The Christian and the Gun

Both sides are screaming.  "You can't shoot if you don't have a gun."
"Bad guys don't follow laws, and I can not defend myself without a gun."

Yes, this is a big, constitutional deal.  HUGE.  This needs resolution...

But there is more.  What about the poor souls, with the hurting minds, who pull the trigger?  What about them.  Those who are lost, deep inside a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts that they can not control.  What are we as a NATION doing about these hurting people.  More importantly, because I hold YOU to a higher standard, what are we as CHRISTIANS doing?  Yup.  I pointed a finger, and yes, I know that there are three more pointing back at me.  What am I doing?

I have friends and family who struggle with depression or other mental, debilitating problems.  I struggle with anxiety.  I have friends whose parents have been locked away because society can't touch the "dirty" or "confused".  Yes, some people are safer in a controlled environment .. but what about later?  What about when they are put back into the world and asked to pretend everything is normal.  It isn't.

Can you imagine the joy of your babies birth.  You look down to see a perfect, tiny human.  You breathe in the scent of them and in that moment, you know that nothing in the world will get past you to harm that baby.  Imagine years later, that babe is older and lashing out with an aggression that seems inhuman.  The guilt of knowing that somewhere you had to have messed up.  Why else would s/he be this way?  Or as a parent, seeing your perfect child now struggling with depression, or to lower their limp body from the noose and wonder why you couldn't have cut the cord around their heart before it became tangible around their neck.

People.  Wake up.  There are thousands of parents and children begging for help.  Someone, somewhere to hold them and give them the strength they just don't have any more.  Christ came to fix and heal the brokenhearted   He told us, in his "absence" to do his work for him.  What are we doing?  When you see the boy bagging you groceries, who looks like he can't make it through the shift, give him love.  The cashier, who live has carved, mercilessly, the lines of pain into their face, offer hope.  We let so many people slide by.  Knowing in our heart that we should reach out and touch them.  Humans need touch.  A gentle hand to give them strength...  but we can't get our hands dirty.

We have laundry to do, and Game of Thrones to watch.  We have our own problems in our own lives.  Why take the time when you hardly have any?  Because at some point your knees will give out.  You will find yourself crawling and groping for any shred of hope... and you will need someone to pull you up.

"There’s no guilt in mental illness because depression is a kind of cancer that attacks the mind. You don’t shame cancer, you treat cancer. You don’t treat those with hurting insides as less than. You get them the most treatment."


I have been seeing a councilor.  Oddly enough, many of the conversations go like my conversations with one of my best friends.  Today, everything boiled down to my emotions, or lack of.

When it comes to high pressure situations, I do amazing.  I can throw out a game plan and roll into action in the blink of an eye.  I am the master of high pressure.  When there is peace and quiet, I get anxious.  I can't handle the quiet (as I have stated before).  Kristopher pointed out when it is quiet, I have to face my emotions.  When it is high stress, there is no emotion.

I asked Lucky if I was emotionally disconnected   "Yup".  Ouch.  I have even noticed it with my kids.  I spend all day with them but I don't spend hardly any time with them.  More and more I have been secluding myself from the people around me.  I have lost my drive and zest for people.  I would rather spend my time alone.

I don't want to be that person.  I don't want to be that Mom.  I have noticed that my kids are acting out more and more.  The more disconnected I get, the more they lash out, then I disconnect some more.  I have even noticed myself disconnecting from Lucky.  Yup.  I should probably work on this.

I was asked what I have issues talking about.  I couldn't think of anything.  My divorce?  The couple times I was almost raped?  The couple times my ex almost killed me?  The chance I might have been tricked into an abortion?  Nope, ask away.  I can talk about anything.

"How do you feel about chick flicks?"
"I hate them.  Lucky loves them.  I can't stand them."

I always thought that made me easy to work with.  I don't crave romance or any of that "nonsense".

"So, lets talk about love and emotional intimacy."

Nope.  I guess you found the subjects I can't talk about.  I am sure that sounds familiar to Bart.

"You know being vulnerable is different than being weak."
"A little."
"A lot."

