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Monday, July 21, 2014

The times they are a changin'.....


Last night I went to see the movie “Mom’s Night Out”…I wasn’t expecting much but I figured a couple of laughs would be a good thing.  I didn’t expect to be laughing and crying during the whole movie!  It really made me think!
One line that hit me most was when she said “All I ever wanted was to be a mom and a wife and I’m living my dream but I’m not happy”  See, that’s the thing—-that’s ALL I ever wanted and I was happy doing it when my kids were little (not the wife part but hey can’t have everything).  Yes I had days where I wanted to hide but for the most part that was exactly what I wanted.  I thrived in that environment, being a mommy and a caregiver—then those little buggers grew up.  And I had to face the fact that although my future plans included the four of us (me and my 3 kids) their futures awaited and only included me as a supporting role.  Crap.  Now what the hell do I do with my life?
I am proactive.   I’m a planner.  So, I planned.  I realized my marriage was NOT what I wanted forever and the thought of being with my ex husband after my kids were grown threw me into a panic that I knew wasn’t going to work  So, I got divorced.  That was not part of the plan.  Never in my thoughts did being divorced seem ok.  Being 2 years divorced I am happier than I have been in a looooonnnnnng time.  But every once in a while I look around and think wow it would be nice to share this with someone.  I have never been alone in my life, I’ve always had a man by my side—-this is a necessary time for me to grow, I get it.  Just a new kinda normal.
I moved to Arizona almost 10 years ago and never looked back.  I love it here.  I always felt such a comfort and peace here.  I came home from vacation in Florida last week and realized——I’m not sure I want to live here forever.  That shook me to my core—what is HAPPENING to me?  I thought, well I’m here for 2 more years until my son graduates high school and then who knows?  I always wanted my kids to have a childhood home that they would return to—-that got lost many years ago—but that’s okay.  It’s just a new kinda normal.
2 years ago my oldest son went away to college.  I cried for 6 months leading up to that moment—-how was I going to stand not seeing his face every day?  Not hearing his voice, not hugging him?  I was a shell of my former self, I would break down in tears at the drop of a hat!  I came home from dropping him at college and cried in his pillow.  Now?  It’s normal for me to know that he will not be living with me permanently ever again and guess what?  I’m ok with that….I’ve adjusted.  It’s a new kinda normal.
My middle guy is going to get his license in 2 weeks—-he will not need me to chauffeur him around anymore and before I know it HE will be leaving for college.  I still get that shaky feeling in my heart and a lump in my throat thinking about it—-he is my buddy and I doubt his college will be 3 hrs away driving…but it will be okay.  It’s just a new kinda normal.
I don’t make family dinners every night anymore.  It just seems pointless sometimes, there is always someone gone or somewhere we have to be.  I worry about my daughter and how that will affect her.  She’s happy as a lark—-it’s just a new kinda normal.
I think the hardest thing for me to accept and deal with is that it’s not at all what I planned, or how I envisioned my life ummm EVER.  But it’s all okay.  I will be okay.  They will be okay.  Change is hard, but staying stuck in a place of unhappiness is way harder.  So I will embrace the changes, roll with the punches and wake up every morning and smile at the new me I see and realize——-
It’s just a new kinda normal <3

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The future is now.....

I'm trying to live in the moment.  I'm trying to not focus on anything but today and enjoying what it brings.  I was succeeding.  I was sitting at the beach and just feeling peaceful.  I was imagining myself someday having a small condo near the ocean where I could write and just be.  I'm starting to feel happier alone then I am with people.  Within 10 minutes of plopping my ass on the sand I was getting texts from my oldest son about the state of the world and our government and I began to get stressed.  Then my middle son came and sat down next to me and started rattling off a billion things about the future---colleges, cars, taking his driving test, seeing his friends this weekend after we get home.  I was annoyed.  I started to cry.  I looked at him and said "Can I PLEASE just enjoy right now?"  He looked hurt and I felt bad for a second, then I let it go.  It was too late, the frustration and sadness came.  Damn it!  What is it about men that can do that to me?  My ex husband used to stress me out ALL the time!  I realized that this vacation to Florida was the best I'd ever had-----there's a reason for that.  I have no man in my life to answer to.  I have no one to rain on my parade.  I don't blame the men I've had in my life, I blame myself for allowing it to happen.  Why am I so affected by their energy?  Why have I lived my life to this point taking on whatever the men in my life were feeling?  Why do I still allow it to happen with my sons, not just my partners?  I don't know.  

