Death’s Perspective

I wrote this on Wednesday night (7/18) at midnight.  I didn’t publish it as it wasn’t the right time but now it is.  Rest in Peace Grandma.  I know Grandpa was waiting for you and so happy to be reunited with you.  Hug him for me and I will see you both soon!

Reunited in Heaven……..July 30, 2018

I am sitting here alone by my Grandma’s bedside.  I am literally watching her die.  She is unresponsive but still here.  I have sung to her (she probably wishes I had not done that), read the Bible to her, talked to her.  I have held her hand and told her Grandpa and Jesus were waiting for her and it was okay to let go.

Imminent death and death puts life in a whole new perspective.  Life is fleeting.  We need to embrace it no matter the journey we are on.  Life is precious.  ALL life is precious.  Some have life for just a few hours, days or years while others like my Grandma have had many years (almost 96 for her).  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow so clinging to and holding tight to each day is important.

Things I have learned:

  • Forgive…..don’t let petty arguments or differences stand in your way.  Forgive those who have wronged you.  It is more about you than them.
  • Accept others apologies……don’t hold grudges, bitterness or resentment in your heart……that only hurts you BUT allow yourself the ability to move on from toxic people in your life.  Sometimes you just have to move on, let people go and not look back.  Forgive but move on…..it is okay to do that; sometimes even necessary for your own heart, soul and sanity.  I have learned this again just recently.
  • Love Others……you truly don’t know the struggle in other peoples lives.  Sometimes an act of love can do so much for someone’s heart.
  • Give of yourself.  Minister to others.  Care more about others than you do yourself.  Don’t be selfish and self-centered.
  • Life is too precious to waste on things that don’t matter.  Make each day count.
  • Be kind……always!  You never know the hell someone else is living (even if they don’t show it on the outside).
  • Laugh a lot; it is true that laughter is good medicine.
  • Throw a smile at someone…..it might just make their day.
  • Dance and sing (even if you are like me and possess NO dancing or singing ability).
  • Tell your loved ones how you feel about them before it is too late.
  • Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath……put aside anger.  It is not worth it.
  • Agree to disagree
  • Be strong, resilient and tough.  Don’t let anyone walk all over you…..you are no one’s doormat; but be compassionate, kind and loving.  Interesting mix there but doable.
  • Share Jesus with everyone you meet not only in words but in actions and deeds!  Actions truly speak louder than words!

I don’t know how much time my Grandma has left.  She is a tough, stubborn and strong-willed woman (always has been) and she is proving it again even now.  She is doing this her way even still and that truly makes me laugh because if you knew my Grandma you would know this is just like her.  Live, laugh and love……that is my new motto.  Everything else just doesn’t matter.

Grandma and me a couple of years ago.

***UPDATE***

Grandma lost her fight with life about 1am this morning (July 30, 2018).  She fought hard for 18 days.  She loved life and clung onto it dearly until the Lord called her home.  I like to envision my Grandpa waiting there with Jesus at the pearly gates to welcome her home.  See you soon Grandma…..

Christmas 2010….the first Christmas after we lost Grandpa that August.

Until next time………

 

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The Good and Not So Good

A friend of mine has a blog and used to do posts every so often of The Good and Not So Good and today I thought I would try it.  I honestly am just procrastinating cleaning my house if truth be known.  But, here are a few of The Good and Not So Good happenings in our life:

 

The Good:

