Monday, August 31, 2009


Today DD2 starts her first day of school and I don't know what she took, if she did, for lunch. I don't know that she ate breakfast, who her teachers are, what classes she has or what she wore. I don't know what time she catches the bus and I won't know how her first day went.

I didn't sleep well last night and that makes this a very emotional day.

She has been gone almost two weeks now. Two weeks without my girl who, right now, feels like a stranger to me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Beginning

Of a busy weekend weeks that is.
It started yesterday with the kick off to orientation to school for the Training Center and for the kids. We have a special speaker for the weekend. Being on the worship team I needed ( and need) to be at the church for 6:30. It does make for a bit of a mad dash to get home, eat and get ready but it's sort of like a challenge. {Grin}
4 services in 4 days plus a wedding plus I do need to buy a bunch of groceries; we are out of EVERYTHING! It will be a full weekend but it will be a worthwhile weekend! Next Saturday is another wedding shower, the Saturday after that is my little brothers wedding (EXCITED!) and the Saturday after that is the wedding of next week's bridal shower...
Get it? Got it? Good.
I will probably need your help to keep it all straight anyway! Whew! {Grin!}

My wonderful brother (best friend)

My sistah and her SOON to be husband!

T Minus DD2 Day 9

Pastor says I blame myself for all of this, that I shouldn't. He's right.

I also have guilt.

Guilt for not giving you a life that made you happy, for our lives leading up to this not being perfect, for not having the knowledge I have now your whole life so you wouldn't be so confused (or whatever you are). I feel guilt for what I did to my dad when I left. Granted, he knew I was planning on going; it wasn't a surprise but still...I now know how he felt, how his heart was ripped from his chest. I understand why he said the things he did. Perhaps they could have been said differently but I understand why he said them. He never hated me - not even a little.

I can't hold onto this guilt and blame any longer; it is killing me. What good will I be to you, when you want to be a part of my life again, if I allow this to kill me? What good will I be to our brothers and sisters? What good will I be to Dad?

I am not perfect. I will make more mistakes than I all ready have. I will try to correct them. I will try not to make them. Everything that I do, I do with the best intentions and the thought that I am doing right by you. You will understand that when you are married and a mom yourself.

Above all else remeber that God loves you. That I love you. That dad loves you. That will never stop or change. NEVER

Just got back from church...

It was a good service but it was after most had left where it got great. Pastor Kevin came to tell me he wanted to pray for me; so, he, his daughter & wife came to pray for me. I remember fragments of what he said but something that stood out is that I can not blame myself. He said for the self-accusatory and blaming spirits to go.

I knew I was blaming myself, feeling like I deserved this, like it was payback for what I put my dad through...but I don't think I was ever cognitively aware that I was blaming myself. It was never a tangible thought; it was more of an underlying feeling or atmosphere (for lack of better wording).

I felt a release tonight; I know there is more to go but, I felt a release. It felt safe to be able to cry in the arms of one of my friends. We weren't always friends and sometimes I wonder her motives. I think that is just Satan trying to put a wedge between us because she is a true friend. A true friend gets down on the dusty cement floor with you and prays, and cries, with you; she wipes the tears from your eyes as tears are falling from hers, for you. A true friend helps you to your feet then throws her arms around you and holds you as you cry - tears of knowledge & relief, of sorrow & despair, of pain & heartache....

I thank God for my pastor and I thank God for the friends that He has given me. I thank Him for pouring in the oil & the wine, for taking me to the inn from the ditch where I had laid battered, broken and half-dead.

I get to go back to church tomorrow! Twice on Saturday and then, again, Sunday morning. How lucky am I?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

T Minus DD2 Day 8

My heart is full - God has filled that hole with his love. That doesn't mean you have been replaced; it means I have stopped hurting as much. I still have moments that overwhelm me to tears, emotions that bring me to my knees. I love you, more than you can fathom right now. I miss you, more than you can imagine. Hearing your voice the other day was the best/worst thing that has happened to me in a while. Your voice was like music in my ears.

A favorite song I hadn't heard in a while.

Lots of emotions rushed to my heart. I wanted to cry for hearing your voice speak to me with gentlesness and love, instead of anger and hatred, made me realize what has been stolen from me. I wanted to laugh because it sounded so good to hear your words in my ears. I wanted to scream because I hate that this is our reality, right now.

I know you could hear all the emotions in my voice as we spoke. I could hear them in yours too.

I want nothing more than to hear your beautiful, sweet song filling our house once again...

I miss you. I love you forever. No matter what. It is unfailing and unending. Remember that.

Thankful Thursday

I just found this great little blog feature over at Welcome to the Nuthouse. We can always take the time to be thankful but I really want to focus on that right now.

