This week I feel every one of my 45, soon-to-be 46 years. My nerves are shot. I’m tired and more than a little cranky. I’m in need of a makeover, or more appropriately, a rewrite.
After years of guiltily reading romance novels, I’ve decided to take a page from one of them and reframe my life in the fashion of a novel. I may even put a picture of my dishwasher dressed in a flowing gown on the cover.
The working title: A Woman Possessed by Love, Family and Her Dishwasher.
Now under the haze of romance writing, I can give myself a makeover that I just don’t have time for in real life.
First things first, I’ve never been happy with my height. I think I have way to big of a frame to be only 5’3″, so in my novel I am transformed from a short brunette into a petite brunette:
Although lacking in the height her frame would seem to call for, Kathy’s lack of height gives her a gentle, almost doll like appearance.
Now what do I do with my out-of-shape, almost 46-year-old body that has had three children, with the last one coming at the age of 39?
Kathy’s voluptuous figure, more curvy and full than ever before, fits a woman who has lived life fully. Her round hips are her badge of honor from three hard-won and difficult pregnancies. It was hard not to be grateful to the body that carried her children from the man that is her husband and soul mate.
A few lines and wrinkles? Who needs Botox or plastic surgery? I have a computer and a memory full of romance novels.
Kathy may no longer have the glow of youth, but the sands of time have been gently carved on her still porcelain skin. This has only added character to her unique beauty. Much like a fine wine that gets better with age, Kathy’s beauty reflects a life full of experience. She is a classic beauty that never goes out of style.
I may have gone a little overboard, but hey, it’s my book.
What I love the most about romance novels is that all the problems and trials that the heroine endures are wrapped up in less than a thousand pages.
I would love it if some of the more difficult times in my life could be summed up so neatly.
Of course, the chapters I would love to be able to jump over the most are the ones that deal with our beautiful daughter, Lizzy.
Lizzy has been an enigma to me and the medical community since she was six weeks old and I realized she was not looking at me like she should have. We have gone to so many doctors, specialists, and therapists that I feel I have earned my own degree in all syndromes related to Lizzy.
How can one little girl have so many issues and delays yet so many gifts at the same time? Watching our beautiful daughter struggle with things people take for granted, such as the ability to express herself when she wants to, is a pain I will never be able to express.
Her special needs are at their most apparent when she is sick. Lizzy can’t always feel and express the pain she feels, and we don’t know she’s sick until the symptoms are at their worst. I also fear that every sneeze, cough, or infection Lizzy gets is somehow related to her undiagnosed brain disorder.
This week, watching Lizzy cough so hard that she turns red and throws up has been hard. Knowing she is in pain and so uncomfortable, yet not able to really tell me what is going on makes it even worse.
Even more heartbreaking is Lizzy’s incredible spirit. She will be all red in the face with vomit all over her and yet when one of us asks her how she is she replies with a smile, “I’m good.”
After three trips to the doctor in less than a week it looks like it’s possible that she has whooping cough. Of course, it’s my sweet Lizzy who ends up with this, even though she has had every vaccination a child should have.
It’s times like this when she seems so fragile that I fear that one day I will lose her. I would be lying if I didn’t say at times that fear keeps me up at nights.
This is when I would love to put the book of my life down and pick it up at a later chapter. A time when everything is settled, and my children are all grown, safe, and happy.
I can see the last chapter I would love to read:
Kathy watches her beautiful daughter, the child that no doctor could diagnosis or explain. The child she was told would never live on her own, and she could feel nothing but pure joy. There Lizzy stood, all grown up. Her beautiful dark hair spilling onto her shoulders, smiling and full of pride as she stood by her paintings. Kathy could see the buzz around her daughter as the critics were touting Lizzy as the next “hot” artist. All of a sudden the years of pain, and fear were gone. Lizzy was a happy, independent woman.
Of course, the hardest thing for me to accept is that I’m not the author of any of my children’s stories. Lizzy, as well as my two beautiful sons, will have to write their own “books” and their own happy endings.
I can only concentrate on my own.
Looking over her life, Kathy, still stunningly beautiful at the age of 85, smiled as she marveled at the happy endings each of her children were able to write for themselves. Though not the endings she may have chosen for them, she was grateful that all three had grown into happy, kind adults.
This is a life and a book worth reading to the end.
