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Monday, May 19, 2014

breaking the wall

The smoothness of his hand almost alarmed me.  How was it possible I wondered, that my own feminine fingers were more calloused than his. Slowly, he gently began to caress  my feet, that laid across his lap.  I was drawn to the softness of his touch, as each stroke of his strong hand moved in a lingering pattern across the soles of my feet.  I glanced  down at my metalic toenails. Examining the shimmering pattern of color and feeling rather happy that I had spent the effort performing a mini  pedicure in prepping for our date.  It had been such a long time since I had even thought of going barefoot.  With the recent rise in in the outdoor temperature, I found myself  now, finally able to  dress for the season, with a very well broken- in pair of flip flops.   Without so much as a small shift in his attention he continued the conversation between us.  As though holding me close and touching me  now seemed  as natural   as  the feelings that were forming between us.  His voice carried a depth of its own, as he spoke about his grown sons and the things in life he now wanted for himself.  The friendship we shared and how he desired it to bloom.  His voice held such warmth as he spoke,  with a soothing comfort covering me like a southern breeze on a lazy summer day.  Enveloping me  like his embrace,  with each syllable.

I felt myself rather intrigued with his thoughts and opinions.  Slightly, he shifted his weight to reach over and grasp the bottle of sweet red wine we had been enjoying together and poured  me another glass.  I  nestled back down next to him, eager to share more details of our lives. Sipping the wine, leisurely, I drew myself back into the comfort of his company.  I knew the hour was late, but it was as though time held no significance.  I wanted to know more, the hows and whys that had brought him to where he was  now.   On occasion, I  noticed I  pondered momentarily on specific words he used.  Letting them linger with in my own thoughts.  He rejoiced so much in our meeting and openly shared his enthusiasm at what he was beginning to feel towards me, towards us.  I fought hard to not recoil back to the wall, that I had unknowingly  allowed  to attached itself to me. To run and hide behind it.  The wall, I had spent  several years  developing.  A wall created  from years of dating and finding myself lost in  relationships that had always left me in a savage hunger and thirst for something more. Friendships, that failed in satisfying a deep yearning with in me.  A deep seated yearning to know and feel a love that existed beyond conditions of the flesh .     Here I was now, sitting with a man who had only recently captured my attention.  Allowing him to gaze into my eyes as I looked back into his.  Sensing a stirring between us that called to us, to speak from our emotions and the restless parts of our souls.  Deep with in me, I could hear the echoes of my past, urging me to  remain guarded.   But, I also felt a  part  of  me screaming to be released.  Fragments of me hoping,  the  pieces of my heart still remaining intact would  allow me to feel  freely, without hesitations and  fear. 

The night ended with a warm embrace and the slight glaze of our lips, tenderly touching to share  a moment of closeness.  As we said our goodnight and I closed my door, I felt a sense of welcome towards  this new journey and ever so slightly a dent in my wall that drew me into taking once more a risk at love



Friday, May 16, 2014

Happy 17 years

It was a  simple choice.  One I had undoubtedly been destined  to make.  A choice that a power higher than myself believed I would and could somehow fulfill.  With an army of angels behind me how could I  fail.

I looked down at the face of the child I held tenderly in my arms.  The child that had been planted and nurtured in my womb.  The child God had entrusted in my care.   His beautiful brown eyes stared back at me, almost as though he could see into the depths of my soul. He cooed  at me as a small dribble of drool escaped from his pursing lips. He was mine and I  had already  fallen so deeply in love with him
and now I had just been informed our time together would be shortened.  I rocked him gently in  my arms as a single tear  slowly rolled down my cheek. I was drained and feverishly afraid.  Afraid of the true meaning of the devastating news that had  just been given to me. I had  just been informed my beloved child had an expiration date that would come far to early.

I wanted to scream, to run, I wanted to somehow stop the sorrow that now filled every corner of my heart. I had felt this same heartbreak almost 4 years prior, when my second son had been diagnosed with the same relentless terminal muscle disease.   Here I was now again.  Consumed with sadness desperately wishing it had all been somehow a horrific mistake.

I am not sure of the exact moment, ( and even though life was  not turning out how I had hoped or imagined), I knew this was all part of some big plan meant to be. My sons were a part of me and it was up to me to let the world see the beauty they possessed.  My sons were not some mistake of biology.  They were miraculously created just like each of us had been.  While physically  parts of  them may  indeed be more fragile than most of us, both of my terminally  ill sons are  a design of Gods creation.  Meant to be  a part of the world no less than the strongest athlete.  However it was me now,  being called to help make whatever Gods plan was, to be set in motion.  To ensure, that this very delicate life they had been chosen to live, would be fulfilled to the greatest capacity.

Now  17 years later I have the great honor and privilege to rejoice in my journey with all three of my sons. But especially today in my youngest.  In more ways than I  have ever dared to imagine, I have been blessed with joy beyond words,  since  that sorrowful day, years  ago.    It is with great pride and love  I  celebrate Josiah tuning 17 on May 21st.  Happy Birthday baby,  I love you.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

the bear

I stood next to my son Cody as our friend spoke to the audience.  Listening quietly,  as he passionately spoke about his work with USSA.  An organization that grants hunting and fishing wish trips to children with terminal illnesses.  My son Cody just happened to be one of these very special youths who were granted a hunting trip in 2013.  This particular weekend we had been invited as guest to a  Taxidermist awards banquet.  The night  held a very special purpose for Cody.  He would be presented during this banquet with the bear he had harvested on his trip the past September.  Not only was Cody granted the opportunity to bear hunt, but also very generously a taxidermist had offered  to personally do a full mount of  the bear Cody had harvested. 

