Premature Beginnings

18.5 years ago…

July 1998. I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant with twins that it was either going to be a miracle or the biggest heartbreak of my life. Fortunately, I was lucky, I got the miracle. And yes, at 10 weeks premature, miracle is the only word that fits. 

My children came into this world and faced instant struggle. Plans didn’t consist of days or years in advance, it was literally a heartbeat at a time. Because everything could be seemingly fine one second and the next, your child is crashing, your on your knees crying and watching the experts perform CPR, praying to whatever will listen to you not to take your children. 

It’s a rollercoaster, a bitter sweet set of emotions. The successes bring on the highs, and the set backs bring you to your knees. 

Nothing, not even medical school, could have prepared me for the war with the universe for my children’s lives. And yes, I know how dramatic that sounds, but that’s the truest version of reality for a mother of premature babies. 

After 18.5 years, my children have successfully graduated from high school, and the one thing I have learned is perfect does not exist and that’s OK. 

I also learned that something of this magnitude is impossible without a support system, especially when you have two healthy children who just don’t understand why we can’t go play in the world they so desperately need to explore and learn about. 

It’s OK to ask your friends and family for play dates. It’s OK to say I need help, it’s OK to impose upon others availability. It’s OK, as long as you know that while they are in the care of others, they are safe. 

It’s also completely normal to have separation anxiety, as you have experienced a form of shell shock. You’ve seen the most desperate fight for survival play out before your eyes and know just how powerless that can make you feel. You have had to learn a whole new language that not many understand. You find that you became a dictionary somewhere along the way, though the memory of how is still a blur. Your so focused on one heartbeat, one breath at a time that you don’t even realize how much you change in the days of NICU. 

And well, no one tells you that going home is terrifying. The fragility of the situation is still there without the experts telling you what to do. There’s knocks on the door from complete strangers to come check the baby’s weight and monitor the level of needs the household has. 

And seemingly, from out of the dark, an angel arrives. Elma. Her name was Elma. She was the nurse assigned to my children’s home care when failure to thrive was still a continual beast beyond the NICU. When dehydration threatened the lives you have already fought so hard to maintain. When you’re covered in vomit with such a magnitude of force that you struggle to comprehend how so much can come out of something so small. And, you learn to trust your gut above and beyond what the experts assess. 

Over time, the bond becomes so strong that it’s almost like having X-ray vision. You know, you just know something is wrong, and if you wait till tomorrow, tomorrow may never come. You learn to fight battles others just cannot comprehend. You become a warrior, only your weapon is words. No swords, no fist, no violence. You learn to communicate with the expert class and realize that even they are not perfect. For not one could understand the bond that leads to just knowing something is not right. The sense of paralysis when you’re trying to explain what they clearly cannot see or measure. 

You learn to trust your judgement, because somehow, the warning bells screaming in your head, end up being accurate. 

And ultimately, this is a walk of triumphs and failures. That one good day can get you through a week of bad days. That when you feel weak and panicked, it’s OK to hide in the bathroom, crying, because it’s all you can do to deal with the magnitude of emotions flowing through you, because ultimately, somehow, you feel like it’s your fault your children are struggling so much. Whether it’s because of the fact that it was your body that was charged with the safe nurturing of your children, or because you feel selfish for asking your children to fight through such struggle at such a tender pace of development. 

Regardless, it’s completely normal to have your emotions send you to a corner to cry. It’s relieving, a reduction from the stress and anxiety coming constantly with such a brute force. 

And, yes, over time, the fear reduces. Life moves forward. And one day, if fate is on your side, you will celebrate the graduation ceremony of childhood.

The milestones are different, but they are worth it. 

And, I have to add this…just because…

These two girls on the left, the eldest of my children. They don’t realize it yet, but their love and time also greatly influenced the success of their siblings. They helped them reach those milestones because they had an example of what they were fighting so hard to accomplish. They were teachers far sooner than they were ready for, but teachers they were. Whether it was showing how to walk, or how to be a big girl out of diapers, etc, they were the how to guide long before the time of google. 
So, to any mother’s who are currently in the beginning stages of this journey, it is possible. And, well, the definition of impossible is about to change for the better. Good luck.

I can’t…

I’ve heard this slogan often in this generation of new adults and parents, and I’m sure that we probably said it too. When life gets complicated, I can’t is quickly uttered and problem solving seems to go out the window.

So, let’s take a look at history with a personal aspect too. 
My grandparents survived the Great Depression and WW2. WOW, think about that. Think about being alive during this era of history and what it took to survive, not only taking care of yourself, but children too. 

