Saturday, September 04, 2010
Raising kids in a blended family is a great joy with great challenges. My stepchildren were abandoned by their mother when they were nine and thirteen. The pain and anger in their hearts was mammoth. When their dad and I got married we dedicated my two stepkids and my own two daughters to the Lord. We committed our lives to God's love and His word and became involved in our church and its various outreaches. We closed the doors on some things in our lives that we felt might put our children at risk in hopes of raising them up to good lives.
Billy acted out on his anger and fear and pain in huge ways. Bill was away for one to three months at a time out on his ship, so the lion's share of raising this troubled and hurt young man fell to me. I was SO out of my depth. I cried out to God over and over, sometimes in sadness, sometimes in anger, sometimes in defeat, sometimes in fear: God! I don't know how to help Billy!!! God already knew that, of course. He was waiting for me to finally figure that out so I would let HIM help Billy.
Through those difficult times and through times of great joy, Billy and I found out niche. We share a bond that I do not share with my three girls. It is so profound in all it's facets. Anger rises quickly. Laughter rises quickly. Hugs are continuous. The intimacy we share is unlike any relationship in either of our lives. It's ours alone. I am so proud of him til it moves me to tears at the oddest times. I am so thankful that God gave me this precious child til I run out of words thanking God for the very special gift of Billy. Good thing God hears my heart when words fail me.
Please don't misunderstand me. All of my children are precious, even those we did not birth and raise but ones God has handpicked to place in our lives. At this milestone in Billy's life, though, I'm overcome with joy over him. Here are some photos from his birthday party. It was a small group but we had a blast.
Happy Birthday, Son. I love you!!
Sunday, August 29, 2010
One of my dear sisters/friends from SparkPeople (whom I've had the GREAT joy of meeting in person and got to hug her tight) suggested that I repost last year's blog from the Katrina anniversary. I considered writing a new one but, honestly, I can't say it any better than I did last year. So... here's a rerun! lol We're one year farther along, another year of healing for our hearts, another year of recovering and rebuilding, another year of being completely unable to thank those of you who have come and continue to come to our aid. I love each of you and wish I could thank you personally, hug your neck, cook you a meal, and let you know how much your generosity of spirit and kindness of heart means to us, to me.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Four years ago at this precise moment we were in the dark, hot, afraid, and alone. The air was as thick as a wet woolen blanket and the silence was so complete that it enveloped our very souls. Katrina had come through in all her wrath. We had no means of communication whatsoever. Radio stations were flooded. Cell towers had been blown down. We had no idea how bad the rest of the Gulf region was and no way to communicate with anyone farther than our neighbors across the street. I didn't know where my husband's ship was or if he was safe, or how terrified he was for me and our four children.
We had a roof. We later learned that was a huge, huge blessing. Many families had no roof. Many families no longer had a home, one of my brothers included. His was under ten feet of water along the 17th Street Canal in Lakeview, where he'd lived for over 30 years.
Because we had well water at the time, we had no water when the power was out, so the week that followed was challenging at best. Food and bottled water were depleted quickly. Clean clothes and dishes were an impossibility. The sweltering heat caused us to have to wring out our sheets in the mornings and drape them outside, where they remained limp and damp in temperatures and humidity levels above 98. The four kids were bored out of their minds. Silence does not bode well for kids. So many question marks about our condition and the future do not bode well for mothers.
Despite the uncertainty of when power and communications would be restored, of when groceries and fuel would be available, of when banks and drug stores would be able to open, we had it far, far, FAR easier than thousands of others. We still had our home, bruised and battered though it was, outbuildings blown away, fences down, but we had it and we were safe, if uncomfortable, within its walls, and we were all alive.
So incredibly many emotions have flooded through my being this day, on every edge of the spectrum. It's impossible for me to unravel it enough to bleed my heart onto paper for you.
There is a New Orleans columnist that I love. His name is Chris Rose. I've shared this article with one SparkFriend and felt like today was an appropriate day to share it with the rest of you. Chris Rose bespoke my heart so well, and I dare say the hearts of every native child of this exciting, enchanted city that I love so well. His piece today was awesome, too. (His column is at nola.com.) This is his "Dear America" piece from shortly after Katrina.
For all of us who survived it and in honor of the memory of those who did not, for all who have given of their time and resources so tirelessly, so relentlessly, so generously to help in so many ways, may we press forward, continuing to restore and improve this pearl of a port city in such a way that she will be stronger, finer, more beautiful and sassy than ever before, and may God show us mercy from hurricanes.
Friday, August 27, 2010
NORTHWOODSMOM shared this in a post on one of our teams today and it moved me to tears in such a big way. Thanks, Susan!! I hope this clip reminds you just how swiftly God rushes in to help us, to defend us, to love us.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I am appealing to you, my SparkFriends, once again for some help. I am co-leading another class team and I learned from last time that the influx of new members can be a bit overwhelming. The SP class starts on Sunday. Every new member who joins SP in that week will automatically be a member of this class team. I cannot imagine how sad it would be to join a community like SparkPeople and not get welcomes and encouragement as soon as possible. In an effort to make sure every person who posts in the SP Class of August 29- September 4, 2010, Introduce Yourself forum gets replies, SparkPage comments and Goodies, I am asking for those of you who do have time to join the team with me for two weeks, being the SparkPeople Welcome Wagon as you are able, and then simply quit the team. By two weeks, the general introductions are over and they should be on their way to finding SparkTeams to meet their interests and needs. I totally understand how busy we are and most of us are stretched pretty thin, so PLEASE do not feel you need to jump in and help. I am so thankful for those who can help and thankful, as well, for those who would like to help but are unable to do so. You're all so awesome. Thank you for entertaining my plea. May goodness and mercy follow you continually! Love and hugs to you!!
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Sorry that didn't work out, folks! I'm kind of technoduh. lol I'll post the photos here, instead. Should have done that last night!!
Grammy and Heath
A closeup of Heath
Heath playing with Aunt Melanie
Heath with his game face on
Heath with his Daddy and PawPaw
Looka that smile I love so much!
Mary and Randy, Heath's grandparents. They are such a dear couple, so kind to us, always making us feel welcome and loved. They are SUCH a blessing in this difficult situation.
PawPaw and Heath. I don't know why my husband made that goofy face other than the fact that he was so happy to see Heath, he could have danced across town on his ears. lol Notice his cheeks? This is the first time I've seen them! He's always had a beard, but with the oil spill in the Gulf and him working at the explosion site, he had to be clean shaven and fitted for a respirator. I love his face!!! (I might be kissing his cheekies raw. Never got to kiss them before with the fur! lol)
This is Heath with Rachel and Chad (his Daddy). Rachel is a very nice young lady and we are thankful for her presence in Heath's life.
And finally, our silly faced man! lol
Get An Email Alert Each Time YATMAMA Posts