Bravery


Today was the day we laid Mama Judy to rest.  For some reason, I went to the funeral home feeling very brave.  I really thought I had let it all settle in and that I wouldn’t cry today, since I have cried a river of tears since last Saturday.  But I was not brave after all.

 

When we were all in the chapel for her memorial service, I listened closely to the preacher as he was telling us that Mama is in a better place now, and that it would be nice if we would stand up and share a memory with everyone.  Two people were brave enough to stand up and say kind words, but I wasn’t.

 

If I had been brave, I would have said she was kind.  She truly understood the meaning of unconditional love.  Her relationship with her children is a testament to that.  She once told me that her sweet Tiffany was her soul mate.  I believe that.  M ama always put her children first.  That is something I strive to do each day of my life.  Though I had to trick her into liking me, once she did, she loved me and my children unconditionally too.

 

She was an excellent cook.  Papa James used to come to our house more often than she did, but when she did come over, she brought a smorgasbord of  food.  We invited her and Kurt and Tiff to come over each time James would visit, but it was a rare occasion that they would accept.  The first time they joined us, we were going to order some pizza, but she and Tiff made baked mostaccioli (so good my mouth is watering thinking about it), a crock pot full of chicken and noodles, veggie trays, and dessert.  She cut up all the veggies and put them in the cutest plastic bowls with pictures of veggies on the sides, then she let me keep the bowls (I still have them 5 years later.)  She made some kickass apple cobbler too.  At first I didn’t know if she did it because maybe she was afraid I was a bad cook, and I almost got offended by it…until I took the first bite, then I was like, “You know, I can’t cook, so it’s good you brought all of this.”  Truth is, I can cook but DANG.  Mama could cook, and she passed that skill on to Tiffany, who by the way, is welcome to show up ANY TIME with a big ass pan of that delicious baked mostaccioli.

 

After Papa James passed away, Mama moved far away, but there was never a birthday or holiday that passed where she didn’t send a card or gift or centerpiece for our table.  She had beautiful handwriting, like calligraphy.  She was always concerned if we were not feeling well, she always wanted to know how the kids were doing in school.

 

Last year I was in the hospital for a few days and while I was there, James went out of town.  At first I wasn’t going to tell her I was in the hospital, because she would just worry, and as sick as she was, just getting out of the hospital herself, I didn’t want her to worry, but once she found out, she tried as hard as she could to get here to be with me.  She was a mom through and through, a caretaker.  She could feed you or hug you  or make sure you had anything you would need to be comfortable while you were sick.  She also passed these traits to both Kurt and Tiffany.  They are both caring and loving and sensitive to others’ needs.

 

You didn’t have to be one of her biological children to carry on some of her traits.  My husband and his brother were 12 and 14 when Mama came on the scene.  They were living with their dad like a group of bachelors with no strict rules or guidelines.  They mostly ate frozen pizzas or foods you could microwave, but she wasn’t having that.  They started eating meat and potatoes, fruit and vegetables.  She was very organized, so the bills were being paid on time, and the house was clean.  When I tell you the house was clean I mean it was PRISTINE.  Before she got sick, her house would ALWAYS pass any white glove inspection.  She always had little lap dogs, and you would never see one single hair or smell animals in her home.  There was never one crumb on the counter tops.  It’s funny now because my husband and his brother have many (what I like to call OCD) tendencies about keeping the house clean, and where do you think they got that??  That’s right, from Mama Judy.

 

I wish I had been brave enough to stand up today, but instead I sat there and told my husband what I wished I could have said.  Judy had a big heart and she always had room to fit more people in.  He told me he wished he was a better son, that he wished he had gotten close to her sooner.  We both wish we would have visited with her more.  All we can do now is carry these wishes into our lives and visit with our families that are still with us.  And we can keep our homes tidy, be giving and mindful of everyone’s birthday and holidays. The only death we are experiencing is Mama’s poor, worn out body.  The rest of her is all around us.  She touched lives, she had a big impact on so many  people.

 

I say this a lot, and I mean it.  I am a lucky chick.  I have a wonderful husband who loves me deeply, and shows it every single day.  He and his family welcomed me and my two kiddos with open arms, and we feel like we belong when we are with them.  I won’t ever forget the time I was lucky enough to spend with her, and though I wish I would have said these things today, I know she will see this now and she will know how much she meant to me.

