We're at the halfway mark in this round with the psych hospital.  Halfway there...

Last night I went to visit my son.  Picked him up and took him out for an ice cream cone.  It is moments such as these that I so treasure with him.  Just him and I doing what any parent and child would/should do.  We walked through the door of the ice cream shop and another man was being served.  He had a huge cone with a ton of ice cream and whipped cream and cherries on top and it made Kaeden's mouth water.  "Mama, that is a big ice cream.  Can I have one of those?"  he asked.  I wanted to say yes, have whatever you want, but I also know that 1) he shouldn't have so much  2) this was a little treat, not something that should cost a days work and 3) he needs to know that I am in control, I have the final say.  "No, Kaeden, we came to get a little treat.  Look at all those flavors they have.  Which ONE would you like?  I'm going to have the lemon sorbet."

We ordered and sat out in the sunshine, the heat of the hottest day of the year thus far hanging onto us.  I asked him how he was doing, what they'd been doing in the group.  He responded with "Nothing."  So, I tried another tactic.  "I see you have a new bracelet.  Did you make that?"

And then the floodgates opened.  He started telling me about the crafts they had done, the outdoor games with water balloons, showed me the blister on his hand from tug of war.  He smiled and laughed and couldn't get it all out quickly enough.  I laughed with him, my smile meeting the smile in his own eyes.  This was what I wanted, what I needed.  Just a regular ole conversation of daily events of mother and son.

We sat there in the sun enjoying our time together.  "So, Kaeden, what flavor are you going to choose next time we come for a cone?"  I asked my boy, my young man.  "Are you going to get coconut again, or try something else?"  I could see the wheels turning as he tried to decide.  "That tasted just like a bounty," he answered.  "But maybe I want to try something else next time.  Maybe we can come enough times that I could try ALL the flavors!"  He looked at me with a smirk, but with light in his eyes, teasing me...

This was all I wanted, all I needed.  This game parents and children play.  This is reality.


Where Is GOD?

Shades of blue come out from hiding
Behind the white clouded feathers in the sky
Somewhere up there, somewhere
God is looking down on me?

I touch the musty earth
Feel it rough upon my hand
The blades of green poking through
Grass , the world is a living being.

I take a step, and another
Waiting for His steps to match mine
Where is He when I need Him
Why doesn't He come down and carry me?

My belief is being tested
I kneel down and pray
But the sky doesn't open up
Instead tears fall over my face.

Faith is failing me, my faith
Where has it gone
Where is He?
God please help me.

Autism and Psychiatric Hospital

Today I have to find mental strength.  It seems so hard to do the past few months as I find myself sinking into some emotional pit of doom, unable to find even enough strength to do the required tasks of the day.  However, this is also a required task, and one of great importance.  But, it doesn't make it any easier to gear up for.

My son has been hospitalized in a psychiatric center for issues he is unable to control due to his autism.  He is no longer functioning in our world as his fear and struggles prevent him from managing on a day to day basis.  And it sounds like he's pulling mama along for the ride, as I am having the exact same issues, without the aggression and violence.

This afternoon we head once again for another meeting with his psychologist, our psychologist, to discuss the ups and downs of our life as a family with autism.  The ups come fewer and further between than the downs, and the worry from this has taken the livelihood from my eyes and replaced it with someone I don't even know.  I look at myself and wonder where the spirited, passionate mother and woman of long ago has gone.  What I see scares me.  I do not wish to be the woman behind those eyes.  She looks back with a defeated blank stare on her face.  She is not alive.  She cannot find happiness.

This is the second round of psychiatric hospitals for our family.  I have major doubts about what they can do to help.  All the time and energy and focus put into helping my child, and I really don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I can't fathom finding help for this child whom owns my heart as I think about his thoughts and actions and his manner of living.  And yet, something in me won't give up, won't quit searching, won't quit trying.  He deserves my full attention, my every breath to get him to a place of happiness and success in whatever his path through life takes.  He deserves my undying commitment.

