Cry Purple

One woman's journey through homelessness, crack addiction, and prison, to blindness, motherhood, and happiness

Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Living with Blindness

Posted by crypurple on February 7, 2013

Hi,

Today, I wanted to take some time to talk about what it is like to live day to day with a disability and be a parent.

I was triggered to write this as this week I was asked a question, “How does having no eyes change your daily activities?”

I chuckled and thought to myself, really?  What area of my life did it not effect might be a much shorter answer!

Living in total darkness, sheer blackness, endless nothingness, can have its down moments. I dream when sleeping in vivid color, so often that, when feeling down I like to sleep to capture those   colorful things – things that are not black.

I have a team of people that assist me. That is the only way I can live alone and care for myself and my little guy.

So I get 4 hours a day of assistance.  They help clean where I miss, they help match our clothes so we are ready to face each day, they assist in mail reading, finding things in the store for me, and even putting together toys when Ricky and I cannot  figure out the directions ourselves!

You see, although there are many things I can do without help, like type up a blog post, there are many things I cannot complete without some assistance.

I mean, I cannot walk in to a store and find my items without asking for help.

I have to admit, it is humbling over and over again.  If I visit a new place I have not learned my way around, then I have to ask for assistance to the restroom.

After all the years on the streets, all the things I have survived and experienced, I cannot find my way to the potty in a new place.

Often this inhibits me from going to places or visiting friends or family.  It is very stressful to be where I can’t even find my way to my own drink of water.

But in my home, where I know where things are that  I can cook, get a drink, or make coffee for my company, I can function without stress,  I can tend to my needs  and my son’s own needs,  and most  importantly find my own way to the potty!

I long to see the sunlight’s bright gleam, the green of the grass, the endless blue skies, or the floating of a cloud.

My heart longs to see the face behind my son’s laugh that I hear so often.

I, however, know I did abuse my sighted life, and I learn each day to see in other ways, I have learned to have vision without sight.

I am learning to become interdependent of those around me, in order to live as normal of a life as I can.

I love giving back to my community and my voice and experiences are tools that I am mastering to be able to do just that.

I struggle sometimes as to where I fit in as a person with a disability.  Having lived in the abled world so long, that is indeed where I feel more comfortable, but often the abled world does not know how to receive me past the disability.

Just as if someone’s eyes are blue or hair is blond, my blindness is a characteristic of me; it is not my identity. However, the world around me often identifies me by my limitations, not by my strengths.

In seeking employment, I find employers puzzled as I enter for interviews, questioning my abilities to do the job.

I am confident that God has a wonderful job for me in line where I can use my life experiences, as well as my learned talents, to help others and continue to attempt to make a difference.

Stay tuned for my next blog post.  It will be about my attempting to date now that I am blind! I will share some of the experiences I have had trying to meet new folks and hopefully those stories will make you laugh!

Christine

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It’s In The Valleys I Grow

Posted by crypurple on January 12, 2013

Hello again!

My little guy made honor roll again!  I am so proud of him – God truly gave me a wonderful little person to care for and parent!

He brings so much joy to my life!

Today, I  was blessed to speak in front of a group of addicts at a St.  Louis treatment Center.  I love being asked to do this.  Upon my return,  however,  I always reflect back to my time out there on the streets, in addiction…remembering the hopeless,darkened pits of time in which I lived.

Some of my favorite folks are those addicts from the streets and I have so much hope for each and everyone of them.

My prayers are that they will hope and believe in themselves from within.

I see addiction has not changed.  It is still taking lives  and stealing the  joy of my fellow human beings.

I am so thankful for the valleys of darkness in which I have walked – they helped mold and shape me.

I can’t change my past, but I can change my tomorrow.

It does not mean I have forgotten the wrongs of my past.   It means I have to let go of the guilt and shame in order to heal and move forward, and some where along my path of life,  I pray I have chances to make amends with those whom I have harmed.

Below I am including a poem, written by Jane Eggleston, that I love, and find much truth in I hope you enjoy it as much  as I do!

