I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a mother. But through it all, I have been and always will be, a woman.

I’ve lost family members before.  I’ve lost friends.  I’ve lost people to old age, sickness, and suicide.  It always hurts.  But I have to be honest, losing my mom hurts the worst.  It’s been two years, eight months and I still miss her…..

A friend lost her mom just a couple of months ago.  I told her I knew what she was going through.  I told her to just breath.  Just breathe through this second.  Then the next second.  Then it would be a minute.  An hour.  A day.  A month.  Great advice.  I wish I could follow it.

Some days, I still can’t function.  All I can do is cry.  And miss her.  The pain is so excruciating, it feels like someone is sitting on my chest.  I CAN’T breathe.  All I can do is sob.  My throat closes up.  I CAN’T breathe.

It’s like I lost her yesterday.

It’s like I lost her this morning.

It’s like I just lost her now.

It hurts that bad.

But eventually, I can breathe again.  I still miss her.  I still ache.  I still have a huge hole in me that feels like an abyss with no bottom.

So I breathe……..

And I hope that this Christmas won’t be so bad.  I hope that her next birthday won’t hurt as much.  I hope that next Mother’s Day I’ll be able to stay home and enjoy my boys instead of fleeing town for the weekend like a coward, then coming back and trying to celebrate with my boys and actually smile instead of spending the day fighting back tears and praying my children don’t notice.

I breathe…….

And I hope.

And I pray.

I miss you, Mom.

Why are Women MEAN???

I was scrolling through Facebook earlier (yes, I should have been working, but I was taking a short break) and came across a post from a friend of mine:

“Every year around Valentines Day there is one of our doctors that gives everyone who works here a long stemmed rose. “Because every woman deserves a rose on Valentine’s Day” This doctor is off tomorrow so they were passing them out today. Guess who they looked at and kept walking by???? Yeah me. True story.”

WHY??? What was the point of this? To make her feel small? To embarrass her?

All they really succeeded in doing was making me MAD!! Seriously. I promptly ordered her some flowers and had them delivered today with a card that said they were from “Someone who thinks you’re Pretty Special.” Now, yes, she know I sent them. But her co-workers don’t. 🙂 They just see some beautiful red tulips (because EVERYONE gets roses! I had to be different) on her desk.

Yes, part of me wanted to rub it in their faces. They got A rose. She got a bouquet of tulips.

I didn’t like the way they made her feel — or how I imagine she felt — because I’ve felt that way.

Left out.
Ignored.
Excluded.
Inferior.
Unloved.

But she is NOT any of those things. She is WONDERFUL. She’s Smart. Witty. Funny. Wicked (in the best possible way). Beautiful, inside and out. She’d drop anything and everything for her friends and family.

She goes out of her way to make people feel cared for. Included. Important.

For these “women” to try to take that away from her just made my blood boil!!!

L. has been a great friend to my husband for a long time (no, we’re NOT doing that math), and (lucky for me) extended that friendship to me, even though she barely knows me.

She is Awesome! I hope she doesn’t let their pettiness get to her. There are people who believe in her. Who know just how Important she is. How Kind. Generous. Compassionate. Loyal. Gorgeous. And certainly more of a Woman than her co-workers will ever be.

Mean Girls may get older, but clearly they Never Grow Up.

Discovering I’m OLD

Source: Discovering I’m OLD

A few months ago, my husband (whom I love very much…..usually) talked me into our family joining a local Shotokan dojo. While I have enjoyed it, I admit that I’m not as enthusiastic as my husband and sons have been. Honestly, it was exercise that wasn’t completely torturous.

Until Saturday.

We had our first Rank Advancement Test then. (note the Capital Letters!) Well, I knew all the kicks, the stances, the blocks, the katas. Maybe I’m not perfect, but my competitive spirit hasn’t really kicked in yet. However, I felt sure I could pass this and get to Yellow from the lowly white belt. Okay, okay. It’s not like I was testing for black. I know, you’re saying, “Yellow?? Really? That’s EASY!!”

Maybe for You!

I have now discovered muscles I forgot I had, in places I forgot had muscles. And let me tell you, they are ALL telling me what fun they did NOT have moving in ways and for lengths of time that they would much rather have been at home cleaning instead of doing Shotokan. And for me to rather be cleaning house? Well, let’s just say it’s rare I want to do anything that involves housecleaning. I’d rather watch paint dry.

So, the short version of this story is this: I have discovered that I am OLD. I’m out of shape. And I’m lucky I can still walk after Saturday. I’m still sore.

But IF I get my Yellow Belt, then I just might re-evaluate. I just MIGHT decide that even though I’m old and out of shape, maybe…..just maybe…..I’d rather be at the dojo than cleaning house.

If I passed, I just might have to start exercising and stretching to limber up these dishrags I call muscles. I just might have to turn them into something that can at least fake being younger and in better shape.

It’s Been 1 Year….

…1 week and 4 days.  376 days since I lost my mother.  And it still feels like I lost part of myself.  But I did.  I lost my mother.  One of my two best friends (the other is my husband).

My sister lost her mother.

My boys and my nephew lost their grandmother.

My husband and my brother-in-law lost their mother-in-law.

My aunts and uncles lost their sister.

My cousins lost their aunt.

