Pages

Thursday, September 30, 2010

enraged about the stupidity of people

I have blogged before about how much
I love facebook for the way it helps to keep in touch
with people you normally would not be able to.
Yet it also has many negative points to it.
Yesterday I am reminded of why it sometimes can be a bad thing.
Yesterday morning HOBL calls me enraged by
a post of people finding a way to blame the parents
of the 4 teens who were killed over the weekend.
Not much enrages HOBL, he pretty much goes with the flow.
However, in this case he not only is angry but had to
leave a comment against what many others were writing.
I tell him I will read it later but he reads to me
what he posted and I am quite proud of his writings.
I am intrigued enough to, before leaving home, go and
read what some of these lunatics have written in reference
to these poor families.
Oh My God!!!!
These people have proved once again that my new famous
quote from a country song is so true.
"GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD AND PEOPLE ARE CRAZY"
Not only do I find myself really, really mad at what people
are saying there but for the fact that they can show
such little compassion for families that are suffering so darn much!
Of course, I have to post and pretty much what I say is this:
I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I AM READING HERE.
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO COMPASSION?
WHY DON'T WE JUST PUT ALL THE PARENTS IN THE
VILLAGE CENTER AND STONE THEM.
LETS NOT FORGET HOW THE STORY GOES THOUGH
LET THE FIRST PERSON TO CAST THE STONE BE
THE ONE WHO HAS NEVER SINNED.
I DO NOT BELIEVE LIKE MOST THAT THIS WAS THEIR
TIME TO GO AND IT WAS GOD'S WILL BUT I DO
BELIEVE THAT GOD ALLOWS TRAGEDY TO HAPPEN
TO TEACH OTHERS LESSONS. MAYBE THE LESSON HERE IS
COMPASSION. IF THIS WERE YOUR CHILD WOULD ANY OF THIS
POST HELP YOU IN ANY WAY? THESE PARENTS DID NOTHING
WRONG AND YOU GUYS ARE JUDGING WITHOUT EVEN
KNOWING THESE PEOPLE.
I NOW WONDER IF I HAD LOST MY SON TO DRUG ADDICTION
HOW MANY STONES WOULD HAVE BEEN THROWN AT US
FOR BEING THE CAUSE OF HIS DRUG ADDICTION.
COME ON PEOPLE...
WAY TO DEFEND THE RIERA NAME THIS MORNING, RON
PROUD TO BE YOUR WIFE THIS MORNING.
and I am proud, proud that he took the time to defend parents
because this tragedy could happen to any of us.
So I stand by my new motto:
"GOD IS GREAT, BEER IS GOOD AND PEOPLE ARE CRAZY"

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall, how I love thee...


The crisp, dry air is one I love.
Cool days are coming.
When I walk out in the morning and feel the coolness
my mind wanders back to days of having young ones.
Halloweens and leaf piles for jumping.
Early evening indoors playing games.
PJ's on by 5:30pm.
For my boys, hunting excitement fills the air.
I have never liked hunting myself but
do have the excitement when the boys go
hunting to see what a day will bring them home with.
When newly married, hunting meant a few hours each
weekend for myself as HOBL played in the swamps.
Even back then as a newlywed I treasured my
time for myself. When the babies got old enough
to hunt with their deda, it meant a few hours
of freedom without little ones in tow.
Halloween has always been a special time in the
Riera home. Each year it called for a party
in our old stomping ground of Tarpon Heights.
Some of our best memories were made at these parties.
I would make a huge chili and everyone in the family
would come and bring the candy.
Living in a subdivision of Tarpon Heights,
there were so many trick-or-treaters that
making the chili was cheaper than buying the treats.
Fun was had by all on those long Halloween nights
in a neighborhood that it was more like a block party.
Enjoy the cool days of fall because soon the
freezing winter will be here and I am sure
I will be complaining. For now, loving the Fall.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Four funerals

