Jul 15, 2014

Charli Arrives In Her Own Sweet Time.......

July started off with a bang!  Our Charli-girl made her appearance in the afternoon, after two nights and two days of labor, which her mother made look easy.  I do believe epidurals have come a long, long way in the last 20 years.   The rest of us spent a long day of waiting and watching, during which we did not eat, convinced that if we left we would miss everything.  I don't want to assume that she takes after the Beautiful Redhead in making us wait, but she did make us wait and wait we did, as we are wont to do when it comes to our girls.  They are worth it, and we have adjusted.  My Dad had just left in desperation to eat, and made it to the parking lot with my Oldest Baby when I texted him that she had arrived.  He only spent a few seconds deciding whether I could possibly be messing with him before they turned right around and came back to see our baby.

Our world just got smaller and our focus re-adjusted.

This was our first look at her, and our first picture of the new family.

For some strange reason, we could not get The Rockette to look up from that baby.  Which is exactly right.  :D
It's hard to take pictures while you are holding a baby, but if you will forgive my finger, I was gracious enough to stop kissing her sweet little neck long enough to snap this on day 7. Not bad for an old grandma.
Charli is perfect, of course, and the center of our world.  She has hair, which is new to me and I credit her mother for.  She has long fingers and toes.  She has the sweetest little voice, and we all attend her, just waiting for her to make a noise.  She has re-energized all of us.

I recognized those toes, and they got lots of kisses, too.  this is the first song I ever sang to my Charli-girl.  I'm no Elvis, but she has no idea who Elvis is at this point.

How to put into words what becoming a grandmother feels like?  I am not sure I have the right words.  To see your grown son pick a woman that sets your heart at ease is a blessing, and The Rockette has been nothing but.  I offered to go to the house and make sure laundry was done, wipe down everything, etc., just so it would done when they got home and they wouldn't have to worry about silly details like that when they had a new baby to worship.  In doing so I found a peace that I never expected.  The Rockette may be young, but she is an old soul.  She had prepared for everything, stocked up, organized and really there was not much to do.  I cannot imagine that many 25 year old's have prepared for the future like our Rockette.  She even looked glorious after giving birth, a feat pulled off by few indeed.

Can't take my off of you--ooo, You're just too good to be true-ooo.........this was the first song I ever sang to my own Beautiful Redhead.
Our Rock Star and the Rockette have a beautiful and harmonious home.  Charli has 3 cats and a dog, and everyone in that house is peaceful.  Just look at Turkey, the dog, if you don't believe me.  I credited this rescue dog with making The Rock Star a parent years ago.  I believe it kept him from the bar scene that so many young people fall prey to, as he had to get home to take care of Turkey instead of getting roaring drunk every night.  Then he met The Rockette, who was already past that point and has already been such a blessing to our family.  God works in mysterious ways, and I have about given up questioning.  Nothing I ever wanted more in this world than another daughter, and just look how that paid off!

Turkey's not worried.  About anything.  Unless it storms or firecrackers go off.
To know that your grown child has picked another grown child and now have made a family is the best feeling in the world.  I cannot find the words to express the feeling you get when you see your baby hold their own.  You feel relief, you feel so proud, and even though you know many of the things ahead of them, I did not worry a bit.  This may be unique to me, I guess it would depend on the child, but this worry is not mine.  Charli has two good parents.  I have no fear for her future on any account, and I thank God for this several times each day.

Day 1, The Rock Star sees his future.  My heart expanded 10 times it's normal size.

Day 7: There's no place like home.  She looks a lot like her daddy right now.  This child may never get put down until she demands her freedom.  I figure we have a year on the outside.

So now all I have to do is figure out how to live without kissing her at least once a week, or drive a lot.  Obviously my plan is to drive a lot.  :D  I tool around the city now just like I know where I am going, and The Rockette herself has pronounced me a grown up in this.  It's been a while since one so young made me feel proud of myself.  I have the feeling she will guide me in ways I can only imagine at this point, and that is a comfort to me.  My army of wooden spoon-wielding women just got a brand new recruit.  :D  Take heed, world: straighten up and fly right or suffer a blow from a wooden spoon upside "yo haid" .  Don't say you were not warned.

