Another Mom’s View

This morning I ran into a mom I met through one of Thomas’ recreation programs.  Her name is Janice and she’s such a nice person.  Her son is not as high functioning as my son and she works so hard to make sure he is in the correct programs.  Her son is in his early twenties I believe.  Anyway, it was so nice to see her, I told her Thomas  wasn’t attending the recreation program anymore as he’s now in a residential school.  Her face immediately changed and she said to me, “You love your son so much that you did this for him, you got him into a residential school for him. You and your husband made that decision and I know it was hard. You really love him. I don’t think I love my son as much because I can’t let him go.” Turns out Janice’s son was in a residential placement a few years ago but she was very unhappy with how he was treated so she took him out.

I almost fell over hearing her say those words. Fell over at the fruit and vegetable stand we were chatting in. I told her that of course she loves her son that she did do residential but it didn’t work out, it wasn’t the right time. And I mean every word I said, I’m not one to patronize.

We chatted more about our sons, I gave a quick summary of Thomas’ behavior that ultimately led to us having to chose residential. Janice completely understood and said her son isn’t as aggressive but some days are very difficult. I understood her.

These days Janice has created a program for her son and similar functioning young adults. There’s socialization and activities, I was so impressed with what she has created and now has up and running. It’s amazing really.

It really shows how God works. If her son had stayed in residential, I wonder if would she had been as driven to create this program ? It’s also amazing that I ran into her now, not when I would have burst into tears trying to explain things. Today I was able to hold a normal conversation which is what one is supposed to do. It was nice to talk to another mom of a special needs child.

It was very nice to hear someone “in the know” say that I love my son so much but I don’t think I love my son anymore than she loves hers.


These days I only listen to contemporary Christian music.  I love Hillsong, Matt Maher, Casting Crowns to name a few.  I find the music really hits my soul.  Before I found the Christian music station on the radio I was always searching for music to fill my soul, I felt like I was always looking for “something” when I was in the car flipping through the stations.  When I finally did find the Christian station I was so excited I had no idea how long they had been around or anything I was just so thrilled to find this music!

To me the funny thing is I spent my teenage years listening and going to many concerts of heavy metal bands.  We had a great time, some more fun than others. Sometimes we went to clubs to see bands and that was usually interesting when the mosh pit started. You learned quickly to back up and not get “caught in a mosh”

Oddly enough these days I rarely listen to the music I loved and adored back in the day. I really would rather hear a Christian song praising The Lord. Every now and then my husband will play some blast from the past and after I smile at the memories I’m done, I’m good you can shut that off now…

What makes me smile the most is when my daughters will ask me to turn up a song while I’m driving. The first time I was so surprised. Now I hear Christian music coming from my oldest daughter’s room when she’s getting ready in the morning. The two older girls do listen to “regular” music too like modern day stuff and I feel so behind when I don’t know these songs but meh…it’s ok I deal and feel a little old.

I just love the way contemporary Christian music lets me worship and the way it ministers to me. I never thought that would happen. But God works that way I guess.

The Big City

I never thought I would enjoy going to Manhattan as much as I do.  I’m sure that was part of God’s plan as well, to get me in a different atmosphere to deal with what was going on.  I know most people will say I only enjoy it so much because I don’t do that commute everyday and I’d agree.  I really like the ferry and believe it or not the subway too.  Most people aren’t looking to chat and nobody bats an eye if you read, write, close your eyes, whatever…on the ferry or subway. If someone is chatty I’m usually more than happy to chat as well. People are interesting, I’ve met an English couple who came over on the QE2, I met a young woman from Mexico who was in NY visiting her boyfriend, she traveled alone and I was so surprised! I met a couple from Canada, Toronto I think. They drove here in their motor home. The husband had a therapy dog but I didn’t ask why.

I also tourist/people watch. It’s funny because I’d say 8 out of 10 times you can tell who is not from here. It’s hard to explain and put your finger on it but I know most native New Yorkers will agree. I find it so funny when I lose my bearings in the City and I’m looking around for a landmark, the first thing I think is, “Oh my gosh I look like a tourist”. And I laugh at myself. It’s not a bad thing it’s just funny because no one wants to look out of place.

