Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Making a cake for the Packard Family get together today.
But wanted to take the time to acknowledge the remembrance of my first son Michael on this Memorial Day.
Such a sweet little spirit he was. He fought a valiant fight and lived a wonderful life of just over two years. I miss him and many times have even forgotten the look of his face and the feel of his hug. But I do remember that if I live my life to the best I can, that I won't have to rely on 'memory' anymore, but will be able to have him with me always.
Happy Memorial Day to all.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Pain of a Motherhood Reality Check

How could I not know what was going on? Am I so out of touch with reality, or so trusting of those that I love that I couldn't see what was happening right under my nose???
I'm overwhelmed right now with the current twists and turns in my life and that of my family...I'm feeling very out of control and yet, willing and ready to let go of the need to be in control and let someone else run the show. The cards are going to fall - they are falling as we speak...things are hitting the fan and I'm stepping back and letting it happen. I can't do what I've been doing for the past years because obviously, it hasn't been working.
So, it's here. The time has arrived to face my motherhood reality check with my last child.
I have tried before to not be too detailed in my blog, knowing that it will be in print later and there will be many who read it. But I have also been one that has to be honest with what is happening in my life...I can't pretend that there aren't problems. I just have to trust that those who read this will understand that and know that I only share and write what I live; the bad and the good.
Right now? It's not so good. One week left of school and Kathryn's past has caught up with her. Her online classes are not finished so she can't 'walk' graduation. She has to finish them by a certain time to get credit to keep her acceptance for BYU Idaho. She has no job and no way to pay for school tuition. She's been carrying on a private life that we had no idea of but has been writing it down in her Journal. She has, for three years, been begging to 'get out' and leave Texas, our house etc...she has wanted to MOVE ON.
She left yesterday, and is staying with Mike and Kylie.
Del says 'it's time'.
Motherhood is so confusing when I experience the emotions of feeling relief that she's gone, but close enough at Kylie's that I know she's safe. I'm sad that she has 'needed' to get out, but glad that she turned to Kylie instead of possible other choices. I'm sad that her presence is gone but grateful for the peace I feel.
Sad that she doesn't want me as a parent but glad that she still needs me as a friend.
I should have parented her as I did Jordan and Kylie instead of worrying about her 'friendship'. I was a terrible example for her and bailed her out of most of the consequences she deserved from her choices; especially about school.
I should have been her parent. She soooo needed a parent, not a friend.
I made the choice for her and made the wrong one; so afraid the would rebel and leave the church, her family her home etc... I worried about the wrong things on the one child I needed to worry about the most. And now that I've decided to not be that person anymore, it's given her the reason she's needed to leave home. She wants the 'mom' she's had, not the 'mom' she needs.
Well, now I pay the consequences of my choices and have to live in the aftermath.
I'm feeling pretty ...well, crummy.
Long days ahead.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Seminary Graduation home.

Tonight was Seminary graduation.
Needless to say, Kathryn did not attend.
A disappointment for both me and her, but mostly me, I'm sure. Aside from the fact that she is graduating high school a year early, she still only really went to Seminary her Freshman year. Her Sophomore year she didn't have 80% attendance and then this year, she just dropped out after Christmas.
It makes me desperately sad to know how much of the promptings of the Holy Ghost she could have used during those times in her life and just passed on it. She's seeing a few of those moments now, but now, it's too late. The opportunity has come and passed and all that is left is a regret.
I try to not dwell on the negative of it. The past few months she has made enormous strides towards getting her life in order and preparing herself for many needed opportunities and blessings. And because of some of her good choices, she is being seen differently by others, me and herself. She's finally being able to get past some rough times.
Of course, there are the set backs from rumors, gossip and those at school who just have nothing better to do than to make life miserable for those who have made some undesirable choices. But like I have stressed to Kathryn, these are part of the consequences. I warned her it would be the most difficult to endure. She feels bad that it's harder for some in her circle of acquaintances to allow her to repent and move on than others.
Tonight is one of the 'consequences' nights. She can't be where she should be because she didn't do what she needed to, to be there. So now, tonight, she feels regret. Too bad she couldn't SEE or FEEL this earlier, while it still mattered.
Another hurdle to jump over...
But she did have a fun date last night...a great LDS young man in the stake...preparing for a mission in October. He knows nothing of Kathryn's past - just the 'good her' now. It's nice to see her enjoying the results of repentance and seeing what the Lord had in mind for her in the first place.
Hopefully, this will be just the beginning of the 'new and improved' Kathryn Lott.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Fearful Sunday

