Thursday, July 30, 2009
Today is Tell Me About It Thursdays over at Sandys blog, One Day at a Time.
This weeks theme is tell me about "An event in your life that changed your life forever"
Ok, so I have to admit when I saw this weeks theme one event came to my mind and I wanted to run. I wanted to shut the computer down and forget about joining Sandy this week.
You see God has been prompting me to share this story for so long and I have refused.
Oh, I have mentioned bits and pieces here and there thinking that would be enough for Him, that I wouldn't have to write it all down. Then I see today's theme and it was like it was meant for me and He won't let me avoid it this time.
There are many reasons I have avoided it. One, it will be long so I will have to do it in parts. Two, I am afraid that I won't be able to find the words to describe it and honor the people involved in the right way. And three, even after 17 yrs it's painful.
I have to give a little background first.
It was June. 1992, my mom, my sister Kim (17), and I (16) had moved to KY from Al. We had no family, it was just the three of us. We met DD, who I now refer to as my aunt, through church revivals. She lived in KY and we found ourselves in a place where my we pretty much had no one and my sister had quit school to help support us. My mom was disabled but still worked two jobs. Kim had gotten in with the wrong crowd and was making bad decisions. So mom thought it best to move us to KY for a fresh start.
We did know a few people, one being Shelly who we had known for years. We met her the same way we did DD. Shelly (28) had three kids, K (8), Jamie (4) and S (15 months). Shelly was full of life and constantly pulling pranks and making our adjustment as easy as possible. Her children made it even easy because I was totally in love with each of them and loved playing with them every minute possible.
We lived with DD while mom searched for an apartment. Kim and I had stayed with Shelly on and off, we loved her and her kids.
Fast forward to Sept. of that year.
Kim celebrated her 18th birthday on Sept. 13th. She had talked about this day for years. She always wanted to turn 18, it was a huge day in her life. If only we had known on that day she would only live 19 more days.
I remember going to DQ with her and sharing a peanut buster parfait, her blowing out the candles on her cake, her laughter on that day was infectious. I will never forget her smile while she opened her presents. No one dreamed it would be her last birthday.
She was my only sibling and we were 21 months apart. She was my world. Kim was the responsible one, so I didn't have to worry about being responsible. I was 16 and knew she was always there looking out for me, keeping me out of trouble, and protecting me.
Friday morning on Oct. 2nd, 1992 all that changed in a single moment.
Shelly was not supposed to be with us but the night before her 15 month old had started running a fever and she decided to take him to the doctor. Her daughter K was at school, so we packed up Jamie and S and was on our way to meet my mom and take S to the doctor. I do not remember that morning or anything about it, a blessing from God really.
Two miles into our trip we had an accident involving another truck, head on collision. This was Friday and I don't remember a thing until the following Tuesday.
I woke up and heard music, saw this big blue curtain, and these people with masks. It had to be a dream, I tried and tried to wake up. I remember telling myself, Kiesha just wake up and you will be back at Shelly's in bed beside Kim.
It wasn't a dream. I was in surgery. My fifth in five days. They could not put me under again so they did a local and were repairing my right hand. Ligaments had been torn in my hand, they were repairing those and doing plastic surgery on my hand.
After recovery they took me back to my room. It was full of friends we had made, one of my mom's brothers, we had not talked to in 10 years So I knew it had to be bad. I immediately begin asking for Kim and Shelly. I kept saying "are they hurt like me, they can't be worse, they're going to be ok."
My mom started to cry, there was a nurse at the door with a shot in her hand standing ready to sedate me after I heard the news.
I wanted to close my ears, I thought if I didn't hear it then they would be ok. I wanted to scream at everyone to leave, I didn't want to hear what they had to say, what I already knew in my heart.
I saw my mom's lips moving heard the words, but I couldn't believe it, it couldn't be.
S was in Children's Hospital with only 2 broken legs. After hearing that the hope was beginning to creep in.
Then came words that no one can ever be prepared for.
Shelly had died on impact, Jamie, sweet little Jamie, lived only 3 days in a coma. Kim was in a coma but was not going to make it. They were taking her off life support the next day.
