Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Wound is Real

It seems fitting for me to be upset with my mother today.  Out of anger, hurt, embarrassment and any of the myriad reasons possible, she opened the wound again.  In a cunning tone of voice she so proudly expressed that she can trust my father will not leak her secrets to me, that she's not a child and doesn't need me butting into her life on everything.  The man she despised all my life for being a deadbeat dad is a confidant and I'm the intruder.

My dad has never been a part of my life much.  I try to act like it doesn't hurt and most days I don't even think about it.  My life is typical without him in it.  It's hurtful that she's palling around with him when he hasn't reached out to me in years.  As a mother, shouldn't she stand up for me; take a stand and deem it unacceptable to carry on with him while he wants nothing to do with his daughter?

I talk with my aunt and we agree that he's just a loner and he doesn't really connect with anyone and how everyone just accepts him for who he is.  I hold no ill will against him and have mostly accepted the reality that he'll, aside from a miraculous conversion of heart, always be distant or completely absent.  That still leaves me unsettled, no comfort will come from that realization.  What about justice?

There are so many questions that will go forever unanswered.  Maybe I don't want to hear the answers.  I wonder though, why didn't he want me?  It leaves big wounds when you're not wanted by your parent.  It hurts to think about all the ways, big and small, my life could've been different had I had a father who loved me.

In all my human frailness, I falter every day and see how that hole is raw and deep.  I see it most often in my oversensitivity to small things of personal matters.  I sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill just so I can try to make another, namely my husband and children, see that I am important.  I don't consciously do this, it's more of an, "oops, there I went again on my soap box" moment.  I'm hurt and I want everyone to understand how badly.

It's especially hard with teenagers.  I feel the rejection and pushing away which is completely natural of course, but still painful in the sense that I feel betrayed.  At times, I understand the desire to have a baby out of the need to be loved.  I can get that.  I just want to be someone's everything.  I want to feel the unconditional love of a father.

So, I reach out to you Lord.  I want to understand this love you have for me but I have not even the slightest figment of memory to draw on as an example.  My dad never loved me.  He never hugged me.  He never held my hand.  He never looked at me and said I was his little girl.  He only said that I was a mistake and that he and my mom did a good thing by letting me come into the world.  After that, his job was done, I guess.  Help me, Father.  Help me to know how great your love is.  How eternal and vast your embrace is.  How I can rest my head on you and you will bring comfort in my times of sorrow.  Help me know that I am loved beyond compare.  That I am beautiful in your eyes.  That I am your everything.  Can you help me to believe it?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's a Beautiful Day

Today was a beautiful day.  I woke up to my toddler having pee’d on the floor, not on accident.  I tried my hardest to keep him from sneaking food, from which he was to abstain, while I cleaned the carpet.  My 6-year-old’s on the toilet with a stomach ache, crying for my help…what am I supposed to do?  I smiled and assured him he’d be alright and the ache would be gone soon.  The toddler comes back for round two.  Thankfully, it was on the kitchen floor.  What is he thinking?  He’s not a dog.  He doesn’t need to mark any territory.  He’s made it clear in numerous ways that EVERYWHERE is his territory.  Meanwhile I clean up pee mess #2 like a good mom.  The toddler swipes a single rice chex from his baby brother.  “AHHH!!!  Spit that out child!  No food!”  

Today was a beautiful day.  It’s time to leave.  The young man in charge is our 15-year-old son.  I lay down the law for the kids who’ll be staying home so me and the peeing toddler can drive downtown for his appointment.  He’s fully prepared since his older brothers have been giving him their sage medically accurate description of the procedure for about three weeks now.  It goes kind of like this.  “Tristan, you’re going to get a tube shoved down your throat so you can get rid of your belly ache!…ha, ha, ha!”  To which Tristan calmly responds, “I don’t have a belly ache anymore.  I don’t have a Celiac disease anymore.”  I’d deny my ailment too if the diagnostic test fit that description.  Boys!  

It’s a peaceful ride downtown and I offer to pray for Tristan.  He proceeds to scream at me to stop it.  He doesn’t like my saying the rosary today.  I’m going to believe that it touches his heart.  He always gets crabby about things that touch his heart.  I don’t think he knows what to do with that emotion yet.  I pray quietly to myself for one decade.  We observe a number of trucks and the river as we approach the hospital.  

Children’s Hospital in St. Paul has really made some nice improvements since we’d been there three years ago.  Tristan has been to Children’s once before to have a couple minor surgeries.  Today, we’re confirming his Celiac diagnosis with an upper endoscopy for an intestinal biopsy.  A lot of prep goes into this five minute procedure.  Children’s staff is definitely up to the task.  Starting at the security desk, they check photo ID’s and take a snapshot to create a clear name visitor tag.  Then a welcome center worker escorts you to your proper location.  Patience is a must for this young man since Tristan is a little relaxed in his walking speed.  The nurse in the elevator up to the third floor was so friendly and complimented me on my scapular.  I love the opportunity to share my faith.  The Children’s waiting area in the pre/post-op area was filled with toys, books, push cars and buggies.  I felt completely safe allowing Tristan to make the noise he needed to enjoy himself.  The toys were nice, well kept and clean.  That one rice chex delayed the procedure by an hour!  Luckily, they have movies on demand and we were able to watch the LEGO movie for the hundredth time.  I really can’t complain about uninterrupted snuggle time with my buddy, even if it is at the hospital.  Take it when you can get it, right?  

Great things are happening at Children’s.  They reminded me how important, smart, precious, vulnerable and special children are.  As much as I know this, it can get lost in all the havoc that occurs in our everyday life with all the ages we’re experiencing currently.  Nurse Carol treated Tristan with such dignity and respect as did Nurse Tami and Dr. Sundeep.  They were truly joyful in their dealings with him, talking him through everything, and me too.  At Children’s, they understand the child, the parent, the close relationship between the two and honor that bond completely.  I felt truly cared for there.  They are more than medicine and staff there.  They are servants.  The Children’s medical staff cares for the whole person and raises the dignity of children’s medical care to a whole new level.  Keep up the good work!  Thank you, Children’s, for making my day beautiful!