Days like today cause me to fear for Del.
He's in pain today - physical - his MS.
Plus, he is extremely tired - drained - exhausted.
It happens when he overdoes the day before. It can be simple yard work, helping someone move, working the all takes it's toll on him. Then, in the evening, his body becomes so weary that he thinks he can sleep. But he can't. He's usually up most of the night in pain...deep into his muscles and bones and usually very intense. It's the kind of pain that can't be reached or touched, it's so deep. So he doesn't sleep.
But because it's Sunday, he showers and dresses for the Sabbath. It wouldn't even cross his mind to stay home and try to rest but I notice him struggle to stay focused in Sacrament meeting as he deals with the discomfort. But for him, there's no option but to put on his face of service as he gives the closing prayer and then teaches his Sunday School class.
Once home though, he retreats to our bedroom where he lays down, trying not to crinkle is Sunday suit. He looks dead to me as he quickly falls asleep.
I watch him for a few minutes, grateful that the pain appears to subside enough to allow his weary body to relax. I notice him holding his left hand and arm - that's the side that gives him the most discomfort. Even in his sleep he is trying to relieve the pain.
I fell asleep quickly after Del did but awakened to his moans and groans an hour later as he tried to reposition himself. He fell back to sleep but I couldn't, so came out to make dinner.
This happens at least 2-3 times a month. And there are 'episodes' that are much worse than this one. There have been a few times that I wondered if Del would actually wake up the next morning. But he always has, so far.
But there will come the day that 'it' will finally take him. Whether it's the MS or the side affects from the MS, he will succumb to it one day. I just hate that he suffers in the meantime - every day - intense pain. I could not do it.
But I'm not Del. For him, there is no option but to endure it...and endure it well.
Like I said, I could not do it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Who Knows What

I know.
She knows.
She doesn't know I know.
And what she doesn't know I know won't hurt her.
I wish I didn't know.
But I know.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Everything's Fair in Love and War

Have you ever noticed how your children keep track of equality in the family? Especially among siblings??? "Jordan has this, so when I'm that age, will I get one too?" "Kylie has one...can I have one too?" 'When can I have one of...?'
Okay, yes, it's mostly Kathryn, because she's the youngest and has had to wait to be able to get certain things...well, no she hasn't!!! She had a cell phone younger than the older two, she had a t.v. in her bedroom until last year...she got to date non members before the other two (not that THAT worked out well)...she's been given more privileges than the other two...just basically, she's had a fairly nice life. Car, friends, more leniency, etc etc.. But it hasn't necessarily been the best thing, now that we look back. We've had to learn through some sad experiences that we maybe should have raised her a little more tightly like we did the older two.
But, I can't go back now.
Now, I need to help her grow up real fast to prepare for this big mean world out there that she feels ready to conquer. She doesn't quite know everything yet though.
She has to pay for her own tuition - we will pay for her housing and books. She has to get her own laptop computer...we bought the other two theirs - (well, Kylie got hers as a graduation gift); she will have to pay for her own living expenses, except rent and then anything else she wants or needs. There's going to be no car, and no coming home for anything but Christmas. She's going to want to fly home to see and be with Kylie's baby, but, it's not going to be possible.
I know it's tough, but she's also the only one that hasn't had a job during high school too. She's figured we would bail her out at the last minute and she could get away with just working this summer. It's a rude awakening, yes, but a position we should have taken with her a long time ago. But, she'll do fine if she's careful and saves all through the summer. I'm sure she'll thank me for it later.
So, here I am 50 and I'm still working full time to help put my kids through school, life and their continual learning.
Doesn't sound fair does it? Jordan is experiencing a little of the same medicine right now. He does have a full time job but is going to have to defer this next semester of school until he earns enough money to go back. But he's happy earning his own way. I think he's feeling a little independent and good with himself for seeing his own way through some rough times. I'm proud of him. It's hard for me to not jump in and take care of every need that my children have. But it does them no good for me to make life too easy for them.
So, as graduation gets closer for Kathryn, I realize that this next step isn't going to be anything like she is expecting...some of this news is going to be hard for her to swallow. I'm sure I'm going to hear some 'that's not fair' and ' you did it for Jordan and Kylie' wailing and whining...but, we can only do what we are able to do. She will have to do the rest herself.
LOVING my days this week. Cooking good meals - nice and relaxed at work with fun discussions of becoming a grandma and doctor becoming a 'mom' again..yes, she's expecting, due in November..and then making dinner for a family I visit teach that just had a baby...and some new YUMMY dessert recipes...just enjoying some great days.
Tonight? I just took a cheesecake out of the oven, did up the dishes from a great dinner and now I'm going to go finish reading a hilarious book Del got me for Mother's Day while listening to my new Josh Grobin CD. Of course, this is all done while I am wearing my new Austin Collie jersey that Mike and Kylie got me for Mother's Day.
Life is good...

