Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hodgepodge in April

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog.  Today I am joining up with Joyce over at From This Side Of The Pond.  She always has some interesting questions and it is a great way to meet other bloggers and see if there is something that interests you that you haven't done or experienced.  So be sure to hop on over to her blog, grab the questions, fill them in and share with the rest of us.

1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April? 

--- We have had alot of rain here lately.  I can never remember to carry an umbrella and when I do, I usually put it in the trunk of my car.  Of course with it being in the trunk that means I get soaked trying to get it when I do need it.

Which isn't really strange but the strange thing is the cold weather to go with it.  I have been trying to get my nephews birth certificate from the state of Louisiana.  You can read about this ordeal here.

2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

--- Child support and divorce.  Without a doubt, I am probably the most up to date person when it comes to these two subjects.  I have always been my own attorney when it came to both of these.

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

--- Goulash I would have to say was a favorite that my mom always fixed.  Most people call it glorified hamburger helper but it was so delicious.  We always had a house full of people when she would make it.  All the neighborhood kids loved it.

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

--- I think I will go with Blondie One Way or Another on this one.  There are really alot that I find I was wrong on once I started googling the lyrics.

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

--- I have been to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Time Square.  As for feeling like a tourist, absolutely but that was ok because it didn't matter to me.  I think that the Grand Canyon is a tourist trap for sure.  I mean it is a bunch of rock formations.  However, it was still amazing to see all the different ways that the earth has carved out the rocks and the rivers flow through them.  It is absolutely breathtaking for sure.

6. Your signature clothing item?

--- t-shirts but aside from them, I would have to say jeggings.  I love to dress comfortable and since I sit all day at work and don't interact with customers I can dress pretty much any way I want as long as it isn't provocative.

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?

--- DISNEY PARADE.  OMG, I went for the first time 6 yrs ago and I was like a kid in a candy store.  I had never been and have been back 1 time since.  I plan on making another trip down there next year with my nephew and grandson.  Oh the joy of being able to see all the characters and dance with them is amazing.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

--- Today would have been my brothers 48th birthday.  Sadly he left us on January 23rd this year suddenly.  To say that things have been crazy since is a true understatement.  He left behind a 14 yr old son who I am now the guardian of.  I am trying to make sure that this child feels at home but it has been hard considering I didn't get to really know him until this past couple of years because he lived in Louisiana with his mom.  All I can do is take one day at a time and keep praying and breathing.

Thanks for stopping by my little blog and please leave a message to let me know you were here.  Who knows maybe we can learn something from each other or we both get new subscribers.

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Monday, April 24, 2017

Grief...what it is technically and what it really is

image is not mine...I got it from google

This year makes 9 years since my mother and daughter passed and the beginning of my brothers passing.  I have had alot of things in life to deal with and the one constant thing above all else is GRIEF.  If you have never meet grief then you my friend are lucky.  If you have had the unfortunately meeting with grief, I my friend am sorry.

When you google the word grief you will find all sorts of things about it.  What it is, what it isn't, facts, myths, stages, thoughts and poems.  Everyone experiences it different.  The official definition of grief is:
grief/ɡrēf/noundeep sorrow, especially that caused by someone's death.
"she was overcome with grief"
informaltrouble or annoyance.
"we were too tired to cause any grief"
But what grief actually is to each person is different.  Here are the 5 stages of grief according to WebMD:

What Are the Stages of Grief?
Your feelings may happen in phases as you come to terms with your loss. You can’t control the process, but it’s helpful to know the reasons behind your feelings. Doctors have identified five common stages of grief:
  • Denial: When you first learn of a loss, it’s normal to think, “This isn’t happening.” You may feel shocked or numb. This is a temporary way to deal with the rush of overwhelming emotion. It’s a defense mechanism.
  • Anger: As reality sets in, you’re faced with the pain of your loss. You may feel frustrated and helpless. These feelings later turn into anger. You might direct it toward other people, a higher power, or life in general. To be angry with a loved one who died and left you alone is natural, too.
  • Bargaining: During this stage, you dwell on what you could’ve done to prevent the loss. Common thoughts are “If only…” and “What if…” You may also try to strike a deal with a higher power.
  • DepressionSadness sets in as you begin to understand the loss and its effect on your life. Signs of depression include crying, sleep issues, and a decreased appetite. You may feel overwhelmed, regretful, and lonely.
  • Acceptance: In this final stage of grief, you accept the reality of your loss. It can’t be changed. Although you still feel sad, you’re able to start moving forward with your life.
I believe that these stages are the most accurate you will find out there.  However, I do believe that all of these things are missing something.

I believe that it is missing the fact that grief is ever lasting.  That grief feels like you are in a bad dream that you can't wake up from.  Grief is something that you live over every day.  Grief is that elephant in the room that no one can see but knows is there and sitting on your chest.  Grief is the disconnect from your mind and your heart.

My mother died of cancer 9 years ago on the 19th of this month.  My first response was immediately crying and gasping for air.  It was as if I was drowning and no way to get out of the water.  I didn't want to believe it but I went straight into survival mode and caretaker mode.  I took Family Medical Leave and took care of my mother around the clock 24/7 until her last breath.  I remember one night after my mother went to sleep, driving my car at 3 in the morning to an empty parking lot about 2 miles down the road from her apartment and screaming to the top of my lungs.  I cried, I yelled, I cussed, I begged, I pleaded, I bargained and then I just sat there in silence for what seemed like an eternity.

My mother was my rock, my best friend, my teacher, my biggest cheerleader and my greatest hero in life.  She was never going to die in my mind ever.  She would always be around because my mother had survived so many horrible things in life and she kept going.  Reality was she was dying and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  Not that I didn't try of course.  When my mom got sick with cancer our family changed in more ways than you can imagine.  You see my mom was the glue to our family.  No matter what we were going through, she was always there for us and found someway to fix things.  Holidays, birthdays, special occasions, get together's were all because of our love for our mom.  None of these things have been the same since she passed.

