Saturday, February 11, 2012

Significance and Persepective

I will start off by saying, I'm not doing well today. If you are expecting something happy, this isn't it. I'm angry, and that may very well be an understatement. I'm angry because a very 'insignificant' event has effected my life for 20 years now. It dawned on me yesterday that the event I remember so clearly is more than likely not remembered at all by the ones' that caused it. I doubt they remember the event or each other.

Twenty years ago, I was a junior in high school. It was the last week of school. A friend wanted to go see the buses let people off and see if a certain boy had arrived yet. (I do remember names, but I'm not going to give them - not important or the point.) Gotta love high school crushes! It wasn't the 'best' place to be as it was where the 'questionable' kids hung out. Well, two of them decided to fight in an incredibly small area with maybe 50 kids all trying to get out of the way. They fought and fell on my leg. In this 'insignificant' event, my life was effected and affected significantly. They tore the ligaments and tendons in my foot. When asked later what the fight was about, the reply was "he looked at me, so I hit him."

In the 20 years since, I've had close to 100 shots in my foot/ankle, a surgery, casts, learning to walk again and facing another surgery to repair the damage done that day. I'm angry! I dread the surgery as the first one hurt like hell! This one will be even more painful as they will be taking a graft from my leg for a usable tendon for my ankle. The current one is so destroyed, it is unusable. Lovely! I am not looking forward to this!

But I am hoping this time, it fixes my foot. I'd love to finally be pain free. But I'm also hoping and praying that I can forget the 'insignificant' event and the players in it. I know I have to let go of the anger. This is why I'm writing this. I know the more we keep things in, the worse it can build up that anger. I write this as a release and to ask for the prayers of my friends and family. Please pray for me, for surgery, for healing - physically, emotionally and spiritually. I have forgiven the two guys, but I am remembering the verses and song that talks about 70x7. It is a process. Thankfully God doesn't give up on us and He continues the process in us of making us more like Him. I'm a LONG ways off from that!!

I hoped this would help me with my thoughts and feelings, and it has! I feel a little less angry and not as close to tears.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Roots and Wings

I just recently went back home to Texas for a visit with my family. It wasn't a planned trip, but it was a great one. I woke up one Sunday morning and realized I needed to go home, so I packed up the kids and we set off for Texas. (Thankfully, I have a husband who is understanding and supportive of my whims. Love you, Babe!) So I got the car loaded with luggage and toys and diapers on. Then I loaded the most precious cargo, my babies - a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. (Proof that I was desperate to go.) The trip went great and I have to say I have amazing children. They traveled like troopers. No screaming. Naps were taken. It was great! Truly!

Now I know some of this is going to sound really funny and way out there, because it is. I just don't know of any other way to describe what I feel. So keep that in mind - I don't really "believe" the weird part of the following.

I have always loved Gone With The Wind! It is one of the best all time books and movies made (in my opinion). Anyway, I love the scene where Rhett and Scarlett are walking around Tara after the war and he realizes how much the land and the place of her childhood means to her, not only emotionally but mentally and physically. "You get your strength from this red earth of Tara, Scarlett." And she always went home when life got tough. At the end when Rhett leaves, she is unsure what to do, but remembers her home. "I know. I'll go home to Tara." And she can figure stuff out. I guess. The author ended the book. (and the book Scarlett is not an ending.)

Anyway, as we got further into to Texas, I could feel myself mentally and physically sigh. And then it was as if the land sighed too. I know weird. I told ya it would be. Now, I don't believe the land literally sighed, but I just felt at such peace to be home. It was wonderful. I met my dad at the half way point that night and was welcomed home. It was great! I understood Scarlett's feelings for home. My strength was in going home to Texas.

We ended up spending about a week and a half with my folks. I got to see my best friend from high school, my sister, brother-in-law, kids and my cousin and his family. Again, it was wonderful! I miss being around family sometimes. It was a restful time for me and I think the kids. They had a great time with their Granny and Pawpaw, and Suga, my mom's toy poodle whose real name is Sugar but isn't pronounced that way by a certain 2 yr old. And yes, it is said with a wonderful Southern drawl. Love it!!

But it was finally time to come back home to Colorado. As I started driving, I began to realize that my parents gave me a great gift. They gave me roots and they gave me wings! They gave me a home that is truly wherever they are. They gave me a place to go back to when this life is too much. They gave me ....... Tara. And I began to pray that for my children, "God, help me to give my children roots but also to give them wings!" It is my roots that take me home to Texas, but it is my wings that bring me back home to Colorado. I love the adventures I've had in first leaving Riesel for Dallas, then to Denver, then to Pennsylvania and then back to Denver. I've gotten to fly and highly recommend it.

