Looking to the Past

My goal in life is to look to the future but there are times that I need to look to the past to see my future. 

One day as I was trying to sort a commenting issue out, I stumbled upon an import blogger capability on this blog.  I decided to give it a try and I was successful in importing my original blog, My Life, (except what Blogger didn't lose nor the Ailurophile blog I had) as well as my Health Blog.  (see the bottom of the left link Navigation section for the links to the blogs)

As I sat in front of my computer tonight, uploading my Wordless Wednesday photo for tomorrow and looked back and read some of the posts on My Life.  I hate to admit that I'm ashamed of some of what I wrote regarding my sister Kathy.  You see, tomorrow (Wednesday, May 5) is her birth date and I am ashamed of what I wrote about Kathy.  Most of my anger towards her came from her loser husband (AKA the asshole) and although we made peace and I know she forgave me and I her, I hate seeing what I wrote.  She was not a Doorknob.  She was an incredibly intelligent woman who lost her way and lost her self esteem - if she ever really had any and was preyed upon by a man like the asshole and her life fell apart.

The only positive part of their union was the precious Elyssa. 

I thought about deleting the posts but then I decided that I'm leaving them there to remind me to not treat others as I did Kathy.  I shouldn't judge.  I shouldn't hurt others.  Although Kathy is gone and I know I won't hurt her any more, the things I wrote will serve as a reminder of how much denial I was in - I truly loved my sister and she loved me.... we still love each other.  Not even death can take our love away.

Posted on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 8:25PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments1 Comment

Wordless Wednesday - Next Women's MBA SuperStar

Posted on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 at 12:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments4 Comments

An Actual Post!

Shocking, I know... I actually feel like writing! 

The weekend was a pretty good one; I had a lot of fun with Elyssa.  We went on an adventure with my mom to Wal-Mart (it about killed me off - thank goodness for benches) where we found her some fairies (she's a girl after my own heart), a Cars puzzle book, and a new pair of tennis shoes.  She was a very happy girl once we got home and opened everything.

Saturday afternoon we watched Cars and Over the Hedge

Later in the evening, my brother Bob, his new fiancée, Joan, and his two girls Heather and Morgan stopped by to visit.  I'm really excited for Bob and Joan.  They've got the "we're in love" glow and I haven't seen Bob that happy for years.  Then a little while later, my brother J Dee, his wife Patti, her son Trent, his wife Amy, their 2-week old son Owen, and then Patti's daughter Nichole and her husband J.D. stopped by to meet Joan and visit some more. 

Elyssa sat on my lap and cuddled for over 2.5 hours - the entire time they were there.  Cuddling with anyone other than her late momma is rare so I felt privileged and feel that we're really bonding more.  She gives me Eskimo kisses then wants me to kiss her forehead and tickle her tummy, back, legs, and arms.  She's really coming out of her shell when it comes to the kids in the family.  She has always been a bit shy mostly because the other kids didn't know how to act around her.  Elyssa has developmental delays but she is every bit a kid just as they are - they just need to be a bit understanding with her and I'm so happy to see them reaching out to her. 

Last night (Sunday) we were invited to J Dee and Patti's to celebrate Patti and Trent's birthdays and Elyssa had so much fun.  I went outside with her and snapped quite a few photos and these are some of my favorites.  Pictured are Kenna, Kaitlyn, Mylee, and Elyssa. 

I had a lot of fun taking their photos and they posed for me and kept asking to take more... good thing they're so cute AND I have a digital camera! 

The sweet baby Owen was there last night too and I took some photos of him.  He's so precious and not only because he slept the entire time (LOL). Here's my brother J Dee, the proud grandpa holding him.

Then here's my mom holding Owen.

I am so grateful to have such an incredible family who are there no matter what I need.  There's always an outpouring of love when I see anyone in my family.  Ever since Kathy died, we've all become a lot closer in so many ways.  We share our grief, our good and happy memories of Kathy, and lean on one another when we need to. 

One never knows when we'll lose anyone in our lives... they're gone in a blink of an eye.  Don't let another day pass without telling your loved ones how much you care.  I wish I could have one more conversation with Kathy... or to just hear her voice. 

I am now officially Elyssa's guardian!  I went to court on Wednesday and everything went fine.  The judge was great and he thanked me for standing up and taking Elyssa.  I told him there wasn't even a question in my mind but he said that I'd be surprised how many kids don't have anyone like me (and the other members of my family who all help me with Elyssa) and they get lost in the system.  It was like a bullet through my heart, realizing what he must see on any given day, of children who don't have anyone.  No wonder our society is such a mess - our children are suffering and not many adults step up and do anything about it.  I wish I could do more...

