Wednesday, March 31, 2010

what does it take to get a pillowcase around here?

a dose of unlaziness on your part and about 10 steps to the linen cupboard.

ooooooooo burn....


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

one of your own.

what happens when the one you're taking care of happens to be one of your own?
no, not a family member, but it almost feels like it.

one of our charge nurses had breast cancer many years before.
she was cancer free for so many years.
but then she started getting sick again.
and going for exams.
and mammograms, and scans and then it hit us....
it was back.
she was now a patient.
usually the charge nurses were the only ones that took care of her.
she had her own room in the back.
by herself.
she didn't want any of us going in there.
she didn't want to be seen that way.

but one day, towards the end of her illness (and life),
she was my patient.
i looked over my list of patients and her name was there.
wait, what?!
how?
who?
her?
me?
i thought....
i thought only the best took care of her....
i was so nervous.
she had allllways watched over me and my care for the patients.
i remember her telling me that sometimes i was too sympathetic and i needed to be empathetic and harder on them.
i remember one day i was trying to get a patient to walk (after surgery) and she just kept crying and saying "but it hurts. i just wanna lay here. i don't wanna move." and i was just letting her stay there. (i was still new. i didn't know how to put my foot down yet.)
and then Anne came in and said, "now, i know that it hurts you, but if you keep nursing it like a baby, it's not going to get any better. you need to walk. and go against your pain and get yourself better. it's going to heal just like that. with you lying in bed, and when you go to stand up, it's going to hurt worse, because that's how you let it heal, with you in a ball."
that woman got up and we walked.
wow!
that worked!
and i used Anne's line for the rest of my nursing days.
IT WORKED!
but now here was Anne.
she didn't want company.
she didn't want to eat.
she wanted very little.
didn't want her bed changed.
didn't want to move.
how do you FORCE a terminal patient into something?
i mean, it's like it's their last few days (for all we know),
heck, even if it were there last few months, we wouldn't know any different....
and here we are forcing them to do something that could be so incredibly painful.
i couldn't find it in me to force her to do anything.
because i KNEW that if ANYONE would force themselves to do something,
it would be her.
so i let her rest.
i tried to get her to eat.
she wanted nothing on her tray.
everyday i'd go on morning break, and head down to the cafeteria, i'd ask her if she wanted something from down there.
she usually wanted a plain bagel, not toasted with cream cheese.
so i'd buy it for her and that's all she'd eat.
sometimes she'd get a chocolate milk too, but that was only sometimes.
she was wearing a wig.
all this time she'd worked, she was wearing a wig.
i never knew!
i remember one day i went in and asked her if we could get her cleaned up and changed and make her bed up.
she didn't really want to move.
and i pulled up a chair next to her.
all of my other patients were good for the moment.
she was bald.
her dark, dark skin was bald (and dry).
i asked her if she wanted me to rub lotion on her hands.
i'd brought a basin of warm water and soap over for her to wash her face and hands....
and i rubbed lotion all over her hands.
she fell asleep when i'd massaged her other hand and forearms.
she looked so peaceful.
that's what i remember the most about her.
her hands.
she was a very tall woman.
her hands were large.
she had a very long face.
and her hands....
they do stand out the most.
her nails were very round and very strong.

Christmas was her very favorite holiday.
it was october.
Christmas was still a few months away,
but her health was deteriorating quickly.
we brought Christmas to her.
we brought in a fake tree and decorated it with lights and bulbs and a tree skirt and presents.
she was fighting to make it to June.
She'd said, "i've gotta make it to June."
her son was graduating high school then.
She made it 2 days past our Christmas celebration for her.
I wasn't there when she passed.
She passed on the night shift.
They said she passed peacefully.

Her viewing was just a few days later....
I remember pulling up and parking at the funeral home.
I tried to pull myself together, but suddenly broke down in my car.
i cried good and hard for a few moments and managed to gather myself.
i walked in and sat to the left.
i could see her profile.
her hair.
her glasses.
and her nose.
her lips.
she wasn't smiling the way that i remember her always smiling.
and i sniffled to myself....
and all the nurses from all of the floors started pouring in.
we were free to walk up and say our final goodbyes.
her funeral would be a closed casket ceremony.
i had to say goodbye now.
i walked up to her, and her hands were crossed on her stomach.
her large hands were crossed on the stomach of her navy blue business suit.
again, i don't know why certain things stick out to me so much, but it was her hands that i remembered the most.
and I held her hands.
they were so cold.
not the way i remembered them when i'd rubbed lotion on them, but there was just a sense of peace that came over me.
I held her hand and said a prayer and the tears began to fall....
I felt someone's hand on my back.
I don't know who it was.
I still don't....
but i knew it was time for me to step to the side before i lost my composure.
I do still think of her often.
I can still hear her voice....
i guess that's what happens.
....especially when it's one of your own....

Rest in sweet peace, dear Anne.

Monday, March 29, 2010

insta-ghetto.... just add MUH-THER!

have you ever seen the movie "white chicks" ????
hmmmm??

do you remember the part where the wayans brothers (disguised as white girls) are in a "you're so stupid" and "you're so ugly" type war with some white girls, when the white girls say something about "your muh-ther" and then the wayans brothers go from valley girl voice to

"ooooooooooooooh!!!! you wanna take about muuuuuhhhhh-thers?!!!!???!!!"


INSTA-GHETTO!!!!!
if you haven't seen it.... you should watch it here. (right around 45 seconds into the video to shortly after 1:30)
it's pretty good.

i get like that too sometimes.
today, TOTALLY an insta-ghetto day.

Friday, March 26, 2010

fun with photobooth.

i pretty much look like my old primary care dr in this picture.... (i hope he never accidentally stumbles across my blog. i don't think that's a compliment)
this is what we'd look like after a few drinks.... and that's supposed to be a compliment. yikes!
and i'm pretty sure this is what your face would look like if you drank mentos and diet coke.
and then your reaction to your new face after you drank mentos and diet coke.
this is what your face(s) would look like if you were born at like 7 and 26 and the dr had to use a vacuum to suck you out of your mother.
and this is what you would look like if you glued caterpillars to your face. (the weird thing on the right is something you'd see if you went to munchkinland)
that bulging eyed freak on the left is my older sister. that weird thing in the middle is my grandma, and that infected eye freak on the right.... well that's me in my flashy eyewear.
that's my niece who totally looks like her uncle and her dad and nothing like her mom. in fact, i'm pretty sure her mom is really not her mom.
that's the three of us again, right before my grandma peed her pants from laughing so hard.
this is what i will look like if i continue to eat brownies, cut my hair and pick my nose.

