Monday, July 7, 2014

10 years...

I went for a car wash this morning. My car was in desperate need of one, for quite some time now. And, while on the way there, the tears just started to spill from my eyes.  "Clean cars drive better." was what my late husband always said. He loved to get the cars washed. And, for some reason, they did seem to drive better after they were squeaky clean.  This Wednesday will mark the 10 year anniversary of his death.  It's so hard to believe that 10 years have already passed us by. It seems so crazy to me. And at the same time, it doesn't.

Last Friday was the 4th of July, a holiday I used to love and I no longer enjoy.  In fact, I dread it.  It was the last holiday we spent together.  Each year, it does get a little bit easier, the further out we are from his death.  This year, though, it was extremely rough for me.  I was home with 2 of my boys.  Steve was away with our other 2 boys.  I felt like the puzzle wasn't complete, as if we were broken.  Yes, broken. Not incomplete, like some people would say.  I felt broken.  When Steve came into my life, it felt as though the puzzle was gaining back missing pieces, heading towards completion.  A puzzle, isn't a perfect solid piece.  Rather, pieces that get put together and fit.  Steve and Zion completed our broken puzzle, just as the boys and I completed theirs.  But on this holiday, I felt as though our puzzle was broken. It was just too much emotion for me; missing Allan, my late husband and remembering our last holiday together and having Steve and two of the kids away.  I know how to live on my own, to be independent.  But this was just so hard.  And, I don't know that anyone will understand that.  Yet, I know Steve does, because he too was widowed.  

So, I survived the 4th of July, barely.  Now, I sit here, staring at the calendar, knowing the 9th is two days away.  I don't know why it makes such a difference.  He's been gone for 10 years minus 2 days.  What exactly will happen on the 9th? Nothing.  Nothing different than today, other than me knowing what it represents.  It gives me so much anxiety thinking about it.  There's a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, but also, a feeling in my chest.  Not chest pain, relax.  But this physical ache that only someone who has suffered such a tremendous loss would understand.  The loss of a spouse when I was only 28 years old and he was six weeks shy of turning 36.  The loss of a father at the ages of 5 1/2, 3 and 18 days old.  I spoke with Steve about this about two weeks ago, when the anxiety started. It does every year around the same time.  He doesn't take it personally when I speak of Allan just as I don't when he speaks of Micki.  I think it's something widowed people "just get".  It's not about loving your current spouse any less or that they take a back seat.  It's so hard to explain and put into words.  You just fill with tears and they understand. I told him it seemed impossible that 10 years had passed.  And he started to list everything that has gone on just in our time together, and it blew my mind.  It's amazing to my me what we do in our lives, everyday, and how much we accomplish.  Allan has been missing for all of Simon's life, minus those first 18 days. There are no words for that.

I don't know why this anniversary is hitting me so hard.  Each year out usually gets a tiny bit easier.  Yet, this one, is just lingering over me.  And, it hurts.  It physically hurts.  When a child turns 10, as Simon just did, they've reached double digits and everyone makes a big deal out of's a very exciting time.  When a couple is married for 10 years, people make a big deal. There are so many reasons to celebrate 10 years. Nothing to celebrate here.  Just me listing off all of the events he's missed out on in his children's lives.  So many events.  It's gut wrenching when you really start to think about it.

I took the boys to the cemetery on Fathers Day, per their request.  Admittedly, I dread going there. I don't believe you need to be at a cemetery to "talk" with the one you've lost. But, we went.  The last time we went, they were all little boys. Now, my big boys look like men. They opened the picture we have on the headstone.  Allan looks so young in the picture, because he was, and we've all aged. Something just seemed wrong.  But that's because the whole thing is wrong.

Do we ever run out of tears? At what point in life have we cried enough? It seems like there is an endless supply.  There is also an endless supply of stupid people.  People who make ridiculous comments without thinking.  People who tell you that you have a new husband so why be so sad.  People who say its been long enough and to "get over it".  I can't even get started on that.

