Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

At lot has happened recently, and it hasn’t even been quite a month since my last post. I guess it’s just that time of year.

December 11th was Duke Homecare and Hospice‘s annual “Lights of Remembrance” luminary service to remember our loved ones who have passed. Dad and I went last year. I remembered it being very sad, mostly because I realized that all of those lights also represented all of those caregivers who were experiencing the same acute grief that I was. It was comforting to be in the company of those who could understand me, but the sense I got of their combined feelings was overwhelming.

This year, my experience was very different. For one, the boy accompanied me. It was really nice to have his support and someone to talk through things with on the way home. For two, ever since the day after the anniversary of mom’s passing, I haven’t felt the same level of grief. I can think about her now with happy thoughts that, even though tinged with sadness, are not accompanied by the sharp poiLuminary CardLuminariesnt of grief. I was able to be happy that I had such a special a way to honor mom’s memory.

I think dad took it a lot harder than I did. He hasn’t been doing very well, still. I know it must be hard. I’d be having more trouble if I were still living in their house, surrounded by so many memories, both good and bad. He said he liked the message I put on this year’s placard. I thought it was appropriate.

I’ll be heading down to Florida to spend the week of Christmas with him. I’m looking forward to it for several reasons. One, I just realized that my dad is turning 70 next year. I would like to spend some more quality time with him while I have him here and healthy. Two, I feel like I haven’t gotten to see much of him lately. It will be nice for us to catch up.

While in Florida, I will get to meet a friend I’ve never met before (in person, anyway). We met a few years ago on a forum about diet and exercise. She’s a cool cat. I’m looking forward to hanging out with her. Even if my diet and exercise is nothing like it was back then. I’m afraid I haven’t exercised much at all this past month, and my diet has not been the best. One more thing to fix back up in the new year.

I’m afraid I have not gotten into the Christmas spirit this year. It hasn’t felt like Christmas at all. I hope it will once I help dad pick out a tree and put that up. The closest I’ve gotten to any kind of celebrating, besides an awesome company holiday party, is to paint my toes.

toes

Not that it makes much difference…you never show your toes in winter anyway!

And one year ago yesterday, I met the boy in a chance encounter at speed dating. He almost didn’t go, but he decided to check it out at the last minute. I almost didn’t go because I was exhausted from driving to and from WV the day before to defend my thesis. But we went. And we somehow found each other. And over the past year, even though we’ve had a lot of ups and downs and a pretty hard break, I think we’ve only gone two full days without talking to each other.

We went on a fun road trip on Saturday to Greensboro to meet my best friend so the boy could buy a snare drum off him. (It’s a gorgeous drum!) We took our time and stopped at a lot of different places. We travel well together, which is a huge thing, really. It was one of the best days I’ve had in as long as I can remember.

Last night, we went out to acknowledge the date and had some drinks and sushi and curry. The restaurant had some glass jewelery on display that we were looking at for a bit, and he snuck off at some point to buy a bracelet to surprise me with when we got home.

bracelet

Our relationship this time around is different, and it makes me wonder if we had to go through all the bullshit at the beginning so we could get it all out of the way and come back together as two friends who know each other completely. It’s hard for me to say things like “forever” after being divorced (ALMOST divorced–come on, Jan 4th!), but this just feels right. I’m happy in it, I’m comfortable in it, I’m looking forward to having this person in my life for as long as he wants to stay. How long that will be, who knows. I’m happy just for now to be here right now with what is.

This might be the most times I’ve used the word “happy” in a blog post. I think that means something. 😉

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Overwhelmed

This week has been both horrible and amazing. I suppose that’s only fair. Although, honestly, I’d settle for some boring ol’ normal at this point.

On Monday, I discovered completely by accident (believe me, I wish I hadn’t) that my ex of only one week and a few days was already in a relationship with someone else. Not only that, but with someone we met at the same time at his band’s last show in late July. I thought I’d been doing okay with the whole break-up thing, but I was surprised at how much that threw me for a loop.