your mom is stupid

so today.... not only am i lacking vision (literally), i am lacking my brain as well....
this is one of those moments that you contemplate back and forth about telling your husband....
if i tell him, will he freak out?
oh well, i'm all about honesty. and well, my husband just doesn't FREAK OUT, so i decided i'd better share with him a very shameful, bad mommy moment today!

i went to the eye doctor for my follow up from yesterday, total unibomber style again (sunglasses over my eyeglasses and hoody on again) got to keep out as much light as possible (on a side note, have any of you guys seen benchwarmers? remember Howie?? "they're going around killing everyone named howie! that's me!!! that's my name!!!" ah! okay, totally not funny for those of you who haven't seen it).... anyway. i felt like those asian women who drive with the duckbilled hats and shoulder-length, white gloves with their facemasks on, because they're quite certain the sun is attacking their skin or something like that.... (i can totally say that, i'm 25% asian)....
(that's not me by the way)
so i get to the dr.
they said my eyes are still ANGRY and that i needed to put 2 more different types of drops along with my antibiotic drops, so now i'm putting 3 different drops in every 2 hours. it's just weird and hopefully my angry eyes go away soon. so after the visit, i'm feeding Lewie his bottle in the backseat.... he's not strapped in as i had planned on burping him after he ate.... however, he managed to let out a monstrous burp after he'd downed about 3 quarters of his bottle, and he didn't seem interested in eating anymore.... i don't know what distracted me and made me think it was okay to now get into the driver's seat and drive off, but i did....

so i'm driving (thru taco bell and heading to my parent's house to deliver their fresco crunchy tacos).
i make this sharp right turn onto a busy 3 lane street, when i hear this "thump" and a little whining coming from directly behind me.
"hmm. that's funny, because lewie's carseat is in the middle seat.... wait WHAT?!"
so with my super stiff neck, i try turning around to look over my left shoulder, and the only thing i could see was lewie's face up against the door and the backseat.... his stomach was facing the back and his legs were still caught up on the carseat!!!
OMG!
i seriously cut over three lanes, honking and flashing my brights (i have NO idea what that was going to do to anyone) but that's just what my instincts made me do....
i pulled over on the side of the road and jumped out.
cars are flying past me on the busy street. the speed limit's 50, so they're likely going 60 to 65 mph.
i opened the door but had to put my hand there just in case his FACE decided to jump out of the car. oh my hell! i felt horrible!!!! he was totally not even crying, in fact he smiled when i opened the door, but i felt HORRIBLE!!!!!! HORRRRRIBLE!!!!

WHO DOES THAT?! who forgets to strap their kids in to their carseat???!!! apparently ME!
so not only am i losing my vision and my neck mobility, but i am losing my freakin mind as well!!!! so forget 26 going on 94. i'm like 26 going on death!

oh and ms. anthropy, i am totally thinking of some headgear, maybe like this.... what do ya think?

hi i'm ashley. 26 going on 94.

totally unlike me to not post for like 2 days.... right?
well, let me just give you a little background on me.
i'm not the healthiest person in the world.
in fact, there have been more medical issues in the short time of our marriage, than my husband has probably had in his entire life....
what a pain in the butt right?
yeah, i know....
thanks.

so every month or 2, my eyes go through this routine, where they kinda burn,
they turn really red (and people probably think i'm loaded. i get a boatload of comments and questions, like, "OMG! what's wrong with your eyes?? are you OKAY?!")
"yeah i'm good, thanks."

for the first few days of redness, they don't hurt really bad... but then comes the day when i canNOT put my contacts in, and so i wear my glasses (which are like super ultra thick).... they make my eyes look really REALLY tiny and i feel incredibly unattractive.... BUT besides all that, i'm legally blind, so the peripheral vision sucks!! i can't see anything.... so if i DRIVE in my glasses, it would probably be equivalent to YOU driving under the influence.... (here is one of the very few times you'll EVER catch me in my glasses and that's ONLY because on Christmas day, my eyes were totally doing that "hey i'm totally stoned and allergic to light" thing) (and no, i don't do drugs and no, i'm not photophobic)

sexy, right?
so yesterday i wake up, can't see anything.... can't open my eyes, they are SUPER light sensitive. i'm squinting. my right eye's a lot worse than the left.... i finally cave in and say, that's it, i don't care how much it costs, this is ridiculous (mind you, i've already let my optometrist know about this, and she said that i had "compromised corneas" but there really wasn't much we could do...) whatever. im calling a different eye dr. and i did. and i went.... how did i drive there you ask? well when i hit the bumps in the road on the left, i'd steer right.... when i'd hit the bumps on the right, i'd steer left. i'm incredibly surprised that i didn't get pulled over.... i mean what would i tell the police officer who pulled me over? i'm pretty sure he'd think i was insane!
i had my SUPER thick glasses on, and then my big sunglasses over them, so my sunglasses looked like they were sticking about 2 inches off of my face. i had a hooded sweatshirt on and it was like 75 degrees outside.... i had the hood on so that i could pull it tight and tie it to keep the rest of the sun from sneaking in on the sides of my glasses.... and then if i had to take my glasses off and he saw my crazy red eyes? oh yeah, i'm pretty sure i'd be like all sprawled out on a police car being spiked and handcuffed in no time....

anyway, i managed to somehow avoid police officers and make it to the eye dr right up the street.
i tell him, "hey dr. i am SUPER sensitive to light and my eyes hurt."
so he NUMBS my eyeballs with some numbing drops....
then puts some medicine drops in them and THEN
he SHINES A FREAKIN LIGHT IN MY EYES!!!!
WELL DUUUUUURRR!!!
of course my eyes closed!!!! so he had to like HOLD THEM OPEN and he's looking at my eyes saying "oooooohhhh... ooooooo. well no wonder!!!"
and i'm thinking, "WHAT?! WHAT?! WHAT WHAT WHAT?!"
he says, "corneal ulcers.... "
fantastic. it just sounds lovely right?
that was my right eye (the really red one)
then he looks at my left eye and says, "that ones not as red, but it's not far behind the right. there is the start of the corneal ulcers on that eye too...."

corneal ulcers.... that just SOUNDS like something an old person would have....
so i get these (super expensive) drops and i have to put them in my eye once an hour.
whatever keeps my eyes right?
anyway.... so that's why i couldn't blog for 2 days.
i couldn't stand looking at the computer screen (and all its lightness and brightness)

so i wake up this morning with high hopes that everything is going to be MUCH better today and i can't move....
my neck is like bolted in place.
i can't turn my head.
SERIOUSLY?!
is this what i get for asking my husband to massage my shoulders last night?