So, for now, I sit here feeling sad, along with a million other feelings, and unsure of what to do with all of it. The anxiety takes over and all I can do is look forward to July 10th.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Prom, A Hotel Room and Donuts

Last week I caught part of an episode of Growing Up Fisher.  I've seen it before and it's actually a very funny show.  This one particular episode hit close to home and made me laugh. I don't even know the characters names but the story line cracked me up.  The daughter, was attending prom, and there was a hotel room involved after the dance, that her dad was not told about.  Being that my 20 year high school reunion is this upcoming weekend, this hit very close to home.

My senior prom was held on a Friday night at The Knickerbocker Hotel.  I spent the day getting all furputzed.  My date and I were doubling with another couple.  We had arranged pictures at one of their homes and the limo was picking us up there. I made sure I had my overnight bag with me. We took a million pics. The weather was great and off we went.  Back then, limo rides were only for prom, not like today where kids take them to every school function.  We went to the dance where all the girls wore black dresses. Not full length dresses, but not vagina bearing dresses either.  They were above the knee, but covered our hoo-hoo's.  We saved showing off our cookies for more private moments.  We all wore pantyhose, too. (As I am typing this, I am realizing how dated this sounds.)  And, we brought our cameras to the dance to take pics of our friends, not selfies.

After the dance, my date and our friends got back into our limo and headed over to the very fancy Holiday Inn City Center. ( I don't know if it is still there or if it has another name.) I went up to the desk to check us in.  My mother had booked the room for us. She was cool with us getting a room. Perhaps not thrilled, but she did it.  I broke her in for my siblings....they have gotten away with WAY, WAY worse things.  Anyway, I was 18 already,so this should not have been an issue at that time.  But, even though we thought we were good to go, we weren't.  The desk clerk insisted that a parent signed for the room.  Um....that's a problem.  Now mind you, we had no cell phones to make a quick call or send a text regarding the situation.  So, I asked the clerk to let me use the phone to call my mom.  I called and told her the situation. She asked to speak with the clerk.  She kindly asked the clerk to let us up to the room and told him that she was on her way downtown to sign for the room.  And, the clerk said ok.  As if that would happen now.

Up to the room we went.  Now mind you, here we are, 4 teenage kids, in a hotel room, waiting for my mom to arrive.  I knew she wasn't going to just sign for the room and leave. She'd want to say hello.  My friends didn't seem to care.  They immediately locked themselves in the bathroom so they could hit it. And, they weren't real quiet about it. 15 minutes later, my mom called from the lobby.  15 minutes!!!!!!!!! How on Earth she AND MY FATHER made it downtown in 15 minutes never made sense to me.  AND, they stopped at Dunkin Donuts to bring us treats!  Here's the blip in this whole thing: my father had not been informed that I was spending the night out, in a hotel room, with a guy and another couple.  But, when my mom received a call close to midnight and was going to have to leave and head downtown, she kind of had to tell him. The thing is, it was HER idea to not inform him of my post prom plans, not mine. So, not my fault.  I was BANGING on the bathroom door, BEGGING my friends to finish up and get out as my parents were on their way up. And, granted I was being a very good girl, lol, my dad still would've kicked the guys ass for being in the bathroom with his girlfriend.  I had a feeling he was not going to be in a good mood.  They never did come out of the bathroom, even when my parents showed up, donuts and all.  My parents did ask where they were. My date and I just said they were in the bathroom...changing clothes.  Mhmmmm. So, as I stood there in my pj's (and they weren't flannel pj bottoms and a t-shirt or tank top like I wear now) my parents left.  And, THEN my friends came out of the bathroom to help themselves to donuts.  Assholes.

My dad and I never discussed this after the fact.  I am curious as to the conversation my parents may have had on the way down to the hotel.  Then again, they were traveling at the speed of light, so they might not have been able to.  Maybe after they saw me and my date just hanging out in the room, being super angels, he was more calm? I don't know.  We never, ever discussed this.  And, I bet if my dad reads this, he probably won't even remember it happened.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Moms, Moms, Everywhere

Mothers Day is upon us.  Every year, kids, and adults, run around, trying to make dinner reservations or cook a meal, buy flowers and cards in hopes of making Mom happy.  For some, it is a truly joyous day.  For others, it's a difficult day and many hope it'll pass.  And, then there are the "moms", those who may not have a biological connection, but most certainly deserve credit.

