When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Devotional- Civility

I found this when I was looking around for something to post for my Sunday Devotional.  I loved it because I do believe that we can all learn to be just a little (or even a lot) more civil to each other.  I hope you love the message.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Simple Moment- Show Off

This Moment

A single photo – no words –
capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment
that brings a smile to my lips,
and joy to my heart.

Friday, May 27, 2011

On Forgetting

Today, I am linking up over at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.  This is where we  just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.  Hope to see you there.
Got five minutes? Here’s a great way to spend them.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat without editing your voice.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Pony up the comment love for the five minuter who linked up before you.

On Forgetting


How many of us understand forgetting?  I know, when it comes to my own life, I want the Lord to forgive me when ever I make a mistake, and than forget that I made it.  I want Him to forget how many times it takes me to finally, painfully get it right.  I want Him to still love me and have a place for me and forget all the things that I have done that would pull me away from Him.
Yet, when it comes to forgetting, it seems to be a little harder for me.  I tend to remember the bad things.  The times my feelings were hurt, the times of tears, the times of sorrow, the times of pain.  I remember all the little inconveniences, No matter how hard I try, it is seemingly impossible sometimes to forget.
It seems to me that children understand forgetting better than most of us.  A child does something wrong, they say they are sorry (hopefully), give hugs and move on as if nothing had happened.  If the parent makes a mistake, the child quickly forgives, forgets and moves on.  When I think about the need to become as a little child in the gospel of Christ.  I think about forgetting.  I think about forgiving.  And I think about what it would mean to me to be able to put everything behind me and look at it with brand new, loving, forgiving and forgotten, eyes.


So, now it is your turn.  Don't forget to try this for yourself.  This week was hard for me, but really worth the effort.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Starting Over

Linking up today with Mama Kat's for her weekly "Writer's Workshop".   The rules are simple.  Just pick your prompt, write, and link up.  I picked number 4.  A poem about starting over.  Hope to see you there!

This weeks prompts:
1.) Write about a time you got in BIG trouble as a kid.
2.) Not your mother's daughter...how do you parent differently than your mother did? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
3.) Photo Story: Share photos of your most recent trip to the beach (maybe an excuse to go!).
4.) Write a poem about starting over.
5.) Your top 10 Summer Don'ts.

Starting Over
by Patricia A. Pitterle

The baby
Just learning to walk
Takes one step
And then another.
Toddling out
Across the floor
I hold my breath
As she stumbles and falls
I help her up,
Stand her steady,
Step away,
And she
Starts over,
Once again.

The child
Starts to run
In her first event
At the school track meet.
On your mark,
Get set,
She is off!
Running like the wind
Down the track.
Every other young woman
Speeding up and soon,
Passing her by.
I hold my breath
As she continues
On the path,
Traveling the distance
And arriving home,
At last.
She may be in
The back of the pack,
But she is ready
To start over
And try again.

A woman,
Standing in her room,
Staring in her mirror
At the person she has become.
There are things
She would change,
If only she could.
Decisions she would
Do over.
Choices, she hopes,
And prays
She will never
Have to make again.
And yet,
She knows in her heart
The lesson Life has taught;
We can’t change our past,
But there is always today,
To transform our tomorrows
Into what
We would like them to be.

Our life might not end up
Quite the way
We dreamed it would;
But any one of us,
One of us,
Can start over,
And change
Who we will yet
I have learned
To love
The possibilities
And potentials of
Starting over.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Forgiveness Flour

Forgiveness Flour
by Marguerite Stewart:
When I went to the door, at the whisper of knocking,
I saw Simeon Gantner’s daughter, Kathleen, standing
There, in her shawl and her shame, sent to ask
“Forgiveness Flour” for her bread. “Forgiveness Flour,”
We call it in our corner. If one has erred, one
Is sent to ask for flour of his neighbors. If they loan it
To him, that means he can stay, but if they refuse, he had
Best take himself off. I looked at Kathleen . . .
What a jewel of a daughter, though not much like her
Father, more’s the pity. “I’ll give you flour,” I
Said, and went to measure it. Measuring was the rub.
If I gave too much, neighbors would think I made sin
Easy, but if I gave too little, they would label me
“Close.” While I stood measuring, Joel, my husband
Came in from the mill, a great bag of flour on his
Shoulder, and seeing her there, shrinking in the
Doorway, he tossed the bag at her feet. “Here, take
All of it.” And so she had flour for many loaves,
While I stood measuring.

