The Secrets we Keep

My senior year of college my final Communications Degree project was a thesis of my choosing. I decided to research the theory of trauma being helped through the telling of it. And how photos can help powerfully tell people’s stories of trauma they have endured.

I was personally drawn to this as I myself had experienced deep trauma. I was after all in a car accident at 19 that killed my father and permanently disabled my mother. Was it healing when I told my story I wondered? And then I had all those years of sitting next to my grandmother as she recounted her traumas of surviving WWII in Germany. She must of told my sister and I the same stories of her war years 100 times. Years later I realized it was her way to deal with it. To help herself heal and move on. It is interesting to note that my grandfather was the opposite. He refused to talk about it. To this day I don’t know how he survived his years as a prisoner of war, or how it felt when he finally made it to America for good. His healing was silence I suppose.

So with my project set, I first how to figure out how I was going to get people to tell me their deepest secrets. Pain is something we all endure but how many truly want to tell it and then be photographed and remembered for it? So I posted in the college newspaper that I was looking for trauma stories and people could either anonymously submit or contact me to talk.

Within two weeks my mailbox was flooded. You would think to yourself, how much trauma could college age kids endure? Apparently, a lot. I was amazed at the abuse I read about. Parents, siblings, extended family. I chose a friend of mine as her abuse story really stood out to me. She would be locked in her room, sometimes for days at a time, with nothing to eat. She endured emotional and physical abuse for years. For her photos, we took them outside in the sun, portrait style. To show the freedom to open spaces she now had.

One day a girl contacted me about her eating disorder. She was recovering from anorexia. She felt it would help for her to talk about it and agreed to be photographed. When I photographed her I just told her to stand natural and smile or not smile, whatever she felt like. Ironic that most of the photos I took that day had her arms crossed around her midsection, almost as if in protection. Afterwards she did mention to me that it helped her to come forward. She had suffered for years from anorexia and was finally feeling like she was moving forward.

There was one story though that rocked me to my core. It was anonymously sent to me with no contact information. She had sent me pages upon pages from her journal. As I read her story I learned that she had been raped in high school by two guys at the restaurant she worked at. One night after work, in the basement. She then admitted that she had never told anyone. I was the first person she had confided this to. She was in college! She had been keeping this trauma to herself for years!

I was floored. With no contact information to her, I felt powerless. Here I was, with this massive trauma of hers sitting in my hands, and I had no way to help her. I decided I would help her be silent no longer. I ended up using her story and the pictures I used to represent her was a shower. She had mentioned that no matter how many showers she took, she still didn’t feel clean. To this day I think of her and hope she has found peace.

My project ended up being a success and I got an A. I graduated with my communications degree and a few months later met Brian. But this project is something I still think about.

The secrets we keep.

Finding My Voice

In January 1999 I found myself taking a Interpersonal Communications class at my local community college. I had dropped out of nursing school the year before and was floundering with what to study. My dad had died just died 6 months ago and the grief was still raw. My life at home was somewhat unstable as mom struggled to pull herself out of her depression and most days never left her bedroom. To say I was a little lost is an understatement.

But I digress.

The instructor was a middle age hippie. Picture long gray hair. Converse sneakers. Jeans and old T-shirts were his uniform of choice. The first day of class he had us move our desks into a circle and proceeded to spend most of the class having us go around and say something about our current life. Whatever was going on in our head. No filter or judgement he said. The only rule was we all had to listen to each other and there would be no discussion on what was said.

Every class that semester started the same way. Us sharing our thoughts. A motley crew of Community College kids trying to figure out our place in this world. Me being shy I was mortified at the time having to talk. But something happened in that classroom that spring. I found my voice sharing things to these people that I thought would never leave my head. My grief over losing my dad. How hard it was dealing with mom. How I felt lost and listless in my future choices. All came pouring out of me at 10 AM on Tuesdays. That semester my soul started to heal and my grief became less. It also amazed me how similar my classmates worries were to my own. How in the end we all were just trying to find our path forward in the world. The instructor showed us in a novel way how communication and understanding happens.

