Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Meant to be...in due time

"what is meant to be, will be".

What a leap of faith! Just to trust that everything meant for you will be...to not be anxious or worrisome or full of fear. I know I've had it happen to me....wondering about something to happen tomorrow or next year....how will it work out...will it work out at all? Only to be surprised not only by the outcome, but also the time and event of it all. Sometimes it is something completely different than you would have prayed for or thought about, sometimes it's just not when you would have wanted it.

We are so smart these days aren't we? We want complete control over our lives, but do we really know what we are doing? There is no PhD major in life my friends and the rules change daily!

My friend Terry and I were just talking the other day about some "slam books" she found from when we were in middle school. Remember those? Anyway, we were laughing at how differently our lives had turned out from what we thought they would be. We started thinking back to our college years and what we thought we were going to be doing. I'll tell you right now, I'm glad my dreams of being a doctor did not work out. I was completing final applications to enroll in a Immunology program 2 weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Kyleigh. Talk about switching around plans!

You know, had I been able to execute my plans, I would probably be a workaholic, no kids, no marriage and completely judged by my profession. I would be a mess in other words. Thank God for those unanswered prayers!!

Let's give thanks that our lives are meant to be and everything is done according to God's will and not ours!

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Addition to Our Family

Got your attention with that one didn't I :-)

No guys, I'm not pregnant (wouldn't that be some act of God!). Sometimes I randomly get on Craigslist just to check out all of the different deals. This weekend, I got on and ran across a male pug in need of adoption. His owner is sick and lost her job is is no longer able to take care of him. My heart goes out to her. I cannot imagine having to give my Haley pug to someone else. I am overwhelmingly grateful to be in a situation where we can take him and take care of him the way she would want to. She asked a TON of questions to make sure we would be good fit for him and would give him good care. I am happy to say we past her standards and she is bringing him to us this weekend! His name is Bozwell (Bozzie for short) and is quite the solid pug. Haley is a petite 15 pounds and Bozzie is more like 30...this should be interesting!
The girls are so excited. They have wanted another dog for quite a while, but our life has just been crazy and it's not been the right time to get one. I just couldn't let this guy go by.
So wish us luck with our new boy. We are making things even up in the house, it's now 3 boys to 4 girls :-) Check out the pics below:

Handsome boy!!

Looks to be as lazy as our Haley pug

Our sweet Haley above will have a new sleeping partner!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Always remembered - a long one

So, a lot has happened since my last post on Christmas. It feels like it has all been a blur. Dad finally showed back up at home, but ended up in the hospital the next day. When they did a brain scan, they found "too many tumors to count". We tried a few treatments of radiation, but it didn't seem to help. Dad was confused about time and place, but still knew everyone that came into the room. He was there, but he wasn't....like he was half in our world and half in another. It's so hard to see your Dad like that. He had overcame so many things in his life. He had not missed one day of work while going through chemo for cancer in both lungs, lymph nodes, liver and bones.
I walked in that next Sunday and he was very agitated by the commotion around him. He was a very independent man, so to have everyone over him making a fuss was something he would have never wanted. I walked up to the bed and rubbed his arm and said "Dad, I'm back". He rolled over and looked at me and said "If you're back, I'm back." That is the last time I would hear his voice and look him in the eye and know he was there.
We moved him to a hospice facility that next day. Everyone there was so nice and just wanted to make Dad as comfortable as possible. I came home for a couple of days to give my girls a break (they have been with us the entire time) and to let everything sink in. It was nice to have some time to myself to work through everything. Just the emotional impact is a lot to take in, add in the financial/legal/medical aspects of all of this and being in charge of it all and you have a recipe for prescription meds!
I had been in contact with the hospice facility several times a day to check in and ended up going back home on Thursday. I stayed overnight with him, my cousin Martha and my grandma. I really didn't know much about any of that side of the family before all of this. We sat up those two nights (out of fear of the whole situation mostly) and shared stories. I heard about my Dad growing up and all about my grandma and cousin and other family members I was only a forgotten acquaintance with. I am sad about the circumstance, but I wouldn't give that time up for anything.
We were sitting around on Saturday afternoon. I was on one side of Dad and my grandmother on the other. A lady walked in that Dad had worked with several years ago (my Dad has the BEST co-workers I have ever met. They have all been unbelievably supportive and I couldn't have made it through all of this without them). She walked up to Dad and said "sorry I'm late. I was on my way home and heard you were here and was pulled to come see you. Again, sorry I'm late, but I'm here now." At that moment, she was able to release the grip my grandmother had on my Dad (none of us could even pull her from the bed). Within a minute, he let go himself.
That night, I just wanted to be by myself. I drove out to my old high school and sat for 4 hours and just cried. They were tears of joy and sorrow. Joy because I knew my Dad was in a better place where he was not suffering anymore. Sorrow because our time on this earth was over and I already missed him.
I had to plan the funeral and really wanted to honor my Dad and make it personal. Having never planned a funeral before, and only really ever going to 2 my entire life, I wasn't sure I was doing the right things, but I prayed about it. I prayed for guidance to honor my Dad the way he would have wanted no matter what.
On Monday, the funeral service took place complete with Dad in his "It's 5 o'clock somewhere" t-shirt and boat shoes. I picked music that was personal to him and was very humbled to have a close co-worker officiate the service. We had so many of his work family come along with our family. It really was a celebration of my Dad's life.
We cleaned out his apartment this week. My Dad was not a very materialistic man (with the exception of his prize Mustang). We were going through his car cleaning supplies and found a stack of books. Among these was a book from his rehab stay (Dad had a tough time with alcohol abuse. Mary Francis was a rehab facility in Tarboro that was a God sent miracle for him. Without them, I would never have had the time with my Dad that I did). Here was his 12 step book complete with letters from people that were in his class, like a yearbook. To read the personal writings from these people and know and understand what my Dad overcame is priceless to me. That book is now my prized possession.
I am home now and with mixed feelings. I'm sure this will all hit me one day and I won't know what to do with myself. I know every time I am at the beach, see a mustang or look at my girls I will think of him.
Here's to the man that set the woods on fire as a boy, had to bring a U haul full of beer to a mountain trip, loved racing, would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it, overcame incredible odds, was proud of his work and his work family, loved the beach and loved me more than I ever knew. I will miss him always, but I am so grateful for our time.
Everyone reading this, please use this as a reminder to be so very thankful for all of your blessings and those people in your life. If you would have asked me 10 years ago it would have all turned out this way I never would have believed it. Follow your heart and forgive, mend those relationship you think are not worth it and remember every life is worth a second chance. Those 7 good years with Dad were more important than any pride we had before or hurt we felt. I don't even remember anything before because it's not important. I will remember him always as I have gotten to know him these last precious few years, as the best Dad I could have ever had.