Tag Archives: love

Loss, Pain and Thanksgiving.

The world around me has been filled with a lot of tragedies of late, and it’s becoming a struggle figuring out how to process all of them. There’s the obvious shock and grieving that happens in these circumstances, but there’s also the learning, the teaching and the love that must follow them.

It’s about finding the proper words to comfort the families that have experienced the loss. It’s helping your kids navigate their feelings of not really understanding and helping them figure out what comes next. It’s learning how to say goodbye and trying not to forget. It’s allowing yourself to be sad and broken. It’s figuring out how to move forward without these people in your life. It’s all of these and so much more.

This weekend, I lost a friend in a tragic car accident. 3 young children lost their mother. One of my good friends lost her son in a another tragic accident. My son’s best friend, lost his brother. The loss of these two amazing people will cause ripples of grief that will run far and wide, leaving all of us wishing we could go back and spend more time with them. That we would all get another moment to tell them how much we cared about them, and that we’d ensure that they really, really knew that. We are all asking the questions and wondering why? Why them? Why did this happen? Why is this happening? How is this fair? But we’re asking questions that will never have an answer, and yet, we will be stuck asking them for quite awhile.

We are constantly surrounded by loss and it becomes this thing that we get used to. It becomes a part of the circle of life and we all just keep moving on, in spite of it. We don’t recognize how important these relationships and circumstances are until they’re completely flipped upside down or are forever taken away. It’s sad…sad that we don’t take them to honour them until we no longer have the option.

But what about other kinds of loss and grieving, how do we work through them and live in the here & now?

Today, I had another friend go to a hospital and take a baby away from a Mother that just doesn’t have the ability to parent. She has lost all of her babies, but she is still a Mother that has suffered a deep loss. My friend is grieving for a Mom that will never know the joy of being a parent, while celebrating the gift of life. She loves this baby and this Mama, and it’s a pain that not many of us will ever be able to comprehend.

I have a family member that is deeply hurt and broken, and I don’t know how to help her. I don’t know how to help her heal and either move on or come home or whatever else that would bring her happiness. She’s also suffered a huge loss and has been grieving for a very long time. How can you help repair grief that runs so deep?

I have another friend that has walked away from her family because it was toxic and just not a good situation to be a part of, and she is still grieving years later. She chose to walk away, but she still longs for something that was or should’ve been. It’s much healthier and safer for her this way, but it still really hurts.

I have children that cry daily, or weekly for years and years as they grieve the family that they know they will never return to. These people are alive but are just out of reach and it hurts so badly. In their grief, they are also dealing with the guilt of being happy in their new lives as they don’t want to dishonour where they came from. It’s a horrible and awful thing to have to watch, and I can’t even pretend to know the best way to help them through it.

These situations aren’t usually how we think about grief but they affect us just as deeply and help shape the life we are trying to live right now. We have to acknowledge these moments and take the time to navigate them. These people need us right now.

I think that as we spend this Thanksgiving weekend with our friends and family that we take a minute to remind ourselves of how precious life really is. Do not wait until someone dies before you think to tell them how important they are to you. Don’t wait until the relationship is completely destroyed to show them some compassion. Don’t wait until someone walks right out of your life before you take the time to try and repair it. Don’t look at a situation and assume you know everything and judge someone so harshly that you can’t ever go back.

Use this time RIGHT NOW to honour each other.

If you can fix it, fix it.

If you can’t, find a way to help everyone get healthy closure so you can all move on in peace.

If you can lend a helping hand to get someone back on their feet, lift them up.

If you need to forgive someone, do it.

If you need to walk away from someone or something, walk away without leave a damaging trail.

If you haven’t told your most favourite people how much you love them, tell them.

If you don’t understand someone’s choices, that’s okay. You can still be there for when they need you.

If you need to just stand by someone and be present so they feel safe, do that.

If you need to grieve, allow yourself to do exactly that.

