Sunday, November 14, 2010
As I lazily sift through Spark this Sunday afternoon, I am confronted with the reality that our time on this earth is limited. We have chances at every turn to make a difference in someone's life or even within our own. I am reminded that everything we do, everything we say, can have an impact in someone else's life, no matter how small or big those words are. We have a choice...we can halfway do things or do them all with joy, gusto and an eagerness to make things better. We can try to do it alone or we can realize it is because of other's love and belief in us that we are who we are today.
I have met people here on this site who have overcome struggles, who have fought tooth-and-nail for what they want. I have met people whose main goal is to encourage OTHERS even though they themselves have a monumental mountain to climb. I have met people whom I have wanted to take under MY wing, to somehow, someway, let them know that they made an indelible imprint on my life. This site, SparkPeople, has this WAY of bringing out the best in people, of making us feel like we are all family; brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, sons and fathers. We are all connected by one thing, folks...see, we are striving to become all that we wish to be in one form or the other. We are all connected by HUMANITY.
Which is why when I heard that a fellow SparkMember was called Home, it made a humongous impact within my heart and soul. I did not know this woman but I read her page, her story, saw her huge heart and her love for her grandchildren who are displayed proudly in her SparkPage photo album. Her name is Barb and I am very sorry that I did not know her while she was among us. She struck me as someone who carried a positive outlook, no matter how difficult things got for her. She was loved by many. She will be missed by many.
It got me thinking...are we really doing all that we can do for the people around us? Whether it be in our personal lives, with our families, or on Spark with our Spark families? Sure, we are all here to learn how to better take care of our bodies, to lose weight, maintain fitness or learn a new health tip or two, but aren't we also here to build one another up, to inspire, to motivate, to encourage?? I have been at the receiving end of that love and friendship so many times, more times that I can count. But I am willing to bet that there is more I can do to make Spark a better place. I'm willing to bet that I can encourage more, inspire more, motivate more.
Do yourself a favor and drop by your SparkFriends' pages today and tell them how much they have meant to you along your journey. Let them know that there was a time they have spurred you on, made a difference, made you feel special. Then give thanks for that friend. Do this here and do this in your lives at home. It's easy to always assume these special people will be here tomorrow or the next day. It's easy to assume that they already know. But what you may not realize, is that tomorrow, they may not be here or that your words of thanks may be just what they need to carry on themselves.
I love you all. I carry this huge area in my heart that is always thinking of you. I have NEVER been part of such a loving online community as I have with SP. I've tried it. I've been a member of MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, etc., but the feeling of Spark People has never been matched. The friendships have never lasted or come close to the friendships I have made here. The day I stumbled on this site almost two years ago is the day my life changed for the better. And it changed because of each and every one of YOU.
God bless and have a wonderful Sunday. If you have some spare time today, also, visit Barb's page:
She always believed in second chances, thirds and even fourths.....
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It's not a coincidence. About a year ago I was being treated for an infection with a round of antibiotics. I noticed that most of my aches and pains that were caused by my lupus basically disappeared. I woke up in the morning, feeling spry, bouncy! I felt like I was ten years younger! I could barely contain my joy that I was "healed." Of course, after the cycle of pills was completed, a few days later, the aches and pains re-appeared. I thought it was a fluke, accepted the short-lived pain-free week and moved on. Not long after that, I had a kidney infection, received more antibiotics and felt the waves of relief again.
Yesterday, at the clinic (after I had a particular BAD reaction to Tramadol) I told the doctor that I believed I was getting a tooth infection and would like to be prescribed some Clindomycin or Erythromycin. (I really was, I wasn't lying just to get more meds!) I started the round of pills yesterday and today I am...
