Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bye Bye 2008

The last day of 2008... I have no doubts I am getting as this year just flew by even faster than the last year did... dang it! That must mean I am on the downhill slope of this ride through life. Hmmmm wonder if there is a certain age in the creaky years where things sloooooooow wayyyyyy down again? I hope so because right now it is hard to find enough time each day to really appreciate the world around me.

2008... what a year. Such a year for changes.. most good... and even the bad were handleable (is that a word?)

Let's see.... got promoted from cashier to frozen food manager (than found out it wasn't really a manager but just an associate job with lots of responsibility)

Finally put it all together financially and was able to buy my own home. After living "separate in the same house" for over a year... omg .. uncomfortable way to live.

Fixed up our doll house for Amy and I.. bought new furniture, and for the first time in 24 years (23 married) was finally able to relax and enjoy being at home. Never again will I let someone make my life miserable each and every day. Never again will I let someone take over Amy and my happiness.

Spent the month of March at as many Dodger Spring Training games as we could get to, since it was their last year here in Florida. Gosh we are going to miss them! What a great group of players and what a fun ballpark.

Got to meet and visit with friends I met on-line while blogging on Yahoo360 and Multiply from Ohio, Georgia, and a couple all the way from England. Finally.. I get to have company! This is truly the life I have always wanted to be able to have.

May brought the bad news of Amy's sight disappearing. We spent June, July and August going back and forth to Miami.. three surgeries and lots of recovery. Sure wish it had restored her sight, but at least she is still alive and healthy. Never have a seen a person handle being totally blind better than my Amy.

Shockingly.... we survived three unpaid months of leave of absence, and upon my return I got promoted to dairy/frozen manager (a real manager job even!) with a bit of a raise. Sweet.

Then I discovered SL. YaY! Something to do other than just watch tv every night after work. How I ended up getting lucky enough to fall in with the folks I did is just amazing and has been real enjoyable. And deesue getting to shop everyday has kept me out of the rl stores.. thank goodness!

November 18th brought the final dissolution to a 23 year marriage that, in reality should have been dissolved after about the 3rd year. Sigh, finally .. freedom. I feel like I have lost such a weight.. off of my shoulders and my heart.

So bye bye 2008... thank you for this new life! Thank you for allowing me to survive through the pitfalls and come out smiling on this.. the last day of the year.

2009.... I can't wait to see what this new year holds!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

It is so hard being a parent sometimes

Sometimes I wonder how some make it through life so easily. Did they live a really hard life in another time and this time around got to take it easy? Or are some of us just meant to have to handle more....

My whole life has been an uphill battle with bouts of quicksand... just to test me, to make sure I can keep climbing... and I have always been able to.

When it is about me, there really isn't anything I can't handle. But when it is about my kiddo.. omg..

How much more can she be put through??? How much more will I have to learn to bare with her? What affects her affects me, so much worse than if it were happening to me. Being a mom, being a parent, can be such a trial.

It has been over six months now.. since.. well, since we started this latest .... test. In this six months we have learned to adapt, in some ways, and yet I still cry .. for what was lost.. for what will never be... for all the things we didn't get to do.... and I feel so selfish. She is the one that really has to deal with it all and she is doing it with a smile...

How, how did I get so lucky to get this angel? Is she part of my prize for living such a tough life?

When she started falling, hurting herself with every step in May... I would never have guessed just how much our lives would change. As her sight turned to grey... we held out so much hope for a miracle. We had the best hospital, the best eye surgeon, the highest confidence...

As we waited for surgery.. we did as we always do... we joked, we laughed, we comforted others that waited for their surgeries... confident in the miracle of technology. Amy thought I was crazy taking so many pictures, but I flashed pic after pic, as she changed into her little purple gown. "Let's get a picture of the two of us together" I said. She, being herself, said "don't take a picture of your fingers mom"... and sure enough.. we posed... I held the camera up .. hit the button and ... took a pic of my hand. darn camera was backward.... so the real picture was this one of us laughing at my photo talents... See those two ladies? Yes, that is us... as we are.. happy. We try to not let a day go by without laughter.

But, this next pic makes me cry everytime....

you see that is the last picture before she went into surgery. "Don't worry mom, it will all be alright" the last time she was ever able to see my face.... she never saw again.

All those things I put off.. thinking we had so many more years.. all the things we didn't do and see... please... don't put things off with those you love.. you just never know!

But she was right... it will be alright... I just wish I could stop crying over what was... I wish I was as tough as Amy is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Twas the night before Christmas..

and deesue is exhausted! lol

Okay, I have to admit.. as the month has worn on I have started to enjoy the holiday season a bit. We sure have seen some crazy costumes on SL! lol and it has been fun.

