Hope Is A Verb


img_7869We all lose hope at some point in our lifetime or another. We get sad and start feeling hopeless when too many things happen all at once; that we consider to be “bad”, hurtful or depressing. We may start to feel overwhelmed and this causes some of us to lose hope. Sometimes it is the way we feel inside because of something or some “things” that others have said or done to us or said about us.  Certain words or situations might hurt our feelings or even our ego possibly? The holidays seem to bring about an overabundance of  feelings, situations and even hopelessness. At a time when Charles Dickens’ ghosts would be telling us that we need to learn from our past, live in the present and look forward to our futures. It’s not as easy as it seems. Even the Hallmark Christmas stories, have characters who, by the end of the story, are healthy, happy and hopeful. Those of us living with daily chronic pain are not immune to the difficult, hopeless feeling situations that actually multiply for us during the holidays. You see, we get these feelings on top of  debilitating pain and most often, that brings with it, several illnesses and disabilities.

You might say to yourself, “What is she talking about? Why is she writing such a “downer” as this, during what most see as a happy time of year?” I’ll tell you what I’m talking about. It is this 4 letter word “HOPE”. It can be anything you make it, if you just think about it for a moment. People want “HOPE” to be brought to them. They want it as a “gift” from God. Some others think of it as a noun or a “thing” that we are entitled to. But in my lifetime I have come to love this sometimes mysterious 4 letter word. It intrigues me so much that I wear it on a chain around my neck. I have worn HOPE around my neck for years and years. It is my favorite of all words.  I always thought that I’d get out of a bad situation if I just had “Hope”. Things will get better if I just keep “hoping”.  I always thought that if I continue to wear my “Hope” necklace, then one day I will have “HOPE”; the noun, the “thing” that others seem to have.

But I did not “get” HOPE because you cannot wait for it, for the noun or the “thing” to come to you. I have learned that “HOPE” is a verb. A verb is an “action” word.  I have found that HOPE is also an action word and you have to DO something in order to have and keep HOPE! If you keep waiting for it to come to you, that is when you will lose it. For example; as a chronic pain patient, in order to find a good Dr., one whom you trust and respect; you must continue to look. You can’t sit back and “HOPE” that others will find the Dr. for you. You must do the work of looking, hunting on the internet and reading the different reviews about many many physicians. You might have to do the tedious work of going to 3, 4 or even 5 different Dr’s before you find the right “fit” for you. But after you do the actions, then you can receive the “HOPE”.  It will be rewarding to actively do the “work” or the job of looking for and getting what you want or need for yourself. Along with this comes the feeling of accomplishment and when you put those things together, you will feel more secure, happy and hopeful.  See how it works? If you choose to do nothing, feel sorry for yourself most of the time, and let others do it all for you; then there cannot be much HOPE. If you try your best and keep making the end goal of having and keeping HOPE; making it a verb and doing the actions; I think you will be surprised at how much better you feel inside.I’m not saying that you can never feel sad, loss or grief.  It is OK to feel sad sometimes, as long as you can get yourself back in time, before the loss of hope comes.

I have an example for you, and it just happened to me during these past few weeks.  I was feeling sorry for myself and a bit hopeless. Silly as it seems, I had taken off my “HOPE” necklace and everything just appeared to be a bit bleak. I was experiencing higher pain levels because we live in Michigan and it’s been so very cold. I don’t like going out much or at all during this part of the year because of the higher pain levels along with extreme cold. But I do want to go out, because this is my favorite season of  helping others, HOPEfulness and cheer. I love the lights, the music and the Christmas trees. I usually feel happier even when staying inside with my cat in my warm, cozy chair. I enjoy drinking something hot and watching the overly dramatic Christmas movies. But these past few weeks I had been feeling down and a bit hopeless.  I was feeling that I was trying even when I didn’t feel good enough to try anymore. I continued “doing” when I didn’t feel well enough to do the things that I just wanted to do.  But I was adamant about doing those things anyways. I realized that you must stop and take a time out, when you need one. It’s OK to be sad for awhile, but just when you feel that HOPE is lost, that is when you are keeping it as a noun and something that is given to you. But things will turn around when you remember to keep HOPE as a verb. Keep it as an action word and one in which you have to do something in order to have it. When you make HOPE a verb,something always happens to change the negative feelings in your life.

