Archive for the Category ◊ Heavy Stuff ◊

15 Aug 2008 Has it really come to this?

I’ve been having a great time on Facebook lately.  It’s been so much fun reconnecting with old friends, classmates, family and interacting with current friends.  That’s part of the reason why I adore the Internet.  The miles between people are so few.  In a few minutes, I can upload new pictures of the girls that can be seen instantly by the family, friends and loved ones we have spread around the country.

And, you know, I’m not one of those people that forgets others easily.  If you spend time in my life, I think about you.  Maybe not often or all the time, but definitely every once in a while.  I wonder about how you’re doing or what’s going on in your life.  If the things I knew you wanted came to pass.  If you’re happy or sad or what has changed about you.

About a week ago I sent a “friend” request to someone I had known casually from an Internet group before Emily was born.  We had never met, but for the time that we posted together, she came to know a lot of things about me and I knew a lot about her.   Today I had my “friend” request rejected.

She just doesn’t have time.

And I’m wondering….again…..what sort of life we lead, in general, if we don’t have time for one more contact, one more friend.  I wondered this years ago when, at a scrapbook crop with people whom I doubted I would be friends with (yet hoped to be friendly with) the group at large agreed that they just had too many obligations to make any more friends.

<cricket cricket cricket>

Who are these people who are too busy for friends?

After that night at the scrapbooking crop, I cut off contact with the people who just didn’t have time to make more friends.  Why extend myself to them and why bother?  And, I feel the same way about my rejected “friend” request today.  Obviously this isn’t the sort of person I want to have a relationship with, no sour grapes intended (particularly since the excuse of not having time to keep up with anyone else via a social networking site that updates everyone at once seems a little….fishy.  Or stupid.  I’m not sure which  And I’m not interested relationships with fishy people or stupid people either).

But it does, in my mind, post a larger question about the choices we make as a society and about where we put importance.  I’m not like Emily in that I believe that everyone can be bosom buddies and that a few hours spent in happy play equates to best friends.  I know as you enter adulthood that real friendships are hard won and few and far between, but the carte blanche rejection of general friendship across social classes (the person who rejected my “friendship” today would consider herself very urban and savvy and probably above the middle class suburban moms who admitted to it as well)   is perplexing to me.  Particularly when the excuse given is ‘out of time”.

I understand how hard it can be to manage families and obligations, work and fun.  I’m sitting right in the middle of it too, attempting to balance Emily’s school time, her need for a social life, Cadence’s play dates, Eric’s work obligations, social outings and family obligations.  The only difference is, I’m not managing my own work obligations (which I probably make up for with Cadence’s schedule), but there still seems to be time inside of my admittedly busy life to reach out when I can to those who reach towards me.   It doesn’t make sense not to. What kind of people have we become (myself included of course, because I’m right up there with people who can’t find “time” to return e-mails or make phone calls or, this year, send out Christmas cards) that we reject connections with other human beings?

Doesn’t that seem….

……well……

….inhuman?

Isn’t our emotional connections to each other, our highly structured, hierarchical relationships one of the things that sets us apart from Mighty Joe Young and his band of primates?

Honestly, it’s not really about the Facebook thing.  My fondness for this person obviously wasn’t returned and I don’t want to be a pity add. ;o)  As I tell Emily multiple times a school year, we just can’t all be friends with everyone and that much is true, but we can always make time to lend an ear, extend a hand and put ourselves out there into the greater universe and wait for the good that will come back.

29 May 2008 Connection
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The internet is an incredible place.  Truly.  How can it be, from one laptop the size of a spiral notebook, that I could find recipes, old friends and anything my mind could imagine.  It seems like a miracle.  I know that the Internet is said to be something that divides people, that it causes us to hide behind the screen, slowing our interaction with real life humans.  But, on the other hand, the internet has the incredible capacity to allow your heard to reach out to others whom, if not for it, you would have never met, never thought about and never spent time thinking about.

