Saturday, July 30, 2011

God is smarter than me

Shocker, right!  Yea, that little nugget of information came to me this morning.

Being born and raised in my family, I was the middle child.  Or in Star Trek terms, two of three.  I felt cheated.  Mema had six kids (my mom was two of six), Mema came from something like 9.  My grandpa came from something of like 13.  I wanted to be from a big family.  That didn't happen.  So, I thought I would make my own!  Nope.  No such luck.  I have three.

After Sarah was born things happened and I could no longer have children.  This is something I've struggled with greatly over the years.  And, I mean struggled.  I so wanted to have more children.  I so wanted to have more children with my husband.  To go through pregnancy with him.  I wanted it more than anything.  When we were in Kansas, we had the opportunity for this dream to come true.  But, when George lost his job, there went that chance.  When we moved to Texas 7 years ago we looked into it extensively.  But it wasn't in the cards.  We even looked at foster adopt, but that wasn't in the cards either.

Two years ago, I finally forgave myself.  It was twelve years in the making.  But I finally did.  I told God, if I can't have anymore children, please take away this longing.  And, boy did He!  Almost immediately after this, one of my best friends got pregnant (surprise!)  and she was afraid to tell me.  She thought I'd be upset b/c I couldn't have anymore.  It was quite the opposite.  I was so happy for her.  I became cool aunt Gina to the baby to be.  I spoiled her even while she was in the tummy.  She's almost one now.  She's amazing and she knows who I am, even if I don't see her as often as I'd like.  But when she sees me and hears my voice, her whole face lights up and she smiles and makes me feel amazing.

The past five days, I've had the opportunity to have my wish come true.  No, I'm not pregnant.  My Carol and Brian are on their second honeymoon in Canada.  Which means for me, I get her kids.  All four of them!  For those of you who don't know, our families met in 2004 at St. Jude's at a Marriage in the Movies class.  Carol and I found out we were both going to the upcoming Christ Renews His Parish (chrp) retreat.  I asked God to please put her at my table, so I would at least know someone there.  Being new to the parish, I knew no one (boy how that has changed! lol) and He did!  Carol and I clicked over the next six months.  Our friendship grew by leaps and bounds and for those who know me, they'll tell you, that the greatest gift I got out of the chrp weekend, was my Carol.  Our families are not families by blood.  We're better than that.  We celebrate holiday's together (all of them!)  We hang out together, we share just about everything.  My kids are her kids, and her kids are mine.  We parent the same way (which is hard to find someone who parents like you).  Carol will be the first to tell you how I take care of her.  And, I'll be the first to tell you how she walks on water both ways and how once, just once, I saw her levitate lol.  She is my big sister.  She listens to my incessant whining (which doesn't happen all that often).  She'll tell me when I'm wrong and George is right (I really hate that lol) and she loves me unconditionally (as do all of my friends).  You don't have to be related by blood to be family.  She and I, we're sisters.

Her kids are amazing.  All four of them.  So, having the opportunity to spend five full days with them and my kids, I was excited.  For a short while, I'm going to have my big family!  It has been absolutely wonderful!  The older kids look after the younger kids, they play, hang out and generally have a good time.  It's too hot to go anywhere (although today, we're going bowling!)  I have enjoyed every minute of it.  I joked, that this is what my friend Suzanne must feel like.  She has 8 kids I think (sorry, Suzanne if I forgot one!)  It has been wonderful.  But, I'm tired! lol  I said the same thing when we got my puppy Ignatius (Iggy for short).  God gave me a puppy because I'm too old to do a baby.  This house training thing is going to be the death of me.  Yes, Ignatius does his business outside.  But, he also holds 'meetings' inside too! 

I have many friends who cannot have children for one reason or another.  And, I can empathize.  When I was dealing with my issues of not having anymore children, people would say God has a plan.  People say that a lot.  They said it each time George lost his job.  They said it over my baby situation.  They say it all the time.  It got to the point that if I heard it one more time, I was going to scream.  I didn't want God's plan and most of the time, I still don't.    I wanted Him to do things my way.  Clearly, He knows better.  I'm not as young as I use to be.  Don't get me wrong, I love, LOVE being in my 40's.  I love the freeing that comes with it.  The 'I'm to old for this crap' and 'I don't care if you like me or not' attitude.  That's not to say that I don't care about things anymore, it's more of I don't care about all the little crappy stuff.  It's awesome. 

