Friday, March 13, 2009

I Believe....Followed By Random "Idol"ness

We are survivors. Warriors. Mothers of children who left this earth far too soon, and anytime is far too soon. Women yearning to become mothers for the first time. Mothers of children living on this earth, the healthy children and the sick children. Mothers yearning to have another child. Strong, brave, and true...even when it seems we are just surviving. Even when we feel we aren't doing the whole survival thing as well as we should. But, we're doing it. Strong, brave, and true.

I once told my mother that I was truly at the end of my rope. I told her I felt as though I had only two options. I could tie my rope into a noose and step off the cliff. Or I could keep hanging on, even though I was most certainly slipping...slipping because I could only hold on with my thumb and pinkie, and the rope was shredding. My mother's reaction was one of tears and hurt for me. But she and I both knew that I had to make the choice. We both knew that even though she wanted desperately to pull my rope up and save me, it wasn't her choice to make.

She could only give words of encouragement, words of strength and hope. She would have to wait until I got to a point where I could grab her hand. While there are times when others can reach down and pull us up, there are also times when we have to fight the battle ourselves. Find a way to grab that rope with both hands, not just a tiny pinkie and thumb. Hold on with all of our might. Listen to those words from others. Scratch and claw the rocks and dirt, until we are close enough to grab the outstretched hands of those who want to help us.

Some days our surviving, our scratching and clawing, may lead to the seemingly simple feat of getting out of bed. If you are the person finding their way out of bed, it is far beyond a simple feat. Warriors and Survivors, with our vastly different beliefs and circumstances, find a way to hang on, to hold out for better days ahead. I wonder, what keeps you hanging on? Where do you find that inner strength needed to grab the rope and pull yourself up...either all the way up, or just far enough to take hold of outstretched hands?

I believe in God, The Eternal Father. I believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, my Savior. I believe in hope, peace, love, and joy. I have faith in those things. I believe in the sanctity of families and friendships. I believe in prayer and fasting with a purpose. I believe in miracles. I also believe there are times we don't get our miracle. I believe it's ok to wonder and question. I don't understand much of what happens in this great big world of ours. I am finally ok with not understanding. I am also perfectly comfortable with you not believing as I do.

Truth is a personal thing. What is truth to me, truth I believe with every fiber of my being, is not truth to others. And others believe their truth with every fiber of their being as well. My point is that people believe just exactly what they want to believe. That in no way means our beliefs take all the pain away, or that our beliefs right all the world's wrongs. It means we have found our personal method of survival. It means we have found our way to be a warrior, even when we are completely battle weary.

Some of us believe in God, some of us don't. Some of us are religious and spiritual, some of us are neither. But our similarities far exceed our differences. We are open to the beliefs of others. We understand that although we may not always agree, we can and should find common ground. We want to find the good in this life.

So, what do you believe? Where do you find that strength to keep pulling yourself up? It doesn't much matter to me...not in the "I don't care" kind of way. I mean, it doesn't matter to me if you find the strength from God, nature, friends, music...just as long as you KEEP GOING. Keep scratching and clawing your way up that rocky cliff.

And that voice you hear? You'll be glad to know, you aren't crazy after all. It's my voice. Cheering you on. Whispering, sometimes yelling, words of hope and strength. Maybe we have known each other for years? Maybe we just met recently? It's possible we have never even met. But I'm here, and you can grab my outstretched hand whenever you are ready. Because you need to know, I believe in better days ahead. I believe in your ability to survive. And for now, even if you don't believe you are a warrior, that's ok. I'll believe it for you.

And now, for something more light-hearted...and very random.
Because The Captain is currently chief resident, he had a med student from Thailand assigned to him. I've written in the past of The Captain's modesty, his unbelievable humility. But people, I think the Thai med student attempted to change my man! The Thai guy had this to say in an email: "I will never forget you. I will think of you not as a supervisor, but forever as my idol. Meeting you was my best of luck." WHAT? Idol?? NO. No way can I live with a Thai Idol under my roof. To top it all off, the med student gave The Captain a beautiful tie. A really beautful tie. It's made of fine silk, came from Thailand, and is the color of Thai royalty. FanFreakinTastic!! What if he gets some big he starts believing he really is royalty, and royalty doesn't do laundry! Surely you see my predicament? Thanks Thai guy. Thanks a lot.

My last bit of random "idol"ness. I'm sorry. I just can't let this go. There is a lovely young lady on American Idol. She is seriously cute as a button, tatted up, and I love her quirkiness. The problem is, she is just so extremely awkward when she moves. It verges on painful to watch. And I really like her. If any of you know this young lady, do her a favor. Could you just strap her to a chair when she sings? I think this might increase her chances of moving forward in the competition. If you are opposed to that, fine, I'll just close my eyes when she sings.

Happy Friday Snarkettes and Snarkers. Keep on keepin' on!


Rachel T. said...

