Dear Daddy – 3 years later


Dear Daddy,

Three years can seem like just yesterday and also like a lifetime.

Today I plan to take your oldest grandson to school (I can’t believe he’s in kindergarten!), then off to work along with random errands tossed in. A somewhat normal sounding day, although I know, life changes in an instant.

You would be so proud of your grandson! Both of them! The Boy and Little H. Although he didn’t have the joy of meeting you, Little H knows about you. Through The Boy of course and our family, you were our rock.

Little H was born less than 2 months after you passed. A bundle of light in our sea of grief. You knew of him. I remember when they told you his name, Little bro and Sweet Sis were so excited. We were all so over the moon and the tears of love and happiness were only overshadowed knowing our time with you was short.

I over hear The Boy telling Little H stories about you. You have made it to super hero status in the eyes of your grandsons. You were always a superhero to me. The boy includes you in his nightly prayers, “God Bless GiGi and Pops”. Every time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014 was a crisp cool day. I knew we would have company, you were loved and admired by so many.

I got up and came downstairs with mama. Seeing you, I knew. I knew that I couldn’t know the time but I knew your journey here was nearly over. It was surreal. As I helped you get ready, I whispered words of encouragement and love. One of the many ways you always gave to me I was able to give back to you. You didn’t talk as much as your strength was waning, your body tired and sore from a long, hard fought battle. But you were at peace with this world and with God. You held onto my arm, your grip was firm. I remember because earlier you had apologized for not having as much strength… you looked into my eyes and told me You Love Me. Oh, Daddy, I love you too! I wish I had more time with you!

I went to the store three times that day. I went early to get some medicines and supplies we needed. I didn’t get the rest done until much later that day. The second time I went I had just gotten out of the car when Sweet Sis called me and said, “Come home now.” The lady next to me in the parking lot was declaring what a beautiful day it was. My expression had changed from smiling to panic, I guess. I just said, “I have to go. My daddy” and jumped in the car. I did hear her say, “Be safe and my prayer are with you child.”

It is only about 5 miles but I was home before I realized it. I’m pretty sure I may have broken a traffic law or two. Sweet Sis met me in the garage, opened the door and said, “Go”, with her eyes filled with tears of love and sorrow. I raced through the house, passing The Boy and Auntie, I knew she knew and said “I love you both!” A few steps later, I joined mama, Little Bro, Uncle and the rest of the family came in as we surrounded you at your bedside. A couple of friends who had come by to say their goodbyes to a great man who I called Daddy were also in the room.

We were all right there with you as you took your last earthly breath.

Time stopped.

As the tears ran down my face, I looked at mama and little bro…I could hear Uncle praying. I felt your arm beneath my hands and you were still warm.

There but yet not there.

As I raised my face up, the tears blurring my vision and cries choking my words, I saw and felt this beautiful, warm sunshine hazy mist. It was all around us, enveloping us almost.

I realized it was you. Comforting us. Helping us to find a peace within our grief as it was so overwhelming.

You were no longer feeling the pain and suffering of the disease that had held you for too long. You were free! Free in ways we can only imagine. As I felt my deepest, most painful loss, I saw and felt your love around us.

I sometimes find it so hard to remember that. Selfishly, I want you here. I Need you, Daddy. I need your advice, your guidance, but mostly, I just need to feel your arms around me because no matter what I know that you love me. I was always safe in your arms from the time I started my journey. I always knew my Daddy would protect me.

As you say, life does go on. It is definitely not always easy. Lately, it has been pretty challenging and I find myself talking to you more.

I am beginning to understand that maybe I know some of the steps I need to take – actions not always words! I also know I miss you more than I knew it was possible to miss someone. Someone who was ALWAYS there for me and truly loved me unconditionally when I know I was tough to even like at times. You always told me I was harder on myself than everyone else was. Sometimes you said I needed to be. Other times, I need to lay off myself. The second part isn’t always so easy for me as you know.

I know that I will get through this day. If I am blessed, I will live to see tomorrow and another day with my miracle boy. I have a loving family, a boyfriend and his son who I know love me, as well as an amazing group of friends who are like family…you know how we somewhat adopt folks and keep them for life! Most you’ve met, some I wish you could meet. I still always Keep Hope Alive!

