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So I guess I will blog about it…

27 Dec

I have met some new people on Facebook lately who are very open about their struggles with mental illness and I guess it has inspired me to be a bit more open. The last year of my life has been up and down to say the least. I lost both my Grandma and my Uncle. And right before the holidays this year we had to not only put down one of our family dogs but also my very own furry baby dog Primo. I had never had to be the one to make the decision to put a dog to sleep before. And my relationship with Primo was so special. For the last twelve years she became one of my best friends. She was the one thing that was mine completely and mine to take care of or spoil how I saw fit. When I cried she climbed in my lap and gave me kisses. And with my constant insomnia she learned to stay awake when I was awake and sleep when I slept. She was the one being I could tell every single crazy thought I had to and she never judged me for it. She was the one constant being I could vent completely to. And now that she is gone, I am lost. I don’t have the money for another dog right now. Not even an adoption or rescue dog is in my price range. So my loneliness gets the better of me more often than not these days.

But back to my mental illness…I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and also with social anxiety disorder. In the past my social anxiety has  gotten so bad that I had developed full-blown agoraphobia. And now it has come back. It is hard to feel like you have back slid into something you thought you had conquered. I haven’t driven myself anywhere but once this month. I can’t even walk to the end of my driveway to get the mail. The fear I feel about the world outside my windows is indescribable. And it is not one thing I can pin point being afraid of but an overwhelming myriad of things. So once again the doctors are monkeying around with the medication I take to try to help me. But I end up feeling like such a guinea pig or lab rat in the process.  And it isn’t at all embarrassing to be 32 years old and need to have someone go with me whenever I leave the house.

And I have come to realize how much my dog helped me with these feelings too. I always knew I had someone at home waiting for me. So excited to see me whether I was gone for 10 minutes or 10 hours. But also I went outside with her. I took her all around the yard for walks. And where people knew me, they would let me bring her with me. And she loved car rides so much. For such a little dog she impacted my world so much.

So my grief is getting the better of me right now. And my anxiety. And the side effects from the meds they are giving me to try to help me with those other things. Honestly I just wish they could prescribe me a new puppy because I think that might help the most. Not that any dog would be like her. But I wish I had a new dog to get to know and love and take care of. And maybe just maybe one that might take care of me a little.

