Saturday, April 19, 2014

Friday Confessional. . . umm on Saturday



It is Friday and you all know what that means?  Yep you guessed it, time to fess up.  Come join the fun over at Aubrey's High-Heeled Love.  She host this little party every Friday.  (Yes, I know it is Saturday.)

 I confess...

I have done NOTHING at all to prepare for Easter.  I purchased last month a few new Easter decorations but did nothing.

I confess...

That first statement is wrong.  I did pick up three months ago three new books for Taj for Easter.

I confess...

Todd is such a wonderful man, while I was in Des Moines on Monday with my family and spending the night he was home here in Iowa City keeping things normal for the boys.  He called me and told me he picked up things for the kids for Easter.  I am such a lucky woman having him on my side, for his love for me and taking care of me.

I confess...

Two of my sons have to work on Easter and it does bum me out a little.  Especially Ethan, between his break up and the death he is very withdrawn. He gave up going to the prom due to no date, but now he is giving up the After Prom Party because it is the day we will be spreading my Dad's ashes and having an In Memory Dinner for him.  The party does not start until midnight, I have tried to talk him into it but I am having no luck at all.  Unfortunately, this date is the only date that would work because of my niece in Texas. It was going to cost nearly $900 for her to fly up last week to spend a day.  Her family had plans that week in May to be in Iowa, so we told her we will wait for her.

I confess...

Monday will be interesting going back to work.  Keeping my mind busy will be good, I think.  

I confess...

OH!  I think my Dad watches over me.  Scratch that I know he watches over me.  I have an interview for another position at work on Monday too.  They contacted me on Friday to set it up. They have been waiting for me and were hoping to have it completed on Friday but they really wanted to interview me.  I hope it works out.

What do you have to confess about? 

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Bonus Book~ Literary Friday

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I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party  Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews.  (Yes, I know it is Saturday...)
 Bereavement Help

Tuesday, April 8 Todd was looking at E-reader Perks, a place one can go to find free electronic books to download.  He came across a book he thought might be useful for when the time came. Bereavement Help by Dick Underwood.  I did download it, little did I know I would need it the very next day.   I began to read it a couple of days after my Dad died, hoping to find some help with the grief.  Under normal conditions I think it would have been a very quick read, only 48 pages, however it did provide me with some coping methods I began to put into action. 

Dick Underwood is a former Minister of Religion and a former Industrial Chaplain within the deep sea fishing industry, former Chief Executive of a national counseling charity in the United Kingdom.  He frequently had to provide the horrible news of a loved one passing.  He explains what Bereavement is and coping strategies as well as the symptoms.  This one I am experiencing, unable to sleep. He explains do not use drugs to assist you because it will only work short term and your body adapts to them.  He found this the most helpful technique.  First, stay awake.  Do not take a nap during the day.  Drink as much caffeine to help you stay awake. Stay awake for 36 hours, your body will sleep because it has been deprived.  Once you get up, even if it is in the middle of the night, you need to get up and stay up until bedtime the following night.  Each night you will sleep longer.  I have tried it and it does work.  I am now able to sleep for 4 hours compared to an hour and a half.

He explains what is normal grief and abnormal.
"Love Brings Pain  If you love someone, you are bound to feel pain at their death.  To be honest, you wouldn't want it any other way. The greater your love, the greater your pain."
He provides a suggestion about setting a time of day where you think of your loved one and any time you think of the loved one outside this time, you are to tell yourself "No, it is not your time, you have to wait."  You are eventually supposed to look forward to that time of thinking of your loved one and making yourself not constantly thinking about your loved one.  I do not know about this suggestion.  I think it is very hard to make yourself stop thinking.  I have found myself after the first day half of the day working on my Dad's slide show wanting to go back to the computer and look at the pictures.  I was fine looking at them and found myself smiling and enjoying the memories.  I just lost it when I watched the slide show with the music.

I know the biggest thing is time but this book for a free book did provide useful tips.   I just highlighted a couple. 

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Literary Friday

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I am participating with Ricki Jill's from Art @ Home , weekly party  Literary Friday. You should go over to her blog and check out all of the other book reviews.  (Yes, I know it is Saturday...)

The Boy on the Wooden Box

I loved the movie Schindler's List.  I loved knowing there was someone who had so much compassion for humans during some very ugly times and he had power to save some Jewish people.  This book The Boy On The Wooden Box is a memoir of Leon Leyson.  He is one of the Jewish people Oskar Schindler saved.  He was a child at that time, only ten years old when Nazi invaded Poland and his immediate family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto.  Leon did lose two brothers and extended family during this ugliest history error in my opinion.  They survived only because Oskar added their names to his list of workers in his factory, his mother, his father, and tow of his four siblings as well as him, this list is known as the Schindler's List.  Leon is one of the youngest children to survive on this list.

This book in my opinion is an important contribution to our history because not many survived concentration camps and their story should be shared.  He, however demonstrates how one struggles to move on and can overcome horrible events life may throw at one.  I found I appreciated Oskar Schindler once more for his bravery and being a decent human being.

This book is a quick read but I feel everyone should read it, this way history is not forgotten and hopeful never repeated.  

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It Has Been One Week...

It has been one week... Today, I am working on a slide show in memory of my Dad for his dinner we are having.  It is a tough one but also I am loving the treasures I am finding with old photographs. Here are just three. 
 Dad ~he was a true looker back in his time.
 Mom ~ she is beautiful as well.
I love this one.  I see one of my boys in my Dad's face in this one.

