The Birthday party

>> Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tomorrow I turn 46. For some reason, I really wasn't looking forward to this birthday, and I'm really not sure exactly why. Perhaps it was because before I learned the things I did about what was going on with me physically, I was feeling old and fat. I felt I was consigned to a future of watching myself grow older and fatter. However, when Dr. English gave me a new lease on life and new hope that my fears did not have to turn into reality, I began to look more forward to this birthday. (I lost three pounds this week!)

Last month I asked Steph if I could have a birthday party this year. I don't remember when was the last time I had a party for my birthday, but it was a long time ago, long before I knew Steph. Steph being the party animal that she/he is, was more than happy to indulge me, and she/he began to plan the menu, (which changed considerably after I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic). The party was last night. As per our parties, the house glowed with candlelight, the back patio was transformed into a garden paradise, there was music that Steph downloaded on the computer that reflected my personality and played all night, plenty of good wine, and of course a spread of food to die for. (All very healthy, I might add!) The hit of the evening seemed to be the lettuce wraps! Everyone raved about them, and they were gone in minutes. The house was filled with the smiles and laughter of my dearest friends and family and a wonderful time was had by all. Among the gifts I received were several bouquets of flowers, a beautiful photograph of an Oklahoma sky with a full moon taken by my friend Jaeson's father, framed, matted, titled and signed by the artist, a lovely picnic backpack complete with wine bottle cooler, wine glasses, plates, knives, forks, and spoons, a cutting board, cheese knife, cork screw, and napkins from Ville and her husband, Beau, and a gift certificate for a pedicure from "A Cut Above" salon from Lashell. But the big surprise of the night came from Steph and Joel--a beautiful, red finished, Fender nylon stringed, classical guitar! I don't know how to play the guitar, but I've wanted to learn for years! It came as a complete surprise, and as I sat there running my fingers over the glossy finish, I cried. It is one of the most beautiful and truly touching gifts I have ever received.

Thanks to my love for a truly lovely night, one I will treasure for the rest of my life. Now I will always remember my 46th birthday as one of the best!


Love them for who they are

>> Thursday, June 22, 2006

Upon reading the following quote by Thomas Merton, I have been meditating upon what it means for me and what it means for those whom I love.

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them." - Thomas Merton
If you know anything of my background, you know that I grew up in a very conservative, evangelical Christian home where conformity and following the rules were the keys to love and acceptance. It wasn't until well into adulthood did I encounter the person who would not only challenge my notions of what love is, but who would, for the first time in my life, demonstrate true, unconditional, sacrificial love for me. It was in my relationship with Steph that I learned unconditional acceptance was the first step towards unconditional love. Steph was the first person who loved me for who I was without having to make me over into someone else. She celebrated even the most "challenging" aspects of my personality and took those as only a part of the whole person, a person who she found to be beautiful, intelligent, loving, and fascinating. Her way of loving changed my life, and transformed my way of thinking and being. As a result, I am a much better friend, spouse, mother, and person. And as I implement this kind of love into my relationships, I find that I am more at peace with myself, with others, and with my creator.
It is not necessary for me to understand why people are who and what they are, but it is essential that I love and accept them for what and who they are without placing my expectations and reality upon them, or making them over into who or what I believe they should be. This isn't always easy, but it is something that I strive to achieve in all of my relationships.


That's my girl!

>> Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lauren made the front page of the Stillwater NewsPress for winning a $2500 college scholarship from Discovery card. We knew the article was going to run in today's paper, but we were blown away when it showed up front page!

Way to go Lauren!


My son

>> Friday, June 9, 2006

Change is inevitable, most especially when it applies to teenage boys. Over the past several months the changes in my 14-year-old son, Nathan, have been quite dramatic. Literally overnight it seems he has transformed from an awkward, gangly, boyish adolescent into a tall, strapping, handsome young man, and with those changes come the changes in his needs.
Only two years ago, after I obtained emergency custody of all three of my children, Nathan was the one who clung to me the most. The damage inflicted upon all three of them from a physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive step-mother seemed most pronounced in him, although the girls were obviously damaged as well. It took Steph and me a good year of tender and consistent parenting to reverse the adverse affects of three years of that woman's abuse upon all three of them. In Nathan, the abuse revealed itself in numerous ways--he was clingy, cried easily, was unable to concentrate for long periods of time, he was insecure, moody, and lacked confidence. He also suffered from stress induced anemia, a chronic condition of chapped lips brought on by a nervous compulsion to lick them, and chronic fatigue.

Over the last two years all three children have healed and blossomed from insecure and damaged kids, into healthy, happy, beautiful young women and a handsome young man. And although the girls have entered a time in their lives when their needs for their mother are more pronounced, it is Nathan who seems to have grown to the place where his needs for constant fathering outweigh his needs for constant mothering. His father, having divorced the woman who abused Nathan and his sisters, now lives in Wichita, Kansas, about 100 miles from here.
So today marks another transition in my life. My son is moving out to spend the last four years of his childhood with his father. Last night was a little difficult. I went up to Nathan's room to see if he was nearly done packing, and of course I was met with the usual pig sty. He was indeed nearly finished and I couldn't hold back the tears. As I stood and cried, Nathan gently held me in his arms. (He's over a head taller than me now!) I told him that I understood that this was the best thing for him, that he needed to go and live with his dad right now, but that it was hard. He said he knew it was. I told him that I loved him. He said that he loved me too. I made his favorite for dinner last night--cheeseburger macaroni, (homemade, NOT Hamburger Helper), and then he came in our room and cuddled up to me on the bed watched a movie with me and talked with Steph and me. He will leave with his father late this afternoon, after I get off of work.
I know this is the best thing, but I can't help but be a little sad.



>> Tuesday, June 6, 2006

I've been watching in amusement at the hoopla over 6-6-06. Yesterday I heard on the news that hospitals are reporting that pregnant women actually had labor induced on June 5th to avoid the possibility that their babies might be born on this date, and others are going into hiding for fear of the "evil energies" that surround the cursed day. They're even releasing a new version of "The Omen" today.

Well people, my answer to that is "thoughts are things", and that you get whatever you create. If you believe so strongly that there is some sort of evil curse attached to this number then you're probably going to create whatever it is you believe so strongly. As for me, I'm don't give a rat's arse, so it isn't going to rock my world. So have a happy day everyone!


The new scapegoat

>> Saturday, June 3, 2006

If one has any knowledge and understanding of world history it is easy to look back and see certain patterns which have developed and played themselves out within the world's societies over and over again. One can gauge the maturity of a society in the way it copes with difficulties and how it goes about solving those difficulties. One of the patterns that has been displayed over and over again by the world's societies is the "blame game". Societies and nations who can't own up to the fact that the problems which exist within that society are of their own making must find a scapegoat, someone or something to blame for all their ills. This tendency to blame has displayed itself over and over again in societies such as ancient Babylon, Rome, Medieval Europe, and the Far East. History has repeated itself over and over again in events and atrocities such as the persecution of Jews and Christians by Rome, the enslaving of others by virtually every society on earth, the persecution and slavery of women by virtually every society on earth, The Crusades, The Burning Times, The Inquisition, The Salem Witch Trials, Red October, The Holocaust, The Cambodian Killing Fields, Genocide in Bosnia and countless other events in which individuals and groups of people have been blamed and persecuted for various ills in their societies.

Today in the United States we face a host of difficulties including skyrocketing health care costs, exploding fuel prices, poverty, racism, illegal immigration, joblessness, the bankruptcy of the Medicare and Social Security system, the war in Iraq, terrorism, a skyrocketing divorce rate, teen pregnancy, a failing public education system, record inflation... The list goes on and on and it's frightening. And once again our society is pointing fingers looking for something or someone to blame.

In the aftermath of World War I, Europe found itself in a very similar economic and social crisis and in this dark time, sometimes described as the Second Dark Ages, a leader arose promising Germany and virtually all of Europe, a new dawning of economic prosperity and peace. But first, in order to achieve such prosperity and peace, they had to rid themselves of the undesirables, the vermin of society, those who, in Adolf Hitler's opinion, sucked society dry and kept them from prosperity. At the top of his list of undesirables were the Jews, but this list didn't stop there. Among them were gypsies, Polish, Czechs, and Homosexuals. We know much today about the Holocaust and how over six million Jews were murdered by Hitler and his fascist Nazi regime, but little or nothing is mentioned about the thousands of homosexuals who were tortured, forced to endure medical experimentation upon them, and murdered in the very same atrocious manner as their Jewish counterparts. Why are they not mentioned? Why is this segment of Holocaust history virtually ignored? Could it be because as a society we still believe that perhaps they deserved it? Could it be that homosexuals are the last minority group that exists in which it is still socially acceptable to blame, to persecute, and upon who we now dump all of our society's ills?

On Monday evening, June 5, 2006, President George W. Bush will address this nation, not concerning the war in Iraq, not concerning the fuel crisis, not concerning skyrocketing health care costs, or any of the other serious ills that cripple this nation, but rather, the President will address us concerning the issue of gay marriage, and the Federal Marriage Amendment, which if passed, will be the first time the U.S. Constitution has ever been amended to intentionally discriminate against an individual or group of individuals. To me, this is a very frightening first step in the direction of outright criminalization of homosexuals as a group, and points to a very disturbing trend in our nation to point fingers and blame a group of individuals for all of our nation's ills. In an era when a number of Western nations in Europe and also Canada, homosexuality has not only been decriminalized, but in many nations gay marriage has been legalized, it is frightening to see my own nation return to the fascist fear mongering, blame, and outright hatred of Hitler's Nazi regime. This president is using homosexuals as a group to deflect the nation's attention from the real issues and thus deflect the blame from himself and the government, and he will use whatever means he has at his disposal to do so, even if it means the stripping of rights and freedoms from a group of individuals through the amending of the Constitution.

Reason number 63 why Steph and I plan to leave this country as soon as we are able.


Back to TOP