Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birtdhay, Dad!!!

Happy Birthday, Dad! Today, you would have been 100 years old!

It's hard to believe you've been gone almost twenty years. I remember our last conversation vividly. It was right after your birthday, and I was rocking TP to sleep. Your voice was frail, shaky - and I could sense your time was near. You asked how I liked being a mom, and I said I loved it. TP was only a little over a month old at the time. You asked if I ever sang to her the song you used to sing to me when I was a kid - one which you had made up especially for me. I told you that, of course, I always sang it to her and it always put her right to sleep. I could barely hear you as you started singing "She's my baby, baby girl", but I soon joined in with you. By the end of the song, we were both in tears. And I whispered "I love you, Dad". You said you loved me, too, in a choked up voice, and we said our goodbyes. That was our last conversation we ever had, as two weeks later, you went on to live with God, on the day before my 34th birthday.

Dad's goals towards the end of his life were very simple - he wanted to turn 80 and he wanted to make sure I was a mom. Once those goals were met, I am sure he thought his life was complete. Two weeks after that, he was gone.

I miss you, Dad. I could use one of your big bear hugs right now. How I wish you could have met my kids - you would have loved them and protected them. I know exactly what you'd be saying right now about the situation with TP - and I would probably have to refrain you from saying and doing a few things.

I was your baby, your little girl, and your eyes would dance with laughter and love when you'd see me coming rushing into your arms when I saw you walking down the sidewalk to come home from work. I would snuggle in your arms as a little one, while you sang "your" song to me (a little off-key), and I felt so loved and so protected and so safe. As I grew older, I knew that you would always watch over me. There were several boyfriends I had which you hated and I couldn't quite figure out why - but your wisdom eventually became evident to me as they began to show their true colors. But there was one whom you liked instantly. You respected him, too. You knew he loved me, and you knew he would never hurt me. You knew that he would be a good provider and that he would never turn me against my family. The two of you shared a special bond, and you would joke around all the time. I loved watching the two of you together - and sometimes, you would even gang up on me and tease me to no end. When he asked you for my hand in marriage, he got down on his bended knee to do so - and that touched you so much. Without hesitation, you said "yes". You would be so happy to know that the young man I married almost 33 years ago is still my husband to this day. You would be glad to know that he has never let me down, he has been a wonderful husband, he has been a great dad who has sacrificed his time and energy for his kids to be a good provider without expecting anything in return (a little appreciation would be nice, sometimes!), and that he loves his girls as much as you loved yours.

So, Dad, even though I am still a little sad today over the more recent events in my family, I can still think of you with a smile on my face and gratitude in my heart that God chose you to be my earthly father. Thanks for all you did for me. I love you.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Crash Course in How to Survive Pain

It's been almost two weeks since my daughter has moved out. Here is what I have learned:

that pain comes and goes with waves, and it's important to have something to hold onto when the wave tries to pull you under. That something is called faith.

that tears can appear before you can have a chance to know that they are even there. It's important to have kleenex handy.

that good things can come out of crises - my husband and I have grown stronger, and my youngest daughter and I are closer than we've ever been. Both have comforted me and held me through the pain.

that intense dislike for a person can do horrible things to your personality and your soul. It's not worth having those feelings because it destroys you as a person and takes away from the energy you need to focus on the love you have for your family.

that society's influence is so strong it can change a 20 year old's values in an instant.

that a man's control over a woman can make a woman do things she would never, ever do in a healthy relationship.

that loving means letting go and letting God.

that giving your daughter back to God so that He can protect her and watch over her and love her and gently call her back home to be with Him feels wonderful and brings such comfort.

that watching your husband cry in pain is a very humbling experience.

that knowing your youngest daughter is coping by shutting herself off from her sister can be okay because that is the only way she can handle her anger and pain and disappointment at the present time.

that friends can be angels in disguise.

that little miracles along the way keeps me from falling into total despair.

that unconditional loves doesn't mean that you condone or accept the other person's behavior and say that what she is doing is acceptable. It just means that your love is strong enough to withstand the pain and anger and disappointment and hurt this person is putting you through, and you keep your arms open to welcome her back at anytime.

that being a mom is the most difficult vocation in the whole world. But, you wouldn't trade it for anything.

that the memories of when they were young and innocent and loving gets you through the tough times. And that prayer will bring you through the tough times to bring you to the other side so that you can make memories which are happy once again.

that God is in control of it all. He has known all along she would break away in this manner. With free will comes responsibility, and she will have to learn this by making her own mistakes and going through the pain of trying to repair those mistakes.

that love can conquer all. It can get keep away evil. With prayer and love, I hope she will come home to a family who loves her unconditionally, and to a God who is waiting patiently and who will gently embrace her return.