Just when my HOPE was draining, I received a large envelope in the mail.  Inside was a blue folder with the seal of Michigan on it. When I opened it, I started to cry and I was ecstatic. What I held in my hands was a “Special Tribute” from the Michigan House of Representatives  and from the Governor,  Rick Snyder!  I’ll Post a photo of the “Special Tribute” here so that you can read it. I have been rewarded when I have never asked for any rewards. I received a special tribute for the advocacy work that I do and my “compassion for others”.  I don’t have any idea where it originated?  I know who signed it and sent it to me; but what, how, why me?  All I know is that I was feeling down and tired of constant pain, even though my pain is somewhat controlled. I was losing HOPE because I was waiting for someone to give it to me. I had to remember again, that it is an action of “doing something”. Though I did receive something in the mail that truly cheered up my spirits. In the end, I did something to make it happen.

Don’t lose hope because it’s not something you can “hold or touch”; it’s something that you “DO” or “act upon”. My hero was an Advocate, Helen Keller.  She was blind and Deaf, but she never gave up. She was tenacious and I strive to be like her. Especially in that I’d gone to University to be an Interpreter for the Deaf and blind. I worked at a major Hospital as an Interpreter and at magnet schools for hearing impaired children. Then, in 2002, my car was hit by a man who ran through a red light. I won’t go into the multiple injuries and surgeries. But I will tell you how ironic it was/is that I am fluent in American Sign Language. Deaf culture & ASL have always been something that I love.  As a result of the car accident, I also suffered a “Traumatic Brain Injury”.  Part of that includes hearing loss and vision issues. I have a convergence insufficiency, chronic dry eye, my own hearing aids and prescription eye drops that I must use on a daily basis in order to keep from going blind.

Whenever I feel that I’m losing HOPE, I remember all that I have been through and all that I still CAN do. I try to remember to never stop doing the actions that keep my HOPE alive. Lack of action makes hope die and that is when I remember what my “hero”, Helen Keller, once said: “Your success and happiness lies in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

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How To Cope With Pain And The Holiday Grinch’s (Narcissists)



The holidays are hard for many people especially those in pain. Also for people with depression, chronic illnesses, invisible diseases and disabilities; the holidays are filled with exhaustion, exasperation, loss, loneliness, pain and so on. Everyone would love the perfect picture holiday with the warm fireplace, the loving family all around, the dog sleeping on the floor and the cat on the hearth. People wish for all kinds of things from true love to toy cars. But most of all, everyone pretty much wants the same thing: a quiet, peaceful home with a loving family all around to celebrate – and maybe even feel well for a few days. 
While others are out participating in the hustle and bustle of the holiday frenzy; those of us with chronic pain are still living and coping with our illnesses. We are still in pain while trying to do all of these “things” that are expected of us. Our children, our families and friends may indeed love us, but they all want Christmas to arrive in all of it’s glory, regardless of our pain and fatigue. The things that we live with on a daily basis do not go away for the holidays. We don’t get a “holiday vacation” like everyone else does. We must push on, endure and put a smile on our face. When we really feel like sleeping, wincing, sitting, resting and sometimes just crying. My advice for all of us living with chronic pain, invisible illnesses and unrelenting fatigue; is that we need to take “time outs”. Take a look at the large picture for a moment and break it down into small increments. Take on one task at a time and stop when you feel the need to stop. Don’t push yourself, as that’ll keep the pain cycle going. Please stop and rest; give your body a chance to mend for a few hours or take the day “off.” You are allowed to do this, no matter what your conscience tells you to do.