But what he can't take from me, I have learned, is my own happiness and success.  He can't grab onto the gleam of pride and strength in my eyes and turn it into the woman I have allowed myself to become.  He can't take away my own life.  I have allowed that to happen through fault of my own, given in to the power it has over me, this autism thing.  I have allowed it to suffocate me.  I haven't been strong enough to overcome the pain and hurt and fear and worry and sadness.  This isn't about him, but about me.  This is me living with autism.  Not autism in my own head, but the outward effects of having an autistic child. I am at a place where I am no longer willing to give it the power I have in the past.  I want to stand with pride, find the twinkle of expression in my eyes, be one step above this living with autism thing.

Today I will go to the psychiatric hospital where my son is being kept for the coming 9 weeks.  I will go and tell them how autism is affecting me, my marriage, my family.  I will tell our psychologist what I need to beat autism, what I need to do to find my sanity and regain my lust for life.  I will tell her I want my husband to see the life in my eyes, be able to laugh with me again.  I will tell her that I want to be the best mother I can be for my little guy, to have energy to play.  That I want to do everything within my power to help my son find his place in life, but not give up myself in the process.  I will tell her all of this, and ask her opinion on what i need to do to achieve it.

I need mental strength.  I need to be alive.  I need to live, not with autism, but above it.



I smiled, I laughed, and then I cried.  Tears of acceptance through the raw emotion of truth.  She came to me, wrapped her arms around me, and the nervous laughter replaced the tears, until tears of her own began to fall, the reality of more raw emotion.

Girlfriends, those women in my life with whom I share intimate and personal stories, the women who dare not lie to me, but bring me freedom in telling the bitter truth, no matter how much it hurts.

My very best friend in life too far away to share the truth of my everyday existence, oh how I miss her.  It is in these moments that I recognize how very much distance does matter, how a phone call cannot bring me the same feeling of reality I crave from being within the same space, a personal space.  She can no longer wipe away my tears, encompass me in a hug, tell me it will all be okay in the truth of her glance into my eyes.  I miss her, my best friend.  I miss what we have shared, what brought me the joy of having a  best female friend, someone I have come to love more deeply than if I had been given the gift of a sister.  She is a treasure to me, but a treasure just a bit too far away to fully share in my world.  No less important, maybe even more so, but the miles between us are tangible.

I have made new friends, been given the gift of friendship yet again.  I have opened my heart, my past and my future, and shared stories of triumph and struggle.  She looked deep into my eyes as I spoke, a broken soul with a history being honest and sincere, and her eyes never left mine, bored into my soul, allowing me to grieve in a safe place.  She is my friend, a person with whom I can be me and through it all, it will be okay.

We spoke of our husbands, of my children, of our childhoods and of religion.  We talked about spirituality and what it means to us, about simple things like food we eat and clothes we like to wear.  We discussed secrets we have been unable to share before in our relationship, our friendship.  We reached another level of trust, I allowed her into my safe place inside, and she opened her heart to me.

We grabbed another cocktail concoction, green and blue, snacked on some goodies in bowls on the table, the lights dimmed low and music playing in the background.  And we shared this space, these treasured hours in time, deep into the morning hours as we yawned and our eyes became sleepy, and we felt friendship, safety, trust and security.  My girlfriend and I, this person I have chosen to allow into my life, this friend I chose to be mine, this person who has become my sister, my family.

I smiled, I laughed and then I cried.  And though it all, she was present, and I know she will always be so, a present in my life, my friend.



I said a prayer upon waking this morning
Asked that gentle come my way
A gentle breeze with promises
Whispered in my ear:

Today there will be sunshine
Flowers will bloom with color
The sky will be blue, spotty with clouds
The warmth will encompass you

You will hear a child's laughter
See the smile upon a face you pass
Bumblebees will buzz around
Coffee will be dark and strong

The doorbell will ring with visitors
They will enter in your cleaned up home
The clock will tick as minutes go by
You will feel spring when you go outside

You won't need to take pills
To make a headache go away
You won't feel sad and cry over nothing
Because you will look in the mirror today:

And upon that recognition
This is who I am
You will find peace within your heart
Won't feel lonely or afraid

Whatever will be will be
Will gather in your thoughts
The worries and ache filling your heart
Will be forced into the back

Today I prayed for gentle
And the breeze whispered in my ear
Today you will find gentle
In this, your life, this is.



