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I’ll Drive, Paw Paw, You Need A Break – Wordless Wednesday

So what if it’s a day late and a dollar short? Shelby’s still a cutie pie, and all is forgiven, right? Yeah, I thought so, LOL.

I'll drive, Paw Paw, you take a break. I got this!

I’l drive, Paw Paw, you take a break. I got this!

 

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Click here to link up with Mother Ahoy for Wordless Wednesday. I do.

Click here to link up with Mother Ahoy for Wordless Wednesday. I do.

My Favorite Christmas Present This Year

I’ve started receiving early Christmas presents. I love all of the presents I’ve gotten, but the one I love the most is the one my 17-year-old son made me with his own two hands. The present: a bracelet made from rubber bands.

Now this bracelet is special to me for several reasons. First, he made it all by himself. DS is one of God’s special little people. He has a lot of issues, one of which is multiple developmental delays. His aunt sat with him this afternoon and used the rubber bands on his fingers to teach him how to make the bracelets by himself because that’s what he decided he wanted to do for everyone for Christmas this year (the woman is a saint I tell you). It took a little while, but he got the hang of it and ran with it.

Secondly, the colors he chose are close to my heart. My mother has myeolofibrosis. The way it was explained to me is that her bone marrow is slowly turning into fibrous tissue like scar tissue (find out more about myeolofibrosis here). All I know for sure is her best shot at a cure would be a bone marrow transplant that Medicare has refused to pay for because she’s 64 years old, so she has to go for blood transfusions at least once a month. She usually has to take at least two units at a time, and this takes the better part of six hours to run into her arm, so that’s a whole day out of her life by the time she signs in and everything else. But that’s a whole different blog post to come later.

A few months back my parents got some myeolofibrosis awareness bracelets and passed them out. One of the bad things about being a fat chick is that things like that don’t usually fit me, and true to form thos bracelets didn’t either. I was heartbroken because I couldn’t wear a bracelet like the rest of the family to show my support for my mom. I cried when nobody was looking, but I put a good face on it in front of everyone, telling them that it was okay and I didn’t really mind.

Well, DS remembered those bracelets were purple and green, and he made me a half purple, half green bracelet for Christmas. He went ahead and gave it to me today. It means a lot that he remembered my feelings were hurt and fixed the situation in true DS style. Yes, he gets style points for this one!

Thrid, DS didn’t even have to measure my wrist to get the size right. He said he just thought about how big my arm is and made the bracelet. And it fit on the first try. Oh yes, more style points!

And now I proudly unveil DS’s creation. Here is the second bracelet he ever made. I couldn’t be prouder of him, and it’s my favorite Christmas present this year.

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Isn’t it beautiful? I’d rather have this bracelet than any made of gold or silver. It’s priceless because I may wear it on my wrist, but it lives in my heart.

Have you received any Christmas presents yet this year? Would you like to share any memories of presents past? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

The Child of A Veteran

 

Around Memorial Day I saw a picture that was making the rounds on Facebook. It was “Unless You’ve Been A Soldier” by Clive Sanders. This very strong poem is worth reading and can be found here. Please take the time to read it. It is definitely worth it.

When it was posted as a photo, I read the comments and found a very moving and what I feel is a wonderful poem describing life from the spouses’ side of serving our great country by Christina Love titled “Unless You’ve Been Married To A Soldier”. This poem is the most popular comment on the photo and is at the top of the comments. I ask that you take a moment to read both poems in their entirety. If you do so, the three together can offer a rare look into what the whole family of a soldier may feel when they serve in our armed forces. This may not be true for all military families, but it touched a nerve in me that made me feel it is true of mine from my point of view at least.

I have contacted both authors about posting their poems in their entirety in this post and have not received a response. If I should receive their permission, I will update this post to include them. I do not agree with using someone else’s work without their permission and so do not do it.

 

Update:

I received permission from Clive Sanders to post his poem “Unless You’ve Been A Soldier” here in its entirety. I wish to thank him for his kindness. Again, you can find his original poem here.

