Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Another Big Loss for Our Family

  Our pets are special spirits here on earth and no matter how little or how much time we get with them we are blessed. Vladimir was special even among dogs. However, being a giant breed comes with some difficulties. Most are healthy and strong, but we learned, quite suddenly, that they can develop structural heart problems. His arteries began to dilate, while his veins weakened. His heart began to enlarge and he developed Cardiomyopathy. Ironically, I have the same condition. He simply began to get weak. He was losing balance and then stopped walking all together (over just a couple of days). He simply could not get up. We took him to the vet and then to the Emergency Hospital. I thank God for those wonderful people who devote their time to these wonderful spirits. They took such good care of him, and it was all simply our of our hands. The Cardiologist was out of town, and we had to come to the quick decision about what was best for him. It is easy to be selfish in these cases, but we decided to end his suffering, although the doctor believed he would not make it much longer... even with intervention.  Our neighbor and his family was kind enough to bring two of our children, the ones who needed to come (the others finding it too difficult) up to the hospital. He waited for them, as his body was already beginning to fail. Minutes felt like hours. His heart simply could not sustain his huge body. It was another horrible tragedy for our family.
  I have to tell you though that even though, like our children, we only had him for four short years, we would not give back that time for anything. He was the dearest, sweetest, drooliest, and most loving creature I have ever had the privilege to love. I thank God that he was ours, and will be waiting for us too one day. We love you Vlad always and forever. Rest in Peace big guy! We miss you so much. 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Birthday Time

Happy Birthday to my sweet daughter Tia! 23 looks great on you!

Monday, August 28, 2017


Do we listen? Do we know?

Do we listen to those who have come before us? Do we learn from the history that was our ancestors path? Do we thin that we know better than those who have come before us?  Do we think these problems that we face... that stem from human nature... are new? They are not. We are destined to repeat what mistakes we have already made, because we continue to make them... over and over again.  I do and have. It wasn't until I took a good hard look, an analytical look at my mistakes that I began to heal and learn. We are not struggling with new trials, we are not making new mistakes. We have a human nature, with human frailties. We would rather blame others than look at ourselves. It's easier to blame others. But what we don't realize is that blame gets us nowhere.
  We make excuses. We make endless excuses. We don't want to look for the reasons, because that would mean that we would have to look at ourselves. We would have to face our traumas, our bad memories, our trials, and our own guilt.  We can't have that. We use escapisms. Can you think of any. I can think of a few, like alcohol, shopping, the need for branding (nothing is good enough unless it is the greatest, newest and most popular item you can wear, scent yourself with, drive, or show off with).  We create stress. We create images and stylize ourselves. We worship celebrities, musicians, and social media stars. We admire those who are different, or unique, but work like we are driven by devils to become them. We do not work to improve ourselves, to see what it is that we can offer the world. 
  We have those who settle, those who succeed, those who thrive and love themselves, and those who lack the courage to do anything to rock the boat, or find their talents and skills. They don't believe that they can do it, or have the time, or the ability.  Or like me, they've been beat down so many times that we don't believe in ourselves anymore. We are the ones who have the most potential, the most to share, but we are afraid. We have been bullied by family, "friends", bullies, and cruel judgers.  We are the suicidal, depressed, and scared. We don't know what to do, and we are afraid that if we try we will either fail, or not "fit in". It is a horrible, depressing, suffocating state of mind. It is a state of being that makes everything feel impossible.
  I have seen good men and women fall. I have seen clever, talented, loving, creative people die inside and give up. I have seen people born into unbelievable circumstances over come everything to become great... the greatest. I have seen and worn the masks that we all wear. The ones that make it look as if everything okay, when inside your anxiety, hurt, anger, shyness, and lack of self-esteem is ripping us apart. 
  I talk about these things because as my husband has said, I am an observer. However, I am also a survivor, not of just the trials, traumas, sorrows, belittlers, and horrors of my life, but I have also survived all of the side effects of those events, the sorrow, depression, and anxiety. This is not an easy life. This is not a life to be wasted on the superficial. It is too short. My son had only three years and nine months to live it. My daughter only had twenty months to live it. Another of my daughters never took her first breath. Now my husband is struggling with a disease that will eventually take his life as well. He is only forty-six, and he is wasting away. We have no idea how long he has... no one does... but we try to make each day the best that we can. 
  I've lived a life with God as my Father. Then I ran away from Him. I lived a life without Him, long enough to know that there would never be hope again.  It is not the way that I wanted to live. I found my way back into His good graces and I found hope again, love again, and acceptance for the first time. I quickly learned that you cannot attend church for the people. People will fail you. People will wear a different kind of mask. The hearts of "men" will fail them. I had to learn how to go... for me, and for my relationship with God, and what I could learn about Him, me, and my family, and how we could be eternal.  I believe that three of my seven children were taken to teach me to have an eternal perspective.  I have found that I cannot live without hope of an afterlife, an eternal reward without them. I simply cannot! I defy anyone who thinks that they can take that hope from me, because it will not happen! My heart is strong. I may struggle with my communication. I may struggle to keep my temper. I may struggle to see my own worth, but the worth of my children, my husband... no one can change that.  They are a gift to me... from my God.
  Do not think for a second that I would devalue your God, or what your belief system is. I do not know your God, or what you have been through.  I don't devalue anyones experiences, or thoughts, because they are your own. Also, because I know that my heart is an ocean, one that I have not explored fully yet, I can imagine that your heart is an ocean as well.  Two people could have the same exact moment, the same exact experience, and yet they will take from it a unique thought, a unique feeling, and probably a very different memory.  We do not do ourselves justice to judge like we know anything about each other for a fact.
  We all walk around wearing masks, remaining silent, allowing those around us to make their judgements, but never do we realize that others are wearing masks too.  How often do we consider, even for a moment, that others have their own pain, their own reasons, their own insecurities, and our own life lessons. We often look at each other without the least degree of compassion.
  Our skin, our background, our education, our memories, our experiences, our opinions, our ideas, our beliefs, our talents, and our thoughts all make us who we are. After that, we have to decide how we will use all of that information. We cannot presume to know someone, because we have seen them for a moment. We just can't. We are all hiding something. We are all living with some level of insecurity. We are all struggling to make our way on a dark path, because we cannot know our future. We cannot know more than we find out or are told. Ultimately, we have to be fair, forgiving and do our best to survive, learn, grow, and do our best to change into the people we want to be.  We can also teach and encourage others along the way.  We just have to believe that we can do it if we try.  We have to believe that we are worth being the best we can be. We all deserve happiness, peace, and love. My God does not want us to fail. He does not want us to hurt. He does want us to grow. He wants us to do our best. He wants us to find our potential.  However, you have to hurry... we are not promised tomorrow.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Passionate Emotions and Strength

