Mommy, why won’t God share?

I learned about loss early. My mom died one month before my 8th birthday from a brain aneurysm. I was told that God needed more nurses in heaven to take care of all of the babies. I kind of got it, I guess. She was a woman of God who made sure I knew that heaven was an amazing place. She also made sure I knew that my baby brother was up there waiting to meet me one day. Then she died…

I was playing at the barn when my Dad told me to come on because we had to go talk to preacher Lowry about Mom…I giggled in excited glee because with my childhood faith I told him that it’s ok, I prayed and God is going to make her all better .

As I got older it was so hard to trust God. I mean, why would he take a 31 year old labor nurse with a 7 year old daughter? She missed my prom, my wedding and the birth of my boys. God I needed her! I’ve sat at her grave and cried as I’ve went through horrible peaks and valleys that I just needed her.

Her best friends-women she went to nursing school with- attended my births. I talk to her friends and colleagues routinely. I am in touch with the organization that handled her organ donation….

….then I realize …. she is still here….God hasn’t forgotten me…he still lets my mom hold my hand….but I’m 29 years old. It took a while to not be angry.

Now I have two boys. Connor doesn’t know any better but Wesley does. He is so tender hearted and smart and observant. My Papaw was his favorite person and his name sake. I knew before he was born that he would be stubborn like his grandfather.

Papaw taught me so much. He taught me the joy of the farm and the love for animals-as well as their functionality. His stories would go on forever and he hugged the best. The day before he died, we went to his bedside and I told him about the calf we were getting and how he had to teach Wesley because I don’t know what to do and he laughed at me and squeezed my hand. It was the last time he was awake and I will always remember that laugh. He hugged the boys and kissed them .

Then God took him home and now Wesley asks to go to papaws house and papaw isn’t there and it’s just not right. He has cried the last two nights because Papaw is in heaven and he wants to go there.

We also lost our german Shepherd in June. She got very sick and we had to put her down

Wesley petted her as she went to sleep.

Tonight we went on the porch and felt the wind which is Papaw wrapping his arms around us. The rain drops had to be Justice playing in a sprinkler on God’s front yard because she LOVED water. We ran out in the rain and felt the cold drizzle and the bitter wind. We shouted “Love yous” into the sky.

We laid down to sleep and started our prayers….

“God, why are you not sharing papaw and Justice with me?”

My heart has shattered in a million pieces tonight. His innocence and tender heart are broken and he just loves. He loves everyone and everything and Lord knows he loved his papaw and his dog.

So Tonight….I am typing this as tears fall on my phone. It’s so much easier when we can brush the pain under a rug. Tonight I wish God did have visiting hours….

One day though…one day….Im going to prop my feet up on a porch swing with papaw and grandma and momma. All of my dogs and horses and cats and critters will play in the pasture and I can tell them how much I missed them while we were apart.

One day.

Eat*Bray*Love❤

Ghost among us

“I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot! Medic help me!” He yelled at me with drying tears in the place where dark brown eyes use to sparkle. He clutched my hand …” They came out of the water….it was an ambush…I couldn’t see them but my legs have bullets in them.”

This wasn’t on a battlefield….it was early morning near a neighborhood park and the sheriff deputy had called us. He is only 32 years old. Marine. Purple heart. Homeless. Tormented by demons that none of us can see. I held his hand and said “it’s ok Marine, I’ve got you. Let’s get you safe.”

I grew up, not in a military home but in a military family. All branches serving WWII to Korea to Vietnam to Desert Storm to Iraq. So many friends, my age, have left pieces of their soul on the desert floor.

All of my family and friends came home. Or did they? I’ve been with friends as they’ve had panic attacks and flashbacks. I’ve seen them want to talk then change the subject. They are home. Physically. Mentally they will always be on the front lines.

There are homecoming parties, signs “welcome home soldier!” Written in glitter and bright colors, YouTube videos showing families getting surprised by their loved one on leave. Look through history books and you will see pictures of guys coming home being greeted by family…..

