Monday, September 29, 2008

A Lady Worth Knowing. A Lady Worth Remembering. My Grandmother -- Vesta Lorraine Golden Timmons

I have been blessed in my life to know all four grandparents and two of my great grandparents. And as of an hour ago, I'm down to having just one living grandparent -- my Mammaw Groves. My dad's mom, Grandma Timmons, was 90 years old and lived a hard and amazing life.

I don't know if you saw The American Girl Movie -- Kit, but my grandma often talked about standing in soup lines. My grandmother was abandoned by her father when the depression hit and when he made his living elsewhere, he never sent for his family to join him -- coward. This left my great grandmother to raise two young little girls by herself. My Grandma Timmons was the older of the two and was responsible for her sister Marie or Aunt Re as my daddy deemed her to be. Aunt Re died sometime back after suffering from a massive stroke that left her incapable of speech or communication and movement -- I'm glad this wasn't Grandma's situation.

My grandma told me lots of stories about her life, but it's the ones she didn't tell me that surprised me most. My daddy told me that she lived in vacant buildings downtown with her sister and mom during the worst part of the depression eating in soup kitchens. After her mom had a nervous breakdown, Grandma and Aunt Re were bounced from relative to relative to live never really staying in any one place all that long. Grandma even in her youth was shy and quiet and timid and dreaded being called on in class, but Aunt Re was a performer. If she saw a camera she struck a pose. Grandma said one day when Aunt Re was a little girl like 5 or 6 she was to meet her outside the school afterwards and walk home as they always did. Grandma arrived and waited and waited. No Aunt Re. Aunt Re had decided to take herself to the movies down the street by herself. Grandma talked of using a hot plate to make meals in their one bedroom flat in downtown Shreveport which was against the rules. She said all 3 of them slept on a sofa bed and sometimes the floor.

Grandma later ended up living with her mother's parents who were Primitive Baptist. She said that woman knew the Bible better than anybody she has ever known. One time when Grandma was in the E.R., she told me of a time when the Primitive Baptist were going to excommunicate her grandmother from the church because she liked to play dominoes and cards. When her grandmother got wind the meeting was happening, she marched herself down to the church and confronted them all. She said if playing dominoes was worse than gossipping, cheating, over-eating, and she listed several more sins applicable to the audience, she said they would have to excommunicate most everyone in that building. She turned and left. Needless to say, they didn't excommunicate her.

Grandma remembers getting potato sacks, boiling them, and then making dresses out of them. She thought she was something else in her new dress as she strutted around Logansport. It was while walking down one of the roads in Longstreet near Logansport that she met the man she would marry. Her cousin had married his older brother, so she was already aware of him. I remember her telling me they spent their honeymoon night at one of granddaddy's relatives house and that she could see the stars through the slats in the roof. It wasn't too long after that he got a job on the railroad, and they moved into a rent house.

Grandma gave birth to 3 boys. She was going to name the first one Gary Wayne, but my grandaddy got ahold of the birth certificate first and named him Val Ray. All while I was growing up, she called him Gary Wayne or Val about confusing to a little kid. My daddy was her baby. He's in his 60s and she would introduce him as her baby.

My grandmother endured hardship and abuse at the hands of my grandfather, and yet she stayed and didn't say one negative word about him. She stayed and gave her sons something she never had growing up -- two parents, a constant home-life. She was the meekest person I had ever met and one of the strongest.

My grandma lived on 10% of her heart and in chronic state of heart failure for easily 10 years. After being told she had to leave Longstreet with grandaddy to live at Live Oak Retirement Community, my grandmother blossomed and really began to live life. Every time the bus was going somewhere, she was on it. If there was a class to take, she took it. I have some of her paintings, and they are some of my most prized possessions because she painted them. I loved my grandma. She was one of my favorite people. I enjoyed visiting her at Live Oak or when she would be taken to the hospital. Many times in the E.R. she would be gasping so hard for breath, but still trying to talk to me that I would have to threaten to leave if she didn't stop talking and telling me stories.

