My Christmas Prayer

So Christmas 2016 is just a memory, a sweet, sweet, beautiful memory. I shopped, cooked, and wrapped gifts.
I watched my grand baby who was too little to understand the concept of the holiday open her gifts. The adults said yay to everything she did including when she yawned. This is how precious the grandparent experience is.
It was wonderful until my beautiful, thoughtful, so loved daughter began to fade. The celebration born out of the birth of Christ that now focuses on the wonder and excitement seen through the eyes of a child was breaking her heart.

She anticipated being pregnant for Christmas and of course as you know she is not.
As usual, this so poised and in control young woman, tried to appear as if she was enjoying the holiday, but her eyes told me different. I struggled not knowing what to do. Do I ignore the signs and allow her to continue the facade? Other’s did not see the pain in those sparkling eyes but I did. I chose to keep silent. But I worried, will she think  her mother doesn’t recognize her pain?

I went into the kitchen and cried. I felt like I was failing her. DAMN!!! Why don’t I know what to do? Why can’t I help her? I want her to know I see her pain without causing her more. Is that even possible?

I went back in and sat next to her. I took her delicate beautifully manicured hand in mine and whispered “you ok”?

She nodded yes and looked away. I knew this was all she could do and I left it at that. We sat in silence holding hands.
Once everyone was gone and as my husband was softly snoring I cleaned up the day’s celebration. I reflected on the day and remembered the meaning of Christmas… It is not about the gifts or the decorations or the food.

It’s the day our Savior was born. This is what we are celebrating.

As I laid my head down I and gave thanks for all that God has given me I did ask for one gift….please bless my daughter with the wonderful gift I have been given… motherhood.

What makes me happy makes me sad.


I enjoy the time I spend with my children, in fact Sunday is my favorite day of the week. Not because it is the weekend and I’m off; because my children come home for dinner. I usually make pasta or one of their favorites, but the menu doesn’t really matter it’s the time we spend together. Most weeks the conversation and laughter lasts through out dinner and spills into the family room. The television is on in the background providing “white noise” but no one is watching it. My grand baby easily steals the show whether it’s with a smile, the sweet sound of her baby laugh, or the 3 or 4 wobbly steps that seem to surprise her as much as they do us.
I am a lucky lucky women.
As I head into bed after they have gone I am content and happy… but not this week.

I’m thinking of the conversation I had with my daughter earlier in the week when we met for lunch.

As I mentioned in previous blogs she is battling infertility and had a failed IVF cycle a few months back.
Our conversations can be frivolous, silly, and lighthearted but at some point the topic of infertility will come up.

On this particular day she shared that she hasn’t kept the doctors appointments that are leading up to January’s IVF cycle. 

To say I was surprised/shocked would be an understatement. 

This is the women who fought the insurance company, went from clinic to clinic until someone agreed to take her case. Follows every adage on diet, sleep, vitamins, etc. conducive for successful pregnancy/IVF. 

She has converted all things organic; make up, household cleaners, foods.
I know my face betrayed how I was feeling but I sat in silence waiting for her to explain.

 She dropped that bombshell and now was sitting there eating her salad like she merely mentioned the weather.

I sat there moving the olives around in my salad trying to decide… do I ask questions? Or just listen? 


I looked into her eyes hoping they revealed the answer and then thank God she began to explain. 
She is not emotionally ready to try again. The sadness and disappointment from the failed cycle has scarred her.

Although she knew the odds she didn’t emotionally prepare for how she would “feel” if it wasn’t successful. 

Many people jump right back in and she said she would if it was unsuccessful … but she can’t … not yet.
I didn’t know how to respond because I was truly surprised. I knew the whole process was difficult for her and her husband. What surprised me was her decision or lack of decision to try again. This is so out of character for my daughter and I needed time to process. She has struggled since she was 14 with health issues that have changed the course of her life. She has battled to live a “normal” life despite judgement and scrutiny of others. She is a fighter and does it with such grace and determination. She is inspiring without knowing. This new approach is unfamiliar to me. 
I realize she’s not giving up, she is healing and needs to do it at her own pace, in her own way. I am disappointed in myself for not knowing how deeply this has been weighing on her heart and her mind. I didn’t know the true magnitude of it. Although she has not said anything … I feel that I have not been supportive enough and I hope she can forgive me.
What has me sad tonight is the very thing that I said makes me happy … I know the joy and happiness that my children have added to my life and I pray she will experience all the wonderful things that motherhood has to offer. As I lay my head down tonight I am realizing for the first time that she may not be blessed with children. I know God has a plan and I trust his journey. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t sadden me.

