My Dad has been in the hospital. First with pneumonia that started with a rediculously high fever of 104 degrees F. While he was in hospital he received IV antibiotics and was feeling better. Then the other night he had intense pain which resulted in him calling my mom at home to tell her and yelling at the nurse how much pain he was in. Another test was done and showed an intestinal blockage. So my dad spent most of yesterday drinking CT Scan contrast and then waiting to actually have the CT Scan. In the meantime the intestinal blockage perforated (went through the intestine) and Dad was taken immediately to surgery. The surgeon told my mother she wanted to check out my Dad’s liver while she was in there.
I just heard from my mom. My Dad is in ICU and has metastatic cancer in his liver and colon. I’m speechless and fighting back tears as I’m on the ferry and riding the subway on the way to work. I’m thankful I have this time to process this information. The train isnt even crowded thank God.
I don’t know what to think. His doctor wants to start chemo straight away. That sounds like a really good plan. I’m worried. Worried for my Dad for what he has to go through and worried for my mom for what she has to go through with him . Does it seem “fair”? No of course not but what in life is fair? I know God isn’t punishing my father or us by giving my dad cancer. So that argument or blame game is out. I guess most of all I’m scared. Scared of the unknown future for my parents together.
I think we all take it for granted that our parents are going to always be there. Always. I know I do anyway. Like that my father will always be there to answer the phone with some smart retort when I ask if my mom is there, “yeah she’s here…you wanna talk to her or are you taking attendance?” So now I’m getting a full on in your face lesson on the mortality of my parents. Something that a few of my close friends have already had to sadly deal with.
So I’ll continue to pray and emailing and calling my prayer warriors to pray with me. It’s one of the most powerful weapons we have right now.
After going back to being blonde for about 2 years I’ve returned to red hair for the fall and unforseeable future. Those who know me know it doesn’t take much for me to change my hair color. My husband often jokes that he’ll go to the corner deli for a gallon of milk and return home to me with a different hair color. He’s right though. It has happened where Tommy would go off to work in the evening and return home later to me with a change in hair color. I’m actually surprised that I’ve kept the blonde as long as I did. After this last hair cut/trim I was itching for a change. I already had a box of red in the cabinet and just purchased a box of blonde. After a couple of phone calls for opinions and polling of family members I decided on the red. And I’m glad I went for it.
My next challenge would be to grow out this super short hair but… every time I even think about it I go and get it cut. No I’m not ready for that kind of angst in my life.
I remember the first time I colored my hair, I was 17 years old. My hair was this dark blonde very light brown color and I did not like it at all. I was so happy when my mom said yes I could dye it. My mom has her beautician’s license so we went off to the beauty supply place to buy the supplies and I got to pick out my new hair color. Exciting! I remember it came out strawberry blonde because my mom didn’t add a “drabber” to tame the natural red in my hair. I don’t remember being upset I was happy to get rid of my original color. I know the next time we colored it mom used the drabber and poof! The beloved blonde color I coveted was there. Yay! We had good times coloring and perming my hair and perming my best friend’s hair back in the day. Good times.
I’m told things are “In the hands of the state ” which is mildly amusing. The same hands of the state who were pressuring me to take a placement in Brooklyn this past spring. The same hands told me “things could take a while” when I questioned them why they were moving so fast when Thomas was only 20 years old and still had a year to go of education from the New York State Bd of special education. I now know why they were pressuring me to take the placement at that time. It seems “The State” moves rather slowly.
Don’t get me wrong I’m not looking to move Thomas any quicker than he has to be moved. He’s in a great place getting great care and in a wonderful school with an awesome teacher. The staff all love him. I’m just curious as to when this transition will take place. Will it be a month from now? Two months? Six months?
The other thing that is almost amusing is that my contact from the state, the coordinator who pressured me to take the Brooklyn placement who called me on a regular basis has been silent. My phone has not rung from him in months since it’s been decided that Thomas would be placed here in our borough. I called him yesterday and left a voice mail asking him what if anything was going on. Since it was a Friday I didn’t expect a phone call back. We’ll see if I receive a return call come Monday. If not I’ll simply have to call again.
I’ve also come to the realization that even though I say Thomas’ future is in the hands of the “State”, it’s really in the hands of our Lord. God has the ultimate control over when and where Thomas goes. I’ve submitted my control of this to the Lord and it feels right to acknowledge that he’s had the reigns the whole time anyway. There have been no coincidences in the actions that have taken place to secure Thomas’ placement in this group home. Every action was planned by our God and carried out by Him. It all seems so perfect and as if the universe came together at just the right time… it did just as God planned it to be.
Thats merely a blessing that I can see and talk about now. There are so many other blessings we know nothing about that are just as carefully planned and executed so perfectly with the perfect outcome. Praise God! His works aren’t always so obvious or in plain sight. Many times we see His works years after. His blessings in disguise.
