Thursday, October 30, 2014

Working it out

Something has come to my attention.  And I am not at liberty to say what it is for several reasons.  The main one being it is not my thing to tell.  But it has put me in quite a confusing place.

 I have spent days trying to figure out the best thing to do.  And after much thought and contemplation this is all I have come up with:

How do you make someone do something they don't want to do, but they need to do?  Even though you know the outcome will be messy and hard, it is still something you truly believe they need to do?
My heart is broken.  And it's not something I can just fix.  No one can fix this for her.  But I feel like her not speaking up is only going to allow her to continue to live in the mindset of a victim.

I can't force her to do a thing.  And I don't want to force her.  But I am at such a loss. 

I have contacted a few people I know who have some kind of say in the matter for help and guidance.  I feel like I am still in shock.  And I know she is. 

Oh God help us.  No matter what happens, help her.  Help us know what to do, exactly, without causing more harm.

This has got to stop. 

And help me know to do what is right.

Friday, October 24, 2014


She died a few a weeks ago.  Her funeral is tomorrow.  I can probably count the tears I have allowed myself to cry over her.

When I first found out she died, I was having lunch in a pub with one of my sisters.  We weren't alone when we got the news.  That was good.  We teared up right there, in the booth.  But no out right crying though.  We were in public. 

There was a night shortly after that, I began to tear up again, but wouldn't allow myself to cry.  I didn't know why.  I just knew I couldn't allow myself to "go there".

The other day I was over "her" way for the first time since her death.  I have avoided "over there" like the plague.  I had no choice this time.  There was a soccer game over that way.  As soon as I got close, I started tearing up again.  And yet again, I fought back the tears.

The soreness, tightness, squeezing feeling I have in my chest is not getting any better.  I imagine it's anxiety, with her funeral tomorrow.  There are times it literally hurts to breathe.  I had to take my kids out shopping for a few things after school today (it was a half day for them here), and the tears kept coming up out of no where.  And I kept fighting them back.  It's not good to cry and drive.  EVER.  So there was not time for tears.

I know I have to let this go, let her go.  I know I have to grieve her.  But I don't want too.  I don't want to grieve her.  I don't want her to be gone.  I don't want what that means for my family and the changes it will bring to our lives.  I don't want to miss her.  I want her here.  And if I do this, if I allow myself to cry, to let in the pain, and the grief; then it's real.  And she's really gone.  And I can't go on pretending she is still here.

How's that for honesty?

I know I have to do this.  I know have to go and say goodbye.  I know I have to quit pretending and let her go.  I have to let the grieving process really start.  Logically, I know all that.  But emotionally, I am just not ready.  I thought I was, a few weeks back, but now.... I am not so sure.  And yet, I can't keep stuffing it down (so to speak).  It's getting harder and harder to do that. 

I don't want to hurt like this again.  I don't want to cry over the loss of life over another loved one.  I don't want to miss yet someone else.  I don't want to say goodbye again.  Not to her.

I am so afraid to feel what I know is there below the surface.  And I am so afraid of what tomorrow brings.  I hurt so bad, and yet I don't want too.  I don't want to feel it. 

"Pain demands to be felt."  (AFIOS reference) 

It looks like that is very true.  But I am trying so very damn hard to keep it at bay. 

Grief sucks.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

That One Friend.....

There is this person in my life, and well.....  I guess I should start off by telling you about my friend.

This person is an encourager!  They have always encouraged me.  Every good thing in my life that went right, or if I had to fight my way through something, they were right there the entire time, cheering me on and telling me I could do it.  No matter how hard it was.  They never stopped believing in me, even when I did.  And that's no easy thing.

Every moment in my life when I failed or felt defeated, they were there.  Every time I didn't want to go on; they were there, telling me it was all going to be okay.  Even when it was the last thing I wanted to hear.  Again they would encouraged me.  They helped me find strength I didn't know I had, in so many different circumstances.  And sometimes, it was their strength, not mine, that carried me through.  I have to be honest about that.

When life devastated me and my heart hurt so bad it was hard to breathe, literally, they were there.  Every time.  I felt their arms around me, and felt comforted.  They brought me comfort.  They weren't able to fix it, make it better, or give me all my answers.  But they knew what I needed, and somehow, I made it through.  I still hurt, but I wasn't alone.  I still hurt, but I did make it through.  And even though I hurt, I could feel (and was thankful) for their comfort.

I do believe I have called on this person on just about every hour of the day at some point.  And you know what?  They never cared.  They listen, every time.  They comforted.  They encouraged.  And if I was absolutely in the wrong, they don't interrupt me.  They let me get it all out.  And after all the comfort and support and love they gave, they would gently guide me in the other direction.  Again no easy feat.

And me?  I have not always been a wonderful friend in return.  Sometimes life gets busy and days go by before we talk again.  And yes, there were times in my life where weeks passed, months passed.  Even years went by and we didn't talk.  They never pushed me.  But no matter what, they were always there when I came a calling again.  They never left me, even when I left them.  Loyal is not even close to describing this person.

