Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It Was all I Needed (A song for Danny)

It Was All I Needed
Copyright 2012 – Susie Whiting

Verse 1:
You never promised sunshine
You never promised roses without thorns.
You never promised rainbows
Hanging in the sky above the storms.

You never offered guarantees
Made senseless promises you couldn’t keep
You simply took my hand in yours
And with all your heart you promised to love me.

And it was all  I needed,
When the winds blew hard against my door.
It was all I needed
When my ships couldn’t find their way to shore.

It was all I needed
To dance although I couldn’t hear the song.
It was all I needed
To see through the dark and look into the dawn.

You raised me up and help me be
The best that I could find in me
And now the gold is covered up in grey.
And you still love me and I still love you
Even more than yesterday.


Your love was all  I needed,
When the winds blew hard against my door.
It was all I needed
When my ships couldn’t find their way to shore.

It was all I needed
To dance although I couldn’t hear the song.
It was all I needed
To see through the dark and look into the dawn.

You raised me up and help me be
The best that I could find in me
And now the gold is covered up in grey.
And you still love me and I still love you
Even more than yesterday.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

If You Knew Me

If You Just Knew Me
Lyrics:  Susie Whiting  Copyright 2008

 Verse 1:
If you knew me, you would see that I’m a lot like you.
If you take away the cover and get to know the package through and through
I'm a kidder and a schemer, a lover and a dreamer
Not quite yet all that I can be
It’s just quite possible if you just knew me.

If you knew me would you see beneath this shell?
I am reaching toward heaven but sometimes I stumble and I fail
I have a heart that can be broken, a body that’s a token
Covering a soul you cannot see.

It’s just quite possible, that I’m not that awful,
If you just knew me.

Verse 2:
If you knew me, if you read the pages of my book.
Open up the cover if you dared to look.
You could find in me a friend, complete with love that never ends.
Perhaps a diamond a different shade of blue
It’s quite possible that I’m like you.

If you knew me could you see beneath this shell?
I am reaching toward Heaven but sometimes I stumble and fail
I have a heart that can be broken, a body that’s a token
Covering a soul you cannot see.
It’s just quite possible, if you just knew me.
If you just knew me. 


           She looks into the face of her newborn baby.  She doesn't see the wrinkled skin, the nose somewhat flattened and perhaps the head misshapen from the journey into this world.  No.  She sees the most beautiful baby in the world.
           Lost in a special part of her mind that is governed by her heart are the memories of morning sickness forcing her to pay homage to a porcelein god, the protruding stomach, swollen feet, stretch marks and the walk of a duck.  They were just hurdles along the path leading to this precious gift.  hurdles that would sleep until once again awakened to appear along another path to motherhood.
           She will sing lullabyes and in the dark of night listen for the gentle sound of breathing and thank her God when she hears the steady rhythm.  She will laugh over a bowl of carrots on top of the head and a little face covered in birthday cake.  She will cry over a fevered brow and a skinned knee being careful that this precious one she loves will be oblivious to her tears.  Her hand will reach out to aid the first step which will lead one day along a parth that will end at a school door.  She will feel the small hand slip from hers as she relinquishes her care to that of another and as she turns, the tears will come again.
           How she waited impatiently for the tiny sound of "ma-ma" to come from the lips of this precious spirit placed in her charge---and it came.
           "Mama.  I need a drink of water."
           "Mama.  There's a monster under my bed."
           "Mama.  I'm hungry."
           "Mama.  I don't know how I got gum in my hair."
           She will participate in car pools; be a room mother, bake cookies, bandage knees and other skinned places, teach that fingers do not belong in noses and to be kind to friends.  She will explain that missing teeth does not make a child ugly regardless of the little boy down the street calling you jack-o-lantern.  She will teach A-B-C's and 1-2-3's and "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and when the long day has come to an end, she will kneel beside the bed and teach her child to pray.
           She asssures a young girl that no she is not ugly; she is not too tall, too short, too fat or too thin.  Yes, she too had blemishes and yes they do eventually go away.  She explains that the clothes, the make-up, the house one lives in, or the car they drive is not as important as they seem right now; that someday, the cheerleaders will also have babies that have messy diapers that needs changing.
           The sound of "Ma-Ma" again rings in her ears.
          " Mom.  I need a new dress."
           "Mom.  I need a ride to the mall."
           "Mom.  Did you get my gym suit washed?"
           "Mom.  I'm hungry.  What's for dinner?"
           "Mom.  I did have my homework done.  I don't know what the teacher is talking about."
           "Mom.  Can I take the car?"
           Her heart stops for a moment as she places the keys in the hand that she held and supported through the first steps.
           She watches the headlights shine through the window and with each set that doesn't pull into the driveway, she prays for the safety of this one she loves and when finally the lights pull in and the car shuts off, she sighs and smiles and prays a silent "Thank You."  She now will sleep.
           Lost in the part of her mind governed by her heart, she will forget the nights without sleep, the roll of tissue paper floating in the toilet, the bangs cut clear to the scalp, the mud tracked on the carpet, the dented fender and her cashmere sweater loaned to a friend.  These are just the hurdles of motherhood tucked away to sometimes reappear as memoireies that will bring the smiles.
           The sound of "Mama" rings again in her ears.
           "Mama.  He loves me."
           "Mama.  He wants to marry me."
           "Mama.  I'm going to have a baby."
           And the tears come.
           She watches her daughter paying homage to a porcelein god, her stomach is starting to protrude, her feet are swelling.  Is that a walk of a duck?
           The time comes.  She watches her daughter locked in the pain of motherhood and wishes she could take the burden on for her but knowing that she can't.  She reaches down and kisses the forehead of this special spirit she loves so much.  Her daughter reaches up and takes her hand and holds on tightly realizing how many times she has depended upon those hands.  She looks into the eyes of her mother and understands.
           And then the tears come.

