2017. It feels uncomfortable. I'm sitting here thinking...pondering...whispers in my heart...why does this feel like this? I think on some level I have this feeling every year. I hate change...now I have to write a new date down and remember...I have to change something in my life and frankly I don't want to and I probably won't...
I want to describe the state of my heart to you. Why? Because I feel misunderstood...if I could close this for comments I would because I don't want the sadness or the pity or perspective..I want honored silence for my hurt...for my loss....
The pressure begins around Christmas Day... it starts when the presents have been opened and the chaos is done and the quiet sets in...the knock on my heart starts and a countdown to the 1st begins. Why? Because after the first comes the 2nd. It's a rumbling in an empty space at first...a foreboding feeling that echos around my heart with no place to land. The feeling gets bigger as the day draws near and you can be certain that in every quiet moment I have I'm thinking about it...I'm thinking about him. Then that thing in my heart that starts as a tiny echo grows till it envelopes my insides causing pressure and suffocation and before I know it December 31st rolls around and I have to prepare myself for the mindless meanderings of people looking toward the year and what it has to offer and my heart is never in it anymore. I don't like resolutions...I've said that before...if you're going to make a change...change it. So the countdown to midnight begins, 10, 9, 8, pour the champagne, 7, 6, 5, hold your glass high..4, 3, 2, 1....happy new year...clink clink...kiss on the lips...hugs from my two babies...smiling...smiling...rush through it...and the thing that started as an echo has completely taken hold of me head to toe...sadness... A decade of sadness.
I watch the revelries....and in my ugliness I think...how can you celebrate something new when he won't be here too? This is a joke I think. I don't want to celebrate...I want to curl up on the chair where I first felt your kicks and I want to hold you there in my belly so safe...so secure...reminder..rein it in...be realistic...you could be no place safer than where you are...and you are...you are so safe...so loved....but I don't want you to be there. I want you to be here...laughing in my hallway and giggling about your birthday being almost here. I want to hear you run through the house so I can yell at you and your brother to settle down. I want the stress of buying presents when I just spent too much on you for Christmas...I want the argument of what theme you want for your party and I want to hear you angry because so many of your friends are gone for Christmas break and they can't make it...I would even take biscuits meltdown that it's not his birthday and he doesn't get presents...I would take it...I WOULD TAKE IT!!!!
We all know that's not how it would have been though. Had you stayed with me...you would not be running...maybe I could have gotten smiles out of you...I fanticize about it and I hold tightly to the reality that you really are where you need to be...but damn does it hurt.
Tomorrow you will be 10. I will have that pain in my chest. I will cry...and I will wish it could be happier...Last year I came up with an idea to help me get through the day and this year I didn't succeed. Timing isn't right yet...I'm not ready.
Maybe in another 10 years...but I have a feeling I will feel the same as I do on January 1st 2027 as I do Jan 1 2017.
Isaac Matthew you took so much of my heart when you left me. I love you son. Happy birthday tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I don't find a lot of time to dwell on my current situation. I love my friends and family for their support...always lifting me up in prayer and telling me they don't know how I do it. Quietly I ask myself the same question...and sometimes I think I'm making this up...this is not my world or my reality...I can't possibly have lived in pain for 7 years now. It's around 2555 days, 61,320 hours of pain...no breaks...
Some days are worse and that is when I factor in the reality of it...so like tonight...when I'm not in my bed and I've searched my house and walked the floors and put the couch into a position I can lay upside down with my feet in the air...that is when I start to think... Man this sucks...
The reality of it is ... I'm taking each breath and each second by the grace of God...I have no choice but to breath in and breath out. I work and focus and love and eat and sleep (when my body will allow it)...I drive kids to school, cook (when I can tolerate standing in the kitchen to make a meal for my family)...I make lunches when my husband doesn't do it... I drive to appointments, field trips...I am room mom and I'm the booster club president...and as I'm writing this I'm realizing this is all a mechanism to keep going and to keep me less focused on the pain. Somehow being so involved helps me feel less alone in it.
There is no beauty to be held in gritting your teeth and baring it when the end result is you are still suffering. It's pure, undiluted angst and misery and it is my reality....some days I hate it...most days I try not to think about it...but I will most likely never escape it.
