confession, creative, writing

Depend… (5MF post)

 

Every time I take a moment to contemplate the things I feel I want to do, need to do, or would like to plan for- I am instantly chastised by the voice in my head which tells me to consider pretty much everyone else. For example, I would absolutely love for my husband to be offered an amazing job where we move away from the midwest and start anew. Though this dream sings the song of my heart, for sure, the crushing reality is that it wouldn’t really work. My mom is in a nursing home here and she depends on me… In the day-dream he is given a gigantic raise, making flying out here regularly a possibility- but still…

Every heart-note of my soul song is turned flat by the weights which I feel depend on me.

  • I would LOVE to buy that new dress with this $68, but is that fair to my husband/kids/etc?
  • I would love to buy a ticket and go to New Mexico for a week, but Chw and I have hardly been home together and that is not ending any time soon, and what about the dogs? It’s not fair for him to deal with this on top of working the awesome job he actually has, in real life… 

I love to be needed. I love to be able to help a friend or loved one out. I love for someone to reach out because they know I’m there. These days though, I am feeling a little bit of the weight of the normal adult things depending on me. I want to be free to be/go/do/dream without the crashing reality of adulthood. There are days when life feels filled with others who have that freedom and it magically works out. I am hoping my time to learn that secret happens soon. :)

(this posts is a piece for the Five Minute Friday weekly challenge.)

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beautiful, confession, entertainment, gifts, gratitude, home, journey, Uncategorized

It’s friday, I’m in love…

I have seven sleeps until I get to share my bed with my gypsy husband once again! I cannot wait! In the meantime, here are a few of the highlights/obsessions of my week… (quick disclaimer: This week is a little heavy on the TV… I totally want to blame the cool autumn evenings, but we’ve got sweltering evenings, so I can’t.)

1.) This is Us! It’s back, you guys! It is like an old friend (or family of friends) finally returned from vacation and we laughed, and cried and they gave me the little trinket they bought in that little shop because they were thinking of me… (note: I need friends.)

2.) The recording of the Broadway show Dear Evan Hansen… Seriously, I am obsessed! I adore Ben Platt and I want to see this show so badly! If you love shows, seriously, give it a listen.

3.) The Murder of Laci Peterson. Oh my gosh. I don’t even know; I can’t even… A dear friend encouraged me to watch it and hesitantly I obeyed. I am not a lover of true crime anything. At one point my BFF admitted I was crazy to be watching such things while I was home alone. I assured her it is “so interesting and not at all scary!”, which was true, until episode 6. Let’s just say 1 a.m. dog walking felt a little reckless, and not in a fun way. (1 a.m, of course, because I couldn’t stop watch the show. Ugh.)

4.) I adore this story so much! (i also adore the author, but that’s a different point all together!) I loved how universal this lesson is, because at 41 years old, I still find myself relearning this lesson…

5.) Go Macro vegan bars. Have you guys tried these? I was super hesitant because, typically, if my protein bar isn’t going to taste like a snickers bar, I’m likely not going to eat it. (I am mostly joking here, but I am pretty picky.) These taste super healthy, (at least the ones I’ve had) BUT not at all in a bad way. I actually really loved them! Now if I could find them for less than $2.69 a piece…

chronic illness, confession, entertainment, fibro, gratitude, journey, rant, self care

I totally hold Joss Whedon responsible…

On Monday I had a pretty rough day. It was one of those days where, if it could go wrong, it did. I had a few rocky appointments/meetings, followed by some pretty not-awesome (but also not terrible) news from my doctor’s office. The thing about the doctor was that they called when I was getting a massage…

I realize this is likely the point in the story where I’ve lost your sympathy vote. Massage? This girl is complaining about her bad day AND she had a massage??? Yeah, I know how it sounds. Please though, allow me to explain. While it may not be everyone who suffers from a chronic illness’ journey, I can tell you that massages are a necessary evil for me. I have to book in advance because of the type of therapist I have to see. When that date rolls around, it doesn’t matter if I am in a Fibro flare up or not, I have to go. How my body receives the massage very much depends on if I am flaring or not, and what the weather outside is like. Let’s take yesterday, for example… It is really, unseasonably hot in Michigan right now and so my body HATES me. My therapist had to spend an extra 15 minutes just to get my neck and shoulder muscles to loosen a little. My lower back has been miserable ever since the massage and I’ve juggled a headache. THIS is more common than not, how I am post massage. So it’s not really a fun thing.