Thankful for… 2

23 Nov


Now on to my Dad’s side of my family. I think I must be the luckiest girl in the world sometimes. I got to be part of both a huge family on my Mom’s side and then on my Dad’s side I got to be part of a small family too. Both dynamics are very different but both are equally loving. I only have one Aunt and Uncle on the Delon side. And I only have 3 cousins. My Aunt Val lived in Illinois for a very long time when I was young so it was a super special big deal when I got to see her and my cousins. And in fact she played a huge part in a very sad part of my family’s life too. But to start with I want to be very thankful for my Grandma and Grandpa Delon. Boy did they spoil me! My Grandpa took a picture of me every year sitting in front of the Christmas tree and all the gifts. And every year he told me that was because I was the best present of all. Now my Grandpa spoiled me but he also used me as an excuse to cheat on his diet every chance he could get too. So I don’t feel so bad about being spoiled. When I was little my Grandpa had a swimming pool and he swam with me every time I wanted to go. He had the coolest house when I was little too, it had one of those metal spiral staircases. I always wanted to play on it but he always told me no. He always had my safety in mind even if I didn’t understand it back then. And he still has my best interest at heart to this day and I am so grateful for that. One wink from Grandpa and I knew things would be okay. I was so excited when they moved closer to where we lived. I got to see them so much more and I could have a sleepover with them anytime I wanted to. Grandpa would order pizza and we would rent movies every single time. And I would know nothing about basketball if I hadn’t been forced to watch hours and hours and hours of it as a kid with him. My Grandpa would fall asleep during games and when I would go to change the channel on the TV, he would wake up. He said he wasn’t asleep he was just resting his eyelids and could still watch the game. I didn’t buy that even when I was young. But now I know important things about the game like boxing out and zone defense. I am grateful for all the time I got to spend with him. Whether we were power walking at the mall or just going out to lunch to catch up, the time I spend with him is some of the time I count most precious. He is also a very spiritual man and I am grateful for that too. While I count myself as Catholic and he is not, he is one of those people with a true belief in God plain and simple. If faith was something you could see, Grandpa would be bright and shining like a star and it is just how he is with his whole being. And I know more than once that his prayers have helped to save my hide. I am very grateful for my Grandpa, his faith and his faith in me. My Grandma too is very spiritual. I am grateful for the time we got to spend together when she had her old shop. She made and sold things used to decorate your house. When I was young I was amazed at the flower arrangements and things she made. Fake flowers never looked so real. When I was young, my creativity was centered around reading and writing, but as I got older I started to craft. I am grateful to her for that because I know my crafting abilities came from years of watching her. Although I never got the hang of arranging flowers very well, I can make jewelry and all kinds of other things because of her. When I was young I remember my Grandma being a very quiet person and I am thankful that now I get to hear her voice more often. Now I am grateful that I get to hear her opinions and get to see how her and my Grandpa’s relationship works. I knew they were married when they were very young but only recently have I really gotten to see that love in the little things they do. I hope someday to find a love like they have. They fit like pieces of a puzzle, where she lacks he fills, where he lacks she fills. They spend all their time together even after all this time. I am grateful for that example they set. Now my grandparents had two children, my Dad first and then 10 years later my Aunt Val. And anyone who knows my Dad knows that he communicates by mercilessly teasing you to death. And for a long time I felt like the only one he teased but I soon realized he teased my Aunt Val too. And Aunt Val didn’t just sit back and take it. So I am very thankful to her for showing me I could fight back and not just take what my Dad was dishing out. And as I said before my Aunt Val and Uncle Jon both played a big part in one of the most sad points in my family’s life. When my brother had to be hospitalized in Chicago, my Aunt and Uncle opened their home and their lives to our family for months. I can never tell them how thankful I am that they were there to help us. Our family was being shattered and rebuilt, and my Aunt and Uncle were there for us. In fact my Uncle Jon was the first person to convince me that I might be able to learn to drive a car. In the midst of everything that was going on, he had enough faith and courage to just put me in the driver’s seat and just let me try. Now I ran a few stops signs and never went more than 25mph, but I realized I might just be able to do it. I am so grateful to the both of them for just being there for our family during that time.I am also so grateful that they were able to move close to us and my grandparents so that we could be together more often now. And my cousins mean a lot to me too. My cousin Kristen has some developmental issues but I am so grateful for her every time we get to spend time together. I don’t believe I have ever felt as pure a love as Kristen has shown me while we were growing up. Kristen doesn’t judge and I am grateful for that because I always feel judged out there in the world. And my cousins Eric and Eyan have always been so much fun to be around. They always bring fun energy when our family gets together. And now they are growing up and getting married and even about to have the very first great-grandchild in our family. I am grateful to get to share in all their lives because they are so different from my own. I value that their journey will be different from my own because they will only enhance my world.


Thankful for…

21 Nov

So I have noticed that many people I know are blogging everyday this month things they are grateful for and I have loved reading them so much. If only I was that diligent, sigh. And wouldn’t it be nice if we all did that everyday of the year not just because of Thanksgiving. But I think as long as we notice that we have things to be grateful for, no matter when or how often, it is a very good thing. Sometimes I find it very hard to see the positives that happen each day in my life and I know my days are often darker because of that. So I am trying to change and what better holiday than Thanksgiving to make my new start!

I am very thankful for the people in my life, especially my family and my friends that have come to be family to me. Where to start, there are so many? My own world is very small and often limited. That is where all these people come in. They share their lives with me and through them I get to be part of a much larger world. And often a world I would never get to experience otherwise. So here come the “Thank you”s.

