Saturday, July 02, 2011

My mom is in the hospital again. This has become a monthly occurrence, it seems.
I don't want to lose my mom, but the simple fact is, I will at some point. I just always thought I would be older, a "grown woman," perhaps with teenaged, or even grown, children of my own. I definitely didn't think I might be barely 30, childless (though not by my own choice), with my life on complete tenterhooks. I thought my mom would be a lot older than 59. Seeing her so ill, every time, I wonder, "What is the point of no return?" Where is the point at which I know it's truly the beginning of the end, that this is going to end, and soon? Because I keep thinking, every time, that this is it. Is this it?

I keep telling God, "I cannot handle this. I am not ready for this," and I feel like He answers, "You will be, if I want you to." That probably sounds more threatening than I hear it; His voice is more matter-of-fact than ominous.
And little by little, He breaks my heart every day, seeing parts of my mom that might never be restored. It hurts me that I cannot hug her with a real hug, because I will hurt her; she's too fragile. It hurts me that we cannot share a meal because cancer eating away at her makes her too nauseated to eat. It hurts me to think of all the things I want to do with her that we might not get to do. It hurts me that she is uncomfortable, all of the time. It hurts me, mainly because It. Hurts. Her. A lot.
Why does God let people experience such pain? I know that He could heal her in a second if He chose to. I know that His not healing her does not make Him any less good. But, why her? Why us? Why now? My mom is not even 60. We have so much life ahead of us. We have so many things to do.
Every time I think I'm at the end of my rope, there is a little progress, a single step in the right direction. It doesn't feel like enough, but at the same time it feels like everything. I got to talk to her on the phone today. I hadn't talked on the phone with her in weeks, it felt like, because she's been too weak or sick or tired. Even though I saw her yesterday at the hospital (while she was very ill), talking on the phone felt like a mile in the right direction. Was it? Or was it just a momentary comfort for us both?
I write so many of these blogs I never publish, because (1) they're depressing and (2) I don't know if my mom or others would like me talking about her illness so brazenly. I guess I write them for myself, because I need the reminder, that I know God sees us. My mom was always telling me, "He is El Roi: the God Who Sees." It's comforting and maddening at the same time.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The funny thing about hardship is how it alters you. The last few years I feel I've aged 100. My face shows it; it's hard for me to see photos of myself because the tense lines around my eyes jump out at me. My smile seems forced, even when it doesn't feel forced.
There was a time--around 2003-2005--when I thought, "I'm so happy, it should be illegal. It can't be right to be this happy." I actually felt paranoid because of the joy I felt at having a wonderful husband, loving family, a job that challenged me, a safe place to live. There were minor hardships, and things weren't perfect. But I was so content; I thought for sure either Sean or I were going to die because why else would we be so happy when others were struggling?
I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Anne of the Island:
"Life seems like a cup of glory held to my lips just now. But there must be some bitterness in it--there is in every cup. I shall taste mine some day. ... I'm sure no life can be properly developed and rounded out without some trial and sorrow--though I suppose it is only when we are pretty comfortable that we admit it."
Reading back through journal entries reveals that I thought 2006 and 2007 sucked, as far as years go. Now I know they were gray years, but not hard ones. My career faltered, but I persevered and found a new place for myself, one where I could be content with the work God placed in front of me and the freedom He allows. Those years, I felt myself struggling to remain rooted--but what's been going on since that time has caused me to feel untethered, lost.
Dealing with my mom's illness has made me a different person. I might've salvaged enough self-preservation to make it through with my personality intact, to keep the friendships I had, to be able to socialize easily with others. But, the double-whammy of finding out I was struggling with infertility at the same time kind of wrecked all chances I had of remaining the same person. Out of this hardship came this extreme feeling of isolation--because that's what infertility does; every case is different; and it's such a *personal* issue, it makes normal social interaction seem foreign. It covers everything.
Many people say, "I wouldn't trade the hardships I've had because they made me who I am." But I would trade them. I've been changed indelibly; so that, if tomorrow my problems all dissolved--my infertility cured, my mom healed--I would still not be able to return to the other side of the suffering. Jesus prayed, "may this cup be taken from me," (Matthew 26:39), and I've prayed that prayer. I feel those words more than ever. But even if God does take it, I will not, cannot be the same as I was. I'm starting to feel that's okay, too... if I could help someone else who is going through something similar... if I knew I could, maybe that would be a bright spot in the hardship. I'm going to keep praying for that opportunity, and that I can emerge on the other side of this someday being able to say, I didn't lose faith; I didn't doubt God's provision and love, even when I felt so alone.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Shooting Myself in the Foot

This space intentionally left blank.

