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11 Years.

In just a few days, it will have been 11 years since my mom died.  I can hardly believe it.  So much has happened in those 11 years.  While most of my huge life changes happened in the few months before she died (birth of my son, marriage, new home, back to work), life has kept moving.  My father eventually remarried.  I went through many stages of grief.  I had my daughter.  Life keeps moving forward, and it seems so strange to me at times that it has.  The moment when you lose a parent is the moment that life stops for a bit.  A part of you goes with them.  The part that is your endless cheerleader.  The part that made you feel like it would be ok during times when it felt anything but.  The part that was your calm from the storm.  The part that made sure you had a cup of tea after a car accident, because tea has to make you feel better.  The part that when you heard their voice when life was the toughest, would make you cry.

I was lucky.  While there were bumps in the road along the way,  my mom and I had a great relationship when I became an adult.  She was my first phone call when life happened, good or bad.  We made each other laugh.  I know not everyone has that kind of relationship with their parents, so I know how lucky I am to have had it.

It’s odd, because as each year passes, each anniversary of her death hits me in a completely different way.  Last year seemed a bit easier.  This year seems to be hitting me a bit harder.  I try very hard to take the grief more private.  I know it makes people around me feel a bit awkward.  I know this seems ironic because I’m writing about it in a blog, which is out there for the world to see, but supposedly this is a bit more anonymous.  I’m not ashamed of missing her, of having some moments of grief for my loss, but it does make others feel at a bit of a loss for words.  I have many strong women around me who have fantastic relationships with their moms. It brings me a lot of joy to see, but of course, I miss having that myself.

This year, it is a bit more difficult that some years past.  It doesn’t make much sense why.  I plan on turning it around a bit and doing some things to celebrate her life.  (She’d probably tell me to celebrate by cleaning my messy house..lol).  I want to find ways to incorporate her memory into a fun activity for the kids.  I can keep her memory alive with stories and pictures for them, but it’s always nice to do a fun thing in her memory with them.  She’d want me to laugh, to celebrate.  This is the woman said she thought we should play “ding dong the witch is dead” at her funeral.

So, if you stumble across my litte blog, do something kind in memory of a woman who always befriended the new kid in class, and who looked after those who felt alone.  When she died I heard many a story of how my mom always reached out to the lonely folks or people who needed a friend.  Reach out, make someone who feels unseen feel seen and heard.  Buy someone a coffee, lend a hand.  Listen to someone who feels their voice goes unheard.  Give your kids ice cream before dinner.  Do something, anything, to make someone smile.  Give a little of yourself.  Do something on your bucket list. Help someone else do something on their bucket list.  LIVE!

 

Mob Wives Finale

Well, Loveys,

The series has come to a close, with the finale airing last night.  All that remains is the reunion.  I have to say, I did have a few spoiler alerts before it aired last night, so I was pretty well prepared for it.  For the best Mob Wives spoilers, @RealityAshole on twitter has them all listed out.  They are honestly the best spoiler source out there.  So much to talk about, where to begin?

This episode pretty much centered around Drita.  Then again, the whole season centered around Drita.  Ok, they gave Renee the storyline of her son moving in and Renee being all up in his relationship.  (Don’t even get me started on the cheesy scene with the medium coming over to cleanse her house.) Then she starts dancing at Aj’s suggestion, probably so she will stop wondering what he and his girlfriend are doing 24-7.  Aside from that, Renee had little storyline other than to sit back and be judgy over Brittney, because her father was an FBI informant. Every time Renee uses the word Rat I start laughing, because her husband was a rat, and her bestie’s dad was a rat.  Her rat selectivity is quite amusing.  Have the “acceptable” rat children been downgraded to oversized mice in her eyes, or what?

Then we have Karen.  Karen got a storyline about her dad’s art, and I give credit, his work is amazing.  He’s super talented!  Other than that, there are a few scenes where her relationship with Storm fizzles out in a “it wasn’t much to begin with in the first place” kind of way.  She has a few scenes with her gorgeous daughter, who seems to see Karen as not really an authoritative figure.  Other than that?  It was all about Brittney and Drita.  Oh, and Lee.  Karen always has a lot to say about Lee.  Someone still has a bitter candy in her mouth about him.

Carla.  Carla had no storyline at all aside from Drita aside from a scene where her kids don’t want her around.  Carla calls Joe to talk tough about it and he basically says the kids don’t want the drama.  Other than that…Carla had NOTHING to say this season except if it was about Drita or Brittney.  Drita’s lipstick had a better storyline.  Karen’s hair changing length all season had more action. My little toe….you get it.

