100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 3 – Another Day, Another Storm

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I gotta say, waking up on April 1st to a SNOWSTORM and Day #2 without power was not exactly what I was hoping for.  I mean, talk about a mean April Fool’s joke. Needless to say, my morning didn’t start off right, but looking back on the day, it’s not that it didn’t start out right, I CHOSE to not make it start off right.

Isaac

So, this has been Day 5 of no school for the boys, we’re all going stir crazy and it just felt like everything was being dumped on me all at once.  My goodness, I mean, REALLY? REALLY?!?!!?  It just seemed to be one of those days.

And then, I decided to take out my camera.

Elijah

You know, I always find solace when I have my camera in my hand.  It just seems as if all the problems melt away.  To conserve the use of my generator, I’ve been turning it off throughout the day (and to also save on gas since I only have a limited supply.)  Well, I turned the generator off around 5pm, and as soon as I did that, the sun came out.  It was the first time in a long time that I’ve seen the sun.  I just had to get my camera.

So, I started shooting.  What did I start shooting?  Some scenes of the outdoors, and then I turned the camera on my muse – my boys.

Brotherly Love
Justus

It’s always a fun time capturing my boys on film, whether it’s still life or video.  They’re very willing subjects, but then again, what kid ISN’T willing when it comes to a camera.  They let me shoot them in the evening light as the sun was going down and it was just a lot of fun.  I’m not sure how many pics I took, but I just kept shooting.  I got some pretty amazing shots of the boys and it made me realize that there are so many things we can control in life.  The weather is NOT one of them.  So, instead of bitching and complaining about it, just make the most of it.  Yes, the power’s out, and that’s no fun.  It’s still snowing and it’s April, the boys have been out of school for a week and my schedule has been turned upside down.  But, these are things completely out of MY control, so just go with the flow.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Instead, I chose to focus on what I could control and that is MY attitude and reaction to things.  Sometimes it takes me a while to realize these things, but when I do, it usually sticks.

Yeah, it’s all worth it!!!

Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but according to the weather, things should be looking up for our neck of the woods, and I hope it’s true.  If it turns out to be another snow day for the boys, we’ll make it work.  That’s all we can do.  Hopefully the power will be back on, but if not, we’ll make do.  We’ve been doing pretty well so far.

But, that doesn’t mean I can’t have visions of warm weather and a bit of tranquility every now and again either, right?  No, I didn’t think so.

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Living on Borrowed Time

On Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 12:46am, my Dad passed away.  He was 63 years old.  First, my brother called and left a message (I fell asleep and didn’t hear the phone,) then at 4:07am (my time,) I heard the news from my Mom.  I felt numb when I heard the news.  I thought maybe I heard wrong, because there’s no way my Dad could be dead  Growing up, you have this belief, or at least I did, that our parents were immortal.  They were the ONLY people on Earth who would live forever.  Am I the only one who thought this as a kid?  As an adult?  It just didn’t make sense. 

I guess I should start from the beginning.  On May 24, 2012, our lives changed forever.  My Dad was working, tried to take a drink of water and couldn’t swallow.  He pulled over, called 911 and was taken to the hospital.  What turned out to be a small concern ended up being a stroke.  He was in the hospital for about 6 weeks and it was a whirlwind of events.   My parents and brother live in NY, I live in Canada with my family and I wasn’t able to be there to help.  You can’t imagine the level of guilt that I felt every day.  I realize that it’s not my fault, but, I wanted to be there and couldn’t.  Nothing that anyone will say will take away that guilt.  Anyhow, despite a few setbacks, he was improving and getting back to his normal self.  Just 5 days prior, the boys and I saw him on Skype and he looked really good.  There’s got to be more to all this, because it really doesn’t make sense.  Hopefully we’ll get some answers very soon.

I went home to NY to be with my Mom and brother and we have been going through his affairs.  It’s quite the toll, let me tell you.  This was an experience that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  The entire ordeal of the whole thing is a lot of work.  Be sure you are prepared mentally, emotionally, financially, etc.  It’s really important to make sure all your “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed.

I saw my Dad and said my goodbyes.  I had my closure and told him what I needed to say.  Hopefully he is at peace and perhaps he heard what I said.  I really do hope that he is at peace.  I think the stroke and being immobilized was too much for him, especially since he was such a vibrant, active, hard-working man.  This pretty much stopped him in his tracks.  But, I’m not sure.  He looked good, almost restful.

Aside from my maternal and paternal grandmother’s passing, this is the third death I’ve experienced and it’s given me a huge wake up call that we are all living on borrowed time.  Tomorrow isn’t promised to us; nothing is promised to us really, except life and death.  It’s what we do in between the two that really matters.

These past 2 weeks have been an emotional roller coaster, to say the least.  Some things were revealed that I thought only happened in the movies and has really opened my eyes to how I live my life and how I will live my life from now on.  I’ve often heard that you go through a metamorphosis when someone close to you dies, and I believe that to be true.  I do know this…no one is perfect, we all have our flaws and we are not going to make everyone happy.  That’s not why we are here.  If you’re living your life trying to make everyone else happy, you’re going to be miserable.  If you’re living your life as if you are invincible, you’re in for a huge reality check.  If you’re living your life as if you are God’s gift to the world, let me be the one to burst your bubble and tell you, “No, you’re not!!!  Get that chip off your shoulder and be decent.  You put your pants on the same as everyone else, you bleed just like everyone else.  Get over yourself.” 

It was great seeing my Mom, Brother, family and some of my friends that I was able to see while I was back in NY for the week.  Right now, I’m sitting at the gate in Toronto waiting on my last leg home to PEI.  My Mom is worried that I might breakdown when I get back.  I don’t think I will, but the reality hasn’t set in for me yet.  I haven’t cried much, but did get emotional last week.  Does it mean I don’t miss him?  Who knows.  Am I in denial?  I don’t think so – I saw him and he’s really dead.  I’ll be home soon, and I can’t wait to see my boys and give them all great big hugs and kisses – all 4 of them!!!

I’m not one to give advice, but, here’s what I do know – if you’ve been meaning to contact someone, pick up the phone and call them.  If you’ve done someone wrong, apologize.  If you’re hurt, tell someone.  Do right by others; do right by yourself and don’t be a know-it-all.  Be decent; be genuine; be yourself.  Tomorrow isn’t promised to us.  We really are on borrowed time.