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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Just when...

JUST WHEN I WAS GETTING COMFORTABLE WITH
THE LOSS OF GINA...
JUST WHEN I MADE ARRANGEMENTS TO HANG OUT
WITH FRIENDS MORE OFTEN...
Ann and Moody both could make this evening with me...
Just when My besties, minus Tanial came up with
a night that we can all meet for supper and visit...
Just when I reconnect with Laurie and her children again
because I realize they have grown/are growing up
without knowing me...
Just when we reminisce about high school and
what is going on in all of our lives, where we
discussed the "old days" and HOBL and Moody remember
working with Laurie's dad...
Ann and I catch up on the grown kids antics...
Just when I get to again let this girl Lindsey know
how much I value her friendship and want to be
a big part of her life...
Just When they all pull out of my driveway with promises
to do this more often because we all enjoyed it so much...
... I get the text from another dear friend, Kim
who lets me know that our wonderful friend, Jade
has passed after only a few weeks on hospice
from the dreaded devil of a disease called cancer.
Yes I am angry, all she wanted, all she asked for
was one more Christmas with her little children.
Yes, I know it is my way to understand that was not
to be and eventually I will come to accept this.
But today, today, I have given my self permission
to resort to the "CHILD WITHIN"
and be sad that this girl, the way I remember her best,
is gone and I am mad...
because one more Christmas with her babies just didn't
seem like a lot to ask for.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Another weekend...

I've not much to blog about this weekend except to say
it will be quite a busy one.
I have grown accustomed to sitting outside in this
beautiful fall weather each afternoon and read
my Daily Comet. It could be considered a form of stalking
as I watch the comings and goings of my neighbors.
Something happens when you sit outside, neighbors
actually come over and chat or talk loudly from their
homes. I have this cute young couple who live directly
across from me. They have a one year old little girl
and watching their little one brings back
such wonderful memories of the growing up years
of my babies.
Yesterday the tyke is dressed in the cutest little
green Tinkerbell costume and when she get out of the car
she runs to her front yard where her grandparents have
put up these huge yard decorations for Halloween.
I know it was the grandparents because that was another
stalking afternoon when I watched them prepare for
their little granddaughters' return from day care
to surprise her with the Halloween decorations.
Both of the parents are nurses at Hotel Thibodaux Regional
so we have lots to discuss when we do speak.
Yesterday they take a few minutes to speak with me.
I also got visits from Donna, my right hand neighbor and
talks from Joe and Lori who live across and to the right.
Spoke with my left hand neighbor when I went into the backyard.
I love living in a subdivision.
There is always someone to run to if you need and egg
or any other ingredient you find yourself without as you
cook. It is one of the things i will miss when we find our
dream lake house....
Cool, crisp weather.
Get out there and visit your neighbors.
Happy Weekend, a busy one for the Riera's.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

May we all leave a legacy of Godliness as Gina B. did


I am not one who panics, really, I don't
so it is known with people who I am close to that if
I panic then you should be worried.
Yet tonight, as I made my way to Gina B.'s
memorial service I was feeling panicky.
It all went away as I noted
the traffic jam on my way to Thibodaux Family Church.
Literally hundreds if not a thousand people were entering
to pay their respects to the wonderful person of Gina B.
I jokingly have said many times to my religion teens
I taught that when I died, I planned on leaving a legacy behind.
I wanted a packed church and people remembering me
for a long time to come.
I said this in a joking manner but have strived to have
my life be thought of as someone who tried to live
in the way of the Lord.
I was overwhelmed with the fact that my Gina B.,
she did just that. This one person, this one amazing
person left a legacy and if one person can touch this many
lives in 54 years of life, then as Rev. Bland said,
just think if we all strived to do just that.
We could wipe out crime, injustice....
Amazing is what this night was, amazing!
I love my Catholic faith, all about it and
yet I must give kuddos to the church of
Thibodaux Family Church.
They celebrated Gina B.'s life.
Each of her children, her siblings, anyone in her
immediate family who wanted to share did.
It was a true celebration of a life well lived.
I felt a love for each of the people there especially
my wonderful friends from TES.
I left there with the feeling that I want to do more
in His name. I left there no longer being sad for the
loss of my dear friend because once again I was
reminded that her job here was done.
Life, even in death is good.
I will miss her, my Gina B. but all the good she did
in this world lives in each of us who gathered in her name.
It has been an honor to be her friend.
I pray I can be half the disciple that she has been, not
to preach and lecture
but to live my life in a way that shines Godliness.
I have lots of work to do and as I said to a few friends today,
If Gina B. did not go straight to Heaven, then we can all
stop trying....

TODAY IS THE DAY..

