Tag Archive | tears

Valentine Tears

Today is Valentine’s Day!  A day of love, hugs, kisses and gifts and for some, a day of tears.  Not because the person you are dating didn’t buy you a gift.  Not because your spouse forgot to tell you Happy Valentine’s Day.  Not because your children didn’t show appreciation for what you do for them.  In my case, today is a day of tears because a very special Valentine will not arrive from my Mom.

It’s been 5 1/2 years since my mom died of cancer.  My grief for her is not as debilitating as it used to be.  I can go a month or so without missing her to the point of tears.  But on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, I miss her so much.  My mom always had some special Valentine’s gift for my siblings and I.  It could be something simple like a coloring book or just a box of chocolates, but no matter what, she always had a gift for us.  Even when I moved away, she would send me a care package at Valentine’s with a bag of my favorite candy bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

When I would call and thank her for remembering, she would tell me that she had to make sure her kids had a special Valentine’s gift from her.  (Yes, she would send care packages to all of her kids.)  Which explains my Valentine’s Day tears.  Memories of her love and care flood me with grief over the fact that she is not on this earth anymore.  Yes, I am an adult and a mother of four, I can go and buy as many Reese’s and I want for myself.  But that’s not the point, the point is that my mom took every opportunity to show me how much I meant to her and I miss the fact that I can’t hear her voice or read a special note that she’s written to me in a card.

I miss my mom today more than others, because it reminds me of how great of a mom she was.  I try my best to be that kind of mom for my kids, but I don’t know if I do it as well as she did.  Yes, I have bought some Valentine chocolates for my kiddos to receive tonight.  Yes, I purchased and helped them make out Valentine cards for their classmates.  And yes, I will most likely pop in during their Valentine’s Day party at school today.  But for some reason, that doesn’t seem like as much as my mom had done for me.  I’m afraid my grief for my mom makes my efforts a little less special for my kids.  But maybe that’s just the Devil trying to pull me down when he knows that I am weak.

So now that I have shared with you the love I have for my mom and the pain and tears that come with Valentine’s Day, I will wipe away the tears and do my best to make this day as special as I can for my kiddos.  So that one day, they too can have fond memories of me on Valentine’s Day.  To all those who find it hard to put aside their grief during this Valentine’s Day, I give you my own words of advice.  Spend a few minutes thinking of the one you lost and remember the great things they did for you.  Then get up and make this day a special day for someone special in your life.  Spread the love that you would have shown to your deceased loved one with someone that needs it most today.  Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!



Embracing the Pain

I’m sorry for being away for some time.  There has been a lot of things happening lately.  Because of the date my husband and I chose to be married, I just finished a week-long celebration of events.  Talk about a whirlwind of emotions.

First there was Mother’s Day and since I have four children, I definitely deserve some sort of celebration there.  Then three days later, on Wednesday, May 13th, my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.  It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years.  Has it all been sunshine and rainbows?  No, but I couldn’t ask for a better person to share those hard times with.  Then two days later I celebrated my 45th birthday.  Yep, I was married two days before I turned 30-years-old.

I was surprised to find myself missing my mom the most on the my birthday.  Yes, I missed her on Mother’s Day.  But I guess I was too busy sending special messages of encouragement to my friends that were trying to make it through their first motherless Mother’s Day, that I didn’t have time to focus on my motherless life as much.

I missed her on my anniversary, but I was too busy making the day special for my husband that I didn’t have time to focus on my loss.  But when my birthday came around, it all sort of piled on top of me.  Maybe because I had started a tradition about 20 years ago that ended when my mom died.

When I was in my early twenties I started having a balloon or a carnation delivered to my mom on my birthday.  It always had a note attached that said something like “Thank you for giving me life.”  It was always addressed to my mom AND dad, because it takes two to tango. (If you know what I mean.)  But in reality, it was my mom that carried me in her womb for 9 months and then continued to carry me physically and in her heart until the day she died.  So I guess it has always been my mom that I had felt deserved this gesture the most.

After my mom passed away, my Dad had became technical savvy enough to make an account on Facebook.  So for a few years, I had sent him a virtual bouquet of flowers on my birthday.  But this year, I didn’t do that, because he’s been sick and hasn’t been on Facebook for a while.  Plus, he was in the process of moving back to his summer home in Iowa last week.