Here it goes, in no particular order:

→ I am thankful to know where DD2 is. To know that she is safe, taken care of and loved makes this somewhat easier.

→ I am thankful for great friends who have gone out of their way to help us with babysitting until I am done work in 3 weeks.

→ I am thankful for finding out the true heart of some other "friends".

→ I am thankful for having such a fantastic church family who will help you and love on you but never give you humanism or feed the "all-about-me" in us. They come to you with the word of God and, at times, an appropriate kick in the pants.

→ I am thankful to know that my daughter is continuing her education and has plans for her future and has the forsight to not screw that up right now.

→ I am thankful my husband is loving his new job so much and that it gives me the opportunity to become a part-time stay at home mom.

What are you thankful for?

Oh Vanna, give me a letter.

And could you make it an 'h' or a 'j'? You see, I have a new-to-me laptop and I haven't come to the conscious realization that sometimes those two buttons don't work when I touch them. And sometimes that makes for difficult reading comprehension. Because sometimes I forget to proof read. Because sometimes I'm lazy that way.

In the meantime, if you are reading this, and you see a word that doesn't make much sense, just play around with it (probably using one of the above letters I am having difficulties with) and see if that helps. Ok? Ok. I am so glad we had this little chat. Now. Where IS Vanna?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Where's Bob Saget when you need him?

I got home from work to my kids running to meet the car, shouting, through giggles, that they, with their babysitter, were locked out of the house. She only had a deadbolt key and the doorknob accidentally was locked when she shut the door. No ground level windows were open, no other doors unlocked. Thankfully they had only been locked out for a few minutes.

My problem solving skills totally kicked in and this, my friends, is where we needed Bob Saget, you know, from when he hosted America's Funniest Videos. If only the batteries for the camera I had in my purse hadn't died during yesterday's wedding shower. {Sigh} If they hadn't y'all would be laughing as hard as I am.

Picture it, Sicily, 1918...oh wait, I am flashing back to television shows from my youth. Picture it. I am in my backyard standing on a patio table (having had no success standing on the chair) on my tippy toes, praying that the thin wood of the table will hold my weight. I managed to get the screen to DS3's bedroom window off and looked around to see who I could boost through the window.

DS3 was the obvious conclusion given that he is only 6, doesn't weigh too terribly much and I could probably manage to hoist him up and through the window. I got him up to the ledge and he chickened out.


DD4 volunteered and if she were any skinnier she could pass as a helium balloon on a string. {joking} This could work! I pushed; she pulled and we got her half way in the window. With legs kicking out the window (one story up), she wiggled and squiggled and eventually (3 minutes later) fell to the floor of her brother's room. Yay!

We heard a crash and a bang, a grunt and a groan, and DD4 jumped up to the window, looking ever victorious, gave us two thumbs way, WAY up and said, "I'm okay!" in her chipper, peppy cheerleader type voice before she bounded out of the room to let us in the house.

Moments later we heard a siren and I thought we may all be slapped in cuffs, thrown in the back of a cruiser and hauled off. Yep, wouldn't that take the cake? I can see the headlines now. Mom sends kid to Juvie - encourages break-and-enter...

All I have to say about that is...

"Whatcho talkin' 'bout, Willis!?"

T Minus DD2 Week One (Day 7)

It's been a week. A hard week. A roller coaster of a week, emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually.

Yes, spiritually. It has been a fight to not allow myself to just sink spiritually. It has been a fighting against waves that try to knock me down but I didn't let them. God strengthened me; He heard my pleas to Him that screamed 'Don't allow this to wreck me! You are my foundation and You are my fortress! I will chase after You like the woman with the issue of blood. I will not succumb to my circumstances but, I will pursue You, grab hold of You and allow Your healing power to flow!'

He as strengthened me. It has been a journey. No one ever said that becoming a Christian made your life immediately perfect. It just means that no matter what, with our focus on God, there is hope. Keep your focus on God. That is what I have been striving for this week. Focusing on acting, speaking and thinking in a way that brings honor to God's name. If I focused on myself that would make me selfish. It's not about me but Him.

That does seem hypocrytical doesn't it? Here I am with a blog writing about my life and the things that happen to me but it is not my focus. My focus is to write about my life, what my family is going through in our attempt to focus on God and to show how He will bring us through anything.

The past week has reminded me of perspective. My perspective vs God's. He did not spend all week pacing Heaven, wringing His hands with worry, wondering what to do next - not like I did. He knew this would happen and it says in His word what they intended for harm God purposed for good. One day this will be a fantastic testimony for God whether it be my testimony, DD2's testimony or OUR testimony! Either way, God will be given glory out of this whole ordeal.