Kathy! This may be my favorite of all your posts yet! I agree that I’d like to skip over the chapters of Evan’s life that deal with pain and hardship. I’d like to write a beautiful ending as well. But, as my mother told me last fall, while we were sitting in my living room the day after bringing him home from the NICU, “Let’s not write his story for him. Let’s let him write his own.” And I agree, just as you say above, that they will write their own endings, endings that may not be the ones we have written, like you say, but endings that are their own nonetheless. And I have to mention that I love your romantic descriptions of yourself! I’d read that novel!!!
Your essay reminds me of a favorite quote of mine: “You are the author of your own life story.” I like the fiction and the nonfiction version 🙂
Have a great week!
Anne U says
Beautiful story, I wish I could skip my morning sickness part right now.
I LOVE this! It made me laugh, it made me tear up. You are an amazing writer! Lizzy is going to write a beautiful story of her life with you guiding her through the first part of it! And I’m sure that the description of your romance novel body is quite accurate! You are beautiful!
Grumpy Grateful Mom says
I don’t really have the right words, but your Lizzy is beautiful. I think she has already written so many difficult, but also wonderful chapters. I’ve read them through you. You are the best mom to you three kiddos. I can feel the love in your words. Sending prayers for Miss Lizzy and her mama.
Also, I think you’d make an awesome star of a romance novel. 🙂
Mandi @ Smile and Mama With Me says
This is such a beautiful post Kathy! I loved every word of it and I think it will hit home with a lot of different people. I love how you realized you are not the author of your childrens’ novels, but each one will write their own stories.
And this made me smile: “Kathy’s voluptuous figure, more curvy and full than ever before, fits a woman who has lived life fully.” Perfectly crafted.
I’d read your novel… 😀
Smile and Mama With Me
I can’t thank each one of you enough for your wonderful and thoughtful comments! You guys make me cry!! You will never know what your support means to me! Much love!!
You summed up what so many of us feel and wish, not only for our own lives, but also for our children. This was beautifully written.
Kathy, I love this. What a genius idea to rewrite your life in the form of a novel in your blog. How fun! 🙂
I’m sorry to hear of the trials you and Lizzy have had to endure. I was at a women’s retreat this weekend with my bible study, prayer warrior friends and one of them mentioned Hebrews 11 in the bible. I had never read through it before, but it’s such a perfect thing to read when we feel as though our faith is shattered or we’re struggling over a difficult tragedy or trial that we’re facing.
Anyway, one of the women mentioned everything that happens to us (good or bad) has gone through God’s hands before it lands in our life. Meaning God is allowing it because in the grand picture, something good and wonderful and full of blessings will or has already come from it. I don’t know if that offers you encouragement or only makes you angry over the circumstances, but I felt the need to share it with you anyway. (sorry if I have offended…certainly not my intent!) Anyway, I’m continuing to cover little Lizzy in prayer.
Many blessings to you and your family, Kathy! 🙂
sandbox gems says
This was so wonderful, Kathy! If we could all see our lives through romance glasses just every now and then….maybe we would value the beauty of what we are made of and how we have carried through in tough circumstances. I pray our children write their own beautiful stories too. In the meantime, continue to write yours for them too, so they can see what a special mom they have!
Becky Jane says
…together, Kathy and Becky Jane walked with grace and ease as their full hips swayed in sync!
Their hearts reminiscing in unison as they remembered the fears their hearts felt when their children were young and now rejoicing at the glorious adults their children have become…
One day, sweet Kathy!
I can’t tell you all what it means to me to stop by my site and see your wonderful and thoughtful comments!! Thank you!!! Becky I love your idea!!!
Much love to you all!!
Amber Edwards says
Oh Kathy! What a WONDERFUL story! You are definitely right; it is a book that will be worth reading to the very end! I LOVE your descriptions in the beginning; how you described yourself…and that you didn’t really CHANGE yourself, just how you were viewed. If only we could have everyone see us in those romantic lights. So beautiful!
As you described your daughter; I can almost picture such a beautiful girl, full of love and hope; even with all the evils of the world surrounding her. I was moved near tears; as we recently lost my 7 yr old niece- I can relate to the fear of possibly losing her one day; but grateful for each and every moment you shared.
I’m also glad to stop by your page and visit; you always have amazing posts to read! Thank you!
