Tag Archives: Friends

Help me, Help her.

25 May

I’ve been feeling a sense of urgency to write but honestly I have absolutely no idea as to how I should approach this cry for help. Every time I sit down to write I feel overwhelmed with emotions. So many memories race through my mind and all sorts of ways to reach out to you come into my head. I’ve been getting so wrapped up in the words I should use that I’ve actually delayed this post. And this post needs to get out there, like a week ago. I’ve decided to stop thinking and to start typing. This may not be my prettiest or my most cleverly worded post but it is the most heartfelt and sincere.

Here is a little back story before I get to the point of this whole post.

I attended MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) Camp through my teen years and had the opportunity to form amazing friendships which are actually more like a family unit. To break it down further, we’re pretty much an underground organization of super heroes, but I am bound by oath to not elaborate. These friends were (and are) a source of community as I struggled through all the crap MD brought me as a child, teen and young adult. They understood my pain, suffering, loss, and every day challenges. They understand the frailty of life, they appreciate each day as if it was their last. Because it could in fact, be their last. They are MY people. And I love them.

Joining this elite group of kids exposed me to many opportunities for growth. We taught each other how to live with pride and how to find happiness in the hand we were dealt. We built each other up throughout the year and looked forward to that one week out of the summer where we came together and didn’t feel handicapped. It was all about us, and having fun. Camp holds a very special place in my heart, as do all the people who attended or volunteered that week.

With all the reward that came with knowing other MD kids it wasn’t apparent to me that this group had a down side. Most MD diagnosis’s come with a life expectancy. At age 15 I was given the number 21. I never put it together that some of my friends, these close friends whom I loved and admired, also had a number placed on them. I was 18 and being healed from the pains of MD when I experienced the heartache and grief that comes with losing a friend. I also felt an extreme amount of guilt. Why was God healing me and not my friends? I felt so guilty that I was pain-free throughout my body, while my friends were getting worse.

The first friend I lost to this disease was a best friend, 7 years ago. Her name is Cassandra and we definitely were a dynamite team. Her wit matched mine, her passion for life was like nothing I had witnessed before and seriously, nothing phased her. She knew her limits and plowed through them whenever possible, she loved adventure just like me. Her and I connected from the day we met, which was my first day ever at MDA Camp. We were bunk mates through the years and inseparable at camp. We continued our friendship through telephone calls, sleepovers and fundraisers. We were a team to be reckoned with! OK, we actually were just sarcastic trouble makers who enjoyed eating all the free pizza…. but we did raise SOME money. I lost Cassandra in 2005 and not many days pass where I don’t think about her. Where I don’t wish that there was a cure for what she had or that God would have healed her too, that I don’t wish I could have made it to her funeral, that I don’t wish I would have returned her phone call sooner. I was two days too late and kept getting her voice mail for a few weeks. It wasn’t unlike her to not check her voice mail, so I didn’t think twice about it. A close friend had to tell me over the phone of her passing. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe. I feel the same sorrow now as I type this. I miss her. I miss her so much.

Soon after I lost Cassandra, I lost another close friend, affectionately nicknamed “Homie”. Homie and I met on my first day of camp as well. He was a “wanna be thug”, as I always told him. He’d wear his bandana and listen to (far too loud) rap music like he knew what was up. But in reality he was the softest, sweetest, most loveable guy I had ever met. We’d hang out when he was in town and I spent the weekend at his house with his family a time or two. I miss him.

Three years ago I lost another close friend, Matt. He was a jokester. He was fun and slightly mischievous. He also loved, no, was obsessed with trucks and race cars. He asked me to my first “Big Boy Dinner” at camp. Every girl wanted to be on the arm of one of the Big Boys (they were the oldest boys at camp, the dinner was always fun and delicious, and we got to dress up!), it was a pretty big deal for us. Whenever I hear the song “Free Fallin” I think of our first dance together, and every dance after then to the same song. Our song. I miss him.

I shared these very personal experiences of loss with you so you can better understand why I am so passionate about the following person. This post isn’t intended to be about loss, it’s about saving a life.

The life of a friend of mine, the life of Susie.

Susie and I met at camp. Since she is 4 years younger than me and in a different cabin, we didn’t have tons of opportunities to hang out. But when we became cabin mates during my final year at camp, I was blessed with the chance to get to know her better. The thing about Susie that stood out to me was her heart. She is kind, compassionate, loving, tender, caring, sympathetic, and sweet. Susie’s heart is what makes her so special!

