It’s been a year…

Wow.  I guess sometimes, life really does get a little crazy from time to time.  It’s been over a year since I last wrote here.  Lots of things happened.  Our remodel went well, though we never did get to remodeling the living room, and did a partial remodel in the kitchen.  Either way, the bathroom looks amazing, haha.

My youngest finished his school year last year with flying colors and he did really well at the new school.  Thank all the gods that we are forever done with his previous school. This year was a little harder.  They program brought in all new teachers and let’s just say the kids had a hard time adjusting to change.  See, kids with varying degrees of behavioral challenges really don’t react well to change, and I swear it was like Lord of the Flies in that classroom.  It was actually really bad, there was a day I had to come get my son because he was being suspended (it happens a lot for him) and when I got to the school, five of the ten students were sequestered somewhere else in the building, while another two sat in the principal’s office, one was being walked up by the vice-principal to the office, and then I went to the main classroom to find my child.  They had him in a side classroom to sequester him from the ring-leader.  The ring leader thought the whole mess was hilarious, running around the class free-rein, laughing and hollering.  He had hidden my son’s shoes.  I walked in, told my boy to get his shoes and looked the other child in the eyes and said “This is not funny.  No one else is laughing.  You know better than to behave like this.” He opened his mouth to say something and I pulled an Austin Powers “shh” on him and continued.  “You are not allowed at my house any more.  I am disappointed in you, and I will be calling your mother.”  It wasn’t really my place, but hot damn if I wasn’t irritated by the whole thing.

It took a few more months for things to calm down, and now we’re doing much better.  My son is spending more time in his general education class, though the majority of his time is still spent in the behavior class. He’s doing well, and for that I am extremely grateful.

My oldest is having his own set of growing pains.  Girls, school and everything else makes for super fun times for all.  He’s still a great kid, just has some fairly normal teen boy issues.  We deal with it the best that we can and know that it too shall pass.

The other son is now in middle school and we discovered recently needed glasses, so now he’s got them.  So far, so good.  It’s going to take some adjustment getting used to seeing him wear them, though, haha.  He looks great in them, which is a plus, I’m hoping he won’t get teased at school.  He’s also playing cello this year and is advanced classes at his school (finally!) which keeps him busy.  He is also developing his own set of normal pre-teen boy issues, which is exasperating to be honest.  But again, this too shall pass in time.

I finished my Witchcraft V class back in October, it was a long journey, but well worth it.  I learned so much from those classes and it was hard at times, facing myself and growing from my own challenges, battling my own inner demons.  It’s funny, but as I look back on my lessons, I realize that with each lesson, there was a theme, and my life paralleled those lessons.  For example, when we did the Aries lesson, it was Aries the Warrior and I had to face some pretty ugly issues from my past that called on me to be a Warrior.  For Virgo, the Servant, I learned what service really was.

My father became very ill over the summer.  Truth is, he was sick for a long time, though he never told us exactly what was wrong with him.  His roommate finally managed to wrangle our numbers (my sister and I) and called us to tell us how worried he was.  My fiance and I drove down to where my dad was living and we saw how bad it was.  I begged him to go to the doctor, he said “there’s no coming back from this.”  He hated doctors and refused to listen.  When we drove home, I cried and raged at my fiance because I didn’t want to see my daddy like that.  One week later, his roommate called again, and it was really bad.  I drove down on a Friday in early September during rush hour and my dad was mostly unconscious and pretty incoherent when he was conscious.  I called 9-1-1 and had him involuntarily committed to the local hospital.  As I sat with my father that first night and they moved him from the ER to a room, and I watched them clean him up, suck the fluid from his lungs and try to give him medicine as he yelled, it hurt.  He spent most of the time unconscious, but the few times he was awake, I asked him not to be mad at me for making him go to the hospital.  I said “I love you daddy” and he said “I love you, too.” Those were the last words I heard him say.  They moved him to the ICU the next day and the doctors told me “multiple organ failure” and things like “sodium levels are bad, it’s hard to fix that when it’s this bad.” and finally, “he has pneumonia, there’s nothing more we can do, except make him comfortable.”  I called my brother, and my sister in Boston and told them to come as soon as they could.  I called my dad’s sister and had them come, too.  I mostly stayed with my dad for the entire time he was in the hospital, only going home to change my clothes and take a nap.  Finally, five days after he was admitted to the hospital, my father took his last breath and I watched the life leave this man.

