Sunday, May 14, 2017

eh, energy and peeing alone is over-rated

Image may contain: text
this was on my facebook feed this morning.
i read it, thought about it, and smiled.
you know, 
other than the sacrifices 
of
peeing alone
and
energy 
have never really sacrificed myself 
for my katherine, 
but i have made every attempt 
to be a good mom.

i know the blessing of my girl!

~@~

~ i got my girlish figure back 
after she was born...
and 
kept it until i decided 
to eat, pray, love,
and enjoy life.

~ she slept in her own bed (always)
and 
through the night 
from the time she was 2 weeks old
to this very day.

~ she was well-behaved 
and
an addition to 
(not a distraction from) 
my social life.

~ john will be the first to say 
we spent a fortune on her...
but
we never did without.

~ i never missed a hot meal. 

~ making memories
(not losing memory) 
is an on-going theme 
of our relationship.

and 
last.but.not.least.

~ i never had a whole lot 
of sanity
to sacrifice
in the first place!

~@~

so, on this day,
instead of being celebrated,
i chose to celebrate 
my blessing... 

i love you, 
katherine elizabeth berrong!

mom xoxoxo

Friday, April 7, 2017

a return to "beautiful"...

today's date is very bittersweet...
 it was the day our gary left us.
he went to heaven.

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(gary and i)

sixteen years ago, today, i awoke early. i still remember the light coming into the bedroom from the den at gary's and linda's house on lake misty. i don't even have to try very hard to conjure up the scent of plumeria, which was the fragrance of the body lotion i'd applied the night before - nor imagine the way the soft yellow, cotton pajamas trimmed with pink gingham ribbon i was wearing felt on my body.

i awoke excited,

(the night before, lindagary's wife/my beloved sister-in-law, and i had watched 20/20 where there was talk of a new miracle drug for certain types of cancer. as soon as the episode had ended, we, linda right behind me, climbed the stairs to the second floor of the house to tell gary about the drug. we were so confident this was going to be the "it" drug, gary's miracle!
however, when we reached the top landing we found john watching tv and gary sound asleep in his hospital bed. john said he'd just fallen asleep. 
i gave linda a hug and john a kiss on the forehead and headed off to bed. i knew the next day was going to be a big one... for, all john's and gary's brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins were coming. the day was forecast to be the first warm, sunny, saturday of the spring. gary was looking forward to boating on the lake for the first time of the season.)

i was elated...
 gary was going to have a wonderful day! linda and i had good news to share with him when he awoke, and there was strong feeling of GOD in the air! i walked into the den, and john looked over at me from the recliner he'd slept in the night prior. 

i grinned at him.
 
he told me gary had slept through the night (unusual given the amount of pain he'd been experiencing). i turned around and looked at his chest to see if he was still breathing.

he was... 
i caught my breath.

~@~
although i thought linda was still in bed asleep, she was not. she came up the stairs and said she'd started the coffee. then she looked at me and commented she couldn't believe gary had slept so well (he'd not slept through the night in months) and she was really happy he had slept well given the big day he was going to have.

since gary was still asleep, i told linda i would drive into town and pick up the groceries we needed. (we'd made a list the night prior and had placed it on gary's night stand.)

as i walked over to pick up the piece of paper, gary started stirring. the chain of events which happened next happened quickly (yet, at the same time, in slow motion). i remember it all as though it were yesterday... 
even after all these years. 

in hindsight, i suppose gary was experiencing a seizure of some sort (though no one ever said so), for, with clinched teeth and eyes tightly shut, he started violently flailing his body.

initially the three of us stood frozen- 
panicked!

then, all of the sudden, gary opened his eyes. bugging them, he looked like he was riding on a very frightening roller coaster ride
-holding on for dear life!

immediately, linda grabbed her phone to call hospice,
john and i rushed to him, and
we tried to settle him.

in tandem, we called his name
and touched him.

finally, 
there was calm.

i stood beside his bed and patted his shoulder, john rubbed his foot, and linda did-around... preparing for hospice to arrive. 

all of the sudden, 
i recall time seemed to stand still.
i looked up...

God, what am i supposed to do?

HE answered, 
"don't just do something, sit there!"

obediently, i climbed into gary's hospital bed next to him and rubbed his head noticing a little of his hair had begun to regrow.

with the calm, came gary. he started mumbling, talking, and then, after gathering his thoughts, asked what had happened. i told him it was just a bad dream. john, not holding back, told him he'd scared the shit out of us!

LAUGHTER!

thank GOD there was laughter!

 in actuality, we were all still very scared, but, hope had returned. 

as time passed linda tended to gary's needs, john nervously chitchatted with gary,
 
and, i... 

i remained in the bed next to gary
-just as God had instructed. 

~@~

then a blessing happened. 
gary reached over and laid his hand atop mine. 
he patted it gently.

