Its that time of year again. The annual memorial service for families of deceased children. It is hard to believe dad started this back in 1990. Although my parents have never lost a child themselves,Dad did loose a little brother at a very young age. Way back in 1990 a co-worker of dads asked if he knew of any place that had a memorial service for families who have lost children. She went to a service sponsored my Hospice, and it just didn't feel right to her. She sat next to a person who lost their 90 year old father. The grieving is so much different when you loose a child. Dad looked everywhere he could think of and couldn't find one. He then talked to mom and they agreed to have one. That first year there were about 20 people total at the service. What was planned on being a one time thing has grown over the years. It is always held the second Thursday of December. Now there are usually over 200 people attending the service. Dad and mom never knew at that time that the service would also benefit their children. Tonight as I light the memorial candle for dad, and place my kids ornaments on the memorial tree I will be celebrating the holidays with each of them. I will also be thinking about all the other Children who will have an ornament on that tree, and so many other children who have died way before their time.
Not Me Monday was created my McMama. Since I am a innocent of all bad doing.. this is my first time participating. Yes that was sarcasm lol. This is where I share all of the things I did NOT do... because seriously, some things are just to embarrassing to share. So here lets get started...
I most certainly did NOT try to figure out a way to not go to the unemployment seminar this week because I just KNEW it would be so boring... only to find out that because I did go, they are going to pay for me to go to classes so I can find work.
I did NOT let Kaylee nap for 3 hours one day because I just needed a little break and a nap myself. If she sleeps to long for a nap I know she won't go to bed at night for her parents, and that would be rude.
I did NOT start thinking about taking out Christmas decorations... we all know it is way to early... and because I did not think about that, I just took out the Halloween decorations and other fall decorations.
I did NOT take some of the toys and put them up and out of sight because I am tired of falling over them all the time... and after I didn't put them up it didn't seem like she still has a million toys all over the floor ALL DAY LONG!!
I did NOT laugh at Greg when he opened his dinner last night that I bought from a fundraiser... grilled chicken, baked beans, cole sole and a roll... when flipped the lid open and water built up from steam ( yes it was cooled off) flew up and hit him in the face.. that wouldn't be funny and what kind of wife would I be if I laughed after he laughed.
I most certainly did NOT skip cleaning house and doing laundry so I could sit and watch football and nascar on a Sunday..
WOW thats it.. that is what I did NOT do this week... that was fun :)
Its True Story Tuesday time. This is brought to you courtesy of Rachel and Mr. Daddy . So after you read this, you can head over there and read more amazing stories.
I know its been a while since I last had a post, but I couldn't and wouldn't let this day go by without posting. On this day, just 5 short years ago, the most amazing man earned his angel wings. I was honored to be able to call him DAD. So in honor of him and a tribute to him this true story will be all about him.
I have posted before about the work he did for families who have lost children. I have posted about the many things he has done for our family. For those who are new to my blog. Here are 2 links of what his calling was. I know there were more articles in the paper, but after searching for a while I couldn't find them.
Dad always put others before himself. In everything he did. When I was in high school, our church had a youth softball team. We would play against other churches in the area. I didn't want to play softball in my high school for many reasons. My sophomore year, our youth group was told we wouldn't have softball because we didn't have a coach. After talking to dad he agreed to coach the team, and he was the coach until after I graduated. Dad worked full time, often putting in a lot of overtime, but he always had time to do things for my brother and I. When it was time for me to get my learners permit to drive, he took me to MVA, and let me drive the car back to school. He would help my brother and I in sports whenever he could. He was always there to listen when we wanted to talk. He was always there to discipline us, when we did something wrong.
