Friday, November 26, 2010

Becoming a Responsible Adult

Our beautiful Autistic daughter is the only member of our family who didn't get today off from her new job.  On top of that, her County Transit bus line didn't run today so she had to have alternate transportation.  Anyone who knows anything about autism will understand how a simple change like that to her regular schedule could have been reason for a huge blow up, but she was very calm.

Dad got up and took her to work and we will pick her up when her shift is through.  As a treat we are heading to the Mall this afternoon for a little shopping.  She has earned the use of some of her hard earned wages.

Yesterday she did the dishes with only a little help from dad.  She did a wonderful job too, everything  was loaded carefully into the dishwasher (sometimes she can be a little reckless with her dish placement.)  

She has been taking her medication for allergies like clockwork ever since the Dr. told her that her eczema would not get better unless she took the medication every day.   She uses the special cream correctly as well.

Each day I see great strides in her maturity level.  Now, if only I could get her to clean her bedroom.

I know, but a mom has to have one impossible dream.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Being Thankful

I thought I would write this post today since I won't have much time tomorrow because I will be busy preparing a meal.

my faithful readers (all two of you) may probably remember that while I love to eat I really don't like to cook, especially big elaborate holiday meals.  Normally Mrangelmeg and I compromise by finding a really nice Thanksgiving buffet somewhere and take the whole clan out to dinner on the holiday.  I love this because I don't have to cook or clean up and everyone gets exactly what they want to eat.  The only negative is that there are no leftovers to munch on for the rest of the weekend.

This is such a pattern in our lives that when our oldest daughter was in elementary school and her class was discussing their favorite thing their mom's made for Thanksgiving dinner she actually said "I don't know,  Reservations?" with a shrug.  

Anyway, what with all of the turmoil in our lives recently I thought the least I could do for the members of my immediate family would be to suck-it-up and cook a meal for them here at home.  That way Mrangelmeg's mom can be with us and the kids can have tons of leftovers to munch on the rest of the weekend.  

Little did I know when I decided to do this though that 1) I wouldn't be able to find a fresh turkey and 2) I would be spending the night before Thanksgiving at the sleep lab getting my new CPAP machine titrated to help with a newly diagnosed sleep apnea problem.

But everything will work out.  I am sure that the frozen turkey I bought will be thawed in time  and with the help of the girls I will be able to get everything cooked in time for a wonderful meal tomorrow afternoon.

I am thankful for so many things this year.  I am thankful that most of my family is together for this holiday (only one daughter isn't living here so the rest of us will be together.   I am thankful that  Mrangelmeg's mom is healthy enough to come over and be with us,  I would have loved to have my mom with us for a holiday anytime in the last eight or nine years.   I am thankful that I have a nice new stove to cook in, the old one was a bit notional.  I am thankful that we have plenty of food to eat and a nice warm home to live in. (Especially on a rainy day like today).

So, while I think I may be crazy for deciding to cook here at home everything will work out the way it is supposed to work out.  I have faith that my family will step up and take up the slack to make sure that things get done when they need to get done and that I will get enough sleep during the night to be  rested enough to cook tomorrow.

Hey, stop laughing,  it could happen.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

De Profundis

For those of you who don't read Latin,  the title of this post is the first two lines of a psalm that is read during the Office of the dead: Psalm 130:

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
  Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
   to my cry for mercy.
    (v 1-2)

It is one of my "go to" psalms when I am in the Dark Night,  feeling cut off from God and wondering if the Infinite Threeness  is even taking notice of little old me.    It has become even more meaningful now in my present darkness.  With the death of my mother not only am I cut off from God, but I am untethered from a connection to that grounding sense that I belong to someone here on earth.  Today I feel utterly orphaned, and it makes me profoundly sad in a de profundis way.

I used to wonder if it was something I had done that sent God away from me.  Had I been so obstinate and selfish that God had just given up on me and turned away from me as a lost cause.  Was I just too proud of my own will to be worth anything to God?

 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
   Lord, who could stand?
 But with you there is forgiveness,
   so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
(v 3-4)

I realize that I have a connection to other people, like my husband and my children,  and that they need me and I need them, but, as Fr. Bill put it this morning when he talked with me a bit after Mass,  You just don't  belong to anyone the way you belong to your parents.  

I am beginning to wonder though if my sense of longing isn't more profound because I entered the dark night long before my mother died.  I was already trying to find a way to pray that brought me consolation.  I had been. for over a year in a spiritual land where the scenery was unfamiliar.   God was trying to communicate with me, but I was struggling to decipher the new language that was now flowing in my direction.  

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
   and in his word I put my hope.
 I wait for the Lord
   more than watchmen wait for the morning,
   more than watchmen wait for the morning.
(v 5-6)

And then mom died, who hadn't said anything meaningful to me since 2007 really, because of the prison in which she had been trapped by her disease.  But I loved her and I know that in her way she loved me.  I could go and sit with her, ore even just know that she was there and it made me feel connected.  

Not so now,  that connection has been severed.  I hear a song on the radio, or see a movie on television that she used to love, or something happens in my life and I would love to tell her about it,  but then I remember that she isn't there.  The only analogy that comes close is what it feels like when you lose a tooth,  there is a physical space that you can feel where the tooth used to be.  I can feel that space in my life where my mother used to be.  It is gaping and empty -- de profundis .

The one thing I know, in all of this is that I may be orphaned, but I am not alone.  All those other people in my life; my family and Fr. Bill and my parish family, and my friends are there because God doesn't want me to have to go through this alone.  So while I may not understand God's language in prayer, I do feel God's presence in others.  Everyone who brightens my day, or brings me comfort, is sent from God.   And while they can't take the place of my mom,  they can help me past the bad spots.  God will do the rest,  all I have to do is have faith and hope.

(Israel), put your hope in the LORD, 
   for with the LORD is unfailing love 
   and with him is full redemption. 
 He himself will redeem Israel 

   from all their sins.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

What am I Reading

Heresies of the Heart: Developing Emotional WisdomSo I am still working my way through  this wonderful book by my professor.  I am finding that to do it justice I have to read a bit more slowly than I normally devour books.

It is well worth the effort though as I am learning things about myself and why and how I react to the world around me based upon my emotions.

Next in my pile of books is one that was on my wish list, and I am happy to say I came into possession of  recently and can't wait to start reading.

This one should be equally as helpful in the whole emotional wellness,  area, and I am hoping that I will gain as much from this as I am from Ryan's book.

This was one area of our training in Spiritual Direction that I felt we needed much more than three hours to cover, so all the extra reading I can do to assist me in learning how to help others will make me better at my work with them as they tap into their own emotional responses to the world around them and by default, God's movement in the world.

I will give you an update as I continue to read.

What are you reading?  Leave me a comment and let me know.