Susie Whiting
Copyright 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our Thankful Door - 2008

Trenton:  I am thankful for basketball, food, girls and my sis.
Jackson:  Except for girls, ditto on Trenton's and Aunt Shannon.
Daren:  I am thankful I don't have anal seepage.
Dawna:  I am thankful for my sweet sweet family, my health and all the beauty in the world.
Vince:  My guitar, A7X and girls.
Mark:  I am thankful for cheeses....I mean Jesus.
Crush:  I am thankful for eating....that's it.
Shannon:  I am thankful for my family and for all the family get togethers we work so hard for.  Living away and missing the get togeters were really hard.  I am thankful for traditions and the good times.
Kacee:  I am thankful for hair straighteners, curling irons, toothbrushes, triple barrels, friends, family, school, food, chocolate milk, cell phones, computers, music, the three ipods I ruined, braces, floss, air, tall people, books. Stephanie Meyer for creating Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, fruit, shoes, make up, Alaska, Grandma for giving us a house to live in, salmon fishing, nyquil, vicks, whoever invented indoor plumbing (Johnny Crapper) showers, hair products, soap and again food.
Justen:  I am thankful for my mom, my jerk, my manuel, my diddy, my bugger bear, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and firends and of course my grandparents.
Raydan:  THANKSGIVING ROCKS! but not about the food...ok it is but I'm sure there's another reason too but.....I'm thankful for grandma's food :) and all my family.  Thanks for giving.
Jessica:  I'm thankful 4 everything I have!!
Tanner:  I'm thankful for this door.
Grandma:  I'm thankful for family, family, family and that God has kept us all well and safe.

