Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Love Wins - A Hallmark Movies Starring the Muppets.

 I wanted to share this with you. The you that struggles on the holidays; the "happiest time of year"... Not everyone will be happy I posted this.  In fact, someone will for sure be pissed off that the optics of our family aren't perfect.  

I wanted to share it because in a few days, everyone is going to post pictures of their perfect Christmases.  The dinners, the games, the activities, the presents.  I will too.  In fact, I'm going to try to post some of my favorites today.  I want to share the beautiful moments, but I also want you to know that beyond the pictures... beyond everyone's pictures... it's not always beautiful.  There is struggle and chaos and emotions and feelings, and that, my friends, is called being a REAL HUMAN.  

Today, my kids and their partners along with my mother in law, are currently stuck in a city they don't want to be in, waiting to get home with grounded planes ruining their plans. Believe me, no one is happy about it.  It was a very late night that turned into a very early morning and huge bill that I am sure no one could afford.  The airport is crowded with miserable people, all stuck in the same predicament, either trying to go home, or leave home.  The snow has just stopped now, and temp has come up a bit. The sun has pushed through, and maybe, just maybe, it might be a sign of good news.  Or maybe not.  Some situations seem to be tricky tricksters after all.   

Let back up for a second.  Our family "celebrates" Christmas a week before everyone else.  The kids all come to our house for a few days, and we plan some things, and eat the food, and exchange the gifts.  Then we post the pictures we like... 

Ay... there's the rub.  The season affords us both the pictures (memories) we like, and the ones we don't.  

Our Christmas is never all rainbows and pixie sticks.  Someone told me this year, "I can't wait to hear about your weekend - I have been imagining a real Hallmark Christmas Movie all weekend!"  After all, we had been planning it for weeks!  And then I laughed, and I laughed... Oh - but it was!  It had a great start, and a tumultuous middle, you know, where the characters struggle, then some sort of resolution?  I'm just waiting on the happy ending.  Spoiler alert - there isn't always one, exactly.  Just the love left over when everyone is gone - and THAT is what keeps us beating our head against the decked halls.  

 Let me run this down for you.  

Wednesday night, everyone rolls in on a plane.  It takes multiple vehicles for retrieval.  There's a lot of people.  Fact.  Everyone is tired and snack-ish.  We fill our lovelies with banana and strawberry crepes while we listen to the stories of the day's travel and everything on the planet that is happened over the span of time since the last time we've seen them all.  Everyone is happy and exhausted.  Full house, full hearts. Happy momma.  Sleep. Good. 

Thursday, we take a non traditional turn and take everyone to the hot springs before a dinner out and attending the CP Rail Christmas train concert.  Beautiful.  I have made sure to tell EVERYONE before we left - hats. mitts, coats, boots.  I bring blankets.  Does everyone bring all the things?  Nope.  Are we able to be together enjoying music and lights and hot chocolate?  Nope.  Because it's cold, and one requires a coat to keep warm.  And boots, and mitts, and hats.  Also, the - this one doesn't enjoy the company of that one, and these two just want to be by themselves, and this one should be spending some time with that one, and that one is sick, and this one always gets left out - has begun.  With time to warm up, table games start, snacks, laughter.  Good things.  Memories.  Yes, good - mostly. 

Friday - half this group loves the ski hill.  Half does not.  It's fine, there's a spa and shopping to be done.  We get it sorted, and everyone has an expensive, yet great day.  Everyone is joyfully tired after dinner.  What a great weekend this is!! 

Saturday... it's been two (or three) full days of togetherness for some of us.  That makes for some sticky relative humidity, and the pretending loving this Christmas thing and all it's facets gets harder and harder.  There is an ill planned event thrown in the middle that interrupts all the things, more sick kids, over indulgence, over tired, overwhelmed, over Christmased.  There is resentment and shitty attitudes.  There is yelling and inconsideration and disrespect.  There is more yelling.  There are people sleeping in locations others than those assigned to them.  This is our "Christmas Eve".  There are no games, there is no cheer.  There is door slamming and yelling and a whole lot of Fuck Yous.  Merry Christmas? 

