musings on life, love and laughter from my spoken heart to yours


‘The Story of Me’… (Another piece of fiction… )

This is not  biographical. This is a piece of fiction. One day while at work, I believe it was in 2010, it was a very slow day and I opened up my note book and just started writing. This has been edited but not as much as some of the things I have written. I know this one will be my story. This one will become something more, when I am not sure, how with great discipline (gulp) but one day it will be something.


The Story of Me…

My name is David Michael Jones. David Michael. It’s a good strong name. A biblical name. A proud name. A boy’s name… But I am a girl and this is the story of me.

My father named me. I suppose he didn’t expect a girl. In reality he didn’t expect a child.
I like to think my mother had some beautiful name picked out for me and just didn’t get a chance to share it. Oh wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here. My mother. I never met her. She died when I was born. Leaving my dad to take care of a baby in the midst of his grief. It’s actually a very sad story, one I have only heard a few times, but have romanticized a million times. My mother is my hero. An amazing, selfless woman, full of courage – at least that is how I choose her to be… strong and beautiful.

My mother and father were still in the newlywed stages of love, when she began to feel that something was wrong. She was ill, she was tired, she felt ‘off’. After 4 different doctors and months of being told that she just needed to relax, that she was making  herself sick with all her worrying, that everything was fine, that she just needed to go home and be a good little wife, an eager young specialist, fresh out of med school, discovered the cancer. She was told that her and dad needed to take aggressive action, there were options, new treatments. And albeit they would be painful and would make her feel sicker sometimes, there was hope. Everything was set for radiation and chemo and all that fun stuff. They were prepped for all the lovely hours they would spend at the hospital and were just about to get  underway when mom discovered some other unexpected news. She was pregnant.

She now had a choice to make, which to everyone but her was no choice at all. She could abort me and go ahead with her treatments as scheduled, or she could attempt to live long enough to carry to me to term. The doctors said there was little chance she’d last long enough for “it” to survive without treatment, and that she couldn’t maintain the pregnancy while undergoing treatment, so either way “it” would die. But if she aborted “it” and went ahead with the treatment and if she came out clean and whole she could always try to have a family then. Well my mother said there was no choice to make. She would not sacrifice another’s life, no matter how small or “insignificant” to save her own. And that if God was willing we would both survive the ordeal and live happily ever after.

Well this story isn’t a “happily ever after” story. Just as she was coming up on 8 months mom took a turn for the worse and an emergency caesarean section had to be scheduled. They needed me out so that they could try to save her. It turned out I was born at approximately  9:30 on a drizzly May morning, and that my mother died at approximately 9:30 that same drizzly morning. No-one would tell me exactly when she died, or when I was born, but they said it was the anaesthetic, she was too weak, too sick, too frail for the surgery.
(I like to think that the nurses wanted me to be able to pretend that she actually had a chance to see me, maybe even hold me, and to fall in love in with me before she died. But I am quite confident that she died minutes before my birth.)

And that is how I came into this world.

Then there is my dad. I have seen the pictures of him before the cancer, before mom’s depletion, and he looks so happy, young, carefree, handsome even. I never got to know that man. The man I know is sad, withdrawn, worried, he looks tired and broken. He is a good man. He tries. But he IS a broken man. I know he loves me, but he is always just a bit distant. Always standing on the edge of my life, watching. In the early years I was raised by his sister Jane. I lived with dad, but Jane was always there. She got me up every morning. She cleaned me up, took me out, held my hand. But every night after supper she went home to her own place, only to do it all again the next day. Then she met this guy. She said he was “the one” and slowly we saw her less and less. When they got married they moved away, and then it was just me and dad.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good dad. He doesn’t lose his temper, and he has never hit me. But living with some-one who is chronically depressed is hard. When I was young I really didn’t notice. But as I got older I started to  realize that it was there. Like a thick fog surrounding him. He looks normal, he seems normal. He smiles sometimes, he even laughs. But he is lifeless. He died with my mother. You can see it in his eyes. He never laughs with his heart, and some days it causes me to feel broken myself.

Now some might think life has handed me a raw deal, that it’s just not fair. They may even go so far as to say God has a cruel sense of humour, that he has cheated me. I have even had people ask me how I can live knowing I took my mother’s life. I don’t know what they are talking about. I didn’t take anything! I was given a gift. A precious gift. And I know what that gift cost. I understand its value. I think I am lucky, luckier than most actually. God is good, and for that I am grateful.

Just like so many things that happen to us in life they define us, mould us. It’s those things, those moments, the ones that are beyond our control that make or break us. We choose to either succumb and live defeated lives or we rise to the occasion and choose to really live. I like to think that I am a masterpiece in the making. And therefore I refuse to be broken.


