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Will You Forgive?

16 Feb

Saturday night and I am cozy in my bed with my two little kittens by my side. It is freezing outside. A beautiful sunny day has turned into a cloudy and bitterly cold evening. I turned up the heat and got under the blankets. I am all alone in my room as I turn on the Beyonce interview on OWN. She spends quite a bit of time talking about her daughter and being a mom and all that comes with being a parent.

There was a scene where Beyonce is filming herself at home in her bed. She looks at the camera and talks about feeling the baby move for the first time, the excitement that comes with those first kicks.

I immediately shutter. I try not to think about things like that regarding my own pregnancies. I have not forgiven myself yet.

I have not forgiven myself yet.

My sister wrote a beautiful essay about our sweet angel Ronan and his passing on February 15th. She wrote  when something like this happens, when a child dies, you realize why lie. Why lie about anything.So here I am. Being as real and raw as I can be. As I sat and watch this woman on television talk about how she felt her baby kick and how exciting that was I realize that I still feel like a failure. I feel like I let Blaise down. Why wasn’t I one of those women counting every kick, monitoring every moment in the womb. If I had would things have been different? Could I have changed things in his life? Would I have saved him and I from three years of suffering. All of the tests were fine when I was pregnant. I did feel his body move inside me, but there were no big baby kicks, like the ones everybody talks about. Some babies are quiet in the womb, the doctors told me .

Why didn’t I question that more? Why didn’t I push more? Why didn’t I do more. More Period.

It still weighs on me that he wasn’t diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome for three years. Of course it took me a year of testing to get that diagnosis. I did all I could once I knew there was work to be done, but there is always the feeling of not soon enough. It still weighs me down in my few moments alone. I still feel that it was up to me to protect him, and I didn’t, not soon enough.I try not to watch things regarding pregnancies. They bring up such raw and unnerving feelings for me. I push these things down and away. I want to believe that I have come to terms with the way things transpired in my life, in his life. Things happen exactly as they are supposed to, I want to believe this, but I  am left feeling that I got it wrong somewhere.

I don’t wan to lie anymore. I still feel that in some way I could have done more. It leaves me feeling incomplete. I want to say that I have been the best most powerful and dedicated mother. I worry sometimes that I wasn’t dedicated enough or strong enough in the beginning, in the first moments when it mattered the most. Does that set the stage for the future?

This is the most honest and human I can be.

Where is your honesty wanting to come out. Post below and share it now.

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You is kind. You is smart. You is Important.

12 Feb

When I finally got around to watching the movie “The Help” I sat speechless during one very significant scene. It is the scene with Viola Davis speaking to the little baby Mae Mobley and she say’s to her,

“Remember what I told you. You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

you is kind

Tears came rolling down my face. I immediately thought of Blaise. It came crashing over my bones with such force it knocked my head back. This is how it is. Others will try their best to knock him down. I will not let them. I will be right there by his side to remind him.

YOU IS KIND. YOU IS SMART. YOU IS IMPORTANT.

My heart is full tonight. I dedicated my class tonight to opening up the heart space. Opening up and loving, loving even those who choose not to love us for who we are. Truth be told I couldn’t fill my heart space with that. I am filled, frustration, and sadness.

I knew when my children were born that I was here for them, and not the other way around. I knew that it is my job to protect them, stand up for them, love them, and help show them the way.

I need to fill my lungs up like hot air balloons and climb to the top of the mountain. I am ready-I am about to let it rip. The whole world will feel the vibration from what I say. So here me now.

God doesn’t make mistakes. My child is not a mistake. My child is perfect in every way imaginable. 

If you have ever had the pleasure to meet such a sweet soul you would understand. The glow that emanates off of his body while he sleeps. The high-pitched shrill that creeps through the house when he wakes in the morning, full of love for you and the day. The pure acceptance that he has for you when he embraces you, with his body that struggles to hold on to yours. If you are lucky enough to have somebody like this in your life than you are feeling those warm and fuzzies in your heart. You too understand the perfection I speak of.

My sweet angel will face much adversity in his life. I will be by his side the entire time to champion him. I will honor him always. I am working on opening up my heart space, I am trying to love those who don’t accept my son for who he is. I sit and attempt to fill my heart space with love for those who think of my child as a burden, as a problem, as something less than an made-up  standard of perfection.

