Archive for May, 2009

A Cure For Drug Addiction!

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I’ve discovered a cure for drug addiction.  Something stronger than crack, more soothing than pot, more energizing then coke, and, dare I say it, right up there with sex.  Close all the rehab places and use the money to buy addicts a massage.

When I have money or some wonderful person gives me a gift certificate (thanks for the birthday gift, kids!) I call Kathy, my therapist, and make an appointment for an hour of bliss, followed by weeks of being able to turn my head and bend over.  Regular visits cure tension headaches, lower back pain, and sciatica.  And the lotion makes my skin soft.

While the massage is good, I’d pay Kathy just to let me hang out in her therapy room.  There should be a law requiring a room like this in every home-the savings in treatment for mental problems would be phenomenal.  It’s a small room painted a soft, medium sagey green that is as soothing as nature.  A small fan blocks outside noises, and low light and soft music relieve tension before the massage even begins. I lie down on the comfy padded table, close my eyes, and the world disappears.  I gotta get a room like this.

By the time I’ve relaxed in that dim room with soft music, been rubbed with thick lotion and warmed with hot stones, and finished my complimentary bottle of ice cold water afterward, I know that massage is my drug of choice.  If I won the lottery, Kathy would be the first person added to my payroll.

The drawback, of course, of allowing addicts to trade drug addiction for massage addiction, is that if anyone in need of rehab could sign up for massage therapy, millions of otherwise sober people would run right out and start sucking up the first drug they find, hoping for a quick addiction so that they, too, would be eligible for free massages.

Okay, maybe massages for the masses wouldn’t solve the drug problem.  I guess we’d end up with Massage Task Forces and a war on lotion.  But if I don’t get another gift certificate soon, I may have to start swiping stereos.  Cause I need a fix!

Storm

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Today I’m praying for a friend. A few months ago, an unthinkable thing happened. Her beautiful, talented 18 year old son died in a stupid accident, one that no one would have anticipated. He was a child of rare faith, planning a future in ministry. He carried light within him. The world dimmed when he left it.

He was a friend to my daughters. One of them called me at work to tell me the news and ask if it was true. In her heartbreak on the phone she begged me to tell her it couldn’t be true, and I begged God to not let it be as I called my brother to get information. But it was true. Unbelievable and true. And in that instant life changed. Suddenly none of our children were safe anymore.

I don’t know how long it will be until my friend wakes up in the morning and thinks of something else first. I don’t know what it will take to dim the pain she feels and make life more bearable. I just know that I still hurt when I think of him, and that my feelings are tiny compared to hers. So I hold her up in prayer, which is all any of us can really do. I lift her up into the light and ask God to give her strength for the journey. And I pray for the rest of us, that we will never know this particular pain.

You can read more about Storm in the Summer issue of Wings of Hope Magazine. Go to www.wohmag.com for more information.

Paperwork

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Today I’m trying to work but getting nothing accomplished.  I spent an hour doing my morning accounting, a fifteen minute job.  I spent the next hour sorting through desk drawers, shuffling papers, and checking my phone for messages.  Well,  I also spent part of that time trying to think of songs with gambling as a theme, at the request of my daughter’s music class.  I have no idea what they’re learning there.  Right now I’m hard at work filing government forms.  Or maybe not.  How long til lunch?

The human brain is a funny thing.  Yesterday I had decided that I was tired and I wouldn’t push to get too much accomplished.  As a result, I did paperwork that normally takes three days in two hours.  Every piece of paper made sense, all the numbers added up, nothing was lost in the wrong pile.  Why does that happen?  And how can I make it happen every day?  Oh, wait.  If it happened every day, I’d work myself out of a job in less than a week.

I suppose it’s good that my brain knows that sometimes work has to be done.  And I guess that it’s also figured out that since I worked hard yesterday, I can afford to goof off today.    But if I had focus like yesterday all the time, I’d be a millionaire by now.  Maybe there’s a pill for that?  There’s a pill for everything else.  I know, because I read about it while goofing off this morning.

