Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Little Self-Diagnosis......

I have a disorder. Nothing life threatening or serious - but a disorder non the less.

I call it 'detatchment disorder'. I don't know if it is a real something or just something I've made up.

Since I was little, we moved a lot {Due to numerous evictions}, people, family and friends came and went. My mother left when I was 10. No one ever really stuck around through the good and the bad. Everyone I loved has always left {Ok, not everyone - but the ones that were most important} My family floated in and out of jail and some floated in and out of consciousness with the help of illegal substances. It's always been me - the strong one. The clam one. The 'grown up'.

And when they leave...I shut down the part of my heart that they used to fill.

Maybe its a defense mechanism - maybe it's a good safety measure. But, whatever it is, it sucks.

I'm cautious around women and once you burn me - it's hard for me to trust again. I am praying over it and working hard to break down the walls that I build.

I have been doing this in response to my dad's passing. I went into survival mode: jam pack my schedule, run from one topic to the next, study like it's my job for school. But now, it's summer break and my days are filled with fun and leisure. {haha, leisure!}

It all hit on Mother's Day. I had to work which didn't bother me too much. Another nice distraction - plus, I really like my job. We were slow and I checked Facebook - everyone had posted so many nice things about their mothers....'Like' if you love your mom.....Share if your mom is the best. I evetually just stopped looking. The only nice thing about my mom is that she created me. And she gave me a great example of which path NOT to go down....

Anyhoo - I usually call my dad on Mother's Day. A bit unorthodox, but it's just the way I've always done. HE was there for me. HE talked to me about makeup, periods, and boys. HE was the one who shopped with me and tucked me in. HE was the best. I don't even have him to call now. I called his number and listened to his voicemail about 5 times. I have a beautiful family and enjoyed them celebrating me, but I secretly wanted the day to just be over.

The tears fell as I laid in bed and thought of my dad - and God heard my cries and gave me the most beautiful dream that night.

My dad, tan with freckles peeking out. Silver hair combed back. His blue eyes lit up in a great big smile. He was laughing. He hugged me and gave me a necklace with a key on it. He laughed and shrugged as if to say "it's all good, booga" {A nickname I've had since birth - and one I've never excaped}. I could not hear what he said and I can not for the life of me recall why we were laughing or what the key was for. But it was him. Warm, funny, and happy him.

That dream makes me laugh and it makes me cry. It spoke volumes although I didn't hear a word.

So, I must keep working through it. I can't let my 'diagnosis' of detachment disorder keep me from sorting through it. I need to be healthy and you know I won't just lie down and let this over take me.

I got a text today that rocked my world.

I have been hounding his wife, Beth, in a nice and respectful way, to get a date on the calender to go through his things. To take some of his ashes. To allow myself to see and touch his things and really feel it all. She finally gave me an answer:

She says she has nothing I want and that HER kids will spread their ashes together when she passes.

I couldn't breathe. I still cant figure it out. How...why...who would do such an ugly thing. I'm still trying to process it all. I have nothing of him - and will get nothing.

Abba, heavenly father, help me to be kind. To be and act like the woman you want me to be. Wipe these tears and give me discernment.

It's days like thses that I wish I was more 'hood :). That I didn't have to be responsible and nice and cautious. Because believe you me, I would be on the next flight, showing up at her doorstep and ASKING for trouble..........

I can't do much. But I can ask for your prayers. And maybe some advice if you've been through something like it. I'm just sitting, replaying it all, and letting tears fall.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Marvel....

I pulled in the driveway at 8:22p.m. I am home from class - I had an exam followed by an hour of lecture. I see the blinking light on my phone signaling a new message. It's Mike, wondering will I pick up Dairy Queen for him. I back up and head down the road to fulfill his craving. I come in, tired and hungry.

I hand him his frozen treat, and plant a kiss on his lips.

I marvel at God's grace in giving me my better half - exactly who I need and want.

I make my way down the hall. Park's light is on and he's still half-awake. I kneel next to his bed and rub his head. "I can't get comfy, mom." I re-arrange his pillows and tuck him in tight. I rub his back and he tells me I always tuck him in best.

I check Hunter next - out cold and looking so much like his daddy. I kiss him and whisper how much I love him.

Rae is nestled into her Moose pillow pet (a gift from her daddy, and her FAVORITE lovie) with Nuk in place. She stirs and cries. I pick her up and see what has awoken her - she rolled over onto some plastic food from her play kitchen that her brothers lovingly fetched for her after nap. I cuddle her close. I sing "The Way You Look Tonight". The song my dad and I danced to at my wedding. Her blue eyes get heavy as she mumbles along from behind her paci. She's out again and I gingerly lay her down and sneak out.