Dear Mom,

It is nearly Mother's Day- once again, a day set aside to honor the woman whom gave me life.  The woman whom brings me a security and trust I find with noone else...my mom.

I am on the bus heading towards yet another meeting for Kaeden.  When I was a kid, I had no idea what a difficult job being a mother was.  You made it look so easy-  I always knew I was loved, always had everything I needed and more.  Until I became a mother I had no idea of the sacrifices you made or the pain you had to endure.  I had no idea how when your child's eyes twinkled your heart would glow or how an unexpected hug would make you feel as if you were encased in complete joy.  I had no idea.

Now I know.  As I head to another meeting hoping to find another manner to help my son, I feel the despair, the fear, the anger and unfairness of being a mother...all that I must endure.  Yet, I go, I always go, hanging onto the shred of hope that never leaves my mind or heart when it comes to my children.  Working towards those moments of success, wanting to find them, always searching, until we know without doubt that our child will find happiness, feel love, know care and achievement.

You made motherhood look easy, yet I struggle.  I struggle to come to terms with knowing I can do no more than my best, and never knowing if my best will truly be what is best.

And then, I see him, my son...a tall figure in the distance.  As he moves closer I note his grin, and it gets bigger the closer he comes.  He moves towards me, towering over me, my boy, now already a man, and as he smiles so do I.  His hug wraps me in everything I want, everything I need.  And I hope, oh how I hope, it's all he wants and needs too---my love, my hope, my achievement, my success, my happiness---all wrapped up in one hug, in one boy...

and yet, I have two...one smaller, once younger, one completely opposite from the other in character and drive and desire...yet both so important, so fulfilling, so very mine...

I am mama.

And no matter what else comes and goes in life, whatever good or bad happens, nothing can take that away from me.

 You made motherhood look easy.  I learned it from the very best there is.  I hope my children feel the same when they are forty years old, looking back upon their life.  I hope I made it look easy, that they know, without a doubt, that my best truly was the very best.

Happy Mother's Day Mom.  And thank you.



Freedom.  I felt it.  My mind was empty of all worries and my soul felt like it could fly.  Freedom.  I could taste it.  I could feel it.  I was alive.

Such a simple thing we too often take for granted.  Hop in the car and run get groceries or run to the bank or, oh yeah, i forgot to get salt...hup, in the car, turn the key and seconds later you have what you need.  Driving brings with it freedom and simplicity.  Everything is easy when it takes no effort to achieve, which having a car affords us.

I miss driving.  I mean, I sincerely miss it.  Whenever I used to feel down or discouraged or happy or high, I'd jump in my car, turn on some music depending on my mood, and drive...sometimes to my favorite quiet spot, sometimes shopping, sometimes just take whichever road I first passed.  It always made me feel good, driving, especially out on open Wyoming roads.

Since living in Europe, having a car has been a luxury in place of a necessity.  The first year I lived in Nederland, I had no vehicle.  I did have a bike and public transport, and came to rely upon both to get me where I needed to go.  When I was in active labor with Jari, we got our first car.  Erwin still took the train to work and I had use of the car, but still tended to bike or walk, especially with a newborn and stroller, it was easier to just walk.  But, still, the car was always at my beckoning call, and I was free to use it at my every whim.

When we moved to Belgium, the car came with us.  Erwin's transportation became a bus service which left at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, but he was always home early.  I still had the car, and it became useful for me as I explored our new home, Belgium, Limburg, as well as keeping in touch with old friends in Holland.  In our corner of Belgium, public transport is present (busses, no train), and it's round the clock available, but getting places is almost a chore.  In what would be a 20 minute drive, it takes me  more than an hour by bus.  Just saying...

But back then, I still had the car and was still free to come and go as needed, though I still used my bike for the short distance trips, as I came to discover biking is 1) enjoyable  2) fast  3)  gives no parking headache  4) cheaper  and 5)  healthy.  But on those gray and rainy Belgian days (many)  I could still turn the key and come out on the other side safe and dry.

