Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can We Skip Tomorrow?

   I want to skip tomorrow.  I am heartbroken.  Tomorrow is my 38th birthday.  It will be the first birthday in my life, that I will not hear happy birthday come from my mother's lips.  From the one person who loved me best in all the world, no matter what.  I do not care if I ever celebrate another birthday .  It will never be the same, ever again.  It was always a celebration of me, between me and my mother.  A celebration of us.  Of how close we were, and how special we were to each other.  We always relived funny memories, and she would tell me stories of when I was little.  Funny and cute things I did.  The bond of us, that no one else in the world understood.  I know that she is in a better place with no more pain, yada, yada,yada, but I want her BACK.  I called to maybe get a little piece of her back, to clean out her storage unit, per my father, and was informed that the contents were sold at auction in January.  They did not have a current phone number for any contact on the account.  Just frikkin great.  Just what I needed to hear when it has been all I can do to keep from a full out crying jag the last three days.  So I sit here with tears pouring unchecked down my face, during my daughter's nap time.  Here is a picture of my parents and my daughter.  This was taken the day we went shopping for my daughter's birthday presents.(her birthday is a week after mine)
   I spent the majority of my birthday last year with my mother, my daughter, my father, and my husband. My brother and sister in law were there as well.  We did not know it at the time, but they were already expecting  their first child.  I am also dreading my daughter's birthday and birthday party for the same reason.  It will be the first birthday of my daughter's that her Granny has not celebrated with her.  It will be an awesome party for her, and I will of course be the proud mama, but someone will be missing.  I know some of you may think I am being silly.  My mother always made birthdays special,  Big celebrations, parties, and mama and me time just to remind you how special you were, in case you forgot.  I had the best mother in the world. She made birthdays your special day.  Everything had to be perfect!  It doesn't seem nearly so special this year without her.
   I am heartbroken.  My mother in law is coming to Kentucky for a girls shopping day.  She knows it's gonna be a rough one, because she told my husband that she wants to take me shopping like my mom used to do .  At least I can cry with her.  Bless her heart, she has been there almost every month on the anniversary of my mother's death, the twenty second.  She has been my grief's sounding board.  It has gotten a little bit easier month after month, so at least I don't cry every month on the exact day anymore.  Thank God for her.  She worries about everybody just like my momma did.  She is gonna do her best to keep me busy, and my mind off of why this year is different.  It just sucks so badly.
   You never think about your mother dying.  Even if you did, you could never fathom what this loss is like.  The best way to describe it, is to compare it to one of those nightmares that everybody has, about someone close to you dying.  It is like you are in a waking dream, and you experience every minute of the dream just like its real.  Then whatever happens to the loved one, happens, and you either scream noooooooo, or start crying immediately, and wake up either screaming or in tears.  You sit straight up in bed, and panic, and have to check on or call the loved one you just dreamed about.  Then thankfully, they are okay, and you lay back down.  Except I cannot wake up from this.  She is gone forever.  Most days I am great at dealing, remembering the good memories, and compartmentalizing the pain.  I even went off of my anti-depressants two and a half months ago.  It doesn't get easier, you become better at compartmentalizing the all consuming grief. But now, the closer we get to the day she birthed me, I just cannot keep it in.  The day that God gave me the most wonderful person in the world to be my mother, and the day her little dream came true, 38 years ago. The one person in the world who I shared the true significance of the day of my birth with, is gone. I miss her like crazy.  Every second of every day.  But today I am going to cry until I am all cried out, like the song says.  Maybe I will feel better tomorrow, after getting it all out today.  I will be fine, and when my daughter wakes up, I will pull my big girl panties back up, and clean up the mess.  I just wish tomorrow was leap year, and we could skip it altogether.  Ah well, life goes on. It changes, but it goes on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Reunion Review

We came.  We saw.  We kicked ass(es), namely our own.  We Partied like it was 1992(ouch)!  The George Washington High School Class of 1992, 20 year Reunion.  I think everyone had a good time.  It was great to see all the old faces from our collective past, and catch up on where life has taken everyone.
