Year in Review

What a busy year it has been. I was reviewing my date book this morning and was absolutely amazed at everything that has happened during 2007. It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating New Year’s Day and here we are ready to celebrate the beginning of another year. When I add up the good versus the bad I honestly believe that despite all the bad things we dealt with in 2007 the good things far outweighed them. Let’s look at some of my life events of 2007.

2007 started with the birth of Lil Man – what a blessing he has been. The Birth of Lil Man

Of course the months of Jan, Feb, March, and April are spent dealing with tax season and 2007 was a successful one.

We took our first ever ENTIRE family vacation. Yes … that means me and my kids (and Lil Man), my sister, her husband, their daughter and son-n-law, and my Mama. Nine of us … for an entire week … held up in one condo … at the beach … what an adventure. Beach Fun

Mama had a couple of surgeries, both major, but the final results improved her health and happiness immensely.

I got the opportunity to attend an IRS show in Anaheim, CA for work which also gave me the opportunity to visit Disney Land and be a kid again which is an experience I will never forget. I Met Goofey!

I was also able to visit Dayton, OH and while that isn’t the greatest place on earth it was a place I would never have gotten to go had it not been for my job so it was a positive experience. Dayton, OH

I witnessed my daughter struggle to give up a serious drug addiction. My Heather

My daughter wrecked and totaled my car – this could have been one of those ‘bad’ things I mentioned BUT it ended up working out for the best in the end. I was able to replace the car with my mini-van and also able to finally get through to Heather that she wasn’t driving my vehicles ever again … and she accepted that without a fight! Gone But Not Forgotten

I saw the first anniversary of being single again … I really don’t mind not having a man in my life anymore. Being single isn’t so bad afterall.

We got Max Lil Man’s Puppy

And Jake Dog # 2

I believe that among everything I experienced this year the best blessings have come from serving the Lord and all of his goodness. Without Christ in my life these other things wouldn’t matter.

Here’s hoping that all of you have a happy and safe New Year. May God richly bless each and everyone of you during the year 2008!

JuJUBe Diaper Bag Giveaway!!!

Kim the owner of thebabymarketplace.com – a great online spot for Baby Clothing, Shoes, Toys, Gifts and Cloth Diapers is hosting the December JuJuBe Diaper Bag Give-Away @ mommyknows.com go on over and comment and be entered to Win one of two great JuJuBe MiniBe Diaper Bags!

Just Stuff

Christmas was wonderful and awesome beyond my best dream. Everyone was happy and enjoyed each other’s company. Even Lil Man had a ball and he wasn’t even sure what was going on! I will post pictures and such later!

Among all the grandeurs of Christmas we only had one downfall or bad side. If you have read my previous entries I’m sure you have figured out that Lil Man’s dad is not in the picture. Neither is his dad’s family. They have seen Lil Man a few times but nothing to write about and definitely nothing to remember. They don’t bother to stay in touch or to call and check on Lil Man and none of them have offered to help provide for him, which is just as well … we don’t need their help … we are doing fine on our on … BUT … it would be nice if they would just call and ask about him and/or at least seem like they care just a little bit about him.

Anyway … they live in FL and they came to NC for Christmas. Turns out that Lil Man’s dad’s grandfather lives a short distance away from where we live and they came to spend Christmas with him. Well … they also had this grand idea for seeing Lil Man while they were here. It’s been a battle … they think we are foolish enough to turn them lose with our precious little boy and allow them to keep him for a couple of days … ‘to bond’ … that’s what V(dad’s mom) calls it. I have ISSUES!! Why now? Why haven’t they kept in touch? Why did they get Lil Man all this ‘stuff’ for Christmas then leave it in FL? Why do they think I’m stupid enough to turn them lose to take off with Lil Man? Now they are wanting me to turn them lose with not only Lil Man but with Stasha. They finally relented and said that Stasha could come spend a couple of days with them too. I’M SORRY!! NO FREAKING DICE!! The only way either one of them goes is if I go too! Stasha is defenseless and she is terribly afraid of Lil Man’s dad’s temper … SO … NO they will not take Lil Man and they will not take Stasha … WITHOUT ME!! I have told them that I will come to their rental home on Saturday and they can spend the day ‘bonding’ with Lil Man while we are there but when it comes time to leave … Lil Man and Stasha are coming with me … No additional conversation needed. They have been here since the Saturday before Christmas and his dad hasn’t even put forth effort to come to our home and see him but he has had plenty of time to go skiing and snowtubing. If ya got time to play … you got time for your son .. ON MY TERMS!

