family, friendship, funny, humor, kids, mom humor, nurses, parenting, society, stories

A Mothers Perspective…

I was silently munching on toast that was cooked for too long, and that had cooled too much, for the butter to melt. I was driving to work and still rehashing the scenes from my Mothers Day morning so far….

I pushed the snooze button too many times as usual, and was hurried to get out the door. I tried to let the dogs out, but it was raining, and the thunder was booming outside. The dogs are scared of storms and have actual prescribed medication for this disease process. You may realize at this point, that I have no tolerance for this. Needless to say, they refused to go outside the door. Since I didnt have time to pull them outdoors, knowing that the claws of all four of their extremities would be holding onto the doorframe…risking me losing my grip on them, and falling onto the wet concrete….I went on my way.

As a consequence to my lazy actions, just prior to leaving my house, I stepped in dog urine that would soak through the only pair of good black socks I had clean. I took a deep breath, while fetching out the only pair of black socks left in my drawer….church socks with a very low thread count!!

Though I was feeling a little irritated upon my departure, I was determined not to let it ruin my day. As I ate my toast, I found myself listening to the easy listening station. I hummed along with a good Billy Joel song, before a commercial came on. The station was wishing all mothers a happy Mothers Day, and was surprising all of us, by playing a full 24 hours of “Ladies of the 80's”….

I found myself cynically laughing. Do we as mothers feel as though they just dont play enough of this music throughout the year, and then thank Jesus that we have this one special day, when we can listen to all of the Cindi Lauper, Barara Streisand, and Donna Summer songs that we have longed to hear all year long? I think I speak for all of us when I say…..YES! WE DO!!

Unfortunately, I worked12 hours today, and didnt enjoy one of these songs, which could have made my attitude worse…but I stayed strong. This was my third 12 hour shift in a row, and I am a pathetic baby when it comes to my exhaustion in response to this. However, I was lucky enough to work with the same ladies on all three of those days, which gave us plenty of time to plan our Mothers Day Gala.

We had Starbucks, chocolates and candy from parents, donated cookies from the doctors, and then OF COURSE, we ordered out! We ate questionable sushi that was in take out form, and somehow managed to keep all $96 down, for the duration of the day.

It was a well needed, quiet, and relaxing day at work, in which we shared not only with our peers, that were mothers, but also with the mothers of the babies on our unit. Sometimes Mother's Day is put into perspective when you get to spend it with mothers with ailing children. It reminded me that everybody has a different story when it comes to Mother's Day…stories that many of us take for granted.

Last night, I found my ownself weepy eyed on the eve of Mothers Day. Last year, on this very day, I wrote a tribute to both of my mothers and the phenomenal roles they play in my life. That same year, I lost one of them to the very cancer she was surviving at the time. This Mother's Day was a little different for me.

Still today, I feel so lucky. I have so many great memories with my Mama P, and feel lucky to have known her for the amount of time I did….She will never leave my heart. I felt lucky to still have my own mother, who is the funniest, most carefree, loving, and accepting mother in the world. I felt lucky that I had 4 healthy children at home that call me mom, and I felt lucky to have a chance to have a different perspective into the lives of mothers who dont have that same luxury.

After learning that I had to work on Mother's Day, a handful of people said “Oh, that sucks! So you didnt even get to enjoy your Mother's Day”!?….BUT they were wrong…I did!

Today, I celebrated the day with many mothers….and with people that had mothers of their own. I got to help make silly baby “footprint butterflies”, that were to the MOMS, and from their babies in the NICU. Today I saw mothers smile over the simplest things. Today, my own children surprised me at work by bringing me chocolates and home made gifts to brighten my day. They are still little enough that they hid the presents in their hands, behind their backs….and I was smiling over the most simple things. Today, I got the opportunity to call my mom and tell her how much I love her….and I know she smiled over my smallest sentiment.

Everybodys story is different…. Some moms are great, some are sick, and some leave a bad taste in the mouth of their child. Some moms have lost their only child, some moms never got to be, and some of our mothers are no longer with us. Regardless, mothers somehow hold tight to our hearts and minds.

Today, my tired, dog urine soaked sock wearing body, is happy… Not only because I got the chance to be a good mother, but also because I feel so fortunate to have had two Mothers that have loved me, and that I have loved in return.

Happy Mothers Day!!

http://theishumquads.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/elijah-and-mommy_00761.jpg

 

 

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exorcise, health, racing, running, society, stories

Last Year, Last Month, Last Week, and Today….

It was a week ago, when I really started focusing on the fact that I would truly have to run in the half marathon that I had signed myself up for, almost a year ago. To some of you, it may seem like that is plenty of time to prepare for an event like this… and in reality, it is. However, sometimes my brain, my body, and my social life, seem to differ on the idea of what should be done to prepare.

