YEAH!!! I love Tuesday, because it is not MONDAY, which frankly makes Tuesdays good right out of the starting gate. Add to that, it is Post It Note Tuesday, a meme where you can let it all out on post it notes! Just click the yellow note to join in the fun. Then post away! Oh and if you need help making the stickies for this meme, go HERE to make your own in 4 lovely colors.
Reaching up and grabbing the cord, I pull down the trap door that has the steps attached to the attic of my mind and heart. Unfolding the steps I climb up slowly, into the dark hole above. When I reach the top step I gently wave my arm above my head and locate the pull string to turn on the light. Just like the cobweb filled, dusty top level of the house, this attack contains memories, all boxed up, and stacked in rows. Many contain happy thoughts and mental images of life for the past 47 years, and some contain things that are not so pleasant and others will be down right painful to open. I scan the rows, fingers lightly running across the writing on the containers, bringing back snippets of days gone by. I don’t linger over these, today I am searching for a particular one, its contents difficult to face. Finally I spot it, there in the corner, away from all the other cartons.
I approach this particular trunk with much dread, as while the contents are usually few, they are not things that are happy, pretty or fun. These are things that fill me with regret, things waiting for me to face and let go of so that they can be placed in a different container for unpleasant memories somewhere else in my mental attic. The lid creeks as I lift it, and gently tip it back. Light shines forth from the inside of this trunk, as facing its contents is the key to moving on in life as a better person. But light can pierce into the darkness, and be painful to the eyes that have existed in the darkness for any period of time. But today I am ready… Peering inside I see it, the one lone item. It is that something I need to forgive myself for, just waiting there for me to face it head on. I’ve not been ignoring it, I do struggle with it and examine it from time to time, but in the past I’ve always placed it back in the trunk, closed the lid and moved on. Not today, today this needs to be faced.
For 24 years I was fortunate enough to be the significant other to a very special man, and for just shy of 23 years I bore his name as his wife. They were not always happy years, our marriage road the choppy waters of life’s storms, some that were of our own making, but most came out of no where and caught us off guard. Neither of us can claim to have been stellar sailors through those waves, we each fell short time and time again. But we weathered them and I always felt came through them better than we had been when the first dark clouds had approached. With each day and each crisis I loved him more, my heart embracing my Prince Charming. Oh I knew he was not a true Prince, in fact in many ways he fell far short of the mark, but he was mine and deep down to the core of my heart and soul I loved that man with every cell in me. It did not matter that he was not perfect, he was Pete, my soul mate, my knight in shining armor, and the dents and tarnished areas, though often what would annoy me about him, were also things I truly loved about him.
I was far from the perfect wife, mom and woman. In his eyes, at one time, he must have seen something in me that he wanted. I remember one time waking up from a deep sleep to find him sitting next to the bed just watching me sleep. I asked him what he was doing and he said just looking at me, marveling that I was all his. It is one of the most beautiful memories I have of him, a time when he looked past my faults and could see inside and see something and someone of value, someone he treasured. I was someone that he wanted to spend his life with, have children with, and grow old next too. I wonder how we got from those eyes looking at me in wonder and love, to the eyes that looked at me before we entered the court room for our divorce, now filled with such hatred and disdain, that tore at my heart leaving fresh and painful wounds.
I am a woman that feels all emotions deeply. My love is deep, my happiness runs deep, my pain runs to my core, as does my anger. I could go from zero to 120 in a split second, erupting like a volcano spewing destructive lava all over. At times I even took pride in the fact that when I was mad I went for the emotional and mental jugular on the target of my outbursts. I got angry over silly, small things to extremes that left folks around me scratching their heads as to why something so insignificant would make me SO upset, and other things would not. There was no pattern, no way to know what would set off the dynamite and bring forth a very ugly me. For years my Prince would tell me that I needed to get a grip on my anger, but I didn’t listen. Others around me helped me justify it, telling me that I was just overly tired and stressed out.
