Sunday, January 18, 2015

Remembering Mom: 12/2/1926 - 1/17/2014

I lied to my mother. Frequently! In fact, almost every time I saw her for the past two years of her life. I became adept at it. I never felt guilty either, not even as a Christian. The lies kept her happy.

Yesterday, January 17, 2015, marked a year since Mom went home to heaven. She was preceded by my father and ten siblings. She was the last one left. Those last two years, she was in a care facility and had health issues typical for someone in their eighties.

The worst to deal with, though, for me as a daughter was her dementia. She would cry and beg to go home with me. I learned to lie and say, “Maybe another day, Mom.” She would stop crying and smile. She wouldn’t remember that I told her that, but for the moment it alleviated her sorrow.

She would ask about her brothers and sisters, some who had departed this life many years ago. I would hug her and say, “No, I haven’t talked to Uncle Paul lately. (or Aunt Nola or other aunt or uncle).” She would smile and say, “Me either. Maybe tomorrow.” 

The first time I told her my Uncle Allen had been dead for years, she cried like the loss was fresh. So I started lying when she asked these questions about her siblings. I didn’t tell her when her last living sibling, my Aunt Esther, died.

Mom always remembered I was her daughter but she had no idea what my name was. Sometimes I was Shelly or Judy or Carol. She didn’t remember my children or grandchildren, and the many faces confused her and made her cry.

She was a simple woman with only an eighth grade education. She wasn’t very smart intellectually, but she was one of the most creative and resourceful women I knew.  I learned from her how to stretch a dollar, how to make a tasty meal from leftovers, and how to find resourceful ways to make money. I learned that hard work and honesty are virtues to be proud of.

I miss you, Mom. The picture is of me and my sister with Mom on Thanksgiving 2013. It was less than two months before Mom passed away, and the last time I got to bring her to my house. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Books I've Read So Far in 2015

I love to read, but sometimes I hate to start a new book. Why? Because I can become consumed with reading, letting things fall to the wayside so I can finish a book. Sound familiar to anyone?

One of my favorite suspense authors is Brandilyn Collins. I just finished her book Dark Pursuit. Before that I read her book Exposure. She is a Christian author, but Christianity plays a subtle role in her suspense novels. Her suspense, though, keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages. If you like good, clean suspense, try any of Brandilyn's books.

Also, if you like suspense and want to read Christian authors, try Ted Dekker and Colleen Coble.

I'm currently reading a few books, Finding Mr. Write by Carol Moncado, Double Vision by Randy Ingermanson, By The Light of the Silvery Moon by Tricia Goyer. I know I'll finish Tricia Goyer's first because out of the three, this has held my interest the most.

Yesterday I purchased for my Kindle a short story/book Red Skies by Shari Broyer. I got it because it was free and I know Shari. I finished it in about an hour. It was a decent, short story and held my interest. I wouldn't give it five stars, though, although I like Shari and feel bad for saying that. I have to be truthful.

Also, so far this year of 2015, I read When We Were On Fire: A Memoir of Consuming Faith, Tangled Love, and Starting Over by Addie Zierman. I got this -- and paid over $10 for the Kindle version, and I NEVER pay that much for a Kindle book -- because someone I trust in the community of writers gave it five stars and a glowing review. I have to be honest, this book disturbed me.

I found Addie to be shallow. She made herself the "victim" in every chapter. Over things that weren't that traumatic. Maybe it's just me, and many who read her book will criticize me for criticizing Addie, but that's how I felt.

I plan to do a blog about the book. But for now, I encourage you to read. Read for entertainment. Read to study how other authors wield their style of writing. Read because all good writers are readers.

My pile of books to be read -- both literal and in my Kindle -- make me groan!

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Resolutions: Bah humbug!

So here I am, the 5th day into this new year of 2015. As usual this time of year, my thoughts go to New Year Resolutions. I love making them, setting goals and plans, dreaming of something more for me and my loved ones, determined to accomplish more. Always declaring: This will be my year!

I want 2015 to be my year!

Alas, life always gets in my way and thwarts my noble intentions. Every single year! Oh, and I do get distracted so easily. Sidetracked! Knocked off the path! It's like I have dual personalities. One is named Want-ita. She wants to do certain things - follow the to-do list, pursue goals and passions. The other is Looky-lou. She says, "Looky, need to do this instead." And Want-ita and Looky-lou are polar opposites, pulling me in different directions. I should create a new character.  After all, I AM a writer. I'll call her Lou-ita. She'll (I'll) be as perfect as possible in her/my flawed and imperfect humanity.

My 2015 resolutions follow the same trend as many years: read my Bible more and pray more, lose weight and exercise more, embrace a healthier lifestyle. But this year I feel that embracing a healthier lifestyle is a must. I'm not young. I need more energy. I felt like I had to drag myself around last year. I need to stay medically as healthy as possible. I NEED to do this. So I am going to be determined this year to accomplish this.

In 2014, I felt stagnant with my writing. I had ideas, plenty of ideas, but no motivation. When I did write, I forced it. There wasn't any joy or pleasure in it. That has got to change this year. I want it to change. I am praying for fresh passion and motivation.

I have many "wants" for 2015. I want my son to be delivered from alcohol and quit sucking life from all of us with his self-centered drama. I want all of my family to serve Christ. I want to pay off some nagging debt. I want to be so consumed with Christ that the troubles of life pale in comparison.

Life rolls on, folks. You can roll with it or let it roll over you. Me: I'll get my skates and roll on. Or I'll let Lou-ita do that. But let's all declare to do everything within our power to make 2015 our year!