Saturday, September 27, 2008

Summer fun

Here is an image of Ethan at his birthday party on September 20th. If you look closely at his face you can see his excitement! The gym owner was having the children yell "booyah!" before going out to play one last time.
Ethan had such a great time at the party and I was really proud of him for being so grown up. He was calm as he opened his presents and thanked each of his friends for their gift. It hit me so hard how fast he is growing up.... and as a result of that, I am trying to slow down my time with him, trying to enjoy the little moments that we have together instead of rushing through them.
That night, after everyone had left, he and I went to jump on the trampoline that his Mimi and Papa got him for his birthday. When I was growing up I didnt have things like a trampoline, but I had friends that did and I remember jumping on them at sleepovers or slumber parties. As Ethan and I jumped around we laughed and giggled at ourselves. I showed him the fun jumps or tricks I knew and we took turns doing them as well as chasing each other around the trampoline. As it grew dark we took breaks to lay on our backs and watch the stars come out. We didnt stay out too late- Ethan had a long day and still needed a bath- but we saw about 6 stars appear in the time we were out there. As we layed there looking up, he would excitedly point out a new star and count them in the sky.... The smell of the trampoline, the softness of the evening air, and the glow of the sun setting brought back so many memories of summertime in my childhood. I smiled to myself as I thought of Ethan, on the cusp of being schoolaged, and at a point where he would start to remember experiences for the rest of his life. I was deeply thrilled at the thought of helping him to create happy, enjoyable memories... We got up for one last bounce and tried out all the moves before we headed into the house for bath. When it came time to read his beadtime story- instead of saying " pick out a little one- its late" I picked one of the longer ones that I could find. After all, he won't want me to read him stories forever....... and soon those days will pass by as quickly as our summer has.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sleepless in Stillwater

I am sitting here listening to Sweetie the chihuahua as she snores from the middle of my bed. She has taken up most of my space next to Cliff( all 4 pounds of her) and she is dreaming away. Occasionally a little yelping sound escapes her lips and I hope she is dreaming great doggie dreams of chasing something. As much as I would like to lay my head down to sleep and dream sweet dreams of my own.... shut eye is evading me tonight. It is moments like this that often prompt an impromptu walk along the gardens edge, peering through squinty eyes to try to see the plants new growth and blooms in the dark Oklahoma outdoors.( and avoid those darn garden spiders at all costs) Tonight I choose to listen to the hum of the computer and the whir of the fan overhead....... as I think deep thoughts that I cant seem to keep from swirling in my head.The air conditioner broke today. I dont know what ails the silent box. Perhaps it feels as ragid as I, worn out from too many long days of hard work and an incompassionate and unrelenting inner drive. When did I get to be so hard on myself?Of course, it is just a machine...... but machines can wear out too. And my broken machine is a reminder that even a cold and emotionless box will eventually break down... that no matter of hiding emotions, or burying feelings will save us from an occasional meltdown. And that is my food for thought for you today. Will hiding from the things we dont want to face or feel really save us from breaking down?Does it create an iron will ? or a cold heart?
Inquiring minds want to know

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

additional Lumos thoughts

Psalm 119:105Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Lord, may your word luminate my heart, cleanse me, heal me......................and make my clock tick tock like new.


There is a charm that Harry Potter says to create a ray of light with his wand. "Lumos!" he will say and a ray of light will shine forth, making his path clear.
I wish I could take Harry Potter's wand and shine it at my heart. "Lumos! Lumos!" I would say so that I could see all that is inside me, each thought, each feeling, each need, even in the deep hidden folds of me.... and I would pour them out- out like water pouring from a broken dam, like wine flowing from an uncorked bottle, like snow falling in an avalanche. And I would lay it all out before me, like the pieces from a broken clock.......... and I would line every piece up, every groove, every wheel, every arm, every spring, every lever, until my heart beat in time- sounding forever on end- a smooth and simple and rythmic 'tick, tock' 'tick, tock'

How did I end up with a broken clock?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bittersweet Days

bittersweet days
I can't begin to tell you readers, how excited I am about today. Ethan turned four this week and we are having a big boy party for him at a local youth gym. The kids will be bouncing on trampolines, balancing on the beams, and causing quite a ruckus. He actually had a hand in deciding what kind of party we would have this year, from the location down to the kind of cake we would serve.We have been counting down the days and weeks for most of the summer.I just can't believe that my little boy, my first born child, is 4 years old now and on the verge of being SCHOOL AGED.
For all the joys I have over celebrating Ethans big day, I can't help but think about my little one that isnt here. I have been wondering all week what it would be like if she could be at the party. She would be 14 months old, old enough to toddle... would she be trying to keep up with the big kids? Would I be quite harried trying to keep up with her and my sweet Olivia too? Like their Papa always does, I am sure he would be carrying her around, keeping up with her as she rocks in the wooden boat, helping her grab onto the bars overhead, helping her bounce on one of the easier trampolines...... I am sure her red curls would be bouncing in the air... and she would be smiling with delight and determination as she tries to keep up to her 90 to nothing big brother.It is a bittersweet day. Full of joy... and aching in my heart too.
Yesterday, I attended a wedding in Enid. While I was there I got to set my eyes on the little boy of the couple who were getting married. He is about 4 or 5 months old and I have been waiting eagerly to see him in person.I caught a few glances of him during the ceremony and at the reception. As we got up to leave and tell his mom goodbye, he was cuddled in her arms. She showed him to me in his little tux- with his shiny soft sweet red baby hair. The same color as my Faith's own hair. For a moment my breath caught in my throat as I remembered stroking her hair at the nape of her neck. I wanted to reach out and stroke his soft hair, but I held my hand back, tightly clinching my fist. I said my goodbyes and began the long ride home, thinking of my family waiting for me at the house, and the little one that is not in our midst.On another note, returning to work has been both joyful and difficult. Another thing that feels so bittersweet. I love the interaction with other adults and I enjoy the work that I do.... but it is difficult to be away from the family so much, especially spending two nights a week closing. It feels like I dont even see Ethan and Olivia on the days that I close, and by the time I get home Cliff is in his own routine- getting ready for bed and winding down. I am really struggling with the adjustment and although I am able to talk with people all day long... there are moments that I feel so alone.The feelings dont always weigh me down and I do have so many moments to laugh and smile and enjoy myself...But the other moments are there too.Moments when my heart is heavy, moments I dont know how to muster through... but I do. I push on, wondering when I will no longer have moments that feel like this.I guess the reality is that there will be many bittersweet moments to come in this life.
I have to learn to manage them, accept them, and face them. And this is what I am not sure how to do.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Back in the groove

