Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday's/Momma's Much Needed Song of the Day: Wait for Me by the Kings of Leon

This one is for my momma, who is not all better, but working on it!
This summer I returned home from helping friends move to Mexico to find a very sick momma. 

She was suffering from hyponatremia and hyperkalemia and was beginning to act like she was (barely) living under water,  moving so slow, her body shutting down.
In the ER, after her labs returned in record speed, we understood how lucky we were. 
"Most people with potassium this low are in a coma."
My mom was confused, shaky, and didn't always remember who I was. She couldn't walk, could barely talk, and had to be fed most of her nutrients through an IV. 

Eventually, when it looked like she would recover, I was given the task of finding a nursing home for her to rehab.

One day, I was going from nursing home to nursing home in Athens, TX; the next day I was going from university to university for my senior. 

One day I was encouraging my mom to eat and cooperate with her physical therapists; the next day I was encouraging my son to finish his essay and work on practice tests for his SAT. 

Everything I encouraged my mom to do would bring her back to me and everything I encouraged my son to do would help him move away from me. 

I had to put my already messy heart on auto-pilot. 

"You have not given me the spirit of fear, not the spirit of fear, not the spirit of fear." 
But I couldn't remember what it was I had been given. Peace, love, a sound mind?
That scripture was a mantra during my twenties, but now it felt hollow. 

One night I put my hand on my mom's head.  She was still having trouble finding the words she wanted to say.
"What are you doing?" she finally asked.
"Me, too."she sobbed.  "It's all I can do."
"Yeah. I know. "

Anger, confusion, exhaustion, numbness: hope. Resentment, disgust, sadness, fear: hope. Like beauty for ashes, I put my mess at His feet and He gave me what I  needed. 

At some point my sister asked me, "Why are you so hopeful?"

"I don't know how else to be."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

If I were teaching, this would be my text for this day. . .

Flinn, On the Bus
By Naomi Shihab Nye

Three hours after the buildings fell,
he took a seat beside me.
Fresh out of prison, after 24 months,
You're my first hello!
Going home to Mom,
a life he would make better this time,
how many times
he'd been swept along before,
to things he should never have ...
drink and dope,
but now he'd take responsibility.
Lawyers had done him wrong
and women too. He thought
about revenge, now he was out.
But I'm in charge. I'll think
before I act. I don't ever
want to go there again.
Two wrongs don't make a right.
Somehow, in his mouth, that day,
it sounded new.
The light came through the window
on a gentle-eyed man in a
"Focus on the Game" T-shirt,
who had given up
assault with deadly weapons,
no more, no good!
A man who had not seen TV in weeks,
secluding in his cell so colleagues
wouldn't trip him up,
extend his stay.
Who had not heard the news.
We rolled through green Oklahoma,
the bus windows made all the trees look bent.
A trick of refraction—
Flinn looked at his free hands
more than the fields,
turned them over in his lap,
no snap judgments, no quick angers,
I'll stand back, look at what happens,
think calmly what my next step should be.
It was not hard to nod,
to wish him well. But could I tell
what had happened in the world
on his long-awaited day,
what twists of rage greater
than we could ever guess
had savaged skylines, thousands of lives?
I could not. He'd find out
soon enough. Flinn, take it easy.
Peace is rough.

— September 11, 2001

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monday's Much Needed Song of the Day: Via Con Me-Paolo Conte

My middle son starts his senior year tomorrow. My daughter started her first "real" job today. My oldest will complete vocational school this year. My kids, my Godson, and  their friends are all getting closer to life on their "own" and I thought I'd post a little song along with a list of words I am praying for them this year.

 1. Patience. You will be in control of your life, sooner than you think. (Actually, you will just realize that you are in charge of letting God guide you without as much help from your parents.)

 2. Wisdom. Many decisions are to be made in the near future, and using what you've learned plus what God is whispering in your ear, plus what your parents are screaming through the bedroom door, will give you clarity.

 3. Courage. If God is leading you to do something out of your comfort zone, I pray you find a scripture, a mentor, a prayer warrior and the strength of the Lord to make it happen.

 4. Tenacity. Be a fierce advocate for yourself and the desires of your heart. Be honest with yourself and your parents when discussing the future.

 5. Joy. That amidst the deadlines, the essays, the tests, the applications, the interviews and the maternal emotional wrecks trying to guide you through the process, you will have FUN!

 6. Peace. That it will flow like a river through your veins, into your heart so the rhythm will match the beat God created for you. I am sure I will add more as we go, but this is a start.

 I love you.