  • Hannah is still celebrating her birthday.  She keeps asking for chocolate cake, presents and birthday videos from people.
  • Hannah’s sweet prayer at lunch today…..”OH Dear Lord, THANK YOU for peanut butter.  THANK YOU for mommy.  THANK YOU for daddy.  THANK YOU for poop day.  Help Hannah be happy, good girl all day long for Chick-fil-a tomorrow…..I LOVE YOU SO MUCH ALL MY HEART…..in Jesus’ name I pray AMEN!”
  • Sweet neighbors…..we have the most absolutely amazing neighbors on our street……they love us and Hannah.  They have become family to us!  So blessed.
  • Hummus and pita chips…..the only thing that I can eat and keep down.  I eat it all day long!
  • COFFEE……oh how I love thee!
  • Friends who bent over backwards to make sure Hannah had a happy birthday!
  • Air conditioning….I think the dude who invented the AC should have his own holiday each year!
  • Cecil the cat…..he loves me unconditionally (well, like only a cat can when I feed him and pet him).
  • God’s grace that I need every day.  Without it I don’t know where I would be.
  • Online shopping for me
  • My home
  • My new radio/CD player in my kitchen.  Music all day long….kinda loving that!  Makes me feel not so alone.
  • A hubby who doesn’t complain when dinner is less than fabulous because his wife is too sick and tired to cook
  • What is in my 4 walls
  • CBD oil….yes, I am thankful for the oil derived from marijuana….it is a miracle worker
  • The fact that I had more good than not so good on this blog post!  HA!

 

The Not So Good:

  • Mean people……geez!
  • Trying to please others…..so over walking on egg shells and making others try to like me…..so done!  Like me or don’t like me……I don’t care anymore!  Years of trying to please people has worn me out and I don’t have the energy to try anymore.
  • Poop day (as mentioned above in Hannah’s prayer)  LOL
  • Headaches that you wake up with and go to bed with 24/7 now for almost 3 months.  So over it!
  • Hannah being a teenager……can you say hormonal rollercoaster ride?  UGH!
  • Insomnia
  • We have had so much rain that we now look like we live on an island….there is water surrounding us on all 4 sides!  I would love to send some of this rain to California where they need it due to the fires.
  • The rain has caused the humidity level to go to about 300%!  I despise humidity.
  • Today is Sunday…..I despise Sunday’s…..worst day of the week every dang week.  Come on and get here Monday!  HURRY!
  • Online shopping for Dennis and his wallet!! HA!
  • Cleaning my home!  I am supposed to be cleaning right now but I keep procrastinating!
  • Politics in Hollywood…..actors and talk show hosts should stick to acting and humor!
  • Watching a loved one die
  • Stressing over people/things that don’t matter

Until next time………

How Can It Be

How can it be that 13 years has passed since I gave birth to the most amazing miracle baby?  How can it be that it has been 13 years since she totally rocked my world, flipped it upside down and drastically changed life as we knew it?  How can it be that I am old enough to have a 13-year-old (HA).  I guess truth is I am old enough to have one much older but I got a late start!

I would like to say that I have been looking forward to Hannah’s 13th birthday but so far this birthday is worse than when I turned 30.  My 30th birthday was AWFUL!  40 was great but leaving my 20’s was quite a shock to my system.  I think some of my sadness with this birthday for Hannah is the fact that she is now a teenager but yet still a toddler in so many ways.  I am just plain worn out and tired.  I look at other teenage girls going shopping with their moms, getting manicures and pedicures, family vacations, camp, church activities, school sports, etc and I realize that is probably never going to be Hannah doing those things.  Perhaps if it were just Down Syndrome she could participate in all of those things but her numerous health issues keep her from doing anything outside our home.  Fortunately, Hannah has no desire to leave our home (she doesn’t even want to step outside, but who can blame her as it is like 3,000 degrees out there).  But, for this mama…..it is hard to watch and KNOW what she is missing out on…..again, fortunately she has no clue.  That is my silver lining I suppose.  If she knew all life had to offer and wanted it but couldn’t have it that would be far worse.

Today, we celebrate her life, her 13 years.  Thirteen years we were told we would never have with her.  When that doctor looked at me at week 17 of my pregnancy and said, “don’t plan on bringing her home, plan her funeral instead” I wondered if he would be right.  But, here she is 13 years later with a personality bigger than the planet, a twinkle in her eye, a smile that lights up the room and a mischievousness that keeps me on my toes all day every day.  So, today I am grateful for the 13 years that we have had and I will focus on that instead of my sadness.

