Writer’s Workshop: STOLEN During Recess

praying for your sins

 5.) It happened during recess….

Two Jesus inspired posts in one week…you guys are LUCKY! Or blessed. Or both.

The Catholic school I attended in 1st and 2nd grade shut down before 3rd grade and my mother reluctantly enrolled us in a public school. Since Dad died, there was a bit of financial pressure involved there and sending all of us to a public school was a heck of a lot cheaper then enrolling us in another private school.

Imagine my dismay when I got to this new public school and realized there was NO PRAYER.

No prayer??

That’s right.

No.

Prayer.

I don’t know how those heathens expected me to study in a room without Jesus, so I brought Jesus to school with me. I had received a gorgeous, shiny, glistening rosary from my mother for my First Communion. I brought my expensive looking satin box to school with me and placed it at the corner of my desk,

I smiled at my friends as my beautiful beads sparkled.

Yes friends. Unlike you, I am a child of God. Do you see my rosary? I am a chosen one.

My friends liked my rosary so much that when I came back from recess after just one day on display, it was gone. STOLEN during recess.

I was crushed. I had not expected this kind of violation even at a public school.

After some silent prayer asking Jesus what the hell I was supposed to do now that my expensive/special item was stolen (not to mention the ultimate of punishments from my mother should she find out)….I heard his voice loud and clear, “My Child, Go forth and confront the guiltiest looking person in your class”.

So the next morning I did.

It was Lonnie.

She had asked me about my rosary and I mistook her inquiry as a desire to get right with the Lord. Instead I sold her on the idea of having a rosary of her own, so she took mine.

Before class began I nestled in next to her at her desk and I was all, “sigh…today is such a terrible no good very bad day…”

And she was all, “oh really why?”

And I was all, “Welllll…my beautiful rosary has been taken. It meant so much to me because, Jesus. And also because my Dad gave it to me before he died and it’s one of the last things I had to remember him by”.

(I said a quick Hail Mary for my lie, but it was a desperate time. I felt sure God would understand.)

Lonnie shifted and I leaned in a little closer and quietly whispered, “you know Lonnie? If you thought my rosary was pretty and wanted to bring it home to show your mom, I wouldn’t even be mad at you. I would just want you to bring it back.”

And Lonnie was all, “Really?”

And my brain was all “Oh hail no girl, I KNEW it was you, PLEASE BRING IT BACK!!!” but my mouth said, “Mmhmm…promise.”

Lonnie brought the rosary back the next morning without the satin case and I was so pleased to have those sparkling beads back in my clutches that I didn’t even care about the missing satin case.

Well I did care a little bit because my rosary fit so perfectly into it’s expensive looking case, but I had my rosary! I brought it straight home and never brought Jesus to the classroom again.

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Describe what you thought living on your own would be like after you graduated high school.
2.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: adventure
3.) Show us a before and after.
4.) 10 things you’ve learned from reality tv.
5.) It happened during recess….

Add Your Link:




Writer’s Workshop: Friendship They Gave

2.) A childhood friend.

When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will grow up with a very close group of catholic school friends. You will fight with the girls in your class at first recess and be best friends again by second because that’s how girls are. Your class will know about your Dad because all of them were there when you gave your report on brain cancer and all of them feel adequately sorry for you.

You will be glad to have your best boy cousin Matt in class with you every year because his laughing eyes are family and he’s one of the few who feels the magnitude of your loss with you. His loss too. Erin Freeman’s friendship was the gift you received when your goofy parents became friends with her goofy parents and because of this she is precious to you.

When you are in seventh grade Miss Davison will talk to the class about strength and overcoming obstacles that help you to grow as a person. She will ask the class if any of you knew of someone who lived with intense pain or faced obstacles, but stayed positive despite it all and showed tremendous strength. You will raise your hand and you will tell her all about your Dad and his pain and how strong he was.

She will say “thank you!” and “that is a terrific example!” and then she will say “so he’s okay now and he overcame and everything is great!?!”…and your face will turn red. The entire class will laugh out loud, because they know everything is not okay. And you will feel embarrassed because you thought she knew. You will start to cry right there in front of everyone even though you’re too old for that now and the funny girl is not supposed to cry.

You know your friends are laughing because they’re uncomfortable and not because you were stupid to use your Dad as an example of strength when he didn’t survive, but you will still feel stupid for using your Dad as an example strength…because he didn’t survive. You will feel alone and embarrassed beneath the laughing friends and you will want to go home.

When you least expect it you will feel a hand on your shoulder. You will look up to see Erin Freeman who is not laughing but is quietly asking if you’re okay. And you will love her for that moment. That moment that made you feel less alone and less stupid.

As an adult you will believe that if only one wonderful thing came of your goofy Dad’s friendship with Erin Freeman’s goofy Dad, it was the foundation of friendship they gave their daughters that would one day result in one little girl’s hand on the others shoulder.

