Friday, March 21, 2014

What if happiness is not that obvious?

We all know the world is full of bellies carrying little babies. Once you're pregnant yourself or looking forward to having a baby, you see even more moms to be. One of my friends has had a baby just recently (and yes, I miss her and our chats, but don't we all know how busy our lives become once those little ones enter our homes), another one has a belly that is full of life and growing way too fast (I want to enjoy that wonderful sight of her pregnancy - I missed her previous one) and a third friend is in the early stage of expecting new life, while a fourth is about to deliver any time now.

Having two wonderful daughters of my own, I know what it's like to expect a child and give birth. I know the feeling of bringing new life into this world, the pain of being in labor and the happiness once that little creature uses its voice for the very first time. It's a feeling only moms can experience. Your life will never be the same, once you can call yourself a mom.

What if you have this dream, this one and only dream that would fill your life with so much joy and happiness that you would do anything to achieve your goal? What if things don't work out the way you want them to? Do people ever realize how hard it must be, when people ask you how come you haven't got children of your own? I can tell you: it hurts like hell. It sucks! It's not a good feeling at all... it can be very damaging indeed. Most of the time, the people asking, don't mean any harm. They are just trying to have a conversation and ask for the "obvious". But apparently it's not that obvious. Having children may not be that obvious at all. Sometimes the process can be really hard and the road to travel very long.  If only we could keep that in mind and support our friends and family that are so looking forward to having a little Prince or Princess of their own. An extra cuddle, some kind words and sympathy or small talk over a big mug of coffee. It's not that much to ask for. It's a delicate subject and there's not much you can do to help the other, but listen and understand. I care for you, my beautiful friend. I wish you all the best and all the luck in the world. My thumbs are still facing the stars. 

I have something up my sleeve

Having the Pisces sign, we knew you were going to be a creative mind. You have a good eye for art, music, fashion, photography, design. Sometimes you come up with real clever ideas. Things we would not have thought of. It is fun to watch your creativity grow and see you explore new dimensions. It's been some time now, since you started using those special markers. I had never even heard of them, but you know your ways around on the Net. I'm still astound by the wonderful drawings you make. The talent I lack in life, is patience. I can tell you: you have patience. I observe you making a piece of art in your sketch book, drawing fine lines and little patterns in a flowing way. You are gifted sweetheart. I am so proud of your latest project, you made for school. The school made it into a poster, to be hung all over school, so people would know about the project your class is involved in. You did real well. The fonts you chose, the colors you picked. Your artwork is neat and clean and unique. I like your style. No computer program involved, just your own creative ways..
Looking forward to seeing more of your talent. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hello World

Your first birthday away from home.. You are not even that far away, but you are not home today to celebrate. I wanted to cuddle and kiss you and wish you all the best. I am sure you will have friends around to party and have a good time. I took the time this morning to go down Memory Lane. You were so tiny and small. We never planned on getting pregnant, but we were so happy with the new life in my belly. I can hardly believe you turned 19 today. Look what a beauty you have become... We are proud of you sweetheart <3  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Things I enjoy always

  • Pampering my family
  • Cooking, not matter what time a day (or night)
  • Baking, the process and the result, not necessarily eating it (I'm not that much of a sweet tooth)
  • Meeting up with friends over lunch or/and dinner
  • Talk about diabetes
  • Surfing the Internet 
  • Good readings on my Dexcom
  • Hazelnut Creamer
  • High heels (I don't mind the sore feet afterwards)
  • Hugging our whippets
  • A new haircut or a good manicure
  • Traveling
  • A nice bouquet of flowers, for no particular reason
  • Family get togethers
  • The US
  • Movies based on true stories
  • Buying cookbooks and reading them like novels
  • Turn up the music in the car and sing along
  • A clean house (but I hate cleaning house)
  • Home made ravioli
  • Diet coke
  • Fine dining
  • New outfits from my favorite store
  • A perfect Latte Macchiato
  • Sheep skin slippers
  • Happy faces
  • The sun

Friday, February 28, 2014

While that's all fine and dandy..

It's been a year now, since this very nice man asked me to pull up my shirt, so he could insert this thingamajig into my tummy. I had no idea what to expect or if this device would be meaningful enough to me to have it glued to my body 24/7. I never asked to get diabetes, I never asked to be given this stupid chronic disease. But it's there, it ain't going nowhere and I have to own it to make a difference. I have accepted my condition a long time ago. Although a cure is not yet found, we have access to great technology nowadays. I wish all of my peers could have this same availability to whatever they need to keep their diabetes in control. Life is hard enough as it is.. We can use all the support out there. You may not really know what it's like to have diabetes, but a little bit of compassion and sympathy goes a long way.

Last night, I got a phone call from a very nice lady. She's Dutch and very smart, witty and enthusiastic. I told her it was too bad she didn't have diabetes, because now she couldn't join our club... Of course I didn't mean that (I would not want to nominate anyone for this bloody disease), but that's the kind of conversation we had: very open, spontaneous and honest. Although this lady is not a diabetic herself, she sure knows what she's talking about. It always startles me that non-diabetics make it their goal in life to help diabetics in whatever they find worthwhile.

