I Light This candle In Memory

December 11, 2018 at 3:38 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

The holidays can be a stressful time for many, last-minute gift  shopping, Christmas is at your house this year, cleaning the house for guests. And again this year on your mind is that loved one who won’t be here to share the wonderful holiday season. For many, this time of year is lonely, difficult, depressing and easy to just isolate oneself.

A few years ago, I went to a candle light service in honor of my son Levi. I remember being scared to go alone and didn’t want to sit alone and didn’t want anyone to see my cry. When I walked in the door of the building, I was met with such caring staff who made you feel welcome. I was able to sit with a couple I knew so I was not alone. Afterwards, I had some refreshments and went home happy I went.

I know the holidays are stressful,but it is made more difficult when you are missing a special someone again this year. Some folks put an extra place setting in honor of their loved one, some make his/her favorite dessert to add to the desert buffet, others tell a funny story about the loved one at dinner. My son Levi loved chicken nachos, I always make his favorite dish on his birthday with a nice cup of coffee to finish off the meal.

I have the love and support of my family and friends who have encouraged me to never give up, I know I can always count on one of them if I need help, I am invited out to dinner and get to see the town all lit up for Christmas. A nice evening spent with a dear friend. The holidays don’t have to be depressing; They are what you make of it. With so many days left until Santa arrives, strive to stress less, ask for help,maybe this year let family and friends bring a favorite dish, most of all hugs those little ones tight, let them know how much you love them, how much they mean to you and let your loved ones know you appreciate them. I found out we are not promised tomorrow ,so make the most of today.

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

New Beginnings

December 2, 2018 at 11:03 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

Life is full of new beginnings. Sometimes life has a way of throwing us a curve ball we did not see coming. Either financial, health wise or job change. Life is ever-expanding with new challenges, new hopes for our dreams and new ways to keep persevering in the challenges we face.

Sometimes, circumstances in our lives can seem overwhelming, we have to gather the strength to continue caring for our loved ones and take good care of ourselves as well. Notice we put us last most of the time? Moms are good at this. We will get to us later. No, I am afraid we need to take care of ourselves now so we can continue to give. A friend of mine told me ‘look at your emotional bank account. Do you have enough emotional money to withdraw today or are you bankrupt?’ Something to really think about. I have to be careful because I can easily run on empty emotionally fast.

The older I get, I hope I am wiser as well with how I deal with stress in my life. I think we can feel trapped when so many circumstances come into our lives, especially the ones that are unexpected. I admit when I am really stressed, I tend to get grouchy. I do n’t mean to, but it happens. (some really good friends are chuckling now because they know me too well). I try not to become a negative Nelly who just complains, I try to find a solution so I can live with the circumstance. I have to remember nothing is permanent. I still try to find the beauty in each new day even if the day seems like it is going to be a long one or especially challenging.

I still feel like my glass is half full. Life has been sometimes full of challenges and difficulties, but I have overcome many obstacles and hopefully I can help others who has gone through some of the struggles I have. I know I have the love and support of my family and friends who help keep me moving forward in my life. I wake up every morning knowing my son Levi smiles down from heaven on and he is proud of his mom. This one realization keeps me going when it would have been easy to just give up. I try to take time to smell the flowers they are sweet-smelling. At the end of the day, everything works out.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Life’s Journey

November 25, 2018 at 10:14 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

The road up ahead is paved with uncertainty. Sometimes, it is difficult to choose the right path. This journey called life we are on can throw us many curve balls. How do we deal with disappointment or happenstance? The call from the hospital we did n’ t expect, the layoff before the holidays, our aging parents who needs us now, life is ever-changing. Sometimes, we find ourselves shifting our priorities some to accommodate these changes in our lives.

Being part of the sandwich generation has been a daily challenge for me. My mom has had some minor medical setbacks for a few years now. It is interesting to keep up two households now with grocery shopping, scheduling DR. appointments, making sure she gets there on time is a big plus in our busy lives. Sometimes I have to remember back just a few short years ago mom and dad both worked until dad was hurt on the job, then he retired from his job. The family dynamics had changed where mom became the bread-winner of the family. She worked full-time, then came home and made dinner for the family, then off to whatever after school activity my brother and I had.

Sometimes, I have to keep in mind even though I am tired from a long and busy week, we need to keep our priorities straight. It is time to give back to our parent or parents if both are still living. I realized boundaries are nice and necessary to maintain a healthy balance and not over react in the moment. Such a growing experience some of us are going through now. But, the older I get, I hope some wisdom, patience, humor, and learning to just enjoy being her daughter. I try everyday to just take the time and smell the roses because in the middle of life’s circumstances, they smell sweet. I have to let go of the things that are not important, keep what is, cherish who I still have here, my Aunt’s favorite quote which I am sure she had gotten from her mother”It will all come out in the wash anyway”.