so, i still have to take my little pumpkinhead (Taylor) to school today... well i can't move my neck.... like NOT AT ALL!!!
so very stiffly, i go to get into my truck this morning and since i couldn't move my neck, to duck my head, BAAAMM! i freakin knocked myself SO hard in the head trying to get in... i mumbled under my breath and somehow used my ninja moves to get me in the truck....
driving her to school... can't look over my shoulders to change lanes, so i just hope and pray that in the last 2 seconds of me passing that last car, that no one else jumped in front of them because.... "here i goooooo... im merrrrrging... merrrrging over.... hiiiii, chaaaanging lanes here!!!!"

made it home safely. phewf! (totally didn't stop at starbucks either, that would have been like another 4 mile drive, which probably would have been the 4 miles that landed me in jail....) so i just came home.

and realized, MAN if this is how i feel at 26, i do NOT want to get older... i already feel like i'm 94....
at this rate, i'll likely be in a nursing home by the time i'm 29....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

walk me down the aisle....

my parents divorced when i was a year and a half.
i'm glad for that.
i'm glad for that because my parents were better apart.
and i'm glad because i don't remember it.
yes, i'm glad for that....

i'm glad for that because my dad remarried a WONDERFUL woman who is still my stepmom to this day, and he passed away 2 years and 4 months ago....
i think we are closer now than we have ever been before, even though she's still in Tennessee and i'm in cali....

i remember the night my mom went on her first date with my now stepfather....
she was getting ready in the bathroom and i walked in there and asked her where she was going....
"on a date," she said....
she was wearing jeans and a BIG baggy BUM equipment sweatshirt and putting her hair up in one of those jaws of life clips that go in your hair. doesn't sound really sexy, does it? but somehow she made it sexy....

she made it sexy and she ended snagging this man... or he snagged her, or whatever.... it ended up working out just right and exactly the way it was supposed to.... they've been together for almost 20 years now.... or like 16, but pretty darn close to 20....

i had a rocky relationship with my dad at times.... one of the most rocky being when i was in high school.... i remember breaking up with a long time boyfriend and one of his friends calling me a really bad name.... i was SOOOOO hurt and called my dad crying... it was really late cali time, which meant it was really REALLY late Tennessee time.... i remember getting his answering machine and trying to spit some words that made sense in my head out onto the machine.... i'm sure all he could hear was, "daaaaaad... *crying*sniffle*sniffle*asd;fadfjadfadsfjfa*crying*...." i remember he picked up the phone STARTLED and asking "what's wrong? what's wrong? i can't understand you when you're crying. so stop crying and tell me what's wrong...."

and so i sniffled one really hard sniffle and snorted like a quart of snot into my brain and tried to explain to him that i was just called a really bad name and it totally hurt my feelings and it wasn't true and well i was just trying to relay my pain to him.... and yeah.... he really wasn't going for it.... as painful as it felt, i was doing a HORRIBLE job getting that across to him.

so instead of the comfort i was originally looking and rather hoping for, his response was something like this, "is that what you called for? to tell me that someone called you a bad name? is it true?"

me: "no."

dad: "then why are you so upset about it? you can't call here in the middle of the night when i have to get up for work tomorrow. i thought something happened to ya." (he has a southern accent)

so, NOT getting the support that i was looking for, we hung up after i apologized and then i sat there feeling even more like crap.... this night was just terrible.... and i'd realized that NO ONE understood my feelings....

but there was my stepdad (and my mom who was pretty good at it, but we must not have been getting along at the time, or she wasn't home or something, i don't know why i didn't go to her).... now my stepdad.... he is a great great man.... he is a man that i admire and love with all of my heart....

i remember dreaming of my wedding day since i was little.... and i remember thinking about my dad walking me down the aisle, and then slowly came to the realization that he would likely not be around IF and whenever i DID decide to get married, because i was pretty certain that it was no where in my future.... (until i met jason).... HOWEVER, when i was younger, i remember asking my mom if she would wear a tuxedo and walk me down the aisle because she had always been "my dad".... and then when my stepdad came into the picture, i remember exactly where i was when i had asked him if HE would walk me down the aisle whenever i got married (mind you, i was really young).... we were driving down the freeway, passing a large park back in our old neighborhood.... i remember asking him if he would walk me down the aisle if i ever got married.... of course he accepted.... and gladly. he even said he'd be honored to.... wow. so glad that was resolved....

then.... december 6th, 2008 came.... it was my wedding day.... and i don't know WHY i hadn't thought much about who was going to walk me down the aisle.... in fact, there was only immediate family there and i wanted them to all be able to watch our wedding ceremony, so i had almost planned on walking MYSELF down the aisle.... (and my dad really was kind of there, because the necklace i'm wearing holds some of his ashes, how cool is that?.... oh and you can click on the pictures to see what i'm talking about... they get bigger)

i was standing in the back, ALMOST ready to go.... when i thought about asking my stepdad to come and walk me down the aisle, but i couldn't help but to think about years before that, being SUPER young and asking my mom to walk me down the aisle, and although i was feeling INCREDIBLY torn in the back, by myself, i asked the wedding planner if she could please go get my mother.... (who was already seated with my wonderful stepdad, and next to a picture of my father, who's in Heaven, and my lovely stepmother)....


i had a gazillion flashbacks of myself (as a child) and my mother and what an amazing woman she is and pretty much has been.... we had been through SOOOOO much together.... she was ALWAYS there supporting me.... even if she wasn't always the happiest person, or the most affectionate person, she ALWAYS had my back,(well, except when i ditched school and she told them that i was supposed to be at school so go ahead and do "whatever they needed to do" with me) and i knew that... i remember our agreement that SHE was going to walk me down the aisle and i couldn't go back on that.... she came back there to the back room and asked what i'd needed and i told her (trying to fight all my tears) that i wanted her to walk me down the aisle as we had originally planned years ago....

and we both got all watery eyed and of course she agreed.....

and the doors opened.... might i add, that this had to be THE greatest feeling in my life.... the most certain i'd ever been about anything in my life.... walking arm in arm with my mom, down an aisle that had rose petals dropped by the best daughter in the world (well next to me of course)....

down the aisle to the most handsome man i've EVER laid eyes on.... i mean, literally, my heart was skipping beats, or more like double beating when those doors opened.... my eyes INSTANTLY filled with tears.... and i had never been more certain about ANYTHING, than i was about walking down that aisle and promising to love that man for the very rest of my existence....