I ‘ll start with the Kennedy side of the family. The loudest squeaky wheel gets the oil right. And boy are we the loud ones. My Mom’s side of the family is absolutely amazing. We are so many and so varied. I was so lucky to get to grow up seeing my very large family very, very often. And I am so thankful to my Grandma and Grandpa Kennedy for that. Probably a little  bit more Grandma than Grandpa because she did the party planning and cooking. We got together for so many reasons. Not always all of us but always some of us. I am grateful for every Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, Fourth of July at the lake, wedding, first communion, baby shower, graduation, school play, and even a beauty pageant or two. I have loved watching my Aunts and Uncles get married and have babies. I loved annoying my Uncle Mike at the old big house. He was still a teenager when I was young and everything he did was so interesting to me. He used to mix together multiple colognes to wear before a big date. Although I probably shouldn’t remind him of that. And when I was really annoying him and touching all his stuff in his room, he would forbid me to come through his door frame. So I would stand in the hallway and talk at him and talk at him and talk at him until he let me back in. And one time when I was sick and Grandma was baby-sitting me, there was a 48 hour Andy Griffith Show marathon on TV. ANd my wonderful Uncle Mike forced me to watch all 48 hours! To this day I cringe at the notes of the whistled theme song. And some of my Aunts were also young enough to still be living at home then. I got my first make-up lessons at age 4 or so from them. I loved every second of it, but Grandma would always make me take a bath and wash it all off right after for some reason. Probably because I looked like Avon exploded on me but I am so thankful for all those memories. I am so thankful for all the time I got to spend with all my Aunts and Uncles. And then came all the cousins and they were even better. What kid had 28 other kids to play with and grow up with and love right there at their Grandma’s house? I have so many wonderful memories of growing up with all my cousins that it would take me a journal the size of the Empire State Building to write them all down. We had to take huge group naps when we were young after lunch at the lake house. Try getting 20 kids to lay down and be quiet for 30 minutes in the middle of a beautiful sunny day in the summer. One family Christmas the snow had all melted and the ground was a complete mud pit. All the boys went out to play outside and got so muddy that Grandma made them strip down to their undies and sit on the floor in a group while she washed all their clothes. It was like 20 little boys in undies and socks and frowns sitting on the floor while everyone else just laughed and went on eating and stuff. And I have pictures of it!! And I am extremely grateful for the summers when my brother and I would go visit Joey and David at Uncle Joe’s house.  Joey and David had bunk beds and we had the most fun times at night when we should have been sleeping. Joey and I would be in the top bunk teasing Tommy and David in the bottom bunk. Uncle Joe would come in at least four times a night to yell at us for not being asleep. And in the beginning I had only boy cousins, so when Christy and Lauren came along I was ecstatic. I begged to baby-sit them and hold them all the time. I about dies waiting until they were old enough tho play with. One time when I baby sat for Joey and Christy and Lauren and Nick, I had brought pillow cases and the girls and I decorated them and made them into dresses. I have millions upon millions upon millions of memories like these that I will always be grateful for. And now my cousins are finding their own ways in the world and getting married and starting their own families. And I am grateful that they share their lives and experiences with me because it make my life fuller. And I am grateful for all the weddings and baby showers and first communions and graduations and Christmases to come. And full circle to where it all started, my Grandma and Grandpa. My Grandma was amazing. We were all always together because of her. She was our fearless leader. Some of my best memories are of mornings at the old big house. I would wake up and sit at the top of the stairs and just listen. I was waiting to hear the sounds of Grandma cooking in the kitchen downstairs. Once I heard that I was downstairs and at the breakfast table in 2 seconds flat. The chairs of that table had wheels on them and I was rolling all over the kitchen while poor Grandma tried to make breakfast. And my Grandpa was sitting there watching Regis and Kathy Lee, getting ready to go work at the hospital. Every morning he had a piece of toast with a slice of Canadian bacon on it, cut in half, with coffee for breakfast. And I mean EVERY morning. And Grandma would make me blueberry pancakes from scratch, which might have well have been magic to me. I am so thankful that I have memories of my Grandpa before he was so sick. I remember swimming with him and going on boat rides with him and I remember he used to make this ducky-quacky bird noise at me that would make me giggle. I am very grateful for the memories I have of just his face smiling at me. The memories of my Grandma that I am most thankful for actually happened as I got older. When I was young we spent time alone together very often because I was the first grandchild. As I got older we spent lots of time alone together because I was close and we had the same schedule of free time. We had lunches and sleep-overs and trips to the lake in the middle of the week. I cherish those memories. We got to know things about each other that I don’t think we would have otherwise. She was making efforts to understand the symptoms of my illness and she would tell me stories about when she was a kid. And she would confide in me things she wished she had done in her life. And I was trying to teach her all about new technology. We had decided she would go on Wheel of Fortune and I would go on Jeopardy, and then use our winnings to go on a trip together. We went to Culver’s every single time we had lunch together. She would order just a sandwich and I would get the meal, because she knew I wouldn’t finish my french fries so she could have them. Little things like that I am grateful for. I am most grateful for the quarter she gave me every time we went to church together to put in the collection plate from the time I was 3 until I was 30. I miss both my Grandparents very much now but I am so extremely grateful for all the parts they played in my life.


