Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life

It's funny how things go sometimes. Well, actually most of the time. You make plans. You think things ought to go a certain way, in a particular direction and then....they don't.

What's that saying? Man proposes, God disposes. Life is what happens when ...something something. Life does take strange turns and twists.

I was having that conversation today with a friend as we waited for her radiation appointment. We spoke of life, of parental expectations, of cruelty, change, life altering events, disappointments..... life. Life. Just...life. We spoke of parents that didn't accept or embrace the choices their children have made. How it causes pain, emotional, physical and all around creates plain ole stinky feelings. That it takes time to get over those things. To be all right with the person YOU are, the choices you've made, and the life you live.

She spoke of things she'd like to do, but was so very tired from chemo and radiation. I tried mostly to just listen, although I did my fair share of sharing. I hope I listened more than I shared. Sometimes I know I'm not great at the art of listening instead of waiting for my chance to share. I hope I'm getting better at that.

She doesn't have children, so I did share how it felt to me at various times in raising my babies. How it felt to have parental expectations.

The desire to keep them from the railroad tracks of life. To warn them of the oncoming trains that we, as parents, can plainly see coming. We beg them to get off the tracks. Can't you see the train? Hear that whistle? Don't you feel the ground shaking? Oh...please run, get away from there. It's dangerous and..... The train comes and you are forced to watch. It's not your place to pick them up and carry them from the tracks as you did when they were little. They are adults now, so you watch. You grieve their sorrows, feel their pain.

And then, after a bit you make peace with the fact that you did the best you could. That their choices are their choices, not yours. Their lives, not yours. You wait beside the tracks, but you don't watch any longer. You still love, oh how you love, but you have freed yourself from their pain because it is not your pain. It's their pain. You don't own it. They do.

Ah life. What a cruel teacher you are...

The unimaginable joy I had with my babies is no longer. It's grown, changed, evolved and morphed into something else entirely. I can no longer fix an owie with a kiss and a hug and a snuggle. My magic powers have been taken from me by time.

But one thing has not changed...and that is my heart. I love them, all four of them, with everything that I am. I always will. And though I no longer stand watch on the train tracks, I hope they each know that I will stand with them after the train has passed.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

You Made Me a Mom

This is the 12th Mother's Day without my mom. I miss her very much and as most children, I probably didn't appreciate her and the sacrifices she made for her children as much as I should have while she was here on this earth. I always treated her with respect, she knew I loved her and I cared for her in the last few months of her life. I've learned a lot about mother hood since her death.

This is a picture of her holding my last baby. She held Ashley Rose before I did, because I'd had a crash c-section to save Ashley's life. I never actually saw my baby for two days. Mom never let me forget that she held her first. It's not a great picture of my mom because she'd been crying an awful lot that night, not knowing if the baby or I would survive.



My mom was and is beautiful.



She taught ME how to a be mom. But the baby below is the one who made me a mom for the very first time. Stephanie Ann.



You were the light and the life in my world. My day, my night, my forever. My heart grew in size the moment I saw you. I've never been the same since that day in January 1989. Carol Lynn Pearson put it best in her poem, My Day Old Child.

"My day old child"

My day old child in my arms
with my lips against his ear
I whispered strongly "How I wish,
I wish that you could hear,

"I've a hundred wonderful things to say
(A tiny cough and nod)
Hurry, hurry, hurry and grow
so I can tell you about God."

My day old baby's mouth was still
and my words only tickled his ear,
but a kind of light passed through his eyes,
and I saw this thought appear,

"How I wish I had a voice and words,
I've a hundred things to say,
Before I forget, I'd tell you of God,
I left Him yesterday."


So fresh from heaven. Perfect, miraculous and the most amazing being I'd ever had the honor of loving day and night.

Carol Lynn Pearson also spoke the words from my heart in her poem,

Mother To Child

Look --
Your little fist
Fits mine
Like the pit
In a plum.

One day
And one size,
These two hands will
Clasp companionably.

Help me, child
Forgive me
When I fail you.
I'm your mother,
True,
But in the end
Merely an older equal
Doing her faltering best
For a dear
Small friend.



Thank you for being my baby girl. For allowing me the experience to be a mom for the first time. Now that you are mom to Enzo, I hope you know that all the feelings you have running through you for your young son, were also coursing through my heart when I had you. My baby girl.

Happy first Mother's Day, baby girl. I love you.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Cats. Because.

This is our cat Bobo. Yes, I'm aware that Bobo means 'stupid' in Spanish. Thankfully, Bobo does not speak Spanish.

This is another shot of our beloved Bobo. My dear husband is his human. Bobo sleeps with him each night, curled into the crook of his arm. When Lance goes to work. Bobo comes and sleeps ON TOP OF ME. Apparently I make a comfortable pillow.


This is Tubby, or Professor Tubbington. He is fluffy and very vocal. He talks and chitters and it's adorable. He also races through the house all night, which is somewhat less adorable. Look at the fluffy!!!


This is my Baby Twitch. Sadly, we lost our Titchy. We think the coyotes got him and I may be the only one in the house with a broken heart over his loss. He did not endear himself to the other members of the family because he had toileting issues---and he peed on each girls bed. So outside he went and now....he's gone. I've looked and called shelters and the only thing I can think is that coyotes or possibly racoons got him. He was extremely skittish and would not ever go near another human being while outside. I love him. And I miss him. A lot. I was HIS human. And he was my baby.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Spring Break in Arizona

Catchy title, eh?

Yeah, ok. Not really.

We spent the week in Tucson, with a day trip here. To Sedona. Magical and wonderful and oh so breathtakingly beautiful. Lance and I hiked up a few trails and I filled our new camera with desert images. It was an amazing time.


