faith

When One Door Closes.

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Okay, so maybe it’s a big door.

On a normal basis I would be blogging almost constantly – somehow, someway, I have a thought. I always want to share something, tell a story, vent my feelings. It’s just occurred to me that it’s been quite some time since I stepped foot into my own world of writing. While I shadow over other blogs, watch, like, meander my way through others’ thoughts … I started to wonder when exactly I was going to update my own.

On April 3, 2014 – I will have a complete hysterectomy.

Yes, my opiate free days will be over for a short time, but they will be controlled, this is not the major issue and there is no failure here.

I have not ventured back to blogging recently because I have been suffering – physically. It is the worst pain in the world to handle when you cannot exactly pinpoint the cause. My battle to stay away from pain medications made it even more difficult. I realized in the process how strong I really am. I have a severe case of endometriosis that has my uterus completely tipped backwards.

Ouch.

It’s also likely scar tissue from three c-sections that has caused this as well.

Pain by day, pain by night, pain is my middle name.

We are finally tackling this problem. At the age of 34 I will go through complete menopause. My child bearing days are over, my days of using PMS as an excuse for a mood swing and throwing the remote at the television (I just really wanted that winning touchdown) – they’re over.

It is a relief to know that – well, relief is coming. Soon, I will be able to live a normal life outside of my house and pajamas, away from my heating pad, and physical therapist. Soon, I will be able to lift my children without wincing, have a simple day without Advil.

(Yes, I do take Advil, sue me, but at least it’s over the counter)

When one door closes, another opens they say. While I’m stoked for this soon-to-be relief from this catacomb of misery within my poor body – part of me, as a female and mother, is almost sad. This body part is actually a place for me. Within my skin and bones this particular realm was home to three beautiful children that I held all to myself before they were born. You can call it flesh, or skin, or simply an organ.

This amazing piece of me – made humans.

I had already made the decision I did not want any more children – this part does not depress me.

(Yay for lifelong birth control)

I guess simply stated: to know that the part of you where your children first kicked you, head butted your insides, rolled around and caused you heartburn – is suddenly going to be cut apart and thrown into a hazmat bag, I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness regardless of the problems it has caused me.

Yet this opens a door now. Instead of concentrating on the pain, and how to get rid of it, once it’s gone, I can actually enjoy watching my children grow up. I can interact. I can be their mommy – as I always have been, but have been failing to be the best because my body does not allow it.

My journey now becomes mental. It will be saying goodbye to something I’ve always held dear – the ability to have brought children into the world and to bake a human inside of my own body. These beings now exist because of what I was blessed with in the beginning – a functional system.

This functional system is now, well, not functioning correctly and so it’s with that deep pit of inner sadness, I have to let it go. It’s soon to be part of the medical waste compost unit “Do not Touch”. Little do they know when they throw those bags into the compacter – what they’ve thrown away is the home to three amazing souls and I will forever be thankful.

Yes, I’ve been sick. I shall soon to be returning to the blogging world hopefully in tip top shape and pain free.

And when I do, I will elaborate on the lives that I was blessed enough to bring into this world and how they have inspired me to be better, do better, and live better. Life will be different.

But the end of something is always the beginning of something else.

Let my new life begin and the witnessing of three little babies growing – outside of me – is now a concept I can grasp onto. I can now make memories, live in the present, and feel happy with what I have.

Even if my body is hollowed of what was always a gift. It just happens to be broken. I’m sending it out with a huge thank you, I appreciated you, I will never forget you – but moreover, I will always be grateful for the three faces that came out of there, for they are what makes me tick.

Let the countdown to a new life begin.

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A Heartfelt Thank You

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Have you ever felt like just sitting down to thank somebody?

I mean sure – I thanked the bagging guy today at the grocery store for dealing with me while I slipped over patches of ice to lock my son’s car seat in while he held two carts of frozen junk food with a short sleeve shirt on…

That’s not what I mean.

Saying thank you to my husband, or my children, or my family really is not appropriate – they understand that what they do for me, nobody else can do. There’s a love and inspiration there that cannot be described, understood, or for that matter, appreciated in the form of verbal words on a blog.

Allow me to take time out to give my heartfelt, genuine, thank you – to a specific person that I feel deserves credit where credit is due.

