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Jennifer Poss Taylor

Fearless

So much insight and wisdom coming from a twelve year old boy. Faith conquers all fear.

One Busy Bee

Fearless is a book written by New York Times best-selling author Max Lucado, who is also known for writing children’s books. The purpose of the book is to help people stop worrying about being fired or worst-case scenarios and have faith in God. Specific examples given of these include fears of global calamity, being unimportant and worthless, and other wasteful fears that accomplish nothing. I think that the reason we fear is because we lack faith. However, we NEED to have faith in Christ and believe, for if we didn’t, we’d worry about every little thing. And

that’s just wasteful.

I agree in reviewing this book with the author, as people worry so much about such crazy things like a monster coming out of the closet that they buy a self-help book to deal with that if it ever happened, which it just couldn’t anyway. The reason I was even…

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Have you called your mother today? Day 152 of 152…If only…

Mother’s Day 2015.  The goal we set when we ventured on this journey of blogging after watching Julie and Julia 152 days ago.  I was to call her every day through Mother’s day 2015 which happened to be 152 days away from the day we made our “deal” if you will.

It gave each of us a goal but the main one was for Mommy to live to see Mother’s Day.  For us to share another one together.  As Mothers.  So today is day 152.  If I called her, she wouldn’t answer. She couldn’t.  I can still hear her voice though.  I have three saved messages on my voice mail.  One in December.  She is high spirited about the Christmas tree I picked out.  Another in January.  Her voice is a little weaker as she is telling me happy birthday. Another in February.  She can barely talk but she described in detail a dress that was stolen after the Oscars. Impressive considering her memory had failed her greatly.

I’ll never speak to her again after the evening of March 17, 2015.  We talked for quite a long time that evening.  She passed away two days later on the morning of March 19th.

It doesn’t seem real that she is no longer on this earth.  I keep waiting for a call from her or a chance to go visit her just one more time.

She was young.  Only sixty-six.

I didn’t expect the pain to be so deep. The way it impales my soul when I least expect it and the uncontrollable tears start to flow.

If only she knew how much I truly loved her.  If I only realized how much I truly loved her. I  should have cherished more, salvaged more, created more time, more memories, more forgiveness.

Mommy Hands

But the final four months of her life were such a gift to both of us. From the very minute Jim called to tell me she was in the hospital, my instincts kicked in to let go and simply go take care of her.

The feelings came back from long ago like when it was just the two of us for so many years. We were there for each other back then. In an instant, nothing had changed.

But why we waited so long I’ll never understand. Maybe our story will help others. Inspire others to let go of whatever is holding them back. Just be open for the plan God has for today.

Treasure it.

Get ready for the ride.

Hold on.

There may not be a tomorrow.

Philippians 4:7

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

~Blessed by the memories

Jennifer

Have you called your mother today? Day 24 of 152…The Night of The Final Countdown

A Time For Everything    Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
A Time For Everything
Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

The day started off difficult from the time her swollen, discolored feet hit the floor. Her oxygen levels were low. Her blood pressure was low. She was retaining fluid and struggling to breathe.

Her sense of humor however, was well intact and on the rise. She made that clear during the daily weight maintenance routine as she managed to scoot the scale across the kitchen floor several times to re-weigh until she found a weight that satisfied her. She let us know by stating, “There! That’s the way I like it.”

Seeing her boisterous personality made New Year’s Eve a happy day for all of us. Even if another possible trip to Christus St. Vincent was the ‘elephant in the room‘. The day was full of monitoring her levels and peaked with raising her oxygen tank at an all time high.

The countdown to the drop of the Waterford Crystal Ball in Times Square was ticking away on NBC’s Dick Clark‘s Rockin’ Eve (even though it is now hosted with Ryan Seacrest) and so were the hours where everyone would be awake to watch Mommy sleep through the night; counting the seconds between each long pause before the next breath.

I decided to sleep on the couch with her.  At one point she put her perfectly manicured hand on my leg while we both dozed off.  Memories again began to flutter through my head. I slept with my mother for pretty much the first ten to twelve years of my life.  It was just the two of us most of that time. I can remember staying up to watch which celebrity Johnny Carson would have on The Tonight Show or which guest animal would pee on him! I enjoyed laughing along with her at Carol Burnett‘s silly antics on The Carol Burnett Show which also came on way too late for me to be up.

Memories… I know my children and I are making memories each and every day but which ones will stand out most to them forty, fifty, sixty years down the road when the roles are reversed? When they are taking care of me or when they are telling my grand babies stories of their mother. The thoughts make me smile. Happy smiles. Sincere smiles. Smiles that make me GLOW because I know that I am allowing God’s light to shine through me for Him and they see that. I also know that my mother sees that during this time of hers.

We went through so many things together: My mother and I. It only seems fitting to be going through this together too. Literally. Together. On the same couch. Counting down the same seconds of 2014, together.

Making memories~

Jennifer

Have you called your mother today? Day 23 of 152… We Will Talk About This Later

Funny how the roles reverse.  I’ve mentioned this before as far as the caretaker. I have noticed as of late, behaviors seem to reverse as well. Stubbornness. Sassyness. Defiance. Denial. Or maybe that is just my family.

Just today I had to tell my mother not to take a shower until I got home.  Very similar to something I would say to my children.  Of course, she didn’t mind me and took two tumbles.  My brother, John, and my husband, David, were thankfully home with her.  They were able to help her afterward.

