familypic
 
JessPlusMess

Limited Edition

Autographed Copy

Sunlight Burning at Midnight a memoir by Jessica Ronne

 

Subscribe to Blog

Your Name:
Your Email:

Search

Just some random, irrelevant, humorous, and hopefully inspiring musings on life, love, faith, widowhood, remarriage, adoption, blended families, caring for a handicapped child, mothering seven children, chickens, cooking, grief, over-coming grief, and everything else in between. Just Keep Livin!!

Graffiti in Rome, Paris, and Barcelona

  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

I’ve been to Rome.  It’s a beautiful city full of culture, history, and graffiti.  I suppose that’s what you get with an older city; the beauty, the history, and the marks of many lives well lived with feast and famine, death and life, sorrow and joy all within its boundaries.  On the other hand, I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.  My husband has been there and has promised that we will go to Paris together someday.  He assures me that we will love it because of the history, the romance, and of course, the fantastic wine and pastries they are known to produce. I’ve envisioned our vacation; a castle stay overlooking a beautiful vineyard, midnight strolls down cobblestone roads, chocolate pastries in the morning, champagne in the evenings, ahhhh Paris, the city of love.   He also tells me that although Paris is beautiful and full of culture and history, it too has an ugly side produced from centuries of lives well lived within its walls, death and life, feast and famine, sorrow and joys; just like Rome.  
I recently submitted a first draft copy of a manuscript I’ve been working on for over eight years to a few friends for some honest feedback.  The story begins with my pregnancy with Luke and it has evolved into a story of healings.  A healing for Luke, a healing for my late husband, and a healing for myself - none obviously holding with the traditional limited view of healing that our frail human minds often think of.  At the end of the story I give my perspective on what it’s like being a mother of a special needs child.  

                It’s like saving your whole life for a dream trip to Paris.  You’re so excited, you buy the ticket, you plan all of your activities and excursions, you map out the best hotels and places to eat and finally the day arrives.  You check in, board the plane, sit on the plane for hours on end and then the plane finally lands but there’s been a huge mistake!  Instead of landing in Paris, you land in Rome! What do you do?  You planned for Paris, Paris is your dream, Paris is where you had your heart set on going.  You don’t know anything about Rome or what to do in Rome or where to stay or eat in Rome but you decide to, in spite of your disappointment, make the best of a bad situation and begin your vacation in Rome.  After a few days you realize that Rome is not Paris but Rome has a beauty all of its own. Sights, sounds and traditions that make it lovely and magical and it’s a spectacular vacation in its own right.  It’s the same with the special children that God gives us here on earth.  At first the news brings devastation because it’s not Paris, it’s not the “normal” healthy child that everyone wants and what it seems like everyone else is blessed with, it’s different than what we plan for in our lives, but in the end we realize that Rome and these kids can be just as beautiful and fulfilling as Paris or a normal child.  It’s all on the same continent; just in different cities.  

I’ve been thinking about this analogy lately and how it can apply to so many situations in life.  As a little girl I dreamed of the perfect nuclear family.   I would meet prince charming and marry him and we would live in our dream house with the white picket fence and raise chickens and lots of babies.  I was completely and totally on track with that plan until 2004 with the news that I was carrying a very special baby, Luke, and then again in 2007 when my late husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and passed away three years later. I planned for Rome because Rome seemed to be so perfect and beautiful and so full of promise.  I planned and planned and planned and God sent me straight on a plane for Barcelona.  I am now in a blended family with 7 children of which none is a mixture of mine and my husband’s gene pool. I sold my dream house with the picket fence and never looked back. I’ve found, in the process, that although I planned my whole life for Rome, the perfect family, the perfect house, the perfect job, and the perfect picket fence, that Rome was just not meant to be my forever.  It was a short term vacation, filled with feasting and famine, death and life, sorrow and joy. Rome had loads of beauty but it had its fair share of graffiti as well.   Now I’m in an unknown city, the city of Barcelona, and as I walk through it my heart is enraptured by the beauty and the newness that I see and as I get past the cleaned up tourist areas I’m surprised to discover that Barcelona has some graffiti as well. It is also a life of stretching; pain and growth, sorrow and joy.  Barcelona just has graffiti in a different language, a blended family language, a new marriage language, a grief language; but the graffiti is there nonetheless for the growth, stretching, and joy of becoming more and more Christ like.  I think we all find ourselves yearning for our Romes, our childhood fantasies, the days before divorce or death or suffering and when our immaturities ruled our hearts and minds.  But we don’t grow in immaturity, we don’t become more and more like Him in our immaturity, we need to get down in the graffiti of it all and trust that He will send us to whichever city he sees fit for our lives in whatever particular situation we are in. 

“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ” Ephesians 4:13

Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll get to truly experience Paris, Rome, or Barcelona but in the meantime I’ll enjoy my own little life of romance, love, and graffiti right here in my own backyard.   