"look, dani," he said to me.
"look through the roof."

IT'S.SO.BEAUTIFUL!"

"do you see it?" he asked me.

there was silence.

the three of us turned our undivided attention to gary.

i asked, "what did you say, gary?"

he repeated, "look through the roof,
isn't it beautiful?"

again...
silence.

and with that he looked over at linda,
he told her he loved her,
and smiled...

gary shut his eyes and never opened them again.


at least not on this earth...

~@~

when he shut them here, i believe he continued to see the beautiful place he tried to share with me... that beauty-filled place free from pain, the place where his heavenly FATHER was waiting to welcome him home.

later that afternoon, gary took his last earthly breath and, as willie nelson's "stardust" played sweetly in the background, he took his first heavenly breath as he crossed the threshold of heaven's pearly gates.

~@~

i love God with all i am
and thank Him for the blessing he bestowed
upon us that saturday morning
sixteen years ago today.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Monday, December 12, 2016

mosses monday: LII...


this past friday morning
i was driving through
eastgate's parking lot 
toward the stoplight-controlled exit. 
as i was doing so, 
i noticed a 1980's model, 
burgundy, cadillac fleetwood 
across from and facing me.
there was a small-framed,
white-haired gentleman
sitting behind the steering wheel
barely tall enough 
to see over the car's dashboard.

my heart stopped.
it totally skipped a beat...
or two.
my head knew it wasn't mosses.
however,
my heart,
which had started beating again,
 SO wished it were.

~@~

as i approached the exit, 
i looked up 
to see the street light was changing 
from yellow to red.
i looked across the through street 
to see the big, old car turning right.

"i'll never catch up to him,"
i thought to myself.

i sat there for what seemed an eternity.
finally, my light turned green.
my heart urged me to speed to catch 
up with the car, 
but, i knew i'd surely get a ticket...
as there is always a police officer 
sitting in his squad car
waiting to ticket speeders
on the other side 
the overpass,
which separated the two of us.

and, that was assuming 
he had not already 
turned off onto one of the side streets 
ahead of me.

~@~

when i reached the peak
of the overpass,
i spotted the car.
again, i fought the urge to speed
before quickly realizing
there was no need.
for, in no time at all,
i found myself right behind the gentleman.
i slowed my jeep to just under 15mph,
the rate at which he was traveling.

mosses!

i smiled as my heart danced a jig.

looking in my rear-view mirror 
and seeing no one behind me, 
i pulled over, stopped, 
took out my phone, 
and snapped a picture.
i don't know why...
i guess i just wanted to capture
the moment
and
the joy i was feeling inside my heart.

of course, it wasn't mosses driving the car, 
but, it felt like a gift from above 
all the same.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story".

Monday, December 5, 2016

a Christmas memory (mosses monday: VI) revisited...


i pulled my little, green datsun into the circular drive, which ran alongside mr. and mrs. moss' home, recognizing only a couple of the cars. i parked and reached for their Christmas gift, a book of poetry i had written for them.


"a pearl untouched...
a jewel of the sea.
a heart touched by many...
a jewel of me."
(dani 1988 excerpt)

i opened my car door, got out, and made a mad dash toward their door. it was so cold that day, and the wind coming off the ohio river was brisk and cutting.
it didn't help i was wearing my pink corduroy walking shorts...
BRRR!

before i could even ring the bell, mr. moss opened the door.

"bless your heart, dani, come in here," he greeted me with a big, warm embrace.

"merry Christmas!" i exclaimed as i pulled away and began making my way into their den and over to their Christmas tree where i knelt to place my gift among the others.

after doing so, i stood and turned around to see mrs. moss arms wide open offering a hug.

"i'm so glad you could join us," she said in her gravelly sophisticated voice, "here, let george take your coat."

as soon as i removed my coat, mrs. moss took my cold hand into her warm, soft hand and began to introduce me to their family. of course, i already knew mrs. moss' sister, nellie, and mr. moss' sister, "buzz", from many, many sunday lunches; but it was so nice to finally put faces with the names of their niece and nephews, their spouses and children, respectively. i had heard so many wonderful things about these people. i was not disappointed!
they were all so warm and welcoming.

"dani, do you like country ham?" mr. moss asked.

"i love ALL food!" i answered with a giggle and a big smile.
i was smiling because i was happy.
i was happy to have been included in the moss' holiday, family celebration.
i was so thrilled and content to be there.

watching as mr. moss sliced the country ham, as mrs. moss carefully removed the cheesy grits from the oven, and as nellie spooned the turnip greens from a pot into a bowl,
i asked if i could help.

mrs. moss gave marlene 
(nellie's daughter-in-law) and me
the task of filling the tea glasses with ice.

after the table was set, 
we held hands in a circle,
and mr. moss blessed the food.
while we dined we talked, laughed, 
and enjoyed a delicious, authentic, kentucky meal.

after our bellies were filled, we all sat in the den listening to the wind blow outside, watching the fire roar in the fire place, and chatting. everyone, i suppose, was a little curious about me. so, i obliged them by answering their questions...

it was the first of many merry little Christmases
i would be blessed 
to spend with my mosses...

