Monday, November 21, 2011

How did this happen????

Mama's kidneys slowly started failing last weekend. My Dad called us all to come over Tuesday night. The hospice social worker came by that day and talked about the kidneys shutting down and told us to expect her to die within the next 2.5 weeks. She wasn't really responding to us very much that day. She did open her eyes and mouthed "I Love You too" and for that I will be eternally grateful for that.

Wednesday, I went to work as usual, but told my supervisor that I was really unsure of when it would happen. John and I went over after work on Wednesday and I realized that things had gotten drastically worse. We called the hospice nurse that night and I sent Celia home with John. Ma (my grandmother) was really upset (obviously understandable) and I didn't want Celia to get scared or confused. My brother came back over and we both spent the night. The last night of my mom's life my dad, grandmother, brother and I all slept under the same roof. We all got up a few times during the night, but she was still breathing.

My Dad, brother and I went to the funeral home Thursday morning to get things settled so that when she did die we wouldn't have to do a whole lot. We walked back in the house at 10:15 and my brother took Ma to a dentist appt. One of Daddy's good friends was there. He got up to leave around 10:35-ish and my SIL, Cindy, and I were in the room with Mama when her breathing started changing. Cindy (a nurse) noticed how bad it was getting and said that it wouldn't be long and ran to get my dad (who was outside with his friend). Her eyes opened a little bit, I kissed her cheek, told her how much I love her, and that Ma would be fine. I said that it would be hard, but that I promised her that we would take care of Ma and get her through this. She closed her eyes, let out one last gasp of air and that was it. Her dog, Rhine, was laying beside Mama's pillow when she died so she was surrounded with love. I can honestly say that I would never have imagined holding my mom while she died, but I wouldn't change a thing.

I honestly think that she waited for Ma to leave. I think she knew how hard it was going to be for Ma and didn't want her to be there. Mama was Ma's only living child (she had a stillborn son a few years after my mom and numerous miscarriages). They have lived together since I was 2. So out of the 63 years my mother was alive they only lived in separate households for maybe 8 or 9. Can you imagine? I can only hope and pray that I have as close of a relationship with Celia, but still I can't imagine what it would be like. I have tried picturing myself in Ma's shoes and I can't. I hope and pray that I never have to.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful - Day 16 & 17

I am thankful that right now my mom is wrapped in His holy arms. I am thankful that she is no longer in pain. I am thankful that I don't doubt that I will see her again. I am thankful that I had 34 years here on earth with my mom. I am thankful that I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. I am thankful!!! I am heartbroken, but thankful.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thankful - Day 15

I am having a hard time coming up with anything to be thankful for today, but I guess the one thing I can be thankful for is that my Savior is here for me. God is the only thing that is going to keep me sane for the next month or so. It is just a matter of time before my mom dies and it really is so completely unreal.

Bear with me the next few weeks and please PRAY for my entire family. My dad is in such a dark place and I completely understand that. Pray for her to be pain-free. Pray for us to be able to comfort her the best way possible. Pray that God wrap his arms around us all. Pray for my grandmother.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful - Day 14

I am so very thankful for the friends and family who have called, came by, visited, brought food to and supported my entire family during this time of crisis the past few months. You just never think that you will ever be the person in need. I can tell you for sure that my father has been amazed at how many friends he and my mom have. Sure, he was always positive that people knew who he was, but never imagined that there would be that many people willing to drop everything and help when needed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart

My Memories 2 - Digital Scrapbooking Review and Giveaway

I was recently contacted by My Memories to do a review on their software. I have been scrapbooking for a few years. I did get another digital program a few years ago, but in all honestly, I haven't used it at all. So I jumped at the chance to review another digital scrapbooking software. I downloaded it a few weeks ago. With everything going on with my mom, I haven't had a ton of time, but I have played around with it a few times and so far I LOVE it.

I highly recommend watching their tutorial videos on YouTube. They have been very helpful. Not only is the program great for digital scrapbooking, you can also make calendars, cards, photo books and blog templates. That is one feature I can't wait to try out.

My Memories Suite is very user friendly. They have a tone of scrapbook kits and they have quite a few that are FREE (and we all know that is very rare these days). You can choose to be a part of their Design Club which guarantees 5 exclusive new kits each month (not sold in stores) for only $5.99 per month. Those of you who have been scrapbooking for a while know that traditional paper kits can cost anywhere from $20 - 40 dollars. That is a HUGE difference.

I have played around with the digital software a little and so far this is my favorite page I have done:

Great news for one of you is that My Memories is going to give one lucky reader a chance to win the digital software. Go to their site, pick out your favorite kit, come back and leave me a comment.