so, my mom walked me down the aisle, and gave me away.... i'm SO glad my last minute instincts (which i'm really good at... procrastinators are good at that last minute instinct stuff) kicked in and i'm SUPER glad she walked me down the aisle.... when i look back, maybe i should have had them BOTH walk me down the aisle, but then my side would have pretty much been empty (well there WERE other people there, but still).... i kinda wanted to see their faces when i came walking out, you know? but i didn't even look at their faces, because i was so focused on jason and not stepping or tripping on my dress.... and i was wondering where all the cameras were that were videotaping us and showing us live on the internet.... that made me kind of nervous but was so much better than walking down an aisle in front of like 250 people... i was totally famous, like in japan, tennessee, ohio, shoot.... i was a movie star for the night, (okay, so not really, but they COULD have watched).... =)

anyway.... here's a group picture.... a fun one. of our wedding night.... this picture holds my heart, for sure.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award....

an award.... from a 2nd fan! =) how exciting! especially because after i read her profile, i was pretty sure i just awarded myself this award.... with the exception that i'm not a granny yet, although my health (and husband) would tell you otherwise.... she is a coffee-drinking, wife, and mommy (and granny, which i find hard to believe).... she is overly sarcastic and hardly leaves the house.... Ms. Anthropy, are you SUUUURE you're not my clone? or vice versa?

Thank you, thank you for the "Beautiful Blogger Award"....

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 8 5 bloggers who you have recently discovered and you think are fantastic!
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

Now, i'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself.... you probably already know enough.... but let's see....

1. im addicted to starbucks.... i used to get a venti peppermint white mocha frap, but now just drink a tall (small) to cut down on the calories.... i get migraines.... and usually imitrex and coffee help cure my migraines.... however, i really don't like taking medicine, so i usually sit around until i can't take the migraine anymore, and then take half of the dose of medicine and sometimes even cry because they hurt so bad.... am i the only adult who cries? probably....

2. i never cooked until i married my husband.... i hated cooking and usually lost my appetite before i was done cooking.... and i really only started cooking to save money.... (and so our kids wouldn't grow up with type 2 diabetes and unhealthy) and i still don't have a lot of recipes, so i started a group on facebook called "recipes for all" so that i could get (and share) recipes with other people.... i didn't think very many people would join, but there are now about 100 people on there now, and a few good recipes.... i get these ideas that sound really great in my head, but getting them to actually play out the way i'd like them to, is a little bit harder.... nooooo way???!!!

3. i've never done a single drug in my life. i know, many of you who know me in person, won't believe that, because i'm so off the wall and rather nuts and addicted to coffee, and i'm loud and i have this weird thing with my corneas, so my eyes are red sometimes, but honest to goodness, i have NEVER done a drug in my life and i'm super proud of that. i don't know how to pass this on to my daughter, but i told her something like this.... "taylor, there are going to be people, maybe even friends, who will try to get you to do bad things, like smoking, drinking, drugs.... i remember people used to make fun of mommy for never even trying those things..."

she asked, "what did you say to them when they made fun of you, mom?"

"i'd ask them, 'why would i try something that isn't good for you? to see if i like it? and what if i like it? then i'm addicted to something that is bad for me, AND i have to PAY FOR IT?! that's just stupid!"

"that's a good answer mom."

4. i believe in God. i believe in doing good for the world and the people in it, whenever you are capable of doing so. (except giving money to gypsies who knock on your windows in a target parking lot).... there's a country song (yes i love country music) with the lyrics that go something like this "maybe he's an angel sent here from heaven, makin certain that you're doin your best, to take the time to help one another, brother are you gonna pass that test.... you can go on with your day to day, knowin good and well what you saw in his face...." and i think of those lyrics everytime i see someone who needs help.... "maybe they're an angel sent here from heaven, and God's testing me to see how I respond." just something to think about.... i also believe that "religion" is very much like "politics", which is probably why i've never really been good at it and understanding it... politics, i agree with some things on each side.... i can't say i'm 100% this or 100% that, and i don't want to start any political debates with anyone, cuz i'm pretty sure i'd lose. and that comment probably made me sound like i don't fully believe, or accept the Lord. no, no that's not it. i do. i believe in God. are you totally confused with what you were supposed to learn about me from number 4? good, cuz i'm confused too. moving on to number 5.

5. i believe there is a difference between "falling in love" and "Real love" and i think that "the road less traveled" defines and explains this the best way.... aside from my husband's stunningly good looks, he's also incredibly intelligent and respectable too!

6. i believe in therapy. i think everyone can benefit from it, no matter what.... and if you think you don't need help, you probably need it the most.

7. our son is 8 months old and about 25 lbs.... i think that's kind of big. don't you? he was born a month early by c-section (read full story here) and was still 6 lbs 14 oz. i'm pretty sure his head was like 6 of those pounds.

Now, I pass this award on to 5 other bloggers that i have recently discovered and think are fantastic.....

i don't usually pass this blog on to "big" bloggers.... meaning people with 5 bazillion followers, because i'm like an ant to them, and they probably don't even know someone like me exists in this world.... but there have been a few that have touched ME beyond words...

1. is Katie from Katie's Keepers. i couldn't tell you exactly how i came across her blog, but i did. and when i did, i was hooked.... for days, i read about her story.... her beautiful baby, Reese, was due within a few weeks of our son, Lewie.... her beautiful angel was born a few weeks early and was only with them for just around 50 hours.... i read SOOOO many of her posts and sat and cried for so long. Her blog reminds me (nearly every single day) that when i am on here venting about Lewie not sleeping through the night, there is a mother some where wishing she was waking up to her screaming baby.... it makes me feel horribly guilty for complaining and incredibly blessed to have what i do. she is an AMAZINGLY strong woman, whose family has endured SO much. she has a love for God that carried her through so much and is highly admirable! So here's to Katie!!!

2. Vodkamom, she is a teacher, brilliant writer, and lover of the small things in life.... and although she has a bazillion followers too, she is still a great story-teller.... i love the little things she comes across that brighten her day.... they usually brighten my day too! Thanks for the humor and love in your stories!!!

3. Allie, from Hyperbole and a Half .... again, another person with gangs of followers and fans.... i'm pretty sure every single one of her posts made me laugh.... the language may offend some ( don't go there if so,) but her art is fantastic. and she comes up with things that i'm not quite sure how she does it.... i especially like her music video/striptease for kyle, who said she's ugly and unfunny. she's pretty and VERY funny. if i had a bucket full of tennis balls to award her (to rid her of her bird problem), i totally would, but for now, the beautiful fantastic blogger award is going to have to do....

4. Ms. Anthropy, because although she just recently discovered me, i only recently discovered her too.... and i wish i'd discovered her sooner.... she is my clone. i'm telling everyone that. i love her blog and can't wait to catch up on all the past entries, as i've only read a tip of the iceburg and am already hooked. =) AND because no where in the rules did it say you couldn't give it to the person who gave it to you.... so here's to Ms. Anthropy, my fellow coffee drinking, wife and mommy, who never leaves the house, is hardly sarcastic and so not full of herself!!! i love that!!!!