And then, Erwin's bus service quit running.  He needed the car for work, to provide for our family.  It was a necessity for him, and my luxury was stripped from me.  In the blink of an eye, my freedom was gone.  Having a car is freedom, and nobody can tell me differently.  Hop on a bike and feel the wind on your face, yes, it too is freedom, but limited....

And so, I have become a passenger in life where I used to be a driver.   I no longer have transportation to allow me freedom, which I have had since my 16th birthday...

and I have felt crippled without a car.

And Saturday, I had the car, I had the music, I had my two boy passengers and I had freedom.  And boy, did it feel good.


Nearly Every Day

Nearly every day I open my blog and think about the long amount of time that has lapsed since my last post.  I want to write, to clear my mind in the only way which truly helps me, words in written form.  Yet I don't.  And I am not sure why, other than this feeling of failure that has been running through my head.  I see what I write and  as I reread through my history, I realize how many things I have vowed to improve upon, yet failed in being successful.  Though writing helps to line everything up and make it more workable in my mind, I still haven't pushed forth and made the changes to actually be a success.  And so, I need to write, but find the task daunting as it shows the failure within my life.

Today, and for the past week actually, I have had a headache which sucks the life out of me.  For every minute spent working, I need 10 to reenergize.  This headache, along with the stomach pain, has me slightly worried.  Like a little nagging worry in the back of my mind.  I'm sure it's nothing, but dang, it hurts.  Every tylenol I pop helps the pain temporarily subside, but very temporarily.  And sleeping is the only manner in which the pain is completely resolved, so I have been doing lots of that too.  I can't figure out why I am always dealing with health issues of one sort or another.  I consider my age, just 40, and worry about my future.  If I now am an unhealthy mess, what will I be at age 60 or 70 when age really starts becoming a contributing factor?  What can I do to guarantee a more healthy lifestyle?

My husband is going through changes within his company.  Not just a few little reorganisational changes, but changes in which his entire department is no longer employed.  Luckily, his job is still solid, in some form or another.  But for how long?  And will he be happy in his job being one of the 10 of 70 employees left with a salary?  I am scared for our financial future, as what will we do without his employment?  How will we make ends meet?  What will we lose?  When will I be allowed the extra of seeing my family, traveling to America?  Will he remain happily employed, or will the stress of a job search be on the horizon for our family?  And what are my expectations as provider for our family in the event he can't?  Will I, after all these years of unemployment, be forced to find work to bring our family some security?

My husband and I are going through another phase of change in our relationship.  I don't feel certain and secure and happy with the place we have fallen.  We have even discussed the possibility of going our separate ways, and what we need to do to assure this doesn't happen.  However, compromise isn't forthcoming.  Neither of us is willing to give in on certain points within our relationship, so we have come to a standstill, neither of us feeling happy or complete.  When I asked him if he thought we would be better off separating and he answered an honest Maybe, it scared me.  I don't want to be without him.  I love him deeply and truly, and he has given me more in my life than I ever imagined was possible.  However, it isn't always enough.  Maybe I need too much, maybe it is more than he can give, but it is still a need.  If he can't fulfill that need, is it fair for us to remain in our marriage, always striving to find a happiness we can never completely reach?  What exactly do we owe each other and ourselves?  Is it possible for us to be committed to each other if we are unable to compromise on certain aspects within our marriage and family life?  Is there a point in which you finally say enough is enough, or do you keep fighting, keep trying to make it a success?  We aren't unhappy together, but we aren't completely content and fulfilled either.  When I cried in his arms worried about our future together, he assured me we would find a way to make it through...yet since the tears dried up, we haven't made any positive moves to find any solutions.