Kate, at Sweetsalty is just one of those people I’m talking about.  If not for the Internets should have been a non-entity to me, a non-thought because how could I conceive of Kate in Canada while I was involved in my life in IL.   I mean, surly I could have thought that there could be people named Kate in Canada, but what reason would  I have had to, really.  How I found Kate’s blog ( or how I somehow managed to NOT find Kate’s blog before now) is an exercise in the serendipity that is the internet, following hallways and corridors like you’re stuck in a labyrinth, never knowing for sure what you’ll find around the corner.  Sometimes your amazed and sometimes you’re horrified and sometimes you get hysterical and sometimes you’re all three at once.

I’m not going to paraphrase Kate’s story.  If you want to know about her, click the link and her eloquent, beautiful words will tell you all you need to know, but the reason why I’m writing here about this stranger from over there is becuase of a post Kate made a few months ago.  She talked about how, one night, she saw that someone from Texas had spent some amount of time reading her blogs, but never left a comment or sent an e-mail.  She wanted to know what the person was getting or taking or leaving from her blog and her story and her eloquence and her humor and her sadness.  I clicked into the comments and couldn’t think of one thing to say. And so I thought about it last night and today and what I have to say, I guess, is this.

First, it takes a lot to put yourself out there.  Some time ago I disabled comments here because the spam was driving me insane.  i have no idea who reads my blog or when they read it.  Usually I’m okay with that, but sometimes it bothers me.  What are people thinking about me?  Am I nothing but a whiner?  Do they understand or sympathize?  Do they think I’ve actually managed to go off the deep end?  It’s hard to put that out there, to wonder and not know (but on the other hand, I’m happier that deeply personal entires are no longer getting penis enlargement spam…)

I’ve toyed numerous times with making this blog more public, putting it out there.  I always stop short of actually doing it.  This blog, really, is for me.  If anyone gets anything out of it, that’s fine, but that’s not my intention or desire.  It’s a place for me to put down the words that overwhelm me and my brain.  It’s their place to go.  There’s nothing else.

But, to Kate in Canada, I can say this.  I didn’t comment on your blog.  If you’re tracking stats, you saw me there.  I read about you and your beautiful boys (all three).  I cried and my heart felt heavy and I felt your pain and grief so palpable in your words that I felt like I could reach out and touch it.    I think you wonder about what we get and what we take.  I can say for me, I leave a piece of my heart there.  That it’s not some drive-by reading when I’m bored.  I take you and your words to my heart and leave you a piece of mine.

The internet has brought things unimagined into my life; good and bad, happy and sorrowful, big and little.  Those things have touched me and changed me and even when I don’t comment or move along, I leave a bit of me there and take a bit of those who have let me into their lives.  

05 May 2008 One Year, One post
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Somewhere around early afternoon today, my Mom will be gone for a whole year.  Since the beginning of January, I’d spent time thinking and worrying about what I would do today.  As expected, I was reluctant to go to bed last night because as long as it didn’t turn into today (May 5) it had been less than a year since my Mom had been gone.  As the clock ticked over to eleven o’clock the idea that May 5th had already come to my Dad and the sibs came into my head and I realized that, like the Grinch, I wasn’t going to be able to stop May 5th from coming.

Overnight I dreamed of my Mom.  She was happy and healthy and whole again.  We talked and laughed together, like two old friends.  I asked her questions that she answered.  I knew, in that dream, that this moment with her was just a glimpse, a second in time, but I was so happy to talk with her again, that I didn’t care that it was fleeting.  I’ve frequently had dreams of my Mom this year, insisting that she’s okay.  That she’s fine.  That she’s happy and healthy.  That she’s okay.

“Are you okay?”, I always ask in my dreams, intensely concerned.
“Yes,” she always says, “I’m fine.”

The fine is said finally, insistently, firmly.  She is fine.

