Mama Said

there’d be days like this.  There’d be days like this, my Mama said.  (Thank you, Shirelles and others.)

Days where there are way more questions than answers.

And those questions lead to more questions.

But wait!  That’s not all…..

sit and think about this particular something, and then there are all the questions cropping up from a totally different situation in addition to what is already churning through your mind.

And it just goes downhill from there.

Today hasn’t been an awful one, not by any means.  Days that bring beautiful people across my path and ones that have me savoring the leftover memories from past days…..those can be actually quite lovely.

But the unexpected things that can crop up…..and expected, dreaded ones as well.  Those are what can turn one’s sanity all topsy turvy and toss it around like a tennis ball in the dryer.

All over the place.

It in the midst of those that I feel the most lost.  I’m the one some folks are looking to for guidance now, bless ’em.  Like my 11 year old who came in with so much anxiety, I suspect it could have been a panic attack.

It is enough to fling me straight into one right along with her.

I don’t know exactly when the shift happened.  Maybe it was when my parents were no longer here or years before when I became a parent for the first time myself.  All I know is, it can get really awkward when folks are looking to me, and I turn around looking for the one who really knows what is going on.

I don’t have the answers to all the questions.  I don’t even have any good advice to offer on the days when all the questions keep roaring through, refusing to allow for rest or peace or comfort.  All I know is, some days it’s okay to simply survive.  It’s okay to make do, to do what it takes to get by, and to take the grace offered in sleep and waking up to a new day.

I guess that’s why I’ve clicked like on every single one of the memes that proclaim that resurrection can be an everyday experience.  Yes.  That.  I need to believe in that.  That each and every day, hour if need be, we can rise from the death and doubt and find new life.

Every single time.

Some days are just like that.  And those are the ones when resurrection matters the most.

The courage, the love, the faith, the determination, and the good people around us–and we rise up and try again.  One more time.

Love to all.

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via LoveWinsMinistries.org  Go check them out.  They are doing amazing things and showing the beauty that can come from practicing resurrection.  

 

 

your next breath

when the battle is over

and all that is left

is the dust from the artillery

now quiet

and burying those who have been lost

 

when the battle is over

and they say a prayer

over the grave of the one you loved

 

when the battle is over

and you’ve lost the fight

to keep the one accused

alive

 

when it’s all over

and you find yourself numb

and surprised that you are still here

what will you do with your next breath

 

the one you were sure would never come

when the worst happened

 

and still it comes

and asks you,

what now?

 

A New Way of Seeing the World

Today was another checkup day.  This time for our eyes.  I loaded up the littles and went to our appointment.  I love that the office works with me.  They saw all three of us at basically the same time.  Very helpful.

They did the measuring with the machine followed by the puff of air test for me.  The tech told me they don’t do that one on children under twelve.  I didn’t hear either of my littles complaining about that.

We went back out to the waiting area to wait to be called by the optometrist.  I took a few minutes to look at glasses’ frames on display.  I wasn’t sure if my eyes have changed enough to warrant a new pair, but the frequency that I’ve been applying superglue to my current pair indicated that maybe it might be time to splurge.

Our Princess looked up from her math game and asked across the room, “Mama what are you doing?”  I walked over to where she was sitting.  “I was just looking at frames in case I need to get a new pair.”

“Oh, that’s nice.  I’m going to get a pink pair.  Or a purple pair.  Yes, probably purple.  Look at those right there, Mama”–she pointed–“I really like those.  Don’t you?”

Bless her.  She’s been to the eye doctor a few times before this.  Great eyes.  Perfect vision.  And all she is hoping for is a flaw, a vision problem, so she can get glasses. So she can accessorize.  She’s picked out “her pair” every time we’ve been there.

The doctor called us back.  We went in to the dimly lit room, and he asked Cooter to hop up in the chair.  As Dr. A was raising the chair up, he asked my little guy, “What’s going on?”

“Nothing much.” He replied with a shrug.  And then he smiled impishly.  “Not until Monday anyway.”

I think someone is very excited about his birthday.

His exam was quick and went very well.  Now that he knows his letters, his exam was just like ours and he liked that.  No glasses for him.  He shrugged it off.  He has bigger things to think about.  But Princess looked over at me with a perplexing look.  I could almost hear what she was thinking, that she sure hoped her brother’s good vision wasn’t contagious.

She hopped up in the chair next.  Her exam was identical.  And then the words, “You get an A+.  Your vision is perfect.”  She held it together.  I was proud of her.

And she held it together through my exam as well.  Through hearing that my vision hadn’t changed, which meant I still need glasses. She held it together through the news that the time has indeed come for “bifocals.”

Wait.  What?

Oh, I’m just kidding.  I knew it was coming.  I’ve known it for a few years.  When I first mentioned it way back when, the doctor at the time said I could probably hold off a little longer.  The amount of time my glasses spend dangling off my face so I can read ingredients at the grocery store or look at what I’m crocheting or knitting or the way I have to slide them back and forth so I can focus on something up close–it has only increased in the past year.  It all added up to one thing.

Bifocals.

So it goes.  There’s worst things.  Way worse.  I’m ready.  So much so that when picking out my new frames (I decided these won’t hold up to one more round of supergluing), I was in conversation about traditional bifocals versus the progressive lens, and I decided to go with the traditional.  At least then I’ll know where to look.  I like things to be clearcut and not so uncertain.  But that’s a story for another night.