Wow Nat, yet another amazing blog. Not that I am surprised or anything, but nice work. I often wonder myself what keeps people going when they have nothing. For some its their family, for some its their religon. I have had my bad days, however people ask me what makes me get up every morning and keep going...and Im not sure how to answer than other than I see that there is no other option. This life is meant to be a test. And there will be very very bad days, but I know that there are also amazing days waiting around the corner and those amazing days, while few and far between are worth living for.
As for the Idolness. You know your husband is amazing and that anyone would want to look up to him. Tons of people look up to you as well. I know I looked up to the both of you growing up. You and your husband were who I watched in young womens. Who I wanted to be. Sure I saw you at probably your worst times in your life, but you persevered. And you came out Victorious. I remember looking at you guys with your adorable apartment, your way cool car, your smiling happy personalities, and I remember thinking wow, what I wouldn't give to be them when I grow up. I still think that to this day. You are one amazing woman, and the number of lives you touch on a daily basis continues to grow. So while you are many peoples idols, yes you still have to work, clean and do laundry, but I will still look up to you none the less!

Rachel T. said...

Dang I have to learn not to type so fast so I don't make so many spelling errors. I do know its *Religion and I meant you are others Idol not idols lol. There is only one of you!

K2cole said...

Great post! I admire your ability to write such beautiful word that touch my heart.

How do you keep going? I guess for me it is a combination of sheer stupidity (I am obilivious to most things) and my belief that I am a daughter of a loving God. Each new trial is for my benefit and I never wonder otherwise (stupidity). I am sure in that knowledge, I do wonder how I got to be SO sure because I want to pass that on to my children. Anyway great question and its nice to know we ALL, everyone on this earth, has those times, and it is what we do at that time that makes all the difference.


Amy said...

Thank you for your post. It helped me feel not so alone. I'm one of those that is barely barely hanging on right now. I feel like I'm slipping fast. Thank you for your words of encouragement.


Sue said...

We seem to be on the save wave length today...or at least parallel ones.

You absolutely nailed it with this one. Thanks.

(It's good knowing you are "out there.")


em said...

do you facebook?
i believe in facebook;-)
please see my humor.

KC Mom said...

I'm one of those who is barely making it out of bed...and sometimes I don't at all.
Lucky for me I believe in something...something that forces me to force myself through each day. Right's that I know there is a Father in Heaven who wants me to make the right choices so I can return with and be with him. The right choice is getting up and getting through the day. It's having courage to do so and fighting for the strength it takes.
I love ya. I don't know if you can even comprehend what you do for me and for so many others.
And you know what it means if the Captain is an idol??? They say, by every great man stands an even greater woman...who may be the QUEEN!!

jen said...

I passed on my chance to be the first comment on your post today. One goal I have yet to achieve in this life.
I passed because it really made me think. And I don't think I've reached any complete evaluation yet.
But I'll let you know.
BTW--Really? Megan on Idol? Wow. A first real difference of opinion. Although I totally agree on the dancing thing. Ew.

mom said...

"BEA-U-tiful" blog..... You are so right. Somehow those words just captured all that this life is about...endurance and hanging in there.

I loved it, you know I did. It reminds me of the whole "forgiveness" issue. What is forgiveness? It is whatever you have in you that allows the hurt and anger not to become all consuming and eat up and away at your life. Sometimes, it is truly learning to love the offender and other times it is just allowing them to continue to breathe! :)

That is what hanging on is like...whether you have a full-fledged death grip on the rope with all five fingers or with just your thumb and little pinkie, either way only you control whether or not you will hang on. Many "survivors" can tell their story about hanging on by just a thread with only their thumb and pinkie. As a matter of fact, they typically tell the most amazing stories, b/c they had to find the greatest strength and FAITH to hold on. They had to BELIEVE that stringy little piece of the rope could hold IF THEY could just hold on long enough.

You are a survivor...but most importantly, you are cheering on others....They don't just hear you, Natalie...they FEEL you....that's how they KNOW they are not alone. It is not just a voice, but a push from inside....

On another note...the "strapping to chair" thing made me laugh out loud...really...out loud! As you know that is hard to myself, yep, but an "out-louder" for has got to be some funny stuff and that was funny!
I agree, if you know Megan...PLEASE save her from herself! I honestly have just not ever seen anything quite like that move of hers. Even Papa Snarky's ex-linebacker "dance" shuffle looks good after that!

Oh No.."Captain Idol"... I love it!
That is priceless...not because I don't get it, but because I know how uncomfortable that kind of stuff makes him. I am laughing right now, really laughing. Sorry, "Javed", oops...
I mean "Captain Idol." Don't go getting yourself all "tied" up being an Idol and everything...can you hear me laughing. I love it!

Natalie said...

Rachel, I love you. I loved you when you were a kid, and I love you now.

Karen, thank you for letting me know that this post touched your heart. That means more to me than you could know. Also, I appreciate your honesty about sheer stupidity...I feel that way sometimes too.