If you see a Mom really struggling, don’t judge her. Love her, help her, lead her or walk away.

Our lives would not be the same without our people, take the time to appreciate them for all they bring into your world, even if it’s only to teach you a lesson.

I am so thankful for many things in my life right now, some of them are good and some of them are not so good, but they’ve all become a part of my story. Thankfully, I have the ability to rejoice with the good and repair the not so good. That is what I’m thankful for today – that I’m alive to make these choices.

Choose well friends, tomorrow is NEVER promised.

Rest well Steff and Luke, you will be deeply missed and never forgotten. xoxox

The Road to Skinny … Or Not.

The beginning of a new year brings about the desire for change. It pushes us to think about what we want that is better than what we currently have. It seems to make our eyes focus on all that is wrong with us, and not necessarily all that’s right. It’s the time of year that people seem to think and/or hope will set off this huge firecracker under their butts and in their minds that will cause them to jump up and change. It’s a fresh start and a new beginning.

For me, the new year forces me to focus on my never-ending trek towards “skinny”.  It’s this thing that follows me everywhere I go. It’s the thing I cannot seem to conquer. It’s quite literally the very large elephant in the room that just won’t die, no matter how hard I try. Or maybe not.

If I were to be totally honest, I don’t think I’ve ever cared enough to really want to change it. I’ve got a couple of months worth of willpower, and about 47 seconds of desire. I’ve got all the knowledge in the world, and an incredible team of people willing to support and help me, but somehow I’m also good with where I’m at. I’ve got a massive desire to shop in any store, and not just the stupid chubby girl shops, but for some reason, I’m okay with not trying all that hard to change.

I’m Fat and Happy, and I don’t think this is how I’m supposed to feel.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be 6 sizes smaller. I’d like to be able to walk around the block without wanting to die. I like the idea of wearing shorts when it’s hot – no I NEVER wear shorts. I’d like to have more energy. I’d like my knees to not hurt. I’d love to sit outside in the summer and not want to die because I’m SO hot, which is a problem because as you know, I don’t wear shorts and fat people have a whole lotta extra insulation. I’d like to not have people give me the classic fat girl compliment, “You’ve got such a pretty face”, to me. Ever. Again. I’d like to be able to touch my toes, for no other reason to say that I can. I want to just take up less space.

So … where does that leave me? The Happy Fat Girl that want’s to be skinny, but doesn’t really care.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand how I truly feel about this subject, or if I’ll ever fully figure it out but I believe that it’s leading me somewhere. In some weirdo, round-a-bout backwards way, it’s taking me to what I really want and need. I want to be more focused. More centered and just more Me. I’m happy, but I want another level of happy. I want to be overflowing with Joy, so much so that it oozes from me and into the world around me. Skinny won’t accomplish that …. but I can.

2015 is going to be the Year of April. I’m going to write. I’m going to write about anything and everything and just write because I can. I’m going to spend time making my new blog fun and super successful. I’m going to move into a house that is exactly what our family needs. I’m going to fall back into mad love with my husband. I’m going to finally put all of my anxiety’s behind me, and step forward without worry about stupid things that I can not control. I’m going to focus on getting healthy and not care at all about skinny. Maybe a smaller size will follow, but whatever, I don’t care.

I’m excited about what’s to come and even more excited to figure out that my “Road to Skinny” is officially on a detour to somewhere totally different.

This road is officially leading to me.

design

 

 

Little Girl No More

We are sending you to the hospital to see if your baby is still alive.

That was how our story began.

My baby girl began fighting for her life when my pregnancy hit the 13 week mark. For 28 weeks, I lost amniotic fluid, suffered through pain and cramping and listened to horror stories of what I could possibly expect at her birth. I watched her grow through the screen of an ultrasound monitor at 13 different appointments. I listened to her hiccups and snoring through the fetal monitors that I was constantly being hooked up to. I waited and prayed and trusted that she would make it, in spite of all the things that were being spoken over her.

