Saturday, January 23, 2021
Thursday, January 21, 2021
I didn't know it was National Hugging Day when I chose a different coffee mug this morning. I don't typically take this one out of the house because it's special and I don't want to break it, but since I felt so much like I needed a hug, I took this one. It was given to me by my friend Dan who always has a hug and word of encouragement for me when I see him. I haven't seen him now in several weeks, so I took a hug in my mug instead.
I saw the therapist this evening. We're a little off our usual schedule due to a changing work schedule and a new baby, but God has perfect timing and He knew the perfect day. The conversation eventually made its way to the elephant in the room.
"Does the elephant belong to you or someone else?" he asked, and I had to think a bit... I had the sudden realization that there is more than one elephant in our family gatherings. Perhaps an entire herd. (And I thought getting rid of one was difficult/impossible.) Do I bring the elephant along? Are the elephants already there? Can I give them names? If we name them, can we talk about them easier. Can we tame them if we name them? Would that make talking easier?
Practicing vulnerability and honesty. It's a tough skill to learn after a lifetime of being guarded.
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
It was a better day. I didn't feel quite so emotional. Not so prone to tears as yesterday...
Life is weird and truth is stranger than fiction. Kind of knocks me out of my rocker on occasion. (Yes, as a matter of fact, this grandma is totally off her rocker. Heck. I don't even know where my rocker is!)
Two of my little friends. She sits on her butt all day, hasn't even tried to crawl, and he is on a mission to explore every inch of the baby room, even if he has to crawl over her to get there. Ha ha!
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
I keep trying, but I don't do "alone" very well. I'm not sure what the trigger is tonight, but the wounds are weepy.
The lost feeling is the most difficult to soothe. I think of my own mom who lived in my house for three and a half years. There were moments when I wanted to gather her into my arms, but some invisible force prevented me... Those painful past moments. The wall between us. The wall I couldn't scale.
It's late. The house is dark and still, and my heart is aching again. I'm feeling empty inside. I ask God why, but He only replies with "wait and trust." Waiting is hard. So very hard.
* It was a sleepy, surreal sort of day. I think I took two allergy tablets this morning resulting in the non-drowsy medicine being drowsy. Good thing I am used to being blond. Ha ha!
* I need to get back on track with my eating. The bloated feeling is not my friend. Ugh.
* One (hopefully) more week of working 9 am - 6 pm. I may end up opening a class room other than infants, but that is okay. It will be hard to get up early again, but that is okay too.
* There was snow on my car this morning. If the weather forecasters are correct, there will be snow on my car again tomorrow.
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
Number 15 surprised me today and made his arrival. I was truly thinking he'd wait until his due date was a tad closer, but he did not want to wait another week.
My cell phone rang in the wee hours of the morning. "We're going to head up to the hospital," my daughter told me. I heard a tiny bit of shuffling about downstairs. Sergio went out to start the car and came back inside again. A few minutes later the car backed out of the driveway and the house was quiet and still again.
"You have four hours to sleep," I told myself, but my brain kept mulling over everything I might need to do in the morning, and the afternoon, and evening, and tomorrow... I had been so sure I had more time that my brain hadn't soaked in everything I needed to remember. Thankfully, Number Nine had been well prepared by his mother. He was all ready to go to work with me and he had a fantastic day.
Killian. His name is Killian. He weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz. He is beautiful. So thankful for cell phones and pictures.
Monday, January 11, 2021
Friday, January 08, 2021
Sunday, January 03, 2021
Yesterday I took Number Nine to Number Ten's birthday party. I needed my GPS to find the party venue and Idris was quite taken by "Tom." The birthday party was a success. I watched my little grandson's eyes light up when he opened our gift, a Toy Story Slinky Dog and RC the Remote Controlled Car. It was priceless.
Friday, January 01, 2021
Here's to Fresh Starts and New Beginnings!