I love this poem.  I read it the other day, and it touched my heart.  I can't help thinking how much like this woman I can be.  Worried about what others will think if I am too easy, or two hard on someone else.  Worried about the perceptions that surround me in my day to day life. Worried, way too often, about what others will say if I don't do it "exactly" right.  I can so see myself, like this woman, reviewing, remembering, withholding, measuring.
Yet, the more I read this, the more I feel so in awe of anyone, like this man, who can see the need and not hold back the flour.  But pour it out in abundance at the feet of the one who needs it.  I love the idea of forgiveness flour.  Something that is tangible and visible.  Something that lets you know that you really have been forgiven.  Something that lets you put the past behind you and move on.  
I made the mistake of watching a show yesterday that involved a family who had been wronged, and the people who were guilty of the crime.  There was no forgiveness.  There were however, so many hurting people, on either side.  So many who desperately needed and wanted forgiveness, yet these people did not find it. It reminds me that it is not found in the words and programs of the world.  It must be found in our hearts.  It is a gift that we give not only to one another, but also to ourselves.  
I have learned that forgiveness is a blessing.  Not just to those seeking it, but to all of us who need to give.  Finding forgiveness in my heart, in spite of the hurt and the pain and the regret, allows me to heal.  It allows me to give the judgements back to God.  It allows me to turn the agony over to Him.  It allows me to trust that He knows the person's heart and intents, as I can never know or understand those things.  It allows me peace in the journey.  
I know that forgiveness is hard.  It is easy to measure out the flour and withhold what is needed.  Somehow, the thing we miss is that forgiveness is not only for the person who is asking.  Forgiveness is also for me and for you.  It is for each of us who come to the door, knocking with cups outstretched.  It is for those of us who stand measuring, afraid to give what is asked.  There is not one of us who has not needed the abundance of flour to make our own bread.  There is not one of us who has not needed to stand with heads down and cup outstretched.  
Trusting Him, is about turning our lives over to our Heavenly Father and realizing that He makes all the difference.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Help For Joplin

Photo from cnn.com – This is the regional Medical Center


Tonight, I am in awe and disbelief at the power of nature.  I am amazed that it can ravage the world that we live in so completely.  I have a hard time understanding or even believing the extent  of the damage this year.  We have seen tsunamis, floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes.  We have seen wars and rumors of wars.  We have seen injuries and deaths.  We have seen more than I can remember seeing in any other year of my life.  Not only has there been a lot of devastation, but there has been many instances of it all over the world.  

The Red Cross is stretched a little thin right now.  Since March 31, there have been over 20 major relief operations going, over 8,000 volunteers and staff deployed across the country - flooding, storms, tornadoes, wildfires, have all taken a toll on the available resources.
According to the Red Cross, 75% of Joplin, Missouri is virtually gone.  Buildings are reduced to rubble, people are injured and dead.  The rescue efforts are still going on in that small community.  
How do you lose 75% of a town?  How do you clean up?  How do you go on?
This morning, I was reading my emails to catch up after my own seemingly frantic weekend of driving and I came upon the news that one of my blogging friends and her family are impacted by this tragedy. 
I love to follow and read the blogs from the Bigger Picture Blogs.  There are so many thoughts there that mirror my own.  So many women that are trying their best just like me.  Thankfully, Sarah from This Heavenly Life is OK, but her city is not.  Other members of her family are not.  Some of her friends are not.  