(Fun Fact #2,164 about Jenn: I invest in the concept of the paranormal. I believe in ghosts, spirits, the after life. I’ve read books, taken classes, done investigations, dealt with my own hauntings, own my own equipment…)

Sidebar: Skeptics laughing, feel free to continue to. Or you can simply press skip in your reader, either way, blah.

For all of those who are believers (AWESOME SAUCE) – you get me, I know. But becoming a parent also brought another level of belief into this spiritual resolution, afterlife, concept of apparitions, EVPs … (I could go on – if you do not understand my terminology I apologize. I know, I know. It’s like reading “stereo instructions”.)

When I became a parent – I looked into the eyes of these little beings and realized I had just given life.

When you give life – you automatically become the person or force that has subjected that little soul someday – to death.

Now, now. I am not being morbid. Think about it. I have 3 amazing, wonderful children. Each of them when they were born immediately had my heart and every bit of love I could have ever dreamed of mustering for a human being – wrapped into each of their sweet, tiny, quivering lips. They reach for me – a simple “mama…” “I want a juice box…” “I love you…” or in the case of my 1 year old … a bellowing “WAHHHHHHHHH” when the bottle falls with such force under the bouncy chair that milk goes splattering into his deep blue eyes.

These cherished moments in the mind of any parent are ones you cannot describe to those who do not have children.

“You had to be there” really fits in here.

But I realized once they took their first breaths – that someday, they will take their last.

Knowing that I accomplished such a huge step as a human – I mean, I MADE HUMANS – in the bottom of the deep depths of my often overthinking heart – I remember – someday, they will no longer be alive. That the life I provided to them – will no longer exist.

Unless -if you’re a believer like me – you choose to believe that it will continue to exist past the ability of their living bodies.

I choose to support this notion.

This belief comforts me. It brings me hope. It makes the joy on their little faces when I say “yes, you can have chocolate” feel much more like a happy moment instead of “someday – I may never see them again.”

Yes, I will.

This brings me to my point. There’s a group of people who dedicate their lives to investigating, , and I guess I could use the word PROVING – that this concept actually exists. Okay I take that back – there’s MANY groups. However, one in particular has a way of taking evidence, proof, undeniable, concrete “You just CANNOT SAY IT ISN’T REAL” type of study and brings it to the forefront of public attention. This group spends many hours, upon hours, upon hours – doing what some think is simply for entertainment – but I take it as a sincere path they are meant to be on that they intend to share with all of us. It just happens to be on television where we can see it.

Thank you – from the bottom of my heart-  to Zak Bagans, Nick Groff, and Aaron Goodwin (as well as the others involved with Ghost Adventures). If you have not watched their original documentary – well, then you are probably a boring person.

(I’M KIDDING! Stop glaring! Get Netflix and watch!)

If you happen to tune in like me to the Travel Channel every Saturday for new lockdowns, well then hey – let’s wave our lassos together – yee haw for meeting other fans of the show.

This thank you, however, is deeper. I’ve always wanted to believe that the after life existed. Since I was a child and have had my own dealings with the paranormal, supernatural, whatever term you wish to use – I have wanted to be more involved in understanding its realm of possibilities. But now – my own children in my arms – I cannot bear the thought that the moment any of us take our last breaths as a living human – that we simply see black. That we will never see each other again.

It is this crew that has put so much heart, soul, time, and persistence into proving the existence of life after death – that has helped me cope as a parent with the idea of someday ever losing my babies that I gave life to – because the evidence they have provided is clear – some of it, to me, indisputable – that we will continue to move on in spirit past our human shells of skin and bone.

To the GAC: you have put so much effort into this. You have put your health at risk. You have taken time, energy, faith, passion – and used it as a device in bringing forth how the paranormal really does co-exist in the human world, and how there is life beyond what we know here and now. Thank you. In tears I say this – because it is with this belief that I can put my little ones to bed at night and know, no matter what, no matter who goes, and when – that I am not responsible for providing life merely to someday, provide death.

I am responsible for providing life – to someday provide a road to another one, where we will come together again, and never be apart.

Quite a feat, GAC. I felt it was worthy of saying thank you.

Although I feel I could say a million more things in adoration instead – I will leave it at that.

From this mother’s loving heart: really. Thank you.

You are appreciated. I hope someday you read from my own words how you have touched my life – and that you will continue to touch that of others that you continue to stun and awe with the beauty of the evidence you present.