*Side note: DH is on a business trip near where 5 of the kids live (including a DSIL1). He was able to visit with DD1 and DSIL1 yesterday and was even able to visit with DD2!!! She told him her classes and that she and DS2 have one class together, Cooking. he had a nice conversation with her, nothing deep, just nice...

...Thank you, God!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

T Minus DD2 Day 6

Today was a hard day for me emotionally; I did wake up ok but, as the day progressed, and I did the few things that needed to be done, it got worse. I called Child Tax to let them know DD2 isn't with us anymore; my brain went numb and I couldn't remember my S.I.N. so they wouldn't help me. I had spent a total of 2 hours trying to call them today. Needless to say I hung up the phone mentaly drained by my conversation with them that resulted in nothing getting done until I get them my number.

Then I got the call from my "friend" that I mentioned earlier. It left me in tears and heartbroken. A real friend wouldn't disrespect me that way and it wouldn't be all about them either. I realized just how selfish they really are. I mean, I realized it before and have talked to her about it before but, I never really understood the depths of it before. They have somehow turned DD2 running away ALL. ABOUT. THEM! Since when does that affect them, other than needing to find someone else to look after her responsibility when she wants to do whatever?

I had a very lovely surprise tonight from some very dear friends of ours. Tonight there was a wedding shower for one of our friends; DH is out of town and I couldn't find a sitter so I made plans to do some snuggling with my kids. We ate supper: leftover hashbrown bake with McDonald's cheeseburgers. (Yes, I went though the drive through for cheeseburgers instead of cooking something to go with the hashbrown bake! There is nothing wrong with that {GRIN}) and were snuggling when the phone rang. My friend, Shar was wondering when I was leaving for the shower; so, I explained it all to her, said my "goodbyes" and resumed snuggling. Her husband offered to watch the kids for me so I could go and just "have some fun". He sent me off with a hug and with one of those "dad" looks that he gives me - the kind that you know he is looking right into your heart knowing exactly what you are feeling and thinking. So, we had fun.

I saw DD2's best friend there; she is hurting too. I don't know if DD2 really understood that magnitude of people that would be affected and wounded by her decision, and her lack of desire to be with them. DD2 has another friend, a deaf friend, who is heart broken the DD2 won't be there at school anymore. She has asked her mom, 'what am I going to do?'. DD2 was the one who would sign for her, translate for her and spent hours getting Laura to teach her more words so she can communicate better with her. She feels she will be lost this year.

It seems strange in our house; there's a huge void. Her lack of being there is quite noticable. The anger that seemed to fill our house, though, is gone too. I still want things to be like they were last Christmas before everything seemed to change. For my daughter to be with me...that will never change.

We have been hoping to go on a family trip this winter. It was somewhere I really wanted to go with DD2, something I know she & I would really enjoy. It won't be the same without her...

Allow me to introduce ourselves

Kind of rude of me isn't it? You know, to have poured my heart out to you all like this without introducing myself. Please allow me to introduce us.

Please meet DH and I. This was taken last year at his birthday party. Who gave him that fabulous blue shirt and tie? I am so glad you asked? Me! I have great taste! {Grin}

DS1 with his dad. He lives down in Missouri now so we don't get to see him very often. He is a computer wizard just like his dad.
DD1 and her husband, DSIL1 (Seriously? I need a better system than that!). She is an LPN; he is a welder and is currently going to school to become a small engine mechanic as well. They are going to do a fabulous job of taking care of DD2.

DD2 taken this past Christmas.

DS2, What does an avid skateboarder do in winter? (taken 2 years ago)
Not a great picture but this lovely lady is DD3; it was taken 2 years ago as well.

DD4. Need I say more?

DS3 That's what I said!

Even through its trials and heartbreaks, I LOVE being a MOM!

*Some that happen on here may recognize that I do have another blog (one that I started years ago) but there are things on here that I may want to address from time to time that I don't want on my blog right now, that I don't want the people I know IRL to know just yet. I need just a bit of anonymity (I do realize that by putting pictures on that I have reduced that but, the people I know IRL that are savvy enough to find this are also wise enough to understand this post.).

*In Real Life

It could have been one of "those" days

Had I let it...
Let me first start this by saying I am so glad I am blogging about this now instead of, say 45 minutes ago.

DD2 has been caring for 4 ladies who live in my "friend's" private care home. Why the quotations around 'friend'? As of today I use the term loosely; I am not friends with people of questionable character. I consider them acquaintances or, in some cases, family...(I have to keep my sense of humor here)

She & her husband decided that they would invest the money they owe DD2 for her post-secondary school instead of paying it to her like she deserves. She worked hard for that money, 24 hours a day caring for 4 ladies with varying degrees of mental illness, 8 dogs, having to give the ladies their medication and at times with no food in the house (I had to buy the groceries to take out there so I know).

