Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Burial of You, Of What Once Was

*I found this when cleaning out notebooks. I had written it after my Grandpa's burial. Something I hadn't braced myself for. For some reason I had steeled myself for the funeral and what led up to it but hadn't prepared myself for the burial. Walking away from his coffin that frigid January day was one of the most painful things I've ever done. I felt like I was leaving him alone, abandoned in the cold although I knew it wasn't him there. Just thinking about it today makes me well up in tears. Thank God for reunions in  heaven because I'm ready!  

The Burial Of You, Of What Once Was

The frozen winter ground is forcefully dug up in large heaps to make room for his remains.
As pieces of my heart are ripped violently from my chest to make room for the pain.

The gaping hole a reminder of the void he left.
As my heart shatters it also praises God that you're finally at rest. 

As the freshly dug dirt settles in around the coffin
I set out to try to settle my life & emotions around my new reality.

Discovering as time passes that it will never be as it was
For awhile the change is painfully obvious, like a raw scar

But as the mound of dirt flattens & returns to normal 
I begin to reinvent my new normal.

And as fragile new grass sprouts atop his burial plot
I'm reminded that life goes on and so must I. 


*I found this poem when I was cleaning out some notebooks. It was in reference to being with my Grandpa as his home burned and then when he passed away.


Your house was ablaze & I was there.
I tearfully watched it burn as I pulled you up a chair.

Your forehead was ablaze & I was there.
I tearfully watched it burn as I pulled up a chair. 

You watched what you'd put your blood, sweat & tears into be ravaged & yet you stayed strong.
I saw your blood & sweat & wiped my tears as you were ravaged & knew it wouldn't be long.

In the past I had taken your hand & led you away from the fire
But I couldn't this time although it was my greatest desire.

Only God could end your pain
He graciously stopped the fire with His abundant rain. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Goodbye Too Soon

When you are a therapist you carry the pain. You carry the hurt. You carry the shame. And as heavy as it seems it multiplies when you realize what you feel is simply a fraction of what your clients carry every second of every day. Having worked with kids and teenagers primarily in my career the realization of that cuts deep into my soul. The travesties that take place in a supposedly "enlightened" country with such "advantages." Their lives seem like anything but advantaged. And yet they are in many ways compared to that of children in third world countries. And the realization of that cuts to the quick even more.

How this world continues to spin despite the anguish that surrounds us confuses me. It makes me want to scream at God to make it stop and just take us all home now. Or if nothing else, save those whose lives are horror filled. And yet when He does just that in the form of calling them home we grieve. We grieve for the possibilities that person never realized. For the unique characteristics that person and that person alone brought to this world. For the dreams that person shared with us and was on the cusp of. For the memories of a soul who had every excuse to be broken and bitter but instead was full of smiles, jokes and generosity and love that was hard to comprehend. Sure, there were rough edges but boy were they easy to overlook when you fully understood the depths of their precious soul.

My only comfort tonight is knowing that he loved God & the tears he cried and the pent up pain that was slowly released over 2 years with me is no more. It's not even a memory. The burdens he carried, ones I wished I could carry myself but never could, are lifted. The regrets and mistakes are wiped clean never to be repeated. None of it matters anymore. All that matters now is the love that he carried & now feels given back to him abundantly. The smile that lit up every room and now won't ever quit. The shame that darkened corners of his heart no longer exists. And he is finally totally safe & secure. And for that I rejoice. God will give him the love He lacked here. He will finally have a father whose neck he can hug and who he can share with. That longing will be no more. He is whole and complete and loved. What this world lacked for him has now been fulfilled a thousand times over. So congratulations are in order. It's a time to celebrate and rejoice. However right now all I can seem to do is cry.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Falling Deeper Still

Sometimes I look at you and my breath catches at your sheer beauty. A tiny ball of perfection snuggled up against me and awakening to give me smiles that literally make my heart skip a beat. My restless heart finds peace it didn't know existed when you slip off to sleep while on my chest, our breaths simultaneous with one another as if our souls are in sync. Glimpsing down to catch you watching me as a smile begins to form from your perfect rosebud lips clear up to your deep blue eyes that shimmer brighter than the Northern star on the clearest of nights. With each smile I somehow fall deeper and deeper in love. To a place I didn't know existed. The depth of it is more than I knew I had within me yet I continue falling until I am so enveloped in it I can scarcely breathe. I'm not sure there is an end to it or if it will just deepen with every precious thing you do.

