Where Water Meets the Fire

The worlds gone mad

Flash

Bang

This is not 

The world

I imagined 

Living in

Time

Stands still

The calm

Before

The storm

My world

Is filled

With joy

And peace

With love

With hope
It runs deep
With hate
Follow me 

Some cry

For me 

I will stand

I won’t 

Sit by

As lives are taken

As my

Child

Within

Fears for

My child with out

Safety

Peace

Quiet

Calm

Voices of

Those 

Who fight

To make their world

A better place

Place me here

Above the noise

I choose 

A life

Without 

Violence

Creeping

To my door

Fogging 

The glass

To see 

Through 

The window

To feel that

Light

For my children

And theirs 

I say

Love

I say

Love

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Reflections

What does it mean to be a woman?I think that the answer lies within the heart and mind of each woman reading this.

(Still thinking of that beautiful young lady who was killed in Orlando, I’ve been stuck emotionally, and the best way to unstick is to unload.)

I don’t know her but I know she matters, and I know she loved, is loved.
I am a woman. 
I often tried to put myself into a certain group of people, and it’s not because I was craving that high school groupy-ness but because more often than not, I just didn’t fit in. It use to bother me immensely. It made me insecure. It made me someone I wasn’t meant to be….

*****

My femininity is beautiful. My gentleness/strength is empowering.

***** 

While trying to pen who I am, I’ve been thinking of all the women that have influenced me in the last year of life. This last year has taught me much about the human condition and all its glory/gore. The gray side of life. (Because for me as I age, the black/white, left/right, near/far on many things have melted to a calming shade of gray. There is less to fuss about. Don’t get me wrong – I still have absolutes, but in the gray I have found understanding and I’ve learned to understand.) 

*****

My mother, who I haven’t spoken to since last December, has taught me that I can be accepted – by me, without a desire to please her (or anyone else) and cut myself down. I have learned that I can still love her (and others) from afar, and not feel worthless for doing so. For myself this is HUGE. I try very hard to make everyone that I cherish feel that from me. I don’t ever want to let anyone down. Feeling as though I’ve failed someone feels like I AM the FAILURE. She was one of two voices I would hear in my mind when I’d done less than perfect anything. Hers by far has/had the biggest reach (1700 miles to be exact) and her words until recently cut me deeply, and had the magical ability to change me, how I viewed myself. It is not sad or tragic, though I use to feel that way. It’s life and a lesson I needed to learn for so long. 
My friend Kristal, who is raising her two grandchildren. She is a faithful woman, both with her relationship with those she loves and with God. She listens when I talk to her. She lets me know she’s there when I need that – because we all do sometimes. She accepts me AND my crazy brood just the way we are. I have learned from her, that it’s never too late to love myself. I’ve learned that through her own life story, and how her life story has changed me. 

Alyssa, who was the first person to follow Little Bits of Heaven, has become what I refer to as my ‘one in a million’. Our lives are like the reflections on the water. Almost the same, yet different enough to keep me looking, searching, but in a comforting way. She is the me if I were her and I if she were me. Her journey inspires me to look beyond the introvert I have become and be a part of the world again. She has taught me what it is to overcome, to cleanse, to use my words as a way to move through things rather than stop and stay. And that, for someone with anxiety, is a BIG deal. She is more a part of me than I thought I could find in a friend. I envy the way she can take a simple thought I pen and send it back with such illustration, with words that give life to the slow death that is each passing hour. She is true beyond measure.

My blogging buddy and gracious friend Annabella, who sends me weekly emails just to remind me that in my closed-circuit world someone’s still ‘out there’ caring about me, has shown me that I need not apologize for things I want out of life. Her wit, her desire to be authentic and trust the Lord has helped me through much in the last few months. She sent me the most beautiful something, and it’s real, tangible, touching, authentic. I could send her all the ranting/cursing that this sailors mouth could conjure up and she’d still see ME. ME. What a blessing. She doesn’t allow for shallow self loathing or to skip over the what if’s. She allows me those, and challenges me to take my life and desires head on, which sometimes I/you/me/we need.

