Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thankful Thursday #22

It's time for the Thankful Thursday gratitude list:

1. My boys will be home tomorrow! They have been on a 2 week wander in the great West. I have chatted with them most days, but I really can't wait to see them and hug them and have really good, long talks with them.
2. Dd and I have had a lovely time together doing what we like -- manicures and pedicures, massages, facials, shopping, watching movies and tv, and sleeping late!
3. I am so grateful that I have made it through this 2 week interval without too much anxiety and stress. I do not like having my people away from home, and am especially happy that I got some sleep on the one night I had to stay all alone.
4. Dd and I took our dogs to the vet this morning for their annual check-ups, and I am happy to report that they are both doing quite well. This is a big relief after having to put Etta down just a few weeks ago.
5. Finally, I am grateful for the time and effort I have been putting forth on my writing. I am beginning to see myself as a writer more and more. I have worked hard to let myself enjoy this outlet, and I am finally getting to the point of happiness with much less stress about it.

I hope you are all having a beautiful Thankful Thursday and find much for which to be grateful.


link up at Women Taking a Stand

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

imperfect prose on Thursdays -- editing reality

I ran across this prompt several months -- RemembeRED -- Your worst memory. initially I laughed at the thought of participating. then there was the familiar onset of nausea, headache, memory pains, etc. the recurrent question, "which one was the worst?" I've written about several of them. some of them I have not been able to put into words. there was my great aunt, my cousin, her mother, the student, and the close family member. I've never been able to rate them. individually they are horrible and grotesque, but taken as a group they are overwhelming.

the worst is maybe not what was done but what wasn't done and what was said. my father's response to two different episodes: "boys will be boys, so you were right to not tell us" and regarding the student, "I can't believe he would be so disrespectful of me". my mother's initial response not to my pain, but what about the rapist's wife. my parents' ability to tell me they just chose not to think about the information after I told them some of the abuse. they were going on vacation and didn't want their trip ruined. their ability to remain in close contact with one of the abusers.

as Laurie Colwin wrote: "She had a picture of the way things should pleasantly be, and she edited reality heavily to make it so." 

other people editing my reality -- my worst memory.

link up at imperfect prose on Thursdays

Wordless Wednesday -- Pinecones

for more images go to Wordless Wednesday
(photo by Alan Pennington)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . May 29, 2012

Outside my window . . . there is a mix of sun and clouds. The temperature is already nearly 80 and it's going to be another muggy day. 

I am thinking . . . about writing. Blogging is good practice, and has been a good way for me to find my voice.

I am thankful . . . that my boys will be home soon. Dd and I have had a good time together, but we both agree we're ready to have everyone home again.

In the kitchen . . . last night I fixed hamburgers, baked beans, and chips for the 2 of us. I also made a big pitcher of non-alcoholic sangria. I hadn't done that in a long time -- forgotten how yummy it is!

I am wearing . . . a big white t-shirt

I am creating . . . multiple crochet projects. A blanket for a friend's daughter; a summer weight shawl for me; a blanket from a new pattern I got; and I just got an order yesterday for another baby blanket.

I am going . . . to stay home as much as possible today. I'm hoping to tackle a couple of "hot spots" as FlyLady would say.

I am wondering . . . about the future. Not worrying -- just wondering. Dh and I move closer each day to being empty nesters. I have realized over the past week and a half, how much quieter the house is without ds and his friends wandering in and out!

I am reading . . . The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
I am looking forward to . . .  the boys coming home! But also getting to the pool for the first time this season. Hopefully tomorrow : )

I am hearing . . . dd getting ready in the back of the house.

Around the house . . . the bonus room is still in chaos and I would really like to get that fixed soon.

I am pondering . . . God's expectations of me. There are the expectations that I was raised with, but they don't always seem to mesh with what I read in the Bible. Plus, I seem to have a difficult time finding my niche in congregational settings.