Sunday... Our Christmas Day.  Silence mostly.  Interrupted by tears, some door slamming, more name calling, more illness, angry parents, angry children, hurt feelings, more resentment and one HUGE tug of war of trying to keep the peace.  It's not even noon.  There are humans holding more than they can bear, and there is nowhere to escape to.  By two, things seems to be lighter, calmer at least.  Begrudgingly, and because they know it's planned, eight of us take part in outdoor Christmas Olympics, and laughter finds us.  It's cold, there are still sick people, there is still hurt, but there is also still love.  Dinner, for who can attend due to an abundance of germs, is still awkward.  Presents follow.  We all do what we can with what we've got at this point.  There is an enormous realization of effort here - believe me, it does not go unnoticed and my heart swells a little.  The ickiness of the night before and morning is still lurking.  There are things we can't shake and the silence takes over again, followed by more tears.  Y'all... these are the parts that no one talks about.  No one posts about it.  This is real, blended family bullshit.  This is pasts and presents colliding and adulting and learning and real life.  Real Life.  It's not always easy and joyful - despite what social media has us looking for.  Real. Life.  

So, if your Christmas isn't snowballs and sparkly lights, if you struggle with family gatherings and keeping the peace, if you try your best to make a Hallmark movie with the likes of the Muppet Show, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  If you don't love Christmas - I got you.  I see you.  That doesn't mean you don't love your family, or your people.  Society has made it nearly impossible to keep up with the Grizwolds, and the Miracles on 34th Street.  I am no Cindy Lou Who.  Not anymore.  And if you aren't either, ya ya peeps.  I see you.  

Remember what I said earlier?  It's the love that lingers, beyond it all? I still cried when we dropped everyone off at the airport (uhhh even though they are still there?).  I always do.  Love wins.  It's the reason you answer the phone at 1:15 am after all the flights have been cancelled and someone asks - "Dad (or mom, depending on the phone), what do we do?".  Things you realize in that moment: 1.  Your adult children are still children, and even though they need guidance on how to sort this out, they still called their safe place first (because love wins)  2.  Even though you haven't slept properly in days, you still search your phone at 2:30 in the morning for taxis and hotels to make sure they are safe (because love wins).  3.  You will be very proud of how they have conducted themselves through this mini life crisis/lesson.  Love wins.  

You don't have to love Christmas.  This season is harder than it has been created to be.  You don't have to love all the moving parts of your family.  If you can tolerate them, congrats, but if you can't, you're not alone, but LOVE STILL WINS.    Did we have good times? Yep.  Did we play games and laugh?  Yep.  Did we argue and fight? Sure did. Did we love each other?  Yes.  Even when we didn't like each other. Was it perfect?  Not even close.  Do we want to do it again?  Not right now.  Will we next year?  Probably.   Love wins.  

I hope you all still want to hug your lovelies and hold hands with your loves, and put forth the effort, because, my sweets, love wins.  I promise.  It's going to be okay, even if it's not shiny all the time.   Do not let all those perfect pictures infect your sense of who or what your family is or isn't.  No family is perfect, relationships are messy and hard and perfectly imperfect.  People share their joy, but often not their struggles and that's where the loneliness grows.  And you, I, we are not alone.  

I'll tell ya what - this would make one heck of a screenplay - even if it's performed by muppets.  

Also - love wins.  So we win.  Perfectly imperfect. 

Merry Christmas my loves. I see you. I love you. 


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

You Are Not Enough

 You are enough. 

You are enough. 

For years, social media has been inundated with YOU ARE ENOUGH. 

And sometimes, you are.  And for you, and those people, on those days - awesome.  

But what if you aren't? 

Hear me out.... 

What if you aren't enough for THAT person?  That's not your fault.  That person, whomever that is, might need more.  That person, might need more than you are or more that you can give - or maybe even want to - and that's okay too.  You don't have to be enough for everyone else.  That person that needs more - that's on them! 

I could say you are a lion.  You are brave, protective, and fierce. You are a lion.  The fact remains - you're not.  You are human.  You may hold those traits, but you are not a lion.  You are human.  

I could say you are a bee.  You work hard, you like to be busy, you are productive and find sweet things.  You are a bee.  Factually. you are not a bee.  You are human.

And if you, like me, have ever been not enough, and struggled with all the soul work, and were as much as you could be, and still came up short to being someone else's enough - and realized IT'S NOT YOU... you, my friend, have won at life.  You can't be enough for everyone.  You can only be you, and who you are matters.  

Why do we always have to be enough for someone?  Most days, I am enough for me; but not all days.  Some days I know I can be more.  Somedays I need more of me too.  

"Why am I not enough for them? Why isn't everything I do ENOUGH?"
Enough for what? For them to love you? For them to make an effort? To make them stay? The truth is, some people need more. And that's not up to you. Some people need their hand held for all the things, some people need their decisions made for them. Some people need control that you aren't willing to relinquish. Some people have desires and needs and stories in their own minds that you don't meet. That's not for you to take on. You don't have to be enough for someone. You are human.