So is the fact that I didn’t send my traditional (real/virtual) flowers to my parents bothering me this year?  Maybe so.  Or maybe it’s just the fact that so much has changed in my life these last 9 months and the one person that I wish I could talk to is not here any more.  I miss my mom so much.  I miss her everyday, but the hurt is just a bit fresher lately.

My mom was my confidant, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader and I miss her so much.  My mom is the reason I started writing this blog, because I needed to find a way to get things out of my head.  Not just the sorrow I felt about losing her, but just my everyday stories.  There were times we would talk on the phone for hours, because I had to tell her about all the things that the kids had done recently.

So when my mom died, I lost my one-person audience that I could always depending on listening to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have friends that listen to my stories and there is always Frank.  Of course, Frank doesn’t always hear me at times.  If there is a special game on the TV, I can talk for hours and he wouldn’t have a clue what I said.  My mom was the one person that would listen to the same stories and not tell me that I had already told her that.  She could finish my sentences for me and if there was ever a time when I lost my train of thought, she would overlook it and we would go on to another topic.

We would talk on the phone for more than an hour and afterward my dad would ask her what we talked about and she would say, “Not much.”  Because we would talk about anything and everything.  Things that were important and things that didn’t matter.  We just loved to talk or maybe you could say that we loved to hear each other’s voices.

If I ever tried to hide the fact that I was worried or scared about something, she could always see right through it.  Even if we were speaking on the phone and I tried to act nonchalant, she could tell by the tone in my voice that something was wrong.

She had this mother’s intuition about her that told her when she needed to give me a call.  She would call me up and tell me that I had been on her mind a lot and then I would tell her of some struggle I had dealt with.

My mom was amazing and I miss hearing her voice.  I miss telling her about my dreams and confiding about my fears.  I miss telling her about some stupid thing that her grandchildren did or telling her some great achievement they accomplished.

The bottom line is, I miss my mom so much it hurts.  And I don’t know how to make the pain go away or even if I want it to go away.  It might sound silly, but if my pain for her loss goes away, does that mean my love for her goes away too?  So I guess instead of wanting things to be easier and not so painful, I should embrace the pain and find a way to celebrate the fact that my love for my mom is so strong that it physically hurts.  I can’t think of a better tribute that I could give my beloved mom.

Thank you for listening to me ramble.  To those of you who have lost your mom or dad or someone very special, I hope you can find a point in your mourning to embrace the pain your broken heart is feeling and celebrate that your love was so strong.

Also remember, it’s okay to cry.  I think that a person needs to shed tears to clear their emotions.  To get the good and bad emotions out of their systems.  I use to be the type that didn’t want to cry in front of someone.  Now, I will cry at the drop of the hat, in a room full of people, and not care if everyone notices.  So go ahead and give yourself a chance to have a good cry.  We all need to do it now and then and in the end, you’ll feel a lot better.  I know I did.

A Happy Mother’s Day…for the most part

Just a quick note to let you know that I did not end up in a padded room or a jail cell today.  Nope, I still have some of my marbles left and my kids are all still breathing.  It was a good Mother’s Day…for the most part.  Maybe that is because I had less expectations this year.  I didn’t expect to spend the day doing nothing but chillin’.  I didn’t expect my kids to be perfect angels all day long.  I didn’t expect to feel cheerful and carefree all day long.  I just expected to spend the day with my family and not have to do as much as I normally do.

Believe it or not, I had some surprises throughout the day.  Breakfast in bed, take out for lunch, gifts from my kids, an afternoon nap, some unexpected help from my children, releasing balloons to my mom and our grandmother’s in Heaven and some kind messages from my family and friends.  Yes, there were some usual moments that I’m not surprised about.  Little things like the typical whining about going to mass in the morning.  The stressful moments during mass when the kids didn’t want to behave.  The complaining from at least one kid when Frank announced we were getting KFC for lunch.  The crying child that hadn’t made a special Mother’s Day gift at school for mom.  The typical bickering that my kids do every weekend.  The typical requests from the kids to help them with something they want to make or do.  The typical fight to help with a siblings school project.  The 9:00 pm crazy children routine.  These are all things that did not surprise me.  Because they are typical on a special holiday like Mother’s Day.

