How sad to hear that Whitney Houston was found dead. The woman is younger than me and had more than me, or did she. Money isn’t everything. Peace of mind, love, a reason for living is what life is all about. Love, remember is a choice that you have to make. Think about it, you see a person across the room and you feel something, isn’t it a choice to make contact? Jimmy and I had to make the choice to see if we still wanted to make our marriage work. Did we want to fix the harm we have done to each other or start over? If we choose to start over, we still have to be in each other’s lives, so than are we really starting over or just hiding from our hurt.
Jimmy and I were trying to sort things out. Could Jimmy forgive me? After all I was having an affair of the
heart, is what he called it. Valentine’s Day came and Jimmy planned a little night away without me knowing it. He called my boss to make sure I would be off. He had the kids pack up a suitcase for me and blind folded me to our destination. I am not sure our night was as romantic as he had planned because I was still in remorse of what I had done, still pleading with him to forgive me and so ashamed of
myself. Our lives kept busy at home with work, Gina’s basket ball games and the high light of March when Regina got baptized. Even with all we were doing wrong, another one of my kids wanted to get baptized.
We were getting calls from my sister in law, telling us that my father in law was getting worse. Some times she would just cry saying over and over again, I don't know what to do. She called the week of Valentines and said that her boyfriend had a dozen roses delivered to the house but she never saw them. A few days later she found them in the garage, all cut up. When she asked Grandpa Joe what happened he couldn’t tell her. He honestly didn't know.
Adias turned six years old and we had a big birthday party for her, you know, the kind I use to have when my kids were small and I so enjoyed and missed. The time was flying, with Jimmy and I trying to fix our marriage, working, and family obligations. Easter flew by and a couple people from work came by with their kids to enjoy my tradition of coloring Easter eggs.
At the same time my oldest daughter, Kristina told us she was getting married. I felt bad, because I really didn’t have the money to give her a wedding but she had it all planned out. She decided to have her wedding at the Botanical Gardens in Oklahoma City. She bought the material and sewed all the bridesmaid dresses. We drove to Oklahoma for the wedding with the kids, and Jimmy made the food for the rehearsal dinner. I fixed the girls hair and had my girl friend come over to do their makeup. My mother made the flower arrangements. And last but not least I took the wedding photos. My girls took Kristina out for a little bachelorette party a couple days before the wedding, and that is when I saw my first Drag show. I tell you what; I couldn’t tell that these girls were really guys. My daughter got married on April 12, 2002. My husband and I got married on April 13 and it was such an honor to know she wanted a date close to ours.
The wedding was beautiful in the middle of the garden, and they were such an elegant looking couple. Kristina was just beautiful. Dinner was afterwards with my mother and Aaron’s mom cutting the wedding cake. After the throwing of the bouquet and garter, they drove off in a horse and carriage. The next day we sat with the bride and groom while they opened their gifts for all to see.
To watch this wedding and listen to the sermon helped Jimmy and me see why it was so important to keep what we had and to make it better, than quit and try with someone else later. Listening to these newlyweds vows, brought back memories of our own, and remembering the commitment that we made so many years ago. Yes we were still in love with each other and we planned to make our marriage work. I was so proud of the two of them, what they had accomplished together, pulling off this beautiful wedding almost all by themselves.
Before we left Oklahoma we went to visit the new memorial of the OKC bombing. The reason I went to school to become a paramedic. The reason I decided to face my fear of school. The reason I let God
talk me into helping people a different way than I had been.
Time went on and this time Jessica was graduating high school. It is so hard to see your kids grow up. You want them to depend on you always but as they grow, they learn more than you will ever know,
and they cut the string.
As the summer passed by we had fun with some of the people I worked with and their families. For Tiffany’s child’s birthday we barbequed at the park and played games and Kathy and I worked the Monster trucks together. Evett, Tiffany and I took the kids to the zoo for an afternoon of fun. One of the girls at work, Becky, we gave a baby shower to. Plus Tiffany and I had fun tee-peeing our husband’s cars together. We had a double birthday party for Brannon and Armie, Evett’s boys, at the pool to their complex along with hot dogs and hamburgers. My friend Jennifer and I also spent a day at the zoo with our kids and the boss’s kids.
Erik turned twenty two years old and his girl friend had written all over his car happy birthday. We spent a day at the Decatur Celebration listening to the music, looking at the vendors and having fun with the rides. Than all of a sudden Jennifer told me she was leaving with Adias for Oklahoma and took off with her current boyfriend, taking my grandchild with her.
Mean while we were getting phone calls from Joanne about Grandpa Joe. He was getting more confused. She said that she had locked the door to her room, so he could not get inside and when she got home she found the door off the hinges lying on the floor and her room was a mess. She said she didn’t know how much more of this she could take and was suggesting a nursing home for him. Jimmy and I talked about this and neither one of us wanted dad in a nursing home. We had to come up with a plan. We needed to have him live with us. That idea was brought to dad and he said he was not leaving his home. So the next best thing we could think of was to move in with him. We didn’t think it was safe anymore for him to live alone. I mean Joanne was living with him, but she was gone all day and we didn’t think he should be left alone all day. So we came up with the idea to sell our home, quit our jobs and move in with dad.
As we made our plans and told our place of employments, Jimmy talked to the people I worked with and they helped him have a surprise birthday party for me. Friends from church and friends from work showed up to make this a wonderful memory. They knew we were planning on moving so they had two cakes one saying happy birthday and one saying Good Luck.
Well this is all for today. I hope you are all doing well. I am excited because my new partner Ross is designing a book cover for my newest book. I will give you a sneak peek. I was hoping to have it published by tomorrow but I haven’t started that process yet, so it hopefully should be published before the end of the month. Look for it. If you like gangsters and Tommie-guns mixed with some romance you will like my newest book called Rosemary & Antonio. Talk to you soon.
Well today has been an exciting day. My daughter Regina tried out for the National Anthem at the Goodyear Ball Park. I enjoyed watching her sing. She has such a beautiful voice. She will find out next week if she will be one of the contestants to sing before a baseball game this coming season. So on with my story.
First I want to say that in the Bible, God states that all sins are equal. One sin is not worse than another. It is just the fact that you sinned, and you must confess and become clean again.
On October 20 my mom had a surprise party for my dad who turned 70 yrs old. You should have seen his face when he walked into the living room and saw his children, their spouses, his mother in law, and his friends. My mom had an accordion player there playing some of dad’s favorite tunes. My parents looked as cute as they danced together. Jimmy and I were there in body, and I hope I was there in spirit for my dad, but I took walks with my sisters talking about another man. I told them what happened and asked them what to do. It isn’t like I am having an affair but, I kissed another man, which is something I
am totally against. They knew my husband’s history, and their answer was as long as I wasn’t having an affair, why should I say anything.
I was not having an affair, but when I closed my eyes at night I saw Eric’s face instead of my husbands and that scared me. The mind is a powerful thing. It speaks to you in many different ways. Mine was conflicted with telling my husband what happened or keeping it a secret forever. That raises another question, how can you be married to someone if you are keeping secrets.
Life went on that month with our Halloween traditions and now both Jimmy and I sort of ignoring each other. I am not sure he could tell I was ignoring him, because he was caught up in his own world of porn, but I was. Halloween was fun carving the pumpkins and this time Jimmy helped Adias. We went trick or treating my with my paramedic friend Jenny and her kids and before you knew it Thanksgiving was around the corner.
