Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Racist I am

Are you racist? If you look up the official definition it means having the belief that one race is superior to another. However, of late...the new and more widely accepted definition seems to be: anyone who does not agree or side with the current president and administration!

In the history of the United States of America, we know that racism has/does exist. From our first step into this new country, whites had blacks as slaves. Worse than that, some whites viewed blacks as even less than their live stock. It was a dark and both ethically and morally corrupt time in our history. Luckily there were those whites that saw blacks for what they really were.....human beings. They saw that if not under mans law then under God's law, the only difference between white and black was the color of their skin. The Civil War was fought over slavery and whites (as well as blacks) were fighting for the freedom of all men regardless of skin color. Sadly this time in history still stings for many and the memory refuses to be forgotten or forgiven. Even after the war, it still took Americans a while to get it right and there were more domestic battles fought especially within southern states over a black persons right to equality under the Constitution.

In the 1960's when I was young, segregation was still part of our world. Blacks went to black schools in black neighborhoods and whites went to white schools in white neighborhoods. Many on both sides accepted this, but at the education was not as good as a white education. Black students who were smart and driven were often not challenged or even noticed amongst their teachers or peers. Soon they wanted the same education and the same advantages that white kids were getting in white schools. How would this be possible though when blacks were refused to be seated in white restaurants, they still rode the back of the bus, drank out of "special" water fountains and were only seen at all black clinics? These issues had nothing to do with finances because there were a great many blacks that were doing well for themselves. was a matter of skin color. While blacks were no longer looked on as less than cattle, they were still viewed as somehow being inferior to whites.

In the mid 1960's the world began to change and voices like Martin Luther King Jr started being heard, recognized and respected. He spoke of blurring the lines of black and white and treating all men as equals. He wanted separation of race to be a part of the history of America and integration of races to be our future. Blacks and whites both not only listened, but actually heard what King and others like him were saying. Suddenly there were sit-ins and protests on both sides. The blacks were fighting for their rights as human beings and many whites were fighting right along with them. However, there were those whites still fighting against something that scared them to their core....sharing a restaurant, a bus or a school with blacks. It set the stage for many fights being fought in neighborhoods, in schools and in the political arena.

Eventually Kings dream started to become a reality, but not before he died fighting for it. The days of all black or all white schools became a thing of the past and America became a land where both races began co-existing in relative harmony. There were still battles to come and baby steps were taken but slowly our country began evolving to a place of equality. In fact contrary to my upbringing, in my children's lives they all went to school with both blacks and whites. Miraculously by the time Z started to school, he never saw kids as a color. I learned this one day when he was trying to describe one of his "new" friends in school who happened to be black. He described his personality, his favorite shirt and how good he was at tether ball but never once did he mention that his friend was black. It was then and there that I realized that this new generation was no longer seeing color. Was racism dead? Maybe not totally but it was definitely comatose and on its way out.

Now though in the new millennium, racism seems to have reared its ugly head again but in a very different way. Some of our most influential black people who have "made" it in this world, some worth literally billions are back on the racism schtick. Oprah Winfrey, Louis Farakan and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are spending a lot of time and effort trying to resurrect the true feeling of racism in this country and it appears that it all surrounds our current president.....Barack Obama.

Since 2008 race has become the focal point of many conversations. An example of resurrected racism came not too long ago when Oprah Winfrey claims she was targeted in Switzerland by a white sales clerk who viewed her as unable to pay for an expensive handbag and refused to allow her to look at it. The sales clerk disputes Winfrey's claim and although only the ones present that day know the real truth, Winfrey's claims of racist behavior got the sales girl in hot water. At any rate....Winfrey successfully helped to keep racism on the lips of Americans....even if the incident didn't happen here and of course let us not forget that the headline making incident also helped give free publicity for her movie The Butler which was about to come out. I have to say I am no longer much of a fan.