I might not want my children to "fly" away one day, but I hope they do and I pray that I've created a place for them to come home, sigh and feel that peace.... a Tara.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Music and Memories (from Christmas 2009)

Lately, I have been listening to two songs again and again, “Seven Spanish Angels” by Willie Nelson and Ray Charles and “The Highwayman” by Waylon, Willie and The Boys. The nostalgia overwhelms me with names, faces and sounds. The sound of steel guitars crying in the background makes me smile as I am flooded with memories of long ago, of faces that are gone now, and flashes of scenes playing like a broken movie.

I remember listening to now classics or ‘oldies’ on a Reel to Reel player at Nanny and Granddaddy’s. I don’t remember all the songs or singers, and I’m not sure that is the point. Instead, the flashes are of building card houses in the carpet, learning how to build London Bridge out of dominoes, and many games of Solitaire where the goal was to “beat the man.” (By the way ~ I never have learned who the man was.) But somewhere in the midst of all of this is the music.

For this particular music, there are two people who stand out playing a role in my appreciation of these classics, Nanny and my sister, Deanna. I was introduced to not only Waylon, Willie and The Boys, but also The Gambler or Kenny Rogers, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves, Marty Robbins and many others. While these singers are probably met with varying degrees of appreciation, they have made their way into my life and now make me smile.

My sister and I used to share a room and while not all memories are pleasant (like getting pinched in the middle of the night ~ hey, I’m a cuddler!), there are some that will always be special. I am not sure she ever really wanted to, but she used to read to me the short stories from Reader’s Digest and if music was playing, she was singing, especially if it was a ballad. I have many memories of her crying and singing. Remember, Sis, the ballad of Teddy and the truckers?

For my Nanny, I remember a different form and time. The memories maybe fuzzy, but I remember names of Aunt Clara, Aunt Leona, Cat & Pawpaw, Aunt Ruby, Uncle Aaron and Aunt Elsie, and others. I remember the sound of hymns of old, like How Great Thou Art, being sung around a piano or acapella. I am amazed at how as a child I might not have understood or appreciated all going on around me, but as an adult a song can transport me back and make my eyes sting with tears, my lips smile and my voice sing out to the same tunes.

I am not sure what makes me so nostalgic now. Maybe it is just the music, the holidays, being pregnant and hormonal, or being a mom myself. But I share this and some music with my Nanny and sister in hopes of making them smile and remember their own sweet memories, but also to say Thank You. Thank you for playing a role in my appreciation of various types of music and more importantly my memories.

As I listen to “The Highwayman” and think of these things, my own Little One has brought me her music. It is of a little dog on a sled singing, rather loudly, “Sleigh Ride with You.” She plays it over my song and my memories fade into the background once more, but a new memory is forming for me and for her as we sing and dance to her ‘music.’ It is a moment I treasure and my prayers and hopes for her is that she too will have memories to look back on that are filled with music, laughter and even tears.

Merry Christmas! Enjoy the music and trip down memory lane. I may not be there with you, but then again we are together in the memories. I love you much.

Updated Rambling

Well, it's been a LONG while since I last wrote on here. In my defense I've been a little busy. We have added a wonderful Little Man to our family, who is 4 months old now. He is such a joy and a happy baby. We are blessed!

I have been off work for a year now, and I'm back to looking for work. It is not a good market out there. Makes it hard not to look backwards and wonder, "did I do the right thing?" But I have a beautiful, healthy, yes, I did the right thing.

My kids are finally asleep, so I have just a moment to write. Lots of thoughts these days, but not many put to paper or computer. So I have some writtings I've done that I'll post.

One of my favorites is a letter I wrote to my sister and Nanny about music and memories. It was their Christmas present from me last year. I just love the feelings I get when I re-read it or listen to the cd I made for them.

Well, there are my ramblings for now. I'll write more later.

If you're still reading, check back. Something will show up.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Life is a Rollar Coaster

This is a scene from Parenthood. I like it.

SM - I was still high from the Little League game. Isn't it demented that a grown man's happiness is dependent on whether or not a 9 yr old catches a pop up? What if he missed?

MS - But he didn't.

SM - He could have.

MS - But he didn't.

SM - But he could have.

MS - But he didn't, Gill. You threw him 12 million pop ups in the backyard. You cut the odds considerably.

SM - There's 3 of them and you want to have a fourth. The 4th one could be Larry and they're gonna do alot of things. Baseball is the least of them. In all those things, sometimes they're gonna miss.

MS - Sometimes they won't.

SM - Sometimes they will. Sometimes they will.

MS - Well, what do you want me to give you? Guarantees? These are kids not appliances. Life is messy.

