I am trying to sort out my experiences and thoughts to better understand how to move forward and not stay stuck in the past.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Spiritual Food

I was in Whole Foods, today.  I know it's only a grocery store, but I really love that place.  I feel healthier just walking through the door.  It is a little more expensive than my regular place, but for some special things, it fits the bill.  Anyway, I was waiting at the deli section for a pound of honey turkey breast, and I overheard the guys working behind the counter, that was behind the counter where I was standing.  They were talking about religion, and the one guy said to the other two something to the effect of, "...that's why I don't buy into Christianity..."  Of course my ears perked up.  I didn't catch it all, but the one thing he said was that once--yes once--he had a question and went to a priest or minister--yes, only one--and asked some questions, and he (the priest or minister) didn't have or know the answers.  So, because of that one encounter, that guy seemed to have written off Christianity.  At least that is what he was saying to the other two.  

I was dumbfounded.  When, if you are really interested in finding the answer to something, do you go to only one source?  I mean, if you were sick and went to a doctor who said that he didn't know what the problem was, would you just go home still clueless?  Or would you seek out someone or several someones to get answers from?  Wouldn't you be on line looking up everything you could?  Wouldn't you be at the library researching?  I think people have a passion for researching the newest technology devices.  Looking for a new car requires some research.  Your spiritual health should be just as important, if not more so.

As he was talking we made eye-contact. He kind of looked away and started talking softer.  I probably should have said something  to him, but I didn't.  I just thanked the man waiting on me, and walked away with my lunch meat, and some additional food for my thoughts.

Monday, December 1, 2014


What I want to write about goes along with what I wrote in the Clay post but I have to give a little history.  I was married to an abuser.  Mostly emotional, but some physical.  It took me eighteen years to make the move to leave.  Why so long?  Because your brain freezes when something so foreign happens to you that you really don't know how to handle it.  A lot of thoughts get jumbled from 'he had a bad day', to 'I made a commitment' or 'what about the kids?' to 'screw this, I'm done.'  But it can take a long time to get there.  A lot happens and I have learned that you can't judge a woman in that situation because you are not familiar with her mindset and history.   I do believe his actions were a mutation of his childhood with an alcoholic father and enabler mother.  That need to control a situation as a child can morph into a severely controlling adult who will go to any length to make sure that their world is as they feel it should be--to heck with what you think it should be.

Move to the present.  I have been working with a woman (my classroom aide) for 11 years.  An opportunity arose for her to take another position in an office.  More pay, better hours, less stress.  She talked to me about it and I told her to go for it.  I think that she felt as though she were betraying me in some way.  Working together for that long, we have a routine that works, and although it doesn't always run smoothly, overall, I like what we had.  We were (are) a good team in a tough and fragile environment.  The position, so far, is temporary, but someone had to be hired to take her place.  In comes Cathy (not her real name).  On the surface very kind, quiet, efficient.  She takes direction well, is enthusiastic, and  has a good rapport with the students.

About our room.  I rarely yell.  That means raise my voice.  Depending on the situation, though, I will be firm in my voice.  We often have children acting out and being disruptive.  Most of the time, I handle it in house.  Let the child talk it out, rock in the rocking chair, there are several tools within the room that I use to help them get a handle on their emotions.  Here is what I started noticing.  When a child was acting out or I was talking with a child, Cathy would end up kneeling by them and whispering to them.  Most of the time it was after a situation had occurred.  I would look up from working with someone, and notice that she was not at her desk.  I would look around the room, and see her kneeling beside the student who had had the issue and whispering to them (What is happening here?).  During one outburst of a student, she ended up leaving the room and bringing back the social worker and counselor.  The situation had not escalated to that point, and I never sent her to get anyone, so I was kind of dumbfounded when they came into the room.  She was still new to the room, so I was also kind of annoyed that she would take that initiative.  Not a good thing.  So, I talked with her when the kids left and explained, again, how the room worked.  I explained that I loved the kids and sometimes things may get loud, but there is a process.  When I came in the next morning, there were six or seven helium balloons tied to my chair.  She had bought them as an apology.  All of a sudden I had flashbacks of living with my ex, only in reverse.  He would do something sweet after an outburst, she was trying to make amends so that I wouldn't be angry with her.  I later found out through discussions with her that she had been with an alcoholic/drug abuser for several years before she married him and then eventually divorced him.  Once I understood where her history had taken her, I could see the behaviors that I used to do (sometimes still fall back on) to control my environment.  Though I'm not an abuser, she sees the outbursts and conversations as unnerving and her whispering to the kids, I can see, is her trying to calm the situation.  Her views are skewed because of her history.  This is a safe environment with behaviors that remind her of her former unsafe environment.

