Friday, July 18, 2014
The few, the proud, the Marines. I have heard it a million times, and so have you. I have had friends that were Marines, dated a Marine for a heartbeat, and have always fully supported all branches of our military. But Marines are my favorite. Navy boys are right up there with them, talked to a few of them as well in my younger years. In the end, the USMC Summer Dress Uniform wins hands down as the single hottest uniform on the planet! Nothing like a man who lays down his very life for our country, defends our freedom, is a trained, well oiled machine, is that awesome with guns, and looks like that when they attend formal occasions! Pschew!
Now I am a very happily married gal, and Hubbie the Dearest thinks my fascination is adorable. He knows that I am his through and through. I think it is cute that he likes to look at pretty women and bikinis. We are that comfortable in our relationship, and both appreciate beauty, and often together.
With that being said, the Marines are calling and I must go. Tomorrow evening, we will find ourselves at a wedding smack dab in the middle of the largest military installation on the east coast, Camp Lejune, in North Carolina. At a USMC wedding. His sister will be marrying her marine.
If anyone needs me, I will be the redhead in a sundress with her family, on the brides side, drooling, in a diaper, looking a little glazed over. I will be in heaven! I usually cry at weddings, but I have a feeling that tomorrow, I will have to be carried out of there! I am also a chatty cathy type, but again, tomorrow I fear I will be in a red, white, black and blue induced coma! I will be the silent one with her legs crossed, trying to color with her 5yo at the kiddie table. Trying my damndest to keep my eyes on that picture I will be so fervently trying to color with my daughter, to keep her from asking why I am glazed and drooling again! Thank Goodness HTD will be there to drag me around and poke me when speaking is necessary! ERMAGERD!
If there is a receiving line....oh dear! Shaking hands with all those beautiful creatures, I will either have a heart attack, trip from staring too long, or not let go. I will be the next Melissa McCarthy character in her next upcoming film, 'How to Survive a Marine Wedding'! Thank goodness I will have my hubbie's hand to hold on one side, and my 5yo's on the other!
And I have no idea if there is dancing! Please God, hear my prayer, let there be no dancing! I am letting you know up front, there will be no controlling my hips when in a room full of USMC testosterone in dress uniforms. Perfect specimans that will be perfectly behaved in those white pants! Oh the white pants, just....pschew the white pants, and those jaw lines. Thank goodness I am not a guy, where my, shall we call it, edginess? Is not on full display. Hubbie the Dearest will get the biggest kick out of seeing me so , ahem, happy! Thank God for the man I married! And for his appreciation of my appreciation of our beautiful, hard working boys in uniform. OMG, does this make me a cougar? ACK! I, in three weeks, will be old enough to be some of their mothers. Okay, maybe that's the route I will take to survive this wedding! I could be their mother, I could be their mother.....I can look but I will not touch!(see receiving line paragraph above)
I WILL BE IN HEAVEN! Do you hear me? HEAVEN!
I will have to write a post wedding update letting you all know how it went! Oh but wait ! There is more! After that, whilst HTD goes back to work, my father . baby and I will be going to Virginia Beach for another vacation. Do you know what that means? Navy boys, lots and lots of Navy boys, and maybe a few marines. Beach, beach filled with armed services beauty, and me in my sunglasses taking it all in, while ahem, reading my book! Eye candy overload! Roll me over and stick a fork in me I will be done, do you hear me? Done! Le sigh...life is rough! Keep me in your prayers!
So to all my Marines and Navy boys past and present, that have touched my life in any way, I salute you!
To R and N, Congratulations! We love you!
**No actual upcoming Melissa McCarthy movies about Marines
Thursday, July 3, 2014
I miss you. I still miss you so much it hurts, when I let it. I have kept my promise. I have taken care of Daddy. We have turned travel into our way of bonding and making new memories. We stay busy in the summer traveling, and we have gotten as close as you, my baby and I were. We are still not whole and will never be again without you. But we are OK. There are still the days when my baby asks why her granny had to die and leave her. I cuddle her and try my best to explain it to her. I made a promise to you that I would never let her forget you, and I haven't, but the days that she asks me to tell her a granny story, because she cannot remember, cut me right to my very soul. I do my best to help her through her grief and be the strong one, and some days I simply cry with her. We have all been tested in the two and a half years since you passed, in various ways, and I am tired. I have had to be strong for every single person in my family, and I am tired. I have had to balance taking care of my husband and our family, and my daddy and our family as well. It is so very hard. The scale tipped in favor of one or the other several times, and I thank god that I have such wonderful, loving, understanding men in my life. It is so hard to juggle family time, dad time, in law time, and not leave someone wanting. We are so blessed with so many that love us, it is just a huge job , trying to take care of the well being of so many. I have a full time job of taking care of my daughter, a part time job, taking care of our family, taking care of daddy, trying to give the extended members of our family face time, and generally trying to keep everybody happy, that I have been exhausted.