See those fingers?  Nana's piano awaits!
Great Grandad was exceedingly happy.  Talk about redemption!  He cried like a baby.  So did I.  We are cry-ers, we cain't hep it.  We are not ashamed.
And so begins the adventures of Charli.  Some things we will teach her, some things she will teach us.  I plan to hang onto every word she ever says, and I do not believe I am the only one.

There's that wise, unconcerned new born look that always makes me wonder how I measure up.  I will do my level best for good reviews.

Oh, my little Charli-girl, the things we will do........ Stay tuned because we have lots of fun and exciting times ahead.  Life goes on and on, and the twists and turns just keep getting better.  For now, we are head over heels in love and we plan to enjoy the honeymoon phase very much indeed.

Jun 23, 2014

Prayer For A Happy Death.......

Life is full of twists, turns and surprises.  Dealing with death, and grief, is a part of life that you may get used to, but the pain never lessens, as far as I know.  Whether death comes suddenly or after a long decline, you will learn that it is really just the last doorway we all pass through on this earth.  After that it is a mystery, and people of faith have a comfort that people without faith simply do not.  People without faith are truly bereft, having nothing to hold on to after that. 

Dealing with death is just another skill we are forced to learn along the way, unless you die very young.   Everyone has their own way of dealing with it, but I did find a prayer that I thought fit.  I found this one  here.  I thought it covered everything, and the second stanza especially has helped me when seeing someone through that doorway.  

In the times when you feel completely abandoned and left behind, that is when you should know that none of us is EVER completely abandoned or left behind, because God is with us all.  No matter how scared, lonely, or broken we are, He is with us.  We are never alone, even in death.  Our loved ones who have gone before are waiting on our rebirth into that realm, and they rejoice to see us again.  They are waiting for you or your loved one just like we wait on babies to be born on earth.  This is the comfort of Christians.  I highly recommend this comfort, and I hope this prayer will help you when you most need it.  All you ever have to do is ask, and He will be there.

A Prayer For The Dying

Dear Heavenly Father, with heavy hearts we come to you.  You are Almighty Creator God; holy and full of grace and love.  Our hearts are heavy because of a life that is leaving us.  Death engulfs us Lord.  Fear is waiting to take us down.  Thank you Father, that because of Jesus, You know our fear and pain intimately.  Thank You that Jesus knows the way through this dark shadow.  Take the hand of our dear sister/brother and make Yourself known.  Guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Keep that which is Your own and take it into eternity to be with You.  In Jesus, death is but a shadow.  Jesus has swallowed up its sorrow and pain.  Thank you Jesus for the cross.  Thank you Jesus for the resurrection.  Lord, we are before You, confessing that You are Lord of all; the gate keeper to eternal life.  Your grace and love abound even as our sin seems ever increasing.  Take our hands, Lord, and lead us through.  We lay our fears at your feet.  Your promise is that You- and You alone- will come to take us home.  As it says in Psalms 23:4, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; thy rod and staff, they comfort me."

Thank You for the comfort we find in Your presence.  Through the holy spirit we know Your presence is with us.  Send us Your peace, Lord, the peace that passes all understanding.  Don't let us waver and doubt.  Give us a faith that is everlasting.  We release our lives into Your hands.   As we wait and watch, we know Lord that none of us will escape this journey through death.  Teach us how to embrace it with faith.  Give us strength to hold up those who are stepping closer to seeing You face to face.  Take away the fear in the heart of our loved one who will soon see You; let them find peace in Your grace, comfort in Your love, and strength in Your mighty power over death.  Comfort us as our grief seems to over power us.

You are a good, just, righteous and loving Father.  Don't let us grow bitter in this shadow of death.  But pierce our hearts with a joy that we cannot fathom or understand.  A joy that is above all that is corrupted here on earth.  Jesus, You wept over death, and so to, we weep.  But it is a grief and a mourning that has joy on the other side.  You are conqueror of all; and so we trust You.  We trust that You will do what is right, what is loving.  Whether in death or in life, Your will is accomplished and You are sovereign.  May we know Your presence Lord.  Keep us ever aware of Your loving hand guiding us through all things.  In the name of Jesus, we pray.

Jun 20, 2014

Hurrying Up and Waiting......

It's been such a strange spring, with the weather cooler than normal and a lot of wet, damp chill.  This has made my bones ache and left me feeling like time is not passing the way it should.  I have felt vaguely discomforted and been frustrated with a mind that won't stop turning while simultaneously being physically unable to move anything forward.  Nothing has been normal for a while now.  It hasn't been bad, but it just hasn't been normal.  Everything has been holding it's breath, waiting, suspended, and it's been a strain on me.

You know how it is?  You make all these plans, and then something or another happens and you are stymied, no matter which way you turn.  I think these times might be time-outs from God, so I use them.  I ask for signs and look for clues, search for patterns and proceed cautiously.  I watch.  And then, this time, I spent a couple of days on gravel roads with dear, old friends, and scouted wild flowers for transplanting and old windmills just because.  Just because we are still alive, and we used to do these things years ago, and it's been a long time since we took the time, and time is passing so fast and things are changing so much.

It's been a strange time, and I'm just talking specifically about my own personal realm.  I am not even going to bring up the state of the world, because I think we all know we are past a certain crossroads.  The fact that now we are going to have to listen to a bunch of people who will say they didn't know we were at a crossroads is not going to improve my mood, but that's beside the point now.  Whatever the future brings is headed right for us.  But enough, enough of that.  Back to small details, so much easier and healthier to obsess over.

Walking pneumonia brought us to a rather abrupt halt for a few weeks on the house, but I took that in stride by telling myself that if I would just learn to have some patience, God could quit giving me opportunities to develop more of it.  So I took deep breaths and have learned to mud and sand, sand and mud like a pro, if I do say so myself.  It still doesn't look like much, but if you close your eyes and just feel my walls they feel perfect, and will soon look that way also.  The walking pneumonia has been vanquished and now things should start moving very quickly indeed.  I don't really want to talk about the paint colors because I think I may have varied my selections a bit, but if this year has taught me anything it is this: that the colors of my walls will never have an important role to play in anyone's life, and thank God for that.  I couldn't take that kind of pressure.

And speaking of pressure, I don't want to put anyone under any, but our Charli-girl has already taken longer than I would like to get here!  Och! See how many opportunities I make God give me??????  I choose to believe this particular opportunity is comparable to, say, the final of the class, as opposed to just another test.  But I can be a stubborn wench and only time will tell.  I continue to work on this, and I know it could be worse. ;)

I have packed my bag, eagerly awaiting my Charli's arrival.  I often say her name out loud, in a sing-song voice, as if to pull her attention back to remembering to be born, like a reminder.  I want her to know she is anticipated, and no matter how scared she (or her mother, or her father for that matter) might be of what is coming, that it will be all right.  She will be loved and cherished every day that we have her here on this earth.  The Rockette has also been saying her name out loud, so that she will recognize her name by the time she gets here.  We call her together, with all our love, so she will be comforted and summon the strength to find her way.  I imagine both of them gathering their courage, taking the plunge, and going through that doorway

I haven't felt this way since I was about 11 and still got butterflies remembering that Christmas was coming soon.  It's been a real trip and it hasn't even gotten started yet.  I've been doing what I can, besides calling her out loud in case she's forgotten, I've been brushing up on my stories of the olden times, When I Grew Up, and telling The Rock Star that he better get ready, because he is about to fall in love for good.  He's about to be......gobsmacked with it!
  1. gob·smacked
    1. utterly astonished; astounded.

The Beautiful Redhead and The Magic Man both just had birthdays, which they celebrated amongst haunted wineries and Redwood trees.  I shot her a text the morning she turned 22 and only cried a little when I told her it was time for her to be the Queen of Her Own Life.  Watching her spread her wings and fly has been both gratifying and terrifying.  It brings to mind this song, which her grandmother also loved, and she comes from a long line of strong women who always Dance when they get the chance.  I got her more jewelry, because I can never not buy her jewelry, and because frankly, I never knew a daughter more delightful or more cherished.

It's so much fun when your kids get older and make their own lives.  We have been so blessed by these two new members who seem to fit so well.  For this reason, everyone should have children.  LOTS of them, because without them, what would you do?  And what difference would it make?  Huh?  At some point in your life  you will start to think about your accomplishments, you will take stock and I hope you are proud of your life when that happens to you.  I am.  I finally feel like an adult, and I am equal to the task.

What tomorrow holds remains a mystery, as always.  I am just patiently (the voice inside my head just snorted--I swear) waiting and taking time to mark how fast time is whirling now.  This is my life, and I love it so very much.  Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!  :D