It's all about control.  Ironically, I do think we are fooling ourselves and exhausting ourselves if we believe that our controlling a situation is helping anything.  I'm not saying to be a slug and do nothing.  Do what you need to do.  Go through the daily process of living and working, but understand that there is a lot that is out of our control, but heavily in God's control.  There are times when you have to let it go and as scary and weak as that may feel, it's the strongest act that you can do.  The wisdom comes in knowing when (that wonderful Serenity prayer at work). Once you know, though, let go.

Because of my experiences both with my ex and child, and I could probably add my dad to that list, I am better able to understand other people.  Another example of, "All things work together for good to them that love God."

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I didn't realize how long it has been since I last wrote something here.  It's not like I didn't have ideas.  I pretty much have and idea or two a day, I just didn't seem to have the drive.  Emotions are draining.  Not only mine, but the kids at school, my family, stress (which I'm really working on decreasing), and I'm going to physical therapy two days a week because pain is also very exhausting and I'm tired of being tired.

Thanksgiving, here, was perfect.  My son, my daughter, my dad, and me.  I have the meal preparation down to a science.  My daughter went to work that night at the mall, an extra job she took.  My son and dad stayed and visited a while, though my dad, who was being driven home by my son, was nervous about leaving after dark.  Old habits and fears are hard to let go of, I guess.  Anyway, the day was a blessing.

That evening, sitting here alone, eating a piece of pie and watching a movie, with the dogs curled up on the couch with me, I started thinking about everything. I still have a bad habit of feeling the urge, when I'm feeling peaceful,  to open that door to the past and pick through horrible memories.  Why?  I have no idea.  But I still do it.  I started to do it on Thanksgiving evening, but before opening that same old, creaky door, I stopped.  It was as though I didn't have the energy for that, either.  Enough of digging through that 'stuff.'  Instead, I started thinking about how I would be had all of that 'stuff" not happened.  It was kind of refreshing to turn it around.  I'm used to internally lamenting about what life would be like if this evil hadn't befallen my child.  Life would be much better, for her especially, but for me, too.  The physical part of life, at least.  But I'm not so sure the spiritual side would be and I'm finding that that part of me, the spiritual, is far more important for my survival than the physical (material) part.

This extended course in misery, fear, and stress has, I have noticed, refined me on the inside into a person that I truly don't believe I would be had it all not happened.  I can also see a strength growing in my daughter that used to be there, but I haven't seen in a very long time.  The potter and the clay reference comes to mind (Isaiah 64;8).  I completely understand it and even better, I'm not bitter about it.  If this whole experience was allowed to happen to bring us closer to God, I'm okay with it.  No one has died, gone to jail, been injured, physically.  Yes, it has ripped me on the inside.  The stress and fear has been unbearable at times, but when I finally just let go ("It is what it is") mentally, things started to change.  Slowly, yes, but still change started.  Change and understanding.  I am not trivializing the struggle.  I'm not saying I didn't stamp around my house crying and yelling at God, because I did.  I would sound like a crazy person if I wrote all of the goofy reactions I have had during these past few years.  In the end, though, I stopped the ranting and just emotionally plopped down and became still.  I felt drained and exhausted.  I felt rejected and sad, but I didn't have the energy to react anymore--inside.  It's a hard feeling to explain, that stillness, but it was as if on the inside, I just couldn't emotionally move anymore.  I believe that is when my internal healing began, and continues.

