The Heart of the Matter

I have experienced great loss in my life. My kid sister, my Mom, my Pops, my cousin Mike. I love each of them dearly in entirely different ways. Both my cousin and my sister were on the younger side of life. My world was shaken to its core the day my sister died. Losing her changed me in ways I never imagined a person could change. I am kinder. I am in my moments. I tell people I love them. I HUG. I am less guarded with my emotions, which is both a blessing and a curse. I am not perfect nor do I want to be. Some days I am still a shit. I can be hateful but I try to be the better version of myself everyday.

I am writing this because I am trying to reign in my emotions. I have had a tough couple of days which in all honesty pales in comparison to the last couple of days in life of someone I love, my Auntie T. I love this woman. She is my Mother’s kid sister. She has always been the cool Aunt. The one who took you on adventures when you were a kid. The one who bought you the Christmas gift your parents didn’t know you needed. She took me to have my picture taken by a photographer before I started Kindergarten. I was petrified of the camera. She was so patient. I am part Native American so who knows maybe our ancestors knew a thing or two about soul stealers? When I was a little girl, before my Auntie started a family of her own, she was my magic. There was always something about her, almost like an energy, a force of nature.

As life sometime goes, in the process of growing up you also grow away. Life is a selfish journey sometimes and though no one is at fault we all move in directions that sometime remove us from the people we love the most. My teen years and her own growing family changed our dynamic.  We were busy moving in our own circles. Our lives on very separate paths for a long time…and then my sister died, and my mother was not well. Over the next few years I grew closer to my Auntie again. I guess I never realized just how much she has meant to me until she told me that she needed heart surgery.

My own mother had heart surgery when she was 48 or 49 years old. She almost did not survive. My mother smoked. She was obese. She struggled with mental illness. The real problems with her recovery were linked to a 3 pack a day smoking habit and the amount of psyche meds she was on. She was in a medically induced coma for several days and her body did not want to breathe again on its own.  Eventually my mother got better and after a very long 10 months she was back to herself. The vision of my mom lying lifeless after surgery lives in my memory. Needless to say I was very afraid for my Auntie.

I prayed. Small thing, right? Not for me. Not for the girl who feels invisible, even to God. I was relieved when the text came through my phone that my Auntie had pulled through surgery ok. Maybe just this once God heard me. I went to visit with her today. She is doing well. She is so much more healthier than my poor mother ever was. She has a long recovery in front of her but she will make it. I hope she has many well lived years ahead of her. Never underestimate what you mean to someone. I have always tried to be the best example to my niece and nephews because of my Auntie T. She knows I love her but I don’t think she knows how important a role she has played in my life. Thank you for being you.

You are loved more than you know.

You are stronger than you realize.

I Love You.

 

 

Unwritten

All of my tries are outside the lines…The time has once again come for me to tweak my story. I get so caught up in “fixing” myself that I get lost. I am tired, almost out of good groceries to snack on AND if I am being completely honest with you, I want to be found. In spite of myself and all of the incorrect beliefs that I have lived most of my life by, I have all of the things I yearned for in my youth. I am loved. I am happily married to a great guy. I have friends that I care deeply for and likewise. I am gainfully employed. I live in a nice neighborhood in a house that is neither too large nor too small. I am a middle-aged woman. I am in the throes of Menopause. I am beautiful in a way that is more important than physical attractiveness. I am ENOUGH! I am tired of trying to live up to expectations I set for myself back in the days of my wild youth in the middle of teenage angst and acne. Those foolish expectations have proven to be unattainable time and time again. SO!?!

Why do I continue to make myself miserable? This weekend I looked through photos of my life. In most of these photos I am, well, I am as I am now semi-round. There is a discernible twinkle in my eye. Here lies the real me the one the naked eye cannot behold. In these pictures I see the loves of my life: my Mom, my Dad, my sisters, the rest of the members of my family who have passed on or moved too far away for me to keep in touch with, except through the modern miracle of social media. It is in the memories of these moments captured in technicolor that bring a smile to my soul not my dress size. I was loved anyway.

I am no longer interested in the pursuit of {insert impossible dream here} a foolish ideal that will make my life magically fall into place. I am not sure what will be in the next chapter of my life but I look forward to new pages everyday. Tomorrow is still unwritten .
Here’s to the next story of my life.