Or perhaps the founding of America. Think about it, the founding fathers could have thrown up their hands and said eh, I can’t. And the formation of a new nation would have never occurred.

What about women’s rights. If women just threw up their hands and said I can’t, my mother would have never succeeded in accomplishing raising 4 children, two of which were on her own for the most part, and one premature daughter through a mountain of medical expenses, along with graduating college and having a successful career in accounting. 

And then, there’s my personal success story. I gave birth to 10 weeks premature twins, one boy, one girl. Both were diagnosed with failure to thrive. Both were not expected to survive. I can’t was never an option. If it was, I’d be mourning the loss of my children, not grateful for the hugs I can embrace 18.5 years later. And I truly understand just how lucky I am, because even with refusing to give up, sometimes the story doesn’t work out.

So, for the next generation of newly budding adults. We know it’s hard to be an adult. It’s not the rosy picture painted in your fantasies. It’s grueling, challenging, blood, sweat and tears kind of work. I can’t is basically the equivalent of failure to thrive. As long as this is your perception, you’re right, you can’t. You will fail, fall and tumble. 

So, put on your big boy and girl britches and stop saying I can’t and do what it takes to say I can. Life is a miracle and it’s never easy. Get used to it. 

Good luck. 

Blessings Ritual

Some call it prayers, some call it magic, language matters not…

This year for Christmas/Yule, I sent each one of my children a blessing for the next year. I thought long and hard about this one word that had to encompass so much. What did each of them truly need most? 

Then I built a wreath out of Holly and mistletoe, and it was beautiful. It truly represented a circle of love hung upon the door.

Each of us gathered, and made our wishes written upon Bay leaves and we prepared to burn it with the birth of the New Year. 

On the second night of the year, we gathered at the outdoor activities area, aka the BBQ, and we placed our wishes upon the wreath. And we lit that beautiful wreath on fire. The aroma that carries around the fire is quite cleansing, relaxing, and a peace falls over you. And for a moment, nothing but love exist. 


So, with a magnitude of love unmeasured by time, I wished for my children three things.

I wished them hope, hope in the darkest hour, hope to guide them every step, and hope to pull them through when they felt lost. 

I wished them success. I wished them success in all bounties it’s measured, love, laughter, smiles, hugs, and so much more. 

And lastly, I wished them wisdom. Wisdom in their endeavors and trials through life. That when the hardest and most difficult of decisions in life come, they can find their way through the storm. 

I’ve watched each of them grow with their own grace and beauty, and they are strong, and some are wise beyond their years, but I truly believe that each are capable of making their lives beautiful. 

Welcome to adulthood my children. Good luck and I wish you all the best. 

Mom

Unexpected Love

It comes when you least expect it, and well, don’t ever want to feel that emotional attachment to anyone. Love.


I was a young girl, a whole 8 years old. My parents had divorced and moved forward, and to be honest, I was a selfish little girl not even remotely interested in my parents moving forward, as I was still a massive bottle of anger and hatred. 

That’s when this amazing woman entered my life. In spite of my personal melodrama, she bestowed kindness and patience upon my world. She never once tried to replace the role of mother, and I’m grateful, because I already had a pretty awesome mom. 

Over time, my rejection of her began to decrease, and it was about this time that I found out about a new sibling entering my life. As her tummy grew, I began to hope for something special, and words can never convey just how special that little red headed girl would be. 

Every visit was brighter because of the gregarious smile that sweet baby brought at the sheer sight of me. I was her big sister, and once she began to walk, there was no where she wouldn’t follow. We played everything from hop scotch to super heros and every visit became an adventure. 

Time passed, and I grew older. Distance spanned the hours and days as life went on.

And now, 33 years later, this beautiful mother of one, grandmother to another beautiful red headed little girl and friend to a broken little girl has been diagnosed with cancer just 4 months after the loss of our father. 

Insurance companies make billions in profit every year and leave their customers with massive bills piling up. It’s enough to make anyone come unglued, and yet, my sister still stands with dignity and grace in spite of the heart break that she’s experienced in the past few months. 

She may not be anything significant to you, but to 3 girls, she has been an impact of unforgettable magnitude. 

I’m asking for help with her medical bills in order to alleviate the mounting pressure already delivered this year. Anything would be greatly appreciated. 

https://www.gofundme.com/2sdw784
Sincerely,

Misty

Do I work??

Ha ha ha ha ha.

It’s weekly shopping trip day, and their is inevitably that one person that asks me what I do for a living. Short answer, stay at home mom.

Long answer…

I am the stay at home mom who has raised 4 children to adulthood. Sure, I’ve had failures, some with flair, BUT I’ve had successes too. 

