Thursday, March 5, 2009

Because of Who, Are You?

I am sitting here today feeling all fibromyalgia-ey and lupus-y, lovely red butterfly rash covering my cheeks, deep ache throbbing inside of my bones.  It is honestly not a wonderful way to have to live, but it is how I must live.  And although the pain is great and the fatigue can be overwhelming, I am a happy person most of the time.  I accept my illness as a part of my life's journey and although it hurts like heck, I remain positive.  My heart is full, my spirit is light and I am extremely grateful to be alive.  There is a constant balance in my life.  A dichotomy of feelings and emotions that are sometimes difficult to sort out.  Yet sort, I must.

This afternoon, I was reading the blog of the amazing and beautiful Stephanie Nielson, airplane crash survivor.  For the past eight months or so, I have been reading her blog and her life has touched mine in a way that I cannot even describe.  I began reading her blog just a few weeks before her life-altering accident, having come upon it by happenstance.  You know how one blog leads to another, leads to another and then you find something which truly speaks to you.  Someone else's words will leap off of the page at you and you think, wow, you are describing my feelings exactly!  This not only happens to me with blogs, but with emails, books and other publications, as well.  In some ways, I am a "word junkie".  I feel the need to be surrounded by the words of others and I sometimes feel inspired to share my own.   Words are my way of exploring life.  My paintbrush, my modeling clay, my camera lens.(Although I am becoming more at home with that lately, as well.)  My way of learning is to metabolize the different ways in which words can enrich our lives and make us feel.

As I was reading through Nienie's latest post, something came to mind which I felt compelled to share with her.  I told her that there is nothing harder than having to survive for just one's own sake, but surviving and thriving for those whom we love and who love that is what it's all about.  That is what makes it all doable.

A couple of weeks ago, my youngest Angel Daughter and I decided to paint rocks.  Yes, paint rocks.  There is an absolute abundance of wonderfully shaped rocks along the beach near our home, and so one day as I was walking along looking down at the rocks, I decided that it might be fun to paint them.  AD4 and I sat down at the table and began our project.  We talked and giggled and created, but I was not allowed to look at what she was making.  She wanted it to be a surprise.  When we were finally finished, I was presented with the two lovely rocks which are pictured above.  On them, among the gold scroll-work that AD4 so carefully created by hand, were the words, "Because of you, I am."  

For the past couple of weeks since I was given this perfect gift, I have run these words through my mind hundreds of times.  Because of you, I am.  I have pondered them, repeated them to myself and even meditated on them while holding the rocks in my hands.  Because of you, I am.  I did not delve too deeply into what might have spurred my daughter into writing these words.  I wanted to develop my own meaning behind their inherent wisdom.  Yet, it floors me to think that out of the heart of a fifteen year old girl, came these very prophetic words.  Because of you, I am.

I have been thinking about all that I have gotten back from keeping this blog.  All of the kindness, all of the sweet words and all of the wonderful friendships I have made.  And just like collecting rocks on the beach and then putting them out there for my Angel Daughter to paint, my posts have been like that.  Ideas, thoughts, and stories which I have collected and put out there for you to paint with your own ideas, thoughts and stories.  A beautiful give and take of words.  Words which I put out for you to add your own meanings, thoughts and interpretations to.  Words which you return to me.  Because of you, I am.

So, as I sit here feeling physically drained, my spirit feels lifted boundlessly off of the ground.  Because of God, I am.  Because of my husband, I am.  Because of my Angel Daughters, I am.  Because of my parents, my brother and my nieces, I am.  Because of my dog, my cats and my birds, I am.  And because of you, I am.  As each has an affect on the other.  Each word, each kindness, each contribution.

So tell me.  Who comes to your mind when you think of Angel Daughter Number Four's words, because of you, I am?  Who has helped you to survive on the days when doing it for yourself seems just a little too hard?  Because of who, are you?

Because you are all so wonderful, I have decided to give away an Energy Muse bracelet.  Like I have said before, the ones that I have worn have brought me peace and transformation.  I will write more about the giveaway in my next post.


Ness said...

Hsving little family, because of friends am I.

To break that down, because of BLOG friends, am I. Because my one nonblog friend, Kathy, has so much on her plate I don't even discuss what's on mine with her.

But my blog friends, they know me and care.

They are anytime/anywhere there for me.

But to break it down either further, because of my blog am I.

Because I needed a place to be laugh, cry, moan, and deal with the life of cancer, fibro, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. I call it as I see it on my blog unless I feel guilty that I am being a Wanda Whiner or Debbie Downer.


Because in my blog are where my true blue friends live.