 

Rest now Mama, keep your eye on us and we will keep up the traditions you taught us.

 

Love love love…

Les

 

 

 

 



Gloomy Gus


I have already established that I have no real commitment to this blog.  I guess if someone paid me to do it that might motivate me.  I have been a Gloomy Gus lately.  The weather is cold as balls, everyone has the flu, work is work which sucks because I am lazy and I loathe work.  My house is messy, and I hate admitting this but I can’t round up enough energy to give a shit right now.

 

My husband’s step- mother, Mama Judy is gravely ill.  I can’t even wrap my head around this because I love her so much it physically hurts.  Things weren’t always this way with me and her, you know.  When I first met her she had already decided that she wasn’t going to like me.  But you see, she didn’t know this one tiny little thing about me.  EVERYBODY LIKES ME.  True story.  I’m the person who makes people laugh when they would rather be crying, I am the one who makes you forget that you don’t like me, long enough to like me…and by then it’s too late…YOU LIKE ME. HA!

 

Everyone knows nothing opens eyes and brings people together like a tragedy.  That’s what happened with me and Judy.  In September of 2009, my husband’s big, strong, larger-than-life father had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung and brain cancer.  It was very sudden.  We lived near the hospital where he was being treated so of course we were there every possible moment.  So was Judy.  She was his dedicated wife, and she wasn’t leaving his side.  Every day after work, we took our kids to the sitter, and we made the trip to the hospital where we would sit there (kind of awkwardly) with Judy.  Every day we would ask her if there was anything we could bring to her, and she would always say no.  Every day she would thank us for coming.  I guess it was about day 7 when I finally said to her, “You don’t have to thank us for coming.  There is no other place we would be, and you couldn’t possibly keep us away.  We are family.  We love you.”  She abruptly said to me, “You don’t even KNOW me!”  I replied immediately, “But I want to.  I am trying to know you.  You are my family so I love you but I barely know you.”  Then it happened.  Right there in that waiting room…she liked me.

 

We soon discovered we were both skilled in the art of smart-assery.  We both loved our husbands very much, and we liked/hated a lot of the same foods.  We had a ton of stuff in common.  Then and there, we started calling her Mama Judy.  In the days that soon passed, so did James’ wonderful Dad.  It was nothing less than a tragedy.  My husband had moved here from his long 15 year journey of seeing the world in the military to be home near his family, and now their Patriarch had passed away.  It was a bittersweet time, Papa James knew he was dying so he said EVERYTHING.  He told all of us what family meant, he taught us that we should stick together and keep our family going, never give up.  He told us that being a step-parent was the hardest job in the world because you get to love the kids like they are yours, but they aren’t, and you have boundaries.  He realized that my husband (also named James) had a tumultuous past with Judy, scarred by arguing and misunderstandings from when he was a teenager full of piss and vinegar.  He asked that James look at things through the eyes of the man that he was now, and to let the bad blood go.  To please love Judy like the mom she was.  James did it.  He then started to love Judy as much as I did.

 

I can’t believe nearly four years has passed since Papa James left us.  I still love him, I still think of him and some of the funny things he said.  I look at Kennedy and think of how I am so thankful that in those tender final moments with him, I was strong enough to tell him Thank you.  Thank you for Kennedy, thank you for your son.   I promised to always love him to “keep our family going” and never give up when the going gets tough, and it will from time to time.  I listened intently to him as he told us that if we are ever walking alone outside and we feel a breeze blow by, that is him…talking to us.  I feel him all around us, keeping us safe in his big strong embrace.  He was a wonderful, kind man with a gentle spirit.

 

Once Papa James passed away, it hurt too much for Mama Judy to stay in their home, so she moved.  She didn’t just move, she moved 5 hours away.  I missed her so, I wished and begged for her not to go, but she felt like she needed to be far away from the memories that made her feel that loss.  She started a new life and we kept in touch.  Mostly through Facebook, but once in a blue moon we would get to see her.  It’s crazy how someone can love you like you are their own, and like they have known you all along, when you only just met 6 years ago.

