Posts

Giving yourself permission

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I just finished the book Pound the Stone by Joshua Medcalf, which I highly recommend, and have now begun listening to Braving the Wilderness by Brene` Brown. Both of these books have spoken to me in a deep place. In Elizabeth Gilbert's book, Big Magic, she speaks of giving yourself permission. Permission to live a creative and amazing life.

"You do not need a permission slip from the principal's office to live a creative life. Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip - THERE, I just gave it to you. I just wrote it on the back of an old shopping list. Consider yourself fully accredited. Now go make something."

Brene` Brown also speaks of giving yourself permission. I related to her feelings of not fitting in throughout her life. It is difficult when you feel like an odd duck within your family and friends, not connected and yet still a part. Looking down on the life you are living, floating above, unattached. For years I have felt frustrated and ashamed that …

Painting the future...

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Although I am scientist and mathematician, I am also a writer (duh...you're reading my blog) and a painter. I am not trained...I have never taken a class, but I love to paint. Writing and painting are a type of therapy for me, a way to express myself differently. When I was growing up, I watched my mother draw. She used to make pictures along the wall and each December she would paint our giant picture window with a holiday theme. I remember one year she painted a giant dove with an olive branch in its mouth. She decided that year that she wouldn't remove it at the end of the month, but rather left the dove on the window and modified the branch and other parts of the scene for each holiday. That is one of my favorite memories of my mother. She was so proud of that window.

I was surrounded by art and music in a strange way. My grandmother, who had perfect pitch, used to play the piano for me so I could sing when I came to her house on Wednesdays and Sundays. I would love stand…

The Breath of Life...

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Having a medically fragile child can provide you with a variety of experiences that, as a normal parent, you don't have. Having raised an able bodied child previously, I was unprepared for all that I would learn about medicine, all I would learn about myself. Before having Javad, I had walked quite the path. I had majored in Biology in college with a passion in Genetics. I had seriously considered becoming a Genetic Engineer or Genetic Counselor. I was fascinated with the idea that I could help families who had children with a genetic disease, either helping them seek a treatment/cure or the idea that I could hep families discover their genetic history to make family choices. Eventually I decided that Education would be my path. Soon I was teaching Special Education, seemingly another path towards preparation for Javad. After almost seven years of teaching children with a variety of educational needs, I was nearing the time for Javad's impending arrival. I seriously had no ide…

When traditions change...

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I think when you growup around a lot of chaos you cling to things that are the same. I have always been a big one for traditions. The holidays are the time when I look forward to them the most. When I was young, the one tradition my mom had (which, let me assure you, was a rarity) was to watch all the holiday movies with the puppets. You know, "The Year without a Santa Claus," (one of my personal favorites), "Ruldolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," "The Island of Misfit Toys," and so on. She loved those movies. I loved them. I raised my children to love them. They were one of the good times with my mom, where there are so few. I am not sure that I am watching the movies this year. My world is upside down and I am not sure what I am doing.

I love the holidays. I love to decorate. I love to play holiday music loudly and dance and sing. None of that is happening right now. I am not even sure where the stockings are and all the decorations are in the attic where I…

Winter is Coming...

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Today as I crawled out of bed (after hitting the snooze about five time), I heard the wind blowing against the house, shaking everything. The East Winds, which are not nearly as bad at my house as they are at school, have come in with a vengeance. It is cold outside. When I arrived at school it felt like I may be blown away. An icy wind, cut through me like a cold, sharp knife as I walked into the building. Passing by a crew of construction workers layered in thick coats, and I'm sure much more, reminded how lucky I am...lucky to have a job I love, lucky to be a part of my students' journey. The construction company working on our school, LCG Pence Construction, gathered new and lightly used coats for our students, many who in poverty, who have no access to outerwear that will protect them from the impending weather. Students flocking to getting a garment that will protect them through these winter months. This is an example of community drawing together. I am lucky to be a pa…

Dear Future Self...

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Dear Future Self,

I see you. Right now I am feeling that sometimes life can be a challenge. When looking back on this time, I know that you have so many conflicting feelings. There was sadness, anger, frustration. There was sorrow, annoyance, but also the beginnings of joy. Don't beat yourself up that this happened. Don't feel guilty. We have have spent so much of our life feeling guilty. There are times in life when things don't go as planned. It's okay. We started this journey so many years ago. We were on a path that we thought was clearly planned out but it veered in a different direction. There was no fault, no blame.

Look back on these times and learn from them. We have spent a lifetime spinning, sometimes nearly out of control, grabbing the same items from the shelf of life. Although each of the items looked like they were different, we have found that they were the same. Now you know that these aren't really what you need. Beauty and glamour is not necessar…

Broken hearts and angel wings

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Today, seven years ago, my Grandfather died. R'Dean Smith, a strong man in his 90's, had, what we believe to be, a massive stroke. My Grampa was one of Javad's biggest cheerleaders. He and my Grama would sit with Javad during long hospitalizations, singing to him, reading to him, talking to him. Grampa would call and ask how his "Big Boy" was doing. He definitely had a heart for my son.

My grandparents also held our MTM Community in their hearts and prayers. Each time a child passed, I would call them, tell them about the family, about the child and they would put their prayer warriors on it.

Seven years ago, my world changed. The loss of him has forever changed my life. I believe that Javad misses him too. My one comfort is that I believe that my Grandfather watches over those that run in the Playground in Heaven. This last few weeks have been difficult for our small community. Three boys have passed away, leaving their shattered families behind. Hearts broken, …