When my children were born, I could barely cook a box of hamburger helper. I’m just glad I didn’t burn boiling water!

Now, I’m pretty good at this cooking thing, and my baked goods are pretty good too.

And well, blah blah blah…

So, how do I shorten the point???

I now have created a series of rapid questions, accumulated over the years of experience.

How many children do you have? Do you pay for child care? How often do you eat delivery? How often do you pay for that nicer restaurant with the home cooked meal flavor? Do you have a maid? How much is your dry cleaning? And, how comfortable are you wearing high heels and business suits?

I have 7 amazing children, and no, I didn’t give birth to all of them. I have one amazing grandson I get to see often, and I get to see his momma several times a week. I’m watching her become the amazing woman I’ve always seen inside her waiting to grow, burst out into the world, and become the person she is. I’ve was in attendance when my children were learning to crawl, walk, talk, and so much more.

And, we don’t pay for those services I questioned, because I provide those services. I cook, I clean, I bake, and I love, every minute of it. 

Now, how much is that worth???

State of Affairs

Today, I am concerned. Today, I look at the world my children are inheriting and I am saddened.

I was born in the 70’s. Free love and flower power. There was still a whole lot of racism in that decade, still unwinding from the life of segregation.

As a young girl, I went to school with all races of children. We all played on the same playground, had the same superheroes, and laughed. I miss the simplicity of the playground.

As I got older, I began to see the division of friendships. I watched as we went from being children playing together on the playground, to teens in high school. I watched as superheroes were traded for cars and guns.

I watched the community I loved become a place where a stray bullet or a hit of heroin could take a friend quickly and without good reason.

What would surprise you the most about these scenarios is where they took place. You see, the childhood playground was in a suburb of Dallas called Oak Cliff. The teenage years were part of a suburbanite neighborhood that became well known in the country for being the heroin overdose capital, Plano, Texas.

In my twenties, I went to concerts and festivals. I went to the cultural showcases of rock, rap, tejano, and country music all being played on different stages at the same time. We laughed and danced and enjoyed the music together.

I truly believed we had come so far to overcome racism. I never thought electing a man of mixed heritage and severe daddy issues would lead to such a mess.

I never thought I’d see the riots and anger of desegregation come full circle. I never thought I’d see a group demanding segregation, the very scenario their grandparents fought to overcome. The very scenario that Martin Luther King Jr gave his life for.

It saddens me that people are being gunned down in the streets regardless of race. It saddens me that drugs, hatred and self-loathing have combined to become the very thing we were trying so hard to put an end to, and it saddens me that the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama will be division. Destruction. Hatred for the very country that tried to come together to erase racial hatred.

I don’t believe for a second that the sociological issues we are dealing with truly have anything to do with race. I believe they are economic issues, and finger pointing at racial issues is drawing attention away from the real issue.

We have an overwhelming percentage of dollars being controlled by the top 2% of the world. Those are the masters and decision makers. They form the policy and agenda. Two percent of the world has a voice.

Then we have the middle class. The guided cage of slavery in America. Where children are left in daycares and mother’s must work in order to afford a higher class of slavery. Because every one of those mothers and fathers are working, lining the pockets of the top two percent, and being taxed approximately 40% of their income to help with assistance programs for the poor while the top 2% get tax breaks that avoid it’s responsibility to give back to the very people that helped make their companies and government positions possible. And I have watched the poor be given assistance for necessities, ie. food, clothing and shelter, while they are encouraged to spend the small amount of income they possess into the very companies that are their masters.

We don’t have a race issue America, we have an economics issue and race is being blamed to cover up the evil that is truly the problem.

There is no such thing as equality in this system. We need a better solution, but first we must understand the underlying issues that led to this moment in history.

Perhaps it’s time we banned together and utilized the strength of our collective numbers and the amount of money flowing around to boycott the very top 2% that is the driving force behind the current state of affairs in this nation and nations around the globe. Thus ¬†we will see who truly controls the world and whom our true captors are.

You

I gave you my heart,
And I asked you for wings.
To be the angel I can be.
I had given up hope,
I’d given up pride,
I quit looking beyond my door.
I began to see hatred stamped everywhere,
Even the people I loved most in the world.
And in the depths of despair,
You whispered hey, look here.
You saw what I thought was gone.
You looked well beyond.
All the judgements of the past.
I found my smile,
I found my laugh.
I no longer cry everyday.
I don’t always feel insane.
I flew to the window,
I felt the sun,
I saw a smile,
When I saw none.
You cracked the shell,
You knocked on the door,
You dared me to believe in more.
You opened the door to second chances.
You light up my life.