Anyway, I digress… As I am (slowly) dressing from my session, I decide to listen to the voicemail my doctor’s nurse left. What followed was a very ominous message which left me wondering if this was when they share that I only have a few weeks to get my affairs in order. So yeah, I’m fine,(whew!) but the massage AND the anxiety when 90 minutes passed, after I returned the call and left a message, with no word, took their toll on me.

The day had a few other bumps. Over all I just felt drained physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tuesday was different though. I resolved that I would approach every situation differently. (There must have been something off, in the air, yesterday because people were NASTY!) What I found, instead, was myself silently (and often comically) observing life’s quirky bits…

  • like the conveyer belt, at the super market, ate an elderly woman’s $20 bill. Chaos ensued and I was delivered about a hundred apologies and treated with kid gloves as they attempted to solve the error. Is this the sort of thing someone might get really angry about, I wondered. Instead, I had a lovely little chat with Killian the clerk, who must be nearing his 11th birthday, he was so young.  At one point he shared that he really loved old horror movies, and when he offered up movies from the early two-thousands as evidence, I kindly took my receipt and headed for the door. Oh Killian, sweet small boy, I could be your great-grandmother… I really couldn’t, but that is how I felt. (I also bought a bottle of wine, which he did not card me for, so he may feel the same. Silly, Killian.)
  • Tuesdays at 10:20 a.m. are apparently a major traffic time at the USPS. Who knew? I purposefully avoided it on Friday and Monday because I knew my business there would take some time. People were over all carefree, so I clearly made the right choice as everyone in public, Monday, was behaving like they were straight from a freak episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Starbucks drive thru employees tend to lean strongly one way or the other. You have the ones made of cardboard, who seem more bot than person. Those are kind of fun, sort of. (except probably on Monday. No one was fun on Monday. Seriously.) The other side of the spectrum would be the overly chatty ones. The ones who feel the need to divulge very personal information, OR take credit for your purchase. Of course, I am generalizing… Not ALL of them are like this, but I have encountered one or the other more often, as of late. Today I ordered a peach infused green tea. This is not a drink I am new to, and yet, this barista guy decided to congratulate me on my choice. He was confident I would really like it, and that he is always telling people to order this very drink,and they don’t, so it made his day that I had chosen it and that if I did not like it, come back and he would recommend something else. Um, ok, buddy… Pretty sure it is bound to taste like the other 350* I’ve ordered this summer (*slight exaggeration).
  • Tuna. Tuna… I have loved Tuna forever. Grew up eating Tuna casserole, Tuna sandwiches… I have appreciated Tuna because it is such a great source of protein. I tried to eat Tuna at lunch and got sick. the smell, sight and taste of it is so unbelievably repulsive to me- instantaneously. What? Why? I feel like I have lost a friend. (a smelly friend, but hey- I love unconditionally.)
  • People really do stand in super market aisles, lost in confusion. Maybe this has been me at times, but I have never really noticed it in others. Today’s trip found eleven patrons in such circumstance. (Then again, with the conveyor belt eating money and the talk of “super old horror movies” (SHM!) I am suddenly wondering if Joss Whedon is responsible for this silly day too…)

I have produce sitting in my fridge waiting for me to chop, dice and stir it all into a big pot of soup. The lover of fall in me is irritated and antsy that such rituals have not begun. It is nearly 100 degrees outside and my autumn loving soul just cannot understand. I hear rumors that fall will descend upon us tomorrow and I am holding out hope, stock pot and ladle in hand. (At this point I am going to blame Joss Whedon for the weather too, because, why not? It seems like something he would write.)

There is a spider crawling on the outside pane of my office window. I have killed a half a dozen (after spraying, mind you) inside, over the past week. Apparently the spiders are too on their autumn clocks and heading in-doors because it’s time. (either that or- I hesitate to say it- we are slowly being overrun by arachnids. Dang it, Joss… knock it off already.)

In all fairness, today it is misting out, cooler, and absolutely glorious…

chronic illness, confession, depression, gratitude, journey

The mystery of a Kit Kat…

I ate a Kit Kat yesterday.

I ran to Target to pick up a couple of things and in my search for one of them, I managed to wind my way through the Halloween aisles twice, and avoided the temptation to pick up any small packages of sugar. It was actually harder than I would care to admit, and I honestly don’t know why.

Is it because Chw is away for so long and I’m lonely? Is it because most of my friends live 2000 miles away? Is it because my kids are far away and I miss them too? Again- is it because I am lonely?

