Don’t look back, There’s only pillars of salt.

I know I,

Have lost my way,

And I know I,

Have seen better days,

The past will fade away,

If I just pray

Lot’s wife is told not to look back at Sodom, for if she does she will turn to a pillar of salt. She was so swept up in the longing for her former way of living that she is tempted into looking, and immediately becomes the pillar.

What a sad thing one would think, such dwelling on what would be considered a tempted and evil life, one doomed to death, why look back? It raises many thoughts to be sure.

While I can say I have probably lived in what you could call evil, I can’t say I’ve longed for it. I have, however, dwelled in it. I have carried it around like an albatross around my neck. I am guilty of letting my past draw me into looking back more times than Lot’s wife ever did or could have. The past few weeks have made me reflect on that. Yom Kippur was a turning point for me. It was the first time I allowed myself to let go of some things. Things I have been holding onto since adolescence. I stood in the sanctuary and I felt pain leave me that I’d never felt able to let go of. Exasperation I had felt, and shame toward myself, feelings that I had finally realized were so utterly misplaced. I finally placed it all where it belonged, for the first time. Also for the first time, I truly atoned. I apologized, for every curse, every ill word, and every bit of blame I ever put on God. In my weakness, there was always strength, it was simply not my own. The proof positive in that is my life. Against all odds, somehow I live on, thought many times my life has been in such close danger of ending.

So Baruch HaShem. I shall no longer look back, for I have no desire to be a pillar of salt.  I desire to be here, now, looking ahead and around. I want to embrace all that I have and am today, NOW. It is time to put the past behind me, and let it fade away. Being hurt and angry, and pained over things that cannot be changed, does nobody any benefit, least of all myself. Finally fully accepting that there are things in this world that were inflicted upon me, that I had no control over, and did not deserve, has made all the difference.

I leave you today with a beautiful song by The Tin Man called “I Know I”, my post title and opening lines come from this song. I heard it early this spring, not knowing what it would mean to me now.

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Our Endless Numbered Days, Wisdom Comes In Time

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“There are times that walk from you like some passing afternoon
Summer warmed the open window of her honeymoon
And she chose a yard to burn but the ground remembers her
Wooden spoons, her children stir her Bougainvillea blooms

There are things that drift away like our endless, numbered days
Autumn blew the quilt right off the perfect bed she made
And she’s chosen to believe in the hymns her mother sings
Sunday pulls its children from their piles of fallen leaves

There are sailing ships that pass all our bodies in the grass
Springtime calls her children ’till she let’s them go at last
And she’s chosen where to be, though she’s lost her wedding ring
Somewhere near her misplaced jar of Bougainvillea seeds

There are things we can’t recall, blind as night that finds us all
Winter tucks her children in, her fragile china dolls
But my hands remember hers, rolling ’round the shaded ferns
Naked arms, her secrets still like songs I’d never learned

There are names across the sea, only now I do believe
Sometimes, with the windows closed, she’ll sit and think of me
But she’ll mend his tattered clothes and they’ll kiss as if they know
A baby sleeps in all our bones, so scared to be alone”

I cannot get over the symbolism and beautiful undertones in this mans music. I have listened for so many years. A friend introduced me to his music when I was much younger. As I have aged, so has my understanding of things of course. As life continues so to does our knowledge and acquisition of it. I like to believe we become smarter as we age, though I’m not sure that’s true for all people. I have always strived to keep my mind sharper over time, seeking more to feed it. I am seeing every single song of his in a brand new light.

Granted I’m probably the last horse to cross the finish line on this one, though that may be, I’m fascinated. There is so much more substance than I ever knew in some of these songs. Of course “Jezebel” has always been easy to identify.