I enjoy the solitude when I go by myself. Yes, in one of the biggest cities in the world with all those freaking people I enjoy the solitude. Almost everyone has someplace to be and they need to get there, so just walk with your head up and watch where you’re going.

Some people will drive into the city from the outer boroughs. I used to do that years ago when I first started taking Thomas to see Dr.F. After a while I grew tired of paying the high tolls and high parking fees and started taking public transportation with him. When he was doing well we used to have fun going together. I taught him to “hold on” if we had to stand on a crowded subway and we would take pictures of ourselves with my cell phone. After his appointment I would love to walk over to the Anthropologie store a few blocks away. Thomas was great and loved it when I bought something. He is the best in enabling a shopper 😉

Now that I’m learning about the locations of new to me thrift stores I enjoy the city even more. I get a kick out of becoming a regular in the thrift and the staff says hello. I don’t think I could live in Manhattan though, I like where I live and I like being a New Yorker. I consider my trips to Manhattan a mini getaway after my appointment.

God and therapy

I told my therapist today that I believe she was placed in my life on purpose by God so many years ago (she helped us with Thomas and how to navigate the board of Ed for the first residential school).  I was surprised that she didn’t bat an eye at my statement.  I don’t know her religious background or beliefs, but I do feel comfortable saying what I believe is true as a Christian.

When I was first searching for a therapist I was convinced I had to find a Christian therapist. I was afraid of my faith being mocked or if the therapist had different beliefs or was an atheist they would argue with me. I know now that I was being unreasonable but back in the day that’s how I felt. When I did see a counselor from church all we pretty much did was talk about helpful bible verses and my son’s behavior. In hindsight it was not what I needed at all and if not for my husband telling me this wasn’t working I don’t know where I’d be.

This is not to say all counselors who work at or volunteer at a church or place of worship aren’t any good, I was just much more depressed than originally thought and I needed stronger interventions.

It took Nancy and Dr. L and medication to get me well and I know they are both working under The Lord’s guidance. He is the great physician and I’m so thankful His light is shining to defeat the darkness of depression. I did an exercise with Nancy today where I had to visualize the depression as an object and what will beat it. I pictured the Light of God coming in and destroying the dark object of depression. I ended the exercise visualizing the Light shining continually on the hiding place of the depression.

Nancy asked what I visualized and I told her about the light of God shining down. I didn’t know how she would react but she smiled and approved. That really meant so much to me.

God’s light and wounds.

I’ve been feeling down the past few days.  It’s not major but not minor either. But on the upside, Daniella and I had an interesting conversation last night.  She asked me what do Nancy and I talk about, but…I don’t have to tell her if I don’t want to.  I thought that was very sweet and insightful for a 12 year old.  I explained that we talk about almost everything and yes sometimes we talk about her and her siblings, but not always.  That Nancy listens and may explain why I might feel a certain way or pick up on things that I don’t feel are important.  I have a caring daughter.  I’m glad she feels comfortable enough to ask me such questions and in a mature manner.  

I’ve been praying in hope that a The Lord will relieve this down-ness. One of my wonderful choir friends said something to me last Thursday that is sticking with me still.  She said that God uses your weaknesses and wounds through which His Light spills out of you.  You are then able to bless others when you expose the humble, hurting parts of yourself.  I found this really profound.  This blog is/has been an outlet and source of healing for me. I’ve received such feedback to keep writing, something I never expected, I had no idea anyone would even read what I write.

I can only hope God’s Light spills out of the parts of me that are wounded and that that light is shining and touching someone else.

I really heart my choir family. My friend received her words from a book “Dear Jesus” by Sarah Young.

The Mall

I was in the mall with our youngest, Samantha and I noticed a young man holding the arm of another young man. I looked again and noticed it was an outing of special needs young adults. Sometimes seeing this makes me sad. Not because the people are special needs, but because my special needs young adult goes on these outings without me.