Then….then the demons become too much…family can’t handle it and they end up on the streets. They drink alcohol to forget and take drugs to numb the pain. They escape….or try to.

They loose the ability to go to the doctor because they feel the VA doesn’t have time because the VA has so many patients. They stop taking their meds. They regress to the battlefield while on their neighborhood streets. I hold their hand. I try to calm them down. Sometimes they are so far away and in the heat of enemy fire that I can only help them by sedating them. I help for the moment. Who is going to help tomorrow?

Those homeless people you see on the street corner…they probably are drunks and drug addicts…BUT at one time, they were 18, healthy, strong and signing papers to enlist… they were the best of the best. They had family and a home and someone to write them and care for them. The battle didn’t stop. You can’t take the war home so they keep fighting.

Tip your hat, buy them a water, a scarf, a pair of socks. Consider them. Imagine them. Love them….because they didn’t know you but loved you enough to risk their life to give you the luxury of freedom.

They are ghosts of themselves.

At one time they were Angels.

Thank a veteran.

Eat*Bray*Love ❤

My cat smells like lemon soap…I smell like goat poop….

I usually get mixed reactions when I tell people about my life. Most people: ” oh my gosh I want to come pet your animals! They are so sweet and cute”….Close second “you have hoooowww many animals??? That’s too expensive and eeeeww the poop and the ssssmmmmeeelllll”…cue eye roll.

Thing is…all of the above are true. Most days the animals do get stinky and annoying and boy do they get expensive when they decide to get sick BUT they are super cute and the best medicine when you’ve had a bad day.

Next remark is how do you do it all… I don’t ! Let me walk you through my day…

Today I worked a half day at GEMS to pick up more hours. I woke up at 4 and hit the snooze until 5…after all the kids had been up and down all night and I could afford to snooze today because I was out of a station 10 min from my house.

0500 comes….

Cue panic….

Jump up, attempt to look presentable, maybe some halfhearted makeup and a shake of the uniform to get the wrinkles out and I was out the door. Barn kitten jumps in my truck…I almost leave with him…sit him on porch….get in truck…dang it how did he get back in truck! ….sit back on porch….he beats me AGAIN….forget it…he is going inside…open door-get the side eye from David for handing him a cute purring kitten…oh well….

Finally get in my truck and head out. Forget my wallet….and my badge…head back in…its 0535…I feel like it should be 0800 by now….

I eventually get to work and have a great morning with very few calls. I call David at 0800 to see if he has turned Pappy and George the goat out (different story different day)…

He moans and says kids are still asleep…Im pretty confident he works voodoo because they don’t sleep past 0700 when I’m home…totally not fair…

By the time I get home I have received 10 emails about Christmas soap orders (if you want soap order now j/s)

We feed kids lunch, I took a shower and then sat down to get Connor to take a nap….

After David went to work at 1400 I loaded kids up to make a soap delivery…then my kid requests to go to hobby lobby…my TODDLER knows what hobby lobby is….this is where my paycheck goes….so we trot on down to hobby lobby to buy some stuff for candle making. (Craft fair coming up plus soap orders 😳)

Then I get home and George the goat has firmly planted himself on the porch refusing to go to his barn for the night! I think I will start comparing toddlers to goats because he threw a tantrum worth of a prize! I hiked up my pants and drug/pushed/carried a 90 pound goat down the hill, through the mud and finally into his barn…

I walk back to the truck to see Wesley , sans pants, standing in the seat of my truck arching his peepee through my window to make mud on the ground………Connor finds this awesome and hilarious…I need to invest in truck carpet cleaner…

Next comes Pappy…I clean a stall and uneventfully put him away…at least something goes as planned…

Once inside we start a batch of soap, then start dinner and baths and bedtimes…

Wesley is crying because star trek doesn’t come on until eight and it’s currently 6.

