Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faith meets Fate

"...I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life..."
Michael Buble

Today my husband and I were at Chamber's Bay and via a sign or two, I was reminded that life is a little bit faith and a little bit fate. Without a proper mixture of the two we might never have the opportunity at happiness and ultimately love.

I grew up Indiana, the heartland of America. Now, I live across the country in the great state of Washington. Who knew several years ago, that such a trek would occur. That finally, I might find some of the peace that I was searching for. Surely not me.

Unfortunately, when your in the dark burrows of sadness, it's hard to see the light. Nonetheless, God had something in mind, I just hadn't known it yet. After all, Hasn't it been said, that prayers are answered in His time, not ours.

So Today, as I stood on the shore and looked at my beautiful baby boy holding my husband's hand, I smiled to myself. Blind Faith in love, had allowed me to finally see what fate had in store. Don't give up, my heart reminded me, love is all around you. Sometimes, you just have to open your eyes and look.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A post regarding my biological father.

On behalf of every man
Looking out for every girl
You are the God and the weight of her world
So fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too.

The hardest part of being at a wedding, or watching one on television is the father-daughter dance.  Every time my chest tightens and I bite my lip and struggle to fight back the tears, to no avail, they always come.  I wanted that.  I wanted to have the opportunity to dance in the arms of my father while listening to the lyrics of a song exemplifying a daddy's love for his little girl and to have those words mean something.  I imagine every daughter wants that.  

The prompt for this blog was a phone call I received a few days ago from my sister Kathleen.  She had gotten a letter in response to her Christmas Card, from our biological father.  I am not going to share the details, only that it was hurtful and ultimately a sign to not only her, but all of my siblings and I that he really had no intentions of having a relationship with us.  Not only that, but that he must really be in a negative space to feel the need to respond in such a condescending way.

What he doesn't realize is that there is nothing he can say to us that we haven't already thought of.  One thing we all learned very young, was how to break ourselves down.  We are all our toughest critic.  Knowing this, my response to the letter was that of a protective big sister.  Initially I was angry at the hurt he caused my beautiful, kind, sweet Kathleen, at the hurt he has caused all of my sisters, my brother, my mother and myself. Then that anger turned to sorrow, I felt sorry for him, for all of us.  What a loss in his life to not have a relationship with all five of his biological children, as well as our families.  

I told Kathleen that she should share the letter with my siblings.  Since he had cut off communication with all of us a little over three years ago, we had all attempted to contact him; a call on his birthday, a message to announce a wedding, the birth of a new baby and received no response.  Finally, after this letter, we had a tangible grasp at his mental state and could now give up hope that he had any intention of deciding to be in our lives.  In a way this letter was a blessing, the old adage:

"Waiting is worse than knowing. 
 Grief rends the heart cleanly; 
that it may begin to heal; 
waiting shreds the spirt."   
Morgan Llywelyn

The ironic thing is that we all wanted him to come around, all wished for a return phone call or a surprise visit.  My siblings and I are not perfect, but one characteristic that we all manifest, almost to fault at times, is our impressive ability to forgive and love.  I often imagined my father showing up on my doorstep and me inviting him in and introducing him to his youngest grandson, showing him how he walks just like his grandpa.  I even had a dream the other night that I looked up and there he was sitting on a bench.  At first we looked at each-other, like strangers, but tentatively we began to speak to one another.  I woke up as I was introducing him to his grandchildren.

My parent's are divorced and my mom has since re-married (they celebrated their thirteenth wedding anniversary this past August).  We all love him and have embraced him as our "dad."  However, I believe this is a hard concept for my biological father. But, what he doesn't realize, is that there is enough love for everyone.  I too am divorced and have remarried.  My Ex and I had three gorgeous daughters and a handsome son together.  Over the past few years my new husband and I have navigated our way through the uncharted territory of our roles as step-parents (he has a son from a previous relationship).  Ultimately, we emphasize the fact that they have the benefit of two sets of parents that love them and that there is always enough love to go around.  Both my husband and I have no desire to replace the biological parent in our children's lives, just to add more love and support.

