It’s the 10th day of the #31dayblogchallenge and #throwbackthursday too. So I’ll send you guys to a guest post from February 2015. It was written by my teenage brother Jim. Here are his thoughts on love and loss, in his own words, “I Was Never Alone.”
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Guest Blogger Jim – I Was Never Alone
Today’s blog post is written by my brother Jim. Our Mom died a few days after he was born and my brother, sister, and I have all had to deal with abandonment issues in one form or another. Here’s part of Jim’s story in his own words.
*** Photo captions are available below Jim’s words. I didn’t want to interrupt.***
Hi, my name is Jim Masten. When I was born I did not know this, but my mother was sick until five days after I was born, when she died.
To this day I do not remember any feelings of emotion towards my mother. For a while I had been really depressed and sad that I didn’t have a mother and I felt very alone and abandoned by God and my mother.
I feel that I’m being “abandoned” and I talk to my dad who also is very depressed about his loss of his wife (my mother). He always just says, “She was a wonderful woman” or “She would have loved you so much” and that really does not help me with the depression that I am dealing with.
So, I turn to the Science and Health by Mary Baker Eddy and turn to the definition of Mother in the “Glossary.” The definition of Mother is something like, “Help” or “Caring” which, also does not help me. So, at this time I feel the most abandoned in my life.
In addition, when I met an important person in my life, Sheri Luster, I found out what motherhood was all about and what a mother is like. As I like to say, “Sheri is the mother I never had.” Even though it is kind of supposed to be the other way around.
Anyways, Sheri was caring, loving, and helpful. Which, did remind me of the definition of Mother in the Science and Health. So, I realized what a motherly figure in my life would do and it helped me.
Lastly, I saw my mother in Sheri and other women in my life.
I even saw my mother in my dad because he was a single parent and basically had all of the weight on his shoulders.
This led to me having a healing of realizing that I was never alone and that my mother and God were there right with me the whole time, I just did not see it. Also, recently when I was out of school sick for a week I visited a doctor’s office because of my sickness and I was nervous and scared and I felt really alone, like nobody was there for me. And then I realized that God was there, Sheri was literally there, and I saw someone walk by the door outside the room at the doctor’s office that looked quite like my mom.
I suppose that could have been an angel or something but that was when my mental healing occurred for not feeling well physically and spiritually. So, that is how I overcame my feeling abandoned.
Want more? Jim has a Facebook Page. He posts daily insights and thought-provoking videos. It’s called Finding the Keys to Success.
- Here are some photos taken in the first few days after Jim (then Jimmy) was born. Mom’s looking at him with such love and appreciation.
- Mom, with a little creative consultation from teenage me, made this quilt while pregnant with Jimmy. She and Dad decided not to find out his gender until birth so most of his baby quilts have both pink and blue in them.
- Here’s another one of Jimmy’s baby quilts. This one is bright and cheerful, both of which it’s difficult to be while under the burden of depression.
- Here’s another pink and blue quilt Mom made. This one’s more simple and designed to be used, rather than displayed as wall art. There’s one more like this with kitties in the center. Maybe they’ll be used by children Jim loves someday.
- This is my favorite recent picture of Sheri and Jim. Don’t they look spiffy?!
- These two love their snuggles. Back scratches are often exchanged in church.
- Our sister Estey and Jim get the sillies when they’re together! Here they are making funny faces. She’s one of the women who mothers Jim.
- Here are Dad and Jimmy way back when he had peach fuzz for hair.
- Can you see how proud Mom is in this photo? She’s tired from the long labor too… but happiness shines through her eyes. If there’s ever a doubt that Jim was wanted all you have to do is look at this picture.
- I made this quilt for Jim’s 11th birthday.
I’m linking up to Thankful Thursday and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.
Sixteen’s Not a Baby Anymore
My baby brother turned sixteen yesterday. I guess that means he’s not a baby anymore! I, as the snarky big sis had to post this meme for him.
Here’s what this handsome man looks like today. Okay, fine. He was 15 when this photo was taken. But I’m not going to call up Jim’s school for a selfie! 🙂
I’ve got the feels… lots of them. So it’s difficult to write about what Jim means to me, especially without embarrassing him in the process. (Teenagers!) So I’ll let these scrapbook pages that I made a few years ago do the talking. These photos were all taken before baby Jimmy was two weeks old.
I love you kiddo.
Retreats and Vacations
My mini group is on a weekend retreat right now. I get to go play with them all day tomorrow. So fun! I couldn’t swing the hotel room and all weekend costs, but am extremely excited to spend a day sewing and chatting with some of my favoritest peoples ever. Soul food, for sure. Plus chocolate.
Also, I just wanted to give you guys a heads-up that I’m going on vacation for two weeks starting at the end of next week. My plan is to continue with my two-ish blog posts a week but it may be more or less than that, depending on the number of photographs taken and the time to actually write.
Hubby’s not coming with me this time but I’m excited to spend some quality time with family I haven’t seen in a long time… including one I haven’t met yet, baby Mary! Expect an update on her quilt with full photographs of it and her sweet cheeked drooly-ness either during my stay or once I get back. I’m also super psyched to spend some time with my baby brother who’s growing into a man and my little sister who’s now a mommy. And my Dad. Sorry dude that you’re last on the list of shout-outs but we’ve had some really great phone conversations recently that make me feel like you’re not halfway across the country.
So, big plans for me. I’m sewing like crazy to finish up some projects before I go.
Custom orders for Christmas are still available. It’s getting a little late in the season for Chanukkah, but you could always give a card saying what you’ve ordered and save the actual gift for when it arrives. Plus there are birthday and anniversary celebrations to be had.
I’ll have a few more posts up next week before I land in fly-over country.
Jim’s Gym Bag
My baby brother turns 14 today. Let’s face it: he isn’t a baby anymore. This young man excels in sports, scouts, and school. He even has a girlfriend. So this year I asked for his input on a gift. I wanted to make something he’d like to have… not that I’d like him to have. (See the difference?) He asked for a gym bag. Okay, I can do that.
More conversations revealed that he’s like to fit a basketball, sneakers, and clothes inside the gym bag.. and that his favorite team is the Boston Celtics. So here’s what I came up with, after going back to the sketchpad many many times. I’m happy with its simplicity… which makes it more likely for this manchild to get good use out of it. I even managed not to cut the “m” into a heart-shape.
I made this bag out of one yard of designer-length tapestry cloth. It has two large pockets inside and a long strap. Jim’s name is fused on with heat-n-bond ultra hold. The dot over the letter “i” is the Celtic’s logo.
TIP: Choose your fusible webbing wisely! Heat-n-bond ultra hold is great for this thicker fabric that will get a lot of use. Don’t sew through it! It’ll gum up your sewing machine. I use seam-a-steam2 for the portrait quilts. It holds well, is stiff, and is still easy to sew through. If you’re making something that needs to be soft I recommend misty fuse. This is not paper-backed, which is why I don’t use it for the portrait quilts. It would take a lot more time than my current method… but when it matters, it will keep the fabric soft.