Saturday, December 12, 2009

Going Home

As many of you know, I moved from Michigan to Mississippi about 8 months ago.  I was raised in Michigan and spent the majority of my life there.  I got sober in Michigan.  I went to Al-anon for many years in Michigan.  My home group for both programs meets at Bixby Hospital in Adrian, MI.  My church is in Michigan and most of my friends live in Michigan.  So, when I got the chance to go back to Michigan for a visit it was a "no brainer" for me.  As I drove the miles between Mississippi and Michigan I felt great excitement.  I was on my way home.

My mom told me many years ago one can never go back home. I had not been gone that long, or had I?  I was blessed to have the opportunity to go to my church and my home group meeting.  My meeting was over early so I went down the hall to Al-anon.  I felt comfortable in my church.  A new couple I didn't know came over and sat with me.  Both of my meetings at Bixby Hospital felt comfortable but something was missing. Maybe my ego thought people would fall down at my feet.

On my way back to Mississippi I really felt like I was on my way "back home".  I drove all the way back to Mississippi as fast as I could.  I drove into the night, way past my normal bedtime.  Skipping breaks and eating fast food fast.  I wanted to be back home.  I wanted to get to bed and get up on time for my home group meeting in Tupelo.  I made it!  And you know what?  People didn't fall to their feet but I did!  I was so happy to get home to my home group meeting.  The guys were all there that have become very special to me.

I have struggled with my sobriety for many years.  I know now that the move to Mississippi was a gift from my Higher Power.  The move has renewed and refreshed my sobriety.  After I went back out the second time I felt so bad about myself and I felt everyone in the state of Michigan was judging me.  It seemed to me my sobriety was always in jeopardy.  The people at my home group here in Mississippi know about my past.  The difference is I have never let them down and I hope I never do.  I feel new, welcome and very special here.  I feel at home.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

God and the Woodpecker

November is gratitude month and believe it or not, as of today, I have not sat at one gratitude table.  In Michigan it seemed all we had were gratitude meetings in November!  I hated those meetings.  People said, "I am grateful for my sobriety." I always thought, "Big deal everyone in the room is sober."

I learned the biggest lessons of my life in March of 2009.  First, I need to back up a few months.  I had a beautiful backyard in Michigan with a creek and huge old trees.  In my kitchen was a big sliding glass door and I could sit at my breakfast table and behold nature.  Out in my yard I had a tiny little bird house with a tiny little hole in it.  Every spring these little birds would come and have babies birds and leave at summers end.

In the late fall of 2008 I was watching out my door and along came a red-headed woodpecker.  He started pecking away at the little hole in my little birdhouse.  At first I wanted to shoo him away but I had never seen a woodpecker up close.  So I watched in fascination as he hammered away.  When he left I looked and to my horror the cute little hole was big, ugly and out of shape.  Before I could get up from the table along came these bigger birds.  They made their home there in the birdhouse.  The imperfect house, in my eyes, became a perfect home for those birds!  My gift was a lesson about perfection and God's grace but it doesn't end there.

In March of 2009, the movers came and went and I was wrapping up a bittersweet move from Michigan to Mississippi.  I was cleaning out the last remaining things from the kitchen and I looked out and saw my poor run down birdhouse.  I was wondering if those little birds would live in that house ever again.  All of a sudden a huge storm started.  It got very black and the wind blew very hard.  The river was way above its the banks and the huge trees were water-logged and heavy.

When the storm ended many trees had fallen across my backyard.  Part of my garage roof was torn back and I had minor damage to my house.  My fence had collapsed under the tremendous weight of those huge old trees.  I looked through the limbs and devastation and there, standing proud, was the birdhouse.  What a beautiful gift my HP gave me!  He showed me His grace and His love.  If He cared so much for His birds, I knew I was "worth it".  I also knew everything would be O.K. and for that I am very grateful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gifts From "HP" and My Cousin

Getting gifts from my Higher Power is always great but the one I got this time is beyond my dreams.  I know the gifts were always there but anger and fear blinded from seeing them.  It seems the more I thank "HP", the more I am able to see and the more I receive.  As with everything in my life, that too is cyclical.  And as with everything in my life, more is being revealed to me.