Over the weekend I brainstormed ways to get connected and meet people. And then, like the dawning sounds of a Hallelujah chorus, it hit me: Meet up! I have tried to do Meet Up’s locally before and it has been a bust, BUT this time I could make my own and see hot it goes…

Well, it goes like this: $15 a month to begin and maintain a group. So, it went away in the bad idea drawer. (We don’t buy our friends, after all, and this makes friendship acquisitions seem like a subscription box)

A Kit Kat is 89 cents… (just for perspective.)

Late yesterday morning I packed Elenor, and her favorite toys and treats, up and we headed to the nursing home to visit with my mom. She has really been down lately, (this would be my mom, not elenor) and I always loved taking Knightley there. He brought such joy to the residents days. Maybe it is because she is bigger, maybe it is because I was alone, maybe it is because it was 900 degrees outside- but it was not an easy feet. By the time we made it to my mom’s room (I also brought a box of donuts for the nurses, which complicated things a wee bit.) I wanted to curl up on her bed and sleep for a year.

The meeting of the two of them was childlike and precious, and made the struggle to get there worth it.

That will be etched into my mind forever.

One of the four times that I had to trek the 840 steps back to the front, to take Elenor out to do her business, we encountered a lovely little group of residents who were thrilled to see a puppy coming at them down the hall. I scooped her up in my arms because I did not want her to have an accident out of excitement, especially since the home is in the middle of remodel and the carpet is new. While I am holding her and she is excitedly saying hello to each member of the bunch, a gentleman starts patting his lap aggressively and shouting “BABY!” I explain to them she really needs to go out and he proceeds to grab her back leg and begin pulling her to him…

My puppy has officially been abused by a nursing home resident. Since Elenor plans to spend regular time there, maybe it is a milestone. This sweet little Golden girl who loves everyone was a bit apprehensive of wheel chair riders after that…

The Kit Kat followed the visit, the stressful pet store trip, the long (melting) drive home. It followed trying to cool off with a Hallmark movie and nap. It was after this that I remembered I needed to run to Target.

I passed up a cool lime refresher from Starbucks, (quenching, cold and $4 off a gift card I already have) because it seemed indulgent and I wanted to practice self-control.

I fell in love with a fabric covered pumpkin, ($9) where apparently my resolve did not apply. I purchased a small bag that my mom needed, and a travel make up bag for me, because I am traveling across the country and all. (In like a month and a half, and I’ve done it hundreds of times without said bag, and bag was not on sale.) And then, after passing up sugar for the entire trip, I’m standing in line to check out and there is a Kit Kat for 89 cents. (plus, in my defense, I do save an additional 5%.)

Also while I had been in the nursing home, I passed a man in the largest wheel chair I have ever seen. I can honestly say I have never seen a person so heavy. It struck me to my core really. The writer in me began to wonder why? Had he lived a lonely life? A defeated life? A hard, bruised and broken one? I resolved that I do not ever want to live like that, and I said a silent prayer to God, thanking Him that I could walk and move.

I have been very frustrated because, after losing 130 pounds, I have put on 39. It is depressing and no one knows why. I keep hoping lab work will come up with something that makes us go, “Oh! that’s why!” and a solution will arise. (Currently, eating really well, (better than when I lost the weight) and exercising isn’t cutting it.)

It is that frustration which encouraged me not to indulge in the small, wrapped halloween candy. I would have regretted it, even if something sick in me believed sugar would balm the loneliness as of late. It was also, I’ll admit, the memory of that man…

So the Kit Kat? I don’t know. I didn’t forget. It is almost like I remembered with each sickeningly sweet and not at all delicious bite, yet I finished it anyway.

Ladies and Gentlemen, self sabotage at it’s finest, and I don’t even know why. The one thing I am sure of is that with the rate things are going for me, due to the Kit Kat, my gain is likely now up to 45 or 50 lbs.

adoption, beautiful, birthday, confession, family, gifts, gratitude, holiday, infertility, journey, marriage, parenting

17/14 vision…

Seventeen years ago, three very fragile and amazingly resilient children asked me to be their mother. Being a lover of birthdays, I remember this clearly, in that mildew scented cafeteria, because it was my grandmother’s birthday. I am also, I’ll admit, a sucker for symbolism. After seven miscarriages and a failed adoption, wasn’t the very fact that it was ON my grandmother’s birthday exact proof that this was a good sign?

I know, I know. At 24, I should have been much wiser than that. The thing was, however, I loved those kids incredibly. I had not taken the job in that group home in an effort to shop for children. (A phrase my older daughter, at least, will find bitter twinged amusement in.) I had accepted the position because I needed to stand on my own and because I loved kids and was really great at my job.

