Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Longest Night Ever

Today was the day.

Ambrose/Brodie - our service dog - he's been in team training since February. This is the day they officially make the "pre-match".

We get the call in the morning. Luckily, they go in alphabetical order. I get the first call.


Other regions make the call at the end of today. Our region, makes the calls first thing in the morning.

I get it.

As a recruiter, I make all calls first thing in the morning. Even though I know the people would rather hear the night before if they got/didn't get the job. It's easier to deliver bad news (in my opinion) first thing in the morning.

Ambrosia/Rosie - she was the one we were supposed to get. The one they shipped to the wrong  other person. She belongs to another region. She met her match. She is a "successor dog" - Amby goes to someone whom previously had a service dog. She will be living in Missouri. That's all I know for now.

If Brodie didn't meet his match today.......he comes home. He met his match from the very beginning. Although, if I were a betting woman, I would be he's not coming to this home.

If he has made his match though? There is NOTHING I have done in my life that will make me more proud. And this is from a very proud mama.

Longest night ever.....

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Universe Answers

Dropping my youngest son off at college was a very bittersweet moment:

  • SO proud of his accomplishments
  • Proud of his "moving to the next stage of his life"
  • Selfishly sad that this time in MY life was now over
SO proud. So sad all at the very same moment. 

Not that I wanted him NOT to go, but really? I'm not old enough for this chapter in my life to evolve.

Mixed feelings. 

After 2016, I wasn't quite sure how to prepare for this moment.

We fly to Portland two days before he is supposed to check into his dorm two hours away. We stay in Portland for the night.

Nothing eventful. Nice evening. We were tired and had a early evening.

The next morning, we went to Target, & Bed, Bath & Beyond. We needed to go to Costco to pick up a dorm fridge. 

Me: Find a Costco on the way to school.

Him: Okay, there is one headed South (on our way).

We head that way

Him: Let's see if we can find the NIKE headquarters.

Me: Okay, we have plenty of time and nothing else to do.

Him: We will go to Costco then find the headquarters.

Needless to say, we drove by the headquarters ON THE WAY to Costco as the map had randomly sent us that route. 

After going to Costco, we drove around the NIKE campus.

We then get back on the road.

Check-in isn't until the next day. We stay at a little hotel and can walk to dinner.

At dinner, there were many families there with their freshman's the night before check-in. A couple and their blonde hair/blue-eyed son were waiting across from us.

Me: I can't look at the mom, I'm going to cry.

We had a nice dinner.

The next morning, I woke him up earlier than he wanted, but I had a 2:00 flight out of Portland and it was a two hour drive away. 

Long story - I was nervous. I was trying not to make him nervous. He was nervous. So were all the other kids at the restaurant last night. 

But the universe told me it was going to be okay.

  1. His dorm has the same name as my grandfather (middle name)
  2. We were unpacking his room and this family opened the door to floor he is on - it was the family from the night before!! Me: that's the family. Him: I can't believe you recognized them
  3. As the family down the hall is walking back down the mom looks at me and says "You are the lady at the restaurant last night" :-) (See, us moms pay attention to these things!)
  4. The boy down the hall (same family), introduces himself to N and says "My name is Cole". My heart stopped as Cole was one of the boys we lost last summer.
  5. N says his name. Cole's mom gasps. "Cole's brother goes to SDSU and the very first person he met was N." 
  6. Hey Cole is your roommate here yet? No, he's coming from Hawaii.
At this point, I was able to breathe. Knowing there were plenty of signs from the Universe telling me my boy was going to be okay.

P.S. Arriving home, looking at the receipts from the trip. Costco receipts? We were in "Aloha, Oregon"

Aloha to life. Mahalo to the Universe for telling me, we will all be okay......

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Trying Again

I looked at the last post I wrote - it was over TWO months ago.

In the last six years, the longest time I went without writing would be a couple of weeks. The posts after the gaps might not be life changing, but were there. Words. Words out loud - instead of loud in the head.

The occurrence didn't even pop up on my radar screen. There was no:

  • I need to write
  • Write this down
  • There are thoughts here. Thoughts the world needs to see.
Survival mode.

That's what I'm calling it.

Trying to protect myself. Yet, prepare myself. All at once.


That's the real feeling.

  • Both boys leaving at once.
  • Living on my own.
  • Scared that something might happen to one of them.
I don't do well with transitions - the movement from there to here. I would much rather BE THERE. After here. Not the journey of getting there.