Kaeden and Jari, Jari and Kaeden...my boys.  Both bring my heart such a fullness.  But being a mom is so difficult.  The choices I have had to make in regards to my children are some no parent should have to decide.  Everything I do, I do for them.  Sometimes it is right, sometimes wrong, but always what I feel is best at the time.  My love for them goes above and beyond anything I could have imagined.  I can't believe that God entrusted their care to me...that He felt I was the one up to the challenge.  I take that challenge in pride, but it has also torn me apart in so many ways.  I cannot believe how much I have aged in the past few years.  Both inside and outside.  I feel so worn out and exhausted, my gray hair rippling in the wind behind me.  I am grateful I had my children when I was young.  I couldn't have given them what they needed if I had been an older mom.  My level of patience has become far too thin.

Kaeden continues to offer me many challenges, the latest of which is stealing, but not only from us.  This creates an ache in me so deep, knowing that I have no control over the situation or what is to come from the situation.  It is out of my hands, and I only hope that one day he learns from his mistakes.  I know that day will come, I have faith in my son, but I only worry that it will come too late.  Kaeden learns, but it always comes too late...he just messes up all the good that comes his way.  I so wish I could get inside his mind, just learn to fully understand, figure out a course of action that will finally be the one thing that can help him.  Since I can't, all that is left is to be here to hug him and share my love with him and hope that it is enough.  The good news is that Kaeden is thriving in school (other than behavior issues), and they feel he is ready for the next scholastic step, which is work training which they are hoping to start next school year.  I think this could be a positive turning point for my son as he recognizes what it takes to make it in life, and is given the opportunity to prove what he can achieve.  He is such a people person, something they always claim autistics aren't...but my son, he takes his own road...

Jari has chosen to move up in the soccer world.  He signed his first contract with a higher level club a couple weeks back, and has his mind set on becoming a star.  He keeps telling me it is his dream...such a big dream for such a little boy.  I worry that we're allowing him to push too fast too soon, but I know the opportunity will be taken if we don't take the step.  When he went to his first training with his new club, he was in tears and wanted to quit, minutes before he had to sign a contract.  I didn't know what to do.  He felt he wasn't ready, that he wasn't good enough, that he didn't like the pressure.  While he showered, all I knew was that I came for an information meeting with the opportunity for him to sign on the dotted line.  When he joined us at the meeting, his resolve was as strong as ever.  I whispered that it was his call...he had to make the decision, that if he wasn't ready, he didn't have to do it.  I don't know what changed during his shower, but he chose to sign.  I know he is a good player.  The question is whether his personality and character is strong enough to balance his skill out.  He's a quiet, shy, closed kid...stubborn as can be...and when you get to know him his stubbornness outweighs his quiet and shy side.  He is also struggling in school this year, but even I have to admit that it is crazy difficult.  The turnover between 4th and 5th grade was far too challenging.  Jari can do the work, and does it well, but his organization and procrastination skills are what he has taken away from his mama....not something to make life simple.

I cut my finger this past week, and cannot believe how handicapped it has made me.  In one manner or another, my injured hand has been thoroughly damaged by this cut in my thumb.  I immediately felt the same disabling feeling as I did when my arm was first damaged.  That feeling of knowing something is wrong and can't be made right...since I cut my thumb, I am having all kinds of diffciulties using my hand again.  It sucks. My case is still pressing along, slowly and surely, and I hope it works out like tortoise and hare...

So, that's a 'short' update on life.  I enjoyed a visit with my parents the beginning of the month.  It was something I sincerely needed, having their hugs and presence in my life.  We called my uncle on his birthday and the tears flowed from every direction...he was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease.  What a heartbreak for us all.


Meeting of Hope

Tonight we go do some more problem solving with Kaeden's school. Yet another appointment to TRY to help our son. He isn't doing well, and the weight of his unhappiness is falling heavy on my shoulders. My heart aches for my son. I can no longer call him my little boy, at a whopping 17 years old and 6 feet, but he remains my child, my heart.

Kaeden has been reacting (overreacting) very aggressively the past couple of months. He has broken many things, but even bigger, he has also become physically aggressive towards people. When he physically assaulted me, I called the police for assistance. Who wants to make that kind of decision when it comes to her child? But it wasn't a decision I had to make. When my head got bashed into the wall, I knew it was time for intervention. That type of battery I can not accept from anyone, including my son. No, I am unwilling to accept being physically abused, or the abuse of other people. It is inhumane, and respect needs to be learned, whatever the cost.

