Evesdropping on Mom

Getting a pedicure Getting a pedicure[/caption

Every day brings a new revelation with my mom. I took her to her doctor to find out why she’s losing weight. I have had two blood tests, and now another one.
Next week she will get a CT scan. Nothing seems to stay in her system. She can only eat very small portions of food, and she doesn’t drink enough.
I leave a cup of juice at all times and snacks for her, but she doesn’t touch it unless I tell her. I’m careful not to push her too much, as she will then eat more than she can hold in her little tummy.
I’m a t a loss. Even making her milk shakes with Ensure, is too dense for her. She drinks a couple sips, and she’s full.
The only time I’ve ever seen her this small was when I was very young and she’d had a nervous breakdown. She lost so much weight and at that time, she was only 86 pounds.

She’s not depressed, nor does she feel sick. Unless she overeats. But I’m constantly trying to find new ways to help her.
She has now accepted the fact that she cannot move back to Wisconsin until she gets the weight back on and her blood pressure stable. At least this is what I’ve told her, and she feels she needs an excuse for her not being able to return.
Every season she says, “Oh, I’d move back but there’s too much snow!” Or, “I’d move back but it’s getting too hot now!” I’m prepared now, for what her excuse will be. I once called her bluff when she was fighting with me about her move back. “Go ahead,” I said. I waited and she was so perplexed that I wasn’t saying no, to her. She sat for a minute and said, “Well I can’t yet. It’s too cold.”
“Ok,” I said. “Tell me when you want to go, and I’ll help you.” I realized I had crossed over to the right side. No more pushing or pulling the weight. I just went along with it, and I could see this was all she wanted.

Yesterday she was sitting and watching her show, when out of the blue she said, Oh Carrie is up in Milwaukee. When I move there, I’ll call her and she’ll help me.”
I got that familiar stab in my heart, that I felt, the first time I realized she doesn’t know that I’m her daughter, Carrie.
I felt tears fill my eyes, as I tried to look away and asked her, “Have you heard from Carrie?” She said, “No, but she’s very busy.”
This hurt me. I can’t imagine a son or daughter not communicating for as long, as she thinks Carrie hasn’t called her.
“Then how do you know she’s in Milwaukee?” I ask. “Oh, I know. Her brother, Craig keeps in touch with her.”
I said, “I’m sure she loves you very much, even though you haven’t heard from her.”
“Oh, of course she does!” She says. Very proud and smiling as she seems to speak something that is a known fact.
“She’s off work right now.”
This is where I’m confused in my understanding of this disease. How does she connect the thought that I am, indeed off work, to care for her, and yet she doesn’t understand that I am the person she speaks of?
I long to help her understand that her daughter loves her and I feel a need to convince her that, her daughter wants to talk to her.
“Carrie loves her brother Kevin so much! She always listens to him when he talks and does so much for him.”
Here again, I’m totally perplexed. As my brother Kevin lives here too.
“She has a very big heart!” She says.

Now I’m finding this difficult. I’m stuck between my wish to let her know how special she is to, Carrie, and not brag about myself.
“She sounds like she does. She’s a Christian isn’t she?”
“Oh, yes! She always talks about God!”
“Well, then I’m sure that when she thinks of you, she is praying for you because she loves you so much.”
“I’m sure she is!
I tell her that Carrie sounds as if she kind of managed problems in the family and she agrees. She told me, she called on Carrie when there was a problem. She then said, “She’s so sweet and loving.”
I don’t think she’s ever said that to me.
I tell her that when I talk to Craig, I will make sure he tells Carrie to call her.
“Oh, yes, that would be great! I miss her!”

Now, I leave the room because I’m beginning to cry. My sweet mom, now accepts the fact that her children love her so much, yet this, Carrie cannot even call her mom?
Oh, I’m so mad at myself! What is wrong with me?
I called my son downstairs and shared this conversation.
I said, “It looks as if I’m going to have to make a phone call to grandma. Knowing that she has this respect for, ‘Carrie’s advice, I may be able to take advantage of this.
He reminded me of his call, pretending that he was her doctor and said, “Yes, she will love that. She won’t even know.”
The best part is that she will experience the joy of the love from her real daughter, instead of the imposter living with her now!
I must admit, it is humorous when I think about the whole thing.
Most people pretend to be something they’re not in this life.
I am faced with this peculiar task of pretending that I’m me! Hope I can pull this off!

The Stranger Who Came to Stay





Well, today it happened. It came without any indication. The woman who has sat in the same place on my couch, for 2 years and 3 months, told me, “I’m not your mom!” As she laughed at me like I was crazy.

