Sunday, April 24, 2016

Tears Today, Bessings Tomorrow

As I sat here for the past few minutes in the quietness of the house, other than the laundry going, I feel at peace.  A peace that I have wished for and so very much needed for a long time.   This past few years has been a total blur in some ways and for me to just be able to sit like I am now in the quiet stillness of a beautiful evening is so appreciated. 

Since the passing of my grandmother 8 months ago I have had several changes come to my life.  Some I did not want, but those changes little did I know led to much greater things and bigger yet to come things. 

When grandmom passed last August, I took a few weeks off work and then returned to full time work status on the midnight shift.  This lasted until December when I transferred to days at a store only down the road from my home.   Sadly, I really was not happy with that transfer for many reasons I will not go into.  I found another part time job and again I was still not happy.  I went to work just going thru the motions and paying the bills that needed to be paid.   Then after they did not follow thru with the pay or hours they had agreed on at my time of hire, I started looking around.   This led me to my current employment, and I am truly happy.   I have the chance to move up in the company and use all the business classes that I had used in the past. 

The first of January I started back to school as well as a full time student.  I absolutely love school and all that goes with it.  I just wish I had finished my degree years ago.   My focus was to go into Geriatrics and work in Hospice.  The death of my grandmom was one in which I felt I needed to help others going thru the same thing.  So many die alone and to think of those people just simply makes me very broken hearted. 

I want to work with the elderly on so many levels, but, if you know me, I can not keep my mouth shut and if I were to see someone doing something to an elderly patient I would totally flip out on them.   So, now I am leaning more towards the business management as full time and going to just simply visit elderly and talk with them.    In some ways knowing I am not being paid for it would be more of a blessing.  Something that I have a passion for and love doing. 

As far as my current employment, Wal Mart, I am in the toy department and absolutely love it.   I do get to work in the other areas of the store as well, and have not found any departments that I do not enjoy.    As for my fellow employees, I have not really met anyone that I do not care for.   I walk in and try to make sure I have a smile on my face till the time I walk out.  I speak to everyone and ask how they are.   This helps me on so many levels. 

Somedays like lately, I have really felt like a dam of tears is about to break.  I miss my grandmother so much and for some reason after all these months I miss her so much.   I miss just sitting quietly with her and not speaking, I miss brushing her hair like she use to do mine, I miss holding her hand the way she always wanted me to, I miss the drives back and forth to her senior living home that I at one time dreaded.  I miss taking care of her and making sure she was alright.  I miss everything.  

And then I feel guilty.  Did I do enough?  Why did I not just eat lunch with her more when she asked me to instead of sitting with her while she ate?  Why did I not help her with her puzzles more?  Why did I not take the time to learn more of her traditions so I can carry them on for my family? 

I question:  Did she know how much I truly loved her?  Did she know that I would fight the devil to keep her safe?  Did she know that all I did for her was in her best interest?  Did she know I was doing my best? 

Sometimes I feel like if I start to cry I may not be able to stop so I don't allow myself to.  My heart sometimes feels like it will never be whole again and that when she died a huge part of me went with her.  But then I think of all I am working towards and have accomplished since her passing.   I think she would be telling me how proud she is of me and how much she loved me.   I can just see her sitting there with a smile on her face and giving the encouragement I need.   

Sometimes I feel that she is right by my side smiling and telling me that one day soon my dreams will all be fulfilled but that I have to keep plugging away at life and make them happen.  I sometimes can even smell something that reminds me of her and it puts her right there by me once again. 

And somedays when I am so overwhelmed I think why?   And sometimes I tell myself that all the things I do now is because she showed me the way and led me in that direction without either of us even knowing it.  I know that she would be my biggest cheerleader in this thing called life. 

If you have someone in your life you care and love  tell them, show them, and make sure you do not take them for granted.   I use to think that my grandparents would be around forever, I knew that they would die at some point, but I did not know the impact they both had on my life.  So, love your loved ones, hold them, eat with them, learn from them, and mostly  smile for them.  For one day all of us will be gone from this Earth, and its the memories we make with others and the bonds we form that will carry on our generations. 

So now I will move forward with my education and my life with my husband and children.  I will take all that my grandmother taught me and showed me and use it well.   I don't have just one chance, my chances are numerous, but with each chance bigger and better things in my life are waiting for me.   That is the final lesson I have from her, to carry on even though times are tough and life is full of heart ache.  Life must be lived to the fullest until it is our time to go.  And never forget that there are those who have gone before us looking down on us with huge smiles on their faces at where we are going. 

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;  I will counsel you with my eye upon you. 


