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The memories that shape our lives and relationships.

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I want to say, walk away.   Keep scrolling.
Do not read this.
Why do I feel compelled to give that warning?
Because of the content.  Because of various worldviews, values, beliefs that every person has.
This post deals with working through the grief and the loss of my father.
This post deals with memories that make me smile.  And how is that bad?  Or wrong?
Well, it is not.  To some it will be.  To me, they are simply endearing memories that made my father, my father.   Memories that helped shaped my love for him, my view of him, and my view of the world.

This post is my reality.   Let me be honest.  This post also deals with "drug" use to some degree.  Pot, MJ, 420, reefer.  Whatever you call it, if you feel that in all circumstances, no matter what, it should never be used then this post will not be for you.

It could cause you to look at me differently.  It could cause you to have your own beliefs challenged.  It could cause you to judge my father as a bad person destined for hell…

Surviving in darkness, reaching for light: The toll of depression.

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I would have never even given a second thought that I'd still be battling depression 5 years after originally being diagnosed.
I started treatment and felt great for a couple of years.
Now, I *thought* I was doing well the 3 years after that.  I didn't recognize the slip again.  The slip into depression's waves and tides, the grasp it takes and slowly pulls you down, is often subtle and unnoticed until someone or something makes you take notice.

This has got to be one of the hardest posts I have ever done, one of the most heartbreaking for me.

There was no one moment, one day, one week where suddenly I was swimming in the depths trying to reach the top.  It was a slow dissent.  A thought here, a misread conversation there, an over analyzed look from someone, small situations, all that began eating away at simple sanity again.
I wanted to believe that the first time around, the medication treatment, and the attention to it that my mind was brought to, would 'cure' it an…

Marbles as friends.

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I stood at the sink absent-mindedly doing dishes.   A million thoughts running through my head of upcoming doctor visits, blood draws, back to school shopping, grocery lists. 
I'm on auto-pilot as David comes into the kitchen.
DAVID: "Mom, have you seen my marble that was on the breakfast bar?"
ME: "Yes I put it in the basket when I was cleaning."
DAVID: "There it is.  I painted a face on it mom."
ME: "Yeah I saw that!  It was cute."
DAVID: "I did it because I don't have any friends, so I made one."

Then he hurried off back to his room and I began hearing the clank of marbles.
I stopped doing dishes and absorbed what he just head.  My heart broke again for him, my eyes filled with tears and all the issues associated with Autism came flooding back, as it does almost daily.
A feeling of loneliness and friendlessness is common among ASD children.  David is no different.  His social awkwardness drives many away.  He doesn't mean too.  …

In tragedy love and acceptance can be born. Lesson learned.

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I don't think there is anyone in the USA that has not heard about the terrible tragedy that occurred in Orlando this past week.  No doubt everyone's heart was touched and saddened.  The tragedy transcends beyond politics, beyond religions, beyond differences that divide us [or at least it should and did often!]
I was touched and am touched by the outpouring of love and service to the families and loved ones left behind from those who have similarities, from those that have differences, from the most unlikely places.  I have LOVED reading those stories. 


We've tried to instill in our sons that we love all, we accept all, we do not judge.  This tragedy has been a door to educate and show them even further, how we are called and meant to love.  As human beings, all connected, it is important, MANDATORY that we love.  We should love!
Children have real feelings, they have questions, they want to know why.  I don't hid much from my sons.  When they ask, I try to be as honest …

Terrariums, Nature, clay, & Chemo. Oh my!

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June has arrived with a hot roar.  Florida temperatures are soaring into the 90s and the end of the school year is here!
It has been quite the journey this school year and the adventure continues.

Aaron is doing fabulous at Babson Park Elementary.  This coming week is their final 3.5 days and it's packed with fun for the students, from a School Fair to a Fairy Tale Bowl.  He's also scheduled to attend 4 weeks [4 days a week], a 3rd grade enrichment program at the school.  It's a half day program and will begin introducing him to the third grade. 

David has pretty much wrapped up his first official homeschool term.  He began at the end of April.  The 2016-17 academic year will be his first full year homeschool.
He's excited about the coming year as his textbooks have begun arriving.  He was especially excited when his National Geographic Earth Science book arrived! 

The biggest reason, as you all know, to homeschool is due to his health.  His ITP has been relentless and t…

My other son: Have I told you how wonderful he is?

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I'm talking about my youngest, Aaron Preston.  He'll be 8 in a little over a month and he is so excited.

He talks everyday about his birthday, about how he wants a Lorax theme, about the legos he wants, the friends he wants to invite.
He's my happy go lucky kid.  My boy with a sense of humor.  He's the one that will go outside early in the morning and come dragging in at dusk, covered with dirt, telling about his fun day out playing.
He's my sensitive soul, my very giving child, perceptive, loving, feisty, spirited, and full of hugs.

He's always slipping me cards and notes, little gifts he makes out of random beads he finds.  He's almost always so understanding of David and my often preoccupation with him and all the issues.

With that, I confess that I'm pretty sure I've failed him as a parent. 
I feel like I don't spend as much time with him as I should.  I feel like at times I'm harder on him.  I tend to not realize what he may be feeling or go…

I am sorry for not being what you wanted.

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Yes, you've read that right. 
I'm sorry.  I am giving you my apologies.  Even though it troubles me and leaves an impression on my heart, I still give them to you.
Who?  Who is 'you'? 
'You' are those people who, over the months and years have decided to distance themselves from me.  To no longer talk with me.  To be content to just hear or read [you have to love the age of social media], what's going on in my life, yet stay at arms length.
Yes, I've noticed.  I've noticed it as I've grown in my own life, in my own views, in my faith in the Christ I follow. 
Though there is a spiritual aspect to this, at the same time it is so much more.  It is the conflict of being who I am, even if it means losing friendships over it.

I used to be someone else.  Someone who thought differently, who perhaps acted different.  Who was certain the world was black and white and everything had an answer. 
There are times I wish I could go back to that, only because of …