I can still recall those first days of my baby boys life. I sat at home smelling his baby hat for hours, all the while he was in the NICU trying to get stronger and come home. My memories are of  so many sweet days smelling his delicious baby smell, laughing with him, watching his first teeth come shooting out of his little mouth, and sweet middle of the day naps shared in our secret space. I can remember all that. What I don’t remember is ever once feeling that he was anything less than he was meant to be. I never had anything but love in my heart for my first-born and magnificent child.

There are no guarantees in life. There is no manual, no rule book. My child was born missing a chromosome. My friend Emily’s child is dying of Tay Sachs’, a horrible unfair and cruel disease. We both know the beast we are up against. There are millions of children in the world, millions of different and unbelievably powerful little brains getting ready to run our world.  Millions of different circumstances. God doesn’t make guarantees. I know with all of me, I know this down to the tiniest part of my DNA. God doesn’t make mistakes!

If you haven’t met my child yet, or haven’t met a child yet who can fill your soul with light-I encourage you to do so. If you have a friend with such a child, or maybe family, practice acceptance. It is the greatest gift you could ever give.

 

accept

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Wear Batman Pajamas!

18 Oct

It is a typical Santa Monica morning. Overcast and breezy and if I listen closely I can hear the rumbling of the nearby waves.

There is nothing that can take the place of being home.

For me, home is a confusing term.

I am not quite sure if home is Philadelphia, the place I was born, if home is New Jersey, where I also lived, and, the place my father is laid to rest. Maybe home is California, the place where I lived most of my life, and the place where my mother, stepdad, and my sister still live?

Mostly it doesn’t matter.

When I am in California, Philadelphia, or New Jersey I still have that same feeling. Like a gigantic sigh that comes from deep down inside of me. It is my soul is coming back home. My true Self is back in its favorite sweatshirt, the one with all the holes that you have had since the beginning of time but can’t bare to part with.

I love the sound of the ocean, the quiet deafening after the waves crash on the beach. I love that sound. I love the memories that come crashing into my mind every time I hear another break hit the sand. I can close my eyes and remember that house on Lincoln Blvd. I can remember that monstrous rod iron bed that I had as a little pipsqueak of 8 or 9 years old. A bed that required a step stool to get into. I remember leaving the window open in my bedroom to hear the ocean, the same way my sister does in her living room, right where I slept last night. It is as if I have time traveled. As a little girl I used to sit as I am now, listening to that quiet, an irony that is not lost on me.

I find it very difficult to be in silence.

Here I am, on this couch transported back in time, a time when I had my beloved Monet, our West highland Terrier. A time when my sister and I had hamsters, skateboards, and bicycles with banana seats. (You remember those awful seats, don’t you?)

Yesterday I took my youngest on a school field trip to a local farm. They have what they call a jumping pillow. Maddock was all over that, as you can imagine.  I watched as 20 of these jubilant 3 years old ran for that nylon filled air sack and jumped their little hearts out. They were so happy to bounce up and feel that squish under their feet as they came down. I watched those children jumping intently.

I thought to myself: What can I learn from this? What can I learn from being airborne?

Here is what I came up with. As kids, all you know is fun. Kids don’t know financial stress, they aren’t worried how the mortgage will get paid. They just want to know that Mommy and Daddy want to play with them and tuck them in at night. Kids don’t know love lost, they love everybody. Kids don’t know self-consciousness, they don’t care what others think of them. If they love those batman pajamas then they will wear them to school no matter what anybody thinks.

Kids can sit and listen to the ocean and imagine faraway lands, as I did when I was a child, or jump on a trampoline and imagine flying, as my son does. They aren’t worried about the stress of the day. There is no room for that when you are living that moment to the fullest.

There is a feeling you get when you are jumping. A sensation that takes over when you are airborne. You are weightless, fearless, and full of joy. You aren’t worried about hitting the bottom. You only live for the air beneath you now.

This is where I chose to live my life from today and all the days to follow.

I am airborne. I am going home.

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Poor Little Chickens

12 Oct

If you read my blog then you are aware that I am the proud owner of 14 chickens, 3 goats and 2 dogs. It is a teeny little farm we have going on here. I being the city girl that I am have adjusted to what I would consider acceptable standards.

