Signing papers

I received a packet of papers from Thomas’ school via the US mail today. There were various consents forms I have to sign every year giving my permission for Thomas to receive various medications and treatments as needed. It struck me today that I’ll always have to sign for him. Tommy and I are his official legal guardians. (Side note: no one bat an eye when we took that baby home from the hospital without any sort of training or guidebook, but good gravy we were finger printed and background checked to be his guardians after the age of 18…) Tommy or I will always have to give consent for Thomas for one thing or another, or…will have to advocate against a situation or two hopefully not in the near future.

Alyssa is looking at colleges. She’s 17 years old and by the time she goes away to the college of her choice she’ll be a legal adult. The cord will be cut and it will be final. I’ll have no legal leg to stand on if I disagree with her decisions. It’s such an odd comparison between Thomas and Alyssa. When they were small the chasm between them was not that wide. I mean we knew Thomas had issues and that there was something wrong with him we just didn’t know what and had little to no help in finding out what that was at that time in our life.  To go from remembering them both as young preschooler and toddler to now acknowledging the adulthood of both of them. One on one end of adulthood and the other on another end of adulthood is a little hard to digest some days.

It started this afternoon when the mail arrived and I realized what Thomas’ school had sent me. I filled out the blanks and signed where I was supposed to sign. I called the nurses to question a medication change but all in all it was pretty uneventful except for the tug on my emotions that this is something Tommy or I will always have to do. Approve or disapprove decisions for Thomas.

Not soon after dinner Alyssa was talking to me about colleges and dorming (she is determined to dorm and that’s ok). I enjoyed our conversation. She’s worried about the financial aspects of certain colleges and we discussed that and other fears she has surrounding getting accepted to certain schools. I wanted to tell her to keep praying on it but I was interrupted by Samantha.  I will tell her tonight to keep praying to God about the colleges. To give it to Him. He will make a way when there is no other.

I have an interesting spectrum and definitions of adulthood here in my little family.

The thrift and a spiritual rut

Why do people donate badly stained or ripped/torn clothing? I’m not talking cool ripped denim jeans I mean blouses with horrid pit stains and sweaters with obvious moth holes. I don’t get it. Maybe because I’m an avid thrift shopper I only donate things that I would buy. If it’s stained or ripped it goes in the garbage not to the donate pile.

Speaking of which I had a slight laugh when I was thrifting today. I came across 3 tops I donated and yes it took me a minute to realize they were once mine. No, I didn’t buy them back 😜.

I did pretty good today at the thrift.  I happened upon a really nice lightweight denim dress that retails for about $180.00 the name is “Bella Blue”. Who knew? Not me that’s for sure. I learned a new high end retail name today. I also bought a new Hollister tank with stones at the neckline and a new silk blouse. Everything is washed and pressed and hanging in my closet ready to be worn.

I’ve been doing some soul searching lately and I’m in a spiritual rut. I need that fire that can only come from the Holy Spirit. I’ve talked and prayed about it and I’m going to attend another bible study tonite. I went to one last night but it didn’t do it for me. I also emailed one of the church staff members asking if he needed any volunteers for anything. I need to be with others and I want to serve or rather I need to serve. I felt a little better after I wrote the email. I also had a wonderful and insightful conversation with Louise who runs tonight’s bible study. Louise is just so good. I’m glad I have her in my life. I listen to a lot of christian music and it is so uplifting and speaks so much to my soul. I adore the band Casting Crowns. Their song “Just Be Held” speaks volumes to me lately. 

They’re such an awesome band.

On God opening doors and His perfect timing

A good friend said to me today, “Well, pray on it…Only God can open a door that He wants open”. We were talking about me and working more, specifically working per Diem for a company that hires RN’s to staff wellness events such as blood pressure screening, blood glucose and cholesterol screenings, and corporate flu shot events. Since I’ve been hired by this new company they’ve sent me job offers but the times are not good for me. I still have to make sure someone is home for Samantha after school and that someone is me. I can’t rely on Alyssa and Lelly these days they are both involved in extra curricular activities and jobs, etc… I mentioned this to my friend while we were waiting for the kids to be dismissed after school. So I took his advice and I have prayed on it. I’ve given this over to the Lord. He’s the only one who can orchestrate a job for me that will work perfectly. And I know this will only occur at His perfect timing.

