Thursday, August 30, 2012

Not all things about hurricanes are bad

In the last few day, waiting for Isaac to finish its rein on our little towns
of Louisiana, my siblings and I kept in touch via texting.
We reminisced about the hurricanes of the past, of the 
childhood experiences we had evacuating to Donaldsonville
where my oldest sister lived and her inlaws were graciously 
always taking in our large brood.
The games we played, the food we ate,
all were topics of the texts.
I also texted with the old Lee Drive neighbors through
Katie the neighbor and we too reminisced of the Katrina and Gustave
storms we spent together on Lee Drive.
I realize, as I look over the new house here on Island Drive,
seeing the other Riera family interact,
that not all things about storms are bad.
The bonding moments of memories made,
will be discussed long after the sun begins to shine and the 
temperatures incline up to the 90's again.
Technology has made it possible to be in touch with those not here
but it also has made it where there are less gatherings of 
the ones you call family and friends due to generators.
For instance, gypsy baby is doing her gypsy thing,
hanging out with all her friends in Kelmiester's apartment.
I would rather have her here...
but that's what happens with children who grow up and 
leave the nest. They make lives that are theirs.
Rosie texts about how we still all love storms and
how sick that is to say we like them.
Yet, she also shares it's because we got all together,
and always had fun. Our Daddy always made it to where we,
as children, never felt afraid, never knew the danger.
I look at Bean and hope she too never knows the dangers of 
storms and the memories are just those that puts a smile on her face,
and a happy feeling down in her heart.
Sometimes I wish the world had not changed to the world 
of generators where almost every home has one and 
there is no reason to bunker down all together in 
bigger and stronger houses that are situated farther from 
the eye of the storm.
Today, the weather begins to improve, the winds have died down
and life begins to take a turn to the normal.
The memories, the memories?
They etched in the place I call my heart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

a New App. for apple products and Bean

Yesterday we had a BBQ lunch with Kd's aunt and family.
It was a good afternoon.
I took this picture when Bean came to me because she was sleepy.
I have a new app. called ColorStroke and it is amazing
what you can do with all the pics you take.
This one turns any picture into a drawing, can color
in  the areas you would like to.
I cannot explain how much I love this.
This child melts me, she seems to be the only one
who really likes my singing.... lol
As she became more tired at the BBQ
she climbed onto my lap.
Her Mommy asked, you want to go home and night night
then she asked if she wanted to nap there,
"huh" while nodding her head in the way she does.
So as I held and rocked her I sang very low a few of the songs
she likes,
"Say, say oh playmate" and "sing a song"
with each she just stared into my face, I into hers
and My heart, well it just melts for this child.
Her little lids kept closing as she tried to force them
open. Finally she succumbed to the sleep and was out.
I love her.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A story to melt the heart

There is always so much negative in the world.

So many times we hear of shootings and child abuse. It's enough to make 
all of us question what is this world coming to,
then I read this story here and my heart is warmed
almost to a melting point.
I get teased often about my belief in miracles and yet
it is so obvious that they exist if we only look for them.
Enjoy this one on this Saturday morning.

Billionaire Ty Warner gives woman $20,000 for her cause after asking her for directions

