Friends & Family, Random Thoughts

Quote that really says what Christmas is all about

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Friends & Family

Merry Christmas

This word that means so many things to people.  I wrote down what it means to me by using each letter in the word Merry Christmas 

  • Memories – christmas is about making memories.  Good or bad, memories will be made.

  • Enjoyment – I always plan a big get-together with my family.  I hope everyone will enjoy them.  I try to plan meaningful things to do so that enjoyment will be had by all.

  • Rest – Christmas is usually when my husband can take a week off from work.  I want him to get lots of rest.

  • Relaxation – Among the hustle and bustle of gift buying and meal planning, I want to find time to relax and enjoy the holiday myself.  I will usually do this by having a glass of wine or enjoying my big tub at home.

  • Yourself – You have to take time for yourself.  You can’t give anything from a depleted account.  I make sure during the holiday that I take care of myself.  Then I am better equipped to help others.

  • Cooking-  Of course, cooking will be a big part of my holiday.  I love having people over and planning what I am going to prepare to eat.  This year will be steaks and baked potatoes.  I am planning to have lots of topping for the potatoes like cheese, butter, sour cream, green onions, and that kind of thing.  I always hope that what I prepare will be good.

  • Happiness – Having my family close by is pure happiness to me.  I enjoy seeing family that I usually don’t get to see during the year.  We may not all get along 100 percent of the time, but seeing everyone always makes me happy.

  • Remembering-  Taking time during the holidays to reflect on lost loved ones will be a huge part for me.  I lost my mamma several years ago, and just lost my father this year.  We also have lost a couple of children in our family.  I love looking back on photos and remember times when I was with these loved ones.  This year I have put together a slide show of all our past Christmas parties.  These photos go back over 10 years!  I am sure everyone will love watching it, as much as I enjoyed putting it together.

  • Issues- No family gathering would be complete with issues.  Will the food all be good, will I forget something that I had planned to cook?  Will there be enough seats for everybody?  Most issues that come up will be small and we will deal with them.  My husband is such a great helper during these times.  He will take care of things before I really even realize they were issues.

  • Shopping-  From getting the food to making sure all my children and grandchildren have presents, shopping is inevitable.  I will be making lists and checking them twice.  Sometimes I forget important things, sometimes I buy more for one than the other.  I used to really stress about this, but I am learning to relax more about it.  When I know I can be a blessing to someone, I do it.  I don’t try to be equal anymore over these things.

  • Thankfulness- I am thankful for all the family have.  I am very grateful that we can get together and play stupid games and sit and talk and just make memories.

  • Money jar – We always put together a money jar at Christmas.  We will buy a few lottery tickets and put all our change in it from the year.  At our party, we sell tickets, and all the money from those go in the money jar.  Then we pull a ticket to see who won.  The first year we did this, it was my nephew Jameson and the second year it was my son Austin.  It is fun to see the excitement on the winners face each year!  The money usually is anywhere from 100 to 200 dollars.  At any amount, it is fun to do this.

  • Anxiety – Yes, anxiety will be there.  This year I will make sure I have my wine available!  I will certainly be anxious about many things but I will try to be prepared for that!  I can say that looking back on the photos from past parties, it always looked like we had a great time!

  • Stress-The holidays are stressful.  I stress over many things during this time of year as you can tell from previous words, but you know what?  It is all worth it.  One day I will be gone and my family will look back on these times and remember me.  I may be a bundle of stress, but I am me. I love me, and my family does too.

 

 

 

 

Friends & Family

Life after death

Breathe

I have really been thinking about life after death lately.   I don’t mean the religious kind, I mean the way things seem to work in life.  I have noticed several things as I am thinking and watching and learning.  Death comes first, then comes life.  By death I mean brokeness, endness, sickness, and death.   Often times I have noticed that something breaks and then we begin the restoration.  Something ends, and then something else begins.  It takes sickness for healing to begin.  Death often brings new life into relationships that have once been neglected.  A beautiful field of cotton must first be torn and plowed.  A beautiful tattoo must first scab over to heal.  There has to be some form of destruction first.  The old has to be shed in order for there to be something new.

It’s a sad truth that it usually takes something bad to happen before we begin to heal and restore.  We almost have to be knocked down in order to get back up again.  I guess these are life’s little lessons.  Or in my world they are lessons.

People die and then I start to realize how much I needed them in my life.  Or someone tells you something you don’t want to hear and then you make changes to better yourself or change the situation.  It takes a bad marriage to help you appreciate the good one you have now.  I feel that it is mostly the hurts that teach us who to be now.  Our bad experiences shape us and mold us into who we are now.  I guess some experiences leave us worse off, but for the most part, in my life, I have been made the better because of them.  I may have some hardness or stress that I wouldn’t have otherwise, but for the most part I am better off for having gone through many of the things I have gone through.