SM - I hate messy. It's so...messy.


This has been on my mind lately, so I figure this is the best way to get it off.

Identity is defined as the condition of being oneself, and not another.” (taken from the web somewhere) So basically being one thing and not something else, i.e. a rabbit is a rabbit and not a dog. Complicated, I know.

So why am I thinking about rabbits and dogs? I’m not really. But I am thinking about my own identity. Who/what do I identify with? I’ve been asking myself this question a lot lately as I’m beginning a new journey and leaving another behind. My new journey is going to be a Stay at Home Mom/Wife (SAHM/W). I’m looking forward to it with great anticipation, excitement, longing and fear and trepidation. What am I going to do with a 1 year old all day, every day? How will I keep from wanting to burn my house down b/c I’m sick of looking at it? (Now I’m sure Mike is in fear and trepidation.) How will I teach her all she needs to know for this life? How will I not get up and get dressed for work? How will I get things done? How will I . . .? I dunno. But I’m going to try.

The journey I’m leaving behind is being a Victim Advocate. I enjoy my job and have taken great pride in it. However, I have to be honest about something. I’m embarrassed to admit, but I might actually be a little bit of a Badge Bunny. If you are unfamiliar with this term, it is used with certain types of females (we all know them) who volunteer or work for police departments to chase the badge or be in the know. They aren’t really there for any other reason except to get a date, flirt or get the scoop. Yes, I’m married to a cop but I didn’t really chase the badge to get my job (now I just get to chase it for fun), so that leaves being in the know. At times it’s nice knowing more than the public and realizing how little people truly know about or want to know human nature in its raw, depraved form. It’s really fun knowing more than the media puts out there and seeing how quickly people eat it up and believe it. Trust me, the media doesn’t know jack or ever report things as they really are, but that’s another soapbox. Well, maybe the term doesn't apply to me b/c it definitely isn't the reason I do this job, but it is a perk.

Anyway, I worry that when I am no longer a VA what will I be. When I’m no longer helping victims of crime, what will I be? When I’m no longer using my psychological skills on cases and studying human behavior, what will I be? When I’m no longer in the know, what will I do? Am I going to lose my mind, and not in the haha funny way? More in the I paid a lot of money and still am to become brain dead. This is why identity has been on my mind. This is another reason why I think it is good that I walk away – to find the answer.

(If you are a SAHM, please do not think that I think you are brain dead. Please do not take my comments personal. They are not meant towards anyone but me. This is about my insanity.)

I pause here b/c I know it is possible to think such things as isn’t her identity in Christ Jesus and when did she lose that or she’s on a slippery trail. Well, yes, I didn’t lose it and I don’t think so. Yes, my Identity is in Christ in that I am His child and He is my God, Savior and Life. In addition, He also made me with gifts and talents and I believe one of those has been helping people in the capacity that I have been. So actually no, I’m not questioning this side of who I am. Maybe they can’t be separated or shouldn’t be, but has anyone mastered that this side of heaven? If so, please let the rest of us in on it. This type of Identity search is when everything is stripped away and nothing is left, then who am I? On that kind of search/question, you bet my Identity is in Christ and it stands on its own. But I’m not questioning my Identity but my identity. Follow?

So back to my question of identity. If I’m not a VA, then what am I? If you can’t tell, I don’t have an answer. I know I can answer, “well, I’m a mom, a wife and friend.” Yes, I am and that is part of my identity but I’m taking a big piece of it away and it’s that piece that I wonder what it will look like empty. How will I cope with that void? Will I even need to cope? Maybe not. Ever since we made the decision to leave, my stress level has lowered to levels I didn’t know existed. It’s been nice. I know there is an end to the stress, inconsistent schedule, on call, long days, not seeing my husband except for just an hour or two and so on. I look forward to this, but I also know me. I know that as much as I look forward to this new journey, I don’t look forward to the loss of the other. Of course, I don’t do well with loss, so maybe that is another aspect of this. Who knows?!

Well, like I said I don’t have an answer. This is truly a rambling put on paper b/c it is hurting my head rattling around every so often. I guess my answer will come August 21st or shortly there after as that is my last ‘official’ day. See, I say official because I volunteered to come back and help out a couple of weeks in September. There you have it, my neurosis.

The journey continues….

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


It is funny how the substances of that word changes over time. One moment coffee every morning is a priority and then fresh squeezed juice is the priority. This really isn’t one for me. Coffee is pretty darn important. But it could change.

I write about this because in my life in the last year or so, my priorities have shifted once again. Sleep used to be a priority and now I’m just grateful for what I get. Education was once a priority (one I didn’t care for but knew I had to have to make it through) and then I graduated. Now paying back my student loans is a priority.