Jennifer Vasilakos (Jennifer Vasilakos)
Dela Griffin HerringtonLilly Collins Riera
A woman who helped a lost man ended up with a surprise $20,000 gift.
That's what happened last month when Jennifer Vasilakos guided Ty Warner when he stopped and asked for driving directions in Santa Barbara, Calif.
While Warner didn't know exactly how to get to where he was going, Vasilakos didn't realize who she was helping.
Warner is the billionaire founder of Ty Inc., the Beanie Baby company.
Vasilakos was at the intersection trying to raise $20,000 for a stem cell procedure she needs to help save her life because she suffers from kidney failure and does not qualify for a transplant.
She describes their encounter in her blog:
I often get asked by random strangers for directions.  Not one to miss an opportunity, I handed him my flyer and he made a fifty dollar donation.  As he drove off, I thought that was the end of our encounter... He'd returned after an hour or so.  Rolling down his window, he reached out his hand and introduced himself.  I immediately recognized his name.  He was kind and sincere as he looked directly into my eyes...  I listened as he repeated over and over that he was going to help me.  That my fundraising was done.  That I didn't need to worry any longer.  He said he would send a check after he returned to his offices during the week.
He was true to his word. Vasilakos, an herbalist and Reiki teacher, received a package on July 16 with a $20,000 check and with a handwritten note from Warner. The note read in part, "Someone up there loves you because I was guided to meet you Saturday. I never lose my way, but fate had me lost and ask you for directions. The rest of the story I hope will be a wonderful new life for you."
Courtesty of Jennifer Vasilakos
"Of course I started crying, because that's what girls do," Vasilakos said. "I'm incredibly thankful to Ty Warner and to everyone who has supported me with love and prayer."
The check cleared a few weeks later and she booked a surgical procedure at an undisclosed foreign hospital to begin hematopoietic stem cell treatment. Hematopietic treatment takes a cell from the blood or bone marrow that can renew itself and develop into a variety of specialized cells.
"After I serendipitously met Jennifer, I further educated myself on her stem cell needs. I was shocked that this particular type of treatment wasn't available to her in the U.S.," Warner said in a media release. "My hope is that we can bring this lifesaving treatment to the forefront so that it can become more readily available and provide alternatives for people like Jennifer."
So the chance meeting allowed both Warner and Vasilakos to each continue on their journeys.

Friday, August 24, 2012

antidepressants not for sissies

Antidepressants of today also known as SSRI's
are not the medications of our parents.
Shoot, in the days of our parents, if you said you were
depressed you were given medications that made you a zombie 
if you weren't hospitalized and thought of as damaged or weak.
The world of antidepressants has changed.
Not only are these medications different from those of 
generations past but they are used for so many other things 
besides depression.
You probably are wondering where I am going with this.
I am speaking out for all those out there who may be
depressed and scared to say so, scared to get on medications.
I, about 10 years ago began on one of these antidepressants
better known as SSRI's because we had begun to have the 
troubles with baby boy and I knew I would have to be strong to 
deal with the upheaval our lives were about to begin.
SSRI's are known as serotonin enhancers.
Serotonin is something we get from the sun and 
none of us get enough sun to  keep our levels high,
therefore all of us can benefit from a little SSRI.
Shoot, I think the whole world should be on something,
pipe into the water system... lol.
I had been on the same ones, Celexa and then Lexapro for 
these 10 years. I probably did not need them anymore but stayed on them
all the same because I liked myself better. I often said,
although I was a good mommy, I would have been even better
had I taken these when they were young.
The reason the last 5 years I had stayed on them was because
they are now used also for chronic pain and I wanted anything
that would help me in that area.
Where am I going with all of this, well the post is two-fold.
While sharing to hopefully help the people out there who may be
suffering and too embarrassed to talk to their doctors, 
hoping knowing that I am on something will help them,
I also am sharing to tell the tale of what happened to me in the last
few months to make awareness known.
So, every day I would take me generic Celexa and go about my day.
However, since we moved, I am sure you can tell by me posts of those times,
I was having a rough time with adjustment. 
I would want to be happy but find myself laying around with no 
desire to do those things that I once loved to do.
I was blogging, journaling, and scrapping much less.
I watched a lot of movies and took naps often, spent a lot of time
laying around. I would not have labeled it as depressed, just "blah".
When I went for my 3 months check-up with the infamous,
Dr. Pitre we discussed this and she agreed that it would be 
worth changing the SSRI I am on thinking that maybe my body 
has become immune to the other I was on for 10 years.
She switched me to Prozac that is still a SSRI but 
works a little different due to its chemical make-up.
Oh my, what a difference the change has made in only a week.
I did not know how bad I was feeling until I began feeling better.
Again, my love for writing and blogging is back as I know you can tell
by my blog posts. I am loving not only the house again but 
decorating the house. I am full of ideas of things I want to do,
working in the yard, even with the heat, is something I am enjoying again.
I want to do some motivational speaking again as well as 
volunteering to teach religion again.
I feel sooo much better.
This post is really not to talk of myself so much but to tell
you out there,
Do not be afraid to speak to your doctor for medications if you have
lost the desire to do those things that you once loved.
To say, if you choose medications along with your doctor,
do not be discouraged if it takes some time to find the one that works for you.
Know that it takes about 4 to 6 weeks to get the full effect of the medications
and if you have any negative side effects, those two usually go away after
the first 6 weeks, and the most important part of this long, winded post,
if you have been on one for a long time and find yourself not your best,
try the switch to a different one with the help of your doctor.
I am feeling so much better.
Love to all, and last reminder,
Admitting to depression does not mean you are weak
more that you are strong as admitting is half the battle.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gabby, missing 15 year old.

