Encouragement · Family · Motherhood

Badges of Love

old woman hands:piano

Take a look at these hands. They could be the hands of your mother. Hands that carried you, changed you and nurtured you. These are hands that have been lovingly lived in.  If you look carefully at them, they look like a MAP. With veins like highways and age spots like Scars collected along the way. Hands that have been somewhere and I don’t mean on vacation.

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Don’t be taken in by that silly commercial.

The one where a mom and daughter are holding out their hands while the “hypster” asks us if we can tell which is the mother and which is the daughter.

And their point is you shouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

I say that if you’ve completely invested yourself in the life of your family, your hands will tell the truth about you. If you’re a mother, your hands will tell a hundred or more stories.

They get cut and bruised. Scarred. The idea that a mother’s hands should look as young as a daughter’s hands is crazy-sad. In the name of beauty, we try to erase the wear and tear of a person’s body as they grow older. I get that.

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Ry and me

But when I look at my hands, I see the evidence of the sacrifices I’ve made, and my Scars are somehow transformed into Badges of Love.

dawn

#myscars, #badgesoflove, #motherhood

 

Encouragement · Faith · Grief · wounded Mother

Good news and Bad news

I mentioned last time that I am beginning to find the beauty in my scars and to honor that beauty. It’s easy to say, but it’s taken me 17 years (one day at a time) to get to where I can even talk to you about it today.

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I showed you what the fire did to my legs. That scarring has been hard enough to deal with.

But there’s another scar deeper than the scars on my legs, it’s the scar behind any scar on my body.

It’s the scar that won’t heal, that chases me wherever I go.

It’s the scar way deeper than any scar you can see with the naked eye.

It is the scar that Ryan’s death left on my heart.

I see the scars on my legs every day but they always lead me back to Ryan’s face.

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Ryan

I WILL NEVER OVERCOME THAT! How can a mother overcome the death of her child? She can’t.

Let’s say God came to me during the first days of my loss and said, “Dawn, I have good news and bad news for you, which do you want first?”

And I say, “Lord, give me the bad news first.”

And God says, “ It’s gonna take you 17 years to really begin to see the Light.”

And I say, “ I can’t make it 17 years, not 7 years, not 7 hours.”

And God says, “ But that’s exactly where the good news comes in. You’re gonna make it.  You’ re not going to kill yourself. We’re gonna go thru it together. And you’ll come out on the other side a stronger person,  with a Mission the size of which you can’t comprehend right now.”

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To you, friend, I’m going to say the same thing to you that God said to me, “ We are going to get thru this together.”

I mean it!

dawn

Stay tuned..

http://www.ryanshines.com

Encouragement · Hope · wounded healer

Beautifully You!

 

 

When I was 19, I was backpacking Europe and by the time I got to Munich I was about out of money. So, I started modeling again. Mostly lingerie and bathing suit jobs. Check out the photographs. (Here’s a magazine cover.) It appears that I was scar-less but don’t be fooled; I had plenty of scars that nobody could see. I even hid them from myself.

Modeling is about perfection. And scars are the enemies of perfection. You know our universal dis-ease is perfectionism. Look at the world of plastic surgery: $16 billion was spent last year,  all because we can not accept our imperfections, our SCARS. And we’ll do anything to appear pristine. But in the back of our mind, we know everybody has scars. Noone is unmarked.

 

About my scars from the fire… God didn’t create the fire or the scars from the fire. But God did show me the beauty of them. I’m beginning to honor them and I challenge you to do the same. Your scars are beautifully You.

dawn

#myscars #childloss

Encouragement · Hope · wounded healer

#Myscars

Every Friday afternoon at St. Francis School, our 5th class would have ‘Show and Tell.” It was always fun except for one Friday when Kenny, the oldest kid in the class, showed us something that I can still see when I close my eyes.

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He got up in front of us, rolled up his sleeve and we saw several long, red scars on his right arm. We couldn’t imagine what the scars were from until he reached into his pocket and pulled out a paperclip that he had opened.