They were correct, I was often tired and under a lot of stress. For years I carried the financial weight of our family, while dealing with his medical issues that nearly killed him on 3 different occasions. The pain and sleep deprivation, combined with narcotics that made him a bear to tolerate. We went through a period where we were charging our groceries on credit cards just to feed our kids, anyone around me could understand me being stressed out and angry. SO many things year upon year that put much mental and emotional weight on me that were convenient excuses for my vicious moments. But all the while Pete was telling me that I needed to get control of my temper. He is not a great communicator, I’ve always known this about him, but if ONLY I had given more attention to what he was saying. He wasn’t able to put into words that I was ripping his heart apart at times, driving him away from me. And I wasn’t able to see it. After all he was one person with one view, and I had a lifetime of who I was, a family with 3 siblings with comparable tempers, and a host of folks telling me that I was just stressed out. Tempers are a given in my family, I always assumed it was the strong German blood lines with some Hungarian and Irish thrown in to add some sparks to our fires. My sister and both brothers can match me notch for notch in the outbursts, it was all I knew from childhood on! But if only I had listened.
In recent years I stepped across the lines and went beyond what my husband could forgive. On 2 separate occasions he lost 2 friends. One died around the time our marriage was hanging by threads due to indiscretions of Pete’s, things that hurt me deeply and broke my trust in him. One night I lashed out in anger, going for his heart, and told him I wished he had died and was rotting in hell like his friend, Tim. Tim died after suffering burns when a grill blew up that he was lighting. I drove a stake into Pete’s heart that time that he was unable to pull out. Then a little over 2 years ago, a fellow fire fighter, coworker and friend, perished fighting a fire, and that hit Pete harder than anything I had ever seen affect him. On 2 different nights, alcohol induced (a very bad mix with my temper), while in a rage so intense I didn’t even recall saying it the one time, I made the mistake of telling him that I wished it had been him, and not Brian, that had died that day. In those moments I finally drove the knife so deep in his heart that Pete was no longer able to forgive me and love me. For the next year and a half he went through the motions, pretending to love me, trying to love me, and unable to do handle it. What is sad is that during that time a friend made the comment that we were retarded in love with each other, the way he looked at me and I at him, never could anyone have guessed Pete was putting on an award winning performance, there was no longer any love there. So good was his act that I didn’t see it, in fact I had never been happier, never felt more adored and loved by him as I did during that time.
He told me in tears that he wanted out, on January 8th of this year. Regardless of what others tell me, and there are many sharing information, that there was another woman near the end, the bottom line is me. IF in fact he had someone else, which he still says is not the case, it is my fault, I had killed what was there for me and if he sought comfort and love else where I have no one to blame. I have been to the doctor, learned I have a serotonin imbalance. My brain releases more serotonin than needed, and the cells that should absorb it cannot take it all in, so the releasing cells re-uptake the excess, which they should not do, and this seems to be the root of the problem. That is where the intensity comes in to play. I take medication that is a re-uptake inhibitor and that keeps the balance. I am still angry, but can process the anger now. I’m relearning how to react to situations and people, and able to not get fixated on something and just blow off the steam until it is gone. I’m in control now.
For so many years in his imperfect ways he tried to tell me. I now give myself permission to forgive ME. I forgive myself for not hearing him, for not seeing that there really was a problem, for not listening to the person closest to me instead of others. I forgive myself for falling short of that woman he watched sleeping, the one he at one time adored. I forgive myself for not being perfect and not being able to be who he needed me to be. For being less than the mom I could have been. I forgive myself for not being the one he will grow old with because of my own stubbornness when at some point I could have fixed me. And I forgive myself for any pain I brought to him, me and our children over all these years when I could have sought help and made things better. I forgive me for my part in what should have been forever.
This has been a difficult thing to come too, but it is also freeing. The trunk is now empty again. It is painful, no doubt about it, facing and forgiving me. But it is done. I close the lid, walk to the steps, reach up and turn off the light….
Random Happy Thoughts
- Sleeping in totally rocks! Went to bed at midnight and didn’t get up until 10:45am this morning. I feel MARVELOUS!
- Grocery shopping is fun when you share the experience with someone. I enjoyed going shopping with Diva Mom.
- Nothing beats fresh veggies, especially corn on the cob purchased from local farmers at road side stands and picked fresh this morning!
- Having my daughter over to spend the afternoon and evening with us, cooking out and wine tonight in the Diva Den. I miss living with her and love getting to spend time together
- Storms that come blowing in suddenly, packing hail and making the lights flicker are a bit scary. But the power stayed on so all is good!
