Monday, March 16, 2009

A sort of introduction

Over the course of the next week, while I try to honor my mom and keep my grief in check at the pending annivesary date of her death, I will share with you the miracle I grew up with.

The picture above is my mom--with my oldest child when she was about 3. Keep the picture in mind as I try to share her with you.

My mom was born in New York--to my grandmother--who was a shop keeper and my grandfater--who was a piano tuner and played 7 instruments--even though he was blind. I never knew the man. He died the year I was born and was divorced from my grandmother by that point because he was an abusive SOB--my mothers words, not mine--but I digress.

She was born perfectly normal. At around 2, she was given a little sister. At around 4, they moved back to Indiana. At the age of 7, she got sick with something...I don't recall anymore..strep throat or something...and missed a few days of school. Feeling better, she went back..that evening after jumping rope in the house, she told her mom it was the last time she'd ever jump rope--she was right.

She came down with influenza meningitis. She was in the hospital for almost a year--due to the high fever from the meningitis she was a quadrapalegic--c5-7. Basically she had no movement from the armpits down. When they finally sent her home, they sent her home to die.

She didn't-obviously. But she did end up in a wheel chair. She also ended up in a special school for the handicapped. I always thought it sounded like a lot of fun. She got a good education, and graduated at 18. After graduation she ended up in the hospital with staph infection--because not only did she have no movement from the armpits down--she had no feeling. She had a pressure sore go bad. At 19, in order to save her life, they amputated her right leg above the hip. They again, sent her home to die...she again defied the odds--that ended up being one of the themes of her life.

More tomorrow---i'm already teary eyed.
hugs and blessings

Friday, March 13, 2009

Angels Watching Over Me

Today child #1--age 12, was scheduled to go to a Tobymac concert with the youth group. This morning, her best friend came over with her stuff--because she was going too...and I was supposed to take both of them to the church as soon as they got off the bus from middle school so that I could get them there and get child #2 off of his bus.

It did not run that smoothly.

Child #1, who supposedly got her stuff together last night and this morning took 25 minutes to be ready to leave---I had allowed for 15--this threw me late. I called a good neighbor friend who was more than willing to get child #2 off the bus with her boys so I didn't have to rush. I still felt bad because I had told the associate pastor/youth pastor that I needed to drop them at 3:15 in order to be back to get child #2--and he willingly agreed to be there at 3 so I would be sure to have someone there to meet me.

I pulled up to the church, behind the van--and bumped the curb. My tire blew out....very quickly it was completely flat. Luckily--this same man helped me figure out how to get the dadgum donut off the van (it's hidden under the van and requires a secret handshake to be removed...thankfully the owners manual had specific instructions for how exactly the handshake had to be done. And then, even though when he said he needed a hand I clapped, he changed the tire and got me back on my way. He knows I'm a complete smart alleck though so it was ok.

He said it was a very unhappy tire. I said no more so than my husband would be. Now, understand, while I can get gas, add fluids and air, and check tire pressure...I don't know much more than that...I've been married for almost 16 years to a man who works on our cars all the time. It's one of those things he does for our family. The pastor informed me that I should be greatful that the tire blew there...that for it to blow out just from bumping the curb (and I really wasn't going that fast) it was ready to blow...and it was a blessing it hadn't happened going 65 miles an hour down the interstate (or 75--considering that's what I drive when the speed limit is 70).

Anyway..I came back, got child #2 and went and bought a new tire. Wasn't thrilling but at least right now we had the money to buy the tire... six months ago I woudln't have.

All in all, though I have had a frustrating week--I feel extremely watched over and blessed.

God is good. All the time....All the time, God is me.

I'll be back on over the course of the next week. The anniversary of my mom's death is next weekend...and I want to share what a wonderful and strong woman she was.

hugs and blessings

Monday, February 16, 2009

Today someone told me I am special

I was raised in a household that taught me I could be anything I wanted to be. I was raised in a household that told me that it was who I am inside that counts. I was raised in a household that told me it was my strength of character and my strength of courage that counted far more than what was in the bank. I was raised in a household that said I was special and unique and loved.

Then, at the age of six, I started school.

I was raised in a social environment that told me that I was being judged by what was on the outside--and that as the fat girl in the classroom, I was worthless. I was raised in a social environment that looked at the income my family made and told me I would never amount to much. I grew up in a school environment that said, special and unique mean different and unacceptable--and yes, you surely are. I grew up with people who not only saw I was different and special and unique but used those things, on more than one occasion to isolate and hurt me.