When dad was diagnosed with cancer on July 18, 2004, he was ready to fight it head on. He was ready to start chemo and radiation treatments in order to beat the monster. Due to many reasons treatment was always put off. He was tranfered to another hospital a week after he was diagnosed. He stayed there for a week, and was discharged. This was a shock to everyone. We had no idea what was going on. We were told they would call to make an appointment with another doctor in a few days. On the day of the appointment, when we were all ready to head out the door to go there, the phone rang, we were told the appointment was canceled. They didn't tell us why. Mom had to call the first oncologist that saw him at the local hospital. It was while she was on the phone, she began to cry, writing things on paper... I can still remember some of the things she was writing.. " 3-6 months".... " hospice"... "terminal".... when she got off the phone, it was her that had to tell dad and the rest of us that indeed dad was terminal, they gave him 3-6 months to live, and hospice would be called in. The cancer started in July, on the 18th it was the size of a pea. By the 21st it was the size of a baseball. There was nothing that could be done in order to save his life. Once we all talked as a family, dads first concern was the memorial service he coordinated for families of deceased children. As soon as he knew our church would make sure the service would continue he was at some peace. Then he was ready to help make his funeral arrangements. On Saturday Sept. 4, 2004 we all went to the funeral home.By this time dad was in a motorized wheelchair. It seemed strange to be there, it still seemed so unreal, it couldn't be happening to our family. My brother and I went through and put all the price's on the caskets down so he couldn't see them. He was able to pick out the exact one he wanted. He was able to talk to them about what he wanted his obituary to say. When we were done there, we had to head to the cemetery. Dad wanted to pick out where he would be laid to rest. Dad was awake enough to talk to everyone. He went to the front of the cemetery, close to the road. He got our of the wheelchair, laid on the ground, put his hands across his stomach. He decided that was where he wanted to be, he would be in the shade during the summer, have a nice mountain view in front of him, and can watch the traffic going by. He said the only thing wrong with that, is in his view of the mountain there was a street sign. He said he would take care of that once he got there and no one was watching. Everyone started laughing. When asked how he planned on getting up off the ground he said " I didn't think of that". The people at the cemetery were in shock, they have never seen anyone do that before. But with dad, he tried to make light a very heavy heartache. He wanted to make people laugh. He didn't want anyone to cry or be sad. When we finished there, everything was complete. We went back to their house. Dad said he was in pain and wanted something. This was the first time he said he was in pain. He took some medicine, and went to lay down. That was the last time dad was able to get out of bed. We had friends and family come in over the next 2 days. Dad spent his time sleeping. I would help mom take care of him with his bathing, feeding, and drinking. On Sunday he said his last words, he was no longer able to speak, he was always sleeping. Monday Sept. 6, things started to drastically change, and it went down hill from there. While I was in the room with him, when he was somewhat awake, he would look up to the ceiling, and talk, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. His eyes would light up and a smile would go across his face. On Tuesday evening we knew the end was getting closer. My brother and I stayed at the house with mom and grandma. About 7pm, dad was fighting his cpap machine, so we all agreed to let mom take that away. At midnight, the rattle became very loud. Mom asked us all if we agreed to let her give dad more meds for the pain. We all agreed. After she gave dad the meds, we all went to the kitchen table. Mom, Grandma, my brother and I. We spent the next few hours talking and laughing, sharing our memories of dad. Mom and I each took turns going in and checking dad. Seeing if there was anything we could do. At 425 AM I went out on the deck to smoke a cigg. I had to look all around and even at my cigg. I could smell dads ciggs. that he smoked. At 430 AM, while I was still on the deck, my brother went back to check dad, we couldn't hear dad breathing... He came out of the room and said " Its over". On September 8, 2004 at 430 AM my dad earned his angel wings. He is missed by so many people, he did so much for so many people and so many families. He is now in heaven with all those children who have passed away, he already knew their families, and now he is with the children, He is with his grandchildren that I lost in May 2002. FLY HIGH DAD!! We Miss you and WE Love you! I am happy to say, that the church has continued this service for families of deceased children each and every year. Mr. James Witmer
James V. Witmer, 56, of Frederick, died Wednesday, Sept. 8 at his home. He was the husband of Betty J. Vincent Witmer.
Born Dec. 9, 1947 in Baltimore, he was the son of the late William R. Witmer and Juanita Vinson.
He was employed by the state of Maryland as an aide in the nursing department of Springfield Hospital for 30 years.
Mr. Witmer was an active and long time member of the Brook Hill United Methodist Church where he founded and coordinated the "Interfaith Children's Memorial Service." He was a member of the Sykesville Vol. Fire Company, Knights of Columbus and the Moose Lodge.
In addition to his wife Betty, he is survived by a mother-in-law, Emma Vincent; one son, James W. Witmer and wife Denise of Mount Airy; one daughter, Veronica Scott and husband Gregory of Hagerstown. He is also survived by two brothers, William Witmer of Mass. and Robert Witmer of Texas.