Last week Susie informed me and all of our friends that she needs a new heart. But in order to get on the transplant list she needs to come up with a huge sum of money to prove she is a worthy candidate. This down payment so to speak will show that she can afford all the costs that come along with receiving a donor heart. For example; relocating closer to the hospital, follow-up treatments, and medications. Currently she has a pacemaker/defibrillator that is keeping her heart from stopping, but this isn’t good enough for the long-term. She needs a new heart to save her life.

I refuse to do nothing when I can do something. I couldn’t save Cassandra, or Homie or Matt. And I know I can’t save Susie all by myself, I need you. I need the readers of my blog. I need the fellow bloggers who enjoy my ramblings and interact with me on a weekly basis. I need the world-wide-web and the people living in it to use all their Social Media Super Powers to get her story out there! I know we can do this together.

Susie’s page can be found here (updated): http://www.giveforward.com/susieslvad  (This is her most recent site, to help her with the expenses surrounding her LVAD while she await a transplant.)

I’m not going to beg for money, although I’m not above that in the least. Today all I am asking of you is that you please post the link above to your Facebook page and encourage others to do that same. Or Send it in a mass email to your friends/family/coworkers urging them to read it and forward it on to their friends/family/coworkers. Or Twitter it (Tweet it? Idk, I don’t do Twitter)…please get the word out there as best you can. If you feel moved to donate, then do so. I thank you from the bottom, top and all sides of my heart for whatever action you are able to take.

This world needs people like Susie, and I need Susie in this world. I nearly fall to pieces thinking about mourning the loss of another friend. Please. Help me, help her. Let’s get Susie on the transplant list!

Thank you.

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The Cleaning Catalyst

18 May

Today I had planned to clean this house like the dirty girl it is… but I have failed miserably. I have cleaned the bathroom top to bottom which was no easy feat, and then took the easy route and tidied the living room.

I got on Skype to procrastinate by talking to my friend Adam.

I asked him to give me his best “Dead Beat Husband” message and yell at me to Clean the kitchen. He did pretty good considering he’s 20 years old and the farthest thing from dead beat or a husband.

Adam:  GOD DAMNIT GET URRR AS IN THE KITCHEN AND GET ME A BEER. AND WHILE YOUR IN THERE CLEAN THE GOD DAMN KITCHEN BEFORE I DONT LET YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR A WEEK!

He tried, but failed. We chatted about my blog a bit and he said he saw the post about “period blood” and was going to skip it… There was a lull in the conversation. I assumed he started playing a video game or trolling around like he does. He messaged me a 5 minutes later with a quote from The “Period” Card. He was laughing.

Then he linked me this http://heyyeyaaeyaaaeyaeyaa.com/ and I instantly loved him more than I did 2 minutes prior. He encouraged me to turn it up really loud and show that kitchen who’s boss!
I’m getting my rubber combat gloves right after this post!

It’s on dishes!  It’s on counter tops! It’s on you dirty sticky nasty floor! ITS FREAKING ON!

 

Thanks Adam. It’s friends like you that bring a healthy balance of procrastination conversation and positive motivation to be productive…eventually, into my every day life. ❤

My Geeky Gaming Flag

14 May

The geek in me is out of the bag, and I have a flag. So, lets talk about gaming. (If gaming in general bores you, just skip this post. I won’t be offended, it’s not for everyone…)

Enters Super Nintendo.

My relationship with gaming started pretty young when our family was given a Super Nintendo and a whole gaggle of games. My brother and I would spend hours playing (when allowed). My favorites were Paperboy, Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat (FINISH HIM! My cousin T did that voice perfectly) and Super Mario. Honestly those games were awesome and with each hand-me-down console we received, the more in love I fell with games. Every kid I knew enjoyed playing video games but for me, it was a nice escape from my every day physical pain.

Enters Nintendo 64 and Game Boy.

As I got older the consoles got even more awesome and there was a Game Boy I coveted but never owned. For a while I was obsessed with playing Zelda on N64. A friend of the family had an N64 and any time I had the opportunity to go to his house, I was there. I was in front of their TV playing Zelda as soon as possible. He was 4 years older than me and more than willing to sit beside me and coach me along the way. Soon I was the master of Zelda, many thanks to Big B for all the pointers and patience! I also mastered Goldeneye 007 with the help of my brother and his endless access to cheat codes.