I went back to work full time temporarily, Punkin Doo started and finished school, started and finished dance class and her first recital, was on the summer swim team and did well for her first year, and has attended her first musical camp. I have been a homeroom mom, a stage mom, a swim mom, and during every single practice, activity, rehearsal, class party and recital I have wished that you could see her. I know you would be so proud. I miss you mom. All the time. I wish you could be here to share it all with us.
I did not start this out as a boo-hop post, with the intention of crying the entire time, but rather a post to let you know that I am OK. I have submersed myself in busy these last two and a half years. I forced myself to march along for the first year of grief. Then it felt like I had achieved a major invisible milestone in the process, otherwise known as life after mom. Immediately after, two weeks after, I was able to walk again after breaking my leg and my husband left his executive job and we moved back to WV. We have had a full five year old year, and I have loved every minute of it. My greatest joy has been being a mommy, being way to much like you! It has been a rough year and a half in many other ways, we have been tested in almost every other way imaginable, and we have pulled through. We are resilient that man of mine and I. Nana broke her hip and we went to visit. Punk in doo helped her pull through her hip replacement surgery ordeal. I wish you could see her, she is everybody's little sunshine. She is so very many people's reason to smile! She is like us, my baby. Woodall women. A caretaker and a performer that girl!
So in all of the caretaking of everybody else in the last two and a half years, I feel like I lost or forgot myself a little. I was just trying so hard to keep everybody else afloat, I forgot to paddle. So I realized that I love myself, I love ME! In a series of going out for my bff's fortieth birthday bash, lunch with two of my best friends, and the first time having margaritas with my daddy, that I miss me! I am funny dammit! I have rediscovered me, who has been a little lost in the haze of motherhood, family hood, being smothered in a blanket of grief, and having to maintain the best PokerFace in the business in too many areas of my life and walk on tiptoes for too many people. I was always myself with you, and you always reminded me of how wonderful ME was. Well, now it is my job! But you know what? I am fabulous and I am back! I am now fine with taking a me afternoon and crying if I need to, I am fine saying no, I am fine letting people know when they are crossing the line, and I am fine with those family members who have taken it upon themselves to assume fault and cut my father and my immediate family out of their lives. We are down to dad, hub, me and kids, and we are just fine that way. You are in heaven, you and God can work on that family member's issues.
So while I still have all my titles and jobs, I am feeling a little more me than I have in awhile, and I finally had an afternoon to sit down alone, write raw, and pour it all out. I love you more than ever momma, and miss you like crazy. I am getting back to the me you raised!
Love, your daughter
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
As Mother's Day is fast approaching this year, I have found myself reminiscing fondly on some old family traditions. My Mom and Nana were always taken to dinner, or celebrated with cookouts, and both always received flowers. They both loved fresh cut flowers. They did not have to cook and were allowed the opportunity to catch up with their families. To not have to worry over the family meal, as we mothers are want to do, and actually get to enjoy being the center of attention, along with school made trinkets and cards were a perfect way to spend the special day. My mother was a lover of beautiful things, and we loved showering her with presents. To watch her squeal or exclaim with glee and absolute joy at whatever new pretty we had bought just for her, was always so much fun! She was like a kid on Christmas morning! But it wasn't all about the presents. It was all about coming together to spend time together s a family.
Every year the Saturday before Mother's Day was my annual dance recital. The dance instructor gave the mother of each dancer a red rose, and dedicated every performance to his mom and all the moms in the audience. This was a yearly tradition that lasted for ten years. I thought of this the other day as I watched my own daughter dancing, during dance class, getting ready for her first dance recital. A fond memory of the time and money spent on me, out of love all those years. She was always so very proud of me. She would have been so very proud of my little dancer as well.