 

Last year, Mama called me and told me she had breast cancer.  She never was one to go to the doctor.  She was tough…she hated doctors??  I guess I don’t really know why, but she never went, and by the time they found the cancer, it was a very long, uphill battle for her.  She fought with all she had.  She endured chemotherapy, blood transfusions, multiple hospital stays, sickness  the likes of which I would never wish upon my worst enemy.  She longed to be with her husband and knew that she could easily give up, then go home to heaven to be with him, but instead she stayed in the ring and fought.  She did it for her children and grandchildren.  She did it because we love her and she loves us.  Ultimately, she had a double-mastectomy, they removed her spleen…she did more chemotherapy…but it was futile.  The cancer was too mean.  She is a fighter, but she just can’t beat it.

 

Right now, I am 5 hours away from her, wishing like nobody’s business that I was curled up next to her in her bed, getting one more hug from her.  I wish I was in that room with her again like I was just 2 days ago, making her laugh…I even got her to dance.  Yeah…I did it.

 

 

She looked at me with her sweet eyes and said “Listen, you know I’m gonna die right?”

And I said to her, “We all are Mama.”  Then I saw a tear fall from her eye, I wiped it with a tissue and I said to her “Are you afraid?”

And she answered, “No, I’m not afraid.  I just want it to be over already.”

I said, “You know, we don’t believe in the same things, but I believe that you definitely don’t deserve what you are going through right now.  But there is still a purpose for you.  Maybe you have done all you can do in this life, and learned all you can learn in this body, now you will go on to your next life, and it will be easier.  Maybe you will be a rock star in your next life.”

Then she laughed, and said, “You think so?”

I said, “Sure.  You will be a rock star and I will be your backup singer.”

My son Karsen was in the room and I said, “Karsen can be a backup dancer.”

She said, “No, you be the star, I will be the backup dancer”  Then…she danced.  Right there in her gown, in her bed, cheeks still wet from crying only moments before…and she danced.

 

We stayed with her until we wore her out.  She was happy to see all of us, she laughed, she smiled, she ate some of the food we brought, and it was a wonderful visit.

 

It wasn’t until we were on our way back home later that night that I realized that was the last time I will probably ever see her, smile with her, and make her laugh in this life.  I try not to be a selfish person.  But I am not done loving her.  I want to go back there and make her laugh every day, I want to hug her again, kiss her face, and lay next to her.  I am angry and sad that I can’t, and I still love her to the moon and back.

 

After Mama danced in her bed, I told her, “When you get where you are going, James will be there and you won’t hurt anymore.”  I know she will be young and free again and full of life…the way she should be.  I hope she drops in to see us once in a while.  I know she will watch over all of us, her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  I asked her once if she would please haunt my house.  I told her not to scare the shit out of us, but just hang out once in a while, she said yes.  See that might sound crazy to you, but that’s just how we are, me and Mama Judy.  Once I convinced her that she liked me, she “got” me.  She always loved me and my kiddos like we belonged to her.  That’s the kind of love we all should share.

 

My mind and heart will reside with you always Mama Judy.  You are precious and wonderful.  Thank you for your love and kindness.  I want nothing more in this moment than to be there hugging you right now.  I love you to the moon and back.

 

Love,

Peaches

 

 



Important Update…


For starters..I have the best friends and family in the world.  I had an overwhelming response of support from all of you when I posted the blog about my son.  I wanted to tell you what we learned today at Shriners Hospital.

 

I will let the good news out first…NO MORE PERTHES!!!

 

 

When I initially got the x-rays from Mercy Hospital, the explanation I received stated there was evidence of necrosis of the left femoral head, indicative of an ischemic disorder possibly Legg-Perthes Disease.  Then, I got copies of the x-rays, and when you look at the left femoral head, you can see that it is smaller than the right.  To you…my readers…whom I feel confident in saying none have had a child with a previous instance of this disease, this might seem strange, and you would perhaps be able to wait to go to the doctor and see what he/she said about it.  Well…NOT ME.  Here is the best advice I can give to a radiologist who doesn’t regularly see Perthes patients…DO NOT PUT THE WORD PERTHES ON THE X-RAY READING FOR A CHILD WHO HAS PREVIOUSLY SUFFERED FROM PERTHES UNLESS YOU ARE 110% SURE THAT KID HAS PERTHES AGAIN.

