Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – Blessings

blessingsAs Mom’s hospital stay began to get better I was able to look at the week and reflect on the blessings we had.

I am thankful she fell. If she would not have fallen we would not have known that her blood pressure would bottom out when she stood. This could have caused more damage than the fall or worse it could have killed her. So, yes, I am thankful she fell so the doctors could find the problem and fix it.

We were blessed with some good doctors in the ER. Dr. Padgett was the one that decided she needed to stay overnight. If it weren’t for him, Mom would have come home and maybe fallen again and we would have never known about the blood pressure issue or her being dehydrated.

We were blessed with some amazing nurses and technicians. These ladies were God sent. They were so attentive to mom and my family.

The first tech we had, Trish went to the same church that long time family friends attend. She prayed for my mom right there in the room. Trish prayed several times with our family as she attended to Mom.

The night nurse, Melissa was fantastic. She was the nurse on duty when I spent the night with mom. We ran her to death. Melissa was in Mom’s room every 30 minutes making sure everything was ok, trying to settle mom down or taking mom to the bathroom. Melissa did this with a smile and had the patience like none other.

Hanna, Sue, Alice, Amber, Angela, Jenny and Taylor were all amazing. Taking care of Mom and even us. They all went above the call of duty. My family was blessed to have such a great team of care givers. Not one nurse or tech was unpleasant. They all walked into the room with a smile on their face and treated Mom like a queen.

I was blessed to meet the ‘environmentalist’, Martina. She came in to clean Mom’s room. She and I had a nice chat. I discovered that she missed Church Sunday morning because she switched shifts to help a co-worker. I said I missed Church too. She asked why mom was there. I shared our story. She cried with me and asked if she could pray for us. I gladly said ‘yes’. Martina mentioned that she would add Mom to her church prayer list.

We are blessed to have such a great family. So many calling to check on Mom. A lot of emails have been sent with their concerns and prayers. Many of them coming to the hospital to visit mom and to check on us.

My folks are blessed with great friends. Many calling almost every day to check on both of them.

Blessed that my folks church family is so supportive and for the continuous prayers.

We are blessed with the jobs my siblings and I have, that allowed us to stay with Mom anytime we needed to.

There have been so many people involved over the past week that we were blessed with. I know I am not remembering all of them. If I left anyone out, just know you have been a blessing to me and my family.

I am blessed to have readers like you that support me and show your love and understanding with likes and comments.

I am humbled by the out-pouring love, concern and prayers for my family.


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40 Things Money Can’t Buy

It’s been another busy week. As I am finally settling down to relax, my mind shifts to my surroundings and I think of all the money I have spent on ‘stuff’. Stuff that really has no other purpose than to make my home feel aesthetically pleasing.

I look around and realize that most of the “stuff” I have I don’t need. I can live without the mirror in the hall, I don’t have to have a picture/photo on every wall. I really don’t need all these trinkets/knickknacks on every shelf. I don’t even need the shelf.

No Money

This made me think of things that I don’t spend money on and how much joy I have by NOT spending money on “stuff”.

  1. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.
  2. Listening to the leaves blow on the trees
  3. Seeing “The Kid” smile
  4. Spending time with my mom and dad
  5. Listening to dad tell a funny story
  6. Listening to mom talk about her siblings
  7. Laughing with my sister
  8. Listening to music with my brother
  9. Seeing a beautiful sunset
  10. Having a great conversation with one of my cousins
  11. Learning something new
  12. Spending time in prayer
  13. Watching my great nephew play with his Papaw
  14. Watching the ducks/geese play at our local park
  15. Sharing a meal with a loved one
  16. Accomplishing a task  
  17. Helping my neighbor with a chore
  18. Opening up the windows and doors on a beautiful spring day
  19. The smell of a freshly cut lawn
  20. Watching the success of my niece and nephew
  21. Listening to my Mom’s siblings sing from old recordings
  22. Hearing a great sermon preached
  23. Taking a long hot shower
  24. Going through old photos
  25. Singing, even though I sound terrible
  26. Dancing in the kitchen with “the Kid”
  27. Making my mom laugh
  28. A good night’s rest
  29. A good day’s work
  30. People watching
  31. Making my “To-do” lists for the week
  32. Quiet time to reflect
  33. Taking a drive…..Yes, I know I spent money on the gas.
  34. Taking photos on my drive
  35. Taking a walk
  36. Writing a blog
  37. Seeing my family having fun and making memories
  38. Getting organized
  39. Listening to music
  40. Being surrounded by God’s creations.