My mind could not comprehend any of this. I screamed! I was angry! How could this happen, God was this some sort of joke? I repeated all the reasons the three of them had to live, Shelly was a mother of three, Jamie was just 4, Kim was supposed to have taken her GED that Monday. She wanted to be a photographer.
Here I was only one of two who survived, the girl who had never wanted to live. The girl who had tried to commit suicide at 13 and failed. God had to be playing a cruel joke on me, there was no other reason I could see that He would take them and leave me.
I screamed I wanted to see Kim NOW, even if they had to roll me into her room on a stretcher. That is when I was told we were in different hospitals. Kim and I had been life lighted to two different hospitals, 160 miles apart. They were taking us all to Louisville but they lost Kim on the way and touched down at the nearest hospital with Kim and Jamie and continued on with S and I to Louisville.
I still can't imagine the hell my mom went through with us so far apart and having to leave one not knowing if the other one would be there when she returned.
That was when the nurse sedated me because I don't remember anything until the next day when mom called to talk to me about donating Kim's organs. We donated her organs and the day on her death certificate says Oct. 8 but I have always felt like she died Oct. 2nd because she never woke up and the 2nd was the last time I ever saw her.
Kim's funeral was on Sunday. The doctors would not clear me to go because I had a broken neck, shattered pelvis, broken arm and ankle and could not even sit up.
I helped mom plan the funeral from my hospital bed. I picked out flowers and songs. Kim's best friend picked out her outfit and brought it for my approval. A beautiful dark pink suit.
My best friend from Al. came and stayed with me during Kim's funeral.
It was all so surreal, my mind wouldn't let me accept it. I was just going through the motions trying to be strong for mom.
I didn't get out of the hospital for another 6 weeks and went through 2 years of physical therapy. The doctors said I would never walk, I disagreed. It was the least I could do after they had lost their lives. I was determined to be ok, I wasn't sure how I would live without them, without Kim but I knew I owed it to them to try.
I have lots of scars and have never once been upset about them. They remind me of what was lost and that I was given a second chance at life. Don't get me wrong it took many many years to learn to enjoying life, to understand that God wasn't playing a cruel joke and there was a reason I lived and they did not.
I love my life now and going through all of that changed me forever. My life will always be defined by before (the accident) and after (the accident).
I learned so many lessons from that and it took years but I could finally see God in every step of it. Maybe that will be Part 3 of this, Learning to Live without my Sister. But this has taken me all day and I am drained.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, it's the first time I have ever written this much about it.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Hope everyone has gotten back safely from their vacations, or still having fun, I'll be back around and check in on everyone as soon as these symptoms take a hike.
This week's Blog Hop theme is Favorite Kid Photos. You can have one or more of your favorite photos your kids, grandkids, someone else's kid or even YOU when you were a kid. Funny, precious, heartwarming... your favorite!.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
So I took a little inspiration from it and decided to make my own list but I'm just staring with 25 things. 101 things just seems a bit overwhelming with everything I have going on right now.
I used to have a list similar to this, hubby & I both did, of things I wanted to do in this life. But then came marriage & then kids and it was kinda forgotten about.
So here is my list.
I will update it from time to time & let you know when I have accomplished one. This list isn't major things I want to do before I die, just things I want to start working on now & get as many accomplished as I can this year.
Regular= haven't started
Italics= Currently working on
(The words that are bigger are that way just because I found it fun to do and took it from my friend MiMi
So In no particular order & most have not yet been started.
1.Take a sewing class, I would love to be able to make things for the house & others.
2.Find the perfect gift for our 6th anniversary coming up, this year it's iron.
3. Take a cooking class, Lord knows I need it.
4. Get another meaningful tattoo similar to the one I got when I was 23.
5. Finish Roo's curtains.
6. Find the right Puppy for Roo.
7. Paint living room wall red.
8. Learn more about and possibly take a class on web design.
9. Buy my first pair of stilettos (I took this one from Shayla's list :)
10. Find an exercise routine that I can do without bringing on my symptoms, but I have to start exercising because the meds are making me gain weight like crazy.