Before everything fell apart when we changed medications (due to low white blood cell counts caused by one med), I had a picture and plan of what our lives would be like. It all seemed to be fitting into place. Thomas was in a great school, we both adored the staff, he was a part of great recreation programs and Thomas was on the waiting list for group homes once a space became available after he turned 18.

Don’t get me wrong I’m incredibly grateful for the school Thomas attends now and I know we couldn’t continue to live the way we did any longer. I know all this logically. However logic and emotion usually don’t reside together, not in my mind anyway. It’s not all the time that I get sad, just here and there. I guess I feel sorry for myself and that sounds terrible, to me anyway. I don’t like pity parties. When I see these young adults I remember “the plan” and how it’s no longer viable. Then I remember that I was never in charge anyway. God is and He has his own plan. One I am not necessarily privy to. I have to trust in Him.

As much as I mourn the change of my plan, I do enjoy the quiet environment of my home these days. It’s not always “quiet”, there are 3 girls living here, one a teen and one a pre-teen. But it’s not chaotic either. And I’m not emotionally exhausted trying to keep everyone peaceful and myself safe. It’s kind of a sucky trade off to see my son turn into someone I would fear, but God will use this for his glory. I know he will.

There are some things I miss so much about when Thomas was stable on that particular medication. I will never forget one time, about 3 years ago, right before we had to stop the one medication. Thomas and I were in Manhattan to see his psychiatrist. Saks Fifth Avenue was a few blocks from the doctor’s office and my husband had just informed me I could purchase my dream handbag. There was a boutique in Saks. Thomas and I get there and he helped me pick out some bags to try on. The whole time asking me, “You gonna buy it Mom?”. Meanwhile I was overwhelmed and hyperventilating as I never in a million years saw myself buying this designer handbag. I went outside to call my husband and ask him if I could but it there at Saks without him present. It took a while to get him on the cell phone so Thomas and I walked to a find a pretzel vendor. Just as we found a pretzel guy, Tommy called back and said to get the bag, to open a Saks account as I didn’t have our major credit card with me. I told Thomas I was getting the bag and he practically ran back to Saks! I had to keep up with him, lol! Thomas was walking so fast saying “Excuse me, my Mom’s getting that bag!”. We arrive back at Saks and the salesman was so great to Thomas. He didn’t patronize him. Thomas pointed to the bag and confidently said, “That one, my mom’s buying it!”. Unfortunately I was unable to open a Saks account as I didn’t have my major credit card with me. Arrgghhhh!!!! I tried to explain that if I had the credit card I wouldn’t need to open the Saks account. They wouldn’t budge so I had to explain to Thomas that I didn’t have the right card but I will get the bag another time. I’m not sure who was more disappointed him or me.

About 2 weeks later I made my way to The Mall at Short Hills in NJ. Tommy couldn’t come as Samantha was sick. You know Thomas came with me, I had to have him come along to purchase “The Bag”. The whole experience wouldn’t have been the same without him

Change of Seasons

I really love this time of year.  The color of the leaves, the weather turning cooler.  I like seasons.  Right now I couldn’t picture myself living in an area that doesn’t have a change of seasons, I mean a realchange of temperature. I don’t think I could live in an area that is warm most of the year, or cold either.

It seems it’s taking forever for fall to come and stay here. Honestly I’m tired of dressing for warm weather I’m ready for sweaters and boots! I love walking around Manhattan wearing a skirt, boots and long sweater. All thrifted of course except the boots. Oh wait last year I did thrift a pair of Miu Miu boots. I didn’t even know who made them but the leather was so butter soft *and* my size there was no way I was leaving them there. I paid the $10.00, arrived home and checked inside with a flashlight. Bingo! Miu Miu! I’m very picky about thrifting shoes they must be in new or near new condition. I have a very fortunate friend with a smaller foot than me that I scored Manolos for. They were gorgeous!

I wonder what I get more passionate writing about, God or the thrift? I guess it depends on the days events. I think about God constantly and spend most mornings in worship. The Lord is comfort and a pleasure to praise. There are many times I can’t get the words out properly to pray so instead I’ll simply praise Him. He knows my heart.

