Just Put It In Your Purse…And Keep On Walking


Oh how I love my mom. She’s done such wacky things in her life. I love all the crazy stories, from her. She is obsessed with moving back to Wisconsin. Even though, she is totally incapable of caring for herself. I try to appease her, by being part of the fantasy.  She will be ‘stuck,’ on something for days, weeks, even months. 

david performs exorcism on mom

For example; “Since when did McDonald’s begin serving chicken?” She asks. “They should have stuck with hamburgers.” As if McDonald’s is losing market share, since they started this ‘new product.’ I used to say, “mom, they have served chicken for years.” But that’s a losing battle.

The other day, she brought up the story about her taking a bag of garbage to work, one day, instead of her lunch. “Oh, I remember that.” I said. It seems I was just thinking about this recently. But I remember laughing about this for years. She took a small brown bag, off of the windowsill. She thought it was the lunch, she had prepared. But she found, when lunch time arrived, she had grabbed a bag full of cigarette butts, and trash.

She came out of the family room and into the kitchen to tell me, “You know that happened before I was married. So you couldn’t have remembered this.” “Mom, that happened when we lived in Parklawn,” I said.  “I was about  10 years 0ld.”

Now, she was really annoyed. “Well, it must have happened to me twice. I remember, and I was still living at home.”

“”Ok, here I am again,” I’m thinking. “There’s no way, I’m going to argue about something so foolish. And especially, since, she is feeling self-conscious about, her forgetfulness. I will snap, and then instantly realize, “hey, this will be me, one day.” It must be difficult to know you’re not able to do the things you once were able to do. And you can’t remember the things you could remember.

Some people handle it with more grace, than others. I have grasped the understanding, that to my mother, I’m the enemy. I’m the reminder, of her life, slowing down. When she needs me, she won’t tell me. She makes comments, which suggest, her need. When I comply, she will say, “If you want to, you can help.” But she isn’t the kind to say thank you. I don’t ever think I’ve heard my mother say, “I’m sorry,” for anything.

So I may have learned to adapt, by making a joke out of everything. I remembered another story, and said, “Hey mom. Don’t you remember when you told us you were walking down the street, in downtown Milwaukee, and your slip fell down?” “Oh yea!” She said. “That was funny. I just stepped out of my slip. Put it in my purse, and kept on walking, like nothing happened.”

I love that story, because, it pretty much sums up my mother. No crisis, too big, nothing too embarrassing. She’s done it, and seen it, all. She just, “puts it in her purse, and keeps walking.” She’s more amazing, than she realizes. And this is the reason, she has all of my respect.

Even now, when it isn’t her slip, but her own memory,which is slipping, I keep my respect level, higher, than my impatience. I can’t bring pain to her. I think that the ‘life lessons, which she has taught me, have kept me from drowning in my own fears, or grief.

I took her to the neurologist, last week. I knew she required some tests. A casual-dressed, doctor ,walked into the room. Full of experience, with aging mom’s and dad’s. He knew the repetitive behaviors. The obsession with certain subjects. and he took  it all with humor. “How long have you lived with your daughter ?” He asked. “I DON’T LIVE WITH HER! I’m from Wisconsin!” “Ok,” he said. “How long have you been co-habitating with her?” I smirked at his remark, as she answered, “For about a year.” “Oh, you have been co-habitating with her for a year.”

He moved on; “Do you know what state you’re in?” “Of course, Florida.” She answered. “What city?” Now she was stuck. She said, “Florida.” “That’s a state, what city?” He asked again. She was getting flustered. “Ok, what county?” “Florida.” She answered again. “That’s a state, what county?” “I have no idea,” she said. I do believe,it’s the first time I’ve ever heard her acknowledge that either.

Now, he holds up his pen. “What’s this?”he asks. “A pen!” She seems clearly annoyed at this point. Then he started to ask her some math problems. With quite a bit of hesitation, she seemed to come up with a good deal of answers, and proudly proclaimed, “I told you, I worked at a bank!” He said, “I’m going to write something on a paper, and I want to you to read it. “Well, she says, “if you write like most doctor’s, no one will be able to read it!”

He continued to ask  more questions, and then he told her, “Now, I’m going to take a walk with you.” She became very fearful, as she stated, “my socks will get dirty!” “Well, that’s what washing machines are for,” He said. All the while, I’m thinking, I’m the one who does the laundry, anyway.

I realized that she had blamed her lack of mobility on her shoes. After buying a few more pairs, she now claims that it is her knee, which is sore. From a fall she had taken months ago. Never mind that I’ve taken her on walks, around the block, since this time. She uses a walker, go around the block, but refuses to use it in the house.

When she last complained about the knees, she claimed, if I got something, like Icy Hot, and placed this on her knee’s, she could walk. I hate the smell of these products, but my son assured me, “as soon as you put it on, grandma will say.” “Oh, this feels good.” “Then she’ll start screaming, a few minutes later.” “Take this off of me!!!” I laughed, as it’s probably true. But then again, I will be compromising her last straw. I don’t know how long she’ll stick to her story.

So now, the doctor is holding her arm, as he very slowly, walks her into the hall. I cannot see her, but I can hear her. I’m guessing he didn’t get too far, considering, the very small, measured steps, she takes.

Then I hear her, and I start laughing. He tells her, “Now, I’m going to push you.” “What?” She says. “Yes, I’m going to push you, and I want you to hold your balance.” I hear her say, “I’m going to push you again. Hold onto my arm.” Then he pushes her again, and I hear him say, “I told you to keep your balance!” She yells back, “I would! But you keep pushing me!” At this point, I was cracking up. What a scene this must have been.