I am not saying any of this for pity because I am WELL aware how good I have it. I don't have cancer, I have not lost limbs, I can function on medication, I have been blessed in my business, I find comfort in the arms of my man who hasn't left this mess yet and I have children that light up my world with fascinating light. I am so grateful. I am so grateful for the pain. I am so grateful that my reality is this when it could be so much worse. So as I lay here...legs twisted over the top of my couch, listening to the sound of crickets outside and knowing my babies are safe in their beds...I hate that I'm here and I hate my circumstances...but I love so much that I'm right where I am.
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Wednesday my man and I celebrated 15 years together. I am in awe of people who have made it 20, 30, and an amazing 40+ years. This crap is hard...can I get an amen?! If you're struggling and you just don't know how to get to the next day...don't give up! You can make it...but you need a lot of dedication and a heck of a lot of prayer. I know it's only been 15 years (19 if you're counting our season of dating) but I wanted to share 6 things that have helped us get to this point. As a quick side note, this will have nothing…absolutely NOTHING to do with finances…if you’re having issues with money…there are a million and one resources for you to read and get it straight so I’m not going to focus on that…but I want to be real with you about thing things that help you stay connected and together…so here goes:
6. Set up argument rules – sounds silly, but this works. You have to both agree on them and they have to at least have one rule where you get to take a break if things are getting heated. Don’t be afraid to rest on an argument as long as you have a rule that you won’t just brush it under the rug after emotions have fizzled a little….besides it’s too much clean up if you do brush it off…you should see under my rugs…there’s no room for left over arguments there…
5. Accountability – there are two types of accountability you really need to have. The first is to each other. Have you ever asked your husband how you’re doing as his wife? Or what you could do differently? It sounds like torture and a set up, but if you are willing to take a little criticism, you’ll be surprised at how he changes for you in turn….besides it’s super fun to watch the confused look that comes over them when they think it’s a trick question. You also need friends that tell you when you're being stupid. The ones that always tell you you're right aren't the right people to run to when you're wanting to watch ID discovery to analyze murders that worked...or untraceable poisons…
4. Learn to pray together - This is a hard one. Many of us don’t make it a priority to pray out loud even when we’re alone. It’s intimidating and I know personally…I get caught thinking of what I’m going to say so I don’t sound stupid…BUT…when you do it enough you become comfortable and you lean less on your words and more on what your heart wants to say. I will personally testify that when you approach the throne together, it can diffuse stress and it can settle arguments faster than you can say ‘Amen’. And seriously…don’t be embarrassed to pray in front of each other…for Pete’s sake you’ve seen each other naked…
3. You’re still here… - Know that there will be moments you just flat out don’t like the other person. You will be in bliss one day and wake up the next to snoring and drool and bad breath and think…ugh…do I have to play nice in the sandbox AGAIN today? Give yourself the permission to be in that space…but boundary yourself to keep it TO yourself and not act it out. No one can like one person 100% of the time. It’s just not possible. If you wake up and you know that is the day…then it’s a good day to go for a walk or spend some time alone and pray. Then…while you’re alone…think about the first time you met…or when you finally realized this guy was giving you butterflies. Dwell on the blessing that he is. When you do that, you come out of the ugly much faster.
