Showing posts with label personality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personality. Show all posts

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Judge Not That Ye Be Not Judged

  My dad was a man of few words.  He did not share much of himself with anyone - including his own children.  So when he did share experiences with us - particularly about his past - it was indeed a rare treasure.  Although I may have not appreciated it at the time, I now realize what a treasure it truly was.

       We were having a family home evening lesson - I'm thinking on judgement.  I remember him sharing an example from his past.  He said that there was a boy in his class who was not all that nice, one that had the reputation of a bully.  Someone whose personality clashed with everybody.  My dad was no exception.  He said though he had tried, he just didn't like the guy.

       One day the teacher had given the class an exam.  My dad said his arm was in a cast at the time, and he wasn't able to write the answers in the given amount of time.  When the instructor called "time" dad's paper was only half complete.

       I don't know if my dad would have said anything on his own.  The classroom "bully" pointed out to the teacher that "Gary can't write the answers.  It isn't fair."

       He then volunteered to take my dad aside and write down the answers as my dad would say verbally.  Dad said that ever since that time, he was able to look at people with new eyes and realize that probably everyone has some good in him.

       probably a few years after dad had share this story, I had a similar thing happen to me.

       Jeff seemed to have an obnoxious personality in my opinion.  He was quite popular, but overall not my favorite person.  I seemed to face low self-esteem.  I was quite friendless at school and really didn't enjoy being there. 

       My mom had called the school psychologist in hopes that he could help mend my situation.  Everybody knew that those that went to the school psychologist had issues.  Those kids were made fun of.  Way to go, mom!

       I remember a time when my teacher told me that it was time for me to go to the psychologist office.  Most of the class had gone out for recess or gone to lunch or whatever, but I do remember hearing Jeff ask when he would get to go.  I didn't hear the teacher's response.  I was mortified. 

       My situation did change, but it wasn't directly because of the school psychologist.  Ironically, I give Jeff the credit for smoothing out the bumps in my road.  I don't think I connected the dots until much later in my life, but it was after he had asked the question that he and a few of his buddies started paying attention to me and befriending me and teasing me about which of the three I would like to go steady with.  They made being at school a lot more bearable.

        I never told Jeff how much I appreciated that.  I don't think I made the connection until many years later - when I didn't have contact with him anymore - not that we ever did have intimate contact.  He may not even remember the situation.  I'm certain that it was a lot more meaningful to me - especially since it was someone I hadn't even liked that had helped me.


       I think there are lots of situations in which many are "saved" by someone that they either hadn't liked or maybe feared.  Perhaps we ought to find a new perspective in others before we need saving.  Just a thought.


Sunday, August 10, 2014

What Kind of Parents are You? - You Don’t Even Know Us


         About a year and a half after we moved in, Jenna was out in front playing with Wesley.  Wes introduced her to Blake, who lived around the corner.  Blake and Jenna decided to be friends and ditched Wesley who had decided to climb on the roof next door.  Both Blake and Jenna were mortified by his decision.

         The next day Blake came over to play with Jenna.  It just happened to be her birthday and she had turned seven.  I had a party planned with many of her friends from the old neighborhood.  Jenna asked if Blake could go with us.  I told them both that we would need permission from Blake’s parents – or parent rather.  Like many of the children over here, Blake came from a broken home.

         Blake left the house and made his way back in what felt like only two minutes.  He said it was all right for me to take him to another city.  I didn’t feel right about it unless I talked with an adult first.  And so I drove him home and talked with his dad.

         His dad, who doesn’t know me, who had never even met Jenna before, said that Blake was a good kid and it would be all right if I were to take him to Kearns.  Are you kidding me?  Yes.  Blake was a very good kid.  Out of all of Jenna’s West Valley friends, I think I have actually  liked Blake the most.  But just because he was a good kid didn’t make me a reliable person.  I am.  But he doesn’t know that.

