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And Tiger too!

 

March 24

 

Today was my oldest biological son Derek's birthday!

The only reason I make the distinction between him and my oldest son who was kind of sort of adopted is because Derek was the one who introduced me to the wonders of motherhood.

I was four months shy of my seventeenth birthday when I had him and talk about not having a clue, I had NO clue!

 

To top it off he was born at home because I never made it to the hospital, it was truly an unbelievable experience. The part of him being born at home was not planned! I wasn't due for another three weeks so I thought it was the pepperoni pizza I had had for dinner!

By the time I realized I was in labor it was too late!

My mother cut the umbilical cord and took care of all the other stuff, ugh!

She decided to walk to the store and get some supplies. I have to remind you I was young, stupid and sixteen.  I had saved some money and my plan was to move far away and have my baby.

His father was nowhere to be found because he didn't believe me when I told him that I was pregnant.

It didn't help any that I didn't look pregnant, I just looked chunky!

My plan to leave was postponed because my mother fell down the stairs and was laid up in bed for weeks. Not that her injuries were that bad, just that she was that dependent on me for everything.

I was planning on leaving the following week but alas the baby had other plans!

We were flat broke due to her not working; we had no phone, no car, and no nothing.

Up to that point I was still working as a waitress. It was pretty weird me waddling around taking care of my tables! I hadn't told anyone I was pregnant either so I just looked like a chunky, slow, waddling waitress.

When my mother had left and I was alone with the baby for the first time, I was totally overcome with the miracle of life.

When we are young we think of no one else but ourselves. Having a baby changes that instantly. I looked at his toes, his tiny fingers and realized that if I didn't take care of his every need, he would perish.

What an incredible, awesome responsibility!

I could barely take care of myself, now I had a son to provide for as well.

The other thing I discover was instant love and devotion. In that split second I knew that if this child was ever not part of my life my soul would die!

I made myself and him a promise that day. To give him the best life I could.

Years later reflecting on that moment I realize that I failed in some instances, did right by him in others, but the one thing that never changed was my undying love and devotion.

With all the ups and downs in our relationship we have come full circle. I am no longer his do all die all, but I am his friend, confidante and mentor.

No matter how far he roams, or what he does he knows he always has a shoulder to cry on and a safe haven known as his mother's love.

Happy birthday, Tiger! 


So baseball anyone?

 

 

March 21

 

Life is funny sometimes. I woke up this morning and the sun was shining, the birds were singing, it was a glorious day outside!

I mean full techno-color sunshine overload when I opened all the drapes in my living room. So I figure, yeah baby, spring has sprung!!

I get dressed, grab Buddie and out the door we go! Only to run back in the house because it was FREEZING outside!!

It was like 20 degrees and the wind was kicking it big time!!

Okay who's the clown in charge of the thermostat up there?

I bet there's some mischievous little cherub with his plump little hands on the dial, swinging it back and forth, laughing his angelic little head off!

Ha! Ha! Hot, cold, hot cold, fooled you!!

You think you're funny, huh?

Anyway Buddie wasn't buying my, "it's too cold out" routine, so I had to take him outside to do his duty to colon and bladder!

But what got me the most was Mel and Alexi.

These two fools (and I say this with the utmost love!) are out in the backyard throwing around a baseball, playing catch!

That's not the worse of it; they are in their red Sox T-shirts, jeans and nothing else!

I mean the better choice of an activity would have been hockey or curling (no, not the hair kind!)

But no, they are out there like its eighty degrees and muggy!

Big old smiles on their faces, having a grand old time! These are the same two individuals who are MIA (Missing intentionally always!) when the snow needs to be shoveled!

"It's too cold! We'll do it later!"

But not for baseball, boy! As soon as spring training starts in Ft. Myers, they are out there, in Ft. "Tundrachusetts", with dreams of pennants and hot dogs!

I had to laugh, (After I could finally move my lips and was thawed out!)

So to totally enjoy the moment, I opened the curtains to the window overlooking the front yard.

I turned up the heat, put on my Red Sox cap and dreamt along with them!!

Sometimes we can miss out on the joy because we focus too much on the cold (i.e. negative things) and forget about the warmth that comes from the simple things in life!!

