My Leap List

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Life is a Miracle

     The moment I saw this ball of fluff, I fell in love.  

     This boy had his heart broken when our pet gerbil died.  He wasn't sure he could ever love another pet again because it was too scary to be so vulnerable.  She healed his heart with her kisses.  She adored Nick, and kissed him every time she saw him.

    This cute girl named her Floppy because she had always wanted a bunny named Floppy as a little girl.  She definitely fit her name with her cute floppy ears.

     Not only did she have all of us wrapped around her finger, she even got this guy to fall madly in love with her.  


     She was so beautiful.  I loved her lioness mane around her neck.  

     She loved being outside on the deck and out in the grass near the garden.  

My favorite moments were having her jump in my lap and start kissing me.  She loved to do that when I had lots of homework to do.  I loved those excuses to be in the moment.    

She absolutely loved sitting in the beanbags.  Sometimes she would share and sit on my lap.  Sometimes she pushed me out of the beanbag and would lay there like the queen.  She liked to sit with all of us in the family room.
She died unexpectedly on a chilly fall day, September 27.  I wasn't here, but John told her how much each one of us loved her and sang to her as she started her new adventures.  I am sad, but I am happy to have a reason to hurt.  Without loving her so much, I wouldn't have a reason to hurt so much, and life wouldn't be the miracle it is.  

May the angels take good care of you until we meet again.  I love you, sweet girl.  Thanks for helping all of us learn to love again.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bipolar Love

     Loving someone with bipolar disorder is a hard love.  You never know who you will come home to at the end of the day.  Life is out of your control.  You can't plan anything because it all depends on the day's cycle.  Life has the highest highs and the lowest lows.  It's all great at first because you feel so alive.  After a while, you just get whiplash and want off the ride.  You never know what new secret will jump out at you when you least expect it.  It is endless bill collectors for bills supposedly paid.   It is hopelessness to help the person you love the most.   It is cleaning up the aftermath.  It is losing the person you once loved.  It is being forgotten.  It is putting aside your own needs for the extreme needs of someone you love.  It is staying up all night on suicide watches.  It is avoiding social situations.  It is loneliness.  It is mental illness.  It is my life.  

The Courage to be Human

     I used to be a master at hiding myself.  I had walls so high no one could ever hope to get in.  It was safe, and it was lonely.  It served me and the people I knew well.  
     When I first became a mom, I realized I was in way over my head.  It was hard and lonely and boring and exhilarating and I felt like a failure because I wasn't like all the other moms who never had a moment of anything but bliss.  It was a dark time.  I didn't want my daughter to grow up and go through the same darkness if she became a mom.  I started writing letters to her as she grew up about being her mom.  It was hard to tell the truth because I didn't want her to ever feel for one second that I didn't love her more than anything in the world or feel like I didn't want her. 
      As she got older, I started keeping a blog because I was tired of pretending to be perfect.  I wanted to be honest in my truth, even when it made me look whiny or bitter or stupid or any other label that kept me hidden with fear.  
     Sometimes it hits too close to home and hurts me or the people I love.  I try not to share their truths, but only my own, but sometimes I fail and do damage I never meant to cause.  Sometimes I keep too much of the truth out of my story to do any good.  We are all fighting battles no one else knows while we pretend to be perfect.  
     It takes too much energy to pretend.  I am the first person to admit that I am as imperfect as we come.  I don't have all the answers.  Most of the time I don't even have enough answers for me.  I can't judge anyone else for being as human and fallible as I am.  
     My daughter gave me a card this week to thank me for being brave enough to tell the truth.  She says it gives her the courage to not be perfect.   We all need someone to show us we are not alone in being human.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Reflections of Myself

     Some of the people I love most reflect the best parts of me.  A few minutes with them are magic.  I am suddenly smart and beautiful and kind and everything I forget about myself in my normal world.
      Other people I love show me the worst parts of myself.  The fear, the hurt, the confusion.  The little girl I work so hard to hide.
      I hate the reflections of what I still need to learn.  The little girl who never feels good enough chooses someone to prove it.  Her fear of abandonment leaves her lonely in crowded rooms.  Changing emotional pain to body-wracking physical pain.  Sacrificing herself to save the people she loves from things they don't want to be saved.  Angry no one braves her Fort Knox defenses.  Filling life with so much busy-ness, she never has to see the emptiness.  Passing on broken-ness to the babies.
     I hate the reflections of me, but I am thankful for the people helping me learn.  We truly bring the people we need into our lives to help us learn the lessons we need to learn.  Someday I will finally master them.  
     By the way, life, it's okay if you want to send me some of the people that reflect the best parts of me tomorrow.