I learned at an early age that while my mother believed that it's what is on the inside that counts and that I should never judge someone by what I can see with my eyes. I learned a few years later, that while I was not to judge others--I would be judged quickly and often--by what I looked like, what I wore, and how I appeared to those around me. And that I would fall short of "acceptable" or "popular" on a weekly, if not daily basis.

29 years of life with my mother taught me that strength and dignity could far outweigh what anyone else believed of me and that if I put my mind, heart, and soul into something I could overcome the steepest odds stacked against me. Twelve years of parochial school taught me that while I might believe what my mom taught me--I had best not share it with anyone else. It taught me not to trust anyone who hadn't proved themselves beyond an shadow of a doubt and it taught me that I had best not let anyone who wasn't my friend know that they had gotten to the core of me and could hurt me.

33 years of life I battled those two conflicting viewpoints--believing most of the time those things that are worst about myself and the best about the majority of the population. Who am I kidding? I still struggle..still don't feel like I'm acceptable and worthy. But. 3 years ago (give or take a month or two) I was introduced to Jesus Christ. Don't get me wrong, I already knew Him...but I didn't know Him like I know Him now. I knew that He loved me and had died for my sins...but I didn't know that He could really be a friend to me. I didn't know that He loved me for who I was. A few years ago I learned that I am a child of God. That God made me and loves me and that I AM acceptable and special and unique--and that those are good things. Sometimes I still struggle with it...sometimes I don't believe good things about myself. But I'm learning, that at the core I am a wonderfully made child of God, that I matter to Him and that I belong. And that nothing anyone here on earth can say changes that.

Please don't get me wrong. I had good times, good friends, and good memories of my 12 years of parochial school. I learned much--and I'm sure that for as many hurtful things that were said to me...I hurt a few people as well. For anyone who is reading this that I hurt, know that I am sorry.

What brought this on, you ask? Facebook. I have friends on there; some of them that I never would have thought were my friends back then...let alone now. And sometimes I struggle with that...because while I generally accept people for who they are...sometimes I judge by what I remember and from the pain I carry. For some...I have unfairly judged by who they seemed to be so many years ago than by finding out who they are now. And...perhaps in doing so I have shut out or cut off the possibility of friendship with someone who God intended to put me support, to love, and to befriend.

The question I strong enough to follow through with what I think He desires me to do...or will I balk and protect my own heart and shut out the world...the world I say I want to reach through my writing and through my life...for Him?

I can only hope. And to that person who told me today that I am special...thank you. I struggled with knowing what to say or how to handle it...because you are just one of those people I never thought would see anything about me from the inside. Corny or not...It made me feel good. And maybe, I need to learn not to be so hard on people...from the review mirror.

Blessings and Peace

Monday, February 2, 2009

Hmm, A hodge podge I guess.

Updating from the other day-so if you didn't read the previous post you probably should--or you will be really confused! That's ok with me--I live my life in a state of perpetual confusion--but it's not for everyone.

I talked to the guidance counselor this morning. Steps are being taken to prevent further problems and apparently, according to my daugher, her story and the problems that have been going on have been verified by others at the lunch table. They feel the best course of action would be for my daughter to move tables with a few friends and leave the trouble maker behind--however, this means her best friend will have to chose between her and this other girl--something she doens't want to happen. Personally, it makes me wonder how much of a friend you are if you let another friend reak havoc among your friends...but I also know the girl and she's a sweetheart. Frustrating nonetheless.

J's case manager was here this morning. She is not one of my favorite people. It seems pointless. His therapist suggested it so that we could get help here...and put into play some plans to help. She and the therapist tell me that I'm doing everything they would suggest...and then havne't been much help since. It's rather a waste of times sometimes...but I want to do everything I can to help him.

Other than that, there's not much new to tell. Schoolwork is ongoing but I'm doing well in my classes. My husband is a wonderful and patient man and probably the only reason I will pass

Sending hugs...if you need prayers, holler. Prayers I can do :0)


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ready to cry--contains some cussing.

I don't hide my feelings well. I don't lie well--though I've been known, when asked if I"m say yes whether I am or not. Generally, I give myself away anyway and so, mostly I just don't bother.

We've had a good weekend. Don't get me wrong. But the events of last Friday added to my frustration level with my sweet man and not having answers have pushed me pretty low.

