Category Archives: comfort

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

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Back to The Plantains.

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Back to The Plantains.

So I really thought I was fooling myself. I even tried to mentally to lie to myself this morning when I stepped off of the scale. It was thirteen NOT ten or eleven or even twelve…it was a whopping thirteen pounds that I have gained over the past several months.

I have fooled myself into thinking one chip or cracker or treat over the holiday was okay. Which then made it okay for two or three more treats.

It amounted to many little pieces of candy after Halloween. And handfuls of chips and gooey dip over Thanksgiving. AND pie. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. All this cheating I swore I would never do again. But I did.

Until my pants were getting tighter, and my stomach began to bloat like I was six months pregnant. My skin is covered in dry scaly patches and my hair…well it is back to thin scraggly nothingness.

I am disappointed and depressed. In myself. It is all my fault.

I began stress eating over the summer after countless hours and days visiting my ailing Father-in-law in the hospital and helping my mother-in-law at their home. By no means am I blaming them. I blame myself for using the excuse of quick cafeteria bites and on-the-go burgers, and caving in here and there because I just didn’t have the time or mental capacity to care what I was eating. I own the fact that I turned the cheek to a salad bar and chose “protein” by means of crispy crunchy chicken tenders. Or gluten free breads/pastas/pizza crusts.

These foods are not my friends…clean eating is. It is probably for all of us, but my body responded so well to it. I felt great, had more energy, my skin was healing…so the self-sabotage is even more upsetting to me. Especially after I begged my Father-in-law to seek healing through nutrition, and then I shamefully chose to give up on my own journey of healing.

Today I seek my happy place again. I am looking for healing again. A healthy gut and healthy mind. To stay focused and teach my family to eat well. Maybe not to the extreme I need to, but enough for them to be well and feel great.

I enjoyed my gluten free pizza crusts the most…but then the regular cheese and sauces just added to mission of letting go of my health.

My plantain pizzas took some getting used to. And they will again. After indulging, it is time to get real. I owe it to myself and my body and my family to find my wellness again.

Christmas will be challenging, in many ways. It will be our first Christmas without my Father-in-law who loved all things Christmas and we shared it with them every year. I cannot cave into stressful eating. I cannot let parties where treats are served up with loads of sugar and fat and calories, make me cheat. I need to be strong for my husband and children and my family, and especially for my Father-in-law who believed in me…

Back to the plantains.

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Fears & Tears.

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Fears & Tears.

I haven’t cried that hard in almost two months…and rightfully so when we had to say goodbye to my husband’s father…a man who loved me like one of his own. We all have shed a few tears or had utter meltdowns since that day, but last night…was rough.

It wasn’t about my Father-in-law…or maybe it has something to do with it. The crying, sadness, occasional fighting over the “why’s” and feeling lost at random moments, have added a new layer of stress to life…stress that cannot even be compared to what my Mother-in-law must be facing…

So last night.

I am sharing/writing this in hopes of maybe figuring this out or seeking help, and also to cleanse my soul.

Our son.

He is beautiful. He is brilliant. He is funny. He is tough.

But not last night.

Over the course of this month he has spiraled into one gigantic hot mess.

He was soooo excited when I took the Halloween decorations out at the beginning of October. He didn’t like some of them, but moved on.

We went out over the next few weeks to the drug store, or dollar store, or even a grocery store and Halloween was everywhere. “I don’t like dat” was his first comment when he saw some scary things.

Fast forward to yesterday in K-Mart, he sat in the cart, covered his face the ENTIRE time we were in the store, even after many attempts to reassure him we were far away from the scary stuff…He did peek at Christmas things, and then went right back to hiding.

We no longer can go into one of his favorite stores after he froze with sheer fear and panic at skeletons hanging from the ceiling.

AND to top all these very long, confusing, frustrating and very heartbreaking outings…there was last night.

We decided to forget cooking after a long week already, (and it was only Wednesday), and take the kids to a bar/restaurant that we haven’t gone to in a while.

A nice friendly Irish family restaurant in town…that had a few Halloween decorations as you entered the building.

PANIC. TREMBLING. SWEATING. CRYING. YELLING. FEAR.

Our son froze…our two daughters were shocked at his behavior but quickly stepped in to help coax him out of it with toys and coloring and even some French fries…

Nothing…

We contemplated leaving.

But what about the two kids inside who were so excited to go out to eat? And a flabbergasted husband who hasn’t seen this side of his son to this extreme…

I took him into the car, to cool himself and myself off((him-literally. Me-figuratively). He had been clutching me for about ten minutes and shaking and dripping with sweat.

When we returned, people from the bar came over to offer help and give him  lollipop or be funny…nothing worked.

