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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Robbed

There are events in life that require a certain order for us to process them mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  The birth of my oldest child was idyllic.  When I became pregnant with my second child, I expected a flawless pregnancy and an idyllic birth just like before.  Shortly after going into labor, my son went into distress and an emergency c-section was required.  I remember going to sleep in a chaotic rush and waking up to my husband saying I had a baby boy.  Weeks after the birth, I felt as if I knew in my heart and mind that I had given birth, but something deep in my body seemed to refuse the notion. My body prepared for 9 months to “travail” through the birth process, when that process was interrupted, it felt confused, and I was confused.  I felt as if my mind and body cried out for the missing puzzle piece weeks after the c-section saved my child.  I thank God every day that technology saved his life, but I have always wondered if there was research concerning the internal disconnect when the process is interrupted.  With this being Memorial Day week, and with my daughter in the military, I think about the families whose loved ones are declared deceased after they become missing in action.  Not having something tangible to bury and mourn would interrupt the grieving process and emotional acceptance.  Life is unpredictable and at times it is hard to roll with the punches especially when we feel robbed of a vital piece (or should I say peace) of the puzzle.  Many people believe you aren’t supposed to question God or get angry with God; I disagree.  God knitted us together in the womb and wired us with emotions and the internal need to process events.  The Bible says:

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

With that in mind, I believe even when we have questions, even when we get angry with Him, even when disappointments shatter our hearts and sometimes our lives, He IS A BIG God who understands why we feel robbed.  I don’t see Him as being too fragile to handle our questions or our anger; in fact, I see just the opposite.  Anger, grief, pain, all of the emotions we try so desperately to avoid, are the very things that contrast the joy, happiness and love experienced along the way.  When it all comes together, it is the tapestry of life and without the contrast, there would be no complete picture.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorable Memorial Day


Enjoy having your kids around
This Memorial Day was a memorable one. We had all the kids together with the exception of my youngest son’s girlfriend (yes we consider her family). It was an overcast day with scattered downpours that we managed to dodge while walking through Bricktown. We found ourselves at the Botanical Gardens one hour prior to closing. While we were purchasing our tickets, they asked if any of us were Veterans. My daughter spoke and said yes,then showed them her active military ID. The ticket lady said… “Good that makes a difference.” I have become accustom to living vicariously through
My Guys
her different military adventures, so I spoke up and said…. “I’m her Mom, does that make a difference?” The ticket lady looked at me with an expression I couldn't quite read. For an instant I was afraid she was one of "those people" who just don't get my humor (imagine that!). I interpreted her look as... “Is she kidding me?!” to which I quickly replied… “I was just kidding, but I really am her mom.” She said… “Well, yes it does make a difference.” Then my husband said… “Well then I’m her dad and that’s her brother.” So, she rang us up and our grand total was $0.00. We stared at her in stunned silence. I’ll be using that tactic more often. LOL! We enjoyed walking through the gardens and Bricktown. Oklahoma City has done an amazing job with Bricktown, it makes this Okie proud.That evening the boys headed for the movies and my daughter and I went to another “Wine and Palette”. I was determined to redeem my artsy side after the last “Wine and Palette” where my daughter’s painting captured the attention of every woman in the place to the point they were taking pictures and offering to buy it from her. As the class began, the instructor (same as before) made what seemed like general instruction, but it was directed to all of the “Type A” personalities out there who wouldn't allow themselves the freedom of painting being all about different textures and felt like they needed to blend everything, which (according to her lecture) was almost an assault to the whole process. I could be wrong (although it would be rare :-), but I could have sworn she looked in our
Her Painting
direction as she said it, and although her eyes scanned the crowd (70+ people); she aiming her
My Painting
words right at us. My daughter sunk lower and lower in her chair until her face was obscured by the blank canvas that sat in front of her while I ducked my head and snickered hysterically. 3 hours later, we emerged with two beautiful paintings. My daughter’s painting was beautiful, but no one offered to buy it. I accused her of intentionally dumbing down her painting as not to show me up. She denied any such behavior and
claimed she decided (after the lecture) to follow the instructions and even pointed out the fact that her brush strokes were actually visible. Any day we get to spend with our kids is a great day, but this one was particularly memorable. I love my kid!!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Letter to the Editor

This probably won't be published in "The Duncan Banner", so I'm saving a record of it here. My anger is on fire because this paper puts no effort into actual news in our area, but they put plenty of effort into capturing the grief of those who have already had more than their share. Pathetic!!