I'm still learning.  I'm still trying to feel my way through this new mindset.  I still feel stress, but am working on it. We still have good days (more frequently) and bad days, but I don't fall apart, anymore.  There is a calm that I can only explain as God. I'm not sure how this is all sounding.  I don't want it to come across as though it's been easy once I emotionally plopped down.  It hasn't been, but it hasn't felt so isolating.  I don't feel so alone and weak on the inside.  I am feeling more uplifted and hopeful.

I just wanted to express that because this experience has been the foundation of helping me to interact more effectively and with a stronger purpose, with those around me--my work, friends, strangers, family.  And if someone else is experiencing the pain and stress, I just want to say, hold on...help is on the way.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I used to know what I wanted.  I wanted a new house. A new location. To be thinner, happier, a famous writer, go back to Italy for a week, hike in the woods.  On and on.  I was thinking the other day, though, even though there are things, like having dessert at a diner, that I consider to be honest with myself, I really do not know what I want anymore.  Okay, let me qualify that.  I know that I want my children healthy and well, safe and content.  I want that for them.  But this whole Alice in Wonderland, down the rabbit hole trip that I've been on has really just sucked out all desire for me.  I really did plan on looking for a new house, I even started packing some things up, but even that has become less of a driving force, especially when I try to tackle ALL of the stuff that I have accumulated throughout the years.  I pack up a few things and look around and feel so overwhelmed by the daunting task of separating what to keep and what to get rid of that, I get discouraged and walk away from it.  The everyday routine of getting up, going to work, coming home, playing with the dogs and going to bed is so monotonous to me, yet, there is kind of a heavy comfort to it too.

Ugh.  It this the effect of overwhelming stress and worry?  Have I become so used to the falling that I don't even care to reach out and grab onto something anymore?  That's what it feels like. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating a fact.  I'm not even sure if I don't like this feeling.  I'm really not sure what I'm feeling. I'm not happy or sad or afraid.  I am gliding in neutral.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Someone help me understand this thinking.

Normally, my daughter is so sharp mentally.  Quick wit, smart, insightful, and then there are days like today, well, really yesterday.  Things were fine here.   We are having good talks.  She seems to be developing a better understanding and relationship with God.  It even gets to the point where I fell like this madness is all over--She is finally strong enough to either not need alcohol or want it. But then, I come home yesterday, and I can tell we are back down the rabbit hole.  We don't argue anymore about it.  In fact, the stretch between falls is extending, though not extinct.  It is what it is.  So, today, as I was doing my usual Saturday morning laundry and cleaning, I went into her room and found her sitting there petting the dog.  I sat down on her bed and asked her what had happened for her to do this.  She told me that yesterday she was thinking at how far she should be in her life by now, but isn't.  (She has in her mind that she is a certain age and should be at a certain place in her life).  I listened. I wanted to interject, but I listened.  I wanted to make that, "Really?" face.  But I didn't.  I listened.  When she was finished, I told her I wasn't going to argue.  That I had heard what she had said, but was confused. I told her (reminded her?) that alcohol is the only reason that she isn't where she feels she should be.  Alcohol is the only thing that has held her back.  Alcohol is the only thing that has robbed her of all that she feels she has lost.  So...why run back to it?  Why not just keep working hard and pushing forward?  Why, would you run to the very thing that has been holding you back? (I might have been making the "Really?" expression as I was talking, though I truly was trying not to).  I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.

I also told her that ironically, with all that has happened and all that is on hold in her life, the only real waste of time has been being so lenient with pursuing and fighting and working for her sobriety. The harder she works toward that, the more her life will unfold-- if she would just stay sober.

She listened.  I left.  Life goes on--well, mostly.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

All of Those Ripples

Things are moving along, here.  All except for the humidity which seems to want to linger and linger.  School has started back up and honestly, it's like summer never was the way the routine kicks back in and life goes on.

Home is moving along, too.  As always, good and bad days, but the majority of days seem to be smooth and I'm thankful for the more normal routine.  We do have discussions still, and one that comes up and I must say is kind of a sticking point with me through this journey has to do with figuring things out.  Specifically, the discussion always circles around to how lopsided this figuring out has been.  She has only had herself to try to figure out (why does she do this, what are her triggers), where I have had to try and figure out my thoughts and reactions as well has her's and if we look at all of the ripples that tossing that stone causes, I am also trying to figure out my son's behavior during this as well as what other family member might say or think (which is why they don't know any of this).

