Peace …

I know that a lot of people could sure use some prayer today. Some grace. Some mercy. Some love. And some comfort.

Well, I hope you all have day where you find some peace!!!

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Finding out who you are …

Over the weekend I found myself at Urgent Care with Reese. Saturday night she presented with some signs and symptoms that seemed vaguely familiar to me. After putting all the pieces together, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Reese has a hernia. Sure enough, my suspicions where right. She was diagnosed with an abdominal hernia, and after seeing her pediatrician yesterday, they suspect that she may also have a small ulcer from stomach acid and the stress she experienced from vomiting so much. This makes everything she has been through the past few weeks finally make sense to me. Which thankfully brings me a lot of peace of mind. Not knowing was very upsetting. But with the learning of this kind of information, actions must follow. This is when being a social worker, with a boatload of medical experience, and a mom all seem to come together perfectly. Or so, this is my hope.

If you ask most people who know me, they will say that I’m a pretty happy and excitable person. But when it comes to stressful situations, I’m calm. Unusually calm. So calm that it often angers my children. They think I’m too “matter-of-fact” sometimes. But I honestly, can’t help it. Usually when I’m presented with a fairly stressful situation I consider the information I am given with objectivity and discernment. I look at all of the facts, tap into my existing knowledge on the topic, research any questions that I may have, develop a plan and go from there. This whole process gives me a feeling of control over seemingly out of control situations. This also pairs nicely with a promise that I made with myself long ago as a way of dealing with some anxiety that I was experiencing. I don’t worry about ANYTHING unless it is literally sitting on a plate in front of me. The bottom line is, for the most part, I can remain rational when most people can’t. But I will tell you that as a parent, having dealt my children’s health issues in the past and as of present, this can become hard. REAL HARD. I am thankful that I can boast a pretty successful track record of “pulling it together” … so far.

I admit that in the past few weeks I have been emotional regarding Reese’s health. Her symptoms have been concerning and I was presented with no solid answers to why she was experiencing them. Well, we had some, but my mama’s instinct said that there was more. And there was. But that period of unknowing really unnerved me. Thankfully, we now know what we are dealing with. And even better, it’s fixable. THANK YOU GOD.

So now it’s time for action and THIS what I’m good at. THIS I can handle.

Today we see the surgeon. It is all happening much faster than I expected. I’ve already done a ton of research on treatment plans and I feel ready for this meeting. Finally KNOWING the UNKNOWN I feel confident again. I want my daughter pain-free, symptom-free and restored to her happy healthy active self. I know that these goals will keep me focused, grounded and driven. And that feels good.

When I earned my MSW in 1995 it was YEARS before Reese was even a thought in my head. Yet it is through her that I have a complete understanding of my being. You see, God knew she was coming. Gracefully and purposely He molded me into exactly what Reese would need to live her best life. He educated me through books and life and love to turn me into the mommy I am today. A mommy full of crazy fierce protective unconditional love for this incredible little girl who has so much to teach the world. Today that mommy and the social worker in me collide (again) and I get the privilege of doing my life’s calling, my purpose, for her. For this amazingly beautiful little soul that God has gifted me with to raise and to love. I can’t help be but humbled by His trust. And grateful. So. So. Grateful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you find out who you are!!!

Feel what you need to feel …

I am thankful for my early morning workouts. Some days I really need that alone time to reflect on my life and process my thoughts. This might sound strange, but if I need to cry things out I like that no one is there to comfort me. I find that sometimes it’s best for me to be alone with my emotions. And I find that it’s quite therapeutic for me to just BE in that moment and allow the rawness to wash over me. I’m not saying that I don’t need love, support and encouragement during tough times. Trust me, I DO. But I do like the freedom that comes with just letting it all out … alone.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you feel what you need to feel!!!

Love and a loss for words …

Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Words can’t express how much I miss my mom. But in a way that comforts me. It means that I loved and still love that woman HUGE. Sometimes you get lucky enough to experience something in life and you get to just FEEL it. For me it’s the motherly love she filled my life with. I can still feel it. But to describe it, explain its’ influence over me and how I feel about loosing her, is not something I’m capable of. It’s just too big. But I try to express it in different ways like living genuinely, just the way she taught me. And in sharing her legacy of hope every single day and at every opportunity I get. It may be 24 years since her passing but her influence on me, my family and our little world will continue on forever. And that is certainly something to celebrate.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love leaves you at a loss for words!!!

