I know it’s been a beat since I have posted anything, but please read on. We have dealt with some very scary health things that have left us speechless. I say ‘us’ because even John and I couldn’t find words most days. Every time we thought we made headway, we were thrown back and in tears. We watched doctor after doctor – including hospitals turn us away or pass us along to ‘specialists.’
So, please, give me grace. At some point, every mother must cancel everything out and give 100% to the things that make her heart beat… our children are our everything, no? Here I am – back, and I *think* I am ready to start writing again.
Emmett is okay. Every child is okay right now. John and I are okay right now. We found a doctor and protocol that seems to be working. Any mold exposure pushes everything back, and I try to avoid it at all costs – but it happens, as we have recently learned, and we will have to work through it moving forward. I am tired of living in a bubble, but I will always protect my babies.
If you have been following my social accounts, you know that we were called Home to the Catholic Church. I don’t think I quite shared how that came about…
Emmett hadn’t woken up for more than a few hours in days. He was deep into a crash. John and I were in tears every day – dealing with sickness from our children (and ourselves) that had lasted years. We were on the brink of breakdowns and were questioning everything, including God. I knew for a few years that I was being pulled toward Catholicism, but I didn’t really bring it up to John. Only my best friend knew – and as a true Catholic, she never once pushed it; she waited patiently, knowing where we belonged.
It was an awful week – another awful week, after an awful month.
I couldn’t stop crying, so I ran. I ran through the neighborhood, passed the schools, down the roads, past the church until my chest hurt. I then turned around and realized I had to run home. The tears had stopped, but I couldn’t go home. I ran the path and turned into the church. I ran to the doors. I was sweaty, red-faced, and had no idea what I was doing… but I walked into the church. I fell to my knees and cried. I cried as though I hadn’t cried before. I prayed and prayed. I prayed until I knew I had to go home to my sick children. There wasn’t a weight lifted and the earth wasn’t shifted, but I could breathe… and I felt something big happening.
The next morning, John asked if we could attend church the next day (Sunday). He did not know about my run the day before – and he did not know about the feelings I had been having. He, though, was at a point of not believing or giving his heart over. I had no idea. He asked if we could attend the catholic church down the road – the exact church that I prayed at. I had no words other than, “Sure, let’s head up there in the morning.”
Who wants to guess if tears were shed that Sunday?
No need. Even our children – all five of them – loved the experience, with our eldest 3 asking when they could go back.
My best friend (and sponsor) – she had to have been smiling when I called her (I don’t know for sure) – but she answered questions and let the rest fall into place. We joined RCIA the next Monday (second week of classes).
I’m sure now that our priest(s) had never meet someone like me. I’m a researcher, right? You’d better prove it or I’m out… So, I questioned EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING so much so that everyone would just stop and look my way at breaks in the discussion, assuming I had something to question. What can I say? I am who I am. And I am Catholic.
The entire year changed us. It changed our marriage. It changed our health (don’t stop reading). It changed our parenting. We were called home.
The right doctor entered… healing began. (Is anyone surprised that I was pulled in every manner to choose St. Hildegard as my saint? No? I didn’t think so – I mean, why back down from controversy even in the church!) — (wait, on that note, is anyone surprised that John chose St. Joseph? Don’t be – wait until this all comes into play here… keep reading).
So there we were, on our knees as a family, praying so many things we didn’t even understand yet… several times a day… attending mass 1,2,3 times a week sometimes. I found myself knowing everyone in the office up there- stopping in to ‘drop something off’ but staying for 45 minutes to laugh. It became home…
And then came everything – Easter Vigil included Scarlett catching her hair on fire, she and I missing our cues to be in front of 100’s to accept God because I had high-heeled (literally 3” heels) us out of the service to get her water and dry her tears — and then promptly sprinting (same heels) back in yelling, “We are here!! We didn’t run away!” (Oh, this is after a neighbor came from the back to take a sleeping 4-year-old from my arms after everyone was watching us front row kneel and stand, kneel and stand numerous times while I struggled to stand. She took sleeping Veda so I could be present.). The priests cried (as did we) when we were confirmed. (I still don’t think they’d seen anything like us before.)
We also went through convalidation with our marriage at close to midnight that night without knowing people stayed to watch. The organ chimed in right on an unexpected cue and tears were shed again. The entire night was the s*it show of a circus that our family truly is – and God laughed and said, “WELCOME!” There couldn’t be another way for us, right?
We were home.
And then comes the move – This is why you started reading, no?
We were ready to go south for the last several years – perhaps us knowing we were sick? John asked to be relocated if ever an opportunity was present in the southeast. Well, here we are now – a simple phone call stating Florida was available.
We instantly agreed to anywhere in the sunshine state. I mean, 10 years of parkas for this many kids? Just move me now.
We had no idea what was coming… and to be honest, we still don’t know. We were given 3 locations – Tampa, Orlando, and Miami… and then at the last minute, we were presented with a new office (and promotion!) in Jacksonville. No one knew that Jacksonville is where we were married. No one knew we owned our first home there or had our first baby. No one knew… Only God. Only God knew we needed to go HOME.
Now it is today. We turned down several offers on our (beyond gorgeous – seriously, really really beautiful) home and then accepted one – the one I didn’t want because it didn’t feel right but I went with the realtor and everyone else. Nothing felt good about it. Not to mention that we also could not find ANYTHING (29 houses later) in Jacksonville to offer on… most causing my mold circulation issues or mold headaches for all of us… and then the contract on our house fell through.
Full disclosure – I facebooked them, the couple on the contract and knew instantly upon seeing they were a family of 3 (toddler aged child) and dressed up their cat in profile pictures (nothing wrong with this-but we are dog peeps), that my gut was right… our 5 bedroom, 4800 square foot house was not meant for them. I could only laugh at this point. (Thank you to social media for allowing full stalking abilities.)
We then decided I needed to stay south (while working, finishing our school year, and staying sane) with the kids and pup while we re-list (at a higher price).
There have been mold issues and family issues arise while traveling and some drives back and forth, but we are beyond grateful for those who love us and support our journey. This life is not normal… we are not the typical family – but we are so in love. We are so close. Our children are kind, giving, happy, loved, and ready to be HOME. So are we – John and I created this life – so different than any we came from. We have done this for nearly 13 years on our own… Through 9 houses and 6 states. We are ready for the house God will grant us. We are ready to come full-circle.
The housing market is not friendly. Especially in Florida, but we will not be afraid. We are praying multiple times a day to both St. Joseph and St. Hildegard together (healthy, natural healing with moving protection and financial support – a HEALTHY HOUSE — I told you – it was meant to be – and always will be). But it will happen. The right house will be there.
I decided tonight that, instead of waiting here to house hunt in late May, we need to go HOME.
Home is where we are together.
It’s time to let go and head back north maybe this Sunday (Mother’s Day)? Maybe sooner? Our house was re-listed today – and with your prayers (and ours) the right buyer will walk through, offering the exact price we need. They will absolutely love our house and make it their own.
We will then wait until we are pulled toward a home. We will not force something. We will move to the sunshine and continue to heal. We will find homeschooling coops and a new church that will provide us all.the.feels. It will all be as it is meant to be. God’s Will will be done… and we are here for it – today, tomorrow, and always. We believe.
We will always be HOME, together.