  This is something that I have struggled with my entire life. I have always been emotional, and I have always believed (by design) that it was not an honorable thing to "rock the boat". What I have learned about myself, though, is that I am in possession of a very large heart. I have a heart that loves deeply, feels deeply, and is hurt easily. It is not easy for me to hold it all in. I also had a long hard history of trusting without second thought. I was trusting to the point of gullibility. It was a painful lesson that gave me an extremely thick skin, though anyone who can relate to this problem would understand, I can still be hurt... easily and terribly.
I have recently learned in therapy that people think that the opposite of happiness is anger, but it is not. It is indifference. I feel passionately about those I love. My heart is an ocean deeper and more vast than any made of water. I have more love and passion than I can ever express. There are times when I want to let them loose, but I'm afraid that if I did... I would never be able to contain them again. I would be burned alive by their force. I've learned hard lessons, and because of that I still struggle to show them. I have gone too far the other way now. My emotions still frighten me, but I am learning, and I am praying for help to be able to share that side of myself more easily to those in my family who deserve to receive it. I try to imagine what i could do with such powerful passion, but to be honest... it still scares me. I need to work on that. I am was created by God, and if he made me this way... there must be a purpose to it.
  I have faced tremendous loss, loss of innocence, loss of three of my children, and loss of friendship. Those types of losses can be difficult to overcome and even more difficult to recover from. I have an incredible amount of love. I have an incredible amount of faith. I have an incredible amount of devotion to my family and those I care about, even if they do not return it. I have lived a hard and troubled life and came around to the other side. I am stronger, but I am still afraid of opening my heart completely. Pandora's got nothing on me. Obviously I still have work to do, but a place of compassion and empathy is my home. It saddens me that the world is so cynical. I am saddened by the closed minded attitudes of intolerance and judgement that are wielded like weapons in society.  I pray that I can teach my children to think differently than the rest of the world. I hope that my heart will get the chance to change the lives of those I come into contact with. My heart aches for those who get no compassion in this world, especially from those who are supposed to love you the most... family.  I pray that prayer will continue to change lives through compassion and love.  
So my thoughts... if you are emotional, but believe that you are a good person at heart, despite what others might feel about you, I ask that you figure out what it is about you that makes you worth knowing, and allow your talents, love, and passion shine forth to change the world. You have nothing to be ashamed of, and if you struggle like I do. Keep praying, and get help. Therapy is changing the way I see myself, my thoughts, my experiences, and life's purpose. Live, laugh, love, and don't be ashamed. Find strength in yourself, and let your wings spread and soar. You are a child of God, and he made you knowing what you are capable of. Figure out how to believe in him and yourself and above all... do not let anyone convince you that you are less than.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Believe, Grow and Learn From What We Already Know... With Respect