~@~ 


(to be continued...)

love and blessings, dani xx


ps you will find earlier entries in ascending order on my side bar entitled, "our love story":)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

47 years - 47 things...



1. Are you a proud American? yes
2. Do you vote? yes
3. Do you own a gun? maybe
4. What is your favorite flavor? chocolate
5. Do you get nervous before doctor visits? no
6. What do you think of hot dogs? america
7. Favorite movie? terms of endearment
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? coffee
9. Do you do push ups? nah, but i can
10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? engagement ring
11. Favorite hobby? writing
12. Do you have A.D.D.? yes
13. What’s the one thing you dislike about yourself? health
14. What is your middle name? denise
15. Name three thoughts at this moment?
what am i going to do today?
i need to make mae
a grooming appointment.
i need another cup of coffee.
16. Name 4 drinks you drink regularly: coffee, tea, water, and milk
17. Current worry? i'm not really a worrier.
18. Current annoyance: humidity
19. Favorite place to be? home
20. How do you ring in the new year? with my boy
21. Where would you like to go? puerto aventuras
22. Name three people you would like to take with you:  john, theresa, and bobby
23. Softest thing in your house? mae
25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? no
24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? white  
26. Can you whistle? yes
29. What songs do you sing in the shower? whatever is stuck in my head.
27. What are your favorite colors? pink and green
 28. Would you be a pirate? argh ugh, no
 30. Favorite girl name? katherine
33. Last thing that made you laugh? mae
31. Favorite boy name? john
  32. What’s in your pocket right now? no pockets
  34. Best toy as a child? barbie
37. How many TV’s do you have? 5
35. Worst injury you have ever had? never had a bad injury
  36. Where would you love to live? if not the lane... the beach
38. Who is your loudest friend? amy  
39. How many dogs do you have? 2 
40. Does someone trust you? yes 
 41. What book are you reading at the moment? bible
 42. What’s your favorite candy? snickers
 43. What’s your favorite sports team? uk basketball
  44. Favorite month? december
45. Ever been in love? yes, ever since i met john.
46. Have a bucket list? no
47. What is number 1 on your bucket list?
 i don't have one, 
so i guess it would be to make one. 

love and God's blessings,
danixxx

Thursday, November 12, 2015

seems like old times...


i have now, 
officially been a room mother
ever since katherine 
was in kindergarten. 
blessed with being able to be 
a stay-at-home-mom, 
i was often times 
the room mother. 

i can remember 
loading holiday lights, 
decorations, paper plates, 
matching napkins,  games, movies, 
candy, cookies, cupcakes, etc.
into a our big red wagon, 
filling our igloo on wheels 
full of ice and drinks, 
packing all that 
into our van 
and stopping for pizzas 
before heading 
to katherine's classroom 
to throw the best holiday party 
i could. 
it sounds like a lot of work, 
but, 
i loved every minute of it!

 ~@~

when katherine graduated 
from elementary school, 
i thought 
the days of being a room mom
were over for me. 
however, 
a few weeks ago, 
when katherine mentioned 
she didn't think 
she would have 
any parent volunteers 
for her 5th grade class'
fall party, 
i jumped at the opportunity 
to help her!
she was grateful, 
and i was excited.

~@~

these days, 
instead of having 
halloween and Christmas parties, 
schools opt 
for the more politically correct 
fall and winter soirees. 
so, instead of jack-o-lantern, 
witch, and black cat 
themed party supplies, 
i chose 
pumpkin, 
leaf, and scarecrow 
items.
the rest of the 
party planning and execution 
was like getting back 
on the proverbial bike... 
it was very familiar.

~@~

at the designated time, 
i arrived 
at katherine's room. 
her students gave me 
a very warm welcome. 
being on a bit of a time constraint,  
katherine and i immediately 
began passing out plates, 
napkins, pizza, cupcakes, 
cookies, drinks, and candy. 

22 of her 23 students, 
thanked me 
every time i came around 
to pass out something new...

EVERY TIME! 

the only child 
who didn't verbally 
thank me was autistic, 
but even he smiled 
and told me how much 
he liked what i brought 
to his class and to him.
EVERY ONE of those kids 
were gracious 
and 
mannerly...

