Sunday, May 28, 2006

Life is Passing By

Today is my mother's birthday. She was born in 1912, the youngest of 6 children. She married at the age of 27, and started having babies right away. She had several miscarriages along the way, but she had 6 kids, with the youngest one being me. She was a devout Catholic all of her life - I can still hear those rosary beads clicking in my memory whenever I am under stress, as that was her favorite thing to do whenever stress entered her life (which was quite frequently).

My mom was a bright, intelligent, and beautiful woman. She couldn't afford a college education, but she read a lot - especially the Bible and her prayer books. She kept on top of current events, and she was a wonderful conversationalist.

My mom died when I was 14 of cancer. I can't imagine the pain it must have cost her to leave this world knowing she left behind a child she couldn't raise. I can't imagine leaving either of my daughters at the stages of life they are going through right now. I still can't believe I survived those fragile years without her gentle and strong spirit to nurture and guide me.

For years after she died, I was very adamant about NOT having children of my own. Down deep, I had a fear that if I did have kids, then I would leave them prematurely like my mom had left me. It was extremely difficult to overcome that fear. It took a leap of faith to decide to become a mom. And I am so very glad I took that chance - for life without my girls would be incomplete.

Today was my oldest daughter's graduation from high school. I plan to post more about that on Tuesday or Wednesday - I still have a party to throw tomorrow!!! But, I couldn't help but smile when I thought of how these two women - my mom and my daughter - are sharing celebrations today. Not a coincidence, in my opinion. I saw in my daughter today some characteristics that you don't see in young woman of today very often - she has such a quiet confidence and poise about her. It dawned on me that those are the same qualities my mom possessed. How amazing is it that my daughter has abosorbed some of my mom's personality and characteristics, without ever meeting her face to face!!!

On a sad note, the father of my youngest daughters' godfather passed away earlier today. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Life goes on - graduations, funerals, laughter, tears.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Yes, I am Still Alive

I am still alive and well. Barely.

It's been a physically exhausting week. I seem to forget that this body isn't as young as it used to be, and I have aches and pains in places I shouldn't have aches and pains. Well, you know what I mean. . .

We live in a fairly large house. I can keep up with the routine housework. But preparing it for a graduation open house is something out of my realm. I have painted rooms, thoroughly cleaned out a basement, moved furniture to and fro, cleaned bedding, purged closets and drawers, washed windows, picked up weights to move from one side of the basement to the other, and swore endless times under my breath. And that is just the beginning. Remind me in 3 years when my youngest graduates to NOT go through this kind of preparation again. Remind me to have an "open house" at a hotel. Remind me that I don't have to be so anal about having my house immaculate for out of town relatives and friends who live close by.

I think part of my frenzied activity is my way of working through the sadness I am feeling right now. I thought all of this "exercise" would help me fall asleep at night because I'd be exhausted - but that's kind of backfired because I am TOO exhausted to fall asleep. Then, my mind goes over the list of stuff which still needs to be tackled. And, in the quiet of the night, my mind recalls all the memories of my daughter's growing up years - the happy times and the sad times, the joys and the sorrows. And, finally, right before I actually do fall asleep, I say a little prayer for the upcoming days - so that they can be filled with laughter and love as we gather together to celebrate her accomplishments.

My writing will be sparse over the next week. Please say a little prayer for safe travels for my relatives, nice weather on Sunday for graduation and Monday for the open house, and for me to stay composed throughout it all. I've been told I am NOT allowed to cry - yeah, right, whatever. . .

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I'm a "Hottie"

Yes, you read that correctly! Jeff, of ThinkSink fame, has put me down as #7 of the Top Ten Hotties of the blogosphere. What a thrill and honor for me! Please go and check out his website at and leave a comment.

He's announcing the #1 Hottie tonight!

Thanks, Jeff!

Musings of a Busy Mom

It's been a flurry of activities around our house over the past week or so - getting the house ready for graduation guests, award ceremonies at school, my birthday, and Mother's Day. Each of these activities bring their own set of emotions and thoughts, and sometimes it feels like I'm on an emotional roller coaster.

The house is starting to look less cluttered as we purge the things we haven't used in ages. Some of those things have brought back memories of when the girls were younger - a totally different stage of my life and theirs.

DQ received a gold medal and a Summa Cum Laude certificate for her outstanding performance in the National Latin Examination - the highest honor possible. She dearly loves her Latin teacher and is enjoying this language very much (which I find totally amazing). TP received several certificates last night for her participation in Teen Institute, which is a program which promotes a drug and alcohol free lifestyle. Next week will be her award ceremony at school, and I'll need to bring some kleenex to that event! Tomorrow is her last official day of high school - and thus, she will end a significant part of her life.

My birthday brought some lovely presents and cards from family and friends near and far. It was a fun and relaxing day. TP brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers and balloons for me - such a surprise and loving gesture! DQ gave me a beautiful crystal rose with a mirror which is placed underneath the rose. And my hubby also surprised me with a pretty bouquet of flowers and also a silk flower arrangement for my dining room table. Does anybody else see a pattern here? I was very spoiled by my family, and I felt quite loved and appreciated.

Mother's Day was a bit different this year. My husband played golf and the girls had to work a shift at the restaurant where they are employed, so I had a lot of time by myself. It gave me some time to ponder the changes which are taking place in my family, as we face TP's departure in the fall. This process of letting go is much more painful than I ever thought it would be, at many different levels, and I found myself in tears off and on throught the day. In the evening, we had a nice dinner at a restaurant nearby.

