23 years ago

I see you running in the rain with your long beautiful strawberry blonde hair flying in your face. Your laugh is contagious. Your blue eyes sparkle and light up the freckles on your skin. You are beautiful. You are my almost 23 year old daughter, Julie.

Your big brother is always picking at you and irritating you to no end. But you know how to put him in his place. Even with all the sibling rivalry, the love between you and Jesse is undeniable. It wasn’t always this way but age and maturity have made this possible. 

This is a reoccurring dream that I have. A dream that starts with happiness and ends with hurt because until I make it to Heaven I will never see you. This is just how I see you in my mind and my heart. I lost you in the 5th month of pregnancy.

I KNEW KNEW KNEW in my heart that I was pregnant before the tests confirmed it. But the doctors would only go by science, not a woman’s intuition.  I was having some health issues, so I uneasily agreed to some tests and treatments. And I felt that those tests and treatments are what lead to losing you. The day I lost you, August 15, 1990, was my first prenatal visit. After I got home, my water broke. So back to the doctor after a frantic phone call to the doctor.

The doctor immediately sent me for an ultrasound and I left there with a sealed envelope addressed to my doctor and went back to his office. As I sat in an examination room, I heard the doctor going into the rooms around me and talking with other women about their progress and delivery plans. But I knew that was not what we would be talking about when he came into my room. Again I KNEW KNEW KNEW in my heart what I was going to be told.

During the D&C procedure the doctor told me that I WAS 5 months pregnant, as I had been saying all along. But something had went wrong early in the pregnancy and the baby (my strawberry blonde blue eye freckled baby girl) had died.

I never got pregnant again. But even though for years I blamed it on the tests and treatments I had during the time before the pregnancy was finally confirmed, I have finally come to understand and believe that wasn’t the reason. God had other plans for you my baby girl.

When I make it to Heaven I don’t know if you will be a newborn baby being rocked by a mother whose time was also cut short or whether you will be a beautiful woman, possibly rocking a baby never held by its own mother.

Either way, I know I will recognize you right away and we will have eternity to make up for the time on earth that we never had.

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The Guard at my door

I hear the jingling of  metal as he walks down the hall to where I am. The metal sounds so familiar, just like jailhouse keys should sound. His step is even, not too fast, but rather kind of slow yet deliberate. I know he is looking for me. This particular time I am not in my room where he usually finds me. So he is searching with intense purpose to find me. I feel guilty but also excited at this game of cat and mouse.

We have played this little game for almost 2 years now. I have laughed at his weird habits as he has snorted at mine. He’s all business except those times I see him joking and cutting the monotony with the other guards.  I know from watching him that he has problems with his vision but for whatever reason he hasn’t received treatment for it. Maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t push the buttons for the elevator himself but rather barks out the order and demands someone else pushes the button. And they do it…….no questions asked.

So back to today’s hunt. Yes I know it is his job to keep track of me and make sure I am where I should be at all times and I am safe. But for now, I have slipped off to a different room. Again I hear the metal jingling and clanging. Then he finds me. I expect a scolding but instead he simply walks into the room, makes sure the room is safe and all is well.  He turns, snorts at me, turns around walks out of the room and waits somewhat impatiently just outside the door. He is my guardian at the door……Always at the door wherever I am, whatever room I am in.

For eight years I a Corrections Officer……I WAS the guardian at the door. My how the times have changed. Now I have a guardian at the door.

Now I have to tell you the story behind the story. Based on the words above I’m sure you think I am a criminal and doing hard time. But I have misled you to tell you the story behind the story.

Yes, I was a Corrections Officer for eight years but health issues forced me to resign long before I wanted. Now instead of spending my days guarding prisoners, I spend my days on the internet, watching TV…..at home being guarded. The metal jingling like jailhouse keys are the tags on my guardian……my sweet half blind little Shih Tzu named Boo Boo.

Boo Boo follows me everywhere. When I go to the bathroom, he walks in, looks around, touches his sweet little wet nose to my leg then walks out of the room and lays down just outside the door…….guarding me from all evils that might assault me.

