Jesus take the wheel

I’ve been blessed today to be able to accompany my son to his Jr. Beta convention.

Watching the talent segment a young lady began to sing “Jesus Take The Wheel” by Carrie Underwood.

My son knows me well. He knew I would be in tears. He was sitting with his friends and looked up at me with deep concern in his gray eyes. I nodded and took a deep breath. Praying to hold it together in the gym full of BETA members and chaperones.

The lyrics touched me……
Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
Save me from this road I’m on
Jesus take the wheel

The song was over. I took a deep breathe. I smelled thieves and Joy essential oils from my diffuser necklace.

Next, 2 young ladies walked up. The music started and within 2 notes my son looked up at me once again. This time he said, “Mom, don’t do it.” He KNEW I was about to lose it. One of the girls began “I heard there was a secret chord- that David played and it pleased the Lord…”

Oh no….hold it together, take a deep breathe., get out of here, don’t listen, look at facebook. Do SOMETHING! Anything to keep from losing it.- went through my head all at once.

On a good day I can’t listen to “Hallelujah” without crying. I can’t listen to kids sing without crying and I certainly cannot when I’m on the brink of tears every second of every day since my dads diagnosis.

I picked up my diffuser necklace and inhaled deeply and tears ran down my face. No one paid attention.

Next up, group talent. A group of three walked up and the young MC announced they were dancing to “Bulletproof” in honor of those effected by cancer.

What the —–? What is this? Why?!!!!!

I wanted a day with my son, to forget about life’s troubles. I wanted to enjoy him and his innocence and sweetness.

“Jesus take the wheel”, I said inside my head.

We got through the day. We had a blast. Pushing through the emotions to make it about what it was supposed to be. A mom and son day. That is exactly what it was and I will never forget it. I even embarrassed him by dancing to the “Cupid Shuffle” with his friends.

When you are dealing with a loved one diagnosed with stage 4 cancer it/ they NEVER leave your mind. (Atleast that is the case for me.) It’s almost like when you have kids and they never leave your mind. Everything reminds you of them.

I see gray- brain cancer comes to mind. I see a man with white hair- I think of my dad. A motorcycle drives by- my dad. My youngest wants to play with his tool set- my dad. Bud light- my dad. My house- my dad. One of the kids needs something and it’s not the best time for me- I think – if I could only have a few minutes with my dad. I give them a few more hugs and a few more kisses, always remembering what is most important. Our connection. Our love.

Today my phone rang. The name on the screen read “DAD”! I was so excited to answer the phone. My dad was calling me. Sitting in his hospital room and he thought to call me! I used to talk to him every day. I shared everything with him. We talked about everything. He would give me his opinion. He would show support. We shared so much of our lives. If something happened good or bad he was the person I talked to after my husband. That came to a screeching halt and I miss it more than imaginable.

I knew he would not sound great. I imagined he would sound tired and his speech would be weak again. When I heard his voice I had to fight back the tears. Hearing his voice was awesome. He is alive and we are talking! Hallelujah! He sounded weak, slurred. Heavy tongued is how I describe it. He was worse than at Christmas time. He asked if I knew about his seizures. We talked about his muscle strength. He said he loved me and wanted to talk to Handsome Hubby.

I hung up the phone In tears and have not recuperated.

A few days ago a friend told me she hoped I had someone to lean on right now. Someone to vent to. I simply replied “Thank you.” What else could I say?

I have my husband who is almost as emotionally vested in this as I am. My other ROCK is lying in his hospital room and needs me to be his rock.

JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL!

I cannot be SAD

Try as I might I cannot be sad. You read correctly. I cannot be sad.

For years of my life I’ve been sad. Even when I have been happy, I’ve been sad. Some of us live happy with moments of sadness. I lived sad with moments of happiness.

I’ve sat here for the past week attempting to write. Four drafts await completion as I type this. They will not be completed.

