Tag Archives: worry

Facing Mother’s Day with a Broken Heart

Facing Mother’s Day with a Broken Heart

Welcome Back!

Back ? Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

There I was, minding my own business in the Pasta aisle at Walmart, deciding between Vermicelli and Capellini, when I experienced the creepiest encounter ever… like a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past.

 

I heard her behind me. And before I even saw her, I was transported 17 years back in time.

She was desperately trying to soothe her fussy infant in the grocery cart as her 10 and 4 year old were peppering her with non-stop questions, requests, demands and poking each-other.

 

She looked exhausted… Physically, Mentally and Emotionally.

There was a spit-up stain on her shoulder and yesterday’s mascara was faintly noticeable… adding a deeper shade to her already dark circles.

 

Our eyes met and communicated the words we didn’t need to speak.

I so badly wanted to validate her pain, so I smiled gently and softly said:

“It’s hard”.

And that’s when this poor young mother lost it.

 

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she choked out the words…

“It’s SO HARD.  

I wish my husband realized just how hard it is.  

But he’s never home!  

He works late hours, so I can stay home with the kids… and I never get a break!  

I’m totally drained……..

It’s just SO HARD!”

 

And then she looked at her kids who were obviously her pride and joy and as she wiped away her tears she smiled and said…

“But, it’s worth it… It won’t ALWAYS be this hard… when they grow up it’ll be much easier”.

 

And that’s when I lost it, and as tears streamed down my cheeks, I choked back the words I wanted to say and turned away so she couldn’t see my reaction.  As I stared at boxes of pasta through blurry tears, I felt an empty pain deep in my heart .

 

I wanted to tell her… “Oh my dear, you have no idea just how much harder it can get. Years after you’ve given Everything there is to give, your husband just may happen to come home after “that business trip” or “working late” one night and ask you for a divorce.  

 

He will walk away with his high paying job, executive level earning power and retirement fund, while you walk away with the job description of ‘Housewife and Mom’ added to your resume.

 

And then he just may drag you through the family court system for years, constantly trying to negotiate paying less and less in child support until he manipulates the legal system to eventually pay you nothing at all… and along the way he’ll cause you to pay thousands and thousands in lawyer fees.

 

Then just when you thought your heart couldn’t break anymore… Your kids will see you as the Crabby Complainer and their dad (who, by the way, was busy “working late” their whole childhood) as the go-to parent. He’ll hold all the cards, and bribe them with promises of buying them a car when they turn 16….and…

 

And when your teenage daughter strikes the final blow, by telling you she’d rather live with her dad because you’re barely scraping by and he can easily afford to buy her whatever she wants… including a generous makeup and clothing allowance, you’ll wonder if it was really all worth it.

 

And then after living under his negative influence for a while, she’ll be blinded by the illusion of his spin on reality and there will only be a glimmer of your sweet little girl left behind. She will gladly align with him and forget who you are.

 

But, instead I chose to wipe away my tears and simply wished her a Happy Mother’s Day and she wished me the same.

 

Little did she know, this Sunday, my Mother’s Day will be far from anything I’d dreamed of or hoped for.

 

There are many moms who may not receive that Hallmark moment of recognition and gratitude from their children they long for.

 

There are many different reasons why this Mother’s Day may be filled with disappointment, heartache and sadness for many moms.

 

Remember, sometimes simply knowing you’re not alone makes it all much easier… along with a dish of delicious pasta and a nice bottle of red.

 

For a Friend

For a Friend

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

It all started a few days ago.  

I was writing on my laptop, enjoying my first cup of coffee, when I heard something in the other room.  It sounded like something was hitting the window.  

 

I walked into the family room to check it out, and sure enough, a robin was repeatedly flying into the window.  The minute it saw my reflection it flew away.  

 

I was relieved it hadn’t hurt itself and went back to my writing.

 

No sooner had I returned to my laptop, when I heard the same persistent sound again.

 

Bang……..………..…(wait for it)………………..Bang…………..(and again)……………… Bang!  

 

I walked back into the room and the robin flew away again.  

I thought:   “Geez, poor bird.  It’s gonna hurt itself.”

 

I figured by now this bird must’ve realized it keeps hitting something hard and obviously impermeable and finally flew away somewhere else.   

 

I went back to my writing.  And, I kid you not, within minutes, it started again.

 

Seriously?!?!  

I was shocked.  How could a bird be that stupid…or that stubborn???  Then I recalled hearing stories about how an animal’s instincts can cause it to repeat behavior over and over, even if it results in physical injury or worse.

 

And we’ve all heard the quote:

“Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of Insanity!!”

 

WTHeck!?!? I didn’t have the time, energy or desire to deal with an insane robin!

Every time I walked into the room, it would fly away… but, it would come right back and keep doing the same stupid Banging!!