We went back to Chicago to spend the holiday with Grandpa Joe and my sister in law. Kristina and Aaron showed up and Grandpa started to show a little bit of dementia. We didn’t think it was anything to worry about. Joanne was living with him, keeping an eye on him, and told us that sometimes when she came home from work, she noticed that Grandpa Joe didn’t eat anything all day except cookies. My father in law loves to eat and we should have known that this meant something, but then we were in our own worlds.
I also had a talk with my sister in law about what happened to me and if I should tell Jimmy. She was intrigued and maybe a little disappointed to see that nothing else happened. Her advice was to not say anything after all it isn’t like you slept with the guy, you only kissed him. Why should I upset the boat while it is floating just fine?
We took the kids to Chicago and of course started it with Giordano’s Pizza. The kids had fun watching the dough being thrown in the air as we watched our pizza’s being made. One thing about Chicago is at Christmas they go all out on the window decorations and the stores are done so beautifully. Jimmy was agitated with me that day because of all I wanted to see. It was cold and he doesn’t see Chicago like I do. But he walked around with us pouting the whole time.
Christmas came around and we did our usual routine with decorating of the Christmas tree and makig cookies, but Jimmy started becoming nicer to me. And on Christmas morning, when I opened up my gifts from him, he had six porcelain angels wrapped up. He told me that he is so sorry for how he has been acting and that he is so lucky to be married to an angel. This was hard for me to take. I was not an angel. I had done something that I could not fix and my conscious kept bothering me. Later that Christmas Day we ventured to Aunt Mary’s house for our annual get together. It was great to see all of them, yet at the same time, my mind was working over time.
I could not stand myself or the deceit I was carrying so I wrote Jimmy a long letter and put it on his car.
He read this letter, and later I showed up at his work. He was so angry and hurt. I was the only thing in his life he thought he didn’t have to worry about and I just messed that up. He drilled me over and over again and then he called Erik to see if he would say the same thing. Our stories matched but Jimmy just couldn’t believe that there wasn’t more. So he would sit outside of Eric’s station to see if I was secretly coming by to see him and of course that never happened.
Jimmy went through many different emotions. One day he would have the room lit with candles and soft music and make love to me while the next day he would be angry with me for being unfaithful to him. I hated to have him so disappointed with me but at the same time, I could not live with myself with what I had done. I did not want to have a lie between us.
Sorry I am getting off so early today. Not quite 1000 words but I will be back on Monday. Just remember that it is important to be honest with each other if you want a good and lasting marriage
I hope today is finding you well. I am thankful for another gift of life and the chance to help someone with a smile and a touch of my hand to show comfort and compassion. So on with my story.
As time went on with my part time job at the ambulance company the crews started to act cordial towards me. Seems like they got a good talking to from the boss and they were now polite. Decatur Ambulance had a big EMS picnic and we went as a family. There was a big volley ball tournament goin on and my kids joined in the fun. I think this broke the ice between me and the other employees.
Regina graduated eight grade this year leaving me now with two in high school. I was glad to have Adias living with me, because I was not sure I was ready to have all grown kids in the house yet. Jimmy was being moody with one day sweet as pie and another day just angry at the world.
We were good friends with this one couple at our church since they were new to Decatur also and so we all decided to see the boat races in Decatur. It was fun sitting on blankets, eating snacks, and watching the boats race. This was a big thing every year in Decatur. When the races were done they also had a carnival and the kids enjoyed the rides.
It was summer now and I wasn’t working that many hours at the ambulance company and the bus job was over for the summer so I decided I was going to try and have fun and explore the area. First we went to see Grandpa Joe (my father in law) for father’s day. My sister in law was telling us that he was starting to get confused, but we didn’t see it on our visit. We checked out the Decatur Fair with more carnival rides and petting zoo. For such a small town, this city is busy with seasonal activities. Next my plan was go to St Louis.
I talked Jimmy into it and we went to the Anheuser Busch Company in St Louis. This place was a small city of its own. We got to ride a trolley to the site and see how the beer was made. We explored the rich architecture and heritage of the oldest and largest Anheuser-Busch Brewery. We followed the path of how they brewed their beer, feel the cold cellars they stored them in and watched the packaging line. We are not drinkers but this was pretty interesting. The best treat was to see the Famous Budweiser Clydesdales. These horses are beautiful.
After the tour we found a place to eat and off to the St Louis Gateway Arch. Have you ever ridden up to the top of this attraction? I have to say I enjoyed riding up the elevators of the John Hancock Building a lot nicer than the rickety seats we had to ride to get to the top of the Arch. The windows at the Hancock building are bigger also, with a lot more room to roam around. But all and all it was pretty interesting to go to the top of this structure.
It was the end of July when Kristina came into town to spend some time with us. I am my happiest when I have all my kids around so of course it was a great visit and time. At this time we also got to celebrate Erik’s 21stbirthday. We had his birthday at the Road House Restaurant and when the employees came by to sing happy birthday to him, they made him ride a mechanical bull. Erik to this day says he was never so embarrassed but I am sure secretly he enjoyed himself that day. Erik also met a girl at work, (Subway Sandwiches) that he was pretty interested in. We teased him about robbing the cradle, because this girl whom is now is wife was still in high school.
My job was getting a little better. I was making friends with some of the medics. I also offered to babysit at times when the employees had to work and they could not get their babysitter. I even watched one of the owner’s kids and one of the supervisor’s kids once in a while. But there was a medic Jennifer whom befriended me and I watched her kids. My Adias was close to the same age as her oldest so this was not really a chore. Plus she had a baby and I missed having one of those around the house again.
Fall finally came around and kids back into school. I was now getting more hours at Decatur Ambulance so I didn’t go back to the bus company.
I started to work sometimes a 24 hour shift which I was definitely not use to. I found I could not go to sleep sharing rooms with the other medics, especially if they were men and the beds to me where
uncomfortable. Plus after a call my adrenalin was still pumped. It would seem just as I would finally go to sleep another tone would shoot out to us for another call.
It was that tragic day September 9, 2011 when I was ushered inside from washing my ambulance to watch the TV and see a plane fly into the Twin Towers. To me this was like the Oklahoma Bombing starting again. Only this time I was millions of miles away with no way to help and of course a thousand times worse. So we helplessly watched what was happening on the TV set with tears running down our cheeks. On September 23 we held our own memorial for all who lost their lives in New York at this tragic event.
I learned a lot of things about working in an ambulance company. I heard about how these people cheated on their spouses with their working partners or with policemen that were on duty whenever they
got the chance. One medic told me how she was having an affair with her partner and she said she felt like two different people. On her shift days she was in love with her partner having sex between calls and when she was at home she was in love with her husband. I of course didn’t understand this or will ever understand why people have affairs.
One day when I was done with working a twelve hour shift for the night and told my partner goodbye, I gave him a hug. Let me clarify, I do this a lot. I am a hug person. I guess being Italian, I give hugs hello and hugs good bye to almost everybody. I even hug my patients so this was something that is part of my normal routine. Well this medic all of a sudden hugged me real tight putting a hand on my head, so I couldn't move and his mouth over mine. I have worked with him before, and this wasn't the first time I hugged him good night so I was totally off guard. All I remember was his tongue exploring my mouth and my tongue trying to hide in the back of my throat. You may be laughing but my head was slow as to what was going on and I remember thinking, is he kissing me? I did not kiss him back and when he was finished he let me know he had a room waiting for us. I just looked at him funny and told him, I don’t have affairs and walked to my car.