Hannah Brooke Blankinchip, born 3 weeks early weighed 6 pounds 0.1 ounces and was 17 inches long.  She had a head full of black curly hair, beautiful blue almond-shaped eyes and the cutest button nose.  Her entrance into this world scared the daylights out of me.  How was I going to take care of her?  How was I going to be enough?  How was I going to meet all her needs?  But……with God; His grace, His mercy, His strength I took care of her and continue to.  I am enough and her needs and some of her wants are met because she has a Heavenly Father and a mom and dad her LOVE her with every ounce of our being.  She rocked our world (literally threw us into a different orbit I think) but I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I would do it over and over and over again and will continue to love her, take care of her and provide for her until I take my last breath.

Happy Birthday beautiful girl.  Your mama and dada love you more than words can say.  You are our greatest gift and biggest blessing and there is no one more important in this world than you.  You make us laugh, you make us smile, you drive us batty, you are loud and full of life even on the days you feel bad you keep me on my toes.  YOU are worth celebrating today and every day because you are a special gift from God!  He created you in His image and you are fearfully and wonderfully made EXACTLY the way He wanted you to be!  I celebrate that fact and I am so very thankful He chose me to be your mom.  Even on the hard, challenging and difficult days I am still grateful that I was chosen for you.  I love you baby girl……always have and I always will.

 

 

Until next time…….

Alone

I think we can all agree that life is hard.  Life is sweet.  Life is precious.  We all have our challenges and difficulties; none are immune.  A plethora of emotions daily in life is not abnormal.  Does it seem though that some people get hit all the time with one thing after another though?  Is that a real thing or does it just appear that way?  Feels like life keeps throat punching us lately and I am so very weary.

Do you ever feel alone even we you physically aren’t?  You know, you are surrounded by people or at least one other person all day long and yet, inside, you feel completely and utterly alone.  That is how I feel right now.  Like there is no one that understands.  I find myself talking to God more in those moments; which I guess is probably His plan and a good thing.  But, then as I talk to him more times than not I just cry.  Not those sobbing tears but just those heart aching kind of tears that well up in your eyes at the thought of what you are dealing with and that no one “gets it.”

It is no one else’s fault…..it is just life and we all go through things, I know that.  I am not alone in my circumstances as others go through things way worse than I have but sometimes I feel so greatly overwhelmed at my own circumstances and the sadness and loneliness creep in like it has the past 2 months.  Of course my own health issues at the moment have compounded everything else so when you don’t feel good on top of the other challenges in life it makes it all worse.  It would be nice if we could pinpoint a true diagnosis for me (at least we would have answers).  I am a firm believer that answers are half the battle.  But in these moments of no answers, all we go through with Hannah (and there is so much I don’t say), among all the other sadness/heartbreak and circumstances we have faced this year, I just feel alone.

I find that I build walls up and I surround myself with those walls and they are strong.  Nobody breaks through……do you do that?  Build up walls of protection around your heart (which truthfully causes more loneliness in the long run); but it is out of self-preservation!  I find that I am grieving more right now.  I think some of it has to do with Hannah fixing to turn 13.  I mean, how is that even possible and in full disclosure, in being real and truthful…..my heart aches that she is turning 13 and yet, still a toddler in SO MANY ways.  I see friends who have kids Hannah’s age (or younger) and how independent, self-sufficient and HEALTHY they are and I have to fight back the jealousy.  I am happy for my friends, don’t get me wrong….I would never wish some of the issues we deal with on anyone but there is a heartache that I have when I see so many healthy, happy, self-sufficient kids and know that Hannah might never get that kind of life here on earth and it saddens me greatly.  I think now that we are a few days shy of her 13th birthday it has really hit me hard……a teenager…..how is that possible?

Perhaps I shouldn’t publish this post….but, I am going to because maybe someone out there needs to know they aren’t alone even though they feel like it.  I will leave you with the words to one of my favorite songs from Elevation Worship called Do it Again……

“Do It Again”

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yetYour promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet

I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

[x3]
I’ll see You do it again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
I never will forget

Until next time…….