Yesterday, I was determined to see my gypsy baby,
to spend some quality time at the movie theater.
When I left home, I did not know about the chemical spill
that would keep me traveling for almost 12 hours!
I could have been in Disney!
The last thing you want is to be caught in Baton Rouge
during rush hour, even less if the interstate is closed.
I was very thankful to have XM Radio
and a journal I had just bought.
Spent much time writing and listening.
The most disheartening story I heard was of a missing
15 year old girl known as Gabby.
I became sick to my stomach while listening to the story
and also could not change the channel.
I had not heard of this missing child before being
stuck on the interstate. 
Nancy Grace can make you crazy but she asks the questions.
The story goes that her single mother decides,
because of  the pressure of the job, that she will go into work
on Saturday morning at 3:45, to finish a project that is due
on Monday. Many ask, why would she do this?
She is not the one here who should be being questioned
and yet she is. She explains she did this so she could spend
the weekend with her daughter.
When she returns at 7Am all she hears is Gabby's alarm going
off and sees no child anywhere. I can only imagine what went through
her mind. Her child is gone and all else missing is her cell phone.
She does what each of us naturally would do first,
she called her cell phone, it rings and rings. 
The next time, it goes straight to voicemail.
I can cry thinking of the Mom's next few minutes.
I know that feeling. On gypsy baby's 21st bday,
I lost her for a few wee-morning hours due to a miscommunication
and I was a crazy person. Got in my car and drove the streets of
Thibodaux looking for her.
Come to find out, she had sent me a text saying she was sleeping
at her friend. I never got the text.
This mother calls the police and the search begins.
I hate that in the normal process of things the Mom has to be questioned,
this is a good single parent. The kind who at 10pm at night
takes her child's cell phone away to assure she is not on it
early into the morning hours. The only reason Gabby had
her cell that morning was because this Mom gave it back to her
because she was leaving. Many have made comments as 
to the strangeness of why the mother leaves at this time of the night.
It makes me want to scream as I know there are many mothers
who work in early morning hours, take call.
There are many single mothers in the same position,
I think of our own Tedi-girl and her Mom who is a single parent,
She is a nurse who is often on call. She can get called out at any time of the night.
I am so glad that Tedi-girl has the privilege of having her apartment being
connected to her grandmother so she is never alone if her Mom has to leave.
More about this young girl.
She is not a run away, she loves her mother, they are inseparable,
she just made the dance team, is in a band, an honor student.
This child running away, again would be like our Tedi-girl 
running away, she just would not do it.
She would never have us worry and suffer because of running away.
This seems to be the child Gabby was.
I know this post has been long and maybe even hard to read.
This child deserves not only one post but the whole world looking
and praying for her and her family, especially her Mother.
Follow her story by googling MISSING GABBY
and pray, against the odds, that she is found
safe and sound.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Better days

Goo Goo Dolls - Better Days Lyrics

  • Songwriters: John Rzeznik
And you ask me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

'Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
In designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

And it's someplace simple where we could live
And something only you can give
And that's faith and trust and peace while we're alive

And the one poor child he saved this world
And there's 10 million more who probably could
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

