Monthly Archives: October 2012

Light O Mine

Light of our Lives!

This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine.
This little light of mine
I’m going to let it shine.-
Let it shine, let it shine
Let it shine.

I received a notice that today was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remberance Day.  We were asked to light a candle at 7 p.m. (whatever time zone you are) and let it burn for at least an hour.  There would then be a wave of light to remember all of these beautiful Little Souls who left their Mommy’s, Daddy’s and families way too soon, either before they ever drew a breath or their breath  suddenly, one day, stopped.

Our Sweet Baby Girl got to be with us for 16 months.  Sixteen months that were filled with many ups, downs and touch and go moments.  The reward, HER………….. Sweet Madeline.  She was a light, whose flame immediately lit up any room.  The flame so intense it filled your heart and soul with peace and joy.  Unexplainable joy!  Just look at that sweet face!

So today, at 7, I lit my candle, placed it by Madeline’s picture and stood and stared.  My heart heavy with grief, yet still basking in her light.  The power of love, unconditional love.  God called her home yet left us with the gift of her eternal flame.

Today I am pondering the Beauty of Madeline and how much I share on social media.”  My answer………………..A LOT.  More than most, not as much as some.  Social media has been somewhat of a saving grace for me.  Yes, such grief and loss is deeply personal and very difficult to share with people one on one.  Social Media gives me the freedom to share  as much or as little as I like.  I tend to not view it as strangers reading my story but that I am just putting it out there.  Unloading a little burden, trying to lighten my load and find my way.  Whoever chooses to read, may.  Putting my grief and loss in words, much like a story, gives some meaning to such sadness.

My sharing helps me keep her Memory alive and that others know her life, though short was full.  Full of love and a little light that continues to shine.

Nip? Tuck?

Nip and tuck?  A little botox perhaps……………….am I tempted?  Would I consider?  Never say never…………….right?  This is the question that I am pondering today.

I would like to take the high road and announce, without a doubt, NO!  definitely not!  Possibly I should add that I am older, wiser and more confidant.  These lines and bags tell a story.  They tell of sadness, loss and grief.

On the other hand, I believe I also have my share of “laugh” lines.  Despite all of my sadness that I share, perhaps too openly, I am still capable of a good laugh.  In fact, I love when I catch myself by surprise and get to have a good ol belly laugh.  I owe this to the company of my Dear Friends who have given so much of themselves to keep me upright this last year and a half.  They have given me more than their shoulder to lean on and go above and beyond to help me find my way when there seems to be no way.

These friends take me as I am, hot mess and all.  So why would I mess with perfection?  To show them up with a new Joan Rivers look just wouldn’t seem right.  Also, what fun would it be to have a good ol belly laugh if nothing on my body is capable of jiggling??

Got to Thinking

NaBloPoMo – Day 9

Thinking, thinking, thinking

Here I am…………Again………….still pondering.  Pondering……….my new fancy word for thinking.  All of this “pondering” of writing prompts and instrospection has led me to this conclusion…………….pondering your thinking is hard work and I need a break.  However, not being a quitter and all, I am determined to do my 30 posts in 30 days.

Today I am being prompted to contemplate at what point did I stop trying to look older and start trying to look younger, or something like that.  My response…………………I have NO idea.  I have been told I have a baby face but I don’t remember ever trying to give myself an air of sophistication.  On the other hand, now that I no longer have a baby face I don’t seem to be doing much to make it younger either.  Bigger fish to fry, as I like to say.

Enough of that.  What is on my mind today?  Thinking.  Seriously, that is what is on my mind.  Today, however, the thinking I am pondering, is that of The Brothers.  What I’m thinking is that I am concerned THEY DO NOT!!!!  Especially one Little Brother who shall remain nameless.

The Little Brother has a certain irrisitable factor about him.  Sadly, however, I believe the bloom is falling off the rose and my Little Guy is headed for hard times in the form of organizational charts.  Yes, I admit, it is a little like I am calling the kettle, black but HEY, do as I say”………….am I right?

Lest you think I am jumping to conclusions, I will share some of the weeks finer moments.  Unfortunately, for Little Brother, I occasionally sub in his classroom.  Yes, he loves when his worlds collide.  On days like this, I learn certain information such as, as of not even 2 full months of school, he has LOST two COMPLETE sets of school supplies.  HOW does this happen?  His response…………palm to face, that’s all he’s got.

At least I no longer have to wonder where all of his work papers are………………BECAUSE I found them……… ALL wadded up in the back of his desk.  WHAT IS THIS???  Same response…………….palm to face.

