Life or Something Like It

The Loss of Donna

The Loss of Donna

 

I started writing this on October 6, 2021. It has taken me all this time to finish because I have needed to grieve, process, sit in the quiet, remember, and honor those I have lost that was so dear to my heart.

I have been doing and posting a lot of reviews and having a ton of giveaways lately. It has been good to see some positive, heart-changing things on the big and small screens. Yet, it is also a way for me to dissociate and remove myself from being vulnerable or sharing anything that is truly painful.
So, here I am, not posting a review or giveaway. I am sitting in my new dining room, listening to a fan dry the mud from the drywall where we had a flood in our new kitchen, looking at my cat, who appears to want to murder me, and pondering on how this month has been affecting me.

Fall. I love this season. With the cooler weather and the changing of the leaves, the world is preparing for everything to die in the winter, only to regrow with beauty and new life in the spring. I love it. Yet, this month, in particular, brings tremendous sadness and grief.

October 1 is the fourth anniversary of my Lady’s death. That day never passed without me reflecting on our friendship and what she meant to me. How I miss her and how I have never really mourned her loss. I just push it down, push it down, WAY down. Thankfully I had a sweet distraction on that day. CM was here to love me and keep me extremely busy. I simply can’t wait until my next grandbaby makes a grand entrance next year. Grandchildren are God’s way of saying, “you survived raising children, now enjoy the fun part.”

Yet, today, I find myself struggling again. Today is my friend’s 62nd birthday and her first birthday in heaven. We met years and years ago; she was Leigh Ann’s mom, my friend that passed away a few years ago. I would not have made it through Leigh Ann’s death if it weren’t for Donna. I should have been a rock for her, which I was when she needed me. Yet, she was my rock in coping and reminding me of the fire that was Leigh Ann. A few years before LA’s death, Donna lost her husband to cancer. David was a sweet man. Quiet in nature unless you ticked him off, and then BOOM, he would explode. Those episodes were few and far between. He was the love of her life. Donna and I became incredibly close after the death of her daughter and my friend.

She was in the thick of raising LA’s kids and her grandchildren, and I was raising kids around the same age. We bonded over the silliest things. There were things we disagreed on, there were things we debated together on, yet our foundation was strong. We could love regardless of those differences. That is what friendship means.

We talked every night or every other night. I would watch Detail Geek and describe it all to her. She watched it vicariously through me. We would solve the world’s problems, discuss our day, and she would make fun of my suppers. She called me the Casserole Queen. That woman never made a casserole, and I made one every night.

Donna had not been feeling well since her granddaughter’s hospital stay. We both thought it was just stress, exhaustion, and adrenaline from what we thought was cancer which ended up being a severe kidney infection. The kidney infection led to the removal of her granddaughter’s kidney. She wasn’t eating well, drinking anything but soda, and smoking. Man, we mama’s can live off of anything in a stressful situation.

I encouraged her to go to the doctor, but she refused. She had a fear of doctors. You go in and never come back out was her mentality. We talked about her quitting smoking, which she did because the cough got to be too much. She began having dizzy spells and not being able to keep food down. All of these symptoms started in about March, I would say.

We thought maybe it was Co-Vid and that she just had a horrible case. Still, she wouldn’t go. She was just going to wait it out. Then, when it didn’t go away, we thought grief was beginning to settle in her. She never really had time to grieve her husband and daughter’s loss. Grief can, quite literally, kill someone.

She lived with the age-old question, “Is it better to know someone has something terminal, so you can prepare yourself and say all the things you need to say? Or, “Is it better for it to be quick, so you don’t have to see your loved one in pain?” She experienced both in a very short amount of time. Frankly, they both suck.

Then, she began losing weight. She had no appetite. She would say that nothing tasted good and she was just so weak. Nothing her son, her grandchildren, or I could say to her could get her to eat. She quit smoking and mainly just slept. There were times I could not understand her talking on the phone. That’s when I knew. I knew something was wrong, and I had to try again to get her to the doctor.

On her birthday, I surprised her and popped by her house. I knocked on the door (much to her dismay) and heard the dogs. Then, I heard Lexi running to the door. She opened the door, and I hugged her sweet little neck. Lex quickly disappeared back to her dungeon (LOL). As I walked in, my heart sank.

One thing those closest to me know is that I do not show emotion. Also, I’m a rockstar in stressful situations. When I am alone, that is when I process and stuff emotion. Healthy? No. What I do? Yes.
I turned to look at Donna lying on the couch. She was nothing but bones, and she was so jaundiced that the whites of her eyes were yellow. She had lost more teeth and had no strength. I stood in the doorway. Frozen. I put my head down, and the tears flowed freely. I could not hold them in.
She first asked me why on earth I knocked. Family does not knock. I still couldn’t move. Then, I heard her say, “Brandi, come here.” I walked over and sat next to her. I lay across her frail body, weeping uncontrollably. She just stroked my hair and said that things would be fine. She said she drank some that day and hadn’t thrown it up.

That moment froze in time for me. Again, here Donna is, knowing what she knew, and she was comforting me. See that day, she had called me earlier and told me that the good news was she did not have Co-vid, but the bad news was that she had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

You don’t realize it until you see it. I knew Donna’s time was limited. She was going to fight and do all the right things. She was going to drink more water, eat more, and do whatever the doctor said, but by then, it was too late. She knew. I knew. We all knew. Yet, we hoped that it would be different.
I begged her to let me take her to the ER just to get some fluid. Her belly had begun to swell, and I knew she was hurting from losing so much weight and laying in one position. She refused. Every day I would go over there and stay for as long as possible. Most of the time, it was just us. Sometimes her grandchildren would come in and out of her son. They all lived with her.

