A Body Of Hope



Hello Luvs,

I was reading my news feed today, feeling very much alone in my pain. I have a wonderful husband who does so much and he’s my soul-mate. I have two lovely daughters and 3 granddaughters, ages 1,3 & almost 5!

We had the 2 older ones sleep over last night. So far we have only had the eldest spend the night. That was easy and awesome. I love them all the same! They are my little blessings. But now I’m in so much pain, that I read the following post with tears in my Eyes. I feel like I’m swimming against the current bcz I try so hard to be upbeat and as “good as I can be”! Today’s been really tough and I’m hard on myself ! This writing is beautiful and the writer is not only a long time friend & Facebook friend; but she’s a talented writer. I have reposted her writing here, to share with you her beautiful words. She has a blog called “A Body Of Hope”. I hope you’ll check it out! Without further hesitation, here’s Mary Mattio’s beautiful words:

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~If you’re having a bad day…this is for you
You have every right to feel overwhelmed, as though no one understands, maybe you feel afraid, or even hopeless. As far as I know, everyone living with long term illness understands these feelings. I know I do.

Illness, pain, long-suffering literally deprives the brain of the chemicals and hormones needed to feel happiness and at peace. It’s not pain or illness alone that causes depression, but the high levels of stress, constantly, over a long period of time that can inhibit the production of important nerve cells. The “optimistic” neurotransmitters like, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine are no longer in balance to counter the feelings of uselnessness, loneliness, and hopelessness. What might be a passing thought, thanks to the rigors of chronic illness, becomes a spiraling pit of despair. Pain gets into your very soul, and exhausts every resource. 

This month is my 13 year anniversary with chronic pain (RSD/CRPS). When I became very ill 6 yrs ago, after several more illnesses struck suddenly, I felt as though I completely disappeared. Illness and pain swallowed me up.

If anyone is reading this and is being swallowed up, then you know it’s the loneliest feeling in the world to watch everyone go on and live happy lives while you fight for your own life in the shadows. Being drowned by an invisible adversary can seem like a practical joke. Everyone is in disbelief it could be “that bad.” But truly, aren’t we all in disbelief that it’s this bad?

I want to tell you what your brain would tell you if she were allowed to work at her full potential. I want to share what your soul is crying out for that pain has blocked. 

You have a purpose, you always have. Your purpose did not end when you were diagnosed. A calling is not just a job, purpose goes beyond the walls of a building. You are meant to be. 

You are enough. You are just as worthy and amazing as you always have been. Even though you might feel weak, you are gaining strength of character, wisdom, and you are learning things from this battle that no one can ever take from you. Please don’t accept the lie that you’re a failure, you are not. You are in the midst of the fight of your life. We can’t allow ourselves to believe we are losing. If your daughter, son, or grandparent were suffering from the very same condition as you, what would you want to tell them? 

You can do this. Though you may be exhausted and even fragile right now, you aren’t even sure how you’ll go on another day. The pain is pushing you over the edge of what you can bare…but somehow you have risen to meet every single day before this. Remember every treatment, surgery, and frustrating doctor appointment. Never forget how many miles you have walked already. You have overcome so many impossible days. Just get through this day. Tomorrow is not for today. 

You are beautiful. Sometimes we lose touch with our bodies, to separate and protect ourselves. Weight gain or weight loss, hair loss or teeth changes, swelling or skin changes…. we can look in the mirror and see a complete stranger staring back. You may not look or feel as you once did, but you can still get to know this amazing, lovely, and beautiful person. You are worthy of love. (PS. it’s ok to take selfies even if you don’t look like your old pictures!) People love you for all of you. You don’t have to appear perfect, no one is.

You are still the same person. Illness has a tricky way of detaching us from the longing of our past, splitting us apart from the face in the mirror, and isolating us from our loved ones. Who we were can float away, and illness begins to take us over. You are still her! You are still on your journey. Your path, your life, your experience is no less meaningful than anyone else’s. 