These and a few other events set me to googling how to organize this child.  My searching was interrupted by the doorbell.  It was the Little Brother, home from play practice.  Other parent informs me, I tried to help him tie his shoes but he LOST his shoe laces.  HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??  How does one LOSE their shoe laces?  Response…………palm to face, this time MINE!

Little Brother learned a new word in school this week, Metacognition.  He is to be thinking about his thinking.  The photo above……….that is from his hand out on metacognition.  How did I get it?  Did I find it in his desk?  NOOOO……”The Teacher” found it UNDER his desk.  Guess we know what the Little Brother thinks about thinking. Response…………….I got none.  NO palm to face, no yelling……just hung my head and thought, WHERE oh WHERE am I going to get those new shoelaces…………..and Teacher Gift, cause I think an apple is NOT going to cut it……..at least that’s what I’m  thinking.

Mirror, mirror…..

Ten Years Ago….

Ten years ago, my life was soooo simple.  Looking back, that is.  In reality it was always something.  Ten years ago I had three baby boys, ages 3, 1 and newborn.

I was breathing a sigh of relief that The Captain had returned from Iraq safe, sound and just in time for the Little Brother’s birth.  I recall my biggest worries being potty training and sleeping through the night.  Now, don’t get me wrong, these are huge deals when you are a sleep deprived Mommy trying to convince someone that going on the potty for a few M&M’s is the deal of a lifetime.  Said child was not and has never been that gullible.  Also, sleep has never been that popular with any of The Brothers.

More experienced, perhaps wiser Moms would tell me this time will be over before you know it.  Another favorite, “just wait, this is the easy part.”

Today I am pondering how this statement, suddenly, became my truth.  More specifically, how this truth has affected my whole person, both inside and out.  With three baby boys, the effect on my  appearance seemed more cosmetic.  My insides matched my outsides, shall we say.  Inside I was frazzled, thinking, what the heck am I doing, I may never sleep again, and will my rear end forever touch the back of my knees when I walk?

Physically,  you could see, I was frazzled and I was sleep deprived.  This was obvious from my deer in the headlights look, accompanied by the most striking ebony circles and cloud like puffs that surrounded my eyes.  Never did I believe that these would be the good ol days.

Fast forward ten years and my face has a much different look.  Yes, I still have a bit of that deer in headlights look but for other reasons.  Three years ago, it was from wondering how I was going to care for two children with special needs.  I was just really wrapping my head around autism (well at least trying to) when we discovered our new baby would have an extra chromosome.  Autism and Down Syndrome, what were we going to do?

Three years later and we are still wondering what we are going to do.  Again, it is different.  That scary time, three and a half years ago, now seems like the good ol days.  Scary times that were filled with hope.

Where are we now?  Well, now that look of bewilderment is still from wondering what we are going to do.  Now our Sweet Baby Girl, Madeline, whose unknown beauty and joy,  caused us anxiety and fear is gone and in the truest sense of the words,  we wonder, what are we going to do?

Instead of the puffiness of sleep deprivation from ten years ago,  the softness is gone.  Where I once was round and puffy and naive to death, loss and grief, I now have lines and the sharper features that come with the loss of such innocence.  Such grief leaves your whole being in a perverbial Deer in the Headlight state as you wonder what became of  your softness, hope and innocence…once upon a time.

Hope Lost

I hope so!  A common response, right?  Often, when posed with questions about our future, without hesitation, we respond, “well, I hope so.”  One asked of our military family, “do you think you will get to stay in the area?”  “I hope so,” is my common response.  If only, to me,  hope were still so cut and dry.

Today my friend, Kathy Benson,  at Bereaved and Blessed is hosting Time Warp Tuesday in which we reflect on a previous blog post.  The theme this month is Hope.

July 4, 2009, I was full of hope.  Our Sweet Baby Girl, born with Down Syndrome and a heart defect, did not even spend a minute in the NICU.  Over the next year and a half she more than made up for the respite with six major surgeries in as much time.  With each procedure I hoped it was the last.  I clung to this hope until one November morning when all hope was lost and our Sweet Madeline was called home.

In September of 2011, ten months after Madeline’s death, I wrote about my hope and loss thereof when my prayers were not answered my way and I was numb and hopeless in Not There Yet.

Almost a year later and I can say I am still not there.  I have yet to read a book on Heaven and have many a struggle with what happened that November morning.  When people say, “Just pray” or  “Our Prayers were answered” I still want to throw something.  Because I wish this pain on them…………ABSOLUTLEY NOT!!!  Not on ANYONE.  But because deep inside I still want to know why?  Why were our hopes lost? Why are we now left clinging to faith?