Now fast forward to just shy of 6 months.  My oldest daughter was at a neighbors house and decided to ride on the back of a guys motorcycle.  Yes, I am sure you can see where I am heading with this.  My second daughter who is only 16 months younger called me on October 6 at 8:35 p.m. and told me that Heather had been in a motorcycle accident.  She got the call from the lady that was behind the accident when it happened.  They found Heather's phone and just started calling people until they got a hold of a family member.  This my friend is why you should never have your phone on lock while you are out.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  I ran out of the house so fast that I couldn't even remember where I was going.  You see my daughter said it happened in front of a gas station less than a block from where I was at.  Reality was it happened about 3 miles down the road at the other gas station with the same name.  I got to the scene and damn near hit the firetruck coming to a stop.  They tried to stop me as I got out and ran to the scene but I was determined to get to my daughter.  She was already on her way to the hospital when I got there.  I had to call my best friend to come get me because the police wouldn't let me drive.  They said that I was not in the right frame of mind.  I guess they were correct considering I tried to charge the guys that caused the accident.  Yes I was not in my right mind.  I was pissed, scared, hurt, confused, numb, in disbelief, in denial, angry, enraged and drowning while standing on dry land.

To this day, even though I know she is gone, she isn't coming back, I will never get to hold her again in this life and she will never get to see her children grow up, I still don't believe she is gone.  I keep thinking she is going to walk through the door and this will be a sick and twisted bad dream.  This will be me waking up from a coma or something to find none of these events actually happened.  My heart knows she is gone because it breaks everyday when I wake up and she isn't here.  My mind on the other hand is another story.  I seen her in the hospital bed, I heard the codes be called, I held her hand after they pronounced her dead, I arranged the funeral and burial and stayed until they put her in the ground.  However, my mind says none of these things happened.  My mind keeps telling me that she is going to walk through the door.

There are days when I can laugh about a memory and other times when I just start crying for no reason.  I still talk to her and my mom on a daily basis.  My other children and I still talk as if they are still here.  We know they aren't and they will never be again but it doesn't stop us.

This year my youngest brother who is older than I am passed away.  He died January 23 of this year.  I still have not seen the official cause but it is probably safe to say it was due to drugs.  I know he had drugs in his system but since he donated his organs there was no autopsy.  So here I am again, dealing with grief of another close family member.  Again, I know he is gone and never coming back but that still doesn't help me any.  I still have the same thoughts that he will come through the door and say "hello to my baby sister" just like he always did.

You see my friends, grief is different for all of us.  Even though there is a definition for it and stages for processing grief, there is no time table for it.  As you can see from my experiences above I am still very much going through grief of my mother and my first born daughter.  Within 6 months I lost two of the most important people in my life.  I guess it was only fitting that it happened this way.  They were so close that it was like looking in a mirror for them.  My daughter was the first grandchild and the closest to my mom.  My mother was the main babysitter for my children.  We had my mom cremated and when they were ready to close the casket on my daughter we snuck my moms ashes under the pillow of my daughter.  They will forever be together.

I still am not at the acceptance stage of grief and honestly I don't know if I ever will be.  What I do know is that I have 4 of the stages of grief that I rotate in on a daily basis.  I am not sure if it is because I lost my mother and daughter the same year or if it is because I lost my mother and daughter.  Lost, what a strange way of saying someone has died.  I didn't lose them at all because I know where they are.  They are in heaven.  They aren't lost but away in another place that I have yet to go.  So please if you are experiencing grief, ask for help, seek guidance and talk to everyone and anyone.  You are not a bother to them at all because those that truly care about and love you will be there to listen to you, hold you and be there for you no matter the time of day or night.

If you are going through grief just know that you are not alone.  There is someone, somewhere going through grief as well.  You are not alone now nor ever.  If you are having thoughts of suicide, get help immediately.  You are already going through grief and I know you wouldn't wish what you are going through on anyone else.  Suicide only makes this cycle continue even when you are aren't here to see it, you have caused or will cause someone else grief.

Wednsday the 26th would have been my brothers 48th birthday and he won't be here to celebrate it with his kids or family.  This is another stage of grief.  The stage of moving on even when they are gone and still remembering them and celebrating them.  No matter what anyone says about grief, only you can determine when and what stages you are going through.

I hope this post was useful to you in someway.  I know that nothing can change the grief that you are feeling and no one can truly understand your grief.  Your grief is like your DNA or your fingerprints because they are yours and they are unique.

Please take care of yourself and talk to anyone and everyone that will listen.  Trust me when I say it helps.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dealing with Government Offices in another State

**googled driving direction on mapquest**

Hello everyone and welcome back to my little blog.  I thought I would post this blog in hopes that someone out there knows how to help or has just been in the same boat and your not alone.

Since my brother passed away, I have gained custody of his 14 yr old son Zane.  This poor kid has been through hell the last couple of years.  Just when he thought his life was getting on steady ground, his dad got evicted and had to move in with me, my husband, son and grandson.  It was a crowded situation to say the least but we were making it work.  About 3 weeks after they moved in my brother died.  Now this kid is not so sure about the ground beneath him.  My heart was breaking, no only for the loss of my brother but for this child who had been through so much in the past couple of years.

I immediately jump into action and file for custody of him through our local courts.  Since his mom was here, she agreed to sign off on me taking custody.  She knew she wasn't in a place to take care of him at this time in his life.  I have to say a big Thank You to her for that.  She put her sons needs ahead of her own and we went to the attorney and signed the papers.  It felt like an eternity waiting for the judge to sign off on them.  In reality it was 30 days but because we were at a standstill and on pins and needles it felt like years.  He was worried that he might have to go into state care if I wasn't given custody.  I told him not to worry that I would not let that happen.