Boo Boo is not able to get on or off the bed with out help from a human. So he barks and “pushes the elevator button” to be lifted on and off the bed and someone responds, the elevator appears and does it’s job. The other guardians at my home are my family and our other Shih Tzu, Lucy,, who is more of the queen diva type.

Just to be straight, I DO NOT consider my home a prison nor do I feel belittled my family. It is my body in which I feel a prisoner now. My family and my four legged little guardians take great care of me and love me with all they have!

So bottom line, in the history of a Corrections Officers life and duty, I have crossed the line no Officer is supposed to cross….ever.

I wait for my guards everyday and can’t wait until I see them. I worry when my smallest guardian does not follow me from room to room and touch me with his wet nose. Yes, I have broken the cardinal rule of a Correction Officer……I have fallen in love with my guards and I gladly and wholeheartedly fall in love with them over and over everyday.

The Guard at my door

I hear the jingling of  metal as he walks down the hall to where I am. The metal sounds so familiar, just like jailhouse keys should sound. His step is even, not too fast, but rather kind of slow yet deliberate. I know he is looking for me. This particular time I am not in my room where he usually finds me. So he is searching with intense purpose to find me. I feel guilty but also excited at this game of cat and mouse.

We have played this little game for almost 2 years now. I have laughed at his weird habits as he has snorted at mine. He’s all business except those times I see him joking and cutting the monotony with the other guards.  I know from watching him that he has problems with his vision but for whatever reason he hasn’t received treatment for it. Maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t push the buttons for the elevator himself but rather barks out the order and demands someone else pushes the button. And they do it…….no questions asked.

So back to today’s hunt. Yes I know it is his job to keep track of me and make sure I am where I should be at all times and I am safe. But for now, I have slipped off to a different room. Again I hear the metal jingling and clanging. Then he finds me. I expect a scolding but instead he simply walks into the room, makes sure the room is safe and all is well.  He turns, snorts at me, turns around walks out of the room and waits somewhat impatiently just outside the door. He is my guardian at the door……Always at the door wherever I am, whatever room I am in.

For eight years I a Corrections Officer……I WAS the guardian at the door. My how the times have changed. Now I have a guardian at the door.

Now I have to tell you the story behind the story. Based on the words above I’m sure you think I am a criminal and doing hard time. But I have misled you to tell you the story behind the story.

Yes, I was a Corrections Officer for eight years but health issues forced me to resign long before I wanted. Now instead of spending my days guarding prisoners, I spend my days on the internet, watching TV…..at home being guarded. The metal jingling like jailhouse keys are the tags on my guardian……my sweet half blind little Shih Tzu named Boo Boo.

Boo Boo follows me everywhere. When I go to the bathroom, he walks in, looks around, touches his sweet little wet nose to my leg then walks out of the room and lays down just outside the door…….guarding me from all evils that might assault me.

Boo Boo is not able to get on or off the bed with out help from a human. So he barks and “pushes the elevator button” to be lifted on and off the bed and someone responds, the elevator appears and does it’s job. The other guardians at my home are my family and our other Shih Tzu, Lucy,, who is more of the queen diva type.

Just to be straight, I DO NOT consider my home a prison nor do I feel belittled my family. It is my body in which I feel a prisoner now. My family and my four legged little guardians take great care of me and love me with all they have!

So bottom line, in the history of a Corrections Officers life and duty, I have crossed the line no Officer is supposed to cross….ever.

I wait for my guards everyday and can’t wait until I see them. I worry when my smallest guardian does not follow me from room to room and touch me with his wet nose. Yes, I have broken the cardinal rule of a Correction Officer……I have fallen in love with my guards and I gladly and wholeheartedly fall in love with them over and over everyday.

13 always was a lucky number for you

Tomorrow. June 1. The emotions are already starting to creep in. As a matter of fact, they have been all week, in preparation for Tomorrow.  Part of me wants to be awake at 3 am in the morning and part of me wants to go to sleep tonight and not wake up until Sunday June 2. I know that realistically that won’t happen. So today, right now, I am going to think about Tomorrow.