I should have known what was going on when I decided to create a Happy page on Facebook. Me? HAPPY? Creating it as a “challenge” I told myself I was trying to grow, not be negative, bring positivity to my life. Little did I know, I already had!

Blogging is cheaper than therapy and cheaper than my degree in Psychology.

Writing this past year has helped me heal. I’m not a quitter but I think I’ll give up trying to be sad!

Happy Days are here again but without Fonz

I’ve been way for a while. I actually have 4 posts waiting to be completed. Is it writers block? Maybe? Maybe I need to go back to the way the posts were originally written. Today would be “Terrific Tuesday”…..

With that thought in mind I would like to share my new Facebook page again– Happy Days Challenge. The page focuses on being happy everyday through out the day. According to the 100 Happy Days Challenge site we cannot be happy more thank 20 days in a row. This site disappointed me though. If you challenge someone to be happy for 100 days shouldn’t you help them along the way rather than set them up for failure? Happy
Days Challenge helps you learn to see differently, HAPPYily. The focus is on teaching you how to be HAPPY and then executing it! Please check it out. I would love the followers. I would love your HAPPYness!

The message is the story

To Live Braver is a relative term. Living braver for one is not the same for another. Also, the act of Living Brave changes as our lives evolve. What does it mean to Live Brave? According to their site it is …….

Live Braveris a resource for those seeking to step beyond the confines of fear, for those seeking a more inspiring, fulfilling, and rewarding life.

The ultimate goal: to help and to support each other in finding the courage to take steps towards a life we love.

Some of us feel as we have “come out of the womb” fighting. Some of us don’t feel we are challenged until later in life. Either way, one day, we all need to Live Braver. Should Live Braver. Step out of the confines of FEAR. Fear of acceptance, being loved, not being loved, failing, succeeding, plain ole fear. How we do this, in my eyes, defines us.

Accepting the overwhelming sensation when fear envelops your heart and mind so that it does not change your soul is quite the obstacle.

Our brains have been trained from the womb on how to handle situations Our id, ego and super-ego are in constant control.
Fight or flight? Keep calm or lose it? Cuss someone or don’t say a word? Study or decide defeat? Accept love or push someone away? Sadly humans feel from a place of fear before love. All actions almost always require fear based responses until you decide to think otherwise. It is a choice. An ego based decision.

For example, my husband doesn’t always say things the way I would like to hear them. Recently losing 80 pounds, I was getting ready for my brothers wedding a week ago. Complaining about my arms I wanted to change dresses. My husbands response was “If you think they look fat now what do you think they looked like before you lost 80 pounds?” I looked at him and said “much fatter.” If you knew me you would know I’m the most insecure person you will ever meet. You would expect me to cry, sulk and change dresses. What I have learned to accept with love ( rather than fear losing him) most recently is that my husband loves me unconditionally. He was not coming from a mean place. He is blunt, as I am. He said what he was thinking, which I respect more than fluff. It was an honest comment not meant maliciously but from LOVE. He was saying “You lost 80 pounds!!!!”

In recent months I’ve worked hard to train my brain to first come from a place of LOVE. I have had to let go of those in my life that do not. Those that lie, are two faced and didn’t value me as I did them. In turn, I have made room for more LOVE with existing relationships. This, to me, is how I chose to Live Brave now.

A year ago, to Live Brave was to act as Pro Se in court. When I was 12, to Live Brave was to embrace my new life with my step dad and new siblings. To Live Brave changes as you evolve.

Someone once said to me “It’s not the story. It’s the message.” That’s a hard pill for me to swallow. As a writer, not professional by any means but a writer solely as an outlet, the message IS the story. My story. Your story. We all have stories. We should not be ashamed of our stories or hold back from telling them out of fear. We are who we are based on OUR STORY. If there is discomfort in hearing someone’s truth, honestly, mine isn’t easy to tell or to hear, I feel you should look within. They have spent their life living this story that may or may not be easy for them to tell. Who are we to stop them because we are uncomfortable hearing it? Who are we to say “uh, can you just stick to the message? I’ll get more from that. To Live Braver that day might be to tell their story. To accept their harsh past. To share that reality with you. To bare their soul. Think about it…….