With each passing day, she would get weaker. One day, she wanted me to brush her hair. One day she wanted me to rub her feet and legs. They were so swollen, but the pressure of me rubbing her feet made her feel better.

There were some days when her older sisters would come. One lived in Michigan and came home to be with Donna as much as possible. I tried to lift as much of the burden off of them so that they could spend good quality time with her.

Hospice had been called in, and Donna told them to get out out out. She refused them because she knew what that meant. I know David was flooding her mind in the last few days of her life. She knew hospice meant death. She was not ready for that. Her sisters bathed her, which seemed to exhaust her yet refresh her. Her great-granddaughter also came for a visit, which lifted her spirits; plus, she was expecting her second great-grandchild, a boy.

We had some excellent conversations once we were alone. A misunderstanding for a season took us apart for several years. That was the first time that Donna ever said she was sorry. It took me back because I had let that go years ago. She said that she remembered saying all those things, and then Donna looked into my eyes and saw the hurt and pain of what she had just said. Also, she stated that she couldn’t bring herself to talk to me because she was so ashamed of herself. That touched my heart and humbled me.

We talked about her daughter and all the things that come with her. It was so healing. She spoke of David and the plans she wants for her son and grandchildren. I have never really spoken to someone with such clarity towards the end of their life like that. We talked about the worst-case scenario and what we would do when she got better. Everything was covered.

Then, it was the afternoon of chaos. So many people had come in and out. I had found out some things I never knew and made phone calls I never wanted to make. Her granddaughter was overcome by it all and was acting out due to the trauma. I was called, and she was in the back of a cop car. It took me an hour to calm her down. I had to remind her of my love for her. L needed to know who she is in Christ. I am so glad the officers understood the situation and showed her grace upon grace. These kids have been through more in their lives than most adults will ever experience.
On October 15, 2020, As I walked into the trailer, strangers (to me) were there. They didn’t stay long; eventually, it was just her grandkids, her son, and her sisters. Donna was very uncomfortable. I rubbed her belly, legs, feet, head, hair, anything she wanted, but I couldn’t get her comfortable. I begged her to let me call 911 because her belly had so much fluid on it. I explained that I would go with her if she went, and she would not be alone.

Finally, she said yes because the pain was unbearable. I called, and we immediately moved things around to make it easier for the EMTs to get in with the stretcher. They got there and realized that the stretcher wouldn’t fit, so they had it out by the bus and brought in a wheelchair-type thing that she could be safely strapped to. I informed them of her bed sores and her protruding tailbone, and the discomfort that she was experiencing. They were so gentle with her.

As they were picking her up, she was screaming in pain. She was afraid she would fall out of the chair. I was holding her hand and explaining that they were going to strap her in, and I promised her they would not drop her and she would not fall. That I was right behind her, watching and monitoring the situation.

They got her down the three steps, and then I saw her arm fall off the side, and her head dropped. I screamed her name as the EMTs rushed to get her on the stretcher and get her O2. I could hear her grandchildren screaming. Her son with a panicked look on his face. Her sisters. There was no time for me to console them.

At that point, I jumped into my van with Stevie (her son), and we beat the EMTs to the hospital. Her sisters were not far behind. I parked and ran to the bay as they pulled into the bay. I feared that Donna would be gone. She wanted me beside her when she died. Donna didn’t want to be alone. She wanted to be with someone who loved her.

As they backed in and got to the back, I saw them drop her legs to the stretcher. I stood in fear with her sisters and son beside me. I looked up and saw Donna wave at me. At that point, I dropped to the ground. It was like my legs had no bones, and I wailed. That was not crying that came out of my mouth. I felt sick, scared, relieved, and like someone had taken an iron skillet to my body. I couldn’t move. Her sisters just stood there, trying to help me.

Finally, I pulled myself together, got my mask, and ran into the ER. They let me back (only because her family asked me to), and I stood/sat by her bed there. I was watching her. She looked over at me and asked me if she was going to die.

I told her yes. We talked about her salvation, and then we talked about what she wanted for each person in her family. After she had settled all that, and the doctors couldn’t do anything, they left us for a moment. She looked at me and said, “Well, we have got everyone figured out. Now, what about you?” I asked her what she meant, and she wanted to know if I would be okay and who would take care of me. In awe, I just looked at her and told her I would be fine. I would miss her every day and would keep an eye/ear out on her family and always be there if they needed me. I thanked her for her love and friendship. Without missing a beat, she said, “There’s room in the bed…I will scoot over, and you can lay down with me.” My heart. She knew that that was my comfort.

I told her they would probably kick me out if they saw me do that! Then, I asked if she wanted her sisters and son to return. She did, so I went to get them and let them have quiet moments with her without my intrusion.

They released her from the hospital because there was nothing they could do, and she wanted to go home. Stevie and I watched them pull out, and we beat them home again. We got the couch ready. By then, some people had begun to stop by again.

I was trying to stay out of the way and let those who needed to be by her side. At that point, she was not awake. Not long after I had gotten there, it was late into the evening. Bart called and said I needed to come home now. There was an emergency that could not wait. When he explained what was going on, I lost it.

I wanted him to try and explain to the person waiting for me that I was at an end-of-life friend’s house and couldn’t leave. They didn’t care. I hugged and kissed Donna. I told her I would be back shortly, and I flew home.

I can’t even with what happened at home. I do remember, after talking for what seemed like forever and completely losing myself, where I had been. I told her I had to go and she could come back or follow me. She let me leave.

As I was flying back to Donna’s, her sister called and said to hurry. I did the best I could. She took her last breath right before I got there. I walked into everyone sitting around, not knowing what to do.
As I did a week prior, I stood frozen in the doorway. I looked at my friend, and I went and laid down beside her. It was hard for me to catch my breath. She was gone, diagnosed precisely a week before. She went from okay; I’ll fight this to meeting Jesus and being reunited with her husband and daughter.