Overall, 2020 was a good year. The world may have gone mad, things may look vastly different today than they did at this time last year, but life goes on and the sun still shines. There were excruciating moments, but I have so much to be thankful for. And I am.
Tonight we stayed up to eat cheese and crackers, watch some television, and welcome 2021. I'm not throwing any resolutions out there, but I know God has good things stored up for me. I may have been struggling to catch my breath on Monday, but I am relaxed tonight. He is good.
Monday, December 28, 2020
Feeling raw, exposed and bleeding. The last few stitches have been excruciating and I fear He isn't finished yet. My blog is read by those I love more than life itself and today I have nothing to share. I am too raw. Abuse sucks. The ripple effects never end.
Thursday, December 24, 2020
I sat cross legged on the floor in the darkened room trying not to make eye contact with the small child on the cot next to me. I could feel the warmth of his breath on my thigh through the denim of my jeans. As I stared into the dimly lit room, I felt his face touch my leg as he planted several kisses on my knee. I smiled to myself in the darkness. I wanted to scoop him into my lap and hug him, but I resisted the urge. He was not tired and began the “dance” of the restless child. “Lay down and close your eyes,” I told him. The was a stretch of fake snoring before his little legs popped straight up in the air, covered by a fuzzy gray blanket. He tossed and turned, hung his head over the cot’s edge, and attempted to gain my attention in a variety of creative endeavors. I reminded him of Santa’s impending arrival. He asked some questions I couldn’t decipher and tried to lay still, but every attempt proved futile.
It is quite possible that my presence in the room at nap time is nothing more than a distraction.
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
Doing the right thing doesn't automatically render rosy results. Doing the right thing often brings tears and brokenness, but is it not brokenness that also often brings the healing so desperately desired? I mentioned God using golden thread to stitch my broken pieces back together, but I didn't mention that the stitching hurts too. Each careful stitch from His gentle hand requires the needle to pierce the broken pieces. Each piercing brings a stab of pain, but with each stabbing pain a stitch is completed and I am one stitch closer to being made whole. *sigh*
Monday, December 21, 2020
I'm not feeling stressed over Christmas gifts. I have too many grandchildren for whom to buy gifts. It's overwhelming just thinking about it, so I've decided to do something different this year. Rather than buy cheap gifts they don't need and probably won't appreciate, I am taking $20 in honor of each grandchild and giving it to my friend's mission in Guatemala. They help build houses for families in need and also hand out bags of food to the hungry. They recently drove into areas devastated by flooding and handed out food and supplies. I pray my grandchildren will one day appreciate helping too. Maybe I can encourage them toward this endeavor.
Our work babies got copies of photographs I took just after Thanksgiving. The pics I ordered online still haven't come, so I ended up ordering more to pick up from the local Walgreens just to make sure I had some to give before Christmas. There were some smiling mommies this morning and that was fun. My own kids are getting photographs too. I was surprised by one of my photo orders actually arriving this afternoon.
It's been an emotional week. These special occasions might always leave me feeling teary. I have loved deeply, perhaps recklessly, and God knows my heart. He is stitching my broken pieces back together one piece at a time with a golden thread.
Thursday, December 17, 2020
It went from Monday to Friday in a hurry this week. (It's not Friday yet, but it's close.) We had a little snow this week. I am grateful for snow tires and slightly impatient with those who have yet to put them on their cars. Ha! I was almost late to work on Tuesday. I left too late to accommodate slow drivers. My bad.
I have not taken any snow pictures. It's dark out when I come home.
I managed to be late for my chiropractor appointment last night. I drove a hundred miles an hour through snow banks and across the median, but I was still late. I think I need to buy a truck. LOL! Actually, I had to wait for all the babies to go home before I could leave work. Thankfully I was only about ten minutes late.
I am ready for the weekend. I think.
Monday, December 14, 2020
Photos are "borrowed" from my boy in Minnesota. That's our Santa Baby, Number 13, also known as Jonah.
