Wordful Wednesday: Why? Just why?

As summer winds down we are trying to cram so much into every single day. I had so many grand ideas of things to post today but my computer died last week and I haven’t gotten back to editing photos yet. Besides the fact that while me and my two incredible kids are busy living, laughing, loving and just being, there are families out there suffering so much.

I just can’t stop thinking about how fortunate we are for what we have. Or how unfortunate and shitty some people have it.

My awesome friend Alex lost her home to arson earlier this summer. This sweet sweet mama and her family lost everything but the clothes on their backs. Thankfully Alex, Scott and Bella are safe and sheltered and looking for a new home. After our house flood and simultaneous miscarriage I thought life would never be the same. But I was astounded by the rallying of our loved ones around us.

And this situation is much the same. Our incredible Crunchy Momma community here in Lansing pulled together and organized clothes, food, toiletries, gas cards, cell phones and toys. Showering Alex with donations within hours. It is inspiring how much we pulled together.

Despite living with family (SO much like our situation) they are living their lives and looking for a home and moving forward. They are sad and still shaken but so very strong. If you want to help the Schroeder family move into their own home check out their YouCaring site HERE.

I’m so proud of how strong Alex has been through all of this. Because what is a mother without strength?

Strength defines Diana Stone. Many of you have read her blog Hormonal Imbalances or followed her pregnancy on Babble. She was one of the first blogs I followed. She encouraged me to write more and helped me through some rough times and always, always took the time to respond to me and send emails and answer my questions.

And now, after losing her twin sons at just over 19 weeks old in May 2012, she is fighting for the life of her 2 week old son Kaden.

All I can even summon right now is the question “Why?”

Why is this happening to her? Why again? Didn’t she suffer enough when she lost her boys?

It’s not fair. It’s bullshit. It makes me angry.

I am not a Christian like Diana. In fact I don’t subscribe to any one form of religion. But I believe in a higher consciousness. A human connection. The power of so many minds and souls focusing on one thing has the ability to make a change. I truly believe that prayer can work.

And so I pray. Begging pleading cries into the universe for this child.

Prayers for this child whose heart isn’t working because of a random virus. Totally undetectable. Totally unpredictable. Totally random. It could have happened to any of our children. But it happened to Diana.

And this is where her incredible strength will be tested to it’s absolute limits. I pray the most for her to have the strength to make the tough calls and to fight for her son no matter what.

She showed that strength when she fought for Preston and Julian. She showed that strength when she went home and went back to mothering her Bella the best way she knew how. And she shows it now, as she pumps every day in hopes of giving her son a few precious drops of liquid gold. As she watches him undergo procedures and tests and tubes and IVs.

I don’t know that we can ever understand why illness and disability strikes one family and not another. Why when it rains it insists on pouring. But I do know that we are damn lucky to have two healthy little girls.

Whatever your faith, or lack there of, please spend a couple moments thinking about this family. They could use all the help they can get.

Or if giving is more your way of showing concern please consider donating to their YouCaring fundraiser HERE. They are out of their home, away from their daughter and without any end in sight for Kaden’s hospital stay. Every penny helps them to stay close to their son and hopefully move the entire family closer to the hospital.

I can’t imagine watching my baby through an isolette. I can’t imagine being hundreds of miles away from my daughter. I can’t imagine not knowing if my baby’s heart was going to give out. It’s devastating just to think about.

Diana, Sam, Bella, Preston, Julian and Kaden. You are all in my heart and I am praying for you each and every day. Hoping for better news for all of you soon.

 

Why it’s Not JUST Chicken

I just read a blog the other day written by a momma (who’s also a lawyer) about her take on the issue. She is admittedly quite a fan of Chick-Fil-A which doean’t bother me. She will not stop eating there. Again, doesn’t bother me. She recognized that the Constitution protects our right to free speech and the owner of the company is protected by that. Agreed. However then she went on to say that she “admire(s) the owner’s bravery” for standing up for his beliefs.

WHUCK?!

It’s been a while since I’ve written about being a multi-cultural family and despite feeling like I wanted to refocus on those aspects of our family on this blog, nothing has jumped out and I don’t want to force it.

And then I read this. And though I’m way behind the news cycle I just couldn’t bite my tongue on this one.

And though we are not a LGBT family we have many friends that are and this is something that effects the world that our children will inherit. This IS the civil rights issue of our time.

Many may argue that being LGBT is not cultural. Many more may argue that gay rights are not the same as the historic Civil Rights movement. But I am not one of those people.

Dan Cathy, COO of Chick-Fil-A, is absolutely entitled to his opinions and voicing those opinions are within his rights. However his bigoted views should not be admired. And he certainly should not be held up as being “brave” for being a bigot.

That’s like calling George Wallace brave for saying that Alabama will always be segregated. Think about it. It’s the same type and amount of bigotry. And because one man is a politician and one is a businessman is no different. Using their platforms, be it the state capitol or thousands of drive-thru windows in America, their are using their power and position to promote hate.

The city aldermans and mayors that have publicly blocked Chick-Fil-A  in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco are the brave ones in my book. These politicians will be on the right side of history when the dust settles and the inevitable occurs. Because make no mistake, the equal rights of all individuals, be they black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, male, female, Muslim or Christian will be confirmed. And though it will take hard work and time to get there, it is inevitable that we recognize equality for all.