And you're a very integral part of that, Deb.

Thanks for this post. It made me think.

Laura ~Peach~ said...

WONDERFUL beautiful thought delving post...because of pain I am,
thank God I am...and mostly because I did not want to be... I am.
Love n hugs and special hugs to 15yr old AD :)

jojo said...

because of God..I am
because of sadness, pain, sorrow..I am
because of love...I am

kim-d said...

You've done it again, Deb. I come here and find exactly what I need, when I need it. As soon as I saw the pic of those beautifully painted rocks, and read AD4's words, I knew that, once again, your words would help carry me through a rough patch. I really, really wish there was some way for me to give back to you all that you give to me. Just in case you don't realize it, please just know that you, your life, your words, your sharing of your family, have had a profound effect on the life of this woman in Minnesota.

Because of who, am I? At first, I think...everybody and everything makes me who I am. But then, I know I need to delve deeper. I need to keep breaking it down until I get to the core. Overwhelmingly, my Grandma and Bill, my husband, are my two "yous." These two people, who had a magical kind of love for each other, were the two who were (and are still and will be forever)the ones who showed me everything I needed to know about being the best person I could be. If, by chance, I am honored enough to ever be anyone else's who, it is because of those two.

Because of them, I have all of the life's blessings that I have. Family, friends, social life, outlook, everything. Because of them, I am, and I am happy.

Thank you, Deb, for being you and for sharing you with me. I always feel as if you are speaking directly to me in your posts; another gift that you give, because I suspect I'm not the only one who feels this. And, please, thank your beautifully artistic AD4for me. :)

I hope your physical self feels as wonderful as the rest of you, VERY SOON.

Love and very gentle hugs to my wonderful blogger friend...

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Because of a very brave family that gave of their loved one when giving was the last thing they wanted to do....I am.

I have always defined myself as Daddy's little girl.

Because of that donor family, I still have my Dad and get to be his daughter.


Anonymous said...

Because of my family, I am. Because of my daughter, I am. Because of me, I am!

Peggy Payne said...

Debbie, I'm sorry you've been feeling bad. You do handle it well.

Also, I'm glad to know the story of you and Mark from your previous post. You did persist and prevail.

Debbie said...

I would have to jump in there with my family first. The define me.
This was wonderful:)

Lorrie Veasey said...

Hi Deb- hope you are feeling better. I love Popeye's words: I yam what I yam cause I yam. You really can never have enough sweet potatos!

jen said...

Hey Debra,
I never wanted to intrude and ask pointed questions about the illness. I've thought about it with each faint reference you've made over the last several months. I don't know a great deal about it, but I know you must have trying days. All that to say, your blog remains an inspiring visit. I'd visit any blog you recommended, so I'll head on over to the crash survivor's blog.

Because of my mother and my daughter, I am.

Your youngest Angel - so amazing.

rivergardenstudio said...

because of my family and friends I am.
because of my teaching I am.
because of nature I am.
because of my home I am
because of words
because of my art i am.

thank you for guiding me through this. Your post is very thoughtful and quiet, like a prayer of thankfulness...

Jenn-n-n said...


Again you have provided us with a thought provoking, meaningful post.

Because of my Mom and her strength/courage ...I am here
Because of my Dad ... I am here
Because of family... I am here
Because of my children...I am here
Because of all those who hurt in this world that I empathize with...I am here
Because I can make a difference... I am here
Because of those I help when they reach out ... I am here
Because of those who help me when I reach out... I am here
Because of unknown faces who post beautiful words ... I am here

Thank you again for guiding us to a place of being thankful and happy to be here.

Have a wonderful day Debra!!!! And I do hope you have a pain free day tomorrow...I will send positive thoughts your way.


Maureen Hayes said...


You know I understand what living with chronic illness, fatigue and pain are. I admire your positive attitude, I try to be positive myself. What a gift your daughter has given to you, and what a gift you have shared with us! Truly, out of the mouths of babes. . .

Because of God I am!

With gentle hugs and wishes for flare free days!

sparkled*life said...

Everything I will ever be and everything I am is wrapped up in Jesus.

Through Him came my children, through Him comes my joy, through Him comes healing for my body, through Him comes deliverance.

There is only one person that matters about making me who I am...Jesus. :D

Irene Latham said...

Dearest Debbie - hoping today finds you in a better place physically. I am enamored of AD4's words "Because of you, I am." I think she has just written the most beautiful love poem ever. Please tell her I said so. xxoo

Catherine Holman said...

My daughter wrote in her birthday card to me: The Top Ten Things I Love About My Mother. I love days like that!

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