You don't have to be enough for them. You don't have to be enough for you; not everyday. You can be as much of enough for yourself as you see fit. You are human.

You aren't enough. And that's okay. You don't need to be enough for anyone else. I'm changing the lyrics.  You matter.  Just as you are.  You are someone's whole world, you are someone's miracle.  You are the reason someone smiles.  You are the god damn sun.  So you if you aren't enough for someone else, let them find enough - and leave you to to shine on.   

I wish you love, I hope you are whole.


Friday, February 4, 2022

What I Love About You

I started writing a birthday post - a day early, just to make sure I got it exactly right - for one of my very favorite people and one of the closest to my soul; all the things I loved about her, and all the things that make me awed about her.  

And then I had a thought.  How long has it been since since I've thought those things about myself?  I walked passed a mirror quickly on the way out of the bathroom this morning and stopped, in the same thought, and wondered where all the things I love about myself had gone.  It's been a bit of a struggle for me lately, knowing what I have the capacity for right now, or who I have the capacity for right now - who I've become and who, ultimately, with my birthday right around the corner, of who I want to be for the next 45 years.   The first 45 were a little rocky in spots, but Good Lord, I turned out good. 

So here's to me... Love, me.  

What I love about you - to the woman in the mirror staring back at me.  

I love your soul. 

You are my favorite person in the world

I love hearing stories about your travels around the world with this amazing partner you've found. Can you even believe we ever got so lucky?  

I love how talented you are at handling crisis.  I love that you can talk about all the things that affect your heart and how you let people hear you.  We need to be better at not feeling like we've revealed too much and the judgement behind it.  Let's work on feeling less guilty about revealing too much to the people that surround us.  Last year, I remember saying I was going to talk less and listen more.  I think I accomplished that.  I am a better listener, but did that come without suppression? 

When we're apart (much like I feel now), it makes me happy to think about feeling whole again. 

I believe we'd make a great difference - if we could just find the right opportunity. I feel it's just around the corner, like a voice in the distance that keeps getting louder... Warmer....warmer... hotter...

I love to watch you feel confident.  That SJP walk you get when you know you got it right.  God, that feels good. 

You deserve the Patience of Mother Friggen Teresa Award.  For so  many years, impatience was my self proclaimed nemesis - until I realized - it wasn't the facts at all.  I am the most patient person I know. 

I love the sound of your voice when you sing all the words to all the songs, no matter who's listening. 

If you were a holiday - you'd be the quietest celebration with the loudest laughter and the very best food. 

It's hard to put into words how strongly I feel about your resilience.  Lord we've been through some shit and we just keep on trekking, don't we?

I love how good you are at giving me time.  And warning. I don't really know how to describe it, but we've become very good at that gut feeling.  

I love how you make sense when the rest of the world seems like it's gone mad.  This past year has been a doozie of unreasonableness and over exaggerated emotions.  Thank you for keeping your own sense of morality and reason in tact. 

I love going to the ends of the Earth with you.   I have watched you push yourself to edge of your fears so many times.  To the edge of what you know, to the edge of what you want to know.  To the edge of the cliff, to the edge of the emotions.  To the edge of the truth, and the edge of possibilities.  

You have the greatest taste in doughnuts.  That's right.  Or should we say... croughnuts? 

I love how you find joy in something everyday - and practice gratitude. 

If you wanted to, you could easily walk away and be fine.  ( I told myself to write with my gut here, and oof.) We've learned the hard way. We'll always be okay. 

You want to make me be a better human.  Every. Single. Day.

I would love to create a life that you can be proud of  for you. 

I love to play safe with you.  Just the same as we have been to the edge of the Earth, I also like the safe spaces that hold all the quiet.  I like the comfort when we play it safe. 

I believe the world needs your unique rationale and truth.  I think sometimes we are perceived as harsh, or grumpy- as hubs says, when we simply tell the truth.  Sometimes we paint a real picture for people instead of the common sugar coating, and it's just not well received.  But the truth is, maybe more people need less sugar coat and more reality.  I love that you don't speak with vengeance though, just truth, even when your voice shakes. 

We should totally have a tea together.  So many things can be solved with a good cup of tea. (full disclosure - I want to say "rule the world, because it would be a much different place")

I love how you want to leave this place better than you found it, and make a difference.  I love that your desire for your legacy is to be good memories for people, and leaving people positively affected because you were part of their life at some point. 

If you were a color you'd be the color of every single beautiful sunset.  The way pink and purple mix with orange and blue, the way the shades mix between light and dark, the way silver lines every dark cloud.