Much of her home town is gone.
There are 116 that died, over 1000 injured and hundreds of homes that were lost due to this terrible storm and the number of deaths are expected to continue to rise as the cleanup efforts increase.  
This blogging community has responded with an amazing amount of speed and generosity.  
Bigger Picture Blogs will be hosting an auction to raise funds for the Salvation Army to aid in relief efforts in Joplin.

This Wednesday through Friday, May 25th through May 27th, Bigger Picture Blogs will be hosting an online auction to raise money for The Salvation Army in Joplin.

Items for the auction have been lovingly and generously donated from many, many businesses {like A Soft LandingHotter Comfort Concept ShoesShining Stones and Stoneyfield Farms, just to name a few}.

All proceeds from the auction will directly benefit relief efforts in Joplin. 
So do you want a tangible way you can help families who've lost everything, families who have suffered huge devastation and families who have lost more than a quarter of their city?  If you do, than visit and participate in the auction this week, blog about the auction, donate to the auction, and help in anyway that you can.

Use your blog or your Facebook page to post about the Help 4 Joplin auction.
In your post, be sure to state:
1. The site and dates of the auction -- Wed., May 25 through Fri., May 27.
2. A few of the businesses who have donated auction items with links {list posted here}

3. The Help 4 Joplin button.

Will you blog about this?
{Stop by Hyacynth’s blog WWW.UNDERCOVERMOTHER.NET this week and link YOUR  post for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate and a cozy from A Soft Landing.}
PLEASE spread the word.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Five-Minute Friday

Today, I am linking up over at The Gypsy Mama for Five-Minute Friday.  This is where we  just write and not worry if it’s just right or not.  Hope to see you there.

When Seasons Change


It seems like yesterday, I was a child getting ready for my first day of school.  I was so small that the bus driver had to get out of the bus to help me on.  I blinked and the season changed.
Now I was a young child, getting into a fight with the school bully, simply because I refused to fight.  She thought she would make me, whether I wanted to or not.  One black eye later and many tears, I blinked and the season changed.
I was in Junior High school, with all it's ups and downs and ins and outs.  I wanted friends so much, but the other kids did not seem to like me.  We moved a lot, and I was always the new kid.  I was just trying to belong.  They called me frog and laughed at me.  I blinked and the season changed.
High school brought more loneliness, tears and a few friends.  I learned, l lived, I loved, I blinked and it was gone.
My life has been that way, every season has brought a new moment, a new year, a new person to experience the joys and pains, the hurt and tears, the happiness and laughter.  I was married, I had children, life was good, life was heartbreaking.  I learned that Heavenly Father really does love me.  He really is there.  He really will answer prayers.  I also learned that sometimes the answer is "no".  I know now that when I blink again, the season will change.  So I can hold on.  I can endure, I can rejoice.  I can know that no matter what happens, good or bad, the season will change. 


Now it is your turn.  What season are YOU in.   