The cost is high. My son no longer lives under my roof. He is *temporarily* living at his home away from home with a visit home on the weekend. And though his weekend visit home has been very positive and we've all had fun together without problems, the fact is that his behavior problems have moved to new ground: specifically, his group home. School is also a point of disaster. And everyone seems to be losing hope, losing the drive to further help him, becoming lost in a world of what do we do now?

The positive of all of this is that his group home now sees, instead of just hearing about, Kaeden's disruptive behavior, his outbursts and disrespect. His autism. The downside is that they aren't sure how to help him. My loving, sweet, happy kid with meldowns and outbursts has turned into a very unhappy, constantly disruptive, friendless young man. He hates his group home as the rules have become too overwhelming, and he often gets his rewards taken away, while he twiddles his thumbs in his lcoked up bedroom. The other guys living with him are tired of him and his ways, and most have turned their backs on the friendly kid who used to be their friend.

And my son calls me, something I consider a blessing, to bear his soul, cry, scream and curse. I promise him I will do all I can to help him. I thank him for confiding in me. I ask what I can do??? And he never knows how to help me to help him. He, too, is lost. And as I calmly speak to my son, reminding him how far respect goes, hwo we all care about him and want to help him, his tears echo in not only my ear, but my heart. I want to clasp him to me, envelop him in my love...but even that I cannot do and even as my soul aches, my mind is happy that he uses me as his out, calls me to help him through his time of need. And somewhere inside, I regretfully feel comfort in the fact that it didn't happen at home...that I wasn't subjected to his disrespect, his outburst, the fear. That for once, I can be his comfort, his sounding block, the place he turns when the world gets too much.

So, tonight we go meet with the group of 10 people all surrounding my son, doing what we can to try to help him, hoping that one day something will click and he will again become the happy, friendly kid that hates authority of any kind. That kid is easier to work with.

I hope we can come up with a plan. I'd like my kid to call me and say: Hi Mama, I'm having a GREAT day! That we could both (all) find comfort and feel the freshness of the wind on our face...not only that cold, bitter chill.


Stomach Pain

I have complained about having knots in my stomach before. Though I have never really dealt with any stomach problems, issues I have had with Kaeden have caused some bouts with an upset tummy. But this time, this time it's different.

Waiting for these biopsy results have given me a glimpse of what stomach pain means. I don't feel like I have to throw up, I don't feel like it's something I ate, but there is a pain inside that just never leaves. It's true stomach pain.

I am STILL waiting for my biopsy results. Every day, I wait til 10 am to call my doctor (her phone hours) and then again I watch the clock tick away until 6 (her other phone consults). And every day she tells me the same thing: I'm sorry, there is nothing yet.

Last night as I called her, I was shaking like a leaf. I could barely keep the phone to my ear, fearful of hearing either yes or no. In all honesty, I am scared of having cancer, but nearly as scared if it isn't. What is the problem if it isn't cancer? What will I have to do? Will I be scared every day of my life that somewhere lurking inside me is cancer? Will every pain I have in life make me think it is cancer? And if it is cancer, god forbid....

Last night, when my doc told me the results weren't in, I commented: Oh no. My husband was with me in the kitchen and I watched as his face turned to ash and he slowly moved to my side and rubbed my shoulder. "Bad news?" he asked, as I realized he had only heard "Oh no." I immediately eased his worry by telling him the results weren't in, but his ashen face remained in my mind as I completed the call. This has affected all of us. My husband is under as much stress as me. His worry comforts me, but makes me feel guilty as well. Just how much stress can a person take?

Every day, I have friends and family calling for news. I have a support system and that is so good. Last night, the phone rang 5 times, one call after another...as much as I appreciate the support and their worry over my health, it is also extremely nerve-wreaking when the phone does ring. Sends a bit of a shiver through my spine. It's hard to explain. It's very weird to have to report on findings that don't yet even exist.