Four different families prepare
four individual funerals in our community
while their children will be forever linked together.
I am speaking of the tragic accident of this
weekend that took the lives of four teenagers
from Vanderbilt Catholic.
My human mind does not want to think about it,
too painful but my parent mind can think of nothing else.
Baby girl and her bestie, Meagan and were discussing it
yesterday and I shared that I do not know if I would
want to continue living if I was faced with this
in my life. It's because I don't know how you do go on.
Yeah, I can talk of my God and how God gets you through
things like that but really, when tragedy is so fresh
I am not sure this is comforting to a parent right away.
I can barely read the Comet article and just like my
thoughts I am pulled to reading every detail.
If you have teenagers or young adults, you can relate to
the beginning of the story.
Your child is going to an outing with friends.
Right at first, you are happy for them, not about to say no.
They need this new found independence, a chance to do things
on their own. Your heart wants to say no but you know
this is selfish. You are thankful for cell phones and texting
because you know that at least you can keep in touch with
your child through the whole adventure.
The four sets of parents probably watched the LSU game
excited that their child was there.
There will be no sleep for the parents as the children start
their trip home. If they were like me, they laid on the sofa, waiting.
At 1:00 am the phone call comes that they are almost home.
I believe the call was made from the driver to his mother.
I know she had to be relieved because I have been there.
Just a few more minutes and her child will walk through
the door and be filled with stories of his adventure.
The mother will be proud of him but most importantly of herself
because she went against what she really wanted to do and hold
him back. Yet, at 3 am, they still were not home.
I know what her mind went through as well as the rest of the parents
because I too have played the mind games when a child is missing
even if for a few hours. By this time she has to notify the rest of
the parents who I am sure were not resting any better than her.
They begin their own search for their babies.
Finally the police get involved and after a few hours their
vehicle is found submerged upside down in water.
All four teens are still in the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene.
I want to change this, I do not want this to be the reality these
families face these days. It is too painful.
Forever they will question, what were the last few minutes of
their lives like.
I don't want to be morbid but I will say just what all are thinking.
What did they do in those moments before they died.
Were they killed on impact, did they try and escape?
As baby girl said, what did they say to each other as they probably
felt they would be rescued.
I want them to have died on impact, I hope the autopsies shows
that there was not words spoken because they couldn't speak.
The parents and close loved ones will replay this in their heads
forever, "What were their last minutes like"
and the answers to this is enough to want to die because
they will never know.
Although there is no easy way to go on and accept this,
finding that they did not know their fate, would help
everyone involved.
BG and I spoke of how hard it was when we all lost Robert
and he was just one. Four children, four friends to be lost
at the same time, it is wrong.
I tell teens and young adults, be safe, please...
Many times I have been in that limbo that there has been
no call or knowledge as to where your child is in the early hours
of the morning. I fussed about it so much that now BG at least
sends me a text often as to where she is.
After this accident I know she will be better about letting
me know her where-abouts all the time.
I think she understands how a parents mind wonders to
places unimaginable in that short time until we know
where our babies are.
"What if they were in an accident?"
"what if someone has taken them and is hurting them?"
The games our minds play when our babies whereabouts are not known.
For these parents, 4 sets, their worst nightmare has come true.
They will not only have to attend their own child's funeral
but three others that would be the best friends of their child.
Nothing good about this and as I said earlier, all wrong.
God bless all who are affected by this accident
that ended in the very worst scenario imaginable.
God bless the school of Vanderbilt Catholic who
somehow have to teach a positive lesson to their students
knowing that there is no good in all of this.
God bless the students of the school who unfairly now
will never look at their high school years without remembering
this tragedy.
God bless the adults who somehow have to help these children
when they need help of their own to understand.
God bless the parents and the families. There is
nothing that I can write here that will not sound generic or vague.
Last but not least, God bless our whole community,
it is not supposed to happen like this and yet,
sometimes it does, unfairly.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Not prepared for a blog this AM

yep, some of my followers will not be happy with me.
I have no blog to speak of this morning.
Can you believe it?
Me with nothing to speak of on a Monday morning?
I can say this, I am very thankful
that this morning I prepare to return to work
and that, for me, makes for a good day.
If you are reading this and thinking,
"Ugh, I hate Mondays"
just remember not all of us have the option of
choosing to go out and make a difference in the world.
Make it a good one.
Love to the lot of Ya!!!
Oh wait, was just getting ready for work and
realized I do have something to say.
Never brag that finally, at the age of 47 I may
have finally outgrown the pimple stage.
I no sooner said that on Friday that this morning
I am battling 4 zits at the same time...
I so hate zits!!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

ahhhhhhhh,INSPIRE, I so love you!!!

When Scrapalicious closed, the only way I lived through that
was the fact that Ashley R. was going to open up another
scrap store. Ash was a big part of Vera's Scrapalicious
so I knew this store was going to be all I needed it to be.
Ash and I share the love for everything old, vintage and
so does Vera. Needless to say on the first week of the
new store, INSPIRE opening, I was all over that place.
When I first heard of the class that Vera would be teaching,
Up on the rooftop, I knew I would be there and I knew
exactly who I was going to treat as my dates.
I gave Meagan, one of baby girls' best friends and Abby a birthday gift
of spending time with "auntie" Lil or as Meagan calls me,
"Moma LIl"
Meg, a few weeks ago came over with this
very small picture of great grandparents she never knew.
She wanted me to first help her fix the imperfections in
the photo as well as make her Mom a really cool gift
since it was the only picture her Mom had of them together.
When this class came up I just knew this was what
Meg needed to do with the most awesome picture.
Abby has always loved crafting with her Auntie Lil.
When I built dollhouses she loved coming and help me.
Now she loves scrapbooking with me.
When her birthday came up I wanted to give her
more than just a gift card. I wanted to give her the
gift of creating something together.
What a perfect way to support my now favorite store
and play with Abby.
I can tell you this niece of mine is not in TAG art for nothing.
She took the project and made it her own
ending up with a piece of art that fit her age and
who she is as a person.
What an amazing class and time we had with Vera as our
teacher and Ash looking on for whatever else we may
have needed. Our projects came out sooo cool
and I am hoping that Leah is not reading this blog
this morning on the day of her bridal shower as this
is going to be her gift from myself.
Time spent together, always the best and this new store
will be heavily supported by me.
I am selfish in that I want Ash and INSPIRE to do awesomely well
because then I have a place to hang out and spend my money.
Even if you believe you are not a scrapper please visit.
There are many things in that store that can be used
for other things rather than scrapping.
Even someone who does not enjoy scrapping would have
loved doing this project that is on an old slate roof tile.
Meagan gave her Mother the gift when she got home last night.
She called me to say her mother was touched and cried that
she had been planning this gift for some time.
Abby and I went back home to Lee drive and because we were
so INSPIRED stayed up past midnight playing and talking.
Many times last night Abby said,
"Aunt Lil, we are so much alike"
Yes, my sweet girl and I am so so happy about that!!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Little Miss Sunshine