# 2 (and the longest part of this whole thing)
2– Take one for the team - Yes I know you’re tired. Yes I know you’ve worked just as hard, haven’t had a break, wiped dirty noses and dirty butts, screamed at the guy that cut you off in his flashy car and almost ran over someone with your cart at the grocery store…and now you have to get home and make dinner, help with homework and your husband has barely said hello to you and you crawl in bed…and he rolls over and puts his hand on your back….sound familiar? If you’re like me my first thought is ‘OH HECK NO’… grrrr… but sometimes you have to take one for the team. Why? Because men are different, because without sex, men are cranky, because it is scientifically proven that the more sex you have, the closer you will become, and you may even start enjoying it. I didn’t make that up…a clinical psychologist who specializes in sex therapy did - Andrea M. Macari, PhD did her own research and found out that even bad sex is good sex. This doesn’t mean you should ever be forced, but ladies sometimes we need to change our way of thinking. We all know what Song of Solomon is about…so we know God created sex not just as an avenue for reproduction but also for pleasure. I’m a firm believer that the more sex you have in a marriage the more chemically stable your marriage becomes. Seem crazy? There is article after article about the mental heal benefits of sex. Not only is it a natural anti-depressant, it reduces stress, boosts your immune system….increases your sense of smell…NO JOKE…and the list goes on…you can read it here with every University reference to the study: http://greatist.com/health/health-benefits-of-sex. (clicke the link below). As women we have to stop trying to impose our own thoughts about sex onto our husband…he will never think about sex like you do and thank God for that…we would REALLY struggle with it if our husbands constantly complained about our lack of cuddling…
Personally I believe it’s all a mystery, but I trust God’s provision and part of His provision is how He created us, Man and Woman, and the more we dig into being a unified couple and all that entails, the healthier we become. Which leads me to my #1
1. Phil 4:13 – I can do all things – and that means I can really do all things, forgive all things, survive all things…all things through Him who gives me strength. Christ has to be your foundation. I don’t have all the answers. I haven’t lived through the worst life has to offer, but my man and I have been through the ringer. We’ve used the word divorce, we’ve slammed doors, we’ve separated, we’ve cried over lost friends, we’ve struggled with health scares, we’ve been financially broken, we’ve buried one of our own children, yes…we’ve walked a lot together. Our marriage has been horrible at times, but even a good marriage is hard…one thing though…we did it all without wavering in our belief that there is no making it without our Heavenly Father being in the center of it all. He’s heard our ugliness, brought us out of despair, laughed at us and danced over us and we are only still married because of who He is and who He has called us to be. There will be times when all you have left is your love for Jesus…but if you love him with all you’ve got, He will do the rest. I promise.
So there you have it. 15 years…15 loooonnng years…but I wouldn’t change a thing…and I’d marry him all over again. I hope this brings you some hope and peace today…and don’t forget…romancing your husband only entails you show up with food….naked.
Have a blessed day and Happy Valentines!
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Let's just get real for a minute. People are always talking about the need for authenticity and transparency. We have added these titles to our 'needs list' when it comes to friend shopping or church shopping or in general to different aspects of relationship and somehow in it we've also added ourselves to the seat of judge and jury to determine IF that person/entity is authentic...
Grrrrr. Sick of it. I feel I am a pretty authentic person...and as I'm reflecting on some of my relationships I'm thinking...people are expecting me to do / be something I'm not...and when I'm not...I'm not authentic in their eyes. I'm deemed 'fake'.
What do I have to say to that? Whatever...
My feelings are hurt...why? Because I have been authentic and I have fought for relationships that I thought mattered to both parties only to see...they just don't.
While I sit licking my wounds wanting to huddle in a corner...vowing never to open my heart again...God is already doing something. He's already planning my future. Some of that may be filled with quiet loneliness where I lament with Him and weep. Some of it though will be filled with new and beautiful people.
And I... In my authentic self...will continue to put myself out there. Because I don't want to be anyone other than who I am and who He's molding me to be.
But...I'm tired of being left out and left behind and not acknowledged. I'm tired of sitting on the back burner. I'm tired of the phone ringing when the need arises and never hearing it when there's just a hello on the other end.
I am a wife, mother, caretaker, workaholic, budget writer, cook, accountant, nurse, writer, reader, bill payer, provider, listener, responder, helper, teacher and I'm blessed...
And He's doing something...even now. And I am grateful He hasn't abandoned me.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
This past three weeks has been filled with Christmas, a New Year, family, memories, food, and hospital visits.
I've watched my mother hover over her mother as she moans in her sleep. I've wiped away my wet eyes while my grandmother cried in her sleep that she was dying...and we've laughed at her inability to say words ... Don't worry...she laughed at herself first.
In the most tender and amazing way, I've watched as my mother has listened to her mothers fears and has wrestled with the reality of having to move her to a treatment facility better equipped to help her. This is not an easy move. It will be 3 1/2 hours away. Her neighbor cries every time we see her....she gets the sadness...and then there are other people...
We use the words: move to the home.. as if it's just something you do...a part of life...its normal. But it doesn't feel normal. It doesn't feel right. My mother said tonight we are transitioning her to a place that can rehabilitate her body but we don't think about the whole of her. She needs someone who will sit with her, pull her out of her shell, take her to the ice cream social that happens on the first floor, take her to church service on Sunday morning, help her find a friend. God please help her find a friend.
