Category Archives: aging

Someday.

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Someday.

Someday it will be me.

It will be that moment no one likes to think about. Or even say out loud.

Saying goodbye…forever.

Today is day one of many goodbyes to our Grandmother.

It doesn’t come as a shocker. It was not sudden or painful.

It was just time.

Ninety-six years of time.

Blessed time.

But five years without her sweetheart.

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So yes…it was just time.

Time to say goodbye to all of us here, and hello to her sweetheart again.

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I am trying desperately to remember this…we were blessed. We had her for so long. And now it is time for her to be at peace.

I told her it was okay (we all did), I whispered it in her ear, told her I loved her, many times…we had several weeks with her to say goodbye, as she slowly declined into a peaceful eternal sleep.

But I am still so heartbroken…

I will miss her…my husband and children and sisters and Aunts and Uncles and cousins…we will all miss her.

She was amazing…stylish, classy, funny, devoted and fierce.

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She would be hard to forget.

So I will continue to tell stories about her to my children and remind myself of all the beautiful memories we had with her.

She was like a second mother to me and my sisters through some very tough years for our mother and her painful divorce from our father. Our grandmother stepped in and protected us and hugged us and made us smile, when our mother just couldn’t. I don’t hold this against our mother…it was actually a gift. We were able to create a special bond with our Grandmother.

We are forever grateful.

Tonight, is our first of many goodbyes and many tears…some sad but many happy.

We were all blessed to be loved and adored by our Grandmother, Mother, Aunt, Mother-in-law, friend, sister…

 

Thank you, Gram, for just being you…

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Unable are the loved to die. For love is immortality. ~Emily Dickinson

Moving On.

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Moving On.

I am not perfect.

I hold grudges.

I pout.

I even have had my share of temper tantrums.

I have had more battles and bickered with friends and family over my lifetime than I can remember.

But I also love.

I love too much sometimes. I dive deep into relationships and friendships, and that must muddle things a bit over time, I guess…

I don’t know…

Life is hard enough. I cannot muddle things anymore.

I thought I was learning that lesson a lot in the past year.

Life and death are the truest lessons of this.

Nothing is more bone chilling than death and dying to put things into perspective for a person.

Then you have the beauty of life to give balance to the loss or death of loved ones…

New babies, new loves, new life.

These are the moments that make me stop and realize…

Cut the crap out…it’s time to grow up.

No more bickering with my sisters as if we were still in high school and fighting over the mirror in the bathroom, or over clothes or remote controls. No more getting in to each other’s business and cutting a wedge so deep between us, that the gap is still not fully repaired.

No more saying what I feel like saying, whether it hurts someone or not, because I was an angry selfish teenager and young adult who hated her parents and life in general. Or as a mother or wife or friend who is miserable because she hasn’t fulfilled her dreams and passions, so she will take it out on everyone else around her…

I cannot be her anymore…time to move on.

I am not perfect.

I still make some of those mistakes as a middle aged mother/wife/sister/daughter…and friend.

I say too much. Or at least I used to. I needed a wake up call…you would have thought all the challenges over the past year would be enough…

The lightbulb went on many times, (or maybe I should say someone was flicking the light switch and on and off to test the circuits) trying to get me to realize all the anger, jealousy and hate was not necessary or needed…but I wasn’t paying attention.

That lightbulb was shining bright about a week ago when I saw an old friend and realized how foolish I can be.

It was almost two years since we spoke…over dumb stuff…that didn’t seem so dumb at the time. And we just let it all go…just like that. After building on a friendship for over eleven years, it was over.

I say it all the time, I believe everything happens for a reason…not sure why that all happened, but I guess it needed to…we needed time apart to figure life out.

Yet I found myself sobbing on my old friend’s shoulder (in public at a local benefit after too many cheap beers), apologizing and laughing and crying as if nothing had ever happened between us…

And letting go…

Of anger, temper tantrums, pouting, jealousy, and sadness…

I won’t say too much anymore to deliberately hurt someone because of my own misery…not because I have nothing to say, but what value is there on being opinionated or bossy or just a plain old jerk?

I am painting myself out to be a pretty big bitch right now, and I am actually a pretty nice person…just a lot on my brain and heaviness in my heart.