One thing I have learned from growing up in a dysfunctional home and dealing with the emotional heartache of not having my dad there when I needed him, is the effect it had on me when making life choices.  I am not here to blame my father for my mistakes.  However, I do wonder sometimes where I would be if I wasn't always running away from the painful memories and events of my childhood and looking for love in all the wrong places?  I greatly take this into consideration when dealing with my own children, especially my oldest daughter who has begun to navigate the world of romantic relationships and love.  The most important thing I want her to know is that she is always loved.  No matter what happens, no matter what choices she makes or mistakes, she and all her siblings are always welcome to come home and I will be waiting with open arms.  My love is unconditional.  It is the one promise that I will never break.

There is a special relationship meant to be between a father and daughter.  He is meant to be her first love, to show her how she deserves to be treated.  I also believe that the relationship example set by parents, forever imprints on a child.  One of the main reasons that I am divorced, is that I wanted to break the cycle of disfunction.  I wanted to put an end to the unsuitable environment that my Ex and I were providing for our four children.  When I was young, I prayed for peace in my home.  I hated the fact that my friends were scared to come over and I had to walk on eggshells in order to survive.  This environment is unacceptable.  Children deserve better, a loving home is a parent's ultimate responsibility. 

As I finish this post I wonder if given the opportunity, would I forgive my father, would I allow him into my life again?  I am not sure.  I think for now I will concentrate on all the good in my life, all those that I love and love me back.  As I attempt to raise my own children I will try to learn from my parent's.  I know that I have made mistakes and will continue to do so, but I hope that as long as my children know that I love them, we can make it through anything.  I will do my best and most importantly, I will never give up on my babies, no matter what.  That is a pain that I have lived with in my own life, and it is one that pray my children will never have to feel.

I love you Savannah, Sam, Sage, Saxton, Brayden and Max to the moon and stars and back.    


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dear Savannah and Sam,

Dear Savannah and Sam,

I almost lost it in Starbucks today. Jerry was joking with me about my big Africa purse and I turned to him and said, "tough crowd, tough crowd." I laughed and thought of you Savannah.  I remembered  you, Sam, Jerry and I on the plane coming home from Albuquerque. It felt so wonderful to be snuggled next to you looking at pictures from the wedding. I don't remember how the "tough crowd" comment came up, I just remember us laughing about it. It became our thing.

Thoughts like this pop in my head several times a day. They are like little movies that I allow myself to play over and over in an attempt not to miss you so much.  However there is often a fine line for me between feeling happy and then possibly being choked up because I miss you so much.  Here are a few other little memories that I would like to replay...

I remember in New Mexico, December 26th, Sam and I decided to go for a walk.  It was brisk, but sunny out and we took turns taking pictures while walking/jogging.  Sam and I just chatted away and both were in awe over the setting sun and beautiful views.  New Mexico is a beautiful place and no matter the time of year, lives up to it's name, Land of Enchantment.  Every time I come back it feels like coming home (I have several "homes" in my life.)  During our walk, we were able to watch the sun set, the moon rise and enjoy the beautiful shadow art on the desert and homes.  I loved this moment because it was just you and I, unfortunately a rare opportunity, which made it even more precious.  

That night was another memory that makes me smile.  We went with your Aunt Kathleen, Uncle Ben and Grandma to the mall where they spoiled both of you by buying you clothes (Savannah) and hats (Sam.)  We enjoyed half price frozen yogurt and laughed our behinds off as Uncle Ben lessoned us in speed walking.  A simple shopping trip turned into a lot of fun because of our goofing off and laughing the whole time.  

I loved every second of your visit over Christmas; Christmas together and a slumber party with good night songs. Hunting for breakfast burritos after 11 a.m. and shopping with Aunt Elizabeth and the cousins.  Picking up Jerry from the airport with Aunt Colleen and then helping her hunt for Wedding stuff at Hobby Lobby.  Dinner out with all the family and the movies with Aunt Colleen & Uncle Jed. Going on a long walk/hike searching for and finding Wild Horses near Grandma and Grandpa's house.  