Sunday, December 13, 2020
* My sweet Bethany will not need another surgery to remove her appendix. The latest scan showed it to be only an inch long, far smaller than a normal appendix, and healed. If it ever gives her trouble, it will be nothing like the trouble it caused in early November. We are grateful.
* My car is now wearing its winter boots. I am ready for snow should it ever see fit to arrive. It also has a new exhaust system and a pretty new inspection sticker. Have I ever told you how thankful I am for my savings account? Now I am thankful for what is left of it.
* Last weekend The Trio (Numbers 2, 3, and 4) and I made gingerbread houses. I went to their house for the first time since I can't remember when, and even stayed for supper. It was wonderful!
* I finally got around to sorting through some more stuff. I have three boxes by the back door waiting for a ride. One, full of craftiness, will be going to work with me. (I am a collector of good intentions. Good craft intentions.)
* It's been a good weekend. Back to work tomorrow. Back to loving the littles.
Monday, December 07, 2020
Finally being able to admit and express my grief has been healing. For close to 40 years I felt unable to say my heart was broken at the loss of my childhood friend. It felt like such an admission was tantamount to unfaithfulness (I was accused of that once by one of my own children for simply reading the old letters) and even very early on I was desperately afraid of hurting the guy I'd married, even though my relationship with Joey was no secret from James.
Joey and I shared the fall, winter, and spring of 1972-73. We walked around the block on cold winter days, each asking the other if their feet were cold. (He wore cowboy boots in the snow.) When it was getting dark, and it got dark early, he always walked me home before heading home himself. In the spring we walked some more, and then suddenly he was moving away. I never even met his mother, never went in his house. He had come to mine instead. There are no pictures of us together. Not one.
As a young girl I dreamed Joey into what I wanted him to be. (Isn't that always what we're tempted to do?) But dreams are not reality. Reality is that God gave me a special childhood friend, a box full of letters to cherish, and the incredibly wonderful opportunity to see my friend when we were 14 years old and my family was on vacation in Virginia in the fall of 1978. I was in heaven! (I had my very own football player!!! Number 87.)
Today I'm healing. I honestly am. I've done enough internet stalking (ha
ha!) to settle my heart. I am absolutely nothing like the woman Joe
married, and I don't find myself attracted to the man I see in pictures.
I find it strange, and I am intrigued, even amused, at my lack of
attraction. I don't see anything terrible or offensive, I'm simply not
drawn to him. He is a complete stranger and yet we are connected by a
few months of time and a string of childish letters. (I love it.)
I've dragged taped-shut boxes from place to place for over half my life. Today I'm unpacking those old boxes and letting go. The little box of letters will be forever cherished, but I can stop grieving. It's time to smile at the memories and move on.
Saturday, December 05, 2020
Wednesday, December 02, 2020
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Yesterday I met my friend Myung at the park. She was looking for a fellow Christian, someone with whom to share her inner struggles, and a friend with which to pray. We walked along the lake shore, into the park, and up the hill to the picnic area filled with old gnarled sycamore trees, stopping every so often to talk. I wasn't sure how to answer, but know that very often I am simply looking for a listening ear and an understanding heart.
Our struggles are vastly different, and yet similar all at the same time. We have each been held captive in prisons of our own making. Shackled by our own emotions, held in chains of the past. She shared how she has been reading the book of Deuteronomy and thinking on the children of Israel crossing the Jordon River into Canaan, leaving the wilderness forever behind. We stood face to face, eyes closed, each simultaneously praying for the other and ourselves. When we'd finished praying we symbolically crossed the River Jordon hand in hand. We are moving forward. No looking back. No more living in the past or allowing it to control the future.
I was back home again when she sent me a text. One of the quotes she sent was The bee fertilizes the flower it robs. "I love this word," she said, "It is for me," and it fit her situation perfectly. Honestly, it fits mine too.
