Trees of Transition

Comfort for people going through life transitions by sharing thoughts, photos, cards, and recipes.


Leave a comment

I’m Thankful for My Mom

img_7306.jpg

I’m thankful, Mom, that you:

Taught me how to sew, and that we made that blue and green apron together. You were tired, but I loved making that special project with you.

Taught me how to cook and bake bread! You showed me the basics and then let me go. I’m thankful I got to grow up on homemade bread and butter, with our homegrown honey too. Continue reading


7 Comments

Celebrating 40 Years of Marriage

On January 14th my parents celebrated 40 years of marriage! My Dad didn’t talk much, but he knew who we were, and he ate a chocolate eclair to celebrate and shared it with Mom. Then he fell asleep.

Continue reading


8 Comments

Fighter Pilot Dream Gets Queasy…

20150305-213657-77817260.jpg

Homeschooling’s Black, White, & Gray Series 1 Episode 9

The career guidance test question asked, “Would you like to be a fighter pilot?” My choices: Yes or No. I thought, “I would like to be a fighter pilot once at least…but I don’t want to kill anyone…” So I marked, “Yes.” This might have messed up the results of the career test a little bit, but it felt empowering to mark, “Yes!”

When I received the results back, they were helpful in thinking about my future. I still mainly wanted to be a wife and a mother, but it gave me more self-awareness. In traditional schools, you take aptitude tests to help you figure out your career, but in homeschool, it’s up to the parents or the students to go after taking these tests. It’s a good idea to take at least one career aptitude test.

My parents helped me sign up and take those tests. They didn’t make all of us kids take them, but if we showed interested, then we could. I took the Career Direct test (and it is still around: http://www.careerdirectonline.org/). My parents and I still laugh about my wanting to be a fighter pilot.

What did I want from being a fighter pilot? Adventure, seeing new sights, and speeding through the heavens comes to mind.

Last weekend I got a little taste of being just a regular pilot, and it was different than I thought…
Continue reading


2 Comments

Series I Episode I: Beginning with Forgiveness and Thankfulness

Home Schooling’s Black, White, and Gray: A Series on Home Schooling and Life-Long Learners 

Series 1 Episode 1

Most junior high girls like to giggle about boys and lay out at a pool party, but not me. I didn’t know what it felt like to have crush until I was fifteen, and I wasn’t crazy about being in a bathing suit. At one pool party I attended in junior high, I splashed with the girls for a while, but then picked strawberries for an hour because the hostess offered strawberries to anyone who wanted to pick them. I baked some amazing fresh strawberry pie with those berries. I treasure the freedom and creativity being home schooled gave me, but it did not make me normal. But why should I be normal?!

Home schooling has a lot of white, but there is black as well, and some gray. Through this series of blog posts, I will be looking at the mediocre, the ugly, and the beautiful parts of home schooling. I do not mean to step on anybody’s toes, but I need to be honest and truthful. Being lovingly honest can bring healthy change; I desire to bring life through my writing.

Educating humans to be what they were created to be is a life passion of mine. I believe in giving students the freedom and structure needed to develop into healthy, robust, loving adults who will do more in the world than I ever will! Home schooling is one method of doing this, but it may not be the best pathway for all children; that is up to the parents and children to explore. However, home schooling molds students into people who may be more in-tune and willing to stand up for their uniqueness in this world full of cliques and conformity.

After attending traditional college, I came home and went through a time of evaluation and sadness. I let myself admit that being home schooled wasn’t perfect; I admitted that there were some dark-sides to home schooling. Since then I’ve worked through most of the anger I had once I realized some of the unhealthy parts of home schooling and have come into a time of acceptance and challenge.

Recently one morning while walking down a gravel road in Lincoln Marsh, it hit me: I CAN graciously critique home schooling, but I must begin with a confession of forgiveness and of thankfulness.

I forgive my parents for the gaps I had in my education; they did the best they could with the resources they had. No school is perfect. Period. Even home schools. I am so thankful for the faith and freedom they instilled in me. I learned how to learn, so I get to fill in those gaps now!

I thank my parents for sacrificing so much time and energy to pour into me and my siblings. My Mom has a Masters of Education and a Masters of Divinity, so she WAS qualified to home school me and my siblings. She could have done many other activities, but she desired to have the Bible be central to our education, so that’s what she did. I thank my grandparents for funding many textbook purchases and encouraging us in whatever creative project we were working on when they stopped by, be it comic books or silly children’s stories.

Thankful is where I am at in regarding my upbringing. Thankful for so much individualized love and nurture that my parents poured onto me. Thank you, Mom and Dad.

photo

Copyright 2014 By M. H. Campbell

 


Leave a comment

Roses, Donuts, and Dances

Wedding Lessons: Helpful Things to Know

Last week my sister married her best friend Danny!
Here’s some helpful and fun things that I learned from helping with my sister’s wedding:

-Ruth gave all of her bridesmaids a soft pink robe to wear as we were getting ready for the ceremony. It made us all feel special and beautiful. The dresses she had us pick from also looked great on all of us; a dusty mauve and we got to pick styles that fit us :).

-Make sure your parents get to the church! When we came down from our hotel room, my parents had missed the shuttle, so we all crowded into the limo, and we all made it to the church in time.

-At the ceremony in the church, just seeing how joyful and happy Ruth and Danny were made me beam! The Ave Maria made me tear up.

