Sweet Miracle of Kindness

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I received the following email today:
Dear Pam,
Just want you to know that I am honored to be your second Mom.  I never had a daughter, but if I did, I would hope she would be just like you.  You are a kind, honest, considerate, intelligent and loving woman.  I am so proud of you, and I respect you for how you have adapted to a new city, job, and home this past year.  Not an easy task !
Pam,  you are very special to me.
Love,
S…

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My Amazing 10-Year-Old

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Mom and Lola

She wasn’t planned.  She wasn’t even supposed to be here.

In 2001, I was pregnant for the fifth time.  I had three living children.  Needless to say, my pregnancy history wasn’t good.  Because of that fact, I had a standing order for a tubal ligation after this birth.  My plan was to stay an extra day after delivery and have my tubes tied.  In the event of a c-section, I had made it clear that I wanted my tubes tied during the procedure.  My wishes were noted on my medical charts. Continue Reading »

Not A Hallmark Card

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***Another “Blast From the Past.”  I’ve been reading through the blog posts in the Drafts folder.  I’m deleting some of them.  Others, like this one, I will post.

This entry was written on Sept. 5, 2011.  Weird that I would read this today….exactly two years after I wrote this entry.  All I can say is, “WOW!”  Our lives, all of our lives, have changed so much in these past two years!  

I called Andrew tonight, and read him this blog entry.  He was stunned, too, by how things have changed.  Thankfully, the changes have been for the better.  Yes, there have been many, many growing pains along the way, but I am so very proud to say that we’re all in a better place now.  🙂

As much as I wish that my life would be as neat and tidy as a Hallmark card, things usually end up being much more like the made-for-TV, full-blown, Sunday night Hallmark movie, a Kleenex box tear-jerker. Continue Reading »

Imagine My Surprise

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I’ve been silent for a while in the blogging world.  I’ve missed writing, but I’ve been afraid.  I was a little freaked out.  A couple of weeks ago, I took a sick day.  I wasn’t feeling well, was exhausted, and I knew that the rest of my week was going to be full of long days.  Sure, I could have made it through the day, but I was running on empty.  My tank was sucking fumes.  The  morning I stayed home sick, I took things slowly.  Eventually, I ended up on my patio with my iPad and a cup of coffee.  I was going to write.  When I logged into my blog, I was shocked.  Someone from my office had logged on earlier that morning, but I was NOT in the office.  I immediately changed my password and set the blog to private. Continue Reading »

Shun/Un-shun

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I have thought a lot about shunning recently. The definition of shunning is “to avoid deliberately; to keep away from.”  The act of shunning is common in some religions.  It’s also common among middle school girls.  Various forms of shunning are used among family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers.  For shunning to have any meaning, an emotional or social connection needs to be present.  Shunning is a form of bullying.  Shunning is also one of the most  insidious, passive-aggressive forms of abuse. Continue Reading »

Fail

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I saw my crazy therapist today.  It hadn’t been a good day at all, and I literally broke down the moment I sat down on her couch.  My head was spinning, and I couldn’t even articulate exactly what was wrong.  I suppose her office has become a safe place.  She is kind.  I was able to let the cracks in my veneer crumble away.  I think she was shocked, because I am usually in control.  Usually our conversations are logical, even methodical.  In the past, we have analyzed situations and scenarios for a deeper understanding.  Today was all emotion; no control; no logic.  Today, I was not in control.  I’ve had enough of control.  Today I simply spilled my guts and let the pain, confusion, and frustration that hold me hostage rise up to the surface.  I think she was shocked. Continue Reading »

Upon Her Return…

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Imagine what it would be like to be plucked from your life for a year, two years, maybe even longer.  Then quite suddenly, you were back!  Well, you were back to the same place, but of course, things had changed during your absence.  That’s how my life feels now, but I’m sure no one around me notices a thing.  They hadn’t even noticed that I had been gone.

