Sunday, January 31, 2021

Out and About for a Bit (Post #2)

 It's been a frigid week. Before going off to church this morning, I took a hammer and knocked the chunks of ice buildup behind my front tires off into the driveway. My sister Rachel was excited about the ice she knew was collecting along the lake shore and wondered if I would like to go out and take some pictures with her after church. 

We started at Webster Park where just two weeks ago I collected a handful of beach glass. Today any beach glass was buried under a layer of ice and snow. 

We had also planned a trip to see our brother and take him out for a ride. Because he has difficulty getting in and out of vehicles, we took my little SUV. It was a disappointing ride. He gobbled down the snacks we brought and promptly went to sleep. He didn't even complain when we stopped for pictures of the bison.

Before heading home, we took a ride to Sodus Point and were surprised to meet up with Tom The Backroads Traveller. Rachel had already struck up a conversation when I came around the front of the car. "I know you," he said, and he was right. It's been a while now since we fashioned Christmas wreaths in his barn and I almost didn't recognize him, which is funny because I am often running into people I know. This is the first time Tom and I have chanced to cross paths whilst out gallivanting.

Sodus Point did not disappoint us this afternoon. It was also robed in ice and snow and quite enchanting.

A Brighter Path

2021 has been a deep and thought provoking year so far, not unlike the past few. I am learning to be Martha again. It's been a long, slow, and sometimes painful, but beautiful journey. I am entirely grateful to those who have loved and encouraged me along the way. 


Five years ago I never imagined myself in this position. I saw only darkness then, but today the darkness is gone. It isn't because I know what the future holds, but the One Who Holds the Future has proven Himself over and over again. It's still hard to imagine being alone (single) for the rest of my life, but I know that even if that is true, He will walk beside me all the way. Either way, He has a plan and I trust His plan is good.

On another note, my daughter's family experienced a heart warming reunion on Friday evening. Three years of waiting and finally an evening full of tears and warm embraces.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Tapestry Has Two Sides

I've been watching adoption reunion videos this past week or so and feeling an incredibly real piece of the pain birth moms face when they decide to give their child away. When I first learned I was pregnant at seventeen, I had no clue what would happen to my baby. The only thing I knew for certain was that I would grant him the gift of life. I didn't know if I would be granted the gift of keeping him, and I can still feel the pangs of panic deep inside when I remember the thoughts of letting my baby go. No knife ever cut so deep into my heart. I am forever grateful for the gift he is, for our life together, and for the man he has become. Jim, you are loved more than words can tell.


This is my brother Dan. When I was a little girl I thought being adopted was the best thing in the world, except I wasn't adopted. My mom often told the story of the night a six day old baby was placed in their arms, how they'd had to borrow clothes, diapers, and bottles because his arrival was so unexpected. The story was amazingly wonderful, but it only told one side of the story. When I considered placing my own unborn child for adoption, the heartache of my brother's birth mom became painfully obvious. "Don't you want him?" my mother had asked, and she had answered, "Yes, but I have nothing to offer him.
Years after my brother's passing, I took my own mind back in time and grieved my own loss of him. Although I knew he loved me, we had never been close. Perhaps I had been just as much a source of competition for him as he had been for me. By the time we had something in common, our sons, he was too far away to reach, and then he was gone.
It wasn't until about 1998 that my experience with a teenage pregnancy and my brother's adoption story came together in an unexpected turn of events. A stranger in my town lost her father to cancer. My aunt had come upon the obituary in the local newspaper and shared it with my mom. The man's mother was still living, and she was my brother's birth mom. 
I remember mulling the information over in my mind, but I've forgotten exactly how it all played out. I knew there was a family out there missing my brother. I couldn't help them find him, but perhaps I could help give them answers. I don't remember how long I waited before making a connection. I do remember being scared to death, and shaking on my end of the phone.
The conversation resulted in us being able to share photos and stories with a sister who had been looking for her baby brother her entire life. She couldn't have known how brokenhearted I was for her, or how deeply I felt her pain and disappointment. I so wish I'd been able to give her more than stories and old photographs...

Thursday, January 21, 2021

National Hugging Day and Elephants

 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 my changing work schedule and our 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

Today Was Better

 It was a better day. I didn't feel quite so emotional. Not so prone to tears as yesterday...

You know, some days hopelessness sets in and throws my heart and mind into despair. Yesterday was such a day. Something triggered that helpless, lonely feeling and the tears fell. The tears that God collects in His bottle. Today I took a chance and reached out to a friend who, true to form, sent back words of encouragement. A verbal hug of sorts, because we were too far away for the real thing, which is what I desperately needed yesterday. God is good.

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


Deep inside I know why my heart is hurting. I let myself get attached.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Wait and Trust

 He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds.  

Psalm 147:3

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. 

How did I get here? Well, that is a long and complicated story. Looking at the pieces is like dumping a 2000 piece puzzle on the dining room table. Parts of the picture are obvious, glaringly so. Some of them so glaring that I find myself angry and frustrated at things that happened 40 years ago. But I can't change them and so there is no point in going there unless it is to understand the present.

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.

Bits and Pieces

* He's pretty cute. Even if he does like to sleep most of the time.