“Who’s seen Jezebel?
She was born to be the woman I would know
And hold like the breeze
Half as tight as both our eyes closed

Who’s seen Jezebel?
She went walking where the cedars line the road
Her blouse on the ground
Where the dogs were hungry, roaming

Saying, “Wait, we swear
We’ll love you more and wholly
Jezebel, it’s we, we that you are for
Only”

Who’s seen Jezebel?
She was born to be the woman we could blame
Make me a beast half as brave
I’d be the same

Who’s seen Jezebel?
She was gone before I ever got to say
“Lay here my love
You’re the only shape I’ll pray to, jezebel”

Who’s seen Jezebel?
Will the mountain last as long as i can wait
Wait like the dawn
How it aches to meet the day

Who’s seen Jezebel?
She was certainly the spark for all i’ve done
The window was wide
She could see the dogs come running

Saying, “Wait, we swear
We’ll love you more and wholly
Jezebel, it’s we, we that you are for
Only”

That said, it’s somewhat easy to identify that all of his music has ties to theology in some way (from what I read he is formerly Christian, and labels himself Agnostic currently). Thus of course not all of this resonates with me personally story wise being Jewish, but seeing the beauty in the artform is no less amazing. Knowing that a fair few of his songs were based in biblical reference was one thing. Seeing him weave this in such a way that songs I used to believe were simply about a man, woman, and a dress are not so, is quite incredible.

If any of you are unfamiliar with his work (Iron & Wine being the band name, though he does all the instrumentation and vocals) if you have ever seen movies such as Twilight, Garden State, or In Good Company, you’ve likely heard his songs. “Flightless Bird, American Mouth” was used in the Twilight series so it’s pretty familiar to most.

Sometimes things are not always what we first see, and sometimes, moreover, oftentimes, age gives us wisdom to see beyond what we once saw. Listen to music, listen again, read books once, twice, three times, then read them again.

During our last class we spoke of Ecclesiastes and the main question the younger people in class had was WHY is SUCH a sad book included in our reading for such a joyous occasion (Rosh Hashanah)? Now I’m not sure of everyone’s ages. I do know I’m one of the older individuals, and I do know for certain I am one of the only ones with children, I am still green in my years to be sure, though more seasoned than some. That said I felt it was an important inclusion in the readings. I listened intently as the Rabbi explained that the book is important at this time, so as to show us that we will leave this world the same as we entered it. “As he came forth from his mother’s womb, naked shall he go again as he came, and shall take nothing for his labor, which he may carry away in his hand.” Ecclesiastes (5:15). King Solomon realized too late in his life that all the materialistic items in this world would not matter once he had perished. Thus it leaves a depressing tone to the book to be sure, as there is a lamenting to the time lost. There is also a beauty in the realization of what is truly important. For that is the lesson taught. The bonds, the time we have here, the need not to look forward to work toward “what comes next”, the living here and now for those around us, that is the importance of it during Rosh Hashanah and even more during the reflection time coming into Yom Kippur in my personal opinion. In assessing your shortcomings, and the things you wish to improve upon, it is ever important to recall what truly matters in life.

The point I’m making on it is this, go back and revisit things from the past with new eyes. You never know what your new perspective and the wisdom of age will give you. Fresh ears too. As we move forward in life we grow, and that growth unlocks so many things in us. Push ever harder to be a better version of yourself, more giving, more loving, kinder, harder working. Not just during the times of the year we are told to do so, but all of the time. If we all did the world would be a much better place for it. Recall that life is fleeting, we are small in the place that God has created for us, and we return to Earth once we are no longer here. Marvel at the beauty around you. Drink it in. Live in it, while you can, for as long as you are given.

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Much Germs, So Yuck!

So the video is live, Alex has a bacterial infection surprise, surprise, because sickness always runs rampant in this house. Took him to the doctor who was AMAZING. This guy took the time to earn his trust. Alex even opened his mouth and showed his ears to him. He gave the doctor a hug at the end, which is not something he does with people. Affection is not his thing having ASD.

I’ve decided to switch doctors to the one we saw. He versed me better in the short visit with him than the two doctors I’ve seen in the last two years have. There is a lot going on with me but I will save that for another day. For now I’ll just say there may be some serious items on the horizon for me and my own health some of it having to do with my thyroid issues that cropped up in 2015 around Christmas for those of you that have been long time readers. That is never anything new though.

