Archive | July 2014

Beautiful…finally!

 Reading this woman’s experience (article link below) made me cry…

…cry because even though I have never been what most women would call overweight, I have obsessively struggled to be and remain “thin” my entire life. Like this woman, I have bought into the worldview of what “beauty” looks like and found myself lacking. 

         But the last 2 yrs as I struggled with an injury, not able to physically exercise much and gained 10 lbs, along with seeing the signs of an aging body, I have come to accept myself more.  I have come to realize and accept that I have EARNED every single one of my “dimples”, “sags”, “wrinkles”, “dark spots”, “age spots”, etc.  Like the wonderful, beloved-by-her-children woman in the article below, I have loved my children, have romped with them, have sacrificed for them, have laughed and cried with them, have held them, spent TIME with them, and did my very best to LOVE them as a Mommy should. 

         And like this beautiful woman, these characteristics and joyful givings from my heart have made me beautiful. They have made my life beautiful.  YES, I can say that now – I am beautiful – with the kind of beauty that matters. Who cares if I don’t wear a size 2 or 4 anymore, or if my abs are flat, or if I still have a nice thigh gap – being obsessed over being, having and keeping those things doesn’t allow enough time to love my children properly every day and be an attentive, giving partner for my husband. Besides – my husband likes curves!

         So, now that I’ve learned a few super important lessons, like this gorgeous, wonderful woman in this article, I choose to be truly beautiful and concentrate on the things that are realistically and ultimately important: my kids, my husband, and the special people in my life who add so much beauty and grace to it.  And the time left over after I have loved them each as they deserve will be devoted to being as physically healthy and fit as I can be. 

         True beauty is what is on the inside – the characteristics of the heart.  And the most beautiful of these is truly loving and giving love to those who are around us.  Exterior physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is just icing on the cake!

         And we all know that cake doesn’t have to be beautifully decorated to be delicious

http://blog.petflow.com/a-moms-kids-exposed-what-she-really-looks-like-and-her-reaction-is-perfect/?utm_content=bufferb8dcb&utm_medium=Facebook&utm_source=sungazing&utm_campaign=PFPost#rhuTXP6EfeTQusVG.01

Tommy's First Day Home comp Mindy, Tiffany, Tommy cropped Happy  Birthday Son comp Tommy Tiff and friend and dog Candy is a girl's best friend! Me and Cyndi - rabbit ears

Ebeye, Marshall Islands Time with the girls!

Ebeye, Marshall Islands
Time with the girls!

Here we go!!

Here we go!!

Frankenstein Room

Frankenstein Room

Showing Cap Mindy Tiffany Tommy, red Stripes comp

Grief Has Gripped Me Today: A Note to My Family

Grief Has Gripped Me Today: A Note to My Family

It has been 20 years since my little Tommy died, but today would have been his 30th birthday.

A milestone.

It seems it is the milestone days that still grab a hold of me;

The anniversary of the accident; his birthdays; His special days.  My special days. 

I think about him on these days and wonder, “What would Tommy think about this?” Or like today, I wonder what kind of cake and decorations would he have wanted for his big 30th birthday?  Would turning 30 have bothered him? I can’t help thinking these things.  I remember my daughter’s 30th birthday 2 years ago and how much I enjoyed plotting with her BFF.  How much I enjoyed sharing the milestone and excitement with her, by phone, texts, and pictures.  How much fun it was!! 

Memories I will cherish forever.

But today, I don’t get to do that with my son. 

This is what hurts; not getting to share these special days with my son.

It’s not that I wish he was back here on earth with me; no, I believe – I know – he is in Heaven with his father, his Papa, and his Heavenly Father and living it up, happy and fulfilling his ultimate purpose.  I am so happy for that!  I am so thankful that I don’t have to worry about him and his well-being anymore.

But I miss him! Oh how I miss him still!

 I miss having the opportunity to share these special milestone days with him. 

I miss getting to make new memories with him. 

Like the milestone of getting his driver’s license, and graduating from high school; or the fun of meeting his girlfriends and contemplating his getting married, or his actual wedding!  Or holding his new baby for the very first time – Lord, I’ll never have that sweet, precious blessing.  All these precious memories I didn’t/won’t get to make and keep with my sweet little boy, Tommy. 

Who would have been 30 years old today.

That’s what I grieve for – the missed memories.

The promise of each of those sweet, life-bringing memories, whispers through your heart the moment you lay your eyes on that tiny, fresh new miracle for the very first time.  He takes his first breath outside of your warm protecting womb and your Mommy hopes and dreams take breath and soar! You are that little exquisite miracle’s Mommy!

When you lose that child, a part of yourself leaves too.  But you’re still left cradling that exquisite little box inside of you that holds all those sweet promises of life giving memories that are yet to come. 