And you know what?  There have been times this friend was there for me, and I turned on them.  I turned on them out of pain, hurt, confusion, anger, and many other reasons that are no good reason to turn on a friend.  And I am ashamed.  But they have been patient with me.  They forgave me.

This friend has loved me at my most unlovable moments.  This friend knows all my mistakes and doesn't care.  This friend has never once given up on me, even when there was a time I gave up on them.  And even when I gave up on myself.   

And so... this is to my That One Friend:

Thank you.  Thank you for always being there for me, even when I didn't think you were or didn't want you to be.  Thank you for never giving up on me.  Thank you for helping me get through this life, even when it hurts.   Thank you, Jesus, for being the best kind of friend a person could ever ask for.  I couldn't do life without you.  Thank you for helping to guide me.  Thank you for your comfort, encouragement, and strength.  Thank you, Jesus,  for showing me what true friendship and love is.  And for showing me the kind of person I want to be.   I am so proud and honored to call You my Friend.

Monday, September 29, 2014


I want to write about her.  I want to honor her in some way.  But I have no idea where to start.  Words are not coming easily to me lately, just feelings.

I feel terrible that she is in so much pain.  I feel lost at what to do help my mom and sisters through all this.  And I feel sad.  I feel sad knowing that when she is gone all our lives will change.

She, is my grandmother.

She is an amazing woman.  A good woman.  She never took any guff from anyone.  If she had something to say, she said it.  She was opinionated.  And she could be just as stubborn as her husband, my Granddad.  (And those that know me and my family, you wondered where we got it all from?)

She was one of the ones that helped to teach me about respect.  Respect towards others, especially my elders.  I suppose I'll remember her as tough soul, yet a loving one.  Even now, this past year, she has fought hard against the aggressive cancer that is now taking her life.

As a child, I think ever time I visited her home she was in an apron, cooking in the kitchen.  It took a while for me to realize she didn't live in the kitchen.  But I can always remember her kitchen smelling delicious.   

I can also remember when she would babysit us.  It wasn't very often, but when she did, she was no nonsense.  She made us do our chores and try on clothes.  She would even cut her hair.  She helped to teach us something about responsibility.  If there something to be done, she did it. 

I actually have a very fond memory of her taking us berry picking!  Boy they were good.  I didn't realize I liked berries.  I only found out because of that berry expedition.

She also has this amazing collection of costume jewelry.  And sometimes, when our cousins and us got together, she let us play with it.

She is tough woman, a brave woman.  About a year and half after my grandfather's death, she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  She was still grieving him, and now she was in a fight for her own life.  And has fought.  And has been tough.  And she has been brave. 

I have always had a very close family.  As a child, my paternal grandparents lived in my neighborhood (as well as my dad's brother and his family).  We walked there all the time.  My mom's parents lived a short car ride away.  .  Anywhere from maybe an hour away (I was a kid, all I know is that it wasn't too long a journey, or at least didn't seem like one), to a 20 minute drive  away, to actually living in my neighborhood as well for a time.  I use to pass their house walking to and from school every day. 

After my dad died, we moved to North Carolina ( I was 12 when we moved).  I had an aunt and cousins here that we loved very much. It was a way for us all to get a new start.  It wasn't too long after that, that my grandparents moved down here as well.  And once again, they lived in my neighborhood.  Once again we walked to visit them.  When they moved, the just moved to the other side of the neighborhood, even closer to us (about 3 houses up the street).   When they moved after that again, it was just a few minutes down the road.   In fact, now, all most all my family lives with in a 15 minute car ride from me.  My Grandmother of which this is written about, my sisters and their families, my mother, my aunts and cousins.  I have some family in PA and some extended family in FL.  But for the most part we all live close together.  I even have several family members in the neighborhood in which I live now. 

We get together on holidays.  Every holiday.  Every birthday.  We get together for sporting events.  And sometimes, we get together, just to do it.   Personally, I feel like we have a story book kind of family.  It's not perfect.  But it sure does love one another and celebrate that.  I guess my point is that my family is close. And that, for as long as I can remember, my grandparents have been a big part of my life.

When my grandfather died a few years ago, it was a hard blow on us all.  And now, it's her turn to leave us.  And it's just as crushing.  Nothing will ever be the same again.  She was diagnosed about year ago.  She has fought hard.  And now, we don't want to lose her.  And yet, we don't want her to endure another day of pain.  I, personally, pray for mercy for her.  She is a good woman.  And seeing anyone die is never easy.  But seeing someone you love and respect die in pain, is excruciating. 

She is a woman of faith.  She is loyal woman.  She is a strong woman.  She is hard working woman.  She is stubborn woman.  She is a brave woman.  She is a woman who loves.  She is a cornerstone for our family.  She is my grandmother.  God have mercy on her.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


What The Fucking Hell!?!?

