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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Success....different for everyone

My son has wanted to play professional baseball since he could walk.  I have heard and seen people's reactions to that.  I've defended his dream to everyone and anyone who tried to squash that dream.  I believed that he could accomplish it.  I saw his name up on that Scoreboard.  I have supported him in every single step leading up to this point in his life.

In the last year or so he's relieved some of the pressure on himself and said he would be OK if he at least got to play college ball.  We spent time with a family friend back in May and he made such an impression on my son he realized that there is life after baseball. He also has a serious girlfriend now and I think he's rethinking the future.  Either way, I know he will accomplish anything he sets his mind to.

We had a rare family dinner and Danny's girlfriend joined us.  We sat for two hours at the table laughing and reminiscing and I felt such joy and pride as I looked around the table.  Such love for this family that I life's work sitting right in front of me.  With that feeling came a lot of other emotions. Halloween came right before the trip.  I've never been a fan of Halloween, but this year was different.  My boys were both working doubles and my daughter and I were going to some trunk or treat type thing at a college with friends.  I swear it's so depressing out here....back in New York we would trick or treat from morning till it's from 6pm-8pm----what's that?  Well I talked to my friend Laura when she stopped by and I realized that I was realizing that once again everything was changing.  The four of us are so extremely close and within a year we would, once again, not be living in the same house.  Probably never will again.  Not only that but for the first time we wouldn't be in the same state.  I realized the next part of their lives were starting and I was excited for them!  But I also realized the next part of my life was starting too and it wasn't necessarily the way I thought it would be.  Yet again.  But I knew that it would be amazing and the sadness was lifted relatively quickly.

Last week we took a trip to visit a college in North Carolina.  It was the first time I left my daughter for more than overnight and via plane.  We had gone to San Diego a few weeks before that but that was only overnight.  My son liked that college, but I was feeling in my gut that NC was going to be "the one".  We had a rough few weeks before the trip, but we were in a really good place when the day came to leave.  I was prepared for the rough time---I went through it with my oldest the year before he went away to school.  My sons and I have such a close bond it's like they have to act like they don't care and make me mad at them so that we can separate from each other.  The difference with Danny and me is that a. we went through this with Richie and b. we have been through too much in Danny's young life---cancer, surgery, too much, for us to not be close. So, college road trip part 3 here we come!

The visit went well.  We left there knowing that this was where he wanted to go.  The coach offered him a spot on the team, the admissions guy gave us a verbal based on what he saw....success!  We got back to the hotel and my son hugged me so tight, he jumped into my arms like he did when he was a little boy and he said "we did it mama".....I actually can't see right now the tears are flowing.  We.....we did it.  He is the one that did it all---I was just along for the ride but how sweet he is.  Everything changed in that moment.  He was a committed athlete at a great University---it's all he wanted.  He was walking taller and he seemed to age a few years in that moment.  What's better than achieving your dreams?   Watching your kids achieve theirs.  Go get 'em Dan-----I'll share your success from my seat behind home plate.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Hello darkness my old friend....

This weekend I decided to go on a silent retreat.  I was very excited and nervous at the same time.  I realized that in my 50 years on this earth I have never been alone for 2 full days, ever!  Sad.  Or is it?

I hugged my kids and kissed them goodbye.  My boys were so supportive, "Enjoy it mommy, you deserve it".  My daughter was trying not to burst into tears at the prospect of being home with her brothers and then spending the night at her dads, but she kept a stiff upper lip for my benefit.  As I got in the car the music and podcasts on my IPOD did the trick, I felt God's presence and I thought for sure this weekend would be life changing.  I cried and laughed all the way to Tucson.

Upon arriving at the facility I met Susan,who was my tour guide.  She showed me around the small complex, explained how things worked and then showed me my hermitage (aka tiny private cabinish room) and left me to get settled.  As I walked from my car carrying my bags I was met by a butterfly whizzing around my, darting and dashing around me.  I felt the tears well and I knew my mom was with me and I felt that it was going to be a magical weekend.

I went to the cafeteria area to have lunch.  It was a high school flashback.  I don't know anyone, I don't know where to go---but ahhhhh I don't have to talk to anyone or sit with anyone---sweeet!  So I sat down with my salad and sandwich and my book and started to have lunch.  I felt so fidgety and antsy I couldn't relax.  My mind was racing about what to do next.  I realized I don't need time alone as much as I used to.  Hmmm I want to go home.  But I planned this---I needed to get something out of this.  Ok, buckle down Tina.  Focus.  Ok, I left the lunchroom and decided to take a walk and try to meditate.  Nope.  Can't do it.  Alright, stroll to the library.  I walked in and there was someone on a computer.  Keep walking. Another person sleeping on a chair.  Damn.  This was awkard.  You know what, I'm overcoming.  I sat down and started reading.  No, bored.  I am never bored.  What the hell was wrong with me?  Didn't I always say I wanted alone me time?  With nothing to do? Well here you go dingdong....So I realized they had a TV with dvds and I decided to give them a look.  So, I sat down and watched one of my favorite movies!  Headphones on and even though it wasn't a spiritual movie I decided too bad!

I've been playing with destiny and manifesting and how they go together and viola  I realized in this movie her destiny showed up!  She didn't try to manifest it, she didn't meditate on it---it just happened!  I think I am on to something....

Well I won't bore you with every detail of the weekend.  I was restless and couldn't even nap when tired.  I went to dinner and was seriously contemplating leaving, I had never been so fidgety!  I decided to go into the meditation room and try to meditate.  No success.  Finally I decided to let it all out.  Ok, God, I'm just going to pray.  So I did.  I went down an entire list of what I was asking for for each of my loved ones.  When I was done and I wiped my tears I heard it....the voice.  Telling me, FINALLY!  This is all you need to do.  Talk to God, no meditating no fancy stuff, just talk to God!  And my life is exactly as it should be, keep doing what you're doing.

I can't explain the relief I felt.  I was ready to pack up and go home then.  I got what I came for.

Friday, August 21, 2015

No idea what this is about

Wow it's been a while.  I've written a million blog posts in my head, I just couldn't seem to get myself to put it down in print.  This has been a rough year, to say the least, but it is not without it's shining moments.  I've changed so much, I barely recognize myself.  I have further closed in my circle of people I associate with and that helps me maintain a positive outlook.  Bless those I call my friends and even more the ones that are my family.