Current events have reminded me how important listening is. There is a saying from the Dalai Lama that goes, “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.” We need to stop listening to reply and start listening to understand.

I don’t have the answers. But I do believe that showing up with kindness, love, and listening ears is more important than ever. The scariest person of all is the one with power and no compassion for others.

Birthday Wishes

Today is my birthday.  39 years young 🙂

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 Someone asked me this morning if I dread getting older.  I replied back heck no!  To me age is the great leveler.  The older I get the more I actually feel like I can relate to people.  I have always been an old soul but burying parents, struggling to have a child and otherwise growing up way before my peers has made me feel different.  It is hard to relate to people when they complain that their parents won’t pay this for them or they complain about their parents not watching their kids when my parents weren’t even there for the birth of my son and never will be there for him.   I am a strong person but yes it gets hard and some days I struggle with it.  So yes, I am loving getting older.  Every year makes me feel less different and the wisdom that comes with age is pretty nice too. 

 Brian’s birthday was yesterday.  He made a cake for both of us.  It was delicious and I am sure to have another piece today. Lol.  He truly has become a master in the kitchen and I am so lucky to have him in my life.  We are going out just the two of us Friday night.  It will be nice to get away for a few hours and enjoy a nice dinner.  

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 This next year will be a big one.  Transitioning out of one decade into another.  Lots of changes.  But regrets about getting older?  Not here.  Not here.

 

 

 

The Joy of a Quiet Mind

I am naturally a quiet person. I remember as a kid the teacher going to my mom “she is bright but prefers to eat and play by herself.”  And I did.  It wasn’t till middle school and hormones that I realized there was a gender called boys, and that social norms dictated I hang with girls and talk.  It was a hard stage for me.  Thank god you only have to live through high school once.   College hit and I found my balance of socialization and internal solitude. I learned how to balance both.

But with today’s digital age we are so afraid of the quiet. We fill every waking moment with noise or light.  We stay more connected then ever with those around us through social media.  We like to tell everyone we are “too busy” because we put our kids in after school activities and sports that in turn invade our weekends.   We are plugged in more than ever to the news and pinterest has made our cooking endeavors into an Olympic sport.  And what is all this gaining us?  We are all more tired than ever!

Why are we so afraid of the quiet? When I drive I normally don’t turn on the radio.  No audiobooks or podcasts either.  I love the few minutes of stillness (other than your daily traffic) that my car provides me.  I use the time to think and process my day or just let my mind wander.   I find my creativity increases the more time I am able to spend in these quiet solitudes.

Back in 1999 which happened to be a year after my dad died, I had the opportunity to travel to South America and visit Machu Picchu in Peru. It was magical.   In the quiet of those majestic mountains my soul was able to truly rest and heal.  To just be.  A great vacation can do that.  Soothe your soul and body and rejuvenate your spirit.  How do we bring this ability home?

I say embrace your quiet! You can meditate yes, or start yoga.  But it doesn’t even have to be all that in the beginning.  Just be.  Sit and turn off the noise around you and try and live in the moment.  There is so much strength and wisdom to be gained in the quiet.  You see, stillness allows your brain to process all that “noise” that blankets us during the day.  Your body and mind in turn will clear and your joy will increase!

Try it. Practice just “being.”

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The Distant Mother

Now that I am a parent I am learning how different my childhood was. Not in the geographical sense or socioeconomic sense.  I grew up in south jersey in a typical middle class neighborhood.  I mean in the presence sense.  From a young age I remember coming home from school and just being alone.  Alone to make my own snack, alone to play and then engage in homework.  And it wasn’t because a parent wasn’t home.  Almost always mom or dad would be there.  But dad worked from home or was busy avoiding mom.  And mom, well, she was closed off.  Literally.  She would hole herself in her room for days at a time and would only come out to make us some dinner or tell us to go to bed.  Now as an adult I know it was due most likely to her mental illness issues but as a kid it was my normal. This behavior would roll into the weekends.  I have a sister and I remember us just going to play in the basement with our toys for the entire weekend, left to entertain ourselves and later on, feed ourselves.

