Sunday, February 25, 2018

Where the Weeks Went ~

I have not posted to this blog for two weeks now.
Every time I started a draft, I just couldn't find the right words.
The events on Wednesday afternoon, February 14th, stopped me...
along with nearly everyone else...stopped me right in my tracks.

A school shooting is every teacher's, and every parent's, worst nightmare.
The Columbine HS massacre on April 20, 1999, changed the ways we do things at school.

It was that fall that we had our first Active Shooter Lock Down Drill.
We teachers practiced valuable procedures in the event of an intruder,
and our law enforecment developed important strategies to navigate our school building.

If seeing the SWAT team in full gear running through the school was not intimidating enough,
hearing the sounds of the gun shots fired was terrifying.
I was a teacher, responsible for hundreds of teenagers,
and also a mother, with a high school aged daugher.

That was just the first of many annual lock down drills.
It was important for us to hear gunfire in the hallways,
to recognize that sound,
and so it would not be mistaken for the sound of firecrackers.

The sounds of gunfire, along with the officers yelling commands,
all was enough to keep me awake an night,
and it was just a drill...

But after the school shooting on Valentine's Day,
the news broadcast included video that students captured,
in their classrooms, with their cell phones.
It was the real thing...

It was shook me to the core.

Teachers and students practice these drills,
just like we practice for fires and tornadoes.

We teach with our classroom doors closed...
Those doors are locked.

Here is Mr. Hanson speaking to my class.
Notice the pantry behind him?
Half of my students would hunker down in there.

And the other half of the class would 
move into the laundry room and barricade that door.
I had a place to hide under my demonstration counter,
so that I could check on both groups of students.

Even if it was a felt serious.

My heart hurts for the teachers and students that 
have had to experience that horrific occurance, for real.

The teachers that have died protecting their students are heros.

We all hope and pray that we can bring an end to these
senseless acts of violence in our schools.

Take care,

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Difficult, but the Important Family Discussions...

Your Living Will...
Your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care...
Have you had these important discussions with your loved ones?

Thank you for all your kind words in regards 
to my mother's death five years ago.
All of these memories have been showing up in my
Facebook Memories Newsfeed.

This one is a strong reminder of the importance 
of having your healthcare wishes in writing...

Caring for Mom ~More about Compassionate Choices.
The day after surgery to repair mom's hip, she suffered a stroke.
We were there in Grand Forks, sitting by her side.

She could visit some, but our conversations were very confusing.
As the weekend progressed, she became more and more non-responsive.

The hospital staff was so caring. One of the nurses gave me a booklet,
"Gone From My Sight, The Dying Experience".
When someone is dying, they actually have one foot in each world.
They are separating and distancing themselves from the people and events here on earth,
and are seeing a glimpse of their new life in their new 'home'. was time...
Time to make a very important decision.
Time to change mom's level of care to "comfort care".

She was not going to get any better.
And, as a patient in the hospital, 
the staff were trying to wake her
to take blood, and her blood pressure...
for physical and occupational therapy...
and to eat three meals a day.

So, the obvious decision had to be made.
We needed to change the level of her care to 'Comfort Care'.

There I was...standing there...56 years old...
thinking, this is my mommy,
shouldn't she be making decisions for me?

And she did, she had...

It was in her Living Will.
I needed to sign those papers.
I needed to let her go.

As an only child, I so wished I had a sibling to help make these choices.
I am so glad that my hubby was with me and was so supportive.
We said our goodbyes and returned home, 
to prepare for mom's move to a nursing home.

Take care,
p.s. these photos were taken during a much happier time 
when Emily, Hubby and I visted Amy in Rochester.  
There are some fabulous antique stores in that area.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Five Years Ago ~Miss Me...But Let Me Go

On this day, five years ago,
I said goodbye to my mother.

She had fallen and broken her hip.
At 92 years old, her body was so fragile.
After surgery, she suffered a stroke and died a few days later.
She now lives in a better place,
where her mind is sharp and her body is free from pain.

This was one of my favorite posts from February 2013

My always organized Mother keep all of her important papers in one place... this vintage metal box.
It was in a small safe, with other important items, on the floor of her closet.

In this special (and always mysterious) box, I found birth certificates,
social security cards, my daddy's death certificate...
...and my mom's obituary that she had written for herself.

Tucked inside her Obituary, in her perfect penmanship,
was this poem. I want to share my find with our daughters,
Amy and Emily,
and with our extended family and my mom's friends.

Miss Me...But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me,
I want no rites in a gloom filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little but not too long,
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take,
And each must go alone.
It's all a part of the Master's plan,
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart,
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss me, but let me go.

Take care, 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Here Are Just a Few of My Favorite Photos of our Birthday Girl

Happy Birthday to Amy.

The years have gone so fast!

She is still our fun loving,
cat loving,
and hard working,
first born daughter that made this couple...
a family of three.

She has enjoyed many new experiences, all over the world,
and is now ready to start a little family of their own.

One thing is certain,
there will be a celebration for every holiday,
for every special occasion.
She treasures time with family and friends.

She always has a smile on her face...

...and shares delight with all that know her.
She is going to be a wonderful mother.

Amy, we hope you enjoyed your birthday.

Take care,

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thankful Thursday ~These Special Photos ~The Little Things that Make Me Smile

The expectant parents recently participated in a 
professional photo session and shared the photos with us.
Since they live so far away, 
I really cherish any snapshot (or snapchat) of baby's progress.

Today, we have another reason to celebrate.
A reward for his hard work,
Nick is receiving a promotion.

And since then, Nick has also earned a graduate degree.
We are so proud of his accomplishments.

Congratulations, Nick and Amy.
We all have so much to be thankful for!

Take care,

Thanksgiving Weekend 2023 ~When Family Comes Home to Visit

Papa and Gigi love having family home for the Holidays. This little girl and her parents arrived Thanksgiving Eve, on the late flight.  And ...