 

I couldn’t keep walking in and out of the family room all day.  

 

So, I observed its behavior from a vantage point where it couldn’t see me.  

There’s a tree next to the window, and this robin sits on its branch and then takes a header into the window… knocks itself silly and then does it again!!!

 

I wasn’t sure how to help this poor bird, so I tried a few ideas:

 

  • I taped some foil to the window— this didn’t help, it just moved to a different section of the window!

  • Then I designed a replica of myself (like a scarecrow) using chairs, pillows, blankets, etc— this didn’t help.  I added a fan to give the materials some movement— no help!!

  • Then I cut-off the branch it was sitting on— it just moved to another branch! (I thought about cutting down the whole tree, but deep down I knew that wouldn’t help either.)

  • I screamed at it: “What is WRONG with you… are you TRYING to kill yourself!?!?”— no help.

  • Then I opened the window (which has a screen)— Voila, this seemed to help, but we’ve been having a lovely winter this spring and the house was getting a bit chilly (considering the 19* temps outside) so I ultimately closed the window.

By this time it was dusk and Thank Goodness the silly bird retired for the evening!!

 

The next morning I’d forgotten all about the bird until… it started AGAIN!!!

Bang………………………………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

 

WoW!!! It certainly was a consistent little bugger.

 

This time I tied up the window-blind strings and positioned the fan to blow them around. And the Good News is, it seemed to solve the problem.

 

There is just one issue.  This contraption has to be turned on constantly until dusk.  If I forget to turn it on… I am reminded by a persistent:

 

Bang……………… ……………..Bang………………………………….Bang!

And I know there may come a day when this latest fan/string contraption won’t help anymore and I fear finding that bird lying dead under the tree.

 

This whole ordeal has really ruffled my feathers.

No, I am serious!  

 

It is unnerving to try and help another when their behavior is going to hurt them (or worse), and most of your intervention does absolutely nothing .

 

The moments when I waited to see if a new preventative method worked, were absolutely grueling.  My heart would sink (& I’d inevitably feel like a failure) every time I’d hear the Banging start-up again.

 

The very worst letdown was when I thought I’d finally helped, because things quieted down… but then inevitably it would start again.

 

I’m always looking for the silver lining, or lesson learned from facing challenges in life.

And this situation unfortunately mirrored the greatest challenge we all face as human beings:

   The pain and frustration we feel

by watching those we Love

repeat behaviors

that hurt them or can eventually kill them.

 

The hardest thing to endure it to stand-by helplessly.  

And yet that is all you can do.  

Because if they want to Bang into that window… They will… And there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

 

Lesson 101 in loving someone, who is actively engaging in harmful behaviors… is to know there is very little you can do.  It is up to them if they want to change or stop.

We. All. Have. Free. Will.

 

These past few days I learned some important reminders.  

 

Here are some things you can do:

  • You do what you can to help.

  • You realize there is no magic wand to make it all better (no matter how much you beg, scream, cry, plead, wish, hope or pray).

  • You learn to live with your feeling of helplessness.

  • You accept you have no control over another’s Free Will.  You surrender trying to impose yours.

  • You eventually Let Go (and let God).

  • You remember to take care of yourself.

… a little birdie told me so!  

 

 

Spoiler Alert… (A Mother’s Prayers)

Spoiler Alert… (A Mother’s Prayers)

 

Welcome Back!

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

Spoiler Alert: This story has a Happy Ending!!

 

Someone posted the illustration below on FB the other day and it really hit home with me.    

Since having my three kids, I will admit I have never spent more time on my knees praying for their protection and well being.

FullSizeRender (11)

 

Even before I had kids, I always felt the most disturbing scene in a movie was when Shirley Maclaine’s character is pleading for pain medication for her dying daughter in Terms of Endearment.    

OMG, I can’t even post the actual clip here, because it literally tears my heart right out.

termsofendear4

The Fact is, when it comes to Our Children it seems

Worry and Love 

are synonymous and synergistic.  

Then again, I grew-up in a Sicilian/Spanish family, so I’m not sure if that increases the intensity of this synergistic effect.

♥ 

This all got me thinking about an important story in my life.

 

I delivered my third child, a daughter, the day before Thanksgiving.  It was my third C-section and this one was very complicated and difficult.  But, there were many reasons why she was my miracle baby.  

 

I remember every moment of her First Thanksgiving dinner…  

I was filled with gratitude as my precious baby girl and I snuggled together in our hospital bed.  She rested peacefully in my arms feasting on mama’s milk, while I looked forward to every delicious pump of my Morphine drip.    

 

And back home, my parents were having the full Thanksgiving dinner I had prearranged (from Wegman’s Catering) with my two young sons and husband (now, ex)… whom I will call “Hex”.