I fumbled for answers to this. Wait a minute, I thought I had the solution to jog her memory. I pointed at my brother, (her first-born son) and said, “he’s your son.” She answered, “He’s not my son!”

She looked incredulous as I asked her about her other son and daughter. “They’re not my kids!” Well, I was shocked as I tried to reason with her. She told me my other brother was just some guy that helped her move into her apartment in Milwaukee.

A little while later I pointed out the massive hurricane, headed for New York. “I’ve been to New York,” She said. “I know, I took you,” I responded. “You didn’t take me!” Again, with a look amusement, she stated, “My daughter, Carrie took me.” “Mom, that’s me!” I said, unwilling to believe this was actually happening. “You’re not Carrie!,” she said.

I couldn’t tell you how odd this was to me. A combination of bewilderment, mixed with pain. As if I was holding her by a rope, across a raging river, and she was losing her grasp. “Mom!” “Stop calling me that!” she says, “I’m not your mom!”

I know, I think, if I can just remind her of my brother she lost when I was so young. I bring up his name. “That’s Kim’s son!” “Yes, mom, but she named him after your son, my brother.” “What? That’s just crazy!” At this point she tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I go into the next room. There are the pictures we had just been looking at the other day. All her pictures which I had brought down from her room. I had hoped we could put them into albums and she would enjoy looking at all the memories. There is the photo album, I had put together after our trip to New York. I had taken her to see the Rockettes Christmas Show. I took my daughter as well. Here is where I will be able to help her ‘snap out of it.

I bring the album in and show her the pictures. With each picture she tells me that wasn’t my daughter and it isn’t our trip. I didn’t know what my motivation was anymore. “Am I trying to help her remember? Or am I trying to make myself forget…that she is slipping away from me.

I had taken her to her neurologist about two months ago. She had a complete personality change. Light-hearted and easy-going. Laughing constantly. She was a different person. “What happened to her?” I asked him. “Well, she’s declining, but it’s normal. At least at this point, you should be able to get her involved in a senior center with day care. She won’t fight you now.”

As sure as the sun comes up, I signed her up for two days a week, and the other personality showed up. Sharp as could be, and fighting me as she always had before. “I’m not going back to that place!” She said. “That’s a nut house!” “Oh, this is great,”I thought. Just when I thought I ‘d get a little break.

I knew something had happened, because ever since she arrived at my home, she had checked off the days on her calendar. And then she stopped. As I shared this with her doctor he said, “Is it a Mayan calendar?” I cracked up, in spite of the loss I felt.

But this is the sign that something had happened. And her doctor never shared the true diagnosis until I had him fill out the paperwork for the senior center. With a listing of Dementia, and Alzheimer’s, I was in total shock. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know something was wrong. But he had told me she had TIA’s, which he explained were mini-strokes.

“Okay,” I thought, I can live with that. As if just hearing the word mini, made everything better. No need to worry. But there is no minimizing this. As I’ve watched her slowly lose ground and I give her round the clock care, I’m at a loss for how to deal with this woman, who is now stubborn and unwilling to take part in her life. Physically hitting me and calling me names, when I’ve tried taking her to, the retreat.

Each time I mention, just getting away for a few hours, and telling her she will have some friends, so she can talk about me. That’s just not enough of a bribe for her.

Today, as I listened to her talking about her daughter, ‘Carrie,’ I had the oddest feeling. I felt as if I was prying to ask her about this daughter. I could almost see a sense of pride in her, when she talked about her. I felt as if this was, “the fly on the wall.” eavesdropping on her conversation with someone else, as she bragged about me. For the first time in my life, I felt as if she was proud of me.

Perhaps this was the Lord’s way of showing me the affection which I never received from her. To show the side of my mother which left when I was a child. There was no time for this then. Too much tragedy and I had to grow up quickly. The roles were reversed.

But now I can hear, that she really does appreciate me. Even though we are becoming strangers. And I have found some humor in it, at times. When we were going through the pictures, at one point she had said, she didn’t know me. As I struggled to convince her that I was her daughter, she stubbornly refused to accept this nonsense. I finally said, “Well, then who am I?” To which she replied, “I don’t know who you are!” And I said, “Well, then I’m going to ask you what you’re doing here, living in a stranger’s house?”

She still manages to laugh at my son. And when he came in later, I mentioned something about him being her grandson. “Oh if you say so.” she said. Unwilling to hurt the boys feelings. She just decided to let us believe this.