One of our songs has to be a Reba McEntire for the slide show.  He was so in love with her.  *huge smile*   The above song, I love and there are so many things in this song which is true about me with him.  The first verse and the chorus:
I will not make the same mistakes that you did
I will not let myself
Cause my heart so much misery
I will not break the way you did,
You fell so hard
I've learned the hard way
To never let it get that far

Because of you
I never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side so I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you
I do not mean this in any bad way.  He made a lot of mistakes in his life, I just learned I did not want to repeat those mistakes. It is a good lesson he taught me.   Only, I do not think this song is appropriate for my slide show.  As I was driving to Des Moines this past Monday, I was scanning the radio station for a song to listen to.  "Good Ol' Boys" came on.  I left it because it reminded me of my Dad.  He loved Dukes of Hazard.  I thought this may be a good song but thought my sisters may think I was being silly.  Rob (Katie's husband) helped my Dad a lot the last four months.  He would talk a lot to my Dad during the day and night.  Rob told us he would talk about Waylon Jennings.  My Mom and I went to look for music I could upload for the slide show.  We found a Waylon Jennings CD and as we were in the check out my Mom was looking at the CDs we had and laughed.  (I told her earlier about the "Good Ol' Boys" song.)  She pointed at the CD and guess who sung that song.  Yes, Waylon Jennings!  I believe it was a sign that my Dad wanted that song.  *smile*  I believe signs are sent to us if we are open minded and listen.

It has been one week... I think I have cried so much just from out of the blue.  I thought my little sunshine would be my prescription for my aching heart on Saturday.  He was, I probably cried the least that day and had true laughter for the first time as well.  Todd, looked at me at the end of the day and asked me if I had a good day.  I answered yes, why and he commented that he thought I would have enjoyed it more.  I guess I was more distant and he did catch a couple of tears. He told me to take as long as I need to grieve, he will always be here with a shoulder to cry on.  I am so lucky to have a wonderful man like this in my life.  I did enjoy my day and plan to post about it sometime.

It has been one week... I felt so left out being in Iowa City.  I drove back and forth a couple of days.  My plans were to go back and be with my sisters when his ashes were picked up, but they never called me.  I found out through my Grandma his ashes were picked up and they brought him to her.  She was distraught.  I was so hurt and angry.  Angry I was left out.  It seems I am an after thought often at times.

It has been one week... I have felt anger a lot from time to time as well.  It is odd, I never knew anger was part of grieving. I was so angry any time I logged into Facebook and was seeing all these happy events being posted.  Friends uploading prom pictures.  How dare the world to keep going on!  Don't they know my Dad died just a few days prior?  Anger at the world and people for living?!  The anger did not last long because then logic kicked in.  Death is part of life and we all must keep living.  I know my Dad would have wanted this.

It has been one week...  I have been able to hear my aunts and uncles tell stories of my Dad.  I love hearing their memories of him.  Monday, I went and spent the day with them and the night at my Mom's. Todd once again, was there for my boys to keep normalcy there.  That night, my sisters Amy and Lisa were over.  Katie was home after Sunday being at the ER with Miranda.  She had to have an emergency surgery to remove the attachment holder for binkies to be removed from Miranda's stomach. She swallowed it and unlike other children who swallow things, Miranda cannot pass the object because of her G/J tube.  My poor baby sister has had one tough time after another.  Any way, it was so much fun to relive Lisa's and my memories.  The four of us (Mom, Lisa, Amy, and myself) laughed at the stories we were sharing. I had a good time with them.  Earlier that evening it was just my Mom and I.  We spent a lot of time just us and the next morning as well. My Mom told me she was really enjoying this because she does not remember having time alone with just me.  Thinking back, I do not remember alone time with her either.

It has been one week...  The time in Des Moines seemed to help a lot!  I still have had a few moments yesterday and today.  I am sure the rest of my life will be like that for him, however I cannot let it consume me because I am a Mom.  I have to be here for them as well.  My Dad would not have wanted us to cry and cry over him.  I keep remembering the last day I had with him, three days prior.  He told me as usual how much he loved me.  He mentioned how he can tell I am losing weight and wanted to know how much.  He told me he can see it in my legs.  *smile*  I also think of my dream I had the night he died.  I so believe that God and my Dad let me be there with him that night.  His last words to me that night, "I love you.  I am so proud of you.  You are such a good mother.  Jolene, remember I will always love you."  Remember I will always love you.  The last sentence I heard from him.  What a beautiful thing!

It has been one week...

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday's Song


I did not think I was going to post a Sunday's Song this week.  I just did not want to keep my blog full of sadness (with that sad, my posting may be hit or miss for the next week) and the only songs that kept coming into my head with memories or of anything was about my Dad until I watched Glee's two weeks ago episode.  The opening song made me smile and brought back happy memories of when I was younger. My Aunt Marlene was watching my sister Lisa and I on a beautiful fall day.  I remember the leaves on the trees still.  She was going to take us downtown to have lunch and to shop.  I remember the generic barbie doll with auburn hair still.  We rode on the public bus transportation for the first time and I remember how cool it was.  While my aunt was getting ready she kept singing this song  and she even sung it to us while we were on the bus.  Enjoy!





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