Today is the day that we pay our final
respects to our dear friend, Gina B.
She donated her body to science,
why? Because she is just cool like that.
Gina B. continues to give even in her death.
If any body can put an end to ALS it
will be our Gina B.
She also continues to give comfort to us
as we try to figure out how we go on without
seeing her when we want to.
Yesterday, while waiting for some of my school friends
to get here there is a ring of my doorbell.
There stands, Becky whom I did not know, holding
a most beautiful small vase of flowers.
I can tell at first that she in not sure what to say.
She goes on to explain that I don't know her
but she reads my blog and she promises that
she in not a stalker but that she and myself
had a mutual friend in Gina B. and
she just felt the need to seek me out and meet me.
Now this is the most special gift and I just know
that my friend in Heaven had something to do with this.
Becky M. came on in and we talked about the blog
and our friend and I know Gina B. was smiling.
I sent Becky home with a hug, promises of a new friendship
and banana nut bread, of course.
Then my school friends began showing up.
Oh I was happy, those that could make it were
Mel and her babies
Patricia and her babies
Michelle and Amanda
Sandra, Monique, and myself.
TES was asked by the family for us to
come up with a portion of Gina B.'s eulogy.
Because we had plans to celebrate her life today
we sat down to reminisce.
I took out one of my journals,
the one I was writing in when Gina B. was diagnosed
and I had forgotten that in that journal I had taped
daily devotionals that Gina B. used to send us
via email.
I randomly opened the journal and there was
our Gina B.'s words..... we cried and laughed that moment
as I read it aloud.
Still giving comfort to us from a far better place.
What a wonderful evening, we must get together,
take time for friends more often.
The icing on the cake,
Cam stopped in for a second, she had invited
me to a wine gala and although I couldn't make it
she stopped and ran in to say Hi anyway.
Friends, I cannot live without them.
A staple in my life just as my family is.
As important as air and water.
Thanks to all who made my grieving a happy time.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It is what we are called to do at moments like this

What started out as being just a few school friends I miss
to come over this afternoon has turned into a group of
people who will gather at my home this afternoon
for friendship, to celebrate the wonderful life
of our dear friend, Gina B.
It is what she would want, she would want us to
all comfort each other, hang out and remember
all the funny things that have happened to us
with her over the last years.
So this afternoon a group of us are going to
gather for coffee, soft drinks and snacks that I am going
to bake because we need this.
It is the beginning of a new lease on my life that
I have been planning. Even before Gina B.
left to call Heaven home, I had decided that a new
calling I have is to be responsible to spend more
time with the ones I love even if it means
that I cook and have them to my house.
We, in the busy, busy world have lost the talent
of just slowing down to spend time with people.
I remember as a little girl that on any given day
after school my home had visitors.
My dad always had a pot of coffee ready and started supper
at about 3:00pm so if you were still there when
supper was cooked you ate supper too.
Our home didn't need an invitation to visit,
everyone knew you could come anytime and people came.
There was no reason not to, homework was simple enough
that kids could do it on their own and it wasn't so much that
it took hours to do. There was no Biddy or soccer practice
to drive your children to and if there was something after
school that your children had to attend, it was safe to leave
them there alone until it was time to pick them up.
The world has changed but I am about to change another
part. I want my home filled with people and family that I love.
If I am not able to return to work after all of this is said and done,
My home will have an open door policy as my family home did.
No call needed, I am going to have some type of flag system going.
If you ride by and the flag is out, you can stop,
If the flag is not out, not a good day to visit.
I have a new mission, a new calling and it is a selfish one.
I need people, always have.
So today we gather to celebrate the wonderful life of our Gina B.
If you are reading this and thinking,
"Well I wasn't invited" you are now.
Come by even if just for a minute because today, all are invited.
An open door today. Some days I may have more intimate
gatherings but today, our dear Gina B. would want us to gather
and laugh and that is what I am planning.
See you guys this afternoon and don't say no,
life is way, way too short!!!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AN ANGEL TO WATCH OVER US

My dear friend, Gina B. passed away last night
surrounded by loved ones and I hear she went peacefully.
Our miracle has happened even though it is not the
one we wanted, God decided our love had suffered enough.
He knew our Gina B. was more than ready for a straight
pass to Heaven. Kind of like American Idol, she
got her gold ticket straight to Heaven.
Yet today it is comfort I am looking for because
our loss, her family's loss, all those who loved hers' loss we
cry because although we know Gina B. is in a better place
standing by the BIG MAN himself, knows all the mysteries
of the world now, we understand that until we are called
to Heaven we will not see her and that makes me really, really sad.
So today I share with all of you words from
SIMPLE ABUNDANCE BY SARAH BAN BREATHNACH
...TODAY WILL BE TOUGH FOR YOU.
YOU MAY NOT WANT THE NEXT MOMENT TO SHOW ITSELF,
TO REVEAL THE TWISTS AND TURNS OF LIFE'S MYSTERY.
BUT AT LEAST YOU HAVE IT, YOU STILL HAVE LIFE.
A CHOICE AS TO HOW YOU WILL LIVE THIS PRECIOUS DAY.
DON'T WISH IT AWAY. DON'T WASTE IT.
FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT'S HOLY, REDEEM ONE HOUR.
HOLD IT CLOSE. CHERISH IT.
ABOVE ALL, BE GRATEFUL FOR IT.
LET YOUR THANKSGIVING RISE ABOVE
THE DIN OF DISAPPOINTMENT-OPPORTUNITIES LOST,
MISTAKES MADE, THE CLAMOR OF ALL THAT
HAS YET TO COME.
AND IF TODAY IS SO HORRENDOUS
THAT THE GIFT DOESN'T SEEM WORTH ACKNOWLEDGING;
IF YOU CAN'T FIND ONE MOMENT TO ENJOY,
ONE SIMPLE PLEASURE TO SAVOR,
ONE FRIEND TO CALL, ONE PERSON TO LOVE,
ONE THING TO SHARE,
ONE SMILE TO OFFER,
IF LIFE IS SO DIFFICULT YOU DON'T WANT TO
BOTHER LIVING IT TO THE FULLEST,
THEN DON'T LIVE TODAY FOR YOURSELF.
LIVE IT FOR GINA B.
With much love to all who loved her,
to her family who I feel the need to thank for sharing their
precious gem with the rest of us,
to all my friends who are hurting as I am,
I love you and we all know Gina B. would
want us to remember the good times, not
these last few months.
I, for one, have many, many better memories to
remember my dear friend.
Make today the best you can!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A NEED I HAVE

