Monday, November 30, 2009
I have many fun things to report and update on my blog, but with the joy comes pain. What kind of reporter would I be if I constantly sugar coated everything just to ensure that my readers didn't feel uncomfortable or upset?
When my Mom was sick it seemed as though the world was involved. Friends, pastors, teachers, neighbors, doctors, nurses, family, relatives, missionaries, politicians, people I hadn't seen in decades and people whom I'd never even met before. It was a frenzy of involvement within the confines of the bubble of protection that we had to create.
After my Mom passed away the world grew quiet. People tiptoed around and occasionally checked in. A few faithful people remained rocks that I could cling to, but overall, life carried on. After a month or so, the world decided that the grieving process had run it's course. Did they not know that THAT was actually when it all began? It was after the Memorial and the cards. After the meals and the calls. After the swarm of family and friends backed away and carried on with their own lives that the reality of living without a Mother set in.
It will never be the same.
I will never have another birthday card signed by my Mother.
I will never have a Mom that I can ask questions that a daughter needs her Mother for.
I am blessed to have women who have stepped in to fill this void. Blessed to have women that I can call from the grocery store to ask how many ounces are in a cup! I am lucky that way. And I know it. I realize it and am incredibly blessed by it.
Everything now has a first. Some are more difficult than others. Still the fact remains that there are very few who actually know what it feels like. A pain and loss that I wish on no one. For the most part the 'firsts' have been doable, and so I survive. Valentine's Day. St. Patricks Day. Mother's Day. Her birthday... Each have come and gone and with a breath and a prayer, I have (somehow) made it through.
Thanksgiving was a whole new ball game. Not so easy. My Mom made Holidays fun. Those who knew her know that it's true. Well, that's gone now. Now we each are left to carry on in our own ways but in a form that's a little more hazy. My sister has her boyfriend and his family. My Dad is moving on with his new 'lady-friend'. And there is me. Caught in the middle of childhood and adulthood. Temporarily living at home so that the family could regroup - and I could help pay bills.
Forced to stay in one place in order for everyone else to move on.
My Mom and I spent Thanksgivings together. Always. My Sister and Father always made the bird and the stuffing. My Mom and I made every side dish, every pie, set the table, made fun table settings...we did everything together. There are so many memories with her that even the thought of Thanksgiving caused my eyes to well up and my heart to begin to panic.
I wanted to close my eyes and wake up on Black Friday. Completely pass over Thanksgiving all together.
I pulled on the few people that I knew I could - to let them know that it was hard - that I couldn't breathe. And so Thanksgiving came and went. Laura at her boyfriend's. Me at home with my Dad. I told him I didn't want to make any sides. It was too much for me. Not this year. I told him I wouldn't do it. He has no clue. He doesn't deal with emotional things. He yelled upstairs for me 3 times to come downstairs and prepare fill-in-the-blank, as he went out to the porch to smoke.
I hate smoke.
Each time, I took a deep breathe and prayed as I walked into the kitchen to cut veggies, make dip, make the mashed potatoes, make the deviled eggs, etc. I wanted nothing to do with it yet was thrown into the deep end.
I sat at the junk covered table, alone. My Dad saw me, and came in from the living room where he always eats lounged in his chair. He squeezed in beside me. I couldn't believe it. He grabbed my hand and said grace. He never does that. He prayed and thanked God for the blessings that we have, even though there was 'an empty spot at the table.' She is now celebrating Thanksgiving with the Lord, but we miss her. He choked up. I cried. Not super hungry after that, I'll tell you that much. And we ate. In silence.
I packed up the leftovers, cleaned up the kitchen, and I missed my Mom.
Throughout the day I had friends checking in with me that reminded me of the love that I have. My life is changing. My world is changing. I am blessed to have a core group of women in my life that 'have my back' so to say. I felt loved and protected.
My birthday is coming up, and every day that passes I think of the fact that I will not open a card from my Mother. I will not have a mushy sentimental note of love, a reminder of someone being proud of me, to roll my eyes at and smile.
Christmas is coming and I can't even think about it. There will be no tree this year. No decorations. There will be no presents or Christmas pajamas. There will be no story read by Mom.
The truth is, we move on. I miss her more today than I did last week. I will never stop missing her. Holidays will get easier and a part of me is sad about that. So for now, I just want to remind you to cherish what you have. We all have our time to check out of this life. Value those around you. Tell them you love them, even if they drive you crazy. One person can have more of an affect on your life than you will ever know, until they are gone.
My Mom taught me that. I was blessed to have that relationship with her. I knew she loved me, through all my flaws. And she knew that I loved her and was afraid to face life without her but knew that I'd be alright. I'd survive.
