peeks into my life dealing with everyday life and obstacles as well as obstacles of dealing with disabilities and accessibility obstacles, Chronic Pain due to broken spinal rods, living on pain medications, dealing with anxiety/depression, experiencing the newness of love, and fighting for my right to live and love my life in an ableist society.
My fiance and I had made plans to originally go to another parade this weekend, however upon waking up, my body decided to ruin that: sinus allergies, major migraines, back pain, and spasms; However, I found a way to not let it keep me down.
Sure, we didn’t go to the parade, but instead of moping and letting it ruin my day, I found a fun way to entertain myself; and all I needed was some mardi gras beads and my dog.
“How can that possibly be more fun than going out and socializing at a parade?” Well, as much fun as a parade is with the socializing and being with people, I wouldn’t have really enjoyed it because I was feeling so miserable with my health; but here at home in the warmth, I can have my own parade. Just me and my dog, who probably thought her mom had completely lost her mind. haha!
I took some beads and put on my pandora music and started dancing (yes I was hurting, but just swaying side to side and side-stepping, isn’t much to hurt), and took some beads and started throwing them around- once they landed on the floor, Beignet, would go over and sniff at them.
After throwing a few beads, I then took some and put them on Beignet like she had caught them. However, I think her favorite was when I brought out a light-up rubber boomerang I had gotten at the Rio Parade last weekend; In Hinds sight, I should’ve known she would love this item because she LOVES her frisbees! As soon as I pulled out the boomerang, that little nub of her crooked tail started wagging and her butt then began its “wiggle”. I tossed it to the couch a few times, but I didn’t wanna risk breaking stuff in the house, so we went into the backyard for a couple of tosses until I got too cold and was like “Okay B, Time to go in. We can play with the boomerang more tomorrow when the sun is out and hopefully warmer.”
As soon as we came in, I put the boomerang out of reach so that she wouldn’t destroy it (Power Chewer problems Lol) and she just sat near where I had put it out of reach and whined and whined until she realized I was not gonna relent and she went lay down and is now fast asleep.
Sure, I could’ve had some fun at the parade maybe, but I had a lot of fun here- just me, my fiance (who after helping me do some housework and he did yard work, is now enjoying his free time playing his video games), the cats outside in their warm (lighted) cat box/makeshift house, and Beignet- whose “mom” uses her for her own entertainment-but she knows I love her. ❤
Anyway, hope everyone else has a great rest of their weekend and remember: Don’t let life keep you down. Find a little fun in anything at all, smile, and that can turn everything around!
Being from Louisiana, I know a good party; and Mardi Gras season is not just about partying before Ash Wed. and lent season; No, not at all: to a child, Mardi Gras is a magical time where beads and candy are thrown from parade floats, getting tons of junk from vendors peddling carts that you don’t need but want, music and bands that you clap and dance around to.
When you are a pre-teen and think you know everything, you go off by yourself with your friends (at least in Lafayette daytime parades).
As an adult, this is not nearly as fun because you get pelted right in the face, (whereas when you are a child, the adults catch the beads, and if you were as spoiled a child as I was, many adults would catch and give beads to me.), when you have whiney kids begging and crying for the junk on the carts (karma is a butt LOL) or because they didn’t get any “catches” from one float or any “good catches” like toys and such (and for some strange reason, at least in my case, the older I get, the worse my anxiety and nerves get).
Then there is also the yummy sugary goodness of the season also known as King Cake! YUM! King Cake is Mana from heaven itself (LOL Just kidding); in all seriousness, King cake is a ring of twisted cinnamon roll-style dough topped with icing or sugar, usually colored purple, green, and gold (the traditional Mardi Gras colors) with food coloring. King cakes may also be filled with additional foodstuffs- the most common being cream cheese, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry, etc. King cakes also usually put a little plastic baby in the cake to represent baby Jesus; and in Louisiana, the person who finds the baby is required to purchase the next king cake.
Mardi Gras was so much fun for me as a child and I have many humorous stories about it. When I was a young child, Dad worked in Oilfield as a service manager or technician manager at Sola Communications. Sola Comm., as we often called it, would have an area for their employees to pitch a tent (or a few tents) and lay blankets on the ground in front of UL Lafayette’s Maxim Doucet building off of Johnson Street and across from St Mary Street.