One of my favorite things . . . is interacting with people in a relaxed environment. I want to develop better skills at creating that kind of environment and opening my home to a wider range of people.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . trying to finish up a few projects before the boys get home and spending a little more quality time with dd.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
latest crochet project

for more visit The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, May 28, 2012

Why I Write

It started out as journaling. A way of getting the swirling thoughts, memories, and ideas out of my head to control the vortex that was sucking me under.
But I needed more.
I needed someone to read what I had written and tell me I wasn't crazy. To validate me.
Initially the only person who read it all was my therapist, the first one. He didn't tell me I was crazy. He told me someday there would be a book in it all. I loved that I idea, but I thought he was crazy.
Later I started letting my husband read it. Once he could work through the pain, he too said, there is a book here. Something to really help other people.
I kept writing. Kept sharing in a limited way, wanting to share more, but unsure of my motives. Was I seeking praise? Did I just want to be the center of attention? Or did I just want someone to know the real me?
I never seriously thought about it helping anyone else much. 
I wrote an article for a small magazine about the abuse and coming through to the other side. It was published anonymously. I edited ferociously. It was true, but not true.
I started a blog. Innocuous stuff at first -- books, recipes, random thoughts, scripture references. I joined a few memes. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but it helped. It made me happy, and it didn't seem to be harming anyone.
Slowly I began getting down to the nitty gritty. The nasty, gut wrenching (although still edited) reality of the abuse. Names were obliterated to protect the guilty. I was terrified of being called a liar -- of the world caving in on me.
Instead I got words of affirmation for my strength, courage, resilience. Words I still have trouble applying to myself. I got comments from others in pain; other people who felt strengthened by reading my words.
Now I write because it is a necessary part of who I am. It is the real me. I still worry about reactions and ramifications, but not as much as I used to worry.
The idea of a book seems less crazy, but I've figured out I can't "do" fiction. It feels too much like the lies I lived with for all of those years. So I find a way to tell my truth; to honor myself; to do those things without seeking revenge, but rather to seek healing for myself and, hopefully, help for others.

(This post was prompted by the following from Write on Edge:
Think for a few moments about why you write.
Then think for a few moments about why you’re writing your work-in-progress (or works-in-progress for so many of us.)
Do the answers to those questions make you feel excited? Motivated? Confused?
We discuss the hows of writing week after week, but the whys are what really keep writers picking up their pens, opening their laptops, and editing their words again and again and again.)

May Joy Dare #4

"Enter the password: 'Thank you!" . . . Thank Him. Worship Him!
--Psalm 100:4

May 21st -- 3 gifts found in little people
1. Lucy's sense of fun
2. playing in the dirt
3. laughter

May 22nd -- 3 gifts that made you laugh
1. seeing "The Avengers" with my daughter
2. shopping for birthday goodies
3. watching my daughter enjoy
her birthday

May 23rd -- 3 gifts found in community
1. commonality
2. individuality
3. camaraderie

May 24th -- a gift in a plate, pot, package
1. birthday cake
2. hot water for tea
3. new books delivered from Amazon

May 25th -- 3 gifts hard giving thanks for
1. sad remembrances that remind 
me of better knowledge
2. surviving staying alone overnight
and recognizing the growth that shows
3. a shift in attitude that saddens me,
but helps me as well

May 26th -- a gift worn, white, whispered
1. a new blue cotton skirt
2. the first diet cherry limeade
of summer from Sonic Happy Hour
3. a purpose searching prayer

May 27th -- 3 gifts found in church
1. A friend's post:
We read John 15:26-27 16:4-15 in various languages(13 to be exact) at once today for Pentecost. It was very overpowering. (I did it in Latin)
by John O'Donohue
3. welcome

Share at:

Made by You Monday -- Roasted Garlic Hummus

Dd and I have developed an affinity for hummus. We'll eat with just about anything, which has led us to try making our own. This past weekend we roasted garlic for the first time and made our own hummus. It's quite tasty. We may tweak it a little next time, but for now it's tasty.
1 whole bulb roasted garlic (I did this at 350* for 30 minutes in a covered Pyrex dish)
1 (15 oz.) can organic garbanzo beans, drained, reserving liquid
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
4 to 5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Remove the garlic cloves from their skins, and add with beans, lemon juice, tahini, and salt in food processor. Process for 10 seconds. Continue adding additional olive oil/bean juice alternately until the hummus reaches your preferred consistency. Keep refrigerated.

link up at Skip to My Lou

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2
New International Version (NIV)

The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost

2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”

for more historical information try this link

Saturday, May 26, 2012

26 :: may

a taste of something new while enjoying spring air

pretty flowers with happy items

 kitchen happiness

 my new favorite summer treat

 hooky goodness


 reminders of dh's talent and love

 a happy little trio in my bedroom

  dragonfly napkins (or serviettes!)

 blooming hosta

my porch swing

All good reminders of how precious and full my life is. No moment need be squandered as there is always something lovely to see.