As for Jackson, Farakan and the like, I have always seen them racists in their own right with an agenda that did not involve equality or even help for the black people of our country. On the contrary I see them as greedy and superior in their own minds. They don't want equality amongst all Americans. Instead they are doing their level best to keep their own race down and angry. What better way to incite race wars in this country? For years they have had ties to The Black Panthers who make no bones about hating whites and wishing them all dead.  No....I don't see their end game as equality, but more as superiority so that blacks reign superior and whites no longer exist.

Now Farakan is at it again wanting blacks to go back to segregation. He wants to see all black schools once again. King must be rolling in his grave right now.  Apparently Farakan is not alone in his segregating and in a way isolating blacks from whites. Recent headlines reported that a black neighborhood in Portland, OR spoke out against having a Trader Joes built in their community. They feared it would bring in too many white people. Racist? Well if the shoe was on the other foot and this had happened, I guarantee you that Jackson and Farakan would be yelling racists from the highest roof tops. 

Of late, some of the greatest cries of racism come from Obama supporters when someone (especially whites) disagree or go against the president. It has become an either "you are for the president or you are racist" chant. This scares many people as they don't want to be viewed as racist. In fact, many re-elected Obama for a second term, not because they thought he was an amazing president his first term, but because they didn't want to be viewed as racist and both the media and celebrities alike perpetuated this myth. I just can't help but shake my head at the absurdity of it all. Whites that do not agree with Obama are racist, so what are blacks that don't agree with him....and their numbers are growing? Are they racist or simply self-hating blacks? Did anyone ever stop and think that if this country were as racist as the race baiters are trying to make us out to be.....then Obama would never have gotten elected in the first place? He didn't become president on black votes alone you know. Many voted for him because he was black and they felt that this country was ready for a black president. However, what a lot of people learned having our first black president is that it is not the color of your skin but your qualifications and love of country as well as respect for the Constitution that make you a good president. When it appeared that Obama was falling short in these areas, blacks and whites both  began speaking out that perhaps he was not what this country needs in the form of a leader. As history has shown though, he was not the first president to ever fall short and be called out for his short comings. That being said....he is the first one to ever be black and use the race card when people were not happy with the job he did. I am sure both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush would loved to have been able to have had any card to play when the American people became disenchanted with their presidencies.

To me, your race is not nearly as important as your character, your goals, your dreams and your heart. Regardless of what race you are talking about, there will always be those who are truly good and those who are truly bad, those who work hard and those who refuse to work at all, and those bound for greatness and those bound for prison. No race is all good and none is all bad. We are merely all human, formed from the same God and given life to exist in the world the best way we know how. So am I racist? If it means do I judge someone on the basis of their skin color and have preconceived notions about another human being because they are black, brown, yellow or purple and not white....then no I am not racist. Skin color would be the last thing I judge another person on. However....if the new definition of racism is disagreeing with the president, then I guess....racist I am! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014.....The Year Without a Plan!

I was never a overly organized person and I am still not as organized as I would like to be, but when  I started purging my house a couple of years ago and could actually see floors, closets and the top of my refrigerator....I knew I could never turn back. Now, clutter tends to weigh on me to the point of making me quite unpleasant to be around when I start to feel it becoming overwhelming and taking over my life. With organization comes a certain amount of planning and because of this I will never truly be organized because in my life, I can never plan beyond the next second, let alone the next 24 hours or beyond.

I am pretty much convinced that 2014 will be the year that I don't accomplish a thing that is at first planned. So far I have had a weeks worth of groceries go bad not once but twice as I planned menus, bought groceries for the week and then ended up spending days in the hospital with David only to go home and find more than half of what I bought had gone bad. The same goes with laundry. I think I am still trying to get some of the same laundry piles washed that I have been working on for a month now. And we can forget any extras like deep cleaning projects or closet cleanings. By the time I have recovered from one unplanned event, another one pops up and everything else becomes moot.