Weeks would go by where this behavior would go on. And then all of a sudden mom would resurface – full of life and energy and interest.  My sister and I would lap up this attention like puppies.  But then all of a sudden she would retreat, back to her room and the silence would envelope the house once again.

Mom never got a proper diagnosis. Over the years I theorized everything from Bi-Polar to Borderline Personality Disorder.  She died two years ago so I will never know.  And in the end it doesn’t matter.  She was the only mom I had and knew.  It was my reality.

But now? As a parent I see how crazy this behavior was and how different I am trying to be with my son. To not repeat the past.  To make it different for him.  I worry I will become her.  And I know that is crazy.  But this is me being honest.  My fear to repeat the past haunts me at nights.

I remember one time mom opened up to us and admitted she moved when we were little to be closer to her parents because she realized she couldn’t do it. Be what we needed as a mom.  And she was right.  Our “Omi” became our mother.  When my grandmother died I cried like I had lost my mother.  The grief was so intense.  It was not that way when my mom died.

For those of you out there that have had similar experiences know you are not alone. For SO long I thought what I went through was mine alone.  But now that I am older I have met so many others that have experienced absent parents.  Mental illness is the silent struggle in many families.  So many people had no clue what was really going on behind our house walls.  We looked like your average middle class family.  We even had the dog and picket fence.  But inside was silence punctuated with either violent outbursts or overzealous love.  But those stories are for another day.

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Repeat this affirmation daily – No One is you and that is your power. I am my own person, and I am blazing my own path.

Sacred Mountain Essential Oil Blend

Last month I bought an oil blend I had never tried before – Young Living’s Sacred Mountain.  It is a blend of conifer essential oils that evoke feelings of strength, empowerment, grounding, and protection that are a result of being close to nature.  I have loved diffusing this oil and I can indeed feel a difference in clarity and mood since using it!  It smells so good!

It contains:

  • Spruce
  • ylang ylang
  • Balsam fir
  • cedarwood

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These 3 conifer oils have been traditionally used by the North American Indians symbolically to represent the umbrella they create in protecting the earth and bring energy in from the universe.

Ways to use this oil blend:

  1. Fear of failure/empowerment:  We are our own worst enemy.  Fear of failure oftentimes prevents us from moving forward.  Sacred Mountain can help empower you to take that first step.
  2. Public speaking/strength:  A very common fear and one that is not easily overcome.  Sacred Mountain can help you get the courage you need to take that stage with more confidence.
  3. Social situations/strength:  For me, social situations are scarier than any stage ever was!  Sacred Mountain (combined with Valor for an extra punch) help me overcome my fears and put myself out there more.
  4. Loss of a loved one/strength:  When a loved one passes, the whole family grieves.  Be the support your family needs while managing your own grief as well.
  5. Resisting temptations/empowerment:  What tempts you?  Sugar? Smoking? Gambling?  Sacred Mountain can shore up your defenses and allow you to strengthen your resolve.
  6. Controlling emotions/grounding:  You can’t always control how you feel, but you can control how your act on your feelings.  Using Sacred Mountain may prevent you from doing or saying something you’ll regret
  7. Dealing with conflict/empowerment: Conflict is never easy and never comfortable but sometimes it is very necessary.  Sacred Mountain can help you steel your resolve for that conversation no one wants to have.
  8. Self care/strength: If you are like most women, your needs are subservient to the needs of your family.  Sacred Mountain can give you the emotional strength to take care of yourself without feeling guilty.
  9. Leadership/empowerment:  Give your confidence the boost it needs to be a more effective leader.
  10. Asserting oneself/strength:  Sometimes letting others know that you are displeased is a very uncomfortable thing to do.   Let Sacred Mountain help you get the courage you need to speak up.

