Saturday, April 30, 2011

Complete Devastation

Last week I was sure I was having the world's worst week--most of my problems related to coaching. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but there is SOOOO much more that goes into coaching than just actually coaching them. Everyday something else challenging happened. I was so glad to see a new week begin.

Monday morning, on my way to drop off Ansleigh and head to school, my dad called to tell me that my grandfather had passed away. I knew it was coming, I just didn't really think it would be quite this soon. He had cancer and it had spread from his colon, to his liver (13 active tumors), both lungs, his spine, his ribs, his hip, and his blood stream. I rejoiced that he was no longer in pain but deeply saddened that he would no longer be in my life.

As I got to school, I had to share the news with administration and my students so they would know that at some point, I'd have to head up to Alabama to be with my family. Monday, while coaching my kids, my mom sent me a text to let me know about the arrangements. My grandmother had scheduled the visitation for Tuesday night and the funeral for Wednesday.

I left school, called my husband, picked up our daughter, and started throwing things in bags. We drove a little over three hours Monday night and then drove the other six-ish Tuesday. We arrived at my parents' house about an hour before the family needed to be there.

At the visitation, I kept going and looking at him and all I could think is that he just didn't look right. The body that was in that casket was not my grandfather. The world would say that he was my step-grandfather and some might even say he wasn't even my grandfather at all. He was married to my grandmother for 29 years. I'm only 27. He's the only grandfather I've ever known. Both of my parents' fathers died when my parents were in their late teens. Papa Sid is the only grandfather I've ever had. Ever. He was a good man. He slept in his recliner when we were kids so that all my cousins (all girls) could sleep in his room. He cooked us pancakes and eggs. He came to watch me play ball. He was always talking "Auburn" with me because I was the Auburn fan in a family full of Alabama fans.

Wednesday, while sitting in his memorial service, I kept looking at his family, and listening to the things the minister said about him. It was difficult for me and my heart was broken for my grandmother who had just lost her husband of 29 years.

After the service, we all came back to the house and it started getting stormy. We watched the news. Tornadoes were coming across the state. My cousin was in Tuscaloosa in her Sorority House. Then the tornadoes started heading right at us. To watch the radar, it looked like the entire state was covered in tornado after tornado. The two tornadoes that headed towards where we were missed us but a large section of the county I grew up in was destroyed. The same tornado that hit Tuscaloosa (where my cousin was) hit in my aunt and uncle's neighborhood (her parents). Their home was not damaged but everything around it was erased from the world.

The past two days have been days of shock and recovery. My dad has been helping out some since he has the equipment. People are asking for clothes, toiletries, diapers, and really anything. I can't help but think that I have a garage full of stuff to get rid of but it is all in central Florida. As far as I know, there are not any drop-off points in Melbourne, Florida (although there should be with as many Auburn grads as there are down there). I'm frustrated. I want to help but I have to go back to my house and my job. How can I get stuff up here?

Also, Wednesday, my sister got some heart-wrenching news regarding her health. While it is not my place to post her business all over the internet, I can tell you that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. My mother has it. My father has it. My grandmother has it, and now my sister does. I'm the last one standing. The only person in my immediate family who does not have Type 2 Diabetes. If I didn't feel almost doomed to have it before, I certainly do now. I know there are things I can do to avoid it, but it is still a little unnerving.

Tomorrow we head back down to Florida and I do it with a heavy heart. I never want to leave Alabama the Beautiful, but certainly not now, where so much help is needed.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Long Time, No See

I know it has been quite some time since I've posted. In the past year, my world has changed dramatically. In February of last year, I was a stay-at-home mom and community coach. I had all the time in the world to blog, and usually wrote during nap time or late at night once everyone else had gone to bed.

Now I teach 8 hours a day, coach for who knows how many hours a day, and mommy all the rest of the day/night. Most nights I fall asleep on the couch shortly after Ansleigh goes to bed and then crawl into my own bed.

I love my job. Even more, I love the kids I teach. But sometimes, I wish I had a little more time to just be me. A little more time to be Ansleigh's mommy. A little more time to be a good wife to Anthony instead of a partially non-existent wife.

I work...a lot. When I'm not working, I'm playing princesses with Ansleigh or helping her with her homework (!?!?! I can't believe a 3-year-old has homework!?!?!), or walking around Target with her. When I'm not doing that, I'm not really doing anything because I'm tired. My life makes me tired. Do you ever feel that way?

Right now I'm more refreshed than I have been in a while since this past week was Spring Break. Having a week at home reminded me of what life used to be like. Some days I wanted to scream from boredom, other days I had mile-long to-do lists (that didn't get done), but mostly I found myself reflecting.

I miss my old friends that I hardly see anymore. I love my new friends. I miss being able to "grab lunch" with someone. I love eating lunch with the people I eat with now. I hate that my job prevents Ansleigh from doing a lot of things I'd like for her to do. I love that I make a difference in other people's lives.

Before I had Ansleigh, I was busy-teacher-wife-lady. I had tons of friends, wore cute clothes, hung out (not in the house) with other people. I had a pretty fun life. Then, I had Ansleigh and for a long time, I forgot how to be a person other than a mommy. I finally started getting myself back to someone who was fun and then I got a job. Instantly I morphed back into busy-teacher-wife-lady except now I had to add mommy into that.

Do I want to quit my job? NO WAY. But I do want to get back to a few things that make me who I am. I want to start writing again. I used to be funny (or so I was told). I used to use Twitter quite often. I used to spend more time with the girls. I'm working on that. I'm even beginning to cook more than once a week....GASP.

I'm learning that laundry sometimes piles up, spring cleaning doesn't always get done, sometimes God calls us to lead busy lives, but that doesn't mean that we are called to lose ourselves or our friends. Please keep me in your prayers as I try to figure out how God is leading me to merge these two lifestyles into one semi-normal person.

And hopefully, I have some more to write about soon :)