Be Careful What You Wish For – You Just Might Get It

I never truly understood the power of The Law of Attraction until I received what I was focused on. I just wasn’t prepared for the delivery of, or the answer to, my dreams.

Be careful what you wish for and The Law of Attraction.

If you’ve heard of the Law of Attraction, you will understand the statement “Be Careful What You Wish For.” The Law of Attraction states that you will receive what you focus on. It plays no favorites and has no emotion. No negative, no positive, it just delivers.

For years, I was focused on how to help my daughter and wishing I could do it all over again and make better choices in handling her drug and mental health troubles. Oh, I knew that I couldn’t go back in time and re-do it. I knew that there was no use dwelling on mistakes and oversights of the past. I knew, but still, there was the deep guilt that only a parent can understand, “if only.”

All children need love.The call came one morning at about 8:00. My 8-month-old grandson’s father called to see if I’d heard from my daughter. Long-story-short, she left her infant son alone in the apartment the three of them lived in early one morning. My grandson’s father worked nights and she had spoken to him during the night and told him that she wouldn’t be there when he got home. Inexcusably, she left Sammy alone in the apartment as he slept in his crib.

I immediately went and picked up Sammy. My daughter showed back up at their apartment later that day but I kept Sammy for a week. I brought Sammy back and agreed to leave him with them on the days/nights that Sammy’s dad had off. That started our routine of keeping Sammy 3-4 days/nights a week.

During the next couple of years, things remained rocky and eventually got worse. Sammy’s dad lost his job and didn’t work for 6 months then his parents eventually split up.

One of the hardest things I had to do was to turn my daughter into Family Services after going to her place to find her asleep, once-too-often, in the back bedroom, with the door closed, and Sammy running around the trailer by himself. I would have to pound on her bedroom window to get her to wake up and open the door. He was only 3 years old. Often times, when I arrived he would be sleeping on the floor behind his closed bedroom door where he had been trying to look under the door. Family Services said that they found neglect, but there was no imminent danger and couldn’t do anything. They could suggest parenting classes, but couldn’t force it on either of his parents.

Child left alone.We were accustomed to Sammy crying when we took him home to either of his parents. Our hearts broke when he sobbed because he didn’t want to go home to them. We were at a loss as to what to do. We didn’t have any legal right to not take him to his parents and Family Services couldn’t, or wouldn’t, take action. One day as we were taking him home, he had such a violent reaction when we told him that we were taking him to his dad’s, that I recorded part of it. Something was going on, but we had no way of knowing what. We just knew that we had to do something, and soon; we just didn’t know what we had the right to do.

At the age of three, Sammy was already starting to self-harm. When he got upset, he would bang his head on the floor until it was bruised. During the times that we had him with us, we would keep him from banging his head and the bruises would start to heal. But, when we picked him up from either of his parents, they would be right back. As Sammy’s behavior continued to deteriorate, we were driven to do something, so we consulted with an attorney.

This was not an easy decision, and yet, it was the only one we could do. I knew that by taking a stand and stepping in to bring stability to my grandson’s life, I was sacrificing my relationship with my daughter. But I knew that if anything ever happened to Sammy because I was afraid, I would never forgive myself nor would I be able to live with myself.

Without going into the details in this writing, we petitioned the court and were granted an emergency guardianship when Sammy was 3-1/2 years old. When his parents failed to show up for the initial hearing, we were granted temporary guardianship. At that moment, we officially became Grandparents Raising a Grandchild.

When you become a Grandparent Raising a Grandchild, your life forever changes. One of the first thoughts that go through your mind is, “This isn’t the way it was suppose to be.”

So the Universe was listening and provided, just not in a manner I expected, or wanted at this time in my life. We went into this because we loved our grandchild and wouldn’t have been able to live with ourselves if anything happened to him because we looked the other way, but challenges persist every day.

Grandparents raising grandkids have challenges.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d walk through fire for Sammy and will do anything to protect him and to give him a safe-and-secure life, but the emotional, physical, and financial costs have been great. Despite the costs, the rewards have been just as great and the peace-of-mind that he has a safe and stable environment allows us to sleep a little better and takes a huge weight off our hearts.

[Names have been changed for identity protection.]

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Mother’s Day Memories – 2011

I’m taking a cue from Dr. Laura and remembering that Mother’s Day is more than getting praises for being a mom, it’s also about sharing sweet memories of your children.

Jennifer Lynn Christmas 1987It was Christmas 1987. We had been back in the United States after living in Germany for just a few months. We had a small Christmas tree and as Christmas grew nearer, gifts started to accumulate.

One day, Jennifer, then 3 ½ years old, asked for some wrapping paper, bows, and tape. She went in her room and was secretly busy. After awhile, she came out with two little presents and put them under the tree.

Most favorite Christmas memory.

Jennifer's generous heart.

She told me those presents were for mommy because mommy didn’t have any presents under the tree. I get teary to this day when I recall that memory and the sweet, unselfish act of my baby girl.

By the way, she had wrapped up one of her Barbie dolls and her Granny Globug, which I still have.

