Now, having children of my own, I am aware that sometimes children do jump around, but the frequency of this type of noise from upstairs would suggest that the child living there is either an unusually large rabbit or perhaps a small kangaroo. I do understand that when you live in an apartment and have neighbors above you, you will have some noise filter through the ceiling. I have gone many weeks without complaining because I understand that there is going to be some noise. But, after my pleasant experience with my neighbor below yesterday morning, I felt like I knew just what to say with those above, particularly when the "furniture moving" was taking place this morning before 7:30.
Now, I admit, I probably should have introduced myself by name when he came to the door and maybe I should have immediately begun apologizing? I have no idea what would have gotten a less aggressive response from him. When I returned to my apartment, wondering if we really should renew the lease or hurry up and find someplace else to live (moving? Again?!??!), I was shaking. This man was incredibly threatening in the way he spoke to me, though not in the words he chose. His words did clearly convey that he has no interest in curtailing the noise or being a courteous neighbor. But it was the way that he spoke and his stance that caused anxiety and fear to course through my body as I came back downstairs. I called A immediately and relayed what had happened. The noise increased after I came back to my apartment and I suppose it was my neighbor’s way of sending a message to me that he is in control.
Anyway, I will be posting an update or two - one re: Atlanta and one re: our distressing return.
Until then, be safe and blessed.
We are leaving tomorrow to go to Atlanta for the week, and I have loads of laundry to do and much packing up of computer stuff, as I referenced here. I am really excited that I will be seeing my Atlanta friends and that Becca has gotten permission to take the day off Monday to spend with the girls and me!
We are actually going to go tonight to spend the night with A's parents because I forgot to bring his bongos home and he's playing with the ensemble at our church home in Atlanta on Sunday at the noon mass. :) I am thinking maybe we will have breakfast with my mom tomorrow before we hit the road, too.
I am excited to be going to see most of my friends in Atlanta, particularly one you all know in blogland. I am super excited that we will finally be able to get our husbands together and meet each other's other half - even though I am already pretty comfortable with M, after talking on the phone and on IM several times. We also have plans to meet up with another couple (A's been friends with her practically his whole life and we were blessed to grow a friendship with them while we lived in Atlanta) for dinner Tuesday. I'll be so happy to see our friends and their children - all of them are at ages where they change almost daily, so I can't imagine what it will be like to get the kids all together. And, Little A and I will have lunch on Thursday with some of my favorite people in Atlanta. A wonderful pair of girls, that I have been so blessed to become friends with.
I am hoping that I will hear back from the principal at V's school and that she'll be able to attend Tue/Thu this week. It turns out it is also her teacher's last week before maternity leave, so I need to gather up a baby gift for her. V is excited at the prospect of seeing her classmates and their other friends while we are on "vacation".
I am just looking forward to not having the responsibilities of home for a few days. I need a little break and hopefully, I'll be able to steal away one evening for a pedicure at my favorite skin care school. That would be a slice of heaven. :) And the parks... oooh, the public parks in the greater metro area are just beautiful. I am looking forward to some cool spring weather and beautiful days at the park.
And well, I just don't even know if I will have computer access anywhere there. Maybe I'll even read a book. :)
Until next time, may God's abundant blessings be evident in your life.
I tried copying my pictures and other files onto my new external hard drive, only to have my old pc crash halfway through the download. Ugh. Decided to try to network the two computers and move the files that way.
Unpacked and set up the Dell - happily cleaning and dusting my desk, vacuuming the cobwebs from the wires behind the desk... Got it hooked up and got online.
My techie friend IM'd me and said Dell had an even better deal today - with a 19" flat panel monitor and free printer - for the same price I'd paid for no printer and a 15". Well, I called them up.
I thought, hey, they don't want to deal with the issue of a return and all that, they would just send out the new monitor and I'd return this little one. Nope. I had to order a whole new system (thank God for credit cards) and will box this one back up tomorrow and send it on its way.
Weird, you'd think they wouldn't want the hassle - since the system is EXACTLY the same. I wasn't even going to push for the printer.... but for 4" more!
I don't care what any of you say, size DOES matter.
Not something that is easy to overlook, having blisters on my lips that burst when I put softening lip balm on. Having scads of tattered skin on my precious lips makes them not only hurt, but totally unkissable - even to my girls.
I have to admit that maybe there is a problem since I am motivated to see an allergist more quickly than I was when we wondered if it was a new allergy to peanuts.
Beer = good
Allergy to beer = very very bad
I want to cry (okay, not really - but who is allergic to beer?! And how can I have THIS happen in a week when I was motivated to have a couple brews?)