         So I took Blake to Kearns with us – still in awe that he’d been allowed to go with a virtual stranger.  There is no way in the world I would be allowing Jenna to get in the car of the parent of a friend that she just met and I don’t know.  Blake was not only allowed to go to the party, but his sister had gone out and purchased a Barbie for him to give to Jenna.

         Then there was Sadie.  Cute little Sadie.  She showed up at our doorstep one day.  Jenna had met her through some of the other neighborhood kids – and actually spends more time with Sadie than anyone.  She happened to be here as we were getting ready to go to Anna’s 4th birthday party.  Jenna asked if Sadie could go with us.  So I put Sadie in the car and drove her to her house to get permission.  Unlike Blake’s father, who spoke English, Sadie’s father doesn’t speak any English, and so I had to take her word (and his nod) for it that he has given permission.

         We’ve taken Sadie on bus rides to Kearns a couple of times.  And last night she had her first sleep over at our house.  Why would a parent allow their child to sleep over at someone’s house they haven’t met?  Again, I am not comfortable with the idea of Jenna sleeping over night with strangers – though I suppose that slumber parties could be in the future and maybe I won’t know the parents – or even the children – as her classmates also live in another city.

         And then there’s Desiree across the street.  She has two children, ages 8 and 6.  I really like the 8 year old.  She has been taught values and respect.  I think she has been the most respectful of any of Jenna’s West Valley friends, and would like to see Jenna learn that same respect – except for Desiree seems to be overly cautious about letting her children go anywhere – which I fully understand.  She doesn’t know us either. 

Jenna and I were walking somewhere when she said “Hi” to us.  I asked Jenna if she wanted to invite Alisha to walk with us in which Jenna replied, “Her mom won’t even let her walk to the corner” which made me laugh.  But I’ve learned that she wasn’t joking.  Alisha and her brother have to be within eyesight at all times.  

I wonder if something tragic happened either in Desiree’s life or the lives of her two young children.  I would highly suspect that both have different fathers – and maybe there’s a custody battle going on and perhaps one or the other has been taken and that’s why Desiree doesn’t trust anyone.  But I actually understand her overprotectiveness more than the allowing your child to ride in the car with someone you don’t even know. 

I wish I were more casual and trusting of people.  I wish we lived in a world in which we wouldn’t question the motives of the adult but be happy to let our child go – knowing that he or she will have fun and nothing bad will happen and that suspicions would be non-existent.    But there is suspicion and bad intentions and caution.  And labeling on my part – as I’ve referred to them as West Valley friends, and school friends instead of just friends.  But then there’s a degree of friendship as well.

Tomorrow I will be going to Kearns to watch my youngest nephew.  I will be taking Jenna with me.  Her other two cousins have play dates set up, and I am hoping to have one for her as well. So far it is looking good that she will be spending time with her kindergarten buddy. I hope so.  It will be good for her to play with somebody her age on her same level.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why Women Leak




         Actually, I don’t know why women leak.  We just do.  Perhaps not all women, but many of us.
Whenever we feel sadness or sorrow, compassion or joy, empathy or misconduct, our eyes tear up and flood our face. Whenever our child (or children) is hurting, we feel their pain.  Whenever we see a movie or read a book that reaches into our hearts and connects to our tear ducts.  Whenever our hormones happen to be on overdrive (or overload?) Whenever we feel misunderstood.









I have cried at the end of Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, and E.T. (to name a few) I wept through Alabama Moon and The Odd Life of Timothy Green.  I need an entire box of tissues each time I watch “Up” and I refuse to watch “The Notebook” ever again.  I’ve cried when reading Children’s books such as “The Robot and The Bluebird” by David Lucas or “You are Mine” by Max Lucado.  I cried during parts of “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate and stories such as Monkeys and the Mangos (which has many versions).  









Tear ducts seem to be attached to the heart strings except in the case of chopping onions – that produces tears in which the heart is not involved.  Roland and Jenna can both seem to chop onions without tearing up. Jenna laughs when I chop onions.
Last night I cried during an episode of “Chopped” for crying out loud.  To me it just feels pretty silly to cry at the end of reality show.  What a dweeb. The female chef had burned herself and her competitor who claims he was arrogant and had stepped on others to climb to the top had made amends . . . and offered to pay for her plane ticket out of his winnings.



