My Mother

I can’t believe it has been a year already. I wrote this letter to you 4 days before you died and had intended on giving it to you when we brought you home with us that Friday. I wanted to read it at your memorial, however I didn’t have the courage. But I wanted the world to know what you mean(t) to me.

Mom, I’ve been thinking a lot about you today. Can’t seem to think about anything else. I love you so much I wante to make suer you know that. I am the strong woman I am today because of everything you taught me growin gup. I joke and tell people that I only learned 3 things from you… Not to lie, not to backtalk, and to stay out of your purse. That is so not true. I learned so much more from you. I learned how to be a mother from you and I think I am a pretty good one. I think my children turned out pretty good! Briana and Kelsey are very different but both living the best life they can. I did my best with both of them and I have always felt my best was never good enough. But I have lear ned over the last year that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. Sometimes I knew . better than other times, but it was always my best. I gave my chidlren everything and every part of my life. I learned how to do that from you.

You were an incredible mother to me and my brothers. You, so many times during our growing up, you had to be mother and father to us because, well dad wasn’t. So I wanted to tell y9ou about a few things I learned:

You taught me to be generous with others. Anyone who knows you knows you are one of the most generous people in the world. You have always been happy to lend a hand or help someone out if you can. You always have a hard time saying no and sometimes it has gotten you in a spot. I learned this lesson very well. Almost to a fault.

You taught me how to support those I love. Through ups and downs good and bad, you have always remained supportive of me. I’m sure at times it was hard to be supportive of my choices. And for that I am sorry.

You taught me to always look for the positive. No matter what the situation was or is you always made me think a bout the good in it and that everything happens for a reason.

You showed me how important it is to spend time with your friends. Not only did you seem genuinely interested in their life but you always, made an effort to spend time with them. You and Delores have devoted time to each other and I am positive that both of your lives and your kids’ lives are better for it.

You always taught me to give more than I get. You are extremely generous with your time and skills. You are always wiling to help out her friends in times of need. Even though you don’t always get the same thing in return you are always wiping to give and give and give. One of the things I love about you most!

You taught me to not overreact. I have a tendency to overreact, but you are not that way. You usually have a very calm demeanor and, when presented with a situation that could result in panic, you always take a stip back and remind everyone to calm down.

You taught me to enjoy your moments. It can be really hard to enjoy the moment, especially if a moment is mundane but you always manage to make the most of the moments, Even if your doing something that’s not so fun, you find a way to make it enjoyable. This was a lesson that was easy for me to learn and repeat throughout my life.

You always remind me to remember what’s important. You have always had a lot going on in your life (who doesn’t), but you always manage to prioritize what’s important to you. Your friends and family really matter to you and you make time for them and put them first.

You always showed me how to notice the little things. In general, moms are good at this. But you always noticed when something wasn’t quite right, and you always tried to make it better. You are great at paying attention and noticing life’s details.

You have always tried to make the most of your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes in life, but you have taught me to make the most of them. I can remember when I used to sew barbie cloths with you, and I sewed the buttons on the wrong side of the shirt. Instead making me do it over, you said “well I guess she will just have pretty buttons on her shirt for decorations.” Brilliant! I was so excited that you didn’t tell me “you did it wrong”.

You taught me to know who I was (and what I wanted to be). You have always been supportive of anything I have wanted to do, You have always encouraged me to think about wh o I am and who I wanted to be in the future. You have always inspired me to work on becoming the best me I can possibly be.

You never allowed me to give up. One of the greatest things about you is your persistence. If you ever wanted to get something done, you always found a way — no matter what. You always used to say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I wouldn’t believe this if you hadn’t shown me this concept over and over again. “Do everything with enthusiasm” You used to say. Being positive has always been very hard for me. But you never fail to greet each day with an enthusiastic attitude. No matter what’s going on in your life, you do your best to accomplish everything you set out to do each and every day.

You taught me how to stay true to myself and what I believe. You have always known what you believed in and you stay true to this beliefs. “It’s important to recognize what’s important to you” you told me once. You have always managed to stay loyal to those things that matter most. Family being the most important thing. At times in my life I have forgotten this.

