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To be refined…to find the lovely

So much of this year has been difficult for me to comprehend.  I haven’t been able to make much sense of it.  All I know is that I’m tired of crying and I’m suffering from this new level of sleeplessness.

Perhaps one day I will share what has transpired.  Maybe not wholly, maybe not completely, as I don’t understand how one thing naturally bleeds into the outcome existing at present.  Suffice it to say that I’ve lost one of my (young) adult children – not to death nor to disease, but to estrangement and, what I believe, manipulation by those who should have had better intentions towards both her and the rest of myself.

I remember when I was pregnant with her that I was worried about my ability to be a good and loving mother.  I remember my heart exploding when they placed her, for the first time, in my arms.  I remember her chubby cheek, big-eyed toddler self with a balding man’s hairline.   I remember plastic butterfly barrettes and flowered dresses and lacy socks that had to be folded down.   I remember teaching her how to apply makeup, about bras, about periods.  I remember being fearful of teaching her to drive, and how proud I was when she and her sister could take off for the day in the car.  I remember when we all became a family, all excited about living a dream, of being really united.

Nothing is wasted, they say.  Nothing in God’s economy is ever wasted.  I need to believe that I didn’t throw away nineteen years of my life with my child.

I hate that every time I am move forward, something pulls me right back to a place of sorrow and confusion.  I’m so tired of crying.

So, I’m making a declaration that in the new year I’m going to choose happiness.

I’m going to remember her returning to me after the first day of Kindergarten.  Her red curly hair and the freckle on her lip.  I’m going to remember shopping for Thanksgiving table decorations and talks about relationships and God, and how she was verbally supportive at times.

I’m going to remember the trip to the cabin, just her and me and watching her sell lemonade at the end of our driveway, and worrying as she learned to roller-skate and bike, and teaching her to make baklavah and watching her make it several times over to please her friends at church.  I’m going to remember taking her to the vets with her own little kitten…and hugging her, and being clung to, when just a few days later the kitten passed away.

I’m going to remember the lunches out, the movie trips, the car rides – the apologies I had to give trying to get a grasp on my shortness and moods and being told that she understood.  I’m going to remember the laughter – though  they were only for a season, those times remain true.




Picture taking.

Taking her to various activity clubs, band practice, bass practice.

Birthdays and holidays.

So much life is lived with a child, that when they are gone, so much laughter and fond memories are left – and I’m sorry when they were happening I always felt a tinge of being less.  I’m sorry for that still, especially now that her leaving seems to support the very worst of the fears I had about how I was perceived, of how I did.

So, for the new year – for 2011 – I’m going to have to make a conscious effort, one I’m not sure I can shoulder but need to nonetheless try, to choose whatever is lovely, to not loose another year to sadness, though the longing for her will remain.

My time on this blog was not meant to be so short – but what is a girl to do when she needs a clean slate, a fresh perspective and feels overwhelmed by the expectation and cloudy format of her current space on the web?  Well, in my case, she blogs a new blog.  WereIJane was meant to give me a boost into putting myself in someone else’s shoes so that I could be motivated by the excellence of another.  I have been unsuccessful, intimidated in that aspect…but more truthfully, I’ve spent so many years of my life being fitted into someone else’s mold of what and who I should be (sometimes I’ve done that to myself, other times other individuals have put me in the same predicament).  It’s time, at last and as difficult as it may be, to choose to use my own identity with pride and freedom.  I can truly say that the only individual who has seen me, and has urged me to be me more fully and present has been my husband.  He has given me that freedom with him where others have not.  That isn’t a reflection on my children, except to say that children often have a concept that being an adult, much less a parent, is a much more pat thing than it is.  Their own experiences, or lack thereof, color their expectations.  My husband is a bit more clear about the encompassing challenges of being an evolving person.

To that end, I’m picking a focus – something that is usually lost in my blogs – For 2011, I’ll be blogging at “My Year Of…” here on WordPress.  Each year, instead of resolutions, I’m going to seek to be refined.  A theme will be picked, studied and followed.  My posts will be my daily walk and reflections.  It will not be a place to open my wounds, or to vent…I’m returning to finding the positive – in fact, for my inaugeral year of 2011 I’ll seek to put into action Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

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It’s been a long time – a lot has happened, but the biggie biggie is that I have registered for a non-credit course at the state college.   My eldest daughter is interested in baking and asked that I also attend a class.  We’re shooting around ideas now for a future business venture, too.

