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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, homework, 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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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.

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.

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!!!!!!

 

Your Loved Ones and Epilepsy!

Part 2 of the previous blog…….  Living with Epilepsy!

Your Loved Ones and Epilepsy! 

 I have thought a lot about this post.  I don’t just sit down and type a bunch of words on a screen to make a published blog. 

You see, I simply depend on prayer and Divine intervention.  This topic was presented to me in my quiet time one morning, and so I have been pondering over what to say ever since.

I find this blog is hard to write because it hits close to home, my own life, my own family, co-workers, and friends. 

So this is another sentimental one just like the previous one… Living with Epilepsy.

My prayer is that it will help at least one person, to me, then it will have been worth it.

I don’t know how many of you have read the previous blog… Living with Epilepsy!  But if you or someone that you know has been or is affected by this disease;  I sincerely pray that you will read it and pass it on to others!

I want to remind each of you as you read this, that every word is simply from my own life.  Everybody is different, so please study, ask questions, talk with your doctor and family to know what is best for you.

Epilepsy is such a misunderstood disease.  But please remember as I said before…..

You or your loved one simply has epilepsy, but epilepsy does not have you!

That is so very important to remember!!!

Let’s get started, shall we?

I remember the fear on my husbands face, the questions that he had that first morning when I woke up from that very first seizure.  His face spoke volumes, it was written all over it.  I was 19, with a toddler and a baby; neither of us had a clue what happened and we both were terrified.  

There were so many questions, so many things neither of us understood.  It’s normal though.  I remember at the doctors’ office we had so many questions.  He listened so intently.  He wanted to know how to help me just as much as I wanted to know myself.

I’m sure it was really hard on him.  He worked away from home as a truck driver, so he had to trust that others would help when he was away.  I remember him calling often just to make sure that I was okay, and had not had any.  He would always ask… “Did you take your medicine?”  or  “You’re not driving are you?” or  “Any more seizures?” There was always a lot of concerned questions. 

It’s really hard on a spouse when they watch their mate with this disease.  I heard so many times, how helpless he felt because he did not know what to do during one to make it stop

I have heard that phrase from so many in my lifetime…. the feeling of being helpless. 

But the truth is, there is nothing anybody can do during one to make it stop.  You simply have to make sure there is nothing near them that can cause harm, turn them on their side gently, and be there for them afterward.

I think in listening to my spouse then and my spouse now….. the biggest thing for each of them was and is…

The helpless feeling….. helpless to prevent it, helpless to stop it once it starts, helpless to make it better….. the agony of watching your spouse gurgle, shake, vomit, cry, knowing you can not take it away. 

Watching as mere seconds seem like forever, praying for the monster to stop hurting the one you love.

I truly feel for spouses everywhere, I really do.

Take the time to reassure your loved one that you’re glad they are there, that together you can face this and get through it each and every day!

And thank them for being there by your side on the good days and the bad!!

But which of your loved ones, do I think it affects the most? 

The children!!

Sigh……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

This part is going to break my heart to write.  So please just try to be understanding.   The children………….. my children……… your children!!!!

Our children did not know what was going on for a while.  They were just too young, thank the Lord.  My Mom would come over and stay with us for a few hours after I woke with one, and I’m sure when they were so young; the kids probably just thought Mammaw was coming to visit and play with them.  

BUT……. time changed all that, sadly!

Time passed and they realized something was wrong with Mommy.  I always had the seizures at night, so at least they did not see me during an actual episode for a long time.  Truthfully, I don’t remember if they ever actually saw me in the midst of one. 

That is one bad side effect of epilepsy, it takes away pieces of your memory.

But I do remember how sad they felt when Mommy woke not feeling well. How scared they felt when it was just me and them at home day and nights while their Daddy was on the road and I was struggling with this.

I remember how traumatized they were as 4 and 5-year-olds when Mommy would get sick, or they could not wake me, because I did have a seizure and was in that deep sleep stage afterward.

I remember all the questions they would ask sometimes.  “Mommy why are you sick?” or “Mommy what’s wrong?” or “Mommy are you going to die?”

I remember teaching them at a very early age how to call Mammaw on speed dial.  Epilepsy so affected my children in such sad horrible ways, especially my son, he was the oldest and I’m sure remembered the most at that age. 

There are 18 months between my children, so I know he remembered much more during the early days than his younger sister did. 

Can I give all of you as a parent some wise advice?

Please do NOT ever ever ever tell your child that He is the man or woman of the house while Daddy or Mommy is gone, so be a big boy or big girl and take care of your Mommy or Daddy and sister, brother.   You get the idea! Don’t do it, EVER!!!!!

PLEASE DO NOT EVER PUT THAT BURDEN ON YOUR CHILD, NEITHER SON OR DAUGHTER.  THEY ARE NOT MEANT TO BE THE CARETAKER, THEY ARE CHILDREN.  LET THEM BE KIDS AND PLAY AND LET THE ADULTS WORRY ABOUT THE BIG THINGS.

It will so make your child’s life better and more carefree. Our son had to see a counselor at the age of six.  He felt as if he had let his Daddy and Mommy and sister down because he could not make Mommy better when she was sick. 

Please never do that to your child!!!

How do you help your child to begin with?  Talk with them in terms they can understand.    Assure them that yes Mommy or Daddy or the sister or brother may get sick sometimes, and drop and shake and be sick and sleepy for a while after, but they will be okay. 