Sometimes, I have to admit, I have a hard time just enjoying the moments. Yesterday, I went for a drive with a dear friend, we saw four deer and several turkeys  along our travels. One young buck and a mom deer with two young babies. The road was clear of snow or ice and the afternoon, sunny. We enjoyed catching up, and the quiet drive in the country. I treasure rare afternoons like this. Pretty soon, we will have the snowy days, the drivers who really should not be on the roads anytime soon, and winter will be here once again. The juggling act is hard sometimes, but I just have to remember it is all good and we will survive this  season in our lives too. 

Permalink 2 Comments

A Glass Half-Full

November 18, 2018 at 11:35 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Yesterday while visiting my mom at her rehab facility, I went down to inquire if she had therapy today. The therapist had to get his computer to check. While waiting, I walked down the hallway looking at the beautiful paintings along the walls. One picture drew my attention over the others. The painting was of weeping willows with some new growth starting to sprig out. Alone the winding road was flowers blooming.

I was thinking about my mom and her getting well. She is getting stronger, but needs to work harder to be able to come home. Sometimes, I think we as humans hold back because we liked our past circumstances and we are maybe frightened of a new beginning.Ca n’t is just a four letter word, that is all it is. if you say try to climb the biggest mountain with no real training, I can see the epic failure there, but  fear and anxiety can enter if we are not careful and paralyze is from even trying. 

The older I get, I am learning to keep what is important, let go of what is not, life is too short to be unhappy, your day is what you make it, look for the beauty in each new day, take the time to smell the roses, it is never as bad as it seems. Through the tough years after the deaths of both my husband and my son, I had the love and support of family and friends. They inspired me to keep moving forward and never giving up. I wake up every morning knowing my son is proud of me for healing, and moving forward in my life even though giving up would have been easy.

I have realized through this journey called life, you can always look at your circumstances two ways: the glass is half full or the glass being half empty. My attitude played a major role in my healing, and well-being. My glass has always been half- full. I have so much to be thankful for. God gave me the opportunity to be a wife and a mother even if for a little while.

Around the holidays, I do not even attempt to go to the malls anymore. I do not have the time to be pushed, shoved or moved over for a good deal. There are some die-hard fans of Black Friday who get up before the crack of dawn to get the special deals offered. I usually have my shopping done by June( I am the joke of my friends, yes). I just do not have the time or the patience to stand in a long line waiting to cash out for a gift. 

 

Permalink 3 Comments

Early Fall This Year

November 11, 2018 at 10:07 pm (Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This year has been different season wise. We had a horrible fire season with the fires surrounding our small area. When the fires were contained and the smoke cleared, we had a beautiful fall. The changing colors are always one of my favorite things about fall we just were able to enjoy them a few weeks longer this year.

Summer has never been one of my favorite seasons for many reasons. For one thing, lawn maintenance. My beautiful pine tree that was planted in my son Levis’ honor, died this summer, little bugs that you can barely see come at you in swarms, all the forest fires that are getting worse each year, I melt in the high heat, basically, I look forward to the cooler temperatures of fall and winter. People get cranky the hotter the day, more impatient than usual.

I know I cannot change the outcome of the seasons, but the older I get, I am trying to enjoy every season. I love to hear the birds singing outside my bedroom window in the mornings, seeing the squirrels chasing each other up and down the pine trees, butterflies trying to find a good place to land and eat from one of the many butterfly shrubs I have, watching the kids ride bikes down to the bay to go fishing.

I have to say, I enjoy decorating my home in the warm fall colors. Planting marigolds in the decorative earns in my flower boxes, planning cold weather meals for my mom and I to enjoy, the deer and moose that are traveling to the neighborhoods and staying around to eat the shrubs and apples off the trees. Because of the recent fires, we have also seen bears, cougars, and a lynx around our area as well.

In a few short weeks, we will be getting out the snow shovels again decorating for the Christmas Season and dressing in many layers up to keep warm on those cool nights. The evenings get even shorter,colder, and time to put up the tree. There is only a few short weeks out of the year that I do not really like. Living in a four season state has its advantages. There are still plenty of changing leaves left on the trees to enjoy, coffee just tastes better on a cold morning, and you never know what animal is coming to say hello on any given morning. Life in North Idaho.

Permalink 1 Comment

Can’t Is a Four Letter Word

November 3, 2018 at 8:40 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , )

The older I get, I am the more I am looking to the positive in my life. I understand some folks get worried with changes in their lives; They cannot imagine what the next day is going to look like. I understand with some people we have to take baby steps with their ever-changing needs, but eventually, if it is feasible, we need to get back on track to where we need to be.

