Wednesday, March 30, 2011



A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience,
raised a glass of water and asked, 'How heavy is this glass of water?

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, The absolute weight doesn't matter.
It depends on how long you try to hold it.
If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem..
If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.
If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.
In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.

He continued,
And that's the way it is with stress management.
If we carry
our burdens all the time, sooner or later,
the burden will become increasingly heavy:
and we won't be able to carry on.

As with the glass of water,
you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again..
When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.
So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down: don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.
Whatever burdens you're carrying now,
let them down for a moment if you can.

So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don't pick it up again until after you've rested a while

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Greatest man I ever knew

The world lost a great man on Saturday.

I had the privilege to know him, to work for him and call him my friend.
That sounds so little. I can't find the words for what he was to me.
He was a great man and wonderful doctor. Rarely shall the twain meet. I have only seen it once in my life.
His wisdom and knowledge were unsurpassed.
He taught me: If I'll lie for you, I'll lie to you.
and that there's another part to Great minds think is: or fools seldom deviate.
If it weren't for these patients that trust me, I'd be just a man with a piece of paper.
Every person no matter their lot in this world deserves respect. You don't know what they've been through.
People will treat you with respect, if you act like you deserve it.
I have never seen a man who had so much to brag about, be so humble in my life.
He would always say, "Mrs A, I'm the son of pig farmers, if I can do this, anybody can."
And he ALWAYS, but always called his "girls" Mrs. whatever their last name was. He respected us. We loved him. Other than my husband, I can honestly say I have never respected another human being so much.
There were times when I could have spit nails I was so mad at him. Appointments started at 9:00 am, I would be lucky if he got there by 11:00. An older gentleman would come in and say, "I know Jack's not here. I just went by his place and he was still mowing the lawn". And he would sit down and wait. All his patients waited. They knew when it was their turn he would spend an hour with them too, if they needed it. You see, he didn't just treat what they came in for that day. He KNEW them, their family, their jobs, their kids. And what was going on in their lives right then.
We would call Mrs. Garrison to "tell on him". Anything from being way too late to being gruff with us. She say,"now girls, give him a break. He was at the nursing home, at the hospital, had to go to some one's house (yes, he still made house calls til almost the end of his career).I'll talk to him when he gets home." I have no idea if she did "talk" to him, because he never said a word about us calling her and telling on him.
A patient was never,ever turned away because they couldn't pay right then or didn't have their co-pay up front. He would not stand for that.
I think about that every time I go to the Dr and the nice girl asks for my co-pay up front. Jack Garrison would have had somebodies head on a platter for that.
The man had a presence and deep voice that filled up a room. There was never any doubt when he was in the room.
I once called him a butt head! I do believe I may have been the only person who dared say that to his face. It is a fond memory :) He had a bad habit of throwing the days mail at my head every morning (afternoon) when he came into the office. I was always able to catch it. Except once. It hit me right in the head. Before I thought (trust me,BEFORE I thought) I said,"you butt head". He laughed so hard I thought he would choke. It's a laugh I hope I never forget. For many years my Christmas card was signed, Your favorite butt head. I loved that man.
Once after I thought he was particularly mean, I told him the M.D after his name, certainly did not mean medical Dr. It had to be MEAN DR. He made me go in the room of every patient that day and tell them what the M.D meant. He thought it was Hilarius.
Even after my husband received orders away from VA.Beach I could count on a call about every 6 months. Our calls started with "Is this Msssss A." (the Mrs & my last name was drawn waaaaaaay out) And I would say," Is this the meanest Dr in the world? He'd say "yes it is, so I guess we've both got the right people." I love that man. We'd exchange small talk for awhile, mostly family, me crying, because I couldn't find another Dr. like him to work for in the place. And all would be right with the world for a while longer. Last Christmas he called me on Christmas day, it was the best present.
He was also a man with the heart the size of,well, him. He was giant. He had nine kids. 3 home grown & 6 store bought. If you every see me use that terminology, that's pure Dr. Garrison. Blame him.
In our last conversation, he said, "Mrs A I'm proud of what you're doing down there". Meaning foster care & David. I got to tell him that greater men than me had gone on before me to show me the way. He cried. He had just lost his beloved wife Mary of nearly 60 years. He loved her with such devotion. They did not celebrate yearly anniversaries, but if I remember correctly monthly anniversaries. I can't count how many times that man would leave in the middle of the day to go to the card store to get an anniversary card. That my friends, is a great man. I often wondered how many cards she had from so many months of anniversaries.
After he retired I begged him teach at a medical school. I'm sure you already know this, but they don't teach doctors to be good human beings. What he had, I'm not so sure you could teach anyway. Either you got it or you don't. And now the insurance companies would just take it from you anyway. I know there isn't a CPT code for listening and caring.
I have a million Jack Garrison stories, but my eyes are so raw now I can barely keep them open.
I'll have to remember to tell you the billfold story. Right now my eyes & heart can't take anymore.

