Thursday, May 29, 2008

Random Thoughts

I took Will and my boys out to lunch today. We went to this little Greek restaurant that serves the best gyros in Cincinnati, and the woman who runs it with her husband came over to the table to talk to us. She looked at the boys and then pointed to Michael and asked me if he was my son. I answered yes. Then she looked at John and asked if he was my son. I said yes again. I was waiting for her to ask about Will, but she didn't. Then she just said that she knew they were my sons because we had the same eyes. I just smiled and laughed inside. One of those little moments we adoptive moms appreciate. After she walked away, Will said that she didn't ask me about him because she probably thought that I wasn't old enough to be his mom.....I just laughed and said I hadn't thought of that! Of course, I am old Anthony would have been four months older than Will. But I must admit that I like the thought of looking too young....hehe....
Life is funny sometimes.

Tuesday I went to see my parents and my mom was so happy to see us....she gave us all big hugs and told us how glad she was that we were back home. Mother love is awesome....

Every time Mark is away for business, I find myself thinking about what it would be like to be widowed. Awful...
I don't think about it much through the day but when dinnertime comes, I find myself waiting for him to come home and then bedtime is the worst. I laid awake for a while last night thinking how it will feel someday when the kids are grown and if I'm widowed....I've never lived alone before. I went straight from living at home to being married at age 20.
I guess if that day comes, I will pray even more....
In a few hours, he should be home again...

A blessed Thursday to all.....

Friday, May 23, 2008

We had a wonderful day yesterday....
The weather was perfect....not too hot, with a pleasant breeze.
After a morning of hanging around the condo and the pool, Mark and I went to noon Mass at a church about a 30 minute drive from our condo. Michael and John stayed behind with Beth and Steve so that we could have an afternoon to ourselves (awesome!). I can't begin to tell you how happy I was to walk into that church! Even though I had never been there before, it felt like home. That is always one thing I miss when I'm on vacation....all the reminders I have in our home reminding me of our faith.
After Mass, Mark and I ate our picnic lunch in the church parking lot....sounds crazy, I know, but this church's parking lot has a huge grove of trees in the middle of it, and our van was parked under these trees and it was very pleasant.
After that, we went off to Brookgreen Gardens. The gardens were beautiful but I must admit that I had never seen so many statues of the human form (if you know what I mean!) in one place in my life. It made Mark and I glad that we had left the kids behind! hehehe...
Seriously, though, it was bothering me somehow as we walked through....the place seemed so worldly to me. Hard to explain...let me see...
Even though it was a place showing God's marvelous creation, it was focused on the creation and didn't lift your mind to the Creator. When I go to a park and walk, it always lifts my mind to God, but this place with all of its beautiful nature and naked statues didn't exactly lift your mind was too much. I thought about some of the shrines we've gone to where there are religious statues throughout the nature walks....those places lift my mind heavenward...this place failed to do that.
Anyway, we went back to the condo and took the boys out for an early dinner and then Beth and Steve took the van and went out for a while on their own.
We took a walk on the beach and spent some time at the pool. I went back up to our condo and sat on the balcony overlooking the ocean and said my evening prayers. Mark and the boys came back, and then Mark joined me in saying the rosary. Lovely evening...
Everyone watched a movie and the moon came up again shedding its beautiful golden light across the ocean...absolutely makes it so hard to draw the curtains and fall asleep...but we finally did about 1 AM.

I don't know exactly what we're doing today....the kids are all still sleeping. But we may head out for some family fun type places with the kids for the afternoon and then head back here after dinner. This is supposed to be the hottest day here but we know all those family fun places will be even busier over the holiday weekend, so we think we will just hang at the condo those days.

I hope all of you have a blessed Friday.
May our dear Lord grant all of you His peace and joy...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Little Gifts

We are on vacation right now....enjoying the beaches of South Carolina.
When we arrived at our condo, even though we didn't pay the extra for it, they gave us the penthouse.
The master bedroom is upstairs and has two walls of windows facing the ocean. Our bed is two feet away from these windows and the view is breathtaking. Last night there was a full moon with some clouds scuttling across it occasionally.....the moonlight was reflecting off the water.
I didn't want to go to sleep....I just wanted to lay there and enjoy that beautiful sight.
I kept sending up little thank-yous to our dear Lord for such precious gifts...
A blessed day to all...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

His Security Blanket

I had to smile about Michael yesterday....
Our Catholic community had our 40 Hours Eucharistic Adoration campout these last two days. It started Thursday night, but we couldn't go then because Mark had to work Friday. He had scheduled it off, but things happened and he couldn't take the vacation day.
Yesterday morning, one of our friends was going to the campout and offered to take our boys so they could enjoy the day there. They were eager to go...
So I sent them off and Beth and I had a day without the boys. I went to a funeral in the morning and then Beth and I went out for lunch and a little shopping. Twice during the day Michael called me...."I miss you, Mom". I had to smile. This is the cool 15 year old son who acts like he barely knows me in public. Then later in the afternoon, he called again while Mark and I were driving there (it's 70 miles from our home). "Aren't you going to be here for dinner?" and once again I had to smile.
Of course, after being told that I was missed, and wanting us there for dinner, when we did arrive, he was his normal cool self.
Later, when no one was around, he admitted once again that he had missed me...
Guess I'll just have to settle for private affection....hehe.....