 

Tomorrow at 3 am will be 13 years since I last saw your eyes open for a few seconds, a single tear spilling from your eye, a single last shallow breath from you. I told you that it was OK to let go and that we would all be alright. I told you Granddaddy was waiting on you to go fishing with him. I told you how much I loved you and kept reassuring you everything was and would be OK. I told you angels were waiting to carrying you to Jesus. Then, suddenly your eyes opened and looked at me. Your eyes were so calm and peaceful. And those loving eyes I had known for almost 35 years, were looking at me for the last time on this earth.

 

You had always said that 13 was a lucky number for you and you had told me a few reasons why. Your Sears charge account ended in 13. This is how you bought new clothes for me and Christmas presents. Your charge account at a local furniture store ended in 13. This is where you and Daddy bought furniture for the house and the beautiful Victorian Rose lamp that I have and cherish today. When you and Daddy were finally able to build the new home you had dreamed of for so many years, the address was Route 2 Box 113. This is the house that I think of when I hear the Miranda Lambert song “The house that built Me”. This is the house that you made our home and the house where you died.

 

So, Tomorrow June 1, 2013 is your 13th anniversary in Heaven. Even though I miss you everyday and wish you were still here with me, healthy and happy…….I realize that you were right……13 is your lucky number. After all, Tomorrow, you are celebrating 13 years in Paradise.

The wife who can’t

Sometimes you just can’t shake a feeling and sometimes it’s just down right hard to put a label or name on what you are feeling.

Am I bored? In pain? Depressed? Anxious? I don’t know. Maybe it’s “D”, all of the above. Maybe it’s just the let down of coming back home from a short trip. While my husband and I were on a short trip for his work, I did almost exactly the same things I do at home. I relaxed on the bed, watched TV and browsed online. The biggest difference was eating out and different scenery.

But NOT eating out is not the problem. I think my melancholy mood is probably due to the same ole same ole. Looking at the same things everyday. I gingerly remember when I was able to go do just about anything I wanted to do. I could drive, go shopping (by myself), dance with my husband, take care of cooking and cleaning, work,  yep, just about anything I wanted to do.

While we were on our trip I got dressed everyday. I put on make up. I fixed my hair. But I also admonished myself for weight gain and for not looking like ME. We would go out to dinner and of course I would have a tremor episode in public that would completely embarrass me. Then I would have even more difficulty walking. I felt like I was keeping my husband from enjoying spending social time with co-workers and his friends. I don’t want to be “the wife” who “can’t”. But I am. At 47 years old, I am the wife who can’t.

I am the wife who can’t walk very far. I am the wife who shakes furiously in public and private. I am the wife who needs help dressing and bathing. I am the wife who has pain everyday. I am the wife who spends everyday in bed because sitting in chairs causes more pain. I am the wife who feels useless, even though my husband tells me everyday how much he needs me.

Now back at home, I am still in my pj’s, haven’t brushed my hair much less fix it. I seem to only think of the things I can’t do. How do I change this mood? How do I focus on whats ahead instead of what I lost?

I am the wife who has dreams outside of this bedroom, but they feel so out of reach.

Transparency…Yes and Ummmm NO!

Transparency. A word we are all familiar with these days. On the news we hear over and over about transparency in government, transparency in banking procedures and transparency in our schools operations. We also cry out for transparency in our tax codes (definitely needed!).

There are somethings in that I DO NOT want transparency!

  1. I DO NOT want the transparency of your sagging pants! I have absolutely no desire to see the color of your underwear much less the top of your plumber’s crack!
  2. I DO NOT want to know the transparency of your sex life. It is a private matter between you and your mate.

    3. I DO NOT want to see or be involved the transparency of your jealousy…..unless you ask my help in overcoming it.

    4. I DO NOT want to hear all the ins and outs of fights with your mate, unless again you ask for my advice or opinion and are in the frame of mind to really listen to me.

But there are many things in your life that I DO want and hope to see transparency in your life.

