Category Archives: This Too Shall Pass

Shake it Off

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I’m suffering from a bout of negative energy and I don’t know how to get rid of it! I can’t see past the black clouds of my stress. In the words of Bob Marley, “I’ve been down on the rock for so long, I seem to wear a permanent screw.” I’ve prayed and prayed to no avail. New problems seem to crop up daily. Such is life I suppose, but I am in dire need of a break. I try to stay positive, but here lately, life has been gnawing at my resolve with a vengeance. How do you guys shake off negativity? Suggestions?

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The Day

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*Today is the third anniversary of my husband’s death.

It started off normal enough, however, I did not foresee the tragedy that was heading my way… 

I decided to turn in early because I had planned to surprise my husband by going to look for a new car with him the following morning.  He was barely speaking to me because I disagreed that he needed one.

I was asleep by the time he got off of work, but he made sure to come to our bedroom and ask if Jazmine was awake. He was especially fond of my niece and spent most of his hours at home with her undertow. I replied she was not and dozed back off.

Less than an hour later, he came back in the bedroom and turned on the light. In obvious distress, he told me he did not feel well.  Still drowsy, I halfheartedly asked what was wrong.  He responded that he was having chest pains.  About a year earlier, he asked me to stop making spicy foods because his “heartburn” was getting worse. Therefore I attributed his discomfort to that and asked him if he tried taking an antacid.  He said he had but he would try taking some more.  When I heard him fumbling around in the medicine cabinet, I grew alarmed.

He came back into the bedroom and I noticed he was sweating profusely and breathing heavily.  I asked him if he was having pain in his left arm as well.  He said he was and I thought came to me that he might be having a heart attack. However, it still didn’t register as being a real possibility considering he was only 30 years old. 

I decided to call for an ambulance and while I was on the phone with the operator, he was stretching.  She instructed me to have him to sit down but he said he could not because he was so uncomfortable.  I got off the phone and proceeded to help him to the livingroom to wait for the paramedics to arrive.

Midway there he stumbled and I caught him as best I could.  We finally made it to the sofa and not a second later, he jumped up abruptly and started stumbling about.  He was headed toward the door because he could not breathe and wanted to go outside for air.  He collapsed in the doorway as the ambulance pulled up front.

Ethan heard the noise as well as my panicked voice and came into the livingroom.  I told him to go lay back down because I did not want him to see his father in such a condition. He did.

The paramedics were able to get him conscious by sticking something down his throat that made him vomit.  This was followed by a series of questions that he was able to answer although his speech was slurred and weak. 

During this time they tried to keep me out of the livingroom, but I refused. I was informed by the head paramedic that my husband was “very, very, very, very, very, very, very sick” and that something was definitely going on in the heart region and they needed to take him in right away.  In Indiana, those who are not be transported are not allowed to ride in the ambulance, so I told the paramedic that I would be right behind them. 

His last words to me were “make sure you come” as he squeezed my hand.  I replied “of course!”

Nic was spending the night with a friend and Evan was still in residential treatment. I am ashamed to say that I left Jazmin and Ethan alone at home as I quickly threw something on over my pajamas and sped to the hospital.

I was not allowed in the room, but I walked past several times and say a hoard of medical professionals working on him. I sat in the waiting room for a few hours placing calls to friends and family. Two nurses came and introduced themselves and checked on me periodically.

After a while, the doctor, flanked by a nurse came out to talk to me.  He introduced himself and asked me what happened. I started giving him a recap and as I was talking, there was something about the way that he was listening so intently that made me stop and ask him “Is my husband still alive?” When he replied no, I immediately started screaming and fell to the floor. I never expected to hear that. My mother had died exactly nine months prior for goodness sakes!

The two angels disguised as nurses came to my side praying and holding me. Shortly people started to arrive, his two close childhood friends, a cousin, my bil and his wife, my aunts (all three with spouses), my sister, and cousins. My mil and other sil were in Detroit but I had already called them with the news.

We tried to get a hold of his sister that lived in town to no avail( I was later blamed by her that she did not get to make it to his bedside).  I even held his body for hours in hopes that she would make it to the hospital. I finally got back home around 6am and passed out from sheer exhaustion, disbelief, and distress.