This event continued on and on in my head and I didn’t tell Jimmy; after all he was not really there for me anyway. He was busy on his computer with his naked ladies. I am not sure what is worse, an affair with another woman or with porn. My husband was drawn away from me. He didn’t seem interested in me
anymore. If I came to bed naked and tried to get frisky he would tell me to put on some clothes and go to sleep.
A few days later I was at work alone in the garage working on stocking my ambulance crying. I was working with a girl medic who noticed my red eyes and with a lot of coaxing from her, I finally told her what happened between me and Eric, the medic who kissed me. She gave me his number and told me to call him that this was a big misunderstanding. So blindly I did and he was happy to hear from me. When I told him I was uncomfortable with what had happened his response totally blew me away. He told me that I was beautiful and sexy and he wanted me. He told me that if he ever found me in a room alone his hands would be all over me. I didn’t know how to respond to this, so I told him I guess I will have to make sure that never happens.
Now the devil works in mysterious ways, and the phone conversation keep rolling in my thoughts over and over again. At home I had a husband that could care less about me and at work I met a man eight years younger than me that found me desirable. My mind was going back and forth as to what to do. I decided that I would write him a letter and tell him that he crossed a line that should never have been crossed. That I wanted be his friend, go out with his family and mine and he should never think like that again. This is one of those times I did something I regretted.
I brought my letter to the station he was working at and as I placed it on his car the garage door opened to the ambulance bay with Eric standing inside. He called to me and I handed him the letter. After he closed the door he put his hands around me and started kissing me again, only this time I kissed him back. I left the garage with mixed emotions.
OK enough for today. This is a hard thing to even think about yet to write about. What has helped Jimmy and me is the power of prayer and forgiveness from our Lord and Savior. It is important to tell a loved one that you are sorry if you wronged them and it is important to ask God for forgiveness.
Good day today. I want to thank you all for reading my manuscript in the making. I do hope you jump to the front page of my website and notice my books I have written with the thought of giving them a try. If you like them maybe you will share them with another person to enjoy. When you read them, you will notice similarities of My Life in my novels. I have taken certain things out of my life and made them more romantic and fun to read. I am working on a book during the Al Capone time. A bit of history for you, my grandpa use to work for Al Capone. But no this story is not about him, I have made up my vision of Romeo and Juliet during that time. I will let you know when I publish it. I have a new partner at work that is helping me design the cover right now. OK on with my story.
First I want to say that being a paramedic or let’s just say wearing the uniform I noticed that I was being
treated differently. When I would walk into a store with my uniform on people would act nicer to me, and give me more respect than I was use to. I was having trouble understanding this. After all I am the same person with or without the uniform. This was quit an adjustment for me to take and still to this day I don’t
Well we moved to soy bean and corn field country. That was all we could see for miles around as we went into Decatur, Illinois. Life was to start again. All the kids still were living with us, except Kristina. I got Jessica and Regina back into school. Jennifer and Erik got back into college and found jobs. Jimmy was real busy at his new job, and still seemed distant. Looking for a job, busy helping to get the kids adjusted I didn’t have the time to figure out what was wrong. There was only one Ambulance Company in town, and so I was put on a waiting list. I needed a job so my first job in Decatur was a school bus driver. I will tell you, I really have a lot of respect for school bus drivers after having my feet in their shoes. After the hours of learning how to drive and back up the bus, I had to get a CDL license. It really wasn’t too hard because they gave us the answers to memorize.
As a bus driver, I had to have a lot of patience for my kids I was driving around every day. Some would get real rowdy and I would pull over and stop the bus until they decided to settle down. It would actually work, because they wanted to get home and I didn’t care how long I would keep them on the side of the road. Sometimes I would have to assign seats and keep certain kids away from each other. I tried being kind and would go to the hostess store and pick up apple fruit pies for breakfast for the kids who didn’t get a chance to eat before school. I made the promise that if they were good all week I would have hostess cupcakes for a snake on Fridays after school. This worked sometimes, and I got to see how many kids left the house hungry in the morning grateful for my treat.
In September Jessica wanted to go to her homecoming dance and yes, you know it, Zack came down to bring her. I think that is when I found out Zack was four years older than Jessica.
We found a good church in Mt Zion and on September 24, Jimmy, Jessica, and Erik got baptized.
I cried as I watched them, and took their pictures. I think that is every mothers dream to have your kids want to get baptized. I was baptized when I was a freshman in high school. I still remember it like it was just yesterday. I was this shy quiet girl in high school and for some reason a greaser boy named John Taylor liked me. He was just a little taller than me, with his hair greased back, wearing a black leather jacket and had cleats on his shoes. He hung around with the bad greaser boys who were always smoking in the bathroom and when they talked they swore a lot. But when they were around me, he would have them use manners and they watched their tongues. He would walk me to my classes with his arm around me and kiss me every time he dropped me off at my class. One day he brought me to his house which was next to a little church. It seemed this bad greaser boy was the son of a preacher man which surprised me. He didn’t act like a church going kid. The day I got baptized the two front rows of my church were full of the greaser boys and girls. Now don’t get me wrong, I was not a greaser. I don’t know why he liked me, but I was friends with this group which was a good thing, because if anyone would give me a hard time in school, one of my greaser friends would stick up for me. In my year book, he put a circle around my name and wrote, John Taylor loves this girl a lot. Sigh, the things that come back to your mind from the past.
Anyway life went on with me and Adias checking out the zoo and going to the park. We were friends with some of the people at the church and just had fun with them having soft ball games and picnics. Halloween came by with Jenny now showing Adias how to carve a pumpkin and yes we still made jack o lanterns and got dressed up for Halloween.
The nice part of being in Mt Zion was we were only three hours away from Jimmy’s dad’s house. So when Thanksgiving came around we went home to see my father in law and spend time with him and my Aunt Annie and a couple of Jimmy’s cousins and his sister for dinner.
When Christmas came around we went back to Chicago and had Christmas Eve at Aunt Mary’s house. She is my father in law sister. It was great to be with family again. It was a nice feeling to know that we would not be alone for the holidays again. Even Kristina came up for our family reunion. Plus I finally
landed a job at Decatur Ambulance. January showed up and Zack was in town for Jessica’s 17 birthdays with a dozen red roses. We had all the January birthdays together at a restaurant celebrating Jimmy, Aaron, Jessica and Jennifer’s. We went to Chicago where Joanne had a surprise birthday party for my father in law and all the relatives were there, you know the ones usually at the family Gaeta Picnics.
My new job in Decatur was pretty hard for me. It seems that in Illinois you don’t have to have a National
Registry to work and only one of the owners had one. I guess he talked about me about having this certificate to his employees before I started working. Since the other employees didn’t have this they didn’t give me a very good reception. I had a few ride along and the medics I worked with seemed like what you would call Para-god. I had never worked 911 before and I was honest up front about it, but when we would go on a call I was tested to the limit by the employees. We worked with two paramedics on a truck so we would take turns driving. I had to make a map so I knew where I was going because if I asked where to go, they would just get angry with me. I was being talked about behind my back and no one was really being nice to me except one guy, Eric, but I didn’t see him too often. I remember when I had to do a long distance transport with him and when we stopped to eat I wanted to pay for my dinner and he wouldn’t let me, saying he was my supervisor and wanted me to not feel bad about how everyone else was treating me.