So this lady and I talked for a while (...) and the conversation felt like I had known her for a long time. Her enthusiasm struck me. I was startled to hear about her determination in finding a cure for T1 diabetes. She knows people. She knows more than a handful of people - people that matter when it comes to finding a cure. She's a manager working for JDRF Holland and she's the one when it comes to fundraising, getting in touch with people who want to make the difference. I was happy she called me and I would be very honored if I could mean something to JDRF and all of us diabetics out there.

Insulin pumps are wonderful and Dexcom is the invention of the century for people with diabetes. While that's all fine and dandy: it's not a cure. We may seem very relaxed and coping, we all still have diabetes. Technology has improved massively and researchers all over the world are doing the best they can to come up with that cure that will kick diabetes in the butt. We need money though... a whole lot of money. Researchers are so close, but they need extra funding to finish what they have started.

That same night, I got another call from Holland. I met this lady a couple of years ago, on a diabetes congress in Brussels. I remembered her as a lady with pezaz, a driving force and most of all: a mom of a sweet little girl with diabetes. That girl is 9 years old now and a cure has not been found yet. It is time to spread the word again and sit around the table for a serious session of brainstorming. Are you with me?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What makes you beautiful

Being a teenager can be challenging. Things are being expected. There's school, friends, home, maybe a job on the weekend, a boyfriend, chores, sports, .. sometimes there's so much going on, there's hardly any time for you. Time to relax, enjoy life, hang out on the couch and just be. Finding the right balance is a hard job.

I'm proud of you. You are very conscious of what's going on around you. Your antlers are always buzzing, picking up emotions and situations. You have a heart for others and you are sensitive for the people you love.
You lack energy and you need a lot of sleep. After all, being a teen asks a lot from you. I'm so happy to see you have a nutritious breakfast before you go to school: oatmeal, fruit, green tea. It is a good way to regain your energy. You take good care of yourself.

Today, your sister decided to make breakfast for you. It is your birthday! We dressed the table and lit some candles, to welcome you downstairs. You were surprised and excited about the gifts. It's good to see you smile. You have a wonderful night planned with your boyfriend. He will spend the night with us and we'll have tapas together. Maybe a movie later on that night.

A bright future is awaiting you. Maybe this Spring, you will pick up running again. Or maybe swimming? It would do you good. It would provide your body with oxygen and energy. You're growing, kiddo. You're no longer that cute little baby you once were. Just look at you... need I say more?


your mommy xx <3

Friday, February 14, 2014

On solid ground

Being in love for the very first time, is just the best feeling ever. You can feel your cheeks blush every time you think about him. You can't focus in school and it's like you are walking on roses. Your arms are too long and you're striding and skipping with a broad smile on your pretty face. People say you gloom and they see lights twinkling in your eyes. That's what love does to one.. It's a feeling you want to hold on to forever and "forever" is a word you use in most of your sentences now.

You get older. You have met different people and you start dreaming about a future. Maybe you want to meet more people and discover the world and enjoy your youth, before you commit to someone. You fall in and out of love and you just like to hang out with friends and have a date every night and then. Cuddles are welcome and you like the feeling of being loved. It's been a while since you've been truly in love.

You meet this one guy and you know this is the person you want to grow old with. It may sound boring and very predictable, but it feels right to you. You no longer doubt if the love is mutual, because you can tell this guy is not only madly in love with you, you feel the same about him. He supports you in whatever you do and you are interested in his dreams. Both of you look forward to the other half to come home from work. There is candle light and romance, there are serious conversations and no harsh words during discussions. There are comforting arms to hold you whenever you feel sad and there's a thumb pointing upwards to cheer the victories in life. He brings you flowers when you least expect it and he opens the door to the restaurant for you. You bring him goodies while he watches the sports channel on TV and you enjoy his enthusiasm even though soccer doesn't interest you at all. There's so much looking forward to going abroad on a vacation and you do nothing but relax and enjoy each other..

It's been some time since you first met. You think about the past and those first years together. Memorable moments cross your mind, some with tears, some with a smile and a wink. The butterflies are no longer present all the time. Things have changed. Love has presented itself in a different way. You understand each other better as time goes by. You share a past together and you're looking forward to a future. The children start living their own life and there are more moments to spend as a couple. It's like starting all over again. At times, you feel the butterflies have come back. It's a special feeling. It's a blessing.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Then there was nothing but silence..

They were sitting at the table, facing each other. The television was playing loud, showing a cycling event, and I could hear the comments of the reporters, making jokes and keeping a good eye on the cyclists at the same time.

They were quiet, having their prespread sandwiches. She got up from the table, shambled towards the bathroom, her bowl of soup in her hands. I sat on the bed and watched her manners. She would empty the bowl in the toilet, flush and come back to the table, to finish her early dinner. They sat there, in complete silence. He was looking at me, winking and I could see the corner of his mouth curl up. He continued to take little bites from his sandwich. I asked them what cold cuts they had been given. They had no idea. They forgot, I guess. They were not interested either. He said he preferred making his own sandwiches at a time that was more appropriate to be called dinner time.

