Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Love is...

...knowing you can't do anything to make it better, but trying anyway.

...leaving 99 to find the lost one.

...being there not just because you want to, or because it's the right the to do, but because your soul needs too.

Please pray for my Julie. She's in ICU at Allen Presby with a blood clot on her lungs. She is stable. Now, we just wait. Bob, take good care of our girl!

Until next time,
Pray for all of those in the hospital who have no one.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Utter Chaos

I like nice things. I like things to have order. Let me rephrase that, I like my chaos to have order. My life, much like my head, has lots of chaos. But, I like order to my chaos. I like to have clothes that match, mostly. I have earrings that match, mostly. I have the occasional item of jewelry or clothing that is beautifully odd, that matches absolutely nothing that I own, but I love.

My kitchen is further proof of this anomaly. I like to have matching plates. I like to have matching drinking glasses. Coffee mugs, not so much. I've always wanted china. Fine china, the kind you get for your wedding and use like twice a year. Never happened. But here's what's in my cupboard...I've got about 7 everyday dish plates (matching desert and bowls in different numbers) from our wedding (not fine china). I've got about 7 holiday plate (red pointsetas) and various bowls and desert plates and then about 6 white plates with silver rims again with various bowls and desert plates that I got at Walmart after Christmas sales during various years for $3 each (not too shabby). I finally got my fine china this summer. Mikasa pattern service for 8 (no cups and saucers truth be told I hate those) and then another mikasa pattern only cups and saucers, dessert plates, creamer and sugar both sets for ten from aco. I've got various coffee mugs-mostly Cinderella and tigger as gifts from George and the kids (I love Cinderella and Tigger is so me!). Then, my very favorite mug is green striped. It's my Carol mug. We got it about three or four years ago. She got a blue striped one. We were on our way to St. Jude's coffee house to sing and realized we needed mugs so off to the dollar tree we went. Just in case you were wondering, we sang "Sisters" from White Christmas. And, it is not by accident that that song is her ring tone on my cell phone when she calls me :) It is my favorite mug b/c it reminds me of a good memory; makes me smile when I think of her, and, this is totally a pride thing, but Carol will be the first to tell you, I am the only one who makes her coffee the way she likes it (not even her husband or kids) so, it makes me feel good that I can do that for her!

I am constantly on the lookout for matching dishes. I want a complete set (why oh why do they have to come with cups and saucers!?!?!). It's a relatively inexpensive way to update my kitchen and I like to change the dishes with the seasons. This being Texas we get summer and not summer, lol. Anywho, I'm constantly on the lookout for new dish sets. Mind you, I can't just go to ACO and purchase whatever sets they have, they have to speak to me. Just like a shirt or jewelry. It's gotta speak to me. It's the OCD, ADHD, and the rest of the jumbled alphabet in me.

So, tonight as I'm setting the table for dinner, I look at the myriad of mismatched patterns and colors that reside in my cupboard. I don't get angry when Sarah accidentally brakes a plate (hey, it's not fine china and even if it was, it's a dish, not like it's my Carol mug, lol). But, I look in my cupboard at my plates and it strikes me that is some sort of metaphor for my life. Sure, I *want* fine china. I want a complete set of dishes (not cups and saucers! Really, what am I a college student starting out? And seriously, unless you're the Queen of England, who really uses saucers anyways?! Just give me the matching dishes and bowls!) But, I digress, I would love to have a complete set, many complete sets. But, then, I look at my dishes, my mismatched, chipped, four different patterns and I realize they are their own complete set. I look at them and see the many times Carol and her family came over for dinner. I look at them and see how the many mismatched plates are plenty when I have people over for Thanksgiving every year. I look at them and think that the pattern of my life is like the pattern of all my dishes..colorful, chipped, and quirky. It's like this, my cupboard is overflowing with dishes and bowls and plates, chipped and scratched. Each holding memories. Just like my life. It overflows with love and joy, happiness and yes even sorrow. It overflows with memories (mostly good).

Suddenly, my mismatched set of dishes doesn't seem so bad.

Until next time,
Have some tea and enjoy this season with your family. Me, I'm gonna go make some tea in my Carol mug. She must know I'm writing about her again, she's calling me as we speak! lol


Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I'm not as strong as I pretend to be, which, truth be told, is just about all the time.

I am so very tired, all the time. I still haven't been sleeping. Last night, I went to bed a two. Tossed until 4:30. Then dozed here and there. There's so much going on that in my head that my brain just didn't want to shut off.