I always thought I had lost my childhood memories.  Years of abuse from my parents and years of self-inflicted abuse left me immobilized by my own self-loathing.  I thought I was worthless, unloved and incapable of loving.  Little by little my program taught me otherwise.  Doing a fourth and fifth step helped me see where I was the problem.  It also allowed me freedom to grow beyond my wildest dreams.  I was able to love and to be loved.  I have been to my dad's grave and forgiven him.  My mother and I talked about "it" before she died.  Mom will always be in my heart as a "best friend".

I know my childhood had to have good no matter how dark because I wasn't completely lost.  I just could not remember any good.  So I prayed on it.  I did a first step on my childhood, so to speak.  And then, as the old song goes, "Along Came Sally".  In birth order Sally is our maternal grandmothers' oldest granddaughter and I am next.  I grew up with Grandma near me in Michigan, Sally lived in California.  Sally's other grandmother lived in Michigan as well.  The Grandmothers were friends and I had a relationship with both of Sally's grandmas.  Sally's mother is the oldest of three sisters and my mom is the youngest.

It started innocently, I found Sally on Facebook and emailed her.  She emailed me back!  I told her I didn't know anything about her sibs and kids.  We emailed that information back and forth and on it goes.  We have shared childhood memories, some I had completely forgot. We have shared information about ourselves and our families.  I cannot wait for new emails and hate when I get busy and cannot respond right away.

When I write her I start writing "my dad did this or that".  Then I stop and think, she doesn't need to know that.  So, I erase and redo.  That process has allowed me to "re-frame" my childhood.  To completely free myself of the darkest thoughts and find the good.  Thank you HP for one of the most precious gifts I have ever received!  They say, "when the student is ready".  I am here to tell you for me that is the truth and her name is Sally!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just Put "IT" on the Blackboard

My home group meets 4 days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday at 12:05 P.M. We call ourselves the Spiritual Progress Group.

The meetings here in Mississippi are different from meetings in Michigan.  There are still smoking meetings everyday and not very many speaker meetings.  (I don't attend the smoking meetings as I am a recovered nicotine addict.)  The big thing is there are only two Big Book Study's.  I went to one and no one showed up.  The other I have been invited to but I have not attended yet.  I cannot find any 12 & 12 study groups.

I miss my Big Book study groups and felt sad that I could not get to the only one in town.  And here is how this program works, just put "it" on the blackboard.  You see, many years ago I had no place to go for Thanksgiving.  I told the Alano Club Manager we should have Thanksgiving Dinner here, at the club.  He said, "Put it on the board".

We had a marvelous Thanksgiving dinner that many attended.  That was 24 years ago and I believe they still have holiday dinners there several times a year.  So, with that in mind, I put my desire for a Big Study "on the board".  Or should I say I brought it up at our home group meeting.  The Spiritual Progress Group now meets five days a week and Wednesday is our Big Book Study!  And for that... I am grateful!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wow still procrastinating, sponsorship and Tradition Three

When I started this blog I told myself I would post something everyday.  My first post was October 24, 2009 and I have only four posts to date.  This post will make five, not quite everyday!  Deep breath, what is the real issue here?  What is it I am really putting off?  OH! I know... Finding a sponsor here in Mississippi.  A real sponsor, with a sponsor and with a telephone!

It is hard because there is something about me that is different from others people!  I know you think everyone feels that way but in my case it is true.  In the "bible belt" I cannot be honest about who I am.  I feel if I cannot be honest it will be hard to find a sponsor.  I am not rolling about in self-pity.  I am speaking the truth.  When it comes to some matters, some people in the program do not follow Tradition Three (The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.).  I thank my HP everyday that everyone doesn't feel that way!  (I might use that in my gratitude journal tonight! One down two to go.)