I still can't believe you try to see the best in people long after they've shown you who they really are.  It will be our greatest lesson - when someone shows you who they are - believe them the first time. 

I love how you love and respect my sacred spaces and time, and have built boundaries to protect it. 

It's so incredibly funny when you laugh with great abandon.  Someone ONCE shushed me when I was laughing... Only once.  I will never quiet joyfulness for anyone. 

I love how you have such strong faith that there is something greater beyond this lifetime.  Never let that go.  Be curious, ask questions, learn all the things.  Be brave, accept no judgement, and know your own truth.  

You give the best hugs.  I believe in sharing my soul with people I hug.  I don't hug quickly, I don't hug when I don't mean it, I don't butterfly tap or shoulder touch.  When I hug you, I am embracing you and welcoming you into my space.  It's a sacred thing to share part of yourself with someone.  Don't take it lightly. 

I love remembering the time we realized our self worth - learning "you can't have my body until you know and love my brain". It was October 19,2013, and I have, gratefully, never been the same.

I love to pick your brain.  Oh I love the times when we contemplate and think and suggest and solve and learn. 

Everyone should be as kind as you. 

I love it when you dance with your husband like the rest of the world doesn't exist and no one else matters. 

I never get tired of your love for adventure. I've always loved adventure.  A good walk, a hike, a destination, the newness, the bravery, the wonder, the curiosity, the feeling alive and whole.  

I love how you never get tired of my curiosity and asking questions. 

I love to take time for you. I'm so glad we've learned the importance of self care and just how important we are.

I'd like to take you to Italy. And all the beautiful places that hold all the beautiful experiences. But mostly Italy. 

I love it when you wear anything that makes you feel like yourself.  A good pair of jeans and boots, sometimes a gypsy style dress with jewelry that jingles.  Sometimes sweatpants and a hoodie.  I love it when you wear perfume.  I love it when you wear a smile that makes laugh lines at the corners of your eyes, and when you wear confidence like a jacket - on the outside. 

If you were a dessert, you'd be a double layer chocolate cake, with buttercream icing and heart shaped sprinkles the colors of sunsets.

I love how you love sitting on a bench with your best friend in one of your favorite places for hours with no agenda. 

I love how you believe in  the power of connection, a good cup of tea, God, the relationship you have with your dog, writing things down, silence, being still, a good conversation, laughter, and love. 

I always want to hear what you have to say about that book we just read. 

I am kind of obsessed with your dog. 

I love how you have learned to let someone take care of me when I need it. It was a long time coming. 

No one else can plan a gift out like you.  

I am so grateful that I learned who we are, who we want to be, and what our non-negotiables are.  It takes people lifetimes to learn the things we have in 45 years. 

If you've sat and read this whole thing, and you're still here - well, thanks.  It took me two and a half hours to write it - and mere minutes for you to read it.  It's a great little exercise - and I encourage you all to do it, even if just in your own head.  I used a little fill in the blank book  - and bolded all the parts to answer.  I've also decided to do this as gifts for my loved ones for birthdays or maybe Christmas.  50 things I love about you, even though there are millions more. I did 45 things for myself - one for every year behind me.  It was surprising...and not, and maybe I just needed to write something to get back into the writing of anything. Maybe you'll think it's a little narcissistic, and maybe I don't care, and maybe that's part of what I love about me. 

Your turn.  I hope you'll share a few with me.

With love,


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Pull The Curtains Open

Holy Shit.  

That's about all I can say right now.   

This week I listened to a conversation among a FAMILY that went like this:   "It's you stupid people that are holding back the rest of the world. Just get your god damn vaccine already! We don't really want to be around unvaccinated people, so I guess that's ultimately your choice at Christmas." 

What.The. Actual. Fuck. 

1.  Can you even believe a discussion about a vaccine has caused this kind of division among our society, nevermind our families?  I am stunned every single day with how many conversations start with "so are you vaccinated?"  How many people start a conversation with "so how man sexual partners have you had, and can you tell me your drug use history?  I don't want to be around people who have chosen to put shit in their bodies that will kill them..."  Riiiiiight.  None. "How many drinks did you have last night? Did you get in your car after three or more and drive home?  How stupid can you be?  You know you can kill someone, right?" .... or is that a little to taboo?  Jesus Christ people, listen to your self righteous selves!  How did everyone become so God damn judgemental over a vaccine for a virus that no one can decide factual information on? 

I read this last night (not my words just copy and pasted), posted as a comment on a news site about the suggestion of mandatory vaccines: 

Don’t worry, your 95% effective vaccine has you basically fully protected from getting covid.