Such a weight lifted off my heavy heart…

Things may never be exactly as they were with me and my old friend, but it is so refreshing to know if we see each other, the tension won’t be there anymore… just smiles, and hugs and love and support.

And in another sense,( Moving On being my title for this blog), I need to move on from other relationships…ones that I have tried for most of my adult life to keep afloat, and they just keep drifting away. I think those relationships are safe to say, “Bon Voyage” and wish them well on their journey to their next chapter in life…

Without me in it.

I have written of these relationships before because I have an inner struggle with truly and completely let it go. Not sure if it is from guilt or just wanting to give it one more try, or because I am a glutton for punishment…or maybe it is because I am too nice and let people walk all over me…

Whatever the reason, I need to let it go as well…

I need to stick to my guns, and lift the anchor, and let that ship sail…no guilt or anger at myself…just peace knowing I tried. And tried some more…

And focus on the people who have always been in my life, even after returning from a mini vacation from our friendship, or those who were not sure of whether they should stay or go, but wind up staying by my side…these people help define me. They tell me to cut the crap…

The imperfect mother/wife/sister/daughter…and friend. The woman who vents on a blog to the world about big things and little things.

I don’t know if I am tired and getting old, but venting on a blog is about all I can manage anymore…fighting is for the birds…I have more important things to do like being a better wife/daughter/sister/mother and friend…

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And moving on…

 

Only In My Dreams.

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Only In My Dreams.

It was such a clear dream. I could feel the breeze blowing through the open French doors as I walked down the narrow hallway to her room.  The room seemed small but ornately decorated and looking out onto a patio with a large old tree adding shade to the patio and garden.  She was distracted and not noticing the beauty around her. She was laying in her hospital bed in the cozy room across from another empty hospital bed. She didn’t look up at me, she was too focused on what she was watching on  t.v. or laptop that was perched on her side table.

Her legs…they were smooth and golden…bronzed and healthy from many days basking in the sun by her pool or on the beach. They were uncovered and outstretched from under her hospital gown, almost on display.

Her hair…it was chestnut again, curled thick and soft to the touch.

Grandmother.

I went to her to kiss her hello and noticed she had a plate stacked with cinnamon raisin bread, toasted with butter. There were several bags of this bread strewn across the bed as well. I asked her who made this all for her…she looked up away from me, almost defiantly, and said she did it all herself. Insulted I should even ask such a question. Then she demanded that I run to the store immediately and get her a loaf of white bread and cheese, she was craving a toasted cheese sandwich…I just stood in the doorway, looking at her beautiful self, feeling very puzzled…a combination of the old and new Grandmother…the forever young and the old woman living a life right now she would never want for herself.

I shake my head yes to her demands, and then feel a presence behind me on the patio…it a grown man with two small children. He is holding them close, gently gripping their shoulders, almost protectively. I cannot see their faces, the glare of the sun blocks my vision. Grandmother yells to me to quickly go make some of them the delicious toast she is enjoying at that moment.

Somewhere in all my dreamy confusion, I appear instantly with a white and pink china plate stacked high with steamy cinnamon raisin toast.

And then I woke up…it was over but the feelings are still with me as I type this.

My Grandmother has been rapidly declining mentally and physically over the past four years since my Grandfather passed away. She is always happy for the most part, and occasionally knows some or one or all of us. Some days she is feisty, and some days we cannot even wake her to get a greeting out of her.

I say goodbye each and every time I visit her. I just feel like she is kind of already gone, not because of the Alzheimer’s entirely, but I really feel like she is “one foot in/out the door” so to speak…she talks of times and people in her past, as if it were happening now. She sees people who are gone, and when she speaks of our Grandfather, it is as if he is sitting there with her…

I loved my dream last night

I saw her in all of her beauty and sassiness again. I felt loved and peaceful…I have been having many dreams of my Grandparents lately, and I know they will be together again…someday soon.

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Good Fortune.

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Good Fortune.

Not sure where that title just came from…just started typing it.

So I guess I will blog on about my good fortune. I am alive. I am somewhat healthy. I am married. I have children. I can occasionally muster a smile at myself in the mirror. I am alive.

I am also surrounded by many people who love me and adore me.

Maybe I am thinking all this after visiting with my beautiful 94 year old Grandmother today.

SHE has good fortune. Merely for the fact that she can say she lived 94 years…what a gift.

