Full Moon Rising…

Full Moon Rising

I’m in the middle of working on 2008 AND 2009 taxes–ugh. A bazillion receipts that need to be poured over and a mountain of 2009 medical bills is now growing exponentially and is beginning to resemble a full-scale replica of Mt. Kilamanjaro. I hate doing this. I have software programs that should simplify this part of my life and great paper systems that claim to do the same thing, but what I want to do is anything but taxes so, I put it off. I absolutely hate bean counting. It takes me forever to catch up and granted, it’s my fault I’m now in a state of freak out, but I’ll get it done somehow–I’ll just be a lot more worse for wear over the next couple weeks. Hopefully I’ll make some headway soon and this mountain of paper will get under control in time for the holidays or at least by the time Jasmine comes home. Yep, you heard me…she’s coming home…soon.

As thrilled as I am, I am extremely nervous. I don’t want for old habits to rise back up to the surface, but I have to pray that she has learned a great deal of coping skills and she will rise above all the triggers that she will be faced with daily. We had the pleasure of spending our Thanksgiving with her while she earned a 4-day pass. It was filled with love, laughter, good food, and family–just what Thanksgivings are about.

Together for Thanksgiving '09

It was our biggest blessing–to see her alive and doing well and clean and sober and genuinely happy to be with us. That blessing could only compare to our family’s other biggest blessing–me–and the fact that I am still alive 10 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer. We built fires and roasted marshmallows. We stayed up all night long and watched movies. We laughed until we cried, lost our voices, and acted completely crazy as Jasmine joined Jordan and I on our psycho shopping sprees where we waited for hours in the freezing weather just to be pushed and shoved through the stores and become so discombobulated that we were standing in the wrong lines to check out more than once. She had never shared in the Black Friday tradition before and was absolutely shocked to see the chaos.

She wanted to surprise everyone for Thanksgiving dinner and so we dropped her off a block away from Jeff’s sister’s house and as we all loaded into the house without her, she snuck up several minutes later and burst in on the crowd. Tears flowed, cameras flashed and a young girl was reminded while she was sober how much she was loved. She met up with an on again off again boy who proceeded to stay with us over the course of the next few days. He’s leaving for the navy boot camp in just a few days and I knew they both wanted to see each other. I was reminded watching the two of them that out of all the boyfriends she’s ever had–I liked him the most. I also liked the fact that when he messed up he took my motherly bitching and came back apologetic and sincere. No matter what went down between them or whose fault it was–I couldn’t help but think I’d be pretty lucky to someday have a son-in-law that nice and down to earth. They are both still young and I don’t expect anything, but I can dream and I can always hope that whoever my daughter is lucky enough to find–will treat her with as much loving kindness as Dylan has. He was also instrumental in helping me find her in Ohio after she had been taken. That alone, in my book, earns him oodles of brownie points.

Jasmine & Dylan Thanksgiving Eve '09

Jasmine made it a point to find meetings near here that will help keep her on track and we set up necessary services that will help her deal with her lifelong struggles that she will face. Before we knew it, the 3 full days flew by and it was time for another day long trip in the car to get her back. She’s been doing well and pulling straight A’s once again, but I do worry that when she comes home, it won’t be as easy for her to stay focused. I guess all I can do is pray about it. If all goes well, she’ll finish up one more class–hopefully two–and then be able to come home in time for Christmas.

Jordan, Jasmine, and I loaded up the car last Sunday and we set out (late) across the state. We went out to eat for breakfast with Jeff and Justin beforehand so we wouldn’t have to worry about eating junk food the whole way out. What usually takes us between 5.5 and 6 hrs. took us almost 7.5 just to get across the state. We followed every holiday traveller out of Iowa in bumper to bumper traffic–both lanes–never making it over 60mph. Torturous for speed demons like me. I kept reminding myself that patience is a virtue and I needed to channel all the patience I endure daily with the children I work with every day. Easier said than done when your in that much traffic.