Monday, May 10, 2010

One Drop at a Time

The cup is starting to be refilled. I decided to focus on someone else besides myself and in return, I can see and feel my cup being refilled.
I haven't been a visiting teacher in years. And in the same regard, I haven't HAD visiting teachers in years. But as of a month ago, I have and AM both...and it's wonderful. The joy is touchable -
First of all, my companion is Susan Robb. For heavens sake...anyone who even KNOWS Susan Robb knows that I am in pure heaven going visiting teaching with her. What a lovely, classy and yet down to earth woman she is. I love her and all she is and does. And then the women we visit teach are also such great women. Good mothers and women who just need our time and love.
Then the women that come to me are also good. I don't need to be coddled, or pampered or 'tended to'. I just need the spiritual message and a good laugh and I feel great. And they provide that all. They have come faithfully three months in a row. Not ladies I can bare my soul to, but ladies I can feel spiritually uplifted by their being there. My visiting teaching experience the other day was really was FUN. Four hours we were gone, visiting and LAUGHING with our ladies. I came home sooo happy.
So, who do I bear my soul to???
Besides my sisters, I have found one friend that shares my soul - challenges with our family, children, husbands and friends is much the same. But we seldom have the time to bare our souls, we are both so busy with life. But when we get together, it is such a renewal of strength and hope I get from her. The dam usually busts and the laughter and tears flow freely and uninhibited by fear or judgement. It is soooo appreciated to be accepted and loved by her for just who I am, just who my children and husband are and not judged or condemned for our faults and weaknesses.
I have begged for a best friend since I moved here to Texas and yet have connected with no-one. An occasional friend will come and go mostly because she will already have an inner circle that has been established years ago and there is no room to add another. Or, maybe it's just that I'm not a good friend?? I don't know. So over the years, I have focused mostly on my husband and children as there hasn't been anyone else to share the time with. That hasn't been all bad though as I love Del and the kids dearly. But I have missed having a girlfriend...
A sad thing has been watching those I THOUGHT were friends not be the friends I THOUGHT they were. It's been disappointing to know that they have learned about some of the mistakes my children have made, or I have made, or we have just drifted apart and now seem as strangers when I run into them. They are still great people...but I guess I miss having friends.
This next stage in life, the 'empty nest syndrome' will be interesting. Then where do we fit in?? Not to worry - I am determined to enjoy and love each stage that comes my way. I am truly going to make the effort to be the friend to others that I myself am looking for. There are those out there that do need me...not just me needing them.
And I'm starting with those that I visit teach!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

It's Slowly All Adding Up

Little things have been happening for the past, hmm... just over four months. Every day, just little glitches in the flow of the day - mood swings - bumps in the road, stumbling blocks and just every day living. I can handle most everything as it happens and especially over the past 2 years, I have tried to handle things quickly and as pain free as possible. I've done a fairly good job. I've been pretty laid back, with only an occasional 'whopper' that has set me back on my heels a few times....usually the 'whopper' being Kathryn.
But it's catching up with me. I'm feeling the tightness in my chest, my headaches are coming back and I have a continual churning in my stomach. I'm pretty sure it's an ulcer. It's all starting to add up and has been building to what I feel is going to be a crescendo tidal wave any moment.
I'm dropping to my knees a little more quickly and my prayers are slowly changing from 'pretty please' prayers to PLEADING prayers of desperation.
I get an occasional reprieve from these emotions...General Conference came with a renewed sense of strength that has sustained me for the past four weeks. But the closer we get to school ending and the next stage of life presenting itself, I'm feeling the anxiety of it all.
Graduation... tuition and housing costs...medical bills...trips to take...working full time...trying to make too many people happy...wanting to have spare time to enjoy a few things I'm missing...trying to not get sick while everyone around me is...wishing I were somewhere else most of the day...trying to be the BEST wife, the BEST mother, the BEST friend and the BEST employee and falling short in all the above categories.
Cup is half full...
Needing something - some opportunity to get it refilled. Until that opportunity presents itself, I will continue with my 'pleading prayers' and nightly dose of Book of Mormon. Hopefully 'those' small drops of 'oil' will at least help me keep my 'lamp' filled and my spirit light.