  



Friday, January 1, 2016

Here's To A New Year

This post is not going to be edited.  I am typing and just going with it.  So, if I ramble or jump from place to place, that is just how I need to express what I need to say at this point.  Thanks for taking the time to read. 


For awhile now friends have messaged me asking how I am doing and what's going on in my life.  They say I do not communicate with them like I once did.   Well..... to be honest, I just have not felt like talking to anyone.   I have been so down lately and depressed that I have not wanted to do anything, be around anyone, or quite frankly go anywhere.   It has been a chore to even shop for groceries for my family.   Since the death of my grandmother in August, I just have not been myself.  But then again I have not been myself in several years.  From the day my grandfather passed away I feel my life has been turned upside down.  It seemed like one family member after another was passing and there was not one thing that could be done.   Between the time of September 22, 2013 and August 13, 2015 my husband and I lost 9 family members, and 6 of those were in a 5 month span. 

I did fine, or I try to tell myself that,  until my grandmothers passing this past August.  I feel that when she died a huge part of me died with her.   I had no one who really needed me anymore. I had no true purpose.  Although, I still have my husband and kids it was not like she needed me.  She relied on me for so much and when she moved in with us I took care of her every need.  I miss that.  I remember thinking I would be glad when it was all over and that life would be easy again.  But that has not been the case at all.  Without my grandmother I feel I am just a shell of a human walking around going thru the motions that are this thing called life.  I am always a ball of emotions ready to either explode or break down into tears at the least little thing.  I feel weak where I once was one of the strongest people. 

Somedays I feel that the hurt and missing her will never get better but other days I go thru it and do not really think of it.  Sometimes I think what the heck is wrong with me and why am I not getting over this.     Well, to be honest, there is not anything wrong with me and I will get over it.  But it will take along time.   Healing from death is the hardest thing I have ever been faced with.  I do not like not being able to fix this.  I am a fixer who always has the answers and moves on.  This is not like that and I don't know how long it will take to fix me.   

My grandmother taught me so many things in life that I took for granted.  And the simplest of things I now miss.  She loved me and I have no doubt of that.  And the once strong woman who caught me pulling up all her herbs as a child and wore my rear out, now needed me to take care of her.  It was an honor and a privilege that I did not know I had until it was gone.  

I remember as a child when I was scared and afraid I would curl up next to her in bed and feel so protected.  Her last days I curled up next to her again in bed and held her.  I was the one trying to comfort her but at the same time as she lay in that bed dying it was her still that was comforting me.  I watched her as tears rolled down her cheeks and she could not communicate other than a squeeze of the hand from time to time.  This once strong woman who protected me was now being the one I protected.  And I did the best I could. 

Over the course of the past 43 years of my life I have gone thru so much and kept my head high.  Never really knowing what I wanted in life but just kept going.  Thru working with my grandmother and caring for her, I have now come to a conclusion and figured out where and what I want from my life.   I have enrolled in school and hope to graduate in a year.  I will then go onto a 4 year degree, but it will be in Gerontology.   I want to work with elderly and in the Hospice where so many pass with no one with them. 

I love helping others.  As harsh and up in ones face as I can be the elderly is where I find my peacefulness and my care for others.   I can be a quiet voice and hold their hand and oddly enough I have found I am more patient with them and anyone else.  I am not patient at all but it is so different with them. 

I want to be there for others at the end of their lives and let them know someone who cares is there and with them.   So many of our elderly die alone and scared.   If I can be there for one person and make their passing easier or less fearful that is my goal.   I use to fear death and all about it.  But I have not been with 5 family members at the time of their passing, I have seen the good and the bad, the easy and the hard.  Death no longer scares me.  It is a hope for a new life on the other side.   A side where no hurting, crying, or disabilities are.  

Sometimes I ask God why he placed me in this situation as to have to go thru all this.  I would hope that its because he knows me better than I truly know myself and I am strong enough to handle it.  All I know is that I can look back over the past few years and see all the pictures I took and see a smile on my grandmothers face and realize that was where I was meant to be and that was what I was meant to be doing at that time. 

Now as the year of 2016 begins, I am hoping for a much better year.  One where there is no death and new beginnings for all of my family.  And as I start my future now without my grandmother, I can look back and say I did my best, and thru her I know what I want to do with the rest of my life.   I will always love and miss her, but my days will get better and the time will heal my broken heart.  She will always be with me in spirit and she is where I want to be one day.   No time soon, but one day, when I complete here on this earth what the Lord God has planned for me. 

So, for now, I thank you my family and friends for being here for me and lifting me up in so many ways.   Thanks for reading my ramblings.  Love you all. 

