The Quiet Conversations

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I want to start a conversation about the things we rarely talk about. I want to talk about the conversations we long to have openly but the unwritten rules of society and life in general dictate that we either remain silent or keep these subjects audible at a level no higher than a whisper. I want to know what is it that we rarely talk about..what you rarely talk about.

I recently ranted here on this site about my journey last year turning the same age as my mother was when she passed away. That was a miserable experience facing down my mortality ..facing down who I twisted myself into from the ages of 16-49 ..facing the fact that I felt like I was losing my mind and no one understood where I was. It’s hard to explain how lonely and isolated I felt as I came to terms with now what. This conversation is not one everyone can have because until you experience mother loss there is no way to understand or even discuss with others what is going on.

Someone who I do not know read my piece and commented that they are approaching the same milestone of becoming their mother’s age at the time of her death and they thought it was just them who felt like they were losing their mind. Can I just say I nearly peed myself that someone I do not know read something that I wrote but I digress..The comment got me thinking that there is so much that we rarely discuss and I want to know what it is you want to bring to the table so we can discuss. What do we need to say in order to expand the conversations that have to happen?

I could write a whole book on the things that I see given the silent treatment and probably another one just from the examples from my own life experiences..right now my focus is on the reality that we do not discuss what happens when our mothers leave us. My mother left me over and over when I was young…however she died when I was only 16. Without a doubt the loss of my mother being present in my life had such a deep impact on who I was and who I am to do this day.

We rarely discuss mother loss ..and when there is a substitute parent the discussion grows quieter and quieter because as a society we tend to think we can substitute one mother for another. The hard truth is we cannot simply substitute one for the other. That is not to say we can’t be loved and cared for by a parent who did not birth us..we certainly can and many of us are..what I am saying is our mothers ..the women who conceived us, shared with us half of her DNA and with whom we bonded before we knew anyone else..they matter and we need them in a primitive way that is difficult to explain. It’s a hard conversation to have when you have people in your life who are wonderful stepmothers, have adopted or have mentored someone and helped to fill the mother void of a child. No one wants to hear this because immediately the backlash starts..and you can fill in any scenario that you can think of to mute the uncomfortable words of a voice rising up to say it does not agree with what society deems is acceptable regarding the loss of your mother.

I know the importance of having a stable parent when your world is chaotic..I had another parent..I had my beloved aunt Helen. My aunt Helen was the one who nurtured me, cared for me and brought me into her home often. Helen stepped up and took on the difficult tasks like teaching me how to be a kid ..sounds funny that a little girl would have to learn how to be a kid, but yeah my aunt had to teach me how to child. Helen showed me a different narrative on the world, Helen was there and her presence in my life was pivotal in my breaking the cycle of poverty and despair that surrounded me in my formative years. That is not to say I did not slip up along the way..but it was Helen’s love an influence that has been the beacon of light in my life to guide me..even though she too left this world far too young and far too soon when I was a mere 20 years old.

After saying all that ..I still longed for MY mother. The mother who let me go from her care for months on end..the mother who rarely called and almost never visited ..the mother who was home to me ..the mother who called me useless and worthless during late night discussions with my father on the phone..I longed for that woman when we were apart..she was my mother and she filled a space no one else could because she was mine.

I belong to a support group on Facebook for motherless daughters. I have a difficult time relating to the majority of women in the group if I am being honest. Post after post talks about the absolute devastation these women feel from losing their mothers. Some were young like I was ..others are older than my current age and have lost their mothers to age related causes and they are finding coping rather difficult. When my mother died I was actually relieved, pissed off and overwhelmed all at the same time. Everyone expected me to pick up and go on like nothing happened. Once the funeral was over ..ok well that was done time to shed who I was and conform to a whole new set of rules ..and I tried but I was 16 and 16 year olds are assholes ..I say this confidently because I have parented a couple of them ..they SUCK. My way of coping was I did what was expected and made sure along the way to tick all the boxes my mother never checked..get an education.. check..get married check..have babies young enough so I live to see them go to prom ..CHECK…not be on welfare.. CHECK..drive a car CHECK CHECK..not smoke ..check..take care of my mental health CHECK CHECK CHECK..What I forgot when checking the boxes was some of that was supposed to be fun ..and some of that was supposed to be about me. You see I got so caught up in living inside a box and following the rules ..that I forgot that person inside the box also matters. So ..

Last year I turned 49 and I was the same age my mother was when she died. I spent my 49th birthday sitting at my table sobbing because reality hit me in the face with a 2×4 ..I was alive. I did not know how to process that shit because no one talks about it. I looked in the mirror and I did not see my mother reflecting back me ..I saw myself and I had no clue who she was. For the first time there was no box set of rules to get to 49 ..I was there and I was alive. Then I realized I still had 59 days to go because Madeline was 49 years and 58 days old when she passed and yeah I filled that time up with a trip to Iceland for an Epic girls weekend..I filled it with a trip to Italy a few weeks after I returned from Iceland ..I filled it with getting to know some new family members and allowing myself to care and be cared for by these people..I filled it with not following my rules.

The journey to 50 was long and lonely ..there was no one to have this conversation with who gets it..yes the topic came up in therapy and yes I worked hard on trying to understand how this loss came raging back and how I needed to move forward ..but even there I felt isolated and alone. This conversation needs a platform.. it needs us to elevate its status to let the world know that however we lose our mothers ..to death, to abandonment, to illness, to their own despair..to adoption that our losses and longing is real and valid… that no one has the right to say but wait you should be grateful for..we need to have this conversation and so many others to take the shame and the silence and let others know ..you are not alone.

Figuring out Fifty

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Typical me, before I opened up my laptop I composed a perfectly worded 600 word piece filled with grammatical errors to drop on this site for your reading delight…in my head. Yeah… so then I opened up the screen, got to this site and two things happened ..first everything I composed vanished..poof ..like a fart in the wind and second that familiar feeling of dread, doubt and anguish washed over me like a ray of sunshine. I find myself sitting here trying to recreate what it is I wanted to say and quite honestly, it is not going well because I keep wondering do I have anything worth saying. I can do this… right?

Since I was here last, fifty happened. Fifty , thanks to my amazing husband (when he wants to be). well .fifty happened in Maui. It still seems like something out of a dream and I am still pinching myself trying to figure out how I of all people actually got to Maui …and even more curious as to why I ever left Hawaii to come home. All I can tell you is my fiftieth birthday was celebrated over a course of several days and included two Islands, Oahu and Maui.. a trip to a fabulous spa, a luau, tropical drinks served in tiki cups with umbrellas, Blue tropical drinks, drinks served by the pool, lots of fabulous food, me shedding all my shame and wearing a bikini (and thinking I am not as fat as I see myself..but not as thin as I once was)…the hotel gifting me with a bottle of champagne and chocolates, an 80s cover band that thought they were there for a corporate event but was really there to serenade me with my favorite songs…breakfast with fabulous views of the Pacific Ocean and a sense of serenity and calm that has eluded my being for a very long time. Fifty it turns out was a lot more freeing than I ever imagined.