 

I hear voices all the time…

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What is it that defines us? Who we are and the choices we make? We all have paths in life. Roads we travel down, sometimes dirty, rocky, or even muddy. Other times we are met with smooth pavement under the tires. I feel we all are presented with obstacles and detours and how we decide to handle that is part of what it is that writes the ultimate biography of us. Who we are and the nuances of our personality.

I like to think that I am a strong person, one who has not only been off-road, but lost with a broken axel and busted mud tires more times than I would ever want to admit, even to myself. Every time I have found my way back to life. I mend the frame and drive on. Much like an old beat up Dodge that has seen better days but still runs and drives, I am here. Despite the fact that this old diesel engine is a bit knocky and tired.

I know I know, that is a lot of parallels to roads and trucks, but this is me we are talking about.

Lately I have had the voices of those around me, those who are so important, in my head. I have had a lot of things on my mind as well as many challenges to face. It has brought to the forefront some people around me who I don’t think will ever change. It has also reminded me that I do have the support of a few people that I could never trade. My wonderful husband, my amazing sister and brother-in-law, and even, at times, my grandparents down south. Though my phone calls to them are often short, and somewhat cooky, I will always be thankful for my grandmother and her silly southern love. I will never forget how much love I have been given from them over the years. My sister is a driving force in my world, I am ever thankful for technology and the ability to keep up with her every day when we cannot see each other.

I may not be perfect, and I have certainly been through a lot. I have become so much more aware of the truth in the world, and about people.

So what is it that makes us who we are? Is it those around us? The things we see? The way we were raised? I believe it is in the choices we make every day. You are who you choose to be. If you want to get back on the pavement, you need only turn the wheel, and start getting out of the mud.

All my friends are heathens, take it slow…

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I’m not exactly anyone’s idea of a “lady”. I’m not going to say I every really tried to be. I was always the one who avoided the color pink like the plague as a child and swore off dresses. I was climbing trees with and riding bikes with the boys.

I had a conversation with an old friend, Richelle today. It was a short catch up and chit chat about random things in which purses and shoes came up. Little known fact, I have become an incredibly large shoe addict. I am going to confess it outright I have fallen into this guilty catagory now. I have more shoes than I have room for or occasions in which to wear them to. When we buy our home, which we are shooting for hopefully next year, we are going to honestly have to plan for a larger closet to accommodate my clothes and shoes now lol.  I also have a hard time passing up a good deal on a new pair even though I have so many lol. I’ve also noticed that I’ve taken up more girly hobbies as of late. I certainly use makeup more often, I regularly carry an ACTUAL purse instead of one of those crossbody bags that barely passes for one, and find myself shopping for multiple ones as a guilty pleasure. I wear skirts and dresses and love it. I enjoy accesories and have an extensive collection of girly things. I mentioned that I even have a pair of tennis shoes that are primarily pink now. She flattered me by saying that I was most certainly girly, if not adorable in our younger years anyway.

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As you can see my style was quite that of I LIVE IN JEANS AND TANK TOPS, throw in a hoodie for good measure and a t-shirt here and there with a band on it and you had my style lol. The other picture is from today. I’d like to say I’ve grown up, and changed, while I still wear t-shirts of course I’m not exactly what I was back then. I am pretty sure my face is stuck in some time warp, because I still look like a baby LOL. I’ll take it for as long as my body decides to let me keep it. I may be falling apart on the inside but I still look eighteen sooo, eat that chronic illnesses! ❤

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This did get me to thinking about something else, as today marked a very important day, as did yesterday, in my personal history, as well as our national history.

How often do we realize what we mean to others? I spent so much time of my life worrying about others accepting me, saying the right thing, doing the right thing. I was always so incredibly insecure and awkward. Afraid of losing those around me. So very few of the people around me even knew that but I was so afraid of them turning on me or their friendships with me being conditional that I was fearful of getting truly close to anyone, and in some cases I still am. I stopped to ponder today if some of those around me back then ever felt the same. Maybe I was one of those people to them? Maybe I was the one they looked up to? Maybe, just maybe I was one in their life whose opinion really mattered to them.

