Greetings from the ice and snow covered South! Who would have ever thought that living in Atlanta was too far north to stay mostly warm in the winter? Not this girl. Tiffany looks smarter with each passing day with her decision to move to Orlando.
I have a lot to catch up on and if I tried to document the last month well, I'd be here the rest of the day and you would quit reading. So I think I'm just gonna start and see what happens.....
I think I told you that our family Christmas gathering was in mid-December because that's when we could get everyone here. It was a great time together and I have a few pictures that were taken with my camera I can show you. Tiffany has the rest of them and I've lost the CD she put them on before she left. Sad.
Here is a good picture of our kids - notice we now have four!
Cousins...along with one girlfriend.
My brother with Carla.
And my sister with Piglet - a gift from her Disney dwelling niece!
My mom opening her gift. (Little did we know the adventure we were about to embark on with her.)
There was a light dusting of snow to help mark the festivities which gave Tiffany a chance to wear her Great White North purchased puffy.
It was a little hard to see everyone leave town again, but we were going to be heading to Orlando with Matthew to spend Christmas Day with Tiffany while Michael and Bekah had their first Christmas together in Boston. Yeah, that didn't exactly happen.
If you read regularly, you've had a glimpse into the days following our weekend Christmas gathering. Mom is still in rehab gaining strength every day and if the weather cooperates, we'll be moving her stuff into a 1BR apartment over the weekend. There are lots of doctor follow-up visits ahead and adjustments to changes in her daily routine as we wait to see if she'll be able to work again. It's what I haven't talked about that's been the most draining for me.
It's like this....I grew up in an alcoholic home with both parents drinking for as long as my memories go back. While physical needs were never unmet, the reality is that my brother and sister and I were not parented well. We knew we were loved, but emotionally we were left to navigate life pretty much on our own and we took our coping mechanisms into adulthood. While some are more socially acceptable than others, when used to avoid emotional connections in relationships, they keep the harmful cycle going.
We're all trying to deal with the conflicting emotions that have surfaced as the physical needs of our mom have evolved. Believing in the value and sanctity of every human life hasn't always been helpful at times as I've battled anger, resentment, and frustration because my life has been interrupted by someone who couldn't be bothered to be involved in mine most of the time.
Each day presents a choice of what I get to deal with as the future unfolds: medical as we learn how to deal with the colostomy bag that will probably be permanent, financial as we determine if she'll be able to work again to supplement her fixed income and what to do with her existing debt, emotional as we wonder how or if she can deal with addiction withdrawal and what that choice will bring, and logistical as we wait to see if she'll ever drive again and how dependent she'll be on us.
In two days, the calendar will tell me that Tiffany was married five years ago on that date. The choices of her ex-husband provided the opportunity for us to walk through the valley of deep darkness where we found God faithful. Instead of just being a belief that He would be when life was hard, we now know it to be a truth settled deep in our hearts. I am thankful for that experience now because while not as deep, I am in a valley that's not very bright. I don't want to be here and I'm still whining a lot that I am. But because of the last five years, I know that one day I'll look around and I will be on the other side and I will be changed for the better because of it. For now, though, I'm praying that faith will arise as I pour out my heart and remember that God is faithful forever. And I'm thankful for friends and family who love and understand me and are there for me even when there's nothing that can be done.
(For a link to the Chris Tomlin song, "Let Faith Arise", click here)