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Monday, March 31, 2014

I used to believe

Years have passed since I was placed on this great planet we call Mother Earth. And in all of these years I've been blessed with life, I've screwed up a lot, but I've also gotten my fair share of things right. I've been knocked down more times than I can to count, but I've gotten up one more time than I've been knocked down. I've learned more than I can retain, and I've lost more knowledge than I've learned. And in this all of this screwing up and getting things right, being knocked down and getting up, and learning and forgetting, I've gained a little insight into life, love and family. Things I used believe were true, based on adages and a passing down of knowledge, are now giving way to new truths which I've  based on life being lived and lived well.

I used to believe that actions speak louder than words. I used to want the big, showy fireworks in life. I wanted the actions. But I've come to learn that actions and words have to match each other. I have had people in my life who look like they treat me nicely. They do what they're supposed to do. They buy cards and gifts for birthdays, Christmases and holidays. But their spoken words are biting and cutting. I've had people in my life who have told me they love me and they love being in my life, but they have treated me with indifference and coldness. I had to step away and say, "I deserve better." I want actions and words to match. I'd like kind deeds to be done but kind words have to follow and if I can't have both, I'd rather have kind words.

This is what I want my children to learn and hold true to their hearts...Your actions should match your words. Say, "I love you" with softness in your voice and show, "I love you" with the warmth of your actions. And if you find you have people in your life whose actions and words don't match...walk away.

I used to believe family was made up of people in your life who raised you or who you married. What I've found is that family is also created with people who love you. Unconditionally. Family is there for you when you need them. More often than not it's been "family" who has stepped in and stepped up when times got tough. Through each of my three pregnancies and one miscarriage it was the "family" we built who rallied around us when we needed support, love and guidance. The day we found out we lost our last baby, our faith sharing family came to our house bearing dinner to nourish us, arms to help hug away the pain and words of comfort to ease the anguish of losing a little life. They were our family when we needed something more than just Jenni and Stan and the kids to get through a rough time. Family doesn't have to be created by blood or marriage. Family is something bigger. Family is love.

What I want my children to know is that they can make family out of anyone. I grew up as a military brat and went on to marry into the army. Family bloomed wherever we were planted. Friends became the family we didn't have around. I want my kids to know family lives where there is love, whether it's created by blood, marriage or just plain, ol' love.

When I was in high school and college I used to believe that the clothes make the person. You had to dress right, had to have the right brand of clothes, the right sense of style and be dressed well all the time. I still believe I need to dress well and present the best side of me I can, but I no longer believe that if someone is well dressed, with the right brand of clothes and a fabulous sense of style they are a wonderful person. I've met too many good people who wear what they want to wear, their style is their own, they don't dress to impress anyone but themselves and are beyond kind and more than successful. And their success shines through in their character. I've met many well dressed, well put together people who are the epitome of spiteful, rude and just plain, ol' ugly. All I have to do is watch how these people treat service workers, the servers at a restaurant or the cashiers in a store, and I know exactly the type of person they are. I see their mottled character through their fancy clothes. So I've learned that clothes don't necessarily make a person successful, it takes character to makes a person successful.

What I want  my children to understand is that character and success in life go hand in hand. Someone can be well dressed with all the right clothes in all the right brands, but if their character is tarnished and flawed, I want my kiddos to keep on walking.

The last saying flows right into the next life lesson I used to believe, or at least tried to believe. "Never judge a book by its cover." I tried hard to believe this one, until I got older. I tried hard to not judge a book (or a person) by its (or their) cover, but now I have to believe it's more than a little true. Sometimes we need to judge a book by its cover. And if we're honest, we'll admit we all do it. We all look at someone and judge them, instantly. And we usually know, in that instant, whether they are the type of person worth having in our lives, but only if we really listen to our gut instincts. Years ago, I met this guy. He seemed pretentious, stuck up, snotty, cold and aloof, all of the things I never wanted in a guy I was dating. But my guy friends loved him. They defended him and they encouraged me to go out with him. They said I was shallow when I told them he wasn't a person I wanted to date. They said I just needed to get to know him better. I dated him for nine months. Nine months of my life were wasted on this guy. He turned out to be a bigger asshole than even my gut instinct told me at first. He was conceited, arrogant, mean-spirited, detached and a user (not drugs, just people). I should have gone with my gut. I should have trusted myself when I judged him by his cover. But I didn't and I spent nine long months always wondering why I should even like this guy, always wondering why he treated me so poorly, wondering why I let him treat me so poorly. It's because I didn't trust myself, or my gut instinct, and remember that sometimes it's OK to judge a book by its cover.

