Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sometimes They Leave.

I read the words slowly again and again, before dawn broke that morning. Sleep had escaped me most of the night my heart already hurting from a very difficult day as a Relief Society president. Tears came fast as the words and their meanings became clear through my tears. I felt an already heavy heart fall...

My kids were never supposed to leave the church. I took them every Sunday with bows in their hair and matching dresses and everything (well except the boy, he got a tie)...

But the words were right in front of me. Undeniable no matter how slowly I read them. 

Mom, Dad, I have something I need to tell you...I'm leaving the Church...and I don't want to talk about it.

 My heart ached for my child. And my children who have already left.

Through my tears my fingers slowly typed...

We love you, that will never change! We will always show you kindness and compassion no matter where you are in your journey and wish you nothing but hope and happiness. 


If they had just said more prayers as a family or had family home evening or made their kids go to church longer or served more diligently or handled their trials differently....their kids would have

Surely no one thinks this way, that would be judgmental. But I know they do, because I did. Time will always be a funny teacher.

With some time I am beginning to understand.

Yes my mama's heart is broken....but not for the reasons I first thought....It breaks as I think of the fear she must have gone through as she typed those words and how her heart must have ached as she waited for our response....will they still love and respect me? or will they turn away from me? That is what breaks my heart.

My love for each of my children will NEVER change, nothing could make me stop loving them. They are good and kind and loving, each of them, amazing. None of that has changed. I pray each day that I can be the mom they need and that I will always show them the love and kindness they deserve where ever they are in their journey.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Forty Two

It has always fascinated me how memory works and that simple, seemingly innate things seem to open the flood gates sometimes.... Forty Two, a number and a birthday.... I turned 42 while we were in Toronto, a lovely day with family, delicious food in a quiet tavern and cupcakes. A perfect birthday day. 

But that morning, memories of my mom flooded my mind... I'm the same age she was. 42 is the only birthday I remember of hers...which is so odd.

I remember Kelli and I climbing on our vinyl and wood chairs in our cluttered kitchen to tape up blue crepe paper streamers from the exposed beam between the kitchen and family room and me then taping rudimentary 4 and 2 with the remaining bits to that black beam... A hurried attempt to surprise my mom with something special ...

Mom came in the door moments later. I don't remember if she even noticed.  I do remember her putting on her threadbare pink mumu climbing on the couch and falling asleep within minutes. Same as any other day. There was nothing special about that day. So sad.

At almost 9 Kelli and I knew things were very wrong but it would take another decade until we could even start to understand the effects of her mental illness and addiction.

For years I was positive that any day I would wake up and my life would be a carbon copy of hers. And that thought terrified me. It took years to understand and accept and see  that things could and would be different for me.

I will always wonder what things could have been like for her, if she had the support and understanding and medical advances available now. My heart will always ache a little when I think about that. 

But I have found a place of peace, to set that aside knowing that some day those answers will come.

My life at 42 is very different 

Her love of musicals and the ocean and a meal out with family some of the good traits we share...but a life in turmoil I do not live. The lessons we learned from her and about her kept us from the same path. 

Memories bring gratitude and so do birthdays.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Kramers Take on Toronto

Some time in the middle of the chaos this Summer, Grant suggested we plan a trip to Toronto to see his brother...I think I mumbled. "sure, as long as you make all the arrangements and we have enough Airmiles"....within hours tickets were booked and plans were set....I would be spending my next birthday in the big city....

Nolan, the kid with Koolaid blue hair I met 25 years is now a Daddy with the sweetest wife ever and a two year old who instantly melts your heart....

They live on a street with tightly packed houses that share front porches, with a small store on one corner and a tiny produce market on the other, it's hassle and bustle had an almost familiar charm. It took me a day or two to place totally reminded me of Sesame Street.

Nolan and Maggie were five-star tour guides and hosts. We need instantly felt at home.

The boys took in a Blue Jays Game....

Grant had a freak out in the elevator of the CN Tower....(instant Karma, eh Grant?)

But oh that view!!!!

The heart melter...

Maggie  and I saw Cirque du Soleil's Luzia....So so so AMAZING!!!!

We crossed Niagra Falls off our bucket list....

It's power and beauty took my breath away....

Toronto's food was out of this world....

Street Meat at the bottom of CN Tower.

Stockyards, this burger was the best I have had ever...still my mouth waters.

Latkies from Claplansky's Deli. 

But the absolute best part of Toronto was hearing this amazing two year old call us Uncle Grant and Auntie Robin for eight whole days and see his mommy and daddy love him to the moon and back. Family is everything.

What a wonderful time we had! We love you guys!