But in my heart I know:

  • We are all supposed to leave - find our next great spot. Change is a good thing - even if we fight it.
  • There is nothing wrong with living alone - unless of course, it makes you feel isolated - then other people need to help you - not tell you what you are feeling is wrong.
  • Something could happen to anyone one of us. Any given day. I can't control the safety of my children. Or my relatives. Or my family. 
Being scared of the future is not a way we should live. There is a great big world out there. Beautiful wonderful people to meet. See. Enjoy.

I think it's time, to try this again..........

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A different set of problems

We turned in our Service Dog in Training in February. We had him for 18 months, then he has spent the last six months in "Advanced Training" - or "Olympic Training" as I like to call it.

Training. Working hard. Learning skills and tasks to help someone who can't do the things he has been training in helping them to do.

The last two weeks, he spends "rotating" to different people who might need his help.

He didn't find his match this time.

Meaning, he will stay at 'Olympic Training' for one more 'semester'  - another three months.

OR at anytime, he can come back here.

He might not have it in him.

Either way he wins.

He goes on to be a service dog. OR he comes home, he turns into a "dog"

He's no longer allowed in restaurants, on airplanes, etc.

HOWEVER, he is allowed:

  • on  the bed
  • out of his kennel
  • to dog parks
  • to become a hunting dog
  • to become a snuggling dog
  • to do things that well, dogs get to do.
Which brings us to......

  • He now knows how to open doors, 
  • Turn on light switches
  • Open drawers
  • Fetch your slippers and beer......
Former puppy raisers whom have told me they had their "service dog in training returned" - well, you come home (they no longer have to stay in the kennel if you don't want them too) - and all the lights are on.


The door from the family room to the garage is open. The lid to the dog food container is open and empty.

They know how to do all these things.

If he doesn't make this program, he will be a really good "therapy" dog to someone. Don't we all need a different 'set' of problems?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Going offline

I arrived on the mainland ten days ago.

Making it now a couple of days without crying, but making it all the same.

When I think of my island time, it's a time I can't even describe to anyone. I actually don't mind working there - working my corporate job - as it allows me the release I need from the real world.

But, back here? Here in the world of structure, order, shoes, and schedules....Work is something I loathe. It's a chore - a much needed chore, like cleaning the bathroom. No one likes to clean the bathroom, butt someone has to clean......

We've passed the anniversary of the first child's death - rapidly approaching the second. Rapidly approaching a time in my life I wish would have been something different.

One day.

There will be a summer camp.

A flip phone

Some flip flops

I won't even know what a computer was supposed to do......

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sand in my shoe

A natural pearl begins its life inside an oyster's shell when an intruder, such as a grain of sand or bit of floating food, slips in between one of the two shells of the oyster, a type of mollusk, and the protective layer that covers the mollusk's organs, called the mantle.
In order to protect itself from irritation, the oyster will quickly begin covering the uninvited visitor with layers of nacre — the mineral substance that fashions the mollusk's shells. Layer upon layer of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl, coat the grain of sand until the iridescent gem is formed.
Cultured pearls are made in the same way. The only difference is that instead of accidental circumstances, a "pearl farmer" embeds a grain of sand into the mollusk.

Oh Peter, Oh Peter Pan - all this time, I had hope you would grow into the "pearl" I knew you would become. However, not all grains of sand turn into pearls.

Sometimes, you have to empty your shoe of all that sand.

Only then, can you find an already formed pearl.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Camp Counselor

For the most part, I have tried to stay out of the teenagers way.

Made suggessions. Let Duncan make suggestions based on his memories here. Given my opinion - heck, I even told them to hitchhike a couple of times.

One of the best weeks of my life.

One of the boys, his parents arrived on the 4th, they alll went fishing on the 5th - caught a 100 pound tuna, two ono's weighing about 30 pounds each.

These here are good boys.

Everyone should have to go to summer camp.

Even a camp of introverts - they could all go do their own thing at their own time, but be here together.

I received the ULTIMATE compliment from one of the kids. As I'm dropping them all off at the airport. He says to me, "Life changing week. Mahalo".

I nearly cried. Actually, I cried the whole way home from the airport.

THEN, the boys post a picture on Instagram, telling me thank you.

My heart was so full, I thought it might actually burst.

Oh Hawaiii, you could have sent me a letter telling me to get over here.

There was an old poem I remember someone reading me while I was at camp many years ago.

I don't remember it all, but what I do remember:

Being a counselor is the closest thing to celebrity status that I will ever achieve. I'm exhausted. Worn out - in the best possible way. Happier than I can ever remember. At the same time thinking "what the hell was I thinking" - I loved my little life....... Oh, that's right. With tears in my eyes I say to anyone whom will listen.

"See you next year"