We made it to her due date and when I went into labour, if it could go wrong, it did. It was quickly discovered that I had placenta Previa and a placental abruption. She wouldn’t drop and I was losing blood at an alarming rate. More praying, more trusting and boom, we had a baby.

She was perfect, and huge and beautiful and did I mention perfect. She was not at all what the doctors predicted she would be. She fought to stay alive in utero, she fought to survive her birth, she fought me on everything from that point forward.

MicahJoy

My little Micah Joy didn’t always live up to her name, and Joy wasn’t always something she was putting out there. She was headstrong and obstinate and did nothing that she didn’t want to do. She was bossy and determined and fearless. Thankfully, she was also sweet and kind and very helpful. She had the biggest brown eyes and one of the best smiles around. She truly was my little gift and miracle.

She didn’t always appreciate being a girl. Not because she wanted to be a boy but because she didn’t like girly stuff. She refused to wear any girly clothes, whether it be in style or colour. She had to have her hair cut super short, and she lived in track pants and Velcro runners. (Oh how I hated those outfits, but she was bound & determined to wear nothing else). She thought Barney was the most amazing show on TV, closely followed by Rescue Heroes and Wheel of Fortune. She ate dill pickles like candy and refused to eat ANY fruit, until she 12 years old.

At 2.5 years old, my Mom made her dress, she put it on and pouted for the whole 42 minutes that it was on her body. It so traumatized her that it took 15 years to convince her to put one on again. Thankfully she graduated or we might’ve had to wait until her wedding to see her in a dress.

At 5 years old, she discovered sports and there was no stopping her. Her first love quickly became softball, followed by ringette and basketball. If she wasn’t at school, she was on a field or in an arena somewhere. She was one of those kids that was just naturally blessed with athletic ability and it was so cool watching her try something new and excel.

As she grew older, we quickly came to appreciate her strong willed and determined personality. Through the years, she got stronger and stood up for herself and the people around her. She continued to do only what she wanted to do, and wasn’t pushed around by anyone. She held steadfast to her beliefs and morals and as a rule, she usually took the high road out of most situations.

She insists on making silly faces in almost all of her pictures. She does some of the weirdest things and laughs at other things that aren’t even remotely funny. She is adored by children everywhere she goes and her smile can still light up any room. She is goofy and loud and so much fun. She is her father and I rolled into one pretty cool being.

She has now graduated from high school, and is looking forward to all that lies ahead of her. I know that she will make wise decisions because she always has. She is way more reasonable and thoughtful than most kids her age. She is smart and witty, and has the same horrible sense of humor as her father. She lives in a baseball cap and a hoody, but that cannot hide how stunningly beautiful she is, which she of course, got from her mother.

She is everything and more that I could’ve ever hoped for in a daughter. She’s no longer my little baby but she is one of my closest friends. That little opinionated child has turned into an amazing person.

I love you Micah Joy. Thank-you for being such a great kid. I am so very, very proud of you. Now please stop piercing things and forget about a tattoo. xoxoxo

MJW

 

 

 

All the words I wish I could say

At this particular moment in time, I’m surrounded by people who are struggling.  A lot of people. Friends, family, acquaintances and people whom I only know via social media. These people are hurting and need to hear words that will soothe their spirits and restart their steps.

But how do you say the right thing without being a jerk? How do you help them see what you see? How do you reach a heart that has become so hard that it doesn’t even feel its own beat anymore? How do you bring someone hope when they’re swimming in despair? How do you become what they need most?

I want to scream at them, and shake them awake. I want to give them a hug and help them feel safe and secure again, but I can’t. I can’t heal broken hearts or repair old wounds, but I do have words.

These are the words that I wish I could say. The words from my heart to theirs.