Savannah, getting our nails done and lunch with all your Aunts and cousins Liberty and Addison. Helping to get ready for Aunt Colleen's Wedding.  Driving to the Jamez Mountains and hiking in the snow along a frozen river and dealing with four wild and crazy dogs.  Having Pizza at Aunt Kathleen's and Uncle Ben's.  Breakfast with Tushar, Becky and TJ where Sam taught TJ how to balance a spoon on his nose.  Aunt Colleen's Wedding and Sam, you showing us your amazing Dance moves as well as slow dancing with me.  Our plane rides to Washington where Savannah defied logic and walked the wrong way on the people movers.

We had an awesome time in Seattle watching the sun set, walking through Pike's place, playing games and having a fabulous dinner at PF Changs. I loved being with all six of my littles together, sometimes doing nothing but just hanging out or searching for Crabs at Chamber's Bay. Sam, you and I helping Savannah and being lessoned on a teenage girl and her shopping, as well as learning what ugly things are actually in some video games. ;-)Watching Life of PI and discussing the meaning of the movie.  Savannah our bike ride, remember how good you did?  Watching the Seahawks together, and they won! Eating all of Grandma's wonderful food and celebrating Christmas together, again. 

Life isn't perfect, but these memories with you two are.  I love you both so much and miss you like crazy.  The hardest part of being away isn't necessarily the big things, but the small ones; kissing you good-night, seeing you smile and hearing you laugh, hugging you.  

Please remember one more thing, I love you to the moon and stars and back. 

Love, Mommy

Colleen and Jed's Wedding December 31st, 2012


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

He has my number

Tonight my little Max just about broke my heart. Every night at bedtime we have a routine, prayers with all the kids, hugs and kisses and then I sing him a "song," "one more song, and a "last song." This is after getting him his ice water and other little routine type things. We have our little arrangements.

It's funny, because I had been working late this last week and my mother-in-law has put him to bed. She and my husband tell me how he has my number. I think they're right.

Tonight my husband sang him his last song and after he said good-night and shut the door. However, Max called out for me and I went back in. He was crying and when I looked down at him after I sang another, "last song," he had this heartbreaking look on his face. His eyes were big and filled with tears and his lip pouted and he said, "I'm scared."

I attempted a fix by fetching Micky Mouse and his dinosaur, but the lip protruded and his eyes were as big as saucers. "I'm scared." He said. I broke and for the first time ever, I left his door open. He was quiet then and later when I checked on him, he was peacefully asleep.

He probably does have my number, but tonight I could see in his eyes his fear was real. As a mother you dread the moments when your children are frightened, when something is causing them to feel unsafe. I'm not sure what that was for Max tonight, but as his mom, I'll do anything to scare that fear away. After all, the day that all my children were born was the day they took my number.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A picture says a thousand words.

What is love?

Look at this picture, it is love. The way this little person loves his big sister and the way she loves him back is perfect. A simple kiss that transmits an eternal bond between siblings.

No day is perfect, no life is untarnished of sadness, fear and heartache. However, you look at this picture and you see an example of what can overcome all the pain in ones life, it is love, unconditional and at its purest form.

These two beings were meant to be together. We can question life choices, relationships and paths taken. The answers lie in the hearts of these two perfect soul mates. Sister and brother, my babies, my heart and my love.

This picture represents all my babies and those moments in time when all other matters fall away and only love remains.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My Seattle Seahawks.

I was born in Indiana and raised a Bear's fan. However, I fell in love with the Seahawks on January 3rd, 2010, when shortly after I moved to Washington from Colorado, my husband took me to my first game. We sat a mere seven rows behind the Seahawks bench on the 50 yard line. The game was awesome, loud and exhilarating!  It was love at first sight and I had finally found my home.

Max in his football stance.

