Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Empty Chair

As I sit here on this Thanksgiving morning, enjoying the quiet and my first cup of coffee, I can't help but think about how many empty chairs there will be this year.  You may ask what has put me in such a melancholy mood on a day for thankfulness? Truth be told I have been feeling this way for the past week. I have not been able to get in the mood for the holidays. I see all the Christmas stuff in the stores and people's homes already decorated, but I just am struggling with it all.

Recently, as in just 3 weeks ago my Aunt Shirley passed away. We were very close and her passing has greatly affected us. She was my mama's sister and "Aunt Shirtey" to my girls.  Her and my daughter were both diagnosed with cancer three weeks apart, both went through chemo treatments at the same time, both fighting for their lives.  Going through that together gave them a special bond and Grace has been heart broken these last few weeks.  I can understand now how going through something so traumatic together can create that bond between people.

We will all miss her presence this year, as well as all the others that have left this world behind.  We as a family have went through much loss, grief and sorrow over the past few years. I think of my Grandfather and how he would have loved a grape soda and Bojangles sweet potato pie today, they were his favorites. My husband confided that he has been thinking about his mama and brother not being with us.  I think of my babies that are not with us.  I think of my other grandparents, my Aunt Gertie, Uncle Lee, Uncle Billy, Uncle Wayne and Uncle Harvey, they are all missed so very much.

I  know that there are so many families that will have an empty chair this year. That place at the table that is just waiting to be filled, but never will. I ask that we all say a prayer this year for those families.  It doesn't matter if the loss is recent or years passed, that family member will still be missed.

So as you enjoy your family time together stop just a moment to think about and pray for those missing a loved one and that empty chair at their tables.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's yours?"

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Not my Daughter's Fairy Tale

Have you ever stopped and really thought about how different today's telling of fairy tales are from the original.  I always knew there was some changes, but never thought they would be so different, until I was reading the original "Little Mermaid" to my daughter. It was then that  I decided to take a look at a few of our favorite fairy tales and blog about how different the telling really is.
*Word of caution: Read at your own risk, some of these are really out there and may ruin your childhood. 

1. The Little Mermaid:

In Hans Christian Andersen's original tale the title character can only come on land to be with the handsome prince if she drinks a potion that makes it feel like she is walking on knives at all times. She does, and you would expect her selfless act to end with the two of them getting married. Nope. The prince marries a different woman, breaking the Little Mermaid’s heart. She’s faced with a dilemma: If she slays the prince and lets his blood drip on her feet, she’ll turn back into a mermaid. Ultimately, she can’t bring herself to do the deed, and instead flings herself into the ocean, transforming into sea foam.

2. Rapunzel:

I think we all know that Disney took a huge leap in their telling of Rapunzel, but I wanted to share the original ending with y'all. The king's son was beside himself with pain, and in his despair he leapt down from the tower. He escaped with his life, but the thorns into which he fell pierced his eyes.He wandered quite blind about the forest, ate nothing but roots and berries, and did naught but lament and weep over the loss of his dearest wife. Thus he roamed about in misery for some years, and at length came to the desert where Rapunzel, with the twins to which she had given birth, a boy and a girl, lived in wretchedness. He heard a voice, and it seemed so familiar to him that he went towards it, and when he approached, Rapunzel knew him and fell on his neck and wept. Two of her tears wetted his eyes and they grew clear again, and he could see with them as before. He led her to his kingdom where he was joyfully received, and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented.

3. Sleeping Beauty:

In the original version of the tale, it's not the kiss of a handsome prince that wakes Sleeping Beauty, but the nudging of her newborn twins. That's right. While unconscious, the princess is impregnated by a monarch and wakes up to find out she's a mom twice over. Then  the father of Sleeping Beauty's babies triumphantly returns and promises to send for her and the kids later, conveniently forgetting to mention that he's married. When the trio is eventually brought to the palace, his wife tries to kill them all, but is thwarted by the king. In the end, Sleeping Beauty gets to marry the guy who violated her, and they all live happily ever after.

4. Cinderella:

In the Brothers Grimm version, one of Cinderella's evil stepsisters cuts off her toes, and the other her heel so they can both fit into the tiny glass slipper. The prince is notified by little doves that there is blood on the shoe, and finally discovers that the true owner is Cinderella. Once the stepsisters realize that they should try to win favor with Cinderella (after all, she will be queen), they attend her wedding, only to have their eyes pecked out by birds.

I hope that I haven't ruin anyone's childhood with this post, but I have to give props to Disney for keeping fairy tales "family friendly".

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's your's?" 

October Challenge

At first I had no idea what to do for this month, but then I became part of a photo a day challenge. I wanted to take this post to share just some of my pictures, what they mean and how this challenge affected me.

This project took place in October in honor of Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness month.  Each day we captured our grief by taking and posting a picture based on the theme for that day, below are just a few of my pictures.
Capture your Grief Day 4 Light/Dark: The Dark: The days after each loss were so dark. My emotions were dark, my life was dark. I was angry! I became a victim of my grief. I was bitter and jealous. Guilt was always with me. I felt alone and scared. I felt responsible. Then came the light: I began to heal. I learned that I would never understand. I realized there were so many others like me. I admit some days the dark still creeps in, but I look to the light to drive it away. I look to the hope of seeing my precious babies again someday. 

 Capture your Grief Day 6 Books: I read several books from the hospital and from friends after each loss, but I can say that my Bible was the greatest help to me. There were days that I read and would not glean anything, but how wonderful were the days that I would open my mind to glean from his word. What comfort I found and still find to help on this journey.

 Capture your Grief Day7: Memory: It seems strange that this flower is my memory, but the story is mine. After each loss this Butterfly Bush had blooms. Sometimes many, sometimes only one. I remember looking at the beautiful purple blooms and wondering how something could still be so beautiful when my world had turned so ugly? Even now to look at it reminds me of those darkest days, but it also serves to remind me of how far I've come and to just keep pressing forward.

 Capture your Grief Day 3: In Honor. These are three small pictures frames each containing the name of one of my three babies. I keep them displayed as a way to honor them. I have no pictures of them or any of their belongings. Having these small frames shows others that my babies mattered, that they are loved and remembered and a very important part of our family.

 Capture your Grief Day 8: Wish List: My wish is that my story, with all its hurt and sorrow will help others. My wish is that my heartache will one day bring comfort, hope and peace to someone else.

Capture your Grief Day 18- Seasons: Winter is the season that most reminds me of my losses. Not only is it a cold and harsh time, it is also the season that each of my lost babies would have been born. I so looked forward to each of their births knowing it would bring light and happiness into our world, but those times did not come. 

I have to admit that this was a very difficult challenge for me. I was forced to face somethings that I did not want to. I was faced with a topic that was very painful to deal with.   I wish that I could tell you that I completed this task, that I was able to post everyday, but I was not.  It seemed that the deeper I dug into my grief, the more difficult the days became. I think of my babies everyday, there is not a day that goes by without them being in my mind, but this challenge brought up all the grief that my heart contains.

Dealing with grief is not easy, even when surrounded by people who support and love you, but it seems that most think I should not be bothered anymore.  That I should just be able to live each day without feeling sadness, but that is just not true. I wonder which of their children they could lose and not feel that for the rest of their lives? The answer, none of them.

Maybe I should have just continued on with this, it may have been beneficial in ways I can not see, but my heart just couldn't take the pressure. Maybe in the years to come I will be in a place where I can do this, but not right now.

"That's my 'two-cents worth', what's your's?"