Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Gentlest Soul Around

Hello good friends!  I hope your holidays went off without a hitch, and you had a wonderful time spent with family and friends or both.  This holiday, as you know, things we a little different and I had my mom’s house over to mine for the holidays.  I was blessed with good food, and family, and just all around love.  One person defined for me most of all, and this person has been in my life from the very beginning.

S is my mother’s brother who was born normal, but contracted spinal meningitis when he was 6 months old.  Thankfully, he survived, but due to high fevers, his brain was damaged and would have classifications put on him for his entire life.  When I was younger, he was my most favorite playmate.  He always would play whatever I wanted to play, he let me play with his massive toy car collection (and he had the garage AND the car wash!), he never cared about being “It” for hide and go seek, or tag.  He would push me on my swingset for hours and not complain about how he was not the one being pushed, or that he never got the same amount of turns.  

Last Thanksgiving, we were at my moms, and decided to take photos with an orange.  We were being silly and said we were going to take artsy photos.  Here was mine:

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Look at my art style!  That deep look, pondering life and an orange.

Here was Uncle S’s:

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Way to one up me, man.

The thing is, with him, he will remain the always child.  He doesn’t manipulate, or stress about bills.  He doesn’t try to be anything other than what he is.  He loves McDonalds, he loves to play cards (watch him at War- he tries to take all the cards).  As I got older, I spent less time with him and more with friends.  I didn’t mean to and when I tried to understand it it reminded me of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.  At some point, you know CR stopped going to the Hundred Acre Wood to see Pooh.  You know he grew up and had a family and maybe, hopefully, CR would introduce his kids so Pooh wouldn’t get forgotten about indefinitely.  On Thanksgiving, when I was sitting in the kitchen with K and other family members, Uncle S came in giggling and shuffling, and telling us to “ssssssshhhhhhh”.  I wondered what he was doing and I had no idea where he went, but then I found him:

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Hiding spots only work when you aren’t laughing…

Needless to say he was found and I realized he was playing Hide and Go Seek with my Sister and Girl 2.  Now he was “It” and he had to find them.  My heart warmed as I realized Pooh does live on, and that future generations would enjoy what I had as a child.  Pure joy and love from someone who only knows how to love purely and with joy.  After their game, I asked him to play War with me and that is how I finished up Thanksgiving.  Me and Uncle S playing games that we hadn’t played in years.  I felt the warmth and joy and love from him and it made me realize that it wasn’t he who left me, but I who forgot how to just be simple and enjoy.

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You may have won at War, but you also won at life.

So to conclude, here are some lessons I have learned from Uncle S:

Simple.  It doesn’t need to be complicated.

It’s okay to just lie in the grass for hours until someone calls the police because they think there is a dead body in the yard (Yes, this actually happened at my mom’s house).  Sometimes, on a warm summer day, just laying out in the grass is the best activity ever.

You don’t need to color in the lines.

You don’t need a solid reason to just be happy.  Just be happy.

Laughing while hiding will get you caught every time.

Hug people and often.  Just know your strength so you don’t physically hurt them.

It’s okay to like McDonalds.

 

Thank you, Uncle S, for reminding me about all these things without having to try.  You just do it naturally.  The world has a great gift in you, and maybe some don’t appreciate it, but you have made lives better by just being you.  I owe you some McDonalds, and the next time I go bowling, I will be by to pick you up.

 

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Thanksgiving Wishes and Dreams

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!  I am going to keep this simple, because a wise woman wrote those words (over at Momastary.  For the hundreth time, check that blog out).

Here it is, the day I was dreading.  The first holiday as a divorced woman.  You know what?  The sun came up, the pies are in the over (thank you coupons and .99 Mrs. Smith pies!).  The turkey is on the counter, my girl K took one for the team and seasoned that bird up.  I have been smiling all morning, even if my back hurts.  I will drop J off soon, then go back to pick her up, but it will be okay.  It will be more than okay.  Today will be wonderful.

Outlook to me is one part how you see it and one part how you feel it.  Money doesn’t make the world go round, friends.  I remember being little, and one year there was no turkey on my table.  There was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  You know what?  It didn’t even matter to me, because I liked pb&j, and I loved my mom.  I don’t remember feeling any different for not having the turkey, but I do remember laughing with my mom as we ate our sandwiches and she made me homemade donuts afterwards.  I cheat, and use biscuit dough (I did it once), but I remember that.

In the spirit of keeping it simple, I hope you all have a wonderful day no matter what is on your table.  Love those around you, and love them hard.  I will be loving over here with a fierceness.  Enjoy your day and make memories.  

