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New Directions…

So again, it’s been a year since I’ve posted on this site. I originally created this site to be an outlet for me to express thoughts and things, but it seems that my depression was the only thing that wanted to be expressed, and I specifically made a deal with myself that I would never post when I was going through a really dark time. Thus the lack of posts… Also, I told myself that I wouldn’t post unless I had something entertaining or worthy to say… which in my world, is also in short supply, and again, thus the lack of posting. I’m going to try and maintain this site, simply for the reasons that I do not want to close it. It gives me a way to remember the important things that I’ve posted about… which, in retrospect, are all dismal in nature and fearfully written. /sigh

Regardless, I’m needing to blog as an outlet; it makes me feel better to do so, especially considering my introverted mind and depression makes me pull away from everyone often.  I’ve got things to write about, just need the mental fog to lift more often so I can get it done.

I’m considering starting another blog – as contradictory to what I *just* said – and focus that one on parenting and kid related things. This way, I can begin with a certain style, and continue with the never-ending antics of my children.

Go to that blog here: The Awkward Mommy

I’ll try to keep that one going, and in the meantime, this one will go dormant… unless I find a way to merge the two.

Love You Big As Sky

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Two Steps Forward, One Step Backwards

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My 5 year old daughter and my Mom.

As I sit here at 5am, in a cold hospital room on an uncomfortable plastic-coated chair that pulls out into something that resembles a sleeping surface, I am watching my mom sleep and get a temporary respite from her bilateral pneumonia. About an hour ago, we were both asleep, until she had a coughing fit that she couldn’t get to stop. It seemed that she laid her mechanical squeaky monster of a bed down too flat and her lungs didn’t approve. The coughing caused chest pain, which caused shallow breaths, which caused quick deep breaths, which led to more coughing. “The coughing is a good thing as a result of the breathing treatments” the nurses say, but I’m sure Mom disagrees right now. Or she would if she was awake.

Anyway, the coughing was efficiently timed, so to speak, as laboratory came in the door to draw blood for yet another test. The plhebotamist was pleased that she didn’t have to wake up a patient at 4am to do what needed to be done. Before she was done, an LVN came in to take vitals: blood pressure-good, oxygen levels-acceptable, body temperature-normal. Someone from respiratory came in to give Mom her nightly breathing treatment. Moms night nurse also came in to bring her some tylenol for the chest pain and body aches. The last person to show up was the X-ray tech to get a chest X-ray. It was convenient, albeit tasking on Moms body.

This is day two of her adventures in the hospital. An adventure, I might add, that she never wanted to take. But she had a cold, then an upper respiratory infection, and seemingly overnight, pneumonia in both lungs. It’s a difficult spot to be in when you can’t breathe, and also for those of us wishing we could take the pain away. All we can do is watch, and help with menial tasks to make things easier while the nurses do the serious stuff. It’s particularly difficult when day one of your hospital stay was made with great strides in improving your health. The attending physician said that she could possibly go home on the 3rd day, but with this setback, I’m going to wager that it will be at least another day. Her oxygen levels have bounced around, because when they try to take her off of it she isn’t staying saturated enough on her own… meaning her lungs haven’t healed enough yet.

By the way, if you’re a nurse or LVN, you deserve so much recognition. You are a precious comoddity in this world. You have to be caring, and dedicated, knowledgable and efficient, as well as stern and disconnected. You have to know how to be compassionate and personable, while still maintaining professional capabilities and not letting emotions get in the way. You are appreciated, even if your patients don’t show it.

After everyone completed their tasks and left the room, Mom decided she needed to use the restroom. I helped her up, held her tubing and walked her the four feet to the bathroom and back to her bed when she was done. This simple task winded her, and took every last ounce of energy that she had. As she sat on the edge of the bed, gathering up reserved energy to lay down and get situated, her eyes closed. I moved forward and put her head on my chest, wrapped my arms around her, and rubbed her back. I wanted so badly to share with her my strength and my health so she could heal but the only thing I could offer was love. At that very moment I felt so weak. Love can heal many things, but pneumonia is mostly immune.

