Thursday, April 30, 2009

Do You Think They'll Recognize Me?

This blog is currently undergoing a makeover! A big, beautiful, so-completely-my-style, kind of makeover! And I am telling you, it's exciting!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lighten Up People

If you read my blog (regardless of political party) you most likely have a sense of humor. So come on, you know you want to laugh!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can We Resurrect Common Sense?

On my profile page, I've mentioned that I have an interest in unlocking the mystery of where in this world Common Courtesy, and Common Sense have gone.
I've been searching for them, desperately trying to find them, trying to understand why they left our society in the first place.
I haven't given up in my efforts to find Common Courtesy and bring her out of hiding, but sadly it looks as though there's no hope for Common Sense.
Maybe we could resurrect him? What do you think?

(a big shout out goes to cutie patootie
Hunter Bug for posting this on her blog...I LOVE a smart teen with a sense of humor!)

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by:
his parents, Truth and Trust
by his wife, Discretion
by his daughter, Responsibility
and by his son, Reason

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
and, I'm A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

~Author Unknown

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Library Kind of Day

Ok, I admit it. I don't visit the library often enough. Why? Because it's like some freaky time warp when I get in there. I go in thinking I'll be there thirty minutes tops. (That's how I plan to do it...wham bam, thank you for the books library maam.) But inevitably, by the time I leave, 3 or MORE hours have passed. I think I need to go more often. Princie is A.MAZ.ING.LY calm and happy there. Me too.

It's no secret I want to go back to school. Maybe I should be a librarian? But, I'll have to let my hair grow because it's too short for the whole sexy bun thing...and, I don't need glasses but I know Target sells some super cool fake ones. I have some stilettos, and a pencil skirt (never mind that it's too small...I could work on that while I'm in school). Yep, that's my image of a librarian. If I were going to be one.

It's a 15 minute drive to the library. Around 8 minutes in, I realized Princie had not stopped talking for even one of those minutes. I am serious, I don't know how she does it. I wonder how she even breathes. Anyway, at minute 9, this was the conversation....

Me: Hey, I have an idea. What if we just listen to music and enjoy the ride.

Princie: I am enjoying the ride.

Me: Yes, I know. But how about just thinking about the ride instead of telling me all about it.

Princie: Nahhhh. That's a bad idea.

I turn up the radio. John Mayer's "Say What You Need to Say" is playing. Princie begins singing along...if you've heard the song, you know it's mostly Mayer repeating the words "say what you need to say".

Princie: Now that's a great idea. I like his idea much better than yours.

Then she begins singing: I'm gonna say what I need to say, say what I need to say, say what I need to say, say what I need to say..........

And on and on she went for the next 5 minutes.

Thanks John Mayer. Thanks for your great idea.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Tribute to the Real Life Steel Magnolias

I could go on and on about this 10 minute clip. But really, my words are not necessary. Every second of the clip is pure and true to life. It's all there: sadness, grief, sorrow, anger, judgement, passion, friendship, empathy, joy, laughter, peace, redemption, forgiveness, fear, love, and hope for the future....just like the lives of each and every one of us...regardless of the struggles we face.

And yes, there are times in this blogging world when I feel a bit like Ouiser...people would really like to take a punch at me and have a tshirt boasting that they did. Oh well, it's okay. I don't mind takin' a few hits for team Steel Magnolias.

Friday, April 17, 2009

No Patents Pending

This is going to go over like a ton of bricks. I'm already gearing up for the horrible comments. A half-gallon container of cookie dough should do the trick. Also, to Snarky Mama and my dear readers who care about my worries. I mean it. This post was not sparked by one particular incident, or one specific person. These are thoughts that have been brewing for WEEKS. Seriously, I mean weeks. So, there's no real "back story", I promise. And when I write to "you", I'm being very general.