I have been sober this whole time, trying to catch and analyze all of the triggers, reactions, behaviors, emotions--all of it--to try and figure out the bigger picture.  Sometimes I resent it, even though I have learned a lot from it. To be honest, I could probably write a whole book on resentments, but I don't really like wallowing there too long, so I doubt it would be healthy.

Anyway, I only mention this because we recently were talking about it here, and the conversation, as usual, didn't end that well because apparently I am rarely seeing it from her point-of-view.  Honestly, I'm not sure she fully understands her point-of-view that well, anyway.  I'm not mad, just stating what happened.  It is what it is--very comforting words that I now live by.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Going on Memory

My daughter and I were talking a few days ago.  We were talking about things we'd like to do some day.  Big ones, she wants to sky dive at some point, and little ones, I want to go for pie and coffee at a diner after dinner sometime with my childhood friend.  Anyway, she had some definite ideas I on the other hand could only come up with the pie and coffee idea, and even that came with some considerable thought.  "Mom, really?  That's all?"  was her response.  I thought a minute longer and, "Yep, that's all I got right now,"  was my response.

I thought a little more and a flicker of a light bulb (you know like the ones in the old Frankenstein movies that crackle and flicker before the big power surge) started glowing in my mind.  I realized that I had been taking care of other people for so long, and putting their needs and feelings before mine, that I have lost track of what I want.  I'm not complaining.   Just stating a fact.  I was married young and had my children young.  I took care of them and him, then my mom, now my dad, even though he lives alone, my life still revolves around him...it's why I'm not living at the beach right now.  Anyway, I'm not resentful or angry, I made the choices and I wouldn't exchange the time I had with my children and parents for anything and still, in doing for them, I seemed to have faded away somewhat.  Add to that the stress and energy that a job entails and living with an addiction and, well, you tend to lose track of you.

I told this to my daughter and she was sympathetic.  She admonished me to start taking care of myself.  (Really?)

So, today I tried.  I was outside reading my book, and I started thinking.  How do I take care of myself?  Each time I think of the little ways I would pamper myself before children and big responsibilities, I recall the time and  I took  soaking in a bubble bath with lit candles decorating the bathroom, and yes, incense wafting through the room.  The devotion to putting on lotion, brushing my hair, listening to music and putting on make up.  It was fun.  It made me feel refreshed and ready for whatever.  I felt pretty.  I also felt more focused.  I tried to think putting on lotion with that same graceful patience, today, but my mind jumped to no, I have to be done by this time, to do this and then go there, and pretty soon, no lotion.

Focus, I need to focus. Like someone revived from a long sleep, I need to focus on one pampered moment.  When I accomplish that, I'll move to the next.  My mom gave me a book ages ago, about taking care of yourself.  I love this book. It's full of pictures of this young girl (about my age at the time) who is showing all of the ways to take care of yourself.  Even the picture of her exercising is peaceful, not that aggressive, intense, can I say angry, look that a lot of exercise trainers show.  She is gently smiling as she does a sit up, or lifts a five pound weight.  It's all so gentle and calm.  Sadly, I haven't been able to find it in a while, so I'll be going on memory.  Does everything have to be a challenge?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Yeah, but...

I have been working on trying to appreciate what I have, despite the struggles my daughter continues to go through.  I was tired of writing about the same thing over and over.  We have good days and bad days and days stuck in limbo.  It has been so hard for me to look past my own anger and frustrations with this life.  If lives weren't so intertwined or love wasn't so strong, it would be a lot easier to look past her life and appreciate mine, more.  But that's not what happens.  I think, I have a great job.  Yeah, but she's still struggling.  I have amazing friends.  Yeah, but she is still isolating herself.  Yeah, but, yeah, but, yeah, but.  I have pushed though some mindsets that I thought I never would, but that attachment to your child, that invisible umbilical cord, can stretch to infinite lengths.

