All It Took was a Few Daisies

Things have not been going so well lately. Marie has been in the hospital for trying to swallow a box of staples during a PTSD episode. (The pain of the memories was just too much.) The staples, thankfully, passed through and did no damage, but her recovery from the incident has not passed so easily. She is sad and shaky as she works through her most recent memory, that of a “john” pulling a gun on her mother. She remembers hiding under the bed and watching in terror as his footsteps thumped by, sure he would find her and kill her at any minute.

Steven has had a similar fate. As a young adult, he chose not to take his medication anymore. He didn’t like it because it made him feel “sleepy”…instead he is hyper, agitated, argumentative, obsessed and out of control. When you have a mental illness when you are a child, you are hospitalized and given great care. When the same thing happens when you are an adult, you are arrested for domestic violence and thrown in jail. Not the best situation, and extremely difficult for a parent to handle. (Yes, I am being selfish thinking of how this affects me.) Maybe when he is released he will agree to take his medication again, medication which has enabled him to live a full and relatively happy life. Medication which has calmed his OCD and aggression. Medication which has smoothed out the wrinkles in his brain created by in utero exposure to cocaine, heroine and alcohol. Medication which has made our family life “normal”.

Yesterday, (Thanksgiving) was a solemn day for our family, missing two of our beloved children. In preparation for the day, I had cleaned the house as my husband had shopped and prepared the food. I had hoped to get to the store for a floral centerpiece to add some happiness to our table, but time just didn’t allow. Setting the table, I felt sad, abandoned, and empty inside, unfamiliar feelings for me. Just as I was allowing the despair to set in, there was a knock at my front door. There stood a middle aged woman dressed in a neat, black coat. I didn’t recognize her at first, but as soon as she introduced herself, I remembered that she had a child in the same class as Steven ten years ago. I forced a smile and asked her how she was. She had been thinking of me, she said. She remembered me from all those years ago and she remembered the challenges our children faced. She had made me a beautiful floral centerpiece for our Thanksgiving table! She said she knows how hard it is for her to raise one child with mental illness, and that she has admiration for me raising several. I thanked her and held back tears as I hugged her tight.

This amazing centerpiece is filled with bright orange mums, cheery yellow daisies, and red roses, whimsically arranged with a big Thanksgiving Day bow. Looking at it, I can’t help but smile. It is beautiful! It is hopeful! It is joyful! It was just what I needed to get me out of my despair and realize that this, too, shall pass. And the reminder came from a woman who was almost a stranger to me. I am so thankful for the timing of her thoughts of me.

Comments on: "All It Took was a Few Daisies" (54)

  1. Powerful, beautiful story. And a reminder to pay attention to those impulses to do something for someone else.

  2. 1wanderingtruthseeker said:

    I too am thinking of you this holiday season and sending good thoughts and strength. Bless you.

  3. My prayers are with your family!!!

  4. Wonderful story! Wonderful! I don’t have any other words.

  5. Respect to you. Keep getting flowers to you keep smiling.

  6. What a beautiful and inspiring action from one human being to another. This world could use more of that. πŸ™‚ I am sorry to hear the problems with your children and their past “ghosts.” PTSD is a terrible terrible disease (I have it). Good Bless You and Your Family this holiday season and for the bright new beautiful new year ahead.

  7. Never lose Hope or Faith. πŸ˜‰
    You are loved and reminders show up when needed most πŸ’—

  8. I wish things were a bit easier for you. There are times I wish I had a magic wand and could whirl it around my head and all will be fine. That beautiful gesture from that woman, is the starting of a magic wand. ❀

  9. That was so timely a gesture. I am so sorry for your two children who are struggling, I hope they recover quickly.

  10. That is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! The first thing I thought when you said she had made you a centerpiece was that God had seen you standing by the table–feeling abandoned and empty and in despair–and had sent this angel to you. (In fact, He KNEW even before you stood there, and He moved that lady’s heart to create that arrangement so that she would be knocking at your door at the very moment you needed to be encouraged.)