As I write this, my house is open, the sun is shining through. I hear cyclist on the bike path, children playing on my street. A soft cool breeze is blowing through the house. I smell someone grilling out for the first time this year. I also smell one of my neighbors baking a cake or cookies. I hear “The Kid” laughing in his room while he plays an on-line game.

I have heard a great sermon and listened to some great music. I have made mom laugh today. I have achieved a few tasks and now off to fix food for my loved ones.

Could my day be any better?  I don’t think so. And I didn’t spend a penny. I have had a full enriched, joyful day. The best part, it’s not over yet.

How do you find your joy without spending any money?


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My Journey: Mom and Dad – Music At Home

To set the stage: As most of you know my mom, her brothers and sisters sang in church or whenever there was 2 or more of them everywhere they went. I grew up listening to my Aunts and Uncles singing, in their homes to us kids (cousins) and in church. We were surrounded by music.  I loved it.

When my Aunts and Uncles were sick in the hospital, nursing home or at home a few of them would gather and sing to the ailing one. This brought joy to all that was in attendance. It brought peace and joy to the one in bed. It brought comfort to the ones singing and joy to the ones listening. It was a beautiful, inspirational, moving and heartfelt moment.

A couple of weeks ago Dad had an appointment and needed someone to set with Mom. None of us kids could do it since it was during the day and we were all working. Dad called a family friend from their church, Ms. Rhonda. She graciously accepted the invitation to be with Mom a few hours.

Mom and Ms. Rhonda shared a lovely visit but Ms. Rhonda went above the call of duty. From her visit she walked away with a request my mom had and took on that challenge. My mom told Ms. Rhonda that see wanted someone to come sing to her. Within hours of their visit Ms. Rhonda was on the phone contacting the Dye family. You remember the Dye’s? I featured Daniel a couple of Mondays ago.

Shortly after the call, I have Amy reaching out to me asking what Mom’s favorite hymns are. Amy and I chatted a few minutes and I met up with her a couple of days later to share my mom’s family music with her and provide her a list of songs.

Within 24 hours of our meeting, 6 Dye family members were at Mom and Dad’s house singing for Mom. That’s right, I said 24 hours. The Dye’s prepared 7 songs and learned a new song within those 24 hours. This family is amazing to say the least.

The Dye’s visited for a while, shared some stories and listened to a few stories as well. We all laughed and even cried. They were there for about an hour but what an uplifting, spiritual moving visit it was.

The Dye family singing for Mom

The Dye family singing for Mom

I am forever grateful for Ms. Rhonda making that phone call and for the Dye family excepting the challenge. You all are a gift from God and my little family is forever blessed to know you.

Thank you Ms. Rhonda for getting the ball rolling and for taking the time to spend with my Mom. You are a sweetheart and a true servant of God. If it weren’t for you our family would not have had such a special visit and a wonderful spiritual uplifting.

Thank you Dye family. Thank you for bringing joy and music into my mom’s home. You gave her something our family could not. That was a family singing to someone that is sick. Since my mom no longer has her sisters to sing to her and there are only 2 brothers left, it’s hard to have them sing to her. You warmed her heart with song. Thank you for that. Thank you for the kind words and loving my family.

I want to thank the Dye family for allowing me to record their visit and allowing me to share this story and music on my blog.