 

Play ball baby boys, I got the hot chocolate a brewing'!

 

Hey Buddie, I was only kidding about that hot dog thing!


The dog of all dogs.

 

 

March 17

 

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!!

Okay how did I get hoodwinked into this? I never wanted another dog after Sadie.

Mel doesn't like dogs so he wasn't exactly broken up about my decision.

Not to mention that we are leasing a house in a neighboring town until we can find something we want in our town, so a pet wasn't on my mind.

Then out of the blue I get a phone call from my second oldest son Derek. He has been spending some time with my ex-husband in the attempt to get to know him better. Anyway our other son Chris was down there visiting when I get the phone call.

I guess their Dad had a weird pigmy dog that he was getting rid of for no good reason except that it was getting on his nerves.

My sons, being the eternal saviors of anything that moves, called to rescue the dog because they didn't want it to go to the shelter.

Of course first question out of my mouth is what is wrong with it? They say nothing; he's a good dog and of course pretty, pretty, please, sugar on top!

 

How old are you two, five?

I, being the eternal sucker for a sob story, ask my hubby Mel if we can have him.

 

He asks the eternal question, what is wrong with him?" You get the gist. We agreed to take him on a one week trial basis.

He so much as looks at me wrong he's out of here! Yeah right who are we kidding? That tiny little freak of nature, half Chihuahua, half German shepherd, Yeah I know, don't ask!, Walked in, I was hooked!

He was only three months old and already a whopping 11 pounds.

He showed us right of the bat who was the one with the brains in this operation!

We decided to leave him in the downstairs bathroom when we went to church because we hadn't gotten a crate for him yet.

 

Well when we got home he wasn't in the bathroom. He was in the family room on the couch with the light on!

I guess the prior tenants had a big dog that made a hole in the door between the bathroom and the family room. Mr. Genius, AKA Buddie, found it and slid underneath, jumped up on the card table turned the light on with his nose and proceeded to nap the morning away on the couch!

 

We thought one of the kids had left him in there because he felt bad for him, but no, he showed us exactly how he did it when we put him in there again!

Needless to say my hubby was impressed! I was in love and Buddie found a home.

 

Although everyone thinks it's kind of weird that I got him from my ex-husband!

So even though we aren't Irish Buddie sure felt the luck of the Irish when he found a home instead of a shelter! Now if only I could find that pesky leprechaun and his pot of gold!


A winner’s heart.

 

 

March 15

 

The boys and I watched the movie 'Rudy" today.

What an incredible example of the human spirit! I coached youth soccer and I helped out with my daughters Jess and Cristina's High school team as well.

My mantra has always been "I would take a kid with heart, over a kid with talent alone any day!"

My children have always argued that talent is more important because with talent you can win games. But I told them that "heart" or rather the passion for the game, the passion for giving your all, is what not only wins games but what make true winners out of average people.

This was the case for Rudy. He was so wrapped up in wanting to play football for Notre Dame that as he worked towards that solitary goal, he hadn't noticed all the other things he was "winning" at or achieving.

He was overcoming his dyslexia; He was obtaining self-confidence in academics, and most importantly earning a college degree that would ensure that he would never have to work another day in the steel mills ever again.

Yet he wasn't happy!

He hadn't noticed any of this because he was so obsessed with suiting up to make his Dad proud and to prove his brother wrong.

The weird thing is the closer he got to his goal the unhappier he was.

It got to the point that he was ready to quit, to give up on everything he had dreamed of his whole life; and why?

 

It seemed because after years of being told "no" he had finally begun to believe it.

This young man, from the time he was a child, had been told that college or even worse, Notre Dame, was something only other people did.

Rich people, people from the other side of the tracks. When he used to tell his family that someday we was going to play for the Notre Dame football team they would laugh and make fun of him.

"You're too small, too poor, and too dumb!" "Forget it and go follow your father and your brothers into the steel mills!"

 

Which he did for four years after high school! It took the only person in the world who believed in him, his best friend, dying to wake him up out of his stupor.

This traumatic experience made him take a chance and go after his dream.

The thing that I was yelling at "Rudy" about, (Well not really Rudy, more like the TV screen as my kids told me, "Mom he can't hear you!") was why did he continue to hang around "those losers" who kept putting him down?