I wish you knew how proud I am of you. I am proud of all that you’ve done and all that you’ve tried to do. I’m proud of you for always taking the high road when the low road would’ve been the easier way to go. I’m proud of you for being such a forgiving and loving example to your children. I’m proud to call you my friend.

I’m sorry that your life has been so tough, and the load you’ve had to bear has been solely on your shoulders. I’m sorry that you’ve been let down by people over and over and over again. I’m sorry that you’ve never been given the support you needed and deserved. I’m sorry that you’re having to tread water to just stay alive.

I wish that I could go back in time and save you from the parents you were given to, but then you wouldn’t be you. I wish that I could take away the bad dreams and the horrific stories that you now consider “normal”. I wish that you could see that you’re an amazing mother in spite of your example. I wish you would accept everyone’s love and respect for you at face value.

I’m sorry that you feel like the whole world is against you. I’m sorry that you feel so alone even though you’re actually never in that place. I’m sorry that you feel like there’s no place to turn or anyone to run to. I’m sorry that you feel so isolated.

I wish that you could look in the mirror and see the strength that I see when I stare into your eyes. I wish you could see the glow that takes over your face when you’re watching your babies play. I wish you could see the looks that strangers give you when you walk into a room. I wish you could hear the word’s of admiration and praise about you that people share with me all the time. I wish you believed the words I’m speaking now.

I’m sorry that your spouse turned out to be such a jerk. I’m sorry for the abuse you went through and for all the struggles you now face living as a single parent. I’m sorry that you’re having to make decisions alone that should be shared with someone else. I’m sorry that the person you chose failed you so badly.

I want you to know that I love you, no matter what. I want you to know that even though our lives quite often head in opposite directions that you will always be a part of me. I want you to know that I’m here to pick you up if you ever trip and fall so hard that you can’t get up on your own. I want you to know that you’re not alone.

Do not believe the words that are being spoken over you or the lies that your brain is convincing you are truth. You are not worthless. You are not ugly. You are not unlovable. Hear me when I say this. You are amazing and you are so very worthy of all the good things. And most importantly, you are not alone.

not alone

I’m guessing that I’m not the only person watching friends and family flounder about right now. Please help them. Please keep reaching out or make yourself available to listen. Be the voice they so desperately need to hear.

If perchance you’re the person feeling alone or let down, please get help. Open up to the people around you and let them in. You do not have to carry everything by yourself. You are not alone. Ever.

If you’re in Alberta, and just need someone to talk to, please give this numbers a call. 1-877-303-2642  or 780-482-HELP (4357).  If you live somewhere else, just search online or in your phone for Mental Health/Depression help.

A little bit of Hope.

The phone call arrives from the jail that I’ve never visited. I can’t go there, because it’s the place that I’ve been fighting to keep kids out of for so long. Somehow it’s become a part of my story, and I hate it. I hate that everything I fought against has now become a comforting and safe place, and seeing that particular number on my call display gives me peace somehow. She is safe. Again. I hate it.

The words are a blur as they’re always filled with bravado and slang and nonsense. There are stories of conquests and bad choices and just plain stupidity. There are tears and apologies and promises of doing better this time. There’s fear, and sadness and the loss of hope. There is nothing that I can say or do anymore, so I just listen. I listen and pray and hope and wait. I hope that her desire for change will someday outweigh her desire to be cool and fit in. I hope that she’ll realize that her “friends” aren’t friends at all and that bad ideas and having each other’s back, does not a family make. I hope that she’ll grab onto that tiny glimmer of light and hope that is buried deep inside of her and not let go.

I hate it. I hate that I can’t fix it, that I can’t go back and redo her start in this world. That I can’t heal her hurts or help her forgive and move forward. That I wasn’t able to change her life.

He looks at me and says, “it sure is nice not having to do my job anymore to get food for everyone”. What job, you’re not old enough to work. “You know, going to people’s doors and asking for money for charity”. What charity? “Well, I just said that so I could get money for food for my brothers and sisters”. Okay. I’m glad you don’t need to do that anymore either.