She has always been beautiful, and fun and silly, and loved to have a good time.

She is in the end stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s…not sure which…neither good.

But since it began to get progressively worse, I repeated these words countless times to anyone who would listen…

My grandmother has even more good fortune than SHE realizes…

Because she is BLISSFULLY UNAWARE.

She has never smiled so much as she has in the last few years. She can doze off or look around the room and gaze up at the same person, and it is as if she never saw this person, but still greets them with a beaming smile and a “come over here and give me a hug” gesture…

She is still her blissfully unaware self, but cannot make sentences and forgets most words…but still always smiling.

I love these visits with her, and pray I am blessed with such good fortune someday…to have produced a small army of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. To have been married only once to the love of her life. To still be stylish, and laugh and hug and say the most important words to her family as she grabs them tight in her arms…“I love you so much”…one of her only full sentences anymore…but that is MY good fortune…that she can tell me this…that she can tell my children this.

I am hopefully in the midst of building a life like Grandma did…

An adoring husband, who works hard and loves his family.

A growing business with more and more success each day.

Children and family that stand by me no matter what, good days and bad. 

This is my good fortune…guess I had to write  it down, to realize this…when and if I am so lucky to sit with my Grandmother again in the near future, I will tell her this…

That I love her and she is the luckiest woman I know…

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Nothing better. Selfies with Gram…

Family.

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Family.

When my husband first met my large Irish Catholic family, he joked later that night that everyone should have worn name tags. He was overwhelmed, and that wasn’t even all of us!

My husband comes from a very small family, his mother has one sibling and his father is an only child. I am certain there are second cousins out there, but that just doesn’t seem to be the way they do things in their family. That’s okay…we all do life and family differently. And we have made our own family with his family as well.

My ever-growing family looks for any and all reasons to celebrate together…the minimum gathering of at least forty people.

That has been getting harder and harder to do, as alot of my cousins have children as well now, and they just keep coming!

My husband has grown to enjoy this big beautiful family and love them as his own, and they welcome his sister and parents into our massive clan gatherings whenever possible.

We don’t all see each other much anymore, as everyone is spread all over the country now, unlike when I was a kid we would all meet up at my Grandparents’ house for our Annual Fourth of July Family Reunion…oh the memories we made.

Endless swimming in the pool, games on their vast lawn, a spread of food and treats to feed an Army…we were an Army even back then! Sixteen cousins, ten Aunts and Uncles and the extended family of Great Aunts and Uncles and all of their kids!

Such great fun…I can see my Grandparents now…Our beloved Grandfather walking around hosting and manning the grill of a thousand hot dogs and hamburgers, with his cotton short-sleeved shirt unbuttoned all the way as he baked in the sun in front of the grill…Grandma in her crisp white skirt and tan legs with her patriotic shirt and golden blonde hair, smiling and ordering people to come eat!

These memories make me get choked up as I type this…happy days.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been other countless gatherings with all of my family-weddings, christenings, birthdays...but we have lost so many of those who made those days even more special…including my Grandfather (three years ago, and never have a day without missing him). And in a way, my Grandmother as well. She is still with us but in a nursing home and suffers from dementia…she still remembers us on occasion, but many of those long ago memories are gone forever. They are in there somewhere…and I know for sure, in her heart.

Family means everything to her…to all of us.

We may not always get along or agree on religion, politics, or how to raise of kids right…but we are family.

I adore each and every one of them, even if I don’t see them everyday…or even once a year anymore.

I am proud of all their accomplishments…doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, mothers…we are a well-rounded group that live for these family gatherings, and now, so do our children.

We have made them appreciate time together, and make parties something special…getting dolled up to go to a luncheon or party, to sit and talk about the latest celebrity gossip with cold beers in hand, talk about all those parties in the past, and watch our children’s eyes light eye up as they hear how much fun we had as kids (yes, we knew how to play games and have fun once too).

We are making our own memories now…a new generation of Great Aunts and Uncles, and cousins and parties…just last night my little ones shared an unexpected night of music, and dancing and endless giggles with some of their family…they will cherish that memory forever.

I know they will.

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We look forward to more of those nights to come, and to cheer our Family Cheer and toast ourselves for standing together, standing strong in the memories of all those we have lost, and know they are in Heaven cheering with us each and every time…

Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Hip Hip Hooray! Tiger…

Rrrrrrrrroar….