 

But then two things hit me, the people who kept putting him down were only doing it because they loved him and didn't want him to get hurt. They loved him so much that they literally were protecting him to death.

Slowly sucking the life and dreams right out of him until there would be nothing left but a hollow empty shell of an existence.

The other thing that occurred to me was that Rudy needed, wanted, to show his loved ones a way out.

He could feel that there was a light at the end of the tunnel, he hadn't seen it yet, hadn't found it, but he just "knew" it was there, if he was just willing to keep looking for it.

But after years of going it alone he was tired, dejected and just wanted to give up.

 

But here is where another life lesson comes in from his other friend, the groundskeeper.

You see this man had been on the team when he was younger. The Notre Dame Football team!

But because he was on the bench, something Rudy would have killed for, and because of perceived slights, he quit!

When Rudy told him we was going to quit, his friend told him if he did, not a day would go by that he wouldn't regret that decision. The same way he did!

 

As anyone who has read the book or seen the movie, we all know that Rudy got to play for 30 seconds and made one play.

Some might ask, all that work, all that pain, humiliation and abuse for 30 seconds?

 

But as I am sure Rudy would agree, 30 seconds of doing what you love to do, beat a lifetime of what ifs and shouldas!

Also, while on his way to those thirty seconds of football, he earned a college degree from one of the world's finest universities. By doing this he also forged a path that five of his younger brothers followed by also earning college degrees.

Heart is the thing that creates true winners.

Go Rudy Go!


You call that a snow angel?

 

 

March 13

 

Okay enough is enough! It snowed again today! At this rate my kids will still be going to school in July!

As much as I know spring is right around the corner, that dang corner is getting farther and farther away!

The only good thing was that I took the day off work and got to hang around with the kids again!

The funniest thing happened today!

The kids decided to clear off the cars from our driveway. When they were all done they called me to go check out their handy work. Well we have a slanted roof and at that particular moment all the snow from the roof slid off and buried the cars again!

I have never laughed so hard in my whole life!

The kids weren't too amused at first but after a few moments they started laughing too!

We had a great time digging the cars out again and we learned that getting upset over life's little challenges doesn't solve anything.

Even though it's hard at times learning to accept defeat and upsets, it's even harder to do it full of anger and resentment.

That day turned out quite awesome even if we did look like Frosty the snowman and company when we were done!

We even decided to make snow angels in the back yard afterwards, although they actually looked more like chunky chickens crash landed in the back!! We laughed so much when we saw how silly they looked!

Oh, well but boy, oh; boy was that hot chocolate good afterwards! Pass the marshmallows, people!


The sweet sounds of music.

 

 

March 11

 

And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22)

 

I found this passage interesting as I was reading my scriptures because I wondered how many people actually believe this to be true.

Do the average man and woman really believe this?

For me it's a no-brainer because I have received things when I didn't even realize I was asking for them!

I wonder if that ever happens to other people as well. You know you think of something, then it suddenly it happens or you get it?

I have had that happen to me my whole life so I find it weird when others tell me it doesn't work!

The funny thing is it does work, because all the bad things they think about or fear happen as well!

Gee, a brainwave is a brainwave good bad or indifferent! Mel wasn't too in tune to this when we first got married. He actually thought I was a witch or a gypsy (I decided to take it as a compliment, we'll just leave it at that!) because I would say something and then bam, it would happen!

The funniest example of this was shortly after we had moved into his old house.

We had been there about 8 months and I was doing my "have-to-change-the-living-room-around-to-make-it-look-new bit. I stopped for a few minutes and stared at an empty corner that I had left over.

My hubby walked in and just stared at me staring at the wall. Yeah it was totally silly!

"Honey, what are you doing?" he finally asked.

"I was just thinking how great a piano would look right here!" I said.

"What? We would never fit a piano in here, there's not enough room!" He replied. He was really looking at me funny now.

"No silly, not a grand piano. I meant an upright! It would fit perfectly right in here!

I personally didn't play the piano even though I had been trying to teach myself for years!

I had always wanted to but my mother never let me and as an adult I never got the opportunity to formally take lessons (Yet!).

