One of my best coping mechanisms in life has been to place tough junk in mental boxes. With lids. When I’m ready, by myself, and in a safe place, I take that box, remove the lid and sift through all the stuff my heart wasn’t ready to deal with… until that moment. I’m always by myself and in beautiful nature. My favorite place is in one of my hammock swings, or under my favorite big shade tree on a blanket… in my pajamas. Always in my pajamas.
Yesterday, I started removing lids and sifting through old plastic tubs from storage in preparation for my sweet niece’s documentary (sharing addiction differently).
I found so many things I didn’t know I had.
I found this old journal from my sophomore year. That was a tough one. I found another journal from an even more difficult time in my marriage. That was tough too. I found old letters from mother that I didn’t even know I had.
But what surprised me most was that I found several letters from mother that I never even opened. They were just stuffed in the tub beneath the lid. Unopened. That’s heavy.
I still haven’t opened them.
I think these were written after the final ugly junk that was so excruciatingly painful for me. That’s when I drew more of a definitive line in the sand with my boundaries. I had to for my own sanity. I can’t remember receiving them, putting them away or why I didn’t open them.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how many times she tried to tell me stuff I didn’t want to hear. I was tired of listening to all the heart wrenching junk about all her pain. The truth was I couldn’t carry the weight of her pain too. I had my own. Much of which she had unintentionally created. It was just too heavy for me.
I’ve thought many times, why didn’t she just put it in writing for me so I could open and sift through it on my terms, alone when I could handle it? Why did she keep trying to make me hear all the words filled with junk I didn’t want to hear.
It’s been 7 years since she passed. 7 years since her addiction loosened it’s death grip on me. 7 years since I began my true emotional and mental wellness journey. 7 years of healing a lifetime of pain.
Yesterday, I gathered all the letters I found (opened and unopened) from mother and placed them in a cardboard box. An Amazon box to be exact. There is no lid.
I’m sifting through the junk and digging deep…for the sweetness.
As I look back over these tough times, I am reminded of how grateful I am to no longer be back in any of them. I’m so grateful for healing. I’m so grateful for the ability to dig deep and find the beauty, the valuable life lessons, empathy and all the amazing people He has continually scattered throughout my life. ♥️
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” – Melody Beattie
I had crazy negative words playing over and over in my head
every single day. Multiple times a
day. But I truly had no idea. They
created my mood, my feelings, my happiness.
They had so much power over me and my actions. Think that sounds crazy? I’m pretty sure you do it too.
I’ve always tried to focus on the positive and finding the
sweetness in everything. So, I was
honestly surprised when I learn I was sabotaging myself with my own crazy
self-talk – unknowingly of course.
The craziest thing is that I had no idea I was even doing it
until I read a book about it. I started
paying attention. Sure enough. I caught myself at the kitchen sink one
day. I was fine when I walked in the
door from work… until I started doing those stupid dishes. My mind wondered aimlessly. I was filling my
mind full of ugliness and negativity…
“Scott has been home 2
hours longer than me. I bet he’s been sitting in front of the TV for last 2
hours wasting time. He should have
already had these dishes done and the house picked up too. How fair is it that
I have to come home and unload these dishes when I loaded and started it before
I left for work this morning?”
…and on and on and
on. It was like a terrible broken record playing in my head…over and over and
over. It was like I was rolling around a
giant snowball and with each roll I was picking up dirt, junk and poop. Anything negative was latching on to this
giant snowball and soon it was so big – all I could see was the big ugly brown
snowball. By the time I was done doing the dishes, I was
so mad and poor Scott got my wrath. He
wasn’t even sure what the heck had just happened in only a matter of a few minutes. One minute I was sweet and loving. He was relaxing on the couch and then… Bam!
He was the worst husband ever. I wasn’t even sure what had just happened but of
course it was his fault.
I didn’t know I was listening to negative words every single
day. What makes it worse is they were MY
words. Negative words I was saying to
myself. Things I had absolute complete
control over. I could picture Satan smiling because of the ugliness. That image
always prompts me to take a hard look and make changes.