You taught me to make sure to always give myself choices. Looking for options is definitely one of your strengths. Whenever I find myself in a tough spot, I know I can call you and you will always be able to figure out another alternative. You have always been able to look at life and see choices where I saw obstacles.

You always told me to trust my intuition. You always knew when something is up. You always knew when something happened whether it be good or bad. And most importantly, you listen to these instincts. Even if I didn’t listen to my intuition, you made me see just how important it is.

You told me to always speak my mind. I have always known that if you had an opinion about something, you were sure to give it. I love your ability to say what’s on your ind and I find it inspiration to watch you speak up for what you believe in. I may or may not have learned this one to a fault!

You taught me how to love your children fiercely and to protect them at all cost. You give a new meaning to the phrase “Mama Bear” because you will stop at nothing to protect your cubs. This one I think I covered pretty well.

Accept what you cannot change. Neither one of us have ever been very fond of the serenity prayer. But I never like things that happen that I cannot change. Good, bad, or indifferent. One of the reasons I think you are so great at adapting to change is because y9ou are good at recognizing when a situation cannot be changed, and you accept that. You will always do your best to accomplish what you want, but you also know how to accept when shtik can’t be. I am not good at that. Keep teaching me mom, I promise one day I will learn.

You always strive to make life fun. When I was a kid, my friends always wanted to come to my house and hang out with my mom. Why? Because she’s so much fun! Even the most mundane things seem fun when y9ou are around because you always found a way to make them enjoyable, which is a really great way to live. I am pretty sure I passed this one around to Briana and Kelsey.

Don’t be afraid to be silly. This could be single handedly the most important lesson you taught me. You are and have always been a silly lady, and you are not afraid of your silliness. There are so many aspects of life that require the utmost seriousness, so why not take some time to be silly every now and then? You are always known how to embrace your silly side — and helped my embrace mine too! From scolding Chrissy, Sissy, and Missy in K’mart, to throwing hot dogs over the grocery aisle, there is never a dull moment around you. I love you so much for your silliness. My girls don’t understand this gene very well.

Work hard for what you want. Nothing good comes without a lot of hard work, and no one nows this better than you. If you really wanted something, you go after it., You make it happen. You are so inspiring in this way because you have taught me to really go after what I want in life. You grew up in a world that I will never know. You strived to give us kids more than what we wanted. You made sure we didn’t know the life you grew up with, and I am pretty sure as children we never wanted for anything, no matter what you had to sacrifice to get it. You instilled the best work ethic in me, and it is from you the I learned to work hard and give everything I do 1000%.

This one took me a minute or two to learn. Know when to say “no”. As we all know life is filled with choices. To go or stay? To do or not do? While you are usually up for anything, you always knew when to say enough is enough. It can be hard to say no sometimes, but you have taught me that sometimes no is the only way to go.

Create memories and traditions. Because of you, I’m a huge holiday person. I love to get into the act of making memories and creating traditions — and I owe that part of me completely to you. When we were kids, so many things we did were traditional, and I think it made me want to create those same memories with my children. I remember one time we went camping and dad wanted us kids to go to bed early so the adults could sit around the fire and you said, “but they haven[‘t made s’mores yet and we always do that the first night of camping.” I loved that you never let dad ruin our fun with you.

Pick your battles. I love that you always knew which battles were worth fighting and which were worth letting go. I’m still learning this myself, but I’m lucky to have a role model to look up to so that I know that not everything is wroth a battle.

One of the most important things about doing for others that I learned from you was to go the extra mile. Going the extra mile is something you are sort of an expert at. You definitely know how to go above and beyond in almost every situation. It’s inspiring to see someone who really does the best she can when it comes to other people, even when it can be so tempting to just do the bare minumium. You never shortchanged yourself in this blessing. And the is what its is… A blessing to be a blessing to others.

Choose your friends wisely. This seems like simple advice, but it’s actually very important. Who you surround yourself with says a lot about you, and I’ve learned from you that it’s so important to choose friends carefully. Because of your choosiness, you have had 4 friends in your life and I think you couldn’t have had if you hadn’t been so choosy. Delores, Clydene, Nancy, and Lois, and you have been through so much in your lives, and I am so glad you always had each other to learn on. I have longed for a friend like that for so long, but to no avail, have not found one. I think it has been because I have not been choosy and I have poured everything into every relationship with a friend that I have had, just as you taught me, but they never wanted to do the same. Just wanted to be my friend for what was in it for them. I found that kind of friendship in Betty. I am sad that I don’t have her in my life anymore. But she was a good friend and I loved her with everything I had. I am thankful for that.