9/11....she was attacked...again.  He didn't like the way her beautiful face looked.  He thought she needed a makeover.  He went at her with a sharpie (stolen from another kid).   When she finally wrestled it away from him...he came at her again...bare handed....intent on hurting her. God love her!  She wrestled him away again.  The 3rd time he came at her, she raised her hand in both a defensive and offensive manner.  He finally backed off, only to attack another kid.

What makes someone attack another person?  What make them think they have that right?  And the words he attacked her with... fat, whore, ugly...and so on.  We asked her, "Why didn't you knee him in the groin?"  "Why didn't you hit him in throat and go for help?"   Her response?  "It never even occurred to me.  I didn't want to hurt him, I just wanted him to leave me alone."

That's my girl.

Proud she stood up for herself.  Proud she got him to leave her alone.  What boy starts a physical fight with a girl?  Sad for the other kid.  Sad for this kid.  Hurting for my daughter.  She told us what hurt the worst were the words.

Ever heard Eminem: Her Song?  I hear it and cry.  Parts of it remind me of how she feels.  I know she knows we love her and we care.  But we have been there.  We have helped her through some of her darkest times.  She can't go back to that.  But, I know it's hard for her.  Especially when she hears all the degrading comments again.....

We are only mom and dad.  She only takes what we say so far......   I worry for the coming year.  It's not starting out too well.  Nothing hurts worse than your child in this kind of pain.

Last year she heard horrible things all year long.  Several told her to go ahead and end her life, no one would care.  How do you help her past that?  Therapist?  Telling her every day how much you love her and how much she matters?  We did it all.  She can't have another year like last year. 

She has changed.  After last year, she doesn't trust.  She expects everyone not blood to hurt her.  And the one friend she thought would be there and would understand, didn't.  They all left her.  She's alone.  And it sucks.  And she doesn't trust a soul.  She is cynical.  And that makes it hard to make new friends.

What do you do for your child who is scarred and hurt so badly?

I hurt for her.  I cry for her.  I pray for her.

 God... protect her.  Keep her safe.  Restore to her what she's lost 10 fold.  PLEASE.  Her self-worth...friends... that light in her eyes....all of it.  She deserves a friend at the least, one good one.   She deserves love.  She is so caring.  It hurts to see her this way. her.  And help us to help her.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Winds of Change Blow Again

It's just one of those times in life when everything around you is beginning once again to change.  And it's a lot for me, personally, to take in. 

We got some bad news about a loved one the other day.  Not anything we weren't expecting at some point, deep down, but you always had hope, you know?   And I am sad.  Sad for what she has been through already, and sad for what lies ahead.  Just, sad.

Summer is also coming to an end in our neck of the woods.  Next week school starts back.  This is my last week of summer vacation with my children.  I hate that.  I am not one of those parent's who love to see school start back up.  I love having my kids home with me.  I love not having schedules to follow, projects to do, or homework to worry about.  I love just being able to enjoy them and life with them.  When they are gone from me, my heart aches for them.  I love being their mom.

This year is extra hard.  This year my youngest starts school, kindergarten.  And my heart is utterly broken over this.  I have always had one my daughters home with me over the last 13 years.  When one started Kindergarten, I had another at home to raise, love on, snuggle with, and enjoy.  Those days are now over.  Permanently.   When my baby girl gets on that bus next week, I will have no more children at home during the day.  And that breaks my heart.

All I have ever wanted to be is a mom.  And yes, I know I still am one.  Just because they are in school, does not change that.  And yet, it is very hard for me to try and put into words.  My role as mom is now forever changed (or will be next week).  No more kids at home to care for during the day.  And that was my joy.  At least it played a big part in it.  And not having that part of my role of mom anymore, hurts. 

I know this will in some ways be a blessing.  I am free now to to up the gym and work out.  I am free to birthday or holiday shop when needed.  And there are some chores that will be easier to do without a little one needing my attention.  And I am finally free to be a class mom!  Or chaperone on a field trip.  =)  But ...  I want them with me.  And I would gladly give up all these freedoms to have that again.  Selfish, huh?

I am having a very hard time right now.  Back to school is always hard for me.  The change from summer vacation to school again just sucks for me.  Now I am losing my last child to school.  And it feels like the end of an era for me.  And I feel very sad and somewhat lost.  A part of who I am and what I do is gone.  And it is a loss, at least to me it feels that way.  It's very hard to explain.

I don't really know why I am sharing this.  I suppose most will think I am silly or daft.  But, I guess I just needed to get this out.  To talk about it, without having people throw suggestions at me.  I am really not very interested in what other people think I can, or should, feel or do right now.  All I can do is try to make the best out of this next week and try not to let it ruin me when they all go off to school.  Because right now, the pain of the knowledge my life is forever changing is very hard to keep hiding.  And even more hard to live with.  And I don't think anyone understands that at all.

School, my baby going, and the horrible news we got are just a little too much for me to process right now.  I feel like the air all around me is heavy and it's hard to breathe.  I look into my future and it's....  different and scary.  And most of all, it is empty.   Empty of them.  Empty of her.  The changes my life is headed towards are changes of emptiness.  And that is a very hard thing indeed.

