Tag Archive | children

Ahhh the Memories !

Today’s assignment for Blogging 101, is to do a post that you’d like your ideal audience member to read, and include a new-to-you element in it. They also suggest adding a photo or video or some form of media.

Since my writing tends to be of a serious or matter of fact content quite often, I thought I’d write  something with a little humour, addressed to my three children, now adults of courses with children of their own.

Dear J.W; J.A; and K,

You have brought much joy to your father and I, but you have also brought much laughter and fun times, and memories.

Oh no!!!!

Oh no!!!!

J.W; Do you remember your early teen years, and one of them you were so disheartened by your hair? It was blond of course but so fine and thin, and you wanted it to be more ‘mod’ like the other boys you hung around with. I got the idea that if you got a ‘body’ perm it would thicken your hair up, so you could do more with it. Our neighbour just happened to be a hairstylist, and so we told her what we wanted; just more body or thickness. You went through the process of the highly toxic fumes of the perm, and we anxiously awaited the results. Well, you did have more body alright, but along with it you got lovely curls that resembled Shirley Temple. Our neighbour tried to reassure us that it would relax, and the curls wouldn’t remain. However it was not to be, and for the next few weeks, until your hair grew out some you were stuck with it. Oh, and of course you will always have a reminder of it because it so happened the school pictures were done at that time!

J.A; Do you remember that infamous day, I think you were 14 and you told us in your matter of fact way, that you wished to come and go without curfews or having to be home for supper if you chose not to? After all your friends didn’t have to. Do you remember your father’s and my reaction to your suggestion? We were adamant that while your friends perhaps had more freedom and leeway than you, we were not their parents, and unfortunately his request was ‘denied’.  You ran out the door and took off, and did not heed our calls to you to come back. When you didn’t return after a few minutes, your Dad and I took separate cars and went looking for you. We drove up and down the streets but to no avail. Finally I thought of the bus terminal and went to look there and sure enough, you were on the bus headed for Grandma’s and Grandpa’s place. I guess you do remember me stopping the bus as it pulled out of the loop, and telling the driver my son was on the bus, and I had to get him. When you saw me headed towards you, you looked away and then nodded your head that you weren’t going with me; but I guess when you saw I wasn’t going anywhere you begrudgingly gave in with a somewhat embarrassed look. Your mother had the same look on her face. Anyway, we went home and did more talking to affirm that unfortunately, your curfews remained intact.

K; Do you know what pain I took in always making sure that you and the boys were always dressed for the harshness of the winters in Ontario. We had hats, gloves, boots and snowsuits, to make sure that when you walked to school you would always be warm. I know that not every parent went to the lengths that I did, but you were stuck with me. I had such an assurance that I had done my duty, in assuring your well-being. So you know how shocked I was many years after the fact, to learn that you were embarrassed to be wearing a snowsuit when your other friends did not. So you solved the problem yourself apparently, by taking the snow pants off before you got to school stuffing them under a fence in a townhouse complex, where you would, upon returning from school put them back on so I would not know any difference. This has brought me many laughs as we recount the story, over the years since I found out. Who would have guessed I was causing you such embarrassment, leaving you to find such an innovative solution!

There are many more fun times we had, but they remain in my memories to be brought to mind frequently, especially when I look at old photos. I love you all dearly.

Jim Jeff and Paul Tromba-004 Jim Jeff and Paul Tromba-003 P1160256_edited-003

 

 

A Nice Surprise

6 of our grandchildren

6 of our grandchildren

IMG_1956 IMG_1961-002Sunday was my 70th birthday. It was a special day for me. I believed that my husband ‘W’ and I were going out with one of our sons ‘JA’and his wife, for dinner at a steakhouse on Saturday evening. My other son, ‘JW’, only 2 days earlier had to have some dental work that was very painful, and so I didn’t think we’d be seeing him and his wife until maybe Sunday or even Monday.

When we got to our son’s place to meet there before going to dinner, all seemed uneventful and we left for the restaurant. When we got there, our other son was there  and our daughter; as well as 7 of our 9 grandchildren and some other family members and a couple of girlfriends of our grandsons. Our daughter ‘K’ drove with her two sons from the Chicago area… her husband unable to because he was in China on business.