I want my children to learn to trust their instincts and realize it's ok to, sometimes, judge a book by its cover. It's OK to let yourself seem shallow when you judge someone with your gut. Not only is it OK to trust your gut, sometimes trusting your judgment could save not only your heart, but your life as well.

I used to believe a lot of things I was told to believe. But now, I've learned and grown. Now, I know actions and words have to match, family is wherever there is love, character is what makes a person and sometimes judging a book by its cover is necessary. I'm glad I've grown a little. I'm glad I've been pushed down and gotten back up. I'm glad I've learned a lot and forgotten more. But most of all I'm glad I have things I used to believe.

Oh, for the love of my children...

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'd give anything

The other day we were sitting around talking about the last few weeks at our house. From the chaos of my dad's heart attack to Lucas's surgery to Claire's surgery and her illness, it's been a crazy-stressful time around here. As we were all talking I was told, "Just be thankful you don't have little ones anymore and you don't have to worry about fevers. So and So's little one had a fever while they were on vacation. Now that is stressful." I'm not going to take anything away from the stress of little ones with fevers, but that statement struck a nerve with me because at this point, I do anything to deal with little ones and fevers. 

I'd give anything to sit and rock my babies, comforting them as we rocked and rocked and rocked away their sicknesses. Instead I send one of my big ones into the shower alone after knee surgery and hope and pray he doesn't stumble and fall, ripping open his incision or his stitches in the process. 

I'd give anything to snuggle with my little ones when they needed a little extra loving. But instead, I stroke their hair and try to offer what comfort I can when they get sick after their general anesthesia begins to wear off and the nausea settles in. 

I'd give anything to have a little one with a fever instead of a big one with a broken heart. 

I'd give anything to be able to sit in a rocking chair and read a favorite book instead of having everyone go their separate ways after dinner. 

At this point, I'd give anything to smell the sweet innocence of a baby fresh out of the tub instead the pungent aroma of bag full of smelly lacrosse, hockey or swim gear. 

Right now, I'd give anything to hold one of my babies instead of thinking about graduation day.

Today, I'd give anything to sit and croon to my babies, trying desperately to make them feel better when they're sick. Instead I wonder and worry who will take care of Zach when he gets sick at college next year. Who will be there to make him feel better? It won't be me.

I'd give anything to not worry about my dad and his health and all that life, as part of the sandwich generation, is throwing at me. I'd give anything to turn back the clock to a time when he was healthy and vibrant and thriving, instead of seeing him frail, small and always cold. 

Right  now, I'd give anything to have a little one with a fever in my arms. Life goes too fast. And I'd give anything to rewind, just for a week, a day or even a minute. 

I'd give anything...for the love of my children...

I'd give anything

The other day we were sitting around talking about the last few weeks at our house. From the chaos of my dad's heart attack to Lucas's surgery to Claire's surgery and her illness, it's been a crazy-stressful time around here. As we were all talking I was told, "Just be thankful you don't have little ones anymore and you don't have to worry about fevers. Now that is stressful." I'm not going to take anything away from fevers and little ones, but that sentiment struck a nerve with me because at this point, I do anything to deal with little ones and fevers.

I'd give anything to sit and rock my babies, comforting them as we rocked and rocked and rocked away their sicknesses. Instead I send one of my big ones into the shower alone after knee surgery and hope and pray he doesn't stumble and fall, ripping open his incision or his stitches in the process. 

I'd give anything to snuggle with my little ones when they needed a little extra loving. But instead, I stroke their hair and try to offer what comfort I can when they get sick after their general anesthesia begins to wear off and the nausea settles in. 

I'd give anything to have a little one with a fever instead of a big one with a broken heart. 