Finally, I got the call from my attorney that the papers were in and signed by the judge.  I now have full and legal custody of my nephew.  His ground beneath him is once again secure.  Now that I have the papers saying I am his legal guardian, I have the great pleasure (yes sarcasm) of hunting down records on him.  When my brother got custody of him they didn't have any records to give him.  There was no medical records, no social security card other than a picture of it, no birth certificate, only the paper from the hospital saying he was born.  How this child got into school here is beyond me.  The school had been trying to get a copy of the shot records that his previous school should have sent.  When I contacted that school they said they didn't have them and to contact the previous school.  Again, called that school and was told the same thing.  This was a vicious cycle that they kept sending me in circles.

After leaving several messages with DCFS in LA, I was able to get ahold of someone who was able to give me some information.  Thank goodness I was able to find them on Facebook.  The number I had been calling for over a month was not producing even a call back.  Once I contacted them I had a call the same day and was able to get some information.  A couple of days later I received another call from DCFS and was able to get more information along with phone numbers and names.  I contacted the last doctor that he was known to go to and was able to get the shot records.  Woohoooo, small victory but when you are dealing with another state you take all the victories you can get.  So I can now check off shot records from the list of important information needed.

This takes me to the next step.  Getting his birth certificate.  Now, I don't know about you, but when my kids were born I made sure I got their official birth certificate within 2 months of them being born.  I on the other hand can't say that happened with him.  I contacted the office of Vital Records in LA and was told that they didn't have one on file for him.  Of course this left me confused and full of questions.  They asked for his moms information which I gladly gave and again, was told they had no records.  I explained to them that I had the paper from the hospital showing where and when he was born.  They questioned if I was sure it was in LA.  Uh yeah, I am looking right at the paper.  The lady said that they never received it and therefore there was no record of birth for him.

**Not my image.  Found from Google Search***

So my first question after she said that was "how in the hell is this possible?".  She explained to me that it could be because the hospital never filed it or it simply got lost in the mail.  I continue to ask how that is possible for him to get a social security card, state benefits, medical insurance or anything else without a birth certificate.  She said that you don't need a birth certificate in order to get those things.  YES YOU DO!!! In my state you have to have those things so it puzzled me that his mom didn't need it in LA in order to get any government services.  So the next question was, "what now?".  She told me that they would have to send it to the delayed department and they would have to send me out a packet to fill out and return.  I explained that I had already sent them everything I had via email and fax and that I didn't have any other information.  I asked if they could just file it from what I sent them and was told again that a packet would be sent out to me.

I am still waiting for that damn packet to show up.  In the mean time, I have scheduled a doctor's appointment for a physical, an eye exam for new glasses and a dentist appointment.  Hopefully, the letter I wrote to the governor of LA will get it and be able to help me.  I think it is a damn shame when you have people who are trying to do right by a child and get all the necessary documentation that he needs for everything in life, that people who work for the government act as if you are a bother to them.  In LA you have to go to the parish in which you live or was born for stuff as to where here you can go to the state capital and get the birth certificate.  Finding the right parish was another challenge in itself.  Things need to be much simpler for our of state people looking for such information.  

**Not my image.  Found on google search***

So have any of you ever had to deal with anything like this?  How did you handle living in one state and having to rely on another state for the information that you needed?  Do you have any suggestions on how to achieve this quicker or easier?  I have tried the vital records online and that is how this all got started.  I paid out over $45 to get it, only to find out there isn't one to get in the first place.  Now I am out the $45 dollars and still waiting on Vital Records in LA to get off their asses and send me what I need to get this child a birth certificate.

I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or even your story if you have been in a similar situation.  It is hard to believe this happens but apparently in LA it does.  Be sure to leave a comment to let me know you were here.  I would love to visit more bloggers and get to know more people.

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Reflecting on those lost

Tonight I had some time to sit and reflect on those that I have lost that I hold and held dear to me in both life and death.  Since 2008 I have lost 3 very important people in my life.

My mother who was my rock, best friend and someone who always believed in me no matter what, died in April 2008.  Less than 6 months later, my daughter Heather who was 19 died in October of 2008 from a motorcycle accident and left behind 2 very beautiful children KayLee and Aadyn.  Finally my loving brother Scott died this January 2017 in my home and left behind an amazing 14 year old son.

To say that my world has drastically changed since these 3 amazing people decided to join one another in the afterlife is an understatement.  I never thought in a million years that I would be sitting here writing about the 3 of them leaving me and our family.  We were a close bunch to say the least but GOD had other plans for all of us.  I truly believe that we all have a purpose in life and when that purpose is filled then he will call us all home.

I cared for my mother and held her hand till the very end.  I wanted to make sure that she didn't leave this earth alone and she didn't.  She always told us kids that if she was never able to take care of herself to put her in a room with a gun and walk out.  She would handle the rest.  I refused.  I wanted to hold onto her as long as possible.  We were told on 12/28/07 that she didn't have long to live and that was not something that I accepted.  It took me months to realize that she wasn't long for this world.  I cried, pleaded, begged, screamed and everything else that I could think of with GOD to please let her stay.  Sadly, she did not.  Her death was hard on all of us but especially these two in the picture with her.

Then tragically less than 6 months my daughter died.  It was one of the most horrific nights of my life.  She was so full of life but she had been struggling since my mom aka Nana passed.  Heather was the first of 10 grandchildren and was the pick of the litter so to speak.  It took me years to come to terms with her death.  Truth be told I still keep thinking she is going to walk through the door and say surprise.  So in all honesty, I guess you could say I am still not at terms with her passing.  I haven't been able to see her children because of GOD only knows.  But I know in time I will be able to and I will get to tell them all the wonderful things about their mother that their father or grandfather couldn't tell them.  Things that only I know.

