Monday, May 31, 2010

Time To Tell Why I Chose This Name...

As I tell people about my blog, and the name of it... they either smile or frown. I have decided it was time I explained WHY I chose to call it Mormon Ex-Wife.

I wanted to write a blog, but finding a name is not easy. Anyone who has tried to think up a username or password knows how stumped you can get when confronted with that question. I mulled over it for days. Nothing came to mind.

I wanted something original and something that would be memorable. Something that would provoke some thought, and curiosity. I also wanted to add a little humor. Life is too short to not laugh at it.

As I was thinking about all the "labels" that can be put on me "Ex-Wife" came to mind. Then I thought "how ironic, being an ex-wife while being a member of a church that has a reputation for having multiple wives!" So, while the Church has a lingering, no longer valid reputation for collecting wives, I appeared to be thrown away!! I saw the humor in that. And for the record, I wasn't really thrown away, I chose to leave both times.

I decided to present it to the active members in my family and gauge their reaction. I called my mom, and presented the name to her... her reaction was to laugh. Good... I then called my daughter Bridgette, she laughed too. Good again.... Finally, I called Danny, who again laughed.

That was enough, I had my name.

A few days ago I was thinking about this blog, and thought "If I ever marry again, I won't be able to keep this name. Then it occurred to me... Although I may someday be a wife again, I will always be an ex-wife to two men who chose a different path.

I am glad I chose the path I did. I stumble and fall at times, and get temporarily distracted... But my desire is to walk the path back to Heavenly Father. So I brush myself off and keep going. That is what this blog is about. Keeping the forward movement.

There is an irony in being a Mormon ex-wife. People still do think of the Church in connection with multiple wives. I smile at that. Kinda a sad smile. In the time when multiple wives was practiced there were so many more women than men, and the women needed the protection and support that being married brought to them. They lived in hard times. The frontier was brutal. The men who had multiple wives were good men, honorable men. They didn't lie and they didn't abuse. Polygamy had a purpose, and then the purpose ended and so did the practice.

I cannot tell you how many women I know who are ex-wives or in the process of becoming an ex-wife, for this very same reason that I am... Pornography addiction and infidelity. Our ex-husbands are not good men, are not honorable men. They lied constantly. They snuck around, cheated with women who cheated on them. They endangered our health through possible exposure to bad diseases. They twisted their words and left us feeling crazy. They blamed us, dumped the responsibility of their bad behavior onto us. For our health and our sanity, we had to get away. There was no honor in what they did. It was selfish and emotionally brutal.

In all this I have increased my trust in God. He knows all that has happened. He knows my heart and all it contains. He knows how to comfort me and how to guide me to comfort others. I am not perfect in this, but I am trying.

So... this Mormon Ex-Wife will smile at herself. She will look at the good that is in her life and praise God for helping her so see the humor.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Joy of Rain...

It's cold and wet and rainy outside... and I'm loving it!

A few days ago we got a downpour. I mean... literally. The rain was coming down so fast and so hard it was like a wall. The last time I saw a downpour like that was in a monsoon... and monsoons don't happen in Oregon. The parking lot became a small river.

I'm not complaining... after having lived in the desert for seven years, I welcome the freshness a good Pacific Northwest rainfall brings. I started to say just rainfall, but that can be deceiving. I had to add the Pacific Northwest in.

The first rainfall I experienced in Mesa, Arizona left me feeling really homesick. Not because if made me feel like I was home, but because it didn't... The rain started coming down and I thought "good, nothing like cleaning the air and breathing in the freshness after the rain." That is what I expected, what I longed for. What I had experienced my whole life, having been spoiled in the Pacific Northwest lushness and greenery. So I waited for the rain to end, anticipating what it would smell like when the sun peeked out again. Mesa does not smell good, except maybe a little on Brown Avenue, where the orange groves are, and only during the short time when they are in bloom. That does smell good. But in general, the smell of pollution has taken over. It stinks.

So after the rainfall I prepared myself for a "moment". You know the kind where your heart takes a picture and you mark it in your "life book" as a time and place to remember fondly? I stepped outside... I breathed in a deep breath... and I chocked! The smell was horrid... it was musty.... it was moldy... it gagged me. I went back inside in shock. It was about as far away from what I expected as I could have gotten. My heart never developed the picture, I did my best to let it just fade away. I think I may even have cried. I missed home, I missed all those things I had taken for granted.

After that I never made the mistake again. Instead of preparing myself to take in a moment, I prepared myself to not gag when I went out after the rain. All the rain in Arizona left me feeling was damp and dirty. Lifeless... There is no life in the rainfall there. I don't know if that was because it didn't rain often, or that Mesa/Phoenix has become such a polluted place. Or perhaps it was always that way.

Maybe those who love the desert would differ with me, but until I moved there I never dreamed that a tree could look so "sad". So lacking in life. So lacking in green. It seems there are only a few shades of green there, green/brown and brown/green. You could feel it, the plants were not happy. I know that sounds like I'm going off the deep end, but until you experience it, it is really hard to describe. The best I can think of is... the plants were sad. They were living, but not really alive. Just existing. They give in to the wind and the dust. They don't rejoice... they don't sing.

I am grateful for the time I spent in the desert. I believe God had a plan for me there, He took me there to heal me and to teach me. The desert has it's place and it's purpose. I think I was like the desert. I wasn't alive, I only existed. I gave in to the wind and the dust... I didn't rejoice... I didn't sing...

