Melancholy

     Today is my birthday, I am 47 years old. This last year has been a struggle, of work and love and family. As this week was winding down I couldn’t help but think about the people that I miss.
     When I was 15/16 years old in the span of 18 months someone, and I say someone because the great God would not have been so unkind as to do this. Took my world, spun it on its head and shook it until all the pieces were jumbled. Like a jigsaw puzzle missing some integral pieces, the special corner or edge ones that without them the puzzle just doesn’t hold together anymore.
     The first spin was my Grampie, my Dad’s Father. I was his angel, and I knew it. He and my Jama lived in town so he was always helping my Dad with something, and I got to tag along. To the hardware store and the lumberyard. Even up on top of the roof when they were shingleing one year. It was then I realized I was afraid of heights. Grampie helped me down.
     Grampie had always had heart problems, and now his heart was really beginning to fail him. He was in the UCONN Medical CTR more than an hr away. But he wouldn’t give up his cigarettes. They were just a part of who he was. I learned to drive at night, no license, no learners permit coming back from the Medical Ctr, driving while dad slept. Those were way different times. Finally not only did his heart fail, all the rest of his organs too. And my special Grampie was gone. I have never seen such a big funeral in my life. For the after party we had a bartender, because you know the Irish love to drink. I couldn’t understand how everyone could drink and laugh when all I could do was cry??

     The second spin was my Nana, the woman that I absolutely adored was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was a whirling dervish. A tiny woman, no more than 5 feet tall and under 100 lbs, she was never still. She wore out an Electrolux Vacuum Cleaner, 1 spec of crumb or dirt and she vacuumed the whole house. She was given a year to live at the time of diagnosis, but fought them all and lived 16 months.
     Shortly after diagnosis Nana told Mom and I all the things in the house worth keeping and what was just pretty. She refused to let us be blind to the fact that this disease was going to take her life. As she got sicker and sicker my Senior Prom was approaching, there was nothing more she wanted to see than me in my dress. She was on a lot of pain meds, but made the nurses withhold them for the day. So that she could be lucid. My boyfriend and I went to see her before Prom. She was so happy, she gave me the engagement ring that my Pop gave her. Saying she wouldn’t need it anymore. It is a pretty purple topaz in a silver filigree setting. I think I will wear it today in honor of her.
     A month later she was gone and I felt like someone had pulled the rug out from me. Like I was on Alladin’s Flying Carpet. In mid air, but I was falling, not flying at all. That funeral is a total blur, no bartender, she didn’t want anything. Left us specific instructions not to wear black, she hated it. To wear bright colors, and if we wore black she would come back and haunt us.!!
     Her passing left my Pop all alone. He came to this country at 19 from Scotland, with $25.00 in his pocket, long pants made by his tailor father and his family kilt. He was an athletic trainer at some of the private schools. He could give a great massage, and work out the knots and kinks like no one else.

When my Nana died she left him alone with his demons his bottles of vodka, he had them hidden everywhere. He hadn’t driven for years when Nana was alive due to his bad eyes. He had cataract surgery and his first journey was to the package store. He was a lifelong alcoholic and without her life was not living. He took her mid 70’s Ford LTD on a pakkie run as us kids would have said. After a couple of near misses, the man hadn’t driven in years we took his car away. So as a true Yankee he found a way.. The riding lawnmower became his mode of transport.
     My mom cooked meals for him, but I am sure as soon as she left, the meals went in the trash and the bottle came back out. He didn’t want to live without her. They were eachothers half and it was as if someone buried him when they buried her.
     I was a freshman in college when my mother called to tell me he was in the hospital and I needed to come home. I grabbed a bag and began tossing clothes in it. Clothes for a week..a dress for a funeral. A skirt and a blouse for the wake. Heels for both, and appropriate jewelry. I had danced this dance before. My roommate said you will be back, he will be fine. I knew otherwise, my mom would not have called me home if it wasn’t urgent.
     He was gone by the time I got home. Dead of a massive internal hemorrhage brought on by cirrhosis of the liver. All that alcohol finally caught up with him. But he got his way, 9 months to the day after my Nana was gone and 1 week after his 75th birthday he joined her.
     He wrote his own obituary, left us money for the funeral and money for the party. He wanted bagpipes at his gravesite..to take him home to Scotland. I wanted those bagpipes to bring him back. To summon my Nana too, but no matter how hard I wished and prayed with my eyes scrunched closed they didn’t come back.
     What I wish for now is that they could have seen me grow up, that they all could have seen me graduate from High School, College and with my MBA.  That they could have danced at my wedding, met their great-grandsons. Who are now almost grown men, I am thinking they would be pretty proud of what I have accomplished since they left this earth. But I do know that not a day goes by that I don’t miss one of them.

