Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Will it Really Help?

Whenever my husband leaves, I am filled with anxiety. I stress about my children, my husband's safety, money, the smells of my car, the noises that any normal house makes and every other little thing under the sun. I hate having all these worries and the feeling that they never go away.
Yesterday my garage door opener went on the blink. Apparently when installed it was never lined up properly and now, fixing it, is going to take my step dad and I several hours later today. Why can't shit just work properly? I mean, is that really so much to ask??
I'm tired of being grateful that I am good with a screwdriver. I'd rather just not have these things go wrong in the first place. Sure it will get fixed, but in the meanwhile, it is just going to give me something else to worry about. Now my heat makes a terrible noise every time one of the zones goes on and I hate that. I worry that the machine isn't working right - why do I always feel like I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop? I hate feeling like chicken little and that the sky is falling. It's a terrible way to live your life.
A friend of mine suggested keeping an anxiety journal, you know writing down all the things that I am worried about. I somehow suspect that it would get awfully long very quickly. I will try anything if it would mean being about to put some of these worries to rest, but I wonder if it will help?

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Gift of ONE MORE DAY....

"I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way. "
Yes, this morning I am grateful for the most precious of all gifts. The gift of ONE MORE DAY. One more chance to tell the people that I love how I feel about them. I know that there are so many out there that don't have this gift, so I could never justify taking this one for granted.
This morning I got to feel my husbands warm arms around me, feel his heartbeat against mine and whisper in his ear how much I love him. I was able to look into those big brown eyes and tell him how proud I am of him. I know what a precious gift this is. I know if tomorrow never comes I was able to say it ONE LAST TIME....
I am thankful for the ability to wake up my children this morning. I will look into their smiling faces, get their good mornings kisses, and have one more day to tell them how they each are the light of my life. Without my children, I would be nothing more than a shadow wandering hopelessly through life. They are my joy, my inspiration, they are my immortality. This morning I get to tell them how proud I am of them, how much joy they have brought to my life. As I do, I will thnk of those that can't do the same, and I will hug my children all the tighter as I thank the goodness of the universe for just ONE MORE DAY.
Today both my mom and dad are still with me. I still have time to say thank you for all they have given me in my life. I can tell them that I love them and I can listen to all their life stories..... I still have time to absorb their wisdom. I still have ONE MORE DAY.
ONE MORE DAY is the greatest gift that I will ever get, aside from the love of my family. Who do you have that chance for one more day with today? What will you do to make the most of it?
Thank you so much for my chance for one more day....
Godsped ~ Fair winds and a following sea....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Struggling to find my balance.

So here we go again. Husband here. Husband gone. I swear that I am the equivalent of a human yo- yo. I'm so tired of it. I hate the emotional ups and downs. Even worse, this time, departure day coincided with my periods arrival. Nice, huh? I feel like I am emotionally spiraling out of control and I am really struggling to get back some sense of balance. I hate feeling like I'm ok only to have the rug pulled out from under me.

I hate it when my husband leaves. It's like watching teh world go two shades of grey darker only to wait some untold amount of time for the sun to come back. I know that sounds pathetic, but it's how I feel. Yes, I have my life and it goes on when he isn't here, but nothing is the same without him.

Still, trying to focus.

So there are 30 days from today until Thanksgiving. I can't tell you how I am looking forward to Thanksgiving! Every year my daughter and I write a Thanksgiving journal. That's 30 entries - one for each day - of something different that we are thankful for. I hope that trying to approach life with a more grateful heart will help me find the peace of self and balance that I am looking for.

Ok, so today, in another forum I wrote a post about how I was thankful for my husband and all he does for our family. It was a beautiful post but since I am already all teary, I just can't go there again.

Let's think of something else. I am thankful for my beautiful home. As I walk from room to room, it fills me with pride and a sense of security, warmth and happiness. For the past year, my family has filled this home with love and happy memories and I am so grateful for that. I am grateful that my daughters have a home that they can be proud of, that they can be safe.
That's a really important thing to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Lighting a Candle

Well, it has been a little while since I last wrote. I have been a little dink, as they say in the Navy, in regard to my blog here. In my defense, life has been nothing short of insane lately. I don't really know why, I have just been feeling the stress. I hate the way that feels.

