GRACE

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“The Will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.”(Invisible Mom, Anonymous)
First of all, I did not write that poem. I wish I did. A friend sent it to me when my children were toddlers and I cried after I read it. I never needed something so bad at that moment when she sent it. That is what I call God’s timing:) Many of you commented that you really needed that poem at that moment. I am so glad to be able to share it with you and I thank Mary Gardner Phillips for sharing it with me in my time of need.
Battling any kind of mental disorder, physical disability or bumps in the road of life can send you into a tail spin. It is sometimes at these moments when you want to shake your fist at God and tell Him where to go. I am not trying to disrespect God but I know you know what I am talking about. So does God. He made us human. We are human, flawed. It is in our nature to get mad at someone even if that someone is God. He love us enough to forgive us when we lash out.
He is our Father. He understands. Just like when our children lash out at us. We sometimes are stunned at what our children are bold enough to say to us. But we love them and we take a moment to try and understand where this anger is coming from. One of my daughters is very strong willed and can turn on me in a New York minute. Sometimes I think she is still stuck in “The Terrible Twos”. I even asked my pediatrician because I was so upset. The doctor, Judith Habeeb :), asked me how she acted at school, church and with friends. I told her that teachers loved her. She was a perfect angel for them and often teacher’s pet. The doctor told me I had nothing to worry about. She said she felt safe acting out in front of me because she knew I would always love her and be there for her. It made perfect sense. That is how God is with us. I don’t profess to be an expert on God. No one is. But this is how I see Him. This is my experience with Him.
If it were not for God’s Grace I would not be the person I am today.

Thoughts from the 9th Floor

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I have had so many things to write about in the last couple of weeks I know where to start. I will start with my daughter Elizabeth. She gave me the necklace above. I had had a particularly trying day as the Tournament Director of the 11U Me Tournament hosted by Mt Brook. Yes, you heard that right. No one could volunteer for the position at the time so I said I would do it with the caveat that I would have to stop on the 11th because of Mait’s surgery. I had an ulterior motive to do the job: it kept my mind off of Mait’s surgery. I was particularly scared and needed something to keep me occupied so I wouldn’t dwell on the upcoming event. It worked.
Back the the necklace. Elizabeth is my beautiful strong willed child. I may have told you that before. That particular trait has pushed her to trudge along when things don’t go so well. She loves a challenge and plans to win. She is also my least touchy feely child I have. I mean I can barely pat her on the back! She went on a trip up the East Coast and got me the necklace on that trip. When she got back she gave me the biggest hug I have ever received from her. I cherished that moment. When I got home from my extraordinary night at the tournament, the box was on my dresser. I bawled when I opened it. It was on of my favorite things I ever received. I like jewelry but I like simple jewelry you get from a craft fair or some such place. I am hard on stuff so I don’t like to spend a lot of money on things like that. Elizabeth could not have picked a better gift. I felt like she truly got who I am and that meant the world to me. just when you thing someone doesn’t understand you, they up and do something like this.
I know I am rambling but I am brain dead after being in the hospital for 24 hours running on about 3 hours of sleep. We are on the 9th floor with a great view of Regions Field and Downtown. Taking care of a sick child in the hospital involves long nights of getting up often replacing pillows and offering as much comfort as I can when the meds don’t help. It is hard when the incision is on the back because you can’t push on it. She needs me. Even with a nurse there, she needs me. After four hospital stays, Maitland and I are a well oiled machine. We have this routine down pat. Granted, in the realm of things, Maitland's situation compared to most of the sick children here is peanuts. My niece who works on the Oncology floor came by to visit and told me they lost a 17 year old boy that morning. They were not expecting it so soon. She said they were all eating a lot of comfort food on the floor all day. She looked like it had hit it hard.
Caring for a sick child changes you. The small stuff now is just that…small stuff. If you have had a pretty sick child or have lost a child you know what I am talking about. I cringe when I hear a mom complain about something silly. I want to turn around and slap her:) But I used to do the same thing. That changed. I know it will change for her at some point. I don’t wish it on her but I know we all get face with a trial or tribulation that is life altering. It makes us stronger. God does not give us more than we can handle, remember?
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In the back of my mind, I knew Maitland’s back had not fused like it was supposed to have done. Call it mother’s intuition, I don’t know. I knew it would not be a simple case. She is going to be fine but it won’t be easy. She will have to wear a brace for up to 6 months. She is an upcoming Sophomore heading to the high school for the first time. She doesn't want to walk in with her brace on. Would you? But she will. She will because the doctor told her to. She will because she knows that her back will get better because of it. She wants to be done with this. So do Dennis and I.
Maitland is tough as nails. She is a true Southern Bell. She can charm you one minute and then stand up to you the next. She doesn’t put up with much. She is a good and loyal friend and expects the same. If a friend proves to be less than loyal/ truthful, Maitland will quietly slip away. She won’t make a scene. She will just quietly move a way from said friend. Heaven help you if she catches you in a lie.
The joys and sorrows of raising children outweigh so much. God gave me these children. I am grateful everyday.
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