I'd give anything to be able to sit in a rocking chair and read a favorite book instead of having everyone go their separate ways after dinner. 

At this point, I'd give anything to smell the sweet innocence of a baby fresh out of the tub instead the pungent aroma of bag full of smelly lacrosse, hockey or swim gear. 

Right now, I'd give anything to hold one of my babies instead of thinking about graduation day.

Today, I'd give anything to sit and croon to my babies, trying desperately to make them feel better when they're sick. Instead I wonder and worry who will take care of Zach when he gets sick at college next year. Who will be there to make him feel better? It won't be me.

I'd give anything to not worry about my dad and his health and all that life, as part of the sandwich generation, is throwing at me. I'd give anything to turn back the clock to a time when he was healthy and vibrant and thriving, instead of seeing him frail, small and always cold. 

Right  now, I'd give anything to have a little one with a fever in my arms. Life goes too fast. And I'd give anything to rewind, just for a week, a day or even a minute. 

I'd give anything...for the love of my children...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Help

Every morning I get a thought of the day delivered to my phone from Real Simple magazine. Most of the time, these thoughts of the day inspire me through my own day. Sometimes they make me giggle. And sometimes I have no earthly idea what they mean. But yesterday's thought of the day touched a nerve and has kept coming back to the forefront of my mind. Because this thought of the day summed up life around here lately....



Since February 26th we have had one heart attack, complete with and eight day stay in the hospital. We've had three surgeries. (One of the surgeries was part of the heart attack repairment plan.) One was to repair a torn meniscus. And one was minor, so very minor (it was to get rid of a pyogneic granuloma on a finger), but it was still surgery nonetheless. 

From February 26th to March 6 I was back and forth to the hospital untold numbers of times to visit my dad after his heart attack. I tried to make sure my mom had dinner on the nights when she was exhausted from sitting with my dad waiting to talk to doctors, waiting for results or just keeping him company. I tried to make sure to have dinner at their door after my dad came home, and when I knew my mom was bottoming out on energy. I'm fortunate, so very fortunate, that my parents are here and I'm able to force my help on them because my father will never ask for help and he will make sure my mom won't overstep her "bounds" by "imposing" on us. 

Since March 14th I've had Lucas home, on and off (but mostly on) since his surgery to repair his knee. He had a torn meniscus and it was far worse than we anticipated. He had an MRI so we knew it was damaged, but Lucas, being Lucas, didn't sit still during the MRI (he says he was never told to stay still so he didn't), so we didn't know how bad the tear actually was until the surgeon got in there. Once in surgery he saw that Lucas had a near bucket handle tear of his meniscus, which is now stitched together with four large sutures. Lucas has been a model patient. He listened to the doctor, stayed off his feet, kept his leg elevated and kept the ice pack flowing over his knee. He's kept the brace on and is behaving. And for the first time in a long time, he's letting me help him. He can't do it all alone and I think he's enjoying (secretly) being doted on just a little. Lucas is the one who doesn't ask for much help and thrives on doing as much as he can for himself. So I'm glad he's letting me help and baby and love on him a little. 

Yesterday Claire went under the knife, and general anesthesia, for her procedure. It was an easy enough procedure, but the drugs used to put her to sleep made her woozy, groggy and feeling altogether blechy. I got her home from her procedure, tucked her into bed to let her sleep off the effects of anesthesia. But not long we got home, and right around the same time Lucas was delivered home to me by my mom, Claire texted and asked for some water. I obliged and seconds later she went running for the bathroom where she promptly emptied the water from her stomach. 'Nuff said. I tucked her back in our bed and gave her the remote for the TV, and told her I'd bring food after her tummy had time to settle a little. Claire, too, prefers to be a little self-sufficient in most aspects of her life, but she has let me help her, cater to her and take care of her a little. 

I can't tell you how much support and help I've gotten since these events all started and seem to keep going like a wildfire burning. I'm not sure I would have survived without my friends asking me about my dad, checking up on me, sending dinners, sending love, sending little care packages for the kids and just all around being there. 

But yesterday I saw this and thought, "This is the 'help' I need...."




