Turning Points

February 1, 2017

Turning Point. The moment when you you see people for who they are…or who they can be. There are those that we know that we can count on – they are always “there” – exactly when you need them, not only at those tough times in life – but at those wonderful times too. They are on standby to either rejoice with you or to enfold you into their arms.
Then there are the people who truly surprise you – they blossom at a moment’s notice and come through most unexpectedly and you find a heartfelt kindness and caring that you never knew existed….those people…those moments – always take my breath away and inspire me – fill me with hope and a renewed spirit.

Then there are those who surprise you in a different way…you believe they are there in the wings, waiting to hold you up or to cheer you on – but when the moment comes….nothing.

What a disappointment.

What a reminder that not all is as it seems, and that there is often a whole lot of talk and no real action. That always blindsides me. I think it’s because I love to have faith – faith in peoples’ word….but then again – words are often just that…words – nothing more.

Life is an ongoing series of lessons that somehow – even when you think you are old enough, have been around that proverbial block once or twice (or maybe more)and are sure that you have seen it all…guess what? You haven’t. Oh – maybe your eyes have seen it all, maybe your head has seen it all…but your heart? Now that’s the part that gets surprised.

Turning Point – means just that; the point in one’s life where your thoughts turn, your faith turns and your heart turns….and sometimes you are turned onto another path – leaving where you were, and with whom…behind.

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Strange wanderings

January 18, 2015

My son moved out 5 months ago. Just the fact that I wrote it that way – “5 months ago” – reminds me of how when your children are very small you count things in their lives by the months. You know; they are 12 weeks old instead of 3 months old; they’ve been eating solids for 4 weeks instead of a month etc. I’m sitting here grinning at myself…..once a mom….

So, yes – my son moved out 5 months ago. He’s 24 (and a half – Lol!) and it was time. By that, I mean that it was the perfect time. He was ready and I have a firm belief that everyone should have the opportunity to experience living alone at least once in their lives. When you live alone you have time to be truly still and quiet – you can really study and ponder your heart’s desires….you can wander around your apartment feeling lonely or bored or if need be, you can scream out loud in disappointment and frustration and you can break down and cry a river of tears when your heart has been broken, without any judgement  and without the comfort of anyone which can not only be cathartic but also give you the chance to then pick yourself up and stand shakily tall….and realize that yes, you will be okay. Essentially, you learn to survive – you get the chance to really know who you truly are.

Now, my son lives in the same city so we get to see him pretty much every weekend. He enjoys being an active part of our family, not to mention that he likes to come home for a real “meal” as he calls it (I have always loved to cook and bake) and do his laundry in the comfort of a clean laundry room. He plays video games with his sisters, helps with homework with his youngest sister and my husband gets to rehash all the heavy news stories and engage in “tech-talk” with someone who actually understands what he is saying and not simply smiling politely (listen, I can barely manage my cell phone!). For me? Well….truthfully, there’s not too much room for me when he comes home – but that’s ok – that’s just they way it is right now. I had years, so many years of being “the one” – being the main focus of my children’s lives;  The Almighty, All-Knowing Mother.

What prompted me to write this was that it occurred to me how weird it is to have lived with someone all of their lives, to have had them be the reason you got up in the morning (and not been able to sleep at night!). To have had their every need – from basic survival, like eating, sleeping or tending to them when they were sick – to entertaining and playing with them. School, birthday parties and play-dates…all part of your every “work” day (I always viewed my choice to be a stay-at home mom – a Career choice).

Now – you see them once a week, or once a month or once a year, depending on your situation. It’s not like breaking up with someone….it’s like a purposeful drifting apart – and it’s fine – it’s good – it’s normal and the way life goes…..but it is strange.

And so now, it’s me who is wandering through the house, alone in my thoughts…..twenty years ago – who’d have thought?

I blinked

September 6, 2014

My son came home for dinner last weekend, bringing his laundry in tow. I smiled – I expected it. We had a nice family evening, everyone catching up on each other’s week – pretty much like any other Sunday night dinner….but as I looked at him sprawled on the couch, chatting away, I realized that he would be going home tonight. Home – his home – not ours. Seemed funny for a moment because he hasn’t been moved out for very long and so it just seemed so natural that he would be bounding up to his room in the next 5 minutes to study or catch up on email etc.

We got into the car to drive him to his apartment – my husband, my youngest daughter and my son. Of course the two kids in the backseat were just that – being kids – all the way there, like always. We arrived in front of his apartment building  and he pulled out his laundry basket from the trunk. I felt I needed to get out of the car for a moment – so I could give him a hug. He stood in front of me , so tall….I don’t remember when it was that he got so tall. I hugged him and whispered in his ear that I missed him – I hadn’t realized how much because the whole experience had been a whirlwind and now, bathed in the glow of the streetlights,  I suddenly had a moment to catch my breath…and I was surprised how it stuck in my throat. I exhaled and put my best Mom face on – I didn’t want him to feel bad. This was a great time in his life and I wanted him to know that…so I smiled and silently thanked the night for being so dark…and watched him walk away – walk into his own home.

I rolled down the window on that hot summer night – and the air smelled like 1993….would I find my toddler in his footed pyjamas waiting for me at home? Silly silly me – I chastised myself – of course not. How fast had I been blinking? I prided myself for always being in the moment and enjoying my children – staying home with them, playing with them, learning and growing with them. The thing is that I was always so very aware that this day would come….but I didn’t know that it would have happened in a blink.

