Life and Times

Friday, June 19, 2009

Phone Calls

Have you ever had a phone call you wished you never had?? I have had 4 in my life.

The first:
I was a teenager and got a phone call from my friend Mona's mom. She said that Mona had gotten in a car wreck on her way to an orthodontist appointment. The police and fire department did not have the jaws of life at that time and could not get her out of her vehicle. She had hydroplaned in a JEEP and flipped several times. It took the paramedics 2 hours to get her out of the vehicle and she died on the operating table. Now Mona was a very vibrant, beautiful teenager with a full life ahead of her. She couldn't be dead is what I thought. She was on the cross country running team and very popular in her senior year. So how does your mind comprehend such news. Her funeral which was attended by pretty much all of Sutherlin Oregon was a beautiful funeral. It was the saddest day of my early life. How do you say goodbye to a friend and still not believe she is gone?

The second:
My dad had been sick for a while but it seemed maybe to me at the time not that bad. He had a heart attack before but seemed like he was doing great. He would drive from Crescent Oregon to my house, stopping by Kowloons knowing I was working and sit and visit with me. I would buy him BBQ Pork and a Harvey Wallbanger (his favorite drink) and just visit with him. Then he would come to the house and stay with us for the weekend. What a wonderful time. I remember the call: Tuesday afternoon, I was getting ready to go to work for the Rotary Club and the phone rings. It's mom saying that dad has only a week or so to live according to the hospice nurse. Where was I when the hospice was called in? I don't remember there ever being mentioned a nurse and dad being that sick. I fell to the floor at that moment wondering what I would do without Dad. Then reality sinks in and I know I have to arrange for the kids to be cared for so I can be at mom and dad's to help and I have to arrange work which is the last on my mind. I just don't care about work or money at that moment. But being reasponsible that I am I call work and tell them I will be gone for a while and call Chuck and Carol to care for the boys and we leave the next morning for mom and dad's. Being by someone's side as they wither away is the hardest thing I have ever done. As dad passed away I was there to hold his hand and kiss his forehead. Through the many horrible times my brothers and sisters were there for me and I hope I was there for them as well. What a horrible phone call.

Call 3:
February 4, 2008: I am at work and my cell phone rings, it's Jake. I'm thinking why is Jake up at 9:30 am my time which is 6:30 his time. I answer and I can't understand him so I step outside so I can hear hopefully better. He says to me "Koen passed away during the night, he is gone" "mommy can you come"? I'm thinking "is this a joke"? Then reality sets in and I know it's not a joke, that Jake would never play such a joke. All I can think is I have to get there to help. I have to hold Jake and Amanda. I can't think straight. My coworkers pull me inside and drag out of me what happened. My CEO takes me to his office as it is private. he prays with me to try to help and says don't worry about anything we will help. I have to say my coworkers and friends helped me through this horrible time. They gave me cash to help with my airfare and trip and support in just being there for me. This was the worst day of my life. Our baby Koen was a beautiful baby and was never sick. I didn't even get to see him and hold him. Financially I had not been able to make the trip to see him. I was devestated not only for me but for Jake and Amanda. How would they deal with this tragedy? They were too young to have a child but then to lose him when they loved him so much. I tried to be there for our babies but in the end it was up to them to deal with their pain in their own way. Unfortunately neither one dealt well with it although Amanda dealt more than Jake did. Jake is the type of person to suppress whatever is hurting him. He will make his way through it eventually but his path will be harder and more severe because of the delay. My path is to carry on and do what I can to help them through their pain if I can. My pain is there but I cannot feel my pain because I have to feel their pain first. They are the vulnerable ones, I am older and will live.

Call 4:
In January: On a Friday afternoon I get results of my mom's blood tests and they are not good. I get a text that says "You need to come now, doctor says only a week or so". How do you proceed from there? I go to my HR manager and she schedules me a flight and I then go to my supervisor and let her know that I will be out the next week and not sure of the week after that. Thankfully I have really wonderful managers and supervisors and they tell me "take the time you need". I fly to Oregon and I am the last sibling to get to mom's. I visit with mom, help with her medicine, bathe her, sit with her and be with the family. On Wednesday January 21, 2009, 2 days after I arrive mom passes away.