That fall, we brought our newborn son Max to his first game. Although remarkably he slept through the whole thunderous experience, I believe he became a lifelong fan that day. He is now two and a half and it took the jaws of life to disrobe him of his Marshawn Lynch jersey that so desperately needed a wash.

I sadly hung up my own Jersey (a Christmas Present from my husband that I wore daily this past week).  It is my first NFL official Jersey and proudly represents #3, Russell Wilson. I became a die hard fan of his in the pre-season and my faith in him never wavered. (Check Facebook for proof!) He represents what every athlete should aspire to; class, integrity and smarts. Early in the season, I called ESPN sports radio and defended his position as quarter back. I am expecting a, "you were right," phone call any day now.

My little Max reminded me yesterday, as he cheered faithfully the entire game, that a fan is a fan, win or lose. Love for a team as for anything, is meant to be unconditional.  The disappointment that was felt throughout the city yesterday was palpable, my husband termed it as a sort of "hangover" feeling after a big party.  The last few weeks were so exciting, everyone seemed to be in the Seahawks spirit.  Everywhere you went, almost everyone you ran into was wearing something Seahawks.  I loved it.  

My husband, me, my cousin and niece at
infamous Packers game.  
This entire season has been a blast starting off with the Green Bay game.  My husband and I took my cousin (a Packer's fan visiting from Chicago) and our niece.  It was an insane game and I lost my voice for days.  We were able to go to the game versus the Vikings as well, another great win.  We didn't miss watching a game (except for my sister's wedding, and we still listened to it and followed it on our phones.)  Last week we had all six of our kids in the spirit and we successfully willed their playoff win against the Redskins.

Another important note to be made is that I am girl.  Not only am I a girl, but I am a girl who lives and breathes Seahawks football.  I know the players, I know the rules and I look forward to the games just as much as any guy I know.  This season I am a girl who emotionally connected herself with a team and it's players.  I believed in them and cheered as they surprised everyone but me, for  I knew they were good all along.  Now I realize their season is over, but they are a young team and there is already an excited anticipation for next season.  
After all, football, is just a game, and like in life, sometimes you lose. But, no matter what, if you continue to try and do your best, be your best and believe in yourself, you'll also win a few along the way.  Thanks Seahawks for an awesome season and for reminding me that hope does exist. Go Hawks!

Monday, January 7, 2013

A mother's heartbreak.

I'm sitting in the airport too upset to drive. I just watched Savannah and Sam's plane take off and I can't breathe. I'm a mess and getting strange looks as I sit here and cry like a baby. I don't care, my two babies just left I want to yell! My heart hurts so bad right now! Bring them back I want to beg to someone. But I know I can't, because there is nothing anyone can do.

Today when we were leaving Max, (who stayed home with Grandma and Papa while I took the kids to the airport) was crying and saying "owwee mommy" over and over. I believe he thought I was leaving again (I was gone for a week at my sister's wedding.) He was so sad and while nothing or no one was hurting him, I believe his heart hurt, like mine does right now.

They say having a baby changes everything. They're so right. You're heart changes and you're inner soul finds a love that never existed before. You find a love that overcomes all, overshadows all, forgives all, no matter what. You find unconditional love.

Last night I fell asleep with Savannah, not because I love her more than Sam, but because she was in a queen bed and he was in a top bunk that couldn't handle us both. (Smile) I was just so upset at their leaving that I wanted to be close to at least one of them. I tossed and turned all night, and at one point she grabbed my hand, similar to a newborn grabbing your finger. Just thinking about it brings fresh tears. I love her and all her siblings so much.

There are all kinds of broken hearts, but I think this kind hurts the worse. I wouldn't wish this hurt on anyone and right now there is nothing I can do to fix it. So just know my sweet babies, that momma loves you and misses you and will pray everyday for you to be back in my arms again. Until then, I love you to the moon and stars, moon and stars... And back.

And God, a prayer for you, please keep all my babies safe, when I am unable to and spread them with love today and forever!