Wednesday, January 28, 2009

He would be 3 today

And that's all I can say. I fear if the tears begin to fall they may never stop.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I just realized that by reading the first half or so of that last post you would think I was leaving my husband or something lol

Most definitely NOT the case. Let it be said.

I feel better. I feel freer. I am excited to pursue friendships and experiences without worrying about what she will think of them. Without dreading hearing her cut them down or try to be better than them. It will be great to experience my life and be happy or sad or dissapointed or angry or whatever without having to be one-upped all the time.

To let you know the extent of it. Tonight when Hailey and Austin asked me who I was on the phone with earlier I simply said "it was __, we ended our friendship" and they both immediately said GOOD! I expected it from one of them, as that one has never been a fan of the drama (per his own words) but the other one slightly surprised me until she said "mom, we see it too you know. We hear what she says about people and stuff too and we don't like it either"

Wow. that was powerful. I think I have a lot of people to apologize to.....

Growing pains

The chair has been taken to the corner. Right now it doesn't feel as good as I had thought it would, but I know it will.

Growing pains. That's precisely what it is. It's taking the hard road because that's what it means to become complete. It's giving something up to get more. It's closing the door so the window will be allowed to open.

It's doing the right thing for my family and hoping the chair finds a way to be happy. It's feeling that happiness is on the horizon just as soon as you pick yourself up off your knees and walk toward it.

There will always be things unsaid, unfinished. It's not possible to sum 12 years of frustration into one telephone conversation.

It's not possible to make someone be what they need to be, what their family needs them to be. I'm a fixer and to finally realize it's not fixable is a hard pill to swallow. Many times I've tried to do this, to walk away. I just need to not look back this time. That always happens, I always look back and think maybe things will be different this time, maybe she can really be a friend. And then I get sucked back into her constant need to destroy herself. I need to move on and continue to grow, and I hope that in such, she can grow as well.

I take my own responsibility for my unhappiness over the past years. I should have seen it more clearly. I should have noticed more the look on my husbands face when he came home from a hard day to hear me upset again, worrying over kids that weren't my own. I should have realized that their story was theirs, much as my own troubled childhood made me who I am, so will theirs. And maybe I had a strange need in it to destroy myself by going down with her ship. Except it never happened that way, somehow, probably more thanks to my husband than me, I continued to step forward instead of sinking.

Maybe where she is is where she's suppose to be. Even though I know she could be so much more. Maybe that isn't my decision to make.

I had to fix myself before I could be any good to anyone else. And I think I finally am.

And I'm sorry I've given up friendships. Given up or distanced myself from people in my life for a friendship that gave me very little back. I'm sorry I missed what these people had to offer and the experience of knowing them completely for something I got nothing from.

I remember my husband telling me that he hated to see me drug down with her misery, how much of a strain it put on him. I'm sorry that I put that strain on him but he kept by me, supporting me in whatever decision I made. He never put pressure on me when he's known all along I was just torturing myself. He never understood why I kept trying. And now, I don't either.

I am keeping my ears open and following my heart. The feeling of freedom is already closer than it was before and I am excited to find out where the road leads, now that I've taken the heavy burden from my back.

To new beginnings... and working harder on relationships that go both ways!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The time has come

There comes a point in your life when you realize who matters,
who never did,
who won't anymore...
and who always will.

I read that quote on another blog today and it struck me.. because it is so fitting in my life right now.

Have you ever grown past someone? I mean really grown past them? To the point that you realize that you have nothing in common with them.

Sometimes there are people in your life that are like furniture. A comfy old recliner if you will. When you bought the recliner it fit in your living room wonderfully. It matched the rest of your furniture and the color fit nicely with the motif of your home. In those early years that recliner was the first place you'd go after a long hard day of work after changing your dress clothes into a comfy pair of sweats. The chair didn't care that you were wearing old holey sweats and a stained Metallica concert t-shirt. And you didn't notice that it was a little rough around the edges. You sank into it perfectly.

Through the years the chair grew older. The fabric faded and the springs in the seat began to protrude slightly. You figured out how to sit in the recliner just the right way but every now and then you would get poked by a spring.

The rest of your furniture was replaced by new, the walls through the years took on a new coat of paint. Every now and then you would look at the chair and notice that it didn't quite match with the other things in the room, it's battered frame and worn cushions.

When company came you would drape a soft quilt over the chair in an effort to hide some of it's shortcomings. It became harder and harder to look at the chair and try to tell yourself that it fit in your home now. You spend more and more time relaxing on the sofa because the chair is no longer comfortable.