Well, ALMOST. But it's a definite improvement over how I've been feeling the last few weeks. So, this morning, I decided to investigate the possibility of there being a link between antibiotic treatments for lupus. So far, there IS! My specialist told me before that it is "suggested" that antibiotics help lupus but he is hesitant about long-term usage. But, according to The Road Back Foundation, "Thousands of patients have reported SUCCESSFULLY using antibiotics for conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, LUPUS, dermatomyositis, ankylosing spondylitis, Lyme disease, Reiter's syndrome, mixed connective tissue disease, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis. Results of an international survey of patients documented dramatic results including relief of pain, the lessening of swollen joints and an overall successful return of quality of life."
It's amazing! I need this!! Most people with lupus develop lots of infections anyways, especially strep and staph so it just makes sense to me that you would keep them on low-dose antibiotic treatment anyways, right?? Yeah! That's what I'm thinking!
Anyways, I'm going to whoop it up this week. I'm going to take my Erythromycin and clean my ceiling fans, do my hike tomorrow morning and just live it up. I'm going to pay Brian back for all the wedgies and "say UNCLE!S" he's given me, walk the dog, and just LIVE.
I think my doctor and I need to have a very long talk. In the meantime, I'm off to enjoy the great outdoors!
Friday, November 05, 2010
Last Friday I was sitting in my car just outside of Beanie's parking garage below her dorm, waiting for her to join me for the weekend. Imagine my joy when I saw her little beautiful face peek from around the corner wall and give me a huge smile. Then it disappeared and suddenly a large laundry bag came flying from the shadows. Smiling, I jumped out of my car and before I could get there, another landed with a thud beside it. Before I made it there, all-in-all, there were four laundry bags, a backpack, make-up bag, laptop, two purses and no Beanie. She had ran upstairs to grab her SUITCASE.
We were ten minutes down the road and she wanted to stop at McDonalds. Poor thing must have been hungry because she ordered the Big Mac Meal, an extra fry and a McFlurry. We were so excited to be with one another, that we hugged every five minutes and were constantly cutting off each other's sentences. By the time we arrived home, our cheeks hurt from laughing and we didn't feel like lugging her belongings inside.
She is so incredibly funny, witty and full of life. I expected her to crash on her bed and sleep the three days she was here, but she didn't. She did not want to run around with her hometown friends, but stayed right here with me and her Dad. One of the first things she wanted to do the first evening she was home was watch a scary movie since it was Halloween. We chose Jeepers Creepers and stayed up to watch BOTH of them. In case you don't know what Jeepers Creepers is about, it's about a man/beast who only comes out every 23 years to "feed." It eats unsuspecting people who has a body part it can use...stupid, I know, but it really was quite entertaining with Beanie's narratives along the way. At one point, there was a bus full of high school football players the beast was targeting and she shouted, "Look, Mom, MEALS ON WHEELS!" Brian had to get up from bed and tell us to pipe down and "Act your ages!" AS IF! Needless to say, the next morning the front room looked like the aftermath of a college party. Popcorn bags, diet soda cans, socks draping the furniture and drool spots on the couch cushions where we both fell asleep the night before. I woke up to her big toe touching the tip of my nose.
The next day we went shopping. We bought a butt-load of snacks and things that we didn't need. I still don't know why we bought the muscle-man magazine (cough, cough) but it's hid under my dresser for the next time she comes down. Brian was on to us when we walked in the door and he kept looking at the rectangle bulge in the front of my shirt. Because we couldn't stop giggling, he stayed with us so I had to make a mad dash to hide it before he found out! I made her favorite that day...chicken fajitas with extra cheese, just the way she likes them. Then it was another long night of movies, girl talk, Brian telling us to pipe down and stiff necks on the couch.
Did Brian get to spend time with her?? Yes. He got a few hours with her while he took her to his mother's for a little while. But that was all. She was mostly all mine!! :)
Sunday afternoon was sobering. We packed up her clean laundry and new things she had acquired since being home. She left with twice as much as what she came with. Once on campus, we made three trips up the three flight of stairs and I helped her unpack. Her room looked like it had been ransacked and I looked at her in surprise and fear...but no, it was just where she had not cleaned it...since she has been there. The Sun Chips bag I left there the last time I came to visit was still lying on her printer untouched.