Happy weekend!

inspired by beauty that moves

Friday, May 25, 2012

Five Minute Friday -- Opportunity

It's the perfect opportunity.
The "boys" are out of town for 2 weeks.
I am going to clean and organize and exercise.
Things are going to be totally ship shape when they get home.

That was the plan last Saturday.
We survived graduation and getting them off to the airport.
Claire and I got manicures and pedicures.
We went home to straighten up before the "girls" came over for dinner and a movie.
I cleaned the kitchen.
And the sink spat things back at me.

Never mind.
We had take out and fun watching an old movie and eating ourselves silly on homemade chocolate chip cookies (thank you, Linda).

On Sunday, I became plumber wife.
I did a lot.
It didn't do any good.

On Monday I called the plumber.
My sink works again.
While waiting for him to arrive I weeded in the front yard.

Tuesday morning Claire and I went out shopping for her birthday.
We stopped for cold drinks.
My back decided weeding had not been a good idea.
We celebrated her birthday, carefully.

Wednesday, I admitted defeat to the pain.

Thursday, I got a massage.

Friday -- it still hurts.

I just hope next week works better.

link up at The Gypsy Mama


Climbing the big stairway was the entrance to a wonderland. Wide pine planks and a handrail that was just a little too high for her to reach comfortably. It was okay, though, she knew those steps and had no trouble navigating them.

At the top of the stairs, she always stopped and just looked around. The stairs came up into the middle of the big room. Looking to her left through the railing that surrounded three sides of the staircase, she saw the sewing machine cabinet, a chifferobe and some slipper chairs. Straight ahead were the windows and window seat, and on either side of them the little slanted doors that led into the attic – fairy doors. As she rounded the top of the stairs to her right, she saw the two beds, one on each wall, facing one another. There was an oval braided rug in the middle of the floor and an antique lady’s dresser on the far wall. Two more windows covered in sheer white curtains let in voluminous sunlight.

This was the happiest place on earth in the daytime, and the safest at night when all four of them snuggled into bed, Auntie and Lucinda in one, Uncle Horace and she in the other. Nothing bad could ever happen in this enchanted space.

She wished she could live here forever.

link up at Write on Edge

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.

for more moments visit SouleMama

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday #21

Thursday comes, but once a week, however sometimes with Thankful Thursday it feels more frequent. Perhaps that is just the faster passing of time that comes with age, or perhaps it is a greater awareness created from marking the days more deliberately.

This Thursday finds me in pain -- pain of my own making. Whoever said "50 is the new 30" didn't think about weeding! I spent about 20 minutes in the front flower bed on Monday, and have been paying for it in spades ever since. 

There is, however, much good news. I had plenty of Tylenol, Advil, and Excedrin in my house. My dd is home a lot, and has been generous with her time, energy, and concern. I have a wonderful soaking tub with air jets, and best of all I have a massage scheduled for this afternoon.

As always difficulties make me more keenly aware of gratitude. My back hurting is no fun, and I haven't really been "a brave little soldier" about it, but I am so blessed by all the things mentioned above. I am so blessed to not have this as an ongoing problem, just a temporary irritant. I do not work outside the home, so there have been no lost wages, and finally, dh and ds are on vacation out west, so it's just dd and me here at home, and we require very little!

So while the pain is less than fun, I am again reminded of blessings and gratitude -- to be thankful in whatever state I find myself.


link up at Women Taking a Stand

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

diary of 5

I am seeing... a beautiful late spring day

I am hearing... the washer running

I am smelling... home

I tasted... English breakfast tea

I am feeling... fairly content
dh and ds at Devil's Tower in Wyoming

Wordless Wednesday -- Loves of My Life

for more images go to Wordless Wednesday
(2nd photo by Alan Pennington)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . May 22, 2012

Outside my window . . . it is a little overcast and in the mid 60's. My front "flower" bed looks a little better since I spent some time out there weeding yesterday.

I am thinking . . . about this day 22 years ago. Today is dd's birthday. It's hard to believe she is that old. She is maturing into such a lovely person and I'm grateful for the growth I continue to see. Happy Birthday, Claire!

