The little things

As you all know for the past few months I have been dealing with the death of my grandmother. Honestly, the hardest few months of my life so far. However, I have decided to begin to heal and to begin to accept that she is where she wanted to be all along. With that said, she has taught me to appreciate every little thing. I now notice every red bird and every purple iris. I enjoy sitting outside and listening to the birds chirp and watching my flowers grow. I feel her in all of that. When my mom says quirky things, we both laugh because we hear Nana in her. She was so funny. I’m sitting here with both dogs piled in my lap just as they would hers and know it would only be a matter of time before she swatted at Manny because, “that brown dog just won’t stop yapping!” I miss her. I miss her every minute of everyday but I’ve decided to find joy in the things we both loved and peace with the fact that there’s only one place that could take better care of her than I could and she is there. I picture her laughing with that beautiful smile that lit up the entire room and dancing with my Grandaddy. I don’t know why but I picture him in his Army uniform and her with her hair pinned and curls perfect. I know her lipstick is perfect. I know she is happy. So until we meet again, I will hold your sweet memories and challenge myself everyday to be half of what you are. Squeezing your hand three times so you know how much I love you.

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The Year of January and the Weekend of February

I just need to write this down. I need an outlet. So here it is.

As many of you know January was the hardest month I believe I have ever faced. Everything in my life was new. First semester in nursing school. Training at a new job. I know what you’re thinking, “all of that sounds wonderful!” I agree with you. New is wonderful. I’m one step closer to becoming the nurse that I feel like I’m being led to be, but although it’s wonderful it’s hard. I’m not complaining, I embrace the challenge, but good heavens they weren’t kidding when they said it was unlike anything you’ve ever done. They were exactly right. In order for me to attend classes that I need for nursing, I had to quit my job and begin another job. All exciting, but training for a new position when you’re already in information overload adds a little to the stress I’ve taken on. Here’s the other catch. The only position that I had available was a weekend night shift. Side note, I had never worked a night shift before and it turns out that I really love working nights (Thank you Jesus) but going to class straight from work on Monday morning is tough. I’m adapting to that though. This week was much better than last week. So that’s a little background of January. Here’s where the plot twists.

On January 27 at 4:30am, I lost my precious Nana. Throughout the first few weeks of January, I watched her health fail her and watched her smile every bit of the way. She is 100% the purest form of love that I have ever experienced. You could feel that she loved you just by looking at her and if you got the honor of spending 2 seconds with her, you’d never doubt it again. She was my person. She was my Thursday night dinner date and my Saturday morning conversation. She was my hand to hold whenever I wanted and now it’s all gone. There’s no doubt in my mind that if anyone is with Jesus and happy, it’s being here without her that’s so hard. Yes, she was 92. Yes, she had Dementia. Yes, she’s better off. Yes, I realize all of these things. However, on my end, I’m completely shattered. The one person I’ve loved more than anything for the past 30 years is no longer here and for that I’m sad. I’m not happy that she’s gone. I’m hurt that she’s gone and that’s just me being honest. My brain is still set on autopilot, because every Thursday after class, I automatically head to Athens to visit with her. I forget that she has passed occasionally and then the reality sets in. Thankfully, I’ve stayed busy and haven’t had a chance to deal with any of this yet. I plan on staying focused on school and work and I can deal with this in the Summer. I can deal with her passing in a way that we both deserve, but right now I just can’t.

January took forever and February is almost gone. Another week passed without her. This has been quite the adjustment for all of us. New routines for everyone. I know it’s a good thing, but it just doesn’t feel good right now. Please if you’re reading this keep me in your prayers. Staying focused since I’ve lost her is almost impossible and I really need to pass this class.

Thank you for letting me vent.

M.

 

Nana❤️

It is 3:14 in the morning and I’m sitting in a recliner in my Nana’s hospital room wide awake while she sleeps peacefully. If you know me or have even spent 10 minutes with me then you know the love that I have for her. So as you can imagine, this is tough. 