But, as the title says....
I came home this weekend and found even more problems plaguing my computer. I have no viruses and no spyware.... Some other critical errors, though. We've run all sorts of diagnostics and gotten some great tech support. To no avail. This weekend, the dumb thing has crashed no less than 5 times - in 2 days.
I'll tell you a funny story about why I am blaming one of my best friends for the current problems. First, his wife built this computer. Second, he has been my tech support for all the years I've had a computer. And third, 11 days ago he sent me a link to Dell with a phenomenal deal - but we weren't even thinking then of replacing the computer, just adding some memory to what we have.
I was completely unwilling to think about spending the money 11 days ago - even accused him of trying to get me out of his hair, technologically speaking. And look at what happens. Here I am, with a computer that is sporadically functioning (at best). And while we were able to find a similar deal, it wasn't the sweetness that could have been had a scant week ago.
So, we took the plunge. This morning.
Dude, I'm gettin' a Dell!
I appreciate your prayers and all those who have donated money for my mom (can you believe it cost her more than $70 for a scrip for something to help her sleep?!?!?) Her heart medications alone are going to keep her in the poor house, so your donations are more than appreciated.
I love you all and like I said, I will add more later. But for now, my girls need their mommy.
Things have obviously been crazy, what with planning a funeral and all this past week. This whole thing has been a shock and completely uprooting for us. I have been doing pretty well, holding it together, with the exception of some wailing into the mattress last Monday night. I feel like there are some emotions boiling below the surface, but they are unwilling to come out, now that I am free to emote as much as needed. Figures.
I won't go into great detail regarding my mom's financial situation, but suffice to say it is looking bleak. Florida does not recognize common law marriage, so even though my mom and Pop have been together for 16 years, she has absolutely no rights. Except that since the house was also in her name, she can keep it - as long as she keeps making payments. Hopefully, we can help her make that happen. The only advantage to not having been married, she is not responsible for his abundant debts - scary how much he has racked up in the 2 years since they refinanced the home and he took money out to pay off his credit cards. Absolutely unbelievable. And how she will pay her monthly bills is beyond us right now, and we are just going day by day and trying to figure out what she will do. If she sells the house, she will be forced to move to another county (she couldn't afford any place where she is due to the skyrocketing real estate)... and we all agree that she shouldn't have to lose her partner and then everything else too. So, we will figure it out somehow. I will not let her live on the street, that's for sure.
The girls, well, it is weird how they've handled it. I guess they are too young to really understand, though V pointed out that we will see him again - when we go to heaven too. Little A keeps asking when we go to their house to see Pop too. It will be a long time before she stops asking, I think. Their major thing this past week was mommy being gone every day. It was stressful for them to be with someone else every day - they both wanted to sleep with me each night - even if they could only sleep on the floor next to my bed (we were staying at A's parents' house so I could be close to my mom). They have both been a bit clingy, even this weekend, all four of us being home together.
My mom's sister leaves tomorrow to go home to SC and then her cousin will "move in" for 2 weeks. My mom intends to go back to work on Thursday and I think it is good for her to try to have a routine and get into some sort of groove. I also think it is key that cousin D will be here for two weeks so my mom doesn't have to be alone at night after work. My grandmother is coming in May for a week or two as well and I think my aunt plans to come back in the summer for a week. This is very nice of all of them, but I hope they let her be when she asks and I hope they respect that she is going to have changing needs every day.
I am feeling very protective of her, and I have to balance that with wanting to completely take care of her - she is really going to have to learn to be on her feet on her own. It is a scary future for her, but one in which I hope she is able to find peace and eventual happiness in spite of her loss.
Of course, I can't stop thinking of all the wonderful times we spent together as a family - we'd just started spending holidays together with A's parents and grandparents and my parents included. We just all had Easter dinner together - and our Disney trip last September. It is startling to think that those holidays in the future will include my mom arriving on her own. I can't imagine how her life has changed in the blink of an eye.
I have so much more to say, but I haven't decided if I am going to write down everything here... I did get a paper journal to record my thoughts and feelings. I just don't know if my blog is the place to store these things - and honestly, as much as you all have proven you care, I am certain there are details you just don't want to know. Trust me.
I love you all and want to extend sincere thanks for your thoughts, prayers and generosity during this incredibly difficult time for my family. I will never be able to thank you enough. I pray God rewards you with many blessings for being such a great support for me (and my mom has read some of your comments and always is so touched that these thoughts and prayers are coming from literally around the world and that I have not yet met so many of you in person.) It means a lot to her that I have you. And I know she will eventually cherish the pages of well wishes received from you during this time. Believe me, she feels the prayers.
