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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Remembering Randomly

I haven't written here in for months, but I read a fun exercise over at Coffees and Commutes and couldn't wait to join Christine and her other friends in some memory sharing. 


I remember living beside a brook that flowed into the ocean. My best friend and I used to love jumping across the rocks, trying not to fall in. She had to be extra careful not to get wet because her mom didn’t want her to play around there. My mom didn’t mind.

I remember that same friend and I often taking a rubber dinghy out into the ocean. One time we went out too far and the waves were big and choppy. I was terrified. We had to paddle against the wind and it took forever to get back home. I don’t think we took the dinghy out again after that trip.

I remember hiding from my mom under the clothes racks every time we went to a department store. I remember getting lost several times and the look of panic on my mother’s face when she would finally find me.

I remember music class in elementary school. I loved learning new songs and I can still recall many that we used to sing. I have taught my children several of them.

I remember playing with my friends in kindergarten and looking at a broken white crayon. It was about an inch long and I decided to stick it in my nose. I remember the panic and embarrassment I felt when I couldn’t immediately get it out.

I remember the first time I spoke to my now-husband. It was through the glass doors of the chicken joint where I was working at the time. His eyes twinkled and his smile was amazing. I got instant butterflies.

I remember getting the call from my husband about the car accident. I don’t think I will ever forget that moment and the fear I had as I drove to the hospital.

I remember watching the last episode of Seinfeld and getting teary-eyed as they played Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”.

Be sure to check out the other links over at Christine's place to read some really great memories.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Losing the Battle (saying goodbye to a beautiful colleague)

I'm taking a break from my Blogging Break to pay tribute to a dear colleague who lost her battle to cancer this past weekend.  I am reposting something that I wrote back in May, after she paid us a visit at the office.  Unfortunately, after that visit her health deteriorated. Each update we received got worse as time went on, and this morning we got the news that she had succumbed to her illness.  Rest in peace, Marie.  It was a pleasure to have known you.  You are an inspiration and will be greatly missed.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A visit from a colleague

Yesterday afternoon at work we got a visit from a colleague who is currently on sick leave. Actually, it's long term disabililty. She has terminal cancer.

Marie is in her late forties. She is a vibrant woman, a workaholic with a great sense of humor and a zest for life. Several months ago (which seems like only days ago), Marie had been complaining about headaches. Constant headaches. She didn't look good and was always tired, which was unusual for her. A friend and I were standing just outside my office one day and Marie was heading down the hall toward us. She was swaying, almost walking into the wall. We were concerned and asked if she was okay. She wasn't. She told us that she had been feeling dizzy all the time and was having problems with hand-eye coordination and depth perception. Her husband had to help get her dressed because she couldn't fasten her buttons. Go to the doctor! We exclaimed. She explained that she had called and made an appointment for the following week. We expressed our concern and urged her to call again or just go to the Emergency. She wouldn't hear of it. She had deadlines that had to be met. Senior Management was depending on her. I just shook my head at her and told her she was crazy.

The next week we got the news. At first the doctor thought she might have a brain aneurysm. He sent her to the hospital right away. They soon discovered that it was a brain tumor. She went through a number of tests and scans and was booked for surgery to remove it. She remained in good spirits and gave us regular updates by phone. It turned out that the tumor was cancerous and they were not able to remove all of it. It was terminal. I felt so sick when I heard the news. I had just been standing here talking to her, and (what felt like) the next day I find out she is going to die. It was so surreal.

Marie's illness was announced at a staff meeting, and we were told that she was keeping a positive attitude, and if we talked to her we were to remain positive as well. I couldn't imagine staying positive. I truly don't know what I would do if I got that kind of news.

It has been a couple of months and she has started chemotherapy and radiation. She just got back from a Caribbean cruise and decided to pay us all a visit. I got the news that she was here and as I turned the corner I saw everyone gathered around her. She was bald but wore a beautiful scarf on her head. She was sitting on a chair in the hallway with her wheelchair sitting nearby. She looked beautiful. Her makeup was perfectly done. She wore nice clothes and jewelery. She had strappy fuschia sandals with matching toenail polish and wore ankle bracelets and a toe ring. She was smiling and laughing and cracking jokes. Same old Marie. She even cracked some pretty morbid jokes about death. She talked about how surprised she is of herself. That she doesn't feel depressed or mad. When she first got the news, she was told that she had only a few weeks to live. It then changed to several months. And now doctors tell her that she will most likely live for a year and a half. She feels blessed to have that much time left. She feels happy and she wants to enjoy every day of her life. She said that nobody knows how long they have here on this earth. Any one of us could walk outside and get hit by a bus. She told us to live every day like it's our last. To truly appreciate the things and people that we love. She talked about her cruise, her shopping trips, her plans to move into a new bungalow. She seemed happy and was full of energy. We all laughed and smiled and wished her well when she was ready to leave.