One last thing that I think your brain would want to remind you… Things won’t be this way forever. Chronic conditions change over time. Life changes. Our perspectives change. Yes, any day your condition could progress and worsen. Or any day, you could begin to improve or go into remission. The truth is that we hear about progression and complications 10x more (TEN TIMES MORE) than we hear about people regaining health and wellness. There is no doctor or article online that can assure you of what tomorrow will hold. As much as your body and mind yell words like “incurable, degenerative, progressive, comorbidities,” instead let HOPE be your weapon of choice. 

As illness continues to speak its lies to us, we must scream back truth to ourselves so loudly that every part of us can hear!

-Mary Mattio

@abodyofhope
“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they may both lead to the same destination.”

-Marion Zimmer Bradley

How Great Thou Art -ASL


A beautiful song was in my soul today! I went to church and asked if I could use the chapel! So this is “How Great Thou Art” sung by Carrie Underwood! I hope you get chills like I do!

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

World’s Best Mom


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This poem was written for me on “Mother’s Day, 2003. One year prior to my oldest daughter leaving her “Momma”, her home, and her family, and becoming estranged from me/us since July 2004! She left at just 18 years old, and just a month after her  Graduation party from High School! She left home for reasons I won’t record for her privacy. I wait every day, each year that passes us by; for her to come “home” ….in her heart, like the story n the Bible, of “The Prodigal’s Son. My/our door will always be open! I will never give up HOPE!

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The Oak Tree…A Poem.


The Oak Tree = Suzanne Stewart

**A friend of mine wrote this to me and sent it from England..s.he said it reminded her of me. that made me feel really good b/c it really does seem as though it is truly about ME!!! thank you Sharon!

The Oak Tree
by Johnny Ray Ryder Jr

A mighty wind blew night and day

It stole the oak tree’s leaves away
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke.
How can you still be standing Oak?

The oak tree said, I know that you

Can break each branch of mine in two
Carry every leaf away
Shake my limbs, and make me sway

But I have roots stretched in the earth

Growing stronger since my birth
You’ll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn’t sure

Of just how much I could endure
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you
I’m stronger than I ever knew

Poems and Broken Promises


WANTING, HURTING,NEEDING

I continue to pretend that my family is dead, I cannot forget the horrible things that they’ve said.
The things that they’ve done are even worse to be told, I’ll never forget them, even when I’m very old.
They continue to be horrible, evil & mean. The reality that I once thought I had, it’s different and all is not what it once seemed.
I’ve thought of them as dead these past years, but they aren’t dead, I’m the one that is dead, I fear!
I am dead, I feel numb, I feel quiet and dumb. I feel like a piece of my life is gone, but I fear it is me that is wrong.
I’m missing my life, my love ,my kids & the sun! I’m missing it all because I feel numb.
I’m tired of hurting and wanting and needing. I just feel That darkness and sadness are leading.
I’m dead, I’m crying, I’m hurting, can’t you see? Can’t you see what’s happening inside of me?
I can’t leave this world, I have too much to live for…..two beautiful girls & a wonderful man that I adore. I have it all, right now, this moment, today. But in the blink of an eye it could all go away!
I have all that I want but I’m dead can’t you see? What I want and don’t have, is that nice family tree.
I want them to love me for who I can be, I thought they were dead, but the “dead” one is me.
Help me! Help me!,, I’m sinking like a ship! I need a life jacket, now, one that won’t slip. I want to save myself, but I don’t know how to swim, my head is going under & I feel like I can’t
Win!
I hate them! I love them! How can they do this to me? How could they do all that they did to hurt me? The hurt and the sadness are weights pulling me under, there are mazes, darkness, lightning and thunder.
I’m dying, I’m drowning in my world full of fear…..HELP ME! SAVE ME ! I wish a lifeboat was near!
A lifeboat is near, it’s inside of my soul. Others can’t save me, it is alone that I must crawl out of this hole. Alone & by myself, that’s one of my biggest fears. No one can be magic or save me and my lifetime of full of tears.
I want someone to fix it, fix me, fix it all. I thought that’s why Daddy’s were so big and so tall!
I don’t have a Daddy, a Momma or brothers, now I must try to trust some of the others.
Trust is a hard one for me to believe, whenever I’ve trusted, they make fun & leave!