See, everything is straight in my head. I understand the whole situation. I’m okay with us not being together as a couple. It really is the best decision for both of us. But I cannot get my head to convince the rest of me that everything’s working out just the way it’s supposed to. It always does. I KNOW that. I just don’t FEEL it right now.

So I flipped out a bit and got myself back on the couch to talk to someone. My previous lady is out on maternity leave, so I had to vomit up all this information on a new lady’s lap. I don’t think I like her, but I just needed someone to talk to, so it all worked out. She didn’t have any time to talk, what with the divorce and mom and breakup and new discovery and all of that stuff spewing out, but I sure felt better afterward.

Then late on Wednesday, one of my very best friends arrived from Russia via New York. We stayed up much too late for a weeknight talking about things, and then we hung out on Thursday before he headed off to see his family in Jacksonville. It was great. Our relationship started out with us kind of dating back in 2005 before I went into the Peace Corps, then we reconnected as friends through letters while I was there. (Sorry, folks, he’s married now.) What was great, though, was that he reminded me what it was like to be with someone who is continually striving to be better, who treats me like I’m something to be treasured, who supports me making healthy decisions. I’m so glad the timing worked out the way it did. Seeing him again and remembering all of these things I used to want relieved so much of the pressure I was feeling.

I’d warned my manager that I was having a rough week, and all of my co-workers know this will be my first birthday without mom around. They’ve all been great…tons of “let us know what we can do to help.” They took me out for a birthday lunch today at one of my favorite places, and it was the largest contingent of people we’ve ever had at one time going out to lunch together. Some of them kept telling me that I must be very popular! I said it might be a mix of that and a good restaurant choice…hehe.

Before we left, one of my co-workers told me to have a good day tomorrow. Not just that, but to MAKE it a good day because it was truly up to me. So many of the prominent Buddhists write about this all the time, about how “Happiness is available; please help yourself to it” (Thich Nhat Hanh). It’s so simple, yet so complex. He’s right, though. Every moment, I have the choice to be happy or not.

And then I got home to find flowers on my doorstep! Two of my very good friends, whom I haven’t seen in ages and ages, sent them to me to tell me they love me. Not just that, but some awesome beer glasses from yet another friend I haven’t seen in forever and more cards than I think I’ve ever gotten, all with sweet messages about how much mom would have wanted me to be happy and about how much they love me.

I’ve been saying lately that I don’t understand how I could possibly have so many friends and yet feel so lonely. I really don’t feel lonely anymore, though. I feel incredibly blessed to have so many people in my life who genuinely care about me and want to bolster me as I go through this horrible time.

I was freaking out because I didn’t want to be alone tonight at midnight. But to be honest, I’m happy it worked out that way. I’m having some beer. I’m going to clean the house (they replaced the a/c unit and it smells like the worker’s nasty BO, gross). I’m going to eat leftovers from my awesome lunch today and remember how lucky I am to work with such awesome people. I’ll probably watch a movie. I don’t even know if I’ll stay up until midnight. I bought stuff to make salmon benedict for breakfast tomorrow, and I got prosecco and OJ for mimosas. I was going to go on a hike, but it looks like it might rain…I might go anyway. Then I’ll get to see Ronnie’s dance company perform and have an awesome dinner with dad. I even bought a gluten-free cupcake while I was at the store this afternoon in case I don’t run into any birthday cake or the restaurant doesn’t have any gluten-free desserts. No excuse for any sadness! And my old trainer from the gym called and talked to me a bit, and I promised her I’d be back to the 6 AM classes as of Monday morning. It’s time to take my life back.

Thank you all SO SO SO very much for your continued love and support. One of the biggest things I learned from my recent relationship is that not everyone is lucky enough to have experienced unconditional love. I have it all around me. I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I will be grateful. You are all giving me the strength to heal and move on from the incredible amount of loss I’ve suffered over the past year. Thank you.

Read Full Post »

Hiatus

I haven’t updated here in a while, mainly because not much has changed.