Ang had a story.  Hers was the one I was most engaged in, yet most terrified to watch.  I lost my mom to lung cancer, and I know it moves quickly and without mercy.  When the season started, I didn’t know the throat cancer had come back in her lung.  As soon as I heard that, I had a gut feeling things weren’t going to go well, but I held out hope that they would.  Without hope, what do you have, right? Watching Ang talk about her fears for not only herself but for her kids and grandkids brought up a lot of tough memories for me.  She was certainly the brightest spirit on the show, and she will be missed.

Marissa.  I can’t.  I just can’t.  I knew she was supposed to be the back up NatG when she showed up on the scene, and this was confirmed when she showed up in that neon leopard mess that looked like the tacky shit Renee had NatG in for MobCandy.  I don’t know how Marissa even makes it to the set when they film because she walks like an upright sloth.   The slow mo walk, slow mo hair flips, and the valley girl accent from 1982 make me want to scream “don’t you live in NY?  Don’t you know we move fast up here?”  I just find her uninspiring.

Brittney, I wasn’t sure what to make of this season. especially since the show played her link to be Karen. She came across as a bit hot tempered, and defiant.  What I liked about her most was her refusal to be boxed in.  Karen tried to make her tow the line and while she initially seemed willing to at least meet and try, that didn’t last.  Brit watched everyone talk about Drita, but found she had common ground with Drita.  While she caught a lot of flack this season for her friendship with Drita, I liked Brit, and more than I thought I would.

Which brings me to Drita.  To me it felt like most of the girls, aside from Ang, had little else in the way of storyline aside from gossiping about, and bashing Drita.  We see Drita working on her book, running her store, hanging with her kids, and being  pretty busy, but her name is constantly brought up.  I won’t lie, I enjoy Drita and find she makes me laugh more than just about anyone else on the show.  I find her a little terrifying, but she’s hilarious and kind hearted with the people she loves.  In absolute fairness, for what we saw, Marissa did NOT tell Drita that Karen was the one who said that Lee and Oz had talked.  She said that everyone was saying it.  Drita assumed it was Karen based on Karen’s frequent talking about Drita and Lee whenever possible.  When Drita said to Ang that Marissa said it, I was like “oh dear.  no, no she didn’t.”  Now perhaps something was said and was cut in editing, which happens a lot, but I can only go off of what I saw.

So, the big meeting?  From what RA told us, the women were told they could sign off on security leaving, and  Karen and Marissa refused.  I’ve also heard that Karen pulled a chain out of her bag of some sort.  I need to go re watch the footage on that!  Meanwhile, Karen gets mighty mouth when security is holding Drita back.  I don’t think she would have been so quick to talk smack if security wasn’t there.  Honestly, while I don’t really like to see physical violence, I wish these two would just duke it out and let the best woman win.  If you haven’t been following the twitter war, get on it, because a few of the girls are brutal.

Lastly, the scene at the end with Drita, the kids, and then Lee comes down the stairs?  Possibly one of my most favorites.  I laughed out loud when they didn’t show his face.  I would have been shocked if they did.  The men in the lifestyle operate very quietly, for the most part.  When they asked Renee about the Mob and she said “what mob??” that summed it all up.

So all we are left with is the reunion.  I saw the scene from the preview when Drita walks in and simply says “get up Karen” and fell off the couch laughing.  It’s a cock tease…security will be there and we know nothing will really happen, but sometimes you just wish they’d get a good one in. 

Someone mentioned that Karen, for all her talk, is no fighter.  What she is, is dirty.  If you watched the replay of the sit down at the restaurant, when Drita starts getting up, Karen is rummaging in her bag.  Then when Drita lunges, Karen yanks out a chain and start swinging it at her.  Really Karen? Really? The fear is clearly real. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyme, Munchausen, and more #RHOBH

I sat and watched RHOBH last night and ended the show frustrated, although for several reasons. Enough so, that I had to put fingers to keyboard and write about it.  I’m referring to, of course, the Yolanda Vortex.

It feels like the entire show now centers around Yolanda being sick. Yolanda has stated that not only does she have lyme, but her kids do too.  Their father denied this to Lisa, but Yolanda insists they do and on a prior episode, waved their medical records in Lisa’s face. She also posted pictures of medicine in the children’s name (this appears to be immunotherapy meds from a doc in Alaska who takes patients “over the phone”.  Yolanda has been to doctor after doctor, has a closet full of stuff she takes, and claims she had a 2 foot parasite in her body.  She had silicone leakage from implants.  She has decided she has too many heavy metals in her body.  Hair color is dangerous.  Nail polish has been deemed dangerous and too toxic for her.  The more I see, the more I read, the more I looked up…the crazier this situation seemed.