But when the memory-making day comes, or the days that should have been memory-making days, you can’t seem to comprehend; your heart cannot understand – because the reason for that special day is somehow not here; he was – but somehow now he’s gone!  There’s no life or breath to give to that memory.  That memory that you looked so forward to, now will never be.

That is what a grieving Mommy grieves for. Not to have her beloved child back to suffer on this earth – no!  But to have life breathed back into that little box of memories, to live and experience each of those exquisite little promises with that beautiful little miracle that was her child. 

To keep making and living those life-giving memories secretly promised the day he was born.

 

Yes, grief has gripped me today.

But I have pulled out my exquisite little box of memories already made and am filling up with the life-breath they are breathing into me.  I’m smiling and my heart is glad!

And then I sob.

My heart is overwhelmed and begins to break apart again. 

And I sob.

But then I remember – I have these memories.  And they can be enough.

I feel relief. 

The burden, swollen and heavy, is lightened once again.

And I cry again.

But it’s ok. 

Because I know I need to cry – tears to relieve the hurting, to release once again the broken promise of what this day might have been; to help me accept what my box of memories will now never hold.

So, tears go ahead and fall.  Yes, at first you were Pain, but now you are Healing.

Each of you land in a broken part of me and with enough of you given, you‘ll hold me together again.  And I‘ll live and breathe and smile once again.

Yes, I am different; there are scars from the loss.  But with time they fade and don’t hurt as much. 

So, please let me cry to relieve the hurt.  And remember those memory days – will be the worst.  If my child was still here, today would be all about him, so allow me to spend today in memory of him.  And please remember that when he died, he didn’t cease being the child I birthed.  For in my little exquisite box of memories called Tommy, there are 9 full years of promises fulfilled; 9 full years of dreams come true; 9 full years of the life and love that was Tommy; 9 full years of me being that little exquisite boy’s Mommy!

So let me grieve a little – or a lot – for a little boy full of love.  Let me release those built up tears that will heal my wound.  Remember, that like a broken bone, time heals, but still leaves a scar, and on a cold winter’s day, that scar will ache.  So like an athlete, we must adjust and make allowances for those cold winter days and that cold winter ache. 

So, yes, I’ll have cold winter days and my scar will ache, but I’ll pull out my warm little box of memories and breathe them in.  My tears will fall, but when my heart warms with memories, the cold ache will fade.  And I’ll smile again – until the next cold winter’s day.

Mindy, Tiffany, Tommy cropped

With Sissy

Yes, grief will grip me from time to time, but with your tender understanding – I’ll be fine.  

Tommy's First Day Home comp

First Day Home

Mountains of Love

Many of us have specific days, weeks, or months each year, which commemorate a life, a death, an event in our lives, which each year catch our hearts, our breath, our thoughts, and makes life tough to get through for that day, week, month.  After much time, many years maybe, these days get a little easier to get through, yes, sometimes we can even carry on with just the vague remembrance pushed to the back of our minds.  But do our hearts ever forget that day, week, month, completely? No.

But, yes, we can get to a point where these days, weeks, months bring mostly a fond remembrance, a sweet tug at our heart, a quiet but nice time of reflection on what used to be.

Beginning today, July 6th, begins a day and a week such as this for my family.  It was a July 6th that my children’s Daddy, Tommy Joe Pruett, died when he ran his pick-up truck off the road and crashed.  Because he was a Purple Heart Decorated Vietnam Veteran, with subsequent, sometimes severe PTSD, the days after his crash were filled with questions on how/why he ran off that road.  No real answers ever came.  And after much deliberation and grief, the family decided to wait and bury him on July 11th, which was my son’s, Tommy Joe Pruett II, birthday – my son who died in a tragic school bus accident some years previously.  In our minds, this would be sort of a birthday present to my son in Heaven, to officially give his Daddy back to him on his birthday.

This was the one little scrap of joy we could pull out of the desperately sad situation, to place in our desperately hurting hearts, to help us cope.

                Looking back on that time, 13 years ago, I see the grief filled eyes, I feel the numbing pain of disbelief – yes – BUT – I also see the LOVE; the mountains of love between a family and the lifetime of friends, gathered to mourn, but also to love – to love the grieving hearts through the difficult days.  I see the love of a family for their beloved son, husband, father.

Today, and this week, I choose to remember that love– that beautiful love of a family, of a community, of a life I once lived – and loved.  I choose not to remember the questions, the discrepancies, the disagreements and turmoil.  I will remember the Pruett Family with love and gratefulness for the years they held me in love, within their family.  And though this week I will grieve with them, for 2 beloved family members, I will also rejoice with them in the time God gave me – us – with my first husband, Tommy, and my son, Tommy II.

Yes, this week I wrap myself up in the

 Mountains of Love ❤