April 15th is another date on the calendar of our lives


I hear it everywhere, April 15th is a hard day…. I don’t know if I will make it.

Whether it’s taxes due, another day, or a day that is marked in your life – good or bad – it is also just another date in the calendar of our lives.

So my taxes are done – I felt like I should seriously shout that from the rooftops, however the getting up and down part aren’t as easy as it once was! For me, it’s just tedious and irritating but a necessary evil! But I did it! I rock! HA!

Today is also a weird “anniversary” if you will for me. I was married to someone I truly loved. They will always be a part of who I have become, but I realized this year that it’s been 13 years and our divorce was finalized on April 15th. It’s not a date I celebrate or openly acknowledge most of the time. But I realized it’s part of the fabric of who I am.

If not, please find a way to relax this evening! Everyone needs to relax a bit and everyone forgets!

I plan to hang with the boy!

So today, I hope your day is beautiful, peaceful and stress free.

Keep Hope Alive!

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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.

 

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!

 

I love my rocks


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Oh how much joy I get from a “rock”!

Rocks, quartz, crystals I get excited!

I am aware I am a bit of a nerd and I am okay with that.

I realized this has passed to the boy and it is something beautiful to behold to me.

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I have a rule of no sticks in the house. Unless it is something truly special, do not bring a stick up in my house! Swords, canes, staff and walking sticks: these are fine.

Bring a cool looking rock, quartz or crystal and I’m all “well bring it in and let’s look at it!” Pure amusement and delight for hours.

Recently we were gifted with a beautiful Crystal, the boy’s says it’s The Crystal. I had not even pulled it out of the wrapping he exclaims, “ohmygosh mommy it’s The Crystal!!!” He had zero idea I even had it or that it had been given to us. He just knew.

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It’s like the rock calls to us. You can feel the buzz when it touches your hand.

You can feel the oneness with the earth so solid and tangible that you can just feel the connections.

I know I am a freak but I am not alone. There are others like me including my own offspring who share the same love as I do. I am not alone!

Keep hope alive!

 

 

 

 

Raw expectations and perspective


We all have expectations of some degree or another.

Many of us want/wish things would go smoothly and according to plans. If you have been on the planet any length of time you learn that is not the way that it is.

I know that money can buy many things, even make you happy for a time… did you know you can hire someone to hold your umbrella, your place in line and even carry a child for you?

What it can’t buy is true feelings of happiness deep down in your soul.

So many times we place far too much value on material items. We place expectations of our happiness on material things or things that are so far out of our reach but we are taught to reach for the stars. We forget about the lesson of what happens when we do not get what we want.

I often see people going through the motions of happiness but they are not truly happy. Maybe they are happy in some ways but not fully at peace with who they are. They feel they need more “stuff”. Maybe it isn’t the “stuff” that they need but the intangible peace that can only come from within.

I know sometimes if I get too comfortable in my own skin it becomes uncomfortable and I search for ways to stretch my creativity and my mind. I need more, but it isn’t always about material gain. If that is a by-product of the changes I choose then I consider that a bonus. I obviously have to maintain a certain criteria in order to take care of myself and the boy.

I know that there are so many times I feel that I fail to meet the expectations of others. As well as the expectations I set for myself. I feel like I can be too stubborn, too strict, too hard, too blunt, too much of all the things I should ease up on. Then I argue with myself on if not me, who will? It can become a quiet hell in my mind. On the outside, I actually appear sane and having it together. Inside it is like Armageddon and the end of the world as I know it.

The need to do good and what is right is never in question. It’s the road to getting there that can get narrow and long. It’s going about it my way when others have their perceptions of how I should be doing it. Not that there is always something wrong with their way or that I can’t see the benefits and may even incorporate all or some of their suggestions. It is when I chose what I feel is best for me and mine and I am chastised like a child or someone tries to put me down because “they know what’s best”. Maybe they do know what’s best, but I can guarantee that that don’t know what is best for me.

One of my favorite lines is “finding my way lost.” I heard the term and wrote on the line into my poems over 20 years ago. It still resonates within me all these many years later. When I first wrote on it I was in my early 20’s. I had certain perceptions of how life “should” be and how I could make it into how I thought I wanted it to work. I was so far off the mark as to how things should be and what paths I needed to take to get there. However, in taking that detour in my life, it broadened my perspective of not only me, but the wider world.

