Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How do you do it?

Oh my gosh, I can NOT do anything with 5 kids.  I try.  I fail.  I take them out, and they miss naps, I have 3 kids crying,  I have two ignoring my pleas for help.  I say words I should never say..I am failing at this.  I can not keep a house clean, I can not make proper meals, I can not rest, eat, settle, get anything done.  I'm home or I'm chaos.  I am chaos today, and I hate the disorderly side of life.  I think from here on in, I admit immediate defeat, and I stay home.  If you wanna see me, please call and come by, it's just too hard to take them anywhere!

the long journey

I am pretty sure that along this journey, I've screwed things up...a lot, and often.  I tried to be friends the way I used to be..where I'd listen, and talk a bit, and listen, and listen, and talk a bit..but in hindsight, I couldn't really speak or hear.  I was trying to still be there for others, but not really able to relate or hear. It was/is like I'm under water.  I see you, and I want to be me, but I am not sure it's getting through.  I want to say it all to you too, to tell my broken heart to you, to cry on your shoulder, to lean on you, to call at any hour, but I don't.  I hold it all in.  It spills out in furious jogs and obscure blogs.  blogs and jogs, it seems to be the reality of it for me.
I can't put my finger on it and name what it's called.  Is it tragedy, trauma, grief, post traumatic stress disorder?  Is it truth? Is it lies?  Are you honest with me?  Do you keep things from me that you think may hurt me, but in turn, it hurts me more?  Do I tell you truly how I feel, how I cope, how I fail, how I flail?  Who talks to who?  Who shows their truest selves?  What are the consequences?  It's the sign we put up in our cluttered country living rooms that say "SIMPLIFY."  It's the makeup we plaster on our faces, for the "natural look."  We show only so much, like a small corner of a page, it's not really an open book, it's just the table of contents, cleverly hidden, and falsely advertizing.  I used to think that as I was alone in the long and horrible journey of childhood leukemia, for my boy, that I would want, that I had, that I needed the world here, in it ...with me, to save me from drowning.  But...the truth is, we are all in it alone.  Not that we are not loved and supported, but we do it alone.  We have no choice.
I think the more we talk and listen, the more we will all  hear.  The more we hear, the more we can relate and somehow that breaks through to the dark place fear lies.
I call out to my God to rescue me.  My cross around my neck will not save me.  My attendance at church will not fix me.  My God will save me.  He will pick me up where I am, and He will let me talk and He will be honest, and he is available at 3am, and I will let Him.  I cry for my friends and their struggles.  I see the pain, the suffering of mothers who can not enter the hospital without severe anxieties.  I know the medications prescribed to not only their battling babies, but to them, themselves.  Sometimes the fear is so great it threatens to swallow us up.  The marriages that teeter back and forth, hovering over dismal failure.  The other children who fear for their siblings and their own heath.  The communities that hold their breath, hoping this child "stays well."  The answers we give, always..."things are ok, thanks."  If things were okay, really okay, no one would have to ask.
I can see my old's in the pictures, it's flashing in the background like an old movie.  I can not look at the pictures of him when he was so so sick anymore, it makes my feet sweat.  It's a journey, a journey no one plans to be on, and one that must end well.  One that ends with peace, with love, with a healing deeper than chemotherapy can provide.  I am traveling with my boy, with my family, to find that  healing. It's a really really long journey, but I am I am thankful for the time, and sorry for the roads that have been left behind...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

When you say nothing at all

When you say nothing at all, is one of the BEST Alison Krauss songs I have ever heard. sigh. I wish I could sing like that.  I tell you to do what you are supposed to do, and maybe you listen, and maybe you don't.  Maybe you need to find your own way in life and make the mistakes we all make.  I sure know that I have made plenty.  When I offer my advice, I am only hoping to save you from yourself.  From that anger that rises up and threatens to crash down..and actually, does crash down.  When I say nothing at you stumble and do you trip?

