Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Celebrate the Lives of Others

I attended a NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting last night. It was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!

My son received his 1 year chip and it is a huge deal. He has worked long and hard and has had so many bumps along his path to sobriety...but he is 1 year clean and that's all that really matters today.

My daughter Aja decided at we should all attend his meeting to show our support for this precious boy. There were 6 of us from our family who attended. I will never forget what I experienced last night.

The room was packed with addicts. There were people from all walks of life, ethnic backgrounds and ages. As we entered the room, we were immediately greeted by a young man who introduced himself and engulfed me in a heartfelt hug. From the moment I set foot in that crowded room, I felt nothing but love.

It was beautiful. Honesty abounded. There was no judgment. There were tears and there was joy. I listened with my heart as these sweet friends of my son expressed their heartfelt love for him. How proud they are of him. How he has inspired them. How he lifts them and, in some cases, how he has saved their lives. It touched me deeper than I ever could have imagined.

As mothers, we KNOW our children. I may not know the everyday goings on in my adult children's lives, but I know who they are. I know their strengths and I know their weaknesses...but so do these wonderful, nonjudgmental friends of my son.

The lights were then turned off and for a few moments, it was silent. Then, one-by-one, people began to share. "Hi, I'm ___ and I'm an addict". It was kind of sacred as these precious souls started speaking from their hearts. They all spoke of their love for Ty, offering him sincere and heartfelt congratulations. One gal said that she was so happy for him hitting this mark. And then she went on to say something to the effect of, "Where else do we celebrate the lives of others?"

That hit me!

The more you praise and celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate!

It seems like our world is so quick to judge. We can so easily get caught up in our own lives that we forget to celebrate the lives of those around us...everyone of these addicts/recovering addicts has a valued life! They have something precious to offer this world! Because they have made some bad choices doesn't make them bad people or any less valuable.

Do I fall prey to this?? I commit, on this blog, this day, to make a conscious effort to "Celebrate the Lives of Others..."

So to my son, I say this: Today I celebrate your life...and I will celebrate your life everyday! I respect and admire you more than you will ever know. Your ability to unconditionally love without judgments, is rare and precious. You truly celebrate life and the lives of those around you? I have learned so much from your journey and I can only hope and pray that I can be like you one day. Thank you for letting me be your mother and for putting up with all of my fears and judgments...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tragedy, Love & Heaven

I went to a viewing last night. In some parts of the country, it's called a wake. Wherever you are, it's always a bit sad. This was extremely emotional because this was a viewing of two BEAUTIFUL little boys who were taken from us tragically this past Friday by an avalanche while snowmobiling with their family.

For those of you not in Utah, let me tell you a few details...the boys were 14 and 7. Their names were Coleman and Trevin and they happened to be the grandsons of one of my hubs dearest friends. They came from a beautiful family. The oldest and youngest with 2 sisters between them.

As I first heard of this tragedy, not knowing the connection, I was heart-broken...I was sick for their family and friends and I was sick for our community. What started out as a fun-filled family outing on a beautiful day ended in the most horrific manner imaginable to any parent. The snow was supposedly good and they were not in an avalanche area. They had been here many times and were quite experienced riders.

Somehow, an avalanche was triggered. It was quiet, not like the thunderous roaring ones we often hear about. One of the sisters was buried up to her waist which showed her parents and other sister where to start digging. I can't begin to imagine the fear and panic that these parents experienced as they tried and tried to dig them out from under 3 feet of snow....of course, we all know the outcome. Two young lives were cut short that sunny day...Taken to heaven and safe in the arms of The Lord.

But there is a certain sweetness to the rest of this story that I share with reverence and humility...

As the slide happened, Coleman (the 14 year old) realized that his little brother would be inevitably buried alive. He chose to jump to his brother's side and try to save him...they both perished...

When they finally got to the boys, they witnessed a most beautiful sight. 14 year old Coleman had his arm tenderly wrapped around his baby brother...he literally sacrificed his life for his brother. This precious boy is a HERO! What a powerful example of unconditional love!

At the viewing last night, we waited 90 minutes to see the family. As we approached the room, my heart melted...I will NEVER forget what I saw...I saw only one casket...with two loving brothers laying in rest together...and yes!...Coleman's arm was wrapped around his baby brother...


