Friday, September 23, 2016

There are no rules...and therefore, should be no expectations

How many times have you heard someone say they wished their ex-husband/boyfriend would drop dead? Just vanish off the face of the earth. That their lives would be so much easier if they no longer had to deal with that horrid EX.
I know I am guilty of thinking it a few times over the years. And I know I'm not alone. Unfortunately, most people say things without ever considering the reality of their words.

And now, I know that 'easier' is the last word I would use to describe it.

Six months ago today, my youngest Son still had his Father. None of us had any idea that over the next week our lives would change forever. Before all of this happened, I never would have dreamed it would affect me so much.

But six months later I still have to remind myself that he is not there. He was not there to see our Son graduate from high school. He won't be there to see him get married. He will never meet his grandchildren.

Sometimes when I'm driving I will see a van that looks like his and will check to see if it is in fact him, driving. Then I remember. And I feel a tightening in my body.

Why does this bother me so?
I had never experienced anything like this before so I had no idea what it would be like, how I would feel. But yet, somehow I never thought it would feel like this.

Hallmark doesn't make a sympathy card for the ex-wife.  I broke down the night we found him. I was a basket case. My Son, 17...who found his Father only moments before, had to hold me up and comfort me! I did not handle it very well. There was no precedent for how this should have rolled out. Who should have been crying, who should have been helping others. And it still hurts.
And the whole time, I hear a voice in my head saying, 'Why do you care? You left him! You gave up your rights to be the grieving widow.'


We were never married, but lived together for 9 years as a family. We had one child together, and my other 2 children from my previous marriage. The first year of the 9 was the only happy one. He called himself my 'White Knight', in the beginning. Something happened after the first year and his personality changed drastically. He was extremely cruel to me and the children... emotionally/psychologically and he was very controlling.

It took me many years, 8 to be exact, to be strong enough ....mentally, financially and spiritually to get out of the relationship. It was not easy. Nothing about getting out of a relationship is easy for the woman. Trust me.
The insurance company wouldn't even let me separate my van from his car insurance without his permission.

He got very angry and spiteful when I said I was leaving. But it was much, much worse when he realized I meant it.  'White' followed me, watched who I was with and actually had people checking on me and letting him know what I was up to and where I had been. Then he would text/email me to give me a play-by-play of my entire day. It was very disconcerting. I began to have a hard time sleeping. I lost a lot of weight and became very paranoid.

'White' said he would make me pay for leaving. And the price would be dear. And it truly was. The cost was my Son. He used mind games and psychological warfare on myself and my Son that drove him away from me.
And now that 'White' has died, he has essentially left our Son an orphan. And for that, I feel I can never forgive him.

But why do I feel so sad?

Don't you think that having someone that spiteful and vindictive out of your life forever would be a good thing? A relief, at least?
But no, I feel sadness. Grief. A heaviness in my chest.
'White' died on Easter weekend. He was at home alone. While I had all the children with me, celebrating our time together. We had a fire outside and I took pictures of Goose, the kids and our dog, Mollie. It was such a happy time. Everyone was getting along. It was a beautiful day.

But now every time I look at those pictures, all I can think of is...he was already dead and we had no idea, nor would we until the next evening. There we are smiling and enjoying ourselves....while Death took 'White' and we don't even know. And I feel it through my entire body. This emptiness. At times I think, I will never get over it. But I don't even know how I can deal with it. Who can I talk to? Who will understand?

Is my sadness for my Son and how it has affected his life? Is it for the loss of my chance at being his Mom?
I only hear from him occasionally and it breaks my heart. But... now I never have to go through 'White' to reach him again. And yet... it's worse? How can that be?

Is it the fact that 'White' and I never got to that point where we were past the anger and resentment? I never got to tell him that I forgave him. And he never got to say that he was sorry.

Writing in the past has helped me to sort through and deal with many things in my life. This is the first time I have written about this. Will it help? I guess we will see.

Maybe it is fear. The knowledge that someone I spent a huge chunk of my life with will never take another breath. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and watch my Husband's chest just to make sure he is still breathing.
I have lost my Mother and Father. I watched precious pets die. One of my old boyfriends from my early teen years took his life a few years ago. I am no stranger to heartache. Death has been to my door and I have had no choice but to let him in.

I know it is a reality of life. That we must eventually say goodbye. But there is something different about this one. 'Whites' death means something to me on a whole separate level. Once I lost one of my parents, I knew undoubtedly the possibility of losing the other.
Once my first Grandparent died, I valued every moment I had with my other three. When I experienced my first pet dying, it made me much more careful about choosing to get another. Why would I want to put myself through that pain again?
There is no chance of them not dying, after all. It will happen. And there is no way to avoid loving them to not be hurt. And would I want to not ever feel that love again? Of course not.

My Husband Goose, is the biggest reason I am considering myself sane today. He has helped me to remember who I am and what I am capable of. It has not been easy, but I value myself again. I finally have someone in my life who loves me exactly the way I am. He picks me up when I'm down and makes me laugh, even when I would rather blacken his eye.