Here are few songs The Dye’s sang for mom. I hope you enjoy.

https://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/id-rather-have-jesushttps://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/blessed-assurance-this-is-my-storyhttps://soundcloud.com/motherofnecessity/the-sun-will-rise

 


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My Journey: Mom and Dad-Getting Organized

ducks in a rowWhen a family is going through the tragedy of preparing for the final stages before the passing of a loved one, you tend to be overwhelmed and consumed with more important things. Being organized is the last thing you are thinking about.

The past few weeks have been chaotic to say the least for me. Just for my own sanity, I need to get organized. I NEED to have that sense of being in control of something, well anything. Getting my ducks in a row helps me do that.

Here are some things I am currently working on.

This past week I have gathered photos of mom, her family, Dad, us kids and the grandbabies to make a photo slideshow at Mom’s viewing (when the time comes). I have scanned all photos into my computer and have edited each one to make them better.

This was a hard task to do. But also very enjoyable. I got the chance to talk to mom about each photo, listen to stories I’ve never heard before. The best part was, it was like I was seeing these photos for the first time. Looking at them with new eyes. I never realized how pretty my mom is. She and my dad made the cutest couple. The biggest surprise was, I didn’t realize how much my sister looks like mom.

Now the only thing left for the slideshow is picking out a few songs to play while the video is scrolling through. Another tough challenge but I am up for that one. It should be fun listening to some beautiful piano music. Mom just loves a great pianist.

The other thing I am working on is a guest book (so to speak) for Mom/Dad’s house. Since all of kids work, we miss out on visitors to their house during the day. It’s nice for us to know they are not alone.

I was also thinking this is a great way to remember to thank the ones that have stopped by, brought food, helped out with chores or just volunteered to set with Mom while Dad ran some errands.

Not only that, if I don’t send Thank You cards out or miss someone, Mom would be disappointed with me. Mom is very proper when it comes to these sort of things. She always sent out hand written thank you notes within a week. I have some big shoes to fill.

I figured a guest book for their house would be a great easy way for me to stay up on all the visitors. This way the guests can sign in, let us know if they brought food, visited or helped in anyway. And I can be sure to thank them properly.

This weekend I will be bringing a notebook and pen to keep at their house so we can take notes on any arrangements that need to be made, write down songs she would like to have played, jot down anything we deem important or would like to remember and leave notes for the siblings.

I know all of this seems trivial in the grand scheme of things. I will be honest, I thought it was kind of odd too. But I’m here to tell you, it helps. I am not searching my home or purse for that one little piece of paper that had a note on it that mom wanted me to remember.

I will not be rushing around the last minute trying to go through photos (that will tear me apart) to make a slideshow. I know for a fact how hard it is to look through photos just after a death. I have helped a couple of cousins with this. 

I won’t have to worry if I missed someone for Thank You cards. I will have my list. And you all know how much I love lists.

This is just the beginning stages. There will be more challenges ahead. But for this week. I feel like I am on my game. I’m probably not but I do love the sense of control I have with these steps I have taken this week.

I hope in the weeks/months to come I can stay on top of all the balls in the air. Only time will tell. For now this is good thing.

If you have any helpful tips I would love to hear them. I can use any help I can get.


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Taking a Breath

time outWith so much going on lately I decided to just set and take a breath. I needed to reflect on….. Well, everything.

The past few months have been a wild ride. I started a new job, getting adjusted to job, there was a death in the family, Mom and all her health struggles, “The Kid” and all his indecisiveness, unfinished projects and this roller coaster ride of emotions. It’s been overwhelming to say the least.

I realize that what is on my plate most people can slide on by without missing a beat. I do not have that type of personality. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders by choice. I don’t know why but I do. So here I am…Needing that minute to catch up and catch my breath.

I needed to get some perspective, grieve, get caught up and just breathe for a few minutes.