Enters the age of Xbox and PlayStation (all models).

Once Xbox and PlayStation hit their heyday gaming reached a new level of awesome. My brother and I and all of our friends would sit in front of the big screen, playing everything from Tony Hawk to Halo. Halo was my kryptonite though. To this day I fail in a huge way. I have a hard time keeping my gun pointed at the target, and not in the air… It’s a coordination thing I never took the time to overcome and I hope some day to conquer this gaming-hiccup. Tons of fun was had playing Xbox and PlayStation in my teens.

Enters Wii and PC games.

I had a love affair with the Wii and to this day enjoy a couple of games. Currently most of my Wii playing is centered around my son’s love affair with Super Hero Squad. I’m not gonna lie though, I enjoy it too and so does T. It’s such an awesome game! Anyways,  around the age of 19 I started exploring PC games.

Enters the MMORPG (name withheld for upcoming post).

Let’s just say I thoroughly enjoyed a particular fantasy-based game that opened up a whole different world of gaming for me. Simultaneously I started to expand my interest of reading into the fantasy genre and attempted to watch Lord of the Rings. For some reason, I could never stay awake through all the walking… Do not fear though, I finally watched all three movies in 2009 when I had the swine flu with T. I played that MMORPG for several years and made some great friends on there too. But all things come to an end, and luckily the days of the MMORPG are over. I was seriously addicted to the game. The detox from it was ugly. But I pulled through and have vowed to never return. I still longed for the fun of an RPG though…

Enters Dungeons and Dragons.

My hubby has been playing D&D for years and while we were dating he introduced me to the game. I was so excited to finally give it a go. I had heard of D&D when I was a teen but never personally knew anyone who played. But now, I had the opportunity to find out what exactly it was all about. I came to the game table with an open mind and released the image of teen boys gathered in a dark basement, wearing wizard robes and talking in an other worldly language. It ended up being grown men, in a living room, speaking an other worldly language. I was a little disappointed though. I wanted a wizard robe.

The guys were welcoming and made me feel comfortable to role-play. The first character I created was Chloe Starflower. She is a Wood Elf Druid, with an animal companion named Hawkles. The guys loathe my hawks name and he quickly became the target of jokes and death threats. I believe their malice is based on jealousy beings  Hawkles often out damages them… Or maybe they just really despise the name. Either way, it makes for some good banter. Here is a picture of what I imagine Chloe to look like. (I searched to find the original artist by going to the link in the corner. It seems that’s a porn site…  I’ll update if I find the artist, giving proper credit.)


I loved the session so much that I requested to join most of the quests T was in. D&D has been our weekly entertainment and both T and I love it. It’s more personal than online gaming as you get to be with real life people/friends. Human interaction is irreplaceable people! Here’s a look at my characters and photo credit given when known.

Fiona Moondance. Currently a level 4 Fighter with +4 lvl adjustment for being a Shade. She is an Assimar (of celestial blood) and is one of my favorite characters when it comes to her back story. The quest itself is also very uniquely written and intriguing. We have an awesome and talented DM who writes most of the quests/storylines which is a vital part of having an enjoyable session. Here is a picture of me landing a rare roll, 20!

It was a rare roll for me, so I captured it!

Arijana Novachek. She is a 5th level Witch. She is of good nature but definitely pushes the boundaries in the group. She likes to vomit spiders to gross out her adventuring companions, and is in constant conflict with her nature-loving “sister”.  She has fox familiar named Fawkes (I’m good at animal naming). Here is an excerpt from my character  questionnaire sheet describing her.”Arijana Novachek is 5’7, 140 pounds, and 18 years old. She has blue eyes and long, curly dark red hair which she usually wears up in a crazy-like bun-mess. (She’s known to use small bones of fallen foes to tie her hair up in knots, and always wears the ribbon Krask (T’s character who is a Gnoll) gave her somewhere in her crazy hair). She usually can be seen wearing a very worn black floor length traveler’s cloak, knee-high traveler’s boots, dark tights, with a long torn/ragged skirt and a corset top/shirt. Some may find her dress provocative, she just finds it comfortable and functional. Around her waist she wears a potion belt and on her hip is a morning star.

A current-day example would be that she resembles Amy Lee of Evanescence.

With red hair and D&D related clothing of course.

