Monday, April 13, 2015

Sunday Morning Like Mama

My mom and I hung out Easter morning. 

I think of her every single day. More than once.

I miss her still and though that loss will never fade
it ebbs and flows like the tides. Sometimes crashing like waves
against a sea wall and other times distant and gray on the horizon of 
my day.

Always there though.
Always there. 

Often these last few hard years I have wondered what her advice
to me would sound like. Usually I decide it would sound like 
Keep on going, Honey. 
You don't really have a choice. 
Just do what you need to do. 
You're doing just fine.

And so I keep going. Doing what needs to be done. 

When I grow weary of the going and the doing I feel my soul
looking for her. Reaching and stretching towards her like the arms of my sweet grand-babies reaching towards their own mamas.

My heart is just hoping for a glimpse is all.
Just yearning for a brief moment 
as the child again. 

Easter morning I caught that glimpse when I woke early to get
Sunday lunch started before church. 

Already dressed in my Sunday best 
and wrapped up in one of her aprons I put the 
butter beans on to cook and I almost heard her whisper.

In an instant I flew through years to those Sunday mornings 
when I woke to the sounds of her in the kitchen starting Sunday lunch
even before the rest of us were ready for breakfast.

Just for a moment
I saw her with that same apron over her Sunday dress.

Just for a breath
as my heart stretched towards hers 
I felt her right there beside me.

And my mama held me again. 

It made the day with my own precious angels all the sweeter.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Looking For The Words

This one is for you-my quiet pray-er, real live author and old softball slinging friend. It took many nights of prayers dancing with fears and angels but it is time for me to look for the words again.

It is time to practice what I preach to the 
kindergartners I with whom I spend my days.

We can do hard things.  

Nearly a year and a half away from the coma 
that nearly robbed me of them it remains 
difficult still to move words from my heart to paper.

What once was effortless is now more deliberate and hard
and for almost nineteen months now I have rarely had the
energy to visit these pages.

Laboring so over something once so 
easy can be discouraging and Lord knows I haven't had
the inclination to fight any battles that were optional in

The process is much harder now. The words and sentences
hide from me and I spend most of my time here backspacing,
retyping and rewording.

Spelling never my strong suit is now even more

Words that once danced from my fingertips to the correct keys of
my computer now spin a little out of control and often require stern
direction to find their way.

It occurs to me though, that I have more to say and however difficult it may be, weakness becomes strength only through hard work of one kind or another.

So maybe I'll come here more often and type and backspace and type and re-type.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Just Another Day In The Life Of...

My family is alternately laughing at me 
and shaking their heads in my direction.

It might have something to do with my less than stellar vision. 

It's really not nice to laugh at people with
poor eyesight but they are quite amused and 
unwilling to hide their mirth. 

My baby girl's boyfriend, who is usually
way nicer to me than the people who live here,
is even looking at me with poorly concealed
laughter in his eyes.

Nobody seems concerned by the fact that I have
had difficulty seeing all day. 

I drove in the dark this morning 
to a hospital to supervise the
cardiologist treating my oldest daughter.

(That's a whole different post but he did okay. 
He says she is fixed and that is music to this mama's ears!)

I watched heart monitors, crocheted a hat for the grandson,
held multiple text conversations, drove home, evaluated possible
curtains for the den and cooked dinner only burning one finger 
in the process.

I did all of that with a definite squint, people. 
Because it's hard for me to see.

I keep forgetting to make an appointment for my 
yearly eye exam. 

I blame the coma.

In fact, I haven't been able to see clearly all day and it has just about
driven me the rest of the way to crazy.

I have had poor eyesight most of my life and have been
known to express my frustration at this inability to see
clearly in a loud and inappropriate voice. 

Or at least a gusty sigh

Anyway, I finally had a minute to relax by reading some very
entertaining Facebook comments concerning the failure
of our school board to cancel school due to the anticipated
cold weather. (By the way-It's wind chill NOT wind shield
in case you too are confused as to the correct terminology. 
Just sayin'..........)

"I have GOT to make an eye appointment," I may or may not
have yelled as I yanked my glasses from my face to clean 
the lenses. 

In accordance with my policy of attack first
because offense is the best defense,
the very next thing I uttered was, 

"Why didn't any of you tell me I was missing a lens?" 


I've been walking around all day with no right lens. 

That might explain why I burned my fingers.

Now I just need to explain how it never occurred to me
to wonder why my eyesight diminished so drastically overnight.

Oh I know. 

It's the coma again. 

Just sayin'................


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom

Grief is a funny thing. 

It arrives and departs on it's own timetable 
never bothering to follow the laws of reason or civility.  

A cherished friend recently told me that
it takes seven celebrations for the sting to diminish. 

Seven birthdays.

Seven Christmases. 

Seven adoption anniversaries. 

I do not know if I believe it.
Because grief does not play fair. 