5. Mainland Streel.... because she remembers being a nerd too.... and we both ended up snagging hot men! and she gives me high fives via the internet! =) she has a great blog and what seems to be a SUPER genuine heart! and if you have a super genuine heart, and it's a good one, i just love that.... she's got a great blog and she totally admits to rubbing her eyes after having eaten jalapenos.... i've TOTALLY done that!!!! so hmf! you should totally read her.

so there you have it folks.... even though i am SO not good at this kind of stuff, the award has been passed along.... =) thank you for the wonderful reads and the ongoing entertainment. i'm sure my husband thanks you all too, as he says, "honey, if blogging is your addiction, i'm okay with that.... there's far worse addictions you could have." =) thankfully, i'm not addicted to, like, cleaning the house or anything. that'd be far too boring.... haaaa! sorry honey. ;)

Prolific Blogger Award....

so recently i've received 2 awards, and NOW i am here to give thanks and pass them along. =)

i'm sincerely flattered for them and appreciate the heck out of them!
so thank you Pat and Ms. Anthropy!!

First things first.... I'd received my 2nd award from Pat this weekend, and was beginning to think he was my only fan. ha! (which would still be flattering, becuase he's a phenomenal writer for sure) no, i'm not one to base my "success" on my awards.... i just like to hope that someone can and will be inspired by some of the stories i share and MAYBE they'll think or treat their loved ones a tad bit differently (and more lovingly and appreciative).... and if that happens, then this blog is far more successful than receiving any awards, HOWEVER, i accept (and with GREAT appreciation) the "Prolific Blogger Award" (most of you already know who Pat is, as most of you came over from his anyway. ha! but thanks for being here! i'm happy you are!)
These things require lots of work (and work requires time) and i have a migraine, and my eyes are burning.... i'm going to excuse myself from the computer for a while (but with GREAT APPRECIATION still!!!!) and i WILL get on here and put in the work to pass this lovely award along.... please hang tight and hope this migraine goes away.

Thank you again, Pat, for being my biggest fan (i think?) You have given me 66% of my awards. =) thank you tons!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

big girls don't cry.

i had to share this with you guys.....

hopefully it will make you laugh (or smile) as much as it cracked me up.
this is my daughter....
and this is what i get for teaching her how to use photobooth on our computer a while back.
=)

make sure your volume is turned up enough to hear it and then press play. =)


Friday, March 19, 2010

Thank you new folks!

Thank you to all my new followers!!! I've had quite a few new ones since Pat mentioned me in his blog. Thank you for that. didn't expect it, but it's flattering none the less.

sorry i've been unable to catch up with every single one of you, but i'm trying!! =) would love to check out all your blogs as well. thanks again for joining!!!

it's a peevin' (good) friday....

i can complain today... because today is friday, which means my husband will be off, and that's a good thing, and well when i complain, i will complain with a smile on my face because he will be home, and if i keep in mind that he'll be home, then i won't really be mad while i complain.

make sense?

but these things bug me anyway:

- people who cut you off so close that you swore they may have just clipped your car.... in fact when you park your car at home, you even check your bumper just in case....

- people who cut you off and then turn their blinker on (allowing it to flash once) just so they can say that they made the attempt. (ladies and gentlemen, this would be my husband, who then responds with "at least i made an attempt.")

- when lewie doesn't sleep through the night.

- when i FINALLY fall back asleep and then taylor walks in to my room and says in the most annoying voice you've ever heard.... "moooooom?"

- when my cereal gets soggy before i finish the bowl.

- when i tell Asia to go potty in the bushes and she acts like she's going to the dirt, but then stops on the sidewalk to poop.

- when i tell lewie to say mama and he smiles at me and gets his mouth ready to say mama, but then says "DADA!"

- when i dust the furniture and then sit down to enjoy freshly dusted furniture and it's already dusty.... wait, how did that just happen?!

- when someone asks "what can i do to help?" and then you tell them, and then they say "oh, i can't do that." or they just ignore you. then why did you ask what you could do in the first place?

- when i always have to decide where or what to eat for dinner.... can't anyone else just make this decision? doesn't like the entire world know how indecisive i am?

- other people's expectations of me.... that REALLY bugs me.... that if i don't do what they want me to do or the way they want me to do it, they get mad.... i mean, we're all guilty of this. but i just don't like when people do this to ME....

okay, so that's all for now.

on a much brighter note, it's friday. that means i have the weekend with my husband and kiddos and the days are expected to be beautiful!
jason said we could foster pups (big smiles).... but we can't keep any (and i'm okay with that).... oh and jason asked for a date night this weekend. =) that makes me REALLY happy. i love date nights with him. =)

what peeves you guys? BUT if you tell me what peeves you, you've also gotta tell me what you're looking forward to. ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

a boy named ashley.

forgive me PLEASE, as I had every intention of mentioning what sparked this blog!!! I was reading A Mainland Streel's lovely blog entry, when I was reminded of a picture of myself I'd just found a few days before.... While leaving a comment for her, I felt the stir of emotions arise, and I knew I needed to go straight to the blog for this post....

I have very many memories of so much of my life, that often many of my stories are from my past, (or are my venting sessions of the present), either way, they're all true.... all real life experiences as this one was too....

i believe, with all of my heart and soul, that our childhood (or life) experiences shape us into the person we become.... but not JUUUST our life's experiences, but what we choose to learn (yeah that's right, i put it in yellow!) from our life's experiences.... THAT combined, makes us the people we are today....

i don't know when it started.... me being ugly and all, probably pretty much when i was born.... well maybe at like 9 or 10 months, when my head started taking over my body. and then it just got worse with age. my first pair of glasses came at 5 years of age. (as i've mentioned before, i still own EVERY single pair of glasses i've ever owned....)

middle school was when it just got bad.... ugly.... hairy.... REALLY ugly.... i started this "love for my dad" thing, starting right around 5th grade.... planned to go move to tennessee to live with him.... planned how i was going to decorate my room (everything was going to be dogs, dog wall paper, dog bedding, dog statues.... dog EVERYTHING).... one time when he came out to visit us, we went to the swap meet, and bought me a "stussy" hat (remember stussy?) .... i even took up his LOVE for hats.... so after my daily (or every other day) showers, I'd brush my hair (more like slick it) back and pull it through the back of the hat and into a tight little bun.... my hair would eventually dry underneath my hat.... so when i'd remove my hat at my day's end, my hair remained in place (and slicked back).... i started growing (adult) teeth out of my gums before i'd lost my baby teeth.... and finally in 6th grade, i was old enough to have my teeth looked at by an orthodontist.... finally i was going to be able to get braces.... well no one told me that i was going to be put in front of a white wall and have my face mutilated with these clear plastic shoe horns (well that's what they looked like anyway, but really they were just there to pull my cheeks apart) i could have done that and made a really silly face while doing so (of course, my face was already pretty scary and funny looking, so no one would have probably noticed that i was actually trying to make an ugly face, which then wouldn't have made it that funny)....

