Life Savers in Three Flavors

Well hello there! I pray all is well with you and you are having a fabulous day :D

I’m so excited to share my latest interview with you. This interview was done with such a wonderful young lady who works with an organization called Pregnancy Care Centre. This organization provides help, support, encouragement and spiritual guidance for young moms.

For all you moms out there check out; IAmNotAlone.ca for more info about this organization.

Here’s the interview, it’s a short two minute video. I hope you can take a peek ;)

Friends, I cannot thank you enough for all your support over the past while. God bless <3

Forgiveness? Acceptance? Maturity?

Spoke to my mom on the phone today for quite some time, we shared in some good laughter and some serious conversation.  After we got off the phone, I got to really thinking and reflecting on  how I treat my mother and our relationship. I wasn’t too happy or pleased with the lack of respect I give to the woman who gave birth to me nor the fact that I can still see how I tend to isolate from my family of origin and from doing my part in nurturing this mother daughter relationship.  I did stop and give thanks to God for the relationship I have with my own children. I am very grateful my kids spend time with me and enjoy my company as well as having our own special “things” we do together.

Anyways, back to my mom. I did need to come to terms with many things in my life and offer forgiveness and also accept life on life’s terms and how situations went. I also have matured to see and understand many more reasoning’s behind the situations in our lives. My mom had a very challenging life, she too grew up in a family seething with addictions of many kinds.  I was no bowl of cherries either. I caused her much grief growing up and she tolerated it all.  Not only did she tolerate it, she was the one who had my back when I was pregnant with my first child. No one dared said a word about my situation, she would have chewed them up and spit them out, (I get this fiestiness from her ;)). Through the embarrassment she must have felt walking along the streets with me or having to tell all our family of what I had done at sixteen years old, didn’t show at all. She held her head high. If I felt a craving, she went out and provided the food. When I was ill, she took care of me. She bought me all my maternity clothes.  When my son’s biological fathers family gave me a hard time, she was right there to give them a piece of her mind. When my son was born, she provided so much for him. She bought him diapers, clothing, food and toys. She spent many hours rocking him to sleep, she taught me the best she could how to raise a baby. She was there for me all the time. Yes we had our differences but never once did she drop me like a sack of potatoes. She carried on, sacrificing herself and her life for my irresponsibility.

When I opened the can of worms to deal with my childhood sexual abuse, I lashed out at my mom. I yelled at her and I said some not very nice things. We didn’t speak for many months after that. During that time I went to work full force on cleaning up the mess in my life caused by the hands of my perpetrators. Months after as I grew emotionally, mentally and spiritually,  I was able to forgive the past. Forgive my mom and understand that my mom went through hell too. I have been able to offer grace just as Jesus offers me.  I am better able to understand that we all do the best we can with what we have.

A few months ago I confronted my abusers. This of course did not go well and as I mentioned in a previous post my parents were attacked over it. Especially my mom. Well the good thing here was, my mom had my back. She stood up for me and protected me. She was better equipped by the grace of God to face the situation now and the families of my perpetrators. To this day, her and my dad offer the support I need for this. I’m grateful.

This weekend is thanksgiving for us here in Canada. I’m looking forward to all the yummy food we will be cooking and sharing together. I am also very grateful that my mom taught me to cook very well and in turn I have been able to pass on the gift to my own kids.

It’s an amazing thing when you finally grow up. Life is just better. Life and life’s situations are easier to handle and get through. Relationships are mended and hurts from the past are repaired. there is no such thing as a perfect parent, I can attest to that, but I will say my mom is pretty darn close ;)

I love you mum. You have taught me great things. You have taught me how to stand up for myself and you have still to this day, help me when I’m in a bind. Thanks for all you have done for me. This thanksgiving, I give thanks for you mum. Thank you!