Then, he showed us how he cut himself. Only there was no blood this time.

The only thing he said to the class was,  “Don’t do this. There are better ways than this to prove to yourself that you’re alive.” He sat down and nobody moved. Some of us thought he was crazy. Some of us were just sad. I was sad. I remember feeling sad for him.

I knew I would never hurt myself like that but there was something about him, a certain freedom to show us that he could no longer keep this secret to himself. It was almost a warning.

That’s how I’ve come to feel about my scars now. I want to show you. I have a very loud voice in me that says, “hide them.”

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A quieter voice tells me that my scars are a gift. A gift for both of us. It’s a part of who we are.  

dawn

#myscars

 

Encouragement · Hope · wounded Mother

Show and Tell

If I’m an authority on anything, it’s me. And what’s taught me more of myself than anything are my scars.

Dawn, the ultimate recycler!

It’s a funny thing about scars, especially physical scars, and I have plenty. My instinct is to want to hide them. I’m bombarded with commercials that tell us that a life without scars is possible. It’s a lie.

Everybody has scars.

Whether they’re physical or psychological. Early in our lives, we’re taught how to hide our imperfections(thank God for Clearasil). Which is strange because one of the few things that we all share in common is imperfection. In other words, in our scars.

I’m going out on a limb here to show you my legs, my scars from the fire that took my 7-year-olds life and burned over 25% of our other son, 2-year-old, Tyler, and my husband and me. What I’m showing you are the scars that I carried away from this tragedy.

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My Scars

I guess what I’m thinking is that if I show you mine, you might show me yours. Will you?

dawn

#myscars

Feel free to share this.

Faith · Family · Hope

Infertility! (part 3)

(Four years later) What is staring me in the face is that the ‘live birth rate’ for a 42-year-old is 6.6%. Looks like I’m gonna have to call in some Chips.

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My Doc’s goal was to get 3 good eggs from me, to implant them, and if I happen to get pregnant with any of these 3 implanted eggs, my chances of a live-birth are still very slim.

I need a miracle here.

Do you remember Sully who landed the plane safely in the Hudson River? I need that kind of miracle. ”Calling Dr. Sully!”

I shocked myself and the doctor by breaking the record with 32 viable eggs. After the 5-day ‘culturing of the egg,’ we had (drum roll) 15 Class-A eggs! The Doc was conservative and only transferred 4 and ”ba-da-bing-ba-da-boom” . . .

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Tyler and Trenton

And then, Trenton was born!

Another miracle two years later, when my 4th son, Colton, was born! My Colton survived three other embryos and was born healthy at 9 lbs too. Colton had a 4% chance of being born because I was 45. Obviously, miracles are not about statistics except for us. Bring on the stats!

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T and C

And so there you have it–our Petri babies, Trenton and Colton, two more miraculous gifts. They owe their lives to Ryan.

And, of course, to their Maker.

dawn

Family · Hope · wounded healer

Infertility! (part 2)

When we were ready for another child, at 38, we visited a specialist. This time my clock was ticking really loud so we felt we had little time. So we started an aggressive IVF(InVitro Fertilization) treatment.

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This proved to be a crazy adventure: with enough eggs for 3 Easter bunnies, a fearful doctor, and a bank account drying up to the tune of $20,000. When we stopped thinking about getting pregnant, we actually got pregnant.

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I didn’t know if I was heading for Labor & Delivery or Geriatrics.

Tyler was a healthy, heavy(10 pounds) baby and was welcomed into our family by his big brother, Ryan. And now, at 39, we had it all.

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Ron, Dawn, Ryan & Tyler Hirn

 

Then Ryan died and we didn’t “have it all” anymore.

Tyler didn’t have the brother or sister that we wanted for him. So, we “came out of retirement” to give Tyler a sibling.

And though we’d made up our mind so quickly, it was neither quick nor easy. So many emotions, not the least of which was fear. That’s when I remembered that “Perfect Love casts out all fear.”(1 John 4:18)

That’s the day I became fearless. 

dawn

(Final part coming..)

#ryanshines#petribabies