Later, as he shared some of his findings, I nodded, at the advice, he had given me. And that  we need more tests.

When we were driving home, I said, “Hey mom, what did you think of those tests?” “Oh, they were silly!” She said. “Of course, I knew the math. And what about when he held up his pen?” I said, “Yea, you should have said, “Hey, how is it you managed to become a neurologist, when you don’t know, basic math, and don’t even know what a pen is?”

We were laughing so hard as I said, “If you think that was funny. You should have been on my end. When I was sitting in the room and you went into the hall!” “Oh, did you hear that?” She asked. “Yea, it seemed like he took you out of the room so I wouldn’t see him pushing you around! And those questions, really did make you want to ask, “Are you smarter than a neurologist?”

I told her I had a test similar,when I had a PTSD, test. They asked me so many questions, about states, capitals, presidents, etc. I knew all the answers, but I was perplexed by the questioning. I was telling some friends, and I said, “Hey, I’m not delusional” As they laughed, they said, “I don’t think I could have answered, half of those questions!”

I told my mom, as she laughed, “who knows, maybe they are recruiting for a game show!”

So, as I continue in my quest to help her, I just keep reminding myself of the sage wisdom, she had given me so many years, before; “Just put it in your purse and keep on walking!”

Happy Hair Loss Restoration Month!”


Hair

What in the world is going on in this country? Does everyone who has a product to promote, get a month or day, set aside for their ailment,so we can all spend money for the cause? Today, I saw a guy on some show, claiming that it is, Hair Loss Restoration Month. Gee, I didn’t know. Perhaps I should be sending cards to my friends, who are slowly losing their locks. The “hair challenged.” I suppose it’s an offensive remark now, to call someone ‘bald.’

I know this ailment. My father was completely bald, and he seemed proud of it. “Grass doesn’t grow on a busy street!” He always used to tell us. Over the years, we had seen him receive gifts, of ‘The bald comb,’ a coonskin cap, etc. He loved it. The time I saw his picture in his navy uniform, on my grandmother’s dresser, I exclaimed, Wow! Dad, you had hair!” I thought how handsome he looked. Only a boy. He’d lost his hair quite young.

Then there’s my mom. She had always had very thin hair. And even now, she refuses me to curl it, or fix it in any way. I get frustrated. I had pulled it into a cute pony tail, and she told me, “she didn’t want me to do it again.” I laughed, at the fact that her and I are completely different in this area. I always enjoyed fixing my hair and doing makeup. At a very young age. I would take her makeup out of her bedroom and put it on. I would study magazines and learn all the techniques. I took a charm book she had from her, when I was about 10, and studied it, as if it was my bible. I then took some of her dresses, and hand tailored them to fit me. She just laughed. I learned how to stitch them to fit my body. I would turn them inside out, and pin them all the way down each side and stitch them. I’d hem them to ‘mini-dress,’ length, and voila! I had the best dress around.

Now as I listen to this guy ramble on about ‘hair loss,’ I remembered the joke. I used to say, between my mom and my dad, I don’t stand a chance. Sure enough, I had suffered trauma, and I noticed in the shower; little gobs of hair. Then it seemed to be shedding like crazy. I started to panic.  As I looked into the mirror, I could see the thinnest hair, and swore I could see my scalp. Well,of course, I had lost a great deal of weight, and that was probably contributing to the hair loss. But I didn’t care about the weight as much as the hair. Well, I began to buy the shampoos, which claimed to stop hair loss. I went to get cortisone shots in my scalp. Although, I don’t really believe they gave me anything in that needle, as I never received a bill, and I sure never noticed any results.

At any rate, I can sympathize, and if I would have known, it was “Hair Loss Restoration Month, I would have been so appreciative of a card, when it happened to me.  But no. Nothing. Just pats on the back from friends, telling me, “Oh, you’re not losing any hair. That’s normal.”

Now I also heard an advertisement for people suffering from; Work Shift Disorder. Oh yes, I can definitely relate to this one. It’s for people who have a difficult time,waking up in the morning, or falling asleep, at night,  because of their work shift?Hey, it’s called, work, for a reason!  I wonder what kind of medicine, we’re  supposed to take for that?  I always thought, the antidote was, vacation or retirement. And which company is responsible for promoting this ailment? I’m curious. It sure isn’t the corporations which hire all of us, with the screwed up schedules. But they may be  unwittingly investing in the drug manufacturers, which are trying hard to convince all of us, that it is a deadly disease. It certainly would seem to be a conflict of interest to a corporation, to go along with this.  It’s an excuse for ‘nonproductivity.  Not just something called, ‘Life.’

Now let’s not forget about ‘Restless Leg Syndrome.’I love this one. I have restless legs a lot. Am I beginning to sound like a hypochondriac? Or is it that this world, is constantly trying to convince me that all of this is abnormal?

My mother has complained for quite a while about, ringing and buzzing, in her ears. I said, “you know what? I actually saw ear drops, for that. We went to Walgreens, and bought some. It’s supposed to relieve the ringing. I laughed as she was reading the label. She’s squinting and reading the small print and said, “Place in the ear channel.” I laughed at this, and said, “Mom, did you say, channel?” “Yes,” she said, “that’s what it says.” Ok, I knew the word was canal, but I told her, if you have a channel, you might be tuning in to the local radio station. Why don’t you change the channel?” She was cracking up, as I said, “what channel is it on? I hope it’s not talk radio, cause then you definitely need those drops!”