Still, you can't bear to get rid of the chair that was your welcoming party after a hard day. The chair you sat in when you talked excitedly about something new in life.

The chair ceases to become part of your life. It doesn't fit in anymore. Everything else in your life grew, changed, became better but the chair just continued to seemingly destroy itself, year by year. It no longer gives you peace, as you have outgrown the need for it and are frustrated by it's inability to be what the new you needs, or wants. The chair, it just refuses to grow with you, instead sitting there in the corner in all it's pity. For some reason unable to get past whatever keeps it there. Then you realize it's there because of you. So many times you've tried to fix the chair. Then you tried to mask what it was so the outside world didn't see it's stained exterior. And finally you realize that the chair is what it is, and that has nothing to do you with you. You can't fix the chair because the chair doesn't see that the world sees it as broken and dirty, or it doesn't care.

Taking the chair to the curb is a difficult task. You wonder what life will be like without it but no longer wish for it to take up space in your life. The chair is a black mark in your home, in your life that is each day moving forward. The chair just stays behind and there isn't anything you can do to change that. For the chair has it's own purpose and it's purpose and yours no longer walk the same path.

But there comes a time when you need to say goodbye. You need to take the chair to the curb and hope that maybe someone will take it and re-upholster it and help it to move forward. You have long since realized that you aren't the person who can do that, and you are keeping your own happiness at bay in trying to get your chair to be what it can never be for you and for itself.

You don't hate the chair, you have just outgrown your need or desire for it. You realize that holding on to it has caused more stresses in your life than it once eased. You realize that during some of the most pivotal points in your life it hasn't been there, not necessarily it's fault but more because it became increasingly clear that it wasn't needed.

It's time to move forward. It's time to move the chair to the curb and replace with with a nice chaise lounge or bookcase. Something that fits who you've become. Continue to move forward and realize that the chair will always just be an accessory in your life that served it's purpose and then wore out and became something that you realize doesn't mean as much to you as you once thought.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

There are times I still wonder if this is surviveable...

This song. I loved it a few years ago and strangely haven't heard it in the last 3 years. It's probably a good thing because listening to it today I wasn't sure if the tears would ever end. January is a hard month and today I sit here and wonder if you really CAN survive losing a child. Can you? Am I? I don't know the answer to that.

If you've never heard this song listen to it. And if you have, listen to it again. Put yourself in the shoes of a mother missing her child and just listen.

"My Immortal"

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here

And it won't leave me alone
These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

[Chorus:]When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still haveAll of me

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by
the life you left behind

Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase


I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along


Sunday, January 11, 2009

I am what I am

Mother. Wife. Woman.

Broken. Afraid. Sad. Happy. Grateful.

Day to day you see me, but you see parts of me. The parts that I try so hard to put in front. You rarely see the other parts of me. The parts that are still missing her sweet baby almost 3 years later. The part that broke that cold winter day. That part stays hidden. It gets easier to hide all the time.

But that part is still me. It still makes me who I am and is responsible for many of my thoughts and words and beliefs. It is always there, like this heavy boulder I carry with me that is invisible to everyone else. It is the part of me that was forever changed that snowy day, the day I held my child's lifeless body in my arms. The day I saw what no mother should ever see. The day I was forever changed, in good ways and in bad.

Pictures float through my mind like a dream. Memories forever stopped in time like a photograph. A photograph that through the years cracks and fades and changes.

To try to describe losing your child is like trying to tell a blind man what the most beautiful sunset looks like. How the light shines so bright it hurts your eyes but you can't bring yourself to look away. To los a child is to forever walk around with a peice of your soul missing and with your heart beating on the outside of your body, so fragile. Every day is a concerted effort to protect it, it's vulnerability so immense that all it would take is a bump to change everything forever.

I remember walking back to the Ronald McDonald house that day. My children, my mom, sister, and brother, and my friend. I remember Craig and I being last in our small procession. I remember seeing everyone in front of me, carrying everything that had been Alex in their arms. Their arms full but a peice of them taken forever. We left Alex in that hospital, but we also left our innocence there as well....

Today, I feel broken. Tomorrow I rebuild again in this wicked cycle that keeps repeating itself and will, I presume, for the rest of my life. It's an exhausting thought.

Either I've grown or they've shrunk

Since I started working I've had little time or desire to visit the babycenter message boards I use to frequent. Something to pass the time when I needed that I suppose.