One time when I was on a call the medic that was driving was so cruel to me she would actually stop the ambulance so fast I would go flying to the front of the truck. I had never seen such mean people before.
I finally had enough and my boss could see it so he took me out for lunch and I finally started to cry. I told him I was probably going to quit because I had never worked anywhere with such rude people before. I was still new and still learning so I could not understand why they were all so cruel. He gave me a lot of encouragement to keep trying and not to quit so I took his advice, but thank heavens it was only part time and I still had my bus job.
One time I went on a call for a woman who was having trouble breathing. She was sitting up, oxygen on, and the nursing home had given her some Lasix. Another truck rolled up as I was bringing the gurney with this patient to my truck. They asked me what was going on, and when I told them, they were angry I wasn’t aggressive enough with the Respiratory Distress protocol. They rolled her into their truck and
quickly shot some nitro into her mouth, drew up the Lasix and Morphine and gave one right after the other without taking vitals in between. They laid this woman back and she instantly died with the rice crispy feeling on her chest and neck. This was enough to scare me.
While this was all going on, I got on the computer and to my surprise a picture of a naked woman flashed up on the screen. I told Jimmy who said that it was probably just an advertisement. I was to naive to know that he was lying to me. I guess this is when the trouble began, only I didn't see it yet.
Adias had her fifth birthday and we had a party for her at skate land. Jenny had made some friends and they had kids and all was good. Regina had her 14th birthday and had a house full of kids for a sleep over. Easter flew by with a trip to see my father in law and Aunty Anne. Before you knew it Jessica was going to her prom and yes you guessed it Zack flew down to bring her.
OK that is enough for today. I really talked a lot haven’t I. Hope I am not boring you. Have a great day. If you get the chance be an angel and practice an act of kindness.
Hello again and thank you for coming back to read my on-line manuscript as I am writing at least a thousand words or more a day. This may be a little boring, but then I guess my life is not as interesting as a lot of other people. But I hope this little bit of writing is showing how love may start as a feeling
and then it develops into more and finally it is a choice to remain with what you have or start over. The rewards of keeping it alive I cannot put into words. Jimmy and I are so different. For instant I am a morning person and he is not. So when I get up I can be very loud in the morning and active. Jimmy on the other hand likes it quiet in the morning with his cup of coffee and the news on TV. For a long time we banged heads on this until we figured out that we can just work around each other’s differences. I think another difference is I usually see the cup as half full where as my husband doesn't always see it that way. I think that is what life is about, working around each other’s differences, accepting each other, and being there for each other. I think the biggest reward is the memories of my kids growing up, are Jimmy’s memories as well. When we reminisce we can finish each other’s statement or remind the other what may have been forgotten at the moment. We can check out the photo albums and see OUR memories, not yours or mine. Well on with my story.
My nephew Bradley came to visit us and Kristina was still in town so we decided to give New York a try.
It was a very cold day, and we found a sightseeing tour bus and gave it a try. If you have never been to New York, it is amazing to see the buildings with the light up TV screens everywhere. Definitely not like Chicago. I fell in love with Time Square. We went to the Empire State Building but after waiting over thirty minutes and the line not moving we decided to go on to other things. After all I have been in the Sears Tower in Chicago, and I can’t imagine it being much different.
We were on an open top bus and sat on the top with nothing to protect us from the wind, but the sight of New York was amazing. I guess only in New York would you find a McDonalds that had music live from a piano player up in a corner of the room. As we walked around to tour this beautiful city we saw the Statue of Liberty far away across the water. It was too cold and too late to get a ferry but we knew we would be back.
We found a bus that was now closed to the wind and enjoyed the Christmas lights as we continued to tour the city. The trees were full of white little lights that glittered and a carousel at the world trade building was working. Radio City looked so inviting and well just to look at the streets in the evening between the cars and the buildings at Times Square looked like a different planet. It was a fun and cold little tour.
January came around and it was Jessica’s 16th birthday. What do you do for a 16th birthday when you really don’t know anyone? I had to put on my thinking cap and asked her to see if she could find a few girls to come over. I decorated with balloons and she had about three friends that came over and I decided to have a facial party. Yea, I gave them facials, did their makeup and then Jenny took them out to a pool hall to play pool. January passed with Jimmy’s and Jenny’s 21st birthday which we went out to eat with her and her new boyfriend at that time. Before you knew it, Adias turned four years old. We had her birthday at McDonalds with a couple of her friends from our neighborhood.
Mean while, Jessica was working part time at Fuddruckers and one day the place was being robbed. This male employee noticed what was starting to happen and dragged Jessica across the street to safety. The rest of the employees got locked in the freezer. This was the start of a new relationship for the two of them and he is married to her today.
The kids and I took another tour of Washington D C. As we walked around the grounds we came to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial built to honor the 16 president. My girls were giddy as they ran around the pool of water, talking about the movie Forrest Gump and how his lifelong Jenny waded in the reflection pool to say hi to Forrest.
It snowed hard this year. I remember my ambulance getting stuck with a patient in side. We had to find
towels to lie down over the snow and wedge under the wheels to get our ambulance to finally slide out of the spot it was stuck in. I was never as cold as I was trying to help and get our ambulance to move. And yes I helped Adias make a snow man that year.
Regina turned 13 yrs old and I made her my old idea of the birthday ribbon full of candy that I made for Jessica one year. She had a slumber party that year, hoping that I was making it special for her.
As the year passed I tried to do the best I could to make this an adventure and not dull and boring move. After all it was not like the kids knew a lot of people, we were brand new to the area and they were getting bigger. I found it is much harder to move the kids from state to state being older in age than when they were younger. We took a trip at Easter to see my parents since we were like only six hours away.Two of my sisters were there and we colored Easter eggs and with so many cousins around the table it was actually more fun than usual. We had an Easter egg hunt in my mom’s front yard and some of the kids got brave to jump into the pool in mom’s back yard even though it wasn’t warm enough.
June arrived and Adias graduated preschool from the church she was attending it at. Yea, one of the first things we did was find this great church to get involved in. They had a ministry that met once a week in an apartment complex. We taught the kids to sing songs, gave a bible story, do an arts and crafts, and made them sandwiches to eat. Some of the kids in that area went to bed hungry and we hoped we were helping a little.
The kids were out of school for the summer and Kristina came for a visit so we decided to try and do some more sightseeing. We went to Ocean City for an afternoon. It was a fun day with a picnic lunch and burying each other in the sand, not counting playing in the waves of the water and yes Zack, the boy who rescued Jessica came with us.
We went back to DC to show Kristina but this time we also viewed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was still like new to us, as we ventured the White House, the Smithsonian, and the Washington Memorial. I love doing these things with my kids and this time it was just me and my kids.
I got Jimmy to take us back to New York with the plan to see the Statue of Liberty. We had to take a ferry ride to see the statue and the crowd of people was unbelievable. But it was a sight that was worth fighting the crowds. If you ever go to New York this is a must to see and yes we had a pleasant day.
We celebrated Kristina’s 24th birthday and before we knew it, we were on the move again. Jimmy’s company didn’t renew his contract so he had to go looking for another job. Zack seemed to be hanging around all the time and he wasn’t happy to hear that we were moving out of the state but decided that he was going to be a permanent fixture anyway. So Zack drove with us as we traveled back to Illinois.