While it seems as fresh as a few moments ago 
that I held her hand while she took that last breath

It seems forever and a day
since I last saw her face. 

Forever and a year since my ears 
heard her voice say my name. 

I miss her as much as I did the moment she left 
and more than ever before. 

Happy birthday, Mom. 

I still miss you every day.

I still miss your voice.

I still miss your face.

I still miss your presence.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today was my eighth day back at work and
the end of my first full week. 

I am tired. 

I am tired but I got up every morning. 
I showed up. I taught. I assessed. I kept up
in line. We got where we needed to be mostly
when we needed to be there and nobody got lost.

This is a wonderful and terrible time of 
year for teachers. 

The good thing is that it is Christmas time

The bad thing is that it is Christmas time.

I still say it is the best job ever.

But I am saying it from underneath the 
electric blanket on my bed.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Just Another Thanksgiving Post

I would say that my doctor, his sweet wife and I have known each
other half of our lives but that might prompt some of you 
to try to figure out how old we are. 

And we aren't. 

Old that is.

And that's just unnecessary.
And probably rude.
Just sayin'..................

I first met the doc and his wife at church.

Her father was the pastor at that time and her mother was a teacher. I fell in love with her parents. 

Her father reminded me of mine and listening to Preacher was like going home. He is a hugger and has a smile that is impossible to resist. Turning him down was impossible so suffice it to say that I did time in Mission Friends and Children's Sunday School. When he asked I just automatically nodded. 

Her mother...well she was a saint. Beloved by her students and able to make this girl feel like she mattered. Even more more impressive was her ability to say the thing you needed to hear the most. She caught sight of me one Wednesday evening and called me over to her table. Starting with, "I've been meaning to tell you..." and ending with, "I wanted you to know I noticed." she gave me the gift of encouragement at a time when I felt all alone in a struggle.  

Kathy and her sister were kind enough to invite me to the kinds of things young Southern Baptist women did back then. I was shy and awkward and I didn't make it easy but they made me feel like I belonged. Those two girls made me laugh harder than I had ever laughed before. 

Although we hadn't seen each other in far too long, she cooked for my kids while I was off on my coma vacation. They are still talking about that meal! I think they might be willing to ship me off to Emory again for another one of Mrs. Kathy's hams. 

Knowing that she fed my kids for me made me feel loved. 

Thanks, Kathy. You are your mama's girl and that is high praise. 

For a long time the doc was just Kathy's husband. 
Sorry Gerald.
He was busy getting finishing his residency and frankly I couldn't remember which sister he was married to.
Sorry again.

After a few years we wound up in the same Sunday School class. He eventually taught the class and I was finally able to keep who he was and which sister he belonged to straight in my head. 
Again with the sorry.

I sat on the front row with some of my people.
We were collectively referred to as,

Yes, with all caps. 
Because we always studied our lesson
and were ready to contribute valuable,
on topic, mostly appropriate comments.

Or maybe because that is where you make the trouble makers sit.
Just sayin'.........

Quite possibly, it was as a front row girl that I noticed his tendency to roll his eyes at me occasionally. 

He doesn't know this but my recent illness isn't 
the first time he has saved my life. 

He saved it for the first time many years ago
by listening to what was unsaid,
by reading between the lines.  

Believe when I tell you what a difficult 
task that is because I walk in the door with
lots to say. I like to arrive at each appointment
with a diagnosis and a treatment in mind. 

In fact, I like to refer to our meetings as consultations.
He once began an office visit by asking which one of
us was getting paid for the visit. 
Insert eye roll. 

He probably should have warned the neurologists at Emory.
The word sassy may have been used in reference to my attitude.

Anyway, thanks Doc. 
Thanks for taking care of me and my baby these last few months. 
You saved her life too. 

I know that's your job but

The prayers that I heard the two of you prayed for me and mine weren't your job though and that makes them all the more precious. 

Again. Thanks.

Just sayin'................

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Missing: One Heart and So Thankful

All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom.

There are no words big enough, strong enough or fancy enough to express the depth of my love for the ones who made that dream come true.

I lost my heart with the birth of my first child and haven't seen it since.

She held it firmly in her tiny fist only letting go of it to share it with her brother and sister.

The three of them have had complete possession of each heartbeat.
The three of them have been the reason for each breath.

It is frightening to lose one's heart so completely.
So irrevocably. 

I used to believe that life would be a little less frightening when they got a little bit older. 

I used to believe that when they reached that first birthday I would be able to sleep without first watching for the rise and fall of their breath. 
I used to believe that when they learned to talk and could tell me what was wrong or where it hurt I would be able to relax and assume all was well. 
I used to believe that when they were old enough to take care of themselves I would be able to stop worrying about them. 

I have found that motherhood doesn't work that way. 
Once those tiny hands close around your heart you are theirs forever. 
You belong to them in a way that you belong to no other. 

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Just sayin'............