Nothing like waking early Saturday morning to put
the telly on and find out that
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
has just started right on Bravo that my TV was set to.
I adore this movie, Little Miss Sunshine.
It is a true picture of family dysfunction at its finest.
A little overweight girl who desires to be a beauty queen.
I teenage brother who refuses to talk.
A daddy who is struggling to keep and better his job.
A grandpa who supports all his little granddaughter wants to do.
An Uncle who is on suicide watch for wanting to kill himself
and a Mother who is trying to hold all of this family together
and make everyone happy at the same time.
Oh, what all families are made of.
I think it is listed as a comedy but so many family lessons
are explained in this little movie.
Perseverance.
They are going on a trip to give this one little
girl her life-long dream of winning a beauty pageant.
I know not one of those family members believe she has
a chance in hell yet they go on the road trip to support her.
It is so filled with life lessons that are the key to
family happiness.
It is about no matter what, family comes first.
That even in the worst dysfunction there is love
and love conquers all.
At the end of the movie when Olive begins
performing her talent and getting killed for it,
her whole family comes out and does whatever they
must do to have her get through it.
Such is my family.
Through thick or thin, we come together for all
to make it work.
When one is needing all others come to the rescue.
It is a fine showing of what families are about.
If you have never watched this movie,
please do it soon.
It will become one of your favorites.
Happy Saturday!


Friday, September 24, 2010

Damn radiation!

(this picture cracks me up, look at the ash tray full of
cigarettes in a lobby full of children with cancer, things
have changed since 1968!)
Two posts in one day.
Let me try and explain what I know so it will be
clearer to others who follow.
I have what is called
LATE EFFECTS OF RADIATION
I sometimes in my head compare it to
the atomic bomb of WWII.
Those men who were involved in that tragedy
all much later in their lives suffered from weird
medical issues and it wasn't right away that they
figured out that their issues and deaths were caused
by the radiation that existed in that bomb.
Just as those men struggled with the confusion the
medical profession had with figuring it all out,
my medical team have confusion as to help me.
Strange, strange stuff is my life.
So if the problem is not the pain I live with
in my back because of improper formation of the bones
due to radiation then it is bladder issues
because the bladder is now showing effects or
it is intestinal issues because they too have been
nuked by 1968 radiation.
The frustrating part for me is
"fear of the unknown"
if each year brings me new medical issues
and worsening of those I knew existed,
I sometimes, especially when I feel poorly,
become afraid for the future.
Doctors here are at a loss at to exactly what to do
and when I meet a doctor who seems sure that he knows
what to do or doesn't want to hear of the radiation issues,
I am leary of that doctor.
Not knowing where these issues will lead me is scary.
When HOBL and I went to Tennessee last year we
were given the best information about late effects
of radiation that we had ever received.
Yet even then it was not a complete,
"Here is what you can expect"
It was more that they were happy to see me doing
so well and that I had never had any secondary cancers
due to the radiation that was harsh in the 60's.
They explained that there are not many like me
still alive and those that are were not functioning as well as me.
Almost all suffered from chronic pain and they
would not tell me how many of these were still working.
They talked about morphine pumps and no
way of knowing what the future held.
Well, I don't do well with uncertainty.
What they did do for me is confirm that I am not crazy.
This is a true diagnosis with very real problems.
That all these back issues are more than likely due
to radiation. That the intestinal issues are directly related
to radiation that I received.
They warned me that as I got older any medical
problems needed to be looked at through the eyes of
having had radiation.
Yet, when dealing with such a rare issues in a world
that doesn't understand it, it's hard to explain.
My biggest thing is I do not want to become bitter.
I do not want to be the type of person that others don't
want to be around because they only want to talk
about themselves or wear a sour face and no one
wants to speak with them.
I do believe though that somehow I need to figure a way
to share this with others as a sign of hope.
That anything can be overcome.
I am so human though. Just like all others out there,
when I feel well, I can say:
"Yes, look at me a cancer survivor making the best
of my life"
I can share all of this as a source of inspiration.
However, when I am ill, like now, just like others,
I want to grasp at straws, I want to tell myself
that somewhere, somehow, someone has to know
how to fix this. When I don't feel well I can't help believing
that this surely is not supposed to be my life...
When I feel poorly I begin to do what all of us do,
grasp at straws, make doctor appointments all
in the hopes that I am going to find the doctor who changes
my life. It will not happen. When I feel well,
I can accept this. When I am full of pain and confusion
I want answers, answers that I know I will not get.
Why do I take this day to blog all of this personal
stuff? Because as I try and work it all out in what
it will mean to me or how I will come to terms of
acceptance, it helps me to share it with others.
Not that many out there will be able to associate or
even understand it but in sharing it, I pray
that awareness is a key.
As every other aspect of my life, through all
bad things that we have been through, I have
made a promise to share. Because I believe
that in keeping it silent and personal then it was all
for nothing.
Pray for me, pray that as I get older I can live
with the changes that will come.
Most importantly, pray for my family.
I know none of this is ever easy for them as it
seems like every year there is a new problem
new worries, new uncertainties.
Pray that answers about my future, my work,
what medically should be done becomes clear to me.
Pray that I continue with the strength that I need
to come to terms with my life.
The prayer I pray and want most out of all of them?
That I never, never become bitter or stop sharing with
others my life.
Today I am better than yesterday, for that I am thankful.

