Saturday, February 16, 2013

Catching Up

I'm getting better. I can think about my grandson without crying, but if I dwell, I cry. I miss him so much. As you know, having a grandchild compounds the joys and sorrows. Not only do I hurt because I lost him, I hurt because my daughter and son-in-law lost him. I ache for them and me. 

To quote my daughter, "this stinks!" First we lose my grandson in an instant, completely out of the blue - we haven't seen a report about his tumor yet; it may have been congenital. His baby brother has been diagnosed with Ocular Albinism and nystagmus, which means he doesn't have enough pigment in his eyes and they constantly move - both affect his vision. Pigment is needed for vision. He's legally blind - he can see shapes, but he holds things up really close to his eyes to see better. He'll need lots of therapy and special devices to see distances. When he was 5 months old, the ophthalmologist told my daughter to get him in the school system as soon as they could, which they did. Now he'll have occupational therapy (for his vision) and physical therapy because he's not sitting up unaided yet, and he's 7 months old. Plus, he has RSV. So, the bad news just keeps coming. 

He's absolutely adorable and happy and cuddly. He always smiles at me when I hum the Winnie the Pooh song. I wear shiny things to get his attention, and he grabs them and pulls them to his eyes so he can see them better. Now I have to do more than just hold, cuddle, and love him. I have to be part of his therapy. When I'm with him, I have to describe what he's looking at and help him strengthen his stomach muscles. I plan to research and do what I can to find the best things to do for him. My ex's wife is a low-vision/blind specialist who goes to different schools helping the kids in that school district. I don't know that she's done anything as far as telling my daughter and son-in-law what they should do, but I'm not there all the time.
OA is genetic, and the mom is the carrier. I may have started the line because my son is profoundly color blind. They had planned to have another child, but the chances of having another with Ocular Albinism is 50% - not good odds.

My weight loss has slowed to a minor crawl. Since Thanksgiving, I'm stressed and hungry all the time. I survived Thanksgiving and Christmas and was back on track when my grandson died. On Feb 1, my son moved, and now I have to figure out where I fit in the world. I'm having a hard time getting started again. My routines have been completely disrupted. I've been following the eating plan, and the munchies have subsided a lot. Luckily, I'm going to Perfect Solutions, and my nutritionist/counselor is working through all this with me. She has helped me a lot.

Speaking of help, I'm thinking about going to our Employee Assistance Program therapist for grief counseling. A psychologist friend suggested we see someone who handles loss of a child.

Anyway, I don't want to be a downer. I'm slowly getting my smile back. I have to make an effort - it doesn't come naturally just yet.

I'm still active in Toastmasters - earned DTM, which is the highest award possible. It took me 21-1/2 years. Most folks do it in 3-4, but I raised 2 kids, graduated college, and life got in the way. Now I'm working on another. I know folks who have 3-5 DTMs. That's the good thing about Toastmasters, you keep learning and improving communication and leadership skills. It has helped with my job a lot, and I've made some really good friends. I'll cross the stage at the Spring Conference to receive my DTM medal (just like the Olympics), and I'm so glad I've lost weight. I want to knock everyone out with my bad self.

I'm slowly working on my house. I've been moving things around the house. I have 2 TVs and a VCR for St. Vincent de Paul to pick up. They were supposed to be here at 3:00, and it's 5:00, and so far they're a no show. I missed a chance to babysit and a memorial service for a friend at church because of this appointment. I hope they don't stand me up. 

My living room looks really good. One thing I'm missing is a place to display family photos. I moved an old dresser into the living room for my TV, which means I lost shelf space. I'm still arranging furniture and going through boxes to either rearrange or give away. I went through the garage and rooms in the house last night collapsing every box I could find. My recycle bin went from empty to absolutely stuffed in a couple of hours. I'm a box hoarder, so this was a huge step for me.

Anyway, I'm sure this is waaaay much more info that you were expecting.

I watch OWN each morning from 5:00-8:00. The shows I enjoy are old versions of Nate Berkus, Rachel Ray, and some of Oprah's shows. Oprah had some really good guests including Suze Orman. Suze has been working through her book "The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom" on Oprah's show. I ordered the book and audio tapes. I was actually surprised they were cassette tapes. Without thinking, I assumed it would be CDs. Oh well, I do have a cassette player somewhere. I definitely have to work on my relationship with money. One thing she said was we have to respect money and treat it like a friend. It will treat us the same way. I had a habit of just poking it along with the receipts into my purse. And, I never really knew how much I had. Now, I fold it neatly, all turned the same way, in order of smaller to larger bills, and fold it in half with the smaller bill out.

Another thing she suggested is we use paper money to pay for everything. If something costs $2.50, we give $3 and keep the 50 cents. If something costs 50 cents, we pay with a dollar and keep that 50 cents. Then, at the end of the month, the extra change will help pay credit card debt. Along with the minimum payment, we are to pay the extra change we've collected during the month. I only have one credit card, and it will be a pleasure to pay it off. Even before I heard Suze say that, I've been collecting change. I thought it was for a vacation, but this is infinitely more important.

I want to retire about age 65, and I'd prefer to be completely out of debt. I have a loan that will be paid off in 3 years, and my mortgage has 14 years. If I can pay the loan off sooner, I can double my mortgage payments. I plan to drive my car (title clear) until the wheels fall off. I love my Jaguar, so that won't be too much of a sacrifice - that is, if I can afford to keep it on the road. Jaguars are expensive to maintain. I'll probably have to find someone closer to work on my car. The difference is I get a loaner each time the service dept at the dealer needs my car overnight. Plus, they pick up and deliver me. If I want to save money, I'll have to arrange for transportation, especially since we're a one-car household. Actually, I should have had it in for service a month ago, but I keep forgetting to call to make an appointment. The oil light keeps blinking. I'm afraid if I don't get it fixed soon, it'll burn out, and I won't know when something is wrong. I've already paid to have something replaced, and the light is on. It's probably a sensor. I feel like I shouldn't have had to pay for the first service since it didn't fix the original problem. I guess that's why I'm avoiding calling them.

I started reading "Power vs. Force," which was recommended by Wayne Dyer. It seems like it'll be very interesting.

Even with all the horrific things that have happened the last couple of months, I'm still assuming there's good ahead.