“Everything Happens for a Reason?”

Now isn't that Random?
Now isn’t that Random?

(this is an old post, re-inserted due to deletion) “Everything happens for a reason?” Personally, I really do not believe this. (did you just GASP?!!!) I think it is one of those things people say to you when you tell them something about your life that undeniably sucks. I think those platitudes are just our mind’s way of trying to contextualize experiences that don’t fall inside our usual frameworks for making sense of the world. I believe that sometimes we all make pointless, useless choices…..and these are the times you make “lemonade out of lemons”. There are just too many really bad things out there for me to rationalize “everything happens for a reason”. I guess a lot of it comes down to situations like this: The mother of a severely handicapped child who has to listen to the well-meaning chirping’s of her friends who say “everything happens for a reason…(or) God only gives special children to special mothers who are strong” Yes, these people do not know what else to say…they are well-meaning. But this mother is thinking…. “there’s NO reason good enough that I should have to deal with this severe disability….and I don’t think it is part of a LARGER plan!”. Here is what I DO believe: We ALL have life experiences that make us STRONGER. We learn from these experiences. These experiences are what mold us. They help us better our choices for the future. I have no real problem believing in the randomness of life.  Or, that maybe SOME  things happen for a reason.  BUT….. This is only MY take, albeit a very unpopular view…..but it is what it is And I am what I am:-) I’m definitely not trying to change anyone’s thought process. Just give insight on another view.

Author: Margie Brown Calhoun: Written shortly after our mom passed away

Mom was born in a little cove known as Owl’s Hollow or, as locals pronounced it, Owl’s Holler. She was born at home, as was all her brothers and sisters. Her mother married a widower when she was 16 or 17 years old. He was much older than she was, with 3 children, one of which was not much younger than his new wife. But because of propriety, she could not live there and care for his children without being married. He had a small stone house and a small store out front. This where mom grew up. It was a hard life where they depended on some farming and doing work for neighbors. Work such as cleaning, yard work, babysitting and picking cotton. Since mom was one of the older girls, she had a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. It carried over into her whole life. She was always frugal and could stretch a dollar farther than anyone. Also a chicken at Sunday dinner. We may have only had one chicken to cook and have company show up. She some how made that chicken feed everyone.
My Mom and D did not have the luxury of completing high school. For most of our childhood mother stayed home and cared for us. Our house was always spotless and she could sew clothes or alter hand me downs. She ruled the house with a strict hand and was not one to spare the rod, but not without justification. I can still remember coming home to see her ironing. She might have a pot of beans on and sweet potatoes cooking. Til this day that’s one of my favorite smells.
Mom left home at 18 to babysit for a family with two children. Their name was Brown. She had a lot of experience with children, at that time having 8 at home younger than her. She was like their second mother. She went home again when her youngest brother,  Tommy, was born. However during her time at the Browns she met a relative of theirs. A young man 7 years her senior by the name of David. He eventually, after much courting, became her husband and father of their 5 children.

Lexi and Raygen

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Lexi (08/04/2000 – 11/25/2016) Raygen 11/06/2004 -11/25/2016)

Rest in peace my little Boston Terrier companions. Thank you for many years of joy you gave our family!.

Yesterday was a very difficult day. Our decision to euthanize was the humane thing to do, but didn’t come without much deliberation.. Both suffered from dementia. Their bodies had begun to break down.  Raygen recently began having seizures.  Last week her eye ruptured, apparently due to pressure from a seizure.  She seemed to be in terrible pain. . Lexi had become extremely frail and skinny even though we were feeding her more and supplementing with nutritious home made dog cookies.  Both were deaf and nearly blind.  The dementia was taking a toll. Their quality of life had diminished and they spent most of their days in confusion.. But oh my what a life they had!  They packed a lot of personality in their sturdy little Boston bull dog frames!

Lexi:  Doodles, Lulu)

She was a gift for my daughter’s tenth birthday.  We went to Conyers and picked her out, or maybe she picked us. She made eye contact as if to say “Pick Me!”.. She was quite possibly the cutest puppy we’d ever seen.  She ran around the yard like a little Poland China pig!  She routinely made a nest out of Erin’s hair, and growled like a little gremlin. When researching the breed, we learned Boston’s are the second smartest breed. Lexi was so difficult to housebreak, we began to doubt that.  But she was a super smart girl. At Christmas we hung stockings for all our dogs.  She ignored the stockings ’til Christmas day. Then she would sit under her stocking and whine or bark. She did this as soon as we started opening our presents. This went on for years.  She loved having her back scratched, loved to eat, and loved to go anywhere in the car.  When she saw us getting our bags packed for a trip she  started getting excited.  Because if we were going to Florida the boston girls always went along. . When we put on her collar and opened the door, she would dart out and find our cat, Sugar, and proceed to bark repeatedly in her face. As if she were saying Nani Nani boo boo, I get to go and you don’t!   Once when heading home from Panama City, we stopped to get some food.  We were only going to be in there for a few minutes and it wasn’t hot so we left the girls in the car. I forgot about a bag of chocolate cookies left on the floorboard. We got back to the car to discover she had eaten the  entire package.  We drove to a Publix, bought some peroxide to force her to throw up the cookies. Not a fun thing to do, but it worked!  Lesson learned.   She was a lot of fun for many years.  I wish I had kept a journal of all the funny things she did.  She aged into a grumpy old lady dog.. A crusty old girl,  but we loved her. And I hope she knew we loved her.