Friday is the second anniversary of Mom's death. Funny thing to celebrate, but I do it with my grandpa too and others who have gone before me. Grandpa however, didn't hit as hard as Mom. Also, I was a lot younger. Some days, most days, I am okay with it, but as the anniversary loomed on the horizon, not so much. I've become withdrawn and have retreated into my head. It's safe here. Albeit, not very quiet. I wondered to George if Mom really new just how much I love her and how very much she means to me. Which is funny b/c I told her and Dad (and still tell Dad) how very much I love them and how very blessed I am that they accepted me into their family, their home, and their hearts. How they are more my parents than my own parents. Not that I don't love my parents mind you, but there's is a whole different relationship. As I mentioned this to George, about loving Mom. Words of my Julie from a few years ago came back to me. We all know how easy (scary how easy actually) it is to believe when someone says something bad about us. Sure we don't like it, but sometimes we actually believe what is said. The good stuff, yea, that's hard to believe. Anywho, Julie's words were one of the greatest compliments I ever received and I hold on to them as if they were a security blanket ala Linus. She said to me "It is impossible not to be friends with Gina and not know how much she loves you!" That brought me great comfort many times and again last night.

I'm also missing Father Antony. I know, you probably think it's weird, but truthfully, I really don't care. He is my friend, my mentor and my spiritual guide. I knew that confession was going to be hard after he left. It went from being this beautiful sacrament to just something I need to do. Not exactly like a chore, but pretty close to it. I went on Tuesday evening and realized it had been four months. I used to go monthly. I needed the check-in. Heck, I still need the check-in but the last couple times I went I just realized it's not for me. Sure, I'll continue to go b/c I know I need to and it's one of the sacraments but it's more like my heart isn't in it. When I received absolution the other night, I felt nothing. Well, that's not exactly true. I felt cheated. I felt like a number, like cattle. Not intended, I'm sure, but it's how I felt.

Over the weekend I had a bad dream. It wasn't really nightmare status and a part of it I was happy, but then it was just bad and when I awoke I was filled with such sorrow and emptiness. I dreamed that Father Antony was visiting St. Jude. I was there so were lots of people and a high ranking holy person like a bishop or a cardinal. There were people everywhere and I kept trying to make my way to Father Antony. People were stopping to see him, but to also see the bishop/cardinal. Someone stopped me and asked me if I was excited to see the bishop/cardinal and if I knew his name. I said that I wasn't and that I didn't, that while it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I was more concerned with getting to say 'hello' to my friend, Father Antony. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get to him. I saw him greet his other friends and I'm not sure if he saw me or not (and somewhere in this dream I had a worm in my purse that turned into a frog, I have no idea what that represents so any dream analyst out there have fun with that and feel free to let me know!) but then, he was gone. I didn't get to hug him, to talk with him to tell him I loved him. But, because of Julie, I know that he knows how much I love him still and how much his friendship means to me. I awoke feeling sad and all alone. The Winterlude is coming up soon. One thing I loved about them was seeing Father Antony and after it was over, he would give me his beads from the evening that he wore. I still have them. I loved to go up to my friends and say "I got beads from a Priest! lol" What I do have, other than the beads, is that I have the memory of being the last person he gave communion to here at St. Jude's. That is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and that, brings me comfort. My friend and I sharing our own last supper together.

Getting older really sucks the big one. Everyone I love is leaving me, either dying or moving away. Y'know there's something to be said for not having any friends growing up b/c then you don't miss what you never had. But now, with having friends come into my life for days, weeks, years, hours, whatever the season, it hurts when they leave. It hurts when the friendship was so intense but was just for a few months and I still see them. It's like we digressed into Christmas Card friends. Mom died, Vicky died, Father Antony moved away. My Mema is slipping away. I don't care that 'she's 91 and has lived a long and happy life'. She is mine and what's mine I am intensely protective of.

Life is hard. Life is a balance and God gave me many gifts, however coordination and patience are not two of them. I just want to curl into a ball and cry myself to sleep and sleep for days. As it stands now, I don't sleep. I rest, I nap, but I don't sleep. I worry about things I cannot control, how much longer do I have with Mema, really, only five more years until all the kids are off at college, who is going to die next that I love dearly, when is George going to get a permanent job, when is George going to call the KOC insurance guy? Is my brother ever coming back to the faith, is he ever going to love me again, will I see my Mema before she passes away, will I get pregnant after the last kid leaves the house, do I want to go through all of that again, at my age? Wishing Dad would just move down here lock stock and barrel and then take his trips to Newfoundland from here. That way, he'd never have to be alone. He could live with us, or get himself an apartment. He could come to all the kids functions and dinners on Sunday or everyday! He could get involved with St. Jude's Good Timers, he could bring mom here and have her interred at St. Jude's. But, it's too hot for him here and he has his reasons for not moving down here (George's sister still being in Philly as one of them). And, while I don't like them one little bit, I respect them, because he is my father and I love him.