You have taught me when it’s time to let go. It can be really hard to let go. I remember sitting in the parking lot at Walmart before I left Jimmie. You said to me “Why do you stay?” I said, ” because I love him.” You look ed at me and said, “I don’t believe you.” Of course, you were right, and I spent the next year figuring out hot to leave for good. I’ve seen you let go of even the hardest things with grace. I’ve seen you say goodbye to your grandchild; I[‘ve seen you buy not one but two husbands; I’ve seen you get old with dignity and grace. Letting go is very hard, but you provided a great example of someone who knows when it’s time to let go

You taught me how to forgive. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, and I have caused you a lot of hurt. You ahve always forgiven me. In fact, you are always the first to forgive me. I’ve seen you forgive others too, and it’s truly amazing to watch that. It was an amazing day when all four of us kids came together to celebrate your 80th birthday. There was forgiveness that day. And it felt wonderful. Forgiving can be a very hard thing, but you certainly taught me its value.

Mother, you are a pretty amazing woman. You have inspired me in so many ways and you still at the age of 83, teaching me new things. I will always be thankful for all you have taught me. Not many people are lucky enough to have a mom as great as you. I hope that you have had a great life and I hope that I have blessed you as much as you have blessed me. I strive every day to be a mother like you. To be as full of love for my children, to be as full of life as you are still, and to only mimic the wonderful things you have taught me over a lifetime of lessons. I hope we have many more years together so I can learn more from you. I hope one day you can feel like you can make the decision to come here and live. I want to spend the rest of your life with you. I want to be there for you like you have been for me. I want to be there when you take your last breath and immediately go to be with your God. I can’t imagine the reunion between you and Micah and Walter and all the others that have gone on before you. No I don’t think you are going to die soon I just want to spend as much time with yours I can.

I love you. More. Everyday.

Four days after I wrote this my mother went to be with the Lord. She never got a chance to spend the end of her life here in Idaho with me like we had planned. I have buried my daughter, my father, many friends, and now my mother. I can say with all honestly, her death has had the greatest impact on me. I always thought what life would be like without here here to guide me, to teach me, but I never thought she would die. I miss her more than words can say. I would not take her back from where she is right now if God himself offered her to me. She is free from pain, free from all the heartache this world has to offer at the moment. But most of all she is in the presence of the Lord daily, hourly, every minute of every day. Worshiping. Loving. Singing. Praising her Jesus, All the day long.

Absence? Or Lack of Motivation?

Both I suppose.  I have not been in a very creative writing mood.  A ton of reasons that I won’t bore all of my 2 readers I have left at this point.  There are too many things that have been going on in my life the last few months.

This August I started my 35th year in daycare.  Yes I have had several short-lived jobs outside the home, however I always come back to daycare.  It is what I have loved and had a huge passion for all my life.  I have had several kiddos the past couple of years that have taken up most of my time and I rarely get on the internet because of teaching and playing with them.

I have decided that I am getting to old for this profession.  LOL. I seriously can’t remember having been to the doctor this much for aches and pains in my whole life.  I have two bad ankles, injuries to both.  One I rolled and tore all the tendons and ligaments on the outside of my foot.  The other I have a tear in my Achilles tendon.  Both about as equally painful.  I have been doing cortisone shots in the one ankle with the tear in the tendon and it has been helping.  I suspect I will eventually have to have surgery on it but after what Richard just went through with his ankle fusion, we both need a break from being laid up.  Plus I am trying to hold off on mine until I am able to stop daycare.

Which brings me to this…I enrolled in MTC this fall to get my associates degree in Health Information Technology.  I thought “oh it can’t be that hard.”  Let me tell you that Medical Terminology is kicking my butt!  Along with Human Diseases and Conditions AND Anatomy, College 101, English 1, and Digital Literacy in the Health Profession, all I do is homework and play with my babies.  And let me tell you accomplishing both is hard on a daily basis.  But as my mother said to me just yesterday, I am her daughter and I am very strong-willed and stubborn, so this should be a piece of cake.  NOT!  Thanks for the encouragement though mom!