- Caramel Truffle coffee tastes SO good, I really enjoy flavored coffee!
- I love this house! Still kind of adjusting after 2.5 months but it is the coolest place and I love living in it! It is so big and spread out giving us each the needed solitude but still having each other so nice and close.
- Grilled hamburgers are SO yummy! Add folks you love around your table and they are a feast fit for a king! Well a bunch of princesses at least.
- Crisp, clean sheets to change on the bed, I just love it!
- Church festivals with warm beer and poker tables, gotta love ‘em!
- Puppies and kittens are so fun to watch interacting, especially when they do not know they are not supposed to like each other.
- Unexpectedly bumping into my youngest brother when dropping off lunch to my dad is a very good thing (even if he is sweaty and stinks from working outside).
- A nice deck with the woods as our back drop is so wonderfully relaxing, heat and humidity just don’t seem to matter when sitting out there.
- Texts from old friends, favorite drinking buddies! I LOVE YOU GUYS
- Saturday night wine at the Diva Den, always something to look forward too!
- I LOVE WEEKENDS!!!
This was one of those days when I would have loved to be able to clone myself. The weekend was outstanding and I slept in both days. Diva Mom went to visit her sister for the weekend, Divas Sarah and Jeanne went to see a movie Friday, and that left Diva Boo and me home alone. We felt like teenagers left at home while our parents were away. And we did NOTHING but enjoy time together. Saturday we slept in before tackling the household chores. The palace needed a royal cleaning and while that was going on we had laundry in the works. Top to bottom until it shined, Cinderella has nothing on this group!
In the process of cleaning we put away a few things that were still in need of a home, made a few adjustments and additions to Diva Sarah’s room, and then decided to hang the dozen or so prints and photos that have been waiting for us to find some time. The house looked pretty spiffy if you ask me. That night we enjoyed Barefoot White Zin wine and some beer, but it just wasn’t the same without Diva Mom here with us.
Sunday was the 4th of July and we had family coming over in the form of siblings, aunts and uncles. It was hot and muggy outside but that didn’t keep us from playing Cornhole (Baggo in some parts of the country). The 3, 5yo girls were bored so we pulled out the sidewalk chalk and the neighbor’s driveway became their canvas. Once everyone left we Divas sat outside watching fireworks. I finally went off to bed, better late than never, because unlike the rest of the family, I had to work today. That just stunk.
I woke up in the night sweating despite the central air conditioning and was dizzy. 90 degrees yesterday and did I even think about water? Nope, it was a cookout, I had beer like any other red blooded, German, west side resident. I was dehydrated. I wandered down to the kitchen in the dark for water, gulped down 24 ounces then went back to bed. Sleep was a long way off as Pixel kitten thought that it was time to pounce on mommy’s head. Finally we both did go to sleep, her curled up against my back so tight I nearly rolled on her when the alarm clock went off.
I don’t play Farmville on Facebook anymore, I live it in the kitchen with cleaning out the food bowl, feeding and watering the cats (and the periodic time share Yorkie I keep for my daughter). I started coffee, showered and went to work. THAT was weird. It felt like I had gotten up on a Sunday by mistake, there were NO cars on the road this morning at what would be rush hour. Mine was the only car in the office complex most of the day. My Divas enjoyed the holiday, along with the courts, postal service, banks and many retailers. I was SO jealous of all those folks home sleeping while I was opening the office for what turned out to be a productive day. The drive home without any traffic was rather nice too, though I still would have preferred to be off with my family. Ah well, I am thankful that I have a job and really don’t mean to sound like I am complaining.
Seeking full time female clone
Experience in all facets of office management
Ability to manage others
Knowledge of printers, copiers and fax machines a must
Good filing skills
Excellent customer service skills
Maid skills including but not limited to: laundry, cooking, cleaning
On call mom to 26yo male and 20yo female not living at home
Surrogate aunt to 20yo and 16yo females
Stand in sister and daughter as needed
Must love cats
Must enjoy working holidays while original version parties like a rock star
Willing to work 8am – 5pm Monday through Friday while original is home sleeping in, eating bon bons and doing NOTHING!