I plop on the couch to eat the dinner I made before leaving for class. The kids love pork chops and home made mashed 'taters. And Mike has made me a plate - warm and ready.

I sit and eat. I marvel at it. This life. The crazy and the mundane.

Between bites Mike and I laugh and talk while we flip back and forth from Pawn Stars and Mike and Molly.

I bought a Mini blizzard -  Peanut-butter and chocolate covered pretzels. Yes, it IS just as good as it sounds!

I marvel at God's provision. That even though for the last month I have run from Him, avoided any thing and any one who may bring up how I am coping. He did not move - I did. He loved me and He waited on me.

I raised my hands in church in singing and praise. He is an awesome God - a Mighty Fortress. He works ALL things together for my good and His glory.

I marvel.......

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Still Sorting Through It.....

I tossed and turned all night on Sunday. I had clinicals at Lake County Jail and had to be there by 7am. I am always afraid that I'll over sleep and was nervous about going, so I woke almost every hour to check the time on my phone.

At 3:58a I rolled over, grabbed my phone just in time to see a message from Beth, my dad's wife, pop up saying 'Call me.'

I hopped out of bed and went to the family room so I wouldn't wake Mike. I called. No answer. I texted. No response. I sat for about 15 minutes and then went back to lay in bed. I cradled the phone under my ear to be sure I heard it if she called. At 4:12, she called. I asked what was wrong and she asked to talk to Mike. I woke him and handed him the phone. He sat up and didn't say much. He hung up and took a deep breath. It seemed like hours until he finally said "Your dad is in a coma. He is unresponsive and they're not sure what's wrong. They're moving him to ICU. Beth is on her way there now." I pelted him with 100 questions - all of which he had no answers to. Mike held me and I cried. I knew from the click of that first text that my dad was gone. I kept telling myself that he's stubborn and will wake up and laugh at how worried we all are....but he never would.

I went back to the family room. I could'nt sleep and I needed more answers - and coffee. I called the hospital's {in Stockbridge, GA where he was} Cardiac ICU. The secretary was nice, but could give me no info. She must've heard the panic in my voice as I tried to hold it together. She said the team was still in his room and the doctor would speak with family as soon as they arrived.

I sat. And stared. I couldn't think, couldn't pray, couldn't even sip my hot coffee. I called my brother to let him know. He was steady and comforting. At about 4:45 my phone rang and it was Beth on the other end. She was paniced, out of breath, and crying. She said she was on her way out the door and a nurse just called and asked that she hurry - my dad had gotten 'more critical'.

The rest of the morning is a blurr. I texted my sister and she called back and sobbed when she heard the news. I had to keep my composure to get the kids ready for school and fed. I called my professor and she said I should be home and not to worry about clinicals. My friend took Park to school and our sitter came to be with Rae and Hunter.

Beth texted me around 8 and said we had some decisions to make. She wouldn't text back or answer my calls. I was upset and called Mike. He said he was on his way home. I knew he had talked to Beth. He knew something and I knew nothing. He came in and said dad had to have surgery. He had a bleed on his brain. They had to open up his chest to get his heart regulated and to stop the bleed. He had no chance of survival without the procedure and very slim chance of making it through the surgery....

I cried. I was numb. I was mad. Mike got the kids situated and we headed to the church. We sat in the empty santuary and cried, talked, and were comforted by our Pastor. The entire staff prayed over us. We left and I updated the family via text.

We went to Bob Evans and had breakfast. We went to pick up drawings for a job mike is doing and then to Uptown Cafe to meet our youth ministry leader. When I walked in the door. My phone rang. It was Beth. The neurologist had come in to check dad. His pupils were dilated and fixed and dad had no reflexes. A sure sign that his brain had died. I cried and stared. My dad was gone. We were asked to come as soon as possible.

We got into Atlanta at 12:30 p.m. Monday night. I walked into dad's room. He looked peaceful. An NG tube in his nose. Mutiple IV lines and an arterial line in either arm. A catheter in place. Leads on his chest. An endotracheal tube placed in his mouth to breathe for him. He was on medications; lots of meds. To control his heart rate, keep his kidneys working, something for regulating blood pressure.... {All my nursing school knowledge flew out the window when I stepped in his room}My dad - always strong and bold and loud. That day was quiet and unresponsive. I had cried all day and most of the drive down - so I held it together when I saw him. I held his hand and talked with him. I kissed his head and told him we'd be back the next morning.