I miss my sister dearly. The trip this August home to see her and the rest of the family really brought us together. We went from talking a few times a year to talking every two weeks, sometimes every week.

I miss my brother more than I can say. He still hasn't emailed me back, but no news is good news. It's better than him sending me an email telling me to kiss off. I just want to see him. I need to see him. It's this inherent burning deep in my soul that I NEED to see my brother. I NEED to hold him and I NEED to tell him I love him. But I don't know if that day will ever come.

I trust in God with all these and more. But yet, I still worry, b/c as my friends so love to remind me, I am human. I know God has a plan, and I know He has me in the palm of His hand (shout out to chrp 4 and 5!!!!)

Until next time,

Merry Christmas

PS. George, I spell checked just for you ;p

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So, I've spent the better part of a month preparing for Dad's arrival and Thanksgiving. Those two came and went without a hitch. For preparation, I was a mad woman, well madder than usual. One would think I was pregnant with all the nesting that was going on in the house (note: sadly, I am not pregnant). The dinning room is now officially a dinning room. Not just a clean empty room, but a dinning room with my very first dinning table, chairs, and curio cabinet in! It is not my dream dinning set as that is STILL being held hostage by Anderson's Furniture for the ransom of $2700! lol But this set is from ACO. It is beautiful, affordable and works just as well! In order to restore order to the dining room, we had to move the computer to it's own place. This was fun as it started out in the kitchen on the makeshift desk that they put in kitchens. It was too hot, so we moved it into the dining room. Now the computer is upstairs in what was the junk room. That's right, first we (and by we I mean I) had to clean out the junk room. The junk room. We tried to make it a media room. That didn't work. Then, it became the catch all junk room. Now it is the computer room. And, I even hung pictures and decorated it a bit. Then, finally I tackled the garage. It is mostly organized and you can park the minivan in it. Will wonders ever cease! I found much peace in controlling the cleaning of these rooms. Yea, I can't control George's job. I can't control health insurance or lack thereof. I can't control my kids. I can't control other people. And, I can't control death. But, I can control my house (to some extent) and in controlling all these rooms, I found great peace.

That didn't last long, lol. I'm running again. I have to keep moving. I can't sit still. If I stop, nothing will happen. Nothing will be controlled and major chaos will ensue. George's job got extended until the end of the year (praise God). But now, it's other stuff. Still, George's job, my brother hasn't talked to me in two years. He's home safe in the states, but won't talk to me for only God knows the reason why. So, I emailed him the other night. We'll see what happens. I can tell you whenever I watch the Folger's commercial with the girl and her brother, I cry. Stupid commercial, lol. The only one better than that to cry with is the Coke commercial with Pittsburgh Steeler Mean Joe Green, lol. So you would think with all this cleaning, that the house is perpetually clean and organized, but alas it is not. I have three teenagers, remember? I can tell you that I am perpetually tired. I don't sleep much...our bed broke last week. But, I wasn't sleeping much before then. It was like sleeping on styrofoam, weeky weeky weeky weeky. Kept me awake plenty. And, if it wasn't the bed, it was everything else. I know of so many people who are having such a hard time. And, I pray and pray and pray. Still they are having a hard time. I know God hears my prayers. I know this because a) He is God and b) because I tell Him things over and over and over. lol. I know He's in control and I shouldn't worry about things (and for the most part I don't). But, every once in a while I can't help myself. I am but a mere mortal.

You'll be happy to know that in decorating the Christmas tree this year, the Nativity survived! I even taped the Shepard boys head back on! The only casualty was a Cinderella ornament. She lost her head! First Jesus, then the Sheppard boy, then the angel, now Cinderella I honestly don't know why it keeps happening. I'm guessing it's now a Schafer tradition to knock the heads off of the Nativity and ornaments! New to this years decorating was various shocking situations going on. Sarah shocked herself twice with lights and Maria only once. They both blamed the lights, lol. Stupid lights. James decided to be the lawn decorator this year. He's all about the lights outside. This worked out great at first b/c I didn't have to do it. But, I had to hear *every* decision and plan in great detail! "Mom, what if I do this!" Ah the wonders of the ADHD child, I wish all of you one for Christmas! They are full of great fun and bring hours of joy and laughter and are true blessings.

Work has been going okay so far. It keeps me off the streets and out of trouble, for now, lol. If I don't get to blog before Christmas (sorry this one took so long), I wish each of you much peace in your families, in your relationships, in your hearts. May your heart swell with all the love that Jesus has for you!

Until Next Time,
Merry Christmas,