My Dad. He’s definitely one of a kind. I remember being at least 6 years old going to the store for him with him waiting in the truck outside. “Get me a six pack and a pack of Pall Malls” I remember the counter being taller than me and sliding the 5 dollar bill across saying “this is for Walter”. Nobody would bat an eye in those days. Unlike today…
Growing up with my Dad wasn’t always easy he ended up with cirrhosis of the liver and that put an end to his Schaeffer drinking days. It also changed his disposition and attitude. My Dad became a lot more fun to be around. All my guy friends liked him and when we were teenagers my friends and my Dad would joke about eating all the “good cookies” from his private stash.
My Dad was a truck mechanic and by the time we (my brother, sister and I ) started driving there was no shortage of various cars my father would pick up from a friend here and there. My first car was a 1976 Buick LeSabre. A tank! I loved that car, loved it! But the engine blew and well, bye Buick. There wasn’t a shortage of cars we were instructed to “drive the cars to the ground.” You know the saying the shoemakers kids go barefoot. Well the mechanic’s kids drove not so great cars. I’m aware of the irony here. But we lived and had many memorable car experiences to say the least.
My Dad always was and is quick with a joke and a smile. He never fails to find the humor in any situation and as a result people like to joke around with him. My husband and I are still close with a few of the guys from high school and they still joke around with my Dad. They’ll also have more “adult” conversations and that’s nice too. I find myself in that same balance with my Dad between joking and seriousness. He likes to tell each of the three of us “Well you’re my favorite” when another isn’t around. We all laugh and nod…uh huh.
It seeems the older I get the more I appreciate my parents and the more I see them in me.
So I have this job opportunity presented to me. It happened just this past week. I had sent in my resume never expecting to hear back anything. But I did! I go in for orientation this Tuesday to see if I can learn their system and see if it’s indeed a job for me. It’s more money than I’m making now, no weekends and located on the borough where I live so I wouldn’t have to travel to Manhattan anymore. That part makes me pause believe it or not. I enjoy being in the city. I don’t always enjoy the time it takes me to get there and back but once I’m there I like being there. There’s no place like Manhattan; no place.
There ends my rant of my love affair with the city of New York. Once again I’m writing from my phone while on the ferry after work. Another beautiful day. I’m excited for Tuesday to get here and I can glean more information about this new job. Will I like it? Will they like me? What will I wear? How many days per week? Is is as great as it seems? I won’t go into more detail about this opportunity at the moment, not until I’m sure it’s a great fit all around. I will appreciate prayers !
I surprise myself at how many blog posts I write on my phone. I love that I can write when the mood strikes. I’m writing this while on the ferry coming home after work. It’s a beautiful day, this morning was on the cool side but it’s warmed up nicely this afternoon. Alyssa and I took the boat in together this morning and I had a really nice time at work. The clients were babies and the parents were so, so nice; a pleasure I tell you.
Theres the tiniest part of me that doesn’t want to leave especially after having a great morning. I have to leave if I want to advance. If I want to make more money. I look back at the past 20 years that I wasn’t working as a nurse . I don’t regret staying home with my kids, and working while Thomas was unstable and in need of me wouldn’t have been feasible anyway…I just wish I’d done thing s differently. How “differently ” I don’t know. But that doesn’t matter now things are the way they are and I’m exactly where God wants me to be right now. If I have faith in God I have to have faith in His timing as well.
That’s not to say I’m a pillar of patience; I’m not. Just the opposite I’d say. I put resumes out there and then I’ll pray and pray…I know The Lord hears me. He always hears us. We just don’t always like His answers.
I’m on the bus now my lovely ferry ride is over. The bus is “ok” there aren’t any fights going on today thank goodness and it’s only moderately crowded. I really don’t mind the bus as long as I have a seat which doesn’t always happen. No one bothers you and I’ll close my eyes and pray here and there.
So my commute is coming to an end. I’m sure I’ll write again on my next ferry ride.
In the past I’ve taken any job that had nothing to do with nursing. I’ve done retail mostly and to be honest I enjoyed it. I liked interacting with the customers and helping them find what they were looking for. I liked feeling appreciated, I was fortunate that the undesirable customers were few and far between. Either that or I just have a good sense of humor. But alas the retail schedule and rate of pay isn’t one that coincides with a family with small children. At least not my family when our kids were younger. My husband was losing out on overtime because I wasn’t home to watch our kids. I couldn’t make the same money he made so it didn’t make financial sense for me to continue working in retail at that time.
Since that time, I’ve renewed my nursing liscence and have been hired to work as a nurse. I’m piercing ears in The City and I enjoy my job, I really do. It’s not my ideal job but it’s been good for the past 2 years. The hours worked for us and the pay is fair. However I’m not satisfied any longer. I’m actively job searching for another job. Another nursing job. One that is ideally full time but I’ll take part time with more hours than I’m currently working now.