But the biggest shift and most surprising (for me anyway) is family life and my job. I love my family and I love my job. My job allows me to reach more people than I ever could imagine. It allows me to help when there is pain or needs to be met. It allows me to see God work in dark and ugly situations that seem completely out of control and out of God’s care. But we are never out of His care and love. It just sometimes hurts like hell. My job allows me to get over myself. One of the core principles we are taught and teach to new advocates is to not be judgmental. I meet people that are not like me. I meet people that smell in really bad unimaginable ways. I meet people that are difficult to like. I meet people that make you want to hit them really hard until some common sense enters their head. I meet people that are nice. I meet people whose lives took a hard hit and they are doing everything to recover but can’t seem to get ahead. I meet people who are affluent. I could go on but I think you get my point. I get to meet all kinds of people and I love it. It is challenging to me. It pulls me out of my comfort zone and usually puts me in a very uncomfortable one. I still love it. I love being able to help people. I love the fight for justice – with those who can fight and for those who can’t.

Recently, our office was hit with a difficult situation, an employee that wasn’t a good or appropriate fit for victim services. But in a discussion with a co-worker I was asked why I disapprove of this employee. My answer was something along the lines of there was no passion for the job or victims. This job takes a lot of passion for what you are doing – without it, you cannot do it. I felt (and with good reason) the employee chose this job for a pay check. I will admit where I work, we make good money. We are lucky in that area. But the response from my co-worker was, “we all do it for a pay check.” I thought and answered, “no, I don’t.” I don’t do my job for a pay check. The money is just a nice extra, and yes, it helps and I work hard for it (ok, sometimes). But I don’t do this for the money. I do this because I have passion for people and for justice.

Until recently…that is. I am once again seeing my priorities shift. I love my family. I have a beautiful daughter that is everything to me and her father. She is so much fun to watch life happen through her eyes. I love watching her face light up as I enter a room or when her daddy gets home. The smile from a child will melt any heart and the laughter of a child can brighten the darkest of days. I’ve never seen a child under, I’ll say, age 4 laugh and not get an adult, teen, whoever to not at the very least smile if not laugh also. It is a drug, an intoxication that cannot be bought on the street or stores. There is nothing like it in all the world. Maybe that is what heaven is like – the laughter of a child. I want to see her discover life, her world around her, the backyard, the front yard, the play ground, bugs, the ocean, and so on. I don’t want to miss a moment, and yet moments are passing me by.

I love my husband. I even like my husband. I say that because I think liking is just as important as loving. If you don’t like someone, you probably don’t love them either. I love spending time with him. He makes me laugh. He spoils me silly. He is a good man. We may not always see eye to eye or have certain topics in common, but we still make it work, by the grace of God. He rubs my feet almost every day!! Can I tell you how wonderful and amazing that is to find in a man??? He started this with my pregnancy to help keep the swelling down in my feet and ankles and I thought it would stop after she was born. NOPE! Aren’t I the lucky one?

I’m sure there are some who would read that and say, “Lucky? Are you crazy? So he rubs your feet. He doesn’t believe in God or has turned his back on God. That isn’t lucky.” Well, maybe that isn’t lucky, but you see I don’t believe that God has abandoned my husband or our marriage. It is by the grace of God that our marriage is what it is. It is by His strength that we make it day to day, just as it is for both believing spouses. God loves me and God loves my husband, very much. So yes, aren’t I the lucky one!

But our family life is really hard right now. I work 9 hour days so I can have every other Wednesday off in order to have a day off with my husband. He works the grave yard shift and weekends. He is law enforcement and he puts his life on the line when he puts on his uniform. He goes to work usually on Friday nights and ends his work week on Tuesday mornings. My Little One goes to daycare for almost 10 hrs a day, except for Wednesdays and that is to give time for her and her dad. But when she gets home in the evenings, we have about 2 hrs to get her fed, bathed, play a little, give a bottle and put to bed by her bed time. Two hrs a day!

I began to look at our schedule one day and take account for the quality of life and it came up short. I love my job but I love, value and miss my family. What this all means, time will tell, but my priorities have shifted once again. It may mean new challenges, new sacrifices or whatever I can’t even see yet. But I say bring it on. By the grace of God, we can do whatever is needed. I’ve gotten the privilege of seeing God act in the lives of people over the last 4 yrs, so I know that He still acts. He meets people where they are and He will meet us. I have faith.

How are your priorities? What drives you? A shift in priorities maybe just what is needed or the day may sneak up on you when they changed and you didn’t even know it. I like those days. It makes me smile to realize I can still be surprised, even by myself.