We stopped by a rest stop for a break and Jasmine came out looking for a woman that had left her purse on the back of the toilet. I saw the woman came out and thought, “cute haircut” when I saw her and then she left quickly. We peeked inside the purse and found her phone. Going through her contacts we found a Steve and called him to explain everything to him. He was able to contact her and her sons so they were able to turn around and come back for her purse. It was an expensive Kate Spade purse and it was filled with cash and expensive perfume and credit cards. It would have been so easy for someone to steal it and go shopping. I was so proud of my daughter wanting to do the right thing. We agreed to wait and I told her that this woman was so lucky it was us and not some crook.

When the woman showed up in her fancy Lexus SUV she got out and was totally snobbish. She wasn’t overly appreciative and she didn’t even offer Jasmine $5 for returning it. I know we did the right thing, and yes we did it for that reason and not for any monetary reward–but let’s be honest–some munchie money for the trip would have been nice. We were travelling in comfortable clothes and she sized us up and down and figured we were below her class and couldn’t be bothered with us. I could read it all in her eyes. I just hate snobs. This setback cost us another 45 min. and I just had to tell myself and the girls that it was 45 min. more we had with each other that day and it was a test to see if Jasmine would do the right thing. She passed.

Working our way westward, I knew that I had one more stop in store for us. There is a tower that sits on top of a scenic overlook along I-680W in Iowa close to the I-29N exit. I’ve always wanted to stop each time we have gone to visit, but the first couple times I missed the exit. Each time after that, Jeff was with and driving and couldn’t be bothered with such trivial memory makers. On this day, though, I was in charge. We arrived just as the sun was setting. The air was crisp and cold and even though we weren’t going to stay long, I wanted to take the girls up. I wanted them to look out over a very large area and see where states of Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota converge. I secretly hoped that as Jasmine and Jordan looked out across the countryside that they would see that the keys to their success are in her hands. I wanted Jasmine to see that her possibilities were endless and that she was lucky to be alive after what happened to her this summer. I hoped that she would see that her destiny was out there in this world and that with God’s grace she would find her way.

The back of the tower appears dark because of the setting sun.

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The front of the tower was illuminated with deep golds and just beyond the tower, I saw a full moon rising pictured above).

When I saw my daughters up on top of that tower–I couldn’t help but think quickly over the past year about how far each of us had come.

Jasmine looks out

Jordan joins her sister at the top

Holding on for dear life

We had all battled demons and even though we weren’t completely free of their grips, we were still standing. We were still surviving. We were still breathing. I joined my girls at the top of the tower and looked out. I needed to practice what I preached and I needed to grab onto life again–a life I never imagined would turn out the way it had, but never-the-less still grateful to be alive to see my children grow.

The air was biting and the wind caused my stomach to flip flop. I looked out over the meandering interstate that had carried my family members back and forth for months as we visited our very ill daughter over 6 hours away.

I-29N

I-680W

I never knew what the end of this part of the journey would look like, but with a crimson sky I couldn’t help but think it was amazing and better yet, it was almost finished. I looked at my girls and told them I loved them and then we took a picture of all of us.

Freezing our butts off

A gust came whipping through the tower and scared all of us. I began to descend but got really scared and had to sit down and scooch down on my butt while my daughters laughed at their “chicken” mom.

Me--realizing how I hate heights

Stop laughing at me!

With the last burst of sunshine, I took a little video of my girls playing. When I see the opening picture of the video–before I even click play, I am reminded that they are still little girls. In the grand scheme of life and for how fast they are trying to get on with their lives or grow up before they are ready–it just reminds me that right now, this very instant, whether they like it or not–they are still little. It also reminds me of a more peaceful time in our lives. A time without the drama and crisis and heartache and devastating health issues that plagued our family this year. I can see my LITTLE girls in this picture–I can see the glimmer of hope that tomorrow holds limitless possibilities. The video is just pure silliness–and also gave me a shot of my second full moon that day.

This parting shot of Jasmine with me is priceless. I don’t think I’ll ever forget how hard she was pulling me toward her. I won’t forget her telling me sincerely and unsolicited–“I Love You”–over and over–something I hadn’t heard in years. I was glad that Jordan took the picture. I’ll treasure the moment always.