In reality ours is a family that would not have been possible only a generation ago. My parents weren’t even legally able to marry in some states until the 1970’s. That’s only 30-something years ago. Michael’s parents, being from two very different cultures, though not illegal, was certainly not the norm or widely accepted.

For us, diversity is not just something you train for. It is our entire lives. Our entire families. Our wonderfully, beautifully blended children.

These same beautiful children who will grow up with multi-cultural friends. With friends that have two moms or two dads. With friends that speak different languages or eat different foods. Because that is the reality of the world that we live in.

Can you imagine if you couldn’t marry someone you loved? Because the law said so. Because of rich bigots that sell chicken tell you that God said you can’t marry? And pay for political representation to reflect their bigoted views?

I cannot. And I will not and cannot support such a business. Nor will I teach my children that it is brave to stand up for your beliefs when your beliefs have such hateful and negative effects on people. Not in my house.

Shit, I don’t shop at Walmart for less than what this man is saying.

Thankfully there are no Chick-Fil-A restaurants near us. And if there is one, well, they will not be getting our dollars until they change their tunes.

 

Drive Through Baptism

On this holiest of holy days Michael & I have been reflecting on the nature of religion and spirituality and what we want to teach Cedella as she grows.  Ours is a common modern occurance, both of us were raised Catholic but we don’t have a church we go to regularly, and in all honesty, I don’t know that we will find one.

Last year during Holy Week we were in Rome and Florence.  We visited the Vatican, like so many faithful pilgrims, to take in the glory and spectacle of it all.  The grandeur and beauty is immeasurable, or so we thought.  That was when our tour guide let us know that a particular Roman bathtub, made of purple marble, was valued at $10,000 per square inch.  This tub would easily fit ten grown men.  I’m pretty damn sure that selling said tub could help to put a sizeable dent in world hunger.  Or preventing AIDS.  Or bringing clean drinking water to every nation on the planet.   But there it sits.  Along with hundreds of thousands of ‘immeasurable’ treasures.  It kind of went against all of the teaching of benevolence and generosity I learned about in church on Sunday.

Here we are taught that Jesus sacrificed of himself, the ultimate in selflessness, so that we may all be forgiven of our sins.  What an inspirational and powerful message.  This is what I want to teach my child.  That sometimes you should give of yourself to help others in order to be the best person you can be.  And yet there sits a palace full of treasures that could be sacrificed for the greater good. I don’t want her growing up thinking that ‘the one with the most toys wins’.  And so our search for a spiritual home and community continues.  I find myself to be attracted to the idea of the teachings of Christ, but not the self-righteousness of many Christians.  At the same time I’m also attracted to the teachings of Buddha, but don’t know if that’s the end all be all either.  So I suppose we may quilt together our own version of religion for our family.  And that’s okay with us.  But in the meantime…Cedella’s covered.  She’s had her drive through baptism.

You may be wondering how in the world one could be baptized on-the-go?  Well on a Sunday afternoon (which just happened to be Valentine’s Day) the fam drove down to Detroit to visit with friends for brunch and celebrate my Grandpa’s birthday.  The Emory in Ferndale is the go-to brunch spot for me and the girls, more bar than restaurant but very kid-friendly during the day.  There is a make your own Bloody Mary bar, a smoking area and a great big old booth where we have lost many Sunday afternoons.  This particular Sunday was ‘take-your-family-to-the-bar’ day though.  The place was full of families, old folks, toddlers and us.  At the table next to us was a group of three older ladies, looking every bit the retired school teachers, all in red.  As I took several trips to the bathroom to nurse and change Cedella (she was only a month old) they kept making comments about how sweet and cute she was.

I have no problems with strangers complimenting my baby, but at a certain point, I just wanted to have brunch in peace.  One of the ladies even went so far as to tell my friend to be careful because her earring may choke the baby.  Said friend was sitting across from her teenaged son.  She probably knows a bit about what babies could choke on.

By the end of brunch, as we were gathering our coats and bags, Michael brought Cedella to their table to say goodbye to the ‘nice ladies’.  One of them asked Michael if we had baptized her yet.  Kind of presumptuous huh?  What if we were Jewish?  He said that we hadn’t and she insisted that the baby could not go unprotected and could she give her a blessing?  Being the polite man that he is, he said sure, why not?  Much to her friends’ dismay she rifled through her bag until she found a plastic flask of holy water.  As Michael held her, she crossed the baby’s forehead, lips and chest with holy water and whispered something, what we can only hope was a baptismal blessing into Cedella’s little ear.  Amazingly, I knew nothing about this until we got in the car to go.  Which is good, cause I probably would have been freaked out by the woman whispering in Cedella’s ear.

So when people ask “When are you having your baby Christened?”  From now on we’ll say we already have.  At The Emory ‘church’ by a very nice lady in red.

Pretty girl with a great big bow.
Silly smiley face
Me Michael and Cedella
With Jiddo and Teta (Lebanese for Grandpa and Grandma)
Long day for the sleeping angel…