I have this need lately to spend time with friends
before this surgery.
Today I head to breakfast with Kim V. before
she goes to work at 10:30.
She and I have tried to get together all summer
and it just didn't happen through no fault of either of us.
Today I make the trip to her house this morning
because I know after surgery I will be tied down to the house.
I have not stopped there.
I have also made plans for my besties to come and eat
supper with us on Saturday evening.
I have spoken to Ann and Laurie and will get in touch
with Tanial today.
I have made arrangements to have my other friend,
Cathy who used to work at my school to come
and have coffee and dessert after work tomorrow.
Now I am working on Wednesday.
Wednesday my plans are to have Becky C.
and Mel T. and her children to come for coffee after school.
Oh and had to add, Patricia and her kiddies to my Wednesday list!
There are so many more that I would like to arrange time for
like my Cam and her sis, Lea but time is running short.
On our day to Baton Rouge with Mumsie on Thursday
my sista's and I were talking. They were saying
the older they get, the less they spend time with others
as they are content with alone time spent at their house.
I am not happy with just this.
I love my alone time and can always be content
hanging out with myself but I also have a need to
be and spend time with good friends, people who are
important to me. Family is so easy to spend time with
but friends, friends take a little more effort so I am
making that effort and hoping that it happens this week.
In that way, I will go into surgery feeling complete.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I HAVE OBSERVED:

... While on baby girls' 21st birthday party...
That although Drago's in a very nice restaurant
and their char-broiled oysters are to die for...
and part of the Cleveland Browns football team was
at a table very near to us...
Nothing can beat an old fashioned
luncheon meat "smash" sandwich on Evangeline Maid bread
and chocolate covered donuts from Walmart.
That is all.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

WITH MUCH SADNESS

(Jade is 5th from left bottom row)
One of my childhood friends, Jade Cheramie
is dying from cancer.
It is all I can think of this morning as I just
received an email from another friend, Patrick
giving me the latest update.
This cancer is her second bout of cancer having beat
breast cancer a few years ago and having a recurrence
just a few months ago.
Jade was one of my first elementary school friends.
Her sister, Janelle and my sister, Rosie were friends
at the time also so it made for many hangouts.
She also lived in the back of the street where
my Aunt Jeannie lived so if we went by my aunt,
I could go play by Jade.
Jade had some of the very best slumber parties.
We spent many a nights up all night hanging out
with friends and laughing at her house.
She now lives in Florida with her husband and
two young children, only 12 and 7 years old.
She is now off all cancer medications and now home
with hospice and a morphine drip to help her pain.
Please keep her and her family, especially her little children
in all prayers as I am not really sure how a Mother
says goodbye to her babies in this way.
My heart is heavy this morning....
and all I can think about is this one night when she
came sleep at my house.
We were in my sisters bedroom and we had some type
of board game, a monster type game and we made up
the rules as we went along and laughed and laughed
so much the whole entire night.
It is so very vivid in my mind because it was the very first
time I was ever able to stay up until 3 am.
This wonderful woman has always been an optimistic
individual and does not deserve this at the age of 47
but knowing Jade, she is taking this and making
it a positive experience for all who love her.
Love to all who know and love this amazing woman.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It's a small, small world...

If this does not make you happy on this wonderful
Friday morning, then you should check yourself...
After eating at Cracker Barrel my almost 90 year old
Mumsie decided to entertain three of her daughters.
Myself, C and Veronica just could not get enough
of this part of Mumsie.
I do believe I am my Mother's daughter.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So what do I do all day, did I hear you ask?