Friday, January 18, 2013


Just a short post to say that I now will be moderating any comments. I have been getting some bizarre messages and just feel that it's time to check out any remarks.

Sorry for the inconvenience. I SO appreciate all of the kindnesses left by my friends and loyal readers.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Airline Adventures

So many people ask me why I never post about my adventures as a flight attendant. Let me explain...

First of all, working with the traveling public is never boring. I have just about seen and heard it all. I have had many positive experiences, a few negative ones and a plethora of humorous ones. I think that goes without saying. But here is the real reason why I don't post about my passengers.

1. I respect their privacy.  It's true that I could post without using their names, flight numbers, destinations etc., but I just respect their right to fly without it being put out on the worldwide web.

2. Everyone flies for a different reason. While I wish that all my passengers were jetting off to a fantastic vacation destination, reality is, many fly to say goodbye to a dying loved one or to bury a beloved Friend. We don't always know.

3. I'm kind of appalled at what fellow flight attendants put up on Facebook about their passengers. While I understand all too well their frustrations with erratic or unusual behavior, there is usually an underlying reason which, quite frankly, is none of our business. Our job is to offer each passenger the best customer service and safety and ensure that they are treated with kindness and respect.

4. While it is true that I see "everything" regarding the attire of my passengers, and I have my own personal standards for what I feel is appropriate travel attire, who am I to judge?  Until I walk (or fly) a mile in their shoes, who am I to critisize their choices. In my opinion, it is a disgrace for any flight attendant to post pictures of questionable dressed passengers and then ridicule them or set them up for ridicule by the cyber world. (There are actually websites and apps of pictures of passengers that are solely for the purpose of making fun of them...to me...very sad...)

And finally...

5. I respect my company. I work for an exceptional airline that is well respected in the airline industry. Becoming a flight attendant is competitive in this slow economy. SkyWest has put their trust and faith in me to represent them with professionalism.

So there you have it. Thank you for your understanding and I hope to have you on my flight one day!


Sunday, January 13, 2013

One More Thing...

I was sitting in church today enjoying the spirit being shared from the pulpit. We always sit up near the front (second row, to be exact) because I like to be able to hear what's being said and in our church, there are so many precious little ones that if I sit in the back, I'm easily distracted...anyway...my hubs cute cousin, Erica, who is 18 and her friend came and sat with us. Just before the sacrament was about to be blessed and passed, she leaned over and said, "Did you see Tyler's new tattoo?"...my first thought was, "Are you KIDDING ME????" She realized that I hadn't been made aware that my son had gotten his 3rd tat...she promptly produced a Facebook picture of his latest saying freshly and permanently marked across his chest...then she immediately felt bad. Now let me just state for the record: I have nothing against tattoos...no judgments here...I just know how permanent they are and know that some companies will not hire with any VISABLE tattoos...

I had about 10 minutes of quiet solitude to just think, contemplate and pray...I did just that.

Then something amazing happened to me. I was overcome by love! I thought of our Savior and how he loves all of us SO completely and unconditionally. He loves you, me and my tattooed son...and then I felt this warm peace wrap my soul. I actually felt ashamed of myself for feeling bad about the stupid tattoo...my heart turned to my boy. My sweet boy who has overcome one of the most hideous addictions ever. My boy who has turned his heart to God and strives to live a life of service to his fellowmen/women. My boy who is kind, generous, sweet, funny, strong, intelligent and compassionate.

What really matters here?? I HAVE MY SON BACK!! That's ALL I really care about and it's what I have spent many sleepless night pleading with my Heavenly Father for...He has answered my prayers and it HAS to be good enough! Shame on me...

I thought about the times I was in pure agony, overcome with the deepest worry imaginable because my son was on the streets, strung out, cold and alone. I thought of the days spent preparing to bury my son who, I thought, would inevitably be dead by the age of 20. I thought of the physical pains I experienced during my darkest hours consumed with dread every time the phone rang...it was by far the worst time of my life..but that is in the past. I came through it and God blessed me beyond anything I could have imagined.