Before I get started, I want to thank the sweethearts (CleverGirl and
Sarah) who nominated me for the "Sisterhood Award", as well as the other mothers of lost babies that I've met through blogging...the ones who see me for the woman and mother I am, and refrain from judgement. You can't imagine how much I appreciate you, and your kind comments. Thank you for understanding that it's acceptable, a good thing even, to find life after loss. I have never met you, but I love you. You know who you are.

The rest of this post is the blog equivalent of skating on thin ice. But, this is my blog. And it's all about unlocking the silence, my silence. Obviously, as I do what I come to this spot to do, there will be those who do not want to hear what I have to say. I feel pretty confident this will be one of those times.

Over the past weeks, I've been thinking a lot about patents. Not the ones you find in the world of inventors and businesses, but other kinds. Patents on grief, patents on Christianity, patents on political opinions, the list goes on and on. I it just human nature? This drive to believe we are so unique, to believe our experiences are so unlike anyone else's, that they warrant our holding patents on such things as universal as grief and opinions?

One of the greatest lessons I've learned in my life is that it's unnecessary and thoughtless to compare our pain to that of someone else. What rips your heart to shreds, what suffocates you to near death, will not be the things that hurt the person next to you. No one holds the patent on suffering, and why would anyone want to?

There are some who feel I don't belong in a "circle" of mothers who have lost babies. Why? Because my daughter died 12 years ago. Apparently if she had died 12 days, 12 weeks, or 12 months ago, I would be welcome. Unbelievable.

If you feel that way, I want you to know that I truly understand your grief and anger. If you took the time to read any of my "Posts that Matter", you would quickly see that I was a shattered woman for many years. My heart breaks for you. I am deeply sorry that you are in such agony.

But the fact remains that I am saddened by any exclusion in the world of motherly sorrow and loss. Forget about me. It's unsettling for me to think of any woman in need of healing and support being pushed aside because her loss does not fit certain criteria. It's unfortunate this happens. I've heard from women who have felt the sting of exclusion. Heartbreaking. To insinuate that a person's pain is not raw enough, not recent enough, to warrant her as a woman on a grief actually makes me feel sick. My grief no longer holds me hostage, and I have found peace and solace, but I will forever be on a journey....just like every woman I know (whether she has buried a child or not). There are countless journeys to be made in this life. Each one is of vast importance to the person doing the travelling.

I will never apologize for the woman I am today. I won't do it. It would be a slap in the face of so many who helped me on my journey...first and foremost, my Savior. But also, my beloved husband (I was so terrible to him, he really could have just walked right on out the door, never looking back) and my precious angel daughter. I often questioned if she even knew me. Now I know she was always there, cheering me on, when I felt utterly alone and wished this life would end.

Come to think of it, to apologize for being the woman I am today, would be a slap in my own face. I did my grief work. It was excruciating and I was pretty sure I might die. But, I did it. No one will take that victory from me, and I won't say I'm sorry for the results.

I greatly admire
Dr. Joanne Cacciatore. She wrote this on her blog today: "Elie Wiesel said that 'whosoever survives the test, whatever it may be, must tell his story....that is his duty.' Within that duty, implicitly, is the necessity to help others who also fall into the darkness of the human experience. If no memory remained of our sufferings, how would we tell our story? Would our story really be our story at all?"

So, I tell my story. Do you think I've forgotten how silent that delivery room was? Do you think I have forgotten how it felt when the nurse took my daughter from me. I was crumpled in a helpless, wailing and heaving ball on that hospital bed...there was nothing I could do, I knew my precious child would be spending the night of her birth in a morgue. Do you think I have forgotten how quickly the short time we had with our daughter passed? How I just wanted one more moment with her, just one more? And her funeral? I will always remember that as I left my daughter's grave, I believed I was a miserable failure...unworthy of being called a mother. Do you think that I don't fear the loss of the three children I've had since Victoria? It's the only thing in this life that I'm afraid of. And I find it so terrifying, just the thought makes my chest hurt and leaves me feeling as though I can't breathe. Every time I'm asked how many children I have, or each time we take a family picture, I am painfully aware that someone is missing. Twelve years doesn't erase a thing. The pain just becomes less suffocating, less all-encompassing.

