Tag Archives: challenges

A Few Good Men.

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A Few Good Men.

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On the six month anniversary of losing one of these good men…cancer won yet another battle, but we are here to remember a loving good man and keep fighting the good fight against cancer.

Karma Is A Funny Thing

I don’t usually write two posts in one day, but  I just have to.

There are a few good men in my life. I won’t name any names, but they know who they are. Well, except for my three year old, since he cannot read this yet…but he knows I adore him.

We have faced some serious challenges recently…but none nearly as bad as some of my favorite men…

I love them. They love me…unconditionally. Some may not be blood, but I have grown to realize this does not matter anymore…it is who sticks around, even when things get tough, that matter most.

And they matter…a lot.

It is not my journey or my story to tell for these men, but all I can do is let them know this…

I love them…I really and truly love them with all of my heart.

They watched me grow…

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Apologies.

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Apologies.

I need to apologize to my followers. I have inundated my social media pages over the last few weeks with my political views. I am usually a pretty opinionated person, but keep some things to myself.  As stated in my last blog, I have learned to keep my mouth shut on many things lately…but for some reason, politics are just too good, too juicy of a topic right now to hold back!

I don’t know why it is, maybe because I am older and more aware of politics, but I am very passionate this time around. I grew up in a VERY Republican family, but as a young adult, I swayed more towards the Independents…mostly due to my  very Republican Grandfather having a change of heart in politics when Ross Perot ran…I was in awe of my Grandfather’s passion for all things Ross Perot…and now I feel his passion.

If I could have a ten minute chat with my Grandfather, I would LOVE to hear his thoughts on the political scene right now!

Regardless of why, I have quite possibly lost followers and friends…I am not cowering behind my beliefs, just acknowledging that maybe I might be taking it too far on a personal level…

I am thinking I may start a separate page for political venting of like minds (I know my sister and hubby will join at least!) and spew on and on without my dear friends and family gagging at my latest onslaught of “shares”, quotes, or rants.

I think this is the beauty of politics though-I find this all very exciting as a middle-aged woman with kids in college, a mortgage payment, and dwindling savings account due to ridiculous medical co pays and fees. I love the bantering, and hearing both sides all on my little cell phone that gives me constant updates, news articles, and Google (God I love to Google stuff!)…I love watching some of the politicians squirm with uncomfortable questions that put them on the spot.

If only I could be asking the questions at the debates…

I LOVE the debates.

There is yet another one on this evening…that is where I will be at 9p.m.(if anyone is looking for me). I will promise to refrain from play by play’s on social media this time…

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Or maybe I am lying right now like so many politicians… 😉

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…

 

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.

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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Anxiety.

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Anxiety.

Anxiety.

It overwhelms me. Last night was the worst in a long time. I lost three hours of sleep because of it.

Alone with my thoughts and not sure what to do with myself…

My husband took our kids to his Mother’s for a visit..an overnight.

It was a gift to me…something I am always wishing for, or complaining that I never have time to myself, to do what I want, whenever I want…

Well, my wish came true. I had almost two whole days alone to do whatever I wanted.

I admit, I sat here, in front of the t.v. thinking that was what I really wanted, even though I had requested this time alone to “get stuff done” around the house.

I sat in front the t.v. wasting an hour of my time thinking that was one thing I never get to do…watch whatever I want. I zoned out like a moron, not finding anything remotely enjoyable to satisfy the need for something other than cartoons and cooking shows.

So I got motivated…I cleaned out closets and did laundry, and dusted…I was very productive for hours...then went to dinner with some family and really enjoyed myself…I didn’t have to take anyone to the bathroom at the restaurant or cut someone else’s food or be interrupted in my conversations. It was enjoyable.

Until I fell sound asleep, thanks to a few cocktails and a full belly and lots of cleaning all afternoon…I knew I would sleep well.

Or so I had hoped.

I woke at three a.m., heart racing feeling dizzy and confused. Why was I sleeping on the sofa? Where was everyone? I realized I was alone.

Just me.

I thought of every happy thought I could bring to mind…put on a bad sitcom…checked in on my blog to see my stats rising after having it re-blogged for the first time…

Nothing would shake it.

Anxiety…panic…whatever you want to call it…it wasn’t leaving.

It makes me jittery now just remembering how freaked out and bad my anxiety got.

I am terrified to be alone.

I used to live alone for a few years, and I loved it. That was pre-marriage and pre-kids…but still…I did it before, so why can’t I do it now? Why cant I enjoy it like I did then? Because someday in the future, all the kids will be gone-off to explore themselves create their own lives.

and I will have my husband, but there will be times when I will be alone again…and that causes me even more anxiety to think I may hate it or fear it.

This is who I am now, I guess…so deal with it…buck up woman!