I Love You, Mom!

Jordan slept almost all the way home and the trip back was easy and much quicker–5.10 hrs. to be exact. I had never made the trip that quickly. There was noone on the road for miles and miles as I’m sure everyone was already home and tucked into bed awaiting work the next morning. I drove home listening to Christmas carols and thanking God for letting me live so that I may see to it that Jasmine would get the help she needed. I thanked him for not taking her home before me (at least this past summer this summer). I prayed for no more whammies. I told him that I thought I had managed the year as best I could and that I truly believed that I needed a break. I also wondered what lied in store for me and my family this next year.

Honestly, I need things to look up in 2010. I need time without crisis so that I can try to rebuild my faith, my relationship with my daughter and all of my family for that matter, my finances, my businesses, my educational aspirations, my professional endeavors, etc. As bleak as it looked several times this year I know I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet. I’m just ready to start snapping it again. –Watch out!

Formal shoutout to Dylan here–God bless you and keep you safe. Don’t forget our address and when you get out of boot camp–make sure to call. You are loved and you will be in our prayers.

P.S. I took my own advice and re-registered for the upcoming spring semester. I am going to re-take the two classes I let go. I couldn’t focus last year with the bombarding information coming at me and I also reached a point where I felt I’d rather be spending time with my family instead of having my nose in a book all the time. I was worried I was going to die and I worried about it all the time. I no longer think that way. I believe I’m going to be around here for a while and I may as well get my degree finished. I just won’t try to attain it at warp speed. Third reason–my scholarship people are getting ancy for me to fulfill my contract. I really don’t want to pay back all of the thousands they’ve given me because I’m in breach of my contract with them. I’ve hashed out an extension plan with the TEACH program and I am grateful they are understanding and accommodating to my requests. Now if I could just peel myself away from all the reality TV I’ve become addicted to…:)

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Lost and Found

Sunset on the Mississippi

Sunset on the Mississippi

Written on August 14, 2009

I woke up yesterday with that dead feeling in the pit of my stomach. Something just didn’t feel right. “Maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep or maybe I was just really hungry”, I thought as I got up in the wee hours of the morning. I knew it was something else and I could feel the anxiety start even as I maneuvered through a dark house. Two weeks. It had been two weeks since Jasmine took off again. She had only been home for five days. Prior to that, I had dropped everything and raced out to Ohio where she was found in an emergency room. I know that most people could not begin to fathom the stress our family has been put under this particular year. Just the cancer alone was knocking us down, but to have a child that goes missing–repeatedly, being told repeatedly there’s nothing anyone can do to help us or her, and to watch your other children suffer as a result of both–well the monumental stress of that far surpasses the stress of cancer and I’m beginning to think that if the one won’t kill me–the stress of the other will.

I managed the day with a two-fer–field trip to the Children’s Museum in the morning, and a pool outing in the afternoon complete with a picnic in the park. One last big hurrah before the last of the 4 boys goes off to kindegarten. The weather was hot, the sun was shining, and I knew I desperately needed the calming effects of the water to wash over me. There’s nothing that can do it any better for me then a semi-empty pool on a hot day. I could have stayed there and played with the kids all day. I could have. I wanted to. I told myself that I was dropping everything and spending time at the pool with my kids this weekend. Everything else could wait. I needed to take care of my stress levels. So, with that self-made profession, I loaded the kids up at the end of a couple fantastic hours and we headed home to deliver them all to their folks. Once the last one was gone, I ran inside, changed clothes, and raced off to the Arsenal to work in the Child Development Home. Some question why I choose to work there or at my music studio for a couple hours each evening. They question as to whether it heightens my stress level. Quite the contrary, actually. At either place–its really quiet. I still get to work with kids–something I’m passionate about–and there’s no phone ringing, dog barking, etc. Last night was no exception. It was so peaceful out at the Cottage. I only had one little girl who was simply delightful and made me laugh as she jabbered about this and that on our walk.

