Friday, July 9, 2010

Flash 55 Friday


I never expected
to find this reminder
of an event that happened so long ago.
The blue and yellow blanket
is still in the wrapper.
Would you have been a curious boy,
or a wide eyed girl?
My heart broke that winter day when you left
but how can you swaddle a baby never born?

Ten years ago this past January my husband and I lost our second child. I had just graduated from college and we were over joyed to find out after a year of trying that we were expecting. Our son was thrilled too as he had been asking for a brother or sister for a long time. I lost that baby on my husband's birthday(1/31/00). I remember arriving home at 4:00 in the morning, empty and heart broken. I was angry, and hurt and never really dealt with the pain. But all things happen for a reason and the following year our son Samuel was born on 1/31/01. My husband and Sam share the same special day. I needed to have some closure so thank you for letting me revisit this painful time and to learn to accept what will never be.....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My mother warned me there would be days like this........

I don't tell many people this but sometimes I hold my breath as I unlock the door to the house in anticipation as to "what happened" or "what is about to happen" with the family household. Yesterday was no exception. It was boiling hot, high humidity, and just an oppressive day all around. I had spent 8 hours working through endless emails and paperwork, drove by the gym on my way home 'cause quite frankly "I didn't give a damn" yesterday, and headed for an evening filled with what? My teenager met me at the back door, this is never a good sign, teenagers are usually room dwellers unless they need food or soda, so I knew something was up. "The refrigerator is acting funny". OK I say, "What do you mean by funny?" (now I notice the towel on the floor that seems to be soaking up a small flood) "Well the freezer feels like the frig. and the frig. is warm". Great, just what I need. So I set my purse down and open the freezer. I can already tell that food is unthawing. Next I look in the frig. and it's about as cool as the patio outdoors. This is not good. So my mind starts ticking, I look at my son and say, "let's salvage what we can, we'll get the chest freezer out of the garage, and we'll move the frig. food into this freezer." My son looks at me "We have a chest freezer in the garage?" "Sure I say, I'll show you." We walk back outside, open the garage, and my eyes take a moment to adjust and I point and say "there it is". My son's eyes follow my finger through ten bikes, a lawnmower, rolls of flooring, three thousand entangled christmas lights, and finally rest on a speck of white that I'm claiming is the freezer chest. After some maneauvering, and something falling and cutting one of my toes, we manage to uncover the freezer chest. "Hey this is nice, I never knew we had it", says my son. Now we are often entertainment for the neighbors and tonight was no exception. Picture a 6'1 teenager and a 5'3 mother trying to carry a freezer chest into the basement. At one point while we hauling it down the stairs I'm pretty sure I was horizontal. We managed to get it into the basement and fill it with food. Next we start moving the goods from the frig. to the freezer and as I stood up, I drilled the open freezer door into my skull. I was stunned. My son's eyes were huge, "mom, mom say something"....well it took me a minute to unlodge my top teeth from my bottom before I could speak. Needless to say I have a splitting headache at this point. So we complete this project just in time to have my 9 year old tell me a light bulb has exploded in his room. Magically he and his sister have no idea how it happened....perhaps the pillows that are laying all over the floor can give me a clue, so I start to clean this mess up and unknown to me cut my finger, which I do not notice till I'm putting the freshly washed sheets back on my bed and get blood all over them. At this point I have to close my eyes and "take a moment". I throw the sheets back in the wash, and gather the kids, "We're going out for dinner, it's either that or mommy has a nervous breakdown!" We managed to have a nice meal, get everyone bathed and to bed, and have an 'uneventful" rest of the evening. So everything I had planned to do last night never got done and the kids and I are leaving for a long weekend tonight. So I will work all day, pack, pick up the extra teenager that's going with us, stop and grocery shop and get up to the cabin around 9:30 tonight. However the weather is promising to be clear, sunny and in the 70's for the next few days and just in time. I will deal with the refrigerator next week. For this too shall pass. A year a go I never would have made it on vacation. This would have thrown my life into complete chaos. Last night I never gave it another thought. I completely forgot about what I wanted to do and concentrated on what I needed to do. And it's fine, today is another day. Thank you blogger peeps for listening. I will be gone for a few days but look forward to catching up when I get back. Stay safe and happy......oh, and I will post a Flash 55 Friday.....

One of my favorite writers....

If I Had My Life To Live Over
by Erma Bombeck
The following was written by the late Erma Bombeck
after she found out she had a fatal disease.

If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television - and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."

There would have been more "I love you's".. More "I'm sorrys" ...

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute... look at it and really see it ... live it...and never give it back.

