My Heartstrings: My Personal life as a mom, a wife, and a mother who has dealt with my share of loss and struggle.
Besides being a writer, being a wife and mother is the only thing that I ever wanted to do. I was blessed with 7 beautiful children. I have a daughter who is 17, a son who is 11, a daughter who is 9, and finally my spitfire of a little girl who is 4. They are my joy and the reason that I live. However, I lost two of my children to Muscular Dystrophy. Anthony was 3 years and 9 months old when he died in my arms. Kyra was 20 months, she also died in my arms. I also lost a child during the pregnancy. I had to endure a still birth, at 27 weeks. Her name was Gabriel and all of my children are buried together in the same plot. The baby girl that I lost to still birth, was suspected to have had the same disease as her brother and sister.
Both of my children were severely ill, with mental and physical handicaps, seizure disorders, glaucoma, and even eventual loss of the ability to eat. Each experience was unique with their own set of excruciating circumstances, and the pain was more than I thought I could endure. I miss them constantly, but I eventually learned the difference between surviving and healing. I also learned that life does go on with or with out you and you can either learn to live and love again, or your can crumble. Don't get me wrong, but I may make it sound easy, but it is not. It takes time, but time alone does not heal, or remove the pain or even lessen it. It takes one step, one moment, one laugh at a time. It can also take faith, trust, and patience.
I have not always been so strong, in fact grief is really like a roller coaster. I suffer from severe depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and fibro-mialgia, and chronic fatigue, and what I have learned is that physical pain is almost always linked to injury of course, it is also linked to emotion trauma. Anyone who is honest with themselves can find that link. However, we can also learn to recover from some of those pains, and heal with joy renewed in our hearts.
I have healed to a point where I can deal with my loss, most of the time, even if it means that the pain and longing for them does not linger. I do not regret what we went through with them, but the pain was very real and was at some points nearly unbearable. However, over time and with faith and my religious beliefs, I have also learned to survive, and I want to help, even if it is only one person. I will not try to convert you to my way of thinking, or my religion. I just want to share what I have learned and what has worked for me. If that helps, than it makes some of the pain and effort worth it.
I want to share my thoughts and experience, and I warn you that my journal writing will not all be pleasant. I do have some very bad days, but if we can share our understanding and experiences, and struggles that is honest compassion, healing, and growth. This also includes some of my spiritual and religious beliefs, but I hope that you will be open to just hear my opinion. I am not going to try to convince anyone of anything. I just think it is important to be honest and share all of me, as well as what worked for me. That is all I can do.
As a note, if anyone would like to share with me, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I would love to hear from you. I also want to know if you want me to post anything for you, because I will probably turn this into a blog, eventually.
Thought for September 19, 2011: I was sitting and thinking, while I listened to some inspirational material, thinking about doing this portion of my blog. I was thinking about what I might want to say, and this is what I wrote down.
"When we feel like the pain cannot get any worse or that no one can ever understand our loneliness, our depth of sorrow, our desperation, and pure misery in our own existence that is when we must remember what Jesus Christ, a perfect and infallible man suffered for our sake. He understands every joy and every pain we experience. He, even when everyone else could never begin to understand, he does. He felt everything in that one moment in the garden, that we will ever feel in a lifetime. He alone can fill the space where our pain eats at us. The gaping void in our hearts that like a black hole threatening to consume us.
When you can find your faith, you can begin to heal. When you begin to heal, you can begin to feel joy."
Thought for September 26, 2011
I was listening to my children play today, and I thought about my three who cannot be with us, "physically", and my heart longed for them. The way they smelled after a bath, their smiles, their laughter, and the way their soft fingertips felt on my skin. Surprisingly, I smiled, and I found it easier to merge those memories with my new memories and I found it was not so hard not to cry.
I miss them so much that my heart aches, but at the same time, I know that they are only waiting for me. They will always be mine, as long as I live a good life, follow God's commandments, and do everything in my ability to be good to those I love, those around me and to myself, they will be mine for all of my eternity. I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again so that I could overcome this life and all of its sorrow, pain, discomfort, stress, trials, and adversity that comes with this temporary existence. (This is what I have been taught in the gospel of my religion). This is what I believe with all of my heart and this is what helps me to heal and carry on. If I did not have this belief, I could not survive any of this, despite my current joy and happiness.
I was searching for a quote, that would illustrate what I am trying to convey, not necessarily from scripture, but when I can across this one in one of the quote and poem books that I like to read, this is what I decided on.
"For God so loved the world, that He gave his Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
John 3:16 The Holy Bible
I love the Bible and its stories, as much as the other scriptures which I use in my religion, and I know that when you are prayerful, you can find comfort in them, for any situation.
I don't want to come off as preachy, but this is a huge part of who I am and I need to share honestly. There is no shame in believing in what moves your heart to believe, behave, and do good things. I tend to be very private about these topics, but I know that I cannot help anyone, if I remain private about my beliefs, my thoughts, and my faith I cannot help anyone. Not even my self.
I have a strong and unwavering testimony of Jesus Christ and his love for us. I cannot deny that my faith was not always this strong, but over time with too much experiences that broke me down, a lot of study and most importantly prayer, I can say that my faith has grown and strengthened to the point that it is at now.
The way that I was taught to pray, for anyone who has never tried, was this, to begin with you should find a quite spot and kneel, fold your arms, close your eyes, and bow your head, although a prayer can be said in your heart, and in your mind anywhere that you are. Then you say,
"Our father in heaven," Then talk to him, like you would a friend, or parent, confidant, or someone you love. Then you close the prayer by saying, "I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
I promise you that you will receive an answer, whether you get a peaceful feeling in your heart, receive a message, someone comes into your life to help you, or have a special dream, you will get a message. Only you have to pray with all of your heart and with an open mind. This is the way to begin.
I believe that God is real and I know that he has helped me though out my life. It is my beliefs that I can share, and that is all that I can do. I have been through enough to know that there has to be more to our lives than just existing. I also know that I lost three of my children, and have to keep going for the four that I still have here with me. My only goal is to be the best person that I can be, and teach my family all that I can that will help us to be an eternal family.
I know that this is deep and personal, but as I said, it is part of me. I just hope that whoever reads this will have an open mind and realize that I do not expect anyone to agree with me. This is just my heart strings and all I can offer, but I believe that this is important.
Sorry for going on and on. It is just one of those days for me, maybe because Sunday is my day for religious study and that got me thinking.
My thoughts for September 30, 2011
I had a really good day yesterday. I realized through a couple of my friends that sharing my story can inspire others. They encouraged me to do that, and told me that it would be good me and you.
I truly have only good intentions by doing so, but I was honest with them; I hesitate to share my story, because it scares people away. They can't deal with it. It makes them uncomfortable. They are afraid to ask questions. they are afraid of "our" reality. "Our reality". Isn't it ironic?
I think though that God allowed these trials to come to me, because he knew that I would grow from them and when I survived I would have a greater capacity to love, understand, inspire, and have more compassion for others. I know that we all have our own limits. What happened to me will most likely not happen to someone else in absolutely the same way, but I never allow myself to think that my problems are worse than anyone else's. They cannot be compared.
I love to hear stories from other people. I learn from everyone's experiences, and what I have learned is that EVERYONE has a story.