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.

Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

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.


As A Wife . . . with a Husband Getting Older

Yes, my husband is getting older.  No, I don’t care what my body says, or my doctor says, I celebrated my first 29th birthday about 14 years ago, and stopped having any more birthdays then so I am forever 29.  End of THAT story.

My husband is 47.  He thinks he looks older than he is, and he may to you at first.  His hair is graying rapidly and, as he says, “what isn’t going gray is going away.”  But when you look a little closer, he really doesn’t look his age.  His face doesn’t even have laugh lines, though he laughs quite a bit.  No wrinkles.  No crow’s feet.  Nothing.  Nada.  (Quite disgusting really, as this 29-year-old has begun to see such things along with a touch of sagging, and loss of “glow.”)  If you forget about his hair (or lack of it), he really looks very good for his age.  (Why is it that men get BETTER looking with age while women just age?)

That said, his doctor’s appointment did not go as well as he hoped yesterday.  Not only is his ferritin levels are low, his total iron count is low, his B-12 levels are low, and his cholesterol is high.  We’ve been battling his blood pressure, but with two boys under the age of 10 THAT is a losing battle!  So now he’s taking a few more pills.  I think I counted 5 in his hand last night.

5 Pills.  That’s not so bad.  I take 3 in the morning — iron, cholesterol, and one to keep me from killing those small demon-monkeys I mentioned above :-).  At my age of 29 (don’t argue.  I’m 29.), that doesn’t sound very good.  But at 47, 5 pills really isn’t bad.  I know people younger that take many more pills.  He thinks he now has to take “a handful of pills” every night.  That’s not a handful.

He doesn’t realize his health could be SO much worse.  He could have heart trouble, after all, his cholesterol could have caused a heart attack by now.  He could be anemic because that runs in his family.  He could have lung problems because we both smoked for over 20 years.  (Yes, I must have started at 9 to have smoked that long.)  He could have all of the above.  His health could be so, so much worse.  Count your blessings, Dear.  Even those demon-monkey offspring you call boys.  Even me, though reading this he might not be so happy with me either right now.

Dear Husband:  Get. Over. It.  Things could be worse.  And I would much rather see you swallow a handful of pills 10 times the size of what you have, than to lose you.  I would rather force them down your throat myself than watch terrified as you slipped away from me due to any number of things that COULD go wrong.  I pray to God thanking Him for gifting you to me.  I pray to God asking, begging Him not to take you away from me.  You are my 3rd biggest miracle (the first 2 being those demon-monkey boys, of course).  And I don’t want to lose you.

I know I complain, and I’m bossy, and I drive you insane; but I love you.  More than you know.  More than you can imagine.  So take your pills and count your blessings.  It could be so much worse.  And it very well might get worse.  But I will love you through all of it.  Until Death do us part. . . . but let’s not rush it, okay?


As A Wife . . . Giving Thanks

This is going to be combination post.  You see, this is not only Thanksgiving week, but today is my  Anniversary.  My husband and I were married 11 years ago today, November 22nd.  11 Years.  Wow.  And I want to tell you how that came about.

My husband and I met when we were kids.  Well, I was a kid.  He was this weird teenage boy in the background that his sister and I ignored.  Boys? YUCK!

Fast forward ten years.  We meet again.  He’s CUTE!  Tall, dark, handsome, with a little bit of bad-boy, and a whole lot of charm.  I fell in love.  Hard.  Fast.  Permanently.

We dated off and on for over ten years.  When we weren’t dating, we were friends.  Best friends.  And, yes, now that we’re married all of those secrets we shared as friends can sometimes be Too Much Information.  Lol.  But, in a way, that same sharing in friendship is the ONLY reason we’re married.  And that is the story behind the story.

We’ve both been in other relationships, of course.  But in those ten years of off-an-on some of those other people weren’t just “Other People.”  They were Bad People.  Some times bad for us, sometimes just bad period.  In my case, they were both.  See, I’m not the best judge of character when it comes to men.  A couple of them (okay, most of them) were mean to me.  Not physically, because that I could have walked away from.  No, they were emotionally and mentally abusive.  Those types are more insidious.  They sneak up on you.  At first, you say, “He’s just having a bad day.”  Then, you start to believe him sometimes when he says, “It’s your fault that I’m mad.”  Then, you believe you just don’t deserve anything better.  Then, you don’t believe you deserve anything at all.

If you’re lucky, you get out.  I was lucky.

Then, I hit the jackpot.  The Million Dollar, Once In A Lifetime, Jackpot.  My husband asked me out.  We dated.  He fell in love with me again.  I had never fallen OUT of love with him.  I had just repressed it to get on with my life.  When he asked me to marry him, I said “YES” and rushed him to the alter before he could change his mind.

But, there were still problems.  My problems that became his problems.  Those past relationships, the ones I mentioned above, well, they left scars.  Not healed little white scars you have to look for to find.  In fact, they weren’t really even scars.  They were more like gaping, bloody, infected wounds that I had covered with band-aids and hoped would go away.  They didn’t.