After I collected myself and the coroner came and took her body, I sat in the big chair. Her sweet granddaughter came and curled up in my lap. Grief had overtaken her, and I was the warm body that she fell on. With me, there has been nothing but love since she was 3. I had been there through it all, and I was again comforting my sweet girl.

I have been faithful to my word. I miss Donna daily. There are days when I miss her more and some days when I don’t think about it until the night. That is when we would chat. I have not watched Detail Geek again. Her son is okay, as okay as he can be. Her grandson is a father of 2 and working. Her granddaughter is living with a relative, and she is doing well now. She is working on school and has a goal for her future. We chat as often as a teenager wants to speak with a 49 yr old woman ūüôā
I am ready for this month to be over. I am ready to heal. I am glad to remember the good times instead of the end. One day. Maybe when I see her again in heaven!

The Loss of Donna

 

 

Life or Something Like It

Misuse of the Word Friends

Misuse of the Word Friends

Misuse of the Word Friends

I have been chewing on the word “friend” for a while now. Honestly, I have no idea why. Yet, I feel we Misuse the Word Friends at an alarming rate. Maybe I have been thinking about this because this has just been a hard month. My Lady passed on the 1st, Donna passed on the 15th, and I miss them. Maybe the Lord is speaking to me on this subject.

Types of Friends

  • First
  • School
  • College
  • Church
  • Work
  • Fairweather
  • Fake
  • Social Media
  • For Now
  • True Blue

That’s a lot of different types of friends you will have over your lifetime. I can say, “Oh, my friend Jane, from elementary school just did this and this” according to social media.

We all know that the goal in life is to get as many “friends” as humanly possible on any social media platform. Honestly, though, are they all friends?

Have their feet been under your table? Do they truly know you now? Have they walked through difficult times with you or you with them? Even though you may not talk to them daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Can you still count on them?

If you can, and there are several I can, count yourself blessed.

Here are some examples from this list.

First Friend

I fondly remember meeting my first friend at Homemakers. My mom went, and Julie and I would sit on the floor and take our shoes off. We remained friends throughout all our school days. I went to her house and spent the night a lot. Honestly, I don’t remember her coming to my house, but she did come to my Smurf’s birthday party and for a sleepover one year.

Over time, we grew apart, as most people do. We know little to nothing about each other in our adult lives. Yet, I still hold her very dear to my heart. I know if I ran into her, we would quickly chat the night away and catch each other up on our lives.

Also, Terri Ann, we did not go to school together, but we did go to church together. She went to a “rival” school. We grew up together, and she was the first person I knew that had ever been adopted. She introduced me to the concept, which has stuck with me all these years. She even sang at my wedding. Again, our lives do not intertwine (she moved to another state), but if we did chat, we would not miss a beat.

School Friends

Do I even talk to any of my school friends? Did I even have friends in school? I had Julie, but that was about it. My school days were not significant. I was bullied a lot, and because my dad was a police officer, I never got invited to anything. Sadly, I would mask and try to inject myself into the different clicks. That didn’t work very well. I was just made fun of more, behind my back and to my face.

Honestly, I find it comical when people from my schools try to “friend” me on a social media platform. When I first got there, I would accept it and then look through their photos and read about their lives, yet there was no interaction. Then, I got smart. What makes you think you will like me now if you don’t like me? You treated me like crap. Forgiveness and transformation can happen, but that doesn’t mean I have to let you in my life. Does that make sense?

College Friends

I had and still have one college friend. We were so close in college; our lives took us in different directions. Once we stumbled back into each other’s lives, I counted her as a true friend. She has been one that I’ve reached out to for prayer and to share my heart, and I always get Christlike and honest responses from her. I adore her.

Church Friends

Aw, this one is tricky. You want to think everyone is a friend, the pastor and his wife. Then, you are slapped in the face with a frying pan. It’s all well and good if you stick to Sunday School and big church. Once you get involved, you see where the church is held together by duct tape and a q-tip.

The flaws, the lies, the theological differences, and the disregard of an entire group because of their age. Then there is the “looking over” the things that any age group should not do. From there, you get threatened by your pastor; your pastor’s wife says you should “get over rape and be available to your husband. Suck it up; it’s over.” I still cannot believe that woman said that to my face.

Pastor’s who say your family is too big and not to attend a program offered. Deacons forced my husband into “salvation.” They would not leave him alone and badgered the crap out of him until he decided to do what they wanted him to do.

“Friends” who told me that I was never going to be taken seriously because I was too loud, too outspoken, and my hair was pink. People threatened to turn me over to CPS because I didn’t let my daughter have dessert one night. They demanded to know their personal story. I refused. It is not my story to tell, and it is none of their business.

Luckily, I have still been able to maintain some respect and love for a few people from churches of the past. We don’t talk often, but I hope they feel they can call me if they need me. I would do the same for a very select few.

I am so glad to have stumbled on Christian Fellowship. Richie and Jenny are two of the most genuine people I have ever met…no matter where we are. The love of Jesus and the desire to make Him known oozes out of their pores. I have never felt such family, love, and support as I have felt going to this church.

Work Friends

Yep, again, I only had one. I called this friend my priest because he was going to school to become a deacon in his Catholic Church when we met. He did that. I was blessed to be invited, and I know he is one I can call. Other than that, there were none.

