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September 1, 2006. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Babies are a joy!

The joys of being a grandmother

My grandson is seven months old now, and he brings so much happiness into my life.  He is a ray of sunshine, just like his mom.

 The baby loves to flash a smile at me, and I bath in his sunshine.  He chatters constantly.  I love to repeat the sounds he makes back to him.  My grandson is definitely going to grow up to be some sort of communicator.  LOL

He seems to want to bypass crawling altogether.  He’s been taking little steps since he was four months old.  Now he’s dangerous in a walker, zooming from one room to the next.  He’s always on the go.

This little one has huge expressive eyes to go with his smile.  He also has a set of dimples.  Females from ages 2 to 92 are smitten with him.

One day my grandson will be old enough to date.  I’ll take great glee in watching my daughter as she handles the female attention her son will receive.  Somehow, I don’t think she’s going to be too kind to prospective girlfriends.  It will be fun to see what happens.

August 21, 2006. Family, Life, Personal. 4 comments.

Standing by a friend

When there are no words

 Tomorrow a dear friend will bury her only child, a son.  Jon was 28 when he died in an accident last week. 

 When I got the news of  Jon’s death, my hands immediately went to my face.  I then got a severe headache.

My friend, Mary, just recently underwent her second operation in the past 18 months.  She quit her job.  She had never been sick before.  I’ve been quite concerned about her.  Mary is a very private person, so I don’t know the nature of her illness.  I just know that I wished I could do something to offer her comfort.  Even through her illness, she is a ray of sunshine.  But you can see in her eyes that she is not well.

When I learned that Jon had been killed, it was like a knife went through my heart.  I was numb.  Later, I cried for my friend.

When you lose anyone close, you must, of course move on.  When you lose a child, however, you never totally get over it.  I know.  My own son, my oldest, died in an auto accident 11 years ago.  I never got to say good-bye. 

Hopefully, Mary will allow herself to grieve.  Hopefully, there will be some things I can do to support her in the days after the funeral, when everyone goes back to their routines.  Perhaps Mary will want me to just sit with her in silence.  Or maybe she’ll want to recall her warmest memories of Jon.

I didn’t grieve for my son for five years.  I was busy trying to be strong for everyone else.  I even insisted on identifying the body because even though I come from a family of mostly males, I knew the men couldn’t handle it.   So I did it myself.

I went back to work the next day after the funeral.  I couldn’t stand the quietness of the house.  I had sent my other children to school so that they could be around their friends.

You tread into perilous territory if you delay the grieving process as I did.  Five years after my own son’s death, one night as I was driving home from work, I just burst into tears.  I couldn’t stop crying.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me.  After the crying continued for several days, I went to see my doctor. 

She said, “I have been waiting for this.  It’s taken you all this time to finally start grieving for Raymond.”  ( Raymond was my son’s name.)

I didn’t know it at the time, but the lights went out for me when my son died.  I went through the motions of getting on with my life.  I buried any feelings I had of grief.  I really had myself fooled.

Tomorrow I will attend Jon’s funeral.  Afterwards, I will compile a notebook of prayers and scriptures to give to my friend Mary.  She may read them right away.  She may not.  But one day those prayers and scriptures will sustain her.

August 21, 2006. Friends/Family, Life, Personal. 4 comments.

Having a pity party? Read this.

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy; O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

 

 

St. Francis was born at Assisi in 1182. After a care free youth, he turned his back on inherited wealth and committed himself to God. Like many early saints, he lived a very simple life of poverty, and in so doing, gained a reputation of being the friend of animals. He established the rule of St Francis, which exists today as the Order of St. Francis, or the Franciscans. He died in 1226, aged 44.

St. Francis’ prayer is a bold one, asking for strength to give of ourselves to meet the needs of others. He recognizes that it “is in giving that we receive,” that as we give of ourselves, we receive the peace and blessing of God.

Think about the situations that you are involved in that require peace, consolation, hope, light and joy. Then, if you’re bold enough, pray the prayer!