We got a hotel room and slept from 3:30a to 6:30a and went back to his bedside.

The next week is still like a fuzzy, bad dream. I sat with my dad on his bed, holding his hand. I really felt like he would hear me and wake up. Even just blink or squeeze my hand back. I told him he had to wake up - he could not leave with out saying goodbye. It wasn't fair. I didn't eat and filled up only on coffee.

People were in and out of the room. So many people who saw me asked "You're Fred's baby girl aren't you? He adored you and talked about you all the time" {I know I was his favorite ;)} I met some of dad and Beth's friends, but I can't remember their names or even what they looked like- I didn't want them there. I wanted to scream that they needed to stop planning dinner and what errands they needed to run and leave. Some of them giggled and joked around - I was furious. I sat with my back to them, staring at my dad. This was my last time with him. I hated them for being ok. I was watching the only constant in my life slip away. His hand must've bruised from how tightly I squeezed and rubbed it for three days straight.

There is so very much more to this story - but I don't want to remember those details. Things got hard and kinda bad between us and his wife. She would not accept that he was gone and let his body rest until the doctor stepped in and told her that under Georgia state law, once a person is proclaimed brain dead they must be taken off life support. It was a long, ugly day. But I knew my dad wouldn't want a fight. So I stayed with him. I prayed, and we 'talked'.

We got home on Thursday late afternoon. My dad passed away at 1 a.m. on Friday March 8. I was not there. I am still trying to be okay with all that happened. With not being outside that OR when he finally went home. I loathe his wife for going home. For falling so deeply into sleep and not keeping me updated. That I sat by the phone and wondered if he was still fighting....Did they take him off the vent and he breathed on his own? Was he in pain? Aware of what was happening?? My mind went crazy.....I got a text from Beth the next morning. An 'oops! I fell asleep and forgot to call' {Father, help me to accept the things I can not change - and to be KIND!!} We all grieve differently and I know it's not up to me to tell others how or what they should do in a time like this.

He was a full organ donor. His beautiful blue eyes gave the gift of sight to someone. His kidneys are giving life to two people. And his liver and spleen were donated as well.

My God is soverign. His timing is immaculate and perfect. His will is good and His heart only loves. It is not to me to question Him.

But I am left with a hurting heart. I am a 29 year old orphan - my mom is not stable or healthy nor any part of my life, and my beloved pop is in heaven. I haven't had the chance to fall apart - I had to keep it together to plan his memorial, to get family in town, to arrange hotles, make decisions, and continue on with school, kids, chores, life.

I have been assured there will be a time to sort through all the 'yuck' that's left. Emotions, questions, hurt, anger, and sadness. I am resting in the fact that my dad is so very much enjoying fishing, dancing, feasting, and laughing with his Heavenly Father.

 I just miss him. I have called his phone more times than I care to admit just to hear his voice on his outgoing message. He is a beautiful soul and I know he's exactly where he's meant to be.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life - In 3 Hour Increments

I wake at 6:30 a.m. My hardworking {and HOT} hubby is usually out the door and on call by this time. I walk, bleary eyed, to the kitchen and start the coffee. The boys giggle and wish me good morning. I make my way down the hall to littlest's room and scoop her up for kisses. She smiles when she sees us now - one of the sweet bonuses of my job.

7 a.m starts Rae's eat/play/sleep cycle. She noisily takes down 5 ounces and heartily burps. She's changed and while she happily plays in her baby gym, I change my clothes, set up my yoga mat, and turn on Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown DVD. I am in love with the practice of yoga - I always thought it was just breathing and stretching, and somehow centered around Buddah! But it's body training, concentration, and has changed my body dramatically in a matter of a week! {I'm down 3 more pounds, and Mike has noticed my toned arms and booty!} The boys love on Rae and keep her happy while I finish my work out - they are such good helpers, most of the time. I look at the clock and decide if Rae should go down for a nap and how much I can get done before she eats again at 10. Some days are full of errands and school for Park, so she has had to learn to go with the flow, and sleep thru A LOT of noise :) but, she does well. Might as well get her used to the hustle and bustle of Krooswyk life from a young age.

This is it, Rae eats every 3 hours, and I try my best to fit everything else in between.