But, as I said before, God is smarter than me.  I can look back and see that three kids is the perfect amount for me.  I get to live vicariously through my friends as they have babies and have their big families.  And, that's okay with me.  After all, it may not be the way I want it, or the way I think it should be, but in the end, God has a plan. lol

Until next time,
Pray for safe travel for my Carol and Brian as they come home tomorrow


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I figured it out!

I was recently at my friend, Mary's house for a jewelry party and we had to pick something we liked and wear it for the evening.  I chose a beautiful heart necklace.  We then went around the room, introduced ourselves, what piece we chose and why.  I said "I always wear my heart on my sleeve, so I thought I'd go for the neck!" which drew laughter from the others (I love making people laugh!).  Then, I heard my friend say "she does!"  which made me smile.  I'm sure it doesn't come as news to you that my life is an open book.  What ever is going on, you see it in my face or hear it in my voice.  While I may wear my heart on my sleeve, I won't always share what is going on.  Quite often, I need to be pressed as to what is bothering me (ask George!).  Most of the time, when something is bothering me, I feel that when asked, a) people are being polite and really don't want to know or b) they're in a good mood, why would I want to bring them down?  Then there are times when things are icky and I need to talk to someone about it.  In those rare times, instead of just calling and saying "hey, I'm having a bad day, can you listen?" I figure, they're busy and I don't want to intrude.  So, what is a girl to do?  I call on Dad (God).  I tell Him how even though I had a fantastic birthday and my dad sent me a card, how I was hurt that he didn't call.  How he never calls me.  Never comes to see me and no matter how old I get, I'll never be good enough for him to do either one.  And, no matter how hold I get or how wise or rational I become, it will never take away the hurt it brings or the longing for acceptance.  I tell Him how happy I am that a close friend of mine is going to be moving and while I am blissfully happy for them, I am sad for me.  I tell Him how I still am struggling trying to stay in control of everything.  Trying to bend situations to my will.  How I give things up to Him all the time, only to take them back later when He's not moving as fast as I would like Him too. lol    I tell Him how I get hurt by different friendships.  Yes, I know all the platitudes like 'some people we're only friends with for a season' and the like, but I am not really a season friend.  I'm a forever friend.  Once you are my friend, you're my friend.  However, as friendships grow, it's like a revolving door.  Some choose to come in and stay, some chose to come and go multiple times, and some chose to come and and then go away and what was once a great friendship is relegated to a passing friendship I see at church.  While I understand this, I don't exactly have to like it.  While these passing friendships go, I am left feeling less than.  "What did I do/not do that made them want to leave?"  I showered! lol  I chalk this and most things, up to my childhood.  Again, not having many friends, you don't learn that some friendships are only needed for a short time and that that is okay.  So, learning this in adulthood is a bit different/difficult, but I've learned to survived.   This has happened quite a few times over the years (no, not just the showering part, the passing friendship part) and I have lived to tell the tales.  And, when I see them and get my hugs the love in my heart for them still remains because they will always be a part of me.   I tell Him how some days, even with all my friends and all of those who truly love me, I feel so alone.  I tell Him how I want to come visit Him, but alas, it's Wednesday, and there's no adoration today.  I tell Him how I think He should run things.  I give Him advice, always, always, always unsolicited.  Then, I thank Him.  I thank Him for what I do have.  I thank Him for the friends that do stay.  I thank Him for my husband and my children.  I thank Him for George's Dad, who has been more of a father to me than my biological one ever will be (yet I still long for him, masochistic, I know!)  I thank Him for my Mom who is always there.  And, I tell Him how I know, He's got everything under control despite my complaining about the way He does things, especially His timing.  And, through all of this, He listens.  He listens as the most wonderful father He is.  He is tender and loving and His heart breaks at the breaking of mine.  Every tear I've cried, He's held in His hand.  He's always with me.  And together, He and I, we, can do everything.

So, I think I've figured out my problem, or well, as least one of them.  Proverbs 4:23 says "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.".  This is hard to do when you wear your heart on your sleeve.  I cannot guard my heart because good, bad, or indifferent, my heart is who I am.  And, He created me in His own image.  So, if my heart is this big, I can't even fathom how big His is!  Yea, He's got everything under control.  I think I'll let Him drive for a while while I nap in the passenger seat.  That is until I try to do the driving again!

Until next time,
Surround yourself with happy.  Life is too short for anything less!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perfection at its finest...

I want to say how much I am at a loss for words.  But, what I really mean is I am at a loss for certain words.  The only word that comes close to describe my day today, is overwhelmed.  I am utterly overwhelmed at all of you.  At all of the love and support that you've sent me today!