Now 9 years later I lose my brother Scott.  Oh, where to start with him????  There are so many things that have been and are being said about how he died.  I personally do not know the cause.  It could have and most likely was drugs but again, I haven't seen the official toxicology report yet so I can't say.  What I can say is that we tried and by we I mean my son Brandon and his wife Shannon to save him.  We found him in the shower unresponsive at 5:30 in the morning and they performed CPR on him until the ambulance got here.  I am so thankful that his son didn't wake up and see this all happening.

I thought I would share with you a couple of my favorite pictures of these very special people who has left our family.  My mom didn't like to have her picture taken so these are extremely special to me.  The first one is of my mom and Heather at her high school graduation.  The second is of me and Heather at the meet and greet of the Indianapolis Colts.  She was so looking forward to meeting Payton Manning but he wasn't there.  The bottom left is of me and my mom at my cousin Christina's wedding and finally my brother Scott and I.  He came and took me out of school early that day to take me shopping and this is the outfit that he bought me.  This picture was taken 28 years ago but it is still one of my favorites.  I felt like I was important that day because that outfit cost over $150 which I would never have been able to have if it wasn't for him buying it.  I kept telling him, no not to spend that kind of money on me but he insisted that he wanted to buy his "baby sister" something nice.

These are just some of my many memories about my mom, daughter, and brother.  There are way too many to share in one post that is for sure.  No matter what our faults, our demons or what life threw at us, WE LOVED each other and we were/are family.  Nothing anyone says or does can change that now or ever.  We were not perfect by any means but we were always there for one another, we loved each other and together in memories we will always be together.

We are not promised anything in life but this exact moment.  Love your family and tell your family that you love them.  It may be the last thing they hear from you.  I Love You were the last words that they heard from me and I can go on knowing that they knew they were loved in their last moments.

Thank you for stopping by my blog today and taking time out to visit me.  Please leave me a comment and let me know you were here.  I love meeting new people and seeing what is going on in the world that I may not have known about before.

Until next time,

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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Time for Renovation and New Beginnings

Happy Saturday everyone.  I hope your day is going well so far and gets even better as it goes on!!!

As some of you know, our lives have been changed so much over the past couple of months and this week is starting another new change.  This week coming is going to start the renovation of our home that we rent.

In January my brother Scott passed away leaving behind his 14 year old son to be cared for.  With open arms and a loving heart I stepped up to that place in keeping him safe, loved, and secured.  Raising teenagers isn't always easy especially when you have one that has been through so much in the last 3 years.  This child has been ripped away from his mother, put in foster care for over 2 years and then finally reunited with his father after a long process.  Only to be up and moved again three times within a year.  Through all of that he has remained positive, loving, well mannered, well behaved and has managed to keep his grades up in school.  I look at this child everyday and wonder how he has managed to stay this way.  Alot of people could not do it but he is determined to make something of himself and not let life's curve balls slow him down in becoming the best he can be.

So we currently are renting a 3 bedroom house from my BIL and don't want to move.  All 3 rooms are occupied by myself and husband, my 2 1/2 yr old grandson and my adult son.  Currently the grandson is sleeping in bed with my husband and I and I tell you what it is hard.  We have a formal dining room that we turned into an office when we moved in.  This office will now become Zane's room.  The contractors are supposed to be here Monday at 8 a.m. to start the process.  I hate that it is right off of the kitchen but it is the only room that we have for him to call his own.
The contractors will be putting up a wall where the opening is from the living room into the office, putting up a door that leads into the kitchen along with painting and putting in new carpet.  Next will be putting in new carpet in the living room, painting that and then moving onto the rest of the house.  We have some low spots in the floor in the hallway that they are going to fix as well as a spot in our bathroom floor that needs to be fixed.  So new flooring in the hallway, bathroom and then replacing the carpet in the other 3 bedrooms.  I am so thankful for my BIL who is putting this all together and paying for everything.  We contemplated on moving into a bigger house but that would mean another move for this kid again and I honestly didn't want to uproot him again.  Thankfully for my BIL recognizing this and deciding to change his 3 bedroom house into a 4 bedroom.  Not only does this make things easier on us but it will also increase the value of his property and if we ever move, which I don't foresee that happening anytime soon, it will make it more appealing for the next tenant.  It is hard to find 4 bedroom houses for rent here in Louisville.

We are in a great neighborhood that is literally 15 minutes from both my work and my sons, 5 minutes from the high school that Zane will be going to next year and 10 minutes from the expressway for my husband to get to work.  Not to mention we are within 5 miles from several major stores and restaurants.   We offered to pay for the renovations by having my BIL add a little to our rent each month but he refused.  He said that God has us taking care of kids that aren't ours for a reason and therefore he is going to take care of us for doing so.  You see we went from a family of 3 all adults to a family of 5 where we are taking care of minors.  It is an adjustment to say the least but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have always been there for my family no matter what and this isn't any different.  Family is supposed to stick together and help and support one another.  Maybe not financially but when they can, they should.  I never thought that I would be helping raise 2 children that aren't my own but I know that GOD has a plan and a reason for everything and I honestly believe this is his plan for me.  Now don't worry, I am not going to get all religious on you but I do believe in GOD and I do believe that GOD has a plan for everyone.  

Things have not been easy since my brother passed away in January.  We still don't know the "Official" cause, we don't have his ashes because of other drama with K but that is ok.  We don't need his ashes.  We have our memories, our love and our family and that is all that matters.  I do feel that it is a bit pathetic that K took the ashes and is refusing to give them to his son.  He would like to have them for his peace of mind and some closure on being able to keep his dad close.  I just said alot more but decided to delete it.  She isn't what this post is about!!!

So now we are in the mist of having to box everything up from our office, the living room and rearrange everything else while all of this is going on.  Next it will be time to decorate both my grandson and Zane's room.  Not looking forward to that expense but it will be worth it to let these kids know they are home and are not going anywhere.  This is their safe place, a place to relax, a place to play, a place to feel loved and nurtured and above all a place to call home. 

