first night blessings

Hanukkah began at sundown yesterday.
YBW joined me in saying the prayers and lighting the candles.

I love the first night of Hanukkah most of all because of the special prayer said only that night.

Thanks be to you, Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for keeping us alive and in good health and for bringing us together.

I’m not actively religious, but I do have beliefs.
Lighting these candles and saying these prayers on the first night of Hanukkah, I feel down deep in me the connection to my ancestors. The ones who lit these candles, and the ones who lit their Advent wreaths.
I’m so grateful that we are alive and in good health and together, especially in this season which I love so dearly.
My wish is all y’all feel it too!

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

grief is a dick punch

My mom’s been gone ten years this week.
I have more feels about this than I’d like.
It’s simpler to just kind of know intrinsically that she’s dead and not really think about it. Because when I do think about it, I mostly feel anger.
Ten years later and I’m still so fucking angry!
I’m angry she was sick and kept the secret. I’m angry at her for choosing to die.

Seventeen days between finding out she was sick to finding out she was dead.
Like, why am I surprised she was selfish? Why am I surprised she kept her declining health a secret? She was nothing but secrets.
Knowing she was who she was doesn’t make the anger any less.

I’m angry I barely got to see her.
I’m angry I had to rush to say goodbye.
I’m angry that helping her ridiculous husband manage his grief kept me from helping my daughters manage their grief.
I’m angry that my grief is more anger than anything.

I’ve worked through so many things in therapy.
Cleary this is not one of them…

TBPH though, most days I’m just a girl with no parents. And I’m OK with that. My anger spends the majority of my life taking a nap. But when it wakes, we just kind of fuel each other and feed off each other and I simply cannot believe things she said and did are still manipulating me. (Perhaps it’s that I’m letting them manipulate me…?)
Either way, I’m not feeling love for her. I’m not feeling sad she’s gone. I’m not nostalgic about her.
I’m feeling really fucking mad.

Feeling all this anger can’t possibly be good for me.
But I’m over here up to my ass in it.

My logical brain understands I need to let it go. (y’all hear Elsa too, right?) Send that anger on it’s way. Even if it’s replaced with nothing, that’s most likely better for me. To feel anything instead of anger, I’m here for it.
My feelings place understands I don’t feel that anger the majority of my life. That it flares up when I do stop to think about my mother’s death.

Our relationship, her life, neither of those had to end the way they did.
Her mom died suddenly when she was only twenty three years old.
My mom chose to die in secret and I found out suddenly when I was forty years old.
She knew what that was like. To lose her mom without warning. Why would she do that to her own daughter?
I don’t understand that kind of selfishness.
She was controlling the situation (and us in it) even as she was dying.
Talk about needing to let it go.
Just fucking be real with your children. We’re adults. We can handle it.

That’s not who she was.
She was a tyrannical dictator who ran her world with an iron fist.
She wasn’t about to give that up at the end of her life.

How disappointing.
She could have done it differently and we all could have felt our feels as we went.
Of course she wasn’t interested in us feeling our feels. To be fair, she wasn’t interested in feeling her own feels either.
It just occurred to me that she’d probably enjoy that I’m angry about her death.
That’s nearly enough to make me choose to never be angry about it again. Why in the fuck would I give her the posthumous satisfaction?

Interestingly enough, simply writing about it helped me feel less angry. (must journal more frequently)
I’m an orphan in this world. An adult child of deceased parents.
Most days I’m cool with it. I adapted. This is my life now.
But the anniversary of my mom’s death got me thinking.
And feeling.
That anger didn’t bubble up in a manageable way, it erupted like a volcano and I was simultaneously burning and drowning in the lava flow.
Somehow I survived and the lava is cooling.
I find myself wondering if this anger volcano can move from dormant to extinct.
I mean, time and work-of-self moved it from active to dormant…so that’s moving in the right direction, yeah?

I don’t know.
I can’t help but wonder if feeling angry is better than feeling unloved.

Grief is weird.
Sometimes it’s just a normal state of being.
Sometimes it’s a straight up dick punch.
I’m choosing to move back into ‘normal state of being’, this ‘dick punch anger’ is painful and exhausting.

That’s what life’s about though, right?
The choices we make.
I choose to feel my feels.
I choose to figure out how to process those feels.
I choose to acknowledge, accept-don’t-judge, and release those feels.

