Tuesday, October 26, 2010

How you doin?

I'm not the best sleeper in the world. Sometimes I do get to sleep through the night. But mostly, I toss around, too hot or too cold. The bed is old. And, when I do fall asleep, lately I have weird dreams. And, even weirder is a recurring dream I have from someone in my not so distant past. Someone I love. While the circumstances are always different, the thing that stays the same is that the person is here, with me. I see them and walk up to them, we are shocked to see each other, then we hug and then let go. I tell our mutual friends that said friend is back and they really don't believe me. I tell them how I've dreamed the same dream for a while that this person was back and here they are! They really don't have anything to say. Then, they see our friend and they are happy too.

I know why my friend left. It was what they had to do, but I miss my friend terribly and nothing has been the same since they left. The pain in my heart has lessened, now it's just a dull ache, and it's been over a year since they left.

Life is okay now. Depending upon what your version of okay is. George is still contracting, work is still blah since the personnel change, I'm tired lately, I miss Mema, and I miss George's Mom. Sometimes, and no one knows this, save George, but sometimes, I'll look at the picture of Mom and me (his Mom) and I'll ask him "she was really here, right? She really loved me? We had a relationship, I just didn't imagine it all, right?" And, he will say indeed, she was here. Now, I find myself looking at my pictures of Mema which are everywhere, even in my bathroom, and I wonder if she was really here or did I imagine it all.

My sister, Tina, God love her. One day not too long ago, she said something most profound. She said 'wow, your childhood really messed you up" I'm paraphrasing here, but the conversation was on my lack of friends and how now I am uber grateful for each and everyone of you. She meant it in the most beautiful way. So, after Mom and now Mema died. Part of me is afraid that my life here in Texas just didn't happen. That I'm gonna wake up one day, back in Pittsburgh, back in that house, back in that situation. No George, No George's parents. No Carol, No Julie, No Alyssa, No Tina, No Sharon, No you guys. I'll wake up and realize that I dreamed the most beautiful dream and sadly, it was a dream. Just like the dreams I have been having about my friend who left. Then, other times, I look at pictures of George's mom and I, or Mema and I'll say to myself "it was real" "she was here". Sometimes just once, sometimes three times (the ocd in me), but I tell myself it anyway.

In three days it will be the first anniversary of the death of my beloved friend Vicki. Maybe that's what has me so melancholy. I miss her. Mind you we didn't talk or email everyday. We were moment friends. Every time we met, which was sporadic, we would have moments. And, she knew me and knew how much I loved her and I knew her. Her wonderful, amazing spirit, and that she loved me. Watching her and her husband, My Russ, it was the most beautiful example of marriage.

My hearts a little heavy tonight, or should I say this morning? I'm missing Mema lately more than it almost seems I can take. I miss my mom (even though she's coming up to visit this December!!!!) It's been over a year since I've seen her. And, I miss Dad (George's). He's coming down for Thanksgiving!!!! I'm missing my sister and her family and really wish they could come visit, but with both of them in retail, that's really not an option. And, I miss God. I know He's around. I know He's working on something just for me, but He's been awfully quiet. But then again so have I.

It's well past the bewitching hour and work seems to come earlier each day, so with that I'll say sweet dreams.

Until next time,
Sorry, Carol, but I'm running again. Didn't mean to, it just happened.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Past

The past really isn't the past.  You can put your past in your past but it's not always going to stay there.

Recently, through the miracle that is facebook, someone contact me from my past.  From the not so happy part of my past.  So, I ignored their request.  A couple days later I got another request from the same person.  This time they sent a not so nice message along including colorful language and then said to accept their friend request.   Yea, I deleted that one too.  THEN, this same person friend requested one of my kids.  Being the horrible parent that I am, George and I monitor the kids emails and facebook accounts.  We don't even let them have internet on their phones.  Why do they need it when there's a perfectly good computer in the house!  I saw the friend request and ignored it.  I explained to my two facebook kids (you don't get a facebook account in our house until your 14) that someone from my past who is not very nice might friend request them.  I showed them what they looked like and told them not to accept the request.  I also reiterated the house rules on accepting friend requests.

