So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
I love my mother, heart and soul.
She was an alcoholic who left recovery after ten years of sobriety to return home and do it on her own. That was the biggest mistake she ever made in my opinion.She never took another drink, but I wouldn’t call what she lived, sobriety.
Mom suffered from severe depression on and off for most of her life. This blog post is not intended to tarnish her memory. Nor is it intended to trash AA, it’s a wonderful program. Mom was an amazing women. A force to behold most days.
She is my beloved. The bravest women I know.
I will always be thankful for her.
I spent three months with her before she passed and as crazy hard as those days were, I am eternally grateful for that time.
Nothing was left unsaid.
Our last words to each other were “I love you.” and “I love you too.”
I have peace knowing that my mother loved me and knowing that she knew she was forgiven by me and that I loved her as well. Not many people have that. What a gift.
Mom was laid to rest on August 22, 2015 after a long 15 year battle with COPD and severe depression and anxiety.
May she finally be at peace.
I grieved for three years as she died piece by piece. And I grieve now, not so much always for what we had, but for what we missed.
When she was happy she was a screaming riot, full of life and humor. Manic almost in her pursuit of joy, gardening and art. She would work around the clock creating beauty. I loved those moments as a child, even if I couldn’t keep up. Those were the best moments really. Baking cookies in the middle of the night. Painting ornaments. Creating jelly. Mom on a manic was fun, if not exhausting.
In those moments she was wildly creative and wildly beautiful.
But when she wasn’t happy, she was a force to be reckoned with, a storm with no warning and no chance of surviving. She was brutal, cutting, and fierce to anyone and every one.
She was, in those moments, my greatest source of pain.
There was a lot of anger in her depression and those closest to her were her best targets; a sister, a daughter, a niece, a nephew, a friend, it really didn’t matter. She became cold, uncaring almost. Her body would clench up and her eyes would fill with tears as she spoke of those who had inflicted wounds in her life.
Were they real or perceived?
I’ll never know.
It was too much to bear really.
For me anyway.
The suicide attempts or threats.
The threats of abandonment.
There were countless times I’d speak to her on the phone or visit during one of her “moods” and I’d wind up in the hospital or back in therapy sifting for the truth.
One time, my doctor told me to either have her committed or walk away to save my own life.
I was willing to do neither and chose rather to weather the storm, come what may and find a way to love her in a way that she could recognize. I eventually did towards the end and I have no regrets.
Someone in AA told her that she could not take meds and be “sober.” They said Bipolar disorder was a “lie and an excuse.”
What a load of BS. AA itself does not have opinions on outside issues, but people do and she listened to the wrong ones.
That little pill would have changed both of our worlds for the better, but she wouldn’t take it because AA told her not to.
So who do I be mad at?
A 12 step program that saved my life and sanity through Alanon? That’s not fair.
Should I be mad at her? After all it was her choice not to take meds.
The doctors who didn’t tell her the truth?
No one I guess.
I can’t afford it.
If I spend my days finding someone to be mad at, I’ll never heal.
I’ll spend my life like she did.
She’s at peace now.
It’s time for me to be the same.
Breathe Darlin’. It’s going to be okay. And if it’s not okay – hold my hand. Let’s walk this together.
I do try to be honest with you guys. As much as I’d like to say I have I have it all together, I don’t always. Yesterday was such a day. Yesterday, I wanted to yell and scream and throw things. I didn’t. But I wanted to.
And yet I know, His mercies are new each morning. Praying for a better today.
Have you ever had one of those days when you wished “good aim” was a fruit of the spirit?
I have no idea who Jim Elliot is. Frankly, I was googling Ram Dass Oh well, I like this quote.
“Wherever you are, be there.”
I’ve been HERE for 9 weeks and some days, I’d give anything to be anywhere else.
Anywhere but in the craziness that is, walking someone home.
FYI, all whiskey does is make the here more pronounced.
That was disappointing.
Tonight, I just held her hand while she slept. Tonight was peaceful, and scary and sad all wrapped into one.
I leave in three days to go home for just two weeks. The time apart is already tugging at my heart strings.
We’ve been through so much in the last nine weeks. Words too many to count. Arguments with family members. Cleaning house both literally and emotionally. Laughter and tears. Three trips to the emergency room. Three times she almost died. Last rites, prayers, offerings, recovery, rehab, home health nurses, Breathing machines, back to the hospital and now a nursing home.
I lost my driver’s licence in the bottom of a dumpster, had my credit card lifted (got a new one) and today, I lost my cell phone somewhere between the hospital and her house.
No rock has been unturned, no words have been left unsaid.
Except Goodbye. We haven’t said that yet. Not really anyway.
Will she still be alive when I get back?
Doc says yes.