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there....
All you biological mothers, adoptive mothers, birthmothers, and spiritual all play a role in God's great plan.
I can't help but think today about the two women who made me a mom.....the ones who gave life to me darlin' Beth, Michael, and John....may God always bless them abundantly! I am so grateful for this precious gift.

Do any of you have sleepwalking children? Our Beth started sleepwalking when she was around 13 years old. It would usually happen about an hour or so after she had gone to bed. I would find her in the shower at 1 in the morning or she would come downstairs and sit with us in the living room or kitchen. It was crazy! Once I was sitting in my bedroom reading late one night and she came in and sat down next to me and started talking in a nonsensical way to me.
She hadn't done it in a while but last night at 3:20 AM, our bedroom door flew open and she flipped on the light.
A startling way to wake up!
She stood in the doorway and said "My mom wants her song rub."
"My mom wants her song rub."
My first response was "Have you been drinking?"
"NO!" she exclaimed. "Mom wants her song rub."
"Do you mean me?" I asked.
"Yes, you want your song rub."
"Song rub?" Mark asked.
"S-o-n-g?" I inquired.
"Yes" she replied.
By now I'm starting to fully wake up. I asked Mark if he knew when she had gotten home.
"About two or so" was his reply.
"She's sleepwalking." I laughed.
"Go to bed, darlin'" I told her.
Obediently, she went off to bed and Mark and I started laughing hysterically.
It caused quite a bit of mirth this morning. She can vaguely remember trying to tell me something and couldn't quite get it out. She can't remember what she was dreaming about when she did it.
It is the strangest thing. My only worry with it is that someday she may hurt herself. I'm always afraid she will go out of the house or try to go out a window and her windows are three stories up. One night she moved the furniture in her room around. I have no clue how she managed that, but she did. It startled her quite a bit when she got up in the morning!

I want to know what in the world a song rub is.....

A blessed Pentecost Sunday to all.....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sweet Baby Magic

I was reading on someone's blog about taking her baby to visit her grandmother in a nursing home and it reminded me of when we first brought Beth home. My grandmother had been in a nursing home for several years with Alzheimer's. My parents had taken care of her at home for several years, but it had gotten to the point where my grandmother didn't know any of us and she was becoming more and more bedridden and agitated, and my mother simply couldn't handle her alone physically through the day while my dad was at work.
By the time Beth was born, my grandmother hadn't spoken anything sensible to me in several years. It was such a heartbreak to see the grandma I loved in such a state. But I would still go visit occasionally and I decided to take Beth there, even though I knew she wouldn't know who we were.
I went into her room, and she was sleeping. I sat there next to the bed, waiting for her to wake up, holding little Beth and talking to her. It didn't take long...I suppose in her subconscious mind, she heard the sweet baby noises. Her eyes flew open and her face lit up when she saw Beth. "What a cutie!" she said and for just a moment, I saw my dear grandmother again as she had been. The look on her face, the way she said the words was the grandmother of my younger years and I thrilled to have her back for just those few seconds.
Just as quickly, they were over... I never heard her speak again. She died just a few months later, but it was such a joy to me to see her be herself just one more time.
Once again, a little one had worked that sweet magic only babies have.

A blessed day to all....

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kissing the Face of our Lord

I absolutely love this picture of our Blessed Mother kissing the face of our Lord. I always know the joy I felt kissing my own babies' sweet faces. I can only imagine the joy our dear Blessed Mother felt kissing the face of her own Baby Jesus.
"Kissing the Face of God" by Morgan Weistling