Forgiveness, Acceptance, Maturity. I guess I can say I have all three :D

Have a spectacular day friends! Ciao for now :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t

Ol’ Days

Last night I attended a Ballroom Dancing showcase presented by some students at an elementary school. It was the elementary school I attended and graduated from when I was younger, and the same one my own kids attended and graduated from as well.

Years ago, I was Chair of the Parent council at this particular school for many many years. Ten to be exact. I loved it. It was fun and I enjoyed working along side teachers and students and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the other parents. Through this I did meet my very best friend, Delia.

During this time the council was presented with an opportunity to have some dance instructors come in and teach the grades 4′s  5′s and 6′s various types of dances and educate them on their origin. This opportunity cost money. The parent council all agreed it would be a fantastic opportunity so we jumped right in with various types fundraising.  We all worked together and with all the support and help, we witnessed the transformation of the students through dance. These kids master these dances and go off to competition against other schools in the city. It turns out to be quite the event. Before they go to competition, the school puts on a showcase for parents and friends. It’s a spectacular event and evening.

As all my kids graduated from the school I was no longer a part of the council.

Last night I was invited by my friend Delia to the show to see her Daughter perform.  I was eager to attend. I hadn’t been back to the school in about five years and I was very excited to see the dancers. When I showed up, I saw my friends daughter, I could hardly recognize her! I was amazed at how grown up she looked.  Such a pretty, pretty young lady.  I was also welcomed with hugs by the teachers and old friends. It was wonderful.

The students performing were the very students I met when they were in kindergarten. I also saw parents who had just had babies back then,  and now their children were in school and growing up. Oh friends, it took me back. I had and felt good feelings all around. I also saw a parent who I went to school with. We were in kindergarten together and her eldest daughter was performing. What a beautiful young lady. She had this spectacular pink dress on. I also witnessed another friends daughter dancing away.  She was so cute, before the group had started to dance, she was was already booging away. It was so adorable. I hadn’t seen much of this friends child but when I saw her face, I immediately knew who she belonged to. She looks just like her mom.

On my way home, I wondered why God gave me the opportunity to be at the school. I was reminded that, I love kids. I loved being part of the council. I loved and still do love working with kids. I was reminded that a lot of my passion is in being with children, helping to provide opportunities, listening to them and playing with them.  I guess that’s connected to my inner child. Those years, unknowingly, helped me grow and heal. I guess you can say God gave me the opportunities for a partial do over. To make amends to teachers and show kindness to others around me. (If you have read my previous posts you will know that, I was not the greatest student or well behaved child, I gave the teachers a run for their money back in the day).

God also reminded me of a dream I had. I always wanted to take ballroom dance classes. I love to dance. I do it here at home all the time. It’s a great stress reliever for me and I have a heck of a lot of fun!!  I don’t think my kids would call it dance, but hey, that’s what I call it. Haha.

I would have loved to post some pictures and possible video’s of last night, however, I am unable to, due to the fact their were many children involved and I was unable to get all the parents written permission.

As always, thank you for your support and for reading my posts  ;)

My Life Savers ;) Please Watch.

Buster ;)

I’d like to talk about my son this morning.

Twenty years ago I found out I was pregnant. I was 16 years old.  I called the doctor from a pay phone in my High School hallway. The secretary of the doctor gave me the news (which is against the law, but I asked her to), over the phone and I remember I felt as if I was going to faint and collapse. Another part of me felt like, I’m free, I’m free from my own family and I will have one of my own. There was no doubt in my mind about keeping this baby. It was if I suddenly had a purpose for my life.

The first five months of my pregnancy was rough. I was so sick all the time. Throwing up and fainting. After that, I enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy. I loved knowing I was taking care of something. This pregnancy took my out of myself and allowed me to focus on a greater thing. (Please know, as I shared in my previous posts, my external world was a living hell, was a mess).

