Tag Archives: fear

World Turned Upside Down

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One year ago at this time I was setting up camp with my family in the ICU waiting room of the Florida Hospital in Zephyrhills filled with two conflicting emotions-fear and joy.  The morning of January 9, 2013 my cousin and his wife gave birth to their first born…a baby girl named Ruth.  So happy for them and thrilled for my family to have a new little bundle to love and spoil.  I never imagined a few short hours later by lunchtime my world would be turned upside down and has yet to be righted.

While teaching I received a text that my aunt was at the hospital with pneumonia.  I told my mom, who at the time worked with me, so we could rearrange our schedules and she could go up after school.  Just 15 minutes later, I received another text that stated that they were putting my aunt on life support. I was in told shock.  My mind filled with so many thoughts…tell my mom, make sure she gets to Zephyrhills safely, get my daughter taken care of so I could go up after school, get a hold of my aunt who was in a meeting, and this CAN’T be happening…I NEED my aunt.

Days passed as she was in a coma with her lungs bleeding and filling with fluids.  I would work and go up and sit in her room holding her, talking to her and trying to be so strong. A few times we got some positive news but it quickly would vanish as more despairing news would come.

Then came the time I had to let my little  6-year-old girl know her Nana was “really sick” and may be going to live with God.  This was not a new concept to her as she dealt with the death of her Papa Richard, the man who took care of her since she was a year old, when she was in kindergarten.  She of course wanted to see her Nana.  I was unsure…do I take her to see Nana filled with tubes and wires…do I not so she can remember Nana camping, playing, swimming, loving her, etc.

Finally progress was made and the ventilator was able to be removed, she was moved to rehab, and even made it home.  She even was well enough to attend the baby dedication of Ruth.

Cile and Ruth

Although so thrilled that she was able to be there, a sense of peace never came to me that her illness was resolved and she would continue to improve until she was back to where she was previously.  I have never really been a glass half full girl.

My greatest fears came true this past summer when we received the news that there was no cure for what had happened for her lungs and her only chance for a bilateral lung transplant.

My heart broke. Yes her title maybe aunt, but to me she is another mother.  I was so blessed that while growing up she and her family lived only 15 minutes from us.  Our families did EVERYTHING together.  God had blessed her with a son but not a daughter so I got to fill that spot.  In fact back then and even now if we are together other often think we are mother and daughter because even though she came into my family by marriage we look sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much alike.

And then it broke again as I talked with my little girl letting her know that Nana needed a new pair of lungs but I know I had to…I believe in being honest.

As of now we are still waiting for a set a lungs, we have had one close chance…but that is for another post.

As a family we have been there to support each other and we all have are ups and downs as we travel this path…but one thing we all know for sure it is in God’s hand and we can rest in whatever he does as his perfect will.

I love you my precious aunt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Remembering…

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Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or working on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?

Did you weep for the children who lost their dear loved ones
And pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white and blue
And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?

I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN but I’m not sure I can tell
You the difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?
Were you teaching a class full of innocent children
Or driving down some cold interstate?
Did you feel guilty ’cause you’re a survivor
In a crowded room did you feel alone?
Did you call up your mother and tell her you loved her?
Did you dust off that Bible at home?

Did you open your eyes, hope it never happened
Close your eyes and not go to sleep?
Did you notice the sunset the first time in ages
Or speak to some stranger on the street?
Did you lay down at night and think of tomorrow
Or go out and buy you a gun?
Did you turn off that violent old movie you’re watchin’
And turn on “I Love Lucy” reruns?

Did you go to a church and hold hands with some strangers
Did you stand in line and give your own blood?
Did you just stay home and cling tight to your family
Thank God you had somebody to love?

Where were you when the world stopped turning on that September day?

 

By Alan Jackson

September 11, 2001 8:46 am  I was student teaching at Rodgers Middle School.  I had just delivered my homeroom to the basketball court for intramurals and walked back to the classroom where the teacher had turned on the TV and told me that an airplane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  I was shocked and remember asking, “Is the weather bad?” and hearing “No.” I was so confused.  Then as I saw a second plane crash into the second tower fear begin to mix with the confusion.  My niece attended Rodgers at the time my instinct was to find her, sing her and take her home and keep her safe.  But I had a bigger responsibility at that time, I needed to turn of the TV, pull myself  together and make the day as normal as possible.

 

As soon as 4:05pm came, I was in my car headed home.  I curled up on the couch with my eyes fixated on the television soaking in the horror of what had happened as tears poured down my face.  For days, every free moment I spent scouring the newspaper, searching the internet, and watching the television trying to soak in all the information I could about this horrible tragedy.  After about a week,  the time came that I could cry no more and I could no longer watch or read more about it.  I began to pull out movies instead to watch on TV.

 

As a teacher one of the new mandates that has been passed down to us is that we teach about Patriot Day in remembrance of September 11, 2001.  As a teacher and a parent I realize this is a sensitive topic, so I try to share the basic facts of what happened that day and how emotional it was.  I feel it is important to let the student know what happened that day as well as how so many people worked together and the importance of working together.

 

Daily Progress 1.5 miles at 3.8 mph.
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Bump in the Road

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This little heart monitor has been my sidekick for the past three weeks.  We were scheduled to hang out together for another week but plans changed with one little phone call on Monday: “The doctor has reviewed your test strips that have been submitted so far and would like you to come in this week instead of waiting until the 2nd week in July.”

Today was my appointment and the news I received was that the testing strips showed both episodes of early beats and supraventricular tachycardia.  Now this isn’t totally new news to me.  About 8 years ago, I received the initial diagnosis,  I chose at first  treat with medication.  5 years ago I decided to suck it up and have the surgery to what I thought would permanently end the problem.  Guess I thought wrong.