so anyway.... as i was saying...

the whole "move to tennessee from california to go live with my dad in a dog filled bedroom" idea didn't work out, and i totally changed my mind when my mom broke down crying in her peach terry cloth robe with a towel on her head one morning.... (which is an entirely different story in itself)....
i didn't think she'd care if i left.
i didn't think she'd miss me, but SHE CRIED....
she was totally going to miss me....
i felt HORRIBLY (horrible and wonderful)... horrible for making her feel so bad, and wonderful that she really cared if i left or not.... i never forgot that morning.... we went into this conversation about eric clapton and that song "tears in heaven" and how it was written about his little boy who fell to his death from their building. (ugh! i can't even imagine!)

anyway.... i stayed in california (and ugly) for quite some more time....

the orthodontist took pictures and even the ones without the clear shoehorns in my mouth, still look like i was beaten with the dang ugly stick.

see: "a boy named ashley" below.




THIS was the freakin picture they put on my orthodontist folder, so EVERY time i'd go for an appointment for like the next 3 years, i'd get my folder from the front desk. you walk it to the back of the building and put it in this CLEAR bin in the back of all the other charts.... yeah, well by the time mine came up to the front of the CLEAR bin, this is the picture that everyone saw.... the person would grab the folder and look around for this "boy".... and i'd stand up and they'd always kinda double take (well that was after i slowly started the sex change process to become female) okay, so no, i really WAS a girl, i just looked like a boy... and THIS is the picture that made me STOP wearing hats, and actually go shopping for a skirt rather than my "no fear" boy's shorts....

i do have a rather funny story to tell you about before i made the "back to girl" transition. i used to wear boy's "no fear" shorts. true story. i had this t shirt that my mom got me from san francisco.... it had like 3 fish on it or something like that.... i had my stussy hat on and rollerblades.... my older sister and i were rollerblading over to her good friend Chris's house and we were hanging out on the front porch just chatting and enjoying the beautiful summer weather.... His mom comes home and parks in the driveway, gets out of her car and says from her car "I didn't know you had a sister" (she said that to Melissa, my older sister).... she gets her purse and grocery bags out of the car and starts walking towards the front porch.... the CLOSER she gets, she looks at me and says "oh! i'm sorry!!! i thought you were a girl!!!!"

OHHHHH MYYYYYY GOOOODNESS!!!! say WHAT?! if i've EVER wanted to flash someone in my life, it was at that moment.... (of course 2 mosquito bites wouldn't have been very convincing that i was indeed a girl....) she probably would have just looked at me and thought... "well that was strange.... why did that boy just flash me his hairless chest?" so needless to say, i didn't flash her, but instead just swallowed the huge lump that instantaneously formed in my throat and said "but i AM a girl...."
and i got up onto my rollerblades, and very hockey-playerishly, rollerbladed down the driveway, jumped off the curb and circled around in the street a few times.... (which, again, probably wasn't very convincing that i was INDEED a girl....)

she mumbled something about not having her glasses on.... and i really never forgot that horrible moment, but in fact laugh about it today.... which is good. i LEARNED from that experience that i wasn't a VICTIM, but that i didn't want to be mistaken for a boy for the rest of my life.... that it was a possibility that at some point in my life i might actually WANT a boyfriend....

this was right around the time that i'd first seen jason.... (my now, handsome husband).... i liked him a whole boatload, and he somehow didn't even know i existed.... perhaps THIS is why his mom told me to wait until i was in high school and that we'd probably date then?? whatever it was.... i'm DANG lucky that i have such a studly husband.... i hope and pray that taylor NEVER goes through " a boy named Ashley" phase....

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

flight line and teardrops. (originally written on august 14th, 2008)



flight line and teardrops....
rain in the summer.

cars, like ants, we drove on base.
seemingly knew to flock to the same area....
"the food" (for ants), i suppose....
is where we all parked....

herds of families walked in together....
children, children.
so many children.
so many wives.
and hearts.
and welcome home signs....
the ushers at the entrance passing out tiny american flags.
and red, white and blue pom poms....
all for us to cheer our marines in....
to welcome them home....

i kept my shades over my eyes....

we shuffled in and sat in the large room....
a large television overhead and seats everywhere....
vending machines.
tables covered in playdoh for the kids....
and a snack room....
with snacks and drinks covering the tables for anyone who cared to munch.
not i.
i sat uneasy.

i looked around this large room....
everyone here for the same reason as i.
to welcome someone home.
what about the ones who weren't here today?
what about the ones who SHOULD have been here today,
but weren't.....
what about them?
where were they?
what were THEY doing?
it hurt....

this is REALITY....
Man, this is our reality.
this is real life....
and just another normal day in the life of the military....

another group of our men and women coming home....
after being gone for MONTHS!!!!

this blonde woman in a knee length black dress talks over the speaker....
"your marines are about 30 minutes away. i will get on here and let you know when they are about 15 minutes away, and at that time, you will be allowed to head out to the flight line and wait for your marine."

....

.... no more than about 7 minutes passed, and she was back.
that blonde in the black dress....

"your marines are about 10 minutes away now. you may head outside to the flight line and wait for their arrival.... CON-GRAT-U-LA-TIONS!!!! You did it!!!!"

man!....
man oh man oh man oh man.....
this is INSAAAAANE!

we all walk out to the flight line.
there are red tents for those who would like to avoid the sun.

and there.
there was the marine corps band.
they are quite a musical group.
i mean, really.
all it took was one song.
no, wait.
just the beginning of one song, to bring tears to my eyes....
the played to the left,
as everyone gathered at the flight line....
what an INTENSE feeling....
on the ground....
a bunch of men and women walking around....
you felt like you were a part of top gun.
the rumbling of the ground....
the vibrations in your chest,
as the planes and jets roared their engines and flew outta there....
what an AMAZING view....
a fantastic one....

but where was OUR jet....
the one that held OUR marines?
the crowd of people searched the skies....
and off to the left.
up in the clouds.
there was a tiny white light....
the front of their plane coming in....
and the light got bigger....
and closer....
and lower.....

