Tag Archives: family

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… 😉

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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…

 

Selfish.

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Selfish.

I would like to be selfish.

I want to sleep in till seven…or eight. I want to sit in peace and quiet and sip my coffee.

I want to figure out where to begin my day…do I put on yoga pants and take a class, or go for a long walk?

I want to say no to the class, and get myself dolled up and go shopping and get my nails done if I so choose.

Or maybe take out my painting clothes, and go get dirty out back and be creative on a piece of furniture.

I want to be selfish.

I want to not worry about making lunches or what’s for dinner, or laundry that needs to be done and folded and put away.

I want to not worry about dusting or vacuuming or dirty bathrooms.

I want  to not worry who has what activity after school and how I will pick everyone up on time.

I want to not worry about college kids that need supplies packed up, rides back to campus, and more spending money.

I want to not worry about late night phone calls or texts from a homesick college student who misses us desperately.

I want to not wake up ten times during the night by little ones coming in to sleep in my bed, then kicking me through the night.

If only…

Well, I am allowed to be selfish…today.

I have been granted that wish today…

My Mother-in-law has come to my aid.

I have another week of 24/7 parenting until my husband returns home. I am told to go do whatever I want…all day. And yet I have no clue what to do with myself…and no desire to be that jerk I talk about above…my selfish lists are thoughts tucked away in my brain of all these little things that annoy me on a daily basis-that make me want to be this obnoxious uncaring person. They are just wishful thinking when I cannot deal for another second with countless lists of mundane tasks day in and day out.

 I know others have it way worse, but I am an overwhelmed mother of five sick kids with pneumonia-all healed or healing, with countless doctor visits, and charts of who gets what medicine/breathing treatments and how and when I can get everyone back to school and activities and healthy again…on top of the meals and laundry and dishes…I am officially overwhelmed.

So I am being selfish today for a little bit.

I will take these few hours to vent  on this blog, and go wander aimlessly around a store, and maybe even buy something for myself…but that’s about it.

I have definitely lost myself in life and all that goes with it. I crave knowledge and being creative again.

But I don’t really and truly want to be that selfish woman. I will never be that woman…other than the one who puts on her painting clothes and goes out back with paint and sander in hand. Or write a blog about everyday boring life events…that is me.  

My time will come someday soon to have all day to do whatever I want, and the kids won’t need me as much and there will be fewer messes to clean…so I will take these few hours today to be a little selfish, to reflect on my tough days to appreciate the good ones, and remember how precious these days are with my growing family, as overwhelming as they can be…

This is my life.

I will be selfish…just for today.

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…

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.

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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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…

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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