My biggest fear when we first met and I started to fall in love with him, was that I would someday lose him. I was afraid to get hurt again. It didn't take long for him to prove to me, he was going nowhere. I finally trusted and set my heart free.
To know that the only thing I will lose him to is time, is a blessing but also a curse.

But we're young, so we have nothing to worry about. Right? 'White' was only seven years older than Goose. And he's gone.

I knew the loss of a 'Parent'. I knew the loss of a 'Grandparent'. I also knew the loss of a Pet.
But now I had lost a 'Husband' type person (does that make sense?)

Is that why I am hurting so much? Because now I feel the reality of what it would be to lose a spouse? I have tried to imagine how it would have played out, had 'White' and I still been together when he died. But I could not do it.

My logical mind stated that, 'Well, if we were still together he wouldn't have died. He would have taken better care of himself. Otherwise you wouldn't have stayed with him so long.'
Like I would have been able to help him quit his addictions once and for all. After nine years of not being able to do that? What would have changed?

When I think of that nine years stretched into nineteen, it makes my stomach turn.

So while I try and figure out the way of the world, the reasons for things that happen...I will do my best to focus on the good in my life. The loved ones that I still have. Cherish every moment I have with them. Because you really don't know when that moment will be the last.
I'm sure my kids are sick of hearing, 'I love you', 'Be safe', 'Text me when you get there so I know you're okay', 'Drive safe', and always wanting a hug before I or they leave.

Part of me says one day they will understand why I am like this.
But a bigger part of me hopes that they never do.

Monday, July 11, 2016

I have the best Mom

'I love you Mom.
You are the best.
I know I don't always say it, but I do appreciate everything you do for me.

When I was little and I was hurt, you were the one I went to.
And you were always there for me.
When I was sick, you were the one that stayed up with me.
And did not rest until I was better.

I was very young when you and Dad split up.
But I do remember vaguely that you sat us down to tell us that you were not happy.
I remember there had been a lot of fighting and tension.
Yes I was only seven, but I could sense when things weren't right.

We all agreed that it was for the best.
You made it clear we wouldn't leave unless we all agreed.
When we moved into our own house, you were much happier.
Although, being on your own meant you had to work harder to provide for us.


Even though it wasn't easy, you still read to us every night.
If my Brother and I were at Dad's, you would read to us over the phone.
I still remember how good you were with the voices of the characters.

There were nights that you did not make it home before we went to bed.
That made me sad.
I know that was hard on you.
I heard you crying in the next room when you thought we were all asleep.

You tried to teach us about responsibilities and helping out as part of the Family.
I'm sorry that I didn't do my own share.
I didn't want my life to change.
I didn't want a new house.
I wanted things back the way they were.

Dad made things look better on his side.
He bought me new games and took me to cool places.
He let me play video games as long as I liked.
And I had no chores.

He seemed different.
I wondered why we left in the first place.


Dad's new girlfriend cleaned my room and made my bed.
I made more messes.
I knew it was wrong, but I didn't care.
I was childish and selfish and I'm sorry.

When I came back home to your house, there were rules and bedtimes.
And siblings to get along with.
I didn't know how to deal with everything so I acted up.
I made everyone miserable.
My Brother and Sister did my share and didn't tell you.

They didn't want to upset you.
I knew they wouldn't risk it.
So I took advantage more.

When you found out what was happening, you tried to make it right.
You took me aside and let me know that there was a need for boundaries.
That I needed a schedule and limits.
You said it would be better for me in the long run.

But I did not listen.
Dad said bad things about you and I didn't want to believe them.
But he was my Dad.
Why would he lie?

I kept pushing and pushing when I was home with you.
I could tell you were at the end of your rope.
That day you told me you weren't leaving the room until I washed the dishes.
I was so mad at you.
I was ten years old.
When I walked away from you, you grabbed my shoulder to stop me.
I turned around quickly and swung out my arm.
I know it looked as if I was going to hit you, but I wasn't.

I'm sorry that I made you think I was going to hit you.
When you grabbed my arm and pushed me against the wall, I felt bad.
But I didn't show it.
I kept my smug smartass shield on.
I should have broken right there and told you how sorry I was.
But I didn't.

And I am so sorry.

When I called Dad and told him you had hit me, I knew it was wrong.
I could have taken it back.
I had plenty of chances to take it back.
When he called you and told you what I said, I saw the hurt in your eyes.

I may have even heard your heart break.
If only I had stopped long enough to listen.
But I didn't care.
I was young, stupid, self-centered.
I wanted everything my own way.

Things would be easier at Dad's.
No siblings.
No chores.
No limits.

Sure, he didn't hug me.
He didn't tuck me in at night.
He didn't say 'I love you' unless it was in response to my saying it.

But 'he' was left alone and miserable.
You were the reason we were not a family anymore.
My life was completely turned upside down.
Because of you.
At least, this is what Dad told me.
And I believed him.