I do think it’s OK that I’m angry about the way my mom died.
I don’t think I need to let it consume me.
Look at me, over here growing.
Huzzah!

Categories: death | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 146

This one’s been a total earworm for me the last few days and I’m actually quite loving it.
I love the hopeful quality with which The Regrettes address those dark and overwhelming feels.
I encourage you to give Monday a listen and let me know what you think.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

the joy of coming home

How precious is this mid-century house?
Thing 2 closes on it tomorrow.

My baby bought a house!
She’s saved for so long, squirreling away nearly twenty thousand dollars. And her credit score is in the 790s! She’s making an excellent investment. She’ll have twenty five thousand in equity when she walks through the front door.
She’s worked hard to get to this place.

She was planning to purchase by herself. But part way through her process, she and Boyfriend M realized they wanted to own a home together.
I’m overjoyed! I truly believe this young man and my daughter could be each other’s forever person if that’s what they want.
His mother isn’t as enthusiastic as we are. My understanding is she thinks they’re going about the order of things incorrectly. However, my gut says the bigger truth is she’s dissatisfied that he son isn’t living the life she expects him to live. She’ll get over that. All parents have to at some point.
I see my daughter and her boyfriend actively asking and answering the hardest questions. They’re working together. They’re making smart choices. They’ve planned and made commitments to each other about how it will work.
I trust Thing 2’s decision.
I trust she has a solid foundation upon which she will continue to build her life.
She’s choosing to build her life in a home with this young man. Just as he’s choosing to build his life in a home with her.
Their trust in the other is considerable.

The inspection showed the house needed minor repairs.
They talked the sellers down in price, well below asking. They got approval to do the work before taking ownership and contractors quickly got in the house.
A friend of theirs has brand new appliances to give them. Everything but the fridge, if I remember correctly.
That’s one hell of a friend!

In our group chat she was asking what Thing 1 and I think about paint colors.
She sent this.

My understanding is she’s thinking Lazy Gray for the walls and Serious Gray for the cabinets.

Y’all, my daughter has worked hard and long to get to this place. She’s been working towards this with a single minded fury.
To say she is excited is an understatement.
I am immeasurably proud for her.
She DID it!

Thing 2 and her kitty Oliver, and Boyfriend M and his kitty Meryl move into their new home this very week!

We three girls will purchase and move into our new homes in the same calendar year.
Fresh starts for each of us in 2021.
Now that’s something to give thanks for.
My Momma heart is overflowing with love and joy and gratitude.

Categories: around the house | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

finding the right balance

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know Thanksgiving is absolutely not my thing. But, Thanksgiving is Thing 1’s most favorite holiday. When the our dining table arrived, Thing 1 said, “You know, Momma, our house is really small. And yours is big. And you have that big island and new table. So, if I cooked and cleaned, would you host Thanksgiving?”
Without hesitation I told her yes, I also told her I had to talk with YBW.
I only got as far as “and yours is big” in relaying her question before he said “Yes!”

YBW then reached out to each of our other three kids and invited them for Thanksgiving. And when I say invited, what I mean is he didn’t actually give them a choice as much as he was like, I want you here, please and thank you.
And if you actually knew my husband, you’d know that’s not his typical M.O.
The boys and Girlfriend L are confirmed.
Thing 1, Husband N, and Baby K are confirmed.
YBW’s brother, his wife, and our nephew are also confirmed.
Thing 2 and Boyfriend M cannot be here.

YBW and Thing 1 are planning to do all the work. I’m planning to watch the parade and drink apple cider mimosas and play with Baby K.
Though I’ll make the cranberries and probably the stuffing. And maybe the gravy, because it’s Thing G’s fave. Though Thing 1 could absolutely make him some gravy he’ll love.

I’m excited about three of our four kids being in the same place at the same time.
I’m excited about two of our kids’ partners being here with us.
I’m excited to welcome my brother in law’s fam to our home.
I’m disappointed Thing 2 won’t be here, but what she’s doing instead is actually much more important.