Patrick at Challenger Preschool 1992 Program.Patrick has always been a character, one whom you never really knew what was thinking. But given the opportunity, his personality would shine.

In 1991 we had transferred to West Jordan, Utah. His birthday fell past the cut-off day for school, so I enrolled him into Challenger pre-School when he was 4 (1991). At the end the school year, the kids gave the parents a performance.

I remember how proud he looked as he marched into the room with the rest of the kids, holding his smiley-face balloon which was fixed to the end of a plastic dowel. All the kids placed their balloons into a can beside the performance area and went to their performance chairs.

As they started to perform, Patrick’s sparkling personality started to explode. He was sitting at the end of the row, close to the can of smiley-face balloons. As all children remained seated while they sang, Patrick got out of his seat and stood next to the balloons, making smiley faces and dancing alongside the balloons. I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.

Patrick is the star of the show.

Patrick is the star of the show.

I only wish that I had known one of the parents what were filming the performance and asked for a copy of the tape.

Mom at 16 years old.

Mom at 16 years old

My most favorite memory of being with my mom was during a time in our lives that was full of fear and uncertainty. Once-in-awhile, she would pack my siblings and me into the car and we would go to a small campground a couple of miles up the road from our house. She would bring some hot dogs and we’d have a small picnic.

During those outings, we were together and safe, if for only a short time.

Mother’s Day is all about moms – moms of all types – not necessarily related by blood or marriage or even female. There are plenty of men that have had to be both mom and dad. So honor all the moms that have planted sweet or fond memories into your life.

Most importantly, don’t forget your children and, as Dr. Laura recommends, “Warm their hearts with cute stories about them.”

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Ready For Christmas 2010

I’m ready for Christmas. Anyway, I was ready before Christmas day, I just didn’t get the time to post my video. I blame it on my daughter, Jennifer. When I was pregnant with her, she was 10 days late in arriving and I’ve been running late ever since. However, I believe that you should complete something you start, if at all possible, so here is my pre-Christmas video.

I like to put my Christmas decorations up right after Thanksgiving and take them down right after Christmas. For those that keep up their decorations up until after the New Year, good for you. But for me, the holiday is over and I’m ready to prepare for the New Year. After all, life gets busy again after the first.

As of December 27th, my house was Christmas free. Now I’m ready to relax until the New Year when I get back to work.

JoAnn ; }

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It’s Done – The Pantry Has Been Cleaned Out

I finally did it, I cleaned the pantry out. It may not seem like much, but it is a milestone in my moving forward with living and not just doing. Oh I’m still doing, doing, doing, but now there is a small corner of doing that I just lifted off my shoulders.

The weekend after my last post, Jim pulled our 90 gallon trash can to the back door and I pulled out a couple of folding tables, set them up in the dining room and living room, and then proceeded to take everything out of the pantry that didn’t belong. I put sewing and craft items that I wanted to keep on one table, other things I wanted to keep on another table, and things I wasn’t sure about on the dining table. The things I no longer had a use for I sorted into donatable items and tossed the non-donatable junk.

After two days, I ended up with a garbage can that was two-thirds full, four donation boxes and extra room in the pantry. I was actually able to put items that were cluttering my kitchen space into the pantry where it belonged and had a less cluttered space. It was very cathartic.

As with life, instead of looking at the big picture, you just have to tackle one small corner. A weight gets lifted immediately and other areas seem to fall into place.

Since it has taken me over two weeks to get this post up, you can tell that I’m still too busy to do most of the things I really enjoy doing or want to do. But this was, none-the-less, a milestone.

Now on to milestone #2.

JoAnn ; }

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It’s Time to Clean Out the Pantry

My cluttered life and mind in my pantry.

Yes, this is my pantry. There are bits and pieces of my life scattered and stored on the shelves. There’s a sewing machine and a few sewing supplies, some craft supplies, yarns and baskets, office supplies, a foot soaker, picture frames, wrapping paper, a couple of kites, paint, glue, cleaning supplies, games, paper towels and TP, stuff for the motor home, a couple of old badmitten rackets, extension cords, cook books, cards, light bulbs, photos, an extra chair, folding tables and chairs, a little bit of food, and more miscellaneous stuff.

My pantry is also indicative of my life, cluttered. Normally, when you think of clutter, you think of stuff scattered all over the house. Though my house isn’t strewn with stuff, my clutter includes days that are cluttered with job-related tasks and to dos versus household responsibilities that I should get to, my sleep is interrupted with the same as well as what I should be doing on social media, my emotions are cluttered with worry about my kids and grandkids, my closets are full of clothes and shoes that are either too small or that I don’t wear, and my basement is full of the things I’d like to do more of.

There are times that I look around and can’t move because of the weight of all the clutter, especially the clutter in my mind. I literally feel paralyzed. Underneath all that weight, I don’t take time to take care of my own health or weight.

It’s sad that the things I enjoy doing – sewing, crocheting, locker hooking, crafts, and working with my photos – are all packed up in boxes and stored on shelves in the basement or the pantry.

It’s time. It’s time to clean out the pantry. If only I knew where to start.

JoAnn ; }

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