According to him, you were off chasing a fairy tale.
Looking for the 'perfect man'.
And you didn't care about being a family anymore.
You were going on dates.
You didn't have time for me.

And when I vented to Dad about these things, he backed me up.
So they must have been true.

But when I looked you in the eye, with my smug smirk, and continued the lie that you hit me.
That was when the look in your eyes changed.
I had broken something.
Something I wasn't sure if I could ever fix.

You told me to pack my stuff.
I was moving to Dad's.
Finally, I was getting what I wanted!
But why didn't it feel better?

When I saw you, I knew you were hurting.
I tried to keep my cool facade, but inside I was aching.
I thought it would be easier for me to not have to see your eyes.
Not to feel you hug me and not want to let go.
Yes, it was easier to stay away.

And besides, Dad said I was doing the right thing.
After all, you did hit me.
Didn't you?

The longer I went without talking to you, the harder it was for me to pick up the phone.
I was ashamed.
I was alone.

Years passed.
I only saw you at holidays, like Christmas and Easter.
I clung to you madly during those times.
The only thing I wanted to do was sit and cuddle on the couch with you.
I didn't even care what we watched.
As long as I could be close to you.

You had fought for me to come back home so many times.
But I rejected you every time.
I made up excuses like, 'you have no satellite, you don't have unlimited internet, too many rules...'
And then I would go home to my empty shell of a room piled high with dirty clothes and dishes.
Rotten food and garbage in the corner.
Dad downstairs on his computer, looking for yet another girlfriend.
But porn will do in the meantime.

I knew you had given up.
You didn't want to be hurt anymore.
And I felt you pulling away.
But I couldn't stop it.

I made bad choices, Mom.
I knew that house was not healthy for me.
I knew Dad was not healthy for me.
He smoked and smoked and coughed and hacked.

Every time I came to visit you, you would ask if I had a cold.
I would lie and say yes.
Because I wanted to avoid the ensuing conversation about the dangers of tobacco smoke and cancer.
I knew if it kept on, I would get sick.
I knew you could smell the smoke on me.


So much time had passed, I wasn't sure how to change anything.
How could I admit that I had wasted so many years?
That I could have taken away all your hurt by just telling the truth and coming home.

Four months ago, something happened that changed everything.
Dad died.
I had expected it for awhile.
I knew he was sick.
I'm not sure I knew how sick he was.
But something inside me told me to be ready.

You were with me when I found him.
I saw your heart break for the second time.
I was scared and had no idea what would happen next.
But I stayed strong for you and held you up.

Even though deep down, I wanted to crawl into your lap and have you tell me it was all going to be okay.
I told you I would go and stay at a friend's house for awhile, but you said no.
That I was coming home with you and there was no discussion.
And I was relieved.

You took me home that night and stayed up with me when I could not sleep.
You held me in your arms and I felt safe.
You truly have no idea how grateful I was.
I felt your fingers through my hair and remembered how good that felt when I was little and needed comfort.

The first few weeks were good, Mom.
I'm not sure what happened.
Maybe I got tired of everyone...and I mean everyone, asking if I was okay.
Maybe it was the breakup with my girlfriend.
Maybe it was the reality setting in of having to deal with siblings again.
In the same room.
Maybe it was my Step-Dad and his intolerance to my bullshit.
I realized that I was trapped in another reality.

I know you didn't give me limits right away.
You didn't want to put anything else on me on top of what I was already dealing with.
And I took advantage of that.
Started pushing my limits again.

I was rude.
I was blunt.
I was demanding and self-centered.

I made plans that took me an hour away with my friends and did not tell you.
And then you would have to come and get me after a long day.
And I did not care.
I did not say thank you.

I have tried drugs.
I am glad that I told you.
I'm thankful you were mad at me and told me how disappointed you were.
Because it made me realize I never wanted to do them again.
I don't want to disappoint you.

I told you, you were of no use to me with my homework because you weren't smart enough.
You left the room so I wouldn't see your pain.
And I did not care.

I stayed up as long as I wanted to on a school night.
And when you had to wake me up because I slept through my alarm, I snapped at you.
I dragged my feet and left no time for breakfast or lunch-making.
But you took cash out of your purse and gave it to me so I would have something to eat.

I did not get up early the next morning so I could show you how grateful I was.
I did not try to pay you back.
Even though I know you would not take it.

I know that you are happy now.
I know you have a new husband and he loves you dearly.
He treats you the way you deserve to be treated.
I don't think I've ever told you that.
I'm glad he found you.

He knows how lucky he is and he is protective of you.
He knows that you have been mistreated in the past.

I am ashamed to admit that I am one of those people that mistreated you.
Maybe it was because I saw the way Dad treated you.
But that is no excuse.

On three different occasions recently, I was disrespectful to you.
Your new husband called me on it.
A real man would have manned up, admitted he was wrong and apologized.
A real man would have changed his behaviour immediately to show that he truly was sorry.

But not me, I had to make it worse by acting tough to Step-Dad.
I tried to talk down to him.
That's the way Dad always did with other people.
Seemed to work for him.