I will be honest in saying that I missed an episode or two where Yolanda’s illness played out but it initially seemed  odd  to me that so many who know her questioned her illness. I started to look at the situation in much more depth after catching up.

Talk of Munchausen is never thrown around easily, as to be honest, many people don’t even know what it is.  When it appeared on the show, I perked up, curious.  I knew about it from a book I read many years ago, and was surprised it when popped up on TV.  What I did find interesting is her insistence on changing the pronunciation of it, being specific to say it wrong in a different way, every time.  She showed she had looked it up, but interestingly, read the definiton of Munchausen by proxy (where children are involved) vs Munchausen (self sickness). She made sure to mispronounce it, as if to dismiss it just from the sound.    Last night, however, really kicked my suspicion in gear.  I know she said that she did the show to promote awareness, but as someone who has watched severely ill people, they are disinclined to do a whole lot, never mind filming TV shows.  Yet everywhere she goes, Yolanda appears, hair scrunched up, no makeup on.  Let’s be real here.  She is a former model who has always shown up EVERYWHERE with at least minimal effort done.  Whether this is her choice or at the show’s bequest, (editing and scripting, people!) it does seem suspicious she suddenly shows up well dressed everywhere, but doesn’t even brush her hair.  If you are the type to go to the store in PJ’s your whole life, ok, I would not be surprised to see your hair yanked up and no makeup on.  But as a person in the public eye, a former model, and a person who’s life and livelihood revolves around looks, the sudden NON-look looks, well, forced.

I ended the show with a lot of questions, and frustrations. And THEN, Watch What Happens Live came on….

Did I hear this right, that Yolanda said she uses “organic hair color from Whole Foods”? Really?

Yolanda, there is no organic bleach.  Your hair is not even close at the roots to the ends when it grows in.  Someone is bleaching those locks.  Bleach is not organic.  You cannot tell me with a multi million dollar house you are box coloring your hair from the grocery store.  It’s not happening.  And no stylist worth a damn is going to put box color on your hair.  Is their organic hair color? I believe so.  But someone show me organic bleach from the grocery store, please.  I almost choked on my own face with that comment she made.   I asked twitter, and the stylists responded.  We all call bullshit.

There is the matter of the kids.  ONLY because Yolanda brought them up.  So, 3 people all got bit by ticks that just so happened to be infected? These 3 also lived in CA, where reported lyme cases are very, very rare?  Then there was talk of horseflies.  Again, 3 different people all infected by 3 different flies? Per the cdc:

  • There is no credible evidence that Lyme disease can be transmitted through air, food, water, or from the bites of mosquitoes, flies, fleas, or lice.

What are the odds? AND their father denies them having the disease. AND the treatment she posted the picture of for the kids is from, again, a guy who treats people over the phone. This is concerning. If her kids don’t have it, what the hell are they putting in their bodies?

Clearly something is wrong with Yolanda, and while I find some of her claims suspect, I do understand “invisible disease”.  Is it really lyme? Or something else?  I have witnessed FIRST hand how a false lyme diagnosis can cause massive issues, and even death.

While living in the DC area, I saw a doctor there, who was my general practitioner.  I liked her, and thought she was great.  When I complained of some issues, she said she believed I had lyme, and sent me for tests.  They came back inconclusive.  The Dr seemed determined I had Lyme. The Dr said SHE had lyme, and in passing, mentioned her horses had lyme as well. Before we went much further with it, I moved. When my mother needed a new doctor, I referred her to my doctor.  Eventually, my mother was diagnosed with…you guessed it, lyme. The Dr went so far as to have a port inserted into my mother and she had lyme treatments, which were horrible.  My mom got sicker.  She didn’t get better.

In passing conversation with a friend, she mentioned she too was seeing that dr, and the dr believed she had lyme.  Something here was VERY wrong.  I mentioned this to my mom, who said that one day in the waiting room, she heard people chatting in there were MULTIPLE people in the room mentioning how she had diagnosed them with lyme.  Statistically? for a general practitioner to have lyme, say her horses and animals have lyme, and diagnose 3 people in my direct circle with lyme, not to mention multiple patients in the same waiting room…it’s nearly impossible.

I called my father.  “She does NOT have lyme.  Get her to Johns Hopkins asap and if you have to, drop her off and drive away until they see her.  It’s NOT lyme, I would bet on it.

She didn’t have lyme.  You guessed it.