You Are Beautiful

I haven’t felt well at all for about 2 months and this weekend has been extremely hard with my headaches and back pain so it has kind of made me just stop and rest (which I don’t do very often).  During one of my resting times yesterday I heard a song called “Beautiful” by Mercy Me that I had never heard before and it got me thinking…….

How many girls out there were never told growing up that they were beautiful?  How many girls were never told they were worthy?  How many girls were never told they were treasured and sacred and capable of so much?  How many girls believe the lies of satan that they don’t matter and are unloved and unworthy of good things?

Growing up in the 70’s/80’s I knew I was loved but I can’t say I really heard I was beautiful, worthy or capable.  I think parents just assumed you knew that; especially being raised in church…..I mean, the church was supposed to tell us that, right?  NO!  That wasn’t the case and I would venture to say it still isn’t the case.  I could be wrong in that….perhaps youth leaders of today do say more about a girls worth, beauty and how they should be treasured.  BUT….what about those girls who don’t go to church or have parents that instill that in them?  What about them?

I make it a point every day (sometimes multiple times each day) to tell Hannah she is loved.  I tell her she is beautiful (she then will flip her hair with her hand and say “I know it mama!”)  HA!  Yeah, no self-esteem issues right there!  Do you know how easy it is for a young girl to believe the lies of the devil?  Do you know that it only takes one little doubt or one little comment from a “bully” to make a girl think she is ugly or unworthy?  Then she will search high and low for acceptance, compliments and assurances and most often those will come from the wrong people.  I heard this song and it hit me the lies out there a young girl will believe and the lack of attention from the right people thus altering the course of their adulthood.  I am a firm believer in telling Hannah every.single.day how much she is favored by God, that He made her in His image, that she is fearfully and wonderfully made (my mom did used to tell me that, I remember that clearly).  I tell Hannah she is so very loved and beautiful.  I know she might not have the same self-esteem issues that a lot of “typically developed” young ladies do but I never want her to doubt that her mama and dada love her and more importantly that Jesus loves her so very much.

If you haven’t heard the song, I encourage you to listen to it.  If you have a young daughter or especially a teenager……I strongly urge you to start now telling her how beautiful, worthy, sacred and loved she is.  Don’t leave that up to the church, friends, or anyone else.  As parents….YOU do it!  And you guys out there…..tell your girlfriends and wives the same.  You will never know how much it will mean to them and how much they NEED to hear it!

Days will come when you don’t have the strength
When all you hear is you’re not worth anything
Wondering if you ever could be loved
And if they truly saw your heart, they’d see too much
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred
You are His
You’re beautiful
Praying that you have the heart to fight
‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight
For all the lies you’ve held inside so long
They are nothing in the shadow of the cross
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred
You are His
You’re beautiful
Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You’re the one He madly loves
Enough to die
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful
In His eyes
You’re beautiful
You were meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured you are sacred you are his
You’re beautiful
You are meant for so much more than all of this
You’re beautiful
You are treasured you are sacred you are his

My beautiful, loved and precious little girl who is worthy of so much!  Thank you Lord for creating her in YOUR image….she is fearfully and wonderfully made and I am so thankful she is mine!

Until next time…….

All About Hannah

I really want to use my blog this month to talk about Hannah.   July is a special month because it is her birthday month, but even more special this year, it will be her 13th birthday.  The beginning of her teenage years.  How can that be?  How can that little girl who I JUST GAVE BIRTH to be almost 13?  I almost feel like I did on my 30th birthday….DEPRESSED!  HA!

It is truly hard for me to wrap my head around it as I have said MANY times that I am still raising a toddler in so many ways, but to know that she is almost 13 blows my mind.  I thought I would make today’s post all about Hannah.  Her likes, her dislikes and things you may not know.  Hey for you bullet-pointers out there, this one is for you!  HA!