Blessings,
Tammy

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Someday I Will See Her Again

Four weeks ago tomorrow, four weeks and it seems like longer some days, but some days, like today, it seems just like yesterday.  Four weeks ago tomorrow my beautiful grandmother passed away.   Most days I am good, but days like today I have moments I just want to break down.  It seems everywhere I look today or go there is something that reminds me of her. 

I went into Aldi and while checking out saw the wheel chair that has a basket on it that a few short weeks ago I had hoped to use when she would get to shop with me.  I get home to see so many squirrels out in the back yard those reminded me of how she loved to watch them.  I turn on the TV and there is Bluegrass Gospel music playing.  I go to get into a drawer and there is a picture right on top of her.  

Sometimes its like my breath literally catches in my chest when I think of her.  I miss her so much.  But as much as I miss her I know she is in a much better place, one she would not ever want to return from.  She is with the love of her life and her children who have gone before her.  But mostly she is with her Savior.  My whole life I can never remember a time that she did not love the Lord.  As a matter of fact, not long ago a discussion on how things were now compared to what she wanted was brought up, and she was told that if she wanted to blame someone it would be God because he was the one in control of all this.  She said she could not do that.  And from then on she pretty well stopped complaining, or I don't remember her doing so much if she did.  Heck, she was one feisty little lady though.  And she was very little.  

I have so many wonderful memories of her and the woman she was.  I grew up thinking that she was just a grandmother, but she was so much more, and until close to the end I honestly did not realize what all that was. 

She wanted to come home, and we got her home.  She knew it and that made her happy.  During the week she was here with us, I would sit quietly by her bed or sometimes as childish as it sounds would curl up on the bed by her and simply hold her hand.  Just being close to her gave me strength.  How awful that must sound, me getting strength from her as she was in her last days.  But it is true.  Her just being there was a comfort to me and I think I miss that comfortable feeling more than anything. 

I would not take helping with her these past two years back for anything.  I loved her and will always love her.  Do I miss her every day.  Would I have her back?  No, because she did not want to be here with out granddaddy.  Do I have any regrets?  No, because I did all I could to make her life as good as possible. 

Funny the lessons we learn from those who have gone before us.  Lessons that they would have hoped we would have known long before I assume.  But if there is anything I learned from this past two years it is simply this;  Love the people in your life as much and as long as you can.  Work together to make good relationships. Hold to the memories of the past but move forward to a better tomorrow. Never forget who you are and that you are stronger than you feel you are. And never ever take things for granted, you never know when the last time you will see someone or be able to tell that person just how much you love them and how much they mean to you is.  

I have no regrets, but I do only hope my grandmother knew just how much she meant to me and how much I dearly loved her.   Days will get better and time will move on, but I can carry the memories of her with me with a smile on my face.  And know that someday I will see her again. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Grandmother

As I sit here this evening and think of what I want to say in this entry my mind goes to my grandmother.  My feisty little grandmother.  That woman has more stubbornness in her than I know what to do with at times.  She is a tiny, frail  little thing but let me tell you, watch out if you make her mad or cross her.   (Gee, kinda reminds me of myself.)  She can stop you dead in your tracks with a glare that she has learned to master so well over the years. (Well, maybe I got that from her as well.)  But, she is so full of love for others that her nature can draw in the most ruthless of people.  When I was in college I had to do a report on who my hero was, well, of course at that time I did it on my grandfather.  That man in my eyes could do anything and not break a sweat.  He had lived and conquered like no other.   But today, my hero, well, its my grandmother.  That woman has lived a life full of love, pain, tears, hate, and loss.  So much loss. 

So, here is where I tell you about my grandmother.  She was born in Trigg County, which those around here know as Golden Pond, KY.   She met my grandfather there at a very young age and well, they got married very young as well.  He was 19 and her only 14.  Now, tone those gasps down people, back then you married young and raised your family as a younger woman.   To hear her tell this story is one I will never forget.  But she loved my grandfather and still does more that anything in this world.  She clung to him with everything she had and in the end she lost her heart, her husband, and her best friend.  The night I had to tell her that her husband of 76 years had passed away, I saw a piece of her break and that piece, well, there was no way to ever put it back together for her.   But no matter how badly she is hurting from that loss she holds her head high and carries on.   I honestly do not think I could do the same if I were in her shoes. 

She had 5 children and has out lived 3 of them.  She helped to build a home, raise their children even during a war, worked the ground for their meals, and loved them.  And when those children grew up and had babies she loved all  of those grandchildren.  Then those grandchildren grew and had great grand children and she loved them as well.  She even loved her grand dogs.  Yes, animals count in our family. 

