Saturday, May 30, 2015

no treble

While trying to fall asleep I lie in bed and start thinking the usual thoughts -- what time I'll get up the next morning, if I'll work out before work, getting to work on time if I do and Avery, of course. I wonder if I'll wake up at the right time to juggle a workout with work and family time. Then those subconscious thoughts creep in about all the scary ways Avery could be hurt or if I'm a good mom for taking her to daycare early so I can swim or run. I worry I'm not a good employee because I'm going in later or leaving early for one reason or another. I worry about my priorities. I worry that I'll hit the snooze because I made the wrong choices tonight. I watched another episode of "Parenthood" instead of stopping to wash the dishes. Then I watched another episode and didn't get into bed until 9:45 p.m.

And then I realize I just said 9:45 -- 9:45!

God, I really am almost 30.

And then I stop worrying and roll over.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

just wanna be ok

I am exhausted. It's been a long two days.

It started with a text in the middle of the night Monday from my little brother. He was at the ER with Mom. She couldn't feel her right arm but could move it. She was "a bit hysterical." Go figure.

Mom had a stroke last June -- June 23. That's the day she went to the hospital for it. Avery was 3 weeks old exactly. She'd had the stroke maybe a day or two before that and didn't realize it. That one left some permanent damage to her brain that still showed up on a CT scan and MRI. Wes saw the dark spot on the scan Tuesday.

That stroke had been on the right side of her brain and affected her left hand and (slightly) side of her face. But this time it was her right hand that she couldn't feel or straighten her fingers all the way or use to button her clothes. It seemed to be happening all over again. She saw everything she'd regained -- motor skills, independence, quality of life -- slipping away again after she'd worked so hard. Of course she was hysterical.

I've said this a lot over the last two days. Our biggest fear, and I bet Mom's biggest fear, is losing her. Death. Thank God that hasn't been the case. Once that fear "passes" (it doesn't really, but you move on to the next one because death didn't happen) you fear what else you could lose.

We lost some of Mom last June. Yes, people change as they age. But Mom experienced some big changes instantly, not gradually like aging. My mom is still amazing, but she is different. She gets tired much more easily and worries about doing too much. It sounds stupid or petty, but here's an example. She declined my invitation for a quick trip to Target with Avery and me Sunday after church. That woman likes to shop, loves spending time with her granddaughter (any and all of them) and doesn't see Avery or me as often as she'd like. That would have been a definite yes a year ago. Heck, it would have been her idea. But Sunday her answer was no.

That's a small and unimportant example, but last June I not only realized a lot about mortality, I also realized Mom was never going to fully be who she was again. I haven't really talked to her about that part of all this, but I'm sure she realizes it, too, and that is so much harder on her than it is on us.

After a sleepless night Monday Avery and I were Sulphur-bound Tuesday morning. A day in the hospital with my Mom and two tee ball games later (Mom sent us in her stead), Mom was back in her living room. Her new scan and MRI showed nothing new, which likely means this was a minor stroke that generally does not leave permanent damage. That's great news. Her hand feels better. She can move it better and feel it. Her fingers don't straighten fully. There will be more work ahead.

I felt useless Tuesday and wrestled with whether I should have waited a day and been more helpful after she got home. I visited with her in the hospital, which maybe makes a difference, and did some things for her at home today, like cooking breakfast and fixing her hair. But it all seemed so minimal. And then I drove back to my home to see my husband and get ready for work tomorrow.

But I had to go Tuesday. If something had happened, if she'd gotten worse, and I wasn't there, it wouldn't have been OK. I couldn't not go home. She's Momma no matter how old you are.

I'm still worried. Last night when everything caught up to me I just thought, don't let my mom die. Don'tletmymomdie. Don'tletmymomdiedon'tletmymomdie. Guess who was hysterical then.

I guess it's normal to compare our parents to their parents. My grandmother lived to 84. She was the only one I really knew. She died when I was 16, but my other grandparents had gone long before her. My only "memory" of Granddaddy is a photo of him in the hospital holding Wes and me. We're babies. Wes probably isn't even 1, so I'm at most 3. My mind flashed to that photo yesterday. I don't want Avery to be that baby to my mom. I want Mom to know her. I want Avery to know Mom, to know her long enough to appreciate her as a grownup.

Following Grandmother's precedent, I should have 20 more years with my mom. That still won't be enough, but I want at least that.

By the way, I appreciate any prayers y'all want to send our way. This is going to be a journey for Mom and for all of us. I know she can do it, and I'm just thankful she's still here to try.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

not 'til the sky

First of all, I can't believe I haven't blogged since October. And even that was barely a post. The Leigh who was eagerly waiting when she created this blog would be appalled or at least surprised. But current Leigh looks a little different. She's a mommy and, at that, a mommy of a kid who doesn't sleep much due to chronic ear infections. We're headed to an ENT on Wednesday, thankfully. Hopefully, there's relief (for all of us, but especially Avery) in sight.