But, there is more to my story than pain and suffering, more to me than hurt and despair. If my unlocked silence brings you nothing positive, please don't read what I have to share. As a mother who has walked the path you now face, I would hope you only do those things that help you find solace. If you don't find it here, just know that I wish you, from the depths of my soul, peace and happiness. You are tremendously blessed to have the blogging world, where you can find other's who are hurting as you are. It's a resource I didn't have when I lost my daughter. I felt that no one around me could really understand. I had to edit most everything that was going on in my head. I won't ever do that again, regardless of how much time has passed since my loss.

I will not apologize for finally choosing to find joy in this life. There will be no apologies for my love of laughter. I will stand as a testament to others who are hurting. You can do this, you will survive. Thankfully, I have come miles and miles. I pray the same for you. Each one of us has paid our dues, in rivers of tears and pieces of broken hearts. And I can guarantee if someone ever tries to push you out of that "circle", the one you never wanted to join in the first place, you'll be hurt too. There is no patent on grief and suffering.

I will not apologize for my political fire. There's a lot wrong in this world. I won't be the woman sitting idly by, watching things unfold before me, as if I have no say in this life. You feel I am too "angry" about politics. Could you explain to me why I shouldn't be? If I'm not mistaken, women wouldn't even have the right to vote if somebody hadn't been "angry" about politics as usual. If people hadn't been "angry" about politics as usual, an infinite number of things in this country would never have been improved upon. And tell me why I shouldn't be angry about own government feels the agendas of the ACLU, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood are more important than giving me a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for my child!

But, you're probably right, I shouldn't be so "angry". Pretending it's not happening, or better yet, just hugging each other and throwing up a peace sign, well that's gonna fix it all. No one holds the patent on political opinions. Just because you disagree with me doesn't make you correct, and vice versa. But, when a group of political activists' opinions on the "legal status of a fetus" outweigh opportunities for grieving parents to be issued certificates for their babies, you can bet I'm gonna go with "angry".

I have every intention of raising this country's awareness of stillbirth and the issues surrounding such loss. I want to be involved in changing the way we view death and mourning. Those of us who have experienced stillbirth know all to well the silence. I am not speaking only of the silence of deliveries. I am speaking of the silence we find as we make our attempts at redifining our lives after loss. The silence I know pains so many mothers and fathers. I will work until my own death to make certain the silence surrounding stillbirth is unlocked. There are many others working to do the same. Carly is truly a treasure. Her sweet spirit touches thousands upon thousands. I have thought how I wish I were more like her. You visit her blog, learn about her projects, and you will only feel uplifted. She is amazing. I am not. Carly has a gift that I don't have. I am in awe of her. She accepts me, snark and all. That isn't to say she agrees with all that I write. But, Carly has helped me realize that each of us plays a very individualized role in unlocking the silence of stillbirth and baby loss. Thank you Carly.

If you knew me you would know that I'm actually quite enjoyable to be around. There are certain issues that cause me to feel angry, but they do not dominate my life. I understand that you feel anger dominating a life is ok, as long as that anger is due to grief. Since my anger is directed politically, you make the incorrect judgement that I'm an angry person.

Lately I've noticed the word snarky getting a bad rap. You choose to believe that because I happen to get a happy kick out of a good dose of sarcasm and snarkiness, that I'm incapable of compassion and that I'm intentionally controversial. Ridiculous. Guess I'm a bit of an oddball...I find sarcasm and snarkiness entertaining. You don't? Whatever. Bite me. (fyi: that was just a little snarky joke, and shouldn't be used against me in your quest to label me as an angry elf)

I guess the bottom line is that I'm just really not going anywhere. This is me, in my spot, doin' what I do. Love me or leave me, that's the beauty of the blog. I'm happy. I love my life, even with all of its unsolicited adventures and stresses. I have a wonderful husband, four precious children, and faith capable of moving every mountain meant to be moved. There are stresses and tears in my home, but it's more often flooded with laughter and good times. I know God lives. I know my Savior lives and loves me. I'm finding joy and peace in my journey, even on the crappiest of days. I hope you can too. Because, there's a ton of joy and peace to go around, especially considering the fact that no one holds the patent on either of them.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Answered Prayer

**UPDATE** Since posting this, I received a reply from Dr. Williams. He wrote: "Thanks for the compliments and the link. I need all the moral support I can get in my battle against America's Huns and Vandals.Cheers."

