Just Simple Times

Every journey begins with that first step!!!!

Month: September 2018 (page 1 of 3)

Family

I want to talk about FAMILY!!!

I’ve been thinking on this topic since I first started blogging, and well truthfully I’ve just left this page setting empty.

I started this post the first week in August, titled it, Family, wrote a sentence and just left it.

Why do you ask?

Because, I have been giving this topic a lot, and I mean a lot, of thought!!

Everything that I write has to come straight from my heart, that’s important to me!!

Otherwise…. for me at least, then what is the point of blogging?

Family ….. one single word ….. yet it can mean a thousand different things …. depending upon who you ask!!!

Have you ever thought about it …………. really thought about it?

What is Family??????
The Traditional Family!

Growing up, family to me was the traditional type; that’s simply what family was.

I don’t think I can name one friend of mine as a child; that was not raised by both parents. Yes, there were some sadly, that only had one parent due to death!

But not one that I can remember was because of divorce; it was just unheard of when I grew up.

The family was simply the traditional type…….. Dad, Mom, and Kids!!!!

The family was close-knit!!!! You would see each other often, the folks visiting and all the kids outside having a good old time!!!

The family was there to share joys and sorrows, help one another in time of need, attend Church together, have meals together. Simply put family was there for one another!!!

And of course, everybody going to Grandmas’ house for Christmas, a time of food, gifts, laughter, and wonderful memories!

That’s what family was for me as a child!!!

Fast forward just a few years, the family started changing!!

The times of “The Waltons” that my generation grew up watching; slowly started to fade away.

I know many of you reading this, don’t have a clue what I’m talking about… but Google it sometime, watch an episode; it was all about family and the way it should be, was meant to be!!!

But sadly, my generation started changing all that!

We grew up, got married, got busy with our jobs, kids, activities and everything else we could think of in our fast-paced world.

And what happened?

We didn’t hold each other, traditions and marriage sacred as our parents and grandparents did.

And divorce started becoming more common, and the traditional family started to suffer.

I know, I’ve been there…. which brings me to the next era of the family…
The Single Mom Family!

My kids were young teens when divorce hit our little family and tore it apart.

Everybody hurts, no doubt about it.

But I think the children really get hurt the most!!

It’s so very sad what we as adults do to our kids because we don’t hold marriage and family sacred, as we should.

I can still remember how very bad the divorce tore my children’s lives upside down.

Oh my…… simply oh my!!!!!

Being a single Mom is tough, really tough!!!

You are suddenly forced to take care of everything; the house, the bills, a lot of times a job for the first time, everything on your own.

Plus, you’re also trying to help your children through a very hard, hurtful time, and deal with your own hurts and frustrations.

My hat is off to all single Moms everywhere…. it takes a very loving, determined woman to be a successful single parent, it really does!!!
The Single Dad Family!

And in today’s world…. the word family has become a lot of single-parent Dads raising their children.

I never imagined as a child, divorce would be such a big part of our society.

And I never even considered there would be divorced Dad’s as single parents.

But goodness, now they are…. and a bunch of them.

My hat is really off to them! I think we as women are just loving and nurturing by nature, well, those of us that are good Moms anyway.

But men, bless their hearts…. God just did not make a man to be a Mom. They just aren’t wired that way.

I think they have a really hard time trying to fill a Mother’s place in a single dad family.

They have it difficult too, full time job, the school activities, home work, laundry, groceries, housekeeping, things most men just are not familiar with doing.

Add in those tough situations with their daughters reaching puberty, that boys don’t have and I would imagine Dad wanders what do I say now?

I have the utmost respect for single Dads raising their children, utmost respect!!!
The Blended Family!

Divorce not only brings Single Moms and Dads raising their children. But it also brings along the blended family.

Growing up we watched “The Brady Bunch”, a Dad with three boys and a Mom with three girls, a blended family indeed

To me back then, it just seemed like a show from Hollywood; but now it’s a reality everywhere!

I have never experienced the blended family of children from both parents.