The Company co-workers would have so much yummy food, mostly BBQ, and chips and such (I had a sensitive stomach so I would usually bring picnic sandwich from home). There was a girl around my age (her dad worked with my dad); I can’t remember her name, but that was my play-friend for the parades: stood together for the parades, catching beads together, when parades weren’t going all (because we were there all day until early evening) we’d play chase or hide and seek from the adults, or we’d go walk down to the “junk on carts” with our money from our parents(She always made sure no one shoved or pushed me by accident, or any other way that I could’ve gotten hurt.) we just had a lot of fun together.
I remember one year specifically; I was in second grade, I believe: A lot of things happened that one year: My brother spray painted my hair green, I got a lot of beads (thanks to Jared, his girlfriend at the time, Dad, and some of Dad’s really tall co-workers). Dad scared the “be-jeepers” out of me, and Mom got so drunk that Dad had to put the child lock on the windows.
I remember we had 3 cans of colored hair spray: Purple, yellow, and green; I wanted purple, but Jared (being the jerk that he was at the time) thought it’d be hilarious to give me green hair instead; I was a brat, so when I saw what he had done, I had a full on meltdown: crying, hitting him, throwing stuff at him, etc. Mom was the same way she is now, “Jamie, it isn’t that big a deal,” (and I agree with her now that I am an adult), but I’ve always been one for being melodramatic about stuff (I’m a girl so of course I’m dramatic!)
Dad always loved to get me “all wound up” and aggravated (I honestly think, he believes that it is his one job in life), but this one year when I was in second grade, he honestly went overboard or maybe he was trying to teach me a lesson, I honestly don’t know; but, anyway, my friend and I were running around playing hide and seek behind the pillars near Maxim Doucet building: I had my back turned and was looking around, Dad somehow snuck up behind me and put his hands over my mouth like he was a kidnapper! (Talk about scary, right?!) I wriggled and kicked and squirmed, crying my eyes out; once he brought me near our spot, he put me down and turned me to face him. I was so upset! I was calling him a jerk and all kinds of stuff. He told me “that is how easy it is for someone to kidnap you! You weren’t even together (talking about me and my friend); separated from each other, makes it a lot easier to kidnap one of y’all!” Let’s just say, after that incident, I never wandered off too far without my friend being next to me.
On the way home that same evening, Dad had to put mom’s windows on Child lock. She had been drinking crown Royal Whiskey all day and was totally drunk! She must have thought she was in a parade or something because next thing we all know, she is throwing beads out of her window, into the tailgates of pickup trucks and pissing other drivers off: and making me cry in the backseat because she is throwing all of “my purple” beads; I didn’t care about the other beads, just don’t throw the purple, momma!
That was such a fun and funny Mardi gras, although going to parades with my godfather, his family, and his friends, is a lot of fun too!
We once went to New Orleans for Mardi gras in 2006, right after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita—that was also memorable. We took my grandmother, Maw-Maw Verdine Meche with us, there was this big biker looking dude (later found out he was homosexual/gay –but I hold no judgments against him about that, LOL) the kids and I were bored waiting for the parades, so we broke some old beads we found on the ground, and took the little ball beads and were throwing them at people; this biker dude played along and soon we were having a broken bead war—us against him and his friends. LOL!
Another memory which was probably scary for mom was the fact, I kept wandering off to the front of the barricades (leaving them somewhere in the middle); there was this couple who were Latino heritage I think, and they would give me the beads they caught, along with one of the older grandparents who still could move and dance without breaking a hip, would try to dance with the high school dancers ( I think he was pretty drunk!), but we ended up with a lot of beads and “good throws” that year. Do You want the big stuff? Go to New Orleans for Mardi gras!
We are all from Louisiana, so we all pretty much know how to have a good party; Just have the right food, the right music, cute kids, and lots of drinking and king cake….hell, sometimes, you’d think our party was the parade with the lot of us all dancing! Like we say in Louisiana, Laissez Les Bon temps roulez, which is Cajun French for “Let the good times roll,” and in Louisiana, we do just “dat!”
My grandmother, Ruby “mommie” Cormier died on Sunday, June 9, 2019; one day before her 89th birthday. I took it hard at first because I had been wanting to do a Youtube tag video with her, but I kept hurting a lot and couldn’t get out there to do it with her, and now I can’t do it because she is gone. I was also upset, because I had always planned for her to be present at my future wedding, when I got all my college degrees, to see me start my own career and chase my dreams, and maybe even eventually see me start a family; well now, she won’t be around for any of those events, not physically anyway. I came to realize though, she is in a better place, she is no longer hurting or suffering from dementia or diabetes. She could truly start living a fun life again.
