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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Thoughts from a Hospital Room

Thoughts from a Hospital Room

I have spent a lot (I literally mean A LOT) of time in hospitals since 2015.  Between my Lady, daddy, mother-in-law, son, and more…my job is night duty.  That is my thing, I don’t sleep well anyway, so why not stay so other family members can rest.  As I was sitting with my MIL last night, these were my Thoughts from a Hospital Room.

Spectacular Human

First and foremost, my MIL is an amazing woman!  Her love and devotion to her family are astounding.  She is humble, kind, and just precious.  I’m so thankful that I was blessed with her in my life.  We had some deep conversations.  Many, I am sure, she will not remember.  I will though!

Tears were shed, honesty was spoken, love was present.  Also, she is a freaking powerhouse.  I told her that she cannot be a superwoman, at this point, in her life.  She needs to take care of herself (she had a hip replacement).  The doctor said she took that hip as far as she could.  Honestly, he was amazed that she had endured so much pain. She pushed herself as far as she could.  Rockstar.  That is what she is.  A freaking rockstar.

Polar Opposites

We are polar opposites!  I mean, not just a little bit.  She is quiet, reserved, and self-assured.  I am loud, balls to the walls, and self-conscious.  Yet, we mesh.  It is so funny how I blew into this family and shook them all to their core.  I brought LOUDNESS to this family.  Honestly, I adore her.

Thoughts from a Hospital Room

We were talking about books (where we have similar tastes)!  I have not had time to read because I’ve homeschooled for 20 years.  The books I read are to my children because I am a firm believer in expanding your mind through the written word.  We are not big on tv, video games, or phones.  All my children have a deep love of books, unlike their father!  He is not a big reader.  Actually, he is a bathroom reader LOL.

We were talking about The Client and that I was struggling through it.  Honestly, neither of us like fiction too much.  I told her that I was read the first half of the book and then I put it down.  Deep down, I struggle with the fact that I have not finished it.  We talked about my Type A personality or OCD.

Type A

I read that “Type A individuals tend to be very competitive and self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments.”  HECK YES!  I would finish that book even though I could not stand it.  This time, I went against my grain and I put it down.  It is killing me that I did not complete something.  Seriously, I feel like a failure.

Stupid, I know.  Yet, that is how I feel.  Like when I get in my obsessive mode and watch a tv show, I have to watch every episode.  If I don’t, it disturbs me greatly.  Yet, as I was speaking to my MIL, she was like “if you don’t like it, why to waste your time and finish it?”

Revelation

That statement gave me permission and freedom to say “NO!”  This is a minor, first-world issue.  Sadly, it is still an issue and a thing for me.  Fellow Type A or OCD people get this feeling.  Lately, I have been very intuned with triggers that are not healthy for me.  I’m learning to step back, not complete, calm down, re-evaluate and not finish something.  So hard.

Triggers suck.  There are some topics I stay away from whether it is a person, situation, book, movie, or whatever.  Some things I stay away from is anything that surrounds sexual abuse or rape specifically.  That word, itself, triggers me and makes my stomach hurt.  Anything that deals with suicide or even actors or have made that choice.  I don’t watch movies with them in it.  That issue stabs me in the heart.  War movies or books.  I have mad respect for those serving and who have served.  It breaks my heart to think of what these people/families have endured for me.

Maybe it is Silly

Yet, to me, it is real.  It affects me.  Why would I want to purposefully do something that will alter or trigger my mental health?  Our job is to surround ourselves with things that bring us joy and/or happiness.  With my mental illness (clinical depression and PTSD according to my doctor), I choose to say no.

So, as crazy as it may sound, I put the book down, skip shows, fast forward through parts of movies.  Heck, I have gotten rid of movies and books.  If someone in my life is toxic, I love and pray for them from afar.  I don’t voluntarily jump into their lives and try to fix it (though I wish I could all the time).  It is not my job.  That is the job of Jesus.

Sincere Love and Appreciation

For my mother-in-law because in her hazy moments after surgery, she spoke such truth to me.  I felt loved, appreciated, and understood.  Today, I choose joy.  In all things, honestly.  Today, I give you permission to SAY NO and put things down that you don’t dig.  Let it go.  Just let it go!  Oh, and don’t forget…LET IT GO!

 

Large Family Happenings

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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Happy 85th Birthday to my Lady

Happy 85th Birthday to my LadyHappy 85th Birthday to my Lady

Well, it is a rejoiceful Happy 85th Birthday to my Lady.  My goodness.  I can’t believe that it has almost been 2 years since I have seen your face or heard your voice.

I miss your face, your voice, and your presence.

This picture was taken on her 81st birthday.  She decided that she wanted to go and eat fish with me and her boyfriend.  Her boyfriend was Big Daddy.  Their relationship cracked me up.

Oh, how she loved him and he loved her.  She may be the reason we are still married.  I firmly believe that Big Daddy would have gained “custody” of her in a divorce settlement LOL.

