Monthly Archives: September 2019

Falling Into Gratitude

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Falling Into Gratitude

With Fall upon us,I’m feeling pretty grateful for the change in season and the celebration of life that will be happening for my family. My daughter will be twelve years old on 11/23 and my son will be 1 on 12/5. Yes,that is technically still Fall. I’m ready to celebrate life. But let me rewind a little bit.

A couple of weeks after I gave birth to Avery, I noticed some changes in my mother. She was supposed to take Amani to and from school for me for th two weeks following my discharge from the hospital while I healed. Two days into that,Mom tells me she can’t take Amani to school anymore because she’s having trouble breathing. I thought it was an excuse to just not walk Amani for me, so I resumed pickin her up myself 4 days post partum. But Amani confirmed that her grandmother was having trouble breathing. Then my mother went to a new doctor which was odd because she had been with her previous one for ten years. She offered no explanation and I didn’t go with her fo her initial visit. However, Mom did tell me that the doctor was concerned about her kidney health and warned her if she didn’t do something about it soon,she wouldn’t see the end of 2019. Tht freaked me out but Mom didnt seem to take it seriously. She continued to treat her body like a garbage dump and didn’t go back to see her doctor until April 2019.

The news she gave me did remind me of when another doctor 5 years or so prior told her she has thirty something percent kidney damage. So,I start paying closer attention to Mom. She’s already stopped going clothes shopping, grocery shopping, and no longer wants the landlord or our upstairs neighbors to see her. That was weird because aside from spoiling the kids, she LOVES to shop til she drops. We used to hit Macy’s clearance rack regularly then spend an hour in the home department looking at Martha Stewart sheets. She didn’t even want a Christmas tree for Avery’s first official Christmas. We always argue about putting up decorations and she always win. This time I won. Red flag number 2.

Her appetite diminished pretty rapidly and I noticed she was losing weight. I cried when I found an entire pot of cooked but barely eaten ox tails in the refrigerator. I cried myslef to sleep that night. She NEVER leaves an oxtail uneaten.When I asked Mom abou her health,she’d say she was fine and she promised to reschedule the doctor’s appointment she broken several times. I stopped believing her. As Winter turned to Spring, mom’s attitude changed and she became very mean and callous. She picked silly and meaningless arguments with me, my brother,and Amani. I took the brunt of her anger to deflect from Amani. She seemed to become jealous whenever I took the children out or whenever my brother went out with hs girlfriend. Amani started complaining of the mean things her Granny said to her when I was out of ear shot. I said nothing to my mom about it most of the time because I knew she was sick but twice I couldn’t let it go. She missed Amani’s 5th grade graduation, which was so heart breaking to deal with.

I started telling close family members that I suspected Mom was gravely ill and I didn’t know how to help. They offered no real help or moral support,not even when I assured them she was letting herself die. I turned to a close friend and a woman who I knew as my aunt although she was no blood relation. They encouraged me to cease trying to get help for Mom,who made it clear she didn’t want help. So, I started preparing myself for life without Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I kept the faith that God would intervene but I came to a peace that maybe this was His answer.

By the time school started, Mom looked gaunt with dark circles under her eyes and her pupils were looking yellowish. I knew she was dying and I hated her for making me and the kids watch it happen. How could she proclaim to love us but act as if we don’t know what’s happening to her?! The Lord jumped into action just as I was about to give up. My mom wound up in the hospital emergency room and stayed there for 6 days.

She had to start life saving dialysis immediately. At first she refused but I finally spoke to her about how everything looked through my eyes since she had gotten worse. I told her we were already living without her and I could see how that made her feel. She relented. I was so relieved that she wasn’t going to die but I was still angry about what she put us through. But that was another conversation for another time, I got to keep my mama.

Mom has been on dialysis for about 3 weeks now. She must have treatment three times a week. I’m happy to say that she is sticking with it and her disposition has improved. She wants to enjoy life and people again. Her appetite has returned and she’s looking forward to a trip to Macy’s to find new duds for her smaller frame. She even has a crush on another dialysis patient but won’t tak to him until she’s “looking good”(her words). I’m in eternal debt to God for extending mercy and grace to her.

My faith was definitely tested this year. I wanted some things in my life changed and this was a test of how bad I wanted it. I learned alot about myself and my mom. Both mom and I have emerged from this closer to each other,but more importantly closer to God. I know her perspective of this is different from mine but our conclusion is the same…God is REAL!

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO:

My mom had a pretty hefty hospital bil that her insurance covered most of. There was a $300 balance that thanks to your donations has dropped to $80. Sounds like nothing but its a big deal for us because we just can’t afford it. So, help a fellow mom, blogger, and human out. You can donate to my Cash app or Pay Pal. Thanks to all of you who donated, it was a big load off getting the amount down. See you all soon!