I am curious, do I need to be 100% honest with my sponsor?  Can I omit the part about who I am at the very core of my being?  One of my friends in Michigan told me if I do not live my truth I am denying others in my position the wisdom of my journey.  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Coat Hangers and Safety Pins

I have had a ton of stuff going on in the last few weeks.  A new doctor, oxygen and new medications.  I think I am doing great for a 61 year old that smoked too much, drank too much and had way way too much fun.  So I am here in Mississippi and I needed a new doctor.  The new doctor wanted new tests and oops, I am not getting enough oxygen. Oh, and one more thing the cholesteral is way too high.

I told her I am opposed to taking medications.  She was fine with that and wrote me a prescription for fish oil for my cholesteral.  She ordered a monitor to check my oxygen levels at night and I was way too low.  She then ordered oxygen at night and a sleep study.  The sleep study requires another new doctor.  Yikes!  Scarey stuff.

And here is how my wondrous life goes, my sponsor Wendy called me.  We chatted about nothing really but I got out of myself.  I have trouble calling because I never can figure out the the first few words when I am, well to be honest, scared.  People don't live without oxygen.  My mom died from lung cancer and on and on the fears swirled.  Wendy helped me find something else to do and she didn't even know it.  I looked for and ordered CD's by Holly Martin and Poor Boy Rice.  It takes me forever to do that kind of stuff.

Oh the title of this blog? I did laundry after the oxygen came the other day.  When I was hanging clothes up there was the coat hanger with the safety pins on it.  It was my mom's.  Mom always wore skirts and always pinned them to a hanger with safety pins.  This treasure was my unexpected inheritance.  After mom died I was given a bunch of her old clothes to take to the Goodwill.  Somehow this lone coat hanger with the pins got left behind in my closet.  It seems just when I need a Mother's touch there is her coat hanger.  The safety pins were no doubt pinned to her blouse like a medal before they were pinned to this old hanger.  I can still see her removing the pins from her blouse and lovingly pinning her skirt to the hanger.  And now that old hanger lovingly embraces me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Drunk After Eleven Years and Then Again

When I had eleven or twelve years sobriety we moved 25 miles out of town.  It was hard to get to a meeting.  I got home from work, fixed dinner and didn't feel like driving all the way back to town. People stopped calling me and I didn't call them.  One night we went to a nearby restaurant and they had karaoke.  I had never seen karaoke in my life!  I was fascinated with it and started following karaoke all around.  Unfortunately karaoke is in the bars.  Before I knew what happened I became, not only a karaoke star, but a drunk once again. 

After breaking up with my partner, filing bankruptcy and the like, I returned to my meetings.  I found a sponsor and she taught me "Service is the Secret".  I jumped in with both feet and walked the walk.  My partner came back home and all was well.  After nearly ten years (once again) of sobriety I learned I had major health issues. I had to quit smoking (my identity).  I could see my Mom wasn't well and I needed to help her more and more (resentment).  I became disabled and could no longer work (identity and resentment). I did all this while going through menopause.  Whew... Too tired for meetings, feeling worthless, and no contact with a sponsor.  (Looking back I am not sure I had a sponsor at that point!) I drank again.

After giving up sobriety once the second time is much easier.  I don't even know for sure when I picked up.  I believe it was when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Mom died one week after the diagnosis.  During the death vigil I had to mingle with and put up with family.  The funeral was a couple blocks from my home so everyone was in and out of my house.  All these resentments, I had never worked through, were sitting at my kitchen table.  I shattered into a million pieces.

After sitting alone and drinking myself to near death for months.  My doctor told me I needed to go back, once again, to my meetings.  I felt so bad, so humiliated.  Everyone knew me and everyone knew I drank once again.  The sobriety countdowns were torture.  One woman told me I owed every woman in the program an amends because they all looked up to me.  I failed them!  I was a failure!  Those things could have helped me stay out until death.  However, I chose to go to meetings in another area.  I even started a meeting in my small hometown.  

