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Mother of the Year Goes to.... Not Me

Every morning I go to the gym to exercise. I love it because I have a lot of friends there (it's my adult interaction for the day...hahah...but seriously...), endorphins are released, I feel powerful and strong....etc. Fast forward to about 10 minutes after I arrive home.

Kids are fighting over who grabbed the box of cereal first.

Tears are rolling down cheeks from, "Cameron looked at me in a mean way."

Fights are breaking out between who has to be the flippin' monkey in the middle...

You get the idea.

So pretty much all the good I do at 5:30 in the wee early morning hours gets completely undone. (Perhaps I should schedule my workouts to after the kids leave for school instead?)

Anyway, today was no different. The kids actually all got ready on their own really well without any fights. They had a good 20 minutes to kill before we had to leave for school. They decided to play a game (but not the blasted Monkey in the Middle game...No! No! I banned that game [and 'jinx&#…

Grandpa Banks

My dad's mom, Grandma Banks, passed away when I was pretty young. I didn't know her very well, but I do remember she always gave us purple Bubblicious Bubble Gum before we left her house each time. (And one time she forgot to and I totally thought she didn't love me anymore. lol). Anyway, with Grandma gone, that left poor Grandpa Banks alone. He worshiped the ground she walked on, and was devastated when she passed. She was really sick and had a lot of things wrong with her (Lupus, and a few other things). I came to find out later in life that she actually had prayed to die because she was in so much pain.

Anyway, with Grandma gone, Aunt Sis (I want to say she was my Grandma's sister) kidnapped my grandpa and sold all his possessions (including his home). She kept the money from it all and locked him in her basement and fed him tons of Prozac pills. (That's the story in a nutshell). After battling her out, we finally rescued Grandpa and brought him home with us. Poor Grandpa was never the same after that, though. His Alzheimers was awful. It was really sad to see.

Grandpa lived with us for a few years. And in that time we experienced some funny things with him:

  • He loved batteries, and he always had some on hand. (His favorite store was Radio Shack)
  • He was so giving. He carried around a small, black, leather coin pouch and was always giving money away (it made me jealous when he'd give my friends more money than me).
  • One time he bought a pair of shoes and threw them in the garbage can when he got home. When we asked him why, he said they were too small for him. (Turns out he hadn't taken out the tissue paper they stuff in the soles of the shoes.)
  • One day I saw Mom replacing all our toothbrushes. When I asked her why, I learned that Grandpa had been using all of ours. haha
  • This man LOVED Sprite! I think we all gained a few pounds while he lived with us.
  • Grandpa was so generous. He was always doing things for other people. He even bought us a go-kart! Man were we spoiled with him there!
Poor Grandpa's health got so bad that we no longer could care for him as he needed. We sent him to Nephi to live with his brother and sister-in-law (Uncle Gale and Aunt Julia). While living with them, we learned that he went across the street to the mortuary and stood in a family line shaking people's hands at a stranger's funeral. When asked who he was, he said he lived across the street but everybody started shaking his hand so he stayed. 

His health progressively got worse, and we had to put him in a nursing home. It was so sad to see him there. We always cried every time we visited him because he no longer remembered us. I remember Dad giving him a hug and kiss and Grandpa said to him, "Who the hell are you!?" 

I remember going to the nursing home one time and saw him and a few other elderlies standing by a window looking out. When we got closer, we looked out the window, too--expecting to see something amazing. There was nothing. Just a lonely, withered tree. 

Not long later, he passed away. His funeral was up in Idaho. He was buried next to Grandma. I wrote a poem and read it there, and I cried. And because Grandpa served in the military (WWII), they did a gun salute to him. The flag and remnants of those bullets fired are now proudly displayed in a nice box in my Dad's office at home. 


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