I guess you could say that I gave myself a special Mother’s Day gift to myself today.  I just let the day play out and did my best not to get upset or disappointed.  Yes, there were sad moments when I posted on Facebook, my message of love to my deceased mother.  Yes, I did say aloud a few times today, “Happy Mother’s Day to me!” with a sarcastic meaning behind it, because of some situation that my kids were in the middle of.  Like a glass of water being spilled or an argument that started between two of the kids or some stupid thing that resulted in some child crying.  However, all in all, it was a pretty good day.  I hope it was the same for all the other mothers out there in this world.  I hope there was at least one thing they can look back on and smile about.  Even if it’s just a look on one of their children’s faces or a kind word that reached deep, deep down in their heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to the toughest humans alive, because motherhood ain’t for sissies!  😉

Christmas Countdown

{Here is another story that was typed but never posted.  It was originally written on December 26, 2013.  Two years later, I am very thankful I had written these events down.  I remember them all, but forgot they all happened on the same holiday.  Enjoy!}

An old classmate sent me a message the other day and there was a statement that really tickled me.  She has never had kids and she wrote, “I bet Christmas at your house is so much fun.”  I hated to burst her bubble of the wonderful image she had of my life, but if she reads this blog she will discover that my family Christmas’ will never be used to portray a Norman Rockwell Christmas picture.  Maybe the cover of a National Lampoon Christmas Vacation movie, but not a Norman Rockwell picture.  LOL

I’m sure you all understand the term “cause and effect”.  I have decided to use a cause and effect layout to describe my Christmas Holiday.  I hope it comes across the same way I had it in my head.  I was going to write, in detail, what my Christmas Holiday was like, but it was turning into a book.  So hopefully you will get a good understanding of what my Christmas was like from the highlights below.  So please join me on my Christmas Countdown.

4 days before Christmas

Woke up to an ice storm = Me outside beating on the weighed down tree limbs with a stick.  (It was like beating a big pinata and I actually kind of enjoyed it.)
Kids excitement level for Christmas escalating + Boredom of being inside = More sibling fighting than normal.
Ice storm causes a baby-sitting event to be cancelled = No Christmas shopping alone with my hubby.
My youngest throwing a toy car at the ceiling = Broken glass globe on my ceiling fan/chandler.
Ice storm blows a neighborhood transformer = Me leaving a shopping cart full of toys at a store to return home.  (By the way, the glass globe incident happened on Dad’s watch, about 5 minutes before the power went out.  So the big pieces were picked up, but not the little pieces.  And if you were wondering, the kids continued to fight IN THE DARK!)
Estimation of power coming back on at 8:00pm = Taking the family to IHOP for supper.
Discovering power is back on by 8:00pm = Frank telling me to go Christmas shopping, while he watches the kids.
Christmas shopping for about 3 hours at Walmart = Quicker checkout lines and arriving to a house full of sleeping kids at midnight.

3 days before Christmas

Youngest walking around with his sibling’s new flashlight = Black eye for my youngest daughter Ann, after Christopher gets mad and hits her with it.
Bored kids = Even more fighting
Kids getting in trouble = Many threats from parents that their toys were going back.
Telling my 8-year-old son that Santa isn’t going to bring him a present because of his actions = Hearing him state, “Doesn’t matter, cause your Santa anyway.”
Telling my 4-year-old daughter to behave or Santa Clause won’t bring her a present = A little girl crying her eyes out, for real!!!

2 days before Christmas

Dad & Mom having to go to work = Youngest one to day-care and the three older kids to a babysitter for the day.
Kids being at the babysitter’s house all day (on their best behavior) = Three kids letting off steam once they get home. (I’m talking a LOT of steam)
Little brother coming home with a present from a friend at day-care = Three older kids crying “It’s not fair, what about our present?”
Anxious kids asking about presents = More pissed off parents that declare Christmas is going to be cancelled.
Older siblings telling my 4-year-old that tomorrow is Christmas Eve = Four year old stating that tomorrow is Christmas and December 25th was Christmas Eve.