Hannah’s likes:

  • JESUS
  • FOOD, especially oatmeal, donuts, spaghetti, squash, green beans, peanut butter and grape jelly sandwiches, chips, ice cream and COOKIES
  • Chic-fil-a
  • Barbies
  • Books
  • Flashcards
  • Anything doctor related
  • Her doctors
  • The dentist (she is so weird as I hate getting my teeth cleaned)
  • Cats and dogs
  • The colors pink, purple and red
  • Cleanliness (kid hates being dirty…..girl after my own heart)
  • Everything neat, orderly and in its place (again, my kid for sure)
  • Bathtime and we HAVE to wash her hair every.single.day
  • Picking out her own clothes and most of the time she is really good at it.
  • Every sentence ends right now with “my favorite” so she has a lot of favorite things
  • Total mama’s girl right now…..that is a huge change from the previous 12 years
  • We have 4 vehicles…..my dad’s pick-up that he left here when we bought the house, Dennis’ city car, a car and an SUV.  Hannah ONLY likes the cars.
  • Elmo (Dear Lord, please make it stop)
  • MUSIC (Southern gospel, Gospel (today’s version), country and some 80’s rock…..Her all-time favorites are The Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps, Charles Billingsley, Alison Everill, Mandisa, Natalie Grant, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Port Chuck (goggle it if you have never heard of them, they are great).
  • DISNEY movies especially Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid and Frozen (again Dear Lord, make it stop).
  • Miss Lyndsay, Miss Sarah, Mrs Sarah, Mrs Deb, Mrs Danielle, Mrs Coppedge (Hannah’s teachers, therapists and babysitters).
  • BEING VERY LOUD (Dear Lord make it stop)
  • “Warm hugs like Olaf”
  • Clean laundry, clean bathrooms, clean floors…..problem is she TELLS me when to do all those things!
  • Donald Trump
  • MEN…..if there is a man and woman in the room she is all about the men….the woman is chopped liver (except her mama)!
  • Florida Gators and Tim Tebow

 

Hannah’s dislikes:

  • Okra, Candy Corn and coconut
  • Being dirty
  • Her routine being messed up
  • Going outside
  • Getting in a vehicle to go somewhere
  • Getting in the SUV…..she hates my truck!
  • Daddy going to work (even though she is a mama’s girl, she doesn’t like him leaving for work)
  • Missing church and school……she wants to go back so badly
  • Leaving the house
  • Snakes – She will see a picture of one and say “I don’t like de snake mama….oooooo, gross” (So my kid)
  • Others hurting or being sick
  • Hospitals
  • BANDAIDS!  You can seriously take blood from her all day long with no issues but you even show her a bandaid she will have a meltdown like you have never seen before!
  • Wooden spoons…..cause that is what I used to pop her hiney with when she was younger!  I don’t spank anymore because she learned to hit back! LOL!
  • Being told “NO” (isn’t that most kids though)
  • She will let you kiss her but then she wipes them off!  HA!  Again, so my kid although I will most likely not let you kiss me but if you do I will wipe it off too!
  • Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton….she will tell you she doesn’t love Barack Obama and that Hillary Clinton is “smoking crack”  (Kid kills me and she might have learned that from her mama)……..

I am sure there are plenty more things that I could add…..but those are a few.  She has a few cute sayings too:

“Mama, you are my best friend, best friend EVER.”

“I love you so much all my heart.”

“No daddy back to work, here with Hannah all day long.”

“Hannah loves Jesus, Jesus loves Hannah.”

“No more night, no more pain, Heaven, happy all the time.”

“I miss Grandpa in Heaven with Jesus….come here right now.”

“I love _________________” (insert person she is talking about name)

“Brush my hair” (which she does about 400 times per day)

“I love Mr. Gaither, great job, fantastic” (while watching a DVD of the Gaither Vocal Band singing, which occurs every.single.day)

“Praise Jesus…..hope, faith, love”

“I love Dr. Paulette, so much all my heart, clean teeth, no cavities, so sparkly” (Hannah’s dental hygienist she calls “Dr. Paulette” and she says this every time we brush her teeth)

“I love ABC Mouse.com, my favorite.”