He phoned me at work yelling at me about how DD2 was in breach of trust for having friends over there. Um? How about no. She was in breach of our trust for having a boy over there but not theirs. My "friend" told her she could have friends over - just not a lot. There was no mention of 'no boys'.

It all got worked out in the end but why phone the all ready upset mom of the teenage girl you hired to yell at her (but apparently, according to him, he wasn't yelling).

Anyway, I guess I am just frustrated with everyone deciding how they are going to "fix" her and how they can do whatever they want (even if it is illegal). He even said to me, "Go ahead, spend $1000 on a lawyer just to get back $500." First of all, buddy, it is $700 and secondly, just saying that means you know you are wrong; you just don't think I would spend the money to show you. Funny thing is, my daughter makes no money now; so, she could spend no money at Legal Aid to get the money from you.

My daughter may have left my care but do. not. under estimate me! I will still fight for her and for what is right - stand up for righteousness.

Anyway, enough of that; it is apparently all worked out and we shall see how honorable they truly are.

DH is off on his first business trip for his new job. He started the Monday before all of this drama began, on my birthday! He is excited and excited for the trips to come. The up north, fishing trips. He bought some collapsible fishing rod that will fit in his backpack; it was the first requirement for new job shopping (in his mind). {Grin} I hope he has fun and is able to do some fishing tonight.

DD4 and DS3 and I will...I don't know what we will do. I was going to be going to a bridal shower tonight but, given the recent developments (this wasn't a planned trip for DH), I think I will just stay home and enjoy being with my children.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Just a phone call away

DD4 and DS3 (ages 8 and 6) have recently added a new phone number to their memory cell number. They seem to think that "emergency", while I am at work, qualifies as DS3 wanting to spend his $20 birthday money at the local convenience store...

Not really what I had in mind when I told them I would always be just a phone call away. That being said, I am SO glad they know they can call me.

I will be going over a finances lesson with them and doing something we should have started a while ago, but weren't in a financial situation ourselves, allowances. We will be discussing tithing (which they all ready know about but I will teach them how to apply it to their own finances) and what to do as far as "spending money" and "savings".

After the lessons DH & I have learned the hard way about finances, I think we are all ready late in starting to teach them. Perhaps a post about it later on what we decided to do with them.

A Glimmer of Hope

DH talked to our son-in-law today. DD2 does not talk like she hates us or talk negatively about us and she doesn't seem depressed like she was here for the last little bit. That makes me glad. People keep telling me that maybe she needed to get away to get some perspective. I don't know.

There was a lot of bitterness, rebellion and anger in her. Perspective won't necessarily change that. I don't know.

Anyway, all I know is just hearing the things that DH relayed from that phone call gave me a bit of hope when I didn't seem to have any today.

T Minus DD2 Day 5

Dear DD2,
Things are getting easier as each day passes. That doesn't mean we don't miss you to pieces and wish you were here, far from it, in fact. We miss you tremendously. It just means we (especially me) aren't overcome with grief every time we turn around. It means laughter with each other and the ability to joke are becoming less forced and more natural again.

It still hurts that you aren't here and there is still a void - there always will be but we have to respect that fact that you have made your decision and we will not live in grief the rest of our lives.

It has been (and still is) a process of dealing with a countless variety of emotions. I knew I would be sad you were gone, devestated even. Depressed at the extremes. I never knew that there would be times I was completely angry with you or feel betrayed by you. I do feel anger. I am angry that with everything we have been through in our lives I have never once thought of bailing on you, that I always stood fast for you, that there was never a doubt in my mind that, together, we could make it through anything. And there were tough things we had to deal with. We had to deal with the violence of your biological dad, with the fact that he never paid support which led us to many days of little to no food in our house. We dealt with so much together and it never once crossed my mind to just run. The minute things don't seem to go your way, what did you do to me? To us? You bailed out! That makes me angry (not all the time but it does make me angry).

I feel betrayed by you because for all I did to sacrifice for you, for us, you are, right now, too selfish to see what your behavior and decision are doing to us.

Having these feelings doesn't mean I hate you and it most certainly doesn't mean I am glad you are gone. I could never hate you nor be happy you chose to leave. It just means that I am coping with loss and emotions and feelings that I have to deal with.

I am angry because your choices are taking things away that I never dreamed would happen: like me being able to teach you to drive. I wonder what it will be like for your graduation. Will we be involved? Will I be able to do for you what I did for DS1 and DD1? Are you going to be going to Dad's ex-wife, since you live with her daughter, for things you should be coming to me for? Is she going to be spending more time with you then I will ever get to again?