 

 

 

You see…what happens then is the concerned parents of said child have a list of items now:

  • An explanation of the x-ray with the words “indicative of Perthes”
  • A copy of said x-ray
  • The GD Internet.
  • Insomnia
  • The ability to make themselves and everyone around them crazy with worry.

 

 

Turns out, the boy had Perthes in his left leg back in 2005, not the right leg as I inaccurately remembered.  I don’t know where his medical records are from that time, that was a completely different lifetime, not to mention 2 houses and a new husband and kid ago.  So when the boy said it was his right leg before, I believed him.  FAIL… it was always the left leg.  The boy also said (which I dismissed as wishful thinking) that the x-ray from Mercy was wrong because at Shriners they had him to stand up for x-rays, and at Mercy they had him lying down.  That DID in fact make a world of difference, because the x-ray they took today at Shriners looked a lot different than the one we got from Mercy.  The reason he limps?  Simple.  The femoral head is still immature, and still regrowing.  The boy doesn’t grow as quickly as other kids…hmmm…wonder where he gets that from?  That’s a mystery.

 

 

After meeting with a physical therapist, we were given a list of exercises he can do twice a day at home to improve his muscular strength in the left hip, which in turn will make his gait less wobbly and prevent him from overcompensating for the smaller femoral head with his limp.  When it was all said and done, I felt a combo of three emotions…1.)  Relief  2.)  Foolish for letting my emotions go crazy and for worrying everyone for no reason 3.)  Pissed because I feel like I was given inaccurate information.  I am already over the pissed part because I know now that my boy is fine.  No need to worry another second about it.  Nobody is mad at me, so making others worry isn’t as big a deal as I thought it was.  I don’t suffer from Munchhausen By Proxy or anything crazy.  Turns out I was a tad on the paranoid side, but I was also just trying my best to take care of my sonny son.

 

 

So for all of you who felt my pain, prayed, sent good vibes, called, got me flowers, or just sent your heart out to us…Thank you.  One big enormous thank you to all of you for your empathy.  I appreciate the concern, and I apologize if I caused undue stress.

 

 

Now I must go, I have a date with a curly-haired 4-year old.  We are going to play squinkies.  :)

 

 

With all of my heart and half of my liver…

Padinkysquink



Slacker


I admit it, I am a slacker when it comes to blogging, or anything else for that matter. I don’t want to make excuses, but here goes…I am a working mother of three. I have a full-time job and three kids at home. Turns out, those spoiled children of mine expect to eat EVERY SINGLE DAY and they also want to spend time with me. Yes, they are selfish little ingrates. All kidding aside, I need to find the time to write blogs. I have no less than 3 notebooks I am currently writing in, but speaking of ingrates…none of the people who read my blogs have access to said notebooks, so I have been gently nudged by my biggest fans to write a blog.

 

 

My son is going to turn 14 at the end of April. He is my first born, and my first TRUE love. He and I have a special bond, as most mothers share with their sons. I love all three of my children in equal, however they all bring to me their own fashion of joy/entertainment. Lately my son is the one who needs me the most. Thirteen is a tumultuous age, and he has reached this age with the lion’s share of struggle. He has had some health issues along the way. He isn’t the kind of kid who likes the attention that comes along with those issues, he is private and chooses to blend in, not stand out. He isn’t a hypochondriac as I have been accused of being, rather he tells me to chill out and stop worrying so much.

 

 

Since he was my first born, being a young mom I had many worries, some justified, some not. An example of unjustified…my fear of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) could most accurately be described as “unhealthy”. So much so that when my angel baby was about 6 months old…I went to the doctor and somehow convinced them that I needed some sort of apparatus to strap to the boy while he slept, that could monitor whether or not he stopped breathing. Believe it or not, they make such a device and it’s called an “Apnea Monitor”. Each night, I would attach this VCR sized box to my son, tethering him to it by two flimsy cords, then put him to bed and wait. Wait for what you ask? Well I was waiting for modern science to prove that I was not paranoid, and that my son actually stopped breathing in his sleep. Turns out, the monitor wasn’t all that accurate, so when the boy would move around, even in the slightest way, the damn thing would go off. It didn’t have a volume adjustment knob, and it was designed to wake you up in case of an emergency…and let me tell you IT WAS LOUD. The only way to make it stop, I found, was to wrap it tightly in a couple of towels and blankets, then take it outside and place it in the trunk of my Dodge Stratus until morning when the batteries went dead. It was then that I decided to try to be less paranoid and really only take him to the doctor when I REALLY thought something was wrong.