-Fresh flowers are worth the money. My sister chose roses, and their fragrance added to the beauty of the day.

-Donuts instead of wedding cake is a fun change of pace. My sister got The Donut Vault to drive their old-fashioned donut truck to the venue to serve amazing, moist cake donuts! Triple chocolate, chestnut, and wedding cake were among the options. My sister had two for everyone, and there were a lot left over.

-Live music and dancing added to the night. Danny and Ruth’s dance lessons paid off because they looked like they knew what they were doing. They are a handsome couple.

-Having over a year to plan gave my sister time to plan a gorgeous wedding. It also gave us time to get closer, so I’m thankful they took so long.

Congratulations, Ruth and Danny!

20140809-091744-33464348.jpg


2 Comments

Resigning From Trying to be the Savior: Reflections from a Suicide-Survivor’s Daughter

image

I didn’t think I had a “hero-complex,” but now I know that I did. I wanted to be in charge. If change was happening that I didn’t like, I wanted to be in control and stop it or do it my way.

Three years ago when my principal was getting let go and a new one coming in at the school where I was teaching, after I had vented to a counselor about it all and how hard it was, she just looked at me and said, “You want to be the one making the decisions.” I didn’t want to admit it, but reality was, yes, I was uncomfortable with the changes, and didn’t want things to change.

Two years ago, from Halloween morning on when my Mom first told me, “I want to kill myself,” I wasn’t sure exactly WHAT to do, but I started trying to do something. I called and listened to her. I encouraged her. I told her I would help her get more help if that is what she thought she needed.

So a few weeks later, I helped my Mom sign herself into a psychiatric hospital. She got help for a few days, but then our family banded together to get her out before Thanksgiving. My sister and I took her into our house, and Mom stayed in my room for three weeks. She started taking medicine to help her thyroid, sleep medicine, and anti-depressants.
She got a little help from therapy, but we still didn’t know exactly what to do or how to help her.

Mom started feeling a little better, Thanksgiving was okay. We ate turkey together and Mom started being more honest about what she was feeling.

Then my Dad got in a car-accident, and she started nose-diving again. We couldn’t say, 
“There IS hope” enough to her, and it didn’t stick.

One Sunday morning, mid-December, my Dad was on his way to take my Mom to church, and my housemate and I were leaving a bit earlier. Mom was deeply depressed, and she tried to block my way as I left the house. I needed to get out of that house, and I knew Dad was coming soon, so I reassured her, “Dad’s coming soon,” and just left.

An hour later, after Sunday School, my sister called me and let me know my Mom had over-dosed on her medicine and was rushed to the hospital.

After I had left, Mom had tried to call a few people for help, but no one answered. Then she gave into the messages of death in her head, and took lots of pills. Dad got there in time to call 911 and get help, so Mom’s stomach could be pumped. They sedated her for a day, and she was in ICU for a bit. Then they moved her back to the psychiatric hospital. This time she did not want to be there. She did not cooperate. She was there for over a week.

When we had the family meeting about where she should go next, I was protesting having her go back to my parents’ farm out in the lonely country where this depression had started. I was saying, “She can’t go back there!”

The case worker looked at me and said, “You can’t save her. If she wants to kill herself, you won’t be able to stop her.” It felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. I stopped talking, and let my family do what they thought was best. Hearing that truth was hard, but it was what I needed right then. It helped me step back and stop trying as hard to save the situation.

image_1

A few days later my siblings moved Mom back to the farm. Several of them stayed with her and Dad for a few days right before Christmas. On Christmas morning we ate together, had a few presents, and then everyone left except me. We went to church, but it was a sad Christmas. I knew I couldn’t save my Mom or pull her out of this depression. I couldn’t fix my parents’ marriage and communication issues.

As the sun set, I waved good-bye to my parents on Christmas night and resigned my job as Savior to my Mom. I let her make her choices: a few days later, she made another suicide threat, but a friend was with-it enough to call 911 to get help. Mom was taken to the country psychiatric hospital, where there, she received excellent attention from a psychiatrist and started to forgive herself and the eventually the depression lifted. The psychiatrist let my Dad know he could either have his farm or his wife. My Dad chose his wife, and they moved into town.

It took me several months to get out of survival “don’t feel” mode, and then feel the sadness of the situation. I had to forgive myself for leaving that Sunday morning; but God protected my Mom without me. Jesus is the Savior, not me.

To hear more of what helped during this time–please read the piece I wrote called, “There IS Hope….”
https://treesoftransition.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/there-is-hope-walking-alongside-someone-suffering-depression-during-the-holidays/

To hear my Mom’s story through this time, please see her message that I shared on my blog:
https://treesoftransition.wordpress.com/2013/12/26/he-brought-me-through-a-message-my-mom-gave-to-share-her-journey-through-mental-illness/

Now, two Christmases past this hard time, I am so thankful my Mom is doing well. Medicine helps, facing issues and getting counsel helps, moving to a new home helps…
These experiences helped me know that people will make their choices, and we can’t fix them. There’s a healthy balance I’m learning to walk about when to help and when not to. People in depression do need support, but just know that you can’t save them.

Stepping back, letting go of control was what I needed to do then, to let the consequences happen to the people’s choices, and resigning from being the Savior was my role in the story right then.

photo