Yesterday, Monday, June 10, 2019, in honor of her birthday, a lot of the family went out to eat at Pizza Village (one place she loved to eat), Mom made a chocolate cake, and we shared lots of memories, laughter, and of course cake. We even sang “Happy Birthday,” and the other patrons of the restaurant probably thought we were a bunch of weirdos. The younger kids, her great-grand kids, wanted to do a balloon release and so we “sent the balloons up to heaven.”
Today, Tuesday, June 11, 2019, the “wake,” at the funeral home was from 4-8 pm. with a rosary at 5 p.m. It really wasn’t that hard on me today; sure, I got a little choked up during the rosary, but other than that, Again, we shared lots of memories and laughter between families and friends. My younger cousin, Hadley, (4 years old) kept “arresting” my dad and putting him in “han-cuffs.” Adorable kids are always a good distraction from the pain of grieving.
Me: Hadley, you arresting uncle ronald? HK: Uh-huh Me: you know thats my dad, right? HK: *Looked worried I was gonna tell her to leave him alone* Me: Good Job, Get him. Give me high-five! she just giggled and gave me “five” (She’s definitely come a long way since Easter two years ago when she would run away from me! lol)
More than likely tomorrow will be the real challenge when they close that casket and we have to leave her. I am gonna try to read what I wrote the other day in dedication to her when she first died…I might get choked up but I will try to do it.
I found an angel pin that I put on her to be buried with, and a picture of me, her, and david from Christmas 2017 when David and I first started dating. Also being buried is a toy cat that supposed to represent “Socks” (her cat she had before she went in the nursing home), and some pictures of her, Hadley, and Hadley’s older brother “Braylon”. Those kids are young, but I hope they know how much their great-grandmother loved them as much as they loved her. <3<3
anyway, good night. Thoughts and prayers with the family for tomorrow is appreciated.
Yesterday, Mom called me and told me that “If I want to go say my final goodbyes to Mommie, I might want to go as soon as I could.” David and I had plans already, but I had an emotional breakdown while at our plans, so we dropped everything and went to see Mommie. She was sedated on morphine, every so often it seemed like her chest would ‘jump’ as if struggling to breathe, her eyes were closed, but they told me she could hear me. I told her “I love you, Mommie. Dad, Mom, Jared, and I love you. David, my fiance loves you.” There were other people in the room, so I just held her hand and thought the other things I wanted to tell her, hoping she could feel them telepathically. As I talked to her and said my silent prayers, holding her hand, she squeezed mine a little bit once or twice. David and I also visited with my aunts in the room about family things to kind of ease the tension a little bit. Mom texted me this morning and told me, Mommie had passed away this morning. Mom and my aunt seem to think, maybe she was holding on for me. maybe she was. I don’t know.
After I found out about her death though, I was inspired to write something up; I may share it at the funeral, I may not. I will try, but I may breakdown half-way through it. Only one way to know for sure: Do it in fear. Fortitude! Only for you, Mommie. Love you.
We are here to remember the life of Ruby “Mommie” Cormier; Sister, Mother, Grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and child of God. We are also here to remember the love we all shared for her and the fond memories we shared with her: those good memories are what will get us through this tough period as we say our final goodbyes to her Earthly form, but it is only a temporary goodbye; we all hope and pray to see her again when we leave this Earthly life.
My earliest memories of Mommie was about 2 or 3 years old, going almost every weekend when they lived in Lewisburg, Louisiana; she always had a Sippy cup of coffee milk waiting for me, and when Poppee would call me the pet name “Sack of Shit,” (which question, how is that a pet name; but go figure with those Cormiers) Mommie would always argue, “No poppee, she is a sack of sugar.”
I remember her and my nanny (Martha) accompanying us a few times to Shreveport when I was at Shriners Hospital for dr. appointments. When she moved to the apartments in Lafayette, I remember walking with her to the mailbox and along the way, she would “show me off,” to her neighbors and be all “This is my youngest granddaughter. She’s my baby.” She would brag to anyone who would listen about that time when I was just an infant, “I couldn’t hold my bottle with my arms, so I held them with my feet.” As I got older, I got so “sick” of hearing that story and a little embarrassed when she would tell it to my friends, but I also knew that she was proud of me and had a deep love for me.
Mommie enjoyed many things: going to church, going to a rosary, doing bingo, going to the casino- for her 80th birthday, Mom even made her a cake that looked like a slot machine! She also loved her coffee and beignets. She sure enjoyed when we would take her to coffee depot in Scott, Louisiana for beignets and coffee; That was one of her “elements,” Coffee, beignets, and socializing with family and the waitresses at the restaurant who happened to know the family.
