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This is the first Christmas without my father and we will truly miss his presence. He was a huge part of what made Christmas so special. He loved to play Christmas music. If he wasn’t singing along to the songs he was humming the tunes. He loved watching his family open gifts and never wanted you to get him a thing. He knew the true meaning of Christmas and reminded us each year.
My father was one of the best gifts of my life and I hope he has a very merry Christmas in Heaven.
He fought a war and in the end he was a casualty. His war is over, and ours started the day he died. Going through life without someone you so adored is a battle.

This week’s Friday’s Song is my favorite holiday song, Happy Christmas/War is Over by John Lennon.

Happy Friday! Happy Christmas

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let’s stop all the fight
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
Ans so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young
A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
War is over over
If you want it
War is over
Now…

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Thirteen Things about MARIBETH

Today I stubbed my toe and instantly an expletive that would make my mother wince rushed through my mind. Stubbing your toe like so many other small things can make the best of people scream the worst of things. As I waited for the pain to subside, Thursday Thirteen came to mind. This week I will list thirteen small things that hurt really bad.

1…STUBBING YOUR TOE

2…BITING YOUR TONGUE

3…HITTING YOUR FUNNY BONE

4…PAPER CUTS

5…CRACKED LIPS

6…CANKER SORES

7…GETTING WHACKED IN THE NOSE

8…FALLING ONTO THE MIDDLE BAR OF A TEN SPEED BIKE

9…WHACKING YOUR HIP ON THE CORNER OF SOMETHING

10…THE JUICE OF SOMETHING ACIDIC ON A PAPER CUT, CANKER SORE OR CRACKED LIPS

11…HAVING A SHOPPING CART RUN INTO THE BACK OF YOUR HEEL

12… A RAZOR CUT

13…GETTING POKED IN THE EYE

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

I once left my parents house in a huff because my mother wanted to get rid of my stuffed animals. There was one in particular that I did not want to part with, a giant no wait, enormous bear that my husband (then boyfriend) spent hours trying to win at Top Dog. It didn’t bother me that my room was cluttered with bears, bunnies, doggies and whatever else fits into a crane machine. I just loved having them around, letting them go was unimaginable. I looked at my room through the eyes of a teenager not the eyes of a mother.
Last week when I walked into my daughter’s bedroom I became overwhelmed at the amount of dolls, bears, bunnies and whatever else fits into a crane machine. I felt like I was looking in Gertie’s closet that E.T. hid so well in. I grabbed a bag and started packing away the stuffed animals I considered to be junk. I was envisioning how nice the room would look with less stuff when my thoughts got interrupted by the waling of my oldest daughter. “What are you doing?” Her giant green eyes glared at me filling with tears. “Sweetie, you have entirely too many in here, surely I can get rid of some,” I said. I was certain that I got her to see the room through my eyes and then my memory resurfaced and instead I saw the room through hers.
It’s what the stuffed animals’ represent that makes it so hard to part with them. They are reminders of good times in our lives. They represent the days that we were winners, days we received love and moments of sadness that brightened once we received them. Moments that you don’t want to throw away and forget about, moments you want to recall and reminisce about.
I took the animals out of the bag and helped her arrange them as neatly as possible and realized that being surrounded by them made her feel loved and I felt stuffed with humility.

We are a funny breed. We connect on all different levels and bond over a myriad of things. There are those that share their secrets too easily, others that would never discuss issues of real human substance with you, some that share other’s secrets too quickly and one’s that truly listen when you talk and really won’t tell a soul when you ask them not to.

I have discovered that life is much more enriching when you really learn to love others despite all of their shortcomings and recognize parts of yourself within them. There comes a time in everyone’s life that we celebrate laughter, suffer from guilt, reminisce about childhood, endure sorrow and reflect on who we are and how we came to be.

Life is not about the dollars made, the clothes bought, the title or position, it is about the connections we make along the way.

I am honored to say I have made friends with all sorts of people who have all kinds of stories. I keep a part of each of them in my heart. They have many different faces, practice different religions and experienced various upbringings, yet I share something with all of them. Each of them may know something about me that another doesn’t but only because there is something about them that brings out a part of me that I am willing to share. I may not be able to share everything with everyone but everything I share with another is true and sincere. Listening to another helps you discover who you are and if you don’t take time to engage in relationships then you may forever be lost.

