Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Better Mom

I became a better mom when I accepted the fact that I will never catch up on all my lost sleep.

I became a better mom when I realized that dirty dishes and laundry were the least important things on my to do list.

I became a better mom when I realized I'm not perfect, but don't have to be to be a good mom.

I became a better mom when I determined a day would never go by without me telling my kiddo's    "I love you" and showing them I did.

I became a better mom when I accepted my flaws from child bearing and rearing as my beauty marks.

I became a better mom when I realized that I don't love one child more then another, I love them each in their own way.

I became a better mom when I realized motherhood is a high calling , a sacred task.

I became a better mom when I realized that I must do my best, I am the only mother they have.

I became a better mom when I realized the main ingredient of motherhood is servant hood.

I became a better mom when I tried to be nobody else, just myself.

I became a better mom when I realized time with my children was the best gift I could give them.

I became a better mom by having a child with cancer.

I become a better mom when I pray and read the Bible.

I become a better mom when I take time for me.

I become a better mom when I emulate my children's simple faith.

I become a better mom when I believe I am a good mom.

It's just one special.  I am not unique, not especially talented and not breathtakingly beautiful. I can fill my children's hearts full to overflowing with the love I have for them.  I can be the person that loves them the most, the one they can count on no matter what.  They didn't pick me, but I want them to feel that if they could have they would have.  No matter what I am and forever will be the mother of 6 beautiful children.

I am a mother.  A good mom, no a GREAT mom.

Dedicated to all my fellow mommies out there.

Friday, January 25, 2013

See You Soon

      When we lose someone we love we have to say goodbye over and over.  My "goodbyes" to Karagen range in the thousands.  Whenever I see a picture of her, I say goodbye.  When I see her hand-me-downs on her little sister I say goodbye.  When I find a word search with her writing in it, I say goodbye.  When I feel that emptiness, her emptiness, I say goodbye.  When I am browsing through camera pictures and come to her very last picture, and realize it is the last, that there will NEVER be any more  I have to say goodbye.  Say the words my heart hates to admit..... goodbye.
    We say goodbye to the hopes and dreams we had for her.  We say goodbye to her being taller than me (she loved that one), we say goodbye to achievements, seeing her master the piano, teaching Sunday school, boyfriends, high school, college, graduations, messy rooms, tears, laughter, a husband, grandchildren, relationships, birthdays, the sound of her voice.  The sight of her blossoming into a strong and beautiful woman, we have to say goodbye to all of it.  We have to say it, we have to!
                         Goodbye.   So final.      We have to let go.

 If I could get myself to think, "See you soon" would that make this any easier? I will see her again, that is the hope that gets me through our loss.  I will see her again, I just wish it were today, right now.  If I had that chance I would grab her, hug her tight then put my hands on both sides of her face and say "Mommy loves you!"  "I miss you so bad!" 

       The impossible forces me to continue my "goodbyes", they are all I have left.  Each moment my thoughts wander to her I say goodbye, again and again. Memories, a gift..... yet a constant reminder of the precious relationship I have no more.  Time passes so slowly yet so quickly.  Before I know it we will be together,  when I finally see her the waiting will be over, the heartache too.

 See you soon raccoon.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

His Love

    Believing in God's love seems at times almost laughable.  Lest you think me being sacrilegious, keep reading.  Chalk up, add up, all the evil in this world and blame it on God.  Go ahead He has big shoulders and if He really cared, bad things would never happen, especially to good people.  To add insult to injury, if He really was good, then we would see Him in action, righting wrongs and putting out fires.  Where is He anyway?  And if His love is so great, why does this world revolve with senseless injustice?

   These questions burn in the hearts of the best of us, and choosing to trust in a God who seems to care little about the affairs of men seems insane.  We do not, and cannot understand God's love, even after we come to Christ.  Unfortunately our view of love and truth will forever be skewed by our humanity.   Did you have a perfect father?  Have you had a perfect life?  Then you are blessed with a life that is foreign to the majority of the rest of the world.

    Our world is severely broken, and so are we.  We demanded our independence from God, and He gave it to us all those years ago in Eden.  We remain forever angry with God for loving us enough to give it to us.  That's what happened when Israel wanted a king, He warned them of the consequences, in detail, yet they persisted.  And everything He said would happen- did.  So our own actions, and the actions of others taint our view of love, of God's love.  We wrestle with life and grapple with things beyond our comprehension.  The questions are difficult, but the truth even more so.