I hear/see on social media so many people whine about losing a parent.  I get it.  But watching my dad lose his partner is a million times harder than losing a parent.  I'm not belittling anyone's grief or feelings, so don't get me wrong.  I'm just expressing what I see.  He is lost without my mom.  Truly lost.  It's not what I anticipated.  I thought my dad would feel relief.  Relief at not having to care for her 24/7 as he had the last year of her life.  I was there for 2 weeks last summer and 2 weeks in February at the end and it was a lot.  My mom's personality also held my dad back in a lot of ways through life.  I thought he'd feel a little free.  That is not the case at all.  He misses her desperately.  61 years of constant togetherness I guess makes for that kind of attachment.

I've always loved my daddy.  When I was a child of course it was my mother whom I wanted, needed to comfort me - to kiss the boo boos.  But once I hit adulthood, it was my dad.  As the years went on he understood me and how to "deal" with me better than my mom.  He always knows what to say to make it better.  I've always felt safe and protected in my life because I know I can always count on my dad to make things right.  So, this period of time when he was looking at me (and my siblings) to make it right for him was unsettling.  He seemed to want us to take care of him, which we have done, no questions asked.  I love taking care of people.  When I was down in Florida in July I took care of him while he was recovering from minor eye surgery.  I felt so happy to be able to take care of him and for him to let me.  Seeing him in that fragile state was a little unnerving.  He was looking at me to make it better.  It seemed only right, since he's done it for me for the last 50 years.  I supposed at some point a person gets tired.  He was always so strong and commanding because my mom allowed him to be "the man".  Allowed him to take care of her and everything else.  I never realized how much my mom did that took care of him.  She cooked, she cleaned, she ironed, she washed and dried and put his clothes away.  They were truly a well oiled machine.  Both doing what was needed to make the partnership work.  I want that.   Does anyone have that anymore?  I hear so many women say "I can do it myself, I don't need a man!"  Obviously we can do it ourselves-DUH- but why not allow them the gift of taking care of us, as we do them?

My son is 17.  His girlfriend is his queen.  He truly worships her.  He wants nothing more than to take care of her and spoil her.  Yesterday we sat together designing gifts for her birthday and their anniversary and he proudly gave me his debit card to place the order.  He said "I just love doing things for her".  My God, have I helped this next generation bring back chivalry by raising such a son?  I certainly hope so!  Back in May I was in New York for my Godson's wedding.  That wedding gave me hope and faith in true love and the commitment of it.  Their's is a love story begging to be told!  They met in middle school and have been together ever since. He said his purpose in life is to make his wife happy.  He credits my father/his grandfather for teaching him how to treasure a woman.  There is hope.

I don't even know where I'm going with this. I suppose it was about my dad losing his partner and I am all over the map.  So be it.  I've done a lot of studying about relationships and what makes them tick in the past year.  I've realized my mistakes in the past and am determined not to repeat them in the future.  The difference between me and my mother and my new niece and son's girlfriend?  I was hell bent on making life easier for the men in my life.  Determined not to have them have an ounce of stress if I could help it.  I was not aware of how men tick.  How men don't want to be babied, they want to be acknowledged.  This is something I'm practicing with my sons now.  I allow them to help me.  I allow them to do nice things for me.  Damn, that was hard for me.  But so worth it.  I see how happy it makes them to take some of the burden from my shoulders and how proud they are when I praise them.  Who knew?

I've come to a point in life where I can't stomach hearing women bash men.  That used to be my favorite past time!  But when I hear "men suck" or "why should I do that when they are so selfish" or the endless stream of negative man bashing quotes my stomach turns.  These women are partly responsible for the demise of the love relationship.  I, myself, have been guilty of it.  I took control of everything in the past, allowing my insecurities about my own abilities and purpose to overshadow anything else.  In the past I was not a gracious receiver.  I will not make that mistake again.  I was also very critical, to say the least, choosing to pick out the one wrong thing instead of praising the 20 good ones.  I will not make that mistake again.

So this is my babbling post I suppose....but you know it's just a day in the life :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

What's your love language?

During a meeting last week it came up that our childhood is the reason for all of our issues.  Hmmm, as a mother that made me feel really good (insert sarcastic smirk).  Everyone agreed and someone handed out a paper with an exercise on it about figuring out what dysfunctional "love" signs from your childhood was carried over to your adulthood.  I took the paper without intending to complete the task.  I really had a very happy childhood.  Do I have issues, ummm duh.  But so many people had abusive parents, screaming fights, alcoholism, blatant neglect, lack of food, etc., my issues were tiny and "normal".  Basically I felt unimportant and that no one could possibly love me for me.  Not sure where that came from because my childhood home was safe and loving.  I guess I am different then most people in my family---my intuitive gifts, my way of looking at the world, so I guess that's why I felt different and unworthy.  Whatever, suck it up and get over it---it could have been sooooo much worse!

Anyway, I decided to take a sea salt bath last week and go into a meditation to give me clarity in my life.  I'm feeling like great changes need to happen and I'm uncertain as to what my next steps are.  So, I start this meditation and it's all visualization (which I suck at, just saying) so I didn't expect much.  They have you go down this tunnel and ask what's on the walls?  (ummm, nothing.  I can't visualize) and then there are rooms to either side of the tunnel---what's in there? (ummm, nothing....I can't imagine anything).  Last but not least he said there would be rooms that only I would know what was in there---holy shitaki mushrooms I SAW stuff!  In this room was my doll carriage that I cherished as a little girl.  I still remember the Christmas when I got it, it was the best Christmas I can remember I was 5 almost 6.  My brother later took the wheels off that carriage to make a go cart and my mom threw the carriage out so I wouldn't know.  I was devastated.  Then there was a little red school house that came with dolls.  I remember asking my mom where it was and she told me she threw it out because I never played with it.  I was crushed.  There was a monkey that my cousin Chris had given me that skated and was just the most perfect thing ever.  Well, I guess we never got it to work, or got batteries and again, you guessed it.....I went to look for it and it was gone.  Ok, here's a pattern---material things were very important to me in childhood.  That was a way my family showed love.  It still is in a lot of ways.  Then, all the jewelry I had gotten over the years from my boyfriends.  I saw the ring I had thrown at my ex boyfriend in a fit of anger and lost.  Then my next boyfriend - he showered me with expensive jewelry all the time.  But I was never quite satisfied.  I was always disappointed and could never figure out why.  I thought I was a spoiled brat and that was why.  Then my ex husband - he was never one for gifts of the heart he was always one who was more practical.  The only jewelry he ever bought me I picked out, so of course I loved it, but I was missing something.  It never made me feel the joy that I thought it was supposed to bring me.  I have always been disappointed by gifts and items that people have given me.  I now realized my dysfunctional love language.  My whole life I thought things were how you show love----I've realized that that is NOT what speaks to my heart.  It's not things at all.  No wonder I had never had a truly happy relationship.  My heart was like NO, this is NOT what I need.  Material things mean nothing to me.

