Saturday, December 6, 2014

Healing, Happiness and (Almost) Coming Full Circle

Doug and I spent today surrounded by our family.  Not our blood family, but our family of circumstance, our family of situation, our family of choice -- our lifeline, our hope, our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters -- we spent today surrounded by our Fragile X family. 

Over the years, there have been many gatherings with our FX family that we've been a part of.  It's incredibly healing to be with others who truly understand and "get" our journey. 

Today, I met a mom whose son had just been diagnosed.  She was scared, sad, overwhelmed, unsure, and feeling alone.  Although we had just met, I knew her well.  I was her two short years ago. 

Many parts of the day Trek was diagnosed are a blur.  I remember bits and pieces, but there are two things I'll never forget.  I will never, as long as I live, forget how I felt.  There are no words to explain my physical reaction to the news.  It was visceral.  I was numb.  I was scared.  It was so powerful it sent me to the toilet vomiting.  It was, for lack of a better word, awful.  Utterly awful.  I was hopeless. 

I will also never forget Doug's words to me as we lay in bed that night.  He told me that we needed to remember exactly how we were feeling because someday, another family would be diagnosed, and we could be there for them.  At the time, I couldn't imagine getting out of bed and dealing with my new life let alone helping someone else. 

Eventually, I did get out of bed and those days and nights of blurry sadness gave way to days of partly cloudy skies, weeks with no rain, and years of sunshine.  Eventually, I did learn to live again.  I genuinely smiled, laughed, and found joy. 

Today, I hugged that new member of our family and I cried with her.  I cried for her.  I grieved for her loss and I just wanted to scoop her up and fast forward her a few years down the road and place her in a spot of acceptance and peace. 

As much as I wanted to do that for her and take her pain away, that's not possible.  Like another FX mama said, "You've got to feel this."  She's right.  As excruciatingly painful as it is, you've got to live it and figure out your way through it; it's the only way to heal and to come out stronger on the other side. 

But, I could tell her it's going to be okay.  No, really it is.  I promise.  Things do get better.  You will figure this out.  You will find acceptance.  The pain never goes away, but it does dull, and as my friend said, you do get to a place where you can see typical children and not feel like you've been punched in the gut. 

Most importantly, I hope that she left all of us today feeling like she's no longer alone.  I hope that she left knowing that she's part of a bigger family than she could have ever realized.  I hope that she knows that she's loved.  Each of us know her well, in an essence, we are her.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Peaceful River

This week we got the news that my son does not carry the genetic anomaly that resides in me.  This genetic shadow that's followed me around since my conception.  It's something that I cannot shake, no matter how hard I try.  It permeates my life and almost every thought I have.

This incredible news hit me hard and swift.  It brought me to my knees, made me cry, tilted my head towards the heavens, and had me utter thanks to God. 

The news of Tate's negative results came fast and quick, and interestedly, left me just the same.  All I was left with was thankfulness.  The news of Tate was so different than the news of Trek.  While Trek's news left me wallowing in darkness, sadness, and utter despair, Tate's news left me peaceful.

Trek was my ocean.  My unpredictable tide of grief.  My unsure footing.  My fall on my face. My tears without reason. My neon light of "what if".  My questions.  My unanswers.  My fault...

Tate was my river.  My predictableness.  My fleet of foot. My get up because it's okay.  My tears of a mother that knows that pregnancy isn't a guaranteed gift of "perfectness".  My flickering light of hope.  My questions.  My unanswers.  Not my fault...

My boys guide me through life.  At times, it's a rocky ride of which I hold on tightly for dear life.  And during those moments, I thank God for my life vests of those whom I hold so dear.  And, at times, it's a kick-back-throw-your-feet-up-and-enjoy-the-ride, kind of life. 

Right now, I'm smart enough to realize that life does throw you curves, but I'm also smart enough to know to enjoy the ride, because this is the only one you've got. 

So, join me in throwing up your glass, and saying "cheers"!  Let's sit back and love where this life takes us.

