Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I choose joy.

Lately I've been working on a choice I decided to make a long time ago.  That choice is to choose joy.  Sometimes it just feels impossible.  It is easier for me to sit vigil with my grief for losing Waverley and keep vigil with my worries for her than it is for me to feel the joy of the here and now.  Joy really is a decision I have to actively make.  Most good things are.  My marriage and my parenting are full of choosing the right thing even when I don't want to.  Choosing joy for me thus far has been much the same.  I'm so very thankful for the sweetness that comes when I do make the right choice, and for the relief I feel when I surrender all of that pain for as long a stretch as I can manage.

Today I saw a video that really touched me.  Maybe some of you have seen it.   This woman's name is Ashley.  She has cancer.  And a sweet husband and babies.  And she shaves her head with them.  And she chooses joy.

Rite of Passage - Shaving my Head from Ashley Hackshaw on Vimeo.

Her blog is found here.

Thanks for continuing to come around to check my blog.  I know it's been almost a month since we posted. I'll be back around more often now -- if you care to know!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Because Around Here We Love to Beat a Dead Horse

That is the grossest expression ever.  Sorry.  Matt was so nice to update last night, and he did a really good job of it.  I thought I would add my two cents worth.  It is the first day of a new month, and I am feeling the promise of a new beginning.  So with somewhat better spirits today I will add a few extra details.  For all of you who want even more details.  It's just you and me now, Mom!

Yesterday I was a MESS.  I could not stop crying.  At one point I even started laughing because I just could not get ahold of myself.  I called my sister crying.  I called my friend crying.  I texted some people crying.  I cried in the shower, in Target, at the gas station.  You get it.  I cried.

So I am on my way to pick Matt up at work so we can ride together to Topeka.  I was crying.  I was also speeding.  A police officer pulled me over.  He asked me where I was going.  I say, while crying HARD, "I'm so sorry I don't even know if I was speeding I'm sure I was if you pulled me over I'm trying to get my husband so we can go to the Supreme Court I mean the Kansas House of Representatives so we can testify about adoption because we lost our daughter and they want to hear from us about maybe changing some laws." All like that in one weepy sentence.  Pause. Pause. "What now, Ma'am?" I repeat most of that.  He looks bewildered and goes back to his motorcycle.  TO WRITE ME A TICKET.  If ever there was a time to let someone off the hook, might this be it?  No.

I'm late.  I get Matt.  There was a shoe issue that I am eliminating for time.  I am now crying and feeling a bit frantic.  Matt gets in the car and smiles his handsome smile at me and says, "don't worry about it, Mol.  Everything's fine." And just like that I stopped crying.  This is the chronicling of a bad day, but I tell you, somehow it is also our love story.  Matt is one good man.

We get there 7 minutes late which seems like a lot when you have less than 30 of them to get briefed by the lawyer in charge.  He then tells us that we should try to be concise so we don't lose the interest of the representatives.  That stings a bit because I would like to think that the story of how we lost our little girl which we have written down in a mere two and a half pages would not be so boring or mundane that people would check out.  None the less, we scratch parts out and make our changes to shave time off.

We were sitting in the audience on these pews white the representatives and their aides were around kind of a U shaped table with a table in the middle.  They heard some zoning deal first.  I was pretty surprised to see the unprofessionalism of some of the reps.  A lot of them were very attentive.  The committee chairman Lance Kinzer did a great job.  However, SO MANY of the representatives got up and left and came back a few minutes later with a bottle of water or a soda.  Several of them kept yawning.  One guy kept closing his eyes.  They were doing things on their phones... It was very odd.  And a bit disgusting.

Then it was our turn.

The lawyer presented the proposed changes.  Then we went up to the podium.  Matt did a fantastic job.  He hardly looked at our notes.  He spoke so articulately on all that had happened.  He was looking people in the eye, making connections.  He was great.  I stood there and bit my lip and sniffled.  Sometimes I nodded.  Really helpful stuff.

Then a couple who lost their two year old daughter in a situation very similar to our own spoke.  They had only lost her two months ago.  It was agonizing to hear the details of their story.  The dad stood there supporting the mom who spoke.  He cried the whole time.  There is something so very sad and tender about watching a man cry -- especially when he is grieving the loss of his little girl.  The two worst moments of the day in my book happened when this poor mama was talking.  First of all she said that they knew their little girl wouldn't stop crying for them and calling for them.  A social worker involved had told them that.  I can't stop picturing that now.  Except I know that it was Waverley, crying for us.  And I kind of want to die.  The second thing she said that broke my spirit was that there wasn't much case law to use to support their daughter being removed from their house until we lost.  That our case paved the way for the courts to take their daughter.  That feels like a huge and heavy burden to me.

The reps asked the lawyer some more questions.  I don't know that it went particularly well or particularly poorly.  It seemed evident that this will not be a smooth or easy process.  I would be shocked if the law was changed at all before the end of this session which was the goal.  I'm not sure when the session ends, but it's soon.  Honestly, it didn't feel super productive.  That might just be the way it works.  Slowly.  Not real efficiently.  Not nearly as effectively as one would hope.  As long as it is even remotely possible that it could be useful we will go to tell our story and ask for changes to be made.  What everyone does from there is out of our control.  That's what happened yesterday.

As for Harper, what she said specifically that made us laugh: "I see cars all of the time that I just think are so awesome.  Usually I see two cars at a time.  One after another that is really cool.  And I think to myself, 'when I grow up, the first one will be mine and the second one will be my husband's.'" Man.  That's good stuff.