Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years and What Not....

So last year I have a slew of New Years Resolutions. I achieved some of my goals, while others, as my best friend would say are "a work in progress." I guess that is the way it goes.

So an overview of the goals that I did accomplish. I am very proud to say that I sit here debt free. Yep, the credit cards are paid off and most of them are GONE. What a huge monkey that was to get off my back!

While I didn't lose another twenty five pounds, I did manage to keep off the weight that I lost last year. I am happy to maintain and will continue to work on making healthier choices this year. I'm off to a bang up start - plain bagel with cream cheese. Can you hear the sarcasm? Oh well. Tomorrow is actually the first, right?

Some of my goals in retrospect seem lofty and well, from where I sit today still remain a work in progress. I don't do a gratitude walk, but I do reflect on those things that I am thankful for every night when I pray. I really do need to focus on being more thankful. Sometimes it is hard.

It was a difficult year. 2009 saw the end of my father's ongoing battle with Cancer - the last battle. Even though he lost the fight, he did it with grace, faith, and courage - in the end I know he won the war and is in a better place without Cancer now. All those things that I thought I was doing for him, I know now that I benefited so much more than he ever did. I hope that the things I did for him made his last days a little easier. I wish I could have seen him one more time, but I am happy to remember him as I do, instead of in a hospital bed.

I am glad to close the door on 2009. Bag it and tag it, put it on the shelf and move on. 2010 has to bring better things - for everyone.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Where Would I Be?

Someone asked me the other day where I would be if I weren't with my Robbie. Wow, I was so taken aback. To be honest, I had never even given it a thought, or if I had, the visions that I saw there were so horrific that I quickly mentally backed away and thanked my lucky stars that wasn't the case.
An angel brought him to me. I know that. Lucky stars guided my feet to where I would find him. My father said that everyone has many potential matches for their life partner and that no one has that one perfect fit. It is the one thing that he told me that I never believed. I know soul mates exist because I found mine.
The day we met, I knew he would change my life forever. Every happy memory or circumstance as an adult has him at the core of it. Every vision I have for my future revolves around an old man that looks striking like the man I married 11 years ago.

Where would I be without Robbie? Loveless,childless and desperate. My life was a dark, dark place. I like to think that I could have escaped it all, but since following the path that I believe was chosen for me - my life has been blessed. I am almost ridiculously lucky. I have a husband that I adore, two beautiful little girls, a beautiful home, everything my heart could possibly desire and so much more. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure that I'm not dreaming. How did I get here? What did I ever do to deserve to be so lucky? The truth is, I just don't know, but one thing I do know is that I am happy to be here and I want to spend every day for the rest of my life making him happy that I am here too.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Organ

What is it about Christmas Eve that brings on memories of Christmas's past? As I was driving down the road today, I was thinking about the Christmas's of my youth, when my family was still whole and I was oblivious to the fact that bad things really could (and would) happen to me.

My father used to tuck me up in bed at night and say my prayers with me. I can remember that I hated kneeling on the hard, cold floor to say my prayers before getting into bed and I can remember wondering why a loving God would want us to be so uncomfortable? Still, I enjoyed those quiet times with my Dad.

When I was about 10, I had a little, orange, toy organ. I would strike the keys and attempt to make music. On one such evening, I played my little organ for my father as he looked tolerantly on. When I was done, he asked me if I enjoyed playing. I told him that I did, even though I wasn't really very good. He looked at me thoughtfully and asked me if I would be willing to give up my little orange organ to a child that didn't have any toys at all. Even though I didn't really want to give it up, I thought how terrible I would feel if I didn't have any toys at all. So I reluctantly told him that I would be willing after all.

The next day, my little orange organ disappeared, and while I was sad, it made me happy to know that another little girl or boy would find joy in it and love it as much as I did. Days passed and then weeks. I thought about my organ, but less and less over time, and then came the busy bustle of the holiday season. I was soon caught up in the Jesse tree at school ( a favorite tradition ), cookie baking and all that Christmas brings. Finally, after what seemed like waiting forever, Christmas eve finally came! It was so hard to wait all day until the next morning to see if Santa Claus would really come.

My Grandmother was visiting us, and while she was there she slept in my room. I was moved into the spare twin bed in my older sisters room. I actually liked being in her room, she told the most wonderful stories when the humor was on her, so this was just fine by me! That night, I went to bed early, as I did every Christmas Eve. Late that night though, I was awakened by a very loud noise! Could it be Santa Claus?

Well, the answer was YES .... and no. I heard my Dad and his best friend Mo laughing and carrying on together as they always did. There was a lot of moving around and banging - as if they were carrying something very heavy into the house. They shared a few beers from my Dad's tap before Moe headed back out into the snow. Eventually, I went back to sleep dreaming sweet dreams of the next morning...

When I woke up, we went downstairs to open our Christmas presents, and there, in the corner of our living room was the most beautiful, full sized organ that I had ever seen. My parents told me that it was from Santa Claus and I never let them know that I heard Dad and Moe bringing the organ into the house. It didn't matter, because it meant so much more to me knowing that it was really a gift from my parents.

He got me lessons and I learned to play. He used to sit for hours and listen to me, even though, especially at first, I wasn't very good. I still have my organ. It sits in my own living room now, mainly quiet, but every now and again I play it and think of my Dad. I wish he was here and I could play it for him again....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Had a Dream Last Night....

When I was younger, I used to dream all the time - vivid, complex dreams that indicated which way I should go in my life. I worked out my troubles in my dreams, made decisions, and created casts of characters there for my as yet unrevealed fictional world. No that I am older, I don't dream the way that I used to. Now I dream of my past and the people I used to know.

Last night I had one of those dreams. I dreamed of a boy that I knew when I was 13 years old. Yes, I was 13 and he was 17 and puppy love doesn't begin to describe it. He lived in our apartment building - downstairs from our apartment. My parents had just gotten a divorce and I was about to get a new stepfather so my life was going through a tremendous upheaval when I first met Mike Simoni. I remember that day very clearly. I was baking cookies with a friend to take to some elderly people that were shut ins that we had adopted. My older sister Lisa - age 17 - was also visiting at the time. My friend, Michelle, and I were in the kitchen covered in flour when there was a knock at the door. I heard a voice ask, "if your daughter is here?" Of course my blonde haired, blue eyed sister went bounding to the door to see what boy was bothering her this time. He took one look at her and said, "No, your *other* daughter." I loved him before I ever laid eyes on him.

He was cocky and sure of himself as I am sure most 17 year old boys are. I had just finished reading The Outsiders and he was my Ponyboy incarnate. He taught me a lot of things in the few years that we knew one another, not the least of which is what it feels like to have a broken heart. When I think of him though, it is always fondly and I wonder where he is now, and I wish him well always. Sometimes when I dream of him, it's like we have bumped into one another at a coffee shop and we update one another about what is going on in our lives. At other times, the dreams are more like memories. Last night was a mixture of both. I remember him the way he was then, I even remember some of the cruelty we put each other through but in my heart, I will always be grateful to that boy for helping me grow up, for showing me what a relationship should and - should not- be. MJS, wherever you are, I still think of you and hope you found happiness. Somewhere deep inside, my 13 year old heart still remembers and from time to time.. thinks of you fondly.

I'm all grown up now - a real woman with little girls of my own. ( And no, I will never, never let them date a 17 year old boy when they are 13!) I have been married to my husband for almost 11 years, but all the boys along the way, the the heartbreaks big and small... they all brought me to this place.