Come On Get Higher- Matt Nathanson

Published August 17, 2013 by breadwinning mom

I miss the sound of your voice…..I try to remember all the violent sweet perfect words that you said…the rest of it isn’t us, it just speaks to the ever burning embers.

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From a song…

Published March 17, 2013 by breadwinning mom

From a song

“Years go by will I still be waiting for somebody else to understand

Years go by if I’m stripped of my beauty and the orange clouds raining in my head

Years go by will I choke on my tears till finally there is nothing left

One more casualty you know we’re too easy, easy, easy…”

-Tori Amos from Silent all these Years

Till the pieces fit

Published January 11, 2013 by breadwinning mom

I have a carefully cultivated life. I worked my way up from being a homeless single mom of 3 to being a homeowner with an excellent job, a husband and a 4th child. I built this life but there are times I don’t feel like it’s mine. There are days I feel out of place and off track.  Now is one of those weird times. I hope I find my way out of whatever paralysis I have found myself in.

Seeking a world of color

Published December 29, 2012 by breadwinning mom

I think I have some irrational yet driving wish to make moments last a lifetime. In every love story there is a kiss that makes time stand still. In every fear that is conquered there is a soul changing moment of courage. A flight or a race or an overwhelming beauty can bring an all- consuming joy. How is one to be happy outside of these moments when the rest of the time it’s like living in black and white after being in a rainbow?

Black and white and crimson

Published December 27, 2012 by breadwinning mom

I just read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It had caught my eye at the store many a time but it was not until Christmas  when I needed something to read on my kindle that I downloaded this book. One review I saw said it was written for teens, but that review does not do the book  justice. Yes it has echoes of Romeo and Juliet and every teenage love story ever, but it is more than that. It speaks of things eternal and relevant to all of us. Love and dreams and the beauty and flow of life, all those things are embedded in us somewhere that find so little place in this world.  There are many words in this book that spoke to me but there is one paragraph that was particularly relevant. I have always wanted to be a writer but I have never found my story. I always wondered what I could possibly write that hasn’t been written before. I wondered what I could write that other people would want to read, what I could do to show
others my perspective . I still don’t have my story, but I know now that the story is important. In this quote an old man gives some wisdom to a young performance storyteller, and to me this is what it means to be a writer:

..When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast….someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future,  but you yourself can shape it…do not forget that. There are many kinds of magic, after all.

-p. 381, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Leftovers and life

Published November 23, 2012 by breadwinning mom

I love leftovers. We had ham and turkey for Thanksgiving this year. That means lots of sandwiches. We also have some leftover desserts- cheesecake and pumpkin pie specifically. Not sure how they survived but I will accept it. 🙂 I enjoyed a really nice  holiday with my brother and his family. I hope to see them more often.

I have a million thoughts running through my head. Thoughts about families and holidays and life and how I absolutely have no control over anything. We fret and fret about getting things right for a special day like Thanksgiving, and feel great when it all works, then if we try to approach life with that same fussiness, it leads to a lot of stress and disappointment. So today I must remind myself that I have no control over anyone but me. I can nag and teach and try my hardest to be a good wife and mom but at the end of the day all my boys must make decisions for themselves. I remind myself today to remove my focus from their behavior and look at my own.

Into a coma then out again

Published November 2, 2012 by breadwinning mom

Dear readers, it’s been a while. As I have mentioned before, my mom is terminally ill. Earlier this week she went into a coma that nobody thought she would wake up from. Early the next morning she surprised everyone by not only waking up but by doing so in a state of euphoria. I will try to recount as much detail as I can of the past few days, so bear with me, it’s a long post. I will also talk about God, not to promote  religion but to articulate my mom’s experience during and surrounding her coma, so if you’re not interested please look away. 

Saturday night mom had her last dinner. After that she did not want food or drink any more, saying she did not feel hungry or thirsty at all. She also stopped taking her meds (she took quite a few maintenance meds) saying she didn’t need them any more. She was very happy and said she wasn’t in any pain. Sunday around mid-day she went into a coma. I know it was a coma and not just sleep because (a) she was completely unresponsive and (b) when her eyes came open very briefly they were blank- as in vacant, aimed straight ahead with no life in them. The hospice nurse said a coma normally lasts 1-3 days before a person dies. None of us expected her to wake up. Mom woke up Monday morning around 1 a.m.

Mom says in her 30 years of nursing she has never seen someone wake up from a coma in such a re-animated state. She has been speaking as though God is right next to her, speaking to her. She says while she was comatose she got a glimpse of heaven- as though someone had left the door barely open enough for her to see inside. She said the most memorable part was the choir of angels. Mom says they don’t sing quiet serene hymns- they clap their hands and stomp their feet in dance and shout hallelujah in joy. She said it was a thunderous joy unlike anything she has ever heard.

Mom talks about love a lot. She says God created us for his own pleasure, and when we leave this world we re-gift ourselves to Him. Everything we’ve done in this life, all the good and the love we’ve shared, all the kindness we’ve shown other people, she says that is also our gift back to Him. She says that He loves us more than anything we can fathom, and that a parent’s love for a child is only a fraction of what He feels for us.

I asked her, “what happens when we mess up? What does God do?” She said it makes Him sad. She says he isn’t hanging out waiting to punish us or anything, it just makes him sad. She says our “punishment” is the regret we bring upon ourselves and the havoc we create in our own lives. She says that He loves us so much, and all He asks in return is we love him back. That’s it.

I will tell you I had a freak-out moment at one point. Mom had gotten this huge smile on her face, like a kid on Christmas morning, and said “there is a HUGE blessing coming to our family!” and I asked what it was. At that moment, her smile dropped, her face and her eyes went blank. I was waving my hand in front of her face going “Mom? Mom?!” and after a couple seconds I swear I saw the life come back into her eyes, and she smiled and said “I’m not supposed to tell you yet.” Ooky spooky! Not bad spooky, just I’ve never seen anything like it before. 

On Tuesday mom ate food for the first time in days (chocolate and root beer). I think it was more for the taste of it rather than her being hungry. She still says her time is coming soon so she doesn’t need her meds anymore. I am not going to force them on her. IF she goes unconscious and is clearly in distress I can give her morphine, but she doesn’t want to take her normal meds and that is OK, she can do this her way.

I’ve learned a couple things from this. (1) we can speculate all day long about when and how mom is going to pass, but in the end we have no control over this. Zero. Control is an illusion. The one and only thing we have control over is our own personal choices, we have no say over anything or anyone else. (2) I was so afraid that after some of the crap I pulled that God would want nothing to do with me. I was wrong. Love isn’t about deserving it, it’s about loving someone just for who they are. (3) So often we pray and pray and pray and feel like we are not being answered, but in reality it’s just not the right time. Everything happens when it’s supposed to and not before. It is frustrating for us because we don’t understand why, and not being in control is disconcerting, but I see more and more that everything happens when and how it is supposed to and it doesn’t have to make sense to us.

I will write more as more happens. I felt this much was important to share.