A year ago

A year ago, I could barely zip up this sweatshirt.




A year ago, John nearly died.



A year ago we had an eight-week-old baby:



This week I need perspective. Time is passing me by. I'm vastly unaware of so many of the blessings in my life … mostly? Because I'm choosing to ignore them right now. All I can focus on is how tired and overextended I am, how the grass must be greener somewhere else. And frankly? Right here and now isn't so bad. I have a husband who loves me desperately, who stands by me when he has every excuse to bail out, and who is still living. Every day I wake up to the sweetest face I've ever known; I have been witness to this little life growing and leaping forward every day. I have been allowed the luxury of taking control of my body back, of having energy and the physical ability to do things that I deign to do such as run five miles or dogpile in a group of crazy high school students. I can even get pregnant again when we feel like it.

What on earth am I complaining about?


Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth.

Hang out the washing, make up the bed,

Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,

Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.

Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,

Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo.

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew,

And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo.

But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo,

Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?

Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,

But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.

So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!

I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

-Ruth Hulbert Hamilton


13 thoughts on “A year ago

  1. barbetti says:

    Aww. This post was sweet and so was Bud’s response.

    It says a lot about someone to go through such a scary time (I can’t even imagine) and make it ’round to the other side as strong as you are. And to appreciate the little things you mentioned, while some take that for granted.

    I feel so blessed to have met you last month.

  2. Amy --- Just A Titch says:

    Awww, cute response from husband. But he is right—you are such a blessing to others. I think we’re probably very similar in that I spend much of my time searching for what’s different, better, newer when really, I’m so blessed to have what’s right in front of me. You are an amazing mother, wife and friend. xo

  3. Pops Huddle says:

    Refreshing, and so revealing of your journey. I love you so much, ‘Manda, and I admit that one of the big reasons why is because you love my son. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t pray for you, and give God thanks for your important place in our family. Many times when I was meeting with JW and I learned a little tiny bit about your struggles, I wished so much that I could provide you with more support then I was providing you as your FIL. I hope you know that I’m always here for you…..and I relate so much to that idea of the grass is greener. It isn’t. I’ve leaned this several times in the years I’ve made big decisions, only to discover the nagging question afterward: “What was I thinking?” But each of us must learn this on our own, and sometimes it involves some wrong turns. Regardless, I am so proud of you for pressing forward. God is using you in very unique ways….I’ve been watching even if you’re unaware, and will always be your fan in the stands.

  4. Nana says:

    Well said, Manda. For all of us, it is the living it that is tough, even if we know the truth of it. You and I have seen the tragic results when one forgets that it is the relationships that count not the circumstances.
    I read the poem you quoted when you were little and made the choice to live it. Admitting, many times I failed. I love you and yours dearly.

  5. Rouse M. says:

    Yes Manda, you are fantastic !!! I love all the stuff you write in your blog, thanks for let share with you all those things, as your husband wrote: You keep it real!!!

    God bless you

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