Heading into fifty there were a few people who thought it was their mission to remind me of my approaching milestone like it was something I was supposed to mourn or be ashamed of..and quite frankly their antics somewhat pissed me off. I just did not have the energy to explain how much I looked forward to accepting this new decade in my life and wrapping my being around the new possibilities ahead..I embraced this milestone because Last year was a rough year. Last year was closing the chapter on my mother’s influence in my life..last year after 34 years I finally had to say goodbye to Madeline and define what her presence means going forward.

Last year, I faced down a demon that no one really talks about ..I was the same age at last as my mother was when she passed away. No one tells you how mentally, emotionally and physically consuming this period in time is. No one tells you that losing a parent at a young age makes the time in your life feel like a bill that is racking up interest and you are unprepared to pay..no one talks about the fear that overwhelms you wondering if you are indeed on borrowed time or the same fate awaits you. No one talks about how irrational and lost you feel when your fate is possibly staring you down the end of a proverbial gun barrel wondering is it also my time? No one talks much about this at all.

I lost my mother when I was a mere 16 years old and at the time she was so old in my mind and turning 49 was a very long time away. When you lose your only parent at a young age, there is a shift in the core of your very being ..you focus on surviving vs living…and at least for me, you focus on not being or doing anything that has the potential to bring about the same fate to your being. I found myself at 49 trying to make sense of how and why I came to be the me I am ..I realize at 50 that there is a whole book, never mind a chapter about me that I need to write. I am not ashamed of 50 …actually I am grateful to embrace what lies ahead ..and admittedly a little scared because there is no roadmap to guide me. My mother and father are gone ..my sister refuses to get to know me (just as much my loss as it is hers) so I am pulling this out of my ass ..but I have a strong marriage, kids who are on their own journeys, family members who fate has given us the chance to know and love one another at last, in laws who are just as much my family as my husband’s and friends…let me tell you I am BLESSED with the BEST FRIENDS any one person could ever hope for. My friends are on this journey into 50 right along side me this years and it is one big celebration of who we are , where we have been and where we are going and I am cherishing every second

Hey Kid-

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Screen Shot 2018-10-12 at 4.24.43 PMHEY Kid..yeah I am talking to you ..yes you that cute little girl with the orange turtleneck and FABULOUS 1970s plaid jacket. I heard yesterday was the international Day of the Girl and inspired by a friend’s Facebook post I thought I would have a long overdue talk with you.

I am so sorry I never took care of you. I remember taking this picture, I remember despising this outfit, the fact that mommy cut my hair, that I was so too tiny to stand up in the class picture and sitting forward so my feet would touch the ground..I remember feeling ugly and out of sorts. That feeling of being ugly, not good enough and just out of place is something that haunts us going forward, after a while it is easier to just give in to those feelings and accept them as your truth..we end up being able to see the good in everyone but ourselves and I do and I don’t know if the happened all at once or slowly over time..but it happened. SO today I want you to hear me loud and clear…You are so adorable, you matter, you are unique with your own rhythms and vibes ..hold on to that. Dream big, don’t settle ..most importantly don’t let others opinions shape your vision of you.

Believe it or not we are exactly 6 months away from turning FIFTY! I know you think fifty is old and it seems like that age is so far away it will never happen ..trust me I still am holding my breath waiting for the day to arrive. I still can’t believe I made it to forty nine. In case you are wondering..A lot has happened to us in the days weeks, months and years since taking this picture ..a lot of things we have absolutely no control over ..and then there are the things I regret and the things that make me feel like somehow I failed you/me..I am now a mommy and I have daughters who are beautiful, talented, and so so very loved.

Mommy leaves us right after this picture is taken..she threatens to swallow pills ..and tells us where to go in case she does not wake up..and we don’t understand what that means ..but we know we want to get away. We have to live with Auntie Helen for a while and even though we love it there and she makes us feel warm, safe and loved ..we know we are kind of on the outside ..and yet we know we want to stay. Mommy eventually comes to stay with us there and we go home with her..but in so many ways she is gone and she is different.

School it turns out is complicated by court ordered bussing in Boston when we are about to enter kindergarten and so we are sent to Catholic School, but not the one close to where we live..we go to the one that is a longer walk and we never fit in. School is miserable until the eighth grade and even though we are doing well academically..no one supports us and tells us just how important all of it is. In high school..we find our tribe. The friends we make change our life for the better…and just so you know ..they are the ones who are our rock and are still here even at almost 50..

Things get super complicated just before we turn 16, mom it turns out has lung cancer. A funny thing about that..we are in that pain in the ass phase of being a teenager and we hate everyone…mom tells us that if she dies no one wants us and we think she is a psycho..turns out she is right because when she gets sick in March we are told it is our fault she got sick..that little tidbit gets debunked ..but emotionally it stays with us even now. Mom dies in July, 58 days after her 49th birthday and the floor drops out from beneath us.

Little girl, I kept your love of books, and I still love words..turns out our dad was the same way. I tried to connect with our sister Kate but she refuses to have anything to do with us for reasons she will not share..our dad was the man who called in the middle of the night and woke us up..I wish we were deeper sleepers ..I still don’t sleep in case you are wondering…I wish we never heard the things mommy said to him, especially the things about us. It took me a long time to understand the things she said were because she was hurting and people who are hurting will hurt others to feel better. The things she said though ..they hurt then and they hurt now. FYI..dad comes to see us once, we get so excited but that is all..we write to him and to Kate and never hear back..he died the year we are 40 and thanks to some research and help from DNA science (something that will fascinate us in both biology and chemistry classes YEARS before it is available for anyone who wishes to find out if they are really Native American or it is just a family myth) we find out the truth about who dad was/is and that his death was the result of Alzheimer’s disease..and that scares the crap out of me. Turns out not only do we look a lot like him..but thanks to stories shared on him memorial page of his obituary..we find out we are a lot like him..it is enlightening and unnerving all at the same time. He was a coward all the way to the end and kept us a dirty little secret.