So lately I feel an almost constant knot in my stomach. I know it has to do with all that is happening in my family life, but it can also be attributed to something bigger. My country. I feel as though I'm taking a terrible ride on a pendulum. I love this country, and I'm grateful for the countless blessings it brings. You know that. But, I just have to say..... I am sick and damn tired of the assault on my family!

We are a family of white, Christian, conservative, law-abiding, legal U.S. citizens. We believe in the right to bear arms, the sanctity of human life, and personal accountability in all things. We believe capitalism is NOT the problem, but materialism most definitely IS. We want the freedom to choose for ourselves who will be the recipients of our charitable donations. We hold firmly to the belief that those who receive our tax dollars, through social programs, should be actively participating in bettering themselves and their communities. We are less interested in giving a hand-out, and far more concerned with lending a hand-up, far more concerned with teaching marketable skills and trades. We believe in defending the defenseless. We do not believe in people being accepted to law, med, or any other kind of school because of their skin color, ethnicity, or gender. We believe our nation should unite in efforts to better our public schools and make certain opportunities abound for all Americans...yes, that includes my white boys! I resent the fact that many believe my sons and/or husband should be punished for the sins of idiotic, evil slaveowners and other men who almost completely destroyed this nation due to their greed and perversions. We believe in treating the American flag with respect as well as knowing the words to our national anthem. We feel that if you believe socialism works so beautifully, you should probably move to Venezuela. I'm sure Chavez would welcome you with open arms.

Based on the above, most of the media, Hollywood, and entirely too many of our political "leaders" would have you believe the following about my family:
We are intolerant, insensitive, and narrow-minded. We are warmongers. We are ignorant racists. We are elitists, hell-bent on leaving poor people to starve and rot in the streets, because surely they did something to bring their situation on themselves (or they're probably just lazy, so we'll teach 'em a lesson). We are a family with hearts of stone, greedy pigs who want everything for ourselves, and we will trample all over you if that's what it takes to get what we want. We want more, more, more of everything! We are overindulgent, egocentric Americans. We are afraid of immigrants because somehow they will lessen who we are as white people. We believe abortion is strictly a black and white issue, there is no gray area, and women who choose this are going straight to hell. Gay people are scourges of humanity. We are incapable of compromise. We are not capable of deep thought, you know the really intellectual things that make you go "Hmmmm". We are greatly lacking compassion.

It's all so ridiculous. But I'll tell you, quite frankly, what I am...pissed. Enough already. Leave us alone. You don't have to agree with me. In fact, I could not care less if you agree with me or not. Just stop attacking my family, and families like mine, based on your jacked-up assumptions of who we are. The very people who judge families like mine are those who shout about tolerance and treating others with respect. Guess that philosophy only applies to those they deem worthy. Interesting.

So, what about the answered prayer? I want to keep this fire I have for politics. I want to remain active and undeterred in speaking up, but I don't want the knot in my stomach over all of it. My answer came this morning as I just happened upon the website of Dr. Walter Williams. (Many of you already know exactly who he is.) I spent quite a bit of time reading his articles, and learning about him. End result: I think I'm in love. (No worries Captain, not the romantic kind, just the admiration kind of love.) I even called Dr. Williams' office. Then, I sent him an email. Does this qualify me for stalker status? Uh-oh. No, I think I prefer the term super fan.

