Great reminder from Walk a Myelin* My Shoes

Earlier today I read a post that reminded me of a topic I had wanted to discuss many times, but had never gotten around to.  Amanda, at Walk a Myelin* My Shoes wrote this post today, that I think everyone who has to ask someone for help, myself included, should remember.   BE Kind and Thankful for the people that are there for you.  But not only that…. REMEMBER to THANK them.

I reblogged this on my page a few minutes ago, in an effort to share her post, but I don’t know if I did it correctly.  If you have a minute, please take a minute to visit her post on her page at the link above.

We’ve all held the door for someone without receiving thanks.  Maybe you have let someone with a smaller cart checkout in front of you?  Doing those things and helping people for the most part makes us feel good about ourselves, when it is our choice to do them, and it’s an added bonus when the person you help Thanks you.

I’d like to share a story that while I am not ashamed of, I am not particularly proud of.  I’m not going to go back and “fix, or undo” it, but I do try to be better than that now, and I really try to remember to thank the people I have to ask for help.

Ok so here’s the story….

When Thing One and her husband started dating, he lived in Michigan and she lived in Il.  I am so thankful that the kids have decided to make Illinois their home.  I felt bad for Z’s mother, who has several physical limitations, that she would not be able to see the kids as easily.  Once the kids decided to get married, Z’s mom, (we’ll call her T) decided that she wanted to move to Illinois to be closer to our kids and potential grandchildren.  She asked for my help.

I have learned the hard way in the past, (and I am still learning) that it’s important to set boundaries when you help someone.  One boundary I try to place is that I will happily TEACH you how to do anything I can, but I won’t do things FOR you, if you are capable of doing them yourself and chose not to.

I helped T find maps, handicap accessible apartment websites and phone numbers, and offered to take her to the buildings if she did all the other prep work of reviewing the websites, and scheduling appointments.  That process wasn’t without it’s issues, but we did it.  She came to Illinois to stay with the kids for 4 days, and Friday was the day I would show her around and take her to her appointments.

When I arrived at Thing One’s to pick T up, they (Thing one and T) weren’t quite ready and neither had eaten breakfast, so I offered to make eggs for them both.  I asked, T how she wanted her eggs,  ( which is more than I did for Thing One) and she replied “Over medium”.  Ok, I will give it my best shot.  I made her eggs first, and when I placed them in front of her she made a face and said, “I guess I can work with that”.

Deep breath Grace!…Deep Breath! ( no I did not throw the plate in her lap)…..  I did look at Thing One though, who instantly gave me an apologetic look.  ( l love that my kiddo and I can communicate through facial expressions and body language so well)  Next I made Thing One’s eggs and placed them in front of her.  She replied, “Thank you.”  (Yes I had to point out that my daughter has simple manners).  Finally, I finished my own eggs.  (the same way I made T’s) eggs.  I sat down to eat and T immediately said, ” well that’s how I wanted my eggs, that looks good.”

WOULD YOU LIKE MY FUCKING EGGS?!?!?!?

What I actually said was,  “If you would like my plate, I will happily trade you.”  She dismissed me and began to eat from her own plate.

Several times throughout the day she barked at me that I was doing something wrong, or this wasn’t what she wanted.  I really really tried to be patient, but after seeing 4 different apartment buildings, and constantly being told I was incorrect, I made up an excuse that I needed to be home for Einstein for something, and took them back to Thing One’s.  (sorry kiddo, I did what I could….but she’s all yours)  and yes I did say that in her ear as I hugged her goodbye.

For the remainder of the evening I tried to offer Thing One appropriate responses to her future mother in law  (via text ) as she got on Thing One’s nerves more and more.  I was also supposed to hang out with the kids and T on Saturday for a couple hours.

When I got there on Saturday, I told both of the kids I was only staying for one cup of coffee, and asked which excuse they would like me to give about why I wasn’t staying longer.  Since the kids were “entertaining”, I offered to make everyone coffee.  Thing One wanted hers with creamer, no problem.  Z wanted his with a scoop of sugar, also no problem. I don’t even remember what T wanted in her’s because I honestly I had had ENOUGH of being told how many things I did wrong…

Here comes the not proud part

I placed T’s cup in front of Z and told him, “Here, YOU fix her coffee for her, because if  she tells me I did ONE MORE thing wrong, she will wear it”.  T gasped and looked up at me saying, ” Oh do you mean about yesterday?…. I was only joking!!!!”

