Tuesday, August 2, 2011

So since time has flown by I thought a quick little catch up would be a great idea! HAHA! Those of you that know me well... know that I live my life through pictures memories. I can almost tell you when every picture was taken... ! Sad but true...!! Since my Grandad still stays on my mind at almost all times... and because he was an amazing man that taught me so many lessons I am going to share this blog through memories of him and lessons learned from him. So hang on here we go....

Sports were always VERY important in the Lang house and the AGGIE women Winning a National Championship in Basketball would not have been any different. What a FUN NIGHT!
Well next we must mention Christmas in MAY with the Brew Crew... this included Christmas songs, lights on the ficus tree, Stockings (aka Mike's dress socks) hanging from the mantle, hot chocolate, dogs dressed as Santa Claus and of course baking cookies. If you know Dana and myself.... the fun doesn't necessarily have to make sense and this was proof. We all dressed appropriately in Christmas Jammies/Robes and cranked the AC. My Grandad would have loved this... and would have been right in the middle of it! He LOVED TO LAUGH!! His laugh was from his toes and so genuine!
Check out those Jammies and who needs Christmas cookie cutters when you have high heels!

So May also brought a HUGE job change! My dreams came true when I made the move to Betenbough Homes! Now I can easily say that ALOT of my personality and LOVING to talk to people comes straight from my mom and Grandad! So I know he would be SOOOO proud of me!

So when I started with Betenbough Homes they have a program called Betenbough University. In this program you spend time with each area or person in the company and learn exactly what they do. I absolutely loved it because I got to meet everyone and learn about them. So... most of the Lubbock sales team had not earned their degree from BU... and I certainly did not want to graduate by myself. Four of us from Sales all graduated together... Class of 7-11 (July 2011). Casey Brewer awarded me my diploma and it now proudly hangs with my A&M Diploma! My grandad was soooo proud of me when I graduated from TAMU and I know he would have felt exactly the same on this day. My Mimi and Kimmie were there the morning that I graduated and I know we were each thinking the same thing. It seems cheesy ... but Grandad celebrated the Large and small moments in life.

So with all the hard times in our lives lately we have been around our family ALOT which I love. It makes me feel like Grandad is so close. Below is my Cousin (BROTHER really) Kyle and his precious wife Morgan.

Here I am with the younger generation of grandkids. My GRANDAD loved kids. You know many say that as they get sicker elderly people become agitated by children being around. That DEFINITELY was not my Grandad. He always loved all of us around laughing not matter what. Sure we did get too loud sometimes... but hey... we learned from the best. Below is Chloe, Cameron and Colton.

Kim, Robert and Cameron made their regular trip to Lubbock! They brought along Melynda a family friend... Mimi was already here in Lubbock. Because Cameron is the youngest... and typically has to hang with the adults we always try to do something fun with him. This time we made Cake Pops. Cameron loves to cook... and my Grandad in the past has sometimes been the only one brave enough to eat the food. HAHA! But Grandad always finished his plate!

My Elly Girl ! Gets my HEART! I love all her silly faces. My Grandad made the FUNNIEST faces Ever... and he would have laughed so hard at this picture. No matter the situation he taught us to still laugh. Even at his sickest moments in the nursing home... he would make his silly face and wiggle his nose because he knew we would all laugh.

I am sure you can imagine we had plenty of these faces in the last few months!

So loosing my Grandad has been so hard... but in the hardest times God sometimes brings the BIGGEST blessings. Mine came in the form of Jaime! Let me just say this... I have NEVER laughed this hard in my entire life. He has been there for me through all of this... even when my emotions are all over the place!

Faith Factory!!! Heath Watts (our amazing friend) became the children's pastor at Church on the Rock... so Jaime and I somehow became Faith Factory Helpers! We LOVE IT! The kids are amazing... !!! Heath and Kelsey are such a huge part of our lives... such an encouragement! My Grandad would be right in the middle of the cup tower! He would have loved that!!! He was ALWAYS a kid at heart!

So along comes July 4th! I promptly invited myself to meet Jaime's parents! Yeah... I am not sure how I managed that... but I did. So off to Denver City we went. I LOVED meeting his family and they welcomed me in with open arms. Jaime taught me the art of plumbing... or at least taught me that if you keep digging eventually you will hit something. Now I will say this... my Grandad worked HARD his entire LIFE! He was always a perfectionist. I can still clearly see him folding clothes at the kitchen table... so that everything would be completely perfect! He definitely always worked to the best of his ability! I love that Jaime would get out there and work extremely hard to help his family!

Oh yes... the copper trick... that they will go together when you cross water. Supposedly it worked... but they did dig like 4 holes so I am not completely convinced.

Well.... what would life be without COMPLETELY turning back into a kid sometimes. My Grandad was the king. He did have his own toy box at age 60... so this was serious to him. Madi is the best at making me remember to laugh like a kid! I think this day we played school... with my hair like this! Only for you Madi!

Love this girl.... I could just squeeze her!