Change is a funny thing. We had our lives planned out and wham, all of a sudden, an injury interrupted your once in a lifetime vacation plans, your daughter decided he isn’t really the one for her after you made all the plans, College is put on hold again, instead of having the house to yourselves, one of the kids returns home with her four not for a visit this time. I think if the situation can work for the family, a son who has a good career and staying home to help the family is a great option. Many young adults are opting to stay home longer, some have the right idea, so they can save for a good down payment on a condo or a first home.

Leaving the nest can be scary. We reach the certain age where we felt it was time to be out on our own. I remember when my husband and I bought our first home it was a trailer in a well established neighborhood. After living there for two years, I became pregnant with our son. We decided to look for a house for our growing family. We were lucky to find one in a new neighborhood with kids. When my husband and I met and married, we thought we would grow old and grey together, raise our family and look forward to our retirement and grand kids. We planned to travel after we retired in our motor home. Jerry had always wanted to take his time seeing the country.

My life took a different direction than I had planned. My husband died after six short years of wedded bliss from complications of his disease. I was suddenly a single parent to my four-year old son. I realized life can be difficult and throw you some curve balls along the way but you can do it. I raised Levi from childhood through his teens no easy feat. I am proud of the fine young man he had become. Some of my friends tried to talk me into selling the home and buying a place of my own. I laugh today at the thought,all of my wonderful memories are right here within these four walls. All the teenage arguments, door slamming, late night pizza deliveries, friends gathering for the evening, everything that makes a house a home. I believe “Can’t” is a four letter word, put your mind to it and yes, you can. I did.

 

Permalink Leave a Comment

A New Perspective

October 29, 2018 at 2:28 am (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

A couple of weeks ago, my mom suffered an injury. She underwent surgery to correct the problem and now is in rehabilitation hospital for a few weeks. Both our lives were changed temporarily. She has intense therapy three times daily, to get back into her home living independent again. She used to be busy in the kitchen making a berry cobbler in the afternoon and sampling a piece before dinner.(One has to be sure it ready to serve for desert).

I am part of the sandwich generation who works full-time and care for my aging mom. I know many couples have younger children or have the grandchildren living with them full-time as well. It can be a challenge taking care of two households sometimes. Grocery shopping, before our shower aid came, fitting that into a daily routine, having dinner with mom, laundry,etc. I think we never thought our parents would get old and more dependent on the kids. We remember growing up when you gathered around the dinner table and shared your day, homework after dinner was bedtime. Now, you make dinner, maybe they can help with the dishes,and then sit in the living room and visit.

I was laughing this week because my mom has never spent her birthday in the hospital before. She received all her phone calls she would have at home, her flower arrangement from her nephew,the only thing missing was her at home.  Mom can still do her bills every month, just this time sitting in her wheel chair in front of a nice picture window. It is hard to think of our parents as the Geritol crowd. Some, like my mom are starting to slow down or needing persuaded to get dressed and take a walk, therapy got her started on memory game version of poker she really enjoys the challenge.

We never know what tomorrow may bring, enjoy every moment you have with family and friends and never look back with any regrets. I still sometimes struggle with the loss of my son Levi. I think about him often, where would he be today. Married, have children, still live in the area, still drive his beloved car or would he trade it for his first mini-van. I feel blessed to have been his mom for twenty years. I have so many wonderful memories of the good times and the challenging times we had. I am proud of the fine young man Levi had become. 

Permalink Leave a Comment

This Thing Called Life

October 22, 2018 at 11:39 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

 

The road ahead is filled with uncertainty. Sometimes wondering if we are on the right path in this thing called life. With so many forks in the road, so many options to go, it is often difficult to know where to turn.

My mom had a medical emergency recently. She ended up in the hospital and had undergone surgery to correct her injury. It is scary to admit your parents are aging, getting forgetful and even need some extra help in the home now. So many baby boomers are called the sandwich generation, I am one of them. After surviving a personal loss, my mom started to need some more help. Being the caregiver, I had to learn to take time for myself, and not get burned out. It is sometimes difficult to take on two households with grocery shopping, showers, meal prep., etc. Somehow by the grace of God, we accomplish what seems the impossible sometimes.

I have discovered a secrete weapon… naps in the afternoon helps when we are too over committed, feeling guilty because we couldn’t spend as much time with our parents as we liked, our own responsibilities, work, and fitting in recreation. I am finding it easier to take some me time. Being in health care you learn you have to take good care of you or you have nothing to give back.  I plan a girlfriend night out for dinner and a drive or a coffee-house to catch up.

One thing that helps me is taking a fall drive and seeing all the beautiful changing colors of the trees this time of year. I love to drive around one of the many lakes in my area,looking for the deer munching on the apple trees or the turkeys alongside the road. I love living where I can enjoy all four seasons. Fall has to be my favorite time of the year. The cool mornings, changing leaves, farmer’s markets, hikes along the river getting new ideas for my flower beds next year. it is impossible to know what each day holds for us take time to let your loved ones know how much they mean to you, you are proud of your children and most of all, live life to the fullest. We only get one life, make it count.