Fairweather Friends

These “friends” come and go like the ebbs and flow of the ocean. They get mad and step out of your life for a minute. Then, they get happy and start slowly beginning to communicate. Next up, they are all up in your stuff. Lastly, they flit off again. Several several several “friends” in this section of my life. I’ve decided to clip their wings, so there is no more flitting into my life.`

Fake Friends

I think we can all say we have had fake friends. Honestly, most of my fake friends came from churches over the years. Seeing how spiritual they are on social media makes it so funny to me now. Yet, when it comes down to slinging mud, getting dirty, and being the hands and feet of Jesus, they are entirely dismissive and judgemental.

I would LOVE to call these people out. Many people know these people and have horror stories of their behavior and actions towards others. It is embarrassing. Yet, I remember Exodus 14:14, saying, “The Lord will fight your battles. You need to be silent.”

There are days when I don’t want to be silent‚ÄĒjust saying. My flesh gets all up in my feels, and I want to scream from every rooftop what a fake these people are and be aware.

Social Media Friends

In the world of social media, the more friends or followers, the more you look unique and vital. I’m here to say that is a crock of crap. I went a long time with all my social media deleted, but I had to open some of them back up because I do reviews.

When I do reviews/giveaways, I check to see if anyone entered to win whatever is being given away, but other than that, I am not active‚ÄĒon Twitter, Insta, FB, Pinterest, etc. I do have accounts, but they are linked through my blog, and I think most have my blog name. I do not follow or befriend anyone if you check (except FB and Insta). Now, I don’t necessarily do it on the platform. It may be through messaging or texts.

Over the years, outside of family, I have made three friends that I have been friends with for almost 20 years. We are all opposites; we don’t talk often, but we have mutual love and respect for each other. I am closer to one of those people than the other 2. I treasure every one of these ladies.

For Now Friends

These are in-the-moment friends. These people have been with me in so many situations, whether from adoption (for us), foster care adoption (again for us), special needs, etc. I can count on these people right now for this season. Sometimes these friends (or any friends) are for a season. They ebb and flow like the waves of the ocean. You know what, though? That is okay.

They were there for the season that you needed them. Glean what you can, apply it to your life, and then spread it to others who are in that situation.

When something arises, I know I can reach out to a few mamas raising kids from hard places. These are the ears I want because they are judgment-free and follow with prayer. I covet those friendships.

True Blue Friends

Well, this comes down to it. My college friend is a true blue friend. She is there, hopefully, for the long haul. Our paths may go in different directions, but her number is on my phone, and I do not hesitate to call. My Lady and Donna were my true blue friends. Now, they are with Jesus.

One of my social media friends can be counted in this group. We are so different and lead such different lifestyles, yet we respect each other and look past the differences to see the heart behind the human.

My For Now Friend is still hanging tight with me. I swear, we are the only two people who actually get what we are saying and don’t even think twice. She is such a friend that she stood in the gap when I had to take a break from parenting one of my more challenging children. There was never a hesitation. She just said, “you are doing this.” I was in such a state that all I did was cry and barely utter thank you. She has seven children from hard places, and she took my child for a little over a month to help my family regroup. Love her.

My pastor and his wife have my back at any time. Another couple from church we just think the world of would help us at any moment. By Steph. Forever. These are all people from church.

I could name more people, like Susan but know that my circle is small, and that is what I prefer. Slowly, I am finding more people who fall into this category that are new but hopefully long-lasting. You know, like an excellent battery.

I don’t have many (and I’m not even mentioning family), but the few I have are powerful warriors who would do anything to help our family if/when we need it. These people have seen us at our worst and still love, pray, and try to help. Lately, it’s been pretty bad!

Acquaintances

Let me sum it up with this meme.

Misuse of the Word Friends

Let’s start calling a spade a spade. A true blue friend is your friend through thick and thin. Most of the rest are just acquaintances with some genuinely extraordinary exceptions. Guess what? That is OKAY!

Oh! Just in Case You Were Wondering

My mother (my Oak) is not my friend. She is my mom.

My daddy is not my friend. He is my dad.

My children and grandchildren are not my friends. I am their parent; they have enough friends. They need a parent to guide them and not always agree with them.

My husband is not my friend. He is my lover, rock, person, husband, father of my children, grandfather of my grandchildren, stabilizer, and leader.

Friends come and go in the night. Family stays forever.

 

Depression, Faith Journey, Medical Issues, Suicide Awareness and Prevention

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 ** long seasons. A couple of times, I missed a year because I could not remember due to my depression. Some seasons are circumstantial, and my sad cloud leaves once those circumstances have been resolved. The other seasons are just plain ole crappy.

 I withdraw, sleep, do not get out of my house, do not change my clothes, or 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. He recognized and then tried to fix the problems in our middle years. Well-meaning spouses cannot cure depression. 

In Later Years

In the later years, he sits and 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 to get out of bed, get dressed, brush 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. Sadly, I listened to what the evil one was whispering in my ear. Instead, I should have been listening to 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 a fantastic lady, and she has taught me so much, and I knew, regardless, that she loved me. 

I got up from my seat and hugged her while my son ran and grabbed her some dinner. She cannot only look at me, but she can also look THROUGH me. 

That night, she looked through me and asked me what was wrong. Tears rose in my eyes, and I said, “I don’t know, I’m 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.”

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 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 proposed 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 put the bar VERY low.¬†

My first set of 30-day goals was straightforward. 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 homeschool 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 five blessings first. Next, I listed prayer requests. Then, I would read my chapters, highlight the verses that meant something to me, and 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 following two goals were pretty simple. The first was to take my medicine regularly (always take your meds as prescribed by your doctor) and not wear my husband’s clothes but my own. Again, you people might be mocking me, but my husband is a big man, and I feel 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 a short book of the bible to make myself feel good about accomplishing something again. 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 highlighted the answered prayers, dated them, and wrote how they were answered. In my dark times, I could 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 sadness, I forced myself to look to someone else. I texted people in my contacts about 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 praying about that, and I feel I have confirmation. In my darkest, you reached out.” Oh, my goodness. The reaction of others was 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 quickly, and I had to upgrade to a notebook. I asked each person how I could pray for them; I gave them their page and added any requests. 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 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.