Friday, May 15, 2009


As much as I want to write and exposit, I just don't have words.
A heavy sadness is pressing in on me.
Sadness over the state of my life, mostly, and my seeming lack of control over it.
It should be so easy -- almost tangible, as if I could physically reach out and grasp my own fate.
And every choice would be clear.
But my fatal flaw is stasis -- I remain suspended in some sort of cocoon of my own making.
But inside, nothing is changing, and everything is changing -- constantly.
The different sides of me are at war with each other, with no progress to be had.
I'm not transforming into a beautiful butterfly.
I'm stuck in some larval form with no idea what I'm to do next.
So many options in my head; none seem right.
Shouldn't this metamorphosis be coming organically? Without my having to think twice?

I feel stillborn, half-developed, all fire in my heart but dead in my hands and brain.
And the only thing coming naturally to me is avoidance.
And I've grown weary of that game.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009


More and more I'm thinking about vulnerability, and how much I strive for other people's acceptance and approval. The right words from someone--even a stranger--can be balsam, while indifference is sometimes worse than censure. I constantly feel like I'm putting myself out there to people, but when I step back from the magnifying glass, I realize I'm just hypersensitive from the vulnerability. What I'm saying is a carefully chosen revelation of my true self, but for most people it just blends into the cacophony of background noise, and the revelation goes pretty much unrecognized. I guess I've never been one of those people with a talent for saying exactly the right thing at the right time. I can only filter experiences through my own psyche and try to throw something out there someone, somewhere, might be able to relate to.

When I think about the times I'm most happy, it's when I feel a true connection with someone, can see into their life and glimpse their crazy and it's beautiful, not creepy. (These times are few and far between). But, most of the time, I can't figure out whether everyone else is just oblivious to what's going on in my head, or if I'm just the worst in the world at concealing my crazy.

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Thursday, January 01, 2009

You Are What You Read?

Couldn't resist repurposing this from a few friends' blogs. However, I was wishing there was a classification for books I tried to read and chucked across the room in frustration or read from obligation and hated. There are quite a few on here. (Yes, Wuthering Heights, I'm talking to you!) I wasn't sure how much of a book I had to read to count it here, so I figured if I read over half, it counts. ^_^

This one is originally from the Big Read. Apparently they reckon most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Underline those you intend to read.
3) Italicize the books you LOVE.
4) Reprint this list so we can try and track down these people who’ve only read 6 and force books upon them.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (Do they mean the entire trilogy? Yes anyhoo.)
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte (CHUCKED)
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis (the whole series? ...)
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (...then what the crap is this?)
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce (CHUCKED)
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad (CHUCKED)
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare (wasn't this covered under "Complete works of Shakespeare?!)
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Read: 31
Love: 14
Will read: 17
Chucked: 3


Monday, December 29, 2008

Some people have been teaching me a lesson lately... naysayers, hecklers and dissenters. Though, they are certainly more than these titles at their core--I don't begrudge them their experiences and resulting opinions.

I am a very sensitive person--sensitive myself, sensitive to others' feelings. I think. I enjoy sharing opinions and having discussion with people. However, lately, I have found myself in the company of people who have very dogmatic and caustic viewpoints. They have been quick to disagree with my feebly voiced opinions and sometimes harsh in their rebuttal. I'm speaking generally because (1) I have no desire to spotlight them or make this a bitch session and (2) it has happened in several completely different encounters and settings. The latter is the reason I am sure I am meant to learn a lesson in toughening my skin and allowing myself to be disagreed with.

I realized recently that if I am to become a writer someday, and if I were to succeed past all the odds and actually publish something that a lot of people wanted to read, I would have to put up with a lot of opinionated, ignorant people telling me what was wrong with what I wrote. (Not to mention all the rejections, editor's notes, and agent's suggestions that come BEFORE it gets published!)

I've noticed fame elicits this behavior from regular people where they fail to see the famous as a human being anymore. Look at paparazzi and crazed tabloid reporters--splashing every celebrity's flaws, dirty laundry, even just idle rumors across published pages for all to see. I'm not even envisioning myself with an iota of that fame, but no matter what, not everyone could or will like what I write. And if any fame or notoriety is achieved, they will come out in droves to voice their dissention. That's a little scary. It would fundamentally change who I am, and I can see the type of quiet, tough person I would have to become. Not someone I want to change into, but maybe necessary? Anyway, just something I've been pondering...


I suck as a blogger... I think my perfectionist tendencies are to blame.
I think of good blogging ideas, but wait until inspiration has left me.
I often feel too shy to blog what I really think, or nervous at how public it is, and that my words could someday come back to haunt me. They COULD and WOULD.
I also try to wait until I have good accompanying photos, which I never have.
Oh, and when I get time to post, I can't decide what to post, and I loathe to post several things in one day; I want to post things sporadically.
But I will try to get better about it--definitely a New Year's resolution. Even if no one ever reads a word of this thang.
The end.

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