I want you to know I tried to do right by you..but I also had to do right by the older me and dodge a lot of curve balls. Do you remember all the things you wanted and wanted to do and never got the chance? Things like tap and ballet lessons.. A mom who shows up for your special events..Having your own room.. Living anywhere but in the projects…not having to shake your bag for roaches every day… Having a subscription to Highlights Magazine..you know one where you could do the puzzles and the connect the dots.. being able to buy books when the Scholastic book fair comes to school…wearing clothes that are not hand me downs…having friends to play with in the neighborhood…have a daddy…have a sister..take a vacation..Go to Disney World..having someone tell you how amazing you are?   Well when our kids are born we did all that for them…or at least we tried to be everything they need us to be for them. I gotta tell you Being a mom is harder than playing with those beautiful baby dolls that Auntie Helen gives you ..being a mom does not come naturally and we are so scared that we will make the same mistakes mommy made ..but we make it somehow and the kids are doing alright. Before I forget to tell you.. you will discover that dog’s are not scary ..despite that scary doberman that chases you on Sumner St and tries to attack you..we just got a new puppy ..a really cute French Bulldog that we named Dottie ..we also have 2 other doggies and we have had cats , hamsters, fish and guniea pigs ..but dogs are our favorite

We spend a lot of time running away and feeling we don’t belong even in our own skin..but we are 6 months away from 50..we outlived mommy ..and it is time to come home. So kid, I am back and I remember .. I want to give you a hug and celebrate your spunky spirit and let you know it’s ok to get away .. but I also want to remind you it’s ok to come home ..all I ask is don’t leave me kid ..we need each other ..we have another 50 .5 years ahead of us..and those kids of ours need us… xo xo

Dot Girl The Sequel

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A happy little announcement …exactly four weeks ago my family was blessed with a new addition. As a result…we are tired, not sleeping, there is quite a bit of jealousy going on with the other littles..however we are so in love and would not change a blessed thing. This was not something we were expecting.. but what a little blessing…That’s right we got a new puppy. Oh and she is not just any puppy ..she is this gorgeous 12 week old (as of today) French Bulldog who has brindle coloring, soft fur, stinky puppy breath, makes all kinds of adorable noises,  is smart as a whip and miss thang has an attitude..yeah I am SMITTEN. A few of her  favorite things.. chasing fish in the river near the beach, meeting new people, playing with other dogs and eating. We named her Dottie..my little Dot girl.

I think it is safe to say the humans in our circle of family and friends are OBSESSED and in love…the dogs ..well …yeah not so much. We brought Dottie into a home where 2 very adorable but bossy 9 year old Maltese dogs thought they ruled the roost until this little meatball showed up with her squishy face and super chill manner and they were having NONE of that nonsense. The first night Dottie spent here involved me sleeping on an air mattress in the mudroom(with only a puppy and Netflix to keep me company)  with not only a gate up to keep the bosses away from the puppy but also with the door closed because my male dog lost his everlasting mind the second that puppy set foot in his house. I knew we faced a rough transition ..but damn puppies you could have done your momma a solid and just pretended to get along for like say 5 minutes…but NO.

Anyone who knows our other dogs can testify that they are cute, friendly, attention whores who are completely unruly when they want, you step inside my house to visit them and nothing else .. They were trained believe it or not however…they jump on people when they enter the house and bark at a fart in the wind ..but they are too darn cute for their own good and that my friends is the root of all the dog related problems in this house. On a more serious note ..they can get away with whatever they want because the fact is when I was first diagnosed with all of my health problems 4.5 years ago..those 2 nuggets barely left my side, doing their best to take care of me and if that is not unconditional love I don’t know what is…. Now back to our currently reality…Dottie’s arrival has changed the dynamic in this house in so many ways…those cute pups are suddenly acting like a grumpy old couple trying to get the kids off their lawn and the puppy is like wait..what do you mean they don’t like me? Have they seen me? Me with my squishy face and cute snorts ..those 2 fools are crazy! EVERYBODY LOVES ME..well everybody except Toby and Tessie. Oh and Dottie is shaping up to be Fearless Leader in this house..her BFF at puppy kindergarten is a 10 week old German Shepherd and she owns him like the boss baby she is..Toby and Tessie need to put this kid in her place.

There are definitely moments when the HBIC and her sidekick Toby are tolerating Dottie ..usually food..(ok treats) is involved or the puppy is in her crate with a special something keeping her occupied ..and still there has been an occasion when Toby has allowed Dot to sleep next to him on my bed ..but that’s it..oh wait and when they hear the mailman or the UPS truck ..they all stick their noses into the glass on the screen door like the cute little pack I know they are …I’m getting verklemped.

Not everything has been smooth sailing…Today was a rough day .. Tessie the wonder dog, the HBIC of not only the pack but also the house has been under the weather and I gotta admit I am scared. I suddenly realize she is just about 10 years old in a few weeks, and she is starting to show her age with aches and pains that really bother her now and this puppy is on her last nerve. This morning she was acting funny and  today she barely moved at all…Today my girl whimpered when we or the puppy came near her. Today, Tessie slept the day away, not eating until I hand fed her, and drinking water only occasionally..today her tail barely wagged and that tail is a wind machine with a mind of its own..I don’t know want to think anything is wrong with that precious creature because the thought of her hurting is really more than I can handle.  Fate brought Tessie (named after the Dropkick Murphy’s song BTW) to us and I want her around and healthy for many more years..Our Tessie came to us with a story and I don’t think she minds us sharing..

We brought Tessie home 9.5 years ago..I found a breeder who had Maltese puppies for sale within driving range of our home. A few months before this,  we lost our 8 year old cocker spaniel Murphy to a brain tumor and getting a new dog was an emotional experience. we decided on a Maltese after a lot of research and having a breeder so close to home was a bonus. Tessie it turns out was not a new 8 week old puppy ..but rather about 6 months old and she had a past. Three families took her home previous to us ..and their reasons for returning the puppy included 1 family just did not like her..we were warned she was nasty and nippy and I was willing to take the chance. The breeder brought her to me…So much for a nasty and nippy puppy..this little girl crawled into my lap, snuggled in the crook of my neck and licked my face..it’s been a love fest ever since that day…Tessie is a shy and sweet little girl with a big mouth who bosses Toby around and keeps me on my toes..and she is not about Dottie one bit ..except she kind of digs Dottie’s puppy food and treats and has a strict 10% off the top policy whether Dottie agrees or not (and lately Dottie does not agree..girl is 12 weeks old and already 2 lbs heavier than Tessie and the same height..I smell trouble..wait just a Dottie fart)

Now on the other hand Toby.. when we met Toby, he  was all by himself in a crate looking as ridiculous as one puppy could look with goofy eyes, a crooked grin and was he ever sweet. Turns out he had been passed over by everyone looking at the puppies…he was also a bargain so we took him too..BEST decision I ever made. Toby is the most loyal, obnoxious and adorable dog who also happened to be an evil genius and I love everything about him…except that he tried to kill Dottie when we first got her (thank goodness he has had multiple teeth removed which renders his bite rough but not lethal)  he is such a good boy and today he was right by Tessie’s side making sure she was OK .