So take these words and sing out loud
'Cause everyone is forgiven now
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again
Sharing this this morning.
I have loved this song by the Goo Goo Dolls since the very 
first time Gypsy Baby told me in the car when she was in high school:
"Mom you have to hear this song, you are going to love it."
How right she was.
I  may have even shared it on the blog before.
I, over the last few days, have had better days.
So much better that not only did I walk last night
but actually enjoyed it. When this song came into the buds in my ears,
I knew I had to, once again, share it.
The first year I heard it, I used these words as my TES Christmas card.
Not only did I do that but I also played it and sang it
in front of staff when I had to do classes for them.
Gina B. was alive back then and especially fell in love with the song.
Big Man, yes he talks to me when I brush my teeth 
and he also talks to me via my earbuds when I walk.
Last evening, my thoughts were on a family member
who is going through a very rough time through
faults of no one but themself. 
My thoughts were on this family member and
how if I were in that spot, what I would do.
I also think, "Hell if It were me, I would have never gotten myself
in that place to begin with."
Then this song, having not heard it in years, is in the shuffle of the IPod.
I realize that is the answer, right?
That I am not this person, cannot think like them nor act like them
but no more or less a child of the one I call The Big Man.
They may not deserve nor get the forgiveness that they request,
but don't they deserve "Better days" if they work hard to get it?
Is it for me to judge? For sure not.
and what should we all give to all?
This is what we should all strive to give and yet we are all 
imperfect sinners, and the Big Man, the one true,
who so does ask us for these three things.
I want peace for myself, for all I love.
Some of us have to work harder than others.
Some of us can only gain these things back by lots and lots of hard work
not in words but in actions
I know I cannot give what I have given in the past to this person I speak of today.
It is draining and unpleasant to do so.
However, I cannot deny the love I have for them.
I do want the best not only for their children but for all the children of the world.
It is the one thing Big Man promises us all,
Forgiveness and a chance for the 
"world to begin again"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


While the weather was nasty this weekend and I 
and HOBL, better known these days as Broke Back,
one of the Lifetime movies we watched was 
I had seen it before, way in the 90's when my babies
were still that,  children living under my roof.
The first time I saw it I had no idea gypsy baby was gay.
As I watched it again on Sunday I had so many feelings.
The movie is based in the years between 1979-1983.
The world has changed so much since then.
the synopsis is about a young adult who shares 
with his family that he is gay.
His mother then proceeds not only to beg
him to change his ways via religion
but attempts to pray him straight.
After being unable to convince his family that he is 
a good, loving son still, he decides to commit suicide
in a manner that can be labeled as nothing but
very brave, he jumps off a bridge to his death.
I cried again seeing the movie, even though
I knew how it would end. His mother, after his death,
not only finds out the things she should have while Bobby was alive
but becomes an advocate for other people who are gay.
A little too late for Bobby.
This time watching was different,
because this time I have a close relationship to Bobby 
because of my own gypsy baby.
I am so thankful that I and HOBL handled gypsy baby's 
announcement so different from Bobby's mother.
Never did I ever think I could or should change her
but my unconditional love came into high gear,
wanting to not only share it with the world but to make sure
the world was good to her.
On this Sunday, my "empty nest" issues came into high gear.
I wanted to go back in time to the first time I saw this movie.
I wanted gypsy baby to be young again so I can make 
sure I relayed to her that I would love her no matter what,
that I did not care whether she was gay, or purple
that I love her always.
I know she knew this without the words,
but I wanted to do it again all the same.
I also wanted her little again because no matter how much
the world has changed since 1983, it still has so far to go in relations
to gay people and couples and I want to protect my gypsy baby 
from the negatives.  I know my gypsy baby, she needs no 
protection from the world, my tough skinned girl,
but I want another chance to do it anyway.
My girl, she is a child of God whether she knows it or cares.
She has about as much choice at being gay as she does at breathing air.
The Big Man, he loves her as she is,
and there should never, ever be any talk from anyone 
about her changing for the betterment of her relationship with her
higher power. 
Too bad Bobby could not be saved as for my gypsy baby,
she does not need saving, she is perfect just the way she is.
Love to my gay baby and all those out there who 
face the criticism of the close minded people of the world.

