Monday, August 30, 2010

"Mom, there's just one more thing I need....."

I couldn't begin to count the number of times I've heard, "Mom, there's just one more thing I need....", and the list goes on and on and on. But, the odd thing is that I've never grown tired of hearing that. Instead, those words make me feel good, and happy, and useful, and needed. It's when I don't hear those words that I feel lost and lonely and a bit forgotten. Crazy, isn't it?

This morning was a regular type of morning....except that I was missing the kids. So many of them live far away, and our visits are limited to once a year. Most days I'm okay with that, but not today. It was just one of those "I'm missing my kids" kind of days. Maybe it's the changing of the season. Maybe it's just that kids are returning back to school, and that gives me reminders that I don't have any little ones home any more. Or, maybe I'm just more aware of the minutes ticking by more quickly as I grow older.

I was checking my emails and wishing that the phone would ring with a call from one of the kids when there -- I spotted it! "Mom, I hate to ask you, but.......there's just one more thing that I need!" You have no idea how much that lifted my spirts! I read the email request and thought to myself......I'm needed. I'm being call on as "mom". I'm not forgotten. I still serve a purpose.

Honestly, I think most of us as parents go through phases like this, but we feel a bit weird to express it. When our children are young, they depend on us for everything from their daily food, shelter, and clothing to their rides to and from school, the doctor, piano lessons, and soccer games.

Then, in the blink of an eye they're driving their own cars, and suddenly they become independent.....(except when they need cash to fill up the gas tank)! And, we parents have a tough time discovering the new role we now play in the lives of our children. They no longer need us as they did when they needed us to tie their shoes, wipe their noses, and pack their lunches. In fact, in this day of technology and instant everything, our kids rarely really need us for anything. Help is available at the click of a mouse on the computer, iPhone, or GPS!

I don't know that I'll ever outgrow the desire to be needed in the lives of my children. I want them to be grown up and independent, yet I still value my place in their hearts as "mom." I still like it when they call to ask my opinion. I cherish those times when I hear, "I don't know how you did it! Help me get through this!" I love knowing that even though we are all taking on new roles in life, I can still fill the slot as "mom." And, yes, I really do love it when I occasionally get the email or call that says, "Mom, there's just one more thing I need." To me, those words are translated into "Mom, I still need you!"
I love you, Steph!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Day the Rainbow Spoke

Each of us has a moment -- that special defining moment that we can remember when our lives made a pivotol change. For me, that moment came on the day the rainbow spoke.

To set the background, I had just been through the worst emotional storm of my life. In my seventh month of pregnancy, I went to the doctor for a routine monthly check-up only to find that my baby boy had died. Intra-uterine death are the words the doctor quietly voiced. "Your baby's heart has stopped beating."

It took a long time for those harsh, cruel words to sink in and when they did my world came crashing down. Due to the beliefs of my doctor, it was best for me to carry this child, my son, until I went into spontaneous labor. How long would that take? What would it feel like? What would he look like? Will I get an infection? What happens after he is born? So many questions, and nobody to give me answers. I got only tearful stares. People hurt with me, and nobody had any answers that seemed to be the right ones. Really, there were no answers that I wanted to hear. I only wanted one thing and that was my baby.

In three weeks, I did deliver this beautiful, perfect child, and he was just as the doctors said he would be. He was fully developed, he had a lot of blonde, fuzzy hair, and he was perfectly still. No heart was beating. When I think back to that moment, I can still remember the crushing pain my own heart felt as it broke into a million little pieces.

For months I cried every hour of the day. Nothing seemed right. Nothing looked right. Nothing felt right. The joy had died when my little boy died. The world that I once knew went totally black on me and I believed at that time that I would never again know joy in my life.

One particular day, I was driving down the country road that leads to my home, and a storm blew in rather abruptly. The sky became as dark as the night, and the winds whipped, and the sky poured rain as I've never seen before. The thunder clapped and the lightening flashed, and my tears began to fall as hard as the rain. The louder the thunder roared, the louder my wails became. I stopped the car along the side of the road and wished at that moment that I could just vanish into the depths of the storm. The pain I was feeling felt like far too much!

Then, something amazing began to happen. Just as suddenly as it began raining, it stopped. The dark turned to light so fast that it was like a light switch being turned on. I couldn't breathe right from so much crying, so I opened the window in the car, and as I did I looked upward through my swollen eyes, and then it happened. This was the day the rainbow spoke!

Right before my eyes was a glorious rainbow stretched across the sky that just moments before was black as night spilling forth torrential rain. The sun came out bright and wonderful, and the rainbow continued to speak. "Be calm, my child. I have sent you this rainbow as your sign of hope. No longer will your days be black, but you will be filled with Light and Peace. I will hold you in the palm of my hand and will take you in the shelter of my wing."

And, that is exactly what happened. It was just as I say. God had given me the sign of His everlasting promise of hope. He was with me and I no longer had to walk this path alone. It was right at that moment -- the day the rainbow spoke -- that my heart began to heal!


Mother of 11 living children
Mother of 6 angel babies
Mother of 1 stillborn son