Friday, May 29, 2009

To My Mom on Her Birthday

Yesterday, my mom would have turned 97 years old. I was an "oops" baby - but very loved and wanted. She died when I was fourteen, and to this day, I miss her incredibly. This song exmplifies her faith in God, and I know that she is, indeed, His. I look forward to the day when I see her again.

It's these family celebrations - like DQ's graduation tomorrow - when I miss her most. When somebody is missing from a celebration, there is a big hole in the family event. The physical presence is gone, and it hurts. At least I know with my mom, she would be here if she could, so she is here in spirit. TP hasn't been here for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easter, and now graduation. I am so saddened and upset by this. My little family has been broken apart in many different ways. It woudl sadden my mother to know this because she knows how much I have loved being a mom.

Mom - I miss you. I wish you could have been there to see me get married, to appprove of my husband, to watch me graduate from college, and to meet my daughters. You would have been so proud of me - and I long to hear you say those words to me to this very day. To all of you out there with moms still living - honor her. Treasure her. Cherish her. Obey her. You don't know what a gift you have until it is gone.

I love you, Mom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Graduate

She stole my heart from the very first time I laid my eyes on her. An itty-bitty thing, her black curly hair, warm and curious eyes, and toothpick-sized fingers were all conduits of casting her magical spell on me. As she passed through her infancy and toddlerhood, I could tell there was something special about this child. She was very observant, curious, and asked a million questions along the way. She started reading on her own when she was four, but unbeknownst to me she knew how to read even before then, she just never told me because she thought it would mean the end of our snuggling and reading time together. As she went into gradeschool, it becamse even more obvious that she was very gifted in intelligence and music. She had some very negative experiences for almost two years in a junior high school, and she still bears the scars of bullying and harrassment. When her older sister became ill, she suffered in silence as her fears for her sister's survival remained in her heart, and she felt a loss of my presence in her life as I attended to TP's needs. But her high school experiences have all but healed the other times, and she has made some tremendous friends and has felt a sense of belonging within her group. We have grown closer over the past year, too. She is a creative thinker, a talented writer, and a gifted musician. Her sense of humor is very dry. Her vocabulary surpasses mine - at the age of 6 or 7, she was thinking out loud, and then she asked me if what she said was an example of an idiom! I had to dig deep into my mind for the definition of an idiom to determine if, indeed, what she said was truly an example. She is a kind and loving soul to her family, her friends, and the animal kingdom. She has been hurt deeply numerous times, and this has affected her in profound ways. She is very protective of me, and will stand in my defense if others try to harm me.

She graduates Saturday morning, and the open house will be Sunday afternoon. She will be going to the local branch of OSU in the fall -she did receive a scholarship from there - and is working this summer to save up money to help with expenses.

I am proud of her. Despite the many obstacles put in front of her, they have helped to shape her into a remarkable young woman. While I say goodbye to her childhood, I say hello to the next stage of her life and embrace it wholeheartedly. It's a bittersweet feeling to let go, but I know God will hold on to her as she ventures into the world. And God will bless her abundantly with His graces as she follows the path He has chosen for her. I love you, DQ.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tenderly – A Poem to My Oldest

Tenderly, tenderly, I picked you up

And held you close to my heart.

Your tiny perfect body was all curled up next to me

As our hearts intertwined, never to be pulled apart.

Tenderly, tenderly, I held you close

As you lay unconscious in my arms

Your tiny body was limp and motionless

And I prayed to God to save you from harm.

Tenderly, tenderly, I read you stories

Of princesses and pioneers and God's love.

You snuggled under my arm and breathed softly

As your imagination captured the images from above.

Tenderly, tenderly, we said prayers every night,

And thanked God for the blessing of you;

We knew our time together would be brief,

So we planted the seeds of faith and hope and love, too.

Tenderly, tenderly, I planned special events

From birthdays to holidays and graduation;

Always taking such love and care to show

That you were such a gift and not an obligation.

Tenderly, tenderly, I wiped your brow

Each time you became ill;

I prayed for your return to health

And a miracle did God surely fulfill.