For shits and giggles I went and read some threads on various boards over there and seriousely, now I can see why I was such an angry person all the time! And I can see why "trolls" do what they do (hey, maybe someday when I get time I'll try it lmao). These women just apparently have nothing going on in their lives whatsoever that they must attack and pick apart EVERYTHING. OMG so and so put fake blood on her kid for Halloween. So and so returned to work FOUR weeks postpartum instead of 6. The horror!

Are they for real? Do these women (presumably with children at home, given the venue) really have nothing better to do than try to make themselves appear to be better parents by joining the herd and ganging up on moms who actually have their own brains and think for themselves and *gasp* decide what's right for THEIR family instead of what strangers in the computer think?

It's amusing and sad to me. Get a life people.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What is a peaceful parent?

A few months ago I heard about something called "unschooling" and in intrigued me. It also (not always) goes along with something they call "peaceful parenting" or "radical unschooling" Which also intrigued me. The basis of this is to allow children the freedom to learn from their surroundings and be taught natural consequences for their actions with very little intervention from their parents. There are no "rules", no "permission" ...... just a life of freedom.

I spent a lot of time reading and evaluating my own parenting practices and allowing my heart to lead the way. We've been homeschooling the oldest two for a couple of months now (big news on that in a bit!) and I've come to some conclusions.

I am already a peaceful parent. My children are not hit, demeaned, or belittled. My children do however have rules, limitations, schedules, and chores. They have discipline and expectations and routine. I don't set boundaries as a means of control, I set them as a means of keeping my children safe and teaching them the things they need to know. I don't have any desire whatsoever to wait until my child is good and ready to learn to respect others or get to bed at a decent hour so he's not a bear the next day. I also have no desire to make excuses for a 9 year old who can't read because she's not interested in doing so.

It is my job to teach them to be civil people with a sense of responsibility from an early age. To instill the basics while they are young and guide them through the rest of their childhood in implementing the lessons I've taught.

But children learn differently and at different ages they say. Sure, I'll agree with that. But there are just some things in life that I'm not comfortable allowing my children to learn and implement when they are good and ready. I'm not comfortable with my children being allowed to run amok nilly willy just because they are children.

Why? Because the world doesn't work like that. It may be a great pipe dream to wish it did, but it doesn't. When I (and everyone else I know) go to work in the morning we are expected to be to work on time, do our job, and do it well in the time frame we are given. We aren't allowed to stay in bed til noon on Tuesday because we feel like it and we aren't allowed punch out when we feel we would rather do something else. If we don't do follow the rules set out for us there are consequences laid out by those in charge of guiding our work.

Children need to be prepared for THIS world we live in. Not the world we WISH we lived in. They need to learn from an early age that respect is not negotiable. They need to learn at an early age to read and write and speak properly to set the building blocks for future learning. They need that learning to get a decent job. This is how it is. They also need, at an early age to co-exist with their peers and learn to form friendships and learn how to interact with people who are different than them, whether or not they "want to".

Because I'd hate to see my children passed by for things they desire in life because I never found it a priority to teach them what they needed to know. And I'd hate for my children to be stuck in jobs they are unhappy with because they never got around to learning the skills they needed to know to be productive. I think allowing children to run the show is giving them a lot of responsibility they aren't equipped to handle. Allowing a 5 year old to make choices completely on his own that will directly impact his entire life makes me downright sad. Humans aren't wired to take that on at such an early age.

Parenting is hard. It's so very difficult to know if what you are doing will help or hinder them.

So, I'm a peaceful parent with limits, boundaries, and consequences.

And Hailey starts back to public school on Monday. I could teach her what she needs to know from a book. But I cannot give her cheerleading and track and cross country and giggly teenage girls in the hallway. I cannot give her a best friend and prom night and boyfriends. Things that she really does need, and I can only hope she is ready for.

Austin will remain at home.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The knot- revisited

Last year in the last days of little Ethan Powell's life I wrote this post. I've been thinking a lot about it lately. It was a post that was written completely on autopilot. As I typed I was literally transformed into that room on unit 5C. Let me take you there....

Few people know THAT knot. The knot that the parents of Ethan Powell have in the pit of their stomachs this evening.

It feels literally like your heart is in your throat and you feel like you are holding your breath but then you realize you aren't. You sit there in that room, doctors sit there with you. You all watch the monitors because you all know that there isn't one person in that room that can save that child right now. It's up to God and that baby at this moment.

You watch the numbers and they mean so much, every drift of a blood pressure every drift of a sat number means the world to you. You watch those numbers and when they start trending quickly in the wrong direction you see the doctors tense and the nurses look at them for instructions.