Most of the time I’m fine too.  I’ve realized this year that grief is a journey and that there isn’t a right or wrong way to handle it or deal with it.  It just is what it is.  I didn’t miss my Mom in the huge intense way I expected to at Christmas time, but when Cadence took her first steps the ache in my heart was so big it almost overwhelmed me. That’s when I miss her.  Not at holidays and events when I’m busy and her obvious absence seems less obvious, but in the quiet moments; when the kids do something or grow in some way, when I saw the first red-winged blackbirds this spring, when I get lonely for someone to talk to during the day and I realize that there is just no one else I want to talk to.  My Mom and I kept each other company while she was ill and I was pregnant and had a small baby that hardly slept.  We would talk every other day for hours (but we couldn’t talk every day because neither of us did enough on any single day to talk about it daily).  We would watch The Price is Right while on the phone, bidding on items and picking on contestants.

And i admit that I cried at Bob Barker’s last hosting of The Price is Right.  Not because I would miss Bob Barker, but because it seemed like just another piece of my Mom slipping away from me.

We’ve tried hard in our house to make sure that the presence of my Mom is here and real and not sad.  We talk about Gran and the things she liked to do.  We have pictures.  We talk about the good times and all the fun and I weep when Emily says with sadness that she has forgotten the song my Mom would sing when drying her off after a bath.  I sing it to remind her and Emily’s face lights up in recognition, but I know well that little bits of my Mom fade from her memory every day and the day will come when Gran is just a soft impression in Emily’s mind of someone she loved with a few over characterized details all that really remain.  That about breaks my heart and even worse is the fact that I know this is inevitable.   It’s no one’s fault that this will happen, it just  will.

 
And today, on the day that she died, all I really want is to find the peace I prayed so desperately for as she lay dying.  That my sadness is tempered and that I can find ways to think about my Mom and smile just a little bit.  And I want people to think about her.

My Mom loved Steve Yzerman, hummingbirds and the color purple (the color, not the book or movie)
My Mom did NOT like “depressing” books and subscribed to a mail order romance book club, not for the books but for the purple wine glasses.  I don’t know if anyone ever read those books
My Mom could make a cat meow by snapping her fingers at it, she was not a great cook but she made really good meatloaf.
My Mom didn’t like oranges or roller coasters (she got scared on one once and didn’t like riding them).  She didn’t like snakes, either.  Or mice.
She was kind and funny.  She washed her hair with Balsam shampoo.  She used jergens hand lotion that she would buy in big pump bottles that she kept by the sink.
She didn’t like when I borrowed her shoes.  She told me I had big feet even though our feet were the same size.  She always knew when I was lying.  I could never keep the truth from her.
She liked to color in Christmas coloring books.  She loved Trixie Belden books.  She gave me all of my sister’s Berenstein Bear books for Emily, but wouldn’t give me the Christmas one because she liked it.  And found it funny that I had to buy my copy off of e-bay because the book was out of print.
She loved her Granddaughters.  She loved babies in general.   She was thoughtful and considerate.  She wrote letters and postcards.  She liked pansies (I like them too) and spider plants and fig trees. 
She was tall and thin and beautiful and brave.

And I love her and miss her.  Like crazy.

28 Apr 2008 Gray Day
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When Emily was little, she loved the book “My Many Colored Days”.  We read it endlessly with each emotion given a color and an animal (black was mad, pink was happy, purple was mopey).  Gray was characterized with a page done fully in gray with two bright yellow owl eyes staring outward.  On Gray days you watch, but nothing moves.

When I started this entry in notepad, Cadence lounged on my lap, I was writing about our dreary weather.  And dreary it was.  It was one of those days when it was dark enough to need the lights on, but not dark enough for the lights to seem like they were lighting anything and so we sat in what felt like darkness all day.  Even Cadence was slow and quiet, not bouncy and jumpy and busy like she normally is.

Last week, Jack went to the Vet to have a growth on his side removed.  I had felt it, and it caused Jack no pain and seemed to be free floating in his skin.  He’d had it for a while, but it hadn’t grown measurably in a long time, and, I admit that I was in denial about it.  I knew I couldn’t deal with another cancer diagnosis, even if it were just in my dog. 

The results of the biopsy are in and I don’t have to tell you, I’m sure, that the growth Jack had was malignant and, as May stares me down I’m once again dealing with Cancer.  Not from a distance, like I’d hope, but in my life and personally.  Again.