The boys needs and mealtimes, laundry, dishes, errands, cooking, cleaning, refereeing brotherly spats, organizing, planning, paying bills, and a few spare minutes to get lost in a book or magazine on my Nook. (The bathroom/bathing fits in as well, but I almost always have an audience for those times of day - a not-so-attractive bonus of my job! And, more often than not, my shower comes at 8:30 p.m. after all the kids are in bed and fast asleep.) My new perfume is that of spit up, my outfit of choice is work out clothes that are comfortable, and the bags under my eyes are worn proudly - as no amount of make up will cover them.

Mike gets home around 5, and at 4:30 I pray for the energy to make him feel special and appreciated. For the patience to give him a few minutes to shower and unwind when he walks in the door - when all I really wanna do is toss him a few kids and get dinner made with both hands!  I long for the days of dates with him and sleeping through the night so I have the energy to be his best friend and enjoy our life at a steady pace.

These days are hard and at times trying, but they're days that I'll soon miss. Rocking and signing Rae to sleep, praying with the boys and talking about everything left over on their minds from the day's activities. All too soon they'll be in school, driving, dating, and wanting to be independent from their parents. Oy! My heart hurts when I think of how big they're getting - and the fact that they will not quit getting bigger - no matter how much I beg them not to!

Maternity leave has been the toughest job I've had to date! And in 3 short weeks, I'll be back at work and starting Nursing school. Two things which I am looking forward to, but at the same time dreading. I am blessed beyond measure; a beautiful family, a job I love, and the new adventure of school and a new career. I pray for my children and husband daily - sometimes hourly depending on what the day holds - and pray also for my eyes to be opened to enjoy every minute of this crazy, beautiful life!   

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tells a Story....

Sometimes I look at old pictures of me and get nostalgic for that nice, fit body that I sported for 23 years. That is, until I gave birth to my firstborn, Parker. Then, 17 months later, came Hunter. And now, 4 years after we welcomed Park, a little girl will join our brood!

I wake most mornings more tired than when I went to bed the night before. I scrape my hair back into a messy pony tail and gaze at the woman staring back at me in the mirror. I'm learning to glorify God in everything - even  my thoughts. So, here is how I choose to see this body of mine.

I'll let you in on the secrets of it's story.....

My hair is messy but washed [almost] everyday. It's the hair of a busy mom who wears it just so that it can be pulled into a hair tie and needs only a blow dryer to be 'styled' for the day.
My green eyes peer back at me, lined with dark circles. The circles that remind me of how hard I work all day long - and sometimes into the night - to assure that my boys are taken care of.
Crows feet outline those dark circles and remind me of how much I laugh - how important I think it is to stop and see the joy in every day.
My shoulders are strong and carry the burdens of those I love.
My hands are wide but strong. Able to care for patients at work, my family and friends, and full of worship. My nails are bitten and my cuticles are rough, but they are a testament to a working, worrying momma!
My 'lady lumps' are small, but nourished 2 beautiful boys into healthy little men. :)
My navel is scarred from a belly-button ring, but it reminds me of my younger days - carefree and bikini clad!
My hips are wide, but have brought two {soon to be 3!} children into this crazy beautiful world.
My hips to mid-thigh are marked like a road map, but the scars remind me of how amazing my body is to stretch and reconstruct to make another being. They're the battle scars of my most amazing accomplishments.
My legs are the strongest part of my body, and have carried me through good times and bad, happiness and tragedy. 
My feet are wide and flint-stone like, but they are the support for this whole body. They were made to follow God, and that's just what they do.  
My mind is fuzzy and at times forgetful, but God gave me the brains to succeed in school and be a teacher to my children. 
My heart has been broken a time or two, but is filled with God's word and bursting with love and truth.  

I am fearfully and wonderfully made!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Request...

How do you be the best mom you can when the only example you have known seems like something straight out of a Jerry Springer episode?

This is a question that has haunted me since the day Mike and I got married. We both knew from our first date that we wanted kids - and to raise them in a Christian household. Talking about it was fine - and when we became pregnant with Parker I talked myself into believing that I would be the best mom, the total opposite of my mother. I prayed daily and trusted that God would take over and teach me by example of women around me how to accomplish my most important goal. And He did teach me....I'm learning everyday through the Word, prayer, amazing girlfriends and family, and trial-and-error. I don't always do it right; I fail, and I yell, and I misunderstand. But there is forgiveness in every new morning I greet. God has placed the most amazing Step Mom and Mother in Law in my life - and I can't imagine how I would make it through without them. And my husband; oh, my BEST half. He is gentle, loving, and so very patient when I just need to cry or vent or laugh. He makes me laugh harder than anyone I've ever met. And he builds me up and forces me see the good job I am doing.