Me in Progess


It is again Sunday, the day devoted to thanking our Lord. We should thank God every day; but Sunday is the day that many gather in his name in unity. Remembering the gifts we have received and to forgive those who have sinned again us. It is an easy role to fulfill, or is it ? How easy is it to forgive the littlest transgressions? The man that cut you off while entering the highway, the women who pushed her shopping cart in front of you in the checkout line, the co worker who was less than honest about his/her contributions to a project you were both responsible for.

Do we become immune to forgiveness when the acts against us appear as modern day concerns and not biblical examples?
The need to forgive and reserve judgement is paramount in these examples and many others that we experience in our day to day life.
Can we identify the areas where we should “turn the other cheek”?
I mention this because today on my way home from Church; I mistakenly crossed into another’s lane. It was not done to cause anger or due to carelessness.
I was avoiding a cat in the road. The other driver immediately became angry. He blew his horn (this was understandable ) he was signaling to that me I crossed into his lane. What happened after this was not understandable or acceptable. He began to curse at me and call me offensive names (whore, bitch, and the c word). I immediately mouthed “I’m so sorry” to him and that angered him more. I was upset as I truly was sorry .

He rolled down his window and proceeded to tell me how he wished I died and how he wanted to cause me to crash my car. I slowed down and allowed him to pass me in an effort to be free from this individual. I was thankful he sped away. I believe my exact words were “thank you Jesus”!! I knew He kept me safe from an irate  individual and truthfully I was thankful.

Once home I continued to be bothered/upset over the situation.

As my children arrived for dinner (this is one of my happiest moments of the week) I conveyed my experience to them and they immediately asked –
Did I get the license plate number?

Did I report it?

I responded –  I reported this to our maker as I was praying and I’m hopeful that his heart will be affected. I do not believe he needs to be corrected by the law,  only softened by the Lord.

While I believe what I said to my family … it caused me to pause and think …

Have I acknowledged my sins? Have I asked for forgiveness from those that I am not even aware that I offended or hurt? Despite worshipping with many today I’m not so sure I did.

So while my family is upset about what I encountered today I am more concerned with my own transgressions for those who I may have  hurt or those I was quick to judge … so I ask please forgive me.

When I lay my head down tonight I will ask for forgiveness and try to be a better me tomorrow.

Forgive and Unite

With today being Veteran’s Day I first want to thank all those who have and continue to serve and protect us!!
Thank you for keeping us safe!!!!

You are beloved!

I feel I should have a disclaimer that this post is politically charged and may not be for everyone. I offer no apologies as these are my true feelings but they are not meant to insult or anger anyone.

I do not call anyone stupid or an idiot as we are all free to feel as we do and to vote without prejudice or judgement.
I sit and reflect on the election outcome. This election was difficult for most. Both candidates were flawed and came with baggage. It was not an easy Presidential election by no means. I know most struggled with their decision.

While I contemplated who was the best choice I could not help but be overwhelmed by Donald Trumps moral disgrace to women, Mexicans, Muslims, and African Americans.

Yes Hilary had email security issues but I asked who has been personally affected by this ?

And…

will I be affected by the things Trump proposed ?

If you are in his tax bracket you will benefit — the rest of us will suffer and never rise to our potential because that isn’t in his plan.
I have children, both men and women and I must say I personally felt he could impact their lives and not for the good

While I am pro life and will never falter on that I truly believe women should decide what happens to their bodies not the government. Everyone will face their maker and answer to their decisions and I believe that is where judgement lies. Not at the hands of others. Laws do not stop crime – people do. So I believe everyone has the right to decide what they will do in these circumstances. It is  a moral decision that no man can make for another. Making such things illegal jeopardizes lives.

His hatred and intolerance of minorities fosters hate and anger. His inability to reign in his thoughts puts all men of draft age at risk.

My sons (your sons) do not need to fight for their lives because of his lack of filter, knowledge, and political etiquette.
Our young daughters now know that a man can say and do vial things to women and still be President. Is this a message young boys and girls should hear?
He was heard on tape saying he walked into pageant areas where girls (not women) were in various stages of unaddress. Would any father or mother be ok with a stranger viewing our daughters in this manner? Of course not. Let’s be clear these were young girls not women but I digress. This isn’t “man talk ” it’s a man leering at young girls and bragging about it. I personally feel more comfortable with an email breech than a moral breech. Women fall prey to sexual predators everyday, they are assaulted and demoralized by men of this character. It’s so sad to see that we as women have been discounted not because of his actions but because of America’s acceptance of his actions/behavior.
While I applaud his  wife’s platform on cyber  bullying does anyone else see the irony?? Has she read/seen her husband’s Twitter account? OMG.
It’s no surprise I am disappointed and saddened by the election outcome.
I do not propose rioting or burning flags but rather everyone coming together to make the United States a better place.