There are many of us with chronic illness, who also have invisible illnesses, such as Dysautonomia/POTS, CFS/ME and/or PTSD. It feels as though these illnesses are rarely acknowledged. We need to make sure that we take care of ourselves first, especially during the holidays. This means that when we feel the fatigue coming on, STOP right away! Don’t keep going until it takes much longer to recuperate. There are those who may have MN’s in their family or group of closest friends. That stands for “Malignant Narcissists.” Those are the people who always put their needs ahead of yours. Stay away from them, keep your distance!! The MN’s use the holidays as a time to preach, cause hysteria, pain and grandstand. They are like vampires and will suck the life right out of you if you allow it. You “feel” as though you don’t have a choice, but you really do!! If you are trying to avoid conflict by pretending that it’s “OK” or “not that bad;” then you will end up with increasing pain, more fatigue, internal conflict and much more than what you bargained for. You’ll never get what you think you deserve out of those relationships. They won’t ever be “warm and fuzzy.” They will always put restrictions on you, rules for you to follow. It may be outward or it can be mind games that they play. If you cannot physically get away from them during the holidays, if you must be at the same gathering…..emotionally leave the room!! You need to do this for your own mental and physical well being.

We don’t all have families with the “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” kind of holiday. Some of us get “Jack Frost nipping at our noses!!” We may not have the “Halls decked with holly and people kissing under mistletoe.” Because in families with “MN’s” you will forever have “Grandma getting run over by a reindeer” and many, many games!! If you MUST spend the holidays with these kind of people, if this is your family tree, then the name of the game is “keeping sane and learning to survive.” It’s not about having fun and singing Christmas carols, it’s about surviving the “Big Chill” that you feel in their presence. Be there if you must, in your body, but make your mind be someplace happy and do not get into conversations with them. You must protect yourself and your children. Don’t say “Oh it’s not that bad,” or “they didn’t mean it that way,” or “you don’t understand them like I do.” Because YES I do! I’m trying to help you make it through the days when we are supposed to be “laughing all the way!!” Usually it is the narcissists, who are “Laughing all the way” and they definitely know what they’re doing. When you can stay away, then do it. When you can avoid inviting them into your life, please do so! But when all else fails,”leave the conversation” at least in your heart, mind and soul. Though your body may be there, you don’t have to be!!! Try to never have the party at your own house when you have MN’s for relatives – because then you are trapped and you cannot leave or get away. They will know they have you like a spider has a fly in his web. All you can do is squirm and squiggle but you cannot leave!

Try to take a step back during the holidays, make a personal space boundary. Keep your distance and stick by those who will not persecute you, make fun of you, be nasty or hurt you. The “MN’s” can get you upset, angry and crying; then fly to “save” you. Those who say the word “love” but never know how to really show it, except with unloving examples of unkindness; along with displays of abnormal affection; don’t truly know what “LOVE” is. They aren’t thinking of you, your pain, illness, or your feelings – and they don’t see what they are doing to you or your quality of life. The honest and only way to avoid the pain of the holidays with Malignant Narcissist’s, is to be with only those who truly love you back and with whom you trust. People who truly love you and won’t hurt you – at least not on purpose.

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Try to enjoy your holidays with a smaller amount of people in your circle. If you are living with chronic physical pain; the emotional pain and stress can take its toll on your body even at a higher rate than usual. There are loving, calm and quiet things that you can do with your own “little” family. You can look at lights in the neighborhoods, order pizza and watch holiday movies. But remember that life is not normally like those holiday movies filled with “perfect” families, etc. Unfortunately, we have to learn to survive and help teach our children not to be controlled by the MN’s of the family and friend pool. Life is so much more “choice” than you might think. You don’t “HAVE to” do much of anything that you don’t want to do, except to try to survive. Love those who are lovable and who love you back. But I don’t mean to stop loving the unlovable. I just mean to love them from a distance so that you cannot be “touched” by their damaged spirits or hurt by their abuse.

Good luck, and don’t lie to yourself, we all know that fruitcake really stinks! Just because it is a “holiday” thing….you don’t have to like it or eat it….so just because they are your “family,” you don’t have to like them or spend time with them unless you want to!! Enjoy your holidays as much as possible and take care of your family, your children, your fur babies; and most importantly, yourself!