As I walk through a forest here, I can feel the spirit of the woods. The trees here are happy, they rejoice in their home, they sing... They bow and bend to the wind, then laugh as they straighten up again. The trees are happy here. The green is deep and brilliant, and so many shades.

So let the rain fall... Let the trees rejoice... God made this wonderful place and the rain needs to fall in order to keep it this way.

Thank you Lord, for bringing me home. The air smells so good here and in it I rejoice.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A New Week... Let It Be Filled With GRATITUDE and FAITH.

It's another week. A new week. I am going to try hard to stay in the positive. I don't like it how I tend to spiral down into the negative.

I became quite negative when I was married to David. He is very negative, I think it comes with the addiction, and it began to leak out onto me. I didn't realize how negative I had become until someone brought it to my attention. OUCH!! At least I was receptive enough to listen and not become defensive.

A good way to remain positive is to count blessings... I have had so many. So here are a few...

Even though the car is broken, it didn't break down when I was out and about. It happened at home where I was safe and sound. Danny is having it towed and fixed. I live close enough to several stores (Target, Home Depot, and Fred Meyer) that I can walk if I really need something. And I have had a few friends tell me they will take me places if I need a ride.

My new ward is welcoming me with open arms. I think part of it is me, that I am finally becoming receptive to others, which in itself is a blessing I have prayed for. They tell me they are happy I am here.

I am now taking St. John's Wort, which seems to be stabilizing my mood. I am grateful Heavenly Father put herbs on the earth to help us.

I am grateful to be reconnecting with friends of my past. They are still friends. In a way I am feeling like I have made a full circle, and come back to the beginning. I went away for a time, was sent to the desert to heal. And I have healed a great deal. I have thought about all the times the Lord took His people to the wilderness or the desert so that He could work with them and heal them. He definitely worked with me and healed me. I wanted to come out of the desert and return the the lush green of Oregon for some time, but in prayer did not feel it was time. When the time finally came, I was thrilled, and gave thanks to God for blessing me.

I am not on this earth for life to be easy... I am here to learn how to return to my Father in Heaven. It has not been easy, but I have made progress. One of the things I really need to learn is how to live on faith. I want to learn to put my faith ahead of me and behind me like a shield, like a bubble. Surround myself in faith. And the faith is specific. It is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith that He lives, that He has the power to redeem me. Faith in my Savior that no matter what happens, He is bigger, stronger, more powerful than anything. I want my faith in Him to become bigger, stronger, and more powerful than anything that can happen to me.

And with that faith in Him, I will move forward and do the things I need to do, that He wants me to do. Because I WANT to do the things He wants me to do. Faith is not an stationary thing. It does not stay still. If it is not exercised through attitude and behavior, it will recede.

I know there is a plan in motion... I feel it. I do not know where or when it will end, or rather be complete. But I feel a Divine hand guiding me. I cannot deny that. I know He wants me to be happy. That happiness is based on Eternal happiness, not just earthly happiness. I do want the higher happiness.

So, when I get negative, it would be good to bring it to my attention. Kinda knock me on the side of the head and say "Sandy!! Count your blessings again!" I will be grateful you cared enough to set me back where I need to be.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A bad day.

I am having a bad day. It started out okay, even promising, but didn't take long for everything planned in the day to come unraveled.

I don't know if I am even going to post this. I guess if you are reading it, I did.

Why is it that some people can take the punches and keep on their feet, and others crumble? I don't feel like I crumble easily, at least I know I have taken a lot of punches, I have felt the black and blue of the bruises. But to others, who haven't known what I have been through, I think I appear to crumble easily. I used to take more, I was covered in bruises, but I seem to have very little reserves now. Maybe I do crumble a lot easier now.

I have a friend who weathers life's storms awfully well. I've talked to her about it. She says she doesn't know why she is able to take the punches in stride, when others would falter, and believe me, others would falter with what has been handed her. She does say she thinks it is a blessing from God... and is very grateful for it.

Another friend posted this in Facebook: "Things are not always perfect. The measure of a person is how they deal with adversity." - Jeff Zucker, President and CEO NBC Universal.

I've been thinking about that quote all day. What kind of measure do I show? I haven't weathered my storms well... I've crumbled... I've fallen... I sometimes want out... Can a person at some point say "enough"? How much adversity do I have to endure before I just can't walk anymore? Does that mean I don't measure up to much?

My life has been a hard one. My father was a dictator pedophile monster. He had out of control rages at the drop of a hat. Out of his four children, three have P.T.S.D., and the fourth has Borderline Personality Disorder. We have all spent a lot of time relearning life. That's a nice way to say counseling. I'm not blaming now, just explaining. I know it is up to me to become a better person. I know I must be 100% responsible for myself, and my life, if I am ever going to make it a worthwhile one.

Because my foundation was so faulty though, my life has been full of bad decisions. Decisions that I honestly thought were good decisions at the time. I married two men who did not have the ability to keep their vows. I trusted them. They abandoned me, physically, emotionally, spiritually... I did not know how devastating the consequences of those choices would turn out to be... I'm still not sure if I completely understand how deeply it goes. I just know I feel it and I don't know how to get away from it.

