Tag Archives: family

Sacrifices Worth Making

I’ve had several pity parties for myself over the last few months while I’ve been out here in California visiting my sick aunt.

Although I’m glad I haven’t been home in Michigan for all the crazy weather, my heart aches for things I’m missing; mainly, my family and friends. I’ve also missed four major holidays, my son’s last day of school, and a half dozen birthdays. Not to mention numerous dinners with friends, my friends’ art shows and countless adventures with my photography/Cracker Barrel buddy.

Spending innumerable hours in the hospital, I have met many awesome people. With the exception of a few, the employees at PIH Health Hospital in Whittier, California are wonderful. Several have gone above and beyond their job description to make sure not only my aunt, but also my cousin, George, her private nurse, Mary, and myself are comfortable and know what is going on. Several nurses have come to visit and pray for her. My aunt has been treated with nothing but dignity and respect.
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Aunt Marguerite, despite being thousands of miles away from my home, has always been my favorite aunt. The fact that we both love cooking, collecting recipes, and drinking Scotch is only the tip of the iceberg. My aunt, like my dad, has the cool factor going for her. Through all of this, her sense of humor and well placed sarcastic remarks have stayed intact.

She has passed on those two traits to her son as well. I love that we can both use our humor and sarcasm to help each other get through this crazy/scary time.

When you look past George’s humor and sarcasm, you will find a loving son who is very devoted to his mother. He has slept in her room at the hospital every night since she was admitted April 3rd. The days he is forced to work, he is texting or calling for updates.

While part of me misses my family and friends at home, it is trumped by the fact that me being here has helped my cousin keep his sanity. We have laughed and cried together. My knowledge, albeit limited, of medical procedures and medications has helped ease his anxiety.

Let me tell you, I have learned more than I ever thought I would need to know about PEG tubes, intubation, C-diff, septis, lactic acid levels, and a laundry list of medications.

As I am writing this, I’m sitting in my aunt’s ICU room waiting for George. She is improving and having set backs everyday. It’s a very slow process. She is truly a fighter and has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

Although this whole experience continues to be like a roller-coaster ride, I have confidence in the medical staff here and I’ve placed all this in God’s hands.
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The Perfect Blend

I am blessed! Most of you are thinking I’m talking about my life. Sure, God has blessed me with awesome family and friends, and I’m very thankful for that. But  I’m talking about me, the person, not me the wife, mom, friend & co-worker. The me I see when I look in the mirror. The me that is a perfect blend of my mom and dad.

My dad is an awesome guy. He has a definite cool factor going on. Looking at recent photos of him, you wouldn’t believe me, but he had curly hair. He has a great sense of humor too. I’m blessed to have gotten curly hair and my sense of humor from him. A cool factor too, if I do say so myself.

My mom lost her battle with breast cancer 19 years ago. I am blessed with many of her attributes. My love of cooking and collecting recipes has kept my family very happy.

Not everyone saw it, my mom had sarcasm down to an art. My brother-in-law, Eric, witnessed it up close and personal. Those who know me, know that sarcasm comes quite naturally to me. Except for my curly hair, I look a lot like my mom.

I am thankful I am who I am thanks to my mom and dad. Not only did I get my curly hair, love for cooking and my awesomeness from them, I also learned love. Love for my family, friends and country plus my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I can’t begin to thank them for being a huge part of making me who I am.??????         022

I will get through this

I get to choose how I act and react to the things around me. I know that all things work together for good because I love God and I’m called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

I need to make internal changes not just external ones. My heart is a key part in this. My heart needs to be transformed. I need to throw out bitterness, judgement, resentment, discouragement, depression, and anxiety. I need to guard my heart because out of it springs issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

I know God will use my brokenness. What I’m going through is a gateway to get closer to God. The times I feel alone and unloved, I need to remember, God always loves me and is always with me. I need to be strong and not afraid. My Lord is always with me and He will never leave me (Deut. 31:6-8).

I need to remember God is with me and His comforting arms are around me to shield me from the things that are hurting me. I know God is going to get me through this. His comfort and His strength is always available to me.

When I get to the end of this chapter of heartache and tribulation, I will be stronger and able to comfort others with the same comfort I received from God (2Corinthians 1:3-5).

This is the day the Lord has made; I will…I choose to… rejoice and be glad in it (Psalms 118:24).

Happy Birthday Mom

. Well Mom, it’s the first day of summer. That means it’s your birthday. If you were still here, you would be 85 years old. It will be 17 years this December that you lost your fight with breast cancer.

It makes me not only sad but a little mad too; when I think about not only the battle you lost but also the time we lost. I’ve been trying very hard not to dwell on the negative. It took a long time for my heart not to skip a beat when the phone rang at 10am (the time reserved for you and me to talk).

