Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sometimes it all works out

Wow it has been months and months since I have blogged.  I am often in the mood to write all the swirly thoughts in my head for clarity and therapy but my studies have been all consuming.  Thank the Lawd I have finished the bulk of my work for this year and now its just a polish of my research thesis and then exams on the 9th and 18th of November.  And then 2017!
Year 5 of my studies and I am STILL not done.  After my exams I get 6 long amazing weeks off. Last year my puppies were born on November 14th and consumed my life for 2 months.  It was amazing but wow it was intense and hard, hard work.

What an amazing year it has actually been.  Just under 8 years ago my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and since then life has been pretty much one hit after another.   Hard big crushing hits. So 2016 arrived and I decided my word for the year would be LIGHTNESS.  I was going to try and be light and not expect life to be easy.  Not expect sunshine and roses but just to roll with the punches.  No frantic fighting.  At times I would swim, at times I would float and at times I would tread water.   Somewhere in this year I figured out a little phrase that turned into a mantra: Sometimes it all works out.  It really does.  I started noticing how often this is true and became very mindful of the smallest things that worked out.  When I felt like it was going to go pear shaped I would quietly remind myself...sometimes it all works out remember?  This could be that time too.  In fact on the Saturday when I went to visit Paulie in hospital as I was driving in and praying I remembered that mantra and when I took him home as the vet had pretty much given up and he just wouldn't eat I clung onto my little hope junkie statement and my dog is now 10 months old and has destroyed many a house hold item since then!

And so for 2016 I worked and studied and mothered and ran and swam and biked.  I entered lots of races and had lots of fun, especially with my training friends Janet and Nadine.  I figured out the big shit, the big hits, will probably always come so find the pleasure in the little things.   I have learned to be extremely mindful and grateful.  Deliberately grateful to the point where I write things down.  Just short of a month ago another wave hit.  Unexpected and brutal but somehow in this hit I have managed to stay centered and grateful even when things look bleak.  Maybe after 8 years of hard grown up stuff I have learned to keep a certain calmness in the storm.  To know the more I kick and struggle in the water the more tired I will become.  Sorry if this sounds a little vague bookie because you know that is my absolute worst but the emphasis is the not the event, its the self in the event.

Grown up life is very tough.  The happy sunny pics we put on FB is good and I love sharing in the joy and simple pleasures of everyone else's lives but I know the big real hard stuff is the stuff we often keep close to our hearts and we put on our big girl panties every day and we do our damn best to live the best life we can with whatever life has dealt us.  We are a brave beautiful bunch of lifers standing up and being a grown up and just doing it.

So whats the point of this post?  Well I guess to just live a life where we stay grateful for a delicious meal, for sun on our skin when we sit outside or a beautiful day or a call from a friend or the hundreds of little things we are gifted with in our day.  The big stuff will always roll in, sometimes relentlessly and sometimes we get a lull but the little things are there too and if we stay mindful and appreciate them then somehow we are fortified to handle those storms.  I am blessed beyond measure and grateful for all the amazing people I have in my life.  I am in the palm of His hand and its a safe place.  I am OK.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The cellular side of grief

I have 4 long reports to write for my social work clients but writing is always therapeutic so a little blog post is needed for my sanity.  I am probably gonna ramble here so be warned.

My puppy is sick.  He is very, very sick and at this point we don’t know if he will make it or not.   He is no ordinary pup.  He is representative of so much in my life; he is my therapy and my healer and my restorer.  

His birth and care along with his siblings brought up so much stuff from my past I thought was long since buried.   His illness now brings up past shit too.  It’s never really gone.  Time heals and smooths out the sharp pointy bits but the loss and grief and sadness is absorbed into our cellular memory and when we have a fresh incident, it stirs it up again and is refueled.

I have a client who has had a hard life.  We spoke about things that happened to her 54 years ago and the tears welled up and the pain was fresh.  I remember speaking to a lady who lost her daughter in a drowning accident 30 years prior and that pain popped out like it was yesterday.  We have happy days and normal days and days where we don’t even think about those past heartaches and then boom…its there, its triggered and it hurts and it surprises us in the intensity and the real rawness it brings.

