Monday, November 15, 2010

Strength Through Loss

My youngest memory of her was sitting in her lap while she rocked me in the chair. I always loved her hands, so warm and loving and her nails so strong and smooth. I would sit there holding them and playing with her fingers as long as she would let me.

She was amazing, in every sense of the word. And I don’t say that because I’m biased, I say it because it’s true. She was patient and selfless. No matter what, she made time for you. Whether you were family, a friend or a stranger; she gave up any free time she had for you and never complained. Everyone loved her and respected her.

I think of her everyday but once in a while the smallest things bring back memories of her. The smell of freshly baked bread brings back my childhood memories of her busily working in the kitchen. Her kitchen feels so empty now when I visit, it’s so quiet and the smells of her cooking have long since faded away. Every time I walk up to the front door of the family home, I pause for just a moment and remember the time I flew home and surprised her; I’ll never forget the look on her face. What I would give to see that again.

I still remember our last argument. It is so clear and vivid as if it had happened yesterday. Even in her last months she was still looking out for me, still being a caring and loving mother. I was still the stubborn child that didn’t want to hear the truth. How I wish I could take that moment back. I wish I could take back a lot of moments.

My biggest regret in life is not spending more time with her; living closer instead of moving away. But life carries you to unexpected places as it guides you through all sorts of experiences and uncertainties. As you make your place in the world you, naively, think everything will still be there when you return. I think back to all the birthdays I missed, and all the Christmases. I can never get those back. But life goes on without you and it very rarely ever turns out the way you’d hoped or expected.

I have come to the realization that without her there will be no more phone calls for advice. No more birthday cakes. Holiday dinners will forever be changed. No more stockings being filled and laid at the foot of my bed Christmas Eve as I sleep (yes, she still did this through to my adult years). It’s too late to learn from her; her skills in cooking and sewing; her life’s lessons. 

But through this loss I’ve become stronger and more independent. I’ve come to learn the importance of family and true friends. I’ve become more tolerant and patient with others. I happily switched careers, partly due to changes in economy and partly due to the experience of her loss.

She was a mother, a wife, a grandmother, an aunt, a niece, a sister, a daughter and a best friend. She was the glue that kept my family together. Without her we all struggle. In losing her we all lost an important part of ourselves that can’t ever be replaced.

I miss her.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy fishing!

So, I’ve been single. For a long time. Too long, my friends keep pointing out to me. Thanks, by the way, for the obvious reminders of my fear of letting go of the past and moving on. I know you mean well and I’m well aware of all the things I need to change in my life, but these aren’t small things. They take more than getting up in the morning and looking in the mirror and saying ‘I love myself, I’m worth it’. Voila! Things are instantly better. No. Sadly, the things I’ve been through don’t just go away. OK, I’m not saying I’m the only person to have a marriage fail. But surely it affects everyone differently. It’s taken me a while to get through the pain and loss; a waste of nine years of my life that I will never get back. But I’m working through it with the help of some really great friends...and alcohol (which I’ve decided wasn’t such a great idea).

So about a year ago, to quiet the incessant urging of my friends to get back on the horse, I reluctantly joined an online dating site. Took the time to fill out my profile as honestly as I could and picking just the right pictures so as to look 'dateable' but not desperate. It was right about then that I learned how terrible I am at selling myself. However, within an hour my inbox was flooded with messages. I skimmed through them, one by one. Looking at the message, their profile, their pictures.

This is where it all went downhill for me. Please take it as constructive criticism if you fall into one of these categories.
*It’s alarming how many people really should use spell check.
*If you can’t spell your profession, you should have chosen a different one.
*That picture of you standing 40 feet away next to a tree with 2 of your your only profile    picture...stellar choice.
*You look a lot like Brad Pitt...wait that picture IS Brad Pitt!
*If your ‘looking for’ status is long term relationship, try to have a picture of yourself not completely engorged into another woman’s  face/breasts.
*Messages that consist of “Hey sexy” cannot possibly get you a decent response.
*If you plan on sending a message, try reading the person’s profile first. Trust me...we know if you haven’t.

There were, however, several guys that peaked my interest but I always get those red flags. You know what I’m talking about. Something that is said or done that just doesn’t seem right. Makes you take a step back and say ok...that’s odd. Well, you can’t really pinpoint when or if it’s going to happen. But I sit back and wait for it, nearly certain that it’s coming.

Here’s an example. Let’s call him Poolguy. I was talking to him for about 3 days, he was cute, seemed normal, had a great career going for him, intelligent. And then....he said he thought I was ‘the one’. My immediate reaction was to run, which I should have done. I mean...really?! The one for what?! I’m not the one for anything. I told him he was a really nice guy and that he certainly would not have a problem finding a girlfriend, but that I wasn’t the one. In case his show of desperation wasn’t a red flag enough, he then proceeded to call me several things that I don’t think I should repeat in this blog.

Don’t let me deter you from dating sites based on my experiences. They’re a lot of fun...if your idea of fun is meeting crazy delusional people who, if aren’t desperate, only want to get laid. All jokes aside though, there are some really nice people on there. I made a few friends. But it’s not for me. So to all of you that enjoy your online dating...happy hunting, fishing, stalking...whatever.

And as always, comment and subscribe. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting Started...

I was in a bookstore a couple of years back and I was drawn to the journals and notebooks, as I always am. Something about an unmarked book with a beautiful cover calls to me. In this technological world, with the iPod, the laptop and the BlackBerry...I still love to pick up a pen and write.

As I was looking through all the dozens of choices, one specific book caught my eye. It was nothing special. Just a white cover and quite over sized in comparison to the others. But it had this quote on it “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” Well up until then I had never imagined where my life was going or what I wanted out of it. I was just living day to day, quite content with the naivety that things would always be good. I bought the book. I never wrote in it. Not once. It just sat there on my desk, untouched. I felt my thoughts to be somewhat inadequate.

So here I am. No fancy cover, no pen. Just an empty blog with a willingness to change and a need for something new. I always wanted to blog but wasn’t sure I had anything to say. Who wants to read another girl’s problems and situations and general ramblings of nothingness?! Then I thought...I do! So to hell with it! Read it...don’t read it. If you do read this or any of my incessant ramblings in the future, feel free to comment. I’d love to hear what you think. And subscribe! :)