She told me she could get ready for bed herself. So I let her. But when I went to check on her, I asked her, “Are you okay mom?” “Yes,” she said. And I did what I always do. I bent down and gave her a kiss on the cheek and a big hug. I said, “Goodnight mom.” “Goodnight,” She said. With the sweetest smile, and then she said, “See you in the morning.”

I guess in her mind, I may be a stranger. But a familiar stranger. And in some way, it’s security to her. She’s allowing me to call her, ‘mom,’ because she is staying here. I hope her daughter, Carrie doesn’t mind.

Push My Swing!

 I just dropped my mother off at a senior center the other day when I received a call about my brother. My brother with special needs, had been acting aggressively and hit someone. I found this shocking, as my brother never hits anyone. He does a lot of fist shaking and some obscenities may fly from his mouth, but hitting? I’ve never seen him do this.

His fist shaking between my son and him, started when he came to live with us. He lived in an abusive environment and this was a behavior he learned. Some things I’ll never know about. His scars, for example. He had no way of explaining, except to say that, “he had been burned, at a restaurant he worked at, and taken to the hospital. No incident reports ever came to the family. He has scars with no explanation.

I went to get him and the minute he saw me, he wept like a baby. I have rarely seen him cry like this. The only times, really, were the times he was returning after visits with his family. He would scream and cry. He never wanted to go back and always thought it was punishment.

I finished speaking with those in charge and turned to him. He told me, “Someone hit me!(the name I couldn’t understand), and he touched the back of his head. “He was bothering me!” Next he stood up and shook his fist at one of the women. I was in shock. But as I turned, I saw the woman standing behind me. She had a look of amusement. This bothered me. And it also seemed familiar.

I caught a glimpse of the past in my mind. I knew this look. When my mother was trying to pick up the pieces of her life, after the loss of my baby brother, her marriage, and her home. She was trying desperately to find out the best solution to caring for a son with special needs, and all of us.

Memories of my brother on a harness, connected to our clothesline, came to mind. She would do her chores, and I would keep an eye on him. It was before I went to school, and the other school kids would walk by with taunts at my brother. He would get upset and I would get very angry. “Leave him alone!” I would yell from my bedroom window.

They thought it very funny to see this big kid, leashed to his back yard. With every teasing remark or look, I felt pain. I didn’t realize that the Lord was making my heart, so soft. With each experience. I didn’t realize that He was training me to champion the cause of the meekest of this earth.

When I shared my brother’s incident with friends and people who have known him, they all seemed surprised. “Yes, I know it isn’t in his character,” I said. “He seemed quite upset that someone was bothering him. But I’ll never know the whole story. I just want to help him to learn to cope with teasing.”

I’m very much aware of the transference of spirits. Our Lord, created Adam, by breathing His spirit into him. And not long after this incident, the enemy came to influence Adam and Eve to do evil. This is another spirit. We have these spirits all around us, and they can and do, influence behaviors.

I had the same experiences with my son. He would come home from places and I knew exactly where/who he had been with, because of the way he was acting and things he was saying. His behavior was so noticeably different. And at times I felt I would have to deprogram him from the world. After beginning high school, I saw more rebellion and aggressive behavior. Every day brought a new round of challenges. “I can hang out as long as I want. You’re too restrictive. ” All the things he was spouting. He felt he should be emancipated at 14 years old, because he was comparing to others the same age.

Then I prayed about this and found the Lord reminding me that our responsibility as parents, is not in academics. It is, “to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he shall not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 He also reminded me of His Words, “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. “Ephesians 6:4

I decided to home educate, and the change was almost immediate. He  has more joy and self-motivation. He has much more self-control.  I have thought how many times the Lord has warned us, as adults, to build a strong foundation on Him. So when the world’s problems and influence come, we can withstand the onslaught. How much more is it for children, or others like them? Of course I know this isn’t the answer for every parent. And it’s not always feasible. For me it was the only answer.

If we are committed believers in Christ, the Lords influence should be evident. “The old passes away.” We are transformed by the filling of His spirit, with our rebirth. The enables us to turn away from deeds of darkness. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are a positive influence in our character. One being self-control.

And conversely  the scriptures teach of the other spirits which will give evidence of the Last Days. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy , without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness, but denying His power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy3

I was upset to hear a woman at my brother’s school suggest the possibility of placing him in a Group Home. “I would not.” I told her. I’ve waited all my life to restore my brother to his family.” I was amazed that someone would even think, that it is better to have anyone other than a loving family member to care for these people.