I have fears. I don't want these fears. I try hard to trust God and believe He will take care of me. I have had so many blessings. A day does not go by that I don't feel His hand in my life. But He does not abide a slothful servant, and I don't know if I am being slothful or just worn out. I am weary...

I don't think I am supposed to shoulder all this alone. Just to have someone to talk to helps. I feel so alone. I try to reach out, but being a new person all the time has it's disadvantages. They don't know me. Maybe they think I am just using them, a lazy person out to take and not give back. I was once accused of just that. It was never in my heart to be that way. But it makes me afraid to ask for help now. I know they don't know how hard I've worked. How could they? They didn't know me before. I have overcome a lot. With God I overcame a lot. But I still feel so weak, so vulnerable, so much a child inside.

It's all inside. The work I've done. I had to take this little girl who had so many fears and help her to grow up. She had a lot to be afraid of. A lot to overcome. Have I grown up? I think I have some.

I had to be strong for my kids. All those years raising them alone. Their dad abandoned us all. He did so long before I filed papers, long before he physically left. I called myself a married single... No power but all the responsibility... I had more strength then. I made decisions, I moved forward. I made sure my kids had shelter, food, warmth, clothes. We may not have had a lot, but their needs were always met. I found a way, sometimes it took a while, but I found a way.

Somewhere along the way I became tired... I think I realized it about the time I collapsed at school. I went back to school to study business after I filed papers the first time. I was doing well, passing my classes with "A's" and "B's". I was also working close to full time, with my kids, doing newspaper inserting. Then one day I collapsed while working in the student government at school. I went to the doctor and that was when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I couldn't get out of bed for three weeks. I dropped out of school, I just couldn't think clearly enough to go on.

There have been pockets of time since that moment that I haven't felt tired. Those were times I felt I could trust. I had someone to shoulder the burdens with me, I didn't have to face them all alone. I wonder if that is why these last four years have been so hard. To trust someone so completely only to find out it was all a lie, it turns your world inside out. The tired changed to weary.

I feel like I've lost so much. My home, my security, my sense of belonging somewhere. I finally started feeling like I belonged somewhere when he shattered my world and it all came crumbling down around me... I spent two years trying to save an unsaveable marriage. Then another two years drifting, floating, moving...

I did spend the first year after I moved out of my home with my oldest son in Arizona, but shortly after I moved in I injured my sciatic nerve and became bedridden. I was in a new place, new people, and unable to go to church, to be social. It is hard to make friends when you are stuck in bed. Near the end of that ordeal, I moved to Oregon. As I was preparing to move I made friends with several women. They came over to help me. One woman looked at me once and said how much she was going to miss me. That she was finally getting to know me and now I was leaving... I'm not sure anyone has ever said anything like that to me before.

I do not know why I was required to go through all this. I do not know why it was important for my growth. Have I grown through it? Or have I crumbled? God promises He won't allow more burden than we are able to handle, but I think I am right on the edge. Being on the edge causes the fibromyalgia to flare up, then I really do crumble.

Tiffany called and talked to me for a while. It helped. It always helps when I can talk to someone. I tried calling several people, but no one was home today.

I ask myself... Why am I afraid of the things I am afraid of? I hate driving, without my GPS I doubt I would go anywhere. I get lost so easily. Those who are familiar with the Portland area would laugh to learn that once I went from Aloha to St. Vincent's Hospital only to get lost on the way home and ended up over the Fremont Bridge. For those not familiar, that was really the wrong direction and pretty far away. I have no sense of direction. I do not know which way is North, South, East or West. I have to move my hands to know which is my right side (I eat with my right hand). I have tried really hard to learn it, it just is not in me. I used to pull over and cry on the side of the road because I was lost again. That was before cell phones and GPS's.

Later, when I had a cell phone, David would get frantic calls from me, I was lost... again... in Phoenix. He had sense of direction, he always knew where he was. I envy those who can do that.

My GPS does not make me lazy, it gives me confidence I can arrive where and when I am supposed to without having taken the scenic route along the way and missing half or more of the appointment. And I can arrive without having to wash the tears off my face.

What sparked all this you ask? Why have I felt I couldn't handle anything else?

My car did something weird today. When I started the engine I smelled gas, a lot of gas. It scared me. You are not supposed to smell gas. So I canceled my day. It was supposed to be a day without the girls, just me. I didn't get them to the sitter's house. I did not make it to the dentist this morning. I did not make it to the temple this afternoon. It was very disappointing. I really wanted to go to the temple. I needed the peace, the solace, the time of service. I love going to the temple. I cherish the privilege of being able to attend and serve there.

The car actually belongs to Danny. He is paying for it, but he is letting me drive it. But lately it hasn't been working right. The dash goes on and off, the fuel gauge doesn't work at all, I have to estimate when I need to fill up again. But the worst one is that it looses power sometimes. We think a circuit board is faulty, but don't know where to locate it. Neither of us has money to spare, to get it looked at at a shop. It needs to be looked at.

Through my life I have had cars break down on me, been ticketed because of breakdowns, and towed and impounded because it took me more than 2 hours to get arrangements to move the car. All was very expensive. Having an unreliable car is near the top of my list of scary things, probably pretty close to getting lost with an empty gas tank...

Does it make sense now what I said in my first posting? My ideal world would be to have a husband who made sure my car always worked (among many other things). To just be there for me when things aren't going so good. Together we could figure it out.

