Friday, May 1, 2009

Where Living Really Began for Me: A Bit of Background Information on Me

Here is a journal of sorts that I kept while going through the hardest year of my life thus far (or make that the hardest 3 months of my life). I didn't want to dwell on these times because I want my personal blog to be of something that is more enjoyable, inspiring and insightful to myself, life, and personal experiences. So I decided to post my journal, not re-live it by re-writing it but to share with you how far God has brought my family and I out of the depths of sadness and into the joyful light of his precious grace.

Irrevocable Coping
Monday, June 23, 2008 at 2:15am

I have learned a multitude of lessons in my life from the most minuscule.... ranging on the verge of annoying, to the ever so immense that have ravaged my world to inequitable terms that seem unacceptable to what I expect and demand out of life. Those of you who know me well, know that I am resilient, obstinate, but guarded. I have coaxed myself to be this way in many scenarios. Has this marred my quality of no means ..but I believe that it has caused me to question all facets and intentions of myself, others and life in general. The unknown....the most daunting and intimidating prospect to await. The unknown looms insecurities that become micro managers of our thought processes. Many instances, I have caused my own demise.... usually not by conscious effort, but as a result of naive adolescence or an unwillingness to alter, accept, or communicate. I am not evasive towards others but I don't gravitate, I deveiate and sometimes impel. I have loved and lost in many forms and grown no less perceptive to any of these circumstances. I have endured the loss of many loved ones from family, relationships, friends, co-workers, and now a piece of myself. Each circumstance has caused me to contemplate my being, experience a growth process to alleviate my own flaws that may hurt others........ and grow in doing so. But the loss that is uncontrollable , is the most ridgid to endure. I llike to have control of the situations in my life, that is my comfort zone. It's the unexpected tumult that blind sides me beyond comprehension.Don't get me wrong, I have been blessed with vast people and experiences in my life who have helped shape me to who I am today. Some who I don't know what I do, or who I would be without. For instance, mu husband. Someone I almost diverted the opposite direction, due to my insecurities with myself that I will always suffer from. I was determined to be solitary when we met. I played coy for months because I wanted and needed to find myself again....... I had such an unwavering desire to be independent and sovereign.......... and now I have no clue who that person was and could want nothing more than the opposite for the rest of my life. When I met Toby, I learned how to love unconditionally again, not that I had lost that but I had lost sight of that. I learned how to communicate on every level, which is the foundation we have built everything we have today on, without that we would be nowhere and we would have nothing. He has nurtured me through many trials and tribulations, he knows everything about me, the good, the bad and the ugly. He is the one person I have found that I can be completely honest with, even when not in my best interest..... and he remains non-judgmental. He helps me see the positive quality in all situations and he understands me as well. I have never met a more giving and understanding individual in my life.I have always pictured happiness in our lives together, from the day we said our vows, to every prayer said together each night hand in hand, every good morning and good night. I never imagined we would have to experience a loss in each other like this........I can remember the day, I took the test, so nervous, unsure, thinking "could this possibly be." I was so tired and exhausted physically, financially and emotionally from having to bury my mother the week of the hardest things a 25 year old girl should ever have to experience. From not getting to say goodbye or that last, "I love you." To not be able to comfort the pain or be there during that time. I remember getting that call. I was at school helping my students with their personal narratives. A little girl, whom I absolutely adore and would adopt her today, asked me to read hers. This was the same little girl I had walked to the school bus on a couple of occasions because she was so scared of the bad storms we had been getting. Knowing that she pulls at my heart strings everyday with her big hazel eyes, warm smile and grand hugs every morning, fresh picked flowers on occasion,and in having nothing she made sure to get me a special ink pen for christmas that had maze inside of it, I was interested in reading hers and felt important that she wanted to share hers with me. As I knelt down beside her, I could tell she was