When I arrived they told me what had happened. I tried to talk to her about it. She wouldn’t even look me in the eye. She raised her hand and simply said, “we will talk about this later.”  In other words, she was too embarrassed and knew what she had done risked the safety of her health.

Like a child, she got caught and hoped I would forget and not be as difficult on her if we waited until later to talk about it.  The truth is. I was not mad at her.  I was worried she was hurt. I was frieghtened at what could have happened.  Just like she would be if the role were reversed.  Just like I would be if I was in the same situation with one of my children.

One thing I have learned for sure from this entire experience with my mother; do not wait until later.  There may not be a later.

Making memories~

Jennifer

Have you called your mother today? Day 21 of 152… A Day of Celebration

Psalm 145:7
A Time of Celebration

We put on our party hats today! My mother had a full night of great sleep which has not happened in quite a while and we got to celebrate my husband, David’s, 44th birthday.  Happy Birthday Honey!!

Finally, a day of celebration.  Thanksgiving and Christmas have just passed but during both holidays, my mom was in the Christus St. Vincent hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico which added stress and concern both times.

This time, she might not have been able to help prepare in the kitchen or even sing at the table with us but she was at least under the same roof.

Celebrating the little things.  Mother’s Day 2015 will be on day 152. Now that celebration…That will be a BIG ONE!

Making memories~

Jennifer

Have you called your mother today? Day 20 of 152…Forgive or Forget

Saturdays.  For some, a day of leisure. For some, a day of labor. Just any other day to many others. On this particular Saturday we received confirmation. Confirming news that my mother will get to leave Christus St. Vincent’s hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico after receiving a stent in her arteries and go home. Again.

We are thankful for her release because we know that will lift her spirits. We also received confirming news on further test results. Results that answer so many questions regarding attitudes, hurts…pain that resulted in ill behavior by many of us.  All forgiven. Now, what to do with the new results? Continue to forgive or forget? Both.

Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked,”Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Making memories~

Jennifer

Have you called your mother today? Day 22 of 152… A Time To Refresh

Create a time to refresh~not just the toes
Create a time to refresh~not just the toes

It’s a treat not to have to call my mother on days when I get to sit right beside her and have meaningful conversations face to face.  I enjoy not having to discuss her medical condition all the time.  Today we enjoyed a little girl time.  I was able to give her a mini-pedicure. I haven’t done that in thirty years!

She keeps flexing her toes to admire the freshly shaped nails and color.  All girls enjoy having pretty toes! Right? Right!

I have several friends who remember spending the night with me when I was younger who also remember painting my mother’s toenails at the sleepover.  Funny! I wonder how she bribed us into doing that?

New goal-Spend more time with my girls painting toenails…not at the spa but at home.  Create time..time to cleanse, time to refresh…not just the toes.

Once again. Memories. They settle in so deeply that you forget about them for years until a tiny wisp brings them back up for air. Could it be an angel fluttering by? My imagination would like to think so.

Making memories~

Jennifer

 

Have you called your mother today? Day 15 of 152…It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… so goes the lyrics of the well known Christmas song.

However this Christmas season hasn’t felt as much of a holiday as those in the past.  We have taken time to remember the most important reason for this time of year, which is Christ. We have not made time for all the traditional festivities….friends, family, food, decorations or presents….until today.  Mainly because of the stress and chaos of my mom’s illness.  After spending so much time in New Mexico, once I did return home to Texas I needed to catch up and recuperate physically.

Today, the first gift went under the tree then we went to a friend’s house for dinner.  Ahhh…to be with friends.  Their house was festive, lit beautifully, warm, cozy and welcoming.  We were not there twenty minutes when I received the text that my mother was back in the hospital.

Guilt and tears immediately set in.  I wanted to be there (five hours away) with her as well as here in that very moment with my husband, children and friends.  Again, there needed to be more than one of me. But how?

I don’t feel like blogging…

Making memories~I won’t forget this Christmas for sure…

Jennifer

Have you called your mother today? Day 14 of 152…The Fine Art of Taking Control

A little frustration set in today.  Not with me but with my mother.  My brother and I were trying to get her medications lined out for the week in her pill containers. She, of course, wanted to be in control.

My siblings and I have been rotating taking care of her.  It is currently my younger brother, John’s, week. We were on the phone trying to figure out things that would be much easier to handle if we were together, in person, handling these things.

But, now, during this season in our life, we are buckling down and doing what we need to do, what we have to do, how we can.  My mother on the other hand insists that she can handle it all and does not need our help.

She has always been one of the most independent people I know.  She has never wanted anyone to do anything for her. It’s a fine art giving up control of the things you once did so easily and it’s also a fine art of taking over the things someone once took for granted.

As I decorated a set of bookshelves tonight over my desk, I positioned each book, decorative piece, and candlestick perfectly..or perfectly in my perspective.  I’ll know if anyone has moved them or disturbed them.  I get that from my mother.  She loves to decorate and when she feels good (like me) there is a place for everything and everything has it’s place. A control thing.

But in the end, do the bookshelves even matter? Do the pill containers even matter? No. What matters is that we have someone there to help us. What matters is that we are not alone. Don’t wait until the end to give control up to God; to get your priorities straight. It’s a fine art. But it’s easier than you think.

Making memories~

Jennifer

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