Saturday, June 16, 2018

The first year I dreaded Father's Day.  There were other days to worry about, his birthday, the anniversary of his passing ..... But Father's Day came first and I was scared of how it would feel.  I hated every  card display.   Every commercial.  Maybe I still do.  But what I learned is that it doesn't take a "special day" to have it hit me all over again.  You can't anticipate the pangs of grief.  They sneak up on you, catch you completely off guard.  They are a certain song, a movie preview, a great joke..... When  you need advice on retirement planning, your daughter scores the winning goal, or scrubs in on her first surgery.  It's when your think to yourself "I can't wait to tell him ....." , before you remember you can't.    He's gone.  It sucks.  It sucks everyday. Not just the third Sunday in June.
I grew up with a Dad and two Grandfathers, into adulthood.
  My Grandpa Murphy passed away when I was 20, but he was there as I grew up, soccer games, dance recitals, when I graduated, and he was able to meet my boyfriend who a few months became my fiancĂ©, and then my husband.  later. 
My Grandpa Heaton died when I was 27. I danced with him at my wedding, bought our first house across the street from him, and shed tears when he explained to me how very honored he was that my first born carried the love of his life’s name.  I was able to watch him spoil her with an unlimited supply of cookies & and the kit kats he kept stashed next to his chair.  
For years I felt cheated, that my girls never had the chance to meet Grandpa Murphy.  And Libby never had the chance to meet Grandpa Heaton. 
I wasn’t cheated.  I was lucky. 
Samantha was 14, and Libby 9 when they lost Sam’s Dad.   
They were 15 and 10, when they lost my dad.... less than 10 months later. 
They won’t have that.  Their grandpas weren’t there to see how pretty they looked headed off to their first formal, to see them drive a car, or at  graduation.  They won’t be there to meet the boy they marry, or dance with them at their wedding. 
I wasn’t cheated.  They were.  
I know that others have been cheated worse.  They were children when they lost their Dad.   Or they are dads who lost their children.  
I know that my feelings are not rated at the top of the hierarchy of loss.  
But they are my feelings.  And it makes my heart hurt.  And it pisses me off.  And I miss my Dad.  

Monday, July 29, 2013


There has been a lot of loss the past couples years.   What I have learned is that loss does not always come in the shape of death.   It comes as disappointment.   It comes as betrayal.   It comes as being made a metaphorical punching bag, for the wrongs you are being judged for. Wrongs that are .... well... wrong.  Situations that are either misunderstood. Or imagined.

My automatic response to every one of these hurts, these losses. silence. 

Not initially.   Not when I am alone.  When the thoughts of the people taken over the last two years, most way before their time, and one, who shaped me as a person, When I think of those people, the agony,   the fear, the gut wrenching pain bubbles up....  I have just enough time to pack it down.  Pack it away in an imaginary box, seal it up, and store it in the back of my mind.  Waiting for a time when I will be able to let those boxes open.  Sort through.  Hold onto what is precious. Mourn for what is lost.  And maybe shed a tear.

When I think of the people no longer in my life....  It is a different sort of pain.  A different hurt.  One that, although not as deep,  stings more.  These losses are by choice.   Not by deaths hand, but by their own hand.

There is a fine line between being passive and kind.... and being a doormat.   And I am sick of the footprints all over my heart. I deserve better.  

Today I am packing away the last of those boxes.  For awhile I pray.  Because I just don't think that I have room for even one more.  And I'm just not ready to sort through the pain.  Not yet. 

My beautiful sister-in-law Jerilynne asked me .....  "Why is it okay for certain people to hurt your feelings over and over and over , and say things that are not true? Why is it okay for them to do that to you, and you won't strike back? Even when you are right. Even when you are the one with the truth.  Do you think you aren't good enough? Do you think you don't deserve it ? ".

I didn't have an answer.   I figured that my silence would speak more than my voice ever could.   But that isn't the answer.   I figured the answer out today ....

I would rather take the pain.  Then to hurt back.  Why hurt back ? Why hurt anyone at all..... If I hurt back, I will be no different. 

When I am ready.  I'll "unpack" these boxes in the back of my mind.  I'm just not strong enough yet. I'll let in the memories.  The sadness.  The joy.   Of those that were called home before their time... 

And the others .... I don't know.  I'm tired of having people wipe their feet on me. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I'm not completely obsessed with facebook.  I check, once every ..... hour or so....  I wonder if there is a support group somewhere? 