The cat that jumped in my truck this morning must have snuck in and has somehow climbed through the bowl that I mixed my soap in and is COVERED in lemon soap…plus side is he smells amazing…down side…my arms look like I fought a weed eater…

So end of day….I have a sobbing nerdy 3 year old mad because his circa 1970 tv show isn’t coming on and I just want a hot shower because I smell like I’ve been wrestling a newly weathered billy goat who still smell of hormonal pee…

So yes…animal stink…they are annoying…..they argue….stomp…headbutt…eat continuously….beg for attention….

Wait…I forgot if I was talking about the animals or the toddlers….

Needless the animals and the kids and the husband are all pretty cool…and stinky…and awesome…and aggravating and loving at the end of the day….

So tell me why you don’t have a farm ??

Eat*Bray*Love❤

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Under attack

There’s nothing quite as reassuring as knowing your body is trying to kill itself. When you’ve always been slightly ditzy but then realizing your cells are just as dumb…I mean you would assume at least your hardwiring should work right?

I’m coming up on my 29th birthday Saturday and I think my brain is confused..maybe I have Alzheimer’s? ….like maybe I’m one of those people who is content in thinking the nursing home is really my home?? And I’m actually like 99 instead of 29??? Gah I feel like it.

I’m not complaining- My goal in speaking out is to bring reality to everything. Maybe it’s to sort this out in my brain and make myself feel less insane or maybe it’s to make my readers learn to look beyond the cover and have empathy for everyone they  meet despite their age.

Right now it is 3am 😳 y’all I have taken phenergan, flexeril, AND Benadryl in the last like 10 hours…

WHY am I not comatose????

Any average person would be unconscious as if they had had a night on the town- but NOPE my body doesnt think it needs sleep because who sleeps during battle ??

So the super cool thing about in ring autoimmune is you get to take medicines to FIX YOU but they strip you of any immune system.

Doc :” now don’t be around anyone that even looks sick…wear masks in public spaces….avoid children if possible”

…….

Me: All due respect but I’m a paramedic…Im a mom of toddler boys…this is impossible

Soooo what happens when I work on the truck four days in a row….then,move hay for Pappy….I get some crazy ridiculous sinus/upper respiratory infection… Then I get a giant shot in my hip socket to calm down the raging trocanteric bursitis that’s going …ugh it has been a day.

And I have to teach at the college today….

Everyone has some physical battle. We are never 100%healthy, even if we look like it. I have friends and mentors who are currently battling cancer…some for the first time…some for  multiple times. Some friends have depression-we all battle this at least once- especially if we have a disease to go along with it- or maybe you just had a baby and your hormones are battier than all get out. I get it and I get you. If you ever need a listening ear -I don’t care if I know you or not, I’m here and I get it. These last three years have shown me what being sick means. I have a pharmacy in my kitchen….injections every 2 weeks…at least two doctor appointments every week…but Im alive and fighting this nonsense so I refuse to complain. But I do have days. I have days where I am a sobbing manic mess ready to just give up but then I get over it and try again.

 

Whatever your battle is…you are allowed to hit rock bottom…multiple times….but after that …..shake it  off and get back on your horse (or donkey 😜) and ride it out.

Eat*Bray*Love

Curveball…

Who else has considered signing up to be the guinea pig on this whole head transplant thing? Y’all- I am one setback away from personally dialing up that doc and telling him I’m in.

Ok…maybe not really but a new body sounds pretty nifty right about now- I mean, think about it…you could treat it like a new car-outlaying all the bells and whistles that you ever wanted.

For me-I just want to have my pain decreased and to ride horses again. Today I visited a neurosurgeon to discuss a neurosheath tumor that is encapsulating my S3 nerve in my right hip. I’ve known about it for a month and have been through two MRIs. My doc told me that they are “fairly” certain it is benign so he thinks removal would be far too risky…sooo what am I suppose to do? Limp around the rest of my life? Give up horses for good?

No doc…just no. This curveball is a little much considering I just had hip surgery in March (femural acetabular impingment). I was suppose to be nice and greased up for the next ten years and able to conquer the world!

Obviously not…

Curveballs are funny aren’t they? You never see them coming . For me they are always medical- at least for the last three years- but for you they might be something completely different.