Tenderly, tenderly, I have cried each night

As I long for your sweet embrace;

I miss you and I love you forevermore

And I can't wait to see your beautiful face.

Tenderly, tenderly, I have prayed

That someday you will return

To your home and your family and to your Lord

Who waits with a love which yearns.

To my daughter, "TP"

Copyright 2009 Valerie Wolff

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Drawing to a Close

DQ's high school days are rapidly drawing to a close. Even though she still has a total of five more days of school, today was the last day of wearing her school uniform. Now, I definitely am NOT going to miss ironing those things and the white shirts which go along with them - but it tugged at my heartstrings as I watched her walk down the stairs today and thinking about all the other days, since kindergarten, she walked down those same stairs in uniform ready for another day school. Lots of memories came flooding back! And, as always, she didn't want me to take her picture.

The band concert on Tuesday was beautiful. They all looked so professional with the white shirts and black skirts/pants - and they sounded wonderful. It was the last official "performance" that I will ever attend (as a mom), and again, my eyes as a mother got all teary-eyed as I recalled performances of the past - which began 18 years ago when TP was in preschool. The very first performance I went to was a little recital done by TP's preschool class, and TP just loved singing with her classmates. She was keeping rythym to the music, and all of the sudden, decided to lift up her red dress and show off her belly button! It was hilarious - and so cute - she had no idea what she was doing. And all of the other performances came to mind - piano, Christmas plays, Brownie Scout activities (I was the leader for 6 years), dance recitals, violin recitals, band, cheerleading, plays. . . But, these memories of a mother's heart are what keeps me grateful for being my kids' mom. Even during the difficult times, and through the joyful celebrations, I will ALWAYS feel blessed to have been the mother of my two precious girls. I know there will be more precious memories coming ahead in the future, just of a different nature.

This weekend promises to a busy one, in preparation for DQ's graduation on the 30th. Her open house is the 31st. Then, on June 8th, she is going to North Carolina for a week with her best friends and stay at a beach house. When she gets back, she will need to work hard to save up money for college, which begins in September. She's going to our local branch of OSU, and will be studying English/Secondary Education. Once she is done with her Bachelor's, she is going to teach for awhile while pursuing her Master's Degree in Creative Writing and Renassaince Studies. Eventually, she wants to get her Ph.D. - but in the meantime, she will be working on her first book. She will go far in life - she has the motivation and the talent and discipline to stay on course to pursue her dream. (BTW - the work on my book has finally begun.)

As always, I am missing TP. I pray for her everday - her health and safety and emotional well-being are my top concerns right now, as they have always been. I have been reading about St. Monica lately, and thinking of the words which were spoken to her by a bishop in reference to her prodigal son, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish." I am praying for guidance and wisdom and forgiveness and compassion. But the love remains forever. I will always be her "momma", her adoptive mother, and her spiritual mother. Those bonds will never be broken.

So, I am off to TRY to do as much as possible today. Unfortunately, I have a very bad cold which is really making me feel ill (don't think it's the swine flu!), so I may not get done as much as I'd like to. It's a gorgeous May day out there -so perhaps the outside windows will get washed today!

Thank you, dear Lord, for all that you have given to me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

She walked away - Barlow Girl

I pray that this story has a happy ending, and that she returns home to us and to the Lord.

We'd promise anything, if You would just bring her home.

Tell her we love her, tell her she is wanted, tell her to please come home, tell her she is missed so much.