So, if my negative words had this much power and control
then the opposite had to be true – If
they were powerful enough to rob me of my joy, then my words would also be
powerful enough to add to my joy.
“Your beliefs become your thoughts, Your thoughts become your words, Your words become your actions, Your actions become your habits, Your habits become your values, Your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi
I started paying attention and noticed that I was most
likely to fill my own head with negativity when I was in the shower, doing
dishes or cleaning. I would notice it quickly and flip it to positive. I started learning more and more about
conscious language, declarations and the importance of gratitude. I’ve heard so much mention about the younger
generations and how they have a sense of entitlement. I started looking at myself. Did I have a sense of entitlement? Was I
Did I have a heart of Gratitude? Or was I always so focused on more, bigger and better that I was ignoring the best right now?
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peale
notice. I intentionally focused on being
grateful and feeling gratitude for important things like…
a warm comfortable bed of my very own;
a man who
loves me more than I deserve;
friends who love me and bless me every single day;
and a choice in everything I do daily – what I wear, eat, cook, work,
the gift of
a husband and sons to pour into and share life with every single day;
to walk, talk, and feed myself;
to laugh, cry and be silly;
the ability to work and contribute to my family financially;
the ability to see life differently in a positive way because of hard junk and so much more.
I stopped seeing life from my wants and desires and started
focusing on the many gifts I had that I was allowing Satan to distract me from.
Here’s the thing – anyone can be happy and show gratitude
for great health, a new car, new house, lots of money and when everything seems
to be going our way. The real test is –
can we have a heart of gratitude when things are hard, when there’s not enough
money, when we’re walking through a tough season, though a divorce, the loss of
a loved one, bankruptcy, cancer, all the junk?
We will all have hard stuff.
Gratitude is my word for 2019.
I want to focus more
on being grateful for all the many blessings in my life rather than things I
think I might be missing. My life has changed
by turning the negative self-talk into positive self-talk and for giving thanks
to our Heavenly Father every night for the small stuff that I used to overlook
and take for granted. I want my heart to
be so full of gratitude that I don’t have time to compare and focus on junk.
I’m so grateful for everything I’ve been given. I’m so thankful for the ability to see that
the best things aren’t things at all – they are people, relationships, kisses,
hugs, sweet moments, sweet memories and so much more.
Happy New Year my sweet friends! May your year be full of sweetness and
Have you ever loved something so much and then been scared you might be seeing it wrong? Like maybe you drank the crazy scary Kool-Aid?
We had taken off work and headed to Dallas for our first essential oil convention. We didn’t know what to expect. All we knew was that we loved these oils and we were seeing crazy stuff that we couldn’t explain. We wanted to know more. And it was a girl’s trip! Who couldn’t use a girl’s trip? Three women. All three of us went to high school together. Toni and Erika graduated the same year. I was the year before them. Toni and I are cousins by blood but because of the theft of addiction – we’re truly sisters. Especially at heart. Toni and I are registered nurses and have been for more than 20 years. Erika was a pharmaceutical Sales Rep for twenty plus years.
Erika also happened to be my husband’s ex high school love. Aren’t we supposed to hate each other? I keep saying I’m going to write about a funny crazy high school memory that still makes me laugh but I haven’t yet. Here’s the skinny…
Scott and I – Prom King and Queen. I wish I had a picture of Erika in her red dress.
It was our Senior year and Scott and I had just been crowned Prom King and Queen. We were on the dance floor dancing to the song that had been selected for the crowning… “Lady in Red.” Only, I was wearing a green dress. Guess who was dancing right next to us…in a RED dress. Guess who was super cute and had all the cute moves? She went on to be a college Pom and she could dance. You guessed it! Erika! His ex. CRAZINESS! And now, she’s my good friend and one of my oil partners. Crazy, huh? It makes me giggle. The sweetness and the crazy.
We arrived in Dallas, found our room and scoped out everything. We found our way to the opening event. The grand auditorium was packed full of other oilers. There were so many people that they had to have two back to back conventions that year. We were so excited. We watched. We listened.