Yes, I am sad.  I am hurting.  I am having a hard time wrapping my mind and emotions around all the change headed my way.  And I know I have no other choice but to face them head on.  To pull up my big girl panties and just do this.  All of it.  Losing them, and her.  I need to make the most of what time I have with them all.  And I will do that.  But that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like hell.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cabarrus County School System

Dear Daughter's Middle School In Cabarrus County:

You are a public school.  So I got a bit pissy when you tried to instill uniforms, I will admit.  I had never really heard of a public school (or any school without a waiting list to get into) having uniforms.  That's not say they don't exist, I just never heard of them.   And yes, that irked me to no end.

I know you say it's because of the dress code violations.  But you admitted that most of those violations were do to people NOT wearing their badges.  *sigh*

It is WIDELY known that this school has a HUGE bullying problem.  And every parent I have talked to that supported the uniforms was because their kids were bullied, or knew of those who were, because of wardrobe.

So you see?  Everyone knows (or at least believes) you want to push this so bad because you want to cure the bullying in your school.  *smh*  You still don't get it, do you?  Bullies will just find other reasons.

For example:

Let's take girls.  Girls (with decent parents who know how to dress them appropriately for school and not like harlots out showing off their botty and cleavage), know how to dress to their body type.  Stick them all in the same clothes, and bullying against body types just got worse.

Then I read  that this year there is a new violation to the dress code:

~ Hair dye or colorings(green, purple, etc.) that distract from the educational environment

Okay, honestly, what in the world does hair color have to do with learning?  If my daughters EVER brought home a bad grade and blamed it on a classmates hair color they would be in world of trouble.  At 12-13 years of age, they know better.

I read this rule and went, frankly, ape shit.  I had had enough.  But why?  Why does this bother me so much?  Other than fact you are a public school and it's my belief that public schools should not require uniforms or silly rules about hair color?  And this is what it boils down to this:

I have raised my children to be who they are.  I support them in testing and trying, to figure that out, even when I don't agree.  That is part of the teenage years!  Finding yourself!!  It's up to me as the parent to set limits on that, and that includes wardrobe, hair, activities they want to be a part of or exclude, and the list goes on and on.  It's not your job. 

I understand wanting to teach kids to dress modestly in school.  Staring at someones boobs or butt, or some guy's underwear showing because their pants are too low can be distracting.  Kids this age are starting puberty and are hormonal, curious creatures.  School is about education, not sexual awakening.  But my child's hair color has nothing to with education or sexual awakening.  It's hair.

I have, and continue, to raise my children to be true to themselves.   That may or may not be "the norm" as society sees it.  And either way, is fine by me.  As long as they are happy with themselves, I am happy.  And yes, at 13 you are just beginning the journey to find yourself.  You dress to your body type.  You dress how you feel comfortable.  You dress how you best think fits your personality.  That includes hair cuts and whether or not to dye it  colors that are a little out there.

You see, school, my daughter is one of those kids likes to dye her hair sometimes.  Last October, she dyed the ends of her hair purple.   She did this in support of Alzheimer's, as that is part of what killed her granddad that she adored.  She want's to do it again every October.  I support her.  And you want to make that against the dress code why?  Because some lazy asshole kid who doesn't do his/her work wants to blame her hair on their bad grades?  I don't think so.  Or maybe it's because you are worried she will bullied for her choices.  Well, she was.  And she it's still cause dear to her heart.

She will need to learn that she needs to back up her choices in life.  Or she will learn some choices have consequences. And if that means putting up with asshole kids who tease her because they don't like her hair, so be it.  Other kids don't, and shouldn't, have any say in how she dresses.  They don't get that kind of control.  And frankly, neither should you.  She did it once, and is willing to do it again, in spite of the teasing last year.  You want to know why?  Because it for a cause she believes in!!!  And when people asked her about it, why she did it, she told them.  Yes there was some teasing, but there was also questions and understanding when she answered.  And her head was held high through it all.  And you want to squash that!!!  I am damn proud of her for it.

What if a kid (boy or girl) has a mom going through breast cancer?  And they want to dye their hair pink in support of it?  How dare you take away their FREEDOM to do that, because.... I don't know.  Fear of bullying?  Fear of lazy slackers blaming them for bad grades?  Are you really wanting to take away the children's freedom and right's to express themselves because you are too lazy to deal with the problems?

You see, I raise my kids to know that it's okay to be different.  That they don't have to be like everyone else. It's okay if they are, and it's okay if they aren't.  But that is their choice to make, not yours to make for them.  I will be damned if I will let my child's school tell my child to conform.  That they  MUST look like everyone else, or suffer consequences.   Because that is message you are sending.  Intentional or not.  Especially at a public school.  You can stick that where the sun don't shine my friends.  It goes against everything I have been trying to teach them.  And that, I think, is why I have such a problem with all of this.

The consequences she may have to deal with, should NEVER be because she didn't conform to what school administrators think she must be.  And THAT is the problem I have with all of this.