Seeing the tiny miracles

17 Aug

My personal life has been pretty rough lately. Stress has been increasing definitely. Not only for me but for my whole family. But I have been trying to cope the best way I know how. I tend to retreat into the safety of the indoors and into the world of books. I was severely agoraphobic in my twenties and couldn’t leave my house unless I was with someone I trusted. I felt myself wanting to do that a lot here lately but each day a tiny little something would happen, like a sign, and it would cheer me up enough to keep doing what I needed to get done that day.

One day I was having to drive all over going to different doctor appointments and by lunch time I was exhausted. It seemed like every person on the road was driving like an idiot and like when did people decide it was ok to cross a busy road anywhere they please. Have they all forgotten crosswalks exist? Anyway I pulled into a McDonalds drive-thru for lunch. There was a van load of kids in front of me and one poor mom trying to order for them all. So I ordered, paid, and went to the last window to pick up my food. The lady in the window asked me if I wanted a free ice cream sundae. In my head I am like “Hell yes!!!!”, but I just said yes out loud. The lady in front of me had ordered the kids sundaes and the McDonalds crew had made an extra one. So I parked in the parking lot, to just really enjoy my ice cream. Ice cream has always made me feel better. More than even chocolate. It is probably the way to my heart too. But after I was done with my free sundae I was refreshed enough to go to my last doctor appointment and blood tests.

Sometimes when the stress and things like that seem to overwhelm you in your life, it gets very hard to see the positive things that are still there. I am working very hard to recognize those positives every single day. The tiny miracles will accumulate and hopefully make it easier to have a more truly positive outlook on my life. So whether it is luck or blessings or signs from above, I am paying more attention so that I don’t miss them.

Happy Saturday!

17 Aug

To where my mind wanders…

15 Jul

Lately the same quote seems to be jumping out at me on all my social media. It wasn’t a quote I was familiar with but just the same it struck a chord with me. It goes something like ” To find your true love, all you have to do is watch where your mind goes when it wanders.” This would be hard for me normally because my mind is constantly wandering and imagining. But this summer there has been something that keeps dragging my attention back to it. It is a large empty space. Here is who used to fill my summer days.

This is my Grandma driving the boat at our family’s lake house. And I am the little girl on her lap. My face is most likely that way because she tooted the horn. The horn on the boat was a quick blaring honk. Kind of like putting a Canadian goose in front of a microphone and then stomping on it once really hard. It was so loud it literally made your heart skip a beat if you were sitting in front of it when it was honked. I hated that horn! I was so lucky. I spent 30 years of summers on the lake with my family. When I was really little it was just me and my grandparents because I was the only grandchild for a little while. I was lucky that way too because I remember things that my younger cousins might not. And then as my aunts and uncles got married and had kids, we had wild summers. I mean squeezing 30 or 40 people into a one story house with only one bathroom was an adventure in itself. But now imagine half of those being kids under 12, you get the idea of the fun we had. And we had boat rides and swimming and diving contests and amazing fireworks displays put on by my youngest uncle Mike on the Fourth of July. And acres and acres of s’mores. And mountains of food and soda pop. During those years the only time I had alone with my Grandma was the very early morning before everyone else woke up. Of all those kids and adults, Grandma was always up first. Starting the coffee and melting the grease in the frying pan for scrambled eggs for 20 kids. I would wake up and tiptoe over the carpet of sleeping bodies in the living room.  I would get to take Grandpa his coffee as he rocked in his chair on the porch. He always got the first rocking chair in the row and then Grandma got the second and then I got the third. But usually Grandma would sit me in her chair with a tiny kid sized cup of OJ so she could go back to making breakfast without me underfoot. And I would rock and babble non-stop at my Grandpa. To me he was a really good listener but I am sure he just learned to tune out little kid babble. But he was a man of few words with me and I loved him for it. Then people would start waking up and eating. And after that it was a matter of whining until we could go swimming.