If you follow Life With the Incredible Mr. David, then you know we just had another hospital stay starting with EMS, progressing to the ER, making our way to the pediatric floor, transferring to PICU and then finishing out our stay back on peds. Why this time you ask? Because David broke his leg while recovering from hip surgery. And it wasn't just a simple break and casting. No no no! There was surgery followed by high fevers and seizures...oh my! You gotta know, I just can't make this stuff up. We are back home again as of yesterday afternoon....and now the cycle begins again. I am too exhausted to care about doing a thing today. Tomorrow I may manage to get the last of the waiting laundry done and get my hospital stuff put away and repacked for the next time, but that will then  bring us to the weekend and weekends never work out for us around here. That is usually when the bottom falls out and we rack up our ER/hospital frequent flyer miles. So this time, my plan is to not plan. I refuse to plan a menu, go to the store or do anything that would require me to have to leave things undone, unused and left to go bad yet again. Instead I am going to make a list of all the things I need to do, want to do and maybe even would like to do and then if I have a few minutes here and there.....WAIT....that sounds like too much of a plan!!!!!!!

So there you have it folks. It is 2014.....the year without a plan!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Story

I have had several people address the fact that my blogs are now filled with colored text full of ads. A couple of days ago while I was blogging something popped up saying I needed to upgrade my video player. I thought I had x'd out of it but directly after, I had these ads. Z says that the internet is full of this and these sneaky ads are the culprit. Z and I are looking for the specific little fiend that is responsible for my blog woes and then I will uninstall it. Until then though, please bare with me. Trust is every bit as annoying for me as it is for you!

So I have been blogging since 2007 and whether you know me personally, have been with me since the blog inception or have simply become a reader along the know that there is one topic that is often a recurring theme in my blog. My kids. Whether solo or as a group, each and everyone of them have made regular blog appearances. Sometimes I am singing their praises and others.....not so much. By now though you know, they are the heart and soul of what makes me tick. They are why I have wrinkles, gray hair and stretch marks. They are also why I smile, laugh and have learned far more than any text book education I could ever have had. They are what has kept me going when I didn't think I could. They hold my heart and they are each and every one way or hero.

While each of my kids has played a major role in shaping who I am as a mother and a person, my greatest education began the day my youngest son David was born. Learning to be the mom of a special needs child and finding a way to balance all that goes with this new life while maintaining any resemblance to a normal life for everyone else has been tricky to say the least. Because of David I have learned to love harder than I knew was possible. I have learned to appreciate the smallest and often most overlooked milestones and details of everyday life and I have learned to separate what is really important from the things that in the big picture of life.....simply don't matter. 

Davids story began as a life and death fight and remained that way for three and a half months in his five month stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. It was a gut wrenching time filled with a lot of tears and a lot of prayers that I would just as soon forget. However, those memories are engraved on my mind and at times I can still feel my heart skip a beat thinking back over every time his O2Sats would dip into the 80's or when his heart would race into the 200's and his monitors would wildly go off. I can still smell the NICU and remember my walk from the door all the way back to my childs cubicle. The one I was never sure he would see the outside of.  The other day while I was going back over some of my past blog entries on Davids blog (yes he has his own) I found this particular blog entitled simply: The Story. 

Today I am going to cross blogs and take you over to The Incredible Mr. David blog and The Story. Sometimes when you can understand where we have been.....then it is easier to understand where we am now. So right now I am directing you to the only link that matters on this whole page. Please click HERE to go back to January 31, 2011 and The Story!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Shirley Temple.....The Passing of an Icon

In 1928, just a few months before my father was born....a baby girl was born in Santa Monica, CA. I wonder if her parents had any inkling that their little girl would forever change entertainment, the movies and in her own little way..... the world? The little girl I am referring to is none other than Shirley Temple.

Although Temples Hollywood heyday was well before my time, I know that at a very young age, I was well aware of who she was. I am not sure when I first became a fan of the curly topped little cutie. It could have been when I sat mesmerized by her every movement in Heidi or whether it was the afternoons I spent in my grandmothers spare room looking through the original Shirley Temple Activity Book circa 1936. I just remember knowing even then that she was something special. Of course by the time I knew who she was, she had left Hollywood and the movies behind to marry and raise a family. Apparently she never looked back. For some this would have been the end of a career to be lost in the archives of Turner Classic Movies only to be remembered when some insomniac accidentally caught her in a 2 a.m. movie. This however was not the case for Temple.