I am so humbled by all of you.  From the surprise birthday bunco party last night for Amy and myself to my cell blowing up today with texts and calls (even from my friends on vacation (Love you, Patti!)), to all the well wishes on facebook. 

Those of you from my high school days (shout out to Quaker Valley and Meade!) and some of my very close friends, know how I didn't have many friends growing up.  And, as I've grown, the friends I do make, I hold extremely dear to my heart.  All of you have made this the most amazing birthday.  I am constantly humbled by all of your love.  This has been the most perfect birthday!

Thank you so very much, from the bottom of my heart, for loving me just as much as I love you.
Until next time,
I'll be thanking God for all of you!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I do not work for burger king

Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed.

Today is one of those days.

I'll spare you most of it and get right to the highlight...dinner.  Now, when I was a kid you ate what was put in front of you.  You didn't like it, too bad.  Liver and onions, mulligan stew, stuffed cabbage, peas.  It didn't matter.  Apparently, sometimes my kids don't seem to subscribe to the theory that George and I are the parents and do not run a restaurant.  I'm all excited, making a new recipe tonight.  The best kind of recipe, one out of my head, on the spot, not from a cookbook.  Rice and chicken gravy.  Mandarin orange glazed carrots, and apple root beer chicken.  Yes, you read that right, apple root beer chicken.
And, here's how it plays out...

Kid 3:  is that applesauce on the chicken?
Me:  yes.
Kid 3: ewwwww
Kid 2 walks in:  What's that on the chicken?
Me:  Poop!  And to make it even better, I peed on it too! (side note, I did not do either, but after a trying day and listening to kid 3 question my cooking ability, I have had it)
Kid 3 laughs.
Kid 1:  You put root beer on the chicken!!!!?
Me/Kid 3: NO!/YES!!!  as I shoot her the be quiet eyes!
Me:  SERIOUSLY!e (like I would purposely cook something that's going to make my family sick! jeesh!)

Amazingly enough, all three kids ate dinner...and lived!  And, kid 1 still hasn't yaked!  And, they, who hate being wrong said with lowered eyes trying not to smile, that the chicken 'wasn't bad'.

I cannot wait until they have kids of their own! lol

And, as I said, that was just the highlight lol
Until next time,
Pray for my friend, Amy, Friday is her 40th birthday!!!  Amy, I love you!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

to those who get this in their inbox, to see the video you need to go to my website

You'll never know

Today's the day.

The one I've dreaded for weeks.

In thirteen hours, it will be one year since my beloved Mema passed.  I'm so glad I went to Mass last night as I don't think I could not cry throughout the entire mass today.  Heck, the tears are streaming as I'm writing this.

Every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day, I miss her.  Sure, I may seem like a quasi-functioning adult when you see me out in public.  But, I confess, it's all a ruse.  It feels just like when Mom died (George's) and I stood at her casket begging her, pleading with her to wake up and she wouldn't.  No matter how much I asked her too.  How I begged George to wake her up, please.

I know all the sane stuff.  I know I'll see her again.  I know she's better off.  I know she's happy.  But how can she be happy if she's not with me!  How!!!  Life is fleeting.  It goes by so fast.  The fact that my son is now a senior is proof enough of that.  Everyone leave me.  Everyone.  My Dad, who lets face it, was never really there to begin with, my grandpa, Mema, and even my dog Lizzie ( cue the 'even you little dog too').  Now Jaime's gonna go of to college and the girls are soon to follow.  Then what?  An acquantance said to me not too long ago how we have to give them wings.  To which I replied "I understand that with my head, but my heart wants to know can't I clip just one of them?" lol

Being a parent sucks sometimes.  And, truth be told, I think it's worse for mom's.  Whether your kid comes from your belly or from someone else's.  There's just a connection there that I don't think Dad's feel.  Sure, they feel, but in a different way.

I know Mema is with me.  Well somedays I know, other days I hope.  Have you ever had anything ripped out of your hands and you clung so hard to it so it would stay that your fingers hurt long after it was gone?  Yea, that's the pain that I feel only instead of my fingers, it's my heart.  Our last words to each other were that I loved her and she loved me.  You would think that would be enough.  Many people don't even get that.  Yet, I am nothing but selfish and I want more!  I WANT HER HERE WITH ME.  I want my heart not to hurt so much.