It was four years and two days ago that we found out she had lupus nephritis. We praise God for her continued good health. So much has happened in these four years. I nursed her through her illness, but this time I am helpless in terms of trying to help her through this. She cried out to me during her illness to never leave her. I made her a promise then that I never would, and I continue to keep that promise, no matter what. I love you, TP.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

You're The One that I Want

This brought a smile to my face.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Death of a Soul

River Dance last night was phenomenal. We had the absolute best seats in the house, and it was very relaxing. I found myself starting to cry a couple of times because I was remembering the first time we went to it about ten years ago, when the girls were 10 and 7. This time, we were all going to go again, but it was not meant to be since TP is gone from the family. Thus, the tears, because I recalled a simpler and more loving time.

What I'm going through stinks. No mother should have to go through this kind of pain when a daughter intentionally hurts you and doesn't seem to have a care about it. The selfishness and reckless narcissism leave me breathless, and wondering what happened to the girl whom I raised to be kind and compassionate to all, and whose hugs would take your breath away.

I have decided I have had enough of the tears. I can no longer function this way. I will be kind, but that is all I can muster right now. The intense love for her is still there, but it's a painful love not a joyful one. It's a love that hurts and aches and cries out to be brought alive again between the two of us.

She's in danger of losing it all - health insurance (and that would leave her without insurance coverage for the lupus for the rest of her life), her once very honorable reputation which had taken a lifetime to build, her economic stability, her self respect, her college education, and her relationships with people she holds dear. She is close to severing her relationship with God, which is the hardest thing for me to observe.

How does one person switch so quickly - how does one go from one extreme to the other? She is in with a questionable crowd of people - smokers, drinkers, drugs, bad credit, no ambition or drive to do much to better themselves - and before too long, I am afraid they will rub off on her. I'm already beginning to see signs of it. So, where does the dream of becoming a nurse go when you get caught up in all of these other influences, and you give up the security of your home and your family and your reputation and God?

All I can do is pray. Experience is a cruel teacher - and she will learn some very difficult lessons from all of these choices. My husband says it's time to let go. . .
I know that in my head. But my heart has a hard time accepting that the young woman I am now letting go of is the same little girl I raised and nurtured and loved for these past 20 years. Normally, when you "let go" of your daughter, it's always with sadness, but usually there is pride and anticipation and joy for her new life. I'm not "letting go" with any of those kinds of feelings. I'm "letting go" with fear for her well-being (physically, psychologically, and spiritually), with an ache that she has turned her back on us so dramatically, and with grief like she has died. She hasn't died physcially, thank God, but the death she is experiencing now is one of her soul, for she cares not about what she is doing or how it's affecting others. But you know, I would welcome here back home in a heartbeat - she is always welcome here.

I may take a break from blogging. I used to take such pride in what I would write here. But I am very ashamed about what has happened. I need to focus my time in on my other daughter, who has gone through so much over these past 4 or 5 years, but I neglected her due to all that was going on with TP. As a result, DQ has suffered immensely, and I need to repair that relationship and build her up. I also need to focus on my other professional writing assignments. So, I do have some things for which to look forward. I do have my very deep faith in God. My husband and I have grown closer as a result of this crisis - he has been my rock (thank you, babe).

What I'll do is just write a line here and there to keep you posted, but I won't journal my thoughts and feelings here for awhile - I have started my own personal journal here at home to help me put things in perspective. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your prayers.

Love, Val

Sunday, April 20, 2008

River Dance

Guess where I'm going tonight???

I am SO excited! We saw them about 10 years ago when the girls were little, and my husband and I and our youngest daughter and her friend are going this evening. It will be a welcome break from all the drama and tension of the past week.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Jumbled Thoughts

The situation here remains horrible. I've slept about 14 hours total since Monday night. I'm sick to my stomach and have lost weight. I continue to pray constantly. But I grow weary of it all, and soon I will get to the point of being so numb that I will just give up. Not talking suicide, just talking about giving up on trying. There comes a point in time where you just know that the situation is beyond being able to repaired, so why even try?

It will be 12 years ago tomorrow since my best friend, Ruth, died. How I need her right now.

I'm thinking about how strange and painful Mother's Day is going to be this year.

It was 4 years ago tomorrow that I got the phone call from TP's doctor that she needed to be referred to Children's Hospital because something very serious was going on inside her body. Little did I know then how devastating this illness would be on her emotional development, and how she has yet to heal from all of that trauma and fear. In a way, I wish we could go back to that time, because she and I were so close through it all - and now that closeness has been destroyed. I am so worried that we won't ever be close again. She hates me.

I'm sorry I've not been visiting your blogs lately. I promise to do so within the next couple of days. I keep each of you in my prayers. Thanks for listening.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Prayer for TP

Holy Virgin Mary, you are the consecration and protectress of all Christian womanhood. The glory of your own pure womanhood is dear to you, and you wish to see its beauty reflected in all your daughters. Let the image of this womanhood then shine upon my precious daughter. Touch her heart and awaken there a love for you and for that womanhood resplendent in you. Guide her erring feet and bring her back to you and to holiness of life. Shelter her beneath your protecting mantle and take her close in your mothering embrace. Remember that she is your child as well as mine and needs your Mother's protection more than the many who have not strayed. To You, O Mother, I commend her; in you I completely confide for her restoration to a holy and virtuous life. Amen.

