Today, I AM feeling another year older. Being sick all of February has not helped! Coughing until blacking out puts the years on you very quickly! I do not recommend that! :-)
This year has been full of a lot of big changes in my life.I do not like change. I have surprisingly handled those fairly well! Pretty sure those closest to me thought I would have had a complete breakdown and need to be locked up by now! I have to admit dealing with the changes and staying positive and strong has made me weary. I'm tired! I'm feeling several years older today!
As this birthday comes to a close I could focus on the negative of all the changes. I could focus on how lost I am without Lacey. It would be very easy for me to only think of my broken tailbone and the pain from that. It would be easy to still grieve over a dear friend and how unfair life can be!
But I will choose to look at that good things that have happened and smile! I will be happy that Lacey graduated with honors, has found her place in college, made all kinds of new friends, and is enjoying life! I will praise because God put such a great friend in my life especially during such a tough time in my life. The tailbone? I'll have to think harder to find a positive in that!
I look back over the last year and I see smiles: mine, my families, my friends, my kids in Haiti. I hear laughter. I feel hugs. I remember the good times, the sad times, the bad times, but most of all I remember the love! Most importantly, I'm thankful God
From pregnancy until now Lacey and I have been attached. It was rare that we were separated. People would always tell me I was doing her harm by letting her be so attached. As a side note, they were wrong! That child is fiercely independent! We have a bond that has been created from not only being mother & daughter, but also shared experiences and memories and having to completely rely on each other at times. It is a strong bond. She is my best friend, she is my heart!
That dreaded day in August 2013 came when Lacey moved to Springfield, Mo to attend Missouri State University. That first day I was honestly ok, I knew I'd be back up there the next day! That next day was rough. I was leaving my baby in the big, some times bad, world. She had tears in her eyes as we left each other. Watching her walk off was one of the hardest things I had to do! Part of my heart walked away with her that day.
There are still tears and a giant empty feeling when we say bye. I know I'm lucky because Lacey is only an hour away and we try to see each other once a week. But I miss her laughter, her goofiness. I miss my partner in crime. I miss her hectic schedule. I can hear her run thru the door and yell "Hi Mama! I love you" as she's running back out the door to one of her many activities. I miss her presence. I miss her constant joy. I miss her rolling those big brown eyes at me. I miss her Lacey-isms. I miss her bubbly self. I miss the pieces of my heart that she keeps with her every time we say goodbye! .
In case you are wondering, I saw Lacey last night! For now I'm convinced that NO it does not get any easier. It becomes different, but not any easier!
Hailey Owens. It's a name you may recognize.
Zane and I were sitting in the living room on February 18 when all 3 of our phones (Zane has one for work) set off that shrill warning alarm. There was an Amber Alert for a 10 year old from Springfield, Mo. That's way too close to home! Oh, poor girl and her poor family! Lord, help her to be ok. My second thoughts were my own daughter: Is Lacey ok? Was this little girl close to MSU?
If you have followed the story, little Hailey was kidnapped and murdered! My head hurts, stomach sick, and heart broken for this little girl and her family.
This incident is hitting me harder than most. Let's face it, in this sick world, kidnappings, crimes against children are becoming more and more frequent! I'm not sure what this is hitting harder. Yes it is close to home, but the incident in Golden City was closer. Maybe because it wasn't a school incident or that she had a cell phone or that she had tried to do everything right and do the things she had been taught! Or maybe it was that fact that she was out playing with friends in her neighborhood on a pretty, early Spring day. She had no cares in the world and was living the life of a 10 year old,
Long gone are those days...
I remember when Lacey was 10. We lived a few blocks from her school and in a neighborhood full of kids. At first I was scared to death to let her out of my sight. I lectured her on "stranger danger". With Lacey that was hard because she never met a stranger and was eager to talk to everyone! How do you balance that? How do you not take that away from a child but keep them safe? I quizzed her on what to do, she had "safe houses" she knew to get to in case there was someone after her and she had a cell phone. Eventually that lulled me into a false sense of security. I wanted desperately for Lacey to have a care free childhood, to play outside from dawn to dark, to enjoy neighborhood kids and games and riding bikes.
Long gone are those days...
That is really depressing... I pray for God to protect our children. I pray our world will turn away from evil.
I'm sick of being sick. When we came home from Haiti, we were exhausted and had the usual "recovery from Haiti" sickness. Add in the crazy "75 one day, 10 the next day" Missouri weather and you have Lori suffering from severe bronchitis. Or if you read my first blog, maybe it was Zane coughing on me at night!! :-)
Since a week ago Friday, when this hit me like a brick wall, I've sat in my recliner being miserable. All around my recliner looks like a small pharmacy. As I sit here coughing to the point of blacking out, I wish I was anywhere but here.