* 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

On Guard

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV
So many things I could say, and none of them political. I've not always understood what it meant to Be on your guard," and so I wasn't, but I have stood firm in my faith. I have learned to be courageous. I have also learned I am stronger than I ever knew. I have done hard things with all the love I could have ever hoped to muster. But I could never have done any of it without God helping me stand, encouraging me on, and providing strength.


Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Number 15

 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

Life is Strange

 Winter is a time of reflection. We're pretty much cooped up inside. There's no snow to speak of and the dampness feels colder than if it were ten degrees below freezing. To top it off there's a nasty virus going around and we don't have the freedom to go out and about in quite the same way afforded us last year. You might think it's the events of last week that are bouncing about in my little mind, but my brain is not focused on Washington DC. I don't need to concentrate any thinks on things I can't change. There are enough other thinks to keep me awake at night, but most nights I don't have any trouble sleeping. It's typically my bladder waking me up. Ha!

Life is strange. I'm desperately trying to be okay with being alone (single) for the remainder of my life, to give all my hopes and dreams, past and present, into the hands of God, to trust Him for everything I need. He's already proven time and again that He knows just what I need even before I realize there is a need. My heart aches. I'm told it will always ache, and I'm sure there are those who think I've gotten just what I deserve, and yet I only did what I had to do. But God knows, and even while I argued with Him He was providing. He is providing, bringing the right individuals into my life while removing others. It's a painful process. I can't say I always understand or that there aren't tears. Each loss brings pain and I must trust the loss will bring healing also, even while I grieve, even while I don't understand. I think it's okay of I cry because He knows how sorrow feels, and that tears are healing.

I never envisioned being alone. It's a new concept, partly brought on by the empty nest but mostly by the "infidelity" that resulted in my leaving. My friend Dan has encouraged me to enjoy the solitude. He says you begin to enjoy it after a while. I'm doing better with it, but it's still hard, especially here at home. Not so hard down at the lake or in the woods, and not so bad in the kitchen at work, but home alone it can be excruciating. I'm still working on acceptance, and still thankful I'm not completely alone.

(I stopped at the pottery studio Saturday afternoon and found a surprise on my shelf. It was my missing planter! I glazed everything I had left waiting back in the spring. Now I wait for the "kiln master" to fire them.)

Friday, January 08, 2021

Islands of Peace

In a world of chaos, my place of work has been an island of sanity. Maybe it's because we spend so much time tending to children, but there is very little mention of politics. We corral toddlers, wipe noses, read stories, and supervise playground activities. There are diapers to be changed, meals to be served, and projects to complete. Boo boos get kissed, tears are brushed away, hugs are abundant, and smiles are endless. Yes, it can be frustrating, because children are trying, but at the end of the day I'm grateful for the sanity of a crazy daycare center.

It's been another week of introspection. There are so many things I can't share here... I am absolutely certain God intends to use my life experiences for the benefit of others, but I am not entirely convinced I will be totally aware of it happening because so very often God simply does things. And He uses us. I pray I have already been an voice of encouragement to another hurting mom. I am so grateful for the hurting mom who took the time last February to meet me for a cup of coffee. She brought more healing in the course of an hour or two than I ever thought possible, even though I knew I desperately needed her. It took another insightful friend to connect us, and I am thankful for her as well.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

A Lot Can Change in A Week's Time

Christmas left me exhausted, but Monday afternoon I connected with my therapist who made some time to see me Tuesday evening. I am grateful for his listening ear. He doesn't so much give advice as ask questions and gently help me readjust perspectives. The three day New Year weekend has melted the tension away and I am looking forward to what the future holds.

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.

This morning I watched church online and my friend Laura picked me up for breakfast a little after 10 am. We went to the Golden Boys Restaurant in the Webster village. We were sitting at our table when another couple came in, and elderly woman and a man, probably her son. I recognized her immediately. I had seen her just last week when I'd stopped at my old church in Webster to drop off some money to my friend Lydia. I'd hugged her then, but I was wearing a mask and I'm not sure she even recognized me. Today, though, our eyes met and it was instant recognition. We shared a long, tight hug, just like we did years ago when she and her husband had sat next to James and me in church every Sunday morning. I told her I've missed her and that I love her, and I know she's missed and loved me too. She's lost her husband since I left James and started attending a different church. I can't tell her our story, I can only hope she knows how much she means to me. I missed her many, many Sunday mornings after I moved.

Laura and I decided to be brave after breakfast, and after I changed my pants and found a warmer coat, we headed down to the lake and did a little beach combing. I filled my glove with pieces of beach glass while she put her treasures in her pocket. It was cold, wet, and misty. The waves rolled in and out along the shore. Perfectly peaceful. Only a full bladder could drag us home.

Back at the house I made a pot of coffee in Dad's old stainless steel dripolator that I gifted myself from a box in the attic. Years ago when my parents lived here, Mom and Dad would make and serve her coffee in one of these old pots. The house is still loving the same friends it sheltered so many years ago. I am so blessed.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Happy New Year!

 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.

Christmas 2020 was rough. I even deemed it "The Stupidest Christmas Ever!" And it was. But like He always does, God uses painful moments as teaching moments. When the light goes on in a dark room, things come into focus. Such was the end result of Christmas 2020. (I told you stitches hurt!)

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.