I sit sometimes and listen to her tales of the old days and she has such a light and a glow to her that makes me so sad to not have know the way things were back then. But what is the saddest for me is to know that someday she will not be here anymore to tell me her stories.  I have listened to her stories for 42 years now and they were great stories.  When I was little I loved the bedtime stories,  even those my grandfather told her not to tell me because he knew that Little Red Riding Hood would scare me and I would end up having to sleep between them.   And here's a little secret, I outgrew that scared part and just wanted to sleep with them and pretended to be scared.  OK, well, maybe they knew that alright?    

She smiles as she speaks sometimes and she throws in a giggle from time to time as she tells me something mischievous that she did.  Heck, that woman still does mischievous stuff and smiles that little grin when she speaks of it.   Then tells me not to do those things that she is telling me about.  Well, the apple did not fall far from the tree and that is all I am saying about that. 

My grandmother has taught me so many things in life, and even at that age of 91 the lessons I am learning from her are priceless.  Even though there will be a day I will not be able to listen to these stories or simply see that devious little smile on her face, I know that her love will never leave me, and pieces of her will always be with me.  So until that day comes, I will listen to every story she has to tell both good and bad.  I will hold her hand when she needs me to.  I will simply be there with her in her times of sadness and times of happiness.  And someday, I just hope to be half the grandmother that she has been to me. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Legacy of They, She, and Their.....

Today my thoughts go to the legacy that love built.

My grandparents spent 76 years together.  That is a really long time.  SHE was 14 and he 19 when THEY married.  THEY had 5 children, sadly, 3 of which have already passed.  THEY together built a home with their own hands in which THEY spent over 50 years of their lives in.  THEY built a family with so far the 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.  THEY made a life together and stuck by one another when there was little money and little food on the table.  THEY farmed the land and planted garden after garden in order to put that food on the table.  THEY made sacrifices for themselves so many of their family would have.  THEY showed what love is all about.

THEY, yep, I used that word a lot in the last paragraph.  Because, THEY, together made a world for their family. 

Many people do not realize that yes, Grandaddy passed away almost 11 months ago, but grandmother is still here.  The stories, love, laughter, and down right silliness is still there in her.  SHE is still a person with feelings, love, compassion, and memories.  My grandmother fills a void in my life like no other.  SHE is a rock for me and the foundation that I really did not see until the death of my grandfather.  SHE is the reason I do so many things I do.  SHE can give you a sheepish little grin and you know SHE is thinking about something silly or SHE can give you a look that means SHE  is not a very happy person at that moment.  But SHE is still a human that needs to know SHE is loved and wanted.  SHE is the queen of this empire that her and my grandfather built, and SHE to me will be placed on her throne until the Lord takes her home to be with her husband again. 

Grandmama taught me to crochet, cook her biscuits, plant a garden, raise my kids in church, love God, but most of all SHE taught me what true unconditional love is and that no matter what it is or how hard the circumstances are you must keep going and you will get thru.  SHE is a tiny little lady but one heck of a strong fighting woman. SHE truly proved that when SHE lost the love of her life after 76 years together.  When SHE speaks of him SHE speaks with words of such love and longing.  And sometimes you see her wipe a tear from her eye, all the while smiling while SHE is telling a story of something from the past.   Her words get confused some days but you know that her heart is there remembering the good times and all the while SHE is bursting to let others in on the love that was to her and her husband the love of a life time. 

THEY, taught me what it meant to stick it out during hard times with my husband.  THEY taught me what it was like to be able to love another with unconditional love and forgiveness.  THEY taught me what it means to have a family. 

But SHE, well, SHE has taught me that no matter how hard the times or situations get, as long as you hold on to one another and the strength of those you love that you can get thru things together.  I owe so much to my grandmother and I know someday the time will come for her to go meet granddaddy.  But for now, I plan on loving that little 91 year old woman with every ounce of love I can give her.  And I plan on being there with her thru all she goes thru.

So you see, THEY were the beginning, SHE was the middle, and THEIR legacy is the ending.  A legacy that will not stop going until the end of time. My grandparents love and care will simmer down thru me to my children and to my grandchildren and to the children after that.  Because where there is a true foundation as the one my grandparents gave to us, well, it can be pushed to the side, but it can never be forgotten.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Little Ice Cream History Lesson.....

Oh, the joys of the first few days of summer.  The heat, humidity, air conditioners running all the time, and maybe a trip to the ice cream shop for a cool treat, so not all that bad. 

