Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peace, beauty, love

The words, a constant jumble in my head. Sentences in fragment form. Paragraphs I can't quite complete. Wondering's that don't go away. Regret that nags. Questions never ceasing. They pop up out of no where. Cleaning the kitchen, driving in the car. They are all a part of the process.

I have known 4 people that have died in my adult life time. My reaction to each different yet quite normal. There have been other people I have known that have died, but they were not personal to me.

My first experience with death was a good friend of mine. Todd and I were not friends that hung out on the weekends or called each other on the phone. We were co-workers who lived in the same apartment complex and commuted together to college at night. There were many things about each other we never knew. Personal details very left out, but experiences only the 2 of us could share. There was never any romantic feelings, I was married. We were just innocent friends trying to survive the realities of full time employment and full time college students together. For all the hours we spent in traffic, we should have known more details of each other's lives, but what we knew of each other was just the basics and what was happening in the present. That was enough. We never felt the need for more. After his death, I still don't. It was enough. I was sad and shocked when he died ( a car accident). I missed him dearly. I cried immediately. I cried at the service. I cried when his parents came down. I cried when much of the information from autopsy was shared and it was all information that I had learned in a dream a week before. Then I realized, this was my closer. This was my goodbye, my peace.

My second experience was the most painful. The first family member to have died. The one that I have few memories with but loved the most. The one that I knew the shortest amount of time but knew the best. The one that taught me the most about life, love, motherhood and God's love. My son, Andrew. His loss was one that I would pray never happens to anyone but at the same time, I am thankful for his life and loss. It took a while to get here, but I am at peace. I smile at the thought of my little guy up in heaven with the Lord and any other family members that he gets to play with. They are seeing him in ways that I never did but can see in my mind. I will play with him that way someday. Until then, I enjoy the brothers and sisters he has on earth. I cried the longest, hurt the most and longed for him in ways that many would never understand. 13 months later, Andrew watched his brother Adam enter this world and knew that mommy had closer, that her heart was healed. If you have ever been there, you know.

My third experience was when my great grandma died. I loved Grandma Bea. She was not the quintessential old lady. She had gusto even in her 70's and 80's riding across the country on the back of my uncle's motorcycle. In her 90's when her body began to hurt and memories became lost, she was still as sweet and wonderful though. And while I loved her dearly. Her death was not mourned but honestly a celebration of a wonderful life lived. She did not die, she truly went home. Peace was immediate for me after her death. There were no regrets. Katie was conceived the same week she passed away, her final gift to me :)

My Fourth loss is my Uncle Tommy. Peace is trying to fight it's way through. His voice assuring me he knew he was loved try to break through the thoughts that cloud my mind and make me human. There are regrets. That is hard since I don't life with regrets of any kind. I love where I am today and every experience good or bad that brought me here. After a week, I know it is too early for closure. Yet, I know it will come. I know this too is a process to get through. Acceptance for his death will happen. Tomorrow is the memorial service. This will help. I know he is not there but he will be there with us, I am sure. I will pay the babysitter. I never pay for babysitters, yet will do so tomorrow. Regrets for what we do for death that we don't do for life. I would have never paid for a babysitter to go to dinner with Uncle Tom. Yet, I do go to dinner with my grandma. I never had Uncle Tom over for just lunch and to play with the kids, yet my grandma is over weekly. Sadness for things meant to do. Does the season increase this? Peace will come, in what form, I don't know yet. Maybe cleaning out his house? Helping with the details of the estate? Time? I know that these are my doubts, never his. He was full of more peace and grace than anyone else I know. I trait to be learned from and strived for.

There are lessons we take from everyone in our life's. Some are big, others almost small enough to miss. Sadly, they may not be learned until separation from this person either voluntary or involuntary, like death.

Of course, the biggest lesson is to love and cherish your time together. Christmas time and always.

Today, yes today, pick up the phone and call the relative you don't normally call and just say HI! There age is irrelevant. Their reaction simply amusing. Your mind, heart, soul will be thankful. For the relatives already passed, just look upward and smile, they know.

