Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November 9th

Some of us feel we lost last night, some of us feel we won, some of us feel we voted for the lesser of two evils, some of us are completely torn. One thing is certain, the race last night was a blatant reflection of the division in our country. We are almost equally divided.

Some of us voted for women, some of us cast our vote for the economy, some of us voted for life or for a myriad of other reasons. But on November 9th we all woke up to the result of an election. The reaction that sears across the internet speaks for itself, there is a lot of emotion, there is a lot of relief, there is a lot of fear.

Above it all, what stands out to me most, is that we cannot afford to provoke the divide. The world is watching, the world is waiting, friends across the globe have weighed in, expressed their own opinions.

Uniting now is more important than ever, it means listening, it means loving, it means working alongside those that we believe (regardless of any differing opinion) are valuable to the success of this nation. Don’t ever forget – it’s still WE THE PEOPLE, it will always be the responsibility of WE THE PEOPLE, to be a reflection of the America we were born to know and love.

2 weeks of wisdom

I have 2 weeks to expel as much wisdom as possible.


That probably seems like a weird deadline or even a weird goal and I intend to explain more, I just hope it isn't too much information to follow.


You see, my sister, my younger sister (10 years younger actually) has decided that it is time for her to go to Korea to teach English and with that decision came a contract and with that contract comes a deadline. A two week deadline, for her to get everything in order before she gets on a plane and goes on a very long flight to a country she is familiar with, but a country that is too far away to visit regularly... if at all. She'll be gone for at least a year - I know it will be longer - and I will miss her incredibly much.


I will miss her and I will worry for her and I will miss her some more. The worry portion is where I hope to provide her everything that I feel is so very important to know before you go solo in a country to far away.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I used to cry all the way to work.


I used to cry all the way to work.

It’s a 45-minute drive or more with the traffic. It’s a long, obscene amount of time for your mind to wander through grief, sadness, loss. I would show up to the door with my badge in hand and quickly swipe the card keeping my head down until I reached my office. I could close the door, log into my computer, and dial into my next meeting and pretend that my face wasn’t red, that I wasn’t hurting, that I wasn’t so completely lost.

When you work at a desk managing a global team with not one person on site, you can seamlessly grieve without missing a beat. I never understood why I even had to drive into an office. Something about productivity. If only they knew how much more productive I would have been without wasting 45 minutes on a drive to the office and then again back home. How productive I would have been if there wasn’t that time to just sit and stir the ache around my heart, the grief, the pain, the hurt.

The other part of me I guess felt blessed to have that time.

I mean you’re not supposed to talk about how you grieve for a baby that doesn’t exist. You’re not supposed to be sad about not having a child if you already have one. That is crazy. Society does not accept that.

You are selfish.

 

Five years later.

Funny, it’s almost like SpongeBob’s time lapse.

But it isn’t funny. It was five years.

Five years without fail, every evening as I tucked in my daughter we would pray and she finished every prayer with “... and help mom have a baby.” In the beginning it was sweet and I was proud.

We had talked about how she wanted a sister or brother. At the time she was four. At four you don’t respond with, “your dad and I are already trying, really trying.” You don’t tell your daughter that you are afraid it won’t ever happen. You smile and you say exactly what your heart is whispering even while you are crying inside. “Well, you’ll just have to pray about it sweetie.” I think after a year we talked more about God’s timing, although I can’t remember what I said exactly.

Here was a little girl who wanted a sister or brother to play with, who saw her cousins multiply within a few years from one another, saw her friends become big sisters or big brothers and here she was still a single child.

I remember thinking what have I done. What if she doesn’t understand what praying is and she loses her faith in God when she doesn’t get a sibling. But I tried to explain to her that just because we ask God, it doesn’t mean it will happen. And even as I said it, I heard it.

At the same time that I was encouraging her to have faith in God for the desires of her heart, I was showing her mine was missing.

You can’t put a disclaimer on your faith.

You are a fraud.

 

Faith like a child.

She was my example.

The entire time I was breaking down, my daughter’s faith was stronger than my own.