I am comforted by the fact that, besides the wound from his surgery, Jack feels fine.  He plays.  He eats.  He barks.  He snuggles.  He snoozes.  He chases. He does the “happy puppy” (a funny gallop  like run that he does when he’s happy, usually during chasing or some other similarly possibly naughty activity).    I’m hopeful that, despite this, he’ll live out his life here and the tears we’re shedding today for things we fear will never come to pass, but in the back of my mind I’m afraid of the next step. I know too well what could be coming next.      

28 Feb 2008 Stop freaking vexing me already, Cancer
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I hate cancer.  From some of my past  entries it’s probably pretty obvious and if you’ve been reading me at all you know why I’m motivated to particularly like the jerk that is cancer.  Jerk, actually, is a mild word for how I feel about cancer in general, but I’m trying to be nice because that’s how I roll.

c_orange.gifA while back, an Internet friend of mine wrote about how difficult it is at time to have a loved one die from one of the less popular cancers. Naturally, I can’t find the entry when I want it, but I know she wrote it and understand how sometimes you wonder where YOUR ribbon color is.  She has a fabulous blog, though, so go read it anyhow.

But I’m digressing.  I watch daytime television.  Normally court shows (which I watch after the old school game shows, but that’s another post too).  The court shows are riddled with commercials for affordable insurance and injury attorneys, but from time to time The Cancer Treatment Center puts on a commercial with shiny, happy cancer survivors telling the story of how the Cancer Treatment Center helped them treat their cancer.

Now, overall I’m not bitter about that.  I understand now, in a way I didn’t before May of last year, that melanoma has a POOR prognosis, particularly once it has metastasized, which was the case with my Mom, but I don’t begrudge people having treatable cancer.  That much should be obvious.  I’m not THAT bitter.  There was a time when I mentioned The Cancer Treatment Center to my Mom.  She indicated that it was a “last resort” sort of place. I can’t say if that much is true or not.  I’ve not researched it because, frankly, I don’t want to know.  I <3 denial.  Anyhow, you’ve probably seen these commercials.  I’m sure most people have.  The most recent one featured a spry looking older man that indicated that being diagnosed with cancer in a fatal stage “made his tail droop” and after visiting Cancer Treatment Center “his tail was wagging again”.  He was cute. I didn’t mind his analogies.   But the other commercial that gets a lot of play around here is with the lady who had breast cancer.

First, I admit to getting to annoyed at how overjoyed she is that she got to keep her breast and how dismayed she was that conventional medicine suggested a mastectomy as part of her treatment.  I won’t pretend that I don’t pass my own judgment, but mostly because i can think of a score of things worst than having your breast removed.  I admit that while my breasts are useful (and are currently feeding my 26-pound Princess) I’m just not sure that losing one them to cancer would cause me distress. I mean, cancer would, but the boobs going?  Meh, not so much.  Of course, I admit that I’m not there and I reserve the right to change my opinion on that if I ever had to actually deal with it.

But, the breast thing isn’t what bothers me.  It’s the statement that “We’re fighters.  And Fighters win.”.

That actually pisses me off, because I can’t really step aside from what I think she must mean and what she’s actually implying.
c_black.gif At no point in time over her last three years did my Mom quit fighting.  In fact, her body kept her cancer at bay from it’s first appearance when my brother was an infant.  She fought it off for 25 long
years before she succumbed to it and it pisses me off that somehow it’s being implied that maybe my Mom didn’t fight.  Because she didn’t win in the conventional sense.  I really don’t think that much of her last three years could be considered much of a victory in any sense, though I do believe that good things happened during that time that I’m grateful for.

I just hate the implication that if you’re losing your battle to cancer that you weren’t a fighter, even though I’m nearly 100% certain that’s not what that statement meant, but it’s just not easy for me to separate that.  I believe that most people with cancer wage a battle against their insidious foe.  Some win.  Some lose.  In some philosophical way, I suppose you could attribute some of the wins to sheer will and fighting spirit, but overall, I think it’s medicine and happenstance.  I mean, if you get cancer and if it’s a treatable cancer you certainly are likely to have a different outcome.  The odds of your fight turning into a win are much higher than someone who finds out they are in the end stages of an incurable cancer, but does it mean that the person who “wins” is a better fighter?  Am I the only one who manages to find some offense at what that statement seems to imply?