When I had gone to marriage counseling years ago within 3 minutes the counselor told me I had daddy issues.  Mind you the reason we were there was that my ex husband had joined a dating site and was chatting with some girl on line and on the telephone---but ok, I HAD daddy issues.  Instantaneously I was annoyed.  Somehow this was MY fault?  No, don't think so---thanks bye now!  We never went back.  Over the last 15 years since that happened I have often had those thoughts come to me whenever I realize I allow men to affect me too much.  I happen to have an AMAZING relationship with my daddy---and I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't.  When I was younger yes he was strict but not so much that I was scarred by it.  I never wanted to disappoint my parents, but I feel that's what good parenting does to you.  My kids don't want to disappoint me either---I don't see anything wrong with that.  I do remember our household revolving around my dad---I don't see anything wrong with that either, he was/is a hardworking, loving man who wanted nothing but the best for his family.  He never put his own needs first, he just did what was needed for the 5 of us.  He treated my mother like a queen --bringing her flowers every month on the day of their anniversary.  Every Valentines day I woke up to candy and a stuffed animal from my daddy.  Saturday nights he'd come home from work with special bakery treats for us on Sunday morning.  Hmmm....daddy issues?  Maybe.   Maybe my issue is that no man in my life has ever lived up to my dad.  I tried to be that wife, like my mom was, that did everything for her husband to make his life easier.   I tried to greet him at the door like a king---it backfired royally.  My ex-husband just took that as an opportunity to expect more from me and give less.   My dad never discussed any issues he had he just took care of them---that's what I do.  However, I was always the one who wanted everyone to come to me and tell me about what was bothering them---talk to me---I'll help you fix it.  Well that was great, except now that my boys are older I CAN'T fix everything and even if I can they don't always listen to my advice.  So I have to learn not to take their problems on myself and let it change my energy--HA!  Good luck.  It makes me sad that I am imagining my future alone on the beach rather than in the big house with the porch covered in grandchildren that I used to envision.  How did this happen?  Is this a bad change?  What happened to the person I was just a year ago?  It's all happening too fast!

I took a moment on the beach to wipe my tears and talk to my daughter.  She is such a free spirit, so happy go lucky---she's me when I was a kid!  I want her to stay that way!  She was busy writing initials in the sand (mine and the man she wants to be her dad) and protecting it from the tide.  I told her "Em, promise me you will never let a boy change who you are!  Don't let a boy, or anyone else for that matter, steal your joy."  She wiped my tears with a sandy hand and said with a giggle "of course mama!"....and there is still hope <3

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What am I waiting for?

I've changed so much in the last 10 years I barely recognize myself sometimes.  A lot of the changes were gradual, but in the last year they have been rapid.  Most of the changes are easy to handle---I'm calmer, I don't yell like I used to, I maintain a positive outlook about most things, I've become financially mature and don't buy frivolous items anymore hoping to fix the sadness I used to feel.  These are all good things and happy changes.  Some of my changes have been more uncomfortable and harder for those around me to accept. I no longer feel guilty when I have to say no to someone (ok, to my kids yes--but I'm working on that).  I don't feel that I have to justify my responses anymore or go into detail when I decline someones offer or suggestion.  These are difficult changes for me but they are necessary and I am happier having done them.

I've been told that I'm my own worst enemy.  I hold myself back from so much, and it's true!  While trying to practice the Law of Attraction and manifest certain situations in my life I believe I was too focused on them and therefore kept them away.  Or maybe what I wanted wasn't in the cards for me---maybe God didn't plan for me to have it.  Maybe it was just a learning experience, something to teach me something about myself.  Well, it certainly did that.  I've been working on letting go, releasing what no longer serves me and finding my higher purpose.  However, that being said, the last week I have been consumed with helping my parents and trying to get answers from my mother's doctors and taking her to appointments etc. While sitting in the waiting rooms of these offices, surrounded by people battling cancer I retreated.  I tried to hide my head in the sand and pretend my family wasn't facing this situation again.  I was almost successful.

Today, I got the first copy of my book.  When I held it in my hand something changed inside of me.  As I flipped through the pages and wept with Danny and felt this exhilaration inside of me---it changed.  I realized I was doing it all wrong!  People were fighting for their lives every day, every minute and I was waiting to start mine.  What was I waiting for?  Danny made a comment last week about people who smoke or drink or just waste their lives and how it is like spitting in his face after he fought so hard to live.  I agreed.  It never occurred to me that by doing nothing but waiting in my life I was doing the same damn thing!