The Days After……


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Hello Luvs,
Well, another Christmas eve and day went by without a hitch…isnt’ that what they say?? I guess that means without something awful happening, huh? It is very different around our house now, since the kids are all gone on their own. Part of me really likes it because I never really got to be “alone” on my own before. I left my parents home to marry and then when I divorced, I moved out with my 2 kids to an apartment . It was closer to my parents, my family…but I’m not sure why I moved in that direction. I really should have run the opposite direction and kept on running! But if you’ve been reading my blog along from the beginning, you will know why I just made that last statement. If not, then you might want to read some of the earlier pages, that spoke of the abuse and such. I guess I never really had “alone” time very often until now. I do enjoy it and its very soothing to have that little bit of time to reflect and to keep yourself more calm.
One thing for sure, is that Christmas will not ever be the same for me again, after this year. I know my girls were getting older and older and older. I knew one day they’d be gone and have a home of their own. Just know that this Christmas, I “ate up” every single second of the time we had together! Amy and Grant (my youngest 25 yrs and her fiance’, 27 yrs) both have their own apartments and they came for the entire Christmas eve day and they stayed for the whole evening. Grant went to sleep over for the last time at his parents house, with his younger sister, Sarah, who’s 20. Amy stayed over night at our house and in her old bedroom, now called the “guestroom”. I had made up the bed for her and set up everything very nice for her. For one more time…… in my entire lifetime, I got to feel that peace, the peace that only a parent knows and feels, when everyone is tucked in their beds at night and all feels right in the world again. But to go back a few hours….I’ll explain our day and night. I thought I could share some of our traditions with you and then maybe learn some new ones from a reader?