Deb, whose life and love and gentle nature, which bleeds through every post and tugs at my heart strings, has taught me the importance of being gentle, but even more so that being gentle, even quiet – does not make me a woman of weakness, but strength. Things don’t always need to be said. Words do not need to be written just for filler. Peace, quiet, and a gentle nature have more power than I ever knew. The struggles have not taken her love away, but magnified it ten fold, in the most wonderful way.

Each of these women I would cross the country for. Be there to pull their hair back from their eyes in those sad and mournful moments, hands held tightly no matter the miles apart. I would/do/will celebrate them and their accomplishments. They inspire. They love. They are all true and beautiful. 

*****

I read what I’ve penned – and stop. I picture that young woman I’ve been thinking so much about. She must have been strong, to love herself in spite of all those who were against her. Her challenges in this life most likely gave her a loving and loyal nature toward those who truly loved all of her. Those gentle smiling eyes no doubt lit every room. I’m sure that she touched many lives in ways she will never know. She has taught me what it means to BE COURAGEOUS. 

*****

Myself, last but not least, always has room in my heart for you. I am loyal, at times to a fault. I’m a lover of God, my husband and family and the diversity of all the women who make up that which is ‘me’. I am beautiful. I have value. What I lack in social graces I make up for in my writing. I’ve lived more than I should have, but it’s given me perspective. I see the cracks in my mirrored reflection as that which keeps me grounded rather than that which stops me in my tracks. Happiness is progress. Wholeness is healing through my pain, and not allowing it to break me. I’m me, and that’s a miraculous thing to accept, more so to love. 

Thank you to all of you, and some that I didn’t mention, for helping me to find myself. It’s a journey every woman needs to take, even if it’s kicking and screaming – which yes, I’ve done that too. Thank you for the love, acceptance, lessons, and humanity. 

***We. Are. One.***

Love, Freedom, Choice

I woke up weeping at 4:03am yesterday.

It was the kind of sadness one feels when there is loss which cannot be measured.

I looked around my room.

Baby, husband…

I wandered my house…all accounted for.

There is a heaviness in my soul for those who will wander their halls looking for their children.

They wake weeping for those they love.

I’m sure they search for answers as they view the empty bed, the deafening quiet.

I mourn with you. I cry for you. 

I was driving home with my husband and our youngest last night.

To the left, was the most vibrant rainbow.

Behind it was the dark and turbulent sky.

I thought of the young woman’s face I saw on television.

She was killed by a man who pledged to take her life.

Taken from this world by a monster.

A monster that craved vengeance above understanding.

I imagined what she would have given to this world.

My eyes filled with tears that burned my eyes.

May her face and all victims of terrorism not be forgotten.

*****

We all know what’s to come. No one is immune to the hatred that follows us, our freedom, our choice. 

A woman on the news begged to know where her son was. She didn’t distinguish life or death, just the need to know something, anything, about her child.

Young men and women carry a wounded friend away from the carnage, away from the death in hopes that he would survive.
The scenario repeated on our own soil is one I see often in the news from (not so) far away lands like Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc. They are at war, and it can only make sense to come to an understanding as a country, unified, that WE are at war. 

While people die we watch and hope it gets better. 
While mourners gather, we sit and watch.

I believe that every human being has the right to live a life of freedom, safety, and choice. 

I believe that every human being has the responsibility to do their part to make this world a safe place for those that cannot be free, do not have safety, and aren’t allowed to choose their own path.

I believe that freedom, our freedom, comes at a price. I see it daily. Hourly. The safety so many of us take for granted is being paid for by those who fight behind enemy lines, and ironically give up that same freedom to do it. With this freedom we as Americans have, there will always be those individuals, whether home or abroad, that want what we have or want to take it from us. They choose that. Let us not follow in their foot steps and choose to hate, vilify, and isolate. Let our lights shine brighter, show the victims and their families we are going to do more than just watch and sit idly by. Do something.

Just talking about these things solves absolutely nothing. No matter your views – if you want them to matter, to make change…get up and vote. Protest what you find wrong with this country and support the values you hold dear. If we don’t, we have no one to blame but the person staring back at us in the mirror. ***

Meth/Death and Life is…

*I had the most amazing (powerful?) post written for today….and then my baby cried and with that alone on my mind I closed the screen and all was lost. So.Very.Frustrating.*

 

The words spelled out how aging comes to a woman who use to ‘do’ (crystal meth). Craved it more than the air, more than her sanity, her life. They were words brought together by pain and suffering, loss and hunger. RAGE. The nouns though few were ‘just’ people. People who only betrayed her, easily molded her. She became a child sleeping on a park bench…night after cold/damp/dark and scary night. Sentences filled with lowly quotes, angry musings. Perhaps a thought put to the paper on how growing older is such a miracle – because it is. She is amazed she survived at all.