I’m not the only one that lost.  I’m not the only one hurting still.

But it feels that way.

Grief is lonely.

Everyone grieves differently, so everyone grieves alone.  My sister and I both lost our mother, but we grieve differently.  She doesn’t understand exactly how I feel, just like I don’t understand exactly how she feels.

But I know we ALL still hurt.  There is a hole in me.  There is a hole in them.  None of us are complete anymore.  Memories are great, but they can’t hug my sister and me.  Pictures are wonderful, but they can’t send birthday cards to her grandchildren.

I wish we could see her one more time.  I wish I could hug her one more time.  I wish I could say “I love you” one more time.

But I’m glad she’s not hurting anymore.  I’m glad she isn’t struggling for breath anymore.

I’m happy for her, but I still cry for us.

I love you, Mama.  I miss you.  I always will.

I Miss My Mom

This is hard to write.  I’ve put it off, and put if off, . . . but now maybe I can write this.

I lost my mother 11 weeks ago tonight.  It seems like forever since I talked to her.  But it still hurts like it was yesterday that I lost her.

My sister and I have been going through her estate, dividing up this, giving that away, trying to sell the other.  Typical things.  We’ve cried over memories, and we’ve laughed over memories.  We have remembered things we had forgotten.

Through it all, I still expect to hear her tell me to, “Get out of that!  You know you aren’t supposed to be in that,” because you never knew where she had hidden Christmas gifts……..and she had usually forgotten what and where things were hidden, too.

I still reach for the phone to update her on why my routine doctor’s appointment results were.  Or to tell her a funny story about her grandchildren.

Thanksgiving is going to be bad.  Her family always got together Thanksgiving instead of Christmas.  There are just too many of us to get together for both.  It would be exhausting, so they picked Thanksgiving.  I don’t think I can go to my Aunt’s house this year and look at the chair my mother always sat in when she was there.  I can’t bear any well-meaning “How are your holding up?” questions that day.  I just can’t.  So I’ll go to my in-laws and pretend everything is okay.  But Thanksgiving is going to be bad.

Christmas is going to be worse.  You see, that was her favorite holiday.  She had an entire walk-in closet full of Christmas decorations.  Tree ornaments, mantle decorations, floor statues of snowmen and Santa and Mrs. Claus, wreaths, etc.  We even found 3 Christmas trees of varying sizes.  Not to mention the other Christmas decorations we have unearthed in other closets.  Her favorite holiday.  And she won’t be here.  My children won’t get to call Nana and tell her what Santa brought them.  We won’t get to visit her and eat spaghetti (because we were sick of all the turkey we’d been eating since November).  I won’t get to hear her child-like glee when she purchased and received yet another Christmas decoration.  She was a child at Christmas as much as my children are.  She loved it.  I just want to get through it this year.  For myself.  For my family.  For my children.  I will smile and laugh and pretend, because that is what I need to do.  I may not feel the Christmas Spirit this year, but I can’t take it away from everyone else.

Just as I recover from Christmas will be her birthday.  She would have been 66.  So young.  Too young.  I can’t think about all of the things she’ll miss.  It’ll break me right now.

She was my best friend.  We went through a really rough patch when I was in my teens and early 20s.  But we made up.  We overcame.  She was actually my Friend.  My Best Friend.  For several years, she was my only friend.

And I miss her.

Every day.

Overcomer

I usually turn K-Love on my computer while I’m working.  I was sitting here in my office, kinda in a funk, and Mandisa’s song, “Overcomer” started playing.  I know everyone loves this song, most of you for the same reason I do.  It gives me hope.

In a world where I can’t hear the voice of God, she tells me he speaks to me through the little things.

In a world where I can’t feel His presence, she tells me He IS there listening.

In a wold where I often want to give up because it’s Just Too Hard!, she tells me to just hang on.  He’s there.

In a world where I think “I Can’t.”  She tells me “You Can!”

Sometimes this song cheers me up.  I feel encouraged. I feel stronger. I feel happier.  I feel more confident.

Sometimes this song makes me want to cry.  I feel ashamed for not having faith.  I feel guilty for not trying harder.

Then I try to look back.  I see all I have been through.  I see God in the little things.  I see where He gave me strength.  He must have, because I certainly couldn’t have gotten through it without Him.  I see where I was hopeless, but the dark eventually ended.  I see where He had to let me learn my own lessons when I wouldn’t listen to Him.

And I straighten my spine.  I try to ignore the dark thoughts I know aren’t mine.  And I make myself realize, I Am An Overcomer.  I may not be Robin Roberts, or Mandisa, or any of those people we have all seen struggle through so many tragedies, but I’ve had my own rocky paths to traverse, my own ravines to drag myself out of.  He WAS there.  He DID help.

Thank you, Mandisa, for making me realize this.

Thank You, God.  I don’t say it enough, but Thank You.  You have given me so many blessings that I don’t deserve.  Strength, patience, a husband who loves me and who I love more than life itself, two boys who exasperate me endlessly, but I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.  I had given up hope of having children.  You gave my my family.

Thank You.  From the bottom of my heart and soul…….Thank You.

www.awriterweavesatale.com/

Author, and Editor of Literary and Arts Magazine, The Woven Tale Press

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