So now I must decide…medicine or surgery.  I have about a month to decide.  During that month, I will be taking the medicines and monitoring their effects.

At this point my thoughts are that I will do the medicine.  i just can’t justify the risk of surgery if not absolutely necessary knowing now that it may not be a permanent solution and I may have to be back on the operating table yet again.

One of the many emotions I felt this time when I received the diagnosis that I didn’t have the first time was the mommy guilt and worry.  Is this a condition that my precious princess will inherit too?

No this isn’t the end of the journey…just a bump that I am working on picking my self up from and brushing myself off so I can continue on.

Back to the Grind

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Yea!!!!!!!!  Today I was able to return to the park for more jogging/walking interval training.  I was filled with excitement to be able to feel the sun beat down and the sweat drip off my face but deep underneath was a little fear of the return of the knee pain.

I decided to stick with the previous interval I was doing: 2 minute walk and 1 minute run.  The first mile was hard and I was going to slack off and just walk the second mile but decided I don’t give up on things in life and exercising is part of life. So I sucked it up and continued with the 2 minute walk and 1 minute run.

1st mile 14:35 and 2nd mile 14:37

I did wear the brace and am icing it now in hopes that I can keep the inflammation at bay.  Can’t wait to go again tomorrow.

Parenting

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Growing up I always stated that I would have 10 kids – 5 boys and 5 girls.  My love for children began at a young age…while other children were busy playing I chose to tend to whatever little ones were around.  Even in junior high and high school, instead of involving myself in our church youth group, I chose to become the children’s director.  And if you asked my brother he would telling you growing up he had 2 mothers…and I was the hardest one of the two.

After getting married but before having our princess, I use to fear the thought of motherhood.  Would I  be able to mother my students all day and meet their needs and still be all that my child needed?  Teacher friends assured me that I need not fear because it was able to be done.

Just days before boarding my 1st cruise in celebration of my 5th anniversary, I learned I was expecting.  Filled with emotions that I blamed on hormones and thought would dwindle after giving birth, a new chapter in my life began.

On March 15, 2006 God blessed me with a beautiful princess.  Every day since has been an emotional ride.  Happiness as I watch her smile.  Love as she snuggles close.  Fear that am I doing what is best for her. Joy as her voice belts “I put my hands up in the air sometimes” from the backseat of my car.  Pride as she overcomes her fear of not being perfect on the dance stage dressed as the cutest poodle ever.  Sadness as she demonstrates independence and so many more emotions.

This past month we have traveled a path on such deep emotion together and know that if not for God, family and friends we may not have come through as well as we have been.

Shortly after turning a year old, we had the privilege of having a dear couple from our church, who are our neighbors,  take care of our precious princess.  She would spend her days their learning so much not only colors, numbers and ABCs but also how to be sweet, respectful, honest and so many other things.  This couple was not just our friends and neighbors….they were family and to the Princess they were Nana and Papa.  They took care of her until this school year when she started kindergarten, but in the afternoons when she got home she would go and visit and share her day with them and get her fill of loving.

This past January, Papa begin to be ill and spent much time in and out of the hospital.  Believing that death is a part of life and wanting to be honest with the Princess, I began to let her know of Papa’s situation.  The first part of March it was apparent that Papa’s journey here was coming to a close and he would soon go home to Heaven.

Papa was released Friday, March 2 from the hospice house to come back to is home. The princess was thrilled to see him and wanted to take him a balloon.  It was difficult for me to find a balloon that I felt was appropriate and finally settled on one that said welcome home. When I showed it to the princess, she quickly stated that it should say welcome to Heaven as that was where Papa was going.  We headed off to dance with the promise when we returned Papa would be settled and she could go visit him.  By this time we had talked frequently how that Papa was sick and would soon be going to live in Heaven with Jesus and wouldn’t be in pain anymore and I thought we were doing well.

As we headed home for dance, the Princess asked, “How many days will Papa be visiting Heaven?”  Tears streamed from my eyes as my heart broke realizing that she didn’t understand as much as I thought she did.  When I told her that Papa would be staying in Heaven she began to sob and say, “But I love him and will miss him.”  As a parent, I said all the things you are suppose to about how you understand; and how it is better for Papa; how it will be hard for us…while in my head it sounded like the wahwahwah form Charlie Brown’s teacher.

Each day between that Friday and his home going that Wednesday we would go to love on Papa.  She was strong until the final night when she knew it would be the last time she hugged him but waited for permission before crying.  She cried through the visitation, the funeral, and the burial which in turn made me cry.  My motherly instinct was to remove her from the situation and dry her tears, but my motherly wisdom knew this was one of life’s lessons that she needed to learn.

As the days passed, she talked about Papa, wrote in her journal about him, and picked him flowers.  Tonight though for some reason it was as if the scab that was healing was broken open just a bit and she begin to cry again.  I helt her, I cried and said all the things that a mama should.

By far in her precious 6 years I think this has been the most emotional part of our journey.  I know we will make and I know many more emotions will come, but I am thankful for the privilege God gave to journey together with my princess.

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The Princess and I on her 5th birthday.

Fear

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Fear is an emotion that can be a two-edged sword.  Sometimes we make or don’t make a decision out of fear which means we maybe better off or we may have missed an opportunity.  I am a rather independent person and my fears are few…but running has brought a new fear-that although I know it’s irrational it is a fear I am working through.  My new fear…not  getting in my daily jog/walk.  If i miss a day, will I have to motivation to go the next day or will I miss again?  This fear is why even though friends have prompted me to take a day off to rest and recuperate,  I insist on going.

So today back to the park…had to come home early to take care of the princess, only got in one mile, 14:38.  Speed walked the first 5 minutes and then ran 1 minute and walked 2 minutes.