What do you think … am I being a horse’s patoot over this? Am I being selfish? OR am I making the right decision?

What I Have to Celebrate This Christmas – Part III – The End

Go HERE for Part I

Go HERE for Part II

Now for Part III

If you have been following this story you know by now that I already have a world of things to be thankful for … I have my daughter’s life, my grandson’s life, and my mother’s life as well as the opportunity to rebuild a broken, torn relationship with my sister and her family. You also know by now that I fully trust in God’s plan and have discovered that it is important to be patient and wait for him to decide upon the good things in my life. I believe that without God there would be no good things … nothing to look forward to … nothing to be thankful for.

The past year has been less than pretty and definitely not an easy one. My family has faced many struggles and as you will read in the final chapter of this story the biggest struggle we have had to face is one that will be a lifetime struggle to maintain.

I have mentioned very little about my oldest daughter, Heather. I do this because I feel a need to protect her. Don’t get me wrong … I protect all of my family to the best of my ability but Heather is the special one … she was and is the one that just seems to ‘get it’. I gave birth to Heather while I was young and single. I was in a bad relationship and when I told her father that I was pregnant his response to me was that I would go to the clinic on Monday morning and take care of this little problem I had gotten myself into. He told me there was no way he was going to be a father and be responsible for a bratty kid. I rebelled and stood my ground. I told him I would NOT be visiting the clinic to take care of anything. I also told him that he couldn’t force me to do something I did not want to do. Of course my mouth ended up catching the backside of his hand and I quickly became a 4am punching bag. I knew then that I had to get away and never look back to the life I had become accustomed to. I ran from our apartment at 4am in the morning to a nearby neighbor’s seeking refuge until morning when I could make arrangements to gather my things and get out of dodge and that is exactly what I did. One of the toughest phone calls I’ve ever had to make was the one calling my mother to tell her I was pregnant and needed her help. I was living in VA at the time and I was ready to come home to the mountains of NC. Instead of turning her back like I expected her to do Mama put in motion a plan to get me home. I didn’t have to make another phone call or ask anyone else for help. Within an hour of calling my Mom I received a call from my Aunt and Uncle wanting to know where I was so they could come help me out and help me to get my things together so I could come home. A couple of days later all of my affairs in VA were settled and I was on my way home to NC. I spent the next few months getting ready to be a single mom and knowing deep in my heart that while I had absolutely nothing else in life to look forward to … I had a baby on the way that was depending on me. I had a perfect pregnancy. Labor and delivery was one of those that women dream of having. Three hours of mild pain and about four good pushes and I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Heather and I grew up together. I was there for her and she was there for me. We made a good team …

I could go in detail about the years Heather and I have put in together, almost 23 now, but I will spare you those details. Know that some of them were wonderful years … some were less that wonderful … and a few of them have been right down dreadful. Regardless we have always found our way back to a common ground with each other. She has been strong for me when I needed her to be and I have always been there for her. This past year was no different.