Coming to terms by getting counseling

On my second day home with a partial bowel obstruction
I find the need to explain why at 47 years old I have
so many medical issues that are so strange and so weird.
Not so much for my readers but for me.
Often when I am coming back from being out of work
people want to know how I am or what was wrong.
The story is so long and complicated.
Most doctors can't understand it so trying to explain
it to people who care about me is exhausting.
Shoot it is exhausting to try and figure it out in my
own head and explain to doctors about
late effects of radiation.
I have blogged about these issues before but have
always been very vague about what exactly is
wrong with me. Mostly because what is wrong with me
is not so easy to diagnose or figure out.
Yet as I continue to meet with my new counselor
and as I explain to her aloud exactly what I have found
out in the last 9 years since my body started showing
signs or problems, It becomes clearer to me as
to what exactly is my life.
As June, the counselor said to me,
"I have never had a client like you but from hearing
you speak I know you will make this a positive thing."
Then at the end she mirrors back to me
"I think what your biggest frustration seems to be that
had someone told you growing up this would be your life
then you would be fine with what is to come but
because it never entered your mind you are at a loss as
to go on when the physical body is not cooperating"
Well, June Oase, I would say you are a pretty good counselor.
She understands that I am not the type who will keep all
of this to myself and sharing with others is how
I handle everything in my life.
However, this problem sometimes makes me sound (to me)
like a hypochondriac to the lay person.
I have to trust that those who love me and have known me
for a long time will realize that this is not my nature
to hide behind an illness and that if I am home it is
only because there is no possible way I can be at work.
Putting my life on a limb always comes with fear
yet I know that sharing my life gives more self-acceptance
than anything else I ever try and because
I am tired of telling the story so often,
time to add it to the blog.
Lilbit of my world.... is about to become lots of my life...
Okay, I just realized this one will be too long...
I think I will break it up into two posts
just not to bore those who may not want to read
the whole story...
Read on the next post...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

baby boy lives two different lives...


Kd spent the night last night.
It was good to spend the afternoon with her
and we played scrapbooking so that was awesome.
When BFOB, Rebecca, Hughsky doo, and Miquel (Owen) visited,
extra bonus!
We laugh at the fact that sometimes baby boy
seems jealous to the fact that his momma
doesn't blog about him more.
However it is complicated to blog about BB.
You see he is very opinionated
about some things
(not sure where he get that from ;^)
and sometimes if I don't say things completely right
he must correct me or ask why I said/blogged that.
Well that makes it for complicated blogging...
Yet the boy is at work this week.
On what he calls his home of steel in the deep waters
of the Gulf of Mexico.
Even if I didn't know this I would figure it out and I
will tell you how...
Because when the BB is at his "home away from home"
he becomes a facebook stalker.
I not only wake up at 5 am to find that he commented
on many of my facebook pictures but that he is on
facebook at the same time as me.
All his comments to my pictures are both funny but
also full of his loving sarcasm that has become a part of
the man he is. Correcting his momma seems to
make him happy these days, it makes his momma
laugh sometimes, but not always.
This morning I laugh at all his comments.
The boy loves some facebook when he is at work.
We chat for some time and even though
he tries to hide his sweetness, sometimes it just
slips out...
I chat to him that his Eskimo pie and wife spent the night.
BB: "yeah I know she is up right now"
mom: "Oh did I wake her up or did you?"
BB: "she had to go pee and now she can't go back to sleep"
BB: " go hug her for me"
Okay now this is the boy I raised.
Wanting me to go to the back of the house where his
wife and Eskimo Pie lies to give her a hug from
him....AWHHH
I surely will do this when I am sure she did not fall
back asleep. A momma needs her sleep.
Thanks, BB for giving me a blog topic this Am.
Even though I don't blog about you as much
as you may like....
My love, thought, heart are always with you.
I hope you feel it most days...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

giving up on White...