I don't talk about it with my friends anymore, those few who I trust with this part of my life.  In that way, I've come full circle.  Good changes, some.  Bad changes, a few.  No changes are still in the lead.

Anyway, I found an amazing book.  Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.  I recommend it to anyone who may have doubts or if you just need that extra oomph of clarification and proof.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Another Reminder

We have this little Miniature Pinscher named, Dexter.  Since he came to live with us, almost two years ago now, I have been reading up on the breed.  In one of the readings, someone commented that having a Min Pin is like having an eternal toddler.  How true.  This little package of energy on four legs is all of that and more.  In all honesty, he's a handful.  He is hard to house train, though the former owner must have had something in the bathroom for him, because that is where he most often decides to relieve himself.  He pees on everything, so you can't put anything new on the floor.  When company comes, their suitcases have to go directly upstairs where the bedroom door is then closed, so that he doesn't decide to 'claim' those.  When he goes for a walk, he barks for the first 20 minutes, straight, it seems, while the other two dogs just quietly take in the scenery.  When he eats, he doesn't stay at his bowl, he grabs a mouthful and then carries it to some other part of the house, drops it and eats the bits from there.  When he's finished, he leaves the remaining bits o the floor. ( Fortunately, the beagle mix is food obsessed so that she cleans up any excess).    He pees on pillows, for reasons that I can't explain.   We are mopping, wiping, or washing something all of the time because of him.  Keeping a house clean, is a more time consuming job post Dexter than it was pre-Dexter.  Having said all of that, he is also very loving, cute, funny, and I don't know, just plain sweet.  I just love him. 

I was talking to my daughter about it.  That there are more reasons to get rid of him than to keep him, but you just love him so much that you work with the negative and bask in the warmth of all of the cuteness of him. My daughter said, "I think that's how God is to us.  We screw up so much and complain, make mistakes, and aren't always as faithful as we should be, but He still loves us through it all, no matter what." 

I loved that.  God puts reminders of His unfailing love all around us, sometimes, in the most unexpected places.  Ours came in the shape of a little Min Pin named Dexter.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Not of the World

Like that scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy is in the tornado and sitting in her room watching out of her window as people and items fly by, my life continues to spin around me. Through it all, with the exception of that moment in the hospital with my dad, I have been fairly calm.

 I am still in my personal transition. Much of it is spiritual.  I am convinced, whether it is an addiction or just getting through life, you can't do it smoothly without some kind of spiritual connection-Higher Power. Mine is God.  I have been listening to various speakers, reading and doing a lot of thinking and applying.  The Bible has always been a fascination to me. More than just words and a history, I believe it truly is the key to living life well.  I think there are some negative and wrong interpretations that have held me stuck in my own spiritual journey.  In the past several months, I have been putting more effort into understanding what It is really saying. 

One saying from the Bible that finally hit home with me was (and I'm paraphrasing) is being in the world but not of it.  Yes, I understand the words, but I didn't really appreciate their meaning until I applied it to my daughter's experience with addiction.  Though my daughter still doesn't discuss all of her issues concerning addiction, she has often mentioned that one of the problems with her thinking was/is that whatever it was that she was experiencing, just wasn't good enough.  We could be on an amazing trip, she could be having fun, but somewhere in her mind, it just wasn't enough--not good enough.  Regardless of what it was, a meal, an experience, a compliment, it just wasn't enough. I think that that mindset morphed into I'm just not good enough.  Once she considered that thought, then the sadness set in, the loneliness, the comparisons to other people's lives, followed by a lack of gratitude because how can you be grateful when you feel that everything is just not good enough because you don't deserve it.  Then the need to block it all out, so in slithers the alcohol.  Sick thinking, but for my daughter, I do feel it applies. 

So, I was thinking about all of that and because I'm always trying to figure out behaviors, that saying came to my mind.  A lot of 'trouble' starts when we compare ourselves to others.  I know that I was (still am at times) captured by that mindset.  After high school, you have to go to college, after college get married, have children, buy a house, etc. Though I was living my life, I remember for myself, always having in the back of my mind, "What is everyone else doing?" That was then, this is now.