She'll never know how much I love her still and how her leaving me tore me apart.  I told her ever since I was a little girl that her death would send me into a mental home.  I may not be there physically, but emotionally I sure am.  And, the straight jacket doesn't even fit right! lol

So today while I am mourning the loss of my beloved Mema an the hole that is left gaping in my heart, I leave you with a song that means almost more to me than my wedding song, almost.  It's my grandparents song.  Quite apropos for the way I have been feeling lately.

Until next time,
Pray for all the boy scouts who just left for camp for a week (including my Jaime)

PS.  Welcome home podmate!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Be carefull what you wish for...

I was having a conversation with one of my guru's just the other day.  She said "I don't know about you, but when I come to God for help, I usually have a plan in mind." lol  We then talked about how He doesn't follow our plan! lol  I too come to Him with plans.  For example, a couple weeks ago when I asked Him for billboards.  Yea, they're not always going to say "turn here, Gina" or "you have to play the lottery to win it, silly girl!".  No, He's not always that blunt.  He has the funniest sense of humor.  He's a sly one (in a good way, of course).

I went to adoration the other day.  I just poured my heart out to Him minus the billboard requests.  I told Him how everything isn't working.  Nothing is going right.  How I miss Mema so bad, at times, I can't breathe.  How I can't fix anything, at all.  HE LAUGHED! lol  And I said "riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight."  "I'm not in control.  You are.  No wonder nothing is working, I'm trying to do it."  So, I gave it all to Him.  Now, remember how I asked for billboards?  Remember how I said He has a sense of humor?  Yea, well, you're gonna love this....

My Carol, God how I love her.  There are just no words.  None, I tell you.  We talked a little yesterday and in the course of our conversation, she hesitantly tells me about a book she thinks I should read.  I say hesitantly b/c she was.  She tells me upfront that it confronts some major issues I have had in a past relationship.  I'll leave you to figure out the details.  She was hesitant b/c she knew it might bring up the issues and she didn't want me to hurt.  I tell her "no worries.  I just talked about it the night before with my JDC (Juvenile Detention Center) friend.  And, if I like the book, I'll tell her, and if I don't, I'll tell her too.  So, I run by her house and pick up the book.

I started reading it today.  I finished it a little while ago.  The tears are still comin down.  The book was not what I expected.  At all.  While I knew the issues that were going to come up, and that it was about how God uses what happens to us to shape us to become who we are called to be, it wasn't what I expected.  And, I didn't know what to expect, if that makes any sense.

The book was okay.  It wasn't suspenseful or anything like that.  Yet, it wasn't totally a wash either.  In the beginning, they always put what people have said about books.  This one said something about how someone was crying at the end.  And, as I was a few pages away from the end, not crying, I couldn't figure out why one would cry.  Maybe something in the story touched them.  Why am I crying you asked?  I got a billboard.  The woman's grandma passes.  And, the writer found the words to express the depths of sadness where I have been hiding.  Such the profound loss.  How Mema was my source of comfort and home.  How while I'm blissfully happy she's with Jesus (and of course Grandpa) and that I know I'll be with her again, I still long for one more day. 

So, Carol, while I didn't love the book, I totally loved the book.  Our Dad used you as a billboard for me.  I know it will all be okay, someday.   Plus the whole walking with Jesus theme at the end wasn't totally lost on me.  Yes, I know, I've been wearing my running shoes.

There you have it.  In a nutshell be careful what you wish for, He has one awesome sense of humor.

Until next time,
Pray for our new Priest Fr. Eugene and for Fr. Tuan as he moves to the Dunncanville parish.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

You can't see the sun when your crab diggin

I've been crabby the past few weeks.  And, that's to put it mildly.  I'm blah and just spiritually dry.  I've buried my head in the sand, hence the crab diggin.

In 8 days it will be the one year anniversary of Mema's death.  I just can't deal.  I haven't been dealing.  I've been manically trying not do deal by putting my head in the sand and painting every room in the house.  Granted, they're not all done yet.  The kitchen's been redone, minus the touch ups.  The family rooms just about finished. 

Eight days before my Grandparents fifty-fifth anniversary, my Grandpa passed.  Eight days from now, it will be a year.  a year without hearing her voice, hearing her laugh.  Without hearing her pearls of wisdom such as "now you're cooking with gas!"  or "go pound sand".  I don't like it.  Not that I never will. 

Just wanted to surface and let you know where I've been, and where I'll be for the foreseeable future.

Until next time,
Pray for all our soldiers who are away from home fighting.