He was preceded in death by a sister Carolyn Witmer.
The family will receive friends at the Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick on Friday, Sept. 10 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral services will be on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Brook Hill United Methodist Church, 8946 Indian Springs Road, Frederick with the Rev. Dr. Conrad O. Link and Associate Pastor Linda Warehime officiating.
Burial will be in the Brook Hill United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Flowers or memorial contributions may be made to the Brook Hill United Methodist Church, Attn. Interfaith Children's Memorial Service Fund at 8946 Indian Springs Road, Frederick, Md. 21702.
This looked like fun so I thought I would join in. This is brought to you courtesy of Rachel and Mr. Daddy . So after you read this, you can head over there and read more amazing stories.
In September 1996 Greg's grandmother was admitted to the hospital. She was very sick and no one knew what would happen. When we got the phone call we hurried home, packed some clothes and headed to South Carolina to be closer to her and the rest of the family. We left during the night, stopping at different places along the way to get food, drinks, gas, and to use the restrooms. When we finally got to his grandmothers house ( where we were staying) where his aunt and 2 cousins also lived, we unloaded the car, and took a shower before heading to the hospital. Now before this I only met his grandmother a few times, but we were already really close. We got to the hospital, she was in ICU. After visiting for our allowed 15 minutes, Greg, a few of his relatives, and I went outside to smoke a cigarette and talk. I was NOT prepared for what I saw in that hospital room. She was hooked up to so many different machines and most I had no idea what they were for. Momma ( as we called her) looked horrible. While we were outside, the shock of what I saw hit me... I passed out... the left side of my face slid down the brick wall. Greg got really scared, and started shaking me because I was still unconscious, little did he know, while he was doing that, he was banging the back of my head against the brick wall. and YES we laugh about that now. Anyhow.... after that, we all thought ( myself included) that I would not enter that room again, it was just to much for me to handle. The next day we got up in the morning, and while we were eating breakfast, the phone rang... it was the Dr at the hospital and he wanted to speak to the family and asked us to come down later in the day. We all get to the hospital and the Dr. asks us to all come into the chapel which was located right outside the ICU area. This was a room we were all familiar with as we all spent many hours in this room. The Dr told us the only thing keeping momma with us was the respirator. He didn't think momma was going to pull threw this. He told us he would give us some time, but he needed to know what we felt he should do. After spending a few more minutes with us, he left the room. Right away the family all agreed that momma wouldn't want to live like she was, and we all decided to allow them to turn off the respirator. We were to meet with the Dr the next day and let him know what we wanted. The family went in one by one to say their good byes ( except me). The next morning, while everyone was getting ready to head to the hospital, I was sitting on the back porch with Greg, a few of his aunts, his mother, and his uncle. The children ( his cousins) were out in the yard playing. I sat there praying for a sign from God that what we were doing was the right thing, that momma would be ok. Just then... at that very moment I looked up... toward Heaven... and sitting there on the edge of the roof was a dove... a dove as white as the snow. I pointed this out to everyone else... we were all amazed!!! None of us have ever seen a dove so white. His aunts told us they have never seen a dove at all in that area. His cousins came over to see what we were talking about, they started jumping up and down... and that dove NEVER moved at all. Soon it was time to head to the hospital to talk to the Dr. One of Greg's aunts spoke up and said " Come on... its time to head to Georgetown to see momma and talk to the Dr" the dove spread its wings wide... and flew straight in the direction of the hospital. I believe that was not only my sign, but the families sign, that momma would earn her wings that day, that she would go home to be with our Lord. Later that day, after talking to the Dr. Greg, his aunts and his mother were in the room when they turned off the respirator. Momma lived for a short 20 minutes after that. That was almost 13 years ago... the FIRST time I have ever seen a white dove... and the last time we have seen one. Thank you God for giving the family that sign of your love and protection on that very sad day for my family.
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So I have been busy working... and getting very little sleep. Yesterday while I was getting ready for work, my phone rang... it was Greg. It seems he was called into the office by one of the supervisors and was informed that I may be getting fired. Someone was saying that I jammed up the machine so bad, the whole machine had to be shut down. I was in tears as he was telling me this I know I DIDN'T do it. I was told I had to find out who it was in order to keep my job. As soon as I got to work I started talking to other people. I was in tears talking to everyone. I couldn't believe this was happening. I was in shock!!! I was told my a few people who did it, and I went to another supervisor and told them what I found out. The way they were talking to me, I still may lose my job over it. I don't know anything yet, and may not for a few more days.