Paulie was born 2 weeks before Daniel moved out.  Although Daniel and I were ready for him to leave the nest I miss him and it was harder than I thought.  I enjoy a close relationship with him, a friendship and having my son and my friend not around was a loss.  And then I had the pups and my maternal drive was on steroids as I nurtured them and raised them.  Five of their siblings were stillborn, 4 were perfect and 1 never developed.  It almost cracked me and I was determined I would not lose any of my surviving 9.   When the fertility vet heard I had lost 5 she told me it was probably a viral infection and I would lose all of them in the next 48 hours.  Well sorry, but F*ck you!  My mother will tell you what a stubborn child I was (I prefer determined) and my babies were not going to die.   I kept a vigil in that room for 16 days 24-7 and then just during the day and at 8 weeks my babies went to their forever families.  Except one guy.  The one I simply couldn’t let go.  Named after my brother, the smallest little male of the lot.  I did not want another dog.  I was about to start working, my studies are demanding, my dystonia and anxiety, training for ironman, dealing with masses of dog poop for 2 months  I wanted my house back.  But no one else could own this boy, he was my boy.  And so he stayed and me who never ever kissed a dog and hates dog germs and stinky dog smelling houses took all my past heartache and allowed myself to love this dog with absolute abandon.  He was a safe bet, a guarantee of pure unconditional love for at least a decade.  I kissed him on his head (still don’t do dog slobber) every day and we snuggled and hugged and bonded and loved.   He cries when I see him and falls apart from love every time even if I have been gone half an hour.  He is a total wuss baby dog and loves the girls and Gary too.

When I yell at yet another object destroyed or something eaten or a wee inside the girls sometimes ask if I am sorry I kept him.  I admit I pause here, am I sorry?   I would love a clean house and furniture that isn’t destroyed.  But it not so much about keeping him, as being unable to part with him.   And now he is very, very sick with parvo virus.  This is a word that strikes terror in the heart of all rottie owners as they are particularly sensitive to parvo.  I was paranoid when the pups were small.  Everyone took their shoes off and washed hands and they had all their shots.  I even made this odd pact I would not mention or bad mouth the nasty right wing animal activist who was so awful to me and so many others.  And my boy still gets parvo?  The .1 in the 99.9% dogs are safe?

The hardest bit is not just that he might die, it’s being helpless and not being able to physically touch him or comfort him.  I am allowed to see him through the glass at the ICU but that will just upset him so I have to stay away.  He is there feeling awful and I am here and I cannot kiss his head or stroke him or sooth him.   This feels familiar.  Deep in my cells is that feeling of helplessness and grief from January 2004 when my nephew was born.  I couldn’t do anything for him or my sister but the worst bit was I could not hold him or see him or touch him.  I never did get to see or hold him.  And then even further back when Daniel was 20 months and I was a single parent and Daniel got Roto virus and spent 6 nights in hospital.  At least my mom and I could see him but it was hell.   That’s over 18 years ago?  The feelings are the same, those memories and the eina of it all.  What weird creatures we are with so much capacity for love and grief and everything in between. 

And now it's time to do some work.  To wash my face and be brave and do life and hope my naughty pup will come home.  Life does not owe me, everyone has tough stuff to deal with so I am not guaranteed a happy ending in this but hope junkie is not giving up on Paulie-boy or love or hope or unicorns or mermaids.  I want my boy. #prayforpaulie

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Big Forty-Five

Did you know forty five is a significant birthday?   Me neither. Twenty five was random and my focus was on my baby who would arrive 6 months later.  Thirty five was nothing at all too busy with a 1 year old, 3 year old and hyper 9 year old.  April 9th and a decade later this birthday I celebrate soon soon seems to really count.  I am floating in that pondering reflective stock take vibe.

Maybe its because shortly after my 40th birthday life kicked me in the face pretty hard and as I got up to defend myself it punched me a couple more times too.  So what do we do when life picks a fight with us, we go into fight or flight mode.  I went into fight mode and with every jab I fought back. Five years later and I want out the ring.  I want some light time, some kind time.  I want age 45 to 50 to be a little gentle.  I want life to offer me her hand and pull me up and say its ok, you have learned some lessons and all the shit you thought you knew you now realize you do not.  I want soft people in my life, those who appreciate me and themselves.  Those with humility and gratitude who share in the bruises and the wisdom that only comes when life spits us out the  other side.  I want honest and fair and tolerant and balanced.

