Violet Tears

Today was a sad day as well as a celebration. We lost one of our beloved choir members a little while ago very unexpectedly. She was an amazing person. So loved by so many. She went in for what was to be an easy procedure and had a stroke in the recovery period after the surgery. She was a member of our church choir with me. A soprano. She had a beautiful spirit and she really loved my daughter. At times I can still hear her voice. She had a certain way of looking over her glasses and asking me, “where’s my girl?” She called my daughter HER girl. I was more than happy to share my child with her.
Even now it is so hard to believe she is gone. She is though. I will always miss her dearly.
A few words that came to me this morning as I was getting ready for her memorial service today.

Violets fell from her eyes in a stream of flowing sadness. Her soul cried out in purple and lilac and blue. She had crossed the gossamer veil into invisibility. Only memories that cut to the quick remain. Memories, vivid now and tangible, that will eventually fade to sepia, with curled edges and forgotten dates. Death and Angels come shrouded in beautiful purple drapes but they follow us with aged, sepia eyes knowing this is the final goodbye.

violets

Reflections on Labor Day

This Labor Day was very laid back.  I had all sorts of good  intentions and mental  lists made but they were all  for naught.  The weekend ended up being quite a disorganized one.  Laundry did not get done.  Vacuuming did not get done,  Pulling out the recipe book and cooking every meal/over the 3 day weekend did nit get done either,

I rested over the weekend. I actually took naps to help catch up on some of my sleep deprivation.  I can tell a difference today.  Not so sleepy during the day.  I cooked some and ate out some.  That pile of laundry never got done  Instead I went gnome hunting with my daughter in Hampton Park.

Last week one of my coworkers was running in Hampton Park.  He saw a couple holding a gnome and reading a piece of paper, looking very puzzled.  He ran on. Then he saw a gnome tucked into a flower bed.  He ran on.  He passed the couple again walking with their gnome.  He passed the gnome in the flower bed again.  He passed that gnome three times and then he stopped and picked up the gnome.

Attached to the gnome was a note and entire backstory.  His name was Jolly and he needed a new home.  His nickname was Lee  and his favorite foods were popcorn and root beer.  After I told my daughter this tale we had to go gnome hunting.  And so we did. For two hours we looked. We did not find a gnome but it was the adventure of trying to find one that my daughter liked.

The only other wild and crazy thing I did was watch the Starbucks live feed for the birthing of pumpkin   spice latte.  It was a great marketing ploy, Fun too!  That was my weekend.  Fluid and unordered.

The Best Laid Plans

todoHave you ever had your whole day planned out and nothing you had planned worked out?  That was my Saturday on yesterday.  This was a weekend I had off.  I did not have to work so I had a list and everything planned out in my mind.  My plans were to get up, cook breakfast, take child to work, come back home for a short nap then begin a kitchen purge.

I had read an article online a few days ago about being minimalist and how less is more.  I decided with a birthday coming next week, I should think about having less.  So, I planned to start with a kitchen purge and then move on to other rooms.

Well. We got up and I cooked breakfast and prior to taking my daughter to work I decided to stop at the gas station to put some air in the tires. I did and the left front tire was low a well as the back right. I pulled out of the gas lot and got to the median.  It was time to put the pedal to the medal and get daughter to work. Tick. Tick. Tick. What was that sound? TICK. TICK. TICK.  It was even louder.

I turned the radio down and opened the window.  It was a tire making that noise.  I put on the emergency flashers and made a loop to get back to the mall.  I needed to go to Sears to get it checked.  Gerald’s Tires was too far to travel.

At Sears there was a long line of people ahead of us.  But, the day was partially saved by the clerk who helped me.  I think he even put me ahead of others to get me out the door a little sooner.  He drove my car and after hearing the sounds, drove it right on to a lift and found three bad tires.  One had a huge screw with a washer.  No patch would hold on that.  Another had a nail in the side edge.  No patch would hold that either.  The third tire had a bulge where the steel radial belt inside had moved. Only one tire was good and it was the last one I had replaced in the past year.  I had to replace all so that they would be uniform.

The auto guy tells me it would be a little wait but he would get her gone!  It would cost $350 for the four new tires.  Not what I wanted to pay.  Those funds were earmarked for other things, but what could I do? With no car work, church and other things cannot happen.  So out that money went on new tires!  Bummer!  Real bummer because some of that  was for my birthday next week.   I guess I’m grateful I had the funds to keep us rolling.