 

 

When he was 3, I noticed that he was (aside from being very portly) having some breathing issues. He would run to me while we were playing, and I noticed his lips were blue. So I loaded him up in the car and took him to the doctor again. The doctor actually found that he had a heart murmur. We then went to a cardiologist for a series of tests on his heart. It was there that we learned he had a bicuspid aortic valve. In other words, instead of the three “flaps” that open and close, his aortic valve has only two, leaving an opening in the valve where blood can dump back into his heart when it is supposed to be pumping out. This can be a life-threatening issue, however so far his has not been. He has to go back to the cardiologist every 3 years to monitor the issue to make sure it has not grown or changed, the danger is that, if strained, the valve could rupture, and that would be bad news. So far he has no restrictions and has had no side effects or medications for this issue.

 

 

When he was 4 1/2 – 5…he complained that his leg hurt. He began to limp to compensate for the pain he felt in his right leg. I loaded him up in the car and took him to the pediatrician. They dismissed it and said it was “growing pains”. I believed them. But it kept on for 6 months and wasn’t getting any better. My wonderful parents-in-law told a friend who knew a friend who was a Shriner, and told us about Shriner’s Hospital. Lucky for us, there is a Shriner’s Hospital right here in St. Louis, so we got an appointment and went. We found out that he had a disease called “Legg-Calve-Perthes” in his right leg. They showed us the x-ray of his hips, and it was plain to see that the top of his right femur was gone. Not smaller than the left, but GONE. This disease consists of lack of blood flow to the femoral ball (ball-shaped cartilage at the top of the femur that fits directly into the hip socket) causing the femoral ball to go through necrosis (dissolve), then the blood flow gets “turned back on” and the femoral ball rebuilds itself. There is no rhyme or reason to it, the scientific community is seemingly baffled by it, but it’s very real. The treatment for this disease can be as drastic as surgery, and as easy as a removable cast that keeps the femur inside the hip-socket, so that when the ball starts to reform, it takes the nice, rounded shape (like a jello in a mold) of the hip socket. We were lucky, we didn’t have to endure surgery. We were given a removable cast for both legs, it kept his legs apart using two metal bars and he was in a “split” – legs spread wide apart, and he was confined to a wheelchair for just over a year. He had to do everything in the brace. We were told not to let him walk one step outside of the brace. He was not allowed to walk, much less run, jump, or play on the monkey bars (his most favorite thing). Each month, we went back to the hospital for x-rays, disease monitoring, physical therapy (which we also did twice a day at home) and the prognosis was good. By the time they actually found the problem, his femoral ball was pretty much pulverized, which meant we were on the downhill part of the process, regrowing the bone. It was not easy, but is was not as hard as it could have been. Lifting the wheelchair in and out of the car, making a 5 year old do physical therapy exercises twice a day…it wasn’t cake. We took the wheelchair in for show-and-tell and all the little kindergartners clamored to be the one who got to help him each day. He spent all summer in the brace, he had suntan lines on his legs from the straps. While all the other kids played on the playground and swam at day camp, he sat in a wheelchair and watched. In efforts to find something he could do from the chair, I bought him art supplies, markers, books, puzzles…but what he wanted was a Gameboy. I succumbed to the pressure and got him one, and now he is a gaming fool to this day.

 

 

He was done with the whole thing by the middle of first grade. I look back on it and think “How did we ever get through that??” The answer is…we just did it. At the end of the visits when we were told he could run/jump/play again, we were told that this disease could reoccur bi-laterally, meaning it could happen again in the other leg, but he would be out of the woods by the time he was 12 years old. What a relief! We made it through a very tough time, and now we know how to count our blessings and be thankful for what we have learned. The doctors said he would probably still have the habit of limping, probably more noticeable when he is tired, but could have unrestricted play. That was the best news ever. I remember the day we WALKED together into his school in first grade. His teacher cried, I cried…it was quite a memorable day. No more wheelchair! I can never thank Shriner’s Hospital enough for all the wonderful things they did for us. Each time we went, he got a toy, and one for his sister. Believe it or not, they thanked ME for coming to them. They told us that without us, their philanthropy goes to waste. I didn’t pay one cent for any of the treatment he received. I watched him walk (more than any other mom watches their kid walk) like a hawk until he was 12, probably a little longer. Just to be sure we were done. He made it!