On an unseasonably warm and sunny Halloween afternoon  60 years ago, my parents were married. Back then, Halloween was not as big of a holiday it is today – so it was seemingly just the perfect Saturday for a wedding.

I love his memory of how he and my mother met. They were at a wedding, unknowingly mutual friends of the bride. He saw my mother standing on the steps of the church and Cupid shot his arrow straight into my father’s heart – where it remains still firmly implanted…all these years later – he has never stopped seeing my mother as his girlfriend and my mother still sees him as her boyfriend….60 years later.

On that fateful day, my father offered to drive my mother home after the wedding – it was 1950 and a young lady didn’t take a car ride from just anybody! So, after get the go-ahead from the bride that he was indeed “safe”, he drove her home and promptly called her the following day for a date. Now, my mother tells me that gentlemen would call a lady for a date for the following Saturday night – and he wasn’t wasting a moment. She agreed and the date went well – and then he called her immediately to “book” her for the following week…and the following week…and the following week.

Rush forward 3 years – they booked the church for October 24…but close friends were desperate to get married on that date so my parents gave up their “reservation” and took the next available date, October 31st – Halloween.  My parents tell me it was about 75 F that day – unseasonably warm. A perfect sunny day.

In their 60 years they have never really been apart. They “date” regularly – always have, and their social life has often put mine to shame. My mother taught me to keep the romance alive (“a nice silky nightgown dear, flannel pajamas just aren’t quite appropriate”…I smile at that and have kept to her advice!). She told me to remember to keep my husband as close to First as possible (when you have kids) reminding me that he is who I will be with once the children are grown and moved out….and you don’t want to lose the whole reason you stood up at that alter for.

I write this through tears. Not of sentimentality – but sadness. My Dad was diagnosed with ALS this past summer and the last 3 months have turned our lives upside down…

…and our hearts, inside out.

The disease is progressing somewhat rapidly and it’s so cruel – not just because he is my Dad – but because this is a man who has worked out at the gym 3 times a week for 50 + years and taken long  walks daily,  and not meandering walks – brisk, heart pumping walks. Six months ago he stood, just a tad unsteady (we had no idea at the time) for family photos at Easter….one month later he was using a walker.

He remains as positive as possible, truly living for the day (and reminding me to do so as well). There was this incredible moment last month when he was at the hospital for a breathing issue….he was sitting in a wheelchair, waiting to be released and my mom and I were sitting with him in the waiting room. She was sitting beside him and I was behind them both. It was quiet – just us. Suddenly my mother broke the silence and said to him “We sure had a lot of fun, didn’t we?  Remember when we were young?” and added wistfully…. “It seems like it was just yesterday.” He looked over at her, nodded and smiled – “We sure did” he answered and then pointing to his heart told her, “that’s  because it’s all in here.”

I felt myself tearing up – it was as though I wasn’t there and that I was peeking in on this young couple.

I saw the newlyweds they were – that they still are….. “in there”

Marriage

August 1, 2009

Love and marriage, love and marriage – goes together like a horse and carriage..or so the old song claims. I was thinking  about marriage in general.

I personally have been blessed with a wonderful marriage – we work at it daily and 20 + years later I can say that we are still in love – but it’s not the same as though early days, you know,  when you can’t get enough of each other.  All so deliciously intense  and all consuming – just talking to each other every day – hearing what each one has to say – making love,  YADDA YADDA YADDA……Oops – here comes Real Life!

Real Life is: dishes, laundry, banking. dinner, who’s turn is it for laundry? Oh – I made dinner last night? Who needs dinner, anyway – kiss, kiss YADDA YADDA YADDA…

Marriage is two people who start out as insatiable minks – lots of sex, lots of romance – only a titch of laundry thrown in. Then it’s laundry and bills and some lovin’ -mixed in with, babies and children and homework – maybe even the odd late meeting……still – kiss, kiss.

Now we move on to, lessons for ourselves, drinks with the girls or maybe games with the boys…still some kiss, kiss…just not quite as much, or quite frankly……………….as often!

And you suddenly realise that you are still so deeply in love with your partner but…the kiss, kiss part just doesn’t come to the front anymore – it’s more Friend Friend. please listen, please advise….it’s not so terrible – in fact it’s quite comfortable….. but every once in awhile,  I miss that casual – that free  &  easy……….. Kiss, Kiss.…………….

Letting Go

January 3, 2009

Fork in the Road. Haven’t found myself standing here for quite some time. I was blind-sided and found my Friendship standing on the other path.What do I do now – follow?
It’s funny how when you first meet a friend they are a stranger to you – and like love – your eyes meet from across the room you laugh at the very same things (loudly, usually) and in that instant you become friends.
You share so much of yourself – your thoughts, your fears, your joys, your heart. Then something happens – something unseen. A cold wind blows through – the wind of change….and things are different. The laughter is still there but it doesn’t flow as easily. Either you are suddenly being questioned (the way a soon-to-be ex-lover questions you) or you are being carefully brushed aside and distanced (like falling out of love). You can’t be sure why it’s happening and unlike with a lover – you feel as though you can’t talk about it for fear of making that fatal cut that severs your friendship forever. Let’s face it – lovers are easier to replace than friends. I think it’s because that a lover, while being your friend as well, is also a physical relationship – very tied to the earth. A friend is only tied to your soul. It’s an invisible, untouchable bond between two souls. It is flying high above the earth – tied only to your heart.
So – do I walk along the same bumpy path or do I fly away?