Do I  believe Trump’s vision alone will do this?

No, but I do believe in the American people.

I believe we will overcome all the election biased anger and hatred and become a nation committed to acceptance, tolerance, respect, and gratitude.

Do I believe Trump can let go of his bias?

No I don’t, but the American public can be better despite him and cause change without falling prey to his convoluted thinking.
I will pray over this as I do on all  areas of my life and have faith that good things will happen.

I love and trust America and it’s people and I know we will be ok. We need to remember who we are and what we stand for and everything else will fall into place.

We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave and I am thankful for that!!!

 

I will allow for an acceptable mourning period to process my thoughts knowing that I will be stronger for doing so in the end.

And then I will be the best I can be while trying make positive changes every where I go.
I will bury my overwhelming sadness about the election outcome and continue to be a strong American. I will not foster divide or encourage separation but rather a commitment to unity as a country and people of a higher power!!

 

Pennies from Heaven

I’ve been feeling a little down in recent weeks since my daughter’s unsuccessful IVF cycle.I was cleaning up around the house and I found a handful of pennies in a kitchen drawer. As I was gathering them to put in my husband’s change jar, I had a better idea …penny planting.

I wasn’t thinking about burying them but rather planting/placing them for others to find.

Sounds a little crazy right??

Let me try to explain…

When I was a child my parents told me “find a penny on heads up and all day long you’ll have good luck”.

So whenever I spied a penny on heads, I would pick it up and place it in my pocket, just knowing something good was going to happen.

On most occasions,  I don’t think anything special or lucky happened, but I was filled with happiness and joy anticipating how my new found luck would appear. I never felt let down when it didn’t occur because I don’t believe, I truly expected anything to happen. But the magical feeling it evoked was wonderful.

I wanted to help others feel this joy.
So I took that handful of pennies and placed them in various places (the grocery store, parking lot, sidewalks etc.) it didn’t really matter where.
This penny planting gig was making me happy, maybe someone would pick one up and believe that today is going to be lucky or better. Maybe it would cause another person to dream or anticipate good things.
Once all the pennies were placed a memory of my father flooded my thoughts.

As a 30 year old adult, I recall my dad holding my hand in his as we walked on a city street, it didn’t matter I was grown with small children of my own he was holding my hand, keeping my safe.

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We were talking about nothing in particular while my husband and mom walked ahead. He suddenly stopped and in a very animated voice said “look honey there’s a penny on heads up, hurry up, get it, you’ll have good luck”! I told him to pick it up because he saw it.

He smiled and then scooped down and got the penny, grabbed my hand and we began to walk again.

But now there was a noticeable hop to his step, a lightness that warmed my heart and brought a smile to my face. He still believed a penny on heads up would bring him luck; it didn’t matter he wouldn’t  be able to identify this “luck bringing penny” once it was placed in his pocket with the other loose change. 

He was a believer !! Or was he enjoying just the thought that something good could happen. I never asked him I was to busy enjoying his response. 

He has since died so this vivid memory was a welcome intrusion.

I felt myself smiling and feeling a little more light hearted than I have in quite a while. I hoped that whoever stumbled upon these pennies felt the same joy I did as a child and my father did as a man in his 60’s.
It was then that I thought perhaps these were pennies from heaven- pennies from my dad and he was again holding my adult hand through a difficult time.

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I jumped up and ran over to one of the pennies and placed it in my pocket. It’s then that I realized the penny placing wasn’t solely my idea, God had a hand in it, he was helping me through a difficult time and my dad was a part of it.

Speaking without words

I feel like I may have been hiding the last few weeks since 4 couples have shared their pregnancy news with my daughter.

I celebrate the gift of life always – God has created it and I believe we should always be thankful, so I am happy for these young couples. But I can’t lie and say the news didn’t tug at my heart.

Each time someone shares the news that they are expecting, I see the sadness in her eyes, I hear the raw emotion in her words.

