Monthly Archives: January 2013

Did I Win That Battle?…


I just had the fight of my life. It knocked me down, bruised me, and left me breathless. I was scraped and I scraped in return. It was exhausting. And not a finger was lifted.

I was in an argument with my daughter. My 11-year-old daughter.

Angry face

I remember in vivid detail how she felt and smelled and sounded as I brought her home from the hospital, just 2 days after she was born. I remember when she smiled for the first time. I remember her walking, and riding a bike and …. you get the picture.  I DO NOT REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME SHE SNEERED AT ME.

It has come on so gradual. What the heck? Most times she is loving and caring. She comes home from school bubbly and warm, barely containing the good news that comes with … whatever school has to bring her that day. It is just those few times that I feel I have been through the wringer with her.

This time, I woke her up too soon to go to church. Granted, it was at 9:00 A.M., and that was even early for me. But nevertheless, it was time

to go, and I started waking her up gently. “Hi hon. It’s time to get up for church. Can you get up for me? Should I start the shower for you? (usually this gets a good response. no such luck this time.)”

What I heard in return was a groan, a comment that she was sick, and a grunt as she pulled the covers over her head.  From there, it got a bit ugly. Not all at once, you see. It just gradually turned into a battle of wills. She pushed my buttons, and in turn, I pushed hers. I didn’t even know I was acting like her! Like a child. Like a tween. And, I lost the battle.

It ended with a slap.

It ended with crying, and stony silence. It ended up in catastrophe.. Needless to say, church was a mess. Nothing was taken in, and nothing spiritual was to be let in our hard hearts. Even prayer was fruitless.  What did work was saying I Am Sorry.

Yes, it was me that uttered the apology. Yes, it was me that was supposed to. Yes, I had no idea whether she would accept it or not.

She did.

English: A of , Croesyceiliog. Located on Newp...

She broke down crying, and so did I.  Right there in the chapel. People thought we were caught up in the spirit of the Lord. 🙂 We weren’t.  But we were caught up in the spirit of loving each other. Our bonds of love overcame the battle of wills, and I was so thankful. Sniffling, with tears running down my face, and my nose and eyes red, I came to know that my sweet girl was being just fine. She was doing exactly what she was supposed to do. She was being 11.

She rocked.

So now here I am, listening to her laugh as she runs up the stairs, the morning forgotten, and I wonder at the sweet child she is, and at the hormones that run through her body.  I wait for the next trigger and realize that it is me that needs to grow up. It is me that needs to have patience with her. It is me that needs more tenderness.

The battle that we had, was such a good lesson for me because I will remember the slap. I will remember the harsh words, and I will remember that she is my daughter. She is my labor of love. She is worth it.


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Trying out a new story…

English: Schematic map of the italian regions ...

So here I am, writing for my 15 minutes. I really don’t know what to say today.

I have put in my time starting a story. It’s about a girl who is almost out of Julliard as a Cello player, has a wealthy boyfriend, and some good prospects. All she and her parents have trained her for are about to come to fruition. She is a small town girl who works hard to fit in with the New York crowd. She never wants to go back to small town life, in fact, and it doesn’t look like she has to. However her life takes a turn when all but 1 auditions fall through, and that audition takes her to Italy, where she knows no one, doesn’t know the language, or the atmosphere. She loses even that prospect and has to face that she may not be as good as she thinks she is.

Dejected, she starts the short journey to the airport when her wallet and identity are stolen. She is stuck and has to rely on others to survive in Italy. Through a kind man, she ends up playing in a small group for a traveling opera around the smaller regions of the country. She learns to rely on small town people to keep her going, and she finds a love of the country and a man.  She also finds out what it is to let go of fortune and fame, and embrace service and love.

I like it, but we will see how it really takes off, when I start fleshing it out.


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#ds469 - Fear, Dread, Neuralgia

I was asked to write about my strongest memory of heart-pounding, belly-twisting nervousness. The memory that pops up is one that still makes me cringe. It was something that made my stomach hurt, and my legs twitch. It felt surreal to me. I can’t remember who helped me get dressed that day or what was said, but before this happened, I was so sick inside that I couldn’t eat or drink. When the event came up I had a dry mouth and bad breath.


Not a good way to walk down the aisle to get married, eh?


Now, I know now that the man I married is my perfect companion, but it has taken every bit of the 21 years we have lived together to find that out. I love this man with all of my heart. He makes me happy, and I work every day to help him remember that he loves me, too.


We just had to grow up together to find that out.