My doctor is contacting the hospital today. She will be calling me this afternoon. What does that mean? 1pm? 4pm? 5:30? My nerves are buzzing. I can't stop shaking. It's strange, this shaking sensation that just doesn't stop. I wonder, should I take my son to his basketball tournament, and possibly miss THE call? Or should I sit and wait, as I have been doing for more than a week already? I am so angry at the hospital as they told me the results would be in on Monday. How dare they say Monday when it's Wednesday already, and I still have no answer. I will be writing a letter, informing them that their misguided information has caused my family and I extreme stress that is unneccessary. Had they said: Your reaults will be in the end of next week. I wouldn't be so uptight and tawt. But expecting something this serious on Monday and still waiting....it's unacceptable.

So, I continue to wait. Every tick on the clock feels like an hour. And the pain in my stomach, well, it sits there taunting me.


A Day Lasts Too Long

It's been awhile since I've written. I come, trying to find words, but can't. My mind is lost in a fog. So much has been happening around here, so much that makes 2012 to date a really shit year. I try to focus on the positive, but sometimes it is so hard.

Kaeden had his 17th birthday on January 12th. However, it was a very crappy celebration. My son was given no party, no cake, no gifts. The only thing that made his day memorable was mama coming to his home away from home to give him the news he was no longer welcome at home, until he could recognize that abusing people is not okay. I wrote my son an intimate letter, giving him my heart and my love, along with my support for him during his turmoil. I don't know if he is capable of understanding the meaning, but it was necessary for me to let him know that no matter what he does, I am always here for him.

He physically hurt me a few days before, and after emergency meetings with poilce, his school and home, we decided he needs time to recognize his actions are not okay, which resulted in him living away from home for awhile. He will only be coming home on Sundays for a few hours. It pains me, but my hope is that he grasp just some little piece of the message. If he chooses to hurt people, his life will change and not for the better. Sundays are my happy day, when we are all together, doing family stuff, and laughing and playing together without any fights or pain.

My mother-in-law had a heart bypass. It was a scary time and she is still in the hospital, but came out of surgery fine. When we visited her before her operation, she was in a panic and scared of dying. It was difficult for me as I have always seen her as such a strong woman. It gave me a sampling of how important she is in my life, how we should never take those important for granted. I hope her recovery is quick and easy for her. She deserves a little break from pain and health issues.

I found a lump on my left breast. After going to the doctor and subsequently having an ultrasound and mammogram done, there was question as to whether I have breast cancer. I waited for my MRI feeling positive and faithful that all would be just fine. However, after having my MRI read, I was sent for an emergency biopsy. When I asked how things looked, the lady told me she coulkdn't tell me anything until after the biopsy results come back. I suggested that she does hundreds of these tests a day and would like a little clue. Her answer, with a gentle hand on my shoulder, was: It doesn't look good.

I am supposed to receive the results of my biopsy today. It has been a horrendous week. Walking around wondering if you have cancer is the most stressful thing to go through. Every little "symptom" I have points to cancer. PLaying with my children brings on tears as I wonder if cancer will take me from them. Making love to my husband brings about a wave of emotion and fear I didn't know was hidden inside. HIs kisses to assure me only make the tears fall harder.

I called my doctor for the results. They aren't in yet, and she won't be there to get them this afternoon. I have another day of waiting, of fear and of wondering. I have another day of feeling my breast, checking my lymph nodes, pain in my stomach. Touching this body that somehow doesn't feel like my own, like it is a shell housing an amotional wreck inside, looking through the mirror at hollow eyes with black circles under them, wondering if the black circles are caused by worry or by a cancerous beast living inside me.

I need to know. I pray the results are negative. One day I am upbeat and feel so sure, and the next I whimper like a baby certain I am going to die. I don't need to hear breast cancer statistics, that it isn't a death sentence. I don't need to hear that I will be supported. I don't need to hear that so many lumps turn out to be nothing. I don't need to hear that I can't do anything about it anyway...I just need to hear the word Negative....that's when it will be okay.

One more day...just taking it one day at a time. But oh, how long a day lasts...