I can tell you I would not be able to do this without the support of my husband, Richard, who works a full-time job, is writing a sequel to his first published book and writing a screen play for his first book. (has been requested by an actor friend) Yes it pays to have contacts.  LOL

Also my daughter, Kelsey, is helping out so much.  I know that people thought because I homeschooled her from 4th – 12th grade that she would never make anything of herself, but her senior year as a nursing student has proven to be better than the last 3 years in college where she made the Dean’s list throughout.  She has been a great help with homework and questions I have had.

I could not be doing what I am doing without their support and encouragement.  They are both rocks to my soul.  I love you both more than you will ever know.  Now that I am sitting at my desk writing for classes a lot I will try to post more often.  Thanks for those of you that have been patient with my absence.

I’m Back!


No I did not fall off the face of the Earth.  I only got a wild hair to take on a full time job that I thought I would enjoy.  I felt like we needed the added finances and it might do me some good to get out of the house…….So I accepted a job at Charter Communications as a Billing Coordinator Specialists.  (or shorter name…answering phones to angry people who were upset about their bill.  Ok not shorter, but much simpler)

Little did I know that the last 8 months would be the most exhausting 8 months of my life.  I was a little apprehensive about it at first due to the fact that there was five weeks of training.  Wait…what?  What could possibly be so hard that would require five weeks to learn.  I mean once you learn the software and how to make changes to an account, what else could be so hard?  I am a pretty fast learner, however after completing training and heading to the floor, I began to see it was not as much about the software but how to handle the customers.  I have done Daycare or manual labor jobs my whole life, dealing with the public on many aspects, but this job was a new breed of “dealing with the public” than I had ever experienced.

I must say that the job was not a horrible job, it was just very stressful and for someone like me full of anxiety and self esteem issues, even more stressful.  My husband works there also.  He loves the job and is already starting to move up in the company.  For someone like him who has excelled in everything he has ever done, it is a great job.  He comes home mentally exhausted on good days, but he can handle that better than I.  He lets things roll off his back like water off a ducks back.  I, on the other hand, didn’t understand the anger in people for being in situations that they had most of the time caused themselves.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had plenty of times in my life where I couldn’t pay a bill, but always understood when I called whatever company it was and they had policies that wouldn’t allow an extension.

Problem with this job was that it started making me loose all faith in humanity.  The nice understanding people that I talked to on a daily basis were few and far between.  Mostly people yelled at me for 8 hours, calling me all different names, (some of which I hadn’t heard before), and thought that the world owed them something.  They didn’t understand that Cable and Internet are luxuries, not utilities.  I left almost every night in tears and I began feeling down and felt like I was loosing everything I had spent the last few years building up in myself.  I knew I had to get out of there.

It is definitely a job that is not for everyone.  I gave it my best shot for 8 months.  So now, I am once again, going back to daycare.  I have done this most of my life and probably will continue to do so till I am no longer able.

For the 3 people that are still waiting on me to come back to blogging…..I’m back!  Hopefully I will start writing my devotional posts soon!

I am also going to write on this blog a series of blogs centered around “The Good Ole Days”.  A few years ago, my mother blessed us all with a book of her ‘memories’ and I would love to share them with you.  They are not just her memories, but a way of life for my parents generations that grew up in the 40’s and 50’s.  I can’t wait!


Kindness Changes Everything




The definition of Kindness: The joy of meeting someone else’s needs before your own, or simply for the sake of the relationship.

One of the steps of learning to express kindness is to observe act is of kindness. Have you ever done any kind of pay it forward activity? You know what I am talking about…paying for the car behind you at the drive-thru, not knowing what they ordered, or leaving a roll of quarters at the laundry mat with a note saying God bless. Maybe you witnessed someone handing out blankets and sandwiches out to the homeless. These are all Random Acts of Kindness. If you have never been a part of this kind of activity, you should definitely try it out! It is quite invigorating and makes you feel so fulfilled.

