Zen


Teachers are allotted only a window of time with their students.  Once the student has exhausted this learning period; the teacher’s responsibility ends and the student must go on.  The student must accept this ending and may only bow in respect to the teacher, for the opportunity to learn has now passed.  It is now the student’s time; not to mourn the absence of the teacher, but to continue the quest for knowledge.

 

 

Only with a closed mouth and open mind will a student see the multitude of offer for infinite challenge and opportunity on the road to enlightenment.  Any valid word from a student to a teacher shall be but a question posed when the time is offered for such.  Fussing over disagreement or materialism will only slow the journey, and our time is short.

 

 

The most important rule is recognition that you are but a student.  Worry not.  Close your mouth.  Open your mind.  Work diligently.  Be peaceful.  For all the while in being a disciplined student, you’ve become a teacher.

 

 

~padinkydink



No Sleep ’til Brooklyn


 

Actually I am not going to Brooklyn, I just can’t sleep again.  I haven’t written (again) in forever (again) and it’s not like I have a whole lot to bring to the table, but here goes anyway. 

 

This is in no way a plea for anything; I just have to let it out of my brain.  I’ve been sick.  I have Sjögren’s Syndrome, and it’s an autoimmune disease.  Do you think I have AIDS when I say that?  It feels like I am saying I do.  I don’t.  I didn’t catch it, I just have it.  As it turns out there is nothing on earth I could have ever done to prevent having it, and looking back at things…I have had it my entire life.  My body fights itself and my ability to fight infections.  I have had e.coli, giardia (twice) and all sorts of  other fun.

 

So I recently had a little stay-cation at Chez Mercy Hospital.  It was a totally spontaneous vacation (the best ones always are, aren’t they??) My stay was packed with four luxurious nights of broth and jell-o, and an exquisite blend of saline and dextrose at my fingertips.  Actually the IV was in my right arm, then they moved it to my left hand, then it was in the back of my right arm again.  It was all part of the mystifying fun and adventure.  My favorite part of the adventure was leaving there not knowing exactly what is wrong with me.  We have determined it’s either some form of colitis or Crohn’s Disease.  Can you stand the excitement!??  Me either.  I can hardly wait to book my next excursion…another colonoscopy!!  TMI??  Yep.  Thought so.

 

Unfortunately I am no stranger to the hospital, so that part’s not a big deal.  It sucked being there and I am in no hurry to go back, but what sticks with me is the remaining fact that these autoimmune diseases don’t like to be lonely.  They are like Ruffles…you can’t just have one.  And the more you have, the more susceptible you are to have even more health problems.  I didn’t know that, it was not in the brochure.  This whole recent experience has really changed my perspective on life.  I have felt physical pain a lot.  I have had 3 babies (which was cake by the way, compared to this), and I have daily random pain.  This pain, this time…it was different.  I have been thinking about things differently now.  I am a little more patient, (when I am not freaking out and crying for no reason) and I am spending more time with my kids. I have been telling them things they will need to know just in case I am not here when it’s time to learn them.  I know I will probably not live to be an old lady.  That stings a little.  Ok a lot.

 


I am trying to let go of any drama I may have in my life.  I am trying to savor moments more.  I am living like I am dying.  Even though I am not dying, well, we all are dying each day, but I don’t have a death sentence with a time stamp on the end.  I just have to watch out for things more closely than I did before.  I don’t know why I am typing this, it’s really more personal information than I care to share with people but sometimes my cup of whatever this is runneth over, and when it keeps me awake, I share it with both of you who read this shit.  (Yeah, like there are two of you!)

 

I guess if there is a point to any of this, it’s that I am loving my kids more than ever, and my husband too, even though I think he thinks none of this is real, and I could cure myself if I would just take my vitamins and drink more water.  Gotta love him.  He certainly loves me.  I never imagined in my whole life that I would have a husband that would prove he meant it when he said “In good times and bad, and in sickness and health”, but I got him.  He is wonderful and so patient and kind.  There is nothing on earth he wouldn’t do to make me feel better.  That’s the truth.