One thing that has really been the light in the darkness for me lately is volunteering every Friday at my daughter's school. I was asked by the teacher to help the children every Friday with Writer's workshop. What could possibly be better? I read all their stories and then make suggestions for more detail, clarification, and editing that needs done. It fills my heart with joy to see their faces when I walk into the room. The literally light up! Their smiles and their enthusiasm is so contagious!!

I usually work with 6-10 children a week, depending on how much work there is to be done. it's incredible how vibrant their imaginations are!!! Given the same set of words that they must use, and a specific story title, it is awesome how all of their stories are so unique - just like each one of them. Each story that I read reflects a bit of each child - their interests, their abilities, their lives - it's all there in black and white. I can tell you that Nathan likes soccer, The Legend of Zelda, camping and reading while Crystalline likes detective stories, reading, animals and mermaids.

Each child writes a story and then, before they come to me, they have to confer with a student partner in class. This can not always be the same person, so the children literally rotate around the room, working with every other person eventually. To see the constructive way that the work together, build one another up and support each other is truly amazing. We adults could learn alot just from watching the way that our children treat one another. Most of the time it is a beautiful thing.

Last week, one of my little girls was upset because she had so many corrections. Her story was incredible, but many of the words she was using were more complex and the corrections were simple spelling errors. I told her that we all have to learn and that we all make mistakes, it was learning from our mistakes that was important. The smile of joy on her face when I said that was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, and then, the most amazing thing of all happened: she hugged me!!

I felt like the Queen of the World in that moment! I could do no wrong. The elation that these children feel and share just to know that an adult - ANY adult - cares about what they are doing and is interested, well, it is simply humbling. It is amazing how one small act of kindness creates a spark inside another person, which, if you are observant, you can watch blaze into a flame. A few minutes of your time, a few words of love, mean so much in the lives of our children. Most importantly, I know my daughter understands and appreciates what I do. IN her reflection sheet last week she wrote," I am happy because my mother is coming into our classroom today for writers workshop. It makes me and all my classmates happy to see her!" Nothing could be better than that!

So today, create a spark, light the flame in the life of another. Whether that other is your child, a neighbor, a friend or a total stranger - acts of kindness and love are a force of energy which once created, only grow and spread.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Facing the Inevitable

There is only two things that are sure in the military - you will move and you will deploy. Ugh. Right now I am facing the inevitable - again - the loss of a friend. It is so hard to move to a strange place, develop a strong connection with another person only to lose them just a short time later. Yet that is what we do every two and a half years or so. It's the part of the military that I like the least. Rationally I realize that when a friend moves, or I do, it doesn't mean that we are no longer friends, but I still miss that person.
I see other women who have lived in the same area all their lives, had the same friends since grade school, and I experience a pang of regret for what my life could have been. I look at their deep roots and it is one of the rare occasions where I feel envy.
Last night I had to say goodbye to another friend. Or at least it was good bye for now. Submarines are a very small community and often you run into the same people over and over again, sometimes whether you want to or not.
I have a coping mechanism that I call "the Scarlett O'Hara" - you know, I won't dwell on that today but I will think about it tomorrow. Sometimes I put facing up to difficult things for so long that I can't put it off any longer. Today is one of those times. I don't want my friend to move, but I know that it will happen whether I want it to or not.
Thank goodness for e-mail!!!!! I don't know what I would do without the Internet and my blog to help me feel connected. So for now, I say fair winds and following seas, until we meet again....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Words as Weapons