nervous, and as I read the tears welled up in my eyes like boulders ( I am a softie when it comes to these kids), but I finished it with composure of a breaking heart deep inside. She wrote about how her mother had just founf out that she had a tumor in her stomach about the size of a grapefruit and she was scared that she was going to die. Ilooked at her and as before said what I had said during every storm we had before I sent her on her way with a hug, "Your mom is going to be o.k." As soon as I said it, I turned at the call of my name to see my resource teacher with a concerned look, telling me there was a number I needed to call, and she thought that it was an emergency. When the voice on the other end said that your mother had passed away 45 minutes ago, I froze, dropped the phone and cried, "Oh my GOD" over and over. I stumbled forward, not knowing where I was going and was caught bythe grasp of a co-worker who wouldn't let me go. I felt as if I were in a bad dream, not knowing where or who I was. Then I thought about the little girl, I was trying to comfort, all of a sudden I was that little girl, yet I couldn't be comforted enough. I felt as if GOD had tried to prepare very quickly for what I was about to experience. Then a week later the confirmation, PREGNANT!!!! My eyes couldn't believe it or my heart. I ran out onto the front porch to stop Toby from going to his meeting, night gown and all it didn't matter at the moment. We were thrilled. He was nervous and spent the day eating chewable pepto and devising ways to manage future finances. I was torn on whether to grieve for mom or be thrilled for the baby. I have been extremely content and happy with my life but I have never been blissfully happy as I was before this experience. It hurt to smile, but felt good to laugh with one another again. Everyone told me, in a family, where there is a death there is a new life. I found comfort in that.... I still felt it was unfair to not have the chance to see mom's face when I told her the news, or those first greetings with her and the baby....but I told myself she is with me. Our whole lives changed, but for the good. The way we ate, the things we did, we were always so careful, from Toby willingly slowing down how fast he drove the boat over those terrible waves, to rolling up the windows for pumping gas. I had envisioned ten little fingers and ten little toes. We talked about names, very basic, we were having fun and enjoying this new journey in our lives. We wondered what perceptible qualities would the baby hold from each of us. Had discussed parenting issues, future obstacles he/she may face and preference was no attribute for either of us. I went from experiencing all symptoms to losing it all without choice or control in the matter.I had pictured the first Ultrasound and how it would go. I would leave with good news, a picture to put in a card for my mother in law, who we were on our way to see that afternoon and await the next visit. All to my surprisem, the opposite happened. I left with, you have a gestational sac measuring two weeks off your dates, two cysts on your right ovary, no picture and little hope to go on. After blood work and falling levels, I knew there was no hope left and yet another disappointment.I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum, which I had no clue could occur and told that I needed to go to surgery either that night or the next. When I went into surgery, I was so scared. I thought maybe I myself wouldn't come out of this. I have wondered through all of this, why me? I have been sad, mad, down right angry, and felt completely broken. I know in my heart that this was meant to be, but I don't think I will ever understand this time in my life. Will I ever heal from this. I think about others who have had exact, similar or worse experiences than myself and I ache for them as well. I can't imagine actually knowing my child and then facing a loss. I also can't imagine knowing my child and leaving them in this unaccepting world to face the pain of losing a parnet. I know it is all a part of life but..... I have seen and experienced both sides of it and neither is easier or more bearable than the other.If there is one thing I can share to help others, it is that you have to let others in during this time. You have to communicate with your spouse 100% to get through because they are feeling the same loss as you. I thank GOD for everyone in my life who has been there for me in unwavering support during these crazy two months of my life..... it means so much to me and I hope that I am able to do the same for you. You all know who you are, and I have learned so much from each and every one of you. Thank you for listening, even now when I just need to vent last time...this is it, I am not delving anymore after this because I need to move on and grow from all of this and thank you for your thoughts and prayers, you will all be in ours as well.