We can work it out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is Today

"The National Fibromyalgia Association's Theme for the 2009 National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day campaign is 'Fibromyalgia Affects Everyone' and will focus on the far-reaching effects of this disorder - from broken lives to the economic costs to patients and society." quote from The above poster is from the same website.
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia over 10 years ago. Thanks to (almost) daily exercise, massage therapy, eating healthy, and using appropriate medication on an as needed basis, I am still able to function most days of the month. I do get flares, and on those days, I sometimes have to "take it easy". But, for the most part, I work through the pain and keep on going. My doctor told me 10 years ago that if I didn't have this kind of approach and learn how to take care of myself better, then I could possibly end up in a wheelchair in a few years.
It has taken its' toll on my in some ways, but I try to not focus on my limitations. Rather, I count my blessings and try not complain when I'm feeling horrible. Most people wouldn't even know that I have this syndrome, which can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. The comment "but you look so healthy" can be a compliment, but it can also discount the pain that I am in. Nonetheless, I have learned how to adapt, how to live with this on a daily basis, and how to help others cope with it who come to me for help in my private practice.
So, take a moment and educate yourself on this disorder (it's not considered a "disease") by visiting the website. It's full of useful information for everybody.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Celine Dion A mother's prayer

I pray you'll be my eyes
And watch her where she goes
And help her to be wise
Help me to let go

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

I pray she finds your light
And holds it in her heart
As darkness falls each night
Remind her where you are

Every mother's prayer
Every child knows
Need to find a place
Guide her with your grace
Give her faith so she'll be safe

Lead her to a place
Guide her with your grace
To a place where she'll be safe

(Thanks to Diane for reminding me of this song and posting it on her blog first!)

This song is dedicated to both of my daughters on this Mother's Day. I love you!!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

21 years ago today

My father died twenty-one years ago today. I remember vividly the phone call I received announcing his passing. I was holding TP in my arms in the kitchen, and I looked out the back door as I heard the soft voice say "Dad died just a few minutes ago." I put the phone down, lifted TP up, and pointed her out the door window towards the western sky where the sun was just beginning its' descent for the evening. It was a gorgeous sight, the twilight, and I said out loud "Hey, Dad - here's your littlest munchkin - you would have loved her a lot." As God takes one soul to heaven, another one is sent to earth - and that is how my Dad and TP met, that one beautiful spring evening so long ago.

I miss him, I wish he was still here, ready to sing his song to me. It is such a difficult time right now for me, and I sure could use his big bear hug to comfort me.

God bless you, Dad. Please say a few prayers for me, ok?

I will risk losing your love to save your soul

I tried to re-post this from a year ago, but wasn't able to. So, PLEASE take a moment to find my entry from Saturday, May 31, 2008, entitled "I Will Risk Losing Your Love to Save Your Soul." It should be at the very top of the May 2008 archives.

Thank you. And please pray for a miracle. I sure could use one seeing how Mother's Day and my birthday fall on the same day this year!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

With Quiet Courage - Larry Daehn

I went to DQ's band concert last night, and this is one of the pieces which they played (this isn't their band playing it - of course, her band played it much better!). Anyway, it was composed by a man named Larry Daehn who had compsed it for his mother. I didn't realize that I was listening to it, but I found it to be very comforting and soothing to my soul. It broght tears to my eyes. And DQ's smile at me after the piece was done said it all.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

CWO Mother's Day Article

Please visit CWO for their special Mother's Day edition. My article can be found at . It's an article I wrote to all of the birth mothers out there, but especially to my daughters' birth moms. I'm grateful to them each and every day for their ultimate sacrifice and gift of life!

In the meantime, I had a nightmare last night about TP. Just horrible - and I woke up sobbing and ready to throw up. I had prayed before falling asleep and asked God to send me a dream letting me know that TP was doing all right. A mother's intuition tells me that something is horribly wrong with TP. Just pray that she is healthy and safe, and pray for my peace of mind. Thank you.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Quiet Time

Monday morning.

All is quiet here at 7:15 a.m., and I need to get moving in about 15 minutes. I have 10 clients to see today, so I need this "quiet time" to get focused on the day ahead. I am enjoying listening to the outdoor sounds as I think of each person I am going to encounter today at their session, and praying that I meet their needs for counsel and support and guidance and healing. I am humbled by my vocation, and am grateful that it was chosen for me by God.