Then, tonight my dear friend from back home and I got to chatting online.  She knew the person from my past who popped up.  We talked for about an hour.  It was beautiful.  I can tell in my witness of things that happened in my past.  I can joke and make light of things that happened in my past.  I can be 12 years removed of things that happened in my past and almost forget.  And, people try to understand.  Friends try to empathize.  And, it's lovely.  But, there's something to be said for talking to someone who was *there*.  Who saw things, heard things, knew things.  There's a bond that is formed.  When lambs are lead to the slaughter, they form a bond.  My friend and I share just such a bond.  We talked of the past, of those who were there.  Those who weren't kind.  We talked how we wake up every day and thank God that we are not in that situation anymore.

When the person popped up and asked me to accept their request, it brought back some not good memories.  Then, tonight, talking to my dear friend, it brought back more, not good memories, but a few good ones, like when I was in labor with Sarah.

It's funny, lately, I've been walking in the valley of the shadow of doubt.  I've been doubting lots of stuff lately.  My faith, but not my faith.  Not my 'I believe in God faith' but my 'Bible study, and I only talking to God when I need stuff thing'.  The 'I feel all alone' spiritually thing.  I couldn't tell you the last time God talked to me, or when I actually talked, and not complained to God.  That might be part of the problem.  I have a few books I really want to read, but have not made the time.  There's always something, kids, bible studies, friends, family, life.  You name it.  So, I'm kinda not surprised that the devil would chose to attack me with all this crap.  But the thing the devil fails to realize every time, is that God is the one who rescued me from my past.  He is the one who rescues me, every time.  So, it doesn't matter how he chooses to attack me, or how spiritually lonely or dry I feel.  God is gonna send a row boat, a helicopter, anything He can to get to me.  He'll never stop coming for me, rescuing me.  And, I know I'm going to always need Him to rescue me.

And, for those who are feeling alone, I leave you with one of my very favorites...

Until next time,
What do you need rescued from?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Matteis, Rodin and Me

So, yesterday, George and I are at the Dallas Museum of Art.  We had such a beautiful time walking around, holding hands, looking at priceless works of art.  Sometimes we'd talk about a piece or show each other something that caught the others eye but we were also content to just look and be still, not saying anything.  Now, I'm not a art conesur.  For all I know Monet could have used crayolas.  But I came across one piece in particular that held me.  It was so beautiful I sat in front of it for a little while and it literally brought tears to my eyes.  I was so filled with emotion by this painting.  I wanted to purchase it at the gift shop, but unfortunately, they didn't have it for sale as a poster.  I mentioned to the sales lady that the DMA was right down the street from the Cathedral and if she stocked some Catholic posters, they would sell pretty well (They have a portrait of St. Catherine of Seinna and a picture with St. Jerome in along with a few of Mary).  The picture that struck me is called Adoration of the Sheppards. 

The first thing that struck me was how young Mary is.  Yes, I know she was 14, but when you see pictures or statues she looks like she's in her 20s.  Look at how young she truly is!  Then, look at Jesus.  He's just looking straight ahead.  And, then there's St. Gabriel kneeling down at the head of Jesus.  And the sheppards!  I'm use to seeing them all covered up and carrying staffs.  They're in short clothes here. And look at the boy on the right.  Look how he's looking away from Jesus at the man by him.  Look at the wonderment in his face!  And then look in the back, you can see the oxen.  Now look up.  See the angels?  See the one with the sign that says "Gloria"?  and then there's two angels almost hidden.  And look at Joseph!  How handsome!  How happy!  How full of wonder!!!!  I could sit and look at this picture for a while and find more stuff to marvel at, I'm sure!  I just had to share this with you.

The other piece that struck me was a sculpture.  It was from the Wendy and Emory Reeves Collection.  It was called I am Beautiful.  I was a husband holding his wife who was curled up in a ball around his shoulders.  It struck me because he was holding her with such great love.  They were almost entwined.

An excerpt from the DMA site says "The female figure, in a crouching, almost fetal position, is embraced by a standing man who seemingly reaches to the heavens to rescue her."  For more information on the sculpture..


I would LOVE to have my own copy of one!  Do they even sell copies?

 I know it will sound weird, but to be with my husband, on our anniversary, looking at such an intimate sculpture made me feel so blessed, so connected and so loved.

It was such a beautiful day all around yesterday.  The weather could not have been more perfect, and the company, my beloved husband, was awesome.  I hope to have more days like yesterday!

Until next time,
Take a trip to the museum with your beloved.  See what inspires you!