I was already a believer.

You just made me more of one.

Much love.

I am An MD: Master of Determination

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Very soon I will be guest blogging for Dancing with Fireflies. This blog is very dear to my heart as I appreciate the writing, topics, and challenges that come along with it. Having been sick the past few weeks I’ve been missing her Weekly Writing Challenge. Today, I am partaking. The question: what is your expertise?

I would love to be able to have an actual MD. The truth of the matter is I actually have a Masters degree in Counseling.

But I love to give myself credit as being an MD: Master of Determination.

My expertise is in never giving up. Life can hand me the most unusual, difficult, and emotionally draining situations and it’s my strength, persistence, faith, and determination that help get me through these plights.

It would take me an entire novel or memoir, pages and pages of blogging to explain every life event that I have gotten through and learned from. It would take me years, I suppose, to explain each of the ways I have gained strength from not giving in to the worst of experiences. I have not only become a wiser person – my ability, or should I say expertise, as a person who persists to believe in miracles, second chances, in the idea that failing at something does not make you a failure: it is a lesson learned to benefit from. Failing never makes a person weak. Failure is an opportunity to become stronger – to overcome (thus the purpose of my blog – to empower myself and others to never give up or not allow the curveballs that life throws at us to become strike outs – yet home runs).

So, my friends, in response to this challenge I give you a new bumper sticker idea…

(Sidebar for new followers: I love to come up with bumper stickers – I find the humor and creativity almost inspiring in itself.)

Imagine the back of my Prius with the following:

“I’ll be Back: I am the Determinator.”

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Somebody Saved Me Today: But Who?

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I was driving innocently today. I had just dropped off my two oldest children in Stafford, VA to go back with their father. I was in my Prius compact car, enjoying the winter wind through my window, while listening to Zak Bagans’ song “In My Dungeon”…

Sidebar (see brilliance below):

I noticed out of the corner of my right eye – an 18 wheeler on the exit ramp coming onto Interstate 95 South.

Have you ever been to Virginia? On Interstate 95? Wacko drivers. Avoid it. 

Still enthralled in listening to my favorite song of my very brilliant idol I noticed something was off.

This 18 wheeler had nothing on the back of his bed. His bed was high. He was coming off of the exit ramp at a good 50 MPH. I was in the middle lane. It struck me then like something out of an 80’s sitcom when the answer to the question just suddenly appears within such a short time span. He was not stopping.

This truck continued to swerve and he was coming into my lane.

“He doesn’t see me. Oh my God. He doesn’t see me.”

Prius owners unite: we understand we blow the concept of the “blind spot”.

I was clutching the wheel in a panic. There was nowhere to go.

But wait. There was.

Before I could blink and say “I love cats” – I was underneath the bed of his truck. My compact Prius wedged between his bed and tires.

I began to beep. Scream.

What good will this do me NOW?

Ever seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?

It can really happen. My life began to flash before my eyes. I could see my children’s faces, hear their laughs. I saw bright lights around. I could hear my husband’s voice “You’re my everything”…

Oh my God. I’m dying.

This was it. I was about to see the pearly gates of Heaven – witness the miracles that so exist from those who speak of near death experiences. For us Ghost Adventures fans, I was about to become one. This was my day. February 17, 2014. Age 34. She loved coffee, scary movies, her husband, her children, football, beer and nachos. I could see my obituary.

I had one out. While saying a Hail Mary – praying like I had always been taught in my Catholic church that I hadn’t visited in years after many thoughts of wondering about my faith – I was praying like I never had before.

Dear God: please, I am going to swerve to the third lane, I cannot see out my side view mirror. Please, don’t let there be a car. Help me.  I cannot leave my babies. I cannot leave my husband, my family, my kitty cat Macy. Please.

I gave myself an ultimatum. I kept my hands gripped to the wheel and I swerved.

Today my friends, I witnessed a miracle.

As it turns out an angel in a gold Honda Civic had stopped traffic in the third lane. He had seen my plight. He had stopped them 1/4 of a mile back to allow me time to swerve back in the lane without hitting anybody. My car went off the road – and then something took control of my hands. Instead of hitting the guard rail – I went back onto the road, and stayed in the third lane. I did not overcorrect. I did not hit anybody. My car had not a scratch.