I have real, and deeply rooted anxious feels surrounding Thanksgiving and I’m working hard to reconcile those feelings with my excitement of us all being together.
These opposing feels create unbalance in me, and I want the joy to outweigh those feelings of discomfort.
I don’t like Thanksgiving, but I love being surrounded by my family.
I’m hopeful to find the right balance.
But even if I don’t, I’ll always have the parade.
And that’s fine by me.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Baby K weekend – November 2021

Last weekend was our Baby K weekend!
This kid, y’all!
At two and a half, she’s at that peculiar developmental place where she’s about seventy percent sweet like candy, and thirty percent rotten to the core. (she’s not really rotten…she’s appropriately moving between two and three)

She was already with her Papa when I got home from school Friday. She came running (the long way) around the island screeching, “BEEEEEE!”
All! The! Hugs!

It poured with rain so we didn’t make a trip to the playground.
Instead, we built with blocks.

Lately she’s all about playing veterinarian. Even though she left her doctor kit at home she still made sure Big Bird had a check up.

Mike and Josie came to visit Sunday morning.
Baby K was excited to have new grown-ups to play with.
Mike brought her one of his favorite books, Caps For Sale.
She loves this story, and does an enthusiastic “Tsz tsz tsz”!
Josie took this picture of us enjoying it together.

We took her home Sunday after her nap.
She was mad and sad about going home.
I told her that her mommy and daddy missed her and were ready for her to come home. She wanted to stay at “B-Papa house”.
She was content when Papa carried her down to the car and when I asked who she was going to hug first, she told me, “Cats!”
Thing 1 came out the front door when we arrived and Baby K went running across the yard shouting, “Momma!” But did not hug her mother.
I’m not sure she actually hugged the cats, but she was excited to see the dogs.

One weekend a month in which we get to play with, and be responsible for our granddaughter is absolutely one of our most favorite things!

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a tune for Tuesday vol 145

Willow Smith has come a long way from ‘I whip my hair back and forth’.
I freaking love her voice.
I especially like the chorus of this song.
I absolutely caught a vibe.
Check out Meet Me at Our Spot and let me know what you think.

Please listen responsibly.

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

favorite things 11.11.21

Time for a game of favorites.
Y’all wanna play?

What’s your:

favorite ethnic food
Afghan food – specifically this little hole in the wall called Kabul Kabab House in Bristow

favorite hiding spot when you need time alone
When I was a little girl, it was high up in the branches of the maple tree in our front yard.
As a grown up girl, it’s in my car.

favorite type of bird

favorite boss
Dr Jeff – I ran his chiropractic practice and he paid me peanuts, but he made me laugh.

favorite childhood movie
The Scarecrow is still my favorite!

favorite magazine to read
depending on my mood it’s either the The Atlantic or Southern Living

favorite thing about summer
being at the ballpark

music venue
This is a no-win tie between two great DC venues: The Lincoln Theatre and The Anthem

casual wear
a sweater, jeans, and boots

pizzeria
Tony’s in Bristow – their lasagna pizza is my all time favorite
(lasagna ingredients: seasoned ground beef, tomato sauce, ricotta, and mozzarella, on pizza instead of with noodles)

What about y’all?
What are your favorites?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

a tune for Tuesday vol 144

The opening line of this song is ‘Don’t act so special, what I do is not for you.’ and that was it for me.
Check out Hush by The Marias, and let me know what you think!

Please listen responsibly.

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would you rather – partie quatorze

travel the world for a year on a shoestring budget or stay in only one country for a year but live in luxury
this is a tricky one…
I’m not sure a year long enough to see the entire world, especially on a limited budget. But, spending an entire year in one country would provide quite the opportunity to explore every aspect…I’m looking at you, Italy.
I choose staying luxuriously in one country

every third thought you have be out loud or never be alone no matter what you are doing
every third thought
After a while I’d learn to manage the timing and not express too many inappropriate thoughts…

take an all expenses paid dream vacation every year for a month or have the job of your dreams
Another tricky one!
Why do I do this to myself?
While a free month long vacay sounds divine, real life is in those other eleven months.
I choose dream job!

be a successful artist or a successful business owner
successful artist
Unless…my successful business involved my art…?
I don’t think this is a have your cake and eat it too sort of situation…so I’ll stick with my initial answer.

be covered in fur or covered in scales
fur
even though I’d be hot covered in fur, the idea of being covered in scales freaks me out

What about y’all?
What would you rather?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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