Then there’s the intense desire for women to have long eyelashes. Never mind that they also shed. I have been blessed with long lashes, so I have never had ‘lash envy.’ However, when I see the advertisement for this potion, and listen to the side effects, “may develop brown spots, on eyes, which are irreversible?” Well, that’s wonderful. You have the most beautiful lashes, on your liver-spotted eyes.” Hmmm, that’s the tradeoff?

Well, I tend to believe, it is just a whole lot of ridiculous manipulation going on, in the advertisement industry; Now.I’m convinced.  As I just turned on the television to hear some friends complaining about how lame their buddy is, for having a “naked toilet paper roll.” Oh how sad, for this guy. He invites his friends over, and all they can do is complain about the fact that they can actually see his toilet paper! What kind of people are these? In my house you’re lucky to be able to find the spare roll. If I can keep on top of the ‘supply and demand issue.’ That’s the priority. If a person doesn’t like the way my toilet paper looks, I’d just as easily shove it into a coffee can. I believe in repurposing, when possible. So what better way to do this? Then you can also infuse the air with a scent of coffee. Hey, it works on the airplane. Yes, that’s right. When you see those bags, hanging on the door, or setting on a counter, in the lav, don’t be tempted to take those. We use them to eliminate odors.

One day, I had a female celebrity on my flight. This woman is one of the icon’s in Hollywood. I’ll just call her, May Funaway.    She refused to take her seat,when the pilots came out. The captain, asked, why she was standing by the near the galley, when he came out. The purser explained, that she told her, “I don’t have to sit.” She believed that those security rules, did not apply to her. After all, she is a diva. Coincidentally, I had Eunice Shriver on the same flight, and she couldn’t have been more gracious. Not one bit pretentious. But Ms. Funaway, said, “It doesn’t matter, I have to use the bathroom.

After, she had completed her duty, I joked with my flying partner’s that I should sell that coffee bag on Ebay. If I told everyone that it was the same bag which hung in that bathroom, that May Funaway,  “toileted,” in? Wow, Eu De Toilet Funaway. Hmmm, on second thought, I told them, it wouldn’t fetch very much, as  her’s, clearly doesn’t stink.

So, back to reality. All these marketing ploys. It’s not bad enough to tell you that if you’re feeling depressed, you can take that pill. Oh, but the side effect might make you suicidal! What? I think I’ll just take the plate of depression, thanks. I don’t want the pill that’s going to send me over the edge.

Let’s not forget  to mention the people who have a ‘weak stream,’ when they urinate. This is not to be confused, with those, who must stop at the bathroom, every few minutes. That’s a different problem. And yes, there’s a medicine for that.

Since when did this a weak stream, become a problem? How do they diagnose this? Does the doctor come into the room and say, “Well, Doug, we’ve received your test results, and I’m afraid I must tell you, “You have what’s called,  A weak stream.” Now, don’t worry, it’s not fatal. We do have a drug to control this.

I told my girlfriends, that this would certainly be a question to ask a man, if you’re considering a mate. “By the way, I need to ask you, Do you have a weak stream? What would you say your ‘rate of flow,’ is?  How would anyone even gauge this? Do guys stand at the urinals and compare. “Hey, did you see that guy in there? What a “weak stream!” Laughing they all point at him when he walks out. The man shrinks down into his seat and hopes the embarrassment will pass. “Yea, and I bet he has a totally naked toilet roll! You can just tell by looking at him.”

Ahhh, Mick Jagger sure had it right, when he sang, “I’m drivin down the road, and a man comes on the radio. With some useless, information, tryin to drive my imagination…., I can’t get no, Satisfaction!”

Touch Me


The Leper Healed by His Touch

I have gone through a healing and deliverance. I can see so clearly. I look back on my walk as a believer and see the mountain experiences. When it seemed I was at the very peak of my spiritual existence and I couldn’t get any higher. I was with the Lord, on the Mountain of Transfiguration.

Then, there I was, plummeting to the ground. Battered and bruised. A total mess. I was so deep in the valley, I felt that looking a pair of Converse shoes, was a tall order. Yet, I still had enough strength left in me, to reach out. If I could just, but “touch the hem of His garment, I would be healed.”

Yes, so many times, I thought I was healed. But we all have this journey that we’re on. And we haven’t arrived. It is the experience in the valley, which teaches us. This morning, He had so much, that He wanted to show me.

I felt a lightness in my spirit. I felt my joy, returning. I know, because I can get outside of myself, and look at others, in their pain and suffering, and feel compassion. Yet, more than that, I want to touch it. I long for them to be healed. To know the Savior’s love and comfort, in the midst of their suffering.

He reminded me this morning of the grief I had felt after the loss of my brother. As I realized that is was his death, which brought me to the knowledge of Him, He also showed me that now, His calling was for me to touch others. My brother’s death was not in vain. Oh, the lives He touched. Not just mine. But each time, I would go to someone, dying with AID’s, I knew, this was a memorial to my brother.

I finally understood how important, the touch, really is. First He had to deal with my own anger over my brother. I would cry out, “How could a life full of suffering and alienation, be cut short in this way? How can anything good come from this? He already had, cerebral palsy. Alienated by people for most of his short, life. Now this?” Members of my own family, voiced their fears, about him, coming into their home, after finding out. I had friends, who implied, they weren’t sure if he had infected my home. After all, he had visited me. Painful enough, for me, I knew for him, it was much more painful. I couldn’t understand what good could be borne of this.

Then, He showed me the purpose. As I was filled with compassion for those who were dying, I would go to them. I met people, who had been ‘cut-off,’ from family and friends. Fearful of catching this dreaded disease. It broke my heart to see people like this. The one thing they needed most, and they didn’t have it. Human touch.