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Seeing The Light.

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Seeing The Light.

After a tough couple of weeks with a ton up’s and down’s, I needed to see the light.

I did it again. I have been told not to. Over and over again, yet I continue I break the rules.

It is so bad for me, but I had to.

The darkness was creeping in, making me crazy.

I couldn’t bare it anymore, and so I just ignored all good judgment…and decided to find the light again.

My mother helped me…she is my accomplice of sorts.

She knew I shouldn’t either, but said I was in serious need of seeing the light…I never listened to mother…until today.

I opened up a can of worms by doing it…I thought wow I am going to pay the price…I usually literally do pay the price, but in the event of trying to save myself some time and money, I opened up that can…or should I say box.

I boxed it. Yep. Good old boxed hair color.

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I did it a few months ago, after years of going to a very trusted salon, but ran out of time before my cousin’s wedding…I was not a happy girl. It was awful and I swore every penny I ever spent at the salon was worth it, to not have to make such a terrible mistake again.

And yet again…I let life take over with one thing after another (all very valid reasons as some of my loyal readers will attest to), and bought another…I needed to see the light…badly.

Man oh man, do those roots show…fast.

They bring with them, my dark mood…I do not like being a brunette…or showing that my hair is getting a little gray here and there…I know I should just let it be free to be what it wants, but I just love being blonde…the lightness brightens my mood…

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Because of how moody I felt when I woke up this morning-even on this beautiful sunny day, after dreading another day of darkness taking over- I said no way.

Nope, not doing this for one more day.

Did I save myself some time? Heck no…did I save some money? Heck yeah..

Did it turn out okay after the last fiasco? Thank goodness…yes!

And now my slightly superficial self will take my glowing blonde locks back out into the world without shame, and  go sit out in the sun on this beautiful Spring day, and enjoy yet another day with the light all around me…

When I’m 57…

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My baby boy will eighteen.  My oldest will be going on thirty-three.

My oldest randomly text-ed me this unnerving question the other day, as she lay poolside in warm and sunny Florida on Spring Break…while I was here on  the home front, caring for the little ones and managing the house.

“Have you ever thought how old your gonna be when Chance JUST graduates high school?? Not even college yet!”198684_4766656609542_1856966002_n

I gasped when I first read it…

What on Earth was my beautiful, eighteen year old daughter thinking by asking me this question???

I shared the question on Facebook, only because it was so insane at that moment, I needed some motherly backup…reassuring me that yes indeed my kid was rude and inconsiderate.

How are we to send her off to college in a few months and let her live in the city on her own, when she doesn’t even know one of the basic skills of life...think before you speak…or text.

Later that night, I laughed about it.

Not because I thought it was funny, but because I overreacted.

My daughter was starting to ponder life…the big bad world that lies before her. She was genuinely concerned at how old I may be when my youngest is her current age…maybe because she thought I may be crippled or too fragile by then to help him through his senior prom and graduation.

And help pack up his things and ship him off to college fifteen years from now…

Or maybe even whether I may be alive…maybe she hasn’t yet grasped different stages in life and aging, not realizing that 57 is still pretty young in our world.

When she returns from her mini Spring Break in Florida with her Grandparents, I may have to pull her aside and ask her what provoked such a thought.

Until then, I will take this Forty-something old body that is a little sore at the moment, but healing and getting healthier everyday (all due to my new way of eating and lifestyle so I live to be a hundred), and continue folding mountains of laundry, sort through the explosion of summer clothes that my teenage girls dug through for their last-minute getaway, and wait for my husband to come home from yet another trip to give me a “mommy time-out”…

I am told I will miss these crazy days someday, when all the kiddos have moved on to college/jobs/starting their own lives…

I probably will after my 57 year old body locks the front door, takes my bra off through my sleeve, throws it on the ceiling fan, cracks open a chilled bottle of wine and blasts some Duran Duran like the free spirit I once was…

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a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away…

Pinning Things And P.M.S.

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Pinning Things And P.M.S.

Warning: This blog is written by my alter ego, who shows up

once a month for an unwanted visit…sometimes staying a little longer than we want her too.

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She is rude, annoying, and causes upheaval in my household every time she visits.

I promise to not let her get a hold of my blog again in the future.