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 that 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 to seek counsel. If counseling does not help, go to your doctor and look to get 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. I hope 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, has any mental illness and are afraid they may do the unthinkable, the Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. People are there 24 hours a day. Never be ashamed. Never think you are alone. Know your options. Reach out! Live! Teach others! Through your ashes, beauty will be found.

 

Guest Blogger

To the Person That’s Been There Through it All

 

To the Person That’s Been There Through it All

To the Person That’s Been There Through it All

To the Person That’s Been There Through it All

Thank you

And thank you for caring

Thank you for sharing

And thank you for loving me

When I felt that no one ever could

 

Cared for Me When No One Else Could

You didn’t have to do any of those things

But for some odd reason, you did

You cared for me when no one else could

You shared with me to try to help me understand

And you loved me when I needed it the most

On top of all that you’ve treated me like your own

 

Helped Me Grow

You’ve helped me grow to understand who I am

And who to look to when I am in need

To search for Jesus first instead of the worst.

and to consider Him in mind with my choices first.

You’ve shown me what it feels like to be loved by choice

Not by obligation

 

I Love You

And I just wanted you to know that I thank you

And most importantly I love you.

 

Life or Something Like It

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, this Lady is GORGEOUS in red! That was my favorite color on her. She was 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, she could have just said: “Leave him,” but she did not say that. She carried my weary body into her home, placed 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 fantastic 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, she said: “It is going to be okay.”

In Time

It was, but during that “it time” part, she held me accountable for 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 advice 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 on to 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 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, and teacher. I am so excited to see you again! Until we see each other again, I love your face off in heaven!

Life or Something Like It

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. I didn’t think she had gotten significantly worse since I had been there a few days earlier.

In They Walk

While I was on the phone with her youngest son, her granddaughter walked in the door with her. My Lady’s belly was huge and tight; her legs were swollen. She could hardly breathe, and all she wanted to do was lie in bed. She rarely does this when I am there. We got her in 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, after more discussion, it was decided that if they happened to keep her, she needed to be at the hospital where her neurologist was. This is because of her stroke a couple of years ago. So, her son took her to the ER. I would 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 the right and left, 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 unprepared for all of that.¬†¬†UTI, sure…she has those a lot. The rest, we had NO CLUE. We were constantly asked how we didn’t know and who her doctor was. We kindly told all the professionals that she was always at the doctor’s, and no one had even begun to mention any of these things. The only thing that she needed was her gallbladder removed.

Blood Thinner = Trouble

Little could be done because she is on a blood thinner, which had to be out of her system for five days before any invasive 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 seemed like the person talking was 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 the 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 are 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 was out of the ordinary until I got a call. My Lady, Go Big or Go Home. She is never in between.

 

Faith Journey

Our Story My Lady and Me

Our Story My Lady and Me

Our Story My Lady and Me

This is Our Story, My Lady and Me. Mentoring is something that has piqued my interest for a long time. I never knew where to begin, so I just pushed that thought on the back burner. I am too busy, have too many kids, and life gets in the way. Honestly, I’m too screwed up; no one will understand me, and closed off emotionally. All these thoughts filtered through my mind.

New Church. New Friend.

When my family and I started looking for a new church, I went into it looking to fly under the radar. I’m loud and outspoken. I can be misunderstood easily. Sadly, I certainly do not get along well with pastors. We found a church. One of the first people I saw sitting in the pew was a TALL, white-haired woman. She looked to be in her 70s. Her presence was commanding.

She was faithful to attending morning, evening, and Wednesday night services. I could hear her sing above everyone else. One could almost read her story in the wrinkles of her beautiful face. She is captivating. Honestly, I watched her for about two years. Yet, I never spoke to her. I would hear people say someday; you need to ask Ms. Jo about her love story. I was determined to ask her from that moment, but fear of rejection would pound in my head. I would not ever ask.

Candyland Coming to Life

One year we were doing a type of trunk or treat for Halloween. Our downstairs children’s area was turned into a giant Candyland game. I went to help out and to bring my children. As we walked downstairs, I saw this tall precious woman sitting in a rocking chair. The children would come and sit out her feet and listen to her tell the story of how much Jesus loves them.

I went in without my children (they were in another area). There, I sat at her feet. I was captivated by her ability to quietly and powerfully tell this story. There was not one child who did not have their eyes on her. I sat right by her, entranced by this woman. When the children left, I asked her if someday she would share her love story with me. This smile that could light a thousand Christmas trees flashed across her face. She replied with my Jerome. You could feel that love that she had for him. She told me that she would be glad to say to me sometime.

Another Year Passes

Another year or so went by. I got up the courage to always hug my Lady’s neck when I saw her. Her smile is so inviting and welcoming. Though she did not know me and my scars, I knew that she loved me. She loved me completely and unconditionally. Ms. Jo, well, she was my peace. She guided me in how I used my words toward my children. Yet only did that if she had the feeling my words were out of line. Also, she would talk to me about how I spoke to my husband at times. However, she is bold but never condemning.

Hitting Me Between the Eyes

There was a particular moment when I had been in the pit of depression for over a month. I mustered up enough courage to go to Wednesday night ministry and saw her enter the door. I walked up to her and hugged her. She asked me how I had been, and I just looked at her, fighting back the tears, and said I hadn’t been well. I’m struggling with depression, and I can’t seem to shake it.” She stood as straight as I had ever seen her and said, “well, get over it. You are loved by our Jesus, your family, and me.” Her boldness took me back. I thought, well, she is right. I am loved. God is more significant than this depression.