© Erma Bombeck

The first book I ever read by Erma Bombeck was "If Life is a Bowl of Cherries What am I doing in the Pits?!" I laughed my butt off. Erma was timeless, every once in a while when I need a good laugh I will go to my book shelf and grab my old pal Erma. She lived it, she wrote about it and she made us laugh at how crazy we made our lives. When the kids were driving you crazy she made us realize that all too soon they would be gone, as with a million other household happenings, Erma made it ok. I read an article published by one of her neighbor's after her death and he talked about what a good person Erma was. She stuck to her values and beliefs, was an awesome wife and mother, daughter and friend. She was a great sport and would try anything. Sometimes when I'm being way to hard on myself I try to remember what's important. It's not the spotless bathroom, or the perfectly decorated house, but the times I let myself be human in front of my kids, when I laughed at myself, when I let the guard down and gave them a few glimpses of my soul. This is hard for me and it's something I need to work on. I was once asked by a friend if I could be any author in the world who would I pick, and I didn't hesitate, "Erma Bombeck!" I said. My friend looked stunned. Then I replied, "She embodied the best an author can give, she took real life and made it worth living". So to all the parents out there that feel like sometimes life is just the same actions over and over remember, it's the impromtu smiles, the unexpected laughs and moments that mean the most to your loved go and have an "unexpected moment" today and every day! Peace and smiles....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010 wait it's Tuesday....

I can tell you already I will be a day off all week! The holiday weekend was fun. Saturday was a day created by angels. Endless blue sky, warm temps, and soft breezes. I finally dragged my children out of the water at 8:30Pm. All golden brown and water logged. A lovely dinner, then sitting around the fire watching the fireworks shoot up over the lake. It was good someone thought to light their fireworks off on Saturday because Sunday brought lots of gloom and rain, so the fireworks were cancelled. But we created a fun atmosphere indoors, and passed the time with books, movies, games and snacks. The kids even went swimming in the rain a few times. The temp. was warm so they enjoyed it. Monday brought some morning sun and afternoon rain so we left early and decided to complete some projects at home. Now it's back to work for two days then back up north with the family and we will be joined by our best friend's and their daughter for some more sun and fun. It's nice just working two days this week. But sooner than later reality will hit and I will come back to schedules and meetings but we'll stay in this 24 hours for today (lol) I was having coffee with my sponsor Friday night and she was telling me about a woman who asked her to be her sponsor. This particular lady I know has been in and out of the doors of AA a lot. She will stay sober for a week or two then go out and drink, cry and be remorseful and beg my sponsor back and then repeat this process. My sponsor is at a crossroads. She wants to help this person, but this person isn't relapsing she's actively using. She chose my sponsor because she's tough but when my sponsor tries to get tough with her she takes off running and hides behind the bottle. I can see that this is really taking it's toll on my sponsor. She's frustrated. Not to mention confused. What do you do in this situation? I wasn't sure what to say. I remember scanning the room when I first came into AA, looking for someone to take this walk with me. It took me a few weeks because I didn't feel the connection with anyone in particular. I had seen the woman who was to become my sponsor twice, and each time I liked what she had to say. There was no bull about her. I knew even though I wasn't to sure about her that she was what I needed. I am a master at charm, and munipulation and I love to people please so I needed someone who could see through all my games and make me walk it straight. What I was surpised to find out was how loving my sponsor is. She would walk through fire for you and she's tough because she wants you to make it. If I'm quiet with her it doesn't take her long to guess what I've been up to (over doing it and not taking care of myself). She makes me own up to the program. She's preparing me to give it back one day. I have also laughed with this person, cried with this person, and seen a vulnerable side of her that could bring you to tears. It's funny, we want people to be tough on us but we don't want to be tough on ourselves. We don't want our feelings hurt, we don't want to do things if we're not ready, we want to feel sorry for ourselves, and when we crash we want everyone to gently pick up the pieces. This is a disease that kills, there's nothing gentle about it. When I was out using I didn't care if I hurt your feelings, I did what I pleased when I pleased, I lived on the pity otherwords I had no regards for anyone but myself. Then why can't we be tough on ourselves? Because we want the easier/softer way. I'm an alcoholic and a very big coward. I can run so fast to get out of a situation that I never look back, and I did this for years. My sponsor has stopped my running, she gently turns me around and says, "let's figure out what you're running from" and "let's take a look at where you're going". I'm even finding ways to embrace my old self. There are pieces of me that still surface from time to time and one is competativeness. I can get crazy in games and the other night when we were playing cards I was my old self. But to my surpise everyone was laughing with me not at me, and it was ok that I have this trait. I still have the alcoholic mind, even if I'm not using. Glimpses of my old self will appear from time to time and thanks to a tough sponsor they don't have to disappear. I can accept them for what they are. I remember someone saying to me in the first few weeks of my recovery: "don't forget your past, it's what makes you understand yourself, and why you do the things you do". I like understanding myself, I like my quiet new self, and I like the funny competative old self, just as long as she only visits now and then........