It was Fall 2002, and I was “supposed” to be a freshman at Western Carolina University. I was five hours away from home and I was on my own. When I first started classes, I attended regularly. A couple of months into the semester I just stopped going completely. I partied way too hard. Went to bed at all hours of the morning. Woke up late in the afternoon, and did it all over again. Nearly everyday until January, I was a nonstop party girl. Then, my friend introduced me to a local guy and we began the “dating process.” Sometime in January I found out there was a little one growing in my belly. As scary as it was, being nineteen, no college degree, no husband, nothing but me and the bundle of joy, I was really looking forward to being a mom.
For so long through those nine months I wanted to give up. I looked into adoption agencies. I was so unsure of myself and wasn’t sure if I wanted to put a child through the same pain I was going through. I remember one day, walking down the beach with my daddy and finally making up my mind. I remember telling him, “I know I can do this. Having this child is the one thing that would keep my head on straight.” At this time, the “father” was no longer in the picture. Apparently, it was too large of a responsibility for him to handle.
August 27, 2003 at 11:13am, my little Sydney was born. It was the greatest experience I have ever gone through. She was so perfect with her soft skin, baby blue eyes, and a full head of golden blonde, wavy hair. I couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful.
For the first eight months of her life we lived with my parents. I worked at night while my parents cared for her. The only thing I could pay for with that paycheck was an old, beat up Buick. During those eight months I was on again, off again with her “father.”
Then, this wonderful man came into my life. We fell in love fast and since she was nine months old, she has been calling him daddy. He took my daughter and I in and after a year of dating, we were married. Sydney was just as in love as I was. It took nearly a year for her “father” to relinquish his rights. But, as soon as he did, my husband was able to legally adopt her. He has always considered her his very own flesh and blood.
The year 2006 was a tough year for all of us. My son was born premature in February and there was a little complication. A week after his birth, we were finally able to go home. We stayed with my parents for a month until the Navy decided to move us across the country to California.
The week before we moved, Sydney’s symptoms kicked in. We thought it was just a bug and she would be fine after a few days. It took us six days to drive cross-country with a two year old and a one month old, stopping every two hours to feed and change the baby. By the time we got there, Sydney was worse. She was constantly dehydrated; her skin was like a ghost’s. We took her to the hospital wanting to fix something minor.
I had recently read in a magazine the symptoms of diabetes. Sydney had 3 out of 5 of those symptoms. Having that mother’s intuition, I had them check her glucose levels. Sure enough, my adorable little girl was a Type 1 Diabetic. Those next two weeks were the hardest of my life. Not only was I 3,000 miles away from family and friends, but also I added a one month old to that, along with a diabetic. Every single day for nearly a month, I was breaking down in tears. I kept asking myself, “Why me? Why am I always being thrown curve balls?”
For the past 2 years, 4 months and nearly 23 days, Sydney has had her glucose checked 4 times a day. She has received 4 shots a day. She will have this for life. Yet, she is still so normal. It seriously has broken my heart more than hers. She lives with being “stuck” everyday and thinks it’s just a way of life. While as I am giving her these shots, my mind goes back to that very day when we received the news of her Diabetes. This year, my little girl is starting kindergarten. It is so hard for me to believe that five years ago she was just a little 6lb 9oz baby who could barely open her eyes. Now she is 5 going on 21! She has changed my life in so many ways. I may have done everything in the wrong order, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Sydney truly is the greatest influence in my life. She loves whole-heartedly and never takes a day for granted. I want to be her when I grow up.
