Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Please don't retouch my wrinkles . . ."

"Please don't retouch my wrinkles;
it took me so long to earn them.
Anna Magnani, Who didn't want the studio stills for
The Rose Tattoo airbrushed.
This is a quote from a little book titled The Ageless Soul

There was a time when I would not have shown a picture like the one here. I wouldn't have wanted to show that extra bit under my chin and the lines that are becoming more like grooves running on either side of my mouth. But they are a part of who I am and I've struggled for many years to become the woman in that picture-- the woman who has been "to hell and back" several times, but with each trip has grown stronger and become better.

Not so obvious in this picture are the fine vertical lines above my upper lip. My mom had them and I hoped I wouldn't. But I've learned something about those lines. They're etched by pain---the chronic physical kind of pain. As mother had fibromyalgia, so do I. My brothers have never given her credit for handling the pain well--or even at times for the pain. "She loved being ill," one has said. No, she didn't. She fought it every day. I saw her fight, and I learned from her battles. She taught me how to get up every morning, get dressed, apply make up, straighten my shoulders, hold my head high, and face the day. She told me when you feel your worst is when you NEED to look your BEST. An expert, she fooled many people. But not me, nor I her.

I don't think anyone has caught on at school that when I dress up "to the nines," as I think the expression goes, I'm at a higher pain level. I'm doing what I was taught and for the most part it helps.

My point? These lines are signs of what I've endured, and that I'd rather be sitting at a tiny table with my granddaughter than being home in bed even on a day when the bed looked GOOD. Am I patting myself on the shoulder? No, I'm praising God.

Three years ago I could not have gotten down on that chair and most certainly not gotten up from it without considerable pain and assistance. But one day I cried out to Him and He answered. He is faithful.

"The Lord my God holds my right hand; He is the Lord, Who says to me, Fear not; I will help you!" Isaiah 41:13

I am struggling a bit right now, but I'm persevering and praising. Hallelujah! I sat down AND got up from a child's chair!

"Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do His will, and I know that I will triumph." Isaiah 50:7

My 7-year-old granddaughter was playing director:"Look serious, Grandma, and look like you're really reading!"

Then I got down on the floor and
played with the wee Irish lass!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Left out --the 6th birthday!


I hit a tab I shouldn't have when writing the following blog, because I can't get back into it to edit it. I even messed up my access to my blog for awhile!
But I'm back on my blog. Some of the pictures are in the wrong order. For example I have Dillon's birth pictures after he's been featured in some pics as a toddler. I also didn't crop some. I caught onto that partway through. I also messed up some of the writing on the pictures. I seriously don't know how to fix it AND PUT the newly edited one in the place of the other. I'm learning by trial and error, but I've had enough for one day.
Shirtly is Shirley---I wrote it in white on one of the Christmas pics. Shirley was my mom and Roy was my dad. The woman on the couch in that picture is Great-grandma Ruth--Peyton's dad's paternal grandmother. She is not a great-great as I may have written. As this point, I don't know!

A little is growing up and blessing this grandma and many others in the process

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my granddaughter Peyton Elizabeth turned 7 last Thursday, March 25, 2010. I decided to present "her life in pictures" as a tribute to this effervescent, intelligent, sensitive (as in caring and compassionate of others), wonderful little girl who lit up my life 7 years ago and has been keeping it lit ever since. She's a true treasure.

The first three pictures are of her messing around in her room. I was up there and we were having fun with my camera. I told her to get up on the bed and pose for me, and "Boy, did she ever!" What an unexpected treat to a night that began with a house full of adults and children and noise! The birthday parties are always big because of a large extended family. My son and daughter-in-law are blessed to have such love in their lives.
However, my 8th period class had been especially immature that day which is always accompanied with a high noise level! I told them that when I signed up for this job, I didn't know I would be teaching kindergarten.
One of them fired back with "You mean they didn't write that in your contract?!"
Soooo, I was a bit harried when I arrived at the party at a big farm house that had four of the large rooms full to overflowing! Still, I had a good time. But my good time turned into an extra-special time when I discovered Peyton upstairs in her room, organizing some of her presents. She invited me in and then the fun commenced!
I hope you enjoy the "show."

She takes her cards seriously and Daddy's right at her side, ready to help. She reads quite well for her age.

Pensive isn't she? Her great-grandfather--Papa Bill---sits behind her. In his 80's, he's still snapping pictures---been his hobby most of his life.