11. Plan a trip to Smokey Mountains for me and hubby.
12. Start albums for each of the children, get baby books & journals caught up.
13. Find a doctor who can give me a definite diagnosis.
14. Learn more about digital scrap booking.
15. Read bible from front to back.
16. Buy more dresses & dress up more everyday.
17. Go back to school to get Masters in Education. (probably won't happen until I am better and Rissa starts school).
18. Take family on a Disney cruise.
19. Reach out to three people a week who are hurting or going through a tough time.
20. Learn more about gardening and landscaping, I don't have a clue right now.
Would love to hear some things that are on your list if you have one, or what would be on yours if you made one.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sometimes, in all honesty, lately it's been all the time, I've had blinders on. All I could see was my life, my family, and getting the tasks done that need to be.
I believe as followers of Christ, it is our calling and duty to help others. But with taking care of kids, car pooling, transporting our kids to a thousand different places, house cleaning, grocery shopping, working outside of the home, we are left with very little energy to stop and lend a hand to someone who is in need.
I say WE because I think this is true for most people. I know it is for me and if I don't acknowledge something how can I change it?
The light bulb went off today, God got my attention.
Roo and I were out running errands, doing some last minute school shopping. After many stops and a few hours we arrived at our final destination, Walmart.
As I was turning into Walmart, there on the corner sat an older man with a sign that read "Will work for food."
Now, I would love to tell you that my first instinct was to pull over and see how I could help him. However, that was not the case.
I saw him and thought, if people give him money he will probably not use it to buy food. Then I thought out of all of these cars passing by surely someone will stop and feed him or see what he needs.
Someone else, not me because I was on a mission, my last stop. I was focused on what we needed to get because I was tired and just wanted to go home.
We spent close to an hour in Walmart (don't ask where that hour went because I didn't realize we stayed there that long.)
We completed our list and got in the car said the prayer we always say, God protect us on our way to _______. This time the blank was filled in with home.
As we are turning out of Walmart, there he sat, with no food I could see. There was no water, it was hot and he was sweating. I watched him look at every car that went by and I could almost feel his shame. He didn't want to be there and it took all of his pride away to sit on a corner holding a sign for all to see.
Ruben asked what the sign said and what the man was doing. I read the sign to him and his response was "So why doesn't someone give him food?" Oh the things we could learn from children if we would just take time to listen.
Wow, what a way to get my attention. I pulled out of the parking lot and stopped at the first fast food restaurant there was and bought the biggest hamburger combo they had and Roo reminded me to get the biggest cup they had because "He's got to be thirsty out in this heat."
I drove back and pulled up to him rolled the window down and gave him the food. I could see the surprise in his eyes. His response, "God bless you."
I had to drive around the loop at walmart to get out and passed him again and I saw a couple motioning for him to come across the street to the sit down restaurant across from Walmart.
Seeing that really touched my heart and was awesome for Roo to see that others were helping the man out too.
Now, don't get me wrong, I could have done more. A $7 dollar combo is nothing if you haven't eaten in days. I should have went back into walmart and bought him some food that would last longer than one meal.
I didn't, but God definitely got my attention. He gave me a good shaking and made me realize that I have been so caught up in my own life that I could not see the needs of others.
He gave me a great opportunity to teach my son by example and discuss how how important it is to help others who are in need.
Thank you Jesus for getting my attention. I want to change my life, I want my actions to be pleasing to you. I want to treat people the way you do. Please help me recognize all the opportunities throughout the day to help others so that they can see You in me.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I thought this would be great for me because that is why I started this blog in the first place. I want to be honest, share my journey and figure out how to use my past to make me a better me so that I can be a better mother, Christian, wife, friend and blogger. :)
My childhood was not a pleasant one. My mother and father divorced when I was 6 but got remarried, which I did not know until a few years ago. That marriage did not last long and they were divorced again.
My childhood was full of violence toward my mom, my sister and myself.
I didn't like myself or my life during my childhood. My mom was a single parent, my father never really helped, and we moved a lot.
But I do recall some good memories from my childhood.