I know I'm not ready yet, but I really do want a "together" again. Actually, I've only had "pockets of together". I would like it for real and for always. I don't think that is asking too much. I am certainly willing to do my part.

I'm not sure how I would measure up if someone judged me by my ability to take adversity. I think I have a lot of room for improvement. Maybe that's why my weather is still so stormy.

Thanks for listening, I do feel better now.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Day at the Beach....

We went to the beach on Saturday. More specifically, Seaside, Oregon. It takes about an hour and a half or so to get there, and we had enjoyable conversation all the way there and back. It was nice to be able to discuss our testimonies of the Savior and the Gospel with each other, and the blessings we have received in our lives.

Once we got there, we discovered that a lot of other people had the same idea as we did, the streets were packed. An advantage to being disabled is to have one of those "disabled parking" placards. So we found parking fairly easily.

The sky was overcast, but it was still warm enough for me. It was beautiful there. I'm not sure I have ever been there with the beach so crowded. Usually, when I've been to the beach there have been maybe a dozen or two other people out there. This day there were hundreds! We even saw sun bathers there, which with the sun behind the clouds, I am wondering why??

After lunch we headed for the Seaside Candyman. This is a salt water taffy store like no other. They make 170 different flavors! There is salt water taffy, then there is the Candyman salt water taffy. The sign on the door says "Best & Biggest Salt Water Taffy Shop West of the Rockies!" I believe it is true. It has become a tradition in my family to visit The Candyman whenever we visit Seaside. So we headed down the street towards the store.

I was trying to be conservative with my selections, and ended up with about a pound and a half of taffy. My favorite flavors are black licorice - always black licorice first! Then pumpkin pie, peanut butter, cinnamon, and black widow (licorice and hot cinnamon). After I get my favorites, I take a few here and a few there, trying new and "exciting" flavors. Danny showed me his bag, with twice as much. But Bridgette beat us all! Her bag cost nearly $20 and it had to be 5 lbs at least. I know my bagful will last quite a while, I hope her children let it last for at least a month!

You don't have to go to Seaside to enjoy their incredible salt water taffy. The website is ... go in, take a look around... if you like salt water taffy, you will love this salt water taffy.

After the Candyman, we got Tillamook ice cream cones and headed back to the beach. Another family tradition is to actually go in the water. It doesn't matter what time of year. When we are at the beach, we MUST go in the water! And as usual, it was COLD. But not as cold as the North Sea... After a short while, you really don't feel the cold anymore.

Danny took Penny, his dog, with us. Penny hates water... Let me rephrase that... Penny HATES water. She had never been on a beach (landlocked AZ dog) and had certainly never seen the ocean. She didn't know what to think of it, but the look in her eyes was something like "Are you crazy?? You want me to go where?? And do what??" It was funny. Danny finally carried her out into the surf till it was waist high for him (he is 6'4", so it was several feet high) and threw her in. I think after the initial shock, she decided she liked it. But she kinda smelled after that, you know, wet dog and all...

After a long afternoon, we headed home. It was a fun day, a day spent with a few of my children that I dearly love. A day spent at a place I love to visit. Next time we go to the beach, I want to go to Ecola Park... and Cannon Beach... Anyone out there game??

Friday, May 14, 2010

Time For A List...

I'm a list person... when I get stuck and can't figure out what to do, I need a list.

I used to write out really detailed lists. I would break down the chore into minute sections. It seemed the only way I would actually accomplish the goal:
1. stack bowls
2. stack plates
3. gather glasses
4. wash bowls
5. rinse bowls
6. wash plates
7. rinse plate
8. wash glasses
9. rinse glasses

I'm serious, my lists were that detailed. I loved crossing out each item when it was complete. Of course, I was a lot younger then, I was a kid. But the need for lists has not lessened.

Now I have been known to write my list with a few things already done, so I can start out with a few crosses. I guess I need that immediate award, it gives me the feeling I am making progress in my day, even as it is just starting. I even put things on like - take vitamins - or - read my scriptures - or even - eat breakfast! Because really, I seem to forget to eat sometimes.

You know when I have forgotten to eat... I get crabby. Really crabby... Sorry for biting your head off, I just needed to eat and your head got in the way. Opps!

Sometimes I have been known to skip over things on my list... I save it for the next day... and the next... and the next... obviously I don't want to do this thing I keep putting off. So I make a rule. I can only pass a chore off 5 times before I have to do it. That gives me almost a week to overcome the procrastination. The trick is, to have gotten myself to the point that I am willing to put it ON the list, knowing once I do, I have to do it. I've had things float around in my head for weeks or even months, not quite making it to the list...

At the end of the day, if my list is mostly crossed off, I feel I have had a productive day. If I've managed to cross off something that has been on the list for several day, wow! I really feel good about my day!

I've gotten out of the habit of making my list. My days have not been very productive. With the moving... and the moving again... and then again... I have been burned out. I have come to really relate to the word "weary".

We've been in our new home for a week now. I am beginning to feel a bit settled in. I think it is time to bring out the notepad and start making my list again.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Anyone For A Date?

Meet The Man You Deserve.....

Never Too Late For Love.....

20,000 New Singles Daily.....

Date Fifty Plus Men.....

Find A Great Relationship.....

Go On A Date!!.....

