Thursday, July 25, 2013


She is a tiny little thing was my fleeting thought the first time I met Shelby. I was distracted that day in February last year. A dear friend of mine had just lost her daughter and I had just came from visiting her that morning. My heart - still aching from losing our sweet David -was completely broken that morning. I will never understand the death of the young. It's not the same as losing someone who had lived their life, it's the unfairness of all things that haunted me. What could have been.

Justin wanted us to meet this girl he had met at college in their Christian youth group Flood. You will like her Mom, says my son who likes to tell me how I will feel about things. But I can't complain I'd been doing the same thing to him all his life. "You are ok, quit your whining."

Justin had a bad breakup the summer before and this was the first girl in seven months he was interested in so I was looking forward to meeting her and hoping that she would be the last one I would have to meet.  I wasn't in a rush for him to get married but I was tired of meeting girls and really liking them and then they would break up. Do any of you other mothers feel this way?

So after that morning Shelby came over quite a bit and I got to know her well. I would call her "Shel-bee!" And she would look at me, Julia Roberts, Steel Magnolias. She had never seen the movie. Seriously Shelby! I bet your mother named you after that movie. She didn't think so and Justin never wanted to watch the movie. One day though.

Shelby and Justin are perfect for one another. They are ying and yang. She can hold her own against his very opinionated dabatey (is that a word- because if it isn't it needs to be- describes Justin to a tee) self. Justin said to me once "I'm like my dad." I had to burst his bubble because that is the one child I have that is just like me- loud and bossy. Likes to argue - likes to have his own way. Not the best traits I have, but he is also outgoing and unafraid of trying anything new, also like me.

AFter they had been dating a year Justin bought a ring and invited us to be there when he proposed. It was in a hotel in downtown Cincinnati and as they were walking through the lobby, Shelby's parents and Earl and I stepped out from behind some plants, and Justin got down on one knee and proposed. I was suppose to take pictures but through my tears my pictures came out blurry. It was a sweet romantic moment and Shelby was so surprised.

Here was my handsome grown son proposing marriage to the girl of his dreams and all I could think was that's my baby. My little tornado. My cute little brat. I admit I'd made him that way. I made him a brat because I had babied him so long. Still do. I kept thinking is Shelby going to take care of him like I do? Will she wash all his clothes and get him his favorite snacks? Will she love my son like he deserves to be loved?

Justin is a good guy. He is stubborn, opinionated and bossy, but he has a heart of gold. He works so hard - two jobs school. And he is smart, smarter then his dad and I like sometimes, when he tries to prove us wrong and he comes out right.  I'll miss him saying "Actually Mom.."

My baby is getting married and I love his fiancé. But I will lose him now, which is right and normal. But it can be hard on a mother of sons. Remember that ladies - that man you are marrying belonged to someone else before you came along. Be kind to his mother.

I said to Earl the other day, " we are almost done. Our youngest will be married and gone soon. Our house will be empty. What's Next?"

He smiled and shrugged. "Me and you baby."

Yeah that's what we thought.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That girl

She is so pretty. My daughter. Jenna. I love my boys. They are wonderful and caring and manly. But let's be honest here, they are boys. Jenna is my girl. In all ways to a mother. My shopping buddy, my confident, my very best friend. It's always been that way. I'd sneak off with her when she was a baby and leave her oldest brother with his dad or his pappy( he rather be with them) and when her younger brother came along, I left both the boys and carry Jenna out with me. Sometimes we'd run to the car yelling "Escape from the boy world!" We would eat lunch, go grocery shopping, hit the library ( exciting I know).  It wasn't what we did, it was being together. Talk, talk, talk. There might have been a couple of teenage alien years when she wanted to shut me out, I took the door off her room. She might have tried to push me away a few times, but she is a little bitty thing, I'm not. I stayed right there, we got through it. And we remained friends even when I had to be the Mother.

I loved watching her grow up to be kind. I loved seeing her develop into the beauty she is, inside and out. I was there when she fell in love, and I knew it was true. They have such fun together her and Ben. He is the right guy for my daughter. I know these things, I am her mother.

So I know her expressions. I could tell yesterday she was hurting. It took her about an hour and she said I miss David. My daughter misses her child and I can't do anything about it, but cry with her. I miss him too, but I didn't carry him in my body. I didn't feel those kicks or feel the joy of being pregnant with him. I was there beside her for all of it. I was there holding her as she held him, as his little life slipped away from us. I felt her body shake, I felt the pain of being a mother who could not help her child. I felt the helplessness.