But God is funny with the way he does things sometimes, because Chris my son was the one who nagged me for two years to sign him up for lessons.

I finally meet someone at church who gave lessons and he had been playing it for a few months. He just didn't have a piano to practice on.

"Well, Hon, on our budget, that "ain't" happening anytime soon!" My hubby replied as he hugged me from behind.

"It could", I told him," Why wouldn't God bless us with a piano? It doesn't have to be brand new, just something for Chris to practice on!" He smiled at me and gave me the "keep dreaming" look.

"It could happen," I mumbled to myself. When I was done with the room I went upstairs and took a shower. I decided to go to bed early, (if you can call 10:00 pm early!)

About an hour or so after I went to bed I hear the phone ring. I also had the pleasure of hearing Derek yell from the third floor down to the first floor where my hubby was that it was for him.

Who needs intercoms with those lungs?

I could barely hear my husband's conversation because it was a bit muffled, but I definitely hear his distinct boisterous laugh thunder throughout the foyer.

"Are you serious?" I could make him out saying, "When, right now?" You have got to be kidding me!" He spoke through more loud chuckles.

I could barely make out the fact that he had hung up when I hear him call the older boys down. It got eerily quiet because I fell asleep for about another hour and a half before a loud crashing sound woke me out of my deep slumber! This was followed by a loud chorus of whispered, (well it's the thought that counts!)

"Shhhhs"!

"What happened", I called out half sleep,

" Nothing, Derek fell!" The reply came back followed by more muffled giggles. This happened a lot in our house too, so I tried going back to sleep. I could hear a lot of movement going on downstairs and what sounded like a lot of grunting, this happens a lot too, it sounded like wrestling!

Since my hubby was with them I didn't worry and I finally dozed off.

The rest of the night was uneventful but I knew something was up when I had 8 smiling children staring down at me first thing in the morning. I took a mental head count. Oh, no Chris was missing!

"Okay, what have you all done with Chris?" I asked. They all laughed out loud. Not a good sign at our house either. Laughing meant something was broken, someone was bleeding or someone had farted!

"He's still sleeping in his room, quick get up we have something to show you!" Derek said for the group. I looked at my hubby, who was standing there with that sly smile of his. Now I knew something was up, the aliens had brainwashed him too!

I got up and was escorted to the top of the landing.

"Close your eyes!" Derek told me. Close my eyes to walk down the stairs?  Now I knew why he fell down so much! Closed eyes and steep stairs aren't a good combination! I gave him the "yeah right" look.

He reached over, grabbed my hand and started walking me down the stairs with the rest of munchkin-land following close behind us. (Now I knew how Dorothy felt!) He guided me into the living room and then stopped.

"Okay, open your eyes!" When I did I was met by the sight of an upright piano smack in the corner I had said the night before!

"Oh, my Goodness," I shrieked," Where did you guys get this?"

"You're never going to believe this Hon, My brother Hector called me last night after you went to bed and told me his landlord had this piano he was going to throw away.

Hector said all of a sudden he thought of you and decided to call me to see if we wanted it!

"Are you serious?" I asked suppressing a gaggle of silly giggles.

"That is exactly what I said to him when he called me last night! I just couldn't believe it! I thought you had put him up to it! Get this too; this piano had been sitting in this guy's basement for 25 years! Then all of a sudden he decides to get rid of it last night! The funny thing was Hector said we had to get it right away because the guy was going to put it out on the curb and he knew it would be gone!"

"Yeah, so we all went over there to get it last night while you were sleeping! We wanted to surprise you!" Derek said excitedly.

"Yeah, we wanted to have it waiting for you in the morning. We thought you were going to find out though when clums-o over there almost got killed when he fell while we were trying to lug the piano up the stairs!" Eric chimed in pointing to Derek. "We thought you were going to get up when we made all that noise, but Dee said you were so used to us being loud that you weren't going to bother to come to check! He was right!" Eric smiled.

"Dad told us what you told him last night too! We were dying it was so funny! You think you can come up with the megabucks numbers too?" Jose added chuckling.

 

Chris came down the stairs half asleep. You should have seen his eyes light up when he saw the old beat up piano. It was horribly out of tune and one of the legs was broken but he sat down and played Beethoven's Ninth symphony on it right away! It sounded Heavenly!