Now I read the account of Jesus, and the leper.(Luke 5:12) He begs the Lord to heal him, if He is willing.” The Lord responds, “I am willing, and He reaches out and touches, the leper.” This was a disease which was highly contagious. People were forbidden to have contact with the lepers, for fear of spreading this dreaded disease.

We can see accounts of Christ healing, by merely speaking a word. Yet, He reminded me, that it was important to touch, those who have been so reviled. This is the miracle to them. It is not the physical healing. It is the fact that, we step outside of ourselves. Outside, of our fears and repulsion. Outside of our stereotypes and laws.

I went into the hospital once to visit and pray. The AID’s ward. I went from room to room. As I came upon one man, he grabbed my arm so tightly with tears in his eyes. I know my own eyes filled with tears as well. He so longed for someone, to love him. To show that they were not afraid to touch him.

The hospital would tell me, that I had to don a mask and gloves, as I visited these patients. But I could not. Unless I was sick, they were the ones, who were susceptible to opportunistic sickness. Not me.

The saddest thing I had seen was a man named, Denny. I had visited him, at a residence for people with AID’s. His parents had found out, that I would come and pray with him. His mother, said, she was so touched by our visits. Her husband, however, was much older, and he had cancer. He was afraid to come into Denny’s room. So he would put on a mask and visit him, through his screen window. The last day of Denny’s life, the father, watched him slowly ebb away, without so much as a hug goodbye, for fear of this disease. It was beyond heartbreaking.

This is what fear will do.  It keeps us away. Paralyzed. Ineffective. Hiding from those who need us most. It will  separate us from others, and from the Lords calling, to touch, people for Him. We become His hands. His feet.

How important is touch? I was reading an article about the importance of touch, and newborns. It was in a study, they found that newborns required, not only attention to their basic needs, but human touch. Without this, they would begin to waste away.   It is mentioned throughout scripture, again and again. I was reading all the scriptures this morning and was amazed, at how often it’s used, and how powerful the dynamic. Not only is it mentioned for healing, but the scriptures speak of touch, causing death. “Do not touch, any unclean thing, or you shall die.” (Lev. 5:2) Eve, must have seen the importance, as she altered Gods’ own words, to the serpent, when she claimed He told them, they couldn’t eat, or touch, the Tree. When God did not say that. He didn’t mention touch, so this lie began the downward spiral. The serpent knew, he already had her, since she had just lied.

So powerful is touch, that the woman who reached out, and grabbed the hem of Christs, garment, was healed. Yes, Christ told her it was her faith, which healed her, but her faith was evidenced, by her touch.

I felt it this morning, as I took my mother to the doctor. I was under a spell. The lies, which were binding me, to keep me from touching others. I know that it is by doing this, I am healed. As the woman, touched the Lord. It was this pouring out of myself after the loss of my brother, that kept me from totally falling apart. I saw my brother in each person, I gave my love to.

The Lord had sent me out into this world with a purpose and a compassion born of my suffering. He also reminded me of what my suffering is about. I share this cup with him so that I may be like Him and fit for His use. I have wasted too much time, falling prey to fear and sickness. I know that He has given me a chance to climb out of the valley. Up to the mountain. But He reaches down to touch me. To help me up. I’m to turn and help others too.

Then as fear engulfs me, He reminds me of the message He has given to the world and I am comforted by this.  “Touch not my anointed ones, and do my prophets no harm.” (1Chron.16:22)

So as I am walking out of my darkness, while He holds me close, I will try to remember, when the enemy comes, to “sift me as wheat,” I have only but to reach out and touch HIM!

No Child Left Behind….


I was so sad to hear about the suicide of another person yesterday. Russell Armstrong, a Hollywood celebrity. Yet there are so many others, which receive little or no attention.

My eyes  immediately drawn,  to the sweet, little girl who seemed to be gazing out of the television at me. Her eyes, so full of life and promise. Her daddy and mommy at her side. A total secure package.  Oh, the pain that is in store for her. I could only think. Her life will probably be full of more pain than she can imagine, or even begin to understand. She will probably not make the connection to this, single violent act.

Without a constant attention to her spirit, she will probably take the blame in some way. Feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, which attach themselves to children of suicide. I can’t even imagine, if there have been any studies, in this area. Yet, I’m quite sure, that I am not the only one who has had to struggle most of my life as a result.

Picture after picture, I have in my mind, of these children. Yes, I have gone to many funerals, of friends, who have died in this way. I always look at their children. The pain in their faces. I can see it, when others cannot. They think they are hiding, but the stoic looks, only make it more convincing. The act is only holding up long enough until the cracks begin to show.

I have a picture of my friend’s son. There he was, wearing his father’s baseball cap. Long hair. He looked just like his father. My friend had shot himself. Now, we are all together at the wake.  All the adults, moving around his son, like shadows. I know how he felt. Invisible. The  thoughts in his head as he heard people comment, “Oh, he looks just like his father!” “Well, that’s great. My dad left, and all I got was a baseball cap!” Yes, I’m sure, he has grief, but he has a lot of anger. I’m sure he wishes people would stop comparing him to his father, right now. He’s angry that his father has abandoned him. He’s thinking, “If I had a son, I sure wouldnt’ do to him, what my father did to me!”

And it isn’t just someone who has committed the act. I believe just being in a home long enough, with the threats of a suicidal person, is a powerful tool, in the destruction of a child’s psyche.