Ramona & Stacey

In the end days, I became Ramona.  Still not sure who Ramona was in her life, but I took on that name.  She, more often than not, referred to herself as Stacey Cox.  Also, she spoke fluent and correct German.

Weird.

She was my person.  My mentor and best friend in the whole wide world.  What started out as a Titus mentorship twirled into the best friendship and then settled firmly into me being her caretaker.

Life Lessons

I would not trade my time with her for anything.  She loved me even when I was unlovable.  The wisdom, tears, joy, prayers, lessons she taught me was invaluable.  I am truly a better human for having her in my life.

Still Blessed

The fact that I can still see your Doug, Chelsea, and the rest of that crew.  Also, the friendship with Joe, Esther, and Devon.  I love how you loved them.  Such a devoted wife, mom, and granny Jo to your HUGE crew.

Getting All Up in my Feels

Gonna stop because I’m going to start feeling my feels.  I know you say that crying is healthy and I need to do it more often.  Today, I may not stop crying.  So why even start that mess.  You know I hate to show emotion.

I think I’m going to go and eat fish with your boyfriend.

I love you, Lady.  You are one of my favorites.

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Overwhelming Sadness

Overwhelming Sadness

 

Today (this being written on Saturday the 29th), I have overwhelming sadness.  There is no particular reason why.  It has been a beautiful day but it has been a long day.  I have accomplished quite a bit, but still feel like I’ve done nothing.  Now, in the quiet of my room…I feel that pressure of sadness.  It is almost like a weighted blanket being laid across my chest.

The one year anniversary of my Lady leaving me is today.

Fear of failure.

Frustration over accidents.

Anger in regards to businesses and their lack of care for their customers.

Sadness as I think of my niece and nephew.

Hurt as I think of what my sister has to deal with on a daily basis.

Listening to a friend, mourn knowledge of what has been.

Pain thinking of the things that little eyes have seen and little ears have heard.

Uncertainty when I look at my son.

So Many Emotions

Since I’ve been off my anti-depressants, I feel things.  I feel ALL the things.  This is not pleasant for me.  I’m certainly not familiar with these emotions and the random times they pop up.

I miss my friend.  It really is that simple.

Lately, I have stepped out of myself and I’ve allowed myself to talk about these things (all the things) to my husband.  Bless his heart.  He is so good.

He simply doesn’t know what to do with all that encompasses me and these things that I feel.  When I say I’m fixing to cry, he sits down and lets me sit on his lap and cry.  It doesn’t take long and once I’m done, I’m done.

He’s a good man.

God is Bigger

For now, I will lean on the knowledge that God is bigger.  He is big enough to handle all these stressors, mean people, stupid mistakes, and health issues.  I have to realize that, in Him, he sees the beauty in me.  He captures all my tears and he places them in a bottle.

He is good.  All the time and all the time He is good.

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Happy 84th Birthday, Lady

Happy 84th Birthday, LadyHappy 84th Birthday, Lady

Happy 84th Birthday, Lady.  My Lady began calling me Ramona as her mind came in and out.  She also referred to herself as Stacy.  We got tickled when she came back around, and I would tell her.  I loved to cook for her, for her birthday.

It overwhelmed her having all my kids in her house, surrounding her table.  She would sit, talk, laugh, and just absorb those crazy moments.  Her eyes would dance and sparkle as she helped my kids with different projects, while I cleaned the kitchen.

She also enjoyed us taking her out to dinner.  She and her boyfriend (Bart) would put me in the backseat, and they would hang out in the front.  They solved the world’s problems.  They loved eating fish, together.

Bart would surprise her and bring her flowers, every once in a while.  She loved him for that.

I miss her laugh.

The thought of her singing, with her beautiful voice, makes my heart rejoice.  Her wisdom is something that I will hold onto forever and a day.  In this picture, she had just turned 80.

She wore my FAVORITE shirt.  Red was my favorite color on her.  She loved the water (as they owned a houseboat for a long time).  This shirt just was the epitome of what she liked and what I loved.

I would love to be sitting in her room, in my green chair and her in her leather chair.  I would love to be at that table again.

There are many times, I sat, in that chair and at that table, with my head in her hands while I cried and she prayed.

I miss hearing her praying over me.  Her guidance.  Her forthrightness.  I miss every single part of her.  Everyone needs a Lady.

Today is her first birthday that she is celebrating with Jesus and her Jerome.

I miss you more today than I did yesterday.

Until I see you again.

I love your face off.

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9 Simple Ways to Prepare For a Hospital Stay

9 Simple Ways to Prepare For a Hospital Stay {With a Medically Fragile Toddler}

Here are 9 Simple Ways to Prepare For a Hospital Stay.  I have compiled this list because long, extended hospital stays have been my jam between 2015-2018.