I just couldn’t let today go by without writing you a letter. It’s probably better than sitting at the gravesite rambling away, laughing and crying! I will probably do that too, at least not too many will hopefully not see that part!

I am so thankful that I had you as my father. I know I was truly blessed.

I love you, Daddy.

Always.

 

Happy Birthday to my little brother and Happy Father’s Day to all the true fathers


I know it’s been a while since I posted anything, however I realized I could not pass up the opportunity to wish my “baby” brother a very fabulous 42nd birthday. Lil bro, I hope you get all of the answers to the universe! You deserve it. I know I don’t tell you enough, but I am so proud of you and I truly love you so much. I know there were times when we wanted to take each other out, but I am so glad we have not only grown closer, but genuinely enjoy each other’s company. You are a man I know daddy would be proud of. I love you my brother! You are also a fabulous dad. I know you had the best example of a father. I know we both miss him more than most people know. He’s the one who showed us how to treat others and to be a man among me. We were blessed/lucky and so fortunate to have him as our father.

I know many fathers. Some aren’t so good, some are good and others are out of this world. Every one of them are human. I know moms that are both mom and dad. I know single fathers who are both dad and mom. These amazing humans who give for their children, and children who are not even “biologically” theirs, day after day because they want to, not because they have to. They aren’t fair weather parents, they are hard core, full on dads.

My complete and utter respect of all of those fathers. May you all have an excellent Father’s Day! Whether you are with your child or not, know there are those of us who are rooting for you and thank you for being a father and actually caring.

I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous day!

This Fabulously Graceless crazy mama is going spend the day with an amazing father and hopefully make his day a little better for all that he does for his son.

I’m wishing my brother, uncle, friends and family the best of Father’s Day!

Keep Hope Alive!

It’s been a Year…and I will not stop!


One year ago today I started writing FabulousGracelessness not having any clue as to what I was doing. I am still not completely sure but I know I am now a blogger! I love to write, I love a challenge and I did the unthinkable for me at the time… I started writing a blog and posting every day. I promised myself I would write daily for 365 days in a row. I could write more if I wanted, but I could not write any less. Sometimes it was easy and other times it was definitely not.

Today I have reached my one year milestone of daily blogging!

I look and I see the amazing progress I have made.

I actually have over 50 followers!

It’s mind boggling to me that a bit over 50 people are interested enough in my babblings to “follow” me! It’s also a bit scary because hello?! Following me can be dangerous!

I do know I will never stop writing. I can’t. It is a part of me. I know that I if I don’t write, I will wither in my soul.

I don’t think I will write daily. I will write often but I am not sure if I am down for pushing myself that hard. It’s like taking a break, but not. I am hoping to be able to focus more on writing other things. Things that may pay me for a change and not .5 cents a word!

Also, since I started blogging so many things in my life have changed, some in ways I was not expecting. I wasn’t working full time and I was dedicating my time to writing, household and family. It was harder than I thought it would be especially after I started working, first part-time and then full time. Some days it felt like a chore, and I never want that feeling about my personal blog because I enjoy writing and I would prefer to write my thoughts/opinions/observations/ideas & feelings here and there than just writing that is hit and miss daily. In this realm I am in charge and it feels good to know where I stand and where I need to be in my own self.

I know I have learned that I have an endless well of thoughts, feelings and information stored within me. I pull from that to try and form coherent thoughts, feeling and ideas with folks. I read, learn, talk, share and listen with others. Life offers so much if we just pay attention.

I think that is one of the many things I have learned through my writing… to be more creative, to observe and think on what I see. I try to write what I hear, feel and see. Sometimes I try to be objective but other times I write solely from my perspective.

I’ve learned that it sets me free to write. Words have power. Words communicate thoughts and feelings that are often unsaid.