My mother reminded me of something as we were discussing this. “Yes, remember when I had to call the police when your father and I were together, because he had a noose, he made with a cord, in the basement. He said he was going to kill himself?” “Yes, I do remember that.” I said. Yet, I must have been only about 5 years old.

I also remembered an argument they were having, and my father included me. “Oh, don’t be so stupid,” my mother said. “Suicide means to kill yourself!” “No, it doesn’t, does it?” Then he looked at me to give an answer. Of course he was completely drunk, as he usually was.

She said, “Remember when he locked me out of the house and he wouldn’t allow you kids to let me in?” “Yes, I remember that as well,” I said. These are vivid memories, I have. If you think your children don’t recall events, and they aren’t watching, you are wrong. The see and feel much more than you can imagine. To watch at the door, and cry, as my father locked my mother out of my house. He screamed at us, to leave her out on the porch, or we would be beaten. Yet, I was the oldest, and I’m not sure how much my siblings remember, of these events.

Their fighting escalated until they eventually split. That’s why, I knew his suicidal tendencies, had never really left him. He had just taken them to someone else’s home. He made sure to share the burden with me though.

And now, I think, what a devastation this is to our society. To do this to our children. What about “No Child Left Behind” How about these children? Does anyone ever try to deal with this great epidemic? We have therapy for the rest of our lives, to deal with the craziness, we have inherited. I’ve always said it; people go to therapists to learn how to cope with the crazy people, who refuse to go!

Then I started to realize, after reading a blog; http://father2daughter.com/2011/08/15/ Yes, I believe the lack of my father’s influence in my life has been a pivotal role in choices I’ve made. But more importantly, I believe the short amount of time he did spend in my life was so critical to my development, that either for  in a positive or a negative way, his behaviors, shaped my life.

My father and mother divorced, when I was only five, but the rest of my life, I can look back until he left, and see, that I did, indeed, choose men like him. I did seek approval and would swing from one extreme to another in my life. I had a wan ed  love and remained in relationships, even while being abused. How did I know what love was? I had only seen it between my mother and father. And that is what I witnessed.

I would become cold and detached. Without a desire to allow anyone too close, for fear of rejection. At times, using men, as though they could be discarded. This was an easy way out. No one could hurt me.  At one moment, the obedient child, and the next, full of rebellion. Testing everyone’s limits. How much can you take? What will it take to drive you out of my life? Then, when it finally happens, that’s all the proof that I need. You’re just like my father. You didn’t really love me, anyway.

I always thought I would never let anyone treat me the way my father treated my mother. But in one form or another….I did. When I look back and see that my ex-husband also, threatened suicide many times, and I was heartbroken to see my daughter’s fear in her eyes. I was sad to think, I allowed this. He was so convinced that I gave him his identity, that he would use this against me. When we had been  married, he was outside of our marriage, and when I wanted out, he couldn’t be more in. He would manipulate me, with threats of suicide,  in the same way that my father did to my mother. But then, why wouldn’t he? I picked him for this reason, didn’t I?

Yes, I am starting to realize, that unless this pattern is  broken somewhere and we see the damage left behind, by this selfish act, we will continue to hurt our children. And they will hurt their’s. We will pass this  down, one generation to another.

I have heard those lies spoken in my head. That you cannot break free. You are your parents. But I know this isn’t true. Jesus Christ has told me, I am a new creation. He’s shown me that the past can be changed. “recreated, if you will.” I am not a product of my past. I do not have to be held hostage to this curse.

I feel such compassion for these children and adults, who have lost their parents to such an act. It is something we cannot comprehend. On one hand, we feel rage at their selfishness, and on the other, we have such grief at the tremendous despair, they must have felt. But I think the one feeling, all of us deal with, which is the most difficult , is guilt. Oh, I know. It is not ours to carry. Yet, whether as an adult, or as a child, we all feel, if there was just  something we could have done or said, we could have prevented this. Or perhaps it was something we did. It doesn’t matter. We will find a way to carry this load.

Th is where the Lord came in to my life to remind me it is His burden. If I would only let Him carry this. He is the only one who can. Yes, I find myself taking it back, many times, only to have the Lord speak to me through some kind soul.  I have found that in my deepest grief, when I cry out to the Father, He reminds me over and over again, He is the Father to the fatherless.

It is not to say both mother and daughter are not equally important, but the Lord has shown me that He placed the Father as the head of the household, to be an example. And we have all been broken because of the absence of his presence.

No matter the reason, divorce or death; every child needs a Father’s love. It is imperative for healthy development. And it is the gift we can keep on giving.

I called my ex-husband and told him, that no matter what has happened, our children love him unconditionally. I reminded him that I have been so hurt my whole life, as a result of the loss of my own father. And he can change things for his children. He still has time to change the course of events. He thanked me and I believe he understands. Our mistakes, are not their mistakes. To them, we are their parents, and they love us in spite of ourselves.

Now I am praying that I can use my pain and touch the lives of so many others. I know His promises. He has told me that “by His stripes I AM healed.”  It is not ‘past tense.’ He is a “very present help in our time of trouble.”  So I refuse to allow the darkness to surround me. I am fighting against it. I have the sword of truth, and I will strike down every lie.

Just today the two repair men came by. Well, there really two angels, disguised as repairmen. They reminded me that I am a daughter of the King of all Kings, and I cannot entertain the lies of the enemy. They said, “don’t let him steal your joy and every good thing that the Lord has planned for you.”

Once again, the Lord sends His messengers, to lift me up. I realized, that although my earthly father is gone, my heavenly Father’s hand is always holding me.