Then there is the puppy…oh miss Dot ..what a smart little creature she is. this puppy learned to sit, the touch game and how to come all in less than 2 hours ..Toby has yet to figure out any of those commands..and quite frankly he could give a shit less if he ever does. She is not a barker like the other 2, but she will tell you off when she has had enough ..she is excellent about going potty outside, she is very social and she thinks she is a German Shepherd ..she also can maim small animals every time she toots ..oh and she adores Toby and Tessie..we definitely have our work cut out for us..This is our Dottie ..wish us luck…and keep our Tessie in your thoughtsScreen Shot 2018-10-08 at 12.40.00 AM

 

A darker voice rises up

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Everything I read about starting a blog and getting it noticed says that in order to be read   you need direction and a clear focus..two things I lack. There are 31 unfinished posts in queue here ..some are topics that lingered in my thoughts ..others insomnia fueled rants that lack coherency along with lacking vision or polish. I struggle often to find the courage to express the inner thoughts and feelings about all the subjects I find important. Just like every “good” girl ..I worry that my opinions will offend those whom I love and admire as well as those I do not know..I also worry about putting myself “out there” for the world to see and judge. The subject matter here on my site ..while I can get kind of deep …ok maybe not deep but a place hovering between profound and shallow ..remains somewhat guarded ..not too many politics ..until now.

Every day I log on to the world as I know it..Facebook, Instagram ..local news and the status of my country and the world is there for all to see..and along with that status is someone’s opinion regarding the ever changing hot topic of the minute. I sit back and observe how people I know and have known for years view the world ..and at times it is rather unsettling to see how no one can see beyond their echo chamber these days. Not many are interested to hear that there are multiple sides to everything and what is being presented to all of us is being skewed by powerful sources whose goal is to divide and conquer..and they are succeeding. Whatever your stance, I want to tell you all that it’s ok to debate ..it’s actually healthy to debate ..but don’t dig your heels in so deep that you can only hear and not actually listen to what others are trying to say to you. Another thing.. everyone stop resorting to the childish name calling, sometimes, someone with an opposite belief than yours can actually have a valid point and is not a “libtard” or “trumpturd” or a snowflake etc..

Now that we have that out of the way..I have something to say..for every woman defending the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh and dismissing Dr Ford because ..let me list the reasons I have seen….there is no proof, she is trying to ruin his reputation, she is a hired gun of the liberal snowflakes,  she is doing this for money… people arguing what about him …I ask you what about her? WHY do you automatically assume he is innocent? Is he more important simply because he is a man? Is he more important because he is a republican and his appointment to the court comes with the possibility of overturning ROE? Ask yourselves ..what about her…what about every woman who has lived through the years and years of not being believed, of having to go to work, to school..to go home to a man or men who assault her sexually.  what about the women and men who have suffered sexual assault and live with its trauma in silence for years? why is sexual assault an underreported crime..because everyone says she is a liar, she brought this on herself, she wants to ruin his reputation etc..the burden of proof is upon the victim and the victim is often treated like the perpetrator. Is it alright that men can put their hands wherever they want on a woman because she is dressed a certain way or she is well endowed? Is it alright that we as women put up with unwanted advances and are threatened with the security of our jobs, our relationships and our self worth after a man harasses us sexually all because the possibility of speaking out will ruin his reputation and disturb his family? I would hope that in this day and age the answer is no.

What about him? “Him” can be any man or woman we know…think about how well you really know even your closest friends. A person can be wonderful at their job and the darling of everyone’s eye ..and yet behind closed doors he/she could abuse their spouse, be an addict , beat their children, be a child porn addict, you do not know ..just because someone portrays an image to the world ..it does not mean we know them …just because they share your political beliefs,..it does not mean they are right for the country…just because someone says they did not do a bad thing does not mean they are innocent ..but nor does it mean they are guilty. Sexual assault can not be blown off as a boys will be boys..there are two sides to every story and how the person on the receiving end of your actions perceives what happened often times varies greatly from the story you keep. I have 2 examples ..

The summer before I started high school, I hung around with 2 friends of mine from my neighborhood. I was not a boy crazy girl, I was not disinterested in boys…but I was definitely not ready for anything more than the occasional slow dance at the church dances with a couple of mean old nuns as chaperones looking on . Just before we went back to school, I was talking with my friends and 2 brothers whom we all knew since we were young and as I was walking home everyone took off and 1 of the brothers was behind..I really did not think much of him, he was just there ..he was nice and I was friendly but that was about all I was interested in. He stopped to talk to me and before I could make my way around him..his tongue was down my throat and I was horrified…my first kiss was gross and with someone I had zero interest in other than to say hi. I found myself apologizing and making excuses to make him feel better ..WTAF? Inside I felt gross and I felt violated..he took away my choice, he took away my control of when my first kiss experience would be..while not sexual assault in any way shape or form..when I told my friend she said I had nothing to complain about ..I was there alone with him on a sidewalk..somehow it was my fault for simply being there..that attitude is prevalent to this day and that makes me sick. The young man thankfully realized I was not interested and I never heard him say anything awful about me..but I got a reputation as one of those ICNAB girls (Irish Catholic no action broad) something I am proud of now..but then I did not understand it was a good thing..but also bad because the boys when I became a little more interested were not about me.

My mother was caught up in the sexual politics of her time..her relationship with my father was something more of nightmares and horror stories vs fairy tales and romance…and she too worried about a man’s reputation vs her own worth.

I met my father once that I can recall. To hear my mother speak of him when she was alive..he was satan on earth..to read the stories left on the tribute page of his obituary ..he was a good man who happened to be flawed, funny, loyal and brilliant..to me he is all those things. To his family he was a husband, a father and a provider..he was a friend, a son and a brilliant attorney ..he harbored a secret and until very recently ..my mother had no proof, there was no way to prove I was his daughter or he even had a relationship with my mother..she was just a woman in the eyes of many looking to destroy a family and take a man’s reputation away from him just to be cruel. I was 45 years old before I could take a DNA test that eventually proved he is my father ..too late to meet him as an adult since he passed away..but the satisfaction of proving (finally) the truth was bittersweet ..I still carry the stigma of their sin and the burden of proof was always upon me to be right.