Our Thankful Door - 2007

Mark:  "I am thankful that we didn't have a thankful door."
Dawna:  I am thankful for the guy listed above.
Vince:  I am thankful that I'm the coolest kid ever.
Justen:  I am thankful for my friends & family & shopping tomorrow.  I like Aunt Shannon.
Tanner:  I am thankful for me and my new dog.
Trenton:  Ditto on Tanner's and everything else and basketball.
Kacee:  I am thankful for food.
Steve:  I'm thankful I'm not dead because I am starving.
Raydan:  I am thankful for food and snowboarding.
Katie:  I am thankful for my family and to be back home to write on the thankful door.  I am also thankful for Ashley.  She showed me that when you're mad, not to blame it on your stepdad or you will have a reallly bad life of bad decisions LOL.  Just kidding.  Love you Ash.
Jackson:  I am thankful for Grandma.
Grandma:  I am thankful for having the best family in the whole world.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Process of Grieving

I never realized that grieving is a process; a very slow process.  I find that days go by and as I remember instances that start to make my heart hurt, I tell myself not to think about it and swallow it into my mind.  Then, comes the time when all the things I have swallowed force themselves to the surface and I am forced to deal with them.

This is what happened at two o'clock a.m. last night.  Everything boiled to the surface and for about two hours I was forced to have a good cry, a good prayer, and a good talk with Danny. 

When I had finished venting, I sat propped against my pillows on my bed, surrounded by used tissues, my little dog, and my Hersey's candy bar.  Except for the headache I had caused myself, I felt better.

I don't expect to stop grieving anytime soon.  After all, forty-seven years have filled my mind with a lot of memories that need to be brought to the surface and dealt with.  So I will remember, dissect each memory, cry and then place it back on the shelf in my mind labeled "completed," and then reach for another.  The process will continue until I have either accomplished each one or until I lie breathless which ever comes first. 

I know that through each step, my little dog will be sitting there with his head tilting this way and that trying to understand what it is I am feeling but knowing something is wrong.  Each time, I will pick him up, tell him everything is going to be alright, take my last piece of Herseys and turn off my light.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dandelions and Weeds

Dandelion and Weeds

Verse 1:
I was standing at the kitchen sink with a "past due" notice in my hands.
All my hours were not enough.  I just didn't understand.
My little girl walked through the door with a dandelion bouquet.
"These will make you happy mom." And in a tiny voice I heard her say.

“These are magic flowers Mama.  I know ‘cause an angel told me so.
God has kept them sleeping, hiding beneath the winter snow.
Sometimes we couldn't see them, but God knew just where it was they grew.
Please don't be sad Mama.  God knows where we are growing too.”

Verse 2:

A child should live forever.  That's how I thought that it was meant to be.
But then within a heartbeat, God reached down and took my child from me.
Bitterness and "might-have-beens" filled my heart up to the brim each day.
And then when darkness settled in, one night I heard my baby say.

“These are magic flowers Mama.  I know ‘cause an angel told me so.
God has kept them sleeping, hiding beneath the winter snow.
Sometimes we couldn't see them, but God knew just where it was they grew.
Please don't be sad Mama.  God knows where we are growing too.”
Verse 3:

Sunshine brought the morning, as its rays danced across my bed.
There lying next beside me on my pillow right next to my head.
Lay a lovely sweet profusion. A sweet bouquet of dandelions and weeds,
tied with my baby's written note, my tears came as I began to read.


“These are magic flowers Mama.  I know ‘cause an angel told me so.
God has kept them sleeping, hiding beneath the winter snow.
Sometimes we couldn't see them, but God knew just where it was they grew.
Please don't be sad Mama.  God knows where we are growing too.”

Please don’t be sad Mama
God knows where you and I are growing too.

Susie Whiting- Copyright 2008

Friday, February 3, 2012

Keeping a Journal - Writing your life story

           So many times when I have heard it said that a lot of people find writing their life story a little intimidating.  If you are one of this group, here is a hint that you might find useful. 

           How many times during a day, a week, or a  month do you recall things that happened in your past...a memory created? I do.  So as I write in my journal, the day to day happenings are sometimes interrupted by a page (or pages) that I simply title "A Memory".  The following are examples of some of mine.