When Chris was done and the kids rushed off to play video games and watch cartoons, Mel grabbed me and smiled!

 

"Honey, you think next time you can be more specific. When you said it didn't have to be new you could have specified but not too old either!" He whispered to me as he smiled.

I got a chuckle because I made believers out of a few people that day!

To this day when someone starts to doubt that something good can happen just because we want it, one of my kids will pipe in "remember the piano!"

So Matthew was right, if you ask, and you believe it, it will be so! As long as it's for your betterment and the betterment of mankind, most likely God will bless you with it.

Just make sure you're specific and really want what you ask for because chances are, you're gonna get it!

Hey Chris, play that number again!! 

 


Old friends and new beginnings

 

March 9

 

It's ironic that every time something good is going to happen, we need to go through a challenge first.

We had decided to put our house on the market.

The time was right to get the best asking price and it was now or never.

I had been excited about the prospect of finding a house on a quieter street with actual parking and maybe a few trees.

Yet I was sad because I have really grown so attached to this house and the memories we created here.

I can still see the height marker we made for all the kids on the edge of the closet door in our bedroom.

It goes back almost eight years and the kids have done a lot of growing here since then!

Mel took a picture of it for me so I would have something to remember it by, in case my memory ever failed me! But you how we obnoxious moms are! I asked my hubby if we could take it with us! Well it was worth asking!

Anyway, the hardest thing was that since the market is great for selling, it isn't so great for buying, so we will need to lease a house for a while until we find something to accommodate our family and our wallet.

The worse part of all, which has the kids and me a mess, is that we have to find a new home for Sadie our dog.

She has grown so big and unfortunately due to severe personality issues that she was born with she was not good around too many strangers.

I also was informed by the real estate lady that they would only allow us a small dog that weighed less than twenty pounds.

Sadie had not weighted that since she was three months old!

I had found an animal farm that would take her but it still broke my heart to give her away as she is part of my family.

I guess we always need to really be careful what we ask for as we might actually get it!

But by the same token I guess we need to be very specific as well, if we are not, we get the good with the bad and sad!

When I dropped her off the attendant was amazed at how gentle she was with me as she licked peanut butter off my fingers.

He assured me that she would be better off and I half smiled even though I really didn't believe him.

I tried not to cry but I couldn't help it.

I held it in as long as I could, said my good-byes and got into my car with my husband.

Then the dam broke and I was so hysterical I think my hubby thought I was going to give myself an asthma attack.

I never thought I could love an animal so much!

I knew that this was the right move for our family to be in a safe neighborhood and better home, but it still didn't make it any easier.

I guess that is why some people will daydream about moving on but never do out of fear. 

I do not know where we are going to wind up but I have to believe that where ever it is it will be a wonderful growing experience for our family.

I have to believe this otherwise losing Sadie would never have been worth the experience!

Even though I knew it was going to be great that didn't mean that there wouldn't be a tiny piece of my heart that will always belong to Sadie.

That does it, no matter what; I am never going to fall in love with another stupid dog ever again!


Feeling the fear and talking through it anyway!

 

 

March 8

 

It's funny how we never know where our strongest assets lie until we have the courage to try something new. I was hired to be a keynote speaker at Texas A&M University for the 13th Annual student conference on Latino affairs. I flew out to Houston and caught a connecting flight to College Station where I was met by a young woman from the University. First thing, I was amazed at how large the airport was in Houston. This thing wasn't an airport, it was a city! A very big city!

I was winded by the time I got from where my plane landed to the gate for my connecting flight! That wasn't all though! I knew I was in for it when I walked through my gate door and I was greeted by the great big Texas outdoors! It's not a good sign to me when I have to walk across a tarmac to get on a plane.

Remember I was born in a small Central American country where the passengers cheer when the plane lands safely! No, we are not an extremely joyous people, we are just grateful it landed all in one piece!

Secondly when I was a cop I was on a tactical Special operations Unit for over 6 years.

If you're walking on tarmac, it means you were either going to jump or repel out of a perfectly good plane/helicopter!

So you see why I wasn't too thrilled here?

Anyway I boarded the sardine can, I mean plane. I had a bag of peanuts thrown at me and before I could eat the last one we had landed! There is a God!

