The Abyss

I’m not going to lie, things are rough right now.  I’ve always been a little anxious but this is a new feeling.  Being on the edge of sanity and staring out over the abyss.  I’m teetering and it’s frightening.

ALL. THE. TIME.

I write blog posts in my head ALL. THE. TIME. My mind is constantly buzzing with strange thoughts and feelings that I know would make more sense if I wrote them down. Unfortunately, by the time children are down for the night and my evening checklist is complete I find my mind void of anything to write at all.

Now, if I could only find that list of ideas buzzing in my head earlier…

The Upside Down

 

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Losing someone very close to you feels like you are living in a parallel universe.  Everyone around you is traveling along as usual and there you are trying to figure out why everything, and I mean everything, feels wrong.  Sure, your surroundings look the same but they feel different.

It reminds me “the Upside Down” in “Stranger Things.”  Physically everything around you is the same but it all feels awful.  The colors are off.  The sounds are wrong.  Everything tastes bland.  Your existence is wrong.  And you look around wondering how everyone else can pretend that things are right.

After my dad died I remember things being off for a while.  When my nephew drowned things were wrong for a long time.  But this, losing Nate, it’s a whole other entity.  My life revolved around my husband.  Everything I did, or wanted to do, I wanted to do with him.  Coming to grips with this life altering change is going to take time.   A LOT of time.

I’m now 8 months into this parallel journey.  8 months since I heard his voice.  8 months since I held his hand.  8 months without the person I loved more than life itself.  It’s been a rough journey but I have to say I am beginning to feel flickers of hope.  I have the desire to find joy again.

I am most certainly still riding the ebb and flow of grief.  There are still long periods where I can’t see past the pain but then it breaks, even if only for a moment, and I can see beauty again.  Someday  I hope to live where the sun shines again but for now I’ll keep walking towards the tiny stream of light shining through the forrest.  The important thing is that I’m still moving.  I’m still going, one step at a time.

 

I Keep Myself Busy

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I’m 3.5 months in to this nightmare and I still feel like I can’t really wrap my mind around what happened. I find myself staring pictures of him and noticing all the reasons it can’t be true. But he’s so big. He’s so strong. He’s right there. He’s right here in this picture I took not that long ago. He’s smiling that sweet, smirky smile.

I’ve been trying to fill my life with distractions. Anything to keep my mind from fixating on my new reality. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job but then night comes. It’s getting easier but there’s a long way to go before I enjoy my solo evenings again.

I used to look  forward to the quiet of night. Even if my love was going to be working I enjoyed the peace of night. Now I fill it with noise. I’m happy to have a break from my mothering duties but my world feels empty. I so long for the comfort of the love of my life. I long for my tv companion. What I’d give to have my bed companion.

I miss our long talks. I miss his warm strong body. I miss his soft green/brown eyes. I miss his mirthful smile. I miss his big hands holding mine. I miss his love and comfort.

I miss my love.

 

 

We’ll See

Mean-mom2Every mom has some word, phrase and or statement that their kids loath. Mine right now happens to be “we’ll see.”

When I was a kid I swore I wouldn’t do this. I did not want to “put my kids off” with an indefinite answer to anything. As a mom I would make my kids happy all. the. time.

Then motherhood happens.

It’s not that I don’t want to say yes. Honestly, I want to say yes to everything fun.

“Can we go to the park?” Yes!

“Can we paint today?” Yes!

“Can we play hide-n-seek?” Yes!

“Can we go to nana’s house?” Yes!

“Can we have a bubble bath?” Yes!

“Can we go to the library?” Yes!

“Can we make cookies?” Yes!

“Can we play baseball, football, soccer, handball, four square, monopoly, sneaky snacky squirrel, and battleship today?” Uh…We’ll see.

You see, it’s not that I don’t want to do these things. I honestly do. But there is only so much time in a day and I still have to be the mom and make meals, clean the house, do the laundry etc. Some days I put these things off and just play but some days you do have to get some shit done!

Plus, I’ve learned that with my kids it doesn’t matter how many fun things we did that day, if I said we could do something and it didn’t happen, even if we put that thing off so we could do something more fun, then they will be upset, I’m mean, and the day was horrible.

So, “we’ll see” it is.

And when my kids say, “I’ll never say that to my kids when I grow up!” I’ll smile and say, “We’ll see.”

Loretta

I attended a beautiful funeral today.  Loretta was my neighbor for 15 years, almost my whole childhood.  While I didn’t know her well (a sixty year age gap will do that!) I am glad for how I did know her.

I know that she was a good, kind, gentle woman.  I know she had a very large family that she loved oh-so much.  I know that she kept a beautiful garden and that she painted.  I know we loved to give her hugs and that her husband was one of my favorite people.  (Grandpa Blair, we called him.)  Loretta was a wonderful bonus grandma.

Funerals are always such a good place to learn more about those individuals that you will not have the chance to get to know better in this life.  I learned that Loretta had five daughters and one son.  She has 25 grandchildren and over 60 great grand children (so far!).  I learned that Loretta didn’t learn to paint until all of her children had left home and that she loved to learn and was always reading.  I learned she grew up so poor that they didn’t have indoor plumbing until she and her sister, as teenagers, worked so they could buy an indoor toilet.  Loretta was a very loved woman and I am grateful for the chance I had to know her.  I only wish I had been able to know her better.

Farewell grandma Blair.  Until we meet again.