Zane didn't have much when his dad and him were evicted and moved in with me.  Alot of it got left behind, tore up or destroyed by the sheriffs when they were putting their stuff out.  Hell this kids doesn't even have clothes outside of his school uniforms.  Can you say heart breaking?  I have tried to take him shopping for clothes but he is so used to only having his school uniform that the only thing he asked for was 2 pairs of pants to lounge in after school.  It is going to take him a bit to get used to the idea of asking for things.  He told me the other day that he feels like he shouldn't ask for anything because it would cost me money.    I told him that I may not always have the money for what he wants but I will figure a way if it is something he needs or has to have.  As for leisure items, he can ask, I may say no or not right now but ask again in a week or a month and the answer may change.  The look on his face was enough to shatter my heart.  He still asks if he can have something to eat even though I have told him that he didn't have to ask.  ANYTHING in this house that there is to eat he can eat or drink.  The only request is to let me know if he used the last of something so we can replace it.

It is heartbreaking to say the least but I know he will come around eventually.  Hell this kid has been through it.  Not only with being taken away from his mom and sibling but how he has lost his dad and moved in with his aunt.  Together we will get through this, together we will make this home and together we will make sure he knows he is Loved and Protected.  Together we are FAMILY!!!!!

I know this post kinda got off of the renovation and onto Zane but I can't help but to share his story with all of you.  He is such a sweet kid.  Here he is with my grandson at Buca di beppo where our other BIL took us the week after my brother passed away.

You can see that he is still wearing his uniform pants.  I had to get my son's jacket for him because he didn't have one.  He is truly an amazing child and I am honored to be the one to take over as his caregiver and guardian.

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know you were here.  However, I will tell you that I will not put up with negative comments about the drama.  We are moving on and I suggest you do the same if that is your intentions.

Thank you again for stopping by and taking time out of your day to visit my blog.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of the day and weekend.  

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Monday, March 06, 2017

♥♥ Life Update and Zane ♥♥

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog.  It has been a bit since I really posted an update on what is going on since my brothers passing.  Things are starting to get to a new normal or as normal as they can be.  We still have alot ahead of us but that is ok because we have each other and that is all that matters.

We still don't have an official cause of death on my brother.  The coroner said it would be anywhere from 8-12 weeks because of the backlog on toxicology testing.  I know that his not legal wife put out a post that said it was a heroin overdose the day that she brought his daughter up to say her goodbye's.  The truth is that she was only guessing.  No one knows for sure if it was heroin, a heart attack, stroke or a brain aneurysm.  Could it have been any of these?  Absolutely.  Did he have drugs in his system.  Absolutely.  Did it warrant her to immediately hope on IG, Twitter and FB and announce it was Heroin?  Absolutely NOT!!!!!!  She has claimed for months that he was this horrible retchet person who deserved to die and when he does die she wants to jump on YT, Twitter, IG and FB and say "I never wanted him dead, I would never wish that on his children".  Proof of her blogs and videos say otherwise.  She got her wish and now she can play the poor "widow" which she is not.  Truth is he was still married to someone else.

Scott was cremated and I paid for it.  Yes I set up a go fund me page to help with burial/cremation and legal expenses for Zane.  I received after the fees right at $1,000 which was only enough to pay for the attorney to get custody of Zane.  I am glad to say that I now have full and legal custody of him.  Nothing anyone can say or do will change that.  Yes his mother was here for a bit and she was here with the permission of my brother.  Yes, she had her kids taken away but it was my brother's decision to let them still have a relationship that was supervised.  Where is his mother now?  I have no clue.  She hasn't been here in over a month and I haven't talked to her except for a text message in almost as long.  I told her that if she wanted to see her son then she had to get the necessary help that she needed to be a better person.  Now before anyone goes and reads anything into that statement let me explain.  She has some mental issues, hell who wouldn't with raising 6 kids by their self.  She got little to no financial support from any of the fathers and ultimately she lost custody of all of them.  This is the only parent that these children have ever really known.  So of course my brother wanted to make sure that his son's state of mind was right and allowed supervised visits from time to time.

I know some of you have concerns about her influence on him but I can assure you that worry is unwarranted.  I have always been for the children and what is best for them.  I don't give a rats ass who I piss off in protecting them or what I have to pay in order to do it.  Children are GODS gift to us and as such we should do any and everything in our power to make sure that they can be children and grow up with a loving and nurturing home.

Not only do I have custody of Zane but I am also taking care of my grandson fulltime as well.  I never thought at 45 I would be raising a 2 1/2 yr old and a 14 yr old but here I am.  I do it with alot of Love, patience and COFFEE!!!!  My family is the most precious and important thing to me and I wouldn't trade that for all the tea in china.

We currently rent our 3 bedroom home from my BIL who has agreed to turn our formal diningroom/office into a 4th bedroom for Zane.  We have another contractor coming out tomorrow to do more measurements.  Our landlord is going to replace all the flooring in the house, put up a permanent wall between the livingroom and diningroom/office and put a door on it for privacy along with some other minor things that we want done.  I can honestly say that I am not looking forward to all the chaos that is going to come with that but I will feel better once Zane has his own room and we can get the grandbaby back into his room and out of our bed.    Sleeping with a 2 1/2 yr old is like sleeping with a herd of animals that are all over the bed.  I have been woken up so many times with his feet in my face or across my chest that I can't even count them.