As a bonus, if you do not win or if you can't wait, you can use my special promo code: STMMMS15450 to get $10 off of the My Memories Suite software and get a $10 coupon for their store (a $20 value).

Extra Entries:

1. Follow me on Google Friend Connect.

2. Follow My Memories and Me on Facebook.

Contest ends November 28. Winner will be notified by email and have 48 hours to respond.
Good luck!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful - Day 13

Today I am thankful once again that I have a healthy child. She has decided that she must want to die soon. In the past three days she has taken two really bad falls. Friday, she was in her booster seat at my parent's watching a video. I had just put the tray on and before I could make sure it was on tight, she leaned forward, put all of her weight on it and flipped head first out of the seat, banging her forehead on the bar.

Today, once again, we were at my parent's and she wanted to go outside with her cousins. I opened the door and said, "wait a minute, hold mommy's hand" and since she's 2 she didn't listen. She ran straight to the steps, took the first one fine and lost her footing on the next and went head first down the steps flipping over completely three times as she tumbled down the EIGHT steps landing on the concrete walk. She was fine. Little bump on the top of her head and a red mark on her back. Really??? God is amazing.

I was terrified. I couldn't imagine the bloody mess or broken bones I was going to have to deal with. Nope. Within a minute, she was crying because I wouldn't take her back outside. It is amazing to me that kids are so resilient.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful - Day 11

Today I am so very thankful for the men and women who are willing to put their life on the line for us to have the freedom we enjoy each and every day.

Thank you Veterans!!!! Thank you God!!! (as Celia would say)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful - Day 10

Today I am thankful for the good moments with my mom. We went last night and she knew who we all were. Celia ran up to her bed and grabbed Mama's arm, put her head on it and squeezed saying, "I love you, Grandma". She melts my heart. I have been very surprised at how well Celia has been dealing with everything going on. She isn't scared of my mom or of any of the medical equipment. She just views Grandma as Grandma. Love those moments.

Mama told me last night that she wanted a table top Christmas tree in red and green and she wanted pictures on her walls. So that will be happening very soon.

Just take the time to remeber to tell the people you love that you love them. Every single moment could be our last on earth.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thankful - Day 9

typically I do a Wordless Wednesday, but keeping with the thankful posts, here goes:

I am thankful that I have had the past few months with my Dad. Those of you who know me and my situation might laugh and not understand, but my husband has been telling me for years that I am just like my Dad. And maybe I am. We have completely polar opposite views on things, but we both will argue until our death defending our view. Therefore, we but heads a LOT!!!!!!!!!! probably the understatement of the year. Due to this, we have probably drifted away from our relationship more in the past 10 years than we ever had. I was a Daddy's girl growing up. He is crazy, but he is still my Daddy. The past few months, while the hardest I could ever imagine, I feel like I have my Daddy back.

He is still crazy and I am his target to yell at when he is stressed out, but I can handle it. I am the one who will yell right back in his face, but then laugh about it on my drive home/away. My heart truly breaks that he is going through the sorrow of losing his wife. They celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on October 3. Can you imagine being married to someone for 45 years and then all of a sudden the love of your life is gone? I can't. Of course, my mom really is already gone. She is still alive right now, but doensn't always recognize us and it is the hardest thing ever, but I can't iamgine my husband not recognizing me. I can't imagine how hard that is.

I am thankful that I have a father who is still in my life because I know there are plenty out there that never knew their father or who's father chose not to be in their lives. Love you Daddy!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful - Day 8

Today I am thankful that we have such a great woman who keeps Celia for us. Gail LOVES Celia and Celia LOVES her. I honestly think that she would go to Gail's 7 days a week if we let her. She came to Celia's birthday party and had a bag full of stuff for her. She then launched into telling us that she had started Celia's Christmas shopping the Friday before. This was early September. STARTED her Christmas shopping. We still haven't bought her a think for Christmas. I can't even begin to try to put into words how comforting it is to not have a second's worry about your child's safety and welfare. I know we are so very lucky.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I am so very thankful that Celia has a daddy who is so much a part of her everyday life because I know plenty of Daddies who aren't or who have no desire to be there for everything. Celia is still sick and her Daddy is at home with her today. Loving her and playing ALLLLLLLLL day long. It makes me laugh everytime I see their interactions because it is so different from how she interacts with me. I am here for comfort and hugs and kisses. He is there to play even when she's sick. Prime example, she was sitting in my lap crying for over 30 minutes wanting me to hold her and love on her; Daddy walks in and she hops up runs over there and starts yelling "Yay, Daddy, let's play." Really??????????? But I thank my lucky stars that they have that relationship.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


I am thankful for a flexible job with absolute certain security. I work for the State of NC in an agency that only gets busier when the economy takes a downturn. I am so sorry that we are in the financial state that we are in, but I do not take the job security lightly. My job is stressful and certainly not fun, but I do count my lucky stars.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crying face

Just as I was telling Maria the other day, Celia has always had such an adorable crying face. Here's a few just to show I was telling the truth:

Not much has changed, huh???