( The picture doesn't have much to do with the blog, I just like it)
Don't get your panties in a bunch.
I am blogging about giving up on edible whites.
As every Monday, I find myself yesterday coaching
into the fact that this Monday will be the one that I:
"Change my eating habits"
"Not diet but change my way of life"
"give up the desserts and sweets"
"Eat healthy and exercise"
Yeah, yeah, Yeah, just like many of us
I always have to begin my positive life on a Monday.
Usually by Oprah time I am done but not this week.
I am more determined than ever.
My niece, Lisa sends me this awesome, easy to follow
food plan. Six pages of simple to follow rules
that has helped her change her eating patterns.
It is simple, nothing that any of us have never heard before,
yet when put together in 6 pages it is like an AHA moment.
As I read, I think
"Well, I can do this"
Then I begin to really read:
IF IT IS WHITE YOU CANNOT HAVE IT
What no white to the potato queen of Golden Meadow?
Everyone knows that creamed, fried, au'gratin...
potatoes, they are my favorite!!!!!
Okay so maybe I can do it for a week.
Wait... no rice?!!! Rice is the staple of a Cajun life.
What is beans without rice, oh and I can't have beans either...
Fricassee' without white rice....
Oh on to the fruits...
at least I can have some fruits, I like me some watermelon...
Yet what are the fruits to avoid?
"NO BANANAS, MANGO'S, GRAPES, OR WATERMELON"
Ugh, there goes my very favorite ones...
I write this all jokingly because what Lisa gave me is
a little gemstone. Six pages of something that any of us can do
with a little will-power and just like
it takes two weeks of continuous doing to make a habit,
it takes two weeks of not doing it to break that same habit.
I began yesterday by making a trip to the grocery store.
I leave my favorite Evangeline Maid white bread on the
shelf and substitute with 100% wheat.
I pass the vegetable crates filled with my potatoes
and place the vegetables that are recommended,
cabbage and cucumbers.
I then go to the rice aisle. The brown rice goes in
and I pet the white morsels I am so used to.
Yesterday was a good day and what did I find out?
Brown rice is not really any different than my favorite white.
Really, when eating the low-fat pepper steak I made for supper
I could not tell that there was no white rice in there.
What else?
Wheat bread still is good, especially when I spread my
favorite protein, peanut butter on it.
I am happy with the way I have done these last two days.
It really isn't so hard until nighttime comes and I crave
my oreos and milk....
but I know two weeks without it and the habit should be
broken.
Thanks Lisa, for the simple explanation of how I should be eating.
Now if i could just make the E word (exercise)
part of my new habit...

Monday, September 20, 2010

September is national cancer awareness month...

(megan Henry)
I should know that September is
cancer awareness month, but until reading a
caring bridge site I follow, I didn't know.
www.caringbridge.org/visit/meganlynn
Megan is a 21 year old nursing student who was
diagnosed with A Wilms' Tumor such as me
at the age of 15. Six years later this young woman
is still battling the disease.
She is so courageous as she continues her daily grind
only to end her day with chemotherapy.
She is amazing.
Today her mother shares some quite interesting statistics
that I feel the need to share.
CANCER IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH BY DISEASE
IN CHILDREN.
I OUT OF 5 CHILDREN WITH CANCER DIES.
3 OUT OF 5 CHILDREN SUFFER LONG TERM SIDE EFFECTS
(looks like I am not alone here, but then why are doctors unaware?)
THE US SPENDS 5 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR ON
CANCER RESEARCH BUT ONLY 3% GOES TO
PEDIATRIC CANCER RESEARCH.
Then she ends with a statement that I have never heard before
but impacted my strongly:
"WHEN YOU LOOSE YOUR PARENTS YOU ARE AN ORPHAN.
WHEN YOU LOOSE YOUR SPOUSE YOU ARE A WIDOW(ER).
THERE IS NO NAME FOR A PARENT WHO LOOSES A CHILD
BECAUSE IT IS JUST TOO UNSPEAKABLE"
So true and her words once again remind me of just
how darn lucky I am to have beaten the odds when kids just didn't survive.
HOBL and I are monthly contributors to St. Jude hospital.
If you are wondering what you can do this month
to assist in the fight, you can donate to St. Jude,
you can pray for cures,
you can follow Megan's fight on caringbridge.
Gold is the color ribbon used to support childhood cancer...
I didn't even know this,
looking for gold ribbon to wear proudly.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

waking with Gina B. on my mind...

