When I first got to the hospital to see Richie, I didn’t know what to expect. What does someone who has been in a freak car accident look like? My mind had built up a scenario that had me scared to death to walk in the room. When I got in the room, he was laying there with nothing wrong with him but lots of white bandages around his head. I looked him all over. He had not a scratch on him. All 10 fingers. All 10 toes. Freckles in all the same spots. Just the white bandages. It looked as if they had rolled miles and miles of white gauze around his head. I could just see the tips of his ear lobes hanging out. He was perfect except for the gauze.

I have been in counseling or therapy as some call it. I call it crying time. Sometimes angry time. I spent an entire session recently on wondering if I am crazy. See, I now have a fear of white gauze. When I see it, I panic. It cuts me to the core. I feel like I have been punched. I lose my breathe, my mind and all sense of what is around me. My mind feels like it is going in every direction at once. Screaming as loud as it can. My brain is yelling for thoughts to get out of my head and all while trying to tell my body to calm down and remind me to breathe. Breathe in, Breathe out.  I cannot look at it. Not just head bandages. Any bandages that are white. Someone had their finger wrapped in some and I immediately went back to being in the hospital room looking at my son and the doctor telling me he was gone. Like I was magically transported back by a genie blinking her eyes.

I have been told things to do to make it better or to try and help. Apparently I have PTSD. Not just for war heroes like I thought. I talked to my cousin about it and he told me,”That S#$@ is real. Take your time to heal. Cause it may never go away.” I asked the one counseling me. And Josh was right. It may never go away. You can just learn to live with it and cope or maybe you don’t. Another cross to bear along with unending grief from the loss of my precious boy.

So why am I being so open about it? Why do I feel the need to share about my fear, hate and anger over white gauze? Because with the way media sharing is now days, I cannot go one day without seeing a person laying in a hospital bed wrapped in gauze! Every single day there is someone that shares some picture with a story of the pictured and their accident. How we need to pray to heal them. Yes we need to pray! We need to pray hard for them. But does the world need to see them in the bed fighting for their life? Why can we not just share a picture of them as if they were up and running? Do you think there will be less prayers without a picture like that? Truthfully I doubt half the people even looking and sharing the picture are praying for them. Most are just doing it to show the “gory details” and to be able to way they saw them that way. At the hospital, we had a strict no media policy. You could ask for prayers on Facebook but you were not allowed to post pictures of Richie in the hospital bed nor were you to give details that were not approved by me. The news story of his accident was not to be posted because it was not fair or respectable to the family. Why do we as a society want to see the pictures and stories like this? I have been there! You do not want to see it. It is not a spectator sport, not a gossip item. It is a human life and families are involved. Respect. It all comes down to respect for others.

So I am asking each one of my family and friends…. with my most sincere heart…. Please if you are friends with me on social media, watch what you post. What may seem like an innocent story to you can be a horrible reminder of loss to others. It can be a trigger into a world of panic and despair for others. There is no need to see people dying in a hospital bed. No need to see blood, bandages and any other thing like that. And truthfully if I am being honest, I do not need to see the picture of the accident site. None of us do. We can pray with just a picture of the person smiling.


Unplugging Update

It has now been almost two weeks since I have started “unplugging” my life. How is it going? Well, to be honest, I am loving it! I haven’t got to do everything I wanted to do because we have been so busy with graduations and other things. But I have really enjoyed not having what I now refer to as a “bright screen” headache. I haven’t gotten nearly as many of the headaches I used to and I am thinking it had something to do with looking at lit up screens all day. Phone, Tablet, computer, TV. So that is a major plus.

I have also realized that I really do not miss FaceBook all that much. My sisters or Jeff will ask me if I had seen such and such on FB and I can gladly say, “No I haven’t!” The ones that are a part of my everyday life text or call me when something is going on so I have not missed the important stuff. Now I do still get on there here and there. But I have been very good at limiting myself. What was no more than 10 minutes a day has now became maybe 10 minutes every 3 days. Now don’t be mistaken, I still love the Instagram!

I haven’t got to read as many books as I have set my goal too. Nor have I written as much. I have written more letters than I normally get to and that is the best bonus so far! I have converted one of the extra bedrooms as a little getaway reading room/guest room. I have the bookshelf filled with books that I want to get read. My comfy rocker that I have had since Richie and Luke were little. There is a bed in there for when I want to curl up and read until I fall asleep. Yes, I could do this in my room but there is nothing but a tiny TV and DVD player in this room so no electronic distractions. And with it not being a regularly used room in the house, no one goes in there much. My bedroom is like the gathering place for everyone lately. (Which I do not mind)

I have noticed that while unplugging, I am more attentive to my children and husband. It makes me sad to realize how much time I took away from them. They deserved more of me than I was giving them. The down-side of this realization is that I have noticed how plugged in the are and how little time I get in return with them now. Catch 22. I am trying to get them to unplug more without them realizing it.  Another down-side is I am finding that I becoming a little OCD again about things around the house. What took years to tame is now coming back. But I have seen that I was slacking on the housework.

I have also noticed that electronics were part of my insomnia. Before I was lucky to get a good 2 hours of sleep. That was without sleeping medication. With meds, I would get maybe 4. Now, I can fall asleep just sitting still. I am thinking that all the lack of sleep is being caught up on. I went to bed last night and was asleep on my own by 10pm! Can you believe it???? I am sleeping again!