There is peace and beauty in dying. It may take a while for those surviving to achieve it, but it does come. Until then, there is love.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Goodbye but always here

You said goodbye tonight, at least in the physical sense. You were welcomed with a huge hello. Of this I am certain. Your parents, siblings, friends and relatives. You said this was it. You knew you were not leaving the hospital and going home. Although we said you were wrong, you knew. You talked in past tense. You told secrets previously undisclosed. You admitted you were not perfect but you were forgiven. You knew where you were going. You never were one to hold a grudge. You didn't even as you were leaving. You had reason's to be bitter, resentful even angry. You weren't. You loved, you cared, you were happy. Your friends were like family. Your family was blessed to call you family. You are loved. Maybe more than you knew. You accepted so easily people, things, life, death.

There will be no more early arrivals for Easter Dinner, St. Pat's fair, Jaywalking, Birthday parties, Chili cook-off's. There will be no more birthday cards, bowling games, family dinners. There will always be love.

In those final days you heard from friends old and new. You heard from relatives far and near. You held on for this I am certain. When the last goodbyes had been said, you were finally ready to say Hello.

For those of us left behind, you wish only happiness. For even in life, that is all you wished for your daughters, family, siblings, friends. For some of us you will be missed more than you can know. For many of us, you touched our hearts more than we let you know.

I am sorry I never made it back this weekend. Although I suspect you knew I wouldn't. I am luckier than most, I did get to see you! And while not everyone got to see you that wanted to, it was enough to you to know they wanted to. I am sorry for forgotten phone calls. Moments that I wish I had taken more time. Through all of this, you were always there. You always knew. You always forgave. You always loved.

You really have the best seat in the house know to watch all your grandkids (both your daughters and various adopted nieces and nephews) grow. Please help to keep them safe. Please always know you are loved and never doubt you will be missed. You will continue to live in our hearts, pictures and memories!!!!!

I love you Uncle Tommy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


In a prior post, I promised to always keep it real. How real is the above picture for ya?

Now, I could show you the picture from the beginning of the night where they are all dry, hair combed nice, face and clothes clean, pants zipped, shoes tied and happy. (Wait, was that my house?)


Would that really be us? HA! I don't think even for a second, on our way out the door to anywhere are we ALL that way.

Maybe each individual child as they are being dressed is that way. M.A.Y.B.E. (note to self: next year take picture of everyone happy and clean individually and photoshop together :)

However, let me lay the real timeline for ya.

Adam is dresses, shoes tied ready to go. Boredom sets in and he goes outside to play basketball. Requiring at least 10 times to go into the dirt, err, grass to get the ball. Hands dirty, we just wipe them on our jeans. Hair messy from sweat.

Katie dressed by daddy. Changes shirt when no one is looking messing up hair. Without asking, sprinting to join Adam outside. Crocs on since daddy is too busy dressing twins to do shoes.

Rebecca currently playing in living room, quietly. Not good.

Jason getting 2nd outfit change by daddy since finding lonely cookie on floor and eating. If you have ever meet Jason, you know that cleanliness is not his forte. Clothing change requires his hard-to-do-at-22 months-old hair to be redone. Darn cowlicks. Shoes on, ready to go.

Rebecca, naked on living room floor due to diaper aversion. Runs gleefully away from daddy. Peeing as she runs. Really, we keep the local carpet cleaners in business. Currently only wants to dress self. Nope, no help needed, well, needed yes, wanted HECK no!

While fighting, err, dressing Rebecca, daddy has taken his eyes off Jason who has removed his shirt, shoes and socks. A.G.A.I.N.

Rebecca is dresses, tear streaked face and all, ready to walk out the door.

Jason is shirted, shoed and socked again.

Katie has fallen and skinned her knee and hand. Yea, there is blood. Outfit change again.

Jason and Becca are wrestling on floor.

3 kids needing their hair redone.

Someone has pooped. Diaper change, wrong kids. Right kid, clean butts.

Hair's brushed, teeth brushed, ready to go.

Adam looses loose tooth. Blood drips on shirt. Shirt change, hair redo. Shoes don't match and get changed.

Everyone on couch, forbidden to move, serious threats issued.

Daddy sits to finish coffee, spills it in lap. Pants change.

When daddy is done changing, he come out to find. Jason's shoes are off, again. Becca's hair is a mess. Adam shoe is untied and Katie had a peepee accident.

Mommy comes out of bedroom dressed, made-up and ready to go.