I wasn't long into this second term of sobriety and I found out I was moving, 750 miles away!  When I moved here I thought, hell no one knows me I can drink again! Then it occurred to me, people knowing me doesn't affect my level of drinking, I am a drunk! I found a meeting here I love with good sobriety. I had a man from that meeting come to my home to look at some work I needed done.  He stayed and we talked program forever. He said, "Miss Linn, AA has come to your house. You need a bigger coffee pot!" (I had a one cup pot) You know what, I have never allowed AA in my house and didn't even realize it! I stayed isolated and kept getting drunk. My disease loves it when I am alone so it can kill me.  The very next day I passed out my phone number and invited people over.  I have had more people in and out of my home here then I did in all the years I lived in Michigan!  Oh yes! I have bought bigger coffee pot!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"The" Gratitude Journal

Many of my sponsor's over the years have suggested I write a gratitude journal.  I always showed great "verbal motivation" but never actually started a journal.  I said I did and in my mind I thought of stuff but I have never felt grateful.  I could say "my sobriety" but I didn't really feel grateful for it.  Many people had a heck of a lot more sobriety then me.

Then my one sponsor brought a journal and pen to me.  She challenged me to list just 3 things a night, no more no less.  So the first page in that journal looks like this:

I am grateful for:
1. This journal
2. This pen
3. I thought of those two things!

That was the start of a life changing journey.  I can list things forever now.  Gratitude can be learned and for that I am truly grateful!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Breaking for Rainbows

I started a blog a while back.  My vision was to do something with my idle time so I wouldn't worry about my son so much. (My son, James, is in Iraq.)  The thoughts around, the planning and the writing of the blog occupied much of my time. The benefit to me was time passed and fears diminished.  The awesome gift I got from the blog was hope and peace of mind.

When I started blogging I wanted to write about my fears and my relationships with family and friends.  Like many in my age group I came from a fairly normal dysfunctional home.  It would have been very easy for me to name the sins of all my family members but for what purpose?  Some would say "to heal" and to them I say "bah".  These people have partners, spouses, children, grandchildren and other family and friends.  Do I need to destroy them to heal myself?  I don't think so.

What I decided to do was write things that are positive about these people.  My mom always said, "If you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all."  As much hurt as some of my family caused me they also blessed me with wonderful gifts.  So many gifts that to name them would take me hours!  Music, theater, love, discipline, laughter, the list is endless.

Today I have an appreciation for everyone who has walked my journey with me.  When I cannot find anything good to say about an individual I remember the lesson from our relationship was life changing.  I am very grateful for all the days of my life and even during the worst of storms, I still break for rainbows.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Father, brothers and a missing son

I have spent many hours in prayerful meditation regarding this blog.  In my opinion, I have lived with alcoholics all my life, even when I am home alone.  One of the things I have learned is to be mindful of others.  I have a ton of bad history with my father, both of my brothers and my son, Adam.  Besides me, these men are the alcoholic/drug addicts in my life that at times still haunt the corners of my mind. (Picture is my father)

As I look at things that happened between these men and me I must try to find my part in it.  As a small child I had no part in that insanity but as an adult I do have a part.  What I mean is, some of the stuff that happened to me as a child I continued to carry around as an adult for many years.  I reacted to my adult environment through the eyes of a scared little girl.  That is the area for which I am responsible, how I live my life today and to not allow these men to continue to abuse me.

In finding my part in everything, I must also make amends for my actions.  And herein lays my dilemma.  In making amends I need to remember the second part, "except when to do so would injure them or others."  For me to publicly name the actions of these men I risk hurting their children, grandchildren and other family members. I would never intentionally hurt anyone.

I no longer hold any anger or resentment towards these men, I have forgiven them.  That was hard to do and for many years I told people "forgiveness is God's business not mine".  I have learned for me, forgiveness has three parts.  First, I had to admit I need to forgive.  Second, I had to actually forgive.  Third, I had to accept that these men were/are suffering from their own disease and demons.   