Lovingly,

Me

Passport

For the umpteenth time I’ve decided to apply for a passport.  I’ve always wanted a passport.  The idea of traveling the world has always appealed to me but the reality (ie: costs) have always held me back.  I’m thinking if I get a passport and the opportunity arrises I’ll actually be able to go.

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I don’t have a super long list of must-go places on my list.  If I had the chance I would first like to go the UK and Ireland.  My family history is mostly Irish and English so I have a burning desire to go there.  I want to see where my people are from.  As an adoptee I longed to know where I was from (it’s hard feeling to describe to people who have always known their ancestry) and now that I know I want to go.

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle, Ireland

As a family I would love to take one big trip to New Zealand.  My husband had the opportunity to go as a teenager and it is on his (very) short list of places he’d like to go.  I want to go for a whole month, rent a camper and see everything we can see in that time.  Apparently the have a lot of wonderful campgrounds where you can drive place to place and even take a fairy from the north island to the south one.

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Queenstown, New Zealand

Last on my short list I would love to go to Venezuela.  I don’t know that it will ever happen with the political mess they are in now but this is the only other place on my husbands list of where he would like to go.  He lived there for a few years in his early 20’s and he has always wanted to go back.  I would love to go there with him.

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Angel Falls. Venezuela

And that’s about it.  Of course there are other places I would like to go if I had the opportunity but these three are the places I long to go.

For now, though, I will be satisfied to have a passport in hand and a dream in my heart.

How about you?  Where do you long to go?

You Can’t BEET That

A few years ago, while at a wonderful friend’s home, I first encountered golden beets.  In all honesty, it was only a few years before that that I had ever had a beet at all, but that’s neither here nor there.  Any way, this friend is, by far, the best cook that I personally know.   I believe she can make just about anything delicious.  And while my first experiences with beets did not set a very high bar (boiled beets, plain anyone?) she leaped so high over that my mind was blown.  Who knew that something that tasted so much like dirt when I cooked it could be so, well, divine.

I have spent the last few years attempting to grow golden beets.  If you know me at all you can imagine what a hard time I have forking over the premium they charge at Whole Foods (the only place you can buy golden beets around here) for those little golden nuggets.  It’s just plain painful.  And considering the one and only time I bought them they DID NOT turn out anything near tasty I’ve gone back to trying to grow them.

Growing a garden is one of those wonderful analogies to life.  The first years you plant, if you’re like me, you just jump right in.  You throw some seeds in the ground and feel surprised when they don’t flourish.  8 years into this vegetable gardening thing and I feel like my life lesson catalogue is overflowing. I’ve learned that root vegetables need VERY soft ground.  I’ve learned that there are cool weather plants and warm weather plants.  Where I live beets grow in the spring and not so well in the summer.  I’ve learned that you have to thin beets well because each seed is actually a cluster of seeds so you NEED to thin, even if you plant just one seed in each hole.

I’ve learned a lot and I am happy to say I’ve reaped the reward:

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And I finally, FINALLY we get to have a golden beet salad.

DSC02038-1Golden Beet, Pea Shoot and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 4

2 Cups Pea Shoots

1/2 Cup (packed) baby arugula

4 roasted beets cut into wedges

crumbled goat cheese (to taste)

juice from 1 lemon

drizzle of honey

Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Squeeze lemon over salad.  Drizzle with honey.  Toss and serve.

Ugly Stupid Unloveable

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Ugly.  Stupid.  Friendless.  Unloveable.  Annoying.  Inept.  Irritating.

Often I run through lists of all of my failures.  I put myself down constantly and I am tired of it.  I am ready to make a change.  I am ready to be a confident person.  I am ready to love myself.  I know that it will be a long road but I also know it is worth it.  I need it.  My husband needs it.  He can’t constantly be my buoy.

I am arming myself with this killer list of how to be confident and I am doing it because I AM WORTH IT.

(The picture is from yesterday.  We finally carved my son's Halloween pumpkin.  HAHAHAHAHA)

One Step Behind

As the mom of an elementary school aged child I often feel as if I’m operating one (or two or three) steps behind where I should be.  Despite my best efforts I am constantly losing important papers, misplacing my son’s school assignments, forgetting to help him practice spelling words, etc.  It’s pretty horrible.

For example:

Today we didn’t finish my son’s homework before bed because I invited my in-laws for dinner and we got distracted.  No big deal because we don’t have to leave for school until 9:15 and he only has one, easy math page to do. Wrong! Actually he has a writing and drawing assignment. Oh, and we forgot to practice his spelling words today too so we’d better squeeze that in too. Oh, and don’t forget those sight words we haven’t done on a while. Better do those too. Ugh.

Then, as I was getting ready for bed tonight I realized I’ve greatly overscheduled my day for tomorrow. After all that early-morning homework I’m supposed to walk with my neighbor AND have a blood test at the same time. I’m supposed to help my friend shop for something to wear for her family pictures AND take my middle son to his preschool trunk-or-treat (for which event I have forgotten to purchase candy so I’ll have to squeeze that in somewhere tomorrow too!), at the same time. I told my grandparents-in-law that we’d come see them on Thursday after school AND my oldest has soccer practice after school.  Grrr.

How do I do this? How can I get so mixed up?  I really need to find a better system to sort out all this madness.

(And, just think, at this point I only have ONE in elementary school.  What will I do when they are all in school???)