As a precursor to the events of this year … During one of those dreadful years Heather got involved with the wrong group of people and started plundering in the drug world. Her drug of choice seemed to be crystal meth and it got to the point where we as a family stood to lose everything because of her addiction and I finally realized it was time to stand my ground and give her the ultimatum … clean up … or get out. She thought I was kidding so she continued to push my buttons. One Sunday night she came in strung out on meth and pretty belligerent. I asked her to leave and she got in my face telling me that I wouldn’t have to worry about her much longer because she was tired of living and she was going to take care of the problem so that I could get along with my idea of a prefect life. Those were pretty much the words I was waiting to hear because I knew at that point she was considering taking her life … which meant she was a threat to herself … which meant that I had grounds for commitment. It was a long, hard fought night with her. She was too strung out on drugs to sleep and I wasn’t about to try to sleep for fear of her doing something irrational and me having to wake up and find her dead the next morning. About 7am on Monday morning Heather finally passed out and by then I was ready to do what I knew I had to do. I made a quick call to my Angie Angel and told her I was on the way to take out commitment papers and also told her that I would need a shoulder to cry on when it was all over with. I went to the Magistrates office, explained to him the events of the night before, and he did the paperwork to have her committed. I left and went back home to make sure she was still there and to be there when they came to pick her up. I had the worst feeling in my stomach … I felt that I had failed as a parent … and knew that the bond between Heather and I would never be the same. When the officers arrived to take her away she wouldn’t even look at me. She wouldn’t speak to me. She had nothing to say. They cuffed her and took her away. Later in the day she called to tell me where they were taking her and to ask if I would bring her a few things she would need while she was gone. I took her a change of clothes and a few personal items. She again refused to look at me. She did however tell me she was sorry for not being the child I expected her to be. I didn’t know how to respond. I didn’t know what to say. The only thing I knew was this was the last chance I had to save my daughter from dying at the hands of drugs. This would either work … or it would be the end. As I turned to leave the room I remember telling her that regardless of how angry she was with me at that very moment, I did what I felt I need to do to save her and that I loved her unconditionally. She only whispered that she loved me too. I walked away knowing that out lives would never be the same.

Four years later – three and a half of those drugs free – Heather will tell me that was the best thing I had ever done for her. Having her committed saved her life. God works in mysterious ways. If you are not familiar with or in touch with the life of a drug addict I can testify that it’s not an easy one. The life of a recovering addict is even tougher. Heather held on and she fought. Back in the late summer I started feeling that something was not right with Heather. Things just didn’t add up and she was becoming distant again. Although she continued to reassure me that she wasn’t using again I had my doubts then on Friday morning in late September my feeling came full circle.

Heather sent me a text message telling me she was in trouble and didn’t know what to do. I knew she should have been at work but she told me that she thought she had lost her job because she was just too strung out to go to work. She said she went by to pick up her paycheck and told her boss she couldn’t work that day. She said he told her if she didn’t come in, not to come back. The day rounded into a full circle … buying drugs, selling drugs to buy more drugs to sell to pay off a drug man, to be able to get more drugs to make it until another payday. A vicious cycle that by now was spinning out of control and she realized that Friday morning that she had hit rock bottom with no way up. She knew she needed help. I was working and couldn’t leave the office to get to her. I asked her to go home, go to her room, lock her door, and to stay in her room until I got home or until she came down off the drugs enough to think with reason. Later in the day she called me and she sounded better but you could hear fear in her voice. She wanted out of the drug world but she also knew that getting out the second time was much tougher than the first. All I could do was offer words of encouragement and make sure she knew that I was there to support her. Later in the day I went by her work place and talked to her boss. As a recovering drug addict he was more understanding than I expected him to be. He told me to get her straight and have her at work the next day. He would fight with the co-owner of the business to save her job because he knew how desperately she needed it. I passed these words of encouragement on to her. She sighed a tone of relief but she also knew she was going to have a long night coming down. At this time I didn’t have a clue what kind of drugs she was using or how much she had taken.