I don't know where the conversation will go next week.  I know starting tomorrow I will make time to sit and eat with the kids.  I will attempt two meals.  That will cover a couple bases:  I can spend time with them.  I will eat.  I can make sure that they don't throw food.  Other than that... I don't know where to go from here.

If I woke up tomorrow

Kristopher gave me a homework assignment:  If I woke up tomorrow and *my* life was perfect, what would it look, feel, smell, sound, and taste like?

Taste:  It would taste like honeysuckles and fresh rain drops.  Black cow milkshakes and the cookie cakes Aunt Andi always had.  It would taste like Lucky's kisses.

Smell:  It would smell like warm, aged wood and cinnamon.  It would smell like fertile earth and spring flowers.  Like new rain and fresh cut grass.  It would smell like the food stand at high school football games and children after they have been playing all day.  It would smell like jasmine vanilla.  It would smell like campfires and family cooking.

Sound:  Like my Dad and Uncles laughter, my Mom and Aunts talking, siblings/cousins bantering, friends warm conversations, and kids playing tag.  It would sound like a breeze through the trees, and cicadas antagonizing children.  It would sound like a peaceful night with crickets singing their night song.  It would sound like the crunch of fall leaves when you walk through them or jump in a pile.

Touch:  It would feel like grass under my feet, or maybe the cool, fresh soil between my toes.  It would feel like the turn of sprint to summer with a light whisper of wind to keep the heat at bay.  It would be the chill of a fall evening while holding hot chocolate.  It would feel like the first summer Lucky and I had together.  It definitely would still feel like his arms around me.

Sight:  It would look like tall trees and green grass.  Like a cool stream and rocks to climb.  Their would be lush, fertile land as far as the eye could see.  There would be gardens and animals, but most importantly, my family and friends.

Owen, Cammy, X13-23 would be happy, surrounded by friends and family- many kids their age.  They would hunt for bugs like Nick and I did, and play dinosaurs like Vinny and me.  They would be raised with tons of family, like I was.

Lucky would be home more, and happy with whatever job he chose.  His back wouldn't hurt and he would be able to hunt and tinker as much as he liked.

Roxy and Toshi would stay young.  Roxy wouldn't have hip issues any more.

I would be more calm and a better mother and wife.  I would have better attention and energy.  I would have a pretty house for my family (they stayed relativity clean).  I would have time to devote to each child, my husband, and myself.

I realized as I was writing this, the perfect life I was describing was my childhood.  I realized how very, very homesick I am.  So thank you (all my family) for giving me such beautiful memories.  I miss you all so very much.

Rules of Flying

1.  Always smell good.  No one wants to be the stinky kid- but more so, no one wants to sit next to the stinky kid.

2.  Look good.  You don't have to go all out, run way style, but look good.  You are less likely to be targeted as a terrorist and also, should the need arise, people are more likely to help you.

3. Use manners.  Always needed, but even more so on cramped, long flights.

4.  If you are traveling with kids, prep for it.  I always get complements on how well behaved and sweet my children are.  That is because I carry drinks, snacks, games, and chloroform.

5. Unless you are flying with your S.O., do not pass out on the person next to you.

6.  Be open minded that you are flying with people of all race and religion.  You never know, the person you profiled as one thing, might turn out to be the best flying companion.

7.   Be nice to the person flying with small children.  I never comprehended how complex and delicate that situation is.  When you see someone trying to grab kids, bags, and strollers, offer to help.  More than likely you will be thanked and politely turned away, but you never know how much that means.

8.  Gum and tic-tacks- better yet both!

9.  I know they offer carry-ons, but don't try and pack your whole trip (unless it is a quick one) onto your carry on.  You take forever to get off the plane and it makes me want to choke you.

9.5. Should you have numerous carry-ons because of small children, wait for the single quick people to go.  You don't need to be a bother.

10.  There is always a veteran/ active duty member in the airport or flight.  Say thank you.  Offer to buy them a drink.

Flying can be stressful.  Even if you are not a people person, following these rules will help.  You never know why the person is flying next to you.  Be compassionate.  You never know how much a small gesture can save a day.