I would imagine it would be very trying at times; and yet, at other times very rewarding.

I can imagine, the parents would probably hear, “Your not my Mom, or your not my Dad.”

Maybe they would hear, “My Mom doesn’t make pancakes like that.” or “My Dad can fix anything.”

I think it’s probably really hard having a blended family, the kids fussing because they are sharing a bedroom, learning new rules, new traditions.

I really respect these families a lot; that would require a lot of compromising…. my hat is off to all!

Family, it’s ever-changing, isn’t it?
The Mixed Racial Family!

Do I think it is wrong?

No, I do not, not in any way form or fashion.

Some people in our society look down on it, but obviously, they have not really read their Bible about Moses marrying an Ethiopian woman.

You need to read it if you disagree….

You will find it in the Old Testament in Numbers Chapter 12.

It may change your mind about how you feel.

Everybody is equal, no matter background, skin color, or where you were born.

We all should be treated exactly equal. Yet some people still so frown on such families.

Shame on you!

They are family just like you are. Dad, Mom, and Children.

They love and care for each other in their family, just like you do your own family.

So be kind and accepting.

Not one of us has a right to say a word about other people that is unkind, not one of us.

School children have a hard enough time in school today, without our own kids hearing us make cruel remarks and then repeating them to others.

I applaud these families…..

Another new era……. I’m not sure how to put this one.
The Same Sex Family!

Do I agree with it?? No, absolutely not… I do not!

But at the same time, I have no right to judge; that is simply up to God.

So, I simply accept it as something that has taken place in our society today; knowing that I am to treat each person with kindness and respect.

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But have you ever stopped to think how the children may feel? I’m sure they get plenty of love and acceptance in their home.

But quite simply, people and kids can be cruel.

Anything out of the normal brings taunting and ridicule.

Should we be cruel? No, absolutely not.

We should always be kind to everybody, absolutely everybody!

So in ways, I have compassion for the families, I do not agree with same-sex families, but I do imagine it’s difficult for them in some ways as well.

We have all types of families in our world. Even those we wouldn’t normally think of like a family.
The Orphanage Family!

For instance….. have you ever thought about all the children in orphanages?

I have……. often.

They have no real home and parents.

Don’t you imagine they think of each other as a family?

Playing together, learning together, sharing things together…

They simply share everything, every day…. just like a family does.

And don’t you imagine that as some children are adopted and leave the orphanage, don’t you imagine the remaining children miss them, think of them as their brothers and sisters, and are hurt.

Think about all the children and their orphanage family as well!
The Senior Center Family!

They are like family...

Many of them never have one person that visits, ever.

That’s a fact!!!

I have visited different nursing homes and assisted living centers to bring a smile, a listening ear, cards at Christmas.

The majority of them are so lonely, and need visitors, people that care enough to sit a spell with them, just listen.

But they rely on each other, befriend each other, eat together, do activities together.

For many that is all the family, they know in their last days!

By the way, y’all should consider visiting your local nursing home sometime, so many people there need visitors…. consider it, okay…

Isn’t that another form of the family?

Simply put, yes it sure is!
The Homeless Family!

Have you ever really thought about the homeless?

They are people too; yes I know society tends to look down on them; but each and every person in this world matter, are important.

Yes, I’m sure some choose to live that way, well because they have gotten used to it; it is their comfort zone now.

But I truly believe most people never planned to be homeless, don’t want to be on the streets, without a home, a real bed, a kitchen to cook in, a family to love them.

But unfortunately it is a big part of our society today, and I find it heartbreaking.

And I also think of them as a group of people that make up a family.

After all, as we have discussed through each section, a family is simply a group of people that share their lives together.

And that is what the homeless do as well.

They often eat together, share time with one another, look out for each other; and most importantly they understand each other.

That makes a family…

None of us ever probably get close enough to care for them, listen to their stories, understand what happened to cause them to be there.

But they each understand the next persons’ plight, they are there, they know.