Long ago I was extreme in many of my views.  I knew everything.  I confused my unbalanced single perspective with conviction and passion.  I did not know I was an arsehole who thought they knew stuff.  

So what have I done in the past five years?   My midlife if I am fortunate enough to grow old.  I have started studying this degree which has been so all consuming.  Had I known it would take me 6 years I would never have started.  I would have done short courses but I have learned so much and gained a totally different perspective.  I have days when I want to quit.  While everyone else seems to be taking it easy and going on holiday with their family, I am working on assignments or reports whenever I can grab the chance.   My honors will take me 2 years.  I will only graduate at the end of next year.  But...when I go to work and I see the boys there I come alive into the best version of myself that exists.  Their case files are full of the worst stories and its insanely unfair but somehow I can put that aside when I am with them and love them.  It has not even been 2 months and already 4 have gone, 4 who I cared for.  Many more will come and many will go and the ones who turn 18 will need to leave but my heart will cope with that when it needs to.

Triathlete.  Me?  Seriously?  How the fork did that happen?   One seemingly random New Years Eve resolution after my brain op.  I needed a biggie to thank life for renewing my time down here after my brain op.  The goal was one.  And the timeline was before I hit 45.   So instead of one I did 15 triathlons, a few half marathons, a few open water swims and now the 109km CTCT cycle.  Its just weird being so non sporty to becoming an athlete.  A total reinvention of myself into athlete and student after 40.  The classic stereotype I guess.  After my race in June I will do new things.  I do not like being this thin, it makes me look old.

And my critters?   My boy who turns 20 this year and lives in his own place.  I miss him but I know he is living his life figuring it all out knowing everything and nothing at the same time.  His youth is so beautiful yet it will only be seen when it is no longer there.  My Rebeka in her 1st year of high school full of painful teenage angst working out who she is.  I wish she could see herself through my eyes, I wish I could smooth out her path for her.  My Sofielicious turning 12 this year full of her spunk and individuality.  A brave individual who feels no need to conform or follow rules that make no sense.  The next 5 years is the last I have with Rebeka before she too moves out.  What an awesome journey ahead with my 2 girls as I try and help them through the crazy teen time.

Dystonia.  It's why I swear so much now.  I never used to but I have this anger I don't know what to do with, a little bitterness so I swear and it helps. It's pretty awful lately which I think is because of too much stress and fatigue.   Sometimes it makes me want to die.  I know that sounds dramatic but want to die as in I don't know if I can handle the pain forever because that is a crazy long time and if I die then I won't be in pain anymore.  Make sense?  Don't worry though, I won't.  In the early days some of the other meds they gave me made me super suicidal but now I know I just can't take any meds.  It will be 4 years this August.  Why I count who knows but I think it is because it means I do cope, I have coped and I will continue to cope.  I have to.  I love life, my friends and family and training and work.

And Jesus.  Still a big fan of the ultimate person who ever lived.  The essence of love and goodness and what I want to live out every day.  I am finally comfortable with the loss of my church although I will still go occasionally for my kids and to see my friends.  I know it is hard for some people to understand and for so many others, something they fully relate to in their own walk with God.  I would have liked a why from church.  A little acknowledgement of the fact I was there for over a decade and now I am gone and am I ok?  If I ran a church and people left I would not chase them to come back but I would want to know why and if they were ok and if I ever did anything to chase them away?  But its all good.  I am no longer sad about it because I am almost 45 and my desire for light means letting the heavy go.   I open my hands and I let all that I clutch that pulls me down fall away.  Past hurt, disappointment, betrayal, expectations.  It's a new time for me and although hope is the most terrifying emotion, I do feel a sense of hope even in the midst of being far too busy and struggling with my speech and jaw.

So happy birthday to darling me for next month.  Wishing myself much kindness and love and lightness and gentleness and grabbing the hand that is offered to me pulling me up and imparting some strength.    

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Psychologist fodder on mad maternal me

My sister told me I have transferred much of my mothering related issues onto my brood of puppies.  She might be a teeny bit right.  They are 5 weeks old today and it has been so intense and scary and exhausting and wonderful and messy and full of the biggest love imaginable.  If my boobs look bigger its because my chest cavity feels full of breathless love.  It is a physical feeling.