In RL... working in a grocery store during the holidays is... stressful! By the time I get home I just want to fall asleep, but there is still supper, and a bath, and sl time... I didn't end up getting hardly any cards signed and mailed. Guess I will be sitting on the phone quite a bit in the next few days. *sigh* I really hate talking on the phone.

I did finally get a little shopping done for Amy and got everything wrapped last night after skating at Zath and Hyp's for a while.. how fun! (the skating, not so much the wrapping) .. but at least tomorrow morning will be fun for a bit before I have to work.

Yep, our store is open from 7am to 3pm... and in order for my workers to get the day off... I volunteered myself for 11 to 3... oh well I can use the time and a half (plus I get paid a full regular 8 hour day on top of that.. sweet!)

So after 3... I will pick Amy up from her dad's and we will have our Christmas supper.

Hope you all have a wonderful, family filled Christmas day.... and I send you warm wishes to help against that cold weather you all are having. We are predicted to be having an 82f day... ahh yes... Christmas in Florida... nothing like it anywhere else!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mark this day on the calendar.. lol

I did the most unusual thing last night. Well, maybe not to another person...but living the life I have lived for the past 25 to 31 years.....

it was most unusual for me.

I went to a Christmas party. With real adults... I was one of the few single people there but I had so much fun. We ate, drank, laughed, exchanged gifts, played a game and listened to music.

It has been so long since I have gone out, even longer since I have gone out and had fun. I really need to make a concentrated effort to developing a life outside of my four walls.

I sure wish in RL I had the wardrobe I have in SL though... my gosh I wish I could afford to go shopping for some new clothes. Thank goodness deesue gets to buy whatever she wants. Spoiled, spoiled girl! lol

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Most Memorable Christmas

Since I have been having such a hard time with this years holiday celebrations... I thought it may be a time to turn the clock back and remind myself of the good that this season brings out in people.

As far as childhood memories, I don't seem to have any. (a whole 'nother story for other times) But I will never forget my Christmas in 1978.

This was the year that my daughter Amy was born. She was accidently born in Phoenix Arizona. (okay 'nother story 'nother time lol) When she was 6-1/2 months old they finally approved of her transfer to Children's Hospital in Seattle Washington. She flew by jet with a private ICU nurse and her biological father and I drove to meet up with her.

We had no money.. in fact, had it not been for traveler's aid centers along the way and a few blood centers that paid for donating, we never would have made it. When we arrived, we lived in our car for the first month.

Amy was already over 7 months old and had never been able to leave the hospital, as they kept saying she needed to be 5 pounds and she just seemed to be stuck on the 4 pound mark. They finally said they would break the rules and let us bring her home late October/early November, but only if we had a real home to bring her to.

We found a place to live, which was a rental apartment in one of those big old houses. It was a huge room with a front room type area and its own private kitchen. We couldn't afford the deposit, but after hearing our story of trying to get Amy home from the hospital, the landlord felt sorry for us.

We finally got to bring her home! Although, she was very sickly and I spent almost as much time sleeping at the local hospital as I did sleeping in the apartment with her. Her dad just couldn't (or wouldn't) hold a job and one night flipped out in a drunken rage and long story short, I had to call the police and have him arrested. It would be the last time we saw him for over 5 years.

So here I was with a 4 pound sickly but beautiful little angel.. and nothing else. No money, no thoughts for what our future would now hold.

Welfare helped me out and I was able to keep a roof over our heads, but I didn't have enough for food (thankfully Amy was on hospital supplied special formula) or the major expense of putting oil in the furnace, but I kept her snuggled warm in her bassinet under a mound of blankets and I had a warm coat.

As we got closer to Christmas, I was a little sad that I could see everyone else celebrating and getting prepared, but I was so happy to have Amy home that I wasn't thinking past that.

About a week before Christmas someone knocked at my door and when I opened it there stood the receptionist from Amy's doctor's office and behind her a huge group of people, who she introduced as members of her church.

In they walked, carrying a Christmas tree, boxes full of decorations, clothing, blankets, toys, food that lasted me for months and a check for $200.00! I got to have heat for Christmas!

(Yes, that is the tree above.. and bushy haired me holding Amy.) I don't look very happy but I really was.

In that moment.. I learned what the spirit of Christmas is all about. I will never forget that day and those wonderful angels.

Monday, December 15, 2008

To blog or not to blog....

I find myself struggling to blog again. Why? Am I out of words? omg no!

I am, fighting with this new life I am in now, especially at the holidays. For those that don't know me in RL... I am always upbeat. With nicnames like smiley and giggles... it takes a lot to erase those two things. The reality is without those two things.. I don't feel like me.