I want to close real quick and let you know that my computer is on the blink. We are going to have buy a new one and I don't know if I am even going to be able to get online each day this week. Also, we are leaving Saturday to go to Atlanta (A has training that has been rescheduled like 3 times). We will be there for a week and will return just in time to have dinner with Sandi and her husband to celebrate their anniversary and her birthday). While I am in Atlanta, I look forward to spending as much time as possible with my friends there, in particular, Becca, who has been incredible to me this week (not that the rest of you haven't been, but there's been something special between Becca and me that we've truly felt like family practically since before we met in person).
I do appreciate you all and I can't wait to eventually sit down and have a cup of coffee or shot of vodka or something with each of you. You will never know just how much your support and love through this time has meant to me. Truly unbelievable - you all have humbled me.
Until next time, God Bless you and keep you and yours safe.
Well, I was trying to post yesterday to think of Holly and her family (she asks for prayers especially for her mom) at 1pm for the funeral. She said it would be a long, hard day. We spoke briefly 10am yesterday, and she told me we probably would not speak until sometime today.
We've been watching my 9 year old niece the past 2 days, so when I do speak to Holly, the first chance I get I'll post an update from her. I'll do my best to get it here fast.
She does thank everyone for their comments, those sending their love and prayers, and everyone who is donating. Please keep spreading the word - your actions are more than appreciated!!!! Holly loves you all. Thanks for sticking by her during this time.
Much love to all of you, and thanks for all you do. I'm honored to witness all the friendship we've been seeing this week - and Holly and her mom especially are honored to be touched by it all.
Hello Dear Friends. This is Becca for Holly. She wanted me to get the "Make a Donation" sticker on her blog. You'll find it above, and to the left top of her blog near her pic and info. Please let me know if the links don't work - I'm not the best HTML queen around.
Holly is holding up. She is VERY busy and on "autopilot" as she says. I also spoke with her mom today, who was having a better moment when I spoke with her, but it is still unbelievable. There really are no words are there?
Holly does want to thank, somehow, all of you. She is so grateful for the paypal account, and all the offers of "what can I do?" Jen was INCREDIBLE today to spend so much time working on photoshop with some pictures of Pop for the funeral. Holly thanks you so much, and Holly's mom especially, Jen, was very appreciative. She was raving about your work. Your work was so moving, incredible, and perfect. They ordered copies of all the pics, with 2 being the ones for the funeral blown up bigger for many to see. THANK YOU for your time in creating this tribute.
That is about all the updates for now. Please consider giving. The financial picture is not looking pretty, and the more word we can get out, the better. If you'd like the HTML code, many of us have it now, or you can contact me here on this blog, or here for the code.
You all are incredible. Much love to all of you. This community is amazing.
God's Peace and Blessings!
The phone rang a minute later (same number) and it was the police. I immediately thought it was regarding my mom, since she has a heart condition (and they were calling from my mom's town). Even once they told me she was okay, and they were taking her to the hospital, I was convinced she'd had another heart attack. It wasn't until she got on the phone, crying, and told me that B was in an accident that I realized I had been wrong all along.
My stepdad (most of you know that my dad died about 10 1/2 years ago, suddenly) was on his way home after going out for a couple hours. He'd gone to a rib festival as an excuse to ride his motorcycle in the beautiful early summer weather. As he was nearing his street, a pickup truck made a u-turn directly in front of him. I won't go into the gruesome details, but I will tell you that a pickup truck made a u-turn right in front of him. The driver was arrested for DUI and later also charged with manslaughter (initially, Pop had brain stem function, thus was breathing on top of the ventilator - though barely).
My mom arrived at the hospital about 4:30 this morning, and I arrived a scant 45 minutes later (I live 75 miles away). After talking to the chaplain (before even seeing my mom and stepbrother), I knew there was no hope. I just hugged my stepbrother B as he was walking out, telling him over and over "I am so sorry". He insisted that "You know Dad is going to pull through this, he is a fighter." I didn't have the strength just then to tell him not to leave, but that today would be the last day his father was on earth.
I went in the ER and though I thought I had prepared myself, knowing the circumstances of the accident and that there would be no recovery.... There was no preparing myself for what lie in front of me. My poor Pop didn't look at all like himself, the swelling had masked his face, and the only definable feature (that actually looked like him) was his fingertips of the right hand - the skin around his nails still stained from the ink that was so much a part of his professional life.