I remember being in Hannibal, MO with Richard for our anniversary one year. Hannibal has always been a favorite place of ours to spend a weekend retreat. Lots to do, and plenty of outdoors events to take in. We stopped into Hardees, one of my I favorite places to eat–hot ham and cheese with mayo, lettuce, and onion! The best ever! As we sat down to eat our meal, we noticed an elderly lady sitting over by the window all alone eating. She seemed to be just staring out the window in bewilderment, as if she was wondering what the world had in store for her life. I knew that God was drawing me to her, I just didn’t know how she would feel about me walking up to her and saying “Excuse me, my name is Jeannie and I just wanted to tell you that my husband and I were sitting over there eating and I felt that God was telling me to come and sit with you. May I join you?”

So I said those exact words to her and waited for her to look up and acknowledge. A few seconds passed for what seemed an eternity, and then she reached out and grabbed my arm and raised her scarf covered head and I noticed she was crying. She said to me, “Hello, Jeannie, my name is Mary and I have been coming here for lunch every Saturday for over 20 years. Up until 3 weeks ago my husband Albert and I used to come here together.” I said “Oh how sweet. My husband and I do everything together. It drives everyone around us crazy but we press on because we love each other.” She proceeded to tell me, “Three weeks ago my husband passed away; I guess from old age because he was as healthy as a horse, and I miss him so much. I have continued to come here every Saturday and eat lunch and I will until I am unable to. You see, my husband had a job that was very demanding and we didn’t see each other of most of our 63-year marriage. Saturday’s were our only time together. We didn’t have any children and most of our other family is gone. You are the first person to come up to me and show me any kindness at all. I want you to know how much I appreciate that. You are an angel sent from God.”

She went on to say that I should not care what others thought of our love and to cherish every minute of our lives together. Don’t ever take any of it for granted, because one day it may be gone. Show each other every day that we love each other. Tell each other that we love each other everyday.

We sat and talked to her for about 30 minutes or so and she was so thrilled just to have someone to talk to. We exchanged phone numbers, but I never heard from her again. I tried to call her phone and it was disconnected. She was so broken-hearted about his death that I pictured her dying of a broken heart. And for her that may have been a blessing. She was so lonely. And our one little act of kindness may have been the difference between her despair and happiness.

There were people all around us looking at us and at first it did feel a little awkward. Then as I sat there talking to her, I saw how her face lit up just to be able to talk to someone while she ate, something she hadn’t done since her husband had died. Soon, everyone in the restaurant had disappeared and it was just her and I sitting there enjoying each other’s company. It was one of the sweetest moments I have experienced in my life. Although I do not know what happened to Mary, I know that in that one moment in time, she knew that someone cared. She knew that God cared. She could see the Jesus in my all because I followed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to show a simple act of kindness.

So how do you take that leap of faith and show others kindness? Well, first, you have to recognize a number of things. You must be able to see the needs of others; you have to be able to look past their shortcomings, and see their value. Not their value in what they can provide you….but their value as a human being. Now hear me when I say this. NOT their value to society; NOT their value in their job; NOT their value as a parent; NOT their value with how much money they have…..but instead look at their value as a human being. What about them makes them valuable. Not valuable to you or anyone else….but valuable to God.  Plainly put…you MUST be vested in their happiness. You have to be invested in their needs.  If you walk around only thinking of yourself, you will be unable to express kindness unconditionally.

Let’s face it. When it comes to kindness, most of us have to admit we could use a little attitude adjustment. Most of the time we are only kind when there is something in it for us. ‘I’ll be kind to you if you are kind to me’ attitude. In order to have this kind of love and kindness for others, we need a change in attitude. So how do we be kind to others when someone is a stranger, or more difficult still, when we know them and they have treated us harshly.

Now I am not saying to use kindness to manipulate people. In that case it would probably be better to just keep kindness to yourself. You wil only do harm to them and yourself. But when you see how kindness can change a person, you may become more eager to be kind.  Kindness is a choice. A choice you have to make every day.  When I choose to be kind, I feel better.  When you wake up bitter and upset everyday, it is harder to be kind.  It is kind of the same concept as choosing joy.  If you choose joy, you will be joyful.

