A George Bailey Moment

Crazy to think it is already November..the hands of time tick at light speed these days.. before we even notice the day has almost ended and we are focused on prepping for what the next shall bring. The clock ticks a little slower in the morning when I enjoy my pre-chaotic cup of coffee.. okay who am I kidding multiple cups of coffee and stumble upon my fb feed that is filled with daily testimonies of thankfulness. I enjoy reading what my friends and family are daily celebrating and giving thanks for.. as well as taking a trip down memory lane and reading my past November daily posts of what I am most thankful for.

Much really hasn’t changed for me.. I’m am thankful for every tomorrow.. for every smile I get to see on my daughter’s face and for every big and little moment shared with those I love. I am thankful for forgiveness and second chances.. the ability to not only practice those but accept those as well.. and I am thankful for every moment I feel peace and inner acceptance. I realize November is the month we focus a little more on what we are thankful for…but just maybe if we carried November’s mentality over into the next month and year.. our thankfulness and gratefulness will produce even more to cherish and praise!

Yes.. I’m having another George Bailey moment.. smiling and mentally saying in my head.. that a boy Clarence… but just maybe if we focused on every day as a gift.. and lived if it were our last.. how many magnificent occurrences that we may look over or pass by.. would we consider miracles or moments that take our breath away.

So I’m thankful for another day.. a day as Rory’s Mom.. I’m thankful for every moment that made this day what it was.. every conversation.. laugh and smile shared with others.. I’m thankful just to be here and to know every moment.. every second is a gift and to be cherished! Also thankful I have a 56 pack of K-cups in my kitchen.. just saying! I also am very thankful for you!

Photo credit: https://images.app.goo.gl/suFZA1JocpKvG1dY6

Masterpiece

One can find themselves in producing and appreciating art..or more like one can find themselves with who they are producing and appreciating this art with. There is something so calming and healing when painting or sketching.. the outside world stops and you get lost in your masterpiece.

Last night I got lost in my masterpiece..it wasn’t the American girl armoire that Rory and I set out to transform into a jewelry box that would house her shell necklaces and VSCO girl trinkets.. it wasn’t the intricate paintings we whimsically brushed onto our project.. the masterpiece I got lost in was Rory.. my greatest creation. I treasure nights like last night..moments where it’s just us and we are working together to create something beautiful. Moments where our phones are forgotten and Christmas music plays in the background.. moments where Rory once again heals and in her way helps me to see the world through her eyes.

Rory is a very gifted artist..the kind of art she does leaves a lasting impression on ones soul..Rory has a way of taking in every moment..seeing past what most don’t see.. finding beauty in things most wouldn’t consider beautiful or appealing… and embracing and celebrating this unconventional beauty. Rory takes every empty canvas..and fills it with the beauty she interprets..she transforms the dark and dissolute into the most remarkable pieces of art..Last night I was Rory’s empty canvas..Last night I was her project. Last night..she worked her artistry on me and made me take a second look at how I see things.

I have been asked a lot of questions over the years about my health struggles and fights.. I have been asked what is the hardest thing about this life and will it ever get better…do you remember and miss the old you..Rory has never asked me anything like this.. well..until last night. As I found myself getting lost in our DIY Pinterest project.. Rory caught me off guard and asked..Mom if you could take it all back and not have had the accidents happen..would you choose this you or the old you? I was speechless..couldn’t get out the right words..a little panicked for how do I answer this and especially considering who asked the question. In my head the answer rapidly fired off.. I would want to be the mom you had before all of this.. the mom that had it all together.. the mom that was never late and never missed a thing. The mom that for years didn’t have to cart you around to appointments.. testings and therapies. The mom that had a ton of energy and never needed to rest or say I can’t do that today. The mom you deserve and were robbed of. Before those words could hit my lips..Rory said.. I know my answer mom..I would choose this you..I’m glad the accidents happened.. I’m not glad they hurt you and made you sick.. but I am glad for how strong they made you..No one is stronger then you mom..I am glad because your heart is even bigger then it was before..and mom I love when you write.. that never happened until the accidents. I started to tear up and cry.. and then she said something I have never even thought about.. Rory said.. I have had this mom more of my life then the other mom..and this is the mom I will always want…this is the mom I will always choose..Just like that.. Rory took a empty canvas and filled it with the beauty she sees.. her interpretation of dark and dissolute.. is strong..big hearted and perfect just as it is.