  I don't know why, but today is a hard day. I am struggling with the way of the world. I feel like there is so much pain, so much darkness, and so much sorrow. If it does not happen here. If it does not happen to you... we ignore it. Why? We only have time for ourselves even though we are all facing trauma, depression, and struggle. I don't understand why it is so hard to see beyond ourselves and ask for help, or offer it, if we can. It is frustrating to see the ones we love struggle, but how often do we offer to help, or reach out in kindness and love. How often do we look the other way, even though we know that someone is in danger of hurting themselves or others.  Why do we look away?
  I believe in a Heavenly Father, my God, and it brings me comfort, but some would call me a fool. Some would call me ignorant, or tell me that God is only imaginary, a falseness that I am forcing on others. People judge before they know me. How dare they!
  I am so glad to live in this country, because of the fact that I have the right to believe what I want. However, there are plenty of people who would ridicule me, and persecute me. Why? What gives them the right?
  I talk about my faith in order to express the love I have for my family, and my God. If that helps someone then I am happy about it, but I would never force someone to learn about me or my beliefs. I am blessed in my own way, in my own mind and my own heart and my own life. I am happy, because of my belief. I am happy, because my God makes me hope and makes me strong. I don't want a life without that comfort and hope, and I don't want others to tell me how I should think or live. We have had that kind of persecution in the past and I fear that it is being forgotten. Genocide is a horrible result of intolerance and ignorance.
Why do we allow others to persecute us, and even commit horrible crimes against us, just because we choose to believe in something greater than ourselves? What gives anyone the right to hurt others, because they don't agree? Today, around the world, genocide is happening again, but do we notice? Do we care? Or are we worried about what party, bar, or nightclub we are going to go to this weekend? Are we worried about our outfit, or whether we are popular or not? Everyone has a right to find happiness however they want to, but I cannot help it if I feel sad that a life is drown in the superficial needs of this life. However, with that said, I will say that I will not tell you that your life is being lived wrong, because that is not my place, unless you are hurting yourself or someone else.
  I had a dear friend who had a very special boy who was completely dependent on her for everything, plus three other glorious children. She once, in passing, said that she does not have the time or energy to pay attention to the problems beyond her four walls, because she had enough to handle. I understand that. I too isolate myself to spare myself the stress and anxiety, but should I?
  All you have to do is watch the news to understand that what I am saying is true. That's all you have to do. This world is getting scary. This world is entering a new age of ignorance, selfishness, persecution and even sanctioned murder. If someone disagrees with you. If someone believes that their life is more important than yours. If you are struggling and someone has something that you want. If you love someone that other's don't think you should. If you believe in a God and a religion that others don't see as acceptable, and even for reasons that are less than this... people are dying... all around the world.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
No truer words have been said. I feel like every day I am watching that very thing happen. I think we are forgetting. I really believe that we are forgetting, but what do we do? Where do we start? How about in our own homes. Out of the mouths of babes we can hear what we need to do. Anne Frank said, "How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world."
  We have to begin at home. Where did we learn about life, relationships, values, and morals. Too often parents want to be their child's friends, to relive some of their youth, to be popular, and to have their kids "like" them. Our job is to teach our children to be good adults one day. We are responsible for raising these little people to be the best that they can be, to find their potential and make this world a better place. Each generation works to be better than the last, but this generation seems to be struggling. Intolerance, bullying, persecution, and division. It is maddening.  Our nation is divided and it saddens me. We built this country to try to live a better, freer life.  We seem to be losing our humanity. I am LDS. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are nicknamed "Mormon", but it is only a nickname. We are told that we do not believe in Jesus Christ, but it is in our name. We have... throughout history we have been persecuted, but still we stand. Now... that is not to say that we don't have extremists who have taken righteousness to extremes and believe that they have the right to judge anyone who does not believe, or behave as they do. It is a struggle that we all face... the urge to judge what we don't understand, or don't approve of, only it happens on both sides. We are judged for our faith and beliefs, and we judge others for their behavior, or looks. It is crazy the way that we persecute each other. Bullying is NOT a necessary part of growing up. It cannot be anymore.