So because Gina is on my mind, time for another
Aha Gina moment...
When the diagnosis of ALS was new, fresh
all who love her were going through these
stages of grief.
For some time there was the denial stage.
We all wanted to pretend this was a mistake.
This would have made the whole thing easier for me,
to be able for a few weeks pretend it wasn't so,
but I just never doubted that our Gina B. had ALS.
Through this time I had thoughts almost every day
that I had to be the one to explain to her that
the denial thing was not going to help her because
of the fact that this part of grief was slowing down
the medical help she should be getting.
However, how do you tell this to someone?
I was stressing big time about the meeting that had to take place.
During this time HOBL and I took BFOB and his family
to eat at one of our favorite places, the Half Shell
and who is sitting there with her little family but Gina B.'s
sister, Kia. The whole meal all I can think of is that I have
to talk to Kia. I have to tell her the dilemma I am in.
As we are leaving I get the courage to sit there and
as Kia tells me all that is happening and how maybe Gina B.
doesn't have ALS, I say it.
"Kia, don't ask me how but I have to tell you, your sister has ALS"
She looks at me and says you have to tell her.
I know, I know but how do you tell a friend you love so darn much
who is grasping for different answers than the ones she was given
that she has the worst possible diagnosis?
I share this with Kia but I now know, no matter what, I have to do it.
I believe this was on a Wednesday.
I begin praying for God to help me.
My prayers are all about please, please tell me how to do this.
That Sunday, HOBL and I decide it is time to tackle our yard.
It has overgrown from the winter and our flowerbeds need
some TLC. I am thinking it is going to be a long day but
something I love to do.
As I step out of my house with my protein peanut butter sandwich
in my hand..... yes there across the street is my Gina B. and Perry.
She jumps right out of that car and literally God planted her
in my front yard!!!
She and Perry had been looking at the house for sale across the street.
Okay, now how can you call this a coincidence....
I prayed for guidance and the Big Man planted her in my front yard!!
Still freaks me out when I think about how this happened.
I waste no time giving her loving right in my front yard,
and I tell her, " Gina we have to meet, I have things that I feel
God wants me to tell you and I am coming to your house this week
but the main thing I have to tell you right now..."
We make eye contact I am holding her shoulders,
"Gina, you have Lou Gehrig's"
She nods her head and says she knows. She is finally
coming to the realization and my confirmed words tells her it's true.
You see Gina B. and I have had so many AHA moments that we
both know the Big Man works through the two of us.
I am sad but I am also relieved because the task is finally done
and that night I sleep well for the first time in a few nights.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Unexpected plans have me up and excited early this morning



Last night I am on the all mighty facebook when I read a comment
on little Miki's wall to the effect that he is going
to the swamp with his girl to stay with his momma.
What? A swamp trip planned without Auntie Lil knowing?
Hmmm wonder if this was not done on purpose to keep me
away from the Sayra....
Oh no, this will just not do.
Right away I begin assuring that I will not only see
my nephew but the woman he is now calling his "baby"
I have been wanting to meet this Sayra since I have found out
about her and because they have now stepped up the relationship
to a live-in status, well time for some Auntie Lil loving.
So today I am up bright and early at 5am because
I am going to cook for my company.
White beans, fried fish and booyee cake for dessert.
If you are in the area, stop in.
Rosie is going to go and pick up the Mumsie for the
added bonus. Amazing how things like this pump me up.
I tell Lil Miki and Rosie to prepare this poor girl
for me... Hope they did.
My intentions? Put some food in her belly and then
find out all I need to about this woman who is so special to Miki.
After many tries and much struggle in his life,
I believe that lil Miki finally has his best chance for a happy life.
Funny how sobriety and a good, clean life are the key to finding
all the good things you have longed for in your years of living.
I always put my faith in good people.
No matter what type of trouble my little nephew has found himself in,
he always, always had the desire to "do it right".
It just didn't come as easily for him as it does for most.
I want to be a part of this newly found chance he has worked hard
to get. Can't wait to spread my words of advice to both of them...
It's going to be a good day in the Riera home...
but first, first, there is a garage sale I am just dying to get
my booty to...

Friday, September 17, 2010

A HAPPY PLATE

Yesterday was my first session with a new counselor.
I am a firm believer in counseling and not only when you are
crazy, which I may be but that is another blog...
The whole story of why I decided I needed to go to counseling
is also another blog.
Today I want to talk about Happy Plates.
As I left the counselors' office in Houma I decided to try
and get some Target action.
I find that I have been shying away from those things that
I love to do, one being shopping.
Yesterday I decide to tackle Target.
I decide to take my time, get it all in. Go in all the departments.
I don't need anything, I just want to see what is new out
in the world I have shied away from.
I find these two cute little plates.
They obviously are for little children.
However, the minute I put them in my hand a big smile
comes to my face. They immediately put me in a happy mood.
I think of how much the babies would have loved these
plates when they were little.
Shoot I think how fun it would be that when I made a
"Happy Plate" which I always do, by the way...
that this cute little monkey or bird would be there to
greet me. I carry them around the store.
I want them because they, just by carrying them change
my perspective, my thoughts.
I also walk and put them back a few times.
I am freaking 47 years old! Do I really need a silly
plate to put me in a good mood....
In the end,
monkey and birdie make their way home with me.
For $1.79 a piece I am happy to look at them.
Happiness, no where can be bought for under 4 dollars.
After all the counselor and I spoke of in the first hour
we were together, she told me one thing that really stuck
with me.
"From listening to your life story, I can tell no matter
where your life leads you, you will make it a good thing."
A compliment when I don't feel it.
Yet, my happy plates do make me realize
that I am going to be happy,
because happiness is a choice.
Happiness comes by hard work and making a conscious decision
that no matter what, we can be happy.
I ate chicken fettucini in my monkey happy plate last night.
It served the purpose I needed.
I smiled big when I made a
HAPPY PLATE

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wynonna Judd said it perfectly on Oprah