And that turns the anger right back to sorrow and heartbreak again; I do know that someday, someway everything will be all right. That is between 'Amen' and 'There it is' but it's the waiting that is hard. I will not allow my faith to weaken in the mean time and I am fighting to stay strong.

I know you are safe and are being cared for; I hope you are healing and I hope the healing that comes to you will allow you to deal with all the bitterness and anger you have, that you will soften your heart again and that when I look in your eyes I will see my daughter. When I hear your voice I want to be able to hear my daughter.


Here comes the rain

We had a huge thunderstorm last night; huge! One like I haven't seen in a few years. It was powerful and it was intense!

The thunder was crashing and the lightning cut through the night, and then it came, like a completion of the sky personifying exactly what I feel; the sky opened up and wept - a gut wrenching cry. And as it wept, I felt a release like when I was in high school standing at the top of the train bridge pouring out my heart's cries in the safety of a storm just like this. The odd thing was there was a stillness just before the sky broke open and allowed the rain to fall, like the heaviness just before a tornado.

It's not gone; the grief that is, but there was a release.

I feel like I am being tossed in the relentless waves of the ocean right now, in the wake of a storm. To and fro. To and fro. Flailing like a rag doll. Going under, being thrown around but I must fight.

I am sure the disciples felt much like this during their storm and I think they were just about to admit defeat when Jesus came and stilled the water. I admit defeat. I can't do it. I need Jesus to come, to still the waters.

I cried most of the night last night during that storm and awoke to a beautiful, sunny day. The Bible does say that joy cometh in the morning and that our mourning shall turn to gladness. It also says that we will get back what has been stolen from us at maximum return. I am banking on that. I am counting on the sorrow being replaced by joy(multiplied). I am holding God true to His word because I know that He does not lie! His promises are yes and amen.

FYI: I hate the "ugly cry" hangover. You don't know what the ugly cry is? You know, that cry that comes from your toes, that makes your face screw right up, the one where it controls you and not you it? You all know there's a cute cry, a not-so-cute cry and the ugly cry. I spent the night doing the ugly cry and the ugly cry hangover is worse than any alcohol related hangover I remember having as a young person - way worse!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

T Minus DD2 Day 4

DD4 is sick today; she has a very high fever, is throwing up and is very needy, in a snuggly way. I can handle that; I can handle having my child want to be near me.

It seems like the days are getting harder as opposed to easier. Shouldn't it be getting easier? Shouldn't I be getting accustomed to the whole idea? It seems like grief has captured my soul right now. It is supressing my spirit. I can begin to sing praise songs to God but certain phrases or certain words just can't come out. I try but they just can't come.

I feel totally alone in this; I feel like I am not supposed to be bothered by the fact that she is gone. My friends don't acknowledge me or can't look me in the eye or they don't even mention DD2 - like she never existed or something. My DH keeps telling me to not allow this to get me, to keep my head up and to fight but, the minute I try to do that, he is telling me I can't put a shell up. Sorry, I can't do both. I know he is trying to help but, it isn't helping. I feel like I am supposed to just carry on like this doesn't bother me AT ALL.

I feel like a huge part of me is missing, like I am walking around and, oops, there goes my whole left side! I don't know how I will ever feel complete until I get my girl back. I. Want. My. Girl. Back!

I don't think she has any idea what she is doing to me, to DH or to her little brother and sister. I don't really know if she altogether cares right now. I haven't heard from her since the day she left when she called to let me know where she was. And because I haven't heard from her, sometimes it feels like she is dead and that this is just a coping mechanism. Only I can't cope. I know worse things have happened to people; I get that, but I do feel like I am drowning in my own grief here and I can't change how intense that feels. I want to - right now I can't.

DD2 is being selfish and I am so angry at her for that right now. Anger is one of the steps in the grieving process I guess but I go from wanting her back in my house so badly it hurts to wanting to scream at her for what she is putting us through. I get angry at her that I have these two lizards in my house that I have to care for, buy crickets for...lizards I never wanted in the first place but allowed them in my house 3 weeks ago, for her, because I LOVE her and she wanted them! I now have her stuff that she left in my house that I don't want to look at every day because I don't want to be reminded of her but I don't want it gone because that makes it even more real. Do you see what my poor husband gets to deal with right now? Yoyo lady at its most extreme.

I sometimes want to move DD4 into DD2's old room but I don't want to do that because I don't want DD2 to think we are glad she is gone. We most certainly are NOT glad she is gone! DD4's bedroom is not a bedroom; it is a room someone put up in our basement that has a window and a door. It has no closet and barely enough walking room once you get her bed and dresser in there. She could use an actual bedroom; you know, with space for her toys, for her. I am torn.