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What a crazy ride this month has been.  Life changes, some expected, some not so much.  I survived.  My kids survived, and at the end of the day it wasn’t too much different than it was before, I just got my old name back.  I know I will be okay friends, and that is the most important thing.  I have such an amazing support group, here and far, online and in person.  I won’t go through a thank you list, because I mostly already did that, but you all know who you are and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This week and this season was one that I have been sort of dreading.  I had a pretty routine holiday schedule, filled with going to my mom’s, going to M’s moms, family everywhere.  Mostly all my children in one spot, with me.  This year will be different, and that is okay.  I will still have my children together, just maybe all a little bit later.  I am blessed that we can still work as a parental cohesive unit, rather than constant arguing about time and who does what when.  

I was worried about the Christmas season, because to be honest, it’s a lot harder when you go to a single income when you are used to two.  You start seeing the commercials, the paper ads, the Black Friday sales.  Today I got my minimal shopping done online, and you know what?  I am ecstatic.  I will not be joining the lines on Thanksgiving, or Friday, or any other day this year to shop for things my children may want, but don’t need.  We are blessed.  We have our home, and each other.  We watch shows together, play games together, sometimes maybe crochet.  We spend time.  Time isn’t something that I am going to be able to buy in a store.

We will make Christmas crafts, and bake cookies.  We will listen to music and we will decorate.  Okay, K may decorate, and I will be in awe of her skills with minimal supplies.  We will rejoice in our non-traditional family.  Boy and Girl 1, My bestie K, myself, and Girl 2 when she is here.  We will maybe hit up a tree farm and find the smallest, non-loved tree and bring it home to hang our homemade ornaments and popcorn and cranberries on.  It will be loved here.  

What this comes down to is today, I realized all the things I have to be thankful for.  It’s a long list, and it’s not material.  It’s the love and acceptance of the people around me, near and far.  It’s the opportunity to make memories and move forward.  It won’t be found in a line, or at the mall.  That may feel good for a moment, but it won’t feel good forever.  

I want to make it a goal to connect this season.  To ask my friends and family to connect with me.  It could be through email, Facebook, coffee, hell, even here, but I invite you all into me and my family.  There is a long road ahead of me, but instead of looking at it as obstacles, I choose to see it as opportunity.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friends.  To those who have no plans, if you are near me, I will welcome you to my home.  To those of you far, know that my thoughts and warm feelings are with you.  To my NZ friends and family (you are family to me, forget the friends), know on my day of thanks, you will be included.  

I hope you all take some time before the craziness begins and choose something simple.  I did it last year, and it was the best Christmas I had to date.  This one will be even more amazing.

I love you all.

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You’re Only a Day Away

Tomorrow is it.  It is the day that I will walk through some metal detectors and shuffle through the line of other people; most likely all doing some variation of what I am doing.  

It’s hard.  Even though I am the one who did it,  I am the one who planned my future and admitted I wasn’t happy.  I was the one that started conversations, stopped ongoing circle conversations and then just stopped having them.  It was me.  I think if it wasn’t me, I could tell you exactly what would go on tonight in my house down to the conversation because it was all the same.  Always the same, with no changes, no smiles, no laughter.

Two nights ago, while Lena was doing her Lena thing, and Nick doing his Nick thing, Kuna doing her thing, and me mine, we all just sand Disney songs on Pandora.  Really loudly.  We didn’t care about anything else but singing Mulan, Aladdin, Lion King.  I told them the story how when I was younger I would dance around the kitchen, with the broom, singing the song from Sleeping Beauty.  

Tomorrow, if things go as they will, I will lose half my last name.

I am going to do what needs to be done because everyone in this story, this life story that I lead, deserves better.  We all deserve just happiness.  We should not be held hostage by ourselves.  We have to have conversations, circle conversations, and then we just need to do something to stop having those circle conversations.

I miss having Julie all the time.  I miss her face, her smile, her everything.  It breaks my heart when I go home and all my children are not there.  I love hearing about Nick’s day, and watching Lena on her Chromebook, but tomorrow will legally put in writing I will get her 50% of the time.  50% my heart can be full.

I am so grateful for the people who have supported me on this road.  It has not been easy, and each milestone has come with me usually curled up in a ball somewhere.  I suspect tomorrow will be no different.  I told my medicine man, the one who just keeps giving me more things that I don’t take, that I thought tomorrow would be very hard. 

Thank you to Lena and Nick, thank you both so much.  Lena for going out and getting me ice cream on move out day.  Nick for telling ridiculous stories, and babysitting Julia on my nights so that I can come home to all of my children.  