This holiday season is a true test though. The first Christmas with a sightless daughter. Normally my house would resemble santa's village at this point... but ... how do you enjoy decorations when the second person in your home can't? I can't put up a tree because she is just learning her way "by feel" around our home.. a tree would be disastrous.. as would garland and extra nicnacs.

So I decorate my SL home... to fill a need. On-line I can change my furniture around, I can have nicnacs, trees, plants.. all the things I have had to erase for the "now" here in RL.

I know this won't be a forever thing. The sightless thing forever yes... but the adjustments will eventually happen and we will start to lead a closer to normal style life again..

but for now... thank goodness for SL ... wish I could share it with Amy. She would love to see all the things I see and do .. *sigh*

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

deesue introduces herself

I haven't been using this website for blogging. After being with yahoo360 for a few years and watching their sad demise.... then moving to Multiply and doing that for a while... I just kind of burnt out.

Hmmm, burned out? Or had so many life changes in one year that I needed to walk away from the written form for a bit....

A few months back I discovered SecondLife. It has given me a new focus, a new playground, that fits into the life that I have at the present time.

So in keeping with the changes.. I decided to update this page and add a pic or two for those that know me from SL.

Yes I am a real person, with a real life. A nice middle aged lady with an adult daughter that has cerebral palsy, developmental delays and just recently (one of this years MAJOR changes) lost her eye sight completely. It is part of the reason I love SL. I can play and interact with people while being home each evening after work to be with her. (This next picture was taken the day before Amy's first of three eye surgeries in May 2008 that erased her sight completely.)

I manage a Dairy and a Frozen Food department for a local grocery store... and when I am not sleeping I am playing on-line... SL and get most of my time.

My daughter (Amy) and I spend the month of March going to as many spring training baseball games as we can, since we have quite a few teams that train in the area... and the rest of the time is spent enjoying our tropical paradise here in southern florida.

and in the winter she is a Florida Gator fan... oh who am I kidding... a gator fan is a gator fan year around!

Well, there you have it... me, us...

Friday, June 13, 2008

My prayer

This has been one of the hardest week's of my life. To have to watch my daughter struggle through each day with no vision. To not know if she will ever see even the smallest of shadows. To try to be positive and supportive as she cries. Have I done enough? Have I done the eye drops correctly? The times that I have let her lift her head because I can imagine the pain she is in, having to have her head down day and night... was it wrong? Please God don't make my weakness be the one thing that keeps her from being able to regain some vision somewhere in her future.

All the years wasted.. just staying home. Not seeing, doing, taking every opportunity to experience all that life has to offer... please give me another chance, many chances to show her more of the world.

Thank you for the miracle of medical technology... for giving us even this smallest of windows of hope... please let her see again.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Girl Who Changed My Life

Have you ever had someone enter your life in a quiet way and one day you realize, that without intending to they totally changed your life, your outlook, your inner being?

My unknowing savior came into my life when I was in 6th grade. Or at least that was the year I took serious notice of her. I think I had seen her before that year once in a while trying to rush for the bus, but in the 6th grade her joy, her smile, her love of life caught my eye and I found myself in awe.

She didn't even have classes at our school, she was also a few grades behind me, but she was there at the end of most days to catch the bus and ride home with her brothers.

In 6th grade I started to become aware of those around me. Stopped dwelling on my own existence, started noticing that others had it so much worse than I did. Or that had it so much better than I did.. this is the category I put Allison in.

I don't ever think I saw her not smiling. As she made it along the sidewalks through the crowds, it didn't matter how careless others were, getting in her way, stopping her progress, she would always seemingly make room for them, and without any words spoken would always yield that right of way, like she was never rushed. Always enjoying the moment for what it was.

To this day I am not sure what her disability was. But she was sick a lot. She always had to walk with crutches and she had braces on both legs. I am trying to remember the details, I think she actually had wooden legs at a certain point, as her condition worsened. I know she must have been in horrible pain some days, but you would never know it. She loved life! Every moment!

The next year I moved on to middle school then high school and I never saw Allison again. But that one year changed me, changed my life forever.

When I gave birth to my daughter.. and was faced with all the bad news... All the doomsday predictions... All I could see in my mind was Allison. I knew at that moment that that was why Allison was placed in my path and in my heart and I never once doubted that Amy was going to be just fine, no matter what life threw at her, at us. Thanks to Allison I knew that it wasn't being a perfect person that made you have a happy life. Having a happy life was what helps you to be a perfect person!