 

I stumbled upon an interesting blog. The writer wrote about how her aunt and her mother would make negative comments toward her and it made me think. I added a comment to her blog –

Sometimes it’s the negative comments we receive that mold us into the best version of ourselves. The best revenge on negativity is to become what no one thought you were capable of becoming. When this happens you will see their comments quickly disappear.

Her post made me think about how I witnessed many people throughout life do exactly what someone told them they could not. 

My sister started out as a hairdresser, she loved the job but never thought she could actually do anything else because according to her she wasn’t smart enough. She began dating an arrogant man who happened to be an occupational therapist. They were having a conversation and he said something that changed her life. He told her she would never be able to do what he does because she didn’t have the brains. Almost instantly she set out to prove him wrong and today she is a thriving OT and thankfully knew enough to kick him to the curb.

When my brother-in-law was a senior in high-school he visited the guidance counsilor to discuss his future. He mentioned that he would like to pursue a degree in bio med or engineering. The guidance counsilor discouraged him, claiming that he just did not have the grades and those goals probably would not be attainable. Fast forward ten years and I am waiting on a woman who informs me she is a guidance counsilor at the school my brother-in-law attended. I asked if she knew him and she said “Yes, I was his guidance counsilor, how is he doing?” I took great pleasure in telling her that he was a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in engineering.

I learned from both of them that sometimes it takes someone not believing in you to believe in yourself. And when you prove the nay sayers wrong you find they either admit they were wrong or stop talking all together.

Prove someone wrong and do something they claimed you couldn’t.

Learning something new is challenging and very rewarding. A while ago I mentioned that I am starting my own business (actually I already started my corporation). Soon, I will let everyone know what the product is (everyone should have one). In order to bring my idea to fruition, it was necessary that I learned to sew. With the help of a great friend and a terrific mother-in-law, I officially know how to sew. I am no where near perfect yet, but I am anal so I am certain that eventually I will be sewing perfectly (I strive for perfection).I spent over fifteen hours on and off today sewing in hopes that I can donate my product to my children’s Halloween basket raffle (it is not a basket). I thought, what better way to get the word out there then to start at a family oriented function (it is a family keepsake item).
I am truly exhausted, I have had many highs today and many lows but overall I feel great that I learned something new. Many people stop trying to learn things the older they get. When I threaded the sewing machine today I realized that I now know something today that I did not know yesterday and it felt good. I forgot how fun it is to learn a new skill.

What new skill have you learned lately?

Thirteen Things about Maribeth
With four kids, a husband and two dogs life is guaranteed to get hectic at times. Chaos is what I know. I have had people ask me on many occasions, “How do you do it?” My answer is always the same, “There is a place in my mind that I go when life becomes frantic. I run through a field of flowers with a bandanna wrapped around my head, the sun is shining, birds are chirping and I am singing (okay so I’m singing off-key but no one could hear me so who cares). However, before I could run too far something always happens to jerk me back into reality, like tripping over a sneaker and falling flat onto my face while taking the bowl of cereal that I slapped off the cupboard in mid-fall with me.

Sure, there are days I envision jumping off a bridge rather than running through a field of flowers. It’s on those days that I remind myself that one day it will be the chaos I miss.
This week I will list thirteen daily guarantees with a family of six.

1…The garbage can seems to always be full

2… The dishwasher fills up very quickly. (Even with a dishwasher, the sink still accumulates dishes)

3… You can do three loads of laundry a day and still have more.

4… There is someone always hungry. (Despite the fact they just ate)

5… There is always someone thirsty (You pour one drink, sit down to do something and then someone else advises that they are now thirsty too.)

6… There is a spill at least once a day (Last night I salvaged the cheez-its my children left out in the rain only to have them fall out of the cupboard onto the freshly vacuumed floor minutes later)

7… Arguments are happening at all times (I was sitting there, I was watching TV first, Mom said it was my turn on the computer. Note to mother’s, it’s usually moments like this that I try to find my field of flowers)

8… There is never enough hot water for everyone to get a bath or shower (showers and baths must be spaced out over a few hours.)

9… There is always a mess somewhere (Trying to keep a tidy house with four kids is like trying to keep an up-do in a wind tunnel)

10… There are always too many lights on. I am constantly switching off lights to try to conserve energy.

11… Something always goes missing (like a homework assignment or a test that needed to be signed.)

12… Hugs and kisses happen constantly (This guarantee I like)

13…Everything will happen all at once as soon as you get the phone call you were waiting all day to receive.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

 

 

We are all of different race, religion, body shape, gender and all possess different personalities. But the one thing we all have in common is LOVE. Love is universal and it has nothing to do with color, social class or body size.  If we all embraced love a little more the world would be a much better place.