I feel like a lot of us let our insecurities hold us back, from wearing what we want, talking to those around us, or letting in people. You never know. You could be someone’s inspiration, or foundation. That friend you are so scared to lose because you are afraid of their opinion, simply because you think so highly of them? You may be that person to them. Never underestimate what you mean to someone. Live life with as little fear as possible. Go out and reach for the things you want. I am thankful for my husband Zane because I spent a large portion of my life surrounded by people who told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t do things because I was “too short” or “not quite in shape enough” or “couldn’t pull it off” and I let it hold me back from things that were really part of me anyway.

For the first time in my life I am starting to experience it unbridled. I try very hard to keep my fear of rejection or judgement in check, and do what I feel happy doing, so long as I am not hurting anyone else in the process, or myself. Honestly? We only get one spin on this Earth, and mine may very well be a short one. I want to show my son Alexandr he shouldn’t be afraid to be himself, and I never want to regret the things I didn’t try or do, the people I didn’t let in, or that I wasn’t there for.

Also, have a song, because it’s stuck in my friggin’ head.

This brokenness inside me might start healing…

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Today I am going to go back to my health for a moment. As always the rollercoaster continues.

Despite my history suggesting rheumatic disorders multiple times, when I was tested it did not show that when I finally made it to a rheumatologist. Given that I was being treated with prednisone this is likely the reason why so I have to wait and get retested. However, I did get slapped with a new issue. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and started a new medication called Lyrica.

Second to this…I have become increasingly worried about my kidneys. I see my nephrologist very soon which I am glad for, he had me do a new 24 hour urine collection since I have hematuria and proteinuria (for those who aren’t aware that is protein and blood in your urine, both bad things.) My blood pressure has also been spiking and my vitamin D has been incredibly low.

I barely got 30 ounces out in 24 hours.

This alongside the fact that my filtration rate in March had dropped to 72 scares me. I am nervous as to what I will find when I go to my appointment. My rheumatology clinic has also requested I push my nephrologist to do a biopsy. Something he really does not want to do since my condition is so unstable and my illnesses so largely unknown at the current moment.

It seems that no matter which way I turn my life is short. Too short, and painful. Some days are easier than others, some days I find myself fighting my own body to move.

I am twenty nine years old and I own a cane and a wheelchair. I have a handicapped tag for my car. These are not things I am proud of. I hate them infact. I cannot remember what it is like to be free of pain anymore. What makes me sad? I will probably never know what it is like to feel as though I am not a burden on my husband or family.

No matter how much they say it, and want me to feel I am not. I still feel I am, and probably always will.

But what makes me saddest of all? I will not have as much time as I want with my family, my husband, my son.

I am a ticking clock. I know this, and I am powerless to stop it.

I will spend the rest of my life knowing that I cannot get any of the precious seconds back that I have wasted on this or that. Standing in the line at the checkout, driving from place to place, the mundane details, or even all the time I have had to wait to find out what really is wrong over all. The whole time my kidneys get a little weaker, my body fails a little more. More damage that cannot be repaired.

My time here is so incredibly precious. I am ever mindful of this fact.

I bleed, I pine, I burn for things that I cannot ever have, better health, a body that works properly, the ability to have another child, better still, the ability to be a healthy mother for the child I have, and my wonderful husband.

Hold on to this life, it truly is the only one we get. I spend my every day trying to remind myself that I am writing my story and painting my world, and one day I’ll be gone, and it so important that I relish the moments I have, and drink them in like a tonic. Breathe it like it could give me the time I crave so desperately.

If love could extend your life, the love of my family would keep me alive for hundreds of years.

I have added more vocal covers to my youtube channel and here is one of my more recent ones.

 

Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why…

I know you got mountains to climb, but, always stay humble and kind….

So many things have happened since my birthday a few short months ago, and it’s almost too much to catalog. I can’t even really go through it all, but suffice it to say, between multiple trips to the hospital, a stint in ICU, and in general more health issues than I care to admit to myself, I seem to have stabilized somewhat. Toward the end of this month I finally make my way to the Rheumatologist I have been waiting to see since last year. With any luck this will get us some more real answers, unfortunately it may create more hiccups.