1 day before Christmas

Hubby having to go to work until 3:00pm (Luckily fool) = Mom threatening to kill kids if they don’t stop fighting and start picking up their toys.
Oldest daughter locking baby brother in the bathroom for a joke = A very pissed off Mom and a big brother to the rescue.  (He had to move my night stand, which blocks the other bathroom door, to get in and rescue his 2-year-old brother.)
Youngest son climbing up his dresser to get a pair of socks so he can join his older siblings outside = Chest of drawers falling on top of my little 2-year-old.
Lack of concern from older siblings when they found out about their brother’s accident = Mom on the floor in tears, having a Christmas meltdown.
Mom breaking down and crying = Kids actually cleaning the living room like I had asked them to do all day.
Dad arriving during Mom’s breakdown = Kids standing around saying, “Mom’s in the bathroom crying, but we don’t know why.”
My two oldest kids singing in the children’s Christmas choir = Needing to have them dressed and to the church by 4:20pm.  (Less than an hour after Frank arrived home from work.)
Watching my two oldest singing with the mass choir on Christmas Eve = Pride and thankfulness that our oldest daughter is here to sing at mass.  (Since 6 months ago, she had a brain tumor removed.)
Mom making baked zitti earlier in the day = Having a hot supper waiting for us after mass.
Letting the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve = Hearing excitement and disappointment when my youngest daughter says “I wanted some Stompy Slippers like Patrick.”  (However, they didn’t have any in her size, so I got her some Minnie Mouse slippers that can be used as a hand puppet.  No matter what I do, I can’t win!!)
Mom forgetting to make or buy cookies for Santa = Mom having to sacrifice one of her Reese’s peanut butter cup candy bars to set out with Santa’s milk.  (My oldest daughter asked me, “But what if Santa is allergic to peanut butter?”  My reply, “Then he won’t eat it.”)
Kids going to bed earlier than normal = Mom having the Christmas presents wrapped and gives Santa a chance to drop off his gifts at a decent hour.

Christmas Day

My two oldest kids excited about opening presents = Waking up around 4:00 am to hear them sifting through the presents under the tree.

Discovering my kids are awake WAY TOO EARLY = Telling them through gritted teeth, “If you don’t get back to bed and wait until your younger siblings wake up, all of your gifts will be going back!  And don’t even try waking them up, or you’ll be sorry.”.

Mom’s few minutes of letting her head spin around = Two kids actually staying in their room until a decent hour.

Watching ALL of the kids open presents that morning = Happiness, thankfulness and joy.  Not to mention some disappointment, whining and tears.  (You just can’t please everyone, all the time.)

Knowing all of our kids are healthy = The best Christmas present for Frank and I.

After reading through this story, I see that my friend is right.  Christmas is fun at our house.  It’s also crazy, loud, eventful and lively.  Going through those events at the time didn’t seem like fun.  But reading them now, years later, the bad feelings are forgotten.  They have been softened around the edges by the time.  So when I remember that Christmas in 2013, I have a warm and loving feeling in my heart.  Not the anger and despair I probably felt at the time.  🙂

I guess one of the miracles of Christmas is to create memories that will be cherished and remembered with a smile on your face many years later.

Picking Up The Pieces

As a mother, you tend to get use to picking up things.  Sometimes the things you pick up are pieces of an item that was accidentally broken by your child.  Sometimes, you have to help pick up the emotional pieces of your child.  It’s not an easy job, but I guess that’s why God created Moms.

The other day, my oldest boy Patrick, fell off a skateboard and hurt his wrist.  He came in the house crying and holding his wrist.  I got him calmed down enough to find out what happened.  He said he had fallen off the neighbor boy’s skateboard and twisted his arm behind him.  I looked him over and was relieved to discover that there were no open wounds on his body.  Then I quickly reminded him that this is the reason I don’t want him riding a skateboard.  He said, “I know, I know.”, but I don’t really think he does know.

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Meltdown in Aisle 5

Well, actually not in aisle 5, it was in Walmart’s Customer Service line.  (But I didn’t think that was a very good title.)  I was waiting in line to return my son’s defective Christmas present, a flashlight friend that did not want to stay lit up.  It was four days after Christmas and I had been a real female dog lately around the house, so to speak.  {I think you know what I mean.  😉 }  I thought my mood was just because I had been sick and then my cycle started.  Not to mention that my kids had been out of school for a week and was driving me crazy with all their bickering.

So I was standing in line, reading my Facebook notifications, when I saw one from my cousin in Oklahoma.  She’s on my mom’s side of the family and surprisingly enough, I had just been thinking about them that day.  My cousin posted some photos of her family Christmas.  She had been fortunate enough to celebrate it with not only her husband, her three kids and their families; but also her three brothers, their families and her parents.  Her mom was my mom’s older sister.  It was great to see all of her family, especially my Aunt and Uncle.  I was typing the message:  “Looks like you had a holiday filled with love. Lucky you. Happy holidays cousin.”; when the tears started to fall down my cheeks.

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