I bought the magazine, brought it home, showed it to Stan and told him, "This is what I  need." And then the guilt hit a little, because I know there are so many others who have it so much worse than I do. I'm lucky and blessed. I have help  when I need it (and even when I don't know I need it) and I'm able to help when I need to. It's part of being human and, I guess it really is part of nature's "laws." This is what we do. We help when we can and we're helped when we need it. And I'm glad I can. 

Oh, for the love of all...



Monday, March 17, 2014

Be careful what you wish for

With the passing of each day this year, as we've gotten closer and closer to Zach's graduation, I've been wishing time would slow down and take a pause. And it has. The winter weather has definitely made us all slow down, and not just a little bit, quite a lot. We've had 11 snow days so far with the possibility of more, either tomorrow or sometime next week. In all of these snow days we've had a lot of togetherness and have enjoyed a slower pace of life.

In fact, we've had so much togetherness and enjoyed such a slower pace of life, today the words, "Be careful what you wish for" started rolling through my brain. And they're rolling more and more quickly as the kids go screaming through the house, pounding up and down the stairs, laughing shriekily at their own goofiness.

Let me set the stage....

I have Lucas home in a knee brace and on crutches from his surgery last week. He has yet to step out of the house and I think the confinement is finally getting to him. He's watched enough episodes/seasons of Breaking Bad to know exactly how to make the blue stuff from the show. He's now "killed" so many people on Call of Duty that he could combine them with the folks from Breaking Bad to start a new game and name it Breaking the Call or Duty Calls Me to Break Bad. And I think he's beginning to lose his mind a little, or maybe it's the pain killers. I'm not sure what's causing it, but he's been hobbling around singing goofy songs with his shorts hanging down below his rear. He'd be here whether we had a snow day or not, so I can't say be careful what you wish for because of him.

The other two, I definitely can.

Claire has either been my shadow and stuck to my side or baking like a crazy fool, encouraging all of us to eat her yummy concoctions. I can't even get into my kitchen. She's taken over. When she's not baking or by my side, she's wandering around the house making strange noises and encouraging Bella, our very fluffy golden retriever, to act like a complete nutter and shed all over everything she looks at.

Then there's Zach. He's the whole reason I want life to slow down a bit. His time here is quickly and quietly slipping away. But even when he's here, sometimes he's not really here. He's on the third floor, tucked away. But on these snow days he comes down out of his roost to rile the masses. His 18 year-old enthusiasm tears quickly through the house with Bella right on his heels. He giggles like a little girl being chased by her school-girl crush as Bella works hard to find him in his twisted little game of hide-and-seek with the dog. The two of them mess curtains up, throw rugs to the side, jump on furniture and all-in-all make a giant mess of my downstairs. I guess life really doesn't slow down when you're 18 and on the precipice of adulthood.

And then there's the weather from hell. My idea of hell isn't fire and brimstone. My idea of hell is a frozen arctic tundra, all white and icy. This weather, this winter is my idea of hell. So why I've wished for more snow days is something that is completely and totally beyond me. I hate winter, especially this winter, with a passion. This is my idea of hell on earth.

OK. So, I've wished for life to slow down and it has. But I really need to be careful what I wish for. The winter weather won't end. The kids, though no longer little, still work to keep life more than interesting when they're home from school on snow days. I'm really questioning my wishes for more and more and more togetherness. I'm on the verge of too much togetherness. I'm on the verge of being the one sitting in a padded room with a pretty white jacket on all because what I've wished for. I really need to be more careful.

Oh, for the love of my children....

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sometimes

Sometimes in life you just need to sit back and look at the little parts of your picture...you know, the ones that keep the big part of your picture sparkling clean. Here, in this very blog, these are some of the ones I've come up with in the past couple of days. Some of these are things that keep me sane and happy and healthy when the big picture of life starts getting a little spotted and unfocused, some are just daily observations and some are unrealized necessities.

