a few rambling thoughts...
True confession time... I have thought for quite a while about my December blog and was most excited to share the Making Spirits Bright because I set a personal goal to really focus on making the holidays brighter this year for others and not just by decorating and partying, but, to lean more to the real reason for the season... service and Christlike love. Ironically, or maybe not, each day so far, I've had a real chance to "practice what I preach".
On Wednesday, when Kelly arrived for her visit with Zaylee, she was just bawling and looked awful. She hadn't slept in two days because her teeth were hurting so bad. Kelly had not seen a dentist since she was fourteen. (Remember, she began her "own" journey at that time.) It was obvious that needed immediate attention. I made a call to our wonderful dentist, Brett Skinner, who was able to see her within the hour. Brett took X-rays, gave her pain meds and antibiotics, then scheduled an emergent appointment with an oral surgeon at 8AM yesterday...nine extractions. Being that she had to be put under anesthetic for the surgery, she needed help...bigtime. Since DCFS has become involved so deeply in her life, she lives alone and has left all of her previous "acquaintances" behind. She is trying so hard to "toe the line". She couldn't drive or be alone after the anesthetic. But, DCFS rules that say she could not come here and stay because Zaylee is here. What to do?
I got DCFS permission to bring Kelly home following the oral surgery, but she could only stay for two hours if Zaylee was here and awake. (Because Zaylee naps, we had a four to five hour window.) I was there as she was waking up. We pick up her meds on the way home and I left her in the car long enough to grab a few items for her "soft diet". Once home, she slept most of the afternoon. At one point, our caseworker dropped by, making copies of her prescriptions. (I am amazed at how not following life's rules results in having to be totally controlled by more rules!) As the anesthetic wore off, she was miserable! I called the doctor and he doubled her dosage of pain meds. She fell back to sleep and slept until Kevin's brother's girlfriend came to pick her up. She promised to stay with Kelly for the weekend. I was so thankful for that Kelly had her help!
While Kelly slept, I prepared a big pot of cheesy veggie chowder and a large pan of sweet cornbread. When Kelly saw everything I was sending home, she was so thankful and appreciative. When I called to check on her last night, she was doing much better than expected and wasn't even taking all of the pain meds. I'm hoping she continues to recover quickly! (We tease Kelly that she must sleep in her leather hat, which she wears 99% of the time. Now, I have a photo to prove that she does.)
Now, this all sounds like "what a mother is supposed to do", I realize. BUT. This is Kelly. Kelly, who has given us nothing but heartache and pain since she was fourteen. Kelly, who, when given an inch, expects and takes two miles. Kelly, who has chosen this lifestyle and we believe in natural consequences, even if it means losing your teeth because of your choice to use drugs and loosing your children because of your choice to remain with the worst thing that's ever happened to you. And. Kelly, who makes it difficult to "do" for. As a result, we've built quite a protective wall to protect our family, to not be taken advantage of, to try to to allow her to hurt us any more than she already has. However...
Kelly's need, yesterday was my opportunity to go the extra mile and it was blessing to me! I felt nothing but compassion for Kelly yesterday. Yes, she is in this situation because of her choices, but it was an opportunity for me to show her that we still love her and don't want to see her suffer. I loved being able to help her. When Aylabelle was born in October, I loved every second of washing Liza's dishes, picking up, rubbing her swollen feet, making her breakfast... At one point, I remember lying in bed, wishing that I could have that kind of relationship with Kelly. Yesterday, I felt, literally, blessed to be able to do something for this daughter, my wild child, to let her know that we love her, that we care, regardless of her poor choices. Last night, Kelly's gratitude brought me to tears. I'm thankful for the opportunity to "go the extra mile" yesterday! I share this, not to boast of my doingss, but to be able to recall that going the extra mile for someone who's not always easy to "serve" was, indeed, a blessing to me. Enough said about that.
Deck the Halls
I saw this on Pinterest a year or so ago and thought it was a fabulous idea! LOVE it!
Eat, Drink and Be Merry!
I had these cookies last winter and OH, MY!!! A must make every season from here on out!
Making Spirits Bright
Find out something new about someone today. Ask questions. Get to know someone a little bit better. Doug has been teaching the kids some ways to have a good conversation (from a book he's reading)... the "feel good questions". He always amazes me. He shared these questions just a few days ago, and they are perfect with todays, "Making Spirits Bright"...
How did you get started? (about someone's education, profession, hobby...)
What do you like best about it?
What do you do different than your competition/others in your art, talent, profession...
What advise would you give to someone wanting to do it too?
What one thing would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?
What's the funniest thing/most interesting/best thing that you've experienced with it?
So, just for today, get to know someone a little better. Validate them and their uniqueness!
Wrap it up!
This season, I've fallen in love with Baker's Twine. It's pretty inexpensive compared to the ribbons in the gift wrap department and looks wonderful on any solid paper, especially red, white or natural! Love it! Tie decorations on the package or greenery. Love it!
Mr. Jingles found the crayons and decided that he should be in our family portrait last night. I've decided that I'm not comfortable with him being too naughty. I think my favorite mischief that I've seen is where he uses waterproof markers and draws moustaches on the family photos, but I worry that little kids all over the country will find a Sharpie and do the same! Zaylee's eyes are "on the hunt" from the second she wakes up until she finds where he's hiding each morning!
Christmas children is not a date, it's a state of mind.