~     Buy a nice overnight bag:  preferably with a zippered bottom and a shoulder strap

I got this WEEKENDER BAG from Modcloth.  I was able to get cashback from Rakuten (formerly Ebates) and I found a coupon, online.

~     Have a toiletry case that can be folded up

This is the PRIMROSE HILL BAG I got from Walmart.  In it, I have a toothbrush, toothpaste, trial size dry shampoo (this is a must), face wipes, deodorant, razor, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hair bands, the baby a toothbrush and toothpaste, a mini first aid kit, fingernail clippers, lotion…just everything I keep at the house, only smaller 😉

~     Electronics Bag

Spare phone cord, earbuds, tablet charger

~     Crossword puzzle/pen

~     2 Extra sets of clothes that will stay in your bag at all times

I have some for me and for Hunter.

~     Spare pair of slippers/fuzzy socks/flip flops

~     Small Backpack

I keep Hunter’s special “hospital” toys, extra pull-ups, and extra wipes.

~     Mini-med holder

In here, I have a week’s worth of my regular medication.  I found some SMALL BAGGIES where I keep:  Tylenol, ibuprofen, car sickness meds, meclizine (I have Meniere’s Disease), stomach pills (Pepto in pill form), Zofran, children’s Tylenol and syringe, Aleve, and tums.  I have them all labeled well and I keep it all together in this small PRIMROSE HILL BAG.

~     Candy

Never miss the candy!

————

I keep my weekender packed with these things, all the time.  That way, when I have to go for a hospital stay, for Hunter, I am ready without stressing out over wait I need to bring or overpacking.

It is a horrible feeling to be alone, heading 4 hrs away for a hospital stay, alone, with a sick toddler.  Having to haul him,  his stroller, a bunch of bags and knowing that I have to pack it all, by myself, in one haul because I cannot leave him alone in the hospital room.

I learned that the hard way.

Now, all I have to grab on go day is my coke, his sippy cup, and some snacks, a couple of movies for the trip, my tablet, his tablet, and his blanket because everything else is always packed and sitting in my closet.

Having a medically fragile child and living hours away from the closest children’s hospital is a suckfest….gotta make things as easy as possible to keep my sanity.

 

Medical Issues

Let’s Talk About Them Slippers

Let's Talk About Them SlippersLet’s Talk About Them Slippers

Let’s Talk About Them Slippers.  I have never been a slipper kind of gal.  All slippers irritate me.  I have to bunch my toes up when I walk in them, or they will fly off my feet.  I don’t like big slippers, I don’t want little slippers.  I don’t like animal slippers, I don’t like fancy slippers.  I do not like slippers.  I do not like socks, but that is for another post.

In 2014, my daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas…I had no clue, and I tried just to give her a vague answer because I really didn’t need anything, but she wanted to give me something.  That is her Spiritual gift…She *LOVES* giving gifts that bring joy to people.  Loves it.  I didn’t want her wasting her money on me….but she insisted.

So I said, get me some slippers.

I knew that I probably would never wear them, but it was an idea, I could put wear them around the house on Christmas Day and then retire them to the closet until the next Christmas.  Problem solved.

Little did I know…..I would form a bond with these slippers, and they have forged their way into my heart, and they are very very special to me.

When I opened my gift…I did the act of surprise face, and then I promptly put them on and oohed and ahhed over them.  She was pleased.  That is all that mattered in my book.  I did, notice, however, these were not like the slippers I thought they would be.  They were more like fuzzy sock type of slippers and though I do not like socks…I do when it is super cold….so I did put them on, and they did the job.

The Years of Hospitals

In May of 2015 is where my slippers became a part of my journey.  That is the month that my Lady had her first, of many, strokes.  I stayed with her during the day and most nights.  She was in and out recovering from her stroke and her MANY UTIs….So.  Very. Many.

The next year, daddy had a stroke.  I was blessed (is that the right word) that I knew who to talk to, what to say, what questions to ask, and what doctors/tests to request because I had already walked through that with Lady.  I spent several days with him during the day and evening.  Flash forward a year, and daddy had quadruple bypass surgery.  Then Hunter got sick and was in and out of hospitals, then a few months and my Lady went to a nursing home….then back to the hospital….then back to the nursing home.  My slippers and I saw my Lady for the last time on September 30, 2017, as she took her last breath on October 1, 2017.

Many Hospitals

My slippers have walked many many hospital halls and nursing home halls, seen many ERs, lots of wall decorations, supported me in many conversations with doctors, specialists, and nurses wheeled lots of wheelchairs, walked from floor to floor and hall to hall, absorbed tears while I hid in the bathroom, and so much more.  Alyssa has bought me other slippers for Christmas, and I do wear those, around the house because I like them.  These slippers: black, gross, dirty, and washed too many times, well, they are special to me.  I keep them packed in my “to go” bag at all times.

Thank you, Alyssa…for giving me something I never really wanted.  They have a lot of memories.

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