Tag Archives: love

The First Mother’s Day in Four Years

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The First Mother’s Day in Four Years

This will be the first Mother’s Day in four years that I’ll be able to spend with my mom. Before now, I couldn’t bring myself to visit her grave. It hurt too bad. I haven’t been to see her since her funeral, actually, which will have been five years ago this July. This year, though, I hope things can be different.

My mom knew the triumphs and the struggles associated with being a mother better than anyone I can think of. She understood the lovey-dovey parts of being a mother to two girls as well as the traumatic and unexpected pain of losing her first child, an unborn son. She knew how it felt to struggle and succeed in raising a family in tough financial situations, but she also felt the crushing blow of being told in her early thirties that she would never again be able to carry a child. She was the mother of one child with a birth defect and another with common learning disabilities. She was a compassionate conquerer, a wise genius, and the most giving individual that I have met in my life.

This week, I am praying for all of the families and individuals who have mixed emotions – or even plain hatred – in their hearts for this holiday. I pray for all of the exhausted mothers with children, the bereaved mothers without children, the lost children without mothers, the fathers who wear two hats, and all of those who wish to become mothers but can’t.

You only get one mother. I think that’s what makes this holiday so hard for so many of us. No matter how you try to fill the hole in your heart – whether it’s a mother, grandmother, child, etc. – nothing and no one can take the place of someone you’ve lost. To those who understand, I am sorry for your pain; I know it all too well.

In spite of the pain, the loss, the longing, and the way that society tries to tell you how to feel, I do wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day.

From one motherless child to the masses in mourning,
Claire

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Valentine’s Day in Retrospect

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Let me just throw this out there:  He-Man showed out!

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 I mean, I did have to leave out the sale paper with the necklace circled, the after-tax price calculated, AND remind him that the paper had not been laying under his face so conspicuously for no reason, but he pulled through.  Then he surprised me with flowers.  There was a semi-torrential downpour laying siege to this little corner of nowhere when I heard a knock at the door.  Angel, of course, brought it upon herself to try to take this unknown interloper down.  When I finally got her penned up – still barking – in the bedroom, I was able to let this soggy little man into my house.  It was the local florist.

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Now, before you all go judging me on the clutter and candy in the background, allow me to inform you that I am packing five days in advance to go to Tampa for He-Man’s birthday.  ‘Cause I’m sweet like that.  And I guess that’s why I ended up with flowers.  I have had a long, disappointing string of relationships over the last few years but I can honestly say that the last year with He-Man has been time well-wasted.  I say wasted only because we both agree that we should be doing a little more with our lives, but I digress.  We have had time to get to know one another on an everyday, in-your-face level and I love it.  I also love him.  He is so sweet, thoughtful, caring, and all the other mushy stuff that people say about “the one”.  He is also capable of leaving me speechless with a note that came with the flowers:

Claire, I love you so much!  I could never picture a day without you, sweetheart.  Sunshine or rain, every day with you is a blessing.  Love, Your He-Man.

…..!!!

The part that really got me was that he actually signed it “Your He-Man” because he is trying to support my attempts at blogging in leu of a real social life since waiting tables makes me hate people. His support means everything to me and I know that I have it no matter what.

This has been the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had – hands down – and I even spent the later part of it in the ER being treated for a moderate laceration on my finger.  I tried going for the gold in can-opening and failed miserably, but that’s another story for another day.  The stupid Russian judge low-balled me anyway.  Until next time, I will be basking in the glory that is He-Man and, for those of you who have stayed with me this long, thanks for reading.

Claire

A Story of Acceptance

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Assuming that you are like me, there are things you don’t like about yourself.  These things might even make you self-conscious.  If everyone could be completely honest, you would discover that, while many people don’t like things about themselves, they have come to accept who they are.  I believe that this self-acceptance is the best combatant for self-consciousness.

My mom told me the story of the day I was born many, many times.  There is one version of this story, however, that I heard only once.  This is that version of events:

My parents chose not to find out my gender – for reasons that I will reveal in a different post – and were naturally very eager to find out whether their first-born would be a son or daughter.  After a tumultuous pregnancy, the time came for them to meet me!  They expected the full package with me (ten pink fingers, ten pink toes, two eyes, two ears, etc.), and at 6:14 pm on April 6th, they should have had the chance.

There are a few things that new parents might expect to hear at the time of birth. “It’s a girl!”, “We’ve got a full head of hair, Mom!”, or even “Happy birthday, little one!” would not have been out-of-place.

Instead, I was whisked away by a flock of silent nurses.  My parents didn’t hold me.  They didn’t even know I was a girl.  The doctor asked, “Did you know your baby had a cleft palate?”

Brand new parents having their first baby never want to think that something is wrong, especially after a day and a half of labor. You think you’re out of the woods when the baby is out and crying, but apparently it’s just the time that you can learn that everything you have planned for in your child’s new life is about to change.

Having a cleft palate is not usually a life-threatening condition.  My case was pretty mild, being unilateral and only affecting the roof of my mouth and not my outward appearance, but nonetheless terrifying to my parents.  They had chosen to breastfeed, which was no longer an option because I lacked the ability to “suck”.  They were told that, instead, my mom would need to use a breast pump and a syringe to feed me.  I would need reconstructive surgery before my second birthday.  I would need speech therapy indefinitely.

Sadly, the doctor’s can’t tell you how this will affect a child on a personal level.  They can’t tell you that your child will be made fun of by peers because they can’t speak properly or that things like carbonated sodas feel like they “burn” any exposed sinus tissue.  They also can’t tell you that it’s the early 1990’s and there won’t be any real surgical options designed to improve your child’s speech for another decade.  They can’t give you a sense of normalcy.

I’ve had quite a time with this affliction.  There are days when I don’t think about it, but there are also days when I can’t think about anything else.  I’m different.  Being different isn’t always a bad thing, but it is very rarely a good thing.  The difference between others who are different – in the most normal sense of the word – and me is that other people can hide their anomalies.  I don’t have that option.

In the last few years, I have decided that I will never be okay with who I am until I have fully accepted my situation.  I am different.  I am weird.  There are things that I can do that you can’t and vice versa, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalms 139:13-14 (NIV) sums is together completely for me, as I’m sure it does for many other people.  I was made with a purpose, whether I know what that purpose is or not, and I can accept that.

I may be nearly twenty years old, but I am no closer to figuring out my purpose in life than any other person my age.  What I have figured out is that it’s okay to not know.  I have lived a life full of uncertainties and I am strong enough to deal with it.  It’s true when people say that “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  I am slowly realizing just how strong I am and just how strong I will become in the future.

I was given an obstacle.  It is mine to overcome.  I have so far, and I will continue to do so.  Although I may not like everything about myself, I have come to the point of acceptance.  I wouldn’t say that I’ve confronted all my demons yet, but I will continue to pray for the day that I love myself in spite of my differences – or even because of them!

Stay beautiful, my lovelies!
Claire

(Photo courtesy of cleftawareness.org)