My head is so full of random thoughts on this subject that I am sure I haven’t portrayed all of them or began to scratch the surface, but hopefully you see what I am saying.  Learn from the bad.  Death doesn’t have to be the end.  Bad things don’t have to be the end.  Get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

Lyrics from my favorites, Andra Day Rise Up

You’re broken down and tired
Of living life on a merry-go-round
And you can’t find the fighter
But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
And I’ll rise up
High like the waves
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousands times again
For you When the silence isn’t quiet
And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe
And I know you feel like dying
But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet
And move mountains
We gonna walk it out
And move mountains
And I’ll rise up
I’ll rise like the day
I’ll rise up
I’ll rise unafraid
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you All we need, all we need is hope
And for that we have each other
And for that we have each other
We will rise
We will rise
We’ll rise, ohh ohhh
We’ll rise
I’ll rise up
Rise like the day
I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I will rise a thousands times again
And we’ll rise up
Rise like the waves
We’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
We’ll rise up
And we’ll do it a thousands times again
For you ohhhh ohhh ohh ohhh ohh (3X

 

Feelings, Friends & Family, Random Thoughts

Stages of Grief

 

Sunday, November 19th, my daddy died.  He had been battling Alzheimer’s and dementia and finally his body shut down.  His last breath was at 8:15 in the morning.

We were kind of estranged.  Since my mother died about 12 years ago, my daddy really hadn’t had much to do with me or my family.  He met another woman very soon after mamma died, and it was kind of like he just adopted her family and threw me away.  I desperately tried to maintain contact and invited him to family gatherings.  He and his new wife came to a few, but honestly it was never the same.

I think grief begins way before the death of someone. Grief for me began while he was alive.  I had to accept that he had moved on.  He took on more children and grandchildren, and although I was a daughter; he didn’t acknowledge it.

I was invited two times to his home for family celebrations.  Once was Christmas and the last was for his 79th birthday.  I am grateful for these memories. I am thankful I have pictures and can remember him singing, playing his guitar, laughing, and even dancing.  I will always cherish those times with him.

I guess since I already accepted the fact of him excluding me, I have gone through many of the stages already.  I haven’t cried yet to learn of his passing.  I have been angry at how I have been excluded from his funeral and arrangements.  My step mother didn’t tell me he had passed. She hasn’t told us the funeral arrangements.  She has not included in the process at all.  I haven’t felt welcome to gather at my family home to say goodbye to my daddy in a proper way.  But to be honest, what has changed?  Nothing at all.  My daddy did away with me a long time ago.  In his death, it is no different.  The exception is that I struggle with feeling like I need to go to the funeral, but I have no desire.  I don’t need this process to say goodbye, because I have said my goodbyes many times in the last few years.

So, farewell daddy.  I hope you are somewhere better.  I hope you aren’t suffering anymore.  I hope you know I always loved you.  I will miss you.  I have missed you.  I feel like our time was cut short a very long time ago.  The worse part, is you cut is short.

Friends & Family, Motivation

Home is where my children are

Today I am flying to Texas to visit my daughter and family.  It will be my first grandson’s third birthday and I couldn’t miss it!  I was there the day he came into this world and since they are military family I have missed a few of his birthday since he was born.  They were overseas until this year, so even a few hours of flying is nothing compared to the all day flying overseas.

My children are very important to me.  I have not always been the best mother to them, but they are special in my heart.  No matter how far they travel, I will always make a point to see them.  Because I love flying and driving all over the place.  Heck no!!  I hate flying and driving!  It kills my back, I hate crowded places, I always get sick from all the germs on a plane, and riding hurts my neck.  I go because I want to see my children!  I want them to know that I love them, and I would do anything for them.

I pray that while I am physically able to visit that I will, and maybe one day when I can’t go to them, they will come to me.  They are precious and dear to my heart!

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Feelings, Friends & Family, Random Thoughts

Look at us now, Mother!

Today I watched a movie called Look at us now, Mother!  It’s on Netflix and it’s basically a documentary that an older lady did about her relationship with her mother.  She was the only daughter after two sons and felt she was constantly criticized by her mother about her looks, personality, and other things.  Well, naturally it brought up memories with my mother.  My mom has passed away so we can’t just get together and make amends for things that we didn’t say, or we said in anger; but I really thought the documentary did a fantastic job at describing relationships and the process of getting to  the point of forgiveness.  My favorite quote from the whole movie is at the very end, ” We have all endured painful experiences in our lives.  How we deal with them varies.  Mom chose to forget, which has its advantages.  I chose to remember and examine the past.  I learned the biggest gift you can give yourself is to forgive.”

At the end of the movie, mother and daughter were friends.  It did my heart good to see this and realize that they will both have better futures because they were able to get past their differences and make amends.  Although the mother never remembered doing any harm or having ill intentions, she apologized and told the daughter she loved her.  You know sometimes people get hurt by things we do or say, unintentionally.  Acknowledging that is a huge step to helping others.  Her mother didn’t have to say anything, she felt she did no wrong.  However, she did acknowledge and what a difference it made.

So, if you have a chance it is a real good documentary on their path to forgiveness.  It was very good.  Again, it’s called ‘Look at us now, Mother!”

The pictures above are my mom.  She was a great person who loved life and her family.  She stayed home, she worked full-time to help pay for our private education. She always made sure we had a great dinner, and holidays were the best!  She made ordinary days seem extraordinary!  I miss you mom.

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