Kuna, thank you for being there for me and with me.  Thank you for knowing when I just need to cry and for letting me do it at you.  I love you so hard, Sister.  Thank you for reminding me to eat and making sure I do, and playing Star Wars Pinballs with me.

Ryan, you know I love you.  Even far away, you can calm me down quite easily when you aren’t getting me all puffy.  I am so happy we reconnected again, and are ridiculous together.  Thank you for everything; the advice, the help, the playing WoW even if I am worst player ever.

Heather and Kim, you two amazing women who do amazing things everyday.  I feel so mundane, and you both are heros to me.  Thank you for supporting me, sending me kind messages, and just loving me.  I feel it.

Emily – Thank you for being my crazy DM, and what a crazy year it was.  Thank you for reminding me that there is a time I can forget it all.  Thank you for letting me cry at you as well.

I think I am done here for tonight.  I just needed to get something out; this anxiety I feel.  I’m scared friends.  I am scared and nervous because I don’t know what’s coming and part of this is like a death for me.  With one ending comes new adventures and stories.  I know this and I just need to keep reminding myself along the way.

 

 

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For The Boy, Who Saved My World

My dearest boy,

I remember when you were 10, and you told me that when you were going to be 15, you were going to save the world.  You had it all planned out, even your code name, and you would be a vigilante to the likes the world have never seen.  You were convinced that you, and you alone, could save the world.  You were dead serious.  I signed you up for Tai Kwan Do, since I figured you would need the training if this were to come true, and yes, maybe I was a little afraid of that cop that was behind me (even though I wasn’t breaking a law and was in a perfectly registered and insured car), but you didn’t last too long.  You weren’t that keen on football either.  With only a couple years to go, I really hope you have the training you need to save the world.  Honestly though, if the world needed saving, I think you would do it with finesse.

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Our lives have changed so much in the past year.  You have become the man of the house, and the one I can depend on to do my job when I can’t.  You make sure that Girl 2 is taken care of, and fed, and bathed, while I work until 8 on nights that she is here.  I couldn’t have her here without you.  You have already started saving the world, at least to me.  

I know if I ask you to do something, it will get done.  You know how to load the dishwasher ALL THE WAY.  You can take out the garbage, and sometimes remember to bring the bin back in.  When I am having a horrible day, sometimes it is your stories, and your ridiculous way of telling them that can get me to smile.

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I don’t know what it is like to be the middle child.  I especially don’t know what it is like to be sandwiched between two very strong willed females who demand attention.  I know you think that I forget about you, or that I never ask Girl 1 to do things, but I ask you because I can depend on you.  I realize that sometimes it isn’t fair.  You tend to do things on your own, without asking for me help, because you know that times are hard.  Don’t be afraid to come to me because I would move the heavens and earth for you.

I remember you being in 5th grade and coming home in tears.  You told me you had no friends and that everyone made fun of you.  I hugged you and told you it would get better.  That it may not seem like it now, but you would go to a bigger school next year and find people that also had the same interests you had.  You would find friends that understood you.  You would then move on to an even bigger school and find even more friends.  How hard it must have been for you then, every day, going somewhere where you thought that you were not liked.  You did make it through, and now you have made friends.  It got better.  Thank you so much for believing in what I told you.  Thank you for believing in yourself.

I have high hopes for you.  I know you are going to do amazing at whatever you do, whether it be video game design, comedy, or saving the world.  I can even imagine you doing all three.  I have some words of wisdom or you as you travel on your glorious journey of this life; words that you may not heed now, but hopefully remember at some point.

Don’t lose who you are to please someone else.  Stay ridiculous.  You have no idea how your ridiculousness makes everyone happier, and all you are doing is being you.

When you get to a stage of serious dating, please treat women with respect.  Be a gentleman.  Open doors, hold hands, never raise your hand to a woman.  If she raises one to you, walk away.  Think of how you would feel if someone was doing that to me, or your sisters.  This does not give carte blanche for you to be abused, in any fashion.  If you aren’t being treated respectfully, then walk away.  

No means no.  No means no all the time, not just some of the time.  Even if it really seems like it doesn’t mean no, it always means no. If there is drinking involved, it is always no.  I have talked to Girl 1 about safety, but I will also talk to you about knowing how not to take it too far.  

Never lose sight of who you are, and what you can accomplish in this world.  I may not be able to send you to college, but I can help in whatever way I can.  I do believe that you can go on to so whatever you want to do, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Respect people’s opinions, even if they don’t match your own.  Not everyone will think the same as you, and that is okay.  In fact, listen to them and learn.  Sometimes seeing the world through someone else’s eyes is the best gift you will ever be given.