This was the last straw.
Step-Dad lost his temper and punched the fridge.
He has never had to deal with arrogant teenagers on the homefront before we came along.
At least, not like this.
But I knew he couldn't hit me.
It was against the law.
Dad told me.
I also knew from school and other places that he didn't even have to hit me as long as the threat was there.
Nobody could touch me.

I knew you guys were only trying to help me.
I knew if you didn't care about me, you wouldn't try so hard.
I knew I was causing you stress.
And I did care.

But I wasn't sure how to stop it.
I wasn't sure how to change it.
I know in the past I have blamed a lot of my problems on the fact that my Mom and Dad split up.
I know I have been obnoxious and selfish.
I know I have been downright mean to my Brother and Sister.
And I know I should be grateful that my Family still loves me and gives me so many '2nd' chances.

Now that I have lost my Father, I should realize that there aren't an unlimited amount of second chances.
I should realize how precious life is and how delicate each and every loved one is.
Any moment one of them might be ripped from my life.
And I would never have that chance to make things right.
To say I am sorry.
To say, 'Thank you for giving me life'...'thank you for taking me in when no one else would.'
Thank you for always being there for me.

I am away from you right now Mom.
I know you miss me.
And I miss you too.
You have no idea how much I miss you.
I might have a few moments at work where I get to daydream and I wonder where you are and what you're doing.
Are you cooking something in the kitchen? Are you weeding in the garden?
Are you watching one of your favorite shows?
Are you thinking about me?
Are you smiling at this moment?
I really hope you are.

Today is my Birthday.
I am now 18 years old.
A man.

I want to be the type of man that makes you proud.
I hope that this time away working molds me into a strong, happy, honest hard-working man.
I want to surprise you with flowers someday and see your face light up.
I want to take you by the hand and go for a walk, telling you how proud I am of you, my Mother.

I want to show you that you did the best you could when I was with you and that I am grateful.
And that you shouldn't feel guilty for all our time apart.
It wasn't you.
It was me.
And my stubborn Scottish pride.

I want to show you that all the tears and heartache, headaches and gray hairs were worth it.
I will still come to you when I need a hug, or someone to talk to.
Some Motherly....or Fatherly advice.
When I am away at school I want to come home for Holidays.
And I want it to be 'home'.
Because home is wherever there are people that love you.

I want to show you that I can be humble also....and that you truly do have many things you can teach me.
I am attaching the picture you took of me for Graduation.
I'm sorry I gave you such a hard time about getting it.

You are very smart.

You are so pretty.
You are amazing.
And I love to hear the sound of your laugh.

I miss your jokes and your silliness.
I miss your goodnight hugs.

I love you, Mom.
You are the best.

I promise to call you as much as I can.
And I can't wait to see you and give you a huge hug!'


....Things I wish my Son would say.





Saturday, March 26, 2016

a lovely story...I was safe and sound

In my mind, I told myself a lovely story that I was safe and sound away from the United States since 9/11. As long as I do not cross that border, I would be fine. I get very nervous at the border crossings and do not wish to deal with customs and exchange. They always seem so suspicious and I in return feel guilty. Even though I've done nothing.
And since Sept 11th, 2001 things have only gotten worse.
So I am happy to buy Canadian.
After all, we do not carry guns to town.

A few months ago my employer tells me that she and I are going to Atlanta, Georgia for a seminar. At first I am a bit apprehensive, but I think, 'Hey, at least I won't be alone...and she's been there before...all will be good.'
I decided to put the traveling part of the trip out of my head and focus on what I would be learning at the seminar.

I would be gathering new skills, meeting new people...learning new techniques to be able to help my patients even more than before. I started to feel a tiny bit excited.

Shortly after I found out there would be no one joining me on the trip.
I would be going alone.
To Atlanta.
Georgia.

I do not feel safe going to the States. I was not being unreasonable.
They carry guns... to town.

'Oh, you'll be fine....'
'Don't be silly...'
'They don't walk around with guns!'

But I was not the only one that did not think it safe. Goose, unbeknownst to me, was also making plans. He arranged to come with me as my traveling companion. On one hand I was relieved to not be going alone. But on the other hand, we would have to pay for his trip. We had to take it out of our 'vacation fund' and it wasn't even a vacation.

So away we went, with our carry-ons and ear buds. Shuffling through security. Fearful of ever-threatening cavity searches. Waiting for hours in chairs that don't support your back. The wi-fi is free but won't let you watch Netflix. You buy a bottle of water, because you know they won't let you bring your own. Only to find out that you have to dump it before you can get through security. So then you buy another bottle on the other side and don't get to drink it all before you hit the next airport and have to dump it again. It wouldn't be that bothersome if it didn't cost more than $5 for a little bottle.
You try to be friendly to the security people to hide your fear of rubber gloves, but they are not in a
good mood and find your smile suspicious.

Do these people look friendly to you?

