Monday, January 28, 2013


Her stomach keeps doing flip flops. Since last week's decision, they've made an offer on a house and have signed a contract. Next week will be the inspection and appraisal. They've spoken with a realtor and will be putting their current house on the market soon. Things are moving so fast now. She's excited and scared at the same time, making her stomach queasy.

She felt the same when 21 years ago, she and her husband decided to go ahead and get married within a few months of getting engaged instead of waiting three to four years until they graduated from college. She remembers lying on her a parent's living room carpet, listening as her parents and future husband discussed the possibility of not postponing the inevitable.

The waves come and go. The panic is kept at bay if she keeps busy, taking the steps necessary to accomplish the final goal. Or when she sleeps. But it floods over her when she just stops to rest or lets her mind dwell on the seemingly overwhelming task of getting everything done.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Lying down the weight of the world sinks into the mattress.

Heavy. Release.

Her eyes close as images from light fade into darkness, her mind still yammering.

Escape. Disappear.

One thought over another overlap in a complex myriad of consciousness.

Constant. Noise.

She pulls a blanket over her body as her temperature begins to drop.

Warmth. Softness.

The blessed numbing fog begins to wash over her as her inner voice fights for one last word.

Shhh. Sleep.

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Winter Morning

It's completely quiet now. She has turned off the sound machine and the ceiling fan. The room is gray with the morning winter light. She stands over his crib watching him sleep, waiting for him to wake. 

His breathing sounds fairly clear, just hints of something that might need to be suctioned. Every now and then his arm jerks up to his face and hits his mouth or nose. She wonders if he is intentionally trying to touch his face and yet failing because of his lack of muscle control.

It's been two years now. Two years since her life and the life of her family changed forever. This baby, yes, they still call him "the baby", born with a Dandy Walker Malformation, undiagnosed as to the reason why, is still alive. His mother tries not to think back to the past, a time before g-tubes and shunts, doctor visits and therapies, risk of aspiration and pneumonia. A time before the baby. But unfortunately her mind often goes there anyway. She is getting better at not doing that, working towards living in the present, but finds it challenging.

He stirs in his crib, little moans and stretches, sounds of waking. The arm spastically hits his face repeatedly now as he tries to move around. She goes to his side and gently lifts off each blanket one by one. He looks at her and tries to focus his grey-blue eyes.

"Good morning, good morning, doot doot doot doot doot...", she sings. Their morning ritual begins.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Winds of Change

Another cold winter day in Montana. The sun is bright for a change, but the temperature is down right frosty in her opinion. No desire to venture outside for errands or entertainment so she spends another day either playing with the baby on the floor or browsing around on the computer on the couch. Occasionally she gets up to get the older kids food or to do a chore because she knows she should, but it's hard to get outside of her head.

She thinks too much. Her mind is a steady stream of noise that won't stop. Not even for a second. Her thirteen year old son tells her boys have a "nothing box" where they go in their minds and think about absolutely nothing. She googled that because who can trust what a thirteen year old says, but according to the internet, he's right. Girls don't have one. And that sucks. She wants one. No, she needs one.

Change. She hates change, but it's coming. This past weekend she and her husband have decided to "go all in" in a direction they believe God has been leading them. They have had hints of how it might work out, but kept putting off the decision, waiting for "doors to open".  They had one foot here and one foot there with lots of contingency plans to back out at any minute.

"But what more information do you need?" her brother, who also happens to be in the counseling business as an associate pastor, asked her husband. "God is leading you to do something so my advice is to do it - I keep getting the feeling while we are talking that God is telling y'all to 'go all in'."

Crap. That is scary as all get out. But in some sense, once they made the decision, she felt waves of relief. Relief to finally have a direction, to be off the fence. It fits into her desire to learn to live in the present, not five years in the past or five years down the road, but the now. And she can do a direction. Set her mind on a goal, problem solve, make it happen.

But that doesn't mean she likes it.

Change, that is.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sorrow and Suffering

"...God knows in great detail the devastation caused by tragedy. He understands the pain and sorrow acquainted with grief and loss. He understands because He is all knowing. Furthermore, Jesus endured suffering (see Isaiah 53), and experienced pain, even the pain of feeling abandoned (see Matthew 27:46). And because God is with you always, He knows that you are hurting. He sees your pain, and hears the cries of your heart. You are not alone in your suffering; He is there for you..."
(God Has Not Forgotten You A 31 Day Devotional)

In response to a prayer request on my little boy's FB page, a friend wrote "May The Lord heal him in His time, and may you remember the suffering he does on behalf of those souls in need."

I am pondering what "the suffering he does on behalf of those souls in need" means.  It may just refer to a Catholic belief regarding purgatory that I don't understand, or it may refer to the fact that in the midst of his suffering, God will use his story to bring others to Himself?

Hmm. I'm not sure I'm unselfish enough or love others enough to take comfort that his suffering could aid another soul.