This is certainly not the first time I have run one of these. In fact, this is about the 8th year in a row I have done it. I have run it with little training, and I have run it fully trained. Believe me when I say the body rewards you heavily, when you are prepared versus unprepared. Last month, after running the 15K, that was supposed to be a part of my training plan, my body was tattered, hurt, and yelling at me in language that I found to be innapropriate. I told myself then, that I would use the rest of the month, before the big race, to get my body into better shape.

……Well I didnt…..

The entire month I lived my life weighing everything on an imaginary scale. I did run/exercise, just not to the extent I should have been. Its just that as the sun finally showed its face, and the days started to get warmer, other entertaining events outweighed my desire to train. Yard work, painting, afternoon beers, and playing with my friends, became more luring.

Well, the week before the race had finally arrived, and I admit that I began to worry. Of course, I fell ill the first couple of days of the week, leaving me separating my time between my bed and the couch, but I was able to pull myself together for one day of exercise midweek.. YIPES!

I had no business running this race, and I knew it… BUT I paid big money to run it, and it was kind of a tradition now…. So, knowing that my poor body would pay me back for what I was about to do…I vowed to run it!

The night before the race, I made equally good decisions, when I ate my weight in Pizza, and then fueled the rest of my body with cheap red wine, that went well with the Benadryl I took, to clear up my stuffy nose, and that at least led me to bed early, so I could say I got good sleep.

Today was race day. I awoke feeling like the holy hell I knew I would. I berated myself for my behavior and lack of discipline this year, as I was getting dressed. I was telling myself what an idiot I was for running this, as I pinned my number on my shirt. I could already feel the pain I was meant to endure, while double knotting the lace of my second shoe.

Off I went….

My body and brain fought hard against each other for the first 4 miles. I was still sick wasnt I? I couldnt run this far could I? Only 10 more miles to go! UGH! Despite this negative self talk, I found myself clipping along at a fairly good pace, and before I knew it, I was over half way. However, around mile 8, I found myself saying to myself “I DONT WANT TO RUN ONE MORE STEP”!!! My body said it was done…..

Almost miraculously, right when I said that, a man appeared to drop dead in front of me. I smiled, hoping this may be my way out. I would have to do CPR, and would be unable to finish this race!! At this point of the race, we were running on the race track of the INDY 500. There were few spectators allowed in this area, and it was difficult to find a medic. The man fell directly in the middle of the track, where runners were having to quickly divert themselves around him, so as not to cause a horrific accident due to trampling. Still, how could he help it?!

He had grabbed his chest and was rolling his body back and forth. He was an older gentleman, and it seemed clear that he was having a heart attack. We told him to relax, and asked if it was his chest. He didnt answer, only writhed in pain. The question was asked three more times, and the medic had been notified, before the man finally responded…. “Its my shoulder”!

Immediately I was deflated and began running, knowing that this man was not my way out. I found myself wondering what would make this asshole, drop down on the middle of the track over shoulder pain. Surely, he could have made his way to the grassy knoll to the side, to hold his shoulder. Since when does dropping to the ground and rolling around help shoulder pain anyway?!

Well, at least it diverted my attention away from my pain for a moment. I assumed he lived.

For the entire last 4 miles of the race, I suffered. Pain was shooting down my legs and back, mocking me. I walked some…I ran some…I whined to myself…and I talked myself into forging on. “This is what you get”!!

I finished the race in 2 hours and 10 minutes. Certainly not my best time, but one that I had no complaints about. Now, as I sit here, with my flaccid legs draped across a chair, and with a beer in my vicinity, I am pleased that I made myself run that race. I WILL PAY for it for the next couple of days, but I am thankful that I have a healthy body, that continues to bounce back!

This race is one that I used to run with my Mama P, before her passing this last October. I thought of her so much during my run, invisioning the pain that she went through, living with her both her debilitating cancer, and with the desire to be able to run again. This race was run for her…

Today, I say thank you God for allowing me to have the ability to run!!

 

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funny, health, humor, society, Uncategorized

Its NOT you….Its ME!

Ive come to know you better than anyone else in the world. Ive worked hard to figure out both your inner and outer workings, though I am certain I have a long way to go. You are a very complex person. So much so, that I often wonder if people take note of it….if they can see you the way I do. Besides you, I have never had one person give me the vast variety of feelings that you often give me. Some people make me happy, some people make me sad, some people make me angry, but you….

Sometimes you make me so happy, that I feel like I could burst open and only sunshine would remain. You make me feel like I can accomplish anything with you on my side. You help me to visualize only positive thoughts and push me to reach further so I can get better outcomes, and see myself in a better light. Every ounce of energy and strength that this gives me, I owe to you.

Sometimes you make me feel beautiful. On these days, when I look at myself through your eyes, I wish I could stay there forever. You make me embrace myself and accept my shortcomings, despite my attempts to tear myself down. You make me like me for me.

Sometimes you make me feel love. You make me see the beauty all around me, and allow me to see how many things I love. On these days, you make me see how much I have been given, and it makes me feel lucky for everyone and everything in my life. I not only want to tell you that I love you, but I want everyone that I love, to know that I love them too.