Yes, it is a thankless job. It is exhausting at times. But my mother shared a story with me all my life. Me, in my baby swing and my brother cranking the handle. The minute the swing would stop, I would begin to cry. She says, “He would push your swing, the minute you began to cry. You were his baby.”

Now, on those dark days, when I feel worn out, I look at my brother. The unconditional love is flowing from him. He is so sweet and he will come give me a hug, when he senses I’m upset. Sometimes, I get a kiss on the cheek. “It’s okay, my sister,” he says.

I know that the Lord has promised, “I can do all things through Him, who strengthens me.”

That’s all I need. Another push of the swing.

The End of the Beginning

Yesterday I was praying about a decision to send my mother back to her home of Wisconsin.

She tells me over and over again, that she’s homesick. But something which she said to the visiting nurse, pained me. I had never heard her say this before. When the nurse asked her a question, she came out with her usual, “Well, I’m not from here. I’m from Wisconsin. I love Wisconsin. That’s where I want to die. She quickly corrected herself, when she said, “Well, I want to live there too.”

But like a jury at a trial, it was already out. I heard it, and it was like a stab in my heart. Of course, I know it is an inevitable end to our journey, however, with her, it is never spoken. Until now.

As I walked out the door with the nurse, she said, “Do you think she’ll really go back?” “I began to tear up. “Well, it’s what she wants, but I can’t see her being able to care for herself. Believe me,” I said, “if I was a wealthy woman, I would put her in a little place of her own, with someone to care for her. Just so she could go back.” As I looked at the nurse, I could see she had tears in her eyes too. She had lost her mother years before, so I think we shared a common understanding of this sorrow. Watching the decline of her own mother sounds difficult. She had a nurse coming in as well.

She argued with me yesterday that she could do all the things I do for her. There is no need of me to help her in any way. I asked her if she felt she could stand on a stool to clean windows, clean the pool carry loads of laundry up and down the stairs, and make the meals. “Well, I wouldn’t have a pool!” She said, as if I was completely daft. I thought that was so hilarious. But I said,”Mom, I wouldn’t want you trying to cook and do laundry. It’s not safe. But she insisted that she needed no help. “I need to do what I can do,” she said. “Yes, I know this is true. But the issue is, that she really can’t do a lot.”

And this hurts me more than she understands. I was reminded of this today. I knew that I was going to have to make suggestions about personal issues with her.I wanted to be very delicate with her. I don’t want to embarrass her about anything, because she is so stubborn.

I went up to get her laundry and bed linens. When I had come downstairs, I decided to do her laundry, and thought, this may be a good time to have a talk. As I tried to be as sensitive as I could possibly be, I suggested some items, when I went out to the store. I couldn’t believe that she agreed so willingly. She almost seemed to be relieved.

But I left the house with mixed feelings about the whole discussion. I had hugged her and told her how much I loved her. She hugged me back and told me she loved me too. I said, “I never want to make you feel uncomfortable or embarrass you, mom. I just want to help you.” She had seemed more like a little girl than ever before.

I guess I wasn’t prepared for her to be so accepting of this change. Every little bit of independence she loses, she fights. So, I was surprised at this. And I felt pain. I wondered at why I found myself crying, as I headed to the store. I realized that this was exactly how emotional I was when I weened my children. After breast-feeding, I knew it was time to switch them to supplement bottles. And when they so quickly responded to a bottle, I was totally unprepared at their willingness to replace me with plastic.I had secretly hoped that they wouldn’t want that ‘false sense of security.’ I was so attached, that this seemed too easy for them to just, ‘let go.’ I realized that the failure of my mother to fight me, represented the same. It wasn’t  her letting go that was so hard, but me.

So today, I feel different about trying to relocate her. A friend pointed out that, my mother is just remembering life as it was 10 or 20 years ago. If she went back it would be miserable for her.He is so right. She talks about all of her friends, back in Wisconsin, but she really doesn’t have anyone.

She has three sister’s. One passed away last year. The other one lives in Arkansas. The other two, live in northern Wisconsin. But one of them has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize anyone.And her youngest sister, lives with her husband. And even she sold her house, to move into smaller accommodations.

I get angry with my family sometimes. I ask the Lord, “Why must I have a ringside seat, to this whole process, with my mother’s most difficult stage of her life.” But then He reminds me of all of the other events I had experienced, with her. I have the most compassion, when it comes to this, and I see that it was not by coincidence, that she’s ended up in my home.

