Brain Farts

Every now and again my brain dos something ridiculous that embarrass me. we call them Brain Farts.

I had a friend who took me in to shop and a couple of a ppointments. We happily went through TimH’s drive thru and bought sandwhiches. She handed them over for m4 to hold while she ran an errand. She said to go ahead and eat. So I did. the sandwhiches where not labelled so I grabbed the top one. by the time she got back I realized I had just eaten her lunch. OOPS!!she was forgiving and said “You ar allowed brain farts now and then” What a gracious friend!

kristin and IThis is one of my people who made going to  a nursing home more pleasant than it was. She has been a true friend and incredibly intuitive in her helpfulness. S thankful for people like Kristin who have come to us and ministered to us in many ways.

Nice Bread

Here we were, at our friend’s house. Our whole family there to enjoy Valentine’s Day supper. They can COOK! Oh my. Fancy appetizers, background music, soup, main course with Salmon from Heaven and salads. They brought out the GOOD stuff and we were relaxing and chatting with background music on the speakers.

We got talking about food (or had we even stopped) and I was talking about the pictures that she’s shared on FB with all this cooking,  and I said “You look like you have nice bread!”

Today, The Reverend came home and said “You know when you told our friends that she had nice bread last night?” Well, yes…”I thought you said that she had nice *brea*ts.”

WHAT??

He said that everyone looked shocked with me because of what they thought I was saying was that I was complimenting her chest. I didn’t even noticed shocked looks… Then I blathered on about her incredible BREAD and they understood what I meant. For a few moments though, I was being highly complimentary on our hosts non-cooking skills but bodily parts.

There was background music, people and I said BREAD. She really does have nice bread.

I have learned that my mouth doesn’t necessarily make all the sounds as clearly as what it used to so when I am in conversation with you and I say something out of character or ludicrous, please know I was probably complimenting you somehow.

There’s my embarrassing story for now…Do you have any?

Filtering my humor

I see the funny side of life a lot. Things that others may not find funny strike a chord in me and I chuckle.

This tumor thing. It does not strike my 12 year old funny at all. No aspect of it feels funny to him. It could be that the black and white of what is funny is just extremely clear to him and none of the parts of his mom having a tumor in her head seem funny in the least. Still, I see the funny. And yet, I also see it through his eyes. This is not a time to be irreverent about his feelings. No, his feelings matter every bit as mine do. So, within the funny moments, where life is ridiculous ( like the bandage on my head that looks like pad being worn in the wrong place…), I also see that it is not ridiculous at all in one of my dear ones’ eyes. Perhaps that is why this particular blog has been silent. To mock that which is incredibly serious, even life and death, seems, well, it seems a little irreverent to him. And he matters. Will this prevent me from writing the silly? The outrageous? No. It simply will be a filter from which I look at life. It’s good to see things through anothers’ eyes and understand that they see it differently. My son is special with a capital S. He is extraordinary in his insights. I respect that. So in the last few weeks as we traversed the halls of the life and death of this thing called a brain tumor, I have seen it from his perspective a little more and mocked myself a little less. He’ll come around at some point. He has mischeif waiting to say something about how funky I smell, I’m sure of it.

The things my kids have done or said to me… Dubbed “Tumor Humor”

My oldest was in the middle of having a headache for 2 days in a row and was quite distraught so he got my attention and I gave him meds. He said “Now, Mom don’t go and peg me with those tumor thingies in me.” No need son. There is enough in this family!

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When procrastination with homeschooling was busted, and I caught her on it, my daughter was trying to argue with what I said. “You said I could have a candy after doing a subject.”

“No, I said when your school work was DONE. I clearly remember that I said to do your LA and Math and then maybe you could have some candy”.

“Well, I did a subject…!” Yah, the shortest one ever.

While this whole thing was going down, I had been on the phone with a friend. I asked her if she heard me say what I had told my daughter.

She replied “Yup candy, after Math and LA.”

I said to my daughter,” don’t try and use this tumor and memory thing against me.” She harrumphed her way out of the room when she was no longer able to use my memory against me because I had a back up on the phone. I love having back up!! On a good day my daughter can use my lack of memory to work in her favor. Thanks K!!

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I will continue to add to this blog post to help me remember the funny or mundane but important things in life that we are experiencing.

Not THAT funny

I’ve been known to make a morbid joke about my life with pain, loss and general mayhem, but there are some things that aren’t that funny. Well, ok, there is ALWAYS a little something somewhere if you look really really hard.

So, what we had told to us last night was not funny at all. Not.At.All.