I don't know that I'm really waiting anymore. I try to enjoy the day more than look to what's next. Lately I'm trying to remember to be present. I know that sounds a bit hippy dippy or cliche, but in a world of technology at our fingertips and in our pockets, it's easy to forget to be in the moment, to really watch that adorable thing or learning moment you're kid is experiencing rather than photographing it and posting it to Facebook.

I'm also happy with my life. I think the Leigh I was when I started this blog wasn't nearly this happy. She wasn't connecting with her husband. She lived in a town she was pretty much over. She wanted more but didn't know what that meant. She also was a newlywed, new college grad and new to the workforce/"real" world. Her husband was in the same boat of uncertainty about life and the world and the future. They were barely in their 20s. There's a lot of unknown there. And that's OK. It all worked out.

I guess this post is about growth. I'm pretty sure I got on here to write about my thoughts on God or work or the Mardi Gras ball I'm so excited to attend tomorrow night, which is coupled with my first night away from my daughter (in this case, 3+ hours away).

But this'll do. I'm committing to making it back to blogging. I might not be eagerly waiting for my life to start, but I still have plenty to say (c'mon, don't you know me?) and lots of goals I'm eager to accomplish. I'm 27 and still eager, y'all.

Monday, October 6, 2014

your bottom dollar

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

But I am worried about tomorrow. Or at least nervous.

Tomorrow our company releases its new job descriptions for the newsroom. Tomorrow we learn how many jobs there will be at the end of the month.

Tomorrow we start the process of choosing two new jobs to apply for. We start preparing for interviews that are just two weeks away. We start seeing each other as competition rather than just friends -- or at the very least, co-workers. 

Tomorrow we lose some of the uncertainty that has plagued us this last month or so, but not really any of the stress. Maybe it intensifies. I don't know.

Because this is today, not tomorrow.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

hello out there

Hey, remember when I used to update this?

I'm about to get back to that.

Friday, March 21, 2014

i hope you dance

Dear Avery,

I hope you get your daddy's tan skin, laid-back nature and passion for the outdoors, but maybe not his nose.

I hope you get my fascination for the written word, my green eyes and country twang, but none of my worries.

I hope you get his athletic ability and mine to spell. I hope you love to learn and explore like us both.

I hope you inherit a love for life, a love for others and a love for yourself so deep no one can reach.

I hope you get the best of us and so much more.

Most of all, I hope you're wholly you. Because that's better than anything.

--Mommy

Saturday, January 11, 2014

songs about rain

Loss.

Now there’s a four-letter word for you.

It’s one that’s been on my mind due to events the last few weeks.

A guy I grew up with killed himself on New Year’s Day. He was 28. His older brother and mine were best friends in high school (meaning Chase and I were much younger) and still are very close. When you’re too young to drive and you adore your older brothers, you tag along everywhere, meaning we younger siblings got grouped together. And he was two years older than me and just “so cute,” so of course I had a crush.

I hadn’t seen him in years -- about five, I think, because I remember talking with him at his older brother’s wedding about two weeks before mine. Between the bond we once had and my pregnancy hormones, I did not take the news well.

Due to the nature of his death and his living in Texas at the time, it took several days before arrangements were made, so I couldn’t make the funeral in Sulphur that was in the middle of this week. I hate that I didn’t get to see his mom, or that Wes didn’t because she just adored him when we were kids. But that could have made the loss of her son hurt more. Who knows?

Mom went for all of us, and Bill and Jackie went, of course. Mom called me after and just said, “He looked so young, Leigh,” and I started crying all over again.

The loss of a life is so sad, but the young ones hit me really hard. I’m sure they do to most people. It might be even worse now that I’m growing a young one inside of me. These losses are so hard to understand -- and for some reason, we seem to need to understand -- and so hard to accept, to move on from, to heal. What makes his death harder for me to comprehend is that it seems to have been his choice. Jackie, who grew up down the road from the two brothers, told me she always thought he was the one who had never quite figured out his place in the world, even though he seemed to have been doing well lately. And I would agree. I had no idea that depression or anything so serious as to lead to suicide was in there, but obviously it was. And I’m so, so sorry it was.

The day after I found out about Chase, we headed to Sulphur for a quick trip for a happier occasion, although it, too, was connected to a loss. We attended the wedding of the younger siblings of two of Eric’s best friends from high school. (Obviously they’re my friends now, too, but Eric has original claim.) I don’t know the younger siblings so well, but Eric watched them grow up. Even so, we might not have been invited or able to go if not for Trey.

Eric’s best friend Trey died three years ago in a drunk driving accident, and his younger brother was the groom Saturday. Eric was there because Trey couldn’t be, and we wanted Curtis to have as many big brothers as possible on his big day. The wedding was beautiful and those lost were remembered.

It was a hard weekend and a rough start to the new year. Life gets harder as you grow up, I know, and you do lose people. But that doesn’t make the realization or actual losses any easier. Part of me wants to end this post with something encouraging -- a positive thought, a prayer, maybe something about relying on God.

I am relying on him, I am praying, I do have some positive thoughts and expectations for the new year. But they don’t belong at the end of this post.