So see, there is a group of people that make up the homeless family; as sad as that may be.
The Work Family!

This may sound silly to some, but I think employees can be a family of sort.

Good grief you spend forty plus hours a week together, some even more than that.

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You share meetings, tasks, and lunchtimes together.

You help one another with work tasks, talk, share, listen… you come to care about one another.

 

Maybe get together after work or on weekends to have fun activities together.

And if you have worked for a long period of time at one place, you have probably befriended many to know all about their own families at home, their children by name.

All of that, to me, makes a sort of family in the workplace.
The Church Family!

This is one family nobody will deny if they attend Church.

Being a part of a Church family is so awesome!

I pray you are part of a Church somewhere; if not consider it.

I have had the pleasure of being part of three Church families in my lifetime and was so very blessed in each.

There are no words to describe the closeness you share with your Church family.

To this day, I can walk into either three Churches and know, that I know, that I am welcome and loved.

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Your Church family are not only your friends, and in some cases your own family, but they are also your closest family of all.

Together, you praise God, study the Bible, share one another’s joys and sorrows, pray together, often eat together, share an important part of your life together.

 

Your welcome with open arms, firm handshakes and hugs, and you’re loved.. simply as you are, just for you.

There’s nothing like having a Church family!!

 
The Military Family! 

I can not start to express my gratefulness and respect that I have for each and every man and woman that has served and is serving in the military, fighting to keep our country free.

Where would this nation be without their sacrifices, for some the ultimate sacrifice?

I think it must take a very special person to be willing to fight for our country, our freedom.

I truly respect each and every person in our military.Have you stopped to think about the families they leave behind when they go to fight for our country?

I feel for all of them, the wives, husbands, children, parents, grandparents, siblings they leave here holding down the home front while they fight for our freedom.

We need to keep them all in our prayers, help in any way we can!

I can’t start to imagine the life of a military family.

But at the same time…. when I think of the military family.

I also think of the group of them together in a foreign country together.

To me, they are a military family.

They train, sleep and eat together.

They share their letters from home, family stories, show off pictures of their loved ones.

They share so very much!

I would imagine they share the good times with laughter, and are there for one another with the sorrowful times as well.

They befriend each other, bond; a bond that most of us will probably never understand.

They not only fight our enemies, but many give their lives to save others in their group.

That is a family, an honest to goodness military family.

A type of family that deserves ALL of our honor, appreciation, and respect!!!!

 

 

The family is a variety of things to everybody, from all walks of life.

I think that is what makes it so wonderful!

We don’t have to be blood, to be a family.

A family is simply a group of people that share their time and life together, lean on each other, depend on and help one another.

Yes, that is also the meaning of a good friend, but to me, it’s also the meaning of Family!

So where ever you are, whatever you do….. I hope and pray you are sharing your life with family.

Whether it’s a family of two, or twenty, maybe even a hundred.

Maybe even a single person with his or her pet that they share their life.

We all hopefully have some sort of family!

A family by blood, marriage, or adoption.

Maybe a family in an orphanage, or Senior living.

Family with the homeless (God bless their souls).

The work family, the blessings of a Church Family.

The Military families that protect our country

(By the way…..Thank you All for Your Gift of Service),

Whatever your definition of family is to you…..

I pray you simply cherish it!!!!!!

 

My Favorite Quotes and Why!!

These are some of my favorite sayings, that I use often and the story behind them!!! 

I hope you enjoy them and hopefully one will touch your heart; and you will use it too!!!!

Every little thing is gonna be alright!!!!!!!!!                                

This first one I heard from a lady at the department of transportation office one day while working and on the phone with her.   She helped me and then, of course, we just started talking.

Ms. Naomi told me about how she had four generations in her home that she cared for… her daughter, her grandson, her Father and herself. 

She talked about how hard and tiring it was at times

This is the saying she started using on those hard days…. and she shared it with me. 

I suppose she just needed somebody to talk with, and God just intervened and put us both on the line together.                               

But she told me this phrase, and it has stuck with me, even after several years. 

