Friday, February 26, 2010

God's Plan and your children

Well, today was the day that our 19 yr old son began to spread his wings and fly. He got a moped. I didn't like it, I still don't. Just the idea of a wet-behind-the-ears young man that hasn't had much experience with real life, let alone handle a vehicle that has nothing to protect him, makes me uneasy. I didn't like the idea when my significant other, also known to me, affectionately, as Mr. Sir, first mentioned it.

My mind quickly turned to the bad things that could happen. Didn't we just teach him how to ride a bicycle without the training wheels...just yesterday, it seems? Didn't he just go off to his first day of kindergarten? Out into the big scary world. How was it that our little boy was all grown up? Where was I? Where did the time go? Did I raise him right? Could he defend himself out in the real world? My teenage-type has never had much experience with real life. After all, he's been the quiet type. A loner. A straight A student that never made time for going out with friends; preferring, instead, to keep to himself and focus on his education. Had I done the right thing by letting him be such an introvert and not pushing him to be more outgoing?

I went to pick up the moped with him today and although I had hoped and prayed all week that it wasn't going to be raining on the day we would pick it up, it rained. It rained on our way there and it rained, to my dismay, all the way back home. Mr. Sir couldn't sleep and called me 3 times while we were out picking it up. He had mentioned to me that he was worried, a few days ago. That he thought we should let the teenager-type practice around the neighborhood a few times before we let him loose on the streets with it. Mr. Sir, however, works nights so I told him to go back to sleep, that we had no other choice, no pickup truck or trailer to haul the darn thing.

There was no other option. Our son would have to drive it. Yes, in the rain and yes in the cold. Yes, on his own. I, the nervous mother, would have to drive in front of him as a mama duck does with her ducklings when teaching them to fly for the first time. My heart was beating a mile a minute as I kept an eye on the road and an eye in the rear view mirror. Today I learned the meaning of scared. I'd been scared before, that wasn't it. This time, I was scared for my offspring; a feeling only a mother knows. A gut-wrenching feeling that compares to nothing else I've felt before. I had to do it, however, he's not 5 anymore. He has to learn to stand (or drive) on his own.

We got home and he made it just fine. A little cold and wet but intact, thank you Jesus. Yep, I now know what they mean when they say having a child is like having your heart walk around outside your body. It's scary but it's a part of life. He drove the 25 miles home all on his own. He was all smiles as he got off his moped and said to me, "Wow, that was fun!" I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.

In the Fall, he'll be going off to college. I'll worry, I'll definitely cry. I will help him get things for his dorm/apartment. I will help him open his own checking account and I will sit back and watch him go out into the world with the protection of a praying mother, a loving father and the reassurance that although he will be on his own, God will be there with him, always. When he graduates, I will wait to hear him say, "Wow, that was fun!" Life will go on and my little boy is now all grown up. Where did the time go?

Several weeks ago, when we had him take a motorcycle driving course, it was pouring rain on the first day. He fell twice but it was in a parking lot where they were training him. Although, at the time, we were complaining because it was raining, now we know God knew it would rain on this very day and that he would need to learn to drive in it. He was preparing him for today. I'm thankful that he learned to drive it in the rain because it's much better that he fell in the parking lot while training than in the middle of a busy street where he could've been seriously hurt, or worse.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Time Won't Wait...

Last Friday night I got a call out of the blue from a friend and ex-coworker of mine from my days at JP Morgan. I was somewhat surprised, to say the least, to hear from this young man as he never calls me. I readily assumed something out of the norm must have occurred since the call was so random. Quickly, I asked him what was going on. He stated that he had called to tell me that my ex-boss, of several years, had passed away. He wasn't sick, he said, when I asked him. There was nothing wrong with his health at all. He and his wife were on vacation in Mexico, celebrating Valentines/Anniversary or something to that effect. They had been on the beach just hours before. They returned to their room and she went in the bathroom, heard him coughing, she came out and saw him turning blue. She gave him CPR (she's a cardiologist) and was unable to bring him back.