    I chatted with several people that I now have many things in common with, that in high school, I did not.  I reminisced with my old school Kenna Elementary kids, about old times and growing up together.   I chatted with good friends about seeing everyone.  I had a few drinks, a little food, and watched the slide show full of pictures from then to now.  It was nice to see how much everyone has grown, and how far we have all come.  It was nice to hear of accomplishments and families.  It was nice to hear that people actually read and like this blog! I am just kidding...but not really.
    When I began anticipating my reunion attendance, I wondered what to expect.  I mainly wanted to go to see my friends and people I grew up with.  I, as were we all, a little excited and a little nervous about seeing all of the people from high school.  I wondered if  "the popular crowd" would still act like "the popular crowd" 20 years later, or if they had evolved into caring, welcoming, human beings as grown ups.  I wondered if the "keg party" good old boys would be the same.  I wondered if all the success that our graduating class has generated went to their heads, or made them humble and thankful. I think we had a little bit of all of the above.
     One thing I did not have to think twice about was my friends and the people I grew up with since we were in the second grade.  Angie, Lesley, Shannon, Jeff, and Michael.  You guys were exactly the same! Good people.  Friendly people.  People that I grew up with. We shared chubby cheeks and bad perms, zits and tits, romances and bromances. From nursing management and pharmaceutical sales, to eye surgery,  and from local businesses to stay at home moms, we have become a diversified group.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing and talking to each and every one of you!  I enjoyed meeting all of the signifigant others as well, except for Mike, you cougar, you!  Jeff had an excellent point, that I am still left wondering about.  All of you Kenna Kids will enjoy this, why in elementary school, did they segregate lunch time? Do you remember the "cold-lunch" kids being forced to sit on one side of the cafeteria, and the "hot lunch" kids being forced to sit on the other side? Yeah, right.  I cannot figure it out either!  Maybe if someone has Ms. Wounaris on their friends list, she could shed some light! Thanks Jeff for the now ever present question.  Precisely how long has it been driving you nuts?
    I also had a ball catching up with my girls! Angie and Debbie I had a ball at lunch! I miss seeing you guys since I moved to Kentucky! It was also great seeing Randy, Missy, Wendy, Kristi, Laura, Tara, Jerry, Donn, Sherrie, Amy, Alison and Ken, Eric, Rob, and chatting with you all! Eric and Jeff, I absolutely loved your girlfriend and wife respectively! They were both dolls!  I know I missed some people, so do forgive me in advance!
    My husband's question was, having went to a different high school, who regarded us the "snobs", the rich kids, the uppity bunch, why in the world did we have to share lockers?  I suppose all around the Kanawha Valley of W Va, kids had their own lockers.  I guess this question came up when I introduced him to my locker partner, Missy. Another interesting question.  I am assuming that there weren't enough lockers for each their own.
    I want to thank my spouse, and all of the spouses and significant others that put up with us this weekend.  Thank you for humoring us!  Many of you did and or do not understand the pull for us to go to our reunion.  We went to high school in a very special place.  We shared a very special time in our lives. GWHS was a high school like no other.  It bred excellence.  Patriot Pride is special.  I still get a warm fuzzy feeling when I think about how special it is to be a GWHS graduate.  Whether you were a popular kid, on the track and cross country teams, a softball kid, a tennis or soccer kid, an art kid, a band geek, a baseball or football player, on the volleyball team, or academic decathlon team member, we all had the pride.  We had an exceptional principal who cared about each and every one of us.  I know I was proud when Mr. Lohan always showed up to every band concert, competition, and football game.We had a teacher staff who cared about our success.  We had a special schedule that matured us and prepared us for college from the tenth grade forward, and for life.  GWHS was a special place for us.  We also witnessed the pointless murder of a classmate together, at our senior skip day celebration.  That is something that changes you.  We all went through the National Enquirer scandal together.  Especially the band kids. "Band Director Arrested for Bank Robbery at Lunchtime."  We also have all had the question at one time or another,"Did you go to school with Jennifer Garner?" Yes, but she was two years older.  So we have all been through some extraordinary events together, as well as a shared high school history.  We all have common memories, as well as our own.  I can ramble on about memories all day long, but I can tell you we had an exceptional school and staff.  My oldest went to Nitro High School, and she did not have the caliber of teachers that I had.  There was not a school pride or the camaraderie that we had at GWHS.  I mean seriously, we had one of the worst football teams around(sorry guys), but we all still showed up every Friday night, to cheer on our fellow classmates!  The players still held up there #1 fingers in pictures, and we were proud as heck of our boys.  We were proud to be from the Hill! One of cheerleader cheers was, "We are the Hill, and your not!" When we told someone where we went to school, you could stand back and watch their reaction.  It was THE high school to attend.  I am trying to explain why we all felt the pull to go to reunion, but I cannot explain.  If you were a part of it, then you understand.  If you weren't one of us, it is hard to explain.