Clueless

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My hubby and I generally like each others company, which for people who have been married almost 19 years, and together 22,  that is a pretty big accomplishment. Those numbers became real when I took my engagement ring and wedding band to have them re-sized yesterday. I have lost 70lbs in just over 18 months and my rings won’t stay on. The jeweler needs to shrink them 2 sizes, woo hoo!!!  He also needs to put new prongs in my engagement ring because the diamond is “wobbly”. When he asked how old my ring was and I said 21 years he said yup, they get “wobbly” about then. I also need the bottom of the band rebuilt, because it is getting pretty thin. But we chose not to do that until I am at my goal weight, he says it isn’t crucial now, just normal wear n tear.
     The word that I fixated on was “wobble”, because that is how I am feeling right now. The business that my hubby has worked for since he was 15 was bought in July.  He kept his job, that was not an issue, but since July his life has revolved around his job. Our normal family vacation didn’t happen because he wouldn’t take time off. I had a breast lump removed, all by myself because he wouldn’t take time off. He is working 70-80 hrs a week. On salary for the same salary he got working 45 hrs.
     I finally got him to go to Phoenix (we have friends there)  for 4 days in November by threatening that if he didn’t go with me, I would get on a plane and fly across the country by myself.
     In previous years we have done our Christmas Shopping spending every Friday in December together. Nope not this year, we crammed it into the weekends. Even tho he promised me that we would do them on Fridays. When I asked his retort was “you made me take 4 days off in November, that is the only time I am taking”. 
     He had rotator cuff surgery in November, he had to have it done. He was about 3 months from a full shoulder replacement. The surgery went fine, but he couldn’t wait to get back to work.
     I truly do love his new boss,.and his wife is a gem. She and I spend a lot of time together when our husbands are working. I know that his boss appreciates him, but also does not expect my husband to be there the crazy hours that he is.
     Now comes to the most recent blow. My birthday is next week, next Friday to be exact. I know better than to think that he would actually take the day off to spend with me. I did however expect that we would spend Saturday together. It is bad enough that my birthday falls on Super Bowl Weekend..again. When I said to him, how about we go to New Hampshire on Saturday for my Birthday. Just spend the day together, have lunch. Get a nice dinner. He says “my showroom needs to be re organized n my oil rack needs to be re built and moved, that is what John (his boss)  and I were gonna do Saturday. You could help.”  I said “No it is my birthday I want you to spend the day with me”   He had this clueless look on his face, he says it is just a day, what does it matter? 
     So now wobbly is a good explanation for how I feel, there are no prongs holding me up either. My support is gone, and what I thought was right, real and normal seams to be turned on its head.

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How Did They Grow Up So Quick?

     Tonight I went to the mall with my youngest, to buy a birthday present for his girlfriend. Yes his girlfriend, how did this happen?  He is 14, will be 15 in just about 6 weeks. It seems that just the blink of an eye ago he was in Kindergarten. Now he is in 9th grade. Picking his Shop in Tech School. Strutting the Mall in his Carolina Boots, his new Patriots Hat and his well worn jeans. Looking like he is the King of the World.
     I sent him to get me something on the other side of Target, and when I finally caught up with him he was chatting with a group of girls. Just looking as cool as possible.
     We grabbed some dinner and the amount of food this skinny child can put away is mindblowing. Then onto Marshall’s so he cud get a black North Face Type Jacket. Mission accomplished!!!
     On the way home after our typical squabble over the radio station, him wanting the HEAT on Sirius/XM, and me wanting Hits 1. Finally the radio ended up on The Highway (Country Radio).
     Over the radio, I could hear him singing along to Florida Georgia Line, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, ZBB, Gloriana, etc. When I would look over at him he wud instantly stop singing, you know it isn’t cool to sing w your mom.
     I love that even when he presents his persona of “too cool for school”. He can still sing in the car with his mom. Oh and this mom has the WORST voice, and should only ever sing in the car or shower.🎼🎵🎶🎤🎤

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Ouch

It would be so nice to do the whole, “yes I know I am awake and alive, and the pain doesn’t matter stoic bit”  But I am human, and guess what the pain does matter. The physical pain in my hip that woke me out of a sound sleep at 3:21 am was jarring. Like someone was sticking a knife in the joint and twisting.
     I first moved the dog off the bed thinking if I could stretch my leg out that would help. Nope instant searing pain from hip to toe. Ouch, well that was the wrong decision.  Then I rolled to see if I could find a more comfortable position, nope that wasn’t gonna happen either.
     Thinking back on my week of shoe choices, Monday; Combat Boots..it was icy as all get out in New England. Tuesday; Docksiders with grippy rubber bottoms, and the same yesterday. No heels to aggravate the tendon that was causing such searing pain.
     I began to knead & massage the area to try n relieve the pain. Oh ouch holy hell pain balls. That makes it worse. My plan to swim at the YMCA this morning will either help or hurt like no ones business. But oh the time in the hot tub afterwards will be sweet and heavenly.
     I point my toes and flex my foot, that helps a little. Finally the dog isn’t looking at me like I am going to die.
     This pain in my hip has been an ongoing thing, partial dislocation is the diagnosis. Heels are not my friend, but I love them and I wear them at least 1 if not 2 days a week. Then pay for it with shooting pain.
     This morning I will get up and head to the Y, swim my 2 miles, lounge in the hot tub and then go on with my day. Because today this pain will not get the best of me, it will not win. I made plans to swim, the cool water is calling my name. I hear the lanes beckoning me, the need for solitude, the rhythm of the stroke. Just me, my goggles and my pink swim cap. Because today I am fierce and I win!!