Monday, March 28, 2011

My Boy Is Growing UP

And I'm NOT very happy about it.
This is much too fast. He's only a baby. Those teeth just came in like...the other day!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

If YOU don't know, I certainly don't

The Bmom of Boy #2 who has been with us since he was 3 months old finally called today out of the blue. I haven't heard from her since Christmas. When I had to make her take him for a visit.
Well, today it was as though no time at all had passed since her last visit. She just wanted to pop on over and pick him up for a visit. I told her I didn't think so, there was a court date she had missed and I was unsure how visits were to go.
Since it's supposed to go to TPR* (it's only been 2.5 yrs)I told her to call the S*W.
I called his new S*W to give her a heads up that bmom may call and to be ready.
After I explained to her the conversation I'd just had with mom, she actually said, "I don't know what to do, I'm new at this. I'm going to have to ask someone else and get back with you." I will insert here, that this is the 3nd new s*w he's had in the last 3 months.
Not one of them knows mom's history or even what's supposed to be going on in the case...after 2 1/2 years...Jimenyfriggincricket !

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Better You Than Me

I called Boy #1 new mommy & daddy tonight because The Boy had been asking to see and play with Boy #1. When they answered the phone I could tell it may have been a little hectic around there, so I said I'd call later. New mom said "oh no, now is fine. I'm just putting together a crib, we just got a call for a 1 yr old and 3 day old sibling." .....and she said it ALL CALM it was no big deal. I'd forgotten when they adopted* Boy #1 they had to change their status to foster* to *adopt, leaving them open for *foster placements.
This was their first *foster placement and she believed them when they told her it was just over night. You see she works full time too. She was sure they would be there tomorrow to pick them up.
Bless Her Heart

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Still Processing

I swear I won't beat this horse forever (Ali this means I promise not to talk about Orlando forever)
But I had a most interesting conversation with a friend who did not go to Orlando, so I felt it my duty to let her in on what she missed.
As we talked about the Greatness that was Orlando and the Awesomeness of meeting all the women I got to meet and what each and everyone of them brought to the table and or pool.
She said a most interesting thing.........If *DFACS* found out about what I or we had done they would have fits seven different ways from Sunday, and a couple not seen on a Saturday. (realizing that not all of the ladies were foster parents)But the ones who were..........goodlordhavemercy.........
They would NOT realize the therapy value or any kind of value in having something like I just experienced. It gave us hope,guidance,wisdom,love,how-to,how-not to, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, understanding & no condemnation, and did I mention hope?
A coniption fit (from *dfacs*) to end them all would take place in every corner of the US. What my friend said was very true. This kind of thing would not be tolerated. God only knows what would happen if this kind of thing was allowed to go on!
They should be paying us to do this kind of thing, not a witch hunt* for those trying to just make it one more day.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Memory dump ........

Not because I will ever forget these women.
But because I don't want to forget the details.
I had the privilege to meet the most awesome women I have ever known. And I have known some pretty incredible,strong woman in my life time.

Where do I even start? I will pose the question that one of these women posed in the van from the airport on the way to our Amazing house: What mother in their right mind would ever allow their children to meet someone on line, (some of us have "known" each other for years thru our blogs)but still. Fly from all over the U.S and Canada to a place some have never been to and stay with complete stranger, in a house for 4 days? Many of us, dare I say most of us stepped out of our comfort zone. WAyyyyy out of our comfort zone, to be with other mothers just like ourselves.
Because you just don't find support for what we do in our daily lives in your next door neighbor.
Some things I never want to forget is:
A hot tub is a very therapeutic place
*10 were at the house where I stayed, but there were around 70 total!!
When there's 10 women in a house, dinner is cooked, cleaned up and messes are minimal.
No one notices or cares when you walk around in your jammies with no bra.
or your cellulite.
It is really work to understand what a ska ma-shal is saying to you. They have a language of their own, as well as being funny, & they give good advice when you can understand them...she can't help it, bless her heart.
I am sorely tempted to move to TX, so The Boy will have the most awesome 4th grade teacher, I've ever known. She Sooo came up with the best blog title I've heard of.
A local mom that I wish was my neighbor. A kinder, gentler heart I have never met.
A little CanadaGirl, who stole my heart with her knowledge & sweetness I will never forget. From this day foreword I never see a napkin again without a secret smile.
2 women from "a far off,snowy place" who are strong, who put their effort where their mouths are. I couldn't even comprehend raising the children one of them does and then dealing with the "work" part of their lives. Strong women.
The kinda close-by me-Mom that I've "known" for awhile- strong, beautiful,funny, wonderful and why can't she live closer?
The mom who is a Flower ;) lovely,graceful,wise,funny. Oh, why can't they live right in my neighborhood.
The musical instrument--full of wisdom and beauty, but will fight for everything her child needs...really fight.
Sitting and doing nothing is Therapy...good therapy.
Talking into the night about your story, their story, without judgement, without gasps, or "are you crazy" looks, are worth more than all the therapy I could afford. It is cleansing, it is.....more, more,more than I can put on paper.
It is truly something you have to experience to KNOW.
I will never forget this weekend or these incredible women I got to know.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

You know you're a Foster*Parent

When you're doing something as mundane as watching the news and know it's only a matter of time before your phone will ring.
(It took an hour and a half)
Some days I wish I could go back to not knowing about this parallel universe we now live in.