I find myself in a melancholy mood more often than not lately. God is working in my heart and soul, helping me to evaluate my life and my relationships, and comforting me as I go through all of the departures in my life - the unused items which represented a more carefree time in our lives, the younger version of myself who no longer exists, and the separation of my oldest away from the family. My life is changing so drastically right now, and it is in such unfamiliar territory.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

I received this via e-mail a couple of days ago, so I am not sure who the author is. I think it's reminiscent of an Erma Bombeck piece which I have read before, and which is posted over at today. Anyway, here it is:

Someday when my children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates a parent, I will tell them, as my Mean Mom told me: I loved you enough. . . to ask where you were going, with whom, and what time you would be home.

I loved you enough to be silent and let you discover that your new best friend was a creep.

I loved you enough to stand over you for two hours while you cleaned your room, a job that should have taken 15 minutes.

I loved you enough to let you see anger, disappointment, and tears in my eyes. Children must learn that their parents aren't perfect.

I loved you enough to let you assume the responsibility for your actions even when the penalties were so harsh they almost broke my heart.

Bust most of all, I loved you enough. . . to say NO when I knew you would hate me for it.

Those were the most difficult battles of all. I'm glad I won them, because in the end you won, too. And someday when your children are old enough to understand the logic that motivates parents, you will tell them.

Was your Mom mean? I know mine was. We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids had candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess that our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from what other kids had, too.

Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You'd think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.

We were ashamed to admit it, but she had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work! We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, empty the trash, and all sorts of cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do.

She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds and had eyes in the back of her head. Then, life was really tough!

Mother wouldn't let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were 16.

Because of our mother we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other's property, or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault.

Now that we have left home, we are all educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was.

I think that's what's wrong with the world today. It doesn't have enough Mean Moms!

~Author Unkown~

Happy Mother's Day to some of the meanest moms I have ever had the pleasure of knowing!!!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Growing Old Gracefully

Happy Birthday to ME!

Actually, at first I decided NOT to celebrate my birthday this year, as I am WAY over the hill. I woke up feeling pretty sorry for myself, now that I am officially __ years old. Then, I decided that I needed an attitude adjustment because I have so very much for which to be thankful.

I have a great husband who works hard to provide for the family. His "secret" to a successful marriage, which he is fond of telling everybody, is to always say to me "yes, dear, whatever you want". HA! I'll not comment on that one!

I have two precious daughters, who are the lights of my life. We've had our differences, but I wouldn't trade them for anything or anyone. They are my pride and joy!

I have a great job - actually, it's more of a vocation for me. My only complaint is the insurance companies who demand so much of my time due to the paperwork involved.

And, I have made some great blogging buddies over the past year! You guys are awesome - thanks for "being there" for me.

Finally, I have been so richly blessed by God in so many ways throughout my life. I had a wonderful conversation this morning with Him, and I thanked him for all that He has given to me.

Age has nothing to do with how valuable a person is to others or to God. Yet, we live in a society which places such high value on a person's looks and youth. I have decided to grow old GRACEFULLY, with the help of God's merciful and abundant graces which are present everday, in every way.

Monday, May 08, 2006

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Friday, May 05, 2006


TP had her six month check up with her specialist at Children's today. It was good to see him again - he has such an easy-going, caring demeanor about him. The monumental decision was made to take TP off the prednisone TOTALLY!!! So, for the first time in two years, she will no longer be on steroids. If she continues to do well, then in 6 months, we will be able to cut the immunosuppressants in half, and in a year if all goes well, she will be off of those totally, too! Praise the Lord for this wonderful, exciting news. Words can't even begin to express the enormous relief and jubilation this caused for us.

Her doctor went on to say how drastic of an improvement TP has made over the past two years, due in large part to her compliance with taking her meds and exercising and eating healthy foods. He remarked about how grave her situation was when we first met, and then he smiled and said "and look at where she is now - ready to get into the medical field herself in a few short months.". I remember two years ago almost to this very day was when she had started her chemotherapy, which made her so ill. Anyway, the doctor has finally given her a clean bill of health!

So, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Today is a day that I've been waiting for, for a very long time. While I am so very happy and grateful for this news and for TP's good health, I have such a strange mixture of emotions going through me right now.

I guess it boils down to my own need for healing. Healing from the emotional roller coaster of the past two years - the ups and downs, the stress, the pain and suffering, and the sheer exhaustion of it all. I am still feeling the effects of the recent betrayal of trust in my daughter, and the residual anger and pain and sadness from her lies and deceit. It kind of feels like I am just floating around somewhere, without any direction right now, as I face the reality of needing to put all of this behind me, and moving on. In all honesty, I believe healing from the effects of the illness is going to be easier for me to do than healing from the betrayal. The illness was something which happened over which we had no control, it was not something that was purposefully done without regard for how it would affect another person. While I have learned how to forgive, it's a much more difficult thing to forget. When it is remembered, it hits me in the gut all over again, and the pain is as fresh as it was when the deceit was first discovered.

Tomorrow is Prom. I know how excited TP is about this event, so I am happy to see her joyful anticipation. I will have tears in my eyes tomorrow, for many reasons - some obvious ones and other not-so obvious ones. I will hold those reasons which are not so obvious in the secret corners of my heart, and not let them touch or contaminate the moments of my daughter's happiness, which she so richly deserves.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May Issue of Christian Women Online

Please check out the newest edition of the e-zine ! It is an absolutely breathtaking issue this month!

My column has a Mother's Day letter to my girls' birth mothers, which I am sure will touch your heart.

Sorry I haven't been around much lately - I've been so busy with spring housecleaning, painting walls, getting the front yard landscaped, and spending money (yup, home maintenance doesn't come cheap) that I've been neglecting my writing. I'll be back soon, I promise!