Courage

At that moment, I knew what I had been praying for so long; my prayers had been answered. That following Sunday, I went to get my hug and sat by her. Her sweet aged hands, with that one crooked index finger (I seriously love that crooked finger), held my hand, and I put my head on her shoulder. At that moment, there was no one else in the sanctuary. It was like the Lord had blacked out all the chaos around me and allowed me to focus on her and me at that particular time.

I Have a Question

I leaned into her and said, “Ms. Jo, I have a question. Would you consider being my mentor?” She looked puzzled and said, “well, I don’t know what I have to offer you, but whatever I have, you can have.” My thoughts started whirling, and I knew I looked like I could catch a thousand flies with my open mouth. I just looked at her and said, “seriously, have you met yourself? How you love your Jerome, how you love your boys, your grandchildren, how you love the Lord. I stated, ” I want you to teach me that.” We agreed to set a date for that Thursday. The thrill and excitement could overwhelm me!

Our First Meeting

I showed up that first Thursday, and we sat on her back porch. I sat in the swing, and she sat in her chair. When I say she knew NOTHING about me other than my name and my family’s name, I mean that. The Lord drew our souls together. She looked at me and said, “how can I help you?” At that moment, time stopped again. At an uncontrollable moment, I started weeping. I could not stop. Rarely do I cry. Usually, I fight it; I suck it up. I couldn’t even get a word out. Then I heard her sweet voice say, “well, for goodness sake, let’s go in the house and work through this.” She tells me that I am “almost there but not quite yet.” I wholeheartedly agree! I am teachable, and I am learning.

That One Defining Moment

There was a day recently when my heart was shattered. Usually, I would fall into depression and not get out of bed. This time, my first thought was to get to my person! I vaguely remember driving to her house and knocking on the door. She opened it and said, “Hey girl, how are you?” I fell into her arms. She wrapped her arms around me, not asking me any questions, and she hugged me so tight that I not only felt her love, I felt Jesus’ love through her.

Her Beautiful Hands

We made it to her table, and I muttered out, through tears, what had happened. I laid my head in her beautiful hands, and she caught every tear. She made a phone call. After that, she put her sweet hand on my head. Then, she prayed for my family and me. She carried me through such a tough, tough time. Also, she never judged, condemned, fussed, or bad-mouthed anyone. She loved, prayed, and encouraged. There are not many people who would do that.

Love and Encouragement

The love, encouragement, lessons, simple joy of being in her presence, and her love story with “her Jerome” have been staples in my life. There aren’t many days that I don’t either speak with her or see her. I run errands for her, we go to lunch, I take her suppers, she holds my hand, and she has the best ice cubes on the planet.

We run around town, we talk, we pray, she encourages, I have heard a thousand stories, and I love every one of them. I have learned how to love my husband. My husband LOVES her too!!! My kids WILLINGLY do yardwork because, when we are resting, we all sit on the back porch and listen to her wisdom. In the first place, she exudes the Proverbs 31 woman. Now, she is the living example of the Titus 2 command.

He Created Her for Me and Me for Her

The Lord knew I needed her and needed me.¬†She is my blessing. To help her in any way possible is a joy. I can never repay her for the love and graciousness she has shown me, my husband, and my children. She will forever be a part of my heart and my family. Oh, how I love that woman. Oh, I am thankful that the Lord granted me the desires of my heart and brought forth the most precious mentor and friend a girl could ever have. She’s my Lady. She’s my person.

Find a Mentor

I encourage those who are curious about being a mentor. If you need a mentor, pray for the Lord to meet those needs. He will raise those who can mentor. You don’t have to be 80 to be a mentor. You need to have a willing spirit to vest in the lives of others.

Passing Down the Wisdom

I had a sweet friend ask me to¬†mentor¬†her. My first thought was, I have nothing to teach you. Sound familiar? I spoke to my Lady, and she said I am perfectly equipped to mentor this sweet friend. What I have learned through the trials of my life, what I’m learning through my Lady, I have passed onto this dear friend. She still has a long way to go, but she is getting there!¬†What I learn from my Lady, I pass on to my friend. My Lady prays for this friend, which is what it is all about. She is my blessing. This is Our Story, My Lady and Me.

Life or Something Like It

Those STUPID Pigs

Those STUPID Pigs.

I posted yesterday about the dog issue. Well, the dog wasn’t the issue. It was telling me while I was still sleeping that there was a ginormous dog in my laundry room who needed my assistance‚ÄĒpraising God for his family coming to get him. I know that he is happy to be home. Sweet dog.

Pig Drop

At about 4, maybe a little after, my friend called and said: “I’m heading your way with pigs.” Yes, you heard that right. We found a person with 3 – 25 lb. pigs for sale at a great price. This is how we maintain our freezer and our grocery bill. We raise/slaughter a pig every year. Last year, we didn’t raise a pig, BUT we called our local butcher, and they had contacts. We ended up buying a pig from a local farmer. This year, we bought one to raise. My friend had wanted me to go with her, but alas, I was taking a nap, LOL, and I didn’t know that she was ready to go. She was impatient. She ended up meeting the lady at a half waypoint.

This was the conversation between my friend and the lady we bought the pigs from:

Lady: What will you be driving?

Friend: A black Tahoe.

Those STUPID Pigs

Lady:  A Tahoe?

Friend:  Yes.

Lady:  What will you be carrying them in?

Friend:  A pet taxi.

Those STUPID Pigs

Lady:¬† A pet taxi…for like pets?

Friend:  Yes, it is also what I haul my birds in.

Lady:  Well, alright then.