Bride's veil close-upWhen we started the journey, I was 19 years old and had decided that he was NOT the man for me. So imagine my surprise when he wiggled on in to my heart, in spite of circumstance and opinion. Before I knew what happened, I was in an enormous veil (the moms-in-law had made it together as a token of their … support…), an off white, 2-piece wool suit-dress (It was to be something I was to wear later, over and over again), and a baby bump. Now don’t get me wrong. The man I was marrying was an amazing man. He was strong and confidant. He was attractive and charismatic. He was….18.


The nervousness came simply because I was walking down the aisle. The aisle that represented a few things:


1. The vows that say “Till Death Do You Part”? In my part of town, it meant, “FOREVER, Whether You Are Dead Or Not, There IS No Getting Out Of This.”


2.Once we were married, we would be OLD.


3. We have no plan as far as having a job, or an apartment, or a life plan. AAAAAHHHH!


Man, that was a long aisle.


So there I was, in my hideous veil and dress, feeling like this was a pretend day. Maybe a practice day. I knew that some friends and class-mates were there. I knew there was a bishop to officiate the occasion. Even Mr. Butcher, the music teacher, was there to offer the music. And I knew that I had a 2 tier cake from Soelberg’s, the small-town grocery store (they did a beautiful job.).


I had all these things lined up, and I still felt that this was pretend. In the room upstairs where I was to wait for “The Music” to bring me down the stairs and down the aisle, my pits wouldn’t stop sweating. My makeup was running at the corners of my eyes, and my heart kept pounding.


What was wrong with me? I had already decided to go through with it, right? I had made my list of pro’s and con’s (mom taught me to do that for every hard decision in life. It was a close list, but my loving the man at the end of the aisle kind of bumped it over). I was even told, “You made your bed, now lie in it.” (That was my Aunt Marlene. Man, I didn’t like her at the time…). This was a day I should have been happy, right? Nope. I was terrified.


Cold Feet


It didn’t occur to me that anyone else could have cold feet. I didn’t know there was a term, “Cold Feet“. Why should I? I wouldn’t normally be thinking of marriage at 19! Nevertheless, I had them big time. It just didn’t occur to me that any other woman, or man for that matter, could have questions like mine.  I just assumed I was the only one that couldn’t see the carpet under her feet, or the sunshine pouring in on this special day.


Thus the terrified look as I almost slunk down those stairs, then pushed my back straight, and walked down that path that brought me to him. To This. To Now.


I am so glad I went through my most terrifying moment. I am so glad I pushed through, instead of backing away. For me, I have spent my 20’s and 30’s with my best friend. We have gotten to see life as a couple. We have had some really scary, really hard, and really sucky times, but we have pushed through them. I think we got to push through them because we made the leap in the first place, to push through.


My man didn’t tell me until many years later that he had cold feet so bad he almost left me at the altar. Good for him. 🙂




That Worst/Best Memory…


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Being Happy…



Sunshine through the blind


Today is a good day. It is a bright day outside and the sun shines into my bedroom and on my pillow. I wake slowly and blink a few times, seeing it is time to get up. I know my goals for today are only one.


Be Happy

Be Happy.


I am coming out of a down time, and it is good news. It is good news because I am starting to notice my downs and ups by myself. I am starting to know what triggers downs and ups. And this time, I was right. I didn’t need to panic, or change what I was doing. I just got to trust that I would come out of it, and I did. That’s the good news.


I get showered and dressed, get breakfast and get my daughter up. I realize that I did all of that, and in doing it at all, I am winning. Just another sign that I’m on the up and up. Later in the day, I am up and around my kitchen, puttering and sweeping. Then off to the store and back again. Yep, I’m winning. I’m happy to be living life again.


It’s funny that sometimes doing the mundane can bring a smile to my face as easy as watching a comedy, or something else that is made to be funny. Sometimes just being in life is fun, and Happy.


English: T-shirt in process of being tie-dyed ...


Hmmm. So some other happy things that happened today are that my son and his fiance came over. They came to visit when they could be off doing other things. They are still visiting, and it’s been 4 hours. In that time, the women-folk tie-dyed t-shirts, made some nacho’s for all of us, and watched TV. The men-folk worked in the wood shop, fixing a table and raising up my sofa’s. (They were just too low. I hated it.)


It’s been a busy-ish, social, and mundane day.  And I loved it all. As it is winding down I realize that I achieved my goal: Be Happy. Thank goodness that I could be happy today. Thank goodness I had the strength and attitude to get up out of bed. It’s how I know I am done with my down-ness.





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How Bout A Little Old With The New?

English: i am a retard and i love doughnuts th...

I just spoke with a friend. She discussed with me some traditions she was keeping alive. Namely, baking cookies, just like her mom used to make. This brought to me a memory of my mom making doughnuts. OH MAN! Her doughnuts still make my mouth water. And I think half of the reason for it is because of the memory that goes with it.

