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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blessed Abundantly

What a difference a year makes. Common saying, yes? However, truly, what a difference a year makes.

Thanksgiving 2008; the boys and I had just lost our house to foreclosure. The only home the boys had ever known, my home for the 22 years, gone and we were forced to leave. Grateful to having found someone who would finally rent to us (foreclosure, a HUGE blemish on your credit) we moved into the rental in November. We barely had money for rent and utilities, not alone a Thanksgiving dinner...and Christmas was coming. God blessed us with some amazingly wonderful people who were extremely generous and not only enabled me to give the boys a 'Christmas' but to keep the utilities on and food on the table.

This year God has turned our lives around. Not only am I able to feed my two, but four UNT international students from Taiwan (that Casey is bringing home with him for a few days) and Mark (yes, my ex). This will be the first Thanksgiving for the students from Taiwan and the first for Mark since his mother passed. When Mark told me he was going to spend it alone, I discussed inviting Mark with Casey. Casey said that inviting Mark was the Christ like thing to do. Casey is an amazing young man and always makes me proud.

One of my biggest blessings this year are the two additions to my family, Amber and Kristen. Sharon, their mother, was my best friend in Indianapolis 25 years ago before I moved to Texas. Amber was a child when I left Indianapolis and Kristen was born five years after I left, just a few months before Casey. Every year we'd visit Indianapolis and Kristen and the boys would spend time together. Sharon passed away of leukemia, her husband moved immediately afterwards, and I lost them. For years we searched and searched for them, but even with the internet, we couldn't locate them. Then, along came Facebook and Casey and I started sending out 'feelers' to everyone on Facebook with their names. Finally, we found them. Since then, I've fallen in love with them all over again, completely. And Amber, well, she's now married with a precious little girl of her own! So, not only do I have my 'girls' back, but I have a little one too!

2009 has brought me love, a foundation for financial stability that I've not known for a very long time, and renewed relationships. Yes, this Thanksgiving I am giving thanks...much, much thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

* This is a picture of the great kids Casey brought home, I love them! There's Casey, Angela, Mavis, Matthew (all from Taiwan) and Kayleen from Korea. They're making me bubble tea!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I have a few...

How often we wish we could take something back; a word, a day...a relationship. I wonder, though, if it were possible, regardless of the stretch of one's imagination, that if we could actually take something back, how much of our life would we rewind and erase? How much of our life would we leave as it is? How much would we consider perfect enough to not 'do over'?

Regrets are hard to live with, but they are how we learn. We can live in the past, regreting something we did or an action we took...or we can see how it brought us to where we are. The older we get, the more things we'll have in our regret column...the hard part is forgiving ouselves and not only moving on but learning from the mistakes we've made. Experience comes with a price, but's it's a price worth paying.

There are words I wish I could take back, but what they've taught me is to think before I speak. There are years I wish I could do over, but what they've given me is experience to share with others and the ability to understand someone's mistakes rather than judge them.

I regret the night I went to bed early in December of 1990 and missed my mother's phone call. She passed away that night in her sleep. She'd spoke with my husband that night and told him to tell me she loved me. I regret missing her call that night, but what it taught me was to never let people go without knowing how I feel about them.

We tell our children to learn from their mistakes, yet we begrudge ourselves of the experience to learn from ours...and we judge others by the mistakes they make, forgetting that we, too, have made mistakes that we'd rather keep hidden. We can let regrets rule our lives, allowing ourselves to live in the past, or we can lay them down...all of them, and build the foundation of who we are upon them.

If for no other reason than it's one of my all time favorite songs (and that I've been playing the cd, Romanza, over and over recently), I'm adding the video, Miserere, with Zucchero Fornaciari (the author) and Andrea Bocelli, whom I love. But, as it happens, the song relates to my feelings in this post. I'll post the english translation below the song.


Wretched, wretched
Wretched, wretched me
But I toast life!
What a mystery my life is
what a mystery!
I am a sinner from the year 80,000
A liar!
But where am I, what am I doing
How do I live
I live in the soul of the world
Lost in the depths of life

Wretched, wretched me
But I toast life!

I am the saint who betrayed you
when you were alone
I live elsewhere and observe the world
from the sky
and I see the sea and the forests,
I see myself...
I live in the soul of the world
lost in the depths of life!

Wretched, wretched me,
but I toast life!

If there is a night dark enough
To hide me, to hide me,
If there is a light, a hope
A magnificent sun that shines
Inside of me
Give me the joy to live
that is not yet there.

Wretched, wretched me
That joy to live
that perhaps, is not yet there.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Don't Go

Charlie is a big fan of Jack London. I'll admit I'm not, only reading what was required in high school or college. Charlie, however, has read nearly everything London had written. I've encouraged this addiction with trying to find first editions for him. He's in awe of London, enamored even. I, remembering the days before I turned 20, can relate to London's attraction. However, being a mother and having lived through my teens and early 20's, against all odds, I see the pitfalls.

When I was a senior in high school, a few months before graduating and having been accepted at the college of my choice, there was a bonfire. Probably for a football game or some such thing...the specifics I don't remember. What I remember is meeting a guy who rode a motorcycle and, for whatever reason, appealed to me. I may have been a wild child, but in high school I was still naive and still virginal territory. This guy, whom I can't remember his name or even what he looked like, began calling me. He told me that he and a friend of his were leaving for Wyoming and/or Montana right after I graduated on their motorcycles, and wanted me to go with them. With every fiber of my 17 year old being, I not only wanted to go, but I was determined to go. It had nothing to do with the young man, it was the adventure...you could say the London experience. That is what my Charlie is experiencing and I can relate, because I've gone through it. You see, Charlie is so very much my child.

Charlie has recently, in the last month, decided that he, too, wants to see this country of ours...on foot. He's preparing himself; he's mapping out his journey, he's deciding what he needs to take with him and what he can leave behind. This child of mine is cut from the same cloth that I am. I remember, as if it were yesterday, the desire...the strong pull, of adventure. I still feel the pull.

What I also remember is my mother telling me that if I decided to go on this 'adventure', that she and my father would not pay for my college when I came home. This, alone, persuaded me not to go. Not the tears, not the 'reasoning', not the yelling; only the threat of not being able to attend college in the fall convinced me not to go.

Looking back, I didn't know this person...didn't know these TWO men that I was willing to get on the back of a motorcycle with and take off with only a wave goodbye to the people who loved me. I didn't know, I was a kid. Granted, many my age not only knew more but cared more about their future and their loved ones than I did. I was a selfish and self indulgent teenager. I've grown.

So, back to my baby. Charlie is determined to take off on a 'London' adventure. He, like his mother, is determined to be a writer. With all my heart I want him to succeed, to see his dreams come true and to fulfill every dream his heart leads him toward. Yet, there is that part of my mother in me that is screaming (inwardly) 'what are you thinking??'.

For those of you who remember Jack London, the happy endings are few. Perhaps because London didn't have me for a mother. Perhaps because he sought promises this world couldn't keep. Regardless, all I can do is try to keep Charlie grounded in the reality of this world, as my mother did me, and to love him. The latter is easy, the prior is what parenthood is all about. If nothing else, I excel at parenting. This past weekend I shared with Charlie my story about the bonfire, the young man with a motorcycle and my mother's threats.

History has a way of repeating itself.