Messages in Disguise
Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at 1:55am

Sometimes, God strategically places us in certain scenarios that permeate his messages of prominent value and potency.....whether it be for guidance, strength or as I believe... is to serve as a prelude to what prospect the future possess. I had a moment, what I would prefer to relate as a defining inspiration, a moment of sheer beautiful weakness, a captivating overture of belief in something so precious, that I could on no account contravene as anything but...... refined Grace.In my remedial state of mind, I had lingered for days within the comforts of my own home. Content and contemplative of perilous thoughts..... I was coaxed back out into the obtrusive "Real" world by the malleable hands of my my insistent husband. We quietly drove to Bowling Green, hand in hand..not opressed just content in one another. Lexis at times is unnecessary. The sun sparkled unnaturally compared to my vexed demeanor. I was adamant about not wanting to be out and about, daily routines and bustle about town was still intimidating ....but I conceded to his lavish charm. We arrived at Applebee's for lunch around noon. As our waitress walked us to our table, I decisively placed myself with my back to the world. I could feel Toby's eyes glancing my way over the edge of his menu. I knew I would just order the usual, so I stared at the silverware as I waited .... until my ear caught the sounds of juvenile chuckles and laughs. As I turned my head, conveniently our waitress seated a woman next to us, only a foot away, seated at the end of her table, the most precious baby boy. I was resistent to looking over and made it a point not to. It is difficult to impede thoughts that envision yourself in that aspect of life....rather than the present. But to my dismay, he stared at me, I could feel his gaze. Now I had two of the hardest gazes burning through me, waiting to see my reaction. So, I took a deep breath and I glanced back... he just smiled, with rosy cheeks and then he would quickly look away. It became a precarious game between the both of us. Finally, I broke a smile. I could feel the ache across every inch of my mouth as my smile got larger across my face. Then before I knew it, I glanced back over at Toby and saw a mirrored image of myself in him. He was beaming from ear to ear and the light had cascaded across his face and back into his icy blue eyes. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that boulders welled up in my eyes, I could feel my face contort with that same pain ...oh so familiar and the tears just streamed with ease. Toby chuckled at this, leaned across the table with a big smile to wipe my tears, and asked if I was going to do this everytime I saw a baby. I contemplated that question and thought....maybe...... I regained my composure and felt a bit relieved when it was time for him to leave. His mother picked him up, he turned to me, waved and said, "bye, bye." I returned the gesture with a large grin and felt comfort in that blessed moment.God has tested me in many ways....maybe to see if I can handle things as he expects me to. I have felt this intolerable pain once before in my life, not long ago. I had a time where my life revolved around someone else, entirely. When that was gone, I felt as if I was a disappointment and that I had lost everything. Oh how familiar feelings return but in a different fashion and form than before. I healed from that experience, but not alone. With the help of Toby, I was able to express myself , my position as well as others. I can't say that Toby was biased and on my side.....sometimes he sided with what I felt was the Devil. But in reality, I realized he helped me see the truth in life, in others and in myself. I think that GOD places us in predicaments to grow and learn from. Whether we choose to listen, revolt or accept is the key. I have learned from my own experiences that there is always some form of good that comes from the pain. When I felt as if I had lost everything a little over six years ago, I gained so much in return. I learned that I needed to let go of some of my fiery assumptions, altered judgements and pessimistic outlooks. When I started listening, I started receiving. GOD truely has always taken care of me. I have learned to let go of the minute things, to not waist energy on the small stuff and that if something doesn't hold value then just let it go, don't dwell.I have worked very hard over the years to become more accepting. I have completely changed who I am, to a point of where I look back and am in awe of things that I use to think mattered so much. This is simply a growth process that I believe we all experience, if we are open to it.I have learned to appreciate the things that matter to me and make my life whole. I look forward to lying my head down on my pillow each night. I treasure the sound that puts me to sleep everynight , the unison heartbeat of my husband when I lay my head on his chest. I anticipate the brush of his hand across my shoulder that lets me know he is comforting me unconsciously as he sleeps. I enjoy our long walks and talks about the silliest things. The daunting questions we challenge one another with :) I have realized I have so much to be thankful for and my selfish acts of personal pitty relinquish my ability to focus on the present. GOD put Toby in my life for a reason, and credit is due. Just as I feel that GOD led that baby in a restaurant to me for a reason, maybe to let me know that it is going to be alright in the end of this journey, when all is said and done. I know that we have lost for a reason unknown to us at this moment, and one we may never know. But if it is GOD's will, then we accept and move on with distinction and dignity in his path for us. I feel that GOD needed my mom and this baby for a reason, and find peace in my thoughts that she is dancing with that baby to the voices of angels waiting for the moment that she gets to introduce me to my baby instead of vice versa. Of all that my mom thought she didn't have, she holds the greatest gift for me right now......... I am blessed by this notion of truth.

