Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I wake up on my 38th birthday to the smell of bleached sheets and iodine.  There is a tug in my arm from the i.v that took 4 nurses and three hours to wrestle into my "shy veins" (as the charge nurse called them.) Both of my arms evidence of poke after nervous poke.  They are bruised and swollen.
A paralyzing nausea sweeps over me and I look for my pink bucket, then I realize I have nothing to throw up because it has been days since I have had food or water.  I close my eyes and imagine I am on a small boat at sea climbing and falling down mountainous waves. Then my sea turns to red and I dream of a ice cold gatorade.  My dry tongue does not appreciate my imagination.

I hear a beep beeping sound from my neighbors room blended with a disturbed sob. I want to comfort her and tell her everything would be okay.  Then I wonder if I even know this for myself.
As I wipe the blur from my eyes, I gaze at the posters and the cut out paper dolls the kids had decorated the room with the day before.  
The clock is ticking a slow painful click click click.
I want to throw it.  Time feels like a thief to me in this moment.
We tried our best not to tell the kids I was back in the hospital. But in time they quickly figure out mom is not doing errands.

I think of all they have been through as I look out the window, and inhale the roses that my sister in law brought me.  I admire the way they stretch and grow towards the sun.  I wonder if I am growing or just trying to survive.

Then a great sense of guilt slides down my throat like a piano.
How can I do this to them again?
I am burning everyone out.
I am going to end up all alone.
A tear, then another then another drops on my favorite t-shirt.
I refused to put on the infamous gown this time.  I may have to be in the hospital, but I was going to do it on my terms.
I start thinking of Garrett and the perfect day we had on friday, and how he stayed up with me all friday night as my pancreas pulled and pained me body and soul.
I can't do this again.
The kids can't do this again.
I'll loose all my friends and family if I can't get healthy.

Garrett tells me my thoughts are whats killing me, as he rubs my back.
You can't help this.
He tells me over and over that I am strong and that I can do this, which amazes me, because I didn't exactly get patient of the year during my last hospitalization.  Finally,  after hours of exausting pain, I give in and we head to the hospital.

After it was confirmed that I was indeed suffering from pancreatitis again, I was admitted and hooked up to
an I.v and very intense pain killing drugs.
I sleep a very long time.

I dream of my mother.  She reminds me that this is not the plan God has for me, but that I have chosen these experiences that I might better serve God and his children.
She also reminds me that I have within me the power to make things different. I don't exactly remember how she told me this...if I saw her, or heard her or just exchanged emotion with her.  Oddly, it really doesn't matter to me.  Then I dream of doing yoga on top of Mount Timp.  I see myself bending and stretching into warrior pose as I look out over the vast valley I call home.  

I wake up and say an intense, but silent prayer. I feel God whisper to me to get off of the Intravenous drugs.  I knew from my last experience with them, the withdraws they caused, but even still I wonder if I am strong enough to go without them.

Then peace and courage wash over me,
and tell me I am stronger than I think I am.
I tell my nurse, then tell my doc.
and soon we have a plan.

My Bishop comes to see me.
I tell him how guilty I feel inside for putting my family
through this. He tenderly reprimands me and tells me that this is an opportunity to show my children my faith and strength in the Lord. He tells me I have nothing to apologize for.

I was out of the hospital about 24 hours later.
Slightly nauseated, but pain free.
My heart comforted,
My mind clear, my thoughts cleaned up and deeply humbled by learning just how ridiculous my fears had been.  All along I was cradled in the arms of my dear father, and husband.  The women in my life were arranging child care and dinners.  And my children were learning to pray a little harder.

Not only did I not loose friends or family. I was reminded how loved I was. I was not fired from my job at Sundance that I love,
I was strengthened by my co-workers visiting me with beautiful 
flowers and heart felt compassion.

My kids were thrilled to have me home and thanks to family that had
helped watch them...they seemed perfectly content  We all crashed up in my bed and opened my birthday presents.  Garrett made me a book of my life. He has secretly been working on it for months.  With every turn of the page, I saw my life in pictures...and remembered the health and vitality that ran through my veins.  Picture after picture of my life with Garrett reminded me that he was here for the long haul.  He also bought me a necklace, he put it on me tenderly reminded me that I am strong.  That I can do hard things.  That I am not a burden, but a blessing. And I believed him.  
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As for miracles.  I came home to several. My neighbor and dear friend to the left, called her big family and my children,and gutted out my garden.  I wish I had a before picture to show you just how amazing this gift of love was.