Anyway, his words relieved me. I felt a sense of letting go. Just knowing that he is out there, writing words of wisdom for so many to read, it made me feel better about things. I think I'm just overly emotional lately, but this man's words actually made me cry...that is how thankful I am to have found his site. After you read the article below, check out his gift to people of European descent. Also, you can go here to read more of his syndicated columns. So worth your time!

A Nation of Cowards? By Walter Williams (February 25, 2009)
Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States is "a nation of cowards" when it comes to race relations. In one sense, he is absolutely right. Many whites, from university administrators and professors, schoolteachers to employers and public officials accept behavior from black people that they wouldn't begin to accept from whites. For example, some of the nation's most elite universities, such as Vanderbilt, Stanford University and the University of California, have yielded to black student demands for separate graduation ceremonies and separate "celebratory events." Universities such as Stanford, Cornell, MIT, and Cal Berkeley have, or have had, segregated dorms. If white students demanded whites-only graduation ceremonies or whites-only dorms, administrators would have labeled their demands as intolerable racism. When black students demand the same thing, these administrators cowardly capitulate. Calling these university administrators cowards is the most flattering characterization of their behavior. They might actually be stupid enough to believe nonsense taught by their some of sociology and psychology professors that blacks can't be racists because they don't have power.

What about Holder's statement that America is "voluntarily segregated"? I say, so what. According to the census, in 2007, 4.6 percent of married blacks were married to a white; less than 1 percent of married whites were married to a black. While blacks are 13 percent of the population, they are 80 percent of professional basketball players and 65 percent of professional football players. Mere casual observance of audiences at ice hockey games or opera performances would reveal gross voluntary segregation. What would Holder propose the U.S. Justice Department do about these and other instances of voluntary segregation?

Attorney General Holder's flawed thinking is widespread whereby people think that an activity that is not racially integrated is therefore segregated. Blacks are about 60 percent of the Washington, D.C. population. At the Reagan National Airport, which serves D.C., nowhere near 60 percent of the airport's water fountain users are black; I'd guess blacks are never more than 5 percent of users. The population statistics of states such as South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their populations are black. Does that mean Reagan National Airport water fountains and South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont are racially segregated? If Holder does anything about "voluntary segregation" at the state level I hope it's not court-ordered busing; I'm not wild about their winters. Just because some activity is not racially integrated does not mean that it is racially segregated.

The bottom line is that the civil rights struggle is over and it is won. At one time black Americans didn't share the constitutional guarantees shared by whites; today we do. That does not mean that there are not major problems that confront a large segment of the black community, but they are not civil rights problems nor can they be solved through a "conversation on race." Black illegitimacy stands at 70 percent; nearly 50 percent of black students drop out of high school; and only 30 percent of black youngsters reside in two-parent families. In 2005, while 13 percent of the population, blacks committed over 52 percent of the nation's homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer. Such pathology, I think much of it precipitated by family breakdown, is entirely new among blacks. In 1940, black illegitimacy was 19 percent; in 1950, only 18 percent of black households were female-headed compared with today's 70 percent. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

If black people continue to accept the corrupt blame game agenda of liberal whites, black politicians and assorted hustlers, as opposed to accepting personal responsibility, the future for many black Americans will remain bleak.

Born in Philadelphia in 1936, Walter E. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University (1965) and a master's degree (1967) and doctorate (1972) in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles. Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I Think the Tunnel Might Actually Have an End

I feel a tantrum coming on. I miss Georgia already. I want to live there. NOW.
Not in July. Now I say, NOW. And yes, I am stomping my feet and slapping things around. Ok, I feel better. Glad to have gotten that out of my system.

So many exciting things are happening. I've got to learn how to manage "good stress" as opposed to the bad kind. I'm a pro at handling "bad stress". It's second nature to me. But the good kind makes me nervous. I keep waiting for that punch straight to the gut. Last night Snarky Mama told me to "stop borrowing trouble". She's right, as usual. It's just a strange phenomenon to me...hard work finally paying off, coming out of the tunnel after so many years of following the light at the end of get my drift.

