been unable to do some things with one of our children.  It isn’t for lack of wanting to go and do.  The fact of the matter is, we have been limited because of Hunter’s illness.

Unless you live in my house 24/7, you have absolutely NO idea what has gone on and happened here.  I don’t feel like I have to send notice to people or go to a place and make a statement in regards to why I can’t be there.  It isn’t necessary.

Ability Changes

Recently, we have had more chance to be able to go and see my child do the thing that he enjoys.  I love being there supporting him.  What I don’t love is the looks I get.  Completely and totally ignored by most.  The comments I do get are “haven’t seen you in a long time someone else usually does this activity.”  “Doesn’t (insert name) usually do this?  Thought you fell off the planet.”

Then there are the sweet people who know the situation and ask how my son is doing.  How I am fairing?  How is Hunter?  Just kindness.  Those little moments, though are few and far between, touch my heart.  Yet there are still the other group of people who are isolated, by the judgy people, as well.  These people do not fall into the “click” of others.  They found me and they were sincere in questions.  That was a sweet moment too.

In the End

I have to just move on.  That phrase from my Lady needs to permeate more through my body and mind.  I need to quit looking to others for understanding, kindness, and maturity.  It is what it is.

I need not the approval of man but to remember who I am in Christ.  Trying to figure out if someone likes me, doesn’t like me, is mad at me, why they are mad at me…I’m just over it.  There have been a few moments of questioning who I am as a person because of the actions/words of another.  I am over it.

What a pointless way to spend my time.

If you ever wondered WHO you are in CHRIST, then look no further!  Head on over to The Alliance and print out this PDF.  It is who we are, in Christ and Scripture to back up that fantastic knowledge.

Live your life in order to bring joy and honor to our King.  If You (me) continue to look to others for approval, we will constantly be in a state of depression and despair.  As I tell my kids, look for the kid that no one wants to sit by or talk to.  The one that is different from the others.  Go say “hi” and get to know that person.  Don’t point out differences.  Be mindful of judging others.  Most importantly, BE KIND!

As my Oak says, “In the end, if you do not see it, taste, touch it, or hear it, do not speak on an issue.  Keep your mouth shut.”

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Our Goodbyes

Our GoodbyesHere are Our Goodbyes that we would typically say to one another.

Me:  I love your face off, Lady.

Lady:  I love you too.

Me:  I love you more.

Lady:  I don’t see how that is possible.

Till we see each other again.  I love your face off, Lady.

Faithie Josephine Sledd Cox

July 13, 1934 – October 1, 2017

Forever my mentor.  She is forever my best friend.  Forever my person.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of her and miss her.  Just the other day, I told my son-in-law that he needed to call her.  She could get stains out like magic.  Sigh.  I miss her.  My Lady was my mentor, my best friend, my confidante, and my encourager.  There will never be another person like her.

Honestly, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.  I found myself telling my kids her sayings and repeating so much of what she said to me.  She was loved by so many and treasured in our community.  What a human.  Loved her husband, Jerome, so very much.  Oh, how she loved her boys and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  An inspiration.

 

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Wordless Wednesday Lady Edition

Wordless Wednesday Lady Edition

Wordless Wednesday Lady Edition

Here is a Wordless Wednesday Lady Edition for you.  One day, soon, I will be able to not go to bed at 3:30 am.  One day.  Insomnia is hard.  So.  Very.  Hard.  It can strike out of nowhere and take you captive.  I have found myself trying to fall asleep in a chair, the floor, the closet, the living room.  Maybe a different environment can trick my body into sleep.  In this Wordless Wednesday Lady Edition, her couch was not necessarily my friend.  However, her chair was my bestie.

Nothing Has Worked

Nothing has worked and insomnia has ruled my life, at times.  I have tried Melatonin, Ambien, and Oils.  Sadly, each time, they work for a bit and then they stop.  I get one night of rest and that one night is fleeting.  However, this was the story of my life for a very long time.  I wish I could show her this Wordless Wednesday Lady Edition.  First, she knows her name is Lady.  Secondly, she finds joy in knowing my peace is found in her presence (and my green chair).

My Lady

Amazingly, my Lady would let me sleep at her house and I would sleep like a baby.  Granted, it was only a 15-20 minute power nap.  Amazingly though, I felt like I could conquer the world after those afternoons.  It was, quite possibly, the peace that I would feel when I would walk into her home.

This is a bit different.  For instance, I would meld into her green chair, not her sofa.  Finally, I would lull off to sleep with the sounds of her eating and Jag on the television.  Many moments, I would wake up with drool running down my face.  I would look at her, startled, and she would sit there smiling at me.  I miss her.

 

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What the Heck Just Happened?

What the Heck Just Happened?

What the Heck Just Happened?

Uhm, What the Heck Just Happened??  This is my Lady…..my Josephine…..Ms. Jo…….Faithie……….she is my person.  She is my mentor.  She is one of my most favorite people who ever walked the Earth.

Nursing Home

My Lady is not well.  She has a lot going on, medically.  She has had to be placed in a nursing home because we, as her family, cannot keep up with all her needs at home anymore.  It has broken my heart. She is beginning to go in and out of lucidness.

I know she knows me because when she sees me walking down the hall, she smiles and waves.  She knows I am someone that she loves.  For a while there, I was Ramona….whoever Ramona is…I don’t know.  She knows my husband’s name is Bart.  She says that his name is Bart and he is her boyfriend and she loves him.  All of this is true LOL

She Knows Me

The other day, I went to visit my sweet Lady and her son and daughter in law were there. We sat outside, getting some fresh air.  She waved at me when I walked up to her.  I came up, and I kissed her on the cheek and I asked her if she knew who I was today.  She just smiled, never said my name, but she said she knew me.

