Reunited

Via Golden Light Reiki School:

inner kingdom

people who appreciate

Via Lessons Learned in Life:

speaking and hearing

Via A Peaceful Warrior: 

tell the truth

big and small

some people


I recently received a phone call from a dear sister-friend, who had been missing from my life for several years. We met when I was pregnant with my now 13-year old daughter, and I was shopping for maternity clothes at my friend’s mother’s consignment store. My friend and I have both experienced first-hand the power of the government to destroy lives and tear families apart, and we have both grown stronger and wiser through our similar experiences. Many times we have been separated, sometimes for years, but we always find each other again and somehow pick up where we left off, as if never apart – this time was no different.

I also recently received a rather nasty comment on this blog – another in a series of bitter, hateful, accusatory and derogatory attacks which continue despite my repeated attempts to make peace. There is no making peace with this person, and as if the verbal vomit directed at me wasn’t bad enough, this person has taken to dragging my younger children into the fray. I have stated before, and I will state it again – this must stop.

The most recent spate of hate took issue not only with what I have written about parents and their children’s happiness, but with my assertion that if the personal attacks don’t stop I will have attorney take up the battle on my behalf. It is only a technicality at this point that I gave birth to this commenter, and blood ties do not require me to accept any type of abuse. If I cannot convince someone to stop harassing me, and to stop harassing my children, then I see no other option but to have an attorney do the convincing.

I have told no lies about my life or my past, and there is nothing in my life I have done that I harbor such guilt or shame over that I feel I must hide it. This does not give anyone permission to attempt to publicly mar my reputation, and especially does not give anyone permission to fabricate events – most especially to my younger children – that I must spend time setting the record straight about. I hope this commenter really has “unfollowed” me – but I doubt it – it’s apparently a great source of happiness (satisfaction?) for her to stir up trouble and this blog seems to be a favorite source for contention.

At any rate, as a parent with many years’ experience, I continue to abide by the hard-won understanding that parents cannot be responsible for their children’s happiness. This doesn’t mean a parent should have no interest in their children’s happiness, it simply means that children must learn their happiness does not come from others, or things. It comes from within. My younger children have learned this, but obviously my older children haven’t. And since they were taken from me (no, I did not give them away) and I was not allowed any contact with them – I did not raise them – I really cannot claim responsibility for the fact that they were not taught to simply be happy and not fall into the trap of claiming victimhood.

As for my dear sister-friend, I am most grateful for her return to my life. Dear friends like her are priceless, and I am blessed with many wonderful friends. These are the people I choose to surround myself with, who choose also to be with me.

We all deserve to be among people who understand us and love us for who we are, and who hear us when we speak.

The Replacements

A recent post by a fellow blogger coupled with my own impending birthday got me to thinking about lots of things past and present. While I think it is unhealthy to dwell on the past, I believe it is good to glance back periodically – for nothing more than a progress check and an acknowledgement that it was the past that led to the present.

It is customary to celebrate children’s birthdays, although I have read about families who celebrate MOM on a child’s birthday; in ‘honor’ of my own birthday, I would like to celebrate my own children.

I wrote in a not-too-distant post of my own about things that happen twice in my life; having two ‘sets’ of children would be among those things. I have given birth to eight children…two sets of four, each three girls and a boy, in that order. I would have had more if time and health would have allowed, although a rather bitter comment on said post suggested that my second set is a replacement for the first. I chose not to ‘allow’ that comment, because I suspect it is from a person (party to the loss of my first four children) I would rather not argue with publicly, and because I also believe that sometimes the best response is no response. (Actually, I’d rather not argue at all, but some people are predisposed to arguing and a year of legal studies has made me keenly aware of my aversion to arguments). My response is here: no, the second set was not a replacement…would that question have been posed if I’d had five or six or ten more children? Or ‘just’ one? Children cannot be replaced. And, life must go on. Further, I will not apologize for things that are not my fault. ‘Nuf said, and time to move on.

For quite some time now, I’ve been asking my husband to help me scan in some old photos for I post I’d call “memories.” I have pictures I’d like to share of some horses I’ve had in the past, pets I’ve had, and most especially I have wanted to post pictures of ALL my children. But, the printer-scanner is connected to my husband’s computer – which I will not touch, for reasons I have explained elsewhere – and my husband has not yet taken the time to assist me in using his computer…so, the old photos remain on shelves and walls and in photo albums. The only photos I have to post are the ones I’ve taken in the last year or so…and so much has changed for the better even since just the beginning of this year, I am reluctant even to look at photos that are more than a month or two old.

Here, in celebration of my own birthday, are the not-replacements:

Trinidad:

Little Big Sister

who needs an umbrella?

sunsets are the best

award winning flutist

Rane:

awesome – academic achievement award!