In 2011 I made a list of what I wanted in a man.   Not one of the things on there mentioned that he buys me things.  Ok, one of them was that he sends me flowers, but that's just because I love flowers and it's always nice to be surprised that someone thinks of you :)  but the rest of it was about how I felt when I was with him, qualities that he would have - his character.  That should have clued me in that material items weren't my love language.  The fact that my children's unconditional love used to make me feel whole and complete should have tipped me off too.  But hey, we learn our lessons when we are supposed to learn them right?

Just today I had two conversations about this same topic with two different friends.  I love that when I learn a new coping mechanism, one that truly helps find out what your soul needs I get to help others discover the same.  Now I challenge you to do the same.  Either follow the written task or the meditation, if you are inclined.


1.  Write down every negative association you have with your childhood home life - how did you feel negatively about your parents or how you felt in your childhood home, your siblings and your caregivers.

2.  Write down your past lovers and their negative qualities and how you felt around them.  Negative things that happened when with them.

3.  Then, circle any words that are repeated - this is your subconscious definition of love.

4.  Write a personal want ad.  For your subconscious using those negative qualities.  Doing this will bring more awareness to the vibration we are putting out in the universe and attracting to us.  This should make us laugh about ourselves and begin our healing process.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

If I wasn't afraid I would.....

Last week my friend challenged me to a writing assignment....If I wasn't afraid I would
________.   Oddly, that was the prompt that led me on my path of self discovery in 2008.  I laughed when I read it back then because I didn't think I was afraid of anything!  Brave was a word people often used to describe me.  Well I dug deep and I realized if I wasn't afraid I would get divorced.  Hmmm....we see how that played out don't we.  Fear my ass I will do whatever it takes!  Well, when my friend prompted me to this again I felt fear in my gut.  Damn it....not again!  I now know that I am afraid of things, that I have let fear dictate my life over and over again.  Sigh.  Okay I relented and decided to give it a whirl again.  Here is what I discovered.

First I thought, if I wasn't afraid I would buy a house.  On my own.  Well, that wasn't too painful.  Hey, I even went looking at models this week and got a little excited.  I threw it out to the Universe and if it's meant to be it will all come together.  HA!  Take that fear. Me 1 Fear 0.   Not so fast missy.  You know damn well that's a minor thing and you can handle stuff like that easily, look at how you bought your first car.  Let's dig deeper!  FINE!  (arms crossed, foot stomping)  

Last night there was a meeting for a group that I joined months and months ago.  Every week the reminder would pop up and I would find an excuse not to go.   I RSVPd yes and then yesterday I was like, eh, I don't wanta go.  I don't want to leave the kids, Danny has a game blah blah blah.  Finally, I talked to my oldest son and was like, I don't know anyone, I don't want to go, I'm ---gulp---afraid.  WHAT?!  ME?!  Dammit!  He said, Ma, just go!  You hardly ever do anything for yourself, just go!....sooooo I did!  And I am so happy that I faced that fear!  I met a group of amazing, like minded people, the likes of whom I've only met through my Chat With your Angels page, never face to face.   I felt like I was home!  These people got me!  They helped me so much just by sharing their experiences it was wonderful!  Then, when the meeting was over I said goodbye and prepared to leave.  5 different people stopped me to chat and exchange business cards and 1 just looked me in the eye and told me that I was an awesome person and had an amazing soul.  Wow!  I was so blown away, it was something that touched me in such a deep way.  There was no hoopla, no hidden agenda just a quiet matter of fact statement. Thank you seemed so weak in return.  I realized that all this time, although to the rest of the world it seems I am fearless in being me, one of my biggest fears is being true to myself!  I've put everyone else's needs before my own for so long I was afraid to be ME.  I've been criticized by so many people for speaking my mind that somewhere along the way I lost me. I was made to feel selfish and like a bitch for not always letting other people walk all over me. I left there last night with an eagerness to return next week.  

Today I was in meditation and I got such clarity as to what I want in this lifetime.  I now know that I am not going to change what I want to suit anyone else, ever again.  Not to sound rigid, of course compromise is the key to any relationship in life but from this moment forward I'm not making any more excuses for being who I am.  I'm passionate, and obsessive at times, I love with all my heart and soul and I want the same in return.  I'm a chatterbox, words are my food for the soul....I want that, I need that.  I won't settle for anything less ever again.  I want to surround myself with people who "get" me.  Who don't make me change my ways or make me feel like there is something wrong with me for feeling the way I do.  I have been alone, faced a fear that I always had.  I am ready to share my life with someone who wants the same things that I do.  I am ready to be with someone who compliments my soul and doesn't try to change it.  I want fun and easy and joyful. I want someone who would move heaven and earth for me, because that's what I would do for them.  And I'm no longer afraid to let go of the things that have been holding me back from getting that anymore.   Take that fear...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring - New Beginnings

When I lived back east the first day of spring was an eagerly anticipated day.  Usually, it was met with disappointment because winter wouldn't let go of it's ugly grasp.  Living in the West and right now visiting the south, the first day of spring means something different.  It means new beginnings.  It means letting go of the old and what no longer works in my life.   Now to figure out how to do that.

My dad asked me yesterday if I'm looking forward to getting back home.  I said no.  I'm not going to lie and say these last 2 months have been easy, being so spread between home and Florida.  It usually means leaving behind someone that I love.  In February it was my boys and then having to get home quickly and leave my parents--my mother for the last time.  And now, I'm here and my son is home already and I just never feel whole anymore.  Something is always missing.  It's been torture on my soul and I'm anxious and scared all the time.

I was sitting on the steps outside last night talking to my younger son and my heart was just aching.  I have been sad for so long I just don't think I can take it for another minute.  It's not just what's been going on this last year with my mom, it's been for a long time.  Being in the wrong marriage and relationships in my life left me feeling this way for most of my life. My kids used to fill that void and  the sadness didn't overwhelm me like it does now.  Fear?  That was non existent in my life.  Now?  sadness and fear engulf me daily.  Despite prayer, and meditation and talking it out with my trusted friends.  Why?  Why can't I shake this feeling.  I've felt like something was missing for most of my life.  A few years back that feeling went away and I was tricked into thinking it would last.  That I would feel whole and complete from then on.  I thought the changes I had made and the life I was dreaming of was coming to me.  Unfortunately, that was short lived and recovering from having it then losing it is worse than never having it at all.  