I never knew Pinterest could be so therapeutic.

I just sat in silence for ten minutes pinning the heck out of stuff on Pinterest in search for a recipe to fulfill a craving  that my alter ego is in search of, instead I wound up looking into a cure for why I am so cranky today.

I honestly do know why I am cranky right now…

AND why my two teenage daughters are as well…

“We’re All In This Together”

 

(insert sarcasm and catchy teen movie music)

 

For years it was about three weeks of hell-taking turns p.m.s.’ing in this house. One of us down for the count, then another…and another.

Tip-toeing around each other, trying to be supportive yet cursing each other out under our breath.

And then we started that beautiful, yet wicked balance of hormonal harmony… How exciting for my husband and friends and family…be done with it all around the same time, and then our true sweet selves come home as the alter egos pack their bags and leave.

When I am not p.m.s.’ing, I truly do sympathize with my husband and the other males in our lives for all that we put them through on our hormonal roller coaster rides.

I do.

Not today…but maybe in a week or two I will care again. Because right now, I swear at some points in the day, I truly think there is Male P.M.S.

 In actuality, this is obviously just them reacting to our charming alter ego.

So back to the grand world of pinning stuff…there are dozens, if not hundreds of remedies, articles, quotes, and images all relating to the terrible, not so nice world of P.M.S.

The quotes mock us…but made me laugh…for the first time all day.

The images tell us what we should eat…avoiding all cravings…

Not gonna happen. 

I will just head back over to the page of all things gooey and chocolate.

The articles… after reading one or two remedies/cures/explanations, my oh-so-charming self started saying “blah, blah, blah…I get it” (not very nice of me, but it is sadly how it goes).

I despise this time of the month.

But fear what the next chapter of middle-aged hormonal imbalance will bring…so I guess I will tolerate this chapter a little longer, and try to be on my best behavior.

I will take my vitamins. I will avoid all things sweet. I will not drink alcohol. I will smile and persevere… 

All lies.

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At least I am being honest.

 I will admit the card quotes on Pinterest are truly making me smile…

Bonus for day one of Alter Ego vs. The Real Me.

 I will try my best to be good…in a bad sort of way.

Sisters.

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Sisters.

I have two.  And they are precious to me. If you asked me twenty years ago, or even thirty years ago, I may have said differently. But as I grow older, I realize I truly cannot live without them. They are my best friends, my confidantes, my source of gossip or laughter when I need it most.

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I hope they feel the same...

I am pretty certain  thedo.  They would agree our younger years we were rough. We clung to each other through the dark days of divorce, dating and remarriage of our parents. We fought, but also played hard. Barbies were our other best friends…as were forts made out of mattresses, bike riding through the woods, mud pies with ink berries, and catching frogs.

I wouldn’t change any of it…for a second.

It made us who we are today.

I have three daughters as well. I honestly thought God was torturing me when I realized this-I am raising three girls that will torture me as we tortured our mother...it was me and my sisters all over again…minus the misery.

But dear oh dear do my girls seek out the drama, and think that it is them against the world. Sometimes…not as often as me and my partners in crime…but I can relate.

My inspiration for this blog tonight was from a beautiful moment I shared with two sisters today.

The way they grabbed each other when they first saw each other, and held hands, and smiled…was just unforgettable.

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My ninety-four year old Grandmother and her little sister of ninety-one, came together possibly for the last time today. We have said this before, and these two feisty ladies have proved us all wrong.

But knowing that time is precious for them more so than someone much younger (we all hope), they were determined to see one another. My Grandmother doesn’t remember much these days, but she knew her sister.

I was proud to be a part of this bittersweet reunion…and pray there are more. 

One of my sisters was missing today, but I know she would loved this day as well. When we are together, we get devilish and giggly. We adore family, and love the time we share together, even if it isn’t very often.

We three are in different places in life, with children, relationships, jobs…we kvetch about the little things and big, and look forward to those time together when we can do it some more.

We laugh at our childhood memories and tell each other almost everything…and then worry about the stuff we are not sharing.

This is my wish…

I want to be my Grandma and Aunt someday…I want to sit with my sisters on either side of me(I am the middle sister, so I get the say so) when we are in our nineties, and hold their hands and remember warm summer nights with fireflies, and big wheels, fights and laughter…