Source: The Prayer Guide

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July 11, 2006. Inspiration. 12 comments.

Executing the deal

I think Alina is right about how to resolve my housing dilemma. I need to go ahead and use this opportunity for my little family to temporarily move in with a guy and his kids. We’ll call this man G. Alina says, in part:

I think you should take it if all in all it is the best option, but do keep it short! Get more money and move out….

(If you don’t know the story behind this move, click here.)

My hotel room is paid up through Tuesday morning. But we’re packing up most of our stuff today and moving it to G’s house. We’ll return to the hotel later today. We’ll stay here until we have to check out. At G’s home, the kids and I will share a bedroom.

G and I talked by phone yesterday. G started off the conversation saying that he needed someone to take care of the kids. I knew that was coming, so I was prepared. I told him that I would handle any childcare duties and that my daughter would devote her time to the baby. G got silent for a minute, but he didn’t say anything.

I knew if I didn’t make my point clear before we moved in, G would be expecting my daughter to cook and clean for his four little boys. I’m certain my daughter will do some things around the house, but I want her to do them when she has the time and the energy, not as a maid. When she was dating G’s son, she used to do a lot of cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids because the house was always a mess. So I think she’s already done more than her fair share of work. We’ll move in for a month or so, save some money, and leave.

Wish us luck. Don’t be surprised if this post becomes one of a continuing saga!

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July 9, 2006. Friends/Family, Life, Personal. 2 comments.

Tell me I’m not making a deal with the devil

 

The job interview wasn’t the only eventful thing to happen within the last 24 hours. I got a proposal – of sorts – to temporarily resolve my housing issue. I’m going to accept the offer, but I feel as if I’m making a pact with the devil. Let me explain.

In a previous post, I mentioned that my teenage daughter recently gave birth to a son. Today the baby’s paternal grandfather offered to let my daughter, the baby, and me live in an extra bedroom at his house.

I’m not one who enjoys saying unkind things about other people. But this man, who is currently single, lives with five sons by different mothers. With the exception of his oldest son (the baby’s daddy), the rest of the boys range in age from three to ten.

In the two years I’ve known “Grandpa,” I’ve lost count of how many girlfriends he’s had. He’s been married three or four times (depending on which family member you ask). He’s a notorious flirt, even with me! And it’s no secret that he’s looking for a woman to take care of all his kids.

My life resembles a soap opera enough without taking on this new scenario. But the reality is that my little family and I really need a place to stay until I have more money coming in. My family members won’t help, and this is the only viable option I have right now. At least “Grandpa” has a steady income as a career government employee.

I’m trying to sort this all out. It wouldn’t surprise me if my daughter finds the living arrangement revolting. I will speak to her about it a little later today. If my daughter is dead set against the arrangement, then I’ll try to make other living arrangements for her.

As life would have it, my daughter decided last weekend to end communication with her baby’s father. She is hurt because he doesn’t support her or the baby.

The young man, by the way, is not living with his dad right now. So my daughter may reluctantly agree to live with “Grandpa” and his five boys. This arrangement would last about a month, giving me some time to save some money.

Are you keeping up with all of this?? Sometimes I wonder if I’m keeping it all straight! I could use a shrink about now. (sigh)

Perhaps you now understand why I’m concerned about “making a deal with the devil.”

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. Things could be a lot worse. Stay tuned!

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July 7, 2006. Family, Life, Personal Drama. 5 comments.

In search of a rewarding career

Today I had a job interview. The position I applied for isn’t full-time. However, it is in promotions, something I think I’d enjoy. I’d get to work with people in a fast-paced environment. If hired, I’d be on call. But it’s a job, and I have to start somewhere.

My interview was at a casino. I live in a major city, but this was the first time I had ever set foot into a casino. Once inside, I gazed in amazement at the flashing lights and the crowds, but only for a few moments. I stayed focused and headed for human resources.

Once there, I completed the second half of an online application. (I completed the first part of the application, my work and education profile, at home.) In the HR office, I answered about 25 questions designed to determine if I have good customer service skills.

