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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Meet Sol...

We got a cat last week.  A 4 year old orange tabby that was given to the shelter because his owner was going into assisted living and he couldn't take the cat.  I love cats but my youngest is pretty allergic so I swore them off until he was out of the house.

Before thanksgiving, we, the Queen and the boys decided to go "galavanting."  When we go galavanting, it generally includes a couple of Goodwills, and ARC thrift store and a pet store.  Oh, and if we are out at lunch, a Souper salad.  Lucky for us, the Goodwill, DAV and the Souper salad were all in the same area.  Then I decided I wanted to get a fish.  I have a tank, and I really enjoy fish for some reason.  Maybe because they cannot talk back or have their own ideas or that they just swim around.  Anyway, I asked the kids to come into the pet store and pick out a fish for me.

While I was looking at the fish, I noticed I was alone.  I looked around and they had dissappeared.  Then I heard a ..."Mom, come here".  I immediately responded, "No."  Slowly I walked over to the cages and was all three petting this orange junk yard cat.  "We should get him" I heard one of the voices say.  "Your brother is allergic...so no."  Then out of nowhere, the clerk showed up and asked if we wanted to take him out of his cage.  "No thanks" I responded and the Queen asked about the cat.  "How come he is here" she inquired.  "He was given to the shelter because"....and I began to think of all of my old patients with cats and how they love them.  Many a time I have offered to take a dog or cat so they didn't go to the shelter for my patients.  I ended up with a dog for about a year because one of my patients couldn't take care of her.  It wasn't too big of a deal, I thought. 

They took the cat out of the cage and he walked around and rubbed his rear end on all of us.  "What's his name?" I heard myself ask..."Sol" she said.  In my head I could feel the wall coming down.  I decided I wouldn't say another word and maybe the kids would buckle first.

We sat on the floor in silence while this cat walked all over us.  No one uttered a word.  I looked around and waited.  Still no conversation.  The clerk was starting to get uncomfortable and so was I.  It was a test of wills.  Them against me and whoever wins chooses.  Guess what...I cracked.  "OK" I heard myself say.  The kids took a deep breath and looked knowingly at each other.  They had won.  They  know I hate awkward silence and all three of my kids are awkward...so the silence doesn't bother them in the least.

Then it was on to Jim.  Mac called him and told him we were at the pet store to get a fish...but it turned into a cat.  My husband responded, " a cat fish?" to which my son said "no a cat-cat"... to which my husband replied, as all husbands who know better do..."It's up to your mother."



We brought "Sol" home.  He is a cute cat.  He has immediately taken to my husband.  He lays on his chest and looks lovingly into his eyes.  I am thrilled because now I don't have to!  Last night, I rolled over in bed and lying under the covers by Jim's side was this cat.  I have never seen anything like it.  Of course, he doesn't like dry food, pukes up milk and has no claws...so we have a cat box.



Another addition to this insane family...a dirty orange one that purrs and walks around rubbing his rear against anything and everything.  He is cute though and he seems to listen to me when I talk.  Sometimes he'll even wink.  That's more than I can say about all the other inhabitants in my home. 

Good night all and I will head upstairs and peel the cat off of my husband...so I can pet the cat!

We'll tawk soon,
I love you all,
Terry

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How do you use a compass?

The boys and I arrived home from the Senior High Youth gathering on Sunday afternoon.  We spent the weekend in Estes Park with about 600 high schoolers from all over that go to the Lutheran church.  I had a small group and my son had a small group.  The theme for the weekend was GPS...God's Positioning System.  I know this all sounds so "religious" and it is.  To be honest, I love this stuff.

The weekend was about "who or what is your life compass?" and I think the whole world could take a look at who they follow and what is really important.  But, I digress.  I enjoyed the weekend, the food was good, and I got a good, hard slap in the face during some of the talks.  My "compass" gets left places while I pursue things that I ought not... so this was a good reminder.

The best part of the weekend and coming week was being with the whole family.  While the boys and I were doing our thing, Jim picked up the Queen from college and when we got home...there she was in all her Queenly glory.  This kid is a gem and college agrees with her. 

She and her father made a lovely dinner of roasted chicken and vegetables.  They called us to the table and we had trouble figuring out who was to sit where.  We have adjusted since she left and we have new places to sit at dinner.  I hadn't thought about how far we had come with letting the Queen go and live her life...but we have.