When Amy and I moved back to Washington state I had the horrible circumstance to open the newspaper and see Allison's name in the obituaries. She lived until age 21. I had never met her parents, but had gone to school with her brothers so I sat and penned a letter to them. To express my sadness, but mostly to thank them for being the kind of parents they were. That didn't hide Allison away. That obviously had loved her so much that she could face every day so full of joy and love. I talked of her impression made on me. I told them about my Amy and that I didn't think that I would have had the courage to face what I was going to have to face over the years to come.. if it hadn't been for their example. After I mailed the letter I wondered if it was the right thing to do.

I got the most beautiful letter in return. Thanking me for my story of how Allison had made a difference. They said she had conquered most of her disabilities, was even working in a sheltered workshop and was so excited to have her own job and her own money. But a simple cosmetic improvement caused an infection that quickly took her life following the surgery. To think she was trying to fix .. what to me had been such a beautiful smile.... it just breaks my heart.

It is part of the reason each time a doctor mentions anything "cosmetic" with Amy I refuse to even consider it. I wondered sometimes, if there was another boy or girl, that went to school with Amy that may have had their life changed.. because Amy has that same smile, that same inner joy.

Here's to you my special angel Allison!

And here's to you all my new friends! May we all have the joy of making a mark in each other's worlds!

The Silence is Deafening

Silence is golden. A nice saying. Good when relating to a hectic day. Good when your kids are pushing you over the edge. But when is silence toxic? Can there be too much silence? Aren't there times when you need feedback even if it isn't words you want to hear? Can a relationship end because of too much silence?

Did you see me last night
Did you hear me voice
Did you try to console me
Did you give me a choice feel

Do words from my mouth
reach to your ears
Do you think about us
Does it cause you fears does me

Are we living the life
you thought it could be
Are we moving the direction
you want us to be
...not me

When we sit in a room
and no words are spoken
Do you feel discontent
Do you feel slightly broken me

Have we come to a point
where there is no return
Have we reached a space
where there no more to learn
...I grieve

How long can the silence
between us remain
before one of us goes
completely insane
...and leave

And when this happens
will you be caught unaware
crying how could you leave me
dont you know that I care
...I asked

Author anonymous, unheard

A Special Visit With Santa Part 2

The little girl went home with a full and happy heart. This would be the year, she just knew it! Even though this had been her wish year after year... She had so much faith in Santa.. he would find her mom, he would lead her to her doorstep... and then they would smile and laugh and be happy again just like she remembered they once were.

As the days led up to Christmas Eve, she thought she saw signs that her mom was trying to contact them.. the phone would ring, but no one would tell her who was on the other end, a card would show up in the mailbox from an address she didn't recognize. "That must be the one from my mom! They are just keeping it a surprise for me until I wake up and see her Christmas morning."

She spent tons of time packing and repacking her small suitcase. She wouldn't need much. When her mom came back she would buy her all the things that she really wanted, so she just put in a few changes of clothes and her favorite doll. She hid it under her bed so the housemother wouldn't see it and feel bad that she was so excited to be going away with her mom.

Then Christmas Eve finally came. They ate dinner and Mr. Don talked about not expecting much from Santa under the tree because there just wasn't any extra money for "silly little things that would just get broken in a day or two" but she wasn't hurt by this.. because she knew she was getting the best present of all.

That night, she chose her prettiest flannel nightgown. She wanted to look her best when she came down the stairs and saw mommy sitting by the tree! Then she said her prayers, said a special thank you to Santa, hugged herself goodnight and fell asleep.

She woke up extra early Christmas morning and tried to stay in bed because she didn't want to get in trouble "for waking the whole house up"... but knowing that her mom was going to be downstairs... Oh! She just couldn't stand it anymore!

Finally she heard stirring in the kitchen down below, then voices. Was one of those her mom? It had been so long since she had heard her voice, she had forgotten what she sounded like.

She brushed her hair one last time, smoothed the wrinkles out of her nightgown and slowly crept down the stairs. She could see the glow of the Christmas tree lights as she reached the bottom and she saw the small gifts under the tree, but her eyes skipped right over them, searching the room, looking for that smiling face, she remembered from the pictures she looked at every day.

She quickly scanned the room and found it empty. The kitchen! That's where she must be! So off she skipped, and as she rounded the corner she heard the housemother say, "Well I hope she won't be too disappointed, that child is always expecting way too much. If I heard her say one more time Santa know what I wants, I swear Don I was ready to swat her. She has been flittering around this house for days."

The little girl came to a stop. That didn't make it sound like her mom was in the kitchen. But she knew that if she believed hard enough Santa would make her wish come true, so she decided to go back upstairs to get dressed so she would be ready to leave when her mom arrived.