I waited for Mom to pull away from me, but she didn’t. My heart wanted to crawl into bed with her and hold her while she slept like she did to me when I was ill as a child. My brain told me to lay her down so she can sleep. I decided to go with my brain, because I knew Moms body was weak and needed to rest. When I pulled her head away from me, she had tears in her eyes. My heart cried with her… she was trying so hard to be so strong, to get better, and she felt like she was failing. All I could do was get her comfortable and covered up in blankets, and then gently rub her face and hair while she fell back asleep.

I looked down at this sleeping woman, this wonderful creation that created me, and I couldn’t help but realize how fleeting and short life can be. I thought of loved ones that are already passed – my Grandmother especially – and received a deeper knowledge of how my Mom felt when she looked at her Mom. I’ve always appreciated my family, and I try not to ever take them for granted.

But there’s something unnerving about watching someone sleep with tubes in their nose and an IV in their arm. It’s a cold slap of reality in an almost too warm embrace from Death himself. You realize so many things in that instant, and it either makes or breaks a person. This is why many people who go into a hospital for longer than an overnight usually have a different outlook on things when they come out. They realize that there was a chance they weren’t going to make it. Again, kudos to the nursing staff, because this is your everyday.

All in all, Mom slept for an hour from about 4:45am to 5:45am, then had to use the potty again. I unhooked her leg compression cuffs, got her IV and oxygen tubing together, unplugged the charging cable for her IV, and helped her to the bathroom. Then did it all in reverse when she was done. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. By the time I finished writing this at 6am, she was already fast asleep and snoring gently. (Don’t tell her she’s snoring, she will deny it.) She can snore all she wants to. It’s been a helluva night, and she needs all the rest she can get. Maybe the breakfast dude will be delayed and not come bouncing in here at 7am.

Edit: The respiratory tech came in at 6:15am to do another breathing treatment. Thankfully, this was non-invasive, and Mom woke up just enough to put the band around her head. Maybe I can ger another hour of sleep before my kids get here. We’ll see.

It Starts at Home

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My last blog post was over a year ago. I’ve been hiding from my blog, and the honest truth is that my depression has been heavy, life has been chaotic, and I haven’t wanted to sit down and spend an hour or more writing. But in light of the recent tragedy that has happened in Dallas, Texas (which is just a few hours from me), I felt a heavy burden on my heart to write about something that isn’t (commonly) addressed during these sad times.

Racism. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Ermehgerd, she’s so stupid, that’s all over the media!” but stay with me here – there’s a method to my madness, I promise. The basis of these attacks on the human population can all be traced back to racism.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, this post is NOT about any-color supremacy. Or to put-down any skin color. If you take off our skin, we all look the same. It’s no different than when my hair was blue, purple and green a few weeks ago. If I shaved my head, I’d look like any other person with no hair.

But I digress.

Racism is the basis of these attacks. What I want to address though, is the basis of the racism. How did people get to thinking that there was a hierarchy for skin color? Because of our nation’s history. Segregation, slavery, and the mentality of superiority were driving factors to make one person view another as a lesser entity, and want not-equal things to happen to them. But don’t limit your thinking to the “whites and the blacks” in terms of skin color – this happened in many countries around the world to people FROM the very country that was persecuting them. Egyptians were slaves to other Egyptians, Saudi Arabians were sold as slaves to other Saudi Arabians, Africans were slaves to other Africans. The major difference in all of this is when the lines of color are crossed – when a person of one color skin is a slave to a person of another color skin. Africans were sold as slaves to the Saudi Arabians. Muslims were sold as slaves to other European countries.

But how did it all begin?

Racism was invented by society. It’s a thought process that views someone else as inferior simply because they are different than you are. Money was and still is a very large driving factor in this continuing mentality, as those with money view those without as lesser individuals. How did racism begin? It’s a educated guess or theory at best, and I’m leaving that one up to the people qualified to tackle it.

