Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagine

To think or form a mental picture of; conjecture

But that doesn't really capture it. Imagine conjures up so much more. Hope. Options. Possibilities. The future.

I imagined what my marriage would be like. What my children would look like, and who they would grow up to become.

I imagined my life -- the day to day and the exciting, memorable moments -- and on the whole I got them all wrong.

It's not a question of better or worse, it's just that without the experiences, I can't imagine reality.

And maybe that's the way it is with heaven. I try to imagine it -- streets paved with gold, no tears or sorrow, singing praise all the time -- it's not a question of better or worse (can there be a "worse" with heaven?), it's just that I can't imagine something so foreign to what I am experiencing now.

But here's what I know. It will be amazing and beyond anyone's imagination. It will be God's imaginings, and I do have experience with those through His creation and His gift of His son. It will be so much better than I can imagine.


linking up with Five Minute Friday


Thursday, May 30, 2013

15 Reasons I'm Awesome

Anyone who really knows me, knows this is a tough assignment for me! But I'm giving it my best shot with a little help from a recent status update my husband put on Facebook.

1. I'm a survivor. I lived through some pretty tough stuff as a kid without anyone knowing about it. 

2. I can prepare a simple, yet tasty dinner for guests with only 30 minutes notice. It won't be Martha Stewart, but it will be nutritious, yummy, and frequently attractive.

3. I can make lists like you wouldn't believe. Grocery lists, menu lists, cleaning lists, organizing lists, book lists, craft lists. It's the implementing I get stuck on.

4. I can sing. I did theater in high school and college, and even a little opera. My father-in-law was horrified when he found out my own plans for using this talent would be singing lullabies to my kids. 

5. I love learning. You know how some people spend hours on Pinterest? For me it's Wikipedia.

6. I have an awesome vocabulary evidenced by the recent use of detritus in casual conversation.

7. I can replace an empty toilet paper roll while using the restroom (this skill alludes my entire family).

8. I taught myself to crochet maybe 4 years ago, and can't stop doing it now.

9. I make prayer beads even though I was raised in a conservative Protestant home, and I use them as well. So far I have not spontaneously combusted.

10. I am a fount of random, generally useless knowledge. Hitler drove a red Mercedes to one of his first political rallies. See?

11. Even though I love to read, I avoided actually reading most of the classics by reading the summaries in my dad's copy of Masterplots (this gels with #5).

12. I have 30 + varieties of tea in my cabinet right now.

13. I sleep with a stuffed bunny named Yolie every night. (This may or may not be a reflection of how awesome my husband is, since he puts up with it!)

14. I am able to remember that dirty dishes go to the left of the sink, while clean dishes go on the right.

15. Rumor has it that I am brave, intuitive, sincere, generous, perceptive, wise, self aware, funny, compassionate, and warm (but I'm not sure I buy into all of those).

What are super-awesome skills?


linking up with Writer's Workshop


Love and Redemption

Choose to be happy. That's what the article on my refrigerator says. It's a list of 9 Habits of Super Positive People. I've posted it to help me remember to take the high road -- the positive approach to life. I read it this morning, along with a prayer, and the Four Agreements that also hang on my refrigerator. Later I'll do my reading and prayer from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals. All of this in an effort to keep my spirits from flagging.

Don't misunderstand. I believe these are all good things. I believe that choosing to be happy and approach life with a positive attitude are good things. 

But . . . but, if all I have to do is choose to be happy the logical conclusion is if I'm not happy, then it's my fault. Another failure to add to the list that impedes my happiness.

See there is a certain amount of circular reasoning that happens with these kind of issues, and I don't think it's just me (but I could be wrong). 

The problem for me is how to look at the good and positive that I accomplish and am (because I am a child of God) and not have it all negated by what I don't accomplish and what I am not. 

In my heart I am a black and white, right and wrong kind of person, and yes, that's probably to a large degree the result of the abuse I experienced. Accepting the love of God is hard for me, because I'm still caught up in being 5 years old and believing if I just get it right this time, I won't be abused again. So here I am at 51 deep down believing that if I just get it right (the house is clean, the laundry is done, the meals are cooked, I've exercised, I'm thin enough but not too thin, and I've attended every worship service available) then everything will be okay. 

So I'm still in need of redemption. That's not really news. But it's not because it hasn't been provided. It's because I keep letting go of it, thinking I have to do it all on my own.