I realized upon grieving for my mother that I have been in a state of grief for a few years now.  I had never felt grief before so I didn't recognize the emotion.  It sucks.  Now I know that's what I have been feeling.  I'm grieving the loss of the most perfect thing I'd ever had.  My dad said the other night that he keeps thinking it's a dream and my mom will be back and when he realizes that's not happening it overwhelms him.  That's exactly it.  That's what it feels like over and over again.  Like ripping a bandage off a horrible wound.  How do we move on from it? How do you come to terms with the fact that what made you the happiest and completed you is not coming back?  Time.  I'm sick of time.  How many times can your heart be broken before you stand up and move on?  I think it's like the owl asking the question about how many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop---the world may never know.

My older son came out to me last night while I was hanging up the phone with my middle son and saw I was broken.  He and I took a long walk around my dad's complex.  He asked me what was wrong and I couldn't just couldn't tell him.  I changed the subject and we instead discussed our family and how it is a tribute to my parents and the day I had spent with my dad and how hard it is going to be to leave him next week.  We finally got back to the condo and my dad was at the door waiting.  Ah, what memories that brought back-what I would give to go back to that time!  When I had my whole life ahead of me---damn would I do things differently.  But then that's what spring is all about, isn't it?  New beginnings? 

Well, I guess it's time to figure out what those new beginnings are and go out and start them.  If only I knew how to change who I am.  It's hard to think about my new beginnings when my daddy is handling the worst "new beginning" he will ever have to face, and the thing I want most in my life is lost.  I feel like a rag doll being pulled in 5 different directions and all I want to do is go hide from it all.  I want to scream what about MY happiness?   But I'm made from tougher stuff than that.  At least I used to be.  I don't recognize myself anymore.  Gone are my nasty barbs and my quick retorts to people when I'm angry.  I don't even get angry anymore I just get hurt and sad.  I don't know what to do with sad --anger was much easier to deal with.  I miss the smart mouthed bitch I used to be, she wouldn't be losing sleep over shit she couldn't change, she'd just move on without looking back.  What happened to her?!  She's not coming back, I know that much. So I'm stuck with this new wimpy version who cries over spilled milk and pines for something she can't have.  Yuck.  She needs to grow a backbone and realize that she deserves the happily ever after and springtime is just as good as any to go get it.

Happy Spring xo

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What's your legacy?

We laid my mother to rest last Friday.  My entire family made the trip to Florida to be there for this private event.  My sister, my brother, their spouses and children and me and my 3 children.  15 of us in total paid tribute to the woman who was the head of this family.  It was heart wrenching and devastating and something only we survived.  People were angry, hurt and confused as to why we decided to block out the rest of the world during this time of grief.  To us it was simple, a no brainer.  We are her legacy.  We are a unit.  It started with the 5 of us.  My parents, sister, brother and me.  During time we added spouses to our closed circle.  Then our children.  And now, my Godson's fiance and my nieces boyfriend were present as well.  We are not stand offish people, we welcome the new into our family with open arms without the stigma of "in law".  However, we didn't want outsiders with us during our time of grief.  Because then it becomes about them, and not us.  People's well meaning offers of sympathy need to be met with the appropriate appreciation.  We just wanted to grieve.  We are thankful for the outpouring of people who reached out to all of us, we are!  But this, this was private and not one of us were sorry.

My parents moved away to Florida 30 years ago.  For 30 years we have not all lived in the same state.  10 years ago I moved across the country as well.  So these time for us all to be together are precious.  The last time we were all together was in November of 2010.  Of course we have seen each other since, but all of us together in one place is reserved for an occasion.  This was such an occasion, to celebrate my mother's life and mourn her death.  This was the first time all of us were in Florida together.  It was amazing.  Truly amazing.  As I looked around at these people, my family, I was filled with love...and admiration....and gratitude.  It would have been very easy for us to just drift apart from each other.  To become polite strangers.  The opposite has happened.  I am closer to my brother and sister now than ever before.  The usual arguments and distance and rifts you hear happen when a parent dies just didn't occur for us.  We agreed on everything, we are so different yet cut from the same cloth at the core.  Greed does not exist in my family.  We all truly want what's best for the other.  There are of course spats and disagreements, jeez we are not saints, but at the core there is a love, a loyalty and a bond that time nor distance can destroy.  For this I am so grateful!

We have never mourned before like this.  We didn't know the protocol.  My mom was very ill and her death didn't come as a surprise.  We were all prepared (well, as prepared as you can ever be).  I was at their home when everyone arrived.  We all had a different reaction to coming into the home they shared without my mother being in it.  We all grieved our own way.  But true to form of my family, we also laughed.  And enjoyed being together as the gift that it is.  During the memorial service, my nephew gave a speech.  Not a eulogy, but a tribute to our family.  It's about the legacy of our family.  He praised my siblings and me and challenged HIS siblings and cousins to live up the legacy that was started by their grandparents.  There was not a dry eye in the room.  My sister (with the help of my niece) made a video montage showing the best of my mom's life.  It was amazing.  We laughed and cried together all reliving the moments that brought us to this point in time.  Obviously the pictures of my mom during her illness were left out and forgotten--that's not how we want to remember her.  Although, the strength and dignity she showed during this last year is a tribute to the woman she was.  I sat in the first pew with my dad and my siblings and I turned around a few times to check on my kids.  I saw my niece comforting my daughter, my son comforting his cousin, it was just to telling as to what our family is.  There is no competition between them, there is love between those 7 grandchildren.  Although they don't see each other as often as they'd like they adore each other and have a closeness that nothing can change.  Seeing them together and being together with my siblings was the greatest possible offering to my mother's legacy.  She created this family, with my dad.  Their love made this and we will continue to make them proud!