I am also pondering what the new week will bring. I know I mentioned yesterday that it will be a busy one. But I wonder about so many things - will my family stay safe and healthy, will my youngest relish her last days of school and yet stay focused on her grades, will my oldest remember all the promises she made to us which have been broken and decide to keep them or rectify them because that is what she has always been taught to do, will I be able to find the right person to help at my office (I had so wanted TP to have that job), will I find the strength to continue letting go and letting God, and will I begin to feel better physically as this stress has really taken its' toll on my body? I pray that I follow God's will in my life this week, and not my own. And I pray for peace and comfort and strength so I can meet my family's and my clients' needs.

Five more minutes of silence before I hit the ground running. . .

"I am listening, Lord. I have finally banished all distractions and unwanted images. I have finally stopped fidgeting and wriggling, both symptoms of struggle. I am no longer staring at book titles or smears on window panes. Nor am I wrapped up in the torrents of words which too often consume my time with you - those lists of people whom I want to remember, things for which I am grateful, petitions for the suffering world. I am still, within and without.
"In this silence, in this stillness, I wait to hear your voice, Lord. I have told you so often about my desire to serve. I have offered you my gifts, time and time again, hoping you find them acceptable. I want to be commissioned for some glorious task, to pour myself out that others may come and find you. But it is always the same: the only words I hear are softer than the beat of my heart. "You are the gift," you say. "I want your love - nothing more." ~ Elizabeth-Anne Vanek

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Beginning of a New Week

DQ had her prom last night - she looked absolutely gorgeous! I will post pictures as soon as I can. She had a great time. She loves her new job! And she has only 17 more days of school left. Hard to imagine! I have mixed feelings - but I am so excited for her and her future. She has a lot to offer and is VERY focused on what she wants in her life. I'm very, very proud of her.

We found out that my sweet little Bichon, Katy, has the beginning stages of kidney disease/failure - it's called nephritis. We are putting her on a diet and she will have additional blood work done in 3 months to see where she is at. I can't imagine life without my Katy - she is my constant companion who follows me everywhere. But, hopefully, the progression will be slow, and we will have a couple of more years with her yet.

This week promises to be a busy one. Graduation announcements need to be addressed, senior pictures ordered and paid for, the collage of DQ's life put together for her graduation open house, continued work on spring housecleaning, doctors appointments, getting back to exercising, etc. I have decided that I need to get back to the land of the living and not wallow in my sorrow anymore. I shall be a watchwoman, as in the story of the Prodigal Son, waiting patiently and watching out the window for my daughter's return.

I am visiting a friend this week who has cancer - she's a little bit older than myself and has a daughter the same as as DQ. It will be a difficult visit for me, as she needs me to be strong for her - but I am feeling so vulnerable and worn-out right now. Please say some prayers for her, and for me so that I know how to help her with exactly what she needs right now.

A week from today is Mother's Day, and it's also my 39th birthday! LOL! I love it when my birthday and Mother's Day fall on the same day - it just makes that whole day just SO special. Of course, it will be a bittersweet occassion this year, what with TP gone. I shall miss her presence and her hug and her loving words, but I hold the memories so deep in my heart, and they will help me to get through the day. And, DQ has something special planned for me that day, as she realizes I may have some difficulty at times throughout the day. She's so sensitive to my needs and my mood - she's helped me out a lot over the past year. Thanks, sweetie!

I hope all of you have a great week! I may not update much this week because it will be such a busy one, but soon I shall have an exciting announcement to make! THanks for your continued prayers and support - I appreciate it!

Friday, May 01, 2009

First Fridays with Val

Please take a moment and visit and read my monthly post "First Fridays with Val." You may leave a comment if you wish.

I will be joining Diane and Allison in spreading the word about SANITY, which is based on Allison Bottke's book "Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children" by starting up my own support group in the near future in my area, and by providing seminars to professionals based on her book. I'm looking forward to spreading the word AND the healing!!

Today is May Day. What a perfect day to start a NEW chapter in my life. I will be blogging about this new chapter during this month, about the changes I am making both personally and professionally, and I hope that you will provide me with your feedback.

Thank you, God, for all that you have given to me. You have blessed me abundantly!