Thursday, May 5, 2016

Feeling Lost Without my Companion

It has been almost a week since I had to make a choice that has broken my heart very deeply.  She was more than just a friend, she was my companion.  I loved her deeply and took care of her from the moment she first came into my life.  Our first few weeks were not easy, she came to me sick and needing someone to be there for her. I was also going through a difficult time with a move right before the holidays.

Together we made it past the first year, then she was the main source of comfort for me when my daddy went to heaven. Without her I would not have even made it through the first day of life knowing that my daddy was gone, but she never left my side and was always watching to see if I needed her to come and comfort me. We did this again when my father-in-law passed away. I could always count on her to be there for me, even before I knew I needed her.

We became extremely close with each other over the years.  She was always keeping a watchful eye out for any sign of depression or stress, and when she detected even a small amount she would reach out her little hand and place it on my leg, just to let me know she was there.  If I would start to cry over anything at all, she was quick to hug me and stay close to my lap. The only thing she ever ask for in return was that I love her, and if I didn't that was ok also for she had my back 'no matter what.'

Yes, Biscuit was a dog. However, she was not "just  a dog" as many people have been quick to tell me, as my heart has been breaking, knowing that the day was coming to put her out of her pain. It was not an easy choice and I am hoping that when I see her again on the other side of life, she will know that I did this out of love and respect for all the times she comforted me.  I could not stand to see her suffer or hurt. As many times as she had been there for me, I couldn't let her down the one time she needed me to be there for her.

My heart is broken, and my main source of comfort is not here. I will always have the memories of watching her steal the girls soccer balls to play with them, and see her bounce a basketball off the end of her nose and keep going like it was nothing. When we were in Italy watching her play with her best friend and run up and down the driveway was the best. We always told people that she could bark in two languages, English and Italian.  In fact she learned Italian better than we did!

I've had other companions in my life, but Biscuit is the one that was there for 15 years, and will always be the biggest part of my adult life. She was never my dog even from the beginning, I have always been her human. It became so evident that I even became known as Biscuit's Human in several areas of my on-line and in person life. When she first came to me as a 3 pound sick puppy, I had no idea how big she would become in my heart.

I'm hoping that she has all the basketballs she can chase and herd in heaven, and more pickles, oranges, and milkbones than she could ever want. Her paw prints will forever be in my heart. I love her forever,


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Handicap placard and a Gym membership

I saw a video on TV the other day and they were having a good time taunting a very obese person for being "disabled" and then at the gym working out on a bike and a treadmill later that same day.  I understand that some people do use handicap placards when they don't really need to, however there are a few of us who do need and use them, but yes we still go to the gym and use the exercise equipment also.

As one of those persons who does have a handicap placard and a gym membership let me shed a little light on this subject.  I have the placard due to the fact that I have arthritis in my lower back (injury from basic military training), arthritis around my sternum (from a work injury), arthritis in both hips (from pregnancy) and arthritis in my tailbone (from carrying twins and things not going back into place).  I have a good reason to need my placard especially when the weather changes or it is extremely cold as every movement is painful.  This being said I have developed a tolerance for pain that would make a grown man crumble on the ground, but I do still carry on with my duties of a mother and wife.  

Now for the gym membership part of this blog.  I walk on the treadmill at the gym because it is a softer surface for me to exercise on and does not cause pain in my hips and knees.  I can also stop at any point when the pain gets to much or even just slow down a bit and keep moving.  I use the stationary bike to move my lower body when I can't stand the pain of putting all my weight on my lower joints.  Recently I have been doing some of the weight machines with the lightest weight on them to help build some of the muscle that I have lost over the last few years of "babying" my hurting joints.  This was not something that I just decided to do on my own.  I talked to my doctor and then made an appointment with a trainer to see what I could do and how to do these things safely so that I did not cause any further injury to my joints.

I have found that if I move in a safe manor it does not hurt as much when I have to just keep moving to get groceries for my family.  When I do move at the gym my joints are not as swollen at night and I sleep better, which makes me less cranky when the person next to me blocks the handicap space or parks so close that I can't get back into my car.  I do these things now when it only hurts for a few days afterward, so that I won't have to stop walking, and then possibly have to quit working, due to the fact that my joints have become so damaged from the arthritis that I am stuck in a wheelchair. 

Doesn't it hurt to go to the gym if your handicapped?  YES it does.  Then again doesn't it hurt to go to the gym if your not handicapped?  Yes if you are working on gaining your strength, it is going to hurt.  I have just decided that I want to be able to move and deal with the pain than be stuck in a wheelchair and still have the pain.  I smile and try to not to let others see how much I hurt so that I can function and do my job.  I did not ask for the joint problems that I have, so I deal with the pain and do what I can to have a normal life.  

Just because you don't see me crying does not mean that I do not hurt.  There have been times that my children have seen me cry as I try to climb into the truck after buying groceries since it took all my strength just to get through the store.  