And why is it that every time you hear, 'Flight 345 for Denver now boarding' your bladder becomes full? And the bathroom is down at the other end of the next terminal?
Seriously?

Finally the elderly and the youngerly are ushered onto the plane and settled. The middle-agedly are allowed to squeeze our way down the tiny aisle, our bags hitting every seat and jerking our arms so that we have to stop, dislodge and continue on. We insert ourselves into our tiny seats and look out our tiny windows (hopefully) and then are greeted by our not-so-tiny co-passenger.

'No, I don't want to change seats so your husband can sit with you. I paid extra to sit here.'
'You paid extra....to sit here?'

By the time we get to Atlanta, we are straining our necks to see something...anything. I had never been there before. And Goose had only been for a work conference years ago. Airport, runways, trees, airport, traffic, airport, highway, dead grass, airport, hotel. The international airport in Atlanta is so busy and huge...we drove for 12 minutes to get to our hotel and amazingly enough, were just past the other end of the airport. This was their winter so all plant life was dormant. The vast expanse of the airport was surrounded by industrial type buildings that were all related to or in support of the airport.

We could not sleep. The air felt wrong. The bed was hard. We had to turn off the air conditioning and open the window. There was no screen.
'What if an owl comes in while we're sleeping?'
'Then...I ...will...?'

Nothing to see and nowhere to go. So we fall asleep to the blue sound of the TV. Next morning I am in class. When breaktime comes, Goose is waiting for me. When break is over, Goose escorts me back to class. I am not sure exactly why...but hey, he's normally close to this level of attention at home so I shrug it off as boredom.

Finally on the third day, I leave my class early in order to make our flight. We head to the airport...dragging our bags behind us we scamper onto the extremely fast super speed train that took us from one end of the airport to the other. As we rush to our gate, we look out the windows and see a shuttle van. The same shuttle van that dropped us off ten minutes ago on the other end of the airport.

'Isn't that....?'
'Yes.'

Once we get through security and settled, Goose decides to explain the short-leash behaviour. There was a biker murdered...three miles from our hotel on Friday night after we arrived.  My head started to spin and I felt like I could not breathe. As Goose had been settling in by the fireplace in the lobby on Saturday morning he noticed some big bad-ass bikers enter through the front door. They were all black and huge, tattooed and leathered. One had to duck his head as he came through the lobby doors. Now this alone did nothing to unnerve big bad Goose. After all, he grew up in the core of Montreal. He grew up with black people, and Italian people and all other kinds of people in his neighbourhood. They were rough around the edges, as was he. And some of his best friends as an adult were and still are bikers. I am only saying this to emphasize that he normally would have nothing to be uncomfortable about, seeing big bikers, black or white.

One of them had picked up a cookie at the front desk and looked around as he nibbled. He caught Goose's eye. Goose firmed up his bottom lip and nodded at this huge man, who simply continued to scan the room. Slowly more and more of the bikers arrived and entered the hotel. When one man came in wearing a long trench coat that did not sway as he walked...Goose decided it was time to retire to our room.

Once there, he searched the internet for the name that was on the bikers' jackets and tattooed arms. Immediately, the first site showed the murder and that was the name of a local motorcycle club. He did not leave the hotel again that weekend. Nor did he leave my side.

Hearing all of this, I was terrified and felt sick to my stomach. I had no idea what had happened or why. And I did not want to. I was so glad that he waited to tell me. Or I would have had a horrible time staying focused on the class. I would have been worried about him.

But before I had too much time to worry about what could have been, I noticed the television screen over our heads. Political debate for the American presidential candidates. And guess where it was taking place?
That's right, Atlanta Georgia.

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Two of the most talked about people in the continent at the time. And they were right in the same city as we were.

'Wow..isn't that cool?'
'Umm-hmmm', Goose mumbled as he flipped through something on his ipad.

'Wouldn't that be cool to see Donald's jumbo jet here at the airport? I don't even know what it looks like...' so I google it and see the big dark plane with the large golden 'TRUMP' on the side of it.

'Huh...isn't that something?'
Then I look up and out the window straight ahead of us. Directly across the other side of the runways, I see it. As big as life. The Trump Jumbo Jet.
It was quite a thrill for us small-town folk from Canada. We used to watch 'The Apprentice' years ago and loved to hear Donald say, 'you're Fired,' with such arrogance and confidence.
Yes, he's a bit full of himself...but I still have to admit, he's huge. I don't care for the Royal Family at all either, but if I saw Royal Air Force One our on the tarmac, my heart would definitely skip a beat.

'Why do you care so much, Mom?'
'I think to me, it's the same as....when Dad and I got off the plane in Mexico and I saw my first ever real palm tree...not on TV...not in a picture...but right there... I could see it and touch it...I cried. It's like that.'

It almost seems at times that the world is so huge that we will never see it all. Our own little world can seem so small in comparison. The Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge, a castle on the coast of Scotland, a giraffe in it's own habitat...or even a simple beautiful palm tree bursting with bristle-haired coconuts.