Assure them of that,  make sure they know that it is not their fault.  It is simply something that happens sometimes, but they will be okay. 

My daughter reminded me today of when she had to call a dear friend of mine as a child when I had a seizure.  Or the time as an adult when my current husband called her to come help because I had such a bad one that terrified him; how worried she still gets over them.

How we both have agreed when times come that I feel bad, I don’t get out with the grandkids, or they don’t visit because she and I both want to protect them from that fear of them seeing Nana having a seizure or even the after effects of it.

Children are the ones that break my heart, whether they are 5, 15 or 25.

Epilepsy affects not just the person that has the disease, or the spouse, or the children whether they be young or adults.  But it also affects the parents, siblings and other family members.  

I can’t tell you how many times in thirty years my parents have called just to check on me, how many times my Mom and first Mother in law have come to visit while the kids were little to just help, watch over them and keep an eye on me.

How many times my brother has just listened to me talk and cry when the seizures were active and I was having a hard time.  How many hugs I have got from him. 

All your family members that are close to you are affected by epilepsy.  Take the time to thank them for being there for you.  

As a parent, you hate to see your children be sick or hurt at any age.  My kids are in their thirties now, and to me, it has not changed at all, they are still my kids, my babies. When your children hurt, you hurt, you want to make it better, and with a lot of things, you are just unable to do so. 

That’s hard for them.  So be sure to give your loved ones a hug and say thank you!!

Who else does epilepsy affect?  Your friends, your Church family, your coworkers.

Remember to talk to them if you spend much time with them, and your seizures are active.  I promise it is startling to them if you suddenly have a seizure and they are unaware that you even have epilepsy.

I know from experience……

Church one Sunday morning, felt great, 5 minutes later I excuse myself, and some of the ladies find me laying on the bathroom floor in a seizure.  Thank the Lord one lady was a nurse, and one of my dearest friends was there, that already knew about them.

Or the coworker the time I had one on the job.  All was well, fast forward a bit later, and I find myself on a cot surrounded by people after a seizure.  Yes, they knew I had epilepsy, but I had not had one in quite some time, so it took me by surprise.

But I will never forget the next day when one of my coworkers came up to me and asked me ” Are you okay?  Please do not ever look at me that way again, ever.  It was so frightening with that look, I will never forget that. It scared me.”  To this day I feel bad for her.  Lord knows, I did not do it intentionally, did not even know that I had looked at her that way, oh how I still feel for her.  I never meant to scare anybody.  But I have learned since then that the look you sometimes have on your face before a seizure is extremely frightening to those that witness it.

So you see, you are not the only one affected by epilepsy.  It affects everybody that knows you closely.  Your spouse, children, parents, siblings, Church family, friends, coworkers, and on and on. 

Take the time to let them know that if one should happen you will be okay, it will pass in time.  Explain to them to simply move things from around you, call 911 if it does not stop soon, and just be there for you when you get past it. 

But it will be okay!!!

Remember you simply have epilepsy, but epilepsy does not have you. 

Your life is still important, you are a wonderful person. 

You can manage this with the care of your doctor, taking preventive measures to help yourself, and being faithful in taking your medicines. 

So what if we have times when we lose a few minutes, it does pass in time.  So what if we take enough medicine to fill a bathtub, or have enough blood taken to make our arms feel like a pin cushion, or can’t drive for a while, or have other restrictions. 

It is not forever, we all do get used to it in some ways, but most importantly we all can accept it as simply part of our lives and help our loved ones to be more at ease too.  When they see you dealing with it in a positive way, they are more apt to deal with it better also.

So live your life, have fun, laugh, enjoy it, make memories and simply take care of you.

Because you and your family and loved ones are so very much worth it!!!!!!!        

These Long Rainy Days

Do you like rainy days?

Me it depends upon the season and if I have to be out in it or not.

There are times when I’m home I love rainy days. 

I get to just be lazy and blog, have a hot cup of herbal tea. 

Curl up and binge on hallmark movies, one of my favorite channels.

Possibly even a good book to read, or better yet a nap.                       

The sound of rain on a metal roof is so very relaxing. 

Sometimes when it’s not so cold, just set out in the rocker and just listen to the rain dripping on everything.

My least favorite rainy time is traffic, ugh. 

I so hate driving, even riding in the rainy weather.

Most people can’t drive good on a clear day. 

They are always in too big of a hurry or worse yet texting and driving.

When will people learn?

If the car is cranked the phone is off limits. 

Goodness gracious people!

But then there are my most favorite rainy days, of all.  Those are the ones that are always in the spring and summer.

God sends showers and they just seem to make everything look clean, and the air smell sooooo fresh.

 I absolutely love those rainy days! 

A walk in the rain on those types of days are so enjoyable!

And then, of course, you can’t forget watching the little ones get out in the rain and play in the puddles.  

“SPLISH SPLASH I’M HAVING A BLAST,  OUTSIDE ON A RAINY DAY!   

OH LOOK ANOTHER PUDDLE AHEAD, HOW I LOVE TO SPLASH AND LAUGH AND PLAY!”

Are you smiling over that thought, I am???

I think it makes a body feel young when you go walking in the rain.

It definitely brings a smile to your face, makes your heart a little lighter.

Well, there’s my “food for thought ” for the day.

Hope you have a great day and enjoy the weather wherever you might be.

Till next time!

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