In your 11 weeks you have brought me more joy than I could have ever fathomed. All the hours daydreaming of what being a Mommy would be like don't come close to what the reality of it is. But with that joy I have also found fear I didn't know existed. It grabs a hold of me like a python squeezing all the joy and peace out of me until there is nothing left but terror and dread. I want to burst into tears at the thought of the heartbreaking world surrounding you. I want you to stay small and tiny forever. I want to be able to carry you around and protect you with all my being. I want to be able to wrap you up in my arms and run with you from any and every painful possibility this life may bring to you. I want my body to be able to adequately shield every part of you with more to spare. I want you to be small enough to hide from the coldness and darkness that surrounds us & sometimes threatens to overtake us.  It makes irrational thoughts pop into my head such as cursing out Eve upon entering heaven for bringing sin into this world & creating this nightmare of a world. Or making you a hermit that never leaves this home, much less my side. Or selling everything I own to buy you multiple body guards or saving up to buy an island that we can escape to, free of all heartache, pain, fear or harm. Unfortunately there is no such thing. Not on this side of eternity that is. God is the only thing that helps me swallow down this lump that builds in my chest when I imagine the what ifs, the tears, the heartache, the struggles that will come your way. For with Him you have body guards 24/7. The best of the best, guardian angels He has picked for you & God's protection. Better than any money can buy! And although you will leave my side and my home God won't leave your side. And best of all, someday we will have that most perfect place to escape to and we will be able to enjoy it together hopefully. That is my biggest longing. That you grow to know the Lord so we will be together for eternity reveling in His glory, goodness and light and all the things that keep me awake at night are a threat no more. When you accept Him someday I will be able to let go of some of the fear. For even though I can't save you from the things of this world that I so long to you will then personally know the One who can. And honey, you must know Him. You just must. This world will chew you up and spit you out otherwise and this Momma's heart can't take that.        

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Erase the bad? Tempting but I think not!

Oh this whole parenting this sure can be emotional. Currently it has hit me how cold and hard and cruel this world is that I have brought Addison to live in. This thinking was partially brought on by my anxiety over taking her for her shots & me going back to work then my mind took it to the darkest, scariest places. I sat one night looking at her and crying and feeling somewhat guilty for subjecting an innocent, helpless child to the aches & pains this life causes. I imagined the wounds & scars she could receive and have to carry with her. I prayed she would only see and feel goodness. That she'd never witness or Lord forbid, have to endure suffering. That somehow the heartaches & the troubles that befall everyone would somehow miss her entirely. I prayed she'd never hear harsh words or things that brought tears to her eyes or worse yet cracks in her heart and/or self esteem. That her little body & heart and soul would not feel pain or discomfort in any shape or form. I was asking for a lot. I was asking for more than this world will offer her. I knew it but I had to ask nonetheless as I looked at each delicate, tiny part of her. It was a cynical way to be thinking and I knew it but it had just hit me that she was no longer within me where I could protect her. As crazy as it sounds I longed to somehow get her back in as I was realizing now that I couldn't be with her 24/7. I couldn't protect her. She would someday walk away and carry on her own life with me nowhere in sight or ear shot. I couldn't save her much less even shield her partially. Life would happen to her and I was helpless to stop it.

Then I tried to imagine my life minus the aches & pains. I realized I wouldn't want that life. I wouldn't be me without them. I know, it's cliche but it's true. Those times, although I hated them, by the grace of God brought out good in me, in my life and in the circumstances. It showed me who I really was and that I was far stronger than I had ever dreamed when I leaned on the strongest there is, God. It brought me to my knees in front of Him wholly surrendering as I had no other choice. It made me surrender things I had needed to surrender for a long time. Those times made me cling to Him as if my life depended upon it, because at times it did. And in the clinging came hope and increased faith and a feeling my heart & soul know all too well but that can't be put into words. Those times made me empathetic and able to see things from other's perspectives. I've applied it in my professional and personal life in order to help me understand and try to help people. Those heartaches taught me lessons. Hard, painful lessons I wasn't grasping in the moment but that I learned nonetheless. Those times seemed like "busy work," a waste of time. Yet they were shaping me and making me into the person God needs me to be in order to fulfill whatever purpose He has set out for me. The verse Romans 8:28 ("And we know that in all things God works for the good for those who love the Lord & are called according to His purpose") is so true. His good looked FAR different from my version of good. But in the end his good wasn't just good, it was best. Maybe at the time not for me but for others or for in the future, for a time and place and circumstance I was unaware of and couldn't imagine.