My sister and I snuggling in bed as small children.
Running across the playground to my sister when I started Kindergarten, she had to stay with me in class the whole day to get me to calm down.
My grandfather taking us out to 'look for Santa' on Christmas Eve.
My fathers silly loud chuckle.
While I would not want to relive my childhood, it made me who I am and God has used it to help other children.
I wouldn't choose to go back but I wouldn't change it either.
Go to Sandy's blog and share some of your memories, good or bad, from your childhood.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I went to the doctor this past Friday, since he has had me on Depakote, I have been so much better. I've been driving some, going grocery shopping and some things around the house. I have to make sure I don't over do it though.
So the doc kept me on all my medicines, gave me something to help me sleep at night but it makes me feel drugged in the mornings so I'm gonna see if he will switch it.
Roo starts kindergarten on Aug 8th, I could do a whole post about how I feel about that and probably will soon.
He will be going to the private school that is associated with the church we go to. This is where he attended preschool and he loved it. I loved it because it's small and I know most of the teachers and parents already.
However, my monthly medicine is equal to the cost of Roo's monthly tuition. So for the last week or so I thought we would have to choose one. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against public schools but the ones in our area rank at the bottom in our state and I feel better about Roo going to a place where I know the people well.
I couldn't see me sending him to public school but I couldn't stop my meds because I would be right back where I was and of help to no one.
That's when God stepped in.
The secretary at the school called and asked if I thought I felt well enough work one or two days a week at school as a teachers aide. We would not have to pay anything except a one time book few. I thought it was awesome but was not sure I could make it a whole day. I do best in the mornings for a few hours at a time.
She said she would see what she could do. Later she called me back and told me that Roo's preschool teacher said she would love for me to be her aide. That way I only work 4 hours two days a week and she said she would give me paperwork and tasks that involved me siting if I needed to.
God is awesome. He continues to amaze me.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Today, I realized I am so not where I want to be with my parenting. I know there is no such thing as a perfect parent and I do know that my kids understand about me being sick, well as much as a 5 and 2 yr old can.
For a while now I have noticed my sweet little girl has become increasling bossy and just plain hateful in the way she speaks to her family. Now, she's always been determined, strong willed and sassy.
But it's just been her tone lately that has really bothered me. She yells and is so rude in the way she talks to people. Their is not a lot of gentlness in the way she deals with others.
Today, I looked at her and saw myself. I haven't been gentle or kind with my kids or even others for a while. It was like a light bulb went off in my head...yeah I know I can be slow sometimes :)
I used to take more time with her, be more gentle when she did something wrong, she had clear consequences that usually included time out. I wouldn't let the temper tantrums get to me and would calmly deal with them.
Lately, I have been doing the opposite. Probably for the last few months. And yes I know that a lot of it has to do with me being sick and some days I just don't have enough energy to talk calmly to her. It's just easier to snap, be hateful and demanding. But there is NO excuse for that.
Children learn what they live. I don't want her to continue to have to live with that because I do not want her to turn in to that.
I don't think it will be hard to turn it around. I caught myself twice today, I was about to raise my voice and snap but then I took a breath and calmly asked her to stop doing what she was doing and it broke my heart when she looked up surprised and immedialtely stopped.
God, please help me to always remember that my children learn what they live. They are watching me and will act in the way that I do especially my daughter because little girls always want to be like their mothers. Please, stop me during those moments when I am having trouble and remind me of that and please give me the strength and wisdom to raise children who are pleasing to you.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Three things I don't think you know about me :)
*Before becoming a Stay at home mom 5 years ago, I was a social worker & children's crisis counselor and child advocate.
I loved it and hope I can get back into it once Marrissa is in school.
*I never wanted to be a stay at home mom and even though it has been great for my kids and I treasure the last 5 years I still would prefer to work outside the home (I hear all the gasps...hey, all you will get here is honesty what can I say)
* I have mentioned that my 2 yr old
Lucky for her, it's hard to stay frustrated with her for long because she is so darn cute :)
Saturday, July 11, 2009
I will begin to send cards to the people that are special to me just because.