This is no joke. This isn't about putting a woman that can't walk right now in a place where she's just going to live out her days staring out a window...this is my grandmother! She was strong once, and beautiful and ever so slightly OCD...which she proudly passed down to her granddaughters disguised as 'you have to make a bed with clean, unwrinkled, sheets' (and yes I have been known to iron my sheets) and 'when you wipe you fold your toilet paper in a perfect rectangle and then you wipe'...I won't tell you if I still do that or not... She was a perfectionist and she still is. She is still beautiful...and she's frail...and she's afraid. She's not just some old lady in a wheel chair with no mind or desire or heart or hurt or pain or feeling or fears. She is a person. I have to think that so many of our elderly that do check out in the end do so because we don't let them fight for another option. By that I mean we stop engaging them on a personal level that used to be the way we would. We of course can't climb up into their laps as we did when we were little, but we can hold them, kiss them, tell them over and over that we love them...we can ask questions and pull out stories...we can ask them to engage with us and that would cause them to engage their minds and then maybe they wouldn't hide in silence and waste away to speechless hunched over bodies in metal chairs with wheels. We make this new normal an 'oh well' sort of thing and we shrug our shoulders and then we talk loud at our elderly and don't give them much time to respond.
I'm just saying...The next time you see an elderly person...don't minimize them by looking away...make eye contact...smile...treat them like a person...they are wise, deserving of our contact. It's a new normal. It's a new normal that sucks.
And by the way...if you're a server at a restaurant...please...please.... PLEASE stop calling older people 'honey' and 'sweetheart'...respect them with your words...they still deserve a yes ma'am and a yes sir. Just because they may look like their five when their eating doesn't mean they are...and they notice when you demean them. So stop.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Happy Birthday my love...we made it through another year missing you and another taking us closer to when we get to see you again.
What joy you bring to my heart even in your absence...I can't imagine the joy you spread there.
I love you my 9 year old son. Have a wondrous celebration.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
some how...some way...writing has been lost to me. I read what other people write in social media, I absorb people's comments and I find I am even more resolved not to put pen to paper....fingers to the keyboard...brain to the script...
It's not that i don't think I have something to say...it's that I don't want to know what someone is going to say back.
I've read heartfelt stories and testimonies online and gasped at the callous responses of ignorant human beings....had they an ounce of pain of the author...their words would eat away at their core.
So I sit and think of all the things I want to say, I write in my head, file it away, and it's safe. I can be my own critic...and trust me I am.
And yet...there is something about this time of year...the tree goes up, the lists get written or texted to me (as my 12 year old has done this year...she's edited it 3 times if you would like to know)...we read the lists of my youngest...a 1st grader now and laugh at the innocence and the pure undiluted joy he has, full of selfish desire..what will Santa bring?
...the music...the laughter...
the empty seat..
the tightening in my chest...
and like a cancer that never really goes away...there it is...
And then I can't help but open a page that's blank...and words that are scrambled in my brain form and through tears I process it...again. I pray and I ask God if the pain in my chest...that place where his little body has forever left a mark...the weight of the void...will it ever lessen.
No...I think the answer is no.
I said it. I AM SAD
I used to hate my birthday because it brought so much fear for me and now that fear can't hold a candle to the void I feel this time of year.
I want to know my almost nine year old son! I want to hear his voice. I want to know what his laugh is like. What color did his hair turn out to be? Is he tone def like his grandpa? Or does he sing like his beautiful sister? What would his interests be now? Football? Soccer? Piano? Writing?
I'm sure his little brother would drive him nuts but you know what? I bet his little brother would be a happier boy if he was with us...he misses you so...how is that possible? Did you know him first? Have you met your Great Grandpa? He is beautiful isn't he?
I'm so glad you don't have a void. You are blessed. At home with saints. Loved. Cherished. Protected.
Most of the time all of these thoughts of what you must be experiencing bring me peace...but during Christmas...that peace is clouded a little. I'm just being honest. The void. It hurts.
So on Christmas morning we will laugh and celebrate and remember Jesus. We will talk about what to play with next and then dad and I will collapse from exhaustion. And then...8 days later...we will cry...your daddy and me...quietly...privately...
I'll play that day over in my head almost as if ... if I do it long enough...hard enough...i could rewrite history. Desperate wishful thinking. And in the midst of all of it...I hope you hear me every time I say I love you. I hope my words 'i miss you' sound joyful and hopeful. I hope the words meet your ears with that peace only a mama's embrace could have...and I will hold my chest as if to hold you again..just one more time. I love you Isaac.