 

 

I still take him to the cardiologist every 3 years, so far he has not had any bad side effects from the heart murmur. He was diagnosed with ADHD without hyperactivity in fourth grade, which he takes a low-dosage of daily medication to remedy, and it seems to be suiting him just fine. He is short like me, and funny like me. He wears his heart on his sleeve and wants to be noticed, but doesn’t want to pursue anything because then people expect shit from him…like me. So this past holiday season when I started to notice him limping, I thought that he was tired, he had been staying up late a lot and when he is tired, he goes back into that old habit of limping like when he was 5. I asked him about it and he said that his leg had been bothering him, but he slept on it funny, so he kind of dismissed it. I thought to myself, “SELF…don’t be paranoid. He is out of the woods now, he’s nearly 14, and there’s no way he has Perthes again.” But just to be safe, last Monday I took him to the doctor to have a hip x-ray. You know, you never can be too safe. I admitted to the doctor when I was there, it was 90% paranoia on my part. The doc said he would go ahead and do it, and he also did a bone-density scan on him to see how tall he would be when he stopped growing.

 

 

Doc called me on Taco Tuesday, I was cutting up chicken for tacos and he said “We have some good news! From the bone density scan, we determined that he will grow to be 5’9″ tall!” Now I know that might not sound very tall to you, but I am 4’11”, so that’s what the boy is up against. It sounded awesome to me. Then he said, “Now we have some not-so-good news.”

 

 

My heart sank.

 

 

I can’t tell you exactly what the doctor said, because I stopped listening after I heard “…in the left femoral ball, persistent with symptoms of chronic Legg-Calve Perthes Disease…”

 

 

He has it again.

 

 

I think the only word that came out of my mouth was “FUCK”. Does that seem immature or unprofessional to you? It did to me too, in hindsight. But no other words could form in my mouth. Immediately in those 20 seconds, all of the following thoughts went through my mind:

 

 

He is supposed to be past this, he is almost 14!
How am I going to tell him?
I hope they don’t put him in a wheelchair again!
I don’t know if I can do this! <-selfish
I am selfish…how can I think of myself?
My poor son. How is he going to handle this? AGAIN??
Another year of Shriner’s visits, 1 day every month, all day long.
I am going to lose my job.
I can’t send him to school like this.
I can’t believe this.
I can’t believe this.
I can’t believe this, it can’t be happening.

 

 

Those were my thoughts. My only word was “FUCK”.

 

 

I somehow mustered up words to ask the doctor to send the test results to me via the hospital messaging system where I can log in and view my children’s medical records. I needed to read it, and be able to make sure he said what I think he said. I thanked the doctor, (whom I am always very candid with, and he with me…so he was not offended by my reaction) then hung up. I told my husband. I called my ex-husband. I lost it and started crying. I told his grandparents who were at my house for Taco Tuesday. I cried some more. I tried to log in and view the results, but the system was jacked up so I had to call customer support. I was still unable to view the results. I cried. His father and I decided not to tell the boy about the news yet. We decided we would try to get an appointment at Shriner’s, then tell him there together when we have a prognosis and a plan.

 

 

The next day, the doctor sent me the results, and as much as I tried to deny it, it’s real. I went to the hospital and got a copy of his x-ray…then I came home and looked at it…and boy was it real. I called Shriner’s and made an appointment. We are scheduled to go in this Thursday, two more sleepless nights and one more workday.

 

 

When I got the x-rays (they are burned onto a CD, they no longer do films) my husband made a copy for the ex, and he came over, and together we told the boy. He seemed to handle it better than I thought he would. He was in denial a bit, thinking that the x-ray was inaccurate because of the way he was resting on the table…but when his dad left, and the reality set in…he cried. He doesn’t want to do it again. He offered to have surgery, anything but the wheelchair and the brace. I felt helpless. I still feel helpless.

