Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm Back in the Saddle Again

The first day of school went off without a hitch. I hit the floor running and didn't stop. It seems like I just left for the summer. It's hard to believe that I've been back for 3 weeks now. I love my faculty and staff. My goal this year is to be nice to everybody, no matter how much they irritate me and also to be equitable with my time. I know that there are teachers that I tend to favor and I'll jump through hoops for them but now I need to be fair. I have an author coming to visit next Tuesday (Jennifer Anne Kogler). I haven't yet read her two books but I'm starting on them.

I'm going through Olympics withdrawl. I miss plopping myself down on the couch and watching something new. I hope there will be a DVD of highlights that I can buy for Grace to see later on down the road. Speaking of DVDs, I watched Found in China and it was FABULOUS! I learned so much by watching this young girls go back to their homeland. There was something similar on the documentary channel right before the Olympics but the girls were from Norway, I think. I had to read the subtitles in English. It was great too. One of my favorite lines that one of the girls said was that she liked China because everybody looked so different!

I'm also reading Silent Tears which I have a hard time putting down. It really is a tear jerker but I think it can help us understand some of the things our children may/may not go through. I only have a little over 100 pages left. I hope to finish it by the end of the week so my mom can read it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Goodbye Popo!

My beloved grandfather finally found peace on Friday evening, a little after 11 p.m. I think he was waiting for my Aunt Sonia to come into town from Houston before he left us. She didn't get to see him though. She really thought he was going to make it because the hospital said he was improving earlier that day. I knew better. I knew it was coming, but maybe the next week. I went to bed Friday around 10ish because I had been tired from my first crazy week back at work. My mom then called and woke me up at 11 when the lightning/thunder storm hit to tell me to rub fabric softner sheets on Hope to calm her down, if she needed it in the storm (who would have known that softner sheets can do that...takes the static out). I also unplugged my computer because it kept coming on around that time and I thought it was the storm (which now I believe was my grandfather telling me goodbye) Then a little after midnight (I had probably just got back into my deep sleep) my aunt Sonia called from my mom's house to tell me my grandfather had passed. I called my sister and we went over to my parents' house and stayed until 2 a.m. The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity with very little sleep. Never before has a distinct rift between siblings has been so evident. We (being me, mom, dad, and sister) are pretty much the only ones in the middle territory. We're the ones who have to go back and forth to get important burial/funeral information. Actually, let me rephrase that, I've been getting a lot of information and I've been the one at the front line getting the brunt of the frustration from other family members (those in conflict with other siblings or within my own immediate family, those who feel incredibly left out of the process). I have to take it like a big ol oak tree, strong and tall, listen, tell them I'm sorry and ask what I can do to make it better. Yeah, death is WAY easier for the dying than the living. I am physically and emotionally drained and so ready for the services to be done (not to be insensitive or anything). After that, I can let go and have a really good cry instead of these brief little bouts (like now as I write this). The rosary will be Monday night and the funeral on Tuesday. I hope to be a pall bearer but who knows what will come (some family members are VERY weird and traditonal about things like that). Interestly enough, I can't wait to get back to my crazy life as a middle school librarian. My grandmother is doing okay. She said she was glad that the old man is finally at peace. I am glad too. And that's the best thing (next to my friends who have been great sources of support...thank you all so much and I have great love for you all).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Getting ready to mourn...