The Captain & I have been married for almost 16 years. We finished our undergrad schooling together. It was rather uneventful. And then, someone must have yelled "ACTION" because these are the major things that happened next, minus your day-to-day stresses (to get the full affect, read this list aloud without taking a breath): we moved to Dallas, The Captain went to Chiropractic school, we buried a child, I taught school, we had Eleven Year Old, we moved to Mississippi, we opened a Chiropractic/Wellness Center, we realized we were beyond naive (and that's putting it SO very mildly), I continued teaching, The Captain joined the Army, we had Seven Year Old after a difficult pregnancy, three days after my c-section The Captain left to start med school, two weeks after c-section the boys and I joined him in Kansas City, I started working from home, we had Princie, moved to El Paso for internship, I continue working from home, moved to Maryland to complete Residency at Walter Reed, more working from home, The Captain is working a ridiculous amount of hours, I start teaching preschool, new orders informing us of our upcoming move to Georgia, Residency will be over in June........

What? What's that I see? Am I finally seeing more light than tunnel? Ok, so I can breathe now? Is that what you're telling me? I like the sound of it, I really do. I'm just a little skeptical. I'm nervous. But, as of now, I'm going to try and focus on what's right in front of me. While all of the exciting things happening bring with them a level of stress, it's a good kind. And, I'm thankful for what's up ahead, at the end of the tunnel. (Even as I write this, a tiny voice in the back of my mind says: "But you don't really know what's up ahead, you better not get too excited?") Ughhh, what is my problem?!? Am I greatly lacking in faith? I don't want to think so, but maybe that's just exactly what my problem is.


In order to follow that advice, I won't be around much this week. I have GOT to start working out, and I tend to blog in place of exercise. This week, I will be getting myself on a routine. I'll be clearing my head, and making decisions. Then, I'll be ready to roll in this spot again. For now, I leave you with some of the many things running around in my head:
  • buying a house
  • Princie beginning OT
  • my upcoming blog makeover (YIPPEE!)
  • my business idea
  • The Captain told me it's highly possible he could be deployed six months after we move to Georgia
  • choosing the best neighborhood for our kids
  • Eleven Year Old beginning middle school in the fall
  • Princie going to Kindergarten in the fall
  • Seven Year Old will be baptized in I doing enough to get him ready for such an experience...probably not
  • the letter I'm writing to the head of the Southern Baptist Convention
  • my tribute to some lovely ladies (way past due)
  • my essay on the "Princess Mentality"
  • the mountain of laundry waiting for me upstairs
  • the fact that I would rather dig a ditch than work out
  • responding to the Sisterhood Award
  • why do people care what kind of dog the First Kids have
  • why do left-wingers, and the media, enjoy perpetuating class warfare
  • why do I like food so much
Ok, I'm just going to stop now. It's official. I'm a whackjob.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Will I Make It???

So, I'm sitting in an IHOP in Georgia. (Mmmmm, stuffed french toast with strawberries.) We are neighborhood/school hunting. We just held a family vote, and it's unanimous. We already LOVE it here. Feels like home. Magnolia trees, people smiling and actually saying thank you when The Captain or Eleven Year Old hold doors open...I could go on, but the troops are ready to head out to the next neighborhood.

Just wanted to let Y'ALL know that from now until Monday, I'll be unplugged. Will I make it? I guess so, but you will be soooooo missed!! When I don't leave comments for you, just remember it's because I'm unplugged, not because I don't love you dearly!