I walked through tarmac again to the tiny airport (looked more like a car rental place!) When I see this sweet-looking, Latina woman, holding a brightly-colored card with my name on it!

I walked up to her and introduced myself only to be greeted with a very heart-warming "Howdy!"

Yeah, I knew I wasn't in New England anymore! She took me to the guest facilities they have at the University and asked me what time I would like to go to dinner.

I wasn't sure so she said she would call me later to check! When I was alone I looked around the room then it suddenly hit me, how far the little "bookworm" from Cambridge, Massachusetts had come.

No, I wasn't Oprah, not yet anyway, but I was someone people were willing to pay to hear speak!

It was unbelievable to me!

When I was growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Cambridge I just wanted to be invisible.

If I was the center of attention it meant I had gotten someone mad at me and I was going to get it. By "it" I didn't mean a prize either!

It meant I was going to get an old fashion belt-whopping! As a result of that I was very quiet and kept to myself.

I tried not to speak in school because either the other kids would make fun of me because I was considered a bookworm or I would get caught by the teachers for something someone else did and wind up in trouble either way!

Making friends had come easy to me when I was little but as I got older it got harder and harder to connect with people.

It was funny because as a young girl I had dreams of being a big movie star someday!

I dreamt of bright lights and my name in huge letters on Times Square.

My mistake was sharing those dreams with my family and they made sure they laughed them right out of me, until there was nothing left of them but a faded memory.

It wasn't until I became a police officer that I started to find my voice again.

Or should I say find my voice, period! But in reality it wasn't until I was in my second marriage that I realized I had a story to tell.

I don't remember the first time I spoke in front of a group or what I said.

What I do remember was people coming up to me afterwards telling me how much I had moved them!

I really thought they were just trying to be nice. But soon more and more people asked me to speak and more and more people told me they were touched by my words.

I didn't give it much importance until one day when I was trying to figure out what to do with my life.

I told Mel that I felt like I didn't have any special talents I could use to succeed in life.

I knew there were a lot of things I could do well, but there wasn't one thing that I was awesome at!

"You really don't know what your gift is, do you?" he asked me.

"Would I be sitting here asking you if I did?" I asked totally exasperated.

"Someday I'll tell you!" He said with that annoying sly smile of his.

"Unless you want to become the latest murder statistic for our city you better tell me now!" I threatened.

"Okay, okay, back off killer", he said, "You my lovely wife have the gift of gab!"

"Oh, great, I'm a big mouth! Terrific, I can really go out and conquer the world now!" I replied almost in tears.

"No, you have the gift to talk to people and touch their hearts, their souls. You shake their foundations, and help jump start their dreams again!"

I was shocked to say the least.

It still took me a few more years before I realized he might be on to something.

As a result of that conversation, here I was in Texas, getting paid to do what I loved, talking to people! Helping them find their dreams again. Giving them courage to believe in themselves!

Using a talent that I would never had discovered had I not had the courage to soul search to find it.

Even more important, it was a result of doing the one thing that I was totally afraid to do.

I guess I felt the fear and did it anyway! Now if only I can tell myself that flying in a sardine can is okay too! 


Baseball is in the air

 

 

March 5

 

Hurray! It's the first week of March! Which means baseball spring training is in full swing! This means, that I made it through another New England winter! Yeah, yeah I know March can be nasty too coming in like a lion and all, but who cares? Spring training means the hope of spring is in the air because the boys of summer are back! Okay I know I'm weird because most women don't get excited about baseball and being from New England we don't exactly have a World Series championship in sight anytime soon, (can you tell I wrote this a while ago?)(But then again didn't they say that about the Patriots too!?) But still, to me, just thinking about baseball, I can almost smell the wet grass and feel the warm spring breeze blowing through my hair.

Spring training is the one thing that I look forward to that lets me know that the worse is over.

The days start to get slowly longer and longer and little by little the weather warms up!

Even though spring doesn't officially start for another 3 weeks, in my mind it's already here! Plus watching those young boys full of promise and big league dreams reminds me to never let go of my dreams no matter how farfetched they may seem.

Yeah, baby, spring's a-coming, spring's a-coming!

