Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee this weekend, I would be so happy since its been so long! I have had a very good week of recouperation since Monday, the day Pablo, my pancreatic drain, was removed. 

Tuesday I went off to see my surgeon with my dad in tow. I figured having my own personal, retired surgeon by my side would be a prudent idea, just in case. Hubs was working Tuesday and dad is great to have gone with me. Dad spoke to my surgeon from one pro to another. 

I am happy to report that with Pablo gone, I am finally able to work on getting my strength back. With walking and swimming, I should get back to my old self fairly soon. That is my hope so I can conquer the w orld, okay, well, go back to work. 

I also wrote a few posts this week as well! This also shows that I am on the road to my fullest recovery. I realize, although I get frustrated, that this is a slow process, but as the saying goes, patience is a virtue, therefore I must be patient with myself. I shall get there. Things are still tiring. 

My wondeful family came to see me from St. Louis yesterday. To see me! My cousin just lost his sweet and fabulous wife to cancer last week, yet here he was with one of his brothers and their mom, visiting me and my family. Tom and Barb were what I would call the perfecT couple. Barb will be missed greatly. She was so much fun to be around at family functions. Its hard to believe Such a bright and gloriously wonderful soul has been taken from us too soon. So, in Tom’s time of sorrow, he decided to visit me, to check on little old me.

So there you have my week in review. What a week of positubes ending in a day of family love and support. What more could a girl ask for! So how was your week?

A Ripple in Time

Life is funny. I was 16 thirty summers ago. Such a carefree time of my life. I had my first job working as a waitress that summer.

I had always loved everyone I met. I was also the most trusting and naive 16 year old thinking that people were naturally good. The people that. I worked with sprayed me with a hose and dumped me in a fountain just for the hell of it because they were bigger and stronger than me. I also had one of these co-workers keep bugging me for a date regardless of me telling him no repeatedly. That got ugly and I complained to my manager who just sort of laughed it off. Needless to say, I didn’t stay there long.

I learned a lot though, all things being said. I learned to be stronger and how to deal with people very, very different from myself. I learned to be independent and to sort of manage money, well a little bit. I was really good at the spending part. 

———-

Twenty years ago I was a brand new mom. I was married and was so excited to show off my beautiful baby girl to the world, all nearly 9 pounds. I felt like I had everything I could ever dream of having. A great husband, adorable baby, a home, and I would be starting a new job as an RN. How lucky could a girl be? 

 The summer of 1996 was magical indeed! Nothing could take away that kind of magic. I just wanted to keep that magic going. All the firsts out baby would and was performing. The hours of motherhood were tough, but I was tougher. My world was completely turned upside down by my little sweet bundle! 

All the hopes and dreams that come along with becoming a mother for the first time fueled me. We try not to live our own unseen dreams through our children, but it’s hard not to sometimes. You see so many possibilities in this new life but they become their own individual over time.

————–

Ten years ago this summer, I married my best friend. Together, we can conquer so much. I told Hubs once that I needed him to be my knight in shining armour. He, very casually, agreed. He is my fearless knight. He took on marriage full steam ahead and never looked back. Not only did he take on marriage to me, but he took on being a stepdad to 3 kids. Brave soul!

We added to our newly formed family the following year with our little bundle of joy, our little 8 pound boy.  I talk about Hubs all the time, but truly we have learned through our own trials and tribulations that marriage is work, very hard work. It’s the work that brings us closer though. I know without a doubt that I could never be who I am now without the unending support of my number one fan, my husband. 

———

This summer has had it’s own trials and tribulations. My health over the last few months has been nothing short of mind boggling for me. I’m now finally on the upswing! If I didn’t have my husband and my family, I would have been more depressed than ever. My good friends checked in on me and visited. My support has been outstanding. This is all because of the ripples left behind of things I’ve done, people I’ve met, places I’ve seen.

We all leave ripples in our lives. Wee touch the lives of everyone we meet. It can be good or bad, even indifferent. You never know how the ripple will evolve. 

I married that boyfriend from 30 years ago, but not until 10 years ago. The little baby that changed my life 20 years ago is all grown up and living her own life away from home. She has flown from my coop. Little ripples of life that change your destiny? Sometimes, perhaps. I just like to think of it as God’s plan for us. 

————

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Our host, Kristi, from findingninee.com came up with this week’s sentence about “ripples”.  Go check out the other great posts!