My mother discovered she was pregnant with me about 50 years ago around this time .. I don’t know how he took the news (she often mentioned he wanted her to abort the pregnancy ..it was illegal at the time)  nor do I know how she took the news..she never talked much about that ..but one of my aunts told me that my mother considered calling and telling my father’s wife about my impending arrival and explained  they talked my mother out of that ..because if she called Carol and informed her that I was on the way, my mother would ruin his life.  Ruin HIS life..I just can’t with this..at that point it was no longer about them ..it was about me and instead they had no problem with making my life difficult to save him from a little embarrassing situation (that he was responsible for as equally as my mother was)

Think about that for a minute..yes I know things were different in those days..but isn’t all the work that women have done in the days since then supposed to have brought us to a place where we say it’s NOT OK to use and abuse women? Are we not supposed to be at a place where we as women and men can say NO and it means NO? If a man is assaulted we never question his motives My father willingly went outside of his marriage to seek sex and who knows what else..in the process he created chaos in his life ..however the prevailing attitude was my mother got what she deserved for being with someone she had no business being with ..but what about my father? He got off scot free, he got to go back to his life, have a wonderful career, be the boastful father to my sister (at least publicly I did not know them personally) the husband to his wife (my stepmother?) his reputation remained in tact and I remained the dirty little secret ..what choice did my mother or I have?

we have a man to be confirmed to the Supreme Court for a life long term who has to ability to be the swing vote on issues that affect all of our lives for years to come. This man was not on trial but at a job interview ..he works for all of us, not just the republicans, not just the  evangelical Christians, not against the democrats (for whom he showed utter disdain for while under questioning) not just  for the president ..he works for ALL of us and if we are supporting a man and rallying against his accuser because it will soil his reputation ..think again. You don’t want someone in one of the most prominent positions of power in this country rushed through the nomination process simply because he echoes your beliefs..he should be there because he is the right man, with the right temperament for the job..someone who will work for all of us and someone who gets to decide upon cases such as women’s rights, healthcare, voting issues, immigration and any other hot topic you can think of should not be in that life long position of power simply because he will work for a fraction of the country ..he is supposed to be in a position to check and balance not only the congress but also the president whether that president is a friend of his or not. My father was a lawyer ..I am glad he was never a judge

In the end I have decided I do not care if I have offended anyone with this post..I am horrified as a woman that so many women I know can’t see that what is going on right now is scary ..that women don’t have to support policies they do not agree with on many levels …but you should support women’s rights..you should support all sides of a story being investigated, you shouldn’t support someone who could limit your daughters or granddaughters from receiving the same advantages you have enjoyed as a woman because the women who come before us worked so hard to obtain for us. we deserve equal pay for equal work, we deserve the freedom to make our own choices for our own lives and not have men limit our access to healthcare, bank accounts etc..

Complaining 101

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Not cool WordPress …so not not cool. Five minutes ago I had this angry AF post detailing all the bullshit and negativity currently occupying space in my entire being and then a message from WordPress telling me the draft failed to save..in the process of trying to copy and paste ..and POOF all my pessimistic bitching vanished. Let’s face it a little glitch never stopped me from bitching before and it’s not going to stop me now ..I ‘m just pissed I can’t remember what I typed..it was a doozie…at least I think it was.

So let me insert a little disclaimer here in case anyone reading this (oh I do crack myself up some days)  is butt hurt or offended because I am annoyed and over sharing with the world..you cope your way and I will cope mine..and YES I have a therapist ..ANYWHO ..I am well aware that I am not woke..that my bitching is nothing more than entitled, first world issues that will not bring about world peace or a cure for cancer .but sometimes a girl just has to take the lid off the pot and let the bullshit steam fly.  So here goes nothing…

Did I mention I just got home from an epic adventure to Italy and France? Well..truth is I needed an excuse to run away from life for just a little while and what better places to get lost than Italy and France?? One of my awesome kids also happened to be doing a summer semester in Florence ..the rest is history because there was no way that kid as much as I love and adore them was going to Italy and I was staying home. And yeah if you can do it GO to Italy ..the food..the wine ..the sexy accents ..the beaches ..oh and in case you are wondering they have these AMAZEBALLS historical sites and architecture that will make you think why don’t we build stuff like this..I was in Venice in a hotel that was built in the 1600s ..new by Italian /Ventian standards and the thing is still standing ..I know people who built houses 10 years ago and the damn things are falling apart…just a quick word of advice don’t be vain like I can be and wear Spanx to the airport..especially one with a full body scanner or else risk being molested by a pissed off TSA agent in front of hundreds of travelers..true story…did I get off track?

By the way before I go farther with this…I GET how snotty and entitled this post is ..I understand that not everyone is so blessed to find themselves able to not only run away from their life for a little while  but also to a place like Italy..However… if you knew me, you would know that once upon a time I dreamed that hopefully one day I would be able to make it to New York City from Boston or maybe past  the East Coast of The US, Italy was a place we studied in a book not a place I knew I could see or travel to ..never once did I imagine hard work and sacrifice paid off to this degree..I am blessed and I know it.

So back to my rant…You can only escape life for so long before reality comes knocking on the door…waiting for me when I arrived home were the same concerns about one of my children, the same question marks regarding my health and the same disappointments lingering for how long I don’t know and the same people who irritate the living daylights out of me and I am working on dealing with..I do try but I have recently been on prednisone and that shit makes me one angry individual and EVERYTHING is a problem or the existing problem is really exacerbated  ..I want to think I have this post vacation hangover that continues persisting and the root of this rawness is jet lag..but yeah NO.  In another thought it is quite possible I am just bitter over the fact my adventure ended and I came home to my life…or it could just be I am an asshole. (psst I am an asshole)

I have a laundry list of things offending my general sense of happiness at the moment..some are beyond trivial and petty..others ..well others involve injustices I can not control. Shall I lay out a few? I don’t expect anyone to actually read this post so I will start with the most trivial and over share in leaps and bounds..

Raise your hand if you see that person on social media whose comments and posts have to ability to simultaneously annoy the living crap out of you and amuse you in a rather demented way…just me? So here’s the thing ..one of my relatives has an ex who seems incapable of realizing the divorce happened in the 8-10 years ago time frame. Now I can get mourning the loss of relationships but eventually ..it is time to move on. These 2 did not have kids of their own ..however 1 came to the relationship with children (and how they got custody was probably more of a lesser of 2 evils situation) and the other developed a bond with the kids and that I will not fault them for..the rest of the situation is one of those that you file under shit I can’t make up..like a most recent comment on a facebook post regarding a possible family reunion ..”I am no longer a (insert last name) by marriage but I am still a (insert last name) in my heart”..no honey it is time to move on..move out and let it go. This person is a stage 5 clinger ..it dawned on me tonight ..hence the update to this post ..that the lyrics to Drake’s “In My Feelings” describe this person’s  comments on just about every FB post my relatives make …”Kiki do you love me …are we riding? Say you’ll never leave from beside me…Cause I want ya and I need ya and I ‘m down for you always”…this mixed in with their constantly reminding people that they are friends, that they have a relationship with people..that they love them and the stupid fucking emojis at the end..are we 13?  Oh and the need to point out how much they meant to their ex  mother in law (my aunt by the way) ..it’s all about centering the attention on them (and seriously I can pass on the names of a few good therapists) Oh This was a good one…They actually got into a pissing match with the current spouse of their ex when my aunt passed away..on the online guest/condolence book ..like who does that?? It was both comical and horrifying (although I admit I took a page from their book and wrote and anonymous message on my father’s online obituary page and outed his affair with my mother and how he abandoned me..but it was like 8 years after he died..and I did it out of spite) I hope their relationship with my aunt improved over the years..because  my aunt and I used to talk occasionally  before we stopped liking each other and my aunt would tell me just to ignore this person because they were the most annoying and needy person in the house…  I will not fault them for being angry with their ex..but the truth is they brought another person into their home to stay and my relative is not shall we say the most emotionally stable person..and well take a gander at what caused the break up??? Sucks ..and yeah they did not deserve to be cheated on but then again in addition to being a cling -on this person is not the crunchiest chip in the bag. However what bugs me the most lately..they seem to think that they won the family in the divorce ..a clue there Sherlock..my family is really not the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jack box..oh I am full of cliches tonight..I feel like Seth Meyers doing Ya Burnt…Needy ex spouses who can’t accept they don’t belong in the family anymore ..move on YA BURNT