Probably, but I’d disappoint my Mom if I didn’t manage to get indignant  and melodramatic at least once a day.

But, since it’s scripted, why couldn’t they prompt her to say “We can win because we’ll fight” or something.  Something that implies less and says more.  I have no doubt in my mind or my heart that my Mom fought as long and hard as she could (and in her final weeks, more than we thought she could have or more than she maybe should have), but she still didn’t win.  In my mind, it certainly doesn’t negate her roll as one of the bravest people I’ve ever known, but hate that it’s out there. Implied somehow subtlety that to someone else, in some grand scheme of marketing and profiting that she didn’t do all she could.  That she wasn’t a winner because she didn’t choose to take that one, last, desperate step that took the chance of erasing her hope; of erasing all of our hope.

Whatever.  You were a rock star, Mom. 

11 Feb 2008 Happy Birthday, Mom
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Lyrics: I miss You by Miley Cyrus

Sha-la-la-la-la, sha-la-la-la-la
You used to call me your angel
Said I was sent straight down from heaven
And you’d hold me close in your arms
I thought of the way you felt so strong
I never wanted you to leave
I wanted you to stay here holdin’ me

I miss you
I miss your smile
And I still shed a tear every once in a while
And even though it’s different now
You’re still here somehow
My heart won’t let you go
And I need you to know
I miss you
Sha-la-la-la-la
I miss you

You used to call me your dreamer
And now I’m livin’ out my dream
Oh, how I wish you could see
Everything that’s happenin’ for me
I’m thinkin’ back from the past
It’s true the time is flyin’ too fast

I miss you
I miss your smile
And I still shed a tear every once in a while
And even though it’s different now
You’re still here somehow
My heart won’t let you go
And I need you to know
I miss you
Sha-la-la-la-la-la
I miss you

I know you’re in a better place yeah
But I wish that I could see your face, oh
I know you’re where you need to be
Even though it’s not here with me

I miss you
I miss your smile
And I still shed a tear every once in a while
And even though it’s different now
You’re still here somehow
My heart won’t let you go
And I need you to know
I miss you
Sha-la-la-la-la-la
I miss you


27 Jan 2008 One Word
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Sometimes, you know, I’m a follower.  But I don’t think there is really anything wrong with taking a good idea and applying it to your life.  I’m all about taking advantage of the wheel someone else has invented and I think it’s really made us happy.

Anyhow…last year Ali Edwards introduced the concept of living a word of your choice for a year.  Any word at all,   You think about it.  You meditate or pray about it.  You incorporate it into your life in every way possible.  I don’t know how I missed this last year, but considering my love for words I decided why not.  I went to think list of words Ali linked from her e-mail newsletter and I found my word.

Selah.

Yeah.  I’d never heard of it either, but in parenthesis Ali had noted it mean “holy pause”. It may or may not mean that, but in reading it up on it seemed like just the right word.   In researching Selah I’ve found that no one really knows what it means, but even the guesses are working for me.

 Wikipedia suggests it means “stop and listen”.   Cameron Conant speaks about the idea of a Holy Pause.

And, you know, I can’t even put into words what this concept, as I adopt it means to me.  It seems to mean to not only find a way to make Selah, but to notice it when God gives it to you.  It is a fantastic word and concept and just the one I need in my life right now.

So, my word for 2008 is Selah.  Stop and Listen.  Holy Pause.

Think about it.

29 Dec 2007 2007

will end in a flurry.  Just as life always is around here.  Family is coming by tomorrow, a little unexpectedly, so we’ll end up hosting a decent sized gathering at our house (even though I admit I’m desperate for peace, but not willing to say no on this one).  New Year’s Eve will be consumed with last minute things, running the girls to Grandma for THEIR date night so Eric and I can have one of our own and before I know it, it will be Wednesday and Eric will be back at work and the holiday season will be over.