I will worry less about all my medical bills and just trust God to take care of them.
I will spend more time outside and less time watching TV.
I will pray more and study His word more, I haven't been very good at that lately.
I will stop being so stringent about schedules with my kids, at least until school starts for Roo.
I will stop being so hard on myself about all the things I can't get done in one day.
I will make my to do lists more about having fun and spending time with the kids and less about all the chores and errands that need to be done.
What will you do starting today?
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It's still not done. I have curtains to make & a few more things to hang. Usually I would put these only our family blog which mainly documents the kids & family life, while this blog is uncensored and focuses more on my journey to a better me.
But it's getting kind of hard to keep them separate because the more I get to know all of you the more I want to share my kids :)
I tried my best to declutter it and put everything in it's place for the pictures, that is until Hurricane Marissa woke up from her nap and kept moving things and cluttering up my shots.
Here is the incomplete big reveal:
I made these curtains for his closet, but I do not sew. I won't tell you how they were put together because it would probably make some of you crafty mom's cringe. ;)
Had to have the star wars logo, from Ebay.
His closet and his desk we took apart.
My little Picaso painted this especially for his room.
Have I told you he loves Star Wars? :)
Oso and Floppy ears on his bed.
The good life, now if I could just someone to come and redo my room I would be as happy and relaxed as he is.
Monday, July 6, 2009
*I'm the girl just trying to get closer to God and form a deeper relationship with Him but I get off track quite often.
*I'm the mother who was told she would never get to have kids and now every time I look at them I just want to capture every memory in my head and heart forever because I never thought I would get to make memories with my own children.
*I'm the crazy sarcastic red head whose humor not too many seem to get.
*I'm the daughter who watches her mother struggle everyday with the knowledge that she may be forever wheel chair bound and who also gets frustrated that she has given up to a certain degree.
*I'm the mother of a spunky, outspoken, stubborn, strong willed two year old who is just like me, but I don't like to admit to it too often
*I'm a wife who does not enjoy cooking one itty bitty bit, actually Hubby taught me most of what I know about cooking.
*I'm just a girl trying to enjoy every good day that I have been given lately and squeeze as much out of them as I possibly can because I do not know what tomorrow will bring.
*I'm still that little girl in this photo who can throw a tantrum when things don't go her way.
I invite you to tell me who you are either on your blog or in the comments section. If you do it on your blog just let me know in the comments section. I'm not doing the Mr. linky thing right now, that may change but for now it's not about getting a bunch of people to follow my blog, it's about really getting to know those of you who do.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
This is the first egg he cracked, it didn't quite make it in the bowl.
You can find more pics on our family blog.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
This blog is mostly about my journey, my journey to get closer to God, let go of the past, learn to be honest and real with myself about who I am and who I want to be and all the changes that I'm going through. I pour my heart out here, which is something that has always been difficult for me but I have felt the need to do it for so long, so what better place.
It's the journey of life we all are traveling and it's great to share that with all of you.
I love poetry, maybe one day I will share some of my own. I found some poems about journeys and this one stood out to me so I thought I would share it.
The Journey Without Shortcuts
The Journey traveled without shortcuts,
is a journey worth taking.
For there are no shortcuts,
to any place worth going.
The destination does not matter,
but the Journey to it does.
For at the destination,
you will not learn anything.
You will not accomplish much either.
On the Journey to it, however,
you learn many things,
and accomplish much.
On the Journey,you learn.
You learn that,
We are not human beings on a spiritual journey,
but spiritual beings on a human journey.
So travel hard,
and travel well.
Choose your companions wisely,
and leave everything behind.
Never look back,
always move forward.
For 'Yesterday is history,
and history is miles away.' (-Matthew West)
But never forget anything either,
learn all that you can,
and treasure the good times.
Then this Journey will be like no other.
This is the Journey,
Our life here on Earth,
so don't take shortcuts.
This Journey won't be easy,
but you have a guide.
The guide will never leave your side,
and He will carry you through the rough terrain.
He loves you more than you will ever know,
and He gave you this Journey,
so travel it while holding his hand.
