And, the next chapter begins…

imageToday, after 30 yrs of service, my husband is working his last shift in city government…his last shift before retirement. During the 20+ years that Victor has been part of my life, he has dedicated his life to public service…and, I firmly maintain, he has spent those years being a hero. He will argue that he was only doing his job. Then, he’ll back that argument up with a funny story about a crazy call he went on or a weird caller on the other end of the 911 line or a prank he and his crew from the fire department pulled. He doesn’t talk much about being the first truck in during Phi Gam Mother’s Day fire in Chapel Hill or the day he almost didn’t make it off the roof of Hector’s because he sent his crew down the ladder first. He doesn’t talk much about juggling all the 911 calls during when the shit hits the fan. He sees it all as simply doing his job. I think he is a hero.

imageAt his retirement party earlier this evening, he was recognized for the many years he has dedicated to serving the community…the many years I say he has spent being a hero. Vic’s boss, Rick, submitted Vic’s name for consideration and today Vic was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor available to a civilian in North Carolina. It was a wonderful way to cap off his 30 year career and I am so very proud that he received this recognition. A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in getting Vic the recognition he so richly deserves.

Now, the next chapter of our life together begins. When we know what path we’ll be following, I’ll let you know. All I know now is that I get to go into this adventure with my soulmate at my side.

I love you, Victor, and I am so proud of you.

HAPPY RETIREMENT!

Who Knew Boredom Could Lead to This?

VictorAbout 23 years ago, I made a decision that ended up changing my life. My roommate was headed up to the Rescue Squad where we both volunteered and I decided to tag along. Little did I know that my boredom that afternoon would be the start of the best thing that ever happened to me. I spent the whole time my roommate was there talking to Vic and we haven’t been apart since then.

This man is my heart and soul. He makes me laugh. He makes me shake my head and wonder about his sanity (I guess that’s where Joey gets it). He works his ass off taking care of me and the boys. And, most importantly, he loves me with a depth and purity I can’t even begin to explain.

If our boys grow up to be like him, I know I have done something right.

 

Happy Father’s Day, Vic! I love you and wouldn’t want to have anyone else helping me raise these hellions.

Equality for All

Lately, we’ve been surrounded by stories that both give me hope and break my heart. Stories that show progress and stories that show how very far we have left to travel. The wide acceptance of Caitlyn Jenner and her transition have been amazing to watch. Acceptance of differences is a beautiful thing. However, that step forward has been against a backdrop of tragedy.  There have been so many lives lost in shootings…the latest one in Charleston where pure evil took 9 lives in the house of God.

I’ve heard people say he must have been crazy to do something like that. But, the Charleston church massacre was not the crime of a crazy man. No, this was a crime of hate, pure and simple. A truly crazy man would not have been able to calmly sit through a church service after calmly asking about the location of the preacher. A truly crazy man would have burst in shooting. The news reports tonight said someone believed the perpetrator had been planning the attack for *6 months…not the move of a crazy man. The attack was carried out on the 193rd anniversary of a thwarted slave revolt led by the founder of the church. I don’t believe this was a coincidence. I believe this was caused by plotting and planning and hate…designed to increase the impact of this massacre.

The perpetrator of this massacre can not have his crime excused by insanity. We can’t ignore it or write it off by saying crazy will always exist. We must recognized this for what it is…a crime fueled by hatred and evil. We must acknowledge how much work we have to do to overcome the history of oppression and inequality. We must discuss it with our children. We owe it to our children to teach them both the history of hatred and oppression and ongoing issues that exist.  Without continued work and education, we stand no chance of changing our society and bringing equality to all people.

AllRaces

*side note…how in the HELL do you believe someone has been planning an attack like this for 6 months and not say anything?!?!?