I'm fascinated with how perfect everyone's life is.  Perfect relationships, perfect children, perfect vacations, perfect holidays.  Perfect hair. 

I don't know that last time I was with a group of friends, a picture was taken and I didn't scream "no tags without permission".  (I guess you would have to be on facebook to understand the lingo, but basically if you 'tag' a photo with a persons name it becomes visible on their facebook homepage for all to see.)

I look at my "friend's" pictures all the time.... but I look at the backgrounds.... is their house messy?  How is their decorating ?   It's snarky.  But I can't help myself.

The ironic thing about all of this is that I am basically a very honest person.  But when it comes to the "image" I want to portray .... I only share the good.... for example:

Event: Sammy and I went to Olive Garden for dinner
FB status :  On a hot date 
Backstory:  We were supposed to leave the house at 6, but Sammy didn't get in the shower until 6, because he was having a beer with the neighbors.
Confession: Before Sam got in the shower, and during his shower, I let the hot water run full blast in the kitchen.  This was he would run out of hot water.

Event:  4th grade awards ceremony
FB status:  So proud of Libby !  National Fitness Award, Citizenship Award, Student Council Rep, and appointed a safety for next year !
Backstory:  Libby woke up with a fever that morning
Confession:  I gave her Motrin, and sent her to school for the ceremony, and brought her home right afterwards.  I mean, what the heck??? If other parents had kept their sick kids home, then Libby wouldn't have a fever, and wouldn't have to miss her big day.  And even worse..... jeez, if i hadn't given her Motrin, she would probably be relaxing on the couch instead of bouncing off the walls and wanting me to entertain her.  (I'm a little ashamed of that last one)

FB Status:  I love my girls
Backstory:  One can be as mean as a snake, and the other is a little Tasmanian devil leaving a trail of toys, dolls, books, hairbrushes, and food wrappers in her wake.
Confession:  I called Samantha a bitch that day, and threatened to throw out every toy Libby owns.

FB Status:  Thank Goodness for coffee !
Backstory: my sleep was interrupted.
Confession:  When Libby came into my room to tell me she couldn't sleep, I ignored her.  I knew that she would say it once or twice, and then wake Sammy up to tell him. He will get up.  See the thing is, he will fall back asleep right away, whereas if I get up, I'm up....I'll toss and turn for a couple hours probably more, and eventually end up going downstairs to watch TV until it's time to "wake-up".  I don't look at it as being a bad parent, I look at it as a coping mechanism.

FB Status:  Looking forward to spending the day with my family !
Backstory:  We will all be home, and planned the day together.
Confession:  No,  no I'm not.  I just want alone time.  I want to take a nap.  Use the bathroom uninterrupted.  I want to watch movies, or go to the movies, and eat whatever I order in. 

FB Status:  I would like to publicly apologize to my husband for hitting snooze for 45 minutes this morning.
Backstory:  I set 4 different alarms at different times because I know I will hit snooze over and over, and I am terrified I will oversleep.
Confession:  I don't feel bad at all.  Not even a little guilty.  We all have quirks.

I wish I was even half as competent, organized, happy, and optimistic as my facebook would lead someone to believe.....

I just hope that everyone else does the same.

Friday, July 6, 2012

July 6, 2012

It's been awhile.....

When I think about the fact that I used to update this blog with funny stories, venting, and pouring my heart out, I wonder how I've made it through so long without updating,  then I remembered....  facebook.  and wine.  and good friends.  and wine.

Growing up as a child of an alcoholic, I was programmed at some point of my life to believe that all alcohol is bad.  It's the root of all evil.  And while I will acknowledge that it is the root of some evils (to be fair , the fun evils...) as I've gotten older I've realized, that truly it's operator error. 

I've often joked that having a few not only makes me feel more social, it also makes me funnier, stronger, prettier, and a much better dancer.  What I have missed all along is that it also magically turns everyone else funnier, stronger, and better looking.  So from now on, if I decide to partake in a few glasses of wine, or beer, or a pina colada or 5,  I think I'll chalk it up to just making the company I am with more interesting... 

Cheers to the weekend.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I know that people generally tend to measure the passing of time in months, years, hours, days.... When they turn a certain age, or when their baby starts school, they stop & realize how fast time has flown by. That the children are growing up.