When I see something in a picture, some far-away fantasy world or hollywood style story, it hardly seems real to me. If something bad happens on the other side of the world, I still feel safe ...because it seems about as real to me as a movie on a screen. But when a murder happens three miles down the road, it will hit me..hard. That is too close to feel safe.

The best I can hope for is a palm tree three feet away so I can remember reality can have beauty in it as well.





Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Today

Today is my Father's Birthday.
He would have been 78 years old.

I haven't been able to think very clearly today, so I had to do the math with a pen and paper.
He would have said, 'It's just another day.'
That's what he always used to say. But once someone is gone from your life...it seems like their Birthday means a bit more. It is not a day of cakes and candles, singing and laughing. It seems more of a day for reflection. The what if's and not said's.

As of late, I have been sleeping unsettled. Last night I dreamt I was in my Grandparents' house in Bloomfield Ridge. It was one of those dreams that make you think you've had it before, or this is something I remember. There were two spirits in the house. A small boy and a small girl.

The little girl crawled into a lady's lap and was being cuddled and told how cute she was. I contemplated telling the lady the little girl was a spirit. I remember feeling confused as to how she was actually touching and feeling her, when she wasn't really there.

My Grandmother lost a baby. Her first baby. It was a girl.
She also lost a brother in France during a World War.

Were these the children in my dream? Was it a dream? And why are they coming to me?
Well, amusingly enough...no sooner had I typed the above words when I heard in my head a voice saying, 'why not?'

Indeed. Why not?
For years I have searched for answers, for signs...anything that would allow me even a tiny glimpse into the other side. Where I believe we all came from and will return. Sometimes I forget even the smallest of signs are just as valid as a slap in the face. I just need to be open to them. And also to receive.
I heard my Dad's voice the other night in an old voicemail message.
I heard my Mom's voice in conversations with her sisters.
A patient will laugh and I will hear my Grandmother's spark.
A faint tingle will pass over my scalp and I wonder, 'Which one of them was that?'

There really are definite and constant signs slipping through the veil. Many times I will ask a question, out loud or in my head. I used to think the answers were my imagination. Now I believe they are clearly coming from another being, another plain. I simply needed to pay attention.
Are you paying attention?

My life is not overly stressful.
I don't live in a big city. I don't have pending cases with drastic deadlines at work. I don't have a long grueling commute.
So what is it that keeps me from sleeping soundly?
Why can't I completely relax the muscles in my shoulders even while curled up with a blanket on the couch watching a movie?
What keeps me from just letting go?

I practice yoga each night...then I read in a nice hot bath...then I go to bed and read again.
I have an app on my smart phone that helps me to meditate.
I can read for hours. I can write for hours. I love to garden. There are many ways I 'escape' from myself...even for a short time. 
Today I had another NET session. Neuro Emotional Technique for anyone that doesn't already know. It is an amazing technique, which I refer to as therapy, that my Doctor, my employer practices on me regularly.
Through a series of questions from her and physical responses from my body, we pinpoint issues that I am dealing with, their origin and how long I have been carrying them with me. On top of that, we are also able to 'clear' these issues so that my body no longer carries it within.

Today I found out that the reason I have not been able to fully calm my mind or relax my body for so long is due to things that were said by those around me before my first Birthday. I was not even one year old and I already 'stressed out' and learning to 'escape reality' by putting my mind somewhere else. 

Can you imagine that?
As an infant.
Having to create and escape to...your 'happy space'.

I know that life is not perfect. And I know that truthfully, everything that happens to us here in this life, really won't matter one hundred years from now. I am only here to learn lessons. A lesson plan that I chose before I came here.
And I will not experience anything here that I cannot handle. The reason I know this, is because...if I remember to stand back and look at situations objectively, I can keep my head clear and move through it. Learn from it and move forward.
This is the whole reason for being here, after all.
I do wish it wasn't so difficult to remember. But if it was easy, we really wouldn't learn anything would we?


‘You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.’
- Mary Tyler Moore
Tonight Goose joined me in my yoga routine. He could do positions that I could not. There were positions that I could do that he could not. I looked over at him frequently, smiling through the gas & giggles that yoga often produces.
I thought about how funny life is. How strangely things turn out sometimes when you think you have a plan for another direction.

I found myself wondering what my Dad would think of me flying to Georgia on Friday for business. Then I realized...my Mother.
She never got to know this mature, confident Mother of three. She never got to see me in action juggling paperwork and patients. She didn't experience my divorce or heartbreak, my struggle back up and owning my own home as a single Mom.
She doesn't know Melinda the Photographer, Melinda the Reflexologist, Melinda the Mother of three grown children. Melinda the Happy wife of Goose. Or Melinda the grown Daughter that misses her every day.

I will continue to read, write, blog, do yoga, garden and meditate...while silently listening for the voices from beyond. That will tell me they see, they hear, they feel...and they are still with me.