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Promise of the Rosary

Last September, my oldest brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I knew immediately that his prognosis was poor. He had just been in town to visit with us all in August for our Dad's 87th birthday and we could tell then that he wasn't feeling well.
David was my half-brother from my dad's first marriage. He was 15 when I was born and joined the Air Force when I was three, so I didn't have many memories of him being with us, but we always visited back and forth every year during my growing up times.
My dad is not Catholic; in fact, his grandfather was a Lutheran minister and Dad was his only grandchild. David's mother wasn't Catholic, so he was raised in the Protestant faith. However, when David was diagnosed with cancer, I started praying the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet for him on a regular basis.
We went to visit him in early November. They live in rural Arkansas, a beautiful place in the Ozark Mountains where they moved after David had retired from being a police officer. Not many people live in the area; Catholic churches are scarce. We had to drive 45 minutes each way to go to Mass when we were there. Not at all like Cincinnati, where there is a Catholic church within 5-10 minutes anywhere you go.
We had a good visit; though a very sad one. I thought that it would be the last time I would see him this side of heaven.
However, in December, he was determined to come home one more time. The week before Christmas, his wife drove him here. They stayed at a hotel just 5 minutes away from us because it had a handicapped bathroom and facilities and they knew this would be easier for him. He literally spent his days here in bed. We would go to visit for an hour or two until he needed to rest. When he left that last morning, he looked so bad that we all knew it would be the last time we would see him.
I had still been praying for him....not really sure how he stood spiritually. I knew he attended a Presbyterian church sometimes, but I didn't know how devout he was.
On Christmas Day, he called for the last time. My whole family was at my house for dinner, and we all took turns talking to him. He was extremely weak. We had prayed that he would make it through Christmas Day for his family and the dear Lord answered our prayers. The next day he started slipping into unconsciousness....we knew the end was near.
I stepped up my prayers for him....going to Adoration; praying the Divine Mercy chaplet; praying the rosary...asking our dear Blessed Mother for his salvation.
On New Year's Eve, just minutes before midnight, I received the call that he had passed away. We were at a party with friends from our Catholic community and it was such a blessing to be with those dear people at that time. They all stopped and we prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet together for his soul....they were all such a comfort to me.
The next day was spent on the telephone, literally, as we called back and forth to find out the arrangements for the funeral; making arrangements for traveling there.
My sister-in-law called me and surprised me by asking me if I wanted my rosary back. My rosary?
She said that after we had visited in November, they had found a beautiful blue and silver rosary on David's bedpost. On his nightstand, there was a black rosary in a rosary case. They thought I had left them there. I told them it wasn't me. We asked my brother who had also been on that trip with us and he hadn't left it either. We then asked my other siblings. None of us had left the rosary. We were the only Catholics they knew; none of their friends down there were Catholic. No one knew anything about where the rosaries had come from. He had asked my youngest brother about the rosary when he visited here in December and my brother had given him a pamphlet on how to say it.
It remained a mystery.
It was a stressful week getting ready to go. My parents were dismayed and distressed because they were both ill and neither were able to travel there.
We arrived Thursday evening, right at the beginning of the visitation time. I walked up to the casket and there was my brother laying there, holding the beautiful blue and silver rosary in his hands. It wasn't a cheap plastic rosary; it had beautiful blue beads and a silver filigree crucifix. I cried to see it. It felt like a gift; a sign from our dear Blessed Mother that my prayers, and the prayers of many others, had been answered. A promise of our Lord's endless mercy.....

Thursday, May 1, 2008

He Always Soothes My Heart

I love Adoration....
I had a stressful, busy day. I had been nervous about my doctor's appointment and what made it worse, when I did get there I had to wait for over a half hour. I was supposed to have the first appointment after lunch, but it seems they scheduled a woman for 1 PM to fit her in, and her husband at 1:45. My appointment was at 1:15, but they took both of them first and I didn't know the situation until later, and sitting there in that waiting room just made me more stressed out...I just wanted to get it over with!
So my blood pressure was still too high. It was lower than last week, and I had lost three pounds, but it's still too high. He talked me into taking medication and if I manage to lose weight and exercise more, and keep it down, we can try taking me off of it in six months. So now I definitely have motivation to lose weight and take better care of myself. I asked the dear Lord for motivation and He gave it to me..
After leaving there, I picked up me darlin' boys and we went to have lunch with Will. He was waiting to get his car serviced, so he had some time to spare. Best part of my day thus far.
After leaving there, we went to Confession, then to Wendy's to get my parents their Thursday Frosty. We stopped at their house for a few minutes and visited. They're always happy to see us.
We arrived home at the same time as me darlin' husband. He was having a meeting here tonight and the first floor was in a desperate need of being swept. So I worked on that and the boys straightened up the kitchen. We got carry-out for dinner and I cleaned up the kitchen.
By now it was time for Mark's meeting. I sent the boys outside for a while and I went upstairs. I was starting to feel exhausted. I had planned on going to Adoration but I was so tired I couldn't bear the thought of getting in the car and going anywhere. I flopped on my bed for a while but couldn't go to sleep. The thought of going to Adoration just kept pulling at me....
So I packed up my books and left. I told myself that if I got too sleepy, I could always leave early and come home.
The church was quiet and peaceful ....only two other people there.
I sat there and said my evening prayer and then started my rosary and the tiredness slipped away and His peace came flowing in.
It never fails to happen, it seems. Whenever I make an effort to go, He always repays me far more than I deserve.
I offered up my hour for someone dear to my heart who is going through a difficult time. I asked the dear Lord and His Blessed Mother to soothe and comfort their heart....
As they soothed and comforted mine....

A blessed peaceful night to all....may you be ever mindful of His glorious love....

A Little Nervous

I'm off to noon Mass and then the doctor for my recheck for my blood pressure. I'm a little nervous about it, but am feeling better after my morning prayer time and my newly-reinstituted morning exercise time. I was thinking the other day that I had asked our dear Lord for a little motivation to lose weight. Now I realize He's given it to me!
Next time, maybe I should be more specific..

A blessed Thursday to all....