Today hasn't been a good day; 3/4 of it was probably spent crying.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

T Minus DD2 Day 3

In the attempts to keep busy, to keep a sense of normalcy and to try to "move on" (which is what I have been told I must do "carry on; don't et depression kick in; you must continue to live your life as though she never left), we went as a family (meaning household members) to a neighboring city to spend some time together.

I needed to return an external hard drive thingy for the hard drive I have with all my pictures; ok, DH did because I know nothing about the practical side of computers (the technical, maintenance part) and so I never would have known what to buy.

We went to an Asian buffet where we just happened to run into DD2's biological dad; my heart filled with fear and dread, in fact, I couldn't breath. He was a mean man. I don't know if he saw me (I think he did) but he never acknowledged that he did and I am so grateful for that. I didn't even want to get up and get food for fear of having to deal with him...I did. Get up and get food that is. I was kinda proud of myself for being able to do that, even though DH told me I had better breath before I passed out in my vietnamese spring rolls.

We walked around one of the malls and I am kind of wishing we had chose another one to visit. You see DD2 and I lived in that city for many years and we spent many hours at that mall with our very dear friend and her son. Each nook and cranny held a memory of her beautiful blond curls, her big blue eyes and her infectious laugh, but I tried to not let those things bother me and, for the most part, it worked.

I think the worst thing for me was seeing all the mothers and daughters shopping together for new clothes and sitting at the food court, laughing over their snacks or their lunches. It ripped my heart right out. I wonder if I will ever get to do that with DD2 again. I wonder if she will ever love us enough again that we may do those things.

Don't tell DD4 and DS3 that I, like them, wonder if DD loves us, why she hates us and will she ever love us again. Don't tell them because I have nicely rehearsed answers for them to ease their young broken hearts and ever-questioning minds.

On the drive home I did what I always do, What DD2 and I spent the most of our time together doing in her younger years, I found shapes in the clouds. DH doesn't understand or appreciate the greatness of this game and was a tad bit thrown for a loop when I shouted "Fire breathing snail!" out of the blue. He thought I had truly lost my marbles.

Just for an FYI, by the time that "fire breathing snail" cloud had completley morphed, it had wound up looking like a dump truck dumping its load of whatever it had.

I thought some of you would appreciate that; you're welcome. DH just thought I was strange.

After my cloud watching, I dozed off, only to be waken with tears by the sudden realization that I am being ripped off of being able to teach DD2 how to drive, of the photo of the first time she is behind the wheel (not including the time she was 3 years old driving her uncle's farm truck), of seeing the joy on her face when she gets to tell me she passed her driver's test, of all sorts of things.

I wonder if we will ever be at a point where #1 I can just have a day with the kids and DH without some part of it being overwhelmed with grief, #2 she & I will ever be able to share those mother/daughter moments again, #3 if we will ever be able to participate in the many firsts she has left to experience and #4 if we will ever be invited to participate in any of the joys & sorrows her life will hold.

I am usually such a joyful, happy person and I am so frustrated that every part of my life seems laden with grief, guilt and dispair right now. I hate writing this sounding like a debbie-downer; yet I feel guilt when I re-read something that has a spark of joy or a hint of a joke.

I so don't like this new normal one little bit but, I don't exactly have a choice now, do I? I do want to start sharing some of the more fun things that happen in our lives too. I need to document those things as well; just know that when I started this blog to share the ups and downs of parenting I never knew it would turn so quickly into the chronicles of a mom coping with the emotions I am.

I have a very sick DD4 right now (fever/flu) so I am going to go do what I know I do well, when it comes to parenting, and snuggle her, rub her forehead and force her to eat soda crackers and drink gingerale. I will feel much less like a failure as a mom, at least momentarily.

The Art of Self-Dentistry

Mornings around here, for me, are like perfoming my own oral surgery. I am pretty sure I can do it myself, or why would I try, right?

You get everything laid out, everything prepared, get your hand poised to rip out that tooth, that impacted tooth and, BAM! The reality of what you're about to do hits you and you're all ah crap what made me think I was able to do this on my own?!

I can't do this on my own so here I am with this throbbing impacted tooth that is screaming at me, demanding my attention. Only I don't have the tools to give it the attention it requires. There really is only one who does and he is NOT the dentist down the street from me.

I have to sit myself down in the chair, resign myself to the fact that this WILL hurt, if only for a season, open myself up to allow the procedure to take place and let Him it rip it the heck out! God is the only one who can fix this. Anything else and I could end up with a butcher job of self-dentistry that needs a whole lot more time and pain to fix.