Jump at every opportunity you can.  Don’t be afraid to try new things.  If you are afraid, that means it could potentially be awesome.  Some of the best things that have happened in my life where times when I was the most afraid.  Except drugs.  Don’t try those things.

I know that it seems that I spend more time with the girls, or talking about the girls, but Boy, I love you with all my heart.  You are such a miracle to me, and such a joy.  I am so proud of who you are, and who you are growing into being.  I can’t wait to see you walk your path, and if you don’t see a path in front of you, I am sure you will kick the dirt and make your own.  Thank you for all that you give me, and don’t be surprised if I try to hold your hand a little bit harder as you get older.  

Oh, and remember, you already started saving the world.  You just didn’t know it.

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Time and Holding Space

It’s been a while, dear friends.  I don’t even know how long it has been, but I don’t want to look because then I will feel ashamed that I have been away as long as I have.  I would feel guilty for not posting things sooner, even if I didn’t really have anything to post.  Maybe it wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to post, but I just didn’t have the right words for it.  I figured I had posted enough of the dark recesses of my heart and mind (and really who wants to read that).

Since I don’t even know where I left off in my life last, and I didn’t want to go back to see where it was, I figure I will start fresh and slow.  Sort of ease my way back into it, into the world that I was trying to deny but life just won’t let me anymore.  M moved out, months ago now, actually.  The divorce is next Thursday.  

I have been seeing a Doctor who just wants me to take more meds,  but really, they just pile up in my medicine cabinet.  Maybe I am waiting for the Zombie apocalypse to come before I take them.  I look at them, the bottles with my name on it, and I feel like if I take them daily as I should (in the morning with food), it is admitting that I am not okay.  The fact that they are sitting there with me not taking them is a sign probably that I am not okay.

It’s hard.  Life if hard.  There are easy times, really good times, where I am so happy to breathe, and live, and see trees.  Playing cards, or Star Wars pinballs, or other pinballs, they help me.  I can’t do it forever though, and then when I go to bed alone, usually medicated on sleeping pills (those I do take.  I can fully acknowledge that I have problems sleeping), it just washes over me.  Then there are the other times.  The times that aren’t so easy.  Coming home from work at 8 before Girl 1 and 2 go to bed, and I have about an hour before they do so.  Girl 1 usually very interested in what is online as 15 year olds can do, and the Boy playing a game or watching Star Trek.  Absent is Girl 2, since even when she is here, getting home at 8 really doesn’t provide a lot of time, and weekends are split between two working parents.  I feel it, her not being here.  I feel a bit empty, and to cover that up I do what I can to fill it, like play Star Wars pinballs, or stare at the Facebooks, and push myself to knowing that she will be back.  Sometimes I just want to stay in my footy pajamas all day, or go to bed as soon as I get up.  I don’t do this, but I know I want to.

My life has changed so radically in the last few months, some in ways I expected and some in ways you just can’t plan for no matter what.  The past month alone has provided me with a loss I won’t share here, but didn’t help me get back on that feeling great train.  I am very thankful for my girl K, who has just let me cry, even if I can’t provide a reason for it.  She just lets me be sad, and to borrow a phrase from Momastery, she holds space for me.  FFAC listens to me as well, and provides me with the pick me ups that I need to know that it will eventually be okay.

In general, I am a positive person.  I feel the world provides for you and gives you what you give to it.  You have to go through things to get to the end of the tunnel.  These last few weeks have been particularly hard with the upcoming holidays.  I don’t know how to share my children.  It isn’t something I have ever had to do.  Going through a Thanksgiving, or Christmas Eve, or Christmas day even without it being what it has my entire life makes me sad.  

Today I have off and I have done absolutely nothing other than sit here.  I haven’t picked up anything, or done the dishes.  I haven’t gone through my coupons, or removed the plates/glasses from the living room.  I did take a shower, so that is a plus.  I did call the doctor to tell him that I really am having anxiety issues at work (how can you not when the person you are divorcing sits two feet away from you), and that yesterday the word “lemons” threw me into a downward spiral, which resulted in me having to breathe deeply and cry.  He was on vacation, but the Doctor who called me back told me to take more pills.  I still haven’t.  I guess I am still in my denial there.

So, I guess what this all equates to is that presently, I may not be in the best space, but I am alive.  Sometimes I seem to be incapable of doing normal things, like phone calls, emails, or a blog post, but I am still here, going through my days.  I am thankful for what I have in my life, and I know that there are great things to come, but I just have to push through this time and get there.  I just hope my girl K doesn’t get upset that I didn’t do anything today.  

Hold some space for me, friends.   

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