And then I see this -- "When heaven is really your motherland, then prayer is really your mother tongue, and you can’t help but yearn to speak in the language of your Father now . . ."  and I stop and breathe. I realize that I'm not alone. Yes God is with me, but so are all these others. Women and men who are struggling right along beside me. And the real issue is that I'm not made for this world. And that's why it's so hard.

So I re-read Micah 6:8 -- 

And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly with your God.

and I breathe in the love and redemption of my Father.

linking up with imperfect prose on thursdays


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . May 28, 2013

Outside my window . . . it's summer and 73 degrees. I need to sweep my front porch, but dh mowed this weekend, so if the pollen's not too bad I may get to enjoy the porch for awhile today.

I am thinking . . . that things are beginning to "normalize" around here. Not that "normal" occurs in my house. Maybe "stabilize" is better word choice.

I am thankful . . . for the first swim of the season yesterday.

In the kitchen . . . burgers yesterday (of course), but tonight is Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Tomato Basil Polenta, and Strawberry Spinach salad.

I am wearing . . . yoga clothes, as I'm hoping to get a relaxation yoga cd in this morning.

I am creating . . . order in my yarn area. It's gotten all jumbled, so I started pulling it all out and sorting it yesterday. I hope to complete the organization today.

I am going . . . to stay home and do "homey" things all day long.

I am wondering . . . about this article that I read yesterday -- 9 Habits of Super Positive People. I think I may post part of it on my refrigerator.

I am reading . . . Mom in the Mirror by Dena Cabrera and Emily Weirenga. Excellent so far. I highly recommend it. And I'm also starting the Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell. It is the first book in the series that the BBC TV show, Wallander, is based on.

I am looking forward to . . . a productive day of organizing and playing with yarn.

I am hearing . . .  birds chirping and the dogs running around.

Around the house . . . dh and I made serious headway on the ping pong table yesterday. We had been letting things accumulate there, so we tackled it yesterday morning.

I am praying . . . for so many people! I have several friends who are pregnant, so I'm praying for them. Also a friend of a friend who had a heart attack yesterday.

One of my favorite things . . . is listening to music. Somehow that got lost over the years of kids' music and TV and chattering children. I've been using Pandora quite a bit lately, and it's reminded me of older music I really enjoy.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a meeting tomorrow, and then the rest of the week looks pretty clear. I need to make another trip to my FIL's house, and a trip to McKay to sell some more used books, music, and movies. Friday night dh and I have tickets to the Sounds baseball game (our local minor league team).

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
let the sorting begin!




Monday, May 27, 2013

The Scrappy Cotton Pillow


Just finished this fun little project last week. I found the pattern here. I used a selection of leftover cotton yarn. Most of it was variegated Sugar 'n Cream colors. I didn't really follow a pattern, just tried to distribute the colors around. It's supposed to be square, but I was never very good at geometry!

I didn't do the reverse single crochet edging, as I had never done that stitch before and didn't like how unevenly it worked up. I substituted a row of double crochet instead. I also wound up using a 16 x 16 pillow form. If I make another one, I'll measure more precisely, and maybe create a button flap so I can take the cover off of the pillow form to change it out.




All in all, though, I'm really happy with it. And I got it completed to use on my porch for the summer.

linking up with Made by You Monday



Sunday, May 26, 2013

More from the Quiet Day

Broken Record

Grandparenting God,
You see our sin as
symptomatic stutter,
self-effacing struggle
to ignoreMichael
the confounding reality
of Your willful
vulnerability:

"I love you
because I can't do
anything else.
I made you,
every last part of you:
all that's hidden
and all that's revealed,
all that's muddled
and even all that's clear.
You are,
at the risk
of repeating Myself,
dear to Me.
You are precious
in My eyes
because...
just because
you are Mine.
That's enough for Me.
And it will have to do
for you.

Wrestle with it
until you get tired
and then relax
and give in.
Take a deep breath
and enjoy."

Friday, May 24, 2013

View


From here, the view, is sunny with white fluffy clouds. There is hope in the air, and a promise of the future.

Before -- back there -- the view was stilted. It was hopeless, clouded, and dismal.

The change in the view came from within. I expected the change to come from others around me, and circumstances shifting to improve the view. What I didn't know is that what I view is colored by how I view. 

Then I was looking at everyone and everything through the dirty, smudged glasses of lies, threats, and fear. Now I'm learning to look at the world through cleaned up glasses that show truth, reality, and hope. It's a process, and I'm not there yet, but maybe being "there" isn't the point.