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Remember Game

October 16, 2018 at 8:50 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

The good old remembering game. We have all played it at some time or another. The “safe” place for your money, when it comes time to pay that bill, you have forgotten your hiding place. The glasses still on top of your head, the car keys in your hand-forgot you had them with you when talking to your husband on your cell phone you are still looking for.

The fun we have with the aging process. Sometimes, I think I am losing my mind. You make the aging lists and forget half the items on that list, because…. being in a you forgot your list still sitting on the kitchen counter. or better yet, preoccupied by visiting with a friend in the store, you forgot the one item on your list you went specifically for to dinner preparations for company tonight. Isn’t getting older fun!!!!

Growing up was a different time for many of us. We didn’t have the technology the kids have today. We had to actually call our friends on a rotary phone and ask to come over, spending Saturday at the double feature movie, family gatherings, flying home-made kites in the park, summers spent at the beach, baking with grandma, learning how to crochet, feeding the animals on the farm, there was not instant music downloads you waited by the radio for your favorite song to come on and tape recorded it.

A lot has changed since I was a kid, seems like the work ethic has changed, customer service are run by teenagers with no customer service training, texting and driving, putting on make-up and driving,reading and driving, eating and driving, talking and driving, day dreaming and driving(there is a scary one for you), road rage, the teen driver that I feel sorry for they are as scared as you are to share the road with them (video games they found out lie in comparison to reality driving). I miss the good old days where grandma had cookies and milk waiting for you when you arrived, riding my horse Geronimo, 4-H, taking off in my first car just driving around Thousand Oaks, and hanging out with my friends.

Permalink 3 Comments

Older and Wiser I Hope

October 7, 2018 at 11:11 pm (blogging, Creative Non- Fiction, grief, Life beyond parenting, life lessons, Memoir, Middle age, positive thinking, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Last week, my brother and I turned fifty-seven. I can’t talk for my brother, but age to me is just a number. I do not feel older or depressed as some do. My brother and I have difficult circumstances to endure and we are thankful to be on this side of the pain.

I wound like to think I am an easy-going person who takes circumstances in stride. I don’t understand rude behavior in the checkout line, talking loud on the cell phone just because the person was having a bad day and they make sure everyone knows. I do not understand the sassy kids who throw themselves on the floor of the supermarket because they were told they could not have the toy. I do not understand the disrespect of this generation. I was raised with manners and we better remember them when talking to an adult, tantrums were not tolerated and discipline followed.

When I was raising my young son, I was a widow who had the awesome responsibility of raising my young son from childhood through his teens-no easy feat. We had many hardships and difficulties, but I would not trade one them the struggles for anything. When life became difficult with Levi, he always knew I believed in him, I supported him and I was there for him. Many of his friends were not as fortunate. It is always hard to hear when a parent gives up on a child.

Some ask me how am I doing now. I have living life day by day and thankful for great memories I have as a wife and a mother. My life was forever changed in a flash with deaths of both my husband and son, but I have so many fond memories of a house alive with many boys getting ready to paint ball, dad taking his son on a motorcycle ride, pulling the sled around by the ATV, watching Levi build his snow fort, the harvest carnival, the last time we put gas in Levi’s new car. We both never knew our lives would forever change the next evening. I am truly thankful to god for giving me the opportunity to be a wife and mother even if for a little while. Kids are a blessing, hug them extra tight today, let them know how much you love them, how proud of them you are, how much they mean to you, life can change in a moment. 

Permalink 1 Comment

Next page »

Quaint Revival

quirks, quips & photo clicks

Adventures of the Empty Nester

Looking beyond the Mom

kathy knull

Blogging about Life as it comes

Jena Pendarvis

Creating as a stay at home Mom

Old house in the Shires

Family life and adventures in an old house and garden in the English countryside..

Blog of a Mad Black Woman

Life Experiences, Quotes & Randoms

Muddling Through My Middle Age

Definitely older, possibly wiser....

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”

Nutsrok

The humor and humanity of storytelling.

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

englishplus966

There is more than meets the eye to being an English teacher, writer, editor, or language connoisseur, especially abroad. This blog is for language teachers, learners, and users alike.

Gin Getz

Sharing an untamed view.

Brecon Cottages' Blog

Hundreds of beautiful cottages in the Brecon Beacons

Inspirational Christian Blogs

JOIN US FOR INSPIRING WORDS FROM TODAY'S BEST CHRISTIAN AUTHORS

Have A Dream

Our key to success is making our dreams come true.

Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

David Gaughran

Let's Get Digital

Blogging for a Good Book

A suggestion a day from the Williamsburg Regional Library

WritersDigest.com

Just another WordPress.com site