It was lively, joyful, different and a little strange. We were packed in a convention center with thousands of other oilers. I’m not talking oil and gas oilers. I’m talking essential oilers. You know, the hippies, the weirdos with their snake oils. For three people…two registered nurses and a pharmaceutical sales rep who had been submerged in the healthcare system for more than twenty years each…this was a little weird. Okay, a lot weird. There were people singing and dancing. They were walking the stage in formals while people cheered and the fun energetic music played. They spoke of wellness, purpose and abundance.
We leaned into each other and one of us said (I don’t remember which because we were all thinking it) … “Uh…I think we’ve joined a cult or drank the Kool-Aid.” This wasn’t like any convention or conference any of us had ever been too.
What was that smell? Oh, my that smell! It went straight to my heart and brain and I felt this warm comforting sensation go all over my body. I kept deep breathing because the more I took in the better I felt. Oh, crap! We were being gassed. We were in a cult! Wait! No, we weren’t being gassed. It was Northern Lights Black Spruce essential oil. They were diffusing it and it was delightful.
We laugh and we giggle now. But I’m not going to lie. We truly were a little nervous at that first convention. We were in a whole new world and it felt amazing.
We had already fallen in love with the oils. We had experienced personal testimonies in our own lives. Miracles to us. We watched each other as we each experienced our own little miracle. We thought they were snake oils and never REALLY expected them to work. I mean…I’m a registered nurse and my mother’s side of the family is full of nurses. I had never known anything besides traditional medicine. I administered lots and lots of medications daily when I worked in the hospital. We treated sick people. I’ve never been a big medicine user myself but the year before this convention I had a liver resection to remove a cyst that was thought to be cancer. Prior to that I had never had surgery. I had been working out and running and been in good shape prior to surgery. I recovered quickly and was back at work within 3 weeks. It wasn’t cancer. Yet. But it could have been in 7-8 years, they said. I believe modern medicine saved me. I took several prescription medicines while in the hospital and then post-surgery for a couple of weeks but nothing much after that. Occasionally I had taken ibuprofen but that led to a prescription of Prilosec. I knew how that little game worked. Take this for that. Add this because of that. Now add this for that side effect and it never ended. So, I decided I wasn’t going down that path until I had no choice. I’d find a better way. Addiction runs in my family. I’ve seen many lives destroyed because of medicine that was supposed to help but it ended up their bodies became dependent on them to function and eventually led to abuse, shame and lives being lost or taken.
So how did professional healthcare people get to a convention full of people using snake oils and nontraditional medicine? How did we get to the point of where we were leaning into God’s plants, bushes and trees first as opposed to grabbing man-made chemicals that we had been taught during many years of education and in our professional carriers? For me, several years back I had started seeing the craziness. Our patients were on more and more medications and they were getting sicker and sicker. We were running drug interaction reports and there were so many interactions. Every patient had numerous drug interactions. So many so that our industry wasn’t paying attention so much. It was like the little boy who cried wolf. After you see every patient with so many interactions and you keep telling the doctor and nothing changes (doctors are frustrated with the system too), people quit sounding the alarm. It’s not that the doctors don’t care. A huge part of their teaching comes from the pharmaceutical companies. I’m not implying the doctors don’t research and don’t make their own decisions. I’m saying – we’ve got a messed-up healthcare system that Big Pharma and our insurance companies are driving more and more. Insurance companies are dictating what medicines can be taken and when patients can be discharged and readmitted to the hospital. Sure, the doctor has some say but he/she is frequently overridden by the insurance company. It may even be a nurse who works for the insurance company that goes against the doctor all in the name of money. Yes, we need balance but this is insane.
Soon after we were real believers in essential oils, we learned about compliance. The FDA was coming down hard on natural companies. Some of it I got. There are people who will spend their last hard earned dime on someone’s lies. But what infuriated me most was that when I spoke about essential oils I was unable to use words I used every day for the last 20 years in my nursing profession. Words like antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, wounds, burns, anxiety, depression, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, heart failure, COPD and so many others. Even though it is known that certain plants, trees, flowers and such have healing powers or certain properties like antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic – we are not allowed to say those things when speaking about our beloved oils.