 Happy Birthday Dad
xo



Saturday, January 16, 2016

I am Healthy! .....aren't I? Part 2

So here I was ...walking along, mindin' my own business...thinkin I had the world by the tail...eye did!
(Does anyone else hear that in a butchered English accent?....Eliza Doolittle pre Professor 'iggins..perhaps?

Anyway..you will not diverge me from my point today.

And my point was...oh yes, I thought I was healthy..and doing all the right things.
Then I came across another 'diet' which is not really a diet but more of a lifestyle as the 'Fit for Life' one previously mentioned in my other blogs.
 
This one is 'Eat Right 4 Your Blood Type'
 and is based on the premise that each of us have different blood types, A, O, B and AB. Well according to this eating plan A's should eat certain foods and/ or drinks to thrive in health. And on the same hinge, there are certain foods/drinks that act as a poison in our bodies.

A's are not to have red meat or dairy, but are to consume lots of fruits and vegetables. Sound like anyone you know?
It's me.
O's are allowed lots of beef, but no dairy. And that is Goose. My 'usband, for those of you 'oo don't know.
We decided we had hit a wall in our diet & lifestyle category and were willing to try something new. So we gave it a whirl.
Me, thinking avoiding dairy & beef would be a breeze since I'd been doing it for nearly 20 years. But then what's this? A's should not have bananas...or tomatoes...or pasta?! Those are some of my favorite things! But then they had the audacity to add *shudder* lobster to my 'poison' list....how was I ever to survive this?
Oh wait...chocolate is good..as long as it is dark. Okay, I can handle that. Rice is good...and I can have bread, as long as it doesn't have wheat in it. Okay...wheat-free bread....easy enough.
You do realize that wheat-free bread is not available at the corner store...right?
Well I had no idea it would sooo hard to keep up with.
I am not allowed pork, clams, crab, haddock, lobster, scallops, shrimp (I grew up in the Maritimes...I LOVE seafood!!) Not allowed almost every kind of cheese (no surprise there, dairy)...but then..I hit the fruit aisle. No bananas, cantaloupe, coconut, honeydew, mango (*cringe*) or tangerines. No mushrooms...which I also love, no tomatoes or potatoes. Now, potatoes...I did not eat them hardly ever anyway. But somehow, knowing that you CAN'T have it...makes it worse than choosing not to have it.

I can't help but think that Goose got off easy. Most of the things on his 'Avoid List' were things he didn't like anyway....like mushrooms. And of course I hear, 'See? I told you I should have those...' with a sneer. And he gets to keep Beer and Beef.  Aren't those the main food groups for a man anyway?

So not fair!
Moving on...Goose immediately lost 30 pounds. And I was so happy for him. Can you hear the happiness in my typing? I do get to drink red wine. And lots of it.

I have not lost any weight...but I have started meditating (still haven't gotten back to my yoga regime yet) but according to my blood type (there is good news!) I am not benefited whatsoever by aggressive exercise or hard labor. *tsk* I could have told you that. (half-smirk and head shake)
So I have been sleeping better, feeling better...fewer instances of heartburn, indigestion et al. In recent weeks I have tripled my water intake as well and have since wiped out most aches & pains I had. Simply by lubricating my joints and muscles. Who knew I wasn't drinking enough water?...are you drinking enough water?
Would you like to know how I found out? Here's where crazy cat lady comes in. (but I have no cats)
I stood with my feet together and simply said, 'show me yes' and my body tilted forward.
I put myself back in center and said, 'show me no' and my body tilted off to the right.

I was stunned that this worked. My Chiropractor showed me how to do it.

Then I picked up my water bottle and simply continued to ask my body how many bottles I should be drinking a day. I had been consuming 1-2 bottles a day....and I now have a goal of six bottles a day. Sometimes I achieve it...some days I come close. But at least now I know what to strive for. Before I had no idea how much I needed. And I do feel better.

Some days I feel jilted....others I feel blessed. The blessed days outweigh the jilted ones. And I guess that is was is really important.
I will soon be starting another 'way of life' program with my co-workers. It involves an in-depth analysis of my blood work and metabolism. It supposedly will give me even more answers as to why the eating right for my blood type is not helping me 100%. I feel there is something I am missing. This might fill in the blanks for me.
Stay tuned for updates.
Same bat-time.
Same bat-channel.

Namaste


I am Healthy....aren't I? Part 1

Okay, so New Year...new rules.
#1) I am going to blog more often...and on a semi-regular basis. Looking back I see there was a huge lag after my Father passed away where I definitely should have been writing. Why? you ask..? Because writing is a therapy. It's relaxing. It releases pent up feelings. And it's cheaper and less hassle than going to a psychologist.

I have always thought of myself as a healthy person. Twenty-four years ago, both of my Parents were diagnosed with cancer. My Mother took the more natural route and went to a Homeopath, changed her diet and used positive thought processes. And all of these seemed to be working to her benefit. Unfortunately, she was ill-advised to receive chemotherapy. And the severe damage it wrought on her was more powerful than the natural foods & remedies could deal with in a short time.
However, during that time of discovery we found out alot about our bodies, our diets and the importance of how they work together.