Before I go any further with these thoughts, let me say that my intent is not to criticize my family or friends.  I have been blessed with a supportive family and truly wonderful friends.  Unfortunately, some of the burden of these past few years has been mine alone to carry.  It was my dad who died.  It was my mother who was sick.  I was the one the hospital, nurses, and doctors called when there was an emergency.  I was the one who made the phone calls to check in on my mom.  T made many trips to visit my mom.  The girls went along many times, too.  When the boys were home, they made their obligatory visits.  They helped haul and carry things during her three moves these past couple of years.  The one constant in my mom’s life was ME.  If T was there, so was I.  If the girls were there, or the boys paid a visit, I was there, too.  I was there, there, there.  And now I am not.

It has been two weeks now.  Two weekends in a row I have gotten up on a Saturday AND a Sunday morning with the entire day in front of me.  It has been a strange experience.  Oh, I have plenty to do, plenty I should do, plenty I can do, just nothing that I HAVE to do.  The obligation is over, and it’s sad in a way.  I feel sad to feel so lightened.

I feel like a stranger in my own life.  I look around, and so much has changed.  My parents are gone.  Just gone.  Poof!  It suddenly feels sudden!  Two hellish years, and it feels so sudden!  What in the hell happened?

The past two weeks have been so strange.  I miss the boys.  Did you know they are gone?  Of course, they’re gone, but suddenly the house feels very empty without their messes, their loud voices, and their laughter.  They are both so happy and so involved in their own lives.  What is/has been going on here at home has been secondary at best to them.  That is as it should be, and I’m proud that they are happy and haven’t felt that I am their responsibility.  I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

Em is almost out of high school.  We will be celebrating her 18th birthday in a matter of days.  She is “in love” for the first time.  Yes, they use those words right in front of us!  Her boyfriend is sweet, protective of her, and has the most beautiful smile.  The funny thing is, he bears an almost eerie resemblance to T at that same age.

Lola is a big girl now.  She’s selling Girl Scout cookies, volunteering at an animal shelter, and has perfect grades.  They have all grown and changed so much.   When did that happen?  I have been so busy dealing, just dealing, with all of my responsibilities that I haven’t really seen a darn thing that has been going on around me.

What about T?  What has happened during the past few years with T?  Like always, T is there, has been there, will be there if I need him.  He is the foundation.  He has made sure that the necessary things have gotten done.  He has cooked many (most?) of the meals.  He does the laundry.  He drives Lola to Girl Scout meetings.  He helps with the homework, gives advice, and listens.  Of course, he doesn’t even know that he’s doing these things or that it is anything unique.  He just does them.  He doesn’t think things to death.  He just picks up the slack when it has been necessary.

I am trying to remember who I was before these past two hellish years, and where I fit in now.  The problem is, two years ago, I was a different person.  I had different dreams and vastly different ideas of where I thought my life was headed.  My view of my family and my marriage were different, too.  Remembering, or trying to once again become, who I was two years ago is irrelevant.  I don’t even want to be that woman again.  Anyway, it would not even be possible.

I had an extra-long weekend.  Lola stayed home sick from school today, and I took the day off to be home with her.  As we took an afternoon snooze, I laid there thinking about this strange, disoriented feeling I have had since my mother’s death.  I thought about how it feels like I have been plucked from some strange place and plopped down right back where I was two years ago.

As I laid there, I thought about Doris Day in the movie “Move Over, Darling.”  She had been rescued from a deserted island and returned home expecting to find her family as she had left them.  There aren’t any further similarities, thankfully, but that’s how I feel right now.  I feel like I have been on a deserted island and have returned back home expecting to find things unchanged, but that isn’t possible.  Life goes on and on.  Even if it seems at times that we, as individuals, have been stuck on a hamster wheel, those around us keep moving on and on.  I’m just going to have to work hard to catch up with everyone else.

Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection.  Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood. ~ Khalil Gibran