Speaking of boobs, when Ella was pregnant my boobs were full and sore.  My mom told me it was because of my dog but I said surely not.  On Friday the 11th I cleaned every draw in my kitchen and sorted out my tupperware.  She was only due on the Monday but she went into labour that night.  I was nesting.  I wrote how maternal I felt when they were 11 days old and I am now at the 40 poops a day ankle biting stage but somehow it is not enough for me to wish them gone.  It is so full on and I have very little freedom and flexibility so I should be over it by now but I am not.  I am so screwed.  So full of love for them.  I sit on the floor and clap my hands and 9 balls of black fur hurtle themselves towards me all wanting to be smooched and snuggled.  They are my little family and I am so happy with the owners we have so far.

I know part of the puppy care on steroids thing is in response to the nastiness I had encountered by crazy bully dog lady.  I thought F*ck you, I will be the best damn carer of puppies you have ever seen and I will still donate to the welfare even though you alienate everyone and you lump responsible breeders with the stereo puppy farmer backyard breeder type.  The abuse one takes because of choosing to breed one's dog is crazy.  Animal activists need to recognize we are not the bad guys.  They need to start treating people with a little more compassion and respect.  Recognize we have the resources to help.  It is because of responsible breeders we have all the amazing different breeds with great temperaments.  People like myself want to produce excellent dogs and protect the integrity of the breed.  My vet bills must be close to R10 000 by now and I still need to the 6 week vacs and chipping.  Best food and best care and best pups.  So my I keep one?

I will tell you the reasons why NOT: I don't want 3 adult rotties.  I start work and studying from end of January and will be very busy.  I would love a break from puppy care. I am not sure I can handle a strong male dog.  Dogs are expensive.  My wise mother thinks I will regret it.  I am afraid she is right as she has known to be before.  Rationally these make sense.
And the reasons why:  I am way too in love with my lot.  To wake up one day and have them ALL gone is going to be very painful.   I only want Paulie so I have a specific bond with one pup.  Ella and Zara were bought without my permission and blessing.  I felt sabotaged.  Lucy was bought for my girls after my dear spouse told me: You can get any dog you want if we don't have another baby. (my sign that the adoption plan and alternate IVF plan was officially over.)   I just cannot imagine another family owning him and me not.  But I am too emotional.  Marina I need you!  (my fave psychologist)  

Please don't tell my girls I might keep Paulie.  They are obviously sad the pups are going.  Will I regret keeping him?  Will I regret selling him?   I still have some time to think.  I have asked advice on 2 of my rottie FB pages I belong to but they are all rottie crazy so say keep him.  What do you all think?  I am too emotionally invested to make any logical decision. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

