Father’s Day – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 76

Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day; the day we celebrate Dads and father figures who are out there doing their thing.  For me, today was a crazy emotional day.  I couldn’t put my finger on it originally, but I’d say around mid-afternoon, I snapped.  I’m not even sure what triggered it, but I was an emotional wreck and unfortunately, my kids got the brunt of it.  Oh, man, talk about a downward spiral.  I mean, this is supposed to be a celebration of Dads everywhere who really don’t get the recognition they deserve.  What do I do?  Have a nervous breakdown.

As I was reading through all the Father’s Day posts on Facebook, I was very surprised by how many were tributes.  I had no idea so many have lost their Dads either recently or for quite some time.  The parallels are all the same – there’s that void, a missing piece that’s hard to explain unless you’ve been through it.  I’m not sure if the “time heals all wounds” bit really works in this case.  I know it’s still fairly new for me, but some of my friends whom I’ve spoken with tell me it hasn’t healed.  Once again, it’s quite an experience.

The boys spoke with their Dad on Skype this morning, and Isaac, tonight’s night owl, go to say goodnight to him.  I’m thankful for these little ways to keep connected even though we’re miles apart.


My Mom called today and we chatted for a bit.  She tells me that every night she has dreams about Dad and they’re pretty much full-on conversations.  It’s as if he’s right there.  It’s a lot different for my Mom, and she seems to be okay.  But she sees him every night.  I still really haven’t seen him.  I’ve got my memories, but I haven’t had that vison from the other side or the conversation from the beyond.  I’m not sure if I will and for a while I thought maybe I was weird for not “seeing” him.

Some days are good; some days aren’t so great.  Those days that challenge you really put you to the test.  At least tney have for me.

I hope you all got the chance to celebrate Father’s Day with your Dads and/or father figures today; told him how much you love him and recognize that he’s one of the grat ones.  To those who share memories of their Dads because he’s no longer with us, I’m sending lots of love and hugs your way, and hope you were surrounded by lots of loved ones.

Take care, all, and be well.

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A Difficult Time in Your Life – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 57

A Difficult Time

I’ve been sitting here for what feels like an enternity (but is probably about 20 minutes,) figuring out how to start this blog post.  It’s fairly simple – I know the difficult time in my life, but it’s a matter of how to talk about it.  It’s ben just over a yer since my Dad passed, and it’s still a bit surreal.

We didn’t have your typical father-daughter relationship.  In fact, it really wasn’t.  There are some things that I learned from him and that have carried over into my life as a parent, but I never felt like “Daddy’s Little Girl.”  What can you do, right?  It’s who he was, and regardless of certain things in the past, he is half the reason I am alive today.

Two years ago this month, my Dad suffered what we came to realize was a stroke, while on the way to work.  He was smart enough to pull over when he realized he couldn’t swallow.  He was admitted to the local hospital and things went downhill.  He ended up in ICU and was there for about 6-8 weeks.  When he went home, it was my Mom and brother who took care of him.  Fast forward to almost a year later – he seemed to be progressing, but on May 16, I believe he was at peace and wanted to move on.  This is what I keep telling myself, just because knowing who he was and the type of person he was, not being able to work and provide for his family had to have been a major blow.

Growing up, we think our parents are invincible and will live forever.  When both my grandmothers died, it was the beginning of me experiencing death, and I really didn’t like it; I don’t like it now.  I understand death is a part of living, but I tend to be a little selfish in this area.  I think I ‘m rambling right now.  Some days are better than others; sometimes I just have no idea what or how to feel.  I’ve been able to turn to some friends who have been through similar situations of losing a parent, and it’s hard to explain to those who haven’t gone through it.  

As a parent, it is my hope that as my kids get older…I hope and pray that my kids will know how much I love them and everything I do is to provide the best life for them.  I’m really rambling now, and I’m not even sure I’m still discussing the topic.

Some days are better than others…

Put to the Test Even More – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 19

Keeping Optimistic

Well, it’s official…my laptop is on the fritz and I brought it in for a check-up.  I won’t know anything until Monday, Tuesday, the latest.  Nothing like a little laptop hiccup during the Easter weekend.  So, in the meantime, I fired up our PC, and, to my surprise, it still runs!!!  Slowly…and the space-bar is missing from the keyboard, but it’s something.  At least I’m able to get my blogs in each night.

Speaking of hiccups, I had to make a trip to the dentist because I have a hole in my tooth.  I was really hoping to have it pulled and done, but, no such luck. I’m on antibiotics and the big day is next Friday.  Oh joy!!!

Sometimes, it can be really difficult to see the big picture when it seems like you’re just getting cold water dumped on you over and over. Believe me, I can attest to those feelings because sometimes I see the here and now; get overwhelmed by what’s going on at THAT moment.   But, as usual, when the smoke clears (which is usually a few minutes later,) it’s not all bad.

Choices

Everyday, we make choices, and those choices determine our day.  Rather, how we REACT to those choices determine the outcome.  No one can “make” us do something or cause us to have a bad day, or why we are frustrated…etc.  It always comes down to US.  We determine all these things.  Stop the blame game, looking to others as the scapegoat.  Look in the mirror.  We choose how to react to things, and it’s always up to us;no one else.

I think I’m rambling now, so I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.