Just two little words - they seemed harmless enough - but they were enough to completely devastate a friend of mine. The words were, when asked if her husband had settled when he married her - his response was, " A little...." Needless to say, she was crushed and rightfully so. It's amazing how just a few little words from the one we love can do so much damage.
The other day, I was asking my husband about the things that he wanted to do before he died. I was asked this question on an Internet group and my answers were, in no particular order: watch my children grow up and graduate from high school and college, be a grandmother someday, go back to Ireland, see Scotland and England, go on a cruise to Alaska, swim with the dolphins, renew my wedding vows, celebrate 25 plus years together and write a book. His answers looked very different. Maybe it's a man thing, but his answers were: be an astronaut, be financially independent, and travel more. Now, is it me? Because upon reflecting on my answers and his, I realize that none of his answers involve me. He doesn't need me to achieve any of the things that he would like to do before he dies and this realization made me sad.
Today my friends pain brought me back to a memory that I wish that I could bury forever, never to see the light of day again. My husband and I were arguing. Yes, for those of you who wonder, we do occasionally do that. We were arguing about the thing that we always argue about - our sex life. Too much information, I know. He said some things that night - things that went straight to my heart and etched themselves there. I know that I will never forget them, no matter how much I want too.
That is what hurtful words do. They carve themselves in the heart of your loved one and they stay there forever. Every time your loved one feels doubt, or fear, those words will always be there. No amount of wishing or apologizing will ever make them heal.
A priest once told me to be careful what I said in anger, because words, once uttered could never be taken back. I am still working on that... sometimes I say things in anger that I regret, but I try to never speak in anger. I try.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Imagining Peace

I was ten years old the day that the music died. John Lennon was walking home from recording Double Fantasy. He wanted to see his son Sean before he went to bed. He was a legend, an icon, a hero, a husband and a father. John Lennon was so many things to so many people.

I grew up on the music of the Beatles and later John Lennon. It started with the happy, carefree tunes of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and matured into the lonely strains of "Eleanor Rigby." The music of Lennon and McCartney changed not just a generation - it changed the world. Literally. Their music was a reflection of the times in which they lived, and yet, they always tried to make the world a better place for every human being. This can especially be seen in Lennon's later solo works of "Give Peace a Chance" and the idyllic "Imagine".

Today, John Lennon would have turned 67 years old, but sadly, 27 years ago he was taken from us by a mad man. Thanks to his music though, his legacy lives on and will live on forever. This year, to commerate his birthday, Yoko Ono is unveiling the Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland. This tower is a 65-foot-tall wishing well emitting a blue stream of light into the night sky from an island in Reykjavik's harbor, and the structure is engraved with the words "Imagine Peace" in 24 languages. Yoko Ono invites us all to join her and thousands of others by sending your PEACE WISHES to the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER for October 9th.

A dream you dream alone is only a dream

A dream you dream together is reality

Yoko Ono

Imagine all the people living life in peace.

John Lennon

To send your wishes:Email: click here.Post: IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, P.O. Box 1009, 121 Reykjavik, Iceland.

It is interesting to note that the Peace Tower stands directly between the United States and the former Soviet Union. It will shine as a beacon to all that Peace is possible if we only let it be.... The tower will stand, along with his music and his dreams, as a permanent testimony of John Lennon's dream for all humanity.

"You may say that I'm a dreamer...

But I'm not the only one.

I hope some day you'll join us,

and the world will live as ONE."

Sunday, October 7, 2007

An Interesting Conversation

Every Saturday morning I spend an hour in the waiting room of the ballet studio as my daughter has her dance class. Yesterday my oldest daughter was not with me, but opted instead to stay at home with her Dad - can't say I blame her. My friend, Aileen, is also a Navy wife and her daughter is in the same ballet class with my youngest. So on Saturday mornings we sit and chat about our lives, our cares and concerns. It's nice.
Yesterday she had her younger brother with her. He was spending the weekend to help her out while her husband is deployed. I know Aileen really appreciates it because she has two small children with number three on the way - it gets to be a lot all on your own. Her brother was very nice and we all had an enjoyable time talking.

So as Aileen and I sat there her brother said, " So this is the wife of a Navy life, you sit around, drink your coffee and complain about your lives..." I realize that this is what a lot of people think, but it isn't really realistic. My life is more like dealing with ice storm Bertha and frozen pipes when my husband calls me from port in Hawaii. There are many aspects of it that just aren't fun.

So far this year, my husband will be gone for a minimum of 200 out of 365 days. I'm not complaining- this is what I signed on for - even though I didn't marry a Navy man. I'm simply explaining. Joe, my friend's brother said, " How do you do that? Isn't marriage hard enough without trying to be married to a guy that's gone all the time? I mean, you take care of everything yourself, you don't have someone there to be a companion and more... How do you do that?"