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Hanukkah – Fifth Night

“When on the twenty-fifth of Kislev, the Jews had emerged victorious over their foes and destroyed them, they re-entered the Temple where they found only one jar of oil, enough to be lit for only a single day; yet they used it for lighting the required set of lamps for eight days, until they managed to press olves and produce pure oil.

Because of this, the sages of that generation ruled that the eight days beginning with the twenty-fifth of Kislev should be observed as days of rejoicing and praising the Lord. Lamps are lit in the evening over the doors of the homes on each of hte eight nights, so as to display the miracle. These days are called Hanukkah, when it is forbidden to lament or fast, just as it is on the days of Purim. Lighting the candles on the eight days of Hanukkah is a religious duty imposed by the sages, like the reading of the Megillah on Purim.”

-Maimonides (emphasis added)

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Hanukkah – Fourth Night

missed posting for the 3rd night – had a lovely time out with our kids getting milk shakes and french fries…topped it off with a brief but fun time playing with them that evening in the park

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The Return to House Hunting

Today marked our official re-entry into the world of first time home-buyers.  Our previous attempts were less than fruitful, obviously, for home ownership, but did provide us with a lot of newbie-experiences (including what we wanted in a realtor as well as in a home).

We’ve perused the MLS listings for the last few months, with nothing truly new or worthy on the market.  I decided a month ago, however, to lower my standards, widen my search and really make a job of monitoring the listings and immediate areas.  Then, whamo, a week and a half ago a handful of homes opened up – some that even fell into my higher standard range.  It was all about rubbing elbows, honestly.   A neighbor of a friend of a friend type leads.  A few days of driving up and down neighborhood roads, peeking in empty homes and talking to would-be neighbors about the areas and specific homes.  Finally, we started seeing things that were do-able – all that was left was to re-apply for our loan (our old one had expired) and decide if we wanted our old REA.  That was a touchy subject between DH and myself.  Ultimately, we opted to keep everyone in our prior house hunting excursions except for our REA.  More feelers went out, and we came up with a new (to us) REA.  Having met her today, DH and I both are feeling like we made a great move in seeking her out for our search.

Tonight we had five homes on the list, and could only get into three and a half.  (The “half” is a joke, we saw a duplex that was half-occupied, so we only saw half the building.  The other missing home seemed to not include their lock-box key, but just walking around it’s yard we were able to cross it off our list.)  One of the homes (a giant mass with narrow halls and a seemingly unending number of rooms) will be a grande home for someone – and is priced low, but still to high for its present condition.  Crossed off our list.  Another missing home had a realtor who hadn’t returned our REA’s phone call, so it’s moved to next week.

There was one home, less than 48 hours ago the owners received their foreclosure notice.  It was wonderful.   Roughly 10K in repairs could be thrown at it – but structure seems good and the updates that have been done leave little complaint other than cosmetic issues here and there.

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Hanukkah – Second Night

Sh’ma, Yisra’el!  ADONAI Eloheinu, ADONAI echad

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One!

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Hanukkah – First Night

I believe in miracles!

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Outside my window…

Only two days after my husband and I nodded in disappointed agreement about how our Florida weather was returning, in all likelihood, to it’s normal state of year round summer, outside my window is a briskly blowing breeze chilling elementary school children on their walk home.  I have the additional pleasure, windows on both the east and west side of our home fully open, to not only glance out to see, but to also smell our “across the way” neighbor’s chimney puffing smoke through the magnolia and palm trees.

Say what you will, but there’s no better weather in Florida than our rare form of cold.

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Counting down the hours

I’ve been avoiding the message boards I usually go to – and somewhat immaturely I wonder if I’m missed or if my absence is noticed.  That’s just me.  It’s been a tough year for me, and the last couple of months have felt and seemed very very busy and full…but I can only rattle off a couple of things that I actually did.  And Thanksgiving Day (and the days immediately preceding) hit me like a Mactruck with depression.

But right now, I am looking forward to my husband coming off his shift in a few hours.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be a very short time off, with lots of mandatory errands and outside claims on our times, and he’s already feeling under the weather.  So, we won’t have a lot of “us” time…still.   There is a marked difference in falling asleep next to him when he has to leave the next day for work, and falling asleep next to him when he has the next day off.  I’m more at rest, I suspect.

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