I find myself clinging to my faith…………and still, some hope.  At least I am not without all hope.  It is just a new hope.  One that I will not realize in this lifetime.

Mind Meld

Which cape would you chose?

NaBloPoMo – Day 6

Soooooo………….Superhero’s,  The Brother’s have always been a fan.  The first hero ever to receive homage in our hallowed halls were the Power Rangers.  I remember a certain humid DC summer day shoving popsicles into The Big Brother because he refused to take off his vinyl Red Ranger costume and I was certain he was going to sweat off a good five pounds.  Alas, he did not………….must’ve been his super powers.

We still have the cherished costume, which would no long fit over The Big Brothers ankle, as well as many others.  Not to mention Johnny’s beloved Batman.  My point………..I don’t know……………just suffice it to say, given this resource I thought today’s topic would be a cinch.

What am I pondering?  “If  I had the superpower to know what everyone was thinking (but not saying) would you use it?  I did not want to rush to a decision, so I thought I would consult my experts…………The Brothers.  I thought this would be the beginning of three great conversations……………….I thought wrong!

Boys being boys (at least The Brothers being The Brothers) I discovered it is a complete waste of any of your brain power, super or not, to attach any deep meaning to their super hero desires.  The moving dialog went something like this…………….

Mommy – (Being very nonchalant) started with Johnny.  My thought, my Batman loving boy will be able to discuss this forever, I mean, he is the boy who follows me around reciting Batman factoids, right?  Again…………wrong!  Turns out, Johnny only discusses his obsessions on his own terms.

Me – Johnny, if you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Johnny – (Unimpressed)  I would have a death ray.

Me – (With great interest) Why?

Johnny – Because.

Me – Because why?

Johnny – I want to be able to blow things up.

(Next verse, same as the first)  Suffice it to say, he just wants to blow things up.

Next up……….The Big Brother.  Now, I thought, this could be a little trickier, being that he is to cool for school and all that.  He was game (weeelllll, he humored me).

Me – Big Brother, if you could have a super power which one would you want?

Big Brother – (Looking at me like I had finally really lost it, responded quickly) Superman.

Me – But what power of Superman.

Big Brother – All of them.

Me – (Not a quitter) Why?

Big Brother – Because he’s Superman.

Yes, Dear Reader, it was a classic Whose on First conversation.

So I try again.  But why Superman, which super power.

Big Brother (sounding sadly like me before I blow) I JUST WOULD WANT TO BE SUPERMAN AND I WANT ALL OF HIS SUPER POWERS.  I JUST DO.  NO REASON.

Guess he told me.  This research wasn’t going as I planned.  Thus far, I gained no deep insight into the workings of the little male mind.     Not a quitter, I forge ahead.  There is, after all, one last brother to poll.  So, I go in search of the Little Brother,  use the element of surprise, and pose the question of his super power desires.

Little Brother – I would be invincible.  

Me – Really?

Little Brother – Yep.  Cause I don’t want anything bad to happen to me.  If I’m invincible, nothing will.  Period.  End of story.  He exits the room.

Me, however, I am left with my mouth hanging open.  Of all boys, the Little Brother, used the element of surprise on me.  For the past almost 2 years now, since his Little Sister left us, I have been trying with all my power to get into this boys mind.  Find out what he is thinking.  Wanting to know the exact way to help  him come out from under his proverbial desk.  In one super moment he finally gave me some insight………….He just wants to be safe.  He doesn’t want any more bad things to happen to him.  Who can blame him.

I guess that answers my question.  Would I want to have the power to know what others are thinking?  When it comes to my three Little Men, for more moments like these……..without a doubt…………… YES!! !!!

Period.  End of story.

P

I was mistaken

Okay, Okay, maybe I was

Day 5 – I might have been wrong but I was mistaken!

More years ago than I would like to remember, I was a “Mat Maid” ……NO, not a Milk Maid……….no cows were involved…..only wrestlers.  It was not a glamorous job, like say, a cheerleader but I was involved in student activities and that’s all that was important.  Oh yeah, and those wrestlers were pretty cute to.  Anywhooooo………..my job was to keep an eye on the clock and the ref.  When only seconds were left, I was to watch my Dear Friend who was running the clock, when she counted down to one, I was to tap the ref with my rolled up towel.

All very simple, right?  Weeellll, that is unless you  become so engrossed in your big job that you somehow manage to get your feet tangled into the wrestlers and fall into the middle of the championship round.  So, there I was, my not so attractive adolescent self, lying in the middle of these handsome wrestling boys.    Go Big or Go Home, isn’t that what they say.

