A Small Taste

For those who don’t know, I have been working on a memoir for ten years now. Yes, you read that correctly, ten, long, painful years. 

The story begins with a complicated pregnancy, progresses into my late husband’s battle with brain cancer, and ends with my current life.  I am now in the process of trying to find an agent who will go to bat for the finished product.  In the meantime, for those who desire a little taste of the book before advocating for its publication (just kidding, but I don’t blame those of you who thought this way)  I will be sharing samples of a few of the chapters in the next few posts. If you enjoy what you read, please spread the word!  I can use all the words (and mouths and Facebook shares, and pins and tweets) as possible to make this ten year dream a reality.  Thank you!

 An excerpt from the chapter A Shattered Reality

“According to your faith it will be done” Matthew 9:29

May 8, 2004
I’m devastated; we found out yesterday that our baby has hydrocephalus, a term completely unknown to me. It’s water on the brain – too much water in the ventricles – and a small cerebellum, which breaks down into almost certain brain damage and death. I’m heart broken and hopeful. Now we have four months and our motto has become, “When God heals this baby.” We are believing and praying for a miracle and believing that “God’s not finished knitting this baby together yet.” We’re claiming verse after verse, “All things are possible to him who believes”; “Ask and these things shall be given to you”; “By his stripes we are healed.”
I’m truly learning what it means to pray without ceasing. We are claiming victory over Satan, and we believe that we will have a testimony to shout to the world. That being said, I’m going for a second opinion on May 20. The doctors will be amazed at the progress of this baby. The baby kicks me often signaling strength and determination and that gives me strength. We have a huge army of prayer partners and by faith we will overcome this.

When I went for a second opinion it turned out to be one of the worst days of my life. I don’t know if I was in denial of how bad the initial prognosis was but for whatever reason, I went alone. I remember driving to the appointment with butterflies swirling in my stomach; which I tried to dismiss as nerves. I remember trying to pray, but the prayers became stuck in my throat. Stepping into the elevator felt like climbing within a coffin where I would slowly suffocate to death. I remember looking around the waiting room at all the pregnant women with concerned looks on their faces, and thinking, why do they all look so sad? Do they all have problems with their babies? I remember walking into the ultrasound room and feeling the complete absence of warmth. No beauty relieved the coldness, no picture of a mother holding a child or a sunset over the water, nothing to remind those who nervously waited of the potential for joy within the world.

I remember feeling a large, heavy set woman poking and prodding with her stubby fingers at my thin, slightly rounded body as the silence continued to descend upon the room, the air thickened with many unspoken thoughts. I looked at this woman, the expert I was sent to, repeatedly trying to catch her eye to shake her unmovable countenance. I wanted to see a glimpse of understanding in her cold stare, but she continuously refused to make eye contact; she refused to make me an individual; she refused to feel anything for me; and I began to despise her. The hand pokes turned to prodding with the ultrasound wand as she silently walked about with an air of intellectual superiority, contemplating the defective nature of what lay within my round belly. I found myself suffocating beneath the smugness of her attitude, and in the uncomfortable silence, thinking about the nature of her large belly looming over me. I focused on her defective obesity as a coping mechanism to avoid thinking about the diagnosis that was coming regarding the imperfection held within my womb.  

I lay upon the metal table, completely still, as she spoke in hushed tones with the nurse, and the gravity of the situation began to descend upon me. Hot, confused tears started to flow uncontrollably, and when the doctor glanced at me and noticed, she nonchalantly asked, “Where’s your husband? He should be here for this news.” I explained, blubbering through words, that we hadn’t realized the severity of the situation, and he had remained home with our other son.

The obese doctor started drawing repetitive circles on the white board, assumedly a simple demonstration of how she viewed my baby’s predicament. I sat there, feeling like a child who was failing miserably with a particular subject in school, but the subject I was in jeopardy of failing was that of being pregnant. My disappointed teacher drew a large head representing the accumulated fluid and then continued to draw monotonous circles around that head, signifying continued growth as the fluid increased month by month. I half expected her to finally draw a big BOOM with scribbles and chaos as the head ultimately exploded. She didn’t. She simply said, “If I were you, I would take care of it and try again. You are a healthy young girl, and you won’t have any problems getting pregnant. In fact, you will be doing this baby a favor because these kinds of fetuses have a way of spontaneously aborting because they are not supposed to make it. It’s just nature’s way.”