Monday, August 20, 2012


As most of you know, I belong to a Facebook book club.
Yeah, yeah, call me a geek...
Last month the book could not be purchased on Ibooks
so I had to buy the old fashioned, good smelling, 
hard cover book. Unfortunately, there was an address
mix-up with Amazon and I just received the book a few 
days ago,  long past the book night to discuss this one.
I figured I would not read it right away, focusing on 
this months book instead.
Yet, when the book came in I was intrigued, fell in love 
with the cover and the excitement of holding the book in my hand.
Last night, I settled in the comfy bed of HOBL and I's 
to at least begin the book.
Because it is mostly a picture book, I did not stop until 
well past 10:00pm and I had read it from cover to cover.
If you do not purchase another book this year, 
purchase this one for your family, it is a coffee table 
book, meant to not only be looked at but to be read.
It is based and written by 
Her writing has me wanting to conquer the world.
It made me wish I had been so brave as to travel the world
as this woman has done. 
It made me appreciate my gypsy baby more for the 
courage she has to just go and live her life,
hoping that she too, does some traveling and following of dreams.
The basis of the authors writing
is that she is a photographer for National Geographic.
She married her husband after making a trip for NG as the writer.
They had two children, Charlie and Lilly who accompanied 
them on most of their excursions all over the world.
Annie speaks of her husband being the writer,
I beg to differ. You will see from her beautiful photos
that she is a first class photographer but you will also see
her writing from her heart is the making of an awesome writer.
I think of her children, who are now older, one in college, the other
in high school and the life they have lived traveling the whole world.
I am envious of these kids and even have a short lapse of 
actually being jealous of not having been born to these parents.
One of the reasons of many that I had to finish the book last night
is her wonderful writing on what she now believes to be true having
traveled and met so many people all over the world:
Is this not one of the most beautiful sentences you have ever read?
This is exactly how I feel put into words so eloquently.
Sit and read that sentence a few times. 
Really, let it sink in and really think about all it says.
I now have a desire to learn more about the world.
I have a desire to start a collection of
National Geographic and learn all about the my world that I have
so neglected in my past. I have the time, I want to learn
thanks to Annie Griffiths Bell
and her wonderful book,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

the most complicated topic...LOVE

I am feeling just a little philosophical this morning.
I read this comment in the happiness project,
I contemplate, what does this mean, exactly.
I don't think he means love does not exist
but more like the author of THE HAPPINESS PROJECT explains,
"Whatever love I might feel in my heart, others will see 
only in my actions.
I think i agree.
Yes, if you just love someone but you never
tell them, or do things for them that make them feel important,
then it would be hard to prove love for them.
Each time I try and disqualify her explanation it brings me 
back to the fact that she is right.
I think that I know even now that my Mommy loves me.
She, at this point in her life, can't really do those things
that make me feel she loves me and yet I do not doubt that she does.
Then I realize, it is all those things she has done for me in the past 
that makes me know I am loved.
I think of little Bean, she can't really show me in actions that she loves me.
She can't cook a meal for me, she can't buy me anything special.
I then think of it deeper and realize it is her actions that 
prove her love for me.
when we are playing and she turns to me and makes "sweet eyes"
I feel her love.
When she grabs a book and backs up her trunk in my lap,
I feel her love. When she cries when I leave her house
I know I am loved.
I think of my grown children.
I know they love me and they don't show it like they used to as kids.
I think into it deeper and remember just last week
when I had a virus, throwing up, could not get out of bed,
I get a text from Baby boy asking how I am
and an offer to go get Gatorade or sprite.
I feel loved deeply because if I said yes, he would get in his truck,
go to the store, purchase what I needed and bring it back.
Yesterday I get a call from Gypsy baby, asking what I am doing today.
She asks me if I can go to Baton Rouge today and meet her at
her place of work for brunch. 
I feel her love in the fact that she still misses me,
still needs me in her life, even if we don't agree on so much,
the love is there.
So yes, on those examples I do agree with 
"... Whatever love I feel in my heart, others will only see in my actions..."
I need to continue to always act on those words I say so often,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