When I have a great thrifting day I know it’s from The Lord. Who else would put those items where I can see them at the price I don’t mind paying? No one else but Him.

If you told me a year or so ago that I would be blogging like this I never would have believed it. But to combine blogging about the thrift and praising The Lord…nope I wouldn’t have thought it was possible. But it is.

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13


Shaking things up

I changed the look of my blog, time to shake things up a bit I guess.  If you know me you understand that I get bored and need a change every now and then.  Until recently it was my hair color.  I’ve probably tried every shade of warm to ultralight blonde to reds and auburns that is available at your local drug store (I color my own hair).  The past 3 yrs or so I’ve been a reddish brown and I believe that is the color my hair is staying…for now.  I contemplated going back to blonde but decided against it. IMO it’s too much work and upkeep.

Things I think I would like to do but don’t are baking and trying new recipes. I let myself think baking is too much work so I get overwhelmed and I usually get intimidated by new recipes, especially if it involves spices I’m not familiar with. But once I try something even if it doesn’t come out right I’m kind of proud for trying.

When all my kids were small I was notorious for moving furniture around. Tommy never knew what he would walk into when he came home from work. Living room furniture, bedroom furniture, no room was safe :).

I recently got a new tattoo on my foot, that was to shake things up and when I turned 40 I had my nose pierced. I have no idea what turning 50 will bring, I’ll stay in my denial for a few more years.

I would like to hear what “you” do to shake things up when life gets mundane. Please nothing above rated PG. Either reply here or on my FB page. Come on…


It’s early in the morning and I’m wondering what to write about .  A common theme among people who blog I guess. I’m off to Manhattan today. First to see my therapist and then I’ll hit my regular thrift haunts. Most of the staff knows me and will always say hello. I enjoy that, if they don’t say hi to me I’ll go out of my way to say hello to them. Why not? It really is nice to be nice.

When I started this blog I fully intended it to be about my life and thrifting. Then I realized I couldn’t talk about my life unless I talked about Thomas and the huge part he played in shaping who I am today. Depression included. I don’t blame him for the depression, I don’t blame him for anything at all. However now I find I don’t define myself by as “Thomas’ mother”. I’m not overtaken and defined by the depression either anymore thanks be to God for placing Dr. L and Nancy in my life. When I was in the thick of the depression it absolutely overtook who I thought I was, I couldn’t even remember “me” if that makes sense.

I had a choice this past weekend when Thomas reverted back to behaviors that led us to decide on residential school. At one point I distinctly remember thinking, “You can stand here and have flashbacks and let it take over, or you can leave the room and be ok”. I left the room. That’s not to say I didn’t think of Thomas past actions towards me, I did. I didn’t let them overtake me and gain control if that makes sense.

Christmas music

I’ve been listening to a CD of Christmas music our choir will be singing during our live Nativity in December.  The CD has the alto part I’m supposed to learn as well as the songs themselves.  I don’t sing without a choir, lol!  It’s wonderful that our director takes the time to record our parts so we can rehearse on our own.  

Listening to songs celebrating our Saviour’s birth is amazing.  I love just about any Christian (contemporary) music, but there is something about true Christmas music celebrating The Lord’s arrival to this earth that is awe inspiring.

I really enjoy singing with our choir. I’ve made close friends that I wonder if I would have met if not for the choir. I believe God places people in your life and He orchestrates how they enter your life. So to answer my own question my guess would be yes I would have met them anyway because God wants them in my life.

Back to the Christmas music, I’m not rushing Christmas to get here, I’m very content to take my daughter trick or treating and celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s limited rehearsal time that has me singing Christmas music, and the songs we are singing are so inspiring yet calming. “He’s here, He’s here! Now come worship Him” is the short message of all the songs put together. One of the songs is titled “Birthday of a King”. How perfect is that? Christ is our King and that we have the freedom to openly celebrate his birth is so wonderful. I can honestly say it wasn’t until I accepted Christ as my Saviour did I really “get” Christmas. That if I never received another a Christmas gift it would really be ok as it’s not about the gifts anyway. It’s about the gift of God’s son. He sent Him here to save us. What other gift could be greater than that? None.