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big Fish Stories

This child, is a joy to me (aren't they all??), but unlike some of her siblings, she is not afraid to say what she feels or what she means.  She doesn't talk a lot to strangers, you usually have to get to know her a little first, but when she wants to make a point, WATCH OUT! 
Take this week for example.  Sunday started out crazy and continued that way until we finally laid our heads down to bed.  First of all, I was up until 2:00am Saturday night running on the ambulance. I slept in slightly on Sunday morning because I was tired and I knew that the day would be hectic.  I was asked to teach the 11 year olds in church.  No one brought me the manual.  I did not know what lesson to study.  Good thing I like teaching. 
Then, we had a piano recital for the girls directly after church.  It was fabulous! (Of course!)  Then Miracle and I went to choir practice with the community choir, which I am now directing.  Miracle was going to play her flute with us while we sang "Come Thou Fount".  She has not had a chance to play while the choir sang because she forgot to bring her flute home last weekend.  She has been practicing during the week and could play it flawlessly, but wasn't sure how it would match with the choir until we put it together. 
It was the night of "Sing and Celebrate" at the Methodist Church in town.  It is a community event that we all look forward to.  The music is fun and many local people have a chance to perform and show their talents.  The community choir performed two numbers.  The first was titled, "How can I keep from singing", the second was "Come thou fount".  The first number is one of my new favorites, and the second is one of my all time unforgetables.  I love them both.  The choir did very well, even though we are very small right now.  Miracle accompanied us on her flute for the second number. 
When we finished, the announcer was praising her performance and her ability and she said, (loud enough for EVERYONE to hear), "I am good, especially since I have not practiced this until tonight, and my mom made me do it!"  Oh yeah, can we just say that was one big fish story!!  She did not say that she had the music for two weeks.  She did not say that she practiced it at home.  She just said that I made her.  Sheesh!!! 
I laughed, was embarrassed, and then I thought about it.  
I wonder how many of us say things that are not the whole truth.  Little, seemingly inconsequencial things that are just slightly wrong.  Maybe, like Miracle, those words put you in a little better light (and embarrass your mom), or maybe they even put you in a worse light. 
Have you every received a compliment for something that you did well, and you just had to deny that it might be a talent?  Have you ever said something to someone that your shouldn't have?  Have you ever opened your mouth to tell the truth, and then thought better of it?  
I am thinking that sometimes being honest means not making someone else look bad, or yourself look extra good.  I am thinking that sometimes, we just need to speak exactly what is right and not add any excuses, or any embellishments. 
I think, the older I get, the more complicated choosing the right becomes!
Those big, (or even little) fish stories are common to most of us.  And so very hard to resist!    It makes me wonder what the difference is between being good 99.9% of the time, versus 100% of the time.
Here are just a few examples of 99.9% that I found. 
  • No electricity, water, or heat 8.6 hours each year.
  • Two short or long unsafe landings at Kennedy Airport each day.
  • 2 million documents lost by IRS per year.  (Don't I wish one was mine!)
  • 20,000 incorrect drug prescriptions written per year.
  • Nearly 500 incorrect surgical operations per week.
  • 22,000 checks deducted from wrong bank accounts every hour.
  • More than 15,000 newborn babies accidentally dropped by doctors or nurses each year.
  • 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily.
  • 114,500 mismatched pairs of shoes will be shipped/year.
  • 18,322 pieces of mail will be mishandled per hour.
  • 2.5 million books will be shipped with the wrong covers.
  • 315 entries in Webster's dictionary will be misspelled.
  • 880,000 credit cards in circulation will turn out to have incorrect cardholder information on their magnetic strips.
  • 5.5 million cases of soft drinks produced will be flat.
  • 291 pacemaker operations will be performed incorrectly.
  • 3,056 copies of tomorrow's Wall Street Journal will be missing one of the three sections.  
Does being 99.9% good still sound good enough to you? 
I am thinking that I need to rethink my own definitions of "good" and "honest".  Somehow, I find that .01% makes a bigger difference than I ever thought about before.   




Monday, May 16, 2011

I Know Martha

Today, I am posting over at Mormon Mommy Blogs, I really hope to see you there!  I will be back tomorrow with more of my own words.  Have a wonderful Monday!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Devotional - Grace

Oh, I love Grace.  It is so amazing and beautiful to me.  Grace is God’s love in action. It is His doing for us the things that we cannot do for ourselves. Our Heavenly Father, with His infinite wisdom and love willingly extends that love to us, His children so that we can live with Him again.  
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote that “God’s grace consists in his love, mercy, and condescension toward his children. All things that exist are manifestations of the grace of God. The creation of the earth, life itself, the atonement of Christ, the plan of salvation, kingdoms of immortal glory hereafter, and the supreme gift of eternal life—all these things come by the grace of him whose we are.” (Mormon Doctrine, 2d ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, pp. 338–39; italics in original.)

2 Nephi 11:5  And also my soul delighteth in the covenants of the Lord which he hath made to our fathers; yea, my soul delighteth in his grace, and in his justice, and power, and mercy in the great and eternal plan of deliverance from death.