We’re a sorry case, I suppose.  But we’re also awesome at being able to feel.

Monday, August 26, 2013

When It Was Ricks College


I attended Ricks College for one year.  Rexburg was over 200 miles away from my home and so I lived in the dorms near the campus. Believe it or not, I really did have three roommates with the same or similar names – though each spelled differently.  Christy Ann Howardson, Christie Lee Hill and Kristaleigh Phelps.  The girls who lived in the same dorm as we did would see me coming and would say, “Hi Christi-“ in which I would respond, “No, I’m the other one” thus earning my new nickname, “the other one”

We couldn’t refer to the Christie(y)s with just the last initial because they both started with the same letter.  And although Christie was willing to go by Christie Lee it was just too confusing for Kristaleigh.  And Christy refused to go by Christy Ann.  So sometimes I called her Howard – or Howardine – just to get a rile out of her. It was actually kind of fun.

As roommates go, we all had our peculiarities, our strengths and our weaknesses, etc.  Christie was a take charge kind of gal.  We called her mom.  She liked to bake.  And she baked well.  She once made an oatmeal cake in two round pans.  Never had an opportunity to put it together and frost it as one.  Christy ate one pan and I ate the other.  And I think Christie was okay with it. She loved to cook and bake but didn’t necessarily want to eat everything she made.




Most of the dishes in the kitchen were hers.  She had brought along these puny juice glasses which I always referred to as “Barbie doll” glasses.  I had asked her why she had brought so many “Barbie doll” glasses instead of something large enough to actually quench one’s thirst.  She said matter-of-factly, “Because I was hoping that I would get a roommate who would give them a nickname.”

Christy, who was one of the most gullible people on this planet, believed her.

Christy was a farm girl from a city in Idaho that nobody had ever even heard of.  She always had to explain that it was near Blackfoot – which more than half of the college attenders had never heard of either.  She was the role model of all blonde jokes.  Sometimes I felt like I was talking to someone from a foreign planet who had obviously never experienced earth life before.


Boys seemed magnetized to Christy.  Can’t say that I would have been interested in any of them.  Not that they’d ever give me a second look. Seriously.  They all needed ego boosters. And not all of them had good intentions.  And Christy was quite naïve.

Kristaleigh and I were the theatrical pair.  She actually majored in theatre – whereas I was just a ham.  I once practiced lines with her as she had an audition coming up.  She asked me to pair up with her for her audition.  She picked out my clothes so that I would look the part.  I told the instructor that I was not trying out for the part but had come to assist.  I wasn’t interested in the play itself nor was I interested in devoting my free time with practice.



After we had auditioned, he looked at me and said I could still be considered.  I told him no, thank you.  I’m so glad that I did.  For, according to Kristaleigh, everyone who had auditioned had been given a part – except for her.  I think she tried too hard and her acting was just that.  It never looked natural. I would have felt awful going to auditions that she wasn’t directly a part of. She worked it out so that she could be prop manager.

The dorm put out a newsletter once a month (I’m guessing) and Christie was one of the editors and had asked Christy and I to write pieces on occasion.  I actually didn’t remember having that newsfeed but had come across it when weeding through the scrapbooks that I could no longer save (see this post)


I had scanned the following:





Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tori and Natasha


Tori and Grace were friends with one another – at one time.  Grace and her daughter both worked – or perhaps it was something else that kept them away from raising Natasha, Grace’s granddaughter.  Tori agreed to watch Natasha to assist both Grace and her daughter, but developed an attachment you might say.

Things might not have ended up so ugly if Grace hadn’t tried taking advantage of Tori to begin with.  Natasha’s mom abused Natasha and was later sent to prison for it, leaving Grace to tend to her granddaughter – but it appeared that Grace had abusive issues of her own. That’s how it was explained to me and that is what I believe.  I don’t know all the details.  I had just heard that after Grace moved, she would lock Natasha in the closet and fed her only one meal a day.