The abuse laid a filter over of my view. It filtered out some of the good, and eventually, most of the good. I could only see the bad in myself, and when that's all you see it's a dark world you live in.

It's taken a lot of time, work, and effort, but that filter is thinning. I see a lot more good in myself, which makes the world look a lot better.

I'm enjoying the view from here.

linking up with Five Minute Friday


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Validation


Validation is a huge part of recovery. Initially I sought validation from others. I tried talking with family members -- checking their memories of events. Any time they remembered even a small piece of the puzzle it helped me have a little more faith in my own memories. Validation = To establish the soundness of; corroborate. Synonyms --confirm.

So when my sister remembered the night I threw up at my cousin's house, it helped. When my dad volunteered that his uncle's whiskey of choice was Jack Daniels, it helped. When my mother suggested the name of an abuser I could only describe, it helped.

But validation comes in other forms as well. When I called and emailed the girlfriend of one abuser, and she wouldn't respond to me, my counselor showed me the validation in that. I figured she just didn't remember me. His take was different. Maybe I had scared the s**t out of her, because she thought I was going to "out" her.

Ultimately, validation, has to come from myself. I can't spend my whole life waiting for someone else to confirm my own memories for me. Validation is about trusting myself. Trusting my memories. Trusting my motivations. 

It's a long and curving road to that level of validation. I'm further down that road than I used to be, but I can quite see the end just yet.




linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY . . . May 21, 2013

Outside my window . . . it's sunny and warm. We're in the 80's again today. Lots of birds and bugs flying around.

I am thinking . . . that I am blessed. 

I am thankful . . . for my bestie, LBB, and ds who helped me make some serious progress around the house yesterday.

In the kitchen . . . last night was pot roast, roasted tomatoes, garlic potatoes, and green bean casserole. Tonight we're having 4 Bean Enchiladas and spinach salad.

I am wearing . . . workout capris and a sleeveless swing top.

I am creating . . . a pillow for my front porch made from scraps of cotton yarn I have left over from previous projects using this pattern. Almost done. I bought the pillow form today and just have to finish it up today or tonight.

I am going . . . to enjoy being around the house again today, striking some more order before I have to make another trip to FIL's house on Thursday for more packing up.

I am wondering . . . when the pollen will settle down around here. We have been on high alert for a good stretch, and it really makes it uncomfortable to get outside and enjoy the spring weather. Oh well, this too shall pass : )

I am reading . . . Mom in the Mirror by Dena Cabrera and Emily Weirenga. Excellent so far. I highly recommend it.

I am looking forward to . . . getting my summer routine up and running. I'm not sure exactly what it will look like, but I'm making plans.

I am hearing . . .  peace and quiet, and a little traffic.

Around the house . . . huge progress made in the dining room and kitchen yesterday. Cleaned out the china cabinets and all the kitchen cabinets. 

I am praying . . . for all the people impacted in Oklahoma by the tornadoes yesterday.

One of my favorite things . . . is not being over-extended. I am beginning to feel that I'm getting a little control back in my schedule and it is quite lovely.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . not much this week which is just fine with me. More puttering around the house, more crocheting, more beading, a meeting tomorrow, and dd's birthday as well on Wednesday. Then work at FIL's on Thursday, and Friday's looking pretty clear.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
my study spot for last Saturday's quiet day



Monday, May 20, 2013

:: right now ::

I'm looking around at things and seeking lots of changes. in my home. in my kids. in me.

change is inevitable, and sometimes it's good, and sometimes it's not.

but today, I'm celebrating change.

here. now. this way.

:: words from my daughter -- 
Everywhere! Things that had seemed mundane are now bright. But the bright things looking brighter does at times mean the dark things look darker. Yin and yang. Dark and light. This is our world and i wish more people could wake up and truly see it.

:: my son home from college --

:: my return beading, for the love of it --

:: creating my summer environment --

:: playing with yarn for the fun of it --

:: accepting chaos as I work to achieve order --

:: this verse (Isaiah 43:1) --
But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob, 
he who formed you, O Israel: 
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; 
I have called you by name, you are mine.

:: recognizing some truths as I heal --
Effort born out of striving to please God never ceases to tire us. 
Effort born out of resting in his pleasure never ceases to renew us.
peace and blessings to you all 






Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quiet Day Thoughts

Patient Trust

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.

Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ

Saturday, May 18, 2013

{this moment}


A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Holding Hands

Sometimes I wake up with a song in my heart and on my lips. I usually feel it as a gift from God. Some message that He wants me to have for the day. It's a blessing -- a bliss.

I don't get a song/message every day, and I don't believe that means God doesn't have a word for me every day. Some days are songs. Some are scriptures. Sometimes it's a blog post, or a comment on Facebook. I admit to liking the songs best, though. I find myself humming them all day long. It makes me think of walking through my day holding God's hand.

And then I remember -- I'm the one who lets go. He never lets go of my hand, but I let go of His. I don't know why -- I get busy or restless. I forget He's there. I think I'm all on my own. 

Maybe that's when He gives me that extra push with a song. To wake me up, and remind me that He's holding out His hand to me. And everything is better when I put my hand back in His, and listen to His song.






linking up with Five Minute Friday


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Replicated



So Mama Kat wants to hear the story of my birth.

To be honest I don't really remember it. Hardy, har, har!

Lots of people have stories they've heard all their lives about being born. There is a scene in the movie Signs where Mel Gibson's character recounts the birth of each child to comfort his children as they await impending doom. The stories are life affirming and perfect for each child's personality.

But that's the movies.

Here's what I've been told about the night I was born.

When my mother came around after delivering me (this was back in the days where they knocked women out completely), she asked my dad what they'd had. He said a little girl who weighed 8 lbs. and 11 oz. She passed out again. The next time she asked the nurse and got the same answer. Being a little more coherent she asked what year it was. Her confusion stemmed from the fact that when my sister was born 2 1/2 years earlier she had received the same information. Yes my sister and I weighed the exact same thing at birth. That's my mother's story.

My father tells of driving home from the hospital in the early morning hours after my birth and driving past a horrific car accident. Once he got home all he could think about were the people in the wreck and all the blood he had seen. So apparently my birth was surpassed by someone else's tragedy. 

So there you have it the stories of my birth. Inauspicious beginnings. Being mistaken for my sister by my own mother, and causing my father to be traumatized.

It's been the story of my life!


linking up with Writer's Workshop



Taking Out the Trash

It's hard work. This cleaning up after another's life.

My father-in-law died on April 27th. Nearly 3 weeks ago. There have been extra things to do since then. 

Before he died, there was visiting with him, sitting with him, cooking for him. There was much praying for him, and in his later days, much hand holding with him. All extra things to do, but different.

Then it was care and concern for a human life. Prayer for a future life.

Now it is more like taking out the trash. I've been taking out trash my whole life, so I know how to do it. But this time there's a catch -- it's not my trash. It's someone else's, and who am I to say, "This is trash, but this is worthy of keeping because he kept it"?

I am just the daughter-in-law. Not even a blood relative. 

Sometimes I catch myself sounding cold and unloving -- unChristian -- about this man's detritus. 

All the stuff we strive for and hold on to, and when it's all said and done someone else will cull through it all determining it's value. 

So last night I met some men at his house. They were from a local church here in town. They are having a yard sale to raise money for their youth group on Saturday. They loaded up bags and boxes of my father-in-law's clothes and possessions to take for their sale. I was relieved to see the clutter walk out the door, but a little anxious too. It's gone. Irretrievable. 

As they left, one man took my hand, and said, "This is a good thing you are doing. I know it's hard, but it will get better." He talked of cleaning his mother's house out after she died, and how it made him look at his life, and make some changes.

I've talked with lots of people in past few weeks I would never have talked with otherwise. And it's been good for me. I have difficulty connecting with others, but I've done pretty well so far.

And maybe that's the gift my father-in-law left to me. Not his furniture or dishes, but the opportunity to do some reconnecting. To be reminded that I am capable of handling things. Even the hard things.

For me that's the best proof of healing.


linking up with Imperfect Prose on Thursdays


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY . . . May 14, 2013

Outside my window . . . it's sunny and pleasantly warm. A true spring day.

I am thinking . . . that sinus infections should be outlawed. 

I am thankful . . . for time to take care of things around my own house. I spent yesterday cleaning and catching up on laundry. Today has been catching up on phone calls, emails, and handling text messages.

In the kitchen . . . last night was roasted chicken, pinto beans, and spring greens with cucumbers. Tonight depends on what's in the freezer.