I am thankful . . . that the boys (dh and ds) made the first leg of their trip without any difficulty. Today they are climbing Devil's Tower. It's about a 900 foot climb. Ds (and me, too) is a little apprehensive!

In the kitchen . . . there's been very little cooking, as my kitchen sink backed up on Saturday and I finally called the plumber yesterday after trying everything I could think of then some! Dh normally handles these kind of things, and I guess I just don't think about it. Bless him and the plumber!

I am wearing . . . a tank top and pareo that I picked up the last time I was in Mexico.

I am creating . . . all the same things I was working on last week! Lots of crocheting and writing, all with fewer deadlines.

I am going . . . to spend the day with dd. She's getting a facial this morning and has one class to go to this afternoon. Then we are going to see "The Avengers" and out to dinner.

I am wondering . . . about the changes ahead for our family. Ds graduated this past Saturday and I am thinking about the fall (really late summer) when he will leave for college. You can read more about that here.

I am reading . . . The Salt Garden by Cindy Martinusen. I've read this before and I remember really liking it. I recently picked up a used copy and started re-reading.

I am looking forward to . . .  more time to read this summer. I have a stack of books waiting for me: The Alienist by Caleb Carr (which I think I've read before, but can't remember!), Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir...of Sorts by Ian Cron; The Secret Life of a Fool by Andrew Palau; and Body Clutter by Marla Cilley & Leanne Ely.

I am hearing . . . my daughter's constant chattering. She's just like that.

Around the house . . . I had hoped to get started on some projects with the boys gone, but the sink debacle has slowed me down. Perhaps tomorrow I can get started.

I am pondering . . . the possibility of going through dh's clothes while he's out of town. He is a saver, and doesn't appreciate it when I purge for him, but his closet and drawers are overly full. I could make a stack for him to go through when he gets home, right?

One of my favorite things . . . chatting with my kids in the mornings. I love how they come to sit in my workroom and tell me things as I type.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . celebrating with dd today, projects at home on Wednesday, Thursday dd and I are getting massages (yeah, dh!), the rest of the week is open for projects and fun.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
in honor of dd's birthday
and ds's graduation

Monday, May 21, 2012

Made by You Monday -- Squash Cheese Souffle

Yesterday was supposed to be the first batch of Squash Souffle for this summer. Unfortunately, my kitchen sink is possessed and my husband is out of town, so dd and I went out for dinner. Nonetheless I still wanted to share this recipe, as it is one of our favorites. Traditionally made with yellow squash, cheddar cheese, and saltines, we have mixed it up with zucchini, artisan cheese (garden herb havarti, our current favorite!), and Ritz crackers. It’s flexible so work with what you have! 

Squash Cheese Souffle
6 small yellow squash
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crumbled saltine crackers (12-16 crackers)
1 egg
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Slice squash, and boil with onions until tender in salted water. Mash squash and drain. Mix in other ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Bake in preheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serves 6 as a side dish.

link up at Made by You Monday

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Yesterday afternoon, I put my son and husband on a plane to fly out west. They'll be gone for two weeks visiting wonderful destinations like Devil's Tower, the Grand Canyon, Sequoia National Park, and Mount Rushmore. They will hike, climb (Devil's Tower!), rappel, and have lots of time together just the two of them. I am very happy that they'll have this time to make memories that will, as the saying goes, last a lifetime.

On the other hand -- this is longest I've been away from my husband since before our children were born. I've never been a way from my son for this long. It's an odd sensation. I know they'll be fine, and it's not as if we are cut off from each other given that we all have easy access to cell phones, Skype, Facebook, and email, but last night as my daughter and I prepared to go to bed, the house just seemed too big and dark and quiet. Where was my husband laying out his early morning work out clothes? Where were the sounds of X-box emanating from my son's room? And all that pre-bed chatter? 

Claire and I have lots of fun things planned for the two weeks they'll be gone, and I have lots of ideas (too many probably) of great things to be accomplished while they're gone. But I had trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep last night, because things were not as they should be.

Maybe this is a good training period for the fall when my son goes off to college. A good test run to see how I'll fair without his laughter, chatter, and even annoyance and anger around the house on a daily basis.

Then again, maybe I could homeschool him for college.