~Author Unknown~

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

In My Daughter's Eyes

I miss you so much, my little girl.

Love, Momma

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Update and a God-Made Coincidence

It was brought to my attention that I didn't inform my readers about what transpired last week with DQ's doctor's appointment. We are going in for an EEG tomorrow morning - it should be fun trying to keep her awake from midnight until the actual test at 7:30 a.m. It's going to be an X-box marathon tonight!!! Please say some prayers for good test results - the doctor is not overly concerned that it is anything serious, thank goodness.

The other situation mentioned below is still to0 fresh and painful to talk about. All I can say is please continue to keep us in your prayers.

However, I did have a very emotional thing happen to me today. You may recall that my best friend died 12 years ago this month (on the 20th) of liver cancer. I still miss that gentle woman to this day. Well, a couple of months ago, I was searching names throughout Facebook. My friend had a very unusual last name, and she lived in Michigan. So, imagine my surprise when a 22 year old male's name came up which matched her son's name and who lived in the same city as she did. I garnered up some courage, and sent him a message, to which he didn't respond.

He finally responded today. It was a beautiful response - he talked about his mom and how much she is still missed, and he welcomed me to contact him again if I had any questions or if I wanted any information about her or if I wanted to share memories with him about her. I was sobbing by the end of his email. It was as if the heavens had opened, and God sent this message from Ruth via her son that she is at peace and that she knows the turmoil I am in and she wanted to comfort me (like she used to so many times when she was alive) and reassure me that all will be well if I trust in the Lord. What a miracle. What a gift. I'm still trembling as I write this.

Thank you, dear Lord, for touching me in this profound way.

When Ruth died, TP comforted me by giving back to me the blanket Ruth had made for her as a baby gift. Now that TP is gone, Ruth is comforting me with a different kind of blanket from above - that of her comforting words through her son and her loving presence which I can feel beside me right now.

TP - I hope you are reading this. Do you believe in miracles?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Broken Heart, Broken Family

I'm very, very sad right now.

I have lost someone very precious to me - not through physical death but through a bitter separation.

My little family is fractured, broken, not whole anymore.

I shall love her always, but my heart is heavy and empty and cold.

Please keep her safe in Your graces, Lord. Protect her from temptation, evil, harm, and sickness. She is now in Your hands - please guide her.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Appointment Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow DQ has her appointment with the ortho-neurologist. I'm a bit anxious - wanting so desparately to find out what's wrong, yet fearful of what the news might be. This "limbo" has been going on for so long, and it's exhausting. And I know it's wearing on DQ, too. She's so frightened, and she keeps on asking what is wrong with her body.

I've been down this avenue before with TP, so I know I can do it again with DQ if need be. God chose me to be their mother for a particular reason. I've been blessed with two beautiful young ladies, and I will do anything for them.

Thanks for your prayers - I appreciate them.


No matter how long and treacherous your journey may seem. . .
Remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Farewell, Mr. Heston

A great actor died last night.

A wonderful man, who was married to the same woman for 64 years, is gone.

A courageous man, who faced Alzheimer's disease with the same courage as Ronald Reagon did, has now found peace with his Lord.

God bless his family, and may they find strength and comfort in their memories of him and in their faith.

Friday, April 04, 2008


It was four years ago this month that TP was developing a myriad of symptoms which proved to be Lupus Nephritis. She was a junior in high school at the time, and she spent the majority of her last quarter of that grade in the hospital or at home.

Fast forward to April of 2008, and DQ is a junior in high school now. She has started to develop a myriad of symptoms, which is leading us to an appointment with an ortho-neurologist on Tuesday. She came home from school this morning, feeling quite ill. There's a part of me that can't wait to get her to the doctor, yet another part which is dreading it. It's like the same feeling I had before TP was diagnosed - kind of an eerie foreboding, yet mingled in there was a calmness and peace. For it is all in God's hands. He is in control. Certainly, we aren't limited to just one miracle in our lives, are we?

So, there has been that issue to deal with, plus a couple of other things going on, which have led to an intense desire to (a) run away; (b) stick my head in the sand; (c) give up entirely and stay in bed indefinitely; (d) wonder why we've been attacked so often and for so long; and/or (e) just keep on praying for strength and courage and hope to get through this all.

I know I haven't been the most pleasant blogger recently. I used to be more uplifting. Now, all I seem to do is write about the stress and drama in my life. Believe me, I would do anything to NOT have all of this in my life!

Please keep DQ in your prayers, and remember Rebekah and her family, at www.rebekahspage.blogspot.com , who are awaiting results from her scan performed yesterday.