Put to the Test – 100 Day Blog Challenge Day 17

I am being tested today, and there’s 2 1/2 hours left on this day.  It looks as if my laptop is on the fritz ( thank goodness I backed up my files) and I’m blogging from my phone.  My typing skills are being tested on my trusty Samsung S III, although this is NOT what my intention ever was with my phone.  So far, so good, but it’s a challenge.  After all, I said one blog a day for 100 days, and that’s the goal.
Grrr…
Today is my Dad’s Birthday.   He would have been 64 today and tomorrow will be 11 months since his death.   It’s still a bit unreal for me and needless to say, my emotions are all over the place. 
I’ve been a bear towards my kids and I should be up for WORST Mother of the Year.  My goodness,  they’re kids and I’m taking things out on them when I shouldn’t be.
This morning, I looked outside my window and was greeted to the sight of dog poop.  This was the winter from HELL, but now that the snow has melted, HOLY CRAP!!!  I’ve been here for almost 11 years and I don’t think I was prepared for such a sight.   The city girl in me definitely showed up.  Geared up for the event, and headed into no-man’s land.  Isaac helped as well and he was having a BLAST.  Me?  Not so much.
HOLY CRAP!!!  I felt like I was literally knee-deep in s#!t!!! When I started, I was cursing like a sailor.  Goodness gracious,  I’ve never seen so much.  Add to the fact my emotions were all tired over the place didn’t make a great combo.  But, we got most of it done today.   There’s about 10% left.
Looking back on it now, it wasn’t THAT big a deal.  Now, it’s kinda funny.   But, we got it done.
So, here I am, sitting on my couch, reflecting on the day, and I think it culminates from a pool of emotions that has been building.   This truly sucks and there really like s no other way to describe it.  I was hoping it wouldn’t take over and I’ve been told that some days will be better than others.  But, dang, when  it takes over,  it’s not fun.  
I just need to recognize it,  let it happen,  then move on. 
Grrr…
I have been put to the test today.  And I think I survived. 
Tomorrow is another day.

Confessions of a FitBit Junkie Part 2 – 100 Day Blog Challenge Day 6

Channeling This Addiction

After I submitted my blog post last night on some of my confessions, I came up with a couple more.  So, here are some more of my confessions:

Confession #4 – The Feeling of Utter HORROR When You’ve Discovered Your FitBit is Lost/Missing

Where did my FitBit go?!?!?!!?


I had this happen to me last summer during one of my son’s soccer games.  It was a Thursday (I will NEVER forget that day!!!)  We left the soccer field and headed home.  I went to my computer to sync my FitBit because I walked around the soccer field while they were playing.  Well, at some point between the time I left the soccer field and got home, my FitBit went MISSING!!!

Oh my goodness, I let out a scream like you wouldn’t believe.  “Where’s my FitBit? Where’s my FitBit??!?!?  WHERE’S MY FITBIT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!!!!!!”  I was frantic because it was 8:00 at night, I had to get the boys to bed to prepare for a 9pm webinar and no FitBit.  So, what did I do? What any well-respected FitBit user WOULD do…

I loaded the boys up in the van and retraced my steps back at the soccer field.

Don’t judge…you’d do the same thing.

I parked my van in the same spot I parked when we were there, not there.  I did my best walking the same path toward the field looking in the grass.  Nothing.  I searched where I had our stuff perched on the fence.  Nothing.  Let me tell you, I came to understand the term “needle in a haystack” that evening.  I couldn’t find that darn thing!!!


I was devastated.  I was crushed.  I felt like crying.

My boys, God love ’em.  They were so understanding and supportive.  They kept consoling me and telling me it was going to be okay and that I would find my FitBit.  I felt like I lost a part of me.  I felt naked.

I got on the computer and contacted their customer service to see if they could help.  I got a response to try to sync again as it may be somewhere in the house.  Well, I couldn’t find it in the house, so how the heck was that going to help?!?!?!

Calm down, Dee…calm down!!!

Anyhow, it was close to 9pm, and I had to jump on my webinar.  Fortunately, the attendees didn’t show, and that gave me more time to do some Criminal Minds/CSI investigating.  I whipped out my mini-flashlight and started “casing the joint.”  That FitBit HAD to be in the house SOMEWHERE!!!

I checked every nook and cranny I could think to look. I checked the basement, the bathroom, the washer, the dryer, the dishwasher, the fridge, and then it hit me…I had an epiphany.   The flashback came rushing into my head like those scenes you see in the movies or on TV.

I remember I was in the boys’ room fixing up their beds.  I was straightening out their sheets and as I was flicking the bed sheet, something had fallen.  I checked under the bed, whipping the flashlight all around, and, there it was!!!  It was in the corner near the wall. 

I FOUND MY FITBIT!!!

For whatever reason, my FitBit decided it wanted to learn how to fly and play hide and seek at the same time.

Oh, Happy Day!!!


The feeling of elation, joy, relief, happiness, every emotion you could think of came rushing through me.  I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I jumped for joy.  And yes, I had the boys looking as well. NO ONE was going to bed that night!!!  My FitBit was secure and all was right with the world.

Life could resume its regular duties.  I was me again!!!


In closing, realize that all FitBit users have that fear of their trusty device taking a walk without them.  If that ever happens, the situation like the one described here could very well be played out with said owner.  Your best bet would be to NOT mock them or think they were crazy, but to get down on all fours and search for the FitBit. Believe me, you DO NOT want to be on the receiving end of a frantic FitBit owner who is missing said device.

Help them keep calm, agree with everything they say and you just may walk out of this with all your digits intact.  

You have been warned.

Still think I need an intervention?

I initially said I would share a couple more confessions, but this one is just so good, it needs to stand alone.



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.

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.