and the sound of the jet got louder.
and louder.
and closer.
and this HUUUGE oversized jet
FINALLY
touched down....
speeding past us....
and off to the right....


about 5 minutes later, it comes taxiing back.
and rests to the right....
the stairs are pushed against the plane....
and within a few moments,
the door slides up....
this jet is a BEAST!!!!
it's HUUUUGE!

at this point Taylor is crying uncontrollably!!!!
holy cow.
my right arm is shaking from holding her weight for so long.
I want to put her down, but she can't see if i do...
she's clenching me sooo tightly....
her nerves, probably so much greater than mine....
and mine were stomach turning on a 135 pounder.
i can only imagine what hers were like on a little 55 pounder....
but i tell you this....
when her tears fell....
so did mine....
and when her heart ached....
so did mine....
(it's amazing how that works when you become a parent.....
never before have i been so directly affected by someone else...
but HER.... HER heart is directly attached to mine, i tell you....)

minutes pass, and here they come....
OUR MARINES....
piling off the plane!
i couldn't see Jason, but I knew he was there...
I saw marine after marine....
and so started the tears.....
those men and women,
touching U.S. ground again....
Welcome Home troops....
Welcome Home....

and they hand in their weapon....
and sign in for their rooms.
get their room key....
and wait for their bags.....
their bags that are brought in on this HUGE truck....
green bags just PILED on this truck.
to us.... that's what it looks like.... a bunch of green bags....
but to our troops, these bags are their lives for these past months....
their lives were stuffed into these "green bags."

and like clockwork, all these men, lined up....
shoulder to shoulder.... starting from the back of the truck.
and handed these bags down this file of strong men....
none of them seeming to become tired....
sweat dripping off of every single one of them,
but not one of them slowing down....
the bags made it down the file to the very last man, where he would drop the bag
in no particular order or sequence....
and finally about 15 minutes later all of these hundreds of bags
made up rows and rows of our soldiers lives....

i stood in the middle of all the passing marines,
looking down at their boots....
there was still sand in them....
there was still sand from iraq in their boots....
our troops are home,
but just hours before, stood on war grounds....
it made me overcome with such a wide range of emotions....
a part of me overjoyed they were home safely...
another part of me soooooo disturbed that they were even there to begin with....

one of the marines loud voice, yells over the crowds "LISTEN UP MARINES!!!! DOES ANYONE NEED TRANSPORTATION TO THE BARRACKS?"

I quickly looked up....
and around....
if someone needed transportation to the barracks,
that meant they probably didn't have anyone waiting for them when they arrived.
I looked around....

His voice asked again, "DOES ANYONE NEED TRANSPORTATION TO THE BARRACKS?"

He paused.
once more, "TRANSPORTATION TO THE BARRACKS? ANYONE?"

No one seemed to need transportation at that time....
I exhaled....
to me that meant everyone had somebody....

He smiled....
as did i....

about 5 minutes later, I heard a young man say to another, "where can I get a ride to the barracks?"

I quickly turned around and there was a tall sandy blonde haired gentleman with round glasses on, standing alone holding his pack on his back, and that "green bag" over his shoulder and a black briefcase looking bag in his other hand....

I turned and said, "Thank you for what you've done. I am glad you're home safely.... Welcome Home!!!!"

I just wanted to hug him....
but you don't know what to do.....
you don't know how they are feeling emotionally.
you know?
i found this same exact feeling when I worked in the hospital....
when i'd meet a cancer patient for the very first time....
what do you say to them, you know?
how do you act towards them?
how are THEY feeling?
do you say you are sorry?
what if they aren't sorry?
what if you offend them by saying you're sorry?
i didn't want to make it any more awkward than it already was....
and so i just touched his arm and said, "welcome home," again.....

all the while,
my shades never left my nose...
because if they did....
these brave brave troops would see how incredibly weak i really was....
tears unable to stop pouring from my eyes as i walked this flight line....
To see Taylor in Jason's arms was incredible.
It really was.....

but my heart didn't stop there.....
there were so many others as well....
so many reunions....
husbands.
wives.
children.
parents.
newborns.
aunts.
uncles.
grandparents.
godparents....
boyfriends.
girlfriends.
brothers.
sisters.
friends.
fellow troops.
it goes on.
and on.
and on.
and i was just here.....

just another ant....
on another normal day.
in the life of the military.....
wishing i could do more.
say more.
give more.

and yet, all i could do,
was walk this FLIGHT LINE....
with my American Flag.
Pom poms.
AND TEARDROPS.....

Welcoming Home our brave men and women....

the kings on a budget

okay, so "the Kings on a budget" looks something like this.

saturday: make a boatload of lasagna, so there is DEFINITELY enough for leftovers.... at least for 2 more meals....

sunday: eat leftover lasagna. plan the meals for the rest of the week, or at least until friday which is payday again.

monday: only enough leftover lasagna for jason and i (poor taylor is rather grateful, as she doesn't like picking the onions out of the lasagna for 3 nights.... 2 was the limit) so i whip her up a dang quesadilla (and snag a piece because i'm starving) and then cut up the rest so that she doesn't even know a piece is missing.... i snack on 3 thin mints, thinking that i totally just got away with it, when jason comes in the kitchen (from his shower) and says "eatin' thin mints while cookin huh?" he must've smelled the chocolate mint on my breath.... (i'd like to think it smelled at least somewhat minty).

tuesday: i run out of bodywash, so decide to use shampoo instead. wonder if shampoo washes your body as well as it washes your hair.... re-wash with jason's bodywash, and hope he doesn't wonder why i smell like a man when he gets home.... realize that lewie doesn't have enough formula to make it through the day, so i'm going to have to go to the store (costco) anyway, which makes me nervous, because Costco is never just a "trip to the store." it's always like "at least a hundred dollar trip to the store...... IF you're lucky." and you usually walk out spending like two hundred and fifty, and then you feel like you can't leave the house for the next 3 weeks because you totally just spent too much.... you go for formula and end up leaving with said formula, and a baby monitor.... and a huge rug to put in the 3rd bedroom so that you can move the baby in there and actually get some sleep tonight..... and some french bread pizza, because the sample on the aisle's end was far too good to pass up, and like a gallon of vegetable oil, cuz you were gonna make brownies and it called for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, and well, getting a gallon at costco was like such a better deal than buying it at the grocery store (even if you don't use vegetable oil for like another year, it was totally worth it)....

anyway.... i am currently in the process of using my imagination and "walking" through costco, and i'm imagining passing all the aisles that i don't NEED stuff from.... and imagining all the aisles that i DO need stuff from. i'm ONLY going to get what we NEED and LEAVE.... wish me luck on that one.