I would definitely recommend that everyone try this blend!

Want to purchase? Click here to do so!  To learn more about Young Living Membership, click here.

Choosing Joy

Lately I have found myself in the why vortex. You know, where you question all the “wrongs” in your life. We all do it at some time or another. And I know from grieving the deaths of both of my parents that in order to move on you have to graduate from that vortex. Because in the end you either choose to be happy and celebrate what you do have or you will forever be stuck in that pit of “why.” I came across this quote yesterday and it hit me hard. I needed the reminder that I can choose joy. That joy is always an option.

Celebrate Life

See a few weeks ago I got to visit some friends from college in the city I moved to when I graduated – Philadelphia.  It has been 8 years since I had last been there.  It was so much fun seeing friends and eating delicious food (seriously Philly is a foodie heaven – I could spend DAYS eating my way through Reading Terminal Market.  I literally ate the biggest Pastrami Sandwich ever for breakfast and it was divine).  But what I didn’t anticipate was the flood of memories and emotions from my childhood.  I grew up in South Jersey.  We used to come to Philadelphia for this or that and honestly I think just being in such close geographical proximity to my childhood home opened in me a jar of emotions that I try to keep buried.  Regret that my parents are dead.  Pain that I missed my grandmothers funeral due to life circumstances.  Mad that life was not turning out how I wanted.  Painful memories I had buried for so long were fighting to come to the surface.  I stood on the lid and tried to hammer it back in but it wasn’t working too well.   And then I came home to a child sick with the stomach flu.  Talk about cortisol levels spiking!  I started to feel myself sinking into that pit of depression I fight so hard to stay out of.

So these past two weeks I have been consciously choosing joy.  Getting back into a rhythm of life that brings me happiness.  My essential oils help immensely of course.  Read here how they have helped my anxiety and depression the last two years.  In the end though it is mindset.  I am choosing to celebrate my life with all its dents and scratches.  We are all works in progress.

So choose joy today people. There is always something to celebrate.

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Essential Oils for Emotions

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Did you know that essential oils have the ability to directly access and affect the brain’s limbic region, the center of emotion and memory? Many oils can be used to create a positive emotional state, help soothe grief, create an environment of relaxation at the end of a long day, and much more. Sometimes a busy schedule and the demands of daily life can make it nearly impossible to relax.

Through diffusion, direct inhalation, and massage, Young Living products can become an affirming part of your day. Did you know that our sense of smell is estimated to be 10,000 times more acute than our other senses and sensitive to some 10,000 chemical compounds?  Once registered, scent travels faster to the brain than either sight or sound!

I discovered essential oils soon after my mom died in July of 2015. I was exhausted both mentally and physically and thought what the heck it can’t hurt to try them so I ordered a kit.  It was the best decision I ever made.  They have been amazing for me for multiple reasons but the most surprising one for me was the emotional support I got from using them! I have struggled with anxiety and depression on and off my whole life.   I now use a variety of essential oils everyday and have never felt better! They help with my sleep, and I am an all around happier person.  With an active toddler at home this has been a lifesaver!!

So how does this translate to you? It’s important to remember that our thoughts carry frequency.  When you apply an essential oil on your feet, it can saturate your cells within 60 seconds, stimulating creative thinking and pushing negative energy out, thus increasing the frequencies of the cells throughout the body. In that uplifted state, you can create a new desire to be better tomorrow. You have no limitations but those you choose to accept.

Gary Young likes to say that when you’re using the oils and you have something specific that you are working on, bring your intention, your intent, to it and tell the oils what you want them to do. If you’re looking to mend your broken heart or you’re looking for more energy or you’re looking to be in harmony with co-workers or a loved one just tell the oils what you want them to do and be open to the change that will happen.