I am trying to follow the last season of Oprah faithfully.
I have been a fan of Oprah since it went nationwide in 1986.
I remember the first telecast, baby boy was a real baby
and my friend, Lisa Ortego was over visiting.
First show and I was sold.
If you know me or follow lilbitofmyworld, you will
know that I always say if Oprah would know me
Gail's friendship with her would take a back seat to ours.
Yesterday I tune in to watch the Judd's.
I am intrigued by Wynonna Judd. I always have been.
While Ashley and Naomi have always seemed "fake" to me.
Wynonna always seemed like the wayward child,
the black sheep.
On this day Oprah asks her all the hard questions and she answers.
She then says something that sounds like me.
She explains how people are always asking her why her life is
an open book? Why does she feel the need to tell the stories of
her life that are tragic? Does she do it for attention, does she
do it for the fame of it? She says she simply does it
because she sees herself as a teacher. "If something I go through
can help someone else, if in my life others can see themselves and
that they can be okay, that they are not alone, then my life
has not been for nothing."
Well, well Wynonna, we have that in common.
I do not write this blog or speak so openly about my life
for fame, glamour, or attention.
I don't like pity or sympathy.
However, I love the fact that something I may write or share
with others will bring us closer together.
I continue to do this because I want others to know that if
they experience things such as I have, they are not alone.
Very few days go by that someone does not tell me
they read something that touched them on the blog
or have said something that they have thought but didn't
know how to express it.
I want my life to be a human one and I want people to know
that yes, it is okay to have all those both positive and negative
emotions we have. We all have them just most people tend not
to share it with others.
So my life is an open book.
I continue to share good and bad because it is who I am
and in sharing who I am it makes us all closer.
I am just a little girl from Golden Meadow, Louisiana
who was given the gift of gab, the use of words
and I plan on continuing to use it until I am no longer
a part of this world, yet I hope my legacy lives on forever....
Lilliana from Galliano, who was really from Golden Meadow
who talked way too much....
who talked too much about feelings and life to the point
that I made a few uncomfortable but always tried to keep
it real the good and bad...
that is me.... a "lilbitofmyworld"

Time to stop playing hooky...

No wasn't playing hooky...
Loved too many TES lovies last week with Upper Respiratory Infections
and got myself a good case of it.
Going back to work today after missing two days.
Always hard going back when everyone else has been working.
Feels as though life has gone on without you
and you are walking into some foreign place.
Not to mention two days behind on work!!
Yet after today, all will be well again and things
will move as though you were not gone.
Such is the way when you are a school nurse.
Thankfully, I have this wonderful staff and nurses
who are able to cover for me when I am out...
Looking forward to getting back into the groove,
Froggy voice and all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Devil does exist in my world...

In my world, the devil exists.
I have conversations with others often about how I believe
and often find myself trying to explain why I believe in God
with all the tragedy in the world.
Well, I believe in my God because I know the devil exists and
I know that God and the belief in him, conquers all.
I also often say the devil is not the little red man with a pitch fork
that we picture in our mind. In my world he exists
in childhood cancer,
Heck he exists in all cancers,
He exists in the disease of ALS
and he exists in drug addiction. He exists in chronic pain sufferers.
Okay, so people question me, If your God exists and he is
soooo perfect and all knowing and can fix anything,
why does he allow the devil into our lives,
why doesn't he just cast the devil out like he did when he
threw him out of heaven?
Of course, I won't have the real answer until I face him in Heaven,
but I can tell you that in my world, I have my beliefs.
The devil, that devil he laughs as he comes into our comfortable,
magical lives and throws his weight around.
Why does he pick certain people, well he hates those who
believe and worship God.
Why does God allow it? I do believe that God has the power
to fix anything but I also believe that sometimes he allows
the devil to cast his poison because there is someone who
needs to find God and it is sometimes not possible until tragedy
finds them. You see, my God knows that in our world,
even if it looks like the devil wins God knows that Heaven
is the ultimate reward and even if the devil takes us from
this world, God always wins because Heaven is not a punishment.
It is the wonder that we should all seek.
So as the devil laughs at our tragedies thinking that
he will win us and our families, a strange thing happens.
We begin to praise God again, to find Him
to believe in Him. The devil may believe he is winning
but God knows that in the end, He will take us to
Heaven. Well, some ask, why would God take someone
who had never lost their way with God be punished?
I do not believe God looks at it as punishment but he
allows certain people to be afflicted because he knows
these such people are not only strong enough to handle
it but will make good of it. Sometimes the cross we bear
is not even about us but about someone else who has
strayed and because of watching the afflicted, they
find their God once again.
What brings me to this blog today?
I am pissed, pissed at the devil
This morning I am most mad at the ALS devil!
Yes he has my friend, Gina B. hanging on that cross
and suffering for us all. Yet she never looses her God
and that is what causes this blog....
I read a sign over the weekend:
THE CROSS A SIGN OF HOPE AND PROMISE
Yes as ALS sufferers carry the burden of this cross,
as drug addicts and cancer victims try and find health
as well as peace,
as chronic pain suffers play the physical and mental game
that exists with this condition, they carry
the cross for others to see.
They carry it for those who may not be strong enough
to carry it for themselves.
However the devil never wins.
When God allows the devil in he knows that he will
never win because if even the worst in the mortal world
happens and death is the end of the cross carrying,
He is calling us to His home, Heaven.
What will he say when those fighters get there,
I don't know but I hope he says something to the effect,
"You have done good, my child, now Rest in my home"

Monday, September 13, 2010

I wonder...