It made me wonder what my legacy will be.  Will my children continue the way my siblings and I have?  I pray every day they will.  The time is coming where I am sure we will not all be living in the same place and they will begin to bring in significant others to our circle.  I pray they choose wisely and remain close to their siblings, while still respecting their significant other.  I hope they see the love my parents had for each other and strive to duplicate that in their own way.  I know that is my dream and hopefully my legacy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

They don't make them like that anymore

The past month of my life has been the worst ever.  Worse than the days when my ex husband lost his job and we were living on a prayer, worse than when my 10 year old had cancer (yes, worse than that), worse than my divorce (which was actually a piece of cake- I only mention it because most people say it's one of the top 5 most stressful things in life).  I have hesitated writing during this time because my family is very private and I know it freaks them out that I share my feelings the way I do.  So be it.  I won't go into details.  However, in the past month I flew to Florida to take care of my terminally ill mom with my daughter and left my sons back home.  I had to cut my trip short because of an emergency with my oldest son and 10 days after I left my mom passed away.  God always has a plan and as it turns out it was best I left and went home because my daughter should not have been there while my mom declined so rapidly.  Also, my brother flew down and he was definitely the best person to be with my dad during those last days, even though it was extremely hard on him.  Then my sister went down and again, at the perfect time to help my dad with all the legal paperwork, handling everything fairly and efficiently.  And now I am here again to help my dad discover his new normal without the love of his life.  The rest of my family will be here in a few days for my moms private memorial service.  Just the 15 of us, together, to put my mom to rest.  I don't even believe that's real as I type it.  I will remain for another 8 days after everyone leaves.

I thought coming into the house without her being here would hit me like a ton of bricks.  It didn't.  It's so strange.  Cooking in her kitchen, which I've done dozens of times brought me to my knees, however.  I felt her with me every step.  I couldn't ask her where anything was, I had to think like she did, Thankfully no one came in the kitchen and saw the tears flowing down my face.  I missed her.  I went into her closet yesterday when no one was around and I smelled her clothes hoping for a last whiff of her scent.  I broke down crying when I realized it wasn't there.  She had been sick so long the house was stripped of that beautiful scent that was my mom.  No one knows what I mean, it's not a lotion, or soap or perfume.  It was HER.  My younger son and my daughter know what I mean. He's arriving tomorrow and I wonder how it will feel to him.  My daughter was in the bathroom talking to her Ya ya the other day, tears flowing down her face.  She said she saw her and could feel her arms around her.  It was sad and comforting at the same time.

Yesterday my dad found a feather by his bed.  I know my mom waited until I was with him to send it.  She knew I'd know what it was.  He was so full of disbelief and wonder.  But it did the trick, he heard my mom last night and I believe the healing can begin for him.  We went to the mall yesterday and my dad, my daughter and I all felt my mom with us. I went walking this morning with tears running down my face but she was with me and gave me some great advice.  I deserve a man like my dad.  I deserve to be treasured and loved and adored the way she was.  Point taken mom.  I will start to value myself more and not give my love to someone who doesn't want it.  Watching my dad grieve my mom and hearing stories about how my ex father in law has been grieving his wife this past year just breaks my heart.  It hurts me on so many levels.  Things in that generation were different.  Spouses were partners in life.  There was no competition to see who did more or who was busier.  They each had their roles and they relied on each other knowing that the other partner would be there no matter what.  I want that.  I don't think they "sweated the small stuff" or blamed each other for things the way people do nowadays.  They took responsibility for their part in the relationship.   I want that.  My father and my exes dad are lost without their mates.  You can see the sadness in their eyes and hear the love in their voices when they speak of them.  My dad's neighbor (who I have fallen in love with and adopted her as part of our family) still gets choked up when she talks about her husband who passed away 5 years ago.  She misses him terribly.  She has learned to move on, which I pray my dad does, but she says she still hurts.  She talks about him with such love and devotion.  I want that.  Things were just different 60 years ago.  My ex husband and I have been working much better as a team with the kids during this past month.  It's sad that the love is gone but at least the bitterness and anger are gone too.   So many people I know are still married and wish they werent'.  I don't think these people are mourning their spouses because it's been 60 years of marriage, I think it was just the way their partnerships were created.  There was respect of each other.  Women were treated like treasures and men were respected and taken care of by them.  It worked.   Spouses back then put each other first, not their children and I think that (along with women's lib in the 70s) drastically changed the status of relationships forever and not in a good way.  I know once my son was born my marriage took a back seat,  granted it's because I wasn't happily married in the first place, but still I know I am not alone in that.  Your spouse is the one you will grow old with (if you're lucky) and once your children leave and have their own lives the one you pledge I do to should still be someone you want to spend time with.  My daughter and I were discussing this.  She is taking it all in like a sponge.  She said to me, mommy maybe it's better to not have love like that so your heart isn't so broken when it's taken away.  Maybe she's right, but I pray that someday she finds that love and it takes her breath away.  And I pray she finds someone who treats her like a queen and a treasure and she treats him like a king and I pray I get to see it.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentines Day--what's it really about?

I'm not a big fan of Valentines day.  I never have been.  I haven't celebrated it in years, really, except for my kids.  This year I'm in Florida and wow I think it's the most romantic state in the Country.  There are flowers everywhere, stuffed animals all over.  I was at the store today and it was swarming with men picking out cards and flower and balloons-it was very touching.  It made my synicism of Valentines day subside a bit, maybe there were truly romantic men out there.  Which made me think about why women aren't equally as responsible on Valentines day for making their men feel loved and adored.  Why is it only a one way holiday?  It made me think about love.  True love, the kinds you think are only found in books and movies.  Does it exist?  Or is it reserved for the beginning of relationships when things are fresh and new.  This week I've come to realize that true love is not about butterflies in the stomach and being wooed and pampered.  True love stands the test of time.  True love is caring for eachother when your looks are fading, your health is failing and things aren't all balloons and roses.

I'm spending time with my parents, right now.  My mom is not doing well.  She spends most of the day in bed and can't care for herself, needing assistance to walk from the bed to the bathroom.  As heartbreaking as it is for me to watch and see her deteriorate I see the toll it takes on my dad.  He cares for her, going to whatever lengths possible to make sure she has whatever she could possibly want or need.  He looks at her with the same love that I've seen for my entire life.  I see the emotion when he thinks about life without her, it is soul crushing.  Their neighbors, friends and even the medical professionals I've met with this week all have stories of my parents and how devoted they are to each other.  Theirs is a love story that deserves to be told.  It's not a fancy, storybook romance that you would think about, but it is a real live one, one that a lot of people never get to live.

I spent the evening tonight with a friend of theirs.  I brought her over some of the pepper steak I made for dinner and she invited me in for a glass of wine.  I sat for the next 90 minutes listening to her tell stories about things she loved about my parents and about her love story with her husband (who passed away 7 years ago).  He was her first and only love.  They met in high school and were married for 54 years before he died.  It was so romantic to hear even of their final days together, as he struggled with dementia and even become non verbal for the last 3 months of his life.  She cared for him, loved him and was devoted to him until he took his last breath.  It made my heart ache to see how much she misses him and the love in her eyes as she told me about their life together.  It also made me sad to realize how many people will never have that.