And I realized I have to trust God with Addison. After all, she isn't truly even mine. He leant her to me while we walk this Earth. She is His & as hard as it is to fathom  He loves her even more than my heart can imagine doing. When hard things come her way, and they will, He will work it out. What man intends for evil He will bring good from (Genesis 50:20). And in the pain the opportunity lies for there to come beauty, strength, courage, empathy, understanding. I know my hard times have brought those pieces of goodness to me. And knowing that it doesn't seem so bad. I want her to learn lessons she needs to learn. I want her to know God intimately in a way only you can when you are so broken before Him. I want her to realize she is strong and can rise above. I want her to understand the pain of others so she can reach out and gently touch the sore spots others carry in ways only someone who has walked that same path can. I want her to find pieces of her she didn't realize were within. And so my prayer changed from the unrealistic to the realistic, from her escaping any and all pain to the greatest amount of good coming from those trying times. The prayer turned into me pleading that her heart is open & receptive to Him and she comes to know him at a young age so that all the pain and heartache that may befall her can be transformed by Him into the goodness only He can bring. So now my anxiety is being the type of parent that sets up an environment for her to truly know and grasp God's love and run to Him with open arms as soon as she can comprehend Him. It's intimidating. Yet I know that all that isn't up to me either. It's out of my control, as so much is. I can try to help her but in the end it will be her little soul that takes those steps but I sure pray I can nudge her along into the arms of the One who is good & makes the broken whole and brings about goodness from that which looks so dark, hopeless & ugly. Feel free to join me in that prayer.    

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rookie Mistakes

The following are rookie mistakes made:

Putting baby in bathtub with her socks on.

Getting myself stuck to the swaddler so when I went to put her down of course it woke her up. 

Not being fast enough with the diaper leading to projectile poo twice & several pees. 

Changing her mid poo only to change her not twice but three times. That was a waste of diapers!

Doing the snaps wrong a million times and sometimes in the middle of the night deciding it's good enough. 

Not having the backseat vents on all the way.

There are a million more but this rookie Momma is going to try to get some sleep. Someone tell me again why I am putting this in writing & incriminating myself? 

Odd New Mom Thoughts

The following are real life dumb thoughts that have flown through my head.

"Man, I'm hot. I sure hope my milk doesn't spoil."

Upon waking to a blanket close to my face "Oh crap, you are going to suffocate. Move it, move it now."
-Apparently I forgot that just applies to baby

"She keeps looking all around and nothing is there. Is she seeing ghosts, spirits? Could it be visual hallucinations? Schizophrenia doesn't start this young. Of course, there was that one documentary on that one girl..."

Upon seeing her sleeping with her eyes open and rolled back in her head. "Oh dear, please stop. You look like Rosemary's baby or a demon child or a zombie. Oh no, could it be a neurological condition?"

Upon her clenching her fists up so tight her arms shake and taking in a deep breath with eyes huge & unblinking to begin a huge scream "Oh no, is this the start of a seizure? *piercing scream with all the gusto she can muster* "Oh, nope, just a scream. Man, I've never been so relieved to have her scream like this."

Me to Matt: "She's been giving me dirty looks all day."
Matt: "I think you are taking this too personal."

*At birth with her on my chest* "They say she will smell her mother and learn to recognize her that way. Just great. After 27 hours of labor my deodorant is non-existent and my breath is kickin'. Mommy's going to be imprinted on her as being stinky with horrendous hygiene."

"I have to do all the things she hates (baths, diaper changes, clothing changes, give her medication she dislikes, etc). She is going to associate me with the crap & Matt with the good and fun stuff."

"I wonder if Sun In, lemon juice or peroxide would hurt her? It'd sure help lighten up her hair."