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Amy and Grant arrived about 11:15 am on Christmas eve morning. We met them at the mall because one of our Christmas eve traditions that we have done as far back as when my girls were born, is to have lunch at one of our favorite restaurants called, “Olga’s Kitchen”. We met them there and had a nice lunch and none of us had any shopping to do, luckily. But we got a Starbuck’s coffee, only to watch all of the “Hustlers and bustlers”, with their last minute shopping. We walked around the mall for about an hour after our yummy lunch and with our “salted hot carmel Mocha” from Starbucks. Amy and I talked and Craig and Grant talked and we all had a nice Christmas eve afternoon. We left the mall to go back to our house together. Amy and Grant were so cute, they were still wide eyed and excited about Christmas so that made it fun for me as well. We decided to let Grant open his stocking stuffers from us and have Amy open her Xmas eve gifts from Craig and me. We had loads of food and “goodies” out, along with hot cider, soda, coffee and tea’s. After opening his stocking voraciously with all of the fun sound effects,jokes and amusing stories that we’ve come to expect from Grant, then Amy opened up her Christmas eve gifts from us, “Mom & Dad”. It’s really fun, by the way that since the wedding is only 3 weeks away, Grant started calling us “Mom and Dad” now…I LOVE IT!! I love kids, all ages of kids,….grown up kids, little kids, baby kids….I love them all. I wish I’d have had 10 more kids than what I had!!.
Did I mention that the fireplace was on and the stockings were hung with care? Did I mention that my little story “dad” bear was in his rocker waiting to read “twas the Night Before Christmas”? Also, the cat knew something was happening…something was very different…it was louder and more busy than what she’s used to ….she decided to hide out under the couch for most of the festivities!!. We had gone to lunch and they opened a couple of gifts, but we had planned on eating my homemade Lasagna, which has become a new tradition just recently. I’m a very good cook , but never really gave myself the chance to believe in my own cooking because I was always too afraid I’d get put down and told that “i couldn’t do it right”….so I never tried until now. I made the best Lasagna ever! Well, I’ll just tell you a little of how I made it in case you want to try…it was excellent! I put some ground sausage and ground sirloin together and sautéed it with some onions. I added some Pasta sauce called “Prego -Tomatio, Basil & Garlic”, 2 bottles of that went into the meat mixture after browning and draining it. I added a touch of seasonings to my liking and put it aside. I took the Ricotta cheese and mixed an egg into that , making it more easily “dolloped” into the dish and spread over the Lasagna noodles which was cooking in boiling water in the stove during all of this. I put a little plain sauce in bottom of the pan. Then I put the Lasagna noodles by 3’s across, one at a time into the pan. after the noodles were covering bottom of pan, I put the meat/sauce mixture into the dish on top of the noodle layer that I had there. I put a few dollops of the Ricotta cheese /egg mixture on top of the noodles, then sauce . I spread it into a nice layer but not too thin and not too thick. *(By the way, the oven should be pre heating during all of this at about 350 degrees)…I put the : Mozzarella (grated), the 5 Italian cheeses (grated) and the Parmesean(grated) on top of that layer and then another layer of noodles. You do that in layers just like I said, until everything is gone. You save the last meat/sauce mixture for the top and then some added cheese as well. You cover it lightly so the cheese does not touch the Foil and you put it in the 350 oven for about 35 minutes. Then you take the top off, the foil and throw that out, while leaving the Lasagna in the oven for 15 more minutes. It is the most excellent Lasagna ever! I actually got the recipe from my bff, Marge! Thanks Marge!!
We ate the Lasagna after going to church service at 4:30. I had forgotten that part. We were planning on going to the candle light service at 6:00 pm at the church near our house. But we would’ve had to have eaten the Lasagna early at about 4:30 and left in only 45 minutes for the 6pm service, in order to get a seat. Nobody was hungry yet, because our lunch at Olga’s was so great and filling!! So we decided to switch it up and go to the children’s service at 4:30 and then eat the Lasagna when we got home after that. So that is what we did. We were nice and hungry when we got home. But we felt a little bit less than fulfilled with that church service. Now , we knew it was geared for children and we don’t mind “funny” , “fun” and/or “dumb”, but it was just very boring, only 20 minutes long and the minister was not talking at all to the adults. It was definitely a children’s service but I’m thinking the adults were not supposed to get anything out of it. Somehow that doesn’t seem right? Everyone should feel something about Christmas services? The Mary was an older girl and they made her pregnant and the boy was very young and didnt know his lines well and then “mary” kept on calling him “Joe”…it was not very thought provoking or “Feeling”…It was more like comedy and I dont prefer that especially on Christmas. There were no songs or bells or anything that made it feel like Christmas around there. My daughter had a great idea….when we got home and we were eating our traditional “S’mores”, she decided that we should try to go to church again that night. I mean, it it Jesus’ birthday after all?? We didn’t feel like we’d even gone to church….so we would watch most of the movie “The Holiday” and drink cocoa or hot coffee/flavored, and eat some of the goodies that I’d made with Craig. Then we went to the 9pm church service near our home and it was Awesome!! It was beautiful and there was the gorgeously decorated church and the lights and the choir and the bell choir!!! It was great and we enjoyed the service and the Homily and the people …just everything made us all feel more like the way going to church is supposed to make you feel.
After church, Grant came back to our home again and we gave him all of his presents and we gave Sutton’s presents to Amy to open and they gave us their presents to us!!! It was awesome and fun and a wonderful memorable Christmas eve. But it was about 11:30 and the kids had a long day the next day, with Grant’s family. So Grant went back to his parents house to sleep over for the last time and wake up with his sister and parents for Christmas morning! Craig and I woke up with Amy and Luna was there of course. We turned on the Christmas music, I wore my Santa hat and I started the hot tea. Amy went straight to her stocking and then we all had our tea and opened the gifts from Santa. We had a great breakfast of pancakes, bacon and juice, with hot tea. Then after dishes were cleaned up, Amy had to go and get ready to spend the day at Grant’s Uncle and Aunts house with Grant’s sister and Parents as well. Craig, Luna and I had a quiet and nice Christmas day, but I never got out of my Christmas nightie! It has reindeer on front and its from “Eddie Bauer”…it’s so cute. I wore the Santa hat, made coffee in my Keurig with my new special hot mug! I played with Luna, got some love from her and then Craig and I watched some Christmas movies and I got my loving from him too! It was quiet, but it can be whatever you make it. I could have chosen to be sad, depressed and to have felt bored and /or lonely that day. Some people may have felt that way, if they’d had my Christmas day. I CHOSE to relax, enjoy the Christmas music int he background, read a bit, play on my iPad awhile and hang out with my favorite kitty, Luna and my favorite Hubby, Craig! All in all we had a good Christmas. I feel like next year may be a little bit harder because it may be the first time since 1986, that I won’t be waking up in the morning with children in the house…big or little “children”…they’re still my children to me.
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Most of life is like like that you know. Bad things can happen to us and they do, all the time. But how you deal with those bad things, that is the key in this life. If you choose to be sad then you’ll be depressed and you won’t be able to ever enjoy anything. If all you do is complain about it all, then you will alienate the people who may want to spend time with you, but not when you are like that. If you choose to just be “down in the dumps” then you will not have any fun. You have to make your own fun! You can play game, watch a movie, listen to music. I found that throughout these holidays, I would play my IPOD on the Ihome speakers. I loved listening to the Christmas music this past month. I enjoyed it immensely and we put it on each morning. Sometimes we even dance slowly together in our living room. I married my best friend. I”m so lucky……who knows what next year will bring??? Maybe my now 10 year Christmas “miracle wish” will come true next year?? I had so hoped it would this Christmas, but no such luck….We still had an excellent Christmas time…and now…I have New Year’s Eve to look forward to! We are meeting 2 other couples for Dinner and then they are all coming back to our house for games, food/dessert, and to watch “the ball drop” on “New Year’s Rockin Eve…..its not the same without Dick Clark, but they still do a good job!!
This holiday is such a whirlwind; because after the New year’s festivities are finished, we then have only a few days until my Sleep study, which is on Friday night at 9pm and I have to stay until Saturday morning at 6:00 am. I guess I dont breath when I sleep and you can die or it can really hurt your heart worse or since I’ve already suffered a CVA (stroke), I could have another one because of course, it’s never good to stop breathing when you sleep! After this study is done, I will go home and set up for my daughter’s Wedding shower that I am giving her at my house! All of the women from the wedding are coming over at 2pm and we are having a beautiful shower for her!!! She’ll have a pretty corsage and a pretty dress! She will be treated like the Princess she is for the day!! She will be a most beautiful bride on January 11th 2014! I cannot wait to have a son who loves me and who treats me really great!! That goes really well with the daughter who loves me and treats me great…Thank you for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed me sharing my holiday with you today….br />20131230-173422.jpg<