Let’s move on shall we? This same family that humors the cling on ..has a few more secrets lurking in the hole ..like a super secret relative who tested on ancestry DNA ..DNA DOES NOT LIE ..anywho these people seem to know already about the existence of said relative and refuse to have anything to do with them..supposedly they need permission from the absentee parent to actually make contact with this person ..yeah no you do not…IF it is completely acceptable to keep the above mentioned cling on in their lives..allow the children who belong to absentee parent’s sister in law to call them cousin/auntie/nana and yet their own cousin/niece/nephew/grandchild grew up 3 freaking streets away from us in the same freaking neighborhood and no one had anything to do with them (and give presents etc to non relatives who called them nana etc)  and still refuse to have anything to do with them..well I hate to inform you people that you all need to be ashamed of yourselves ..that was a total dick move collectively..By the way  this person is rather well adjusted and doing just fine without you …but like me they know what it feels like to feel the bitter rejection from their family (thank you to my dad and now my sister for that ongoing reason to stay in therapy) and ket me ask this.. why am I the only one who reached to this person?Why am I the one who was willing to go visit them and meet their AWESOME family? It really should not be me ..but you know what people in the end I win because this person and I connected from moment one and I don’t care who their mother/father is I just know they are my family..you know like really my family ..and we bonded over more than just our common circumstances ..I look forward to a lifetime of them in mine and my family’s lives …and you should too because this person IS your family

And finally …the last one I am going to stop over sharing because I realize I would be a Toal passive/aggressive cow for sharing that story ..but the last person I hope they know that they are someone I totally love and cherish and at the same time they are really under my skin at the moment and I want to scream cut the fucking shit but I won’t..stop the fucking games  ..even my therapist is like yeah that is some fucked up shit ..so I know it is not just me but still I will stop before this becomes a total rant

I am going to end this on a more positive note ..it has been a fun weekend ..Friday night the hubs and I met up with an old friend and their spouse for drinks and apps..I even scored some coveted concert tickets in the process …last night we saw other friends for dinner and got to have my nana’s lemon squares..and today we went to a Christening and yeah I got to hold the babies ..we have a busy week ahead and I am kind of hoping we get to see one of my favorite little people for an adventure in the next couple of days ..oh and I am living vicariously through vacation photos of one of my dearest friends and her sisters (who are also my friends) and watching another good friend accomplish an amazing feat while raising money for cancer research..and today I got a Yeti..I put ice in it on this 90 degree evening and it is still in there..my friends will know what I am talking about… know I am surrounded in love and sunshine but those negatives do need to escape

ok end rant and damn this was a long one

Another Date on the Calendar

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I am having one of those moments when in my head I know exactly what I want to say, however when it comes to actually transcribing from thought to “paper” ..the words are for lack of a better cliche ..lost in translation. I hate that feeling when I know I have to say something ..anything and the words that come out of my mouth or my fingers sound nothing like the perfectly (IMHO) constructed sentences composed in my head ..this is one of those moments ..So here goes nothing…

Time undoubtedly marches forward at a pace we cannot control ..days come and go with a marked predictability and a fair warning of what lies ahead for anniversaries or dates with a significant meaning to us. Madeline’s birthday is today..if she lived, there would be 81 candles on her cake and a life map I could look at and determine what alternate routes I need to take and/or avoid. We never got there..49 was the last birthday she saw. Madeline’s forty ninth birthday I vaguely remember ..I was busy being 16..I was busy thinking about the upcoming prom I was attending, about my biology project that was due sooner vs later, about the vital nonsense in my teenaged life ..including why my ex boyfriend was still flirting with me when he left me for that other girl , the one who he was head over heels in lust with, who he met at a party the night before I left for a school trip ..(just a side note ..that ex boyfriend is now my husband..he had to get that train wreck out of his system before dealing with this one)  This was important shit in the life of a sixteen year old girl.  I did not want to think about the fact that we were no longer living on our own..our apartment was vacated, we were living with family that were dealing with their own perspective on losing a loved one..the baby sister of the family and took over and shut me out, expecting me to fall in line and act as if all was well. The whole situation was a recipe for disaster..and eventually it just festered and bubbled up until our relationship collapsed and never really recovered.

I look back at those day  and what goes through my mind is I knew the end of Madeline’s life was close but I was trying to avoid it at all costs..which is something pretty typical for a teen.  To admit your mother..your only parent is going to die and you are not exactly sad ..you are definitely angry ..and you are totally powerless is something way above the pay scale of the average teen …but to be in that place and with people who don’t know how to process their own feelings all I can say is UGH.

Fast forward to 2018 and I am moping around like this came at me out the blue..I hate to break it to myself but the writing was on the wall, written in the sky and showing up in the foggy mirror after a shower.Truth is there was warning..I have known these dates for YEARS. Each passing day chipped away at the amount of time I had to deal with them  like a slow drip in a faucet. The dates and their significance were easy to ignore when there were awesome distractions such as work and babies, then toddlers and at some point a full blown schedule of school, activities, jobs and life ..eventually all that slowed down..1 child got her license and then went off to college..and the rest have followed suit..I was not needed  as much and everything I ignored came bubbling to the surface..life has a funny way of doing that to us…catching us off guard and surprising us by what has been in our faces all along. Then …well then I got sick and the world really came to a slow pause forcing me to face the grief at last.

I realize Today I am 37 days past turning 49 … and feel as though I am truly on the road with no guidance…and yet I have to navigate all these dates that are clumped together in a relatively short amount of time…today is the second of 4 that will wrap up on July 15. Today I am once again  gobsmacked by a multitude of feelings..I feel angry, sad, overwhelmed and nostalgic for what never was and should have been.

The past few moths have felt like getting on the Amtrak in Boston thinking I had a ticket on the Acela Express and realizing I am on the Northeast Regional to NYC..it has been slow moving at times, fast at others, pulling in to every station just long enough to ask myself how many more times do we have to do this? There are 2 dates to get through ..June 10 when I am 59 days past my forty ninth birthday (that makes me +1 day past how long Madeline lived) and July 15 ..the anniversary of the day she died ..I can get through this. I am already.