“And in the end, I will send  the prophet Elijah, before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4:5

Wanted, Single, Strong, Colonel…Oh, and Bring Your Own Toaster!


I love you, but I love my toaster more!

I was talking with my mom this morning. I realize that I am going to have those, ‘good days,’ and ‘bad days.’ She is in and out of moods, and until I find out what is happening, it’s as if I’m dealing with someone who is bi-polar.

I am now starting to listen to advice from people, who’ve told me, “don’t take her attacks personally.” Well, it’s difficult, but I realize, that if I’m going to maintain any sanity at all, I have to try to let it go.

Between, the depression, I slip into, as I’ve already shared, and the stress of dealing with her and my other issues, it is all-consuming. So I have to buffer all of this with humor. The other day, I was so exhausted, my son was sick and I couldn’t deal with anymore stress. My mother was asking me, “Who is going to turn on Channel 6, for me in the morning?” I had to explain that there would be someone here to help her.  I felt the anxiety of the past, and I realized, I had to get control of myself. I’ve had panic attacks, in the past, that made me rush to the hospital in a panic. I thought I was having a heart attack, until I found, it was a result of the Post Traumatic Stress. I now, have more on my plate than I ever had, and I am trying to find strength to deal with all of this without going back to the state I was in a few years ago.

I have found solace in my friends, and the Lord’s words to me. It is as the angels of heaven were sent to minister to me. They came calling and praying. I felt so alone, and even out of the blue, a persons communication, was as the Father’s heart, toward me. I felt him reaching down to give me a hug, and let me know, I’m not alone.

As I took my mother on a walk, around the block, with her walker, today, the Lord reminded me of how far she has come. She was so stubborn and rebellious. No way was she going to use one of “those things!” Even when I took her to Orlando, in June, we walked to the pool.  She held tightly to my arm the whole way, and a woman was at the pool with a walker. I pointed and said, “mom, that is really nice. It even has a seat, when you’re tired. Wouldn’t you like that?” “I’m not using that! She said, with such obstinance. She would rather hold onto me where ever we go, and then yell at me, that she doesn’t need my help.

I finally convinced her, in the most loving way. It was the third time she had fallen down, and I told her that, “unless you exercise those muscles, you will not be able to walk. I have this cart, you can use. It has a little basket and everything.(I didn’t call it a walker) I put a bell and a little plate on it that says, “Too Cool 4 U.” She loves it. And now she can’t wait to go around the block.

Today,as we walked, we passed the house, where the ferocious dog lives. He’s big and black and he barks really loud. There’s a sign on the fence that says, “Beware of Dog.” And every time we pass, we wait for him.  The first time, we passed, I was terrified. I have a phobia of big dogs. I also have a phobia, of fish, but that’s for another story. The dog story involves my mom.

In fact, I reminded her of the story, after our encounter with the big, black dog. We heard him coming. I grabbed my moms, frail, little arm. “Mom, don’t look at him!” I said. My mom, was just as calm as could be and kept pushing her walker along. I couldn’t believe it. We’re about to be attacked and she’ll probably just be the appetizer. I’m the main course! She’s not even phased. “Oh, don’t let him bother you.” She said. “What?” I watched the dog run right past us and to a kid on a bike. The little kid was riding by on the street and he seemed to reach down and try to pet the dog.  Ok, now I’m feeling a little foolish. Why do people have, “Beware of Dog,” signs on their yards, and the dogs are running loose? And then, there’s nothing to ‘beware of,’ anyway?

I started to laugh in relief. Then I remembered the story. “Hey mom. Remember when we were working together at that temporary job? We were up at about 5 in the morning and two houses down that big white German Shepherd came out of nowhere? He was snarling at us like he was going to attack us?” “Oh yea! That was scary!” She said. “Yea, and I was so scared, I just kept whispering, help! help!” As if someone could hear us” We both laughed. We were right outside of Dan Hunt’s house. The local cop. Yet, even he couldn’t help us now.

All of a sudden, my mom took her bag of lunch and threw it and that dog ran after the lunch. We both turned around and ran into the house. I cracked up and never forgot about how wise my mom seemed that day. She saved us both with her quick thinking. I was only about 15 years old and I think, how many daughter’s have gone to work with their mother’s and had these kinds of experiences?

I made her laugh so hard this morning when I saw that Zsa Zsa Gabor’s husband wants her eggs, so that he can have more children from her. I said, “Hey mom, I want some of your eggs too. You didn’t do so well with my siblings. I feel like I deserve another crack at this. Why not let me try for some more sister’s and brother’s? Come on! How about “a brother from another mother?”

When I had taken her to the hospital a couple of times I specifically told her that if her urine test came out positive for pregnancy, “she could find her own ride home!”

But after all of her things had been pilfered from her; I brought her out of her deepest sadness, with this joke. I had asked her what it was she felt had been taken from her, that she needed so badly. She told me. Her toaster! I could not believe this and after I was done falling out laughing, I asked her, “mom, if I bought you a brand new toaster, what color would you want it to be?” She said, “A red one!” “Ok,” I said. “I’ll get you a red toaster, when you get your new place.”

So one day, I was joking with her that she needed a nice, strong man. Someone who will scare the crap out of those guys! Referring to the ones, who had taken her toaster. “How about a Colonel in the Army?” Yea!” My son said, “Or better yet, a General!”

I told her, “I’m going to run and ad for you in the personals, mom. It will say, “Wanted, Single, Strong, Colonel. Bring your own toaster!” Then I told her that I will take a picture of her erotically posing on the bed next to her beautiful red toaster. What man can resist this? We were laughing as I stated, “Hey, could you imagine, if I had to call my sister or brother and ask for your toaster back, because you’re marrying a Colonel?”