It's bittersweet, this letting go.  I am not good at it and I doubt that I will ever be.  I got a taste of the feelings welling up in my soul about my middle child at the gathering.  At the end of the weekend, there is always a church service of sorts.  It is contemporary and cool...trying to appeal to the younger set.  This service was called a "Thomas Mass" and it had areas to move and do things to appeal to all the senses. 

I went to the baptism one, where you are supposed to remember who you are and who loves you, I walked the labryinth to quiet my mind and then I wandered around.  I decided to go to the prayer station although there wasn't really anything could think about to pray for.  But, I thought, I am never going to turn down a free prayer!  I walked up to the station, and a woman grabbed my hand and asked me what was on my mind.  Before I could get my head to think, tears sprang to my eyes..."My son is leaving for college next year and I want to pray for him"  I heard myself say.  "Is he having problems that we need to focus on?" she asked.  "No, but I am just going to miss him and once again, that pain of change is going to hit me hard, I think."  My face was soaked, the snot was running out of my nose and I couldn't stop. 

She grabbed her annointing oil and made a cross on my head.  Then she started talking to God, praying for all the things I mentioned and didn't mention.  When she was done, I walked away wiping my eyes and nose and wondered where all this emotion came from.  I have been telling this boy to get moving on college apps and trying to help him understand what he wants to do and what stirs his soul.  I think I just left the other feelings because I have to or I wouldn't get out of bed.

To top it off, my youngest son is getting his permit on December 1st.  I will be sitting in the passenger seat terrified that we are going to die for the next few months.  But, its all part of the all-inclusive package I signed up for before I knew what I was getting into.

Last night, I sat on the couch trying to make a rag rug.  The Queen sat down with my son's guitar and started playing.  My middle son picked up the ukelele and joined her.  My youngest sat with us for a minute before he needed to go do something else.  The two older ones started singing and teaching each other songs and chords.  I sat there, watching and thinking about what I was looking at.  These two kids, my kids but really no longer kids...have become very decent people. 

They seem to understand life better than me sometimes...they know right from wrong and they have to make their own mistakes.  The hard part is watching them leave. 

I am not so good at that...do you think it's because I have so much work to do on me?  Probably.  And, I would rather not look too deep into me because it's overwhelming.

So, today, Tuesday before Thanksgiving, I am thankful.  For too much, too little and for solid hearts and souls of loving people. I am working...I'll go visit a few folks that need nursing care to stay healthy and to die peacefully. Hopefully, I can remember my compass and focus on what's important and not get caught up in the stuff that just doesn't matter.  Yeah...that's what I am gonna try to focus on...gonna give it a good try.

Happy Tuesday before Thanksgiving...start making the food!
We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

Monday, November 14, 2011

The best of the worst...

Over the weekend, I was lamenting to my husband how I don't make much money.  We are looking at the second of three heading to college in the fall and if I had chosen a different profession, I would be able to contribute more to the kids college fund.  Like his usual self, he started to tell me how different my job is and how that is better than money.  "No one ever runs into me in the grocery store and tells me how blessed they were that I took care of their father/brother/mother/etc."  That is very true.  Since I live and work in a small town, I will see folks that I met in the most difficult time of their lives and helped.  I know, I know.  "Remember at the cross country meet when I met one of your patient's wife and she went on and on about how you made such a difference in her life?  Remember?  There isn't enough money in the world for that kind of reward."  I thought about it for a minute and realized he was right...my job is full of rewards that have nothing to do with money.  But...

The weekend was over and I went to see one of my folks.  The patient is in bed, comfortable and dying.  The family has been devastated from the moment of diagnosis, through the treatment and finally to the decision to go to "comfort care."  I have been with this family through the last of the treatment and am with them now.  He is in a hospital bed in the main area of the house, where the family is with him as they wish.  He is comfortable, not alone and sleeping most of the time.  It is obvious that this family is devastated but also in some ways ready.  The patient seems ready.  Now it is up to the angels. 

As I sat on the couch with my feet under me like I belonged, I asked how they were doing.  "How are you guys and what else can I do to help you?"  They responded that they are okay...terribly sad but okay...and they are so glad to be home which is where he wanted to be.  They also felt like he was so peaceful and comfortable and that is what they and he wanted.  I went into my "nurse-mode" and explained all the medications and what to do and give when.  Then we began to talk about what the end will probably look like.  They wanted to know but sometimes you want to know but you don't. 

It's one of those things.  When you get lucky enough to marry someone you truly like and love, raise kids and build a life...a really good one, it hurts to see them fight for life, to hurt and then to be peaceful but knowing your moments are numbered with them.  It's the best and the worst of a life well lived.

