Tuesday, June 29, 2010


My mom passed away 6 years ago.  It's been a long time, but yet, it feels like yesterday. 

Sometimes, I catch myself thinking, "I need to call Mom and ask her..."  or "Mom will think this is..." or "I miss..." and then I remember - She's gone. 

Tomorrow marks the day that my life changed forever and the relationship that was budding and growing came to a halt.  I can't help but feel regret at losing her at such a young age, but I also understand that she is in a better place. 

Recently, I also see evidence of my mom in my life and in my daughter, who never even knew her Grammy.

For lack of better words right now, I'm going to do a re-post that I wrote about my mom in February.

Our Little Angel

Out of the blue today, while M was sitting at our kitchen table, surrounded by crayons and craft paper, enjoying her snack, she piped up in her little voice, "I think I've seen your Mom and Dad before Mommy..."

Now, understand, we see my Dad, "Poppa" every year or two. We last saw him when we lived in Stockton. So May of 2008 - Madeleine would have been 5 years old. I was suprised when Madeleine seemed to remember him, and asked when we were going to see "Poppa" again. (Hopefully soon!)

And then she said, "Well, I've seen your Mommy too"...

My Mom died of stomach cancer when I was 5 months pregnant with M.

I softly and gently explained that wasn't possible because Grammy went to heaven when M was in my tummy.

M tilted her head to the side, and paused in contemplation for a moment, and then stated, "No Mom! I've seen her. Sometimes, when I'm sleeping she stops by to tell me "Hello".


I'll never forget it - The morning my Mom passed away, she made a point to call each of her kids.

I remember my phone ringing at 6am and seeing on my caller ID that it was my sisters number (my mom chose to stay at my sisters home with the help of Hospice rather than a hospital) and all of a sudden I could hear my heartbeat - a slow, irregular, dreadful pumping with a roaring thundering in my ears.

I answered with a hasty "Hello?"

It was my mom, feeble voiced but on a mission.

I had to strain to hear her words - she seemed hard pressed to finish some sentences, so some of those words that were in her heart never made it to my ears...

But I knew. I knew what she was saying.

She was whispering her goodbyes.

I wish I could recall with clarity everything that was said on that brief phone call. I wish I would have had the foresight to grab a pad of paper and scribble everything down. But I didn't...

I wouldn't understand the magnitude that her passing would have on my life until months, even years later.

This was my first time losing someone I loved.

I listened, crouching on the floor by the corner of my bed, hand pressed to my mouth, trying to contain my emotions.

I don't think I said much.

The beginnings of our conversation are blurred forever, try as I might, I can't recall them,

But this much I remember, My mom, the woman that I loved more than any one person in my life,the one who gave me life, who taught me how to walk and talk, and who prayed incessently over me, the woman, who as a teenager, I battled against, cared for, rolled my eyes at, and silently cursed sometimes

apologized to me....

She said, "I'm sorry if I ever let you down. I'm sorry if I wasn't a good mom to you at times... I love you Janelle and I am so glad you are my daughter and that I got to be your Mom. I love you."

I was horrified! The last conversation with my mom and I didn't expect an apology. I didn't need one.

Hurriedly, I pushed aside her words "No Mom, no apologies. I love you and you were a great mother to me. I love you so much."

Silence on the other end.

I felt sick...

"Mom? Are you still there?"

"Kiss my new granddaughter for me. I wish I could see her..."


That was it. The last conversation I would ever have with the single most important woman in my life. I tried to hit redial but the line was busy.

She was calling my brothers...

I tried the number again, desperate this time. I had so much more to say to her.

Busy... Beep beep beep...

I laid on the floor, and cried.

Beep, beep, beep...

No answer.

I called my husband who had worked the night shift that particular day. He was due home in a few hours.

"I think I just had my last conversation with my mom.. Today is the day - please come home."


I don't remember how long I laid on the floor before I heard T stirring. I heard him in his crib, laughing and babbling, banging something against the railings (trying to get my attention no doubt), and I let him stay there.

I laid with my face buried in the carpet, weeping.

Grieving for moments remembered and moments to come that would now be short one special lady.

Finally, I knew T was getting fussy, I went in and opened the door to the nursery. His little blonde face peering through the rails at me, dimpled mouth all wreathed in smiles "Mamma-mama!"