And it was only the beginning of a tumultuous journey and I would need all my energy and sense of equilibrium to help me get through the terror of it all…

Pass the Kids

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Yesterday I ran into my SIL’s husband at the grocery store.  I immediatedly asked about the kids and was told that they would be getting the boys in May.  Apparently Eliza has been stirring up trouble from her prison cell with her own sister regarding how she is raising her kids.  Fed up, the sister has decided that she’d rather not deal with Eliza, Ethan, or Evan.

This really bothered me.  The kids would have been fine with me, yet they were senselessly uprooted out of spite.  Doesn’t she see how this nomadic lifestyle will eventually have an adverse affect on her boys?  Not to mention, my SIL is not the best candidate to rear a child.  They live in a two bedroom apartment for starters and are barely getting by.  Her husband has 5 kids outside of the 1 they have together, plus she has another daughter.  My SIL is also half-baked, literally and figuratively speaking.

Her husband is not in favor of this and has decided that if she goes against his wishes, he will move out.  With Evan’s behavioral problems, the number of kids they already have to provide for, and the fact that Eliza and her looney tune brother would never leave them in peace, I understand why he is saying no.

A Busy Bee

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I’ve been so busy as of lately with the end of the school year drawing near. Not to mention I have to pack and prepare for my move to the new school I will be working at in the fall.

I am looking forward to summer break.  For once I have chosen not to teach summer school so that I may enjoy the time off.  I could use the money, however, my sanity is far more important.

June 1st can’t come fast enough!

Misery

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Since Tuesday I have been under the weather!  It started with general flu like systoms while I was at work.  I had the shivers very badly despite having on a blazer, my coat on top of that, my default sweater, and one of my student’s jackets was draped across my legs!  The kids kept telling me that I looked terrible and that Imust have the swine flu!

Afterschool I went to my doctor’s appointment scheduled a few weeks in advance for a follow-up. I had a temperature of 102 degrees.  I assumed it was a problem with my tonsils because they have often flaired up over the years. She did a strep test and it was negative.  So she decided that it was just a virus and that I should stay home for a day.

Wednesday morning I felt TERRIBLE!  I had a fever, my throat was KILLING me, and I could not even swallow my own saliva! I couldn’t eat or drink a thing either.  My voice was totally distorted, my left ear was full of pressure, nor could I not stop drooling!  And sleep, forget about it! 

Thursday it was worse so I called and asked for an antibiotic.  She responded with a high powered pain reliver and another day off of work.  She also said if my throat didn’t get better she would have to run a test for mono.

I don’t know what possessed me, but I tried to go to work Friday!  The kids kept telling me how terrible I looked!  I ended up  leaving two periods early because I was in so much pain.

Saturday morning I had a doctor’s appointment with another doctor on weekend duty.  It was obvious that I was suffering greatly and he immediatedly went to work, especially after he saw my cup of salivia. I was tested for mono with a finger prick and it came back negative. Then he returned saying that I had a really bad infection in my tonsils (this I knew all along.).  Therefore I received an antibiotic shot in the butt that hurt like mad, and prescriptions for Lidocaine, liquid Vicodin, and Augmentin.  Why was it so hard for my own doctor to do this?

Things started turning around for the better after the shot.  My throat started to loosen up for starters.  Later in the day I was even able to eat a banana, which almost bought tears to my eyes!  I haven’t been able to eat all week!  Then I was able to drink a few ounces of tea.

Around ten tonight I woke up out of my sleep because I had a foul taste in my mouth.  I went to the bathroom and started spitting up bile.  I actually knew what it was because I’ve been down this road before.  The abscess on my tonsil somehow had burst.  Usually they drain them with a needle, so I’ve never had one do it on its own.

After it drained, I was able to swallow without pain!  This is something I have to relearn after using a cup to spit in for close to a week.  I can even eat a little food now! But I do wonder why my doctor didn’t investigate more considering that I told her of my history?  I resent being miserable for so long when she could have simply given me a prescription for an antibiotic!

I learned through this experience to be thankful for the little things–the ability to swallow, chew, drink, and to sleep through the night without waking up in wretched pain.

She Does Not Stop!