P.S. The next couple who tries to "couple" next to me/ around me on the place will have a crochet hook through their neck.

Almost time to get Owen!!!

The Baby Game

I recently found out that one of my friends, who has struggled with infertility, was pregnant.  I literally cried tears of joy and I exuberantly squealed the news to my husband.  She is due two days before me.  I can not put into words the joy I feel as I write this.  It reminded me of when I told my friend, an old co-worker from when I was pregnant with Owen, that we were pregnant again.  He asked if I was going to do belly pictures again.  I was taken back but happy.  I put the pictures of Cammy belly up because Lucky was not with me.  I didn't realize that someone else found joy in my journey.  It made me think.

To all of you who are playing the baby game- if it is an oops, if you are struggling, or if you are adopting, you have people (me personally) who are going on that journey with you.  Every time the paperwork gets on hold, we mourn that set back with you.  Every time you get a new picture, or more information, we celebrate with you.  I have many friends in many areas of the Baby game.  I follow each one closely, even if I never talk to them about it.  I have shed tears and I have danced.  My heart is following every step, and even though I don't say it to them, I get a little impatient when I do not hear news for "long" periods.

To those of you who are adopting, for whatever reason- you are my favorites.  I love hearing every detail from the start of your dream, even after it has been realized.  You, who choose to adopt, are a beautiful kind of parent.  You CHOSE that baby.  There was no luck of the draw and pray the sperm was a good one.  You picked that child out.  You researched. You prayed. Or maybe God showed you a picture and you dreamed about that sweet face.  You stopped your life, not because of a pregnancy, you stopped it out of selfless love for someone you did not know.  My heart swells with love, pride, and admiration for you.  I am your biggest cheerleader.

When the baby is home and all of you are trying to figure each other out.  I am praying for you.  When you hit a language barrier, I am praying for you.  When cultures clash.  I am praying for you.  When the sweet love calls you "Mommy" or "Daddy" for the first time, my heart bursts in song like yours.  I pray for you all constantly.  Those of you I know that choose to adopt, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt  that you are THE best parents to be had.

My cousin and his wife are adopting.  I can not tell you how I feel.  Words are useless for the pride, hope, and love I feel when I think of them.  I am equally  if not more excited (Don't tell baby X) to hold their son when he gets home.  My cousin is a strong, loving, smart, and funny man.  His wife is the kind of classy that I could only hope to obtain.  They are some of the hardest workers I know.  They have put so much time, love, and work into this.  I can not wait to tell their son about it.  The hours they spent day dreaming.  The life that they worked so hard to give him.  How the whole family counted the days and hours till we could finally be whole, and without him, we weren't.

Sorry for the rant people.  Blame it on the hormones.  I just wanted you to know, I am here.  I am praying.  I am so proud of you and if you ever need someone to coo over baby items or talk about baby toys, or even cry because they are taking way too damn long to get home. I am here.

Paperthin Hymn

I fell in love with Lucky the first time he kissed me.  I was terrified.  Eric had already had his affairs.  We had been separated for months.  Lucky and I were only supposed to be drinking buddies who happened to hook up over a Vicodin induced stupor- but my heart told me otherwise.  He was everything I ever wanted and everything I should have never touched.  We have talked about it.  We both felt it that night, that some how, we were connected forever.  My forbidden love.

Amberlin was the theme music of that summer.  

This song brings back some tough memories

I remember trying to find a spot to watch on the ceiling   I didn't move.  I didn't make a noise.  I was trying to hold back tears as everything in me was screaming that he wasn't the man I loved, and Lucky was only five minutes away.  My soul was being ripped apart as my body was used as an offering to save the man I loved.  The man I shouldn't love.  The man that I should have never dragged into this.  I prayed that it would end quickly so I could just end everything.

"You didn't even try to like it." He growled at me.
I looked at him for the first time.  I wanted to hate him but I was too hurt.  
"Your a fucking whore."
I couldn't even argue it.  I let myself slip to another place as he screamed at me and told me what a failure I was.  How not even God could love someone as worthless as me.  How Owen deserved better than me and he would be better off without me.  I though of Lucky's hands.  He has beautiful hands.  They are a musicians hands but also tough from working. I felt cold and dead.