    Believing the truth requires faith and simplicity like a child, and who of us want to go there? It is way too vulnerable.  It is extremely hard to rescue someone unless they are willing to trust you.  Like a drowning person, they are out of their minds in panic mode and they could drown their would be rescuer in their effort to maintain control.  All God asks of us, "Let me rescue you, let me love you".  I have no true understanding of God's love, my view of God is so tainted and twisted by my experiences and humanity.  To believe that God loves me, and would do anything for me, yes has done everything for me, is incomprehensible. I have been on a quest my entire life to understand His love, and still cannot.  I long for the perfection of heaven, where " I will know even as I am known."
I long for my friends and family to see, feel and believe His love.  I long for them to know that I believe. God is love.  He is more than a question, He is the answer where there is no answer.  He is above and beyond.  He is Light and Health, He is Hope and Healing.  He is strength and peace.  He is everything.  He is...... love

     So please do not discourage this heart that swells with love and respect for Him.  He has a love that has never let me go!  Please search for Him, seek Him and cry out to Him.  Until you have given your all to find Him and have had faith like a child, until you have looked fully to Him.....please do not tell me that true love is impossible!

I leave you with these thoughts:

God is a verb.
An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children.
He does not distribute Himself so that each may have a part,
 but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.
A. W. Tozer

Friday, January 11, 2013

It's not ALL bad

     The interesting thing about life is it moves on.  While that may seem like a no brainer to you, it is interesting to me.  In the days and weeks preceding and following Karagen's death I felt like life was cruel to just keep going, whether I was ready or not.  Yet here I am 2 1/2 months away from that day and I realize that time moving forward is the very thing that brings healing and gently nudges us to move forward too.  The passing of time brings healing does get easier, but only because we get stronger.  We find healing in the broken places.

  Here are some favorite photos that capture some moments of pure joy for me in the last few months.


I am so thankful for a full, rich life.  I am blessed!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grief Speaks 3

          Tightness and pain in the back of my throat.  My heart hurting physically.  Like I'd been crying all night yet without the relief of real tears.  Silent sobs racked my body while my mind dreamed and my heart broke again. was time to get up and face a new day, another day without her.  Another day to desperately long for her smile, her laughter, her presence.  Another day spent trying to escape the sadness yet wanting to remember her so badly. Making the decision to remember and bear the consequence of pain for doing so.

     Grief catches me again and I am helpless.  My tears never extinguish the fire of this pain that rages through my soul.  And like my addiction to oxygen I go down under, then come up for more.  It will never be ok that she is gone, ripped from my arms by a cruel thief, the lowest of the low, cancer.  I hiss the word in disgust.  I rage at my helplessness to change the truth.  I look in the mirror and starring back at me is a woman who has aged, her eyes shadowed by sadness.  Bringing my thoughts full circle to my loss, I always end in the same spot.....where loss meets denial and they look each other square in the eye.

      I'm there again, next to her, watching helplessly while her life ebbs away.  Powerless to stop it.  I would give my life..... my health..... anything to stop it, to stop death from taking her.  But I can't.  I can only watch as she struggles to live.  And I can't stop it, it keeps taking her, no matter how tight I hold her hand she keeps slipping away.  I scream inside NOOOOO!!! While I whisper soothing words, and tell her I love her, over and over.... for the last time.

   I am Rachel who refuses to be comforted, for her child is not.  I am sadness, denial and rage.  There aren't enough words to describe the loss, it fills my heart, rules my thoughts and controls the floodgates of my tears....which flow, violently purging the pain and confusion leaving behind the desolate truth.  She is gone. 

     Here I am another step ahead in the healing process.  My tears produce honesty and force me to face the truth.  Working through grief is like hopping on stones scattered across a raging river.  I gingerly attempt to hop from stone to stone, trying not to get wet, or worse, fall in and drown.  Grief has the power to sweep me away, off my feet, to be ground along the bottom, bruised and battered by the rocks and the current.  I slip and fall and am lost in complete abandon of grief, yet I must come up.  Gasping for air, squinting in the sun.  I begin again.....the journey of grief, and try not to fall in.