Below is a picture of Pippin and her friend, "Jerry", on prom night 2 weeks ago. Oh my goodness what a fun night it was. It was a right of passage for both girls. Both are first borns with always a unique sense of responsibility outweighing their own views of frivolous behavior. Both have labeled themselves over the years to being "tom-boys" to the bone and swore that things like make-up, hair styles, and dresses were nothing but a distracting waste of time. After all, how can one climb a tree or straddle a horse with a dress in the way.
But they let themselves embrace feeling like princesses. They were gentile and full of humble giggles and excitement all through the day.
I must say, I think they have grown up into a couple of amazingly beautiful young women inside and out.
Say Yes To The Dress
My girls and their friends are always so wonderful to say thank you for things and give cheers my way for....the food, the party, the ride, the gift, the wisdom, the_____fill in the blank. But sometimes I know that it is more of a sense of being polite than genuine gratitude. Not that I am complaining. I think I am a spoiled and love lavished mom. But recently Puddin' made my day.
I was walking through the living room with a load of laundry and my attention was caught by a show that Puddin' and Rixxi were watching. It is called Say Yes To The Dress. It is filmed in New York at a super fancy wedding boutique that people from all over the continent go to because of it's style and finesse. As with any tv reality series, it wouldn't be a show unless someone was making a fuss worth filming. What caught my attention was the filming of a mother and daughter. The daughter had found the dress of her dreams that made her feel like a princess more grand that Disney could ever hope to conjure. It was stunningly beautiful and fit all of her simple elegant desires. The mother pushed the consultant out of the way to go sort through the dresses herself while spouting on and on about the idea that she didn't care what her daughter wanted. Having nothing less than top notch sparkle and bling would be a social disaster.
I shook my head and said, "Someone needs to shake some reality into that mother and remind her that it's her daughter's wedding. If money isn't an issue and obviously it isn't, then shouldn't the look in her daughter's eyes and the happiness in her heart be the only thing that matters here?"
Puddin' dropped her stuff and jumped off the couch to hug me. "Oh Mom you are so amazing! I always say you are the best mom ever and I really do mean it. But when I see moms like that, they make me so mad and...I REALLY do mean it. I love you!"
Yeah, I was pretty rosy cheeked and misty eyed over that for a while.
The Things That Matter....
Right before prom things changed for us. It has ever since been a time where people keep saying, "Oh my goodness! How do you do it? You are so calm and peaceful."
To trace back the events, I think it started with my brother-in-law. My husband had gotten an urgent and panicked call. "Please talk to your brother!" It was his brother's wife on the other end of the phone. We all have different levels of things that we think we can handle. Sometimes when that level gets too close for comfort the person can feel that shutting down is the only answer. That is what happened here. The wife, who has advancing MS, had thrown her cane across the kitchen floor and football tackled her husband to the ground. With that accomplished, she sat on him and called his brother on the phone to be a voice of reason. It was the only thing she could do to keep him form walking out the door and possibly ending his life. A couple of weeks in the local hospital learning new coping skills and goal assessments seems to have created a new man and we are so very grateful.
At that same time frame, Hubby had to leave town for a week with work. The boss had started up a new contract 8 hours away in Idaho and asked Hubby to to the evaluating and training for the area. It was an honor and we are so grateful for the favor shown on him. But it was different having him gone for the week. A plus though is that he was able to spend some time with the kids and grand kids.
Mother's Day weekend was a very different time. Friday afternoon my mom had a mild heart attack. How can the words "mild" and "heart attack" ever be used in the same reference? As I drove to the ER I told myself that her headache and tight chest symptoms were only because of her recent cold and the medications she was taking for congestion. But when I saw her face I knew and didn't need hours of blood draws and enzyme calculations to tell me what we had already been through 5 years before. She was admitted into the hospital for observation and later it was decided to do another angiogram.
Mother's Day morning I was at the hospital waiting to hear the results from the cath lab. The attending cardiologist, whom we have dealt with on a previous occasion, lazily talked to me with a smirk on his face and an 'I told you so' glint in his eye. He shrugged his shoulders and said, "nope I can't do anything else. There are no stints or prescriptions to help with this", and he proclaimed her heart to be 20 years older than it should be. I wanted to put my fist through his face.
As I sat there in her room watching her rest, I absently worked over word search puzzles and fought back an overwhelming fear at the notion I might lose both my parents in the same year. My heart felt the swirling blackness get more thick around me, I cried out to God for rescue and hope and He reminded me of a fiction story I read a while back. In this story, the forces of good and evil are played in tandem with regular lives. The characters walk around through much of the story unaware that good and evil are all around them vying for territory just like Ephesians 6:12 says they are. Specifically I saw in my mind a part of the story where the main character was gripped by overwhelming fear and felt like he couldn't move. Then the story spun to the parallel spiritual realm and showed that same man with a demon named crippling fear that had latched his talon claws deep into the man's shoulders and was weighing him down to the ground. I decided then and there that I had a choice to move and look up or let myself fall down and give up. I decided anew that for every day there is breath, there is reason to have hope, purpose, and destiny.
Mom is home now and doing well. We went to spend the day with her today and bless her with a helping hand. I brought 4 young adults with me and they worked all over the yard cleaning and planting flowers to give her the summer joys that she loves without the stress and labor that goes with it.
Daddy is doing well too. His last scan showed that there was marginal shrinkage in 2 of the 4 tumor masses and no new tumors. He excitedly started another round of therapy and is anxiously counting down the days to our pending visit.
Along with these events, there are other things too. A step-grandma passed this week and a niece is in ICU after a massive seizure. I received an email today from the wife of a dear old friend. He has been battling caner this last year and it is spreading at an alarmingly horrid rate. They have decided to begin Hospice. This hits me in a way I can't even begin to wrap my heart around just yet.
Last Tuesday, I received a call that my husband's uncle in Nevada passed after a sudden massive heart attack. It took everyone by surprise. None of the family live here in town and most everyone lives out of state. But they are all coming here so he can be buried at the national cemetery. We have been asked to organise a memorial service.
It is an event that we never think of having to deal with but I am so grateful to be able to help the family out in this way. The widow and children need to be able to focus on one another without having to worry about a building or food. I have definitely learned a lot along the way and have found the web to have some great resources. If you ever find yourself in a position of needing to make a memorial service program, this site has beautiful user friendly free downloads.
This next week will be busy with the funeral and with us leaving 2 days later for Texas....but I feel entirely peaceful in a way that I can't even describe. All of these things happening to people we know and love. I don't understand it all. I can't reason it all. But I know that God is still God.
Okay, I could write more and more, but it is almost midnight and I must get some sleep.
For now, have a blessed and destiny filled day!