Emily will still be off until Monday the 7th.  I’ll take down some Christmas things.  Our Tree will come down Sunday the 6th, the last day of Epiphany and I’ll probably be ready to do so.  Over the course of January, things will come down and go away, but slowly, leaving only the snow flakes that are hanging over our dining room table as a reminder of opulence of Christmas (and it should be a time of great celebration).

But now, 2007 is winding down.  Over the years, I’ve talked about our year Sometimes with fondness and sometimes without it I don’t know how I would rate this year, really, or know how to reflect on it. It’s been a REALLY confusing year for me. For me, I’ve somehow been able to separate, really, what has really become two facets of my life. My Mom and then all the rest of it.

The part with my Mom should be plainly obvious.

The rest though? What a ride. I’ve struggled, for sure, with the demands of parenthood. I’ve struggled to keep up with Emily while having to nurture a baby that sometimes demanded more of me than I felt at times I could give. I’ve felt torn so many times, trying to find the way to best divide myself amongst those who most needed me. I know people got the short end of the stick sometimes (and probably still are) and balance is often times difficult, but still a work in progress.

But despite all of that we had moments, these incredible, incredible moments that in the midst of them I stopped at thought this is IT. This is the stuff you WAIT for to happen, that you LONG for. Beautiful incredible moments with my girls that, I swear, you would see in a movie. Connections with my husband that took my breath away, great times with family and friends with so much laughter that I walked away with my stomach hurting and my cheeks sore. Despite the sadness of Spring, I still had so much good stuff this year that it’s just not possible to not be thankful for it.

Kindness

Friendship

Love

Generosity

Despite so much sadness, we were given, in my opinion just enough happiness to tip the balance and overall we’ve had a very good year. So, to all of you, I wish you a happy and peaceful 2008.

27 Dec 2007 I’m sorry…
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….if there were things I didn’t ask that I should have.  Things you wanted to say if I had just given you an invitation to do so.  Part of it just didn’t occur to me.  I just didn’t think you COULD die.  It wasn’t an option.  We had things to do and places to go.  You were too young and wasn’t there just one more thing they could do?  Wasn’t there something else?  Didn’t you feel just a little bit better?  Didn’t your appetite come back?  Weren’t you gaining weight?  Couldn’t they just do one more surgery?

Wasn’t there just anything else?

Some things, I just didn’t want to know.  I didn’t want to think of you fragile and vulnerable.  You were the one who always had the answers.  You were the one I would always call when things just weren’t working out.  You knew what to do and what to say and I just didn’t want to know what must have been inside of your head.  My mind wouldn’t go there.  It couldn’t go there.  Of course we’d had some rough times.  Of course you hurt, but wasn’t it possible that things would be better next month?  What about next year? 

I’m sorry if I missed something I should have caught.  I was wrapped in so many things; my life, my kids and the plain fact that I just didn’t want to believe that the worst was possible.  I was afraid to even let the thought form in my mind.  I didn’t want it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  I wanted you to be better so much that I rejected ideas that indicated you weren’t going to be.  I refused to Google Melanoma because I didn’t want to know anything about it; the prognosis, the time, the progression.  I didn’t want to tick off stages on my fingers.  I wanted false hope.  I wanted to believe you’d just always be there because there was where you were supposed to be.  I couldn’t hear the implications that were being made because I didn’t want to hear them.

They’re sending me for a trail didn’t mean to me that they were out of conventional things to do for you, it meant they were trying something else.

The chemo isn’t working?  Can’t they try another one?

I wanted to believe, with child like fervor, that these were just bumps in the road and in no time (a week?  A month?  A year?  Another surgery? Another round of chemo?) that you’d be the same.  That you would recover.  Maybe you’d go back to work.  You could do that?  Right?  If you got better?  If you wanted to.  Maybe you could just go back part time?  Or on a casual basis?  As soon as you felt a little better.  It never occurred to me.  Never ever occurred to me that you’d never do that again.