"[Grace is] the force that infuses our lives and keeps letting us off the hook. It is unearned love - the love that goes before, that greets us on the way. It's the help you receive when you have no bright ideas left, when you are empty and desperate and have discovered that your best thinking and most charming charm have failed you. Grace is the light or electricity or juice or breeze that takes you from that isolated place and puts you with others who are as startled and embarrassed and eventually grateful as you are to be there."

- Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies, Some Thoughts on Faith

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Simple Moment

This Moment

A single photo – no words – 
 capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment 
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment 
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Deep Breath

This has become one of my favorite times of the week.  It is when I link up with Gypsy Mama for a Five-Minute Friday.  It is a few moments every week when I don't worry about what I write, or the spelling, or the words or even the subject.  I just take the prompt and spend five minutes writing.  It is one of the most freeing moments that I get to experience.  I am always surprised and amazed at the things that come out.

Wanna just write? Without wondering if it’s just right or not. You’re welcome to play along. The rules are easy.
  1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
  2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
  3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.{I humbly beg you to turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

Today's prompt is: Deep Breath


Trials come into my life like a blow to my belly.  
Unexpected, unwanted, 
Much like the labor of a woman
As she anticipates 
The moment
When she will
Welcome her new baby
Into the world.
No matter how many times
She has endured, 
She is never, quite ready
For the pain of the waiting.
Yet she holds on,
Takes a deep breath,
and waits for the blessing.
Come to each of us
As we journey through 
This earthly existence.
Most of the time
We can not plan for them
Or prepare for them.
And like the woman
About to become a mother,
The pain can be difficult to bear.
But I have learned 
That the Bible often says,
It came to pass.
And never says, 
It came to stay.   
We can endure the moment 
If we will just
Take a deep breath
and wait for the blessings.  


Love Letter

I am linking up again with MamaKat’s.  The prompts this week are simply:

1.) If you had to go back to high school, how would you do it differently?
2.) Describe a trait that attracted you to your significant other, but that now drives you a little crazy.
3.) Your first car.
4.) Describe how you met your best friend.
5.) Write a love letter to someone (some thing?) you love.

This week, I chose prompt number 5 and decided to write a love letter to someone that I love.  It really wasn’t a hard decision, especially not with my past life to look back over.  And yet, there are so many people that I care about and who, I think, also care about me.   So many letters that I could write!  But there is one person who changed everything for me.  
He picked me up when I was down, and taught me what it means to be loved.  
That person is my sweet husband. 

Dear John,
You are amazing.  I am sure that I have said that before, but it bears repeating.  My whole life (at least in the romance department) was a series of seemingly, unfortunate events, until you came along and changed my perspective.  When we started dating, you were not like anyone that I had ever dated before.  I tried so hard to make you go away.  I don’t think that I ever planned on being happy.  Don’t get me wrong, I dreamed about happiness.  I wanted it in my heart.  I just didn’t know exactly what it was.  I didn’t understand the give and take that makes up a healthy relationship.  I didn’t understand what sticking power was.  I sometimes think that I was only comfortable with unhappiness.  I certainly never knew anything else; at least, not for any length of time.  Maybe that is the secret to change, get totally out of your comfort zone and go for it.  When you caught one of the kids smoking on the trampoline, you stayed, even though she made it clear that she hated you for it.  You helped on the paper route at night, you cooked dinner, you drove the kids places and supported them in their activities.  It never mattered to you whether it was football, track, music, or field trips.  You went where you were needed.  You loved children who were not yours by blood, but became yours by love.  You supported me through years of jobs that I did not always like.  You dried the tears and comforted the aches and just took care of me when that was what I needed.   You taught me what love is all about, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the give and the take.  You taught me to relax, to have fun, to laugh.  You taught me that, if we just hold on, love is always enough.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

