Mother’s Day is just 2 days away. Like many, Mother’s Day (in context with my mother) has never been even remotely close to a Norman Rockwell picture, so I am ready for this weekend to be over. Many have family situations much more difficult than mine (my heart goes out to you!) All this emotion is going to send me to the Funny Farm for sure.
Getting married, I got an AMAZING mother-in-love, Carolyn “Mom” Battis. She was the first Mom in my life to show me unconditional, Godly Motherly love; I truly love her and am always blessed by her. When I became a Mom myself, my whole world changed in so many ways and Mother’s Day is special for me and my boys, however…
Having been adopted (and not having much of a relationship with my adoptive mom), and now in reunion with my first mom (since July 2011) with whom I have a great relationship, this day has become somewhat tangled. My friend, Deanna, has summed it up best in her post, “Mother’s Day Weekend and What It Means to Me” . Although I don’t blog often about adoption, if you knew me well, you would see that I definitely fit several of the descriptions she uses and it seems she always has such a great way to express what is on my heart. (On a side note – Deanna & the Lost Daughters group have helped me walk through my reunion with my first family and one of the great things that have come from it has been this blog – re-creating Ree
As a kid, I would secretly pray for my first mom, somehow knowing that she HAD to think of me on Mother’s Day. As an adult, not only would I pray for all of my moms, but I would send something special to my mother-in-love (because sadly she lives so far away) and for my adopted mom, I prepared the expected celebratory dinner either Saturday or Sunday (
depending on when my sister has her because heaven forbid we all spend time together). Last year, my first year in reunion with my first mom, I sent her a card. I know, it sounds lame, but it was all I could muster in the midst of the furry with my adoptive mom’s never-ending emotions. ( Yes, I am always trying to keep everyone else happy – keeping the peace – like a good little adoptee.) Unbeknownst to just about everyone, I always seem to be in an emotional tug-of-war between an angry adoptive mom (how dare you look for your “real” parents after all we have done for you, they didn’t want you!”) who wains between not talking to me at all (currently, it’s been a month without communication) and when she will decide to fit me into her life because she needs me for something…and a thankful first mom (with whom I just took an impromptu wild road trip with through 12 states).
This year, I wanted to do more, so I took my first Mom’s offer for the trip with her and I think it turned out pretty well (
she didn’t kill me after spending 24/7 with me for 7 days, so that right there should tell you something ) Unfortunately, I had to cut my trip a little shorter than we both expected; things were getting crazy at home and I had to go back to reality. I was a bit disappointed because I was looking forward to having my very first Mother’s Day with my first Mom, and I know she was too. However, it’s probably for the best, as I would not want it at the expense of my adoptive Mom, who would sadly see all of this as a direct knife to her heart ( because my adoption is all about her). Even though I cannot get my adoptive mom to understand any of this, she is still my Mom and I love her too. Unfortunately, I am not the only adoptee that goes through this; adoptees feel like our life is like a continual white water rafting journey without a life jacket. There are many of us at this time of year (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) that can feel like we are doing it without a paddle, either.
This year, I am jumping to shore, taking the chicken’s way out because of sheer emotional exhaustion, and allowing my boys to make Mother’s Day all about me…just call me Momma Hen.
I am on a road trip to visit family and friends…just me and my Mom…first time ever. It’s been great until 48 hours ago when I learned that my beloved, Golden Retriever, Cody, is very, very sick…and I am 12 hours away from home at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Georgia. My hubby and son are taking care of things at home, but my Cody is like another child to me. At 15, he has loved me, protected me (even bit a man who was trying to attack me) and has always been by my side. Many tears cried into his fur and his unconditional love and affection has always been there for me and my guys…technically, he’s my son, Richard’s dog, but yea, he’s a “Momma’s Dog”. Richard, has always teased me saying that if he believed in reincarnation that he wanted to come back as my dog. :)
Cody started getting sick almost the minute I left and right now he’s still at the vet hospital. They are still not sure what is going on but the vet has given me some peace that she has stabilized him and that there is nothing else being violently expelled from either end of his body. Peace enough that she said I didn’t have to hop on the first flight home, as was my intent. He is getting the best care my money can buy and my son and hubby are visiting with him and I am learning to be “ok” with that I am not there. My heart is still broken, but if he continues to improve, I can continue my once in a lifetime trip with my mom. I am very thankful for the support my mom, aunt and uncle have given to me and their offer to fly me home. Having supportive family is such a blessing, especially knowing that some people do not have one. The icing on the cake, so to speak, is supportive furbabies…
My aunt’s chocolate lab, DJ, is apparently very “in tune” with me and my emotions. Although Aunt Dee has 2 labs (one black, one chocolate), DJ has been snuggling with me, shadowing me, her fur has held my tears as she has been loving all over me since I got the news about my Cody and I have been upset – loving me through my pain like only a furbaby can. Nothing like having a 100 pound dog sit on your lap…now THAT is true love for you…:)
Three years ago today, my life was forever changed. Many people get to have a life-changing day and each is unique. As usual, since I can’t seem to do anything under the radar, mine was “right up there”.