I was with her till the end. And I know that someday I will see her again. Until that day, I will do the best I can with what I have left.
Posted by Miss Taken at 1:32 PM
Monday, November 16, 2009
"This whole time I thought my Step-Brother was a total doucher, but you're not a doucher." -Step Brothers
Okay, if there is one thing that gets me every time, it's douchers who think their vehicle is God's gift to man. As such, they park either; A.) Taking up 2-4 parking spaces - in order to assure/maintain a safe distance from the next parked car. Or B.) They park in the spot that is the farthest possible spot from the building or event.
Well, you know what Mr. Important Car? You're absolutely right.
Here I am, happy and blessed with whatever I have. Even if I had a brand new car, I'd take good care of it but I would understand that the inevitable is not really stoppable. Someone will spill in it. Someone will push a cart into it. You'll hit a curb and scuff the tires. A kid will kick their dirty shoes on the back of the seat. It will rain, eventually. In the land of the North, odds are that it will snow. Salt will probably come in contact with it at some point. And you know what? When you die, you probably won't be too concerned about the scratch you got while you were in the grocery store.
I mean, those WERE my thoughts, till Mr. Important Car showed me the way. You know what? You're right. So, my sister and I parked right by Mr. I.C. and we walked the extra 100 yards to the store.
I like to think that when he *finally* got all the way back out to his car after shopping, he stood there and looked at the 2 cars parked together. I'm sure he smiled and realized that his point was made and that he was showing people the best options possible. He probably shed a tear as he thought of the health benefits we'd reap from walking a littler further than we had initially planned. What a trend setter.
I'm sure he was thrilled to say the least.
Posted by Miss Taken at 1:59 PM
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Today I am a heck of a lot more ugly than usual. Ah, well! At least I smell good. Took a shower with my lovely Bath and Body Works shower gel and Aveda shampoo. Sounds like the start to a beautiful day, right? Well, you'd *think*. After that though I scrubbed my face, applied some lotion, got dressed, and left.
It is now about an hour later. My hair is looking like an 80's school teacher (frizzy, randomly curled, and large), no make-up - and I officially look like a beat-up, homeless, teenage boy - and to top it all off I'm fairly convinced that I am wearing Mom Jeans today. Sweet. At least they aren't tapered. But I tell ya, my butt looks terrible. Hello high pockets!
Maybe I watched too much "Growing Pains" as a child. Apparently Maggie Seaver was some sort of hidden role model to me. One that would surface just as my 30s crept up.
I need help! From the looks of it, I'm only a few shoulder pads away from becoming Angela Bower!
I am looking forward to 5:30. I already have planned out what I'm going to change in to. My jeans that are in the dryer right now and my nice new (big) dark green sweater. Ahhhh! Comfort.
Remember Hurricane Katrina? Wow. Dumb question. Did I think you were living under a rock or something? Anyway, did you all get to see the Red Cross telethon program? If not, it was great. Especially when Kanye West (seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pVTrnxCZaQ) made the decision NOT to read the teleprompter and instead to speak straight from his heart. I was lucky enough to catch this live on tv. One of many Kanye moments to come in the years ahead.
West made the claim, "George Bush doesn't care about black people".
It's been just over four years since Katrina devastated so many cities in the south. Four years and so much still needing to be rebuilt... Which reminds me, I really want to get to New Orleans in 2010. But, the point I'm actually trying to make is; Do you think it's possible that George Bush really DOESN'T care about black people?
So, I went to the source.
The Magic 8 Ball.
Heidi: "Magic 8 Ball. Does George Bush care about black people?"
Magic 8 Ball: "Definitely"
Man, Kanye West was wrong.
Thank you Magic 8 Ball.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I have an addiction. Or two. Or ten.
Yeah, I'm thinking that I have an addictive personality. Things very easy can hook me. When I'm hooked, I'm hooked. It's like a drug. When I catch a good show on DVD, I can watch the whole season in a week or less. One after the other. Then I get disappointed because I'm unable to view the current season because it's ON television and I don't have cable, therefore I'm forced to wait like a person suffering withdrawals from crack. I rock back in forth in the corner of my room repeating lines that I've memorized as I wait for the DVD masters to transform the show from the magic box into a silver disc which I then can insert into my television and view!!!! *gasps for air!*
*sigh* I'm currently waiting for this season of Dexter to come out.
I purchased my dream shoes today. Most of you know my addiction to shoes. Some of you will recall my month long blogging/challenge of wearing a different pair of shoes every single day for one month straight. Shoes. I love them. I love them and buy them. I love them, buy them and charish them. I love them, buy them, charish them, yet usually wear the same pair of skater shoes 7 days a week. I am incredibly odd like that. Suffice to say - here's what I bought:
They are so hot! I love them. Now I need to wear them.