So now school is out. Graduations are about over. Only one more weekend is booked on the calendar until July. I will now get into a routine with the little kids that will be here for the summer. I will read, write and just be peacefully unplugged. Try it, You will feel better!

Unplugging For The Summer

I am going to do it! I am going to unplug from all unnecessary electronics, TV and other digital devices for the summer! I have a plan and I am sticking to it.

This includes, limiting myself to 10 minutes of Facebook a day. If it doesn’t show up in my feed in that amount of time, then I didn’t need to see it. It is a good way to keep in touch but I need human contact. I will use the time I would have spent on the site to call my friends, write letters and visit for a glass of sweet tea.

I am going to limit myself to 2 scrolls a day through Instagram. I love Instagram more than Facebook so this one will be extremely hard. I love seeing all the pictures from my nieces and Godchildren. Pictures of high school friends children. Oh how I love the pictures without the Facebook drama!

TV will be put on the back burner. This one may be a little hard since I have a “Real Housewives” obsession. How will I live without my Lifetime TV? Thank goodness that Grey’s Anatomy will be on summer break! Yes, this one is going to be tough!

There are other little things I will unplug from but those are the ones that I find are taking up the most of my time. This is going to be like weaning a baby off of a pacifier. I can do this!

What I will “Plug” into are the things that we used to do before the electronic age. I will spend more time with the family and friends around me. How unique will it be for my table to be the only table in a restaurant that is not looking down at a phone? I will stay away from the ones that can’t unplug for quality time. Phones, TV and computers are the biggest problem in my family and marriage. We will see if this family can survive each other or not.

I will read more! I have a whole list of summer books just waiting to be opened. I cannot wait to read the rest of the Mitch Albom books left on my list! I have a ton of Max Lucado and Beth Moore books to read. Not to mention, Fannie Flagg, Paulo Coelho, Beverly Lewis, Michael Phillips and my secret obsession, V.C. Andrews! When I run out of books from my stash, I will go sit for hours in an old musty used book store and bask in hours of endless words and adventures!

I am going to write more! Blogs, journals, letters, cards , even e-mails! I am happiest when I am writing things and getting them out of this hyper-active mind of mine. I am also going to read more of my fellow bloggers writings. I have not been the best blogging friend I can be. Some days, I just post mine and go back to the world. The things I want to write about. I may even decide to write a little story that has been popping up in my quiet time. Letter writing will become a daily ritual. I will send letters to friends, family and maybe even get a penpal. One of the greatest forms of therapy I have had since D-Day is the penpal friendships I have developed with other Moms like me. I will reach out to more and help them as others have helped me.

I will use the extra time to work on a flower garden, remodel the house, and all the chores that are never done. I will cut down trees and make a memorial garden for my son. I will have a small vegetable garden and harvest like my grandparents did. I will take walks in the evening. I will sit on the deck soaking up the sun during the day with one of the books I want to read.

I will visit my mother more on her days off. I have been lacking in that area due to work and car issues, but I will make it a point this summer. I just need to be around my mother.

But mostly, I want to read my bible more and just listen to what I need to hear. I want to connect to God more. I want to build my faith and work hard at being closer to him.

So I am unplugging, starting today. Thank goodness my blog automatically posts to Facebook. Today I will start living for me and what is best for me. Who knows, I may never plug in again.


If Jesus had a FaceBook…..

Scrolling through FaceBook this morning, I just had to shake my head a little. Some people had one post praising Jesus and in the next talking about “Turning up this weekend”. After scrolling a little more, I see a post that says I have to share this picture of Jesus to be blessed. Then another where I will be denying Jesus if I do not share. It just got me to thinking what would happen if I didn’t share and tag 10 of my friends? Am I going to all of sudden have worse luck than I already do? I didn’t share the other one, so I guess I must not be blessed anymore. Funny, I haven’t found that part in the Bible yet. Gonna have to make a point to ask Charles about that in Bible Study Wednesday.

The people who in their posts of partying Jesus on Friday and Saturday and then praising the Lord on Sunday made me just want to pray for them. Looking back on my TimeHop, I can see where I had times like those. Almost as if you are in a battle of self. You want to good so that you get that foot into heaven. Yet, you want to drink and dance it up with the band on weekends. Maybe it is just older age, stronger faith or more knowledge in the Word that makes me question this.

After scrolling more, I realize it wasn’t just that young girl. There were older people posting that they needed prayers for the headache they had from the night of partying before. But this all just gets me to one question? If Jesus had a FaceBook would you send him a friend request? Would you accept a friend request from him? Would you think that by sharing a picture of him that you are golden in his eyes? Would you be ashamed of that picture you posted with the foul language and funny saying about what Monday can do with itself? What about that pic with the hand gesture? Or maybe that one pic where you are posing for a selfie in your underwear?

I know I am not perfect but I try my best everyday to do the right things, study my bible, pray and thank him. Gonna ask though if I have lost my spot in heaven for not sharing a picture. And by the way, the only bad thing that has happened to me today since not sharing a picture with ten of my friends was a stumped toe when running to answer the phone. Was it bad luck for not reposting or just a poorly placed chair? I am not sure what it was but sharing what I learned in church Sunday with the person on the other end of the call made it better!

P.S. I will not be sharing the pictures of Jesus for luck, but I will talk to you about him anytime for your salvation!

Friend Request - Jesus