So I thought about it for a minute and then I said, "It's easy. I do it because the three weeks that I get at a time with my husband is better than years that some people have. I do it because he is my love, my partner, the other half of me. There isn't a single vision that I have for my future that he isn't in... so everything else is just getting there." I really mean that. My husband is ( along with my children) my whole world. I am so proud of what he does, the man he is, his love of country, his willingness to serve and sacrifice. All these things are what make him the only man that I want to grow old with. Anything that might be temporary ease of a momentary situation, well, that just isn't worth our life, our love, our family or our future. It's all about the BIG picture.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


My husband's home and you would think that I would be on the top of the world, right? Well, yes.... and no. I am so happy that he's here but every time he comes home, I do feel a gulf of seperation between us. It isn't anything that either one of us creates, it just exits. I don't know how to fix it. Reintergration sucks. Especially when it is so very temporary.

He wasn't home for five hours before he started talking to me about money. I hate talking about money, mostly because it is never a pleasant conversation. But seriously, after being home five hours? Really?? I mean, it's not like there isn't anything else to talk about. He hasn't even wished me happy birthday yet. I mean, he did over e-mail but seriously, not even I'm sorry I missed your birthday. I don't even want to celebrate now. I'm not doing that to be small, I know it may sound that way, but seriously, the moment has just passed. You know?

I'm just hurt and upset and frustrated.... Today is a birthday party for a friend's little girl. She is one of the wives from my husband's submarine. I would really have liked for him to come with me. He doesn't want to - I get it. After all, he just got home and probably the last thing that he wants to do is go to a birthday party. But honestly? The last thing that I really want to do is go to one more event like this with two kids - ALONE. Frankly that is enough of my life already. Why should I have to do it when he's here?

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Trouble with Expectations

My husband made it home today. It is so wonderful to have him here- no matter for how long. For a while we can all pretend to be a normal family, even though deep down the fact that it's only temporary is with us all.
Sometimes when he comes home things feel weird for a while. It' s like so much has happened in my life and while I can tell him, it isn't the same as living it together. It's even worse with his life because there are some things that he just can't share. Sometimes it's like being in love with a familiar stranger.
My friends who know me know that I am a huge planner and control freak. It can't be helped so I embrace my inner control freak. I plan out everything and when I can't, I imagine in great detail how things will happen. I can see the smile on his face, hear his voice when he tells me how beautiful I am, the way my stomach will be full of butterflies as I drive to the base to pick him up and oh so many other sensations and emotions. The one really down side to all this planning? The let down you deal with when things don't' go as you have imagined it will.
I really have to try and let go of all the expectations and just live in the moment more.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Ton of Bricks

Recently, I was asked by a friend if I could go back in time and change something about my life ( without it impacting my life now) what would I change? I choose to erase my first marriage. Anyone who knew me then and knows me now wouldn't really be surprised by that decision. In my heart, I truly believe that going through with that sham of a marriage the first time was a total disaster for everyone concerned. I never loved him, in my heart, and I know that no true marriage ever took place. Since then, that date has been erased, but I wish that I could erase it from my memory too.

My husband now, my marriage now, are everything to me. I love my husband with all my heart, I never thought it was possible to love another human being that wasn't your child as much as I love him.

My friends that have known me a long time, know that prior to my disasterous first marriage, I was in a horribly abusive relationship for almost six years. Looking back on my friends question, I ask myself why I didn't choose to erase those years. Wrapping my head around why I didn't make that choice, the answer hit me like a ton of bricks. I guess, deep down, I have some ownership of those years. I was there, I chose to stay. In my heart then, I truly believed that I loved that boy. I believed that if I just loved him enough, was constant enough, that he would change. I know now that no matter how much you might think you love someone, you can't make them change. They have to do that themselves.

You'd think if I could go back and erase part of my life, I would go back and erase getting thrown through a window. Or being offered to his friend as a birthday present. But I didn't. I have some ownership of that. I also learned a lot from it. I learned what love is and what is isn't.

True love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. True love never dies.

Anything less than that isn't love at all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Like LIghtning from the Blue....