Uh huh.  I quickly drank my coffee, made my excuse to leave, and wished T an enjoyable rest of her trip.

Yes I know that was wrong and very passive aggressive of me.  As I said I’m not proud.  But I think it illustrates my point.

A year has passed since that day, and while I have not been MEAN to Z’s Mom, I have not been helpful in ANY WAY.  Normally I would have spent some time at the kids wedding in March with her, making sure she was settled in ok etc.  I didn’t, other than to make sure the obligatory newlywed’s with their mom’s picture was taken.  I have not shared any of the kid’s ultrasound pictures with her (as I would have in the past).  I know that it’s not my job to do those things, but that is who I normally am.  The one who tries to treat everyone like they would like to be treated.

I’m sure I will have more dealings with T in the future, and any help I give will be because I chose to help not expecting anything (even a thank you in return) I know that this is the way it is supposed to be, but I am human, and would at least like a Thank you.

Thank you for reading along today.  Do you get bent out of shape too, when a Thank you is not spoken? I think we all do a bit.  PLEASE remember to thank people who are kind to you, or that you rely on for help, it can really make a huge difference.

**** I didn’t realize until reading some of your comments, that I neglected to add that at this time, T still resides in Michigan.

B&W Photo Challenge Day 2

I was tagged a few days ago to participate in the black and white photo challenge by Kim author of I Tripped Over a Stone.  If you haven’t “met” Kim or visited her website, please do.  Kim’s blog is primarily geared toward living with Fibromyalgia, but it’s not only informative about her disease, she offers great advice and support for so many people no matter what they have on their plate.  I definitely consider myself blessed to be able to call her my friend.

You know there are always rules to everything in life! The rules for this are straightforward. Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

Today I Invite Susan, writer at Stories from the Edge of Blindness.  One her about me page, Susan says….

I am a writer, going blind in Los Angeles. This blog is my story of a slow approach to darkness as I traverse through the rubble of urban life. It is what I see in the withering spaces of my remaining vision. It is humor and despair and darkness and light. It is what I witness as the world slowly disappears.

What Susan doesn’t say is that she is an incredible poet, AND has a heart of gold!  If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, please do!

Susan, please don’t feel like you have to join the challenge.  BUT After rereading the rules… I really do like the part about  Seven black and white photos of YOUR LIFE. 

I’m curious to see the world through your lens!!!!!

7 day B&W Photo Challenge Day 0 (my rules)

I was tagged a few days ago to participate in the black and white photo challenge by Kim author of I Tripped Over a Stone.  If you haven’t “met” Kim or visited her website, please do.  Kim’s blog is primarily geared toward living with Fibromyalgia, but it’s not only informative about her disease, she offers great advice and support for so many people no matter what they have on their plate.  I definitely consider myself blessed to be able to call her my friend.

When Kim tagged me a few days ago, I only saw the words “post a black and white picture for the next 7 days”….. OK, I can do that.  I took black and white photography in college, I will just upload some old images…..never did it occur to me that I could just use my phone and edit on the computer.  (technologically challenged much?)

So the rules…..

You know there are always rules to everything in life! The rules for this are straightforward. Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation. Challenge someone new each day.

Tomorrow, I will follow the rules, but first I would like to share some of the pictures I took 20 years ago….just because I dug them out 😛  I don’t remember what the assignment was…. I think something about shadows?

If I tag you this week, please don’t feel like you have to join the challenge.  After rereading the rules… I really do like the part about  Seven black and white photos of YOUR LIFE. 

I’m curious to see the world through your lens!!!!!