I have to remind myself of all the times God did open that door at just the perfect time. When we bought this house, when we were awaiting residential school for Thomas, when I desperately needed a therapist, I could go on and on…His timing is impeccable and He meets you where you are; I can’t stress that fact enough. The Lord finds you no matter where you are in your life and He meets you there in the exact spot you’d never think you would meet him. I met Him in my car while listening to Casting Crowns “Praise You In This Storm”. I also met Him another time while driving. I had a distinct image of me sitting with Jesus and other people. I was sitting at His feet and The Lord was talking. About what I have no idea. I wasn’t daydreaming it was very clear. And when it was over I knew I met with Him.

I love hearing people’s testimonies. No two are the same and it’s always clear to whom the glory belongs to. The one true living God. He who took on flesh, He knows what it’s like to hurt, to be betrayed, to feel physical pain, He knows what it’s like to love, he knows.

So I pray and wait for His perfect timing that is a result of His perfect love.

20 Years Ago…

wedding invite With each believing the other to be a giver of love a sharer or sorrow a bringer of joy and a reason for life, Menay Audra and Thomas James and their parents request the honour of your presence…

I was thinking last night about my anniversary that is coming up in November. Tommy and I will be married 20 years. 20 years… I was thinking about what we were doing 20 years ago. Preparing for our wedding and living in the coolest apartment ever with one of the best neighbors (Steve~may he rest in peace) living upstairs in an equally cool apartment. The invitations were out and we were either awaiting the RSVP’s or already counting who would be attending. I was working as an RN at a local hospital and Tommy was an HVAC mechanic working for a local heating, oil, and air conditioning company. Life was sweet. We were 25 years old with great jobs, great cars/truck and no kids.  We had yet to buy a house but already knew what it was like to pay rent, pay utilities, and make payments on new cars. We lived together for 6 months before we were married. I wouldn’t change anything as those 6 months are part of our history together and helped shape who we are today.

I remember Tommy expecting dinner when he got home from work and I would be out and about with my sister or mother and shopping during dinner time. It was one of our “adjustment” arguments. I had no idea how to put a dinner together and I was so proud of myself for making a bowl of spaghetti with marinara sauce. Just spaghetti, no meat or salad or italian bread even to accompany it. Tommy gently explained his expectations and I remember thinking “Ooooooooh!” I can laugh about it now but I felt incredibly dumb back then. There were plenty of life lessons and learning what it was like to live with someone that was not your family.

Our upstairs neighbor, Steve would often drop by for dinner and it was fine as we enjoyed his company. Many a romantic dinner for 2 turned into a casual dinner for 3.  At one point we joked that we were the opposite of “Three’s Company”. I’m glad we had that time with him.

I loved our life back then. We were truly on our own and we paid for our own wedding and honeymoon. I’m still proud of us. I would go back in a heartbeat and relive that time if I could.  November rolled around soon enough and my fiancee became my husband. 20 years later we’re still here, together; waiting for November 12th to come up so we can finally celebrate.


I’ve been thinking today about how grateful I am. Life has been good even when things get a little hairy life is still good. This past week I was literally yelled at by a client. But you know what it was okay. I knew she wasn’t mad at me personally. She arrived at my office in a po’d mood and just continued being pissed off when I came around to her. Not too long ago I would have taken this woman personally and it would have ruined my day; literally. But now…meh…I know she was just an angry woman for whatever reason and I happened to be in her path.

It also helps that I have a supervisor who has my back. Angry woman called my supervisor. I wasn’t too surprised, honestly. I was however reminded that my boss cares about what I have to say and she contacted me twice to talk to me first before she returned angry woman’s phone call.  Thank God for sensible bosses!

I’ve been selling my “stuff” on ebay and it’s been going really well. Much better than I had thought it would. People want what I have to sell. And it’s funny because I did a major clean out of my closets, shoes included. I’ve been selling clothes and bags that I don’t wear anymore for whatever reason but are too nice to donate. Go me! I’ve since turned that money back to ebay to purchase a pair of shoes and an awesomely cool pair of jeans. I can’t wait to get the jeans…

The rest of my sales will go towards Christmas shopping because Lord knows how fast that holiday comes around. You blink after Thanksgiving and bam! It’s Christmas!

So yes, I’ve been grateful. Grateful for a doctor who knows what he’s doing and prescribed meds that help me to be in this good place.  When you’re clinically depressed the depression steals all the good things you feel and leaves you feeling empty, worthless and just all around “less than”.