When you choose to be kind to all people, not just the ones who are kind back, not all kindness will be accepted.  If we are kind to someone, and that person reciprocates kindness, then we can usually have a meaningful relationship together.  If they reject our acts of kindness, we can only show more them more kindness and hope that our acts will change their minds and turn towards us instead of running away.  In the latter example, the more we show them kindness, the more they will want to experience it and will eventually turn towards us and begin to emulate our actions.

How can we emulate kindness?  Here are a few examples of little things we can do to show others kindness:

1.  Use positive words when speaking to others.  Do the words we speak to others build them up, or tear them down.  The words we speak to others have more of an impact on their lives than we can imagine.  Telling someone they CAN’T do something is much different then telling them “you have my support no matter what the outcome is”.

2.  Affirming Words.  Kind words affirm who people are and what they do.  I will share a story with you about my daughter who is in college.  She was worried about an exam that she was sure she would fail.  She studied and studied and worried more each day as the exam drew closer.  She needed a 60% to pass this particular exam.  The day came, I was at work and she text me and told me that she got a 66% on it.  I said “well at least you didn’t fail it”.  When she texted her dad he said to her, “That is great!  You passed it.”  She was so excited with his approval and disappointed in my perceived “dis-approval”.  We both said virtually the same thing, however mine was perceived in a nonapproving way, and his in an uplifting way.  I did not use affirming words to describe that I was pleased that she  had passed.

3.  Truthful words:  Be sure to speak the truth to people.  The challenge is to be truthful and kind at the same time.  We must learn to speak out of love.  Listen to yourself when you speak.  Are the words you are speaking out of love.  For instance…”I love you because you are my husband” is much different from “it is because you are a precious gift from God given to me, that I love you”.  Both are truthful, but the latter is more loving.

What do you think your life would be like if you saw in every encounter with another person as an opportunity to express kindness?  What if you decided not to only be kind on pleasant days but also on difficult days?  What if you always looked for opportunities  to affirm the value of another human being?

I want to challenge you this week to try one of the following:

1.  Try to visualize every person you meet as having value beyond measure.  Not to you, but to society.

2.  Choose a day this week and record ALL acts of kindness that you witness throughout that day.  Keep it simple, what the act was and who did it.

3.  At least two mornings this week think of five opportunities you might have in the day ahead to express kindness to someone in words or actions.

4.  Practice hearing yourself talk.  After each verbal encounter, ask yourself, What did I say that was kind?  What did I say that was unkind?

Kindness can change a person’s life.  Yours, and theirs.

I’m Not Crazy…I Promise!


I am going to warn you right off….this is a long read, but I really felt the need to explain  in complete detail this subject.  So I apologize from the get go….and when you have finished reading this post…you will know why I am apologizing.  🙂

This is probably one of the hardest blog posts I have ever wrote.  I have put it off for way to long.  I feel like I am at a point in my life that I can somewhat explain what this feeling is that I have had my WHOLE life, and why it has been so hard for me to have a feeling of fulfillment.  At times, in fact at the best of times I have been a very hard person to live with, as I am sure that my husband and children can substantiate.  I thank God everyday for their love and patience in dealing with me on a daily basis.

So a little background.  When I was entering into a time in my life where everything should have been a very intriguing time, I was experiencing so many hurdles that were mandatory to jump over, that I felt like I was so overwhelmed.  The more overwhelmed I felt, the more I would pile on myself, to cover up exactly how I was feeling.  You know the old saying, put your problems out of site and they will be out of mind?  Well that is how I lived my life.  I was not where I needed to be, spiritually, emotionally, physically, or even mentally.  I was 23 years old, pregnant, living in the city (I was very much a country girl), going to college and wondering what was wrong with me.  I should have been happy.  I had the whole thing…a great job, great house, picket fence, and was waiting the arrival of my first child.