then tonight, we are using our 10 dollar pizza hut gift card to order something super cheap at pizza hut, (even if it is the 2 pastas for 10 dollars on tuesday deal), because then that buys us another meal without having to go grocery shopping for....

wednesday: we are having dinner at moms. corned beef and cabbage.... which i'm not a HUGE fan of, but everyone says she makes it well, and it'll be our st. patty's day celebration, because you all know how irish our japanese family is.... (okay so not really, but you get the point).... it's another meal we don't have to shop for, and well, quite frankly, we have a pretty cool family that we like hanging out with a few (6 times) a week (okay, so not really six, but it feels like it. i see them a lot, and i'm not complaining, well unless.... nevermind. i'll just leave it at that).....

and then thursday..... well then thursday there are no plans yet.... except for the fact that i will have to cook again. and after looking in the fridge, freezer and cupboards, i am going to make baked chicken, corn and mashed potatoes, because we have all the stuff needed for that.... and well that's just another meal that we don't have to go grocery shopping for....

and then friday... well friday is payday and time to go grocery shopping again.... we will have food for the week and i will no longer smell like a man.... =)

james and his poor heart.

now i've told you before, there is something about the smell (and sound) of walking into a patient's room who has an air mattress....
the air mattress is there because they can't turn over themselves and this is supposed to lessen their chances of getting bedsores....
however, many people likely already have bedsores and there's just something about the smell of bedsores on an air mattress when you walk in the room....

the sound of the machine that's attached to the foot of the bed....
it's a constant blowing sound.... like a muffled dustbuster (if you can imagine that)....
that's what it sounds like.... so you walk into the patients room and hear the sound of that machine.... i walked over to the sink to wash my hands, before i put on my gloves.... while washing my hands, i'd wondered what he'd look like...
would he look older than he was? would he look younger than he was? would he be able to talk? did he have his family here? were they nice? hopefully they weren't rude and bossy and mean....

and then i walked in.
"knock knock. can i come in?"

"hello good morning. yes. yes you can come in," i'd heard in the softest sweetest feminine voice ever....

i pulled the curtain back and there was a tall, slim woman with brown shoulder length hair, getting up out of her chair that was pulled up next to james.
she called him jim.
"hello jim," i said as i touched his hand. "my name is ashley, and i'm going to be helping to take care of you today."

he slightly moved his head, as if he was making an attempt to look up at me.
"that's okay. you don't have to get up. i'm just going to take your vitals okay?"
he didn't say anything, just rolled his head back down.
his wife said it was fine. he was just really tired.
so i'd taken his vitals.
i couldn't help but to notice his breathing....
it made the most awful sound when he'd breathe.
it was like he was gurgling water in his throat....
but that was his heart failure.... it wasn't as bad as it would become, but it was still very much noticeable to anyone who'd come in to the room.
i took his vitals, well what i could, and he was stable.... he was okay....
his wife wanted him to get some rest, as he hadn't had much good sleep the night before.
so i let them rest.
i went and cared for a few of my other patients and returned to check on them, as i hadn't been paged or heard from them for a bit.
his eyes were open now....
i'd cleaned him up and changed his clothes....
while cleaning him (and removing his socks), tons of flakes of skin came out of his socks....
he was nice and fresh.... but his skin....
his skin was sooooo dry....
his feet were flaking skin onto the air mattress....
when was the last time anyone had removed his socks?
didn't anyone else see how dry his skin was?
how long had it been like this?
i took extra special care of his feet....
cleaning them thoroughly and in between his toes.
i remember him smiling when i'd dried them and rubbed lotion on them.
i felt like a little lady in the nail salon, giving him a massage like that.... his skin was just sooo dry....
his wife said that was one of his most favorite things....
having his feet rubbed.
he LOVED it.
so i massaged his feet with lotion and wiped off the mattress and he was stylin....
he was fresh, and no more dry skin or flakes!
for the next few weeks, that was my treat for him....
after his bath, i'd massage his feet....
and then one night (while i was sleeping at home),
he'd made a turn for the worse....
i came in and his dear sweet wife, Jan, was there.
his sons were there.
and of course he was there....
his gurgling was the only thing you could hear....
it was so loud and just the most awful sound....
it's one of those sounds that stick with you forever....
he was on a morphine drip....
at this hospital, you could always tell who was on a morphine drip and who was going to pass away at the hospital....
the hospital would wheel in this wooden cabinet with a marble top.
it would have bags of chips, and bottles of juice... things like that on it....
it was as if to make it as comfortable and nice as possible (and usually the patients were too far out of it to know it was there, but their guests could enjoy the treats too)....
i would get that same gut-wrenching feeling when i'd walk into a room with the marble cabinets that i would get when i'd walk into a room with an air mattress....
i knew they wouldn't make it much longer....
and that made me sad....

i'd rubbed and lotioned his feet with his family for the very last time.... he'd passed later that night (during the night).... his family was gone when i'd returned the next day.
i was so sad i didn't get to say goodbye to them for the last time....

and then a few months later, i'd received a personal call on my floor.
i'd answered the phone, having no idea who would possibly be calling for ME personally, but it was Jan. she'd called to ask if she could come by and bring me lunch one day.
i told her she didn't have to, but she wanted to come so badly.
her voice, is still one that i can't ever get out of my head.....
she came one day while i was at the hospital, to have lunch with me.
we went to the cafeteria and this was in january sometime....
she had a small bag (gift) for me and said she'd wanted to see me sometime before Christmas, but she'd been so busy and unable to get ahold of me....
i opened the gift over lunch and it was a beautifully colored, wooden angel ornament.
the card had said "you were jim's angel.... you treated him so wonderfully and i know that he just loved that last foot massage you gave him. i know he was holding on until you were there that last day.... you will forever remain in my heart as having taken the absolute best care of him. thank you ashley."

okay, SOB!!!!

this last Christmas, as we all decorated our tree, i hung that angel, just like i have done every year since, and thought about Jim and Jan. It warmed my heart, just as it always does, to remember her sweet voice, and Jim's soft feet. I know that sounds a bit weird, (about the feet), but it reminds me of my dad, and that was one of his very favorite things for as far back as i can remember.... up until his passing.
when i'd gone out there to see him a few weeks before he'd passed, that's what he wanted me to do all day.... put hot wet washclothes on his feet and then rub them with lotion... he'd fall asleep to me doing that.... funny they both loved their feet rubbed like that.... they both passed of congestive heart failure (my father's being a complication of cancer).... jim's brother was from a small town just next to grand junction, TN, where my father was from.... such a small small world.... maybe it's just me and my overthinking.....
i love my angel ornament, and i'd loved that family.....
such sweet souls, branded my heart....