But that was with the boys.....

We recently found out that we're having a baby GIRL - Praise the Lord for a beautiful, healthy, and perfectly developing child! I will not question God's perfect will over my life and the lives of the children He will give. But, just between you and me, I'm scared to death of being a mother to a girl.

My mother and my relationship has been unhealthy and turbulent since my earliest memories. I've always bent over backwards to try and make my mother love me, to make her proud. She left in the middle of the night when I was 10, and never looked back or accepted responsibility. Every time she called and came back and I forgave and forgot - I wound up being hurt, no, destroyed. I always turned a blind eye to her blatant sinning in hopes that she would accept me and be a healthy fixture in my life. But I just can't any longer. I am a mother - and I need to be emotionally and physically healthy in order to best take care of my family.

The last time my mother and I talked was when Hunter was only a few weeks old - well over two years ago. In that conversation I was letting God speak through me - keeping my cool and not stooping to her level. I calmly explained to her that her lies were catching up with her and hurting people she [supposedly] loved. And that her drug and alcohol abuse made it impossible to have a relationship with her. She yelled and ranted, cursed me up one side and down the other, called me every name in the book and ended with calling me the b-word and sarcastically saying that I am 'just SOOO perfect' (in a snotty 6th grade girl kind of voice). Her words still haunt me. My own mother - hating me. Spewing venom and lies that cut me so deep and won't stop ringing in my ears. She said I would end up just like her with my children being taken away from me.

Just like her....Just like her...Just like her.....

I am not her - and I pray that God will reveal truths in my life and keep me accountable and on the straight and narrow. But the enemy has weaseled his way into my thoughts, entwined his lies in the truth and blurred the lines so much so that I am feeling inadequate and fearful. I am starting to believe that I will be just like her - that this sweet baby girl will feel the same way about me someday that I feel towards my mother.

Pregnancy is uber emotional all on its own so I've been pushing these feelings and fears away in hopes that not acknowledging them will make them *poof* disappear! But they aren't going anywhere, and I refuse to let Satan win and take away the joy of carrying a child and basking in God's amazing plan!

So, what's my request? Your Prayers. I love my children beyond measure and I trust in the Lord with all my heart - and if you know me at all, you know these truths are evident in my life. But, I need my head and my heart to coincide and free me from these thoughts and lies. I need to take steps in forgiveness and move on with my life once and for all....Any ideas on how to actually do that? :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mom Guilt

Oy! The beauty of being a mother - and the pressure put on to be the best and do it all, all of the time.

I had a good day at work on Saturday - we were busy and the day flew by. I stopped off at Kohl's and Yankee Candle to score freebies and get a few Christmas gifts on my way home. I arrived home ready to get a shower and hang out with the Youth Group at Pesto's and a VU Basketball game.

Then I saw I had started to spot - again. I was scared and upset and called the doctor. She asked that I come to the Hospital and get checked out. I went in immediately and called a dear friend on the way for support and prayer. All checked out fine, no dilation, no contractions, and an ultrasound showed baby girl safely inside, playing away! It was a nerve-racking 3 hours, and many calls and texts to update Mike of what was going on. I lay in the bed worrying away....when the nurse came in with a smile and gave me the all clear. She ordered bed rest for 48 hours and a few further instructions.

I walked up to my unit to give my doctor's note with the order to stay home from work the next day. And it hit me: GUILT!! I feel awful about calling off. Then, the girls reminded me that rest is exactly what I need, and it was probably doing too much at work that got me into this in the first place.... Then, I felt worse. I had caused this, brought it upon myself.

I came home and got my babies in bed (without lifting one of them!) and snuggled in to relax and put my feet up.

Bed rest sounds like a lovely little vacation from chores and having to wear anything but sweats. But for me, Type A and a touch ADHD, sitting still is not one of my strong suits! I made lists, did homework, read, and folded laundry, and ordered a maternity support belt for work - all while sitting....I felt guilty about watching Mike get the boys showered and off to church, preparing meals, cleaning up, and he also had work to catch up on.

I would do anything to keep my baby safe and healthy, but little girl is giving me a run for my money! I am still resting today. My wonderful Mother-in-Law is coming to help out with the boys and I will check in and see what the doctor wants to do next.

I am following orders and trying like crazy to keep this nagging guilt at bay! I guess I'll just enjoy being the one to be taken care of and playing with my little boys.... :)