We had to shift our speaking from diseased and sick to wellness and support. That was so hard for me. I wanted to scream. I almost never got it. Then as I worked at changing my language to be compliant with the FDA in speaking about my oils I started to change even more. I started realizing that after all these years, I’m not in healthcare. I’m in sick care. We push and seek pills like crazy. We look for a quick fix. Some of those fixes appear cheap but what we don’t realize is that they lead to more and more pills which increases cost and then our body starts reacting only we don’t realize it’s related to the pills and keep adding more. Eventually the cost is crazy even with insurance. Don’t even get me started on name brand vs generic. And you certainly don’t want to get Erika started. Or maybe you do. As a former Big Pharma rep, she can explain it way better than I can. Toni and I see the insanity more from the nursing side and how it affects our patients. How sometimes they must choose between food and medicine. No lie. Ask a home health nurse. They’ll tell you stories. Did you know that sometimes our poor elderly patients have chosen cat or dog food as their own food because they didn’t have enough money to buy food and their medications? Our whole focus isn’t on keeping people healthy. Our system is set up to wait until we are sick and dealing with diseases and treating those diseases and the symptoms of those diseases and sicknesses. Oh, man did my thinking shift.
After three years of living, seeing and growing in my essential oils I am now convinced I had drank the Kool-Aid. But not an essential oil Kool-Aid… a sick care Kool-Aid. If you sit and watch, you’ll see it too. The insanity of it all is heartbreaking really. We are having more of a shift. More people are learning and seeking wellness. It’s been so encouraging to see how many healthcare professionals are jumping on board and having their own little miracles. Tons of nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistances and doctors. We are on the inside. We see the craziness.
As Dr. Jim Bob Haggerton says – “you were created for perfect.” I believe this wholeheartedly. I believe God gave us beautiful medicine in the form of plants, trees, bushes and more.
I believe in modern medicine too. If I need surgery, have an accident or life threatening emergency, or have a diagnosis that I don’t believe there is another option – I want modern medicine. But for my wellness…I’ll stick with God’s beautiful creations.
All essential oils are not created equal. Some oils contain toxins and junk. They aren’t all 100% pure even if they say they are. Make sure you are using the best quality.
Are you ready to get started on your oily wellness journey? I would love to help you get started. If you use my member number (1807398) to purchase a premium starter kit I’ll send you some great resources.
Drugs! It’s something I’m extremely passionate about for so many reasons.
Are your prescription drugs making you sicker?
We have a huge problem with legal prescription drugs in this country. Although drug addiction and alcoholism are always heavy on my heart – that’s not what I’m referring to. It’s a much different kind of drug problem. I’m referring to legally prescribed drugs that our people are taking as prescribed. They aren’t abusing. They aren’t doing anything illegal. But they are getting sicker and sicker and some are having to choose between the huge expense of the drugs or food. Ask a home health nurse. We are in the homes of our patients and we see how they are living and what they are sacrificing.
It’s a problem that is costing us millions and millions in lives and dollars. It’s affecting our Medicare, Medicaid, insurance and personal dollars. It’s affecting our quality of life. It’s affecting our loved ones especially as they grow older. For healthcare providers, it’s affecting our outcomes, profit, reimbursement and star ratings. It is affecting every aspect of our healthcare. The problem is HUGE and is negatively affecting lives and dollars.
I’m a Registered nurse and I’ve been in some form of healthcare since I was 16 years old – that’s 30 years. I come from a big family full of nurses. I’ve worked in many different areas of healthcare…from a certified nursing assistant, a Registered Nurse Case Manager to a Regulator – State Surveyor for home health. I have a pretty good understanding of the problem and know it is so much more than how it appears on the surface.
Here are some of the issues (please know…there are people who do everything right with their diet, exercise and health but they still get sick. Genetics play a part in our wellness. I’m not referring to them.) …
We eat food that isn’t even food. It damages our cells/body and allows disease to form and grow.
We put chemicals on our body and in our home, that are making us sick.
We look for quick fixes that treat symptoms rather than root causes. Research the difference between modern medicine and functional medicine.
