Sunday, November 16, 2008

a very piraty thing to say lassy!

Could arrrrrrg! be considered a first word? Did I give birth to a pirate??Sometimes, Olivia babbles out things that sound strangely like " Momma" "Daddy" and " I love you". She is just starting to talk and I will admit the title is misleading becuase she hasnt said her first official word yet- unless aaaaarrrrg is a word- which I dont think it is.But this lament, arrrrrggggg! Is her favorite thing to say. She will interject it in a quiet and serious moment, she babbles it from the back of the car as we cruise down the road, she says this in response to being placed in her crib after her early morning feeding, it is the new constant noise that accompanies all the other noises in our already noisy home. A sign of an adventerous spirit perhaps?
...............Or is she already a comical genius? Lord knows, I already have one clown amongst my children........
ARRRRRRRRGGGG! Matey! Pass the bottle er ye will be sure to walk the plank!

Monday, November 03, 2008

an anatomy of a breakdown

It was the fine hairline fracture that changed my future. I was adamently pushing myself to earn a BS in Nursing so that I could be a scrub wearing, pulse checking, booboo fixing nurse. It was my latest dream in a short but tasteful line of dreams. I had been fixated on this 'cure' for my future for several years and was convinced that it was the right direction for me.
So convinced was I, that in later years, including 2008 to be exact, I would wonder "what ifs?" about the nursing career I failed to successfully pursue.
I decided to take a discombobulated and unbalanced semester of courses, convinced that with determination and hard work I could make it through. Of course, I did not account for my nonability to do homework to drag me down- nor did I feel like my terrible study habits might be a hindrance to succeeding. I sure didnt know myself very well :) In fact, sometimes I laugh in the face of my former self.
I decided to take Spanish, Chemistry, an excelarated 8 week Human Anatomy evening course( with a 70% failure rate- D's and below!), and Sociology in the same semester. This was not nor could never be a good balance for me due to my intense lack of interest in the majority of science courses. I was incredibly overwelmed and I was too bored to do anything about it.
It started with the intense pressure I felt to ace my Chemistry class. My mostly unheard of and intensely foreign last name led to this first step into my breakdown. My mother, a thriving college student who returned to school in her mid thirties, had attended the same university just 6 years before, had become a star chemistry student and now led a successful career in the Environmental field with a degree in Chemistry. The teacher called me out during roll call the first day and stopped to ask me how my mom was doing. The entire class looked at me intently and I could see them mentally calculating my possible preformance abilities and trying to sum up if I would be the class genius. Little did they know that I was the least studious person in the room and soon set to receive my first F on my college transcript. To be truthful, the intense pressure I felt to like Chemistry becuase of my mother and the intense bordom that I felt each time the professor talked about ionic compounds, molecules, and the quantum theory was enough to do me in. But this was not the breaking point, just the starting point.
With swift determination and gusto I marched into my first night of the 4 hour course with my greys anatomy in hand and my anatomy coloring book. I had convinced myself that I would enjoy the course( ha! still with the not knowing myself!) and that the people who said an 8 week accelerated course that would teach me the entire skeletal, lymphatic, muscular, vascular, nervous, digestive, reproductive, and endocrine systems in just 16 days was difficult were crazy.
Then came the evening that we had to take dowl rods and place them on a model in place of all the skeletal joints and unions. We had one class session to learn them all and the next class session would be a test over the entire skeletal system. I drove home in a daze and saw my career as a nurse swirling down, down, down, into the drain of the toilet of life.
Human Anatomy and Chemistry were definitely not for me. And so I decided that Nursing was not the thing for me either. I promptly dropped the anatomy course and spent the next 3 semesters trying to decide what to do with myself. This led to a deep and confusing period of self discovery. The problem was that I didnt discover anything about myself.
And this was the moment that the breakdown felt complete. I was officially broken. I earned a code 99 on a career placement test at the career guidance office which officially meant- " we dont know what the hell you would be good at or enjoy doing" which to me translated to " good luck with college becuase you are never going to graduate at your rate you poor confused child."
This led to a string of courses off the beaten path which led to my enlistment in the United States Airforce. Still knowing nothing about myself, I decided to pick a science related job- Meteorology.
Of course, this too ended rather differently than I thought it would and due to a series of unfortunate events( OR SOME might say life saving) I decided against enlisting during the twilight hour.
I can offically state that I was enlisted in the United States Airforce but never fulfilled the basic duties of the job and therefore have some kind of discharge on my permanent record, and this, the recruiter told me, was like a black mark that would follow me wherever I go.
8 years later, black mark and all, I now say I hail from Stillwater Oklahoma. It has been a strange series of events that have led me to this place. It is a place I have grown to refer to with affection as " my home".
10 years after my pseudo breakdown and I could not be happier with where I have ended up.

And so time passed and I stumbled in the dark down a road that somehow led me to the here and now. A here and now that I have grown especially fond of.
And now let me just say how thankful I am for that breakdown and for the One who has guided me through the darkness all this time. What I didnt understand is that I didnt ever need to know my way, for the One had it all mapped out.
My creator could do more with a broken down me than a me of any other form or fashion.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Faith Constance- Your Song

I made up your nursery rhyme, just like I did for your Bubba and little Sis. I know you arent here for me to sing it to you, but every now and then I sing it anyway. It makes me smile. Singing is a refuge and healing thing for me. When you were in my belly I would sing songs to you everyday. When the days got really hard after we learned you were sick I would sing out, over and again, one song.
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,May I reach Heaven's joys, O bright Heaven's Sun!Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.In those moments, singing these words gave me strength.... enough to make it through that day anyways. I often would think of a soldier or gladiator, preparing for battle.... and I would think of the family they would be preparing to leave and the hardship they might face.... and suddenly my hardship didnt feel so lonely in the world. Everyone faces hardships- all different kinds. I have never been alone in that- but still its easy to forget that we arent the only ones that face sorrow. Its easy to get caught up in feeling sorry for myself about all the things I miss out on with you- but one thing shines bright and shining like the sun above all those sour thoughts- and that is the joy of being able to love you and to be chosen by God to carry you for your short time here.When you were in my belly I would count your little kicks. You liked to lay on your left side in there and your persistant kicks would tap tap tap under my right rib cage. Once you were born you would shift your little body in your isolete to lay the same way.... curled a little and on your left side- with your hands resting around your omphalocele. It was sweet to see how you laid- as if you didnt know that the omphalocele is what made you so sick and was a delicate thing. After all, you spent your whole life in the womb with it just the way it was. You just rested your hands upon it as another extension of you- just as you would an arm or a leg or your face....... As I watched you lay there in that way I understood that you didnt know yourself any differently- that you would probably never see the difference- and that you embraced yourself wholely.
You would probably never know how different from normal you were.
All that you would know is that you were loved- deeply.And little girl- whew! Are you loved so deeply!