But I don’t want anxiety…I want to feel peaceful and calm and enjoy life…

Maybe I need to do it more often so it isn’t such a scary thing…but for now…

I survived the night…I am very tired and rattled today, but thankful that my family returns today and will have a full house again…

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Until we meet again, Anxiety.

The Lighthouse Keeper.

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The Lighthouse Keeper.

He climbed 228 stairs each week to the top of our State’s tallest lighthouse.

He volunteered for every board that would have him to help the sick, needy and poor.

He traveled around the globe countless times, in search of adventure and curiosty of this beautiful world we live in.

He worked hard to raise money to make hospitals better and YMCA’s state of the art.

He cherishes life.                     He cherishes family.

He devoted his life to his wife, in good times and bad, sickness and health.

He watched his children grow into successful loving and caring adults.

He adored his grandchildren…all six of them.

He is with us now, in spirit…holding on, fighting his hardest battle…not just for all of us, but most importantly for himself.

He wasn’t ready to go yet…he had so much life he wanted to live.

He is still loving us and proud…has told us so for all the accomplishments we have had as a family…

And for himself.


He wasted no time. He is a man who lived every second of his life waiting for the next adventure…his favorite fishing trip to Nantucket with his son and old friends, birthday parties and recitals for his granchildren, and holidays to share with family and friends…always ready to create more memories…

He is a quiet man. But has a lot to say…eager to share all his knowledge of business, travel, life with anyone who will listen.

He always has a smile and an open heart for anyone he greets…

He is our lighthouse keeper now...

He is lighting the path ahead. He will give us a gentle nudge when we think we can bare no more. He will make us climb those 228 stairs when we feel we cannot even get out of bed with heavy hearts.

He will give us strength to move on.

He will be at the top of the lighthouse looking out upon the sea, waiting for us to join him someday…

 And as we sit beside him now waiting for him to reach the top of the lighthouse,  we have comfort knowing he will guide us safely on our journeys…

For he will have the best view.

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Saying Hello.

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Saying Hello.

Well…it has happened.

The waterworks are on full blast. This will make things complicated as I type this…and even more difficult if the tears don’t stop as I help my firstborn back her things.

She is leaving us tomorrow for college. It isn’t a typical college, so she is going with a little time off here and there, but gone for a solid eighteen months…if not longer.

Longer as in not ever coming home to live with us again.

Sure, she will visit…she will maybe even stay for a few weeks if we are lucky.

But I know this young woman pretty well, and her wings are open and ready to soar…

She won’t be coming back to our nest.

My baby bird is leaving us…forever.

Today will be my final day of her being silly and loud and coming down in her pj’s with wild hair, and sitting quietly on the sofa curled up in a ball, as she adjusts to waking up.  She will come over to me eventually and wrap her arms around me and say “good morning, Mommy”…she still calls me Mommy…and I am ok with that.

This will be her last day with us a resident in our home…she will always call this place home…but she cannot wait to make a home of her own. I know in my bones that when she is finished college, she may choose to continue with school, but I am pretty certain she will be looking for her own nest to start building.

Her own life.

She has wanted this since as far back as I can remember. To live in the city, and soak up all things fashion, art, theater, and fine dining…to be independent and full of life.

I already know who she is…and she IS that girl.

She will embrace this opportunity with full force…she will make her dreams come true.

We believe in her.

And we will forever be here to love her and support her…there will be bumps in the road, and maybe even a change of course in her plans for the future…we will be here through the good and the bad…always.

So this may be written on a tear stained keyboard, but they are happy tears. My firstborn IS leaving us today, and tomorrow will be one of the hardest days of our lives…but exciting too.

I will not say goodbye to her…

I will say hello.

Hello to this vibrant, fun, talented, motivated young woman who is beginning to write Chapter One of her story…

And I cannot wait to read it.

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Short & Sweet.

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Short & Sweet.

 That’s me…short and sweet! 

I am actually referring to this blog right now, as I struggled with my last draft, and even went back to seven other drafts to try to post something, but they too will probably hide forever in my drafts…

I don’t know what to write and have had little to no time to write anything other than a quick grocery list.

Life has been changing very fast in the past few months around here.

If I haven’t said it before, I will say it now...I am overwhelmed...in some ways good, and other ways bad…

I would say I will try to be optimistic and that I love my life, even as it moves at light speed right now…

But I cannot.

I am not having a “stop and smell the roses” kind of life right now.

I will not bore anyone reading this with the endless list of things making it crazy right now…because I know everyone faces challenges, and is overwhelmed and tired…even sad.

I can ask you for advice, and words of comfort, but if you are as busy and frustrated as me, will you have time for an honest answer?

I don’t know if I would…

So I will stick with this for an attempt at humoring myself…

I am short…five foot four inches to be exact.

I am sweet as well…when I can manage it.

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I will be back hopefully, with at least 400-500 words someday soon to make myself laugh, or even you…or vent about life as we all know it.

Miss this…