 

 

Deep Breaths

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Deep Breath…my birthday is exactly 28 days away. In 4 weeks I turn 49 and yeah SH** just got real for me. I started this post hours ago ..I do not really need to write it ..but then again I kind of do..time is marching forward and there is nothing I can do to slow its progress or halt that day from coming. The clock keeps ticking and nothing is making much sense. All I can do is breathe and lean in to what is coming.

I keep trying to analyze what exactly all of this means . I have come to the conclusions that On the surface, it is just another birthday ..it is just a date on the calendar that passes once every 365 days, special to me and the others who share this date as their birthday or anniversary but nothing special to the universe. Including the day I was born I have had 49  birthdays .but deep down  I am aware this one is different. This year I am 49 ..I am the same age my mother turned not long before she died. This age, this date has loomed over my head for almost 33 years since I was 16.  When I was 16 ..49 was old..49 was a long time away..49 was abstract.  49 is now 28 days away and I am not ready.

I want to go back 10 years..I want to go back and appreciate the little things .. I want to go back 32 years and I want to take a picture of my mother so I can remember what she looks like before the chemotherapy took away her hair and made her scent change to this rancid chemical smell I can’t forget.  I want to go back and  record her voice so I remember what it sounds like..I want her to take a good look and remember me, I want to hope that she took me with her. I am in the real of what happened ..I don’t know where it goes from here. I want my children to have a tangible record of their grandmother vs her being this abstract person like an undeveloped character in a book they know well but don;t really relate to at all. I want them to understand where they come from..I want to understand where I come from. I know precious few things about who my mother was other than the superficial nuggets I was privy to ..I was her daughter and she shut me out even at the end. I am not sure if she loved me more than anyone else in her life ..I never had the chance to ask her ..when she received her diagnosis I barely had time to catch my breath and understand what was happening and then she was gone..and I was alone.

I have no idea of what aging looks like on the other side of 49. I don’t have that model for what life looks like going forward..when my hair will turn gray or white (it already has started but unlike my mother I am fighting it with every weapon in my arsenal) I don’t know what illnesses or joys are ahead..This birthday..this year is complicated ..the reality is overwhelming. I am realizing all I have missed having been on my own for 32 ..almost 33 years … my wedding dress was something chosen all on my own, my wedding day when a familiar stranger walked me down the aisle ..my babies born and no one to ask was I like this? What do I do? I figured it out on my own and I am not sure IF my mother were alive things would have been different…I just know all of that was taken from me..

My birthday is 4 weeks away..as far as I know I am rather different than my mother ..but I will keep breathing deep until June 10..and I will hold my breath until July 15 ..this is a tough year ..but I am a tough girl and I will get through this ..but I am going to admit right now …I miss my mom

DREAMY EPISODES

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WARNING VERY DISJOINTED POST AHEAD THAT MAKES ZERO SENSE

Normally I do not recall my dreams,  I know I have them, but the details rarely seem to matter or stay with me long after I rise and shine. There are exceptions to the rule.  I can recall having vivid dreams where I am with loved ones who have long since passed away and trying not to wake up so I have just a minute more with them and  worse yet.. waking up feeling haunted and perplexed as to what that all meant. I am not sure if I truly believe that there is much meaning hidden in our dreams, but that does not stop me from trying to make something out of it (kind of like this post) ..however once again I am perplexed by a dreamy episode experience. In the wee hours of last night into this morning I had a dream about my sister Kate. The details of my dream are more fuzzy than not but what I remember was we were having a conversation. You know the polite, rather sterile type of  conversation people have when one participant feels uncomfortable around the other or feels forced to share a space with someone who makes your skin crawl. It’s possible thanks to her loving rejections I am projecting how she feels even in my dreams..who knows. I won;t say who cares ..because obviously I do to sit here and write this post.

 

A little about this dreamy  drama…What I recall  is I was in her kitchen..now allow me to assure you I have absolutely no idea what the inside of my sister’s house looks like (or what her voice sounds like for that matter)  but this was a dream and so maybe the kitchen was the place I needed to be since we all consider it the proverbial heart of the home, the place where people typically gather. A little side note..this may be a learned behavior on my part because  my aunt H used to contain visits from my mother and her other sisters to her kitchen when the aunts visited H’s home .. any way…the kitchen is a safe zone and I am wondering if  the kitchen symbolically represented my need to be in a safe place when it comes to my sister. In my dream, Kate’s kitchen was not modern and looked like it was a mash up of the kitchens of everyone I ever knew growing up had (you know wood looking cabinets, formica counter tops, and a bright linoleum floor, white appliances)  . The feeling I got was I was not exactly welcome  but was being obliged grudgingly (sort of like the visits my mother and aunts made to my auntie’s house)  SO  there I was in a place that is very strange and oddly familiar straining to talk to someone I don’t know but is related to me… At some point she was no longer there with me.  I stood there cleaning, redecorating and putting my stamp on her space and trying not to let her know I was still there, feeling like I overstayed my welcome and not wanting to leave all at the same time. So much of this experience is obscure but the last thing I recall is picking up paint cans (but was not painting lol), pulling off tarps and hiding the evidence of my intrusion by stuffing trash cans while a voice said “she is going to be pissed” . I woke up feeling haunted and unsettled.

Facebook has a strange way of having random people (at last I think it is random) show up as suggested friends ..my sister showed up recently. FB probably knows I stalked her before or  maybe she looked at my profile..we are both pretty locked down and all one can see is our profile and cover pictures that we post and are public. I clicked her name and she posted a new profile picture . We both wear glasses..something not unheard of since we are both well over 40 (she is well over 50) but damn it we wear almost identical frames..that is actually kind of freaky to me. I could not resist and I read the comments left by friends of hers and a family member of ours ..a cousin I do not know…one comment was left that is public and the person  said Kate’s eyes look sad..the picture was taken/posted just before our dad’s 8th anniversary. UGH in that moment I realized another freaky coincidence..

My father died January 30, 2010. I never knew him so I do not mourn him per se ..I mourn all the things he was and was not to me. What I realized this year..and I don;t know why I did not put this together sooner…my mother in law J also died on January 30 ..19 years before my father did..but if you think oh what a sad coincidence well hold my teacup ..my mother died July 15 1986 ..what does that have to do with the topic at hand? Well let me explain because 27 years later on July 15 2013 my beloved UJ passed away. The mother and father influences in my life all passed away on the same day as one another ..ok my brain was working overtime on that thought process (have I mentioned before that i am about to turn 49 ..the same age my mother was when she died and hence I am losing my damn mind this year???)

