I grew up in central Florida. Where heat shimmers in waves above the asphalt, where afternoon thunder storms with more electricity in them than the entire population of Texas uses in a year (or so it seemed anyway) is the norm, and where of course, Mickey Mouse brings hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Not to be misunderstood though, Mickey and I were not BFFs in my childhood years. My family actually lived well outside the ring of glitzy entertainment, down a dirt road, in a double wide trailer, on the back side of a cactus nursery. The “cactus farm”, as my friends dubbed it, was a family owned and operated business passed down from my Grandpa. Cacti were the means of financing our food, shelter, and education, and we kids were expected to take the growing of them as seriously as the adults. I … Continue reading →
One. Two. Three. Three sailboats drifted out on the water today. I squinted my eyes, was that a fourth sail easing into view? Yup, that’s four. Clearly today was a beautiful day to be outside. I turned away from the huge window and glanced up at the clock. A half hour had passed in the time it had taken me to count the boats, wander fancifully through the streets stretching in thin ribbons below me, and imagine myself staring up at the high church steeple sticking like a needle in the distant horizon. Nothing behind me had moved in my mental absence. The little mound on the bed lay motionless, the machines swooshed rhythmically, the numbers on the screen glowed steadily. Nothing would change today, there would be no outside play for us. Satisfied that I had missed nothing inside, my eyes again drifted to the window to the world … Continue reading →
You are busy, you have stuff to do, and you hear your child’s voice calling you from the back door. You ignore them, because that is what any self-respecting mother who expects to get anything at all done in a twenty four hour period would do. The calls are insistent. That kid is not going away. Whatever they have to say is apparently worth repeating “maaaaaammmmmmaaaa” seventeen times. The eighteenth time the little voice takes on a forlorn tone as if you have abandoned them forever. The tone of voice does its work, and your awakened feelings of pity send you immediately to admire the flower they have found (one of the approximately four billion weeds in the yard), be appropriately sympathetic about the scratch on their finger (which you can’t actually see), get them a drink (which they could have gotten themselves), assure them that … Continue reading →
If you happened to be driving down Woods dr last week, you may have been tempted to raise an eyebrow at the sight in my front yard. Two little girls (not really sure to which irresponsible mother they belonged), like two frogs in a jar, had stuffed themselves into the city issued recycle bin tote, filled it with water, and were having a great time “swimming” in the fresh spring air. Because if mom won’t put out your pool for you, what else do you do, but find a way to swim anyway? I can’t help but think that’s exactly what God meant for me to do when life is not exactly the poolside experience I requested. I do believe that the same God who turned water to wine, who healed a blind man’s eyes with mud, who sent Gideon into battle with a trumpet, who trained David to be … Continue reading →
I’ve had all I can take. Have you ever said those words? I’ve said them. I clearly remember glaring at the row of shiny metal buttons in the children’s hospital elevator after Jed had some bad blood work, and I was told we would have to stay for a few days (which turned into months and a cancer diagnosis). I stabbed the number eight button, giving everyone around me a steely look which defied them to be brave enough to smile at me, much less dare to speak to me, all the while muttering in my mind, “I’ve had it, I’ve had all I can take!” I remember the day I brought Jed in for a hearing screen. The audiologist told me he was significantly deaf in both ears, and we should expect to get him cochlear implants in the future. I don’t know why, but for some reason after … Continue reading →
Dear Senator, Thank you for your hard work and personal dedication serving our country. I am looking forward to the day when your voting record reflects the confidence you have in the courage of Americans, specifically women. I am writing to request one thing, please stop using my children as your excuse not to do this. Your recent failure to pass H.R. 36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, was a tremendous disappointment to a great number of American women. I am a mom of four children, two of whom belong to America’s finest group of endangered species…babies who have had a very poor prenatal diagnosis. It is these medically complex situations that are often pointed to as one main reason, among others, that we continue to withhold legal protection for the smallest heartbeats of America’s future. By voting down this bill, you have told me, a women experienced in … Continue reading →
Every mom ever to live in the history of mankind (well that’s my theory anyway) has sighed at least once in her life after walking into a room, stumbling over fifteen different toys and projects scattered all over the floor, and seeing absolutely no children in sight on which to pin the blame. While a half done art project makes my scalp itch, my children do not seem to be at all afflicted with any such sentiments. Partially colored papers, and a thousand pieces of paper cut up for no actual discernable reason seem to be all the rage at my house. Occasionally, I attempt to offer a more logical explanation (other than I might have a stroke in the next 60 seconds if this mess is not cleaned up NOW!) as to why half-finished games and projects are not fun nor conducive for future life skills…sadly my attempts seem … Continue reading →
I barely noticed the line of cars to my right as I swept by, flashers blinking rhythmically, speedometer reading 90 miles an hour. Yes, I was speeding. No, I did not care. How many times had I done this? Peering into the black night. Wishing the miles to go faster. The pounding question.” Will Jed die today? Will I get there in time to say goodbye?” Evil does not play nice. It will squeeze the soul with fear, it will shriek its mocking questions, and it will kill a little boy. Of all the things to hit my mind at such a time, God sent this phrase to my heart from Psalm 23, “I will fear no evil”. It was almost absurd. I wanted to crash through the line of traffic when we screeched to a dead stop on the interstate, I wanted to scream at everyone to get out … Continue reading →
Jedediah “Jed” Lewis Feistel, 2 years old, ran through the gates of Heaven on Sunday, October 8, 2017. (Click the picture link below to see video) (Parent’s tribute to Jed read at his funeral) Abby: It seems a little unfair to me to let you assume that Rich and I were the main players in Jed’s life. Both Jed and Christina have had teams of medical people who not only saved their lives on multiple occasions, but who have poured their hearts into our babies. You are so special to us, thank you. Rich: The first time I saw Jed he had about five sets of hands all over him, you could just catch a glimpse of him every once in a while. The poor little guy was trying so hard to breath. The first few minutes were intense. Jed turned blue as soon as the umbilical cord was cut … Continue reading →
Clink, clank, clunk. One dollar and ten cents earns me a solid two hundred calories worth of almonds at the rest area vending machine on the side of I-95 half way between Jed’s hospital and my home. If I eat them ponderously, one at a time, this enough to keep me awake for the remaining 76 miles to home. Words fail to express the thorough disgust dripping from my stare that reflects back to me in the vending machine glass door as the blue bag of almonds dangle in midair, provokingly refusing to fall. The only thing worse than an uncooperative falling bag of almonds, is the insolence of a machine that plunks the wrong item down into the tray. Dear machine, we had a deal, I put in the money. You give me what I want. You flubbed. Try harder next time. Thanks. My phone dinged, and the text … Continue reading →
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Welcome to chapter37! I'm Abby, the face behind the blog, and I'm so glad you are here! I call myself mom to four beautiful stories being written...two typical girls full of sparkles and giggles, one former preemie winning her battles one at a time, and a little man living life with gusto despite kidney failure and liver cancer. I write about the kids, the house, and all the mess in between. I hold the opinion that anything in life can be handled with God, a paint brush and a healthy sense of humor!