We aren’t wellness advocates for ourselves or our loved ones especially the older generations. If a healthcare professional tells our elderly to do something they usually comply and don’t research and ask questions.
In a world that is plagued with over prescribing, over seeking, over using and abusing medications – we have become a nation that is dependent on drugs. Legally prescribed drugs.
I’ve reviewed many medical records in my day. It has given me the ability to see things differently and from different perspectives that not everyone sees. A lot of times I work backwards. I first look to see – why the patient was hospitalized. Then I look to see…if there was information in the record that would have suggested the negative outcome was approaching. Was the physician notified of the concerns? Were appropriate interventions carried out? Was something missed? Was there something that could have been done differently to prevent the negative outcome? Most often, I find healthcare providers have done most everything well. Most of the issues I find are tied to the patient’s prescription medications.
Do some research. Most of our sick population is on 20-30 different medications. That is craziness. These people aren’t people who have had organ transplants and are required to take numerous medications for the rest of their lives to keep from rejecting an organ. These are normal people who had issues. Just like you and me. Medications were added. Their issues grew. More medications were added. Their issues grew. It is a continuous cycle. It’s sick care. For the most part, if we get real – we aren’t in healthcare. We are in sick care. As a nurse, that was a hard thing for me to swallow. I had always been told I was in healthcare and that’s what I believed. Until I learned more.
Have you seen the picture of the t-shirt on the internet that shows the craziness of how medications are ordered? Here’s what it says…
“I take aspirin for the headache caused by the Zyrtec I take for the hay fever I got from Relenza for the uneasy stomach from the Ritalin I take for the short attention span caused by the Scopederm Ts I take for the motion sickness I got from the lomotil I take for the diarrhea caused by the Zenikal (spelled wrong) for the uncontrolled weight gain from Paxil I take for the anxiety from Zocor…”
Remember the people who are on 20-30 different drugs? Think about it. How did they get to that point? Usually, we get a medicine for one thing and then the side effects of that medicine lead us to more medicine. Then the side effects of that medicine lead us to more. It’s never ending.
So here is an example of what we see. Remember – this is pretty much the norm for our industry. And while you are reading, think long and hard about where you are going because if you don’t have a plan to support wellness – you may soon find yourself on 20-30 different prescription drugs and feeling worse.
Who – person in their 70s with numerous hospitalizations/emergency room visits over the last couple of years.
Diagnoses – 13 different ones. These are typical diagnoses we see routinely for one person – COPD/pneumonia/oxygen dependent, gastrointestinal, Cardiac/Heart failure, Diabetes, Arthritis, Parkinson’s, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, history of falls
Drugs: thirty different ones. Did you catch that? 30 DIFFERENT drugs!!!!
Drug Interactions: 37 different drug interactions (29- level 3 interactions, 5- level 2 interactions, 3- level 1 interactions)
level 3 – Moderate interactions – assess the risk to the patient and take action as needed.
level 2 – Severe interactions – action is required to reduce the risk of severe adverse interaction.
level 1 – the most severe – Contraindicated drug combination: this drug combination is contraindicated and generally should not be dispensed or administered to the same patient.
As I looked up some of the interactions it was stuff like…
May result in life threatening arrhythmia. The patient had cardiac/heart issues.
Anorexia, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, malaise, drowsiness, generalized muscle weakness, disorientation, hallucinations, visual disturbances and arrhythmias.Yes, the patient had most of these too.
Concurrent use of opioids and benzodiazepines may result in profound sedation, respiratory depression, coma, and/or death. There was recently a FDA Box warningadded for opioids and benzodiazepines – I wonder how these interactions might be contributing to the patient’s pneumonia/COPD issues?
May increase the risk of acute phosphate nephropathy, which is an acute kidney injury associated with deposits of calcium phosphate crystal in the renal tubules that may result in permanent renal function impairment. Hmmm…I didn’t dig into this but I’d bet this patient has had kidney issue or urinary tract infections.
Could potentially result in gastrointestinal erosions, ulcers, stenosis and bleeding.Yep, the patient had a Gastro diagnosis as well.
