Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I'm sick. Ugh. No matter how many sanitary precautions I take, all efforts become futile when my sickly toddler snots on my face and says, "Love you, Mommy." How could I possibly turn him away when he lifts up his arms, pokes out his bottom lip, and says, "I hold you, peas?"

As everyone knows, when Mom gets sick, it's every man for himself. Those dirty dishes from dinner? Yeah, you know where the sink is. Need a new shirt? There's probably one in the dryer, your dresser, or in the closet. Hungry? Hotdogs are in that drawer in the fridge. Not that one. The other one. With the cheese and the lunch meat. Good job.

I'm not neglectful (is that a word?) of my kids or anything.  I love those guys.  I get them drinks and I feed them meals and I change diapers. They're big enough to do some things on their own, though. Snacks are on the bottom shelf of the pantry for a reason.

Of course, eventually throughout the day I get little spurts of feeling better (or at least where my head doesn't feel like it'll explode as easily). During these moments I throw a load of towels in the wash or empty the dishwasher. So my house isn't a total wreck yet. But who knows what tomorrow will hold?

I'm hoping this "cold" is indeed just a cold and not some mutant virus with plans to take over my family. So far, so good, but I've seen it happen before. One of us gets the sniffles and by the time the last person gets sick, it's pneumonia. Well, ok, maybe not pneumonia, but close. I'm only the second one sick. Hubby has a feeling he'll get the pneumonia. And certainly on Christmas. Why? Because that's the way it happens in our household.

OK, so I'm rambling on now.. Gonna get off here and spend some time with the hubbs before I lapse into my benadryl coma. Goodnight, folks!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My Stepmother and Friend

Four weeks ago today, my father unexpectedly lost his best friend, my stepmother, Debbie.  I've hesitated to write about it, not knowing what to say or if I should write about it. But now as I'm typing, I can feel a calm coming over me. Debbie came into our lives about seven years ago laughing and making jokes within minutes of our meeting her.  She was such a loving person, full of laughter and life. She has two children whom I am proud to call my siblings: Dena and Trey. She has one grandbaby by blood, and three others that she loved as if they were her own. We became good friends over the past few years and my sisters and I believed we could come to her and confide in her with any situation. Her death was sudden and painless: an aneurysm. We are all grateful that she didn't suffer.

My dad is holding up relatively well. Some moments are harder than others (waking up without her there, going to sleep without her there, Sunday afternoons). But that is to be expected. He takes comfort, as we all do, in knowing that she is walking with her Savior now.  Of course, that doesn't completely take away the pain of her not being here.

Dena and Trey are grieving in their own ways. My heart goes out to my step-siblings. I cannot imagine losing my mother so suddenly. My step brother was celebrating his birthday with her when she collapsed. Again, I can't imagine... Dena had to travel eight hours before she could see her mother for the last time. What a drive that must have been. I've tried to remind them often that we love them and are here for them, even if we are hundreds of miles away. 

My biggest fear in all of this is that my family is torn apart due to little spats. Everyone is grieving and anger and frustration are a big part of the grieving process. I just pray that any little arguments that arise will be resolved quickly and without hurt feelings. Debbie wouldn't want any animosity to rise up among us.

I feel so helpless being this far away. Most days it just doesn't seem real to me that she's gone. I know she's not here, but every now and then I'll get a thought (I wonder how Dad and Debbie are celebrating Christmas this year?) and almost immediately am reminded that Dad is alone now. I wish I could be there to help with something. Although, I'm not sure exactly what I could do. I also realize that I have to trust in God to deal with the things I cannot and to comfort those whom I am not able to physically comfort.

Throughout all of this, I have been reminded that family and friends are most important, after my relationship with my Heavenly Father. It's such a peaceful feeling to know that He is in control and that I don't need to worry. Debbie is and will be greatly missed on this earth, but in the end we will see her again and hear her infectious laughter. I'm thankful for that.