I never thought I’d be here in this place of searching for a hopefully full time nursing position. I had sworn off nursing forever some years ago. “Never say never” is the famous saying. And I’m living proof of that. I don’t know what renewed my passion for nursing. Is it the confidence that comes with age or that my life is a lot more simpler now that most of our kids are older and more self sufficient? I don’t know to be honest. All I know is that I’m in a position many would love to be in with nursing liscence in hand and experience to boot. I’m eagerly awaiting my resume to be read and hopefully have an interview or two as a result. If not God simply wants me where I am for now, piercing ears…
My “baby”, my youngest, Samantha is in the 5th grade. One of the “big kids” in school now. I’m amazed at how slow yet fast these past 5 years have gone. I’ve been a parent of one child or another for the last 14 years at this grammar school. It started with Alyssa going there for pre-k when she was 4 yrs old. Alyssa is now 18; do the math…
I’m not the only long term parent there thank goodness. I’ve become great friends with Samantha’s bff’s grandfather. He’s been picking up his grandchildren almost as long as I’ve been picking up my kids. He’s a Christian as well so we’ve had the best conversations about the Lord. He’s definitely one of a kind.
So getting back to Samantha. I’m thrilled for her to be in 5th grade and be a big fish in a small pond. I know it’s what everyone says but it does seem like yesterday that she was starting kindergarten there. She’s known by all her teachers as Samantha is one that walks to the beat of her own drummer. She’s not particularly a girly girl like her older sisters were/are. She’s not into what she wears unless it’s a certain brand of sneaker. She loves video games and mindcraft on YouTube. She’s also fiercely independent, much more so than her sisters were at that age. You would think with her being the baby of the family she would act much younger but she doesn’t she tries her best to keep up with her older sisters, in her own way. She loves walking home by herself when I’m at work and unable to walk her home. Last school year I even allowed her to walk to school by herself a few times. It’s a four block walk straight away from our house to the school. She walked with such pride.
So I’m officially the mother of a 5th grader. I expect this year to go fast I hope it’s uneventful as well.
Thomas called last night. He’s super excited and nervous about moving to the group home. The progress of which is at a stand still while we wait for the State to make its next move. I’m ok with the wait. Thomas is in a great place with people who genuinely care for him. It’s not like we have to move him now or else…
While on the phone with him I couldn’t help but feel guilty. It’s the same guilt that has plagued me since he went to live at the residential school he’s at now. That I couldn’t serve all Thomas’ needs. I actually though this morning as I reminisced about his life, “Why did God give him to me knowing I couldn’t provide everything he needs?” As usual God’s ways are higher than ours and one day I’ll know His way regarding my son. Until then I wonder. I wonder if He gave me Thomas because He knew I’d try so hard to help him? Did He know I would go beyond our scope as a family to get Thomas what he needed even if it disrupted Tommy and my vision of what an intact family looked like? That we would allow Thomas to learn from people while living somewhere else? These are questions I ask rhetorically. I know with all my being that The Lord knows everything. As difficult as it was raising Thomas, God was there every step of the way. Orchestrating and overseeing it all. Nothing was a surprise to Him as it was to us.
I wish I didn’t feel the guilt. I supposed I’ll always feel some measure of guilt that Thomas’ needs go beyond what I can reasonably provide. I think back to all the doctors and specialists. Those who helped and those who were less than helpful (understatement). The Lord orchestrated every move; every appointment. He was faithful. And He’ll orchestrate my son’s future of this I am certain.
Earlier I said we are waiting for the State to make its next move but in reality God is in charge and it is His love and mercy that will decide what the next move is for Thomas. It always has been God.
I’m on my way to work like I do most Saturday’s. Taking the ferry to Manhattan and wondering what the day holds for me. I enjoy being in the city, taking the subway, walking to the building where I work. It’s very busy where my office is and I like the hustle and bustle. When we were in North Carolina for vacation I enjoyed the slower pace of the South. The smooth paved roads without pot holes. My first day back at work walking through Herald Square was a jolt back to reality. “Step up” I told myself as I walked to my building. I immediately longed for a day at the beach as I had the week before.
But that was vacation, a stretch of time unmarred by responsibilities and stress. Not that my life is extremely stressful, it’s not. It’s just life like anyone else’s. There are periods of stress but nothing like I lived when Thomas was living home and unstable. Waiting on the State to move him into the group home is mildly stressful but it’s not in my hands so there’s little to truly worry about.
The windows are open on the ferry and it’s a bit chilly in here. Quite the change in weather from the past couple of weeks. Soon the boat will dock and I’ll be in my way to catch my train and my Saturday will rev up in pace compared to now just sitting here writing. I’m wearing a new dress I scored at Nordstrom Rack. It’s Missoni and I’m loving it.
The train is now approaching. I’m off!