We had Scott cremated and the coroner told the funeral home to put him into 3 boxes because she couldn't legally determine who his real wife was.  Since they are both saying that they are his wife and no one can prove otherwise, they decided it best to separate him into 3 boxes so we could all have one.  Well low and behold, Kisha goes to the funeral home and tells them that she is his wife and she will make sure that his ashes get distributed to who they are supposed to.  She then sends me an email telling "I have his ashes and maybe we could get together and she could give me a box of his ashes, or maybe not, idk".  Needless to say I was a little more than pissed.  The funeral home was under direct orders to only release the ashes to me since there was a dispute over who was his "real" wife.  She then proceeds to tell me "you paid for them with the go fund me money so you aren't out any real money so all is well".  You know I just love it how people tell me what I have and haven't done with money.  I clearly made a previous post about what the money went on and how much I received.   That is ok though because what comes around goes around.  I didn't want the ashes honestly, I have my memories, but Zane wanted his fathers ashes.  Now because of her he won't be able to get them.  Yet somehow I am the bad guy in her world.  Hmmm, lets think about that for a second.  She takes ashes of her "supposed" husband whom she has proclaimed time and time again that she hated, he was a liar, a thief, a pedophile, a drug addict, a womanizer and a rapist but yet now that he is gone she still loves him and that his ashes belong to her.  Can anyone explain that to me because I can't figure it out.  Yes that was a rhetorical question. Anyway, enough about her and her drama.

I really came on here to tell everyone how things were going and to give a quick update.  Obviously,  I got off on a tangent about the crazy shit that has happened.  I have not heard from her for a bit and I am so Thankful for that.  However, with this post I am sure that will change.  She will go back to calling me a "fat cow" and everything else that she likes to do when she is called out on her b.s.

Zane is going to get into flag football or try to at least.  He played football last year but doesn't want to do full on football.  We are also getting him involved in a youth group at church.  Amazingly this kid doesn't mind going.  Call me shocked.  The more surprising thing is that he has told me that "I don't want to be a victim of my circumstance, I want to be better and do better.  Just because I have had a hard time doesn't mean I have to act negative about it".  I tell you what, this kid is amazing to think and feel that way after all he has had to endure in the last 2 1/2-3 years.  He still has a positive attitude, he is kind, caring, helpful and well mannered.  I have to give kudos to his mom for that.  She did raise him after all.  He still feels a little awkward asking for things but like I told him, the answer may be no at times but ask again in a week or a month from now and it might change to a yes.  He is still trying to get used to the idea that he is home now and he isn't going to be uprooted or taken away.

We had a parent teacher conference last week and all the teachers said that he is the most kind, soft spoken, intelligent, detailed oriented helpful kid they have ever had in their class.  They were super shocked that he was that away after I gave them the backgound on the past couple of years.  His one teacher told me that they never would have known because he is the best student in their class.  That says alot about how he was raised regardless of the moms issues.

My brother wasn't the best at keeping paperwork and as a result I am running into every wall imaginable trying to get this kids medical records.  Like I said, I don't talk to his mom so that is no help.  I have called the schools that he has been at for the last 2 years and they keep telling me that they transferred them with all his other records.  Apparently, my brother never got the medical records.  I keep calling LA vital records and DCFS and they aren't responding either.  It is like they don't care if this kid has his shot records or medical records.  I truly hate having to deal with this but I know that it is worth the fight and hassle.  

One more thing before I close.  I previously left all the negative comments up on the other post about my brother and his passing.  I will not allow them on this post.  This post went into alot of stuff and details and I am sure that some of her followers will be on here wanting to run their mouth.  I will delete those comments as soon as I possibly can.  I don't have access to my blog at work but if I see them I will get them deleted one way or another.   So no negative comments.  I am doing what alot of people can't or won't do and that is take care of 2 children that aren't mine and making sure that they are Loved, nurtured, clothed, feed and taken care of all while working a fulltime job.  I am not a person who parents by phone, email or internet but I am a parent who does those things in person and with love, patience and understanding.  Education and Love are not an option in my house, they are mandatory!!!!!!  So if you have something negative to say, say it to yourself and keep on going and don't bother stopping here to say it.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Happy Birthday To My Brother Kevin

Today is my brother Kevin's 50th Birthday.  OMG he is  I just wanted to take a quick minute out of my day to wish him a Happy Birthday and to tell him he is loved.

Where has the years gone?  It seems like only yesterday we were all together at the house celebrating your birthday and we were all having fun and cutting up.  Now we are down 3 members of the family, miles apart and living busy and separate lives.

You have always been there for me no matter what the situation or the circumstances and I want to Thank You for that.  Because of you I have learned how to defend myself and look at things from a different perspective.  Even though we don't see each other like we used to I know that all I have to do is pick up the phone and call and you will be there.  

My dear brother, I wish nothing but the best for you and hope that you have an amazing day.  I wish you many more wonderful days to come and many more wonderful years on this earth.  You have always been and always will be my honey dear.

I Love You and Miss You and hope you have a wonderful day and evening.

Love always,
Your sister

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Squashing Rumors and other Hateful Things -- Warning Long Post

photo from a google search **not mine and don't know who it belongs to**

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog.  I know some of you know about my brother passing and have reached out to me.  First, I want to say Thank You for all the kind words, your encouragement and your donations.

This post is going to be a long one so be patient with me.

There are alot of rumors going around as to why my brother died by people who were not here when it happened and that is why I am writing this post.  The other reason I am writing is because people have been so horrible at attacking me for belonging to a certain webpage that is a Gossip Site.  So with this being said I am going to set the record straight!!!!!

First setting the record straight about the Gossip Site.  I joined this site because of my ex-sil telling me about it.  She had been reading it for years and directed me to it so I could see what they were saying about her.  For a long time I sat silent and on occasion I would chime in and defend her or try to explain a situation to them that would hopefully make them ease up on her.  At no point had I ever created a section about her or anyone else on this or any site.  We were the best of friends and I was defending her and our family.  