It is July 4th, which means a day of family, something I know you always enjoyed so much. I can hardly believe you have been gone almost 14 years now, it seems like just yesterday you called on my birthday. I know you loved holidays because 4 generations of the family would come together and celebrate. We are carrying on the tradition now that you and grandma are gone, but it just isn’t the same.
I miss you asking about my kids, how they were doing and marveling at their progress. You’d be so proud, Mike did master the Highland bagpipes shortly after you left us, and made it on to the sheriff’s department. His career is 8 years long already, and you’d beam I’m certain as much as I do when he is in uniform. And I know you’d pray every day for his safety as much as I do too. Liesl’s love of animals has taken her on to college and into the Veterinarian Tech. program, kind of vet nurses. She loves her job at the animal clinic and is on the dean’s list every term.
The day we buried you I had determined to be so strong…then in the back of church Liesl looked up at me, deaths reality finally hitting her 6 year old mind and she said, “mommy, he is never coming back again is he?” through her tears. Flood gates open, so much for staying strong. I so wished Michael had been ready to play the pipes then. He played them at Grandma’s though, the first great grandchild escorting her out of the church, I know you would have approved.
On Christmas Eve I miss you in the Santa hat, handing out gifts to the many gathered together to celebrate. We still gather but again, it just doesn’t feel quite the same without you there.
I think the thing I miss most is you sharing your knowledge and encouraging me to be the best person I can be in spite of my circumstances. I taught my kids the things you taught me, like if you don’t have anything nice to say it isn’t necessary to say anything at all. I have no idea if it is where you first heard it, but after seeing it in the movie, Bambi, I started calling it the Thumper rule. I also taught them not to judge others and to always give the benefit of the doubt. I always knew I could come to you with any problem I was having and you’d have advice and wisdom to share that when pondered would help.
I am SO missing you right now, and wish so much I could have just 10 minutes with you again to ask for your knowledge. My heart is in so many pieces and while I do have mostly great days and focus on the silver lining in the storm clouds currently swirling in my life, there are just those times when I wonder, “what would Fred say?” and I try to imagine. I sometimes go to the cemetery and just sit by your stone and talk to you, wishing you could hear and answer. I know I will get through this, I am your granddaughter and my mother’s daughter, it is what we do. I just wish so much you were here to talk too. Oh and I know you’d get a huge kick out of the Diva Den/Princess Palace and completely give your blessing to us women in the family pulling together to take care of each other this way.
I will always be thankful for the special relationship that we had because I was the first grandchild and we shared a birthday. I will always be thankful you were here with us for so long, in sound mind and body until the end, that my children had the rare blessing of knowing their great-grandparents. We’re back to 3 generations on holidays, but soon enough one of the great-grandkids will have children of their own and I know from somewhere up above you’ll lean over to Grandma and say “look what we started”.
I never thought it could still hurt so much after so long, and yet here I am in tears again that you are gone.
I miss you, Grandpa.
*photo credit: Salvatore Vuono – Freedigitalphotos.net
**This blog was inspired by writing prompt #31 from Mama Kat**
This is one of those blogs that will be filled with seemingly random, short thoughts I’m having tonight. Nothing spectacular just this and that.
I love Fridays, nothing beats a productive week at the office. I placed 180+ follow up calls to potential customers this week, scheduled jobs of all sorts for my sub contractors and did a few dozen follow up letters. There are countless other administrative duties to go with being production manager, all of which I actually enjoy. And come Friday I feel I’ve earned the 2 days off to relax. I enjoy the job and really enjoy my boss too. He isn’t in often but we are constantly in touch either on texts or the phone between his appointments. We seem to have a good working relationship and chemistry which helps a lot!
My baby tried again to keep me from leaving for work this morning, this time by sitting on my stuff on my bed and looking up at me all adorable like and meowing. It failed but I do have to admit it was very cute!