I went back to my office and I cried. What an amazing woman. She has been given this news and is making the best of it. Living life to the fullest. I don't know if I could be that strong. I don't think I would be. I can't imagine leaving my husband, children, parents. All of my friends and family. It's not fathomable. Yet it could happen. I don't think anyone is ever ready to receive news that they will die, but I am amazed and inspired by people who are as positive as Marie. It makes me realize that my life is really not so bad. It's awesome, actually! Yesterday I was reminded just how lucky I am to have my health and my family. Yesterday I was inspired.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

If the name fits...

I’ve never really considered myself a blogger (hence the name of my blog!), so I guess that gave me the excuse to not have to write on a schedule, or to not write at all if I didn’t have anything interesting to share. I haven’t written in this space for over a month. I either haven’t had the time or can’t come up with a topic to write about. I’ve actually considered just giving up the whole blog entirely. But I won’t. I will save this space for when I want to write. I may not be feeling the need to right now, but I’m sure it will come back at some point.

Many of the bloggers who I enjoy reading have decided to take a break or slow down their schedules lately. I don’t know if it’s the time of year or it’s just a coincidence, but it seems to be happening more and more. I know the holidays are definitely affecting my routine. There is so much to plan, to buy, to stress out over!

All this to say is that I don’t see myself writing here anytime soon. I would like to thank you all for being so supportive and for taking the time to stop by my little “non-blog”. I really appreciate your words and your friendship. I’ll still be around, reading your words and leaving comments when I can. But for now, I am truly a non-blogger. Take care.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

{Accidental} Five Finger Discount

Have you ever been out and become distracted (by kids, a wandering mind, or just your surroundings) and ended up accidently breaking the law? You know, like driving along and suddenly noticing you’re going 20 over the speed limit? Or following the car behind you, not realizing that you just ran a red light? I think everyone has done something like that at least once in their lives. But what about something a bit more serious. Like shoplifting. Not intentional shoplifting, more like… shoplifting by distraction. Yup, I’ve done it. More than once, actually. I have left a store with something in (or under) my cart and not paid for it. The big question is, What did I do about it? Did I: a) Go back to explain the mistake and pay for the item? Or b) Just let it go, not wanting to explain or bother? Well, the answer is B. Go ahead and judge.

The times that this has happened to me were very innocent mistakes. On more than one occasion, I have forgotten about a case of Pepsi on the tray underneath my shopping cart. I was already at the car when I realized it, with two kids and a cart full of groceries. I did feel a bit badly about it, but not bad enough to actually trek back into the store and pay for it! Another time at Wal-Mart, Hubby and I chose a new clock and put it on that bottom rack of the cart. Oops. Another forgotten item. We didn’t realize until we got to the car. It was busy, we had tired and cranky kids. It just didn’t seem worth my time to go back, although I know it is the Right Thing to Do. Does that make me a bad person? Honestly, I don’t really think so.

I am an honest person. If I was walking down the street and saw someone drop money or their wallet, I certainly wouldn’t keep it. I would flag them down and give it back to them. If a cashier handed me back the wrong amount of change, I would point it out. Even if I noticed the Pepsi under my cart before I left the store, I would go back and pay for it. I don’t mean to steal, but it happens sometimes.

Has this ever happened to you?
If so, have you gone back to pay for it or did you just keep it?
Do you think I’m a horrible person?
(Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this!)

Friday, October 15, 2010

My Booger Sweater

It was a wet, chilly morning yesterday and I felt a cold coming on so I decided to wear a warm, cozy sweater to work.  It's a soft, mossy-green color and it fits nicely.  I bought it last year at the end of the season and hadn't had much of a chance to wear it yet.  Miss M obviously didn't remember it at all.

I went in her room to wake her up and flicked on the light.  After a few seconds of cuddling and back-rubbing, she finally opened her eyes.  She glanced at me.  At my sweater.  Then she sat up straight and said, Your sweater is ugly.  Just like that.  Huh!  I asked why she thought it was so ugly.  She said, I don't know, I just don't like the color.  I said, That's fine, Sweety.  But I like it and I'm going to wear it to work today.

