The Perfect Blend

I am blessed! Most of you are thinking I’m talking about my life. Sure, God has blessed me with awesome family and friends, and I’m very thankful for that. But  I’m talking about me, the person, not me the wife, mom, friend & co-worker. The me I see when I look in the mirror. The me that is a perfect blend of my mom and dad.

My dad is an awesome guy. He has a definite cool factor going on. Looking at recent photos of him, you wouldn’t believe me, but he had curly hair. He has a great sense of humor too. I’m blessed to have gotten curly hair and my sense of humor from him. A cool factor too, if I do say so myself.

My mom lost her battle with breast cancer 19 years ago. I am blessed with many of her attributes. My love of cooking and collecting recipes has kept my family very happy.

Not everyone saw it, my mom had sarcasm down to an art. My brother-in-law, Eric, witnessed it up close and personal. Those who know me, know that sarcasm comes quite naturally to me. Except for my curly hair, I look a lot like my mom.

I am thankful I am who I am thanks to my mom and dad. Not only did I get my curly hair, love for cooking and my awesomeness from them, I also learned love. Love for my family, friends and country plus my relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I can’t begin to thank them for being a huge part of making me who I am.??????         022

If He Only Had Faith

While at church, I heard someone comment about Robin Williams, “Fame & money didn’t help him. He needed faith”. That was a sad and ignorant statement! I have faith but that doesn’t make me immune to depression and mental health issues.

I have been consumed by the dark fog of depression and despair many times. Sometimes it is so dark and deep, that I can’t find the words or the energy to pray. I can barely breathe. I’ll open my mouth . . . but there are no words; only tears running down my face. The feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can be all consuming. I’ve been on that slippery slope.

I thank God for His love and grace, and for my professional counselors and my dear friends who have pulled me out of that darkness. I know the Bible verses about faith and not worrying. There are times when it’s hard for me to get the strength to read or even think about those verses. Sometimes it’s hard to hold on to faith. I can’t explain what it’s like when your brain is in a dark void, and where rational thinking isn’t an option. To hear someone say, “Where’s your faith?”, “The Bible says ‘fear not'”, or “Cheer up!”, while I’m in that dark place, will actually pull me farther into the place that I’m desperately trying to get out of.

There are some people who will hear “All you need is faith” and not seek the help/medication they need because they feel people will think they are weak. So instead of getting help they suffer silently; ashamed of what they are going through.

By saying “If he had more faith”, you are blaming him for his disorder/brain chemistry imbalance.

As a dear friend of mine said in a sad response to these remarks, “And the stigma continues”.

If you have not been effected by depression or a chemical imbalance, you have no room to talk. Please know your facts. Don’t be so quick to judge. Reach out to those who are struggling with mental health issues, but don’t try to “fix” them. Be the shoulder they need to cry on, an ear to listen, or just check in on them. Don’t let those who are suffering from mental illness suffer alone or slip through the cracks.

It rained hard the day Robin Williams died. I’d like to think it was because he was up in Heaven telling jokes and everyone was laughing so hard they cried.

Mother’s Day

Mother's Day.

The End of Another Year

2013 is coming to an end. As I look back on this year, there were many things that made me smile (or laugh out loud) & a handful of things that broke my heart.

I seem to have lost a dear friend that can’t let go of an issue, that has been blown way out of proportion, to comfort me on the anniversary of the worst day of my life. I am so thankful for a few close friends that got me through not only that day but also several other days/things that snuck up & knocked the wind out of me.

I am so thankful that my blessings, by far, surpass the crappy things this year. A whole new world was opened up by the purchase of two Canon Rebels. I can’t wait to see what adventures the Rebels focus in on in 2014! I’m also looking forward to a few much needed road trips.

I’m also thankful for a dear friend that has awakened part of my heart that has been asleep for too long.

For everyone reading this, I pray for a healthy, happy & safe 2014.

A VIDEO SLIDESHOW – WALKING OUT OF THE DARKNESS

A VIDEO SLIDESHOW – WALKING OUT OF THE DARKNESS.