Timing

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My paternal grandfather……

When I look at him I see the backbone of our family. That’s probably what most think of when thinking of their grandfathers. I’m not sure. Coming from a divorced marriage where both parents remarried as well as grandparents who were divorced and remarried you can imagine the sets of grandparents I had! Seeing pictures of them as children or anywhere near the age I am at the time always amazes me.

Who were they really? Don’t get me wrong I knew my grandparents but only as a child. Only what they wanted me to know, so to speak.

Well as usual I begin my topic in one direction and head another.

I received this picture in the mail today.

My paternal grandmother passed away in July. She was my last remaining grandparent and had suffered from Alzheimer’s for some years. My paternal grandfather passed away many years ago.

As a child I would go to my PopPops bedroom. The picture above was framed on his dresser. He met my grandmother, in uniform at A Niagra Falls photo shop. He told her he was off to war and would return in 1 year to marry her. He did exactly that. She immigrated from Canada to the United States. They had 5 kids, Army brats. They lived all over the world. I would look at this picture, try to imagine what his deep blue eyes had seen. I knew he had a rough childhood. Is that why he joined the Army. I wondered if he looked like this before he went to war or after. I didn’t know what the rankings were or metals.

He was my hero. My protector.

Although in reality arthritis had set in and he could barely move at times, he was a recovering alcoholic and not as
my imagination made him to everyone else, he was that perfect to me. He was MY POP POP! We counted rail road cars together, visited friends at the dry cleaners, went to the hardware store, bbq’d, tinkered in his shop, worked in his office which was his enclosed garage. We just hung out.

I was extremely blessed with a relationship like this with most of my grandparents. By the grace of God!

When my grandmother passed my dad asked if there was anything I wanted from their home. I told him of the picture. He was unsure exactly which one. He said he would do what he could.

Months went by. At my brothers wedding last weekend my aunt brought an envelope to my dad with a special something she saved just for him, as the eldest son. As my dad opened the envelope I began to see my new spark of light that comes in my right eye. I knew who the light was and I knew what was in the package. ( my spark of light just flew by as I typed this). He opened it. I said “that’s the picture”.

My youngest brother was standing there. The one I least understand. My dad held the picture up to him. The resemblance is uncanny. Timing is everything. I got the message that I needed to be more understanding and I received the picture. Oh and I finally figured out who my new angel was! Blessings everywhere!!!!

Live Braver!

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The picture above was taken the Mothers Day before my in laws 3rd child was tragically taken to heaven.

Seeing this picture in our hallway on Christmas Eve of this year, my mother in law shared that little bit of information with my husband and I ( he is the first from the left). My mother in law is a woman somewhat “of few words”. She is very private. I will leave her story quite simply with my thought in respect to her— she has LIVED BRAVER. A strong female role model for her children. As mine has been for hers.

When I think of living braver my thoughts and memories immediately, almost selfishly, envelop me. My own personal story of living bravely. I will find a way to share it one day.

But this, this is about my sister in law, Lexlee Overton. The little girl in the picture. What is so complex about human emotions, our human brain, is one persons painful memory is another’s most glorious happiest of memories.

Recently writing a post on perception, the contrast of what my mother in law and sister in law see when they look at this one moment in time strongly stood out to me. But the similarity in the afterthought, if you will, is quite similar. It was the beginning of my mother in law living braver at a whole new level and for my sister in law it was “a reminder of being a young girl who loves openly and freely”, without fear. I’m sure to an extent the same goes for my mother in law when she looks at her precious children in this picture and was BRAVE enough to have 2 more beautiful children.

Stay with me, I do have a point.
My sister in law has created a wonderful website where we can share stories, find resources and support one another to help us Live Braver. Pleaseclick here to connect to the site.

Below I attached a small excerpt from livebraver.com.