One of the coolest part about living with my mom, sis and nieces is the bonding that is taking place between me and my baby sister (who likely just cringed because she is 40 years old and probably not happy about being called the baby sister). With 6.5 years between us we weren’t real close when she was growing up. Our interests were very different and it wasn’t until we were both adults with babies on the way at the same time that we really started to flesh out some sort of sisterly relationship. Texting, emails, and IMs helped us to keep that going over the years since and I’m thankful for those technical helps. While we have had our rough spots over the years I’ve always admired her. She got through college to be a nurse while a single mom of one. Then went back to school to get her masters in finance while single mom to 2 teenage girls. She worked her tail off and is the only one of us to finish college and I’m very proud of her for that, it is no small accomplishment. Like anyone she has a slate of mistakes in life and skeletons in her closet though like me she tends to just leave those on the couch in full view rather than hide them. We both prefer to skip the trip around the bush and just be direct with people about who we are, it works better. She has been one of my cheerleaders in life and that has always been a huge help. She is one of the most generous souls around, always doing sweet things for others to encourage them or make their day, often spending money she really doesn’t have because she is so giving and wants those she cares about to be happy. Her heart is many times bigger than most and far exceeds her bank account but she cannot help it, she is other oriented to a fault and I’d far rather that be the case than the opposite. She is passionate about those things she stands for and very protective over her family. Don’t cross one of us or you’ve crossed her too. And never mess with her daughters, talk about a bear protecting her cubs, she’ll shred you. She and I have a blast doing things together now and I love it, we’re close again and that is the best part of my current living arrangement. I love my sister!
The other great part is being able to share more of my life with my mom. We’re all close to our mom in this family, and I know I talked to mom daily either by phone or text for years. But living with her rocks. My mom is a pretty hip lady and open minded. She is much more tech savvy than she realizes. Few folks in her age range will mess with a computer, and yet she is very into her PC and she can text on her cell and keep up with most anyone doing it. Mom goes out of her way for others often and she too is fiercely protective over those she loves. I wouldn’t piss her off she’ll become your worst nightmare. Accepting that she won’t be around forever is hard, so I’m blessed to be able to share a home with her and enjoy times with her. I loved last Friday when we had dinner out together then went shopping. She is always ready to give advice if we ask but she rarely gives it unsolicited, she respects each of us as individuals and doesn’t interfere with what we do in our lives. The older I get the smarter she gets! I love my mom!
I saw a Tweet about the library summer reading program the other day and checked it out. Not sure when they started including all age groups but now, no matter your age, they are encouraging folks to read! Not hard to do for me I LOVE to read. I am not into heavy books, I like novels, biographies and such but nothing too deep. I suggested the entire Diva Den should sign up and everyone is on board! I’m not a big TV watcher for the most part, so this should be easy. If you are interested the link is: http://cincinnatilibrary.org/news/2010/summerreadingkickoff.html . I thank mom for encouraging us to develop a love for reading! I remember spending summers on the front porch curled up in a chair with a good book for days at a time. My son is a reader like me, my daughter only if it is a book that really grabs her (Harry Potter and Twilight books are her big favorites). I get addicted to books easily though and have to be careful or I’ll sit up all night lost in the pages.
I’ve been holding off on meeting new guys and hanging out, figuring it is more respectful to wait until the divorce is final. I’ve recently decided that I need to ease into it now. I have had several guys I’ve known for a while ask me to go out for dinner or drinks and I keep saying no. Maybe it is time to venture out a bit now and not worry about the divorce being final. There won’t be a rebound guy, my heart will NOT be involved. I am simply going to seek out some friends to do things with and benefits with a select few won’t be ruled out. Don’t be shocked, I’m 47 years old and have needs and way beyond the stage in life of no kissing on the first date.
I am going to start a detailed bucket list. I saw the movie The Bucket List and LOVED it. It is worth the time to watch. My thought is why wait until I’m ‘dying’ to get around to it? Since the objective is things I want to do before I die I prefer to get a head start on it all, why not do and enjoy the listed things now while I’m healthy and can do things much more easily than I will when older or not well. When that is a bit more detailed I will post it, maybe some of my readers can help me accomplish some of the items.
Well it is late and I am tired. My little Pixel already is crashed in her bed sleeping, she played hard tonight and the little baby is just too tired. She fell asleep sitting on the steps, and now she is curled up in her bed under my t-shirt. She climbed up the side of my bed looking for a place to sleep but it isn’t turned down yet so she crashed in her own bed. I’m hoping she lets me sleep a bit more tonight, it’s like having a human baby the way she wakes up and needs food then her litter box.
Everyone have a wonderful weekend!