Thursday, March 26, 2009

~Angel In the Kitchen~

‘She’ first came to me very late at nite in the summer of 1993. I say ‘she’ because she had a strong, feminine voice. I may be wrong. But it’s how I think of her. I couldn’t sleep. I often find myself sitting in the kitchen in the middle of the nite on those kinds of nites.

My business had really grown since its start in 1989. I was doing over 20 art shows, as well as wholesale shows in Philidelphia, Atlanta and Chicago, twice a year. I had hundreds of shop and catalog accounts. I had eight employees. Several sales reps out in the field around the country. I was working 16-hour-days. You could say I was on “auto-pilot”: so revved up on caffeine and adreneline, there was no stopping me. Until that nite in the kitchen.

I was sitting on a stool at the island. Drinking iced tea. Just sitting. Tired. But content. At 17 and 10, both boys were doing well in school. Jim was quickly climbing the corporate ladder. Life was good. Her loud voice permeated the dimly-lit room. “WHHHHHOOOOOOO ARRRRREEEE YOU?” it boomed. I jumped. My heart was beating fast. I wasn’t really scared. Just startled. She filled the room with her presence. I knew what she meant. I had NO idea who I was. Yes….I was a mother of two sons. A wife to a man I adored. But had I lost ME??? Was there any ‘me’ left?? I sat there for a long time. She never said another word. She didn’t have to.

I was a great goal-setter. I’d set them each December for the upcoming year. When they were met, I’d set the next year’s goal higher. I’d always meet them. And so it continued. Like Topsy, the business grew and grew. One of my oldest friends, Babs, asked me then, “When is it enough?”. Why, it was never enough. There were always higher mountains to climb. Until that nite in the kitchen. I knew I was on the wrong path. I needed to make changes.

I got rid of my sales reps, and cut down my wholesale accounts to just my original shops and catalogs. I dropped my shows down to half the number. Much more ‘doable’. And I made time for me. I re-joined a health club, signed up for aerobics classes….and actually went to them! I was much healthier. And happier.

That wasn’t her last visit. She speaks much more quietly now. She knows she needn’t ‘yell’. I know when she’s here. I can almost predict when she’ll come. Like last nite. She knew I needed her visit.

It’s been a hellacious week with Mom. And we’re all so tired. And scared. Specially Mom. I pray that Mom has an angel that will fill her with the peace that my Angel gives me. I know she has one. It’s an Archangel. I know because of Mom’s description of him. Very very tall with HUGE wings showing past his shoulders and reaching down to the floor. I hope he’s with her this week. She needs him.

Postscript: Mom was admitted to the Geriatric Psychiatric ward at a nearby hospital yesterday for observation. Taking her there was the single, hardest thing I've ever had to do. She is very confused and scared. And very angry at me for taking her there. Please keep her in your prayers.


Mel said...

I've waited a long time to hear that was worth it. Yours is in the kitchen...mine is in the shower...and mine yelled the first time too.

You're one of my angels girlfriend and you are always in my prayers. Remember what Surrender said? You know it was the truth. Your mom is being watched over and well taken care of. Keep praying...keep being you...and have a good show this weekend.


Darlene said...

Oh Carol, tears are sliding down my cheeks as I read this because I know exactly what you are going through. As I have told you we have been there with my grandmother. Stay strong and know that you are doing all you can do for your mother during this difficult time. My heart and prayers are going out to you.♥

Hilary said...

Sending best thoughts for you, your mother and your family.

Anonymous said...

Carol, may your angel be there for you once more with love and support as you do the seemingly impossible with awe-inspiring courage and strength. Although your Mom is confused and angry and hurt right now, my prayer is that the psychiatric assessment will give you valuable insights as to how to continue to be her staunchest advocate during these difficult times.

Carol, please know that you are not alone. You are greatly loved and admired by a host of friends and relatives who send their prayers now and always. I'm one!


Jeni said...

Such a difficult thing to do - no doubt about that. Prayers not just for your Mother, but also for you as you enter further into this last process of life. Peace.

Anonymous said...

You're one of the lucky, wise ones who hear and listen to their angels! What a wonderful place this earth would be, if everyone tuned in and listened! Prayers continue for you and your mom ♥

Anonymous said...

Praying for peace and strength for both of you.

Census said...

What a wonderful story, than you for sharing it with us. I wish I could hear my angel.
I totally understand how you must be feeling about your mum, it really takes strength to do as you have done for your mum. You are doing the right thing...I know that doesn't help make you feel less guilty or sad...but it's true. Hang in there and you and your mum will be in my prayers. said...

Mel...Thank you for your friendship, wisdom and love! I will always remember what Surrender said! So far...the show is super, and it was only 3 hours tonite. Tomorrow is all day, so the $$$ should be fabulous! xoxox

Darlene...I know you know how hard this is. Thank you for all your support and kindness. I will always remember it!

Hilary...As always...thank you!

Kathi...You and the other 7 women have truly been there for me. I thank you for that! I wish you strength with what you are going through with your Dad. You are doing the right thing in moving him to an AL near you. He is SO lucky to have you. xoxoxoxoxox

Jeni...Thank you!!