The monitor constantly sings it's scary song..... ding ding ding....ding ding..... over and over and over again no matter how many times they silence it. The blinking red numbers scream at you. Nothing else in the world exists. You don't hear the sounds of others talking, you don't hear the sounds of ventilators or the hustle and bustle in the hallways. You only hear the sound of that monitor and hang on to every word that is muttered from a doctor or nurses mouth..... listening, waiting for some indication that they know what's happening, for some clue.

You want to run away and hide and you want to run to your child and scoop them up and take them away from the invisible danger in the room. You can do none of those things. Helplessness takes over and you wish you could even cry but you can't. You are so far above, or maybe below any emotion.

The staff tries to comfort and inform you. You nod your head but don't really hear what they are saying......... the dinging of the monitor is so overwhelmingly loud and fills the entire room with it's terror. You sit there, the most insignificant person in the room yet the one with so much to lose. You are frozen in your seat as people glance your way, waiting for you to crumble. Yet they don't understand that you are so far beyond that, you are on autopilot.

Time slows down, seconds become hours and that god forsaken dinging won't STOP. You feel your heart pound violently in your chest and think it might just burst at any moment. It's beat almost as painful as that God awful noise from the monitors, from the syringes hitting the floor, from the voice in your head screaming for a way out of this horror.


Maybe it gets better. Maybe with enough blood, enough medications, enough equipment they finally stabalize him. You walk to his bedside and hold him as much as you can, terrified to touch him, terrified to feel. You look at his battered body and, maybe selfishly, thank God for another chance. You push the thought from your mind as to what this constant turmoil is doing to him because the alternative is too much to bear. You kiss him and dust yourself off as doctors beging to put their chairs away and filter out of the room with a sigh of relief. You pick up the caps, the packages, the little bits left over like shrapnel from a war zone and do your best to make things "normal".

But the knot never goes away, it stays in it's spot in your stomach, sometimes waning for a time only to be brought back up when it all starts over again.You never know when that monitor is going to start, and you never know if this is the time they won't get it to stop. Your life hangs in the balance almost as much as your child's does, your very sanity dependant on what the next 30 seconds will mean.

This is a ride you can't get off. A scary room you can't find the exit to. The walls close in on you.

Imagine living this every day. Imagine living this every hour. The rollercoaster ride from hell. Just imagine..... and you will understand why when it's finally over the relief is as welcomed as anything. The pain is there, but at least you know that this pain will be different, in some ways easier to bear in some ways more difficult. Because the rollercoaster, the teetering between life and death is now over and the decision has been made.

Once again you kiss his tiny body, afraid to touch him, and exhale slowly as the knot, for the first time in a very long time........... fades away.

For years you continue to hear the sound of that monitor in your head, it wakes you from your dreams and sometimes prevents sleep from coming altogether with it's nightmarish song. But now, you get to wake from the nightmare from time to time.

Please pray for Ethan tonight. Pray for him to be healed in whichever way God has planned for him. Comfort his parents and give them the strength to hold on and if the time comes, the strength to let go.....

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This may be my longest gap yet

Sorry for the lack of blogging. It's just not real high on my to do list lately with Christmas and homeschooling and work and life. I'd say i'll try to do better but in all likelyhood I won't so I won't lie to you hehe.

For those of you who didn't get a Christmas card from me this year, don't think you were left out. You see I did really good. I bought my cards on black Friday and set out to get them done that weekend. Then, after typing the newsletting thingy I realized I had no ink left in the printer. Then no paper, then I just said forget about the whole damn thing. My apologies. The thought was there. People just throw Christmas cards away anyway.

Christmas was wonderful in our house. The kids once again were spoiled. I think Santa's list isn't as accurate as he claims..... Now the tree is gone and the laundry is in the works and we are working our way back to the chaos we are use to. Looking forward to spring.

Speaking of spring. It can come any day now. I know, it's January. But still..... I've about had enough of this snow and subzero temperatures. Enough I tell you.

Homeschooling the older kids is going great although we are feeling out our options for next year. We may enroll them in a nearby district. I hate for them to have to make new friends and all that jazz, especially at their ages. It's not as easy to make new friends when you are in middle/high school, I know from experience. On the other hand from what we are hearing they would get a much better education over there. So it's a matter of what's more important. I think education and socialization are both very important..... God I just wish their schools could pull their heads out of their asses.

Anyway, Nate's crying and poopy and the dog needs to pee and the dryer buzzed and the living room looks like hurricane Ike blew through..... which means my work is just beginning today.