Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Feet of the Homeless

It was over two weeks ago that Spring came to our State. We saw snow that covered our decks, colorless M&M's fell from the sky. We saw rain that drenched us through and through. And since the day that Spring first came, my sister has lived on the streets. My sister without any shoes. Walking on pavement frozen in moments, clothes that cling and can only hold in the cold. I can only imagine the sweet nothings that meth whispered to her that brought her back to him. The lies he told of untold highs, never mention of the lows. Come to me and all will be fine he so finely told her gentle ear.

She has called me a time or two. I offered to pick her up. She cried, "Oh would you, she pleaded?" "Of course," I replied, "and bring you to some help." "Oh Fuck that" she shouted into the phone, the cries, the sister I know gone so quickly.

And yet she appears yesterday and I'm called to help. I envision the scene as I know the police will be called. But instead I hug her, and say let's get some help. Into the truck she climbs, laughing and happy. I think surely her feet must be cold in those socks dreaden in mud.

My son and I take her to the hospital. Unsure what we'll do if they won't keep her. My heart is already breaking. How can I leave her if they won't help her? How can I send her back to the streets and to the meth that lies and softly whispers her name? We spend hours at the hospital and I watch her as she becomes several different people. One moment the loving sister who looks at me so vulnerable, pleading with me with eyes that ask me......no, they beg me......to take care of her. The next moment she's yelling to Shut that Baby up. The parents behind the thin curtain, what must they be thinking? And the whole time, I find myself glancing at her feet. The toes that look like that they have been frostbitten. The sores, the torn skin that adorn the top of her feet. And still I love her.

With relief, I leave the hospital to go home for a couple hours sleep before I head to work. Thankful that they'll keep her overnight. My heart almost feels lighter, yet it feels so laden with lead. I lay in bed. I pray. I don't pray often enough I think to myself. And then only when it is extreme. Just to be safe, I first tell God how thankful I am for all the wonderful things and people in my life. Cautiously, I throw my problems to God. Is it to much to ask that she be normal? Can he take back the sins of those who hurt my sister when she was little? Of those that made it necessary for her to have to hide within herself? Who could she have been? Is it to late to pray for that, I wonder? It's to much I tell myself. Ask that the meth stop whispering, that it's soft song be carried through the wind away from all it harms. Ask the mental illness to bury itself, to never be seen. And finally, I decide to simply ask the devil to leave her. And I pray an angel will be there to fill that spot left behind, to carry her tears to the heavens, to wrap her in angel wings. That is my prayer. And I send this asking each of you to say my prayer with me tonight. For my sister. The one who is in there. The one we all love. She is a mother, a sister, a friend, a lover. We want her back. And for myself, I simply pray I can forget the haunt of the feet of the homeless.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Notes from the Heart to My Son and Future Daughter-in-law

You are embarking down a path that millions before you have walked. Some have walked it with ease, some with pain, some with love, some with fear. Some have walked it with every emotion every step of the way. But I have seen each of your strengths and know beyond a doubt that you can walk this path side by side, grow from it, and experience a love of life that is beyond simple words.

Being unprepared for a baby financially is a scary thing. There are no simple answers. But luckily for the world, babies aren't raised strong and loved by being fed material wants. They grow strong from the loving arms that wrap around them, from their mother's milk warm within their tummy. They become fantastic and exceed beyond doubt because they had parents that encouraged them, that were there for them. All gifts you each possess to give as you walk down the path.

And the first step begins with your love and respect for each other. It is remembering that in a good relationship you each make the other feel good about theirselves. You encourage each other without belittling each other. You succeed together, what one accomplishes the other accomplishes as well. It's about respecting each other, about not letting the other worry about where you are or what you are doing. It is about trusting without a doubt. It is about always making the other look like God to the outside world, no matter what minor troubles you are working out between yourselves. Remember words can be forgiven but they can never be taken back so make sure your words are always spoken with love. Never curse the other, never tell one to shut up, if you hurt simply say baby I am hurt. Honesty and words spoken from the heart can convey more than words spoken in anger.

Give your troubles away and enjoy the time to come. You have more going for each of you than you know, including family that will be there, that will hold your hands if needed if you waiver from your path. Believe in life's plan and know that everything will be joyous. If you expect the bad, the bad will surely find you. Find the joy in your legs that will allow you to walk your path, find your wealth in your smiles and the laughter that will fill your home. It goes without saying that you will want to provide for your child, but trust that if you send the worries away and simply be the best that you can be, it will come naturally. Without worry, without stress. Believe in the plan and the gifts that are soon to be yours.

I remember holding my son in my arms for the first time, and realizing what a huge responsibility I had to provide for him. To ensure he had the things that surely he deserved in life. I doubt he remembers my struggles to buy him new school clothes, that it was years and years before he ever saw Disneyland. But if you ask him, I hope he does remember and know that I was always there for him. That his tummy was never hungry. That he never had to doubt if I loved him, if I would be there. I hope he knows how much those hugs and I love you Mom's filled my heart and made the world the sky and his kisses the stars.