I had developed various sorts of close relationships with various kids who were growing up there. Some souls simply click, but with these three it was different. The first confirmation, of the miraculous element, for me had been when I developed special relationships and felt drawn to each of them before I was really aware that they were actual siblings. The three were not particularly close to each other, and in settings like that you often have kids refer to other kids as siblings, when they aren’t. When I learned, a couple of weeks in to my tenure, that they were biological siblings I realized that pull had made divine sense.

I had not been expecting the request, when they came together to ask it of me. I was, at 24, far too immature to understand the gravity of how difficult that must have been for them, considering their journey thus far, in life. My co-worker was sitting with me and she squealed a little and remarked “this is perfect! You and those three are a beautiful combination and seeing you all together makes life make sense!”

That journey towards them was not an easy one. There was much standing in the way and honestly, at 24, if I had known exactly what the heart fight would look like, I might have run away screaming. Thank God, I didn’t. I was witness to very abusive manipulations, over the years, and a control battle over those precious spirits, that still (in recollection) makes my skin crawl. Though our journey as a family has not been at all how I would have designed it, the outcome is a familial connection that I would not trade for the world. The journey was long, and eventually one of the three found parents who were closer and a better fit. I always understood, and grieved, and in the end came to peace with the fact that I love her just the same, no matter what…

~~~

Fourteen years ago, I was approached to be the mother of a broken little four-year old girl. It was a decision that we made within a few hours, even though I found myself weather worn from my other mother-journal-struggle. (which at this point, was still going strong) My fear was that we would grow to love this tender little child and then lose her, down the road. The once-again-symbolism of my grandmother’s birthday being near, and what the journey with those three beautiful kids had been like, were not lost on me.

You see, the feared possibility was not completely unfounded. We had been the soon-to-be adoptive parents of twin girls, once upon a time. Our ten months with them were that sort of chapter where every day felt a little like this is what my soul has been waiting for, finally I am complete. Then, due to a technicality regarding a gun, an arrest method and a court loophole, they were returned to the stranger that was their mother, leaving my arms empty and my heart officially shattered…

Two days after being asked, we drove out to pick up our daughter. It was a sunny September Sunday afternoon, and I had made sure to call my grandmother, on the way over, to wish her a happy birthday. The sunshine easily acted like a promise that this time, this time motherhood might not hurt as bad, and may not end with empty arms. This little girl was a gift, but she was also a daily reminder that there were no guarantees. For a very long time I walked the tightrope of guarding my heart and that same heart diving headfirst into the sea of her child-spirit. Tens upon tens of thousands of dollars later, (and sadly a nine-year court battle which always seemed to play out more uphill than down, until we one day found it over) she was legally ours. Throughout this time, there were sadly moments when this growing girl would be used, as a pawn, to hurt our older kids. It was a sick and a meant-for-tragedy thing, and miraculously it never worked. Seeds meant to sow resentment, simply sowed love.

~~~

My beautiful, (now in heaven) grandmother’s birthday has born to me, motherhood. She was such a strong woman who held a family together in ways which I could never replicate, all the while her birthday knit together another branch of her own. My motherhood journey has been anything but traditional. Just the same, I am the mom to some of the most extraordinary humans I have ever known.

For the first time since that timid little seventeen year old request for my motherhood was asked, I am spending this day alone. In the past I have either been with my husband, visiting my kids, becoming a mom again, just with one kid, two kids, or the best of times- all three. One year we were recovering from the wedding, the day before, of my older daughter. One year we went to the Lion King on Broadway, on other we sat around eating chocolate fondue and making silly home movies for my husband because he couldn’t be with us. Somehow the day has always been special, playing out as its own sort of character within our family and lives. (fun bonus fact, my son married a beautiful girl, whom I adore, whose birthday is the day AFTER this little anniversary of ours. Attraction truly is a spiritual thing.)

This year my husband is 8,000 miles and 16 hours away. My son is in the far corners of the country doing his part to keep our nation safe. My older daughter on her own motherhood journey, waking from ringing in her own anniversary- marriage. My younger daughter, the sweet little four-year old of fourteen years ago, is on a dark and prodigal journey that this mmama heart of mine hopes will not last forever, but worries about the consequential scarring that may happen along the way. My family is a lesson to me that fighting for those whom your soul loves, is primal at best and always vital. The journey will never be scripted the way that your heart hopes, but the outcome of love will always be worth it- even when things don’t go your way.

Happy birthday, Grandma…