How could I expect my daughter at four years old, at five years old, at six years old, at seven years old to continue her faith, when I was struggling so deeply to hang onto my own.

I cried.

Every announcement, every shower invitation, every photo session on Facebook. I cried.

My heart felt beaten.

I loved my family. I loved my friends. I was happy for them. I was. I even threw baby showers for them. I threw four baby showers. Somewhere inside my head, I thought if I could show God I still have joy for others, maybe I will earn the right. I was sad still, I was empty, I felt unworthy.

Every article about child abuse or abortion. I couldn’t handle it. The baby box. I couldn’t even absorb it. I stopped reading the news. How, Lord, how is it possible in a world where life is so conveniently thrown away? How is it so hard for me to bear a child?

I looked up adoption.

A thousand times. I looked at the cost. But if you can’t afford to adopt a baby, why should you be able to bring one into this world? That ran through my mind. So many times.

You are unworthy.

 

You can’t hate a baby.

And when you’re around people you love that have babies, they ask you. They ask “when are you guys having another? When’s your next one? Your daughter needs a sister or brother! Come on, have a baby!” And when you can’t respond, when you can’t even form any words you think would be acceptable. And there’s that pregnant pause. (Even the pause is pregnant.) You may even hear them ask a conclusion, “Oh, are you done?”

And that just rings in your head. Fear travels thru you in waves. “Am I done? God, am I done?”

Those questions. They sting, but it’s just another person’s joy, the joy that they want you to share and that is why they ask. But when they ask those questions. It is like a cheerleader for your deepest darkest pain.

And you CAN’T be angry.

How are they supposed to know? You can’t go around sad even though you are. You definitely don’t casually talk about it.

“How are you and your family?”

“Well I’ve been charting every day of mucus for the past 1,2,3,4,5 years and still haven’t been able to have a baby. I cry at night, my husband and I cry at night. Oh, how are you and your family?”

It’s not exactly acceptable conversation.

You can’t wear a label – WARNING: I AM CURRENTLY AND MAY FOREVER BE INFERTILE. I MAY NOT EVER BE ABLE TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN. PLEASE DO NOT ASK, TEASE OR QUESTION WHETHER I WILL BARE ANY MORE CHILDREN.

So you smile. Enduring the feeling of air being sucked from your lungs.

You smile and you finally find the words that end up becoming your go-to statement. “Whenever God provides.”

But every time you say it, your heart breaks a little more.

Because you’ve said it to 96 people.

Because you may have repeated it to people that forgot they already asked you two years ago.

Because that much time has passed and so you are almost unable to use it as a go-to statement without leaking streams of tears. 

It’s just unbearable. But then so are you.

You are unbearable.

 

A Miracle.

A miracle is defined as a highly improbable event or development that brings very welcome consequences.

A miracle comes.

When you stopped charting.

When you stopped trying.

When you just want a change, any change that feels like you have some control over your own happiness. So you look for a new job out of state, far away.

When you started to try to start a new life, in a new place, where people wouldn’t know why you are so sad.

Because it has been five years. And because your mother, your kind, caring mother has told everyone she knows to pray for you. Because you’re her daughter, the one that hasn’t been able to have another baby. And she might share how sad you are or she might share everything she has witnessed on her own and fill in the things she doesn’t really know. Because she wants people to pray, she has faith in prayer and she asks everyone for it.

God provides.  

A miracle comes.

And it has been so long that you almost don’t know how to be bearable, how to be faithful, how to be worthy, how to be benevolent.

So you pray.

You look at two little girls now, instead of one.

And you pray.

You thank God every day. You pray for all those grieving, you owe it to them now more than ever. You pray for all those who prayed for you. You never lose sight of those years. You vow to forever cherish this miracle.

You never stop praying.

You are faithful.

You are worthy.

You are bearable.