Surround each other and your baby with people who can influence, who laugh, who believe in the natural high of the universe. Surround each other and your baby with people who have kind hearts, who make smart choices for their family. Let your baby learn from their examples coupled with the love and examples you demonstrate in your every day life.

There's no going back. Life is here. And trust me, it is the greatest walk of all.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I'm Gonna Be a Grandma............

Welp, accidents happen, eh?
My son called me a week ago to let me know that I will be a Grandma in November. Actually, they're not at all financially preprared for this joy about to come their way but I've offered for them to live with me until baby is 3 months old to try and get their feet on the ground.
My son is actually really excited. I haven't seen him like this before. I hope it lasts a lifetime for him, to always look at and think of his child with love.

And in the midst of it, my daughter wants to go to WSU which is only like 15 months away. It's like $22K a year. So, we're applying madly for scholarships and I'm desperately trying to figure out my finances and how we make it all happen. I need to demand more help and self-responsibility from these kids though. These are not my choices, yet as a mom I want to help and let them experience and go places I never had the opportunity to do.

What's another name for Grandma?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12, 1921

My grandma would have been 87 today. Most special person in my life and I miss her every day. I can't even remember how long she's been gone. I suppose physically it's been 4 years, but I really lost her long before that. She suffered through altzheimer's for many years, much too young. Such an intelligent woman, loosing her memory of those she loved. I remember once when she was in the nursing home and she looked at me with those piercing green eyes and said "I don't know who you are, but I sure do like you." Those words, from the woman who raised me, who taught me, who loved me.

Those words from a woman who was before her time. Who stood for women's rights before they were women's rights. I remember her sending me to school in the below zero weather in pants in a day when girls were not allowed to wear pants. And the school spending minute after minute trying to determine if my shirt was long enough that I could take my pants off or if they had to find a way for me to get home. This didn't happen once or twice, but several times. I wonder why I kept on going to school in those pants?

I had used her last name for as long as I could remember, and I remember that day in kindergarten when for roll call a stranger's name was called. Same first name......another April in my class I pondered? Finally I realized that stranger was me. And my Grandma's response was to stand firm that I would use the last name that I had choosen, regardless of it's legality. The report cards, they still showed that stranger's name but I never heard it whispered out loud again.

I miss her. I'm not sure she really ever knew the real me. But I know she knew how much I loved her, how much I respected her. And I know how she loved me. So today, on this anniversary of her birth, I just want to remind her that I still love every day. Happy Birthday Grandma.

Monday, March 10, 2008

God Couldn't Have Been a Woman........

I am living proof that God is, in fact, a man. There is no way on this earth a female would subject her likeness to the roller-coaster of emotions that go with menopause. I've been upbeat my whole life, and the last few days, I find myself getting tears in my eyes. I'm not really sad, am I? Surely that one lone whisker on my chin has not subjected me to tears, or has it????? I have to watch upbeat movies right now, the others bring me down even further.

I find myself lonely with my son gone. I never realized that I would miss him. At first I liked the cupboards full of food, the house staying clean. But now it has an emptiness. Don't get me wrong, I don't want him back. I want him to venture out and become a man. I just never realized how much I would miss him. But in his moving out, it has also become apparent to me how close the three of us are. How much him and his sister love each other. How much I love them both. How there are some things I did right in raising them, and how there are some things I wish I could go back in time and redo. I love taking credit for the good, blaming the ex for the bad............. I'm kidding, kinda.

My daughter is still a delight. But she is spending more time alone in her room. This is leaving me in this big, empty house with nothing to do but watch my dog chase his tail. That or sit at the computer and play endless game after game of mahjong or hope that my fellow bloggers will post something that will bring a laugh from deep within my belly.

I have even toyed with the idea of needing a roommate (nooo, silly. Not that kind of roommate. I still have my love of my life). No, a roommate just to, well, hell, I don't know. To make some noise in the house or something? To mow the lawn?

Then I toy with the idea of really downsizing for my daughter and myself. Find some small little place which leaves me with more money at the end of each month. Maybe college for her wouldn't seem so far out of reach then.

Anyway, I'm sure I'm not the first nor I will be the last to wander through this vast array of emotions and to ponder why God couldn't have been a woman and saved me from this rollercoaster. Just send laughs :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's snowing, it's snowing..........

My dog absolutely loves it. He's what I refer to as a special dog. Most nights we entertain ourselves here by watching him chase his tail and sit and look at lights. If he comes across a flashlight, he'll eat the darn thing. But for tonight, he's simply content sliding around the back deck like Bambi and catching snowballs in his mouth. Life doesn't get much better!!