 

Before the family came to see us following their pumpkin pie dessert, in walked my favorite nurse to see how we were doing.  

I don’t remember her name, but I will call her: Madea because… She. Was. Madea.  

God, I LOVED her!!  She was AWESOME, Funny and Protective.  

 

On the day of my daughter’s delivery, Madea overheard Hex bragging about the important 10-day business trip to South Africa he’d be leaving for in less than a week, and how cool it was going to be…blah, blah, blah.  

 

This really ticked Madea off, and she confronted him about… this not being the time to leave his wife at home with a new baby and two other kids ???

 

Madea… Was. Not. A. Fan. Of. Hex. and she was not shy about her disdain.  Every time they ended up in the hospital room together, it was downright entertaining to see her behavior.  

 

The day we left the hospital,  I wish I had a tape recorder for the tongue-lashing she gave Hex.  It didn’t phase him one bit, but I stifled my laughter so many times, I almost popped my C-section staples.

 

My parents were going to stay and help me take care of everything when Hex was gone. I was having a particularly painful recovery and then one night (just 2 nights before Hex was supposed to leave) we noticed the baby had a fever.  

 

A fever at less than a week old requires a trip to the Emergency Room and I just about lost it.  

 

Hex, my dad and I took her in, and after some preliminary tests…  our fears were confirmed. Her fever was bacterial, and if she didn’t get IV antibiotics and the source of the infection quickly found… she could die.  At the very least she would be admitted to the hospital for a minimum of three days.

 

Well, (even though this diagnosis might not have been deserving of such a response) I’m pretty sure I was channeling Shirley Maclaine’s scene in Terms of Endearment as I was on the ER hallway payphone trying to explain what was going on to my mom.  

 

I would guess those viewing this conversation, may have thought everyone I had ever loved, had been wiped out in some horrific accident.

 

Even though it was 9:00 pm, my second phone call was to our priest who came right over and blessed our baby girl with holy water held in a hospital styrofoam cup.  

I will never forget how grateful I was for his presence during (what I believed to be) the worst moment of my life.

I silently prayed to God (as I had been doing from the moment that thermometer showed a fever) and suddenly,  I felt calm.

 

Sure, I was still worried to death, but I knew she was in the Palm of God’s Hand and I felt a sense of peace.

 

 

I told Hex he should probably call his boss and explain the situation.  He said, since my parents were already in town to help, he felt comfortable still leaving on his trip.  (over 8,000 MILES away from US!!!).  

 

I wanted to march right up to the Maternity Ward to see if Madea was on duty and bring her down to the ER with me, because I knew this was a fight I couldn’t deal with.  

Luckily, my dad who had been a tower of strength for me during this whole ordeal… suggested Hex just make the phone call to at least “inform” his boss about what was going on.

 

When Hex returned from making the phone call, he looked terribly disappointed.  

 

He said his boss told him… To. Stay. In. Town.  That his family needed him now, and the company would simply send someone else.    

 

I wasn’t sure if I was glad or sad with this new revelation because, as serious tests (like a spinal tap for god-sake!!!) were being performed on our little baby, it was obvious his mind was somewhere else.

 

It was after midnight when we were finally moved up into a private hospital room. My dad drove back home and Hex and I accompanied our baby.  

 

In the room there was one metal crib and two reclining chairs.  Hex took one look at that chair and immediately asked a cot be brought in for him because… He. Could. Not. Sleep. In. A. Chair.  

The kind (and now bewildered) nurse said, as soon as they got the baby settled… she would address his needs.

 

It was late.  I was still very sore post-C-op, and with tubes and wires now attached to our little baby, it made nursing her quite a challenge.  I’ll never forget… there was Hex, laying on his cot, with his blankets pulled up to his chin.  

 

And while I struggled to lean into her crib, so I could feed our baby… he asked me to “turn off the lights” as they were too bright and keeping him awake.

 

That night I asked him to go home in the morning and please send my mother to the hospital.  

 

For the next two nights, my mother helped me navigate every feeding… even in the middle of the night.  

And late one night, while watching a Christmas Special on TV, as my mom slept in the reclining chair next to mine and my baby girl was sleeping in her metal hospital crib…

I felt the peace of God and gratitude fill my heart.

 

 

 

It turned out my baby girl was very young to present with Kidney Re-flux.  She was on daily antibiotics for the first two years of her life and had a couple more hospital visits… but luckily outgrew the condition before she was three.

 

Even though this ending was a happy one… my heart tears apart for those parents who don’t get the happy ending they pray for.  But that… Is. A. Topic. For. A. Whole. Other. Blog!

 

The Bridges I used to get through this health scare with my daughter were:

  1. Pray

  2. Know who to ask for support

  3. Pray

 

Please share the Bridges you used to get you through similar situations…

 

PS… Hex left for South Africa on day three.