EVERY ONE of them!

katherine's kids were 
a breath of fresh air:)

~@~

after eating, 
many of the kids 
came over to me 
and talked to me. 
they wanted to know 
about me, 
and they wanted me to know
about them.
they made me feel 
honored and privileged.


without even being asked, 
katherine will say she is blessed, 
and 
her first year of teaching 
has been a dream.

without even being asked, 
i will say her class has blessed me, 
and i look forward 
to getting to be their room mother 
again at Christmas.

it seems like old times.

love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

heaven smiles softly...


last year 
when we celebrated 
maggie's 9th birthday 
i never dreamed 
it would be the last one.
she loved every birthday,  
she loved every day,
she loved everything, 
she loved everyone. 

maggie loved, 
and 
maggie was loved!

~@~




love and God's blessings,
dani xxx

Sunday, October 25, 2015

the human spirit...


when i shared my last post 
(about adding mae to our family)
to facebook, 
a dear friend responded, 

"We can't help ourselves,
Lol, it's the amazing human spirit : ) 
If we harden our heart to love, 
who will take care of little "maemae" 
💕Happiness
~Marlene Brown

~@~

do you know 
what the proverbial 
"human spirit"
is?

biblically, 
it is the breath of life 
God breathed 
into man 
at the time of creation, 
which gave us all 
God-like qualities 
such as: 
intelligence,
creativity,
the ability to emote,
and 
passion.

after the loss 
of my life-long neighbor, 
stella 
and 
her house going on the market,  
katherine's breakup 
with zack, 
the loss of our dear maggie, 
and 
remodel blunder 
after remodel blunder, 
i found myself- 
depleted
at God's feet 
asking Him 
to fill me back up, 
to revitalize me...
and 
for His Holy Spirit 
to help me 
make the right decisions, 
to help me 
know the right words,  
and 
to help me 
mend my broken heart. 

~@~

He wasted no time 
in answering my prayers. 
He reminded me 
john had retired 
and is with me, 
He gave me 
words of grace 
to share 
with katherine and zack, 
and 
He led me directly 
to mae.

this is how i know 
the apostle john was speaking 
words of truth 
when he said, 
"this is how we know
that we live in Him
and 
He in us:
He has given us 
of His Spirit."
(1 john 4:13)

where there is 
the blessed gift 
of 
the Holy Spirit, 
there is no place
for a hardened heart.
we need this soft, 
warm, loving, 
Spirit-filled heart 
to keep us passionate, 
to keep us calm, 
and 
to keep us rolling on...

i know this is truth! 

if you don't believe me, 
ask, seek, knock, 
and  
just see what happens next;) 

love and God's blessings, 
dani xxx

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

our sweet baby mae...


"imitation is the sincerest form 
of flattery."
-charles caleb colton

~@~

when maggie was growing up, 
i often said 
i would never be without 
a cavalier in my life.
however, 
as she grew older 
and i started to realize 
how hard it was going to be 
to lose her and not have her 
in my life, 
i often said 
i didn't think i could ever have 
another...
it would just be 
too
hard.

~@~

on friday, the day  
after maggie went to heaven, 
john and i talked 
through our grief.

john: i just don't know 
how people go out 
and get another dog 
after losing one. 
me: i know. 
i think if we got one now 
i would feel guilty...
like i was replacing maggie. 
john: i don't think that. 
i just don't think 
i could go through 
this again.

we agreed.

~@~

then, 
late saturday night 
as i lay in bed, 
the thought occurred to me...

maggie 
would not want us 
to be unhappy 
like this
she spent her whole, 
precious life 
making us happy!

reactively, 
i reached over 
and grabbed my phone 
from my nightstand. 
i laid my phone 
on my chest, 
paused, 
and took in a deep breath.
i held it 
and 
released it.

me: God, give me a sign 
if i'm supposed to do this.

picking up my phone, 
i pressed the home key,  
 touched the safari icon, 
and 
typed, 
"cavalier puppies for sale 
in kentucky."
i touched on the site 
that popped up first.
the interactive site asked 
if i were a buyer or a seller,  
the breed 
in which i was interested, 
and, finally,
 for my location.

~@~

at a glance, 
i noticed there were only 
a couple of pages of 
cavies in our area. 
i also noticed
most of the puppies 
were blenheim 
(tan and white). 
i knew i wanted 
either a mostly black tri-color 
(black, tan, and white)
or 
another black and tan
(with a little white) 
like maggie. 

as i scrolled down the page, 
i saw her,
"blaze"!
my eyes filled with tears.

me: should i do this, God?

i knew there would be 
no turning back!

i noticed her birthdate...
9/2.
maggie was an "11" 
baby too.

i touched her picture 
on my screen to enlarge it 
and 
read more about her.

she had the same marks 
as my darling maggie, 
and 
she was a "cuddler".

 ALL.the.signs.
were.there!

in my heart, 
she was already mine.
God  just reinforced 
what i already knew.

after getting 
meester berrong 
on board, 
i called the breeder,
and
we will pick up

our sweet baby mae~
formally known as 
"Princess Margaret Mae
of the Lane".

-in just eleven days.

love and God's blessings, 
dani xxx