I picked him up, made a bottle and rocked him for a while, thinking of my mom, with tears streaming down my face, his chubby hand pressed in the crook of my neck.

She passed away a few hours later.

My sister, Kim, was there with her when she passed. Reading her Psalms and singing to her. I am so thankful that Kim was there with my mom when she made the transition into the eternal.

We found out a month after my mother passed that we were expecting a baby girl.

So for M to tell me that Grammy stops in to tell her "Hello" every once in a while...


I believe in God. I believe in angels and I believe in heaven.

Do you?

T and Grammy 3 days before she passed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ode to Proverbs 31

The past few days have worn me out... like "face first in the carpet, X's on my eyes, tongue lolling to the side, salivia on my chin" worn out.

I've been really feeling like I need to be more of a Proverbs 31 mom/wife. So, in my morning devotions last week I committed to really studying that particular passage of study and try to live it out the best I could.

It's been a hurculean task...

So here is my own personal ode to the Proverbs 31 woman... please enjoy.

'Hymn to a Good Wife' Proverbs 31:10-31

A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.  ---My husband gave me the grocery budget money in cash this pay period. I lost $40 of it (I'm praying that its in the pocket of my jeans that are currently in the washer...). I also spent some of the grocery budget on new mascara, candles and a venti Starbucks. Had to ask my husband to 'spot' me $30. He wasn't too happy about that...

Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. ---When we had our last argument discussion I may have contemplated using his toothbrush to clean the toilet. But, taking a cue from the verse, generously, I refrained.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing. ---I start my sewing classes in May and this is the picture I am taking to my teacher. Have I mentioned how twitterpated I am to learn how to sew?

She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises. ---I have yet to attempt this one... I can barely go to Target unscathed. Does drinking SB Sumatra coffee count as exotic? Ohh, I know! Those candles I bought were a surprise (Right honey?)... though not exactly an exotic one.

She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. ---I managed to wake up 5 minutes before the kids the other day. Does that matter? Today, our kids tiptoed in at the crack of dawn and proceeded to have a full fledged pillow fight with their unsuspecting victims. Mom and Dad were rudely jolted out of their slumber with repeated blows to the head. Also, I did write a "To-Do" list for the week. But.... I can't find it. When I do, I am sure that I will be VERY organized and my house will be in tip-top shape.

She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden. ---Ok, Well I wish I HAD enough money to put aside. (Don't tell Dave Ramsey that though...) Last Saturday, the kids and I set up everything outside and planted flowers and vegatable seeds for several hours. This reverie came to a screeching halt when my kids started throwing clods of dirt at one another and I got hit in the face. And, if you MUST know, Dr. Kevorkian gave me free reign over plants. Which means everything green I touch instantly turns a mottled shade of brown.  However, I braved the death curse and planted a herb garden (I beg the basil every morning not to die). I'll let you know how the plants fare...

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. ---All my clothes are in the wash. So, this morning I dressed in yesterday's tshirt and a pair of too-tight sweatpants. I might actually still be wearing this ensemble...  Don't hate - I'm saving gallons of water by wearing clothes from yesterday... How GREEN of me!  (That's my excuse, hope I don't wear it out...)

She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. ---I'm determined to make every day count. It's unto me to show my children Jesus everyday and to put forth the effort of raising great kids. This is exhausting emotionally and physically. When the sun sets and the children are tucked in their beds, I am prostrate on the couch snoring within 10 minutes.

She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking. ---Ok, honestly, this is something that I like to do and am a self proclaimed "home maker". As my kids say, "I got this!" I may or may not have a layer of dust all around, piles of laundry, and be wearing yesterday's clothes, but my house feels like HOME and I know its a place that my family looks forward to coming back to.

She's quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor. ---I am feeling convicted in this area... How am I and my family showing Christ to the world? The lost? The hungry? The hurting? Sometimes the walls of our world are very small and we tend not to see others in need...

She doesn't worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear. ---Winter, winter, wherefore art thou?  It's been a buck eleven here in AZ the past few days and I'm melting...  Ack. As far as clothes being all mended and ready to wear? If only you would have seen the pile of laundry last week. For a few moments I seriously considered wrapping pillow cases around my family like loincloths as I washed their underwear. 