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The places, the things/moments that put her there were woven into what would have been real/raw/and punctuated with needed heart-breaking. A story of rage turned toward redemption. The solitude that helped her find her peace. The child that lost her innocence but found a way to give that child a home, a comforting place…deep within.

It was to be all of those ‘things’ that one remembers, of a life gone but never far enough from her mind…

The closing was to be all about the light that had shown through her window, right to her thankfully still-beating heart, as the sun was rising…

I am an addict, forever in recovery. I am 19 years CLEAN this month. Though my teeth still show the regrets of my youth, my drug use, and the ravages of time…I will take it. This age. This wisdom. This life.

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Remember Why

 

General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, promulgated General Order No. 11, which was the first official promulgation of Memorial Day. General Order No. 11 provided that flowers be placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers on May 30, 1868.
“Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

President Ronald Reagan remarked on a Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery –
“…the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others.”
President Reagan on the soldiers of the Viet Nam War –
“They chose to be faithful. They chose to reject the fashionable skepticism of their time. They chose to believe and answer the call of duty … They seized certainty from the heart of an ambivalent age; they stood for something.” “We owe them something, those boys … a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, know that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong.”

Unfortunately, the ravages of time have yielded not only neglect, but also forgetfulness. In 1971, the fatal error occurred – the Uniform Monday Holiday Act fixed the celebration of Memorial Day to the last Monday of May. Congress, botching up its own creation, corrupted it with a three-day weekend. The “most sacred day of the year” was perverted into an empty excuse for barbecues, sales, and mini-vacations.
(Judge Michael Warren/Co-Creator of Patriot Week)

 

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Now that you have a brief history about Memorial Day, I’d appreciate your indulgence for a few more paragraphs…

To those misguided but life-loving souls that protest what our country was built upon and is still protected by – please remember that the sales you’re shopping this coming weekend were built upon those same graves, same loss, same love, same dedication to something/someone greater than themselves.

The bigger picture if you will, is that every service member who dies while enlisted CHOSE that. They chose our Republic and what they feel it should stand for. Their choice was/is one of such selflessness, bravery, honor. The fallen deserve more than just a day but for just one day please, please acknowledge that what you/we have is because someone you may never know fought for it. Blood, sweat, tears.

To those who’s family members have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom to love who we choose, live how we choose, God Bless You. You’re loved ones are never far from my family, our prayers, our time. We love you. We are here for you. Come what may – war and peace – we will never turn away from you.

 

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To those who will enjoy a three day weekend, a barbecue with family/friends, enjoy it. Be present for every moment. Stand in awe of what you have and take a little time to be remember  WHY you have your little bit of heaven.

“I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure that it will cost us to maintain this Declaration, and Support and Defend these states. Yet, through all the gloom I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is more than worth all the means.” – John Adams (1776)

 

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A Daughters Heart

 

 

There is a child in my daughters class, who every day comes through the door dressed like a model for a department store. Popped collar shirts, masculine jeans, skater shoes…the most expensive of accessories.

The bell rings and his shoulders fall. His discomfort fades away and this beautiful child is – at least until the bell goes off to head back home – no longer the boy his surely loving parents dress him to be, but ‘Linda’…a snarky and at times confident child. Just one of the girls.

My sweet Birdie has sat me down many times to let out the built up frustration she feels on behalf of Linda. Whether this child’s parents even know, how come they make who she feels is obviously more comfortable as a her/she/girl/young lady, dress and act like a him/he/handsome young man. My daughter asks why he should have to pretend to be someone she’s not, while little Birdie has always been allowed to be Birdie.

My daughter does not like the tight, high-riding and/or low cut girls clothing. She does not enjoy bling and glitter, bows and girly-ness. Her wardrobe, much like mine was at her age – is filled with boys clothes, shoes, accessories. Nike football shirts, athletic pants and shorts, basketball shoes. She has one dress, which she has worn once. It wasn’t forced, she wanted it and so I bought it.