A Memory

           I was six years old when we first moved to Provo.  That would have made it 1952.  We moved into a pretty small house down on about 600 South and 1200 West.  I loved playing with my sisters Franny and Lola, but the problem was.....they didn't enjoy playing with me.  Since I was six, that made Lola eleven and Franny pretty close to fourteen.  They were much to worldly and mature to be interested in what their six year old sister might be interested in, so one day they devised a plan to keep from playing with me.  They brought out an old Indian print blanket mom had and wrapped it around me.  They then told me to stand real still and as cars drove by our house, the people would look at me and think I was an Indian statue.  I thought that sounded like a good idea.  Never mind that it was in July and hotter than heck as I stood wrapped up in wool.  But I stood there....as still as could be....believing I was impressing all of the tourists that I was certain drove from miles around to see me.  And as I stood there, Franny and Lola went off to play.  Needless to say, I might have looked cute, but I wasn't very bright.

A Memory

           I don't know why this memory has been embedded in my mind, but when I think about it, the same feelings and scents come back.  A memory that I had of when I was about four years old.

           In Green River Wyoming, we did not have running water in the house where we lived.  We carried water to do laundry and to bathe in from the Green River in buckets.  I recall Franny and Lola each carrying two silver buckets (one in each hand) and I carried a small red lard bucket.

           But the memory I am recalling is when Mom would take the five gallon milk buckets to the pump house in Green River to get the water we would use for drinking and for cooking.  If I close my eyes, I can hear the sound of the water running in the pump house, I can feel the dampness, and I can smell the damp mossy smell. 

           I don't know why those trips to the pump house was so important to a four year old girl that some 61 years later the memory of it would find its way to the surface of my mind. 

           One doesn't necessarily need to follow their life's story along in chronological order. If we just fill a book with a bunch of memories, then our children and great grandchildren will be able to capture those things that for whatever reason were important enough for us to record and begin to understand what we and our lives were like.  One doesn't need to keep a journal to do this.  A notebook of memories or a computer file with memories would serve as well.  It's not important how it is done, just that it is done.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Keeping a Journal- Subliminal Messaging

           I have kept a journal for over twenty-five years.  I wish I had kept one earlier when my children were young and recorded day to day events as unexciting as they might have seemed at the time.  When you reach my age, those trivial events become wonderful memories.  These everyday occurances get buried in the recesses of your mind, shadowed by the larger happenings if they are not recorded. 

           Over the years when I have written in my journals, I have included what my children were doing at the specific time.  Being a mom that never wanted to show partiality, I made certain to include each of my seven no matter what they had going on.  There was a method to my madness.  You see, I would leave my journals out for my children to read.  They were always pretty anxious to see what I had written about them. 

           I found that since they wanted to read my writings, I would take the opportunities to include some "lessons" along the way.  Anyone who has raised teenagers know they are not always willing to listen.  Sometimes talking to them is like talking to an angry brick wall.  You can talk until you are blue in the face, but your words will not sink in.  So, instead of talking, I would write. 

           An example:  One day my two teenage daughters (we will call them daughter "R" and daughter "H" to preserve their identity) were having a heated discussion.  H was saying to R "You never do anything for me." R responded with "I'm always doing things for you.  You never do anything for me."  Along with this, they each proceeded to list all of their sacrifices made.  Their argument began at about 6:00 a.m. and continued until they got on the bus at 7:30 a.m.

           When they left, I picked up my journal and I wrote in it:

       R and H were having an argument today about who did the  most for the other.   I wish they would have known my brother Henry and my sister Mary when they were young.  Henry had to drop out of school when he was forteen.  He went to work at the West Vaco mine to help our mom support his six sisters.   Later he would finish his education and get his bachelor's degree through a correspondence course.  My sister Mary also had to drop out of school when she was forteen.  Our mom was expecting me and she was very ill so Mary stayed home and cared for mom until I was born.  Mary was a beautiful young girl with a lot of friends and popular.  I'm certain it was important to her to graduate with her class but she sacrificed that for me.  The important thing is that never once in my entire life did I ever hear Henry or Mary say anything about their sacrifices that would make us, their siblings, feel guilty for the things they did in our behalf. 

          I left my journal laying on the coffee table opened to my current entry, knowing that when R and H got home from school, they would see it and would wonder what I had written about them.  Sure enough, they read my entry and in a short time I heard them apologize to each other. 

       I used this technique quite often.  I guess it might be called subliminal messaging.