Some people are impatient for her to just be ok now. You have Brooklyn, another precious miracle. Honestly this pain will never leave until we are in heaven with David. My daughter has this wound that will never completely heal.

And because I am her mother the wound is mine too. But I smile. Try and comfort her, distract her, Lets go shopping, but inside my heart just hurts because I cannot heal her hurt. I can only pray and that it what I do.

I don't like whiners. I'm not a whiner but this blog business, this writing out my feelings is a bit of therapy for me. Not my favorite therapy.

That would be.

Retail. :)

My love

I need to tell you something. I'm sappy. If you have read any of my blog you already know this. I just realized how very sappy I am. I was looking at a picture of my husband and I felt all this love and my heart became full and I thought he is adorable. I've been married to this man almost 30 years and every day I am thankful for him. He is one of a kind. When I said I need to move mom in with us, he said ok. When My nieces needed to come live with us, he said ok. Not knowing how long they would need to be with us, he still said ok. No questions. No hesitation.

On my Facebook there are a lot of posts about broken relationships or how to find the right man. Did I just luck out? I try and think back about my decisions when I was a teenager, was I looking for the right man? Was I even looking? I don't really think so. I was just randomly at some bowling alley and my friend knew him and introduced us.  And I fell in love. My mom did not think it would last. I wasn't a relationship girl. I never committed to one guy for very long, Before Earl my longest dating experience might have been a couple of months. I got bored easily and quickly. My friend even told him don't get your hopes up she doesn't date anyone very long.

But they were both wrong. I never looked at another guy again. None even came on my radar. I had tunnel vision and all I saw was Earl, with the passion of a teenagers heart.

So I guess I did luck out that the one guy I fell in love with was the best guy for me. Or maybe my mom was praying for me because I did worry her. Or maybe because my dad liked him and he never liked any guy that I dated. There is never a rhyme or reason to love. Circumstances be what may I truly believe your heart knows. I knew.

I think Earl knew too.

Even if he didn't he stuck around, for a very long time. And he is still my love.



David is on my mind this week. He is never very far away. My precious sweet granddaughter Brooklyn is seven months old today, and she is trying to crawl and rolling around on the floor. I look into her happy sweet face and miss the little boy who never got the chance to crawl or roll around on the floor. Sometimes Brooklyn has this serious look on her face, a wrinkle in her brow and I wonder if she can see the sadness on our faces, covered up with the smiles and joy that she brings to us. When she was smaller she would smile constantly in her sleep and I would imagine that she was talking to her brother in heaven and he was telling her how much she was going to be loved because he knew, he knew how much he was loved. In the few short days we had him. Still I feel the incredible wash of love I felt for him then, even now. our first grandchild. It is amazing really how you think there is no possible way to love a child more than you love your  own, but David was my most loved. I am a champion of children, they are so helpless, so innocent, my protective heart wants to wrap them all up and protect them from any harm. It could be because I was rescued from a different life, a life where I might not have been as cherished as I was, I may not have had the benefits that my parents made sure I had growing up. And I am aware of it. My children never had any doubt at all that they were cherished, loved, respected, and cared for. My husband and I had done our duty, raised them right, and when David came along I was so ready for the chance to be his MawMaw. I'm thrilled that I get to be Brooklyn's MawMaw, I have every intention of making sure that girl knows that her grandparents will cherish and love her forever, and spoil her along the way. Still I miss the little boy, I can imagine him riding with his Pappy (Earl) in his truck, going to get his hair cut with him. I can imagine the active little legs running after him. I can imagine the sweet kisses he would give his Momma, and him carrying a fishing pole trotting after his Daddy. I can imagine him patting Brooklyn on the back after she had fallen and assuring her it was all right. That's the pain of losing a child, what makes it different then losing a parent, the what could have beens.

I knew a sweet little baby boy named David, and I will always carry him in my heart. Grief is not something to get over, it's something to get through, and I will get through it even as it lingers through my entire life.  I am my mothers daughter, my daughter is her mothers daughter. We are strong, we are sentimental, and we are loved, by a mighty God who knows and cares.

I am thankful that I don't have to imagine Brooklyn running after her Pappy, soon enough those active little legs will carry her after him. She can just about give kisses to her sweet Momma now, and I know it won't be long before her Daddy puts a fishing pole in her hands. I believe one day Brooklyn will be a big sister, possibly to another brother, and she will pat him on the back and say its going to be ok.