While trying to help my little girl (with the over-sized and often overly sensitive heart) understand Linda’s life, and the choices we make to be happy, the wise and wonderful mom in me realized something. My daughter is amazing. My daughter has managed to grasp and master what we take charge humans often find ourselves struggling with – acceptance. Whether of ourselves, others, circumstances, happenstances. She gets it.

 

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(While there are a host of ‘issues’ surrounding this ‘subject of debate’…I’ll cross my t’s and dot my i’s as they find their way to the paper, but not before.)

*****

I try not to be a drop in what I feel is an already overflowing cup of unsolicited opinions/advice, but I just want to say that with everything going on, going wrong – I am not worried or afraid of Linda’s miraculous friendship with my daughter.

I am fearful of war.

I am heartbroken for each human being that dies because they are starving.

I pray that those who are lost will be found, free, happy.

I do not pray that God changes someone who finds solace in being who they feel they’re meant to be.

 

*I am a Christian, and I’ve read the Bible. I’ve also lived, lost, learned along the way.*

 

I love my children, and as long as I’m living and beyond I will love them. If I can love my children then I can love your children. If I can accept my children’s desire to be who they choose/need to be, well then I can do the same for yours.

This isn’t about what I want but what makes my children/our children feel whole. I don’t understand it. But I’m not afraid of it, of change. I’m not afraid of a difference of opinion either, but I’m afraid for those human beings that are cast aside because they choose to live. I’m just one person I know. God has taught me that if nothing else, He’s saved me to share His love. He fought for my life through addiction, homelessness…and I’ll be damned if I’m going to be the one to cast a stone at one of HIS greatest gifts…another human being. A life worthy of existence. All unique, all loved, all beautiful in his eyes and therefore in mine.

 

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Because It’s Good Fun

 

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I haven’t been posting very much lately and for those that have missed it I do apologize! Life has been going at full ludicrous speed around our house and I’ve been playing catch up myself for weeks!

Tank is walking so I spend most of my days chasing, oohing and aahing, and cleaning up after everyone else so he won’t realize he can reach the table and countertops to make big messes. I had forgotten how much I loved cabinet locks!!

JJ graduates from kindergarten next week and has requested all the festivities of a college grad for ‘his’ party…streamers, costumes, darts, bubbles…and a new bike.

 

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Birdie will be heading to middle school next year and with that comes the joys of hitting that all important ‘girls only‘ kind of puberty at the most awkward time…and her fifth grade swimming party is TOMORROW!!! *sigh*

Our son Jay has been off and on with his anxiety meds, which if anyone knows anything about any type of medication it’s that one must use it as prescribed. Trying to word things without hurting his anxious feelings about what he’s like without his meds is driving our relationship into a wall – made of steel. The kid is just 14, 6′ tall and 200 lbs of oil and water, grease and fire, bubbles and flower petals. Ugh. It. Sucks. He’s heading off to high school next year and has no desire to do ANYTHING. That at least, is typical of his age – and then there’s girls….calling, texting, never ending. (Enter mama bear stone cold and unamused face here.)

My 18 yr. old son is applying to work at a casino for the summer. No I don’t like it, but he’s 18. He’s 18. I feel old…perhaps this part should be left out? (I mean, I really do only dye my hair because I like to right? There’s no gray…is there?)

Of course there’s the life outside of party planning, having to do laundry and change diapers. There’s more to my life than meeting with teachers, doctors and short-order meal requests at 0100 hours. I’m also a wife. And my husband has been doing a lot around here for us. Bravo has a job and if all goes well he will switch from being a contract position to permanent employee in about 8 weeks. Thank God for regular pay, hours and bill paying. I am so thankful that we can buy pizza on Saturday nights if we want and buy that really soft toilet paper again.

With all this to-do and so on, I forgot to mow our yard, or just the back yard really. Then it rained for a week. Then it was hot and humid, sunny beyond measure…and I kid you not the measurements of grass are a two foot minimum. I’m gonna need a tractor, an old rake and a new mower. Help! (And with two dogs, kids, and a fear of Lyme disease this mama and her hubby have been weed whacking and raking Deadpool style. Cursing, laughing, inappropriately joking and bribing our kiddos to get in on this fun.)