How about getting off your lazy asses and actually dealing out consequences for those who deserve it!  Bully once... detention.  Twice?  Suspension.  Three times, expulsion.   Three strikes and your out.  Period.  No exceptions.  Or how about teaching taking responsibility for your own actions?  Fail that test?  That's on you, not hair.  How are these kids going to learn self control if you keep taking away their opportunities to learn it?

It appalls me that society and/or parents allow this kind of crap.  Yes, it's crap.  You are telling these children there is only one way to be.  And that, I believe,  is wrong.

I have half a mind to let her dye her hair teal tell you to kiss my ass and hers.   Because, you see, that is where she is at right now.  She wants to dye the ends teal now, and purple again October, and either red or green in December.  And it's just hair, so why not?  Oh wait.... I forgot.  The school is now in charge of making those decisions for MY child.  I don't think so.  If I had the clout, every damn kid that was willing, would dye their hair any damn color they want the first day of school.  Because honestly, it's not up to you, school.  It's up to them and their parents.  You are a public school, not private.  And if  I could change her school over this, it would already be done.   You are now interfering with how parents are raising their kids.  It's not YOUR CHOICE, IT'S THEIRS. 

Signed:  One ticked off momma

Saturday, August 9, 2014



When someone you love causes you pain by being careless, over and over again, is that worth it?  Is it worth the relationship?  (parent child, spouse/significant other, friendships, and so on)

I would love to sit in a room of people and debate this topic right now.

Turns out, I had time to think and reflect.  And a scripture came back to mind:

Matthew 18:21-22
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

When you look up "scriptures about forgiveness" you are bombarded by the answer to my question.

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Well that scripture alone says it all, doesn't it?   If you want forgiveness, then you must be willing to forgive.    Pair that with the Matthew 18:21-22 scripture above it, which tells us to forgive loved ones over and over over again....  Seems pretty clear to me.   No where does it mention a clause for NOT forgiving. 

How many times must we grieve the Lord?  How much do we hurt him with our choices and sin?  And yet, scripture says:

Isaiah 1:18 

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Hebrews 10:17

"Then he adds: "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more."
 Daniel 9:9
"The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;"
He is so very faithful to forgive us.  Shouldn't we then exhibit that same behavior and forgive.  

Mark 11:25

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "

Matthew 6:9-15

"This, then, is how you should pray: " 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. '  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins

We all screw up.  We all make mistakes.  And some of us, make them out of carelessness.  Or perhaps out of a passionate moment when emotion runs a little wild.  Or perhaps we made choices without really thinking them through.  Or we have and didn't care in that moment.  But it is clear we are to forgive... over and over again.

Isaiah 53:4-6 

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He knows our pain!!!  He sees it.  He feels it.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

First Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

 Go to Him with your pain.  And let go and forgive. 

I think that sometimes it hurts more when you are hurting because of someone you love (parent/child, spouse/significant other, friend, etc.).  Most of the time the people who love you though, don't hurt you out of malice.  They don't do it intentionally, the way your enemy would.  They may have been careless. They may have made a mistake  They may have been over come with emotion in the moment and unable to have self control (which is something we all must work on on some level, is it not?).  I think that perhaps, wounds made by loved a one, although they may sting more; should be forgiven more quickly then those made those out to purposefully harm you.  Because after all.... You love them too.  Just as we wound our heavenly Father daily, and loves us and forgives us.

Give your pain to God.  Let Him handle it from there, and let go and forgive.  Not always easy, sure.  But it will be worth it in the end.  And I think, maybe perhaps....  If we practice to forgive often enough, it will become easier and easier to do.    


Is it worth it?  That was my question.  And I find that yes, yes it is.  Because we love them.  And if we are really blessed, they love us too.   Love is always worth it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Tonight I have random thoughts

I don't think I am well liked by some in neighborhood.  lol  Oh well.  Such is life.  Right?   My kids and I have a different relationship than most parents and children.  I will say that.  I have learned that life is too short.  I have lost too many loved ones in my life to not have learned that lesson.  So yeah... I am at that mom that you will sometimes on slide or doing handstands or jumping in with my kids.  I want them to have good memories when they are older.  And God forbid something happen to me tomorrow....  That shit does happen.  TRUST ME.  LIVED IT. 

It's hard.  I won't lie.  My husband works 12 hour days or longer 5-6 days a week.  I raise our 3 girls on my own most of the time.  Summer is a little better.  They can stay up later to be with their dad.  But yeah.  It's not always easy.  And yes, I make mistakes.  I am not perfect.  But I am learning...always.

I am sure people hear the inside jokes we have and think we're nuts.  Or hear the sarcastic remarks my eldest and I can quip to and from one another and think we have lost it.   lol  But my kids know my love for them.  They know I am mom first.  And we have a relationship that has allowed them to open up to me about some of the hardest things they have gone through.  I am so thankful that they know they can come to me about anything, and know I will be there for them.  