I’ve never watched someone die.

It sucked that it was my daddy.

But I learned about the true meaning of service.  As I watched those doctors and nurses caring for the sick and the dying, even when they were yelled at, cursed at, had things thrown at them, the level of caring and compassion was one I rarely witnessed before.  When they said “I’m sorry”, they meant it.  Knowing he wasn’t going to survive, they made him comfortable and cared for him.  They served the greater good.  They wept with us when my dad died, and I know that they felt my pain and they served us, the survivors with the same love and compassion.  I learned how to be a servant for the greater good.

I miss my dad.  We had him cremated and when I picked up the scattering box with his ashes, I held it close to me, and cried bitter, angry tears.  It was an ugly cry.  Everything that was my daddy was in a box.  I also learned the power of the “go fuck yourself” to people who tried telling me how to grieve, who told me that my process wasn’t good enough.  But it was, for me, and that is what matters.

My dad’s birthday came in November and I set a framed picture by my bed, sent the children to school and crept back into bed to cry ugly tears again. My birthday was before his and I cried then, too, because I realized I wasn’t going to get a silly phone call from him to wish me a happy birthday, and I’ll never get one again.

I imagine, as Father’s day comes closer, it will be hard for me, and I will cry big, ugly tears again.  Hell, I’m feeling weepy just writing this post and thinking about him.  There is still much to do and I’m having a hard time getting a hold of his former roommate, who moved shortly after my dad’s death as it was painful for him to stay where they lived.  He has all my dad’s things, and all the paperwork I need to settle his affairs.  Hopefully, I can get that going soon, because it weighs heavily on my mind.

I still miss my daddy.  I think I always will.

Finally, to catch up, back in December I started a new, slightly crazy fitness journey.  I am a BeachBody coach, which means that I can help people reach their own fitness and health goals.  I enjoy it, and it makes me happy to help people.

My favorite programs are the ones put together by fitness trainer, Autumn Calabrese.  Her programs are amazing and deliver the results she promises. The journey was she took about 50,000 of us through all four of her programs, starting with 21 Day Fix, then Master’s Chisel, 21 Day Fix Extreme (it’s extreme, I promise you.  I thought I was going to die, haha) and finally the dance workout Country Heat.  It took us about 3 1/2 months.  It was hard, and there were days I wanted to give up, but I stuck to it.  It was actually a LOT of fun.  I made a few new friends and I lost some weight while I was at it.  Ten pound doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me, it was a great start.  I lost more in inches though – seventeen total inches gone! That is a huge deal and I am so proud of myself for sticking to it.

I’m doing a new program now, called Core de Force and it different.  It’s heavily based in MMA/Muay Thai and it is an intense workout.  I have sore muscles in places I didn’t know I had muscles!  But I am getting stronger.

I’m eating better, the portion control containers that Autumn developed is now being used throughout the various BeachBody programs, mostly, because it WORKS, really works.  Not like that “It Works!” stuff, but all natural, clean eating.  I still eat everything I love, just in smarter portions, which is something I really appreciate.  It’s not a diet – it’s lifestyle change for the better.

I feel better.  I look better. I have more energy and I feel less yucky when I eat because I don’t eat as much crap.  I like it.  I’m going to stick with it.  I encourage everyone to give it a try, you never know what you’ll find and it isn’t always about weight loss, sometimes we just want to feel better in our own skin.  I am a product of the product and if this is something that speaks to you – drop me a message.  I can help set you up to reach your goals. Or you can hit me up at my coach website www.BeachbodyCoach.com/smlehnert, let’s talk.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.

So I guess that’s all from me for now, next up is to start planning for this year’s Beltane celebration.  This year, I’m going to let you all vote on what is going to be on my menu! I did it last year on Facebook and it was a huge hit, so I can hardly wait to do it again!

In the mean time, I wish you all many blessings,

~ (Ravenna) Stephanie

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