Tag Archives: thankful

Scar Tissue

Today, the scar on my heart burns.

The memories are not painful anymore, they are bittersweet. Today, though, today they ache and burn something fierce! The need to have you here is an all too familiar feeling, but today it is one that no words seem to be able to dispel. Life is tough and I have learned to live it in-spite of it’s rough edges. I have found joy in between the waves of pain. I have found strength in laughter and in tears. Life has not been easy but it has been doable.

Today, however, I feel as though I am putting on a facade. I have walked through the day with a burning scar heating up my chest, with an emptiness that is difficult to fill. I have smiled but not really felt happy. I have a bone deep weariness weighing me down. I’m not sure why this date this year is particularly hard. I have been thinking about you a lot of late. Not that you are ever very far from my mind. I feel the need to talk to you and hear your thoughts but you are not here. Friends and family are always willing to help. I love them for the generosity of their time, love, and patience. I’m not sure I would be where I am now if it were not for them. Unfortunately, they can not give me what you could. I miss your shoulder to rest my head on and your hand in mine.

Today will pass and you will still be gone, so I must attempt to quiet the pain in my heart. Ease the burn of the scar tissue. I have done it before and I will again, but the scar will always remain.

Love has a price but it is worth every penny.

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Good Wine, Good Food, Good Friend

Five years ago I felt like my world collapsed. I honestly thought I was only surviving so that my daughter wouldn’t have to lose both parents. I didn’t want her to feel any more pain than she had to feel. Then in April, I was slapped by death again as I lost my grandma. I kept going because I couldn’t do anything else. In June of that year, death beat me down again as my Dad lost his battle with cancer. Keep moving, wall up the heart and close the gates of emotion. Ha! Not easily done. Honestly? It was probably the worst thing I could have done. But let’s fast forward five years, I think I have dwelt enough in the past.

This weekend I spent some time with friends. It was great! It usually is, I have pretty good friends :). We went to the Mackinaw Valley Vineyard in Mackinaw, Illinois. It was the second time I had been there and it was just as nice as the first. The first time I went with a group of friends to a wine and chocolate tasting, this time, we went and saw a murder mystery. It was so much fun! Dinner was tasty and the company was great! The little murder mystery play was put on by a small company of 2 people, a married couple, with the assistance from audience members. All of this with dinner and dessert in between. The wine you could purchase by the glass or by the bottle from the vineyard. I am partial to the sweet wines and really enjoyed their Edelweiss and Diane’s Desire.

All of that was great, but the nicest and scariest part of the night was when a person that I had gotten to know during the horrible year of pain came up to me and said hi! I haven’t really seen much of anyone from that year in person for quite some time. I was a mess that year and not my best me, so when I run into someone from that year in person I have to stop a second and try to remember through the fog. I remembered her right away of course and was happy to see her. I’ll call her K for the purpose of this post. K looked happy and was with her husband. It was really great to see her happy and to get to spend time with her. The scary part, for me, is the question. The question that everyone who hasn’t seen me since that time asks, “How are you?”. My standard answer is I’m good. I found that this time it’s true. I really am doing good. I mean my life isn’t cake or anything, but it’s good :). I have a great daughter, a wonderful family, awesome friends and a life that I didn’t think would be possible 5 years ago.

The second question I hate getting when I meet someone after a long absence is “What are you doing now?”. I hate this question because when I explain my current life to people I get mixed reactions. I was not able to secure a teaching position after I finished my Master’s in Education degree. I know why and it stings horribly. I have been told by several that I would make a good teacher, so why don’t I have a teaching job? Well several reasons possibly, lots of people looking and few jobs in my area are at the top of the list. But I know the real reason and it bothers me tremendously. That, however, is a story for another day. The main reason I hate this question is because there are those who see my lifestyle as lazy or irresponsible. My choices are my own, for the most part, and I weigh each one heavily. Some do not agree and others just nod as if this all they expected of me. While I don’t always like the path that I have been forced to forge on my own, I am ok with my decisions. Yes, even the ones that I later regret.Why? Because I know that life isn’t easy and it so frequently lobs rocks and digs pitfalls and tries to drown a person at every turn. I have a choice, I can constantly bemoan those rocks, pitfalls, and tons of water, or I can see past all of that to the rainbows, the helping hands, the green trees and the blue skies. I can choose to see the smile on my daughters face or hear the laughter of my friends rather than the tears I have cried and the pain that I endure. Life is about choices and I accept the responsibility of all of my choices, the good and the bad.