Work is going well, though stressful at times. I’m settling into my new role as more of an editor than writer, and I get to work more closely with the development team, both things I enjoy. And I’m starting to become well known across the company…this is new for me. People I’ve never heard of email me for things like they are familiar with me and what I do, and when I introduce myself to people for the first time, sometimes I get, “Oh yeah, I see your name in emails all the time.” I hope I’m at least leaving a positive impression with these people I don’t even know.

My relationship with food is still rocky. Sometimes I think I have a handle on it. I think I’m getting a handle on it, anyway. I feel absolutely horrid, like I’m wearing a fat suit. But people have said interesting things to me. One old friend told me that I’d gotten too skinny and was looking better. Another said I was too hung up on it and shouldn’t worry so much. It really makes me wonder about myself and if I have one of those body-dismorphic disorders. At any rate, I don’t feel happy with where I am and would like to get back to where I was last August. It just requires a lot of focus and hard work that I’m not sure I can dedicate right now. It’s a toss-up. I just have to do the best I can with what I’ve got and work on loving myself all the time, no matter what stage or phase I’m in.

I still miss mom. It’s not as acute as it was, though I admit I had an overwhelming moment last week while reading a book. I mostly feel bad that I don’t see dad as much as I should. I haven’t even been over to his house in months. I wish I could do more for him, but I just don’t know what to do.

And the boy…things with the boy. The whole situation is complicated and confusing. I’m honestly not sure what’s in the future for us, and I’m working on being okay with that. I do know for sure that he’s become my best friend, and no matter what direction life takes us, that’s not going to change. So things will be okay, I think, whichever way they go.

I hope you’re all doing well out there in the wide Internet universe. Dad’s birthday is on the 28th, so be sure to send him your love. 🙂

Read Full Post »

Found Poems

If roses grow in heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me,
Place them in my Mother’s arms
and tell her they’re from me.
Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for awhile.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it every day,
but there’s an ache within my heart
that will never go away.
–Anonymous

 

When tomorrow starts without me, and I am not here to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me,
I know how much you love me as much as I love you,
And each time you think of me I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand,
That Jesus came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said that my place is ready in heaven far above,
And that I have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away a tear fell from my eye,
For all my life I’d always thought it wasn’t my time to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do,
It seems almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could have stayed for just a while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realise that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of wordly things that I would miss tomorrow,
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gate and felt so much at home,
As God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne.
He said “This is eternity, and all I’ve promised you,
Today your life on earth is past, but here it starts anew.”
“I promise no tomorrow but today will always last,
And since each day’s the same here there’s no longing for the past.”
So when tomorrow starts without me don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me I’m right here in your heart.
–Anonymous

Read Full Post »

Mom’s Hot Dog: A Pictorial

Here’s how to make a hot dog the way my mom taught me. In this scenario, though, we’re only using half the bun (we want mom to eat more protein than fluff). Mom always used to make these in the toaster oven, but my parents don’t have one of those anymore. The broiler works the same!

  1. Turn the oven on high broil.
  2. Put a small pot of water on the burner to boil.
  3. Wrap a bun (here, whole wheat) in aluminium foil.
  4. Put the foil-wrapped bun in the broiling oven to heat up.
  5. Grab the hot dogs (organic turkey!).
  6. Throw a dog in the boiling water and boil for about five minutes.
  7. Prepare the condiments! (N.B.: I do not condone the use of these high-fructose-corn-syrup relish cubes. However, all the organic vendors stopped selling relish in the past few years. Boo.)
  8. Chop some onion (or grab the previously chopped onion from the fridge).
  9. When the dog’s about done, pull the warm bun out of the oven. Split it in half and hollow out one end (I used the bottom because it stays flat and is easier to hold).
  10. Put some diced onion in the newly formed hollow.
  11. Add the dog and sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
  12. Throw the cheese dog in the broiling oven. 
  13. WATCH CAREFULLY! It only takes about a minute or two, and it takes just ten seconds to go from pleasantly toasted to burnt to a crisp. You want the cheese to be melted and the bun to be ever so nicely browned.
  14. Pull the dog out of the oven and pile on the condiments. (Since there’s only half a bun, I put the ketchup and mayo on one side and the relish on the other.)
  15. Enjoy!

Read Full Post »