Jimmy found a job in Decatur Illinois. So with three cars full of family and Zack we were on the road
again. Jimmy had a couple of weeks before he was to start, so we went to his dad’s house and we celebrated Erik’s 20th birthday. I love Chicago and I wanted to see it all again as if this was the last time I would see it. I wanted my kids to love what I loved about the city. So I took my kids, Crystal, my niece, and Zack to show off the city. Of course we started with pizza at Giordanos, no one knows what good pizza is until you eat at Giordanos in Chicago. Next I took them to Navy Pier and rode the 150 ft high Ferris wheel. We ran around Buckingham fountain before my tour really began. I brought them to the Field Museum, and Museum of Science & Industry. When I lived in Chicago and I only had a couple of kids I use to bring them all the time, but that was years ago and they were all too young to remember. Jimmy had to go to the new house in Mt Zion but I didn’t have a job yet so I got to drive to Wisconsin for my Aunts wedding.
It was hard to believe but I was finally 46 yrs old. My Aunt Linda was getting married on my birthday. We drove to Wisconsin and all three of my sisters showed up. What a great reunion for my kids to see all of their cousins and for me and my sisters to reconnect. My Aunt Linda looked beautiful as she walked down the aisle with her husband to be. I was the photographer of this wedding and I don’t have to tell you how much of an honor this was for me. It was great to see all my relatives with their kids. My kids went
horseback riding and four wheeling and made wonderful memories. After the wedding Patti and Nanci came back with me to my new home for a visit and we toured this new city together.
This is all for now. I hope you are having fun in this life time, making memories that count.
Good day to you all and thank you for coming back to my blog. If this is the first time you have entered you may want to start where it says Pg 1 – My Life and follow this story.
The movers came and loaded up the truck and we were on our way for our new adventure in Maryland. We had a long drive ahead of us and decided that we would make a little vacation out of it. I still had four kids and one grandchild moving with me which made me happy. We drove through North
Carolina to see my parents. We were lucky enough to see my parents, my sisters Nanci and Beverly, their kids, and my Aunt Peggy and Uncle Bill. It was a fun reunion with cook outs and swimming and the cousins just hanging out. Since we haven’t lived in the same town with relatives for such a long time, my kids really don’t get a chance to see their cousins, so this was great.
We made it to Maryland, and found our house. This house was the biggest house I think we ever stayed in. We were just renting and it had three floors. But the rooms were so large we were able use the basement as storage. I didn’t unpack everything because Jimmy had a year contract and we were not sure how long we were going to be here. Plus this house had a washer and dryer and refrigerator so we stored ours in the basement. I decided that we had to make an adventure out of this move. After all I am not sure we would ever have the money to visit this far north so what a way to travel and see the United States, just get jobs in different states. So far we have lived in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, and Indiana. We have enjoyed down town Chicago with all the wonderful museums, the River Walk in San Antonio, Mt Scott and buffalo in Lawton, and the wonderful zoo in Indiana, just to name a few.
Our first tourist attraction was going to Washington DC. The White house was a lot smaller than I thought it would be and the neighborhood is nothing to be desired to live in. The Smithsonian Institution was fantastic to see. We enjoyed the dinosaurs, the Egypt exhibits, and the play house for Adias to see and play and learn in. My girls had to see the blue diamond that was on the movie The Titanic.
We went to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, walking along the boardwalk and checking out the ships. We also went to the aquarium with dinner at Planet Hollywood.
Finally I got a job as a Paramedic. It was not an easy thing to do. First the state told me they didn’t accept graduates from any other states. Once I showed them my National Registry Card, they accepted me and I just had to take their protocol test. I found a company called Life Star Response who hired me and while I was waiting on the paper work my job was to clean and stock ambulances. I really didn’t mind that job after all, I have not worked in an ambulance yet so everything to me was still quite new.
I would tell anyone who is going to school for paramedic to work as an EMT first. It was pretty scary to be the one in charge when you have not had any experience. I had a great EMT that showed me the ropes and when we were not on a call I spent my time in the back of the ambulance getting familiar with the equipment.
I got the kids back in school that is Jessica, and Regina. Adias was too young for kindergarten but was enrolled in pre-school, and yes, Erik and Jennifer were busy with jobs and college. Jennifer found it to be a little harder than she thought moving her National Guard from state to stated but I was so glad that she moved with us.
The company I worked for had a family picnic for all its employees not much after I started which gave us something to do and a way to get to know some of my fellow employees a little better. My kids had fun playing games like human wheel barrow and balloon chase. They even had a piñata, face painting and
This was the first year I did a 5k run for Race for the cure Cancer. In October my parents and my grandmother came down for a visit. We had our annual pumpkin carving contest with my grandma and parents carving also. It was a sight to see my grandma with a big knife in her hand as she carved in the
features for her jack o lantern. We gave them a tour of Baltimore by going to the Harbor and showing them the ships stationed there. We even toured a submarine which was a first for me. I have a lot more respect for those men living in such tight quarters.
We resumed life as we knew it with Halloween, costumes and trick or treating on the harbor in one of the big ships. Christmas rolled around and we experimented with making new kinds of Christmas cookies. It was so inspiring to watch Jessica and Regina while they mentored Adias with this project. We were again alone, with really no family around but us, so I tried to keep it special. The ceilings were very tall
in this house so we got a huge tree for the kids to decorate. We didn’t really know anyone here to Christmas carol to so this year we didn’t do it. In fact we lived in a cul de sac with a lot of different religions and cultures.
Meanwhile Kristina graduated college with her bachelors and so Jimmy and I flew in for her special day and for the party her boyfriend threw for her.
Christmas was just around the corner, and Kristina came to see us for the holiday. Also there was my father in law, Joanne, Jimmy’s sister and her daughter Melissa. I had all my kids for the holiday which made me a happy camper. It felt like we were home again. We had a big Christmas dinner, watching
It’s a Wonderful Life, and opening gifts Christmas morning.
This was the first time that I had a job that Jimmy could not get a hold of me right away. So I got the new experience of a cell phone. We also for the first time got a computer. I was never home on time with this job. It seems that the rule was if you got a call up to ten minutes before you were to get off, you would have to take the call. I think almost every day that happened to me and my 12 hour shifts were more like
15 hr shifts. I was given a pager and it seemed like I was always called in on my days off also. I was pretty naïve about these things since I had never worked on an ambulance before. I didn’t know that the pager was calling everyone until one time when I called them back and they told me someone called them back already and was doing the overtime. Wow so I didn’t have to come in when the pager went off. Yes I was that naïve. We did GT calls and I had no idea what that meant but I really enjoyed working with the old people at the nursing homes with the feeling I was making a difference.
The computer was a new toy at my house and after Jimmy got it going it seemed he would never get off of it. Jimmy started to seem a little distant in time. Don’t get me wrong, he would go on my outings but I could tell his heart was not with us. I was too busy to even try and figure it out. I was always working, and on my days off I was trying to make this state that we had moved to, home, the best I could for my kids.
Well the grandkids are calling me. Have a great day and find a youngster to give a big hug to.