What she had, was lung cancer.  Lung cancer, which her dr never checked because she was so convinced everyone had lyme.  And now, my mom is gone.

I think lyme exists.  I think there are many people out there suffering from it.  I am unsure if Yolanda is one.  But I think that once someone sees a light to the end of a tunnel of illness, it is very easy to put all the eggs in that basket.  Lyme can be hard to diagnose. There are Dr’s out there who don’t believe in it, and those who think it’s far more prevalent than it probably is. There are those who pin what they cannot diagnose on lyme.  There are those, like my former dr, who are determined to be a “voice” of a disease, and who will do so at any cost, even false diagnosis.  It appears she is grasping at straws sometimes, and if I was sick, I probably would too.   I must say that I wonder if some of it is psychosomatic. At the end of the day however, the biggest concern is with her children.  If they don’t have lyme, and I must say since their own father says they don’t, it’s possible, then what kind of chemicals, medicines, and other things are they putting into their bodies without needing to? What will the long term effects be of that?

I know people will think I am silly thinking about the haircolor comment.  It was quick and a one off, but her pause, and then the comment seemed like she was throwing something out there, and what she said certainly appeared false.  You know what they say…one lie erases all truth.

Until next time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mob Wives: Fighting for Life, Fighting in Heels

Sorry it took me an extra day to catch up on Mob Wives, but here I am, full of opinions.  Also, I got mentioned by @_maatteeoo_ when he posted the Drita fight video, so I see a lot of people have been watching it.  Lots of twitter activity, lots to talk about.  If you haven’t watched it, or seen the twitter video of Drita throwing fists, then spoiler alert applies.  Don’t hate.

So Wednesday night’s episode started out with the end of the fight between Brittany and Marissa. Brittany cleared showed up ready to fight, while Marissa showed up in neon leopard and made ME want to smack her for the tacky clothing choice.  Brittany stood up, Marissa hit first, and then they were pulled apart.  I was surpised Brittany didn’t throw a punch since she already had the momentum, but this interview with Drita seems to show that she was told she would be kicked off the show if she hit Marissa first: Interview With Drita.  Drita also goes on to explain what was edited (I also saw her mention this on twitter) and why she stood up for Brittany.  What I found interesting during the fight is when Marissa makes a “call the cops” reference towards Brittany’s family (her dad cooperated with the feds) yet this didn’t seem to bother Karen.  Karen normally goes mental when people bring family and the whole “cooperating with the feds” thing up (understandably) as does Renee (sore subject).  Yet not a peep was made by either when it was done to Brittany.  Anyone catch that?

After the fight, Karen seems really burned up by the fact that Brittany was looking at Drita and that they seemed to be on the same page.  She goes on to make comments later in the show about how Drita is basically recruiting Brittany against Karen.  Karen seems really bent about Drita still, which is interesting because after the sit down at the warehouse, it was supposed to be left at the table and peace seemed made, however we see now it was all a load of bullshit.  Everyone still seems resentful and Carla and Karen still have their gripes about Drita.  Nothing has changed.  Ang, you wasted your time.

Speaking of Ang….

I am heartbroken to watch her go through the lung cancer diagnosis.  It touches close to home, s my mom had lung cancer too.  It’s brutal, terrifying, and one of the biggest killers of women (that nobody wants to talk about…it’s the “you did it to yourself” cancer as far as many people are concerned.)  Karen does her best to be positive and uplifting.  Renee, however, hit a deep chord with me, primarily with her silence.  She looks shocked, terrified, and I felt like she just didn’t know what to say.  What can you say? It’s all horrible, terribly heartbreaking and unfair, and it feels as though words just fail, yet you want to say something, anything, as long as it’s the right thing.  Again, perhaps another post for another day. Regardless, Ang has been in my thoughts since I heard about her diagnosis, and I hope she is ok.  It’s not looking good, I think we all see that, but if well wishes were a cure she would be cured in no time.

Now we come down to Drita again.  I’ll be honest, I surmise that since this is the last season, Drita gives not two fucks about what the women say about her anymore.  Unless they are paying her bills, I think she couldn’t care less, aside from Ang.  Ang appears to be the one person Drita may actually speak to off camera and IRL.  I don’t think she talks to anyone else off camera.   Sooooo, on Twitter the other day, a user tagged me in the video of Drita (allegedly) fighting a woman. Here is the link to TMZ (I will say http://twitter.com/_maatteeoo_ posted it WAY before TMZ or anyone else did.) I have a few observations:

1.Drita threw some intense hits there.  I would be worried going up against her.