Mother’s Day

My heart is full of love but feels empty at the same time.

I miss my mom & daughter and love my sons more than words can express.

I feel empty, loss, love & blessed all at the same time.

When someone asks how many kids I have, my heart skips a beat.

Sometimes I will just say three & end the conversation. Other times I will elaborate on the details.

There are also times I say “Two…boys”. In my head, I finish the sentence, “and a baby girl in Heaven”.

The joy & sadness that I’m feeling intertwines. There are times joy wins & other times sadness overtakes me.

Own It

Own It.

Own It

2012 was a crazy year. It started out uneventful. When we got to the last 3-4 months…totally different thing.

It seemed to spiral out of control. Words, like hairball & smile, to be exact, were a large part of what saddened my heart as 2012 started to wind-down.

The first word, ‘hairball’, was so offensive to a person that it ended an 11 year collaboration and friendship.

The other word was ‘smile’. As words go, smile isn’t a word you would think could cause such a problem. Timing is everything and the timing of the word smile on my Facebook page knocked the wind out of me, added to my heartache, and almost ended a 52 year friendship.

It’s one thing to make a comment that makes someone cry but also lightens their heart. It’s another thing to make someone cry and crush their already broken heart.

If yours words, no matter how innocent you think they are, come across wrong or are taken in a way you didn’t mean them…correct it. Not only correct it, do it quickly. Own it and apologize.

Some people don’t realize the power behind words. The person dishing them out may think the other person is being too sensitive…it doesn’t matter.

A half-hearted apology will lead to a half-hearted acceptance. That will leave a huge elephant in the room.

Words can hurt or words can heal.

Choose yours carefully.

God Sent an Angel to Get Me Home

God Sent an Angel to Get Me Home.

God Sent an Angel to Get Me Home

332726_2815486549466_1327898898_33233656_269500960_oTwo weeks before she was due, I went to the doctor and found out my daughter,  Sara, had died. While I was at the doctor’s office, the medical assistants tried several times to find her heartbeat. They hooked me up to a fetal heart monitor and tried, oh how they tried, to get the monitor to make a sound…any sound. I knew in my heart what they were trying very hard not to show on their faces. I was only able to keep my precious little girl for 38 weeks.

My doctor came into the room and gave me a heartfelt hug and expressed his sorrow over what my head was having a very hard time processing. After talking to the doctor, one of the girls asked me if there was anyone they could call because they didn’t want me to drive home alone. I said no that I would be ok to drive myself home. Truth was I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could so I would be able to drive home before the reality of what happened hit me. And the thought of sitting in an office full of pregnant women waiting for “someone” to pick me up was, well, not an option.

They didn’t want to but they agreed and asked me to call the office when I got home. I nodded, yes. I got in my car, started the engine, pulled out my cell phone and pressed the button to call my husband at work. It rang once, maybe twice, and I hung up. I thought (not sure how I was able to) that it wasn’t fair to Jack or myself to tell him over the phone.

I pulled out of the parking lot and made the first curve in the road. I truly do not remember anything else until I was in my driveway. I went in the house and called the doctor’s office. When the receptionist answered, I said I was home. She was glad I made it safely and commented that I got home pretty fast.

The rest of the day and the hospital in the morning, which is burned into my mind, I will save for another time. As for the drive home, I don’t know. I spent many days thinking about and several sessions in therapy talking about what happened that day.

The therapist chalked up the lack of memory about the ride home on the fact that I was probably in shock. I have agreed with that belief for many years until I had a dream (or nightmare depending on how you look at it) about that day at the doctor’s office. In my dream I relived the whole day right up to the first curve in the road… Even in my dream, it went from the curve in the road to my driveway.

The therapist didn’t have an explanation for this. I do. There is only one explanation. I was not in control of my car or my life after the curve in the road. It was only by the grace of God I made it home safely. My loving Heavenly Father sent my guardian angel to steer for me. I am very thankful that He not only made sure I made it home safely but that my precious Sara made it “Home” safely too.