**insert “you might be a redneck” comment**

So, a short (4’11” on a good day) friend puts the pigs in the pet taxi in the back of the Tahoe, and Pam calls and says, “I have the pigs come help.” We keep the pigs across the road at another friend’s house, so off I go to help. I wasn’t expecting to do much, so I wore a pair of jogging pants, a t-shirt, and fuzzy boots with a sweater.

Little did I know

My friend backs down to the pigsty, where there are currently 3 ENORMOUS pigs waiting for their day of reckoning. We aren’t supposed to open the fence, and the muck is pretty high. As my friend slings this pig into the sty, I yell, “Pigs are cannibals.” About that time, the little pig almost drowned in the mud because he went face first. He slipped. Next, little pig #2 (still in the pet taxi) decides she wants freedom, knocks the pet taxi to the ground, and escapes. She doesn’t go far, but still, have you ever tried to catch a pig? The next thing we do will be a moment for the ages.

We stand there in silence.

Not moving and waiting to see how big piggies handle little piggie. It wasn’t pretty. My friends (J and Pam) had brought their daughter M, and all you heard was a little pig screaming, big pigs trying to eat the little pig, and M crying, “making them stop hurting the baby pig.”

None of us could move fast enough.

Pam wed the gate open enough to get in, but she sank just like a little piggie drowning in the muck. The muck was up to her knees. She couldn’t move. J was on the other side of the pen, with a kid’s little bitty shovel beating the big pigs in the face trying to get them to stop eating the little pig.

Still, in the muck, Pam holds a child’s rake and attempts to rake her way to the none mucky end to help save the pig. I take over the child’s shovel and stand on guard to beat the big pig’s snouts. J makes a daring rescue of the injured piggy. We put piggy #1 in with piggy #3 (who is in another carrier and shaking in the corner). M, the sweet 11 yr old girl, is in the front seat crying. We get her calmed down, spray down the pig, and check the wound (yes, I’m qualified). It is simply a scrape.

Headed Home Covered in Pig Crap

We head home, covered in pig crap from head to toe. Head. To. Toe. People. We smell. My cute fuzzy boots are ruined. Pam and I go to my house to clean up and change clothes. J heads to his house to shower and change. He heads back to my house and watches nine kids while Pam and I head to Walmart and the Co-Op to get meds and betadine. Once home, we realized we left nine kids here, and there were 11 when we came home.

My neighbor, Melissa, had come home (pigs live at her house) and dropped her girls off for my older girls to watch…she, Big Daddy, and J were back over trying to rig up a place for the little pigs. Our goal was to put them in the unused (for now) turkey pen.

Are you lost yet?

Pam and I walked over unwillingly, and at about that time, pig #2 had escaped again. We got the two pigs in the turkey pen, and 4 of us tromped through the fields, woods, dried-up creek, and beyond to catch this pig. Now, my husband is not a tiny man, and J is. It is something, by the light of the moon, to see J fly through the air to capture a pig, and hot on his heels comes Big Daddy, flying right behind him. The scene was comical from afar. There were injuries, and none of the injuries belonged to the pig.

Pam, the country girl, yanked up her too-long pants (I’m 5’6″ and she is 4’11”..the pants were mine), and she scaled the barbed wire fence…much like a female version of Spiderman. Off she goes. In the distance, I hear the drill, where Melissa is constructing a door and a pig squealing.

We ended up giving up.

We all sat in the dark, covered in pig crap and defeated.

Five grown adults were outsmarted by one little piggy.

This morning, I get up. I walk over to Melissa’s. Then, I hear a sound. I look up, and there is that stupid pig. I ran home, called J, and dashed to get him, and we fought a good fight. We ran, leaped, jumped, laughed, and peed. In the end, the pig was captured.

Bacon. Bacon sounds really good right now.

Soon, my little piggy pretty, we will eat you.

 

Adoption, Faith Journey

A Priest, A Deaconess, and a Baptist

A Priest, A Deaconess, and a Baptist

A Priest, A Deaconess, and a Baptist

 

A Priest, A Deaconess, and a Baptist: September 21, 2011. We all work together at the store, and we seriously write our jokes ūüôā

 

It was hard when we, as a family, decided that I needed to return to work. I cried, A LOT because I’m a creature of habit. I need routine, and it rocks me to my core when it is shaken. Controlling? Maybe. I know that I like what I like, and change is not one thing that I want.

 

My whole world changed.

 

My kids went back to PS, and my oldest was still being homeschooled, but our whole life turned upside down. I was blessed when I got my job. THE SLOWEST WOMAN trained me ON THE PLANET, but she is the sweetest thing…ever, genuine, honest, and stable.

 

When I got assigned my department, a regal-looking gentleman with kind eyes and a radio-worthy voice caught my eye. I wanted to know who he was because he happened to work in my department, and frankly, I needed all the help I could get, not knowing anything from anything.

 

Priest

 

I introduced myself and quickly learned that he was attending school to be a deacon in his local church. To my credit, I didn’t realize there was a “school” for a deacon. So I went ahead, took the plunge, and yelled out my thoughts (completely unsanctified thoughts). The question came up about where he went to church. My sweet Priest stated that he was Catholic and that they were going back to their Biblical roots of positions in the church.

 

Enthralled is one emotion I felt, and I wanted to learn more. I began asking questions like, “so, what’s up with the Pope?” “What do you do, and why do you kneel/stand so much?” Please, “explain the hierarchy of the church and their positions.” He answered every question, and he still does to this day. He is very tolerant and understanding of my ignorance. Clearly, he knows God and Jesus and loves them both dearly.

 

I am blessed.

 

He sees me when I’m having an “off” day and tells me to get busy before I break down. Frequently, he hugs me when I need it. After one tough day, he told me to get busy. He walked up to me and said with love in his eyes, “this means more to me than anything, and I’m giving it to you for peace.” It was a beautiful¬†rosary. This link also shows you how to pray the rosary.