I am thankful that a tattoo needle is the ONLY needle going into his body. So despite his tattoos, I am a grateful, blessed mother who is proud of her son. I am humbled at the grace and mercy of a loving Heavenly Father who sees beyond tattoos, sees all and knows all. Who am I to judge? I love this boy with all of my heart and soul. I am even thankful for the trust that the Lord has placed in me to help a son of God survive a monstrous trial. I am proud of the amazing accomplishments of my son and he has taught me more than I could ever have imagined...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Something to Ponder

I found this on Facebook from the Los Angeles Times. It's well worth the read, I promise!!I

“When I got home one night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. 

I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed -dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. If you are not in a relationship now, remember this for the second (or third) time around. It's never too late.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ♥

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pure Joy

One of my sweet blogger friends wrote a post similar to this...I loved it so I've taken her idea and run with it!

5 Reasons Why My Life is Filled With Pure JOY:

Alakina: she is now 6...SIX!! Where has the time gone?? She is in 1st grade, reads like a 3rd grader, she's beautiful, funny, sweet, has the biggest heart and is a friend to everyone. She just lost her 2 front teeth which is evidence that she is really growing up! She loves sports, plays the violin, loves to dance and thrives on performing. She is very adventurous, loves community service and wants to really experience life. Her biggest worry is that "so many boys" want to marry her and she just can't decide!!

Anthony: he just turned 6...he's in Kindergarten, super smart, was "Student Star" for he month. He's tender hearted, sweet, very artistic and also adventurous. He loves the outdoors, riding snow mobiles (he has his very own) loves to save money, loves football and plays football, is friends with everyone and he melts my heart!

Stella: she is now 5 but still in Pre-School because of her birthday being after the deadline. She is very sensitive, a little shy, has a huge, guttural laugh but has a sweet little voice. She's a total girly girl who LOVES make-up, skirts, dress-ups, excels in gymnastics and dance. She also loves animals and loves to ride horses. And, as you can see, she LOVES to pose!!

Brooklyn: she is 3 but looks older because she has this thick, silky amazing hair and has the vocabulary of a 6 year old. Her eyes are the most vibrant blue and she is my ONLY blue-eyed grandchild (out of 3 blue-eyed children!!) She's beautiful, funny, coy, loves to dance and make funny faces, loves dolls, make-up and dress-ups. She is strong-willed, sweet and feisty (just like her mommy!!)

Tage: he's 3...he's our baby but we don't dare call him that! He has a smile that will melt anyone's heart. Is super strong-willed, mischievous, devious and smart. He loves my iPad and can navigate his way around any electronic device. He has a sense of humor that is over-the-top. He loves superheroes and makes the most amazing car and monster sounds ever. He loves to let my hubs pop his toes and repeats silly phrases (with silly faces) that my hubs teaches him.

Just let me say "Thank You" for letting me brag a bit about my precious grandchildren. I used to call them my "Littles", but they have informed me that they are too big now so I guess I have to come up with something else...at any rate, they are a true blessing in my life and I find so much joy in watching them grow and develop into real people! I pray non-stop for them and thank The Lord everyday for allowing me to be their Nana!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tyler Update

So here it is! The latest on my sweet boy...(with a few of his nieces & nephews)

As you all may know, my son, Tyler, is a recovering heroin addict/alcoholic. This has been a 10 year process filled with unmeasurable tears, angst, worry, agony, pain, betrayal and blah, blah, blah...you've heard it all before from me. I will say, it's also been 10 years of struggling with faith, waning hope, sleepless nights filled with pleading prayers to a merciful Father in heaven and endless love for a precious boy who has potential, qualities and attributes that I could only hope to posess!

So now I'll brag a bit!! Ty has hit a milestone and is about to hit another one. He is more than 1 year sober from alcohol, he quit smoking and on the 28th of this month, he will hit 1 year of being clean from the hideous beast called heroin! Boy-oh-boy do I admire and respect this hero...YES! He's my hero! After all, who do you know who has overcome something as gripping as a drug addiction? To me, he displays immense strength and tenacity. He has openly admitted that he still fights urges at times, but what's important is, he FIGHTS!

A few months ago he stopped by our house (I've posted about this before but didn't go into depth.) We were having a family gathering and as is common, he came in, said hello and promptly left. I thought nothing of it since he attends AA/NA meetings every night, is a full time student and works
two jobs...about an hour later, he stopped by again. This time, everyone had left except Natalie, our
cute daughter and he asked if he could speak to me alone. Old patterns smacked me in the face and I admit, I was nervous...we went outside and sat on the front porch. I looked at him and could see pain in his eyes. Fear and worry flodded my emotions and my heart stopped for a few seconds. He took a breath and proceeded to tell me that he owed me an apology...what transpired for the next 45 minutes was precious and I will NEVER forget one of the greatest moments of my entire life.