 

I also have to brag about my daughter for a second.  I was at the grocery store on Saturday with her and her friend who was sleeping over.  They asked if they could walk around instead of buying groceries with me, so of course I said yes. We were at Wal-Mart and I wasn’t about to pass up the chance to have them get some good ‘People of Wal-Mart’ pictures.  I grabbed all the stuff from the list, and a couple extra things for them to snack on, and I was in the checkout aisle when it happened.  I started to get hot like I was going to pass out.  I texted Madi to tell her I was in checkout lane 6.  Thankfully she got there quickly.  I needed to sit down but I knew that if I did they would probably call an ambulance and I really don’t feel like paying $500 for a ride to the hospital again, or making a scene at the Wal-Marts.  So I handed Madi my debit card and said, “You are going to have to do this.  I feel sick.”  I went to the car and pulled it up close to the door outside and she and her friend loaded all the stuff onto the belt, then paid for the groceries and brought them out to the car.  She is 12.  She has a mom who is sick.  I hate that for her.  She has seen her mom in the hospital on a few occasions.  She isn’t afraid of me.  She crawls right into the bed with me and is asleep and drooling within minutes.  My little bitty (my 4 year old) is afraid of me when I am sick.  She doesn’t understand it.  When I came home from the hospital this time, she didn’t want me to help her take a bath, to lie in bed with her, to read to her…she wanted her daddy.  That broke my heart.  I have been talking with her about it and now  she has eased me back into her little world.  She and I are peas and carrots again.  Tonight when I was lying in bed with her, I said “I have to go to my bed now, baby, I don’t feel well.”  She replied, “Mommy, go drink some of your hosipal (hospital) water.  It will make you feel better.”  Then she sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ to me.  My girls seem to be little mommies, they definitely have the nurturing thing down.  My son is casually indifferent but I can tell it bothers him.  I don’t know what to say to him, he is 14.  I love him so very much, I still see that chubby little blonde baby every time I look at him, even though he is in high school now.  What do you say to your kid when they want to know why you can’t do the things other moms can do?

 

I am literally worth nothing without my family.  They keep me going.  They make me swallow the stupid pills that put my disease to sleep.  They give me the strength to get poked by a zillion needles and have gallons of blood drawn (did I mention I loathe needles and pass out at the sight of blood?), and to lie inside loud banging machines to find out what’s wrong with my guts and what I can do to stick around and get better.  I truly never feel alone.  I feel happy and safe here in this house with them all around me.  I am so very sorry for whatever I did in this life or any past lives to bring this annoying nonsense here to them and myself, but I must have also done something good because they are here with me, and I love them more with each moment.  This, along with every other silly thing I write makes no sense, but it’s gotta go.  I can’t keep almost crying at my desk at work.  I can’t keep staying awake.  I have to let it out.  Done.  Now, one foot in front of the other…

 

Love, Peace…

Padinkydink

 



Serenity


I found myself tossing and turning at 3am.  Part of me thinks it was because I went to bed at a decent hour and my body rejects a good night’s sleep.  The rest of me knows it is because there are too many thoughts swirling around in my melon.  So I am here.  I was raging against the very machine that I should be fueling.  When the urge to write hits me, I need to go with it.  This shit would be way more convenient if I was being paid to do it, but alas!  I am still here.

 

Before my mother in law Mama Judy died I had the privilege to have a 2 hour phone conversation with her, which I recorded.  I called her from our home phone, then put her on speaker and recorded us with my cell phone.  I still have it.  I have only listened to it once.  She was aware it was being recorded, because she knew her cancer was terminal and I asked her if I could write her memoir.  It was our intent to have these conversations every week and touch on subjects leading up to the day our lives intersected and forward.   I wanted a piece of her to pass along to my kids and hers, and theirs when they have them.  Unfortunately for us, my busy life and her illness progression got in the way and our first recorded conversation we recorded turned out to be the only one we would ever have.  I’ve listened to it only once.  Two days after she passed away I was home alone missing her, and I listened to it in its entirety.  I didn’t realize how much I miss her until yesterday.  It was then that I found that I can’t even talk about her to strangers without losing my composure.