 

That baby today…

 

luke13

Just keep livin!!

Cocaine and Playboy

I have a son who is being exposed to things.  Things that really worry me.  Things that I realize he will be exposed to in life, but I’m sure as heck not ready to go down that road with him at eleven years old.  

My son used the word “strip club” the other day. With those words I stopped, dead in my tracks, and said,

“YOU ARE GOING TO BE HOMESCHOOLED.” 

 No really, I said, “Where did you hear about strip clubs?” He replied, “Kids at school talk about them.”
I thought, “Where in the world would kids from around here be exposed to strip clubs? We have nothing but Dollar Generals.”   

So I immediately went to his father and said, “YOU NEED TO TALK TO HIM.”  

His father agreed to have the conversation soon.  

A few days later this same son jokingly said something about “humping,” and I stopped dead in my tracks again and looked at him in wide eyed wonderment.  I am not at all naïve to what he is potentially being exposed to when he’s at school or what he will be exposed to in the coming years.  I am not naïve to the complete entrapment of evil that the internet, including the porn industry, can hold for our young people and our older people.  

I will not be that mom who refuses to acknowledge the truth involving the life our kids live in. 

I have researched this topic extensively because it frightens me that we are no longer dealing with nudie pictures in a magazine (which is scary enough), but instead we are dealing with hard core sadistic images, often child abuse images, often images of enslaved women and children being made to commit acts against their wills, and these images have the potential to not only destroy an individual, but they also have the potential to destroy every other person in that individual’s life: friends, family, spouse, and children. This industry is a sick, malicious beast from the pit of hell that will absolutely never think twice about engaging our youngsters as pawns in its horrendous desire to suck the life from their very souls.

Sounds brutal but it’s true.  

Last night Ryan and I had a conversation with our son.  A frank conversation about some of the words he’s hearing his friends use.  In the midst of this conversation, he turned to us and said,

“A boy brought a Playboy magazine to school.”  

I couldn’t breathe.  Flashes of holding my newborn baby boy whipped through my mind.  That same little boy learning how to walk and talk.  That same precious child and everything he’s been through in life, and he is now telling me about a Playboy magazine.  This can’t be real.  This child should only associate boobs with a nursing baby, at least that’s how it plays out in my perfect world.  

We talked — the three of us.  The magazine apparently never left the boy’s backpack, so our son says, and we tend to believe him. His history has proven him to be trust worthy, and his school is strict.  The principal runs that ship like a navy captain.  Our son likes to figure things out.  He enjoys adult conversations and getting mature opinions on issues. He likes to be knowledgeable, and with that knowledge, he tends to make really wise decisions, and so we told him the truth.  We told him about the initial excitement many of these images and conversations could have in the coming years as he matured. We told him, in the same breath, how many of those substances and images have a similar effect on a brain as using cocaine. (http://www.fightthenewdrug.org/get-the-facts#porn-is-like-a-drug) We explained what addictions were and how they can destroy a life.  We talked about how it was going to be hard to be a man of integrity in the coming months and years, but we had faith that he would rise to the challenge because we see that in him, he has integrity, and he has the courage to do the right thing.  We told him we were proud of him and that we loved him and that he could come to us (or just Dad if he’d rather) with any questions he had about anything, and he would never be in trouble for those questions or for things he just needed to talk about. 

He left the room with a sense of calm in his eyes and hopefully a feeling of relief that mom and dad were on his team.  Ryan and I sat there a bit shell shocked, well probably more me than Ryan.  Ryan’s a man, he knows and understands this battle all too well in today’s day and age.  We can only hope and pray that our young son wins the battle within his heart and mind, and as an older man integrity, honor and faith will lessen his load.  That’s our prayer.  

 

Just keep livin!!