Category Archives: love

Eye Contact.

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Eye Contact.

I think we are all aware of how important eye contact truly is.

In some cultures it is considered rude to not make direct eye contact.

It would seem untrustworthy in a job interview to not be able to make eye contact with your prospective employer/employee…

If I were on a date, I might find it odd and unnerving if my date couldn’t make eye contact…or even trying to talk with a loved one or friend about some topic I was concerned about…it could lead me to think they thought otherwise of what I was saying, or knew more about the topic than they let on.

Regardless of the circumstance, eye contact is important.

And it seems to bug me a lot lately.

It’s not my husband…he is a pro at eye contact…at holding one’s attention when speaking…albeit a little long-winded, but able to hold his audience’s attention.

Especially with my kids.

Not my older kids…I know when they don’t make eye contact with me, it’s because they are up to no good…and can call them out on it before they can blink.

I have such guilt about my lack of eye contact…with my little ones.

It’s me.

I know I spend 99% of my days with them. I wake them, feed them, help dress them, entertain them read to them…but rarely look them in the eye.

Just typing that hurts.

I am consumed with NOT making eye contact with them…with doing the necessities so I can go back to what I want to do- whether its daily chores, work, painting, reading an article, grocery shopping or just zoning out on social media (the worst of it all)…I feel as though if I make direct eye contact with these precious little faces, they will suck me in…I will never get anything done. I will have to play Barbie’s or a board game or matchbox cars, or color…God forbid I stoop to their level and interact with them in their world…yet I expect them to behave at all times in my adult world of rules, chores, grocery shopping, work and Twitter updates.

I am ashamed. But I am guilty of this.

I will occasionally succumb to the world of all things imaginary, but after doing it with the older kids, and faced with doing it for another five to ten years, I feel deflated…defeated. Like…”when the hell is it gonna be about me?” kind of feeling. Or I get that charming reminder from family or friends that we CHOSE to have more babies later in life…

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Marley attempting to hold her almost 11 pound baby brother, Chance, five years ago.

Yes, we did ( what can I say…we like each other…a lot!).

And I will own that choice. But I am no good to my babies, old or young, if I am defeated and deflated.

I guess I can’t look them in the eye because of this…my guilty feeling that I feel like I deserve more time to myself because I already did this for twenty past twenty years…I am tired, beaten down and older…

But I promise those sweet little faces in my picture above, that they will have more of my attention. I selfishly want time to belong to me, but their time as little ones is so short…

I will promise them to look them in the eye each day, and tell them I adore them, and ask them what they want to do with me…that may open a can of worms, but it is the job I signed on for, and the guilt is too much to bare some days…so…

I promise I will be a better mother, mommy… a better me. I will look all of my loved ones in the eye and remember why we became a family in the first place.

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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

We Most Likely Won’t Be Friends Anymore After I Vote On November 8th.

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We Most Likely Won’t Be Friends Anymore After I Vote On November 8th.

I am voting on Tuesday, as we all should. But I have decided to stick with my gut, and vote with my heart. I will be writing Bernie Sanders in. He told his supporters months ago, to not listen to him if he tried to convince us to vote for someone else.

And I trust he is right.

Otherwise, I am stuck with voting for two humans…a man and a woman…who are, combined, the most loathed candidates at one time in U.S. Presidential election history.

Both equally shady. Both equally disturbing.

I won’t tell anyone who to vote for, but I sure have had many people attempt to convince me to drop the Bernie act, or else.

I see it as a much bigger problem though.

We can be bullied into voting for one of two people who most likely will wind up having to be pardoned or impeached. I choose to save our country a little time a money, and be more optimistic.

We had a candidate that crushed the GOP candidates in almost every poll. We had a candidate that surpassed the other choice in many polls and won a shocking number of states in the primary…

But somehow he lost. We let him go.

We really needed someone-anyone like him to revive this self-destructive country from even more potential damage.

We should have been focusing on what was truth and what we needed to heal as a nation from years of failing healthcare, violence against each other, hate, low wages…

Instead we were distracted with even more violence and hate and even more of a headache with more insane plans for healthcare, how to stop violence, and creating jobs and equality for all.