Raygen (Ray Ray

We rescued this sweet girl. She came to us with a bad reputation, but we never believed any of it for a minute.  They said she snapped at a baby!  We learned it was because a baby was trying to stick a q-tip in her ear!   She was the sweetest, most loving dog anyone could ask for.  She had been to several homes before ours. The first few months we had her she began shaking when we took her anywhere. I guess she thought she was going to be abandoned by us as well.  We got her from my sister in law, Teresa who was fostering her until  she could be placed in a forever home.  When we heard her story, we agreed to commit.  We never regretted  that decision.

She received family fame for howling to Ah Zabanya.  Jackson thought this was hilarious! She was sweet, cuddly, and smart. It was during a trip to Florida in October 2010 we noticed a change in Ray. She was just lying around. Her nose felt warm. We decided to cut our trip short and head home the next day.  She had an appointment with our vet the next day, but by the time we got to Columbus she was so listless we took her to an emergency care vet.  They gave her meds for her symptoms, but were clueless as to why she was sick. We took her to her scheduled vet appointment the next day. Doc Hendricks treated  her with antibiotics. But he didn’t know what was wrong either. Her symptoms worsened and by November she was almost dead. Our vet referred her to Auburn.  After a couple thousand dollars for tests, they were stumped as well.  She had lost most of her hair and was a skeleton!  They started her on Prednisone to see if it would supress what they guessed was an autoimmune disease. It worked a miracle!   She responded well and soon was back to her normal weight and her hair returned.  It was the best Christmas present!  She remained on Prednisone until her death.

Saying goodbye to these beloved pets is very painful, but I know they will live on in our hearts. Right now we are really feeling the void of their absence.  They touched our lives in a very positive way. Rest in peace sweet baby girls.

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My Excuse

I

It’s official,  I’m deformed. I have something called Haglund’s Deformity. It is more common than you would think. I have a build up of bone growth on my heel. It stresses the Achilles tendon. The result, aside from the obvious  lump of bone on my heel, is very painful bursitis. My ankles swell whenever I am on my feet at all. This condition is also called a pump bump.  I have this problem in both heels, however,  the left one is worse.  So, Monday, November 7th, I’m having the left heel surgically repaired. There is strategy in selecting that date. I voted yesterday because I’m unsure how great I will feel on November 8th. Not only from the pain the surgery might cause.  I also am expecting a lot of election anxiety. And I’m sure I will be given pain meds that might help with both issues. Pretty smart, huh?

This condition has become worse since my knee replacements. I could kick myself for not going to the doctor sooner. But Dennis had plantars fasciitis at one time. He was crippled from that and could not believe how painful it was!   So naturally when I started having heel and ankle pains I thought it was the same. Finally I realized it was obvious that my pain was different. I made an appointment with Dr, Heinsch at Georgia Bone & Joint. He comes highly recommended by my primary care physician, Dr McDonald. He’s very knowledgeable and has done many of these surgeries although he’s very young. He completed  a Foot Fellowship as well. So I feel Confident in my choice.  .

Ok, here’s where I whine about how hard it is to lose weight while dealing with such a crippling malady.  Which is an excuse, I know, but a good one!

On my slim slow plan I initiated last January,  I’ve lost only twenty pounds. Which is less than my goal.

After I recover from the surgery I hope I will be able to walk or ride my bike regularly.  My main goal now is staying at my current weight. Any weight loss now is a bonus. Don’t worry, as much as I look forward to my 15 minutes of fame,  I’m not going to appear on My 600 Pound Life any time soon!

Post op…The day after…..Election Day.  The surgery went well.  I was given a nerve block for pain that paralyzed my leg from the knee down.  So I have not experienced much pain until today.  Twenty four hours later the feeling is slowly coming back and pain is setting in.  Pain medicine is working so far.  The doctor told me I would sleep the rest of the day and through the night.  Wrong.  I have been wide awake. I didn’t sleep at all last night and haven’t been sleepy today.  D is being very sweet. Making sure I am comfortable, have fresh ice packs regularly, and serves my food in my recliner.  My sisters and friends have checked in. It was nice to see Brenda in the room when I was coming to from anesthesia.

I feel loved;)  And I am not having the election anxiety I thought I would have. I listened to a video of Franklin Graham praying for our nation. He made me feel at ease. No matter what the outcome of the presidential election, Jesus is still Lord of Lord and King of Kings!