  1. First and foremost, I WANT to see the love and commitment for God transparent in your life. I want to see Him shining through in you. I WANT to see Jesus in you and the world NEEDS to see Him through you!
  2. I also want to know the trials you are facing and how I can help you through prayer and application.
  3. I want to see the transparency of your blessings and how you use these blessings as your testimony.
  4. I want it to be transparent that your faith has led your through all the dangers and trials you have faced and overcome.
  5. I want to see the transparency of love and commitment that you and your spouse have for each other. The whole world needs to know this, so everyone has an personal example of how marriage is supposed to be.

     6. I want to see how your make-up covers the transparency and imperfections in your skin. Lets face it, all women are searching for that perfect make-up that will cover our imperfections and yet look like our real skin. So please let me know if you have “the perfect make-up”.

   Yeah, I know the last one is out of character with all the other areas of transparency I listed. But let’s face it, women do have some certain areas of transparency that may seem incidental to men but are nevertheless, very important to us.

 

 

Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction

Let’s face it. People will always let you down. The friend you’ve had forever will betray your confidence. Your family will let you down. Your spouse will make some off-handed comment that you will never be able to get out of your mind.

 I don’t trust someone who says they have never regretted anything in their life. If you have never regretted anything, then you have not led “the perfect life” but rather you have never learned from your mistakes. In fact the person you will let down the most is YOURSELF. Whether it be that snotty comment you made in high school about someone, lying to avoid the repercussions of being late for work or simply omitting a very important fact that would have drastically changed the outcome, you have let someone down. You will let yourself down everyday and I just don’t think anyone can truly say “I have no regrets”.

Many people live by the motto, “I did it my way” to excuse themselves from dealing with regret. Yes, sometimes “My way” may be the best way but even then someone else most likely is getting the shaft. I always remember a saying from Science class in school: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

You can’t tug on one end of a rope without the other end coming toward you or another person tugging back. You can’t maneuver a boat through the water without the water being displaced for your movement. You can’t be warm and comfortable during the winter without your electric bill being higher.

There are numerous ways I have let myself down over the years. But even mistakes can have wondermous outcomes. I dropped out of college after just a few weeks because I thought I was in love and wanted love more than an education. I was in an abusive marriage for 10 years. I had let my parents and myself down and I have always regretted it. But the most awesome part of it all, is my loving son that was a result of my mistake marriage. He is now 25 years old.  He IS my awesomeness and one of the best parts of me.

Later, I remarried and my son gained a new Father. I regret that he lost his biological Father, but the benefits of a stable Daddy far outweighed the regrets. There were many regrets in my second marriage also on both sides but we divorced peaceably and are able to maintain communication when necessary. So there again is that equal and opposite reaction.

I made many many mistakes during my unmarried period. Most of those regrets still haunt me even now. Sometimes, I don’t know how I even survived some of my stupid mistakes. Lots of times, my awesome Son was the parent…..our roles were reversed. These were definitely NOT my finest moments. But I learned a lot about myself…..mostly what I DID want and didn’t want from and in my life.

Then I met the most amazing man I have ever known on this earth. He had all the qualities I had been searching for in a man and to be completely honest, it scared the Hell out of me. So, I put all my dirty laundry out there. I told him about my mistakes and regrets and he shared his with me also. Our love began to bloom and it was…….natural and easy to love and be loved. He has told me several times that he feels like the moment he fell in love with me was when I was open and honest and shared my regrets and mistakes. I wanted him to know exactly what he was getting into with me. The good, the bad and the ugly.

My husband has been my rock. Even when I go off my rocker, he gently leads me back to where I need to be. He knows my past, my present and my future. My present and future are with him…..always.

So yes, I have many regrets but marrying him and building a life with him is NOT one of my regrets. Our life is no way perfect but our love is. We accept each other just as we are and through love and devotion, we encourage each other to grow and forgive ourselves for past mistakes and regrets.

Though my past regrets and mistakes are many, they have taught me how to be the woman, mother and wife I have always wanted to be. I feel that we take away something from everyone we meet. Whether good or not so good, those people in our lives, help make us who and what we are today.

There again is that “Equal and Opposite Reaction” thing.

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