Sunday, January 8, 2012

2011: A Year of Unexpected losses...

My Beautiful Mom
Susan Carr
This is my first blog post since July 26, 2011.  I wrote my last post that morning, excited about losing 30 pounds, making positive changes in my life and starting to explore life “outside of my box”.   I read my blog entry to my mom and she was so proud of me.  She told me I was a “poet” (ya gotta love a mom’s praise!).  Less than three hours later, my mom had a massive stroke.  

My mom was at my house when she had the stroke and I found her within minutes.  She was rushed to an incredible hospital and certified stroke center and within four days she was in a state of the art rehabilitation facility.  Her recovery was going very well, after two weeks she was known as the "Super Star" patient.  She worked so hard on her recovery.  I honestly didn't know that my mom was capable of such incredible mental and physical strength.  My sister and I were with her every day, helping her, encouraging her and sometimes just holding her hand.  She couldn't speak but I knew she knew how completely she was loved by her family.  We didn't know it at the time, but those two weeks would be one of the most precious gifts we would ever receive.  Two weeks after my Mom's first stroke she had another, even more devastating, bleed in her brain.  She was not able to survive the second stroke and never regained consciousness.  For two days, we held her hand, told her how much we loved her and whispered messages for loved ones that had gone to heaven before her.  My Mom, Susan Carr,  passed away on August 11, 2011 surrounded by her family.

I had asked for change in 2011, but I never expected this.
For many years, I’ve referred to my mom as my right arm; I truly couldn’t “do” my life, as it was, without her.  She was my partner in my daycare and my biggest support system in managing my life.  My nine year old daughter, Chloe, has Down syndrome and in addition to doctor and therapy appointments, I homeschool her and take her to meet with her special education teacher twice a week.  My 14 year old daughter, Caitlyn, is a typical teenager, involved in local theater, school activities and is just plain busy!  My mom was like a second “me”.  She would take care of the daycare allowing me to take care of business outside of the home and she would take care of my girls when I needed a little break.  She was also my best friend!  My mom lived in our backyard in a little doll house built especially for her.  Every weekend my girls would wake up and head straight to grandma’s house for waffles and cuddles.  On the weekdays, I would watch from my kitchen window as she and her little dog headed over for a cup of coffee.  We would have a quiet moment to catch up before our daycare day began.  We’ve lost a big chunk of our lives, of our every day, of our hearts.   Caitlyn misses her “Old Lady Friend”, Chloe misses her “BFF”, Damond misses “Grandma Susan” and I miss my Mom!  Oh, how I miss my Mom!
After my mom passed away my daycare all but closed.  My daycare van had “died” the previous May and I replaced it with a little Toyota - environmentally friendly, but not exactly daycare child friendly.  School drop-offs, pick-ups and appointments became next to impossible without help.  Part of my “Making Over Mama” plan had been to eventually close the daycare; after eleven years I have been feeling burned out and ready for a new career path.  I just didn’t expect it to happen so suddenly.  Now, I work two days a week in the daycare and I am meditating, praying, searching, and agonizing over what I am supposed to be doing with my life.   I am busier than I have ever been, I love being a part-time-stay-at-home-mom; unfortunately, our bills didn’t decrease with our income.  Trying not to be consumed by stress and fear has been very challenging.  Having said that, I will tell you that I am completely convinced that I am exactly where I am meant to be. 
Two days after my mom’s first stroke,  a book arrived in the mail for her, Around the Year with Emmet Fox, A Book of Daily Readings.  This book is filled with daily meditations and messages to encourage faith and positive thinking.  My mom ordered this book for herself, but I know it was meant for me.  I can’t begin to tell you how many days the message has been exactly what I needed to hear.   After my mom’s death I found even more evidence of her pursuit of a more love and spiritually based life.  She had notes listing her goals and things she wanted to improve in her life.  The Sunday before her first stroke she’s purchased the book, The Seven Laws of Spiritual Success, by Deepak Chopra, at a garage sale.   When I opened the book after her death, it was bookmarked at Law Number Four:  The Law of Lease Effort.  Law number four says that least effort is expended when your actions are motivated by love, because nature is held together by the energy of love.  I cried when I read this, remembering how effortless it had felt to take care of my mom in the hospital.  Our motivation was pure love.  It felt like a sign.  My mom’s spiritual journey on this earth was over, but she had left me tools to begin my own.  So, my Mama Makeover continues…

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