I’m grateful for my kids who love me. No one leaves this house without someone telling them, “love you!” I don’t know when we started doing that but we do. I’m grateful for a husband who loves me more than I even feel I deserve to be loved. He works so hard to give us what we need and want. And he hasn’t said boo about how short I’ve been cutting my hair, bonus points!

I’m grateful for a God who loves us enough to give up his only son to save a bunch of sinners. He loved each and every one of us before we were even born. How amazing is that? And that Jesus willingly took on our sins to save us! Just as amazing and totally worth our gratitude and worship. There is none higher than Him. I’m grateful I live in a country where I’m able to worship the King of Kings without fear.

I’m in a good place.


My son called the other day. I hadn’t spoken to him since this past Saturday when we all attended his school’s annual family day picnic. He was so sweet. I loved listening to him talk. Thomas is speech impaired but many times it’s not too difficult to understand him. Curse words for whatever reason come out crystal clear and there is no misunderstanding ;). Since Thomas doesn’t live at home I love when he calls us. And this past phone call I thoroughly enjoyed hearing him just say, “Mom…” That word that I’ve heard more or less for the past 17-18 years. There have been variations, “Mama, Mommy, Mom, Ma, Mo-oooom!!” Every mother has heard them all and then some. Sometimes accompanied by laughter, sometimes  crying; the best times are when there’s excitement to be had like good news.

Today Alyssa texted me, “Guess what?” That was pretty cool. She had exciting news about an article she wrote last year and this year her teacher submitted the article to a journalism contest. Alyssa has a good chance of winning according to her journalism teacher. If she wins at the citywide level she’ll then be competing at the state wide level. Very exciting news and I’m glad she took the time out of her day to share that with me.

“Mom…” That’s how my son addresses me. With a pause after saying Mom. When he was talking to me the other night I felt so blessed to be called “Mom” by this young man. After all we’ve been through especially the past 4 years with him being unable to continue living at home. I think of the time before things became tough. We were having a nice time with Thomas. He was stable on his meds, I was thrilled with his school and their staff, and Thomas was involved with a recreation program run by an agency that specializes in special needs. Their staff is also amazing. Oh and we had a woman coming to the house a few times during the week who worked with Thomas doing life skills such as walking to the store and buying small things and walking around the neighborhood, to the park, etc… Life was good and it was predictable which was nice. Its funny though because I don’t recall many conversations between Thomas and I during that time. I remember almost all of our conversations these days mainly because they’re not full of distractions or other people interrupting us. It’s just him and I on the phone. And its nice. “Mom…”


I sit here waiting for some extraordinary words of wisdom to flow from my brain to my fingertips to be furiously typed up. But…nope no words of wisdom, just my thoughts of the day. Which may or may not be “wise”. I went to church yesterday. I’m glad I went. Our Pastor is leaving and we’re in a state of transition right now while the church searches for a replacement. I really enjoy and like our Pastor and I wish he wasn’t leaving. Pastor Eddie makes you want to learn more about the bible, he’s inspiring and he also teaches while he preaches so it’s never dull. However, I do understand that people need to move on to a higher calling they have and I wish him and his family all the best. God has already chosen our next Pastor we just haven’t met him yet.

I’m attending bible study on Tuesdays nights and it’s going well. It’s taught by one of our Pastors and his wife, Cheryl. Cheryl has been a wonderful friend to me. She’s the one who came to the meetings with me when Thomas was in the psych hospital. She gave up her day just to help me and we didn’t even know each other that well at that time. Talk about a Godsend. I have no doubt God had his hand in, orchestrating our friendship. Anyway I’m really glad to be in bible study with her and her husband.  It’s a nice group, very diverse in age and culture. I’ve become friendly with another woman. She’s been charged with creating a prayer list for the group and I offered to help her. I’m not sure what that entails but I’m sure I’ll find out. I really enjoy her company. She is definitely walking with the Lord and I enjoy talking with her. Funny enough I’ve run into her once in a while at the ferry terminal. The last time I saw her we took the boat in together and she told me about her job. This past Tuesday, after bible study we talked quite a bit also. It was nice. New friendships are nice.

I’ve been selling somethings on Ebay. It’s been going well. I did a pretty decent clean out of my closets… shoes included (gasp!). But there were many clothes and bags that were too nice to donate but I wasn’t wearing or using for one reason or another. I’m hoping things continue to run smooth for me there.