I was able to tell my one brother on the phone I have no resentment towards him.  The other brother is very difficult to talk with as he is still living in the past.  My father is dead.  My son Adam is, I don't know where.  The last I knew he was homeless in Detroit once again.  I have forgiven them all and I will never have a relationship with any of them.  I always thought forgiveness meant approval of the actions, it does not.  Forgiveness has cleansed my heart and for that I am very grateful.  Forgiveness also means I no longer have to carry "it" around and I no longer need to be a victim.  Do I need to "get even" with the abuser and name names and call out sins?  Not today I don't and my heart is over-flowing with love.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One of my greatest gifts is called Trisha

One of the best gifts I received in my life was my daughter, Trisha.  I know every parent says their kid was the best of all but Trisha was and is.  As a baby she was always happy and very quiet.  She loved playing alone and never woke me.  I had her crib in my room and I would open my eyes in the morning there she was sitting in her crib smiling at me.  I was in awe of this little girl and deeply in love with her.

When she was around three years old she wanted to learn how to read.  She was very sure she could figure out reading so, I read to her all the time.  I even got so I would read my novels out loud for her.  She didn't care what I read just so long as I read to her.  I could see the magic in her eyes as she started to learn words.  We would sound them out and we would look them up.  To her it seemed to be a great treasure hunt.  One of her gifts to me was exploring words and meanings.

We always had structure in our home.  Spiderman was her favorite TV show and came on at four o'clock in the afternoon.  So I would tell her around 3:30 P.M. it is almost time for Spiderman.  She would pick up her toys so nothing would interfere with her show.  After Spiderman Daddy came home and we ate dinner, at the table and then bath and then... Books were read.  Sometimes Daddy would read Louis L' Amour novels about cowboys to her. Daddy's favorite books were the Sackett series and soon became Trisha's favorite.

Her brother Adam became her "audience" to read to.  Then along came James and the boys would giggle and clap when Trisha read to them.  She wanted to teach them to read but both were too rowdy to sit still very long.  She would not give up on them and tried everyday to teach them words.  So we started learning a new word everyday at the dinner table.  We would look it up and use it in sentences.  It does not surprise me in the least that Trisha is an English teacher.

When Trish became a teenager she decided she wanted a job at McDonald's.  Off she went on her own to apply for a job.  The manager told her she was too young but to come back when she was old enough.  She would stop in periodically and remind him when her birthday was.  And, lo and behold, she started working on her birthday!  Trisha made the biscuits back when the kids had to be at work at 4:00 a.m. and really make the biscuits!  Sometimes she would close and then be back in few hours to open up.  She loved working at McDonald's.

By now I was a single parent and was raising three kids on little more then minimum wage.  Trisha started helping with groceries.  At first she would bring home dinner once a week.  What a great help to me that was but she didn't stop there.  Soon she wanted to pay me "room and board".  I know most of her check must have gone to help our family out.  She never complained about having to buy her own senior pictures, class ring and stuff.  It seemed to me she felt it was an honor.

Trisha has always worked and gone to school.  Her interests are so varied it took her forever to declare and a major and stick to it.  She now has a masters a degree.  She did it all working in the fast food industry while she went to school.  She also took on marriage and motherhood.  She is married to a reader and their son is a reader.  I think fun to them is when a new book comes out and they wait in line at midnight for it to go on sale.

We lived apart for many years and I rarely got to see her and her family.  We live closer now and we have seen each other more in the last few months then in the last 20 years.  I am so very honored to get to know her, her husband and her son.  To this day when I look in her eyes she smiles and my heart melts.  I am so in awe of the woman she has become, Trisha is without a doubt one of my heroes and a great mentor.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gifts From My Mother

Fall always makes me think of my mom.  She loved fall the best of all seasons and she loved to go get apples from every orchard in the county.  She loved the leaves, the smells, the way the air felt and she gave that love to me.  Mom gave me many gifts over the years and I am grateful I was able to share that with her before she left earth school.  This is part of a letter I sent Mom on one Mother's Day.  (Picture is of Mom and baby me)

Dear Mom,

I want to thank you for the many gifts you given me over the years.  Not the material things that wear out or get put in a box somewhere but the real gifts of love.  Do you remember watching the "Wizard of Oz" and eating popcorn drenched in butter and "sticky spoon fudge"? (Mom could never get fudge right) Those things taught me to enjoy movies and the "goofs" in life.