My friend is praying for me and I am praying for her. I am in awe of how God has brought us together.
Friday, November 27, 2020
Today, if the weather holds, I have a "socially distanced walk" planned with my friend Myung from the pottery studio. Just a walk at Webster Park. I still have my key to the pottery studio, even if they are in the middle of Rochester's current orange zone. One day I'll go back and maybe I will find my pottery friends there too.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Sunday, November 15, 2020
It's been quite the week and I'm not sure I can remember half of it.
* Friends, family, and strangers have stepped up all week long to help my daughter and her family. There have been meals, babysitters, donations of diapers and breast milk, and a multitude of prayers. As a mom who works full time I have felt overwhelmed and relieved all at the same time. I never doubted God would provide for each and every need, I only doubted my own ability to follow through on my part.
* I went back to work on Monday, back to the little ones who call my name, ask for hugs, and inquire about lunch. It is therapy at its best. I never tire of hearing little ones say, "I need a hug!" There are times I need a hug too, and didn't I, just the other day, tell a friend to save one for me?
* On Wednesday Bethany sent me a text that read, "I may have begged, and even cried a little... But the nurse gave permission. You can come and visit me." She was scheduled for a procedure and so it was decided that I would come on Thursday. The good news is she didn't need the procedure after all.
* There was bad news on Wednesday too. My oldest grandson crashed his bicycle and fractured his clavicle. This is Bethany's oldest son. Now she was the mom unable to comfort or see her child. At the height of his pain on Thursday he Facetimed his mom, tears streaming down his face. He'd tried to change his shirt unassisted. His break is bad and he will be having surgery on Tuesday.
* I went to the hospital Thursday night, hugged my daughter long and tight, and helped her wash her "ten days ripe" hair. She is a trooper. We both laughed when the shower head went rogue and streamed over her face. I visited again on Friday while Adam stayed home with the kids and attempted to catch up with himself.
* Yesterday I drove an hour south to pick up a recliner/lift chair at the home of my brother in law's sister. It just fit into my car. Not an inch to spare. And I had a nice long visit with Laurie too.
* The best news of all is that my girl is scheduled to come home today. She still has her appendix. That will need to come out in a couple of months when her insides are healed and the inflammation has subsided. Everyone asks me about this. I am not a medical professional and must trust they are doing everything they can to help her body heal and maintain its integrity. I am relieved to see my daughter smile again.
Monday, November 09, 2020
For those wondering, and my future self, yes, she is still in the hospital. It was bad, guys, really bad. It's still bad, but she's improving in little ways each day, even if progress is painfully slow. Who would have thought we'd celebrate the passing of gas? Life is full of surprises.
I went back to work today. My mind was half there and half at Bethany's house, but I made it through and passed out more hugs than I can remember. After work I went to Beth's so Adam could go to the hospital. We're going to love each other in a whole new way when this is done.
Thursday, November 05, 2020
Thank you for your prayers on all fronts.
Tuesday, November 03, 2020
As I drove toward home, my phone began to ring and I pulled over to answer it. On the other end was my daughter, struggling with a severe pain in her tummy. She felt the need to see a doctor and couldn't get a hold of her husband whose phone was dead, so I went to stay with the kids and took pictures of Henry. They eventually sent her home without any definite diagnosis, and not many tests. Today she had was back, at a different hospital, and this time they took her symptoms serious. She's still there.
Tomorrow I will get up early, shower, dress, and get ready for my day, but I will not go to work. Instead I am going to stay with my grandchildren. This is what moms do.
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Nothing much to share. It's been a week of rain and cold weather. Rather disappointing, but whining won't change anything and will only make the situation appear drastically worse than it really is. I am warm and dry, my belly is (more than) full, I have clean clothes to wear, and a job that makes me feel loved and appreciated.
I've still not turned in my pottery studio key. I didn't have time last weekend and I scarcely know when the office is open. Truth is I like my shelf and I want to play in the mud...