Posts Tagged ‘my thoughts’
In January I picked up an incredible wooden play-set from Craig’s List (for FREE). My mom had just fallen a few weeks before and things had been very touch and go, but she seemed to be on the mend. I was watching the kiddos play on their new “backyard park” and it struck me that Tessa would never remember a time without the play-set. Eli, Cora Jane and maybe Cyrus would remember the excitement getting it, then building it, but to Tessa, having a rad wooden play-park in the yard would be the norm. Then my mind crashed and I realized it could have been like that with the memory of my mom. Tessa may never have known life with my mom. I thanked God she didn’t have to walk that path.
As I said, at the time my mom was on the mend and soon would be starting the long leg recovery process. I even got to show her some of the pictures of the kids playing on the play-set and chat with her about how much the kids enjoyed it. We laughed that Cyrus would probably be the first one to jump off and break his arm.
Tessa recognizes my mom’s picture and will excitedly exclaim “Nannie!!!” But I know it won’t be long until looking at my mom’s picture won’t incite actual memories but it will be as if she is looking at a picture of Mickey Mouse. Someone who is amazing but isn’t real. She might even wonder what life would be like if this “Nannie” person was still around.
I wonder everyday.
Tessa will never receive her yearly custom birthday party themed pillowcase lovingly made by my mom… probably sewn the night before the party.
She’ll never get to snuggle with my mom and read Go Dog Go 20+ times in a row.
She’ll never get to call Nannie after every successful poo poo on the potty.
She’ll never get the frequent care packages and “just because” notes.
She’ll never be hailed “truly a genius” for just being herself.
She’ll never get to show off the way she says new words, like strawberry… ("stawbedy-y”)
She’ll never know what it’s like to be my mom’s granddaughter.
We can (and will) tell her, but she’ll never really know .
“I’m so sorry I didn’t RSVP sooner for the party, it’s been a crazy week… we thought we would have to pull the plug on my mom… (awkward science on the other end of the phone line)… but we didn’t have to. Sooooo that’s super good. See you at the party…”
Then I hung up the phone and thought, why in the hay did I say that!?!? I don’t even know this mom from Eli’s school. Now I’ll be labeled “the crazy drama mom.”
But I haven’t been through this before and I’ve never been one to hide my feelings. I’m transparent toward friends (and strangers) and I like to think that makes me enduring… but I’m probably accurately labeled “the mom who shares too much, too soon” among my acquaintances.
I shared about my mom’s broken leg after Christmas and she was getting better. Then she wasn’t. She was getting worse. Much worse.
Her liver started to fail and she started to have living nightmares. Then hallucinations as she was falling in and out of consciousness.
Then she coded.
And I got a call from my dad who was weeping. He told me to come to the hospital because we were going to have to meet with the doctors and make some “decisions” about my mom’s healthcare.
Brad came home from work and we arranged babysitting for the kids. I slowly got ready for the day. I put on my clothes thinking, this is the outfit I’ll be wearing when my mom dies. Today, I’m going to have to make the decision to kill my mom. I thought of all my friends who have lost a parent already. I was about to join their ranks and I hated it. It was raining and I felt like the earth was weeping with me. I cried out to God in ways I never had before. Didn’t he hear my prayers and the prayers of literally hundreds of others? Wasn’t I being faithful to fast and pray without ceasing?
We got to the hospital and it was like a bad dream. We waited with about a dozen family/friends and the Dr called my dad and I aside. He said, “Things are looking serious with Suzan and I think it’s time we think about a transplant because a bed has opened up at Cedars Sinai.”
Before all this, my mom had been working through Cedars Sinai to get a liver transplant in the next 5-10ish years and we had been
begging pleading trying to get her transferred there for the past week. Now she was being transferred!
A close family friend (a second mom to me and Yaya to my kiddos) was standing next to me and we collapsed into a hug and cried and praised the LORD. That hysterical relief cry when you can’t breath or talk or see or think. I didn’t have to say goodbye to my mom today. God, you heard me! Little-nothing-me. You listened! You chose to answer my prayer. My mom was being transferred. It’s not over. There is hope. Hope.
(our feet in the ICU waiting for the transfer)
She was transferred that afternoon (Thursday) and within an hour of being at Cedars they had done a procedure to train 3.3 liters of fluid from her tummy and had a dialysis plan. We get to visit every 2-3 days and it’s hard to see my mom like that. We tell her stories about what the kids are doing and are blessed with slight fluttering of her eyes after each one. We play her favorite song (100,000 Reasons by Matt Redman… video below… watch it.) and can see her lips trying to sing the words. Daily she is going through tests to officially get her a spot on the liver transplant list. The liver is a crazy organ – a pill or machine can’t replicate it’s function, but it can regenerate.