I have been spending much time lately thinking of my Kd
and the fact that because of Eskimo that she carries,
I will soon, if all goes well, be a grandmother.
Yesterday my thoughts were all about thinking
of a friend of mine, who after 10 years of marriage, found
herself going through an ugly divorce.
Although she had no
children and she knew the marriage
had to end, what hurt her the most was that her in-laws
from that day acted as though she had never existed.
They erased the 10 years she spent in their lives as though
it had never happened. She cried when she found out
that her ex-husband refused to allow
his parents to contact her and had them get rid of the
wedding pictures. Her ex mother in law, because
the pictures were so nice, just cut her out of the pictures and
saved the album......
I cannot understand how this happens and it makes me wonder...
I have told Kd and baby boy that I would never be able to
do this. I have told them that they must do their best
to assure that their relationship survives all the
bumps and bruises of life because I could never, never
have a life without Kd in it.
From the moment I met her, I knew she would be my
daughter-in-law and from the moment my baby boy made
this an official thing, she was part of us, part of the Riera family.
She will forever be my child, one I share with her real parents
but part of me all the same.
I could never live my life without her in it.
If ever they found themselves in a position that divorce was
evident, I would feel sorry for the next woman baby boy
would love. I would probably accept it because that is how I am,
I would love anyone my children love but
Kd, Kd will always, always be my daughter-in-law.
My life would be incomplete without her in it,
without her family in my life.
Not only does she love my son in the way I wanted for him
but she is my friend, we understand each other and have
the kind of relationship that we can talk about anything.
If she is every unhappy with me she does not hesitate
to get it cleared up and it would be the same if I was
ever unhappy with her.
I love spending time with her like I love spending time
with my babies and when I don't see her as often as I'd like
I long for her, like yesterday, I wished she would have
been off to eat gumbo with us.
I love that I can get her excited and "on board' to all these
family gathering antics I make up in my head like
pumpkin carving, which is coming up soon.
Erasing her from my life can never happen and so
I pray for their marriage and am so proud of how
they work on their relationship and how well
the get along. I love this girl as I love my babies
and forever she will be my daughter-in-law.
I am glad that I am not the type of person who
can erase years off my life as though they never existed.
I love you Kd and am honored that you will be
the mother of my grandchildren, I will never have
to worry about these children with a mother such as you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

the good old days


Sometimes on Sundays I like to wake up early
and watch Joel Olsteen.
He is a preacher who makes so much sense in today's world.
Today his sermon is about "It's all how you look at it"
As always, his sermon is simple but something that
changes the way you look at the complaints of the days world.
Perspective....
He goes through a list of things that could have you feeling negative
but then explains how it's all how you look at it.
For instance:
If you have only 15 dollars in your pocket then you are in the top
8% of the wealthiest people in the world.
If you have sore muscles are so tired at the end of the day,
be thankful because that means you had a job to go to.
Be thankful for the taxes you pay because that means you are employed.
Be thankful for the grass that needs to be cut, gutters that needs to be
cleaned because that mean you have a home to live in.
Be thankful for the woman who sits behind you in church who
sings loudly off key because it means you can hear.
He goes on to a list many things that are not hard to understand,
but some days hard to remember when we get caught up in
the "Poor me" attitude that kills.
He says one that struck me.
"Be thankful that you can scratch your own nose."
I think of Gina B. who has a hard time lately with this
simple task. I have pain every day.
I am thankful that I have such a great life that the
people who love me understand this and that there
are medications that can ease my pain.
Olsteen told a story of his brother who is a a physician.
At one time his brother was working 80 hours a week
to come home to 3 children under the age of 6.
He was tired but there were diapers to change, baths to be done,
bedtime stories to be told...
One day he went to work and one of his elderly patients took
a minute to ask him how he was doing, that he looked so
tired and stressed.
He shared with this patient a part of his life.
He spoke of how with the job and all the challenges of having to
do for his children had him wishing for the day that he
would not have so many fatherly duties to do.
His brother then remembered that this elderly woman had
recently lost her husband. He asked,
"I am sorry for going on, how are you doing since becoming a widow"
She with tears rolling down her wrinkled face shares:
"How I long for the days you now live.
For the pitter-patter of little feet, reading of bedtime stories,
going to bed so tired that you are asleep before your
head hits the pillow and then up in an hour to help a little
one who has had a nightmare. I would love to go back to the
season your are now living. You right now are living
your "good ol' days"
None of this was anything that any of us don't know in
our hearts to be true but we forget in the drudgery's
of living the daily grind.
Live your GOOD OL' DAYS to the fullest.
Do it for you, do it for the ones you love
and if you can't do it for those reasons,
then do it for all of those who can no longer do it for themselves.
This my friends, is our good old days