Sometimes you need a big ol' belly rub, a sit on the floor with a white fluffy dog kind of belly rub.
But sometimes just a good scratch behind the ears is enough to get you through.
Sometimes you need to sit alone and reflect on the good and the bad.
Sometimes you need to party like it's 1999.
Sometimes you need a nice cup of tea.
But sometimes only a glass of wine (or two or three) will do.
Sometimes the chatter of your children is music to your ears.
Sometimes their chatter is like fingernails on a chalkboard and all you want them to do is be quiet.
Sometimes life moves too quickly.
But sometimes the day-to-day drudgery drags on and on and on.
Sometimes you want a pause button to appreciate the scene of life playing out before you right here and right now.
Sometimes you need a brisk walk with a faithful companion. The four legged or two legged varieties work equally as well.
Sometimes it's ok to cry your eyes out and let your heart break a little.
Sometimes you want a knight in shining armor.
Sometimes you need a swift kick in the pants to realize you can be your own knight in shining armor.
Sometimes you need to retreat quietly and lick your wounds.
Sometimes you need to stand toe to toe with someone and defend what your heart needs.
Sometimes you need an unrequested, wrap you up, kind of hug.
Sometimes it feels really good to be the little spoon.
But sometimes you need to step up and be the big spoon.
Sometimes even a mom needs to be mothered a little.

Oh, for the love of my children...

Friday, March 7, 2014

Poor, Little Lucas

In all of his life, Lucas has been the one who has suffered through the most, medically speaking anyway.

It all started right after he turned two. He suffered through ear infection after ear infection after ear infection which lead to tubes, tubes and more tubes. Lucas had three or four sets of tubes before he turned seven. Right after Claire was born he had his head stitched shut when he tried to "fly" from the couch through the air. Lucas had a bought of toxic synovitis, which landed him in the hospital for three days waiting to see what, if anything, needed to be done. He had a mastoidectomy to clear infected fluid out from his inner ear. And Lucas has had a hole in one of his eardrums repaired twice, all before he hit double digits.

When he was little and an ear infection would hit, he would cry and sob and rock back and forth in extreme pain. The pain from the toxic synovitis was so bad they had to give him morphine in the hospital. None of this was life threatening or terribly scary for us...well, maybe the toxic synovitis was a little scary until we knew what it was ~ an infection of the synovial fluid surrounding his hip joints. So I have to say, we've been fortunate in all of these little blips in Lucas' life.

Now that he's older his tolerance for pain is nearly unbelievable. He broke his thumb a couple of years ago when he was sledding and wanted to continue playing and sliding down the icy hill. Lucas separated his should playing hockey and it wasn't until a couple of days afterward that he came to me and said, "Mom, does this shoulder look normal?" I took one look and called the doctor. In both of those instances he never complained. He never said something hurt or "Woe is me." He's a tough, little nut.

So, now he's headed in for another surgery on different part of his body. In one of his last hockey games of the season, he went down hard on his knee. We knew he injured it but with ice, time and rest we thought it would heal. No such luck. It's a meniscus tear, the doctor said. It needs to be repaired with surgery, Lucas heard. His face blanched as white as it did when the doctor pressed on the injured part of his knee. Lucas knows all too well what surgery entails...

But his face brightened when he was told he would get special treatment at school. A letter would be sent in requesting a five minute early dismissal for all classes and, most importantly, use of the elevator. Lucas is all in now.

He's so far in, in fact, that he came home from his appointment, got out his long board and took off down the road. He figures if he has to have surgery anyway it's not going to hurt a thing to go ahead and enjoy the time before he goes down. A funny, little aside to the story is that the doctor doesn't exactly know how bad the tear is because the pictures were fuzzy. He reprimanded Lucas for not holding still during his MRI and Lucas responded, "I was never told I had to stay still." Ah, sweet Lucas.

So, yesterday I called Lucas' primary care doctor to get an appointment  to let the surgery center know he's healthy enough to undergo this procedure. The receptionist asked for his date of birth and when I gave it to her she asked, "Oh, is this for Lucas?"

I told her it was and she said, "OH, the poor guy."

"I know," was my reply.

"Oh dear. Oh dear. Tsk. That's just awful. Poor, little Lucas," she said.

"Well, I have to say I'm glad it's getting fixed," I said.

"Tsk. True. But still. Poor Lucas," she went on.

"Yeah, I know but he'll bounce back quickly. He's young and healthy," I said hoping to end the conversation before she put him on his death bed for a meniscus repair.