May Joy Dare #3

"Enter the password: 'Thank you!" . . . Thank Him. Worship Him!
--Psalm 100:4

May 14th -- a gift picked up, put away, put back
1. my husband's camera 
to take photos of new projects
2. my freshly clean laundry
3. the negative thoughts that
Satan drives through my head

May 15th -- 3 gifts about you
1. I've been told I have a great smile
2. I have a talent for crochet
3. I am a certified open water
scuba diver
(this was a hard day to do -- 
I'm not comfortable talking about my gifts)

May 16th -- 3 gifts found in His Word 
1. Ps 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet . . . 
2. Ps 100:4
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving . . .
3. II Cor 12:9
"My grace is sufficient for you . . .

May 17th -- a gift in a box, a bag, a book
1. leftovers from lunch with my son
2. his cap and gown
3. “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” ― G.K. Chesterton

May 18th -- 3 gifts unexpected
1. conversation with my daughter
2. strength from a post I wrote
3. peace for this time of transition

May 19th -- 3 gifts from your childhood
1. imagination
2. music
3. Auntie and Uncle Horace

May 20th -- a gift sweet, sour, salty
1. time spent with my besties and daughter
2. fresh limes
3. Chinese lettuce wraps

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Choices and Consequences

“How are you?” she asks. 

“Not very well, I’m having a hard time,” I reply.

I’m on the phone in my workroom, standing over my computer, too tired to be having this conversation.

“Another flashback? Is that the problem?”

“I have remembered some other things. I just can’t talk about it right now.”

“I’m sorry you’re still having trouble,” she says, and I wonder if I can really say what is in my head.

“I’m going to need to take a break for a while. Not permanently, but just for a while. I just can’t handle talking with you, knowing he’s still a part of your life,” I say it calmly, as if I have the right to say these things to my mother.

She inhales, and says sadly, “Okay. Whatever you need.” The hesitancy and pain in her voice make me think of taking it back, but I’m just too tired. And she always says that, “whatever you need”, but it’s a lie.

“I’ll let you know when I can talk again, but for now if you need something or just want to check in, call or email Alan.”

“I love you.” She never ends a conversation with that. She never says that at all. She’s scared.

I hang up the phone, knowing I’m glad for what I’ve done, but terrified by it.

That was four months ago.

I wasn’t sure about the consequences. I wanted to believe it would be a wake-up call for them; help them come to the realization that I needed more. That things were never going back to the way they were before.

What I’ve gotten is the realization that my mother is sad and scared, convinced that I am in a fragile state – one step away from shattering. My father is angry and it’s impacting his health. What I haven’t gotten is anything different. No efforts to reach out via my husband. Some inappropriate quizzing of my daughter. And a really bad case of martyrdom about my son’s high school graduation.

Those are their consequences.

Mine are different. I’ve had some deep depression. I haven’t questioned my choice, but I have been saddened by the results. And angered. Which my therapist says is good.

It’s been a long time coming, this choice, but I had to get to the point that I could handle the consequences.

5 Minute Friday: Perspective

Time requires perspective.
Perspective requires time.
He is 18, almost 19.
He is 6 feet tall.
He is strong, slender, and beautiful.
He is my son.
Whoever said a mother's love is a dangerous thing was right.
I would do anything to protect him.
I would run in front of a speeding truck and gladly take the hit, just to know he's okay.
He graduates from high school tomorrow.
I'm okay with that. I've still got him for the summer.
But in the fall he leaves my home. It's possible that this will never be his everyday home again.
I know this is the way of things. I want this for him -- his own life, adventures, struggles, joys.
What I don't want is him gone.
From my perspective, once I left home it was never the same.
I didn't want to go back.
Does he feel that way?
Will he come back?
It's different than it was for me. He knows he can tell me anything.
He knows he can tell me how I annoy him. He knows I'll listen.
I didn't have that.
It's just that I'm going to miss his "being" in the house. His heavy steps and joie de vivre.
Time and perspective.
Perspective and time.

link up at The Gypsy Mama

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.
for more moments visit SouleMama

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday #20

My son graduates from high school on Saturday.
How did that happen!?!
I just found out I was pregnant. That he was a boy. I just spent those weeks in the hospital trying to hold on to him. He was just born.
We just survived the constant crying. The early tube placement to ease the pain and hearing loss.
We just finished speech therapy.
Didn't we just finish pre-school and kindergarten and grade school?
Weren't we just homeschooling yesterday? And playing soccer?
Wait didn't we just start high school?
What do you mean he's driving? Dating?
He's 18! How did that happen?
We started his senior year . . . wasn't that just yesterday?
He's graduating?