The nurses say yes.
She, is not so sure.
She’s fought the good fight.
She’s tired and wants to go home.
I can’t say as I blame her.
I’ve found myself longing for deep intelligent conversation, with anyone really about anything other than life and dying, but I haven’t the words. I’ve tried and they come out as jumbled as my insides.
There are people who’ve made the here better.
A step sister and husband who came to help.
Cousins who surprised me with their compassion and caring and physical help when needed.
A husband who took a week off just to be here with me.
Theo, the home health nurse who tried her darndest to make mom’s return home successful.
John who delivered her hospital bed and took the time to explain how everything worked, only to pick everything back up just a little over a week later and told me to “I am so sorry, hang in there kiddo.”
Cards from friends at home.
Little things really
Kindness and compassion from friends, family and strangers who aren’t afraid of the here.
It’s just enough to fill a weary heart.
So, I sit and I hold her hand while she sleeps.
It’s all I can do.
And for now, it’s enough for both of us.
I read a great quote not that long ago, credited to only Ariana. I can’t find anything on her. It was simply,
“She made broken look beautiful and strong look invincible. She walked with the universe on her shoulders and made it look like angel’s wings.”
Loved it, so I decided to speak that over my younger self.
But then, I’ve never been accused of being normal.
I found this old photo of me, taken when I was probably 19 and in the throws of bulimia. I had no idea. – I know John Hughes would have loved me as a teen. But he had Molly already and there was no need for two of us.
I had this friend once who, when I was anxious and fearful would say “Breathe Darlin’ ” and I’d take a deep breath and calm down. We aren’t friends anymore. Life does that sometimes, but I never forgot that phrase.
So when life throws you for a loop
and it will
remember that even though it feels like you are carrying the universe on your shoulders, you make it look like angel’s wings. Just don’t forget to breathe.
Your Oklahoma Hippie Chick.
“I just knew one of these days, God was going to strike me dead with lightning and ZOT! There I’d be, nothing but a grease spot on the ground. But you know what? He never did, because that’s not who he is.”
I listened to that tape for over ten years. I didn’t belong to a church when I was growing up and when I became a teenager and tried to join the ones in walking distance to my home, they all said no.
That’s not a joke, that’s true. And they all said it in different ways.
The first one said I needed papers. Proof I’d been baptized. And sponsors who would be committed to my spiritual growth. Problem is I didn’t know if I had a pedigree and I surely didn’t know any adult sponsors to ask. Joining a country club would have been easier than joining that church.
The second church didn’t allow unsupervised children there and I needed to get my parents and then we could talk.
The Baptist church even turned me down and that confused me because I heard they’ll take anybody.
It just so happened I babysat for this really cool couple next door and whenever someone visited their church that they thought I might like, they brought me the cassette. The two I remember most are Petra and Isaac Air Freight. Well, I remember their names anyway.
What I didn’t remember is the name of the lightening bolt dude.
I kept that tape and listened to it on an off from the early 80’s until well after I finally joined a church in 1993.
I wish I still had it.
It’s important to me because it’s the only Gospel I heard in that time frame.
I’d go my own way for a while looking into Buddhist things, or tarot cards or even Wiccan traditions and I’d come across the tape again and listen and be reminded that there IS a God out there who loves me. There is a God who is benevolent and kind and isn’t going to leave me dead on the side of the road.
I finally found that God for myself and I am thankful. And sometimes I do wonder who that was on the tape. I laid that down years ago. Needing to know. My luck, I’d make an idol out of the person and what if he turned out to be a jerk in real life, what then?
Would that negate the message?
It could have back in the day.
Something awesome happened while in the middle of this craziness that is my life right now, I stumbled upon a Periscope video made by a Christian Artist I enjoy today and he mentioned how much he loves Michigan and how it was his mainstay and livelihood back in his early career from 1980-1982. I just sat there and stared at my screen.
I mean the video is 8 months old. That just can’t be. And then the other day, he posted another video and again randomly stated how much he loves Michigan.
Okay ya’ll that is where I lived and went to high school.
I had to look into it, so I found and downloaded his very first Christian Comedy CD from 1989, and you know what, the voice matches and so do some of the stories, at least a little. The lightening story isn’t there, and I honestly think his closing song is really pretty cheesy, but it sounds like him.
I’ll never know for sure, nor can I ever prove it. What stands out to me though, if it IS him, it’s before he was famous, or probably any good really and yet God used him to keep reaching out to me.
I mattered to God.
He mattered to God.
Just a guy, a young one at that, doing what he knew best, to the best of his ability.
And it made a difference.
I think that’s us as well.
We don’t have to be rich or famous or some kind of superstar to make a difference in someone’s life.
We just have to show up and be who we are right now.
God can use that.