It was a total surprise… I had no idea. One of the reasons it didn’t cross my mind is that for my 65th birthday, which might have instigated a party, some of the family had some issues and so a family get-together was not possible. The situation while it had improved a great deal, I did not think it to be resolved; thereby not even thinking of a party. Some of you that have followed me for awhile might remember.

One of my sons, (the one that had dental issues)  is in audio/visual work and he had created a DVD with photos and old 8 mm videos taken many years ago when ‘W’ and I were dating, were married and then many with the children and other family members and friends. He had played background music of our era and also did some talking from time to time with some thoughts that he had. It was a half hour in length but it brought back memories and laughter for all present. Our grandchildren had never seen pictures etc. of their parents and grandparents at much earlier ages, and so really enjoyed it.

Tears (happy ones) flowed from me and from others as well. The tears were not only because of the DVD, but even more importantly for me, our family was together again in unity and spirit and laughter; and we had a family photo taken which we have not had, for a long time… Unfortunately 3 grandchildren and our great-granddaughter were not in them, but I’m hoping for one with everyone included, in the not too distant future.

I’m sorry this was a bit long, but I wanted to share some of my joy with you… my blogging friends.

I have been praying for this for such a long time it seems, and Saturday for my 70th birthday, God answered my prayers.

note.. I almost forgot; I received a brand new IPAD… something new to challenge my little gray cells!!!

Daily Post – Mentor Me

Prompt: Have you ever had a mentor? What was the greatest lesson you learned from him or her?

Those of you who have followed me for some time, know that I have written about my ‘mentor’ frequently, not that I’ve called her that, but it’s just one more way that I thought of her….. ‘my mother’.

Mothers teach their children so many things, in so many ways and for many reasons. Some teach because it is their duty as they see it, to instill in their child the things they need to know to grow up and take their place in the world.  If that is the only reason, then that child may know the how and why of learning, but yet be lacking in the human aspect along the way. Most mothers of course, love their children and try to teach them right from wrong. But again, if it is not explained why something is right or wrong, then something very important gets missed.

When the second question of this prompt was asked, it was so hard to pick the ‘greatest’ lesson learned , I thought of so many things my mother instilled in me like how to be honest, to obey, and to be polite, and so many more.

Maybe the ‘greatest’ thing I learned was that for every behaviour that someone displays, there is a reason for it that we may not know, that no one may ever know.  From a very young age I was taught to be kind to everyone. There was instilled in my very thinking and being to not judge others, but instead to try to understand and if possible reach out to them.  As a child, it was second nature to try to be a friend, as an adult it was to recognize that sometimes the greatest gift you could give someone was ‘understanding’.  That does not necessarily mean that you agree with everything the person is saying or doing, but that if they care enough to talk to you about it, then you can listen without judging. If they value your opinion and ask for it, then it is yours’ to offer.

In retrospect, I suppose that in actual fact the ‘greatest’ lesson is actually ‘love’… the purest form of love.  The kind that respects every person you meet; the kind that looks for the best in someone even if it is not fully evident;  the kind that says “you’re not perfect and so what, neither am I”; the kind that even when you’ve been hurt, your first thought is not how to get even.

Love after all is a gift that can be accepted when offered, and freely given even if not asked for, or deserved.

 

 

What if We Couldn’t Smile?

A lot of what we say to one another comes not in words, but in the expressions on our faces. What if we wanted to convey to another a simple smile, and what if we couldn’t smile? Think about the number of times in a week, that we smile; at our family, at a co-worker or the other number of people we come in contact with each and every day. Often times our smile can comfort fears or stress, when we encounter someone who needs it.

Many children are born in the world with the inability to smile or eat or even breathe properly, because of being born with a cleft palate or cleft lip. In the poorer countries of the world there often is no medical care, of if there is the cost is just not feasible. That’s why the charitable organization “Operation Smile” came into being, the first time by Dr. Bill Magee and his wife making a trip to the Philippines in 1982. It has grown since then and now travels around the world bringing hope to thousands of children, and their parents who have to watch their child being ostracized by their communities, and in many cases not even going to school.