Anyway, I hope the coming new season will be filled with more of my little bit of heaven. Because as bitchy as this blog post sounds…it’s all I’ve ever wanted. And the bits of hope, happiness and love sprinkled about are all I need to know I’m right where I should be.

 

***On a side note, I watched the mo vie  ‘Deadpool’ and it was disgusting – as in disgustingly funny.***

 

 

 

 

For The 22 We Lose

 

For him some days are harder than others. Behind the green eyes I fell in love with is another time and place that I cannot go. Hidden deep within his heart so very broken are the lives that have made him unbreakable. The men whose names are forever etched in his mind and closer still as he paces, smoking…

Some things are best kept between him, God and his infantrymen. A loss that I can never fathom but that I have felt, often, as he sleeps – at times running to those he’s lost, to the one he still searches for. In all these many years there are finally heavy moments which quickly fade…or so he would have me believe. I know it is the silence he fears. That quiet goodnight that allows the demons he fights to strengthen. Still after all this time he wakes to check on his brothers. Like a photograph – he lives in a world paused by the scars he has endured. The body he pushed to save all those beside and behind is now turning on him. His heart beats harder, faster. His new knees buckle. His back aches.

 

For several years after I met my husband I saw his struggle with the service he chose and the severe PTSD he did not. It is never easy to watch someone we love make an enemy of themselves and as a result…those that love them.

Through it all his ability to laugh at himself and the shit and mire he went through with his brothers was unchanged, and is what I love most about him. Bravo and I have spent many long nights talking about those he has served with, and in many ways still carries the load for. Loyal and tough, my husband has done well hiding his pain from us, but it lingers behind his smile and beautiful eyes.

As with most of the brave men he has served with the desire to remain in the fight ebbs and flows with the tide. The internal conflict between his sense of duty and the resounding effects of being abandoned by the government and civilians whose freedom he chose to fight for does not leave him. There is rarely a night that his battle goes quiet while he sleeps.

My husband decided to write down the angst bottled up over the years a long time ago but his heart had always stopped him, or the symptoms of his PTSD would be just enough to push him from the paper. When he finally dove in I was proud of him. I understood the long sleepless nights ahead would in the long run be healing…even if in the short term I knew the man I love would fight his demons all over again.

It is never easy to stand by while our husbands relive these stories, and writing them, reading them over and over takes its toll. My husband has lost years to his past and his present is once again filled with nights pacing our deck. Tears for those moments he will never share but that play like a broken record in his mind. He keeps going for his fellow men, and for those that can’t tell their own story. He has shared many things with me over the last 17 years, but to read of the life that most nights haunt him, well, truly breaks my heart…but never have I been more honored to be his wife.

I am not sharing this for what I feel is deserved gratitude for my husbands service but for the battles that never left him and for those who’s fight with combat related PTSD has ended needlessly. 22 United States Veterans commit suicide each day. In 24 hours, 22 amazing human beings will have their struggle end and for the people who love them, a new struggle begins. 22 men and women-fathers/sons/brothers, mothers/daughters/sisters die each and every day fighting with the same heart beat as my husbands. Wives like me lose their best friends and children like ours will never again get to hear their fathers laugh. Their deaths are not to be ignored and their lives still stand for those they protected even in such tragic loss. Their sacrifice is not in vain. Their beautiful souls simply couldn’t contain what they felt every moment of every day – saving those who wanted a life of freedom and choice – while seeing the very worst of humanity.

I love you my sweet husband. Do not think I don’t see you struggling tonight. I am here, always. I will never give up on you. Thank you for standing tall, and for showing me what it is to be human.

*Please take the time to watch this. Thank you.*

 

 

 

 

Allergies Old & New…

 

Allergies seem to run in the family and since I’m adopted my husband and kids can’t pin this one on me. *Yessss*

 

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My daughter Birdie has seasonal allergies. She is also heading into middle school this fall, so she has begun to acquire the well known ‘I can’t’ allergy caused by the ‘I don’t feel like it’ tree. (It just keeps on giving!) Awesome. Good times, good times…

On a more serious note, Birdie is also allergic to latexdeadly allergic. She wasn’t always, but since birth showed symptoms of said allergy. We took her to the doctor for every rash, bump, blister, red patch. Starting just after birth she would turn as red as a cherry to the touch from all the poking and prodding. Our pediatrician came to meet her at the hospital and picked her up so sweetly. He held her like we did – with love. He put her down and her body had two perfect prints from his latex gloves. They wrapped around her tiny little body. With no other symptoms of a problem we all guessed she was just being a new tiny human, sensitive in every way.