Okay everyone let's play ball! Pass the Cracker-Jacks!!


Feeding the birds of the fields

 

 

March 3

 

We had too much month left over at the end of the money! Yeah, I know it's only the third! Boy was I freaking out thinking that we weren't going to have enough to go grocery shopping! Of all the scary things in life nothing scares me more than the thought of not having anything to feed to our nine kids! This single event could result in anarchy and chaos in the streets! Okay maybe not that bad, but at least there would be nine very unhappy campers at the dinner table!

As I was driving to the grocery store with a lot less money than what I usually needed, I noticed a little bird picking at something on the side of the road. I started thinking how much easier my life would be if I was a bird! You know a few worms here and there and everyone is happy.

I also thought that birds had it easy because they don't have to buy food or worry about bills, eyeglasses or broken retainers!

Then a verse from the scriptures came to me that said something to the effect that if Heavenly Father would feed the birds of the fields, why wouldn't he feed us, his beloved children?

All of a sudden I realized that I had forgotten the most important thing of all!

I wasn't alone! I was worried about feeding my family, but not once had I gone to my Heavenly Father and asked for his help. If he can feed the birds of the field why wouldn't he feed us? Mel and I worked hard, we did right by our kids, paid tithing to further The Lord's kingdom on earth, so why wouldn't he help us? I started to pray to my Father in heaven. I must have looked silly because I was praying out loud in my car, (I have some of my best conversations with God in my old Chevy Suburban). I wasn't even done when this peaceful, warm feeling came over me and I knew that we would be okay. Not just about the food but in general we would be okay. We would still have challenges but somehow they would seem lighter because God was lifting the majority of the load!

I wiped away a small tear from the corner of my eye and yelled out loud, "Amen for little birds that God saw fit to put on earth to remind us of what's really important!"

You know I think I'll get a small bag of bird seeds at the store.

I have a feeling I am going to have enough to get all I need today!

I have a small feathered friend to reward for his value lesson today!


The Best Birthday gift!

 

 

March 2

 

Today was Alex's birthday. He is my third biological son but is now the fourth son in our new blended family. I got some balloons and tied them up on the door knob outside his room. His face lit up when he saw them or should I say got attacked by them when he opened the door to go to the bathroom! My husband was funny about it. He asked me if I thought that maybe Alex was a little too old for silly balloons seeing how he was already in high school. You're never too old for balloons, I told him! What my husband didn't realize was that when Alex was born they thought he had complications and he almost died twice when he was little. I mean, he knows the stories, because I had told him about it. But he didn't live it, feel it or experience it like I did.  My ex-husband was good for some things, not so good for others. When Alex was born they thought he had mongolism and kidney disease. I was required to stay in the hospital for a whole week while they did all kinds of blood work and tests. My ex-husband used the excuse of work to not spend too much time at the hospital. I went through this night mare all by myself. It was so bad that the other lady in my hospital room thought I was a single mother! I prayed like I had never prayed before. I was the mother of three young babies, the oldest not even three yet. I was also 4 months shy of my twentieth birthday, so to say I was not equipped to handle this was an understatement!  Luckily, because of God's good graces, when all the test results came back, I was informed he was normal and healthy. To say I was relieved was, well you know!

. After going through this experience I made sure to never take Alex for granted. When he was nine months old, my mother left him in his crib alone all day while he was sick with the flu. In her ignorance she bundled him up to "sweat" the fever out. The irony was that I was working my way thorough medical assisting school at the time. I will forever be grateful for their Uncle Wayne. He didn't own a car. His friend came by to visit so he decided to ask for a ride to go see Alex because he knew he was sick. When Wayne went to check in on Alex he was in a full febrile seizure (caused by his temperature being so high). Wayne instantly scooped him up and rushed him to the hospital in his friend's car. He dropped the baby off in the emergency room and rushed back to find me. My ex-husband and I had just gotten to my mother's house to pick up my children when I found her hysterical. Two seconds later Wayne runs in and tells us what is going on. When I got to the emergency room, where they had my son, he was hooked up to every machine imaginable. I lost it! Luckily a doctor saw me all dressed in my nurse's uniform and quickly came over to calm me down. Alex couldn't talk or recognize me and he couldn't sit up. The doctor told me that had it not been for Wayne my son would have died. I was so angry at my mother. How could she not check in on him? I could have gone to pick him up and found my baby boy dead in his crib. He was in the hospital for ten days and due to a lot of prayers, great medical care and Wayne's quick action my son made a full recovery. I was extra protective of Alex because of this. One day when my son was four years old I was going to work on a Sunday. This was after I had become a police officer. His father was watching them and took them to his soccer game. I wasn't comfortable with him taking them because I was nervous about who was going to watch them while he played on the field. I specifically told Alex to make sure he wore his heavy jacket as it was chilly that day.