She loved my children, and since she raised all boys, Pearce had a special place in her heart. She would tease him and would give both of them change for being good in school.

There is so much more I could say about this great lady. I'm going to miss her terribly. I love her very much and told her every chance I got. I was blessed to have had her in my life. I was blessed to have been able to spend weeks at a time during the summer with her and grandaddy in order to get to know them. She will leave a big void in my life, but I rejoice that she is in heaven in her new body completely healthy rejoicing, laughing and smiling along side my grandfather, Pappaw, Aunt Re and Uncle Don and her mother. I am thankful and I am blessed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Locator -- Adoptions and Birth Parents

I am the proud parent of 2 beautiful children...sometimes I refer to them as motion and commotion. Pearce is moving from the time he wakes till the time he finally falls asleep after fighting so hard not to go to sleep. Erin talks from the moment she wakes till the time she goes to sleep, and even then, she has been known to talk in her sleep. Erin is my little "Drama Queen" and acts a lot like her daddy, and Pearce is the answer to my mother's prayers, "I hope you have one just like you." But I wouldn't have these 2 little people in my life if it were not for the selfless love, courage and strength of their birth parents who loved them enough to give them life and loved them even more to choose a better life for them.

For those who have given birth to their children and have not struggled with the issues of infertility, lost pregnancies, failed adoption placements will never know, never know. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I really wouldn't.

I am so incredibly grateful for Erin's and Pearce's birth families. So, the next time you wonder or say, "I could never give up my child, and I don't know how anyone could." Think before you speak. Because our birth parents are my heroes. And until you walk in someone else's shoes or are in the least bit educated on the matter, it's best not to say anything. To place a baby for adoption (not "give up"), requires a lot of love and courage probably more than most.

For those who are interested, the Locator:

Friday, September 26, 2008


I am thankful for friends. I am thankful for friends who visited me in the hospital. I am thankful for friends who have brought food during my recooperation time. I am thankful for friends who are willing to come stand in the gap for me this weekend and take care of my kids and love on them. I am thankful for friends who e-mail and call. I am thankful God has blessed me with new friends but saw fit to bless me many years ago with good friends along the way. I pray that young women today will learn the value of a good, solid friendship with their girlfriends. I find gratitude does wonders for perspective and attitude. I just pray that I can pass that along to my kids.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Recession or bail out. In my limited way of comprehending I want to know how people on Wall Street could possibly think it's okay to buy on the margins when they have nothing to buy it with. I want to know how those CEOs and upper management of those companies going under maintain their retirement packages, multiple homes, bonuses and also get bought out -- if they have run their companies in the ground, they should have to forfeit all that they gained through their disastrous spending and lack of restraints. That is my humble opinion.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

God is in control.

Have you ever prayed about a situation, and left it to God's discretion, and then once you did, and things begin to start happening the way you don't want them to go...what do I do? I have no choice but to trust. I trust God that nothing is a surprise to Him. I trust God that He loves this person for whom I am praying very much, and will do whatever is necessary. That's been my prayer. My prayer has been, "God, do whatever it takes to bring this person to understand the full breadth, the full width, and the full depth of His love and forgiveness." It is also my prayer that this person will be accepting of it. I see it in motion and it scares me. It doesn't scare me because I'm not in control, because if I were in control there is no hope. It just scares me for the trial this person is going to have to endure and the cost it will take on the family of this person. I pray the family will be able to endure the hardship this loved one is about to bring on others. I pray for wisdom, guidance and courage for this family. God is in control. He protects those He loves. He disciplines those He loves.


Okay, so shortly after my last entry last night, I took a Lortab. I've only taken them at night because I don't want to over-do-it during the day. Well, apparently, after I took it I had a burst of energy. I decided I was tired of sounding like a cricket. I thought sitting on the side of the tub to shave wouldn't be so bad, and it wasn't until about 4 AM this morning when I awoke to some pain. Yes, I took another Lortab and drifted back to sleep. Maybe I'll try to start taking Ibuprofen or Aleve or something other than Lortab.

