Blessings louder than dreams

It's no mystery that this year has been hell for me. That I've had my heart torn out, my confidence challenged, my love dissolved. I've tried not to come right out and say things directly here, but several of you know the not-so-fine details.

I had dreams. Dreams of having 3 children, of having a house on a local lake, with a huge living room full of windows with beautiful views. Dreams of my dogs being lazy in the backyard. Dreams of spending quality time with my husband, of fostering that connection we used to have, dreams of making him happy, which in turn would make me happy.
My dreams-the doors have been shut on those dreams.
I don't even think about that lake house in my heart.
I try not to think about the pain and the hurt and the lies and the fancy footwork of someone who is an expert at convincing you of something you don't want, need, or know.
I do think about the other children I won't be having with him.
I do want more children. And I've said it several times, and I mean it-I will have more babies someday.

I know my dreams will change, are changing.
And that's okay.
There's some indescribable feeling related to those dreams...they are forming slowly, painstakingly, and the new growth is fresh moss green.

I'm struggling so much. I can't make ends meet and I don't really have anyone to ask for help. I've had several sweet people offer to help me, but we all know I have NEVER been good at asking for help, or accepting help when it is offered.

Tuesday night I was blessed by Chris (the long-lost @3giraffes). She didn't have to do it, and I really didn't want to let her, but she helped me anyway. And I'm so appreciative. I love her. She's been there when even my family can't.

Last week a doctor at my job wrote me a prescription for my gum infection. He didn't have to do it, but he did it anyway.

Several times last week, I texted two dear friends in a panic, begging for prayers. They both got back to me immediately. They both checked in on my several times throughout the week. They both gave me simple, kind words that worked to calm me, even if only for a couple of hours.

This past weekend my mom bought Christmas presents for my daughter, since I don't get paid until Christmas Eve. She didn't have to do it, and I certainly did not want her to do it, given her own financial struggles, but she did it anyway.

Tuesday morning I woke up feeling down, with a constant, dull ache in the center of my chest. I laid in bed listening to my blood pumping through my veins, and thought about how futile it was to cry, how miserable it was to wake up feeling lost and alone and thrown away. Dreams of yelling and crying and begging were taking up residence in the deep corners of my brain, and I couldn't push them away.

But Tuesday night, I felt better.


I know I am blessed. I know I should be more thankful all the time. I know things could be worse.

I am so thankful that I am loved, that people give me a chance, that others care about my heart and my life.

Thank you-you know who you are. I couldn't do this hell without you.



My friend Alan and I have had long discussions about divorce, loss of love, desire, & affection in relationships, and feelings that are hard to put into words (rage, stagnation, frustration, loneliness). He's always urged me to keep writing all of this. And I do write pretty personal stuff here. Most of the time, it doesn't frighten me to peel back my thick layers and expose my soft spots-fears, hopes, dreams, faults-but please don't mistake that for being free of fear.

Another friend always talks about how brave and strong I am. How inspiring I am, that I can get up every morning and smile, that I can enjoy things in spite of the torn-up tortured grief I have, that I can have hope and faith and feel love and a teeny seed of peace sprouting within the center of me. Please don't mistake all of that for being free of pain.

Yet another friend reads my blog and tells me "It's all so heavy."; "Don't you write about anything happy?" And I realize my stuff is heavy. My words do weigh me down, sometimes even after I've written them in my journal pages or typed them here. But life is heavy. The good, the bad, the unexpected, the lonely, the unfair, the painful, the unforgivable, the joyful, the blessed. All these things are so heavy, and I speak them to others not to lighten my load, but to share the load, to find companionship and fellowship among all of you who feel what I feel. But I grow weary carrying this all alone, even when I have friends and family who offer to help. Please don't mistake this for being free of strength.

Most days, I am okay. I thank God I'm alive, that I have a mother who cares enough to take me and my daughter in. I feel blessed that my girl is strong, that I have strength I didn't know I had. Most days, I feel strong and happy and almost carefree. But please don't mistake carefree with free of care.