As an add to yesterday, speaking of the fact that I am
multi-faceted, that my life is so full of wonderful
things that I was putting second to be able to
complete a job I loved.
You may ask "What in the world does she do all day,
how can she not be bored?"
Well, I will tell you how I can't be bored.
Because I am able to find pain relief in medications that
I could not take while working, I am getting back to basics.
Resting if I need to rest, playing when I need to play.
Decided today I would go through a small list
of just what is that woman doing on her time off?
I can guarantee you that some nights are still long and rough
but I am not crying about it over here:
I am spending more time with these three beautiful women.
Spending time with family, talking to family, making
arrangements to do things with the sisters that
before I was putting off.
Family is becoming priority again.
I am cooking and baking, making things for the freezer that I love
so that post-surgery I only will have to defrost a Ziploc bag
to have homemade foods. I am baking, I love to bake.
BG is loving this and so are all my neighbors because they
all know when I bake they all benefit.
I am sharing these things with people I love, people
who have done for me, people who I owe thanks to for many
reasons. Kris and Kaylee benefited from corn soup last night.
It's Kris' favorite and like I told him, it won't be as good
as your Nannie but hey, it's corn soup...
Thanks Kaylee for the pick-up and the visit!
Scrapbooking, oh how I love this room that I do my creating in.
Just stepping in this room puts a smile on my face.
I have been making gifts for people, organizing,
playing in here much in the week.
I never get bored with hanging out in this phenomenal room.
I will never again have a home that doesn't give me a scrap room.
I know, it looks messy but it is an organized mess,
I know where everything is.
Piano practicing....
as an adult, my sis, C and I took piano lessons together.
Since moving to Thib. and selling my piano I had forgot
about how much of a relaxing thing this was for me.
HOBL bought this small beauty for me from KD and BB
and I am now having the time to reteach myself all
I had forgotten.
I love playing the piano. I am not good at it, never will be
but I love it. More adults should take up learning a
musical instrument. It is something that anyone can learn
it is one of those things, the more you practice the better you get.
It makes me proud of myself....
Journaling, writing, thinking about this book I am going to write.
... and I will write a book.
I have many many times said when I grow up I want
to be a motivational speaker and when I do a speaking engagement
about my life it makes me so darn happy.
Yet I know that to get more opportunities to do this, most
have to write a book to go with these speaking engagements.
It is something I am going to do before I die, it's on my bucket list.
With more time I am focusing on writing, planning...
The pretty little journal on the right?
Well, that is Eskimo Pie's life from his/her Mumsie's perspective.
I journaled for each of my babies, now it is time for grandbaby #1.
I Looovvvvve this journal and the things I share with my baby.
Then there is reading, yes, I read many books at one time
always but I had been laxed even though I love it.
I am once again finding the forgiveness in myself to
lay down, rest, and read, read, read if I want to.
For a while this simple pleasure was making me feel guilty
because I would always think of all else that had to
be done instead of reading.
No more, if I feel like laying on my sofa and reading then I do.
Yes, so far, besides missing my work friends and my kiddies,
I am doing fine. I am listening to God and I am taking it easy
and I am finding myself again....
Yes life is good even with chronic pain...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

God sometimes does for us what we can't do....

Yes, it is one of the things I quote quite often:
"SOMETIMES GOD DOES FOR US WHAT
WE CAN'T DO FOR OURSELVES"
Today marks a full week of being home
from work, 7 days.
After a mental and physical adjustment, a strange
thing is happening on this journey.
My thoughts and priorities are changing once again.
Whereas just weeks ago I was heard saying that
at least if I got one day of work done I had accomplished
something in the world. However, accomplishing that was
hampering me from accomplishing family things that
probably needed to be my priority.
So a funny thing is happening. Now that I am
resigned to taking my pain meds. every 4 to 6 hours
as doctors have been trying to tell me I needed to do,
I find myself with not only with less pain but actually sometimes
not needing the medication around the clock.
Before, some days after a day's work I had no
energy or desire to do anything else, now I find
myself getting back to the basics of what is important.
Such as spending time with my Mumsie,
On Monday not only did we do BINGO but I
felt well enough to get her a haircut and a manicure.
Yesterday I baked my Baby girl her birthday cookies she loves
and made gift bags with cookies for some people I owed thanks to.
I journaled, I scrapped and then my KD came to visit.
She and BG were going to the show and usually on a work
night I would back out of the movies.
Yet yesterday I felt so good and rested that I was able
to go to the movies with me girls and Kd and I
spoke of how long it had been since I actually followed
them on one of these little dates they do at least once a month.
What is the lesson learned here on this journey of my life?
For me right now the Big Man is telling me what others
have been trying to tell me for some time.
There will be a life after nursing and I will be,
not only happy, but fulfilled.
Somehow through the process of thinking that nursing
is my calling and these little children at my school need me,
I realize that my family still need me too.
They need to always be my first priority and somehow
I lost sight of that, not doing the things with them that
I used to love and enjoy.
Funny thing, is that I miss my work friends so much,
I am not longing for the job at this point.
Having the pressure off of having to make the decision
of making a whole day of work or not has freed me
mentally of a lot of stress....
Good observations are happening and I am not exactly sure
why the Big Man is having these things make sense to me right now
but I am listening, and Patricia it is not only when I
brush my teeth anymore......

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

OH HE'S A WANDERER....