As a teenager things changed a bit. My Grandpa had his first stroke when I was 11. And he continued to have them. At home and at the lake my Grandma was his constant nurse with the help of my Uncle Mike. But my Grandpa loved the lake so it was very important to my Grandma that he get to keep going there. Unfortunately our lake house is as handicapped friendly as Mount Everest. That fact also became very apparent as my own brother was paralyzed and put into a wheelchair permanently. But the lake was my sanctuary. And I continued to wake up when I heard Grandma get up. But I would now take my slightly bigger cup of OJ and go out to the swing. We had an amazing swing anchored between two huge trees. It was a porch swing and when you sat in it you had an amazing view of the better part of the lake. And I would write sometimes creatively, sometimes personally. And I would enjoy the silvery water of the lake and the cool morning breeze blowing through the trees. I felt so completely safe. It recharged my batteries to go back and face a high school life I was unhappy with. With my brother getting sick and my family struggling with that and so much more, I needed a sanctuary. The lake was my perfect place. In my whole life I only ever brought 3 people there and shared my experience with them. But none of them understood why the lake healed me the way it did.

And as I got older my relationship with my Grandma changed again. After my Grandpa passed away, my Grandma said she liked going to the lake because it was his favorite place and it made her feel close to him. And honestly I think it was because my Grandma and I had the same schedule. I wasn’t in school or working so I could go with her during the week to the lake. We would go to clean and plant the garden. She would fill up her car with clean towels, blankets, and sheets. I would pack a backpack and we would just go. It was great. We had so many great conversations on the hour or so drive down. She was really wanting to understand the problems I was having. And she would show me how to make a bed “the right way”. Although to this day I don’t make my bed. She would teach me all about gardening. And I was excited to learn. There was this little hardware store with a little greenhouse attached on the way to the lake house. We would stop there and pick out tons and tons of little flower plants. And we would plant all the pots and flower beds in all different flowers and colors. Or we would clean the huge windows on the porch. It was hot work but once you were done you felt like you had really done something. Then Grandma would take a drink down to the dock and I would go for a swim. We would watch the boats go by, having their last bit of fun before the light went on at the beach. It meant you couldn’t drive your boat fast anymore for the night. We would go in after that. Grandma would cook dinner and we would watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy while we ate. She was always better at the Wheel but I was always better at Jeopardy. Then she would rock in her chair on the porch, never Grandpa’s, until she was tired. I would read until I was sleepy. We would go for three or four days in a row. And I really started to enjoy those trips.

My Grandma sold the lake house a few years ago and it broke my heart. Or so I thought. My Grandma passed away last year. I knew real heart-break then. I know it still. She was the biggest part of my sanctuary. And this summer whether I am gardening or writing or cleaning around the house, she is where my mind wanders to. Or rather the empty hole in my life where she used to be.