The Lord knew that I was the one appointed for this time. I see this clearly. But it hurts on a daily basis. I felt to keep her with me is denying her last wishes, in her life. Yet, in my more pragmatic moments, I know that it’s quality of life which counts. And there is no quality at all,  if she was live, all alone in a little apartment. If I can’t get her to leave the house now, at least she has my children, my brother, me, and some people coming and going.

A friend told me, I should get an apartment for seniors. Take her on a little plane ride. Come back here, and place her in the apartment right down the street. Tell her she’s in Wisconsin and spray some frost on the windows. She’ll be happy as a clam. I said, “Yea, maybe she won’t notice if the front door opens and there are palm trees out front.”

The thought of that made me laugh. Then I remembered a song I used to hear on Christian radio, years ago. I just can’t remember who did it. If some knows, please tell me the title.

A man was bedridden, in a nursing home. He had no visitors, but one man who would come. He would ask him to describe what he saw out the window. The man would tell him all about the little children playing tag. Jumping rope and kids games. The people strolling by and the beautiful trees and flowers. Birds singing and the wonderful sunsets.

One day he came to visit and the room was empty. His friend had passed away. He walked over to the window to open the drapes. There in front of the window was a red brick wall.

At the end of the song, a new person was in the room, and the man sat beside the person describing the same beauty as before.

That song, always left me emotional. I see the power of the mind and the need to hold on to all that is good and alive. This is what I see my mother doing. I want to help her with those memories. I know the Serenity Prayer, and I was told that this would be good in this situation with my mother. “God help me accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.”

I remember the beginning, with my mom and I’m with her now, in the sunset of her life. I will remind her of the children playing, the birds and beautiful trees and flowers. Because on the other side of, that brick wall, those things really do exist. Because the end of the beginning, is really the true beginning!

I’m just asking for your prayers, for the wisdom and strength I need, for this time in her life and mine.

I’m In Contempt….Again!

So I had a stressful holiday as usual and decided next year, to avoid it until after all the pagans are finished celebrating.  Of course I say this every year. I’m tired of the people taking up my parking space when I want to go grocery shopping. I’m tired of the mall shopper’s on the streets. I’m tired of the people with bad moods, just because they’re all trying to get the last-minute items for everyone, and they don’t even believe in anything.

Oh, I know, I know. Everyone is supposed to be something. At least that’s what statistics say.  But the truth is that no one knows what the original meaning of it is anyways, so I’m going to start doing my own thing.Well, it’s not as if I wasn’t already. But, I really mean, I’m just tired of doing  everyone else’s thing. Come on, hang with me on this one. Christ did not…and I repeat…He did not, celebrate His own birthday. And you can research this any time you please. I am an avid believer that everything had a purpose in scripture, and God said, that nothing was placed there without a reason, so, that being said, why didn’t Christ have birthday parties, yet we celebrate His? And, by the way, on a date, which, we just decided, for Him?

Nope, I’m thinking that this was a merchants, fiscal dream. At any rate, it’s fun for kids. Yet, I’m not sure if we are teaching the real message of love and giving. And I’m way over the bad attitudes, in the name of the goodwill to all men  No matter,how badly the churches scramble. Even they seem to be sending a message of trying to get something by using this holiday to bring hordes of people in. Even they have gotten way too commercial. They’re using all kinds of bait to draw people in the name of Jesus. Then  in the hopes of membership. Yes, I know this isn’t what some people like to hear because they get comfortable in those seats. So comfortable that they never leave.

The lights, the shows. It’s way over the top. I cannot even stomach the flashy churches with the show-stopping bands and lights. Sorry, if I don’t fit the image of all things religious for you. But, I’m not into it. Once I went to visit a church with a friend of mine years ago, and he said it best; “if the show starts, I’m leavin.” I started cracking up. But it’s true. I don’t think God needs a bunch of bells and whistles to get His point across.

Now, don’t get me wrong, not every church has a sinister agenda. There are some with a true desire to seek and save the hurting and the lost. But then they would get outside of those walls, wouldn’t they? I’m reading a book about this right now. Probably the best I’ve ever read on the subject. The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the founder of World Vision. He stepped down from position of CEO to serve the poorest of the poor.

This is the point. The love and compassion for the lost and hurting is what Christ wanted. Not a birthday party. So I am beginning to watch this whole exercise of Christmas with a mix of amusement and irritation.