Tori is not the most educated, but she has a good heart.  In addition to caring for Natasha, she also allowed her ex-husband to move back in.  What a sap he is.  Roger is a professional bum who donates plasma twice a week so that he at least has enough money for his smokes. He doesn’t take the incentive to clean up after himself – let alone someone else.  He’s a know-it-all talk machine. If Roger could make a career out of talking on and on just to hear the sound of his own voice, he would be a millionarire.  One minute with Roger makes spending an entire day with Cliff Calvin seem comfortable   At least Cliff appeared to have a job

I’m unclear as how it is that Tori gained custody of Natasha. Perhaps DCFS was involved.  In Tori’s eyes she is the one who raised Natasha from the time she was a baby. I don’t know who assisted Tori into finding a way to legally adopt Natasha. 

Natasha was happy to have Tori as a mom and was willing to make sacrifices to help her as she had been helped herself.  So when Tori held a yard sale in order to raise a little money, Natasha volunteered - of her own free will - to sell her bike.

            I don’t fully understand why Roland seems drawn to yard sells – but he can always spot them while out driving.  Just before our first summer living in West Valley he was on his way somewhere when he noticed Natasha’s bike and stopped off to make a inquire about the bike. He paid for it and said he would return for the bike at a later time. Natasha, who appeared to be just as friend-hungry as Jenna, offered to bring it over so that she could meet the new owner of her bike. 

            So for about two years the girls played together off and on – once or twice a week, a few times a month, and then every other month.  And then it was about a year before we saw Natasha again.  It was always hit and miss.  Tori was always working – but Roger was always there (unless he was out selling plasma or picking up smokes) 
            Natasha didn’t understand why Tori worked all the time – that the hours she had put in were to support them financially and pay the attorney and fees. Tori wished to move – find a place for just her and Natasha – far away from where they live currently.  Only two bedrooms instead of three so she could honestly tell Roger that there would be no room for him.  So her house went up for sale, but the attorneys advised against it.  And then she went bankrupt and lost the house and had to take the sign down as it now belongs to the bank, but she’s been paying rent from what she tells me. Not really sure how that works - but she's still there and just scraping by financially.

Natasha has spent too much time with Roger.  She hasn’t been respectful to either him or Tori.  She’s acquired many of his bad habits.  Doesn’t lift a finger, even when Tori asks her to.  Tori has allowed the two of them to walk all over her.  I wouldn’t put up with it (but then again, I would have never got involved with Roger in the first place – let alone taken him back)

I saw Natasha and Tori the other night when Jenna and I were returning home after a long day to end her summer.  Natasha was out riding her scooter.  She seemed so forlorn and distant – as though she has given up on life.  She’s only twelve. She just started junior high.  I hope she makes friends there and doesn’t break.  I was just so sad as I watched her not caring.

While Jenna ran home to get her scooter, I walked Natasha to her house and Tori came out to tell her something.  She looked awful – Tori did.  Her hair is short and quite thin.  She has red splotches all over her face.  She says she has cancer. I don’t know what kind. I know her financial affairs are not the greatest.  The disease will most likely kill her as she doesn’t seem to know how to prioritize her affairs.  And Roger does absolutely nothing to help her. 

My heart breaks for both her and Natasha. What will become of her if /when Tori dies. Is that why Natasha seems so distant?

I told her about a place not too far from here.  I hope that she is able to remove Natasha from her current living environment.  I hope she takes the time to teach her daughter the values that she might have once had before Roger corrupted her.  I hope Natasha realizes that education and work will work to her advantage much better than following in Roger's footsteps and trying to continue life as a bum. I hope she understands the sacrifices that Tori has made and that she will find strength to overcome.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Opposites Attract



Roland likes a hearty spaghetti sauce
Full of large pieces of meat and vegetables
I like a little more sauce.
Roland likes LOTS of onions
I’m happy with just a piece of the onion
It has to be finely chopped.