A Teddy Bear kind of night

10 Jul

So I have been feeling totally creatively stunted and emotionally overwhelmed lately. And today it finally culminated in a huge sob-fest. So tonight, as I am sure many, many single girls do, I will be cuddling my favorite stuffed animal. It doesn’t matter if your teddy sits on a shelf or is hidden in the back of your closet. Many teddys sit on the pillows of neatly made beds. But I never ever make my bed. But don’t feel bad for my teddy because she sits atop a pile of friends. I have collected stuffed animals and teddy bears since I was a baby. My first teddy was given to me by my 3 uncles. Jojo Bear protected me from the dark and from any monsters hiding therein. He was huge and green and watched over me until his stuffing literally disintegrated. Even after that and not in a creepy way at all, we washed him and folded him up. He is in my memory box with old science fair projects and my baby shoes to this day. But since Jojo Bear I have accumulated a large army of stuffed animals, each with its own story and place in my heart. And I can remember how or who or where I got every single one. I have a homemade bear made of Wizard of Oz fabric that I got at The Wizard of Oz Festival last fall (it is my FAVORITE movie of all time). I have a doll made from all kinds of different bright fabrics that I got in Mexico when I went there with my roommate for Spring Break in college. I finally got to use my seven years of Spanish to haggle the doll maker down from $7 to $5! So exciting!! I have a stuffed animal for all of the animals I love in the wild like elephants, monkeys, whales, and hippos. Oh and turtles!! I love turtles. And I have some for my favorite cartoon characters like Hello Kitty and Eeyore. I also have some that serve as decorations during holidays like Rudolf, Clarice, and The Bumble from Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. All of them packed away neatly in storage buckets. I go through them ALL each Christmas and donate all the ones not so dear to my heart to The Wheeler Mission to be given to kids who will get no presents. So my obsession doesn’t over take the space I have and it benefits the most needy kids in my area.

But there is that one teddy for every girl, one teddy that has been held so close to your heart so many times that he/she feels like he/she was made for your arms especially. It could be the oldest one or the one your Mom gave you before you moved away.  Or the bear that has soaked up the most tears from your heart breaks and disappointments. And even if they have been hidden away in a sock drawer for months and months, that special bear will never hold it against you. That teddy will always be there for you. That teddy seems to know when you are exhausted and beaten down so they soften up to comfort you. That teddy bear whose arms seem to open up wider, to give you a bigger hug. So after a day of sobbing and creative frustration and all my energy sapped from me but a freaking heat wave, I am hitting the sack early to be comforted by a single girl’s fluffy stand-in for the perfect guy.

P.S.- My favorite one right now is pink with white polka dots.

To all my friends who are mommies

12 Jun

Oooooohhhh girls it has been a spell since I have written a post. For that you have my deepest apologies. When spring hit here so fast and so hot, my social life bloomed too. And of course I love to garden and bird watch too. I also got a new camera and laptop recently so I was busy playing with all the new buttons on those too. Seems like I have been taking more pictures than writing lately. Don’t worry I will blog those later. And I became absolutely addicted to Instagram once it went to Android.

But enough excuses and on to the blog. This is something I am not sure everyone knows about me and I will try to explain it as eloquently as I can here. And please by no means am I seeking pity or sympathy by blogging about this. I am just hoping to explain my point of view.

Since I am not sure where to start, I will just jump in in the middle somewhere. In September of 2009, I had to have a complete hysterectomy and as a result I will never be able to have biological kids of my own. At the time I was very sick and getting sicker. This surgery was the only definitive way to be sure that I would not get sick again. I had problems from the moment I hit puberty. And they just got worse and worse. I had tried every pill the doctors could throw at me. But no doctor wanted to tell a childless 29-year-old woman that she really had to take that final surgical solution. But in the end I had no choice. And I recovered at lightening speed to 100%. It really was a miracle.

I didn’t start feeling grief for all that I had lost until more than a year later. It honestly snuck up on me. I was so happy to be healthy and not in constant pain. I had a great summer later on after that. But the realizations started hitting me all at once or at least it felt that way. My best friend  had  her first child. I was there for everything. I was even at the hospital for the birth. And when I held that little angel for the first time my heart literally burst open with love for her. And my stomach sank into a deep abyss. Because if I could instantly love this baby that much, I could only imagine the feeling multiplied a billion times over for a baby that I would carry for 9 months next to my heart. Despite my sadness, I was overjoyed  that my best friend let me share almost every step of that baby’s life. But I also started noticing more and more of my family and friends getting pregnant. I seemed to notice every Mom and toddler at the grocery store. Huggies commercials started making me sob. And I would catch myself saying, like I imagine every girl does, “Oh when I have kids I will…” and “If I had a baby I would name her…”. Phrases like that left a bad taste in my mouth now because I realized all that stuff was cut out of my life now. And I went through a bad time there for a while. I withdrew from baby situations and baby conversations. It just hurt too much.