One can imagine the horror I felt just lying there.  There was no place to hide……let alone run………….. so,  I didn’t.  Lesson learned……………..you do it, own it.  The mistake was made, there was no going back, no covering up, only one thing left to do…………….Admit It!    Uuuuhhhh, NOOOOO, that wasn’t me (I think we covered my thoughts on lying yesterday).  The only thing left was to say yep, that was me, I screwed up.  I mean reallyHOW  would I have ever covered that up.  I get embarrassed all over again just remembering that day.  I can still smell the wrestlers.

Why did I think of this disturbing memory.  What could I possibly be pondering today?  “Do I try to cover up my mistakes or do I admit them?”  Please refer to above mentioned tale.  Yes, I learned at that time, and many times thereafter, to admit to my mistakes.  I can’t even recall any on a personal level I have tried to cover.  I might have tried but it probably became too complicated.

 In everyday life, mistakes happen, they just do.  By owning up to these mistakes, two things usually happen, you pick yourself up and move on quicker, you save yourself a lot of time on the proverbial hamster wheel, running around trying to cover up, and most importantly, perhaps just a little necessary personal growth happens.  Lesson learned and all that good stuff.

Surprisingly, one of the areas I am probably quickest to admit to my mistakes is with The Brothers.  There might be just a couple of times I have gotten on my soap box about school projects, grades, messy rooms, etc.  Many a time it has gotten back to me that maybe, just maybe, I did not have all of my information correct.  As difficult as it is, I have had to say, “sorry, Mommy, was wrong, I did not know……….weeellll, whatever the many things I have been wrong about.

Over the past couple of years this has become more of a reality.  Having grieving parents is no easy cross for a child to bear.  These parents can be unpredictable.  One day they have managed to plaster on their coping face and the next the coping isn’t going so well.  Parents can be so on edge they pounce on almost anything.  There are too many triggers to mention.  In my experience I think it stems from the whole control issue.  I had zero control over my Sweet Baby Girl passing, causing a complete sense of no control and needing to control something.  So I found the three easiest victims.  The Brothers.  I must now try to make everything concerning their lives controlled perfection.    This, as I have been slow to learn (grief is blinding) is a recipe for minor disaster.  Being so on edge, this expectation can cause you to snap like a twig.  Did I mention, it is also unrealistic.  Soooo, I have been learning to slow down, and take a moment to drink a big glass of humility, review the situation and determine if, once again,  Mommy needs to say, “Yep, I did it, I was wrong and I’m sorry.”

I  like to think that instead of just thinking their Mommy is losing her marbles, that this could possibly be a good example to The Brothers.  One, in particular, should take notes.  People make mistakes, anybody can,  but to learn from them, you might, just might have to announce loud and proud, “Yep, it was me, I screwed up.”  Learn your lesson and keep it moving  Or………….quite possibly you thought you were wrong but you were………………… mistaken.

Honestly

Did you see that??

Day 4 – NaBloPoMo  – Still having fun………..Honest, I am!

The Big Brother has been playing baseball since he was a  ditch digging daisy picker in t-ball.  Many of those early games were a bit painful to watch.  God blessed the Big Brother with a huge hearta relatively intelligent mind, and a very squirrely disposition.  The aforementioned disposition did not always bode well in the game of baseball.  Many an inning were spent in right field, which seems to be the land of the short attention span.

I am proud to report, I was there for it all.  Every short throw, missed fly and the always painful caught ball that doesn’t seem to be able to stay in the glove.  Didn’t miss a game, let alone an inning, not even a play…….until…………one season, one game…………sitting in the stands, proudly witnessing the massive improvement in his games skills.  He was playing machine pitch, his team was in the outfield and he was at pitcher position.  I don’t remember the score but do remember the team was protecting their undefeated season.  Vividly, I recall having a knotted stomach, hoping my boys stays alert out there.  Up walks the batter……………….and POOOWWWWW, he whacks that ball in mid-air, right down the middle…………..and then…………

Johnny drops this Thomas the Train under the bleachers.  Any parent of a child with autism, anywhere on the spectrum knows what can happen if such an event occurs.  Trust me it would not be enjoyable for anyone, so……………………I bend down to see where my nemesis, Thomas is, and the I hear the crowd go wild.  Another team Mom, “did you see that?  Did you see what your son did??……………………NO!!!!!!  