Life is full of disappointments. Not just for myself, but for my parents as well. Receiving bad grades in high school was a disappointment to my parents. Getting involved with the wrong people in high school was a disappointment to both my parents and myself. Not going to class the first time around in college was a disappointment to my parents. Finding out I was pregnant at nineteen was a disappointment to both. Gradually, I got used to the idea of having a little one. I was the most irresponsible, carefree person I knew. How would I handle a baby? I was completely scared, especially since the father of my baby wanted nothing to do with me or her. Throughout the pregnancy I changed my mind constantly. I was in contact with adoption agencies. I wanted to have the baby but at the same time I wanted to be young and vibrant. Basically, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. I was completely unsure of my decision until the day my dad helped me make the biggest decision of my life. As we were walking along the beach, I looked into my father's eyes and was no longer unsure. He played a big part in my decision to have her. While my mother wanted me to live a full, happy life before making the decision to take on such a responsibility, my father agreed with me. I told him, "I know what I want. I know having this child will help me keep my head on straight and she is what I need to be happy." At that moment, he helped me pick out her name. Sydney. My father plays such a huge rold in my life, even today, two kids and a husband later. I will always look up to him. Here I thought he would be less understanding and I was scared to even tell him about my pregnancy. Since then, I have been able to tell him pretty much anything. He is the greatest man I never knew growing up. We hardly agreed on anything in high school and then Sydney comes along and she has been our magnet. She is the reason for the great relationship I have with my father now. On August 27, 2003, my dad joined me in the operating room for a c-section. He was there with me through it all. He was the only man in Sydney's life until she was nearly two. For the first twenty-one months of her life my parents paid for everything, with the exception of the beat up car I owned. We lived with them and they didn't ask for a thing from me. I am so grateful to have the family that I do. The year 2006 was a tough year for all of us. My son was born premature in February and there was a little complication. A week after his birth, we were finally able to go home. We stayed with my parents for a month until the Navy decided to move us across the country to California.The week before we moved, Sydney’s symptoms kicked in. We thought it was just a bug and she would be fine after a few days. It took us six days to drive cross-country with a two year old and a one month old, stopping every two hours to feed and change the baby. By the time we got there, Sydney was worse. She was constantly dehydrated; her skin was like a ghost’s. We took her to the hospital wanting to fix something minor.I had recently read in a magazine the symptoms of diabetes. Sydney had 3 out of 5 of those symptoms. Having that mother’s intuition, I had them check her glucose levels. Sure enough, my adorable little girl was a Type 1 Diabetic. Those next two weeks were the hardest of my life. Not only was I 3,000 miles away from family and friends, but also I added a one month old to that, along with a diabetic. Every single day for nearly a month, I was breaking down in tears. I kept asking myself, “Why me? Why am I always being thrown curve balls?”For the past 2 years and 8 months, Sydney has had her glucose checked at least 4 times a day. She has received 4 shots a day. She will have this for life. Yet, she is still so normal. It seriously has broken my heart more than hers. She lives with being “stuck” everyday and thinks it’s just a way of life. While as I am giving her these shots, my mind goes back to that very day when we received the news of her Diabetes. This year, my little girl is graduating from kindergarten. It is so hard for me to believe that five years ago she was just a little 6lb 9oz baby who could barely open her eyes. Now she is 5 going on 21! She has changed my life in so many ways. I may have done everything in the wrong order, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Sydney truly is the greatest influence in my life. She loves whole-heartedly and never takes a day for granted. I want to be her when I grow up.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
This song was released in 1984. It was written by Bruce Springsteen and he wrote this about the problems Vietnam veterans faced when they came back to America. Those vets were ignored when returning, unlike most other's vets who received welcome mats. Originally it was titled "Vietnam." As Paul said, this song is widely misinterpreted. I know I thought it was a song about living in the land of the free and was supposed to be joyful. Was I ever wrong. In my opinion I don't feel that he is proud to be from America at all. Granted there are many Vietnam vets who are homeless and we, meaning our government, did not open our arms to their return. The boy's brother goes to Vietnam and meets a woman there. Unfortunately, he loses his life in Vietnam and his wife only has a picture to remember him by. Growing up I am pretty positive the only part I really listened to was the chorus. Strangely, I always try to listen to the lyrics and picture what is happening in the song. I guess I never did that until discussing this song in class. Now listening to it and knowing what it really means, I find the song very unpatriotic. I do enjoy that proud Americans can use his song in a purpose that is not intended; a slap in Bruce's face.
Elie Wiesel writes about his time in the Holocaust and surviving it. It was delivered April 12, 1999 in Washington D.C. to President Clinton, Mrs. Clinton, members of Congress, Ambassador Holbrooke, and others who survived the Holocaust. He is letting everyone know what happened to him and his family 54 years ago and how happy he is to be part of the free in America. He shows gratitude to the American public. He wants everyone to remember the old millenium for the indifferences. He wants to tell everyone about the failures that have happened: World War 1 and 2, civil wars, assassinations of Ghandi, the Kennedy's, Martin Luther King, the times in Cambodia and Algeria, India and Pakistan, Ireland and Rwanda, Sarajevo and Kosovo, the tragedy of Hiroshima. The violence will be remembered. He explains the definition of indifference meaning "no difference." He tells how tragic times were in Auschwitz, the way the prisoners were treated, wrapped in torn blankets, sitting on the ground, "strangers to their surroundings." They felt that being abandoned by God was worse than being faced with an unjust God. They felt that being ignored was worse than dealing with His anger. Indifference to him is nothing. Even anger and hate shows some response. But indifference is the "friend of the enemy." It is punishment. Mr. Wiesel's speech is very moving, which draws the attention of those he is speaking to. As Americans we sympathize with the Holocaust survivors and their families for the injustices that were forced upon them. My feelings are as a whole Americans and our leadership have and will do the right thing concerning genecide and ethnic cleansing. During the time of the Holocaust, Nazi Germany was a force to be reckon with. Their use of political propaganda led most of the world to believe the Holocaust was not happening. Although the United States was the symbol of freedom, we required assistance to defeat Germany. To enter a war of this magnitude without the Allies would have cost more American lives and probably would have been unsuccessful. As history has shown, Americans provide support to those in need, as we did with Kuwait, Kosovo, Israel, Rwanda, Sarajevo and others.