Just keep livin!!
  • Guest
    Vonda Saturday, March 16, 2013

    http://www.circleofmoms.com/mothers-of-special-nee...

    http://www.circleofmoms.com/mothers-of-special-needs-children/emily-pearl-kingsley-welcome-to-holland-read-this-poem-569268

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Latest Blogs

Easter Memories 2017
One way we’ve been able to accomplish this desire is by peeling back many of the layers of what’s expected for a particular holiday and ask ourselves: A. Do we have the energy levels required to enjoy this activity (whatever it may be – elaborate meal, presentation, etc) or will this addition stress us out and if so, the activity needs to be eliminated or reconfigured to meet our current energy levels so that it doesn’t potentially hinder the true meaning of the holiday, and B. What simple traditions can we incorporate to ensure that our children are honoring whatever this holiday is truly a...
Continue Reading...
Two Beautiful Books, My Kid's Reactions, and a GIVEAWAY!
A few weeks ago I was offered the opportunity to review two recently released children's books, I’m Going to Give you a Bear Hug by Caroline Cooney / Illustrated by Tim Warnes and Bible Basics, A Baby Believer Counting Primer by Danielle Hitchen / Illustrated by Jessica Blanchard. 
Continue Reading...
Big Changes Are 'A Comin
Blessed but stressed has been our life motto for over three years now – ever since we made the decision to add an 8th child to our family. Some have raised questioning eyebrows with this decision, but we forged through, and we stand by the decision today as one of the best things we’ve done for our family, BUT we are tired and stretched about as thin as they come. Something about raising teenagers, and not sleeping because of a newborn, and then raising teenagers with a toddler who does finally sleep (PRAISE JESUS!) but never, ever, ever stops moving when she’s awake, and then there are the ...
Continue Reading...
Banana Chocolate Muffins
These are really, really good and really, really addicting so it's a good thing they have some health benefits or I'd feel really, really guilty after eating a few.  I usually make these for the kids breakfast because most days they're up at 6:00 am so they need something easy, filling, and tasty in their bellies. These always do the trick.  Banana Chocolate Muffins 3 ripe bananas. 2 cups flour½ cup maple syrup2 eggs1 tea baking soda1 tea baking powder½ tea salt2 TB coconut oil1 tea vanilla½ cup orange juice. 1 cup dark chocolate chips Mix the first 10 ingredients together. Stir i...
Continue Reading...
Pure Goodness Spaghetti Sauce
3-4 TB olive oil (depends on how much garlic and onions you add). 1 large onion chopped 4-5 TB finely chopped fresh garlic (You can add chopped celery as well if you want) Saute these three ingredients for a few minutes. Add 4 14 ounce cans of quality tomatoes (crushed or whole is fine - I like Carmelina brand) Add as much fresh spinach as the pot will hold. 4 TB Italian seasoning 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup red wine 2 cups of tomato juice (we make our own) Salt and pepper to taste Simmer all of this on low for an hour or two.  Turn heat off and blend all together with a han...
Continue Reading...
Marriage Pep Talk and a GIVEAWAY!
In my second marriage to Ryan I have valiantly attempted to right the wrongs that I naively produced in the first marital relationship. They say “ignorance is bliss,” and I suppose that I was ignorant the first time around; however, having my eyes wide open through a second opportunity has changed my perspective on life and love. A few of my initial struggles were cemented in my identity as a strong willed, first born, young wife, and often included a lack of respect towards my husband (I knew best, of course!), and one that goes hand in hand with the respect issue, a lack of grace. I usually...
Continue Reading...
Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Delights
This week’s recipe is a spin off of my go to, extremely easy, “I only have 5 minutes to whip something together” dessert. The original recipe called for peanut butter, egg, and sugar. I’ve amped up the health factor by substituting some of the ingredients and adding a few more. My kids love em. Hope you do too. Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Delights. 1 cup almond butter 1 egg ½ cup maple syrup ½ cup pecans ½ cup dark chocolate chips. Mix everything together in a big bowl. Spoon droplets onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes. Just keep livin!
Continue Reading...
Numero Uno Sanity System - THE BIN
At the Ronne homestead we employ many systems in order to maintain some level of functionality for the family and for the parent’s sanity. The bin system is by far the most useful and consistent tool we use as it has been in place from almost day one of our blended family. This is a system that I grew up with (as the oldest of 10 children) and loathed with every cell of my being as a child. Funny how it made its way into my grownup family as well. The bin (or the brown box that I grew up with) is just a plastic container that holds the children’s misdemeanors for the week. The system starts ...
Continue Reading...
Healthier Chicken N` Dumplings
Simmering away and filling the house with deliciousness, my healthier take on a classic - chicken n' dumplings. This version includes bone broth, organic chicken, a plethora of herbs, and lots and lots of fresh veggies. Chicken N' Dumplings5 organic chicken breasts cut into bite sized piecesVariety of fresh veggies (carrots, mushrooms, celery, leeks, even spinach, whatever you have on hand) roughly chopped.Olive oilItalian spiceVege Sal1 tea thymeSalt if you must but the Vege Sal does a great job of seasoning if you let it.Pepper to taste2 cups water6 cups bone broth (or vegetable or chicken b...
Continue Reading...
Chocolate Cheese. Why Not?
Ryan and I enjoyed a wonderful, romantic dinner together on Valentine’s Day.  We don’t have the opportunity to travel far on most holidays or special occasions because of Annabelle, and since we only have two restaurants that we enjoy within about a ten mile radius of our home, Ryan suggested that we hire Mya to take care of Annabelle in the basement while he and I cook together.  We indulged in salad, pasta, bread, and one of our favorite, easy, desserts - dark chocolate cheese.  Sadly, we were too full from all the pasta, bread, and salad to even indulge in our dessert that ev...
Continue Reading...