47 random fun facts for my old fartbag sister turning 47

My sister has many talents and can help co-create human beings but she sucks at 3 things:  Cooking, gift purchasing and wrapping or any sentimental holiday related ritual, and remembering anything.  One of the best bits of having siblings is doing remember when.  Hey!  Remember that one time when we did X, Y, Z?  No.  How about A, B, C?? No. To make matters worse my husband shares this quality.
So Arsehole, in honour of your 47 years on this planet and the fact I am stuck in a room with 9 puppies with the shits, I will give you 47 fun, random, interesting and non interesting facts.
1. You are the very 1st person I remember and was the most important person in my life forever.
2. My 1st haircut was not a special moment at the hairdresser, it was you hacking off pieces of my hair with a sharp object.  (it was the seventies, sharp scissors and 2 year olds were not an issue)
3. When we rolled in that big barrel and it went over my finger causing me to lose a fingernail you tried to get me not to cry because you knew you would be in shit.
4. We used to sit in the big cardboard box Dad kept for us and eat dry jelly out the packet.
5. You peeled off the wallpaper on your side of the room at night.
6. You were only 5 when you saved my life by pulling me out the pool at a family braai.  My heart had already stopped beating which might be why I am a little special at times.
7. Only you were allowed to be really ugly to me, anyone else, not so much.  You even hit someone with a large garden spade on their back.  Fork!  You could have killed them!! 
8.  I was so jealous when you were in grade 1 and could read and I couldn't.  I used to beg you to read to me.
9.  You were never a girlie girl
10. When I was a little less than 2 and we stayed at Granny's house I climbed out the bath with my one leg spread over and you stuck your finger up my butt.  I screamed blue murder.
11.  You hated sleeping over and I loved it so Mom had to pretend you were not allowed to.
12.  When we had a big fight we were sent to our rooms.  We finger knitted a long rope and tied it to a cup to swing to the other one so we could write notes to each other about how much we hated the parents.  Our house was not that big so we could have probably just talked but it was more fun.
13. You never really cared what you wore so long as you were comfy. 
14. You had un-diagnosed ADHD.  You lost everything and Mom would go ape.
15.  This ADHD meant you were a nightmare at school.  Teachers cringed when they saw my Loebenberg name and asked me if I was your sister.
16.  You were always super bright and I had to work harder than you.  It sucked.
17.  We used to break into Auntie Ria's house and jump on their trampoline.  Afterwards we would squash berries into the cover.
18.  We always got caught because I sung like a canary and then we would get a hiding. (The nailpolish bust, Auntie Marilyn's pumpkins)
19.  We also used her phone to prank call everyone with the classic:  Is your refrigerator running...
20.  One Christmas I got a blue and yellow bike and you got a tent.  Dad pitched the tent in the lounge and it was so cool.
21. We stayed in the wendy house one night with the bunnies who chewed the electric cord.  When I touched it I got an electric shock.  I bet you wouldn't let me tell Mom.
22.  We used to wrap up dog poo and tell Beauty we had a gift for her and then give her the parcel.
23.  We left dog poo on peoples doorsteps and rang the doorbell and the ran like hell.
24.  We collected little snakes from the fields around our house and held them in our hands.
25.  When houses were built we would ignore all parental instruction and play in the big sand piles with the lime in that burned our legs.  We would also steal the brown window putty when they just put the windows in. 
26.  We teased Andrew Jansen so badly he punched his fist through the glass window in crazy frustration.
27.  You got to lick out the bowl 1st after Mom baked.  When it was my turn you grabbed it and rinsed it out in the sink.  And I still loved you?
28.  We were at the park once and someone had written FUCK on a tree and you told me what it meant.
29.  We used to skinny dip with Dad every night and he used to hope the pervy Afrikaans neighbors would see his butt.  
30.  Poor Dad was so young.  On his birthdays we would wait for him to come home and the shaggy rug on that ugly oval coffee table would be taken off and Mom would put bowls of smarties and chips out.
31.  The 1st boy you loved was Antonio de Brito
32.  You allowed me to stay at your ABBA dance party and we danced in the garage.  I was so careful not to do anything that would have me kicked out.
33. You told me I HAD to kiss a boy with tongue before I started high school.  I felt immense pressure and eventually kissed Cedric Bachelor at a barn dance after he had asked 3 girls who all said no.
34.  Mom made me wear your entire old school uniform when I started high school including your shoes??
35.  You used to steal tins of condensed milk out Mom's cupboard and call it Tertia's Speciality.  I was allowed a 10 second suck from the hole you made in it.
36.  You shaved your legs when you were in primary school but you were not allowed to.  You cut yourself like crazy and we had to go outside and bash your leg with a brick so Mom and Dad wouldn't know.  Seriously!
37. We teased both our siblings.  Nina had her wild hair so we told her elephants pooped in her hair.
38.  We told Paulie he was actually a girl and our sister and we called him Paula-Bernadette.  We even sprayed him with deo.
39.  One of us would hold him down and the other would fart on him.
40.  I felt so left out and jealous when you went to varsity.  I missed you so. You really were my best friend.
41.  Mom bought you those really naff clothes you probably never wore.
42.  When we went to double bill movies I had to sit on my own a few rows behind you while you smooched some chap.  You threatened to take my life if I told.
43. When you lived in your own place you changed from a messy pig to a total neat freak.
44.  The day you got your new car you were allowed to choose between the red Citi Golf or the Blue.  I was so jealous.
45.  When we had the big talk with Dad you would cry and I would look out the window stubborn as all hell.
46.  You never allowed me to hug you so I would make you sometimes.  Actually I think I might next time I see you so brace yourself.
47.  Mom eventuality threw out that red, blue and yellow floral skirt you always wore.  That and the Avis t-shirts.