Perhaps it was due to her young age at the time she began working or maybe it was her infectious dimples, or possibly her mane of 56 curls (I read the exact number somewhere)....whatever it was though, Temples body of work seems timeless. I can still watch The Blue Bird and be as enchanted today as I was watching it as a child. Even my kids know who she is and have seen the film excerpts of her dancing with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and hearing her sing "Animal Crackers in My Soup."

Compared to today's young entertainers though, she was positively boring. She was never famous for misbehavior on set or off. She was never caught high or drunk and never was she photographed by paparazzi obviously not wearing panties. Thanks to her mother, Temple was as much the good girl next door in real life as she was on the big screen.

Temples rise to stardom came at a time when the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression. There was little to smile about or feel good about, but for $.15 (still a fortune to some) they could escape to the movies and watch Temple work her magic on the big screen and if only for an hour forget the state of the country and their world. President Franklin D. Roosevelt even used Temple as a means to uplift the country famously stating, "as long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right." A heavy weight to be placed on such tiny shoulders and yet she bore it well. 

Once Temple reached her teens she was no longer the cute little curly haired tyke. Instead she grew into a beautiful young woman. Sadly though, her age and maturity were not the sought after commodities that her "cuteness" had been. She went on to make a few more movies...all quite good in my opinion. My favorite was Since You Went Away....a wartime classic. After that though Hollywood no longer came knocking. Instead of letting Hollywood's rejection define her though, she closed that door and moved on to marriage and motherhood....the two things she felt were her real life time achievements. 

Temple was married twice. Her first husband was John Agar, a fellow actor whom she was married to for five years and had one child with and then she married, Charles Alden Black whom she was married to from 1950 until his death in 2005. Temple took Blacks last name forever after being known as Shirley Temple Black and together they had two more children. 

Temple Black dabbled in a bit of TV in the 60's and 70's and as a life long Republican also got involved in politics. Among her political titles she served as United States Ambassador to both Ghana and Czechoslovakia respectively.  Presidents on both sides of the fence knew that Temple Black had something special and that people world wide were as drawn to the woman as they had been to the child. 

As happens with all things, at some point everything old becomes new again. I remember in the late 1970's or early 80's Shirley Temple merchandising had a resurgence and for doll collectors the exact replica of a young Shirley Temple complete with 56 curls and a red polka dot dress were in high demand. My mother made sure I had one. Unfortunately my doll collection was my mother living vicariously through me as she loved dolls and me....not so much. So as I grew up and moved from home, I began to sell and or give away my dolls. Shirley was one of the giveaways. I nearly cried a few years ago when I realized that "my" doll now had a collectible price of nearly $1,000. Yep....Temple still lives on in merchandising popularity. 

Today when I awoke, the first thing I saw was that Temple Black had died at the age of 85. My dads age. I couldn't help but feel a sad almost sickness in my heart. Yes, it made me realize my dads mortality but it also felt as if an era was gone forever. Even though her adorable dimples and amazing curls will live on in film hopefully for generations to come, still her passing leaves a dark spot in the movie industry and in the hearts of all the generations of fans who loved her. Shirley Temple Black.....a childhood icon, amazing actress and dedicated public will be missed!

RIP Curly Top

Monday, February 10, 2014

Here's to My Weekend and Finding our Way

I know that in all our lives, we have moments that we think to ourselves...."this could only happen to me." Sometimes though, I think my family corners the market on such incidents. Since December 30, 2013...we have consistently had someone in the hospital, ER or sick. This weekend was my turn for an ER visit.

Since I was very young I have suffered with migraines. My mother had me to every kind of doctor possible with these horrid things and as an adult I have also taken myself to quite a few doctors and at this point in time....this is what I know about my migraines. They may or may not be allergy related and they may or may not be brought on by stress, fatigue or illness. Yep....years of medical intervention and this is what I know. Sometimes I will get a migraine and it will drop me for several hours. Other times I will get what they call cluster migraines and I will have continuous fluctuating migraines that go from manageable to painful like a roller coaster ride for several days. I can go weeks without a migraine and then I can have migraines weekly or even daily for months. I have been on high powered migraine meds and my headaches quickly become immune. Then instead of helping, the med invariably seems to cause cluster migraines to kick in.