Then my neighbor and dear friends to the right, came over and planted my front planter bucket. It was filled to overflowing with bursting colors of hope and happiness.
How do you possibly thank some one for such love?
Not only did they serve me, they both involved my children in the process, so instead of worrying about me, my children were anxiously engaged in getting their hand dirty while serving me.
Now that is love.
Best part of the day:  I was able to make it to Savannah's first softball game!  
This is the tree River planted for me in the fall when I was so sick.  I had planted a tree in that space after my mother died, but to my heartache it had died.  The space stood empty four years later until the day my beautiful boy decided to plant another one.  I will never forget walking to my window on a very cold afternoon when I was certain my life was destined to find a tree in the very space that seemed so empty before.  

It was a love note from My Heavenly father, my mother and my son.  Turns out that the tree is growing stronger than ever...witnessing to me every single day that life can be made new and whole again.    
Just like I can if I plant my roots deep enough in my Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you...  All of you for the roles you play in mine and my family's growth.
We are made new everyday in your sweet love.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Today was a keep the change kind of day.
Life just felt so abundant, mostly because I was with Garrett.  He took the day off and the two of scally wagged our way from here to there doing this and that.  We started with a trip to the temple.  I have forgotten the peace it provides.  It felt a bit like a water fall filling in the cracks of my soul.  It reminded me of all the miracles in my life and the love God has for me...little old me.

But mostly I was grateful that Garrett hadn't thrown me away:)  God bless him for all his galvanizing attempts at fixing me....even still after eighteen years.  

We listened to Josh Groban's song..."don't give up."  It made my heart hurt for all the hurts out there, and grateful that we never gave up when the going was rough...grateful that we were still both here in this mortal realm together.  

God Bless the lonely.  Don't give up.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

love love love


So I am a bit late.  Forgive me.  But I am having a bit of a sentimental bug.
It must have been my mini breakdown, that triggered a valentine memory.
But it is a memory worth sharing.
Valentines day.
My favorite day of the year.  Why?
Because I get to celebrate the people I love, because I am reminded not to forget what my life would be like without them.  And because I get to drink cherry soda from a can with a piece of licorace.
But mostly because...
Family is everything to me.  Everything.  I have had a bit of a go of it the last couple days.  (simplest way of saying it).   (All is well now.)
And I have been engulfed in the love of my family once again,  from my sisters crying with me on the phone to taking me on a coming over to hold my hand while I slept.  Yup.  That is why we get through what we do.  Family.  So here is my thought of today; Forget it is May first and pretend once more it is February 14 again.  
Celebrate. hold on.  Cherish....and never ever let go of each other.  Hold on when you want to quit, fly together when you want to soar, and always be there for those you love.  Always.
That is how people change.  That is how people grow. Love.  Love. Love. 
Because as my dad always puts it. ..
 We are really not all that important, unless we are important to each other.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Drive on.

Today I took a drive in my car.
with wet eyes,
and no silly sappy songs to dry them.
I had done everything by the book so to speak.
Got up. Saw the girls off.  Went to Yoga.
Which normally sets me straight.

Not so much today.
I feel a bit like I am standing on a bank,
of the same old River that I thought I had crossed and
checked all neat and tidy off of my list.

But my feet are muddy.
Just something about that darn current 
that keeps pulling me in.
Until I am drowning in the weakness of my body,
trying to come up for air from the noise in my head.

It has been a bit since I have written.
I got stuck on the whole new years goal thing.
But there are a few things that I am now willing
to commit to.

My father in Heaven.
Not in an abstract, once a week sacramentle way. 
 In a heart and soul way.
I am going to talk to him more and rely on myself less.
And I am going to listen to his love for me,
and not just boing it back to him.
Boinging: totally rejecting beautiful truths about yourself.
So on with you pogo stick.
I am now carrying a broom to sweep away
the cobwebs of my shadows,
and clean up the beautiful space/place in my mind...
and in my heart.
I'm going to nurture the beauty in me, and with his help
weed out the bad.  
I am no longer niave enough to asumme  they won't grow back,
I am just going to get a bigger shovel and roll up my sleeves

Second totally narly committment.
The place I recconcected to myself after
my battle with pancreatitis this fall.
(I wrote about it in october)
Anway while I was there, 
On the third day I belive, after roaming the 
woods and wandering through the artshack
and walking down the hall of pictures and 
sipping tea while I ate my breakfast at the foundry grill,
I wandered into the gift shop.
And had a very illogical thought for a dying woman...
I am going to apply for a job at this here place.
This place that makes me feel so very strong and stoic.