Little did I know, that I too would need that saying myself when health issues arrived.           

I say it to myself almost daily…. sometimes several times a day!!                                    

Every little thing is gonna be alright! 

                 

 I can do anything for eight hours; I don’t have to do every minute of my life!!!

This saying I came up with myself,  on one of those work days when nothing was going right. 

I’m sure you have had days like that as well!

I was so ready to just walk out that day, and never look back….

I bet you know what I’m talking about.

I think we all have days like that. 

Well, this day was that for me….. 

And as I sat there convincing myself, that I was too responsible to walk out…..

I came up with this one.   

I say it to myself often as well….

You know, those days when work just ain’t all that grand. 

It reminds me that it’s just a few hours out of my day, and I can do this. 

Yes, it really helps, well… it does me anyway!!

I can do anything for eight hours I don’t have to do every minute of my life!!! 

 

What don’t kill you will make you stronger!!!!

I’m sure a lot of you remember the horrible tornadoes that ripped through part of America in April of 2011. 

It was a very scary time.  A day and night that I pray we never go through again.

The tornadoes hit our area, our subdivision, damaging several of our homes here, taking some just completely away, and changing our little neighborhood ever so quickly……

It was a really sickening, trying, weary time in our lives.   

A day that I think, probably changed all of us one way or another.

When we started the cleanup and repairs, I kept telling myself…. we were not injured, and homes and the things in them can be repaired or replaced.

I finally started just saying this quote to myself..… 

And it is so very true, and can be applied to so many circumstances in our daily lives for anybody.

It helps me to keep things in my own life in perspective.

What don’t kill you, will make you stronger!!!! 

                         

Learn to love yourself, because no matter where you go…. there YOU are! 

This one I thought of during a recent really low point in my life. 

I was battling the shock and frustration of some health issues that I now deal with. 

I had one of those times where, well, it all just did not seem to matter anymore.

I went so far as to pack a bag, I was going to just run away from it all

I threw bags in the car, pulled out, drove awhile. 

And then it occurred to me. 

I was running away from the stress of health issues I was having. 

Which meant I could not get away from the problems, no matter where I went. 

That was a huge shocker for me. 

I was trying to run away from ME!!!!

So, after that realization hit, I turned around and came home. 

Then I tried to learn to accept the issue for what it is……

to just simply love myself…… the good and the bad…

So remember……………….

Learn to love yourself…… because no matter where you go, there YOU are!!!!!

 

I hope you have enjoyed these……

Feel free to say them as often as you need to as well.

Thank you for taking the time to read them!!!!!!  

til next time:)

Living with Epilepsy!!!

I don’t think this site would be complete; without stories from my own life. Today that topic is EPILEPSY……

This one is a tough subject for me, I rarely talk about it, but I feel it’s an important topic that should be discussed. You see I have had this disease since I was a very young adult… I have thought long and hard about this particular blog.

Almost didn’t write it….

But then I got to thinking if I can only help one person to understand they are not alone, or one family member to rest a little easier…… well then, opening myself up and really talking will be worth it..

Let’s get started with my story….. shall we?

I still remember the first time I ever had a seizure.….. I was 19 years old and a young mother of two children. I remember waking up with this absolute horrible headache, a bit tongue, a wet bed, hurting all over, disoriented and scared to death. It had never happened before….

I didn’t even know what it was, neither of us did. I had never ever experienced such a horrible thing…. I don’t mind telling you…. I WAS TERRIFIED!!!!!!

We called the doctor and was seen right away. My husband and I explained how I felt when I woke that morning, they examined me, took blood work, and prescribed the first of many different medicines that I would take through my life.

They also sent me to a neurologist and there I had the first of many EEG tests done, that came back normal, by the way. I have learned over the years that sometimes tests are normal even though epilepsy is a part of your life.

I did not know what to do, how to feel. But I can tell you this much…. I felt scared, confused and like my life was over. How could I have epilepsy? What about my small children I have? How will life be now?

