Who am I? Why am I here? Who are these little people calling me mommy?

In my last post, I explained why I chose “Lovely Lynette” as my blog title. This current post is in response to today’s blogging 101 assignment to introduce myself and explain who I am and why I am here in the blogosphere. Unfortunately, I just spent the past 30 minutes typing a brilliant post, but I forgot to periodically hit the “save” button. Do you see where this is going? Yes. I am sure you do. Instead of “today,” it is actually 12 minutes into “tomorrow” so I need to make this quick because I am not a morning person. In fact, the later I stay up, the less of a morning person I become. This is how my mornings normally begin. The children wake up well before the sun rises. They have had at least 10 hours of sleep, after all. I stumble out of bed and walk approximately 50 steps to our living room sofa where I guzzle at least two to three cups of coffee, an energy drink shot, and two cups of ice cold water. If that concoction of tachycardia-inducing liquid does not work to pry open my eyelids, I will assume a modified yoga pose on my sofa with my head draped upside down over the edge of the seat and my legs up in the air over the back in the hopes that the blood rushing to my head will somehow clear away all of the clouds and cobwebs from my brain. While all of this comedy is occurring, any amount of noise or movement is unwanted and highly protested. At the tiniest scrape of a chair, I assume elephants are rampaging through my house. Since I am already in this semi-meditative pose, I sometimes do consider that notorious and highly philosophical question, “Who am I and why am I here?” At one time in my life, I successfully managed hundreds of people and equipment worth millions of dollars. I could work round the clock, get a 20 minute nap and get up in a flash to do it all again. My advice was desired and taken to heart. I graduated from one of the most prestigious military academies in the world and was entrusted with lives. I went to war and returned. I had adventures such as rappelling from cliffs and jumping from planes. As I contemplate these things, it is as if I am reading a book about someone other than me since that book was closed for me years ago and a new book is being written. I am now a mother, which sounds a lot like manager when you think about it. Hmmmm. Am I truly the manager, though, or am I being managed by the three little tyrants that I nurtured and produced from my own body? I have studied science, history, economics, languages, literature, music, just to name a few, and now I am studying their poo. Yes. You read that right. The implications in that one sentence are numerous. I could write forever about it, but I will not because, as I mentioned earlier, I am not a morning person any more. I chauffer these tiny people around town. I cook, clean, and diagnose diseases with the help of that great diagnostics tool and search engine, Google. I counsel, give spiritual guidance, read, garden, and dabble in animal husbandry. Apparently, I’m also a secretary. The kicker is that my remuneration for all of these titles is not in money. We use the bartering system instead since my clients do not yet have monetary income. “I will take five hugs, please, for reading an extra chapter of that book.” Yes. It is true. My pay is priceless because it is in hugs, kisses, handmade crafts, and laughter. With such wealth, why am I even here on the blogosphere at 12:48 AM? Well, I have aspired to add the title of “writer” to my list since I was merely a tiny tyrant, myself. With this wealth of joy that surrounds me, how can I not share it with others? My desire is that when I write and others read, they will finish with greater joy in their hearts and maybe even a little laughter lingering on their lips throughout their day. If you are reading this right now, this is my wish for you. Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written. By doing so, you have blessed me as well. Good night and God bless!

“Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy”                           Psalm 126:2-3 (NIV).

soda shop (2)

Who is Lovely Lynette and why is she laughing?

Who is Lovely Lynette and why is she laughing? You might be wondering if I played one of those Facebook games where the first initial of my second child’s name and the fourth initial of my first pet’s middle name are assigned to random names whose combination creates my exotic dancer name. Why yes. That’s exactly what happened. No. No it is not. Actually, Lovely Lynette has a very sentimental meaning for me. When I was very young, an extraordinary woman, about whom I actually know very little, insisted on referring to me as Lovely Lynette. Arguing with her over this name was apparently useless because she was wholeheartedly convinced that my name should be Lovely Lynette. This woman was my paternal grandmother. At 29 years of age, just a few months after delivering her third child, doctors found a large cancerous mass requiring them to surgically remove her entire reproductive system. She was lucky to be alive. Today, there are supplements to help women endure the sudden drop in hormones from such a surgery. When Grandma was 29, however, the only estrogen available was made using horse urine. She was deathly allergic to serums made from horses. Her system just could not handle the lack of hormones, and so her mind was transported into a different world where reality was way more changing for her than for those around her. Grandpa was given the choice to abandon her in an asylum, but being the genuine man that he was he refused, stating to the disbelieving doctors that he loved her when she was well and he’d love her while she was ill, until death separated them. Are you wiping tears yet? How Lovely Lynette can laugh through this story is something you are probably asking. Well, I enjoy alliteration a lot, and the stories produced from her alternate realities are actually quite comical. We discuss them from time to time and chuckle even though there exists a deep sadness over this awful knowledge that her mind was stolen, not only from her but from her husband, children and future grandchildren. It’s tragic and unfair. A family is left with few choices. Do we laugh when we hear that she has been elected first woman president of the United States and has thoroughly confused the entire nursing home population, or do we cry and dwell in sadness? Should we giggle when she tells us that my father, a minister and educator, traveled to Paris and painted every picture in the hospital and that he sold the paintings to buy her the outrageously expensive set of faux pearls she is wearing? She had high hopes for her children in the arts, apparently. Bless her beautiful heart. Do we hide away the knowledge of the craziness that can occur when illness of any kind attacks, or do we acknowledge it and realize that life is a precious thing never to be wasted?

Grandma is gone from us now, in body as well as in mind. I remember the day she died. I was a brand new second lieutenant stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I was in the field with my new unit when I was told the news. I remember the tears welling up from my heart and spilling over my cheeks as the poor gruff major tried to tell me. I didn’t know her well because her soul had been hidden from us behind this facade of an unwell body, but I loved her dearly. My memories of her are brief and fleeting, but precious. I remember her sweet smile. I remember her kind voice. I remember that she loved frosties from Wendy’s…that she used her lipstick as her rouge….that she could eat an entire jar of olives by herself, a trait my own daughter has inherited….that after having her weekly hair appointment, her head would not hit the pillow for days lest she ruin her carefully curled coiffure. She would carefully rest on her elbow instead, with her head on her hand like a lounging Egyptian queen. These are a few of my cherished memories….these and knowing that in her world, I was a special child because she named me Lovely Lynette. I laugh now because she is laughing in a plane of existence where reality is more real than anything we know here. There, where she now lives, every corner of her mind is filled with clarity and joy.  She has been freed.  I wonder if she knows that I’ve decided to embrace the name she used for me, and laugh. Has God given her a glimpse of me, just one of her many grandchildren, and let her see that I intend to use laughter as medicine for my own turbulent emotions….that rather than be defeated by my own struggle with that darkness called depression, I am laughing. Grandma, you have inspired me to begin a blog titled in your honor. Because of you, Lovely Lynette Laughs, and I aspire to bring laughter to others.

 “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6:21)

 A thousand babies on my back and I'm still smiling
A thousand babies on my back and I’m still smiling.