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Making the shadows disappear

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Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend about his pending divorce.  The process has been going on for 20 months and has been a long hard battle.  He is understandably discouraged about the whole process.

He compared his separation to Lent, the church season leading up to Easter.

For those of you who are unaware, Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter.  It is a penitential time.  A time of sacrifice.  It is not intended to be a joyful time.  It is to be a time of preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of Easter.

I reminded him that Lent isn’t forever and eventually ends with resurrection…new life.  And just like Lent, his divorce would one day be over, and he would have new life.

Tonight at choir practice, we were rehearsing music for Holy Week and Easter.  A lyric from our Easter anthem reminded me of the conversation.

“There’s a day that’s drawing near when the darkness breaks into light, and the shadows disappear, and my faith will be my eyes.”

It seems to me we always need to remember that in times of darkness, that eventually it will break into light and shadows will disappear.  And no, not just in a church-y kind of way.   Even if you are not a church goer, the fact is, darkness never lasts forever.  The sun will come out.  And everything will be bright again.

That can be hard to see in the middle of the darkness.  I guess it is a matter of faith.

You Know You Are a Mother When…

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Sunday night and The Three Monkeys are staying at my mother’s as I have morning duty at school tomorrow.  Once again, dinner time passes by and I find I am getting increasingly hungry, so I wander downstairs to see what there was to see.

I haven’t been to the store.  The pickings are a little slim.  I want fast and I want easy.  I spy a box of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese in the cupboard.  Hmmmm…  Fast?  Check.  Easy?  Check.  Sounds great!

But, this isn’t any ordinary box of Kraft M&C…it is Madagascar 3 Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.  But, Mommy Monkey is hungry.

You know you are a mother when, you fix yourself a box of Madagascar 3 Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Sans children.

Even as I am preparing it, I know I am going to catch grief from The Three Monkeys.  Particularly The Girl Child.  She picked it out.  And I have found that my children are very territorial about food stuffs in my house.  God forbid I actually eat ice cream or whatever when they aren’t here, and then they come back ONLY TO FIND IT GONE!!!!  BAAAAADDDDDD MOMMMMMY!!!!!  It does not matter that the store sells more.  I had the nerve to consume food while they were gone.  For shame!  It makes me wonder if they do the same thing to their dad.

*sigh* They are soooooo dramatic – and I have absolutely no idea where they get it from.  None whatsoever…

You also know you are a mother when, you make plans to stop at the grocery store on the way home to replace the eaten box of Madagascar 3 Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, before your children return tomorrow afternoon and discover it missing.

Silly Little Monkeys.  Smart Mommy Monkey.

In the year 2525…or maybe it was 1979


Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

Daily Prompt: Buffalo Nickel.

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I have a confession to make.  I saw this challenge and thought it would be fun to do, so I stuck my hand in the bottom of my purse (a veritable coin graveyard), and pulled out a coin.  This one.  I looked at the year and thought, “Hum.  I don’t like this one.”  So, I threw it back in, rooted around again and pulled out…the same damn coin.  Interesting.  But, I still wasn’t overly thrilled with this year.  “Let’s try again,” I thought.  And yes, that’s right.  I pulled out this coin AGAIN.  I figure that the universe is trying to tell me one of two things.  Either, A) I shouldn’t cheat on the challenge by throwing back the coin I first pulled out, or B) I should really write about this year.  Either way – here goes.

1979 was the year I turned 13.  My birthday is in August, so technically, I spent most of the year as a 12-year-old.  The same age as Monkey #1 is now.  I attended Conniston Junior High School in West Palm Beach, Florida (Go Blue Devils!).  I sang in the school chorus and after school, I took ballet and tap.  Sounds pretty average.  But, I was pretty miserable.

In 7th grade (which I was in for most of the year), I was  – how should I put it – an awkward child.   Too tall.  Too heavy.  Too “smart.”  Too misunderstood.  I was teased by the “mean girls,” who questioned my talent and my intelligence.  To make matters worse, I was at a school where very few of my elementary school friends had gone.  My “home” junior high did not have a gifted program, so my mother had me sent to the one that did.  It meant an hour long bus ride to get to school.  We had many stops to make to pick up kids from all over.  Kids in wheel chairs, “Special Ed” kids, and a few others in the gifted program (along with 2 others from my neighborhood).  Yes, that is right.  I rode a “short bus,” and once some of the others at school realized it, they didn’t let me forget it.  So, here I was, an awkward, too heavy, shy, sensitive child, heading off to a place where I did not know anyone else.  It has never been easy for me to make friends.  It was really hard at the beginning.  Luckily, I did establish a little group of friends who accepted me for who I was , but it wasn’t many.

1979 was a rough year for my family as well.  That was the year my parents divorced.  My parents separated the year before.  At the time, Florida required a year separation when there were children involved.  My dad moved out of the house while we were on vacation the summer of 1978.  The night before we were to drive home, my mother sat my brother and me down and told us that my father would not be at the house when we got back.  Oh, and she had him put the dog to sleep while we were gone.  Big fun.  And since it was a “separation,” my father hadn’t bought a house.  He had instead towed our Airstream trailer to a nearby campground.  My parents had decided to switch off weeks – one week in the house – one week in the trailer.  And since my mother had primary custody (except for every Wednesday and alternate weekends), that meant my brother and I also had to move back and forth.  It was insanity.   The summer of 1979, my father bought a duplex a few miles from our house, so things got at least a TINY bit more normal.  The fact remained, though,  that my parents were divorcing.  Granted, they didn’t have a wonderful marriage.  I knew it.  I was old enough to tell.  But, these were my PARENTS.  None of my friends had divorced parents (well, there was one, but her mother had left when she was a baby and her dad had been raising her since then).   It was the end of the world as I knew it.  And I wasn’t sure I’d be fine.

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My brother, mother and myself around 1979

They say that every experience in your life leads you to who you are today.  And that if you went back and redid anything, you wouldn’t be who you are right now.  I understand that.  I really do.  Now.  But then?  As a shy, awkward, 12-almost-13-year-old?  I wasn’t able to see the person I would grow to me.  Oh, sure, I know some of my insecurities date back to then.  But, I kinda like me now – insecurities and all.