Meet Single Men!!.....

Meet Single Dads!!.....

and my all-time favorite.....

Millionaires Looking For Classy Women.............

Give me a break! All these ads come up on Facebook. Let me see... I tried meeting someone online... trusted him... fell in love with him... married him....

We all know how well that one turned out!!

I do admit I get a chuckle out of the ads. Especially the millionaire one. Think about it... would I really want to try to have a serious relationship with someone who presented himself that way? "Look at ME! I'm rich and shallow and materialistic and I'm looking for someone just like me!" More and likely, most of those men are dirt poor and just pretending anyway.

Not that financial security isn't important, but money isn't the top priority for me. Stability is. Honesty and Faithfulness are. I'm really not sure about finding a stable man on one of those sites. At least not one who carries the same core values I do. My core values are important to me. Besides the three already listed, I also believe Humility, Compassion, Fidelity, Integrity, and a deep and true love of Christ are vital. I compromised before, I'm not willing to do it again.

I did look at "Mormon" sites for a bit. Tiffany has been trying to talk me into joining "Plenty Of Fish", the one she is on. No thank you. I actually signed up on a "Mormon" site for about a week, out of curiosity. What I saw was instability. And I got rated a 2 out of 5. I really don't need some stranger telling me I'm not good enough, not when he doesn't even know me. It was boring and I didn't meet anyone I would want to have a 5 minute conversation with, let alone a whole date.

I guess the online dating business is big business. Let them go ahead... they're just not getting anything from me.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Today I get to stay home. I'm not the kind of person who likes to be on the run all the time. I like to stay home, to get things accomplished here...

Or take a nap...

Chloe is down for her nap, Alison is quietly laying on the couch... promising me she will take a nap today. We'll see...

I keep loosing internet connection. We have CLEAR here, a wireless set-up in the Portland Metro area. I only get two bars at the most, so my connection is slow and I loose it often. I'm not happy with this. I'm supposed to get a minimum of three. Danny went online and found some blogs from others with this problem. CLEAR knew the modem had issues, but they still keep selling them. The website doesn't clarify the differences between modems, so I got the wrong one. There is one, for $10 more, that has an outside antenna port. I would have purchased that one had I known and this problem would be solved.

I have been reconnecting with people from a long time ago on Facebook. They knew me when I was young, some even before I was married the first time. Most are members of my church, my church family. Some are from school. And a few are from both. It wasn't until I started sending out "friend requests" on Facebook that I realized I had extended my "family" list inside my heart a long time ago. A lot of my family was missing. Maybe that is one of the reasons I have felt so disconnected. I wonder if they knew they meant so much to me...

I usually say something like "remember me?" with the "friend request". I got a response back today, "Sandy, Of course I remember you! You don't look any older in the picture...that's not fair:)" It made me smile, especially with all I've struggled with over the last several months about my age. It was a recent picture too, the same one I use here.

But then I got to thinking... all these people knew me when I was a different person. Some knew me when I was a teenager, some as a young wife and mother... Some knew me when I had teens of my own. Many watched me as I struggled with the emerging memories of my childhood.... The ugliness and nightmares that surrounded my secret life. They didn't know about my secret life, how could they? I kept it a secret, even from myself...


She looks into the mirror,
And the face that looks back at her is tired...
Oh, so tired.

She's not that old, still practically in her youth.
But her youth was full of pain and sorrow,
and it shows on her face.
Only she didn't know, she couldn't know.
To admit the sorrow meant her parents were bad,
And parents are always good.

So she plays the game
the unending, unchanging game
that the child of trauma plays.
She tells herself she is strong, a survivor,
She can make it on her own.
She needs no one and no one needs her.
She is alone, or so she thinks.

But there is someone who needs her,
who wants her and loves her.
But she won't let Him in.
She can't bear His rejection
so she won't let Him in.
Only she didn't know...
She thinks she let Him in
and He rejected her.

So the walls are up,
the gate is locked,
and she has the only key...
Only she doesn't know.

She struggles through her life
not knowing, not feeling, not being.
Until it is just too much to bear,
and she cries in the night for help.
And He is there, He always was...
Only she didn't know.

He picks her up and holds her.
He gently opens her eyes, and she sees -
and she knows.
He takes her backwards through time -
to the beginning,
when life was bliss and sweet.
And she knows.

She sees the child, her child within
And she's carried in the arms of her Savior.
He loves her, she can tell,
and she knows.
She lives her life over again,
this time in her mind.
She learns all over again,
not from her parents -
because despite their efforts
they didn't know...
And she needs someone who knows.

So He carries her in His arms,
and teaches her what He knows...
and she knows.

She is His child now
and will remain so forever.

She looks into the mirror,
The face that looks back at her
is young, and alive and real,
And she knows...
that this is the way it was meant to be -
all along.

copyright Sandy Smith 1982

I have not thought about these poems for a long time. Lately they have been going around in my head again. Why is it that I find myself reflecting back to that time, when I was so unstable, so hurt, so fragile?

I am not the same person they once knew... I hope I am better... my children seem to think so.

Maybe it is because of the uncertainty I have had lately? I felt the rejection all over again when David chose his addiction over me. But I wasn't alone in that rejection, the Lord was ahead of me. We were both rejected. I wonder if addicts realize that when they choose to stay in their addictions?