There have been plenty of new developments, Zane came home for multiple months, and is now back on the road again, back to doing what he’s always been good at 😉 I know he’s married to me, but that blacktop is his second home, and I’m okay with that. There has been so much more that’s happened and I could go on forever about everything that’s developed over the last few months. Let’s just say I see so much coming on the horizon. I will meet it all with my head held high as I always have, and with my hand held by those whom I love. Zane has been such a driving force for me this last year and I can’t believe how much I have changed being with him.

They say the world and the people in it can change you, and that’s certainly true. I think he has changed me more than he will ever know, but more than that he’s helped me find me again. It’s like settling back into the earth that I once was. I’m comfortable in my own skin again. I don’t feel like I have to pretend to be someone I’m not. No need to impress or keep appearances for anyone. I can be as raw as I feel I truly am. I can sob and let my emotions as free as they are. If I honestly cannot handle the day and the cross I bear is to heavy, he will take it off of me and hold it for as long as I need, and hold me in the meanwhile. Even from hundreds of miles away. I have never met someone so kind and gentle, nor someone so caring. I cannot ever see myself anywhere else than in this life.

Everything lately has been so heavy on me too, there has been so much difficulty, so much sickness and pain, one bit of bad news after another. One unanswered question after another. I feel like it’s a constant spiral some days.

Alexandr continues to be my guiding light though, every day I awake to his sweet smile and “Hi!” I get to look into his beautiful face and get kisses and hugs, I play cars and teach him things, he puts bugs in my lap and we play in the dirt. I spend too much time in the sun, and I wouldn’t trade and ounce of it.

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I really do wish I could see the world through his eyes, the wonder he must feel at every little thing he sees. He has been making great progress in therapy, his favorite color is orange and he is doing great at saying them now. He can now say “Juice, eat, and bite” he knows what they all mean and uses them respectively to get what he wants. He also says “Thank you” and “Hi” he is starting to call me “Moma” on occasion, which is rare, but just about makes me cry when it does happen. We had a regression of his verbal skills early on and “mama” dropped from his vocabulary completely after being around for a very short time, since then he has not referred to me by a word at all. I’m very touched he is starting to use it again and I cherish it when I hear it. Sometimes it wears on me with how hard I work to not hear it. I love him so very very much, he is my everything, my soul even in some ways. To have him not say things like “love you” or “momma” is hard sometimes. I know that some people who have children who are somewhat non verbal, autism spectrum, or special needs will understand this. It can be difficult when they cannot reach out to you through words.

I try to remind myself that it’s not my fault, nor is it his. It may never be his way, and that is okay. I know that he loves me, and appreciates me. So when he does hug me, or kiss me, I just appreciate it that much more. I also do not scold myself for feeling jealous or upset when I sit at the park and see mothers of other two year olds carry full conversations with their children, where they say “I love you so much mommy!!” I remind myself it’s okay to hurt. I’m allowed to feel that way, just as I was allowed to mourn my pregnancy, and feel pain over the things that I lost in his infancy. I will mourn a great many things as he grows, and I will not allow him to feel that any of it is his fault, nor will I EVER let him feel like he is anything less in this world even if others want him to feel that way.

I know that he will have challenges. I know that his growing up will not be easy, but I’ve always grown to know that being his mother, or being a mother at all, is something that takes more than I ever imagined, it takes every part of your being and then some. I will spend the rest of whatever life I am granted making my son know that his mommy loves him and has every faith in everything he could ever be and will be in this world and will stand behind him 100%.

I’m not entirely sure when I started writing this that it had a direction, but perhaps I just needed to talk a little bit, and get out some things that have been inside me lately, and this being my platform, and my soap box, I pour my heart out here.

The truth is, I love my family. I love my son more than myself, and I love my husband more with each day that passes, and as it sits I see only better things on the horizon for all of us. Like I’m being embraced by a warm hug most days, even if some days are hard, nothing breaks through that hug.

Thank you to those of you who share in reading about my family and my journey through life here on my blog.

Till next time… Always be Humble and Kind.