Monday, April 30, 2012

Am I nosy or concerned?

I am seeking some honest feedback here. Maybe some of you have had a moment like this. I seem to have them often. (Maybe that answers my question.) Anyway, on Friday I went to the daycare to pick up my two youngest.
* Here and now I must say how much we love the woman that takes care of our children. She runs an in home daycare with her grandmother. She is completely professional, absurdly affordable, she teaches them colors, shapes, numbers, letters, the pledge, etc. And she loves my children. I couldn't ask for more. They've been going to her for a year and a half.*
Okay, back to the post. When I arrived she was on her front porch on the phone. This was unusual for her. She is only ever outside with the kids or maybe to take out recycling or trash. It also seemed like a serious conversation. That's just the vibe I got. I gave a little wave and walked into the house. As I walked out the door I was looking down at Dillon's little head. I heard her apologize for his graham cracker face and I joked that I dropped him off with a syrup face, so we were even. Then I looked up at her. Had she been crying? I wanted to ask if everything was okay, but I was halfway down the sidewalk at that point.
I put Dillon in his car seat and walked around to the driver's side. She was still standing on the porch, leaning on the rail. Again, I have never seen her do this, hang out by herself outside. It didn't bother me that she did. I would certainly need to take a break now and then with that many kids in my house. I started the car and waited for Ayden to get settled. As I pulled out of the driveway, I noticed her brush her fingers across her eyes, in a 'wiping tears away' fashion. I shared my concern with Bobby and he shrugged it off, but it is still bothering me.
I want her to be okay, I want her to be happy. I would hate to hear of anything happening to her or her family, not because it would affect me personally (which it could since she cares for my children), but because I care about her. My question for you is - am I incredibly nosy that it bothers me this much or am I caring and compassionate? This is something I've wondered about for some time and I guess I'm at a point in my life where I can deal with the answer I don't like - if that's the case. So, what do you think?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I used to think...

That being a mom was going to be such fun. I thought I'd be young and healthy and have all this energy to play with and enjoy my children. I never knew that young mothers could be afflicted with conditions that would make being a parent difficult. Naive, I know.

After I had Dillon I never felt very good. My energy levels were low and I had a lot of pain in my back, neck, arms, legs. I guess I should just say I had a lot of pain everywhere. I thought it was the way I was sleeping or that I was out of shape. There had to be a logical reason. But the pain got worse and my energy levels got worse. Bobby finally convinced me to go to the doctor where, after blood samples and tests (to rule out other problems), I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Unfortunately there is not a cure for it. It will always be around. I am taking some medication for it that helps reduce the symptoms, but as soon as things get stressful, it comes back full force. Currently my arms feel like rubbery lead (odd combo, I know) and I could have slept all day.

Now ask how this combines with having four boys. Not great. I want to go outside and play with them. I want to run and chase them and play hide and go seek with them. I simply can't. What I am grateful for are the days when I do feel good enough to go for a walk with them. It isn't every day but I enjoy it more because I can't do that every day.

Other times, I admit, I feel as though they are running circles around me. On those days I survive and then I am happy to check on them as they sleep. Boys are always most precious when they are fast asleep, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Month of March

Carol and Bruce Orr (AKA Grandma and Poppy)
Two weeks ago, Bobby's father, Bruce Orr, passed away. Although he had cancer, and had been ill, it still happened very quickly. If I can remember past the whirlwind well enough, it was a month from diagnosis to his passing. We all thought there would be more time. In fact, that was the consolation he offered Bobby when he called with the news. He said, this cancer will be what I die from, but you will have time to get used to the idea of it. None of us felt we had time to wrap our heads around it at all. The last time I saw Poppy was in the hospital. We had taken the kids down after he had surgery, before his chemo, to visit him. He was tired but had a big smile for all of us. Bobby taught the little ones how to give him big hugs around his neck, so they wouldn't disturb his many tubes. He looked fondly on all the children. He spoke kindly and softly to them, as was his way. He shared his chocolate milk and ginger ale with them. He let Ayden and Dillon push his 'happy button' (his morphine line) then gave them a goofy grin and said it made him loopy. They giggled, hugged him goodbye and that was all. This song came on the radio yesterday and reduced me to tears. (The brackets are where I changed the words to express how I felt.)

[Last Wednesday evening] they let me know you were gone
[The busy] plans they made put an end to you
I woke up this morning and wrote down this song
I just can't remember who to send it to

I've seen fire and I've seen rain
Seen sunny days that I thought would never end
Seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought I'd see you again

Won't you look down on my Jesus you got to help me make a stand
You just got to see me through another day
My body's aching and my time is at hand
I just can't make it any other way
~James Taylor

That last verse is for Bobby. He has struggled to come to terms with losing his father. Having faith in our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) softens the pain of death. I know Poppy is in a better place. I know he no longer feels ill or tired. I know he has important work to do. However, it doesn't make the fact that we miss someone any easier. I shared with Bobby the parts that were difficult about losing my mother. I admitted to feeling jealous sometimes when I see my friends with their mothers, or grandmothers cheering for their grandchildren at sporting events. There are many times I have a question and want to call my mother so badly, but I can't. I know Bobby is going to encounter similar things. And it will hurt. But it will be fleeting.

Poppy's funeral was nice. Everyone had wonderful things to say about him. How could they not? He was a wonderful man. He touched many lives through his work, his military service, his church callings, and friends of his children's that felt his love, not to mention his own family. He was quiet, thoughtful, compassionate, considerate and humble. He was faithful. He loved his wife immensely and spoiled her as much as he could. The two were inseparable. The world needs more men like him. At his funeral one of my favorite hymns was sung, "O My Father". By the time we got to the last verse, I could only think of my mother and Bobby's father and could no longer sing. Choked up, I tried to get through it:

When I leave this frail existence,
When I lay this mortal by,
Father, Mother, may I meet you
In your royal courts on high?
Then, at length, when I've completed
All you sent me forth to do,
With your mutual approbation
Let me come and dwell with you.
~text: Eliza R. Snow

Then, Bobby's sister Teresa read a poem that Poppy used to read to the kids at bedtime. She expressed that he sent them off to sleep with this poem so it was only fitting that they send him off the same way. It was "Winkin' Blinkin' and Nod". At this point I was digging my nails into my palms so I wouldn't cry out loud. Before leaving we paused to get a photo of all the kids with their mom.
Ryan, Greg, David, Bobby, Mom, Eric, Liz, Teresa

As we arrived at the cemetery for the graveside service it had become very cold and overcast outside. Most of us had dressed for the mild spring weather we'd been having, so Bobby chuckled that it was Poppy's last laugh at us. His father was sent off with a 21 gun salute, a full military funeral. Bobby's brother Greg was the one to present the flag to his mother and it was beautiful.
The brothers all put their coats around the women and children to keep us from shivering. Uncle Eric went and got another jacket out of his car for Ayden and Dillon, and once again, amidst the tears, there were smiles and chuckles and love. Poppy would have been pleased.

Poppy had his time here on earth. He brought six, beautiful, successful children into this world. He worked hard at his career, his family and his faith. He had a purposeful life. We will all miss him so much, it doesn't even seem real yet. But I have found peace in the knowledge that he accomplished what he needed to in this life, and now I have another family member looking out for me beyond the veil. We love you and will miss you Poppy!

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3

1 To every thing there is a aseason, and a btime to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A atime to be born, and a time to bdie; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to alaugh; a time to bmourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to aget, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to arend, and a time to sew; a time to keep bsilence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to ahate; a time of war, and a time of peace.


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