A Father is…

A father is a cushion to lay my head,

when things seem dark and dreary;

A father carries me up to bed,

when I’ve grown very weary.

 

A father reads me a bedtime story,

and hugs me when I’m scared;

a father is one who is by my side,

and who always seems to care.

 

He is there to close my window,

and to sing an old Irish tune;

he is there to let me know,

that I am his stars and moon.

 

 

A father lives, a father gives,

me all the love he possibly can;

he is silly, he is my joy

he is my favorite man.

 

A father is there to life me up

each time I inevitably fall;

A father rushes into the room,

each time his name I call.

 

A father is the one I love,

a father is my best friend;

he will always be in my heart,

on that he can depend.

 

So thank you sweet darling Dad,

for all you’ve done for me;

my love for you is greater than,

all the stars in the sky you see.

 

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The Messiness of Life

This morning while I was cooking bacon, I heard my son shout “Mama, I wiped my own hiney!” This immediately set off alarm bells, and sent me into panic mode, because I haven’t finished training my son how to do this task. Due to years of battling life-threatening illnesses, I am just now teaching him this skill that he should have mastered years ago.

I left the comfort of the kitchen, where the aroma of bacon, and the sounds of Stevie Nicks filled the air. I entered the bathroom where a landslide of shit was everywhere!

I didn’t know where to start. My son held up his poop ridden hands and proudly smiled and said “I did it all by myself.” The half of me that’s in surgical menopause wanted to yell “why didn’t you call me to help you?” The other half of me wanted to burst out laughing. I settled for somewhere in the middle.

As I was cleaning him and the bathroom, I thought life sure is messy.

When you have children you face years of cleaning up poop, puke and pee. It doesn’t end after the toddler years, for many stomach viruses and bouts of the flu await. There are many untidy rooms, dirty dishes, and piles of laundry to contend with.

When you are pregnant no one tells you this. No one tells you that you will spend countless hours scrubbing stains, tiles and tushes. You will perform many thankless tasks and sometimes feel really pissed off about it, and that’s okay. You have permission to be angry, and to commiserate with your friends.

I realized as I was sanitizing poop kingdom that I was truly blessed. I have two wonderful kids to clean up after. Kids who come to me when they need help and tender loving care. Kids whose eyes light up when they see me. Kids who look up to me, and who depend upon me to teach them the skills necessary to succeed in life. Kids whom I adore, poop and all.

When I was finished with the purging of the poop, I replayed ‘Landslide.’ I listened to Stevie sing ‘you climb a mountain, and you turn around.’

I think of how I will clean a mountain of my children’s filth and then turn around- and someday it will all be gone.

My kids will move out of my house and move on. They will take their messes, and my heart with them.

And I will be left reminiscing, and longing for the days of poop, puke and pee for the rest of my life.

Kathy ❤

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I Am Not A Great Mom Right Now

As I sit here writing this, my two children are asleep next to me on our giant couch. They barely ever make it to their own beds in their messy rooms, in our messy little house. We are currently living a messy life, and I am not a great mom right now.

It has taken me awhile to admit this. I dreamed of being a perfect mom, with the sweetness of Caroline Ingalls, the brilliance of Claire Huxtable, and the cooking skills of Martha Stewart. But truth be told, I’m becoming more and more like a chronically ill Roseanne.

I always thought I’d be an awesome mom, and I was doing okay during the first few years of my daughter’s life until I was struck hard by illness and other circumstances. I had to suffer through a bad car accident and bruised ribs, five miscarriages, gall bladder surgery, Interstitial Cystitis, Endometriosis, severe PMDD, Fibromyalgia, frequent pneumonia due to asthma, Chronic Lyme Disease, multiple bilateral life-threatening blood clots on my lungs, panic attacks and anxiety.

I am so fortunate to have survived all of these things, but I can feel the dream of being an amazing mom slowly fading away. The stress of being in pain and chronically ill has taken its toll.

Like tiny grains of sand sliding down an hourglass, I am very aware of time slipping away. I realize that I can’t reverse the hourglass, I can only catch some grains of sand before it’s too late.