I also bought a truck last week that I will be fixing it up for shows... I will include pics of what it looks like now... I still have a little work to do on it though.
Life right now seems like a roller coaster... one I want off of... I want a ride on the lazy river for a while.... I want everything to run smooth....
I know it has been a while since I have posted. I have been so busy honestly. Between watching Kaylee during the day... and I am working 3rd shift at an ice cream factory. So that doesn't leave much time for anything... except sleep, and those who know me, know I need my sleep or I am like a bear with a sore butt LOL. ANYHOW. I went for my physical Friday afternoon ( skipping my sleep time). Everything went well and I go back on Monday for them to "read" my TB skin test. Next thing is getting the house ready for our home inspection, getting all the other paper work done and then they will talk to our references and inspect our home. So things are finally moving once again toward us becoming foster/adoptive parents.
I know it has made news all over Maryland, but it was announced earlier this week the the Unilever ( formally Good Humor/ Bryers) Ice Cream plant will be closing. Yes this is the place where Greg has been working for 14 years, and the place I am working at through a temp. agency. They will start laying off people in 2010, with me being one of the first to go due to being a temp. employee. The plant will be closed totally at the beginning of 2011. It is one of the ONLY good paying jobs in our area. Greg will loose his job ( he will be getting a severance package though). We will loose our medical insurance which really is a BIG DEAL to us. Greg is on medication for high blood pressure as well as it was recently discovered he is diabetic. Our grocery bill will drastically increase. ( at the plant, they have a company store and we have been able to save LOTS of money buying a lot of our groceries and other household goods from)
Although we don't know where this will lead us, we know the Lord has a plan in all this. Where one door closes, another one opens. We KNOW the Lord will see us through all this. We may loose some things ( I am sure we will have to move to another house) and we will have to cut back and cut out many things we enjoy now. Jobs right now are few and far between. I can't even find a job in the field in which I went to college and got a degree in. I am sure we may loose contact with several friends we have met working at the ice cream plant. At least we know now, and are able to try to save some money up for when he does become unemployed. He is thinking about going to get his CDL license after the plant closes. We are just waiting it out, thinking, and planning right now, waiting on the Lord to point us in the direction he wants us to take.
Not five minutes ago I finished reading the most amazingly funny book. Because I Said So by Dawn Meehan. Dawn also has a blog HERE. First a little background information. Dawn is a Stay at home mom of 6 amazing kids. 3 boys and 3 girls. I just got this book a few days ago, and have had a real hard time putting it down.... reading this book ALMOST made me late for work one night.
In this book Dawn tells us many stories that will make you laugh out loud. Dawn tells about then one of her daughters cut her hair not once but twice!! While reading this book, and thinking about all the things my mom always told me I did, it made the things I did well "normal". I would highly recommend this book for all women, both those who already have kids, and those who don't have children yet. For those who are already parents... do you often wonder about the things your children do.... why can't they clean their room, what about all the "experiments" they perform, or do you have the infamous "notme" living in your home, you can't see them, or hear them, but they are ALWAYS getting into mischief. What about the way kids think they know everything, and we are just so stupid we don't know anything, but when asked simple questions, they always answer " I Dunno". There are no perfect parents, things are always going to happen. They may not seem funny at the time, but when you read of it happening to another person, it always seems so much funnier. So what are you waiting for.... go out right now and get this book. "Because I Said So... and Other Tales from a Less-Than-Perfect parent" by Dawn Meehan. and don't forget to check out her blog. While you are buying your copy of the book go ahead and buy a few extra copies for gifts. I know this is one book many people will be receiving from me in the near future.
This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and get your link on their site.
I know its been a while since I have posted.... but I thought this would be a great way to start again...
First my Hi.... I have finally found a job, it is only temp. work, but will last until September. I am still watching Kaylee during the day, and working third shift.
now the Low..... I am seriously not getting enough sleep, although I wouldn't change a thing ( except maybe permanent work instead of temp). Greg is hunting and fishing this week, and I really truly miss him so much.
