Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Thoughts on Mary

I have been thinking about Mary as I often do at this time of year. You know the Mary that I am writing about. The mother of Jesus. She started out as just an ordinary teenager and was given the huge task of raising God's son!

I think about her at this time of year because we had a couple of things in common. We were both told that we were going to be teenage mothers. We both felt the shame and embarassment of our situations. We both had to deal with the looks and glares of others. We both did not know how we were going to get through to the other end of the situation we found ourselves in, but we knew the one who was going to get us there.

Of course, we had some differences. My teenage pregnancy was due to my own disobedience and sin. Mary's was because God had found favor in her. She was chosen to carry the precious gift that would be the Savior of the world.

Even though we can think about so many wonderful things about Mary's job of carrying the Son of God, I believe Mary still dealt with the human things that I dealt with, too. When she dealt with them, though, they were unjustified. She had done no wrong. I had and maybe deserved every look, unkind word and whisper. Mary had not only done nothing wrong, but she had done something right to be so honored. But, did people really know that? Did they really believe it? When Mary saw other girls that she had grown up with on the streets, did they not whisper about her? Did they not ignore her or talk badly about her? When Mary's grandmother came over after finding out that Mary was with child, did her grandmother have the look of shame in her eyes as she looked at her granddaughter? What did Joseph's family think of the Mary that was engaged to their precious son? Did they believe that an angel had let her know that she would carry God's son even though she was still a virgin?

I am thankful for where my life has taken me for so many reasons. One reason is that maybe I can know just a little bit of what Mary went through in those first few months as she wrestled with her own fears and concerns while trying to keep her eyes on the goal.

Monday, December 21, 2009

My Job Got Personal

I work very part-time for my brother-in-law. I help with the filing at his law firm. I go in whenever my schedule permits and I enjoy the people I work with. They always make me feel like I am doing them a huge favor by coming in and filing!

Today I was at work filing just like I usually do. I happened upon a document called a "Final Decree". I read part of it as I was trying to figure out how to file it. As I read, I realized this document had more meaning for me than I had known.

Alan and I were told that before Davin turns 18, we must become Davin's legal guardians. I had no idea this was something we had to do. Wouldn't we just continue caring for Davin like always because he is our son? Apparently, when someone is 18, they are an adult. If they are not able to make decisions about their care, etc, they need a guardian. We have been discussing this with my brother-in-law and as an attorney, he is going to help us do this in the next couple of weeks. I guess I had not thought too much about the legal aspect of this. I just thought it would be a judge seeing that we love our son and want to take care of him for the rest of our lives.

Well, as I read the document, the words that they used to describe this brought tears to my eyes. The document talks about how this person can not make decisions for themselves and it all sounded so hopeless. So, I am guessing that Davin's document will not say, "Davin is an 17 year-old young man who is loved and adored and needs his family's input to make decisions." I wish it was going to say that, but the words I read today, cut through me like a knife. The court was going to talk about my son that same way.

To tell the truth, this has been happening for Davin's whole life. I have received tons of papers that described what Davin can't do. Reading any of those papers would discourage me so much, especially in the beginning. However, as I got used to "the drill", I started getting the papers in the mail and tucking them away where I had them if I needed them, but I didn't have to give them the power to define who my boy was or was not. Davin is not just words on a paper. He is my son, a brother to three siblings who adore him, a grandson who lights up when he sees his grandparents, especially his grandfathers:) Davin gives so much and does not have speech. How much smarter is he than me to be able to communicate with so little??

I think the day we go through the court proceedings will be rough. We have been through rough days before. We have heard devastating news before. To quote my husband from the day that our son was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, "Heather, is he any different than he was yesterday?" I will remember those words on that day, too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

He Said Yes and then She Said Yes

After a very rough few months, it was time for some good news! Two weeks ago, we had a nice young man come to our house and ask to sit down and talk with Alan and I. He came to ask if Alan would give permission for him to ask Bethany to be his wife. (Wow, just to write those words is a little odd still!) After much discussion......many questions.....some requirements...Alan said yes. Alan told Jeff that he was free to ask Bethany.

So, Alan asked Jeff when he was thinking about asking Bethany. Jeff had the ring with him. At first, Jeff was thinking of doing it in the future, maybe sooner, okay, how about right then?? In the end, he went and took Bethany to a local park and pretended that the talk did not go well. Finally, he could not wait any longer and got down on his knee and asked Bethany Alyssa to marry him. SHE SAID YES!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Did the Easy Thing

Beginning a few weeks ago, Alan began working in Rochester, NY during the weeks. He comes home on the weekends for now. Eventually we will move up with him, but are waiting to see how some things shake down before deciding when that will be. I have been adjusting to not having him here to help me. Lots of times the evenings feel like another work day. I know all of the things I have to do for Davin and I just go through and check things off one by one. Somehow it just makes such a big difference knowing that Alan is not here to give Davin a bath or help me with carrying him. I have done the parenting thing by myself many times before, but I had all of my kids here and even though that caused more chaos, too, they were very helpful to me and their brother, too.

Since Alan has been gone, cooking has not been my strong suit. I have had grilled cheese more times than I can remember and I have also had bread and butter for dinner a couple of times. It just seems that by the time I make Davin's dinner (he doesn't generally eat the same things that I do) and get him fed, bathed, stretched, homework done, etc., I just don't feel like cooking. Not to mention, it is so weird to cook for one or two people.

Bethany is still here, but is generally not home at dinner time. She works evenings at Target and doesn't get home until after midnight now. She has come in and whispered to me asking what we had for dinner and I have had to tell her that I had bread and butter or grilled cheese!

A couple of nights ago, before Awana, I had made a big ceasar salad. No chicken in it. Just salad with bacon (which Bethany doesn't like). It seemed a good idea at the time. We were sitting at the table when Bethany asked me when the last time was that I made dinner. She said it was so discouraging when she would work all night and come home to find that there were no leftovers of any kind. Remember that I have not been cooking at all, so there are not any leftovers at all! I told Bethany to please realize how different things are for me without Dad here. This is the part where I realized I had really dropped the ball.....she reminded me that this had been finals week (which of course, I knew). She had not had a decent meal for all of her finals week. This may not seem horrible at first, until....I thought about what I had done just a couple of weeks before.

Cheney's college had sent home papers telling parents that we could order fruit baskets for our college students. The baskets would be delivered to them the Saturday before finals week and would be an encouragement to them as they begin their finals. This is not something odd for colleges. Bethany's college did the same thing, but I had never been able to afford to do this before this year, so Cheney will be the benefactor of the fruit basket. I was so excited as I was writing the check and sending it off to Wheaton. I imagined how excited Cheney would be and how he would have those snacks in his room while he was studying. I felt badly for the years that I wasn't able to do it for my girls.

However, I did not take advantage of the fact that this year I had the college student living with me and could encourage her myself!!! I had her living right here at home and could have made her meals and made sure she had snacks. What was I thinking? Instead, I was only worried about if Bethany will pass her class that she is nervous about and what it will mean if she doesn't. I dropped the ball. Not my finest moment as a mom. I did the easy thing. I wrote a check and sent it. I didn't take the time to invest in my college student who was right under my nose. In fact, I discouraged her. How disappointing to come home after working a long night and have to make peanut butter and jelly every night.

So, I guess I need to spend more time looking for the harder thing to do. Instead of thinking about how difficult my situation is and focusing on that, I need to look to meeting the needs of others. I do hope the lesson has been learned for me. Thankfully she has one more class to take in January.....