So, now I'm back to being at home by myself. There is absolutely nothing on TV during the day, and yet I can't really read a book right now because I won't remember a whole lot. I'm still not the sharpest tack in the box...yet, another reason to come off the Lortab ASAP. For those who like those kind of drugs what a sad life they must have. To choose to be numb or non-feeling, to choose to be in a fog or in a blur as opposed to seeing the vibrancy of life which includes difficulties and pain but it also includes laughter and joy sometimes it has to be searched for but it can be found.

There is no such thing as control, but there is such a thing called "choice." How will I react? How will I choose to respond? I don't always respond the way I want to. Sometimes, self gets in the way, and sometimes hormones kick in, and sometimes, I just act wrong.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Feel It Coming On

I was wondering how long it would take for me to get bored with this. It's 10:12 PM, and it has hit. I'm not normally up this late, and trust me, this is late for me. I took a shower this morning and dried my hair then went to bed...exhausted. My appetite is coming back, and the Loritab isn't kicking my behind like I thought it would. I only take it at night, and I took an Aleve this morning. What all this means is that I'll probably do something stupid tomorrow. Fortunately, I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday morning, so that will get me out of the house, and I have a friend delivering a meal tomorrow, and my son returns home tomorrow. He is guaranteed to wear me out.

Thankfully, I have a couple of girlfriends coming this weekend, and they are sure to keep things light and keep my spirits high.

I am so thankful for good girlfriends! I love my girlfriends.

Who comes up with this stuff?

When I first get up after laying down for a while, it feels like I'm having to stretch my skin out. It is such a weird feeling. Having never been pregnant, I've never had my stomach stretch to cover the expansion of a growing baby, so this is a bit freaky.

And I wonder, who thought that staples or now they have glue they can use to sew people up, would be a good idea. And did they ask permission first or was it a necessity kind of thing. "Oh no, no more sutures! Grab me the stapler, we'll make do." Then how did they explain it to the patient. "Yeah, you were almost a goner because we ran out of thread and you opening was so large, we decided to try something unconventional, but whatever you do, don't try to remove these with the normal staple remover." Really, who comes up with these things?

I slept on my right side part of Saturday night, so now, I have a bruise right above the right side of my staples. GROSS!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

After surgery

I'm not the biggest fan of WKP, but it is what it is. Thankfully, I'm out and was able to keep both of my ovaries. I arrived at the hospital at 10:30, but they didn't get me till 5 or 5:30 PM. I can understand that things happen during surgeries that are not expected or planned for, I just think communication could be improved, and some compassion. Basically, it felt like I had been forgotten about in the pre-op room. I had an excrutiating headache from not having eaten since Tuesday lunch! Finally, they gave me some caffeine for the headache, and for those of you who know me, I don't do caffeine. People around me don't need me to have caffeine. At any rate, that's how things started and didn't get much better for my family. But like I said, that part is over and now on to recovery. I get to have my staples removed on Wednesday. WOOHOO! I don't know why people voluntarily go under the knife to have enhancements done. I handle pain well, and this isn't exactly pleasant. I had teased that I was going to have the doctor add some abs for me, but it was truly just a tease. I'm not really sure how this is possible, but I think my bellybutton looks different. It looks flatter. Yes, I know how goofy that sounds, but it does.

Well, I'm ready for a little siesta.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Illusion of Control

I've been reflecting on today. And I realized that I'm getting rid of some parts of my body that failed me. They failed to serve the purpose in which they were created. My ovary not putting out good eggs and my uterus not supporting a baby. I could be upset, but I choose not to be. I have 2 beautiful children I wouldn't have otherwise.