I know a little piece of her is taken every time she hears a friend, cousin, or in law is pregnant.
When the news is shared it’s the same scenario

I hear her say the same words, literally the same words, it’s as if she prepared a speech to appear she is ok, knowing it is killing her soul.

Each time it is spoken I feel like less of her is there.

I always try to remain strong and supportive, listen and cry once she has gone.
The recent news … it’s her sibling who is expecting in the spring.
“It was so unexpected ” “we weren’t even trying”. While these words were not meant to hurt her of course they did.

Emotions are flooding in as this is so close to home, this isn’t someone she can avoid, nor does she want to.

She just wants to be there too!!

I reach for her hand and perhaps squeeze a little too long with a little more force than I mean to, I look away to hide my tears.
I continue to hold her hand in mine and finally turn toward her knowing she will see my face wet with tears and my eyes ready to unleash another stream onto my cheeks.

I’m feeling so conflicted because I want to remain strong but my heart is breaking for my child.

I begin to cry and I don’t try to stop the outpouring of emotion as I realize I am losing a part of myself every time I try to feign strength… I am hurting too. We sit like this in silence. Somehow words are not needed.
I know God’s hand is directing these events and I am not in control.

I know He has a plan that I may or may not like but I need to accept.

It’s in this moment that I feel like I got a piece of myself back and I pray she begins to heal and rebuild herself.

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Knowing that we will have a second grandchild is over shadowed at this moment.

I feel terrible that I’m not fully embracing this news but I also know time will allow me to.

A mother is only as happy as her saddest child and this is where I am right now.

Don’t lose your personal connections

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I am a nurse and have a regional corporate position for a healthcare company. My role is to help cultivate the skills of our nurses with the goal of providing the highest level of care. I love what I do. My job affords me the ability to meet many people and from time to time they continue to contact me after they leave the company. Some are just keeping in touch while others still view me as a consultant/advisor.

Kathy is one such person, she left our company over 18 months ago but will text asking for advice or guidance. I’m always happy to assist her despite her working for a competitor. I know my assistance will ultimately impact patient outcomes and that is why I became a nurse.

She will ask a work related question(s) peppered with pleasantries “how are the kids”, “how was your vacation”?

I always respond and inquire about her family as well. I would not say we are close or even friends but I enjoy what we have, it’s easy, uncomplicated.

Recently she texted and after an exchange of work concerns the usual pleasantries ensued and then bam

the conversation turned …. her husband Mark died from leukemia.

I am stunned and feel helpless. Almost 2 months have passed since his death but the news is new to me.

I’m trying to process the information.

I’m sure it still feels new to her, it’s only been 2 months for a wife of 20+ years.

The easy uncomplicated “relationship” is suddenly anything but that.

I of course text her back and tell her how sorry I am to hear this news but feel this isn’t enough…

What are the guidelines? Do I call despite her choosing to text??

Texting, while it is something most people do, it is now causing me to feel unsure about what to do.

As a nurse a personal connection has always been important to me. Patients do better when this exists, they listen when being taught on how to care for themselves and prevent future hospitalization, critically ill and dying patients can feel this as a nurse tries to make every hour the best it can be and passing as gentle as possible because everyone deserves that. Kathy now feels like a patient to me, someone who could benefit from help and support.

I am unable to concentrate on anything else since hearing the news, texting is not how I feel death should be handled.

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I begin to solicit advice; I want to know is it too late to send flowers even though I just found out?

Do I call and possibly intrude ? Do I send a card and forgo the flowers?

Why don’t I know what to do? I realize it’s because communicating solely via texting has created an impersonal relationship. While we are exchanging thoughts and ideas, feelings cannot be conveyed this way.

When speaking to someone they can hear the intonation of your voice, the listener can feel what you are saying. Texting does not allow this. I am that cheesy person who includes ❤️❤️❤️ and ❌⭕️❌⭕️ to show love, hugs and kisses while texting but wouldn’t that person rather hear those words?

While we have become so advanced we have removed the human component for basic communication. Life is so busy, moving at lightning speed, have we become so task oriented we need to type an answer rather than speak to each other?

Don’t get me wrong I welcome the ability to answer a quick question via email/text.

It’s the friendly banter and “catching up” via text that has me pondering the need to make changes.. to talk not text. I don’t want to lose the human component, the personal connections that bring me happiness, that is the core of who I am. That is why God lead me into nursing.

I hope those in my life will find this”new” way of communicating acceptable.

As for Kathy … I prayed over it and of course the answer was obvious…I opted to call her… she didn’t answer so I left a voicemail.