Martyred in Marriage

I came home after spending a lot of time with my older sons. They wanted to visit the creative lab, which is in the public library, allowing them to utilize various printers and soft wares to expand their imaginations. Wonderful, right? I thought so. After all, I promised my eldest that we would go so that he could print something he developed for a friend and the Mom schedule was over-scheduled as usual. He was reluctantly patient, but patient none-the-less.

Meanwhile, our main bathroom is under construction. I grew up living in a house that was under construction for several months. This remodeling was going rather quickly to my standards. My husband, on the other hand, has never had the experience of living in “limbo”, even though his culture dictates a “vamos a ver” attitude about life and its many decisions. He is so aware of the dust and the dirt and things out of place, that he took it upon himself to go through my things which seemed to be cluttering for him, or that seemed to be an excess for him.

When I came home with my sons, I noticed that the magazine baskets were much smaller than they were before leaving the house. I noticed he decided to clean the kitchen and reorganize the counters. I also noticed that he didn’t seem to think the dishes in the sink could be done to add more “cleanliness” to the house. Instead, I found the dishes still in the sink and he was sitting in the kitchen chatting with the night nurse and my youngest son.

I stuck around to help with some homework my eldest needed to have finished for the morning. My husband fell asleep at the table. He was very tired and I couldn’t help but think he may have over exerted himself. I felt bad for him and told him, “Yes, maybe you should go to sleep.” He quickly went to the bedroom and was never seen again. After many of the same instructions were stated in different ways, Justin went off to the bathroom to take a shower….or so I thought. I continued to help my eldest with his homework, despite the time.

After he finished, he said, ” Thank you , Mommy. Good night.”  I hugged and kissed him good night. After everyone was asleep. I went to the recycling can to see if it was true. “No, I thought to myself. He couldn’t have thrown away a large amount of magazines, which are useful, as well as read by others when it comes to recycling. I always take my extra magazines to the library or doctor’s offices to share with others.

I took my flashlight from my purse and walked out to the recycling can to find a full shopping bag of  almost every Yoga magazine and Real Simple in the neighbors can. My blood gurgled and boiled, knowing he did this without my knowledge and as a means to lash out because of the reconstruction in the house, which was not controlled by him. He stepped out of bounds and crossed the line. I took every magazine in the can and brought it right back into the house. He did not want to wait for me to recycle them.

My anger was so hot , I almost took his gym bag in place of the magazines he so painstakingly placed in the neighbor’s can because he didn’t want me to notice. He, who devotedly loves his soccer. What if I threw away at lease one soccer ball, or his bag? How would he feel? Unfortunately, I find these thoughts and discussions wasted. They don’t bring meaning to him. It doesn’t match his world. However, if I did throw away something to do with soccer, bakery or restaurant, he would be touched in anger.

I couldn’t forget the night he threw away personal documents because he doesn’t see the purpose in what I’m working on. Or what I might be saving for later. He doesn’t value what I value. This is my life of a martyr.  Continue reading

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Seek and You Will Finish

The daily chores continue to rob the time I desire to work for me. I’m not aware that the sneaky ‘needy’ aspects of Mommydom seep into the hidden corners of the day to obligate me into slavery. I realize now, I must put myself first or I will never complete the starts I’ve made over the years. I realize now, the needy aspects of Mommydom will always try to penetrate me if I don’t seek to finish. This doesn’t mean seeking my time after everyone else. It means I must seek to carve out “my work” before everyone and everything else.

I must envision and develop my schedule as if I were leaving the house and going to a job somewhere else. I must realize that I can save more time for “my work” because I won’t have to travel. But I must be serious about “my work”. I must give it value. In order for branding to occur, value must be given. 1Corinthians 13:2, 3, 13; “If  I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess and surrender my body, but have not love, I gain nothing….And these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

To love is to respect. Mommydom is a place that often makes me forget to love on myself. I expect others to do it, but that’s not true. My children love me. I know this. But they can’t love on me like I can or did in the past; before them. When my time was more of my time, managed by me, I made choices to spend more time on projects of my doing. I’ve committed to everyone else, except to me. Self-preservation; while extremely important and vital, becomes absolutely necessary in the grand scheme or schedule of a modern woman living in Mommydom. I didn’t think it would come down to this, but I may need to construct a physical schedule with an an active plan of self-preservation written into it until I internalize the nature of it all.

Who Is She?

The author lives in the Sunshine state with her three sons, husband and their two dogs, Daisy and Angel. She enjoys creating new and useful items with a crafty flare, while problem-solving new adventures and enjoying every opportunity to be blessed by the abundance of nature and those around her.