My kids see me take time for me sometimes (because everyone needs to know it's okay to take some time for yourself.  Whether it's laying out by the pool instead of in it sometimes, or a locked bathroom door while you bathe, or good book before bed).  But they also see me live life with them.   Be that mom does stuff with them.  Yes, at the pool, but also outside of it.  We have fires outback, just us.  Or taking my 3 girls out just us.  (You wouldn't believe the looks you get sometimes taking 3 kids out to eat on your own).  Or going down the slide and doing the crazy kid stuff with them at the pool.  My favorite is the spur of the moment stuff.  I think it's theirs too.  I want my kids to know that is important to take care of yourself, but also that life is lived only once.  And you need to live it.  Enjoy it.  Experience it.

Before you go judging, because I know a few of you read this only to judge me...  My kids are also taught manners.  They are taught right from wrong.  They are taught to take care of themselves as much as their ages allow because they know the world is not going to help them or care for them.   My jog as a parent is to prepare them to take care of themselves once they leave home.  They know family first.  They are learning the true meaning of friendship.  Which, I have to tell you, is double edged sword.  They are better friends to those they care about sometimes than the other kids are to them.  And it hurts.  They know to be polite to everyone and to give everyone a chance.  But they know (and are continually learning) who they are.  And that you have to be true to yourself. 

Not many people get me.  I am little out there.  But those that do, are some of the best people I have ever known (shout outs to my family, Jennifer, Amanda, Andrea, Dale, Dee, Jamie, Chris, Robert, and few others... you know who you are). I don't live my life to please others to try to be accepted anymore.  And that is the best thing I can teach my kids.  Live your life for you, not others.  You will never please everyone, and you will only make yourself miserable trying.  Care for others.  Put them first.  But live life for you and don't be afraid of what others think.  You have one life to live.  Live it.  Living for those you care about will bring you joy!  Making time for yourself will bring you joy!  It's a balancing act.  But living your life trying to please people who don't care for you is a waste of time.

I am who I am.  I find my joy in those I care about.  I am love meeting new people.  I will try just about anything, once (just about).  I love music, it's my passion.  I love a good book.  I love time with family and friends.  I love good food and good wine.  I can probably drink most of those who actually read this blog under the table.  lol  (don't' judge me.  I am German/Irish/French.  What do you expect?  lol)  I like to dance.  I like to learn new things.  I like to play poker, eat pizza and wings and watch football!  I like soccer!  I like a good debate with intelligent people.   I like just hanging out with good people.  I have lived through more shit than some can imagine.  And I finally know who I am.  What I believe in.  I believe in my faith, in family, and in simple things.  And if I can teach my kids to embrace who they are (no matter who or what that is), and that home is a safe place for them... If I can teach them independence, how to have beliefs without trampling on others feelings and still stand up for what they believe.  If I can teach them that there are two sides to every story and not to believe or be involved in idle gossip...  If they know you get things in this life through hard work, and they are not entitled to dang thing!  And that yes!  Sometimes, life is not fair.  Pick yourself up, and move on.  Then maybe... just maybe.... my kids will a promising future.

I may not be understood.  I may not be well received or well liked.  I am okay with it.  I welcome all into my crazy world who dare to know me.  lol  And those have done just that, know I love them and will do all I can for them...always. I would rather be unliked for who I really am, then to be liked for faking it. 

So yeah... Maybe this is a big middle finger up to those who judge me, and don't know me.  It is what it is.  I am who I am.  And I am a good family member, a good mother, a good friend, and a good person.   Your opinion of me does not matter.

If only everyone could learn to embrace who they are and still be open minded to others.  To know that each of us has a different path they have followed and will follow; and our experiences make us who we are.  But alas, ignorance still reigns. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Forgive Me

Forgive me, please.  I feel torn between praying for peace, praying for a miracle, and praying for mercy.  Honestly, my heart leans heavily towards mercy.

It is your strength and willingness to forgive past transgressions that has held this family together.  You are so much stronger than you think!  And that is the truth.

Thank you.

I love you.  I pray and hope that you know that: You are amazing.  Your strength astounds me!  And that is the truth. 

I love it when I look at you, and your smiling.  You don't even know I'm looking. 

You are amazing.   I hope you know that.  I am going to try to make you see it.  I am.  You deserve to know how much you are admired, looked up too, and loved before your time is up.  I want to show you.

Thank you for being so amazing!!!!  I love you!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

My daughter's story: A story of bullying WAKE UP PARENTS

My daughter is a 6th grader.  She is was both nervous and excited about starting middle school this year.   She is in advanced classes, makes good grades, and loves to learn.

The  year started out pretty good for the first few weeks.  Then she had a falling out with a girl.  And the girl started putting her down, daily.  She would tell my daughter how stupid she was, or how fat.  But she didn't just tell my daughter.  She would purposely tell the people standing with in ear shot of my daughter as well.  Starting conversations with them about how fat, stupid, and dumb my daughter was.  My daughter felt betrayed and hurt.  And now others were jumping on the band wagon.  Either agreeing with the bully girl, or not telling her shut up.  Either way, it condoned the behavior.

