Wednesday, August 28, 2019

A Text From Beth, Childhood Memories and Swimming Pools

August has been such a difficult and emotional month. I hope things are beginning to settle down and September will be better.

I got this text from Beth a couple weeks ago:

"my life ear got big pot already"

Hmmm. I showed it to Chuck and thought maybe it's like that game where you have to say it fast so you can understand it?!


And that actually helped!!

We stayed in an Airbnb while we were in San Diego and the backyard had a pool. 

It was, it's hard to describe. I grew up in San Diego and for a few years we had a house with a below ground pool and the memories that came flooding back when I walked out to that backyard took me by surprise! In the 5th grade I would get up before my parents and be in the pool even before breakfast. I remember swimming at night and seeing my shadow in the pool light as I swam laps. 

So I absolutely loved this Airbnb!

Well anyway, Beth's ears plugged up the minute she went underwater and they stayed plugged for days. I tried using a, like a nostril suction bulb in her ears; she would plug her nose and try breathing out but nothing worked. Then one afternoon she was at All Aboard and sent this text:

my life ear got big pot already

Which essentially means, "My left ear has finally popped!" 

And I guess it was a big pop too!

Do you know how to swim?
Do you have memories of swimming when you were growing up? 

Sunday, August 25, 2019

I Hope There's A Happy Ending

I'm sorry I haven't posted or logged on to read and comment on your posts. The month of August has been one for the record books!

A week after we got back from San Diego, I was at work when the maintenance guy J called me down to his office. (We're equals, he's not my boss.) My head custodian C was also in his office and J  began to talk to me, "I heard S is mad at me. But I never told her..." 

I looked directly at C, and yelled, "You read a note that was on my desk?! A private note?!" I stormed out.

Later she came to the front office and said she wanted to talk to me. We went to another room and she began to incriminate herself by putting up a defense about every single thing in the note! I stood there and just let her talk. Then I yelled, "I DON'T CARE WHAT WAS IN THE NOTE!! THAT NOTE WAS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!"

I went to my boss who, unbeknownst to me went to our Senior Pastor. Then my boss came back to me and privately told me this was grounds for dismissal. 

This custodian is one who stirs up trouble, creates controversy, gossips, complains... I had written up a disciplinary form a few months ago and she was actually still on probation from that.  (Our old facility manager wrote her up quite a few times. She has a very large file.) And now at this point, we can no longer trust her.

My boss and I made the decision to fire her. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to wait to tell her. I had knots in my stomach for two days and couldn't sleep. 

But, it actually went better than I expected. I thought she would scream and yell and try to defend her actions but she just acted very stoic and refused to tell my boss (our boss) why she had done it. "You looked at things on Cindy's desk, what other desks have you gone through? Have you read anyone else's mail?" 

Just a very cocky, "I don't know."

C has been very difficult from day one, she's disrespectful to me and all the custodians and walks around with a chip on her shoulder. I'm 100% positive we made the right decision. But it didn't make it any easier. Especially since she's been there for 20 years.

So I've spent this weekend telling the other custodians that C has been let go. Can I just say, no one has cried any tears. 

As hard as this week was, I know things are only going to get better. I've already seen the other custodians beginning to work together and our maintenance guy even told me, "We're all a team. We're like family."       

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hard To Put Into Words

Diana sent me a text this morning encouraging me to post an update. (What would we do without our kids?!) I love you girls!!

Last Thursday we all flew down to San Diego to attend what was supposed to be my nieces wedding, but ended up being her fiance's memorial.

She had it at the same place she was going to have the wedding, a beautiful park with a river running through it. The caterers still came, the photographer was there and she had new cakes made.

One of the saddest moments came when Steven's youngest daughter took the microphone and said that since she'd never be able to have a father-daughter dance with her dad, and Karlene wasn't able to dance with him, would she be willing to dance with her? So the two of them began slow dancing. Part way through my brother-in-law got up and finished the dance with them! 😭

Steven was a dump truck driver and the company he worked for put his name on the back of his truck. A bunch of drivers were there and Karlene had them all honk their horns for a few minutes in honor of him.

There were tears but there was also a lot of laughter and happy memories of a man who loved well. One woman got up and said that she met Steven when she was an addict. He found out where she was staying and continually brought her food and checked up on her. She said that she's been clean and sober now for 3 years, because of him. 

And I found out the reason they left him on life-support was because he was an organ donor. He saved multiple lives, even in his death.

It was a difficult day but I'm so glad we were all able to be there to support my niece. Hug your family and friends! Lives can change in an instant.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A Tragic Turn Of Events

Diana flew out here from Pennsylvania last week and we're all flying to San Diego to attend my nieces wedding on Saturday, August 10.

My niece Karlene has been through a lot the last few years, mostly due to poor choices, addictions, hanging with the wrong people, etc. She took responsibility for her actions and paid her dues. Now she's clean and sober, a contributing member of society living a healthy life.

She met her current boyfriend S a few years ago and he's walked with her through most of this difficult journey. He has loved her kids like they were his own and has been her rock.

Last Friday I was at the grocery store and my phone rang. As I'm putting it up to my ear I can hear somebody sobbing and Karlene says, "Aunt Cindy?!? I need you to pray!! Please pray!!!" 

S was riding his motorcycle to work and someone pulled out in front of him. He swerved to avoid hitting the car and fell hard on the road. The other driver kept going. As he laid in the road he was able to call 911 and then called Karlene. When she got there he was telling the EMTs that he felt okay and didn't want to go to the hospital. 

She took him to his moms house so he could change his shirt or something and he began to complain that his chest hurt. She insisted they go to the hospital and when they got there, they put him in an ambulance and took him to another hospital, a trauma center I think. That's where she found out that he had ruptured his aorta and they immediately took him into surgery. That's when she called me.

They repaired his aorta and got him stabilized. That night and all day Saturday she and all of his family were able to be with him and hang out in his room.

At 2:30 Sunday morning my phone rang again. I heard those familiar sobs again and, "Aunt Cindy I need you to pray!! Please pray!! Just pray!!!!"

S had rolled over. That's all. He was just laying in the hospital bed and he rolled over. And went into cardiac arrest. Six doctors and nurses came running into the room and one of them "jumped on his chest" and began compressions.

She was absolutely hysterical and I will never forget the sound of her sobs and the way she was yelling into the phone, telling me everything that was happening in real time. It was gut-wrenching.

They got his heart beating again but he suffered brain damage and has been unresponsive since. He's now on life support. 

The wedding they've been planning and one so many of us have been so excited to go to will now be a Celebration of Life.

Please keep Karlene and his whole family in your prayers.