Posted on Monday, April 26, 2010 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments6 Comments

I Heart Faces "Fix It Friday" Trial

Posted on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at 1:47AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments2 Comments

Wordless Wednesday - Lily White

Posted on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 2:26AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments8 Comments

Back From the... Dead?

My blog is back from the dead and I'm a happy girl again.  It was actually down for a couple of weeks before I noticed... how sad is that?! 

I'm not sure where I am some days. 

I am trying to make an effort to be online at least once a day and check my email and hopefully I'll get into my groove again and blog regularly again.  Now that spring is starting to spring, although living in Utah means that spring likes to tease us with good weather then only to be hit with snow, the flowers are starting to bloom and that makes me want to get out and take photos.  However, my body doesn't always cooperate. 

Such as life but I'm not letting it defeat me.

Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010 at 11:43AM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments10 Comments

My Lonely Little Blog

I find it interesting how much life changes.  Just a few years ago, I had to blog every day whether I had anything to say or not then it tapered off a bit but I rarely missed a day even when I worked full time and went to school full time.  Now... hmmm... it's as if I have nothing to say so I don't write.  But I really do have things to say, I just let other things be a priority.

Last week, my sister Susie, Elyssa, and me went to see a psychic/medium to see if we could connect with Kathy.  K is her name and I liked her and had good vibes about her right off - which is how Susie (who met her first) and I both felt, and Kathy too. 

The session came to be because shortly after Kathy's death, I called K to make sure Kathy didn't have any scheduled sessions.  I left a voice mail and K called me back the next day to give her condolences and to tell me what a wonderful, spiritual, and kind hearted person Kathy was.  I always knew she was but it was a side she was scared to let others see often.  If anyone, it was Susie and me that saw that side (other than Elyssa, of course) more than anyone.  K told me that she'd love to read Elyssa and meet with Susie and me after a few weeks, when Kathy would be more settled.  So - I waited a few weeks and made the session.  It was such an awesome feeling to feel Kathy again; she was there and no one can convince me otherwise.  K told me things that only Kathy could tell her about me as well as about our family.  Kathy is at peace and she's with the love of her life, her first husband, Sal.  She's doing work on her self esteem and other things she couldn't divulge. 

Elyssa sleeps so well because Kathy sleeps by her every night.  She is happy with the arrangements we've made with Elyssa and told Susie and I that she wouldn't want anyone else to raise her daughter. 

The first thing K told me (about me) is that I'm plagued with Auto-immune diseases - she was spot on.  It's unusual that people know I do deal with several auto-immune diseases since they're blind diseases, meaning most everyone thinks I'm fine because I don't look sick.  She really had my attention because she told me I needed to quit putting everyone else first now is my turn to be taken care of and if I didn't, then I'd end up hospitalized if I didn't take care of myself. 

I know many don't believe in psychics and that's fine... and it's fine for me to believe because I experience too much of my own "psychic" episodes.  I do feel Kathy around home and around Elyssa often as well as other beings.  Elyssa is a Crystal Child and it's so cool to see her with the angels that surround her. 

Anyway... enough about that.

I received a email from my attorney on Friday to let me know he received the guardianship release form from Elyssa's "father."  Hooray!!  He filed all the papers with the court so it's just a matter of time before the guardianship is official and I can't say how excited I am.  I'm also really scared to have all the responsibilities, especially because of her special needs and medical problems but knowing that Kathy truly trusts me, I know I can do it.  I'm also not alone; I have the rest of my family to help me care for her and they've been such an incredible help to me. 

Kathy's death was such a horrible blow but knowing she's not far away, makes it easier....

I got some really sad news this afternoon.  My dear, sweet friend, Linda, who has been battling Stage 3 breast cancer, lost her mother to a massive stroke.  She lasted since Thursday but her sweet soul was finally set free from her earthly broken body.  May she rest in peace, Linda!  Remember I love you with all my heart and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers, that your pain will be eased knowing she's with your dad again and imagine the reunion they're having.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

Posted on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 9:05PM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , , , , | Comments4 Comments

Time Flies

I knew it has been a while since I wrote here but the last was Jan 13!  Sorry... time flies whether I'm having fun or not.  Let's see... what's happened since then? 

I saw a lawyer about getting guardianship of Elyssa and the wheels are in motion, no matter how squeaky and slow, at least they're moving.  I located E's "father"/Kathy's husband and told him that she died.  He was truly sorry and taken aback by the news.  He agreed with Kathy's wishes of having my family raise Elyssa because we're the family she's known and he doesn't have the means to support or care for her.  I signed the guardianship papers and we're waiting for him to sign away his rights; it's been 3 weeks so I hope he didn't change his mind.  I doubt he did, really, but I think he's holding out on some part of Kathy's non-existent estate.   Both my lawyer and me told him the only thing of real value was her car and we sold that to pay for funeral expenses.  So, we'll see what happens in the next couple of weeks.  After he signs it, then off to court I go. 

