A Mayflower's Musings

Monday, September 5, 2016

Night before school starts ...

September 5th 8pm.... I read my kiddos 3 school themed books and prayed for them.

And cried when I tucked them in....

My mom believed that every child deserved and could thrive with education.  She loved greeting her new class and taking on the year of challenges.


She killed it.
Year after year.

Tomorrow our kids will meet their teachers and I know they will KILL it too.  Ruby, Fin, Phoebe, Max, Lincoln, Helmi, Josh, Jack,  Sierra, Cade, Maddy, Claire, Sam, and all of them......they all deserve the best! 

Praying tonight for all the kids and their teachers alike!

Beyond academics she loved them...

My prayer for my kids this year is that they recite this in their heads...

"Open my eyes
And let me see
Someone who needs a friend like me.

I know that I can surely be:

Loving, caring, always sharing"

Oh Lord, send my mom as an Angel to my babies tomorrow.....


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Harper family reunion 2016





I don't blame people when they assume grief has a beginning and an end.  It's something you learn from experience and also from time.

A book I'm reading describes how we don't get over hurt from loss but we absorb it into our life.  If we allow it -  the grief expands our soul.  We feel more sadness-  but feel more joy too.  I definitely believe that to be true!

Today was our annual Harper's family reunion.  Like many recent social gatherings I didn't want to go- to be truthful,  if I could I'd stay in bed and watch The Office or Friends and put off chores and fighting through these feelings.  But I keep getting into the shower and putting on some make up and facing life!

And inevitably some sad things occurred.  My great aunt Berna pulled me into the kitchen and showed me some pictures she'd pulled aside just for me and my siblings -  my grandpa as a little guy and also my dad.

Then later my Grandpas youngest brother - "uncle Ben" wanted to tell me a story.  One where he put my Dad on the handle bars of his bike and how they crashed....and how he took Dad to Canada on a fishing trip when he was 12.  He cried then and said how Dad was his favorite and how sad he was that Dad passed so young.  I didn't know this but Great Uncle Ben had wanted to give him one of his kidneys too....

These are things that happen to me now.  A new norm.  Sadness pushing in.  

Letting me feel joy for the bits of my family tree that remains-  for the picture and the story.  

A soul that's experiencing growing pains.

Friday, August 19, 2016


I couldn't sleep last night. Wanted to go back and delete yesterday's post or at least take it off of Facebook.   It's good to write when I'm sad.  It's like the words absorb my messy feelings.  Like a sponge they draw out the puddles of tears.  But I think my raw thoughts make  people worry about me.

I may feel better after writing-  like if I admit my struggles and then share them with the world,  it'll clear my slate and I can have a do-over.  And maybe like a friend reminded me today - others feel the same and my honest admissions clear their slates too.  Unite deep feelers and those that feel unworthy to hold the title wife mother friend and even female.

But in a world searching for less of a facade - I've always been an open book.  "Stefanie -  don't tell your father how much we spent at the grocery store."  Two minutes later I had to clear my conscience and tell Dad that we had spent such and such dollars at the grocery store.  Even today I can't keep a secret or my feelings to myself.  Maybe tho-  every blog post should come with a disclaimer:  I write to purge my deepest thoughts-  it soothes me-  please don't worry to much about me.  I want you to know my dark thoughts almost as a giant hug to myself.  I want you to know me - all of me-  and still hopefully like me.

So here's the rewrite.

As we prepare for school to begin again the to do lists are both overwhelming and exciting.


Daphne feels much better about going to middle school this year!  She has friends.  She is in her schools advanced choir and a singing competition team at a performance studio in town.  I'm thankful her confidence is appearing again!

Maisie is headed to 5th grade and has found a new love-  dance!!!  Now we just have to decide how many dance classes we can afford and how many her week to week endurance will allow!  I always thought she'd use her long feet for swimming but it's looking like she's on pointe with something else !!!

Ruby roo has more personality than us all!  Well Henry is a close 2nd.  She's so funny.  And soccer season and 3rd grade are right around the corner -  how can that be?  We haven't read or practiced math facts as much as I'd have liked but her tan and battle wounds prove she had an adventurous summer!

Henry appears to like the water more this year and food too.  I can't believe I'm going to place him in full day preschool three days a week this fall.  I won't lie I'm not ready for that.  But where I've lacked in school prep for him,  I know his teachers will help him greatly !  He adores me and I him.  I think he thinks I'm his girlfriend which is sweet and I know won't last.  Henry too is gonna try soccer this fall!  

See -  I can be positive.  And yet then it just dances the surface of my heart.  And well my heart is tore wide open right now and my friends and family alike may just stumble into its trenches every once in awhile.  If I bring you there sometimes just know sharing sorrow helps me heal.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I'm not mother goose or duck

Do you ever feel like you have so many ducks to get in a row that you might as well throw a party and serve duck? 

