Friday, September 29, 2006

I value..

I value me for my creativity. I value me for my 'free-spirit'. I value me for being a good mother, and a good teacher. I value me for my ability to notice and appreciate the little things that fill the days of the world with beauty and joy.

That was what I wanted to say today.

I also came across this story. It had me in tears. I'm posting it, because I can't bear to just delete it. (I could put it in an email and send it to GoldenTear...hmmmm). (why is control-v "paste'?)

Dear FlyLady,

Yes, "Love Like There is No Tomorrow" DID hit home in a very painful,
heart-wrenching way. My 8 year old sweet angel daughter passed away
very suddenly on May 23, 2006. I thought she had a stomach bug during
the night. I sat up with her all night and first thing in the morning,
I made arrangements to bring her to her grandfather' s while I went to
work for half a day.

I know for a fact that her last memory of me was me screaming and
yelling for her to find her shoes (wherever they were in the mess) and
get them on. Fifteen minutes later, I was giving her CPR and mouth to
mouth, trying to save her while waiting for the paramedics.

I have spent literally years screaming at my 4 children to "clean"
their messes, when I couldn't even seem to get my own messes cleaned
up. My house was so cluttered that the police officer who answered
the call took pictures and turned me into child welfare. Within 24
hours, social workers were interviewing my other children and family
members to determine if my home was "SAFE" for my 12 yr old DD to stay
with me.

The time from the day my daughter passed to the day after her funeral
was hell in more ways than one. Not only did I have to deal with
losing my heart and soul so unexpectedly, but we (my older sons
and family members) also had to get my home in order so my other
daughter would be allowed to come home. Instead of us grieving
together, we were separated (she stayed with her father, who enjoyed
every bit of this "twist"of events).

Well, I have been babystepping and "falling off the wagon" for
a few years now and this has been the ultimate wakeup call. My sweet,
beautiful baby girl died in the mess that I was too overwhelmed to do
anything about - yet I yelled and expected her and her siblings to be
able to "clean" their own messes. What a hypocrite I realized I've been.

Incidentally, my daughter died of a strangulated small intestine,
which I have been told is almost always fatal and rather rare. Clean
house or not, I would have lost her anyway; but in uncluttered
surroundings, I would not have yelled (out of helplessness, because I
knew she couldn't find the shoes, I knew I was late for work and I
didn't even know where to look for the shoes). My baby used her last
breaths to get up the stairs to do what she was told to do.

I want you to know, however, how much I love my baby. We had regular
tea parties together and spent countless hours reading, praying and
just being together. She loved like no child I have ever known.

She made up song and dance routines and entertained the family
regularly. I always justified the clutter with "we'll have fun now and
I'll take care of the clutter tomorrow." My sweet angel told me just
a few weeks before she died that she wasn't afraid to die, because she
knew that she would meet Jesus and she loved Him. She had also told
her older sister that Jesus held her in His arms while she slept so
she wouldn't have bad dreams. I know she is in His arms now and will
never have a bad dream again. I am the one living the nightmare of
what clutter created - my sweet angel hearing my angry words, instead
of me LOVING her like the tomorrow that will never come.

Thank you for listening. I am trying each day to go on and to clear
the clutter. I pray no one ever hasmto go thru the pain and
humiliation that we have endured in the past 2 months. My 12 yr old
DD is home with me and my "case" has been deemed "unfounded" because
they determined that I am a loving mother who got sidetracked with
depression and too much "stuff."

If I hadn't read about you several years ago in a magazine, I'm sure
things would have been much more difficult. God be with you.

Cathi in NY


The Maven said...

Such a heartwrenching story. It really makes me think about what a big deal I made out of Intrepid not eating his veggies at dinner tonight :(

Chocolateer said...

The Maven read my blog. That's like a celebrity visit. I'll never wash my hands again.

(yes, those thoughts ARE related.)