So .... there is my Roni Man (Cameron)! What a precious gift from God. There have been many moments in the last few months that I could not have lived through without my Roni. He made me smile when I thought there were not any in me. He was with us through everything with Grandad. From laughing... to singing... to crying.... to hugging. He didn't run away. He stayed .... I don't know how he did.... but I know why he did it! He did for his amazing mama, his mimi, his nana, and me! His joy is what pushed each of us through the last hard hard days! He is an AMAZING kid and I am blessed to have the opportunity to pour into his life!

So I know this was long but we are all caught up.... so now let's do this!!!!! I am ready for the next part of this journey!

Wow time has literally flown by. I feel like the last three months have just been insane and have contained some of the most sad moments of my life. My
Grandad passed away on June 22, 2011. He is walking the streets of gold now and I am so thankful that he is no longer in pain... although I would give just about anything to get a hug from him. He will always hold a huge part of my heart and I pray everyday that I make him proud! Below are the words I spoke at my Grandad's funeral...

To my Grandad (G)!
These are the words I had to privilege of speaking at the celebration of your life that we held on Friday, June 24, 2011. You will FOREVER be in my heart… and hopefully my life will be one that makes you proud.
I guess as they say time flies when you are having fun!
FUN— when I think about fun my G is the first person that dances into my mind and heart. He knew how to have a GREAT time! As I was trying to determine what to say today I was sitting talking to my sister. My first words were that I have NO IDEA where to begin! I could go on and on and on. She said you say all that you need to! So everyone get comfy…. Hahaha Just Kidding.
So I guess I would start with memories:
- My Grandad rocking me in his chair well into my high school years
- Laughing with him until my face was red and my tummy hurt
- Grandad/Michalea Dates to 82nd Street Café
- His Toy Net in his room where all the toys the grandkids could not play with were held. Stuffed animals… board games… Now how many Grandad’s were so much fun that they had their own children’s toys. Well mine was!
- Many many mornings watching westerns and eating his PERFECT cheese toast. Mimi always joked that she never tried to make it as great as he did. He had every slice of cheese perfectly placed.
- My G taking care of me when I was sick with Mono. Mom and Mike had to leave town and he drove up to stay with me. I was sooooo sick but he made sure my medicine was always perfectly lined up and given at the most precise time.
- His proud face when I graduated from A&M.
I could go on with memories but I can’t say much more without thanking him. When I had to say goodbye to my granddad on Monday, June 20th to fly home to Lubbock I did just that, I thanked him. I crawled up into his bed and looked at his beautiful blue eyes.
I thanked him for:
- Loving me
- Teaching me to REALLY Laugh
- Rocking Me
- My Amazing Strong Mom
- Loving my Mimi Deeply and showing me what true love looks like in earthly form.
- Loving and accepting my brother and sister as his own grandchildren.
- For being a Grandad that invested rather than just existed.
- For truly knowing me and learning about me.
I then did as our sweet hospice nurse had told me to do … tell him it is okay to go and see Jesus. Let him know that is okay for him to let go. As I said those words tears would not stop flowing…
Then as clear as I am talking to you right now my Grandad, My G, gave me the gift he knew I needed. He knew that my controlling breaking heart needed him to help me let go….
With my Mimi, Mom and Aunt Kimmie waiting in the hall at Windsong… my Grandad clearly spoke what I will honor and work at for the rest of my life…
“Hold Down the Fort”
Grandad, I will do just that … FOR ALWAYS!

While I am up here today I also wanted to thank everyone at Windsong Village here in Pearland. When you are at the point of having to give up some control and care of someone so precious in your life it does hurt and require adjustment. There is one word that I think all of us as a family faced and that is FEAR. You see we have such an AMAZING caretaker in our family and that is my Mimi. She cares for ALL of us… especially my Grandad. So this was a major change for us.
But as the Lord has done throughout all of this.. He gave us a miracle. He provided and home and a team to walk along side my mimi and care for my G until the very end.
So many people:
- Linda
- Eric
- Peter
- Trinice
- Rebecca
- Amy
- Connie
And the list goes on. I know that I am missing people that we will treasure forever in our hearts. You are absolutely so valuable and what you do MATTERS! You are incredibly loved and appreciated by our family. Thank you for your love, work tears and for touching our lives and the life of our Grandad.

So today I say to my Grandad, “ I love you infinity…. And I do LOVE YOU more (he knows I have to get the last word) …. You just loved me FIRST! I will HOLD DOWN THE FORT…. Save a place for me.”