An interesting movie, to say the least. Morgan Spurlock decides to experiment with fast food, McDonald's style. This documentary was Academy-Award nominated in 2004. For 30 days he had to eat nothing but McDonald's food. This experience showed not only what happened to him physically but emotionally as well. It showed how fast food places encourages people to be unhealthy just to profit from it. Morgan had to try everything on the menu at least once and if he was asked if he wanted it supersized, he had to take it. He indulged in the equivalant of around 9 Big Macs per day and gained around 25 pounds during this experiment. He had some minor and major health problems from it, including but not limited to mood swings, sexual dysfunction and liver damage. His girlfriend is a vegan, so of course she was against it. The point of this documentary was to show the increased obesity in the United States. The Surgeon General has stated that we are in an obesity epidemic. I would have to agree. Everywhere you go there is a fast food chain on the corner. Just in the last 3 months I have seen 4 different McDonald's shut down only to be remodeled to attract more customers. There have been numerous lawsuits against fast food chains, not only for the hot coffee but for the chains "making them obese." That, of course, is just craziness. They are not forcing people to eat their food. Americans are spoiled. The lack of exercise and the constant eating on the go instead of the traditional sit down at the table meal with the family, we have opted for "a royale with cheese" (Pulp Fiction) and a couple cheeseburger happy meals with the kids. Instead of blaming fast food franchises, we should take some responsibility for our own actions. I have not eaten as much fast food since seeing this movie. Living a healthier life was needed by my whole family. I think more people should watch this, maybe then there would not be an epidemic.
Pulp Fiction. Dir. Quentin Tarantino. Perf. Samuel L. Jackson. Miramax, 1994.
For five years I have been a wife/stay at home mother. For five years I have been craving going back to school. I have been craving adult conversation. I speak fluent baby language. Being in this class has made such a difference in my life. To be able to discuss things, whether simple or not, has been a great release for me. Granted, I found the class to be more political than my Social Ethics class, I really enjoyed it. It was stressful at times, with so many papers due in so little time. But, at the same time it was a little bit of a stress reliever as well. There was such a wide variety of students in the class, ranging from 18 to 40. Having said that, everyone has their own sets of morals and beliefs, so the discussions at times became very heated. I learned alot from Paul, and the students in the class. I came out of that class with a knowledge much greater than coming into the class. I didn't realize there would be presentations so I wasn't quite ready for the power points. I haven't always been one for public speaking, so I was glad ot get it over with. Half the stuff we watched and read I would probably have never read at my own leisure. Supersize Me really grossed me out, but I do think I have a different take on fast food now. I always knew it was unhealthy, but after watching that I have slowed down on the intake. I would have never known what the actual lyrics meant in Born In the U.S.A. I don't really care for the song much anymore like I did growing up. The one thing I would change is the Synthesis essay. As much as I enjoyed reading a 454 page book and watching a movie, it was probably the most stressful time this semester for me. I guess it just took up alot of time and with the three other classes I was taking, two kids and a husband, everything took a toll on me already. I probably should have come back to school slowly, but I made it through! I have alot more respect for literature in general now. Before coming in, I honestly was going to compare the class with my senior year of high school english class. I take that back. My senior year has nothing on Paul's class! I was able to relate to Paul, and for me that was great. Any other instructor would not have been as leniant or understanding of situations that were out of my control. It was great to be able to keep in touch through e-mails and know that if I had an issue I would hear back from Paul within an hour or so. If I had the chance to do it all over again, I wouldn't have any other instructor. It was a great beginning to the rest of my college experience!