7 deadly sins

We are all familiar with the 10 commandments,
being taught these as children and being told
if we follow these, we are going to be right with the Big Man.
As an adult I was introduced to the 7 deadly sins:
I know at many times I have suffered from these 
at different times in my life.
I think we all have.
Which had me thinking why would these be considered
the "deadly sins".
I mean, worshiping other Gods, stealing, murder, adultery,
you would think these would be more deadly than the others.
Yesterday I did lots of reading as the back decided to go out on me.
I read why one author believes these are deadly and I tend to 
agree with her thoughts.
"It turns out they are deadly sins not because of their gravity
but because of their power to generate other, worse sins.
They are the gateway sins to the big ones."
Yes, this makes sense to me as they are easier to accept.
If I murder, steal, commit adultery, then it is very easy to 
see I got it wrong and I need to ask for forgiveness soon.
Yet, glutton.... If I eat two desserts when I am already full,
who would think of that as a big deal. 
Yet, If I do this every day, I don't take care of myself,
I become overweight and I can defend myself to others.
Anger, how can any of us go through a life without being angry.
However if I become angry and it is accepted, then it makes
it easier to stay angry because others just project 
that it is the way I am.
That changes my personality, who I am supposed to be.
Working on correcting these 7 sins are actually harder to keep
than the 10 commandments.
I suffer at different times in my life from each of them.
Sloth I worry about often.
Yesterday, I stayed in bed most of the day because of 
a terrible back ache. As I did, I also read the above.
I right away feel guilty for feeling like a sloth.
See why these sins become the hardest?
Because the line is so fine as to what is the actual sin 
and what is needed to recuperate.
Today, I will try not to "sloth" my life away
even if the pain is worse today.
I still should be able to do something of worth.
Living a good, clean life becomes harder when you 
accept the 7 deadly sins as something to work on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

She's a child who shares...

We will never know where this virus from hell has come from
but I suspect our  Bean has been the carrier of the same
one that have put all the adults who love her down for the count.
While she ran around and played as if nothing was wrong
with a few diapers of diarrhea,
we began dropping like flies with nausea, diarrhea,
vomiting, low grade fever and "put to the bed" feelings.
It started with Baby boy
then Kd who was so sick, she landed up in the hospital for two days.
Then it hit the grandparents except for HOBL,
Myself, "Maw Cappy", and Poppie.
Our company,
Beda and TEdi-girl began with symptoms late yesterday afternoon
and then Pappy just last night.
No one can ever say the girl doesn't share.
Since the bean has started day care she has caught 
everything imaginable and many times has shared it with us.
I know that once her antibodies are all immune to these illnesses
she will be fine but in the meantime,
we have spent much time recuperating.
I think we are all on the upside of mending now.
It is the reason why the blog has suffered a bit in the last few weeks.
Promise to get back on the wagon now.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Another birthday to celebrate,
my 49th!
Beginning today my 50th year of living.
For my birthday eve, I began to read again the book
I had not completed it and forgot some of the most awesome
points I loved in the beginning.
Last night I read:
I am not sure what I am going through,
yet as always, the words,
"This too shall pass"
gives me great comfort.
The one thing I want to be in this year
is the happiest I can be.
Today I will allow myself to do what I feel like doing,
whether it be reading all day, playing all day.
It is my birthday and I will enjoy it.
Thanks to all for the wonderful bday wishes.
Enjoy your day and that will be the very best birthday
gift you can give me!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A New School Year begins

Today teachers return to the classroom after a very short
summer vacation.
I always think I am over the not working thing.
Then today happens and I am quite sad that I
will not be there for the beginning of the school excitement.
No matter what people think, teachers, although
not happy that their free days of summer are over,
they do get excited about making a difference in 
their new students lives.
I want to be there and yet my time is done.
Just when I think I like retirement, this is the life,
today happens and I want to be there, in the work force,
seeing the changes a summer makes.
I will be okay, of course.
The first morning I have so much pain that
I can't get out of bed and I don't have to worry about
calling in sick. 
But today I give myself permission to grieve this fact.
That given my ideal world, I would be pain free all the time
and I would be going to work making a difference
in the lives of children.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Paleontologist, were it not for Vietnam.