So where is the list in all of this?  All shot to hell is where.  I got my daughter to work two hours late. I was still very tired and after trying not to nod off in the Sears waiting room and failing, I was still tired.  I decided to go home but took a detour at World Market.  I got wine and new wine glasses.  Then home and I took a short nap before it was time to get daughter from work.  Before finally going home we did make a stop at Starbucks.  I got an iced green tea latte.  It was the highlight of my day.  Once home it was dinner, a little sangria and to bed early.

Sunday is another day.  Another day to try to begin that list.  That kitchen purge is still there, waiting on me to begin.  And I will.  Come hell or high water.  I’m doing something in that kitchen!  Less is more and to make that happen you have to plan and have time to review possessions to let them go.

I have heard on and off throughout the years…make some plans…..go ahead…God laughs at those!  He has other plans for us.

Book Review: Pastel Orphans

pastel orphansI have read quite a few books about the holocaust over the years but none of them really focuses on the children.  This book  is written from the eyes of the children involved.  It is a story of grief and endurance.  It is also a story full of bravery and determination and love! It is well written.  The characters make you feel like you know them right away and you feel every part of their experiences.  Read it. You will not be disappointed.  Great summer read!

A Day in Contrast

What is Mother’s Day when you have a narcissistic, toxic parent?  It is not a pleasant day.  Growing up it was never pleasant.  Presents could be rejected as soon as you present them.  Cards and gifts remain unopened as they were deemed unworthy or not good enough.  It was not a pleasant day.  *Just an FYI, this did not just apply to Mother’s Day but all holidays involving presents.  Years ago I gave up on cards after being told for many years they were unwanted.  Still I bought them as it was the right thing to do.  My final straw was in 2007.  My card was rejected again.  They usually were left unopened on the coffee table with the other cards she opened from her favorite child or grandkids.

At that time I was not working and had little income so I had gone to Barnes and Nobel and picked out the best card I could find.  It cost me $8.00.  My thoughts were, if I cannot buy a big gift, then get the best card money could buy.  I did have money enough for a $25.00 gift certificate at a local salon where she got her brows done.  That gift card to this day has never been used.  $25.00 wasted.  That was the last time I threw money away.

When I became a parent that was never acknowledged. In fact, I was told repeatedly that she was the mother, the head of the family.  So Mother’s Days were her days.  That did not sit well with me at all.  I figured something like that would be happening but the very first mothers day I was expecting something.  After all, my child almost did not make it into this world, coming early at 7 months.  I had to move in with my parents for a little while because my child was so small and needed me to be there all the time. So,  I was not working for a while after she was born.

Nothing.  Not even a verbal recognition.  I realized what was happening so I went to the outside garden and clipped a few flowers and put then in a glass jar in my room.  It was a little gift to me.  My toxic parent did not like that…that I had clipped the flowers for my Mother’s Day.  I was with my parents because my husband and I were separated.  He decided he did not want a family anymore so nothing came from him either.  Regardless I was hoping he would do something.  I did confront him about that…no card. no acknowledgment my very first Mother’s Day. Nothing from anyone. It was a hard day and I tried to keep those feelings inside.  I” vowed that in the future they were be about me even if I had to treat myself to something.  That has worked well.  I have no expectations to be remembered on special days by anyone except my child.

Joy comes in the morning.  Joy in Mother’s Day came when my daughter became old enough to recognize me as her mother.  My joy comes from her.  I have cherished every hand made card, store bought card, gift and adventures we have gone on for Mother’s Day.  We have a wonderful time every year.  Today was no different.  I have been under the weather for the past 4 days..I lost my voice…cough…cold.  So today my plans to go out and do something did not happen.

My daughter made a wonderful, thoughtful video for me today.  It is about 7 minutes long and I had all the tears.  She told me all the things that make me a wonderful mother.  She even had examples from when she was a wee lass.  She makes me so proud and lets me know that I am special in her life and I have made a difference.  She recognizes the sacrifices I have made as her mother.  And those sacrifices have been so worth it!  Happy Mother’s Day to all.  It is very possible to keep the toxic people out of your life on special days.  They are not worthy of your time.  Do not let them steal one more minute of happiness from your soul!

Not all parents are good parents and we cannot pick which type we end up with.  If we have the toxic parent, set boundaries when you are strong enough to do so even if it means totally removing that person from your life.  Life it too short to be dealing with that drama and insanity.  Joy comes in the morning. Do not let anyone steal yours.

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