What was I writing about?  Oh, yeah, getting stuff done.  Filing paperwork.  That’s why I turned on the computer.  OH, THAT’S why I turned on the computer!  Did I mention that the human brain is a funny thing?

Reflections On Being a Good Mother

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

What does it take to be a good mom? I think my mom’s the best in the world, but I’m constantly reminding her of how her decisions and actions messed up my life. I can also see how my grandmother messed up my mother’s life, and how my great-grandmother messed up my grandmother. Now my older daughter tells me that she’s amazingly well adjusted in spite of me. Yes, I’m also messing up my daughter’s life.

It’s true, you know. I took a Facebook quiz yesterday-What Jazz Musician Are You- and found out that I’m Louis Armstrong. Well, I LOVE the trumpet! And as I pointed out to my mother, I could have learned to play the trumpet in junior high band, but she wouldn’t let me, because it would make my lips big. Women pay BIG MONEY now to make their lips big, and I could have had big lips and played the trumpet both, but my mother thought I should play the flute or the clarinet. Do you see why I’m messed up, folks?

My mother is an amazing woman. She is beautiful, intelligent and faithful. She did all the great mom things-read to us, said prayers and sang lullabies, baked cookies and attended concerts. When she divorced at 27, she couldn’t drive and had never held a job. She had four kids and only a high school education. She made the hard choice not to raise us on welfare, but to move in with her parents and let her mother take over mothering us while she learned to drive (badly) and got a job to support us.

She apologizes sometimes for having been a bad mother. I have to remind her that while she did mess up my life, she managed to raise four children and help raise three step-children who all turned out okay. Yes, we’re messed up. Everybody is. None of us, however, are living with her. None of us are on welfare, most of us are college graduates, and we’ve never called her to bail us out of jail. We all attend church regularly and are raising our children to be active members. We visit her often. Most of all, we love each other.

I often think I haven’t been a very good mom. I look back and see how I could have paid more attention, cooked more dinners, read more books, spoken more gently, spent more time. I envy other moms who seem to have everything together and who give their children so much more energy than I had for mine. I wish I’d done things differently. I wish I’d been kinder and wiser. And now I know that this is how my mom feels when she apologizes for being a bad mother. I can only hope that, when my daughters are mothers, it’ll turn out that I wasn’t so bad at all.

Life Is Short

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Life is short. It doesn’t seem that way when you’re a little kid. It seems like every day goes on forever and summer is a futile dream. When you’re a teenager, the days are crowded and sometimes fly by, but the wait for a driver’s license, a high school diploma, or an 18th birthday stretches endlessly. Then there’s college, where you notice suddenly how short summer is.

Life speeds up when children are born. An evening with a colicky baby may drag on, but in just a little while the baby is walking, and in the blink of an eye he’s walking out the door. By the time we figure out that we need to slow down and savor the moments, the years are gone.

I’m not fifty yet, but this week, two friends of mine are facing an end to lives that went by too fast. They aren’t finished yet with raising children, sharing retirement with their spouses, and fading into golden years. Just as they had begun to realize that time moves fast, it moved past them and in a flash they can see the finish.

I have new hopes and plans and dreams for the next thirty years of my life. I dread the thought of how fast it will go, knowing all that I want to pack in to it. I know I should slow down and savor every minute of it, because too soon it will be gone. My friends had plans for a future that they won’t live to see. There is no guarantee I’ll see mine either.

God said “I know the plans I have for you.” We make plans as if our time is guaranteed, as if each of us gets 70 years or more in which to live out our time. But God’s plans are not our plans. We get angry with Him when he cuts “our time” short. But we aren’t promised any number of years in this life. Our plans must be tentative and changeable, because they are part of a bigger plan.

I mourn with my friends that their plans will not be fulfilled. I look at my own plans and tremble at the thought of not seeing them through. But my plans are not His plans, and His ways are not my ways. So I will try to slow down and savor the time I’m given. And I will try to let God do the planning.