When I got off work I called home to see how thing were going and found out that Heather was sleeping. I knew that is what she needed to do. I proceeded with my regular Friday afternoon schedule. I picked up Stasha and Lil Man then went to pick up Mama so we could get some dinner. While we were sitting at dinner I got a call from Heather. She asked where her uncle Dean was. I told her he was on his way to Asheville then she asked where her cousin Brandon was. I thought it strange she would ask for these two people so I asked her what was going on … why did she want Dean and Brandon. She began to cry. She told me something bad was wrong. I felt it was her coming down from the drugs but then she told me she was scared and thought she was dying. She said her chest hurt … it felt like her heart was going to bust out of her chest … her head hurt … she said it felt like her brain was going to explode. She couldn’t move her arms, couldn’t feel her legs … she said her face was all tingly … her voice was slurred. I told her I was on my way home … to breath deeply and to keep talking. I grabbed the family and told them we had to leave … Heather was in trouble. On the way from the restaurant I saw some people from our Church and I just asked them to pray for Heather. I told them she was in trouble and to just pray.

Heather’s voice was getting more and more slurred. She was getting quiet. Stasha had called Dean to tell him Heather was in trouble and was asking for him … he turned around and headed back home. I told Heather I was hanging up to call 911 and have them send an ambulance … I did and when the 911 dispatcher answered the phone … it was Brandon … the other person that Heather was asking for. I quickly told him what was happening and asked that he send an ambulance to my house. I told him I was on my way but if they got there before I did the door was open to just go inside.

I began to pray … Mama was praying … that was all we could do … Pray.

I made it home, in front of the ambulance, to find Heather sitting in a chair in the living room staring into space. She gave only a slight response when I spoke to her. She said “Mama, it hurts”, “Mama, make the pain go away”, “Mama, help me”. The ambulance arrived and praise be to the good Lord above the paramedic was a long time friend of mine and he knew Heather’s past. A quick assessment showed that there was reason to believe that she had overdosed on whatever her drug of choice was for the day. I asked and she sluggishly responded that she had been doing cocaine, large amounts of cocaine, and she had been doing it over the past 24 hours or so.

Fast forward several hours later … Heather was out of the woods and the doctors were going to send her home. The doctor on call in the ER that night seemed to attach to Heather with a compassion that we were not expecting. He talked frank with her and told her how close she came to waking up on the bad side of a drug life. In other words … not waking up at all. He gave her information she would need to get in touch with people who could help her through the rehab process and told her he hoped he would never see her again in his ER under these circumstances.

I took Heather home. When we got there she went straight to the baby’s crib, picked him up, and just held him tightly and cried. She told him she was sorry for what she had done. She told him she was sorry for not thinking about him and for not being stronger for him. She told him that she knew she had to give up the drugs so she could be there to watch him grow up because she didn’t want him to grow up without his Aunt Heather. She then turned to me and said “Mama, this is why God sent me Bubby (this is what Heather calls Lil Man).” She said she knew that God sent us Lil Man for a reason but she didn’t know why. She said she also didn’t understand why God gave Lil Man to Stasha instead of her but now she knew. She knew that one day God would explain to her why everything was like it was. She said that God was giving her a second chance and God knew that Lil Man was going to be the provider of strength to her to get through this and to beat this addiction.

In that moment I knew my question of Why was fully answered. Lil Man was sent to us, by God. He is like an Angel sent down from Heaven to give us strength and to help us realize that God is ever present in our lives. Lil Man gave my mama a reason to fight her failing health and to want to recover and be strong again. Lil Man gave Heather a reason to fight her addiction. Lil Man has taught me to be humble to God’s blessings. Lil Man has taught Stasha patience. God has worked many miracles in our family this year and as we head now into the Christmas Season we have a world of God’s blessings to reflect upon.

Jesus is the reason for the Season and without him life would be without meaning.

May each and everyone of you have a blessed Christmas, a Happy New Year, and may each of you walk with God ever by your side and seek him at all times. Know that you are not alone … God is always with you. With him all things are possible

Land’s End Give Away

I found this earlier today and wanted to share it with you. Land’s End is a totally awesome place to shop and when they offer someone free stuff to give away … well that makes them even better. For details … go here … Musings of a Housewife … all the info you need you can find there and be sure to sign up. You never know … you may be the lucky winner!! AND if you aren’t in need of a diaper bag I have found that bags like these make wonderful oversized purses!!