After she and my brother separated I started to receive the most vile and hateful text messages from her out of the blue.  I still don't know what I did wrong to make her that way towards me other than siding with my brother.  My family comes first and foremost before ANYONE EVER!!!!!  I will always side with my family and for that I will not apologize.  Things were being said that were either said by her in her fit of rage or just pure speculation about the situation.  I again chimed in and set the record straight.  I am a tell it like it is type of person and I don't hide things when asked of me.  If I feel it is none of your business then I simply won't answer you or I will tell you that I won't get into it.  End of discussion.  Somethings are not mine to tell and that is another reason I won't say things.

However, with that being said, I would get verbally attacked on a fairly regular basis from my ex-sil even though I did not initiate contact with her.  Why you ask?  I have no clue and you would honestly have to ask her.  I am sure she felt betrayed but anyone wouldn't expect me to side against my brother.  I mean seriously would you?  I think not.  So yes I have continued on the gossip site and I have answered specific questions that I have first hand knowledge of or have been told directly by either my ex-sil or my brother.  I mean seriously, my ex-sil puts up youtube videos documenting everything and telling everyone everything so it wasn't like I was telling or saying something that she herself hadn't already said on video.

Now here we are dealing with my brothers death and there is some private information being shared, assumed information being shared and straight out lies that are being shared.  I set up a Go Fund Me Page to help with my brothers burial and legals fees that I am facing in order to get custody of his son.  The ex-sil put in a video that my brother died of a heroin overdose, he died in my shower, I was an enabler and that I had created a Go Fund Me page to help with the expenses since he didn't have insurance.  Right after saying all this she says "you don't have to feel obligated to donate, his sister works so yeah she is doing ok".    Now it is true you don't have to feel obligated to donate but the last part of that sentence was like a slap in the face.  What the hell does me working have to do with providing a service for my brother and taking care of legal fees to get custody of my nephew?  

Seriously people have you priced a funeral lately?  The average funeral is in excess of $10,000.00 if you go with a regular funeral home.  If you go with New Comer Funeral home it still runs in the excess of $5,000.00.  Even a cremation can cost upward of $3,000.  The state will perform one for $500 but that still has to come from somewhere.  That is still a huge amount of money for someone who is paying everyday expenses such as rent, car payments, insurance, daycare, utilities and buying groceries.  I don't know about you but I don't have that kind of money saved up.  The go fund me has raised $1,115 dollars and it charges 5% for Go Fund Me, 2.9% +.30 per donation to process payments.  That averages out to be between 15-20%.  An average cost of an attorney is $1,000 and yes I have called around for pricing to make sure I would have enough money and not go into one blindsided on their fees.  So as of this moment I have hired an attorney, I have paid the $1,000 and yes I have even paid for the cremation of my brother because there is no way in hell I can afford a traditional funeral.  So if you take the amount of money that has been contributed to the go fund me and take the percentage away that they charge you will see I am actually right at $1,000.00 and that is what I had to pay the attorney.

So that is the explanation on the money portion and the go fund me.  Now, back to the rumors and things that are being said.  The night that my brother died my ex-sil showed up at the hospital and I called security and had her escorted out of the building.  Why you ask or you may be thinking I am a horrible person for doing that.  The answer is simple, Scott had an E.P.O (Emergency Protection Order) against her from when they separated.  That is a whole other story that I will not get into.  My brother and I had just talked the night before and he stressed to me that she wouldn't leave him alone even though he blocked her phone number and she kept calling him from different numbers or would block her number from showing up.  He stated that he didn't want to be anywhere near her and just wanted to move on with his life but she was making it difficult to do that.   Now she is saying in her video that they talked a lot and she had just spoken to him 2 days before he passed.  Rather any of this is true or not I can't say.  What I can say is what he expressed to me and that was he didn't want her anywhere near him or his family.  So with him saying that to me I respected his wishes and kept her from being around him at the hospital.  I told her I was truly sorry it had to be this way but I am only respecting my brothers wishes.  I wasn't trying to be mean even though she had said horrible things to me, about me, about him and even about my dead daughter.  All of these things can be proven by her in her videos.

Also, she has stated in her latest video that he had been working at a dealership for 2 weeks before he passed.  Technically he wasn't even working there because his license was suspended for child support.  She also stated that he had a big paycheck on Friday, again, this statement is false.  I have spoken with the owners of the dealership and they said that he didn't technically work for them and they couldn't officially hire him or pay him because of his license being suspended.  So he didn't get money from the dealership to get drugs, he didn't get a paycheck from the dealership to get drugs and he damn sure didn't get any money from me or anyone in my house for drugs!!!!!!!!!  We honestly don't know why he died.  Like I stated before, at 5:10 we heard a noise and I checked on him and he was talking and fine.  By 5:30 I am being woke up saying that he is unresponsive and not breathing.  I called 911 and it took them 15 minutes to get to my house.  In that 15 minutes we performed C.P.R. but wasn't able to get him back.  The medics performed C.P.R. on him for another 15 minutes and was able to get his heartbeat and pulse back but he had already been without oxygen for 15 minutes.  Could it have been an overdose?  Could it have been a heart attack?  Could it have been an aneurysm?  Could it have been a stroke?  We don't honestly know what it was and honestly it could have been any or several of these things.  We just simply DON'T KNOW.  However, she felt it was her place to immediately get on Social Media and tell the world that he died of a drug overdose while she was sitting in her car at the hospital.  Which by the way she was there because she brought his daughter up to see him.  All while defaming my brother, his name and the rest of us for "enabling him" as she said.  This all being said while she is playing the "victim" of the situation when the real "victim" in all of this was his 14 yr old son and his daughter. 

When a family is grieving the last thing anyone should do is get online and post horrible things as she did.  I am not now or ever sweeping anything under the rug or turning a blind eye to anything.  What I am doing is simply stating the facts and events as I was first hand witness to the situation.  Now this may anger some of you and that is fine, you are entitled to your feelings, just as I am mine.  However, when you start assuming shit and throwing out acquisitions without being a direct party to the events you are doing nothing but showing your lack of compassion, your lack of morals and your complete and total lack of respect for any and everyone involved but mainly you are disrespecting his children.  They are innocent parties to all of this regardless of your thoughts or feelings and you should be showing some respect to them in this situation along with the rest of his family.