 

 

Since then, I have done the opposite of what I should do. I have gone online and read every piece of literature I could find regarding Perthes Disease. From what I have seen, there are only two ways in which the prognosis is not good. One – the patient is female (all clear there). Two – the patient is over the age of 10. I have read virtually nothing anywhere showing a case of Perthes in a person over the age of 10. Chronologically, he is almost 14, physically, he is 11 1/2. I have read that by the time he is 50; he will likely have hip-replacement surgery, likely in both hips. He will almost certainly have osteoarthritis in both hips. I haven’t shared any of this with him, because there is no need to worry him with it. My M.O. now is to get to Shriner’s and find out what we are dealing with, then put one foot in front of the other and march forward. Just like last time.

 

 

So, there it is. I wrote something. I am sorry if I didn’t make you laugh, but this is what is on my mind for now. I will post updates as I get them. In the meantime, hug your kiddos. Support them in whatever they do, and be thankful for them and for their health.

 

 

Until Next Insomnia…
Padinkydink



National Tragedies and God


We can certainly all agree that the events that took place on December 14th in the town of  Newtown, Connecticut are horrific, inexcusable, and represent the most epic proportions of tragedy and sorrow.

 

Some people are saying we should just spend this day loving our families, being thankful they are still here with us, and lifting our hearts in prayer or empathy to the families who can’t be with the ones they lost in the gruesome school shooting.  We shouldn’t evolve this disaster into a discussion about protocol, just spend the day in bereavement and being grateful if we aren’t among those who are enduring the stinging ache that is surely felt by those who have suffered a loss to their community.  I agree, we should ever be aware of the idea that this life is fleeting, and spend all our moments with our children in reflection that this could all be over in one flit of a butterfly wing.  In only an instant, everything can change.

 

With that being said, rest assured that there will be a time in the not-so-distant future when the survivors of this horrific day will rise up and demand justice.  The perpetrator took the cowardly way out, so there will be no judge or jury.  The survivors will begin to wonder “what could have been done to prevent this?”  And from there I predict a pursuit of changes in legislation.

 

What we can’t all agree on is what we can do to try to ensure violent acts of this nature don’t happen in our towns to our children in our schools.  There are several popular theories that I have read about since the onset of this tragedy, which took place only 24 hours ago.

 

There is the theory that if we allowed God into schools then this wouldn’t have happened.

 

Joshua 1:9 :  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

 

Instead of turning this tragedy into a reason to try to change laws and public schools into a place where Christianity is forced upon even those who don’t believe in it, read and know your bible.  You don’t have to enforce unison prayer at school in order to have your God present there.  If you believe He is there, then He is there.  Your entire religion is based on the faith that there is an ever-present entity guarding you if you pledge your faith and abidance with your religion.

 

When you have faith in God you have the belief  that through your faith all things are possible, and that the Lord GOD is always with you.  So please, I ask of you, just as you ask many to consider your faith and belief, for a moment, please also consider the facts.

 

These definitions were taken directly from www.dictionary.com:

 

 faith [feyth] noun

1.confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.

2.belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.

3.belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4.belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5.a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.

 

be·lief -[bih-leef]-noun

1.something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

2.confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3.confidence; faith; trust: a child’s belief in his parents.
4.a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

 

fact-[fakt]-noun

1.something that actually exists; reality; truth: Your fears have no basis in fact.
2.something known to exist or to have happened: Space travel is now a fact.
3.a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true: Scientists gather facts about plant growth.
4.something said to be true or supposed to have happened: The facts given by the witness are highly questionable.
5.Law. . Often, facts. an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence.  Compare question of fact, question of law.

 

The Facts

The fact is, not everyone shares the same beliefs.  There are many people and families who are leading good, positive lives and show their children the ability to differentiate between right and wrong, and they do it all without the guidance of an entity.  Another fact is that we live in a nation where we are afforded the right to freedom of religion.  When you insist on enforcing laws where prayer is demanded in schools, you are infringing upon the rights of those who don’t share your beliefs.  Another fact is, you are free to share the teachings of Christ in your home or at your place of worship, and you don’t have to publicly bow your head, drop to your knees, or fold your hands and close your eyes to have a word of prayer.  Another fact, if your child prays at school, he or she will not be expelled.

