i will miss you

I will miss you…a statement I’ve heard a couple of times this week. Two different times. Two different reasons. Two different feelings.

Today was the last day of school for the kids in our school district. I had the afternoon bus route to do and was lucky enough to get to endure the it’s-the-last-day-of-school-and-we-don’t-care attitude. While I was waiting for the junior high students to get on the bus, I overheard one telling the other, “I will miss you”. In a day or so, they’ll probably have a ball game bringing them all together again but the day-to-day reason for bringing them together was over for three months. When I heard that statement, it made me think of the last time I heard that statement this week.

IMG_8068This was on Mother’s Day. Grandma wanted to see the flowers that I had given mom.

Grandma was 97 – she had just turned 94 when I wrote this post about celebrating her birthday. I knew she would have to leave us some day. It just happens. For the past several years, Grandma would tell me she wanted to go home, “I think God has forgotten me”.  I would reassure her there was a reason she was still here. She would wonder what that could be since she was confined to a wheelchair after her hip surgery many years ago. I know she didn’t like being where she was and spending the days as she did.  Every time I drove by the Care Center – in a hurry to get something picked up or done – I would wonder what she was doing. And, of course, feel guilty. Grandma was never one to MAKE you feel guilty (she knew how busy our lives were) I just felt guilty for driving past her and not stopping in to say hello.

“Grandma, it’s ok to go home”. That’s what I told her Monday night.

I knew she wasn’t good and the day had been long and it was already 6:30 pm when I went to see her. When I got to her room, my aunt was there. She’d been there all day. I walked up to her and bent low to her face and said, “Hi Grandma! The last time I saw you, you sure didn’t have all this stuff in the way”. She had an oxygen tube wrapped around her ears. The silly thing kept falling away from her nose. I don’t know if it was really doing her any good but I tried to adjust it a bit for her. “It’s choking me”. It really wasn’t but I loosened the band that was keeping it up under her chin – a lot like a child’s cowboy hat.

She grabbed my hand and told me they were cold (which they were). It’s been a rather chilly, rainy spring and this day was no different. I hadn’t even grabbed my coat on the way out the door when I left home. It had been a busy day and I just wanted to go see how Grandma was and I wasn’t thinking about the outside temperature. She held my hand – close to her heart – until it warmed up. We talked small talk. She wanted to know what the girls were doing and how Eli and Nora were. She was slipping but not enough that she still didn’t know what was going on! That’s the amazing thing. For being 97, she was sharp as a tack. “What was Jim up to”? I told her he had been busy for the last month trying to get stuff ready to head south. She wondered when we would be leaving. I gave her the same answer that I’ve been giving everyone – “I don’t know”.

“I hope I get there”. I reassured her she would.

Grandpa has been gone for nearly 30 years already. She learned how to live without him a long time ago. I know right after he passed away, it was very difficult for her. She knew nothing about finances. She hadn’t even learned how to drive a car. She did know how to make a grandchild happy, though, with cookies in the cookie drawer. Her fried chicken and macaroni salad were the BEST. The nurse brought in some soup and juice while I was there. She tried it but said she wasn’t hungry. That’s what made me think about her fried chicken and macaroni salad. We visited about that and all agreed even a beer would be good. Grandma gave a nod of her head in agreement.

“Grandma, when you get there, will you do me a favor”? She looked at me and said she would. I said, “when you get there, will you tell Grandpa I say hello? And will you hold those babies of mine (I had three miscarriages)?” She nodded her head.

Those miscarriages came at different times between the girls. There were two between Jenna and Taylor. And one more between Taylor and Callie. That’s why it’s like we have two families. I even had someone once ask me if the girls were all with the same dad. (couldn’t they tell they all look alike?) Silly, right? I know they’re waiting for me in heaven. But in the meantime, they’ve got some really wonderful Grandma’s who will be more than happy to hold them.

“I will miss you”. That’s when the tears began to flow. “Grandma, I will miss you too”. We hugged. It was the tightest hug I’d felt from her in a long time. It felt as though she didn’t want to let go. 

She was tired. My aunt had told me she hadn’t slept very well the night before. She was struggling to catch her breath and couldn’t relax. Her eyes were closed now so I gently stroked her beautiful, white hair and rubbed her forehead. The whole while I was doing that, I remembered the many times as a young girl she would let me stand on her couch and fix her hair. She was always so patient. So many wonderful memories!

I knew she wouldn’t be as good the next day as she was tonight but she was exhausted. I had to let her rest. I continued to rub her head gently. When I decided I had better leave, she was in a deep sleep. I leaned down and kissed her one more time and quietly left her room. I knew I would never be able to talk to her again and this broke my heart.

I knew she was ready to go and as I walked out the door, I prayed that God would take her without having to endure much pain.

Tonight I drove by the Care Center. I caught myself wondering what Grandma was doing and quickly remembered she was no longer there. Grandma passed away very early yesterday morning. She was where she wanted to go – she was with Grandpa and she was holding those babies.

I will miss you…

 

 

a calf named ruby

IMG_7806All pictures are thanks to Taylor Zeorian Photography.

Palm Sunday brought our family and  Jim’s side of the family together. This is our only link to the farm – a real farm. We visit farms with our business but Harv and Maureen’s farm is the only one left in our family unit. I was excited for Eli to visit the farm and even more excited that it was a beautiful day!