I am all the awful things you can think someone would be w/ a broken heart. I am all the awful things I never wanted to be, and always despised in others. I feel weak and broken and tired and torn and weary and angry and spiteful and dizzily full of rage.


I am free.

I make a conscious decision every day to focus on the seedling of peace taking root within myself. And to focus on that tiny whisper of hope floating through the air, catching the breeze and gliding to the ground to rest at my feet. I don't always win the battle-sometimes my focus is uncentered and my gaze falls a bit to the left. But never mistake that for being free of hope.


Music Lover Monday-on Tuesday-Home Video Version

Yes, it's Tuesday. Day late, dollar short. Not the first time.

So, let me just explain this to you. I recorded my sister singing this song awhile ago, but for some reason my crackberry didn't want to let me send it to myself. Then I recorded this one, but it's not as fanfuckintastic as the first one. First off, I'm at a bad angle. More importantly though, is the fact that my kid has an epic meltdown-" goooooooooo pottttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, graaaaaaaaandmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa don't leeeeeeeeeave meeeeeeee"-right in the middle. Love that my sister and I both sorta meltdown with her.
Anyway, welcome to my world.
(And yes, I am soooo available to use my professional videotaping skills for all of your party/recording needs.)
Enjoy. :)


Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

Mrs. H was probably one of my most-loved residents on the Alzheimer's floor. With disheveled-looking clothing, comfortable slippers, and messy hair, she walked around the unit with a beautiful smile.
She had a voice like maple syrup, thick and sweet. She sang Christian hymns and nursery rhymes easily, her tone as smooth as silk.
My body would become a sea of goosebumps when she would sing Amazing Grace, crooning softly, eyes closed, open face tilted up towards the sky, rocking easily.
Soft skin like tissue paper, warm to the touch. She let me smooth her hair off of her forehead when it fell into her eyes.
She let me grasp her hands when she spoke, eager to caress my arm or knee.
She didn't know who I was, but she knew me.
She always asked how my mother was doing, and asked me to send her regards.
She was polite and sincere in her responses to my questions.
She was a total jokester, making others laugh, brushing off compliments by slighting herself with a laugh in her voice & a silly sparkle in her eye.
She had the most beautiful blue eyes.

One morning, I did not see her in the living room area when I entered the floor, nor did I hear her voice singing out Amazing Grace. I was told she was still in bed. She was no longer able to walk. Just like that.
I went to her room, finding her resting in bed with her eyes closed. She spoke easily, and sang for me when I asked.

A few days later, she could no longer sing.
Or feed herself.
She didn't want to get up to get dressed.
She began hallucinating, mumbling and confusing words, sentences, the past & the present.
She wasn't able to answer my questions, but still purred "Thank you" with a beautiful, face-full smile when I commented on her blue eyes.

The last day of my internship, I sat by her bed, softly massaging her hands and arms. I don't know how long I stayed, singing quietly, studying the plains of emotion on her face, watching the movement behind her closed eyelids, praying that she would open her eyes, say something, smile, anything. I glanced at the pictures of her and her children hung on the wall above her bed, allowing myself to grieve the loss of this wonderful woman.

I am sad that she is in the end stages.
I am relieved that she does not seem to be aware of this, although I worry that she might be.
I am angry, so futily furious, that this disease is taking over, that her brain is dying-bit by bit, haphazardly yet beautifully articulated.

I have not gone back to visit her. I hope that she doesn't know this. I hope that she is still alive. She is the first one that I cannot bear to visit, the first one that I am avoiding not seeing, the first one that I fear hearing about.

I am afraid to see that light of hope extinguished in those aqua eyes.
I ache to think that the walls no longer echo her voice singing Amazing Grace.

I woke from a dream early this morning, where she was sitting on my couch with my mother and deceased grandmother, discussing photography and pianos. When I walked in the room, she motioned me over. I sat at her feet, placing my hands in hers. She pulled my head into her lap, wiping my hair off my forehead, and whispered,  
"I once was lost, but now am found; blind, but now I see."

When I raised my head off of her lap, throat tight, she looked down at me with those aqua eyes, shook her head, and began singing the song, clear and strong.