My mother and I spent several Mother's Days in the hospital. I would read to her, we would visit and chat, and I would bring her all around good cheer and humor. That is what I became to my mother in the end, her lifeline of hope and laughter. It was my job to cheer her up. I was her unflappably sunny girl who helped convince her to hang in there and to never give up, even in her weakest moments. In her private moments of despair, she turned to me, and I was her reassurance and her safe place. I was the one who would listen without judging or lecturing. I was glad to be able to have the opportunity to hang out with my momma for hours on end, by her bedside, even if it was only to listen to the labored sound of her breathing interrupted every so often by her talking in her sleep or the occasional snore. Oh how I wish I could be by her bedside just once more and hold her warm hand in mine. Just one more time to gaze upon her beautiful countenance, bathed in slumber, as I was simply in her presence, near her.
Our last Mother's Day together, was three years ago. It is a day I will never forget. My momma did not feel like going out to eat. She had been in and out of the hospital, she was very sick. She had round the clock care at this time, and so my two and a half year old daughter, husband and I went to be with her for the day. We gave her helpers the day off. I cooked pasta for dinner and we ate. She visited and played with her "doll-baby" as she always called my daughter. We were having a good day, except she did not feel one hundred percent. We enjoyed each other for a few hours and then she became ill.
She did not make it to the bathroom before becoming ill. I felt so bad for cooking pasta that upset her tummy! At this point, I realized that things had really changed. What had started out as small, subtle changes, were now, as of this day, concrete absolutes in my mind. A monumental shift had occurred in our relationship, and I don't know exactly at what point it happened. Had I been in denial?
I was now helping to take care of my mother. I was now her caregiver. Long gone were the days when she had taken care of me, and in were the new days that had positioned me as her caregiver. As I scrubbed my mother, cleaned up the mess, bathed her and dressed her, as she was too weak to do it herself, scrubbed the rugs, floor, carpet, hallway, walls, trash can, and sink, I realized that I would literally do anything on earth for this woman, just as she had done for me. It showed me a new level of my mother's humility in accepting help, and having to depend on me. Never again would I balk at the letters M.R.S.A., if she needed her hair washed, I would make it happen. If she needed help in the hospital to shower and clean up, I was there. She always got so excited when I would help her take a shower, to get "all purtied up" for my daddy. I have never met a woman who liked to smell good, or wear perfume like my mother. She was always so thankful to have me help her, not anyone else. She was more comfortable with me, and that's how it should be.
After I got her all tucked into bed, and my brother arrived to spend some time with her, I gave her the biggest hug and told her that I loved her. My baby came in to say goodbye, and then we got ready to leave. She kept trying to apologize to me, and I wouldn't hear of it. I told her that was my job, that she wiped my butt for years and now it was my turn! I have never been a squeamish person, I was raised in a medical family, and it is next to impossible to gross me out. I told her to not speak one more word, that I loved her and I was so sorry she was sick on Mother's Day! I loved her so much, and with everything I had in me, I put that into my smile, hugs and kisses that day.
I cried the entire way home. The baby fell asleep in the carseat, and I sobbed and sobbed. I think for the first time, I let myself see how bad off my mother really was. I let the realizations sink in, where before I just always kept up the good and positive attitude fight, and trudged along. After staring my mother's poor hemorrhoids in the face that day, I had my breaking point. There was no longer any hiding from it, or remaining in denial. I went to bed bawling my eyes out
One of my favorite memories along those lines, is an ordinary day when I helped her to get a shower in the hospital. I remember taking a giant 7-11 heavy plastic cup to rinse her hair with. She was moaning in the shower it felt so good to her, to have a hot shower! She was not strong enough to rinse her hair, so I rinsed her hair free of soap, and helped her wash her legs and feet. I handed her washrags, and shampoo, and towels. In a lifetime of memories, it is this one that strangely brings me the most comfort. It is the small things like a shower, that most of us take for granted.
So from my worst but strangely cathartic Mother's Day story to my other Ma Day ramblings, Kiss your mamma's! You never know!
Happy Mother's Day to all!
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Anywhoo...I am going to share my latest super stealth ninja tale with you.