  I hate when you offer advice, but when you hold your tongue at times, I wish you would say something.  I think we never really can do it all on our own, and yetwhen we are helped, it brings on a love hate relationship. No one wants to be alone in their suffering, and no one wants to be exposed in their weakness.

When a heart is disturbed, broken, or plain old aching, and you know that heart is aching, and yet you look, but say nothing at all..what does that say?  Does it say, I know, but I wont say.  Does it say, I don't know, so I wont say.  Does it say, I pretend I don't know, so I don't have anything to say, seeing as I pretend I don't know.  I guess it all depends, doesn't it.  I am a chatty person.  I say it all...mostly.  I mean, if I know you are needing to talk, I am likely to pry it out of you..and if you are not needing to talk, I may pry it out, and offend you.  I can't stand the though of the hurt growing like a cloud ready to storm down.  When you see the eyes of that someone, that person that's dealing with more than they can manage. More than they need.  More than is possible, and we 'say nothing at all'  I wonder how much further back they may recede.

Yet..we all have our own crosses to bear.  Of course, some seem more burdensome than others, but we can not know for sure.  I see relationships planted, grown, flourish, yet sometimes, the soil for the relationship isn't quite right, or the tending isn't quite...careful enough.  Sometimes the relationships grow and reach the sky, and mostly I see they fall short, the crop dies out and and we wait for new seeds, or we let it be fallow for a year or see how the soil can recuperate.  I think planting slowly, carefully, and selecting a few seeds is often easier than throwing a whole handful of seeds to the wind and seeing where they fall and prosper.

When you say nothing at all...can often be a way of silencing the busy and the bustle, and when we wait in silence, then maybe we actually can hear.

I truly don't know..I say every thing at once, and throw seeds willy nilly.  But there is always time to learn.

Monday, July 22, 2013

running bare foot

Strip off the socks, strip off the shoes, the flip flops, the sweaty sneakers, the crocks.  The wet grass feels like heaven.  Let the sticks poke you just a little, let the sand get in between your toes.  The feet that sink way down deep in hot garden soil making prints that will fill with rain water when it comes.  Let the risk of a sliver out weigh the safety of the shoe.  Let the hot sun bore down on the tops of your feet, let the feet get dirty, let them feel what they walk upon.  Let the bare feet get good and used to being free while they can.  While your feet are free, you can't wait for the other shoe to drop.  You can't feel the ties binding, and the restrictions of germs and icky floors, of all you have been warned about.  Just let the summer soak you up, and walk with confidence.  Precious moments come from such simple pleasures as these.  Remember well the days you could barely walk, where you flopped like a rag doll, asleep on the grass, the wagon, the couch.  Never dwell too long on the suffering you've endured, but never forget it the same.  These are the SAME feet, the same ones that walked and limped the halls, these feet will lead you through life, in HIS footprints.  Let them out for a romp, my boy, let them be light and let them enjoy the goodness of what's to come.

Deuteronomy 5:33 You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess.

Friday, July 19, 2013


 I would rather live in a state of acute tenderness to one's suffering, than a stagnant, nonchalance to the agony of others.
  While you live in a world frozen in uncertainty, wondering--how can the earth can still turn, while you are petrified....
Should life really continue on, as grief engulfs?  What happened to the old traditions of mourning?  Where people were more aware and attuned to each others grief --as black was dawned and visual symbols put in place.
  The sorrow that envelops our people in our society is quietly hidden away by most and yet splattered via cyberspace with millions of 'likes' and 'comments' that console the soul for as long as it takes to click this action.  YET.....a neighbour, not connected, knows nothing of the house next door, and what threatens to swallow up the family there.
  My day is bright, but the darkness that surrounds so many I know smogs out the joy.  I push back.  I push these dark clouds to the sides shouting in silent prayers--"no, no I will enjoy..I will enjoy.  For, we have paid our price already, we are paying our price.  We pay a high price daily, and the joy we feel, it's ours to have...."
 I wonder too--did you?  Did you too agonize in the glory and the lovely while he, while we suffered immeasurably?  Is this how life plays it's games?
 Oh feelings and words can write sonnets and plays, songs and speeches--they seem to have no way of slowing down until they are put to paper.
 Endless nights, days, weeks we saw the same walls, peeling, sick places of the unfair and the unpredictable.  The sunny days I longed to escape.  The winter days, I missed home.  The birthday, the holidays, the days the world went on...and we did not.
 Our minds and hearts are forever changed, forever grateful for every health filled day, because no black is worn, no signs are hanging, we troop on and enjoy the glorious days for each of you continued on, and we are too.
 We have no choice but to live, live hiding the black, and smiling on, because each day is a day to live--live knowing there is great love, and great suffering running hand in hand.