Oh….and one last thing that I must mention is that as you know, I am a chronic pain paitient. I have full body CRPS and I have CKDII and Dysautonomia/POTS/NCS, along with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Degenerative Disc Disease, Immune disease deficiency, a pacemaker, Osteoarthritis and much more. But I didn’t let all of that pain stop me from having as much fun as my “Pained” body would allow me to have. I guess you could say that I took my emergency medications for just these kinds of special ocasions. I planned and napped and just put it into my head that I was going to have a nice time. No doom and gloom, just smiles and fun…but no fakeness..thats’ not what I mean either…I just had to really put myself into another state of mind, even if I’ve had to “pay” for it the few days and still today since Christmas, it was and is still worth it….thanks so much and please come back again…Suzanne<
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A Christmas Wish


Hello Luvs,

Well, it is the Holiday Season once again.  The tree is trimmed….boy, OH boy is our tree ever “trimmed”!!  We have a 3 yr old kitty cat who thinks that we brought a tree into our house JUST for her to play in!! We actually came downstairs and came home etc…several times and the tree was over on it’s side, after having “crashed” to the floor! We decided to take the the bottom off of the tree and put the top of the tree into the tree stand and put it on top of the end table. So now she can hide under the tree skirt, which is on top of the table and under the tree….LOL…but she doesn’t get into it anymore! I just know she thinks that tree was brought inside just to please her and to give her something to play inside of! Silly Luna kitty!  Anyway, it’s still a beautiful tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night.IMG_3919