I was feeling a bit nervous about all that was going on in my life, so on my next OB appointment I explained all of this to the doctor and he felt maybe I needed to talk to someone.  So he sent me to a phycologist.  On my first appointment I took a battery of tests to sum up all the feelings I was having.  We chatted a bit about how my parents had divorced when I was 14, how my big baby brother moved away, (he is actually older than I but the youngest of three older brothers, hence the name).  How I turned 18, graduated, and got married all within a 5 months span of the same year.  I expressed that my life was not where I thought I would be, how my marriage was difficult, my relationship with my mother had become strained, at best, because of my marriage among many other “wrong” things in my life.  Then we scheduled my next appointment.  Two weeks later, I was given a diagnosis that would haunt me for nearly 20 years.  Clinical Depression.  I was dumbfounded.  I didn’t even know what depression was.  Sure I felt down sometimes, but was always able to “get happy” relatively quickly, so I never gave it a second thought. It was important to me that I not take any meds at the time because of being pregnant, so we waited until after the baby was born to do anything about it.  Once I gave birth, I started taking a myriad of drugs that would put me in a drug induced state for many years.  My daughter was 3 weeks old.  For some reason because I suffered from “clinical depression” the phycologist feared me getting postpartum depression, so he felt it was important that I start on something right away.  I wasn’t able to breastfeed so that wasn’t a problem.

So I started taking medication with hopes of everything getting better.  Then another bombshell.  At the age of 5 weeks, my baby was diagnosed with Cancer.  So then I felt I had a reason to be depressed.  What followed was 2 years of living in and out of a hospital watching her get better then get worse.  A the age of 2 she became tumor free and life once again should have been sublime.  But as time went on….so did my symptoms.  The medication wasn’t helping.  I returned to the doctor for more help and he changed my medication and said once again….this should help.  All the while I didn’t feel like anything had changed.  Everything was the same.  Still had all the problems that I had while off of medication.  I didn’t want to go anywhere.  I didn’t want to talk to people.  I even stopped working.  I started babysitting at home and eventually I started to feel a little better.  I did notice however that nothing made me happy.  I was always irritated at everyone and everything. I had no energy.  I started to gain weight.  And to top it off, my marriage was not good.  We were just going through the motions.

Years passed.  What followed were many more things to add to my “depression”.   A miscarriage, the birth of another daughter,  another miscarriage, moving back to my home town, my divorce, and then my daughter was diagnosed again with cancer at the age of 4.  Again everything was falling apart.  It seemed that everything never seemed to be “going right”.  I once again felt like the “medication” wasn’t working.

Eight months later, my daughter passed away.  I had some really hard decision to make in the preceding months.  Her doctors and I took her off of therapy in July before she died in September.  Knowing the end of her life was eminent, I poured all of my time into spending it doing what she wanted and making her happy.  Again putting my own feelings on the back burner because that is what mom’s do when they unconditionally love their children.

After she died, I was so wrapped up in getting on with life without her, that I forgot to live.  I stopped all things in my life and just attempted to get on with day to day life.  I still had a child to take care of, and she barely knew she was supposed to miss her sister, and after a while just stopped talking about her.  I again didn’t want to go anywhere, shopping terrified me, I rarely left the house.  At times, the only place I felt safe was in my house, in my bed, not talking to anyone.  Not because I was depressed, which is what I was told was wrong with me….but because I felt unsafe and unprotected.  I felt exposed and vulnerable.  Everywhere I went I felt as if I was known “as the one who lost the child I read about in the paper.”

It was then that I started changing my perspective on what was wrong with me.  To me these were not feelings of depression.  I was told that I had major anxiety issues.  But I wasn’t having panic attacks….I was afraid to leave my home… I wasn’t afraid of other people…I just didn’t want to be around anyone.  When it was time to go grocery shopping, I had to work up to it.  Making a list and buying a ton of stuff was not an option for me.  I ended up going to the store and only getting what I needed to make a couple of meals and that took a max of about 20 minutes.  Once I returned back home I was fine.  The problem was that I didnt’ feel this way 100% of the time.

As time went on, my symptoms changed.  I eventually remarried and had another child.  The relationship was a very abusive relationship, physically and mentally.  So for the next 8 years I was wrapped up in trying to make him happy so no harm came to me or my children.  Eventually  I was able to get out of that relationship, and met the man God intended me to be with from the start.  We married, and finally started our lives together.  For the first time in my life, I had no “reason” to feel the way I felt.  But for some reason, I still felt that way.  I still felt anxious about anything and everything.

My husband became a pastor at a small church and we began an 8 year journey that would change my life….AND how I felt about it.