Happy Easter, a few days early!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Peace on a Sunday

During this current journey (and believe me, it's a journey) with Princie, I've felt intense feelings that honestly, I haven't felt in years...doubt, fear, anger. While I'm normally a realist, I've been feeling pessimism gnawing its way into my thoughts and feelings. I have begun to question my ability to be a good mother. I fear that my sweet girl will push peers away, and feel lonely. I have even felt anger towards my Heavenly Father. Thursday night, I had a little chat with Him: "Haven't I suffered enough already? I've buried a child. Do You remember that? Well, You should because my firstborn child is with You now. Could You please look at her, and remember how losing her ripped my soul to shreds? Could You please look at me? Remember how far I've come. Do You remember the days when I just wanted life to end? Do You remember my pleas, my sorrow? But, look at me now, I survived. You helped me. Why do I have to feel heartache again? Why do I have to feel so helpless with regards to one of my daughters...again. Ok, granted it's absolutely nothing compared to losing a child, but still, my heart is hurting. I am truly, sincerely thankful that nothing we face with Princie is life-threatening. But, I think it really stinks that we even have to take this walk. Over the years (even as a child) my life has served up heaping helpings of hurt and heartache. It would be greatly appreciated if You could just ease up on me a bit."

No, I don't expect life to be an easy path to maneuver. Yes, I understand it isn't all about me. No, I don't believe that just because I had learned a multitude of life's lessons before I was even 25, the learning should stop. No, I don't expect that because I buried my oldest child the rest of my life should be a pain free cakewalk. Yes, I know there are countless others who have and continue to suffer far beyond anything I have experienced. Far beyond anything I will experience in years to come. No, I don't wonder why me. Yes, I realize that although I've experienced great hurt and pain, I've also been blessed beyond belief. No, that fact is not lost on me.

But Thursday night, I was exhausted. I won't lie to you. In that moment, I could only think a few things. I can't bear to watch another "meltdown" like I just watched. I've already felt enough pain in my life. I deserve healthy, happy children. Was my prayer selfish? Probably. But I made a promise many years ago that I would never speak to my Father in Heaven as anything less than a friend. And, the words I spoke that night, they were the words I would've spoken to a dear friend whose help I needed. A friend who knows that I understand this life, with all of its lessons: sorrow, joy, disappointment, fulfillment, despair, hope. A friend who also understands that sometimes we have to vent. We let it out, or face internal combustion. My Friend, He knows.

I know He hears me. He hears each one of us. I know that pain isn't erased just because He hears. As I prayed that night, I knew the truth. My learning didn't stop after the lessons taught with Victoria. The very nature of this Earth and this Life did not change because I buried a child. My nature changed. And because of that fact, I can dig down deep, remembering who I am. I will make it on this journey. I will be open to all that my Friend and Princie have to teach me. And, I will remember this: Just as I know that God did not "give" Victoria Trisomy 18, He did not "give" Princie sensory integration struggles. But, He will most certainly give me strength, and peace, and the power to endure. I have felt the refiner's fire before, I'll feel it now, and I'm quite certain I will feel it in the future as well.

Valsy sent me the following video. It pierced my soul. It reminded me of who I am, who each of us are, and the power that lies within. Every part of it touched me. I found it interesting that when "pessimistic" and "criticizing" thoughts/words were mentioned, the dark shadow was pointing back at the person. Do we forget the harm we can do to ourselves? I believe we do. Thank you Valsy, I needed this. Oh, and the background's on my's what I wake up to every morning!

Please don't be turned off by the words about sin below. I promise the video is uplifting and inspiring...not a call to repentance. So, here's to all of you. Readers, and closet-readers. Christian, Jew, Atheist, and Agnostic. It doesn't matter to me. You know I am a Christian, but there's something in this video for everyone. Doesn't matter who you are or what you believe. My hope and prayer is that something in this video touches your soul, brings you peace and respite, even if only for a moment.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tshirt, Tshirt, Who Gets the Tshirt?

Princie had one of the dreaded "meltdowns" (the kind that leave me physically exhausted and emotionally spent afterwards, the kind that make me cry tears of sadness for her) right around 6 p.m. So, she wasn't able to draw a name. Luckily, the boys were more than willing to step in and take over her duties. But, they refused to pull a name from the pink Cowgirl hat. We went with The Captain's favorite Cardinals cap instead.

And the winner of the super cool Spread the Word to End the Word tshirt is.....