But remember, you should be VERY AFRAID of all the unvaccinated people who might give you covid. Because even though your vaccine provides near perfect protection, those unvaccinated people could give you covid and kill you at any moment. So remember: You're fully protected, but not really protected.
So have no fear of getting covid because you’re protected by our vaccine, but also, be very afraid, because an unvaccinated person could give you covid at any moment.
Also, now that you’re vaccinated, there’s no risk of you people spreading it. I mean, after all, you’re VACCINATED!
Oh, wait sorry, the new data shows that actually vaccinated people both catch covid and spread it just as easily as unvaccinated people. (And have the same viral load in their nose). So as a vaccinated person, you can both spread it to unvaccinated people and to other vaccinated people, and other vaccinated people can spread it to you.
But we still think you should support vaccine passports (even though they make no scientific sense in protecting people from getting covid), because they’re good for business – errrr, I mean, they’re important to protect people from getting covid.
Unvaccinated people are “variant factories” that could produce variants that might be vaccine resistant.
Oh wait, sorry, my bad… actually it is specifically the virus interacting with immune systems of vaccinated people that creates the selective pressure for vaccine-resistant variants to emerge.
But still… we at pharma feel you should definitely get our vaccine, and simultaneously, you should also be very afraid of, and angry with all those unvaccinated people who are going to kill you.
Most importantly, remember, our vaccine works to protect you, but also, it doesn't work to protect you. 

This. This. This.  What part of this is incorrect?  Can someone that I trust please tell me?  Why does something some random human that I don't know posted make more sense than anything I have heard on the news?  

2. This is exactly how my brain is working in the thought process of information.  And there are zero people, yes ZERO people I feel I can go to for any sort of discussion about factual information - because I don't feel any of the information provided to anyone outside  governmental level is factual.  I don't trust my own government system. Their reputation preceeds them.  Why do we keep electing people we don't trust?  How in the hell does that keep happening?  Oh yeah... we have an unbalanced governing body within the boundaries of our own democractic country.  One province decides the fate of the entire country due to an imbalance of governing seats.  Convenient.  Why is this still a thing?  Why hasn't the imbalance been fixed?  

3. How did the My Body, My Choice RIGHT become anyone else's business?  How did judgment become such an easily adoptable - yet hypocritical trait for so many people?  Where does it end then, if we become complacent on who decides what is to be acceptable for all humans, without exception?  Row vs Wade goes out the window.  The dignity of assisted death in terminal, debiliating diseases is gone.  A new experiment the current government decides is necessary among humans (don't you dare act like this didn't happen before, and no, it's not different than Hitler's reign) is fine. What is acceptable for you and your conscience then? If it's not your body, it's not your choice.  Full stop. 

In one family, grandpa is not a candidate for the infamous vaccine.  He cannot, due to underlying health issues, partake in this campaign.  Everyone else in the family is vaccinated, just not grandpa - not even by his own choice, but medical professionals that have decided his body cannot tolerate it or he may die.  So now one now can see grandpa?  We should just float him out on the ice and let him be isolated and alone for the rest of his time?  He's not invited to Christmas because he cannot be vaccinated?  

How many of you just said "oh but that's different"....?   He can carry and contract a virus just the same as anyone else.  You probably should never hug grandpa again - you might get sick.  He can transmit the virus to his wife, you should probably keep them apart.  Grandma, his own wife, although vaccinated can transmit the virus to him, so can you , so can your kids, and ultmately, it might kill him - because he's not vaccinated.  He's not vaccinated, so he might transmit it to one of your kids that can't get the vaccine because of their age, so they shouldn't see him ever again.  But you are vaccinated, so you're safe, but not entirely.     DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE ANY SENSE TO ANYONE?  

4.  Everything can change with an election.  Isn't that a facinating fact?  Tomorrow, if someone reasonable stepped up with all the right words and all the right answers and all the things you wanted to hear, your opinion could be swayed.  A hundred things could be different in the same way light enters a dark room when the curtains are thrust from their pulled, dusty position.  Where is that person - that truth telling (even when it's hard and thir voice shakes), good person who wants to make a real difference, and show the world what a real leader can do.  Why hasn't there been a person that is real, and honest and to whom people turn and can trust.  Can't anyone see how vulnerable people are right now, and that they are looking for a hero?  Oh, right... that's exactly what our "leaders" are seeing.  

