This blog is dedicated to those who have walked this path of heartache and misunderstanidng, as well as those who are taking their first steps. Regardless of what has brought you here, we welcome you with a spirit of compassion. When the world says, "Give up!", FAITH says, "Give it one more try." C.S. Lewis once said something profound... "You do not HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul... you HAVE a body."
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Learning to love the rain...
I have been meaning to write this post for several days. Last week it rained incessantly and I couldn't seem to shake the "blah's". My heart was heavy, burdened with some new challenges in my life. As I scurried across the street with the hope of making it to the office dry, my umbrella was blown inside out and I was pounded with a shower of wind and rain. The aggravation of the morning was compounded by the fact that my mind was weighed down with worry and concern over all of the day-to-day challenges and nuances of life, and I couldn't help but recognize the irony of the situation with a proverbial thought... "when it rains, it pours."
I made it into the building and locked myself up in my office, lay my head down on my desk, and took a deep breath. In that moment... my mind began to shuffle through the recent events in my life. An entourage of reflections paraded through my head, and I attempted to make sense of it all. I love math... and I'm very good at it. I have noticed that when I encounter an obstacle... I gather my understanding, plug it into a rhetorical "equation" for life, then focus intently on the various components in an effort to calculate the value of "E" (as in "experience").
I began to think about my life, my beautiful children, and the overwhelming challenges that we have been given. I have four children... each child is gifted and unique, and several of my children have special needs that demand an overwhelming amount of time and attention.
Cammie was 10 years old when we grew to understand "who" she is through the realization that people cannot be identified by what they look like, but rather should be embraced for "who" they are. Through that experience, we have learned that spiritual observation is much more important than social expectation. Another one of my young children was diagnosed with severe ADHD when he was six years old. Without medication, getting him dressed can be an emotionally and physically exhausting experience... an experience that parallels bull riding (except we NEVER seem to make it 8 seconds before losing our "grip"). Then, my youngest child (who began to make odd noises, clearing his throat and grunting, a couple years ago) recently began to experience additional verbal and physical "quirks" that seemed inconsistent with normal development. After exploring several possibilities, these "abnormal behaviors" were diagnosed as verbal and motor tics - consistent with a neurological chronic tic disorder known as Tourette's Syndrome. The diagnosis had been weighing on my mind as I grappled to come to terms with the unique needs that surround me... needs that frequently make me feel overwhelmed and maternally inept. As I sat there at my desk with my head buried in my arms... an experience from years ago took charge in the forefront of my mind.
I was seventeen... my best friend and I were on our way to town. We had taken great care to make sure that every hair was in place... that our make-up was perfectly applied. We must have primped for hours. We had made plans for a perfect Saturday outdoors but as we made the lengthy trip toward town, the clouds grew dark and heavy. Within minutes we were surrounded by a downpour of rain. I flew into a tantrum, completely enraged that our plans had been spoiled... my day was not going as anticipated. I pulled to the side of the road and watched the rain flood the windshield in waves as we tried to determine what to do with our new found situation. Among other things, we discussed going to a movie or going home. We sat there for a moment and quietly weighed our options. I remember that moment distinctly and the events that followed. As I sat there in my office last week and reflected on this experience, I recognized a parable, with a profound moral for many of the experiences in my life...
On that day, sitting on the side of the road in the rain, I became acutely aware of my deteriorating attitude. I love to smile and laugh... I wanted to enjoy my day. In an attempt to recover my mood, I tried to pinpoint the source of my aggravation. I began to analyze the situation...
"Why am I so upset?"
... "I'm frustrated because of the rain."
"Why am I so frustrated by the rain?"
... "Because I don't want to get wet."
Then I realized that I couldn't think of a single reason (outside of vanity) to justify the way I felt. In that moment, I looked at my friend and said, "Let's learn to love the rain."
After a brief conversation, we enthusiastically embraced the notion. Then, dressed in t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops - without a raincoat or umbrella - we stepped out of our frustration and into one of the best days of our life. Facing the sky with our arms outstretched - we allowed the rain to soak our clothes, drench our hair, and scour the make-up from our faces. Carefree and uninhibited - we ran, danced, and splashed through puddles. I felt literally "cleansed" as I began to experience the freedom of expelled expectations and abandoned limitations while we wholeheartedly embraced the possibility of that moment. I felt a unity with nature and my divine creator as I experienced a genuine transformation in perspective.