Okay, Mommy, she said, looking for something positive to say.  Then she had it.  Well, at least you can pick your nose and wipe your boogers on your sweater and no one will see them!

Great.  I wore a booger shirt.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm still here!

So, I've been super-busy with back-to-school hectic-ness and work has been a lot more demanding lately, too.  I haven't had a chance to write in this space in a very long time.  Actually, I have been considering giving it up altogether.  But I'm not ready for that yet.  I'm not much of a writer, but I like to come here to share little stories of my life.  Things that are going on, things that I think about.  I guess I'll just continue to write when I can for now anyway.

All this busyness has made me realize how much guilt I feel on a daily basis.  Why do we, as women (parents? mothers?)  always feel guily about something!?

I can't read blogs at work because I feel guilty about not doing actual work.

I can't blog at home because I feel guilty about not doing housework (or helping with homework, or making lunches, or giving baths, spending time with Hubby, or missing my favorite TV show!).

If I read a blog on the fly (i.e. on my phone) I feel guilty if I don't get the chance to go back and comment.

I don't want to go to French class tomorrow morning because I have a lot of deadlines at work and I'll feel guilty if I don't start working on them right away.

If I go to work and miss French class, I'll feel guilty because I've already missed a couple of classes and my work pays for them!

If I feel like being lazy but Hubby is doing laundry I feel guilty just sitting there so I usually drag my butt up to do something.  Even if I've already cooked dinner/cleaned the kitchen/etc.  (this is my own guilt.  Hubby doesn't do or say anything to make me feel bad about it).

I am tired of being a baseball family.  It's October and there are still at least two more full weekends of baseball.  Meaning four games per weekend, with at least one day out of town.  I wish that it will rain like crazy this weekend so it will be cancelled, but then I feel guilty because I know my son loves it and I want to support him.

I haven't visited my parents much lately.  Mostly because of all this baseball.  I feel guilty about that, too.  I want to, but I just don't have the time lately.  Soon I hope.

Those are just a few of the many reasons why I feel guilty lately.  It sucks.  I need to stop worrying and just do what I can.  I know this, but yet it never seems to help at the time.  But here I am, writing away while Miss M sleeps and Hubby and J are downstairs watching baseball.  It's nice to sit in the quiet and just write.  But there is still a tad bit of guilt as I sit here.  Well, I guess I'll stop now and go do something.  Like maybe just go to bed.  I'm exhausted!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update on Miss M's school bus woes

Just a quick note to give an update from my last post about Miss M's anxiety of getting off the bus at school alone in the mornings.

There was no school on Monday, so we drove her to the school daycare.  No issues.  Tuesday was the big day.  Hubby and I walked her to the end of the driveway.  She was quiet, but seemed okay.  But then the bus turned the corner and headed our way and she freaked out.  She cried, she grabbed her daddy and begged that he drive her to school.  She was crying too hard by the time the bus stopped, so he agreed to drive her to school again.  When they arrived, he went through everything with her again.  He showed her that there is nothing to worry about.  He showed her where her friends would be playing when she got off the bus. 

When Miss M got home from school on Tuesday, I asked her if she felt better after Daddy showed her the routine at school (again), and if she thought she could do it on her own.  She said, Yes, I think so.  Progress!  But Hubby and I wanted to be sure.  He sent an email to Miss M's teacher, explaining the trouble she's been having each morning.  We hoped that the next morning would go a little more smoothly.

The next morning (Wednesday, which was yesterday) when Miss M got up, she told me that she thought she could do it.  That she would be a brave girl.  I encouraged her and told her I was proud of her.  She got ready and we went to wait for the bus.  The bus turned the corner and was headed our way.  She gave me a look.  A look that said, I-don't-think-I-can-do-this!  But I squeezed her hand, gave her a kiss and said I knew she could do it.  She was a brave girl.  A big girl.  She nodded and got on the bus.  I waved to her as they drove away.  No tears.  Yay!

During the day, the teacher replied to Hubby's email and told him that she found a "helper" for Miss M.  A girl in sixth grade that takes the same bus as Miss M will guide her from the bus and bring her to her play area each morning.  She had already introduced her to Miss M, and she was really happy about it. 

I am so happy and so relieved that the teacher did this for us.  Miss M was excited to get on the bus today.  She felt so much more comfortable and confident, knowing that her helper, Kim, would be there this morning to show her the way.  I'm sure things will go much more smoothly now.  I can't wait to hear how it went this morning when I pick her up this afternoon!

Thanks for your concern and well-wishes, everyone!  :-)