Rory made me interpret the artwork of our lives differently. It is no secret Rory is my favorite artist and human on this planet..I have said it countless times before and will until my last breathe..she saves me every single day…she is the reason for every comeback and the fuel for every fight..the strength she speaks of is not mine..it in fact comes from her.. the heart she thinks is bigger.. well that is because I get to be her mom and was blessed enough to be given the chance to have this honor twice. Two people can look at the same piece of art… two people can tell you exactly what they see..sometimes it’s the others interpretation that we need to hear and learn from.. we all don’t see or view things the same..sometimes we choose to focus on one aspect and that focus takes away from a hidden or abstract piece of that artwork..It is always helpful to have another artist point out the things we couldn’t see… things that we may not have have appreciated at our first glance..things we may have misinterpreted in this masterpiece. Thankful for the girl that paints my world and always helps me to see the things at times I can’t. Thankful for my artist.. my Rory! You are the most beautiful piece of art.. you are my masterpiece! There isn’t a picture worth painting.. unless it is painted with you!

Two people can look at the same piece of art… two people can tell you exactly what they see..sometimes it’s the others interpretation that we need to hear and learn from.

Laura Lea

Invisible Disabilities Week

It’s invisible disabilities week.. a week focused on making those who feel invisible.. visible. A week to highlight and spread awareness on battles most never face or see. I am a proud member of the invisible disability club..I personally have been diagnosed with multiple invisible disorders or medically deemed disabilities…most of these I didn’t even know existed until they resided inside of my body and brain..most I can’t even pronounce. To be apart of this club.. you have to develop some pretty tough skin..you have to let the phrase..you look fine.. just roll off your back. You have to look past when others question.. are your struggles and health fights truly there or do you just need attention?? Sadly in life.. seeing is believing.. and for our club this makes the fight a little harder. You deal with some backlash.. when one day you can do things and then the next you can’t get out of bed.. you cancel a lot and at times lose friends and family because in their opinion you can’t just let it go and move on..they question why you are stuck on this and can’t move forward.. but the thing is this.. this is our life.. there is no moving past what is dwelling inside.. as much as we would love to not be stuck here..it isn’t our choice..as much as we hate to have our health dictate our lives.. it does..we have to listen to our bodies and accept a life and road we never wanted to travel on. Sometimes when you are stuck in the fog.. you get focused on your personal fights and forget to look around and realize there are others out there living this life just as you are. You may not have the same diagnosis or your club membership card doesn’t look the same.. but none the less.. they are traveling a journey they never thought they would have too.. they are grieving the old them.. they are stuck in between the world that existed and now exists.. trying too navigate just how to make it minute to minute and salvage the old to combine with the new. My dear friend Kara belongs to this club..her life has been forever changed and most will never even realize to what magnitude. Kara has multiple chemical sensitivity.. the world she lived in was turned upside down.. it turned into a world that she couldn’t exist in for that world could lead to numerous setbacks.. hospitalizations and as scary as it sounds take her out of our world. Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is her bodies reaction to all chemicals.. perfumes..products and lotions used on a daily basis by us all. It’s a disability that leads to overwhelming reactions to these products as well as smoke.. exhaust from cars and cleaning products. Being exposed to these items and environmental exposure to them..can compromise her health and immune system on multiple levels. Every outing.. every interaction with any human..any environment..impacts her health and triggers multiple symptoms. I can’t imagine the fear and anxiety attached to this struggle..giving your friend a hug can lead to a hospitalization and long road back to her baseline. Kara has always been the life of the party or any occasion.. her laugh alone sparks a chain reaction of endless smiles and laughter. Kara has always been one friend that is there for you in every single way..always present.. always excited to celebrate her family and friends. Kara has always been the most amazing and influential teacher.. loved by her students and colleagues..always involved and compassionate about those she felt honored to teach and work with .. she has won countless awards and been praised for her amazing role in her students lives. Kara is a hardcore athlete..not many want to face her on the golf course. These things that have defined her and enriched her life.. now have taken a toll on her health and forced her to walk away from a huge part of her heart and being. Kara is still that amazing teacher.. she teaches me daily how to get up and deal with a shitty hand.. how to make the most of each day and to always look on the bright side. Kara is still that hardcore athlete.. she battles.. braves snd beats this disability every single day! At times on my own journey I have felt alone.. misunderstood.. isolated.. but I could always meet up with a friend and work through it. Kara however does not have this luxury..a freshly showered friend or the detergent on their clothes could wipe her out and force her to lose days. Going to the grocery store for Kara is like stepping into a war zone.. I can’t imagine needing a gallon of milk and the fear and anxiety that is attached to something most of us don’t even think twice about. The grocery store.. the gas station.. school events could literally make it unable for her to breathe. I may never understand all she faces or feels.. but I see her..we all are very capable of seeing Kara and seeing others who look great but internally fight a war we never will. For a long time I just saw life through the eyes of my disability.. I couldn’t see past the fog to get another’s walk. So today..this week.. the week to promote invisible disability awareness and education..I find myself looking outside of the fog to try harder to understand and support those that feel alone.. invisible and exhausted from this life long battle. We may not have joined this club for the same reason..but everyone deserves to be supported and encouraged with all they face. Kara is still the beautiful.. strong.. hilarious friend she has always been.. it is my responsibility to take the precautions to bring the party to her. It takes a second to educate ourselves to give those we love a sense of security and stability. It takes a second to see another.. to see the road laid out before them and to make that road a easier road to travel! I will never forget the friend that found her way to my hospital bed.. who filled the room with laughter and light when I didn’t even feel like laughing or opening my eyes. I know we both didn’t choose this.. I know we both wish life didn’t lead us here.. but my friend..I am happy to be in this club with you.. I am happy to get the chance to watch you climb and conquer..and I feel blessed every time you give me a hug.. for I know what that could do to you..true friendship.. one sacrificing themselves just to make sure you know you are loved and not alone. Let’s look past ourselves and our battles to reach out to all those that are trying to just get through the day as best as they can! Invisible… visible.. disabled..not disabled.. recovered.. remission.. actively fighting..we all can take the time and steps to acknowledge.. empathize..include and support those that are trying to accept changes and regain independence and better days! Hey Kara.. you got this..thank you for once again teaching me about your journey and thank you even more for letting me be apart of your beautiful story! And for the record seeing is not believing..believing is seeing! 💚