In 2012, when in St. Louis for Halo Traction, she came to spend a week with me. The first night she got turned around and I ended up having to walk her downstairs, to the parent housing side of the hospital. The whole walk she kept apologizing, but I was all “Mommie, it’s okay. The hospital is pretty confusing. I just learned it because I been here for almost 3 months.”
During 2016, when Trump was running election, which she was all “go trump,” and don’t get me wrong, I am not anti-Trump, I may not agree with everything he does but he is human, but anyway, we were talking and she must’ve just remembered Poppee’s last few good years because I heard stories in his younger days, he wasn’t that great of a person, but Mommee was all “If Poppee was still alive, he’d make a good president.” I swear, I nearly choked on my drink and did a spit-take when she said that. I think that was my first clue that she was starting to get dementia a little bit. But it was kind of good that she only remembered the good side of him too. She didn’t hold onto anger and hurt from the bad years. Or maybe she just forgave him, I don’t know. If it was just her forgiveness of all the hurt he had caused her in the past, then that is proof of the good person she was and I am almost definite she got her angel wings.
She also took in others besides her family; she took in Mom’s family- we often took her to family get-togethers at Moms family- she loved all the little kids and would love on them. She took in my friends as if her own grandkids and when they called her, “Mrs. Cormier,” she would correct them “No, it’s Mommie.” She would sit and have coffee with neighbors at her apartment complex, even those that had slight mental disabilities (one guy in particular, which I cannot remember his name at the moment.) She was also a huge animal lover, as proof of her playing with my dogs when she would come to visit, and she loved her cat, Socks; until Mommie had to go into the nursing home and we had to re-home Socks. She even took in my (now ex-boyfriend) when we were dating, and she even accepted my now-fiance’ David, who she loved to give lots of kisses on the cheek to, and he loved them back. She was a very sweet, loving lady, but boy if you got on her “shit list,” look out, she stood her ground. I guess that’s where I got that from! HAHA!
She was just an overall loving person and genuinely very happy until dementia started in and it affected her mood and perspective at times, but before dementia, she was a great model of what we should strive to live our lives as.
Sure, I had plans for her to be at future events: when I got married, got my bachelors/masters/ or whatever other college degrees, see me start my own career and chase my dreams, possibly see me have a family of my own; but sadly, life is never promised to pan out how we want, and sure, I will miss her being in attendance physically at these major events, but she will always be there in spirit and in my heart.
Bright side is I now have another angel, looking out for me. Love you, Mommie.
A bad storm passed through Louisiana this week so it has been quite a bit of sleepless nights for me lately and then add in the dreaded once a month bullshit us females have to deal with, adding in stress, anxiety, hormones, emotional roller coaster, all that (sarcastic tone) “fun.” Tonight, I tossed and turned for 2 hours while my fiance’ just lays next to me snoring; sure, I could wake him up and make him suffer with me, but that is selfish plus he works to provide for us, so I guess he needs the sleep more than I do, but it sure would be nice to be able to talk these things out instead of blogging them.
I have a mattress that can elevate the head, it helps with migraines and sometimes my upper back (then I gotta deal with my lower back and hips hurting), but tonight my upper back is hurting and I am not even gonna use the head-elevation because lately it has been making my fiance’ back hurt in the morning; which sent me down the dreaded “rabbit hole” of the uncertainty of a future together: What if I become bed-ridden, what if he has to help me with everything more than he does now? That isn’t what he signed on for! It isn’t fair to him. I know he made a commitment to me and he constantly reminds me of it anytime I start crying and freaking out about how much pain I am in and the fears that sends into me about how uncertain my life and future are; I just don’t want him to have regrets or resentments. I love him, I really do, but when these fears kick in, I go into flight mode and tend to push him away, thinking I am saving him from being stuck in a sucky future with me and my damn disability. How can I expect him to accept it and what it does to me, if I cant even accept it completely myself?
If there was a pill created to make me “normal,” like everyone else in society, I would take it! Even though I also feel like having my disability has made me a well-rounded, wise, empathetic, compassionate, supportive, loyal, passionate person. Does it make me a bad person? Why is it I can be a support system and cheerleader for others with disabilities but yet I cant even accept myself completely? Does it make me a hypocrite? Maybe its just the pain talking; well the pain and the damn devil. I need to really work on myself and loving myself for me; whole-y and completely. Maybe after my surgery to fix my rods, maybe my pain will be better, and I can start being happy again. One can only hope.