This organization travels to over 60 countries, with credentialed doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. Volunteers come from many countries to participate, in performing safe, effective and cleft palate surgery, and delivers post-operative, and ongoing medical therapies to children in low and middle-income countries.

I’m not going to give a lot of statistics, because you can find out more about this organization, with this link. Operation Smile… I decided to do this post on their work, because my heart was touched by their television show, and seeing the difference that is made in a family’s life, because of this very worthwhile project. One fact that I will mention that it costs $240 for this 45 minute operation, that changes a child’s life so drastically. If anyone has an interest, there is all the information that you need on their website. I realize that many of you most likely give to various places of  need, but I just felt led to draw attention to this one today.

The evidence is found in these before and after pictures. Notice their beautiful smiles, in the ‘after’ photos.

What if we couldn’t smile?

 

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Daily Prompt: Fight or Flight

Prompt: Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

Picture of JW around 3 years of age

Picture of JW around 3 years of age

The memory that came immediately to mind, is one from many years ago. We had just moved into our first house, and our children at that time were two,  and one year in age. Many boxes still remained unpacked.

Our youngest child ‘JA’ was fast asleep having a nap, and the older one was playing in the house. The telephone rang, and though I can’t remember how long I had been on it, it was long enough that ‘JW’ became curious about what was in some of the boxes.  The first I knew of it, was a loud cry to which I dropped the phone and ran to see where he was. I found him in the basement where he had opened one of the boxes, and was sitting on the floor rubbing his eyes and crying.

I looked in the box and it happened to be one that cleaning supplies were in, and was alarmed to find he had managed somehow to get the cap off the Drano container. For those who maybe don’t know, it was a very caustic bathroom sink drain cleaner, and as such very dangerous.

I panicked and ran quickly upstairs, one arm carrying our son, and in the other hand the container, trying as fast as I could to read the instructions of the effects it could have. I read that if it got into the eyes, to rinse with water and if swallowed to give as I recall, bread with honey on it to hopefully neutralize the ingredients. I held him near the sink and splashed water in his eyes for a few moments and then ran quickly to the kitchen to get him to eat the bread with honey on it. All I could think of, was that he was going to be blind, and possibly worse. I prayed that he would be okay.

He was crying all the time of course, frightened I guess also because of what I was doing. I grabbed the phone and called the doctor and they in turn gave me the number to call the poison control center for immediate help. At that time there was no 911. After telling them what I had done, they told me to take him immediately to the emergency department to be checked, which of course I did.

After the doctor checked him, I was so relieved to find that while he had rubbed his eyes, it was mostly inflamed around the eye but there was no damage to his eyes. The doctor said also, that it didn’t seem as though he had swallowed any, as there was no indication of any redness in his throat.

So we were sent home, and while we had to watch him of course, it seemed as though he was going to be okay. While it seemed we had handled the crisis, I was emotionally exhausted. As you can imagine it was a lesson learned, that you need to be aware all the time of not only what the little ones were doing, especially when distracted by things like the telephone, and also that all cleaning materials needed to be always out of little one’s reach.

I think I was definitely more stressed out, than even our son was.

 

Letter to My Children

Jim Jeff and Paul Tromba-004Jim Jeff and Paul Tromba-005P1160256_edited-003 

From the day each of you was born I had only one thing in mind for each of you. That was to love you with all of my heart, mind and soul.

With this same love I knew that you needed boundaries, and therefore discipline and though I wanted to give you everything your heart desired, I knew that would not make you happy in life. You needed to appreciate the blessings came from having respect for yourself and others. You needed to know that to enjoy life, there had to be an appreciation for working hard and to gain self-worth.

To watch as you went through each stage of life, from the scraped knees, to the tentative teenage years wondering what lay ahead for you in your life; to the days when as a young husband or wife and then parenthood you encountered ‘life’ and its’ ups and downs, brought so many joys along with concern for you.

I loved each of you for the very special qualities you had, and I loved you when you would falter in some of those qualities. There is no one who goes through life being perfect, never making mistakes. When you did make them, you learned from them and went on.