    My husband was talking to someone and jokingly said, "I see you don't have a badge, so your not one of them?"  that pretty much sums it up.  As my hilarious father put it, there are two kinds of people. The wine and cheese crowd and the keg party crowd.  GWHS was the wine and cheese crowd versus the keg party crowd, that are most high schools. I found this too funny as well as true. My best friend from college, Julie, had her Woodrow Wilson 20 year High School Reunion the same night.  They rented a bar the first night. And had a live band with dancing at a country club the second night.  They actually danced!  We had a mini-sternwheeler ride the first night, and a cocktail party on the Charleston Tennis Club lawn and in the clubhouse the second night.  Okay, I give up! Daddy, your right!  We are the wine and cheese crowd.  I personally like both! I can put on my refined, sophisticated, lady panties when I need to, and party like a rockstar at the good old country boy get togethers too!
  In review, I think everybody had a great time.  I was most impressed with a few quiet shy people that grew up and came out of their shells.  Several former shy people, made everyone feel quite welcome! Me included! I chatted with quite a few people who I was not particularly close to in high school.  Everybody grows up and most of us lose the people "comfort zone."  Some people actually tried to step outside the box with me, but had a little difficulty.  Props to them for trying, I have faith that by 25 or 30 year reunion, you might master the art of conversation with everybody.  Then you had the same old people that hung out with the same old people.  I was a sometimes quiet, shy good girl in high school. (At least for those who did not know me well...hah!) Although I cannot to seem to ever remember myself shutting up for long.  I have grown into a people person, and can make conversation with anybody, about anything.  Even if I do not care for them.  Some people I am sad to say, as reported by several friends, have never come out of their shell.  Some still cannot step outside their "clique-y" high school comfort zones, or just are elitist enough to just not want to, or care.  I guess some things or people never change. Didn't bother me, I had a ball!  I did not get a chance to say hello to and chat with everybody that was in attendance.  If I missed you, I apologize! Hope everybody has recuperated by now! We are not as young as we once were!
    In closing I would like to thank those that worked so hard on our 20 year reunion. Kristy, Wendy, Debbie, Lee, Maryclaire, silent donors for the open bar, anyone on the reunion committee that I may have missed, Thank you! You gave up hours away from your families to plan our reunion, and we all appreciate you and all your hard work!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Freaking Fabulous

Today I am going to write about love.  Unconditional love.  My oldest daughter, who is 20, in the last two weeks has had her car broken into, and her purse stolen.  The culprits got her license, registration, social security card, debit card, and all the cash and gift cards that she had just received for her birthday, out of her purse.  Needless to say, she is having a crappy adulthood so far.  The oldest daughter had promised the youngest daughter, who is almost 4, to take her to see a movie.  Big Sissy had to cancel her little sissy date because of the theft, and how her days off happened to fall that particular week.  She had to go to the DMV twice, to get all of her document and ID's reissued, because without ID, it is like an act of congress to get anything that has been stolen, reissued at the DMV.
     She, exactly one week later, just picked up her little sister for their date.  The little sister was so excited!  She was excited that her big sister thought she was special enough, to drive to Kentucky from West Virginia, just to take her on their "sissy date."  This is a shining example of having family at the top of your priority list.  I am so proud of my oldest daughter.  Proud that the thefts did not knock her down, that she kept her chin up and kept on going.  Proud that she is such a loving, caring human being.  She is not my biological daughter, but she is mine.   She is a daughter of my heart.  She was the first one I got the privilege of practicing parenting skills on, she was the trial and error child(just ask her about the birds and the bees conversation), and she and I have had our ups and downs like any parent and child.  I feel like I had some small part in the beautiful woman she is becoming.  She has always had the biggest heart in the world.  She used to say when she was 10 or 11, that she and her cousin were going to adopt all of the starving kids in the world.  She has a heart big enough to do just that, when she gets a little older.  My heart bursts with pride and joy that she is such a loving young lady, because she has seen more than her share of adversity and heartbreak in her young life.  I am so very proud of her I could just burst!