And you will be grateful for the gift.

When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Second Grade
The Funeral
Extended Family
The Manger
Metamorphosis

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) What were you blogging about a year ago today? What has changed?
2.) A childhood friend.
3.) A hobby you would pursue if you were the type to pursue hobbies.
4.) A trend you’re not much a fan of.
5.) Something your child did or said this week that made you smile.



Hard To Imagine

Maile: Do  you miss your Dad?

Me: mmhmm.

Maile: Do you wish you could see him?

Me: mmhmm.

Maile: Did you get to say good bye?

Me: Nope.

Thinking…

Me: Well I suppose I did, but I didn’t know I was saying goodbye.

Maile: You didn’t know he was going to die?

Me: Nope.

Me: Even if they told me, I didn’t really understand what that meant. That you never get to see that person again.

Maile: Well I understand.

Me: Yeah…it’s just when it happens to you it’s kind of hard to imagine.

Maile: I would pretty much cry every day if it happened to me.

Me: Yeah…I pretty much did.

Bless her heart.

Writer’s Workshop: The Limo Ride

2.) Tell us about a time you got to ride in a limousine.

When you’re seven and your Dad dies you will have nothing to wear to the funeral. You will have worn your best church dress to the prayer service the night before and anyone who knows anything about fashion knows that you CANNOT wear the same red dress to your father’s funeral that you wore to his PRAYER SERVICE! And since your mother does not think about these things ahead of time and plan accordingly, you will settle for last year’s church dress that has been washed one too many times and feels a little uncomfortable.

You will forget all about your fashion conundrum when you catch wind that a LIMO will be picking you up at church and will escort you to the funeral. A LIMO! Suddenly this whole funeral doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after all if you get to ride to the church in your very first limousine!

But when the limo ride comes you will note it is not as long as you had imagined. You will shrug your shoulders and snag a seat next to a door because you know limos have electric window openers and if there’s one thing you’ll look forward to on the day of your Dad’s funeral, it’s watching a window move up and down and up and down with nothing more than a push of a button. Except that the electric windows on this short limo seem to have broken because they stop moving up and down altogether.

Your mother will look at you with relief that you are able to find delight in windows and limousines on the day you will be burying your Dad, but she will wish you could be just a little less squirmy since this is still not such a great day for her. She will distract you from the broken magic windows by telling you to take a look out the back window and you will see all of the cars following. She will want you to see that tribute to your Dad. You will count the six police cars escorting the nearly two mile long procession. The cars seem to go on forever, but you will lead the pack in your limousine!

You will feel glad to have your sisters and brothers, your cousins and school friends all together in once place. You will tiptoe around gravestones and you will hope to stick around long enough to watch that big box get buried because then you will know for sure he’s not coming out of it. Your Mom will hound you to get back in the limo and you can’t help but feel like she particularly does not want to stick around to watch the big box get buried.

So you climb back into the limo wearing last year’s church dress that has been washed one too many times and feels a little uncomfortable and you will be annoyed.

Because if you’re going to be escorted to and from your Dad’s funeral in a limo when you’re seven year’s old, it better darn well be an extra long stretch limo with working electric windows…otherwise the whole thing just doesn’t seem worth it all.

When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Funeral
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Extended Family
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Second Grade
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Manger
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Metamorphosis

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) An Easter memory.
2.) Tell us about a time you got to ride in a limousine.
3.) Show us what Spring looks like in your neck of the woods!
4.) 5 things you should never say to your mother.
5.) What did you cook that nobody liked?



Writer’s Workshop: My Parents Met At Dairy Queen

5.) How your parents met…

My parents met at Dairy Queen. My Mom worked at the local restaurant when she was a teenager and my Dad frequented the hot spot. I don’t know when burger joints and diners and seeing everyone you knew when you popped in for a milkshake stopped being a common occurrence, but I have to say I feel like I missed something special. I imagine it was exactly like the movie Grease…letterman jackets, fancy glasses, side burns, and a jukebox. What more could you ask for?

While my Mom was working one evening my Dad approached her about a sign they had hanging in the window. He had a girlfriend who collected posters (of ice cream cones apparently) and he wanted to surprise her with one. I imagine it looked something like this:

vintage dairy queen poster

Mom drove a hard bargain and sold the sign to the young fellow for 25 cents.

When Dad returned the following day he overheard the day manager complaining about the missing poster. The manager was upset that someone would just give the poster away and said when he found out who did it, he would fire her. Dad was not about to cost this (striking) young lady her job! When he saw my Grandma pull into the parking lot to drop my Mom off for work, he rushed out to meet her and WARN her!

Mom wrote up a receipt for the poster proving she did not simply GIVE the poster away, but that she sold it for an incredible profit and therefore was able to keep her job.