Congratulations FIAUNA! Hooray for you...insert confetti, squeals of delight, and ticker tape! Thanks so much to everyone who participated! You can still go here if you would like to order your very own super cool tshirt. Peace, love and defending the defenseless. Way to go people! Fiauna, send me an email with your info, and I'll be mailing you a shirt!

You People ROCK!

Comments make my day. The kind comments, the insightful ones, the uplifting, the jackass jerk remarks, the plain ol' nasty comments...all of them, they all make me happy. It means something you read struck a chord. But I'm no idiot. OF COURSE the good comments far outweigh the others in terms of my happiness. And that's how I felt with my last post, the comments made me feel happy. Such insight and courage in sharing your experiences. Your comments made me so appreciative of and committed to the R-word campaign. It feels good knowing how many of us are dedicated to something so worthy. You people are smart, kind, honest, and open to bettering this world. In my book, you ROCK!

Because some of you may not go back and read the comments, I have listed some that really touched me, really made me think long after I read the comment.

~I decided then and there not to say it ever again. I even prayed for help to think about what I was saying before I said it.
~[do] a real self-inventory
~I think because of it [political correctness], our society has become way too touchy, but when it comes to the people who have it much harder than us because of their limitations, there is no such thing as too touchy.
~Unfortunately, unless "it hits home" sometimes we just "don't get it."
~For me, it is not about being politically is about being correct...getting it right.
~I don't look down at people who say it. I just feel like crap when they do.
~The Bible says out of the mouth the heart speaks. The R word doesn't speak what I want my heart to say.
~a little sensitivity to how our words affect others would be nice.
~that was one of the defining moments of my entire life. I packed up my lunch, got up from the table of cool kids I was close to my whole life (small town living you know) moved tables and never went back.
~until then I probably did not think too much about people saying those things and had, more than once, been as guilty as the next person to laugh or snicker, like a lot of kids do...but, that for me was a "game changer."
~I plan to have my boys visit the [r-word] website.
~Sadly, those young "cool kids" missed out on the blessing of interacting with special needs kids. By seeing these kids as just an "R" word, they missed out on a whole dictionary worth of words that these special individuals could have taught them.

And this one: It's about defending the defenseless. How true is that one sentence?!? It speaks volumes, and sums up the entire issue. That statement explains why this campaign sucked me right in. The defenseless. I kept wondering why campaigns to end the vile, cruel words thrown at every group on the planet have not touched me like the r-word campaign. I am certain it has to do with
Victoria, as well as other children I don't know, but love dearly (those of my baby lost mama blogging friends and those of my blogging friends who have beautiful, living children facing struggles). Because of these children, I am obviously emotionally attached to the issue.

But my being pulled to this campaign also has to do with the fact that every ethnic, racial, gender, sexual-orientation, religious and political group has slurs thrown at them (even whites...I'm very bothered that my son has been taunted with words like "whitey" and "preppy cracker"). I don't care what your color, religion, gender, or sexual preference calling is wrong. I think it's disgusting, and I teach my children those words are despicable. The difference is that the above-mentioned groups are not defenseless. They have advocates fighting for them, and calling for media cameras anytime offensive words are used. And, even if they were alone, they could stand up for themselves and fight for what is right and good. There is a tremendous difference between being offended and being defenseless.

I have always been drawn to the defenseless. It was taught in my home. I can honestly say that my brothers and I did not call each other names. It was absolutely unacceptable. We were taught that family is the greatest blessing you have, so why would you even consider harming them with words, or in any other way. And, we were taught to cheer for the underdog, to look out for those we came in contact with who couldn't look out for themselves. I value those lessons as the second greatest my parents taught me. The greatest being love for and faith in our Heavenly Father, and Savior.

I'm sincerely grateful for this reminder to defend the defenseless. Become an advocate for individuals who need us most. They definitely have the most to give in return.

Princie will pick a winner's name from her Cowgirl hat at 6:30 p.m., if you haven't left a comment on the "No More Useless Words" post, do it before 6:00 p.m.!