I train others in customer service, so I think I did all right on the questionnaire. But I admit to lying on one question. The question: Has anyone ever told you that you talked too much? I answered NO. 🙂

Later, I participated in a group interview with others.

I learned a lot today. When people are gambling away their fortunes in a casino, it’s important to have employees who smile all the time, treat guests like they’re VIPs, and maintain a high-energy environment. Projecting fun is first and foremost in every casino.

Legalized gambling is serious business. If hired, I’d have to get a gaming license. That involves completing a 32-page application and paying a fee of $125. The employer takes the sting out of the fee by allowing employees to pay the fee through payroll deduction. Sweet.

Wish me luck!

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July 7, 2006. Life, Work. 5 comments.

Never give up

“Once our minds are ‘tattooed’ with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish.”
– John C. Maxwell

My life has been quite eventful this past year. Two days after being appointed to a leadership team to plan a $2 million fund-raising campaign, I lost my job. A few days later, I found out my teenage daughter was pregnant. I didn’t even know she was having sex!

I lost my home. Things went down from there. I was reminded of a quote that sat on my computer desk years ago:

It goes on and on for days. Then suddenly it gets worse.

No kidding! My former employer handled a company reorganization badly. But, in all honesty, most companies don’t handle reorganizations well.

I shouldn’t have been surprised how things played out. When I was recruited and hired for the job a couple of years earlier, I was surprised at the lack of infrastructure in place.

There was no place for me to work, so I worked from home. I had no equipment, so I had to use my own computer, phone, etc. My job is heavy on computer and phone contact.

Can you say “dysfunctional”?

Not having a place to work was actually the least of my problems. This was a start-up operation that had no phones, budget, or equipment. Six months later, my boss was still working on a budget.

That fateful day

On the day that I lost my job, I was called in early by the board president to work with him on the final part of the reorganization plan. When I arrived at the office, I learned, instead, that I no longer had a job because of that reorganization! Those are the breaks, I guess.

A week later, I found out that my daughter was pregnant. She’s still a kid. I never saw it coming. I didn’t even know she was having sex!

I can always count on family

Over the months, I endured family insults that I was a bad mother. Relatives not only slung mud at my daughter, they slung mud at me. That, in and of itself, was hurtful. The fact that I was unemployed and struggling to keep everything together made life even more challenging. I had moments of total exhaustion – physically and mentally.

Nevertheless, I never gave up. I made sure my daughter got good medical treatment. She stayed in school and continued to excel. We had some very hard times, but we met the challenge head on.

I lost my home shortly after the baby was born. But nothing could take away my joy at the birth of my grandson, who is a gorgeous and happy baby. He looks like his mom and has her charm. Like his mom, he lights up a room with his presence. I am so proud of the kids.

The good news is . . .

My daughter is back in school. Her grades are wonderful. She’ll be in honors classes in the fall.

She has her whole life ahead of her. I want her to remain focused on her goals. Everyone makes mistakes. The mark of maturity is when you can rise above them and keep going.

Our little family is still moving from place to place because I’m still looking for a full-time job. We’ve gotten very little help from family. But that was no surprise. Our faith keeps us going. We also get support from a small cadre of wonderful friends.

Never underestimate the power of God and the kindness of people – some of whom you’ve never met.

My daughter and I will be successful because we refuse to drown in negative thinking. Sure, we get discouraged at times. But we refuse to be destroyed.

The great thing about life is that with each day, you get the opportunity to begin again.

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July 5, 2006. Life. 3 comments.

Greetings

You have just entered the world of Naomi. Welcome! Hopefully, you will enjoy this space.

I’m a chick who said she’d never write a journal to rant and rave. I didn’t think journaling was my style. Wrong!

After blogging for a year in some other spaces, where my writing is purely professional, I found that I did need to pen some personal thoughts.

I’m not sure where I’m headed, but I do know that I’m off on a new adventure. Come with me and enjoy the ride.

July 5, 2006. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.