I cherish the memories of our David. I look forward to the day I will hold him in my arms again, until then I must carry on, and cherish all the other precious children God allows into my life.

One day at a time, my husband always says, one day at a time,

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Great Stuff

I was watching a movie the other night called Sarah's Choice. It was a good message, not a great movie, the acting was not real great but one conversation stood out to me. A young man was asking his uncle about marriage, was it hard, was it worth it? The uncle said, " yes it's hard, it can be good, it can be awful at first, but too many people give up before they get to the great." The great stuff, he said, is what makes marriage worthwhile.

I'm at the great stuff. I almost gave up. We split up once, for about three days. I didn't want to move from Ohio, away from my family. I was young and just spent two years in Germany. I did not want to move to a little town that had nothing, if you think our little town is bad now, try twenty three years ago when there really was only one stoplight, now I think we have four.

I was being stubborn, I was being demanding, and I went to my parents house. On day one I was missing him, on day two my two kids were crying for their dad, on day three I met him back at the apartment, we packed up our stuff and I got pregnant with kid number three. We moved.

Best thing we ever did. I love my little town. I love my husband for always providing for us and taking care of us. For being strong and determined. For never giving up on me. We pushed through the bad stuff, the lean years, the crying babies, and the immaturity, because really that's what it is. Immaturity. I'm not talking about real domestic problems, abuse, infidelity. I'm talking about the boredom, the never ending day to day stuff. The why did I get married. Why isn't it as exciting as it was. Push through that young people, because then you get to the great stuff.

The trust. I can depend on my husband. I trust him completely. I know he is dependable, I know he will never leave me, and I know that when he tells me something, its the truth. Trust is some great stuff.

The companionship. He is my bud. My best friend. I can't wait to see him every day when he comes home at lunch because something funny, stupid, or important might have happened that morning and I get to tell him and he acts interested, I may have a new picture of our granddaughter. I will even go to dumb ole Home Depot with him because I like to be with him, and talk. Companionship that's some great stuff.

Romance. It's gets better then 18 year old teenager longing, believe me yes it does. Romance is some great stuff.

Jewelry. He can afford to give me more because I stuck around and helped him get through college so he could get a better job. Jewelry is some great stuff. :)

Shared memories. We have been through it. Highs, lows, every memory I have for the last thirty years has Earl in it somewhere and he remembers too. Something we can talk about, cry or smile over. Shared memorie is some great stuff.

Love. He loves me. I love him. Jamie told me the best advice anyone ever told him about marriage was to prefer one another. Earl told a young man once, that was about to get married, make her your very best friend, put her above everyone else. He does that to me. I do that to him. Ask the kids, it was me and him against three. We stuck together. That is the great stuff, young people when you are number one in someone's life and you know it, there is nothing you can't handle together. Stick in there and wait for the great stuff!

I may have to divorce him though, tonight he asked me if I wanted to move to Minnesota.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A funny thing happened on the way to the .....

Do you have that face? I have that face. The one where some people you meet think they know you, or you are related to someone they know or are you sure we haven't met before? I can't tell you how many times someone has said to me "I think we've met before." "Um no." " Are you sure, you look familiar, are you Jenny's  sister?" "No." " did you go to East Central High School?" "No." "Well I'm sure I know you from somewhere." I usually just say maybe and try to escape. I think I know everyone I know, puhleese.  But the best was several years ago when Justin was a baby, and there was still the little IGA store on the corner of Huntersville and Pearl.  I had a big blue Bonneville, a boat of a car my Uncle had given me and it was and always will be my favorite car. It was roomy and had some power. My dad called me lead foot as I took those curves on 229 going at the speed of light, anyway sidetracked. Thinking of that car just made me miss it. So one morning I had only Justin with me and I was putting him back in his car seat getting ready to leave, was bent over trying to get the car seat buckled( they were bad then- they are worse now I didn't even attempt Brooklyn's on Sunday, I let her Mom do it :) when suddenly I was pounded on the back, ouch- it hurt and I turned around ready to do damage to the person who dared hit me. It was a startled dark haired woman who immediately apoligised " I'm so sorry I thought you were Barb." So apparently even my back side looks familiar.