The love living on in my heart …

One year ago today I drove home in the pouring rain after spending the early evening with my dear friend. It would be just hours before she took her last breath. I will be forever grateful that her husband welcomed me into their home that day and for allowing me to sit and just love on her. Those moments with her will remain some of the most precious I have ever shared with another human being.

Sadly, I am no stranger to moments like these. I was there for both my parents as they passed. As a social worker I sat with many patients and their families as codes were called and time of death was reported. I never took any of those last moments as less than profound. I was honored and still am that God called me to share them with so many beautiful souls. Having been there for both my parents has definitely made their deaths more tolerable-ish. But NONE of these last moments were easy. NONE. The loss of a loved one is awful. REALLY AWFUL. I do think that these experiences, along with God’s grace, has given me a sense of peace about death and dying. There is a natural and spiritual process that I saw, time and time again, that both personally and professionally blew me away. The reconciliation one’s mind, body and soul has with death is nothing short of heroic. And being there for my parents certainly gave me comfort knowing that they were taken care of until the very end. But despite the peace I have and my faith in God, grief is no less painful. It stings. And if you loved BIG, I don’t think that sting EVER goes away. At least it hasn’t for me. Love and loss comes with unfathomable pain. Nothing can ever replace the touch of a loved one who has passed. Their laughter will always be missed. Memories are great, but they are no substitute for the real time we spend with our loved ones. And the passage of time doesn’t seem to make their absence any easier. I wish this world talked more about grief and how it may change but it doesn’t truly go away. Acknowledging that we all hurt and miss someone and admitting that sometimes we all just need a hug could do us some good. I think if we did we might all be kinder and take better care of one another.

Today (and LOTS of other days) I miss my friend. Gut wrenching, to my soul, pain is what I feel. I want her back. I miss her. In my human state I cannot reconcile her death in my brain to make sense. She was too young. Too good. She had too many people who still needed her. I still needed her. Yes, today I am grieving deeply. But I am also celebrating a love and a friendship and a sisterhood that God so generously blessed me with. And even though I don’t feel it was nearly enough time, I couldn’t be more thankful to have shared my life with this incredible woman. My faith reassures me that I will see her again. And when I do, I’m going to give her the biggest tightest hug Heaven has ever seen.

Well, I hope you all have a day where love lives on in your heart!!!

Growing …

My sweet Reese woke up in the middle of the night last night with pains in her little legs. This just breaks my heart! I remember getting these pains when I was a child. VIVIDLY. They were AWFUL. I know that the pains are harmless, and that they are actually indicating a good thing, but knowing that my child is in pain just unsettles me. Luckily with some ibuprofen, leg massages and cuddles Reese was able to fall back to sleep. To hear her breathes deepen and relax as she became more comfortable was such a relief. A gift to this worrying mama.

Nights like these are the parenting REAL DEAL. When we are in the trenches, tired and worried, trying desperately to make sure our kids are OK. I’d spend a million sleepless nights like this just to give my kids peace and comfort. Make that 10 million because … goodness … I couldn’t possibly love them more.

Well, I hope you all have a day where growing doesn’t hurt!!!

A sticker and a bird …

So I had another stranger encounter. It really shook me up. First, I want to say that they were just fine but when I initially came upon the situation I wasn’t sure. And it REALLY freaked me out. The details are unnecessary. Let’s just say I was really concerned and I was ready to jump in and help if it was necessary. I’m still thanking God that it wasn’t. But the whole thing stuck with me.

I am usually the type of person who allows God and the universe to speak to me, especially in times of stress. Nooooo, not audibly. It’s more of a spiritual comforting and it can come in many forms. Even the smallest “signs” give me tremendous relief. But every once in a while when I’m REALLY stressed out or IN IT, I can’t “hear”, “see” or feel that comfort in the little things. I guess some stressful situations call for a TON of comforting bricks, HA! And today I experienced one of those situations.

Well, I hope you all have day where you don’t need more than an inspirational car sticker and a white bird to calm you!!!