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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Barely making ends meet

Do you ever feel like you are going to just be swallowed whole by this thing we call life?

Well, if you haven't then Congrat's to you.
Right now, it feels like we are going to go under.
Bills, Taxes, Insurance, Food, Clothes, College, Gas.....I mean everything......................

My head is in a place that I don't like it to be......

Jobs are scarce......

And Me? I'm just scared.....

We knew going into this journey of having a large family and everything that goes along with it would be hard.

We felt we were up to the Challenge.....

Now, I'm not so sure........

They way the world is today is not the same way it was when we started on this journey.....

We are barely making ends meet, and we have already trimmed and trimmed our budget, until it can't be trimmed any more.
We have no cable, or satellite....everybody gets just what they NEED to go to school, but not what they WANT..
They get to watch their friends get I Pads, and I Phones, and laptops, and shop at Ambercrombie and upscale shops......while they don't.

They get to watch their friends get brand new cars, or close to brand new.....

When we drive a 93 Suburban, and Man Child has a 88 Chevy....

However, both kids are popular and well liked, but judged non the less....

We drive old cars, all paid for.......

We don't make unnecessary trips into town....

We do take our older ones to a school that is out of our district, so that they can go to the better school....
That means no bus service, and we live in the sticks, so alot of  our money goes to taking them back and forth to school....BUT WE BELIEVE IN THIS WHOLEHEARTEDLY ......
Education is very important to us.....

Credit cards? We don't have them.........
It's cash or we go without.....................

Hence, we haven't had central air in 2 summers, but make due with window units......

But we are on an edge, and I feel one foot dangling off the cliff........with my husband trying to hold on to me to keep me from going over....
I guess that's a good metaphor.........

We own our own house, and land....paid for.....but the taxes have nearly tripled since they have decided to start making subdivisions out here in the country....
We moved to get away from the suburbs......
We bought land so we would not be bothered by anyone....(also, it's kinda hard to get someone to rent to someone with as many kids as us!)

But the Suburbs came to us, and made our land and house value up (i know, most people would be like yippee) but all that did for us was to make our taxes go way way up.....
And since we have no intent to sell our home, the property value doesn't matter then.

I don't know how to cut the budget anymore.....other than using candles and oil lamps at night, and only taking showers every other Sunday....(that's a joke people)

I am very thankful for a roof over our heads, and that our kids are healthy....and everybody is doing good in school....
I an thankful that my husband now only has to take his insulin once or twice a day, depending on the numbers....When he was first diagnosed, he was on insulin 4 times daily....

So don't get me wrong....I'm not trying to to throw a big pity party.....
I just wanted to express how i'm feeling.....

I mean, has anyone else felt this way?

When we decided to have a big family it was also decided that I would be a stay at home mom..
But illness, and accidents have made that almost impossible......

I've been out of the job market for so long, i'm only qualified to work at a fast food restaurant, or bag groceries......

When once upon a time.... I was a dental assistant

And then 3 years later, and Office Manager to a thriving computer business........
And I was good at both jobs....

We are trying to hang on, but it seems like we are circling the drain......

Anyone else out there feel me? Or am I totally alone in this?

BARELY MAKING ENDS MEET.

Jamie


Saturday, May 25, 2013

A somber night

Last night my family went to a Candle Light Vigil for our beloved Quarter Back. He was swimming in the ocean, and got caught in a rip tide...... His friend tried to help, but our QB being who he was, knew that she wasn't strong enough to hold onto him, and help herself,  and get to safety....so making the MOST UNSELFISH decision in his whole 19 years, he told her to LET GO....Let go.......Let go...... And she did......That was Thursday the 23rd at 6pm....They found his body on Friday around 2 am.....

So in honor of him, the whole South West Stallions community held a candle light vigil for him.....Our Principal talked about his character.....He was a friend to everyone, black, white, purple...he didn't care. He was a friend and teammate to Man-Child, and friend to Girl-Child........The local pastor spoke.........
We lit candles, sang a few songs, let some balloons go......and cried.......and cried.......



It's always a sad time when a teenager dies...He was in his prime. He led us to 1AA State Championship. We won. He was about to graduate on the 10th of June. He was looking at colleges.......

There has to be a reason......
There has to.....The Pastor said there was......
And I believe...
Why?

Because on our way home, Man-Child rode with his friends to stay the night at a friends.....
And this is what happened:














This is the side that my son was on.....He had to break a window to get out....
The driver was stuck by the seat belt..... But they got out....

I get a call from Man Child saying that he was alright, and it was just a tiny wreck....When I asked if I needed to come there.....he said, too quickly...Oh, no, no,no....
Needless to say, My Mama instincts said yes yes yes, and CH drove at break neck speed to get to him....
The ambulance just arrived......

The results? Just a bruised elbow and shoulder, a few knots on his head....but other than that him, and his friend was fine...