President Gordon B. Hinckley on motherhood:
“Most of you are mothers, and very many of you are grandmothers and even great-grandmothers. You have walked the sometimes painful, sometimes joyous path of parenthood. You have walked hand in hand with God in the great process of bringing children into the world that they might experience this estate along the road of immortality and eternal life. It has not been easy rearing a family. Most of you have had to sacrifice and skimp and labor night and day. As I think of you and your circumstances, I think of the words of Anne Campbell, who wrote as she looked upon her children:
You are the trip I did not take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.
(“To My Child,” quoted in Charles L. Wallis, ed., The Treasure Chest [1965], 54)
You [mothers] are the real builders of the nation wherever you live, for you have created homes of strength and peace and security. These become the very sinew of any nation.” Gordon B. Hinckley, “Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 1996, 67

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I have two Mothers

I am one of those lucky people in this life.  You see, I was blessed to have two mothers.  My first mother was my birth mother.  My second mother is my Step-mother.  She has been married to my father for over 33 years now.  She is the one person in my life who has encouraged me to be true to myself.  Whenever I needed support in my life's path, she was there.  She has always been someone that I could talk to.  Someone who would listen and advise.  Someone I could call when there was no one else around.
Jean is a genealogist and has encouraged each of us (my brothers and sister) to find our own roots.  I am not much good at it, but I am learning a little at a time.  My sister loves that type of work, and has been privileged to go on several trips to graveyards and genealogy libraries to do research.   Jean has also helped my husband through her encouragement.  She has taught him how to use the Family Search Website to do research for his family.  Because of her help and guidance, he has been blessed to both find ancestors and also to do temple work for them.
She has always encouraged me to follow my heart in all areas of my life.  For me, that has especially included music and singing.  I have been able to nurture that passion and strengthen it.  She gave me a guitar when I was first married.  It is a little guild and it has the sweetest sound ever.  She also introduced me to both folk music and all the varied instruments that can be found there.  I have learned to play the guitar, the bones, the cat claws, and I even dabble at the spoons and the saw.  I also played an auto harp for a while and have enjoyed taking all my children to folk music festivals.  Every child that I have had has learned to sing and to play an instrument.  Each one of them has had the experience of playing and singing with and for grandma.  Jean has been much more to me that just a normal step-mother.  She has been a confidant, advisor, care-giver, and friend.  She has invited myself and my very large family into her home and always welcomed us with open arms.  She gave me a place to stay, to relax, and most of all to have fun.
My dear mother Jean, was never able to have children of her own.  But she learned how to mother by loving us.  I know that Mother's Day can be very difficult for her.  It became especially difficult after her own mother passed away.  But today, I wish her to know that she is a mother in all the ways that count the most.  She might not have mothered me as a child, but she has been there for me my entire adult life.  My children know and love her as "Grandma Jean".
I have learned that we all have opportunities to mother.  Sometimes those opportunities include babies, and sometimes they include lost and lonely teenagers.  Sometimes they are family, and sometimes they are neighbors and friends.  The important thing is not having children of your own, it is being able to mother those around you who need it the most.  It is finding a place in your heart to welcome in other children for our Heavenly Father.  It is providing them with the knowledge and love that they need to make it through this existence.
So today, I want to pay tribute to all those who are mothers of the heart.  You might not be traditional, but you are so appreciated.  So very loved and needed.  You are mothers in the very deepest meaning of the word.  Mothers of the lost and wondering.  Mothers of those who might not be of your blood, but who need you desperately in their lives.  Mothers always of the heart.
Thank you Jean, for everything you are, and everything you have ever been to me.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Motherhood Should Come With....