But things like this use to tick me off because I had no say or no control over the matter, but going through infertility treatments and failed adoptions and other hard knocks in life, God has taught me that control is an illusion that Satan uses to make us think we are independent of God. It's the first tool he used with Eve. "Hey, taste the fruit. Be in control of your future." I first learned I wasn't in control when my own body wouldn't cooperate with my desire to have a baby...Now if you can't be in control of your own body, what can you be in control of, right? Your children? PLEASE! So, what I have learned is I have a choice. I have a choice of how I will respond to things when they happen. The way I respond will or could affect the eventual outcome of things. I have found that positive outlook and positive choices tend to lead to positive outcomes...not control. But that isn't always a given, but regardless, Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us, and there's peace in that. I'd rather have peace (which can be constant and comes from an unchanging source) than having the feeling of control (and we know where that comes from).

The Morning Of

Well, it's the morning of my surgery. Patrick took Erin to school, and Pearce is in MS with his G, and I am home by myself enjoying some quiet time.

Right now, I'm not nervous or anxious. I'm drained...literally. This is the smallest I've been in a while. But I got a good nights rest by going to sleep with some relaxation music playing in my Ipod. I'm as ready and prepared as I can be. I have confidence in my doctor, and I know who holds my future.

I am thankful that even when I feel like I don't have any choice in a matter, I know Christ is in control and that He never leaves me. There's always something to be thankful for.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Round 2

Just FYI, for those of you who have NEVER had the pleasure of taking Magnesium Citrate, let me just tell you. Make sure you stay near the potty because when things begin happening, they happen fast! I'll spare you the details, but it is just to vial.

I don't have to be at the hospital until 10:30 AM tomorrow. Which means at 11 PM tonight, I will be drinking Gatorade till my eyes float. By 10:30 in the morning, I've had a granola bar or 2 and a snack. Otherwise, I typically start getting the shakes. And good luck to the nurse who has to find one of my small veins at that point too. I'm not sure who will be more nervous at that point, me or Patrick. Yes, I do. He will. He won't watch. He'll probably step out of the room.

I don't understand how my broad-shouldered, 5'11" husband can gut a deer, but at the sight of a needle or someone's blood, he turns pasty white and passes smoothe out. Can anyone explain that to me?

Speaking of pasty white, I have to go to the hospital without a stitch of makeup on too. I like to refer to my coloring as "Pigment Challenged." My support person and friend calls it "Critically Caucasian." I'm so white that when I was in high school, I could use baby powder for my face and no one could see it! I'm so white that when my girlfriends would go to the beach to lay out they would ask me to stand and reflect even more of the sun's light onto them. Yes, I foolishly tried to lay out with them and fried many times. So, now in addition to going to the OB once a year, I go to a dermatologist to have my skin checked. Of all the moronic things for me to have done as a white girl. I was so white that I had an uncle who never called me by name. He called me, "White Gul." His wife, my aunt was 1/2 Native American, so their 4 kids looked like Mexicans to me. I was taller and whiter than my other cousins. My sister is also "Pigment Challenged," but she can tan and will secretly go to a tanning bed to get a little color...don't tell my mother.

There are a lot of things my mother didn't know about when we were growing up. I hope my kids are as courteous. Actually, the things my mother didn't know about were the things I was doing with my DAD! And yes, they're still married, and yes, she has found out most of them.

Gotta go



I downed (and by "downed" I mean the first chug was tolerable, but after that I thought I would choke on my tongue) the first 10 ounce bottle of M.C. at noon and about 1:30 PM my stomach started rumbling. It's so fizzy, and I typically don't drink anything fizzy. It's salty. And I love salty foods, so don't get me wrong, but this is so salty it about locks my jaws. Good Lord Almighty! I'm staring at the last 4 ounces of so. It's gotten to the point I take a swig of the MC and then drink some Gatorade just to get that gnarly taste out of my mouth. I tried brushing my teeth after the first one but I still tasted it.

Oops, gotta go.

