Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Quick update

this entry is dependent on how long our Little Miss decides to stay sleeping.  She has been getting up with her mother for a couple of hours bright and early (5ish), then going back to sleep around 7 and sleeping til 11.  Lets see if today follows suit!

Some major changes around here: Patrick has moved to Florida, staying with a friend from up here, her 3 year old daughter, a girlfriend of the friend, and her 16 month old son.  We knew he was planning a trip to go visit and scout out the area for a possible move, but he sprung on us that he had bought a one-way ticket down a couple of weeks ago, and he flew out on the 11th. He stopped in briefly on Saturday when they drove up to pick up some of his friends belongings (and her daughter) from her parents, and they then drove back.  When I spoke to him on the phone on Monday night he sounded happy, excited, and up-beat.  He said job hunting was starting today, and he hoped that he could find something relatively soon.  It is scary, exciting, and adventurous, all rolled into one event!

Unfortunately, the room he left behind looks like a disaster area.  I need to go box up everything he didn't take with him and we will be storing that in the garage (there was no room left in the trailer for his stuff after his friend got all of hers loaded up); he says they will probably be back up here in 6 months or so.  He did promise to set aside money to come back with if things don't work out, so I am hoping he sticks to that plan.  Ah to be young, impulsive, and invulnerable again!

Another change is that Rei is going to go to MN for most of the summer to help take care of his niece and nephew while Tony and Andrea work. The kids will be in summer school for part of the time, so his responsibility will be mid to late afternoon, and perhaps before school, depending on schedules.  This will also allow him to potentially get another job, provided he can work the hours around his childcare responsibilities.  Tony is giving him a vehicle and spending money in exchange for his services, and Rei is very excited about this.  We will be going up to MN over part of Eric's vacation (end of July/beginning of August) so we will caravan back with Rei and bring the two kids home with us for part of the month of August.  Tony and Andrea will drive down to pick them up shortly before school starts so that they have time to ready--Alexis will be starting kindergarten in the fall, and Justin will be in 2nd grade!  Blows my mind that they are so big--and it highlights for me that Eric and I are coming up on our 5 year mark (July) of starting our relationship, with our 4th wedding anniversary in August.

I am going to be travelling in June with Brie and Skye to go to Florida: we are taking Skye to visit her dad's family for a week (including travel days: we will be driving). It's been awhile since I was last in Florida, and I am looking forward to it. Some of my relatives only live a couple of hours away, so perhaps I will steal the car and go visiting one day while we are down there, just to get some hugs and kisses!  That will leave Eric, Aurora, and Dan here on their own for a week.  Wonder what they will do with such a quiet household? Brie then will be off for her 3 weeks of Guard training, and we will have Skye full time.  Wow, it's looking like a busy summer!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday, 2012

Today is Good Friday, one of the most important days of the Christian church calendar.  I would love to go to church today, if I had a church I felt I belonged to.  I remember the first Good Friday service I went to, taken by a family friend because I was in confirmation classes at the time and it was "required" but my parents had to work, and it was the first time in my memory that the crucifixion actually registered in my mind as to what this day was all about--the horror, the pain, the suffering, the ugliness of the act, and it nauseated me, but it also filled me with awe, being the precursor to the ressurection and the Easter celebration. To this day, my imagination fills in the blanks of what the scripture outlines in ways no graphic movie could (and I still refuse to watch the movie "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson, because of it's graphic nature). It leaves me with a sense of awe and wonder at that kind of love, that kind of sacrifice.  Just as being pregnant with Liisa over the Christmas season that first year of my marriage in 1983 clarified for me the thoughts and experiences of Mary and the birth of her son, so the year my son was in Iraq, willingly taking on the role and responsibility of a soldier, clarified for me Mary's struggle as her son also took on the burdens of protecting those he loved (in a much smaller, and less finite scale, of course).  But I too have stood at the foot of the cross as a mother and prayed for grace, for mercy, for forebearance, and for acceptance of God's will, whatever it might be.  It is a place we all, as human beings stand from time to time, a place where our own helplessness forces us to raise our eyes and our hearts to God, knowing he has a plan for us and that the outcomes may be far different than what we foresee for ourselves.

Brie asked the other day if we were going to church on Sunday.  My thought is "probably not" because I don't want to be a hypocrite and attend service in a place I am only doing lip service to, and I haven't yet found a church "home".  I have been reading my devotional daily again, something that is helping to ease the space in my heart that has been restless, and my faith is the bedrock of my existance.  But I want to be somewhere that reflects the love of God in word, actions, and emotions, and I haven't found that place yet. Still, God is bigger than any one building or community, and so I come to Him sitting outside on my swing with my knitting or handwork, or walking the neighborhood with Skye in her stroller, as well as sitting quietly with my thoughts here in the house, lifting prayers as people cross my mind, events occur that I am unsure of, or to offer thanks and praise for blessing large and small.  My faith permeates my day and my conversations with God are constantly in the small recesses of my thoughts.

I had a conversation along these lines with Rei and Patrick yesterday as we ran some errands.  At the orthodontist's office was a teen who was developmentally disabled. She was playing in the playroom when we arrived, and she seemed captivated by Rei.  He responded to her so gently and genuinely that I saw her mother smile in relief at his acceptance of her attentions, and when I commented on it afterwards to him in the car, he said that he has come to enjoy being around, and helping the special needs kids in the special ed classrooms he has to interact with during certain activities with his current school program.  He has made friends with, and has been asked to partner with specific students who are developmentally delayed and he finds satisfaction and pleasure in seeing how they progress and respond under his assistance, and it made me smile, which is when I shared with him that it is in activities like those my faith, values, and belief systems are being lived out rather than just being talked about (walking the walk).  I explained that that was how I viewed my work at the treatment center, and at the hospitals and private homes I worked in in the past; and how it costs so little to treat others with dignity and respect, especially when they are often not treated kindly because of their obvious differences.  It was such a nice moment to share with them, and even though Patrick didn't participate in the conversation much, he was there taking it all in and nodding his head.  I love those opportunities when they come up, to share, to teach, to explain.  Especially when I don't always fully understand myself, until I am trying to struggle to put it into words.

This Lenten season has been a season of thoughtfulness, along with the stresses and changes and uncertainties it has also contained, and I find the older I get, the more I appreciate the messages of these seasons in the church and the sureties they offer to those who believe.  In spite of my homesickness at times for MN, I feel blessed to know that my family celebrates and shares the same stories, values, and morals we were brought up in, and it is a reward in and of itself to see those being passed on to the next generation of children, and this is equally true of my bonds with my "new" family, things I hope I am sharing with the children here, that are being passed down to Skye as well.  I am not even close to doing it "perfectly," but I am doing it with love, and with honesty.  That is the best I have to offer, but it is enough.