This is a time where everyone needs to stop being an asshole and listen.  Listen to what seems right for you, and then, do that - and shut up about it.  Keep your judgement to yourself and know that you feel good and right and justified for what you have decided for YOURSELF and let everyone else do the same thing.  Yes there is an agenda with everything that reaches society - that's a long accepted fact.  The rub is your perception of the agenda and how it will affect your life.  Maybe the agenda this time is a truly healthy society.  Maybe the agenda isn't so rosey.  I don't really know.   Do you really know?  Tomorrow if new things are told to you that make sense that contradict what you previsouly thought, are you okay with your previous actions and reactions?  Have you been fair and righteous in your actions?  Have you been scared?  Have you been kind?  Have you acted humanely and compassionately and admirably?  Would people look to you for an example of acceptable behavior?  Would you be proud of who you are right now?  If any of those anwers isn't yes, then I beg you for reflection.  I urge you towards kindness.  

People who are vaccinated still have questions too, as do those who have chosen differently for themselves.  You will never, ever have a 100% either way, so what does that mean for you moving forward?  Are you okay with numbers being tattooed on our arms to prove compliance, where we are from and what are bodies consist of?  Are you satsifed with knowing that every human made the right choice for themselves?  What is your definition of freedom and what are you willing to do to ensure it? Can you do it without compromising the truest parts of yourself? 

I am begging you to think before you speak right now.  If you are not confident with your words, maybe just  keep quiet - if that feels right for you. 

Monday, August 16, 2021


Phewf.. Being a parent is hard.  The end.  

Okay, not really the end.  It's never ending.  We never stop being parents, and I don't think that it's fully understood nor appreciated until we are parents ourselves.  Our children don't know.  They just don't. 

My kids are adults now, and sometimes I wonder if they know just how much I still am their mom - I mean, not just this woman that birthed them and raised them to be adults, that taught them all their things... But a mom who still worries, who still longs for the child that used to crawl up in my lap and cuddle.  I am still a mom who wonders if she did it right, or is doing it right. I still wonder if they eating right, or if they have enough clothes.  I want to make sure they are making the right decisions for themselves and blame myself when I suspect they aren't.  I want to tell them all the things I know they should do... but I can't.  I mean...I can... but I'm not that parent.  It's not who I've decided to be.  So I try not to give unsolicited advice... I try. 

 I wonder if they know that I still cry every single time I have to say goodbye and leave them behind. 




Dear children, I smile when you text me, I love it when you call.  I worry about you every day.  I need to know that you are good, that you are eating, that you are clothed and healthy.  I need to know that you are working towards becoming the very best version of yourself and that you are happy.  When I hug you, I am still holding my baby - the very same one that was just an infant a blink of an eye ago.  For my bonus kids, this only differs in your height at time of entering my soul.  You are just as much a part of me.  I need you to know that you are complete and whole as you are, and you never need another human to fill that role, but I hope you find someone that compliments you in all the right ways, adores you, cherishes you and loves you as they love themselves.  You are enough.  You always have been.  You are precious.  Don't ever let anyone make you stand in their shadow.  You are the sun. 

Oof.  Kids.  They are the very best part of me, and I'm never going to stop mommin'.  It's a fact.  I'm 45 and I still turn to my mom when I need momming too.  I pray, that when my kids are 45 with their own kids, they still come home for some mommin'.  I pray they won't need it, but still want it.  And yes, I will cry every time I leave them behind so they can move forward. 





I want this time back... 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

I Was The Aunt That Can't Until I Could. Grateful.

 I never got to be an auntie.  I mean - biologically, I did... but life threw this wicked curve ball, and my nieces and nephew were eliminated from my life with lies and stories and horrible actions of adults that never should have happened.  It was horrible and it sucks.  I got to be auntie for about eight years.  That was it.  I never got to do the fun things I always imagined I would have with them.  There were no trips to the mall, no amusement parks, no adventures.  There was no family camping, no late night chats, no weeks of visiting or college re-homing.  There was zero shared parenting.  It's a shame really.  It's a loss for so many people, and the grief, somedays, will gut me.  I wanted to know them.  I wanted to love them.  

This isn't a blow to my sibling.  He has his own story and hurt, decisions, and devastation.  His story isn't mine to tell. It's simply a statement - my statement.   I didn't get to know these kids.  They didn't get to know me - or their cousins.  They didn't get to live outside the game of divorce.  They lived in a shadow.  I wonder how long that is going to be a thing.  