As time went on and I had my very first child, a son. Alexander was born Dec 27 at 11:53pm weighing in at a hefty 6lbs and 2oz. Hahaha. I loved this kids the moment I knew of him. Raising a baby at 17 years old was not easy. Over the years, I read parenting books and tried to raise him the best I could. I did things I never did growing up and I tried not to do things that I knew hurt me growing up. Before he started school at 3 years old, Alex knew his numbers and alphabet and was able to write out his full name. I spent a lot of time teaching him and his little brain just absorbed everything. When he was two, he was able to do jigsaw puzzles for 6 year olds. When he was a year old, Alex knew all his colours as well. I remember sharing this excitement with a sibling who was going to school to become an ECE Teacher, who refused to believe that he knew his colours at one year old. I was very happy to  show her. :)

Me and Al 1

To this day, this boy is brilliant. So very smart. He’s been on honor roll at school and received an  “Ontario Scholar” certificate on completion of High School. When applying for University, he received an early admission with scholarships. Alex is in his third year and is doing great. It’s been stressful for him no doubt. There is much work he does and I’m so grateful to God for giving him the ability to do all this work.

Alex has been my buddy. We share a bond. He has helped me grow and love. We are able to talk and laugh and joke around together. We are also able to share hard stuff with each other. In the above photos, I was between the ages of 17-18 and Alex was not yet, a year old to, I’d say, a year and a half.

Last night he and I cooked together. We made spaghetti and meatballs.  I feel it’s important to teach my kids to cook and clean up and do things for themselves.  We had a good time. We chatted and had a chance to catch up and hang out. Dinner came out DELICIOUS!! I thoroughly enjoyed it. :D

Al 1        Al 2     End pic

 

Boy do we look different!!! Hahaha!! Too funny Al. Oh hey, My nickname for Alex is, Buster, (I still call him that). Hehe.

Well friends, that’s just a bit of what I’d like to share about this guy. I could go on and on :)

Thanks Bust for being a wonderful son. For your forgiveness and love. For being you! I love you to the moon, and beyond, and back.  We beat the odds buddy, we beat them!!! Yee Haw!!  ;)

Thanks for reading. :)

 

 

 

Long road here continued…

Hey, thought I’d share a bit more of my story on how I got to my life today. I don’t recall if I ever shared about Alex’s biological father. I won’t mention any names as that, I feel, is not fair.

July 1992.

Where was my baby’s father in all of this turmoil I was going through? Dad was too busy hiding from his parents. You see, I was not too popular with his parents because of my nationality. While I was going through my own hell, he said nothing at all to his family. I was four months pregnant and his family knew nothing. I didn’t know if he thought that this situation would just disappear or if he had no intention of sticking around.

We were very good friends before we started seeing each other romantically, in the fall of 1990. One thing led to another and our young relationship grew. We were both fourteen years old and went to the same high school when we met. About a year after we started dating, I had met his family. For the most part, they were pleasant. His mom realized we had been together for some time, she made it known that she did not approve. She preferred her children to date within their own heritage and I wasn’t part of that. Hence, they rejected me.

My mom had asked me one day if his parents knew and I came out and told her, no, they didn’t and I proceeded to tell her why. Mom was appalled. She had me call him to find out if his mom was home and off the two of us went to his house to meet with her. The nerves that attacked my stomach were outrageous. I started to hyperventilate,, my mom was on a mission, and she was out to give his mother a piece of her mind. Thinking back, my mom, no matter what she was going through or how she was dealing with the situation, was there for me, ready to defend.

We arrived at their home. His mom invited us in, we had coffee, actually my mother had coffee as I had stopped drinking it when I found out I was pregnant. Thankfully my mother broke the ice and started to speak. She went on to speak about how and her son and I had been dating for some time now and unfortunately we had gotten ourselves in trouble. I highly doubt his mom was expecting to hear that she was going to be a grandmother. My mother told her the news. I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide. I realized that no parent takes this easily, and his mother freaked. First, she did not believe it was his baby, and then she went on to blame me, that it was all my fault. That is when my mother lost it. She firmly and sternly told her it was both of our faults. Not one person over the other was to blame. After a short silence, we got up and left, and with not one nice word to say about her, we walked home.