Good Morning everyone, I want to thank you for reading my blog. Have you ever heard of Yahoo Answers? It is a sight to answer or ask questions for random people. I asked this sight ‘What advice would you give a person who is trying to get a book noticed’. I still have 3 days for people to answer but I am pretty discouraged by my answers. One person wrote to send flyers around and e-mail random people. I have done that when I first published my book and got negative responses. One person said to drop off copies at libraries, hospitals, and senior centers. I did that with my Alzheimer’s books with negative responses. The next person stated that marketing a self-published book is difficult. Many of the avenues open to traditionally published authors are not available. Chain bookstores won't host signings or carry copies (although they will order them for customers). Newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio don't want your press releases and won't do interviews. The library system won't accept free copies. Writing- or book-related conventions won’t let you set up a sales or autograph table, don’t want you on their author panels, and forbid you giving away promotional material.
So what is a self published author to do? I am afraid that this person is correct. With my Alzheimer’s book I sent it actually to celebrities with some responses for a good review but nothing after that. I
actually went to all the book stores here in Phoenix and got a lot of them to put one or two on their shelves but once they were sold, they did not replace them. I gave a lot away to the hospice homes and some nursing homes in the area but again no response.
So when I decided to write romance books I thought the responses would be different. Yet the book stores will not let me try and sell and sign a poster because my books are e-books which are taking business away from them. I have put flyers on cars, on houses, in hospitals and nursing homes (because I know the nurses who work there) yet no response. Ugh. I am just venting as I am trying to brain storm, how to get my books out into the world to read and enjoy. I am not a popular writer or do I really want to be, but I would love to sell my books with the knowledge that some people really enjoy them and tell their friends to buy them. Well I am done with my soap box, sorry and on with my story.
By the month of May I have been busy with school, work and practical experiences in the field. Kristina graduated college and received her Associates Degree which made me so proud. This girl was working full time and paying her way through school. She didn’t plan on stopping there, she wanted her bachelors.
Regina actually had a fifth grade graduation and played her cello for this event. I managed to enjoy these two events in between my busy schedule. We found a day to enjoy at Frontier City, our favorite amusement park and on Fourth of July spent the day at Aaron’s house with his parents and their pool. The food was great and Tom, Aaron’s dad shot fireworks from the back yard. The summer zoomed by with school, work, and trying to find time for summer birthdays. Kristina turned 22 yrs old, Erik turned
18 yrs old and I turned 44 yrs old. Summer passed and fall resumed with the kids going back to school and holidays coming around again. Thank heavens the kids were older. I only had to help Jessica and Regina get dressed up while the other three took care of themselves. Yes we still enjoyed getting dressed up in costumes and carving pumpkins. But my heart was not into it as much as usual, I had too much on my mind with school. I had finals to study for and this was important to me. Finally in
October I graduated Paramedic School. This was something to celebrate. My parents came down to see this graduation. You see for my mom this was a dream come true. When I was in high school, I did not get to walk and graduate with the rest of my class because I had to take summer school. I had trouble with the History class and I needed to pass this course to graduate high school. I know my parents were devastated that they never got to see their first born with a gown and hat. So my mom was thrilled to see me with a graduating class finally.
Finally I really enjoyed Thanksgiving with Aaron’s parents and some of their relatives and we played games and danced and I finally got to enjoy my family again.
During December I had my customers over for a great Christmas dinner, part of a way to say thank you for putting up with me, and for still being my customers. I was still their beautician and was not leaving that job yet. I still had to take the National Registry Boards before I could work.
Christmas was fun again while making cookies and decorating the tree and having our traditional Christmas Eve. Only thing now was Jimmy lost his job and had to go looking for a new one which he found in Chicago. I was determined not to move the kids again. Erik was going to graduate high school in June and I didn’t think it was fair for him to have to finish his last half of the year at another school. So after celebrating Jimmy’s birthday he left without us, and moved in with his mom and dad. Actually what we did was celebrate all January birthdays in 1999 at one time before he left. We did have a special birthday for Adias who turned three and Regina had a glow in the dark bowling for her 12th birthday.
I was missing Jimmy so I planned a vacation for the two of us. One of the girls I went to paramedic school with told me how cheap she got her trip to Paris. I never left the kids alone before to go anywhere let alone a different country. I made plans and Jimmy and I met in New York on a plane to Paris.
I don’t know how to explain how exciting this was to go to a city that you may have only dreamed about. I guess because my parents or Jimmy’s parents never talked about traveling, I never thought about going overseas. To see the Eiffel Tower in person was amazing. I had it all planned out.
I found this book on travel in Paris and mapped out practically every minute of our short vacation. We were only gone for 5 days, so it was a whirl wind of a vacation. But we visited The Palace of Versailles, with all the beautiful framed pictures on the walls and ceilings and the hall of mirrors. We saw the Grand Trianon Palace, the Arc de Triomphe that Napoleon had constructed to commemorate his victory at Battle of Austerlitz, the eternal flame and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We walked up the curling stairs of the Ace de Triomphe which if Jimmy knew how many stairs it was he would have never done it but the view from the top was amazing. We went to the Place de la Concorde and The Champs-Elysees, which is the famous boulevard in Paris. We went to the Montparnasse Tower, the only sky scraper they had at that time with 59 floors. We saw the Naval Museum and The National Museum of French Monuments. We rode a boat on the Seine River and watched all artists as they painted. We saw the Notre Dame Cathedral and across from that was the Deportation Memorial. This was sad because this is the place the Nazi killed French victims with a sign saying ‘Forgive but never forget’.We walked down the Latin Quarter, checked out The Cluny Museum with its medieval art, stained glass and tapestries. We
checked out the Sainte Chapelle a gothic church architecture built from 1242 to 1248 for St Louis lX and suppose to hold the Crown of Thorns. We saw the oldest clock which was built in 1334 and still keeps accurate time. We walked into the Conciergerie prison which was used to torture and execute failed assassins. Marie Antoinette was imprisoned there before the guillotine. One of my favorites was the Louvre, Europe’s oldest and biggest museum. We found the Mona Lisa under shatter proof glass. This place was amazing with all the pictures and sculptures and Egyptian master pieces. I can't even begin to describe how beautiful the building was before even going inside.
We saw so much history and beauty around us. I wish I could put all the pictures on here for you, but than you would probably get bored. It is not the same as seeing it with your own eyes. We tried so many
pastries and French food and of course we found a McDonalds. We had fun only I could tell that Jimmy’s heart was not really on this little vacation we were on. Maybe it was because we were apart or because of his job in Chicago. He did say that next time he would like to not run around so much, and sit back and enjoy the view, but I wanted to see everything with the fear I may never be back again.
We flew back on May 3, 1999, and went our separate ways with Jimmy going back to Chicago and me back to Oklahoma. Mean while there was a big tornado running through Oklahoma. This tornado became a F-5 touching down Chickasha, Midwest City, Moore, Oklahoma City, Dell City and Tinker Air Force Base. I was so scared for my children being alone during this storm mixed with guilt feelings. Jenny who was in the National Guard had to work in the area afterwards keeping looters away from the destroyed homes. Jimmy did come back home for Easter.
Our house was for sale and were still letting people look at it. When June came Jimmy brought his mother in town with him to see Erik graduate high school. It was so hard for me to see that I now had three children that were grown. I was not ready for the adult stage of children, I still loved all the kid things we grew up doing.
Meanwhile Jimmy found another job in Maryland, and we finallly sold our house getting ready to move again. Jessica and Regina played the last year at this soft ball league in Oklahoma, the girls I went to
paramedic school with had a good-bye party for me with dinner at a place called Show Guns. We went to Arcadia beach one last time and spent the 4th of July at Frontier City with friends. The girls at the beauty shop I worked at had a goodbye party for me with a giant cookie saying good bye on it. Tom and Willogene, Aaron’s parents had us over one last time for dinner and swimming in their pool. We had one last big party celebrating the birthdays for the summer with Kristina, Erik and mine. Even our Sunday school group had a goodbye party for us.