We were told we were not sensitive enough to blacks, to gays, to police, to refugees…we were told to hate the other side even more because the Orange guy said racist and bigoted things. We were told to hate the lady in the pantsuit because…well, because she is a lady.

We never stopped to look around at the rubble…of the senseless murders of all the blacks and gays and police we were all too busy hating on.

The smoke is so thick in front of our eyes…

We have been blinded by the media and government…this hate never went away. Martin Luther King Jr. lead the path to transparency to seek truth and justice…but it wasn’t over yet.

It never really went away.

The Orange guy says all those dirty little secrets that have been whispered for ages…he spoke truths for those who were silenced by the media and government…and that’s ok in my book. We were fooled. We began to think people were more empathetic towards each other…enlightened after too many years of hate. These folks never decided to be more open-minded or more liberal. They kept talking, but no one was listening…until now.

The Orange guy handed them the megaphone on a silver platter…for ALL the world to hear…yes, world, this is how many Americans still feel. They are full of hate and fear and loathing for all things different-sexuality, abortion, race…nothing has changed.

And as for that lady…I wouldn’t give her that dignified title as a Lady…

She may have a vagina, but she has the balls of a hundred men.

To brazenly try to walk back in the White House as the rightful heir after she and her husband and their entourage of thugs were ever so nicely kicked to the curb…for many good reasons.

So now we are to forget about all their scandals, and all the hate speech the Orange guy spews and celebrate Tuesday night as we elect one of two criminal psychopaths? We are to cheer and to praise God he won/she won? That it is finally over?

Wednesday will be a hangover that will last for four very long years…

America made the wrong choices…for both parties.

 

I will not tell you to write in Bernie (although if you want to, that’s great!), but we need to reflect on how we got to this point, and how we will survive four years of pure hell. We had plenty of options on both sides…and now we have come to this…

I will have to live with your choices…I voted for Bernie. And I will not be told to or bullied into voting for either of your candidates. I will not make this bed…

You can make the bed…I won’t be lying in it.

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Left Behind.

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Left Behind.

I left it all behind…

I cannot believe it has been two months since I have written a blog. I lost my interest when something else captured it.

Politics.

It has been consuming me, causing a wicked fire in my belly. All day and night, and keeping me awake through the night way too often. I haven’t been this passionate about anything in a long time…especially politics.

I won’t get in to my feelings or views…I just can’t right now. It feels like wasted breath at times. Then I get a hold of myself and realize it is never wasted breath when you believe in something so strongly.

It has affected my daily life, where I have been distracted from household chores, ignoring my kids- “just give me ONE more second”- and even my blog.

I could apologize to my husband, children, and my neglected home and blog, but I don’t think it is necessary. They understood. They saw my passion and heard it loud and clear most days.

There is something profound about young children being curious about politics and world issues at very young ages…especially when my teenage/ young adult kids are really not interested at all.

The little ones chanted and cheered with me while watching debates, and news shows. They cheered me on when I would drag someone along with me to a march or rally. They don’t completely understand what is going on, but are adorably enthusiastic about it all.

The dust is settling today in the world of politics, as the conventions have ended and we all have a pretty good idea what we are up against now. It is time to focus on real life on the home front for a while, and turn my political passion in a reality.

To find some balance again…

I won’t give up on this new found hobby/interest…it is important to stay focused on what my children will need as they grow older. To not have endless wars, debt, and a world crumbling in front of their eyes and all around them…

To give them hope.

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I am going to give myself a day or two to refocus on what lies ahead, and hug my kids tighter. Maybe take out the dust cloth and organize some things around here…November isn’t too far off, and I will need to find balance in both arenas before diving back in to the deep end of the murky pool of  dirty politics…

So until then, I will remind myself daily of why I was so passionate for all those months and how I lost track of daily life, I will continue the good fight for what’s right for myself and my family, and most importantly…

Keep balance with it all so no one or no thing, is left behind again.