Here's to the river.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Things I Love

I am an Iowan girl living in an Arizona world, but the things I love still remain true.

I love family.  I adore a sense of belonging.  I cherish friendships; those that are near and those that remain far.

When I look out upon my horizon, I see magnificent backgrounds.  It may be the mighty Saguaro, or the simplicity of the oak.  The thorns of life and the comfort of leaves.  Each one has become my home.

The wind is the same; each one whispers a song that sings a verse of comfort and love.

Life knows no boundaries. Love doesn't have barriers.  It captures you and blankets you in a sweet embrace.  Through all of life's trials, the important things will never betray you.  They seem to wrap you up, sing their song, and send you off on the perfect wings of love.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

In the Middle of an Ordinary Dream

My father came to visit me last night,
In the middle of an ordinary dream.
He picked me up in his beat-up truck
And parked in the backyard field
that overlooked my childhood stream.

He faced the truck towards the north,
And he quieted the restlessness in my heart.
I'd seen this field a thousand times--
But never quite like this.

The trees were lush.
The crops were green and full.
And the sky was a brilliant shade of blue,
The canvas to heaven's most perfect clouds.

And then he spoke,
But not with words.
His thoughts were impressed upon my soul.
A love so incredibly pure.
A love stronger than any emotion,
My earthly presence could understand.

And every instant a question formed in my heart,
He had answered it before my thought was done.
I don't recall every detail of his heavenly visit,
But the one thing I believe I was meant to remember--
The one message that was imprinted upon my soul,
Was simply this--
"I love you.  I have never left you. I will never leave you."
And even these words don't exactly fit.

I believe the day I will truly understand what it all means
Is the day I join him,
When I go--

And perhaps if I'm lucky,
He'll pick me up for one last ride in that dusty old pick-up truck.
And drive me over the horizon,
Past our fields of green.
Over the creek behind our home...
To the other side.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The God Winks: Nineteen Months Later

Incredible God Winks happen in life, sometimes you just have to close your eyes, trust your heart and believe.

It's been almost nineteen months to the day since my dad passed away.  Nineteen months of healing and nineteen months of learning how to live without him in this world.  It's been nineteen months of acceptance and understanding.  Nineteen months of unparalleled growth.  And, it's been nineteen months of sweet winks from God.

It's so interesting to me how the God Winks I've been blessed with have changed over time.  From the butterflies to the dreams, each one has brought me precisely what I've needed at that moment.  This week, I had two incredible, unbelievable, and amazing God Winks.  With the permission of my sweet friends, it's my honor to share them. 

Keep in mind, these experiences happened independently of one another.  Neither of my sweet friends personally knew my father and they both are very recent, beautiful, welcome additions to my life.  Here is our collective "story".

Tuesday morning, I woke up to find the following message from my friend, Valerie:

This may sound super weird but this morning I heard this song in my car and and image of you and your dad popped in my head. I know that I only "know" him through your pictures and stories but thought I would share what happened....

(This is the video she linked.)


What she didn't know is I just bought this CD, and the very reason I bought it was because of this song.  It reminds me of my dad.  I had just told Doug how much I loved the song and explained to him all of the reasons why.  My dad. His pickup. Moving to Arizona. 

I messaged my friend back and asked her what her vision consisted of.  I'm so happy I asked her...

It was kind of like the picture of him that you have where he is speaking at your wedding (I think) but it was closer up and more of a profile from the right side. Then in my head I heard "Sarah's Dad" then I saw an image of him driving a pickup and you as like a late teen/early 20's riding and then flashing to a little girl then back to you again... so weird... I just smiled and felt happiness and warmth in my heart. This seriously happened in a matter of seconds as I was turning on I-10 from Warner this morning. I have no doubt that was some kind of message to you. 


And this part made me laugh: Did he have a truck? What she didn't know was that my dad was a truck man. From the time I was a little girl (and possibly before that), my dad always drove a truck. 