Eric had numerous affairs in Italy, but the idea of me being with someone after we separated sent him over the edge.  Lucky could have been kicked out of the Navy for dating me.  Eric told me he would ruin Lucky if I didn't stay with him.  What could I do?

Eric left.  I walked into the bathroom and tried to figure out what pills would work the fastest.  I couldn't live with him any more.  I couldn't live- then Owen cried.  My sweet baby.  My sweet love.  I held him and cried as I walked to Nysha's.  I asked her to watch him after I told her what happened.

"He raped you."
"He didn't.  I said yes."
"He blackmailed you.  He raped you."
"I said yes."

Paperthin Hymn was on the radio as I drove to say goodbye to Lucky.  I told him I was silly to leave Eric and that he was just a fling.  I didn't want to see or talk to him again.  I went to walk away when he said You know you don't lie very well.  Every tear I held back and came rushing forward.  He held me as I cried.  Contrary to whore and worthless, he told me I was invaluable and worth the world.  Before we ever breathed I love you he told me I was worth losing the Navy, if it meant he could have me.  I was worthy.

Cammy Lamby

Owen sings that to you all the time.

You are a beautiful little girl, inside and out.  You have my hair and poor thing, my eyebrows- but don't worry, when you are older and you can wax them, they are amazing eyebrows.  You have my flat bridge and  round tip for a nose.  You have your daddy's lips.  Your eyes are yet to decide, but I think they are an amazing mix of both your parents.  You got your daddy's dimples (oh, how I prayed for those), and thank GOD his legs, but my butt (another thank God!).  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  You charm strangers in church, even if you are louder than the pastor.  You are a ham!  You will do anything for a smile and have shown that you care when people are sad.  You are a beautiful, amazing little girl.  You are everything I ever dreamed of.  You have fun modeling the simple garments that I make for you, and love when I share my lip gloss.  You have even been known to lift your foot up cooing, "Peeese!", to have your toe nails painted.

Your big brother is your hero.  Your age and stature does not hold you back when it comes to doing what he does.  I know that he adores you as much as you do him.  Whenever Grammy and Grandpa Slappy (don't ask where that name came from... Apparently your Grandpas both have unique names) call on skype, you come running "Hi! Hi! Hi!".  When your Daddy comes home, you do not rest until you have given him kisses.  You even take time each day to love on Roxy and try to coo "Puppy" to her, which makes her feel young and beautiful again.  You stroke Toshi saying "Dent-oool" (gentle).  There are so many more wonderful things that I can not begin to explain.  You are all that and a bag of chips.

Did you notice that your worth is not wholly defines by your looks?  As women, we struggle with that.  There will always be someone prettier than you.  You might find that your butt is too big or your boobs to small.  "If I could just fit in that size again, I will be happy."  I spent years wishing I did not have as voluptuous of a figure as I did, now that I am the size I always wanted to be, I wish I had those curves back.  There will always be something you wish you could better- stop.  Right now.  You are everything you are meant to be.

I am sorry that you will grow up watching me struggle with that.  I will try to make a comment or two a day about something positive about myself.  You will learn how to value yourself by how I value myself.  You will learn how a man should treat you by the way your Daddy treats me.  He does a great job, and I am praying every day for your future husband, but he has a lot to keep up with.  Me on the other had, I am working on it.  You are only one now.  I promise, each day I will try and set a good example.

Do you know what I love about myself?  I love that I can hold a deep conversation.  I am witty.  I love to learn, even the smallest, most insignificant things can be so cool.  I have faith.  I love to read.  I am self sufficient.  I want to teach you to be and have these things.  Being a housewife if a relativity new job to me, so please bare with me as I learn how to juggle all the unique responsibilities that come with the job.  I hope by the time you are on your own, I will have taught you have to be strong and weak.  Independent but also a team player.  I want to teach you so many things, many I need to learn myself.  I am so excited to go on this journey with you and I hope that we can be as close as my mom and I are.

I love you so much, but please stay asleep just a bit longer since I spent your nap blogging and not being responsible.