In the world, but not of the world.  How does this apply to my daughter and her drinking?  If you're in the world, you're considering and contemplating everything you hear, people you see, and events that occur.  You're  worried about what is going on around you and judging yourself by that measure.  How can you ever be good enough when you're measurement is so skewed?   However, if you're in the world, but not of it--if you're taking your cues from God and accepting His Grace, then what goes on in the world has no power over you.  You can appreciate the good that is in the world, but the negative influences can be ignored.  What a simple concept that, for me, has been glazed over and not truly utilized.  I'm utilizing it, now.  Here how it has affected me during this fight with addiction.  I got sad seeing other friend's daughters living their lives.  I worried about how it looked with my daughter still living at home.  I worried about how we were handling this process as compared to say, AA or some other group.  I was worried about the future.  I can honestly say that I have quieted those worries.  My daughter's situation is unique to her. My situation is unique to me. Our situation is unique to us.  Worrying about what other people are doing pushes what work God has to do as well as the ability to acknowledge that work taking place, away from my focus.   I need to be focused on God's plan not the world's actions.  It is a very comforting change of thinking. 

I came to that light bulb moment when we were driving in the car.  We were talking about something, I can't remember, and it just hit me.  I explained to my daughter what I was thinking.  She just smiled and nodded.  I'm not sure she's accepting it yet, old thoughts are hard to evict, but at least a new idea was introduced, so maybe the new ideas that are introduced, will start crowding out the old ones. I know she is trying. I know I am trying. I am grateful for the opportunities to understand more clearly my relationship with God, as I continue to maneuver my way down this rocky path of addiction.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Handing Off

I feel as though I have been chugging along as a passenger on a train that I walked onto by mistake. Work is still overwhelming. I have had five new students in five weeks. That has added to the already overwhelming paperwork that I'm still a week or two behind.  Then, there is my dad.  He has been feeling out of breath for several months after doing minimal tasks.  Finally, this group of amazing cardiologists determined the problem, scheduled some tests, and this past Monday, he had surgery to replace his aortic valve. He is recovering in the hospital. He has been there for five days and doing very well.  He should be home this weekend.  My brother has been here through the process and that has really helped.  My daughter has been working on her sobriety and that has been even more helpful. 

This experience has made me realize how much I have had to do, alone.  Don't misunderstand me, I am not lonely nor do I mind being alone.  I didn't realize, though, how much of an unhealthy, mental and physical rut you can dig for yourself when your perception is  that if you don't handle it, it will all fall down. I realize that that is not true. It is true, though, that the only thing that does end up falling down is you.  I had two light bulb moments concerning this revelation and they both involved the same incident.

My daughter and I went into visit my dad on Thursday night.  My brother and son had been there a few hours before us.  My daughter and I were there from about 4:30 to 7:00.  When we first arrived, my dad seemed fine.  Then he leaned forward and told us he had a question.  He asked us to look on the floor for a little round, red thing that  he felt might be a bug.  We looked, but could not find a bug.  Then he excitedly exclaimed that there it was, crawling up the wall.  He described it as being round, red and with six legs. There was no bug on the wall.  What was on the wall was a small, round stopper to prevent the handle of the closet from banging into the wall when it was opened.  We told him that there was no bug.  Though I think he partially believed us, he would give us updates on it's movements and seemed intrigued that we couldn't see it.  This started my stomach churning.  So, I went to the nurses' desk and asked to see the nurse who was in charge of my dad.  To make a long story short, two nurses, and a nurse practitioner came to look at him. I was afraid of a stroke, but they tested him and said that wasn't it. They felt it was something called Sundowners.  I had heard of that before, but he has never, ever shown those symptoms before.  Plus, he wasn't agitated. He was kind of intrigued by the 'bug'.  Of course, my first instinct is always nutrition, so I tried to get him to drink water--maybe he was dehydrated. Then dinner came and he ate.  During all of this, my daughter sat calmly and talked with him.  When he insisted that the bug was moving, she calmly reminded him that there was no bug.  Eventually, she taped up a Kleenex over the round stopper and he then said that the bug had disappeared.  My daughter continued to calmly tell him that there was no bug. When my dad started to finally believe her, she continued to talk to him about it.  Me on the other hand felt like jumping out of the window.  I was starting to feel claustrophobic and nervous. I kept calling my brother to tell him what was going on.  I went from sitting in the chair, looking out of the window, gritting my teeth, to calling my brother (the line was busy) to giving my dad water to drink.  I was getting a headache and my stomach was starting to feel sick.  When my brother finally picked up the phone, I explained what was happening and he said that he would drive back to the hospital and stay with my dad over night if necessary.  My daughter and I left before my brother arrived, but my dad had started acting like normal, again.  My daughter was calm, my brother was calm, I was a bag of aches and nerves when I walked out of his room.  I was a mess. I know I was scared and that fear was driving my actions. I'm not sure why I was so afraid, but I was. 