The Drive of Life

My Hubs is a huge car fan.  He particularly loves old, British cars and very expensive, exotic cars.  He isn’t a muscle car kind of guy, but he certainly can appreciate them.  Over the many years I have known this man, I have learned many things about cars and have come to appreciate them myself, not to the extent that he does, of course, but I do appreciate them.  He is known around here as the “Tire Guru”, meaning, if you need any advice on which set of tires you should get for your car, he’s your man.  He can tell which kind of tires are on a car by the marks left in the snow, for heaven’s sake.  He has also been known to leave notes on cars for those poor souls who have low tire pressure, or those who have had the misfortune of having their tires put on backwards.  Yes, for those of you who were not aware, certain types of tires can be put on backwards making their purpose in life, well, impossible.  They can’t whisk away the water for instance if they are on incorrectly.  I have learned this from Hubs.  I am “in the know”!

I promise, though, I won’t write about my very minimal car knowledge, but let’s just say, I have enough to get by.  Actually, the normal routine of cars around here goes something like this.  I ask a question which seems like a simple car question.  What I get instead of a simple answer is a complete dissertation of the mechanical workings of whatever part of the damn car I asked about.  Hubs, in return for his extraordinary effort, gets my “deer in caught in the headlights” look.  He has completely lost me by the second or third sentence most times.  I just wanted the simple answer, but God bless him for trying.  Our son could identify all Ford Mustangs, regardless of year, by the time he was two or three.  He could identify most brands shortly after that, making Daddy one proud papa. Again, I digress.

This post is about what drives us in our lives. For some people it seems to be about success.  For others, it’s about religion, still others, family.  What makes people tick?  What drives us in our lives?  I have met so many people and yet, each person I meet is uniquely different.  I guess because of that, I can only tell you my thoughts and tell you what drives me.  Some days I have to admit, I don’t seem to have any drive at all, but in the end, here I am, so something drives me.

I am and I’ve always been a people pleaser.  I love to make others happy.  My mother always taught me that giving was much better than receiving because you get so much more back.  She also saw in me that I was a giver.  I have to admit that I like to receive, too.  Who doesn’t?  But in my work, I find that giving my time to others is what brings me the most happiness in life.  Selfishness is something that makes me crazy.  I abhor it, yet I find myself being selfish at times.  They always say that the traits you dislike in others are usually the ones you need to work on.  I guess they’re right on that one.  I’m selfish when it comes to time and attention from my Hubs.  He really is the best.  While I have been so ill these last few months, he has been my rock.  I’ve realized that as long as he is there, I’m happy and satisfied.  I won’t say we always get along.  We are human, but we understand each other so well, that just by communicating, all is well in the world.

My faith is also very important to me.  Let me tell you, it’s been tested quite a lot over the years, but no matter what, I always come back, and never once have I questioned God’s existence.  I know that God is a loving and forgiving God.  I know that I am a sinner and I pray every single day for forgiveness for my sins.  I sure hope he hears those prayers.  I have not been a perfect Catholic, but I am a repentant soul just trying to do the best I can and trying to do a little better each day.  I’ll never be perfect.  I don’t get to church everyday or anywhere near it.  In the last month and a half, due to my illness, I haven’t been at all.  I long to get back to the choir.  I miss it.  The point is, regardless of how many times I go to church, I still try my best to live my faith and to teach it to my children.  I often times feel like I have failed doing a good job in that department.  I haven’t lived up to the standards I set for myself.  That being said, my faith still drives me to do better and to try harder.

My family drives me to be successful and to be a good role model.  I don’t always succeed but I keep my head up and keep on going.  Hubs and I have done our best to provide for our family, to create a safe home, to create a happy home.  It’s been a very difficult and rocky struggle throughout the years, but we finally have achieved a home environment that is something that we are proud of.  We have always loved our family very much, but for much of our married life, there were struggles.  This life is a hard one and like I always say, I am a work in progress.  We all are.  Hubs and I used to fight over stupid things that didn’t really matter.  I finally realized that it was me that was instigating the madness.  There was no reason for it.  It was me trying to live in a house where everything was perfect.  The reality was, we needed a home that was lived in and not so perfect.  I had to realize that I was the problem.  That’s really hard to do, but once I did it, our lives began to transform.  Now, our house is a home of love and imperfection and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Now, I’m working on my impatience.  I have the drive to fix it because of the love I have for my family, but the struggle is undeniably difficult at times, especially when I’m tired and not feeling well and dealing with a 9 year old who is also tired and won’t give up the battle. Ugh!

If only I could get in a car, a really nice car, and drive off to be serviced for my own imperfections… Well, nice thought that is, but I will continue to strive to fix me.  Right now, I’m still recovering from that blasted surgery and it’s complications.  I know once I am able to get out and about again, I will get a new outlook too.  I’ve had far too much time in my house this summer, but I’m feeling much better and ready to have some good times.  I’m ready to build up my strength and get back to work again.  So, that’s my story.  What drives you?

