Monday, March 19, 2012

Screw Unicorns & Rainbows! I’m going to talk about what I really want to… Part Deux

So, things came to a bitter end with my college roommates, when they were sick of me continuing a relationship with BOB and decided to force me to move out, they really didn't have means besides saying:  “We don’t like her boyfriend.”  That’s when I confided in my Sister and Brother-in-law over the money that my roommates were saying I owed them, my Sister and her husband stood up for me.  They wanted “black & white” proof, actual utility bills and letters from the landlord.  When my roommates couldn't provide this to my brother-in-law…  He told me to go to my room, get what I needed because he was taking me out of there RIGHT NOW!  I remember gathering my things and looking at my brother-in-law in the living room staring at my roommates like, “Don’t you dare try and come at me NOW.”  They all sat like little children, not saying ANYTHING in front of him, they had stopped playing the video games they were playing before he walked in, because my brother-in-law was standing in front of my TV that they were looking at now.   When the 4 guys tried to protest to my brother-in-law about how I had done them wrong, He told them to shut the f**k up!  He had shown that he was willing to defend me no matter what because he was married to my sister.

Within the next week, I took out the cash value on my life insurance policy in January 2005.  I moved in with BOB against my sister’s best wishes and I gave BOB my $900 cash to make sure that BOB wasn't evicted from his apartment.  After I was all moved in and penniless BOB informed me that he had a girlfriend and they had been dating for about two months.  This wasn't even the same girl that had threatened me back in November.  I was officially trapped.  No money, unable to run back to my sister’s (that ship had obviously sailed) and in about 2 weeks….  I was going to find out I was pregnant.

This story is exhausting.  I CANNOT WAIT until I conclude it on this blog so I can start writing about funny shit and other useless knowledge tidbits that make me truly HAPPY!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I Am NOT a Bible Thumper But...

We had to do a “This I believe” essay for school.  For me the easiest topic to write about would be faith & God.  So if you think about it you’d want to write something that came to you easy.  Side note, I LOVE ATHEISTS!  They fascinate me because we’re so different.  I have a friend on facebook who practically calls me a blind following nutjob (he’s not that blunt of course but I have a feeling that that’s what he’s thinking).  A while back I decided that I wasn’t going to debate religion with him the same way I wouldn’t debate politics with my Step-brother.  We all believe so firmly that we 100% know that we’ll never change each other’s minds therefore we are wasting our breath.  Sure we still throw comments at each other but someone eventually bows out gracefully because we know we won’t change anything.  That being said…

I wanted to post my essay as a blog entry.  I am NOT trying to convert anyone to Christianity.  I’m just proud of the finished product.  So read it if you want or pretend I never posted it.  I’ll be fine with that too.  :D