Mom had to have emergency heart surgery; her aortic valve needed to be replaced, which they did on Feb 3.  The surgery went extremely well and the surgeon was most pleased.  Recovery has been difficult due to the pain pills making her ill.  Imagine having your chest cracked open and 36 hours later having to throw up constantly.  She was in the hospital for 6 days then she moved in with my brother and his wife for 2 weeks.  Dad was very upset because he wanted her home (we all did) but there was no way she'd get the rest she needed here between his and Elyssa's needs; I know that first hand! 

Some days were pure hell.  However, my siblings came over at night and helped put them to bed and give me a bit of a break. 

Mom officially came home on Tuesday and we're really happy to have her.  Dad is still working on his abandonment issues (he's acted like a child but it's the dementia and Parkinson's not him) with Mom and has spilled over to everyone in the family.  I'll keep singing the old Mr. Roger's song, "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood..." to help me keep my sanity. 

I've been in SO much pain and my Rheumatoid Arthritis has flared a lot so life hasn't been so fun but thanks to my siblings helping, I lived through the really bad days. 

I guess that's about it... I haven't had time to take photos or even play Farmville (let alone Facebook and checking my email) for so long so it feels good to have a few minutes again.  I better go get the Doodlebug in the bathtub! 

I've missed everyone and I'll slowly get around to catch up with you all.  I hope everyone is well!

Posted on Thursday, February 25, 2010 at 6:16PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments9 Comments

Wordless Wednesday - Vintage Kathy 5 Years Old

Posted on Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren in , | Comments6 Comments

A Reason to Celebrate

Happy birthday to my sister, Susie.... the big 48!

I'm the cute blonde on the left ;-)    You see, I can poke fun at her here since she doesn't use a computer at all.  *evil grin*  Love ya, Susie!

Posted on Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 9:10PM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , | Comments5 Comments

Another Look into Kathy's Life

Momma and ElyssaMom found a two-page, handwritten document by Kathy's hand while going through yet another box today.  It started out to be her anger and how Ellis (the so-called husband or asshole, which ever term you'd like to use) treated her, especially in front of Elyssa.  The notes, I believe are from a session with her psychiatrist.  She was speaking out and crying out to the world about what she'd gone through with the asshole (the term I like to use).  She was crying out for help for help she was threatened not to tell a soul or more harm would come to her and Elyssa would be taken away. 

After the angry words ended, she used words of love for Elyssa and how they as parents needed to pull together to give their little girl a life.  However, he didn't seem to care about anything but crack - which was his choice; choosing drugs over his daughter. 

Kathy went on to proclaim her love for Elyssa and that since she moved into a new house (where no one from the "old life" knew where she lived) and how safe she felt.  Moving into the new house was a chance at a new life for Kathy and Elyssa and Ellis be damned.  Once he got paroled from Utah, he requested parole to Ohio... which tells a lot.  Actually, there was a dream of him taking Elyssa and Kathy to Ohio but in the letter, she said she'd always love him but was no longer in love with him because of all the abuse and disrespect. 

A big lump rose in my throat and tears rolled down my cheeks that she fought SO hard to get her life back; not only for her but also for Elyssa.  She was an incredible mother and fought hard for her child.  I saw changes in her along the way and was proud of her but reading her words somehow made is more concrete and more real that she really was changing and it wasn't just an act. 

I'm going to scan this document and send the original to our lawyer.  The point is, the asshole never really wanted Elyssa, he just wanted control and pretend he was a man. 

Kathy - I'm so proud of you and of how hard you fought to find your way back again.  I always knew you could do it - you always had a kick-ass attitude and Ellis seemed to drain that so you felt as if you were nothing.  But you were something, you were our sister, Elyssa's mother, our parents' daughter, and so many things to so many people.  Just speaking with your friends from Cincinnati, St. Louis, and San Diego, you were loved and you a fantastic friend.  We'll always love you.

And for the record, I'm sorry I called you a doorknob - I can clearly see it was Ellis who was the doorknob.

Posted on Friday, January 1, 2010 at 9:30PM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , | Comments6 Comments

A Little Bit of Pure Joy

 OK, so this Wordless Wednesday isn't so wordless.  My sister Susie and her friend had a great idea to take E to an archarde an they invited me along,  This is my niece of Elyssa, who has never been to an archade until today.  Elyssa had such a great time sand there were lots of giggles and this summer, maybe we coulf go to the big theme park with her cusins. If her momma's death has taught us anything, it's to help give her daugher a full life.  It's not that Kathy didn't have the means to take her she wasn't physically able.