The last time I was put on prescription migraine meds, the med itself was very expensive. I could only afford to fill it once. When I ran out I started researching other types of remedies. I finally tried OTC migraine pills. After years of experimenting, I finally figured out that if I take migraine pills, a couple of aspirin and a dramamine......that combination usually kick the worst of my pain, and after years of living with these beasts, I can still function to varying degrees while coexisting with the pain.

My mother never had headaches (blessedly)....but with her Lupus she had every other kind of pain. As a kid I would get one of these things and if she had to pick me up at school, I would literally be stripping my clothes off as I came in the front door and making my way to the nearest dark cool place I could find. Usually the only way I could/can get over them is to sleep for at least half an hour with meds on board. Finally, when Mom was going through chemo she got the one and only truly bad headache she ever had. Apparently it was the first time she understood my pain and she called me when it was over and told me that she was so sorry for not having understood the pain I had been in all those years sooner. I hated the fact that she had to go through that pain herself, but there was a piece of me that was grateful that she now got it.

In my life I can count on one hand the worst headaches I have had. That's right. Having had hundreds, the worst ones still stick out. The first one was when I was very young....maybe 7 or 8 and I was playing in the back yard. I was swinging and it hit me. I remember looking at the distance between the swing set and the sliding glass door and I wasn't sure I could make it. I started crying as I walked to the door, which only made the pain worse. Mom told me to go lay down and I remember laying there hurting to the point of throwing up. That was the last I remember. That night our pediatrician came to the house (yes.....they still did that back then). I was diagnosed with Scarletina.

My next doozy was when I was about 11 and I was at Girl Scout camp. After a week of day camp in 100+ degree weather and not feeling good each evening, I threw a horrid fit to get to go and spend Friday day and night at camp. By mid afternoon I was dying with my head. I just crumbled during a hike and a camp mother had to carry me to the first aid station which was run by Senior Girl Scouts. There was no air conditioning and my head was pounding to the point of once again throwing up. I am sure I scared the girls to death when they took my temp and it was 104 and climbing. I remember them trying to laugh and joke with me to take my mind off the wait for my parents, but all I wanted them to do was to shut up and let me suffer in silence. My parents rushed me to the ER where I was promptly diagnosed with a first class case of Heat Stroke. The headache lasted several days and to this day if I get overheated, it can bring on a pretty nasty migraine.

I didn't have another brain splitting headache until I was in my thirties. It was the first and only time my husband ever witnessed this kind of pain in me. He compared it to the pain he saw me in when I had the kids, if that tells you anything. After watching me suffer for several hours and me thinking my head just might explode, he took me to the ER. They literally had to sedate me to make the stupid thing go away. It scared him to death.

Then several years ago, Z was in the hospital. He had been having pain in his back and hip for a couple of weeks and they couldn't figure out what we were dealing with so they put him in the hospital to run tests. I had no one to leave David with, so the hospital graciously gave us a room big enough for all three of us to stay in. As these monsters usually do, this came on within seconds. It was such horrible pain and I remember getting up to get a cold towel and to wipe my face and the next thing I know nurses are rushing me down to the ER. I had stood up and passed out from the pain. Is it any wonder that our hospital knows my family so well?