The love you have showed me over your lifetime is immeasurable. The joy you have given is immense.

You need to know that there was never one moment that I did not love you. Never a thought that I could have lived my life without you in it. I simply could not imagine that.

As a mother I too made many mistakes, but I believe whatever they were you forgave me. Sometimes I found it hard to forgive myself. Many times I second-guessed decisions I made, or words I spoke, or actions I took.

This would not be complete if I didn’t note that at times when I was suffering with depression, it may have troubled you or you may have wondered why I was the way I was. Many times I questioned that same thing. The only answer that I have is that mental illness just ‘happens’ sometimes, but God has used it in my life to give me a compassion and understanding for others who struggle with this debilitating disease. God in His wisdom allowed me to experience this for His purposes, but also healed me from it as well.

Thank you for loving me anyway!

I am blessed to be allowed to be your Mother.

xoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxooxoxox

 

I Can’t Believe this is Number 500

When I started blogging in November 2011, I didn’t know what to expect. Well, perhaps I would meet one or two people that were somewhat like-minded and I could write back and forth. I also thought that perhaps if I wrote about some of my struggles with depression, maybe it would help someone else.  Never did I imagine what lay ahead. But that’s not what I want to write about today. In fact as I write this first paragraph I’m still unsure of what to write about in this my 500th post. I’ll take a few minutes to think about it…. Okay I’ve thought about it.

As my husband ‘W’ and I watch the news each day, and tonight a documentary that involved a terror attack a few years ago, we thought about the current state of the world in several countries, and one in particular. But I’m not going to go into all of that either.

Instead, I’d just like to say that while there are wars outside of the country, and violence in our own country, wherever that is, there is also much goodness, kindness and joy. We can’t bury our head and pretend bad things aren’t happening, but we can choose not to let all of it color our perception of life itself and the people around us. There is joy in watching our children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren learn and grow. I don’t ever want to be complacent in watching them play and laugh and love. Children learn how to love by what they see in the adults around them. We need to teach them how to treat others…… how to be kind and unselfish.

Rylee doing Gymnastics

Rylee doing Gymnastics

Our 5 year old great-granddaughter visited us this summer for a few days, and while she was here it was a joy to watch her as she drew pictures and colored them and told the story of what they meant. Since I have been painting lately, I thought I would let her do her own, but since it was early I wasn’t quite ready. Every few minutes she would ask if it was time yet, and after a few times I said okay!

I set up a little easel and small canvas for her with the paint I use, and not children’s paint. I did this to make her feel special hopefully, and to just let her have fun. One day she painted a picture of the sky, and sun and two butterflies. The next day I was showing her a picture of a bird that I was thinking of painting, and she wanted to do the same one. It had multiple colors and she asked me to draw the bird and then she would paint it.  I showed her how to mix some colors and she painstakingly tried to keep all of them the same as in the picture.

Rylee with her face painted

Rylee with her face painted

She was about three quarters of the way done, and she put the brushes down and her arms at her side and then said “I’m really tired”. So I suggested that she put her name on the painting and said it was beautiful and asked her what she was going to do with it. She said “I’m going to give it to Daddy”….note: she doesn’t live with her Daddy but sees him every other weekend and some miscellaneous days but was going to see him shortly. She knows she is loved by her Mommy and her Daddy.

Rylee and Mommy

Rylee and Mommy

What a smile she brought to me as she sat beside me and concentrated so hard and then as she simply said “I’m really tired”. The honesty and simplicity of a child!

So yes, there are many wars, disasters and there is a lot of sadness and illnesses around. Many reading this have situations in their lives that are tough things to be dealing with. I don’t want to minimize this fact or say that they don’t affect us and understandably so.

I guess I’m just saying that we need to remember to ‘let the sunshine in’ whenever we can, and try not to be overwhelmed at the shadows or darkness of this life. (note to self also) I am thankful for the sunshine in my life; Rylee….other family, friends, and of course… God.

This was a bit long, hope you don’t mind but thanks for reading, and thanks for so much support over this past year especially.