...He'll run round and round and round...
Unlike Trixie, who will not move her fat rump one paw past the
front door out of fear she may have to get some exercise,
Jake will bolt at any minute.
Hence today's story.
Yesterday the poor Charter guy after getting kudo's from me
because of the awesome job he did, forgot to get me
to sign the service paper. I had already let the pups out of
their kennel so he knocked and when I opened, Jake bolted.
This is a major problem. Because he runs like a jack rabbit...
fast and far. It also a major problem because if something happens
to either of the pups on my watch, I do believe HOBL
would file for a divorce and I would really miss him.
So Jake is on the loose so I wake baby girl up and we begin
the hunt for the mongrel who at this moment I am not
too fond of. After a few minutes on foot, I realize
We best get in the car because that boy can run...
He is like a toddler, when you try and run after him
to catch him he bolts.
Yesterday we cannot even spot him, anywhere.
After about 20 minutes I see one of my neighbors backing out his
drive and he looks like he has information on or escapee
so I pull into my driveway.
As my neighbor slowly drives to my house there, following
behind him is our Jake....
running after his truck as though he is some big outside dog...
Baby girl and I we can only laugh.
My neighbor stops to tell me he has been trying to catch him
but it just wasn't happening.
These pictures are the results of how the pup came home looking...
Wet, very wet from roaming in the back ditch of neighbor...
He had this guilty look on his face
and he knew what was coming next, a bath and
flea medicine which he hates both
I wasn't so gentle while bathing him...
But no matter how guilty he looks, believe me, if given the chance,
he would bolt again without worry of the punishment.
When HOBL comes home he really needs to fix our backyard
so that the pups can't get under the gate because this
boy needs some out side time....

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tedi-girl turns 14, UGH!!!!





I did the math, it's true.... I thought for sure it was a mistake.
Yet, Tedi-girl was born the day after Baby girl's 7th birthday
If Bg turned 21 yesterday then Tedi-girl has to be 14.... UGH!!!
Sometimes I feel that I am repetitious when it comes to
bragging about my godchildren and great nieces and nephews.
However, there is just not enough times I can say what
a wonderful, well-adjusted child Tedi-girl is.
She is a cheerleader now for Golden Meadow Middle School
and just like we all know, a new popularity comes with that.
Parties and new friends less time at home.
All natural in the growing up portion of being a teenager.
She still, if I call, finds time for her Nannie.
Every time I speak with her or I spend time with her,
I realize just how special she is.
Her morals, her kind heart, her always putting others
before herself- it is phenomenal.
A well-rounded wonderful child who is the apple of
her mother and deda's eyes.
Tedi-girl rolls with the punches.
When her parents divorced, it was hard for her
but in true Tedi-girl fashion she did not let
it change who and what she wanted to be.
She continues to love both her parents
and thrives on the time spent with them.
I had two godchildren before her, Em and Rick
but at the time they were growing up, I had
my own babies to nurture so I didn't get to spend
as much time with them as I would have wanted.
Tedi-girl was the first godchild that I could be there
for in the way I believe a Nannie should be.
I am proud to be part of her upbringing and
out of all my godchildren, I do believe she and I have
the most in common.
Tiffany, her mother has always put this child first
and it shows in her self-esteem, her moral beliefs.
She is a child that any one would want to call her own
but believe me, she is not up for grabs and even if she was,
it would be a fight between her deda, her granny and her Nannie.
Have a beautiful, fantastic birthday just like you are to us all.
Proud to be your Nannie, today, tomorrow and always.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL, THE BIG 2-1

Twenty one years ago on this day I gave natural birth
to the most beautiful baby girl at 5:45 AM.
My blog followers may not know that I am also a journaler
and have written to both my babies since the day I
knew they were conceived.
Both of the babies now own their journals but I have
kept highlights from both of their most special moments.
Last night, while remembering how fast the time has passed
I go back into these written highlights and find
and entry from December 22, 1989
when baby girl was a mere two months old.
"I ALWAYS FELT THAT I COULD NEVER LOVE ANOTHER
CHILD AS MUCH AS RODDIE JOHN THEN YOU
CAME ALONG AND OPENED A WHOLE
OTHER SIDE OF MY HEART THAT I NEVER KNEW I HAD...
WHEN I LOOK AT YOU I SEE MY BABY BUT I ALSO SEE
A GIRL WHO HOPEFULLY ONE DAY WILL BE A WOMAN.
SOMEONE WHO I HOPE WILL SHARE HER
FEELINGS WITH ME AS I HOPE I CAN WITH YOU.
I CAN SEE US SPENDING SHOPPING DAYS TOGETHER,
MAYBE YOUR OWN PREGNANCIES...
I HOPE YOU WILL ALWAYS REMAIN HAPPY AND HEALTHY.
I WANT TO ALLOW YOU TO BE A CHILD.
YOU WILL GROW INTO AN ADULT TOO FAST
WITHOUT BEING PUSHED. I HOPE BY SETTING GOOD
EXAMPLES BOTH YOU AND YOUR BROTHER CAN
BECOME GOOD INDIVIDUALS.
REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE UNIQUE -
THERE IS NO OTHER LIKE YOU.
BE PROUD OF THAT AND DON'T TRY TO BE SOMEONE
YOU ARE NOT. PEOPLE WILL LOVE YOU FOR THAT
AND IF THEY DON'T THEY ARE NOT SOMEONE
YOU PROBABLY NEED IN YOUR LIFE ANYWAY.
REMEMBER THAT AS YOUR PARENTS, I HOPE YOU
KNOW THAT YOU CAN ALWAYS BE HONEST WITH US
AND WE WILL TRY TO BE FAIR.
WE MAY NOT ALWAYS AGREE BUT WE WILL TRY
AND HAVE AN OPEN MIND AND ACCEPT YOU FOR
WHATEVER YOUR BELIEFS ARE..."
I am proud that 21 years later most everything that was written
to my 2 month old baby girl came true.
After a miscommunication because of a text that did not
go through to me to say baby girl was going out and spending
the night at a friends house, I spent the night awake wondering
where my baby girl was.... It was a rough night until I heard her
voice at 8:30 am.
Yet now more than ever because of this night I realize I
just cannot survive without these children in my life...
So, baby girl, happy birthday!
It has been a wonderful honor to be your Mother,
I would not trade it for the world, except for maybe last night (lol)
I am proud of all you strive to become as you
take the unconventional road of a small bayou gal.
FOREVER AND EVER MY BABY GIRL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