He looked at me and asked “why don’t you lock me up in the closet when I’m bad”? Because I don’t do that. “But why”. Because that’s not how people should be treated. “But my Mom does that and she loves me”. Your Mom didn’t make a very good choice, but I’m glad she loves you. “So I won’t ever get put in a closet here”. No sir. “Okay, can I have a sandwich”?

They called their Mom on the phone, and begged and begged to see her again. They ask question after question that Mom just can’t answer. They collapsed in my lap sobbing, confused and torn by the feelings and knowledge of being completely safe and warm here, but being pulled by a love that they can’t deny. They can’t be little kids because the burden that they carry is so strong “Is Mommy safe, does she have food, where is she sleeping”.

She has done nothing wrong. She makes good choices and has achieved many great things. She has hope and a very bright future, and because of that, she’s been forgotten. Somehow, the darkness and bad choices that are all around her got more acknowledgment and support, and she’s forgotten. She works harder and harder to get their attention, but still the “bad stuff” seems to have more value.

I hate it. I hate that I have to do what I do. I hate the conversations, I hate the stories, I hate not being able to reply exactly how I want to, I hate that I must protect a relationship with a person that no longer even deserves that relationship anymore. I hate that their normal is so abnormal. I hate that someway, somehow I have to find a crack in their tough little amour’s, and find a way in. That I have to redefine a role in their lives that has already been filled by someone else. That my “right thing to do”, is so completely foreign and distant from what they know that they believe I’m wrong.

I hate that they have to be here in the first place. Not because I have them, but because the world, their parents, drugs, circumstance, alcohol, despair, depression, and abuse has failed them. It is so not fair, and how in the world am I supposed to “fix them”? How do you teach a 12-year-old something that most kids learned when they were 3? How do you make someone really truly feel safe?

So many of our days are spent running like a hamster on a wheel. It’s just a-round and a-round having the same conversations, working on the same skills, teaching the same things over and over. Many days are just about surviving and making it to bed time. I can spend hours open hours questioning my sanity and why I choose this life for me and my family. More often than not, I feel like I’m getting nowhere and that I’m not actually making a difference anymore. I wonder if I’m doing the right thing, or if there’s any point.

And then I get something like this.

thenote

And I’m reminded. I don’t need to be perfect or change them completely. I just need to be their Mom. I just need to give them a little bit of hope and a whole lot of family. I need to remember that.

So now when I get the phone calls, and have the conversations, I need to remind myself that I’m not trying for perfection or that I have to fix all that has been broken. That burden does not belong to me anymore, and I think that I’m finally okay with that.

Our children, mine, the ones that I’ve borrowed and yours as you read this, deserve a safe place, and we owe it to them. My hope now is that when they leave us and move on that their wings will be strong, that they’ll know their worth, that they’ll always know that “home” means safe, and that they will KNOW that they are loved and belong to someone. This isn’t about being a foster parent, this is about being a parent. We all need to stop focusing on the stupid piddly pointless things and focus on what really matters.

Take a moment and look into your children’s eyes and let them see YOU. Let them see your heart, feel your love, and see that you’re on their side, no matter what. They’re not expecting you to be perfect, or even care if you screw up and do the wrong things. They don’t see our mistakes or bad choices, they see YOU.

Don’t ever question how strong that bond is, and never take it for granted. I’ve seen kids that have been abused beyond belief that still love their parents madly and deeply. They’ve forgotten about all the mistakes but they remember the love. So, as a Mom or Dad struggling with guilt and questioning if you’re doing everything wrong, remember this connection and honour it.

I fight every day to make that connection and some days I’m successful and more often than not, I fail miserably. But now instead of focusing on fixing, I’m focusing on strength, joy, safety and a whole lotta’ hope.

You should try that too.

Unanswered Questions

Have you ever been asked a question that warrants an answer but you know you can’t answer it?