I have a brain lesion on the right temporal lobe of my brain. See? Not funny. As most of you actually know me in real life, you know this already. If you don’t know me in real life, sorry for the jolt. There is no fun way of putting that.

And yet…I still find something to mock. I mock the little lesion in my head. I told The Reverend that I wanted to name it. He looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. *shrug* What can I do? I lost it a long time ago. Now I have proof.

Back up a little. While we were talking with the dr in the surreal atmosphere of his office after waiting for 2 hours, I asked him what a lesion would look like. He said it was not uniform. I asked if it would look like an octopus. I’m a visual learner, dudes. He said that it was an accurate analogy.

So back to the van convo. I said that I wanted to name it. I said that “Sushi” would be a fun name. If we had to live with this thing for a few days/weeks then maybe a name would be appropriate, and funny. Ok, so not appropriate, but it would make me laugh. We laughed a bit about it. Octopus, sushi…get it? It made sense to me…

Then later when I was giggling about it my son left the room. He was obviously upset. I let him go for the moment. My daughter said “Mom, you know how octopus eat? They capture their prey and then go *chomp chomp chomp*” At that point the name “Sushi” no longer amused me. Octopus may be friendly in children’s books but not so much in my head.

‘Nuf said.

I went to my son and apologized making light of it. He said “It is not funny at ALL Mom! You could…I don’t want to say it…”

So, it’s not funny that I have a rude intruder in my head, but I am trusting in the Maker of Heaven and Earth to move this “little” mountain and bring me to health and wholeness. We are only beginning this part of the journey. As a friend of mine said today “It’s just the beginning of another chapter”. As a writer I can appreciate that.

You haven’t seen the last of me yet. I will surely find something inappropriate to laugh about on this journey. Whether or not I’ll be able to type about it remains to be seen but when I do, feel free to laugh. Please. It would make me feel a lot better and now you feel like you have to laugh. See? Easy.

Don’t judge a family by a picture

I have a friend down the road who is a photographer. She’s very good. For as many years as she’s been posting her pictures I have wanted her to take our family pictures. Alas, we’ve always found a higher emergency for our money. However, this year, I am a working mom, Yo. I make a few pennies a month and thought I’d rub them together to get our pictures done…FINALLY! The date was solid and the pressure was on to SELL some TEA. Then three of my tea parties cancelled.

“Dude, I’m not waiting any longer!” I said to myself. The Reverend HATES pictures and so it’s like ripping off a band-aid. You just have to go for it or regret it every second you slowly pull. Ok, so not a clever word picture but whatever. I forget what I was trying to say.

The pressure was on, not only to sell some tea, but to also find some clothes to put our family into that didn’t clash horribly.

Have I said already how incredibly painful it is for our family to have our picture taken? NO? Well, then listen to this story because it’s only a snippet of what our lives are like when we try to get all of us smiling at the same time. I knew that if anyone could make us look happy it would be Kristen.

When I had booked our appointment, with the pretty photographer, we hoped for good weather. Then it was the coldest day ever in September, so we postponed for a later date. We could not have asked for more beautiful weather. In fact, I had bought a sweater for myself, on the coldest day, in anticipation that it could be cool on our evening adventure. But it wasn’t. Of course. It was HOT. H-O-T, hot. I nixed the sweater and hoped for the best. My shirt was the only thing that wasn’t matchy matchy with the rest of them. Sigh.

The other part of moving the date was that both of our daughters had dance starting that very night. What I had hoped would be a lot of prep time to get everyone looking spiffy turned out to be a scream into the finish line. My oldest daughter had 2 dance classes that night because they were trying her out to see in which she would fit. This one or the other? Can we say sweaty hair?

I got our outfits all ready and clean. Big fat pat on the back for not scrambling last-minute to scrub a stain off of a shirt. Oh wait. I did that. I coiffed hair, put outfits on at the exact last-minute and then went like a madman to pick up my daughter. Somewhere in there I made chicken fingers and put them on a plate for her. She ate while I worked with her sweaty hair. The girl did NOT want it up. It would have been so lovely if I had been just given a chance. Nope. I love puberty. With a wave of the brush, I gave up and we whizzed out the door.  She ate while we drove and I hoped she didn’t have chicken cooties stuck in her teeth and that the sweat wasn’t visible to the naked eye.

We made it on time and family pictures commenced. First the group shots. Those started with a fun “I’m NOT going to smile!” Kristen then tried to get some individual shots. The boys were in fine form. All I had to do was yell out the word “Fart!” and they were all smiles and laughs. The girls? Well, let’s just say they didn’t kill each other.