Roland likes hard ginger snap cookies
I like cookies that are soft –
Preferably chocolate chip
None of that peppery strength that
Jenna and I taste with the ginger snap.

Roland likes Italian meats. 
He likes the meat lovers pizza or
At least a combination
I like Hawaiian or Vegetarian or
Just something different –
Something with Alfredo or Pesto
Roland says Chicken does NOT belong on a pizza.

Roland likes his bagels with butter or
Cream cheese and jelly
I like bagels with cream cheese. 
Sometimes cream cheese and a
Fresh tomato.
We both prefer our bagels toasted.

Roland insists on having a drink with his meal
But rarely ever finishes drinking it.
I doubt he drinks more than 20 ounces in a given day
I drink water – lots of it.  Especially in the summer.
I drink 2 – 5 quarts of liquid a day. 
Most of it is water.

Roland is an extravert with lots of charisma and charm
People like Roland.
People remember Roland.
I may not be as introverted as my siblings
But I’m certainly not the social magnet
Especially since we moved to West Valley
He’s aggressive.
I’m a door mat.
No, not really. 
But sometimes I feel like I am.

Roland is an excellent driver.
He can focus on several things
When he is behind the steering wheel.
I don’t actually enjoy driving.
I do it because it’s necessary for
Getting Jenna to school.
I told Roland I don’t have many years
Left in me before the state takes my license
The way they did with my mom

Roland is the one who stays up until
All of the children are home
I''m the one who goes to bed.
He sleeps with blankets on all year round
I might use the covers ten times at the most 
Roland and I both like to start projects.
He is much better at following through
I really need to learn to finish the job.






Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Another Visit with Mom


She had just finished eating when I arrive.
I don’t bother to ask if she has checked her blood.
We go for a walk.
I point to a house where a family had lived
Many years ago.
I asked if she remembers.
She says that she does.  That’s good.
She didn’t have a clue on Saturday.
I take her to my house to eat lunch.
I put her at the computer while I prepare the food.
She enjoys viewing the pictures that Kayla had taken
And had posted to facebook.
I make some suggestions on how to complete the day
I ask if there is anywhere in particular where she would like to go.
She says she wants to go home. Just home.
Her mother was a homebody, too.
I take her back home with a reminder that I will have to leave again.
I have to go pick Jenna up from school.  I’d like her to go with me.
She doesn’t want to go.
Just as I’m about to leave, I decide I will call Nate and ask if he could pick up Jenna.
Nate married my niece.  They live in mom’s basement.
Mom is overwhelmed at the idea of my knowing Nate
And having his phone number is such a foreign concept to her.
Why would I have Nate’s phone number?
I cannot get a hold of him.  According to her, it’s just as well
How would he even recognize Jenna?
I look at her as though she has sprouted horns
I end up driving to Jenna’s school while mom takes a nap
Or so she claims.
Nate opens the door when Jenna and I return
Mom seems a little more with it than she had been after lunch.
She seemed fine before lunch.
Nate says he has to run an errand
Jenna hands me a sheet of paper and orders me to write a story
“What story?”
I’m so not in the mood for making up something
“I will tell you”
As she starts in with her own story of an alien visiting a factory she sees that I am
using a pen and writing in cursive
“Use a pencil, mom.  And don’t write in cursive!”
“You write it with a pencil.”
“Okay, fine.”
She gets another piece of paper and says she will write her story but now I have to write my own.
Grandma dismisses herself so she can “look outside for a minute”
I stop writing. One of us has to watch her.
Jenna and I take turns watching mom standing in the driveway observing the sky
And then she walks into the back yard expecting the weather will change.
It doesn’t.  She comes inside and announces that she would like to take a walk
but that it’s just too windy.
Personality number three.
Instantly she becomes another person as she retrieves her puzzle book and hunts for words.
Jenna and I continue writing.
Mine is a Christmas story.  Unpolished.
I will post it next month.  Most likely it will still be unpolished.
Nate returns. Jenna and I leave mom’s house to return home. 
Still worried about my mom.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Staying on the Same Page




          Communication is SO important – whether it is the working place, or homes, our churches, our communities . . . and it’s important that we all stay on the same page.  We need consistency. 