On Friday, after picking up Bean from daycare,
she and I made a little trip to Wally-World.
As always, we make a trip to the toy aisles.
Our Plaquemine Walmart has lots missing but the one
thing in high abundance is TOYS!
My bean chooses two one dollar dinosaurs and a giraffe.
We head to the check out counter as she has her
dinosaurs kiss each other as well as herself and I.
While waiting, I notice a disheveled older man behind us.
Bean, being like her Mumsie in some ways, has to 
make conversation with this man as she
shows him her dinosaurs.
"She likes those dinosaurs, huh?"
Yes, I explain she chose them over the Barbie I really wanted to get.
He begins to tell me about his interest in dinosaurs
and about how he has been to Texas where there is a park 
all about dinosaurs. Of course, I embark in conversation.
I take a better look at our new friend.
He probably has just gotten off of work as he
is quite dirty with steel-toe boots,
his hair can use a good wash and cut,
there are some dental problems...
and yet, he is the nicest man, spending
his afternoon to speak to me and the cute little
girl with dinosaurs in her hands.
He then under his breath says,
"I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up.."
He has a wistful look on his face.
"... then Vietnam happened and all that changed."
I right away, again think of my brother, another
Vietnam soldier.
I wonder, could this man have been a paleontologist
had it not been for a war who took away dreams from him?
My first thoughts are, no way, there doesn't seem to be
the education there that would have involved this.
I am wrong, I believe, because as he continues to explain
stories of what he has seen at this park,  I know 
had been given the chance, he like many young minds out there
could have achieved all he would have wanted.
I explain,
"My brother was in Nam, we lost a part of him over there."
He nods his head, makes eye contact with me and
"I left a big part of myself over there."
Again, I am left with the wonderment of what our world would 
be had there never been wars.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Another lesson from my own Mumsie

