Thursday, August 7, 2008

PhotoStory Friday: Heaven's Light

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

"Heaven's Light"

I took this photo back a few years ago at the San Diego Mission with my family. We were getting ready to leave, and my brother and I happened to peak through this gate, and found this beautiful piece of paradise. A long stretch of grass bathed in sunlight, surrounding this beautifully adorned cross. I discovered later that I had managed to capture the beauty of the sunlight bathing this serene scene. This has long been one of my favorite photos that I have taken.
It seemed particularly appropriate as I am finding my faith again. I took a slight hiatus, simply didn't make it a priority. But God works in mysterious ways, and though we may not always understand His plan, He does have one. This photo shows faith and beauty to me.

(fair warning: it gets long after this point and I won't be offended if you don't read beyond this part. Bit of a day, and I just needed to get some stuff out of my head. It decided to spill out here as I was typing.)

It also provides me a sense of peace. Which is something I can use tonight. It was several years ago. I was at my aunt's, watching my cousins the day before their birthday party. I'd taken the train up the day before the party to help set things up and to keep an eye on the kids while my aunt took my uncle to get something done on his eye. The phone rang, not an unusual occurrence, one of my cousins answered it. It was my dad, and he wanted to talk to me. I will never forget the way he began the conversation. "Hi, everyone's okay, there's no need to worry." Pause. Long pause. The longer the pause, the bigger the but that comes after it. My mom had been in an accident with my littlest brother, on their way to pick up my other brother from school. My littlest brother was thankfully completely unharmed, they think he was asleep when it happened. He made friends with the firemen. (it happened right outside the firestation) My mom was in the hospital with a severe concussion. She had been going in a mental loop for hours. She kept asking the same questions. My Dad and my Grandpa were with her, the boys were with my Grama at their house. It was a bad concussion, and they were keeping her overnight for observation. They (obviously) wouldn't be coming to the party the next day. My dad told me I didn't need to/shouldn't come home. In hindsight, it was probably a better idea...I wouldn't have left and I'd have missed my classes and all that nonsense. And I wouldn't have cared.
I got to talk to my mom the next day after she'd left the hospital. They stopped at my grandparents, and she felt safe there, so they all spent the night there, where my mom was doing okay. (my grandparents are the most amazing people you will ever meet) It was hard to talk to her, but I put on my brave voice for her. She sounded tired and small. Her head hurt and she was in pain. But I was relieved all the same to hear her voice for myself. I wasn't old enough to drink (and I'm one of the people who actually waited until her 21st birthday to take a sip of alcohol) but I felt the need to be destructive and careless when I got home that night. My roommate at the time (and a wonderful friend still), understood, in her way. So, as a remedy, we watched the most violent, action packed movie we could borrow (which, incidentally, was one or two of the Bourne movies...yeah, I know, I live wild) and drank incredible amounts of Dr. Pepper. (yes, what a rebel, right? If I'd been 21 I'm sorry to admit I probably would have been drinking something slightly stronger)

Believe me when I tell you that I am one of the happiest, calmest, optimistic people you will ever meet. Sunshiny disposition and all. Knowing that, believe me when I say I have NEVER been so angry in my life. I several times was so angry I was shaking. The woman who ran the stop sign going over 40 mph and slammed into my mom's van, had the nerve to LIE to the police. And the moronic officer BELIEVED her. My brother, who was about 4 at the time could have told you it was a PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE story, if you actually opened your damn eyes and looked at the accident scene. And said officer tried to question my mom. In the ER. While she was strapped to a board with a SERIOUS head injury. While my grandpa and dad were I think checking her in. And then questioned her honesty and integrity because she couldn't answer simple information like what day it was. Later, they sent another officer, an angel, to re-measure the scene. Like my four year old brother could have told them, he reported the truth. (which he said he didn't even need to do, because it was obvious what had happened) I have never really wished evil on anyone. But I wanted so badly to see the bitch who had run the stop sign going well over the speed limit, given my mom and concussion and endangered my baby brother at the same time, and had the nerve to LIE about it! I wanted to see her, and look her in the eye, and punch her out. To be honest, I still wouldn't mind doing so. Given the chance, I think I'd throw my first punch ever in my life. A few inches, maybe a foot, and she would have hit my mom's door straight on. I saw the pictures. My mom has no memory between leaving my grandparent's house and being in the hospital many hours later.

Why is this coming up now? It's been nearly 3 years or so since this happened. Well, today my mom had a bit of a panic episode. And I know they all downplayed it when they talked to me. She was in the parking lot next to the hospital to go in for some normal test or whatever. And my grandpa had to come and get her and take her home. My dad was in with a client and couldn't answer his phone. She told me on Google talk while I was at work this afternoon. (after my grandpa had brought her home and stayed with them until my dad got home) She tries so hard, but she still has a lot of after affects from the accident. All because some woman was speeding and couldn't be bothered to stop for a big red stop sign. She gets migraines now, and gets horrible pain in her body sometimes. Incapacitating. And she has two very active little boys to keep up with daily. (they're very good though, and I know they are extra helpful when she's having a tough time) She's always gone to the chiropractor since she was in a head on accident with a drunk driver when I was tiny. (I wasn't in the car) But that used to be once every month or two. Now? Sometimes she has to go twice a week just to function. And she tries to lighten it up, play it off, but she wasn't okay for a while after the accident, and sometimes she's still not okay. And it makes me SO angry. Not as angry as I was at the time, but still pretty bad. Because that bitch broke my mommy. Childish as that sounds. She did. And I hate it. Yes, the rational side of me knows that punching the woman who did it in the face would not make my mom any better, and it probably wouldn't make me feel too great either. But I still want to. Given the chance, I think I might. Or at least slap her very, very hard.