I was trying on possibilities, and my Princess walked up.  She sighed.  “You’re so lucky Mama.”  She walked away, so dejected it was pitiful.  Bless her again.

I remember that feeling.  I don’t know when I first went to the eye doctor, but when I was in the fifth grade it was announced that I needed glasses.  I won’t lie.  The feeling of joy that welled up within me was huge.  I was thrilled.  I had so hoped to get glasses–I had probably been crossing my fingers.  Made my day.  I was so happy that even though I knew that LP would probably call me “four eyes,” I didn’t even care.  I had already “written” and played out in my mind my retaliatory response before the prescription was completely down on paper.

“Well at least four eyes are better than two.”

Yeah, because that’s effective.  And original.

But I digress.

Yes, I was excited to have them, but that joy was nothing compared to what I felt when I put them on and looked around for the first time.  I could SEE.  I had no idea you were supposed to be able to read words on the billboards.  Or that there were even words at all.  The ride home in the bed of Daddy’s truck was such an awe-filled one.  I remember being amazed at the clarity.

I can understand my Princess’ desire to wear glasses, but I hope one day she will appreciate that she has really been given such a gift.  Good vision.  She didn’t get that from my side of the family.  Mama was very near legally blind at 18, and it was only when her vision starting shifting like mine that she eventually reached the point she could go without glasses sometimes.  (She did try contacts at one point, but after one of the four of us flushed her contacts when we were little, I think she just gave up and went back to glasses.)  Daddy was far-sighted and needed glasses for reading.  I suppose it is possible that my girl will need them one day in the distant future, but for now, I wish she could be thankful.

But apparently she’s not the only one.  I told the doctor that she’d so been hoping.  He laughed kindly and said that he’s had girls from her age on up actually burst into tears when he said, “No glasses.”  He shook his head.  “It’s the age, I guess.”

Oh my.

I wonder how long it will take her to ask for a pair of the plain plastic-lens fake glasses.  And I wonder how long I’ll be able to hold out.  After all, I was nine once too.  I know what that feels like.  Thank goodness I don’t have to decide about all of that today.

But today I did make several decisions.  In a very short period of time.  And I didn’t break down.  Not once.  I said yes to bifocals, yes to the line, and yes to a pair of new frames.  Without consulting Aub, my oldest, who is quite helpful in matters such as these.

In the end, I chose my new glasses all by my big girl self.  (Well, okay, the very sweet tech did help me some.)

My new glasses.  The next time I see them they will have a horizontal line on each lens.  Bring it.

My new glasses. The next time I see them they will have a horizontal line on each lens. Bring it.

I think they are quite fun and whimsical and just right for entering this next phase of life.  Life with a different way of seeing things.  One where I can see things up close and near and dear to me, and the far away and uncertain things will be a little clearer as well.  Bifocals can do all that?  BRING IT.  I’m ready.  It’s time for a new way to see the world.   I can’t wait to put them on when they are ready in a week.  The ten-year old in me is giddy with excitement.  And so is the forty-five year old.  And that’s the best feeling of all.

this too shall pass

It’s a little hard to explain.  But here goes.

The tasks that are before me, the ones that take up so many “just a few minutes” in my day-to-day–the ones that are mine because she asked me if I would and I said yes–I do not regret having them to do.  I am honored that she asked and humbled by her choice.  And determined to do it right and make her proud.

So I do not begrudge the time it takes.  Or the energy.  Or the emotions.

I just get overwhelmed sometimes.  It’s a little bit here and a little more there.  Wait on this to happen, but I have to make that happen.

It seems like I might never have a conversation that doesn’t involve numbers or papers or decisions.  An irrational thought, but it feels that way nonetheless.

And then today…..in a conversation with a very wise and dear soul, I heard these words that give me hope.  I did hear them.  But it wasn’t until I was stirring the pot on the stove that I heard them replay in my mind, and they floated down to my heart and started soaking in.

“One day…..one day you will look back on all of this

and it will be behind you.” 

Oh, my aching heart!  Yes.  This.  Please.

And tonight, as supper was finishing itself up and I stood lost in thought, I saw that as a possibility for the first time ever.  There WILL be a time when I won’t be handling all of these details and bills and making all of these decisions.  It.  Will.  Come.  One day we might all get to sit and talk and remember and laugh together, without the decisions that need to be made rushing to the forefront, spoiling the stories that beg to be remembered and told just one more time.  We can remember without deciding.  Laugh without returning to the somber job of putting a life to rest.

After the sweet, quiet, wise words of this one who has guided me through so much of this journey, I heard another’s words, the words of the one who didn’t want to leave and leave all this to be done, but who had no choice.  I heard her wisdom too.  In words she said many times over the years.

“This too shall pass, Sugar Tag.”

Oh, Mama.  It’s okay that it hasn’t, but thank you, thank you for those words tonight.  And thank you for helping me really hear what the other one I love was saying today.  I’m hardheaded (yes, I’m admitting it) and I don’t always listen like I should.  But tonight, I hear you both.  And I give thanks for the hope that opened up and let a little light into my heart.

It gives me just enough strength to think about what comes next.  What I need to do to finish this up, so we can move on to the celebrating of your life.  Because that is what you deserve.  To be celebrated.  And loved. Always.

Love you both.  Thanks for everything.