Shuffle, shuffle,shuffle, the light pink slippers slowly move across the linoleum floor creating a sweeping sound. Shuffle, shuffle, pause. “I’m short of breath,” she says. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, she pauses again to take another breath, then enters the room where she has two double beds. She asks me; “Do you need anything honey?”
“No, grandma,” I reply. “I’m ok.” “Are you sure? Wait…” she says with a whisper, “Here, take this, and don’t tell your grandmother!” She hands me a Milano cookie as I slip under the covers in the bed next to hers. “Oh, grandma!” I say giggling “thanks for the cookie.”
This is my memory of staying the night with my great grandma. She and my grandma(my great grandmas daughter) lived together after my great grandpa passed away. I had the privilege and gift to have known them both. I loved staying the night and always stayed in the bed next to her. She would always fill up a covered glass with ice water for me to keep by my bedside. She would always sneak a cookie into the room for me to eat and we would always listen to her favorite talk radio station while in bed. She would often secretly hand me a $10.00 or even $20.00 bill as if it were a crime before I left to go back home. We went out to dinners, with dessert afterward! I was spoiled! I loved it! I loved every moment of it. We watched cable t.v and stayed up late. My great grandma was the sweetest, kindest person I had ever met, like really and truly ever met, till this day! People could do no wrong in her eyes. She saw the good in everyone, even my bratty brother! She refused to believe he was a total pest so I just gave up trying to convince her. Being at my grandmas house was pure magic.
So, when I had my first child, I naturally remembered all of the spoiling my grandma provided me. Not! It was rough. I questioned everything my mother told me, I fought her every time she gave my son treats or toys. She was spoiling him and I felt he was getting too used to it. Conflict and uneasiness started to brew between my mom and I. Our once close relationship started to turn ugly. Then the sign went up in her house. What happens at Grandmas, Stays at Grandmas. Ok, whatever I thought. Then I started to remember all of the fun I had with my grandmas. They spoiled me rotten! My grandma spoiled me with dance lessons, going to posh tea houses, shopping for clothes I could never afford, and my great grandma spoiled me with well…everything a little kid could want. I didn’t feel like I was owed anything. I always felt grateful, undeserving. More than the spoiling, they created memories. Memories that will never leave me. The best memories a young person could have.
I needed to let go of the strife between my mother and myself. I finally did. I let go. My mom is always there for me. She takes care of my children when I need a break. She is there whenever I need her and she loves my children like they were her own. They love her back. They cant wait to go to her farm whenever we get the chance. The kids look for eggs in the chicken coop, they feed the cats, they play with the dogs, they pick oranges and do crafts, and they eat M&M’s for dinner. I don’t care. They are being loved and memories are being established. How awesome is that. This is what we need to remember.
A friend of mine has a mother in law, who picks the kids up from school on a daily basis, drives them to her house, feeds them dinner and then drives them home. She frequently keeps the kids overnight so that her daughter can have a break. What a fantastic mother in law and grandmother to these kids, right? Not according to her! My friend was in an uproar that the grandmother would feed the kids junk at her house. Really? Is that it? She would get upset that the grandmother would allow the kids to put their feet up on the sofa. She asked me if she should confront her mother in law about this. My response was if you want full on war and uncomfortable, awkwardness, go for it! I reminded her of all of the things her mother in law does for her and her children and that what happens at grandmas, stays at grandmas. Allow the kids to have some fun, create memories, and love being at grandmas. Was it worth the confrontation? Not in my book! I had been there, done that and am never going back!
My grandmas were incredible, influential people in my life. I am partly the person I am today because of them. I am not a horrible person because they gave me cookies in bed, slipped me $20.00 bills and took me to posh tea houses. I am a better person because of it.
Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle went the sound of my grandmas slippers as she walked across the floor, opening up the cupboard door to sneak me yet another cookie to eat while I was in bed. “Shhhhh! Don’t tell your grandmother!”
Why? Because my great grandma said so
It’s October and also breast cancer awareness month. Several of my friends attend a breast cancer charity event every year which include free swag bags, alcohol and lots of food. Sounds like a blast huh? My friends try to get me to go by enticing me with how good the food, music and free gifts are. It bothers me that this is their main focus on going however would for sure argue that it isn’t. But, this is all I hear. I have yet to attend.