I am heading back to work on Monday and I am pretty nervous. I am also excited to be getting back to it... becuase I am happiest when I am busy and work keeps me very very busy.( not to mention all that social interaction!!!)
I am not quite the same person I was before I went out. I am now the mommy of three beautiful children and have once again got to practice some life skills that involve very little sleep, a crying person( a little one- but still crying!) and the fine art of communication. The practice of these life skills has given me a little bit more confidence when it comes to dealing with people( if i can learn to please and satisfy a baby that can't speak a word- imagine my newfound communication skills i can apply at work:) But also, there is another part of me that is not quite the same.I haven't seen most my co-workers in 11 1/2 weeks. The last time they saw me I was eight months preggo and exhausted! I cannot tell you what condition I was in when I went to work- including weither or not I was wearing contacts OR MAKEUP( oh the shame of it all! but seriously- at that time i did NOT care) I have lost all of my pregnancy weight( yippee!) but lets face it- I am not the skinny mini Barbie I once was- not even close.
So I took a deep breathe, winced as I pulled out the debit card and I went shopping! I got new clothes, new shoes, and made a last minute decision to get new hair. I wanted to go back to work and make a statement which is not "stay at home mom for the last 3 months- do these dress pants come in a stretchy cotton material like the sweat shorts i have on now? Will they go with flip flops?" but what I wanted to say is: " I am woman hear me rawr!" ( and not in a bra burning kind of way- but more of a" I am a professional and a hot mama!)
SO I did go a little more edgy with my hair- something that used to be typical of me back in my college days but not so much so in the last four years .....
I have decided I really like it- it looks FRESH!
Now if i could just get rid of the nervous jitters in my stomach and gain a calmness that matches my posh exterior... wink....

My new hair.........

And for those of you that are wondering just what two of the delights of my heart are up to... well here are a few photos taken this week.

here is Olivia on her daddy's lap

and Ethan trying to wear his dad's shoes.........

Thursday, September 04, 2008

14 months

Dear Faith,
Today you would be 14 months old. It is hard to picture what you would be like now. Perhaps an active toddler ambling around with spritely red curls and determined green? eyes. The truth is that its gotten increasingly harder these last few weeks without you. It all started about August 16th, your original due date from one year ago... of course this was the expected due date before we found out you were so sick.... and becuase of your sick body you came to us so much sooner. I think what really gets me down is when I start to think about some of the things that people say or imply about you and remembering you. I try not to listen to these things...try not to let others influence me... and I have to ask myself why they feel so compelled to try to influence the way I grieve when they have never lost a child themselves.... the truth is, baby girl, that part of this world wants me to just move on, to quit mourning you. They say I should remember you with joy only and be happy that you are in heaven with no more pain. And if I cant remember you with joy, perhaps its best to tuck your memory away. At the very least, I shouldnt be sharing it with the world. I should be living only for my living children.And it is my great hope that I can someday remember you with just the joy of knowing you... and not the pain of being seperated from you...But sometimes I wonder if that is a bit of a lofty goal? I keep trying though, becuase it is easier to live with courage and pray for God's strength than to throw the towel in. And how could I ever tuck your memory away??? Weither a child is alive or dead, as a parent, I think of each of my children a thousand times a day. My love for you didn't die with you.I watched a movie this last week called" We Are Marshall" It is a movie about grieving, about learning to live life after tragedy, having courage to move forward, and ultimately about creating a legacy and honoring the dead.( in the movie this came after many years)One of the characters tells the father of a boy who died in the movie " Nothing's going to change until you have the strength to face your pain." I had to stop when I heard that statement and really think about it. It reassured me that I am doing the right thing by remembering you and helping to create a legacy for you. It really hurts that you aren't here with me.... but I will continue to live life like a broken record if I don't face that pain and let your presence in my life change me into a better person. A more compassionate person I hope.. and more courageous too.One of the feelings that is hardest to live with and understand is the feeling that I can't do enough to take care of you. You have been gone almost 14 months and I still have such strong feelings that I need to take care of you. I still don't know what to do with those feelings but I try to pour them into other things. I ask myself how I am supposed to take care of a baby that isnt here( toddler now) and I don't have an answer to give myself. This is when I spend time working in your garden.... or pouring though your photos... or I start a new project around the house( like cleaning out the closet a few weeks ago.)Its been 14 months and the pain isnt any less... isnt any easier..... but I am learning how to deal with the pain.... and that is a start towards that lofty goal I have I guess.We still talk about you everyday. When Ethan and I pray at night we thank God for the time you were here. We show Olivia your photos and tell her a little about you. Someday we will share your full story with her when she is older. I will always wonder what life would be like for us if you were here... dream of being able to watch all three of my children grow..... and hope that I am honoring your memory in the best ways that I can.I love you so very very very very much dear one. kisses to you from afar.
Love, yours,mommy

Wednesday, September 03, 2008