ZAHRA CLARE BAKER

ZAHRA CLARE BAKER
ZAHRA CLARE BAKER
Yes, hear the name and let it sink in.
I know, I know some of you followers are going to wonder
"when is Lil going to entertain us with some fun stuff"
Well how can I when this precious child is missing,
presumed dead by the hand of family, people who
were supposed to love and nurture her.
A cancer survivor child with a leg prosthesis
who wore hearing aids because of the treatments she received.
I guess these things have always bothered me to the core.
Abuse of children and death by the hands of those they love
breaches all boundaries of what parenting is.
This case bothers me more for many reasons.
First she was a childhood cancer survivor like me.
Also with the soon arrival of Eskimo Pie and to
see all the excitement this baby is bringing to
kd and Baby boy....
well I am bugged by this case.
I mean if you cannot trust your parents those who love
you the most, who in the world can you trust.
Our world has gotten so far from what God had intended.
There are reported documents that this child was highly
abused by the step mother who sits in jail right now
for unrelated issues. Family members are reporting this
and I want to scream, "Why didn't someone save this precious child?"
Yet, I also understand how hard it is to step in and do the major
things that needs to be done when a child is being harmed
in any way, even if it is a child.
There are rumors that the cadaver dogs have picked up
her human scent in the family car and a wood chipper
on the property..... I cannot even go there.
Because she was home-schooled she had no opportunity
to reach out for help to a teacher or counselor.
I am sad when I think of just how sad her little life must have been.
I thank my wonderful family for the self-esteem I received
having been brought up as a child with cancer.
When I was teased for being bald and would come
home at the end of the day to cry my wonderful daddy would
hold me and remind me with these words,
"Lilly it doesn't matter what the world thinks of you,
when you come through this door you are loved."
I attribute this simple statement from a daddy to
his fighting daughter for the reason I have such a high
self-esteem. This baby did not have this.
After all her treatments, all her fighting of this cancer,
she faced more abuse that was ten times worse than
any chemotherapy or radiation she had.
Her suffering by the hands of people who were supposed to love
her make me angry.
It is everything that is wrong in the world.
If you cannot trust your parents then there is no one you can trust.
There is no form of punishment that will be okay for me
in this case once they find out exactly what happened.
Except maybe the punishment being exactly what
she suffered. Wrong and sad....
wrong and sad....

