Sunday, June 29, 2008

Preparing for our V.I.P.

When I can I sit at my scrap table and work up a layout to keep me relaxed and this is a 2 page layout that I completed recently to remember Alex's field trip to Commerce Plaza-a mock business place where children learn about the work place, it was great to chaperone this trip and I'm glad I scrapped it to remember it. Alex was the mail courier and he had a great time!

We have a very important person who is coming to stay with us (VIP) and we have started preparing for her, mom is coming to join us here in New York for a while or at least until she is well enough to be able to live on her own again, only time and God will give us that answer.

We always knew we had some storage space under the stairs but it was closed up and we didn't use it. Jim decided to open it up and it now will serve as a great space for his musical equipment and it is easy access to get his stuff in and out of the house for when he does his jam sessions/open mic nights down the block.

Alex is very excited to know that his grandma will be living with us and he is more than willing to pick up a power tool to help out when we need it, he's such a great kid!!

Dad showed Alex how to wet down and peel off that old wallpaper that has been on the wall for years and once he got the hang of it he did both walls all on his own! Great job Alex!!

To be continued.....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer is finally here!

We made it through another school year and in the fall Alex will start 6th grade or middle school as we now call it. I can't believe my little boy is done with elementary school.

Alex received the Principal's honor roll for academics and we are so proud of him. Notice in this photo he is wearing his "Saint Jason" medal that Uncle Jack gave him and he wears it and takes such good care of it. Just yesterday he said to me, "Mom I'm playing this video game that cousin Jay gave me before he died." I am happy that he has things to remember his cousin by.

Here is Alex giving his 5th grade teacher a hug, she was so kind and loving and patient with him this year, I will forever be grateful to her for everything she did for our son.

It's the last day of school and of course it's time to celebrate and I usually do something special with Alex like go out for lunch and we always stop in at the library to sign up for the Summer Reading Club (of course!!). This year I decided to be a little crazy and have some fun so check out the video. I love Silly String, don't you? hehehe!!

Me and my soon to be middle school student! We are sure ready for the summer!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gone but never forgotten

Yesterday at 4:28pm our beloved Jason went home to be with his mom in heaven, his body succumbed to the injuries that his brain sustained in the car accident on May 17th. His father, my brother in law, was with him when he passed and his family and friends were outside and surrounded him with love. We know that Jason is with those that have passed on before him and will be looking down on us for the rest of our lives.

We also mourn the loss of Jerry, my husband's stepfather, who lost his battle with cancer on tuesday morning.

Why our family is suffering so much loss all at once is something that I don't understand and cannot comprehend but I know that someday our Lord will reveal His plan to me and it will all be clear to me.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day...a sign from Heaven

Another Father's Day is upon us and my typical ritual is going to the cemetery to say a prayer and visit my father's grave and then heading up to the other cemetery to visit my stepdad's grave. My father in law's ashes were taken over to England by my husband after he died so I don't have a place to visit him but I do think of him on this day as well.

I've been blessed to have 3 strong men in my life that I called 'dad' and each of them influenced me in their own way and helped shape the person that I am. It was incredibly difficult to say goodbye to each of them but I was grateful for the time that I had because I know full well that some children grow up without a father in their life or perhaps don't have a good relationship with their dad.

Yesterday I spent some time visiting with Jason in the hospital knowing that my days with him are precious and few now because the doctor has told us that his test results show extensive damage to both of the hemispheres in his brain as well as the brain stem. The last few days have been very difficult and I've tried to make some sense of everything that is going on in my life and I was thinking about that as I walked back to my car in the hospital parking lot and just as I was putting my hand on the handle to open my car door I looked down and there was a golf ball at my feet! It was a sign from my dad that everything is going to be ok and that he is with me! I haven't had one of those 'signs' from him in several years and it was so comforting and really made me feel better.

For those of you that don't know my dad was an avid golfer and played every chance he got. A few years ago I was going through a rough time in my life and I was on the phone with mom and I looked out the front window of my house and there under the tree that my dad planted on my front lawn was a golf ball!! I went outside and picked it up and it made me smile. Yesterday I felt peace when I picked up that ball in the parking lot and I went to show it to Jack, my brother in law, and told him that I just got a sign from heaven and he agreed with me. Jason also loved to play golf and in fact his golf clubs were in his car the day of the accident so I think on some levels he had a hand in this 'sign' that I was given. I know that whatever happens over the next few days, weeks, months...I will get through it...I am not alone.

Today I am hoping to go out to dinner with my brother in law and his wife, I know this is going to be a difficult day for him and I am glad that I am home and able to focus on my husband's family at the moment. Nancy is with mom and she took her home from the hospital on friday so knowing that my sister is there gives me relief knowing she is well taken care of. I am going back to Florida at the end of the week for a few days to take over again.

Thank you for the continued prayers for my family, I do feel all of the love from everyone.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Three weeks...and other ramblings...

It's been three weeks since Jason's car accident and still he continues to linger in a coma and this is what I do daily, I visit with him, I talk to him and I hold his hand so that he knows I am with him. Today was such a beautiful and sunny day with a warm breeze and even though it was very hot in the city we enjoyed temperatures mostly in the low 80's. This morning I told Jim that Jason would have been out fishing or doing something else outdoors because it was rare that you would find him not enjoying a gorgeous day like this.

I spoke to mom on the phone earlier this evening and she was having a really hard time finding her words and when I asked her if she had any visitors she couldn't remember the names of her neighbors and that just broke my heart and I told her their names, Tammy and Bill. They are the kindest and most loving people you could ever meet and mom just loves them so much and the feeling is mutual. I know that her memory is going to be a problem with this type of tumor but it still makes me feel bad for her when I can hear her struggling to remember a word or a name or a phone number. Still I am grateful that I was able to help her remember.