They are adults now (but are they?), and it still boggles my mind how they've never asked.  I wonder what they've been told.  They've never come around or sent a message, or an email, phone call or text.  They've never asked why - even if it was out of their own anger.  No whys.  I hope one day there are a million whys.  I hope one day they realize they had grandparents and an aunt that loved them - that wanted them, that wanted them to be part of a family.  I hope they know we tried.  We called, we emailed, we texted.  We went around people, and through people.  We tried - only to be met with hatred we didn't deserve.  It was a defense, I know that now.  Guilt does funny things to people.  I hope one day they see beyond the shadows and the lies and in their own adult experiences, see what they grew up being told wasn't the truth.  

I remember, one Christmas... they were tweenagers, and dropped off at my parents house for a unplanned, secret, fast visit.  That's how it was - manipulation and control.  I snuck over to my parent's house with my own kids, just so they had some time.  You see, it wasn't allowed.  They weren't allowed to see us.  More guilt.  It was all supposed to be a big secret.  Those were the imposed rules of visitation.  It's all so disgusting.  I was so tired of it, even then.  They wanted to spend some time with their cousins.  It was taco  night at my house, and they so badly wanted to come... but they'd have to ask her.  I hope, as adults, they remember the terror they felt in simply trying to find the courage to ask to go their cousin's house for tacos.  That's what their life was.  Afraid to ask to go to auntie's house for tacos.  

I tried one night to talk to her, to be reasonable - and was refused.  I wrote emails and letters... no response.  I begged for time with them.  Nope.  I bet they never knew.  I bet they were never told.  I've emailed through their other aunt - nothing.  She said she'd try.  Another lie.  I don't understand what makes people so horrible.  

Years ago, I thought I'd get on the other side of this all when my oldest niece was trying to adult too soon.  She had questions and words and wanted to be heard.  I had no answers that were fair, so I simply said "you'll have to ask your parents - both of them - and sort it out for yourself".  I won't lie to them, I never have, and I never would.  The results were tragic and years of silence ensued.  The effects were anti-auntie all the way around. 

So now, in this age of social media - you'd think it would be easier.  It's not.  There's so much hurt and damage.  There's been so much refused effort.  They even changed their last name - a huge Fuck You to a family that tried.  A last straw.  

"But we were just kids"... and  now you are not.  You've grown up accustomed to lies and hurt.  That makes my soul hurt too.  

My own divorce and life decisions made being an aunt an obsolete things too.  I was divorced before there were more kids on that side except one, and at least my kids got to stay in touch with them.  My kids know them, and someone else is their aunt - and she's a good one.  

I have an amazing aunt.  She has been a co-parent.  She has been a friend, a companion, and confidant.  There have been late night chats, phone calls, texts, journeys, adventures.  I wanted to be just like the aunt she was and still is for me.  I never got the chance, but lord I swear I tried.  It makes me incredibly sad.  I've waited years and years to write this.  I waited until they were adults.  I've sat in it, with it, and held it.  I've walked with it, and now, I'm finally putting it down.  This shit is too heavy, and some things, you just can't carry forever.  It's another lesson I could have taught them all.  I have so much to share that they can't even begin to know...

Life experiences shape people.  That's what they do.  Sometimes you don't even know until you do.  Let me explain - in the long story short version... I met Kevin almost eight years ago.  Kevin has two amazing nieces - adults when I met them.  Kevin's niece Brooke, had a little girl, Shelby - his great niece.  He is uncle Kevin to nieces, (and now and great nieces and nephews).  I was so envious in watching them together.  The hugs and the stories and the laughter, and the familial bond.  En-vi-ous.  One summer, we were out at the cabin, visiting, and Brooke said to Shelby (who was two then, maybe three?) - "go ask Auntie Jenn".  My heart snapped open... Auntie... It took me a minute to register it, and my eyes welled with tears I had to fight back.  I get to be an auntie...  I cried for hours that night, in joy, in sadness, in relief, in gratitude.  It happened again and again, then with Kaycee, and then Kendra with Carson.  I didn't even know I'd get to be an auntie, to be called Auntie, to do the things that aunties do.  And now, I get to be an auntie to nieces and nephews in a family that let me.   I can't wait for the littles to be old enough to spend more than hour or two here.  This family will probably never understand my gratitude and love for them all. 

So now what?  I'm putting it down.  To my biological nieces and nephew - I hope one day you understand the truth.  I hope one day you ask why I didn't get to be part of your life. And if you do, and the answer you get from someone other that me is "she didn't want to", know for an absolute fact, that is a lie.  There are few things in life I wanted more than to be your auntie, and I tried until there was so many holes in my heart that I couldn't try anymore.  In fact, that's true for more than just me.  I am easy to find, I am easy to contact.  The rest, at this point, is up to you.  

