Saturday, June 29, 2013

Unusually quiet...

I know I haven't blogged for a long time and have been unusually quiet (my husband would disagree).  But as I sit on this lovely Saturday morning, enjoying my coffee in my dirty because I'm too busy cleaning other people's houses house, I feel like writing.  My heart is full but my mouth is empty (don't roll your eyes and comment that my mouth is NEVER empty because I already know that, ha!).

I'm not sure exactly what I mean by that comment.  I have so many thoughts, feelings, emotions all jumbled up that I don't even know what to write.  But I feel like writing.

So you'll just have to bear with me (or click escape... I won't mind).

Last week was a roller coaster of emotions with my mother having a stroke and being hospitalized for nearly a week.  I felt like I was hit by a 2x4... that being the realization that my mother is 86 (just a couple of weeks shy of 87).  A LOT of people do not live to be 86 years old.  How blessed am I to have my mother still walking this earth with me?  Still answering the phone bright and early in the morning when I call... or calling ME if I missed a day because she's worried.  Still asking me how I'm doing and how my kids are doing and how my husband is doing and how my inlaws are doing and how the dog is doing... not giving much thought to how she's doing.  How blessed am I?

I have always called my mother a living and breathing miracle.  You see, when she was a young girl, she was very very sick with pneumonia.  When Josh gets pneumonia, we give antibiotics and he's good to go.  But back then, that wasn't the case.  She tells the story that she was literally on her death bed with her family surrounding her, praying.  She said she remembers the bed well, how sick she was, how frail she was, how worried her family was.  Then, she said, she just sat up and was all better.  Just like that.  She had been sick for a long time... very sick... and then she sat up and was all better.

Of course I wasn't there and do not know the extent of any medication she had been given or if she had been improving prior to sitting up, etc... but she has told the story many times over the years and it never changes.  Her siblings and her mother have told and retold the story... it's always the same.

A miracle.

Fast forward to recent years and her diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis.  Her hands are severely crippled from the horrible disease.  She has lumps and bumps all over her body from the horrible disease.  But do you want to know something?  She has no pain.  Rheumatoid arthritis is a horrible disease and causes horrible pain... but she has none. 

A miracle..

And now she has had a stroke.  Her MRI showed many spots on her brain, both lobes, both front and back and was not consistent with her symptoms.  Her symptoms resolved quickly and left us all shrugging our shoulders as to why her brain looks like it does.  Surely she should have slurred speech and paralysis.  Surely she should stumble when she walks or be just a little bit wobbly.  Surely it's her heart... but her heart is strong and steady and completely normal.  So why?  What?  How?

A miracle.

As she was trying to figure things out on her own just a day or two ago, I told her that I think God allowed this just to show Himself... and show Himself He did.  Greatly.  Mightily.  Mercifully.  He wants us to trust Him... He wants my mother to trust Him fully and with her whole heart.  He wants my siblings and myself to see His works and speak of them and trust Him fully and with our whole hearts.

Today I understand a little better that my mother is almost 87 and am so grateful that she continues to be healthy and spunky and funny and pain free.  Often our problems... with health, finances, kids (insert your own issues cause we all have them)... are what drive us to God.  They are what cause us to cry out to Him and realize our need for Him.  But sometimes He uses other things... and with me He's using my mother's life.  Her full, healthy, long life. 

A miracle.

Not bad for an old lady, right ma?

Meme & Caleb
(her baby's 1st baby... there has always been a special bond)

Christmas, 2005
('scuse the pajamas but it IS Christmas morning... 
and I love my mom's smile here)

Christmas, 2006
(Meme needs a Patriot's shirt)

 They are always smoochin', it seems.

Their birthdays are 75 years and 14 days apart...
might as well celebrate together.

 Neither of them will be happy with this photo
(but I love it)

 Jared's 5th grade promotion
So glad Meme was with us and that someone took this 
(favorite of mine) photo

Nasty of me... but this isn't about me.

My mother is a true treasure.  She is lovely and kind and compassionate... but she is all of that because of God and His work in her.  My prayer as that He continues to bless her... but, more importantly, to draw her (and others) closer to Him day by day, problem by problem, blessing by blessing...


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Happy Birthday...

14 years ago this very moment I was sweltering and ornery. It was an unusually hot spring and I was unusually big, even for being 9 months pregnant.  At 4 months along people started sympathizing with me... telling me it wouldn't be much longer... literally feeling sad for me... if that gives you an indication of just how unusually big I was.

We were living with my sister at the time and she lived right on the beach (I know, hard life).  That morning, Caleb and I took a little jaunt down to the water and  I sat on the sand while he played, but then I couldn't get up.  If I remember correctly (why do I remember bad, embarrassing, stupid things but not important things??), Caleb had to pull and I had to roll... it was not pretty.

That evening, Jon and I brought Caleb to eat Chinese food because we heard that Chinese food can cause labor to start.   Following that, we brought Caleb to Toys R Us because we heard that walking can cause labor to start.  I went to bed discouraged that nothing had worked, I was overdue, sweltering and ornery... only to wake a 4 a.m. in labor.  YAY!

Jared's delivery was quick and I really have few memories of that very moment, but as soon as I saw his long, spikey, black, full head of hair, I was in love.  I have been in love ever since.

Jon immediately wanted to cut that hair.  In the hospital.  That very morning.  How dare he even suggest it?  The nurses too must have felt sorry for him because they brought him back from the nursery with a really bad comb over.  I preferred it sticking straight up.

That afternoon, as I was on the phone explaining how to spell Jared for the 3rd time to the Medical Records Department at the hospital, God touched me.  I was holding Jared and we were alone in the room.  I was standing beside the bed, against the window with a perfect, quiet, long haired baby human in my arms.  God sent His presence and I became overwhelmed with love... both for Jared and for the God that allowed me to be a mom.  It was a sweet moment and one I'll never forget.

Fast forward 14 years and he's still my guy.  He's my laid back, go with the flow, nothing ever causes him to speed up, moderate, kinda slow moving, never gets his feathers ruffled guy.  He's the master of one-liners (just like my Dad was) and making people laugh comes naturally for him... usually when he's being completely dead serious tho so he never quite understands why they are laughing.

Jared never seems to be upset or ornery.  His personality is such that everything happens for a reason and why get upset about it.  He takes things in stride and handles them well. He often reminds me of the same (even when I don't want to be reminded).

It's not easy to grow up and do right in this world, but Jared doesn't seem to compromise his faith and knows when not to cross the line.  I know God is close to him, helping him with that... but am thankful that Jared continues to want what is right and gets upset at what is wrong. I hope it continues now and forever. He speaks up for those less fortunate and speaks TO those fortunate ones who let everyone know just how fortunate they are (you know the kind).

I love you, Jared.  You're kind and compassionate and fun and funny.  You take a lot of grief being the middle child but always remember, God made you the middle child because He knows you've got this.  And Jared... I'm on your team.  Always.

Happy 14th birthday tomorrow.

My guy...