As anyone that is reading these posts knows, Saturday was my birthday. As already stated, it wasn't much of a birthday with my husband not here, but we struggled through. I found out that my brother in law filed for divorce. I was really upset about that - worried about my sister and my nephews. My dad is out there visiting them right now and I was worried about him too. I knew what stress the word of a divorce would put him under and since he is an 84 year old cancer survivor with one kidney, congenital heart failure and diabetes, I was concerned.
Yesterday I received word that my fathers worst fear had been realized. Monday night my sister took my father to the emergency room - he has had a stroke. None of this happened because of anything to do with the divorce - he still doesn't know - it was just something that was waiting to happen I guess. My Dad is devastated. He has been talking medication to thin his blood for years to prevent this from ever happening. This is his worst fear - realized. He is having difficulty getting around, feeding himself and just doing the every day average things. He is still able to communicate, but not very effectively.
Rehabilitation is going to be required and I still have no idea how long he is going to be in Phoenix. Worse, I don't know what I can do to help him. I haven't even been able to get word to my husband. This is something that I can't send on an e-mail, there is a special manner for communicating something like this and without more details, I don't want to alarm him.
I just feel really helpless and I hate that. There is nothing worse in this world for a control freak than to realize that you have no control - really - over anything. I hate being so helpless while someone that I love suffers.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Cure All...

So it seems like every family has that "one thing" that they think is a cure for everything! Ever see that movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"? I love that movie, it's hysterically funny! If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out. Anyhow, in the movie the main characters name is Tula, and Tula's father has a cure all. He believes that Windex will fix everything from sore throats and skin ailments to laundry stains.

In my family, the cure all is a baking soda paste. You know, mix baking soda and water - make it into a glue-y paste and then put it on whatever ails you. No, I haven't tried it on my laundry stains, but maybe I should.... At any rate, I made a baking soda paste last night. Wouldn't you know, my bump is gone this morning. At least 90% of it. My breast no longer looks like some sort of Martian anomaly.

I called my doctor and got an appointment anyway - for next week. When I was on the phone with him he said that acne there is quite common in pre- menopausal women. Something about our hormones and breast consistency changing. Great. That is just one more thing that the older women in our lives should tell us, but never do.

Some other things that the older women in my life should have mentioned:
1. if your period doesn't bother you when you are young, it will get increasingly worse with each child that you birth. If you have painful periods when you are young, the reverse is also true.
2. You know how people say about your children whatever you get the first time, you will get the opposite of with your second child? Believe it - it really is true!
3. You will kiss a lot of frogs in your life and you may never find a prince.
4. You don't need a man to do it for you. And if you do, you can pay one... you don't have to marry him.
5. 80% of men are only good for one thing, and some aren't even good for that.

My grandmothers favorite saying, " All men are the same, only their faces are different." Anyhow, the point of this mornings post is that sometimes that age old wisdom really is valid. Thank you mom for teaching me to put baking soda paste on everything. Wish you would have mentioned that our breasts change as we get older. Yuck. Isn't it bad enough I can already walk around with the television clicker underneath them. Now this?

Monday, October 1, 2007


OK, so I found another lump on my breast. A "bite" if you will. Problem is - it's the OTHER breast. I don't think a spider bit both of my breasts a month and a half apart. This one is really big too, like having a second nipple. Sorry, I know that's gross, but it's the truth. It's really scary.
So when I went to the doctor last time, he assured me that my breasts were fine. I mean, he examined them thoroughly for over 45 minutes. He announced that nothing was wrong and that my breasts were FABULOUS. Well, I know, but that doesn't mean I want my 65 year old gynecologist commenting on it in quite that way. I think it is time for a new doctor.
I was thinking of going to a skin doctor this time since neither my general practioner or my gyno think anything is wrong. The thing is - I'm losing my hair. By the fistfulls - seriously.Everytime I take a bath I clog the drain. And now this....

This is one of those times that I really just wish that my husband were here so that he could put his arms around me and tell me that everything is going to be ok. He pets my hair and somehow that always makes everything ok. Why is there a lump on my areola? Why is my hair falling out? Why do I have to wait a FUCKING week to find out? Sorry, I'm just scared....