Sweet Amy, I wish I could give you a hug. Your hurt is so new, and I am sincerely sorry for your loss. You are not alone!

Sue, anytime I am parallel to you, I am honored. And oh yes, I am "out there"! :)

Em, I have a facebook page, but rarely visit it.

Cheryl, I am so telling Captain that you said I could be Queen! Oh yeah baby. I miss you more than you know. Love you.

Oh Jen, you make me nervous...maybe not so much you, but that word "evaluation".
And to tell you the truth, I need that girl on Idol to sit still when she sings so that I can find out if she even can sing! I am too distracted by the awkward movements to know if she can carry a tune in a bucket.

Mom, I knew the Thai idol would make you laugh for the very reason you stated...he hates attention. And surely you knew I would laugh out loud at the Snarky Papa ex-linebacker shuffle. :)
I love you, so happy we had a chance to catch up today, and with few interruptions. That was strange, wasn't it.

Carly said...

Gorgeous as always, and oddly enough, meant just for me! Not to sound self-centered or anything, but this was just a truly horrible week for me and your post really helped my feelings of loneliness and rejection. (Not only did I get totally blown off by both my parents and grandmother this week, but my daughter has completely stopped saying "mama" and when I ask her to, she yells "dada!" and laughs maniacally, what the heck is that?!) I was just thinking this morning that I'm not at the end of my rope at all, the end was about 50 feet ago, and I'm waiting for the splat! I was on my way out of the hole today and your post just helped me crawl back over the top! Thanks!
And by the way, I totally get what you're saying about Idol. Geez. Great voice, but it's like a Chuck E. Cheese animatronic character set to "awkward shimmy." My husband won't even watch her anymore, he has to fast forward it to avoid laughing too hard.

DawnS said...

Great post, great blog actually. I really like your straight forward writing style. How I get through my rough times... My faith for sure and my daily mantra "This too shall pass..." It reminds me to cherish the good times and also that the tough and broken times will pass as well.

Barbara said...

"We understand that although we may not always agree, we can and should find common ground. We want to find the good in this life."

Amen to that, from an atheist!

I'm still finding my personal method of survival, but a big part of is it the support from people like you who, "don't care" what my method is as long as it works for me.

Thank you.


ps, I think everyone should be an idol to someone at least once in their life. But not for too long!

pps, just received boxes, posting on monday or tuesday!

Lanie said...

You had me at "We are survivors". I am also one of those just hanging on and there is nothing left but to believe in God for me. Thanks so much for coming to visit my blog today and your kind comments. I'm glad you did or I might not have found such a wonderful post to read! I also agree with you about Megan. Cute, beautiful voice, but very awkward. Maybe she could learn to play the guitar or piano so she could just sit down!

By the way. I am a follower already!

Nana said...

Hey NATALIE, Fia Hammond here.Very nice blog, you got people thinking..
What keeps me going in my life is I have his power in my LIFE.If we approach the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He will lead us to those answers.With my understanding that Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy life. He wants us to be happy b'cos He loves us. I bet your kids are all tall and beautiful now. Have agreat day.

Katie Hatch said...

Great post! I just had the day from hell with my toddler. Boy is she sassy. I really don't know how I did it-the tandrums, the kicking and screaming in public! I'm so glad she's finally in bed ;-) I just have to keep reminding myself that this is only a phase, and remember that I LOVE being a mom. The good out weighs the bad, that's what keeps me hanging on!

Gretchen said...

A good and thoughtful post. I do feel like a warrior and survivor. Much of what life throws at us is awful, but temporary - circumstances we can handle b/c we know there is an end in sight. Coping with the permanent loss of my own precious child is not something I ever anticipated for myself and my family. I still question. I'm still angry. I still ache for my sweet boy with desperation - yes, even though I have the confidence I will see/hold him again in heaven. God and I have a new relationship. One based on reality. My authentic searching. And His (often) non-answers. It's not all about me and mine - that, we're clear on. I'm going to keep hanging on for myself, my husband and my living child. But, I think it might always be with a looser grip than others.

TuTu's Bliss said...

From beautiful to hysterical. I love this post!

Fiauna said...

You took it the full range, there. From tears to laughter. Man, you're good! You are my idol.

WishTrish said...

Love this entry! Sounds just like something I would write when the moment catches me. :)

And I'm 100% with you on the whole trunk-twisting idol gal. Poor, poor awkward little dearie.

Just stopping in from SITS to say, "Good Morning," and now I am hittin' your FOLLOW button on my way out. Enjoy your Monday!

karen said...

Great post Natalie. And just what I needed. It was a hard weekend - nothing that would mean a thing to anyone else. Just one of those head-twisty things that make you feel like nothing...again. How do I get through it? By remembering that my family loves me, and that Heavenly Father loves me, and knowing that I need to love myself and lose the ego.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Hanging on to Jesus, the One who holds my rope...and keepin' on like you and the other warrior mamas everyday. Great post.