The number of large cacti....oh the number! Huge and spikey and alien to those of us with webbed-feet from living in the Land of the Green and the Rain. Seattle does not prepare you for dry desert air, or the prevalence of the brown, relived only by cactus.



Birds carve holes in these giants and build their nests. I'm not sure I saw one cactus that had not suffered some damage. But to me it is beautiful damage and only added to the joy.


So many varieties of spikey danger. This is a beautiful specimen. I shant bore you with the entire 850 photographs we took while in Arizona.


We fully intend to return. Soon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Nothing Turns Out Like You Think It's Going To

There's a meme going around the Interwebs that shows a stick figure on a bicycle, moving from left to right and from down to up in a smooth arc.

Right below that there is another stick figure on a bike, but the path from left to right is not a smooth down-to-up transition. There are enormous valleys, huge dips, crevasses and although the upward motion continues, it is visibly a slower and more difficult route.

The first one is labeled My Plan for My Life and the other is labeled, God's Plan.

And old Yiddish Proverb says, Man Proposes, God Disposes.

Is it really God that shakes our snowglobe and causes the downpour? Or is it the choices we make in life that take us in certain directions where there is bound to be bitter storms and dangerous paths? And how can we remain calm in the face of such furious winds that threaten to, if not destroy us physically, mortally wound us spiritually and emotionally?

I do not believe that God's plan for us is to be miserable. There's a reason it's called The Plan of Happiness, and it was crafted by a loving parent to help us return to Him.

However, when dark storms are raging, it is difficult to see the dawn.

I fully admit that there have been times when I have been literally and metaphorically brought to my knees by some painful twist or turn along what I had thought would be a less-jarring bike ride through life. Life is messy. It's not sanitized for your protection---it's messy for a reason--to cause you to grow in ways you never thought possible.

Sometimes it's the actions or decisions of others that have a negative impact on you or on a great many people. Through no fault of your own, the storm arrives gift wrapped on your doorstep. Other times it is your own actions or decisions that bring calamity calling. Either way, you cannot refuse delivery. As I've told my children when they complain, Life is not Fair.

I am grateful for my faith in a loving Father in Heaven, who knows me and knows what storms rage around me. While I am not always thankful for the storms, it does help me appreciate the bright sunshine at dawn all the more.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Writing, Righting.....

In the history of my blog, I have never gone so long without a post. You're welcome.

In my defense, I have been otherwise occupied. I wrote a novel. Over three hundred pages and found a literary agent that liked it enough to request the entire manuscript. And while I've yet to hear back from her, except for a gentle note about almost being 'there', wherever 'there' is, I hold out hope. Even if she does not take me on as an author, it has been a wonderful experience to send my first novel out into the ether and have the first Literary Agent give it a thumbs up. I am aware that this is a rare occurrence.

While I have been working on the sequel, it has not gone as smoothly or as quickly as the first book. I don't feel as driven as I felt when I was writing the first novel. Ah well. Nothing to do about it.

As for Righting, I make attempts at righting myself. Bringing myself back to center, the path, holding to the iron rod, keeping the faith, a stiff upper lip and putting on my big girl panties each day to face what is tossed at me. Trust me--there have been mountains of things thrown down at me. Most days it's a wonder I'm still standing. Some days I don't.

The urge to hide, to flee and never return has come upon me on occasion. However, I do not flee. I stay. Perhaps that will be counted as brave enough when my time comes for judgement. I did not run away. I stayed. Is that enough?

I do not know.

Most of the time I instinctively know what to do about things. And by 'things' I mean dealing with my children, housework, driving, grocery shopping and work. But there are other things that I'm at a loss to deal with. The mental illness and proclivity for self-harm and suicide of my child. No, she's still alive, though she has tried three times to vacate her mortal body. There are other issues this child has, which are even more difficult for me to write about than cutting and suicide attempts. I'll let your imagination run with that one.

So, I am weary. I am tired. I am worn. And this causes me even more distress because it means I'm not enduring my trials well, with a bright smile on my face and a song in my heart while making homemade loaves of bread and feeding the poor.

Mostly I want to sleep, which I recognize as a bad sign.

I also recognized something the other day as I made a mushroom and onion omelet for my mentally ill child, with a lovely fruit salad cup. I placed her omelet on one of my pretty plates and put her fruit salad into a nice pretty matching cup on the plate.

I placed my omelet on a paper plate.

Seeing this, and not for the first time, I realized how poorly I treat myself. Sure, a paper plate isn't striking myself with a scourge or stabbing myself with a fork, but it is indicative of what I think of myself. I don't deserve the pretty plate with the matching cup. For whatever reason, this is how I've treated myself for years.

So is it any wonder that I am not valued by others, if I cannot value myself?

Saturday, January 04, 2014

My First eBook on Amazon!

My first eBook is now for sale or for borrowing on Amazon Just click on that link it will take you to the site.

It's called, 'It's Like This, What REALLY Happens After You Say I Do'

Especially if you have children.

And I do. And so do most of you, so I hope that you can relate to each vignette, and if you can't then I hope it makes you laugh. Because life is too darn short to spend all your time crying. I know, because I learned that the hard way. You go through an enormous amount of tissues and your nose gets all red and really, who needs that?

So please, go to my book site, buy it and have a laugh at my expense. Do it for the children. Or the puppies. Or to fight global warming and take your mind off the colossal failure of the Obamacare website. Any and all reasons are valid.

And if you like what you read, please leave a review on on the site. If you don't like what you read, then tell me why and I'll come over and sing Soft Kitty to you.

Thanks!!