We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a highchair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking.
Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, "Hi." He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
I looked around and saw the source of his merriment.
It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes.
His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map. We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.
"Hi there, baby. Hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,"
the man said to Erik.
My husband and I exchanged looks, "What do we do?"
Erik continued to laugh and answer, "Hi."
Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.
Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, "Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo?
Hey, look, he knows peek-a-boo."
Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.
My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot.
The old man sat poised between me and the door.
"Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik, I prayed.
As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's "pick-me-up" position.
Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man's. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time. I stood awestruck.
The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, "You take care of this baby."
Somehow I managed, "I will," from a throat that contained a stone.
He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, "God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift." I said nothing more than a muttered thanks.
With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, "My God, my God, forgive me."
I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.
I felt it was God asking, "Are you willing to share your son for a moment? when He shared His for all eternity.
The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, "To enter the Kingdom of God, we must become as little children."
If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on.
Hello to all of my wonderful friends! I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for being such awesome people, for the thoughtful birthday wishes, the kind words, and for just being the great people that you are! I'm afraid that lately I've been neglecting Care2 and my friends, and I'm sorry for that. Remember that you really are very much appreciated, I'm so thankful to have found each and every one of you!
Matthew is entered into another photo contest that has public voting to decide the winners. Could you please do me the favor of voting for him? You can vote once a day per email address. Here are the voting instructions from the site:
HOW TO VOTE:
SIMPLY SEND THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU ARE VOTEING FOR AND THE # BESIDE THE PICTURE to firstname.lastname@example.org ..ONLY ONE VOTE PER E-MAIL,PER DAY.OTHERS WILL BE DELEETED.
Just click on the link and put "Matthew Jon #1013" in the subject line, leave the body blank. Don't forget to vote once a day from all of your email addy's! Thanks so much!
1. My relationship status with my baby's dad. There will always be a relationship, after all we have a beautiful little boy together, and I will always love him, it just seems like we get along best when we are far apart, and I don't know what that means. I think we both cause each other more pain than joy, and that's not how it should be, or how it used to be. I'm just not sure how to define us anymore, and that doesn't just hurt, it scares the hell out of me.
2. Knowing that I'll never see my Mom and brother again in this life. My mother has been dead for almost three years now, and I'm no more ready to lose her now than I was then. My life has been in a downward tailspin ever since that awful night. How do you stand in an O.R. and hear the steady beat of your own mother's heart slow to nothing and not live the rest of your life in constant pain? She never knew she would even have another grandbaby someday, she will never hold him in her arms, never see his happy smile, never even know he exists. And he will never know her. How can his life ever be complete without ever knowing his Grandma's love? It's just not right. It's been 18 months since a brain aneurysm suddenly took him away when he was just 29. How can a person ever be ready to lose their only little brother? He was full of plans, full of life, and then he was just gone forever, a body hooked up to tubes and machines just waiting for the surgeons to butcher him for his organs. The organs that he worked so hard to keep healthy, just to have his brain fail him and leave all his hard work to benefit others. I never even told him that I was pregnant, but I found out later that he knew, and was looking forward to meeting his new little neice or nephew. He died three months before he had the chance to do that. He and his nephew will never know each other.
3. My father has a new wife, a new life, and I don't fit into it anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I love my father and he deserves all the happiness in the world, I only wish that I felt like I could be a part of that happiness. We have both changed, become completely different people after the tragedies that we have gone through, and while he has come out stronger I just feel like a soldier just home from war. The pain is still raw to me, and most of the time I think it always will be. I feel alone, abandoned, orphaned by the family that was my anchor in life.
4. I'm a bad mother. A horrible mother. I have no control. I love them, but I still feel like a complete failure. My 15 year old won't go to school, talks like a sailor, has a quick and violent temper, and I don't see him ever becoming a productive and happy person. My six year old is following in his footsteps, and I don't know how to stop it. Love isn't enough, but it's all I know how to do. Discipline doesn't work, it never has no matter what I try. I always imagined a loving and happy family, I never had big dreams or goals, but I've failed completely at the one dream I had.
I've been a good mom all year. I've fed, cleaned, and cuddled my children on demand, visited the pediatrician's office more than my doctor, sold 62 cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground, and figured out how to keep my children quiet in the car...thanks for that DVD player last year! I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son's red crayon on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I'll find anymore free time in the next 18 years. Here are my Christmas wishes: I'd like a pair of legs that don't ache after a day of chasing kids (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don't flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to carry a screaming toddler out of the candy aisle in the grocery store. I'd also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy. If you're hauling big ticket items this year, I'd like a car with fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music; a television that doesn't broadcast any programs containing talking animals; and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone. On the practical side, I could use a talking daughter doll that says, "Yes, Mommy" to boost my parental confidence, along with one potty-trained toddler, two kids who don't fight, and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools. I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting, "Don't eat in the living room" and "Take your hands off your brother," because my voice seems to be just out of my children's hearing range and can only be heard by the dog. And please don't forget the Play-Doh Travel Pack, the stocking stuffer this year for mothers of preschoolers. It comes in three fluorescent colors and is guaranteed to crumble on any carpet making the In-laws' house seem just like mine. If it's too late to find any of these products, I'd settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container. If you don't mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family; or if my toddler didn't look so cute sneaking downstairs to eat contraband ice cream in his pajamas at midnight. Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is ringing and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the chimney and come in and dry off by the fire so you don't catch cold. Help yourself to cookies on the table, but don't eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet. Yours Always, Mom PS--One more thing...You can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in you!
Since this group is about eating disorders, how about a quick poll to see how many of us either suffer from or know someone who suffers from an ED. Just a reminder about abbreviations: ed=eating disorder, ana=anorexia, mia=bulimia, coe=compulsive over-eating, ed-nos=eating disorder not otherwise specified. "Not otherwise specified" means that you don't meet all of the requirements for a specific ED.
I think of the word,
"Mother," many things
come into my mind.
sweet mother, of course,
who to me, will always be
think, too, of myself,
for I am the mother
of three, the step-mother
The largest genocide in
human history happened
where? Most people would
answer Germany, and the
Actually though, the
largest genocide happened
in the USA, with the
native American Indians,
with estimates of 19
million to 100 millio...
Radiation Study; Tokyo
Hayno, R.S., et al
of Adults and Children 7
to 20 Months After the
Fukushima NPP Accident as
Measured by Extensive
Surveys, Proc. Jpn....
accumulates in water
supplies after nuclear
bioconcentrates in fish
that live in fresh water
and salt water. Runoff of
fresh water from land
which has been
contaminated ends up
contaminating oceans, and
66 Atomic Bombs were
exploded on the Bikini
Island Atolls. Hundreds
of islanders were removed
from the islands, but not
from harms way. One
hydrogen bomb exploded
near the islands, and the
children played with the
dust from the bomb, as it
"Give Folk Medicine Back
to the Folks!" This
is one of our favorite
slogans here at the
Essentials of Life
Center. It's more
than a slogan, in fact;
it's one of our primary
goals!The classes we
teach here are