My Kitchen(Clean for now)

She had a huge kitchen. The kind that held a big ol table, with the appliances all around it, just waiting for hoards of people to visit in it and help out with whatever meal or treat was on the counter. It was expected that if you are in the kitchen, you wash your hands and dig in to prepare it. That meant rolling out dough, and mixing ingredients in bowls, and stirring just-so on the stove.

I loved it.

Now, here I am with kids and a big kitchen of my own. My kids are older, and I have only had them help out a few times. To my eternal shame. I thought I was doing myself a favor because I could cook or bake faster with them out-of-the-way, but I have robbed myself and them of the memories to be made from the chaos that goes on in the kitchen.

Well, no more!

English: Home-baked cut-out sugar cookies, und...

This is a new year. It is time for resolutions and new habits and whatnot.  For me, I will bring some of the past into the present and make my own memories with the kids, and my husband, who already cooks more than me. I will be baking with the kids at first (I enjoy that more than cooking), and then move on to meals.

Wish me luck as I bring sugar cookies and doughnuts into my home, and let the kids into the memories!


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The Good News About Some Crappy Stuff…

So here is another New Years Post. I’m not reading the ones that are out there because they seem very … fluffy. Fluff has a place. I write a lot of Fluff. Just not today. Today is a day that is me letting out a breath that I’ve held on to for the entire year. Lots of chaos happened this year. Lots of hard times, and “Holy Crap! How Did That Happen???”-ness. We struggled with medical bills this year. We always stayed on top, but we juggled A LOT. Why medical bills? Well, I was told that I have Bipolar, as I have said. I got to deal with medication. And a ton of Dr. Appointments. Thus the bills for medication and appointments. BLECH. But, I also learned that I wasn’t broken. I have huge up’s and down’s, still, but I’m not broken. ( I sure feel like it sometimes.) My husband got to recognize and aid me in the triggers that cause the up’s and down’s, and my grey-ness that happens in between.  That’s a lot of chaos for him too.  Our neighborhood struggled with the kidnapping and death of a child, and it took its toll.   And then there was the regular chaos that happens because that’s life.

What’s the point?

The point is that I was holding my breath, kind of, throughout the year, waiting for another thing to happen. I was waiting for more and more things to pile up, and I became a bit numb through the year. So I’m asking myself, “Do I have another year like this to look forward to? What else can possibly happen?”

As I write, I realize that, yes, more can happen.  More can happen because LIFE happens. This is life. This is what happens when I’m not on vacation, or asleep, or watching TV. It’s what happens in between appointments, and phone calls, and things to look forward to.  Sometimes life has terrible things go on. Things that just don’t seem to have a silver lining. And yet, bad things happen to good people. And bad people, for that matter. But as long as I am looking to dodge the bad things, I am looking to dodge life. And I simply can’t do it. In fact, I don’t, when I think about it, want to dodge life. Because life is full of the good stuff, too.

This year was full of good things. The good things came, sometimes, from the lessons learned when bad stuff happened. For instance, all the Dr. bills. A TON OF THEM!!!!!! The good news is that somehow, we paid them every month. And that took us learning, or exercising self-discipline with our money.  Something we really didn’t need or want to do before. We are breaking the habit of spending it all because we can. We now know how to budget and save. It’s only taken us 21 years, 🙂 But I don’t know that we would have learned this lesson any other way. So it’s good news.

Another thing is, believe it or not, with the lessons that have come from me living with Bipolar. I am learning to rely on other people’s ideas and advice. If you know me, you will know that I happen to have a hard time with anyone else but me being right. 🙂  Again, I don’t know that I could learn this kind of humility any other way. So I am thankful for this good news.

Lastly, I am noticing that bad things that happen, things that make me not want to even go outside my front door anymore… those things don’t last. The horrible things that I think will never go away…. they do diminish, a bit, with time. With a community, or a family, pulling together, trust can be built again. The real pain of crying and crying as I’m sick over worrying about that little girl and her family, and the heartache of knowing she won’t be with them anymore…… it’s painful.


And, eventually, my body served me by stopping the tears. Letting me breathe and move and live life in all the minute details that it takes to run a household. I guess what I’m saying is that even with the pain, life let me move forward. Painfully, sometimes, but move forward, nonetheless.  I still grieve for a family and their loss. I still grieve for my change in life, for heaven’s sake, but life is letting me move forward. And that is the good news that goes with this year.

There are fireworks tonight. They will celebrate the end of my hard year, and the end of my blessed year. Ok, and the beginning of the New Year. I guess if next year turns out to be like this year, what I hope is to recognize the blessings that come from the lessons learned.  🙂  Happy New Year!


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