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The Reverend and I were getting cozy and kissing for the camera. Look Reverend, family pictures are FUN!!  Suddenly, we heard what we thought was “Get off my Sh** you Butt-head!” and realized, with great relief, that they were playing “Ship”. The name calling just became that much less horrifying.  We love drama. Super hard to get all serious and cozy with that kind of drama going on behind us. I could NOT stop from smiling.

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Then, there was a sisterly moment, when the two of them were posing on a precarious ledge. One got a little “feisty” and they both fell backwards on the grass. I laughed, then realized one of them actually got a little hurt and was crying. I thought we were done for, for sure. Alas, we moved into other more serene (ha ha) poses.

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We survived the Family Picture adventure that we had all dreaded. It had it’s ups and downs and it’s fair share of belligerent behavior but we made it. We even got to kiss each other more (The Reverend and I) than we’ve been able to kiss each other for…well, for too long. That part was down right enjoyable! And I was right! Kristen was able to make us look like a Loving family despite all the outtakes she had to sift through.

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Oh wait, I know the “normal” pictures are around here somewhere…

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Oh goodness, I guess there is no way to look normal after all

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How about this?

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There we go. A winner! Although I think the crazy, ill-behaved pictures suit us just fine! 🙂

And the awesome ending, as I was talking with Kristen, was when I noticed my daughter chewing something in the van. When asked what she was eating, she held it up triumphantly and declared `Chicken!` with a winning smile. Where was the smile beforehand I ask you? No where. But for a cold crusty who-knows-how-old piece of chicken…there it was.  For a moment I wondered just where had she gotten chicken and just how old was it? She’s been known to eat mysterious items. As I pondered where she had gotten it, I realized that it was from supper and she had found it on the seat…so much less awful. We live the life of Napolean Dynamite.  Tater tots in the pockets…yup. Been there.

That concludes our edition of Painful Picture taking  with the Reverend’s family.

And the end of the story really is in how God provided 4 more parties to help me earn what I needed to pay for the rest of the photo session. God knew I needed those family pictures as a great reminder of what HE had built and put together and provided the money for us to enjoy them.

And I can’t fight this feeling anymore…

…I’ve forgotten what I started fighting for.”

There are times when it’s easy to see the humor of any situation. I’ve gone through a lot of struggles in life (as we all do as humans) with death in the family, chronic pain, children with special needs, and tough times in ministry but there are usually things I can find to laugh at. You can bet that people in ministry have a warped sense of humor as they deal with many and difficult scenarios and survive by snickering at something that went wrong or just finding that silver lining of humor to smile at. I know that many other professions such as funeral directors, first responders, Police officers and hospital workers all have their own brand of humor that they have in common and regularly share a laugh over. You may find this offensive but it’s true. People survive difficult or even horrible things by being able to laugh about the things that happen in those lines of work or situations. It’s a coping mechanism that God has given to us. Now, I don’t necessarily share my funny take on so and so’s funeral with the bereaved family, but The Reverend and I can chuckle about it later. Laughter is good medicine. It says so in the Bible…so there!

In the past half of a year, the Reverend and I have had a hard time finding things to laugh about. Sure, our kids antics have sometimes filled a spot, but life has been just too painful to chuckle much and that’s been tough. I’ve wanted to write but I just can’t get past the serious heart-rending things that we’ve gone through. I don’t want to be depressing. We hold fast to our God and our faith, but the funny side of both of us is a shallow pool and life is not as funny as usual.

It is a weird place for me. I come from a long line of people who think potty humor is where it’s at. I laugh at the ridiculous and find that, for all the chronic pain in my body, laughter truly has been my good medicine.

That’s not to say that the joy inside of me isn’t there. It’s there alright. Joy is a different thing altogether. I know that the joy that is within me comes from the Holy Spirit and that HE is my strong tower. The joy in my soul is not dependent on the circumstances around me. In fact, I have sensed an even deeper shade of grace that has enveloped me in peace. I finally see what it is all about. I know that these situations aren’t about ME, though the talk “around town” is about us, it’s not really about us. It’s about the spiritual war going on around us. that’s fairly serious business and it’s got me on my knees a lot more often. These difficult times often cause a deeper well of God’s strength to open up and a faith that we hadn’t had before is now settling in.

This struggle has been one of the most difficult in recent memory. The Reverend and I are clinging to God and to each other. We enjoy our moments of mirth with a deeper richness. Together it is filling a place in our marriage and lives that need to be filled.

In my mind’s eye, I see the sun ( joy) rising in my belly with the rays of hope radiating throughout my body giving and pouring out my eyes as I look toward Jesus and see him afresh.

I can’t fight this feeling and I don’t want to. Laughter is fleeting (and amazing) but joy is long-lasting.