Personal Stories of Triumph, Pain and Everything In-between…

Reflections of the Past

Memories and thoughts about past experiences and how they have impacted me

The other day it was my dad’s birthday. He has been gone a little over five years it has gone so fast. There is no one like your parents or grandparents who love you more than anyone in the world. My dad would regularly tell me how proud he was of me: You are like your old man – an entrepreneur, free thinker, go getter. When he would introduce me, he would always say isn’t she beautiful (kind of embarrassing actually). As a teenager, he would give me advice like it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as it is a poor one. It is just too bad I didn’t take his advice on that one LOL.  Dads Favorite Food

He had a one-of-a-kind quirky sense of humor, and people loved him. Always tinkering and inventing things he would pull me into all of his projects – to help. He was a recovering alcoholic, so we did 12 step cards, a 12 step game and on and on.

I walked into my neighborhood grocery store and decided to look at some baked goods. I do not really ever go in that direction because I am staying away from carbs… what did I see? A minced meat pie – yes my dad’s favorite. I never see that type of pie in a general store they are really hard to find. It hit me like a bolt of lightning – Dad! I could feel dad’s presence. he wanted to let me know he is still around – watching over me.

I said, “OK dad let’s celebrate in style” I bought the pie along with sardines and crackers. I went home and ate some of the food I remember my dad loving when I was a kid – the only thing that would make it more complete is if I would have through to pick up some Deviled ham and made a sandwich.

 

I love you dad!

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I love Christmas – one of my biggest wishes is that I would be able to buy Christmas gifts for everyone and not have a budget.

When I was younger even though we were poor by most standards, I loved everything I received  for Christmas. Like most kids, my grandparent gave us socks and underwear every year. One year looking-at-toysI went shopping with my Grandma and she was trying coats on me – I was about 9. I love the coat and thought she was shopping for me. When she found the one that fit me, and I loved she told me “I am buying this for Stephanie for Christmas” (she is my cousin who is the same age as I am). My heart was broken – I wanted to cry but didn’t…

As you can guess come Christmas morning – there was the coat under the tree…

My favorite Christmas(s) were those when my kids were little – being able to see the excitement as they sat on Santa’s knee. Getting up so early – because they just couldn’t sleep, I miss those times.

The last two years I have not had the Christmas spirit, and we have not put up a tree like we had all the other years. We are flying out of town on Christmas Eve so that is a good excuse for this year.

I went shopping this morning and bought some gift and lo and behold I was feeling a glimmer of my old self again, happy and excited.

I want to be able to be happy and joyous, but sadly I don’t think that will happen for a long time. My life as I knew it is rapidly changing it is so heart breaking; I am trying to find as much joy as I can each day God willing.

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I was too lazy to make coffee the other day, so I ran by Starbucks. As I watch the young people working there and joking around it made me think about how they have their whole lives ahead of them. They are at the age where the future is exciting, they can be frivolous and have fun.

Child in thoughtWhen I was young, I didn’t ever have that free spirit – I did go out and do things with friends but there was always a sadness, worry, and strife. I wish I could have been one of those girls who had superficial worries about hair, makeup, what the latest trends were, and  nothing more – just innocent and oblivious to any pain or worry that comes with adulthood.

My nightly prayers always started like this – Dear Lord, Please make sure my mom lives until I am at least 18. Then when I was 12 – Dear Lord, Please make sure my mom lives until I am 21…

Because my mom was paralyzed at 19, she ended up have all four of us kids while she was in a wheelchair. I am the oldest and when mom would go into the hospital or get sick – all I could do is pray. My dad was around when I was young but he, and my mom were so different like oil and water.

When he would go out for a drink, my mom would sit in the window waiting for him until late in the night. When my dad got home, he would have been drinking, and my mom would be yelling about his irresponsibility.

I would blame my mom because I saw dad less and less “if only she didn’t yell at him.”  Later in life I understood – why she was so upset. Dad started drinking more and more. His dad was an Alcoholic and my dad was soon to follow him…

We had no money, so I never asked for anything – as a little girl, I remembered going to ballet lessons with my friend and sitting on the steps. I really wished I could take the class – but I wouldn’t ask my mom because I knew she didn’t even have enough money to pay all the bills. Later as an adult, I told my mom how much I wanted to take dance – she said she would have found a way if I had only told her.

The ironic thing is my mom lived to be 76. For many years my grandparents would tell us kids you guys need to realize your mom may not be around much longer. Needlessly worrying all of us kids; I believe they thought they were preparing us, but it devastated us, especially when she would go into the hospital.

Mom lost her mother when she was 8 and vowed she would never leave us without a mom. Mom would try and reassure us that she would be OK.

My prayers were answered and so were moms…

The lesson to this story is simple, don’t let worries weigh you down when you may die a thousands deaths – before the final curtain.

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