“I am so excited, I cannot believe it” when you tell her anything that makes her happy  (even something like I am making spaghetti for dinner….doesn’t take much)

“Mama go Publix buy donuts.  Go Target buy toys.  Run errands now.”  (The times she wants to get rid of me)

“Mama, Daddy out to dinner.  Here with ________________” (insert name of whoever is keeping her)

“Mama, Daddy out-of-town, bye, bye.  Here with _______________” (insert name of whoever is keeping her)

“Drive safe, See you in the morning when I wake up.”

“Mr. Eddie too dangerous.  Motorcycle too dangerous.  Gun too dangerous.”  (As she says every time she hears Mr. Eddie ride by on his motor coming to and from work….he is a Motorcycle cop with JSO and our neighbor)

I could type more but I need to go take care of her since it is almost juice, potty and lunch time.  You know, gotta keep up with the schedule and routine.

Until next time……….

 

Keep Writing Your Story Baby Girl

How is today already July 1st?  Crazy how fast time flies…..even crazier that in just 26 days I will have a 13 year old!  I have been thinking a lot about Hannah and her upcoming 13th birthday.  It is funny as she doesn’t look or act nearly 13 years old.  In fact, she looks and acts more like 5 and 6 years old so it is hard to believe, but the fact is she is almost 13.  I remember her birth like it was yesterday.  I remember the anxiety, stress, worry, fear but also the joy and happiness when I heard her cry for that first time.  If you recall from earlier posts we were told to prepare to never bring her home and to plan her funeral when she was born, so that first sound was truly music to our ears.  The past 13 years has not been easy but oh it has been worth it all.

I remember being so filled with questions about her and especially her having Down Syndrome.  Two days after Hannah was born Dr. Persyck, the Geneticist at the hospital came into my hospital room.  He had just come from the NICU seeing Hannah and came to talk to us.  I can remember this day so clearly.  He confirmed the diagnosis of Down Syndrome (it was quiet obvious) and he shared a few things with us.  Before he left he asked if we had any questions.  The first question I asked, being so naive about Down Syndrome, was how severe her Down Syndrome was.  He smiled real big as I am sure he had heard that question many times and I will never forget his response.  He said, “It is too early to tell.  Right now all you need to do is love Hannah, feed her and change her diaper; like you would any child.  Hannah will write her own story in her way and in her time.  Don’t look at the severity, look at what she can and will accomplish.  She will be capable of anything and the story she will write will be her own, no one else’s.”  I will never forget that.  It gave me such peace to know that all I had to do is love her and treat her like any child.  There was nothing I could do or needed to do extra.  She just needed to be loved and in her time and way she would write her own story and he was correct; she truly has!

I watched her sleep last night, 26 days before she turns 13 and she is still so much of a child (toddler in some ways) and yet, such a big girl in other ways.  She makes us laugh with her wicked sense of humor.  She keeps me on my toes with her quick reactions and mischievousness.  She keeps me grounded when I find myself getting discontent, selfish or restless.  She keeps me on my knees in prayer with her health issues and as her needs become more prevalent.  She keeps me somewhat emotional; but many times that emotion is happy tears of thanksgiving.  She keep me real, focused and truly reminds me daily of what is important in life.  She has begun writing a beautiful life story.  One of which is full of love, respect, patience, perseverance, grace, mercy and kindness.  A story of loving without boundaries.  A story of kindness without hate.  A story of grace without selfishness.  A beautiful story that only she could write and a story I am blessed enough to be a part of.  I have said many times that she has taught me so much….each day she teaches me more; lessons I could have only learned from her.

Keep writing your story baby girl…..mama is listening, watching and soaking it all in.  You are my greatest joy, achievement and you make my heart so very happy and content.

Oh my heart…….I love you more than words…….

Until next time……..