2. The woman she hit has had plenty to say about her on twitter, and posted video of Lee and her to Karen’s page and elsewhere.  Someone is trying to be a famewhore.

3. The woman is boohooing about her kids seeing it.  Perhaps not famewhoring by bashing your former employer on social media and then talking smack would be appropriate in preventing issues with someone who has announced on TV and social media that she feels sometimes violence is the answer.

drita

4.  Mary Bratti is now saying she “passed out from the pain”.  She had no problem screeching on her stoop and yelling at people, but is now butt hurt because she got exactly what you would expect.

stfu

So there you have it.  Violence, fighting, both physically and for ones own survival in the case of Big Ang.

Keep Ang in your thoughts and send her all the best well wishes you can.

Until next week!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Public Sniffles. When Grief Creeps In.

This past weekend, a family member, who I also consider a friend, got engaged.  I am thrilled for the couple, and am over the moon for them because it is easy to see what a perfect match they are for each other.  It really is the perfect way to start the new year on a happy note.  They got engaged on New Year’s eve, and yesterday they had a get together for family and friends.  It was wonderful and sweet.

And then I cried.  And I felt awkward.  I seem to spend a lot of time feeling awkward.

I will preface the rest of this post by saying that it’s going to dip down into bummersville.  My moment of eye leakage had nothing to do with the happy couple (aside from the fact I felt utterly mortified that I cried (even if just for a moment at their happy event) but everything to do with my lack of dealing with some feelings I didn’t know I even had about my mother.   I’m also writing this here because today, I was bulldozed by a wash of feelings, and frankly, better out than in.

Everyone was sitting around, and the couple’s mothers looked so elated.  We all felt elated.  Then everyone was talking about their weddings, and engagements, and the word “mom” came up several times.  I excused myself and went to the bathroom, feeling a bit sad as I remembered how my mom couldn’t be there for my wedding. I perked myself up, sat back down, and enjoyed the conversation.  Then someone innocently asked me who went with me to choose my dress.  And that’s when it happened.  Tears. Mortification.  Embarrassment. I began to laugh to try hide my shame.

9 years later, the question hit me in a way I never thought it would.  I didn’t even realize why I was so upset.  On the ride home, I cried silently in the dark.  I cried in bed.  I cried until it felt I had cried it out, and then I gave the whole thing a lot of thought.

My mom was already very sick when I got engaged.  I was also heavily pregnant when I got engaged.  My husband and I at the time had a very “whatever” attitude in so far as when we would get married.  We thought about doing it before the baby was born, and then after.  We had known from our first date we would end up married, so what was a few months here or there?  But as I realized my mom was getting closer towards the end, I asked if we could move it up a little early.  A fancy wedding was out of the question, so we decided to do a wedding by a Justice of the Peace.  It was a bit last minute, and there was hardly anyone there.  My mom was too sick to travel up for it, so my parents weren’t even at my wedding.  Most of the family wasn’t there.  It was certainly not the wedding I had envisioned for myself, but there was my husband and I, and I was just happy to be his wife.  It was incredibly informal, me in maternity pants and a nice top, him in a button down and pants, and we had coats on. Someone had a travel mug of coffee to warm them.  I was happy, however that my mom knew I was married now, because she adored my husband.  I felt it would ease her mind knowing that I was married to the man  I loved.

My mom and I both struggled even when she was alive with the loss of milestones that mothers and daughters go through.  I know that she was heartbroken to know she would miss me going through all of these, and for the ones she was able to be there for, she couldn’t be there in the capacity he wanted.  I went though a sort of parental loss bootcamp in a short time.  Marriage, new home, new baby, back to work, all within a few months.  My mom was too ill to be present much, especially living 300 miles away.  I could tell initially in her voice how worried she was about me, especially when it became clear I was struggling with post partum depression as well.  Add to that the depression of watching your parent begin the dying process, and I was a zombie mentally, while furiously engaging myself in strange projects to keep active. When people are going through the dying process, it is common for them to communicate less.  My mother, who I used to speak to daily (sometimes multiple times a day) now handed the phone to my father rather quickly.  I felt alone.  Lost.

My husband and I decided to have a wedding blessing overseas in my family church.  I struggled with how to prepare for it.  I had always wanted the big white dress, the old stone church, the party and the perfect man.  I had always expected I would find the man and my mom would help me plan the rest.  In my case, that was no longer going to happen, as it was 2 years since she had passed away.  It didn’t feel quite right to have the big party and wedding I had always imagined, as now someone inherently important had been taken away from the process.  I headed dress shopping, and took my sister in law and a dear friend who had also lost her mom right after I did, also to cancer.  She was my emotional backbone through the process.  She took on a bit of that mother hen role.  The two women helped me try on dress after dress.  To this day I am inherently grateful.  Still, I wish my mom could have participated.