There were so many adjustments to make… For me, the biggest one was I could not drive for a while…

You see I have always been a woman that loved to get out and go and be independent it felt like the most horrible, cruel thing in the world you could do to me.

Take away my driving.

I was angry….

Angry that this was happening to me

Angry that I could not drive….

Angry that people were watching over me….

I felt like people did not understand me anymore,

They did not know how to act around me, were scared if you will.

What if I had one with them there?

People are afraid of change, the unknown…. It’s just human nature.

I was angry over so many things.

But I think that is normal…. and I can tell you it does pass in time….

After a while, I learned to accept epilepsy……….

the medicines, being careful, watching for signs, avoiding things that could trigger them…..

The flashing lights, not eating, not enough sleep, too much stress, getting too hot.

There are a lot of triggers, but avoiding them as best you can so helps.

But I learned to accept epilepsy as a new part of me, and was okay with it.

I didn’t have another one, for a couple of weeks.

But when I did… it was the exact same way as the first one

But I was so tired afterward, and so very sick. I remember “tossing my cookies” so many times that day and sleeping a bunch. My mom came over and stayed with me and the children, and I just slept.

In time, I learned that the exhaustion is just part of it…………. It was rough, and this is going to sound stupid…

But I was thankful that at least it was while I was sleeping; at least my children did not witness it…

Time passed, and the seizures were still a huge part of my life.

But LISTEN………….. this sentence is so IMPORTANT…….

IT DID NOT STOP ME FROM LIVING……..

EPILEPSY IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE ……….

LIFE DOES GO ON!!!!

So what, our brain gets all confused and acts like fireworks exploding up there sometimes….

So what that we lose a little bit of time here and there….

So what if we spend a day sleeping and sore.

So what that we see a doctor til were sick of them,

So what if we have blood tests til we feel like a pin cushion,

So what if we take enough pills to fill a bathtub.

LIFE DOES GO ON!!!!!

I promise, it has been 30 plus years since I was diagnosed….

So see life really does go on…..

Always remember that!!!!

As you adjust to this thing called epilepsy….. you learn how to take better care of yourself…

You learn to eat right……………. get enough sleep.……………….. avoid being up all hours of the night…………. avoid the flashing lights……………. avoid watching tv in a dark room…………. avoid getting too hot………… avoid unnecessary stress.

So see in some ways, you learn to help all of it, by taking better care of yourself….

and we all need to do that…. illness or not!!

You learn a lot about yourself, and ways you can help to make it better……

What works best for you????

You know your body better than anybody…. so LISTEN to it…..

Does all this stop them???

No………. but taking care of yourself can prevent a bunch of them…….

and taking your medicine faithfully, that is important!

I know from experience about taking your medications.

I got to a point where I was tired of taking them….

So I woke up one morning and made the horrible choice not to take them that day, or the next, or the next.

I so REGRETTED it… I had a HORRIBLE HUGE SEIZURE… HORRIBLE!!!

It was actually so bad, I bit an actual hole through my tongue, and had to be treated for that on top of the seizure.

Please…………. DO NOT EVER TAKE YOURSELF OFF YOUR MEDICINES…….

PLEASE…… NOT EVER!!!!

I understand the feeling of getting tired of it all, I truly do.

But stupid choices hurt you, and in turn, the ones that care about you.

I have had times where I have had 100 plus seizures in one years time, to some years without a single one

What changes it? Well, I’m not sure.

I do know the better I care for myself the less they are.

So try that, okay…

I was actually able to come off medicines in 2006, per the neurologist after I was seizure free for an entire year.

I was ecstatic!!!

I went seizure free for three years straight, no medicines, no anything….

I just knew they were a thing of my past, even took my medic alert bracelet off.

I felt great…all was well!!!

But then…. well, in 2009, I got injured with my head hitting a concrete floor.

That started them back right away, actually while laying on that floor, waiting on the ambulance, and again in the ambulance.