She was however a sickly little thing. Which isn’t typical with a baby that nurses.

Around year one we had to avoid bandaids because it was impossible to get them off, and left a little rosie tattoo in its place for weeks, on top of whatever terrible ouchie Birdie had. At around two her little head and face started breaking out in what was eczema and heat rashes…even in December. Again, with no other symptoms I treated her scalp with apricot and olive oil and cool bubble baths for her rash. At three we introduced flip flops. They gave her blisters between her feet (which she had off and on in her mouth since she started sprouting teeth) so I gave them to another little girl who thought they were just so fancy. At five she started losing teeth and as any good mama would I made sure she brushed her wiggly teeth bunches, and they just fell out…two by two – and once by three. By the time she was six she had to see a dentist for an abscess. The dentist said the tooth had to go. We did the deed and her tooth was yanked; and while it was being removed she had trouble breathing which we chalked up to the stress of such a procedure. And then there was H1N1 and then chronic bronchitis, and influenza; all in a three month period, and all too much for her immature immune system to handle while fighting what would later be diagnosed as a latex allergy. In fact, we never would have known she had said allergy if she had not gotten so sick. Her body was fighting an allergy to the world around her. I felt so guilty. I felt terrible for her.

Birdie’s allergy seems to be catching as more tiny humans in the US are diagnosed, and yet so few things are latex free. Birdie has a medical alert bracelet, an IHP at school, an epi-pen, high dose steroid creams and her own latex free first aid kit here, for traveling and at school. She has a special seat cover she takes from class to class and can’t play kick ball because of her allergy. To put the seriousness of her allergy into perspective I have made you a list.

*Her rash on her skin was caused by food allergies from mainly fruits that have proteins resembling latex such as banana, strawberry, kiwi, mango, avocado…basically all that is creamy and/or delicious.
*Her eczema on her scalp was caused by the small latex bubbles on the ends of her hair brush bristles. If she itched her scalp after washing it tore the skin just enough that when I would comb her blonde locks the latex would enter her skin and cause irritated, dry patches.
*Her tooth brushes all had latex containing bristles and with each loose tooth she/I would brush brush brush that latex right into her blood stream. As an immune response her gums would swell and push her teeth out. When she had any dental work done every glove, tube, tool had or was completely made of latex. It is what caused her labored breathing.
*Her flip flops got their bend from latex, so when she would sweat the latex entered into her pores causing dermatitis (a rash that looks like tiny blisters) in between her toes. Most shoes are held together with latex based glue. So, Birdie can’t get her shoes wet or she gets hives, which turn into awful open sores. They bleed and peel, and are extremely painful. Even the carpet in her room had to go, so she got a new room without it. The padding made the bottoms of her feet turn red when they were wet from bathing.

Unlike some people who have a latex allergy Birdie is in more danger if her immune system is compromised. This is when she is at her greatest risk of dying from anaphylactic shock. Her body simply can’t fight off illness and her allergy. If she gets the sniffles she stays home so I can keep an eye on her. The last pair of shoes we bought her were suppose to be latex free…after three days of feeling like she fit in with her super cool/expensive high tops she was in the nurses office then home for four days, unable to handle the wounds on her feet. She was angry with me. She felt I didn’t do my job. (I call every major company of clothing, shoes, the works…before we ever buy something to ensure her safety and the absence of latex. There are some wonderful websites that help out with determining which products do/don’t contain latex, but just because it says so doesn’t always make it true.)

We had to gut our house of anything and everything that was or may possibly have contained latex. Her toys (almost all of them) were put out for the fundraiser sale in our front yard on a Saturday. The local donut shop heard about it and chipped in oodles of donut holes and bottled waters, with all the cash going straight to Birdie. We had to toss a lot of things, all her hair stuff, much of her clothes, kitchen utensils, shoes, really EVERYTHING. She hated us for months. Even after we bought her latex free toys, paint, crafts, the works. She had every right to be mad. The life she knew and loved was sold for pennies on the dollar.