At the beginning of the summer my husband went away for a few days. I begrudgingly said I would take care of all the animals. I will not lie I am not a huge fan of the boy goats(they are kinda mean to me, like spear me in the privates kinda mean) and the chicken coop is a poopy haven. I had no choice it was up to me. Well I thought I was doing just fine until well…….Maddock and I left the coop open and a fox got in and ate and or scared away about 6 chickens. Needless to say my husband was a wee bit mad at me. After some steam we were fine and our on way to eventually building up our flock again.

Cut to this week. We are happily collecting 8 or more eggs a day and all my girls are so happy. My hubby is away and I am mother earth again tending to my animals. As my husband calls me everyday I recall to him just how well I am doing with the animals, just how easy it is, and how fabulous a farmer I am. Thursday morning I made my normal rounds; chickens and goats fed and watered, check. Oops! As I would later find out, no check. As I went to collect my eggs there were NONE, to my horror. I began to look around for signs of distress, what could cause my girls to go so haywire and not give me any eggs. Is it too cold? Is there not enough light? Oh why me, why not when my husband is here? Then I look oh wait a minute there is NO WATER, ANYWHERE!! Oops. I filled up all the water on Tuesday in the late afternoon and NEVER BROUGHT IT BACK IN TO THEM. I dehyrated the girls. Oh are they mad.

Thursday afternoon hubby calls and I say, “wee little problem with the chickens.” He says, “oh no how many did you kill this time?” I said, “no they are alive but haven’t had water in a few days.” He then explained to me that they are mad at me and won’t give me eggs. So I am waiting and waiting. Finally this afternoon I got 2 eggs. I have redeemed myself with at least 2 of my girls.

Moral of the story is: Don’t leave your wife from Philadelphia alone with farm animals. It’s never a good idea.

Better luck next time.

The other part of my sharing this story is this: I really didn’t want to do it, NOT AT ALL. But I am.

I have been getting really bothered by how worried my hubby is that I am going out of town. He is really worried about how to feed our son with Prader Willi Syndrome. He is of course going to make it happen but it is causing him anxiety, the same anxiety the animals cause me. Taking care of our ‘farm’ is no biggie for him, just as taking care of our family is no biggie for me.

I realized that sometimes it can be a bit unfair to take somebody else’s worries and make them un-important because they aren’t worries for you. We all  can practice being careful when telling somebody that their feelings don’t matter. Un arguable truths I have written about it before.

Where in your life do you take somebody’s un-arguable truth and make it not true? We all do it.

Here is a great explanation of an un-arguable truth is found here from the Hendricks Institute.

I think about this on the mat and off the mat.

Where can I acknowledge other’s truths and let them know that they are heard? How can I shift my thinking so that I can be more supportive in other’s journey of communicating their feelings?

Just some thoughts to ponder on your Friday afternoon.

Happy Farming and Namaste-

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Love Me Forever

27 Sep

Will you love me forever?

Will you always be my friend?

Will you release judgement of others and stay true to yourself?

Will you always be my best friend and my brother?

These are the thoughts I had today as I watched my boys play together in the back seat of the car. I thought if Blaise could communicate how he was feeling it would sound like that, or at least that is how I imagine it to be. As I watch my angels play together and love each other I pray that it will always be this way.

In my private secret moments I worry about the future of their bond. I worry about what happens when my youngest angel grows up and is barraged with the voices of others. What happens when others aren’t as accepting and open to his beloved brother. Will he have the strength to stand tall? Will he have the strength to push past the negative chatter and believe in his brother as he does now? My heart aches when I think about it, I feel a burning sensation in my soul.

When my children grow into adults will they still laugh and play as they did today? Will they look into each others eyes with love and concern? Will they walk to the ends of the earth for each other? Will they LOVE EACH OTHER FOREVER?

For many of you reading this blog the concept I am presenting may seem foolish or silly. Of course they will love each other, they are brothers. It is actually not foolish at all. We live in a harsh world. We live in a world where our youth are bombarded with the idea that they have to “fit” in to be accepted. They have to look right, act right, and “BE” right. So as my beloved ‘special’ child grows up I worry about the day that my baby may be on the opposite end of hate. I worry about my littlest angel wanting to be accepted and fit in and feeling resentment for being the sibling of a ‘special child’. You may think I am harsh for writing this but it is an unfortunate reality.