My grandmother had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy at an early age, then another later on. Her cancer spread its nasty self into her knee. The bone was replaced and it was a horrific surgery and recovery. The cancer then decided to show itself by way of tumor in her abdomen, spine and throughout her body. She was nauseous, in pain and it was a very hard and painful thing to see. She was a strong educated woman. She was the rock in our family, the one who encouraged us to follow our dreams and always recognized our talents and gifts and encouraged us to continue developing them. She was a realist. She saw things as they were. She could read people out and continually educated us all. She saw things that others did not and was very intuitive. She always bought an extra loaf of bread of quart of milk for the homeless person who was always in the grocery store parking lot. She said she would rather feed the homeless than give them money as she did not want them to use the money for boos. She was an artist. She helped her community through the Soroptomist organization in her community. The organization motto was Women helping Women. It was a fantastic organization and I enjoyed being a part of it. Events to help women get back on their feet after a divorce, or being homeless or anything else to help women educate themselves and get back on their feet was what her organization did. The events were tactful, classy and filled with dignity. They also raised money that was intended to be raised for the cause. There was no catch phrase or shock factor involved to raise funds. It was done with dignity.
So, how does this all tie in with raising our young ones to respect themselves without compromising their dignity? First things first. Many may disagree with me, many cancer patients may disagree with me and do, but hear me out. The saving the “Ta Ta’s”, saving “Second base,” “Save the boobies” phrases are just plain tacky and compromising the dignity of women. I hear comments like, “Who cares! These shock phrases are raising funds to help find a cure!” So it doesn’t matter what you put on a t-shirt, at least money is being raised. We are teaching our young children that we need to lower ourselves in order to raise money. How about save a LIFE! I cannot imagine my grandmother approving let alone wearing a t t-shirt like this. This is about life, not a woman’s “Ta Ta’s.” Breast cancer Killed my grandmother, It spread its nasty self into my aunts body and my great-grandmother as well. It could find its way into my mother, myself and my daughter. I want to live to see my grandchildren. Why do we settle for this and allow these phrases to de sensitized our culture and our children? If my son came home saying “save the ta ta’s” I would be furious. Breast cancer does not only affect the breasts, It SPREADS to other parts of the body. This is why women opt for a mastectomy. When I saw a Facebook post of a photo of a friend at the event and a caption over it saying “Save the Boobies!” I almost went ballistic. This is not the message we need to be sending to our children. What would Jesus do? What would he say? Yes, we need to have a sense of humor but at the expense of a woman going through chemo? Going through hair loss? Going through major surgery and taking away her femininity at the same time? Compromising our dignity for a buck to raise money. Breast cancer walks are terrific.I would love to participate in one of those. Wearing the pink ribbon, pink shirt as a symbol is classy and dignified. Why do we need anything else? Why should we compromise? Why should a cancer patient compromise? Every person is different. I have read plenty of stories about breast cancer survivors having a non issue with the catch phrases out there. For them, good thing, for me, not. Breast cancer detection did not save my grandmas breasts. It did not save the “ta ta’s.” It killed her. She is now gone. She was an amazing woman who was loved and respected and I intend to honor her by teaching my children to respect others and themselves and not compromise because everyone else is saying it, doing it and wearing it. How many catch phrases do you see out there for prostate awareness? Hmmmmm…something to think about right? The effects of prostate cancer can render man to lose his masculinity if severe enough. But, women are used to being sexualized in the name of cancer, right? Time to take a stand and show our young ones what is right. Do something to change this. Id rather go on a walk or run to raise money for this great cause. This is what went down at the event some of my friends attended. They paid for a cheap ticket, ate until they were bloated and drank until they were drunk. They danced all night and brought home free gifts. Give me that alcohol, those gifts, that food so that I can carry it over to the dying woman’s hospital bed who has breast cancer with NO breasts. Now, give that woman a shirt to wear that says “save second base or better yet, “save the ta ta’s.” Think about it…..
My prayer today is that we can teach our young children to respect the seriousness of this cancer and do it with class and dignity. It can be done. And while I’m on my Humongous, ginormous soap box, no man should ever use any of these phrases. It’s just plain disrespectful. Why? Because my beautiful , wonderful, dignified grandmother who died from Breast Cancer said so.