She is My Joy

After a bit, I got up in her space again…..she was wearing the same shirt that I love.  It is my favorite shirt on her.  I told her that and then I said “oh, Lady, I love you so much.  You are my favorite.”  She came too, patted my cheeks, and said “oh, Brandi, I love you.  What would I do without you.”  My heart nearly exploded.

She was not lucid there for a little bit after that.

Uhm, What the Hey Ho was that?

Then, the strangest thing happened.  This young man pulled up and he walked behind her patting her shoulders. She turned to see who was touching her and then she began speaking FLUENT French.  Now, bear in mind, she lived in France when her boys were young.  He spoke French back to her. Then he would ask her something in French and she would answer him in FLUENT German.  This went on for quite a while.  They began discussing quadratic equations and the periodic table. She never missed a beat.

She.  Never.  Missed.  A. Beat.  People.

I asked her son if she knew German.  He said no.  I called and asked her granddaughter if she knew German.  She said no.  I asked the gentleman if she was speaking it correctly because she does not know that language….he said every answer was appropriate and correct.

I am shocked.

Seriously………she thinks the year is 1917 (17 years BEFORE she was born).  She thinks my name is Ramona and my husband is her boyfriend….yet she speaks 2 languages and can dissect equations like nobody’s business.

This Lady…………..oh…………….how I love her.

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Happy 83rd Birthday to My Lady

Happy 83rd Birthday to My Lady

This is my FAVORITE picture of My Lady.  It was taken 2 years ago after she made a miraculous recovery from her TIAs and her stroke.  She is wearing my absolutely favorite shirt that she owns.  I love her in the color red.

Happy 83rd Birthday to My Lady

My Lady captured my heart so many years ago.  Her presence is one that demands acknowledgment, in my opinion.  She is tall, regal, beautiful, honest, and she has a smile that lights up any dark spots.  Little did I know that underneath all those worldly attributes was a deep love for her Jesus, her hero (Jerome), her children, her grandchildren, her church, and her community.  Also, she knows everyone.  In addition to that, she knows who is related to whom and how to get to, not only their childhood homes but to every home, every person has ever lived in and what job that they held.

Master of All Things

She is a master cook of things like Poke Salad, Cornbread, white beans, and ham…she knows everything to know about everything in the kitchen and how it relates to health.  She has taught me how to love more deeply.  How to sacrifice without complaining.

Furthermore, she has taught me how to make decisions when I am confused.  She has held my head in her hands as I have cried over my marriage, my children, and my family.

She prays for me faithfully.  I cannot fully put into words what she means to me and how she has affected me and my life.

I am better for knowing her and being loved by her.  She is my dearest friend, mentor, and confidante.

I wish her circumstances, today, were different than what they are, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that she *feels* the love and prayers from everyone around her.

Happy Birthday, my Lady.

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My Lady Go Big or Go Home

My Lady Go Big or Go HomeMy Lady Go Big or Go Home.

My Lady Go Big or Go Home.  Flashing back to June 2, 2017, I went to check on my Lady.  When I got to her house, she was nowhere to be found.  I walked around, gathered laundry, and straightened her house.  Then, I called her son and granddaughter to see where she might be.  I knew she had not felt well.  What I didn’t know was that she had gotten significantly worse since I was there a few days earlier.

In They Walk

While I was on the phone with her youngest son, her granddaughter was walking in the door with her.  My Lady’s belly was huge, tight…her legs were so swollen.  She could hardly breathe and all she wanted to do was to lay down in her bed.  She rarely does this when I am there.  We got her in the bed and I spoke with her granddaughter.

The doctors thought that she needed her gallbladder taken out.  So, they had scheduled an appointment for the following morning to consult with a surgeon.  However, upon more discussion, it was decided that if they happened to keep her, she needed to be at a hospital that her neurologist was in.  This is because of her stroke a couple of years ago. So, her son took her to the ER.  I was going to run to a baseball game for one of my kids.  Then head to the hospital to spend the night.

Once at the hospital…we realized how severe this was.

Doctors were coming in right and left and they were throwing out terms like “cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, congestive heart failure, UTI…”  We must have looked like we were from a different planet cause we were not prepared for all of that.  UTI, sure…she has those a lot.  The rest, we had NO CLUE on.  We were constantly asked how we didn’t know and who her doctor was.  We kindly told all the professionals that she is always at the doctor and no one had even begun to mention any of these things…only that she needed her gallbladder removed.

Blood Thinner = Trouble

Little could be done because she is on a blood thinner and that had to be out of her system for 5 days before any invasion testing could be done.  Lots of tests, lots of sharing her info, lots of little sleep, and being watchful ended up with one of the doctors saying call the family in.  It was one of those moments that seems like the person talking is talking in slow motion and that all you see are their lips moving but you hear no words coming out of their mouths.  I stayed with her until that following Monday.  We took turns sitting with her and watching her.  It was a struggle for her to breathe because of the 2 gallons of fluid on her belly…she had little energy…and she was simply tired.

Calling the Family

I knew on Tuesday that her oldest son was coming to town.  Also, some of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren flying in.  What a legacy this woman has and she is SO well-loved by her family.  I decided that I would not come to the hospital that day.  Simply because I wanted to be respectful of her family and their precious time together.  I played catch up around here and ran some errands.

Nothing out of the ordinary until I got a call. My Lady Go Big or Go Home.  She is never in between.

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