The past few days have been good. I have been able to get a few projects done, started a new project. I gave myself the opportunity to grieve for my uncle and really think about what he had done for me and the family. I had a great conversation with “The Kid” that was long overdue. I am getting more comfortable with the job.

I need to practice what I preach more often. I forgot to reflect on everyday and find the joy in each moment. I was being selfish and only thinking about what I was feeling or doing. I was having a pity party for myself. That is no place to be when you have so much going on. You forget about the little things and focus on the weight you are carrying.

That is not good for anyone. We all need to reflect and take a moment to breathe through the junk so we can find some peace in the crazy around us. 

Once I began to settle into my reflections I realized that I had missed a few blessings this week.

Mom, my sister and I had a great visit the other day. All 3 of us laughed till we cried. I hadn’t seen mom do that in years.  It was a sweet moment to watch and be a part of. It warmed my heart listening to my mom, my sister and I joke around, laugh and have a fun time. I’m going to miss that.

I had a few cousins and some family friends check in on me, just to see how I was doing. What a blessing to have people care for you that they take the time to show you how much.

My new friend at work has been very supportive. She listens to me while I share stories about my family and laughs with me at our goofiness. She is a sweet heart. What a blessing to have a new friend.

What a blessing to have one of my fellow bloggers reach out with such kind, loving words of encouragement. Thank you nopassingfancy.  Check out her blog at…….. https://nopassingfancy.wordpress.com/. 

I am hoping and praying that this week coming up I will be able to stop, take a breath and reflect on the good moments and not hold onto the heaviness of my emotions.

I encourage you to join me on taking a breath to enjoy the things around you.


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My Journey: Mom & Dad-Sharing The News

newsThis past week was a little better for me. The week before had me on a nasty emotional roller coaster ride. I would get up in the morning, get ready for work and everything was fine. After being at work for an hour or 2, thoughts would overwhelm me and I would be weeping at my desk. The next day seemed to go fine but on my drive home I would be in tears again. It was like this the whole week. I was exhausted.

So many thoughts and emotions go through my head, I can’t help but cry. Which leads me to this blog.

I was asked by mom to inform the family that she was in stage 4 Cirrhosis of the liver. I was glad to take that burden off her shoulders. She didn’t need the stress of telling the same diagnosis to 30-40 family members.

Mom also asked me to inform their friends that she and Dad have known for 60 plus years.

For the family I knew it would be too hard even for me to make those phone calls. I decided that I would send one email to everyone.  I know it’s not very personable but I just couldn’t go through those emotions at that time. That was a tough email to write. I am just an amateur blogger. Sometimes words do NOT come easy for me. That email put me to the test.

I was able to conjure up words that made sense and inform almost all the first cousins. (Sad to say that I was only informing cousins because out of the 14 brothers and sister mom has there are only 2 brothers left. Mom informed them of her news). I received many phone calls and emails letting us know that they are thinking and praying for our family.

Within hours of sending the email, I was full of love and support from so many responding. Many telling me that if I needed anything that they would be there for me. That gave me great peace of mind knowing there are so many that are willing to be there for me (mom/dad).  So many shared their love and concerns. So many were heartbroken for Mom and our family.

Shortly after I sent the email, I decided to call Mom and Dad’s friends. These are folks I have known all my life. People that went to school with my parents. A long line of history is there.

Our families would get together and all of us kids would play while the parents would play card games eat, and have a great time. I have so many memories with these families.

My sister and I even had a couple of these ladies helping in our school.  These ladies watched us grow up and helped us become the people we are today. Thank you.

I knew that call was going to difficult. The first call I made was to Mrs. B. I didn’t beat around the bush I just blurted it out……”Mom is in stage 4”. I know I took her by surprise but she was great. Mrs. B helped me. She was saddened by the news but she was very uplifting to me. She took the burden off my shoulders and informed the other friends in the group about mom.

What a blessing. Thank you Mrs. B for lightening my load. Thank you for being so kind and supportive. Thank you for informing others and carrying that load for me.