When the question was innocently posed to me last night, it hit me how sad I am that I lost out on those experiences with my mom.  It hit me how upset I had been but had tried to hide it through the whole process of planning a wedding.  It hit me how angry I am that my mom was taken from me, and how terrifying it all was.  I was a grown woman, yet I still felt terrified.  All those things a mom is supposed to do with her daughter, I had to do alone.  It…sucked.  It royally sucked. It has been 9 years, and STILL, I grieve not only for her, but for the experiences and little things that a mom and daughter should have together.  For the most part, I speak of my mother without sadness, and speak of her with love, pride, and of happy times.  It’s taken me a long time to get to the “ok-ness” feeling when I talk about her.  Sometimes, I think it makes people feel awkward when I mention her.  They know she is gone, and I think they feel bad for me, because they know how awful it would be to lose their mom.  I feel bad about that, and sometimes I try not to mention her for fear it makes people feel awkward, but I just can’t help it.  Talking about her and telling a funny story makes not only me feel better, but I think if I can add humor, it lets people know about her and know I’m ok.

It’s rare that I do what I did yesterday.  Talk about making people feel awkward! I shudder thinking about it. I didn’t want to get sad. I hate that I cried at that moment.  Something in me just took over and the feeling of loss overwhelmed me.  I heard all the happy stories of moms dress shopping, and being involved, and it felt like the stitches that had held me together for 9 years just popped. Today, after thinking about it, I realize I had to acknowledge some feelings I had hidden away.  I know, I know, I am quite vocal about how my mom’s death has impacted me, but there is much that hasn’t been said.  There are repercussions and new feelings that happen even now that pop up out of the blue.  It’s like a rain drop that causes waves to go out in a circle, spreading over time.  There are feelings I may never even speak about.  Not only about my mom’s death, but about other people’s reactions after the fact.  There is anger, and resentment, and things that I need to work through.  I am realizing today just how many things I need to work on in this new year.

Someone once told me that grief goes on.  It doesn’t really end.  I hated the idea that the sadness would weigh on me long term and never ease.  I have come to the conclusion that grief does stick around.  It lessens, it gets easier in a sense.  A new normal.  There is a lot that you have to acknowledge, feelings wise, and address.  I have found that on a daily basis, I handle my mother’s passing ok.  I miss her every day, but my thoughts of her focus on happy memories, happy stories, and ones that make me laugh.  Sometimes I think “Oh, I wish she had seen the kids do that” or “I miss her” but that’s to be expected.  It’s rare that I crumple into tears, but occasionally, in the quiet of the night when everyone is asleep, I allow myself to.  It’s rare I do it in public, and I am always mortified when I do.

I am happy when I see good mother/daughter relationships.  I am happy for my friend and family member, who will navigate the path to a wedding far easier than I did.  It warms my heart to see her mom so excited, and I am grateful to her mom because she often goes out of her way to make me feel a little mothered too.  I doubt her mom knows how much that means to me.  Little comments to let me know I am not alone go a long way.

Well, I am off to spend time with my babies.  Growing up so fast, but will always be my beloved babies.  Sorry for the total Debbie Downer post, but sometimes, ya gotta get it out of your head.

 

 

 

Circle ’em.

Trust is a funny thing.  I’ve always been too trusting, for the most part.  I always assume (often incorrectly) that people are inherently good.  It seemed like a no brainer that people who didn’t like me would stay far away, and people who were around were my friends. It makes sense to me that we’re all on the Earth together, and for the most part, should be able to get along and trust each other to do the right thing as humans in general.  I assumed that people were good.

You know what?  I assumed wrong.

The level of asshol-y behavior I have borne witness to this year has been astonishing.  I learned that a good chunk of people simply can’t be trusted, and are out for themselves.  I learned that people will lie, cheat, steal and bullshit you to get, take and do what they want.  It’s the most disheartening, frightening thing ever.  It used to be just politicians.  Now there’s an epidemic of them…people who will do and say what it takes to get what they want.

It’s the week of Christmas.  When I grew up, this was the week where people tried to be a little better.  A little kinder.  A little more helpful to their fellow man.  The time leading to the holidays was when you would see people shine, and you’d witness the best of them.