J is 6. In June of last year he was diagnosed with ADHD, combined type. I think there is more going on. We've played duck duck goose with meds that don't seem to help. We have a psychiatrist I don't trust--and while I"m trying to get him into a new one--the waiting list is forever. His therapist is ok--but I get very little real help out of any of them. Emotionally he just doesn't handle change well. He's chewing holes in his shirts--a nervous habit I believe--one that just started recently. I'm beyond knowing what the answer is--but we are working on getting him into Riley (children's hospital) to find some answers. Generally he is a sweet, bright, and loving little boy. He's fun to be around and loves to hug. He also is extreme in pretty much everything he does and it's an energy zapper. I don't know whether the disciplinary tactics I'm using are making things worse--they sure don't seem to make a difference. At school--for 2.5 hours a day, he does fine. They are extrmeley structured and this works well for him. But it leaves me feeling like it's all me, all my doing, or I've lost my mind and just don't know how to handle the kid. Considering his preschool teacher is the one who started us towards getting help because of classroom problems and his ped. has seen the issues I know it's not all me...but it leaves me feeling very lost and alone. I know I"m not but this is where I am.

Friday afternoon, after a discussion with her guidance counselor over many different things--but very much including problems with another girl, my 12 year old daughter was verbally attacked by another student. This other girl has, for weeks, been calling some of my daughter's friends a bitch, smacking them etc. She'd left my daughter alone--to her face--but it bothered C that her friends were being picked on. This was part of the conversation with the guidance counselor.--who told her she needed to tell this other girl (M) that she didn't like to be talked to that way. (OMG--sorry but this isn't preschool and that doesn't work with this age group--the girl doesn't care and probably is glad to know she's getting to her). Apparently after C talked to the guidance counselor, the guidance counselor talked to M...who at lunch walked up to my daughter, got in her face and said "you bitch". No one did anything, heard anything...and C told no one till she got home to me. I, at this point, could not get ahold of the guidance counselor and have stewed on it all weekend.

Understand--C is not a small child. She is 5'5" and 164 pounds. She's ready to knock the crud out of her but does not want to get suspended...and she probably will hurt the other girl. But the school, so far, has not helped the situation and while I'd better have a phone call tomorrow AM, and she better be assisted in making things beter. Because quite honestly, i'm willing to let my high honor roll, teacher liked, never been in trouble 6th grader defend herself--whether it's a verbal assault or a physical one...if they don't help . I'm not a fighter (physically) and haven't raised her to be...but ....grrr...bullying is wrong and she should not have to put up with that!

I'll update after I hear from teh school.

In other news, we bought a Wii yesterday. So far they aer having fun. Apparently I'm too unfit for the Wii balance board and therefor can't use (and luckily) didn't buy the wii fit....but it's quite the downer.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

I'm in a mood and extremely frustrated with my youngest child's therapy team. I'm tired of being treated as if it's all just me.

It's a long story and I'm not sure anyone wants to hear it anyway. I've vented in the past and while free flowing tears my take the edge off my frustration...I'm not sure I'm ready to place it all out here and possibly be ridiculed. If anyone is truly interested you can email me.

We got a lot of snow the other day. The kids had 1 day off school (the first in 2 years) and every day since has been a 2 hour delay. I'm thankful for no ice.

Please keep my girlfriend, R's dad in your prayers...he had a heart attack this morning. She's in Ohio and so I can't get to her right now but the more prayers the better.

Take care of you. God bless

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is it snowing where you are?

If not, can I come visit you?


I'm not in a good mood. Actually, I'm in a pretty low mood. I will get past it. God will see me through. Until such time as I'm in a better mood--or have something decent to say, I'm going to share a poem here...that I didn't write. and a short story I wrote for a writing prompt at my writing group a while ago. The story had to be exactly 69 words and the theme was chocolate. Enjoy.

This first one reflects my mood today and is not the one I wrote.

But Not Today
a poem by Brenda Neal

SometimesI can let go of the past
a past locked behind the doors
of painful memories.
But not today.

I can accept the reality
that is me
and journey headlong
into the unknown.
But not today.
Today change comes hard.
I wear my feelingson my sleeve,
and nothing seems right.

I feel I can
weather anything
tackle anything
do anything.
But not today

The Thief
copyright Vicky Klindt 2007

I sat in the rain watching as the thief snuck into my kitchen. Ransacking the drawers, turning over the contents of my refrigerator, standing on a chair to reach the top shelf of the panty. He found that which I prized the most!

Going quietly around to the front door and inside I caught him!

My husband! My stash of chocolates!

The betrayal nearly broke my heart in two.