 

On the day I was listening to our conversation I heard the doorbell ring, so I had to pause the playback.  I opened the door to find our postal carrier holding a piece of registered mail that required my signature.  The letter was a long-anticipated update regarding a very long, drawn-out modification involving a custody/child support modification from my first marriage.  I was ecstatic to open the letter, I rushed inside and tore it open…quickly I realized it was just the news I had hoped for, and I was elated!  I ran back to my bed where I had just been sitting before the doorbell rang and grabbed the very phone I had just paused and held it to my ear and said “Mama!  Guess what!!”…and then it hit me.  Then I cried.  A lot.  That was nearly 3 months ago and I truly thought I had been handling my grief well, if you consider ignoring it handling it.  Two days ago I was speaking to a person in the child support modification unit regarding the letter.  I had called to check the status of the case, and she said the case was being held up because they had never received the paper I signed showing that I had received the letter.  She asked me if I remembered the day I received it…well of course I remember.  I told her I knew the exact date and when I recounted the event to her I heard my voice start to quiver.  I cleared my throat and apologized, I think I made her cry too.

 

April 29th would have been Mama’s 54th birthday.  I still want to call her just to say hi.  I want to send her pictures of the kids, I tagged her in some today on Facebook.  I have accepted that she is gone, but I guess I still can’t believe it.  When I was looking through my boxes of papers recently I found several birthday cards from her.  Her penmanship looked like calligraphy.  She never missed an occasion to send a card.   She sent centerpieces for holiday meals where she couldn’t attend.  Once I had forced my way into her life, she considered me her daughter; not her daughter-in-law or some chick her step-son was married to.  She considered me her daughter.  She loved my children as if they were her biological grandchildren, and none of them are.  The most important thing about my love for James and his family is that they understand that I am not just me.  When he married me, he married 3 people.  It’s not always an easy thing to marry into an ‘instant-oatmeal’ family as my cousin Ray calls it.  Most of the time there is a difficult transition for the ‘outsider’ to come in and sometimes they never really ‘fit’ in.  It’s a risky business at times.  But not for us.  James found me and my kids and couldn’t wait to sign on.  I have never felt a moment of awkwardness and neither have they.  His dad (Papa James) was the same way; when he married Judy she also had 2 kids.  He loved Kurt and Tiffany like they were biologically his and took on the role of their dad and raised them alongside his own children.  I am thankful for many things, but most thankful that James learned this wonderful trait from his dad.

 

Until Papa James and Judy died, I didn’t believe I had ever had the bittersweet luxury of the time to prepare, as if that’s really possible.  Each of them knew they had cancer.  They each knew they were going to die, so they said all the things they needed to say before they passed on.  In hindsight, I guess we all know we are going to die.  We each have every day of our lives while we are here to say all the things we need to say, but too often it takes a tragedy to awaken that part of us.  I’ve always been a passionate person.  I’ve had the unfortunate experience of losing many people I’ve loved dearly, and as a result of that I know that when you have something to say, you should say it.  It requires strength, courage, and sometimes embarrassment because people sometimes tend to think you are a weirdo, but I do it anyway.  My main goal in this life is to be good.  I am not always good at it, but I try nonetheless.  In order to become enlightened one must absorb all facets of their surroundings and truly be alive and aware inside each moment.  Stop for a second.  Really think about that.  Today, appreciate beauty in all things.  Listen when people talk.  I mean REALLY listen.  Don’t just nod your head and wait for your turn to speak.  Find comfort.  Find peace.  When you do all these things then you can share all these things.  I feel love and happiness in my life.  I am blessed with memories of those who have transcended to a different place, and comfort in knowing I am loved by my husband and children and many family and friends.  I am still here.  I am putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward every day.  Sometimes the days go by so quickly and others seem to creep by, but inside of each moment I try to find peace and serenity.  It isn’t always easy, but that’s how life is.

 

I know today will be a good day.  If my heart were a magic 8-ball and I asked it if today would be good…it would say ‘It is decidedly so.’

 

~P

 

 

 

 

 

 



Obla-Di-Obla-Da, Right?


Today was the first day back to work after having 5 days off.  I feel exhausted.  Right now is the first time I have been seated since I ate dinner.  It’s best to keep busy in order to keep your mind from wandering.  I understand that it’s OK to cry when you are sad, even though I find crying to be a waste of time.  I held it together pretty good today at work.  Since nobody does my job when I am not there, I had a big pile of stuff to keep me busy, and I left a big pile for tomorrow too.  That should get me through until the weekend is here again.

