Tag Archives: overwhelmed

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.

Plateaus, Pushing on, and Progress

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About a week and a half ago, I was DONE!  I was ready to retire my running shoes.  Now by nature, I am not a quitter so I found it difficult to deal with my thoughts of stopping.  I don’t know why I no longer wanted to do it…I was tired, frustrated, overwhelmed and a million other excuses.

It was then that I was reminded of the power of friends and encouragement.  I appreciate those who are there helping me to better myself.

I am happy that over the last 2 weeks i have lost the 2 pounds I gained and an additional 2 pounds.  I have only 2 pounds to go to reach my first goal.  Once I lose those two pounds, I will reward myself with a day at the spa.

Due to Tropical Storm Debby, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I miss my jogs!

Craziness

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So this morning my vehicle of life turned sharply on to Crazy Avenue.  I am in a teaching model called a triad  – 3 teachers sharing 66 student-where each of us teach reading and then 3 blocks of the subject area we do well in.  This morning, I was scheduled to be off so I could attend the Princess’ award ceremony.  As I got ready I talked with my first partner who shared with me that she had found out that her grandfather who had a stroke on Friday was being discharged to hospice and wasn’t expected to make it through the week.  We talked and had just hung up my phone and headed to get ready for a morning jog when my other teaching partner called crying hysterically.  Finally able to piece together her story, I discovered she has fallen and hurt herself.  Ever the dedicated teacher she was just going to wrap it and head to work.  convinced her to head to the ER letting her know I would take care of school and warning her that she would mostly be having surgery.

My vehicle was able to take a brief tour off Crazy Avenue as I put on the hat of mommy.  I surprised the princess by bringing a special guest to see her receive her awards, Nana – the woman who took care of her from 6 months old to kindergarten.  The smile that crossed the princess face when she saw Nana , reminded me how important this detour  was even if only for an hour.

The hour gave me the strength needed to get back on Crazy Avenue: go to work, attend a training, run to the doctor’s office, make dinner, and a million other things.

Thank you for bearing with me through my ramblings and if I am off the rest of the week I apologize in advance as my two co-teachers are out the rest of the week.

Because of the craziness I didn’t get to jog/walk but did do 30 minutes on the elliptical.

Off the ride!

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Staying up late last night to read my new book = tired.  Adding the elliptical to  yesterday’s activity = sore. Two weeks off crazy testing and scheduling = drained.  Add all that up and it equals no jog/walk.

So instead I will share my attempt at poetry:

Courtesy of wikipedia:
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Carousel

The bright twinkling lights invited me in…

The cheerful music beckons to enjoy.

Which horse should I choose? Boy? Girl? Big? Little?

After much thought a selection is made.

Carefully climb up…secure myself in.

Rotating slowly as the music plays.

Enjoyment floods me bringing a hug smile.

The speed increases and the music blares.

Joy replaced with sobs shaking my body.

“STOP!” I scream but my cries go unanswered.