Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What Do You Really Believe?

I have a Twitter account that I very rarely use.  I use it to link my picture blog each morning and that's about it.  Once in a blue moon, I actually talk to someone.  But, the other night I was bored and got on to look around.  I was taken by something that Oprah had tweeted.  Yeah, I follow Oprah.  Anyway, she said..........
What do you really BELIEVE?
Now, if that isn't food for thought, I don't know what is.  I've been thinking about it ever since and here is what I've come up with.
  This is what I really believe.  
1.  The only person you can change is yourself. 
2.  People will disappoint you.  Sometimes when you really need them the most.
3.  I am lucky enough to have a handful of people who will always be there for me.
4.  Being a wife, mom and grammy are the three most important things in my life.  Without my husband, daughters and grandkids, my life would be meaningless.
5.  Life is short.  Don't waste it. 
6.  God loves me.
7.  Nothing was ever achieved by wishing.  You have to put in the work to make things happen.
8.  What you think of yourself is so much more important than what anyone else thinks of you.
9.  Find a cause you believe in and fight for it.
10. You have to love yourself.  If you don't, how can you expect anyone else to?

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Vickie's Chickies Time!!

This is my best friend Vickie, two of our daughters and myself.  Vickie is the head chick in Vickie's Chickies.   
I am walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 20.  Doing this walk is very near and dear to my heart. Vickie is fighting cancer for the second time in nine years and it is just not fair.  
Vickie does this with the utmost grace, dignity and inspiration of anyone I know.  If you didn't know she was sick, you would never guess it. She works a full time job as a first grade teacher.  She is the caregiver to her father and mother-in-law.  She is the first person to help anyone that needs it.  She is my own personal Energizer Bunny.  You never ever hear her ask "why me?"

Vickie is a piece of my heart and I love her so much.  I do this walk every year for her.  If you could find it in your heart to donate to our team and help us meet our goal, I would be forever grateful. No amount is too small or too big.  Please click on the link to donate. Thank you so much!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Old School Blogging - 5 Favorite Blogs

The Old School Blogging assignment this month is to name five of your favorite blogs that you read.  I can do that.  Easy peasy!

1.  Mom Generations

Sharon Couto, along with her daughters Audrey and Jane write Mom Generations.  They give the perspectives of different generations.  Sharon is the mom and grandma.  She finds joy in absolutely everything and to read her is to love her.  I am lucky enough to have met her in real life after meeting through the blogging world.  She is now a very dear friend.  Audrey is the oldest daughter, fashionista and mother of five.  What this girl can accomplish in a day is unbelievable.  Jane is the youngest daughter, newlywed (she was married a year ago in July) and expecting her first child.  Jane is also the mommy of three of the cutest dogs you'll ever meet.  They all write about family, fitness and fashion.  Check out Mom Generations.  You will love these ladies.

2.  The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

I am a little partial to this website because I am a contributing writer, but that doesn't make it any less a great blog.  If you are looking for support in your health, fitness and weight loss journey, Shrinking Jeans is the website for you.  We cover all things fitness with weight loss challenges, monthly exercise calendars, running support, nutrition advice, weekly menu planning and a multitude of other things.  Stop by and check us out.  You'll be glad you did.

3.  Just a Beachkat  

Just a Beachkat is a blog that I found very early in my blogging life.  Kat lives on the ocean in Florida and loves every minute there.  She is a loving wife, mom, friend and "goose".  Goose is her very special grandma name.  Kat loves to travel, but her favorite place to be is right in her own backyard which just happens to be the ocean.  Stop by and meet her.

4.  Musings of the Sixties

You might think by the title that this blog is about the 1960's, but you would be wrong.  The musings are by my friend Mary about her life in her 60's.  Musings of the Sixties is mainly about Mary and her large family.   Mary is the wife, mom, grandma and great grandma of this big and loving brood.  One of my favorite features is the birthday interviews she does with each member of her family.  She is also a great photographer.  Mary and I actually met in real life through her daughter.  Although we only live 15 minutes away from each other, we never see each other enough.   You will love this blog.  Stop by and check it out.

5.  Mimi's Toes
Mimi's Toes is about my friend, Rhonda.  She is a mom and grandma and the first thing you will notice when you read her blog is that she loves her family.  Rhonda is the mom of two and the mimi to six.  Rhonda suffered a tough blow this past year when her only daughter and four of her grand kids moved across the country to Oregon.  After living one town apart for so long, this was hard on all of them.  Like Mary, we live 15 minutes away from each other and rarely see each other.  We three really need to remedy this and spend some time together.  Go visit Rhonda.  I know you will love her like I do.

So, there you have it.  Five of my favorite blogs.  Go check them out.  I bet you love them too!         

Saturday, October 5, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes (My Babes)

Looking back on the last few weeks, I can now see that my grandkids had some funny and sweet things to say about everything that was going on around them.  I wanted to put them to words before I could forget any of them.

Sarah and Nick let the kids take their own lead as to how they wanted to handle the wake and funeral.  Natalie went right up to the casket with Dick and I.  Lizzy and Jack hung back for awhile, but went up later.  These are just some of the things they had to say.


The night of the day Eddie died, Sarah was going to put the kids to bed.  She found Natalie and Lizzy kneeling on Natalie's bed looking out the window with the shade over their backs.  She decided to put Jack to bed first.  When she came back, Lizzy was in her bed asleep and Natalie was in her bed awake.  Natalie told Sarah that her and Lizzy saw Grandpa Eddie in the stars with Kodi (Katie and Mark's dog who died last year) and Grandpa looked happy.

