Follow this blog

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!