When she came back down Mr. Don handed her a gift to open. It was a coloring book and some crayons. She gave him a big hug then whispered "I will miss you most" then went to say thank you to the housemother.

All day long she sat in the living room watching out the front window, waiting for her mom to come up the walkway. She colored some beautiful pictures for her in her new book. She only left the living room when the housemother made her have some breakfast, then lunch, then supper... but right after she would run back into the living room waiting, watching... saying over and over in her head "I do believe, I do believe."

Then it was bedtime and Mr. Don made her leave the window seat and put on her nightgown and go to bed. Another Christmas Day had come to an end.

She tried squeezing her eyelids together very tight, so she wouldn't cry, but the tears streamed past and down her cheeks. She said her prayers and said a special thank you to Santa for trying his best. "I still believe in you Santa and I know that you will bring my mommy back to me one day... I just know you will."

Then, just as little girls are able to do, she fell asleep and dreamed of the life she would have when her mom came back and they were able to live happily ever after.

For without hope, faith, dreams, and visions of a better life ahead, the little girl could not exist.

A Special Visit With Santa - Part 1

She stood in line, with hundreds of other children. It seemed the line would never move forward.

As she looked around she saw mom's tugging at the clothes of the children at their feet. "Stand still, you are messing up your hair." she heard from one mom. "Why can't you be quiet for just a few minutes" said another mom to an energetic little boy. But even as she saw the mom's nagging and correcting their children the little girl smiled.

A child just a few people in front of her turned and stared back. The little girl looked down, afraid to keep eye contact. "Mommy, why is she dressed like that? Why isn't she in a Christmas outfit like us?" she heard him ask. The mom quickly shooshed him and pulled him closer in front of her in line.

She looked down at her clothes. She had dressed in her best and she was sure they had been clean enough when she put them on. A part of her wished she had a nice dress, but she had picked her best multi colored shirt and she had the hair ribbon that Mrs. Jilly had made for her just before she went away to live in "the home".

She blinked back the tears that always seemed to be right at the edges of her eyes whenever she thought of Mrs. Jilly. How she used to light up whenever she entered the room, and always took the time to ask about her day and show her the new things she was knitting and sewing.

She shook her head to clear her thoughts. This was not the day for tears. It took weeks of begging to get Mr. Don to bring her with him when he came to do his part-time job at the mall. Today was her special day to meet Santa Claus. She just knew if he knew what she really wanted for Christmas that he would make sure this year was different.

The line started inching forward. She was finally near enough to see Santa sitting on his red throne. He smiled as each child sat on his lap and listened as they rattled off the list of toys that they wanted to find under the tree.

Oh he looked so jolly! Her eyes danced with excitement and she jumped from one foot to the other in eager anticipation, then it was her turn. A lady in a snowy white costume held her hand and walked her up the candy cane lane, and then she was standing right in front of Santa Claus!

"Well, come up here little one. Wouldn't you like to sit on Santa's lap and tell me what you want for Christmas?" She tried to speak but couldn't find any words in her head, so she nodded yes.

As Santa helped lift her onto his lap she noticed how soft his coat was. And how white and soft his beard was. She longed to touch it.. and tentatively reached out. She expected to have him pull away but he leaned in and whispered "Go ahead tug on it, it's real."

Oh, She couldn't do that! But she did brush the sides of his whiskers with the palm of her hand. Santa smelled like peppermint. She snuggled closer into his arm and tried not to notice all of the impatient looks from those waiting in line. This was her time!

"What would you like for Christmas little lass? What can Santa bring to put a smile on your face?" Santa asked as he drew her even closer, as if sensing that she needed the extra touch.
"I want you to bring my mommy back to get me. She went away for just a little while, but it has been so very long now. I like the people at the home I was taken to, but Santa... can you please tell my mommy I am ready for her to come back?" With that she withdrew a piece of paper with a hand drawn map and a sketch of a face. She handed this to Santa. "Here is a picture I drew of my mommy and here is how to get to the home."

She started to hop down from his lap, but turned around and gave him one last hug and whispered "I know you can find my mommy, I believe in you."

The lady in the snowy white outfit gave her a candy cane and the little girl walked away to find Mr. Don to tell him she would soon be going home.

Saturday, May 31, 2008


A saw the sunrise today
beautiful beams of yellow
flooding over the horizon
of dark blues and grey
changing to oranges and reds
staining the sky with hues
setting up the day.
Then the blue skies appeared
with small white clouds
welcoming the birds to start
their song.
And I knew that life
was good
happiness was there
all along
just waiting for my arrival
with open arms.