What a strange and surreal experience it was to console a doctor's receptionist. And I hope I never have to do it again, especially not for poor, little Lucas.

Oh, for the love of my children...


Monday, March 3, 2014

Once upon a time and an ugly mark

Once upon a time we lived in different city, on another cul-de-sac filled with other friends and neighbors. It was a wonderful little cul-de-sac brimming with friends for our kids and family life for us. Our house was perfect. It had a revolving door allowing kids and friends to come and go with abandon.

I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately, thinking about his little cul-de-sac and all of its inhabitants. I've been going back there in my mind lately. I would love for you to join me on a stroll down memory lane back to my once-upon-a-time?

On this past cul-de-sac, with our other friends and neighbors, we lived across the street from a couple who had three adopted daughters. They were three of the most beautiful, and well loved, girls I've met. If I remember correctly all three came from different mothers, and all three of the mothers were addicted to various bad substances while they were pregnant with these girls. The three girls were vastly different in appearance and personality. One of the girls had special needs. She had club feet, medical challenges and developmental disabilities. But she was sweet, loving and thriving.  One was a whirling dervish of sometimes devilish behavior. She was a feisty, little thing who fought hard for time and attention, and her mischievous glint made her hard to resist. The third was quiet and shy, who rarely sought the spot light on herself, but she gave her love and heart freely. I just wanted to scoop her up and love on her. Being an adoptee myself, my heart opened wide for these beautiful girls. All three girls came from the same group home where their mother worked as a nurse. Their parents opened their hearts, and home, wide for children who could easily been discarded by society because they were born to mothers who were addicted to things no one should ever put in their bodies. And all three of these beautiful girls had the potential to end up as waste-away, crack babies. But they weren't discarded. They were taken home and raised with love, care and concern.

Another set of neighbors worked for the university in our city. They worked in the criminal justice research department. Their work was used to assist police departments in their investigations of possible child abuse. This couple's research included using child-sized, crash-test dummies to determine what kinds of injuries could be the result of true accidents or if a child's injuries were caused by abuse. They had no children of their own, but they worked hard to make sure that the littlest victims were able to get a day in court because their research. They worked hand in hand with the police force and witnessed injuries so horrific, neither you, nor I could imagine. Their work made the world a little safer for all of our children.

You might be asking yourself, what is so special about both of these couple that would make me want to take you on my trip down memory lane? They're just two other couples doing what all of us are doing, working hard and raising families. They are no different from you and me. They get up in the morning. They put their pants on the same way we do...one foot at a time. They get ready for work. Get their kids ready for school. They leave. They work hard. They come home. They commit themselves to each other and their family. They are just like you and me. Except for one small detail...they are lesbians.

So now, maybe you're wondering why, in heaven's name, I took you on this trip down memory lane. Well, I've been going down it myself for the past couple of weeks. I've been reading, watching, absorbing a lot of the issue of gay marriage lately. I can't get it off my mind. It's taken hold, and taken root in my mind, because of the massive press it's receiving. It started with Michael Sams, the Mizzou football player who announced to the world he's gay and then it went on to the Ellen Degeneres interview with Dale Hansen, the "old, fat, white" sportscaster from Dallas, Texas, who shared his views about Michael Sams. And I have to say, in reading about and watching interviews, I can't wrap my head around what the giant fuss is all about when it comes to gay marriage and gay love. I truly don't understand it at all. Life is all about love. It's all about commitment. It's about families. It's all about creating memories with those you love and who love you in return. And, to me, that's what our former neighbors worked so hard to achieve.

I think this where I might lose a few of you, but I hope not. I hope you keep reading until the end. I hope you hear me out.

Above, I described to you two couples who are fabulous members of society.

Think about this for a minute. Would you adopt three daughters from women who spent their entire pregnancies addicted to crack? Would you take that chance? I didn't, and I'm an adoptee. Would you spend your days and nights working with crash test dummies to determine whether a child, who is admitted to the hospital with injuries more horrific than you or I can imagine, was abused by the hands of someone who was supposed to be caring for that child? I wouldn't. It would break my heart. Yet, these two women go to work everyday and work to help protect other people's children. These four women live and love with passion and grace in the face of a government, and society, who wants to shun them for loving each other.