This week I chose Bob Marley’s One Love for the Friday song.

Tell someone today that you love them and you just might make their day.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

One Love, One Heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (One Love)
Hear the children crying (One Heart)
Sayin’ give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Sayin’ let’s get together and feel all right
Let them all pass all their dirty remarks (One Love)
There is one question I’d really like to ask (One Heart)
Is there a place for the hopeless sinner
Who has hurt all mankind just to save his own?
Believe me
One Love, One Heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
As it was in the beginning (One Love)
So shall it be in the end (One Heart)
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
One more thing
Let’s get together to fight this Holy Armageddon (One Love)
So when the Man comes there will be no no doom (One Song)
Have pity on those whose chances grove thinner
There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation
Sayin’ One Love, One Heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
I’m pleading to mankind (One Love)
Oh Lord (One Heart)
Give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right
Let’s get together and feel all right

Thirteen Things about Maribeth

I wrote a post earlier this evening, it was about signs after a loved one has passed. I really would love to hear if anyone out there has had occurences after losing someone special. Please feel free to read the post and leave a comment or share an experience of your own.
My father was a simple man. I am listing 13 simple things he enjoyed while he was alive.

1…Cake Donuts

2…Hot Dogs

3… Honeysuckle (read my previous post about this)

4… Praying the rosary

5… His grandchildren

6…Breakfast at Burger King with his friends

7… His Pine Trees

8… Bermuda Shorts

9… His front porch

10…Watching a rainstorm

11… His backyard swing

12… Mysteries

13… Music

What simple things do you love?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Everyone reading this blog knows someone or of someone that died. We all grieve at some point, it’s one of life’s guarantees. There are supposedly stages of grieving and a process that individuals go through that eventually leads them to acceptance. Many of you know I lost my father recently and to be honest I could write a blog a day about him for the rest of my life and still never get sick of writing about him.

Lisa Williams was in our area earlier this week. My sisters, a friend and her mother and myself decided to go. Lisa is a medium/clairvoyant who claims she can speak to spirits. I was raised that you should not believe in psychics or fortune tellers and should not consult them with concerns about the future. I want to say upfront I agree with this. The future is not ours to see and if it was, I don’t want someone else telling me what mine will be. I am however a very spiritual being and believe that once we die our spirit goes to a different dimension which I happen to believe is heaven or the roads to heaven. I believe because we are all of spirit there is a way to connect with the energy of those who passed, because, the spirit doesn’t die. Which is what Lisa Williams does.

I promise at a later time, I will devote a blog to the evening spent with Lisa Williams, my father came through and in a big way. I am a very symbolic person and I do not believe in Coincidence. To me all things happen for a reason and All Things Are Possible With God! After my father’s death, I looked for signs that he was okay or just reassurances that he was still with us in spirit. I found many.

One that I will share today is the deliverance of Honeysuckle. My father loved honeysuckle and when my sister and I were little girls he would take us to the honeysuckle bush in his backyard, pull off the bud and tell us we can sample the sap it produced. It didn’t have much of a taste but it was certainly sweet in a smooth way. Fast-forward thirty years, we are sitting in his hospital room, he just died and I whisper to my older sister, “I wish I asked Daddy what his favorite flower was.” I had forgotten about his love of the honeysuckle. After I returned home I cried all night into the early morning hours. Day was just about to break and I walked into my backyard. I looked up into the sky and just stared hoping I would see some type of sign from him. I knew our bond was strong enough to cross a universe and I was expecting to see something. I wasn’t expecting to smell something.

A breeze blew past me and an overwhelming smell enveloped me. I sniffed at the air, I knew the smell was familiar but I couldn’t recall what it was. The realization of what it was spun my head around, I looked into his backyard (we were neighbors), and there in full bloom was his honeysuckle bush. I immediately knew that it was his energy I  felt. He was letting me know his favorite flower by wrapping the scent around me. A feeling of elation zipped through my body and I was certain that we connected. I don’t need science to prove it for me, that’s the nice thing about faith, once you have it you believe.

I am sure many people have had similar occurrences and maybe some feel funny about sharing them because they are afraid that the skeptics will take away from the greatness of that moment. The purpose of this blog post is to encourage others to share their experiences, signs or connections they received from loved ones who have passed. Please leave a comment if you have had an experience of your own. I would love to read about it.