When I told Valerie that my dad always had a truck and one in particular, an old rusty brown one that he drove for years during the eighties.  That dirty, dusty old pickup truck was as much a part of my father as we were.  A trusted old friend that weathered the storms of the heartland, but also the storms of the economy.  Although she didn't see that exact truck, what she wrote next melted my heart.

I am so glad that i was able to share that with you!! I cant quite see the color of the truck but he was adjusting the radio and seemed really happy...

And then, the next day...

So....this morning i went into school early with no children in the car so it was actually quiet. As i was backing out of my spot i said a quick prayer and just told your dad thanks for letting me be that messenger for you yesterday and i kid you the next second that song came on the radio! I know it plays a lot right now but that was too much of a!

And just now as I was asking permission to use her name, she sent this: P.s. your dad was laughing a hearty laugh while changing the radio in my vision!

And two days later, as I was still on the high from Valerie's message, I had another God Wink.  This time it was from my sweet friend, Sherece. 

I wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you all and praying for you all. You, your mother, and your dad were all in my dream last night...not sure why. They were both so sweet. When I woke up I felt a sense of urgency to pray for you all. I love you, and just wanted to let you know.

I read and reread this message over and over and over again.  I replayed it and digested it and felt such love from Sherece.  To know that my dear friend was praying for us was such a beautiful gift.  I think aside from having a visit from my dad, the part I love the most is the fact that she was praying for me, without my knowledge, and with such urgency and love, breaks my heart in the most loving of ways.

When I finally messaged her back and asked her what her dream was about, she sent me this:

The entire dream was bizarre from what I remember. We were at a hospital, your dad was being treated for something but it wasn't cancer. He and I were roommates in the hospital, but I wasn't sick. You, your mom and I were waiting outside the room talking and laughing. When I went in the room to get my things your dad was healthy and talking to me. He had on overalls and was kind of laying on his side. He told me some corny joke, it was beyond hilarious to him. Nothing really stood out in the dream...but when I woke up I felt so deeply in my spirit that I needed to pray for your family.

Check out the bold part; for those of you who know my dad, he was an overalls guy, and it would be COMPLETELY typical of him to tell some corny joke and find it HILARIOUS!  As soon as I read that, I'm sure he could hear me laughing in heaven!! 

Amazing, incredible, and wonderful things happen all of the time.  They happen around us, to us, and with us.  They happen because of and in spite of what we believe.  Simply put, miracles so still happen. 

We are all so loved; in this life and beyond.  I am so lucky to have a father who lets me know he's still with me and his new friends who pass on the messages of healing. 

God bless! xoxo

Sunday, March 2, 2014

In the Darkness of Midnight

In the darkness of midnight,
In the time before dawn;
When the angels come whisper,

Their sweet goodnight song.

I meet you in heaven,
Between this life and yours.

To dance in the clouds

Of our most perfect song.
I hear your voice whisper,

You tell me hello.

Your arms wrap me tight,

We tango as two.
You kiss my head sweetly,

Your hands tangled with mine.
I step on your toes-

We keep perfect time.
In the darkness of midnight,

In the time before dawn.
The angels sing to us-

To you

I belong.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I WipeThe Grief Off My Hands

I wipe the grief off of my hands.
My hands that are stained with the tears of loss.
The fingers that tuck the hairs behind my ears,
Of the locks that carry the salt of the tears I've cried.

I wipe the grief off my hands.
I wash the palms that hold the face,
Of the parents that once comforted me,
In my times of need.

I wipe the grief off of my hands.
The hands that understand that,
There is never enough toughness
To make this ache go away.

I wipe the grief off of my hands.
And weep again with the ache,
As I hold them together.
Knowing that in this world,
They cannot entwine again with his.

As I wipe the grief off of my hands,
I look for the hands that offer to comfort me,
On this journey I'm still on.
To pick me up and help me stand;
As I struggle for a way to
Wipe this grief off of my hands.