So I sit and bathe in these extraordinary moments of love between the two beautiful creatures I call my sons. I send them all my love and hope that it envelopes them and wraps them in pure goodness. I pray that this will all be enough to keep them together forever. I imagine that when my ‘special’ angel asks his brother, “Will You Love Me Forever?” baby brother angel replies, “Till the end of time!”

namaste and happy loving!

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Wish It Away

26 Sep

The brightest star in the sky might be beautiful to you, to me it is so much more. The brightest star in the sky is actually my father, Melvin, who left this earth one hot July night in 1983.  My mom used to tell me when I was a little girl to look to the sky, find the brightest star and there he would be smiling down upon me. In my darkest hours and most desperate times of need, there was that star always there to guide me, always there to have something to wish upon.

Oh there was always proof that it was true. When my beloved dog Monet ran away. I loved this dog more than words could describe. He was one little ball of white fluffy love. He was my companion and fearless friend. When he disappeared one night without a trace I was devastated. My mom and stepfather Carl went out in search of him. I assume my sister stayed behind to babysit me, although I can’t really remember. I do remember walking out  the little tiny front door area of our condo and looking up to the night sky. I scanned the big black abyss until I found him. Sparkling and shining and calling out to me. I began to speak. I said, “Daddy, are you there? Can you hear me? I need you now more than ever. I need you to find Monet and help him get home. Daddy, please bring my baby back. I can’t imagine life without him.” I dont’ remember what happened after that, but the next morning Monet came home. As far as I was concerned  my daddy had brought him home. My eventual conclusion was that if you wished upon that star then I could WISH IT AWAY. I could wish anything away. If I was hurt I could wish it away. During times of confusion I could wish it away and be left with a feeling of certainty. If there was doubt I could find my star and wish my lack of clarity away, and POOF it would be gone.

At some point in time we begin to grow up. We begin to lose our imagination and faith in wishes. At some point your adult belief system takes over your delicate and beautiful child belief system.

As I enter into this time in my life I wish for that childhood belief system back.

I have decided to write all my wishes down. Tonight I am going to scan the sky and find my dad. After I spend some time getting re-acquainted with him, I will send him my wishes to take away.

Dear Daddy,

I wish for you to take away my sons pain. I wish for you to help the scientists find a cure for PWS, FASTER.

I wish for you to take away my fear of failure surrounding my new business.

I wish for you to help me find the love for myself that I seek so desperately.

I wish for you to take all the things that cause me to doubt myself. I want you to take them and throw them out in the vacuum of space.

love,

Your daughter Rachel

In my childhood version of me, I send this up to the night sky and it all comes to fruition. Who am I to question time and space and reality. That being said I will send up my wishes tonight and wait for each one of them to come to pass before my very eyes. Of course the adult me knows that as I send my wishes up I have to do the work to see them happen. The child version of me knows that a little help from beyond goes a long way.

Namaste and happy wishing.

Pack o’ Weirdos

3 Jul

I am graciously accepting my invitation into the lovely pack of weirdos.

Who are we?

We are those that believe love can heal anything.

Thanks JoEllen for reminding me of this.

I am here to wave my weirdo flag and raise it high. I too believe in a conscious way of living. I believe in a world where people are kind and honest with each other.

I believe in loving your children, looking at them in the eyes when you speak to them, and laughing with them lots and lots throughout the day. I believe in standing by your family, and loving your parents no matter how “imperfect” you think they may be.

Remember we all are “perfectly imperfect!”

I love my parents. Now that I am a mother myself, I respect my mother so much more for all the sacrifices and love she gave to me and my sister. I believe if you have a sister, and you are lucky like me, then she shall be your best friend forever.

I believe in friends that don’t quit on you when times get tough, and I believe in not quitting on yourself either.

I say this as a reminder I am 162 days smoke free. Yes, 162 of committing to living the best life ever.

I just wanted to remind all of you on this Tuesday morning to remember to love. Love yourself, love your family, and then take it out into the world.

I have a practice I do every single place I go. Whenever somebody is helping me in a store,hospital, etc..I always ask their name, say hello and ask how they are? ALWAYS. This is a rule of thumb for me. I want to make connections everywhere.

So go out in the world today and make a connection, make it authentically, and make it with integrity.

Namaste-

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