    I’m so very sorry for Marie and Steven. No wonder you have been down! I pray that God, Who sees them and is with them, will bring healing to them.

    • Amen!

      Sometimes, we are lucky enough to be chosen to be an “angel” to others. It is such an honor to be a messenger of G-d’s love. I’ll bet your smile and hug made that woman’s whole month, if not more.

      I’m sure you get tired of being called an “angel”, but guess what lady, you qualify too!

      All my love and prayers for you and your family. I am grateful that there are people like you in this world, to shine a light into the darkness of the evil out there.

    • I agree. I wrote a post about the Holy Spirit a few posts ago, and I similarly thought this was God’s way of providing encouragement. I’ve come to learn that God comes to us through the generosity of other people.

  11. How lovely and timely.

  12. What a wonderful story! God is just amazing πŸ™‚

  13. what a treasure… Thanks God, for blessing this amazing woman!!!

  14. georgiakevin said:

    My deepest respect and admiration for. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I think that God creates special people like you and your husband so that the angels can be extended just a little further. As a special educator I see far too many parents who either do not know how to parent or do not want to accept the responsibility and gift of parenting special children. You and your husband on the other hand know far more about parenting and have accepted the gift far more completely than a lot of parents combined, thank you for resorring this teacher’s fairth in parents. Already it has been a long year.

    • We have been so fortunate to always have caring, capable teachers working with our children. They are with our children all day long, Bless them. It takes a special teacher to work with special children!

  15. God knows how much we can take and brings help and strength at precisely the right time. Encouragement and beautiful flowers make a difference. Thank you for sharing from your heart!

  16. It amazes me how timely encouragement can come. Be blessed, dear one, as you continue to serve our world with the love God has given you. We are in the process of adopting three special needs kids … As I was pondering about the comfort I was missing, these words came to my heart and mind … … Keep going … keep looking … keep serving!

  17. Angels appear when we most need them. They don’t wear wings and halos, as you’ve found out.

  18. What a great story. So glad that there was beauty in both of your holidays.

  19. I’m lying on a couch feeling sorry for myself because a horrible cold has put an end to me singing on the worship team at church this weekend, and then this put it all in perspective. My head is too thick at the moment for a pithy comment, so I’ll just say thank you for sharing this – it did a little surgery in my heart. And reminded me that no effort of kindness, even if we’re unsure of its reception, is ever wasted.

  20. Too many words floating around in my brain after reading this very touching story but glad there was a happy ending. It is unfortunate that more attention is not made to those with mental illnesses and sadder still because these illnesses affect the sufferers and the care-givers equally. Love and hugs from my heart to yours :two_hearts:

  21. I am sorry there is so much sadness right now. So glad someone brought you a wonderful gesture during this time. Stay strong!!

  22. Makes those of us that don’t have the burdens you bear to count our blessings. Our challenges are small in comparison and you are a special person for allowing God to use you in this way.

  23. What a endearing story I really feel for you. There are those out there with a kind empathic heart I am glad you found each other x

  24. Such a good story. In so many ways.

  25. Talk about a God thing! What wonderful timing, and how awesome to have love shown when you are struggling the most!

  26. Bless you and all your family. Thank God for angels in human form.

  27. your honest, real, and raw writing provides the daisies for my day today. may God give you new strength, my brave friend.

  28. Ah… That was a wonderful gesture in a time you needed it most… Angels always appear to help us get through tough times… Happy Thanksgiving…

  29. Reblogged this on Barefoot in the Chapel and commented:
    What an in-tune woman! I know that feeling of devastation and loneliness. My heart goes out to you. Funny how sad the holidays can make you feel and how something so small can lift your burden.

  30. What an in-tune woman! I know that feeling of devastation and loneliness. My heart goes out to you. Funny how sad the holidays can make you feel and how something so small can lift your burden.