George has had to deal with a lot.  More than most, less than some.  He moved his job, left his family and all his friends to move to South Carolina to be with me and the kids, and we began our life together.    Six months after the wedding, he lost his job (for the first of three times).  He moved to Kansas six weeks before the kids and I could come for a job.  During our nine months in Kansas our marriage really grew strong.  Neither of us had any family or friends there, only each other.  We learned to rely truly on each other.  Then, we moved to Texas.  You know it has to be love for a girl from the 'burg to end up in Texas!  But, love him I do.

Here in Texas, not only has our marriage grown stronger, but so has our faith, in God, ourselves, and each other.  We've made friends, lasting friendships, friends that are not friends now, they're family (Carol, Julie, Tina, Alyssa, Patti).  Like most of the country, we've faced financial hardships (before it was fashionable, what can I say, we're trendsetters!), we've faced death and loss.  But we've also celebrated and have had great joy.

Today, today was a gift from God.  George was able to get the day off with pay.  His first in 18 months.  He and I spent the evening at a local hotel and then spent the day together.  Just us, no kids.  We went to the Dallas Museum of Art.  We had an amazing dinner at Rafains (I still prefer Fogo de Chao, but Rafrains is a affordable alternative) and just enjoyed each others company all day.  We talked, actually talked, not about bills and schedules, but about us.  About our lives together.  On our wedding day, before the ceremony, I gave George and out.  I told him he could change his mind, I'd be heartbroken, but if he wanted out that was his chance.  I told him that I'm not the easiest person to live with.  He just laughed and said nope.

Ten years later, he's had to deal with my many job changes, my therapy, my on medication off medication on medication, my anxiety and panic.  My control obsession.  My lack of tact.  My dreamer mentality, my weight gain (I was a size 5 when we started dating), my pms (it's not pretty folks).  My anger, my health, my empathy and my family.

Ten years later, and I still get the better end of the deal.  I get a husband who not only loves me, but does dishes and laundry.  Who actually helps parent the kids, who handles the finances.  Who prays.  I have a husband who actually hung the moon.  Who gave me his amazing parents.  Who gives me security, who gives me strength, who gives me the confidence to be who I am and not apologize for it.  Who helps me grow and become whomever I want (no matter the hair color!) and trust me when I tell you, that's a lot to deal with!

It's only been ten years, it has flown by so fast!  I love everyday, everyday with my husband.  George, you have given me so much love and happiness and no matter what I do, I can never, ever, thank God enough for blessing me with you.

Happy Anniversary, Gus.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

30 Seconds

I stopped by church today, I had a form to drop off.  As I was leaving, I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while and while talking to her and the receptionist, my friend mentioned that her parents are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  How cool is that?  I mentioned that my Dad tapped out at 35 years.  This garnered quit a few laughs.  Then, I was on my way.

Then, I got to thinking.  I know, usually, that's never a good idea, but this one wasn't half bad.  I wondered what my life would have been like, had my parents stayed together all this time.  Would my Dad ever truly grow to appreciate the quirkiness that I am?  Would my parents go on trips and vacations?  Would they come and visit me?  Would I have a relationship, a true relationship with my Dad?  Would he ever love me the way I wanted/needed him too? 