Monday, July 15, 2013

writer's block, is writer's fear?

I'm looking at you, and your my same baby boy.
only...your not a baby anymore.
Your eyes, your eyes tell a story, story of the eyes that have seen more than any five year old should .
Eyes red rimmed, eyes blackened, eyes afraid, eyes sick, eyes swollen, keep your eyes on me, my boy, and I'll keep them focused for you.
Your lips, your lips that took only the best foods, your mama's milk, lips that swelled beyond recognition,  lips lined with mouth sores, lips that voice words you would never use, were you not drug induced, lips that open up each night so trusting, to take your chemotherapy, your many many drugs.  My heart sinks each time you ingest these poisons that save your life, as we administer these drugs, our worlds hold still for a moment, and all our fears creep in...and we carry on with praise for you and your bravery.
Oh those legs, those boyish legs that have lost their chubby youth...those legs that threaten to bruise and cause you pain to walk.  I kiss those legs, and their ouchy spots, I rub those legs when you can't move them, I lift those legs for you when you can't.  They will grow long, and walk away from from cancer, from pain, from this childhood full of obstacles and illness.
I stroke that hair.  That curly, sweaty, unruly hair chased away by chemos, and yet coming back with a vengeance to show us who's boss.  Hair that fell out in the wind, falling like hope and tears.  I kiss your hair as you sleep...remember your bald, white, sick little head.  I kiss you and hold onto all the optimism of a bright future for you.
I rub that tummy, swollen with enlarged spleen and liver.  I rub that tummy as it aches from the gorging during monthly steroids, as it has a terrible time for years with aches and cramps daily.  I keep a watchful eye on your tummy, for spots, for petecia, for every freckle threatens to be something less innocent..
My God, my God,  your hands, your beautiful hands and arms.  Ravished, poked, taped up, splinted, thousands of times over, with no choice in the matter.  the hands with dimples should know no pain, no IV's no bandaids, no cancer.
Your chest, heart racing..medications for high blood pressure at the age of four, it's criminal.  Scars up one side and down the other.  Port a caths, foreign tubes and metal in my boy's chest, his heart, his neck.
Oh the back, bruised and poked, injected 27 times over with chemos that run to the brain, a back so tender and I want to take him and run with each spinal tap..but we pursue.  What choice is there?
And I look, and I pray, and I hold and I hold in my silent scream, like all the other mothers who are doing this too.
Everyone knows all we can be is thankful, and I am, but ..
my boy, my boy did not need this.
I cry out to Mary, "Mary, Mary, your son--he suffered so much.  Where does a mother shelf her grief--this house is too full for this sorrow, we can not contain it here."
I lie my head down, listen to his heartbeat, smell his sweet hair, and God fills my empty spaces with hope.  A hope I can't quite reach, but I think if I just let it wash in, and be patient, it will come, and the big holes will be filled in.
Healing my boy, and healing the broken mother's heart.
A boy needs lots of care, a body is fragile, so I succumb to the situation, and rock my boy, his body in my arms.  I let HIM hold us both, and we release the pain and trade it in for a hope so essential, it can heal all these wounds.