My daughter tired to suck it up.  She went to counselor at school when hit got hard.  Nothing was done.  The school told the girl to leave my daughter alone, but no one, not the administration or the teachers made sure that was done.  The girl continued on with her mission to cut down my daughter and terrorize her.  It didn't help they rode the same bus.  The girl got others on the bus involved as well.  When she would get off the bus, people would yell things like "Freak!" at her.  My daughter started fighting back with her words.  She wasn't going to take it anymore.

After one particular day at school, it all became too much and she grabbed a pair of scissors in class and started cutting her arm.  She then went to the counselors office where I was called in.  It was an emotional day for us all.  This was back in September.  Again the school was going to make sure this girl new to leave my daughter alone, even on the bus.  Not sure what they did, but this girl had no consequences up to this point for harassing my daughter.

A few days later it started again.  My daughter shot back venom at the girl who was harassing her.  She was  standing up for herself (no one else was).   On this day, the girl struck out and used the palm of her hand to hit my daughter in the forehead.   So much for the school keeping them apart.  It wasn't a punch, but she struck my daughter (think of the "be healed!" joke from the 90's).  That was the last straw.

We were treated by the school as if the incident was no big deal.  Like we were making things out to be worse than what they were.  Remember, my daughter had been to the counselor on several occasions about this girl.  The school knew my daughter had been cutting, which started over all of this.  We were flat out told that MY DAUGHTER must have other issues going on and new how to push the other girl's buttons.  Say what?  So my daughter isn't allowed to stick up for herself?  Were they saying she deserved this? 

So we went to an attorney and looked into legal action.  The bully was moved to the back of the bus and my daughter to the front (why this didn't happen immediately after she went to the school for help to begin with, I don't know.  Not sure why the teachers were notmore vigilant to keep the two apart either in class).

But the damage had already begun.  My bright, funny, beautiful child; who was once full of self esteem, now hated herself.  She began to withdrawal.  And her light slowly started dimming.

Kids still talked and do to this day.  They still like to tell her how no one likes her.  No one cares about her.  She has another girl who picked up on all this at the beginning who still, to this day, puts down my daughter almost daily.  Again with how stupid, fat, ugly, ... you name it... she is.  There are days now, she is pushed into lockers and mocked.  My daughter no longer seeks the school's help.  They only blame her.  I can't blame her for not counting on them.  She just takes it.  And then she comes home and cuts.

She cuts to let out the anger and pain.  She cuts to feel a pain she can control.  She cuts to lash out at those who hurt her daily.  She keeps saying it's the last time, but it keeps happening.  There are days she wants to die. And as a parent.... this kills a piece of your heart and soul to see your child struggling and going through this. 

As parents we are doing all we can to help her.  I don't feel it appropriate to say what all the avenues are we are taking.  My daughter does deserve some right to privacy.  And this isn't about that.  It's about getting the word out to other parents.  Kids are cruel.  And their words do damage.

 When you are constantly put down on a daily basis by your peers, it strips your self confidence and self worth.  The kids your child go to school with are the people your child spends the most time around.  8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  They will continue to do school with these kids for years to come.  Then will graduate and do life with these same people.  Are you getting the picture here?

"When the people you have to do life with are the ones telling you to go ahead and die, when they think nothing of you and enjoy hurting you.... What are you to do?  Maybe they are right and I am better off dead."  These are just some of thoughts that go through  my daughter's head on an almost daily basis.

People have told my daughter to go ahead and kill herself!  They have told her she's better off dead.  And the effects this has on her, and our family, our devastating.  Our lives will never be the same.  This has left a scar on us all for sure.

PLEASE.... parents.... PLEASE....  Talk to your children about bullying.  Teach them that the words they speak have power.  Sometimes it's the power of life and death.  Bullying isn't just physical, it's mental and emotional as well.  In fact, it's the largest form of bullying these days.

Teach them to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves or are too damaged anymore to do so.  Teach them to report anything they see or hear.  Kids have a funny way of jumping on the proverbial band wagon to fit in, or looking the other way if it doesn't concern them directly.  Sometimes, just having one person (who is your peer and not your parent) in your corner, can give you a glimmer of hope.  And when you are feeling pretty hopeless, that is a really big thing.  Larger and more important than you realize.

This year has changed my daughter, and not for the better.  It has changed our family.  We are working hard to get the light back in her eyes and show her she has worth.  Some days are better than others.  My once outgoing girl, is now essentially a hermit.  It is our hope that her story will help start dialogs with other parents and families.  Because bullying just doesn't effect the child being bullied.  It effects their families as well.  It's life changing. 

So please, parents, talk to your children.  Ask if they have been a part of or witnessed any bullying.  Help them understand what all bullying entails, and what to do about it if they see it.  And if they have been a part of it, help them to understand it's not okay. 