Could increase the risk for serotonin syndrome. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome may include tremor, agitation, diaphoresis, hyperreflexia, clonus, tachycardia, hyperthermia and muscle rigidity. Hmmm…the person had a dx of Parkinson’s, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, history of falls.
May result in myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Yep this too.
Which came first? So were the medications prescribed for the issues or were the issues caused by the medications?
Are you seeing any common threads? Insanity? Any reason for you to take charge of your wellness?
For our industry, we are required to notify the physician of drug interactions. We do. However, it is so much more complicated than one physician just looking at the information and stopping the medications. And honestly, we can’t blame physicians. Some people over seek medication and aren’t willing to try other wellness approaches so physicians don’t have any other choice but prescribe. Most people don’t just see one physician. They see a specialist for each issue – diabetes (endocrinologist), cardiac (cardiologist), skin (dermatologist), urinary issues (urologist) arthritis (rheumatologist), ortho (orthopedic surgeons) and so many more. Each of those specialists are ordering different medications to treat the symptoms they are dealing with. It easily becomes one big nightmare. Not to mention, there is a huge nightmare with reimbursement and physicians are being limited on how many minutes they can spend with a patient. Insurance companies are directing physicians to discharge patients from the hospital even when the physician doesn’t feel the patient is ready. The patients are coming back to the hospital within 30 days and the hospitals are being penalized and money is being taken back. A Heart failure patient may go into the hospital with dehydration and their Lasix is stopped. The patient will be promptly discharged at the requirement of the insurance company and the Lasix doesn’t get restarted. Soon the patient ends up back in the hospital because of exacerbation of heart failure. The hospital is penalized for the readmission and so much more. It’s a mess and a perfect storm for so many bad outcomes. It isn’t something that can just be blamed on one person or one group. It’s a healthcare industry problem that requires a lot of focus and attention. Have you seen the movie Sicko? If not, I highly encourage you to watch it. It’s about 10 years old (2007) but still has so much great info about the failures of our healthcare system.
And if you must go on a medication, please consider the old ones that have been around for many years and have a history behind them. They are cheaper too. Remember Phen Phen? It was a miracle weight loss drug that took so many lives. Unless you have no other choice, don’t let your family be the guinea pigs.
Research side effects and drug interactions and discuss any concerns with your physician.
I’m not writing this to solve the drug problems of our Industry because that is enormous. And I’m not up for battling big pharma or insurance companies but I do want to shed some light and get people to pay attention, to research your drugs, side effects and learn how to manage your wellness and make informed decisions about drugs and how they may affect you.
Big Pharma’s drugs save lives. I’ve seen it. But they take lives too. I’ve seen that too.
Be an advocate for yourself and others. Be informed. Be intentional. Be mindful of your wellness.
It was the last time he’d play a football game as a Bear and my heart was heavy. His lasts are also my lasts.
Sometimes we get so focused on celebrating the firsts, we forget to savor the lasts. This was one of the great life lessons I had hoped to teach my boys…to know life was like a big book made up of many different chapters full of sadness, joy, bitterness, sweetness, tragedy and miracles. Everything weaves together to make one beautiful story. Our story. His story. We have to know not to let ourselves get stuck in the junk of life or we’ll miss the sweetness because life always throws both.
If you’ve gone through it…you’ll understand.
If not, prepare yourself because it’s coming. You’ll blink and it will be here. Senior year.
This night was about me just as much as it was about him. Only I couldn’t really say that. This was his time. But his lasts are also my lasts. It was bittersweet. It made me sad too. But you get it don’t you?
Senior night – Scott, me, Madden and Coach George
Since the boys were little I’ve tried to be mindful of the “lasts” and pay attention and savor those sweet last moments which mark the ending of a chapter. The firsts are important too but those are usually more sweet. The lasts – that’s the hard stuff. Something significant is ending. Like the last time your sweet one crawls up to sleep in your bed or the last time they want to snuggle on the couch while watching a favorite movie. You can’t stop the lasts from coming but sometimes, you’d love to push pause or slow things way down to get just a little more time.