          I recall one work place that made egg salad sandwiches.  Some of the workers would put pickles into the mixture, while others refused because they thought it was gross.  I don’t care if the egg salad has pickles or not.  When I am in a working environment I would expect to make the egg salad according to what the customer orders from the menu and expects – not to my own personal preference.  I think when a customer expects a certain product, he or she should receive the same product or courtesy or satisfaction that kept him or her coming back to begin with.

          I know different cooks have their own personalities and styles.  I am a wimp when it comes to anything remotely spicy – and so I have learned (well – back when I was single and had money) to ask which chef is in the kitchen before I place my order for there was one who would use every spice in the kitchen I believe and lots of it, while the other probably was not a favorite among those who really do enjoy authentic Mexican food.  It needs to be consistent.  The recipe must be followed exactly the same in my opinion.

          Food is just a very small issue of what needs to be communicated.  I hate being told one thing by one employee or parent or teacher or representative or what have you and being told something completely different by somebody else.  Opinions are often brought in by individuals who pass on their opinions that others accept as gospel truth – even when it’s not.

          I recall failing a class that I had tried to transfer into.  I was livid when I received a failing grade.  Why couldn’t have anybody said anything to me before hand?  I was on the roles already.  On the school record – but they failed to give it to me on the schedule that was handed out.  You think the teacher would have recognized the name from her rolls when I tried to transfer in.  It did not fly well.  I don’t recall there being any problems in my scheduling after that incident.

          I do have a have a similar situation story to share – only it didn’t happen to me personally.  Just someone I knew. It took place in the MTC (missionary training center) nearly 30 years ago (though I’m sure the same still occurs even now – perhaps not weekly, but maybe once in a while) I’m not including his first name in the story, but the last name is real.

          Elder Lovett had arrived on September 6 because that’s what it said on his papers – only those receiving the missionaries that day were actually not expecting Elder Lovett until the following week.  Fortunately he had his letter and showed them that it was indeed the date he’d been assigned to report.  But because there was an error in communication on whatever part, Elder Lovett hadn’t been assigned a companion (partner) or room or books or what have you.

          Six elders had been assigned to our district.  Four had been assigned to one room designed for four people.  The other two elders were also in a room designed for four – but one side remained empty.  So Elder Lovett was assigned to partner up with the latter two.  Six Elders would be serving in Fresno, California.  Elder Lovett was assigned to West Virginia.

          He shared these events with us during our third class (I think) when once more the instructor would say: “Turn to page H5” (for example) and all of us would turn to the assigned page – including Elder Lovett – but he would never be able to follow along.  I think it must have been during that third class the instructor suggested a page that just didn’t exist among the pages that Elder Lovett’s had in his possession.

          “It’s just my book.  They must have gone to the warehouse and retrieved this off some old dusty shelf.  This is out of date.”  I know for a fact that we have been asked to discard old material as it is updated.  Apparently the books that Elder Lovett had been given weren’t as discarded as they should have been.

          Perhaps his situation prepared him to be a stronger leader.  He definitely understood the importance of communication.  Elder Lovett had his first opportunity as district leader serving with us in the MTC.  He was great – throughout his entire mission I would imagine.  I actually never saw him or heard from him again after leaving the MTC. 

          There is the miscommunication between family members.  Just before Tony got married, I had called Roland’s family to inform them about when the event was scheduled to take place and what might be involved for those waiting outside the temple. 

          I was experiencing problems with my cell phone and had made some remark about my frustration.  Unbeknownst to me, the family had me on speaker phone – and whatever snide remark I made (in regards to my cell phone) somehow was interpreted to mean that I did not want them (mom in particular) to come . . . and whatever it was that I said got blown out of proportion as family members related the events to other family members until I realized that Roland’s brother was slamming him on facebook; his brother was not even a part of the initial family I was calling. 

