Tag Archives: Parent

I Found It

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Today, I’m going back to story telling. This is a short story from my book Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes. I’ve decided to ebook publish on Amazon. I may put it in book form at a later time, just because I like to hold books. There is something about the smell of a book that you can’t get from a Kindle.  I hope you enjoy this nonfiction story.  Have a blessed day.

 

I Found It

 

The day I found it, I knew beyond any doubt, He was real. That profound piece of knowledge was shown to me repeatedly through my life.

I am a mother of two children, now grown. I’ve been an RN for thirty-two years. Before I became a nurse, I spent years trying to survive and take care of my two young children as a single mom. I lived on food stamps and in public housing, and I hated every minute of it.

I’d always wanted to be a nurse and in fact started college right out of high school. I decided at that point I wanted my man, and put love above my education. I was married to my children’s father for nine years. He decided he wanted to play. I’m a selfish woman, I don’t share well. My marriage ended.

I lived in Vernon, Texas when my marriage ended. My parents lived in Oklahoma. Everything about my world crumbled around me. I didn’t have a job, I had two small children, and I was an emotional wreck. I wasn’t dealing with my failed marriage well. I had my children wanting their father, and my family telling me the children needed their daddy. I actually swallowed my pride and asked my husband to move back home. I met him at the door, when he moved back. He gave me a kiss and I knew with that kiss something was missing. His being home lasted four days. He couldn’t stay away from his play toy. There was too much pain to handle. I packed up and moved back home to McAlester.

The subsidized housing we lived in was not bad, but the neighborhood could get rough. At that point, in time, which was in the mid 1970’s I, felt as if I were the only caucasian in the complex. My apartment was broken into a couple of times and once I made the mistake of leaving my month’s food stamps on the end table. They disappeared.

I rejoiced when I received a five-dollar increase in my welfare check. Every five dollars in my pocket helped. The rejoicing didn’t last long. The housing authority raised my rent by six dollars a month. It was a losing battle. There was no way to win.

We never had enough money to buy the non-food items we needed, such as laundry soap, toilet paper, and dishwashing soap. Times got so bad, my children would go to a service station and steal toilet paper for us to use.

Towards the end of the month, we would run out of food. Weekends and summer were the hardest, because the kids didn’t get their breakfast and lunch at school. I was blessed enough to have a mom and dad who let me and the kids come to their house for supper when we needed to. I felt like a failure from beginning to end. I couldn’t do anything right. I was supposed to have stayed married, and raised my kids with both a mother and a father. Instead, I felt like a moocher, even though I know they didn’t feel that way. The guilt I felt was eating me up.

I finally got enough of my mind back that I decided to go back to college and fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse. I couldn’t continue to let my children live the way they were living. My mom was so supportive. She encouraged me every chance she got. She wanted me to get the education she’d always wanted for me. I had to be able to take care of my children and myself.

My uncle teased me about not needing an education, because I now had two diplomas, Allan and Stephanie. He’d tried to talk me out of quitting school to marry my kids father, but of course being young and in love I didn’t listen.

Using Pell Grants, I moved to Wilburton and began college at Eastern Oklahoma State College. I made application to their nursing program and was accepted. The two-year program, which I took three to complete, was tough. I took all of my prerequisites one year and did nursing the next two years.

The kids and I lived in a two-bedroom house trailer on campus for the first year. I had a car but didn’t drive much except to go back home to see mom and dad. Mom would usually give me money for the gasoline. The problem of living in Wilburton and being in school, I no longer qualified for food stamps, because I received too much money from the Pell Grant.

We still had to eat and pay bills, so I took a part time job at a local nursing home working as an aide. Since my family owned nursing homes, I was well qualified. I’d done everything from cooking in the kitchen to the laundry room. The down side to the job, it didn’t pay much more than minimum wage, and I had to pay for day care. It didn’t leave me much money. I worked whenever I could.

Through God’s grace, we made it through the first year. Due to almost freezing to death in that trailer, I found a walk-up apartment I could afford to rent. The kids’ day care was down the road from us about a block, and I could drop them off on my way to class without having to drive out of my way.

My second year of nursing school was the toughest. I couldn’t work many hours because of my clinical schedule for school. It got to the point one time when there wasn’t even milk for the kids in the refrigerator. I had nothing. I cried and I prayed and cried some more. I’d finally cried all the tears I could and I needed comfort.

Something made me pick up my Bible and I began reading in my favorite book of Isaiah. I felt comforted, as I always did. After my divorce, I slept with the Bible close to me. God was my comfort and my strength. When I turned, the page, what I saw astounded me. I began crying all over again, except this time with joy.

Stuck inside my Bible was a crisp, new ten-dollar bill. I didn’t put it there, which made it a miracle for me. It would let me buy food until my payday from work rolled around in a couple of days. I fell on my knees and began praising God. I knew then I didn’t have anything to worry about because He was with me. You know what, He still is. I worry very little because I know God has my back. I have failed him many times, but He has never failed me.

Times remained hard while I was in school, but I received my nursing license and my world turned around. I know I made it through with God’s help and the help of my family.