 

Unless You’ve Been A Soldier

Unless you’ve been a soldier,
You just won’t understand.
The things that we have seen and done,
In the service of our land.
We were trained to live in combat,
And to deal with awful sights,
That shouldn’t be seen by anyone
And keep you awake at nights.We don’t discuss the wounds we have,
To the body or the mind.
We just put our hurts behind us,
And turn our memories blind.
We are proud we served our country,
But remember those we lost.
For the freedom that you have today,
They paid the awful cost.

See more at: http://allpoetry.com/poem/11161617-Unless-Youve-Been-A-Soldier-by-Clive-Sanders#sthash.sig0qZw8.dpuf

On Veteran’s Day, I offer my poem “The Child of A Veteran”. I didn’t write about being the child of a soldier because my dad had been out of the Navy for a long time before I came to be. Although he was no longer an active member of America’s military, in many ways he still serves the country that we all love so much today. You see, he fought in the Vietnam War and like so many others who have gone off to war, there is a part of him that will be there fighting that war forever.

 

The Child of A Veteran

Unless you’re the child of a veteran, there’s no way to understand,

The things that happened after our parents served our land.

All the time we wonder just what made them go and fight,

For a country that seems not to care if they have a meal or bed at night.

They went off to battle and served in all your wars,

They saw and experienced things that shook them to their core.

They were trained to live in battle while we learned to live in silence,

Giving them space to grieve their losses as we dodged residual violence.

Childhood ended much too quickly turning us into small grownups,

Taking care to not do things that might cause them to blow up.

Raised with great discipline to some great imagined code,

We’re not supposed to understand, just do what we are told.

Cry yourself to sleep at night, but never let them see,

They have enough to deal with without extra stress from me.

Everything is just perfect or so it must always appear,

Don’t let anyone get close, not even those we hold most dear.

We could not be prouder of our parents who served, but please understand,

It’s the WHOLE FAMILY that pays when a soldier serves our land.

Stop Raising Bullies!

Stop Raising BulliesIf you really want to put an end to bullying, there’s only one way to do it. Stop raising bullies in the first place. Sounds simple, right? Well, it is.

I come from a family of large people. My dad is six foot six inches tall, my brother in six foot three, my mother is five foot nine, and I’m five foot ten. That may not sound large and in charge now, but when I was growing up we seemed like giants among men. And my parents were smart enough to realize that their kids weren’t perfect little angels. Honestly, we can have the temper of Satan himself at times. Thankfully, they recognized this character flaw in us and addressed it before it became a serious problem. Remember those days? When parents actually gave their kids some home training and expected them to act like they had it.

My parents gave us three simple rules to live by when it came to dealing with others when I was growing up. These three rules taught me how not to treat people. It’s common sense really, which seems to be in short supply these days, so I share their wisdom with you now.

  • If they’re younger than you, don’t pick on them.
  • If they’re smaller than you, don’t pick on them.
  • If they’re different from you, don’t pick on them.

See, common sense. Thank you Mom and Dad. 

Book of the Week – Ty the Bull

This is my first book of the week post, and it’s a book about something I really care about and can’t stand — BULLYING! It’s time to get real about bullying, and “Ty the Bull” does it with honesty, humor, and style. Based on the real life experiences of a real eleven-year-old boy who is dealing with the real issues of being bullied and his parents’ divorce, “Ty the Bull” is a book for all ages. If you have a child, or know a child, this is a book that should be in your home library. I read it to my son, and it’s a great way to start talking to a child about their feelings, if they feel like they’re being picked on, or if they feel like they’re being ignored.

A real book about a real little boy's experiences being bullied and how he really handled it.

Cover art courtesy of Blossoming Press.

In this book, Ty is bullied by a big kid named Gabe. His parents are divorced, and he feels he is all alone to deal with his unhappy life. It seems even his teacher is against him. Then he meets an older kid at the skate park named Peacock, and this guy gives him some invaluable tips about how to deal with bullies without resorting to verbal or physical violence.

It took a lot of guts for Ty to live through the bad times and even more guts to tell the world how he did it. My hat’s off to this amazing young man and the people around him that love him enough to help him share his story with us. I actually laughed out loud at parts of the story. My teenage son and I really loved this book, and I plan to share it with all the kids and grownups I know. This one’s a keeper!

Join in the fun and games on Facebook at the Ty the Bull – NO Bullies Launch Party where you can win free books, bracelets by Rex, and more!

Buy the book at Goodreads and  Amazon.com (US).

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