Daddy still doesn't have his shoes on and I wonder what takes him so long to get ready since the kids are all just sitting on couch watching TV????
Parade. Rain. Dinner. Candy canes. Park.

Missing teeth. Dirty knees, clothes. Sticky hands, faces. Fallen zippers. Untied shoes. Tired cries. Whiny voices. More pictures. Exhausted mommy and daddy. MEMORIES to last a lifetime.

Keeping it real!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Greetings from the U.S.S Diavom

Hi all. I am sending greetings from the u.s.s. diavom.

It is day 11 on our voyage to circumnavigate the porcelain globe and I thought I would send you an update on the ports we have visited, the weather we have been having and what we have been doing to pass the time while on ship.

First let me say that we do have a wonderful cabin. It is quite roomy with lots of portholes to view the outside. Of course, there is always a dream for a bigger galley and an extra latrine but the kids do have room to play and I have a space for my laptop. We also have a small rowboat that Mr. Producer can use to get back on land when he needs to work.

Today the storms got so bad that we had to stop a couple ports. While this cruise has been nice for us to spend so much time together, I must say that is was SO nice to drive, er, walk on land and see land natives.

Our first stop was at the port of pediatrics. The people there were SO NICE! OMG! They loved the kids. The kids got a lollipop and sticker and I managed to pick up some sympathy, a diagnosis, advice and hope.

Since we have been on the ship for so long, I thought perhaps being in port too long might be too much for the kids so I took them back to the ship. Thank God I was able to find an attendant to care for them as I had to get off at the next 2 ports we stopped at.

The second port we stopped at (where yes I did get some much needed time to myself) was the port of lab. There was not much too see here. Not too many natives and the ones I did see were not really of the outgoing variety. But, I did manage to pick up some sample jars that I need to fill with some fluid from the storm and return so we can figure out what is causing this weather (but more on that later).

The third, final and probably the most overwhelming port of the cruise was the port of publix. Man, not only were there a lot of people, mostly very nice, but just the noise, lights, sounds and choices. It was slightly overstimulating but fun at the same time. Other people had their children at this port and I wish I could have brought mine as there is a rumor of free cookies. Alas, that was not to be, but boy did I stock up in some much needed supplies. They had Cheerios,, english muffins, gatorade, juice, handsoap, cleaning wipes, banana's and gloves galore. I was in buyers heaven. I even snuck in a treat for mommy, creamer for her coffee! Ahhhhhh, heaven I tell ya. I really hated to leave this port but I really was missing the kids and the cruise ship (man, I am crazy). With a last look goodbye and a packet of M & M for god measure, I head back to my cabin.

I am very grateful to the willing and loving attendant that was there for the kids when I could not be. They were very well cared for and seem to be having fun. And honestly, I think it was good for everyone to spend time with other people.

As for our activities on the ship, there has been a lot of time spent cuddling like kitties, hibernating like bears, and occasionally hopping like kangaroo's. We have been enjoy arts and crafts time, music time, computer time, swimming time, literature time and yes, even TV time. Unfortunately for mommy, there has also been lots of time in the hull of the ship washing laundry and in the galley washing dishes. In spite of that, we are all enjoying each other and everyone is getting along beautifully. There is lots of hugs, kisses, lap time, helping and sharing (mostly of cups and germs and not so much of toys ;).

I have been promising news of the weather. Well they say this has been the perfect storm. I guess that can only occur when you have fluids from both north and the south are being stirred up at the same time. You can call it whatever you want, but I have to tell you, it takes a strong person with a hard stomach to withstand the rocking of this ship. The forecasters are not sure what has caused this storm in the otherwise seeming calm of the world around them, hence the reason for the fluid samples. Now the good news is that today the storm has seem to subside, both the north and the south are experiencing very few precipitations. Let me warn you though, precipitation has dwindled before and then regained strength. However, this time we are being optimistic. Armed with the knowledge and products we received from the ports and what we have within us we know that we have what it takes to weather this and any storm.

Well my friends, it is time for lights out. Before I retire for the night let me just say, please feel free to send me some love, at least through the computer; it helps keep me busy. Also, send your prayers for a quick return to the port of wellness. Prayers can be sent to Heaven C/O God Attention: wellness dept. Postage is free and really it only takes a second, and throw in a thanks for your health.

Signing off now. I will send you another letter when we return to the port of wellness.