I sat on the porch swing for a long time with her and I realized how much I missed the porch swing of my house in Davenport. It dawned on me that I had been seriously void of any swing therapy for myself in the past 4 years. When I left, the breeze was blowing in and the hazy sun was beginning to set. I decided to take the way off the Island that snakes you along the Mississippi. I was so taken aback by the peace and calm of the evening, the breeze blowing across the river, the sun giving off its final burst before setting into the horizon, and the sound of the waves lapping at the shore. I stopped the car, drank in the solitude for just a moment, then took my phone out and snapped a picture. I was so appreciative for the lull in my life at that moment. True to the forces that are governing my life right now, though, the moment was gone as quickly as it appeared and the ringtone on my phone interrupted the silence. I looked at who was calling in and my heart skipped a few beats. I sucked in my breath and quickly answered, “Hey Mitch, what’s up”. Mitch was the boy that left with Jasmine on that cross country trip which culminated into a quarantine unit of St. Anne’s Hospital in Westerville, Ohio.

I have found it extremely difficult to really be able to discern which of Jasmine’s friends are truly concerned for her safety. The numbers of kids who are more eager to pressure her into God knows what or to emotionally yank her down are staggering. I have only found a handful through the years that do not view me as the enemy–the adult who is just trying to put the cabosh on whatever good time may be going on. Yes, there are still times when I have to control myself from chewing those friends out as well, but I try very hard to remember that none of us in this world are perfect. We all make mistakes and kids just do them on a more regular basis until one day–the lightbulb turns on. This handful of true friends knows Jasmine’s problems and still love her. They are genuinely worried for her safety and well-being and have formed an alliance of sorts with me to do what it takes to see she gets the help she needs. Mitch is no different and if weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have half the clue I do about the circumstances revolving around her extensive roadtrip earlier this summer.

“Mrs. Heald, drop what your doing. Jasmine just called me and she is in a lot of trouble. She’s hurt and needs to go to the hospital.”

At the same time, my husband beeped in–“Jasmine just called–she wants to come home–she’s not doing well”.

I wanted to throw up. Right there on the banks of the Mississippi. How much worse can it be this time? Each time she took off and came back, she was in much more perilous physical condition then the time before. The ailments were at times life threatening. I cannot begin to describe the feelings you go through as a parent when you get these types of calls. Knowing that HIPPA laws were going to prevent any medical staff from relaying information to me since my child was 17 only increased my anxiety. I told Mitch he would probably reach her faster than I would and to go to her and don’t let her leave his sight. I told him to text me the exact location and I would contact 911.

A coordinated effort was quickly put into place between two neighboring communities and paramedics were called once the text message came through. I raced off to find the ambulance fearing the worst, but hoping for the best. I passed an ambulance going in the opposite direction. I wondered if that was hers. There are two hospitals close to where she was found. I wasn’t sure which one she would be taken to. When the 911 dispatcher called me back to tell me both hospitals were full and she was enroute to the West Campus, I knew I had just passed her. I turned around and raced down the side streets to avoid the lights. I arrived to see three squad cars and an ambulance. My heart stopped. I turned the car off and sat in there for just a few more moments so I could do some much needed praying.

“Dear God, please surround my daughter with your loving arms and help lift her up out of this Hell she has been suffering in. Help ease her afflictions and quietly whisper your word in her ear so she may be reminded you are there with her always”.

I ran into the emergency room and was buzzered in. I could hear her crying through the hallway. When I opened the door, my heart broke once again. I went to her and held her and told her I loved her just as I had done in Ohio, just as I had over Mother’s Day weekend when we stood in the rain under a streetlight behind a restaurant. Each time she has been lost and then found, I ask her if she has reached her bottom. Each time she says yes. Each time we are all amazed that she still has had further to sink. There is nothing so saddening then to see a young person who once used to be filled with laughter and love and life, gifted with musical talent and beauty, and graced with such intelligence that many colleges were lining up to grant scholarships to–and then within a period of one year–its gone–and all that remains is the shell of that person. A shell that has also been so badly wounded that you barely recognize the person standing before you.