I just wanted to drop and quick note... please pray for this little boy and his family. He is in PICU right now with life threatening heart problems. Please spread the word around about them and get on your knees and pray.
Here we are again, another year. My mom would tell me the story of when I was born each and every year. Oh how I wish I could hear it one more time from her. Each year it was the same... It all started March 15, 1973 at around 530 AM. mom woke up having slight contractions, her mother ( my grandma) was visiting them waiting on the birth. Dad always told everyone they were having a little blonde hair blue eyed little girl. Everyone told dad he was wrong, the way mom was carrying the child, it was a boy. Mom got up, and started cleaning house. Made breakfast and lunch for everyone. Out in the back yard their dog was also delivering puppies under the shed. Dad didn't go to work that day. At around 4pm the contractions started getting stronger and more frequent so they called the Dr, who told them to go ahead and head to the hospital. Everyone got their showers and got ready. They prepared and ate a nice steak dinner. After dinner was done, and dishes were washed and put away dad went out to the shed to check on the pups. He brought them and momma in the house. Being the middle of March it was very cold outside still. At around 930 PM the all got ready and went to the hospital. The nurses told dad and grandma they may want to go home and get some rest, that the baby would not be delivered until sometime the next day. Mom told them she was not going to lay there all night having these contractions all night, the baby would be delivered soon. The nurses laughed at her, she was a first time mom, what did she know??? At 12 47 AM on March 16th a tiny little girl was born. Dad carried the baby out to the waiting room to show her off. Everyone asked how "he" was. Dad smiled wide and told them " She is doing great. I got my blonde hair blue eyed baby girl". They didn't believe him at all, dad was known as a jokester. They all had to see for themselves.. sure enough a blonde hair, blue eyed baby girl weighing 5 pounds and 12 ounces and 19 inches long was finally here, she was due the end of February. They named her Veronica Michelle.
This was the pregnancy that had to be hidden for many months. Mom was in nursing school, soon to graduate. Students were not allowed to have children. She was able to hide it until right after she took the Maryland State Boards exam and passed.( the other students knew, and then the state picked one topic to test on, that year it just happened to be on OB/GYN, mom had the answers sitting right there with her)
This post is part of "Hi/Lo Thursday" on the Riggs Family Blog. Check out their blog to read everyone else's "Hi/Lo" posts and for a chance to win $100.
I thought this sounded like a good idea, so I thought I would give it a try.
My Low- I am starting to get sick. I don't know if its the flu that is going around or what, but today I just haven't felt like doing anything. Also my uncle is in the hospital with a staph infection. They did get his heart rate under control now.
My High- Yesterday we took Kaylee out to celebrate her birthday. We went to Chuck E Cheese and had a great time, then we went to toys r us and picked out some toys. Today we had cupcakes and she got the rest of her gifts, since today is her actual birthday. She is now 2 years old.
remember Dreaming of Adoption: New Job...... May be a good move for me Well, it is coming to an end real fast. As a matter of fact I am working on my 2 week notice. I started working just weekends, then working 5 days a week, then back to weekends, then back up to five days a week to NOW they only want me to work 1 day a week, 8 hours. It just doesn't seem worth the time or gas at this point. One of the clients I have been working with has moved on to another program, so that eliminated a job. I am trying to get back to Merkle and work. I just hope they call soon.
Things here may be starting to look up for us finally. Greg has gone back to work, after being laid off a while. I have picked up 2 more evenings at work. I am fighting a cold right now, and Kaylee also has a cold. Poor little one can hardly sleep with her nose running so much. I am taking off this weekend from work ( with pay) in order to help my brother move. They have sold their house, and are putting things in storage until they find a house they want to buy. They will be staying with their in laws for a while. I am still waiting for that wonderful white stuff to fall from the sky, I don't think we will ever get any again this year. I am just so glad the holidays are finally over. They are really hard on me anymore. I do enjoy spending them with Greg, and my brother and his family, but it just hurts so much that I am no longer able to spend them with my parents. In my family, we have lost contact with my fathers side of the family when I was in high school, and now I seem to have lost contact with most of my moms side of the family. We don't have contact with Greg's family, and haven't for many many years. One thing I am looking forward to is starting back to college to get my BA degree in Social Work.