Once we arrived home, my brother sent me several texts updating me on my dad. He ended up leaving the hospital two hours after he had arrived, saying that dad was acting normal. My dad had realized that what he was seeing hadn't been there, but he still was trying to figure out why he was seeing what he was seeing. 

Once at home, I was able to sit down and realize that my daughter and then my brother had both taken over the situation. I was so proud of my daughter. Her calm and patience not only helped my dad, but it also helped me.  My brother not panicking and 'stepping up to the plate' not only helped my dad, but it helped me.  Me who usually feels the need to make the decisions and plans, froze because of how afraid the situation had made me.  I'm still not completely sure why I was so afraid, but I was.  It felt so releasing to be able to rely on someone else. I can't say it enough--how proud I was of my daughter. When I told her, she kind of fluffed it off as not a big deal, but it was a big deal. Another learning experience for me. Another growing experience for me. Another reminder that Signe doesn't have to have her hands in everything. That sometimes it's okay to hand off the baton to someone more capable for the job.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Picked You

I am still going through an inward transition. It is a slow process.  It  is a good thing.  While we still have good days and bad here, I no longer jump off that mental cliff of despair.  I don't even stand and look over the edge, anymore.  I have backed away and look up, more. There is an inner calm inside  that I have no way of explaining (that peace that surpasses all  understanding)  other than to say that  I have let go and let God.  While life is happening all around me, I find myself, inwardly, able to stand and observe without wrestling with those negative emotions. It feels so good.

It is freezing, cold here. So cold, that the pipes froze but didn't burst.  My dad needs heart valve surgery. Paperwork at work is always nipping at my heals. I'm trying to sort stuff out at home in an attempt to put my house up for sale.  My daughter is still struggling, though, I see in her more hope.  I should be stressed, but I'm not.  I know life will work out and I don't have to be at the helm plotting out everyone's destination and direction.  It feels so peaceful.

I was packing up some odds and ends to give to the thrift store and thought of a time when we lived down south.  My daughter was two.  One afternoon, I was folding clothes in the family room and she came toddling in and announced to me, out of nowhere and  with a big smile, "Mommy, when I was in heaven I looked down and picked you."  I opened my arms, with a tiny t-shirt still dangling from one of my hands, said, "Thank you!",  and she ran to me and we shared a big hug. Just as abruptly, she toddled out of the room and back to her playing.   I have remembered that scene in the past, but this time it kind of hit a new understanding.  Though she doesn't remember saying that to me now, I have thought about that moment frequently.  So what if there is something beyond our understanding?  What if she was in a place before she came to me where they could make a choice?  Whether there is or isn't, her announcement to me was kind of prophetic, especially with the struggle she has been working on overcoming. I used to wonder that maybe she picked me because of what the future held for her. Of what I could do for her.  Recently, I considered that maybe she picked me because of an understanding of the struggle I would be in.  This has been horrible and I wouldn't wish it on anyone--having a child or loved one experience an addiction. It's heart breaking. Having said that, I have grown so much. I am a different person at this moment than I was three years ago, and it is a person that I like.  I am calmer. More hopeful. More understanding. More patient. The list of what I am more of, in a good way, is long and continues to be added to.  I am grateful.

The future has been refreshed.