After my victorious purchase of my zebra shoes, I went to Taco Bell. After eating there and being massively happy, I realized that I eat at Taco Bell more than anywhere else these days. Including at home. If Taco Bell Addicts Annonymous exists, they're soon to have another member...
Monday, November 9, 2009
I realized last week that I do far too much. I've always loved to fill my schedule. I find great joy in always "being there" for people - always being one that others can rely on. And therefore, I'm always the first to volunteer for things. The first to show up and the last to leave. But why?
Stay after to help clean? Of course!
Babysit my kids? Absolutely!
Transcribe this cd? Sure!
Help with Sunday School? Why not!?
Pick up so-and-so.
Make a meal.
Mail this out.
Drop this off.
Check on this.
Deal with that.
Spend time with this person...
It's overwhelming to say the least! Not always, but after this past weekend, I said ENOUGH! I actually cancelled out on one of my joys (leading Youth Group) just to find a chunk of time to relax between church and transcribing.
I drove to Racine. I went to Best Buy and trolled around. From there I wandered over to Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble. My love. I lost that love for awhile. But when I walked through those doors the smell of Starbucks and books flooded my senses and I felt peace. The world made sense again. I miss that. I miss losing myself in bookstores.
There has to be boundries in life. It's so hard for me to set them though. I'm the sort of person that actually physically feels pain when others are disappointed or miss out on something. Even if it in no way relates to me! It breaks my heart. It's weird.
It's incredible the amount of, well...GUILT!, that can be laid on people who are "single", to do things in life. The stereotype of "If you're single you have less responsibilities and more time to up and do whatever you want." is harmful. While, yes, that *can* be the case. It is not ALWAYS the case. And it's wrong to place guilt on a grouping of people as a whole, just because of a seemingly general rule.
I've had to handle more, as a single woman, in this past year than most of my married friends. And you know what, I don't get any of the benifits that people have by being joined to someone! Half the time I don't even have anyone to bounce things off of, let alone advise me, or truly understand what I'm carrying.
People seem to always look at the other and think it's better. If you're single you think married life will solve all of your problems. If you're married, you tell the single people in your life to enjoy their single years. Guess what? I'm a realist. Again, maybe why I'm not married! I know that it IS work. I have no rose coloured glasses telling me that it will be paradise. But you know what? I'm open to marraige. It's not like it's been completely up to me to stay this way! And those who are married have made the choices that they have. Why is there judgement either way? I really don't get it.
If you have 3 kids and cannot handle it - it's not my fault because I have more time on my hands. You made the choice to keep having children! You could have stopped. They are a blessing that so many people would treasure!
I guess my personal favorite is when married people tell me how great I am with children and babies. And maybe I should marry a man that has kids already (since clearly I'm old). Wow. Really? Thanks. I can't possibly tell you how depressing that is to me. I mean, I love kids, don't you think I'd want my OWN!? But, whatever!
Still creeping up on 30.
Still feeling like I'm 21.
Still getting commentary that makes me feel like I'm not doing enough and have failed at life because I'm single and old.
It's not as depressing as it sounds. But it definitely has it's moments. I think it affects me more when other single people tell me of things they are told or are said to/about them. Really, people?
I was with a single woman (a few years my elder) I knew her very well and knew that she had heartbreaking news years earlier that she may never be able to bare children. I was with her when a married woman (younger than her) remarked "Thank God YOU don't have any kids!" I could have punched this chick in the face. She still has no clue how hurtful her words were to this person.
Then my classic one years ago. A friend of mine got married and never wanted kids. In fact, she hated them. No lie. Then she started popping them out like a Pez dispenser and when our paths crossed she went on and on about how ironic it is that she hated kids and now she has them and loves them and wants loads more - and isn't it funny that you (being ME) have always been a 'kid' person and yet I don't have any? Isn't God awesome like that? ...uh....no you did NOT just say that to me. Did you?
In other news, back to Virginia I go. 11 days till I am there. Back at Kellerman's for a Patrick Swayze Memorial. This time I'm hoping to get in a lot more dancing, and hoping to prevent my best friend from getting drunk again. Waking up to a person puking for 45 minutes straight is not my idea of fun. At. All. Frankly getting drunk is not my idea of fun. I have way too much fun WITH all of my senses, so why dull any of them!?
Snail mail. I have failed. I owe so many people letters that it's not even funny. Allison, yours is in the mail today! I promise.