I can still hear my friend saying those words, "Vinod passed away." Those words that kept repeating themselves over and over in my head in the days that followed. They sounded so hollow, so unreal, so devastating. My heart dropped when I heard those words. The finality of it all. My mind raced, screamed, it couldn't be true and my thoughts turned to his wife and the 3 beautiful kids he loved so dearly and left behind. How this sweet and gentle man had given me a job when I needed it most. He was funny. He was caring. He was genuine. I loved to talk to him. He was a cool boss. He took me to lunch on my last day at JP Morgan. I always thought about going back to take him to lunch and repay his kindness. In the last 3 years since I left, I kept planning to go back, to see him once more. To take him to lunch. To thank him for his generosity. Just to talk to him one more time. Unfortunately, time didn't wait for me. It took a good man from his friends, co-workers and most importantly, his children and their mother. Much too soon to die, much to young to die. Time won't wait. Time is cruel. Unforgiving. Unfair.

He told me, "You know you can come back to work whenever you want. I'll hire you back." I never got the chance. I decided to become a stay at home mom and homeschool my kids. Time won't wait. I had to do what I had to do because time won't wait. Not for you, not for me, not for anyone. Yes, time is cruel. I never got a chance to say goodbye.

I understand now that it was his time to go. Regardless of his good health. Time and death do not care that he was loved, that he had a family that needed him still. He died in a foreign land. Away from his family. Away from the people that loved him. Even his wife, the cardiologist, could not save him. His time on Earth had come to an end. Right there, in a cold hotel room, in a country not his own. Just like that, in a blink of an eye, he was no more.

Don't ever let a day go by without telling your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't ever let an opportunity go by and you not take full advantage of it. In the real world, time won't wait.

Rest in Peace, Vinod. You will be greatly missed.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Baby Boomers and Beyond

I was pondering the thought of getting old, or older I should say and it seems that the older I get the more certain I am of my refusal to get so old I will no longer be able to have independence. You know, the kind of independence where I can go to the bathroom on my own. To be able to shower myself without the assistance of someone who demands a large sum of money to take a gander at my wrinkly butt while they are lathering my (hopefully) skinny body.

I love old people. I love kids. However, I like old people better. I don't know if it's the helplessness I see in their soulful eyes or if it's the cruel reality that I'm headed in that direction quicker than a rabbit gets screwed. There is something about old people that just makes me want to hug them and reassure them that all is going to be alright; and if not, at least they get to meet our Creator and cross over to greener pastures, so to speak. Goodbye cruel world, no more paying taxes to that greedy Uncle Sam, no more making the doctors rich who in turn make the pharmaceutical companies richer. What is it about doctors that the minute you walk in their office they are handing you a prescription for something almost before you explain what your symptoms are? Why are they not better at helping to educate the patients on preventive measures instead of trying to use the band-aid approach for all types of ailments?

Being that my little Princess has what suspiciously seems to me as ADHD, I've been trying out more natural/alternative methods of treatment with her. Not only am I more aware of the foods we are eating but I'm researching a lot of natural and herbal remedies. Whole foods are not cheap; not by a long shot. I did recently discover a cool company that allows you to be part of a co-op for organic fruits and vegetables for next to nothing, really next to nothing. It is truly amazing the opportunities that can be available to us if we do the research.

My daughter and I are also trying out this new drink called Nopalea. I've tried various "health" juices in the past that tasted pretty nasty and thus discontinued the use of same. Some did help my rotator cuff problems but the taste was nothing I'd ever want to experience again. I've noticed that this juice has really helped me with keeping my glucose levels at a nice even keel. With the poor eating habits I've exercised throughout my life, this is the one juice that's really made a difference.

If more people with health issues would just do their research, they would find that there is help out there. We don't have to suffer and be at the mercy of doctors and their quick-to-prescribe habits. It's better to prevent a potential harmful disease than find yourself fighting for your life, literally. What is that ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I think they were talking about something like this juice. The best part is that it tastes good. You don't have to plug your nose while you swallow it and hold your breath until you can wash the taste out of your mouth with a swig of something that tastes good. I've got my order on autoship. I don't want to be without this juice that even my little Princess looks forward to drinking every morning.

So, please, please do your research and find something natural that you can use for you, for your loved ones, for your health. God bless you all, and here's to a long and healthy life!