I noticed one of Roland’s sisters had also been misinformed about the events that would take place when their oldest sister died.  Why not just listen and repeat before we jump the gun on something that was just not communicated correctly?
         
I am grateful to those who do take the time to at least try.  However their attempts to assist are not always profitable when the communication among the employees to employees are even worse than employee to customer. (as I have mentioned in this earlier post



Roland is great at having people and communication skills – problem is not all of those he attempts to communicate with possess the same talent.  And that is sad. It’s sad that so many have become and accept ignorance.  Ignorance is NOT professional.

And machines that talk to you instead of a human being?  Oh, don’t even get me started.  Talk about impersonal – and yet it seems that so many business have picked up on it and wreak havoc on the consumer’s life even more. 
Bless the company that gives you a live human being to begin with. Especially when that human is able to communiacate!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Happy Drunkard and Exotic Dreams



          On Feb 14 I created this post.  My sister-in-law’s visits with my mom were positive and full of conversation.  My visits were not so uplifting.  And then mom became Mr. Hyde for each of us.  But now she’s seemed to take on this happy drunkard personality with a desire to travel – and in her mind she has.  In her mind she has done a number of things that she would have never even considered just five years ago – such as sky diving.

          I have actually never experienced a conversation of where she’s been and what she’s been up to – but apparently she has told my niece and nephew-in-law countless stories about having gone to Russia, Hong Kong, China, and South Africa – all within the last ten years (she has been out of the state, but not out of the country – unless it was with a tour group in the early 2000’s)

          Occasionally my niece and nephew-in-law will take her with them to my brother’s house for Sunday dinner.  Corey was with the rest of the family when mom related her “sky-diving” experience. 

          The conversation started out with reminiscing of sky diving events that had already taken place in real life with my oldest niece and nephew.  Their younger sister was unable to go because of age or lack of money.  But after having watched Ellen and Kimball experience the thrill of falling out of the plane, three other family members have been saving up money to experience the same thrill.

          Apparently my mom chimed in with a story of her own as she has also been skydiving (my mom has never sky dived in her life; she doesn’t even enjoy certain rides at the amusement park as her legs are dangling.  There is absolutely no way she would ever go sky diving!  She cringed at the very idea of Ellen and Kimball doing it.)

          And so the family allowed her to speak without correcting her. Some smiled as she did so.  And because the events were so real to her and she was able relate with details, Sunny said that even Corey seemed to question whether she had actually gone or not.  She must have fallen asleep during some war movie where they were jumping out of airplanes or was watching a documentary or something.

          My grandma has been to China.  Maybe Russia – I don’t know.  She really did go on several tours and saw many parts of the world before she died.  I don’t know if my mom got her own life mixed up with her mothers or if she has started to watch the travel channel or if she has exotic dreams or what. 

          There was a time when Jenna’s visits used to wear her out (I think Jenna’s enthusiasm and loudness has wiped out just about EVERY family member) but now she welcomes her and calls her cute and crazy.

          I don’t know if it’s her blood sugar or in the meds that she’s taking or if this dementia is somehow gratifying her because so many desires have apparently been fulfilled in her mind.  But it just makes me worry about her all the more – for I know there are times that she is alone – and it’s okay if it’s the television that takes her away – maybe not the best thing – but certainly better than having her walk out the door and not knowing where she is. 

          We’ve called the police on her a few times – one time they found her (that was just before we took her license away) and a few times kind strangers have brought her home from wherever she happened to be.  We need to set up the alarm system so that she’s unable to leave unless someone is with her.

Thanks to the police and all of those who have spent time assisting us with my mom.  Thank you to the firefighters who continue fighting the countless amounts of fires.  My mom used to keep herself updated on all the current events.  I wonder if she even knows about the fires – or if she’s completely missed the boat on them because she’s been having all these global vacations.