I can’t bring back the things my children have missed out on, I can only provide them with some new things to look forward to.

I may not be able to show them how to keep a perfect house, but I can show them how to be good people.

I may not be able to show them how to run a marathon, but I can show them how to leave beautiful footprints in the sand.

My family is everything to me. Though I am disappointed that I am not able to be a great mom right now, I will never stop trying to be one.

I will be the best mom that I can be at this moment, and share the best parts of me when I am able to.

When I glide around the ice skating rink with my daughter, I hope she remembers the glow in my eyes as I looked at her. My heart melts when she is near.

When I go bowling with my son, I hope he remembers how proud of him I was after he knocked down a few pins. How proud I will always be.

I hope they remember all of the good times we shared, and all of the magical memories we created like when we visited Disney World. Our trip there was the greatest trip of my life, and I will cherish it forever.

I hope they learn a valuable lesson from me about how when life drags you down, you must keep going and be the best that you can be.

I realize now that there is no such thing as a perfect mom. We all experience the ebb and flow of life and of parenthood. We must accept the fact that there are times that we will not be terrific moms. We must learn to accept life’s quirks, perks and failures. They will help shape who we are. They will make us stronger.

I remember holding both of my children for the first time. Those brief moments were the most powerful of my life. It is when I learned what true love was, it is when I became a mom. It is when I made a promise to my sweet little babes that I would love, protect and care for them for as long as I was alive.

I may not be a great mom right now, but I hope that when my children look back on their childhood, they will see that I kept my promise, and that I loved them with all of my heart.

And hopefully they will remember that love for the rest of their lives.

 

 

 

 

 

A Letter to My Children on Mother’s Day

I will always treasure every moment
I spent with you dear child
you are my baby and will always be
through many moonlight miles

I hope your days are always filled
with more happiness than you can accrue
and when I am no longer here
the moonbeams will send my love to you

Dear Children,

While you were in my belly I thought a lot about being a perfect mother. I dreamed of you under a starry sky and a bright full moon. I felt like I had been waiting my whole life for you, and I wanted to make sure you were happy. I pictured being Martha Stewart in the kitchen, having a house worthy of Better Homes & Garden magazine, and endless days of laughter, fireflies and fun.

When you arrived I knew the true meaning of love, and wanted to fulfill these goals more than anything.

What I didn’t know then was that I would not accomplish many of these objectives due to Chronic Illness, Lyme Disease and Anxiety. These dreams slowly drifted away as the pain increased, my brain got more foggy, and my strength diminished.

Though I knew that there was no such thing as a perfect mother, I wanted to be as close to perfection as possible. I set the bar very high, and I could never come close to that goal.

You are my little moonbeams, and I prayed to the moon for your forgiveness.

I read you books when I could, played games when I could, and took you to the park when I was able. I walked many moonlight miles with you, I would walk anywhere with you. I cooked you nice meals, and baked awesome allergy friendly treats as often as possible. I watched the sprinkles fall from your fingers, just like I watched the rapid passage of time.

I thought that despite my health issues, life sure is very sweet.

I would destroy the bar I set, and set a new one. This one would focus more on love than longevity, and more on feelings than frequency.

I would learn to enjoy whatever time we had together, and make memories that would last us a lifetime.

I knew that no matter what, I had already accomplished my greatest goal, bringing two incredible children into the world.

You are incredible.

Never forget that.

You show compassion when others are in pain, you hold your little umbrellas up to me to shelter me from the rain. You sit at the buddy bench with those who need a friend, you live your lives with joy and kindness that certainly does transcend. You help plant our garden with seeds of hope, you help me get by, you help me cope. You are as peaceful as little doves, have taught me the meaning of unconditional love. You are more special to me than words can say, and I will love you til’ my dying day.

I am so blessed to have you in my life.

I am sorry for my shortcomings, or for anything you have missed due to my illnesses and anxiety.

But I am not sorry that you failed to miss what the meaning of life is.

Being kind and true to yourself. Being able to put others in need before yourself from time to time. Spending as much time as possible with those you love. Never taking them for granted, never forgetting to tell them how much you care.  Love yourself, others and the environment. Never stop growing your mind, your heart, your soul.

