Thursday, April 20, 2017

Love Letter To My Child

Life Lessons For My Child To Learn

There has never been a word invented that properly describes the love a parent has for their child.  All the words we use to define measurement fail to measure up.  Words fail to describe the breadth, depth and beauty of that love.  Yet, we never stop trying to impart these feelings.  Here, my child, are the life lessons that hopefully will be imparted to you, in the most kindest and gentlest way possible. 

You are loved unconditionally.
It may not always seem that way.  But, it is always true. Of all the things in the world that you will come to doubt, never doubt that you are loved unconditionally.

There is light in the darkness.
It might seem as if no light can crack the darkness. As if every pin light will be swallowed without a flicker.  Who cares how things seem?  Walk confidently in the dark, for there is light and it will find you.

Laugh out loud at least once a day.
Seriously, laughter really is the best medicine.  If the day has passed by without anything to laugh at, then think back to another day.  Google knock knock jokes, turn on a comedy, call a funny friend.  I don't care what you do, but don't go to bed without having laughed out loud.

Adopt a pet.
Rather, allow an animal to adopt you.  Rescue an animal, and they will rescue you right back.  A house is just happier when it's filled with at least one furry friend.  

Embrace change.
Nothing in this life remains the same, and we wouldn't want it to.  How boring would that be? Change is going to happen, no matter what.  It might be for the better, it might be for the worse.  Change is scary, and it's always going to be that way, but it also can be exciting and full of promise. 

Travel the world.
Life is short.  The world is huge.  See as much of it as possible.  Eat different foods, mispronounce foreign words,  buy the T-shirt to prove you were there.  Soak in every sight, and never stop wandering.

Allow grief and despair into your life.
Grief and despair will coming knocking on your door at some point.  They show up uninvited and unannounced.  Let them in for a visit, for they have their own lessons to teach.  Just don't let those two hunker down and outlast the welcome.

This too shall pass.
There is a reason why this saying has been around for eons.  It's because it's true.  This too shall pass.  Whatever 'this' is.  It doesn't really matter what 'this' is anyway.  Just know it's not here to stay.

Know your worth.
Determining your worth is something that you must do on your own.  Others may help.  To me, you are worth more than anything, or anyone, on God's green earth. In the end however, you must know your own worth and give no heed to what others might say. Never, ever settle for less.  Not ever.

Life is just a balancing act.
Life is all about balance, my friend.  Work hard - Play hard.  Float in the sea - Tackle those mountains.  Stay home with a good book - Have a night out with friends.  Laugh - Cry.  Love - Be loved.  Keep those scales tipping heavy on the good times - light on the heavy times.

You are loved unconditionally.
It all comes back to this.  You are loved.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Caught somewhere between winter, spring, summer and fall lies the Season of Hope.  It follows the Season of Change; that awful time of unpredictability.  One January I found myself ensnared in both.  It started with a job lay off and was followed up with hitting the age of 40.  My husband, Davis, was excited for me.  He is sometimes delusional. 

“You’ve always wanted to be a writer.  Here’s your chance. “

“What about money, bills, mortgage?” I asked.

“Don’t worry about that stuff.  Take some time for yourself.”

See?  Delusional.

With no excuse left for not pursuing my childhood dream, I did the second best thing.  Grabbing some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, I hit the couch and succumbed to the dark side.  It’s a place I’ve been before and am comfortable in.  They have sweat pants and chocolate there.  Elastic waistbands and ice cream; these are a few of my favorite things. 

Eventually, bored with my own self-involvement and my family’s patience running thin, there was nothing left to do but come back from that dark place.  Stashing the pints of Ben and Jerry’s back in the freezer, I re-entered the world.

It’s never easy.  Self-doubt is one of my favorite companions.  Finding a therapist named Camille and paying her good money to say nice things about me helped.  I returned to the workforce in a new career.  Then I returned to college in search of a new degree.  I found a homeless shelter that needed some help and discovered that if I used coupons combined with store sales I could buy food for free and donate that to the shelter.  Stepping outside myself, I became swept up in the Season of Hope.  And, that is my favorite season. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Under Wraps

It's official.  Summer is here.  I welcome the heat and humidity with open arms and a new bathing suit. Also, a new cover up so that no human being ever has to see me in a bathing suit. 