What is on my heart and mind as a mother is the fact that it continues. Narrow-minded thinking gets passed down to the next generation by way of expressing opinions as truths, and the younger ones don’t know to challenge it, so they accept it as the truth they know. Many times their eyes are opened later in life and they change their opinions, and many times it’s not. Is this due to a lack of options, a lack of understanding, a lack of intelligence, lack of ___? Possibly. Each situation is as different as each person. The main issue is that it still continues. Generation after generation get fed this narrow-minded way of thinking, and not given the option to form their own opinions.

So how do we fix this? How do we combat this issue that has plagued humanity as a whole since seemingly the beginning of history? By teaching our kids to think for themselves. We as parents need to allow – NO, we need to encourage our children to keep an open mind about everything in life, and to decide for themselves what their beliefs are. By no means am I saying to not parent your children! We are their guides to all things in life, from healthy eating habits, safe places to go, the right things to say, how to dress and not look like you’re from the 1980’s (bless my daughter’s heart!*), and how to worship and praise in the religion of your church, amongst many other duties. But if your child decides that they are different, shouldn’t we encourage that (within reason)? If they decide that they are a Democrat in a Republican household, what exactly does it matter? It’s a matter of beliefs, plain and simple. It may change how you communicate, but it shouldn’t change how much you love them. If they decide that Catholicism is not their thing, and they are going to be Jehovah’s Witness, then that’s their thing. We as parents should love them anyway, and still support them and invite them to happy and peaceful Sunday dinners (mindfully avoiding the conflicting issues…there should be plenty of other things to chat about!)

So what does this have to do with racism? Everything. Racism is a learned behavior; it’s learned by watching and listening to how those around them treat others that are different. If it starts at home, it can end at home. If we as parents are mindful of how we treat others, our children will learn this. If we do not discriminate based on superficial circumstances, our children will not either. If we do not spew hatred because of a difference in beliefs but instead teach tolerance, our children will learn to tolerate those that are different and love them for who they are. If we teach morals, our children will learn morals.

Let me reiterate that: IF WE TEACH MORALS, OUR CHILDREN WILL LEARN MORALS.

Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Leo Tolstoy said “Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself.”

We can’t change anything unless we change ourselves. The next generation has no hope of making the changes that this world needs unless they are taught how. We can complain all we want, but until enough of us DO something about it, nothing will change. Many of us as parents do not have the capability (or time, for that matter) to attend rallies, protests, or campaign on a political level to make significant changes. But we are raising the next generation, and our possibilities for changes are as endless as our children’s imaginations.

R.I.P. to those that have lost their lives in the recent attacks, and may the hearts of the surviving family members be comforted during this painful time.

*There’s nothing wrong with the 80’s, it’s my all-time favorite decade! But we are not in the 80’s, so I try to encourage my daughter to at least coordinate her outfits, not layer the first 8 things she pulls out of her closet… 🙂

This entry was posted on July 8, 2016. 3 Comments

“Geek” is not what you think

Satsuki, the Geeky Superhero

So I have a bit of a “vent”… not really a “rant”, although the subject does rub me the wrong way.

It’s the word “geek”.

According to dictionary.com:    Geek, noun

1. a digital-technology expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often used disparagingly by others).
2. a person who has excessive enthusiasm for and some expertise about a specialized subject or activity: i.e. a foreign-film geek.
3. a peculiar person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual, unfashionable, or socially awkward.

Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it? Most people think it’s easy to spot a geek. That guy in the button up shirt in the anime section at the bookstore? Geek. That girl holding the last three seasons of Doctor Who on DVD at the movie store? Geek. That guy with glasses in the AT&T shop discussing cell phones? Geek. Those girls having a lively discussion over who is cuter, Legolas or Aragorn? Geek. The group of guys sitting at the Starbucks discussing all of the latest video games? Definitely has to be Geeks.

The fact of the matter is… none of those stereotypes might actually be a geek, by definition. The guy in the anime store might be finding a new book for his teenager. The girl in the movie store might be getting a gift for someone else. The guy in the cell phone store might be finally trading in his Nokia for a smartphone. The girls discussing Lord of the Rings might have also discussed young Mickey Rourke vs. young Harrison Ford or John Travolta vs. Nick Cage, etc. You only heard one movie title as you walked by. The group of guys discussing video games might all be researchers studying why kids love video games.