Why is it up to you, me and the government to deny them the right to marry and make their families legal in the eyes of the law?  Why? Why should governments be allowed to tell anyone who they can or can't love and marry? Why should anyone be allowed to tell someone else how to create a family?

I think about it this way...

Years ago (many, many years ago) babies like me ~ the unwanted, the unplanned, the unmentionable, the ones called bastards were discarded. Babies like me weren't destined to be anything in life. We were placed in orphanages and left there. No one wanted these dregs of society. No one wanted the castoffs. Families were families, and they were built by blood, by God. No one wanted to build a family with fatherless bastards. I'll say it again, I was one of those babies. But times changed, and I was able to be part of a family who raised me and loved me.  Instead of being cast off into oblivion, I was gifted with a family because society's views shifted for the greater good of humanity.

Society's views need to shift again.  Society needs to understand that the more stable we are, with family being valued more than angry, archaic rhetoric, the better we all are. Families are families no matter how they're built. People deserve to love and marry those who make their hearts happy. People deserved to be loved by those who treat them with love and respect.We are all guaranteed the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness.Why should anyone be denied the right to a family because old, archaic views are still in place?

And why is it some of those who champion the rights of the unborn babies are the same ones who are denying the rights of gays and lesbians to marry? How the heck does that make sense? A baby is a human being from the moment it's conceived, they say. It deserves our protection, they say. Well, then shouldn't that translate into respecting, and protecting, that same person when they grow up...even if that baby grows up to find themselves loving their same gender? Or does it only apply to the heterosexual babies who were born instead of aborted?

Like I said above, there are many interviews, stories and blogs and I've been checking them all out. But this is one of my favorites. I found it on Upworthy, and can't stop thinking about it.





If you don't feel like watching it, I'll sum it up. In this video heterosexual people are asked when they chose to be straight. It's more than remarkable when it hits those interviewed that they didn't choose to be straight. They were just born that way.

I didn't choose to like guys. I just did. From the time I realized there was a difference between boys and girls, men and women, I liked guys. They made my heart go pitter-patter. Women didn't do that for me. They never have. They never will. I was born liking guys.

In the same way, a gay guy will never be attracted to woman and a lesbian woman won't be attracted to a man. They are born the way they're born. And maybe they were a baby who was saved from being terminated because their mother saw an anti-abortion add put out by some of the very same people who want to deny them the freedom to marry the love of their life and create a family with children who might not ever have one.

I truly don't understand what the fuss is all about. Families create stability. Stability creates better societies. Better societies produce stability.  It's a wonderful circle and it makes sense.

OK, so if you've stuck with me this far and are shaking your head in disbelief at my words, thinking I'm blasphemous, I'll go on to defend my stance by saying that I have to believe the God who rules our universe wouldn't create a person who was so unworthy of love they didn't deserve to be validated in the eyes of society. The God I believe in is a good and kind and loving God who wants the best for all of us. I truly believe he (or she) is there to love and protect us. We are the ones who screw things up.

Let's look for a minute at the bible. It's full of lots of wonderful things, like how to live life and love. But the bible was written by many fallible men. Maybe, in certain instances, they didn't quite hear what was being said. Or maybe, in some passages, they totally screwed up the translation of what was said. I say this because I have to believe the God of our universe is out to love and protect us. The God of my world isn't going to put people on this Earth who are unworthy of the blessings of love, commitment and family. We are the ones who impose these rules on who can and can't get married. We are the ones who put labels on people. I'll say it again, the Bible was written by men, or more broadly people, and sometime people screw stuff up. So, I'll continue to say the God I believe in wants us to love and honor one another. I have not made an exhaustive search of the Bible, but I have it on good authority that nowhere in the bible does it say, "Thou shalt be right." It does, however say, "Thou shalt love one another as I have loved you."And so we should. End of story.

This is how I will raise my children. This is what I will teach them to believe. Every one of us, regardless of how we start out in life, or how (or to whom) we are born, are worthy of love, respect and the right to marry. I hope I can teach my kiddos well enough so that societal "norms" will shift again to accept what is now an ugly mark on our small world.

Oh, for the love of my children...