Summer Is…

Summer is my favorite season. It always has been. With the exception of this summer, it means swimming, playing outside, spending warm summer evenings with friends and kids outside. In essence, it’s a time for renewal and reconnection that we aren’t afforded while we are stuck indoors on cold winter days.

Summer is a time to play in my garden and watch things grow. I love watching things grow.This year, due to my health, I didn’t even get my tomatoes in the garden and my entire garden looks like a den of weeds, as I’ve been unable to tend my beautiful pride and joy. I do miss sitting there in the mornings to have my coffee, but I hope to be able to tend it soon.
Summer is a time to spend with family. When I was growing up, I was very fortunate to be able to go on holidays with my family. We went to my family’s home in Ireland. I learned to work on the farm and I loved every moment. I not only got to meet my cousins far away, I got to have wonderful relationships with them. I have to tell you that family truly is everything to me. Growing up in a town where I had no cousins, I loved and appreciated those holidays to make the special bonds with my cousins more than you could imagine. Probably even more so since I had no sister growing up. I have only the one older brother who means the world to me, but I always longed for a sister. I saw the bonds with my cousins as if I had sisters for those weeks we were together. I know they couldn’t understand that since they all had sisters of their own, but I treasured their “sisterhood” in those summers more than anything you could put a price tag on.

One of my favorite Summertime activities is to play with my son in the back by my garden while having my coffee in the mornings. You see, he’s a secret agent and I’m headquarters. I’m base command with the computer. He’s going to save the world and sniper the bad guys with his stick rifles. Ah, his imagination. Sometimes it’s an alien invasion. It’s how boys think. You can not change that. He wants to protect and serve. I miss that this summer very, very much. I don’t miss the silly game, I miss spending the quality time with the boy I love most, my boy. He, like all boys, grows too fast. He’s my baby boy and he’s the only boy I have. He’s my youngest child. Now, he’s been reduced to getting things for me This summer. He’s been caring for me instead of the other way around. He’s wonderful too, just like his father. 

Summertime is generally healthy time. This year? Well, it’s more of a let’s not succumb to these wretched pancreatic surgery post-op complications summer. It technically is a get healthy summer, although I’m unable to swim and unable to even walk very far. I’m finally on the mend, I think, provided there are no more complications. I was even able to stay up past 9:30 PM last night. Not much longer, but I’m beginning to heal I think. 

Summer will remain my favorite season. I long to take a nice dip in the pool. I’d love to get on the tennis court. After all that I’ve been through this summer, I appreciate summer and life even more. 

—————

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence was “Summer is…” and as usual, our host is the extraordinary, Kristi. Check out everyone else’s posts! It’s always a fun read!


The Normal Life

If I close my eyes, I think of what a wonderful life I’ve been blessed with. You see, the last few months have been unusually difficult. I keep waiting for the storm clouds to disintegrate and the warm, blue, sunny skies of a normal life to take over. I’m beginning to think that day may never get here, or may never arrive at all.

Six months ago, I lost my beautiful, vibrant and brilliant best friend, my mom. She and I had differences from time to time, but what child doesn’t? We always worked them out.

Just after mom died, dad was misdiagnosed with cancer. Luckily for all of us, he had an abscess that looked like cancer. He healed well with antibiotics. When that was through, dad had a very important eye surgery. He is now able to see where he could not before surgery.

And then there is me. I have been sick since March, Easter week to be precise. I’m still sick, but hoping and praying that the end is near. I’m tired. I’m so tired of the pain. I’m tired of just feeling sort of alright. I am tired of my house and relying on others. I’m tired of new problems cropping up. I’m just so tired.

So when I close my eyes, I imagine myself free from pain, free from my house, usually swimming or running or playing like I did as a kid. I see myself able to focus on life for more than 5 minutes. I want to run outside and play with my kids. I want to take my dogs on a walk. I just want to relish my normal life. The same life I took for granted. I will never take it for granted again. That is a promise after this ordeal.

My home is a sanctuary to me, but now it’s become my prison. It’s become the place I wish I wasn’t. I’m trapped. I can’t enjoy my summer because of how I feel. I couldn’t go swimming, my favorite thing to do, because I have a drain in my belly.

The summer will be over and still won’t be back at the job I love because of this, or so I fear. Will I ever heal? I will, eventually. Right now, though, it’s so difficult. I’ll keep my eyes closed and keep dreaming, perhaps. I’ll dream of ordinary and how in love and miss ordinary.
image

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggety Jig!