     I just want her to know how very much I love her, and how very proud of her I am.  I am so very proud of her for making her little sister and our family a priority.  When most kids her age are in college, partying, etc., she is a full time manager of a local retail store, makes her family a priority, and still has time for the other people and passions in her life.  She makes time to drive an hour and a half to take her baby sister to a movie and lunch, what 20 year old does that? Seriously? She is a published writer, and an excellent artist.  She is witty, kind, loving, sweet, compassionate, dedicated, devoted to those she loves, intelligent, and hilarious.  She makes me the proudest "Ginger" ever. (She has always called me by my name, because when she was small, 'mom' had a bad connotation associated with it.)  I cannot express all of my love for this wonderful child on paper.  She always remembers birthdays, mother's day, writes me very eloquent letters expressing her love and gratitude for me, even from a young age, I mean come on, what mother wouldn't die for those?  They are some of my most cherished possessions!  I love her so very much!
     I am so very blessed to have this child in my life.  The picture above is when she was 11. The second one is an example of the unconditional love she has for her little sister. Taking the time to explain something to her. She will always be my beautiful little girl, not the grown up others see.  My partner in crime tickling her daddy, putting sticky creepy crawly things above the bed with her brother, to scare her father and I in the middle of the night, trying on her first formal dress, her first marching band performance and every one thereafter, her church plays, her school plays, trick or treating when she was a teenager, her first love and heartbreak, her first slumber party on the boat, and so many other cherished memories!  I am so glad that she loves her little sister so very much!  My littlest one is lucky to have such an awesome big sister!  I just wanted to share with you, and her, how very special she is to me, her father, her baby sister, and all those who know and love her!  It is always nice to hear how awesome someone thinks you are, especially when your hit with so much unpleasantness all at once.  So, I am taking this opportunity to tell the world how freaking fabulous my 20 year old is, and how grateful I am that she is mine!  I love you to pieces Alexandra Kyle Harris! And if you feel like a little zombie reading, here is the link to her current blog...The Undead Journals.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thank You Nelson Henson and the 8th ESB

Today is a happy day. I figured out how to connect the dvd player and tv all on my own! Go me!  I am so tickled with myself!  I am smarter than the electronics! So I go to post about my achievement on facebook, in a self-depreciating kind of way, when I start scrolling, I see them.  Those posts that drive me bonkers!  You all know the ones I am talking.  The ones you normally scroll through, and turn a blind eye to.  The save this dog, and save these cats if you do not go to the pound and rescue them.  The abortion ones that try to persuade you to one side or the other's cause.  Today I wanted to read about people's lives, what is going on with my friends, share my major electronic accomplishment, and bam!  There is this dog dominating my FB feed.  Lennox.  Who the fric is Lennox?  Why do I care?  I mean come on, my husband's sister's new husband is deployed, and I see a thousand posts about a dog I don't know?  Come on, In my book soldiers come first, and I do not see anything regarding them dominating my feed everyday.  It's just like religion, I do not want to be visually persuaded to join your side of the argument, or your cause.  My beliefs are my beliefs, and I do NOT feel the need to persuade the world to jump on board with me, or jump on over to the side that is persuading!  I have no need or desire to see an abortion post with a baby or more graphic post trying to persuade me to see things their way, whether I already do or not.  It bothers me greatly.  I do not want to start my morning with almost dead martyr dogs and dead babies!  So in my personal protest of all things I would rather not see on Facebook, I am posting the kind of thing I would like to see more of!  Sacrifice.  For you, for me, for their country, and at a great personal cost.  Thank you to the families supporting these brave soldiers! Thank you gentleman of the 8th ESB currently in Afghanistan.  Thank you for your service and your sacrifice!