 

More facts:
On Friday, December 14th, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza (shown below) allegedly shot his mother in their home with her own gun.  At some point that morning, he adorned himself in black clothing and armed himself with two 9mm handguns and an AR-15-type rifle.  He then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School, entered the building then killed 20 children and 6 adults before committing suicide.
 
Adam Lanza

 

My Belief:
This was done with undisturbed intention.  This assassin didn’t care if he walked in during the school announcements.  He didn’t care if he walked in during the Pledge of Allegiance.  He didn’t care if he walked in during the school prayer (if it was allowed).  He made the choice to kill a lot of innocent people.  He took his mother’s guns (which she bought and legally registered) and performed heinous illegal acts with these weapons.  He disobeyed gun control laws and had no regard for human life.  Praying would not have stopped this reign of terror.  If  God was in their hearts, He was there with them that day, and He is with them now and with their families still.

 

If  you have religious faith and belief, you may struggle with your faith or beliefs in a time like this.  You may ask yourself  “How could God let this happen to these children?”  Then you might say it was because God wasn’t allowed into schools.  To be very blunt, I call bullshit.  If you believe in God then you believe He is wherever you are.  He doesn’t ask to come into your home, you ask Him to come in.  If you are at the mall shopping, or at a theater watching a movie, or at school, there isn’t prayer on the loudspeakers to let you know He is there with you, you brought Him in with you inside your heart and mind.  It is common for Christians to believe that whatever happens is a part of His design, and some will say this is His way of saying we should pray in schools, and to you I say you are really reaching.  Whatever man-made structure we may enter, we bring our heart and mind in with us, just like the crazy person with the guns.

 

No entity could have prevented this horrific act of violence, to put it simply – Crazy is Crazy.  Lunatics can get their hands on guns, and they don’t care about laws or if you believe in God, because your faith doesn’t shield you with armor.  Living a life guided by the principles of your faith has much more to do with where you will spend your after-life than protecting you or your children from people who want to do you harm.

 

So just for a second, please try to put your religious beliefs aside and have a real chat with your kids about the facts.  There are people in this world who want to hurt other people.  You can’t always be there to protect them and neither can God.  As they mature, your children are sometimes in places where you can’t be with them.  You can’t keep them holed up in your house and sheltered from this world forever.  It is your job to instill in them the values and know-how to survive as adults.  They have to have the tools they need to survive LIFE.  Teach them not to be afraid, but to be always aware of their surroundings.  If they are old enough to understand the details from the events that are happening every day in this country, then talk with them about it instead of insulating them from it.

 

I understand the inherent need to protect your babies, no matter how big or little they are.  I have three children.  My son is 13, my oldest daughter is nearly 12, and my youngest daughter is 4.  In the wake of the events of yesterday’s events, I did two very important things with my children.  First, I hugged them all tightly (as I do every single day and at every single opportunity I have).  Then, I had a REAL discussion with my oldest children about what they think they might do if they were faced with a scenario such as the massacre that took place in that elementary school yesterday.  I am a matter-of-fact purveyor of knowledge and fact to my kids.  I don’t bullshit around with them and shield them from the events that take place in the world.  I explain to them in a way they best understand that there is evil, and they need to be aware of it.  I don’t scare the shit out of them, I talk to them.  Needless to say, I don’t really have a way to tell my 4-year-old anything about yesterday, I just have faith that the child care facility I have chosen for her has used the proper preventative measures to protect her, and I believe they have a secure facility and have taken many precautions against intruders.  And I don’t KNOW that there will never be a time when she isn’t in eminent danger, but I hope she never is.  What I can’t do is quit my job and hold her in my arms all day long, neither can my husband, even though deep-down we know it is literally one of the only ways we can shield her from the harmful world we have around us.

 

I know this is just a rant, but I just couldn’t sit still and not say a thing, this is on all of our minds.  Please feel free to comment on this blog and share your views.  I want to know what you think and feel.  Make Swiss cheese out of my story, do your best to shoot holes through my theories and beliefs.  This world would be a boring place if we all did things the same way.  I wish there was a way we could all be peaceful and kind, but sometimes you have to stop hugging one another and protect yourselves.

 

With all my heart…

 

PDNKDNK