Most days my mom is fine. She seems to go in cycles, she knows it. It just makes things very hard, and she hates it. She knows that it sucks, and it's not fun to live with. She doesn't like being broken, but she doesn't know how to fix it. I hate that she has to learn how to deal with it. She shouldn't have to. She shouldn't be broken. I probably won't know how bad today's panic episode was. But even from the sugar coated versions I've gotten, I can tell it was pretty bad. I really kind of want to go home right now. But I have work in the morning and it takes 3 hours to get home, and me missing work wouldn't help her. It would only stress her out. I get to see her next weekend at least, which helps. This is probably one of those moments I need to just breathe, pray and go to sleep. I don't like being angry. But I am. Every time my mom hurts because of this, I get angry. Because it was completely avoidable. And none of it is her fault, but she's the one who has to live with it. And it's not fair. I know life is unfair. But this sucks.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean for this post to become a novel, I didn't mean for it to go this long. The photo makes me feel peaceful, so it seemed appropriate for today. It's just such simple beauty.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek


Gramma Ann said...

Baby, I feel for you...It is always difficult when one of our love ones are hurting...we feel so helpless, we want to make the hurt go away, but we can't. All we can do now is pray that she can cope with her health problems. And hope that in time she will start to feel better.

Mary Alice said...

Oh honey, I am sorry about your mom. It is so difficult to accept that someone in their impatience and self importance took a quality of life away from someone else.
It is also difficult to know someone we love very much is going through hardship and not be able to be there physically to help them. Take some time everyday to go to the mission if you could, a pretty garden, a quiet stretch of beach...anyplace that gives you some alone time and that sense of peace you got in the mission photo...go there and pray. While you can't always be there for your mom, God is always with her and while your Mom can't always be there for YOU, God can. Lean on the creator and trust that He will take care of all of you.

Jaina said...

Gramma Ann- Thank you. It is really hard, especially because I sometimes forget and think that she's okay. And then she has a rough day (yesterday was the roughest so far) and I just get all angry again.

Mary Alice- Yes, it's infuriating, and I do realize that at some point I will have to/need to let it go and offer that person forgiveness in my heart and such. But it is so not going to be today. I will definitely take your advice. I can't get out to the mission often, but I work at a little piece of paradise, and I'm about 5 minutes from the beach. Thank you :)

MamaGeek said...

I am SO sorry about your Mom Jaina. This was beautiful, story and photo and all.

Killlashandra said...

Lovely photo. The light streaming downward really makes the moment and the beauty of the shot.

Kellan said...

This photo is fabulous and this story about your mom is sad and frustrating - I'm sorry she has had to go through this all these years.

Take care - Kellan

Jaina said...

MamaGeek: Thank you. I totally intended it to be a light PSF, next week's will definitely have to be happier. My fingers just started spilling words out of my head.

Killlashandra: Thanks, that's exactly why I love this photo so much. Thanks for stopping by!

Kellan: Thank you. It's kind of like my Achille's heel...just gets me out of sorts when my mom has a rough time because of this.

Kimberly said...

Hey, sometimes we've just got to put our hurt and worry into words. Blogs are great for that. ~Hugs~
I can really identify with this, as my mum was hospitalized last summer with a disease that affected her brain. She's mostly recovered, but while she looks okay on the outside sometimes she's just not okay, and people are cruel or thoughtless to her and I just want to beat them up for her or make everything better somehow. It's hard feeling like there's nothing you can do.

Anonymous said...

How awful that must have been at the time ((((HUGS)))) and to see her still suffering at times. Hannah had a serious concussion 2 years ago and has those very episodes you describe. The concussion clinic said, she may have them for life. I think it caused her depression.

Your anger is perfectly justified. However, sometimes (and I don't mean to sound like a cliche) forgiveness is a gift we give to ourself. All that negativity you start to feel again but be overwhelming and take you right back. You don't need that hurt resurfacing again and again. Easier said, I know.

Focus on what a wonderful mother you have and how lucky you are to have her. I will pray for her (and you) that things will continue to improve and the episodes will decrease.

You are such an amazing person. Thank you for the award, it meant so much. I am so glad I found your blog.

Have a good weekend. I loved the picture. I wish I could sit there all day.


Jaina said...

Kim- Blogs really are great for that...sometimes the words just come out on there own. I'm so sorry to hear about your mom, I will keep her in my prayers. And I know what you mean about just wanting to beat them up and make everything okay somehow. Our parents always protect us, and then we in turn get defensive of them. It's kind of like, I can give them a hard time but no one else better try it or watch out.

Eileen- It was rough, especially since I was away at school and didn't get to see her for myself for a good two weeks I think it was. (far too long) I'm so sorry to hear that Hannah has to deal with the same things. I know how my mom describes these various things, and it's just absolutely no fun.
And you're not cliched, you're right. I know you're right. I'm just not there yet. The anger doesn't surface all the time, but it surprises me every time it does. I'll get to the forgiveness part eventually.
Thank you for the prayers, and thank you in general. I'm glad I found your blog as well. I'm glad you liked the award. You definitely deserve it. :) And I agree about wanting to sit there all day...I love sprawling out in the grass in the sunshine. Doesn't get much better than that.

Cecily R said...

Oh, I am so sorry about your mom. That's terrible. I know I would feel the same way...if its just about me I can usually get over things fast. If its my family or loved ones...that's another story all together.

The picture is beautiful. I can see why it would bring you some peace looking at it.

Jaina said...

Cecily- Exactly how I am too. Kind of like, throw your worst at me but don't touch or even think about my family or friends. Thanks about the picture. It really was a beautiful spot. I wish it hadn't been behind a gate.