So…I’ve been really thinking…..I’ve been thinking about Christmas and the true meaning of this beautiful holiday. I used to get so sad when the people who were “supposed” to be around me during the holidays, were not around  during that time, or any other times. That is a long story for another day…But for today, I want to talk about Christmas Miracles and what I would love for mine to be this year or any time at all. I won’t go into details because the past is the past. But my eldest daughter has been gone for over 9 years now. She left of her own free will.  No one asked her to leave, no one forced her to leave, she just left.  Not a day has gone by that I’ve not thought about her. A holiday has not passed, when I haven’t cried because of missing her. If I could have one Christmas miracle, one holiday wish,  it would be the same Christmas miracle I’ve asked for every year since 2004. I would ask for my daughter to come home, at least in her heart.  She is almost 28 years old and has her own home now. Although I stayed and raised my two daughters literally without any physical, Psychological or emotional help whatsoever;  I pray to see her and I also pray to meet my only granddaughter, who just recently turned one year old, this past November. I didn’t know of the wedding, I never knew of the pregnancy, I never saw the ultrasound appointments, I missed her birth, her first sounds, rolling over, crawling, her first tooth and now I’m sure she’s walking and talking.
When I first learned about my granddaughter, I started a scrapbook. It is a way to keep her in my thoughts and on my mind in a healthy and good way. I’ve kept up a book for both of my daughters as well, since they were born.  I’ve written notes, letters, poems etc. to them both from the day I went into labor and through today. Of course they are older now so I don’t have so much to write anymore, but I still write in it when I find something that I want to share with them.  My friends kept trying to get me to find & look at photos of my new granddaughter. I didn’t want to look because I finally saw a photo of her and then I fell in love, instantly. My “baby” has a baby. Wow….my “miracle” has her own “miracle” now. I started the scrapbook, but it turned into a journal of sorts. I don’t have many photo’s of course and it’s turned into what I call “Letters To Olivia”… I have not done very much, but I’ve started it and have written in it. I “talk” to “Liv” and I tell her about us and her mommy when she was a wee one. I guess I just do it to keep sane. I’ve just lost so much; it’s hard to keep my heart from breaking all over again day after day.
I saw this somewhere and it makes me think of my daughter being a mother now :  “Mothers and daughters are closest when daughters become mothers.” -Author Unknown.  I found these ideas online…they are really several pieces of advice for daughters and I want to share them with you (they are from a woman named BNayden, but I don’t know who she really is, except that she is a mom….like me and……although I don’t usually give too much advice, I thought this was worth reading and sharing:

                                     Advice for Daughters

  1. Listen to your Momma. She will never intentionally steer you in the wrong direction. There may be times you think we don’t have your best interest in mind but we always do.
  2. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Your family and true friends will accept you for who you are.
  3. Do everything with grace.
  4. Avoid participating in gossip.
  5. Think twice before you post something on the internet.
  6. Learn to cook, clean and be organized for yourself, not for someone else.
  7. Don’t set limits for yourself. Break down boundaries.
  8. You are stronger than what you think.
  9. Read books and watch documentaries.
  10. . There is nothing wrong with a little adventure so don’t be afraid to try new things.
  11. . In anything you do, remember that there is a reaction for every action.
  12. . Be the heroine in your own story. You don’t need a prince to rescue you.
  13. . Don’t dumb yourself down to get attention. There is nothing wrong with being smart. Use your common sense.
  14. . Respect yourself.
  15. . Know who your true friends are. It is okay to let go of people and move on, not everyone is meant to take the next step with you in your journey.
  16. . Set goals for yourself and have a plan but know that not everything goes as planned. Always have a plan B and C.
  17. . Don’t give up on your dreams. Take it one step and one day at a time.
  18. . Travel. Experience the world.
  19. . Know what’s going on in the world and in your local community. Keep up with current events.
  20. . Be confident and believe in yourself.
  21. . Respect nature and the environment, help to take care of it.
  22. . Work hard and seize every opportunity.
  23. . Be kind, compassionate and loyal.
  24. . Not everyone will be on your team. Don’t worry about pleasing them. Keep yourself happy and stick to what you believe in.
  25. . Know your self-worth and don’t let anyone else bring it down or make you feel less worthy.
  26. . Have faith.
  27. . Be courteous and always practice good manners.
  28. . Try your best not to do or say anything you will regret later.
  29. . Be wise when it comes to money. Save for rainy days and for the future. Live within your means.
  30. . Material possessions are not everything.
  31. . You are my princess; find a man that will treat you like his queen and he will be worthy for you to treat him like a king.
  32. . Be as well-educated, well-spoken and well-traveled the best you can.
  33. . Have hobbies, learn to play an instrument, play sports, join clubs and do volunteer work. All of these things will teach you valuable skills and make you a well-rounded person.
  34. . You are going to lose sometimes but you will only fail if you don’t stand back up and try again.
  35. . Be independent.
  36. . Learn to be patient.
  37. . You have a rich heritage. Be proud of it and your culture because it contributes to who you are.
  38. . Realize when to walk away; you can only give so much until you compromise your integrity and happiness.
  39. . Be healthy. Eat well and exercise. Practice good hygiene.
  40. . Be passionate about everything you do and what career you choose. It should not always be about the money especially if you are unhappy.