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Yesterday I received a call from Jazmine’s great-grandmother who resides in East Orange, New Jersey.  She was calling to see how we were doing as well as to share a portion of a letter that Jazmine’s mom (her granddaughter) had written last week.  She wrote that Eliza has been bragging to her how faithfully I brought the boys to see her!  Eliza also stated that I should do this for her considering that Jazmine is her daughter! Therefore Jazmine’s mom is bitter that I am not extending her this courtesy!

I had many concerns about this letter:

  • I have guardianship of Jazmine and therefore any requests for visitation need to be addressed to me, not her grandmother. 
  • Why is she even listening/talking to to Eliza in the first place? Also, Eliza failed to tell her that the visits she received were court ordered and that it took her an entire year to get those granted!
  • Jazmine’s mom seems to be developing an attitude of entitlement.  I guess it is not enough that I am raising her daughter on my own.  I think Eliza has manipulated her and helped cultivate this “right.” 
  • I am offended that she would try to imply that I am doing something wrong by not driving 150 miles roundtrip and using my precious weekend time to do so.  It doesn’t seem to bother her that my brother, her parents, siblings, or any of her friends have not visited her at all–or even offered to escort Jazmine.  I have visited her twice with my niece; something I did not have to do!  I also write her and send cards, pictures, detailed updates, and drawings from Jazmine.  I am only one person and I can’t do it all!  Actually, I refuse!
  • She has not attempted to improve herself during her stay there.  She has been in so much trouble that she has added 9 months to her sentence.  Therefore I do not feel obligated to inconvenience myself to soothe her obviously fragile, immature ego.  If she was so interested in parenting Jazmine, she would do what it takes to get out sooner!
  • Again, why is Eliza determined to start more fires?!!! I think she may be missing the consistent visits that I provided her with.  Now that my stepsons live in North Carolina, I doubt she gets to see them on a regular basis.  Had the boys remained with me, I would have continued to follow the court order. Though she won’t acknowledge this and instead chooses to rub this information in Jazmine’s mom’s face to make her resent me for not doing the same for her.  Once again, Eliza is talking from both sides of her mouth!

As a mother I do understand her desire to spend time with her daughter.  However, my primary concern is that I take care of Jazmine to the best of my ability.  I had nothing to do with Eliza or my niece’s mother landing in prison.  I just have the tedious task of rearing children with ungrateful parents!  All she seems concerned about is making her stay more bearable. 

I knew it was only a matter of time before Eliza rubbed off on Jazmine’s mom!

The Guilt Trip

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So I was right! I knew there was no way that Christine was just going to be ok with Kierra leaving the hospital with us.

When Husband picked up Kierra for her weekday visit she told my husband about Christine trying to make her feel guilty for wanting to come to our house after she’s released from the hospital.

Christine sobbed to Kierra asking her why she just can’t come home with her and visit us later in the week. Kierra stood her ground and told Christine that was her time to be with her dad anyway for the spring break vacation.

Husband decided to call her to make sure Christine was aware that he would indeed exercise his right for spring break with Kierra. Christine was livid. She asked him why he was springing this on her now and why they didn’t have a discussion about it. Husband said that was what he was doing at that moment “having a discussion with her.” He also said that we just found out about the surgery two days ago and he was more concerned with the surgery than going back and forth with her about his rights.

Then Christine launched into her dramatics saying that he only called her at work because he knew she couldn’t talk. (She doesn’t know how to talk if things do not go her way. She yells curses and then hangs up the phone). Husband told her that if he would have called her at home she wouldn’t answer. And if one of the girls answered the phone she would not accept his call. (She only talks to him when she wants something). So calling her at her job was his only option.

Christine asked him why Kierra couldn’t go home with her. So he asked why she couldn’t come home with us. She went on and on about how she was off work and how she could take care of Kierra while we were at work. He let her know that everything had already been taken care of. He told her that I was off for spring break as well. Christine said that Kierra had went home with her the last time. He replied correct it was your weekend and there was no need to discuss who she was gong home with.

He said in this case you can not give me a valid reason why you want her to go with you instead of me. She just kept going on and on about how he was not right for calling her at work because she couldn’t say what she wanted to say. (In other words, she couldn’t scream profanities at him and slam the phone down in his ear).

Well Christine did just that minus the profanities.  She hung up on Husband after he made it clear that Kierra would come home with us.