This year, I found out 11 cars in my neighborhood were stolen or robbed. The neighborhood police substation had all the toys for kids stolen.  Packages are being stolen off porches.   It’s friggen disheartening.  People are lying, cheating, back stabbing.  People are stealing toys from little children. Who are these monsters, and who is raising them?  How have we become a society where we are raising such self entitled and self absorbed people that feel they can do these things to other with no consequence?  Where has society gone wrong?  This isn’t about politics and all that bullshit.  It’s about a society who is raising people who need to be removed from society.  We are no longer bringing up people who will better our situation.  What we have are people who are tearing it down.  We have people who lack compassion, and empathy, and kindness.  We have people who will look you in the eye with a smile and a hug, and stab you in the back while you are in their embrace.

I’m afraid. I am afraid for my family, my kids, myself, my neighbors and my society.  I don’t feel safe living amongst the monsters any more.  I am trying hard to fight evil with kindness.  To stay positive and stay afloat in a sea of heaviness.  It’s exhausting.  I am trying to stay positive, but each day I hear that another neighbor had their cars stolen.  This is in a neighborhood that was quiet and had little to no problems for years. All I can do is keep my eyes out for them.  To friend them.

Sometimes I wonder if the world is getting worse, or if we just know now how bad it is, thanks to social media and the internet.   Good news travels fast, but bad news will always win the race.

But for now, I am circling my wagons.  I don’t know who to trust, or why I should bother trusting in the first place.  It’s a scary feeling, but it’s all I can do…that, and hope for a better new year.

Only Kindness Matters

  
it’s been a while since I wrote. Life has yet again caught up to me, but as the holidays approach, my mind is bubbling over with words and stories to share.  It’s late, and I should be in bed, but today’s events have me wide awake and filled with emotions. I have to get it out of my head so I can rest this tired brain. 

I occasionally see a free share/giveaway site on my facebook page.  I try not to pay it much mind because I am already fighting the battle of “stuff” and have been on the kids to join me in said battle. In other words, I am trying to get rid of stuff, rather than bring more in.  I saw a post the other day from a woman thanking people, because without their generosity in donating things, she would not have been able to provide her family with a proper Christnas.  Now, I will say that while I believe the spirit of Christnas isn’t about stuff, my mom always went big at Christmas.  Christmas was magical when I was a kid. My mom and dad did spoil me quite a bit, but my mom in particular went out of her way to add a magic feel about the season (when she wasn’t freaking out with stress over getting everything done….oh, I am SO my mother.)

The post got me thinking about how lucky we are I got a small bonus from work this year.  It will allow me to pay a big bill that’s looming over us, and I was able to treat my husband and the kids to a few nice gifts.  Out of it all, I purchased myself one book as a treat (Humans of NY Stories, because it’s beautiful and fascinating). That’s it. I said I would allow myself another treat for about $25 and call it a day. That would be my portion of a years’ worth of work of a bonus.  I was thinking about this post, and how impressed I was with the simple “thank you”.  It had me mulling over Christmas, both this year, and my Christmases of childhood.  It was in that frame of mind when I saw another post pop up later that day.  It was from a mother of two asking for help to find you donations because she had lost her job before the holidays.  I felt the fear. I remembered losing my job and wondering what we would do. How would we manage? I was lucky to get a severance package when I was laid off.  She didn’t seem to have the same benefit.  

The kids and I found a toy or two, and I posted asking if she would like them.  She said yes, gratefully, and we arranged a pickup day of today.

Feeling useful, I posted various other free toys to the site, and they were quickly claimed by people looking to add some extra toys at Christmas.  All except 2 were going to come to pick the items up from my house the following day while I was at work, and it was supposed to rain. I carefully wrapped all of the toys in plastic, put the people’s names on them, and sealed the names in ziplock bags.  Everyone except one person showed up.  I messaged that one person and they never responded.  I was irked about the no call, no show.  I raced home tonight to pick up the toy to meet up with the woman who had lost her job. Feeling a bit disillusioned after the no show the day before from someone else, I messaged her to confirm she was still interested (she was) and that she still was going to meet me.  She told me she couldn’t, and apologized profusely saying she had messaged those she was supposed to pick up things from but had somehow missed me.  Turns out her car got towed.

Yep.  It got towed because she was behind a ridiculously small amount on a car tax bill, and now she not only had the bill, but she had to pay for the car to get out of impound.  As my son said “so if you can’t oh the bill, they make it more expensive and then make it impossible to get there to pay it?”  I told y’all he is a smart kid.  I mulled it over and offered to drive to her house about a half hour away. She seemed surprised I would do so, and said she felt bad about it, but I told her I was in the mood for a drive.  Off we set, the kids and I.