It is no wonder I am dreaming about kate..I saw her new picture thanks to Facebook..every single time I see something like this I am reminded there is a living, breathing sibling of mine I am not allowed to know (her choice) that we have weird connections ,that we are tied together by a man who was beloved for his brilliance, charm, wit and complexity. A very flawed man whom I believe harbored some personal demons and lived in a time where society allowed men to be men with limited consequences. It is also no wonder that reading comments on her picture once again awakens the feelings of I am tired of being in the shadows..of being cast aside. I need to celebrate that I share some of my father’s quirks like loving word games (boggle was mentioned in a story a person shared on his Obit..I love Boggle) and knowing the meaning of obscure words ..he loved the NYT crossword and it seems i share his I can do that attitude (except it seems he was for more confident than I and followed through more than I allow myself to)

I woke up on January 30 and my heart was heavy realizing J left us 27 years ago, her son, my husband was at the time 23, our daughter C turned 4 weeks old 2 days before J left us. I mourn her loss for my children and my husband, for her granddaughter J, for her sister, for her nieces and nephews and for myself. J deserved time with her grandchildren..her grandchildren deserved time with J. …I went to bed on February 1 and realized I forgot about my father on that same day and I did not know how I was supposed to feel..and then I saw Kate’s picture and I realize she is still mourning the father she knew ..and I mourn the ghost father I never knew..the father I deserved to know. Oh Sister dear my heart breaks for you on so many levels ..

A Few “Fun Facts”

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According to my WordPress stats I created and published exactly 43 posts on this little site since I started oversharing my life in 2010… for about 5 people to see. In the beginning blogging was a way to cope with some life stressors like a special needs child (I have a different site dedicated to that..that I completely abandoned) and the bitter consequences of dealing with some members of my family as well as being an adult daughter with 2 dead parents who had their own set of issues . Writing was and is cathartic  so I never possessed  grandiose aspirations of my site going viral or anyone caring enough to read what I say..hence why my grammar and writing style are rather lacking. So even with the bar set low for expectations I admit  it is fun to take a peek after I publish and see if anyone actually likes a post or to see if anyone reads it and where they are from ..so here are a few fun stats:

Since January 2010 , I published 43 posts, ( probably wrote and did not finish 143 in all sincerity ) … as a result of hitting the publish button,  my site has been viewed 2562 times ..and that was by me alone…there have been 1725 visits to my site, and I would like to thank each and every one of you for stopping by , you know who you are so I won’t thank you all by name right now. Another fun fact, my best view ever was on April 21, 2016 for a post I titled “Just Another Day”  . In 2017, I published  13 posts for a total of 18,152 words..What can I  say?  I am a bit long winded. Frankly I could sit here and type something like “I never knew I had so much to say”..but let’s face it that is total bullshit. I have a lot to say …the thing is I keep it all in my head and rarely let it rip.  Then again, those who know me in the real world know I can range from rather quiet to could someone stick a gag in her mouth and shut her up because she is giving me a migraine… so my posts being long winded come as no surprise.

During the past 8 years this site has been all over the place, had its focus shifted with each post , had its name changed a time or 2 and seen a couple of major life changes on my part. I don’t think much is going to change going forward..I would love to be one of those people who can focus on a topic and stick to it..offering witty insights to let even one person know they are not alone ..but that is not who I am. Who I am is still a mystery..I do know that I see this little site as a place where we have a conversation..a one sided conversation because it happens to be ME doing all the “talking” ..well in this case emoting..but I say if you are reading along and playing the home game don’t be shy..feel free to join in on the “conversation”. Let me know what you think ..I might not agree with you all the time..and I might have a snotty conversation with my dog about you behind your back (and quite frankly he will take my side) but it would feel great to know I am not just writing to see myself write.

Now that we have that all in the open ..I am going to let you in a little bit and tell you this..actually I can’t believe I managed to publish 43 times. Truth be told, it is not a lack of content because like it or not my brain is always “on”..my mind is always going and composing posts and finding ways to tell stories from every day life..I wish I could stop it but I can’t. This is nothing new, ever since I can remember I have loved observing people, hearing their stories, reading their tales and knowing what makes them tick. I was the kid in school who really enjoyed when the teacher gave us a writing assignment even if I groaned along with the rest of my classmates.  The reality is I sit down some days and try to translate what is in my head into some form of tangible and lucid sentence structure but yeah that often does not occur. What lurks in my brain is a topic  which almost always starts off in my mind as hey that is a great idea ..maybe I should write this out..More often than not/historically when this idea strikes, or gets in my head I am in the middle of the grocery store, walking the dog, waiting outside a classroom before a parent/teacher conference, sitting at the car dealership waiting for service or in the shower amongst other totally inconvenient places and things get rather lost in translation with each second ticking away until I totally forget what I wanted to say or I talk myself out of dropping the task at hand and just writing.  If I was in the car .and by myself one would think it would be wise to have some sort of voice recorder and  in theory a recorder is  a good idea except a) it would be distracted driving b) knowing myself  I would feel compelled to stick my phone to my ear while I spoke so I did not look like a psycho, c) ideas rarely come to me when I am driving and d) and this is probably the biggest truth..the car is my personal DJ Booth, dance party and karaoke bar (minus the alcohol) I can think of ..nothing comes between me and my jams..well nothing except the occasional phone call from one of my kids wanting or needing something from me..what it this all boils down to is what stops me is  Me. I am freaking terrified about anything and everything you can think of and one of my biggest fears is the potential of being humiliated or criticized for speaking up…this is childhood baggage that I am working on ..hey I actually published 43 times ok ..I just work at a snail’s pace.

Fear and self doubt typically go hand in hand with one another and I have enough fear and even more self doubt to fill a few novels. Every single time I sit down to translate what is in my head into a post those old demons come back to haunt me ..no one wants to hear what you have to say, you are lucky you can string a few coherent sentences together..this topic has been done before and done way better than you can ever hope to do it . I know this about myself and I live with it and honestly ..the fear is crippling and it is totally irrational. So what happens ..well let me tell you what happens..what happens is there are days like today when I just can’t turn it off and the only cure is more cowbell (sorry was watching a clip of Lesley Jones for this week’s SNL ) the only cure is to allow the words to rise up and finally pour out. Hitting  the publish button is agonizing however I have a personal rule..once I publish there is no turning back, no deleting, no taking back..editing is allowed.

I have a lot to say..I have topics that I can’t seem to put away lately so maybe I can kick fear to curb and try on a scratchy brave sweater ( I say scratchy because being brave is like wearing a wool sweater..it makes me itch and want to crawl out of my skin..but it is warm as well as useful ..thing is the wool sweater it does fit just not comfortably like a soft cotton sweater I have had forever, the cotton sweater  probably has holes and is threadbare but still makes me feel safe and I will always choose safe if given the choice) and just find the inner courage to stop caring what anyone else thinks and finally take a chance..we’ll see. As I wrap up the word salad this now 44th published post is evolving into..I want to finish with a quote from this year’s Golden Globes broadcast..these words have felt rather empowering and have got me thinking ..until the next time..whenever that next time is

“the life that we present to the world that can be very different form the life we live behind closed doors”..reese witherspoon golden globes 1/7/18 time is up