Watching people in Hallmark stores or in the card aisles at Walgreens or CVS the weekend of Mothers Day is truly comical.  You could get some popcorn and big Diet Coke and bring a chair-in-a-bag and camp out just to watch what goes on.  Mostly, I find the men are the ones who make the best watching material.  Kind of like on Valentines Day, when they stand there, panic stricken, over the cards that are left over, trying to find one that says what it is they are trying to communicate for $4.  These are the same people who think they are able to make a brunch or dinner reservation today, two days before Mothers Day, the busiest restaurant day of the year, at the peak dining time, without any problem.  Good luck to them.

Last year, I hosted brunch for Mothers Day. My mother hates restaurants on this day. She never wants to go out.  So, she decides on brunch or dinner and what we're eating and that's what we have.  She is actually hosting this year.  Something new!  So, last year, we had brunch.  I told my family, about a month ahead of time, that I still wanted to eat dinner that day.  I wish I had whipped out my phone to record their faces when I said this. They were flabbergasted by my statement, especially my husband, and kids #2 and #4.  They didn't understand my statement.  Did I want them to cook? And if so, what? PBJ? Real food? Did I want to go out? And, if so, where? They panicked.  BUT---they did a GREAT job and took me to a restaurant new to all of us and kept it a surprise until we got there.  It was spectacular.

For years, my mother hated this day.  After she lost her mother, she barely wanted to celebrate the day.  She hated it.  She barely wanted to discuss how we were going to celebrate it.  My Bubby always wanted to go out for Mothers Day.  She hardly ate in restaurants so on this day, she wanted brunch out of the house.  I remember we'd go to The Bagel.  That was what she enjoyed.  I think as time passes, we learn to move forward, and we are able to start celebrating life's events again.  Time heals, but we never forget.

I think schools don't always do a great job of being sensitive to these issues either.  It's hard for teachers to take into account every student's individual needs and circumstances.  And, I am not blaming teachers.  They have 20+ students to take into account and sometimes, things get overlooked.  But, there are kids who have unfortunately lost a mother or father.  This time of year, when kids are busy making gifts for their mom (or dad, some teachers plan ahead) are so difficult.  Sure, you can make the gift for a special aunt, grandma or just a special woman, it's hard, plain and simple. How can you expect a child to be able to deal with this when there are adults who have difficulty? We just have to remember to be sensitive.

Then, there are the moms who didn't carry their children for 9 months.  Not all babies grow in their mothers bellies.  Lots of children grow in their mothers hearts.  Adoptive mothers, stepmothers or mother figures.  I am blessed and honored to have both types of sons: those that grew inside my belly and one that grew inside my heart. I fell in love with him when I met him. He wasn't even 3 years old yet.  It's hard to believe that we have been a part of each others lives for 7 1/2 years now.  Even though, I didn't give birth to him, I love him just as much as I do the boys I did.  His mother is no longer here. She passed away when he was about 14 months old.  I know I can never take her place.  But, I hope I am doing what she'd want me to be.  And, I hope one day he realizes that everything I do has always been with his best interests at heart.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When Is Mothers Day?

It's Tuesday morning of Mothers Day Week. Yes, I said Mothers Day Week. Why should us moms only get one day of recognition? After going thru pregnancy, child birth, child rearing, long days and nights, we deserve more than one day.  And, so do our mothers.  And their mothers, if they are still with us.  I think our children need to realize, from a young age, how to appreciate the women in their lives, or at least, know what day Mothers Day falls on.

I was driving my son and one of the girls we carpool with this morning.  I am no longer one of those wide awake, dressed and in make up at 7am moms. I used to be, but no longer.  I drive carpool in my pj's, sans bra, with a jacket or hoodie or sweater over my top.  It's a super sexy look, especially when I am wearing my cupcake pj's like I am today.  We had the radio on and Mothers Day was being discussed.  So, I brought the topic up to both kids.  Interesting idea I had.