I don’t know why I liked the advice above, but I thought it was really good, or most of it anyways. I just felt like sharing it …but now I’d like to share My Christmas wish:

….I so badly want my daughter to look up to me, like she had done in the past. I want her to see me with the same eyes that she had seen me with when she was a little girl. A time when I could fix anything and a time when a hug and a kiss and some ice inside of the “boo boo bunny” could fix a multitude of “owie’s”.  I don’t want to go back in time, but move forward yet have her remember what she knew of my heart, who she always knew I was and for her to once again KNOW that I still am that “Momma” who thinks of her every day and still fondly calls her “My Sunshine Girl”.  I want for her to realize that though she thought I could fix anything when she was a little girl, I’m just a person who is imperfect and who makes mistakes just like anyone and everyone does.  I so badly wish for her to know that I never ever did or said anything to intentionally hurt her, not ever. Though I never would hurt a hair on my daughters heads, I’m not perfect and I have my own past hurts, issues and inner “demons” that I fight against; while being a product of a Malignant Narcissistic abusive family……what I’m saying…… I suppose….is that I’m sure I’ve unintentionally  hurt some feelings in the past, but not willfully or with malice in my heart.

I have so much on my mind and in my heart this Christmas time. I am older now and feel at peace more with who I am and who I wish to be. I try to find good in every day and forgive the “little” things, because most daily annoyances are just that…”little things”.  I try to find the good in people that I meet, and not be judgemental.  I forgive those who’ve hurt me, even though the “hurt’s” that have plagued me during my lifetime are unimaginable to some. I’ve had not one, not two but many many Dr.’s and other people who meet me, say that I am a “miracle”. They say that they are so surprised that I’m not “dead or crazy.  I’m not saying that to boast about being some kind of “miracle”…no… but to have you, the reader; know and feel what kind of things I’ve endured. If not for any other reason, than to know that I write from my heart; a broken heart.  A heart that I’ve tried to mend over these years and continue to fill it with only love and kindness. I try not to harbor ill feelings for those who’ve abused me in the past, and they are many. I’ve been hurt by just about every person in life who was supposed to love me. I’ve been starved, poisoned, beaten, broken, punished, molested,raped, cheated on and worst of all taunted and teased, called names and the most hurtful of all is the fact that those who are supposed to love me, get pleasure from my pain. It saddens me when I think about it too much. So I just don’t think about it ….and as much as I can push it away, I do!

Anyways, all of that is in the past…oh wait…no… some of it is still happening. When you have Narcissistic abusers in your life, in your own family; it never ends until you break the ties. That  is something which is so hard to do that not many can do it; not many  stick with it for the long haul. God never said that you had to stay with people who hurt you and/or abuse you. But enough of that talk, this is Christmas and it is the season of goodness, kindness and peace.

I’ve always heard it is the time for miracles. I’ve been waiting so long and every Christmas I pray for my Christmas miracle to come true. I pray all during the year as well. I pray every day and each night. Maybe this will be my year for a true longing wish to come true. All I want for Christmas, Lord….is to have my daughter back in my arms again. I don’t care how old she is….she will always be my baby!  “I love her forever, I like her for always….as long as I’m living my baby she’ll be…”…..Anyways, the day will come that my wish will come true, she will feel again in heart what she once felt ……something I’ve always felt and never lost for her…..a kind of love that is deep and true and a special kind of love between a Mother and her daughter…..

Well…anyways…I hope all of your Christmas wishes come true….whatever language you speak, I hope you speak “Love” and keep it in your heart all year and not just at Christmas time….

Photo Dec 02, 4 46 30 PM