Well-I’m going to fight. I don’t feel like it but I’m going to. People say I’m strong but what they dont see is me wanting to just curl up in a ball and give up…so if that’s how you feel too…then join me. Link virtual arms with me and rise up and fight your battle. We will all survive . We will a make it through .

I thoroughly believe God is letting this happen to me for a reason. I dont know why yet but I’m going to find out…eventually.

As for Pappy, the donkey, he is my saving grace. He comes running up to me every time I go down to the pasture. He is gentle andand understanding. He wants to learn. Maybe I’m meant to just be the crazy donkey lady and drive donkeys around town – that doesn’t sound awful to me!

We will see where this curveball goes. One step at a time.

Eat*Bray*Love

The Jewelry Box

This morning, as I was getting ready, Wesley pulled a drawer out of my mom’s jewelry box and started looking at her “treasures” . I haven’t added anything to it, I’ve kept it the way she had it some 21 years ago when she died.

I use to do the same thing- I would curl up on her bed and start sorting through my favorite things of hers. She kept everything important in there down to concert tickets. It is quite the time capsule.

It was extra special today, because he’s never done that, and today would have been her 54th birthday. I like to think she was there, dancing around in her favorite pearls, just for him to see.

It never gets easier…losing a mom. Twenty one years and I need her here. I need her to play with her grandkids. I need to be able to call her when I have no friends to talk to.

Today is one of those days. It started off horrible with a text from my best friend because I forgot that we were suppose to do something. Things happen and they definitely always happen to me. So on the hardest day of the year I could definitely use her.

…but then I remember the jewelry box. I remember the innocence of looking through it . Back when I had my mom. Back when every day was perfect. Its one of the few things I have of hers and I get to see it every day.

I know she is always with the boys and me. She is in the lives of so many people. With her last breath she donated every viable organ.

I can only hope to be half the person she was and that I can help half the people she did.

I cant wait to see her one day. Oh what a glorious day that will be.

Happy birthday mom

Eat*Bray *Love

Refuge…

So many conversations in our house go like this :

Me: I love you honey

David: How many legs does it have, does it breathe and how many of them….

He knows me well, but the catch is -he is just as tender hearted towards animals as I am. All of our animals have a story that was a time before they came to us. Most of those stories are unimaginable and make you loathe fellow humans.

It’s easy to say that we save these animals…that we give them a place to live and food and love….but the reality is they save us.

Four of our dogs were with me through the roughest time of my life. I won’t get into too much detail but since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, I feel it needs touching on. I got married young to someone who was initially just mentally and verbally abusive but about one week before the wedding turned physically abusive. Within 24 hours of marriage the abuse became profound. I spent many nights locking myself in the bathroom with Dixie. She was the biggest at the time and would attack him whenever he came near me…for which she received abuse. Right now she is sleeping with her head on my chest just like she did seven years ago.

The first time I tried to leave, a friend of mine barricaded me in his bedroom as my abuser called me , taunted me, saying he was using my dogs as target practice. The only word for that is evil. Thankfully he never hurt them in that way. I waited for him to go to work and loaded all of them in my car and left .

I never looked back.

I spent many nights in my car with my dogs but they were my constant.

They still are.

Now my life is beyond perfect. My dogs are sprawled out on my couch…all five of them. … I have one kitten on my head and the rest are probably sprawled out between bedrooms.

Pappy is asleep in the barn after a full day of play. We worked on ground driving today and he wore a bit for the first time!

There is just so much love that these animals can give. So please don’t ask how I can do it. Please don’t ask if I’ve met my animal quota. It’s the least I can do…because in my darkest days they were and are my refuge …the least I can do is be there refuge too.

Oh and on that note- someone dropped a kitten off tonight ! We came home from dinner and saw it in the driveway…David said : there is no way you can catch it…

Well needless to say I caught him and now he is warm and full from food and water and sleeping. We will figure it out.

 

*if you are reading this and are in a abusive situation please reach out. You are not alone and you CAN survive. They WILL tell you different but they are wrong.

Eat*Bray*Love