I am so proud of you.

I am so happy that I get to spend Mother’s Day with you.

There is no one else I’d rather be with. There is no one else like you.

Thank you for all of the joy you have given me, and continue to bring to my life. I hope all that joy comes back to you two-fold.

I hope you will always remember what I have taught you.

Always live your life to the fullest.

Always remember how much I love you.

Always remember that that light that shines within you is greater than the light of any moon.

 

 

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Today I’ll Take Care of You: A Letter to My Family

It is a quiet Saturday morning in April. Rain falls softly outside, and the streets are covered with cherry blossom petals. Though all of you are sick with a virus, it is a good day.

Today I am able to take care of you for a change. Today I feel okay. I have the strength to make you some eggs, toast and tea. I’ll bring them to you in bed, and plant a gentle kiss on your forehead.

Today I will make some of my homemade tomato sauce that you love, and its magnificent aroma will fill the air. I will bake those nut-free vanilla cupcakes that you’ve been asking me to make for months. We will play Scrabble for hours since my brain is less foggy. We will cozy up on the couch and watch a great family movie.

I will be the mom/wife that I want to be every single day. The mom/wife that is not too sick to care for you, to cook for you, to be present for you, to explore the world with you. I will cherish this day, and pray for many more like it.

My many chronic conditions include Asthma, Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia, Interstitial Cystitis, Endometriosis, Anxiety and Pre Menstrual Dysmorphic Disorder.

Any one of these conditions are enough to make life difficult to manage and cope with, but together they are often debilitating.

You see me wince with pain, so you help dry my tears. You see me tired and hungry so you bring me food. You see me unable to do chores so you help do them for me. You see me suffer, so you bring me my medicine.

What you don’t realize is that you provide the best medicine in the world. The medicine I need the most.

Love.

You provide it in daily doses of hugs, teaspoons of tenderness, and soothing scripts.

There is no better prescription for happiness. You make the tough days tolerable, the painful days palatable, and the crazy days comforting.

You are there for it all, and help me get through the unavoidable rain. You rarely complain, you just want to help me feel better.

I appreciate every single thing you do for me. I appreciate all of the sacrifices you make. I appreciate your constant companionship.

It is nice to not have to feel so alone in this long journey of chronic illness. In this long journey of life.

It is nice to have all of you by my side. My sweet family. I love you more than words can say.

Today I’ll take care of you.

Today I promise to keep fighting to get better so that we will have many more days together in sickness and in health.

Today it is my turn to provide you with some comfort, warmth and unconditional love.

Rest your weary heads.

Mommy is here.

And I will be here until the last cherry blossom petals wash away.

 

 

 

 

 

To All The Siblings of Those Who Have Food Allergies

When my son was diagnosed with food allergies in December 2014, it changed all of our lives, including our 9 year old daughter. For over a year now, I have been amazed at the way she has handled her brother’s diagnosis. She never complains about all of the sacrifices she must make, and she takes such good care of him.

I wanted to write a letter to her and to all of the siblings of those with food allergies, to thank them for all they do, and to let them know how special they are.

To All The Siblings of Those Who Have Food Allergies:

You must have been a little worried when your siblings were diagnosed with food allergies. You may have wondered what that diagnosis meant, or how it would affect you. You may have been scared for your brother or sister because you love them, and don’t want anything bad to happen to them.

You may have had to stop eating out at restaurants, or going away on vacations until things were sorted out. You may have had to give up favorite foods, snacks or desserts until your parents figured out what they could feed your sibling safely.

You may have missed a party or two, a ballgame, or some play-dates that included your brother or sister.

You may have had to start using weird new toothpaste, shampoo, lotion and art supplies. You probably wondered what on earth they had to do with food allergies.

Your holidays and certain traditions may have been altered.

You may have had to tag along to many emergency room or doctor’s office visits.

You may have wanted to cry, and have things go back to the way they were before food allergies.

But, you didn’t.

Because you are amazing.

You have a sibling with a life-threatening allergy and you know it. You do all that you can to help them, to protect them, and to comfort them.

You make sure their EpiPens are always taken on all trips outside of the home.