What I Have to Celebrate This Christmas – Part II

Mama & Lil Man

If you have not read Part One, please take time to scroll on down and read it before reading Part Two … Part One sets a scene for all posts to follow …

Now … Part II

It didn’t take long, after bringing Stasha and Lil Man home to realize that we had more than an addition to our family in Lil Man … we soon realized he was truly sent from Heaven above to bless our home and our hearts. I knew before ever taking him home that he was going to be an exceptionally good baby and I wasn’t surprised when my thoughts were soon confirmed. Even as a totally dependent newborn infant he was so easy to care for. He rarely ever cried … and when he did you could be assured that he was either wet or hungry. He wasn’t a fussy baby at all and he had the sweetest temperament. In fact it was almost scary at how easy it was to care for him and keep him happy. He loved to cuddle (and still does!) and when he wasn’t sleeping he was very alert to his surroundings. We never experienced colic, spit-ups, tummy aches, etc… that you expect with newborns … Never so much as diaper rash.

It didn’t take long to realize that Lil Man was stealing the hearts of everyone he came in contact with. I myself never realized that I could love someone so much nor did I realize that this little gift from God would soon become a driving factor in my family.

Just a bit of background history … I have a sister who is 13 months older than me. We never really got along when we were growing up and it only got worse in our adult years. She had her standards and demands … I had mine … and our life cultures just did not mesh. It got to a point where we only communicated with each other when it was absolutely impossible to avoid it. Holidays or family get together’ s were impossible. I pretty much hated the site of her … and she hated the site of me so it was best that we do what we had to do and then go our separate ways. This caused a serious strain on our Mom’s happiness as well. … Anywho … it took a lot of years and a lot of growing up for Glenda and I to realize that we’d wasted a lot of time and that we both had missed out on the good years of our kids growing up … we both finally realized that it was time to put our differences aside and be the sisters God meant for us to be. She and I have spent the past couple of years making up for those years we lost. It has been a blessing for both of us … AND for our Mom.

Back to the story … In November of 1997 Mama fought one of the toughest fights for survival she had ever faced. She was diagnosed with rocky mountain spotted fever and given only a matter of time to live. The doctors had suggested that we call the family and let them all know how serious she was. (This was one of those times when Glenda and I had to tolerate each other) Fortunately about 14 days after the diagnosis she walked out of the hospital, but not before this horrid infection had taken its toll. As time progressed she suffered the worse of extended side effects both from RMSF and from the medications she was given to treat it. Between the summer of 1998 and the summer of 2006 Mama struggled with a wide variety of medical ailments. Everything from multiple cases of pneumonia which severely weakened her respiratory system, to A-Fib which left her extremely tired all the time, to rheumatoid arthritis that affected every joint in her body. It was during late 2005, early 2006 that Glenda and I put our differences aside and began to bond our families together. OH the support she was for me when I found out Stasha was pregnant … this in itself was a huge turning point in our lives as sisters.