BFFs

2 faves: Milo and Blue Blankie

future storm chaser

Eva:

Blazing Blades

with Wiggle Puppy

at the bus stop

the athlete

Zack:

above it all

a quiet moment

top of the world

(nearly) always on the go

Stepping Stones

Use missteps as stepping stones to deeper understanding and greater achievement. – Susan Taylor

Now that I’ve begun to understand and achieve more, it’s easier to relate to this quote than it was in years past. I no longer have regret, and I know that I am not making excuses when I say that I needed all the missteps in my life to bring me to this threshold of the latter half of my life.

That’s not to say there aren’t things in my life that I wish I could change; many of the things I would most like to change come from the missteps of my life (as do most of the things in my life I would not change)…but, each thing in this world is created with its opposite – much like a sheet of paper has two sides. It’s more than simply having to take the good with the bad; it’s accepting that light causes shadow, footsteps leave footprints, the sounds we hear are causing disruption to the air around us…and each thing we do (or don’t do) has some type of effect which is only good or bad depending on our perspective.

I’ve been explaining the concept of karma to my children this week; especially I’ve had to work to dispel the common notion that there is “good karma” and “bad karma” – there is neither. Karma is simply a force which can have desirable or undesirable effects, or which can be used to create or destroy, help or hurt. The example I have used most often is that of our breath, which can be used either to blow out a candle or fan a flame into a fire. The breath is the same, only the intent is different.  (Of course, we could fan a flame into a fire that causes massive destruction – but, the question would be: was the destruction our intent, or was the intent simply to have a fire to warm ourselves or cook with….).

As humans, it is very easy to get caught up in analyzing our actions and the result of our actions, rather than simply acting with the intent of doing the least harm possible to ourselves or anyone/anything else. What it boils down to is love, love for each other, love for life and living and love for ourselves. What we love, we will not harm. And the harm we do cause (harm, after all, is inherent in this world) we can call missteps – stepping stones to deeper understanding and greater achievement.

the coldest June day on record here in Oklahoma prompted my husband to start this little fire for a little cookout

Eva and Zack cooking hot dogs

 

Monday Madness

I’ll admit that today did not get off to such a great start. One of my daughters has become extremely mouthy and accusatory lately, especially on school mornings, and I am not yet adept at taking her verbal tirades against me with a grain of salt, or much aplomb. I’m a master (regrettably) at tongue-lashings, and I sure gave this particular daughter of mine a pretty severe one. Madness Number One.

One of my mottos is, “when all else fails, vacuum” – and everything this morning seemed to be failing (especially my efforts to add footnotes to a timeline I’d spent the night creating for one of the classes I’m taking). Unfortunately, within seconds of beginning to vacuum, I caught a loose loop of somebody’s MP3 player headphone (peeking out from under a pile of early-morning laundry plopped on the sofa to be put away), and, well, that was the end of that. Not only the headphones went flying, but whatever composure I’d regained after Madness Number One. I sent the MP3 player flying into the dining room, picked the pile of clothes up from the living room sofa and tossed the whole shebang into somebody’s bedroom and went on a lovely tirade against the slovenliness of everyone I live with. Not that I’m perfect, mind you, but most of the time I am engaged in a struggle against the messes of 5 other people who really don’t care whether the house is clean or not, or whether the floor has been vacuumed or not… So, Madness Number Two.

The time came to drive the younger children to the bus stop, so I turned a blind eye to the household chaos, picked up my keys and went out the front door to my truck. And I discovered that “someone” had left the window rolled down on the driver’s side – me, perhaps, but not likely as it is my habit to roll up that window each time I get out of the truck. I decided to take this quietly in stride; the children got into the truck and off we went to the bus stop – where a fight quickly ensued between two of my daughters over something hanging from the rear view mirror. I just sat and cried through this Madness Number Three.

good thing the bus arrived

The next trip to the bus stop was to take an older daughter to catch the middle-school bus. The place we usually park, close to the stop sign on the corner, was taken by someone else. This was disappointing because the rain had left muddy puddles my daughter would step into if I parked behind the other vehicle. So, I turned around and parked facing the opposite way on the other side of the road; this meant my daughter couldn’t see the bus coming, which is a huge issue – she wants to be first in line to get on the bus to get a seat – so, I ended up sitting alone in my truck while my daughter waited at the stop sign, out of my sight,  for the bus. I decided to just sit and take pictures and not think of what a mess my life seems to be at this time. No Madness Number Four!

focus…

The Creators of Chaos in my life: Rane, Jody, Trinidad, Eva, Zackery
(I really do love them all)