Tag Archives: fear

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

 

 

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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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.

A Few Good Men.

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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 from a dark and confused young woman, into a frazzled and loving mother and wife.

They have listened to me cry, and fight and whine and suffer.

They have hugged me and loved me even when they thought I was wrong.

There may be distance between us now…but only in miles, not feelings.

I love them with all of my heart for loving me, and my husband and my family unconditionally.

They are good, good solid men.

They have been hurt, but continued to stand tall. They have loved and lost, but still stand strong in their hearts…

I will love these men till the day I die…

My little guy has a handful of amazing role models and some big shoes to fill…but he can do it…

He is learning well.

Fear.

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Fear.

We all have a little of it. Or if you are anything like me, a lot.

I am afraid of everything.  Spiders, flying, heights, death…

Nothing too out of the ordinary in the fear department,  but enough to leave my nerves raw at times.

I get it...when I am outside, that is a spider’s home so they will forever exist…as long as they are outside. I didn’t invite them for a visit or even to dinner…so amscray!

Flying I have been told is safer than driving…not sure I buy that one in this day and age of missing aircrafts and terrorism, but from a safety standpoint,  fine. And associating turbulence with a bumpy road in a car helps calm my nerves…sometimes.

The heights thing…well this one is just plain annoying/gut-wrenching/knee-shaking fear. I’m embarrassed to admit the second floor in the mall terrifies me. My kids are gently warned to stay away from the railing(probably more because if they had a problem over there, I would not be able to help) and just leave Mama be…nonchalantly hugging the windows and walls as we slowly make our way to a destination.

Death.  Well, the other fears just look ridiculous when comparing them to this one.

Death freaks me out more now as a mother and wife than ever before.

I fear getting sick and leaving my children too soon. I fear my husband getting sick and leaving me jobless and with a house full of kids and broken hearts.

I fear accidents that could alter our world in any given moment to any of our loved ones or even myself.

I fear loss...loss of a loved one so dear.

I have lost many loved ones…and it never gets easier. Never.

But losing someone or thinking it could be me or my husband, is just simply unbearable.

My fears, I am learning (even as I write this), are based on lack of control…I don’t know how to fly a plane, or keep bugs away, or stop my head from spinning when I get up too high.

I can conquer them in one way…

Never fly again. Squash every spider that enters my house. Never go to the second floor in the mall again.

I could maybe even conquer my fear of death…do not allow myself to love or get close to anyone, for fear of losing them. To give up on my health and do whatever I want, eat whatever I want and just stop worrying about it all…

Become numb to everything around me.

It is possible…

I may not be a scaredy cat anymore by becoming numb, but I will be all alone…

With lots of memories…

Like the countless times of running scared when seeing a spider in my house and my kids running in circles around me, laughing as I climb up on a sofa to get away from that tiny little bugger…

Or of when I would have to stop and grab onto a wall like Spiderman in the mall as panic sets in (looking like a complete weirdo), glaring at my husband and kids who were trying to be supportive and steer clear of me, but not hiding their giggles as they watch my discreet web-slinging action along the windows of countless storefronts.

Or maybe even forget about all the amazing trips we took together as a family, exploring the world together, or even flying yet again last week (after years of mentally blocking out the possibility of ever flying again) and meeting the most inspiring woman I could ever imagine sitting next to on a plane…

Trying to forget all these strange yet beautiful memories shared with my loved ones…

I could do all of that and let fear control me…and it might actually work…

Or even worse…

Waste more precious time being afraid…

Instead of realizing I should have just lived.

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