Then, I pictured all of this and you know what?  It wasn't that great.  I saw my life before my parents split (I was 27) and had they stayed together, things would've stayed the same as they always were.  My mom, God love her, would still be covering up for my dad with us kids.  My rose colored glasses would still be on.  I'd still think my Dad hung the moon.  I'd still think that my Dad liked me.  Within the last 14 years, my Dad remarried (almost immediately), I watched my mom suffer greatly, at times at my own hands.  I lost my Grandpa whom I adored.  I watch Mema grieve at the loss of my Dad as he was more of a son to her than the four she had.  I watched as my Mom took in Mema, and I use the term took in loosely.  There was never any doubt where Mema would go.  And, I don't want to imply that Mema was a burden.  She was never a burden.  She was an angel here on earth.  Sure, her and my Mom disagreed occasionally, that's to be expected but it was rare.  I watched my Mom grow in her self-confidence.  It's still not as good as it could be, but really, whose is?  And, if you grew up in my home, you'd realize why I am the way I am, why my self confidence isn't as good as it could be either.  But, starting with none, my Mom and I haven't done too bad over the last 14 years.  I realized during the first few years that my Dad, sadly, was human.  Human with faults, and needs and wants.  He did not belong on the pedestal that I had erroneously placed him on (too much watching tv shows where the daughters were Daddy's little girls I guess).  I learned a lot about myself too.  I learned I was a lot stronger than I ever thought (thanks, Mom).  Not many people know this, but I was a single Mom of three kids under 3.  I faced a lot of fears during this time.  I drove over the infamous old cooper river bridge in Charleston, SC to work by myself (thanks again, Mom), I constantly looked over my shoulder.  I was rail thin (hard to believe, I know, but stress and fear will do that to you).  I found that I could stand on my own two feet.  I met the love of my life, George and his amazing family.  His mother ROCKED.  There's not a day that doesn't go by that I don't miss her.  His Dad, well, you all know how much I love him and how much of a Dad he is to me (and he's coming down for Thanksgiving!!!! WOOHOO).  Then, at 35 I discovered my faith.  I say discovered instead of rediscovered because I don't think I ever really did anything with it before.  I realized my Dad does love me, just in his own way, not in the way I want or need, but in his own way.  I realized that he's really old.  He's only 70 but he's really old.  Kids are noisy, he doesn't like to fly, or come visit me.  I'll leave out about the part how he and his wife Sarah travel everywhere all the time. lol  I've realized just how amazing my mom really is (she's coming down in December hopefully!!!!)  I realized I am not strong enough to do this life thing on my own.  That I have anxiety and panic disorder, that I had to be on meds, got off of em for a while and now back on them and that's okay.  I realized I'll never have another child with George.  I realized in five years all my kids will be in college.  And, I realized, that God is the best father I ever could have asked for.

Yea, all of that from a 30 second conversation at church today.  Amazing, no?  All in all, it's a great reminder how awesome God is.  How he can take what you think is the worst thing that could happen to you and turn it around and have so much good come out of it!

Until next time,
God thinks you are amazing and so do I.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Today has been amazing!!!!  Totally surprised the crap outta me, that's for sure!

You all know how my morning went.  Let me tell you about my afternoon.  I started with Mass at noon.  I could feel the pull all morning for me to stay away.  But I resisted and went anyways.  I'm so glad I did!  I got to sit next to and worship with my podmate!!!  I was so awesome to see her.  We also decided to induct one other person into our pod because as school house rock says "three is a magic number, yes it is".  So, if I get no objections, I think we're closin out the pod at three.  Do you want to know who the last member of our pod is?  Okay, I'll tell ya!  It's My Alyssa!  Julies pm#1, Alyssa's pm#2, and I round it out at 3 :D  It's the perfect size for us with all the baggage that we have (and I've got plenty I tell ya!)  Anywho, Mass was *awesome*!  And, I went up for the anointing of the sick.  Totally, amazingly awesome!

Guess who I got to sit by in Mass today?  Guess, Guess!!!  Other than my Julie.....you'll NEVER GUESS!!!!  SUE PAYNE!!!!!!!!  I KNOW!  AWESOME, RIGHT!!!!  Let me set the picture for you.  Sue and I have never met.  But through the wonders of facebook, and friends of friends of friends, we began chatting online a while ago.  Her family was going through something and prayers were needed.  Over the weeks and months, she and I began to talk and email.  Then we would i m sometimes.  Lots and lots were shared and we grew our friendship from miles away (she's in Houston) out of prayer.  I knew she was coming back to St. Jude's this weekend and was hoping to actually meet her face to face.  But, I know she has a buttload of friends to see, so I wasn't counting on it.  Then, this afternoon, Mass is about to start in a few minutes and Sue walks in the pew in front of me.  I don't know who she is yet, but she was hugging Jules and as Sue sits down she squeezes my leg (I'm sitting down) hello.  I look up and recognition dawns (I've seen her pics on facebook) and I jump up and give her a huge hug and say "welcome home"!!!!  God found a way for Sue and I to meet.  I mentioned to my Julie about this little fact and she said "Isn't it amazing how facebook can be used for good"  Actually, I'm paraphrasing as she said it more eloquently.  But as I sat there I thought, 'how cool is God!'.

Then, I had lunch with my loving husband, ran a few errands, then made dinner for a friend.  And, as a surprise, George took the night off to surprise me!  All in all, it's be an awesome day!

God is totally awesome!

Until next time,

Remember I love you!