Off to the side of me I saw the dark tall figure slowly being  moved forward toward us.  I had been working on my own speech, silently in  in my head, should our dear friend invite me to say a few words on behalf Cody and myself.   I squeezed slightly Cody's hand, as the large animal drew closer. The emotions that filled me standing next to my son, left me  in complete  awe. I had never  seen Cody's face so illuminated, as our friend announced to  Cody and the dinner guest, that this was his bear. 

As a parent, this was one of those rare moments we all  hope and dream about for our children.  A moment when you celebrate exhilarating joy, in your child's life.  A moment when you share the unexpected triumph  of exceeding the unexpected.  I was for the first time in real life seeing the bear my physically challenged son had personally harvested, 6 months earlier.  Now standing  next to us, was a full mount chocolate brown black bear.

 I drifted back in thought to the weekend when Cody had departed on his hunting trip along with my sister and brother in law.  It was a difficult decision for me to have to choose to stay back home with Cody's younger brother who also battled the same horrific terminal illness. The week before I had accompanied him on his hunting wish trip.   After weighing the different needs between Josiah and Cody it was in the best interest for Josiah's care that I stay back and let my sister Marie and her husband Bill  assist Cody on his hunt. I momentarily recalled that  day  when my sister had text me from just outside the woods to say, Cody had gotten his bear.  After only being in the woods just under 2 hours, he had his first shot and manged to harvest his bear.  Cody's first words spoken over the phone to me were" I did it mom".  Tears immediately  filled my eyes as he spoke.   To Cody and I  those words meant so much more than him having a successful hunt.  He had proven to himself he was very capable of doing something other young men his age could do.  He had just experienced what it felt like to focus on his abilities rather  than his disabilities.  He had chosen to see past his limitations, accept a challenge and feel the triumphs of his own success.  Cody with his multiple challenges, using an adapted rifle had harvested a bear, deep in the woods of International Falls, MN.

His remarkable moment of that day in the woods, was now as we stood with the microphone in hand bringing tears to some eyes.   Cody's inspiring story was even  now reaching out and touching  more lives than I had thought.

 There has been many occasions where I  have been extremely proud of all of my sons for their achievements.  As a parent  I have to say, the joy is almost overwhelming  though, when you can share it with  people who understand the magnitude of courage, determination  and strength it takes to make something such as; harvesting a bear with severe physical limitations happen.  With sincere gratitude and thanks I have to say my journey with Cody and his younger brother only begins at home.  It  is through these wonderful people we have met along the way, who have  given so much of themselves, that help in making our dreams become reality.

a very special friendship

The hallway slowly began to fill up with couples. I felt my own surge of anticipation and nervousness from the excitement of the night to come.  This was an event I was not sure at one time, not to long ago, would have been a part of Codys world.  A night that held such deep meaning, not only to Cody  and his lovely friend Kayla, but also to us, the parents of these two remarkable young people.   Surrounding us were some of the most beautiful dresses adorning fellow female classmates of my son. I could hear the slight chatter of excitement  from the young girls as they exchanged greetings.  Prom night had finally come and nervously Cody was awaiting for the arrival of his special friend Kayla and another female friend Cheyenne whom he had the honor of escorting both,  tonight, in the Grand March.

We had spent the last part of the week preparing for this day and now it was with in moments of our grasp.
Cody sat in his chair shyly scanning occasionally, the groups that had begun to gather in the long  corridor just outside the auditorium. I looked over at my handsome son in his black  tux.  Emotions pushing to burst fourth.  I was almost over whelmed with pure joy at the sight of him.  My son was now a  young man, eagerly ready and waiting, to share a special night with a beautiful young lady, that he had formed a very special friendship with.

I spotted her coming towards us in the hallway with her  mother at her side.    Her beautiful purple and teal gown flowed with each step. The tiara she wore sparkled  on her head, as though she  had a halo of  diamonds illuminating from her.  I  turned Cody's chair in her direction so he could see her as she approached.  His face instantly lighting up, as his eyes sweetly  swept over her. Her shimmering lips parting as she smiled at him.

Cameras swiftly flashed as Kayla's mother and I  tried to capture every moment we could of their greeting. This was a moment that represented triumph in the lives of two very special young people, who diligently fought against  multiple challenges daily  in their delicate lives.  Without a word our eyes met, sharing in the admiration we held for our children.  For a split second it seemed nothing mattered except for the joy we could see  in the eyes of Kayla and Cody.

Ever so swiftly and without hesitation as if on cue,  Kayla bent her head slightly toward Cody and gently on his lips she  kissed him softly.  His face instinctively turned upward towards her as if the moment was destined.  Tears of heartflet joy  filled my eyes as I witnessed his first kiss from the girl who had captured his heart.