When I post something about you on facebook, it makes my heart smile to read all the beautiful comments that others post.

I have lost track of the number of times I’ve told people the story about when the two of us went to San Francisco. You thought it would be a good idea to throw a french fry to the sea gulls!

My heart swells with pride anytime someone says I look like you.

I cherish all the wonderful memories I have of our time together. I am truly blessed! Thank you for giving me the “good cook” gene.

All the wonderful memories (and recipes) I have are helping me get past the pain.

Give Sara a big hug and kiss for me.

I love you..

Only By The Grace Of God

Between the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 14th and the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 24th, I have been doing a lot of thinking.

My Grandmother, on my Dad’s side, was born April 8, 1900. In 1912, she traveled to England with her mother, to sail on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. I can only imagine the thrill and excitement they were experiencing traveling for their home in Istanbul, Turkey to Southampton, England.

Their excitement quickly ended when they found their papers were not in order and they were not allowed on board. What must have been going through their minds and their hearts when they found out what happened four days later.

Three years later, on April 24th, was the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. This time it was my Grandmother, on my Mom’s side, turn to have a brush with death. I don’t know a lot of the details on what happened to her. The little I do know sends a chill down my spine and makes my heart swell with pride.

My Grandmother along with many, many other Armenians were forced to march…to their deaths. 1,500,000 Armenians were sent on death marches, raped, beaten, starved, crucified, butchered or sent to a certain death in concentration camps.

It is almost impossible to comprehend the inconsolable terror that must have be racing through the mind of this teen age girl. My Grandmother was wounded and played dead on the side of the road. The strength she drew, to lay still and control her breathing well enough to be left for dead, could have only come from God.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I am so thankful and blessed to be part of these two families!

Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments. 2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Psalm 112:1-2

Poppy’s House

Sundays, when I was growing up, meant visiting and having dinner at my grandfather’s house. My sister and I called him ‘Poppy’. When my sister was quite young she couldn’t pronounce ‘grandpa’ so she said ‘Poppy’ and the name stuck. Even though it has been over three decades, I can remember Poppy’s house as if I was there last Sunday.

The red brick colonial house sat on a street lined with old oak trees; in the middle of a quite, quaint neighborhood in southwest Detroit. Ten wide steps led up to a long porch painted gunship gray. The front door was oak with a large, oval-shaped, leaded-glass window in the center. Walking through the doorway, you were greeted with an oak paneled staircase with a chunky oak banister and stairs leading to the bathroom and three bedrooms on the second floor. The smell of cherry pipe tobacco was mingling with the aroma of the chicken roasting in the oven and the rich buttery rice pilaf simmering on the stove; in the kitchen where I could always find my grandma.

In the living room was Poppy’s chair with wooden arms and red fabric, worn from the years. Next to the chair was a glass ashtray on a two-foot-high metal pedestal. On the far wall was a brown brick fireplace with a wooden mantle and recessed shelf. On the shelf was a Zippo lighter, cigar box, a canister filled with cherry pipe tobacco and a brass-and-wood pipe holder. In the holder, was a silver pipe cleaning tool and two pipes. The bowl of one pipe was white with a carving of a lion’s head on it. The other pipe was dark brown with a much worn mouthpiece. To the right of the fireplace was a steam heat register, painted the same color as the porch.

Beautiful oak molding framed the archway which led to the dining room, where there was a large stained-glass window above the china cabinet. Behind the beveled-glass doors of the china cabinet sat a half-dozen china tea cups, each with a different floral design, and a crystal bowl filled with butterscotch candies. On the opposite wall was a large rectangular gold-tone frame with a oval opening and a black and white photograph of Poppy in his World War I uniform.

On the long dining table was a white laced tablecloth with the Sunday-best china and silverware. A large bowl of lettuce, tomatoes and onions tossed with oil and vinegar was placed next to a small crystal bowl of tart pickeled cauliflower, carrots, celery, and green tomatoes. The empty space on the table waited patiently for the roasted chicken and rice pilaf to join in.

After dinner, coming from the living room were the sounds of Poppy banging his pipe against the ashtray to remove the old tobacco, then the crinkling of the tobacco pouch to refill the pipe, and the distinctive click and smell of the Zippo lighter igniting. Then, the popping and clicking of the tubes in the television sounded as it warmed up just in time to hear Sonny Eliot give the weather report.

For many years now, my grandparents have been spending Sunday dinners with Jesus. Time has taken it’s toll on the house and the street is not as quaint as it was when I was younger. I will always remember Sundays at Poppy’s house consisting simply of dinner and television, but memories so sweet they will stay with me for a lifetime.