Let me give you a little back story on my relationship with Nana. As a child, I spent a majority of my time with her. She played a huge part in raising me. I was always her baby. She took care of me while I was sick. Drove me everywhere I needed to go in her little grey Sunbird that she got brand new when I was in elementary school and she drove until she could drive no more (91 years old). She read me bedtime stories and prayed over me. She used to come over and clean my room and at the time I hated it because I knew that I was expected to keep it the way nana did and that was impossible. She would sit and listen to me play the same song on the piano a hundred times a day and would tell me how beautiful it was every time. Her patience was unmeasurable and I was her baby. 

As time has progressed, she developed Dementia, a disease I wouldn’t wish on anyone. She has, however, always carried herself with such dignity and grace. She wakes every morning at 6, wants her coffee (1 sugar) and toast, dresses and fixes her hair, puts on all her jewelry and her makeup, and is always ready to go to the thrift store to get “a new pretty skirt”. As her Dementia has progressed, she may not always know who I am or how she knows me but she always knows that she loves me. I’ve been one of the lucky ones that shares in her caregiving and it has been one of the most precious experiences I’ve ever had. She doesn’t care what we are doing, she just wants to be close to me. She wants to hold my hand. She wants to sing hymns. She wants to watch the Gaithers (24/7) and a lot of Steve Harvey. The lady loves Steve Harvey! I hear my mom praying over her at bedtime and singing to her every night and Nana sings right along. It’s just precious. Every male that comes around is her “boyfriend” and she can light up a room with that smile. 

She is my baby now. Ask her, she will tell you. I’ve learned the purest form of love with her. That doesn’t come around often and if you ever find it, keep it for as long as you can. I’m so thankful for the time I get to spend with her. If I’m ever a quarter of the loving, compassionate, kind person she is, then I will be content. 

Mississippi Pot Roast

The Mississippi Pot Roast is one of the easiest recipes that I have and it is the perfect addition to any Sunday lunch.

First, you want to start by choosing your roast. We prefer sirloin, but it’s often hard to find. If you can’t find sirloin, a chuck roast is good. The one I usually do is about 4-5 pounds and it feeds my family of 3 at least 2 or 3 times.

Ingredients:

  • Roast
  • 5 Pepperoncini Peppers
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 pack of Au Jus seasoning
  • 1 pack of dry ranch mix

….and that’s it! Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and let it cook on low all night. This will melt in your mouth.

Perfect for a new cook that needs a comfort food dish to make….you can’t mess this up.

Enjoy!

Just Keep Swimming

For the past 10 months, I have been almost killing myself in order to get my grades and classes where I need to be in order to apply to Calhoun’s evening RN program. I’ve retaken the ACT twice, I’ve retaken 4 courses that I didn’t do as well in at UNA, I spent almost $4000 and I’ve taken 2 other classes that I hadn’t had at UNA…all the while working 40+ hours and balancing what little social life that I had. I was/ am trying so hard. Running full speed. Well, last week, I received some bad news. The program that I was working so hard towards had been cancelled. They are replacing it with another daytime program in order to bring inmore successful applicants. They made it clear that it is impossible to work and go to nursing school at night and be successful. I get it. It’s tough. However, it’s not up to the school to determine if a student will be successful or not. There are many, like myself, that have to work in order to pay for  school. We have to work to maintain the health insurance required for the courses….

Needless to say, I was very disappointed. What now? I’ve worked too hard to quit. So, I prayed, and started researching other schools. Luckily, a school was laid in front of me that has an evening/weekend RN program and it’s about half an hour from my grandparent’s house. The downfall is that I will be commuting after work, but at least I will have a close by place to stay after class and I can keep my job. So, please, join me in praying that I’m accepted. If not, I will zig and zag again, but I’m really praying that I don’t have to do that. This is only temporary.