Top 5 Books Over 500 Pages

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Top 5 Books Over 500 Pages

Fall is UPON US!!! I don’t know why but something about this time of year just reverberates through my soul and leaves me all cozy and warm. Yes, I am one of those pumpkin spice lovers and I make NO apologies for it. Besides, I need my pumpkin spice flavored treats for these massive books I’m going to attempt to read. I predict I can finish maybe two. Fingers crossed.

1)The Witness by Nora Roberts- page count:530

Summary via Goodreads:

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.

Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems — and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail’s reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something — and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.

With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today’s most reliably entertaining thriller — and will leave people hungering for more.

2)A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe- page count: 742

Book Description via Goodreads:

The setting is Atlanta, Georgia — a racially mixed, late-century boomtown full of fresh wealth and wily politicians. The protagonist is Charles Croker, once a college football star, now a late-middle-aged Atlanta conglomerate king whose outsize ego has at last hit up against reality. Charlie has a 29,000 acre quail-shooting plantation, a young and demanding second wife, and a half-empty office complex with a staggering load of debt.

Meanwhile, Conrad Hensley, idealistic young father of two, is laid off from his job at the Croker Global Foods warehouse near Oakland and finds himself spiraling into the lower depths of the American legal system.

And back in Atlanta, when star Georgia Tech running back Fareek “the Canon” Fanon, a homegrown product of the city’s slums, is accused of date-raping the daughter of a pillar of the white establishment, upscale black lawyer Roger White II is asked to represent Fanon and help keep the city’s delicate racial balance from blowing sky-high.

Networks of illegal Asian immigrants crisscrossing the continent, daily life behind bars, shady real estate syndicates — Wolfe shows us contemporary America with all the verve, wit, and insight that have made him our most admired novelist. Charlie Croker’s deliverance from his tribulations provides an unforgettable denouement to the most widely awaited, hilarious and telling novel America has seen in ages — Tom Wolfe’s most outstanding achievement to date.

3) The Story of Danny Dunne by Bryce Courtenay- page count: 610

Description via Goodreads:

In the aftermath of the Great Depression few opportunities existed for working-class boys, but at just eighteen Danny Dunn has everything going for him: brain, looks, sporting ability – and an easy charm. His parents run The Hero, a neighbourhood pub, and Danny is a local hero.

Luck changes for Danny when he signs up to go to war. He returns home a physically broken man, to a life that will be changed for ever. Together with Helen, the woman who becomes his wife, he sets about rebuilding his life.

Set against a backdrop of Australian pubs and politics, The Story of Danny Dunn is an Australian family saga spanning three generations. It is a compelling tale of love, ambition and the destructive power of obsession.

4) 11/22/63 by Stephen King- page count: 847

Description via Goodreads:

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

5) The Corrections by Johnathan Franzen- page count 567

Jonathan Franzen’s third novel, The Corrections, is a great work of art and a grandly entertaining overture to our new century: a bold, comic, tragic, deeply moving family drama that stretches from the Midwest at mid-century to Wall Street and Eastern Europe in the age of greed and globalism. Franzen brings an old-time America of freight trains and civic duty, of Cub Scouts and Christmas cookies and sexual inhibitions, into brilliant collision with the modern absurdities of brain science, home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare, and the anti-gravity New Economy. With The Corrections, Franzen emerges as one of our premier interpreters of American society and the American soul.

Enid Lambert is terribly, terribly anxious. Although she would never admit it to her neighbors or her three grown children, her husband, Alfred, is losing his grip on reality. Maybe it’s the medication that Alfred takes for his Parkinson’s disease, or maybe it’s his negative attitude, but he spends his days brooding in the basement and committing shadowy, unspeakable acts. More and more often, he doesn’t seem to understand a word Enid says.

Trouble is also brewing in the lives of Enid’s children. Her older son, Gary, a banker in Philadelphia, has turned cruel and materialistic and is trying to force his parents out of their old house and into a tiny apartment. The middle child, Chip, has suddenly and for no good reason quit his exciting job as a professor at D—— College and moved to New York City, where he seems to be pursuing a “transgressive” lifestyle and writing some sort of screenplay. Meanwhile the baby of the family, Denise, has escaped her disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain of an affair with a married man–or so Gary hints.

Enid, who loves to have fun, can still look forward to a final family Christmas and to the ten-day Nordic Pleasurelines Luxury Fall Color Cruise that she and Alfred are about to embark on. But even these few remaining joys are threatened by her husband’s growing confusion and unsteadiness. As Alfred enters his final decline, the Lamberts must face the failures, secrets, and long-buried hurts that haunt them as a family if they are to make the corrections that each desperately needs.

I don’t havemany 500+ page books. That’s not aacceptable at all. So drop me your top 5 in the comments.

I tag:

Confessions of A YA Reader

Millie Bot Reads

Entertainingly Nerdy

Reading With My Eyes

Catarina @ Pages & Plots