During the summer of 2006 extreme medical intervention became evident with Mama. In August of 2006 Mama had her first knee replacement, 5 weeks later the other knee replacement. Lil Man was born in January, 2007 and for a few weeks Mama seemed to be in the best of health. In February things took a turn for the worse. She had to have out-patient shoulder surgery and after the surgery she had a problem with keeping her oxygen saturation at a safe level. She was on portable oxygen for other respiratory ailments and since Glenda is a Paramedic the doctors in Atlanta who did the shoulder surgery allowed her to come home with instructions to see her doctor here if the O2 saturation did not improve after all of the anesthesia had worn off. We thought maybe her asthma was rearing its ugly head so we called her doctor who treats the asthma and allergies to schedule an appointment with him. He of course wanted to see her right away so my brother-n-law, Dean, headed to Waynesville with her. When he got her to the doctor’s office she was seriously struggling to breath and her O2 saturation had dropped to an extremely dangerous level and her heart was not tolerating the respiratory stuff thus causing her to experience continuous A-Fib. This doctor increased the amount of O2 she was on and gave Dean Instructions to not stop along the way and to take her directly to the ER at Mission Hospital in Asheville where her Pulmonary Specialist would be waiting on them. Mama spent the next 16 days in the Owen Heart Tower at Mission being treated for an unknown lung condition. During these 16 days she had two lung biopsies, several CT scans, but no real diagnosis. Each time they took her down for a biopsy the doctor would gently tell us that there was a chance she would not be coming back or that she may come back on a ventilator with the possibility that she would never come off the vent. Praises to the Lord above this never happened. Her three doctors in Asheville, (Rheumatologist, Cardiologist, and Pulmonologist) finally all sat down together and started a brain-storm session to try and figure out what was going on. While combing through her list of medications, it seems as if a light came on and at the same time all three doctors said “Amarodione Toxicity”. It is believed that this was the culprit and further research by all three doctors determined that all of the symptoms Mama was suffering from at this particular time were caused by her body’s rejection of the Amarodione that she was taking for the arthritis. This drug was stopped and Mama started to improve … slowly … but improving. We knew it would be a long time before she was back to ‘normal’.

Time passed and Mama started feeling much better, looking better, and we thought she was out of the woods. She kept saying … “All I want is to feel good enough to play with the baby and to be able to pick him up and love on him”. By this point, with the loss of the Amarodione for the arthritis, her joints were taking a beating from Arthur. She finally started a treatment with Orencia which did wonders for her but she still had the ailing shoulder … and the A-Fib which was no longer under control … (can you see things going south again?)

Sure enough … the A-Fib, which is an irregular heart rhythm where basically the lower chamber of her heart was beating correctly but the upper chamber or top part of her heart would sit and quiver for a period of time before deciding it wanted to beat correctly for a while. Left untreated this could cause blood clots to form and when/if the upper chamber were to convert to a normal rhythm the blood clots could be thrown into the lungs or out into the body and … well … death could occur. The normal treatment is a pill you take everyday, or in Mama’s case, several times a day and blood thinners to prevent the clots. When all else fail then they turn to a pacemaker. She had been on blood thinners for a LONG time already and she was on max doses of Cardizem which was supposed to help maintain a steady heart rhythm. It was no longer doing what it was supposed to do so Mama’s heart wasn’t supplying her body with blood as it should. Mama was getting forgetful and ‘bitter’ for lack of a better word. She wasn’t herself by any means. The only time anyone found favor with Mama was when Lil Ma was there. It’s like he was the only reason she was fighting to go on. Regardless of how bad she felt, a few minutes with Lil Man did wonders for her demeanor.

One Sunday afternoon in early July Mama got out of her chair to go to the bathroom and fell down the steps between the living room and dining room in Glenda’s house. It was only a couple of steps but enough to wind her up back in the hospital for a couple of days. Mama didn’t remember getting out of her chair, nor did she remember falling. This fall set off a chain of events … The doctors determined that the A-Fib was causing enough reduction in blood flow for her to not be able to remember things and to pass out when standing up or moving quickly. They decided it was time for a pacemaker so the surgery was scheduled on July 30.

Before this surgery we ended up taking her back to the orthopedic specialist in Atlanta who had done her shoulder surgery in February. She was suffering extreme shoulder pain all the time now since the fall. He X-rayed the shoulder and AMAZING … he found that as a result of the fall the humerus head was not only fractured but it was also dislocated. He was ready to schedule her for shoulder replacement surgery the next day … UNTIL he found out she was scheduled for pacemaker surgery. When he realized the severity of the A-Fib he said we would have to postpone this surgery until the pacemaker surgery was done and she had been cleared by that surgeon to have the shoulder done. Until then high doses of pain medication, a pain patch, and prayer for toleration of the shoulder pain was all that could be done.