I thought I would have some insight into writing and the blogging world. The truth is I am still learning. I know that blogging is helping me become a better human because it gives me an outlet to put my words out there. I may not always be able to articulate things. I may sometimes write rubbish and nonsense. The thing is, I write it, not anyone else. No ghost writer or guest blogger, still learning what that is for the record, just Fabulously Graceless me.

Now I see FabulousGracelessness as being my platform to keep putting my thoughts and views into the world. Only this time, I am not placing such a harsh schedule on myself! I know I can do it! After all, I have done it daily for a year.

I am pretty proud of myself!

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog!

I will be back soon with more tales of my crazy life!

Keeping hope alive for an even better second year!

I will not be going quietly into anything!

KEEP HOPE ALIVE!

DREAMS DO COME TRUE!

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Things that matter to me


Things that really matter to me

My son

My family… well most of them, some of them are quite crazy

My friends who are always there no matter what

My boyfriend and his awesome son

My job because I love taking care of others even when it makes me crazy

My health so I can do all the things I need to do, not just what I want to do

Having a roof over the boy’s head

Making sure the boy is cared for and knows that he is LOVED

Making sure those I love Know that I love them for who they are, not what they can do for me

Writing… I always knew and writing my blog confirmed for me it is something that makes me feel whole

Being kind to others, because sometimes you may be the only person who is nice to someone and it can make a difference

Having food to fuel my body and soul

Always having hope because hope leads to happiness which leads to love which gives you the ability to get through the storms in life knowing that you have hope, you’ll find happiness and life is so much better with love

Keep hope alive

Caverns and butterflies


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This past weekend I enjoyed visiting one of the oldest caverns in the United States right here in sweet home Alabama.

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I went with my boyfriend and our sons, a total of 4 of us trekking on an adventure. Naturally I am out-gendered, however I know how to run with the boys and even impress with my ability to keep up… in a few instances be in the lead and one moment, questioning my sanity, riding with the boy on a flip you upside down ride. I was actually proud of myself as I didn’t say any crude words just closed my eyes and laughed hysterically. I’m just thankful my man didn’t photograph or video that! Leave it to my 5 year old to want to ride that!

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Neither of us adults had been there in over 20 years. We learned that they had moved the main entrance; stairs are a liability, and also closed part of the cavern due to flooding. I think it made us both feel better because neither of us remembered going in the way we did. I thought I remembered a lot of stairs too. It’s kind of sad they had to close it off but it was still as awe inspiring and fun as it was when we were kids.

They’ve added a mini movie and a laser light show. Although amusing, the light show was kind of cheesy but still fun.

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We did get some awesome photos of the cavern, the scenery outside and of course ones with the kids being kids. His phone is newer than mine so the photos were better but we laughed at the photos we took of the same things from similar angles. It makes me want a camera or a better phone!

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We also visited the beautiful butterfly house. We went towards the end of the day so there weren’t too many people in there at all but the four of us and what seemed like a hundred butterflies. It was so beautiful. Sometimes it is nice to just observe the beauty.

Sometimes you need to just get out and go. Don’t worry so much about all the “chores” that need to be done because they will eventually get done. You don’t always get that chance to just enjoy the beauty in our natural surroundings. Take it when and while you can.

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Keep hope alive!

 

Barely closer to the weekend and closer to my one year mark


One day closer into the week by a gnat’s hair.

I am also on the downward slide of writing daily for an entire year.

365 days in a row.

I’ve written more than once a day at times, but I made a promise to myself I would write daily. So far, I have stuck to it. It is not easy, but then I never thought I would be able to start a blog, much less be able to put something out daily. I know some days have really sucked content wise but other days, I feel like I put my all into it. It has been hard but it has been worth it!

I have learned more about myself and how people close to you react when you write publicly. That has been worth writing about for both recent and future content!

I have had some people that have stayed with me and others who are no longer in my life. I have lost friends and family in this past year. I have loved and lost and loved again. I am in love now and it is a beautiful thing.

Life has happened.

Life keeps happening.

So on this beautiful Tuesday, I wish you all Hope for a fabulous day!

Always Keep Hope Alive!

You never know what’s going to happen next… Live!

 

Fabulous hope for a new week


I’m hoping this week starts out fabulous!