It’s In The Valleys I Grow

Sometimes life seems hard to bear,iris-white-and-purple_w544_h725
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It’s then I have to remember
That it’s in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God’s love
And would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it’s in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.
My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan’s loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I’m feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it’s in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it’s in the valleys I grow!

All for now,

Christine!

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Happy New Year!

Posted by crypurple on January 5, 2013

Happy New year!

I hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday  season, and that the new year brings you good things.

Ricky and I enjoyed our little Christmas with each other.  I love the way he opened  gifts and said, “Here, mom want to see?”  Then, he placed the item in my hands, showing me where the buttons were and what they did.

He got the book Green Eggs and Ham and read it to me at least a dozen times.

Our blessing for the new year was an overnight with his  biological sister, Mary Christine.  What fun! Her adoptive parents are so wonderful in sharing her life with us!

As always, Ricky and Mary Christine played together like they had never spent a day apart! We stayed up late  watching Christmas shows, all camping out  in her bed room.

I am often sad  when we leave her  but it is amazing to get to have overnights, and that Ricky and she are allowed to have such a wonderful relationship. Some folks don’t understand adoption that can be a need for a number of reasons, but a open adoption – what a concept.

 I believe, however, it allows for healing for the birth mom and it builds the esteem of the adopted child because that child will never have to   go searching for answers, with regard to his/her birth parents .  Our daughter has her adoptive parents,  her birth parents, and biological sibling, Ricky, always in her life, to answer her and support her through her life.

As I had planned to parent her my daughter Mary Christine, she knows me as the mommy that grew her in my tummy! When we have visitors in our home and they ask of the girl in the photos on the wall, Ricky is quick to say that is my sister!

It is complicated to the outsider for sure, but sometimes life happens, things we have no control of, and the outcome  we had planned for is not the outcome we get.

Life happens, that is for sure.  However, we do have control  of how we  react to the life’s rocks, or even boulders, that life sometimes  hurtles our way.

We have the power to react in a negative or a positive way – that we do have control of.

For many years, I reacted negatively to life – any piece of it.  Now, I feel it is growth that I embrace life’s challenges and seek to respond to them and not react to them,  responding  in the most positive thoughtful ways.

This new year, I  choose to  experience life as a journey, finding a adventure in each  new day!

The book I wrote about my journey through addiction to life today. Cry Purple, will be released this month!

I hope you will invite others to read our story and follow our blog.  We also have a facebook page!  You can like it from this page.

I wish you the best New Year ever and invite you to embrace life’s hurdles as growing experiences,  to respond and not react! Seeing each new day as a journey – anadventure yet to be had!

Christine!

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Welcome!!

Posted by crypurple on December 9, 2012

Hello and welcome to my blog! My name is Christine McDonald and Cry Purple is the name of the book that I have written about my life.  My journey has certainly been circuitous and definitely full of ruts and hurtles, but it has allowed me to develop a certain school of thought as to what direction I want to move toward to develop my  future.

I believe that we can’t change our past, but from this day forward we can pick a dream, put forth the effort and make it happen! No matter what we have done, no matter where we come from, even if no one believes in us. We, ourselves, have the ability to change!!

There is a poem by an unknown author about the road to success.  This poem speaks to me aChristine leaning on chairnd empowers me to continually move forward in improving my existence and the life I want to provide for my son.  It reads as follows:

The road to success is not straight.
There is a curve called Failure,

 A loop called Confusion,
Speed bumps called Friends,

 Red lights called Enemies,
Caution lights called Family,

 You will have flats called Jobs,
But, if you have a spare called Determination,
An engine called Perseverance,

 Insurance called Faith,
A driver called God,
You will make it to a place called Success.

I believe this.  There were many times in my life when I could have been taken off this earth, but I am still here, so I know God still has plans for me.

Please feel free to explore the other pages in this blog and learn more about me.  On my About page, you can read more about Cry Purple, including information on where to buy it, if you want to read more.

All the best,

Christine

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