There is a man on the same radiation schedule as my mom.  All week he has come in with a big smile on his face and a cheery good morning on his lips.  He leaves with a big wave to everyone waiting and warm wishes for a great day.  He knows.  He knows that life is precious.  He knows that tomorrow isn't promised.  I can guarantee you he isn't wasting a moment waiting for something that may never happen.  The last 5 years I have been waiting to publish that book.  I kept saying, "well once the book is done"  or "I need to work on the book" and put off so much in the meantime.  There was a time that I was so happy I couldn't bring myself to write the book--it took a lot out of me to relive that time in my life.  Then I was so focused on certain situations that I couldn't bring myself to focus on the book.  Well, it's finally finished and I had such a sense of accomplishment holding it in my hands!  And then I knew!  I can't wait anymore for anything to happen, I need to move forward and live my life and enjoy it to the fullest. I can't waste another day waiting for the happily ever after---today is the happily ever after and I'm creating it minute by minute.  I've spent too much time waiting---when I was younger it was when I get married.  Then it was when I have a baby.  Then, when I have a house......the list goes on.  There is always something that we will be longing for, something that we wish we had---don't stop living your life in the meantime.  The people who are in your life are there for a reason and those who don't want to be aren't meant to be and there are new people just waiting to burst into your world and fill it with sunshine----but in the meantime enjoy every moment!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Who needs a prince?


I am very very hard on myself.  I am also hard on those I love...I expect a lot from them, especially my children.  I'm working on it.  I'm getting better every day.  Learning to let go and free myself of these expectations, letting go of the picture in my head of how life is supposed to be is a difficult yet necessary task.  I am a work in progress and some days I just can't seem to find the balance and others (like today) I balance it perfectly.  I want more days like today and I'm determined to make sure I have them.

I am technically on vacation right now, although I am still working (actually working twice my normal hours) and in addition to that running to Doctor's appointments with my mom and food shopping daily and menu planning and cooking and cleaning---for some reason it feels different.  I'm enjoying it (well, minus the doctor's appointments) because it's all that I'm focusing on.  When I'm home, I always seem to have a million other things pulling at me.  Here at my parent's house I only need to focus on the immediate things that need to be done.  It feels good to take care of people and have them want me to.  My sons are growing into men and they don't want me fussing over them anymore.  I am a fusser, I can't help it.  I like taking care of my loved ones--at one point in my life it's how I gave myself worth.  That's not the case anymore but I still like to do it.  I guess part of me always wanted someone to fuss over me---not that I would know how to handle that, but I think at this stage of my life I'd like to try.

I was in such a bad place the last two days, so sad and feeling numb and as I watched my daughter in the pool I thought---amazing--she can have fun all by herself just using her imagination.  I listened to her make believe game of mermaids and sharks and I remembered summers of my youth where I did the exact same thing!  I remember pretending I was a mermaid and I got trapped in a cage by an evil villain and of course my handsome prince rescued me.  That's where it all started...my lifetime of waiting for that handsome prince to save me from myself.  My daughter doesn't need that prince--she rescues herself and I love that!  Being a child of divorce I sometimes worry about how she will be when she finally has her first love, her first relationship---will she be needy and clingy like I was?  I don't think so!  See, she is seeing the woman I am now, the woman who handles everything and doesn't ask for anyone's approval.  She is boy crazy, don't get me wrong --- she definitely wants that happily every after, but she isn't looking for it to save her and Amen to that!  Anyway, I digress.....

The reason for this entry was that I realized, while I was watching her, that I never really just let go and enjoy life.  I'm always reserved for some reason, even when I'm having fun it's not that uninhibited fun that I had as a kid.  So I set out to make a bucket list.  A list of things I want to do in the next however many years, to enrich my life and have fun!  I've come a long way because the list started flowing easily.  It was inspired this morning when I woke up and I decided I was going to have a better day and a better life!  No more waiting for that handsome prince -I was going to save myself.  And today, when I took my daughter swimming guess who got in the pool and showed her how to do front flips and back flips and handstands and handsprings?  That's right---this mama!  She had so much fun and so did I, I felt like a kid again.  Of course, my body IS still 49 so I'm not sure the handsprings were such a good idea (my back says it definitely wasn't) but it's just the beginning....and it's just a day in the life xoxox

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Replay---in the worst way!

