Tag Archive | adventures


A lot has happened since I have last blogged and hopefully with time I will get a chance to document it all.  But at the moment, my mind is on Marie and the changes that has happened in the last month.   Don’t worry, all the changes have been good, but they have been changes all the same.  On the second week of May, my first-born celebrated her 8th grade graduation.  I know that 8th grade graduation is not a real huge life changing thing for most people, but for our family it is.  Graduating from 8th grade means that Marie will be leaving the small, Catholic-based, safe haven that she has known for 10 years and continuing her education at a much bigger, public school setting.  However, that is a topic for another blog.  The only reason I mention it here is because that event was the beginning of the many changes in Marie’s life…and mine.

My mother-in-law was able to fly out for the 8th grade graduation and when she flew back home, she was not alone.  Marie was given a special 8th grade graduation gift, thanks to her grandparents.  She was given the chance to spend a month of her summer with her grandmother on the East Coast.  This was partly thanks to Frank’s father, who passed away in October 2016.  Months before my father-in-law passed way, we had visited the East Coast and Marie had expressed her hope to spend some time with them during the summer.  It would give her a chance to spend time with her grandparents plus an uncle, aunt and two cousins, whom she does not see often.  So my father-in-law made sure that our daughter got to have that wish come true, even if he had to watch it from Heaven.  So my 15-year-old took off on a new adventure, many, many miles away.  The fact that she has never slept away from home for more than one night, with the exception of the week she was in the hospital, is HUGE!  Which is what leads me to this new series in my life called ‘Staying Connected’.


Not Today!

There are days that I am stronger than others.  I can normally take a joke and even brush off an insult from my kids.  But yesterday was not that day.  Yesterday was the 4 year anniversary of my mother’s death.  And though the pain is not quite as debilitating as it was the day it happened, the pain is still there.  The thought that I can’t call her on the phone or hug her when I want to brings me sadness and pain.

Which is why yesterday should have been marked on the calendar as “Not Today!” day.  Let’s rewind back to the last 48 hours and I’ll show you why yesterday’s motto was “Not Today!”  On the eve of my mother’s 4 year death anniversary (I guess that’s what you call it.  It’s the day she died, so I’m calling it her ‘death anniversary’.)  Anyway, on the eve of my mom’s 4 year death anniversary I was trying to adjust my flexible eyeglasses when they snapped in half.

Without my glasses, I am useless.  I can see about 5 inches from my face.  So you can imagine what state of mind I was in.  To say I was cranky doesn’t even come close to describing my mood.  I was mad at the situation, I was mad at myself and I was a tad P.O.’d that no one volunteered to drive me to the eyeglass store the next day to get them fixed.  So I did the only thing I could do, I pulled up my big girl panties and duct tape the crap out of them.  See:

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So the following morning (the day that I lost my mom 4 years earlier), I go walking into the kid’s school sporting these bad boys.  LOL  They didn’t just look dorky, they were off kilter on my face.  That would not have been a problem, except for the fact that I have bifocals.  Do you know what happens when you wear bifocals that are not lined up correctly to your eyes?  They give you a headache.  So as I was dropping off all the kids to their classrooms (except for Marie, cause she’s a teen and can go on her own), I was explaining to the teachers that I broke my glasses last night.

I think back now and wonder why I felt the urge to tell the teachers that my glasses were broken.  Surely they guessed that was why I had duct taped them.  I wouldn’t be wearing them like this just for the fun of it.  I may be strange, but not that strange.  So by the time I had left the school, everyone I had been in contact with knew that I had broken my glasses last night and I was heading to the eyeglass store to get them fixed.

I made it to the eyeglass store and waited in my van while my back up glasses were being made.  Since I had the time to kill and I was getting sleepy in the van, I decided to call my sister.  We had a good one hour conversation on the phone about a variety of things.  But the one thing that stands out is the way my sister reminds me of my mom.  My sister has 7 kids and they range from 25 to 10 I believe.  (I know I should be a better aunt and remember my niece’s and nephew’s ages, but I have enough trouble remembering my four kid’s ages sometimes.)

Remember her daughter Louise?  My niece that went to the One Direction concert with us?  Well, she decided to take a vacation to Colorado.  She was driving out on her own and meeting up with a friend that was flying into Colorado that day.  Some mother’s would be worried about their daughter traveling alone for such a long distance.  But not my sister, because my sister is just like our mom.

You see, my sister was able to let Louise take a trip to Puerto Rico by herself to live in a Hostel for a few months and just experience the culture.  If she could make it through Louise’s Puerto Rico trip, then a trip to Colorado was like a walk in the park.  Besides, she told me on the phone that she had a good feeling about the trip.  Even when she was not able to reach her daughter, because the cellphone coverage was not strong enough, she didn’t freak out.  Because she had a good feeling about it.  That’s exactly how my mom was, she would leave her worries at God’s feet and know that He would protect us when we left her.  She was a very brave mom, but I didn’t always see how brave she was then.  I had to get a little older before I realized how many times my mom had stood there bravely as she watched her children take off and fly on their own.

I had told my sister that of all days, this was not a good day to have her daughter in the middle of America without cellphone coverage.  She agreed that many times the thought of Louise getting in an accident on the day of our mom’s death anniversary did pop into her head.  But she would push the thoughts out of her head and be at peace with the situation because she had a good feeling about it.  I hope that when my children get older and start to take adventures by themselves, that I will be able to be as confident as my sister and mom were.

In a way, knowing what my sister was dealing with that day gave me some sort of comfort.  You know that saying about misery loves company.  Not that I wanted her to be miserable, but to know that today was a little difficult for her helped me feel less alone.  I wasn’t the only one walking around struggling with simple things on the 4 year anniversary of my mom’s death.