Pray boldly, dear friends, that my mom’s liver would heal itself. That we can baffle the doctors with God’s GLORY!! Pray that while she is in the coma she has peace, rest and healing. That her body can heal properly from the five surgeries weeks prior (and specifically a yeast infection in her blood). That if she needs a transplant her body will be well enough to handle the operation and that the perfect liver will come up at just the right moment. I’m so thankful this isn’t over and I get the privilege to intercede on my mom’s behalf and I’m so thankful you get to too.
We will pray. We will wait. We will hope.
Over the Summer, we were in the car and Eli was having an award winning fit because Cora Jane wouldn’t let him hold her glow stick.
He shrieked, ”This is the worst day of my whole life!”
Really? The day your sister doesn’t share a dollar store glow stick is the worst day of your life. First world problem.
So in a “shining” parenting moment I said, “REALLY!?!?!?!?!????? The day your little sister doesn’t share a 10 cent glow stick is the WORST day of your LIFE!!?!?! Did you know some kids don’t have toys to play with, or a place to sleep, or a mommy and daddy to take care of them… just like little Henry who we have been praying for!!!!!”
Eli – “I thought Henry had parents who are trying to bring him home?” (UPDATE: Henry is home. Post coming!)
Me – “Yes, that’s true… but that’s not the point, the point is… (deep breath and in a calmer voice) today is not the worst day of your life. When someone doesn’t share with you, it’s not the worst day of your life. In our family, we don’t let tiny problems control our attitude or behavior.”
Eli – “Well, it’s a big deal to me.”
We talked more that day, but as the months have passed I’ve often thought of this conversation. I’ve brainstormed how I will teach my children to identify the difference between little life problems, and real world problems. Such as global hunger, sex trafficking and corrupt governments. How do I tell my child their problems aren’t “real?” Especially when it really isn’t age appropriate to be talking about child prostitutes.
I want my children to have perspective about their difficulties in relation to the community around us, our nation and the globe. And I truly think children are smart enough to start learning early about many of the real world issues. I feel like the best way to teach our children anything is to show them. Show them to be passionately angry about kids starving, not dollar store glow sticks. Ultimately, resulting in their own desire to create a positive impact.
Now, we are in the midst of the season of excess. Kids around the world are hoping for a bit of Hollywood Holiday Magic to get the “perfect” gift under their tree, families are in a rush to send out their clever holiday cards and solidify plans with extended family. It’s oh-so-easy for me to get caught up in a matching pajama frenzy. I love it. But I’m choosing to give up things to show my kids how to serve others.
I know it’s silly, but it’s a sacrifice for me to give up the magical Christmas extras. I’m not being a martyr. I’m being selfish, and I hope my kids see that unbecoming quality in me. Then I hope they see me fighting against my selfish nature and being content. Not just content, brimming with joy. The feeling you get when you realize you made a difference but also recognizing you are a small part of something bigger. Instead of buying a live Christmas tree we are putting up our broke-a&$ fake one and buying two goats. Instead of prepping a full spread for Christmas party guests we’ll be doing a potluck and asking for donations to the chicken fund. We are baking cookies for neighbors, babysitting at the local ESL class, volunteering at a Christmas store for locals in need, Meals On Wheels gifts, letters to soldiers overseas… Oh how we are going to give till it hurts.
My children will learn that giving is addicting.
And maybe they will learn to share a freaking glow stick.
I’m in a mood. A bit melancholy, a bit unmotivated and in need of a change. Under it all is the desire for a clean slate. A Fresh start. I’m looking forward to making the final separation between personal blog and business blog (I sure do love you guys!). I want to get rid of all my clothes and start from scratch. Redefine my style and only own clothes that fit. I want the rooms in my home to be organized and void of useless clutter. But still homey. I would LOVE to chuck all my kiddos’ toys and just save the few most played with items. Which is a total sham, because Christmas is almost here and our children will be spoiled with countless more gifts. This bothers me as well. We have too much.
I want to simplify.
There is a book out right now called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. The book reviews are off the charts, and maybe one day I’ll read it’s pages. I can guess the conclusion. The author’s family dramatically simplified, had a rough time, but it was a mostly good wake up call, and they are changed. I think we already know we don’t need everything we have. And things we think we need, we would be fine without.
As I enter this season of excess. My focus is to be present, to simplify and to give.