Thursday, September 22, 2016


For the most part, I try to avoid politics and current events.  I find them frustrating, and I'm not in a position to cause change.  I hate the political ads, both sides, hate the corruption and lies that have become accepted of our president (and those running).  I've seen various posts and articles about the police shootings and have been so frustrated with the ignorance and hate, again on both sides.  I've experienced it all with a certain amount of distance and callous.  If I can't change it, why bother investing?  What a terrible attitude!

All that changed with Charlotte.  I still consider that city to be my home.  I birthed my 4 children there, left my daughter's memory there, and spent 7 years of my life there.  I imagine it will be home for quite some time.  It's always been a mixture of so many different backgrounds, mostly transplants, never a true "Southern" city in the way my hometown Charleston was.

When I think back on my life, I know I worked hard to achieve my goals.  I studied hard in college, forgoing parties.  I started classes 5 days a week at 8 am, held various part time jobs, worked full time in the summers, and earned a full scholarship based on my grades.  I went my entire college career until 21 without alcohol, never did drugs, and spent many nights in the library.  I applied to grad school without any connections, did my interviews, and started my journey to becoming a PT.  I studied hard throughout grad school until I graduated with my doctorate.  If you had asked me then, I'd say that my race played no role in my achievements.  And to some extent, that was true.  But...

I grew up in a home where I believed in myself.  I was given every opportunity to succeed in life - a stable home with 2 parents, a stay at home mom who was involved in our daily lives (maybe too involved???).  I grew up feeling safe and loved and secure.  I am only beginning to realize how much that played a role in where I am today.  I knew, no matter what, that my parents loved me.  And, within that security, I flourished.  But not everyone has that.  Not everyone is safe at home.  I can only imagine what that does to confidence.  Andrew helped tutor a young boy in Charlotte, a little black boy who was raise by a single mother doing the best she knew, whose teachers were indifferent to downright hateful and discouraging.  What if that had been my environment?  Suddenly things get a bit harder...

I can't pretend I know what it would be like to be black.  I can't quote MLK and expect to even begin to understand the struggle.  I will teach my kids that the law enforcement is there to protect and serve, because that is what I know.  I don't even flinch when I see a cop (unless I'm speeding....and then I hold my breath for a second).  I fully expect that cop to protect me, to have my back, to have the backs of those around me.  And I expect my children will grow up with the same viewpoint.  But...what if I was taught the cops had it out for me.  What if I was taught I had to protect myself from the cops?  It doesn't seem like that is the situation Charlotte is currently facing, but suddenly things are taking on a new light.  I would hate that for  my boys, for them to live in fear of walking down the street at night.  But, what makes it better?  How do we overcome??  There are corrupt cops for sure, but not all of them.  And my heart just breaks for the protesters, for the anger they feel, the unforgiving rage.  It becomes more than just a black and white thing.  The system is broken, but this is not the way to fix it.

So, what does fix it?  Or rather, who?  The answer...Jesus.  Forgiveness.  Violence is not nearly as powerful as love and forgiveness found in Christ.  The shootings in a Charleston church, (maybe last year or early this year??) offer a wonderful example of that.  I was so proud of my hometown, of how the entire community came together to support the victims and FORGIVE the shooter.  The love of Christ was so evident following that incident that it quickly lost press.  THAT is how we handle things.  It seems the Charlotte shooting was clean - though facts are still coming through - that a black cop shot a black man because he had a gun.  Some new evidence may come through in the coming days, but until then, these protests seem to be fueled by pure rage.  There can be no racial drive, as the cop who did the shooting was also black.  Was the man who was shot simply scared for his life based on the police presence?  Maybe.  But what are we trying to accomplish by protesting, rioting, and shutting down the interstate?  The way to get people, to get the police force to understand and truly listen, is NOT by throwing a temper tantrum.  As a mom, I know that to be true - only makes me not listen, and in this case, only reinforces whatever prejudice is driving cops to be fearful. better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


No one ever told me how lonely motherhood could be.  For as long as I can remember, I longed to be a mother.  I wanted a big family, lots of kids.  I remember planning all this out when I was a child myself, sitting with my elementary school friends talking about how I want to be a stay at home mom, playing house and dolls, in a time when the world told me that was not enough.  I chose a career that would be easy to do part time, one in which I could have the flexibility to control my hours and work as little as 1 morning a week.  I remember those early years in our marriage, longing desperately for a child even before we started trying.  I remember the utter defeat I felt, month after month, in the years of our infertility.  All along, I thought motherhood would make me whole.  Happy.  Complete.  I had a great job, but it was never enough.

My journey into motherhood is scarred at best.  Broken.  I still feel these moments of overwhelming bitterness when I think of our infertility, still questioning why God had us wait for so long.  I question and doubt every decision we made leading up to IVF, wondering if there was some point where we quit trusting God to provide and He began punishing us.  My human heart just wants something to blame.  Being surrounded by other mothers in the same stage of life, dealing with unruly preschoolers, diapered infants, and no time for showers should bring me comfort.  It's the life I live each day.  And yet, I don't know how to relate to these women.  I still feel betrayed and a bit frustrated at the ease in which most of the women conceive.  "We weren't trying" or "this one was a surprise" still just cut right through me.  "God blessed us with a miracle" when I feel like He didn't bless me in that same why.  And I find myself wondering all over again what I did wrong.  Though my head knows the answer is nothing, my heart struggles to feel it.

And once Reagan died, my world was turned upside down.  The "why," never clear and always lurking the back of my mind.  I think pregnancy and complications with Warren and Dean simply served to cover over the grief.  I didn't have it in my weak heart to grieve Reagan's death while being pregnant with major complications with the boys.  And I shut down, not moving forward in the whole process of grief.  Life became simply  and literally keeping them alive.  That was all.  And now?    I'm facing my grief over Reagan in a whole new way, in a new city where people don't know about her life, in an environment surrounded by little girls her age.  I think I heard 4 times today how my hands were full.  But they're not...not as full as they should be.  And how do I communicate that?  I just don't even know.  It seems to keep me separate from other moms, as the hurt just runs deep.  I don't quite know how to move past that.  Or if I can.