Once I got off the phone, I was on overload with emotions. The emotions of having to inform so many of such awful news. Worrying how this news would affect them. Saddened by the sorrow so many were feeling that night. Realizing that I had just upset some households, I was beside myself.  My dealing with my own emotions on the severity of this reality.

It’s hard for me to put into words the range of emotions I am going through daily. I am hoping, someday I will be able to vocalize those emotions into written form. But for now, I will stumble through the blogs and my emotions.

Thank you to my readers for your loving and supportive comments, likes and shares. You are fantastic!!!! I know the last few posts have not been the most positive in nature (I’m working on that), Thank you for your understanding.

Just a reminder to myself. I may be a raw emotional wreck, but I have people that love me and want to help. Remember to reflect at the end of the day and look for the little things that made you smile or better yet lightened your load. There are blessings out there, sometimes you have to search for them. Take the time, it will always be worth the look.


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I Just Didn’t Realize

confussedThe other day I asked “The Kid” to look over a blog that I had written about my folks to edit. (He’s my proofreader). He just stood there, silent with a sad look on his face.

I was puzzled by his reaction. I was thinking, well he’s just being a brat and didn’t want to help me. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I asked why? His response surprised me. He said “I can’t” Why not? “It makes me sad and heartbroken.” My heart dropped to the floor. I didn’t realize that for him editing the blogs about my folks hurt so much.

He is a great help to me and the folks. He is always there to lend a hand. He has been checking on me to make sure he is there for me. Always asking if I’m ok or asking if I need anything. So, his response surprised me.

He continues to say that he’s not strong like I am. That it’s not easy for him to read in black and white what is happening to his grandparents and reading how this is affecting his mom.

Poor kid. I didn’t even think about how deeply this was impacting him. I knew he was hurting but I didn’t know how much.

He has watched me have sobbing breakdowns, He has watched me stress, listened to my emotional outbursts all the while staying calm, listening, handing me a tissue and hugging me so often that I’m almost bruised. J He’s the strong one. That’s a lot for a young person to carry.

I am not the strong one. I feel emotions deeply. They cut me off at the knees. I cry in the silence of my own home so no one will see my weakness. I put on a brave face to get through the emotional roller coaster I am on. I smile and joke so I won’t feel the sadness or pain. I blog to get those emotions and thoughts out because I can’t handle them bouncing around in my head.

“The Kid” is stronger than I am. He has been dealing with the news of his grandma (Mimi) very well. Or so I thought. On the outside he is helpful, talkative, kind, loving, and supportive but on the inside he is falling apart. I guess neither one of us are that strong but I know that going through this as mom and son we will be right.

They tell you that that the passing of your parents is painful. I had no idea how much my heart would hurt and they aren’t even gone. This journey will be one of the toughest things I will endure.

Some of you that have already been on this ride, and it’s lingering after effects, know the pain I am talking about. It physically hurts and your brain feels like it’s on fire. Accepting those emotions is another small journey in itself.

You think you are mentally prepared for this journey, But you are not. There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the wide range of emotions and thoughts that run through your head. It consumes you in every way.

There is some good news. That is I have a fantastic support system. I have a wonderful family that loves me unconditionally. I have some of the best prayer warriors out there. I have a son that loves me so much he’s afraid to share his emotions with me because he doesn’t want me to worry or add to the stress level. My folks are the best parents any kid could want. And, I still have time to spend with them and love them even harder than I did before.

I am blessed with riches that some people only dream of having. Every night I am amazed that I made it through the day. With the grace of God, a wonderful family and amazing friends I know tomorrow and the next day will be better. And I will continue to strive to do and be better for my son, my folks and loved ones.

I’m sorry Kid, I just didn’t realize how much you were hurting. I promise to do better and to help you through this. I love you!

P.S. Sorry for any errors on this blog or the past few and future blogs. I no longer have an in house editor.