Matthew 6:25
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

I felt the despise in the marriage.

It has taken me two years to begin feel like I am on solid ground again.

I have gained some courage. Each time I send a "friend request" out I am risking rejection. Maybe this person doesn't want to reconnect with me...

Connections come in different ways. Some are strong, some not so much. Some are just energy waves that float around in the air until some little black box picks them up. It might take a different little black box to make them strong. Others are more tangible. Others involve people, lives that have gone on through the years without any real thought of me. Our lives took us in different directions. But each of these people did have some kind of an impact on my life. I wonder what kind of impact I have had on theirs?

The risks seem to be worth it. They are accepting my invitations. My family is filling up again. Yes, life does go on after the divorce... life can be good... I choose to live it so that it is good.

Thank you

Thank you Reema and Tina for saying "hi".

Sandy :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Checking in...

I really find myself wondering if anyone really reads these. Please drop me a "hello" if you do. If you want your comment to stay private, just say so, I won't publish it then.

Today's blog is really nothing more than a bunch of disconnected ramblings... but maybe it might be interesting? It probably will be in 100 years or so... my posterity will read it and say "OH, so this is what made her tick..." lol. I'm thinking that might be pretty sad.

Moving day is over. I have even managed to do some unpacking. The apartment is looking and feeling more like a home. I've even brought a few boxes out of the garage. It's like Christmas, opening boxes that have been taped shut for up to two years.

I got my grain mill back from Michelle today. I left it with her all this time, mostly so I wouldn't misplace it in a move. Plus I figured she would make good use of it, which she did. I'm so glad to be able to have things I can loan to my kids to make their lives easier. When I do that, I feel like I am my mom. My mom is such a good example to me of willingness to share and help others.

I went to my appointment at the dental school today. I told my dental student that he looked familiar and asked if he lived in Beaverton. He does, but he isn't the person I thought he was. BUT, he is LDS!!...

I actually saw him from a distance during my first appointment and also when I was at my x-ray appointment. This first appointment is where preliminary assessment is done, to determine if you are a good candidate for treatment. The student who does the assessment is not the one assigned later on to do the treatment. I watched this student walking around and thought "That is the dental student I want". He looked like he knew what he was doing, he also looked somewhat familiar. I prayed for a good student, one who would do a good job on my messed up teeth. I'm not all that fond of going to the dentist... who is? That is one of the reasons why my teeth are in trouble now.

I could tell he had a good spirit and was suspecting he was LDS. He had that feel to him, you know what I mean? So I asked him today if he lived in Beaverton. I thought he might be someone from West Hills Ward, the one I just moved out of. He wasn't. I just told him I thought he looked like someone from the ward at church I just moved out of, and he told me he lived in one of the Aloha wards. So then I knew he was LDS.

I feel watched over, that my prayer was answered in a loving and tender way. Not so much because he is LDS, but because the Lord gave me a dentist with a good spirit. The Lord knows how much I messed up on my teeth. I have one tooth that has gone really bad. The dental student said it is a puzzle, because the teeth next to it are fine, but this tooth is badly infected to the point that the bone has withdrawn. The tooth itself is cracked. It has given me problems for at least 5 years. It cannot be saved. I have kept the pain away by drinking an herbal tea, without it I wanted to get a pair of pliers and pull the thing myself years ago.

Every time I started the process to get it taken care of, something in my life exploded. First David's affairs, then he quit his job (both his affairs involved clients at his work!). It became apparent the marriage was gone, so I moved out, then my divorce, then my sciatic nerve injury where I couldn't sit for a year. So much happened, I kept putting me off. Story of my life, one I am trying to teach my children not to repeat. The tooth will be pulled and I am getting an implant. It is not a candidate for a bridge, because the tooth next to it has too shallow of a root. A bridge would break that root and then I would have a real mess.

I wonder if getting this tooth taken care of is part of a fulfillment of a blessing I received before I left Arizona? My bishop gave me a blessing and promised me that my health would start to improve. It is time he said. I have been sick for so long, I wonder what it would be like to feel good when I wake up? To be able to function in a day without being exhausted? To be able to be active 2 or 3 or 4 days in a row? How much of the infection is systemic? I have been suspicious for a while that this tooth is a big part of my being so sick. I guess we will find out after it is pulled. The dental student said it would take 4 months to heal before he can put the implant in, then another 2 months for that to heal.

I have felt guilty about this tooth, that it is my fault it got so bad. Turns out it isn't, at least not completely. The tooth has a defective filling in it. It is very old, at least 30 years. The filling was not properly put in, it has an overhang which collected bacteria all these years. Eventually it weakened the tooth and it cracked and let the bacteria into the pulp of the tooth, which infected the pulp, killed the tooth, and infected the bone.

I have two other molars that are also beginning to crack. They can be saved though, with gold crowns. Am I feeling rich? Two gold teeth and an implant! lol I do not think I could afford this at all without it being at the dental school. The bill will still be a great deal of money. I felt peace when he gave me the estimate today though. $4200 total for the crowns, implant, and several fillings, including a redo of a tooth that had a root canal. It has a defective filling in it. I am praying for a way to increase my income in a way I can do. I am also praying my ex-husband will be more consistent in paying the support. I felt peace, which told me the Lord is aware and will help me fulfill this need. Getting my teeth fixed is not a want, it is a need, and with it a need to pay for it. I am on Medicare and have no dental insurance.

