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!

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He said I wrote like a PRO!

Ahh…. summertime!

For us, summer translates to boat time.

I guess you could say we have two seasons here: boating and hunting.

We work as a family all week to take care of chores and maintenance around the camp so that when the weekend comes we can BOAT!

With 4 school age children at home we have daily chores, weekly chores and school work that must be completed.

Summer bridge work is very important to us here. Not the kids, the parents.

This summer it seems Handsome Hubby and I have some extra work too! Writing books! Meeting our own deadlines!

Handsome Hubby’s author page is linked here

His second book “Jesus Held Me” is a wonderful story of a terrible time in our lives.

“Prophecy of Honor”, his first book is close to becoming a “best seller” on Amazon.

He is rewriting it to add some character depth as I type this!

My second book

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will be released soon! Like real soon!

Look for the first, which I must say is not my best writing but is a story of triumph over struggles with weight. I consider it a “must read”. Don’t judge the second book based on the first.

When Handsome Hubby read the second he told me he thought a professional wrote it! His comment for the first was “get it published, it’s a great story”. Both compliments! I like being a PRO THO!

You can link to that here.

My third book will be fiction and I am scared to say the least! I may have to write under a pen name? We will see!

Being Brave Anonymously

My sister in law asked me in December to write a piece for her new blog Live Braver.

She asked me to write about my weight loss journey, how I have inspired others and about my success despite the obstacles I have been presented with.

To be honest I have sat down many times to write about my weight loss. I can’t. My weight loss did not require bravery. It required discipline.

I have gone through difficult, horrible times in my life that did require bravery but writing about them puts my family in an awkward position.
For that reason I will not write about those things.

I would like to post something anonymously but something tells me that isn’t too brave. Hiding behind words on a computer screen while telling someone they too can overcome horrible situations isn’t brave, is it? Putting a name to a story shouldn’t matter. The story is what matters, right?

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!

Adult ADD: A Self Diagnosis Part 1

Oh my goodness, I cannot let so much time go between posts. I’ve been so wrapped up in handsome hubby’s book, Prophecy of Honor, there has been no time for either blog or my book.

Now, I feel more like I have ADD than usual. No, I am not making light of a very difficult condition to live with. I truly feel this way, and work hard everyday to stay focused on tasks at hand.

Never have I had to focus so hard to keep my attention to detail. When editing a book, detail is all that matters!

Never have I felt so unintelligent. Spending countless hours editing only to find errors I missed. I majored in English and Psychology! Editing should not be rocket science! I taught 7th and 9th grade English for goodness sakes. I should be able to make sure sentence structure is correct with my eyes closed.

Well, no. It seems I confused tenses and even forgot simple quotation rules. Thinking I needed a refresher course I studied up on grammar rules. My problems were not solved.

At some point along the way each time I sat to edit, it seemed all the words would blur at which point I would not catch any more errors and quite possibly created more.

Sadly, this topic was not even what I intended to blog about today. Realizing that, I took a break from this and quickly researched adult ADD. I’ve never been formally diagnosed although my mom, and my brother have been. The symptoms are quite eye opening. Let’s just say that out of 26, I truly experience 21. Or was it 19. I forgot already! Seriously. It was one of the two. The chart says if you experience 10 or more you should be tested.

An internal sense of anxiety.
Impulsive spending habits.
Frequent distractions during sex.
Lack of attention to detail.
Family history of ADD, learning problems, mood disorders or substance abuse problems.
An attitude of “read the directions when all else fails.”
Frequent traffic violations. Impulsive job changes.
Trouble maintaining an organized work and/or home environment.
Chronically late or always in a hurry.
Frequently overwhelmed by tasks of daily living.
Poor financial management and frequent late bills.
Procrastination.
Spending excessive time at work due to inefficiencies.
Inconsistent work performance.
Nagging sense of underachievement.
Frequent mood swings.
Trouble sustaining friendships or intimate relationships.
A need to seek high stimulation activities.
Tendency toward exaggerated outbursts.
Transposing numbers, letters, words.
Tendency toward being argumentative.
Addictive personality toward food, alcohol, drugs, work and/or gambling.
Tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly.
“Thin-skinned” – having quick or exaggerated responses to real or imagined slights.
Frequently misplace the car keys, your purse or wallet or other day-to-day items.
Trouble following the proper channels or chain of commands.

My name is Cyndi and I have ADD.

This is fine. Here is my current ( current as of 10 minutes ago) dilemma. I know how I feel about myself on a daily basis. I fight a huge internal battle everyday to overcome the negativity from deep inside. I’ve always known certain parts of “me” were attributed to ADD, I just didn’t know how many. I rationalized those things by saying “I’m creative.”

Reading this list I now understand myself better but am forced to decide whether to seek medical help. Do I take the test? I know, I will be diagnosed. If I’m diagnosed my doctor will recommend to medicate me.

I’ve always said I would try every cognitive behavior therapy available to help my children, if diagnosed with ADD, before medicating.

I guess I have answered my own question. I will have to begin my therapy. Luckily, self improvement is something I love.

Do you have ADD? What do you do to help your condition? How does it effect you? When were you diagnosed? How has your life changes since?

I’m looking forward to all comments.

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!!!!