Through my life as an adult I have received these 4 terrible phone calls. These are not phone calls you wish for. They are the kind of calls other people get, not you. All in all we all have had a bad phone call in one way or another but we have to deal with them as best we can. We have to rely on friends and family to get us through when we receive these calls. In the last 2 calls I've gotten that were bad, Ron was there for me. He was totally supportive and wanted to be with me although he couldn't be there physically with me. He called to check on me and just to tell me he loved me.
Do you have a support person like this? I hope everyone does because without it when you get a call like this you may not get through it as well I have with a supportive, loving, listening person in my life.

Shopping with men

Ok so we are women and most of us have been shopping with men. What is your experience? Was it a good experience? Have you found a man that likes to shop?

Here's my experience:

You decide you need some things so you get in your vehicle and drive to Wal-Mart or the Mall. In my experience most men avoid the Mall so Wal-Mart is as close as you get to shopping with a man. If you want to go to the mall for something special or even just to look around you have to go with a girlfriend. The mall usually means spending money a man wants to hold onto.

So here you are in the vehicle and he's driving to the store. Now because the words "shopping" was involved he is automatically in a hurry to get there and get home. You drive into the parking lot and every person in the way is an idiot for just being there and in our way of parking. you park the vehicle and get out and no matter what kind of weather you basically run into the store. Now because women have the naturally shorter legs and stride we are running to keep up with the man who "thinks" he is just walking normal. Inside the store you think ok we'll slow down and just kind of look--wrong! You head for the things on the list with your man and the only things he wants to see are the things in the area of what is on the "basic list". Now if you have shopped with a woman a "list" means you jot down a few things that you are out of and then you look through the rest of the store so you can remember the things you have missed. Men only see the things on the list and that is all they want to look for. When they have run through the store gathering up the few items they saw or wrote on the list that is the end of the shopping, it's time to leave and head back home. If you forgot something because you didn't put it on the list then it can be bought on another day there is no looking around for other things.
If you want to just "look" then you need to go shopping with another woman who understands that shopping means looking in the real sense of the word. You get the things you may have on your list but you look just to see what else you might want or need.
Have you been there??
I'm sure with all women we have all at one time or another been there. Think about it, how was your experience? Same or different? I venture to say that it was close to the same.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

loved ones

There are many times when our loved ones will turn to us for advice or just to vent. In these times do we give the right advice? Do we truly listen to their problems? I have been faced with alot of hardships in the last year and more in the past and I turned to family and friends for help. I hope that through the daily things that happen I am there for my family if they need me. I know I have tried to be there for each and every one of them.
What do you do when you don't have the answers for that person? Do you make something up to try to make them feel better? I don't know the answer to that.
I wrote a blog a while back on myspace and later got slammed for that blog by people who don't know me. I was in pain and needed to get some feelings out about my grandson Koen who had passed away. The people who slammed me said that I was a horrible mother and that only the death of a child brought me to Oregon. Is that true? I had never seen Koen and because of that I was being slammed and told that I was a horrible person. Even though I had not seen Koen I loved him with all my heart. At that time I couldn't go to see him, not that I didn't want to every day. I also had not seen Ryan my older grandson. Does it make me a horrible person because I couldn't financially make the trip to see my grandchildren when they were born? I know I'm not a horrible person and I know if I had the resources to be there I would have when the babies were born.
Sometimes I have felt like a horrible mother and grandmother but I know deep down I'm not. I am a good person who is just trying to make it through life. My life doesn't allow me to trek across country often because it's expensive and much to my dismay I am not a millionaire.
I know my children love me and they turn to me for advice and help. So I think I must listen to loved ones when they need help. I dont' have all the answers but I can be there to listen. I have shoulders they can cry on.
When we are in pain we all tend to hide away and be alone. I know from experience it's not good to do that as we will get deeply depressed. The road to recovery from depression and sad things is to rely on our family and friends and turn to them when we need to talk and vent and cry.

Love your family. Love your friends. Keep all of them truly close to you because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. Tell each and everyone of them that you love them. Life is short and sometimes too short for many. If you don't tell a loved one you love them and you are there for them and something happens to them you will regret it.

To all my family and friends,
I love you all and I'm here for you anytime you need me. I will do my best to help you in any way I can.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Best of Times Continued......

When I was in High School there was a Father/Daughter dance. I asked my dad to go with me. I was 16 at the time. My dad agreed. We went to the school, I wore a skirt and blouse and dad wore a nice shirt and pants. They took pictures of daughters sitting on their dad's laps and dads danced with their daughters and we all had a good time. I'm not sure how much fun it was for dad but it meant the world to me that he agreed to go. I will always remember that night as my night with him.