I am wearing . . . denim capris, a summer tank top, crocs, and a sweat jacket because it's not as warm as I thought.

I am creating . . . a pillow for my front porch made from scraps of cotton yarn I have left over from previous projects using this pattern.

I am going . . . to keep working on putting things back together in my house. It's such a good feeling when I have the time and energy to nest in my little home.

I am wondering . . . about this quote:
"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise…life is like an old-time rail journey – delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is the thank the Lord for letting you have the ride… "
Gordon B. Hinckley

I am reading . . . Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. Very dark!

I am looking forward to . . . the upcoming summer and opening of the pool at the YMCA. I do love getting my swim in and then lounging in the sun with a good book and a cold drink.

I am hearing . . .  the tv as I type after lunch today.

Around the house . . . the clutter is diminishing . . . slowly.

I am pondering . . . the state of the Union. If I think about it too much my head may explode!

One of my favorite things . . . is striking order. I've said it many times before, but in the deepest places in my heart I love organizing.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . a meeting tomorrow followed, I hope, by the long awaited haircut and possibly a pedicure! Thursday is lunch with friends and a meeting called Women's Mental Health:Navigating Emotional Wellness. Then Friday I'll probably be back at my FIL's house, and Saturday I'm attending a Quiet Day of prayer hosted by Dovehouse Ministries.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
half of the front of the new porch pillow



Bliss


"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he’s been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just ordinary people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise…life is like an old-time rail journey – delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is the thank the Lord for letting you have the ride… "
Gordon B. Hinckley


I met Rachel Held Evans this past weekend. And I told her she had given me a moment of bliss with her explanation of Proverbs 31. She gave me an eshet chayil (woman of valor) for being a survivor of abuse. 

It was Mother's Day. I had told my family in advance what my preferences were for the day (that may not sound difficult, but it is for me), and even stuck to it when son disliked my choice of restaurants for lunch. 

After lunch (omelets and crepes -- son decided it wasn't so bad afterall!), I spent time cleaning off my sitting porch. I'm the primary user of this little porch off the sliding doors from my office/craft/snafu room, so each spring I spruce it up the way I want it to be. This year I've added a chair from my father-in-laws porch, and some of the plants that were sent to his funeral. I also added the new mushrooms my kids gave me for Mother's Day. I know. But I love mushrooms. They are happy.
(ignore the weeds)
Once I'd done all I could on that, I sat in my new/old chair and started crocheting a scrappy cotton yarn leftovers pillow for my chair. With my feet propped up on my makeshift footrest and a big glass of Fresca next to me.

Later there was a nap and then I cooked dinner for everyone.

Here's what I realized about that one moment of bliss. It grew all day. The whole day was really a kind of bliss. Because I followed Hinckley's advice. I thanked the Lord for every little bliss I had that day. Hearing Rachel speak. Meeting her afterwards. The exchange of kind words that felt so genuine and sincere. Lunch at The Perch. Puttering on my porch. Rest and recouping. 

And then I felt ready and recharged to take on my job of wife, mom, friend, and survivor.

Guess what, I am a woman of valor.

Eschet chayil!

linking up with Just Write




Saturday, May 11, 2013

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.


















(photo by A. Pennington)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Comfort

The Republic of Tea makes a tea blend called "Comfort and Joy". I love this tea for the flavor and the name. Unfortunately it is only available at the holidays. Yes -- it tastes a lot like Christmas, but I like the idea comfort and joy in a cup all year long.

Webster's defines comfort as -- to give strength and hope to; to ease the grief or trouble of.

The word itself even sounds comforting. I think of comforters -- big, fluffy blankets to curl up in or under. Rest, peace, comfort.

And then I remember the Comforter. The one Jesus promised to send to his apostles. The one He sends to us. (John 14:26 KJV). And I realize I am promised and provided with the peace of God brought by His own Comforter. 

I am comforted.


linking up with five minute friday



Thursday, May 9, 2013

When Mama Ain't Happy

I lost it yesterday.

In the kitchen with my husband and son.

The anger, hurt, tired, and frustration of the past few weeks hit the breaking point. 

I yelled. I screamed. I may have used some profanity. I slammed cabinet doors and shook my finger in my son's face.

He'd been home from college for just about three hours.

The good news is that I feel better, and they could take it. They seemed to understand on some level, and it doesn't upset them when I yell. Especially since it's not their fault. Actually my son laughs and tells me how to fix the problem, and my husband (a little more experienced with me and anger) cracks a wry grin and nods his head -- a lot.