Stranger on the plane

As I wrote yesterday or the day before (damn the last week is a blur), I was pretty paranoid about leaving vegas after what happened last time I said goodbye to a friend.  All the bullshit I went through at the airport in Houston to get to vegas, had me dreading the trip even more.  (another story for another time)

As I walked through the door of the airport, a sudden calm washed over me.  Maybe it was the xanax kicking in, maybe it was that I was going to home to see girls, I honestly don’t know what it was.  Maybe it was exhaustion?  Either way I had not a care in the world.  I didn’t take more than 10 steps into the door before I found a porter ready and waiting with a wheelchair for me.  When I showed him the boarding pass on my phone I realized I was in seat 8F  ( yah window seat….maybe I could sleep?).

I barely remember that pat down, even though the foley catheter (who’s name is boppy, for bag of pee) set off the metal wand, I really don’t remember much about it.  We stopped for coffee and I was deposited at the gate.

I was the first to board the plane (after the pilot and flight attendants.)  The agent that took me to the plane even stashed my bag overhead for me.  I balled up my sweatshirt and laid my head on it closing my eyes to let the world drift away.  I couldn’t have slept more than a few minutes, before being awaken by this sight.flight home (9)

Meet Timmy

Timmy is the service dog for my new friend Bob…… Bob has Retinitis Pigmentosa, and is going blind, or as doctors have told him, he should have been completely blind years ago.  But I am getting ahead of myself, let me take a few steps back.

So I open my eyes, see this beautiful patient dog looking at me and let my eyes wonder up the harness to the man holding it.  He asks, “Are you ok with dogs?”…. I kind of shook my head and muttered, “um yeah, but where is he going to sit?”   thinking….Does he get a seat? are you putting a seat belt on him? is he going to sit on your lap?  The stranger responded, “oh he’s just going to sit down under our legs”   HUH?  (remember I have a German shepherd, who always TRIES to lay under my legs)…. Again, Ok.

Sure enough, Timmy laid under the seat in front of the stranger and between his legs.  As the other passengers finished boarding, the stranger allowed me to take several pictures, an introduce myself to Timmy.  At one point he said, I have RP and this is my service dog.  I actually knew what RP was…..well kind of, I knew how to say it, and that it meant he was going blind.  I think I surprised the hell out of him that I had heard of his condition.  You see, I follow and greatly admire the writer Susan Richardson, the author of Stories from the Edge of Blindness.  Susan has also been diagnosed and living with RP for 16 years.  If you don’t know Susan, please check out her blog, you won’t be sorry.

So back to the “stranger” on the plane, His name is Bob by the way, and by the end of the flight, he really was no stranger at all, but an incredible, smart, friendly guy.  We talked for the full four hours of our flight ( although it really felt much shorter than that)  We discussed politics.  yes I said discussed.  We disagreed about a few things, but I think we both LEARNED from each other.

When we were discussing how to find happiness while living with a health condition, he taught me a new term, “stamp collector” to describe a person that holds on to any and every misdeed that someone has done to  them.  We both agreed the secret to happiness is NOT collecting stamps, both literally and figuratively.

I could go on and on about the things we talked about, but I guess the whole point of this post, is that I am glad a “stranger” took a chance to open up about themselves and took the time to listen to another stranger’s stories and opinions.

I’m not a religious person by any means, but I do feel like I was “blessed” that day on my way home, and I am grateful for it.  I am also very grateful to have met so many wonderful new friends here on the interwebz.  Sincerely, I Thank you all from the bottom of my broken heart.

Soon, I’m going to have to tell you all about my Best Friend Gary, (the reason I went to Vegas), and about all the things he did to keep my mind occupied while I was there.  I really am a lucky girl.  For now though, I have the pleasure of Dutch’s company while Dan’s family finds a new home back in Illinois.

dutch

Is it a guy thing or a puppy thing that makes them take EVERY toy out of the bin?!?!?  lol

It’s called R E S P E C T folks….

Have you met Tom?  I’ve never actually physically met Tom, yet I have an enormous amount of respect for Tom….Who is this Tom?  I’m talking about Tom from Tom Being Tom.