My other stepbrother arrived shortly before 7 and by that time, I had gleaned some details of Pop's condition from the chaplain (who was unable to offer information, but nodded and shook his head in answer to my questions). I told M that there was no hope for recovery, physically or neurologically. The second time I would tell a brother that his father wouldn't make it. In his certain disbelief, he required the nurse to tell him precisely the details of his father's condition. The nurse was gruesome with his details, leaving no room in any of our hearts for hope.
I was too distressed to tell a third brother the news of his father's demise (I was the one who told my own brother that our dad had died over 10 years ago), so after we spoke directly to the neurologist, M called B to come back to the hospital. When he arrived, he needed to be told by the nurse the gruesome-ness of his father's condition. We then met with the LifeLink rep, to discuss our options for donation of Pop's organs. After talking with her, we made the decision to have the ventilator removed as soon as possible. This never did actually happen because the neurologist refused to sign the paper for at least 24 hours. While this made me angry (he himself had told us that there was no hope for recovery), I would soon realize that the ventilator would not be enough to keep his body alive.
The nurse removed the dopamine drip (it was no longer having any effect on his blood pressure anyway). Then, another drug stopped working to keep the blood vessels constricted, so that drip was stopped. The respiratory therapist did lower the function of the respirator by 5 points. In a couple hours, he finally stopped breathing at all on his own. I had asked A to come and be with us (thank God my cousin Brit was here for her spring break and A was able to leave the girls with her). He arrived just before Pop stopped breathing on his own. Something about having A's arms around her, maybe it was because it was the man that loved her next best to Pop, but my mom broke down in my husband's arms. It was the first time of the day I truly saw the extent of her grief. She'd been holding it together pretty well, certainly lots of crying and contorting of face, but not the complete weakness I saw as my husband held her. I felt grateful and devastated at the same time. This would be repeated again later in the day when my amazing husband told me that he understands that we might have to welcome my mother to live with us, depending on what we discover in the clear picture of her finances.
After Pop stopped breathing on his own, a short - but very long - two hours was spent standing around his bed, watching his blood pressure slowly fall. Then his heart rate decreased by half and within minutes, stopped altogether. Though we knew it was coming, it didn't change the devastation felt in each of our beating hearts.
Please pray for my family during this time, particularly for my stepbrothers - but especially my mom, who has lost the other half of her life.
I so appreciate all your prayers. I can tell I am being prayed for as I go about taking care of the details, piecing together the puzzle that is my mother's financial future. There are no words to express my gratitude for your generosity in prayers and for those of you who set up the paypal account and who are donating to help my mom in this incredibly difficult time.
I will be gone for several days, but will check in to read everyone's prayers and wishes - it does help during this incredibly painful time. Becca will have access to my blog and will update as necessary. I imagine none of you need to hear the daily details of my next days as I sift through paperwork and legalities...
Again, thank you. God Bless You.
The Pontiff's recent illness and longtime battle with Parkinson's disease and other health issues have ended, his suffering coming to a peaceful, loving end. The day before his death, he requested a reading of the passages of Christ's body being taken down from the Cross, wrapped in linens and laid to rest in the tomb.
May Catholics (and other supporters) around the world be comforted in knowing John Paul has already risen to meet Christ, whole again in the perfection of eternal life.
Your influence will transcend time and your presence will be greatly missed. God Bless you, Reverand Father.
PLEASE GO to California Hammonds and participate in the Comment-A-Thon. I have spent many late nights reading the love story that is his blog. I have never been so touched by someone's open-ness in the midst of so much pain.
GO FRIDAY AND COMMENT - Bookmark the site and read it later if you don't have time now. ***Say I sent you and I will donate one dollar for each referral (up to 50) that comments on his site on April 1. (comment here too to let me know you participated in this worthy cause)***
It puts my life into perspective. The Hammonds are an incredible family.
If you aren't interested in reading, at least go Comment! It is for a great cause. And then, sit down and pray for the family. Today must be incredibly difficult for them.
Location: Free State, USA
"Celebrate we will/'cause life is short but sweet for certain..."
E-mail me here
Jen - Searching for Me
Julia - Here be Hippogriffs
Kelly - The Woman Wonders
Linda - Indigo Girl
MP - Chick Chat
Megan - Charm Bracelet
Nino - Cease, cows, life is short!
Rebekah - Boundary Lines
Sandi - Mom of 2 Boys
Shannon - Rocks in My Dryer
Sue - Living Upside Down, Down Under
Other blogs I read:
The Shape of a Mother
My Homeschool Experiences
There's Grace in the Little Way
If you'd like your link included on my blog,
please let me know!