So, who knows? After hearing about Zsa Zsa, today…anything’s possible.

A Father’s Love


A father and his daughterThe innocence of youth

 

I have been thinking of my father. It happens every year at about this time. I know his birthday is coming, (September 30) and I become depressed.  I know it’s something I feel. A darkness shrouding me. I start getting depressed, and I beg the Lord to help me out. My father died in April of 88 and my brother died a year later. It was too much to bear. I started working for my company, a year after the death of my brother. The fall, which normally is my favorite time of the year, became something I dread. It is a symbol of death. The leaves on the trees, which are beautiful, as they are turning, are now a picture of gloom.

I was in a ‘holding pattern,’ for a long time, as a result of this. I went into a training center, which became another picture of depression. But yet, the Lord, allowed all of this. Perhaps it was to protect me, from myself. He knew, that I was suffering. Had it not been for my roommates, and the fact that I had just returned to the Lord, I would have withered away. I felt desperate and alone. I used my humor and the friendships, I had developed in training, to keep me grounded.

My father had asked me, “to give his love to my mother.” I believe I am doing this every day. But he didn’t realize how difficult all of this would be. To leave in such a manner, and to wrestle my mother, on every little bit of her loss of independence. She refuses the help she needs, and I’m growing weary from the constant complaints. She believes she can “take care of herself.” I know she can’t.

My father left, because he couldn’t handle the depths of despair, which he felt he lived with. Caused by his drinking, and his own company. I understand, the anger, he felt. I’ve experienced this myself. There’s no justice and no way to understand, without the Lord. Life isn’t fair. That’s just a truth, I’ve accepted. It is for those who can afford it.

Now, I debate, what to do for my mother. What is best for her? Do I try to give her what she so desires, or ignore her pleading, as many say, and keep her with me. I know it is just going to become more difficult. I long for my father’s advice. What did he mean, “Give my love to your mother?” What would he do?

I know my father was totally dysfunctional, as all of us are. Some of us just don’t admit it. I know my faults and loved him, in spite of his own. The Lord reminds me that, “although your father loves you, he is imperfect, but I am the perfect father.”

I will be 54, in October. The same age my father was when he died. Even my birthday, is a thing of sadness. So many times, as a child, waiting for my father to show up. Left me on a porch all alone. My mother, slapped me in the face, once, as I came in to the table and sat down, crying. I was exasperated that my father, failed to show up, once again. And she was angry, that I was crying for my father. I told her I still loved him. And she became angry. Her own feelings of contempt, taken out on me. She does the same thing to me now. But, just as my father was not in his right mind, I accept this with my mother, as well. Yet, it still hurts. I feel the darkness sweeping over me.The memory of me standing right in front of him, begging him to “hang on.”  Yet, my cries went unheeded.

Now, I feel a need to run to my heavenly Father. “Help me Lord. Help me to do what is right for everyone. I don’t want to live according to my will, my ways. I want to see on the other side of this, darkness. The light of His love, and His grace.

As, I wait on the Lord, I’m asking that He turns this time of the year into a thing of beauty for me. To remind me that, after the death of all the creation, comes resurrection! The spring brings new life! I want to stay focused on this, as I enter into this season. A new beginning.

Thank you Father, for sending your son, Jesus Christ, to remind us all…this is not the end.

Build An Ark! There’s a Flood In My Bathroom!


I’m had a dream and I was full of anxiety. I know it is the encounter with my mother and the fact that my siblings are not involved in her life. They don’t see the everyday struggles she has. And I have constant battles with her to try to help her.

She’s angry about aging. Every time she sees another person,from her era, die, she gets upset. I understand, but I am the only one she blames. As if it’s my fault she is getting older.

I try to keep her healthy, and she doesn’t want to listen. She finally used a walker, to take walks around the block with me. She fought against this, for a long time. And finally, I convinced her that she would never be able to walk, if she doesn’t exercise the legs. “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” I told her.

After the first time using the walker, she remarked, “That was pretty good! Wasn’t it?” She enjoyed it so much, that she asked to do it every night, which I encouraged. When I told her we were going out, I went in another room to grab my keys, and there she was, standing at the door, with the walker! I was shocked. I told my daughter, “she reminded me of ‘Zeus,’ my ex-husband’s little min-pin. When you ask him if he wants to go for a walk. He gets so excited, he just runs to the door.

But again, she started in with “I’ve got to get back to Wisconsin as soon as possible. And this I couldn’t handle. She told me, “I can’t keep her here forever!” I was so upset. We had gone to the store and she made her purchase of a truckload of chocolate, as she usually does. After going upstairs with her bags, she came down, embarrassed to tell me, that she could not open the bags. She then asked for a pair of scissors. I said, “mom, I’m going to tell you the same thing I used to tell people, when I used to bartend. “If you can’t remember how many drinks you’ve had, you don’t need another one.And to you, if you can’t open the bag of chocolates, you can’t run around with a pair of scissors!”

At this she laughed. I said, “how can I trust you to walk up those stairs with a pair of scissors?” Now we were both laughing hard. But the fact is, she shouldn’t even be going up stairs. But this is another, battle, I lost. I told her she will continue as long as she believes, she can. But I have a bed downstairs for her, which she refuses to use.