These are the true love stories.  Not the ones revolving around flowers and candy and jewelry, but the ones that stand the test of time.  Loving someone so much that no time, or distance, or illness or challenge can keep you from being there for that person and spending your life with them.  That's what love is about.

Happy Valentines Day <3

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Time in a Bottle

Facebook-you either love it or hate it.  My feelings about it change by the hour. I've deactivated my account more times in the last 6 months than I can count.  It's really for everyone else's protection :).  Today, it happened to show me a photo I posted in December of 2013.  It was a picture of my parents with my daughter at her school.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.   Just 13 short months ago my mother was a healthy, beautiful (although she is STILL beautiful), vibrant woman, looking more like 65 than 79.  It made me so sad I couldn't breathe. It also made me realize how I was living my life and what it would look like just 13 months from today.  Time doesn't stop just because we want it to.  Nor does it move faster because we are waiting for a special event.  It is constant.  And the only thing constant is change.  Life can change on a dime.  This picture showed me that in full color this morning.

I look at my children every day and I don't see the subtle changes that go on with them, but look at a photo from last year and bam-there it is.  My Godson is getting married in May.  I still remember the day he was born and how it took my breath away the first time I saw him.  Watching my children and my nieces and nephews grow up and seize their own lives makes me look back at mine.  I had a conversation yesterday with a woman who had just turned 30 last week.  I told her the best was yet to come and she was thrilled to hear that.  She told me I needed to tell more people that, so here I am.  I don't know why society focuses on youth so much.  I was an idiot in my younger years.  Self absorbed, materialistic, worried about stupid things that don't matter a damn in the grand scheme of life.  I wish someone had warned me (not that I would have listened) that every day is the best day of your life.  Every single 24 hour, 1,440 minutes, 86,400 seconds you get every day is a chance to make it memorable!  Why do we waste it as if we have millions more?  Tomorrow is not promised.  Priorities need to be adjusted.  I'm trying really hard to drill this into my children's minds.  I think I'm making headway with my daughter, my sons ehhh not so much.  Is it because men are more cynical and stubborn?  Perhaps.  Maybe it's because they are in the throws of teenage and early twentydom.  Who knows.  It pains me to see them struggle with the future, when I know that the future will be amazing if they just let go of the control factor.  (Hello pot, this is the kettle---you're black!)  I want them to benefit from my years of stupidity lol.  The more I become "enlightened" the less patience I have with people who refuse to see the light.  Wrong, I know, but true.  And I am nothing if not painfully honest.

I oversaw my friends day care yesterday.  While holding and snuggling this 12 month old girl and watching the 4 year old pack a picnic as he gave me a running commentary of what he was bringing I was instantly transported back to when my kids were little.  I almost fell into a melancholy state knowing that those days were gone forever, but then I knew that I treasured those times deeply and I took full advantage of the days I got to spend at home with my kids.  I got down on the floor and built a block tower with this little boy and I knew full well that I made the most out of the days of my kids being little.  I homeschooled for most of them and I didn't miss a thing.  And now, I get to "enjoy" (yea, I can't lie, teenage years and early twentydom suck for the most part so far) watching them build their lives, make their decisions and even leave the nest.  The days of me thinking that I had forever with my kids right beside me are gone, they were shattered when my oldest went to college.  And I'm ok with that.  I'm excited to see what my life has in store.  I like rediscovering who I am as a person and not just as someone's mommy.  It's like starting over again and getting a brand new life to live.  But we all get that every single day.  The only thing you need to change is how you look at it.  And as someone I love more than anything else in the world said to me this weekend and I quote, "memories never die, that's the best part of making them."

So go make some memories!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sometimes it's ok to cry

Remaining positive in negative situations is a strength of my family.  Even in the midst of the chaos, turmoil and horrible events that have been plaguing us lately we find a way to laugh.  It is normal to have a lengthy conversation with either my brother or sister that is so wracked with stress and sadness and tension and by the end we have found something to laugh about.  An outsider might think we were cold or heartless or ignorant as to the severity of the situation.  We are none of those things.  We just choose to put our faith in God and always look at the bright side of any situation.  And there is always one.  And we are not weak people.  We don't like to break down, so we choose laughter to offset that.  Sometimes we laugh through our tears too.  But we always find something to be joyful about.

My mother has been battling cancer for nearly a year.  After the doctors assured us all this would be a walk in the park we were ill prepared for the cold hard truth that the chemo just isn't working.  She's been through radiation as well and 3 or 4 different strains of chemo.  The cancer just won't go.  If that was all she was dealing with it might be easier.  However she also has COPD and emphysema and numerous other ailments that have popped up in this past year.  Some might have been there for years, we don't know and never will.  However, at 80 years old and in a weakened state from the cancer and COPD they can't do the surgery that they would for someone younger or stronger.  So we wait.  For what?  We don't say it out loud except to each other.  We are spread across the country from each other and have been doing our best to make sure that someone has been down there every few weeks.  This past week has proven to be more than my dad could handle.  He's letting us help now.  My father is the strongest human being I know.  He is my rock and my hero.  For him to ask for help is unheard of.  He's allowed my brother to handle a lot of the phone calls and my Godson (a med student) to talk to the Drs.  He's repeatedly told us we don't need to come.  That's all changing.  And it's heartbreaking.  Especially since we all have things going on that don't afford us the luxury of being full time caregivers 1300 and 2500 miles away.  Today I made a decision to book a flight for my daughter and I to go down for a little over 2 weeks.  I can't leave her home and she is going to have to miss school. So be it.   My priorities have to be adjusted.  Things that used to be important just aren't right now.  I'm extremely blessed that my job is portable, so I can work where ever there is Internet access.   I am not sure if I'm jumping the gun or if I'm staying too long.  I just did what I felt was right.  Then it hit me.  I'm leaving my boys alone for over 2 weeks.  I feel sick to my stomach.  Then when I think about my daddy dealing with all of this alone I feel sick to my stomach.  I'm forced to choose between my children and my parents.  I know I'm not alone.  This is what this time of life brings for those who are lucky enough to still have their parents, I know.  And this is where we find the positives.