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I wrote this poem in about 1998! It was about a year or so after I tried to confront my parents about the abuse I suffered as a child growing up in their home. The abuse which continues even today and has never gone away! But now my mother has passed away (12-21-02). One saving Grace is that she told me that she “loved me infinity” before she died. She never said those words; and to me, she was saying that she was “sorry” in a way that she could say it! I forgave her, sang to her and spoke softly in her ear. But from that day forward, my father and brothers were more abusive than ever before. They still are doing things on purpose, just to be hurtful and horrible….any and every chance they get!
In that poem, I spoke of being afraid that everyone who does or did love me, would be gone” …I say “it could all be gone in the blink of an eye!”
Well….after all that I had already been through, I had no idea what was to come …..because in 2004, July….I did “lose” my eldest daughter. She chose a life with my abusers, all of them! She chose a boy in school who was known as A “bully”. He did illegal & immoral things. His mother called and lied to me, for her son and my daughter! My ex got involved and then my father & brothers joined in and they all have watched and gotten pleasure from my pain! They helped her turn away from me, from us…
My ex, their father, was found “Guilty” of a crime against a young woman and I was subpoenaed to testify against him after he was abusive to me, to our dog, to us! He was ordered by a judge & CFS, to have “supervised visitation” only! He chose to move 1,000 miles away! I had no choices, but he sought revenge and he sat quietly waiting for the teenage years of rebellion! He was never a “father” to the girls during their childhood. . took advantage of that and anytime I’d try to teach “good values” and morality, he’d find a way to go against me and hurt me. Truly that hurt our daughter also, but she won’t see that or try to understand that ….until, or unless one day her own daughter insists at age 17, when she’s not even graduated from High school, yet she wants not only “permission”to sleep over night at her boyfriends house (in the same bed & room but she wants to smoke cigarettes & pot, drink alcoholic beverages, meet older boys at the park , in their cars, & make exchanges for one thing or another! We, as young parents may say to ourselves “oh ….THAT will never happen to me, or to us…..but it did and it does! No amount of love, being there and being available, keeping a good schedule and good rules, never missing any event that is important to them. Nothing can stop it from happening to any of us. I hope one day she’ll understand that I loved her enough to let her hate me!
Well….by then I had already been in a car accident,(2002-a man ran through a red light) had several surgeries, including a pacemaker and three years of brain injury rehab! I had 8 years of Physical therapy & then I had a heart attack after my 1st “Mother’s Day” without my eldest daughter! A year later, I had a CVA aka: a stroke! I acquired a horribly painful & progressive autoimmune, nerve disease called “RSD/CRPS” or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome II! Now it’s been almost 81/2 years since she left….the attempts that I made were mostly in the first 3 or 4 years! I had sent mother/daughter “Mizpah”necklaces. I sent cards each week with just loving messages, no preaching. In 2007, I texted her & sad “Im thinking of you and I love and miss you!” She did text me back & asked me to come to meet her at her job at a hair salon. I went and it was Nov. and very cold outside; which makes pain worse! She came out & talked at my car without ever inviting me inside nor introducing me to anyone! We met for lunch twice and it went OK, but All she talked about was her father & his new kids and family! I asked if she could talk more about herself and her life instead of my ex who was abusive & horrible to me & us! She didn’t call and I never heard from her until one day I got a text which read “Suzanne…why do you think people care about you? THEY DONT!!” I cried and my heart was broken again! Ive heard nothing now since 2007! My heart will remain broken because a piece of “me” is missing now! The door will always be open for her, at our home!!!

***these are some of the nice words she wrote to me only one year before she lost all love & respect for me after being hurt in a MVA…she wrote the one note in the front page of a scrapbook she made for me for a holiday gift. I had made one for her and her sister and she knew I wanted one too! The other is a poem she wrote for me on “Mothers day” 2003. But then I later found out it was for a grade…a homework assignment in school! But I still felt that it was wonderful! I’ll always love both of my daughters!! I feel a huge hole in my heart

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