Then there is my Shield Dwarf, Hilda, who goes by the name “Midge”. She’s a bit different from the standard dwarf as she’s quite personable and a wizard. Some of the guys think that my dwarf is blasphemous beings she’s a wizard. But our DM doesn’t mind. He thinks she’s great. So they can all blow it elsewhere. 😉 She is a Thunder Twin and destined for greatness! My sister-in-law plays my twin and we have fun role-playing. Currently she is level 5.

Photo credit to the awesome Eva Widermann. http://www.eva-widermann.de/

I play a peasant girl in a unique quest ran by our good friend C. The quest takes place in a different world than Faerun where the rest of my characters reside. We have a lot of fun in this group and everyone does a fantastic job capturing the personality of their characters. Meet Suzy Mills. She is a level 4 Oracle. Every time danger comes around, she becomes clumsy and unable to perceive anything… It makes for interesting role-playing.

Photo Credit to Tonny-chan of Deviant Art

And lastly, my most recently developed character. Her name is Zooey Fuller, she is Changeling and a level 1 Inquisitor. This quest takes place in the world of Eberron and it’s also very different. We literally just started this quest last Friday with our good friends C&A so I don’t have a lot of character development yet. But I can say it was one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve ever had role-playing wise. T DMed for us and wrote a great storyline. He felt that it was one of the best times he’s had as a DM. Zooey’s true form is a little creepy, but her usual form is that of a 14-year-old girl, with brown hair and deep green eyes. She’s 5’0, 100 pounds and passionate about justice being served by any means. And how she serves it is up to her own discretion…

Unable to find photo credit.

So that was a long post about gaming. At first I wasn’t going to write it because it’s not a subject that most people relate to, but on the off-chance that I have gaming readers, I put it out there. This blog is about all things “Lacey” and gaming is definitely Lacey. Over several years my love of gaming has evolved and through games I’ve met some amazing people. The memories made and the time spent with friends, are irreplaceable! I like to Geek it up in a couple of ways, and playing D&D is by far my favorite!

Have a great Monday everyone, and happy gaming! Or not. Whatever you like.

Question Period: Do you enjoy gaming or anything deemed Geeky? Do you hide these things, or are you out and proud like myself? It seems some people love their geeky ways, others are ashamed to share. What kind of Geek are you? Please share, and let me know of anything cool that I should try out!

The “Life is Good” Card.

16 Apr

Ok, this is a fun card that isn’t used nearly enough, mostly because its rare amongst people to have it all together…

Usage guidelines: Use when life is good, there is money in the bank, and you’re out with your BFF’s.

Expiration: When life is no longer good, the bank account is depleted or you’d rather drink alone in your closet out of a paper bag.whichever comes first.

 

Scenario:

You’re surrounded by your friends. You’re happy and feeling awesome about life. You’ve got your nice butt jeans on and your cleavage is impeccable! Your personal life is together and you’re the shining star at work. Well done. You’re amazing.

You: Yell, “LIFE IS GOOD, DRINKS ON ME!”

BFF’s: “Hoot” “Cheer” “YAY!”, perhaps one gives you a flash of appreciation (my fave BFF form of thanks)

Spread your intoxication of life to your friends who have been by your side as you’ve  journeyed to the top.

Go on and share your joy – one free cosmo at a time. ❤

If you knew the can was full of worms

21 Aug

would you still open it?

See I’m one of those people who opens the can knowing there are worms inside. In fact, I’ll use any means necessary to get the can open, heck I may even smash the can open with a hammer or use a crude tool to cut a hole for the worms to be shook out… I get the job done people. And if you ask nicely, I’ll help you open your can as well. Because I’m always here to help.

The other night when I wrote the draft of “Anger is the folly of fools” it really irked me that I was struggling with posting about my “Re-Deal”. My re-deal is amazing. When comparing my life 10 years ago to the life I live now there is NO comparison. I am pain-free, I have a wicked awesome son, a husband who is truly superb in every sense of the word…why am I not excited to share this miraculous gift I have been given? Why is it so easy to share the pain I endured and not my present joys? Really, I was so determined to figure this out that it led to a horrible nights sleep and me waking up with a crick in my neck.

I started thinking of everything I had 10 years ago and everything I have now. I was so out of it come 1am that my thoughts started morphing into dreams. Ya know those weird ones where you know you are sleeping but you are still conscious enough to manipulate your dream? Yeah, those aren’t conducive to actual rest. By the time I woke I felt like I had been thinking all night, not sleeping. It was horrible. So what did I do? I continued to think about it of course. Then I thought, maybe if I finish the draft I’ll have some sort of realization of what my issue is. Well I got the realization.