Yes, it meant starting over as I did in the beginning when I was 19, but I kept telling myself……

It will be okay, I was seizure free in the past and I will be again…

I think a positive attitude is important!!!!

Yes there were a ton more tests, the doctor visits, the not driving, and all the other precautions for a long time.

But I knew it was for my best, and handled that part of it much better the second time around.

They stopped after a few months, thank the Lord!!!

And once again, I was released by the doctor of all medicines, I just had to keep in contact with her.

I was ecstatic once again!!!!

Oh Happy Day!!!

But…… they came back again, in 2015.

I know your probably wondering why this time.

Well, I have a neck injury from the concrete floor fall.

The doctors have tried to treat it, and they ordered neck traction.

I had a really uncomfortable feeling about having it, but I just figured I was scared of the unknown.

You know, how we as people are scared of change and new things.

Well, I thought that was it, I was just dreading the unknown….

This does not really pertain to this topic.

But can I give you a moment of free advice?

If you ever feel like something is amiss, or your really uncomfortable about something.

PLEASE…. LISTEN TO THAT NUDGING……..

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING, OR ABOUT TO DO…..

STOP…….

LISTEN TO THAT INNER VOICE!!!

It will save you a tremendous amount of grief. At least, that has been my experience…

Okay……back to the story.

I had a horrible sense of apprehension as I walked in, but as I said, I figured it was just fear of the unknown.

Y’all can imagine what I’m going to say next.

They started the traction and about halfway through it, I had a seizure….. first one in six years!!!!

I was heartbroken. I had went so long without any; how could this be happening again?

But they were simply just trying to help… I realize that nobody there could have known it was going to wake the seizure monster again…

But oh,….. it did. And this time a real monster!!!!

Everything changed… more doctors, more tests, more lab work, more medicines….. and more restrictions than ever.….

epileptic brain

Why you ask?

The patterns had changed….. now for the first time in my life, they were happening at night….. but now also in the day.

It really changed my life this time. They were uncontrollable for a long time.

I actually gave up driving for almost two years this time. And even today, I still have restrictions.

Can I be honest and tell you something?

I got mad, really mad….

I got depressed big time….

I really had a hard time with the epilepsy monster being woke back up again this time.

It almost got me down, way down.

The neck injury has changed me in a lot of ways, and not for the better.

The biggest thing now is that it affects my mind.

I can’t remember like I did, can’t do the cognitive thinking as I once did.

I don’t do well with loud noises and lights etc.

And the memory, well it’s slipping fast.

Please do NOT think all of this is from the seizures, it is NOT!

It is all more from the severely injured neck, and other health issues….

But you know what?

I’m still me, I’m a person that simply has some health issues and epilepsy…..

But epilepsy does not have me, it does not define me..

The seizures have become almost non existent again.

I have only had one day of bad ones, and it was from an injury in the kitchen.

Word of advice…. never sneeze while using sharp objects in the kitchen.

It might save the edges of your fingers.

So life, as far as epilepsy is concerned is getting better all the time.

I’m even considering talking to the doctor about tapering off the medicine again.

Perhaps this time there will not be any more injuries, and I know there will never, ever be neck traction again, ever.

And even though I may not be able to think like I did, and some things are different…….well, that’s okay too.

Why?

Because it all still comes down to attitude.

Epilepsy is not a death sentence. Nor is the damage from the seizures.

Sure there are good days, and bad days, but those good ones make the bad ones tolerable.

And remember………..

Life goes on, I’m still me, your still you…..

Were both still here and life is soooooo worth living…

Remember you are a wonderful person, that just simply has epilepsy…

Life is worth living, life can be really great…. don’t ever let it get you down.

A healthy attitude, good life style choices and precautions can make a world of difference in your life.

Remember you are not alone, and the more you learn, the less scary it is.

Knowledge is power……. So learn all you can..

But most important of all,

TAKE CARE OF YOU!!!!         

YOU ARE SO WORTH IT!!!!!

to be continued…… part two: Your loved ones and epilepsy!!!

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