IMG_2723_editOne of the highlights of the day was getting to bottle feed the calf named Ruby.  As long as I’ve known Harv and Maureen (and that’s a long time), they’ve had cattle. They used to have quite a few hogs, too, but sold out after prices went too low to justify keeping them. At least when you visit the farm now, it’s a bit less stinky!  Anyway…back to Ruby. Harvey and Maureen’s grandson, Harvey Jr., has the chore of feeding Ruby every day. So, on this particular day when it was time to feed her, we tagged along.

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while you were away

That’s what my Twitter feed tells me. When I see that, I feel behind. It’s been that sort of winter!

Reader BEWARE – you are about to see a whole lot of pictures and not many words while I attempt to get you caught up on where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to.  I’ve made a few trips since the first of the year. A couple of excursions to DC, a trip to Phoenix, to Billings and one more scheduled to Colby, KS before the beginning of the 2015 harvest. Of all these trips, the very best one was the trip to Phoenix. This took me away from home one day short of two weeks. But…it was two weeks with Jenna and I would do it all over again if I could. We left Omaha on a very COLD, windy day with anticipation of much warmer temps once we started heading south. The one thing I would change, if I could, would be that Jenna wouldn’t have been suffering from a miserable cold.

IMG_7498She’s done this ever since she was a little girl (and she’ll probably be mad at me after she sees this picture. 

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a change in the fleet

IMG_7849It’s the same thing every year – as long as I remember…”when will you be heading south”? I’ve jokingly said we need to create two signs. The first one we should either wear or carry around says, “I don’t know for sure” and the other one “it wasn’t a vacation”.

Preparations for harvest 2015 have begun. Slow but sure. Jim has never been lucky enough to have a nice shed to work in. He is at the mercy of the weather. If it’s raining, the outside work is put on hold and something else picked up until the sun is shining.  As you can tell from the picture, we’ve had a few good days.

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playing an unfamiliar game

Proverbs 6:16-19
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

We live in a world where answers to questions are found quickly and conveniently at our fingertips. If you’re ever wondering about something or have questions about something…Google it. I’ve been unknowingly playing a game that I’m not familiar with. I’ve probably been subjected to it many times throughout my life but haven’t been aware until recently there is a name to this game. It’s called bullying.

The personality of a bully is one that I don’t understand. Their game is one that my brain can’t seem to wrap itself around let alone know how to play because I don’t know the rules. You see, I don’t understand why or how someone can purposely hurt another. Why it feels so good to tear someone down or make them look like someone they’re not. I don’t understand a mind that wants to make themselves look bigger and more powerful at the expense of others. I don’t understand the mind of a bully.

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from the archives

24_Mar.WH05SRE.inddThis was in the March 24, 2015 Omaha World-Herald.

“I think you made the paper today…is this you?” – Jenn (texted to me at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning)

“Yes!”, I responded to my cousin’s question. “This is in today’s paper??”

“Yep! Living Section page 5E”, was her reply.

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the path i have chosen

IMG_7439I’m headed back home after being in DC this past week. I finally have a bit of time to myself to reflect on the past couple of weeks (actually months) and I find myself wondering where in the world the time went. How could it already be the first week of February? This makes me think about what I have traded my days for.

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the value of a gift

I guess I’m still a kid at heart! I love Christmas and I love receiving boxes in the mail! So, when I received my box from my “Secret Santa”, I couldn’t wait to open it!

Thanks to some lovely ladies, my second year of participating in the Christmas In the Country was a success! These gals certainly know how to organize and create a fun activity during the Christmas season! Thank you Laurie, Jamie, Robyn and Erin! You gals are the best! And…Merry Christmas to you – all of you! It seems like the holiday was a year ago already but my Christmas tree and decorations remind me that it really wasn’t THAT long ago (no, I still haven’t taken any of it down)!

So, to give you a bit of an idea of what this is all about, I agreed to be a part of the gift exchange in November. Those gals that I just mentioned gathered names of people wanting to participate (from all walks of life) and then matched us with another blogger. The name I was given was Amber whose blog is, “A Gentle Word“. I, of course, had to visit her blog when I was trying to figure out what to send her and realized that she is way younger than me, has way younger children than me and yet we share some same similarities and life experiences. Her blog was something I needed at the time. Her writing provided my crazy soul with a bit of peace that it needed! I didn’t take any pictures of what I sent to her. However, I did send her an angel like the ones I had made for my girls and for some of my close friends:

IMG_7388

This is my angel.

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meet little miss nora grace

IMG_0601“Hi Mama! It’s nice to finally see your beautiful face!” (picture credit to Auntie Taylor)

I’ve got one hour. One hour before the entire year of 2014 is in the history books.

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traditional traditions

I have to begin this with a HAPPY 29th BIRTHDAY to Jamie!!!

Our family loves traditions! And, this time of the year is one time that traditions run rampant!

One tradition that was started way back when was the yearly visit to see Santa Claus. I wrote a post about the very last picture of the four girls with Santa. That’s already been three years ago. Gosh, a lot has happened in those three years! Today, Taylor and I tagged along with Jamie, Eli and Nora while they waited in line (over two hours) to see Santa. I think the outcome was worth it!

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