Three years ago today, God saved my life; physically (spiritually, He did that back on March 21, 1989.) The (very) short version of this day was that I went into the hospital with a major bowel obstruction and came out with open heart surgery, removing a very rare tumor that was inside of my heart.
Yup. I felt like a celebrity; I was “the one with the tumor” that everyone in the hospital talked about. Apparently no one, not even my renowned thoracic surgeon, Dr. Bartley Griffith, had ever seen someone still living with this type of tumor; he’d only seen it in a few folks in his 30+ years of practice and they were all in autopsy because the tumor killed them before it could be found. There are no real symptoms to this kind of tumor; it was “accidentally” found when the MRI tech took a picture of my entire torso and not just my lower half, when trying to find out what was obstructing my bowels. We all know that it was no accident :) (side note – The bowel obstruction was caused by 2 very large tumors in my abdomen, which resulted in a surgery 4 months later, including a hysterectomy.)
So…now I am famous…in the medical journals at University of Maryland hospital and doctors and other medical personnel learn from the operation that Dr. Griffith did to my heart. That is awesome and I am glad that others can learn from my experience. But, wow…I was the one fixin’ to learn the biggest lesson of my life…
God completely changed my life; inside and out. Even with all of this trauma over a year of 5 hospitalizations, major surgeries, etc., I still felt a lot of inner peace like never before. Jon had peace and I felt it from him; he is such a rock for me and the boys. You can’t imagine how thankful I am for him. God gave me exactly what I needed, who I needed and when I needed it/them. No surprise since that’s what His Word says He will do; but for me, it was as if He was laying there right next to me that year – taking all the pain – physical and emotional – and that was not something I had ever experienced before.
Pain that I should have felt, I did not. Extended medical issues I should have experienced, I did not. Many, many signs of God literally taking my burdens from me. Jon and Richard never left my side (and even though Tim was away at school, he didn’t miss a beat.) Even my faithful Golden Retriever, Cody, laid right next to my recliner with me 24/7 and wouldn’t let anyone near me; my furry protector. My friends stopping by (no small feat since I live in the boonies) bringing good wishes and meals to give my mother-in-law one less thing to tend to. My amazing parents-in-law dropped everything and flew up from Florida to take care of me and tend to Richard, etc. so that Jon could go back to work. My dear mother-in-law is a saint, that’s all I can tell you. And my father-in-law, an absolute gem. I don’t know what we would have done if they didn’t come for that first month to go through the worst of it with us; they are my angels and I love them immensely.
While I was living in my recliner for the year, God did some incredible work in me (I was finally sitting still long enough!) In this time, I went through psychological and spiritual steps toward healing, some quite painful, both inside and out. Part of that healing included finding the rest of my family.
After finding out that my tumor was hereditary, and knowing how deadly it was, I just could not live with myself if I didn’t at least make an effort to find them and warn them – and yeah – would be incredible to “meet” them too. Oh, I forgot to tell you…I am adopted! Knowing what little I knew about my first family (born to young teen parents in 1964) in the past, I didn’t want to disrupt their lives, cause problems, etc. Besides, I was not really anxious to open myself up to get rejected, again, from people that my adoptive mom told me didn’t want me. But somehow, now I felt like it was time to open that door of my life, regardless of the outcome. So with my husband and boys blessing, as well as love and support from 2 of my closest friends (who have always encouraged me to do this years ago), I started my journey…to find my former self.
My world was blown out of the water and will never be the same, in so many ways. In a circumstance that I can only describe as God’s hand literally opening this door for me, I found them in about 15 minutes! After the shock wore off and I stopped shaking, the subsequent months – and now years – have been full of love – and change – and acceptance – and rejection…nothing short of a Hallmark movie! A great story for another day.
For me, today is a deep reflection of the chain of miracles that God did for me; beginning with the tumors, which satan meant to destroy every part of me.
Apparently no one told the evil man that I am 1/2 Irish and 1/2 Sicilian = very stubborn. In more ways than one, God dug deep inside my heart filling a hole that only He can fill. Now, I am stronger than ever, not physically (as I was left with some disability because of the tumors and surgeries) but more importantly, emotionally and spiritually. To tell God “Thank You” is nowhere near sufficient…so I choose to thank Him by striving to make my life count for His Purpose even more each of these “borrowed days” that He has graciously given to me – to enjoy and love my husband, sons and extended family – and to love and serve others as I have always done but now with a new stride. And I wear my “badge of honor” scar with pride. I like to show it off because it gives me an opportunity to tell people what God has done for me…and I love to brag on my Heavenly Father <3
(The words to this song bring on a whole new meaning for me know…I LOVE it…enjoy! .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K8-9mXjU8o )
I love to read. I have always loved reading whatever I could get my hands on…a book or magazine…and let’s not forget blogs or Kindle books, etc. But to me, nothing beats the feel of a book in my hands…the sight and smell of a collection of wonderful books on a shelf. Ahhh…
Growing up, no one in my family shared my passion for reading; therefore I did not get much support. The nearest library was about 25 minutes away and Mother didn’t like to drive and would not take me. Therefore, the only actual library time I ever got was the rushed “Library Class” in school. The closest I came to spending time in a library was the weekly visit from the beloved Bookmobile!