It’s a brand new week and I know that it is going to be what I make of it so I am choosing Fabulous!

There is so much to be thankful for in life.

I have plenty of regrets and what ifs, but I can’t continuously dwell on all of my shortcomings. I know them all. Much better than those who can so effortlessly point them out to me!

So for those who chose to point out the negatives, just please go! No time for you today!

Life is happening, goals to accomplish, lists to cross off… I pray that it is not too maotic and that good things really do happen.

Keep hope alive!!!

 

I see, I feel, I find


I see beauty in the everyday things

My son’s sleepy smile

The purple sky photo

The rocks in the yard

The flowers starting to bud

The sun streaming through the window

Her laughter through the maos

The smile on his face

I feel love in the little things

A touch

A smile

A tear

I find myself in these things in life

 

Those end of year school programs… bring your own meds


May seems the month we have more end-of-year functions for kids as I am learning. End of year programs, festivals, carnivals and graduations are weekly around these parts.

Children now graduate from Pre-K. And as I am learning, it is apparently a big deal. There is a presentation with brochure and everything. The boy has a role in the program and I am highly amused and slightly concerned! His other end-of-year programs are group things but this is the first time the boy will be one of two kids performing, and reading at that! Of course I am so proud and to be honest, I was kind of shocked. I communicate regularly with his teacher and we discuss his strong areas and what we need to work on, etc. but she didn’t mention this as she knew I would be happy! We are close. She knows I know there are rules but if he gets out of line she has my permission to treat him as her own and put him back into the line or out of the game all together! Of course, this is only Pre-K not “real school” per se.

And today we are at yet another end of year program which is his second for this “extra-curricular” activity in which he learns all kinds of fun skills, coordination, language, arts, working solo and as a part of a team. It’s a cool little deal and his second and last year to do it. He gets to perform and also will get a trophy. He loves the teacher and the kids so it’s worth it. Plus, I admit it’s quite entertaining to see around 40 kids between 4-6 dancing and performing! There are always a few who sit down and just stare… the boy did that on his first performance! Once he goes to “big school” a.k.a kindergarten they no longer offer this program. I am sure there will be “cooler” and probably more costly options though!

So to anyone attending one of these functions, I wish you the best of luck and sanity! As for me, I’ll be the mom volunteering calmly, thanks to medications.

Just keep swimming and keep hope alive!

 

Beginning life outside the comfort zone


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I have been going through so many phases in my life with so many changes to both my personal and professional life recently. Most all of them are good, some are challenging and others I just don’t even know how to categorize. I know that I have felt more alert and acutely aware at times.

Because of all of this there are other times when I am totally wiped from trying to do so many things and cover so many bases. I don’t need to be dropping my basket again, folks would start talking. Wagging their tongues like they know me when the reality is they have no idea about me. They see me, look at me, access from their perspective and judge me when they don’t even speak to me but at me. Where is their basis for judgment when you don’t communicate?

I actually work to make my life better. I work for myself, my son and the people I love in my life. I work to make my job better and I don’t do it for the money, but for the love of helping others.

Yet I am judged. I am no saint. I have made plenty of mistakes. I also know that if I don’t try things, I will never find full inner peace. I can’t go through life without living it. There will be bumps, dings and sometimes even big blow ups through this journey.

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But I have to do it my way, on my terms, with the people I chose and not who someone else thinks I need to be doing their way. Last time I checked I am an adult, albeit one who sometimes wishes I could lay off the adulting at times, I still do all of my “adult chores.” I am also mommy to a small boy who counts on me… that’s responsibility. He is healthy and happy and has always had consistency with me. Sure we’ve had adventures and had really challenging things happen to us, but he has come through those challenges stronger, better and with his own quirky views and also compassionate and loving. He is also full speed ahead and a 5 year old boy who is curious, presses boundaries and is a human sponge. Life is never dull around him.

It is during these challenging times I find myself out of my comfort zone. During these outings, is where I find out more about myself and I realize I can’t let the judgment of others cloud what I need to do for me.

Step outside of your comfort zone for a bit. It’s good for you.

Keep Hope Alive!