It seems as though I have always known that Mothers Day falls on the second Sunday in May, Fathers Day the third Sunday in June. Is that so difficult to know, so difficult to remember? I really think it should be embedded in their heads.  One day, one day to honor the woman, or women in their lives.  One day to make us feel special, to make us feel honored for all that we have done.  One day to make us feel extra loved and cherished.  Perhaps, kids today are so busy they just don't have any more room in their brains to remember any more information. I don't know.

I decided to ask the girl what she was doing for Mothers Day.  Her response, "When is it?"  She said it with sincerity and was completely serious.  I looked over at my son, he just had this weird look on his face. He had no idea either.  I told them that it was this coming Sunday.  Inside, I was frustrated. Why don't these kids know? Why don't they seem to care? It's not about receiving gifts, although, I am not one to turn down gifts.  Do they understand the love a mother has for her children? Do they understand how her heart aches when her child is hurt or in pain or sad? Do they understand how a mother would lay down in front of a bus for her child? How a mother would pick up the bus if she had to? Of course they don't.  They aren't a parent yet.

The girl asked my son what we were doing for Mothers Day. He still looked confuzzled.  She then asked if it was a surprise? He said "yes".  Yea, right.  It's a surprise to him too because he has absolutely no freaking idea.  I love my oldest son with all of my heart and soul.  Being the oldest, he and I have a very special relationship, a special bond. I have a special bond with each and every one of my children, but as most moms know, the first child is different.  I adore him.  But, seriously, the child is clueless sometimes.  He has no plan for Sunday. None. Zero.  Zip.  I don't know if he would know Mothers Day is this Sunday if I hadn't brought it up.

I'm not sure why I am ranting this morning.  I'm not upset.  It really was comical, if you were there.  To see the look on these teenagers faces as they blushed because they were clueless was priceless.  They'll come up with something, I have no doubts.  They are smart enough to know that it is an important day and that they should make us moms feel good.  Just wish they paid a bit more attention ahead of time.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Girl and Her Boobs

I need new bras. It's that time again. I bought new ones in October.  They are past their prime.  If you ask any bra saleswoman she would most definitely agree.  They want you in there shopping anywhere between 2-4 times a year.  I'm lucky if I go twice a year.  It's stressful for me. I have to go and get measured. And, the bras aren't cheap. My girls are big.  The bras are expensive.  And, then when I am there, I always want new panties to match the new bras.'s rough.

I'll be honest, I do not hand wash my bras as recommended.  I do not put them in a lingerie bag inside the washing machine.  I do hang dry them though. Points for me! Perhaps, if I took better care of them, I'd get more wear and tear out of them.  But the saleswoman tells me to buy them more often than I do anyway so who knows.  And I tell her that I most definitely use a lingerie bag to wash them. This way I don't have to buy the new one she's always trying to throw onto my tab.  It's like lying to the dentist about flossing your teeth. You tell them you do it all the time but they know you are lying.  And, the bra saleswoman can tell how I wash my bra when we're standing together in the changing room, and I am lying to her face.

My girls and I have been together for 28 years now--that's right, 28 years. We have a very special relationship. They sprouted when I was 10 years old. Not little itty bitty bumps, but they just shot right out.  At that time, I didn't fully appreciate them. I hated them.  I would walk around trying to cover them up.  I wore bigger sized shirts so boys wouldn't see them.  A saleswoman at the Gap once told me that by doing that, it just made me ( me in general) look bigger and that one day, I'd want to wear tighter fitting tops.  Boys made fun of me.  They called me "boom boom" at school.  Running the mile during gym class was pure torture for me. (Mostly, cause I do not run, but secondly, because they would be calling me that name while I attempted to run with my hands over my tits.)  I had no idea the relationship that the girls and I would have throughout the course of my life.  I have tried to take care of them. I try to keep them looking nice.  I did not breast feed my kids. (Not out of vanity, I was just a bottle feeder.) I have always worn an underwire bra, and I have tried to keep them in pretty looking bras. But, they are big. And, I am a bigger girl.  Victoria's Secret once kicked me out because the girls were too big for their goods.  Shopping for bras isn't a fun experience.