Dear Editor

I found the picture published on the front page, showing the graveside service of one of the victims of the Marlow fire, both intrusive and disrespectful.  The tragic fire was news, but the memorial service for the victim was a time for thoughtful reflection and healing without having a picture of it splayed across the front page of The Duncan Banner.  If The Duncan Banner put as much effort into actual reporting, accurate fact checking, and basic grammar, then The Duncan Banner might be a dependable source for local news.  Unfortunately, there is no effort given to the obvious things that would indeed make it a dependable source for anything.  My deepest sympathies and continued prayers go out to the families affected by your blatant disregard for their grief.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Your Voice Mailbox is Full

I have a bad habit of not checking my voice mail. I rarely get calls on my work phone and I’m terrible about noticing that I have a message waiting. Today when I got back from lunch, I saw my message light blinking. I was expecting a call from the field so I checked my messages. The automated female voice warned me that my voice mailbox was almost full and suggested I delete old messages. As I scrolled through the messages one stood out…. 

“Honey, this is your Momma. I was just going to check in with you and chat a minute…. I’ll talk to you later... Bye bye.”

It used to irritate me that she would identify herself, like I didn't recognize her voice. Now it just irritates me that it irritated me. I’ll never be able to return that phone call, I can't go back. One thing is certain, I'll never delete that sweet voice from my mailbox, regardless of how full it becomes.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Like a Flood

In 1991 my Mom and Dad moved to Duncan. While they were in the process of buying a home, they lived with us a month. During that time, my husband and I faced an unforeseen challenge that rocked the foundation of our lives. My perfect world was being threatened and I could feel the walls closing in around me. Most days I sat at my desk as uncontrolled tears rolled down my cheeks. One day I left work early, completely emotionally and physically exhausted. Mom and Dad had just moved into their house so I stopped by to see if Mom could give me something to help me sleep.  I wanted to escape the emotional turmoil for just a few hours before picking the kids up from daycare. When I walked into the house she took one look at my puffy eyes and asked me to sit down for a moment. She pulled out her Bible and read….

Isaiah 59:19 “…When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” 

Then she said (and I’ll never forget this…) “The way it is written, the enemy is coming in like a flood. But if you move the comma over the scripture reads differently...”

“When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” 

She looked at me and explained… “Moving the comma changes the verse to show the enemy coming in, but the Spirit of the LORD flooding the enemy.” You may say tomato tomato, but moving the comma back a couple of words made a big difference in how I viewed God’s ability cover the hurt I was experiencing. Isaiah 59:19 is a great verse regardless where you put the comma, but when you feel the enemy bearing down on you from all directions, believing the Spirit of the LORD is going to flood the enemy therefore wiping out his attempt to overtake you is monumentally empowering. And that my friend is why I chose this verse for my Facebook challenge. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!! Thank you for your words of wisdom. Have a happy Mother’s Day in heaven…. I’ll see you on the other side.

Friday, May 2, 2014

No Exaggeration!

Just a small portion
Mom left behind a horde of shoes, which would be perfect if we wore the same size, but we didn’t. Mom was a tall woman who stood on a firm foundation. Before the internet age, the only place she could find shoes in her size were specialty shops. She always said being deprived of well fitting shoes as a child led to her shoe obsession. She remembers her Dad taking her to town to buy new shoes only to find ones that were too small. He would purchase the shoes that were too small and cut the toes off as soon as they left the stores. Depravation may have been behind her obsession, but my shoe obsession is simply based on my love of shoes; outside of that, I haven’t an excuse. A good friend of mine stands on a firm foundation as well and she is as beautiful on inside as she is on the outside. After Mom passed, I warned her (and her husband) that she was inheriting a boat-load of shoes. I actually recommended to her husband that he start plans to build onto their house, which he simply laughed away. Earlier this week I made a date with her to meet at Dad’s house for some intense shoe therapy. Dad had neatly stacked boxes of shoes in the bedroom before going to work. When we walked into the room she just stared at the wall of boxes. It wasn’t until she had tried on A LOT of shoes that she admitted she thought I was exaggerating about the size Mom wore and the number of shoes she had. Not only did Mom have A LOT of shoes, she had a lot of shoes that were exactly alike… Some that had never been worn. She also had several styles of shoes in several different colors. My friend became almost overwhelmed by shoes. She never dreamed there would be so many and that they would actually fit. After working through the wall of shoes, she breathed a sigh. I had worked up a sweat and all I was doing was opening the boxes and reading the size, so I knew she must have been worn out. I turned from the wall and said…. “Now, we’ll go through the ones in the closet.”  I thought she was going to pass out. I keep trying to explain to people that I DON'T EXAGGERATE!!!! If I say there is a “Honkin” bunch of shoes, you need to believe there is a “Honkin” bunch of shoes. Finally, after substantially opening up space in the top of the closet, we were done. We traipsed back and forth from the bedroom to the porch, then from the porch to the car. We filled up the back of her vehicle and half of the back seat. She was speechless. I hugged her and told her not only how happy I was that she would be wearing Mom's shoes, but how happy I knew my Mom would be. Mom thought the world of her and that is no exaggeration!