It was time to go and let the family be.  I hugged them all harder than I should have but wanted them to know I get it.  It's hard but it's what they want to do...
to care for their loved one at home and be there until the end.  I honor them and wish them peace tonight as they spend the last minutes and hours.

So today I got to be a part of the best and the worst of life.  The best being a love so deep and long that you will do whatever it takes to make the transition to heaven what the person wanted.  The worst...watching that person leave you a moment at a time, albiet peacefully and comfortably...but never to hold you or look into your eyes again...here anyway.  It's wonderful and sad at the same time.

Once again, I hope to have the strength to be like this family...to honor and love until the very end and then some.



We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How could you not?

I am transfixed with the news of Penn State.  I could not believe that when a person sees what this "eye witness" saw in the locker room, he walked away, called his dad and then called the coach.   Sure they went up through the proper channels...sort of...but how can a person see what he saw and let it go?
Let it go and hope for the best?  I don't see it.

I thought about what I would do.  What would you do?  I hope that I would have the nerve to go right to the police...powerful or not, program destroying or not.  If I saw evil happening I hope I would go and get help, report it and not hope it goes away.

So I classify that act...what happened in the Penn State football locker room as evil.  I would think that is cut and dry.  No gray areas...adult and child do not interface in that way...ever.  But what about the other evils of the world that I ignore because it doesn't matter that much to me?  Some people think dancing is evil...drinking is evil...along with other things.

Have we blurred right and wrong?  Is it wrong to love a person of the same sex and marry them?  I don't think so but some other people do.  There are so many things that are looked at as wrong or right in our eyes...what our moral compass thinks is right and wrong.  It's interesting to ponder isn't it?

I try to be polite if I don't care for someone.  I usually don't care for people that I percieve as hurting my kids.  Otherwise, I usually don't care either way.  I always hope that things will work out and nobody gets hurt.  I have seen deep pain in people and spend time wondering why life is so hard.  But, I can also look at things and cry tears of pure joy.  I hate injustice and want it to go away. 

So back to those coaches...how, if you see an innocent boy being taken advantage of by an adult...would you do it differently today?  Would you tell the cops and follow up?  If you knew there were going to be more abused boys...the count is up to 18?  How could you not?

I am at a loss for words when things like this happen.  How can someone do things like this and destroy children?  I just don't know.  Our job as adults is protect children and do it at all costs...the cost of your job, your program, and whatever else needs to be done so someone like that never does something like that to another child...that's our job as adults...and I expect nothing less.

It is our job to protect the children.  When you see something evil...
would you report it?  Again I ask...how could you not? 

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

On Occupations...

If you have read my writing, you probably know that I stray away from politics.  I am not a very political person and just want everyone to get along.  I feel like if I earn alot of money, I want to be able to keep it, give it or burn it if I want.  I also understand the folks that need help.  I do.  I have taken care of people that have nothing...no running water, no heat and barely a house here in our neck of the woods. 

I just don't understand the "occupation" stuff.  I want to understand it...and if it is something I think will change things...I will occupy.  I am all about making things better for everyone and I pray alot for things to change...but I haven't "occupied".  I  do read alot about what is going on and know that I am not getting the real story. 

Since I am in the car alot, I listen to the radio.  If you want to know the truth, I listen to everything, left and right...to try to understand.  Probably not the best way to get my info. 

But...I had a thought.  I was reading an article about how the chefs at the kitchen in one of the "occupy" cites were mad at the homeless coming to eat the food prepared for the others and how they were going to tone down the food to encourage them to go elsewhere.  I found that interesting. 

I still have no idea what to think.  I am not going to go to Denver and stand out there with a sign.  No...I'm not.  But, tommorrow night, the kids and I will go to the Denver Rescue Mission and prep for the homeless guy's dinner and then when dinner is ready, we will serve them. 

You "occupiers" do what you  need to do for things to change and I will just do what I need to do.  For me, yeah, I want things to change...but in the mean time, I will try to help in little tiny ways...and hope for the best.

That's me on my soap box, in my warm house with dinner cooking on the stove...feeling incredibly lucky and wishing everyone who wants the same has it.  I know they don't and probably won't but in the mean time, we can try to do what we think will help, right?

I think I will put my soap box back in the closet and get back to my regular opinions...about being heavy, old and raising teenagers!  I feel like I know more about those things than politics anyway.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

We'll tawk tommorrow,
I love you all,
Terry