 

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It’s been four years and Birdie has risen to the occasion and is her own best advocate. She even gets to have sleep overs at other peoples houses without me panicking, calling every few hours. And several moms have really gone above and beyond to ensure Birdies safety while she is in their homes, cars, pools.

There will always be some things she can’t have or do like wear the same cheerleader uniforms as her friends, wear air Jordan tennis shoes, use maxi pads or wear socks from the store. But she’s thriving, and that means there’s such an immense sense of hope that one day all things will fall into place for her.

We’ve been blessed that none of our other children have to deal with such a life changing and difficult allergy…until this last Friday…

 

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Tank, our one year old is now covered in a rash from the top of his head to the bottom of his tippy toes. He ate a teensy piece of strawberry. That coupled with his constant tummy aches and difficulty adjusting to new foods (the same on Sarahs list) he will be watched like a hawk, and from this moment on never again will he enjoy the sweet life of strawberries sprinkled with sugar, mixed berry fruit chews, or red candies. Perhaps I should consider buying Benadryl by the case.

(This all started as a quick email to a friend, DLJ, about Tank, but I though to myself why overwhelm just her when I can share with all of you! )

 

 

 

A Dash of Hope…

 

 

A simple ‘Sorry‘ does not seem to accurately portray how I feel about the first year of your life my sweet darling son. Though you are so wanted I find it hard to want to be here. I know when you nurse in the middle of the night, that as you caress my face so lovingly you feel the moisture my tears have left there as they stream down my face. It’s not because of you I promise. They are weeping from deep within my sad heart FOR you. I cherish your kisses you share with me after your bath time, when you wake every morning. I adore that you hold my face still just so you can look into my soul. I wonder if perhaps you do see the mama I long to be, to feel like, rather than the mother I more often than not seem to be. Thank You for loving me when I feel so unworthy of such a gift. You are most precious to me my darling son. When I walk into our room to pick you up from your naps, you light up like the lilies in our garden as they follow the Suns light in the morning. All that joy just at the sight of me – it melts my heart. Thank you for finding happiness in me, in our kitchen dancing sessions. I’m so glad you’re not a picky listener…as I sing off key…and you still hum along to our favorite songs. You never seem worried that I won’t be here, for you, even when I feel so far away. I hope that never changes, as most days it is my saving grace. Your laugh reminds me of your fathers, and beyond that your grandfathers. You must be a very old soul to understand the things you do and see, and still laugh so whole-heartedly. Your patience takes my breath away my darling son. Always waiting for your mother to wipe her tears, always with the knowledge that you are my reason to keep going.

 

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I use to have the most terrible dreams when we were one. Dreams that all the things the doctors were telling me could happen did happen, and yet, so perfect was your smile, your heart, your tiny beautiful body when you were born. All the tests, and all the ultrasounds could not quiet this fretful mind I have. Forever lingering on the first words rather than the last of each specialist that kindly tried to calm my fears and assure me that you were healing inside of me. I counted the days until your healthy arrival, and then, suddenly when you were about one month in age – I started to weep at what I thought was a case of built up fears and stress finally allowing themselves to be released – having been given the ‘all clear’ at the sight of your glossy eyes staring into mine. The weeping never stopped. And now here I am, with you, thankful and without a way to show it. I tell you daily that I am, because I feel you need to hear it. I need you to hear it. I’m so afraid that you don’t feel my love for you. Trembling with guilt that I haven’t done enough as the sun goes down to show you I’m still here fighting for us, our family, you. It may seem like it’s all for not just now my darling son, but with Gods grace and loving kindness – one day soon all the pain your mama holds back from her world will subside. And I will truly be here. And you’ll be waiting… my darling son.

There is much to be said about my life as a mother, your mother. It is a job I adore and am beyond thankful to have. I know so many women who do not have this and would give up everything to have a baby just like you…perfect in every way. That thought is never far from me. As I carefully toss and turn in the bed we share, I think about how I can do better, show more love, be more patient and kind. It dawned on me this morning before the sun was even up…you are the example God has given me. For you are my inspiration, the vibrant ying to my tattered yang. The banana to my peanut butter. The best of me. I love you my darling son. I’m not here yet, but I’m not going anywhere…I promise.