Mother’s Day

The angled cut of her white curles told of changing texture and managability. The slight looseness of her cheeks as she studied her reading with serious lips of concentration expressed more gravity than before. Her glasses made her brown eyes larger showing flecks of more hazel than brown. When she looked up from her reading, I saw a contentness-to-be in the moment.

As we drove back from church along the river, we noticed women of all ages out on the house porches and balconies or making their way to the bank to absorb the bright, cheerful, warm sunshine of the Sunday afternoon.

“Oh! What a glorious day!” she cheered.

“Memere. Look at that house there!” shouted Jay from the back seat.

“How wonderful!” she responded. “It’s very big!”

Reminiscent of the long-ago Sunday drives through the neighborhoods of big houses and big yards, green grass and beautiful lawn furniture I enjoyed as a young girl, the oohs and ahhs of another generation could be heard. While Sam slept because the winding of the road was making him woozy, we continued our ooohs and ahhhs, enjoying the designs and expressions of creativity of your own property. Years ago, the same conversation could be heard as I thought about the generations in the car. My boys, her grandsons, miles and miles apart came together to continue strenthening the connection of historical significance that each family strives for itself.

“Weee-eee–eee!” cheered Lou as we sloped over each hill and bump. I felt huge satisfaction as I listened to his expressions of happiness and his participation meant three generations made a stronger connection. We felt as though the many miles which exist didn’t make the distance in today’s daily living so vast. We were enjoying each other’s company. Our interactions made me feel as though there weren’t any distances between us, geographical or generational. Our emotions of happiness to be together surpassed any length of road.

Flashing Memories

He did it. He made the face that sparks of orneriness and playful obstinance. He made the “O” face, as if to say, “Uh-oh, I’ve been caught so I need to play it up with the hope that no one will be mad”.

I haven’t seen that facial expression in almost four years. Then, he pushed himself back from the table using his feet. He’s ready to go. He wants to move on his own with incredible impact. Any attention he recieves, he smiles with great approval. He’s sensitive now. Traumatic Brain Injuries can feel euphoria and tears in the same moment depending upon what is happening around them and the individual’s support system.

My Lucho is lucky to have his family close at hand to assist him with what he is attempting. Although nonverbal and primarily gestural when he wants something, sign language may become a stronger form of communication for him. His consistent drive to move toward independence reminds me of how strong we need to be when our heart leads us toward our desires. He reminds me to persist and will my actions toward improvement and happiness.

Follow Your Heart

I struggled with our relationship. We knew each other for fifteen years, lived together for six. His family had a staunchness that caused me to be frustrated. I like letting loose. I like to be impulsive. I like to dance. No one in this family danced. I felt an emptiness, an ache within that needed soothing. I looked at the classifieds. An ad read, “Teach in South America”. Ooh. I sense the ache within my being feel stronger. I answered the ad and received an interview.

As I walked to my interview, through the Boston Gardens, toward the Commons and Brownstones, I felt as if I entered the timeless classics, imagining how it was to walk through the crisp trimmed hedges and carefully step over cobble stone walks up the iron wrought steps to tap the brass knocker on the door. A woman in her 60’s greeted me at the door, so pleasant was her disposition and hospitality, I knew I might have a difficult time saying, “No” to her for almost anything.

She brought me down a long dark corridor to a round sitting area with a tv and vcr. I met her friends and colleagues. I was asked some questions about my flexibility, and “open-mindedness”. They showed me a video of the exciting things they do with the children every day and emphasized immersion of the English. “All students leave the school completely bilingual.”

Wow. I thought to myself. Imangine if the tables were turned. Could I learn Spanish in the same way. I was so impressed with the idea that a school existed in another land and their students graduate bilingual. I insisted on knowing more. My boyfriend of several years, with all my frustration was suddenly easier to manage.

“Hello Auntie!” I started. “I’m going to Colombia. It’s only for a year. I’ll be right back.”

“Isn’t that where the drugs come from?”

I countered her comment, “There is more than drugs in country.” I found myself ready to defend a country I didn’t know. The urge was strong. The desire to adventure my way across the globe and leave the staunch to see if I would be happy.

On the plane the anticipation baited me with extreme awareness and excitement to be alive and experiencing a different culture. Something within, the ache, felt at home in the sensual heat of Cali, Colombia.

 

He invited me to the town of his childhood and birth. I thought what a great way to travel this beautiful country, especially with a native speaker. I was still learning much of the language and already had an embarrassing moment or two. We were dating quite consistently regardless of our language differences. I came to Colombia to learn Spanish by living it because all other methods failed to make it a part of me. Guillermo was one among many eager to learn English. He set himself apart from the others with his piercing dark eyes, heavy but refine arched brow, strong Latin nose and disarming smile.