I could add hundreds more.  Because you are practically a hundred a years old.   I love you and I always feel lucky because while all these people admire you and follow you, no one gets a list like this.  No one else was loved, protected, teased or tortured as I was.  Happy Birthday Arsehole x

Monday, November 23, 2015

The return of Maternal Mel

I have been maternal ever since I can remember.  My first doll I fell in love with lived on the shelf at the Hypermarket Store until she became mine.  Her beautiful crib lived in the local tuisbedryf (local home craft store) and Father Christmas bought it for my baby Marie.  Marie had other dollie siblings and they took up most of my bed with me squeezing my body at the end.  She was my fave though and my most beautiful baby.  My sister Tertia flung hers across the room in careless abandon.  She pulled my dolls hair and told me they were not real but I knew otherwise.  (Big sister torture!)

Fast forward to me being 24 and pregnant with Daniel.  Absolutely thrilled and all consumed by this miracle growing in my belly.  I was fanatical about being healthy and beyond excited.  The birth was awful and traumatic at a state hospital but my face had changed. I had experienced love in its purest form and I was forever altered.  I insisted on breastfeeding despite being a single young mom working night shifts and racing from town to Durbanville at 6:00am so I could feed my boy and relieve my knockers.  Why was I so very hard on myself who knows?  I probably still do it!

Then we have Rebeka 6 years later and once again I love my even bigger belly with my squirmy baby that kicks and pushes.  She emerges after a better birth weighing 4.2kg.  She is hard work, a cross baby.  I am once again drowning in breastmilk and hormones and permanent exhaustion.  I am 100% raw and vulnerable and I try and hide in my cocoon with my baby not wanting to hear anything that makes me sad.

2004 and my last baby is born.  Zack Gary turns out to be Sofia Josephine and it is love at 1st site.  I am smitten with this baby.  I hold her in my arms for the entire 1st year and only put her down to sleep alongside me or when I nurse her in the quiet of my bedroom hiding from my other 2 kids.

Later I try and convince Gary to adopt and we almost land up adopting but it doesn't happen.  We even consider IVF as reversing the vasectomy would have taken too long.  In that time I felt that familiar feeling of expecting a baby.  I feel soft and beautiful and feminine.  I know its a cliche but that is how I feel.  Special.  And then it doesn't happen and I try and squash all the longing and maternal hormones back into a box that feels too small for such a big feeling.  I am cross and bitter but like with everything else, time passes and I get over it.

And these maternal feelings come rushing back only this time its my dog and memories from places far far away come flooding out.   Her labour was hectic.  Her 1st baby girl stillborn.  I called her Anna which makes no sense as that was the name of my daughter I never got to adopt.  The puppy was the largest of all and perfection.  I think of all the mothers I know who have stillbirths or lost infants shortly after birth.  Mothers from the hospital when I ran Bosom Buddies, my friend who lost Ethan, another who lost her daughter Sofia Grace, my own nephew who I never got to see.  I will this puppy to breath, I won't dare compare my feelings to anyone who has had a baby born sleeping but I can only imagine the disbelief at looking at the perfect child you cannot believe is not alive.  During the labour we land up losing 5 little puppies. One had died in utero and was very small.  I felt no sadness with him and did not name him.  The others, 2 girls and 2 boys.  Anna, Rosie, Ollie and Boris.  Gary took them to the vet to be cremated.  The labour was hectic, one little one was gagging and I placed my mouth over his and sucked out any fluid and rubbed his little body and prayed like crazy till that tongue turned a beautiful pink.  And since then I have been on this frantic quest to keep all 9 alive and thriving.  My Josie-Bunny was only 200grams, half the size of her brother.  Nature vs nurture?  Well sorry for you cruel nature but I cannot lose another pup.  I feel irrationally responsible for the 4 we lost.
So I sit and listen like I am listening now to their mewling and breathing and occasional hungry cries when mom is not around.  She has become less interested in feeding them and of course that makes me crazy anxious.  Gary and I take turns to sit in the room at night in case she lies on one and crushes it.  I feel total new mom exhaustion, worry, pride, love, panic.  When I go to the shops I want to rush home to my babies.  All my cellular memories of loss, of love, of nurturing are right back out again.  Raw, real, crazy maternal me is back.   How will I deal with it when they go to their forever homes?  I hope by then I am so over it.  By then they will chew and nip and bark and destroy my house.  I will clean up wee and poop of 9 pups.  I will deal with it then and right now I will embrace this experience with exhausted mind, body and soul and love my little furbabies: Evie-Pops my feisty girl, Amy-Rose my gentle big girl who loves to nap, Josie-Bunny so small but strong and determined, miracle happy go lucky George, Big Jack Jackson who is the pick of the litter and easy going and affectionate, Lincoln my tough boy who feeds and then goes off to nap on his own, Maya Papaya who fights through her brothers to get her teat, Paulie my little boy who loves his siblings and his Mama and then Molly my second biggest girl who also loves to hang with the bunch and is so easy.   I am blessed, overwhelmed and a little bit cray-cray!   