Life is short - don't waste a minute.  However, when we got home, I don't know who wore who out - Elyssa or us.

Posted on Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 12:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , , , , , , | Comments3 Comments

Christmas "WOW"

Posted on Monday, December 28, 2009 at 12:22PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments4 Comments

I Stand Corrected

So many times in the past, I've discussed (or written) about something so incredibly selfish that someone has done and how it's disgusted me.  Having been raised better than many with charity at the base of my being, it is difficult for me to understand how others can be so selfish.

However, this year, I stand corrected. 

Kathy passed away on November 26, 2009, which was Thanksgiving and we were at a loss at what to do and how to pay for her funeral because she did not have any life insurance, savings, or property other than a car that was worth $1700.   Not only had we lost her but we also had no idea how we'd pay for the services.

My sister Susie is good friends with a gentleman who is part owner in one of the largest mortuary chains in the area, Lindquist Mortuary, and he gave us a discount on anything he could.  Still, the bill was almost $7000. 

Kathy's roommate immediately bought Kathy's car so we could give a down payment and then by the day of the funeral, we received many condolence cards with not only condolences and love, but also money.  No one was asked to help, but they did.  The money came in $20, $50, to $1000 donations, which blew our minds.  Of course, it made us all cry, knowing that not only Kathy but that my whole family was loved so much by so many. 

As of today, Mom mailed in the last payment on the bill on the mortuary.  Then my aunt let a secret slip that my mom's family are collecting for a headstone for Kathy, just as we did for my cousin Rick who died under similar circumstances about three years ago. 

I'm feeling so overwhelmed and so grateful for all the donations to give my sister the burial she deserved. 

I'm not done yet.  A man from the church came over the other night to tell us that more people from church are still donating so we can also put that towards the headstone and well as savings for Elyssa.

Last night Elyssa's main teacher called and asked if her and the principal of the school could drop in to visit.  We had a great visit and they told us how well Elyssa is doing in school and how much more loving she is since Kathy died (she's been the same with my family too).  As they were about to leave, they handed us two cards - both carrying over $400.  Donated from E's teachers and teachers around the school who love her.  I don't care what people say - teachers are truly some of the most kind hearted people on earth. 

Mom and I spent the day today buying Christmas gifts for Elyssa, gifts to make her feel more comfortable here and to have more fun at play time (if that's possible). 

I'd like to say thank you to everyone who gave of themselves, whether it's through a thought, prayers, or other means.  My family's Christmas is beginning to be bright. 

Posted on Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 4:13PM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , , , | Comments10 Comments

Good Bye, Kathy... I'll Always Love You


Posted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 12:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , , | Comments9 Comments

God Taketh Away but He Also Giveth

Meet Aspen Ann, born Monday, November 30 2009.  She's my grand niece, born to my niece Keldi and her husband Matt.  What a blessing.

Posted on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 9:57AM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , , | Comments4 Comments

I Think it's a Plot

I think that it's a plot that when someone close to us dies to keep us so busy with plans that we don't have time to really grieve.  Every day since Kathy died has been filled with plans, finding important documents, and anything else that makes one feel as if he or she is losing their minds. 

Mortuaries are well worth their weight in gold.  We met with the mortuary yesterday and they were wonderful and knew everything that needs to be done.  Of course, five of those things has to be done by today to meet the deadlines, but I think I can get it all done. 

Kathy's viewing is Tuesday night - just a short one and then her services will be Wednesday morning.  We're only running her obit one day, which is Tuesday.  I will complain about the cost of obituaries - they've gone from a free service to a real money-maker for the newspapers. 

My sister Susie and I are going to give speeches at Kathy's services and we're going to try and keep it light, just as Kathy would have wanted.  I'm sure there will be laughter through our tears.  Everyone in my family will take a part in the service and the burial, which I think would please her as well. 

I better get busy checking things off my to-do list... I have until 5pm tonight.  Wish me luck.

Thank you again, everyone for your thoughts and prayers.  Love to you all.

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 9:32AM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , | Comments4 Comments

Rest in Peace, Dear Sister

My sister Kathy - I love you so much.  I know you're free from pain now but you're missed and always will be. 

May 5, 1963 - November 26, 2009

Angel by Sarah McLachlan

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There's always one reason
To feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction
Oh beautiful release
Memory seeps from my veins
Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lie
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 7:37PM by Registered CommenterKaren | Comments11 Comments

Wordless Wednesday - Giving Thanks

Posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 12:00AM by Registered CommenterKaren in , , | Comments3 Comments

Wordless Wednesday - Soft

Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 4:48PM by Registered CommenterKaren in , | Comments6 Comments