Your Girl,
Michalea (Proud Granddaughter)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Well off we go… so every other week certainly did not happen. But the Lord has certainly been working in and through me.
With my job I get the week after Christmas and before New Years off. So mom and I decided to go stay with Mimi and Grandad (Mom’s parents) for that week. It was a great week. I don’t have any huge momentous stories to tell. It was as I always know their home to be peaceful, comfortable and safe. It is a place where I can look my worst and feel my BEST. I can eat the not so healthy things and feel fine about it because Mimi made it. I can sleep the best I have ever slept on a make shift bed because … well I am at Mimi and Grandad’s house. Any of the Lang grandchildren know exactly what I am talking about.
I serve such a powerful GOD! One of my greatest struggles with my Grandad’s Alzheimer’s is that he won’t remember his family. I have done countless things to try to help him remember. I create a book every year with photos of the whole family… in hopes that he will look at these and they will jar his memory. This last year I even focused on the past and pictures from when all of the grandchildren were smaller. He seems to remember these times better. I just desire so strongly and hope that he will have moments of clarity. Moments where he feels in control and not lost. I pray for moments of peace and less frustration. Grandad has ALWAYS loved to do Seek a word puzzles. So about two years ago I created a specific seek a word puzzle for every single individual in my family. Each page stated things about that family member that are specific to them. For example my Uncle Steve’s had words about Baylor, Track, and Permian. I thought maybe if he was doing something that he loved to do and reading those items he could have glimpses of those that LOVE him the most. This last year I had each family member paint a square with items about him. Mom and I later quilted those together. I wanted him to always cover up with that blanket so that he would be covered in our love and could look down and reflect on little memories from his family.
I am always soooo hopeful that he WILL have moments of peace and clarity. I can’t imagine every day the frustration of not being able to place where he is and who we are. But God CONITNUALLY shows me that my Grandad was never in control …. He has allowed GOD to be in control.
There was one conversation that I had with Grandad during that week at his house that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Mom and Mimi left to go to a doctor’s appointment for her so I stayed home with Grandad. I got all set up in their bedroom in the chair. I had my computer and phone with me so that I would be entertained but God had other plans. Grandad was dozing on and off and I just sat there thinking and staring. I know this could sound weird. I stared at their furniture, I stared at his face, I stared at his hands, I stared at framed pictures, and I stared at his chair. I thought and thought and thought.
- I thought about the many memories I had of me performing in the living room in Odessa on the step. Grandad sat in his chair watching all of the plays, dances and speeches. There were tons of outfit changes, programs handed out listing the performers and of course tons of laughter.
- I thought about their bedroom in Odessa where this very furniture sat and there were many monopoly games played and sick days spent. I thought of the toy sling that hung in the corner of the room with Grandad’s stuffed animals. These are the animals that were HIS… how many kids had a grandad that still had a childlike spirit enough to collect his own toys.
- His hands… I can remember him mowing the lawn in Odessa and being absolutely filthy. I remember him fixing thousands of pieces of cheese toast. I can remember him handing me medicine when I was SUPER sick with Mono. My parents were gone for a week and he was my nurse! I can remember him folding clothes and everything was absolutely perfect.
As I sat there Grandad would doze in and out of sleep and talk with his friends throughout that time. Most of the time he was back in the oil field telling those guys why and what for. Sometimes it would just make me laugh so hard I had to contain the laughter. That might sound strange but when you are in these situations that are so painfully sad, “You still have to delight in the Lord.” Delight in these moments that he has given you with him.
- To cling tight to His promise that He will NEVER give me more then I can handle.
- To be grateful for my heritage and a grandfather that invested in me.
- To be thankful for parents who made time with our grandparents a priority instead of an option.
- For amazing stories that I will get to tell my kids of times with my grandparents.
- For a grandmother who is an amazing picture of a wife. I could not have a better example. She is patient, loves him where he is at, honors him and serves him.
Grandad has good days and bad days and we thank Jesus for the good days and ask for strength in the bad. We all know what the inevitable is and what is surely going to come. But we spend these days grateful for the moments we have shared with him in the past and the moments that our Sweet Savior is giving us for closure.
Lastly, please pray for our family as we prepare for what is to come. Please pray for my sweet Mimi as she continues to care for him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Inevitable

Well... seems like life is just ever changing. Sometimes I must admit I groan at the thought of change...new job... new house... even down to the new diet. HA! But at the same time it stirs something in me that I can hardly explain! It like a rumbling tornado of energy that just starts slow and becomes larger then anything I can tame. I am definitely the cow that you see in pictures about 100 feet off the ground right now being swirled around in the HUGE tornado. But I am so excited that God has chosen me to be floating on air... not necessarily knowing what tomorrow holds but RESTING in the fact that HE holds my future... my EVERY BREATH!

I was thinking about that EVERY BREATH thing the other day... isn't that just AMAZING... my EVERY BREATH... HE is in CHARGE of. Whether I take another one or not is up to HIM!! So AMAZING!!

So this blog... which is amazing that I am even saying that word. I am definitely not someone that journals or really could even tell you everything that happened on Monday. I am definitely a more fly by the seat of my pants type of person. My sister is probably LITERALLY in shock right now that I am even doing this. So... my goal is this... I don't want this to just be an update on every piece of my life. I want it to represent a journey to both myself and to those who love me. Life is just EVER changing. Not always or maybe even ever PERFECT (although I am heading someday to a place that is) but always changing.

I am going to try to post at least every other week. Just so that I can hold myself accountable to the journey and progressing where the LORD leads.