Then again, all of them might actually BE geeks. Who knows? Why does it matter?

The reason for my irritation is an article that my sister Chandaroonie posted and tagged me on Facebook. She wanted my opinion, because she calls me a geek often.

I’m not a digital technology expert by any means… I love technology, and I can operate most anything, but if you ask me how many megabytes or processor speed that my equipment has, I’m going to calmly tell you to ask Samurai, I have no clue. (Samurai is my hubby, and a tech by trade. He IS a geek by definition.)

The only thing I’m really an enthusiast about is coffee, but not to the point that I complain if I don’t have fair-trade beans. I just want good flavor and freshly ground each morning.

I am, though, a peculiar person. I know I’m intelligent, unfashionable and socially awkward. I’m introverted on the inside and extroverted on the outside. I can appear to the world as put together, organized, two-steps-ahead of the competition, fierce, and take-charge. I’ve been put in leadership spots because of this. But inside, I’m nothing but Jell-O…. unorganized, meek, and wanting to cry. My fashion sense is a clean T-shirt and jeans, and usually flip-flops or sneakers. Dressing up usually means I’m not going. Makeup means someone got married or passed away. And I rarely talk to people I don’t know… I still get a wiggly tummy when I have to call in a pizza order because I don’t know who is going to answer. Thankfully my favorite pizza shop and I are on a first name basis now.

The article my sister posted can be found here: 8 things you need to know before dating a geek girl

This article got under my nerves. I could drone on and one about each of the 8 points she makes and why they are offensive. But I’m going to sum it up like this: The author contradicts herself at every turn. She tells her readers that not all geek girls watch Doctor Who or study quantum physics, but then later on says that geek girls love Neil DeGrasse Tyson, cosplaying, and Benedict Cumberbatch. It would be safe to say that she doesn’t know how a geek girl really thinks. Honestly, you just need to read the article to see what I mean.

I WILL agree that the points she makes – the actual numbered points – are accurate. A true geek girl does exemplify those characteristics. But not entirely in the way that she defines. What happened to being nice and respectable? What happened to just being yourself?

To the author’s credit, she seemingly wrote her response to a male’s article about how to find and keep a geeky girl, and why they are best girlfriends.

You can read that article here: Nerd Out: 8 reasons why geeky girls make the best girlfriends

The man’s article is not any better. His point of view is very chauvinistic, instructing men how to entice, claim, and keep a geeky girl.  Again, whatever happened to being nice and respectable? What happened to just being yourself?

Another thing…. Why aren’t their any articles on how to entice and keep a cheerleader? Because they are stereotyped as being easy? Why aren’t there articles on how to entice and keep an Emo/Goth chick? Because they are not ones you can take home to mommy, stereotypically speaking? What about an article about how to love a dumb jock, even though the lack of intelligence is frustrating?

BECAUSE IT’S WRONG. It’s rude. These articles, if they exist, would be so one-sided that they would be shot down before any major websites could get ahold of them.

So why is it ok to have an article on geeks? Why can’t we just like people for who they are?

A little Disclaimer: I’m not writing this to incite a discussion over points of views. It should be clear by this point in the thread that I believe everyone should be themselves. If you have to write an article on how to get the guy or the girl, then write it over how to be a great person, not how to attract a stereotype.

Second Disclaimer: There is absolutely nothing wrong with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, cosplaying, Doctor Who, Legolas, or Aragorn. I enjoy all of those topics. I can pick Benedict Cumberbatch out of a line-up, but I have no idea why he is famous. I think I just negated my whole blog post…

With Love, from The Dark Place

It’s been a really long time since I have blogged on here. There were many reasons, the most prominent was that I had taken the blog in a way that I didn’t feel true, simply for the fact of trying to actually blog. Other reasons were spending quite a bit of time in The Dark Place, and some changes in my family, home, and life. Sometimes it takes time to get everything sorted out to a new normal.