I've tried to go into work sporadically to stay up on my work, all the time sanitizing myself to death in order to not spread back to my Dad, who is recovering from pneumonia. I went to the car lot. I went to church one of the Sundays and youth group that night. We took a family day to Tulsa yesterday. Other than that, I've sat in this chair.
Today I was working on the newsletter. Kym has an article for this month so I was placing it in and adding in pictures. As I sat there feeling yucky, head heavy, chest stomped on and body weak, I read Kym's article again. Her words brought back our day to day life in Haiti. Looking thru pictures brought a smile to my face. They both brought about a strong desire to be back in Haiti.
I text Kym, "let's pack up and go to Haiti. I need some hugs, love, warmth, and peace". I sent and then laughed to myself. (I do that a lot in my little office. I'm probably the "crazy lady" in our office complex!) "Peace in Haiti?" Who in their right mind has said those two words in a sentence and meant it as a good thing? Ha!
My love for Haiti and the feeling I get while I am there is indescribable. The heat, the smell, the noise, the foreign words, the chaos... all sound and feel weirdly refreshing and peaceful right now. I'm sure at the time all of that would be driving me crazy, but for now I long for that crazy chaos, hugs from my sweet babies and a peace in my heart! .
Today was a big day in our family! One filled with stress, pins & needles, sick, nervous stomach, relief, disbelief, and excitement. That's a lot of emotions packed into one morning and afternoon.
Let me start from a few years ago. Without going into a lot of detail, I'll just say our little family hit a rough patch financially. We had to have help. At that time, especially, it felt like we would NEVER crawl out of that dark hole! That feeling has stayed with us up until today. It has/had some sort of stranglehold on us. We have worked to try to dig out, but the more we dug the bigger the hole became and more dirt was added in on top of us.
We have 2 cars, one ours and one for Lacey. Both were constantly breaking down. They were costing more and more. It was time to trade them for "new to us" cars. That scared us to even think about the process. After much freaking out and prayer, we are the owners of 2 new Kia Souls. After the purchase of new cars, we received a few other blessings!
Although the new cars are great and appreciated, the real excitement for me was the fact that I feel like we were able to crawl out of that hole and jump over a HUGE hurdle!
Lacey had left on a trip for the weekend and did not know we were able to get the cars. It was better than Christmas morning to be able to call her up and ask which color soul she wanted to drive! It was so good to see the relief and smile on Zane's face.
For today, everything is good and right and a blessing. I know tomorrow may be different so I pray I'm able to hold on to pieces of these feelings for the days to come!
For some reason the last two nights of sleep have been interrupted at 4am. I'm not usually a very nice person when this happens. I've always been told to try praying during that time. I have done that. In the right frame of mind I find it to be great, uninterrupted, quality time with God. I feel refreshed and rejoice in the time spent praying, praising, and reevaluating. That was not the case this morning.
Zane is sick and kept coughing on me. I was irritated. Sophie, one our cats, was sleeping next to my head like she does every night, but she was completely stretched out and sleeping sideways. If I got too close to "her space", she would stretch out further and kick me in the head. My back was hurting and I could not get comfortable. I had been sleeping off and on and I WAS GRUMPY!
I'm not sure what woke me at 4am. All I remember is a loud voice (in my head) saying "Be grateful"! UGH! Be grateful for what? My thoughts immediately flashed to sitting in the gazebo at the hotel in Haiti. I'm not sure why! My only real thought was the warm breeze we had each night.
"BE GRATEFUL"! For what? My next thought was Junior. "BE GRATEFUL"! For what? This kept going for several minutes. I saw little snippets of memories, all from Haiti.
Maybe because I was grumpy, God was telling me to get over it, I don't have it so bad. I may be irritated, but I have a nice, comfy, warm bed I'm sleeping in, I have covers and pillows and a warm house. Maybe God was preparing me for this cold, snowy day by reminding me of a time, a month ago when I was complaining about the heat. Maybe God just wanted to tell me to "Shut Up and BE GRATEFUL!"
Be grateful today! Your life is not as bad as it could be! Be thankful for what you do have and don't worry about the things you want and don't have!
Now that Lacey is off at college, I find myself with way too much time to think. For me, thinking leads to worrying and worrying leads to worst case scenario. So I thought maybe blogging and putting some of my thoughts down might help myself. You never know, at some point I might come up with a clever thought or idea in the process!