Oh Happy Day

Today, I took a mental health day off of work.   Things have been really, well, jumbled as of late.  I, for one, haven't been myself.  As you know, I've been attacked as of late.  And, it turns out, I'm not the only one.  One of my friends and I chatted all the way from her college, she's being attacked.  One of my good friends and I sat outside her house last night talking, she's being attacked.  One of my friends, he's being attacked.  And, I can tell you without a doubt, my workplace is under attack.

Weary and exhausted from being attacked and feeling hopeless, what's a girl to do!  Raise your hand if you said 'adoration'.  Now, Raise your hand if you said "wcw (whine, cry, and wallow)"  Okay, you can put your hands down now.  You are both right!  I was thinking this morning, before adoration, of all the ways that the little guy attacks me.  You've got to give the devil his due, literally, he's good at his job.  He gets me through many avenues.  Many I'm sure I don't even know about.  However, here are a couple of the ones I do know about.  The easiest one he uses is death.  Namely, mine.  It scares the crap outta me.  The unknown (even though I have a hunch where I'm going).  The little guy likes to prey on my fear that it will be all darkness and I will be alone.  I won't be able to see anyone or anything.  It will be just darkness and me.  Yea, that scares me.  That's the easiest and the quickest way for him to get to me.  But, as I've gotten older, and maybe a grain or two wiser, I know it's him and I tell him to go away.  BEGONE!   Then, sometimes he's more sneaky.  He preys on my emotions.  That no one really likes me, save George, and that's only b/c he was getting up there and couldn't find anyone better so he settled for a broken girl with three young kids.  The little guy brings up my friendless, lonely childhood.  Then, he shows me my current life.  He shows me how busy everyone is.  How they don't have time for me.  Even my bestest of friends with whom I share everything (and I do mean everything....it's like TABASCO PEOPLE  IT BURNS!!! lol) we can joke and play but sometimes when the jokes on me (usually, I don't mind, I really have fun with it), but sometimes, he whispers to me "even they don't like you, really."  And, then I sink deeper and deeper.  Yes, I know what you're going to say.  I truly do, and most of the time, I know I am loved.  It still to this day surprises the crap out of me (that was another post lol) but I know and believe it.  But sometimes, when I'm not doing so hot, yea, that's how he gets me.  All sneaky like. 

I'm trying to decide what's harder, sitting and listening to all the little guys crap that he likes to spew, or climbing out of the pit of despair (Princess Bride reference!).  They're both pretty hard.  One of my really good friends whom I've come to adore lately (and Jules, we might have to make her part of our pod and I don't say that lightly) said something the other day.  She said "when we feel farthest from Jesus is when we are actually closest to Him."  Profound thought, no?  So that means, in this valley I and my friends have been walking, yea, He's right here with us.  Something we tend to forget.  It's great to have reminders every now and again.

Today, before adoration, I went to confession with Fr. Tuan.  As I'm listing my sins and talking (not even five minutes, I wasn't *that* bad this month), I'm watching him look around his desk and I wondered if he's even listening to me.  Then, as he starts to talk, he's still looking around his desk and then through a stack of prayer cards.  I notice one he's given me before.  Then, I catch something he says.  He was talking about being tempted.  I confessed that at work, it's been really hard lately not to fall into the complaining group b/c everyone is irked lately over a situation that has arose.  Fr. Tuan starts to talk about temptation and mentions the computer and how some people are tempted.  And, my first thought is "seriously, he can't be comparing my work situation to internet porn is he?"  I don't think he was.  Then, he handed me the prayer card and it was the same one as before, which kinda irked me.  But then I realized that God was saying 'you're not getting it, you big dummy'.  Yes, sometimes God channels Fred Sandford. 

The prayer card was from Corinthians Love is patient, blah, blah, blah.  So, I take this card to adoration and really read over it.  It was a shortened version of the reading.  Love is patient, kind, doesn't rejoice in wrongdoings of others.  "Wow", I thought to myself, clearly I am not as loving as I thought I was.  I have not been any of these things at work lately.  Which made me feel even worse about myself.  Then, I got to the bottom of the card...'love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things'.  Then, I thought, yea, I'm gonna be okay.  Me and my merry band of those being attacked lately, we are gonna be just fine!

Until next time,

Today is the feast day of my very, absolutely, favorite saint, Saint Therese!  Today, I ask you to do just one little thing, no matter how small, with great love for someone :D