Written On Our Hearts: God, Love, Family

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Seaside Escape

This weekend my church’s mom’s group had a retreat down at the beach. We had a lovely bed and breakfast for sleeping and meals-and a cook from church.

We also had a beautiful historic hall for our meetings. It was a beach theme called Seaside Escape. I helped with the decorating and I did a great job, if I do say so myself.

Pics (using iPhone instagram effects/app)

Centerpieces (there we didn’t do, they were already there)

Tables, on top was sea glass and shells

close up

Some of the women

The speaker’s platform/stage

I got there on Friday morning to set up and then dinner started at 5:30, and our first session started at 7:00. We then had sessions Saturday until the afternoon, then free time, then evening sessions and one more session on Sunday morning.


Two women from church played for worship and they were amazing. We had about 26 women there total.

I presented two of the sessions.

My soul and heart were recharged. In my small group I even shared some things and got prayer for some things that were weighing me down but I had never told anyone before.

It truly was a great time of worship, prayer, Bible study, laughing (LOTS of laughing), crying (lots of that too!) and enjoying the beach town.

Plus, you know, having almost the entire weekend responsible for no one but myself. Glorious things like sleeping late (8:00 a.m., which is late for me!), sleeping 8 hours uninterrupted, having time to actually READ uninterrupted and so on.

I really got a chance to find me again. I know my mom readers will get that. We all love being wives and mothers but sometimes we lose who we are in that. We are Mrs. So-and-So or So-and-So’s mommy. We give and give all day and often into the night.

We sacrifice a lot. Careers. Time. Sleep. Material wants. Clean homes 🙂

Being a wife and mother is being a 24/7 servant and there is nothing wrong with that….however, we all need time to step away for a few days and just be.

I felt like I discovered Annie again, not Art’s wife or Lexi’s mom, but just me.

It was thrilling. And on the way home, blasting my music in the car because I didn’t have my kid with me, I started to feel a little down. I knew that as soon as I walked in that door there would be a million little things that needed me to snap into wife/mommy mode again.

When I walked in the door, Lexi was having a meltdown because she missed me and Art was trying to calm her down. I picked Lexi up and she, sobbing, said, “Don’t go to retreat again. Don’t go so far away. I wanted you.”

I knew this was her managing her emotions and I also know its ultimately good for her to learn to be away from me AND to learn to deal with these feelings-because life is going to hand her more. But it still broke my heart!

So, it was like a rude awakening! Almost 3 days of bliss and quiet reflection and then, BAM, I walk home into a crying child and a frustrated husband who asks what we were going to do for dinner.

When I was single and then married with no kids, I used to moan and groan about being married/having kids.

And, of course I wouldn’t change anything about my life right now, I now realize that I should have cherished those times more.

So, my single readers, or married no kids readers, CHERISH  your time. You will be married/have kids one day and you will look back on these days with longing. Enjoy them while you have them!

But of course!

Well, my brother’s in trouble. Again.

Here’s the (relatively) short back story:

My younger by two years brother started using drugs in high school, spent almost 20 years using and selling prescription narcotics among other things, including impersonating a doctor and calling in fake prescriptions to drug stores and then going to pick them up committing bank robberies to get drug money. Did about 10 years of jail time, came home, moved in with our parents, promptly began using again, stole and crashed my parents’ car, went back to jail for  a year, got out….

….and unbelievably, my parents let him move back in. Again.

Now, this brother, despite (because of??) the drug use has the life where things “just happen” to him. Sometimes tragic things, sometimes great things.

Case in point: after spending 10 years in jail for robbing banks and selling drugs, he gets out and within a month gets this amazing job with a Paris based company making more than I ever did as a teacher with a masters AND getting a free business trip to Paris out of it.

That didn’t last long though, when his drug use became apparent.

Other example, of his infamous “luck”: when he tried to get an apartment after his second jail release, he found out he was in this scam type of thing where the land lady took his deposit money, then called him and told him the apartment wasn’t available and he had to get the police involved to get his deposit back.

Then he gets severe food poisoning at a fast food restaurant (not allowed to say which, due to the lawsuit) and ends up in the MILLION dollar lawsuit because he got permanent damage to his colon from it; the CDC and FDA are involved in this and, if he wins, he will most likely get thousands, if not a million, dollars out of it.


The latest?

A few months ago his leg swells up and turns red. He goes to ER and it turns out he had TWO clots in his leg. They do emergency surgery and also discover that he has this heart murmur that is very dangerous, will cause a stroke if left untreated and will need open heart surgery once he recovers from the clot surgery.


He has complications from the clot surgery and ends up in a nursing home/rehab for a MONTH while the wound heals.

Moves back home. At this point, my parents realize he is never going to work again and never going to move out.

While waiting for the leg to completely heal, he stays home, never goes anywhere (he can’t drive, has no money, can’t really walk well, etc.) and my parents lock up his wound meds.

And then he starts acting weird. Repeating things. Walking in and out of his room over and over for no reason. Gagging at meals. Slurring words and bits of aphasia where he can’t remember the word for something or just stops talking mid sentence for no reason. Can’t remember anything past a minute.

i.e. Me: How’s the lawsuit going?

Him: Good, we have a deposition this Friday.

A few minutes pass.

Him: Oh! Did I tell you, I have my deposition this Friday for the lawsuit!

Me: You just told me.

A few minutes pass.

Him: Hey, I have my deposition Friday.


The visiting nurse, who comes to check his wound, says it appears he *may* have had a small stroke (!!) and that’s causing all the weird behavior…after all, the cardiologist did warn us that this was a risk with his heart condition.

It’s becoming clear that he will most likely never live alone. He’ll be with my parents or in some kind of group living thing or home.

He goes to see more doctors this week to find out what’s really going on.

It never ends.

I know I sound all bitter/cynical/like I don’t care. I DO care. But this is just one more thing with him, there’s always something major and catastrophic going on.

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