I can remember the day as if it was yesterday… I had what I know now to be a panic attack.  It was in the middle of a church fellowship dinner.  I felt as if I was having a heart attack.  My body felt all tingly and I got dizzy. I felt like ice was running through my veins. I wanted to run away from my body but I couldn’t, of course. Shallow breathing. Heart racing. Total panic.  I felt like the organs inside my body were shaking so violently that they were going to shake out of me.  (I actually can kinda feel that right now…just typing how it made me feel).  I felt like the walls were closing in around me and I couldnt’ breath.  Claustrophobia had nothing on this feeling.  Everything felt like it was out of control.  I felt like my body was trying to shut down and I was going to eventually stop breathing and just die.  As bad as I felt, death would have been a welcomed sight.  (No I wasn’t suicidal….just needed that feeling to go away).

I left the room, ran outside, got some fresh air and my husband tried his best to calm me down.  We left the dinner and went to the hospital.  The doctor I saw have me a shot of Ativan, calmed me down.  I didn’t understand. What was wrong with me.  What was physically wrong with me.  The problem was that I FELT like it was a physical problem, but in all actuality it was a physiological issue.  There was nothing medically wrong with me but my body was acting as if there were.  They were called panic attacks.  What?  I used to make fun of people that said they had panic attacks.  I thought they were just silly.  How could someone panic to the point that they wanted to literally just die to feel better.  Well now I knew what that was like.

I then went to see a doctor in the clinic, and finally, got a proper diagnosis.  Although I did feel depressed off and on, I was not a depressed individual.  I didn’t have suicidal thoughts, depression medication didn’t help, and nothing I did seemed to improve my mood.  I desperately wanted to know what was wrong with me.  I continued to not want to be around people, and felt safer at home, in my bed, where nothing seemed to hurt me.  Finally, the doctor explained to me that I suffered from an anxiety disorder, also known as social anxiety.  It involves an overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. The worry often centers on a fear of being judged by others to the point of being embarrassed to be around other people for fear of not being accepted.

I have never talked about this in public before for fear of being judged and made fun of, feeling as if noone would understand.  Fear they would think the same thing I used to think about people that experienced what I have been experiencing.  My husband and daughter and a couple of very close friends are pretty much the only people that know…and are the only people that know what to do when it happens and helps me to overcome it.  I am telling you I have never felt anything like it before.  And the older I get the worse it seems to get.  I do have an easier time identifying when it is happening than I used to and I know how to overcome it faster.  I will tell you it is a feeling of panic, on a level that I have never known, and there are times that people think I am just being a grouch…when in fact I am actually trying to overcome some feeling of not being good enough for whatever reason.

So there you have it.  I am not crazy.  I am not trying to be a grouch. I am not trying to be difficult to deal with.  Sometimes…..sometimes I just don’t know what to do to hide it anymore.  So I am not going to hide it any longer.  I am just putting it out there for the world to know.  Not so they can feel sorry for me, but so maybe they can better understand why I do things the way I do.  You don’t have to tell me that it is satan at work…I know this.  I don’t need “more” of God in my life….it is only with God’s Grace and help that I can even talk about it and maybe help people to better understand.

I don’t ask that you feel sorry for me, or even like me.  All I ask is that if you choose not to try to understand that this is a physiological issue, not a mental one, then maybe try not to be so judgemental.   The difference is that a mental issue means there is something wrong with your brain wether it be a challange you were born with or a chemical imbalance that has developed in your brain.  A physiological problem is something that your body tricks you into thinking there is a medical problem.

So, the next time someone tells you they are dealing with an issue that they don’t want to talk about, try to understand that maybe, just maybe, they are afraid to talk about it for fear of not being accepted.  Life is just that.  Life.  And life happens to everyone, just in different ways.


Sorry For The Delay


Wanted to let everyone know that I am having computer problems. My computer decided to have a mind of its own this week. I had two blog posts written and it crashed BIG TIME. I messed with it for a couple of days and then finally handed it over to the computer guru… AKA my husband, LOL He started working on it this morning…finally determined that he couldn’t save my files…and is now in the process of wiping the hard drive clean and reinstalling Windows. It has been at 2% done for about 2 hours now. LOL. So I might be back on by Christmas. Going to try to post from my iPad tomorrow. Will see how that works.