But like I said this isn’t my sob story. Slowly but surely the pain is ebbing away now. I realized that I had always loved kids and that kids have always loved me. You can ask my 30 or so younger cousins, HaHaHa. And I realized that I really enjoyed seeing my friends and family with their babies. The love and happiness that beams between them and their babies. I began to really love all those cute and sweet update pictures that they all so proudly share on Facebook and other places. I realized that I could have as much fun watching these babies grow up  as I did watching my younger cousins grow into the great adults they are now. And the fact that all my children will have paws is not such a bad thing either. Because I love animals and there are a lot of them out there that could use some love and some help.

So I apologize to my friends and family for all I have missed. And I hope you all don’t mind if I officially start calling you my “mommie friends”. I will post all the cute things I see for you and your babies, boy or girl. And I will truly try not to be absent from anymore baby showers, birthdays or christenings. Because I love you all and I love that you are all mommies!!!

Where did she go?

6 Apr

This is a picture of me when I was 8 or 9 and I think it is one of my favorite pictures of myself. You have to look past the horrible perm because it was the 80’s and no one explained to me that you should never get a perm when you have naturally curly hair. My mom was never a girlie girl so she had no idea about perms or anything else. And you have to look past the mushroom head hair cut too. You have to look past the acid wash, tight rolled jeans. You have to look past the matchy-matchy shirt and socks and fanny pack.  I mean where do you even find a fanny pack to match your outfit, even back in the 80’s? Look deeper at the little girl with the expression of absolute joy. Even under all those clichés that little girl felt beautiful. She felt free to be herself. She wore bright-colored clothes because she felt bright and colorful inside. Peer pressure and judgement were things she was only beginning to notice in grade school. She wasn’t afraid to flash her smile even though she was missing teeth. And 20 some years later I wonder where that little girl went? I was picked on and peer pressured in school because I was different. I had bullies. And I chose to tone down my creative side and try to fit in. And I was miserable. It wasn’t until college that I started to find my own style again. To this day I love to wear bright colors but I try to do it more fashionably. But that smile and that joy and that confidence you see in the picture have not been so easy to find again. I hope that someday I can flash a smile like that again. I hope that someday I can find that joy inside and feel beautiful because of it.

Another thing that made me cry

10 Mar

Today was a horrible day. I am a huge animal person. I believe in rescuing and adoption. I am the crazy lady who stops her car to get a dog out of the middle of the road. So today when all this happened I was a blubbering fool.

Last night I was hearing this constant squeaking noise. It just went on forever. So I was being slowly driven crazy. This morning, first thing I got up and checked anything that could squeak. Door hinges and fan blades, anything that might need oiling. I realized finally that the noise was coming from under the stove. I should have known because Lucy, our cat, was sitting on the floor staring straight at the stove. So I got down on my belly with a flashlight and sure enough there was a tiny field mouse stuck in a really old trap. Using a uncoiled wire hanger and fighting my cat off, I fished out the mouse and trap. The poor little thing was so stressed out. So I took the whole trap outside so I could free the mouse. But as I got it out of the trap I noticed that it’s leg was broken too badly for the mouse to walk on.

And here is where the tears started. I held the little broken thing very still and quiet until it calmed down. Thoughts raced through my head. Do I let it go outside, knowing it won’t survive? Should I take it to a wild animal vet? I mean crazy thoughts like, should I keep it as a pet? I just cried harder and harder. But I figured if I was dying I would want to die where I lived and in the sunshine. So I put it down very gently in a leaf pile in the front yard under the warm sun. She started to clean herself which is usually a good sign. And I walked away. My cat sulked the whole day. I threw away the nasty old trap too. I was so traumatized.

So the moral of the story is mice make me very sad, so don’t bring them up.

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