This was taking after the car was flipped the right way, and about to get hauled off...
Man Child is on the left.....
They don't know how lucky they are.....
CH and I hardly got any sleep....
And wondered why God saved them....Thankful that he did...And he sent an Angel to help.

My Theory as to why they weren't hurt more or worse....killed....
I think our QB was their angel last night, and he was saying "oh no you don't big D, you gotta help hold the line so WE can win another championship".

Why?
Because that's the way our beloved QB was.....

Heart full of sadness,
But thankful for their angel,

Jamie....
ONCE A STALLION, ALWAYS A STALLION

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How do I begin?

My Granny Freeman died yesterday.
She was 88 years old and had led a good life.
She was married to my sweet PawPaw Freeman for forever, who had already passed some years ago.
She had  7 kids, my father included.
She raised them right.
And she loved the Lord.
People tell me that I should rejoice that she is in heaven now, with her beloved husband, and her first born child who was killed in his early 20's, and that she is with my father too, that died 4 years, 11 months 3  weeks and 3 day ago. I know that she is loving it up there, reunited with her family that has been there for years. She is no longer in a body ravaged by disease. She is no longer lost in her brain all the memories that Alzheimer's took from her. She is in a new body and loving it....

She wouldn't want us to wallow......

But that's all I wanna do......

I was 17 when I left Alabama, and I din't see much of her after that (i'm 37 now)....
We'd come to visit every so often and see her....
She only met my kids a few times, but by then her Alzheimer's had kicked in, and i'm not for sure that she fully understood that these 5 kids were mine...but then again, who knows.
She had to bury her firstborn, and my father.....
That is not supposed to happen, it goes the other way....children bury their parents....

I look back on it now and think how many opportunities I missed to spend time with her, and my pawpaw. And it makes me sick to my stomach. When I was a teenager, I was JUST TO BUSY to see them often......now I realize how stupid that sounds....
And after I left Alabama, life took over with 5 kids in 9 years, and mortgages  and insurance payments, and dentist appointments...etc..... and the lack of money, that some way made it impossible to visit like I wanted too....

My whole family lives in Alabama, so I missed time with them too...

I'm filled with regret....that I didn't get to know her as an "adult", since I left so early....I'm sure she could have taught be alot about how to make a marriage last, and how to cherish my little ones......

I'm filled with regret, and shame that I didn't make it for my fathers funeral....
Yes, I just typed that last sentence....
I didn't have a phone then (dirt poor remember), and had to find out in a letter that my sister sent to me along with the funeral program....
He died on May 24th and was buried on May 27th, my husbands and my anniversary....almost five years ago....

Truth be told, to many he was a good friend, his nickname was YOGI....He could fish like a pro, and he liked tinkering with his cars....
But to us, his four girls we got to see a side of him that somewhat * different* than his friends saw.
I wont bash the dead, he was my father and his blood pumps thru my veins.
My mother always, always, told us that he loved us and tried as hard as could to be a father and husband....But....it wasn't meant to last......
We (my sisters and I) visited him and Granny and PawPaw....
We lived within a 10 mile radius of each other for my 17 years in Alabama.
When he got sick with a tumor that ate through his skull, and my sisters said it was time to come down, I did.
He finally meet all of my babies....We took pictures......We visited....
He hung on for a while, then he went quietly to meet his maker.

But still I REGRET.....

I still wish for a do-over......

It may not have changed anything, but at least I could have told myself that I tried.....
But I didn't.......

Since Granny Freeman's passing, I've been doing alot of thinking about that side of my family.....
Not all my Aunts and Uncles like me (us)....
I'm not at all close with my cousins like i am with the ones on my mama's side....
I used to blame it on them...but now....I don't know...
Maybe I was a horrible daughter, or cousin.....maybe I didn't put in enough energy into spending time with my cousins, and aunts....but then again, I was just a child....
I know that I LOVE all my AUNTS and UNCLE'S and COUSINS, regardless how they fell about me, and about me not being with my Dad during the end of his time...

Who knows.....

But I do know that I will probably explode if one more person tells me she's better off now.....I know that they mean well, and are trying to help....but.....

I mean, my brain knows it....I just wish someone would explain it to my heart...

Maybe it's the regret that is typing this post and not me.....
Maybe it's the regret that made it hard to get out of bed this morning to get all the kids to school...
Maybe it's regret that I live 12 hours away and couldn't help with my Granny Freeman or my father.....
Maybe it's regret that my little ones were so small when we seen my Granny Freeman and my Father that they wont remember them.
Maybe it's regret that my last Grandmother on earth is in bad shape, and here I am again, 12 hours away and can't help......

What ever it is, it's kicking my butt....

But the kids will be home soon and homework will need to be helped with, and laundry, and the never ending saga that is high schools life will need to be hashed out and rehashed (Emily), and football practice.....maybe it will keep my mind off things for a while...

Trying to make sense of everything, and failing badly,

Jamie Michele Freeman Thompson