There is value to all of us. No two people are alike, not even twins. Our thoughts, our experiences, and what we take from them and how they change us. Those are all ours.  Our dreams and our hopes, our faith, and our beliefs... all of it. We worship celebrities. We stand in awe of the rich, and the popular. We fall apart just to be around them. We cry and scream just at the sight of them. We value the talented. We adore the music they make, the songs they sing, the art they create, the personality and skill that make it fun to watch them, but is that all there is? Are we so consumed with the superficial that we forget our own potential? We have the potential to be the kings and queens of promise. ( I love that line from the song, "30 Seconds to Mars", Kings and Queens). I believe that is true. We have a potential that is open and endless. However, we limit ourselves, because even though we worship those who are unique and have special talents and abilities, and charismatic personalities, we bully, persecute, and belittle those who are meek, nerdy, educated, different with special needs and illness, or are shy and unpopular.  Why?
  Because of my faith... the faith that is sometimes mocked... I am more tolerant, more loving, my heart is fuller, my judgement (something that I continue to work on) is less stinging, my compassion is deeper, my empathy is sweeter, and my life used is being used for greater purpose than I once dreamed possible. What have you dreamed about? What legacy do you want to leave? What goals can you make that will make you a better you? Who can you see... really see... for who they are, not what you can get from them. You need to step away from what the world tells you is acceptable, and find the real you. We are potential kings and queens... I promise.
Please don't let those who need you fail or fall. Don't think ony of what you need. Try to think about how you can be a better you and make this a better world. Don't belittle what you cannot or do not understand. Find out from the source, not the rumors, or haters. There are so many people out there who make it their soul purpose to hate, and maline those who believe what they do not understand. If you want to know what a "Mormon" believes... just ask. Don't automatically assume that the negative things put out by trolls and haters are true and gospel. Just ask. We are supposed to be this secret society, but we have young men and women roaming the earth offering knowledge, faith, and guidance to knowledge and understanding.  If there is a disaster... our church offers support.  We find a family in crisis, struggling... and we help them. We believe in a Savior, Jesus Christ, and we believe in a Heavenly Father that not only loves us, but created us, and instilled in us infinite potential for whatever we can dream.
  I feel blessed to have something bigger than myself to believe in. I feel blessed to be loved. I feel blessed that someone knows and loves me without end and believes in me, even when I cannot believe in myself. He is my light in my dark place and my joy in the depths of my depression. I cannot live without the hope of something better. I cannot live, having lost three of my treasures without believing that they went to a better home, a place where there is knowledge, joy, and no more illness, and no more suffering. It is always the only way I can wake up in the morning, but there are still those who would tell me I am a fool. I watched three of my children suffer and die, leaving this mortal coil. No one has the right to tell me that my belief and faith are stupid, wrong, or misguided. No one. I want everyone within the sound of my voice, with the ability to read my words to know that they are loved, that they have potential beyond their imagining, and can make the sky the limit. We have walked on the moon. We have created history for centuries. We have overcome the horrors of this life. We are potential. We are the kings and queens of promise (thanks 30 Seconds to Mars for that). We can do better. I know we can. We cannot allow ourselves to fail.
  Just imagine if for one day... everyone cared. Imagine that all mother's... all over the world, in every culture, every walk of life, rich or poor... made it our goal to raise our children with love, hope, encouragement, and value. Just imagine what we could do with this world and this life. I wish you luck and with my faith I pray for you all, even if you think I'm a fool. I respect your right to believe as you wish. I just ask that you allow me to believe as I wish. I won't throw stones... if you don't. 😊

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote and Life Update of a Sort

"It is the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Image may contain: 1 person, textMy husband's health has been spiraling out of control for the last six to eight months and continues to grow more and more difficult to manage. Today was a good and difficult day for my husband and I. We met his new G.P. He is an incredible man and a wonderful blessing, especially at this stage in our life, but it was also difficult because we added a few more concerns to our growing list of medical problems.I am watching him change so quickly that it is truly frightening. The one consolations is that his new doctor is that he is taking Tony's health very seriously. He has made a commitment to help us figure this out. However, I am terrified. I am so scared by what may come for Tony in the future. It is a rough beginning of what promises to continue to be a serious ordeal. This is not going to be easy... period. At best we are looking at Parkinson's... at worst... we are going to combine that possibility with one or more other deadly illnesses. That they are trying to weed out. It just does not look like we have much chance of this being easy, or slow in progressing. (I won't say what they are looking for, because we are still in the search and diagnose stage), but I will say, "This sucks!" It is hard to hold onto hope, but I'm not the panicking kind. So I'm going to pray.
I love you Tony. I will be here for you... come what may. I promise. I thank God for preparing us for the worst. I think that wisdom will help us now.