How We Raise Our Children??

     On the way home from work I was having a conversation with my best friend from…well forever. We were discussing the differences in how we are raising our children, versus how we were raised. And how I am mothering my children…versus how his wife is mothering their children.
     My philosophy on parenting is as follows: at the end of the day if my children are fed, not in juvenile detention, no one is in the hospital, no broken bones, I haven’t had to make a trip to the school administration. All is well in my world.🐶
     His wife’s mothering philosophy flies way more into the helicopter variety than mine. She hovers over everything that they do, believing that no one can parent them as well as she can. If you were ever to be so foolish, crazy or brazen as to question her parenting tactics. You would regret it. She is the Queen Bee!!!🐝🐝. It makes me both worry and wonder as to how her children will function when she is not there to hover over every little thing they do.🚁
     Which moves me on to my next topic, I live here in New England. It is known for snow, cold, ice, freezing rain, sleet. In short generally crappy winter weather. Somewhere in the last 15 years we have become an area of “snow weanies”  in Southern New England though. In the last month we have had 4 snow days for “angel dust”  of snow…what we natives call less than 2″  of the pretty white stuff, below zero temperatures. Hello I did mention it is New England right?  Wintery Mix, better known as the aforementioned crap weather rolled into 1. And a day called where the forecasted “ice”  turned into rain.
     I remember days in the ’70’s bundled up the Michelin Man walking to the bus stop, the bus had chains on it, and off we went. So it was cold, you don’t stand at the bus stop forever, and you dress your children appropriately.
     Helicopter parents have turned into Helucoper Administrators, our sue happy society has trickled down and someone needs to erect a dam, and do it quick!!!!

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All I Ever Wanted

When I went to College, I wanted to be a TV Broadcaster. My Major is in Corporate Communications, with a Minor in Finance to appease my Mom. So I could actually do something with that degree. I did an internship at ESPN back when it was first starting, it truly was an amazing place.  When I graduated in 1989…what seems like ages ago TV Broadcasters just starting out didn’t make enough to pay the rent. I had batted back the idea of being a lawyer so i took the LSAT entrance exam. To say that I bombed it would be the understatement of the century. Finally I admitted that the way for me to make a living was to do what my Mom wanted me to do.

I enrolled in Graduate school, and excelled, graduating at the top of my class. I have a MBA in Finance, and I am beginning to study for my CPA exams. My Mom always wanted me to be an Accountant, it just took me a little longer to get here.

I was never getting married, I was going to be perfectly fine single. I have been married almost 19 years. I never wanted children, I was going to be the career woman. I have 2 teen boys. This is how we get to all I ever wanted. If I was having children, I was going to have a nanny. I was going to go right back to work. I stayed home for 2 years with both of my boys. And yes I wanted girls. I wanted to have a house full of sparkly things and make up and shoes and heels and glitter.

Instead I have a house full of testosterone, baseball, football, sweaty sox, and raunchy jokes. I love my boys don’t get me wrong. They would do anything for their mom. They are glad to carry my groceries in and hang my pictures. As for making dinner without being prodded…well that is a work in progress. My oldest is more than happy to drive me anywhere, or anyone else anywhere in HIS car.!!! They are my world and now they are ALL I EVER WANTED

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Just an Introduction

     A blog seems the best way…the best way to get it all out. Some people paint, others dance, others knit. I write!!!  The running joke in my family is “That I can’t define the word IT in under 10 pages”. It is completely true. I hold a MBA in Finance from RPI, I had to write a Master’s Thesis for graduation. The basic requirement was it had to be at least 85 pages, double pages and on a relevant business issue. My topic was Flexibility in The Work Force.
     My rough draft was 150 pages, well over the minimum 85 required pages, I figured I was good to go. Bigger is better and all that. My Thesis advisor was an elderly gentleman, somewhere in his mid to late 70’s. He returned my rough draft with minimal corrections, but a big sticky note on the front with this written on it.
    “Please pare down your thesis, to no more than 125 pages. I am old, and don’t want to die while reading yours.:)”
     He obviously did not subscribe to the bigger is better mindset. I pared my Thesis down to 124 pages. Handed it in, received an A+, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from RPI.

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