She'll be back in another couple of weeks. I'm pleasantly surprised by how our relationship has changed...she will always be my little girl, but she just seems so grown-up now. We found ourselves having some really cool adult conversations while she was home. I'm SO PROUD of her (all "A's" and one "B" in her college classes)...and I can't wait until she comes again.
I may even share her with Brian this time!
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
The outpouring of love and support here on Spark is unbelievable. I happen to think that I have the BEST SparkFriends on this site. How I got to be so lucky I'll never question. I am so thankful for all of the words of awesome encouragement and the outpouring of support and prayer I've received over the last few days. It's overwhelming and an incredibly touching. If having incredible people surrounding you makes you rich, then I am the richest person in the world.
I'm going to try to get on and Spark a little each day until I feel up to par. I still feel a little yucky but I'm sure the pain in my butt illness is on its way down the road. So, before you know it, you'll be seeing my face on your pages with a smart-aleck comment and a hug in no time. But I want to thank everyone who has blessed me with their words, the Goodies, the comments, the uplifting spirit of love that you all have given me. I will do my best to thank you individually in time but wanted you all to know right now that it has made me feel so happy to know that I am part of the greatest circle of pals in the world. You can't get that anywhere else.
So, once I get myself together, I will blog and tell you how much "trouble" my daughter and I got into while she was home last weekend! We had a blast and we're already making plans to tear up the town when she gets home in another few short weeks from now.
God bless you ALL, dear friends. Each and every one of you has this big place in my heart. If I could give you all a big hug in person, I so would.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
It just keeps getting better and better these days! I am so excited that Breanna is coming home for the weekend and I could absolutely burst! I've been busy today cleaning house, doing laundry, making sure the refrigerator is full of her favorite foods and putting cool posters up on her wall. But I received an email from her just a little bit ago that just made me go over the top. Recently, she has been working on an essay for her English class and it could be a topic of her choice. She chose the topic of how the prison system's rehabilitation efforts aren't very effective according to the high re-entry rates. I've noticed the trend in her thinking for the last two years concerning the criminal law system and I was astonished, yet again, at the clarity of thought she has given to this subject.
But the last line of her email had me jumping excitedly from my chair....
"I AM REALLY thinking about going for a criminal justice degree, Mom. I'm starting it in Spring Quarter." OH! The Powers that Be HAVE to be feeling the waves of joy off of my freakin' aura right now! I think this is IT!! A mom just KNOWS, ya know??
She's always been interested in criminal law. Maybe it all started when she was nine-years old and we received her school pictures in the neat little white envelope they always come in. We had ordered quite a bit but we had so many family members who wanted a picture of her, Brian and I decided to take them to Zip Systems to get copies made. She stomped her little foot down and said, "YOU CAN'T DO THAT!" After Brian and I looked at one another in surprise, I asked her why NOT. She said, "BECAUSE, Mom, it's against the law to do that and you have to order more from the SCHOOL! That's robbery!" LOL! (Needless to say we DID get more from the school and decided not to pursue our desire to be fugitives from the law.)
She has told me recently that college has shown her more and more every day what she wants out of her life. She wants to do well, to make the Dean's List, to excel beyond excelling. She took a walk on the bike path at OU a few weeks ago, amidst the campus parties and the loud whoops of evening campus life. She said she saw a lady, strolling peacefully, walking her dog, and it struck a nerve in her. She told me, "Mom, I want that. I want to know at the end of every day that I have helped someone, that I have touched a life, and maybe even changed a life for the good. I want a simple life for myself. Just a simple, calm and peaceful life."
Oh, my dear sweet girl, that's what I want for you, too. And if I know my daughter like I think I do, that's exactly what she's going to do for herself.
I've never been more proud!
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