What I discovered isn’t that I don’t love my re-deal but that this pain-free existence has brought me very far away (geographicly) from the people who supported and loved me through my first hand. If I was still sick my world would have remained rather small (that’s if I were still alive), and in that miniscule bubble of a life I would have had physical pain but I would have been physically closer to the ones I love so dearly. So, I seem to have made an exchange. I switched out physical pain for emotional pain. My heart literally breaks that I can not see my parents daily. Sure I video-skype them often, sometimes several times a day, but it’s not enough for me. Call it child-like dependency or whatever you may, but this woman needs her parents in a way that might be unnatural. I want them to come over for dinner, spend the day at the beach or zoo with Beau and I, Go to Starbucks and be a coffee snob with my mom, Hit up a comedy club with my Daddy, hug them and feel their warmth, lick my Dad’s forehead when he thinks I’m going to kiss it… I miss them. I need them. In fact, I need them and so many others too. My brother, my sister, my extended family and special friends… I’m so grateful I had them all in my life when the only reason I wanted to live was to spend time with them. I guess I should be grateful I had them around when I needed them most, but why can’t life be picture-perfect and I have them now as well?

Whoever said “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” well, you just shut up! You jerk! Who would ever buy or make a cake just to stare at it? Pft, Idiot. Don’t you know I’m a “Cake-Eater”?!?!  But for some dumb reason this irritating saying applies directly to what I am going through. My heart is torn between the people I always had present during my first hand, and being with the ones I currently have in my re-deal.

I feel bad for not being content with the life I am living. I’m grateful for my son and husband, so very grateful. But my heart breaks daily as I long for the company of my family and friends. What I wouldn’t give to hug my brother at this very moment!?! He’s going through a lot of life challenges and I just want to hold his hand and help him like he’s helped me so many times before. Or to be with my sister as she’s about to venture into a life-changing experience. I want so badly to hold her hand as she embarks on her journey, to give her encouragement and reassurance IN PERSON and not through Skype or Facebook. But I can’t. I can’t leave Canada with a guarantee that I would be let back in. I can’t risk being kept away from the love of my life to be with the other loves in my life.

T always tells me when I am feeling blue for my family and friends (which is quite often) that someday I can have it all. That by this time next year it will be so much better for him, me and B. I want to believe him with all my heart but only part of it believes. In the grand scheme of things being away from all of them for a few years is just a blip in time in comparison to the lifespan I can now expect to enjoy. But it still hurts…this little blip in time.

No matter how much I sift through this can of worms it doesn’t change the reality. I’m lonely. I often feel an overwhelming sense of despair and mildly-moderate depression that robs me of enjoying my re-deal. Of enjoying my health and the loves that are with me every day. It’s unfair to T and B that I’m dwelling on what I have lost instead of what I gained. God didn’t bless me with a re-deal to have me moping about and not playing the game, that’s not a good way to honour a miracle. And it’s definitely not a good way to show T and B how much I love having them in my life.

Things have to change inside me. So, I’m going to take this can of worms and go fishing in hopes that it will get me out of the Pity-Party (Did someone say Party?…that makes me think of cake. You jerkface! Not you, sorry. I was referring to the woman who thought up that darn saying! And you know it had to be a woman. Only a woman would come up with a reason not to eat cake! Probably some skinny little…Ummm…I’ve derailed. Back to the train-of-thought.) and back to celebrating my life in a way that would make my family, friends and God proud!

…and all the men and women merely players.

20 Aug

In any card game two things are required; Cards and Players. In my life of cards I have had some amazing players on my team who have aided me with their wisdom, strength, faith, support and mere presence. I have God to thank for supplying such an ample and able force to help with the hand dealt to me early on. There are a select few that played a vital role in every round that took place from “The first hand” and on. Often times these players would postpone their own game play for the sake of supporting me in my personal hand. Those sacrifices never went unnoticed, and you all deserve a giant, golden, ruby encrusted trophy filled with Whoopass! (I’m not being crude, it’s my favorite drink by Jones Soda Co. and I usually do not share it.)

To my teammates: You are my family and my friends. Your strength and love is woven into my soul and I will forever be grateful for the blessing of existing with you.

 

*If you would like to read about my outstanding teammates, please visit the Player Category*