Monday, August 30, 2010

{One} Year Old

Sweet Olivia,

I love you in a way I still can not completely understand. It is a love bigger, fuller, and more consuming than you can ever imagine. I love you, every little bit of you. "I love you through and through."

Happy Birthday, sweet baby girl.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


This morning I took Liv for an early morning jog. The dew of summer is gone and has been replaced with the crispness that assures me that fall is near. I have more eagerly anticipated the seasons changing this last year. They approached with the promise of new milestones, growth, potential, changes, the chance to move forward; all things I so desperately need and crave right now in life. However, this year has been hard. Just really, really hard. All the changes new seasons have promised have failed me. Many doors have closed in our faces, health compromised, frustrations have been all-consuming, promises made to us only to be broken, and there is the feeling of being completely cemented in place.

This morning felt different. I feel something is going to change. Call it inspiration, call it blind hope, call it denial. But I feel it. I am hesitant to believe it, mostly because I want it so badly. Each time my foot hit the pavement I thought, "This doesn't define me. This doesn't define our lives. My frustrations do not define me. This will end. It will. " There is a quote by Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley that has been running through my mind the last few days:

Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot f time running around shouting that he has been robbed. Most putts don't drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old-time journey-- delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.

I do not expect bliss, I never have. I know how to work hard in my life to make things work. B and I have a good marriage because we know how to work at it, how to communicate. I know how to get through days when motherhood has reduced me to tears. I know how to carry my friendships because I know how to love and appreciate. I am capable and strong, and I think some how I have forgotten this. I need to remember.

I am not less eager about fall and winter. There is good there. There has to be. I will wait, right here, ready to embrace it.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

11 Months

My army-crawling, 8 toothed, happy, curly-haired, sqeaky baby is 11 months old. I can hardly believe it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Mattering

A few weeks ago, I started a job doing legal transcription. I was excited by the idea of it being a step away from medical, something interesting and different. When my editor sent me my second case, I was intrigued by the idea of it being a murder case and set straight to work.

I loaded my files and was surprised when the first one opened as a video. Generally, the files come only in audio form. I pressed play and the image of a black man in an orange jump suit came to life. He was so big, so tough looking, the scowl on his face revealing nothing. I listened intently and worked my way through the first few hours of the video.

Tough, a gang member, robbery, murder, drugs, guns, money; all things I would expect to hear in a case like his.

I was amazed at the way the cops unraveled his story, how every lie he told fell apart. His world fell apart at his feet, right before my eyes. It was only a matter of time before the truth began pouring out....and my heart began to ache for him.

As the truth began to reveal itself, the young man retreated to the corner of the room, hugging his knees against his chest, sobs racking his enormous body. He sobbed about his involvement (he had not actually been the murderer), he cried about his future, and he sobbed about the deceit by his so-called friend and brother that had landed him there in the first place. Most devastatingly of all, he cried for his mother. Rocking back and forth on in the corner of the dingy interrogation room, he pleaded with the detectives that he would tell them the truth if they, in turn, promised that he could give his mother a hug. (Much to my relief, the detectives vowed to make that happen.) The rough exterior gone, the vulgar language melted into tears; this hard, rough, man wanted not his freedom, not his friends, not his girlfriend, but his mother.

Tears began to pour down my cheeks as I listened to his pleading. I felt his tears in every inch of my being. His sobs spoke to the mother in me and I felt the familiar fierceness I often feel when I think about my own child and how intensely and wholly I love her. While his actions were inexcusable, I couldn't shake the actual physical pain I felt in my heart for him. I felt his longing, and it will haunt me forever.

I know many mother's, including myself, that worry unceasingly that what we are doing actually matters. Does my child need me? Am I ever doing enough? Does what I'm doing actually make a difference? In that young man's tears, I understood that, yes, I am and yes, it makes all the difference.