We are so grateful and lucky that my parents are nearly 85 and 80 and we have never had to deal with any illness where they are concerned.  How blessed are we?  We have been so lucky.  This fact is not lost on us.  We knew that this day would come.  I broke down the other night and collapsed into a ball on the floor with my oldest son holding me and my middle guy holding my hand.  I let it all out and they finally saw the toll this has all been taking.  I am very much my father's daughter.  I don't allow them to know how hard some things are, I just do them.  I hated letting them see me like that!  I just couldn't be strong anymore.  And they need to know I'm not a robot. All I wanted was to be with my siblings again.  The three of us with our parents with no one else around, like when we were kids.  Childish I know, but my heart was breaking.  It lasted all of 15 minutes and I was back.  I got up, made dinner and then I realized.  The mask.  The one I donned for the entire time my son had cancer was back.  I hated that f*&king mask.  But it's necessary.  At least this time I was letting my true emotions out to those close to me.  And we were laughing and crying together.  I wasn't so alone.  And it hit me this morning.  My dad was doing exactly what I had done when my son had cancer.  I didn't want to inconvenience anyone or make anyone rearrange their lives to be with me.  Yet I silently hoped they would know how badly I needed them.  That was unfair, but at least I realized it and now I will read between the lines when my dad says no.  When I called him this morning to tell him I was coming he didn't even protest.  He just said softly "I can't wait to see you".  

So, we will do what needs to be done as a family.  My niece is going there this weekend, my sister will go when I leave and then my brother and sister in law will go after that.  Somehow we will make it work.  And we will hold each other up through the laughter and the tears.  And there again is the bright spot.  This family that God has blessed me with will be there through it all and that is a gift that not even this can take away.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January Musings - It's just emotion.....

Well a lot can change in a few days, hell a lot can change in an hour.  I was having a great morning.  I spend most days focusing on the positive and avoiding negative thoughts.  It's the way I've been training my mind now for some time (and I unconsciously lived most of my life like that, but now I'm doing it on purpose and more diligently).  Today, it came unhinged so quickly I just don't know how it happened but I crashed and burned.  Even sitting this evening thanking God for the beautiful sunset and view from the baseball field just didn't fix it.

My mother is sick.  Very sick.  I don't talk about it a lot because that gives the thoughts power.  It has been almost a year since it started.  She had a lump on her neck that was diagnosed as Lymphoma.  The same disease my son had 5 years ago.  Easy to cure, so we were told.  Should be a simple treatment.  Well, that hasn't been the case.  She has COPD on top of it, Emphesyma and now an anuerysm on her aorta.  My brother and sister and I are all far away.  They are 1300 miles away, I'm 2500.  We have all taken turns going down, including my nieces and nephews so that they aren't alone for more than a few weeks.  She has been hospitalized twice in as many months.  She is truly struggling to breathe more often then not.  The chemo doesn't seem to be working, this is the 4th different kind.  Radiation was done, she can't have any more of that.  And then they found the anuerysm on her aorta.  It's like a bad movie.  Only it's not.  It's my family and it's all too real.  My dad is handling it all, but he's getting worn out.  My mom is fighting hard, but she's getting tired.  Praying for a miracle seems to be the only answer.  The COPD is a horrible disease and it's not going away, it doesn't go away it just gets worse.  My mom used to ride her bike 5 miles a day and that kept it from progressing quickly.  But then Cancer reared it's ugly head.  I'm angry.  I'm sad.  I'm overwhelmed.  I'm dissappointed. I'm confused. And I'm grateful.  Let me explain.

I'm angry that this is happening to my family and my parents.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.  I'm not stupid, I know people don't live forever, but they weren't supposed to get sick!  Danny took that bullet for us all.  And my brother, with his triple bypass.  They did it!  They took it for us all.  That was supposed to be enough!

I'm sad.  I'm sad that my mom is suffering.  I'm sad that my dad has to watch and deal with it.  I'm sad that we aren't all in the same place to deal with it.  I'm sad my kids have to deal with this and my nieces and nephews.  I'm sad that I can't just stop everything and move there and be with them to take care of them.  I'm also angry about that, add it to the above.

I'm overwhelmed.  I don't know what to do!  There are no guidebooks.  I'm trying to stay strong and do what needs to be done for my kids.  I was at the baseball field today and then left and took Danny to another field for an opportunity and I felt selfish.  How could I be doing this while my parents need me?  I'm sitting outside in the beautiful fresh air and they are in a hospital, alone!  But what am I supposed to do?  My kids need me.  Leaving them isn't an option, I'm all they have.  I can't focus on anything and I have no motivation to do anything but talk to my brother and sister on the phone.  That comforts me.  I spent the entire day yesterday on the phone with my sister.  Nothing got done, but it was comforting.  I don't know what to think, or do or say.

I'm disappointed.  I'm disappointed that some people I love most (outside of my immediate family) aren't there for me.  People I treasure, haven't even asked how my mom is.  Left me cold.  I don't talk about all of this a lot because it's personal and emotional and I don't want to bring people down.  I did the same thing when Danny was sick.  I had my core group of people that I shared with and that was enough for me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

50 is just a number----

Today is my 50th birthday.  AHHHHH...  When I turned 20 I flipped out because I wasn't a teenager anymore.  When I turned 30 I spent over an hour crying to my brother because my life wasn't what I wanted and I hadn't accomplished what I wanted by that time.  When I turned 40 I was in a great place.  I had just moved to AZ had my first warm, sunny birthday of my life. I had 3 perfect kids and was having a home built. My 40s were tumultuous to say the least but they also changed me as lessons often do. 50 is here and I am excited!!!  My life is an empty book and I hold the pen.

I woke up this morning to the one thing I was wanting more than anything--day made.  And I hadn't even gotten out of bed or uttered a word to anyone!  Sweet! I heard someone (R) downstairs emptying the dishwasher.  I had all three of my kids hug and kiss me and wish me a happy birthday (my daughter before she even had her eyes open!)--amazing!  She made me a beautiful card telling me how I am her inspiration and how she always appreciates me.  Yea, this 50 thing was gonna work out just fine!  I opened a beautiful bracelet from my siblings and sibling in laws and nieces and nephews.  I truly could have called it a day and been a very happy girl.

Apparently my dog didn't get the memo because she threw up on the floor but hey, even that wasn't gonna bring me down lol.  I was thinking about how lucky I am to be 50 and have such a strong support system in my world.  I am healthy, thank you God, I feel fantastic.  I have had 5 people in the last 3 months tell me I look 36 and I didn't even pay them!  Life is good.  I don't even know where the day went I didn't do anything out of the ordinary but it was terrific!  My son (D) came home from school with a dozen roses for me and my siblings sent me another surprise too.  I was feeling crazy spoiled!