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Unconditional love vs acting like a big gorilla…

In light of my post the other day – Do I sound like that? Really? – I have to say I did good this morning. One of my daughters has been pushing my buttons as of late. I know, she knows she is doing it too, which of course pushes my buttons…. sigh. What the reasoning behind it is, I have no idea. Why she would want to push me at every turn is beyond me. You know the old adage “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar” well she is testing out the vinegar. (why do we want to catch flies? I certainly know that I don’t – flies are gross and annoying…) What was my point here? OK let’s get back on track. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. (OK there’s another one… hhmmmm maybe I will have to do a post pondering some of these old expressions??? another day another time.) Anyways, so my kid wants all the privileges without any of the responsibility… sound familiar? She is lacking respect for me and my boundaries but gets all in my face when I say “heck no!” and normally I do that loudly and aggressively. Not this morning…

Acting like a big gorilla!

Acting like a big gorilla!

This morning I stopped myself, took some deep breathes, realized I did not want to start my day like that. I did not want to have a little black cloud floating above my head all day. I did not want to act like a big gorilla, all action and reaction, no thought and rationale. I want to give my kids unconditional love even in the face of lots of button pushing. It felt really good to keep it together and even though I need to have a talk with her today after work, I am feeling optimistic because I have decided I am not going to yell. I am going act with love, even if it kills me! (or her for that matter… which it just might!)

So recently I have come to realize some fairly obvious truths; truths that have somehow eluded me in the past. For instance respect is a two way street, you get what you put in. (I have always known this in respect to relationships, but somehow it’s easy not to apply it when dealing with kids/teenagers and to just expect them to respect you “because you said so!”) I have also found that anger and yelling only seem to breed more anger and yelling. And that when you hit the wall of frustration neither party is listening any more, but are rather trying to find relevant ammo. (sometimes irrelevant ammo, because when one is truly angry any ammo will do).

Love NEVER fails...

Love NEVER fails…

See I want my kids to be sure in knowing that they can come to me no matter what they are facing, and that I will treat the situation with as much love, and kindness as I can. Which means if I am flying off the handle every time they do something I don’t like, I am not fostering that ideal. My button pushing daughter is 15 years old, and even though I do not want her partying, drinking, experimenting with drugs or having sex (of course I don’t want that) I do want her to know that if she has done any of these things and screwed up big time and has found herself in trouble, she can come to me and I will not rip into her for making poor choices or for making mistakes. Which means if I am always losing it over the small stuff, there is no way she is going to come to me with the big stuff.

And that boils down to me having to change my patterns. Because it would break my heart if I found out that she was too afraid to come to me in a crisis. To me that would mean I had failed as her parent. My job is to guide her in the right direction and to be there to love and support her when she chooses to take a different route. To applaud her when those choices work out, and to hug her and just be there when they don’t.


This fragile life…

It’s funny, but we seem to take our lives for granted.We forget how fleeting it can be. We forget that we are never promised a tomorrow. That every day is a blessing. We forget that life can be broken in a moment. That it is fragile.

My eldest daughter’s friend has been battling cancer. Lastnite she succumbed and departed this earth. I am amazed at how much this has hurt my heart. Shocked at the imprint I feel on my soul. She was a beautiful woman who even in the midst of her pain and struggle always seemed to have a smile on her face. I did not know her well. I believe I chose it that way. The hurt of losing people is hard and becoming friends with some-one you are destined to lose is terrifying. This has been my loss, for I know she was a wonderful woman and I have missed out on being touched by her brilliance.

I think the part that truly knocks the wind out of me is the fact that she has left behind 2 beautiful, young children. I know they will live lives full of love and the best of care. They have a wonderful dad, and lots of family. Family that actually acts how family should. They have pulled together through the struggles of the last few years, and have created a safe place for these two little ones.

But it all brings me back to the fragility of life. We have so much to be thankful for, every single day. We have so much to offer to ourselves, to others. Yet we forget. We live guided by the routine of life with blinders on, just doing what we must to survive. Filled with fear of change, fear of the unknown. Fear is no way to live. Mundane routine is no way to live.

Then there is the spiritual side of life. I personally believe in God. I am a Christian. And even though there is a lot bad stuff out there that I cannot understand I know in my heart of hearts what I know. God is real and in the quiet moments of true heartbreak, I can hear Him. Those are the moments He comes and comforts, and shows me where I need to go. Shows me just how precious my life is. Shows me that no matter how insignificant I may feel, He loves me, and I am an important part of the here and now. He put me here, now, for a reason, even if I have no clue what that reason is.

Sometimes I lose my way and I forget where I am going, I get overwhelmed by unimportant things. Sometimes I forget where I have come from. Sometimes I do not act like some-one who believes. Sometimes I forget that life is fragile. Perhaps that is part of being human? But I know that there is a loving creator watching over me, and all the lives that I have touched, am yet to touch, will never touch. I just know.

Generally I try to avoid so called ‘religious’ topics here, but then I suppose to one degree or another I am then hiding a piece of who I am. But I will not apologize for being me, or for believing that there is more to this life than merely existing. There has to be or there is no point at all. We need to love one another, support one another, come along side each other in times of heartache and need, laugh with each other in times of plenty. And to be able to do these things in love without judgement. Where some-one else is, or has been, is not my business. Loving them and helping them to cope, and get through whatever it is they are experiencing, that is my business.

This is for all who know and comprehend the fragility of life… don’t forget, hold on, keep on moving towards love. For those of you who don’t, I hope and pray you discover it.