To be perfectly honest this is the first time in nine years that I have bought a bathing suit.  Last time being for a family trip to Florida.  Back then I was a "short wearer". Which means that I still considered my legs from mid-thigh down to be presentable for viewing and wore shorts out in public and over my swim suit.  A lot has changed since way back when.

I've gained weight and acquired spider veins. In an effort to lose weight and manage the pain of arthritis I joined a fitness center. A Dairy Queen sharing the same parking lot of the gym should've tipped me off.  Bad idea.  I went on a regular basis and rode the recumbent bike a lot.  The arthritis pain got better.  I celebrated with sundaes from Dairy Queen.  Those chocolate covered waffle bowls get me every time.  They also cause me to lie to my Dr when she asks if I am following a low-fat diet along with the exercising.  

So, this summer, for whatever reason I decided to embrace my out of shape body and just buy a bathing suit already.  Why can't department stores use candle light in their dressing rooms?  It's so much more flattering than fluorescent.  After much swallowing down of denial - yes that is back fat and no you can't squish it down so no one will notice - I found a really cute suit.  A pair of shorts and tank top.  Even better; a cover up that was on sale for half off. 

Off to the water park my family goes.  And, the cover up accidentally gets left at home.  At the store a cover up might have seemed necessary, but at the park it no longer matters.  Sure, some of that is due to the fact that no one I know will see me at Splashing Safari.   But, mostly it's because that as me, Davis, Milo and my nephew race each other down a giant slide it doesn't matter what I look like.  Only that as my son thinks about this day in upcoming years he will remember that I was right there next to him.  Laughing.  And, trying to convince him that it's not how fast you go but how far you travel.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life Altering Events

Finally, finally, the storm clouds have broken up and dispersed from the plateau of my brain allowing some sunbeams to shine through. 

The past six weeks have been challenging as I embark on a new career path.  That old saying, "can't teach an old dog new tricks" is proving true in my case.  I am learning to do something that I've never done before and after being laid off in January I'm just thankful to be working.  But, it is mentally exhausting.  And stressful.  And, I am a natural born hand-wringer.  Not such a good combo.  Or, it is a perfect combo for sitting around on the couch and eating Ben and Jerry's Karmel Sutra.  Which is mostly what I've been doing in my down time.  The only way I have found to shut the brain off is junk food and old movies on cable.

Some movies stand up to the test of time and "Air Force One" is one that does for me.  My husband Davis and I saw it back in the summer of 1997 when it was a new release and we were newlyweds.  Now, as a pair of oldyweds with a kid we watched the rerun.  Everything is different when one becomes a mom.  Even watching movies.  This go-round I spent a lot of time saying, "How can that poor, first lady go through this as a mom?  How can a mom comfort her child in this situation?"  My husband spent an equal amount of time saying, "You do know this isn't a documentary, right?" 

One thing that is real and has been vastly altered by my mommy status is how I respond to natural disasters.  Back in 1999, during the early morning hours, a deadly and destructive tornado hit Cincinnati, where Davis and I were living in a 3rd floor apartment.  We were sleeping when my sister called to let me know a tornado had crossed over into Cincinnati on the west side of town very near us.  We were tired.  We were stupid.  We went back to sleep.  The next morning when the local news broadcast the tale of homes destroyed and four people dead, it barely registered.  I was late for work since we had lost power and my alarm didn't go off.  At work people were talking about the storms and the general consensus among us lower, working class was that at least the tornado hit the more affluent neighborhood.  Those people had money, which to us translated into lots of insurance.  No big deal. A misconception I'm ashamed to admit to.

Fast forward to the present day.  Tornadoes have ripped through the south and Midwest.  My son's teacher has lost a family member in Alabama's April tornado.  At school the kids have been talking about tornadoes a lot.  Fearfully.  No longer do I ignore the call to seek safety.  One night, late at night, the sirens sound.  More tornadoes.  Davis called from his work to warn me.  I grab our son Milo, blankets, flashlight, both our dogs and head for the basement.  Then I hear it.  That sound like a freight train.  It was loud and over our house.  Milo was shaking.  I tucked my boy up under my chin and promised him that everything would be all right.  Silently, ferociously I prayed, "Please, God, don't make a liar out of me to my son."  The tornado, small in size, passed us by that night and touched down two miles up the road.  The place it landed was an empty truck stop.  A couple semi-trucks were tossed around like toys, but that was all. 