You are benevolent.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

San Jose to Austin, the traveling mom

Traveling early on a Saturday morning, I prepared to fly from San Jose back home to Austin with my husband, my daughter and her great grandmother (my husbands grandmother aka gg). Prior to boarding my husband mentioned we couldn't all sit together as the rows sat 6 across, 3 on each side. I proposed to the hubby as we were preboarding that he should sit with his grandmother and I would sit with our daughter. My thoughts were that this would allow for optimum capability to care of both and share the responsibility of making sure both were comfortable during the flight. As we boarded the plane I noticed that the front row still had two seats side by side available, to which I offered to my husband and his grandmother as I tried to redirect our daughter forward down the aisle to the adjacent row with the offer of her own window seat. For which daughter declined immediately professing the dire need to sit next to her great grandmother. This prompted gg to politely refuse the premium space and join us filling the row of three. Foreseeing the future of the flight and a potential stressful situation I shot my husband pleading eyes. While I cannot say whether he clearly read the message, he did offer assurance that he would be sitting right behind me. Alone. Capable of choosing whatever he might desire for his flight which most likely would include sleep since it was 6:40am and we had woken at 3:30am to reach the airport early enough for our flight.

While the first flight did arrive safely in Phoenix allowing us to switch planes, that was after enduring the ice cold water my daughter accidentally spilled all over me and the magazine gg gifted me with a dollar bill earlier in the flight. She (gg) had requested I complete the 30 steps to fold the dollar into a horse at which after multiple attempts to fold the tiny bits I was boiling with frustration. After the ice bath my patience boiled over and I thrust the magazine behind me to my husband with the dollar exclaiming "your grandmother is requesting a horse". As I had just interrupted his doze he tried protesting and I pushed back further, gg burst into laughter at the scene obviously aware at the requested tasks difficulty so early in the morning.

As we caught the second plane from Phoenix to Austin, the SW associate at the gate decided that instead of allowing the whole party to preboard like our previous flight she could only allow one of us and since she already scanned gg's ticket and my daughter's ticket she forced my husband and I to wait in line and board by number. None of my protesting changed her mind as she felt my 7 year old was an adequate escort for gg. Since any thought of negative behavior raises alarms in airports in this day and age I was forced to bite my tongue and move aside as she had already begun pulling other preboarders toward the gate. Once past the gate in the tunnel toward the aircraft I asked my husband if he finished his grandmother's horse. He exasperated a no which made it obvious he hadn't spent much time on attempts. I responded with a sarcastic laugh which prompted his inquiry for more information behind my apparent frustration.

This was my opportunity to explain my previous thought process behind splitting the seating and responsibility as we approached the planes entrance, for which he understood and agreed. But as we rounded the first corner it was clear that gg and daughter chose the same seats as the previous flight forcing us to sit 3 in one row and 1 alone. As my husband peered back at me regarding the situation, I responded with "your turn" and he slid across them to my former seating arrangement while I took my space in the row behind him.

Hearing gg chuckling she turned back to me and said" good move now you can take a nap", she then turned back to my husband stating "now you make the horse".

As I close my eyes I am grateful for gg's exuberance, it gives me something to look forward to when I think of the idea of aging. My eyes don't stay closed for long though,  as the flight is full and I find I'm sitting in front of a seat kicker and next to two gabbers, one who sounds like a step aunt I used to have that was a chain smoker with a very deep voice. I guess the only dream I get is the delirious daydream of a future nap.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ramble #1

"We need to give ourselves permission to be adults..." I tell my husband.
As soon as I say it I can hear how silly this must sound to him, I've been out of town a thousand miles away for work and he's been dad and Mr. mom to our 4 year old all week.

It made more sense before the words left my mouth. So here's some background: my husband and I are happily married, we married young and after 3 years became parents to our wonderful daughter. I went back to school and now that I have finally finish and I guess it just hit me ... there should be more time to try new things, accept the invite to a happy hour or just throw food together and invite the neighbors over. Normally there would always be a reason while this wasnt possible, I had a paper or we had no money, we don't have a sitter, etc...

My point was that although we are a wife and husband, a mom and dad, we are also adults and life doesnt always need to be planning or making time - sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to let life unfold, take the rare opportunity to do something you wouldn't normally do. Live in the moment and less in your schedule, otherwise your too busy planning.. too busy writing your own story that you don't enjoy it.