 

Loss, grief, and LOVE

I have been here before. Surrounded by people I love but lost in the vastness of my own despair. People are talking to me but their voices carry over my head like the sounds you hear while submerged in a hot bath tub trying to soak away the worries of the world. Muted tones, blurred words. My pain raises in my throat like a lump of hot coal. My throat burns as I try to swallow. I suppress the urge to cry out. I choke on my own grief. Tears spill out, roll down my cheeks and expose me. This is my reaction to someone else’s loss. Why? The question I ask myself every time someone I love loses someone they love.

Grief is a strange thing. Emotions crash over me like waves on a sun soaked beach. People in the business of Psychology will tell you grief has stages. I always thought that was horseshit and feathers until I joined the club. This club has many members and no one is here willingly. If given a choice most people want more time with their loved one; to live another day, to love with every ounce of their being, to laugh until they can’t, to hold onto the magic of them, to make one last memory, to acknowledge their stronghold on your heart.

Seldom does anyone get those chances. Love the people in your life while they are with you. Get angry, fight, be involved, just don’t forget to STOP and LOVE and LAUGH and EMBRACE. Make a memory. Have you ever seen the movie Artificial Intelligence ? I can not watch this movie without crying. It portrays happiness in it’s purest form and grief so raw it burns. This movie pulls at all the important emotions that make life worth living.

I’ve spent many years unable to accept kind words or deeds done in memory of my loved ones because my soul was too broken and numb. I was unable to hear anything above my own anguish. Perhaps that is why I cry when I am faced with a loss that is not mine.  I still struggle to maintain a peace within myself over the loss of my family. I often wonder if I will ever feel whole again. Never under estimate what you mean to someone else.
the-most-beautiful

Framily

I often forget, well, I don’t really forget I get complacent and take for granted all of the things I am grateful for. I had a terrific weekend. I went to a parade in Plymouth MA with a friend. It was a lovely day. A little windy but bright and inviting. I sang to the breakfast crowd at Will & Co. Café. I have a habit of breaking out into song in the oddest of places but I was loving life and I wanted to share my joie de vivre.

My friends (the people I love most in this world) allow me the indulgence to be. I am pretty sure that I have never expressed my gratitude adequately enough. I apologize. You are everything wonderful to me.  I am so lucky to have you in my life. Family is sometimes made up of people you are not related to but who you can relate to.

In recent years I have lost my sister, my mom, my dad; me, but in a different way. It’s  difficult to be thankful. I spent so many years feeling trapped by the constraints of family and its obligations that I never put much thought into what would become of my world when these minor inconveniences were no longer of my daily life. Being part of a family is tough not being part of a family is tougher. I now know what it feels like to get invited to a party where I am the only who shows up in drag. Oh that isolating swirl of emotion that sets you aside from those around you, wonderful really.

I wish I could turn back time. I would hold my mom in my arms and tell her how much I love her because I never told her enough. I would tell my dad he was my hero. I would HUG my kid sister. And I would be thankful for every ugly, angry, happy, loved moment of being part of something.

Do you  know how blessed you are? Find out. Sit back, be quiet. Drink in the laughter of your loved ones. Embrace what you have been given, make a memory and hold on as long as you can. somethinggratitude

 

 

 

 

The Ripple

If you are very fortunate in life there are people who “get” you. My personal list happens to be on the short side. My life’s path has been blessed by many people, and yes, some of you have been really lovely but let’s be honest most of you don’t  “get” me. The pool of people in my life (people that I hold near and dear to my heart and soul) is rather small. I have never been quite sure if  I can attribute that to my unwillingness to meet new people or to the fact that most people are too judgmental and hurtful. Recently this pool of mine has lost some members. There was no lapse in coverage or a failure to renew. Their life cycles just stopped spinning.