Despite the large dental bill looming over my head, I am feeling blessed right now. I feel it is going to be okay. That is a big statement from me, I tend to see the worse and fret myself into a panic. The Lord is truly helping me to stay calm about this. I know it will all work out. I am going to promise myself to hang on to that belief.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Moving Day...... Again.

Tomorrow is moving day...again. Tiffany found a nice apartment last Friday and after a speedy approval (less than 3 hours) we had it.

Even though most of our belongs were still packed, there was still some work to do. Now I'm feeling stressed and anxious. Can this 2-year ordeal be coming to a close? Is it really almost over?

It may be a few days before I check in again. There is a lot of work to do.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Day Has Finally Arrived...

Well....... this is it.

I don't feel any different, but then again, I didn't expect that.

But I am older just the same.

I guess I'm glad I started talking about my 50th birthday a few months ago. It gave me the opportunity to settle into it. I've come to accept the inevitable.... I have now been on this earth for half a century.

Today will be a day like most other days. The girls are now up and eating breakfast. The apartment again smelled of cigarette smoke when we first got up, so Tiffany opened the balcony door. Now it's cold, but it smells better. Same ol' same ol'.

We got the keys to the new place yesterday. It seems smaller. But this place seemed small til we actually got the furniture in. I hope it is the same over there. My bedroom is smaller over there, but I won't be sharing the closet. Tiffany is going to share the master bedroom with the girls. It is much bigger. I hope it is big enough. So she is getting a real bedroom with her own closet at last. And the livingroom will be a living room, no bed in it.

We have decided to put my grandmother's buffet in the dining area. The dining area is not very big, but it will fit. This buffet belonged to my father's mother, and is a cherished family heirloom.

When my grandparents died, my father was only 17 years old. They died within 6 months of each other, my grandmother first of cancer, then my grandfather. Dad said he died of a broken heart. After the second funeral, my father told the story that he returned to his home only to find relatives had gone through his house and taken alot of the funiture, including his own bedroom set. He was understandable upset. Over the years, he found and reclaimed some of the furniture, and the buffet was one of them. But when he got it back, the legs and mirror were gone. Someone had actually cut off the legs (something I do not understand). The buffet sat in our kitchen for years. One day dad was really excited. He had found an exact duplicate of grandma's buffet at an antique shop, legs and mirror intact, and purchased it for $25. The body was not in good shape, but the legs and mirror were. He cut off the legs (this time I understand it) and put the mirror on his buffet. He never did actually attach the legs, they sat in a box for years. He then sold the body of the buffet to the neighbor across the street for $20 or $25. That was still a good deal.

Mom gave me the buffet a few years ago. I have cherished it, loved it. Last year she found the legs and Chris reattached them. It is not as strong, because the back legs were actually cut, but it is strong enough. It completely changed the look, it looks much more elegant now.

Someday this buffet will be passed on to one of my children. But not for awhile, I'm still young, I'm only 50 after all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gratitude and Regrets...

I've already written about both subjects, but I lately have been thinking of them together.

Is is possible to regret something but at the same time, be grateful for the blessings received in connection with the regrettable decision? I'm not saying blessings received from the decision, but rather, blessings received as a result of addressing the regrettable decision.

In looking at decisions I have made in the past, I have realized that most, if not all of them, were based to some degree on experiences of my past. What happened to me yesterday will have an impact on the decisions I make today and tomorrow.

Since my past was not full of rainbows and lollipops, neither have my past decisions. I chose wrong, twice, in who I chose to marry. Yet I have to wonder, were they all that wrong? Each marriage brought a lot of heartache, but also, because of how I chose to deal with the heartache, I have become a better person. I allowed the Lord to work that heartache into learning experiences. With that learning came healing, not only pertaining to the present circumstance, but also my past. Dealing with my poor decisions made by me as an adult, have given me healing for the bad things that happened to me as a child. Besides that, I got 6 incredible children from my first marriage that I would not trade for anything.

I think the bottom line would be this: Nothing is impossible with God. No matter how we blunder our lives, He has the power to fix it, to heal it, and to mold us into greatness despite it.

Sidenote: I choose to not post pictures of my ex-husbands on this blog. I'm not sure if there could be legal backlash, I really don't want to deal with something like that. Instead, this picture is on my first wedding day, March 14, 1979, in Idaho Falls, ID, with my parents. I was still 18 years old.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Walk Around the Park...

I looked at my watch tonight and it said 6pm. I realized I had not taken my walk... again. I missed Saturday, Sunday, and it appeared today as well. I've spent too much energy into making this walk a habit, and promised myself I would not become lazy about it, so.... donning my hoody jacket, I opened the door to take my "morning" walk in the evening.

Whosh.... That was a stiff "breeze". I turned around for a bit more protection against the elements. So after putting on my stocking cap and mittens, I set off again. I decided I didn't care if I looked kinda geeky. I was cold...

I took my usual route. Only, this time of day the surroundings are different. Kids are playing in their yards, lots of teens are out too. Most were wearing long shorts, I guess I probably did look geeky, all bundled up.

I walk to a park and take 3 laps around it. There were teenage boys at the basketball hoops, playing, being buddies, talking nice to each other. It was nice to see and hear.