I certainly know how old my babies are .... Samantha is 166 months, and Libby 98 months. Weird? Maybe. But it sounds a lot less scary than almost 14, and 8.

When I think of how my girls have grown, I think of moments. Not milestones.

My moments have been small, but poignant.

My moments have been being asked if it's okay to "make" people knock before they come into her bedroom.

It's evolving from momma, to mommy, and then to mom.

It's turning around when she asks me a question, and realizing that we are now eye to eye.

It's the kiss me in the house so no one at the bus stop sees.

It is switching over to regular sized hangers in her closet, and packing away the "kid" sized ones.

It is when the happy meal switches over to a regular meal .

It's been reaching my hand down and waiting for that little hand to slip in automatically, and it doesn't. Instead she is looking up at me, telling me she is okay, she doesn't need me. She is okay without me.

There are so many of these moments. Each & every day.

I know that time must pass, children must grow. But I never realized it would make my heart ache so much.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Silly & Sunshine

I'm trying to live my life more like my 7 year old. Does that seem silly?

She is kind of silly. I don't remember the exact moment when being silly was no longer a part of my day. I'm always in too much of a hurry ............

When we were walking into religious ed about a month ago there were puddles everywhere & being a good mom, I reminded Libby to walk around them, to hurry up, and not to get her feet wet...... and she asked me "why not"?

I stopped & thought about it.....

She was wearing flip flops, so her feet would dry, and it would tack on all of 90 seconds to our arrival time. So I let her. She jumped as high as she could & landed smack in the middle of the puddle, and the next one & the next one. Silly. That made me feel like a good mom.

Then on the way in to the building, she wanted to walk right along the edge of the sidewalk stepping over curbs, going around obstacles, and taking a longer path . I asked her why? My way was shorter, quicker, easier.

She informed me that her path had the sunshine. Mine had the shadows. She told me that she always picks the sunshine. Even if it's longer or has curbs and garbage cans.

So I'm going to try to be more like my 7 year old.

I'll try to be more silly, and I'm certainly going to choose sunshine.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


The children have off of school on Monday to celebrate the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. When Libby was in kindergarten she learned about this wonderful American Hero, and the great things he accomplished. It was also around this time that she decided that, she too, was African-American.

I don't know how she came to this realization, nor did I know what to do with it. My Dad is from England, and the family has been for generations. My Mom is Irish, and Ukrainian, but with both her parents born in the U.S.A. Sam's Dad is Italian, with I believe at least the last two generations born here. Sam's Mom was Canadian. So my children's genealogy is diverse, but not diverse enough I guess. So Libby decided to change it, or add to it. I didn't correct her.... She was so very proud of her new heritage, and her new hero.

We began having a heart to hearts about what principals MLK believed in, and how every person is equal, how boring life would be if we all looked exactly the same. She would bring the subject up daily.

One afternoon while coloring, Libby told me that she wished she could go back in time....

I'm thinking, to when ?

Last summer when we were in Disney?
October to have her birthday party again?
Last night so she could finish her desert?

She said that she wanted to go back in time and tell all the people that they just need to be nice. That everything would be okay if we could all just be nice. She was so so sad that people wouldn't treat other African-Americans nicely. She just knew that if she could go back in time, she could make them understand.

I felt so proud, and so sad for her at the same time. I wanted to tell her that things are different now, and to a large extent they are. But there is still prejudice in this world. Not only against people of a different color skin, but also people with different religions, economic statuses, and sexual orientations.

Gradually her obsession with MLK faded. And even sadder, someone (I don't know who) broke the news to her that she wasn't African-American.

Then came the Obama elections ! She was in her glory ! And I was happy thinking she had rekindled her interest in diversity! Then came that moment again, just like in kindergarten when she wanted to change the world.........

We were in the car, just after President Obama was sworn in, and she was telling me about how he was the first African-American president, told me that she really wished that she could be president. Of course I told her that one day she could.....

And I started smiling to myself just imagining the wonderful pearls of wisdom that were about to come out of my six year old's mouth..... was it going to be about equality ? about the poor ? about changing the world?

She told me that when she became president she would make it a law that everyone who had a pool would get a slide for it, and people who didn't have pools would get a pool, AND a slide.

Ahhhhhhhh, to be six.

There's time for her to worry about the moral compass of the world. For now I'm glad she's worried about swimming pools......