I came across this blog post from my FaceBook page. It was linked by a friend who understands the introverted, anxious, and depressive episodes. As I read the blog, I couldn’t believe how the writer seemed to take all of the swirling colors and emotions that I felt and put it into words. During a depressive episode, it’s hard to focus on anything, much less the words that I need to express to others what I need or how I feel. People mean well – they really do – it’s just hard to explain, and when I can’t get it across properly it sends me down another rung on the ladder because I “failed” yet again.

Anyway, This is a really good read, for those that suffer from anxiety, depression and other “invisible” illnesses as well as for those that do not. Read it: A Letter of Regret

Blog post is courtesy of TalkingThisandThat by Kirsten Young …Go give her a look. She has some great blogs.

Until next time, Love You Big as Sky!

SakuraMari

Love You Big As Sky…..

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This is a hard post to write, and I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to get through it tear-free. Bear with me. It’s not that I’m too strong to cry, or that I “hold it all in”… it’s just really hard to type and think when your eyes are leaking and your hands are full of Kleenex. (lol eyes and nose “leak”, according to Diva.) By the way, that’s not the best pic of Nana, but it’s the one I have for now without rummaging thru photo albums. Maybe I’ll change it later.

Today was my maternal Grandmother’s birthday. She would have been 78 years old today. She preferred the grandchildren to call her Obasan, which is Japanese for Grandmother, to honor our heritage. Some time in my teen years, I started calling her Nana, and I have no clue why. No one else called her Nana, and she didn’t try and change me. I remember her telling me “I don’t care what you call me as long as you call me.”

I’m the oldest biological grandchild. I was blessed to have Nana all to myself for the first 4 years of my life. Mom said that when she was 9 months pregnant with me, Nana stopped by the house early in the morning on her way to work. She told Mom that “there is something wrong with the baby, but it is all going to be ok.” Nana didn’t know what, but she knew something. I was born later that day, via emergency C-Section, and I had the umbilical cord wrapped tightly around my neck. Had I been born naturally, I could have suffocated. How did Nana know? I’m not sure. But I do know that anytime I was with Nana, I could typically be found in one of two places: in the toy room, or under Nana’s wing.

Each of us grandchildren had a special bond with Nana, and she loved each of us differently. Not UNequally…. just differently. My bond with Nana was typically in the kitchen or at the grocery store. When we went to the store, we walked arm in arm, mine in hers when I was little, and as I got bigger, hers in mine. I remember times that I felt weird holding arms with OMGMYGRANDMOTHER, especially as a teen and when someone looked at me funny. But what I wouldn’t give to have her arm using mine for stability as we walked the grocery store…Anyway (I’m avoiding tears…) If she was cooking, I was in there too. Nana’s house has a tiny kitchen… two people in there was too much. Nevertheless, I learned several of my favorite recipes from being in there with her. I also learned to cook the way I do now… without a recipe, or using a recipe as a guide only. I remember Nana telling me “you just have to taste it” when she was making seasoned rice for Inarizushi, or adding salt for rice balls. Well, rice shapes… Nana would often squish rice into different shapes because it was fun. Triangles were ones she made most often. Sukiyaki, basic sushi, barbeque chicken and rice, and many other delicious things came out of that tiny kitchen. Several of the recipes were not her own, they are just ones I remember eating almost exclusively while we were visiting.

Nana was born in Japan. I’m told that her home city was Hachinohe, in Aomori Prefecture in the Tōhoku region of Japan. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but that’s what Google says when you look up the city. I do know that Hachinohe is on the northernmost segment of the big island of Japan. She was born on the island of Hokkaido, and they moved to Hachinohe, and that is where she grew up. Nana worked in the Japanese school system as a teacher’s assistant in her younger days, and she always had the patience to show that she was good at it. I don’t recall her getting upset or flustered at much of anything, and even her “angry” was not done with an elevated voice. WE knew we were in trouble when the middle names were used. If our last name ever followed, we might as well never come home again. I will NEVER forget how she said my name.

Nana worked in the hospital for over 30 years. She was happy at her job, and good at it. Towards the end of her tenure, she said that her boss knew she would be retiring soon, and “just let them know” when she is ready. One day, she walked into her boss’s office and said “I’m done. I’m ready to retire.” The boss asked when, and she replied “At the end of today.” There was no question, no fuss, no two weeks notice. Just….done. Like that. She was so good and faithful that the boss didn’t have any issues.