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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…

 

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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Hugs.

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Hugs.

I am a Mother of six.

I carried five, gave birth to four, and love one unconditionally as one of my own.

I am not perfect. 

I am, on most days, a scarred and bitter person. I can hide it well…sometimes.

But on this very day, all that matters, is that I am a Mother.

I feel urged to write this to a younger confused generation, with too much information at their fingertips, not enough social interactions, and way too many emotions pent up that seem to bring anger and resentment to the world around them…

And not enough hugs.

We had dinner the other night with some family, and ended it with me bringing up the “Twenty Second Rule” of hugs…which gloriously ended in enough hugs to make all of us leave the restaurant with content bellies and warm hearts with big smiles on our faces…

Because it works.

But is not happening enough anymore in our world…we are all guilty of too much “me” time…maybe grabbing some extra Facebook time, or binging on a favorite t.v. series, or spa and gym days…

Don’t get me wrong, these are all essential for us to stay mentally healthy and balanced within ourselves…but some days, we may overlook something…our duties as parents…we need to put our needs aside for even just twenty seconds…

I challenge you…PLEASE…go to your child right now and tap them on the shoulder, as they are staring at a cellphone, t.v. or laptop screen….and jolt them out of this…

Tell them you need to talk. As they rise to go to talk with you, take them in your arms and hold them…for twenty seconds…or more…then tell them you are sorry…that no job, or t.v. show or phone call is more important than this…holding this child in your arms and remembering all those moments that brought you here…tell them you love them, and that they can tell you anything, no matter what…

Mothers…we come in all shapes and sizes, colors, genders and no matter what..our babies need us. Our duty is to them right now, and forever…

Today is a day for our children to celebrate us, but without them, there would be nothing to celebrate…So grab your babies/toddlers/teens/grown children/fur babies and tell them you love them and start squeezing.

Twenty second hugs are good enough.

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Fifty.

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Fifty.

Fifty is a large amount…of time, money, hours, and even minutes.

It can seem like eternity waiting for a class to end that is fifty minutes long…

Or almost endless when waiting for those last fifty days for a baby to arrive, or a party that has been in the works for ages to come to fruition, or maybe vacation to start after months of saving and planning…

To some, it can seem like a lot of money, when you have not a penny to spare.

And it can seem like almost a lifetime when you share fifty years with someone…because it is.

Fifty years is more than doubled of the time that a person spends being reared by their parents…for most of us, that usually only takes about eighteen years…

Fifty years is longer than most will spend working at a job or career…which can be a relief at the end of a long drawn out lifetime of working at a job you couldn’t stand…

Or being saddened that it is time to retire from the one thing you loved almost as much as your family.

Fifty years.

We are almost at twenty years of marriage…and pray we are lucky enough to celebrate fifty…or more.

I know very few people who have surpassed Fifty Years of Marriage.

What an amazing gift.

Yet today, my heart aches for my Mother-In-Law as she celebrates a Fiftieth Anniversary…without her beloved husband.

A man she has shared minutes, hours, days building up to an amazing lifetime together…almost.

She lost her dear husband nine days shy of this amazing accomplishment, after falling in love, getting married, then creating a life together for themselves and their children, finding careers that they both enjoyed, traveling, and just living life to its fullest…

They shared losses of loved ones and friends and jobs and homes together too…

But these losses just brought them closer together.

And now we, today, respect my Mother-In-Law’s wishes to not celebrate this special day…her heart is too heavy.

 I know in my heart that My Father-In-Law is with her, holding her chin up and wiping away her tears…I know we must move forward with their strength as a couple…encouraging us to believe in our marriage and our family, and watch it blossom from love and loss…

In Fifty Years, I hope I am not alone, and I hope I am still here…with my sweet husband holding my hand and smiling at all we have accomplished…

I hope that I can look back at all those minutes and days, hours and years that would bring us to that special day.

Because my In-laws will celebrate today…

With tears of sadness and tears of joy…

Here on Earth and in Heaven…

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Their love story is not over…

And will never be forgotten.