Monday Reflections: Monday Blues

I hold my breath and close my eyes hoping the pain will come and go. I try to go on as if it was just another day. There is no denying that the sunset has left and the sunrise has followed. It is another day, but it’s another day without you here. When I read the text message last night, disbelief is all I could feel. I didn’t cry. I didn’t get angry or ask why. I replied to my sister saying to let me know when the funeral arrangements would take place. I said goodnight and went to bed.

Today, I sit at my desk trying to hold back the tears. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming. You weren’t doing well, and the doctors said it would be a matter of days, but I wish they hadn’t been right.

I think about the last time I saw you and how now I never will. You grew up with my family. You were one of us kids. You were my brother’s best friend and a big brother to my sister and I. You made us laugh and helped us beat up our brother because he was too big. You were there to pick us up when we needed a ride from school. I still remember the white mustang waiting for us outside of school. Out of that small, two door car, two big, bald guys would get off to let us in the back seat. It was hilarious to see you both get out of such a small car.

As we grew up, you were there for all the milestones. My sweet fifteen, high school graduation, college graduation, and wedding. Even through the difficult times, when my grandparents and great-aunt passed away, you never failed to pay your respects and give us a warm embrace.

Life is funny and has a way of bringing the smallest memory back to light. Each of those memories will make me laugh because of all the dumb things you and my brother would say. Those memories will also make me cry because your life was cut way too short, and we won’t be able to make new memories.

I’m not sure why things happen the way they do, but I do know you were a wonderful person and a great friend. Others might have thought you were a rough, tough guy, but those who knew you well, will remember the big teddy bear inside.

This is for you, the one I never got to meet.

I could see your bright smile long before I ever saw your face.

I could hear your cries and sobs because you needed a diaper change.

I could feel your warm hugs when you needed my comforting embrace.

I could imagine all the memories we’d create through the years.

I could picture you reaching all your milestones.

I could. I could. But I didn’t get to.

I love you even though I never got to meet you, and I always will.

I’ll tell those that come after you how special you are to me.

A piece of you will always be in my heart, and I will never forget you.

When I give my last breath, we will finally meet.

In paradise, I promise to make up for all lost time.

I will hold you, make you smile and laugh.

Because that’s what mommies are supposed to do.

I wish I could say life is a bed of roses without thorns, but this would be a lie. My older sister was in her second trimester when she lost her twin daughters. My friend was just five weeks pregnant when she had her first miscarriage.

Besides being a mom to a kid with four paws, I have no children of my own. I’ve never experienced life growing in my womb, but I still feel a sense of loss. I can imagine my two eight-year-old nieces pleading for me to make them another tea party. I can picture their poor drawn color penciled Happy Birthday and Valentines Day cards, which would say I was their greatest aunt, or maybe even their best friend. Those cards would mean the world to me more than any beautifully crafted Hallmark card.

For all the moms who’ve lived this nightmare, I cannot say that I know what you are going through. I cannot say that I know exactly how it feels, but I do know that you aren’t alone. The world might feel a little more broken, but your family and friends are there to help you through it all.

Life is a bed of roses filled with painful thorns, but it’s still beautiful. Roses are wonderful, and need someone to tend to them. Let those who love you be your gardeners to help put yourself back together again.

Here and There

This is something I wrote back in 2007 when I was adjusting to college and being on my own for the first time. As graduation season comes to a conclusion, I feel the following poem is only appropriate. Going off to college means being surrounded by an unfamiliar environment that is filled with so much potential. It means meeting new, interesting people who will make everything worthwhile. While both are wonderful and exciting, there is still a sense of loss for the life we’ve left behind. Continue reading

Life is but a waterfall

Sometimes there are no words to describe your thoughts because they are a jumbled up mess. Sometimes curve balls get thrown your way, and you can’t dodge them. Sometimes you feel so lost that there is no way of finding your way back. Then, from out of nowhere, there is a tiny ray of light shining through the dark clouds. There is someone out there who makes you feel like you aren’t alone and everything is going to be alright. Continue reading

All beginnings start with goodbyes

Black caps with all sorts of colored tassels can be seen flying in the air, and we all know what this means. Graduation season is here! And all the hard work has finally paid off!

With the completion of any chapter, one thing is certain. There will always be goodbyes. I dislike the bye and prefer the see you later, but saying the word is inevitable.

I graduated college several years ago with a date I won’t say. The year will tell my age, and it’s something I’d rather not tell right now. Let’s just say I’m less than halfway from taking the “over the hill” title.

This is a little something I wrote when I was about to graduate from college. I’m pretty sure we all once did or will share this exact moment and feeling.

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Monday Reflections: Remembering Christmas

christmas tree

This time last year, it was a little over two weeks since I had left the hospital. My body was weak, and my meds kept me asleep rather than awake. I was too tired to do anything, and when I managed to stay up, it was difficult to concentrate. I can’t recall much of the 2013 holiday season, although I really try to.

As I think about this Christmas, a smile forms across my face. This year, I can and will remember everything!

So what happened this Christmas?

Family and friends gathered at my parents’ house. Lights covered entire rooms, poinsettias topped every table and wreaths adorned each door. Dead center in the living area, the colorful christmas tree glowed, and underneath lay a pile of presents. Next to the presents, were my little nieces eager to open them up.

Chatter could be heard around the house, including the laughter brought on by my father’s jokes. The Chef Masters, my mother and older sister, worked away in the kitchen. Their cooking filled the air with sweet, savory aromas. Dinner was nothing short of amazing!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the family’s Christmas elf. Organizing and making sure the right present was handed to the right person has always been my responsibility. I love this, and I look forward to entertaining everyone as I go around the room every year. My health had prevented me from passing out presents last year, but it never will again! I am and will always be the Christmas elf!

Today I reflect on the joy the holidays bring and how wonderful it is to spend it with the ones you love.

This year has been wonderful, and I continue to receive the best gift of all. I’ve had the love and support of my family and friends all these years. No matter how hard the travel or how scary this year may have seemed, they have always been on my Fighting Epilepsy team. Having them here is the best present I could ever receive.

 

Monday Reflections: Will you keep in touch?

handshake sketch

People come in and out of our lives constantly. Strangers become acquaintances. Acquaintances become friends. Some friends become part of our past, and the cycle begins again.

I spent the greater part of last week catching up with an old friend. Our last words were exchanged in August 2010. Four years later, we have picked up where we left off.

When people first part, we tell each other we will always keep in touch. Days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. Months turn into years, and we sometimes fail to just say hello. When reunited, we renew the promise to keep in touch so updated numbers and addresses are exchanged.

I reflect on the passage of time and friendships. Just like many, I’ve successfully failed to send out a simple hello. I believe friendship doesn’t necessarily mean spending time or talking to someone on a day-to-day basis, but four years is far too long.

It’s important to invest time into any relationship. After all, when things are rough, friends help make things better. I’m thankful for my friends, both old and new. We shared a lot of tears and laughter. As I remember this, I will make sure time does not erase those memories. I promise to keep in touch. Will you?