July 30th at 7am Mama was prepped for pacemaker surgery. Just me, her and Brian (same Brian as the one in Part I) … a long day … and a lot of waiting!! Once she came out of surgery and started waking up it was amazing. Her color was better, she felt good, and most importantly her heart was beating normally and her O2 saturation was excellent. Another hurdle crossed … only one more to go … and we had to wait 4 weeks for that one …

Within a week of the pacemaker surgery Mama was a new person. While she couldn’t do a whole lot she said she felt like a million dollars. Again she kept saying that hopefully someday she would feel human again and be able to play with Lil Man. It seemed that every fight and struggle was relieved by the time she spent with him and her biggest hope or desire was to be able to play with him and truly enjoy her great grandson.

Four weeks passed and things were going fairly well. Glenda and I both felt that we were well on our way to getting back the Mama we remembered before her health started to fail. Once Mama was cleared for her shoulder replacement Glenda and I took her and headed back to Atlanta, not really knowing what to expect. Mama had the surgery … she did fantastic … and less than 24 hours later … we were able to bring her home. While she was in pain … it was a different kind of pain … not the pain she was use to but a pain that she knew, and we knew, would pass as time passed and she healed. Six weeks … Six weeks of keeping her shoulder and arm in a sling, not being able to do much of anything, BUT the pain was getting less and less … Mama’s demeanor was getting better … and her desire to take on the role of Great Grandma was growing more and more everyday. At her six week post shoulder replacement surgery the surgeon was absolutely amazed at how well Mama was doing. He told us that of the five replacements he had done the same day he did Mama’s she was by far doing better than any of the others and her recovery was on a much higher level than any of the others. Therapy was started and will continue for about a year in order to regain full range of motion as well as strength.

The final hurdle was to get her off all the strong narcotic pain medications. She wasn’t full blown addicted to them but she had been on them for such a long time we knew it was going to be difficult for her to stop taking them. We made sure that she had a lot of time spent with Lil Man. I pretty much put aside anything I had to do or wanted to do and spent every free moment I could with her and made sure that Lil Man was with us so she could enjoy him as much as she wanted to. We soon realized that the more she was with him the less any of the pain meds were needed and the happier she was with herself and with everyone around her. It became a quick tradition to visit with Mama at Glenda’s house 2 to 3 afternoons during the week as well as Church on Wednesday nights, and to wake up early on Saturday mornings, finish up any house work that needed to be done, then head out to spend the day visiting with Mama and/or doing anything she wanted or needed to do. The key here was her spending all the time she could with Lil Man … not to mention that this was also giving me and Glenda time to bond and time for our family to heal. God was working his magic!

What drove Mama to keep fighting? While some say it’s just her nature to fight and win … we believe that it was Lil Man she was fighting for. That precious little boy is like her light shining in a darkened room … he’s her will and desire to continue fighting to be the best she can be … AND not a day passes that she doesn’t thank God for sending Lil Man to our family.

In watching everything my Mama has been through the past year or so I now believe that I’m starting to get my answer to the question Why? I believe that in his time God started to reveal to me Why he sent Lil Man to us when he did and Why he chose Stasha to deliver this precious little Angel to us. At this point I still had a few unanswered questions … but time would reveal even more answers …

Stay tuned for Part III …

I wanna look like Christmas too!

I wanna look like Christmas too!, originally uploaded by NC_Belle36.

Lil Man is so excited about Christmas. The last of my decorations still to be hung is a string of jingle bells that normally hangs on the front door. This year I chose shades of blue, white, and silver instead of they typical Ivory, green, and burgandy which meant I needed a new bow for the bells before hanging them. Well … got a bow made to match the ribbon on the tree but unfortunately the bells just didn’t work with the bow so they got tossed on the door knob of the pantry and there they hung … UNTIL Lil Man found out they made noise. They have now become a permanent fixture of HIM. As you can see … in this picture they are hanging from his teeth!! He had so much fun making noise with them … I can’t wait to see what he does with the drums he’s getting for Christmas!!

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