Then I got a distressing phone call. Jimmy’s mother fell at home, hit her head and died instantly. This was so hard on Jimmy. It was hard on my also, after all these people have always been here for me when ever I needed them. Jimmy's dad was devistated, and Joann, Jimmy's sister was a total wreck. Jimmy and I flew in quickly to see her before she was cremated. It was not an easy job to get the pictures together and the music for her memorial, yet her service was beautiful.
Finally it was time for us to pack and travel for our new adventure. This was a hard move because it
broke my heart to leave Kristina behind. Kristina only had a year left of school and we couldn’t pay for her college and she didn’t want to take classes over again and pay for them again so she decided to stay. This was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. She moved in with Aaron and the other 2 boys that lived in that apartment and I had to leave for the first time without all my babies.
OK this is enough for today. I hope I haven’t bored you with my little story. Keep smiling and remember somebody loves you so love them back with your whole heart.
How are you doing today? Here in Phoenix the mornings are cool but the days have been in the upper 60’s or low 70’s. I think I heard on the radio that the ground hog saw his shadow so we should have six more weeks of cold weather. I am in for that because it does really get hot here, and I am enjoying this comfortable weather right now.
It is October 1997, and I am enrolled in Paramedic school. I know this will be hard for you to understand, but I was excited and scared at the same time. After all the years of growing up and having trouble with school I knew that this was one of the biggest challenges I will ever have. I don’t remember things right away after I read them, I have trouble memorizing and I am not good with math. So I decided I needed to take a math class along with my paramedic class. I was only there a month before they showed us a piece of paper with what looked to me like squiggly lines. It was called electrocardiogram readings. I knew I was in trouble now. So with my slow mind, I had to come up with a plan to study and pass this course. I decided that I would study at the Denny’s Restaurant in town. I found that when I tried to study at home I could not concentrate. Either one of my kids needed me for something, or I would notice laundry to be done or dishes in the sink and I would end up giving in. But at the restaurant, all I could hear was the soft piped in music.There were no cell phones yet so if the kids needed me they would have to call the restaurant and that only happened once.
I don’t think I have ever been as busy as that year at school while working at the beauty shop and going to school. I had to study on other days because I learn differently than other people, and I still had a family. I think I missed a lot with my children that year. I mean we still carved pumpkins, and even I got dressed up as we went trick or treating and we had the main holidays with Thanksgiving when my mother in law and my sister in law came down for the holiday. I had a Christmas dinner for the crew at the beauty shop.That was the least I could do to show my appreciation for letting me go to school and helping me with my customers. We still made it fun decorating the Christmas tree, this year with Aarons help, and making Christmas cookies. Of course we still had our Christmas Eve tradition, which was church, than dinner at my house consisting of subway sandwiches, pickles, chips and homemade Christmas cookies and to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. We always invited people over and this year we had Aaron’s parents over along with purple grandma and Jason, Adias’s dad. But I felt like it came and went so fast. My mind was on school. In fact I was hardly at home much during the week. Between work, school, and studying I
don’t think my kids or husband got to see me too much. I told myself this was the year of sacrifice. I would have to sacrifice my time with my loved ones so I could pass. You would probably laugh if you saw the way I would have to study. I would read the chapters, than answer the questions at the beginning and end of the chapters, than write things down that I thought were important. Next I would make out my own test, which would really be hard. This would be done over and over again, until I had my test at school, which I would pass and then start over this again for the next few chapters.
The waitresses at Denny’s were really kind to me. They actually got use to seeing me on the same days at the same times and would have my table waiting for me with a coke.
As school went on I started to put index cards around the mirror of my station so that I could study in-between customers. I had so many things to memorize and my customers gave me so much support. Than the ride along started in ambulances, not counting the hours I had to put into the Emergency Room, Cardia floor, Pediatrics, Labor & Delivery, and Operating Room just to name a few. Sometimes my customers would have to change the day I was supposed to do their hair because school was getting so demanding and sometimes they would have to let another beautician do their hair that week. This also meant that I was not home too much for Jimmy or my children. I had to keep my mind focused on what I was learning so I could pass. I felt like I was called to do this and I was not going to let anything stop me, but deep inside I was missing my family.
Jessica’s birthday came and I still managed to let her have an overnight birthday party with her friends.
Jimmy’s turned 45 yrs old and I even managed to have a surprise party for him. Jennifer now turned 19 and a month later her daughter turned two years old. Jennifer was working and doing her once a month weekend drills. When she was gone for the weekend the kids took over taking care of Adias. March flew by with Regina’s eleven birthday and warm weather so that we could have an old fashion birthday party in the back yard with all the usual games and fun. For added fun we let Regina and her friends make the pizzas they were going to eat.
This year we let Regina learn the Cello. We found that this school was letting the kids do this for free. I didn’t need to buy one, they let her borrow one. I wish I could have let my other children have this chance. She seemed to excel at this instrument and enjoy it.
Finally we were getting a break from school in April and I wanted to get away from everything and just enjoy my family that I was missing. So we took the kids to Dallas and had fun at Ripley’s Believe it
or Not Museum. I missed Jimmy also, we didn’t seem to have much time for intimacy but I knew that it would not be forever.
My days were dragged on again with work and school which seemed to be my main focus on life. I missed my family. I missed cleaning house. I missed making meals. I also enjoyed learning so many new things. I told myself I was going to make a difference.
We had practical’s that we did on each other. For instance we would pretend that someone was having a stroke or heavy bleeding or cardiac arrest. We would practice on each other with one of us being the patient and the rest of us the EMT's on scene as to what we were supposed to do. We had manikins to
practice intubation and plastic arms to practice putting in IV’s. We had a monitor simulator that would give us differant cardiac rhythms so we could be prepared as to what drug to give and if we should shock or not. This was so exciting and I loved all what I was learning; I just hated missing my family.
Well this is enough for today. I am pretty busy on my ambulance. Oh yea, in my e-book called A Struggle of the Heart I share some of the experiences I had while going to school. Remember that if you want to make a difference give your whole heart.
Hello again as we share another gift of life together. I hope this day finds you well. On with my story.
I signed up again for EMT I class which started that January. It was now the year 1997 and our January birthdays begin. Jessica turned 13 and I did something silly for her. When I was in school, although my birthday was in August so I never got to share my birthday during the school year, the birthday kid wore a birthday ribbon which was pinned to their shirt. This ribbon consists of a big bow followed by streamers of ribbon layered with candy tapped to them. This ribbon would be long and hit the floor and just covered with different kinds of candy and gum. I am pretty sure she took it off once I left the school building, but I am also pretty sure she had fun sharing the candy with her class mates.
Jimmy had his 44th birthday and Jenny had her 18th birthday. Before we knew it February came around and little Adias turned one year old. It was fun with a first birthday party full of teenagers at the house along with purple grandma and Jason. Jessica and Gina seemed to have fun with this child, like she was their little sister, taking Adias to the park and putting her on the rides. March came around with Regina’s birthday and getting her ears pierced. In April we had a picnic at Mt Scott and ran around The Holy City, and May shot by with Jennifer going to her prom with her new boyfriend and her best girl friend.