My ex-sil has people who follow her on social media and they are all wanting to bash my brother, myself and others that they don't personally know all because of what she is saying in these videos.  Here is the TRUTH PEOPLE, YOU WEREN'T THERE AND DON'T KNOW FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE!!!!  She wasn't there and doesn't have first hand knowledge.  What she is saying is pure and total speculation on the situation or what "others" have told her.  You are entitled to believe who or whatever you want but that does not give you the right to send me messages on Facebook telling me that I am a Fat F*ck and the reason I am not getting donations is because I am on a gossip site.  Let those who have no sin throw the first stone.  In other words, you are not an innocent person and have flaws and have NO RIGHT TO JUDGE ME or my family!!!!!  I am not on that site to promote violence or any kind, I am not on that site to attack anyone, I am not on that site to entice or persuade anyone of anything.  I am on that site because half the stuff that is said is either funny or right on spot from what people put out on Youtube.  Not to mention that these total strangers have been the ones who have geniunely cared and extended their gratitude to me and my family.  They are the one's that have donated the most.  Regardless of it being a gossip site or a hate site or whatever you want to call it, they are the one's who have cared enough to reach out to me and help support us financially though all of this horrible tragedy.  If you can't stand the heat keep your ass out of the kitchen.  If you can't stand the criticism or someone talking about you then keep your ass off youtube and sharing your personal lives and information about your family.  The fact that people want to make my ex-sil out to be the only one that is hurt and grieving in this whole tragedy is pure sick.  They had been separated for over 4 months, she has moved on to someone else just as he had and they were not together nor trying to reconcile when he passed.  The true people affected by all of this is his son and his daughter.  Regardless of your opinions or thoughts about me, his son is still going to need support, his son still has needs to be meet, his son still needs to lay his father to rest rather it be through a cremation or a funeral.  His son and daughter deserve to have that closure.  They deserve to be able to grieve and say their goodbyes to their father.  They deserve respect and privacy and not having people sharing details or mean comments on the internet.  

Someone had even said that they won't contribute because I apparently don't care about my grandson because I am on that site.  First off, you have some nerve.  My family is my world and I will protect them till my last breathe.  Second of all, what the hell do you think you are doing by leaving such hateful comments.  Do you seriously think you are any better than I am?  I can hold my head up high and say that I have never been in any trouble legally, I don't do drugs, I work full time and take care of my family.  I can also say that I have paid others bills when they couldn't.    So your opinion of me is irrelevant.  

This post is not to stir up trouble, start a fight or anything else.  This post is about squashing rumors, correcting the hateful comments and setting the record straight.  Given all of this I ask that you continue to keep our family and especially my brothers children in your prayers as we are all dealing with this death.  It is not one person's death to deal with because there are many that loved my brother.  At the end of the day it isn't about you, it isn't about me, but it is about his children and making sure that they are safe, cared for, loved and knowing that they have people who care and support them.

If you feel the urge to leave a nasty comment I want you to first stop and think how you would feel if you were in this situation, how your children would feel and how it would affect them.  If you wouldn't like it then I suggest you not leave a comment.  We don't need judgment or hateful comments.  What we all need is privacy, room to grieve and respect.

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

R.I.P. To My Brother...You will be forever Missed

To My Brother Scott

It is with great sadness that I am writing this post.  My brother Scott passed away unexpectedly last week and it has left a void that can not be filled.  We tried to save him but were not successful.  Finally on Monday the doctors declared him officially gone.  However, in this horrible time my brother has given hope and life to several.  He was an organ donor and because of that there are several others that now have a new lease on life.  For this selfless act on my brothers behalf I am forever grateful that he will continue to live on through others.  This is the way that I choose to remember him and it gives me peace.

I am grateful that the decision to donate his organs was what he wanted and we didn't have to make that call.   I know that he is now shining down on us and those he helped with a peaceful soul.  

Scott leaves behind a 14 yr old son, a beautiful daughter and 3 grandchildren whom he absolutely adored.  We are all shocked and sadden by his departure.  The love that he had for them and for us all will continue to carry on through our memories and stories of my brother.

Scott had fallen on hard times recently and was doing his best to get his life together by starting a new job.  With that being said, he passed with no life insurance or any other financial means to help pay for his passing.  I have set up a gofundme account to help us with these unexpected expenses.  I ask that you all share this post and help me give my brother the proper send off that we can for his son.  

Since I am his sister I will be taking care of his son and making sure that he is safe, cared for, loved and know that his daddy loved him.  It is hard on all of us but it is important for his son to know that he is loved and wanted.  Family was important to Scott and I want his son to know that as well.  There are so many memories of him to share and pass along that I can't begin to share them all.

People I have never meet has reached out to me via facebook about Scott and some of the memories that they have of him.  He was a car sales man in various states and the amount of support is overwhelming.  I want to say Thank You to all that have reached out to me and our family.

With his passing I want to remind everyone that we don't know when our time will come so to live life to the fullest.  I ask that you take the time to let those know that you love that you love them.  I also ask that you take the time out of your day to make sure that you have insurance so that your family isn't left like ours to figure out how to pay for these unthinkable times.  For the cost of lunch for 4 days you can get the insurance that your family will so desperately need if you pass.

Again, I would like to thank all those that have reached out to me and our family in this time of need.  Any donation that you can make no matter how small will greatly help us in this time of need.  If you don't feel comfortable donating online you may do so by sending it to my P.O. Box 991693, Louisville, KY 40291.  

Thank You all again and may GOD be with you all and your families.

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