Elimination Cycle

I'm sure you know that our bodies work in a monthly cycle affected by the moon. But did you know that they also work on a daily cycle?
There are 24 hours in a day. If you break that down into 3 eight hour segments, you will realize that your body naturally does different functions during each one.

    Consumption - Roughly, from 12 noon til 8pm at night that is when we eat our meals, snacks etc.
    Digestion    -    From 8pm til 4am our bodies work to process and digest that food.
    Elimination  -   From 4am until 12 is when our body works to eliminate the waste from the previous day.

Once we learn this process and understand it, we can work with our bodies instead of against it. So when we get up in the morning it's a good idea to not eat anything heavy. Fruit is a good enabler to move things along and not inhibit any functions. Drink lots of water and juices.

Between Noon and 8pm eat as much healthy foods as you like and it will not hinder anything.
Try not to eat anything after 8pm. The reason for this is once your body starts to process and digest it doesn't want anything to interfere with that. If you have anything else to eat, it must start the process over again. You also sleep better if your belly does not have any 'new arrivals' just before bed.

I must say that when I worked this into my daily eating habits, I felt much better, slept more deeply and wakened feeling rested and alert. If your body spends all night trying to get caught up on a delayed task, it will not get a good 'recovering' rest.
* I learned this information from 'Fit for Life' book

Removing Harmful Toxins

I paid attention to what Mom's Homeopath asked her. The three main issues they dealt with were bread, red meat and aluminum. She said these were all contributors to her weakened immune system and thus an obvious candidate for cancer to take up a lease on space.

I immediately stopped eating bread, which was hard because it included rolls, flatbreads, crackers, wraps and my favorite...toast! But I did it. It was kinda hard to send the kids to school with peanut butter sandwiches with no bread. But soon they wouldn't be able to bring peanut butter into the school anyway. (that's a whole other blog!)

Red meat was admittedly a little easier for me since I hated the idea of eating a dead cow. 'Slaughter' is not a good word. No matter how quietly you say it. Not only the meat itself is a problem, but the way it is handled, the chemicals that are administered to said cow before the...'S' word. I really just don't see anything clean about the cow. Where it lies. Where it eats....you see where this is going.
When I stopped eating bread and beef, I lost 30 pounds. Logically there were people that said it was because I was starving myself. But I was not sick. I was actually looking really good. Vibrant. And healthy. For the first time in a long time.
 
Dairy, also from a cow...but no one has to die to get it...dependent upon the cow's disposition I assume. I had previously consumed cow's milk my entire life. Except for when there were nine people living in the house and we could only afford *cough* powdered milk. I can still taste that! However, once I started looking into it...the health problems that stem from cow's milk far outweighed the benefits of a tall cold glass of creamy chocolate milk. 
I started to read about obesity and diabetes in children, ear infections and other health problems. All of them were ingesting dairy on some level. Then I read something that changed my outlook forever. When we grow up we don't continue to drink our Mother's breast milk. (those of us who were lucky enough to be breastfed. I was not) We need that milk as we are growing and developing at the beginning of our lives so we receive the antibodies and nutrients that our Mother's provide for us.
And then we don't.
Dogs nurse their pups until they can eat solid food. They don't hook themselves up to pumps to continue feeding the grown pups. No other animal on the planet does it. Except us.
And we don't drink the Mama dog's milk. 
Dogs' milk is for dog babies. Cats' milk is for cat babies. Cows' milk is for cow babies. Humans' milk is for human babies. Seeing a theme here? I did too. I wish I had a dollar for every time I've said this out loud to other humans.
When we eliminated cow's milk from our diets we noticed a substantial improvement in everyone's health. Children of friends and family around us were constantly sick. Colds, flu, ear infections, allergies. My children did not suffer from any of those. Was it because we didn't eat dairy? No one can know for sure...but we definitely were a healthy bunch.
Aluminum ....I thought that would be simple. Stop eating anything from a can. (Mom's levels of aluminum in her body were four times the level that makes it easy for cancer to survive. But her entire life, she had drank juice from a can, soup from a can. So if we simply stopped buying any food or drink in a can we could put the brakes on that quick...right?

Wrong. Turns out, there were levels of aluminum in almost everything we were eating. We had to check the labels for literally everything. The biggest culprit....my anti-perspirant. It has aluminum in it to stop...STOP us from sweating. By clogging our pores and glands. Our armpits are right next to...what? that's right...our breasts!

Okay, okay....*deep breath*...I"m losing focus of what I wanted to say here. I know I have already told you all about the things above. And hopefully you listened. I love it when someone listens to me :-)
Long story short...
I can do it.
I thought I was healthy all these years. Drinking water. No pop. No bread. Red meat once or twice a year. Deodorant (aluminum-free), not anti-perspirant. Little or no junk food. Walking every day. Lots of fruits & veggies. Don't mix my starches with my proteins.

Every morning I was having a banana in my shake. Drinking what I thought was enough water. 
But...I was wrong.