Today, I am linking up at Gypsy Mama's for Five Minute Friday.
This is where we throw caution (editing, revising, and worrying) to the winds and just write. Without wondering if it’s just right or not.
For five minutes flat. The rules are easy.
  1. Write your heart out for five minutes and show us what you’ve got.
  2. Tell your readers you’re linking up here and invite them to play along.
  3. And most importantly, go visit, read, and encourage the fellow five-minuter who linked up right before you.
Today, the prompt is: Motherhood should come with.....
Motherhood should come with fairy wings that open wide and get you everywhere you are supposed to be, on time and not a minute late.  The wings should be big enough to wrap a cold child in, and soft enough to wipe away tears and heal skinned knees and scraped elbows. 
The wings should come complete, with extra time in every day (when you twist a feather) so that you can get everything that needs doing accomplished and put away. 
Motherhood should come with a maid to do all the extra dishes and dirty laundry that seems to keep turning up even after you just finished the last load. 
Motherhood should come with extra arms to hold all that needs holding, extra words to say just the right thing in every situation, and an inate ability to know exactly what you should do to help your child in any situation.  
Motherhood should come with unending and unconditional love. 
A mother my not be able to do everything, but the one thing she can do is simply to love, no matter what.   A mother only holds a child for a short time, but she holds on to their hearts forever, just as they hold on to her's.
Now it is your turn. 
{Pretty please turn off word verification for the day to make this easier!}

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Courage - A Tribute to my Mom

Today I am participating for over at Mama Kat's for the Writers Workshop.  The rules are easy.
Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list Here.

The Prompts:
1.) A memorable high school job.
2.) That time you ran away from home.
3.) A boy you had a crush on…where is he now?
4.) Ode to your mother…write about a special memory you have of your mom in honor of Mother’s Day.
5.) 10 reasons why you could not be a real housewife from any county

I chose to write about my Mother in honor of Mother's Day.  
My mother taught me more about courage than any other woman in my life.  When I was very young, my mother was divorced and taking care of three kids by herself.  This was during a time when most women were married and stay at home moms.  She worked nights to try and take care of our needs.  As a mother myself now, I know how difficult that must have been for her.  
When I was 19, she was diagnosed with a tumor in her brain and given less than two years to live.  She had brain surgery and radiation treatments and the cancer went into remission.  The radiation damaged the hair follicles and she was bald for the rest of her life.  
When I was 24, she was in an accident that crushed her skull down onto her brain and nearly amputated her leg.  Because the accident happened during the hot months, she also received 3rd degree burns on her arms and legs.  She spent over 12 hours in surgery trying to repair the damage.  She was in Intensive Care for six weeks and finally ended up losing the leg that they had worked so hard to save.  She spent nine months in the hospital for rehabilitation and surgeries to do skin grafts over the burned areas.  
When she finally got out of the hospital, she became fiercely independent and insisted on doing everything that she could for herself.  She bought a scooter chair that she used to get herself around town.  She moved to an apartment that was close to stores and she pretty much did everything for herself.  
It was not uncommon for her to take herself most places.  She either took her scooter or a taxi, and though she did not drive, she was never trapped in one place.  She would call on me to take her places her chair could not get her and we would take the car and drive to the mall or Mervyn's.  
She did not like to be around large crowds of people.  They had a habit of running into her when she was on crutches or in a wheel chair.  I learned to take her places when they weren't busy.  She would go shopping in the off seasons and not on the weekends.    
My older children remember going to her house and riding around the apartments on her chair with her and her dog.  My mother had many difficulties throughout the rest of her life.  Her brain was never quite the same and she had seizures from time to time (even with the medication) due to the injuries.   
She lived 20 years after her cancer was diagnosed and finally died of complications for her tumor.  My last baby was six weeks old when my mother passed away.  
I am grateful to her for the example of persevering that she taught me.  I think, if I have been strong or brave in my life, it is largely because I learned from her how to be that way.  I am not sure if I would  have the courage to keep going in the face of the kind of adversity that she had to face.  
She also taught me that you can't judge a person by what you see on the outside.  You have to get to know them, and even then, there are things that you will probably never find out.  We each have our own trials.  Some are obvious like my Mother's leg, but some are hidden deep inside our hearts.  We all hurt, we all cry, we all struggle with our own problems and adversities.  I have learned that we can't take any moment for granted.  No one knows what their time here will be.  All we can do is to do the best we can at any given moment.  Some of the most important work we ever do will be lifting one another's burdens and helping them on their way.  So today, I am taking a moment to pause, reflect and remember.  My mother made a difference.  

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"
~Mary Anne Radmacher