Friday, October 15, 2010

doctors meet and my optimism soars

Yesterday I had to go to sign my consents
with Dr. Donner the neurosurgeon
and Dr. Marino the general surgeon who happens
to be my local surgeon for my bowel issues.
I will share now what I love already about these
doctors and the people they employ.
They, after just seeing me two times, know me.
The receptionist who also seems to have the big
job of a lot at Dr. Donner's office knows my name
as well as my nick name, Lilly.
She knows everything about my case and when
she tells me she is going to call me tomorrow,
she calls me tomorrow.
She is funny and I can joke around with her.
I know that post operatively I will be able to call her for anything
and get my needs met.
I do not wait as I am escorted by Stacy into Doc Donner's office.
I like that he is waiting for me and all the consents are ready to go.
I like a doctor who takes you into his personal office.
I like a doctor who takes the time to get his own consents signed.
Before he asks me to sign he goes over everything I thought
I had to question. He has a spine model waiting for me.
He shows me exactly what he plans on doing.
He goes over every known complication that could happen
from a block to the artery to a bowel ileus.
I like this in a doctor, tells me everything prior to signing
the consent. I ask if he has gotten any notes from my
visit from Dr. Marino and he says that they had a lunch
pow-wow to discuss my case.
Well this, of course, being the nurse that I am, impresses me.
I know I am probably not the only patient they discussed
but they actually met to discuss me as a person and
what my case means to each of them.
Well that is impressive.
We go over the individual issues I have with the abdominal
scar tissue and he agrees just as Marino did that
if it seems to be too much to go through the abdomen
they will not hesitate to abandon the surgery.
However, unlike Marino had suggested about
maybe going through the back on the same day,
Donner explains that this is not the approach he is going to take.
He will allow me to heal from that surgery prior to giving
me the option of the plan B. He explains that his reasons are
he is just not sure he can go that route and give me
freedom from the chronic pain I already live with now.
I like an honest doctor.... this means so much to me.
I sign my consents knowing exactly what the surgery will
entail. I will be in the hospital anywhere from 2 to 5 days.
There is no way of telling how long it will take me to
feel well enough to go home on oral pain management
and free of possible complications from the surgery.
I asked how long, how long before I can return to work.
If no complications and all goes perfect,
8 to 12 weeks, 8 to 12 weeks, well I can do that!
This fires me up....
There is a possibility that I will not need physical therapy
depending on how much I can do on my own.
Half of his patients feel so well after surgery that
they can do more than they could before surgery.
There are those who need the help but some don't.
Yes, I am going to have to wear one of those lame
back braces, this is the cast for the bones that cannot
be casted any other way. He promises me that by
the time I go back to work I will be brace-free.
It is worn just until he is confident that the plate has
held and the fusion is healed.
I am impressed and optimistic of all of the above.
This doctor takes this surgery thing very serious.
It is all and more of what I have heard about this doctor.
He has taken my whole case into consideration.
He even brings up the bladder and one kidney issue
and assures me that Dr. Ray will be consulted and follow
my case. I will have a catheter for some time just to
make sure that I have no neurogenic bladder complications.
I then head to Dr. Marino's office to sign those consents,
they do not know I am coming so I doubted they would
have the paperwork ready but another office that
not only do they call me Lilly but they know my case,
they know when and what day I am having surgery.
I am known by the doctors that are about to open me up.
This gives me comfort that I am in the best hands.
Optimism runs deep in this Riera and with the days
I have been having with pain, even half of pain relief
will be great.... I am not asking for much.
To be with pain that does not require pain meds. and
can allow me to go back to work, it is all I need.
So that is the update as I approach surgery that may
change my life.
Love to all!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chile celebrates as 33 miners are rescued

Sixty-nine days after being held prisoner in a mine
that many thought would become their tomb,
all trapped miners were finally saved from a hell that many
of us could not even imagine.
I was glued to the different stories over the last 69 days.
I prayed for the miners and their families as I could
not even imagine what this must have been like for all involved.
For the first 17 days it was not sure whether they were even alive.
17 days of pure hell for the families.
Once that camera got to where they were and saw that not
only were they alive but thriving the momentum changed
and all was done to assure that these men would all
be rescued safely and healthy.
However, for many of them, their road to recovery
will be a long one.
Post traumatic Stress Disorder is a real and serious illness.
It causes lots of mental symptoms that eventually start
showing in physical ways.
The youngest of the 33 miners is only 19 years old
and it is said that he, after being pulled out of the mine,
seemed very disconnected, non-celebratory like the rest were.
When he found himself captured in the mine he had
a two month old baby now he has a 4 month old.
He is the one they are most concerned about.
Unlike us older people who can see that life will go on,
at 19 this becomes a big part of all your thoughts.
I thought it touching that the "boss", the foreman
who kept everyone's spirits up through the ordeal,
insisted to be the last to come out of the mine.
Like a Captain going down with his ship,
his thoughts were for all others rather than himself
and his own family who were awaiting up on land.
I rejoice for all involved.
For all who spent countless hours to assure that
their freedom would not be rushed, that safety would be first.
For the miners, their road to health has just begun.
Many have been through less than this and suffer
from PTSD so they will need much help in the months and
maybe even years ahead.
God Bless Chile as all slept well for the first time in sixty nine nights.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

pondering thoughts...

As I sit here this morning I am okay.
I am okay with the fact that while all my school peers
return to work today, I will not.
I thought I would be sadder but I actually am relieved.
As I said in an earlier post, the pressure is off.
I no longer have to drag myself up at 5 am each morning
after sleeping a very restless night to convince myself
that I can do this, I can get through a day facing all the pain.
I no longer have to feel guilty over the fact that
if I leave early from work I am leaving others in a bind.
I awaken early this morning with peace even though
I slept very little last night.
Peace in knowing that I am doing the right thing here.
I will miss all but if I am to return to this job one day,
I have to do this.
As I told one of my teacher friends early this morning,
sometimes God has to make it really hard for us to get us to
listen to him and make the changes he wants us to so
to follow the plans he has for us.
I am good this morning mentally.
Physically, not going there... lol