As we waited in line to go up to the casket the first time at the wake, Natalie kept peeking her head around to see Grandpa Eddie.  She could see his face.  As we waited, she asked what we should do when we got up there.  I told her we could stand or we could kneel down and say a prayer.  She said she would like to say a prayer.  We knelt down and Natalie smiled.  She said Grandpa looked happy, just like when she saw him in the stars with Kodi and then she laughed.  Grandpa had a puzzle with him in the casket.  If you knew Eddie, you know that up until a few weeks before he died, he always had a jigsaw puzzle he was working on. 


It took Lizzy a few hours before she was curious enough to venture up to the casket.  When she did, she had some questions. 

1.  Where are Grandpa Eddie's legs?
2.  Are they going to put his pajamas on him?
3.  Last, but not least, she saved her best question for the day of the funeral.  We were all in our cars leaving the cemetery heading for the luncheon.  Lizzy asked her mom, "So, when are we going to meet Grandma Lou's new husband?"


I never personally saw Jack up at the casket at all until he walked up with Dick and I as we stopped one last time at the casket on the way out to the funeral.  I asked Jack if he wanted to tell Grandpa Eddie good bye.  His response, "Ahhhh, no thanks!"

Jack sat with Dick and I at church.  He was a complete and total angel.  I've never seen him so well behaved at church.  It was almost as if he knew that this was the day to be on his best behavior.  The priest came out with the incense and there were bells tied to the chains.  They sounded like sleigh bells to me.  I asked Jack if he heard bells.  He said yes.  I told him they sounded like Santa's bells.  Jack looked me straight in the eye and said "Grammy, it's not even snowing out!"


My baby had some of the best advice ever for me after the funeral and we were at home that night. 
"Mom, don't dwell on who didn't come that you thought would or who disappointed you.  Think about all the people who supported you and all the people who surprised you."  That is exactly what I have done.  She is such a smart girl.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Saying Good Bye

Just write.  I don't even know where to begin.  I think it might be with you reading a post from June of 2012, if you don't mind.  It will give you some background for this post.
This is Eddie and he died on September 25, 2013.  This post is about saying good bye to the man that became my second dad.
In June of 2012, Eddie suffered two strokes and a heart attack in 36 hours,  just 11 days shy of his 90th birthday.  We had just sent out the invitations for a big party to celebrate.  The party had to be cancelled.  Eddie wasn't up to a party.  He had a long road of rehab ahead of him.  But, rehab he did and in August he came home.  He walked with a walker, but he was good.  

Over the next year, Eddie went about his days as best he could.  He couldn't get down basement to his beloved work shop or outside to work in his yard.  Just the week before his strokes, he had laid a brick sidewalk in the backyard.  Now, he spent the better part of his days reading, doing jigsaw puzzles and watching television. 

This past summer, kind of like an old clock, Eddie began to wind down.  He was beginning to get weaker and he wasn't happy about it.  Just getting to the kitchen for a meal became an effort.   He told me so many times that nobody should have to live like that.  He asked on more than one occasion, why he couldn't just go to sleep and not wake up?  It broke my heart to hear him say that, but I understood too.  He was worried about the toll his health was taking on my mom who was 87.  She was his primary caregiver 24/7.  We kids helped as much as we could, but mom was always there for him.  She loved Eddie with all her heart and she wouldn't have been anywhere else. 

On September 25 at 1:30 p.m., Eddie got his wish.  Surrounded by his family with so much love, Eddie went to sleep and didn't wake up.  He very peacefully went to heaven.  I was right there by his side, just like I was with my dad.  It was the second hardest thing I ever had to do, but I wouldn't have been anywhere else.  I was proud to be by Eddie's side, telling him it was okay to go.  We told him we would take care of mom and she would be fine.  We told him that in heaven, all the jigsaw puzzles had all their pieces and if he was really lucky, they even had a great White Sox team. 

Yesterday was Eddie's funeral and just like the priest said, we are left with the task of trying to put the puzzle pieces back together.  I'm afraid I'm not going find that missing puzzle piece in my heart.  Eddie has left a big  hole there.  I was 22 when my dad died.  Mom and Eddie would have been married 32 years next month.  Eddie was in my life ten years longer than my own dad.  Eddie never tried to take my dad's place.  He knew that those were very special shoes that nobody could fill, that place in my heart was reserved only for my dad.  

Eddie made his very own special place in my heart and the hearts of our whole family.  When Eddie joined our family, there were twelve of us.  Now, we are waiting for #36 to make her arrival.  He was with us for every birth and wedding.  Every baptism and graduation.  Every birthday and Christmas.  Everything that happened, Eddie was there to cheer for us or cry with us.  He was there for everything with kind words and a smile.

Thank you Eddie for finding your way into our lives.  Thank you for taking such wonderful care of mom and loving her so much.  I promise we will take good care of her.  Thank you for being my kids grandpa and my grandkids great grandpa.  They are going to miss you so much.  

Good bye, Eddie.  I miss you and love you so much.  Thank you for being my other dad.  When you see dad up there, would you tell him I miss him and love him so very much.  I know he's going to find you and thank you for being so wonderful to us all.

Just Write