23 February 2007

ache

I have an ache that's settled deep inside this week. It's a myriad of things, really, mixed into a massive melting pot of confusion, hurt, sadness, frustrations, to-do lists, and so on. Truly, I'm not running around depressed, and I've been somewhat busy with life in general. But this ache is keeping me off-line more than usual and feels like a rock in my gut. A migraine that's settled in over the past few days is a major contributing factor to everything as well. I have been to New York as I mentioned not long ago, and very much want to post about it (quite a fabulous trip), but it hasn't seemed a good week to do so. "This too shall pass," as my mother likes to say, but in the meantime, I'm going to be nursing a killer headache, licking some wounds and attempting to decompress a bit.

19 February 2007

giddy

My husband's grandmother, "Giddy", had her surgery this morning; her body seemed to handle it pretty well. They had to remove her entire stomach, essentially redesigning her digestive system. There is still cancer in her lymph nodes and chest which she will have addressed once she recovers from the surgery.

If I recall correctly, Giddy was 16 when she married Poppa, nearly 60 years ago. They are the only remaining grandparents between my husband and myself. I find I have a special place in my heart for them, probably on account of this. She has shown me nothing but kindness from the very first day, welcoming and open. I learned of my deceased mother-in-law from this family, words of love and warmth. They harbor no bitterness about their daughter's death so long ago (28 years ago on Valentine's Day last week), though a lingering sadness can be seen in their eyes. I do believe Poppa is struggling with how closely history is repeating itself in his wife. They are truly a couple whose love for one another still shines in their eyes and shows itself in their touch.

This morning, I spoke honestly with my son about death. Not a new topic, but one I felt a need to prepare his heart for a bit more earnestly. He does not see them as often as other family, but knows them and loves them. Family is very important to my little boy, and his tears were deep from his heart today. I assured him that Giddy is still alive, and her surgery was okay. But I was also truthful about her condition. Hopefully, he will get to see her again, though winter's illnesses have limited those options recently.

18 February 2007

seasons

For the past year, the introduction to my blog has said that I am entering a new season in my life. I have slightly adjusted that because I feel I am in the midst of that season now. I do not believe it is ending yet, but rather I think that season is ripening. Among the reasons for this:

~We are now settled in our new home after many trials and several lessons in patience (I will not tell you of the remaining mystery boxes I need to deal with). There are many weeks we still tweak the way things are arranged, choose curtains for a room, etc, but progress has been made.

~The struggles we knew we would face and have to cope with (like finances and health issues) are beginning to find survivable grooves somehow. I am still hoping to find a job that will give allow me to work when my husband is home with the kids; if there is one, I trust the Lord will arrange it at the right time. Until then, I am beginning to rest in the peace my God affords me, regardless of the outward circumstances.

~We have had our son in therapy for a year now for his Sensory Processing Disorder; we have weathered serious upheavals which caused us to changed therapists last spring, and mostly we rejoice in improvements and strive to keep learning. I still feel I need a degree to understand him sometimes, and finding the correct reason and solution for a specific behavior/issue he has can challenge me to no end (especially when those needs can change very frequently, and vary like a pendulum). But, we are all growing in this new world of his, and hopefully each one of us is (slowly) coping better.

In addition, we have noticed in our years of marriage that there are seasons of death that seem to cycle through. It appears we have entered one of those seasons once more. About a week ago a dear friend of my father’s died. It was not sudden, but both of my parents have lost a great many of their closest friends in the last decade, and it makes my heart ache deeply.

I have mentioned before that my husband’s grandparents are not doing well. His grandfather has lung cancer, currently at Stage I and treatment has been relatively successful. However, his grandmother’s stomach cancer is now in Stage III. She is scheduled for surgery early in the morning. Things do not look good for her, and tomorrow will be long for everyone.

There are other deaths and serious illnesses that are not so close to us, but close to our friends. In a subtle way, it feels as though a shadow has been cast across our path right now. Don’t get me wrong; while death is very much painful, I also believe it to be normal and a part of life’s cycle. However, believing that in no way takes away the sadness and hurt that follow.

06 February 2007

ladybug, ladybug...

Well, my little ladybug is two. We had a party for her over the weekend; mostly family came, plus an “extra” set of grandparents whom we love and cherish, and one family with two boys that my kids like to play with. Since we call our precocious daughter our “ladybug”, we ran with that theme and I made a ladybug cake and cupcakes. We also got her “The Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle. And my friend who makes beautiful jewelry made her a ladybug necklace.

The best part of my “d├ęcor” I think were the invitations, shirt and bow. I put my fingerprint in red paint at random on the invites and used a thin black marker to draw ladybug features. Inside, it said “Come celebrate with us as our little ladybug turns 2!” The oversized pink t-shirt from Hobby Lobby had the same fingerprint ladybugs all over, as did the small white ribbon bow in her hair. For a girl who never, ever leaves a bow in, this one has made it through the better part of the day several times now. And the shirt…well, it needs a good washing since it’s her new favorite and she’s even slept in it twice. She turned two and her opinions intensified double-fold! Haha!!

But, oh how she’s grown. She has gone from an 11 lb, 3 oz newborn to a petite, feminine creature of adorable spunk and mischief. She has gone from a baby with a serious, life-defining injury after a traumatic birth, to a little girl on the move with virtually no signs of that injury. She thinks her brother is the end all, be all and wants to play with him and love on him. She swings from the table or counter edge and makes me wonder if she’ll climb them like a monkey soon (literally—you should see her feet try to grip the side!). She is suddenly bursting forth with words and wonder and independence. My, the tantrums she can throw when she is truly incapable of putting her own clothing on her body, and mommy must do it. And every day she digs herself a little deeper into our hearts.