Worse then people not knowing if they know me or not, is people not knowing my name even after hearing it 453 times. We have lived in our house here for almost thirteen years and my older next door neighbor still calls me Debbie. She sends me invites with Debbie Rowland on it. When I broke my ankle she called me on the phone. "Debbie?" " no this is Diane." "Debbie?" "No this is Diane." "Is this Debbie?" "Yes," I finally said. " This is Debbie." The kicker not too long ago I was sitting on my backyard swing with my husband and my neighbor on the other side of me was on her deck. I heard "Hey Debbie" I didn't answer right away and again "Debbie Debbie!!"  I looked at my husband "Is she talking to me?" He said "Yep I think so." "Oh well!" I said "When they talk about me behind my back at least people won't know who the heck they are talking about!"

One thing we can know for sure is the God of the universe knows our name. He created us and loves us, and if no one down here on earth knows us, he does. For that I am thankful.

Isaiah 43:1 ESV 

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Welcome Home Little One

My second grandchild came home on Friday. She spent 39 days in the NICU - 39 long days because there was a RSV restriction because of flu season and no one could see her but her parents- which is understandable but still made for a very long wait. Brooklyn is tiny- not yet 5 lbs when she came home but close, she was 2 lb 12 oz when she was born so almost 5 lbs is a wonderful jump. But still little. She is sweet. So very sweet and I don't think I really understood how sweet a grandchild is until I became a grandmother. You hear grandparents say that all the time but how can they be sweeter then your own? They can. And my daughter fought for Brooklyn- back at the hospital at 28 weeks she spent 5 weeks at the hospital- the whole time reliving the birth of David a year ago. But Jenna made it to 32 weeks this time- not 27 and Brooklyn was stronger. It was a nightmare for all of us, my daughter, son in law,  my husband and the rest of the family. December was spent in prayer, begging on my part that this time would be different - that she please not lose this baby like she lost her son. We celebrated the day of David's birth- December 12th with Jenna still in the hospital - missing him, hurting because I would have loved to see him as a one year old running around or crawling, I would have loved to have fed him cake. A year later it is still hard to understand but we made it a year. We can push on, still Jenna was in the hospital battling with preeclampsia again and on bed rest this time trying to get to 34 weeks so Brooklyn could be born with a fighting chance.  Then came Christmas Eve. She had been doing well so Earl and I were just lounging, Justin was gone to celebrate with his girlfriend and it was past six and we wanted ice cream. No place was open except the local drug store so Earl went to try and find us ice cream. The phone rang and it was Jenna "they want to deliver Brooklyn tonight." There was a loud ringing in my ears, fear was taking over, I was reliving it all again- I kept repeating What? What? and Jenna started crying. That snapped me back to reality- "We will be there it's going to be ok." Ben was already on his way so when Earl came up the stairs with the ice cream he took one look at my face and asked what is wrong. I lost it - for the last time that night, I was determined I would not cry in front of my daughter.  I can stand and be still and be strong in front of everyone but my husband. We called my brother and he came to stay with Mom and we left for the hospital. Thankfully we made it in time- there were three other babies born that night before they took Jenna back and at 10:39 pm my little namesake was born. Brooklyn Diane- she was 2 lb 12 oz and 14 1/2 inches long. I was so honored - it made me feel amazing that they loved me enough to give my name to my granddaughter. Jenna is my sweet daughter and I was also very thankful she was now out of danger too. We didn't get to see Brooklyn for over another hour so on Christmas Day 2012 I got to meet my granddaughter. Best. Christmas. Ever.

We came home, slept a few hours and went right back up to the hospital. Earl and I were very excited because they told us as grandparents we could come to the NICU and see Brooklyn whenever we wanted. The very next day they told us that RSV restriction would start on Friday. We only had one more day to see her.  "So much for grandparents rights!" Earl said. Dang.

So it was 39 days before I would get to hold her. I lived vicariously through pictures all of January and bombarded Jenna with a million questions every time she went to the hospital. " kiss her for me" I would say, " tell her MawMaw loves her,"

On Friday I got to tell her myself as I kissed her head, her fingers and toes. I held her and I cried of course. Because she is so sweet.

And I'm so thankful. God heard our prayer and the prayers of our many friends and family. I can never be thankful enough for everyone who prayed with us, who gave us comfort and I cannot get enough of Brooklyn. Last night I babysat for the first time. For 6 hours. She spent 5 hours 45 minutes in my arms, I let Earl have her for 15 minutes while I hovered over him.

I will forever miss my grandson David. Our hearts and arms will forever long for him. I believe he is there in heaven being loved by so many. Each  time I drop  kiss on Brooklyn's head I will remember him. Brooklyn is our little rainbow God sent to us after the storm.

And she is so sweet.

I finally know what all the other grandmothers have been trying to tell me.

There is nothing better than having a grandchild.

Isn't she sweet? :)