So I did.

And they gave this 38 year old lady a job,
even though she couldn't remember her last bosses name,
let alone her last job.
My boss said it just felt right to hire me.
I know why.
God knows why.
I needed to go to a place, just once a week, and remember
that I am strong and capable,  and I wanted to show my
family that I was not week and feeble.
Mind you: I am writing this in a week and feeble moment.

Something about that mountain,
my beautiful Timp
okay she is not my mountain.
I just sort of wish she was.
She makes me feel strong, and vital.

I will be forever grateful to my boss for taking 
a chance on me.  Jobs aren't easy to come by at a place like Sundance. 
And Jobs that let you work just one to two four hour shifts a week 
are even more hard to come by.
I won't let her down for choosing me.
That I promise.

The second commitment I have made is Yoga,
in an almost manic way.
Because every time I cinch up my bag and go,
I am sending my kids the message,
that I am fighting.
Fighting for them.
Fighting for me.

Odd the word fighting is not found once in sanskrit,
 the language my yogi's teach me in.
Fighting is an ego based word.
One I want to be done with.

I want to surrender my self into each pose,
not fight myself into it.
But sometimes I do anyway.
And that is no way to find peace.

Peace comes when you let go of the banks edge, 
and fall into the arms of the master YOGI.
The only God I serve.
The one who can quiet the noise in my head
 soften the ache in my soul.
and hydrate my heart.

With that...

 In turn, stretch by stretch, and breath by breath,
 I can feel him closer 
to me as I breathe in the beautiful,
but sometimes heartbreaking thing called life.

My third commitment is writing.
I feel closer to God when I write.
And I long for that closeness.
So write I will.

And last but certainly not least.
I am committing myself to my family.
I'm going to inhale the joy of every smelly minute of it.
like Henry's frog boots.

 Here are some pictures of what we have
all been up to this winter.
After all, life is beautiful no?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I have been asked a lot about my
New Years Resolutions.
I want to stew about them for a while.

But one thing I know for sure
they will be simple.
Simple like this photo.
I am done with beating myself up for unmet expectations.

I want to emerge myself in joy.
Feel every leaf in the wind
and wave in the sea,
and stop waiting for tomorrow.

I guess that is the good thing about what I have been through
Everything is precious when you have had a tube
stuck up your nose and strangers wiping your drool.

This year I choose life.
In between my toes,
in every breath,
every step
and every dirty dish.

yup. even the dishes are precious to me now.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New years toast.

How is this for a new years toast.
yup. Fried corn dogs.
Just in case you didn't get that in black in white
How about some color to highlight
our heart attack on a stick.
Apparently if you want something nourishing
to start your new years,
You have to be there before 11:30.
But I must say this old body of mine
knew just what to do with that piggy stick....
and that is truly something to celebrate.
So is entering my new year with my
 Ohana from Hawaii.
We spent the day snow sledding 
Our landlocked mermaids did pretty good...
though they are ready for some sun and surf after almost
three weeks of not so "sick" weather.

We love you guys.
Surf a wave for us:)

Mozo Memories

Monday, January 2, 2012

More memories

Just pictures.
Christmas morning.
First gift:
(Hawaiin for pearl).
My black pearl sister suggested the name,
because her eyes looked like black pearls.
It stuck.
Next: the manger season with who else but Momi for baby Jesus
And Christmas Eve p.j.'s
Dad stayed with us and we were supposed to have pine nuts and Jerky
a Henry tradition.
But I sort of forgot.
Then the unwrapping begins...
Lighting Mqeen and Mator everything...

The best gift for me.
~And my family and friends to share it with~

Christmas season.

Simply the happiest days of my life.
First the tree for papa's house.

He says he is an old Grumachun.
We don't agree:)

Next the decorations, thanks to Savannah, Malia, Henry....and Mr. crafty pants himself...

Then the gingerbread men.  My kitchen is still recovering.
The kids put their hearts and souls
into making sure grandpa had the perfect with just the right amount of sweet and savy.

I think granny put us up to it, and it felt good to give to someone simply as worthy as our dear papa.

He was taken back and received it with loving us right back.  Stories and loves.  We love you papa.