Alas, my own bed, my own towels, my own pillows. No IVs, no uncomfortable bed or chairs. But, no more room service, no more call-if-you-need-anything.

Still, I am Home again, Home again, Jiggety jig!

There truly is no place quite exactly as comforting as home. Last night, I slept soundly because I knew that my Hubs was by my side, I knew where everyone who lives in my home was and they were all safe and secure.

So now I’ve had my major abdominal surgery but discovered that I had an area of infection inside me that needed to be drained. That was hospitalization 2 which was Sunday through yesterday. 

I now am home with my things of comfort right at me. There is something better than those things though. I have my family here. My husband has been amazing throughout all of this. Anyone who knows him would probably say that they wouldn’t expect anything less from him though. He even went to the pharmacy at 11 PM last night to pick up the medicine for the thrush I now have, thanks to those killer-strong antibiotics! What an amazing man.

My 2 daughters and my son have been at the ready just like my Hubs. They even brought me a small got fudge sundae last night which was so soothing on my side throat. The girls even decided to clean their room. Duh-duh-Dunn… And it’s looking almost inhabitable
again. 

So, as happy as I am to have hospitals around, I sure don’t want to visit another one for a very long time. I want to say a huge thank you too all of the nurses and techs who gave me excellent care, to the fantastic doctors who have me time and the the meds and tests needed to heal, and to the auxiliary staff for all you do each and everyday. Thank you so very much. You are what teamwork should be. You are the faces of the success of your hospital.

Struggles Surround Us

image

Everyone has something they struggle with be it large or small. For me, I have many small things which amount to very little in the grand scheme of things and a few larger issues that do matter more.  The point is that when you look around, there isn’t a single person that isn’t struggling with something in their life at this very minute.

When we go to the store, we may have great service or we may have very poor service. My advice to you is to see things the way I do if you get the very poor service. Let’s say you are met by a cashier with a sour expression who speaks no more than absolutely necessary.

Most of you will be very put off by her/his behaviour. In my mind, I imagine what might have brought that cashier to have such a sour demeanor. Perhaps, his/her mother died recently. Perhaps her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Whatever I imagine, it explains their demeanor and causes me to consider how I might bring a smile to their face and brighten up there day.

The power of touch and a smile cans help any person feel much better overall and like their job is actually meaningful. Isn’t that what we all want in our life? To have fewer struggles and feel more meaningful. If we view people in a positive light, they will emit positivity and begin to think and feel better. No one knows the struggles another person is going through, but if we stay positive and complain less, the struggles will lessen.

Coffee Time and Time to Share

image

If we were having our coffee this weekend, you would have to come visit my home. I’m one week post-op after my very big surgery! If you would rather have tea, I have many varieties but my coffee Thomas coffee. Its the best!

We would catch up about our week. My week was spent partially in the hospital after my big surgery. I got home on Tuesday and have continued my recovery at home in my comfy bed. My family have been my nursing staff and have done a fairly good job. I’m proud of them.

My belly looks like train tracks from the surgery but it it healing well. My arms are both sporting all colors of the rainbow since I had IV problems. One of my IV’s infiltrated which means that the fluids meant to go into the being were going into the tissues around the IV site. I have a painful lump there which could have been much worse but I have been nursing it with warm compresses to get the fluid reabsorbed. It looks much better and feels better too.

So, now you know where I’ve been and why my posts have been so few and far between. I love to write more than anything but when you are on medication that alters your awareness and makes you so sleepy it’s very difficult to put word together into cohesive sentences much less write paragraphs!

I hope you have had An amazing week. I can’t wait to hear all about it! I’m sure next week will have me back to more of my old self again. I sure hope so, anyway. Until then, I’ll have a cup of Thomas coffee with creme brulee creamer and a blueberry muffin to get me by. What about you?  

image

I Have a Great Profession

As sick as I am in this hospital bed, I know I am annoying to cope with.  I hate using my call light.  I try to do things on my own.  I just do.  I am this way because I’m a nurse.  I know what it feels like to be torn in several directions at the same time and not know what way to turn.  I remember those days well although it’s been years.

Tonight, I am just so proud of being a part of such a wonderful profession.  I have been cared for so well so far on this hospital trip.  I am not my normal lucid self most of the time.  Right now, I’m having a rare lucid moment and I’m snatching it up to share it with you. It’s very difficult to type with tubes and wires attached everywhere, but they are necessary.  I will soon be given my pain medicine again and no longer be lucid.