For those that allow me space in their life, I am an auntie and it means the world to me.  You may never know just how much. 

I would have been one of the best, just like she is.  

Thursday, August 5, 2021

And So I Prayed.

 I need to talk about God for a minute.  If you don't want to hear about it, or read it, stop here and move on.  

I have been drawn to people with a strong, solid faith in God lately. Let me explain.  I'm not inviting door knockers in for tea.  I am reading things that people have written in their most raw, vulnerable places and are still reaching for God.  I am reading their anger and their emotions and their how could you do this to me", and all of the screams of what am I supposed to be learning!?" and still, call on God.  I am reading of quiet whispers and tear filled pain.  I am hearing pleading and praising... and prayer.  My soul aches for that connection.  

And so, I started praying.  A lot.  I pray, I chat with God, and the Universe and all of the people I hope are standing behind me or in front of me, or walking beside me.  When I feel lost, or alone, or wonder what in the hell I am supposed to be learning  - I pray.  I have been praying every single day.  I have returned to an internal gratitude practice, thanking, in my prayers, God, for the things at my feet and for the doors that become opened to me when I questioned my path and it's direction.  I am daily dumbfounded with the moments of realization of why this or that thing did or didn't happen.  

I want to clarify (if only for myself?).  I still don't believe in the Jesus story.  I just can't get behind it.  I don't believe in the single solitary Son of God sent to save us from sin.  I believe in creation and science and evolution and more than ever, I believe in God given purpose, a greater plan, and lessons.  Also, in a side theory - if I am wrong at the end of my days and I am standing in the glory of my maker and he smirks (as I know would happen) and says - you were wrong - meet Jesus", that I will be forgiven and loved regardless of my existence in an ever curious and questioning soul.  I believe in God, and that he is the sole soul creator. 

Once upon a time, on Tuesday, I walked with my husband down the hall of the General Hospital, and when we reached the cariology unit, I had to kiss him goodbye and let some random nurse take him away from me, behind doors where I couldn't go.  I had to trust, essentially, that she, and a cardiologist and a team of other very brilliant God-like people wouldn't break him and leave me in pieces.  I walked away from that unit, and down the hall in tears... and I prayed. Every single time my foot hit a square on the floor, I prayed. Hard.  It sounded like this: don't you dare take him from me.  Don't you dare. I can't even breathe right now... don't you dare." 

Lesson: You cannot just come to God when you need something and not sound like a petulant child (thank you Erin Napier for these words).  And here I was, sitting at God's door step, tears in my hands, stomping my feet in fury, but begging for mercy.  I have been reading things like God Is On The Bathroom Floor, Nightbirde, but I do not want to find him there.  Not right now.  

A cardiologist stopped my husband's heart.  And then, he restarted it.  Normal rhythm.  For now. 

That night, I laid in bed with my hand on the print that was left by electricty entering his body.  Breathing deep and barely steady, I said thank you a million times for the warmth beside me.  I served up all the gratitude for the lonlienss that evaded me.  I laid there and prayed for a million more nights and gave gratitude for even this one. 

That's what a prayer to God sounds like... Please, please, please... why, why, why... thank you, thank you, thank you.   Every. Single. Day. 

“...one thing I know for sure is this: He can never say that He did not know me.

I am God’s downstairs neighbor, banging on the ceiling with a broomstick. I show up at His door every day. Sometimes with songs, sometimes with curses. Sometimes apologies, gifts, questions, demands. Sometimes I use my key under the mat to let myself in. Other times, I sulk outside until He opens the door to me Himself. 

I have called Him a cheat and a liar, and I meant it. I have told Him I wanted to die, and I meant it. Tears have become the only prayer I know. Prayers roll over my nostrils and drip down my forearms. They fall to the ground as I reach for Him. These are the prayers I repeat night and day; sunrise, sunset. 

Call me bitter if you want to—that’s fair. Count me among the angry, the cynical, the offended, the hardened. But count me also among the friends of God. For I have seen Him in rare form. I have felt His exhale, laid in His shadow, squinted to read the message He wrote for me in the grout: “I’m sad too.””

This is the connection I am working on.  It's a work in progress.  I am praying.  The more I ask why and listen to the small voices, the more I hear answers and know there is a plan.  Gratitude has tamped my path to a greater purpose.  I see hints of it in the people around me, in the experinces I am having, in the decisions being made, in the lessons being learned.  I am praying in the quiet spaces and the loud places, I am whispering and yelling and laughing and crying, and I am finding God.  

I started praying again.  It seems though, that he never stopped listening.