My mom and I never really had too many troubles when I was growing up but mom had problems with depression. I don't hold it against her because it's something that happens. So for this part I want to point out that I don't have any real hard feelings with mom.
In high school they also had a mother/daughter tea. I had asked mom to go with me but on the day of the tea she was in one of her "moods" so she wouldn't go. She told me to please ask someone else to go. Now at the time it hurt because it was "Mother/Daughter" tea and she was my mother. I did ask my boyfriend's mom to go and she agreed. Carol became my mother-in-law later and my very good friend. We had a good time at the tea and I thank her to this day for going with me.

When I got married Sue, my sister, had a bridal shower for me. To my surprise my dad showed up with a gift for me. Now mind you there are 10 women sitting around and in comes dad with a gift. He gave me the gift and kissed me and went then into the back bedroom and stayed there until it was over. How cute is that? Mom wasn't feeling well so he wanted to come but didn't want to hang with the girls.

Having children is always a wonderful time. When I was in labor with Jessy I had half of the state of Oregon (or so it seemed) at the hospital waiting for his delivery. He was the first grandchild on the Hanson side so it was very special. I was told that I could not deliver on the 11th because it was Carol and Chuck's anniversary and also chuck would be out of town or something. So what do I do?? I went into labor on the 12th at 4:30 am. I did not have real active labor until later but started very early in the morning. When Jessy was delivered at 9:23 pm I believe I had Corey, Carol, Louise, Johnny and I don't even know who else in the room with me. There were more in the hallway waiting also. It was a wonderful memory and made me feel very special to have so many people want to be there for me.

Having Jake was a different story. He was also very wanted and important however deliveries are different. I was told by Joy that I could not deliver until after hunting season was over because she wanted to be there. So on the last day of hunting season I went into labor. I called Joy and the rest of the family to tell them I was in labor. I had a doctors appointment that morning and was told to go to the hospital immediately (this was at 11:00 am). I delivered Jake at 3:05 pm (I think) with Carol, Joy and Corey there. The rest were in the hallway again waiting. Joy made it as she had just come in from hunting when I called her.
So all in all I did as requested with both of the boys and all was wonderful. Both boys are beautiful young adults now and man does time fly!!!

I have had beautiful moments and will probably write more again later. These are just a couple of the highlights of my life that I remember. It's nice to think about and remember especially since dad has been gone for 14 years now and mom is also gone.
One more memory I'd like to tell you about.
When I was grown and moved out I heard that Kenny Rogers and Lee Greenwood were playing in Eugene. I got with Sue and Janna and we planned a trip. I wanted to surprise mom with the trip. We rented a car and told mom to wear something nice. We picked her up and we took her to dinner and then to the show. We had the best time! Mom loved the show because they are two of her favorite artists. It was certainly a night to remember and mom was so surprised I thought she was going to cry.

What wonderful moments to reflect on! I love memories. They keep us going in times of pain or sadness. All we have to do is think of a good memory and our mood inproves.

Remembering the Good Times

I was reflecting on life in the past the other day and thought I'd share some of the really happy moments in my life.

One of my first memories was waterskiing with my family. There are 8 kids so packing up for a day at the lake is no small feat. We would load up the boat, food, drinks, blankets, towels, inner tubes etc and head to Cooper Creek or which ever lake we happen to be going to. Cooper Creek was always close and easy to get to and our favorite. We would get to the lake and unload the vehicle and dad would unload the boat into the water. We would find a nice little cove big enough for like 20 people since my older sisters were married and had their husbands with them. It looked like a block party and not just a single family. Dad would warm the boat up and then we would take turns skiing. Since we have such a large family we would always partner skiing. We all had a partner which we skiied with well and so it was two skiers at once. My partner was Linda. She single skied and I double skied. What fun we would have. I skied with my brother Johnny and would criss cross across the water one lifting the rope so the other one could go under and flip back and forth so we could spray the other skier. Man what a blast. My dad was an amazing skier. He didn't ski much but it was a priveledge to watch him when he did. He would start off (single ski) either on the beach or on the dock and he would let the rope get just about taught and say "hit it" and the driver would and off my dad would go onto the water. He never fell and never got wet either. When he was done they would circle back and make a big turn close to the beach and he would let go and end up in ankle deep water. I was totally amazed.
We would stay at Cooper Creek until it was almost dark and we were all totally exhausted and then go home. Those were the best of times.