Finally....Saturday's migraine. I was fine and then I wasn't. It hit me within seconds. Z also suffers with migraines though thankfully none as bad as this one was. He has a high powered migraine prescription which had also been prescribed for me in the past. I took one of his hoping to stop it in it's tracks. It is the kind that if you don't feel relief within an hour you are to take another I did. After the second dose I was pretty sure I was going to die and at that moment....if it meant getting rid of the pain.....I was okay with dying. I was hot and sweating and I couldn't find a comfortable place. I couldn't lie down, sit or stand. It was excruciating. Then the nausea started. I hate to throw up. Even as an adult if I throw up....I cry. There is nothing I hate more, but Saturday night.....I would have given anything to throw up. I couldn't. All I could do was dry heave (sorry for the TMI). I kept running to the bathroom and feeling like I was going to pass out. I didn't realize how worried Z was, but I remember him saying....."Do I need to get you into the ER?" I couldn't form real thoughts and I am not sure if I could convey in words that we couldn't take David out. Next thing I know I hear sirens. Z had called EMS. They came in and I was frustrated and relieved all at the same time. I know my first thought even in all my pain was............"I can't afford this!" Truthfully though, I am not sure my body could have taken many more hours of the pain. My blood pressure had shot up to 160/110 because of the pain and I was clammy with a racing pulse of about 150. They checked my heart and it was fine but because of my pulse and blood pressure they insisted they take me to the ER. I was beyond being able to fight as I continually dry heaved all the way to the hospital. I am sure my neighbors enjoyed the show from the door to the ambulance. I only remember bits and pieces of my journey, like being promised drugs to make the dry heaving stop and the pain to go away, multiple needle sticks trying to find a good vein for an IV in which I could receive those drugs (apparently I was extremely dehydrated) and seeing the familiar face of a young and very pregnant friend who chose to spend her Saturday evening staying by my side and watching me dry heave. I know I was a hot mess of puke sounds, bad hair, pain, sweat and tears. Those are things that poor girl will never be able to unsee. Thank you though Mersades from the bottom of my heart. 

At some point the pain and the dry heaving stopped. I have no idea when though. All I know is I woke up in a dark ER room with Mersades watching tv without sound and me drooling on myself. As I sat up almost pain free (the headache was a very manageable 3-4 on the pain scale), Mersades hit me with the news that while I was in a haze of touradol and beneadryl, back home.....David had had a pretty severe seizure with breathing issues and once again EMS had been dispatched back to my house (I really have to bake those people a cheesecake!) Luckily by the time they got there David was pretty much post seizure and his vitals were going back to normal. Z made the call not to have David transported but to just watch him and I was finally on my way home.

Yesterday after a pretty conked out night, I felt the dreaded headache starting back. I literally felt myself get physically scared that I might be having that kind of pain a second day. I immediately reached for my tried and true OTC migraine and dramamine. I put myself into a cool and dark place and stayed off the phone and the computer refusing to allow my headache to progress at all. It worked.

Today we all seem to be fine although we are all still stuck in the house as school was called off due to snow. I am hoping this is the end of sickness, ER's and least for awhile. They say by the weekend we should be up in almost spring time like temperatures. Perhaps after today we will be able to find something that resembles normal and we can get on with the business of finding our way. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fighting For A Friend

It is hard for me to imagine being on this "life" journey, coming to a dead end and not fighting to go over, under or around it. Fighting is all I have ever known and while it can be exhausting at times, it can also be rewarding, exhilarating and amazing.

There have been several times in my life when I was told that there was no way around the inevitable and I refused to believe that things were just that cut and dry. I would fight any way I could to change what seemed like the ultimate outcome and several times my faith in God and my faith in faith seemed to be a life changer. My youngest sons life is proof of this faith and my refusal to believe that his life was only going to be a few short weeks. Thirteen years later after many prayers, lots of refusal to accept what some seemed to feel was inevitable, his strength of spirit and he is still here happy and healthy. Yes there are obstacles. There will always be obstacles but we never gave up and we have gone up, over and around the road blocks time and time again. I guess that is just how we roll!

Trust me though, I didn't just wake up one morning thinking that this is how I would live me life. No...I come from a long line of people who refused to give up or give into life's little inevitabilities. Through faith and sheer strength of will I have watched people survive illness, change the course of their futures and ultimately defy man made odds. I know it is possible and I can't imagine not fighting with every last breath in me to achieve these things. So I guess I am left dumbfounded when others don't/won't/can't do the same.