A friendly lady walked into the room. She was in a hurry, I could tell. "Are you finished," she asked, while she was clearing the table. Maybe the answer was not important to her, since she didn't await the answer. Dinner was over. Time to take that handkerchief and wipe their mouths. She shuffled back to the bathroom to flush the toilet again. I asked why she got rid of the soup. She said she hated soup. She did like buttermilk porridge though.. I urged her to talk to the head nurse, to see if she could have porridge instead of soup. She gave me that special look, that needed no further explanation. I dropped the subject..

He was still sitting at the table, picking up little crumbs that were left on his placemat. He gathered as many as he could, to pile them up in one corner. She sat down again, waiting for the evening to come. Pretty soon, one of the nurses would come in to help them get into their jammies. It was only 5:00 PM. There wasn't much to say. It was not an unpleasant silence though. They didn't need words to understand one another. They had been together for so many years, they knew what the other was thinking. They looked outside the window, to see nothing but a dull wall and a garbage bin. I kissed them on the cheeks. I rubbed their back and wiped away a tear that had been stinging in the corner of my eye. I left their room, thankful for the love they felt for each other. Thankful, that at least they were together. Things could've been worse. They could have spent their days in a room with a total stranger, in a totally different kind of silence. Their silence was comforting. It was not to be dreaded..

I still miss you.. I miss your wisdom, your strength, your ability to be without speech.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Trying to read between the lines

He told me it was golden and its condition was immaculate. It was "only" 75.000 Belgian francs (we didn't have Euros back then). I thought that was a very reasonable price for a Triumph! After all, my former boyfriend drove a similar car, a Triumph Spitfire to be accurate. That car in mind, I agreed to buying my first second hand car.. It took many hours of labor in restaurants to purchase that car, but it was mine and I loved the freedom it gave me.

I'm peeking through the window. The black monster just turned around the corner. I can see its headlights glow in the early morning hours. You're holding the steering wheel with both hands, waiting for the bus to move on. I feel confident and proud. For the very first time, you're driving to school all by yourself. Not without a reason: last night, around 5:00 PM, you were staring at your computer screen, waiting for your school results to appear. And YES!! you did it! You succeeded for all classes. Your hard work paid off. So happy to hear that and what a relief.. There was no reason to go to school to discuss your grades, but you planned on going with your friends so you asked for the car.

A little bird has told me it won't be too long before you will buy your first second hand car. You're ready. You have some money in your bank account and your driver's licence in your pocket. We'll have to think about this and discuss the conditions, before we come to some agreement. I can relate to your desire to have a car of your own. It means freedom and independence and another step towards adulthood. After all, you're almost 19..

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Off to work

I was sitting in the car in the parking lot, while you were inside for your job interview. No nail biting from my side, since I was pretty convinced you were going to be hired. It was only last week, you told us about this job opportunity. Not too far from home, weekend work, decent salary. Previously you had opted McDonald's, but we could tell you were not convinced yourself (and neither were we).

You pulled open the door of the car and your bright smile and the blemish on your cheeks, said it all: hired! The owner of the restaurant was very friendly and polite. You could start as soon as this Sunday. We needed to get you a black uniform, so you could wait the tables in style. You were happy your friend introduced you and you won't let her or your new employer down. They expect you this Sunday at 10:00 AM to inform you about their way of working. I told you about my very own experiences with waiting tables in a restaurant (I have done my share - 5 years of waiting tables damaged by back). It is hard work. It means no going out on weekends, it means sore feet and long working hours. It also means independence, extra money to spend, building confidence and a longer resume for future job interviews. It'll do you good. Last year, you worked in the kitchen of a retirement home and that was hard labor as well. Your employer was happy with your diligence and he asked you to come back next summer. You're not too sure.. you had room and boarding last summer, but you missed the Internet and your boyfriend. You'd rather work weekends than a month in summer. We'll see how you do. I'm sure you'll be polite and willing to do whatever they ask you to. You'll be exhausted when you get home, so it will require very good planning to get your schoolwork done before you go to work. Good luck kiddo!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hands, touching hands

Hands, touching hands
Reaching out, touching me, touching you..

Humans are not made to live all by themselves. We need company to stay focused and nourish our inner selves. Being by yourself for too long, can make you sad and moody. You probably feel empty and blue and you long for someone to talk to. Someone to tell your stories to, to watch a movie with, to share a meal or to take for a walk.

This little girl is never alone. She has so many loving people surrounding her. She can't tell what she thinks or how she feels, but her wonderful smile when she hears your voice as soon as you open the door, is so comforting. She knows you're there. She knows she's not alone. It is reassuring that we know she always has someone around her. As soon as the garage door opens to let daddy's car in, I can see that little face light up! She just knows her daddy will come and hug her and tell her about his day at work. Mommy cannot leave the house without kissing her on the cheeks. She protests if the kiss is being forgotten. It is heartwarming to see little man hug and kiss his big sister whenever he comes home. He loves her so much and she loves him back, in her very own way.

I feel so honored to be part of this little girl's life. It is peaceful to have her in my lap and have her grab my finger before she closes her eyes for her afternoon nap. She's special. I can feel her love. Her heart is so big and she moves so many others. She's a true blessing..