I’m a wife, mom, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin, friend, business owner, and perpetual life-evaluator. I’ve been through some “stuff” (haven’t we all?) from which I’ve learned some valuable life lessons. I’d like to share those lessons with others and—someday—with my kids.
You see, I’ve recently lost my mom. My active, healthy, go-swimming-3-times-a-week mom, who could watch all three of my young kids with ease, ended up having cancer that took her “healthy” body from us in a short 2 months time. She was diagnosed with end-stage Multiple Myeloma in mid-May and after two months of grueling torture on her 63-year old body, she left this earth in mid-July. I was there through it all, and by her side when she passed. Someday I may write about all the hell that took place during those two months (which felt like 2 years). But for now, I want to focus on the beauty that I experienced and the life lessons I learned. I gained so much insight from the experience with my mom within those last two months—she literally changed my life.
A couple years before she passed, she told me about this journal she had written for me. She said she used it during her “God time” and she wanted me to have it after she died (some day, like decades from then, in the long, long, far away future from when we were speaking about it). Two days before she passed, I remembered the journal and asked her where it was. After she passed, I found it. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have that journal. It has brought me comfort when I felt so low I was certain I couldn’t be reached. She left a note to me on the inside first page, and at the end she referenced a bible verse Isaiah 40:31 but hadn’t written down what the verse said. I quickly grabbed my bible and found Isaiah and continued to slowly turn the pages until I reached chapter 40. Wait. There was already a bookmark on that page. It was my most recent bookmark (an Apple® sticker from a recent purchase for my husband). That was the last page I had been reading before I just opened it again. I had been searching for strength.
Isaiah 40:31 — But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint. (New Living Translation)
It felt like my mom and I were still connected. She might be gone from this Earth, but she will always be with me. Because of that comfort, and the fact that I AM ALSO A MOM, I decided…
I HAVE TO WRITE A JOURNAL FOR MY KIDS.
I started this very well organized system of 1/2″ three ring binders – each having their own topic. I printed out spine stickers with the topics all running down the sides in perfect alignment. Then it got messy. Some topics belonged with others, there were SO MANY BINDERS they wouldn’t all stay on the shelf without wanting to slide out in the middle. I considered making one master copy of my actual handwriting and then somehow transferring that into a printed book format (think scans of pages, iPhoto arrangement, sending out for one of those sleek hard back books, etc.) The amount of mental time I spent on trying to figure out a way to keep all of my thoughts and lessons organized in some easily accessible way (and in something you can hold in your hand—not a digital variety) was ridiculous to say the least. Plus the added fear that I would find a mistake after it had been printed. GASP! It can’t be done.
And so this blog was born. 🙂
Life Lesson: Happiness is being allowed to mess up.
My hope is that something in this blog will help you. If you feel lost or lonely or overwhelmed, I hope you can find something here to grab on to and continue the journey with peace.
About the photo I chose for this page: When I was a little girl, I ran away one afternoon. Determined to make my parents realize what a horrible mistake they’d made by not letting me have my way. I packed one sleeve of ritz crackers and set off into the woods behind our house. I remember finding a HUGE moss-covered rock beside a really tall tree, so I sat down on it and ate about half of my ritz crackers. Then I laid down on the rock and looked up. This picture is almost exactly what I remember seeing. I stared at the glistening sun through the moving leaves for what felt like hours. It was the most peaceful feeling—and such an amazing memory. I felt like God was with me, no matter how far away I ran. I woke up (however long) later, and decided to walk back home. My parents didn’t even know I’d been gone. ;-P