There is a duck pond next to this complex and a footpath that takes me over a bridge. On my way back, while crossing the bridge, I passed some teenage girls and boys. These didn't seem to be such buddies. I think they may have been drinking... definitely using very foul language. Such a contrast from what I had just seen in the park. Why do kids think they have to use such language? I was not impressed.

Just as I was coming to the final corner I see something strange... It looks like a squirrel, but the head is wrong. I get closer and realize it is a squirrel carrying another squirrel, wrapped around it's neck. The second one was smaller, probably a "teenager". The "parent" squirrel would run a few feet, then stop to rest. As it rested, the head of the "teen" would lay on the ground, not moving. I think it was dead, or maybe it was just helping the "parent" by not moving around. The "parent" squirrel continued to run and rest, but it stopped to rest in the middle of the street. So I moved towards it, to encourage it to keep going and get out of the street. When it reached the other side it scurried up a tree. The smaller squirrel didn't fall off, so I hope it was just hanging on and not dead.

The "parent" squirrel gave a great deal to bring the "teen" to safety. I wonder what the parents of the teens on the bridge were like? Would they be willing to carry their teens on their backs to safety? Those teens looked like they needed to be carried for a while.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


What a day! I never saw it coming... I thought we were just going to the park for a playdate.

My mom and step-dad stopped by yesterday for a visit on their way to Shelton, Washington to get some more of their stuff. They have a house there, which is being sold to his oldest daughter. They now live in Olney, Montana, and have been slowly moving their belongings to Montana for a couple of years now. This trip was one of many to take back a load.

They stayed the night with us, it was really nice having my mom here for even this short time. I miss her, and am grateful to be able to talk to her on the phone almost daily. Seeing her and being able to give her a hug was wonderful to me.

Tiffany told me that Michelle wanted to meet with us at the park for a playdate, so they could see their grandparents before they left for Washington. It seemed like a fun idea to me, I didn't think anything else of it. I asked if Bridgette and her family would be there too, but Tiffany told me Bridgette had already made other plans. Danny had already told me he was busy. Tiffany also told me that Michelle had chosen this particular park in Hillsboro, because she did not think it would be crowded.

The playdate included lunch, so Tiffany made a chicken Alfredo lasagna that I could eat. Michelle was to bring the vegetables. Again, it seemed normal to me. We loaded up the kids and food and headed for the park Michelle had chosen.

When we got to the park, I looked around for Michelle. I saw her coming towards us from the gazebo. It looked like a birthday party was set up and I thought "Oh no, I thought it wouldn't be crowded. I wonder if they were able to get a table for us?"

Then Chloe took off for the play structure and I chased after her. After I retrieved her, I turned around and saw Michelle again, carrying her youngest son, Jamison. As I approached her, I heard some people yell "Surprise!!" and I thought, "that's cool, somebody got a surprise party", but the voices were familiar. Then I saw my

sister Judy, and

my son Danny,

and Bridgette. I recognized Casey's voice in the "surprise!" I looked around. Then it hit me.... the surprise was for ME!! I thought, "These stinkers,they didn't tell me they were going to be here. Mom will be so surprised!" Then I thought, "They are going to have to hide again when she comes up, so they can yell 'Surprise!' to her."

At this point I thought they were all together to surprise my mom for her birthday. My birthday is the day before my mom's. May was always a crazy month for my family. My sister's birthday is May 4th, mine is May 6th, and Mom's is May 7th. Growing up, we either celebrated my birthday with Judy's on her birthday, or mine with Mom's on either mine or hers. I honestly didn't know when my birthday was until I was about 10 or so! I just knew it was one of those days in May.

I looked around for my mom. She was still in the parking lot, having just found a place to park their truck and trailer. I started towards her, then thought I should just wait until they came over. I was still thinking what a happy surprise it would be for her and how special my kids were, that they would plan a surprise party for her.

I walked over to my sister and gave her a hug. She said "Happy Birthday!" and then it hit me. This party wasn't for mom, it was for ME!

I feel rather dense. I didn't catch on right away. They had to show me the "50's" that Katherine made with construction paper for her grandma. I was stunned. I started to cry. This was the best birthday I have ever had.

I also feel very grateful. I have the most incredible children on the earth!! At least that is how I see it. Even Bobby, who hates family get togethers was there.

The table was spread with foods I could eat. Even the cake was gluten free. Did you know Betty Crocker makes an incredibly delicious chocolate cake mix that is gluten free? We found it at Winco right before Tiffany's birthday. Danny baked and decorated the cake. Michelle put on the candles. It seems Bridgette didn't have candles so she called Michelle to see if she had 50 candles or a "5" and a "0". Michelle only had candles that looked like crayons and pink stripped ones. So, she placed the candles on the cake to make "50". It was perfect. It was made with such love.

On top of everything else, they gave me a food processor!!

I had a wonderful afternoon. My family that I love so dearly was all around me. It would have been perfect had Chris, Crystal and Kullie been there too. I was sorry to see it end, to say "goodbye" to Mom and Clay, who headed off to Shelton. Then to Michelle, John, Katherine, Andrew, and Jamison. Last I said my "goodbye's" to Bridgette, (Adam couldn't make it), Danny, Bobby, Casey, Daphne, and Eric. My heart is full. I feel joy in my family.

HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY TO ME!! It is one I will not forget. I love you guys!!