How essential oils impact emotions

99% of life’s decisions are made from feelings. When our thoughts are limited by fears, lack of self-worth, and not feeling good enough for more or better, we make decisions that limit our success.  Therefore, if you want your life to be guided by good decisions that lead to health, happiness, and fulfillment, you need to be aware of and in control of your present feelings and to learn how to release the repressed emotions of the past.

Wheel of emotions

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See this picture of the 8 “basic human emotions” we all feel. Essential Oils play a powerful role in Emotional Healing.  We all hold unresolved feelings of pain and hurt which may need to be brought to the surface and let go.

Essential Oils can help your body release stagnant anger, sadness, grief, judgment and low self worth. Those feelings of low vibration cannot coexist with your new high frequency environment of balance and peace that the essential oils help create.

It is important to remember that Essential Oils do not do our emotional work for us. They simply assist in the process.  As feelings surface with the application of oils I would suggest that you use meditation and journaling along with prayer to facilitate the healing process.

Since I introduced essential oils into my life I feel more in control of the rollercoaster. The emotions don’t own me as much as I own THEM.  And that has been priceless for me and why I am so passionate about sharing them with all of you today.

Joy or Sadness

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I love diffusing Orange at work. It is a smell the fellow co-workers like and it helps keep me calm (er) when those e-mails start to pile up.  I wear Joy daily as a perfume – this oil has been immensely helpful in dealing with my depression over losing my parents and dealing with life in general. Joy contains rose oil, which has the highest frequency of any essential oil out there!  Some of the other blends listed in the photo below are Peace and Calming, which is amazing for children, And White Angelica , which is one so many people say helps them cope with life in general.

Trust or Disgust

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There are some great blends and oils listed here. Have you ever smelled an essential oil that you didn’t like?  When I first smelled Frankincense I swear I thought I was smelling a shoe. I am serious.  Everyone reacts different to the scent of an essential oil.  Most smell divine but some take some getting used to. But I had heard it took out wrinkles so I used it on my face anyway every night before bed.  I noticed after a week I felt calmer.  More grounded.  The smell grew on me and caught myself sniffing straight from the bottle.  And yes, it did help my wrinkles! The moral of this story is if you don’t like a smell of an oil it means you need it!

Fear or Anger

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There are some great oils listed here but I am going to concentrate on one specifically because it has literally changed my life. I am talking about Valor Essential Oil. The oils in this blend are Black Spruce, Camphor Wood, Blue Tansy, Frankincense, and Geranium.

It is the most popular blend Young Living sells.  It just came back in stock after almost 2 years of supply issues.  This oil blend changed my life in regards to managing my anxiety and helping me sleep. I rub a few drops into my feet before bed and I swear I hear my mind shutting down. I am so excited to be able to use this oil again!

The Feelings Collection

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What an amazing collection of oils for promoting all the good feels! If you don’t know where to start with the emotional oils Young Living sells, this is a great place to begin. You can use all of these oils alone but they work better together. The kit comes with instructions on how to use them and I will talk about them in detail over the next few posts.

Also this kit gives you a BIG price break over buying all these oils individually. So this reason alone is why I suggest you buy it if you are wanting a number of them. If you were to purchase all 6 bottles separately as a member it would cost $299! The feelings kit is only $175.75 which gives you over $123 in savings! AND you can purchase this on the essential rewards program, which gives you cash back on your purchases – up to 25%. Yes and thank you to saving money, can I get an amen?!? Have I told you how much I love Young Living?

Forgiveness

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Apply Forgiveness around the navel with the right hand going clockwise several times and think of situations where you need to forgive yourself or others. We beat up on ourselves, but everyone makes mistakes. Yet we struggle to forgive our own mistakes and those of others. This blend creates the frequency and the fragrance that stimulates the mind to move past the trauma or the problem. You do not need the other person to be present, because this is an inner adjustment on your part. Forgive that person or yourself and be thankful for the experience and the lesson it taught you. Inhale and apply Forgiveness while going through the process and repeat as often as necessary. How to use: Apply around navel and the heart, or wear as a perfume.