Thank you, God for giving me this tiny being who has grown into this wonderful young man. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to mother him, and forgive me for all the wrong steps I took with him. Thank you for your grace!

Thank you, Sam for being my son and letting me be your mom. It's a joyous part of my life. I know it doesn't end (thankfully!), but it does change. Don't leave me too far behind, ok? I'm always here for you, but remember I need you just as much as you need me. I love you.

link up at Women Taking a Stand

Relationship Revelation

We were visiting them at Christmas. Sunday morning Chris took Alan and the kids site seeing, while I went to the nursing home with Mary Lou.

She explained that each Sunday, she came to the nursing home to help her father dress and then take him to worship service with Chris and her. I was a little nervous about going with her. I'm not traditionally great with strangers, let alone old strangers.

Mary Lou told me a little about her dad as we walked in. She was an only child and her mother had passed on several years before. Her dad was suffering from some dementia, but he usually knew her. She took him out to lunch and for a drive around the countryside after worship each Sunday, and she tried to visit him at least one other day each week. She spoke with caregivers daily.

We got to his room and she greeted him with joy and love. He was resting on his bed. She chatted with him about his morning, and introduced me to him. He had kind eyes and a loving smile, and he couldn't take his eyes off of his daughter.

They bantered about jackets and gloves, as she led him into the bathroom to change into his church clothes. I was in awe. She was so sweet and loving -- so capable and at ease with this man -- her father. They spoke loving words and little private jokes to one another. I could hear them through the door.

Once he was dressed, we strolled through the hallways at his pace. He and I waited in the warm interior while she retrieved the car. Once he was settled into the car we headed off to meet the others for worship.

Their relationship was a revelation to me. I had never seen a father and daughter so loving and kind to each other. I kept thinking about how I would feel if I were in her shoes. Caring for this elderly man with diminishing memories and a need to always have gloves and a handkerchief. None of it seemed to faze her. I saw nothing but love in her face. She glowed with love and appreciation for him, and he was totally at ease with her and the care she was providing.

It was a foreign concept to me. I marveled at the way love -- true, unconditional love -- comes full circle, with daughter caring for father in the same way he had once cared for her.

Write about a time you saw someone doing something kind for someone else. (inspired byGigi’s Ramblings)

link up at MAMA'S losing IT

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

imperfect prose on Thursdays -- ferries and excavating

I wrote this post:
We are on a ferry
This is the momma I wanted to be. This is the momma I wasn't
Everyone is happy. Everyone looks cute
What you can't see behind the ferry railing, is the abject panic I felt most of the time
The terror that I would fail; do something wrong; let these little people down; let that husband of mine down 
And yet, I look at that picture, and maybe, just maybe it wasn't all as bad as I think it was
We were a family of 4 on a vacation
Maybe we look like we're having fun, because we were
Maybe everyone is assailed by those fears, at least sometimes
What I know is this:
I did fail
I did things wrong
I let those little people down
I let my husband down
BUT. . . 
We are still a family of four
We still go on vacation
We still have fun
And sometimes, we are still afraid
Because bad things happen and leave us struggling to understand, and questioning where to go next
And as long as we keep moving forward
I can be the momma I want to be.

and then just a few days later, I wrote this post:
it rolls over me like a wave, this lethargy.
it shocks me with its intensity, this anxiety.
how can they both exist simultaneously? how can i be exhausted and innervated at one time?
"you are strong, courageous, brave, and spiritual. you are suffering." 
can one person be all those things at one time?
he says, "pray without ceasing. just keep praying."
she says, "breathe. keep doing the relaxation breathing."
how do i accomplish the myriad of other responsibilities when expending all this energy just remembering to breathe?
abuse is incessant. it never really ceases. it simply changes format.

and I wonder how it can flip-flop so quickly. how can I go from seeing to being blind in the blink of an eye.
then I am reminded -- life is a journey. healing is a process. there are no rights and wrongs to feelings. I am excavating. it is hard, dirty work, with lots of dust and dirt and rubble to be moved away. oh, but the discoveries! they are like nuggets of gold and caches of rubies. and they are mine.
link up at Imperfect Prose