No...I am not making a judgment call here as every situation and every person is/are unique and I have no idea without walking in someone elses shoes what their journey is like. However, I do know if I know nothing else, that every second of life is precious. Even in the worst situations we have moments in which we can touch other lives even if we are in pain, in a wheelchair, on a walker or lying in a bed. And when a situation maybe life altering but not life ending, I can't imagine giving up.

I have a friend whose mother is in this situation. She has a life altering illness but not definitely life ending. At least not at this point in the game. She could maybe have some really good years left if she fights, cooperates and gives it her all, but she is shutting down. Maybe she is tired. Maybe she doesn't have a fighting spirit or maybe she doesn't realize the finality of some of her recent choices. Whatever the case, her decisions are leaving my friend feeling helpless because she can't make her mother fight. It seems to be two steps forward on some days and eight steps back on others. Perhaps her mother doesn't realize just how much she is loved and what her presence means in the life of her kids, grand kids and friends. Maybe she doesn't know that by fighting for her life, it would be teaching her family lessons about strength and love that will long outlive her.....even if she lives another 30 years. And perhaps she doesn't realize how much she has yet to experience, enjoy and give.....not only to her family but also to herself. 

Life is a gift. When lived well (not perfect mind you) but lived with gusto through the ups, the downs, the mistakes and is a love letter to God in thanksgiving for the journey. But when lived in fear, without fight and given up is almost like thumbing your nose at God and disrespecting what others would literally give anything for.

I know this lady is strong. After all she has raised an amazingly beautiful and strong daughter. A daughter who is not ready to let go and watch her mother give up. A daughter who still both needs and wants her mother for a good many years to come. I just wish there were words that could unlock this lady's fear and light a fire of hope under her. So I pray. When in doubt.....I always pray. I pray for renewed faith and hope in her. I pray for her to have both the desire and the strength to not only fight this battle, but for her to come out victorious and healthy in the end. I pray that whether she needs to go over, under or around that she can find her way, and finally.....I pray for her kids and her grand kids and all of us who love her because without her smile, her laugh and her presence.....this world would be a much sadder place! So please dear Mary.....fight....and I too will fight for you. I love you!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Last One....I Promise

I really didn't have any intention of blogging much more about my financial situation. Yes....this blog is all about me, BUT I really didn't want it to be about the financially needy me. I am much happier blogging about the emotionally needy me! That being said, I got a very interesting email over all of this and I thought I would share it here and then comply. Then I will go back to just being emotionally needy!

Dearest Lisa
I have been reading about your situation and my heart goes out to you and your family. I have a family member with a special needs child and I know that the need goes beyond what you might think to discuss. I suggest that since you are laying it all out there, that you might really lay it all out there and be really specific with your need. I am talking about everything from your home, to your vehicle, utilities and specific needs for you and your kids. The reason I say this is because sometimes people can't give financially but they do have connections in which they can give in other ways. I know in my family members situation they needed a recliner for her son because of a breathing situation and someone had a brand new recliner that they just gave them. He also needed Ensure and someone went to Walmart on their behalf and they donated a case a month for the year. I realize that you need financial help, but with that help if you had help in other ways it might keep you afloat and help you to get on your feet permanently. 

Here are a list of things that I think you should address. You never know who has what connections or who has what you need. 
Tell about your house. Is it handicap accessible? Do you have the furniture, clothes and basic needs covered? What about your bills? Do you have certain bills that are harder to pay than others? Does your son need certain things that you either can't afford him or that are a siphon on your finances? What about your vehicle? Is it in good working order? Does it suit the needs of your son? How about you as a his caretaker and the caretaker of your entire family, what do you need? Are your needs being covered to keep you healthy and both physically and emotionally well? Finally, what about fun? Do you and your family ever have fun? What do you like to do and what could someone do for you to make your day a little brighter? Also, not to be nosy but have you ever looked into Make-a-Wish for your son? I am thinking that you guys are long over due for a family vacation. 

Please do a blog and be specific in your need. Along with the financial donations that I am sure you will receive, heck if I had a lottery win it would be yours, I think there are a million other ways that people can help and make your life easier too. Here's to making 2014 the start of a great and much easier life for the Elam family.


I was kind of overwhelmed when I received this. I guess since I have let it all hang out so far, I might as well shoot the moon and go all the way. So here goes:

My house was built in 1962 and is not handicap accessible. The halls and doorways are narrow and barely fit a wheelchair. This is why walking is so important for David. Our foundation is poor and the basement floor is gradually developing deep cracks and a westerly slant. My kitchen is the only thing though that I take issue with and that is only because of its size. When I am making cheesecakes there is not a lot of elbow room, but it is doable. We do have a ramp that was built for us that is in my garage and without it getting David in and out of the house would be almost impossible. I think if I had a wish list of things I would like changed/fixed/added to my would be new doors and windows. Ninety percent of my heating/cooling issues in this house are because of my old windows and doors. I make sure that all the kids basic needs are covered and as far as furniture goes....we are fine. I also have a few concerns about asbestos and mold, but I try really hard not to think about those things as I have no way to fix them if they really do exist. I pray alot about those things.

When doing my bills, my two greatest money eaters are my electric bill which combines water and sewer too and my grocery bill. In the summer time my electric bill runs anywhere between $300-$600/month. I have tried going without but David can't deal with it and because my windows and screens are so bad, when the windows are open we invariably end up with wasps in the house and David is deathly allergic, so you can see it is a Catch-22. In the winter months my electric bill stays about $200 but then my gas bill makes up for the other $100-$150. There is just no break there. As for my grocery bill, it is so high because I try to feed David fresh fruits and veggies which the doctors say he desperately needs. David is also a huge eater and by the time I buy as fresh as I can (or frozen) and get him fish, chicken and as little pre-packaged as possible I never walk out of the store under $200-$250. You do that two or three times a month and it adds up.

As for Davids needs, the things that add up out of pocket are Ensure, vitamins (he takes several) and Assurance pads for men that I put in his diapers to help keep him dry. (Sorry David for the TMI). All in their own right add up quickly. The other need for David is our pool. We have a 10,000 ga. above ground pool in our back yard. It is basically his physical therapy in the summertime and it does wonders for his muscles and legs. Our issue is that it is expensive to keep up (chemicals and such) and because of cost it has not been kept up as it should and I think the pump maybe on its last leg. That is definitely something I want in working order especially this upcoming summer as David will need every second in the pool he can get.

My vehicle?! Well it is a 2007 Town and Country. It has made many trips back and forth to St. Louis and so far it is still going. It is nothing fancy and I am sure now that the warranty is done it will start falling apart in pieces down the high way, but fingers crossed it has a few more trips in it. It is not wheelchair accessible and it is rolling up on 100,000 miles fast and badly in need of new tires. Gas is the killer though. It takes $60-$70 to fill it depending on gas prices and sometimes we have to fill it a couple of times a week when David has a heavy appt. week.

As a family we are good I think. We seem to do fine. Most of our activities are home based and we are good with that. The only thing for me that I can really think of is a new mattress. I have a queen size bed and both the mattress and bed were given to me. The mattress is a posterpedic I believe and it was used but in decent condition. Now....I have used it for about 2 years. It is on its last leg and my back feels it. I think it is why I wake up with neck aches and headaches all the time and I simply don't sleep well. Yes...a mattress would be on my wish list too but pretty far beneath the windows and doors. LOL

What would make our lives brighter? Knowing that I could go to sleep at night and not worry about providing for my kids. Knowing that I am not going to get collection calls or be served with court papers on past due bills....that would make my life much brighter. Finding a job that I use my talents, work from home or at least be able to keep David as a priority and be able to pay all my bills and support my THAT would make all our lives much much brighter!

So there you have it. I thought I had bared my soul the other day. Boy was I wrong. Thank you Jeannie for the email and the suggestions and promised I will go back to being just emotionally needy after today.

And by the way.....thank you so much for the Make-a-Wish idea. I have no idea if David qualifies but I will check it out. I think we could all use a bit of a vacation if that worked out!