Now, even though it is not true, I feel like I am spinning all alone. My cousin Mike was a kind, unique human being; and just like a flash of lightning he is gone.  Once again I find myself in the place of regrets, with thoughts unspoken and deeds undone. How did our lives end up on opposite shores? How do I tell you how much you have always meant to me? I can’t.  I can only hold onto my belief that somehow you know how golden we once were, before life and dreams of adulthood separated our paths. You will always live in my heart where I hold onto all the wonderful things from my life. You always made me laugh. You always listened when I was certain no one heard.  You were more than a ripple in the wave of my life. I owe you more than I can ever pay forward. You were one of the reasons I learned to fly. I hope you know that you are loved. I will forever miss you. Rock the Heavens. Lord knows they could use better music.

A ripple seems like a small thing until you realize how big its impact is. Be the ripple in the waves of someone’s life. wave

 

Holiday

I wasn’t sure if I could make it through today. I was not looking forward to this Thanksgiving. I gleaned something about my myself and my Pops. He is in the things that I do. He lives in my heart and soul not in any one thing he ever gave me. That cowboy hat I have in the closet does not hold his essence; I do. He is not in the Army trunk that once housed his khakis. He is in my thoughts while I peel the potatoes for his favorite stuffing. He is in the warmth of the kitchen as things simmer. I can hear his laughter amongst the laughter of my guests enjoying the football game.

NEW TRADITION ALERT! I decided I was not going to make a turkey, so I didn’t. This year for the first time I prepared a spiral ham.  I needed to step away from all of the memories that I associate with this holiday. Many of them are NOT pleasant. I wanted to be free. Many past Thanksgivings have been ruined by my quintessential family:  arguments, flying food, insults, drunken behavior and trips to the ER for stitches. Thanksgiving makes me grumpy and short tempered. I do all of the work. I am the one who allows herself to get frazzled. I am the one who obsesses about everything being “perfect”. No one else cares. They just want to eat, relax and have some fun.

I let go of my old tired tradition and ate, relaxed and had some fun.

 

The Lost Weekend

A film noir from 1945 starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman. It is a story of an alcoholic that goes on a bender and well, loses an entire weekend. That’s how I felt last weekend. I overbooked my free time, stretching myself too thin (no pun intended) and poor choices were made. It’s a strange feeling when you first uncork that bottle. The aroma wafts toward you and you feel light headed, enticed and maybe even giddy. You are having such a great time that you don’t realize just how far your lifeboat has drifted away from its anchor…

…and it is election night and you can cut the tension in the room with a knife. People are angry and don’t handle their emotions well on all sides. Long term friends (not mine) are questioning loyalties and people go out of their way to be hurtful and hateful instead of life affirming and giving. What a week! I want to retire to my bed and mope under the covers until Spring…

…but I won’t!

I am better than all that! I deserve more from myself than giving up! It was one weekend. It is over. I had a ton of fun. I had stress that I could have handled better. Next time I will slow down and be better. Observe, absorb, learn, move on. I got to spend some amazing quality time with family, my best friend and a co-worker who I adore. There will always be another chance to put my best effort forward. Never lose HOPE! for without hope all will truly be lost. She is the holder of the light and beauty that guides us through our darkest days.

Never Give Up On The Person You Are Meant to BE!hopewpid-wp-1410621777438.jpeg

 

Pardon the Interruption…

…We now return you to our regularly schedule programming. You never know what you are made of until you are forced to see ;  )

My Friday evenings are usually spent thinking of something inspirational and thought provoking for my group of fellow WWs. I try to blog before our weekly gathering on Saturday morning. This week was tough for me. Life dealt me a tough hand that ruined my week that threw me into a spin. My beloved Pops passed away in his sleep Wednesday night.

I knew someday it would have to happen, like most people I assumed we’d have another day. My bad. Let me say I have no regrets. I never let anything go undone when it came to my Dad. He gave me so much yet I feel like I gave him so little in return. I owed him a great deal. He taught me about perseverance, strength, love, beauty. He was not a perfect man but he was a great one. I have cried a lot in the past few days; but, I have also smiled and laughed and have been touched so profoundly by other people’s love for both me and my Dad.

I am truly blessed. My heart has grown three sizes. I thought I might not be able to keep on track and manage my foods.  I haven’t felt the need to feed my sadness. He is at peace. So I feel at peace. Whatever time we had together, whatever there was left to do that’s not yet done is okay, it’s all good. We had a great run, didn’t we DAD? I will stay the course and I will make it to my goal whatever it is because I have what I need to get there. He believed in me. He loved me. He had faith that everything always turns out just the way it is supposed to. I don’t intend to let him down. I am his daughter.