When you only see a person's life for a few minutes, you really have no idea what is going on the rest of the day.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mowing the Yard

     It has been about 14 years since my daddy left the earth.  I know that my daddy loves me and feel that he is watching over me at times.  The other day was one of those times that I felt extremely close to him.  It happened while I was mowing the yard, which I used to love to do. 
     Daddy is the one who taught me to mow a yard a long time ago.  That was one of the things we did together.  Daddy let me come and help him when he was cleaning up abandoned properties for his friend, a realtor. Since most of these homes had yards that were very overgrown, I learned how to mow a yard with tall grass, most of the time wet at the bottom, and not choke the mower.  It was not always the most fun thing to do, but spending time with Daddy was always great.
     Our yard had gotten to the point of the dogs, three of them little, being lost in the tall grass.  It was getting hard to keep an eye on them in the back yard and there was rain in the forecast again.  I had no choice but to go and mow the yard, plus the under grass was never going to dry out.  My back and legs were hurting before I even finished the front yard and the back yard is twice the size of the front.  I was starting to take several breaks and not getting much done between them.  While sitting on the back porch, crying from pain and frustration, I had no idea how I was going to get the yard done.  I had thought about quitting several times and just leaving the rest for another day.  I am not a quitter and don't usually back down from any challenge that I come across.  Finally I sat there with tears falling down my face and thought, "Daddy please help me.  I can't do this yard without your help."  I guess he heard me because I was able to get up and do a little more this time.  I started getting stubborn and trying to more between each break, so daddy choked the mower to make me stop.  It was not the usual feeling I get when I finish the yard; however, it was the best feeling I have had at the end of an overgrown yard.
     I love my daddy as much today as I ever have.  I would never want to be without the lessons he taught me while alive and the blessings that I see in every day things since he has been gone.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Broken Hearts

This has been a very rough year for my nursing class. We lost a very dear instructor about a month ago and she is now enjoying life in heaven. This last week a classmate fell victim to a stroke and has not been doing very well. Watching my classmates deal with so much pain has been almost as hard as dealing with the loss of our instructor and the struggle of a dear friend.

This classmate is a wonderful person.  Always willing to help anyone and everyone. One lady even said that he helped her to look for an earing in the parking lot. His illustrations are of a quality that you would expect to see in a text book, and he does them for everything we were doing in class. One young lady said that they were studying together and he got up and started drawing pictures on the white board to help her understand better.  He is such a great man that it really is difficult to know that he is going through such a personal struggle.

As for the rest of my classmates, I have been very pleased at the level of caring for him and his family has reached.  I was blessed to attend a prayer vigil for him. One classmate stood up and said out loud what others were thinking and everyone came together to comfort each other and the family.  I have become very attached to most of my classmates and the prayer vigil was a visual experience that reinforced why these young men and women are in the right career field.

I know that I will never forget my senior year of college. Not only for the struggles that we have gone through, but for the fact that I have been able to grow closer to some of the best young students that I will ever meet in my life.

Prayers for our class, our instructors, our classmate, and his family.

Friday, October 3, 2014

My Teenage Girls

While I was driving to my girls school this morning. Since once again one of them left something at home that they could not live without. I was thinking about my girls and all their problems.  I came to the conclusion, I really do 
have good girls. Yes they do cause me stress when I really don't have time for it, and like most teenagers they don't help around the house very much. However when it comes to causing trouble, they don't do that.  I can honestly say that for all the years they have been in school I have not been called to the school for a discipline problem.  We have had a few meetings with the principle, and most of those have been at my request to defend my girls from others.

Both of my girls have very giving hearts and have learned that other peoples feeling are just as important as their own. Both of my girls are great at trying to solve problems between friends and others. As far as 'drama queens' they seem to save that just for me. I guess if you kids are going to show their backsides, I would rather it be in private inside my house so that others do not have to see the ugly side of them.

My girls make me proud in several ways. They are both really good at keeping their grades up and me not having to remind them of homework. They are skilled at whatever sports they attempt to play. They are growing into their adult bodies very gracefully. 

I am a very blessed mother of two girls that really are great to be around.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Christmas Suprise

When you have kids it is hard to surprise them for Christmas. With one of my teenagers this is a really big challenge.  She guesses her major gift every year without fail.  That really lets the steam out of my enjoyment when she can guess her gift after all the planning and scheming that I do to try to keep it a secret.  This year we finally got her!  True we gave her the gift a few weeks early, but she did not have time to work on us or even think that we had gotten her something. 

It was great to watch her face when she realized the the laptop she was carrying into the house was for her and not for her daddy.  Her's had been starting to not act right and had a cracked screen.  Since she uses this for homework for school we decided to go ahead and let her use it now. Since it is bright red she will remember that it is a Christmas gift by the color.

When you are a full time student and have 2 teenage daughters it is hard to feel like you managed to do something big and right for their day.  Yesterday was exactly one of those times when you know that Mom did it right!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another School Year

As we all start another year of school here at my little mortgage it has been interesting.  This year there are four students (1 Master program, 1 BSN program, 2 technology high school) trying to use the internet for homework assignments at the same time.  It has been an interesting situation so far. Last week there was a night or two that we could not even get our phones to download anything because of all the electronic traffic going over our heads.  This week is getting better but there are still challenges.

As 2 of us hope to graduate next Spring it will help with the last 2 years for the girls. I have been blessed with children who have stayed interested in school and were accepted to the technology high school. I feel that when they do get to college having the college prep courses in highschool will be a big plus for them. Our family may not have all the toys and gadgets that other families enjoy, but we do have a love of learning and reading that cannot be replaced with any amount of material things.

There are a lot of changes going on for our family. I am trusting that everything is going to work out the way God plans and that we will not loose faith while we transition. This last year of nursing school is going to have several moments of stress, fun, and difficult situations, however at the end I know I will have made some wonderful friends, learned things I could never of dreamed about, and learn to be stronger than I have been before.