I hope you visit the site.
Share your story!
Live Braver!

excerpt from livebraver.com
Live Braver is a resource for those seeking to step beyond the confines of fear, for those seeking a more inspiring, fulfilling, and rewarding life.

The ultimate goal: to help and to support each other in finding the courage to take steps towards a life we love.

What to expect: a community filled with people like you, who want to share their stories and to inspire others to bravely embrace their life purpose.

Be inspired

Be empowered

Be IN LOVE with your life

LIVE BRAVER.

Are you ready to Live Braver?
Live Braver is a resource for those seeking to step beyond the confines of fear, for those seeking a more inspiring, fulfilling, and rewarding life.

The ultimate goal: to help and to support each other in finding the courage to take steps towards a life we love.

What to expect: a community filled with people like you, who want to share their stories and to inspire others to bravely embrace their life purpose.

Be inspired

Be empowered

Be IN LOVE with your life

LIVE BRAVER.

Are you ready to Live Braver?

Would you be your friend?

Hey, y’all !

I have a simple question that truly requires a simple answer.

Are you or would you be your friend?

Some of us have thought about this before and others have not.
The ones that have not thought of this probably come with the hard shell that also doesn’t care what others think of them as well. Some could call them shallow, maybe egotistical. Others would say secure in who they are. Whatever the case may be, either you have given this thought or you haven’t. I say your life’s circumstances probably have not led you to ask this question if you haven’t. No matter what your core beliefs are at one time or another we question them. Well, I guess, I hope we all do, as that is a sign of growth.

A few days ago I wrote about perspective. My kids always put things into perspective for me. Simple pleasures put things into perspective. Enjoying traditions, for example. Getting hot water again after not having it since Thanksgiving ( as happened for us a week or so ago) puts things into perspective. Losing it soon after ( within an hour) REALLY put things into perspective. Waiting another week to figure out what the issue was, boiling pots and pots of water, me taking wipey baths and using (form the first time) dry shampoo puts our first world essentials into perspective.

Hot water seemed like nothing when both of my sons got sick. They had a 102-103 fever and the only other symptom was a headache. My brother at 6 weeks contracted encephalitis. Fever was his only symptom. My mom has had meningitis 3 times over the past 7 years. The 3 times occurred within 4 years. Needless to say, I do not like fevers, especially accompanied by a headache……perspective.

My oldest started with his first. He got better within 3 days. The youngest started as the oldest got better. He still has a low grade fever but seems to be doing well…..when your child is sick other things don’t matter. Your life shifts to caring for them. Your perspective on things is altered.

So to get back to my original question. As you see yourself, from your own perspective of you, would you be your own friend? If you met you would you like who you are?

I’ve asked myself this question, obviously. Looking at every nook and cranny of my being, soul searching, is time consuming as well as necessary. I have strained relations with most of my family ( there I said it…..that’s hard to admit) which has prompted my soul searching in my personal life. I could get angry and retaliate or I could become introspective. A few years ago, I would have beyond a shadow of a doubt retaliated. Not now. Why? Perspective. Believe me, I had some soul searching to do, I still want to defend myself and as much of a people pleaser I am I just want them to like me. But then I realized they never did. There is a phrase “it’s not about you”. I’ve realized their issues with me are not about me. Their issues are with them. There is nothing I can say to them to change that. Their perspective of life through their thought processes and circumstances has dictated to them the negative thoughts towards me. Unfortunately their perspective of the world is so tarnished that these people expect the worst out of people. Maybe they conduct their life the way they described what I supposedly did. Who knows? My perspective has not changed. Jesus has forgiven me more times than I can count and will continue to. Who am I not to do the same. I will continue to live my life as I do. Live for my husband and kids. The perspective of someone who has lost much and knows how fragile life is, knows how deep someone can physically and mentally hurt and knows the power of The Lord is priceless.

Would I be my own friend? For sure. Do I like myself? Absolutely.

How about you?