Posts Tagged ‘family’

Grandpa – Fix Yourself for Us Now!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Our Grandpa has cancer.  This is the Grandpa who stabilizes our lives. The one who keeps the computers running, fixes the appliances, repairs the leaking bicycle tire. The one who can take a handful of playdoh and make it into a dinosaur for Nature Boy. The one the Little Guy goes to and begs to be spun in a circle until both of them are too dizzy to stand up.

No cancer is good cancer but this one is particularly nasty.  It’s a highly aggressive lymphoma that made it to Stage IV before we knew he was sick. It’s hanging out not only in his abdomen but in his bone marrow and spinal fluid.  I’m a mommy.  I kiss hurts and make them better.  Won’t help with this hurt.

When we were told this, I just broke down and cried. Grandpa loves us and promises to not give up. That’s not an easy thing when ports are being inserted in your head to take the chemo; when special IV’s are placed in your chest, when you must spend 5 days of every 21 in the hospital where drugs are being administered to you that you know full well will make you sick.  And all the while you wonder “is this going to work?”.

I can and have been praying. Our church is praying. The churches of family members are praying along with the family.  I’m coming to you now, my nearly 2000 subscribers. Pray with us.  This Grandpa who fixes everything else for everyone else needs more than just the doctors and determination to get well.  He needs God’s help and the prayers of God’s people.

He has two little special needs boys and two granddaughters who need him to be there. Life without him is unimaginable.  God is the Giver of Life.  We’ll lean on Him.

Someday Mermaids Might be Real

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Our little redhead has decided to become a mermaid.  Why this mermaid business has such an appeal, I don’t know but it is serious business for her.  She has watched every mermaid show she can find on the internet (we don’t subscribe to cable so the internet is her only option).

  • She has checked YouTube for others with a similar interest and has learned all she can. A few weeks ago, she found someone who had a formula to make you become a mermaid. She tried it but it didn’t work.

She revisited the site a few days ago but I forbid her to try the formula again.  The kitchen just becomes too much of a mess. Besides, I’m not altogether certain she isn’t going to poison herself in her zeal to find just the right formula.

I’ve tried telling her that mermaids aren’t real.  She doesn’t believe me.  Of course, she also doesn’t believe me when I tell her vampires aren’t real. Recently, due to a serious lack of garlic in the house, she opted to cover her bedroom floor near her window with baking powder.  Her reasoning was that baking powder would work in a pinch as a substitute for garlic. That may be why the mermaid potion isn’t working. We might be missing some of the key ingredients and the substitute she is using is less than useful.

Not being a real mermaid hasn’t stopped her from practicing to become one. She has a mermaid costume from Halloween which wasn’t quite what she wanted so she talked grandpa into making her a mermaid fin for her feet. She stuffs both of her legs into one pant leg, puts on her swimming suit top and shoves her feet into the fin.   She can actually move around the house like this!

Psychologists tell us that play is the way children learn. That being the case, I am happy to see some of the things she is learning in spite of the baking soda and the kitchen messes. She is learning to make and pursue her goals. She hasn’t given up in spite of setbacks. She has researched her subject to learn all she can. She has tried experiments and will doubtless try again when I’m not looking. She has the formula written down and I’m sure she will put in some time talking grandpa into taking her to the store to buy the right ingredients. If that doesn’t work, I’m sure she’ll be tweaking that formula with her own little touches. She is learning persistence in the face of failure.

She is practicing her moves for that coming moment when she finally gets it right.

If she can hold onto all that enthusiasm and determination, if she can remember the steps for success she is learning  now, I’m sure we will someday see her achieve whatever it is she sets out to do. I may never have the spices I need when it comes time to cook and grandpa may never stop yelling each time he steps in the kitchen and discovers her latest attempts at perfecting her formula but I am happy to report that our little redhead will someday be top dog at whatever she chooses to do.

Life’s Little Twists and Turns

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Several years ago, my mother introduced me to what has become one of my favorite movies – While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock. In the beginning of this movie, she is telling about her childhood and her father. She tells how her father tried to explain that life doesn’t always turn out the way you planned. In the movie and in real life, I have found this to be true.

As my husband and I reached that time in life where retirement promised fun-filled travel visiting children and grandchildren and exploring places we had never had the time or income to do before, we got a little side tracked.

Our youngest daughter had a beautiful baby girl. As a single mom, she needed help.  As the grandparents we loved giving it. Eight years later, the little one still lives with us and has grown to be a Princess who truly believes in her royalty. So much so that she is often referred to as a queen – actually a drama queen but whose quibling? She loves animals, outdoors and anything allowing her unending activity. Her body, her mind and her mouth are in perpetual motion causing her to get into all kinds of trouble when not carefully supervised.

About a year ago, we met another single mom who needed a home where her little one could live while she got her life organized. He is a developmentally dsabled little boy whom we call ‘Nature Boy.’ We call him that because he despises clothing and removes it whenever no one is watching. Naturally, in public, we keep a close eye on him. At home, he is often found happily watching Blues Clues completely in the buff. Sometimes he’s outdoors on his tummy on the swing with his little butt in the air. Thank God for privacy fences and older girls who call to inform me, “Grandma, Nature Boy is naked again!” He’s a happy little guy enjoying the world around him and somehow being able to get through to us what his wants and needs are even though he doesn’t talk yet.

Nature Boy has a little brother just 2 months old now who also lives with us. The Little Guy has blue eyes that study the world around him solemnly. Only occasionally smiling but when he does his whole face gets involved. He sleeps through much of his day and, thankfully, has begun to sleep longer stretches through the night. Lack of sleep was forcing me to recognize my age limitations. We aren’t technically the grandparents of the two boys. They just call us that because Princess does and we allow it because we consider their mother our pseudo-daughter.

We met another single mom around the same time we met Nature Boy’s mother. She has two little girls who are now just 10 months and 20 months. These little ones don’t live with us but we help out mommy on the week-ends when she has to work and needs a sitter. The two little girls come to stay with us on Friday nights and stay through Sunday. We enjoy watching the 20 month old as she dances through the house to any music available whether it be radio, television, Grandma singing or her singing to herself. She has little, happy feet that never stop moving unless she hears the sound of the word ‘no’. Then it becomes obvious that she is approaching the terrible two’s. She does a Jekyl and Hyde transformation that is astounding. Those happy feet do a quick transformation from dancing to stamping that is accompanied, not by music, but by a scream that is heard throughout the neighborhood. Her younger sister is a calmer, quieter child. She loves being rocked and cuddled.  When no one is available to rock her, she plays quietly with her toys, studying everything she sees with her big, beautiful blue eyes. Part of her studying things involves eating anything that she might find on the floor that has been left there by the others. She isn’t a a picky eater which is good when mealtimes come but not so good when chalk, crayons, Polly Pockets, matchbox cars and toy soldiers are left lying around.

It feels somewhat like my life is a ‘do-over’ today. While the biological children and adoptive children have grown and blessed me with many grandchilden, things just haven’t turned out the way I planned. I have retired but haven’t started the trips around the country visiting grandchildren and adult children. I haven’t taken the time to plan trips overseas or cruises on ships. On the bright side, I don’t have time to sit around discussing my health or my latest ‘procedure’ with the other retirees I know.

My life hasn’t turned out the way I planned.

I could, of course, sit and complain about all of this because I truly miss having the opportunity to visit the grandchildren who live out of state and I feel that I am missing a great deal of my children’s lives that I wish I could be there for. I wish I could be there for the tough times they experience, to help them when they need an evening out without the children, and to just be there to laugh with them and to talk to them.  I love those I don’t get to see every day. I also love those I do see every day. In choosing not to dwell on the negatives, I have been blessed with the joy of having little ones to hug, whose smiles light up their faces when they see me coming (unless they are coloring on the walls which means I will be seeing their little backs running down the hall). My life is good. Not what I had planned but very good anyway.

So why am I talking about this? I’m trying to encourage you to realize that not everything in life has to be neatly organized nor does it have to come in logical steps. Don’t spend time regretting what isn’t. Do spend time embracing the life you have been given and recognizing the good that you are blessed with.