 

 

You’ve earned your rest, Daddy

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         You were at the beginning of my life

Now I’m at the ending of yours

You’ve gone from this world

Joining mama on the other side

A part of me is joyous for you

the other part feels sad

My world seems empty

Because you aren’t here

Your life here on this earth

Meant so much to so many

You loved and were loved

By your family and friends

Even though I can’t see you

You will always be with me

I will carry you in my heart

Every day for the rest of my life

You’ve earned your rest, Daddy

 My father passed away this week from complications of heart failure. I will not be posting for a little while. As soon as I can, I will get back to writing my blog.  Right now my heart is a little to heavy.      Shirley

Living By Example

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I believe that man is born inherently good. We are born with all of the goodness that God can bestow on one human being. How many cruel and evil babies have you seen? What you see is a miracle of God at its best. A perfect little human.

That child enters this world with nothing but trust, and remains that way until their brain has matured enough to begin seeing the world around them. What a child learns are what we as a human race teach them. Do you think that a child wakes up one morning thinking, “you know when I am seventeen, I’m going to be selling dope, and I might even rob a liquor store. I think for kicks I’ll shoot the person who’s there.”

What do you think this child learned while his mind was developing? Were mom and dad both working in order to take care of the family? Maybe the child was a latchkey kid who sat in front of the television for hours watching humans kill, beat and rape other humans. Laugh at others misfortune. It could have also been a case of a one-parent family where the child felt abandoned. There are multitudes of possible reasons. Bottom line is they learn by example.

This child may not have received any guidance from his/her parents, because they received none from theirs. How can a young adult make good choices concerning their life if their main role models didn’t teach and guide them. It makes it very easy to take guidance from other kids who don’t have guidance from their parents either.

We live an “anything goes” life style. Parents do their thing and kids do theirs. My parents were firm believers in the spare the rod spoil the child mentality. Their parenting skills came from what they saw and lived as children. My parenting skills were learned the same way. I believe I was a better parent than mine were, and my children are better at parenting than I am. I blame parents when kids are disrespectful, foul-mouthed or when they get into trouble. I know sometimes parents can’t control what is going on, but where were they when morals, values, right and wrong should have been taught.

I believe the majority of parents do the best they can concerning their children. What kind of favor are we doing future generations by not teaching children how to behave in public or at home for that matter?

I have two grown children who turned out well in spite of me. Do I have regrets about their raising? You bet I do. I wish I could do it over again, but that’s not possible. I have to live with my mistakes. I wish every household could be like the thirty minute shows in the 50’ and 60’s such as “My Three Sons, or Father Knows Best, and Leave It To Beaver. Wouldn’t our world be wonderful? We’d have perfect households with terrific kids who would talk to their parents about anything. They made mistakes, but not bad ones. Everything ended on a positive note.

Have we as a society created a future society with an attitude of “I’ll do what I want, when I want and I don’t care what happens to you.” It is a very scary thought to me what my grandchildren will have to deal with. How do you feel about it?

Head For the Closet

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The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after the dr...

Image via Wikipedia

I have been reading Fish of Gold’s blog about natural disasters.  There have been some very good comments since she was Freshly Pressed.  There were comments about disaster drills for tornadoes and hurricanes.  I made the comment the only drill we had when I went to school was a bomb drill.  That was not true when I got to really thinking about it.  We also had the earthquake drill where we got underneath our desks, and also the usual monthly fire drill, where we left the building in a quiet, orderly fashion.  The 1950’s was a wonderous decade.

I had to bring home a note from school, so my parents could choose what I should do just in case “the bomb” was dropped.  It seemed everyone stayed on edge.  I guess after the war, they thought we were fair game to be “nuked”.    My parents decided  I was to come home if an alert sounded.  There was a siren system set up for the town to use in case of emergencies.  The town of Benicia was built on the rolling hills.  It sits right on the bay and is not far from San Francisco.

My parents worked at the Benicia Arsnal until it closed in 1960; because it was a military base, it made everyone very nervous.  Everyone knew it would be the Arsnal that would be hit.  I remember hearing mom and dad talk about what could happen.  They also had my parents doing drills on their job, on what to do if the atomic bomb is dropped.  How much time you would have, depending on the drop site.

The people in power wanted to make sure everyone was totally aware of all possibilities.  In the middle of the night, the sirens started going off.  I remember being woke and thrown in the closet head first, and my sister coming in right on top of me.  The sirens  woke my mom and dad; because of all the training, they knew the bomb had been dropped.  In less than a minute the house began to sway and things started crashing to the floor.  It was an earthquake, not a bomb.  I guess they forgot to differentiate the siren sounds between what was a bomb and an earthquake.

I don’t remember doing anymore bomb drills after that little episode.   It was fine with me, trying to run as fast as you could for six blocks to get home, was not fun.

Fish of Gold really provoked some serious childhood memories.  Those bomb drills had not been thought of for years.  I guess the war was over, but no one felt that it was “really” over.  I can’t even start to think, the closet would have protected us from anything. It might have taken a second longer for the blast wave to get to us, but it would have arrived.  Thank God, it never happened the way people thought it would.  That’s my two-cents for today.