Friday, March 23, 2012

Precious Moments

I worked in the 2nd Grade as a Teacher Assistant when my kids went to Elementary school. They also went to the school I worked at. It was the best Gig ever. I learned so much from the Special Teacher I worked with. "Dorothy Conry" had MS, but didn't let it stand in her way of being the best teacher she could be. She rode around in a "Putt Putt" as she called it, when her legs would not work. The kids thought this was awesome to have a teacher with such a special ride. I created all of her bulletin boards and walked around helping each child with their cursive writing and different activities. I also took reading groups to the Library and walked the class to their special classes. I was her legs and I was proud to be able to help her. She was in her early 40's when diagnosed with this horrible, crippling disease. Her husband left her. She had a son who would also abandon her later on. I had never in my life met a more positive person. I so admired her. She was in my Bunco Club with some other Teacher Assistants. She had a Precious Moments collection and a special Precious Moments Christmas tree that she kept up year round. We always loved meeting at her apartment for Bunco because we got to admire her tree, loaded down with her special ornaments.

She eventually had to take a medical retirement when the MS got so bad. She moved into a nursing home. She recently passed away from the MS and she had started to develop Alzheimer's. It was a sad day when I got the call that she had passed away. I went to her viewing along with a former Teacher Assistant.

Weeks later, I received a box in the mail from her sister-in-law. It was 2 Precious Moments ornaments with a special card. She said that when she was going thru Dorothy's belongings she came across a note with my name on it with some other names and it was in her box of Precious Moments ornaments. She knew Dorothy had wanted to make sure her special friends received her special ornaments to remember her by, so she mailed out 2 to each person on the list. I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I opened the box. It was just like Dorothy to be so organized and making sure her Precious Moments would carry on their special meaning. I will make sure that when I hang them on my tree this year, they will hang in the very front, so when I see them, I will remember my Precious Co-worker, mentor, teacher, but most of all, my friend. A Precious Moment I will keep in my heart forever. R.I.P sweet friend.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Daydream Believer

I have been a daydreamer since I was in Jr. High School. I attribute that to being an average student. My mind would wander a lot to far off places or what I was going to do after school or that weekend, to what I was going to wear the next day to school. I even remember picturing eating a yummy cheese pizza at my favorite place, "Woolworth" where my sister and I would go sometimes on our lunch hour in Elementary school. It was safe back then to walk down the street.

Now to explain the pictures of shells and sand. I have been many times to accompany my sister at her work conference at Heavenly Sandestin Beach, Florida. We called it our "Sister Vacation". Her husband gave up his chance to go, so I could go in his place. He doesn't really like the heat, sand and beach, so it's not an enjoyable place for him. He knows how important it is for the Sisters to spend time together, and I thank him for that.

I collected the sand, shells, giraffe drink stirrer, and this special rock that says "Grace" in this special glass from the beach. It sits on my desk at work within view. I remember the day the rock was found. My great niece was swimming in the ocean with me and she found it in the water and gave it to me. That little rock means so much to me. Sometimes I drift off and stare at my shrine of sand and I am actually sitting under the beach umbrella, sipping my cold beverage, toes in the hot sand and watching the breathtaking waves. I am snapped back to reality as soon as the phone rings, or someone needs my help with something. I must say that I go to that place almost every day. I even go to the website of the hotel we stayed at "Hilton Sandestin" and click on the live web cam that shows the 2 outdoor pools, spas and beach. I am there. Disconnected from my daily routine at my desk. I can smell the ocean breeze and feel the sand between my toes. I picture myself laying my towel down on a lounge chair to save it.

This summer, my sister will go again, but this time her husband will join her, and that's OK with me. I just cherish the time I had the past Summers. I can daydream and I'm there.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday Princess Abigail

Today is my grand-daughter's 5th Birthday. She is a princess and fashionista. Her world is a fairy tale. I've never seen a little girl who loves to play dress up like Abby. I asked her what she wanted for her Birthday and she told me she REALLY wanted a Jasmine outfit. Well, the Disney store does not have them in stock, so I ordered her the outfit, shoes and jewelry to match. She will be so excited to open it up when we celebrate her Birthday at her party on Saturday. She's having a movie party with my other grand kids. We are going to see "The Lorax" then coming back to my house for cake and ice cream. Should be a fun celebration! I called her this morning to sing Happy Birthday to her and she told me about waking up to a new purple and pink bike with balloons. She asked her mommy if she is still getting the Jasmine outfit. She really wanted it. It's so hard to wait until her party to give it to her. I love my little Abby so much and wish her the Happiest Birthday ever! She is a BLESSING!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Aunt Nina, A flawless Rose

These are special crocheted roses made with Love by my Special Aunt Nina. They are pins to wear. I love receiving hand made things from her. I cherish these so much. When I think of my Aunt Nina, I think of a rose. She is perfect in my eyes. I have watched her blossom and grow as I grew up, and I am in awe of what she endured and seeing the strength she had, makes me admire her that much more. Growing up, we would spend our vacations in West Virginia visiting Grand-parents, Aunts, Uncles & Cousins on both sides of my family. My moms mom, Grandma Riddle was helping out my Aunt Nina in raising her 2 children, Michael & Vicky, while she held down several jobs, trying to put food on the table and pay the bills. They all lived together. I remember when we would visit, my Aunt Nina would come in from working nights and go to bed on the couch, because she would give up her bed for who ever needed one. I remember her having to ride the bus where ever she needed to go because she never got her driver's license. It was a treat when we would be there because my dad would drive her to work and to the store. She always provided for her children and mom. She always put them before herself. I think if I had to think of one person in my family who sacrificed for their children, it would have to be my Aunt Nina. I can remember when some of my cousins needed clothes or supplies for school, she bought them what they needed. She was a single mom, barely surviving herself, but when she knew of someone in need, she always stepped up and was there. You know the saying "He would give you the shirt off his back"? Well, she actually did give the shirt off her back, many times. I feel so blessed because my Aunt Nina named me when I was born. I have always loved my name, and it made her happy to know that. My Aunt Nina is multi-talented. Her daughter, Vicky, is following in her footsteps. This picture was taken during the week of my dad's funeral last February. My Aunt Nina rode the train to come and stay with my mom for one week. She is on the left side, my sister Diane, me, daughter Steph, brother Randy and mom seated. Everyone says I resemble her more. She brought so much comfort to us during this time. We adore her. She will be making another train trip this spring or summer and I can't wait. Everyone should have an Aunt Nina...I feel so blessed to have her in my life....