I am thankful to have a healthy child. She has a bad cold currently, but I thank God every day that we aren't fighting a HUGE battle. I have a distant cousin who's son had a neuroblastoma diagnosed at age 2. He finally died at age 8 (I think). I truly can't imagine that loss, therefore I thank you God for each and every single day that I have with a healthy 2yo

Friday, November 4, 2011


I am a few days late, but I'm going to try to post what I'm thankful for every day this week. Since I'm starting on the 4th, I'll try to catch up.

I'm thankful for:

my husband - he is my rock
my daughter - she keeps me sane
being able to still tell my mom how much she means to me (even if she can't always respond or understand)
my God for always being there and for understanding when I'm angry, sad, hurt and in pain

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Am I alone

Today is just one of those days that I struggle with myself. I didn't start this blog with the hopes of having 1000s of readers. I mean it would be great, but since I work full time outside of the home and still want to interact with my husband and child that just wasn't what made me to decide to write about my life.

So much has happened in the 10-11 months since I started the blog. 2011 has been one of the worst years in my life and this has been a great outlet for my pain, but I still doubt myself sometimes. I feel like I am alone.

I don't even know what point I am trying to make today, but I just want to know how many readers I actually have. I am probably one of the worst blog followers as I don't usually make comments and that is something I am going to work on. I really do feel so much kinship with the bloggers I comment on and who comment on here. It is amazing how much you can feel that you actually know bloggers/friends online. Just checking to see how many of you are out there.

I promise that I will be a better blog follower/friend.

WW - she keeps me sane and keeps me going








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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I've been putting this off for as long as possible

We went back to Duke last Monday. We saw the NP first and you could tell she was very worried. My mom is in such bad shape. She is exhausted, very swollen, lethargic, speech slurred, dizzy and not always cognitively intact. She did her exam and then left to get the neuro-oncologist. Three of them came back. The first thing the dr said was that her brain looked "beautiful". This was a complete and utter shock to all of us. None of us thought the treatment was working at all.

She thinks that the tumor location and treatment combined has destroyed my mom's adrenal gland. What does that mean? Basically the adrenal system give us all the desire to get up and go. To fight. To eat. To want to live. All of this is gone for my mom. They asked us to give them 2.5 weeks to try to get it started again. They put her back on steroids, increased her Ritalin, and added an appetite stimulant. At that point, she wasn't eating anything. It got a little better in the days following the appt, but I'm not sure anymore.

Hospice came to the house the following day. It is such a hard situation, but I think that we need it. My dad and grandmother need help. They need someone else to take some of the pressure off. He needs a break. he needs to not have to be the caregiver 24/7. It was time for him to become her husband again.

She is more awake than she has been in weeks and maybe even a month. I was feeling hopeful last week, but tonight was BAD. I went in the bedroom (she is now in a hospital bed in my childhood bedroom). Her eyes were open and I could see that she had been crying. I'm honestly not sure whether she completely understood what I was saying or if she really knew who I was.

I honestly don't know what to ask for. I want my mom to be better. I want her to be comfortable. I want her to not be in pain. I want my child to remember my mom. I want to comfort my dad, but don't know how. I want to take Ma's (my grandmother) pain away. I want to go to sleep and wake up 6 months ago to be able to tell her how much I love her.

I tell her every time I see her, but I feel that I lost so many opportunities to tell her when she was well. I do know that I will never let this happen again and I hope and pray that everyone takes that advice. Tell everyone you love how much and often. I want my child to grow up in a household where we tell each other every day how much we mean to each other. Now don't get me wrong, I never doubted that my parents loved me, but we were certainly not an outwardly loving family. I want something different for my child. I don't want her to only hear that if I am going on a trip or if something bad happens. (I think I am just rambling now, so forgive me)

Please tell everyone important to you how much they mean to you as often as possible. Please pray for healing for my mom. Please pray that if He doesn't heal her on earth that He gives us the strength and grace to help her go. I just want her to be pain free and as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.