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Sunday, March 29, 2009


reconciliation -Synonyms: accord; agreement; compromise; harmony; settlement (also what us Catholics now call confession).

I had a wonderful week.

I found an organization that I can make blankets for that are given to children in need & Jen wants to help too.
I am also making stew with Michele to donate to a food bank through our church.
I am so happy that they have been going to church with us!
I had a great time at the surprise shower we threw for Thomas & Natalie.
I cleaned out my closet of two bags of "work" clothes.
I'm looking forward to going to Georgia with Tom and Ella next week (even if I DO have to wear a bathing suit).
I had each of my grandchildren to love on at our house (When I had only one grandchild a co worker once said to me "how will you be able to keep up when you have 10?" Bring em on!)




My energy level is up, maybe it's the vitamins my sister & daughter hooked me up with or maybe my hormones are giving me a break or maybe I'm starting to realize that my life is pretty good.

With the lenten season it seems like I hear more and more stories of people getting to an age and wanting to reconcile(I bet you were wondering when I'd get to the point) something in their life. Whether it be relationships between parents and children or siblings or even old friends. Or things that people wish they would have done. The stories always come back to appreciating the little things in life. Trying to reconcile the things that I have with the things that I want or think that I want. Things that I also want for our children. That's what I'm working on. I do know that I truly am lucky that I have so much family around me that love me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Have I earned this life?

Last week end it was back to Ohio. This time for a baby shower for my brother, Mathew's daughter Rachel. It wasn't really about the shower though. Only Natalie, Jen and I went and we decided to make it a "girls" week end. We left here Friday and spent the night in PA with Grandma Joyce & Steve. No one was looking forward to it but it was a very pleasant evening. We then went on to the biggest set of Outlet stores in the US. We spent 10 hours saving money and then were off to our hotel in Ohio and after having dinner we got to bed not much before midnight. We got up to go to church and breakfast with Grandpap & Ruth and had a wonderful visit. Then off to the shower where I spent 2 hours chatting with my sisters and we got to meet our niece's girlfriend, the first time she has brought one to a family function. What a great week end, I feel lucky to have such a loving family.
We had a visiting priest today and he asked the question "Have you earned this life?". Strange because that's exactly how I've been feeling lately. Have I done enough in life to justify my life? Is it time to relax and just coast through. Tom has been talking about leaving his job and taking a disability retirement. I have to say that makes me anxious. I'm not ready for the downhill side of life. I DID quit my job and I haven't done much with my life since then so why shouldn't Tom do the same? He has a much better reason (constant pain) and a monetary plan. It's wrong and I'm sexist. I just want to be taken care of and that's wrong on so many levels.
So, obviously I realize that I have NOT earned this life. Last night I got on the local county's volunteer web sight to see where I could help. I have a problem with anxiety around new people and places so I volunteered for things I can do at home. Last year shortly after I quit my job I spent 3 days a week at the school where Thomas teaches. It was a rare day when it wasn't hard to get motivated to go but I enjoyed it each time. In the end though it didn't seem like I really did much good. I want to help but . . . I don't know what. I don't know if it's my anxiety or just laziness.
Church does this to me every time. I cry every week. I see the families with kids and remember when that was us. I see the alter servers and remember when they were my sons and how proud I was then. When Tom was a Eucharistic minister and the Parish Counsel President and I was a reader, a Sunday School teacher, a member of the women's group and organizer of Vacation Bible School. When our lives were so full and everyone knew who we were. We spent Holy week with our friends in Rome and had the bishop to our house for Christmas Eve dinner. I turn 50 in May and I'm not quite sure what that means for me. We've raised our family as hands on parents and now as hands on grandparents. Is that enough or should we do more? Is this what God intended for me?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Missing My Parents

My parents @25yrs

So, it's that time of year again. My mother's undiagnosed disease (now known as Amliodosis) came to a head and we lost her on Mother's Day 2004. My father whose esophagus was torn during routine surgery was put on hospice care and moved into my brother's house this time in 2007. We lost him on April 17th almost three years after my mother. She had turned 70 a couple of months before she died and he was 77 when he passed. I was in my mid 40's and my children were in their 20's and had a great relationship with them. We were lucky but it doesn't stop me from missing what we could be having IF . . .If, someone had connected Mom's symptoms and diagnosed her earlier If, someone would have listened to Dad when he said it really hurt when they yanked the tube out of his throat and they told him to "suck it up" and eat. Even at their ages they both died before their times. They were both very tough people. They worked hard and didn't expect any more from anyone else than what they would do themselves. They expected a lot from their children and adored their grandchildren but maybe didn't say it enough. They had a different relationship with each one of us. I am the youngest of five children all born by the time my mother was 25 and my dad 30. I was my dad's cupcake. My brothers Mathew & Mark and my sisters Kim & Cookie say I was spoiled.I didn't think I was at the time.I feel like they all look out for me now.
The good thing that came out of their sicknesses and deaths is that the five of us got to know each other for I think the first time. Besides Tom I think my family are the only true friends I have. My sister, Cookie,understands my weaknesses, my anxiety & depression without sympathy or judging. It's good to know that someone else has episodes like I do and still lives a "normal" life.
I know my mother was disappointed that I got married and started a family so young at 19 (as I guess I was when my daughter did the same- I'm proud of you Jen!). She was happy that I was able to travel even if it was with the Army. Dad never said much just that he loved us. After Tom joined the Army we didn't have a day to day relationship but when we came to visit it was 24-7 for at least 2 days and up to 2 months. We talked a lot and they got to see what the kids were really like. I miss those talks. I want to ask my mom what it was like to be a new grandmother and a mother-in-law. I want to sit at the kitchen table and read the paper with my dad and I want to open my E-mail and see those sometimes irritating forwards he used to send.
I started writing this morning because I have been listening to a CD that Thomas put together when he & Natalie got engaged. It's a few songs (mostly country so you know I cry) that tell the story of their love. It reminds me of where they came from and of how grateful I am to be married to a man after more than 30 years who loves me and wants to grow old with me. What started this post though was that my mother loved the cd and I think it made her realize just a little that maybe I was a success in life because the people around me are happy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Me Monday

I saw this on a couple of other blogs and thought it was a great way to review my week. Mind you I really DID do these things but maybe shouldn't have.

I DIDN'T put my hand out to catch Jack spitting out a banana and end up with the contents of a teething baby's stomach spilling over onto the floor. Not Me
I DIDN'T completely forget to take Ella to dance class last Monday. Not Me.
I DIDN't spend $17 on only three books (one for each grandchild of course) at Ella's Book Fair. Not Me.
I DIDN"T get lost coming back from the airport after dropping Tom off and did not call Charlie expecting him to tell me over the phone how to find my way home. Not Me.
I DIDN'T give Ella Spaghetti for lunch three days in a row. Not Me.
I DIDN'T spend $30 and 6 hours (with Ella's help) making waffles and fresh fruit for the whole family (minus Shawn & Tom) for dinner on Ash Wednesday. Not Me.
I DIDN't then serve waffles & fruit to Ella for breakfast AND lunch for the next two straight days. Not Me.
I DIDn't spend 2 days on line looking for Easter outfits for the grandkids and then skip out on going to church Sunday. Not Me.

I hope next Monday will be less filled with DIDN'Ts