My first “interlude” with Tom, was when he commented on someone else’s blog that he was going to busy on Thursday, because he would be saving the world.  I commented something like, “well I thought that was my job” or something like that.  As the weeks went by, I would occasionally see Tom comment and support his community.  The blogging community.  Wow someone who practices what he preaches…..intriguing… so I wondered over to his “page”….ugh big words and politics….. hmmm ok, so that’s Tom…and I closed the browser.  Not because he said anything offensive, but because I had no interest in following another keyboard warrior’s rantings about why we should BLAME this person or that person for the sad state of this country.  Who has time for that?

egg on my face

And now I have egg on my face……

I am guilty of many of the things I complain about other people doing.  I complain about the state of the world (in my own mind), yet I don’t REALLY get involved.  I don’t participate in DISCUSSIONS, which is where change has to start.  I’m ‘too busy’ dealing with my own drama that I avoid REAL discussion.  Who has the energy to fight?

So Back to Tom….

I mentioned that the first post I saw from Tom was political, and that I immediately closed that door, but I would still see Tom comments on other peoples blogs and admired his sense of humor.  As time went on, I learned that Tom not only has a great sense of humor, but he love’s dogs….That is something we have in common.

hmmmm maybe I shut the door a little too quickly.  I went back to his blog and learned about a man who REALLY is trying to make the world a better place, not buy shoving information down your throat or saying “You’re wrong, I’m right”, but by putting himself out there, and by encouraging DISCUSSION about sometimes uncomfortable topics.  He asks people to THINK.

Not long ago, Tom posted a blog about Guns.  (Oh shit here we go again.)  But this time I didn’t close the browser.  I read the post AND the comments, and maybe even offered a comment of my own.  I watched the arguments, and name calling start on Tom’s Facebook page.  I only watched.  I didn’t jump into that pile.  As I watched several people “show their ignorance and their asses” I learned something new about Tom.  He wasn’t trying to start a fight with his post, he really was trying to start a discussion.  Even when the name calling started, he didn’t lose his cool, he just asked that people think.  He also LISTENED and in some cases just agreed to disagree.  He didn’t tell the dumbass that was being a dumbass that he was a dumb ass, (I wanted to).  He just asked the ‘dumbass’ to think.

I gained a whole new R.E.S.P.E.C.T, for Tom that day.  He really is trying to save the world.  I have a great deal of respect for the man who practices what he preaches.

I have been thinking about writing a tribute, recommendation, liebster nomination etc about Tom for awhile, and yesterday when I tried to ruffle his feathers and he didn’t take the bait sealed the deal.  See Tom and I disagree about some things.  (Society’s reliance on Technology for one.)  I posted Fuck Fuck Fuck, and Tom commented

I am one of those who believe that technology is a great boon. I’d hate to live away from it. I thrive on connectivity. With my big 5-0 coming up I was asked by some if I’d want to do a camping trip for it, to which I promptly responded “not on your damn life.” Is there free wi-fi there? No, we’re gonna do this thing in Reno, where there are morning bed turns, room service, and m-f’ing CON-NEC-TIV-I-TY!

Addiction?

Nah, fishing is an addiction. An absolute waste of time and energy when one could be online, interacting with real human beings or studying the progression of events in Turkey.

Simplification is an addiction. Life should be complicated and engaged, particularly in this information age.

Not having a mobile phone is an addiction to detachment and privacy. This is the new millennium for chrissakes!

Give me a computer. Give me a phone. Give me instant access, every time.

But every time you don’t give me instant access (like last night when my new comp wouldn’t connect INSTANTLY) I want to do like you say … throw the damn thing through the window. I don’t need a million layers of security … I need CON-NEC-TIV-I-TY!!

(This rant brought to you by Tom Being Tom, of tombeingtom.com — please join me for more random nonsense soon!)

Obviously our opinions differ, but there is nothing wrong with that!  In fact what a boring place this world would be if we all felt and thought the same about everything.

So Tom, I want to thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities.  Thank you for opening up discussions.  Thank you for supporting the growth of others even when your views clash.  Thank you for just being Tom.

I don’t think there is a “Respect” award floating around wordpress, but I give you mine.

To everyone that is reading this, if you have a moment, check out Tom’s blog at Tom being Tom, I really think that you will enjoy it.

This is my favorite post, if you are looking for a place to start.