Like most parents, for years we’ve poured our hearts into our boys. Making sure we were always where they needed to be or had the things they needed to have. We attended almost every single game of their lives. If one of us couldn’t be there the other one was.
Scott was at almost every single one of his practices since he started. He coached him until he got to school ball. During high school, for almost every single practice Scott was there and at the end of practice he’d be standing at the top of the ramp waiting to meet him. To tell him great job or just tell him he loved him.
That sweet little blonde headed cutie was now a senior. A captain. The center and a defensive end. Number 72. My sweet precious #72. At 6’1 and 240lbs, he towered over his dad and I. He got the honor of being the football homecoming candidate and was voted Homecoming King and Best All Around for his senior class. So much sweetness and the year wasn’t half way over but it was closing in fast. Too fast.
Madden #72 at Center going against Creed Humphrey #56 -already committed to OU
Captains – Madden #72, Christian #4, Danny#12 and Baehler #8
Sweet victory after the Shawnee game!
Now here we were…
His very last game as a Bear. Ever. Our first playoff game in nine years and we were hosting. Only a few minutes left. We were losing and there wasn’t any coming back. We fell apart and didn’t play our best game. I put my camera away. I didn’t want to have my eyes behind the camera for this last part. I wanted to watch and savor the last few moments I’d ever see my son play as a Bear on his football field. The same field he had played home games since he was four years old. The same field his cousins played on (older and younger). The same field he had watched the older boys play on and dreamed of one day playing on. The same field Scott and I (powderpuff) and our family members had played while in junior high and high school before we were married. This field represented so much of our lives.
As the game ended my heart was heavy. That was it. He had spent 13 years of his life playing football as a Bear and now it was over. His coaches are great and we love them. Some of them had even known him since he was a baby. Some of these boys had been his teammates since he was four. They sometimes fussed but held each other accountable and to higher standards. They had each others back. They were a family. His sweet cousins were on the field too. They cheered while he played.
Senior year and his sweet cousins were cheering. Jacey, Madden and Kaylee.
I hoped at seventeen he knew enough to savor the sweetness. When the game was over, I saw nothing else. Only him. I watched as he walked through the line, shaking the other team’s hands. I watched as he found his place with his team and coaches and held up his hand representing a bear claw as the band played the familiar song. He was facing the crowd as a bear for the last time. Just as I stood in the crowd facing my son holding up my hand representing the bear claw for the last time. As soon as the song was over most of the others ran to the locker room. He was still down field. At most games he tended to be one of the lasts off the field just before the coaches.
I watched. I didn’t want to take my eyes off of him. His helmet was in his right hand. He walked his confident stride but his head wasn’t reflective of the beating we had just taken. No. He held his head high. The stands were almost empty. Most of the crowd had left way before the game ended. As he walked, he looked to the home stands. His eyes slowly scanned. Who is he looking for? I kept watching. His eyes continued to slowly scan. He turned to the visitor’s section and slowly scanned that area too. His head turned back to the home side. He kept looking all around. He kept his pace.
I kept watching him thinking …I hope he knows how special all this is. He approached the ramp. The same ramp he had ran up and down numerous times over the years. The same ramp his dad had waited after every practice and home game. He started up the ramp but he turned backwards and stared at the field as he moved up the ramp for the last time. Oh my heart.
He got it. He understood. He was savoring. Taking it all in. At that moment, I wished I’d had my camera out and was capturing this so I could savor it later. He knew that this night, these years were about far more than one game. They were about far more than a win or a loss.
My sweet Mad, #72 walking the field in his Bear uniform for the last time.
My heart ached and tears started to fall. Tears of pride, tears of sadness and tears of joy. That was the last time I’d see my sweet #72 suited up in his beloved Bears uniform. Next year there would be a new #72.
But tonight my #72 got it. He understood…
This night, this moment wasn’t about tonight’s loss. It was the last of a very sweet and significant chapter of his life. He would soon have a start to another beautiful chapter. But for now he was savoring the last. It made me proud and warmed my heart.
He got it. Probably more than I’d ever know.
When he came back out from the locker room still in his uniform and wrapped his sweaty stinky arms around me just before walking his field one last time he said “I love you momma.”