Before I go any further, may I say that I have one cool niece.  In fact, all my nieces and nephews are pretty darn cool.  They go out and do things that other people dream of.  I am so glad they have that sense of adventure in them.  Their grandmother is smiling down from Heaven on them and she is very proud to know that they don’t let the fear of the unknown keep them from trying.

As I mentioned before, I am a pretty easy person to deal with.  I will overlook quite a few things that my family may say or do.  But as I was waiting for my glasses to be fixed, I had sent a text to Frank.  I had noticed that he had withdrawn a larger amount of cash from the bank account than he normally does.

So I asked him, “Why did you take so much money out of the checking account yesterday?”

He replies back, “Because   stupid.”

I looked at the text and was pretty sure what he meant to say.

I do believe he meant to type, “Because I’m stupid.”  Because that’s the same thing I would have said to him.  However, on my mom’s 4 year death anniversary, that little typo didn’t set so well in my stomach.

So I texted him back and said, “Ok, did you just call me stupid or did you forget the word “I’m”????”

He replied back with, “No, I’m stupid.  lol”

I responded back with “Good answer.  LOL”

About five seconds later, Frank calls me on the phone.  We laughed about the typo and then I told him that I was just about to come down to his job and kick his butt for that comment.  LOL  Like I said, ‘Not Today’.  Yesterday would have been fine.  Two days from now would have been fine, but not on my mom’s 4 year death anniversary.

You would think that by the time I got home with my backup glasses, things would get better.  After all, I could see again and things were in alignment.  Wrong!  When I went to get my kids, they had to comment on my new glasses right away.  For the most part, they were just excited that I had new glasses.  But Patrick decided it was be a good idea to keep telling me that I looked like a nerd.  That might be true and on a normal day I would just let it go.  But ‘Not Today!’, not on the day I was mourning the loss of my mom.  So needless to say, by the time Frank got home I was at the point of shooting Patrick for his remarks about my new glasses.

It was around this time that I realized that there needs to be some sort of shirt that people should wear on this type of occasion.  It needs to be a t-shirt with a logo like

“Lost my Mother 4 years ago today.  Handle with care.”  

Or “This is Not the Day to Mess with Me!”  

Or “It’s my mom’s death anniversary – Look out…You’ve been warned!”  

This way, the people who are around you that day, will know that you are not fully in control of your emotions and their actions could cost them some pain in the long run.

Yes, it has occurred to me that I might appear to be a little overly sensitive on this day.  But you know what?  I lost my mom and for the other 364 days of the year, I don’t let the sadness get to me as bad.  So I think that I deserve at least one day to be overly emotional as a memorial for my mom.

My mom was not just my mom, she was my best friend…and I miss her.  I know there will come a day that we will be reunited again in Heaven and believe me, I look forward to that day.  But until that day happens, I guess I will continue to flag this day as the “Not Today!” day.

I love you Mom and I am so thankful you were in my life.  No matter how short the time might have been, you taught me so much and I am forever in your doubt.  R.I.P. Mom.

First Day of School (Life After Layoff – Chapter 21)

It’s here, the day my kids go back to school.  Summer is over…and I survived!!!  I have endured so much with my kids these last 8 weeks.  All summer long I have waited for this day to get here and yet, I’m really not as thrilled as I thought I’d be.  Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to be relieved of my 24/7 motherly duties.  I won’t be missing the constant bickering and whining that I have heard all summer long.  But I’m going to miss my kids.  Wait…who said that?

I confess, it was me that said that.  I’m going to miss hanging out with my kids.  Although we had moments this summer of boredom and crankiness, we had a lot of fun.  We shared some great memories.  (And I’m not just referring to the One Direction concert.)  We had some fun adventures and we had some relaxing times where we just chilled out together.  They have been my companions the last two months and when 8:00 am rolls around, they will all be going back to school and I will be at home alone.

I look forward to having some quiet time around the house.  But I also feel sad that I can’t go on to school with my kids.  I want to be there for them…to help Christopher get adjusted to his two new Pre-School teachers.  To help Marie get used to a new teacher in Social Studies and get back into the teenage scene.  I want to help Patrick get comfortable with his new classroom and his new responsibilities.  Although I am not as worried about Ann adjusting to First Grade, I am worried about her adjusting to being without me.

This is a part of motherhood that I don’t like.  The part where you have to let go of your kids to let them fly on their own.  I know they can all do it, I just hate to see them do it without me.  But it is something that I have to do, if I want to be a good mom.  I have a better understanding of what my mother went through year after year with her four kids.  I know she had the same fears and worries, because she told me later in life, but at the time it was happening, she had her game face on.

She was talking up school and all the fun we would have.  She knew the anxiety we were having about new teachers and new classmates, because she was feeling it too.  But she never let us know it.  She continued to do her part as our personal cheerleader.  Always placing encouraging thoughts into our heads, to help crush the doubt and fear we were feeling.  I know I have said this before, but my Mom was truly awesome.  And so, in her loving memory, I will try to do the same for her grandchildren.

I will get them up in the morning with a smile on my face and excitement in my voice.  I will gently nudge them into the car and joyfully escort them into the school building, even though I will be wishing in my heart that they could stay with me for the day.  I will give out all the hugs, kisses, fives and knuckle punches that they need to get them to smile before I leave them in their new environment.  And then I’ll go home alone and most likely cry, because I will miss my kids.  No matter how much a pain in the butt they are at times.  No matter how many times I have said out loud, “I can’t wait for school to start again.”  No matter how quiet it will be when they are all off to school.  I will actually miss my kids.

However…an hour after I pick them up from school today, I’ll most likely be ready for them to go back to school again.  🙂