 

 

Tonight, my mini-me (mini Martha Stewart) and I made Valentine boxes.  This is her last year to have a Valentine party at school, but I will not even open that can of worms.  That can of worms is actually a can of whoopass and will make me cry like a fool, and if you want to know how I feel about crying, please refer to paragraph one.  Anywho, back to the Valentine boxes.  Madi and I are both very creative and I really enjoy messing up the dining room table with her.  She comes up with some fun, creative stuff.  For example, her Valentine box is a penguin.  He isn’t just an ordinary penguin.  He has a back-story.  He is running from the law (waddling really).  I think it’s tax evasion, but she wasn’t clear on the details.  In order to remain incognito, he needed a disguise, hence the Fu Manchu and soul patch.  He would have had some sweet chops to boot, but alas!  She burned her thumb on the hot glue gun and her bedtime is 9:00 pm.

 

Sam the Penguin (alias of course)

Sam the Penguin (alias of course)

You will note, Sam is looking over his shoulder, as any outlaw penguin would do.

 

I made Kennedy an owl.  It is a sweet pink owl made from a big-ass Kool-Aid canister.  I covered it in cloth so it would be soft and precious like my sweet Kennedy.  The owl doesn’t have a back-story.  The owl got neglected when I got ditched by the burn victim.  The owl is as cute as the owl is going to get because I had to clean up the big ass dining room mess by myself.

 

 

 

owl

So that is what I have been up to today, fake-bird making with my sweet Madi girl.  Today wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be, and tomorrow will be even better I hope.  To my friends who are struggling, keep in mind that you can busy your hands and it will free up your mind, even if just long enough to make you ready to go to bed and sleep.  I love each of you who read and appreciate my blog.

I am beginning to understand what this is all about.  It is a scary endeavor to let people behind the curtain.  Vulnerability is not something I am comfortable with, but I know now that in order to be believable I have to be raw, real, and open to critics.  I am what I am.  A mom, wife, daughter…who is learning as I go, just like you.  I am trying to be something I have always wanted to be, and I am not stopping because I am sad.  I am going to muddle through this darkness because I know there will be light.

Go forth and share love tomorrow on St. Valentine’s Day.  Make someone smile, make them feel rich if only for one moment.  Find a reason to be happy with what you’ve got.  Life does go on…

<3.  Peace.  Chicken Grease.

Les



Balance


It’s August again. It’s looking like the end of summer (though my husband is trying in desperate futility to fight it) the sun is going down a bit earlier, the days are steadily getting cooler, and it’s time to start thinking about wearing a jacket in the evening. Before we know it, the leaves will change again and a winter will be upon us. After that, a fresh new spring and then it will be summer again. It all works out, the end of one sparks the beginning of the next and so on…

(Gee thanks for the science lesson on the seasons Captain Obvious)

The end of seasons are bittersweet. I enjoy the transition of fall, but I can’t help but feel a looming sadness for the end of another summer because it means my children are growing up. If you are a parent you must understand that there is a delicate balance to raising children. I believe if you are raising your children correctly, your goal is to have them eventually be independent, yet still need you…but not too much. I try to mix the motherly advice with chicanery and tomfoolery just to keep things even. I have three brilliant children who are all growing up too quickly, it’s a lot like the end of summer and beginning of fall. I am trying to fight it, but they are staying up a bit later, growing a bit taller, and they don’t want me to hand them a jacket as they walk out the door…it’s not cool. Before I know it, they will be another grade level higher in school, they will continue to grow up…and then another year will have gone by and they will be one year closer to graduation. Being one year closer to graduation of course means needing less of their mom, and a growing intolerance of my goofy ass. I guess at some point I should probably look into growing up too…I hear it’s nice.

I worry senselessly about so many things and as I told my sweet father-in-law after his diagnosis with cancer before we lost him nearly two years ago…(miss you Pop…) “Worrying is like rocking in a rocking chair…it will keep you busy, but you won’t get anywhere.” Ever notice how easy it is to give advice, but so hard to actually take it? I also drew a picture of boobs on the dry erase board in his hospital room. See?? Balance.

This is just another transition and we will survive it. I will create new wonderful memories with my growing children and still show them how to be independent, but I will remain hopeful they will always still need me, whether I am being serious or silly.

Thanks for reading my late night ramblings.