Then Joplin, Missouri happened.  As images of loss and heartbreak flash across the screen all I can think of is how many Joplin parents hugged their children tight that night and promised them everything will be all right.  And, how those children now know those are just words moms and dads sometime say when they don't know what else to do or say.  My heart hurts for the people who have had their lives altered.  I could never imagine what it must be like to tell my child that his home is gone.  That we cannot keep his dogs in a shelter; that he will have to be without his two best buddies when he needs their love and affection the most. 

Hopefully, the people who have been touched by the tornadoes these past two months know that they are not alone.  People willing to step up and help out a stranger in need is the one force of nature that can calm a mom's and her child's fears in the night.

*Update - My husband let me know that later the weatherman announced that it was straightline winds that did the damage at the truck stop and the tornado touched down several miles farther than first thought.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Paying It Forward

The other day, at the exact moment I was in need of a little pick me up, I opened my email and found this lovely award waiting for me from Madison of, I'd like to thank her for the award.  Thank you, I really appreciate it!  I'd also like to encourage everyone to check out her blog.  April is National Autism Awareness Month.

So, the rules are I must tell everyone 7 things about me and then pay the award forward to other bloggers.  Here goes:

Deadliest Catch is my favorite T.V. show.

I'm left-handed.

Walking and riding a bike are my two favorite ways to exercise.

Fall is my favorite season.

I cried after dropping my son off at school for his 1st day of kidnegarten.

My husband and I met at Frisch's when I was a waitress and he was a cook.

I wish I knew how to play the piano.

And the blogs I'm awarding The Versatile Blogger Award to:     Really like the style of her writing and her recipes  Such a nice lady with a great blog Tasty BBQ Pulled Pork recipe just posted. Really nice lady A husband and wife that always have great parenting advice Funny essays about life and family  Beautiful photographs and I love her tagline  Blogging for the better good.  Join in with your voice.  Funny, sweet, touching. Creative and interesting

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fairy Tale, Schmairy Tale

Love may very well be a many splendored thing, but it's also a fickle, ever changing, growing, disappearing and reappearing thing. 

It's easy to believe in a happily ever after when you're standing in that bridal shop, trying on white organza confections, and friends are sighing "you'll make such a beautiful bride."  Believing in the happy forever after is a little more difficult when the seal between the toilet and the floor decides to break 30 minutes after Home Depot has closed for the night and you and your spouse are standing ankle deep in toilet water.  Life has handed my husband Dave and I our fair share of these moments.  

Recently, we celebrated our anniversary.  We talked my sister into keeping our boy Milo overnight, got all gussied up and headed out to try a new restaurant.  As we fed ourselves steak, salad and chocolate cake we did more than celebrate the passing of the years.  We celebrated the moments and memories that make up those years.  This anniversary found us huddled close together at the table, oblivious to our surroundings, content to make each other laugh.  There have been other dinners where we've sat and ate, with more than just the width of a table separating us. 

Just 14 years old, our marriage has already lasted three times longer than the average union.  We've been happy, miserable, blessed, resentful, grateful and every other emotion known to exist. I think any long-term marriage is about luck, laughter and forgiveness as much as it is about love.  So, we celebrate. 

We celebrate: a first apartment, new homes, broken toilets, building a swing set out back, puppies no one but us wanted, sleepless nights with a teething baby, standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon, planting trees and watching them grow, Disney Land, loved ones we had to say good-bye to, Christmas stockings hanging off the mantle, the cat biting our toes, stacks of medical bills, watching our son start his first day of school, cheering on his basketball team, eating pizza on an empty beach, calls when the car broke down, sled riding on snowy days, playing board games, flooded backyards, super-duper hugs, just plain old surviving it all and hoping we get some more just like it.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

If Only

Wouldn't it be nice if....

     children came with an instruction manual

     money really did grow on trees

     life came with a do-over button

     chocolate chip cookies caused weight loss

     the house cleaned itself

     that alarm didn't go off so early in the morning

     wishes could always come true