OCD, ADD, SATs…oh my! part 3

Y’all, I’ve been a bad blogger. When I started writing about the alphabet soup that now describes my family, I had every intention of writing regularly. Then, we went away for Thanksgiving and there wasn’t any reliable WiFi connection. My newly revived blogging habit died a quick death. I am trying again.
OCDADDWordleY’all know where the OCD in the title comes from. Marty has been officially diagnosed and is on meds. Slowly but surely, we are beating his OCD into submission. It is hard. It is really hard when you have to push your kid outside their comfort zone. But, even with the meds, the habits and routines of the OCD/germaphobia are so ingrained, pushing him beyond his comfort zone is the only way to to help him overcome it.

The rest of the alphabet soup comes from the other kids. I’ve known for a long time that Joey has ADD…he truly is Vic’s mini me. However, we do need to get Joey officially diagnosed because his ADD is affecting his standardized test scores and I want accommodations in place before high school. Also, we’ve come to the firm conclusion that Gabe has ADHD cause, you know, we have to have the extra letter in there. We are also pursuing an official diagnosis for him because he gets so distracted during the standardized testing that his test scores suck and he desperately needs the intellectual stimulation of the gifted program. Sometimes a mom feels just a wee bit overwhelmed. I know that no one ever promised parenting would be easy but there are times I think my fortitude and ability to cope have been vastly overestimated.

The one part of the alphabet soup of the title that is completely resolved in the SAT part. Marty took the SATs back in December and, despite nerves and the OCD gremlins, he kicked butt. Marty scored well enough on his one run at the SATs that he got into his first choice college, Lenoir Rhyne University, and he has a substantial academic scholarship in place.

Life is good. Life is hard. I’m happy. I’m stressed. I’m worried. Basically, life is normal and things are pretty good. How are y’all doing?

Goodbye, sweet Jolie

Jolie1 One week ago, we said goodbye to our beautiful Jolie girl.  Jolie lived a long life and passed away at almost 15 yrs old. It took me this long to write about it because it just hurt too much.

It is still surreal to walk in the house and not see her here. She was with us for so many milestones. We got her when Marty was only 4 and Joey wasn’t even a year old. She was here to greet Gabe when he came home from the hospital. I can still remember heading in to Greensboro almost 14 yrs ago. We were headed to the animal shelter to find a dog to join our family and we found her. Jolie girl was in the last cage we looked at and she was the only dog there that felt like an instant fit for our family.

Like every other member of our family (2 legged or 4 legged), Jolie gave zero shits and bent life to fit her agenda…never changing her agenda to fit what life threw at her. She was such a good girl. When Marty and Joey were little, she did not let them leave the house to play without following closely behind. If you heard laughing and playing outside, all you had to do was look towards our hill and you would see Jolie at her post, watching over her kids and keeping them safe.

Jolie adored her family and was always available to comfort us if we were upset. She let the kids love and hug on her whenever they were upset about something. And, she was an incredible source of comfort and frequently listened to me rant and rave and cry when we suffered miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her furry coat drying my tears.

Jolie girl lived a long and happy life but she had been slowing down for a long time. Recently, however, her decline became more pronounced. Although she didn’t seem to be in any pain, she also wasn’t able to enjoy life. It hurt to see my girl like that. Selfishly, I hoped she would go to sleep one night and never wake up but she was too damned stubborn for that. She was determined to stay with her family to the bitter end. Vic and I always promised that we wouldn’t watch any of our animals suffer just because we didn’t want to say goodbye. So, last Monday morning, the kids all said goodbye to her and Vic and I took our Jolie girl on one last car ride.

I simply can’t say enough about the wonderful staff at Mayfair Animal Hospital. This was the first and only time they saw Jolie (I had a major issue with our former vet office and couldn’t bear to take her there) and they were wonderful. They let us stay with Jolie through the whole process and I was holding her as we said goodbye.

I will miss you forever, sweet girl.

Jolie2

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When The Time Comes

If I should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this–the last battle–can’t be won.
You will be sad, I understand
But don’t let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn’t want me to suffer so.
When the time comes,
Please, let me go.
Take me to where my needs they’ll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved
Don’t grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We’ve been so close–we two– these years,
Don’t let your heart hold any tears.

Author Unknown