Neither did I.

It’s like an umpire yelling when a man on 3rd steals home base:

YOU’RE SAFE!

I immediately began to sob. Still shaking I called my husband to hear his voice. I called my mother to hear hers.

Now home and on my couch with a cold beer I wonder:

What was it that saved me today?

Somebody knew it was not my time – and they made sure of it.

Could it have been my love of the song I was listening to keeping me calm?

Could it have been the thought of my husband, children, and family?

Could it have been that amazing, thoughtful gold Honda Civic?

Or was it something deeper?

I should have died today. I saw the lights, I heard the sounds, there was really no way to avoid it.

Yet I did.

A guardian angel, perhaps. A keeper of my soul.

Regardless, I’m home. I’m home where I’m obviously meant to be now.

To February 17, 2014: today was not my time. Someday it will be – but it was not today.

To the driver of the Mack Truck: learn to pay attention. You could have killed this mother of 3. And knowing me, and my love of the paranormal and Ghost Adventures, I would have haunted the living crap out of you.

Life is good.

My Heart Unlocked: The Key

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Love can teach you many lessons.

I have suffered with anxiety, depression, and self-esteem issues for many years. These issues date back to around spring of 1998. I have been through several major relationships – one of which ended in a broken marriage. Following divorce depression can become especially overwhelming. I had already been suffering for a year and a half prior to our separation due to postpartum depression stemming from the birth of my daughter in May 2009. The darkness I exuded brought so much despair that eventually – my ex husband decided to leave.

My life seemed to begin over again. Here I was living alone with racing thoughts and questions: how did this fail? I wondered had I ever really been in love – why had this gone so awry  … it was at that point that I said to myself, and believed, true love really did not exist.

In April 2012, on a chance encounter, I met my now husband, Joe. My heart was dead bolted. Locked. My soul was marked with a “No Trespassing” sign. I was still struggling with my esteem. I felt rotten, ugly, like I had completely been doomed to never feel the essence of true love. I was faced with a man that I instantly recognized had the type of strength I had always dreamed of. Here before me stood a Veteran, divorced himself, who had also survived cancer and had three children himself. His intelligence immediately sparked my interest. I consider myself a very smart and talented lady in a lot of respects – but his intelligence was not condescending. I was used to the type of man who would patronize me by making me feel as if my quotient of wisdom was stupidity, not knowledge.

Joe and I talked for hours each day. This man understood and got to the bottom of the deepest pits of my inner demons so quickly. I believe it was his kindness, his warm smile, his gentle voice that spoke to me with such caring generosity – that truly unlocked my ability to open up so immediately. It came out of nowhere. All of this time I had wondered if there was a man who was patient, kind, forgiving, understanding, hopeful, and loving – that would actually believe in me despite my emotional baggage.

Joe has never once left my side since. He has seen me through some of the most difficult times. We have braved my depression, anxiety, addiction, and health issues TOGETHER. He has taught me the meaning of true love. The value of his confidence in me goes hand in hand with his undying affection for each and every part of me. He never questions me. Every day I wake up and I’m told I’m beautiful. Little notes written on the steam of the mirror after I take a shower – “I love you, baby.” These are things I have never experienced before. In looking back on the past I realize that I never once failed anybody or anything when it came to love – I just had not yet found what it was truly supposed to be.

In my Prince Charming I have learned how to open my heart again. The key was in someone’s ability to grasp onto my inner imperfections and show me the light in each flaw – and that knowing that despite any days where I may cry for no reason, be moody, yell obscenities, need time alone – he still guides me and holds my hand through each moment. The key was finding somebody strong enough to not let go when the darkest hours present themselves in such perilous light – and instead, that someone would hold me through it and turn that into time together that just makes us both stronger.

He is my best friend. He is closest to me. He knows me better in 2 years than anyone has ever known me in all 34 years alive. He has brought me into that place of happiness and peace – he has taught me that the emotional catalyst to renewing my faith was simply in believing in myself – and to to trust someone else to do the same. I love him more than I could ever imagine loving another human soul – and in this lesson, I have become whole again. After being torn to pieces – his hands, his face, his smile, his heart, his hope, his soul, his genuine belief in my genuine self – has put me back together with a soulful thread and that missing needle in the haystack:

Undying, true, selfless, faithful:  love.

It does exist. We are proof.