Friday, August 21, 2009

T Minus DD2 Day Two

Yesterday I went to work; what could I do. If I stayed home, I knew that I would throw myself a terrific pity party complete with chips, dip, chocolate, and whatever fast food I could get my hands on. My heart tries to convince me to just mope around the house, to sit on my couch with a box of tissue in my lap and cry until I have turned myself insided out. (That may almost be possible; it has sure felt like I have come close a time or two.)

My two young children are having so much trouble understanding this. "Is she mad at us?", "What did we do wrong?", "Will we ever see her again?". Those questions have been heart breaking to hear and difficult to answer. "I don't know" is hard to give to someone who is looking to you for hope.

We are trying to fill their days with normalcy, as much as we can. DD4 went to a friend's house yesterday, had a birthday party and went bowling. It is difficult to rejoice over a bowling score of "75 and last time I had 43" when you just want to shout "I WANT MY DAUGHTER BACK!!!! I did do my best and offered a high-five to the bowling 'champ'. DS3 went to Pa's house and played with him, Grandma and their dog. He woke up with a slight fever yesterday morning; it made his emotions very raw and intense.

The kids aren't eating much, but we are trying to get them to by making their big brother's "famous" dish - the only one he knew to make before he moved out.

I helped DD4 make her bed last night as it was a jumble of 80 lbs of blankets and another 90 of stuffed animals. As I was putting her animals at the end of her bed, she begged me, "Don't put Monka in with those guys." I have to admit I didn't really know who Monka is (she changes names to her animals more than I change socks); she explained to me that Monka is the Rescue Pet that DD2 gave her for Christmas last year and that she NEEDS to have her on her pillow and she NEEDS to sleep with her. She NEEDS to be close to DD2 and she feels this is the only way.

There are two pictures in our bedroom of the youngest 5 of our children (we have 7) and I wake every morning to my beautiful DD2's face smiling at me and there is joy in her eyes, and I cry because I miss her. Thought about moving them so I don't see them when I first open my eyes; you know, so I don't start every day with tears. I just can't seem to do it yet.

It did seem a bit "easier" yesterday - perhaps part of my brain has convinced me that she is working out at the farm or that she is at a friend's. I do think there will be another wave of grief once we are full fledged into school and regular schedules.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One Hour

Until I pick up DD4 and DS3. It has been a long day at work; I have no desire to be here but what would I do? Sit in DD2's vacant room and look at what was?

I feel so unworthy to be a mom; I feel like such a failure. I know I am not but, I also know that I am not perfect. I pray for reconciliation. I pray that God will bring my girl home to me with the joy she once had.

I pray that in the meantime, He reveals to me what mistakes I did make and helps me to correct them so I don't make them with DD4 and DS3.

I think we will be making a trip to Pet Land tonight; maybe the kids can pet some adorable kittens and smile. We need to buy more crickets for our newly inherited lizards.

It will be ok.

God is good and He reigns and He is not surprised by the events of yesterday. He is not wringing His hands in worry, wondering what to do.

God, I put my child in your hands; You will keeep her safe. God, speak to her, heal her wounds, tear down walls and destroy lies that have taken hold of her. Whisper her name that she may respond to You and run back to You, that she may know that we love her with every cell in our bodies and that we feel so off kilter without her.

God, help us to be able to be strong and to carry on. Help me to not be filled with despair and pain. Heal my wounds quickly that I may be there for DD4 and DS3! This will not destroy me.

Please, don't let this destroy me...

Help me to become a better parent to her and to my other children. Lord, I can't do this on my own and I need You - just as always. Teach me, God. Show me where I need to change, what I need to work on...

T minus DD2 Day One

Dear DD2,

It has been a full 24 hours (plus) since I have discovered you chose to leave us. It feels like years. I am glad you are safe and I am glad you are with family and I am glad that you felt you could call us to let us know where that was.

My heart left with you and so did my joy. I am fighting to find them again. I need them. Your sister and brother need me to have them. Dad needs me to have them.

I know you are angry at us and at God but I don't believe that you have turned your back on us. When you are ready, and you have been able to deal with the hurts, the resentment and the bitterness you feel, we will be here. WE are ALWAYS here! WE NEVER LEFT!!! We will always love you and that will NEVER, EVER stop.

We need to go on with living - for the sake of your sister and brother - but don't ever think that it is easy to do that without you! It isn't! AND IT NEVER WILL BE!

Love Mom

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


It seemed another normal day when I woke up this morning. I had had a great night last night with DH and DD2 watching a movie; we laughed and joked. It seemed normal, like it used to be.

I got ready for work, had to leave early; I had a chiropractor's appointment. I instructed DD4 to let her sister sleep until 8:30, then go wake her. I walked to my car, humming a little tune. A decorative box in the front yard caught my attention. A voice told me to look in DD2's bedroom window. I did. My heart left my body and it has yet to return. Her bedding was gone. I ran to a small town called PANIC! (Thankfully I was eventually able to leave PANIC but was relocated to a desert called DESPAIR.)

