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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Much Needed Break

I need to write, it is something my soul craves and when I don't, I feel off. Usually I only write in the mornings, the calm house before everyone wakes calms me as I put something on paper. I've been working on our renewal of vows details almost constantly and I just needed a break. Mark and I are having a ceremony next Saturday, August 2nd to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary. It isn't like we are going all out, but any large gathering takes much planning and work. The ceremony means much to me and there are many details to iron out. Mark's family is musically gifted beyond words. They will share their talents with us and the guests, but the Bradley's tend to be procrastinators and getting them to give me details has proven difficult, my Mark included. There is food to be made, flowers to be gathered, projects to be made. There are lights hung in my yard and I've bought candles for the evening. I've shopped for clothes for my "five" family for at least triple the hours than I spent looking for my dress. Spending far more money on my eleven year olds dress than my own. If you don't know me, I HATE shopping! The lists are endless and my sleep is little as I fear I will forget one more detail I suddenly remember in the middle of the night! I wrote my vows and I believe those are done. They came to me quickly like God Himself was guiding my hands on the keyboard. I keep telling myself that it will be ok, that if I forget something or there isn't enough food or drink, stores and pizza shops aren't that far. With my being Celiac, I was hoping to keep the food safe for me, but pizza is a good option if our guests are hungry. So, this was my break to clear my thoughts a little and hopefully let go of the stress I seem to be carrying today... In the end it is about Mark & I and the deep love we share, the rest is just icing on the cake! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Part of Me Missing

I woke early, knowing Teale is not in her bed. It's a strange feeing not having her here. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it never feels quite right. The quiet of the house can be eery, the strangeness of part of my heart missing is the only way to describe it. I yearn for the quiet, the peace, the calm, yet when I get it, it's like my body is no longer whole and my soul is lost without the job of being Teale's Mom. I woke and immediately started thinking about her and the camp she is at, wondering if she slept ok, if she was too hot, if she brushed her teeth before bed? The peace in the house is so different from life with Teale. My post traumatic stress disorder is not amped up. I'm not on edge wondering what my day will be, because I can predict it and enjoy it how I want to. There will be no glitches, I will not be Teale's puppet on a string. But, I miss her, I miss the energy she brings to my life. I miss hearing her laughter, because no one laughs like Teale, with the complete joy that her laugh holds. Life before Teale WAS so much easier. We were so much more organized and able to do the things we wanted, but what she has brought to our life can not be replaced. Teale brought us unmeasurable love and strength. She taught me perseverance and determination. Teale may have taken away parts of my life I miss, like the ease and joy of traveling, but she brought me much more than she took. I am a whole person because she is in my life, I am embraced by more people and supported by more love. So as I enjoy this week "off" from being Teale's Mom, I also want to thank her for teaching me to appreciate life so much more than I ever did before knowing her. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Standing Joke

Who else would take us? Who else would step into this life we live and embrace it? It's really just an inside joke between Mark and I, but it has some truth too. We work hard at keeping our friendship and love strong, not only because we both see that as a priority, but also because neither of us would want to start over with new problems to work through. Thankfully, we both are strong believers in "the grass in not greener on the other side of the fence." Where we may have jealousy because someone seems better off than us, we both know that things are not always as they seem. People who are financially more stable than us may have that, but do they have a marriage as easy and loving as ours is? We expected to be in a much better place by now in our life. We expected that working hard and doing the right things for ourselves and our family would somehow make it all work out. That, in many ways has been the truth. We have made devastating financial decisions for the good of our kids and our mental wellbeing. Things like closing the daycare and my staying home to be with our children, Mark's going back to college and working outside the home, these decisions have not had a positive impact on our financial security. But we continue to enjoy each other's friendship and company because we have chosen to except that "it's only money" and we have much more than that. So the joke between us is that we must work at us, because no one else in their right mind would want either of us and the burdens we both carry. To quote the Beatles ~ "Money can't buy me love." 

Love, Laugh, Live

When that saying came out, I saw it as very Mark and I. We love much, we laugh much and we live much. Our journey to today has not been paved with gold. We have struggled and we have hurt. Our imaginations could not have made up the things we have lived together, the joy and the pain. Mark and I have been alone in this often. We share much with our friends and family, but even with how open we are, I do not believe anyone can understand the sorrow and the love we have experienced. Our faith is strong, we both have ever evolving beliefs in our God and where we are going in this life of faith. I have personally gone through stages of extreme comfort in knowing there is a God who loves me and is looking out for me, to the complete opposite extreme of feeling completely alone and lost in the crisis of the moment. There have been times when our daughter has gone through extreme mental or medical crisis and my faith was lost. After all, what God would allow a child to suffer like she has? And why Mark and I? Many times I have wondered what pushed us through those crises, how did we survive on very little sleep and even more significantly, very little joy? How did we not turn on each other during those times of pain? I also believe we have witnessed miracles, not just one, but many. From the moment Teale was brought back to life in that operating room after her traumatic birth, she has molded and changed us and our lives. She has been our inspiration and she has kept us going. Teale has made Mark and I stronger, not only in ourselves, but in our faith and in our marriage. We have fought hard to Love, Laugh &  Live.

Thoughts Keeping Me Awake

We are just weeks away from our Wedding renewal of vows ceremony and celebration. Details are slowly coming together, but I find my head constantly spins. There is always something I need to do, a detail I want to get done, a thought I want to write down before I lose it to the other crowded thoughts floating in my head. Tonight was no different. Mark was in bed all day yesterday with flu like symptoms and I woke around 2:30am with a headache myself. I got him some Motrin and Tylenol, popped a few myself but then could not fall back asleep. My head was awake and details were filling it up. I need flowers for the church, we haven't connected with all the people we want to help us with music, am I getting the illness Mark has, how will I pack Teale for her overnight camp if I am? I finally gave up and made a cup of tea, and am sitting at my computer with a list, my thoughts and a hope this headache goes away...

One of the biggest tasks I still have to do is to write my vows. I've had many thoughts on this and haven't settled on any, so I thought I would write a few different things and see what comes of it.

Our marriage started out when I was just twenty two and Mark was twenty four. We had not been dating long when we decided to wed. It was a fast courtship that has turned into a life of deep love. My friends have called us soul mates, a term overly used these days, but I think for us, it fits. There was a comfort in our relationship from the very begining. It was evident to those we knew that Mark and I just clicked. We share many of the same values and wants from life, we respect each other and there is a deep admiration too. From the beginning I have felt like we lived another time together. I'm not sure what I believe when it comes to these thoughts, but I have vague memories of something long ago that makes me wonder if this is not our first go at life together. I have a deep fear of cold and drowning in cold water. There is a repeated dream that Mark has had over the years of drowning in a cold river. The two things somehow seem significant and make me wonder if we are here together again for a reason? I believe in a God and a Heaven, but I also am open to the idea of being on earth to learn lessons your soul needs to learn before your soul can reach enlightenment. Have we lived other lives together and this is our final journey?