Today, I was going to write about how I finally finished Grace's 100 wishes quilt (it's uh, well, completed and definitely not perfect.) I also wanted to write about my first day back at work (good and interesting) and I wanted to talk about how we've finally finished the January 2006 LIDs (Yeehaw). However, after hearing my mom's conversation with one of my aunts, I feel compelled to write about my grandather. My grandfather has always been a very strong man in my life. He was a silent aztec warrior. He would quietly tell you things or give you warnings, but he let you make the decisions and accept the consequences (like when I wanted to know how a car cigarette lighter worked and he told me but I didn't believe him and stuck my finger on the hot coil because I truly thought a flame would shoot out like a lighter...burnt my finger but he just looked at me and said, ya didn't believe me did ya?" He and my grandmother went into a nursing home last summer and it was probably the toughest thing for not only him, but for all of us who love him. He's been suffering with a brain tumor and in the past six months he has started changing into a totally different man. It was hard for my parents especially to see him suffering and on Saturday, he was put into the hospital for pneumonia. I think I knew it was coming because I had told my friend earlier that morning that I couldn't go to the river with him and his other friends because my grandfather was sick and that I might be needed. I know in my heart that my grandfather is ready to go. I just can feel it. It's going to be soon. We visited him last night and he wasn't really making any sense. He kept saying he saw a baby and a little boy and that people were waiting and that someone was saying hello in his ear. He doesn't want to eat or take his medicine. Today he told my aunt that he was seeing the light and didn't she see the beautiful woman? I heard that my two younger cousins were so upset and just crying. But you know what? I'm more sad for us than him. I have great faith and I know that he is going to a much better place where he is free to be himself again and be without pain. Death is so much harder for the living than the dead. I know he had been afraid before but now I think he is ready. He will always be with us in spirit and he will be an extra angel watching over my girl in China. You know, he's a pretty tenacious guy. Maybe he can get the CCAA to speed up already. So, if you get a chance, say a little prayer for my grandfather that he may get the peace that he wants and deserves. I love you Popo.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I finished Stephenie's Meyer's last novel in the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn today. I can't decide if I really liked it. I mean, it obviously kept me entertained as I finished the 700 plus page book in two days. I guess it wasn't how I wanted it all to end. And honestly, it went to a place that well, basically it jumped the shark (without giving anything away to anyone who is reading or wants to read it). The first three books, I easily bought into the storyline, but in this one, somehow I found myself not believing as much. I found myself a little irritated with Bella and Edward a lot of the time. I just think the bottom line is that most series never end the way we want and we're a little disappointed. I felt that way about the last Harry Potter book. I did like it though. It just wasn't how I envisioned it ending. It's the same way with Breaking Dawn.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Making Peace with the Wait

I wish I could say that as time keeps creeping by, the wait would get easier. It seems that it's a constant battle of staying optimistic or total panic and depression. Lately, I have been more on the panic side...I was seriously anxious...couldn't sleep...was considering options and peace came to me in all of the weirdest places...at my annual well woman exam appointment. I truly believe that God places people in our lives at the exact right moment to help us in our time of need. My human helper was my brand new doctor. We were having a conversation about what was going on in my life and honestly I can't exactly explain what it was about the conversation, but by the end, I felt okay with the wait again. I wasn't anxious and thinking it wasn't ever going to happen. I actually had hope. Maybe it was that she said she was going to pray for me (I know, people always say that, but there was something about her which made me realize that she was serious). I have heard that the wait will hopefully get better after the beginning of the year and I have to keep that hope alive. I have to pray that my referral for my daughter will come in 2009. I have to have faith. And because of this, I have almost finished Grace's 100 wishes quilt on my own! I have never quilted anything in my entire life. I have pieced it together and now I'm getting ready for the actual quilting. As soon as I finish it, I will post a picture. The next thing I need to work on for her is her life book. It seems that keeping my focus and positive thought of Grace coming home is keeping me sane.

On another note, I am loving the Travel Channel and all of the channels that are showcasing China. I was excited before, but now I really am excited. One of the coolest things I saw was the Pandas at Chengdu as well as Xian itself. That is a place I would love to see. There is going to be something on NBC this week about China as well that I'm going to watch. My friend D, is going to teach Chinese Cinderella (if you haven't read this biography, you have to...it's by Adeline Mah) again to her Advanced English 8th graders. We're going to work together to develop some awesome cultural learning centers. I'm going to use my librarian/information specialist skills to get some great resources.