Do you remember reading "The Quick Running Squash", "The Teeny Tiny Woman", and the "Snow Princess" to me?  I do like it was yesterday.  Thank you for reading so many stories with all the drama and feelings you could.  It brought the books to life and taught me to enjoy reading and drama.  I can still hear you reading, "I    think    I    can ,   I   think   I   can".

I used to love watching you play that old beat up piano we had when I was 6 or 7 years old.  I can remember your fingers jumping all over the keyboard playing boogies and you played such wonderful melodies like "Rhaspsody in Blue".  You sang a lot and some pretty silly songs, too.  The radio or the records were always on.  You listened to everything, Bach, Hank Williams, Elvis, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles.  I could never ever thank you enough for the gift of music.  Music has always been my best friend and it is always there for me in my darkest times and the best times.

You also gave me the gift of sitting still.  I sit out in my yard and watch the birds, the river and the roses grow.  I watch the ants go marching by with their prize morsel of food.  I watch the butterflies and the breeze gently blow in the birch trees.  And if I am really lucky and sit very still a garden snake slithers by in the grass.  In winter I sit very quiet and I can hear the snow falling.  A lot of people don't know you can hear a snowflake but I do because you taught me.  And I still make at least one snow angel every year.  I do all that with a deep appreciation of nature and a real sense of God the Father.

How do I ever thank you for giving me so many wondrous gifts?  They say the best way to thank someone is to pass it on, I have done that. Your gifts to me are now spanning the generations to my children and my grandchildren.  When my children and grandchildren all came home in March one of the first things we did was get out the old books and I read to them, we played the stereo, popped popcorn and sang silly songs and told spooky stories.

I know many years from now when you and I are long forgotten these gifts will live on in my family thanks to you.  I love you Mother, not because I have to, but because I want to.  Just like your gifts... You didn't have to.



Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Grandmother, the Greyhound Bus and Crocheting

I spent the other day emailing back and forth with my cousin Sally.  We really do not know each other very well because I grew up in Michigan and she grew up in California.  The other day was the first time we have ever communicated with each other.  We had one thing in common, a tremendous love for our Grandma.  I was the lucky one, Grandma lived in Michigan. Sally and I spent the day talking about our families and our Grandma.

Life was so easy back in the 1950's and 1960's.  We lived exactly 100 miles from my Grandma's house.  Starting at 8 years old I was allowed to take the Greyhound bus alone to Grandma's town.  The bus stopped along the way for snacks or lunch and the bus driver would have me sit at his table.  When we reached my destination, there was my Grandma peaking through the open door of the bus.  I was so so happy to see her (It still brings tears to my eyes).  Those trips made me feel so important.  I went on the weekends a lot and spend most of the summers at her house.  (The picture is of Grandmother)

I don't remember watching TV much at Grandmas' but I do remember sitting in "my" recliner next her recliner.  She would knit and crochet all day long and I would sit for hours watching her.  She made so many afghans, to this day I wonder how many she did make.  I was never bored, I was happy to just sit in the same room with her.  When I was a little older she taught me to crochet.  She said, "If you can make a slip knot and follow directions, you can crochet."

I made who knows how many granny squares from her left over yarn.  She had an oval red vinyl ottoman and we kept my crochet supplies and granny squares in it.  I felt so special sitting there crocheting with Grandma and having my very own supplies and ottoman.  I am so grateful my mother saved that ottoman for me.  I still have my ottoman and when I open it I can still smell my grandma.  I often wonder what happened to all the granny squares I made but I am so honored to have my ottoman.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Son arrived in Iraq - One year to go.

My son made it to Kuwait or Iraq or someplace over there.  He was able to post on his Facebook page and then he was gone.  I miss him already.