When we would leave Nana’s house, She would stand out on the end of her yard and wave. She would wave until she couldn’t see the car anymore. We all had our hands out of the windows, waving back. The entire time that I was growing up, I thought this was just something SHE did. I found out a few years back that it’s a traditional Japanese thing. Not everyone does it, but it had something to do with back in the old days, people couldn’t visit often, so the waving until you couldn’t see them anymore was like hanging onto every last second you had. I do it now with my family members, and it’s just something we do.

The funniest story I have was when Nana came home from work one day and said that she and her close friend Mrs. Acosta were teaching each other their respective languages (Mrs. Acosta is Hispanic). Neither one had English as a first language, and they both spoke with broken English at best, so we weren’t sure where this was going to go. Someone asked Nana what she had learned so far, and she said, “I learned the word chit.” Much juice was spat all over the room, as Nana DID. NOT. SPEAK. with vulgarity. “WHAT did you say?” She calmly replied with a smile, “Chit. C-H-I-T. It means that you chit down in a chair.” All of a sudden, every one of us in the room KNEW that we had been taken for a ride. Nana then smiled really big and simply said “I made a funny!” and went into the kitchen, while we sat there picking up our jaws off of the floor.

Nana passed when she was 70 years old. She said that she had some heartburn on March 13th, and lay down to sleep and sometime in the early hours of March 14th, she never woke up. The coroner said the signs pointed to a heart attack, but we didn’t do an autopsy. There was no need to. That was a very hard trial to go through, and even now it still hurts really bad. The biggest thing that Nana did with everyone she held dear was make sure that we knew she loved us. Every birthday, Christmas, or other holiday card, anything signed by her was always done in the same way, in the same handwriting, in the same broken English…

Love You Big As Sky.

And now you know how it all began.

This entry was posted on July 27, 2014. 3 Comments

Please Love Your Family….

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So yesterday was Samurai’s birthday, and not too long ago was HotRod’s birthday. They are 16 days apart, give or take a few years. 🙂  Anyway, both of them wanted to go to the lake today to celebrate. Sure, why not? Samurai’s mom went with us, as well as Hopefully Ariel. The lake we like to go to is around 45 minutes from town, but it’s smaller, a bit nicer and not crowded. At most there’s maybe 4 families enjoying the lake at any given time. Plus, it’s got a low grade angle in the water, so you can go out quite a ways before you get in too deep. This allows for more “playing room” for the kids to splash around.

Anyway, we had been there a couple of hours, and hunger starts to set in, so Samurai’s and his mom get out to make sandwiches. This is typically something I do, but I was busy trying to get Diva to acclimate to her Body Glove full body floaty suit… she has decided that she is NOT comfortable when she can’t reach the bottom, NOR does she like water in her face, NOR does she want to wear the suit, BUT she WILL be in the water up to at least her armpits. I figured the least hated option was to fuss with her wearing the suit. She had a death grip on me for a while, and cried and whined, but over time she learned to trust herself and things got better. HotRod can swim, and Bird has just learned the basics, but both of them know to stay in the shallows. Diva thinks she can go wherever-she-pleases, Thank-You-Very-Much…. Thus the need to wear the suit.