We decided that the majority had to eat, as it was getting late, so we asked to move our table(we had been seated near the entrance and could see some of the decorations…and the waitress even took one down for him that looked the scariest) and quickly finish our meal. Our son refused to remove his body from mine and refused to remove his hand from his eyes and refused to eat or drink. He sat there for another twenty minutes, sweating and shaking…I tried to quietly tell him of all the things around him ( a window, a ketchup bottle, his napkin, his sister across from him)so there were no surprises when he chose to look around.

He refused.

We got him out to the car finally after my husband and girls quickly ate their meals.

He was fine…perfectly fine.

Once he was buckled in his car seat and we started for home, he exclaimed he wanted “Zert”. He cannot go to bed without dessert every night. We sighed and said ok, but you have to eat your dinner first  (that was kindly packed up by our very flustered waitress), and he said “ok, I am so, so hungry!”….

I couldn’t help myself.

Maybe it was because I was hungry, or had a cocktail before we had left the house for dinner…but I cried like a baby last night.

I acted like I was ok, and ran up to my room and sobbed.

Is this normal? Did we, as parents, fail him and not do the right thing? Should we have left immediately without trying to figure out what was wrong? Is there something wrong with him?

Or is just our beautiful, brilliant, funny, tough AND overly sensitive?

I am beginning to think maybe not.

I DO NOT want a label on my child. I do NOT want to pump him with drugs. I want to know if we are missing something, and maybe we DO need to be more sensitive towards his fears…I felt as if that was one of the first check marks on his list of moments that molded him forever, and will never forget it…

I feel like I failed our son.

But now as I write this I feel some relief knowing that someone might say, “he is fine” or “call the doctor”. NOW.

We have a Tot time Halloween party this morning.

My stomach aches to think of what may or may not happen. Last year, we had to leave before it even started.

Do I hide under his rock with him until Halloween decorations come down, and Thanksgiving one’s go up?

I am at a loss. My girls were fearful of all things scary when they were younger, but nothing like this…no way near this.

Trick Or Treating? I really don’t think so.

My kids told him he can use his Captain America shield to hide from the bad stuff so we can still go out…I am just not sure that will happen…but maybe we try? Or will that scar him even more?

He is our baby. I just don’t want  to do any more harm than good…

I want to be his shield of all things good and evil.

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My sweet baby boy.

Something About Mary.

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Mary is my middle name. Mary is my Mother’s name. I pray to Mary everyday…even more so when I am worried or afraid. I am not a Holy Roller, but find comfort in praying.

I prayed hard to Mary, and God, and my favorite Angels in Heaven (and pretty much anyone that would listen to me) on Tuesday that we would make it home safely to our children.

Then she appeared.

Mary.

I didn’t know her name. She came up behind us in the security line and made a joke about hoping to not have to run through the airport to catch her plane because the lines were so long.

That was it. We all made it through…then waited. Our flight was delayed. More waiting and more worrying for the big chicken.

Finally the time came to board…here comes my praying again.

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 (Reminding myself to bring the Blessed Mother like this one on my next flight)

My throat gets tight, I get shaky, my head spins…trust me, flying anywhere with me, is no fun. But I so desperately want to see the world.

So I muscle through.

I thought to myself I can do this…knowing how so many people wish they could be traveling…I can do this.

Then it happened… there she was.

The woman behind us in line in security was boarding our plane. We find that to be cool in a strange sort of way, when you see people from your flight or in an airport, at random times in a trip.

And wait…she couldn’t be…she is taking the empty window seat next to me in our row…woah.

That’s weird.

We exchanged pleasantries, my husband, as usual, fell sound asleep in seconds, and I am left alone with my thoughts and prayers and warnings of a bumpy flight…all to myself.

A little while into the flight, I checked my air vent…the nice woman next to me was covering up her chest and said I could use her air vent as well, it was bothering her…she explained she had a port, and it hurt for some reason…

This small comment turned into a funny, emotional, and strange conversation that lasted until we landed…

As we packed up our things,(I was relieved to be home yet thoroughly freaked out), she introduced herself…Mary.

Wow.

I know it is a fairly common name, but as she talked of family, and her illness she was recovering from, and trips she has taken, there was one similarity after another…I had started to think to myself…is she my guardian angel to get me through this flight or something more?

Near the end of our conversation, she was giving me strength to get through some challenges we are facing in our family, and comforting words…then she told me that someone in her church had told her she was like a Prophet of sorts…she was determined to take this trip to go help guide someone who was suffering and needed support…then she looked at me, and said “ya know, I think this kind of happened for a reason too”…I gently touched her arm and said “I think so too”…I then told her why…how each story she told me, was so similar to our life and things that were going on right now, that I felt she could be in it with us…I cannot get into detail of all the little things and big things right now…

But I can say, I am a believer…in Mary.

She may have been just a cancer survivor sitting next to me on the plane with a terrific sense of humor…or she could have been a prophet somehow…or all my praying sent her to sit with me to distract me from all of my fears…

Whatever it was, it worked…I will never forget that flight.

Or Mary.