Miles apart, connected at heart <3

Have any of you seen the TLC show “Long Lost Family”?  For those that haven’t, let me explain to you—-Long Lost Family is a show in which birth parents begin the search to find and meet the child(ren) they gave up for adoption.  Sometimes it’s reversed, and the children is looking for his/her birth mom/dad (or both).  Some stories have ended in tragedy, where the sought after parent/child is deceased, but most of the episodes end in a tearful reunion and beginning of a new relationship.  I have recently been through my own personal episode of Long Lost Family (no I won’t be on the TV show!) and the reunion is pending.

No, I wasn’t adopted.  But I don’t really know much about the other generations, the other leafs on my family tree.  Both sides of my family are pretty quiet about past relatives, and what they did for a living ect.  I guess I’m just more curious than they are?  Anyway—-I recently decided (thanks to some gentle pushing from my roommate) to try and find some things on ancestry.  And I hit pay dirt almost immediately! My favorite find on my mother’s side, sadly, is unable to have a reunion, as he passed in 1999, but he was a priest with the order of La Salette, and is buried at the shrine in Enfield, NH.  Somebody yell road trip!  But my most prized find comes from my father’s side of the family…..through my digging, I have discovered 2 cousins and an aunt.  And this blog is dedicated to them….I haven’t met any of them yet, but they have already changed my life.  I have felt happier since finding them.  I finally feel loved by someone in my family, and not ignored, slighted, or all out bashed verbally.  I’d like to write a little something to each of them, before I end this little blog.  So here it goes—-

Linda- The cousin who started it all.  I contacted you first.  I was thrilled you answered back.  It’s you that gave me the key to finding the other cousin, and your mom.  Making that contact.  And although we haven’t met, I feel a deep resonating connection with you.  Perhaps we’ve carried similar wounds, perhaps we’ve had similar feelings about ourselves.  Whatever it is, I’m glad I’ve found you, and can’t wait for you to visit, so we can finally meet and get to know each other more.

Allison- the cousin I’ve met, but never really known….until now.  I sense an equally strong relationship with you as I do with Linda, but of a different type.  You are strong, intuitive, faithful.  My one “memory” of you is a sad one, surrounding the death of my father, and your beloved uncle.  I do recall him always speaking of your flowers, although I don’t recall him using your name.  I look forward to our HAPPY reunion, and giving you a hug that for once, is not taking place in a funeral parlor, and not of a sad nature (although tears may still fly—-they will be happy ones!)

To Shirley—my long lost aunt.  Married to an uncle that was never spoke of around me at family functions, an uncle I never knew.  Likewise, an aunt, and cousins and “step” cousins I never knew—–until now.  My one regret is I didn’t do this sooner.  I didn’t push my grandmother, or aunts and uncles to talk of your husband Wilfred.  I didn’t ask questions about the missing brothers.  Perhaps I still wouldn’t have known. But I know you now, and God willing, we will have some time to get to know each other.

There’s so much for all of us to catch up on—–lives, memories, stories, pictures.  For 29 years, I knew nothing of these three lovely ladies. And now that I’ve found them—–I can’t imagine life without them.  May our reunion be soon, and our memories be countless from this day forward.  I love all of you dearly already, and pray for you daily.  Here’s to catching up on what was lost, and celebrating what’s to come.


Prayerful Adventures

I recently finished the book “Prayers of a Stranger” by Davis Bunn.  It was a very good book. In fact, my book study members may see that title the next time I’m hosting, unless another book calls out to me before then.  I won’t even spoil the book, I’ll just get right to the body of my blog.

When was the last time you took time away?  I’m not talking about a big family vacation (although those are lovely!)  I’m talking about going someplace by yourself…to think, to pray, to cry even.  I call these “me-cations”.  These do not have to be extravagant.  It could be just taking a day to do something YOU like.  Do nothing, read a book. Or you could go somewhere—-the beach, or lake, or your favorite place where you go to think and “let go” of whatever is in your heart.

As many of you know, there’s a lot on my heart lately.   My mother is declining quickly.  My per diem hours have taken affect, and I’m unable to change positions until September 12th, when my “beginners probationary period” is over.  I also have old wounds and emotions that sometimes creep their way into my mind and heart—like my miscarriage, as my angel Delanie’s 2nd birthday approaches next month, and the lack of support from either side of my family, both currently and as I was growing up.  Once I reached the high school age, and they realized that my calling wasn’t in a money making field, they became withdrawn fro me.  They never asked me what I wanted to do, or how school was going—like they did my other cousins.  As i’m working toward my dreams, I’m now “grieving” the support I never had, and, sadly, never will have—-from family anyway.  I’m grieving the friendships I thought would be forever, but have turned out to be only for a season.  I’m also accepting, at the age of 29, that perhaps God has other plans for me besides marriage and having children.  Let me clarify——I am in NO WAY saying there is not someone out there for me, nor am I giving up in praying for/finding that person.  I am simply stating that, perhaps, my career IS my vocation, and I am meant to be single.  Perhaps join a 3rd order.  While I will always remain hopeful, I also have to realize and accept that my dreams of being a mom may not be God’s plan.  Or perhaps, I’d be a mother to someone in a different way than birthing and raising a child.  Perhaps I was chosen to lose my precious Delanie, so that I could share her short life, and how my faith carried me through her devastating loss, with others in the same situation.  Or bring awareness to the importance of miscarriage and stillbirth, and how they most certainly are NOT threatened or spontaneous abortions, as the medical profession continues to label it.

I have my crosses, and my burdens do get heavy at times—-for the first time in a while, I am able to take a “me-cation”  and I am doing so…..I will be away from August 26th (after I get out of work at Noon) through August 28th.  I am not disclosing where I am going, nor will I be on Facebook.  If it is a dire emergency, I am reachable to those who have my information.  Otherwise, I will see you when I return.

If you are dealing with a lot in your own life—-a career change, a divorce, depression, or just fed up with “stuff”—–take a me cation.  Sleep over a friends house like old time sake.  Go find a retreat center, perhaps one on a lakefront or oceanfront.  Rent a hotel room, and rent the sappiest movie you can find (for me it’s a toss up between Steel Magnolias and Beaches).  Or even just find a place where you can sit in the quiet, and let God minister to you.  Or whomever you put your trust and belief in.  Let the winds and the waves heal your restless heart.  Take time to be with your burdens…for that is how you will truly let them go.

Remember, everything works better when it’s unplugged from time to time—–even yourself.

All my Love-  Mandy.