I have now found a store that makes pretty bras for big booby girls and the smaller booby girls all in one.  But, it can be an addiction.  When I go in and finally do get measured for bras, I want the over the shoulder boulder holder that also gives the girls some serious cleavage.  And, they make them!!!!!!!! When I shopped last time, I was able to be honest with my saleswoman.  I wanted a really good "t-shirt bra" but that would give a little sexiness. AND, I wanted a comfortable, cleavage shower offer.  She found me exactly what I wanted!!! I was so excited.  But, then which colors do I buy?? It was stressful. I wanted them all. But I couldn't sell one of my kids to buy them, because that would be wrong.  So, I bought 4 bras--which is a lot to buy at once, but I was excited.

I came out of the dressing room, and she asked me the dangerous question.  Did I need any panties?  Who doesn't ever need new ones? They feel so good. Men can buy a pack of 3 pair for $8.95. Women have to spend a fortune for panties. It really is unfair. So, if I go get new bras, I don't know if I have the self control to not buy myself new matching panties.  The funny part about all this is that I am not dressing for anyone other than myself.  Steve doesn't really offer an opinion on the undergarments.  And, we all know I don't go work out at a gym (or anywhere else) where anyone might see what the girls are sporting.  I like wearing beautiful bras because they make me feel good.  They make the girls feel special.

Maybe I'll go buy myself some new ones for Mothers Day..........

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Musical Thoughts

Certain songs trigger certain memories.  Some happy, some sad. Some bring you back to childhood, some bring you back to being a teenager.  Lately, I have been paying more attention to these songs, the ones that take me back.  More often than not, I have a smile on my face when I hear them.  Some make me sad.  Some I just turn off and can no longer listen to.

"Last Dance" and "I Will Survive" take me back to my early childhood.  My mom would put the records on for me and I'd just dance. (I still look like a 3 year old when I dance, only then it was cute. Now, not so much.) "Greatest American Hero" was another good one.  The theme songs from so many shows bring a smile to my face.

REO Speedwagon, Chicago, James Taylor, Air Supply-these artists and groups take me back to high school.  Boyfriends and mixed tapes, the highs and lows of those first relationships and first loves; the drama-these all bring a smile to my face. Some of those have more significance than others.  Certain songs played during those "firsts"--those moments in one's life that you will never ever forget.  I still have those mixed tapes in boxes in my basement.  I have no cassette player anywhere near my house, but I cannot bring myself to throw them out.  Other tapes, I loaned out and never got back. (Not that I hold any grudges.)

Other songs, they mean more.  "I Got You Babe"--as cheesy as it is, my late husband and I did a karaoke video to that song on our first vacation together.  When we got married, I walked down the aisle to "Endless Love". Our first dance was to "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You".  These songs mean the world, but I no longer can listen to any of them. Anytime they come on the radio, I immediately change the station.

When Andrew was a little over a year old, he used to wake up in the middle of the night. And, I had no idea what to do with him. He wanted to watch TV and eat Teddy Grahams. So, I let him.  We'd sit in our family room and do that.  However, I didn't put on any children's shows for him, hoping he'd want to go back to sleep. I would put VH1 on.  We'd watch Macy Gray singing "I Try". I always smile when I hear this song.

I met my husband Steve online. The first time we spoke on the phone, I was in a Bed Bath & Beyond. Etta James was on the radio there with "At Last". I love that song.  If you ask him how our relationship began, he goes with the song "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" by Elvis Bishop.  I'll save the details of our first date for another blog, but it's a great song and makes me laugh.

When my sister was in college, she went to Spain to study abroad.  During that time, she took ill several times and it was so hard with her being away, calling me, crying from the hospital and there was nothing I could do.  When a certain Killers song would come, I would burst into tears instantly. I have no idea why, but I would. To this day, if I hear it, I still tear up.

Right now, my boys all love all different types of music.  But I smile when I hear songs they love.  It makes me think of them and that always makes me happy.  Well, mostly. A couple of them are on a country kick.  Carrie Underwood is making a big impression. Because she is hot.  And, I don't want to let my mind go where their minds are going with her being hot.  Because they are boys.  Thinking of a hot girl.