 

I knew the magnitude of this gift, but he explained the prayers that you pray using the rosary. Finally, it encouraged me to pray. He has walked through the aisles, at work, and prayed over me. Also, he has sent me emails of prayer. A precious soul, this man has been to me.

 

Deaconess

 

Now, onto the Deaconess. She hasn’t been working with us long, but she is a short firecracker of a woman. She is completely and utterly in love with the Lord and her family. She doesn’t see working at our job as a “job.” She sees it as a mission from God. She looks at every opportunity to witness and tell people about her faith. Amazingly, she is an encourager, a protector, a friend, and a confidant and oozes grace and dignity.

 

She is not shy about her faith. For example, she has laid hands on me, with customers waiting, and prayed over me. Also, she held me when I cried. She has cried with me. She has told me repeatedly, “speak it into existence.” It will be. Watch your mouth and don’t let that negative stuff come out, don’t speak negativity into existence. I’m continually saying something and then catching myself because I think she will hear me and whop me outside the head for expressing negativity.

 

Be positive. Wait on God.

 

During this adoption’s trials, I learned that it is okay to cry. That I can be mad, that I can be sad, that it is okay to talk to people. I hold so much inside. I don’t like to burden people or feel like I’m regularly playing the same tune on the violin. Between my Wednesday night girls, my Deaconess, and my Priest, I’m surrounded by love, prayers, and understanding during my hard times. Sadly, there have been so very many.

 

Our trial is soon coming to an end.

 

God will bring my child home before the year mark is up. I’m speaking that out in the Name of Jesus. I’m so thankful that God has seen fit to bless me at work with such influential people of faith during this time. He has blessed me with a strong family of faith and a strong church of faith. When your daughter sends you messages at work that says, “mom, I love you, and remember to CLAIM IT.” I know that God is working, and He is showing my family and me His grace and mercies throughout this challenging year.

 

A Priest, A Deaconess, and a Baptist

 

The year is ending, and my son will be home by next month. I’m choosing to believe. These people will forever be a part of J’s story. My Priest saw me through the darkest of times. He prayed faithfully for me while we folded jeans at JC Penney’s.

 

I am so thankful that the Lord placed His people in my path. They have loved, supported, and encouraged me along the way.

 

Life or Something Like It

This is What Greeted Me This Morning

This is What Greeted Me This Morning

This is What Greeted Me This Morning

I got a phone call from our friends across the street. This is What Greeted Me This Morning. I was snuggling up to Big Daddy, and we (all of us) were having a movie night and enjoying “The Adventures in Babysitting” (with the assistance of our lovely clear play machine). Well, my neighbor is not the quietest person on the face of the planet, and his voice BOOMS.

  1. Pig.

 

Anyway, I heard the words “lost” and “pig” in the same sentence. I looked at Big Daddy and asked him if he said he had lost a pig, and if he did, then when, on earth, did he get a pig? Her name is¬†Petunia, and she was a runaway. So, all five kids excitedly get on their shoes. The kids began to turn on all the outside lights. Then they headed out to search for the lost pig, to no avail. Petunia was nowhere to be found. Sadness.

Flank the Pig

 

I thought little else of it last night. I went onto the bed, and this scenario greeted me this morning. I got up to take the three youngers to school. I’m not a typical “get ’em to school” mom where every hair is in place. I’m a throw on your pants, pull your Tina Turner hair in a ponytail, giant zit shining on my chin, and no bra kind of mom. We jump in the car, pull out, and I slow down, thinking, “did I just see a giant pig?”¬†

 

Why, yes, I did. So the kids and I try to flank said the pig. She is HUGE, and I “assumed” she would be slow. I was severely mistaken. Just cause your fat doesn’t mean you can’t move like lightning. A woman, looking like I do, with no “support” because just running the kids to school doesn’t require putting support on….it is not a pretty sight.¬†

Not. At. All.

 

Let’s say…………pig 1, Brandi and kids 0.

 

Get the kids to school, and what do I see, on the way home, but the pig, in the neighbor’s driveway, flanked by two dogs. Easy as pie. I stop, gather the “girls” up for another run at the pig, and off we go.

 

Pig 2, Brandi 0

 

I stop at my friend’s house, and she is just as disheveled as I am. I’m greeted at the door by Precious Child #1. I could eat that little girl up. I love it when someone is *so* happy to see me that her whole face lights up. She lets me in, and mommy has just rolled out of bed, holding Precious Child #2. I’m in Heaven, sheer Heaven. I was rocking one baby, sitting with the other, watching Tarzan, and being in the company of a friend. I tell her of my “issue” with the pig. She doesn’t seem concerned, so I sit and rock.

Is That the Pig Running Down the Road?

 

Soon, I realize that I have to be ready for a visitor at 9:00, and I’m looking, not appropriate. Big Daddy’s only request was that I brush my hair and teeth and wear a bra. I passed on my girls to their sweet mama and headed out. As I’m getting in the car, I look up in the distance to see that stupid pig running down the road at full speed.¬†

 

Pig Spotted

 

I knock on my friend’s window, tell her where the pig is headed, and she flies out the door with an infant in hand, a toddler trailing behind her. I pick up Precious #1 cause she doesn’t have shoes, and as we are standing in the front yard, we are both squinting down the road to see the black speck that is Petunia. She hands me Precious #2 and flies in the house to get her shoes on. I take both girls to my house to feed #1 breakfast and smell #2. In the process, I get Peach out the front door with her bike, and she heads out to help corral the pig.

 
Later……¬†
Pig 3, friend & kid 0
 
It.Is.ON.
 
Let the games begin.