Finally Jennifer was going to graduate high school. The high school had a special dinner for all the teenage moms who actually finished school with flowers and a special award given. This was such a proud experience for Jenny. A week later we watched Jenny walk down the aisle for her graduation and yes we were / are very proud of her. We had her graduation dinner that day at Olive Garden and later the next week we went as a family for paint ball wars.
The next week after graduation I cut Jenny’s hair so that on June 1 she would be ready to leave for the army.You see while Jenny was in her senior year she signed up for the National Guard. Having Adias, Jenny had to learn to be more responsible and she knew that she needed more than a high school diploma to take care of her child. Jason, Adias father, did not walk down the aisle with Jenny to
graduate, so she couldn’t depend on him to help with their baby. I already made it clear that we could not pay for college so the next best thing was to have the army pay for it. This was a difficult choice to make, but Jenny also knew that I would take care of her baby, my grandchild while she was gone, and that she was leaving to make a better life for her and her child.
So on June first, after the tears and goodbyes, Jenny left us and her baby for a new adventure while we promised to keep her informed how her baby was growing up. We decided to make a garden in the back yard, something I hadn’t done in a long time. This was going to be our new family project for the summer. I also finally graduated EMT-I school and you have no idea how excited I was.
The summer was full of adventures to the zoo and the play ground and working on the garden. I was pretty busy with work and taking care of a one year old with my underlying worry about Jenny being so
far away. Adias was more like one of the kids instead of being a grandkid. With every trip with we took, my kids took Adias as one of their sibling and would help her and have fun with her.
Jessica and Regina got back into their softball teams and took turns letting Adias sleep with them, play with her in the swimming pool or hold her while watching TV. I found these post cards in the store that had a sticky front so you can put a picture on it before sending them in the mail. So as we went to the zoo or to the park or when the kids were helping Adias blow bubbles or go swimming, I would take a picture and place them on the post cards and send Jenny a card every day while she was gone. I didn’t want her to feel left out, or feel like she was not a part of her child’s life. I didn’t want her to miss anything and to let her know that we were proud of her. I am pretty sure she enjoyed getting my daily pictures in the mail.
Kristina turned 21 yrs old that July. Time was really going fast to me. Aaron found a place for us to go to
celebrate her 21st birthday so we had dinner at Indian Hills Restaurant. This is when Kristina had her first glass of wine.
Sometimes while in the middle of your life, even though you may be busy God works at getting your attention. This man came up to me and asked me for some money to eat breakfast. I have seen people on the street corners holding up signs asking for money and I would pass money out the car window but no one actually came up to me before. He had a wife and two children. Jimmy and I took them to McDonalds for breakfast. I listened to their story and I felt a twinge in my heart. All I could do was cry. I felt like I needed to take them out and enjoy life for a while. So I took them to the Oklahoma Zoo with my kids. I made a picnic lunch and we actually had fun with them. But I didn’t have the courage to have them come home with us so we put them up in a hotel and tried to figure out how else we could help them.
I tried the next day to help him get a job but he didn’t have a green card and I was so naïve I didn’t know that he was here illegally. They were trying to get to California to where he had relatives to stay with. I dropped off dinner that night and after Jimmy and I talked we came up with the money they needed. It felt so good to help them.
By July 31 we were on our way to Ft Jackson to watch Jenny graduate boot camp. I was nervous but also excited. We packed up for the trip, brought all the kids and Adias and found a hotel for the night. I remember waiting for her, with so much anticipation, and how happy I felt when I finally got to put my arms around her for a big hug. She was so happy to see her baby again. Jenny looked so thin, but she said she felt great. My mom and dad and my sisters and their kids also came for her graduation. It was like one big party with all of us together again. But it was also a teary goodbye as we had to leave without her not really sure where they were going to send her next for her AIT training.
Back home the garden was growing. The ears of corn were taller than Jessica and the cucumbers decided to take over my garden. We were getting to know Aaron parent’s better now, with Aaron and Kristina getting so serious. I was talking to Willogene on the phone complaining about how the cucumbers took over my garden so she asked us over and to please bring her a basket of our cucumbers and said she would show us how to make pickles. It was such a wonderful afternoon swimming in her pool and learning to make and can pickles.
In August I met a couple of new people that were homeless. I remember seeing them in the park alone, looking cold and hungry. So I got talking with them and helped them get into a shelter. But they had two children and didn’t like to be separated. Somehow I felt like I could not trust the husband so I let him go back to the shelter but let the mother and her two children come and stay with us. This was not an easy task with five children living in our home. The mother had a head full of thick red curly hair and full of lice. So when the beauty shop was closed I took her inside and it took about a couple of hours to wash and pick out all the eggs from her hair. At home I did her kids and a week later I took her husband into the shop and just took a razor to his head. We let the husband borrow my bike as he was trying to get back and forth to the shelter. It seems back than you could only be in the shelter from 7pm to 6am. Then you had to leave and you were on your own.
Finally Jimmy and I decided that we would help them get on their feet. They moved into our living room which was a separate room off the family room with a door that could shut and this room had a couch that opened up into a bed along with a TV set so they could have their privacy. I guess I was so naive I would leave my kids with the woman to baby sit when I went to work, and would have her make meals for all of them. On my days off I tried to help the man get a job. Finally Jimmy helped him get a job at his bakery. We let him take my car back and forth to work. The plan was they were to live with us and give us half their pay check with the intentions of us giving it back to them when they were ready to live on their own, you know so we could save it for them. Finally they wanted to leave. So Jimmy found a place for them to stay. We tried to get them the basics like plates and silverware, pots and pans, towels, you know things like that, before they moved in. We paid up front to the man who was letting them rent a couple of months with the intention that the tenants were going to keep paying rent. Also this place was close enough for this man to walk to work. I mean Jimmy and I both prayed and discussed this for a while before we did anything. I remember bringing it up at our Sunday school class and they had to have a meeting on this and came up with $300 to help this family. The day came and we helped them move out. We got a call a week later from the apartment complex. The family moved out without saying anything. The husband didn’t go back to work either. He just stopped showing up. My kids told me that they were missing money from their room when the family was living with us and I didn’t mention that the husband totaled my car. I don’t have any regrets about trying to help them, but I have learned that I have to be more responsible about things like this.
I had changed beauty shops and I heard that my old boss was having trouble with her daughter and threw her out of her home with both of her daughters (my old boss's grandchildren). These kids were around the same age as my two youngest children and this really hurt my heart. So I put some bunk beds into my girl’s room and the four little girls shared a bed room as I took them in and gave their mother my Jenny’s bed to sleep in. Unfortunately this didn’t have a good ending either. This mother started on her drugs again and had to go to a rehab again and the girls were taken from us. I started to learn that life is a lot harder than I thought. To see these people with all these problems and to try to help with negative results blew me away. I don’t understand people but I still love them. I finally learned that we have to accept people how they are and that we can’t always put our feet into their shoes but we can still be compassionate and love.
Jenny finally came home and as we celebrated Halloween she dressed her baby in an army uniform to match hers. We also had our annual pumpkin carving contest only Erik decided this year to paint his instead. I also started Paramedic school and was ready for the challenge.
I shall let you go now. I hope I am not boring you to bad. I am a normal person with a normal life like everyone else, but I am hoping to show you what love is all about. Look at that stranger in the street, and try to put your shoes on his/ her feet. Can you understand them? They were brought up different than you, but that doesn’t make them a bad person. Have a great day and thank you for reading my blog.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &