Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Tribute To My Dad

It's almost that time of the year when in the hustle and bustle of things, and as Christmas draws closer, the true meaning of Christmas comes to mind. This Christmas is truly going to be bittersweet, because it's my Dad's first Christmas in Heaven! I know my Dad is in a Much Better Place! He can now remember everything, and he is truly Happy in the Kingdom of God!
My husband Dennis and I traveled to Michigan this past June. We spent one week with my Mom and visiting my Dad daily at the Medical Care Facility where he spent the last eleven months of his life. Every day that we went to visit Dad was amazingly alert and he knew me, every day! There was a few times that he wasn't sure who my Mom might be, but he knew me right off! I can still see him walking down the hallway, taking short but deliberate steps, almost a little shuffle, but he was going. At 90, he was still up and moving. I remember, as a child, walking beside him and his strides were long, as he was so tall, and I had all I could do to keep up with him. He walked everywhere. Long before he would walk three miles one way to work! Then I saw him walking toward me in the Nursing Home, and there was a smile on his face, and through a tear, I was so happy to see him, and to see him coming toward me. We embraced, and I felt like my Dad's little girl again, if only for a minute!
Each day when we were ready to leave, Dad said something special to me. I need to tell you that my Dad was not a man of many words. He was not one to brag, nor he did he like or expect any special attention. He was truly from the old school where you were, "seen and not heard." One day when we were ready to leave after our visit, Dad said, "thanks for coming, you mean a lot to me." The next time, at the end of our visit, Dad said, "you know I care about you a lot."
Now you have to understand, during the years that I was growing up, my Dad had never told me that he loved me. He always said, "you know I do." Hearing it was something that I had always wanted. Some how I always hoped to hear those words, but I really knew now that my Dad was a victim of Alzheimer's it was never going to happen!
The very last day that we visited Dad, (I have always never did well with Goodbyes) I knew that telling him Goodbye would be difficult. I even wondered if he would remember that I was even there. The nurses told us that he actually was looking forward to seeing me, and that he kept telling them that I was coming! That was remarkable, as he seldom remembered much of any conversation. My Mom did tell him that I was coming to visit, but it surprised us to know that he actually held onto remembering days before. I also was sending my Dad a card and a message almost every week. The nurses said he was putting my cards under his pillow. Mom brought him a big manila envelope for his cards, but he still kept some under his pillow.
Getting back to the last day of our visit. I waited until my Mom bid her Goodbye to Dad, then my husband Dennis, and then it was my turn! I put my arms around him, gave him a few kisses, and then it happened. He looked me square in the eyes, and he said: "I Love You'! It was then that I knew. It was then that it hit me like a "mack truck." This is going to be our last Goodbye. This is what I had been waiting for, all of my life!! It was truly bittersweet! This was God allowing my Dad to have a necessary moment of true memory, and setting the record straight. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. My Mom still talks about it!
It was on October 18, 2009 that I got the call that I knew was coming. My Dad had passed away. At his wake I was able to share those last few days of Goodbyes, between me and my Dad. Somehow, this is what has gotten me through my loss. It was my little Miracle! It was the ultimate gift not only from my Dad, but from God. Christmas will be difficult this year, but I am truly at Peace knowing that my Dad is in Heaven, but most of all, knowing that my Dad loved me! What a Gift!!!
As I said at my Dad's wake. It is never too late to say the things that you need or want to tell someone. Do it now while you can. Tell someone you love them. It is definitely, Priceless!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Beginning Of a New Day

This is the beginning of a new day...you
have been given this day to use as you
will. You can waste it or use it for
good. You can embrace it, and get
as much out of it as possible and
try to accomplish all that you can
possibly fit in.
What you do today is important
because you are exchanging a day
of your life for what ever you
choose to do.
When tomorrow comes, this day will
be gone forever. In its place, is
something that you have left behind...
Let it be something good!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

If Only

Life for us is always full of "Ifs"......
It's the Ifs, the buts, and the whens....
If this happens, then we will do that.
It's always a plan, but Its only then
that we will engage in the "plan."
Then there comes the time when you
hear that time may be running out,
and your"number" may be coming up.
The future ifs which promised so much joy
change to sad..."If only".....
I have heard the "Ifs," the "If only" more than
a time or two!
I must not live "If only"...
So I try my best to steer the course that is
so important while I am still here,,,and still
My thoughts are very simple. If I were granted
one more day to spend alone with my loved ones,
I'd say all the things I should have, and would have
said, and do all I wanted to....with no regrets!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Will Not Chew Gum In Class

Daydreamer, that's truly me! Always has been, and always, will be!
That's who I was when I was a young girl. I couldn't keep my mind
on my school work when the sun would come shining so brightly
through our classroom window. Lord forbid, if there was a fluffy
white cloud in an azure blue sky. I would most definitely have to
follow it, like it was calling my name! No, that was my teacher...
hmmm, calling my name!!!