The one thing that remains a constant in this whole nightmare is that I am her mother. I have not agreed with or respected the decisions she has made this past year, but I am and always will be her mother and I will love her just the same. She was given to me by God to raise and to guide in her journey through life. How could I forsake her now when she needs me the most. Even though I want to lecture her until my tongue falls out–what good would that do? She is in obvious deep, emotional and physical pain. Earlier this year, I would have had no problem giving her a piece of my mind. It wasn’t until I met a woman in our local wig boutique one day. She said something to me that day that has resounded through me all summer. I don’t remember her name, but I’ll never forget her face. The enlightenment that I received from that chance encounter helped open my eyes in a few if not many areas of my life. I will elaborate more in another post, but for now let me leave you with the wisdom she imparted—-“Just Own It”.

As I pondered that over the next several days, I realized it not only had to do with my life and what was happening to me in reference to my cancer treatment, my hair loss, or my emotional ups and downs–but it very well could take a place in my understanding how my relationship with my oldest daughter needed to be evaluated. It was very evident to everyone that I had become for quite some time completely against all of my daughter’s life choices. They were completely against everything and anything I had ever tried to instill in her. She was making choices that I knew would have life long consequences, and as any mother, I would never have chosen those decisions for her. I realize that they are her decisions. She’s going to have to learn the lessons that come from them. I just know–having already been young–that you can either go through life the easy way or the hard way. The way she was choosing is certainly NOT how I would have advised her, but some idividuals just need to learn the lessons on their own even if its a much harder row to hoe.

Looking back over this year, I saw myself completely disassociating myself from her. I was becoming indifferent toward her. I didn’t want to see her and the chaos that lied in her wake. I didn’t want others to see it. I didn’t want others to judge what kind of mother must she have had for her to be so out of control. I knew in my heart that we had always provided for our daughter and our other children the values and beliefs of our family and our church. I knew that we were good, honest, hard-working, nurturing, loving, playful parents who enjoyed spending time with our kids in and out of school. We have supported all their ideas and extra currirular endeavors and we have always had their back when it came to anything that they needed our help with. Then, they start growing up and making their own decisions–ones that could have devastating consequences and you are frustrated, infuriated that all you’ve taught them has gone in one ear and out the other, disappointed that the dreams you had for them are not the dreams they have for themselves, and in a way–embarrassed. People judge. They do. Just like they love to tear something apart. It’s human nature–not the best side of it, but it is.

It was easier to turn into one of those people at that point. It was easier for me to start tearing apart all her ideas and thoughts and actions. It was easier for me to DIS-OWN her than it was for me to accept her and all her baggage and all her bad choices. It was so much easier for me to not care because caring was tearing my heart into tiny little pieces. In a way, it was a self-preservation technique. I know that sounds messed up, but I had gotten to a place where I just couldn’t handle any more. I had just been diagnosed with cancer. I was trying to juggle jobs and family and house and school and here was this entitiy–this child I had given birth to–who was now very symbolically spitting in our face and giving us the bird to everything we had tried to teach her. It was more than I could bear. The centrifigal force of my world spinning out of control has been uncomparable to anything I’ve ever known. So, it really hit me in the face like a ton of bricks when this woman told me, “Just Own It”.

I realized, as I said before, that I had begun to dis-own my oldest child. I couldn’t take what others must be whispering behind my back about her upbringing or about my daughter for that matter. I knew they all didn’t have a clue–no real intimate knowledge of the workings of my family and I was clinging to those friends of mine who did understand. They have been my saving grace through this along with an intense amount of prayer. It was extremely difficult for me to admit that I had begun to disown her. It’s a common element that runs pretty prevalent through our family and I was also beginning to realize that the thing I feared the most–losing my child–was actually happening with my help. I was becoming much like my own mother and that caused me so much grief I began to suffer terrible anxiety attacks.