My dear ones, just hug all the nurses that are in your lives.  They really do go through so much at work and deserve your undying love at home.  I don’t say this for myself, but for all the nurses still working in the hospital.  Being a patient brings to mind countless memories of the good, the bad and the downright ugly.  Nursing isn’t a job, it’s a calling!

And Of These Roots…

20151128_123952
Our family circa about 1978 or so at Mackinac Island Grand Hotel

Many years ago, in 1955 and 1960, my father and mother came to this country.  They had known each other in the old country.  In fact, they had known each other since the age of 12.  The old country I speak of is Ireland.  The land known for it’s 40 shades of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.  Well, that’s what Americans think of. When I think of Ireland, I think of family, specifically, my family.  I am fiercely proud of the family I come from, or rather was adopted into.  It is the greatest family I could ever ask for.

My mother came from the midlands of Ireland.  Specifically, she was born in Mullingar, County West Meath, Ireland.  She was the eldest of 5 siblings, of which there were 2 girls and 3 boys.  My mother, who was so full of life, was adventurous, athletic, slim and feisty.  She had the hardest time sitting still.  In fact, resting never seemed to be part of her vocabulary.

Mom grew up a tomboy, but with 3 younger brothers to keep in line, it’s really no wonder.  With her athletic abilities and small stature, she had to be quick, and she was.  Did I mention she was also the tiniest of the 5 siblings in her house?  Her dad was 6’4″ and her mother was 5’10”, but mom topped out at a mere 5’5.5″ and in her 86 years on this earth, she maintained her height.  Good bones.  No osteoporosis for her!  Man do I wish I shared her genes.  We lost my mom to a hemorrhagic stroke 6 months ago.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her so much.  I long to hear her laugh and talk to her just one last time.

Dad grew up in the west of Ireland.  Mom’s family moved to the west when she was 12.  It was through business of their father’s that my parents met each other.  Dad hadn’t noticed mom so much, but mom had already put her sights on him at a young age.  Dad was one of 8 siblings and dad was towards the younger of the lot.  He’s such a brilliant man and it all started when he was a kid.

Dad was the kid with his nose always in the books, as they say.  Always studying, studying, studying.  Mom thought “this one is going somewhere”. She also found him extremely cute with his jet black hair and hazel eyes.  He was the one wearing glasses in all the photos of long ago. I’ve seen the photos.  Such a cutie patootie.

Mom would go out to the Walsh farm for her holidays and was very close to dad’s sisters. It didn’t mean she wasn’t noticing the cutie though.  I may be adopted, but let me tell you, the apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree.  My husband and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 12.  He had jet black hair and still, obviously, has his beautiful hazel eyes.  Kind of strange, isn’t it!

So, eventually, when they were of dating age, mom and dad were “courting”.  The thing is, education came first for both of them.  Mom’s family wasn’t a wealthy family so she went off to England and studied nursing.  She eventually studied Midwifery and delivered many babies.  I loved listening to those stories so much.  Another one of the things I miss so much about mom being gone. Dad, went off in a different direction.  He stayed in the west of Ireland and went to university to study medicine at University College Galway.

Okay, my husband, Canadian born, studied medicine at University College Dublin.  Yes, another similarity.  Also, my husband and my dad are not tall men.  They are both Irish, even though my Hubs was born in Newfoundland, so I married a good looking Irish guy.  Well, I think he’s gorgeous and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.  I promise, the 2 really aren’t that similar, but those are things I just happened to notice.  I have similar taste to my mom.  That was all I was implying.  Seriously!

Mom and dad were married much later than one would think.  Even though they knew each other for many years, dad made absolutely certain he could afford to marry her and take care of her well before he asked her the magic question.  They were married at the tender age of nearly 30.  Yes, can you imagine? She was beginning to thing he’d forgotten about her altogether.  They did have their happily-ever-after for 55 amazingly wonderful years.

Can you imagine knowing someone for over 70 years and then losing them?  That’s what my dad had to go through last November.  He did it with grace and peace like he  does everything in life.  He is the strongest, smartest and most faithful man I know besides my husband.  He taught me so many things in my life.  It’s because of my parents that I am who I am today.  I may not share the same genetic material as them, but as far as I’m concerned, I might as well.  I think living with the best parents in the world, although also the toughest, created me.  It formed me into a loving, generous, hardworking and faithful woman.  I am just a branch, but a strong branch, thanks to my roots.

20141013_225113
Hubs and me aged 19 and 17.  Oh, those were the days!

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post hosted by the lovely genius otherwise known as Kristi from www.findingninee.com.  We link up and share our work each week to finish one sentence.  Go check out the rest of the blogs and find out about our roots this week!

simple ftsf