You hold their hand every time they have to get a scratch test or a blood test.

You help them put on their buttons, shirts or bracelets that identify their allergy.

You learn the names of their allergens, and make sure everyone else knows them too.

You can spot their allergen a mile away, and you can identify them on food labels.

You sit with them in another section when they are separated from everyone else, you eat whatever dessert they must eat at a party so they don’t feel different.

You comfort them when they are afraid, you are their best friend when other kids don’t understand or bully them.

You defend them when you need to, you teach them how to stand up for themselves.

You are compassionate, trustworthy and kind.

You care about others, you love your sibling who has food allergies with all of your heart.

Never forget how special you are. Never forget how loved you are.

You are the best brother or sister in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Stocking: A Tale of Miscarriage, Hope and Miracles

I met my husband when I was 34 years old. We both had no children. We both loved Star Wars, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. We fell in love at warp speed.

Within weeks we were speaking about how much we wanted our own little Hobbits to be running around. Within months we moved in together, then eloped in Lake George, NY.

We knew that we were meant for each other, and we knew that we wanted to try to have a baby as soon as possible.

Due to past issues with ovarian cysts and Endometriosis, both of which I had to have surgery for, I was worried about whether or not I would be able to have children. I didn’t know if the force would be with me in this endeavor.

We went to see the specialist who had performed my surgery for Endometriosis, at Weill Cornell Medical Center in NYC. He said that in his professional opinion I should be able to conceive.

We went home ecstatic and I was pregnant within a month. We were so happy, and began making plans and discussing baby names.

I fell in love with the name Jaina, after I saw my husband creating a Photoshop wallpaper of Jaina Solo, a character from the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

He told me about how he had been dreaming of having a son named Ryan for as long as he could remember.

I loved that name for a boy, and he loved the name I picked out for a girl.

A few days after our doctor appointment, we went to Michael’s craft store for some decorations for our first Christmas together.  One of the first things I saw was a little stocking that had the name Ryan imprinted on it.  I felt a feeling of warmth rush through me so I bought it.

We found out months later that we were having a baby girl.  We were thrilled that our little Jaina would be coming, but I never forgot about that stocking and kept it on my shelf.

Our first year as parents was amazing.  Our little girl looked like an Elven princess, and was so easygoing.  She made us want to have more kids, and we wanted to make her happy by providing a sibling.

We were pregnant again when our daughter was thirteen months old.  We were so happy that our children would be close in age. They could be Jedis together and fight the dark side. We heard the baby’s heartbeat and thought everything was fine.

Then it wasn’t.

At our thirteen week pregnancy checkup the heartbeat was gone.  I tried to let out a scream but couldn’t. I wondered why my sweet baby left me.

This happened four more times, for three more years.  Each loss was very difficult.  I put a blanket on the pain, each thread kept the sorrow in.

Some people told me that maybe I should consider adoption, or maybe I wasn’t meant to have more children.  But each time I glanced at that stocking, I knew that I was on the right path, and that a Christmas miracle would occur.

Though I was very sad about it, and struggling with it, I never lost hope. Deep down I always knew he would come. I didn’t know how or when, I just never gave up trying.

Then in October 2010, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy named Ryan.

Someday I will tell him this story.  I will tell him how hard we tried to have him, and how we never gave up.  I will tell him how we loved him years before he came. I will tell him to have faith and to listen to his inner voice…or the voice of Yoda.

I will give the Christmas stocking to him one day. I hope he will cherish it as much as I do.

I hope he will believe in miracles, for he is one….

Kathy ❤

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Be Whoever You Want to Be

I wrote the following poem after I saw my son running around in his sister’s dress.

ryan dressed like girl

He was having a ball and at that moment I realized that I would love him no matter what.  Whether he was gay, or trans, or wanted to study to become a botanist, or a lawyer, or football player, or dancer, etc.

He & his sister are the most important people in the world to me, besides my husband.  I will love them dearly, and I will be there for them no matter who they choose to be, or wind up being.

be whoever you want to be - for Ryan

He certainly crawled right into my heart….and there he will always remain…….<3<3<3

Kathy ❤

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