Category Archives: friendship

Snapshots.

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Snapshots.

After very little sleep last night, I decided to take a quick cat nap this morning after getting the kids off to school. Knowing I have a long full day ahead, I usually cannot nap and don’t like to, but thought it was necessary.

I closed my eyes and immediately had a dark sensation overwhelm me. I thought how lucky I was to be afforded this time, and also how peaceful it was at that very moment, but how quickly things can change in an instant.

After a stressful morning and short fuse, I really needed this rest. But my peaceful moment was now being flooded with memories swirling like snapshots in photographs…

Within seconds I was there again…so clear and vivid…so chilling.

My mind was telling me a story again that I think about occasionally, but always on this day…every year…for eight years.

The time span of these snapshots this morning was not even thirty seconds maybe, but enough (coming fast and furious) to bring me to tears and wide awake.

The hotel lobby…the room…the smells…the pool…our luggage…

There were no cat naps or resting now.

I remembered the dark room in the spa. The knock on the door. The annoyance visibly spread over the masseuse’s face. No one ever interrupts a massage.

This was my moment of relaxation after several days in Disney with family-we finally planned it right…de-stressing from a whirlwind five days in Disney, now in Clearwater at a quiet hotel on the water.

The de-stressing never happened.

The car ride to Clearwater was more stressful than the visiting of the parks…the children were tired and cranky. We became tired and cranky…we should have just headed home.

But after several trips to Disney, we saved for this treat, knowing we always wished to find some chill out time after long full, yet fun days in the parks.

The following morning after we arrived in Clearwater, I was treated to a massage-a little Mommy pampering (maybe a belated birthday gift from a few weeks prior?), then back to the husband and kiddies for some beach or pool time…whatever we wanted at our own pace…we were relaxing…finally.

The knock on the door during my massage immediately made me think something was wrong with the kids, or maybe my husband’s 98 year old Grandmother back home who wasn’t well before we left…

The girl at the door told the masseuse it was an emergency and I needed to find my husband right away.

I quickly got dressed and found my phone buzzing away and noticed several missed calls from back home…oh shit.

What on Earth is going on????

I walked back into the vast lobby and see my husband charging down the stairs white as a ghost…where are my babies?

What is going on?

My husband was running to the car to search for his cell phone after getting a call in the room from a friend back home…

It’s gone…all gone.

Our home burned, not to the ground…but everything is gone…

The rest of the story now leaves me in tears as I write this…the hysterics on our children’s faces as we tell them what happened…

Their toys, their clothes, pictures…everything…their stuffed animals and trophies…their beds…

Where will we go?

What will we do?

The nightmare trip home of begging to get on a flight…only to have it delayed overnight because birds flew in the engine…

Are you frigging kidding me??

Why? Why now? How much more bad karma can one family take?

It could be worse, we were told…after almost 24 hours trying to get home, then arriving to family and friends covered in soot with tired eyes and heavy hearts…

These snapshots will haunt us forever.

We rebuilt a stronger and safer home…our family and community surrounded us with love and food and shelter and clothing…even Halloween decorations to cheer up our girls…

We came out of it all that much stronger…

When we feel weak and can bare no more, we remember these snapshots as I did this morning from eight years ago today, they lift us up and tell us we can and we will be stronger.

 

October 20, 2008

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. Strength comes from overcoming the things you thought you couldn’t”- Unknown

 

 

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Last Night.

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Last Night.

About last night.

He was supposed to wake up this morning with a pounding headache. He couldn’t forget to grab the Advil and bottle of water before he collapsed in his bed-hopefully not alone.  He knew he would drink too much.  He knew he would be needing to let loose and get drunk. He was heartbroken. He would get over him, and the heartache…he just needed to have some fun.

But not last night.

She was to meet her at eleven. She would be waiting at the bar. She was nervous. She had never done this before.She just met someone she could fall madly in love with – it didn’t matter what clothes she wore or what bathroom she used. Who the hell cared what others thought.  Her friends and family would have to deal with it, support her, or she would have to walk away.

But not last night.

It was their big night on the town…celebrating their engagement. They couldn’t wait. They needed this. To laugh, to dance, to rejoice. Their moment to say to the world that they loved each other, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Their most devoted and loyal friends and family would be by their sides celebrating-dancing, toasting them, loving them.

But not last night.

He was bullied all through school. Did they know something about him that he wasn’t ready to admit to himself? Why did they mock the way he dressed, or the way he walked and talked? Why did they draw those dirty pictures and tape them to his locker? He was finally ready to figure himself out. He knows who he really is now-always did. He knows why they mocked him. But he didn’t have anything to fear anymore-he didn’t need to worry what anyone else thought. Tonight is his night to be true to himself. Maybe he will meet the love of his life or someone who understands him-a new friend, or maybe even his first real kiss…

But no. Not last night.

Last night. Dozens of men and women went out on a Saturday night. It just so happened to be a gay club. But they went for the same reason as any other…to find love, to dance, to have fun, to flirt, to escape from reality, to celebrate.

Last night, a monster decided to creep into their celebrations of love and life and courage.

Last night, dozens of people won’t wake up with hangovers or next to their one-night- stand or love of their life.

Last night…

Was their last night.

Please make the hate stop.

I am a happily married mother of five children. I fear for my children’s futures. We teach our children to love…no matter what your skin color is, or gender preference, or religion.

Last night, We were lucky. I went to bed with the love of my life after watching our favorite family show with our little ones, and then tucking them into to bed.

I woke up this morning next to my snoring husband, not realizing what had happened in the night…as we slept peacefully, the world was changing, yet again, forever.

Last night, too many beautiful souls went to Heaven together…almost all at once. They will be the reason we fight on.

They will make us persevere…

Last night must never happen again.

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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…