Visiting from VB’s Members to remember
kathy, this post brought tears to my eyes. you are such a great writer and mother. lizzy is lucky to have you. this post really makes everyone look at their life. it make me think how i’d write my “romance novel”
i know life is never how books like those portray, but i hope that this week gets better and brings you to a better place. you deserve a day at the spa. a manicure/pedicure/massage and glass of wine!!
lots of love,
Mel~ @ Lifestwistedstitches.com says
You are such a talented and terrific woman! I miss connecting with you here, I’ve been away for a while. Not too sure how active I can be at this stage in my life, (see tomorrow’s post) but I know I will keep my blog!
This is wonderful! It really threw me all over the emotional map… and I loved that about it! What a great piece, Kathy… well done, my friend 🙂
Thanks everyone!! Your comments mean so much to me!! I had fun working on this one and now I keep thinking of other parts of my life I could give the Romance treatment to!! Much love!!
Stephanie of Gumdrop Pass says
I came to visit from VB. First off, I must say that you have a talent for rewrites! Want to give my life a try? 😉
Secondly, on a more serious note, your Lizzy sounds ABSOLUTELY amazing. Seriously. The way you described her brought tears to my eyes and then made me, someone who has never even met her, so proud of her. “I’m good.” Just amazing.
I love your story so far – I’m sure it will only get better! 🙂
P.S. You’ve definitely won me over – I’m a new follower! 🙂
Whole Lotta Mama says
What a beautiful story! Your story gave me chills and a few tears! I am 31 with 6 children and 1 step son. My oldest son has severe ADHD and I know it’s difficult for him to control his impulses, but he is getting older(11) and he is realizing that he can control them.
Spilled Milkshake says
I hope Lizzy’s whooping cough gets better soon. My Little Man coughed and vomited for so long the other night, I was frightened. I’d never seen anything like it – so I can almost identify with Lizzy’s sickness. It’s so hard to watch our kids be sick. We just want to wrap them in our arms and make everything better.
Beautifully written post. Being that I’m such a horror novel fan, it made me think of rewriting my life as a horror novel. There’s always some romance in there, too. Fun thoughts. Miss you!
That’s a great story. It’s not bad if that’s your life story!
Katherines Corner says
What a great story!!Big Hugs, please stop by tomorrow and linkup for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog hop. 🙂
Irish Italian Blessings says
What a fabulous story! I would definitely read this book from beginning to end. It’s absolutely beautiful!
Amberr Meadows says
That was an amazing story. I had to get tissues. I am such a mushmellow. I’m returning the love from VB and onto the next post of yours!
This is really a beautiful post. I feel like every Mom needs to read it and try re-framing some of their thoughts from your romance novel perspective! I love that ending with you reflecting back at age 85, so sweet. I’ll be stumbling this and sharing with some mom friends!
Sarah @ made in usa challenge
I'm NOT a VOLCANO! says
this is such a lovely post. I have looked back into my life’s past before and saw it unraveling like a book with a bad plot. That’s no one’s issue but mine. it’s the way I write it and the way it ends is my choice. I can’t choose how things in my life will go all the time, but i certainly CAN choose to look at it positively. Positivity makes things beautiful.
here from VB.
Larri @ Seams Inspired says
Oh, Kathy…I have no words. Beautiful post, sweet friend, beautiful.
PS…Hope Lizzy is much better today, and that whooping cough is not the diagnosis.
This is probably one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. It was both funny and very touching. Beautiful 🙂
Following from voiceBoks.
Thank you all so much for your great comments!! I love to read every one! Much love to all!!
What a lovely story Kathy. I admire your ease with words and the emotion that flows so freely from them!
I’ve rewritten my life a thousands times in my mind and each time I’m much taller, have long flowing blonde hair and a flat belly. I really appreciate your rewrite in the celebration of reality versus my fantasie; a very hopeful view!
Your Lizzy is a beauty! Thank you for sharing your story.
Karen Dawkins says
WOW!!! That’s all I can say.
Amberr Meadows says
Kudos to you for making your character someone real and believable. Anyone who has had children and NOT gotten mom badges (aka stretch marks) is fortunate.
Love your blog, and I’ll be a daily fan from here on out.
What the future has in store for Lizzy we do not know. However, one thing is certain- she is truly blessed to have such wonderful parents, grandparents, and brothers to share in her journey.
What a beautiful story. I am madly admiring you as I read each of your posts.
Your kids will be so much proud to have a momma like you.
You went with guiltily! LOL.
And my last came at the age of 39 too ~ I never knew that about you!
I would so read your book. 🙂