I believe in God
            Growing up, I was made to go to church every Sunday.  I also attended Christian day school which meant my religion was instilled in me 6 days a week, but literally 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, if we include my home life when I was young.  As we got older my siblings and I protested more often and more loudly about attending Church on Sunday mornings.   When I entered public school in the 9th grade, my sister entered her 1st year of college, and my brother who was four years older than she had been out of the house for at least five years.  Little did we know then that we were about to have some very near tragedies that would test even the strongest of Christians.  My mother however, never wavered. 
When I was 16 years old, I was rear ended trying to make a left hand turn into our driveway.  The busy highway in front of house meant that we had to wait for the oncoming traffic to pass by before we could make the turn.  I was at a dead stop when I was rear ended at 60 miles per hour.  When my mother came over the hill before our house and saw the flares lining the highway, she said that she instantly started praying.  She and every driving member of our family had had close calls with people in a hurry.  These cars would pass us on the right just to save a couple seconds of their commute and this made for some very nail biting close calls.  Minutes before my mother got there, a very kind woman stopped, came over to my driver’s side door, opened it and coerced me to get out.  I was sobbing uncontrollably, amazed that I was not only still alive but also completely mobile.  I’m sure whatever I said to her was completely incoherent, but I can remember what she said to me.  She said, “I know, Sweetie.  Come on, Sweetie.  You just have to get out of the car!  It’s not safe here!”  When my mother finally got to the center of the confusion, she threw the car in park and ran to me.  She told the lady who was holding me that she had been waiting 20 years to come over that hill and “see those flares.”  She had been praying non-stop for the last 5 minutes that it took her to get to me, after first seeing the flares.  Her prayers were, “Please don’t take my baby. Please don’t take my baby.”  As a mother now, I can only imagine the fears going through her mind; “Is she dead?  Is she paralyzed?  Will she be mentally handicapped, for the rest of her life?”  I know for a fact that the faith my mother had in God made the weight on her shoulders lift instantly when she saw me standing upright, embraced in the arms of a stranger in front of our mailbox.
Two weeks later, my brother was involved in a very serious accident.  The 16-year-old who pulled out in front of him had been killed instantly.  My mother prayed constantly for my brother to recover but also kept the memory of that 16-year-old girl in our thoughts.  She prayed for her family and their emotional healing through this difficult time.  Even though we almost lost a member of our immediate family, she trivialized it compared to the other family who in her words, “would never see such a young girl grow up, get married and have a family of her own.”  As we were packing up his hospital room the day my brother was to be discharged, my mother was opening the last of the mail that he received during his stay.  My brother and I looked at her as she started to softly cry over a particular greeting card.  It turned out that this one was from the parents of the girl killed in the accident.  Their sentiments, which caused my mom to cry, were simply put: “We’re so sorry this happened and we hope you can move on from this.”  My mother was blown away.  Even though the details of the accident were clearly the young girl’s fault, my mom couldn’t believe that two grieving parents were able to take the time to send such a beautiful card.  I saw another weight lifted off someone’s shoulders, this time it was my brother’s.  My mother couldn’t see any of this being anything other than Divine Intervention.
My mother was diagnosed with stage IIII ovarian cancer on Valentine’s Day 1997, 30 years ago to the day that my father proposed to her.  Obviously up to this point, I knew my mother had faith.  However in my early adult life, I hadn’t been practicing my parent’s faith on my own.  My mother took her chemotherapy treatments on Wednesday afternoons, so that she wasn’t sick until Friday night.  She would be sick all day Saturday and most of Sunday.  But she was always back to work on Monday morning, if she could possibly help it. 
The first conversation I had with my mother after she decided to discontinue her cancer treatments involved a lot of hugging and crying.  She said, “Sarah, I’ve lived my life. I’m not one of these 20 something women, with a baby hanging on their hip with breast cancer.”  I replied, “But I’m YOUR baby.”  I regret making that statement now because it was the only time I made her cry after she made the decision to die.  It wasn’t my intention, just a statement from a daughter to her mother, and I see now that it was a selfish statement. 
When I completely embraced her decision, I came home from Minneapolis every chance I could.  I spent two hours, during the car ride there, wondering what she was going to look like this time.  After the visit, I spent two hours in the car wondering what she was going to look like the next time I went home.  When I went home for spring break, March 2000, my mother was listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford and while I was sitting next to her on our couch, she grabbed my hand and said, “I wish Jesus would just swoop down on his chariot and pick me up right now because I’m ready.”  At that moment I wished the same thing.  Not for any reason other than, “If she wanted that, then I wanted it too.”  I went home to see her on a Friday, the day she entered into hospice.  She made me go back to Minneapolis for classes that week even though I protested. 
The following Thursday night, I received a phone call from my father around midnight, urging me to leave as soon as possible, even that night if I could.  My longtime boyfriend and I packed our bags at my father’s command and left our home in Minneapolis.  When we got to the hospice unit around 3am, the nurses greeted us.  They told me that she was still alive and I was able to see her then.  Even though she looked like she was sleeping I could tell that she was just a shell of a human being, barely hanging on.  When I asked how long she had been like this they said she had been incoherent for about three days.  After that they showed us to a sleeping room where we could stay for the night.  After we woke up on Friday morning I checked in on my mom one last time.  I hugged her, kissed her and told her that I loved her.  We then decided to go to my parent’s house to freshen up and get ready for the inevitable events that would come that day.  Within 5 minutes of our being there the phone rang.  I dropped my shoulders because I knew what this meant.  I knew before my boyfriend answered the phone that my mom was dead.  I was handed the phone and my sister said, “She’s gone Sarah.  She’s gone.” 
Later I found out that a dear co-worker of my mom’s had shown up shortly after I left.  Seeing that all of my mother’s honorary pall bearers were her co-worker’s that worked less than 100 feet away from where she was staying in Hospice, it was not unusual that these people came to see her.  They came on breaks, lunch breaks, before work and after work.  They would all say, “We just HAVE to see her.”  But this co-worker was different.  Dave Tiffany said he was compelled to come and see my mom, even though he had already said good-bye to her the day before.  He said that something had drawn him to come back again.  On this visit he said “Please let go.  I will see you again in heaven.  You can go now, just go.”  At this point, my mother died.  She didn’t die while holding a family member’s hand.  She died while holding a co-worker’s hand who held the very same belief that she did.
            After she passed away, I lived with my agnostic boyfriend for the next year and a half.  This boyfriend asked me every morning if I was going to be “happy” that day.  My normal response to him was, “I don’t know.  I’ll let you know later.”  He begged me to take anti-depressant drugs, just so I could be happy.  I refused because I felt that I needed to feel my mother’s death in order to really move on.  I finally realized that there is a simple grieving process to losing a parent.  In my case the 1st Easter, Birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and anniversary of her death were practically unbearable.  When Easter was approaching in 2001 I actually had my own epiphany.  I told myself, “What are you so worried about?  This is the second Easter without her.  Nothing can be as bad as the first.”  At this point I was able to look forward to the holidays that were to come, thinking that none of them could be harder than the firsts.  My simple grieving process was behind me and all it really took was time.
            After the dark cloud that was a permanent fixture over my head had lifted, I was left to go on with my daily activities in a different way.  I found myself constantly asking, “What would my mom want me to do?”  A majority of the questions I had were able to be answered by the way my mother lived her life and the faith that ultimately drove her. The phrase, “What would Jesus do?” never held a lot of clout with me, but when WWJD started coming directly after “What would mom want me to do?” a bridge was made.  I felt like I had come full circle as far as my religion was concerned.  I practiced it blindly as a child, I questioned it as a young adult and I accepted it as an adult who saw too many reasons to deny it.  I believe in God because God showed himself though my mother.  This is not a belief that I came to blindly or easily.