DD2 is gone; she left notes, and her lizards. I don't want the lizards! I want her!

It took the whole day to find out where she is. That whole day seemed like a lifetime. Three sets of our parents were with me throughout the course of the day; that kept me strong for DD4 and DS3. They made me eat. I didn't want to.

Every siren I heard belonged to DD2. Every car held her belongings. Around every corner lurked her shadow.

She feels she was a bad influence on her little brother and sister. She feels we don't want her. She feels she can not measure up. She wants nothing to do with God right now and we do; she feels this causes us heartbreak. She is right about some of those things but two of them she is dead wrong about.

We do want her and she can measure up! We know people make mistakes but she thinks the ideals we have are strictly enforced. She has put pressure on herself to be those things she thinks we want and, we have, most probably, put pressures on her we had no idea we had.

This is not just her doing. We have made mistakes. We are not perfect either and, according to the parenting stick, fall pretty short ourselves. She does hold a lot of resentment and bitterness towards a lot of people in this community, including us.

Perhaps, for her, it is better that she is not here - get away from everything and everyone. Is it better for us? No. We are lost. All of us. Me. Her dad. Her grandparents. Her little brother and sister. The family cat... We are all lost.

DD2 is in a place that we know, that loves her, that will take care of her and that she should be able to thrive and heal in; her older sister's. Perhaps it is only temporary.

Without my girl

I am LOST!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!

Yesterday was my birthday. I know! Happy birthday to me! I wish. I turned 35 and I have a 16 year old teenager. Yes, I was a teenaged parent, and a single parent for the first few yars of her life (minues the first couple when I was with her abusive father, who we haven't seen, thank God, in years and years. Yes, it has been hard, made easier when I met a great man who welcomed becoming her father with open arms and heart.

This made for a brand new set of trials but we got over them. For awhile...

Over the last year things with her have gotten very rough and very confusing. This has played a nasty game of tug-o-war with my heart but, it hasn't been until the last few months that the game took a nasty turn; three weeks ago I found myself face first in the mud, not knowing what had happened or how I had gotten there.

Last year my daughter demanded to be taken out of the public school system; she worked to pay her way into a Christian school. Something happened. Somewhere bitterness, resentment, anger and rebellion saturated her; she was let go of her job for stealing (not a little amount) and was given alternative measures - only needing to pay restitution. I think now, our "saving" her from the reality of what she did only sent her spiralling further into wherever it was she had gone.

We got "our girl" back, after fighting, through prayer, for what seemed like ever - but was months or weeks; I really don't know - it truly did feel like ever. Then, again, something happened that sent her into a pit of darkness that has gotten worse and worse. Now, we have a 16 year old who is doing everything she can to make us kick her out. THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!!

Obviously, if she wants to leave, we can't stop her but, we are not going to kick her out. She wants to leave - she can make that decision.

What are we doing now? We cry a lot, in the privacy of our bedroom, and pray - a lot and just keep loving on her as best as we can and as much as she will allow us.

Yesterday she didn't even wish me a happy birthday until her dad got upset with her. She mumbled happy birthday at me while throwing a candy at me from the bottom of her purse. I felt the love - really and truly I did, and I tried not to cry as a result of that love (or lack there of).

We have a strong faith in God, and, yes, I know there will be times, like these first two posts, where I sound like Miss Negativity but I am not being negative. I just want to fill in the history. Perhaps our valleys will help you through your trials and perhaps, as I get people seeing this site, you can help me through ours.

God will bring us through this AND He WILL bring DD2 safely out of the clutches of this dark ride she has put herself on, if she will allow Him.

Somedays I may sound sad and broken hearted, and that is because I am; it breaks my heart to see her miserable in her life and to see darkness and sadness in her eyes and to hear hollowness in her voice. She is not my daughter. Does that shock you?! Let me explain. She IS my daughter and always will be and I will love her NO MATTER WHAT; however, my daughter is lost somewhere in the clutches of bitterness, hurts and anger, and she cries out to us every so often.

Yes, every so often we get a glimpse of our girl; there is a softness in her face and a sweetness in her voice and right now we cling to those moments of hope.

I need to go; she wants to watch Finding Nemo with us. Not because she wants to spend time with us but because she is a good manipulator and knows how to make us think she is fine. I will take this moment though and use it to my "advantage".

I love this girl with everything I have in me and I refuse to give up on her. I can be stubborn that way.


In these halls once echoed laughter, fullness, hope, passion and joy...


there is emptiness...

It is shallow...



Where did you go?