My lost acquaintance/friend asked this very question and I asked it of her in return. K seems to be doing well and really likes her job. I am so happy for her! When I told her what I am doing now there was no judgment in her face and for once I didn’t feel worried that this knowledge would cost me a potential relationship. This was also the first time that I called myself a writer, so that was a little scary. I am so glad that I ran into K and her husband! It was nice to see someone from that year of hell and not feel awkward or like an utter failure. K is just as nice as I remember her and I look forward to getting to know her again.

As for the other stuff. I think too much! Here is me, my friends, down and dirty! I am a mother, semi-hoarder(I’m getting better at that), an artist, a teacher, a writer, a gym goer, a pescatarian, an art lover, a B-movie watcher, wine drinking, cussing, animal loving, goofy, middle-aged, young at heart, emotional,  thinks too much about herself and not enough about the world around her(working on this too) person. This is me, unapologetically me!

This weekend taught me a little bit more about myself and I am good with what I learned. Also, this weekend rocked! I had good friends surrounding me, good food to eat, good wine to drink and it was amazing!

So here is to you, my friends! May you always have enough of everything! Love to all!

Thanksgiving #5

I hate living off Social Security and the stigma it brings. But today I realized the benefit it brings to me (besides being able to pay the bills). While I am trying to get my business off the ground and/or find a job I get the best perk ever!

I am thankful for being able to walk my daughter into school everyday. To help her hang up her coat and tell her to have a great day and that I will see her after school.

I am thankful for being able to pick her up after school and being able to make dinner with her or while she plays in the other room.

Living off of Social Security sucks, but being able to do all of that is completely AWESOME! 😀

Thanksgiving #4

Friends and Family

Jean: Thankful that she has put up with my whiny, pushy butt since we were in the womb together 🙂 She accepts me for me and only complains about me when I am really a Bitch.

Tara: My constant reminder that I am a good person and a good mother. Thankful for her tell it like it is attitude that reminds me so much of her brother(our Justin). It pisses me off sometimes that she has the ability to make me aware of what is and is not my responsibility 🙂

Anastasia: Who is the light of my life and reminds me that being young can be fun and just as horribly hard as being older. I am thankful for her creativity because it reminds me that sometimes it is okay to make up your own story. 

Carrie Anderson: What can I say? She taught me how to enjoy Elvis, tolerate SpongeBob and tell the people who want to judge me to Fuck off. She is a good friend and constantly surprises me with her strength and her sensitive side. 

Danielle Wallace: I am thankful to have such a calm and loving influence in my life. She has accepted me since Kindergarten, had my back when bullied at school, and has never failed to make me feel that I am a worthwhile person to know.

Eric Baker: He constantly shows me that crazy can be fun and useful 🙂 He has a perseverance that constantly amazes me. As many times as he has said “I’m just gonna pack it up and say Fuck all of them” he has stuck it out came out a stronger man for it.

Beverly(mom), Cheryl, Terry, and Pam: My teachers and my mothers. They have and continue to show me strength, compassion and understanding. We grow away from parents as we age, we have our own lives to live. Somehow we always know they are behind us ready to catch if we fall.

I am thankful for every friend and family member that I have. Each and everyone of you has shown me a part of myself and added to my life in some way. I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for knowing you. To all that I have not mentioned THANK YOU! for being you and making my life more interesting, calm, stronger, fun, loving, exciting, and over all so much FULLER! I am truly THANKFUL FOR YOU!

Anniversary

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On October 18, 2003 I got married. It was a wonderful day! I had a pretty dress and family and friends and the man I loved standing beside me. This year would have been our 9th wedding anniversary. The day went by mostly unremembered. I was dealing with my sick cat and some pretty low feelings. But I think I am finally ready to share a few things. Justin was sick when we met. He was on dialysis for kidney failure. I loved his ability to accept his illness and live anyway. It wasn’t easy for him, he had to be hooked up to a machine 3 days a week for several hours at a time and he always felt crappy afterward(no surprise there I’m sure). Despite all this he worked and laughed and he made me happy.  Justin received a kidney transplant a year after we got married. I was thrilled! He was moderately excited 🙂 2 years after that we had our beautiful daughter. Life was good. In late 2010 Justin started feeling sick again. In January 2011 he died. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but then I never expect perfection. We had our problems. What couple doesn’t? I still wish for more time. The truth is that even though I am hurt and angry at his loss, I still thank the powers that be that we had even that short time together.