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning at my children’s school. Tuesday Bible study was being held on campus and it is the one day I look forward to every week! The study is always informative and humorous and that is right up my alley as I am rarely serious. I’m making it a point and a goal to not allow my mind to wander on other “life” things during the study. Stop thinking about the laundry or the new puppy or whatever is not in this Bible! I feel I’m doing quite well. I’m actually retaining information! Wow! what a concept! So, here comes a story from the Bible study leader about some little girls in my daughters class that made a visit that very morning to the office. Without naming names, she begins the story. Now this story is all and good if you Do Not have a child in this class, let alone a GIRL child. So naturally, my cheeks get flushed, my heart starts to pound, and I start feeling a mini heart attack coming on. My mind starts to go wild…. Is it MY daughter? Was she One of those girls? How many girls are in that class anyway? Wait…let me count..1,2,3,4,5 maybe 6? Ok what are the odds it could be her! Wait! I see what’s happening here. My mind was wandering. I’m not focused. I’m too busy worrying. Satan is knocking me on the head saying; “It was her!! It was her!” So I kick Satan out and realize he is using this Bible study to work his dirty deeds. I’m sure he was having a hey day watching me worry and squirm. The study leader goes on to mention some characteristic of one of the girIs. I cant help it, I cant hold back. Literally hiding behind the Bible study notes, I jokingly blurt out; “That sounds like my little girl! was it her?” I got a chuckle, but no answer. Now at this point I’m not sure she even knew my precious princess was even in that class, still I got no answer. Focus, focus!!! Stop worrying already. At this point I just want to be put out of my misery. Its ok if she was in the office. Its the not knowing that was driving me batty. So, I begin to re focus on the study and felt at peace until the end of the study when the girls were mentioned one last time. So, being the goof ball that I am, I blurt out, “This is killing me!” and , I get an answer. “No, it was not her!” Thank you! Relieved, and a bit amused, I carry on with the last few minutes until I was waved to by another school official from the door window. Oh no…she IS in trouble! Why am I being called? I follow her into the office only to be told they wanted to interview me for something fun and school related. Whew! I dodged another one. Ok, all is well. At the end of the day, driving my kids home from school, my son tells me from the back seat that he made a visit to the office that day. What!! Why on earth were you in the office? What did you do? What’s with the office today? I swear I was going to have a stroke this time, but instead I got the hiccups. Apparently, he took himself there to speak to someone about some kids who were bothering him to the point of major despair. Ok, so he took himself, he was Not sent. Alright, that’s fine. Whew! I dodged another one. Enough is enough already. The next day comes and as I am about to pick up my girl, she is no where to be seen. Where is she? “I’m sorry”, the teacher explains, she is in the office. Ha, ha! Funny joke! What!!?? For real? This is not happening. Knowing that I am there to pick her up, she is sent back. So I see her walking down the very long hall, and I mean this hallway is long. Her head is down and at that moment on that day, I proclaimed the hallway my daughters hall of shame. She comes up to me. I hug her. I tell her I love her. I then ask her why she was in the office. She looks at me with a stoic face, bends her arms at her side and says in a monotone voice; “I -am- a- Ro- bot.” She then opens the door to her classroom and walks in. Ummmm…ok then. She clearly does not want me to know. I wanna know! The mama wants to know! The mama really wants to know! I’m now experiencing a mild panic attack. The office was called and all I get was that she made a poor decision. Wow..I’m really being tested here. I’m being toyed with in a big way! Worry is destroying me. No one can tell me why she was there and my daughter tells me in the car that she forgot. Fine! I’ll let it go. Whatever it was, Im sure she deserved it. Better to go to the office now and learn the rules, right? Later on that day, I receive an email from the teacher who found out what really happened. I read it and am instantly relieved. She did not hurt anyone. She did not throw sand, She did not say a naughty word or tease another child. She went to a forbidden part of the play ground or lack there of, after being asked not to several times. She clearly deserved her sentence. This was a safety issue after all. The not knowing, the unknown, is an unnerving thing. It can drive us to a mental state of panic, worry and fret. Isn’t this what Satan wants? Well, he got it for sure. I was derailed several times and all along, I knew what was happening. So, why did I allow it? How can I prevent this from happening again? Maybe simply remembering this day and laughing about how ridiculous it all was. My girl child Did get sent to the office. She told me that she would never do that wrong thing again. That made me happy. It also made me happy that she was sent there. Yes, I said happy. Someone took the time to keep her safe and make sure she was kept safe going forward. The next day she stayed within the play ground boundaries. She stayed on Green (positive school reward system) she went to the treasure box and won a prize for best dressed on spirit day. Overall, her prior bad day turned into a super amazing positive day. Take that Satan! Bam!! Out of the bad, comes the good. Good always wins over evil. God always wins. After all of my worrying and wasted time doing so, I’m reminded of Matthew 6:34. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. That’s for sure!! So, if your ever have to experience a dreaded office encounter or start to worry incessantly about anything, remember that worrying does not add a single hour to your life. It just steals it. So, stop worrying or at least try. Why? Because Jesus said so.