Today was that day for me, and unfortunately, I couldn’t answer how I wanted to. I had to redirect the conversation and basically avoid the question completely. I had to be comforting and reassuring without saying what they wanted to hear. It is such a horrible position to be in, and it’s one of the things that I can’t stand about being a foster parent.

I believe that I know what’s best for the kids that live with me, but it doesn’t really matter. There are rules and laws and procedures that must be followed. There’s right and wrong, and a whole lot of grey areas all over the place. Sometimes it doesn’t make any sense, and quite often it seems downright wrong. Unfortunately, my opinion doesn’t matter. Instead, I smile, give a little hug and keep on keeping on.

My heart is broken but I must bite my tongue and hope for the best.

Today I’m going to think of the unanswered questions as blessings. I cannot answer them, but for now, they are here, they are safe and they are mine.

This post is part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge. If you want to follow along with all of us “challengers”, click on their links below.

Liam ~ Natasha ~ Zita ~ MagzD ~ Peter ~ Christine ~ Cliff ~ Hethr ~ Tracy

Honouring the gift of a man named Kevin.

21 yeas ago, I had a friend that liked our other friends boyfriends room-mate. I knew absolutely nothing about him, except that his name was Kevin. The first time we met, he was sitting on his front porch, reading my favourite book, which I noticed but didn’t really think too much about. And the second time, he gave me his car to drive myself home after my friend, and my ride, had gone home because “he” wasn’t paying any attention to her. That night, I told my Mom that I had just met my future husband.

Funny thing is, I really, honestly, didn’t “feel” anything for him. At all. I just KNEW that he was going to be my husband. Life went on and I “forgot” about my epiphany and my future plans. I went travelling with my Dad, and came home for a wedding. It was my friend’s birthday so I invited her to come over for cake. She had long given up the “quest to make Kevin hers”, but just so happened to have talked to him that day, so she invited him to come along. My Mom hired him to paint our house, and we were never apart again.

We spent hours and hours talking, and I finally began to “know” why he was destined to be mine. 6 months later we were engaged. 6 months after that, we were married. And I will forever be thankful for the gift that was given to me, in him.

I say all that, to say this. 2 weeks ago, my husband achieved something HUGE. Both literally and figuratively, and I am so stinking proud of him. He achieved it by working hard, pushing himself to his limits, and by playing fair. He accomplished something at almost 49 years of age that people half his age couldn’t even dream of achieving. He entered his first bodybuilding competition and won. He did this WITHOUT steroids and by doing all the right things. He began this journey when he was 16 years old, and in spite of knowing that he would never achieve the body of his bodybuilding heroes without “help”, he didn’t do it. He stayed natural, and worked twice as hard.

Unfortunately, not everyone believes that and it ticks me off. Some people are also assuming that because he’s so big and muscular, that all he thinks about is going to the gym and nothing else. Well, let me clear a few things up for you, right now. He is so much more than what you see on the outside, and even though that picture is pretty darned amazing, the person that he IS, is even more incredible.

Kevin is one of the most trustworthy and honourable people that you will ever meet. Integrity and honesty are what he practices on a daily basis. He is humble and does not boast of all that he has accomplished. He works harder than many people that I know, and is always willing to do what is necessary to take care of our family. He is faithful and diligent in all he does. He loves his family passionately and is an amazing father. He stands up for people that aren’t strong enough to stand on their own. He is quiet and unassuming, but never mistake his peaceful demeanor for weakness. He may be a man of few words, but his words are filled with thought and strength. He genuinely cares about people and wants to make a difference in our home and our community. He is not perfect by any means, but he is someone that this world needs more of. He is my best friend.

So for those of you that make the assumption that he is a muscle-headed steroid monkey, you are wrong. So very, very wrong. Biceps, Brains & Heart….THAT is my husband.

 

Love you Wiener.   ~ Your Wifey  xoxox