Never Give UP on the Person You Are Meant to Be

Faith is believing. I believe that someone will always be there in my corner guiding my way. These are my angels: Dad, Mom and my kid sister. Until we meet again all of my love, ❤ Trish

skip that rock

Thanksgiving is less than one week away. I am struggling with reasons to be thankful. Big holidays are supposed to be filled with relatives and food and stress and love. Intangible things you can’t quite put a finger on, like the smell of that favorite holiday stuffing that makes you miss your Mom. Or the grin that Cool Whip brings to your face just by thinking about it. Or the memory of parades of days gone by like the Macy’s floats, big and grand.

I know that my Dad is safe. I know somewhere in my heart he is better off being looked after; I feel deserted. I have been left all alone. Not by him but by circumstance.  Life is what happens when you make other plans. Thanksgiving is a time for family. Once upon at time I had that. I MISS them. I MISS the hot mess that made them MY family. I hate Thanksgiving; it makes me sad. Thanksgiving should be about the fullness of your life not the emptiness.

I am grateful to still have my Pops in my life. I am thankful I have a hubby who stands by me no matter how bad the storms get. I am humbled to be honored with the Best best friend anybody could ever hope for. I am thankful for all the great memories I can still look back on and bask in the glow of that love. I have so much yet I struggle. I yearn for the simple things that were once part of my everyday life.

Cherish the moments in your life. All of them. Holidays often have moments that hurt. Someone you love may not be able to handle all of the false hopes a holiday tends to pin on one’s soul. I know I used to put too much emphasis on the perfect. I wanted the perfect family, the most perfect meal in the most peaceful, loving, giving atmosphere. I guess nobody else got the memo.

In my family if we made it to the end of the meal in one piece without any yelling or crying it WAS the perfect day. Too bad none of us realized it then. We had some moments. Stuffing on the floor. Gravy boats smashed. Pies eaten by Tuesday. Mom who only ever copped to,” It was just a taste. I swear!” Only thing is she tasted ’til it was nearly gone as if the single pie section she left was evermore than a taste for the rest of us.  Stress of being perfect always made her nuts.

I stopped trying to have perfect holidays after my sister died. Didn’t seem to be any point to that stuff and nonsense. I want to enjoy my life. As messy as my life is sometimes at least I can say I try to live in the moments. Ruined holidays, there were many, taught me to see the humor in everyday challenges. It built a strength in me that helps me to see a difficult time through to its finish, whatever it may be.

Life is like a ripple in the water caused by a rock you just skipped across the surface. Be that rock. Test the water, be alive in your life. Skip along the surface of the water. Be awestruck by the beauty of it. See the ripples you create.  I want my ride to continue on so I can see what adventure is next. Even as I glide I am losing momentum, soon I  will break below the surface and sink to the bottom. My glorious ride will be over. I am not ready to be added to the other rocks at the bottom, left in a heap to be forgotten. Looks like I will just have to get a new rock.

Enjoy the people in your life while they are in your life. I am thankful for you = )

 

 

 

A Girl Named Fox

Have you ever been someplace that vibrated from the amount of admiration, respect or love for a person? I mean for someone who isn’t a rock star?  I witnessed it up close today for a man I have never actually met.  Two minutes in a reception line does not indeed count, nice try. The number of people I actually knew at the benefit was less than fingers on one hand yet I didn’t feel at odds. I was awed today.

I went to see a girl named Fox today. She is dear to me in ways I can not list here. She has a way about her that makes you feel that you are a better person just for having known her. Recently her family has been through some real crap moments due to an illness of a loved one. I have been worried about her. A true friend is someone who wants nothing from you but everything for you. I want all the awesome things about life to be there for her and her family but I can’t promise these things or even fix the stuff that is wrong. It breaks my heart. I wish I could take all the pain, fear and doubt away. I can only give of my heart, my hopes, and my support. I jokingly tell her she is part of my Framily, but I mean it. You are blessed if you can say that you have family and friends in your life that care about you; the whole of you.

I hope you and your family felt the love today.