I didn’t speak to him for a few days. The stress was overtaking me and everything seemed like a blur. The utter exhaustion was too much to bear. The next few days I spent mostly in bed, trying to hide away, slipping into deep sleeps and hoping and praying when I awoke all of this would be gone. But we all know, no matter where we may try to hide or run away, there was no escaping what was happening.

My baby’s father came to see me and we sat on the porch and talked for hours. I’m sure he was dealing with his own horror. His parents wanted nothing, absolutely nothing to do with me or with this baby. They were willing to pay him $25,000 to convince me to get an abortion. I was mortified. I was aver four months pregnant, a baby was living inside me, a baby whose heart was beating, and they wanted me to destroy that? Never!  He didn’t approve of that idea either. He told me he informed his parents that he would not do it.

I can’t even begin to tell how I was feeling. Physically I was drained. The pregnancy was really taking a toll on my body. By this stage I had lost almost twenty pounds and I was very weak. Emotionally I couldn’t even feel anything anymore. I didn’t care if he stuck around or not. All I knew at this point, I had no more tears to cry. There was nothing left inside me.

As the weeks went on, we stayed together till it seemed I was growing in more ways than one and he was the ball and chain I was dragging along. I was busy preparing for our baby, making lists, going to the doctor’s appointments, and dealing with the changes of my sixteen year old body. Everywhere I went, people stared at me. I had to deal with the gossip and stares, and I felt, he went along on his merry way.

Back to today. It’s hard enough for a teen to deal with such a life changing situation but to have a broken relationship on top of it takes it’s toll on you. I have no idea where this family is. I did give Alex their information, we did call and left a couple of messages a couple of years ago but there was no return call. Too bad for them. Part of me just wants to gloat and say to them how awesome this child has turned out to be. And how grateful to God that I found someone who took him as his own, loved and raised him. That is a true man.

Rob, I will forever be grateful for what you’ve done for us. I love you!

Long road here continued..

As my journey continued, I realize now that I lied, and I created something that was not real. I projected to my children that we need to be and are the perfect Christian family. We were following Christ now, and we shouldn’t have any problems anymore. No, no, no we did not, we told ourselves, told them. If any of my children had a problem or issue, we would just suck it up, tough it out and put on a happy face. Or better yet, I thought, do things or deal with problems my way, and everything will work out great. Trust me, I knew better, I thought. I was the one reading the Bible every day, I was the one getting to know God. Heck, had all the answers, my answers. I manage to let God know how to “do things”.

I took our children and myself to church every Sunday, with or without their father.  I knew the better way. I realize now that back then, I got on my high horse, and I didn’t know why. God knew why, but I was sitting up there, dictating and manoeuvring my little children’s feelings around to suit my needs and to ensure it all looked perfect to the outside world. I should also mention how I was behaving towards Rob. I was either giving him the silent treatment, or I was blaming him and making sure I told him what he was doing wrong or how it should be done. Whatever the situation was, I was quick to put my “two cents in”.  I was a new person now, full of anger of a different kind, one that motivated me to have a heart as hard as stone and to not allow anyone to hurt me or walk all over me ever again. With this anger, rage grew stronger day by day, In this state I started to deal with the hurts and wrongs being done to me with violent acts of rage. I threw things, anything I could get my hands on, stuff went flying through the house or out the door. The screaming at the top of my lungs at Rob or the kids was disgraceful. Rob often walked out of the house when the fights or arguments got this out of control. In fact, walking out while there was any family issue or situation between us happened many many times. It was a set pattern, it seemed to me. This used to push me over the edge; I was so out of control I did not know what to do.

I cannot begin to imagine how afraid my children must have felt.

How, I wondered, had my behaviour had gotten worse since God appeared on the scene? What the heck was going on here??!!