J. got to play doctor (and not the fun kind of “doctor” game girls and boys play).  He got to deal with all of those trust issues, and incompetency feelings, and depressive withdrawal from him.  Our first — and worst — fight was over Christmas lights.  Seriously, it was over Christmas lights.  He asked me what kind I wanted to buy for the house.  Icicle lights or colored lights or just plain white string lights?  I said I didn’t care.  HE said (and I can still remember it to this day), “I asked you.  When I ask for your opinion on something I. Want.  Your.  Opinion.  I do NOT want to hear ‘I don’t care.’  Do you understand me.”  And, no, that last was NOT a question.  All of this was said in a tone of voice barely above a whisper, so no one else in Wally World heard him.  And that made it even more . . . impressive.

And that friendship I told you helped?  Well, see, I had watched him go through other relationships, also.  Not only did I know what HE had been through, I had seen how he reacted to THEIR behavior.  I KNEW I could trust him.  Not an I-know-in-my-heart-I-can-trust-him type of trust.  I knew because I had SEEN him go through the worst and I had SEEN how he reacted.  I had proof.  I trusted because he had already proved I could trust him.

He saved me.  He saved me from myself.  He saved me from my past.  He saved me from my wounds.  I had loved him for years, I love him now, and I will love him forever.  He is my savior, my heart, my soul-mate, and my world.  Unless you have that, you can’t understand that kind of love.

It’s an old-fashioned, all-the-way-to-the-bone love.  If (God Forbid!) I lost him tomorrow, a very large part of me would die.  I know that.  When I even think about things like that, I feel part of my heart and part of my soul shrink backward in fear.  This is the fairy tale love that I believed in as a little girl and scoffed at as an young adult.  Real Love Does Exist.  I found it.

He’s not perfect.  He snores.  He gets cranky.  He snores.  He misunderstands me sometimes.  He snores.  He drives like an old man sometimes — sloooooowly.  And, did I mention he snores?  He’s not perfect.  But he is Perfect For Me.

He is a wonderful husband.  He’s an unbelievably good father.  He helps me clean house.  He vacuums and mops because it hurts my back.  He works long hours to make enough money to take care of me and the kids.  He is patient.  He is kind.  He has a great sense of humor.  He is a gentleman.

I don’t deserve him.  I never have, and I never will.  I treat him badly sometimes.  But he makes me strive to be better, to be more deserving of him.

He is Mine.  And I give Thanks to God Every Day for my husband.

I Love You, J.  More than you know, more than you can imagine, and more than I ever thought I was capable of.  Happy Anniversary, Honey.  Eleven years……and hopefully, another fifty or sixty.

A Late Dad to a Daughter

My husband found out last year that he had a daughter from his previous wife, so he came late to being the dad of a daughter.  He met her shortly before her 11th birthday.  The bonded immediately, as she did with her two brothers her dad had with me.  Instantaneous, right down to the sibling fights, shouts of “Leave Me Alone!” and hugs and kisses.

But as wonderful as it is to get to know her, I can’t help but think of all he (and she) missed.  Michael Mitchell has a wonderful blog called Life to Her Yeaars that is letters to his daughter that he started when she was born.  It’s pretty awesome.  But he did a guest blog called 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters that just made me cry.  They are wonderful pieces of advice.  What made me cry was how many of these rules my husband can’t obey with his daughter because he missed the first decade of her life.

He’ll never get play peekaboo with her.  He’ll never be able to sit her on his lap and let her drive his car.  He’s already missed ten birthdays.  He’ll never get to turn her down gently when she asks him as a young girl to marry her .  He’s never going to see her get on the school bus.He’ll never get to ride her on his shoulders.  These are “rites of passage” with daughters and dads.  And he has missed SO much not knowing about her.  They both have.

It makes me sad.

She lives so far away (about 8 hours) that he misses so much of her life.  Telephone calls, Facebook and texts only do so much.  He can’t hug his daughter electronically.  He can’t help her with her homework.  He can’t tease her until she smiles.  He won’t know IF she smiles.  He can’t ruffle her hair with his hand.  He can’t argue with her over bedtime.  He misses so much of her life.  He misses Her.

When she comes back at Christmas he will marvel over how tall she’s gotten.  He’ll give her Christmas presents, take her places, tease her, dote on her, and love her.  But all of that he will also do for the boys.  That’s right of course, but they are still making up for lost time.  Lost time they will never get back.

All he can do from now on is his best.  We all try not to dwell on “what-if.”  It is a senseless question and really does more harm than good when asked.  He forms the bonds of love with her now while he can, and tries to show her that he loves her.  But it’s difficult when those years of her innocent, unconditional trust were missed.

That they are together makes me very happy.  That they missed ten years makes me sad.  I’m looking at the relationship from the outside, so how much more do they feel?

Hug your daughter(s).  Hug your son(s).  Love them.  Realize how precious they are.  Think how lucky you are to have had them this long, and remember that they can be taken from you in a blink.  In an instant everything can change.  Don’t take this time for granted.  You can be there and still miss it if you aren’t careful.