A part of our county’s public library system, the Bookmobile would come to “remote” areas, like mine, that didn’t have easy access to any of their branches. “Bookmobile Day” was the best day of my week; especially in the summertime! I remember waiting at the curb for it every Thursday at 4:00 p.m. like most kids would wait for the ice cream truck. When it turned the corner to my street, I could barely contain my excitement! The inside was like a tiny library and I had a whole half an hour to peruse and carefully choose which books I wanted to borrow for the week! It was like Book Heaven for this nerdy little girl. But, alas…children were limited to choose only 10 books per week! Such decisions!
After I gathered my loot (sometimes barely being able to carry all of the books), I would run home directly to my bedroom, close the door and start reading until I was bleary-eyed, not even wanting to take a break for supper because it was such a waste of valuable reading time. I would usually finish all 10 of them in just a few days and have to suffer withdraw for the rest of the week until I could get more books. It saddened me that I never owned any books. It’s not because my parents could not afford them; we had a comfortable life with many extras. It’s was more like my parents didn’t see the need for me to own them and didn’t value my passion.
As an adult, I think its Divine intervention that even though I live in the boonies, I am only one mile away from a brand new public library. I love escaping to the library whenever I choose and no longer have to beg my parents to take me. Maybe this is why my son’s room, as well as other areas of my home, has always looked like a library with so many books. I don’t know who was more excited about the semi-annual book fairs at his school – me or Richard! Until he was a teenager and wanted to “decorate his own room”, I filled his room with a lot of “night-night” books that I always read to him, classic children’s literature, like one of my favorites, “Charlotte’s Web”, as well as some of the books I would buy to bribe Richard to read, like “Captain Underpants”. He obviously did not inherit my love of books.
Until five minutes ago, I had no idea what the Little Free Library was all about. Now I am in love all over again! Apparently, all over the country, people are building cute “Little Free Libraries” on posts in front of their homes. Children and adults can borrow, keep or donate a book, all free of charge! This is amazing! It encourages literacy, sharing, brain power, shutting off the electronics (yikes!) and reading a wonderful book! Check out their website for all you need to know – even how to build one – www.LittleFreeLibrary.org or their Facebook site. (I am thinking that one of these would make a wonderful Mother’s Day present for this Momma, don’t you? )
Today’s discovery of the Little Free Library has just made this little nerdy girl blissfully happy in Book Heaven… all over again…
Here is another “home run” from one of my favorite bloggers, Joshua. Hopefully it will touch your heart, like it did mine. I wrote a response on his blog for this post, as well, from the passion in my heart.
Take a peek friends…I would love your feedback on this one.
Today is “Love Your Pet Day”! In celebration of the day, I am sharing just a little bit about my furry love, Cody. Here’s one of my favorite recent pictures of him – riding shotgun with Richard. Taking a ride in our SUV is his favorite thing to do – other than playing in the snow. You would never know it by his spry and friendly personality, like most goldens, but next month he will be 15 years old! In a lot of ways, he’s the center of our family and I am so very thankful for him and the lessons he’s taught us; said better by an unknown author…
If A Dog Were Your Teacher
You would learn stuff like…
* When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride
* Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy
* When it’s in your best interest – practice obedience
* Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory
* Take naps and stretch before rising
* Run, romp and play daily
* Thrive on attention and let people touch you
* Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do
* On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass
* On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree
* When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body
* Delight in the simple joy of a long walk
* Eat with gusto and enthusiasm; stop when you have had enough
* Be loyal and loving
* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it
* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently
My furbaby, Cody, has taught us all of this and much more. We are so blessed to have him part of our family. I’m going to celebrate Cody today by making him one of his favorite homemade doggie treats, (Here’s his cheesey favorite – we use cheddar: http://www.wagthedoguk.com/scrumptious-swiss-cheese-dog-treats)
Also going to get him a goodie from:
Do you have any pets? If so, share them with us! If not, share what kind of pet you would have if you could have one and why.
Today is an extra special day 18 years ago today my life changed forever…After nearly giving my life for him when my gall bladder ruptured, I got an emergency c-section and gave birth to the most awesome son ever, my youngest, Richard ♥ He was diagnosed with spina bifida & Downs while in my womb, but he received God’s healing before he was born – with perfect health. ♥ From the moment I knew I was pregnant with him, my heart has taken residence in him. He has always been the center of my world and I am so proud of the young man he’s become. ♥ I have always known that God has big plans for him and I love walking his life journey with him; I am so thankful to God that I got to be his Momma. ♥ We love you so much, Richard ♥