Harmony

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We need harmony in our life but sometimes it goes haywire. Sometimes we’re at dissonance with people, sometimes we don’t get along, sometimes we have different opinions and we’re really strong about ours.  I think Harmony helps us to maybe have a little more leeway when dealing with other people, and hopefully they’ll have a little more leeway with us so we can really understand and be with each other harmonically.

Inner Child

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When you are a child, all things are possible. There are no limitations. When you have found your inner child, you have found your true self. The child in you is your creativity. Often we are unable to progress to our highest potential because we are not connected to our identity. Many complications arise as a result of lost identity from the inner child. You can apply Inner Child on various points depending upon how you are directed: around the navel, over the heart, applied on the sternum, the throat, or behind the ears. I enjoy it on the temples.

Present Time

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How many of us forget to enjoy the moment?!? We all do too frequently.  When we live in the past or dwell on the future, we are not being productive in the present. Energize three drops of Present Time by making clockwise circles on the oil in the palm of your hand and then apply it to your thymus (the gland just under your sternum or breastbone). This will keep you focused on the tasks of today.

Release

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Negative energy goes into the blood and then to the liver, where the toxic feelings can remain trapped. Thus, the liver becomes a storage place for anger, resentment, bitterness, hatred, jealousy, envy, addictions, and a host of destructive feelings. Apply a drop of Release on your tongue to let go of poisonous stored emotions from the liver. Rub Release over the liver area.

Valor

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You should start with six drops of Valor on the soles of both feet at bedtime or whenever you decide to use this kit. I would also suggest Highest Potential along with the Valor. These two blends are effective to erase limited thinking. Valor balances and equalizes the body’s energies, thereby increasing oxygen intake to the pineal gland—the seat of our higher intelligence and intuitive faculties. You will wake up more self-assured and more alive to start the day.

Premium Starter Kit oils

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All these oils I have talked about are amazing, but the oils that come in the Young Living Starter Kit can also help your emotions! Lavender, Stress Away and Frankincense are all amazing to enhance your meditation or to end your day on a positive note.

Buy a starter kit

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If you have never purchased from Young Living before I encourage you to purchase through me. I always recommend you purchase the starter kit because you will start with the most popular oils and it gives you a membership with Young Living so you can reorder oils like the feelings kit at the cheapest price.

Go HERE to purchase.

If you have read this to the end Thank You! To get the benefits of oils just use them! Every day and throughout the day! I make rollers with them for portability; I have bottles by my bathroom sink and at my desk at work and a diffuser in multiple rooms of my home. I wear them, diffuse them and smell them throughout the day.  The more you use them, the more you will benefit.

I dare all of you to take the 30 day oil up challenge. Apply or diffuse essential oils twice a day for 30 days and you will be amazed at the difference you feel!

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The Holiday Breakdown

I cried in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru line this morning.

It started innocent enough. A image of my dad holding his coffee mug while shuffling to his home office and my mom yelling at Cindy and I to run to the car as we will be late AGAIN for school ran through my mind as I waited for my coffee and bagel breakfast.   But then I thought about Omi’s Christmas cookies, and how dad would hoard his cookie tin from all of us because he loved to drink his coffee while eating them. And how on Christmas Eve mom would make us take naps so “Santa” would come and when we woke up we would open presents before heading to church that evening. Santa always came on Christmas Eve at our household. Maybe because we had to drive two hours on Christmas Day to see dad’s relatives. Santa was on a timeline you know.