I knew that the only thing I could do to help ease the pain in my heart was to “Own It”. Own that I have a teen that is making really bad decisions. Own that I can’t control everything about her life. Own that I do and will always love her. Own that people will always talk, but it is me that has to look myself in the mirror and ask myself if I have done everything that I can for the children God has entrusted me to teach. Own that I am not perfect and I make mistakes also and I have to forgive her. In essence, I was going to have to OWN Jasmine, again. Despite the questionable opinions of others, the raised eyebrows, the tsk-tsk-tsk they say under their breath. I know that they have never had to experience what our family has and I would never wish our burdens of this past year on even my worst enemy. I know that unless they walk a mile in my shoes, they could never understand the place I am at right now and how monstrous the mountain I had to climb to get here was. So, to those that wonder why I would drop everything and go help a child that keeps messing up–go ahead and whisper. I no longer care what you may think–it’s my responsibility to my children to help them–at any age–without enabling them. I would travel to the ends of the Earth for them. I would lay down my own life for them. It’s my duty to them to “Own Them”.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I know you are all wondering how she is and what happened to her. Out of respect for her privacy, I will not elaborate any further other than to say, “It’s bad”. She is safe, though, and being treated for the time being. She was transported to a hospital about an hour and a half away. She is struggling with the consequences of her choices and we are all praying for her. We had an opportunity to travel up to see her yesterday. It was bittersweet. It was nice knowing where she was and knowing she was getting the help she needed, but hard knowing that she will be released soon, I think. Continued prayers for her are deeply appreciated. I have given her a journal. She is also a writer. I told her to write down her experiences–the good, bad, and ugly–from her perspective. Maybe, she could help another teen and offer them encouragement that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I just pray after this, she will see the light herself.

Heartfelt Thanks…

I am overwhelmed.  I can’t think straight.  My world seems to be spinning into outer space.  I have so much to write.  So little time.  I have so many demands on me right now, I can’t breathe.  I can’t sleep.  I can’t eat.  I have so much to say, so much to purge, so much to vomit up onto my computer screen, but the countdown is on.  I want so badly to catch up and make sense of what is happening to me and around me.  I want to wake up from this nightmare and know that this is not really happening.  But that will never happen.

What I want to do more than anything is thank everyone for all their prayers.  All the kind words, the encouraging remarks, the laughter, the hugs, the hand holding-in spirit and in person.  I have wanted to respond to each and everyone one of you that has posted comments.  If I make it out of this, I will–I promise.  I can’t tell you how much it has meant in my darkest moments to come back and know that there is goodness and kindness in this world that will come from complete strangers and those that have been there the whole way with me.  I want you all to know that I am deeply humbled and grateful to have this outlet to release my frustration, fears, newfound wisdom, and if for some reason, someone out there should find it helpful in anyway, or can relate to my story in any way, or it provokes someone out there to go get a mammogram–then it was worth the hours of writing through blurred and tear filled eyes to get my thoughts out. 

The story has continued, it is still compelling, it is still heartwrenching, it is still worth me telling.  However, my life has become filled with distractions along the way and has caused me even greater heartache.  My oldest daughter has run away from home again.  This time, I fear for good.  The subject is so intertwined with what is happening to me, I have not been able to seperate one from the other and since this was a blog about my journey with cancer, I have found it difficult to concentrate on even this because all my energy has been going to her.  It has torn my family apart, it has caused so much sorrow and I have had deep flashbacks to my childhood when my own sister ran away.  Those feelings are much a part of me all over again, and the pain is raw and real.  I force through my days right now, carrying out my cheery duties of  “Tina”, daycare provider and Mom–of a runaway, a daughter who will turn 13 (a teenager) on this Wed., March 18, 2009, and a 5 yr. old that is having trouble dealing with what is happening to his mommy.  I have a limited relationship with my husband at the moment, and have decided it was time for me to grab the life raft my pastor has thrown out to me.  I have joined a bible study, bought a new bible, and have been overwhelmed at the messages and signs that have been coming at me lately.