I hope I didn’t appear insensitive.   It wasn’t my intention.  I wanted you to feel normal.  I wanted you to have hope.  To feel happy.  To feel like you used to.  I wanted your maladies to be due to normal things; colds, sinus drainage, stomach bugs.  Not cancer.  I didn’t want you to have cancer.  I loved you so much that I didn’t want that idea to enter my mind.  I didn’t want to label it cancer.  You couldn’t have cancer.  Tumor was easier.  Tumor could be a lot of things not related to cancer.  I liked that word better, accurate and denying, all at the same time.

I read this blog  tonight and I realize there are so much ways I might have been remiss, but I loved you so much I wouldn’t conceive of it.  If I denied things hard enough, they couldn’t over take you.  I’d put up my force field, I’d don my super hero cape.  I’d turn our backs to the things I didn’t want you to face and it would be enough.  We’d shun it.  Wouldn’t that make it go away?  If we said loud enough that we didn’t want it, that we didn’t have TIME for it or ROOM for it.  That we had Things To Do?

That didn’t work, though, and I’m in the unfortunate position of missing you.  I hope I did enough.  I hope you knew that the times I was denying wasn’t because I didn’t care, it was because I couldn’t accept them because of you.

19 Dec 2007 My Litte Faith
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I have this little Faith.  Don’t think I got one because the kids wanted one or because everyone else had a Faith. I picked this one out on my own.  It’s kind of like the Faith I had when I was a child, but I’m better at handling my Faith now, so while the Faith is sort of the same, our relationship is different.

Most of the time, my Faith and me get along fine.  I like having it around.  It’s warm and comforting.  It’s familiar.  It’s a nice companion.  It gets along great with the kids.  With my little Faith, I’m never lonely.

But, Faith isn’t perfect.  It refuses to walk nicely next to me like I think it should.

Sometimes, I don’t have a problem getting Faith to walk alongside me.  It seems to want to.  It holds it’s head up and wags it’s proverbial tale and I’m happy.  At those times I feel like saying to other people “Look at us!  Getting your Faith to walk alongside you isn’t so hard.  I mean, I’m a novice even and with a little hard work and patience you could do the same thing.”

But, a lot of the time, I have a Faith that does NOT obey my will or my wishes.  It likes to meander away from me, choosing different paths all the time.  I want to just take a quick walk around the block, but Faith wants to drag me  miles out of my way because it caught the scent of something it is sure we need to follow.  Sometimes I accept that Faith is just gonna do what Faith wants to do and I go along for the ride and sometimes I go, dragging at Faith the whole way.  I didn’t WANT to walk over there today.  What about what I want to do?  What about MY plans and MY life and MY to-do list.

Faith looks at me with its big puppy dog eyes and acknowledges, briefly, that I’m displeased, but it pretty much does what it wants to anyhow.  It’s sorry, it seems to say, but we need to go here now.  And I go, reluctant and petulant and exasperated.  Sometimes when I get there, I’m pleasantly surprised, and thankful that Faith wanted me to walk a different path that day and sometimes, I’m still petulant.  Faith usually forgives me though.

Sometimes, Faith is overjoyed.  Exuberent.  It bounds through snow and wags it’s proverbial tail and literally couldn’t be happier.  We interact, easily, running together, jumping into snow piles.  Sometimes Faith is demanding, snarling a little bit when I try to go against it’s wishes and sometimes, it seems like it’s just tired of dealing with me and it sits on the couch and sighs a lot.

Sometimes I get snippy with Faith.  I snarl at it a little bit as it forces me out of my comfort zone and makes me do things that I don’t want to do.  Sometimes I get tired of it, and ignore it as it shoves its nose under my arm to try and engage me.  Sometimes I’m desperate for its attention and follow it around like a a little puppy dog.

But despite our relationship, which seems to change by the minute, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Faith and I, for all our ups and downs, seem to need each other.  We like each other.  And we both long for the day when we can walk along, side by side, with no pretension or rouge meanderings.   That we can walk straight without tugging at the ties that bind us together.