August 1 Quote of the Day

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
Desmond Tutu

There are a lot of quotes to be had that inform us of the undesirability of family. These quotes all seem to indicate that family members are people to be endured but rarely enjoyed. There are times when every one of us can sympathize with that sentiment.

That being said, I think it might be time to take a moment to stop and look at your family member as a gift from God.  No fair thinking thoughts like, ‘God has a terrible sense of humor’; or ‘I guess it’s the thought that counts’. Take the time to remember the fun you had with that person when you were children.

Remember a few times when you expressed love for one another. Remember when that person helped you or affirmed you in some way.  That person was a gift to you as you are to them. Do the best you can to make sure you’re the gift God intended.  When sometimes the hurt they cause doesn’t look like a gift, take a little time to think of the times they were the perfect gift.


July 15 Quote of the Day

Monday, September 17th, 2012

In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.
Leo Tolstoy


How long will you continue to run around – dashing to work, to children’s events, to grocery shopping, picking up laundry, cleaning house – constantly moving?  Stop for a moment.  Turn off the television, the radio, the phone and it’s perpetual texts. Just for five minutes, study the beauty outside your window.  Maybe it’s not beautiful.  Maybe it’s bleak.

But for a moment, rest. Rest means do nothing! Just look around you.

See where you live and how you live.  Enjoy the fact that you have a home, a vehicle, a family, friends, pets and nature.  Appreciate what you have in your life.  Once, you’ve done this, go ahead and resume your life. Those five minutes you’ve taken will enhance the rest of your day.


July 14 Quote of the Day

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I guess you could say I devoted myself so strongly to my music that for awhile I forgot about my family. But I only get one set of parents, and I think I forgot about that for a little while.
Lady Gaga


Most people hit adulthood running. They have jobs to do, kids to raise, houses to buy and goals to reach. While you’re doing all that, remember that your parents. Those people who were running while you were little to give you the good life. Sometimes they got a little too busy and sometimes they were impatient with you or didn’t quite meet your expectations.

But they always loved you.

A simple phone call or email can make their day.  Remember that.


May 11 Quote of the Day`

Monday, September 10th, 2012

It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.
Dale Carnegie



It might be a good idea to start thinking about the things in your life that give you joy; your children, the book you just read,  the friends who made you laugh last night.  Or think about the little things that improve your life; your car that keeps you from having to walk everywhere, the guy you hire to mow your lawn so you don’t have to, the coffee pot that automatically has your coffee ready when you wake up. Or maybe just think about the little things that make you smile; your dog who wags his tail at the sight of you,  the fresh morning air and the sunshine that goes with it, the little neighbor girl who smiles and waves each time she sees you.  I’ve given you plenty of things that make me smile.  What makes you smile?


June 2 Quote of the Day

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house.
George Carlin

I would like to make several posters of this saying and send it to all my family and all my friends.

May 29 Quote of the Day

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

I don’t think anyone has a normal family.
Edward Furlong



It’s a good thing when you finally become mature enough to realize that your family life was probably as normal as everyone else’s. Everyone’s families are just a little bit ‘dysfunctional’.  It’s what gives us our individuality and what provides spice to life. When maturity arrives, you can stop bemoaning your fate for having been raised in the family you had, you can start learning to laugh at the idiosyncrasies of your family. You can start remembering the love that was exchanged with the gifts at Christmas and birthdays.  You can start focusing on the fun you had making mud pies with all mom’s eggs she was planning to use for baking.  You can start remembering your childhood wasn’t all bad.  Some of it had some pretty exciting moments.  A lot of it had laughter.  Most all of it had love sneaking in from somewhere.  Families are complicated – and, yes, occasionally dysfunctional – but they’re OUR families.  Normal would have been boring anyway.


May 25 Quote of the Day

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.
Garrison Keillor



I was doing my nightly stumbling and had a really neat page shared with me. A cartoon character was saying he didn’t want to live on this planet anymore. That comment was followed by numerous pictures of absolutely beautiful places I would love to see. The final frame was this same character saying he wanted to live forever. Life is often not what we want it to be but there are so many good and worthwhile reasons to enjoy life.  Next time you’re depressed and ready to quit, take a few minutes to look at the beauty that surrounds us, to think of all the things you would like to do yet, to remember all those who love you.