I don’t know what was happening with Dad and his poster-loving girlfriend, but he was spending his evenings at Dairy Queen making sure my Mom still had her job. He was deeply concerned and felt terrible for the trouble he had caused and I guess double checking that everything was okay…every night…was just the reassurance he needed to know that everything was going to be okay.

And then he broke up with his poster-loving-girlfriend.

And then one night he overheard Mom arranging a ride home with a co-worker so he piped right in and offered to take her home. Mom must have been quite comfortable with him at this point (what with all the burger eating and poster buying), so she happily accepted. One ride turned into two and two into three and before you knew it, Dad was driving Mom home fairly frequently.

On one particular ride home he pretended to run out of gas, Mom suggested they walk to a home nearby where they could see a man working in his garage but Dad insisted they stayed put. Perhaps if they waited awhile (alone in the dark), the gas that had evaporated to the sides of his tank would somehow collect back into the tank and allow his car to run. Sure enough, after a bit of talking Dad was able to get his car moving down the dark street a bit (away from the man tinkering in the garage), but only managed to get a few blocks before he ran out of gas again.

It was here that he was finally able to sweet talk a first kiss out of my composed (but giddy) mother and the rest is history.

His poster loving ex-girlfriend walked away with a 25 cent sign, but my Mom got the guy!

12 years later they had six kids and boy are we glad he picked her. God knows what kind of home decor we would have been exposed to with the poster-loving girlfriend as our mother.

mom-and-dad2-e1362036313630

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Incorporate the phrase “stop looking at me like that” into your post.
2.) Write your own “Dear Abby” letter. (inspired by Good Day, Regular People).
3.) Show us something you wore.
4.) The award for best and worst Oscar moments goes to…
5.) How your parents met…



September 24th

On the morning of September 24th, 1986 my Mom did not get out of bed.

Although odd for her, I didn’t give it a moments pause until my little sister came crying from her room.

Telling us we needed to go back there.

I hope to never experience the challenge she faced that morning after learning my Dad’s cancer had taken him from us.

Him, fighting so hard.

Six oblivious kids.

Eyes on her.

Waiting.

The day before her birthday.

Seeing her in bed, wiping tears from her eyes was almost enough.

Until then I’d known nothing that could break her in such a way.

But we had to hear her say it.

Tell us he was never coming back.

Our lives forever changed in that moment.

How she pulled herself from that bed, I’ll never know.

Humans are incredible like that.

Incredible that we can push forward.

Incredible that we continue waking every morning.

Incredible that we allow ourselves to love again knowing full well the risk of loss involved.

Incredible, that a little girl could lose her Dad after just seven years of life with him and 26 years later still ache for him.

When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Funeral
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Limo Ride
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Second Grade
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Metamorphosis
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: Without Him In The Room
When You’re Seven And Your Dad Dies: The Manger

Writer’s Workshop: Third Grade Teacher

5.) Write a post about your third grade teacher.

I attended school everyday in third grade and was never particularly special in any way. I wasn’t the popular girl or the nose picking girl (not openly anyway), just a girl that kind of blended in. Nothing really special about me to make me worth remembering.

Until I was.

Mrs. Shafer came to class one day mid year and upon seeing me excitedly fired away, “Kathy! Do you have an Uncle Sean?? My goodness what a small world! He is a good friend of my sons and told us all about his sister, your mom right? Who’s husband died and left her to raise six kids and my gosh that’s YOU isn’t it?? I heard the last name and just pieced it all together! I’ve just been distraught over this poor family and all those kids and here I’ve had one in my class the whole time!!!”

She said ‘died’. I had become accustomed to using the phrase “passed away” when describing my Dad’s death that previous year. The D word was hard to hear. I wasn’t used to it.

Yes it’s me. I’m the one from that sad family you speak of! Can you believe it!?! An amazing coincidence indeed! 

I recognized her sweet intentions even if I found her enthusiasm annoying. And if you think for one second the pity this woman showered over me in that moment was at all lost on me, you’re wrong. I picked up on it and used it to my full advantage.

When Christmas came around and only two special kids were going to be picked to play the Xylophone to the tune of “Doe A Deer” while the rest of the class sang at the pageant. Mrs. Shafer asked for volunteers to raise their hands. The entire class excitedly shot their hands into the air.

Not me.

I just walked over to the Xylophones and started practicing.

I was a regular student before, but now I was special.

Thanks Dad!!

Now it’s your turn!

Mama's Losin' It

Choose a prompt, post it on your blog, and come back to add your name to the link list below. Be sure to sign up with the actual post URL and not just your basic blog URL (click on the title of your post for that URL). For good comment karma try to comment on the three blogs above your name!!

The Prompts:

1.) Share something your child taught YOU about parenting.

2.) What do you remember most about your childhood bedroom?

3.) Tell us about something you broke.

4.) If you could change career paths now and be anything you wanted to be…what would you be and why?

5.) Write a post about your third grade teacher.