Then I have all of the other things that come due at this time of the year. Like my brother’s guardianship report. Which most of you remember from last year. Yes, it always happens that I leave out some small detail and it’s kicked back to me with some threatening letter from the court, that I will have to appear if I don’t fix it, or “I’ll be held in contempt.” Or worse, “I could be removed as guardian.” The fact is, I’m the only real guardian, my brother has ever really had in his life. I love him and care for him. I’ve always protected him and wanted the best for him. He wanted to be with his family since my mother was forced to give him up and it was my desire to bring him home since I was a child. Now I have to jump through hoops ever year to prove that I am a fit caregiver.

Now the previous agency was just a generic entity, that made documents to commit fraud. They had listed all kinds of things on his reports. They had him capable of having a driver’s license,” marrying, the ability to  “buy and convey property.” What’s the big deal? Yes, if one would peer into some of th documents,  of the people with Special Needs and the elderly,they would find some interesting details. But that is the funny thing. Most wards of the state, have none to oversee their care so it is very easy to fly under the radar.

So, I painstakingly make out my  report year after year, even though nothing is going to change. I take him to his doctor to have him do his part. “Yes, he’s still mentally challenged. He still hasn’t been cured.”

Now, like clockwork, I get the letter. “Your letter has been audited and your letter isn’t clear about his residence. It should state, “current or present.” On page 6, it should say, what his plans are for the next 12 months. This must be complete in two weeks from date of letter or blah, blah, blah. Same old threat.

Oh, I’m so irritated. I would like to take last years and the year before. Or maybe the ones from up north. Oh no, those would pass no problem, they’re so ridiculous.

I make the necessary corrections immediately, but I have to go to work for a few days. Then the offices are closed. I decide to up to the office with my brother. I hand the secretary my report. She looks at me and almost with glee, she exclaims, “You can’t turn this in! It has to say, Amended on it!” “Well,” I told her. It did not say that in my letter. It only stated what corrections to make, and I made the necessary corrections.” Then she asked, “Do you have the letter with you?” “No, I didn’t bring the letter. I made the corrections, which I was told to make and brought it, before the date requested. But I’m sure you have the copy.” She yells back to the other woman, “You sent her the wrong letter! You didn’t tell her to write Amended, on her copy!” “Are you kidding?” For some reason, I’m not feeling the love from this woman. Really? Is the peace, love and joy, of the holidays, finished already?

Now she looks at me with a smile and says. “Oh, and you have to sign it again over your signature. And your attorney has to sign it again, over his signature.” At this point, I could see that she loved all of this control she was wielding over me.Wow, she must have really been shafted over the holidays. Probably got some sock’s or a Snuggie(so last year) “You mean I must go back to my attorney, just to have him sign above his signature again?” “That’s correct.” She said.

As I looked at her, all I could think of is that word “contempt” and how descriptive, it was of her.  She smiled and said, “Happy New Year!” I wouldn’t let her have the satisfaction of knowing that I was wondering how it would feel to slap her right now. Yes, I could do, three, instead of the traditional New Year’s kiss. One for each cheek. After all, it is a Christian mandate, isn’t  it?  Turning the other cheek? Except it would be her own. Yes, I’m zoning in right now;It’s all about visualization; HAPPY (SLAP)NEW((SLAP)YEAR!(SLAP)!AHH, That felt good. The Lord was right. We Should turn the other cheek! I smiled right back at her and said,  “Oh, Happy New Year to You!” Even knowing, full well, that I had to leave, again, to go to work the next day. Arriving home on the holiday, with only one day to spare to get this paper-signing feat.

But alas, I still managed to get this accomplished, and my attorney, said “Isn’t this stupid?” “Oh, believe me” I said,  I’m like so over all this nonsense!”

Those who should be held accountable, are not, and those who are doing the best they can are inundated with paperwork and technicalities.   I’m ready to boycott Christmas next year, I’m over the courthouse records, guardianship papers, etc. It’s just more money and my time. So, I’ll just be doing my own thing from now on. That’s why I like Richard Stearns book. He found the Hole In Our Gospel. I saw the same thing many years ago. You can see it everywhere you look. But as we continue to pour ourselves out to a dying world, He fills me up. Those irritations will come and they will go.But He will lift me up, through it all.

Yes, that was my super spiritual moment! So even though I did get back from my trip get those signatures and back to the courthouse. I got everything in order. Next year and the year after….I’ll be in contempt again and again and again!!!!

They Put the ‘Special’ in Special Ed

Now I’m really getting tired of these stories of Special Education, teacher’s making fun of their students.

This is a very unique job and one which requires people with compassion and sensitivity. I know. My brother was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. He would appear completely ‘normal,’ accept, he has the mentality of a young boy and he has a slight gait, due to cerebral palsy. Oh, and his vocal cords were severely damaged, making it almost impossible for people to communicate with him.