I look up to see The Big Brother valiantly displaying his glove with said wacked ball tucked safely inside.  He yells, Mommy, Mommy, DID YOU SEE THAT?  DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID??……………..and I say…………………………..YES, YES I DID!!!!

This, Dear Reader, is the absolute, hands down, BEST LIE, I ever told.

What am I pondering today?  “Am I good at telling lies?”  No, I am not.  I hate it.  My Dad used to tell me he could, “read my face.”  Guess I would get that “Oh S*i*” look about me.  I also remember the feeling of my insides being literally, in a knot.  However, in the matters of my Boy’s heart and feelings, yes I have told some good ones.  Most Mom’s have.  If you have been as fortunate as I to receive breakfast in bed, complete with rubber eggs, cold pancakes with a bottle of syrup, warm orange juice and coffee with a 1/2 cup of sugar you know the lies I tell.

At their young age I have had to tell them more cold, hard truths than anyone would want to hear.   Imagine being called from school to hear your Baby Sister has died.  What you wouldn’t do to shelter them from this pain.  No one likes the cold, hard truth that our Precious Babies and Children can be called home before they have had a chance to live.  Right or wrong, I don’t know………..but if there is an innocent lie that is going to shelter them or protect them than, yes, I might be less than honest………………HONESTLY.

Hold Your Applause

Here I Go!!! – Day 3

I must say, the creative juices are flowing…………at times like thick, mucky sludge and at times like a  soothing, crystal clear stream, but flowing none the less.  Since I began blogging the ideas have come to me from my gut.  Honestly, I will feel with great intensity that I must write about thoughts that are swimming in my head.  Those thoughts, in large part, are those of my Sweet Baby Girl.  Putting down into words my thoughts and memories, both those of pain and those of joy can be the deep breath cleansing breath to get me through another day.  Never before had I dreamt of being “a writer.”  In my school career, if asked to “write” anything from a writing prompt I would go into a state of analysis paralysis.  Perhaps because I did not, at other times in my life, have a passion for a given topic or activity.  Interests, yes, passion, no!

In those early years my many insecurities were much greater than my ability to act.  Being terrified to let anyone know what I was truly mulling over in my mind inhibited most creative activities.  My writing grades were decent (because that was the expectation) but very mechanical.  Checking off the boxes in the rubric was easy enough but filling in box a, b, and c does not usually require much heart.  

Where am I going with this??  Good question.  The question I am pondering today is, “Do I like to Act?”  I guess the answer is……..uuuhhhh NO.  For some reason the word “act” when I gave it some thought, brought to mind doing something that requires effort, that is not true to who you are or might want to be.  Just sounded like all work and no fun to me.  Have you ever been told to “act your age?”  Now, I ask you, WHAT fun is that??  “Act professional”, another phrase that has the potential to suck the life  right out of you.

Now if that is who you are, I applaud you!  If you ooze the necessary skill set to act your age, by all means, pat yourself on the back.  However, if you are only acting that way then I feel your pain.

To truly be something or someone rather than act, NOW I think, that is where the fun is to be had.

“To Be or Not to Be”……………I guess that is still the question.

Poker Face?

NaBloPoMo – Day Two

My Poker Face

Woman of Mystery?

I’m baaaccckkk and pondering if I am an “open book” or do I “hide my feelings well?”  After contemplating this for oohhh about one second, Lady GaGa popped into my head and now her melodic  prose is playing on a loop, “Poker Face”

Can’t read my, can’t read my
No he can’t read my poker face
(She’s got to love nobody)
Can’t read my, can’t read my
No he can’t read my poker face
(She’s got to love nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
(Mum mum mum mah)
(Mum mum mum mah)

Basically, I should probably not cash my lot aside and move to Vegas or Reno to amass great winnings…………….. it would be a really bad idea.  Not just because I am the only one in my house who can find everything from homework to athletic supporters but because I lack a huge skill set for the Black Jack Table……… a Poker Face. 

Do not have one, never have, probably never will.  Yes, there have been times in my life when this was a real problem.  My Dad used to call it “wearing my heart on my sleeve.”  Which I think was his translation of teenage girl with too many “hurt” feelings.  So, yes,  I have toughened up A LOT  (did I mention he also didn’t raise a quitter?).  Am I an “open book”?  More than likely, yes.

Has being an “open book” always been a good thing?  No, it has not.  I think having a “Poker Face” requires a certain amount of sophistication.  Another skill set I seem to be missing.  However, this openness has also been a blessing.  If I was all sophisticated I can think of many, many dear friends I would not have had the pleasure of convincing to love me.  Because when you meet me, what you see is what you get…………..or so I’ve been told.