Partial Hysterectomy

Today I start preparing for my surgery that is tomorrow. I have to drink a bottle of Magnesium Citrate at noon and another at 3 and then I get to try to do an enema like there will be anything left in me. I'm not a large person by any means, so it shouldn't take long...I wouldn't think.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Preparing for Surgery

Thursday, I'm going to be having major surgery. I'm 38 and am having a partial hysterectomy. I'll be keeping my left ovary in the hopes of preventing my need of HRT. My mom and aunt (her sister) both got on HRT after having full hysterectomies and both got breast mom's was worst -- Stage III on it's way to IV. My Mammaw, their mother, had an ovary left when they did her hysterectomy but didn't take HRT (because it wasn't available then), and she didn't get breast cancer. I have made the decision not to do HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). SO, I'm 38 and am having to have a partial hysterectomy removing my cervix, uterus plus fibroid, and right ovary plus cyst or endometriosis, and since I didn't give birth to my beautiful 2 children, my uterus is too high to do the surgery laproscopically. I'll get to have a bikini cut...yea, me. I'm not particularly attached or should I say fond of my uterus, since it never really did me much good or serve its intended purpose. I had prepared myself for its removal, but when she said the right ovary had to go and she would have to cut me, it caught me a little off-guard. I'm okay with it now.

So, now I'm trying to prepare my family the best I can. I've gone to the grocery store and bought 2-3 weeks worth of food. I've made arrangements for the kids for the days following my surgery and the pick ups from school the weeks following my surgery when I can't drive. I've made arrangements for some girlfriends to come the weekend following my surgery to help with the kids and house. My housekeeper comes that Friday too. I've contacted Erin's teacher to let her know the arrangements, and my friends who have offered to bring food the week following the surgery have their assigned days...gotta love livin' in the South. The bills are paid, and right now I can't think of anything that is left undone.

And after doing all this, I wonder what my husband would do if he was having major surgery. How would he prepare for us to handle things while he was down? Would he even think to do it?
That reminds me, I need to write letters to my kids. I write letters to my kids when I go on big trips or have something on my heart in case I'm not around later (I know it's morbid, but I want to have a voice in their lives regardless.). Anyway, back to Patrick, I just wonder what he or any other man would do?

I don't even know that anyone will notice or appreciate all the work I've done before my surgery. Sometimes we take for granted how effective and efficient people in our lives are.

I'm so grateful for my girlfriends. Those who have been through this type of surgery. Those who haven't but are willing to pitch in and stand in the gap for me. I'm so grateful for my family and my children's grandparents who are willing to take my kids and love on them while I recover some.

This time two weeks from now, I expect to feel a bit better.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike

We live in northwest Louisiana, and yesterday we got the winds and rain from Hurricane Ike. We lost electricity just as Pearce and I were about to put homemade cookies into the oven. The electricity was off for about 5 hours. We have a rather large yard (almost 3 acres), and we lost a lot of branches and 1 large oak tree. Fortunately, it didn't hit the house. The last time we had a wind storm of any magnitude , we lost 3 trees. One of those hit the fence and one hit a shed corner. But this storm wasn't that bad. Electricity was out for a lot of people, so we got together with some friends, grilled and had a Hurricane Party. Any reason to get together, fellowship and's a southern thang.

I don't ever remember Hurricane Warnings or Watches when I was growing up, and this is my hometown. But it will definitely be something my kids will remember. Thankfully, we didn't have any tornadoes.

We feel for those who were hardest hit.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Little History