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I miss them. My parents. My sister and I were talking over Thanksgiving how memories are growing thin, especially with dad. 18 years now since he died. He would have loved Bryce. Bryce loves trains just like he did. They would have bonded over that.   The funny thing though is the year before his death was hard. We were not close as a family. Mom and dad had just moved us from South Jersey to North Jersey and the transition didn’t go well. Mom would spend all day in the bedroom depressed and dad would sit at night alone in the basement playing his old vinyls. And the fights. So intense between them. And then all of a sudden he died. Less than a year after we moved. Just like that. No nice ending, no goodbyes. No I am sorry and I love you please don’t leave me. It was bad and then it was over. And mom fell apart. Her depression, along with her injuries from the car accident left her unable to care for us emotionally. She never recovered. And with it our relationship with her never recovered. When she died in 2015 Cindy and I were only talking to her sporadically. When I got the call from the hospital at 1:00 AM saying she had passed I remember screaming in my head “NO! I never was able to fix us! It cannot end like this!” But it did. It ended messy, with no kodak moment goodbye like I had envisioned for us.

But oh do I miss them. Because before it was bad it was oh so good. My sister and I had a great childhood. Mom and dad loved us and provided for us. We lived in our little bubble in South Jersey where we had a pool and a dog and during the summers we would swim all day and play too many video games. And along with our other relatives, holidays, birthdays and vacations were amazing. We had fun as a family. So that is what I choose to remember. The good.

As Bryce gets older I am starting to incorporate family traditions from my childhood. This year we are doing one of those chocolate advent calendars with him. Last night while opening the little door and extracting the chocolate prize I clearly remember doing that with my sister and mom. I love that I am passing it down. Because in the end those family traditions are what you will remember when you start crying in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru at 7:30 AM on a Thursday.

Life is messy. We all will have regrets when it comes to our family and life choices. But you can’t let it consume you. I encourage all of you out there who are challenged by the holidays to just embrace the good. Hold on to those good memories. And create new ones where you can.

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Mother’s Day Highs and Lows

Prior to having Bryce this was one of the most depressing days of the year for me. I so badly wanted a child and it just wasn’t happening. I feel for all the women out there that hate Mother’s Day because I once was one of them.  But now I am a mom.  And I embrace Mother’s Day.  Last year, for my first Mother’s Day, I was so tired from lack of sleep that I don’t really remember anything.  Hopefully I showered? Maybe ate a hot meal? So this year Bryce made up for it by not only sleeping through the night, but sleeping for 14 hours straight, which is unheard of for him!  So that was my Mother’s Day gift.  It was wonderful and I have told him he can repeat that gift anytime he wants.  Lol.

The day was not without grief though. It was my first Mother’s Day without a mom. It will be a year in July since she died.  I miss her. Her death has been more complicated for me to handle this past year since we had such a strained relationship at the end.  Her addiction and health issues made it that I did not have a healthy relationship with her.  We would go weeks without talking.  We lived states away from each other.  So yesterday I mourned.  I thought of mom and tried to remember the good times, before disease and addiction took over.  I thought about what I would have said to her yesterday on the phone and how I would have told her how Bryce can now say thank you and I would have told her that he loves to jump in puddles and play with water hoses and sprinklers.  That having him has turned on a light inside me that is helping to heal the darkness.

She loved him. When I told her I was pregnant she was so so happy for me.  When he was born and she couldn’t come to visit me she broke down in tears on the phone.  We both knew she would never be able to visit.  That she would never be able to do the “mom” things one does for their daughter who has just given birth.  I told her it was OK, that we would visit that fall or Christmas.  It was the last time I had a real heart to heart conversation with her.  We did go up at Christmas, which ended up being the last time I saw her before she died.  I am so thankful she got to meet Bryce.  She died 6 months later.

As I embark on this motherhood journey I hope to be the best mom I can for Bryce. That he will know how much I love him and how very much I want him to live his dreams.  Even with all the issues I had with my mom, she equipped me with what I need to make it in this life which is grit and determination.   It is because of her that I plow on and believe that I can actually do anything I want to.

Thank you mom. I miss you so very much.

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The mom I remember. She was so beautiful and the life of every party.

 

 

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Meeting Bryce at Christmas