Life the past few weeks has been a bit chaotic, so I guess normal you could say! I’ve been working on a few projects and tending to my herd, so writing has taken a backseat yet again. I’ve fallen behind but all I can do, is simply all I can do. Here are a few highlights and more from the heart.
It started off last week with a wild morning at work.
I wanted to warm up my hot chocolate, so I plugged in the microwave that we had just moved into our office. Strangely, it was not plugged in, I thought to myself. I pushed the popcorn button just to see if it worked. I then went back to the pile of papers on my desk, got distracted giving me a momentary lapse of memory. It wasn’t one minute before I smelled smoke and observed gray matter escaping from the red little appliance. I jumped up and walked over to it just as flames erupted inside. BIG flames. In a state of panic, I opened the door to see what was left of the paper microwave manual, flames rapidly burning as it left a trail of black dust. I grabbed my cold hot chocolate, tore off the lid and threw it into the fire. It wasn’t enough to stop the flames, so I ran down the hallway to the bathroom to fill a cup of water. Finally, that seemed to seal the deal, however, the remnants of smoke lingered all day and proved to be quite the conversation piece for clients.
Yes, pretty ridiculous it was. Again, why do these things always happen to me?
The days continued on. Later in the week my critters were overly active leaving trails of evidence everywhere I turned. Aside from my little guy leaving evidence of his love for butter, finding the nasty banana peel in the tea towel drawer, nearly tripping over the robbed piggy bank in front of my bedroom closet, and driving around with Clifford the big red dog on top of my car for days, things were good.
Would you believe that the flash drive my book manuscript was saved on acquired a virus of some sort, leaving the entire thing wiped clean? Yeah, another nightmare happened not too long ago. Panicked, I would try to salvage and recover my documents with no success. My heart sank. Years of thoughts and emotions combined with hundreds of pages was gone. Thankfully, my intuition told me to print it off two weeks prior to review so I didn’t lose it completely, just had to undergo hours of re-typing, making the loss a lot less severe. Thank you God!
Next, we geared up and took another trip across the state so my oldest could get his braces off and the retainer on. Six of us piled in the family truckster packed to the ceiling for five days. With lots planned, we acquired some soul-searching moments along the way.
It began with a visit to the kid’s old preschool teacher and daycare provider. Twelve years ago I randomly found her in the phone book, in search of care for Lydia and her siblings that would arrive years later. Upon our first visit, I found her to be incredible. Seemingly too good to be true. But as divine circumstance would happen, she would come to be the most extraordinary person playing such an influential and essential role in the life of our family. Having not seen her for years, it was wonderful to visit and feel the love and compassion that I had felt many years ago walking into her home for the first time.
As we arrived Friday morning, the memories came rushing back. The brightly colored walls of the pre-school couldn’t help but make me smile. Children’s artwork decorated the space showing an immense love for these little beings. Instantly, my mind was in rewind mode as I could see Lydia playing with her friends, bossing them around and leading the pack. I saw her big blue eyes looking out the window at me as I left the driveway on my way to work as she peered through the window on her toes. I saw her hugging her little brother, consoling him so he wouldn’t cry as I left. Self-assured and loving, she was a comfort to many. The necklace she made her teacher hanging on the wall, still there to this day, as was the pink and purple butterfly sticker, speaking those words “In memory of Lydia Marie,” prominently displayed for all to see. My eyes welled up with tears as the years of warm thoughts filled the depths of my core.
How was it that I left my most precious beings in the care of another person? At the time for all those years, I didn’t realize exactly the importance of the time I had with my children. The guilt from being a working mother often haunted me…What they say is true…you never regret spending more time with family, but you will always regret spending time at work. I quickly learned it was precious time you can never get back.
Our weekend plugged along as we visited the pumpkin patch we had loved as a family for seasons. Messy corn mazes, bumpy hay rides, caramel apples, warm apple cider donuts, and picking out the perfect orange pumpkins is always a favorite time. Lydia was with us, maybe not physically but in our hearts she was right alongside.
And then, another bittersweet moment captured me as I took my daughter to get her ears pierced. She is nearly five, and approaching that age that Lydia was when she passed away. My thoughts were in overdrive reminding me that Lydia always wanted to get her ears pierced, yet I didn’t think she was old enough and was making her wait until some magical date that I really had no clue of.
Something I heavily regret to this day. What was the big deal?
She loved trips to the mall, which housed the exciting, fun and enticing jewelry store and nearly always resulted in her picking out her latest bright-colored head band and bracelets. Excursions to the mall in Lydia’s day were usually accompanied by a brief stop by the coffee stand for hot chocolate and a cinnamon roll on the way home. Always a good time.
So with my heart leading the way, we decided there was no time like the present to get some sparkling jewels in those cute little ears. My sweet little girl was beaming. When it was over, my heart sank as I felt a sense of accomplishment, yet failure. Failure from the reminder of all the things Lydia and I never had the chance to do.
It didn’t take me long to push those destructive and undesirable thoughts aside and savor the moment. My girl was adorable in her sparkly rainbow flower earrings and I was so thankful to be able to share that moment with her.
And so, in brief and priceless times like these I silently count my blessings and proudly thank God for all He has given me.