Ice cream, oh my, that oh so cool treat that we can keep eating and keep eating and not care how many calories we are consuming or how many pounds will be on the scale.  And oh, the soooo many ways we can serve it.  We have banana splits, sundaes, shakes, malts, cone, cup, cakes, or my fave right out of the old carton.  And the flavors,  vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, swirls, banana, peanut butter, caramel, peach, raspberry, blueberry, and the list goes on. 

Here is a little time line of ice cream history:


Ice cream has been around so long that it was a treat back as early as 54 A D.  The emperors would send their slaves up into the snowy mountains and they would mix snow with the nectar of plants and they would consume like it was going out of style.   Not the same flavor as we have today but it to them was the golden ray of sunshine during the hot months.  Well, maybe not a ray of sunshine but you get my drift.

It was said that in 1744 colonists who crossed into the new world brought their recipes over with them and would mix cream with new ingredients they had never encountered.

1843 the first ice cream churning system was patented by Nancy Johnson of Philadelphia.

In 1850, Jacob Fussell, who was a dairyman out of Baltimore opened the first commercial ice cream factory.  He began shipping by train and was later given the title of father of the wholesale ice cream industry.


Fast forward to the 1880's, soda fountains began to sell sundaes because ice cream sodas were not allowed to be sold on Sunday. 

Then September 22, 1903 the patent for the first ice cream cone was made. 

Grocery stores did not start selling this sweet treat until the 1930's. So you can imagine the sales that year.  I cannot imagine a life without ice cream, but there was a time when it was not a common everyday thing to just have in the house. 

So, now that we have a bit of ice cream history, lets all run out to our closest ice cream shop and get us a sweet treat.  Sweet eats my friends :)



Friday, June 13, 2014

Life Is Like A Garden

As I sat out back this morning having a cup of coffee, I gazed out at my little garden in the back yard and just had so many thoughts come to me.  As I tried to sort thru all the things coming to mind it dawned on me that life and what we leave behind is very much like a garden. You work the ground, plant the seed, water the garden, weed it when needed, and then after a length of time it begins to produce what one hopes to be great things. Only to die and wither away, but if you are lucky and you have done the work correctly, what once you planted will come back in full growth again and again. 

I like to think that this a lot like the process of life. 

For my life, I do not mind saying I have a foundation that is my Lord and Savior which is my grounding. 

The seeds that I sew are those in which my husband, children, close family, and friends fall into the category of. 

Then the watering is what I do with and for those in the seed category. For example with my children, I give them the things that they need in order to grow and thrive in life.  

The weeding is simply something that must be done.  When a garden grows it begins to fill with ugly plant life that can destroy the good that is being produced and in time if not tended to properly can totally choke out or destroy the plant.  I weed out those in my life that are choking the life out of what I am here to do weather it be friend, family, or acquaintance.  And yes, I said it, even family members.  Now let me stop here and say, everyone has their own opinions on how families are ran.  People have even said, "they are family they are blood".  Well, blood does not make family. Blood makes you related.  Love, trust, truth, sticking around in tough times, and honor is family and my dear reader I have found more of those things in some of my closest friends than some of my family members.  Family is there when things get bad, they are there when you need them, they are there to shed tears with, they are there when things are good, and they are simply just there.   So no, I do not feel even the slightest big guilty for weeding out of my life family who are toxic to what my life stands for and needs.  God said forgive when others do you wrong, he never said you have to keep going back into the same relationships that got you upset in the first place. So, I forgive, and I move on and am quite happy with my life decisions. 

Now we are at where the blooming of the garden takes place.  In blooming of a garden, new produce or fruit is beginning to grow.  As it grows it gets bigger giving the one who planted it great joy in watching it grow.  (Me, yes, that is me everyday when I see something new sprout up. I may even be seen doing a happy dance in the yard over it.)  Then as the fruits or vegetables are ready to harvest we get great enjoyment and nourishment from these said plants.

Isn't that what our lives are suppose to do?  We are suppose to be good, kind, loving and nurturing to others.  We are the plants so to say in this world.  We are the buds that can produce good or bad.  And if we are good we can leave behind things of ourselves that others will long remember, love, and want to continue on with.  And in many cases we leave parts of us here that can be grown over and over again and again.  I think this is the case in family.  Now the things we leave do not have to be gardens, it can simply be memories of the way things were done, the lessons learned, a recipe, or simply a story told.  It can be the love one person gave to others that spilled out into many different things in life. 

So, as I finish this entry I think of those who have gone on before us.  They were the seeds of yesterday that bloomed into beauty and nourishment for us, that ended up dying in one season only to in another season produce more fruits so that its lifeline never ends.  I want to be the legacy that those before me started.  I want to be a plant that many new plants begin with after I am long gone.  I want to be as God wants me to be a branch of his vine.