He is a sweet loving person. Innocent as a child can be. Which also makes him, very easy to exploit. He had many along his journey, who have taken advantage of him. He has scars on his arms from serious burns he experienced, and still it’s difficult for me to determine what happened and by whom. He explains in his best language, which I can understand. He was working at his job at Pizza Hut. They had him washing the dishes, (which he shouldn’t have been doing.) He had some kind of a spray washer and it was scalding hot. It burned his arms and he was taken to the hospital. He tells me, “They gave me shots. It hurt.” I always get very upset when I hear this.

I know he lived in a small town, before I went to bring him home to live with me. In this town, there was an organiztion, which claimed to be, A Supportive Living organisation. Which basically meant, they would take all the people with special needs and cram them into little apartments. They had a couple ‘caseworkers,’ check on them at some point during the day.

My brother lived with a guy named, David He had a bad temper, and repeatedly abused my brother. I only found these things out, by talking with the other people in this apartment building. One woman told me that my brother was so sick. And she called the agency to have them take him to the doctor. They refused and she took him herself.

I was furious to find out about all of these things. Incident reports are supposed to be filed and family notified. But these poor people have had their basic human rights, stripped away. I see a long scar on his back and wonder at this as well.

Since I was a young girl, I had grief at the loss of my brother to a state institution. He was placed later with a loving family. Then he was placed again, in a group home. I had visited the group home, many times. I liked the people running this home. They were loving and my brother and other resident’s loved it.

Then it was closed, to begin the grand scheme. The supported living, was nothing more than a cover for a money laundering scheme. They had all of them sign up for funeral trust funds and started placing the funds into them. A bunch of attorney’s and tax exempt specialists. Using my brother and others like him, as their cash cows. One scam after another and never stopping to think about the care of their wards. They were just throw-aways.

I am getting very upset at the manner in which people treat them. When I stepped into an elevator at the courthouse yesterday, a woman was talking to her friend about something. She said, “That’s so retarded!” The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and short of glaring at her with an angry remark, I bit my tongue.

How can ignorance come to an end when even, people who claim it’s racist to mention color, make songs, referring to being retarded? Unless someone actually has a loved one who is mentally challenged or has some disability, there seems to be no empathy.

After reading this story today, I wondered, why would these people devote time to careers which involve people with ‘special needs,’ when they don’t even like them? It breaks my heart to hear these stories.

It seems to me that an appropriate punishment for these teachers and so-called, professionals, who have exploited their students and wards, should be placement in a ‘special education class themselves. A place where they would see how truly ‘slow,’ they are. That they have no grasp or concept of what ignorance really means. The word retarded or mentally challenged. If they truly understood, they would realize that it applies to their own behavior.

The special needs, which my brother has and everyone like him, are the need for love and compassion. Everything else falls into place, when those needs are met. And those needs aren’t just reserved for people who are like you and me.

My brother has a companion who comes to take him to his social functions. I feel so blessed, because she is a woman who has chosen this profession because of her desire to make their lives better. There are some who only choose these professions because of pay. Well, I have news for these people, if that’s the motivation for entering this ‘very special,’ field. There won’t be enough pay to satisfy. Without passion for people like my brother, they are going to be miserable and make his life miserable as well.

As a man reminded me the other day, “If you love what you’re doing, you never work a day in your life.” My request for all of you is, to please choose another line of work. Stay away from these very special people.

I’m also speaking as a word of warning. The Lord told us; “The least of these are the greatest in the kingdom of God. A time is coming when the ones who have brought harm to these people, will give account.

After posting this, I saw another horrible article about someone abusing these people. This certainly seems to be an epidemic. And yes, I’m positive it was for their Social Security payments. I believe the government needs a special task force, to investigate all of these people and the money trail. At the end, I believe they will find fraud in the majority of cases.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Happy Birthday to Dad

Today would have been my dad’s birthday. I’m always sad at this time of the year. Not so much, on the date my father died. But the date of his birthday. I think, I was overwhelmed with the loss and no breathing time, before the loss of my youngest brother. Then, I was also going through a ‘stripping away.’ I had lost my job with Eastern Airlines, because of the strike and the immediate loss of income.

My ex-husband was also ill. He  in the hospital, and at the same time, the home which we were renting, being foreclosed on.  I came home from the hospital, to find a notice on the door. The owner, apparently was involved with another woman, and stopped paying the mortgage. I had called his wife, and she was hysterical. I would soon realize the same desperate feelings, of despair and hopelessness.