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tedi-girl goes home today

.... and I just know when she pulls out the driveway,
I am going to be really sad.
I love all the time spent with the little ones
but when they get to be teenagers, there is so much
less you have to do to entertain them and so much
more that can be talked about.
Tedi-girl and I we did lots and lots of talking over the
last three days.
Thanks to her Mom, we were able to extend her stay
to today. I know this is a big sacrifice for Tif because
she too was off of work and had to loose time
spent with her own child but it has been way to long
since I had my time with this godchild of mine.
She has grown so much and sooooo good.
When you spend this much time with your Nannie
who likes to talk about life and deep conversations
I am able to find out a lot about where a child is.
This child is moralistically well.
She also loves to have fun and in some ways
reminds me of myself such as when
at bingo last night someones musical ring tone
goes off she breaks out into a dance.
Such as when the man sitting next to her wins a pot
and she decides that he is pretty cool but it is obvious
that he is a "slow adult"
she goes out her way to converse with him a few
times through the night.
She and I, we talk about a lot last night as we stayed up
until 2:30 am to wait for baby girl to get off and to
savor every minute we had left together.
TIffany, you are doing an amazing job with this child.
Yes, I do understand that a lot of her principals she
was born with but I also know that you are nurturing
those qualities. Keep up the great job
and as I told TEdi-girl last night,
it makes me sad because with each passing day I
realize that her time with me will become far and few
between. She promised me she will alway make time
for me and especially BG as she looks up and adores her
so much.
The best medicine this Auntie Lil/nannie can get is time with
such a sweet teenager that I call my godchild.

Monday, October 11, 2010

SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY is simply fantastic!

I have this wonderful friend, Becky Clement who teaches SPED
at my school. She is multi-faceted just as I am and so we hit
it off right away when we met 6 years ago.
Becky is not only a wonderful teacher but an amazing mother
to her four children. I had the honor of teaching her oldest
child, William religion and he is quite special and I know her
Mothering has something to do with just how special and
smart they all are.
Another passion my dear friend has is photography.
She hopes one day, when she retires. to begin
a full time photography business.
I have been one of her biggest fans and critique since
she began about a year ago.
Something amazing happened with Becky and her
business she calls SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY
She right away began having jobs!
She is so darn talented. She loves the outdoors
and her work is unique in the way her main objective
is to capture the person behind the physical look.
She does this beautifully over and over.
She has become obsessed with her camera
and this passion comes third only to her God
and her family.
She has been asking for a Baby girl shoot for some time
and it is something that I kind of promised her without
really asking BG how she felt about it.
BG is modest about her beauty, it is not important to her
so she rarely speaks of it and remains quiet when others
talk about it. Becky was wanting a photo shoot with her
and what mother would not want that of their child?
She texts me on Saturday to see if BG has plans
for yesterday and I kind of offer her services but I
also say Tedi-girl is visiting soooo maybe she can take both?
I am such a pushy friend.
I know Tedi-girl is an added bonus for Becky.
She is beautiful and has won many pageants as a young one
and many, many photogenic awards.
Becky is all on board for that not to mention how excited tedi is.
Becky loves taking photographs, can't get enough of it
and knows the more she takes the more she learns.
So brace yourself because following are just
a small glimpse into the world of
SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY
What beauty. Baby girl is such a wonderful role model to
her little cousins and this photograph reminds me of that.
Tedi-girl adores BG and cannot get enough of her,
wants to be like her.
This above picture is now my computer wall post and made
me cry when I saw it.
Beauty, simple beauty. I took one look at what Becky captured
here and took a deep breath knowing that I have been
blessed to have this child call me her Mother.
Showcasing BG's new tattoo was on Becky and my agenda.
I was not crazy about BG marking her beautiful body
in such a way but never said a word.
She is an adult and it is her body.
When I saw where it was and how it was done
I right away knew this was classic BG.
Becky did a fantastic job of capturing this also.
Becky was so excited about having two models to work with
and in the way BG is modest and maybe even a little
uncomfortable taking pictures,
Tedi-girl is the polar opposite.
After being in many pageants she is a born natural
for photo taking.
These pictures of her are simply beautiful.

This one is soooo BG!
Casual, down to earth, all her...
Becky informed me that the above picture was with not
one stitch of editing at all.
She said the subject and lighting were just perfect.
I have to agree.
Although Tedi-girl wears blue tinted contacts
her eyes really are this amazing blue color,
captured in this photograph.
I love the edginess of this one, again
so baby girl. So daring so darn gorgeous!
I cannot thank Becky enough for this honor.
However, last night while seeing these it became
very clear what I need to do for my friend.
I must combine my love for scrapping with
her love of photography and make her a scrapbook
showcasing some of her work.
An album that she can show her future clients.
I can't wait to start it, she doesn't even know yet.
Well..... she will once she reads this.
We have also hired her to come to Mumsie's 90th
birthday party to capture those memories for us.
If you are looking for a photographer for anything,
please look up or contact my wonderful friend, Becky.
You can find her on facebook by searching
SIMPLE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BECKY
or google the same name for her shutterfly account.
Keep her name in your mind because this
wonderful photographer is going places
and I am honored to be her friend.
SIMPLY AMAZING!