As moms and stepmoms, we are always checking up on our children. Are we not ladies? Right. So I was checking out the new website and business my 21 year old started with another guy. I wanted to see who she had went into business with. I checked out their sight, and clicked on him to view his stats. I looked up on FB cause, you know, mom-nosey, and okay. Didn't seem to be a serial stalker, pedophile, etc. I inadvertently clicked send a friend request. Whoopsie! I thought no biggie, he does not know me, he will disregard the request.
Rewind to family Christmas party. My 21 year old, Sisse the Eldest, snuggles up to me on the couch and waxes poetic for a few, and then starts talking about how excited she is about the new joint art venture. She asks me if I know a Mr. Innocent until Proven Guilty. I thought for a moment and answered honestly by saying no. She then, after leading me down the path, pounces, and informs me I have sent him a friend request. I did? She tells me he is the guy who is her partner in her new joint art website venture. Oooooohhhhh, it's all coming back to me now. I explained to her how I was checking out the dude she was in business with. I fessed up that I must have accidentally sent him a friend request. Okay no big deal.
Apparently I freaked her and him both out by sending him a friend request because unbeknownst to me, they had the beginnings of a budding romance. Aha! They both thought I was the scary psycho super sneaky ninja sleuth stepmom, stalking her stepdaughter's next boyfriend. Bahaha! Silly little old goofy sweet airheaded me? Never! Aw shucks!
Fast forward to Monday night. There was a terrible wind storm. It blew our screen door off the hinges! So I was awake from 1:30-4AM. I decided to follow Sisse the Eldest's advice and check out their website again, and sign up to sell some photos I had taken, on their website. I click around and check out the links and artists signed up with them, and I wanted to see if STE had her cell phone number listed on the sight, or if it was his number. I clicked call. You know how the call button usually displays the number, and you then have to select 'call' to actually call the number? Not this time. It called whatever number was listed. SHIT! Damn! Fu@%! I start to freak out because the phone will not let me hang up! Crap! And they have my number! My cover is about to be blown! It is 3:30 in the morning, and I just probably called the now-boyfriend. Hubbie the Dearest and Lil Punkin Doo are asleep, and if I speak, it will wake them both up. Then I will have to explain myself and my boyfriend cyber-stalking to everybody! AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH! I am in full on panic mode in 5 seconds!
So I do the only other thing I think to do, I turn my phone off. Sigh of relief. She is going to kill me in the morning. Maybe just maybe their phones were on vibrate! So I send Sisse the Eldest a message, letting her know that it was me who just accidentally called them. Yes, yes it was me, as I was checking out the website , like she had recommended. Mr. Innocent Until Proven Guilty has kids, so I was praying that I did not wake them. Crap. I swear I have cyber-technical Tourette's. Any time I am oh you know, checking out potential significant other candidates on my own, on every social media outlet known to man, I inadvertently hit call, friend, or whatever button that says "let them know you are the scary super stalker ninja sleuth stepmom" that your kid warned them about! Sigh.
So she explained to him that I was the super sweet, funny, airheaded, at times ditzy, goofball fun one stepmom! The alternate personality worked again! Pschew! Now we will not mention the high school MySpace and journals that started all this super secret stalking stepmom alternate personality....some methods need kept secret. Wink! Every mom needs to keep tabs on and check out what their kids are up to and into. Good parenting practice. At 3:30am-great parenting. That takes dedication!
Friday, March 21, 2014
Tears of Hope; Nefeterius and Taitlyn
You can also find these special ladies, Nefeterius Akili McPherson, and Taitlyn Shae Hughes, and their story on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/#!/livertransplant, and http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Taitlyn-Hughes/132186980221999.
I can honestly say this story touched my heart, as my mother needed a kidney transplant before her death. She never received her transplant because she was not healthy enough for the surgery. Kudos to this twelve year old who was wise beyond her years in choosing to become an organ donor, and to make a difference and save lives. Kudos to this young woman who is honoring her donor, by keeping her dreams to make a difference alive. This kind of story is few and far between. It gives me hope in this day and time in which we are living. This young girls hope and dreams to change the world, and the recipients thankfulness, drive, and dedication to see that her donor's dreams come true, is truly inspiring. The world needs more people like these remarkable ladies! Happy heartwarming reading!