She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks. ---If I made my own clothing, I would be wearing a potato sack with three arms and "no sew tacky tape" enclosures (that is, of course, untill I finish my sewing classes...).  I do love color in my wardrobe, but silk? Silk has been outlawed in my closet since the kiddos have been a part of my life.  I can't waste $4.25 on drycleaning - I'd much rather waste that on a cup of STRONG coffee... =)

Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers. I love AND respect my husband. Even if at times I want to use his toothbrush to clean "unsantitary" areas of the house. =)))  He is my best friend and a big part of anything good I have going on in my life.

She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops. Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile. Well, you know by now that I am not a clothes maker. I'd rather shop sales or consignment - which reminds me - I have a large credit at a consigment shop... Hummm. I can face tomorrow with a smile because I am blessed. I love my family.  God is good to me.  Even when I wake up with lines in my face, drool dried on my cheek, and the sun barely peeking over the horizon when two muchkins decide its time to rise - I can still find a smile.  Give me a good gargle with some Listerine and it might even be a big smile. Give me a big fresh cup of coffee and I might even be as jolly as Ole Saint Nick (minus the un-housebroken reindeer and jelly belly).

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly. Ahhh, well, I have been known to speak my mind (Even when I shouldn't) and I MUST work on this. If Steve Jobs at Apple could invent a "Thought Pad" that would filter all my words and thoughts... I'd, well... I'd happily pawn my neighbors cat and that three armed sweater I made to buy one. My mind is a catch 22, I often get myself in trouble with sassy sarcasm and then on the flip side, often agree with others when I need to stand up and say what I'm really thinking. Maybe my mental filter is on backwards, or expired.  I must look into this. 

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive---It's summer time at the Hyatt house.  I believe I may have a touch of Aspergers as I have written out a detailed schedule of our days.  Some call this anal, I call it brilliant!  When my children get to whining over some point or another, I just point to our blessed list, and we commence with the next activity (Which may or may not include cleaning the toilets) If I lose this list, I may run the risk of losing my mind.  I also saw another brilliant idea - check it out if you have kids who are climbing your curtains with boredom - "The "MOM! I'm bored!!" jar

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:  ---Respect must be taught AND caught.  Every day, while I teach my wee ones to respect God, their neighbor (and the neighbors fat cat), figures of authority, animals, belongings, boundaries... ect. I am in turn teaching them to respect me.  That doesn't mean there aren't instances of time outs for sassiness (they get that from Nate's side of the family... HA!) and for disrespect, but again, it's that day to day consistency of respect.  (I heard a tip from a friend that she uses a drop of hot sauce on an offensive tongue...)  My husband is a blessing to me, on low days when I feel my back end is ballooning to the size of a small brontosaurus, or when a zit is threatening to overtake the whole area I used to call my forehead, or when my impetous mouth gets me in a sticky situation, or when my imperfections show in a myraid of other ways, he loves me. Nate feeds my heart with love, praise and affirmation...  Speaking of brontosaurus, I MUST put this pop tart down... yum...

"Many women have done wonderful things, but you've outclassed them all!"Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her the reward she has earned. Let everything she has done bring praise to her at the city gate. ---At the risk of confusing the Proverbs 31 woman with a stepford wife, I'm so thankful for this last verse.  It's not about perfection... It's not about expense... It's not about beauty or thin, cellulite free thighs... It's not about having a spotless home (though that would be great!)... Or about having the approval of everyone around you. It's about fearing, respecting, reverencing and LOVING our God. As Mary said when she found out she was pregnant, "Be it unto me, according to Your word."  I may spend the rest of my life, till my hair is grey, teeth are false, thankful to even have a working thigh (forget the thin, cellulite free part), working towards emmulating the Proverbs woman.  But, it's up to me, to keep at it every day... Raising my kids for God's kingdom and purpose, delevoping Christ like relationships with the hurting and wounded, keeping my marriage pure and fulfilled. 

I can't do it alone.  I need my Lord and His word. 

*This has been a life study from a "Janelle'isms Bible".

Oh, and... Madeleine decided to give herself a haircut...  sigh - what would the Proverbs woman do with this one?  Weave a carpet out of the shorn hair?