It got to a point where I could pull myself together fairly quickly after an outburst. I would apologize to my kids for what I had just done or how I had behaved and the little ones would say, it’s ok, and we would carry on. And so this life of insanity for all of us continued for years and years.

And so years went by and we were surviving. It often felt like we were merely existing in thin air. Then Rob went through a very challenging time early in the year 2001. He lost his brother. With this death and loss something changed in Rob. In the month of October 2001, Rob quit drinking and drugs. Yes he quit!

At first I could not believe what was happening, Rob shared with me how he did not want to drink anymore, how he wanted to be a better father and husband. These were words I had longed to hear all my life. The love that I had longed to feel all my life, suddenly was happening. Was this a dream? The happiness I felt was unreal. Well thank God, I thought, Rob is finally changing his ways. I thought, my problems are all over with this development. And for a little while they really were over to some degree. Financial issues continued; I could not understand why we continued having these financial pressures when the money spent on drinking had come to an end. This frustrated me. But this was something else that didn’t make sense, and just how life was, I told myself.

During the next few months and  over the next few years, Rob and I seemed to be establishing closeness and at times, even had fun together. He was more involved with the kids, and spent more fun time with them. He became Mr. Wonderful. He brought me gifts and seemed to be more present in the relationship. He played with the kids and was more available for us.

In my happiness, I delved in deeper with my relationship with God. I thanked Him endlessly for how my life had been improving. My trust in God grew and I came to believe God was taking care of us. I started to devote more of my life to Him, I woke up early every morning to spend time with God and pray. It was time I looked forward to, this my alone time. I spent time in prayer with God. Prayer to me now seemed so different from the past. My prayers were not rehearsed, or ones I had learned at church or from books. These prayers were from my heart. They were moments of talking to, and with, God. And to my amazement, I became more open and honest about my concerns and my lack of understanding in areas of my life that just didn’t seem to be working. As I continued to nurture this relationship, I felt God asking me to start analyzing areas of my life that needed attention.

This had nothing to do with others. I still felt as if my life was a mess because of everyone else. I felt like I had been through the ringer. This affliction had everything to do with me. I evaluated how I chose to speak to others on a daily basis. I tried to reduce the profanity that had previously escaped my lips without my control. I thought about and changed what I chose to watch on TV, and the genre of music I listened to. I started to replace the things in my life that blocked my way to Jesus with things that brought Him glory and enhanced my relationship with Him. Something inside me started to long for closeness with God, and doing what was right for Him.

As I was starting to get to know God more intimately, I was also getting to know this other side of Rob, and I started to really like it. However, we seemed to be stuck on the roller coaster. When times were good, they were really good. I was so “in love” with Rob, and so “in love” with the appearance of being a perfect family. After good times, our world would come crashing down, and I could not understand why this kept happening.

There always seemed to be an issue with paying bills. I asked about money that was being spent and the fighting would start anew. Rob would pull away and ignore me. The loneliness I felt even though Rob was right there in front of me, gave me such heartache. When that hurt and pain started, the “crazy lady” who was locked inside me would come out. I would push Rob away, and close up and isolate from him and the world. I acted out in frustration by throwing things, swearing, and endlessly threatening to end the marriage. Up and down, up and down, our family went. Year after year things remained in the same pattern. For some reason we all held on tightly through each catastrophe. I took the good with the bad, after all, I though, this is life. My life.

I reminded myself daily that I was lucky that Rob took me in, so I must be grateful for that fact and endure whatever came my way. These crazy times seemed like my  punishment for my wrong doings in life. With that, I took each day as it came and decided to make the most of it.  Life continued on and seemed to be manageable. It felt manageable. After all, I was keeping up with housework, caring for our children, working, and I was also the Chair of the Parents’ Council at the children’s school. All this kept me busy and away from dealing with the truth and reality of what was really going on in this crazy life.  I accepted whatever attention Rob was willing to give to me, our marriage, and family……..