Well, I’m standing in water up to MY armpits, so I can hold Diva floating at eye level. (This keeps my arms from tiring, lol.) About 6 feet closer to shore from me was HotRod in an orange floating chair, and about 5 feet from him was Bird with his goggles on the top of his head. (WHY he was wearing goggles in a muddy lake, I’ll never know.) Hopefully Ariel was about 10 feet away in deeper water. Bird slips on a muddy spot and goes under. This surprises him, and he reaches out to grab something, but water is notoriously fluid…and he goes under a second time. By this time, HotRod had thrown off his orange floaty, Ariel swims over, and they both get to Bird, help him up, he’s coughing and sputtering. When we all realize that he will be fine, HotRod goes to look for his floating chair and saw the wind is pushing it out to the middle of the lake. Ariel and Samurai take off swimming after it, but a gust of wind was toying with them and kept it just out of their reach. They decide to let it go and start swimming back. Ariel gets winded and flips to her back to float for a minute to catch her breath. Samural is swimming back, and his leg cramps up. He starts screaming, thrashing about to stay afloat, and the only thing I can do is to holler at him to come closer… I was in armpit-deep water holding Diva-in-her-suit… HotRod grabs another float and trudges out for me to toss it to him, but the mud/clay/rock bottom makes your feet sink and stick. Ariel is floating, kicking her feet, and making it back in slowly, but surely. Samurai starts to panic just a bit, because when you can’t feel your leg, and you’re trying to swim, it’s not a good thing. Just in time, HotRod gets to me, and I pass the float to Samurai, who is finally able to calm down. I pull him in close to me, and Diva lays her hand on his cheek and starts rubbing his beard. I check on Ariel, and she has made it to shore and was walking back, but she looked very winded and tired. Samurai had aspirated some water though, and wasn’t doing so well. We get him to shore, get him to cough, and get him to sit in a chair. Ariel is there sitting in a chair as well. Please don’t call me a “hero”, I simply was the closest person and did what any other non-swimmer could have done.

Samurai’s mom decides to finish lunch for everyone, and after the kids eat and swim for 10 more minutes, we decide to pack up to leave. Samurai and Ariel were not doing so well. To be honest, Samurai’s mom and I were not doing so well either. The stress and fears were so very scary and so hard to process, even now, after it’s all over with. To just stand there, not being able to do anything…. watching Ariel float, knowing she is tired, and knowing that if she decided she couldn’t kick anymore, she could drown… and watching Samurai yelling for help…thrashing in the water because his muscle cramped up and he couldn’t swim properly…. and before that even, with Bird just out of reach, dunking under the water…. Damn, I felt so helpless. In a matter of minutes, I was presented with the very real reality of loosing three people that I simply just refuse to let go. And yet, before it got worse, all was saved. Ariel floated long enough to get her strength and breath to get out, and Samurai got a float to lean on while I pulled him to more shallow waters. Samurai’s Mom had already pulled HotRod and Bird out of the lake.

Those that know me know I’m not a Bible-thumping Christian. I believe the Bible has lots of good advice in there, and I believe that there is a God who loves us. I’m more of a spiritual person, and I believe that your own walk with God is exactly that…your own. My own chosen path is Taoism. But in the face of a potential crisis like what we went through makes me more thankful for what’s in my life. Not that I didn’t appreciate it before, and definitely not that the people in my life didn’t know I appreciated it either. We are a thankful and loving bunch who strive to not take each other for granted, and we teach manners and respect at the center of it all. I’m going to be so bold as to say that we try very hard to live our lives so we do not NEED a “wake-up call” like this. Nevertheless, as it is with any fallible human, we will experience them from time to time.

It doesn’t matter what your chosen faith is, where you go to church, what kind of car you drive, if you live in the Hamptons or the suburbs, or below the national poverty level. IT DOESN’T MATTER. It simply doesn’t matter what you have in your life to make it better or worse. What matters is WHO is in your life. Your family. Your kids. Your parents. Your siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, best friends, geez the list goes on and on. THEY are your life’s blessings. THEY are what make life worth living. THEY are the reason you do what you do day in and day out. If you don’t have someone like this, keep looking… Don’t give up! If you do have someone, cherish them. Don’t let a day go by that they wonder if you care. If you have someone that treats you badly, hurts you or others, or just isn’t right for you, GET RID OF THEM. Fill your life with love and as much happiness as you can. I know you’ll probably argue “well I can’t because…” and it’s your life. I’m not the one living it. All I know is that after almost loosing my son, my husband, and a sister, I’m thankful that my blessings are still here for me to love.

Please…. If you forget to do everything else this weekend, hug, kiss, call, write, text, email, or whatever to all of your blessings and let them know you’re thinking of them. It doesn’t have to be mushy, just a simple statement that lets them know you care.

Please, just love your family, whoever you call family. It doesn’t matter. Just love them.

Love You Big As Sky…..