I have been honored this past Wednesday at our state capitol for community excellence in my profession and I could not be more thrilled to be at the top of my game in that aspect.  The price of that is taking its toll, on my family, my education, and my health, however.  I am trying, but as hard as I try, more demands keep cropping up despite my attempts to delegate them off somewhere else.  I feel as though many are just as secretly terrified that something is going to go wrong and heaven forbid I don’t get everything all done before I should kick the bucket or be incapacitated for several weeks.  My accountant is one of those people.  She got really upset when I said I would need an extension for taxes.  I just don’t have the time or energy to put into it right now.  Isn’t there a joke about how there’s only two things you are guaranteed in life–taxes, and death…well, my accountant must swear by that rule of thumb and wants to make sure I pay mine, if necessary, just in case…

I also have a class I can’t keep up with no matter how hard I try and I think I just need to withdraw instead of screwing up my GPA.  I have one teacher who is also not friendly at all and is unsympathetic to the fact that I will be having surgery or that I will be unable to do anything for about a week.  I have checked into voice recognition software, but its EXPENSIVE and I just can’t afford it, so maybe I could get a friend to type while I dictate.  More than anything, I just want to sit and write.  I need to relieve myself of this burden I’ve been carrying.  I’ve been swamped with midterms, doctor appointments, and information overload.  Even though, I pray there will be more time in the future to really lay out my chronological account of events, what it all boils down to is this…

I am having a radical mastectomy on Thursday, March, 19, 2009. 

This has all come up as of today.  I knew it was a card on the table.  I prayed someone would call the surgeon’s bluff.  I prayed I would see some hint that his poker face was just a bunch of B.S.  I was wrong. I will have the full story I hope and pray soon.  Right now, I can’t think, I am emotionally spent and physically exhausted.  This is happening.  There is no ace up my sleeve.  There is no trump card.  I can’t throw my cards in and ask for all new ones.  I have to play this hand out.  I would rather be playing strip poker in front of thousands then have to undergo this process, though.  Maybe….that is what I am doing by writing this blog, now that I think about it.  I am stripping off the layers…that have covered up all sorts of yucky character traits…in a way that would leave me exposed to thousands…of strangers as well as friends…and strangers that may become my friends.  How I wish I could explore this concept fully in my mind and round out my thoughts right now.  I am just too scared and tired to do that right now.  I just can’t believe this is happening.

I don’t know if I will be able to check in for some time.  I don’t know what will happen on Thursday.  I don’t know if  things will all go well.  I pray it does.  I am asking for you to stop and say a prayer, for me and for my family–I’m not picky–any denomination will do.  If you would all say a prayer for my daughter, Jasmine, that she may see the light and run toward it and away from those that have pulled her down;  for my daughter, Jordan, who is terrified that she will lose her mom the day after her birthday; for my little boy, Justin, that he won’t be so scared and worried that God is coming to get me; and for Jeff, that he has the strength and stamina to keep up with these kids and sees to it they are well taken care of should something happen or while I am laid up.  If I don’t ever make it back on, thanks for listening, caring, praying, loving, and thinking of me and my family.  Thanks for stopping in–for a long time, or just for a peak.  Thanks for commenting–I’ll leave my husband the password to get in–maybe words of encouragement would help them all get through what lies ahead.  And if I do make it out of this, be sure to check back, you’ll be in for one hell of a read.  You’ll never believe what has transpired in the past couple weeks while I’ve been away.  I can’t believe it myself.

I pray that God will see me through this safely and that I shall be called truly, in time, Mrs. Heald.  How prophetic that seems now, looking back.  Little did I know 20 years ago, that my husband’s name would be my biggest sign.  Its funny, I have such a low voice that whenever someone would ask me my name over the phone, they would never be able to quite catch the pronunciation.  I would have to spell it out–“H as in Harry, E as in elephant, A as in Alice, L as in Larry, and D as in David–like I was HURT but now I am HEALD”  I have actually said that thousands of times.  What a huge misguided sign that was.  I have been hurt, but I haven’t been healed–YET.  I married a man that would be all I should ever hope to become, in body, mind, and spirit.  Jeff, I love you.  Jasmine, Jordan, Justin…I love you more than you will ever know, forever and ever, with all my heart and soul…Mommy

Started Tracking on 12-1-09

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