Be careful.

And comment if you have any special remembrances of your kids, of lack of them.  Tell me if this grabs your heart for any reason.  I’d like to know.

Love & Romance: For Women

A few weeks ago, my friend Rosie blogged about the 5 Love Languages and this got me thinking (dangerous, I know).  For those of you that don’t know, I will list the 5 Languages here, and I’ve embedded the link if you want more information.  Basically, it says that people don’t always communicate the same, and to minimize misunderstandings, it helps if people can recognize the other languages in case that is what their partner is speaking.  The 5 Languages are:

1.  Words of Affirmation
2.  Quality Time
3.  Receiving Gifts
4.  Acts of Service
5.  Physical Touch

This really does help.  For instance, my languages are more 1, 2, and 5.  I need words of affirmation, encouragement, love.  Most women do.  We are vulnerable creatures and we need that positive reinforcement.  I need quality time.  My husband has an irregular work schedule, so quality time is important when he can’t always devote the time.  And physical touch?  I love to hold hands.  I love for my husband to put his arm around me in public.  Just the little touches that can say to me, “You’re special.  I want the world to know you belong to me.”

Men (or at least MY husband – yours may be different) tend to speak more 3 and 4.  I get little cards, flowers for no reason, and sometimes maybe he’ll buy me that book I’ve been wanting.  These are all special and the definitely make me smile.  This is the language that is easy to interpret, assuming the gifts are given with the appropriate attitude.  Throwing a jewelry box on the vanity as a man walks by a woman will not earn him very many brownie points.

But 4 is the language my husband really speaks.  And I have to constantly remind myself of that.  He cuts the grass, takes out the garbage, gets the boys ready for school in the morning, and a myriad of other little things. To him these are Acts of Service he does out of love for me and our family.  To me, these things are chores.  To him, they are the deepest expression of how important he thinks we are.

So this weekend, I think I’ll try to speak HIS language.  I’ll clean the house, wash the laundry, and I’ll even dust (which is a chore I detest above all others).  I will scrub the bathroom fixtures and bleach the kitchen counter.  I will perform Acts of Service to show HIM that I love him.

And then, I will look out the window and see him cutting grass (with a sinus infection), and it will warm my heart that he is doing that just for me.

Remember, we not only have to speak the Language of Love, but we have to hear it when it is spoken to us.  Sometimes you hear the most in the silence.

Love & Romance: A Suggestion for Men

My husband wrote me a love letter.  He does that from time to time.  It’s good that he doesn’t too often, because it would not mean as much.  Usually, he is a man of few words.  Serious words anyway.  He’s great at small talk, and he’s a wonderful listener, but expressing his feelings isn’t something he is apt to do very often.

It was a sweet letter.  I won’t tell you the details because they are private.  But he made me cry.  Good tears.  The kind only women really understand.  The ones that stem from an overflow of love from the heart.  The ones that would say (if men could understand), “You have no idea how deeply you just touched me.”  The ones that acknowledge that you just let us deep down inside you in that place you keep secret, and thank you for that gift.

Men should do this every so often to their lady love.  It doesn’t have to be long, just heartfelt.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just perfectly yours.  Write letters to your wives, your girlfriends, your children — daughters AND sons.  You never know when today might be your last day.  Give them words in print to let them know how much they mean to you.  On dark nights, those words will comfort.  When you have a fight (and you will) those letters will help ease the pain.

I had my husband write letters to our children for when they are grown.  Just in case we aren’t here then.  They will have our hearts printed on paper.  They will have words to remind them of our love, our pride in them, our hopes for their future, our belief in them.

J. made me fall in love with him all over again.  Not that it is hard to do, but we both get so busy with Life, that sometimes we forget to remind the other just how special they are to us.  This reminder I can keep in my keepsake box (every girl has one, even if it’s just a shoebox).  I can pull it out when he is traveling for business, or when we have a fight, and remember just what it is that I love about him and be reminded that he loves me, too.

It’s easy to forget that.  Well, not so much forget as we need reassurance.  Women are very vulnerable creatures (or at least I am), and we need that reassurance.  We need to know that you still find us attractive (stretchmarks, extra pounds, and all); that you love us as much today as the day you married us; that you have no regrets; that you still want to be a part of our lives and have us a part of yours.

We aren’t as tough as we would have you believe, or even as tough as we would like to believe.  Our hearts are still fragile.  We still need to be romanced.  We still need your attention.  We still need You.

So, when you have a few moments free, sit down and tell your lady love how you feel.  It’s a little thing to do, but it will mean more than you can possibly know.  Be honest and open.  Write from the heart.  She will appreciate it, and love you even more.  Don’t be scared off by the tears you may cause.  They really are good tears.  And I’m sure, after she has wiped her eyes, she’ll tell you just how much you mean to her.

J. is my best friend and my lover.  He is my companion and my partner.  He is my husband and he means more to me than anyone else on earth other than our children.

I love him, too.


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

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