Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Look at Her

I have a little exercise I want to try and I hope you will join me.  Sit or stand in front of a mirror and read this post on your smart phone or computer.

Look at her with compassion not animosity
Look at with her love not indifference
Look at her with trust not skepticism
Look at her with empathy not criticism
Look at her with acceptance not judgment
Look at her with confidence not doubt
Look at her with humanity not cruelty
Look at her with kindness not contempt
Look at her with gratitude not obligation
Look at her with respect not envy
Look at her with pride not shame
Look at her as capable not broken
Look at her as strong not shattered
Look at her as graceful not clumsy
Look at her as good not inept
Look at her as full not hollow

Look at her as everything she is and is striving to be.

Now, look at her (you).

If we can do these things while looking at ourselves, maybe we can begin to do them when we look at others.

She's the gift I was given to start really looking at myself
 and also to start loving myself.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Just give me a minute to think about it!

Humans of New York
“My wife and I are divided about whether it was inevitable, or if something caused it, but we do have video of Jackson at 18 months, coming up to the camera and talking. But soon afterward his language stopped developing, and eventually he lost the language skills he already had. He stopped responding to his name. You could even bang pots and pans behind him, and he wouldn’t respond. But when we tested his hearing, it was fine. People would say: ‘Boys develop later.’ Or ‘Don’t worry, my daughter didn’t begin talking until she was three.” But we knew it was something more. This was twenty years ago, so the doctors didn’t even know what to tell us. The head of pediatrics at Columbia met with us, and said: ‘Let me do some research on autism and I’ll get back to you.’ We started to worry that Jackson might never progress. Around this time, I overheard some acquaintances worrying that their four-year-old son might be gay. It made me so mad. I thought: ‘Give me a fucking break. You know that your child can grow to be happy, independent, and fall in love. I’d trade anything for that knowledge, and you’re freaking out that your son might be gay.’”

So I shared this post a few days ago on FB from Humans of New York and now I feel anxious and weird about it.  First I should know better than to share a post if my heart is racing or I've had too much wine, can't remember at this point which was the case. Anyway, I wish I hadn't shared it, not because I haven't felt exactly the way this father has, but because, I felt like I was shaming other parents for the way they feel.  Its hard to explain but I will try. All of my friends have "typical" children, seriously you probably couldn't find even a speech impediment in the lot of them.  So, of course, they worry about "typical" children things, ie walking by 15 months, potty training, test scores, sports teams, etc. And these are all things I worry/worried about with Jacob so I totally get it.  I think what resonated with me is the anger that sometimes builds up if someone goes on and on about a seemingly ridiculous worry (pooping on the toilet or site words) and I am baffled. Listen people, if anyone needs to worry about kids pooping on the toilet, it's this girl. And I should be over it, how many years have I had disabled kids? But I still get all fired up inside. Again, that's what parents with typical kids worry about, so move on Mary (sorry, that was me talking to myself). But a son being gay worry is different. Maybe the couple was worried about how their son would be treated or ostracized or left out if he were gay. Maybe they worried he wouldn't be able to marry or have a family or do what most of us take for granted if he were gay.  I hope those were their concerns rather than just the thought of him being gay, and since I don't know, I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Because I feel the above concerns are legitimate and because at the end of the day we all want our children to be accepted. And, news flash, our society has not accepted homosexuality yet. Hopefully by the time our children are grown (or by tomorrow), being gay will be a non-issue and no one will even blink an eye and love will be love and that will be that.
I am not sure if this even made sense, but I needed to write it and now it is done. No more heart racing and no wine because it's morning.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Mother's Hope

Recently I was shocked and humbled when my minister asked me to write something for Easter Sunday (imagine!). We talked through some ideas and scripture he was planning on using for the service.  I didn't tell anyone (even Adam) that I wrote something in case it was terrible and he didn't use it (still working on confidence issues).  Anyway, he did use it (thanks Terry :))  I hope the congregation felt what I was feeling when I wrote it.  Feeling thankful on this Easter Sunday.

She lay in deafening silence. Her heart was empty, broken. Her mind raced-the thoughts came without warning. He was bad, wrong, evil. He didn't deserve to be here in the first place, he's wasn't good enough. These were the words of others, but they were infiltrating her brain as if they were her own. She shook her head to rid herself of the doubt. It had been months, but the uncertainty still crept in.
What she knew, what she reached for was what he meant to her. But not just her-what he meant to countless others-those he touched, those he came close to, those he loved without condition, those he healed, those who believed. Her will started to come back and she lifted herself to her knees. It was still too much. The sobs came like a flood and she let them come so she could release the doubt, the fear. She embraced the condemnation of others so she could then send it away, it wasn't hers to keep. She decided right then she would love like he loved, forgive like he forgave, stand like he stood-with the weak, the poor, the broken, the sick. All as one, all as equal. How could she start? How could she heal? She reached deep within her soul or what she felt was left of it and decided bringing people together would be the only way. For the people who loved, doubted, even hated Him to come to eat and drink surrounded by his spirit, brought together by love. Love would be the only way for so many to sit down as one. She hadn't sunk so deep that she had forgotten that love was the only thing that outlives us all, the only thing that really mattered. And so she decided, people would come together for communion to remember and celebrate his sacrifice. His life for each of theirs-his life, his death, and ultimately his resurrection. And in this decision she was able to stand and raise her arms wide open to allow herself to be filled back up again. Filled with all of the things that her son was to her-belief, honor, love, forgiveness.  She would replace grief with determination. Determined he'd be remembered through her eyes. Who she knew him to be. Her heart became full. For once again when she was totally lost, she was able to pick herself back up and open her heart. And she became filled with something she thought she had lost when she lost him. She was filled with hope.