I swear being a mom couldn't be any more of a responsibility.  

These ducks.  They love me so much and I love them so much that we sorta strangle each other.

Make sure Daphne has a fun 13th bday party and a smooth transition to 7th grade.  Transfer request to the chosen middle school, "raw talent" paid for, new clothes that will be just right for a girl that has a woman's body, some cuddle time that she still desires, and that stinkin overdue ortho apt.


Maisie.  She's demanding.  Demanding of perfection.  I am not.  We have been working through some tough stuff all year.  She's smart beautiful and talented.  But stronger than me-  way stronger.  And I've let her push me around so now the balance needs to be reset.  Something a professional is helping us do. The to do list for her is new jeans (every girls nightmare unless you are Christie turnington or Kate moss) , a bedroom makeover, a fantastic 11 year old birthday smash,  another school transfer request, a big soccer decision, dance sign ups and possibly a new procedure to avoid morning debacles every school am!  
Ruby needs some new clothes too.  Definitely a backpack without a broken zipper,  haircut, transfer request,  soccer and gymnastics sign ups, and hopefully we will have mastered her arithmetic flash cards by September 6th!!!

Henry.  Possibly the easiest to do list and yet most tear worthy of them all.  He will turn five with an easy Mikey's pizza birthday party.  And then I will send him to preschool three days a week so I can possibly begin to make money for this family again.  I would be fine with this if I had been the mother to him that I had been to the girls.  He's barely been read to.  He doesn't know his numbers or letters and he's watched way more tv too.  I love him as much and he loves me possibly more.  Oh I shall miss him.  Miss the park dates and the snuggles that I dishwashed and gym workouted away.  He has lived more in my survival mode of the last 5 years than I wished for-  hopefully I can make it up to him!  Sign him up for soccer,  more bedtime read alouds and I'll feel Much better.

Budgets.  Parties.  Activities.  Dreams.  

Sent my mom to heaven. Hoping to transfer the hours I used to give to her to my husband and kids.  Please let me not waste them.  I'd like my ducks in a row for once!  Order and sequence and not a pile of feathers.  Please oh please Lord send an Angel that works wonders!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

So grown up

Just sitting here wide awake thinking how grown up I am.... These are some of the words I've been using these past few weeks (not for the faint of heart-  sorry)






Brain harvesting 


Funeral home

And many more....  That's the stark sadness.

In between those words came:

Loving hugs, prayers, caregivers, friends ...

Licorice skittles and wine!

Family vigilance 

Beautiful hymns 

Meal train

Flower deliveries 

Canvas pictures


Facebook comments


I'm trying to remember the good amongst the sad.  When I hurt and want to be mad.  Grace and love beats grief 1/2 the time.  Soon it'll be 3/4 time!  And never fully until I reach heaven too.  

Thank you if you are on my grace team!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

I'm gonna miss her....


Her Hands by Maggie Pittman

Her hands held me gently from the day I took my first breath.
Her hands helped to guide me as I took my first step.
Her hands held me close when the tears would start to fall.
Her hands were quick to show me that she would take care of it all.

Her hands were there to brush my hair, or straighten a wayward bow.
Her hands were often there to comfort the hurts that didn't always show.
Her hands helped hold the stars in place, and encouraged me to reach.
Her hands would clap and cheer and praise when I captured them at length.

Her hands would also push me, though not down or in harms way.
Her hands would punctuate the words, just do what I say.
Her hands sometimes had to discipline, to help bend this young tree.
Her hands would shape and mold me into all she knew I could be.

Her hands are now twisting with age and years of work,
Her hand now needs my gentle touch to rub away the hurt.
Her hands are more beautiful than anything can be.
Her hands are the reason I am me.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Unfiltered: a good heart

Been thinking about my moms heart lately.  While her keen intelligence and ability to concisely communicate her thoughts have been stripped from her brain- her true NOT ONLY God given gift but chosen habit of showing kindness,  gentleness and love to those around her still shines through!  

She says please and thank you.  She takes every visitor with a welcoming spirit.  She talks about her loved ones and her students and her faith.  

If only for me -  and I know it's not only felt by me -  she is still a bright light here on earth.

It makes me remember that I should practice a clean tongue. It makes me remember to be patient with my children and strangers in public alike.  Indeed she was the one who taught me to speak and smile to all I see.  It makes me remember to pray aloud like know one is listening.  It makes me remember to say "that tastes good" out loud.  It makes me remember to grab a hand and hold it firmly and warmly.  

And she teaches me to receive everyday as a gift.  Even now she is one of the few people who still tells me I'm beautiful.  Everyone needs to hear that... If that's the last thing I remember about my mom I'm satisfied.

Don't we all wish if someone takes away our "filter" that our heart would shine so purely and so genuinely good?