As I sat in my office last week and reflected on that experience, I couldn't help but draw a parallel to my life today... to the challenges that weigh me down... to the way my attitude often impedes possibilities. I thought about my beautiful daughter and the joy that I have experienced as I have come to know her, truly know HER. I thought about the joyous blessings that have come through the freedom of unconditional love and acceptance. I thought about her smile, her laughter, and the beautifully vivacious personality that has emerged in our home and in our life through the freedom of self-expression. I thought about little TAZ and the never-ending reserve of energy that makes his endearing spirit shine. Then, I thought about my precious baby boy and the challenges introduced by the new diagnosis in his life. Once again, I couldn't help but ask the question... "Why am I so upset?" My thoughts drifted back to a very poignant lesson learned, years ago, on one of the best days of my life...
"I'm frustrated because of the rain."
... "Why am I so frustrated with the rain?"
"because I don't want to get wet."
In that moment I thought about my beautiful children and remembered how very much I love them. It occurred to me...
Some of the most profound blessings in my life have been realized during challenging moments in the rain. As I Face the sky with arms outstretched, I thank God for the beautiful gifts that have taught me that it's okay to get wet...
With each challenge in my life I am learning to view the world from a beautifully unique perspective...
With every opportunity for spiritual growth afforded by life's experience, I am blessed to catch a glimpse of the world through His eyes. I am thankful for the divine gifts of an Eternal Father who's influence and blessings are teaching me profound principles.
I am learning to love the rain...
Posted by Cammie's Song at 5:31 PM
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I don't know how you do it, but it's rare that I can read one of your postings without crying. Learn to love the rain. Simply amazing. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Well said and wonderfully written - I am such a proud papa. Sometimes the rain seems more fierce when you get older - I know it isn't but some days it seems so.ReplyDelete
You are such an amazing woman and inspiration to us all!ReplyDelete
Thank you all so much for being my strength... my support... and my friends. Thank you for taking the time to hold my hand through this experience, share your thoughts, passion, and comments. You'll never know what an inspiration each of you have been in my life. God bless, always.ReplyDelete
Babygirl, you totally rock! So much wisdom in one person, your children are some of the luckiest people in the world. Because in this day and age when more parents pass their children off to the electronic babysitters or other people and just don't care, it's obvious you love your little ones and that so cool! You're like on of the best Moms of all time, and you have a career giving lifer to other people, you rock!ReplyDelete
This post is beautiful. Though we have different opinions, at the end of the day, I know that you love your children with all that you have. I admire the way you have always "forged your own path" and I know you may not believe it, but I love you and your family very much.
Your little Sis
Wow! I really needed to see things from that perspective. I too am facing new challenges and your post is inspiring. I totally can relate to having children with varying special needs. my baby is developmentally delayed, my middle one is ADHD, and my oldest is emotionally impaired. Thank you for such a beautifully written post.ReplyDelete
God has truly blessed me with placing you in my life! You are a true inspiration to many people. Im glad I have someone in my life to show me there is a silver lining with every trial you must face. Thank you for the amazing entries, inspiration, and for just being you! love you girl!ReplyDelete
Please don't stop writing! You are very eloquent with your thoughts and words. I too have five children and the challenges to a large family are so unique. Adding transition to it can feel overwhelming at times (well almost all the time for me...) You have a gift and you are reaching others! Thanks for the read, its nice to connect and hear similiar thoughts spoken by others.ReplyDelete
I have just found your wonderful blog. After reading your stories, I am in total awe of your ability to keep everything under control, as it were.ReplyDelete
It fills my heart with joy to know that mothers as yourself recognize the pain in your child and let them be who they truly are. I thank you for sharing with us the love you give your children.
If only.... As an older person who trans in the late evening of her life, I am so encouraged to meet the strong young people who are taking control of their lives and have such strong support from their parents.
Sarah, the Other Auntee
Speaking of parallels ... I am m2f ts.. and years ago (1998) I was part of the org team running a ts conference in Toronto. At the same time an aboriginal conference was happening at the hotel. One of the organizers .. a very large Canadian Indian man asked to speak with me .. in his room. Of course I said no.. and each day he asked the same question. I questioned why his room and he said he didn't want his friends to see us talking.ReplyDelete
At the end of the conference he again approached me .. and asked the same question. At this point I was quite curious. He agreed to meet in the bar and when I arrived he was sitting with 3 other really, really big men. He started by saying "I don't think you were born a woman." It was a statement not a question.
He went on to say that he started to think about my life and how he felt I was born a boy.. and that I carried myself with such confidence he wanted to ask me how I went from a beginning of confusion to the confidence he saw before him. His daughter he went on to describe, was mentally challenged and the other children at the reservation treated her terribly. He just wanted to know how I went from "there to here"
What a lovely experience and one I have never forgotton. We all impact peoples lives.... our families lives, strangers and people we will never know we have helped. I so respect you and the love you are offering your children. in your closing comment on your page you say thank you... well from me .. thank you for the gifts you are offering to your family.
btw my email is firstname.lastname@example.org ie the comment for lynnieReplyDelete