I am an imperfect daughter,
with faults and impatience.
Yet I am a loving daughter who is
so amazed that I still have my very own Mumsie/Mommy
to love. If you are not dealing with an elderly parent
in your life then this post may sound so harsh to you
but those of us, my siblings and my whole family will
understand what I am trying to relay.
I visited my Mumsie/Mommy yesterday and as always,
she is so happy to see me and I, her.
She is having her lunch so I go into her apartment
to see what groceries she may need.
Things are the same as always,
it's hot and stuffy, her bed is made,
Her nightly commode needs to be cleaned 
because the room as the slight odor of urine.
I make sure to clean the pot and let it soak.
There is food on the counter from days gone by
and there is food in the refrigerator that needs to be thrown.
I often wonder why she does this, hoards food she won't eat
and I am brought back to times as a little girl that
we never went anywhere that my Mommy didn't ask to 
bring home leftovers or little  tokens of the day.
At the time it used to be so embarrassing and I believe
this is why she still does this. It is a thing of her past.
Something molded there that can't be changed.
After lunch she meets me in her apartment and
we begin to talk. The conversation goes about the
same each time, me reminding her I don't live
in Thibodaux anymore. She asks about "T-shoe, shoe"
the name she has given Bean because she can't remember if
she is a girl or a boy. She makes the comment that the baby
will be probably graduating by the time she gets to see her.
I remind her that I have brought her often and Baby Boy has
just brought her a few weeks ago and she answers with her 
same comment, "that is true"
sometimes inside of myself it frustrates me that she can't remember
these things, I want her to remember, badly.
Sunday, many of my siblings and their families went to visit
and brought her to lunch. I try and get her to tell me about it.
She says it was so lovely and I question her, trying to get
her mind to remember....
"Who was there, Mommy?"
Oh I don't know Lilly....
"Mom, was Tedi there? Was Tiffy there?"
"I think so, and I think C.J. was there, did C.J. come?"
I answer that I don't know because I wasn't there.
"You weren't? And why didn't you come?"
she asks me in her upset voice.
"Because I was sick and I didn't want to get you sick."
She agrees that was a good reason.
I see the beautiful crocheted quilt C made for her a few months ago
on her bed. On Sunday C called me in a panic because she 
could not find the blanket anywhere and knowing all the work
she had spent on it, she was frantic.
I give her a few places to check as Mommy is not sure where
it could be. 
I get a text in a few minutes that it's been found in the dirty towels.
I question Mommy about the blanket fiasco and she denies
it was ever lost. Again, thankfully I don't let her see
my frustration about her not remembering but inside 
She asks me, "So where was it?" I remind her.
She again laughingly says,
"Lilly, I just got off the lunch table and I don't know what I had for lunch."
Then she says again, quietly, "I really don't know what I just ate."
My heart goes to her now, and  I say,
"Mommy you don't challenge your mind, if you think about it all
I know you would remember."
She thinks for a  little while and she says I know,
and tells me what the dessert was. I laugh because
if she will remember anything it will be the dessert as it's her favorite.
She comes up with an idea, 
I need to get me a little book for people to sign when they come
so I can remember who was here so when you ask, you can look
in the book. I crack a smile and think this may be a good idea.
"I can't see anymore so it'll be for y'all to read."
I tell her we gonna make sure we sign big, big.
"Just like that mail there, I don't know what it says."
I take the stack and we begin to go through it and throw what isn't good.
In the stack is a handout and I begin to read it to her,
remembering the older days when if she saw a handout that she thought
I would like from church or one of her many volunteer programs she was in,
she would bring me a copy.
I begin to read this one to her, and I get choked up:
-edith Mary Walker
Yes, this is to be our role as her children and her family.
Although outwardly she would never know my frustrations inside
and yet, I have held them.
I want to be blessed inwardly and outwardly to accept that this 
is not something she is doing, it is her wayward mind,
failing her when her body does not.
I tell her I will buy a guest book for everyone who visits
to sign, largely so she can remember.
that would be good she says.
WE walk to the front of the Manor
and everyone we pass, calls her by name,
they stop to talk, to remind her of things.
I go to the desk and sign her up for a mani/pedi on Saturday
to be done in her room and I remind her that she has 
money and needs to let them in as sometimes she gets afraid 
dealing with money so she shoos the manicurist away.
Stacy at the desk assures me that she will help Mommy on Saturday
to make sure it gets done. 
I realize that these people are those blessed people who are spoken 
of in this beautiful poem.
I realize that the reason she loves this place, the manor
is that here, she is not questioned and they "get her"
they understand the way of geriatrics and the process
of getting older without having the loving pull of the 
Mommy of yesteryear.
They have no old history with her so they can love her as is.
I wish every elderly person had a place like the Manor to 
spend the rest of their days in such a peaceful place.
My Mommy will be there until her journey home is here.
For that, I am sure of.
I took the poem home, just like the "old days" 
when she would have made sure I had a copy.
God, thanks you for the gift of a mother and let me always
remember that I am to be the blessed person to her in 
her elderly years. I am to just enjoy her as she is now and in 
the company of her. 
On my grocery list:
One guest book 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

OWN book club 2.0

 You all know what a fan of Oprah I am.
So much so that not do I have OWN on my TV
but listen to her show constantly in the car on XM radio.
A few weeks ago she announced that she just had to bring
back her book club, calling it 2.0 all because
she was reading a book that she just had to share with all her 
listener fans. 
the book is called WILD by Cheryl Strayed.
I wasn't sold on the topic much as it is about her
hiking through the wilderness, a true story.
While I was driving the other day I was able to listen
to Oprah interviewing the author.
As she spoke of why she took the trek,
because at 22 her mom died and she was angry with her
but had no reason to be.
Strayed also talked of her step dad,
saying that although right now they are estranged,
she still loves him and he, her.
Oprah reads from her book a line that says something
to the effect,
"He came into my life at a time I strongly needed a father figure.
He loved me when I needed so badly to be loved."
Well, now I have to read the book, have to purchase it 
as soon as I get home via the Istore.
The ironic thing is, as I go to my Ipad to buy the new book,
I see the one I am reading now that I am very impressed with.
IT is called Torch.
I love the way the writer writes, impressed with her story line.
I look closely at the author as it isn't something I always look at...
Ironically, the author is none other than,
Cheryl Strayed.
Out of all the books I could have picked while scanning
the books available in Ibooks,  that I would
choose the one other written by the same author
of WILD...
These kind of things just freak me out sometimes.
Can't wait to start WILD.