Jim and Alex spent the afternoon cleaning out and filling up our pool to get it ready for the summer ahead and Alex was very excited to tell me that he cleaned it all by himself. He then proceeded to tell me that he was charging me $12 an hour and he worked for 5 hours. Too funny! I love that kid so much! Where would I be without him?

And finally....I'm struggling...I did this beautiful 2 page layout recently and the original title was BLOOM but I didn't really feel I would use that so I changed it up to be MOM and now I'm having a hard time with putting the pictures and journaling on the pages because I get sad when I look at pictures of mom and I together lately and I guess that is normal because I miss talking to her like we used to chat. Even though she's in Florida I would talk to her sometimes 4-5 times a day about this or that or sometimes nothing. I guess I will eventually complete these pages but for now they sit in my folder of unfinished work.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Who crossed your path today?

And was it the work of God? Do you believe that things happen for a reason, that there are no coincidences? I have always been a firm believer that everything in my daily life is a result of God's work and I silently thank God for things when I see them and know for sure like if I see a car accident that has JUST happened moments before I drive past the scene (I could have been involved) or if I forget something in the house and a little voice tells me to go back and when I do I realize I left a candle burning OR the phone rings as I am walking back in the house and it is an important phone call that I might have missed.

Yesterday I went to visit Jason in the hospital and his dad, Jack, told me of an amazing encounter he had on his way home on monday night. He was on his motorcycle and realized he didn't have enough gas to make it all the way home so he put it into reserve and thought for a moment that he might make it the 8 more miles to his house but decided he better get off the highway and get gas after all. It was a small station and as he was pumping gas the attendant came out and they started to chat and Jack realized the man was holding a finger over a tracheotomy and he asked him about it. Turns out this guy had a very bad car accident 2 1/2 months ago in Florida and the doctors told his family he wasn't going to make it and to get down there fast. He had a very bad head injury and he was in a coma for a month!! Fast forward 2 1/2 months later, this guy is back to work and was having his trach closed up yesterday! He woke up after a month of being in a coma and through rehab managed to come back from what the doctors thought was the end for him! The lesson of the day is FAITH, never lose matter what! I believe that our Lord put that man in Jack's path monday night in order to boost his faith in the fact that anything is possible if you just believe!

As a side note, Jack went to the accident site yesterday and found Jason's Pink Floyd hat laying in the woods!! It now sits on the table near his bed in the ICU. He also found a score card from when Jason last played golf with his best friend, Joe. You should have seen Joe's face light up when Jack handed him the card last night...Joe has been keeping a vigil for over 2 weeks now and visiting his friend every day.

Jason had the hiccups last night while I was visiting with him and holding his hand. The doctor feels that he can probably breathe on his own but they are going to keep him on the ventilator anyway as a precaution.

Today is my counseling session with my oncology social worker but in the interest of time I decided to do it over the phone which is a great option when you have to talk to someone about what is on your mind but you want to be home to get things done around the house.

I continue to pray for healing for all of those that are hurt, sick or injured and I pray that God will guide me each and every day of my life.

Monday, June 02, 2008

June and school is almost over

I can hardly believe it but my little boy only has a few weeks left of elementary school and will be starting middle school in the fall, where did the time go? I look at him and think back to the times that he would sleep in our bed or need to be close by so we set up a cot for him in our room because he was afraid to be alone...on some levels I miss those times.

We have a lot to look forward to this coming month including 2 field trips that I'll be chaperoning with Alex's class and of course the annual field day which is always a fun time for the kids. This time of year is baseball season and you never know what will happen on any given day, that's for sure. I was sitting at home sorting my coupons and getting ready to head out to get some shopping done when I heard my cell phone ring and it was Jim telling me to get down to the field with some ice, Alex had just taken a ball to his face!!! I was going to head over to the game after my shopping and it was probably a blessing that I wasn't there to witness the ball hitting him but later on I heard that he was quite a brave boy and when I asked him if he cried he said, "Heck no!!" I guess when you have a big brother who is a Marine you have to be tough as nails or else you hear it from him.

I don't know about you but I'm thinking this hurt!!
Since I worked until 2:00 today I didn't have time to go to the hospital to visit Jason before Alex got home from school so I went a little bit later on. I was holding his hand while the nurse was checking his blood sugar on his other hand and when she was taking the blood from his finger he gripped my hand tight and it scared the living daylights out of me!! She said it was a reflex but I don't know for sure...I just know that he didn't really seem to appreciate being poked with a needle and he let me know!! I pray every day that he can recover from this and have some quality of life because he is loved by so many people..........most of all by his father who has been at that hospital from early in the morning until late at night since this happened. We are into our third week of this and inevitably people have to return to their lives, their jobs, their family obligations but Jack's commitment and love for his son has not wavered for one second...he is there every minute of every day making sure that his boy knows that he is not alone and I am in awe of his strength.

Things seem to be doing ok for mom at the moment. She is in the nursing home and we check on her as much as we can between the neighbors stopping by and calling her. Tomorrow I plan to call and try to speak with the doctor or at the very least the nurse on her case in the afternoon and see how she's doing. 11 more days and Nancy will be bringing her back home. We are moving forward with plans to try to have her come and stay with us here in New York for a while and I hope that happens at some point but I will see what she wants to do, ultimately she has to make her own decisions and I won't force her into something she doesn't want to do. No matter what happens she knows that I will never abandon her and I will make sure that she is safe and feels loved.