Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mountain Climbing.....

Yoga class.  I started with some trepidation, but it's become a pretty regular part of my life. Babygirl and  I make it to two to three classes weekly, and are the better for it.  (Babygirl noted today, as she bent down with a dustpan, that it's easier to do chores like that one now that she does yoga regularly.)  Since I had no idea what one did in a yoga class, I've learned a few things.

I've learned that I CAN stand on one leg, reach one arm out in front of me and reach back with my other arm and grab my foot.  You know, the one that ISN'T still on the ground.  I've learned that I'm not the only person who can only do this pose on one side, but not the other.  I've learned that I'll never figure out why they name poses after awkward animals. No pigeon I ever saw ever looked like anything that I or anyone else in the room is attempting to do.  And, like Citygirl, there is a part of me that giggles everytime I imagine rooms full of adult people all over the world lying on their backs hanging onto their feet for dear life in the Happy Baby pose.

But I digress.

While yoga itself is not a religion, it is a meditative practice, at least at our studio.  Each class begins with setting an intention:  What are you focusing on tonight?  It can be as simple as peace, or self acceptance, or a more complicated thought.

The other day, the instructor gave us this quote:

"These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb." *

My brain literally stopped.

In one sentence:  This is what we are doing wrong.  This. Is. What. I. Am. Doing. Wrong.

This quote has been bouncing around my head for three weeks now.

Ash Wednesday is this week.  It's time to contemplate Lenten discipline. The last few years it's been about giving back, being kind.  This year?  Well, how do you figure out how to let go of the mountains?  To put them down and not pick them up again?  How do you just climb?

Time to re-route the journey a bit somehow.  Stopping my brain was an excellent starting point.


*quote attribution: Najwa Zebian

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Road Less Traveled....

A friend at work showed me pictures of her son the other day.  He's about Babygirl's age, and he's a wonderful boy. He's kind, generous (he's the one who passed on his 'guys' to LittleMan so many years ago because he knew we only had 'girl toys' at our house!) and well-mannered.  He's a natural athelete who once actually managed to make a hole-in-one at a PGA golf course.

The pictures were ordinary enough:  Handsome young man, suit and tie, lovely young lady, formal dress, all decked out for a school dance.

It tore my heart.

Citygirl was a social butterfly and attended so many formal dances at so many different schools that I cut her off budgetarily in terms of new formal dresses. She learned to shop on the internet and switch up with friends and I have a million pictures of her in the most astonishing dresses, surrounded by beautiful girlfriends all trying (in my humble opinion, of course!) to look as lovely as she.

JuJuBee had no real interest in such goings-on.  She and her beloved were once voted prom King and Queen on a mission trip, and they nearly died of embarrassment.  It was typical of her quiet personality that this was NOT as funny to her as it was to those of us who had stuffed the ballot box.

Curlygirl went to her Senior Prom, and because it was almost the only dance she'd ever wanted to go to we went all-out on the dress.  She was lovely.


She is walking, and not by choice, the road less traveled.  Before her illness she was not an extremely outgoing child, but she would go with Youth Group and have sleepovers and invite friends in. She wasn't a 'girly girl' who paid a lot of attention to fashion or makeup, but she was only 11 when she got sick. Who knows, if illness had not intervened, what type of social life would have developed for her?

She is attending school online.  If asked, she says that she is happy with her social life.


I've seen her dressed up for her sister's wedding, dancing and having a wonderful time.  I think it's not likely, however, that I'm going to see her in a prom dress with an updo going to a school dance.  And if it were her choice, like JuJu's, not to go, I'd be fine with that.  It just tears me to think that the choice has been taken from her.


Saturday, February 4, 2017


Let's face it:  This past year has been a stinker.  2016 is a year that is generally best laid to rest.

We lost my Mom a year ago this month.

Matt had the surgery which, while un-paralyzing his leg, put paid to his ability to work (so we did without his paycheck for the last 7 months of the year while his disability application got sorted.  Good times).

Curlygirl and SqueakersDaddy separated, and she is struggling.

We put our beloved Maybelle down.

My work accidentally put me on medical leave, leaving me with no paycheck for the last three weeks before Christmas, which means NO ONE in the house got paid before Christmas.  (I got paid before New Year's but it took until yesterday to get a physical copy of that final paystub for tax purposes!)

And Babygirl has continued to fight the headaches.  My heart sinks thinking about it.

On the flip side, though, 2016 has had some sweet gifts.

BamBam was born a year ago today, just in time to bring us joy in the midst of our mourning.

I've been in contact with a lost cousin.  I like what I see - I really really really want to meet her in person.

My wonderful son-in-law has been accepted to and started at Cornell University, and I'm so proud to have another Ivy League kid in the family!

Citygirl's promotion at the CIA makes her the youngest executive there ever, and the fastest promoted.

JuJuBee has applied for LPN school, looking for ways to make things better for her growing family.  I'm incredibly proud of her toughness and drive.  I'm incredibly proud of her pride.

If you had asked me, back in the beginning of 2011, what I pictured for the future in six years, I might have mentioned a second home in the south, plans for retirement, Babygirl's upcoming high school graduation. None of those things are happening anytime soon or on the expected timeline.   Life does what it does, and goes where it goes, and we have learned the cold hard truth:  Control over our lives is an illusion.  We can only hang on, and our choices lie in whether we laugh or cry.

I suppose it's anyone's guess whether Babygirl would have had such severe migraines without the transplant. But there is no question of how unendurable her suffering was on dialysis, and she'd be quick to say she wouldn't go back for any money.  Since it's her life, and her pain, my maternal gut-twist over all of this takes second place to the fact that she remains steadfastly and absolutely grateful for her transplant.

And therefore, so am I.

So happy first birthday to BamBam, and happy 5th anniversary to Babygirl's and Jorge's kidney!  Long and happy may they all live!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Five Solid Years.....

We got a letter from the family of Babygirl's kidney donor, Jorge, last month.  They said they're sorry they don't write more.  They admit that they are still very sad, and said that they are going to go home to Mexico for a while.  Lordy.  I'm impressed that they have the strength to write at all.  I'd be curled up in a little ball forever, I think.

I think of them often, pray for them, and am grateful for them.  I mourn with them this day.  Every. Single. Year.  Probably for as long as I live.