I'm moving forward and becoming computer savvy comparatively speaking, so I thought I would check out what blogging could do for a person. I've tried a page on facebook and reconnected with friends I had lost contact with, and I'm curious what will happen as a result of having a blog. Time will tell.
But a little history before moving forward because it's important to know where you've been. Some mistakes are fun to repeat, but some aren't, and personally, there are too many other things to try than make the same mistake twice only to get the same outcome. Not that I live in regret or have made huge mistakes...or at least I don't think I have.
My name is Kristy, and I was raised in a conservative, southern Baptist home and attended Christian academies. Every time the doors of the church were open, my parents believed we should be there front and center. My mom playing the organ and my dad singing in the choir, and my grandparents sitting 5 rows from the front every Sunday and Wednesday and revival. Some may have resented it, but I loved going to church. It was my social circle without homework tied to it. It kept me out of trouble. As a teenager, our youth pastor kept us so busy there wasn't much time to stir things up or make stupid mistakes. And considering I was diagnosed as being ADHD in 7th grade and impulsiveness was a big issue with me, I needed activity and involvement to keep me focused on the right stuff.
I went to college and met the man I married. He wasn't like any of the other guys I had dated, and I was most definitely not like the girls he had dated previously. I think partly why he stayed with it was because I was a challenge. I didn't cut him any slack either, and I made him wait till our wedding night...for many reasons.
We clicked along with life, buying our first house and working for an insurance company, and then we were relocated. It was after we relocated to central Texas that we were told we were infertile...after numerous tests and exams. We tried fertility treatments for 6 months without success. And to be perfectly honest, I wasn't one of those women who felt like she had to be pregnant or give birth to be all woman. As a matter of fact, I told my mom when I was in high school I wanted to adopt 3 kids from different countries. God was already preparing my heart...isn't that neat?
So, after a grueling 6 months and more months after that dealing with the mood swings from all the hormones and shots, we decided to adopt and I began searching for adoption agencies. We went to an orientation to adopt in China, but I was too young. We had a private adoption that didn't work out because the b-mom was not honest with us and we pulled out. Then I hit the wall of depression. I remember calling my mom late one night crying telling her how angry I was at God, and what kind of God would want me to call Him Father when He won't answer my prayers knowing I was willing to go and follow anywhere. My mom encouraged me to eat 3 good meals the next day, exercise, take a vitamin and before getting started in the morning have a quiet time with God. I told her I wasn't talking to Him. She said quiet time allows God to talk to us and she suggested reading the Proverbs of the day. The next morning I did and the first verse I read in Proverbs was about a stiff-necked fool. Point taken.
About a month after that phone call, my husband and I were in an orientation for adoption. It was an agency that worked with only infertile couples and who tried to facilitate only open adoptions when possible. Two weeks after orientation, we were talking with bps (Birth Parents). Two weeks after that we were matched. Two weeks after that, we met our bps. From the time of orientation to the time Erin was born was 3 months. There is so much more to Erin's story, and when she is older and can understand about blogging and who all it reaches, we will put her story on because her story began at her conception. The week she was conceived 7 godly women began praying for her, her bps, and us. It's an AMAZING story.
When Erin was one year old, I knew we were to adopt again, but I wasn't ready. When Erin was about 3, she really started pushing for a baby sister whom she named Sarah. When the social worker came to the house, Erin insisted on giving her the tour, and showed her to her room that had two twin beds. With her Vanna White arms, she said, "This is my bed, and this is my baby sister Sarah's bed." The social worker tried to suggest that Erin may have a baby brother, and Erin assured her she wasn't. We utilized the same adoption agency and were matched with a bp, but the match didn't last. I was heartbroken, but it did prompt me to buy Erin a doll that looked a lot like herself. She was so excited to receive her, and I told her the doll's name was Sarah. Sarah is a lovely name, but it isn't one I would have chosen for our little girl and I certainly didn't want her calling our son Sarah. About a month after the one match fell through, we were talking to a young mom in west Texas, and she had all but chosen us. We had hit it off, but for some unknown reason she didn't choose us. That was devastating to me, but a week later we received the call that a baby boy had been born on August 27th, on his b.m.'s (birth mom) birthday whose name happens to guessed it, Sarah. By the way, I don't believe in consequences. I believe God was in total control of that whole situation. There's more to Pearce's story, but he will have to tell it when he decides to share it.
The day we finalized Erin's adoption in Texas, we moved back home to Louisiana, and that is where we are today surrounded by family raising our children and making a living to support our life.
So that's my story in a very small nut shell. Hopefully, it will help to have this info and help you understand where I'm coming from.