I am putting this out there with my daughter's full consent.  We all want others to know the effects of bullying.  Youtube is full of kids telling their story (mostly on note cards) of being bullied and how it is effecting them.  Bullying is becoming an silent epidemic in this country, and we have the power to stop it! 

Get involved in your children's lives parents.  Have conversations with them about who they hang out with, who they talk too, how their day is going.  I am lucky to have an open dialog with my daughter and know whats going on in her life and we are working hard to help her.  Thank God for that!!  Do you know what's going on in your children's lives?  Have you met their friends?  Do you know the sites they go too online?  Does your child have social media?  Are you monitoring it?  If not, you should!  You may be surprised at what you find. (hopefully not)

Be an INVOLVED parent.  And start these conversations with your kids about bullying and don't let it die!  Ask monthly if they  have witnessed any bullying and what they have done about.

And to you parents who have children who have been bullied or are about to find out your child is being bullied.... DON'T GIVE UP ON THEM!!  Be there for them!  Fight for them!!  Do whatever it takes, WHATEVER it takes, to get them through this.

Hang in there!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A New Beginning

I had an experience the other day. I can't remember what was on the radio but it sparked something in me and I gave up. I started to pray. (prayer is not just thanking and asking, it is a conversation, two way. You just have to train your heart to hear it)

me: Lord.... I can't do this anymore. I can't be what you need me to be. I just can't. I just need you to love me how I am. Messed up and flawed and so very screwed up. Can you do that? Because I can't do this anymore. (starting to cry)

Him: What makes you think I don't?

 me: um...... Well, I know I have to do .... this and that and so on...... And I am just not ready. I am not. I want to be ready, but I am not. And I am not sure I ever will be at this point. I want to do what you require. But I just can't.

 Him: Require? Why? Why do you want to do them?

me: Because I want to please you. but it's too hard to do everything. 

  Him: Who told you to do all this? Where did you get that? Did I tell you?

me: Well kinda. Some is scripture and some is from all my experiences in the church.

 Him: It is good you want to please me, but you are going bout it all wrong. You are holding onto legalism. That is NOT me. The only thing I require is a relationship. How about we start back on the ground floor and work on that first. Just building our relationship?

 me: Really? Wow. Really? that would be wonderful!

 Him: I have loved you always. Even before you started to know me. And I love you still. I always will. Let's start at the beginning. Allow me to lead you and trust in me, my child, and all will be well.

me: ok.

 I know I have a prayer closet moment coming. A time in my room, alone, crying, praying and emptying out how I feel. Once I am empty, he begin to fill me with HIM.

I don't know where this journey is going to go or how it will play out.... I think back to all the requirements I think I need to fulfill or how I think I am "suppose" to be and it's gut wrenching. But I know I need to let go of all of that. Trust in Him. In doing that, maybe things will just be how they should be.

 I am yours Lord. I am scared and excited. Mold me. Shape me. Be with me. I want to hear you. I want to love you deeply. I want know you deeper and truer. Not sure if I am totally ready, but then again, I think I am. I am ready to know you. That I do know.

 Thank you.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Why I am in favor of Valentine's Day

Ah yes.... that day... that time of year when men and women set out to show their love for one another. For some it's a day of joy. For others it is a big disappointment. I heard the argument for some time now that couples should show their love for one another every day, not just on Valentine's Day. And I have to say, in theory, I agree with that!!! Couples SHOULD show their love for each other on a regular basis, not just one day a year. But here's the problem with that.... Life sometimes gets in the way. I support Valentine's Day. Why? Well, not because it feeds our economy which clearly needs the lift. lol But for other reasons. I think if couples who are totally in love and want yet another day to prove it or show it, then good for them! Who are they hurting? No one! They are boosting our economy while doting on their loved one. Good for them! But, there is also the other side. The couples who get caught up in day to day life. The couples who love each other, but due to circumstance they can't always control, life has gotten in the way. Valentine's Day is a day for them to set aside to try and rekindle their romance. It's a reminder that "Hey you!!! You need to show the one your with what they mean to you!" What's so wrong that? Sometimes some people need that. Yes, in theory, couples shouldn't need a day to remind them. But have you ever had marital issues? Have you ever dealt with the illness of child or the death of loved one so severe, it consumed your day to day lives? Or how about a job loss that lasted for months and effected your lives in ways you never expected? Ever had an in-law have to come live you, and you become their care taker? Maybe even on top of raising your kids? Valentine's Day can become the wake up some couples need to re-connect and find that spark again. It can be the first step down a path to the romance they once had. Should couples show their appreciation every day for each other? Sure! Yes! HELL YES!!! And if you are in one of those kinds of relationships, cherish it!!!! Because a lot of couples find that life gets in the way sometimes. And sometimes they need a day to come along and kick them in the pants and get them motivated. Sure... the day was most likely invented just to boost sales. But if it also helps some couples re-connect, then what's so bad about it? Like or hate it, it's here. And sometimes, it has results no one ever imagined possible. ;) So cheers! To all the couples who have it together, to all the couples who are working on it, and to all those looking for mr. or mrs. right. There is always hope.