Jim is the youngest of three.  His dad and I were divorced shortly after his first birthday.  Not having a man in the house make him a stronger person.  He always had good male role models, not because of anything I did, he put them in his life on his own. These men were teachers, fathers of friends, and men he knew through a club I was a member of and Grandpa.  They were Marines, Army vets, auto mechanics and even an astronaut!  The astronaut sent him pictures of planes that had been declassified.  Those pictures were his pride and joy.  (The picture is from an airshow in California.) 

I will never forget the day I felt his pain of all pains.  It was when the space shuttle crashed.  I knew he was crushed and in shock.  I let him stay home from school so he could watch the news feeds.  It was the first time I couldn't kiss away his hurt or put a cold cloth on it. The true gift of parenting, I have learned, is not just holding them when they hit a homerun but holding them when they strikeout.

Jim always wanted to be in the Army Infantry and he always wanted to live in Texas.  It is all he talked about as a boy.  Today his home is in Texas and he is in the infantry 15 plus years.  I wonder how many men actually live the dreams of their boyhood?  He is a self-made man for sure and he should feel great pride in his accomplishments.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Julie, Julia, Worry and Where is Spell Check?

I saw the movie "Julie and Julia" the other week.  I thought I need something like that to busy my days.  I tend to eat out of boredom and stress and I need to loose 35 pounds.  So, I think throwing a pound or two of butter a day in the mix is probably not a good idea for me.  Most people that know me know a bottle or two of wine, although welcome, is an even worst idea.

For today I will journal.  I have never kept a journal for any length of time so who knows how this will go?  Many people over the years, therapists, sponsors, friends and the like, have all suggested that I journal.  I have gotten beautiful journals, cute journals and plain old journal journals as gifts.  I have bought the perfect journal many times.  I even have the perfect pencil and pen sets but I just don't "do it".

I get hung up on my grammer or worst my spelling.  And frankly, my brain types faster then my fingers are able to move.  To top all that off, my sister and my daughter are english majors.  I always worry my emails, birthday cards and anything at all I have written (except checks) will come back with red marks all over it.  Good Lord, they may even demand I diagram my sentences!

The grammer thing started with my maternal grandma.  She demanded correct english and even had an "ing" box,  If one said fishin' or huntin' a nickel had to be put in the "ing box".  From there downline to my mom.  Mom didn't even allow babies to talk baby talk.  Nope the baby had to ask for "water" not "wa-wa".  None of that damaged me of course, just my ability to write stuff.  And I always fancied myself a writer as a career. However, one has to write to be published!

Monday, August 31, 2009

An American hero calls me Mom

It is August 31, 2009 and my youngest son, S/Sgt James S. is leaving to go fight a stupid war in Iraq.  This will be his second tour.  His oldest daughter celebrated her 15th birthday two days ago. I hope and pray he returns on her 16th to tell her in person "Happy Birthday".  (He has 5 little girls and beautiful wife.)

I seemed to take his first tour in stride, I worried but not too bad.  What I did was, spend an hour every morning and did nothing but worry about Jim.  Then when I felt overwhelmed during the day I reminded myself I already worried today.  (Well it kinda worked)

I will forever remember the day the Army called me and told me my son was on his way to the hospital.  His vehicle was blown up by an IED.  Jim had called me already and told me what happened and told me the Army was going to call and he was OK.  When they did call it was like Jim never called me, I was terrified.  The Officer who called got his 1st name wrong, called him Justin.  I corrected him but he continued like he was a recording and I wasn't there  (Now that sounds like a good country song. lol).  There was a part of me that thought no not my Jim he got the name wrong, called the wrong Mom. 

The picture is of the actual truck he was riding in.  James was the front passenger, his driver and backseat passenger had minor injuries.  How "lucky" were these men?  James claims my dad is his angel watching over him.  That would be fitting as my dad was in love with the Army.  In James eyes, Grandpa was "ten feet tall and bullet proof."

So for the rest of today, as he flies to Iraq, I will worry.  Maybe even cry a little.  Heck maybe it is my age or whatever but I really am scared this time.  We got "lucky" last time just some minor injuries and oh yeah the closed head injury thing? No big deal the Army bought him a Palm Pilot so he wouldn't forget to "show-up".