When we arrived, she came outside and was so….nice.  Just so nice! And I could tell she hadn’t really wanted to ask for help that way.  I told her I understood, and that losing your job is scary enough.  Losing your job when you have kids and it’s Christmas is heartbreaking.  She was grateful for the toys and I explained I would look for more things for her.  We were two moms, talking about love of our kids, loss of jobs, tough times, and trying to make magic for our kids in a scary world.  She said the hardest part is that her oldest child wants the more expensive toys and  she had tried to explain it might be tighter Christmas.  Her daughter replied “it’s ok, that’s what Santa is for!”  My heart cracked a little. I imagined how she must feel heating her daughter say that, and the stress she must feel to keep the magic of Santa alive a little longer.  I reached into the car and handed her a gift card, explaining I had picked it up for a store that sold clothes and toys, so she could have something new to give them.  Tears welled and she grabbed me and hugged me.  Best $25 dollar gift I could have gotten for myself out of that bonus check was getting her that gift card and getting a hug in the street from a stranger. 

I left her house, and I thanked the kids for donating their toys, and explained how the little boy would probably be very happy with them and love the toys as much as they had.  We talked about kindness.  About being helpers.  I quoted Jewel and said “in the end, only kindness matters”.  

After they were in bed.  I spent a lot of time thinking about that mom.  The holidays are a tough time for me as I miss my mom TERRIBLY at Christmas, probably more than any other time of year.   It’s hard to grieve when you’re supposed to be happy and Christmassy.  I thought about all the stresses I have, but at least I have a job and we scrape by.  Sometimes we barely scrape by, but we do. I know the mom I met tonight is sad and scared and frustrated. I thought about what she had said about her daughter, about the big toy and her belief Santa would bring it to her. That’s what got me in the feels. What made big fat tears roll down my cheeks.  That little girl believes in magic. And that should never be dulled.  I looked up the toy. I know anyone who follows my Twitter will roll eyes or smirk when I say this, but I used my trusty Ebates and after working codes and cash back, saved over a third on it in the shopping cart. I decided to mull it over.  After all, we are pretty strapped for cash ourselves.

My husband came home and we talked about our day.  I told him the story.  I cried through parts of it.  (I cry at commercials these days, he’s used to it). I told him the whole part, right up until the fact I had looked up this toy. I wanted to see what he would say first.  He’s the more cynical of the 2 of us, usually, but he will give the shirt off his back to help people.  He grew up helping to run a homeless shelter, so people in need are always helped when he can.

“Well” he said, “I know we are strapped for cash and have a ton of bills…but maybe, just maybe we can get her that toy?” 

This? This is why I love him so.  

I explained I had already searched it and found coupon codes.  

I said “you know, it could all be a bunch of BS, all of it, but if we do it, we do it with an open heart on our side and not worry about if it’s legit or not on the other side, right?”  He agreed. He made a great point: “look, even if it’s all bogus, then probably things may not be thAt great for the kid regardless, right? So let’s help make magic for another child anyway.”

I’m ordering the item tomorrow.

Every child should believe in magic, and if I can help them believe, then I and my kick ass husband are going to. 

A few years ago, someone told me I do nice things but I talk about them, so it was Like was trying to get recognition for them. Sometimes I talk about doing things for others, sometimes I don’t.  When I do talk about them, it’s not to get recognition for them, it’s that I want to spur other people to do the same in doing an act of kindness, no matter how small.  Yesterday there was a mass shooting in California.  People went about their day and then didn’t come home. The Sandy Hook kids went to school a few years ago and didn’t make it out alive.  Evil is alive and well.  I can’t prevent all the evil from happening. I can only fight the evil with little acts of kindness, and try to inspire others to do the same. Love Wins, right? 

I’ve tried to help people in the past and it has blown up in my face. I got disheartened and angry.  My husband said it best when he told me that I needed to do the kind thing, with true intent, and if it wasn’t received well or he kindness was abused, to try to be kind anyway. I won’t lie, I benefit from it.  It feels great to do nice things for others!  It also feels like I am making magic in my mom’s memory.  She would LOVE the little plan to help this mom give a little Christmas magic to her kids.  It’s eased my grief a bit.

Well, I am off to bed.  Tomorrow I will see how to get the toy to the family with some Santa magic to keep a little girl believing for one more year.  Sorry for any typos. It’s late and I am sleepy.  Plus I had to write this from my phone with my tired old eyes trying to see the screen.

Be kind. Happy holidays!

Love,

Messy. Xoxo