Cen...Thank you for all your encouragement..and especially for your prayers. Keep listening for your angel's voice. It's there. said...

Catherine...Thank you. Your words and support are much appreciated. I pray you never have to go through this with your dear mother.

Woman in a Window said...

Carols, my thoughts are for both you and your mom. Tough times they are. Take care of yourself.

My Little Raggedy Blessings said...

Great big hugs sweetie , prayers being said for both of you .Your in my thoughts hon.


Lynne Bolar Clark said...

You have an interesting life story to share with people Carol, and you do it so well. I'm so grateful that you're willing to take the time to share your life with everyone. You also have a real gift for writing and inspiring. You've touched my life with your openness.

People who suffer have an opportunity like no one else to help others who suffer. Thank you for being so willing to do just that.

One Creative Queen said...

Sailing through, doing drops, when...BAM! Your post came out of the blue - and was totally unexpected.

Here I sit, ten after three in the morning, with goosebumps. That is probably the single most...attention getting? ...profound? ...incredible? ... amazing?,,, inspiring post I've read in - well, I can't remember when I was touched by another post so deeply.

Wow. Thanks for sharing. I'm sorry you're encountering such trials with your mom - under it all, I have no doubt she knows you love her. Stay strong. Your courage is amazing.

You definitely touched me this morning. What a great and powerful post to start my Sunday. Thank you.

Katherine said...

Erin...Your words mean a lot to me. Thank you.

Renae...Thank you for your continued prayers. It's all we have to rely on.

Lynne...You are such a 'rock' to me! Your words (and convos) always touch me deeply. Thank you for being there.

Katherine...Thank you for your comments. I've always written straight from my heart...even though at times, they've been misinterpreted. It's all I have to offer. If they can touch or teach even one other soul, they're worth the 'paper' they're written on! Alzheimer's is a horrific disease...not only for the victim, but for their loved ones.

Patti said...

Carol, I'm sending prayers and cyberhugs your way. You continue to show such grace and compassion as you deal with your mom through all the ups and downs. You give all of us hope and inspiration. Thinking of you.

Kat said...

I LOVE this post. I am a firm believer in angels, and I love ANY stories I can find on them. What a gift they are. And how wonderful you heard your angel so clearly.
I remember when I was very little my mom told me to name my guardian angel so that if I ever needed her I could call on her by name. That was so comforting to me. I love that idea, and I know I will tell my boys the same thing.

I am so sorry about your mom. I know exactly how difficult that is. It reminds me of the night my mom and I had to take my dad to the nursing home. It was absolutely awful. The worst night.
Your mother, and you, are in my prayers. I'm sure the angels are surrounding her right now. :)

Rhondi said...

Hi Carol
I see that you are a follwer of my blog and so I wanted to visit you. I'm sure what you are going through with your mom must be one of the hardest things you've done in your life. But you kno wthat you're doing what's best foir her no matter how hard it is. That's what love does.
Hugs & prayers, Rhondi

Ballerina Girl said...

I hope that your Mom finds her peace in her Archangel...and that yours continues to encourage and guide you...
and by the way, I love Fritelles!


Anonymous said...

That was a lovely blog, Carol. Very close to my heart.

And lots of love to your mum, I can't begin to understand how she must feel but I do know she has a very loving daughter.

CJ xx

Cheffie-Mom said...

I'm thinking of you and your family.

vmdesigns said...

oh carol, i'm so sorry to hear about your mother's recent turn. you, your mother, and your family will be in my prayers. take care and know that god is with you in every step....and with your mom too. i know that you "know" this, but let it comfort you in that knowing.

blessings to you......
vicki said...

Patticake....Thank you dolly! xoxox

Kat...'Parenting' ailing parents is so difficult. And, your mom was right in urging you to name your guardian angel. Mine told me her name one day while I was in church...another post another day! Thank you, Kat. is THE hardest thing I've ever done.

BG...Thank you. I'm not surprised you love Fratelles!! xoxox

CJ...Thank you!

Vicki...Thank you so much. All we can do now is pray. I hope you're having a fabulous, invigorating vacation!!

vmdesigns said...

thank you....we are having a fabulous time!

regarding the alzheimer's.....i just remember my mother-in-law dealing with this with my hubby's grandma, and it was heart wrenching to watch her through each step. her faith was the only thing that got her through it all. i learned some pretty amazing lessons through that time.

many many prayers heading your way. said...

Vicki...I think that God teaches us important lessons through the most difficult times. Faith is the only thing we can count on. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers!

Cynthia L. H. said...

Beautiful insight. Thank you for sharing. You've inspired me to write about the angels I know about. Thank you!
I will pray, too.

bj said...

Carol, this is such an incrediable story...I know I have an angel, too..she/he hasn't spoken but I can feel the presence.
I know just a tiny bit of how you felt when you put your mom in the hospital. A lot of years ago, my only, adored brother became mentally ill. It shook my mother and I to the very bone and when she had to take him to the hospital, we both held onto ea. other and cried for days. It was and still is the single saddest thing in my entire life. can't write anymmre right now..