Friday, October 30, 2015


How does that song go? R E S P E C T, find out what it means to me....tra lah lah.  (Cannot sing!)  So I want to chat about respecting each other.  I am about to complete my 4th year of my social work studies.  Next year I do my honours which will take place over 2 years.  A big part of our theory is working with people and trusting in their own self-determination and respecting their choices.  We understand we do not know them how they know themselves.  How could we?

We learn about constructivism and how we all construct our own truth based on our perceptions, values and experiences.  While we have universal laws to keep society functioning, even these differ from culture to culture.  Without one exact 100% truth for all, we cannot judge anothers.   We also allow others to own their own truth without being threatened or feel the need to convince them our truth is the ONLY truth.  Everyone else is not wrong, deceived or ignorant, they are DIFFERENT and that's OK.  That is in fact great because diversity teaches us so much.

My spiritual life is a journey that never stops.  Along the way I learn what I believe to be true only to go through experiences where I learn a new true or adjust to a new self.   I have more questions than answers and I know that is OK too.  I am a critical thinker, because 'I say so' never cut it with me. I need to think, taste this truth on my tongue and soul and feel how it resonates with who I am.  Does it fit with how I think, believe and love?  If it doesn't, if it hurts anyone or makes them feel less than then it doesn't fit.  I have screwed up along the way, especially in my early days as a Christian when I did not trust my own discernment.  I probably acted like an arsehole sometimes and I apologize for the arrogance, it came from a good place.  For all those who judge me, question my integrity, my truth, my discernment, my intelligence, my ability to know what is best for me and my kids, I recognize that you too are trying to do this from a good place and don't mean to be a bully.  Do you understand you alienate people?  You disrespect them and hurt them and you do not show the love of Christ.  I swear, I have some serious issues with the contradictions and stories in the bible, I question, I take my kids trick or treating, I support gay rights, I passionately believe we need to accept and respect all people just as they are and I also don't decide who is going to hell or not.  At the moment I am not going to church which I am sure suits many people as what do you do with someone like me?   Actually based on the fact no one has called Gary or myself after going there for 11 years and now not means their is a good chance they probably haven't noticed.   I love most of them and know some really do care about us. 

A good friend told me to look for the light and not the darkness in life.  We can find both if we look hard enough.  So I am not blind or rebellious or trying to please people or 'the world' or a point.  I am simply staying true to myself and to who I believe Jesus to be.  The plus side is I have found many people scattered across the globe who also share this philosophy, to just love as He does.  Who know they are pretty f*cked up too, as much as anyone else but who want to do love well.  I have even found a pastor who attempts to love like this so I have virtual fellowship which helps a little with the hurt I feel at the loss of my church.  He wrote this piece on love which I so relate to.  Actually I relate to all his posts and he makes me feel less alone along with the many people who read his work and are trying to figure it all out.  He wrote that really cool piece on what he would say to his kids if they were gay.   I hope to meet him and his lovely wife and critters in real life one day otherwise I will see him in heaven.  We will hang with Jesus and talk about stuff.  All the other misfits will be there too.

So I do need to study and stop blogging but I wanted to explain myself even though my mom tells me a thousand times I don't.  I know I don't owe anyone an explanation.  The loss of my church this year has been painful for me so I have wanted to.  For non churchy folk, I hope I haven't put you off God.  Oh its an awesome love.  So frikkin big and bright and kind and healing.  A splendid God so fascinating and brilliant.  The love of Christ that sees no flaws but right to the depths of my soul where he loves me as I deserve to be.  In a life that is so damn hard with so much sorrow and misunderstanding it is my lifeline, my floaty device I hang onto when I feel too tired to tread water and I am afraid I might drown.  

PS:  If you feel the need to send me any scripture or articles so I can see the light please go and re read my post and sing the respect song.  #justlove