Sometimes life moves so very fast, it’s like it goes in slow motion for a short while and it is back on the train to crazy town. Your dreams either happen, change forms, or are tweaked to reflect your inner changes. Sometimes you aren’t able to achieve certain dreams. You can let that define how you go forward by wallowing in your own self-pity (been there). Try moving forward in a new direction. I’m not necessarily sure it’s the direction you need to be going but it needs to feel right. I recommend this one over the self-pity. Not that self-pity doesn’t have its moments but that is all, for me, that it needs to be is moments. I can’t get caught up repeating the same thing over and over for years and not getting anywhere close to where I want to be.

I dreamed of a family. Not only the family I was born into, but a larger, happier, crazier family mixed with both the biological and those who chose to join me on this journey. I dreamed of children, a partner to share it with, and always, those I deem famriends – friends that are family.

My famriend family is amazing. I have those I have a DNA link to as well as the other amazing humans that I have met on this incredible journey of life. People I will have in my life in some form or another until the end of this life’s journey.

I was blessed with one amazing miracle that chose me to be his mama. I was also blessed with several “nieces and nephews” prior to the boy’s arrival to help prepare me for when the time was right.

Not every part of my dream was like I expected it to be. Sometimes it was more than I could take and pain, despair, depression and misery took over. They occasionally make their appearance but I now know how to deal with them.

The best part is that I am still here, writing my story with every breath I take. I am responsible for loving and showing another human being how to start their own journey. I hope to be with him for many years but I know that whatever time I have with him, he will always know what love is and he knows how to find happiness. I pray I have the time to teach him how to nurture that and help him grow into the young man he will hopefully become.

We never know what tomorrow brings, so try and share yourself with those you love while you have the change.

Look at life from a different perspective. Step out of your comfort zone, if only a little bit. Take a chance and live! Share the joy, compassion and love with the world. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all just made the effort to try to be kinder, more patient and understanding every day?!

These are the raw thoughts that have been on my mind. These are the things that keep me going. These things and of course, the amazing people that I share my life with.

Keep Hope Alive!

 

Stop the train, I think I want to get off….


That moment when you are at your wits end and you call your sister and say, “Go out to the pen, grab a chicken, a rooster, whatever you have most of and sacrifice that critter and chant for things to get gooder!” Yeah, I totally had one of those moments.

Times like that is where 80’s movies and song quotes come to mind. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller. That’s the first one that popped in the old noggin’. Maybe being of the MTV and a Gen X’er play into that. Who knows?! And really, do I care? Eh, maybe not so much. I mean I can’t even place artist and songs together unless we go way back and even then I may know the entire song but not who sang it much less wrote it!

never know how strong u r until its only choice

By the way, the sacrifice thingy worked, at least for the one issue I had which involved an early start to my morning by at least an hour. And anyone who really knows me knows I am Not an early morning person unless I went to bed really early. I’m more of a night owl. Lately I am just a need more sleep-in-love-with-my-bed-and-think-about-it-far-too-often kind of owl. Human. Whatever!

This week has been a real hum-dinger! I am hoping and praying for a better today and a fabulous weekend. Life is what you make of it. Life may be tossing zingers at me, but I am truly working hard to handle it with class. Sometimes there just are no words. You have to just trust in what is there and believe in yourself. No matter how hard it gets, you know you can get through it. Maybe a little more worn than you had thought, but you make it through.

For me I learned when I had the boy that I can’t let those zingers drag me down for too long. I can wallow in it and I can ask why, but I also have to be present for him. I have to function for him and I want to. Gone are the days of me being able to stay in my pajamas for the weekend or when I come home from work. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sometimes let go

The whole single parenting thing can be very daunting at times. Even if you co-parent well, it doesn’t make other things just easy. If you don’t co-parent well and you have other issues, it can be even worse. I am just blessed to be a parent at all. I am just thankful he is so open and understanding with me. He talks to me about anything and he’s only 5. He tells me he knows he can talk to me about whatever he needs and I won’t get too mad or upset.

I do screw up, pretty much weekly, but I know I am doing something right. I know that my greatest contribution to this world isn’t the words that I write but the human I teach to go out into the world. Love. Hope. Compassion. Understanding. Questioning. Patience. Faith. Trust. All of those things as well as teaching him how some other people hate, and sometime for no reason than that was how they were taught. Heady stuff.

The best part is that he makes life more bearable when things are rough. He loves me unconditionally. That and I now know my sister will do the bird sacrifice for me make all right in my world!

Happy Friday Eve! Keep Hope Alive!!!

thrs is friday eve