My son had Lymphoma in 2009.  He was only 10, he's 15 now.  A while ago he had a routine Echocardiogram that showed that his function went down since last year.  It was still within the normal range, but decreased.  His oncologist wanted to err on the side of caution and send him to a cardiologist.  I had been a nervous wreck since l I made the appointment.  I KNEW in my gut nothing was wrong, but it just brings up all of the horrible emotions of when he was sick.  It also makes me so incredibly angry that he has to deal with this for the rest of his life.  I'm writing a book about his story, our story, about how that awful disease affected our lives and how it felt and how our faith got us through it.  Today will be the last chapter of that book.  My son is so brave.  He's so strong and such a positive spirit.  I didn't let on how concerned I was, I acted very matter of factly about the whole thing.  I cried my eyes out to my mother last week to the point of not being able to breathe.  I spoke to my brother last night for 2 hours and cried again.  I spent the entire day Monday on the couch crying just having a pity party.  Well, this morning we got stuck in traffic and arrived 13 minutes late.  I tried to call the office and it was closed until 8 a.m. it was now 8:13 am.  She gives me the whole, "I'll have to see if the Dr. can see you you're 1/2 hour late"  I'm like ummmm his appt is at 8:30 and check in was at 8---we're 13 minutes late not 1/2 hour!  She goes, "Well we round up to the 1/2 hour here"  Really bitch?  REALLY?  You just make up times?  There was NO ONE in the waiting area, like get a life.  I smirked at her and spat out--I'm SURE you'll find the time!  Luckily the nurse was really funny and took us in and made us laugh.  My nerves were on the outside of my body I wanted to throw up!  
Ok, so the Dr. comes in and he's 98 years old if he's a day, I swear.  He looks confused as to why we were there.  Then after a thorough explanation (of which I understood very little lol) he said my boys heart was fine and made an appointment for next year for another echo just to be safe.  I LOST IT!  I began sobbing in relief as soon as he left the room.  My son was comforting ME--way to go mom, how about the giant loser award for me :(  In the car on the way home he said to me "Don't be upset mom, I'm glad I have to deal with this for the rest of my life.  It makes me a stronger person and makes me appreciate things more."  SERIOUSLY?  Is he AMAZING or what?  I raised that boy :)  and I am one proud mama!!!!

It's just a day in the life xoxox

That was an entry in my old blog from last year.....this year, in this moment I am watching my mother fight the same disease my son has beaten.  I am reading chemo side effects and making lists of questions to ask the oncologist.  I can't stop crying.  It's too raw---it's too familiar---it's too much!!!  As I sat in the radiologist's waiting room this morning I watched people come and go---they all greeted each other like old friends.  I guess that's what happens when you have the same appointment time for 5 weeks straight.  I listened to them chat, I watched their faces and I thought---it's funny, these people are battling for their lives and they are kinder and more positive then the people in the grocery store!  Cancer changes you.  I also noticed that cancer does not discriminate----there were Caucasians, Latinos and African Americans.  They were aged from 20s-80s and they were male and female.  Cancer just destroys it doesn't care who is in it's path.  I watch men tenderly care for their wives as they become to frail to care for themselves---I see people who are walking this path alone and others that have friends with them.  It is sickening to me and I want to run ---again.  Facing this disease again is too much for me.  It's difficult to watch my dad work so hard to care for my mom and meet her every need.  It's crushing to watch my mother, my beautiful mother cover her balding head with a hat and not be able to move her neck because of the tumor that resides there.  I met with her Oncologist today armed with a list of questions that I had---questions that I didn't like the answers to.  Questions that I didn't want to ask.  It's difficult because, ultimately the decisions don't rest with me---with my son I had control of the choices.....I again had to hide in the car to call my sister and avoid changing my facial expression so no one could see what I was thinking/feeling.  So I cried....and I pray.  I will pray without ceasing.  Not just for my mother but for all the people I saw today battling the dreaded disease.  And when my son steps off the plane tonight (traveling alone for the first time) to meet me in Florida to support his Yaya I will hug him desperately and thank God for saving him...Thank God for all the blessings and ask him to give us just one more miracle.  

Please check out my book---Beyond the Immediate---the story of my son's battle with cancer and how it changed our lives in a positive way.