  31. I hope it’s not lost on you that it’s as if Steven himself carried those flowers to you. If not for his presence in that woman’s life, no one would have showed up at your door with the bouquet of love. What joy for you!

  32. I think God answered your prayer directly by that woman!! Little acts like that, to me, are undeniable proof of God’s love. Thank you for loving all your children unconditionally– and it’s NOT selfish of you to consider your own feelings! I hope your son Steven decides to take his medicine. I can relate to him, I’ve been on meds since birth, due to a bad liver. I had a transplant as a young child and I require meds to prevent rejection and keep my liver panel stable. I’ve gone through fits of not wanting to take my meds because I wanted to be “normal”– and I paid the price. It’s not fair to anyone, but most of all, myself. I din’t want to have pay for them, I didn’t want to deal with side effects– I just didn’t want to be tethered to a pill. It’s also scary to trust your doctors, but I’m lucky to have excellent ones. But once I accepted my meds are helping and creating stability in my life, my confidence began to recover. I hope he considers the price you are paying when he does this– it’s not fair to anyone. I’ll say a prayer for him. Keep the faith and keep blogging!

  33. You’re welcome, I love your blog. You need an outlet, with all this stress. God has certainly blessed with you with grace. I’m glad you appreciated my comments, not everyone does!

  34. Sometimes it is truly the little things that can make all the difference. I love how what you needed found you. Beautiful testimony! πŸ™‚

  35. Your blog always makes me cry and then leaves me with hope. You are an amazing woman, I wish the best for you and your family.

  36. You are so strong, and inspiring πŸ™‚

  37. notsoquietmomma said:

    No you’re not being selfish. I want you to be aware of that! You are allowed to have your feelings when things go on with your children as well. WHen we had an episode last year that put EVERYONE in danger I kept quiet at ow angry I was until I finally asked my mom (who raised my brother who is RAD and FAE) I’m allowed to be angry right?

  38. Hang in there! I SO understand and have posted so many posts similar to this! God bless you.

  39. Incredible story, one act of kindness can really turn things around. Wishing your family peace!

  40. Sam Nelson said:

    Hi Linda,
    I’m so sorry to hear about Mari and Steven’s situations and to have that right around the holidays must be so hard! I’m very happy Mari recovered physically from the staples I thought that would have done a lot of physical damage so she was lucky!
    I really hope steven gets out of jail soon and gets back on meds! Sending hugs. I’m blind and have mental illnness so understand it from my end. It must be heartbreaking for a parent. Hugs.

  41. Sam Nelson said:

    Hi Linda again,
    Wanted to share with you and everyone I have an e-mail list for anyone with any disability who also has a mental illness. This includes supporters, parents friends ETC. Thought it might be useful to you, your family and others who read here. The website is below.

  42. Love it when I can see God’s footprints in my life. And they glow even more brightly in the dark times. You and those you love are in my heart and prayers. Thanks for sharing.

  43. liamsmomma said:

    I can relate to your two children’s struggles, as my son also has PTSD from his step grandfather, but I am still struggling with the aspect of being able to identify exactly what behaviors are caused by this, because he suffers from so many other conditions. I worry though, that his aggressive, sometimes extreme behaviors will send him down the same path of being put in a place like jail when he gets older. God bless you for the care you take with your children and I believe parents who do care for such special little beings are watched over by a guardian angel.

    • I have learned that society often punishes those who get violent, even if that violence is caused by a mental illness. Marie, herself, has been arrested twice because, during a violent PTSD episode during which she is dissociated from reality, she has hit a police officer trying in vain to subdue her. I can’t fault them, they are trying to prevent her from hurting herself.
      My advice would be to try to get extreme behaviors under control, but, alas, that is easier said than done!

      • mrsmariposa2014 said:

        Just stumbled on this one. What beautiful evidence God sees us even when we feel most alone.We all have our struggles but He is always there, guiding and directing our lives.I am confident He who began a good work in you and yours will be faithful to complete it, just as he does for me and mine. Blessings!

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