We had extra staff that day and it was really slow so I asked if I could go home early. Why, I don't know because I had never done that before. Once again two minutes after I walked in the door my ex-husband walked in with Alex in his arms semi-conscious. It seemed he had been standing in the bleachers being watched by his father's cousin, when her twelve years old son ran by.  He pushed and knocked Alex down six rows of bleachers. He fell backwards and hit his head on the cement floor and lost consciousness. My ex-husband instead of calling an ambulance picks the poor kid up and drives all the way home to find me! I did a quick assessment of Alex. From what I could see, thank God, he didn't have any spinal injuries, but he definitely had a major concussion and head trauma. I stabilized him and figured at this point the quickest action was for me to take him to the emergency room myself. I walked in with this tiny child in my arms and everything came to a standstill in the emergency room. The nurses rushed over and took him from me as I ran next to them telling him his information. It wasn't until the intake worker came in that I realized why all the attention. I had forgotten that I was still in my full police uniform! They had assumed that I was on duty and this was an accident victim. I apologized and told them that I had just gotten home from work to find my son in this condition.  I had a lot of explaining to do as to my ex-husband's ignorance and why I had made the judgment call to bring him in myself. Once again a so called responsible adult had failed my son. Two weeks in the hospital, tons of tests and follow up before I was assured that my son would make a full recovery. He did have a massive concussion and swelling in his brain. The doctor later on in confidence told me that the only reason my son had survived the huge fall was because he had listened to me about wearing his jacket. He had the jacket on and he had pulled the cord to the hood as far as he could so it wouldn't get in his way. Because of this the bulky jacket's hood had acted as a cushion and had minimized the severity of the blow to the back of his neck. Had he not had his jacket on he would have died instantly when he hit the cement. Once again God's grace had spared my son's life. My ex-husband never forgave himself for Alex's accident. He went out of his way to spend as much time as possible with him trying to make up for it. I went through a lot of self doubt and guilt as well. Here I was Ms. Medical assistant and super cop saving the world and I wasn't even able to protect my son from harm. It took me a few years to overcome that guilt and to be able to move on. Mel wasn't there for that so for him some things where hard to understand. I was lucky to not have lost Alex and because of this I did try to make every day count with my family. Every birthday my son has, for that matter all of them have, is another gift from God. So for as long as I am able to, I will do balloons, flowers, candy and all! Alex knew all that had happened to him and he had struggled as an adult trying to find his purpose in life. I feel God spared him for a purpose. He hasn't figured out what that is yet. He struggles with trying to balance his life and overcome a few heartbreaks he has had to deal with. He has struggled with trying to get back the confidence he had as a teenager. He has tried in the last year to turn around his negative attitude and to dare to dream again. He has started writing a book where he shares life's little lessons, (sound familiar?). He is trying to go back to finish his college degree and most of all he is trying to have the courage to make his dreams a reality. He is daring to be bigger than what he is now and to really make a difference in this world. His birthday surprises no matter how small, remind him of how special he really is.

The funny thing was that my kids actually looked forward to the silly little things that I do for them, especially Alex. The older ones always looked forward to their birthday surprises or Easter candy etc! It sad to think that society thinks that after we reach a certain age we have to turn into sour fuddy-duddies and totally forget about having fun! No wonder some people are so unhappy and stressed out! I didn't care that my son was a big tough security officer now.  I still made him pancakes with a smiley face on them in honor of his big day! He got a good chuckle out of it and my husband learned that we are never too old to enjoy life, like little kids do! Come on people lighten up and really live life to the fullest!

Happy B-day Buttons!