Tag Archives: parenting

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Teaching a Teacher’s Child

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Being a teacher, I know that teachers invest a lot of time, energy, emotion, sweat, etc. into their students and that often it goes unnoticed and unappreciated.  So I attempt to be the parent to my daughter’s teachers that I think I would like to have in my classroom.  The problem is that like every thing in my life I tend to do it to the extreme.

 

Because of that, I think my daughter’s teachers tend to fear that I don’t think they are doing a job that I am happy with.  When in all honesty nothing could be further from the truth.  So in the new way of healthy living that I am trying to maintain in my life, with the start of this new school year, I am trying to take about a 1,000 steps back and be that typical classroom parent.

 

We are 21 days into the school year and I have only been to the classroom once and send 2 emails- one to let her know that I was changing how my daughter was going home and the second to find out if I could place a book order online.

No elliptical or jog tonight due to open house.

 

 

 

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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Parent’s Day

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Today is Parent’s Day according to my Chick Fil A calendar.  When I saw that, I began to wonder what is Parent’s Day.  So to trusty google I went (How did we live before the Internet?) to find out what Parent’s Day is all about.  Here is what I found:

Many Americans are unaware that our nation has a new day of commemoration called Parents’ Day. This is good news for America’s parents and families.

In 1994 President Bill Clinton signed into law the resolution unanimously adopted by the U. S. Congress establishing the fourth Sunday of every July as Parents’ Day, a perennial day of commemoration similar to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. According to the Congressional Resolution, Parents’ Day is established for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”

The establishment of Parents’ Day was the result of a bipartisan, multiracial and interfaith coalition of religious, civic and elected leaders who recognized the need to promote responsible parenting in our society and to uplift ideal parental role models, especially for our nation’s children.

Since the creation of this annual day of commemoration, local faith communities, elected officials and activists throughout the nation have creatively launched many activities around the theme of Parents’ Day designed to celebrate and strengthen the traditional, two-parent family.

The National Parents’ Day Council does not envision Parents’ Day to be yet “another” day to honor parents, but rather a day when parents honor their children and the God-centered family ideal by rededicating themselves to manifest the highest standard of unconditional true love.

Courtesy of:   http://www.parentsday.com/#about

 I have been doing quite a bit of reflecting on my parenting.  There are many things I do well according to those who have seen me interact with my child.  But there are also things that I need to improve.  The first priority for me to work on in my life to be better in my child’s life is the ability to relax and have fun.  I have always struggle with this and desired to be the best of everyone.  Not focusing on my own personal best but the best of everyone in the world.  I have begun to see this in my child’s life and realize that not only am I modeling it for but I am demanding it from her without meaning to do it.  So my first thing to work on is to is about focusing on your personal best and having fun not competing about everything.  Let’s see how this goes.
As far as my journey to a half marathon….today I walked 3 miles.

Granny

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Today at 1pm, Granny, the princess’ 96 year old great-grandmother, left her earthly home. What a wonderful woman she was and she had a love for quilting. Not only will her memory live on in the 2 quilts I have from her, but the princess was also privileged to be given her own quilt when she was 2.  Not looking forward to having to tell the princess when just 4 months ago her Papa Richard passed away.

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Go Rest High On That Mountain 
Songwriters: Gill, Vince;

I know your life on earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren’t afraid to face the Devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin’
Love for the Father and the Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
Wish I could see the angels’ faces

When they hear your sweet voice sing

As far as my progress, I enjoyed a 3mile morning walk.

Jogging, Bowling and Swimming

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Started the morning with another sunrise jog.  Did the first mile of 60 second jog/60 second walk in 11:52.  I then walked another 2 miles.

Wanting to have a fun-filled summer day; my mom, my grandma, my best friend, my princess,the princess’ friend and I headed to the bowling alley.  We had a great time bowling two games, singing to radio Disney, dancing and eating french fries.

After bowling we grabbed a bite to eat at Pizza Hut.  Then spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool pretending to be mermaids and diving for jewels.

What a wonderful day! Can’t wait for summer school to be over so I can spend every day like this.

Family Fun

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Wanting to continue to push forward, I welcomed the morning with a jog at the park.  Much happier with my time of 11:47 for the first mile.  I didn’t do a second because I knew I would be doing a lot of walking that afternoon at Animal Kingdom.

What a wonderful day!  My parents, my grandma, my princess, my BFF and her prince loaded up and headed to Animal Kingdom.  Yes it was sweltering hot, but what a wonderful family time we had.

The princess, the prince, and my BFF.

My 85-year-old grandma.

I consider it a tremendous blessing that my precious princess has the opportunity to make such fun memories not only with me and my parents but also with my grandma.  it is an opportunity not many get to enjoy.