Tuesday, August 27, 2013


While shopping today, we were pushing our cart behind another mom and her young adult daughter. I noticed she walked rather slowly. And me, being in a hurry to get the kids to the pool, almost went around her.

So glad I didn't. Some time later, she was behind me in the check-out lane. I turned around and saw the bandage where her port had likely been. She looked tired; just hanging in there--like my mom, 8 years ago this August. My heart went out to her and her daughter...to her family, and all they must be going through together.

"Mom, I thought of you today. I didn't cry or fall apart...not yet, anyway. But I was reminded of your pain and am so glad you are in a better, brighter place today. I love you : )"

I was in the process of becoming a mother myself(pregnant with my son), while I watched my own mom, fight for her life. I came out to stay for a week, that August. Went shopping, bought her some button-down shirts that would make it easier for her to access her food port, did some yard work, tried to stay productive for her. It felt strange, trying to care for a person I hardly knew. But I was determined to do something...there wasn't anything else I could do, really.

"I wish we could have had more time together. I see other daughters with their moms around them. Not just little girls, but big girls--like me. Just today, at the pool, there were moms, grandmas, and kids--splashing together in the 95 degree heat. I'm happy for them, not bitter. Just don't know what its like to have that."

I love my kids. What mother does not? For years, I wondered if I would ever feel what I was supposed to feel with my mom. There was a disconnect. I've tried hard to remember the good memories. I think they've been clouded over by the pain of separation. Still hopeful that some will resurface to bring me some comfort and reassurance.

"Mom, I know that you loved me...and still do. I think it was hard to grasp that--and the sacrifices you chose to make--until I become a mother. You did what you felt was the best, for our welfare. I'm only sad that we couldn't have a little more time on this earth. "

Life brings us surprises that can be unexpected. Some of those are good surprises though. We're having another baby, early next year. How exciting and fun that will be : ) My children have eased some of the pain of not having mom here. I so wish I could know if she sees them, knows what they look like, hears their laughter...yes, even their ear-piercing squabbles and screams. But I don't.

"Mom, tonight we read, 'Heaven is For Real' at bedtime. I tried to explain to Adrian why babies sometimes die, here on earth. He asked about our first baby. I know he/she is with you, in Heaven. I'm so glad that you get to spend unlimited time with a grandchild we have yet to meet."

In my reading travels, I'm in the book of Job. Talk about a man with troubles. He was upright, loved God, and was truly blessed...and then, God allowed it ALL to be taken away. In his humanity, he grieves over his life and why he is even here in the first place. He just doesn't understand. But it ends well--that we know.

I have to remind myself of all that God has done in my life, and in the lives of those around me. He is a faithful God, with steadfast love. Every story has conflict--some dark undertones, areas that need to be redeemed. And so I choose to dwell in the land that I've been given, and feed on His faithfulness(Psalms 37:3).

"Mom, we miss you. I know your experience up there is infinite--no longer measured in time, the way it is on earth. The best way we can honor you is by living and loving well, here. Allowing beauty to come out of the ashes--letting God do what He needs to do, to finish our story. Until we meet again, know that you are forever in our hearts."--Love, your daughter : )

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Taking a Back Seat

Driving with children can lend itself to some interesting conversations. Last year, I recall one particular errand run. I had heard this request before, but this time it had doubled in number and was presented ever so creatively: "Mommy, you need to have two more babies." I replied, "Oh, why is that?" Here it comes: "So we can BOTH ride in the way back, of the van!"

And so the logic of my then 4 and 6yr. old, solved the problem of where the car seats would be placed, and who would get first dibs on this new arrangement. I laughed at the idea. Not a good enough reason for us to expand our family, but hilarious, just the same. But it did get me thinking...and sometimes, that has proven to be a sign of what is coming down the road.

About this time, we heard the news that my brother was expecting his first child. We were overjoyed for him and his wife, excited for the new season that was coming for them. And then I thought, "Hmmm, wish our kids could be closer in age. Wish we didn't live so far away." We had thought about having more kids, but felt pretty content with where our family was at. Even through the banter, about upgrading to a bigger vehicle to accommodate the next cousin...I dismissed the conversation as light-hearted with no serious intentions.

I'm one of those people who like to plan things out. I don't like to change my scheduled day of events, at a moments notice. I treasure my calendar on the fridge. I have some degree of flexibility since I pencil stuff in, instead of using a pen. At least its written down. I like having a framework. Its the nerdy side of my personality : )

Speaking of schedules, I took at step of faith when a friend asked me to cover for her, in the month of May, so she and her husband could travel overseas to adopt a precious little girl. I didn't think I could do it, but it worked out well, and my confidence in my work, grew. During that time, the calendar was filled with all sorts of appointments: meetings with clients, kids playing here and there, school pick-ups/drop-offs, family events, birthdays parties, a late spring, a short planting season. It was a crazy time.

But we made it to Memorial Day weekend. Whew! What a whirlwind. By this time, there were some questions in my mind...could it be possible? I didn't think so. Five years had already gone by. But it was, and is: just penciled in--third child, due around January 29th! And as far as we know, there is just one in there. Twins run in my family; especially if you're in your mid-thirties. But we are content to receive, 'one at time', just like before. And another bonus: we now have more than one sibling having babies--so more cousins, for ours ; )

I'm learning to take a back seat in this new season. Sometimes you have an idea of how you think your year will look. I saw myself working part-time, with the kids both in school during the day. I thought it might be a little lonely, being home with no kids...so I started to form a plan to get around that. As it turns out, I've been stretched in a new direction...yes, I totally meant to say that. Have you seen how big I already am? The 'warm up' effect--its true!

I don't know how my schedule will be, next spring, but I'm learning to trust, be flexible, reach out a little...so long as I'm not the sole 'driver', I think my hands will be more free to do what God has called me to do. Now, to keep the older ones out of the front seats, for a little while...we've got a few years ahead of us : )