Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ice Ice

2017 started rough - a dying cousin passed away.  Living 1000 miles from my homeland, I've missed many funerals, weddings, gatherings and family time which is the result of loving my Kansas man!  But I also pick and choose - so this time, when my beloved cousin who was like a little brother to me in many ways, passed on to be with Jesus.
I had to go North.
I took two (half) of the kiddos and we hit the road hard - winter travel when you head to Canada isn't a given and I knew that we would navigate ice and snow.  We safely made it up, only on the day of the funeral a whopping blizzard arrived - I was thinking "I didn't drive 1000 miles to miss going to this funeral!"  Luckily I was staying only 6 miles from the church and was able to make it.  Highways were closed, schools cancelled - but I made it and am glad I was able to be there for the celebration of his life.  Sadly my brother who grew up with my cousin, was further away and couldn't make it - neither could my own Mom as the highways she'd travel were closed.  

I was so grateful to hear how my cousin touched soo many and loved Jesus soo much - his life, like my past brother's was a testimony of faith! At age 44 leaving behind a loving wife and two younger daughters, my heart ached for them all.  We've experienced so much loss lately - and it doesn't stop.  I realize as I continue to age, the losses will continue too - and I view the youth as I once was, not fully getting it - funerals aren't just for the old - they happen to younger people too.  But the reality as I look at loved ones and friends - more funerals will come.  They are the passage of life we all experience at one time or another.

We returned home in a rush - trying to beat the oncoming ice storm forecast for our area.  God kept us safe and I happily spent many hours inside, watching rain / ice form and doing my piles of laundry!

Time is a healer - I'm embracing my time, healing as I can and taking it all one day at a time.
Remembering to pay it forward in the world we live in - when I think I have it tough, I simply look around and there is always someone who is having a harder time.  Giving love and kindness to those around me.  Being true to myself.  Riding the parenting train through these teen years - learning grace, forgiveness and toughing it all out.
Peace - my goal is more inner peace for 2017.  To let go of the things I can't change, accept what is and continue to hold to my morals despite the world around me.

Peace....find beauty in everyday things and cherish them.  May you too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Goodbye 2016

It was a wonderful Saturday morning – the boys were at their jobs, Steve was working, Soph was major “chill-ax-ing” and I was moving mountains,  mountains of laundry!  But getting other things done too. I lingered over my toast and coffee, enjoying my back yard view.  Soph and I enjoyed our Saturday at home, doing what we both wanted to do.  Late afternoon, we were forced to leave our cozy nest to venture out as Sophia had her first 3rd grade Basketball game.  I was excited to watch her and we’d planned to grab a bite the two of us after the game – serious mommy/daughter day! 

Just as I arrived at the gymnasium, I received a call….the kind you don’t want to get as a parent….my eldest daughter who was at a Christian boarding school, had reacted violently (nice way to say she assaulted, battered, etc) two staff members.  They were expelling her and asked me to come get her immediately.  I scrambled to find someone to come watch Soph and take care of her after her game, luckily a dear brother-in-law stepped in to help me out.  My husband works in a “core” and can’t receive calls so I knew I couldn’t reach him until his shift ended.  I was on this alone. 

After an evening spent in ER with an angry defiant teenager – the mental health plan failed – crisis literally told me there was nothing they could do, the social worker was pressing us to get her admitted, the screening didn’t allow her into anything – so other than placing her in a Youth environment that would put her in front of a judge, our only other option was to take her home.  Which, by then my husband joined me at ER – and we fearfully took her home. 

This has been another adjustment for our home, with our youngest fearful of her outbursts – scared of what the anger produces.  We’ve dealt with this so many years – the reality of how peaceful our home had become swamped me as that peace left and my stress and anxiety returned. 

We came to learn she was failing all her classes, and threw her back to the very public school she couldn’t handle last year – because we are all out of options.  She’ll be 18 in 3 months – then these outbursts will sadly have legal consequences that we won’t/can't save her from – we continue mental health support in the last efforts to help her control this anger beast.  Already with just 7 days in – she has broken rules from home to school, with little regard for those it affects, including herself.

So, with Christmas around the corner, we’ve returned to a household full again.  We are in this for the long haul, while the heavy feeling doesn’t go away and sometimes I’m paralyzed by the sheer volume of the sadness and stress we’ve experienced in 2016 – I optimistically look forward to 2017….hoping, wishing for easier times again.  I was enjoying my new freedom of being able to do things I enjoyed again, I plan to find that more in 2017 as I take time for myself and my spouse.  Finding the balance needed to stay healthier.

In 15 minutes I shot some pictures of the kids to capture for a Christmas card – I love them all so much!  Despite the trials we’ve endured, my Mom heart loves deeply for each as I only wish them wings to fly. 
 May you find peace and joy in 2017!  Blessings from us all!

My outtake ~ because they have a hard time cooperating!  Love them all!

For Unto Us a Child is Born ~ Isaiah 9:6

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Dying Wish

My dear, lovely mother-in-law passed away from cancer this week at the wonderful age of 91 years young.  She was a gem and family anchor that valued her legacy of 7 children she gave birth to and many in-laws, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  My adopted children were blessed to call her Grandma and be on the receiving end of green beans, many quilts along with specially hand chosen books every year for Christmas to name a few.  She was a warm hug full of acceptance in a world of hurt that healed the hearts of my children.  She had their utmost respect and they’d bend over backwards to do what she asked of them. 

With her cancer growing and a family meeting formed to ask her what her goals were at this point….she had only one wish, that my son return home to the family as he’d departed ways from us in anger months ago.  This, was her last wish.  Before she passed away, he had the chance to tell her he’d moved home and he loved her….  I’m blessed we lived near  and all my children had the opportunity to tell her one last time they loved her as God called her home to her heavenly family reunion.

My youngest shows the suffering of grief the most, as the rest of us work to hold our tears and grieve in different ways – she cries and doesn’t want to go to the funeral next week, but wants to attend the graveside service only….my heart hurts for her pain and to honor her Grandma, she will be there…. despite her tears of sadness, she will be there for Grandma….
Just 14 weeks ago we lost Grandpa too, so this is a hard year for my husband to lose both his parents and my children their beloved grandparents.  We’ve lived in the same town as them, so we received many perks like the Saturday morning calls to come fetch some cinnamon rolls which a bike rolled out quickly to go get…..mowing for Grandpa and him sitting on the front porch to make sure they did a good job, paying them well for the job and many more memories abound.  So much to grieve and miss of two lives that made a difference.

This picture – it speaks volumes... 
My oldest is holding Grandma’s hand while saying goodbye to Grandpa in the church – that is his character of support.  My sons loved her longer than the girls, had more memories and blessings from this time.  I’m so glad God gave them such awesome grandparents that as time goes by, those moldings of life will continue with them.
2016 has been a hard year…. I’m ready for 2017…. but first we have some tough days ahead as we honor her with a funeral filled with love and respect for a journey well lived and a legacy left.

2 Timothy 4:7  “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.”

Her legacy to us.

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