Google+ Followers

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Too much death

There have been too many people dying lately. It all started with the adult son of my next door neighbors who died suddenly and unexpectedly from an infection about a week and a half ago. He was only in his 30s and had a wife and two young children. I've never seen my neighbors so devastated. It is difficult to see people you love in pain.

Now, this week it is Farrah, who I suppose we knew would pass soon since she had been so sick. But, Michael Jackson? What a shock. I can't say that I am devastated by the news, but I am a child of the 60s and 70s and have fond memories of him from the pre-scandal days. I know he was a tortured soul but still, it is tough to see anyone with children pass and leave them without a parent.

Now, this afternoon I saw on MSN that Billy Mays, the Oxy Clean pitchman, has also died. What is going on here? Now they are saying he hit his head on a bumpy flight yesterday and this may have something to do with his unexpected death. He was only 50! Now, you may ask, why does this affect me so? Well, I had really started to like him after watching his TV series on Discovery, 'Pitchmen'. He seemed like such a nice guy, and had such a wonderful close friendship with Anthony Sullivan, another pitch guy on the show. I can only imagine how devastated he must be at this moment.

I am torn on the subject of death. Yes, I am a Christian and believe that we are only here for a time - that our true home is in heaven. And I believe that those that pass on and do enter the Kingdom are truly at peace once they are there. It is those of us who are left behind that suffer. Do we suffer just because we miss their presence, or do we suffer because we agonize over where they might be and whether or not we will see them again? I suppose it depends, and I try not to judge because sometimes we don't know if someone has a relationship with God, especially if they are famous. You just don't see celebrities for the most part promoting their religious beliefs. It's not the cool thing to do.

Rest in peace Bill, Farrah, Michael, and Billy. May the glory you experience in heaven outshine the glory you knew here on earth.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Okay, I tried to do this before when I was mother of the bride. I thought if I documented everything that happened I would be able to look back on it and laugh, or cry, or maybe it would help someone else through the process. I think the process itself made me so crazy that I couldn't keep up with a blog and never materialized. So, here I am at another crazy phase of life attempting to 'blog'. My grown daughter, Ashley (kindredly...) is my inspiration. Here we go...

So, to start out, let me tell you about myself:

I am 47 years old - Now, normally this would not bother me. I have always looked somewhat younger than I am and age has never been a factor. Lately tho, I find this changing. I am starting to see the age that I am and it is scary.

I am co-owner of a business: In 2007, my husband and I bravely entered the world of entrepreneurship, opening a business that was truly needed in our community. Why, you ask? To this day I still don't know. I think it was a mixture of pioneer spirit and wanting to please my husband. I thought I had something to prove, not only to him but to myself as well. You see, I used to be a professional. I was in the workplace for many years when I was raising my daughter alone, and I had a sense of pride and accomplishment in my financial services career. When I remarried in 2002, my husband and I felt I had paid my dues to the overstressed and commuting life and I decided to go to school to become a medical transcriptionist. This new career would allow me to work from home, as well as to take my work on the road so I could accompany my husband whenever he would travel (which at the time was often). The working from home part was wonderful, but it was also isolating. I started to feel somewhat worthless and doubted my ability to relate to others and communicate with anyone other than my husband. When the opportunity to actually interact with the public and be a part of the community came about, I thought at the time it would be a wonderful change.

I am still a medical transcriptionist and am now also transcribing seminars for a church organization: Can you say I've bitten off more than I can chew? Yes, at times it feels that way.

I have been married for seven years: And I love my husband.

I have a beautiful 27-year-old daughter: She has kept me feeling young all my adult life. We don't see each other much anymore (she is married, has a career and is busy with friends) but the connection we formed as 'we' grew up together is still there. I look forward to being a "Glamma" one day.

I have two stepchildren, a daughter in her junior year of college and a son who is starting his freshman year this fall. Can you say expensive? I think so. I love them dearly tho and their mother, as questionable as her ethics may have been at one point, has raised them well. They are wonderful kids.

I have two cats that I love like children: Okay, I'm not a crazy cat lady but I come close. What can I say? They just adore me, and that unconditional love is hard to turn away (even if it is based on getting their favorite snack). Plus, they are cute as they can be and make me laugh every day.

I am a Christian: Now, you wont hear me spouting off scripture or telling others how to live their lives, but I do attempt to live my life and run our business based on Christian principles. I am far from perfect - I have had to learn to accept that even at my age I am still a work in progress. I look to the Lord for guidance and peace every day and this is what I feel is right for me.

To start with the issue at hand, the main focus of my life for the past two years has been our business. We started this venture in June 2007, and by February 2008 the "Center" was open. After working 12-15 hours days for months, I was ready to close it down in March 2008 if that gives you any idea as to where my mind was and sometimes still is today. You see, our thought when we got into this was that we would be 'hands on' owners for about six months, and then after that we could turn over the day-to-day operations to our well trained employees. HA!

To alleviate my stress, after a few months in business my precious husband hired a Center Director. Once she was trained, this allowed me the time I needed to get back to transcribing and taking care of our home. Within months she was gone as her husband was transferred to another state.

Okay God, what's up??

After she left we hired whom we thought was her perfect replacement - a woman from our church who had recently moved here and desperately needed a stable job. Wow - thanks God, now we understand why employee #1 left - you really dropped that one in our laps! Though, within weeks she was gone, ruptured disks in her back and then she moved to another state.

Okay, now we're confused. We think we're doing all the right things but yet, all of these wonderful employees keep moving away. What is it that you want from us Lord? Oh, okay - you want ME to come back and be the Center Director. What was I, blinded by the obviousness of it all?

SO, putting all other things on the backburner, I went back to work at the Center. Then, on December 31, my husband fell off the roof and severely broke his left leg. An effort to slow HIM down, maybe? After all, he was carrying the burden of a full-time job that had already cut his pay 40%, a Center that was struggling, and a wife who was a loon most of the time. Two surgeries and months of recuperation later, the depression was overwhelming both of us. We had even turned away from the church. At the time we should have leaned on the Lord the most, we turned our backs. Let's face it - the responsibilities of our lives, our regular jobs and the Center were taking their toll and something had to break. We had to make a decision about how we would move forward and decided to put the Center up for sale. We thought my husband's main employer would be transfering us to another state and we mentally began readying ourselves for this.

It's months later and the Center is still for sale. Amazingly even in this poor economy it is doing well. We now have some wonderful employees who have stepped in and helped us tremendously, allowing me more time away to work on my two transcription jobs. My husband's employer wants him to relocate but they don't have the budget to help us move, so we are staying put for now. AND - we've gone back to our church. Even though we had turned our backs on God, He never turned His back on us. He stayed with us still guiding us and not allowing our desperation and depression to completely take over. We are blessed.

If the Center is meant to sell, God will allow it to sell. If we are meant to move away, He will facilitate the move. Because we couldn't handle things the way they were, we gave up and gave it to God. Since then, the blessings in our lives have overflowed. Even though the circumstances still aren't as we'd hoped or expected, there are so many wonderful things happening in our lives and we are being allowed a sense of peace that is sustaining us.

To be continued...