I remember times when I sat down on a warm sidewalk, shooing all
the ants away (so they wouldn't get smooshed) and drawing patterns
of boxes with numbers in them. I usually used a small piece of soft rock,
okay, okay...sometimes a small piece of chalk! I acquired this chalk for
erasing chalk boards for my teacher (a nun). Nooo, not out of the
kindness of my heart! Rather, as a punishment for...lets say. "Gum!"

"I will not chew gum"
"I will not chew gum"
I truly was not a chatterbox, far from it, as I was truly very shy! Just a
gum chewer was I. In those days, Teaberry, and Clove Gum...hmmm
Black Jack was even better!
I was filled with love for life, and I did not want to waste one single
solitary moment of it! I was determined to carry this spark with me
always, and I have!

And so we arrive back here in the present day, and time. I am always
at a loss for for words when someone asks me what do I actually do??
Currently, I am a Pre-school teacher. I was a Medical Assistant for over
22 years. I think of myself as a "maker of stuff," and my creative side
takes over!

I sit in awe with what I have been blessed with! I have the best husband
a woman could ever ask for. He is my partner, my #1 supporter, my
confidant, my love, and my forever.

My kids, who have kids.....oh, the grands, who make my heart skip
beats! I see their parents in them, and on occasion, I also see
myself! I haven't noticed any serious gum chewers yet, though!!!

I have had many new beginnings many endings (some good, and
some not so good).

Lessons I have learned....have been more than ample. I still learn
something new everyday! There are many things that I still want
to learn. There are things that I would do over if given the chance.
Then there are the things that I would never do again!!!!

Where I want to be is where I am right now! Although, my health
sometimes adds to the flavor of the day, I think that I have finally
figured out this thing called : Contentment
Yes, it is true that I have discovered what contentment is all about.
For me it's more than just being satisfied. I have my creativity, and
I can use it whenever I want. I can still bring smiles to the faces of
small children, and to those I love. This is without a doubt the
true meaning of being Content!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who Am I

I am a "Dreamer"....
I have always loved to read....one reason is because
reading would feed my need to dream of far away
places and possibilities. I don't think I have ever lost
my ability to dream, nor have I changed a lot. I truly
am quite the optimist, because I am a "Dreamer."

I am an "Artist".........
Besides my obvious love for card making....I love all
of the arts! I love photography,(still life) I love paintings,
sculptures, and my ultimate is my love for Music.....more
than anything! I remember growing up and dancing with
my Dad in the dining room....we would roll the rug up, and
try to cut a rug! These memories bring me comfort.

I am a "Teacher".......
One of my greatest hearts desires was to be able to teach
children. I spent over 22 years in the medical field as a
Medical Assistant. I worked with doctors in Peds, Family
Practice and Internal Medicine. Now later in life, I am
a Preschool Teacher, and I am so content.

I am a "Legacy"..........
One of the greatest gifts I believe is a "Legacy"......My
legacy is built on love...for my children and especially
for my grandchildren. I will always be a part of who
they are.....what a Blessing!!!

I am a "Christian"..........
A lover and Believer of God......this is Me!!!!
If I could choose one identity in life, It would be this
one. I found Christ as a child, but more real for me
is what God has done in my Life. God has given me
a new life with my husband, new hope (because of
my cancer), and a new identity. Being true to myself
above all.....I like who I am, and I know that I am
here for a purpose....to love and serve the Lord.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My First Blog Entry

Good Morning Everyone,

I am totally excited as this is my first attempt at Blogging.
So if I can talk, guess I can blog! So, pull up a chair, and
bring your coffee cup, and visit awhile!

We woke up this morning to see it "Snowing!" I hail from
Michigan so snow is not amazing to me. Infact, my son
called to say that he has so much snow at this point,
(Grand Rapids, Michigan) that he has no room to put it.
They can hardly see out of their living room window!
This is definitely why we moved to North Carolina.
There is no school here today, so hubby and I are
just enjoying some morning quiet time. Of course, we
have been up since 5:am, our usual rising time!

Today, history is truly being made. Within a few hours
we will have a new President of the United States. May
God Bless Barack OBama and his family.

My grandchildren just called to say they are already dressed and
going outside to play in the snow! They are so excited! My
daughter said she is going to take pictures, and even their
little dog is loving the snow! Fun, fun!

I hope you all have a wonderful day! Fran