I remembered, being in a panic, as I was trying to figure out how I was going to feed my daughter. A little toddler. Since we were not approved for any kind of unemployment. I remember being in the Unemployment Office, and I was given the bad news. I had no pride left, as I looked at my little girl, and asked the woman, “How am I supposed to put food on the table, with my husband in the hospital, and no income?” She looked at me with compassion, as she said, “Go down to the Food Stamp Office. You should qualify.”

I went straight down to the office, and after filling out a series of papers, I was called into a room. “I’m sorry to tell you that you don’t qualify.” The man said. “Your pre-strike income is too high.” “What?!” I was so angry. “That is my “pre-strike. Which means, I’m no longer getting any income!” “I’m so sorry,” he said.

I stormed out and got into my car. I remember this as if it was yesterday. I was so low, I couldn’t breath. I was a new believer, and here I am, being hit from every side.  As I drove home, I remembered asking God what I should do. I couldn’t understand how all of this could be happening at the same time. I felt so alone. “At least, take care of my daughter.” I pleaded.

All of a sudden, I looked up. It was pouring out, and I felt my tears in the rain. Hitting my windows, hard. I wasn’t sure if I couldn’t see because of my own cries, or the torrential downpour. Then a song came on the radio. It’s words were an answer, which I heard. “If He is watching over the sparrow, I know, He is watching over me.”

It was this time which was the most miraculous time in my life. Yes, as much pain and suffering as I endured, I had an equal balance of miracles. And I’m positive, that my faith would not have grown, in the leaps and bounds, it had, if I wouldn’t have been so keenly aware, of my need.

I believe, that my feelings of sadness, He uses remind me. To point to these times of trouble, and make me aware of the Lord’s divine hand in my life. He held me up through all of my suffering.

Today, I had another argument with my mother. I told her it was important to exercise. I had gotten information for her, to help her have some socialization. She fights me on everything. Then she told me again, “It’s none of your business! I am leaving here anyway!” Then I asked her how. I was so upset. She has the plan, but she cannot execute it without me, doing everything. I have a very difficult time, with her. She is totally dependent on me to do everything, yet she tells me to ‘butt out.’

She began to go up the stairs in a huff. After trying to help her, by giving her a calendar of social events, from the center down the street, she ended with, “You’re evil!” I had already spoken with some social workers, and they agreed, she is a tough candidate, for their center. Since she doesn’t want to go. They seemed more concerned about me and the tough road I have, with her non-compliant behavior. They seemed aware of elder’s with this type of attitude.

I went into the next room to be alone. I was upset, as I asked the Lord to help me. “I am tired, Lord. I’m tired of trying to help my mother, to hear her constantly berate me. I’m angry with my siblings, who have left her in this state and me to pick up the pieces. Why didn’t they just leave her where she was? Now I’m the one to shoulder all of this. I’m trying to balance, your commandment to honor my mother, and my feelings of hurt.”

My daughter came down the stairs, and she sat next to me. “Mom, you can’t help her if she doesn’t want the help. You can’t keep doing this to yourself. At some time you are probably going to have to give her an ultimatum. She just doesn’t understand how much you are doing for her.”

I was broken, as I told her, that “Today is always difficult. It would have been your grandpa’s birthday. I’m the age which he was, when he left. And I feel alone. Especially after, what my own siblings have done.” “You’re not alone, mom.” She said. She gave me a big hug, and I was so thankful for her love and sensitivity.

In her words, I heard so much wisdom. It was a comfort to have her consoling me. I longed for this type of relationship with my mother. But she won’t allow it.

I realized that we had come full circle. The little toddler, which I was trying to provide for, was now providing for me. In ways, she didn’t yet understand. Just as my own mother, does not understand.

I said, a prayer of thanks, to the Lord. On the day, I begged the Lord, to care for my child. I felt like, Hagar, in the desert, crying out. And He reassured me, “He watches over all of us, just as He does, the sparrows.” He revealed His glory and provision, in a time when I was most desperate. And I’m reminded, with each painful experience, that He is also watching over my mother. He’s mindful of every detail of my life and hers.

So, today, I thank Him. Even for the suffering. I know it’s His hand, to refine me. As my father, was not perfect, my Heavenly Father is. This is a day to memorialize my father and to remember the good things that my Heavenly Father has done. And it was during these times of darkness, which I had grown in my relationship to Him. So today, as I draw close, I will tell Him to give words of love to my father and tell Him that I understand the day He went to be with Him, was truly his birthday! Happy Birthday Dad!

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