He told me that he had had a spat with one of his sisters earlier that day. It was really over nothing important, but when he stopped by the first time, he didn't want to stay because she was over and he was still upset with her. That's why he left so abruptly. He told me that when he got into his car he immediately called his sponsor. Then he told me he was on step #4 of his 12 step program. I asked him what Step 4 was, he explained and then I listened...and listened...and that boy taught me something that day! It is about accepting responsibility for everything in your life without blaming others. And that's what he did. He spoke as a giant! He spoke eloquently and clearly. We cried together and we laughed together but most importantly, we loved together. My heart swelled with love and compassion as I have never before felt. I could hardly contain it. He spoke of God, of Jesus Christ, of faith and of hope. He thanked me for his upbringing and he praised me for my motherhood! He shared with me that during his darkest moments, he had held on to the religious foundation that I tried so hard to instill in him...he touched my heart.

He was humble. He was broken. He was healing. I tearfully and quite sadly admitted to him that I didn't know how to be his mother anymore. So many walls had been put up between us and, although they have been torn down, so much had changed and I just didn't know how to be his mother. How to rebuild...It was heart-wrenching to admit. He took my hand and admitted that he wasn't even sure how to be my son, but that together we would find the answers. What I realized in that moment was that I may not have known how to be his mother, but Heavenly Father ALWAYS knows how to be his father and that gives me great comfort. He taught me that it is OK to be vulnerable. He was honest and sincere in his expressions.

So today our relationship is blossoming. We speak lovingly. Trust has found it's way back into our lives.  He is working at a rehab center which is perfect because he is in school to become a drug counselor. He finished his first semester of college with a 3.2 GPA and he is living on his own, paying his own way, admits that each day is a challenge and finding joy in the journey. He is responsible, caring and trying to give back. I have many stories for another post about this amazing young man. But for now, know that this proud mother is honored to call this boy my son!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Catching Up

As another year has passed, I look forward to, now, 359 clean, fresh, new & unlived days. Of course, none of us is guaranteed tomorrow but I am an eternal optimist and am moving forward in faith.

I have been remiss in keeping this blog up to date. To be honest, I have felt inadequate in so many ways. I have felt that nobody really cares about the goings on in my life...Shame on me! If I really sit down and contemplate the wonderful, amazing people who have come into my life, I am completely overwhelmed. I have many dear friends and family members who are true blue and loyal. I also have made some special friendships through my blog with some AMAZING women who touch my life...I want to be just like you! I look up to you and admire your ability to share your lives with strangers who turn to friends.

OK...enough of that.

As this new year has commenced, I have wanted to say, "whoa, whoa...I'm not ready...give me a bit more time"...but time waits for no one. Life moves on.

As some of you may know, I had foot surgery in November. It was a fairly routine bunion surgery, but mine was quite advanced.. The first two weeks were sheer agony for me. I am unable to take pain meds without major barfage (not sure if that's a word, but I like it). I pushed through it, found a way to take the meds with some success and endured those miserable days. I've read 10 books, just started my eleventh and watched mindless T.V. for about 2 days.

Although I have loved having time off from work, I must admit, I miss my job. I love my job and I think I'm pretty good at it. There are definite drawbacks, but more perks. I miss the interaction with my passengers. Crazy, right? I went to my doc the other day and he has cleared me to go back on Jan 31st. YAY!!

Christmas was great...low key, but great. Due to my incapacitation, I did all my shopping online (why haven't I known how fantastic online shopping is until is year??) It was wonderful! New Years was spent at home with sweet friends..again, low key, but wonderful.

Speaking of New Years, I have never been one to make resolutions. Instead, I choose one word that I use all year when making all of my decisions. A word to help me direct my life for the year. My word for 2013 is:..."BALANCE". It's the easiest word I've ever selected...the word I've needed most.

So that's about it. I still wish I could take back the last 5 days and really start the new year off with a bang, but I can't and that's OK. As "My Sweet George" (Harrison) so eloquently stated, "Life flows on, within you and without you..." Happy new year, my sweet friends...