I realized something this year.  Every day of my life is one that should be celebrated.  It's a gift.  My birthday is just a day that everyone else can join in the party.  And that is the difference in me.  I finally GET it.  Appreciate every single moment and cherish those who love you.  Forget those who don't.  So many people in my world are getting divorced and having relationship issues and it makes me realize I am blessed to have had an easy divorce.  My kids supported me one thousand percent and are happy if I'm happy.  Not everyone is so lucky.  I have little to no dealings with my ex so there is little stress or frustration coming from that area.  My life is good.  Blessed beyond measure I am.

Don't roll your eyes, it's true!  Look at your life.  When was the last time you counted YOUR blessings?  They are there.  I guarantee it.  And before you think, well she's got no problems--WRONG!  My mother is extremely sick and living 2500 miles away, my son had cancer at the age of 10, both of my sons had surgeries this year, I'm a single mom raising 3 kids of varying ages (not easy trust me), I'm trying to navigate sending my 2nd son to college after having the oldest decide it wasn't for him, I've been betrayed, taken advantage of in friendships, had horrible relationships-  the list goes on, but I don't focus on that.  I choose to look at my blessings.  And you should too!  I can assure you if you do, your life will transform over night.  Turn a negative into a positive.  Maybe the person you love the most in the world isn't with you right now---be grateful that you have that love and that person loves you back.  Have faith that when the time is right you will be together.  Is money your issue?  Do you have food to eat, a bed to sleep in, a roof over your head?  Be grateful for those things, some don't.  Has someone close to you passed away?  That's a tough one, I'm sure, but focus on the happy times and the blessings you had by having that person in your life.  Trust me, you will never regret changing your thinking.  It works miracles.

As I look forward to the next 50 years of my life (my kids have assured me I will live to be 100) I can't wait to see what it holds in store.  Now that I've learned the tough lessons I have faith that the rest of my life will be as sweet as the chocolate cake I plan to dig into tonight <3

Friday, January 16, 2015

They aren't interchangeable

Last weekend I took my two youngest up to Las Vegas to a baseball showcase at UNLV for my son to check out the campus and for them to check him out.  We have family in Vegas so it was a perfect opportunity on so many levels.   I love when things work out like that.  We drove up the night before so that we could relax and take our time the first day of the showcase and it worked out perfectly.  I asked my cousin if my daughter could spend the day with her and she was thrilled to take her.  I didn't realize how much I miss having that living so far away from my family.  I knew that she would be well taken care of and have the best time and I could focus on my son without worrying.  Such a blessing.

As my 16 year old and I took off to the campus I was feeling such peace and contentment but I knew he was feeling anxious.  I started feeling it too since the last time he visited a campus he was with his dad and it was less than stellar, shall we say.   We found the field and signed him in and went to sit in the stands.  We were chatting about everything as always and he let out a sigh of relief and said "You see mom, this is why YOU have to take me to this stuff.  You don't stress me out or bring me down I'm totally relaxed now.  You have to promise me that you will take me to every showcase and college tour!"   Alrighty then.   Point taken.  I had been working the weekend he went to the last camp and it was a last minute invitation from a coach who had seen him the week before otherwise I would have been there.  But I got the message.

His attitude certainly showed on the field.  After recovering from his surgery over the summer he was finally back with his usual intensity and passion and skill.  I was teary eyed in the stands and so excited to see it!  He was overjoyed in the car and seemed to like the campus a lot and had a good feeling with the coaches.  The weekend passed and I had such joy in my heart, being around family and watching him on the field, it was just perfect.  Sunday was the last day of the camp and it was pouring rain and freezing cold.  Yet, there I sat under an umbrella covered in blankets with gloves and just feeling so content.  Then we went into the coaches meeting.  On the way I stepped in a huge puddle and the blankets that were keeping me dry suddenly soaked my jeans.  Hmmmm....this day was turning.

The coaches talk was overwhelming to say the least.  He described what my boys life would be like as a player at a D1 school.  It sounded grueling and exhausting yet I looked over at him and he was beaming.  I cried. The tears slid silently down my face as I listened intently to what it would take to get him here.  My heart started aching that familiar ache I had felt 4 years ago when my oldest son was a junior in high school.  He was leaving.  I wouldn't see him every day.  And according to these coaches I would be lucky to get a weekly phone call.  I wasn't ready.  We had been through so much together, he and I are connected in a way that no one else can understand.  I also don't know where he will wind up.  My oldest was only 3 hours away.  Depending on which school offers him the best situation for baseball my baby boy could wind up across the country.  I will have to be okay with that.  I will do whatever it takes and everything in my power to help him fulfill his dreams!  Luckily, that makes me too busy to dwell on the rest of it right now.  

I said to him, hmmm maybe if you play here we will move to Vegas.  His eyes lit up.  Well that was squashed when my daughter firmly said she wasn't leaving her friends or being the new kid in school.  Alrighty then.  I know it will all work out the way it is supposed to and God has it in His firm grasp so I'm open to whatever comes.  This morning I woke up and I had that pang in my heart that he was going to be leaving before I knew it.  It reminded me of when my oldest went to Kindergarten and I was bawling.  Everyone couldn't understand, they looked at me like I was nuts.  "Well you still have D at home".  Yes, obviously I did, but hellooooooo  D wasn't R!  They aren't interchangeable!  My kids are 3 individuals who can't be swapped out for the other.  Just like when R went to college and people said "What are you so upset for, you still have 2 at home!"  OMG they aren't place markers to just fill up a chair at the dinner table.  Jeez.  They are individuals who each have a different and equally special place in my heart and in my life.  

So now, as I prepare to have D leave the nest (and if his dreams come true, he won't be back for any long periods of time again) my heart aches and the sobs come and the tears flow just as much as they did with R.  I didn't think that would happen.  I thought I was prepared.  I thought I was adjusted.  After all R is back home and even though our relationship is much different then before it's still close and there.  Nope, no such luck.  Having D leave might actually be harder.  Hell, what am I saying it will definitely be harder.  Because we have a different relationship and he will be in a different situation. The thought of not being in the stands every time he plays and not knowing how he was feeling after a game makes me physically sick to my stomach.  I will miss him every bit as much as I missed R even though I know he will keep in better contact with me then his brother did.  I know he will miss me just as much.  And the fact that I will still have 2 kids at home with me (maybe only 1 by that time who knows) doesn't make me feel any better.   They aren't interchangeable....they are my babies and I will feel every emotion with each one of them like it was the first time....because it will be---for them.