Receiving to Give
Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:37pm

I don't usually discuss these types of things because I am not a gloater but when it comes to doing for others, I have always been a softie. Does that mean things always work in your favor or that you should expect something in return, no, because typically that is not the case and in some instances you can get into situations where people decide to just use you. It is sad but true, yet I have learned that it is best not to turn your shoulder to those who have done you wrong but to keep giving to them and doing for them. I have all of this on my mind right now because yesterday at church our sermon was about giving even when you feel you don't have it to give. This is not what I consider to be of monetary value but of grace and goodness for those in need of whatever it may be. When I met Toby, I was so unsure of myself, who I was, what I had lost in myself, in others and what I would become. I believe God put him in my life for a reason, to show me who I was and who I could be. We started volunteering at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving, which is something in my past, I would have not considered. I was touched by the families, the elderly, the big smiles and the bright eyes and childrens' little hands who brought up thier plates for a meal. For one of the first times in my life at the ripe age of nineteen, I had to step back and walk into the kitchen and shed tears for others and not myself. For all the things that I thought I had lost in my life to the things that consumed me with what I never had, meant nothing to the needs of these people because what they were thankful for that very day was people giving for them. From that day on, I made it my mission to do whenever possible. We have many great little stories that I would love to share, in hopes of inspiring others to do the same.Special moments that have touched me, consist of many strangers I never knew and may never see or meet again. From giving change to the firemen at the corner of the mall and walmart to helping jump another's car, we find so much satisfaction and content in our hearts to keep going. There was one time, I know many of you from BG will know this woman, a little old lady was walking down Campbell Lane pulling her pull along cart full of groceries in such cold weather. When we saw her, we instantly looked over at each other where our eyes met and we knew exactly what the other was thinking. So Toby turned around and we asked if we could help her by giving her a ride home. As we drove to her house, She had the sweetest stories about her children and grandchildren. It was so nice to meet her and share her experiences. And to our surprise, we still see her every now and then.Another time, in the middle of the summer when it was dreadfully hot, we saw a man holding that was requesting a job for money by the interstate exit. We knew we couldn't provide a job for him but we drove to Hardees and got him a huge burger meal and a couple bottles of water. He was so surprised and thankful for that small gesture that made a world of difference.What really brought me to this whole subject, was right after our wonderful service this Sunday. We decided to have lunch at Panera Bread where God showed me his Grace completely and brought tears to my eyes. As I walked to an open table, I passed a gentleman that looked like a drifter, carrying an army bag, and down on his luck. No smile across his face, no coffee, no food, just a warm setting area to get out of the cold and rest for his next journey. I sat there and literally stared at him wondering about his life, his family, his faith and felt compelled to do something for him. I couldn't eat, I lost my appetite as I explained to Toby what was going through my mind. Just talking about it, brought tears to my eyes. I told Toby, I wanted to send over a meal and a warm drink annonymously. He wimked at me went to put in the order. I sat there and thought, "What if that was my son?" When Toby came back to the table, he said that the cashier had said that someone before us had just ordered something for him. My heart melted with delight, the thought that there are so many other "good" "caring" peopel out there. I was truely witnessing God's work in such a sad time in our world. I became a ball of tears as I watched a little old lady come up to him, place her hand on his shoulder and just talk to him. I think she was asking for his extra chair at his table but still it was a nice gesture. Then his blessing arrived at his table and watched his face turn almost into tears as he slowly looked around the room from under his long hair in his face. I can not tell you how touched I felt. It didn't matter that I was not able to provide for that soul that day but what mattered most was that God is working through us in the most special ways. I share these stories with you only because I hope to inspire others to share God's grace when it is needed . The coming years are not going to be easy for anyone in the state that our nation is in but if we pull together and give when we can to those in need then you too can receive so much from your small gestures of hope placed in others.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....
Wednesday, December 31, 2008 at 11:21pm

So if you know me at all and surely if you know me well, I am not one of those real superstitious people, although stories from others intrigue me and cause me to wonder, never really had one of my own to share. I must say, my day began with my mind wondering as it usually tends to in some form, from early morning dreams (which are so strange now that I am pregnant) to my mid day routines. Today's thougthts did not begin with much anticipation for this up and coming fast approaching new year. Not like me either, usually I am not apprehensive but delighted to have another year with new things, and I know most of you are thinking as do I, "well you should be excited, your having a baby." But have you ever really stopped to think about that. Well when your pregnant you will. It is the scariest feeling in the world, anxiety times ten, excited times a hundred and the fear of the unknown. That has been my new years thoughts. Don't mean to be bleak but I am in need of being honest I suppose. I have to admit, watching the Discovery Health Channel and TLC for an entire two week Christmas break from work has scared the you know what _________ out of me! I love medical shows to no end but when you are an individual potentially in the viewed scenario, you start to have the case of the, "What If's?" There are so many things that could go wrong with this pregnancy and leave either myself or my husband empty handed and I think with the year I just had (mom, pregnancy and work) it doesn't seem that far fetched. But, I try to be positive and upbeat about things, I am really good at disclosing how I truely feel to the outside world and sometimes even those closest to me. So in my worried moment tonight, I sat quietly in the car on my way to Bowling Green to see a movie (Curious Case of Benjamin Button, maybe one of the best films I have seen since the Notebook was beautifully written and produced without flaw and impecable special effects), only being moved by a couple of phone calls to two of my closest friends. Now this is where all my inspiration or babbling leads to. I had run into Wal-Mart really quickly to get a photo CD while on the phone with a friend. When I got off the phone, I stuck it in my pocket. I got in the car and heard my phone make a beaping sound. When I pulled it out, I noticed that my phone had just placed a call to my mother (no, I have not removed the number and nor do I think I ever will). Now this incidence really baffles me because I have a Blackberry Pearl for those of you who are familiar and can relate to, I pondered how this could of happened the entire time I was in the movie before relaying this to Toby. When you hang up on a Black berry, you screen remains on your call log, which I had not placed a call to my mother in over 8-9 months. So, what is even stranger is that to get to her number, you would physically have to exit out of the call log screen, scroll over to the address book, press enter, scroll through the names to the "M's" and then proceed to place a call to that number. Even more so, I had not even placed recent calls to the people above or below her name recently. If you are anything like me, there would be a singe of goosebumps crawling all over you right now. But in my heart I felt at peace. When my mom was here, I would always call her when I was upset or worried......... so after the day of thoughts I had, it doesn't surprise me that maybe GOD was sending me a message of relief from above to comfort me & let me know that everything is going to be okay in this new year. I am pleased to report that his efforts have comforted me as they always do and I know more than ever in my life that I have so many guardian angels looking after me :)


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