Live by Your Words

Words can be powerful.. they can impact.. inspire and plant seeds of growth..but adding action to these words and living the life you project..well that is the true recipe for change and self enlightenment. We all can be whoever we want on social media forums..what’s the point of that if we aren’t living the life we want others to see. Your children and loved ones won’t learn by your words.. they will learn by what they see you doing.. they will learn by the example of your walk..not just your talk. To be a true kind person..you have to not pick and choose who gets to experience this kindness.

People see light..they feel warmth..they watch selfless acts of kindness and true gestures of the heart. I am imperfect..trying my best to always search for reasons and understanding to help me make sense of others actions..we all are where we are supposed to be in this given moment and a million factors and interactions lead us to this spot..we may have landed here.. but that doesn’t mean we have to stay here.. there are a million actions we can make to move past anything placed on our journey..the first action being self awareness..taking a self inventory of am I being the kind of person others would be proud of.. the kind of person you yourself can be proud of..There have been countless times in my life.. I have not been this person.. countless times I didn’t take the high road..didn’t practice what I preached..didn’t show grace or kindness to those at that time I deemed non-deserving. Funny.. for I now realize everyone is deserving of kindness.. of grace.. of acceptance and empathy.

There isn’t a switch you get to turn on and off when approaching another on your journey..there doesn’t happen to be two columns of deserving and non. To receive others gifts..one must give theirs as well..to receive understanding one must challenge themselves to understand. The energy it takes to live as two different people is exhausting..why not just live a life you love..and love those in your life while you have them here. The incredible thing about struggling in anyway.. is that you start to sit back and think..you start to analyze your behavior and role in negative interactions.. you start to realize the person you were… acted out for internal reasons you weren’t even aware of at that time..you produced and promoted hurt because of the hurt that resided in you. You start to realize one who is miserable and unhappy with ones self wants everyone to feel that..but those actions only make you feel worse.. they only grow the darkness more in your soul and that darkness spills onto all those in your life and all those around you. I have wrote about it a million times..I will never forget 7 years ago hearing it from my favorite TBI therapist Sue Finley… Hurt people hurt people.. weak people choose not to look at a situation from every angle and see what was brought to the table. I myself have been this hurt weak person.. and to be honest..it felt terrible.

Your soul never lies..your internal being knows when things aren’t right within..and you can fuel this plague or you can start to make changes. As the changes happen you start to see everything around you taking a different form..you start to accept and understand others and just like Magic they start to accept and understand you. A fire grows with gasoline..you can pour two types of gasoline on this fire..it can fuel and feed darkness or it can fuel and feed light. You want good kind huge hearted people in your life then be this person.. you want to be encouraged and supported during rough patches..then don’t just say you will be there.. get up and be there. Life is far too short to dwell in pain and negativity.. it is exhausting to spread both and crippling to receive from the hands and actions of others. Approach each person and situation with the eyes and hearts you would want to be approached with. Yes I know..at times this will be hard..it will take all the strength you have to rise above..but it’s just not about you.. as hurt people hurt people..those healing.. heal people. I’m not interested in people thinking I’m a good person..I am consumed with actually being one..all these words don’t mean shit.. if I don’t walk out the front door today and actually implement them. At the end of the day.. you are stuck with yourself..you know who you are..is your soul still..are you the person that others needed you to be..I hope and pray I am. There may not always be a tomorrow.. so with this minute or hour..walk the walk..don’t even talk about it..feel it..embrace it..be that high grade gasoline.. fuel the fire of positivity and kindness..not that it matters that others are watching.. but your walk may just get another to walk the path you are on..and we in turn will get welcomed to walk next to them. Trying hard to be better always.. trying always to be the change and promote change. It’s just takes one step to move forward…time to stop talking about it and time to start doing it! Happy Thursday my friends.. hope you have the kind of day that makes your heart happy tonight! 💚