Once I got past their amusement at my frustration, I found it was rather freeing to tell them how I was feeling. I was even able to laugh along with them at some of it.

We made a plan and clarified some confused communication. I reminded my son that, even though his brain works just like his dad's, my does not. I don't have their genetic make up. Plans must be clearly verbalized. (They are not unlike dealing with Spock on Star Trek. Logic is king.)

So this morning I have a list and a plan. And when that list is dealt with, I'm switching gears to do the things that are important to me. With no guilt. 

Maybe the paranoia, exhaustion, and anger will take a break for awhile anyway.

Lord willing.



linking up with imperfect prose on thursdays


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The 3rd Time's the Charm

Sorry to be so wordy today, but I just had to share this amazing blog post I read. Pass it on.

Elizabeth Smart and the Psychology of the Christian Purity Culture



peace and blessings!

Reconnecting

It had been 16 months since I'd seen my parents.

My father-in-law died a week and a half ago. My husband and I had discussed whether or not to invite my parents to the funeral. We both agreed it seemed petty to delete them.

We've been in touch via email for the past few months. I had to take a break from my relationship with them to focus on my own healing. You'd think they would be instrumental in helping me heal from childhood sexual abuse (as they were not the abusers), but they haven't been. They've dragged me down. Infused me with guilt. Defended at least one abuser while maintaining a relationship with him. 

They say one set of things, but their actions tell a different story.

I had wondered how we might reconnect. I thought there would need to be a cathartic movie scene. Crying, yelling, apologies, brilliant insight -- all set to swelling music with the scene ending in a warm embrace.

It wasn't like that at all. I was pleased to see them at the visitation. Grateful that my mother had arranged to bring food for those of us there. Deeply thankful when she led my daughter away to regroup and get some food.

I sat and chatted with my dad. Nothing of importance. I felt myself beginning to slip into the old persona, but I stopped myself. 

After the funeral, they were complimentary of the music choices, my husband's comments, and a reading I had done. (They are professional mourners, as a friend of mine says, so they tend to critique funerals.)

I took a moment to tell them that I appreciated their giving me time to heal. They assured me they only wanted to do what I needed. I believe they mean that. There are just aspects of the situation that they are unwilling or unable to follow to the logical conclusion.

The next day I got an email from them --


We thought everything last night was appropriate and well done. Both you and Alan did your parts extremely well. We were proud of both of you. We hope all goes just as well today.

Here is our itinerary for the trip. We will be home on Saturday, May --, about 7:00 or 7:30, if the plane is on time.

Thank you for your wonderful response to us.

So now I am back in touch with my parents. I don't know what that means. I don't know if I can maintain appropriate boundaries for myself. 

I hope so. 



linking up with Just Write


The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY . . . May 7, 2013

Outside my window . . . it is partly cloudy with a cold wind. Hopefully the rain is gone and we will see some sunshine today.

I am thinking . . . about trying to get some order around our house.

I am thankful . . . for my bff, Linda, who helped me work on sorting things at my FIL's house yesterday.

In the kitchen . . . chicken and herb tortellini with marinara sauce.

I am wearing . . . my summer weight robe, but I'm wishing I had on something a bit warmer.

I am creating . . . a scarf to give a way, and some prayer beads that were special ordered.

I am going . . . to get my haircut this week or die trying!

I am wondering . . . about the calming effect of my daily Bible devotion. It is amazing to me how much better my days run when I make sure to get those few quiet moments in each morning.

I am reading . . . Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. Very dark!

I am looking forward to . . . another fun day on Saturday with my besties. I am in need again : )

I am hearing . . . birds chirping. 

Around the house . . . we have a nest of house wren (I think) in a box on the carport. The box had been set outside to breakdown for recycling, but the mama bird found it and built her nest in the back corner. We now have at least 3 baby birds! I saw them begging for food yesterday as I was unloading the car.

I am pondering . . . this idea of normalcy. Perhaps what I'm really craving is routine. I find that the older I get the more I like my routine, and the more it annoys me to have it disturbed.

One of my favorite things . . . is planning new crafting ideas. I have orders for prayer beads waiting in my in box, and I've reached the point in crocheting that I can pick something to make "just because". I love that!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . working at FIL's house, fighting the chaos in my own home, date night with dh, and a fun day with the besties.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .