My World

No pictures. Just sentences.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Something Not Related to Death and Sadness.

I really don't enjoy working overtime.  Sure, I love it when I get my check, but the actual work for it stinks.  It's the end of the year and I'm still working overtime.  Two weeks before the first of the year when the overtime really skyrockets and no respite.

I also realized before I saw all the pictures on Facebook that since the world is ending Friday, today is the last Monday ever.  Okay, not really, but I can dream. 

WAIT!  If the world ends, then I can't spend my overtime!  I guess the Mayans will have to just be wrong this time, or they ran out of space, or some other excuse.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

December 16

Eleven years ago today, my father left this life for the world to come.  Eleven years ago, it was on a Sunday.  I knew it would be a rough day, but how rough and what blessings came today I was not prepared for.

I had responsibilities at church today.  I am in charge of the music at church, which this year includes choir and the Christmas program that is going to be next Sunday.  I had to go.  I had missed a lot already because of my handbell commitments and I just couldn't miss another this close to the program.

I went.  I asked a special prayer that I could get through the day and do those things I needed.  I honestly felt fake leading happy Christmas music during the service and I did not want to be alone, so instead of sitting by myself when I was able to join the congregation, I sat by a friend and her children. 

I took care of some choir business during the second hour of church.

I attempted to go during the 3rd hour (women's meeting known as Relief Society).  The subject of the lesson was about staying faithful during trying times.  Naturally, the discussion went to Connecticut (how could it not after something so tragic).  I couldn't stay anymore and left.  I was in the foyer when some friends who left the lesson early as well came out and saw me.  One of them sat with me for a while.  I had my cry.  I really wish those could be scheduled out better so I could have done that at home or somewhere more private.

Eventually, her son came with his baby and since the baby was in a good mood, I got to hold him for a while.  I like it when I can have baby therapy or pet therapy as it really helps lift my mood.  As I was holding him, our meetings were starting to let out and I had another random blessing.  A little girl from the ward came up to the chair I was sitting in and put her arms around me and just as quickly went away to whatever children do after church.  I don't know this girl, but her sweet action almost made me cry again after I'd calmed down from earlier in the hour.

Choir practice also went quite well.  They sound great!  There were more present than I could imagine and I'm thrilled about that!  When I was in jr. high and high school, I really wanted to teach choir.  When I started the schooling, I found out that you had to be a better singer than I am and decided to study something else instead.  I'm not the best at what I do.  Heck, I don't even know when I'm singing vowels correctly.  However, something I feel I am good at is helping people to sing praises to the Lord and feel the Spirit when doing it.  And laughing.  Usually it's the men who sit in back who crack most of the jokes.  In my choirs they have competition.

Not every December 16th affects me like today did, just when they fall on Sundays. 

I'm glad that my relationship with my father in his last months was so good.  It made up for a lot.  I might not miss him so bad on days like this if it hadn't changed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Music of Christmas

(posted on FB 12/7/2012)

2001 - Dad died on December 16th. His funeral was on the 20th. My parents' ward Christmas program was on Sunday the 23rd. I chose not to go because I knew people would be saying things I didn't want to hear and take away from the Christmas message. Honestly, I wasn't in the mood for the message either.

2002 - A lot of firsts without my daddy. What used to bring me some comfort and calm in the Christmas music only brought me pain and I couldn't bear to listen.

2004 - The next major change. I spent several days around Christmas watching my mother die. She died on the 27th and music was the last thing on my mind that year. Worst. Christmas. Ever.

2005 - I had moved but wasn't well and discovered some health problems that needed to be addressed. I pretty much avoided as much Christmas as I could, whether or not it was my favorite in the past, because it reminded me of losing my parents.

2006 - I was better and going back to church. I went to the Christmas program, but stayed in the foyer for the meeting because I didn't know what type of shape I'd be in.

I don't recall the exact year I was finally able to watch and enjoy the Christmas program inside the chapel, but I know it took a while.

2009 - I was called to be music chairman at my church in December. I was gratefully told that the change would take place after the program. That may have been the first year I could stay in the chapel for that meeting.

2010 - uh oh! I'm kind of in charge of the Christmas program. Occasionally, friends forget and leave the radio on and I don't tell them to turn down the Christmas music.

2011 - Not without a little drama, I ended up coordinating the Christmas program. I also decided to go to the concert at the first of the month, but I felt uneasy. I thought maybe it was just too much Christmas at once, but when I got home I discovered a tree in my back yard that didn't belong there.

2012 - Looking back, I can see that each year I've done a little more and a little more in the way of celebrating Christmas with music. This year was the most involved I've been. Oh yes, there will be a program later this month at church (insert appropriate stress screams here!). In addition, I joined a handbell group and, while sometimes the thought of Christmas music is hard for me, I've been able to play some this year. I've been part of a few (?) concerts and have a couple more with the bell group. When I've been in the moment, I've been ok. When I think about what I'm doing, sometimes a bit of dread or sadness comes over me, but I will say that being the most involved musically in this season has been good for me.

Each year, I've unofficially set myself a goal to do a little more. I won't keep doing that until I've overscheduled myself into a frenzy, but it's nice to have an old friend back with me during this time of year. There are still some things that are hard. Maybe if my mom hadn't been so involved in Christmas programs and singing, it would have been easier for me to get back into it, but it was another reminder of something I no longer had. The change in my feeling and attitude took quite a few years. I'm grateful for the improvement and progress that I've made.


Mothers' Day 2012

(posted on FB 5/12/2012)

And again it comes, the second Sunday in May. I have a lot of thoughts this time of year, all mixed up.

Let me start with the regrets. I'm sorry that it took me so long to forgive my mother after she died. It was a process I had to go through, and it was quite a journey. I wish it hadn't taken me so long. Another regret is that we were never able to resolve things while she was alive. I was able to do that with my dad and it really made a difference in my grieving after he was gone. I'm also sorry that my life turned out very differently than I imagined. As a result, I never got to experience first-hand motherhood.

For the positives, I DID let go of all that pain that had my mother's name on it. I was able to develop a compassion for the scared, scarred girl who became my mother. It wasn't easy and it took time, but I felt so much lighter for having done it. Another positive is that I've been able to be a "not-mom" for a few wonderful young women who just need someone who isn't their mother for whatever reason. I love all the girls I've gotten to know and grateful for the organic way it's happened. If I'm blessed enough for it to happen again in the future, I'll be just as grateful!

I'm also grateful to be a part of so many families that treat me like family.

I do have some extended family left, and I'm grateful for them as well. They don't live near me, and my church family and others I've come to know and love have filled that void in my life.

My Roomie's Boyfriend

(Posted on FB 4/24/2012)

I was rather surprised to get my BYU alumni magazine yesterday. No, not because I got one, but because of what was in it. I'm used to them posting obituaries of alumni who have passed on. I've seen many friends and loved ones on the list and people who were peers of my parents.

The reason this one took me by surprise was because of one of the names on it. It was my first year at BYU and I had this one roommate who was always bringing guys over to the apartment (not that there's anything wrong with that), some came back and some didn't visit as often. While my roommate was dating this one guy, it was announced that the Beach Boys would be in concert at the Marriott Center. I'd never been to that sort of concert before and being from Southern California, I just had to go. I gave my money to my roomie who had her then boyfriend get my ticket with theirs and some of his friends. They took me and made sure I did not feel like a 3rd wheel. I had a great time.

I was sad when they broke up. Later that year was a spring formal that most of our apartment went to. At my roommates suggestion and insistance, I went with her ex to dinner and to the dance. I had a great time.

I think I ran into him on campus once or twice the next year. I always wondered what had happened to him. I think you know where this is going. After I saw his name in the alumni mag, I googled for the obituary in the local newspaper. There was a picture. He wasn't as scrawny as he'd been when I knew him, but in the picture I could still recognize him.

I'm really sorry to hear that he's no longer around, but do look forward to the time I can look him up again someday in the afterlife and say "thanks" for making me feel special and included.

Turning Forty-ten

(Posted on FB 8/16/2011)

Tomorrow is the day that I turn forty-ten. I know it's another word, but right now that one is a big "F" word and I'm having trouble saying it. These last eight months have been pretty rough on me. You'd think I was grieving a loss with all the denial, bargaining, etc. I've been doing.

A few things came to mind as to why I was behaving like this. Earlier in the year, I remembered a conversation I had with my dad the day Mom turned "that age". He was really into giving her flowers but never would do the "dozen roses" thing. He got her a dozen roses for her birthday that year. I remember asking Dad if he would do that for me when I turned "that age". I think he said something to the effect of "If I'm still around." I never gave it another thought because our parents are supposed to live forever, right?

Another thing that had me in a tizzy about this birthday was the fact that even though I was in another state when I turned forty, I was able to share the fun with them and I would not have that this year. After I realized how much that affected me, I was suddenly more ok about the birthday to be and not as freaked out. I didn't realize this until last week.

This afternoon, my doorbell rang. I saw a friend's husband at the door. At first I had to make sure I wasn't in trouble because he was in his uniform (I won't say what he does to protect their privacy, but he is in law enforcement). I had been warned last night that he was coming because my friend "forgot to put my card in the mail." He had a vase full of roses in his hand ready to give to me. I remember telling my friend about that story earlier in the year but was really surprised because I was not expecting it. I was so surprised that I started crying in front of him (well, I tried to hide it).

I would like to think I'll have a lot of well wishes and thoughts from friends. For someone to remember my daddy and bring him to me for my birthday in some small way meant a lot. I appreciate every time someone thinks about me. I just happened to write about this one.

Where was I?

(posted on FB 9/11/2010)

I was in California visiting my parents. This was supposed to be a vacation for me. They had just celebrated their 41st anniversary and my dad had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was centered in his language area and he was already having some communication issues. I was staying in the garage apartment and had the tv on, woke up to the news, but since I was still half asleep, I wasn't sure if it was real or a dream.

I was called into the house because my folks wanted to make sure I knew what had happened. Apparently Dad heard it and yelled to Mom "honey, wake up, they're bombing the country!"

I remember it being so surreal. It took me a few days to realize that people had died. When I saw it, it was like I was watching a movie. I think that was my brain trying to protect me from the reality of what had happened.

Later that week, when they were having the memorial services, Dad and I went to a church building to watch one of the memorials. Dad started having some problems and needed medical attention. We ended up at the ER. He stayed overnight, but that was not the end of his health issues. The tumor was extremely aggressive.

The rest of the year was spent dealing with and taking care of Dad until he passed away that December.

I just can't think about 9/11 without thinking about my dad. It was the beginning of the end in a lot of ways.

Sister Clueless and her Relatives

(posted on FB 5/10/2010)

I've posted on my FB status what happened yesterday, on Mother's day. It reminded me of something that happened to me 10 years ago. I was at BYU Women's Conference, April 2000. Sheri Dew was speaking. In her message, she said:

A while ago a woman approached me
after a fireside and asked, "Don't you feel guilty
for choosing a career over marriage?" Her
words hurt. But I'm sure her comment would
have been different if she had known my heart,
or if she had known how much time I've spent
fasting and pleading with the Lord in the
temple, seeking to understand His will for me.
Only He knows how painful this process has
been. But He also knows how grateful I am for
the process, because it has sealed my heart to

When I heard the first part of that paragraph, I couldn't help it, a "BOO!" came out of my mouth. Not for the message, but because a sister in my faith had said something so clueless and heartless to someone else of my faith who didn't deserve it. If you ever see this talk on BYUTV, you will hear the groans. It was edited out of the voice recording.

I guess I should thank the sister yesterday for reminding me of this. :)

Friday, December 07, 2012

I've been remiss in keeping up the blog.  Perhaps I should correct that. 

I didn't forget the blog, I knew I had it.  I just have used other sources in order to express myself.  I'm sorry, blog.