You are not alone.
never look back,
but don't forget either,
and don't stop.
Don't take any shortcuts,
run the whole race.
You are not alone
on this Journey,
the Journey of life.
Thanks for joining me on my journey and allowing me to join you on yours.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I have been stuck because I have been frustrated with God and even a little angry but not willing to admit to either of those feelings.
I've been confused and like a child and throwing tantrums because things have not been going according to my plans. I've questioned why I had to go through all of this again, after I went through the whole learning to walk again, having people bathe me for months and having to relearn how to do everything as a teenager. In my mind I felt like I had endured enough and should not have to go through this again.
(For those of you who don't know the whole story I am working on writing it and posting it on the sidebar because I refer to it so much because it's such a part of who I am now)
Well, today God has really been dealing with me and I have felt his presence in a way that I have not in a very long time. Not because He has not been there, but because I have not been receptive to Him.
You see, I learned not to take all the little things for granted at the early age of 16 when I was in a car accident and lost my sister. I went through years of physical therapy, with the doctors telling me I would never be able to do the normal day to day things that I had done before. I learned that your life can change in a instant. I learned to live every moment to the fullest because you do not know what tomorrow will bring.
I learned all these things, so I did not understand why I have been going through all these medical issues for the last few months. Not being able to walk, or care for my children, or even get out of bed on some days has been harder on me than I imagined and has affected my relationship with God in ways I never thought possible.
I was broken, I tried to be strong for those around me but inside I was scared and confused and just broken. I felt forsaken. Why did I have to go through this again? I just want to raise my children, to clean my house, to cook dinner to be a good wife and care for my mom.
I couldn't pray because I shut myself off from God, but I would not admit this to myself, my friends, or even here, my safe place to pour everything out and be completely honest.
Today, I realized all those lessons I learned so young did not last very long. Oh yeah, I learned how fleeting life can be and not to take all the little things for granted but it only lasted so long until I was back living as I had before complaining and taking everything for granted.
I complained about house work, about being a stay at home mom, just about everything in my life. I had forgotten all the hard learned lessons. I didn't appreciate that I could walk, that I had two beautiful, healthy children, a christian husband, that I didn't have to worry about the necessities of life.
All of those things were my main focus until I couldn't walk, play with my kids, do household chores, cook, even bathe and dress myself. Then those lessons came back and I now I stand humbled. God loves me so much that He has taken the time to reteach me those lessons.
I know it sounds a bit crazy to look at it that way but it's so true for me and really hit me today because
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.Love never fails
I have always linked those verses to romantic love for some reason, I guess because I have heard them recited at weddings and linked to discussions of marriage.
Today, however I saw it in a different light. Actually, I heard it on the radio as I was driving to walmart thinking about the lessons I have been learning or refusing to learn. I felt God's love in a way that I had not in a very long time, it surrounded me in the car and I realized God's love is patient and it never fails. So if He has to continue to teach me a lesson that He knows I need to learn He will, over and over because He loves me that much.
Now I know that today it is easier to say all of this because, minus my abbess tooth, I have been having good days for the last week. I haven't been bed bound, have been able to take showers on my own with no shower chair, have cooked and played with my children and even moved furniture and mopped the floors and went shopping by myself without having to ride in an electronic cart today.
On days like today it is easier to see the lessons, to understand, and to feel God. I'm not blocked by the pain, despair and hopelessness. I hope that I can use these days to get closer to God, to build my strength and faith so when the bad days hit I won't get frustrated and angry with Him. I can rest in His arms and know it will be OK.
I know that my battle is not over but I also know I have had a break through. I was able to pray today, and see things a bit clearer. I was able to feel His presence and let go of some of the negative feelings I have been clutching to with both hands.
I have been broken once again, and sometimes that is what we need. It is by His grace that we are put back together again and we learn from the cracks and are reminded who He is because of where we have been. As painful as it was, as much as it hurt, I needed to be broken. I needed to be made aware of the cracks again, I needed to let Him pick up the pieces. I needed to be broken, and where some see the cracks and scars to Him, I've been beautifully broken and am beginning to be made whole again.