After this last argument, I was so upset, I just watched her. And she’s so helpless. She actually said, “You act like I’m 90, or something!” “Mom,” I said, you’re 82,that’s not much different. And just can’t bear to remind her that, if she can’t open a bag of chocolate, how is she going to live all by herself. “How are you going to go grocery shopping?” I asked. “I’m going to walk to the store, just like I used to! I did it before.” “Mom, I said, that was years ago, and you aren’t able to get around like you did then.”

I know she’s losing ground, and I’m taking her in for testing, but it doesn’t change the fact that I am having a difficult time with the constant struggle. She looks at me as the enemy. Each time I help her, I’m a reminder of what she cannot do.

I had taken her to my own doctor, and she told me that I must have her tested by a neurologist. Her falling down and inability to walk are both signs of either dementia, or Alzheimers. She assured me that “this is not to say that she has it. It’s merely a test, to find out. Well, I understand this, but I’m almost afraid of the results. And then, what will she be like if she gets a diagnosis? Will she accept it, or will I really be in trouble?

So last night, I had a dream. I had been forced to move into a small home, with my children, my brother, and my mother. From the very beginning, I could see problems. The house was not able to hold our furniture, and we were very crowded. I was trying to soothe my son, at the loss of his other house, and let him know, it would be ok.

I stepped in to one of the rooms and there was my bed. My son came running in and told me, “There’s a flood in the bathroom!” I went to see it, and the whole floor was full of water. I told him to go and I would deal with it. But to be honest, I didn’t know where to start first. Our house was in total disarray.

I went into my room and just laid on my bed. I wept. As I wept, I started to feel my back getting wet. I got up from my bed and I was soaked. As I pressed down on the mattresses, they were also soaked.The room was now full of water. The mattress was acting like a sponge, and soaking up the flood which was now seeping, into my bedroom.

I ran out and my family was in the next room. A man had come over, and he was very comforting. He told me he would help us with everything. Then it seemed he had ulterior motives, and I just couldn’t be distracted from my current dire circumstances. I was frantic, as I tried to look for a way to get everyone out.

As I woke, once again, from one of these dreams, I was full of anxiety. I realized that the only way out, is The Lord. He reminded me, once again, “The Lord will not give you anything more than you can handle, without providing a way out.”And He is that way. He told me that, “He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Many people will quote a portion of the Words He has given, and not all of them. It changes the whole context of the sentence. I hear people say, “Oh, just remember, the good Lord, will not give you anything more than you can handle.” But they leave off the end of the statement; “without providing a Way out.”

I had to be reminded of that myself, just yesterday. I had two men come to my house to help me with repairs. They are from a church, and do this as a form of ministry. They charge for materials and the labor costs are minimal. All money goes toward their ministry.

I looked up and told them, I have a lot of repairs. Last month, I had a flood in that bathroom, upstairs. I was thinking of my dream, as I spoke. I had just made the spiritual connection.  It certainly symbolizes the flood in my life.

The issues of my own family taking advantage of my elderly mother and leaving her in distress. And me,the only one to care for her. My brother, with special needs and his care. Then last month my daughter had gotten herself into trouble and I have a young son, with many needs, along with a job, which has also taken its toll on me. I have had to work, half of a schedule, to take care of all of them, and then my finances are cut in half. I’m juggling one bill after another, health care, and necessities. I feel the weight of these problems on my shoulders and try to field one after another.

Yes, there’s no doubt that I am to blame for many of my own problems as well. I vent constantly, and my mouth gets me into trouble all the time. Just recently with my mother. I felt guilt and sadness, after snapping. I sometimes, want to just go to my room and shut out the world. I did that for the last two years, though, and it wasn’t good. Besides the fact that I was becoming numb, to the world, I still had the problems, when I came back. Just a few more, along with the debt.

Jame listened as I spoke, and he told me that he had been in prison for a while, and it was here that he really learned to trust in the Lord. He said, once he was feeling so much anxiety, and the Lord told him a simple message, “Where my Word is, there I AM.” This was very powerful to me. I needed to hear this. To be reminded that He is here. “A very present help, in times of trouble.”

Now, I think of all the future has, and I feel very afraid at times. I know I’ve walked in the Valley of the Shadow of Death, my whole life, but I need to fall on Him. No matter, what news comes my way. We all agreed, that without Him, we are all just a lump of clay.

These two men, were sent to me at the right time. I was feeling the flood waters engulfing me. After, they had looked at what I needed to have repaired, ‘James,’ said, “Why don’t we pray right now?” I was so blessed. He grabbed my hand and his partner’s hand, and right there in my kitchen, we prayed.

I told him, I feel the influence of this world pulling me back , away from my devotion to the Lord, especially in my times of stress. But then the Lord shows up, and puts out His hand, to grab me. And it’s through servants, like you!” “Oh, he said, we are all the same. We are to encourage one another.”

So, late last night, I went into my mother’s room and gave her a big hug. I told her how much I love her, and she was so sweet. Like a little girl. But I am like a child in the Lords eyes. I have my tantrums, and act out all the time. Yet, He never loses patience with me. As foolish as I am. In many ways, I have felt, my lack of trust in man, has made me sabotage myself. I have tested people to the very limits and driven them right out of my life. Yet, when I have tried to do this with the Lord, He cannot be moved. He tells me, “I love you until the end the age, and no one can take you from my hands.”

I try to comfort my mother with these words as well. The two repair men, are really servants. Acting as ambassadors and this is a picture, of the ark, which Noah had built. It sailed them safely in the midst of the raging waters, and if you don’t find the ark, the Lord will bring it to your door.

The waters will continue to rage, in this world, and in my own life. I just need to remember, to enter into the shelter He has provided. This is the way out.

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