Sometimes you make me feel sad. You say hurtful things that are hard to take back. There are days that you have made me feel so bad about myself, that I dont want to leave the comfort of my own bed. Somehow, you penetrate my brain, making me feel guilty and worthless, until I start to believe that its real. The tears flow for hours at a time, and I wish for a moment I could just stand up to you and be strong. On these days, I feel like you take every opportunity to kick me when Im down.

Sometimes you make me feel so angry, that I could spit fire, if only I knew how. I havent yet figured out how I let you push me this far, but if you desire to do it, you cant seem to be stopped. I never take it out on you, because you make me believe that it isnt your fault. Instead, the innocent ones around me seem to fall in my line of fire. The end of these days often lead to hot, tear stained red cheeks, when I finally realize that it was you that caused this…….leading to feelings of embarrassment and shame.

Sometimes you make me feel frightened. Though I know you would never intentionally hurt me, I often times see your shadows lurking, when you know Im already scared. I try to ignore you, but my fight or flight response kicks in, and my body starts exuding the signs of fear. Part of me laughs as I pick up a knife, just to take up the stairs, yet the other part is serious. This fear puts my body in defense mode, ready to fight at any moment that seems fit. Though you try to make me fearful, I wont go down without a fight.

Today you made me feel useless. I tried to get up, but you pushed me back down. At times I didnt even wish to pick myself back up off of the floor. My head was pounding in reponse to you, and my stomach was growling in anger. I was heeding your every command. Most of the time, I can fight through your negativity and hateful intents, but on other days I succumb to your desires. Today, you got into my head.

As I move from couch to chair, to chair to bed, and back to the couch again, feeling miserable due to a small stomach bug that ails me, I am amazed that just one person can invoke all of these feelings.

…..I guess I only have MYSELF to blame!:)

 

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concerts, fame, family, funny, humor, parenting, society

An Exhausting Moment In the Spotlight…..

As I have been stuck at home for this week, due to freezing temperatures, I have found myself watching the Today show more frequently. This is partially due to the fact that I have been sleeping in, and the local news is off by the time I rouse with my coffee, and the rest of the reasoning is based on the fact that I have always loved this show.

Its not the Matt Lauers or Natalie Moraleses that I find fascinating though. Its Kathy Lee and Hoda that I long to watch…..especially on wine day Wednesday. What time must their shift start anyway…5am? I love that they are always sipping on cocktails, before many people have even considered breakfast…. I love that Kathy Lee never gets tired of hearing her own song belt out over the studio, despite the fact that it really isnt all that wonderful…..And like today, I love when they wear matching dresses, and invite workout gurus to the show…..and that they have no shame in doing the exercises that were taught to them, while wearing these dresses. They say pretty much what they want, and they laugh throughout the whole show.

Despite the fact that this is probably not the true reality of their lives, I have always thought that this would be a perfect job for me. I sadly admit that I had, at one point, become a little “star struck”! The only difference between me, and other idol worshiping people, is that Im not exactly one of those people who would cry and wave my hands if I saw my hero up close. I wouldn't tear at their clothes, and I certainly wouldn't stalk them, or write them threatening letters made from crafty, well designed words, cut out of the newspaper.

I would be the type of person that would hang around the common areas they frequent, in hopes that they would hear me tell a funny joke, or do a fancy dance…. Then, when they noticed me, they would be surprised to see, that I too, just so happened to be wearing the same matching dress they were wearing….making it appear to be fate. Then naturally, their next step would be to offer me a job. The truth is, I do not find it nearly as fascinating to have the opportunity to meet them, as I find it to simply share their spotlight!

As luck would have it, a few years ago, my mother and I decided to give it a go. We fulfilled our dreams, by taking a long weekend trip to New York City, with the intent of not only getting on TV, but with the hopes of becoming stars.

We always seem to be in the right place at the right time. First, we got ourselves a fancy place to stay, simply by knowing the family of a friend. It was a multimillion dollar high rise apartment, overlooking the Hudson, and Kelly Ripas apartment. Other than our suitcases being a little janky and taped together, we already looked the part of stars. Next…it was time to shine.

We made our way to the Today show, when it was still dark, hoping to get a good spot up front. However there was a BonJovi concert happening that day, so we weren't the only ones who had those thoughts. After enduring the bitter cold, in that mass of people, and hearing the music, but only seeing the backs of heads…we decided to start our own journey. As soon as we rounded the corner to the back side of the Today show building, we saw Al Roker, with the Rockefeller Christmas tree!

As much as I love Kathy Lee and Hoda, my mom loves Al Roker. She began talking to him, and shooting photos of him. He waved at her, and when he bent to tie his shoe, she still photographed his backside. The only problem was that she wouldnt stop following him when the show started filming. Her hair got stuck in the tree as the truck rounded the corner, and security had to remove her before she was live on TV!

This wasn't our only brush with fame. We got to view ourselves behind the Today show window, while Kathy Lee and Hoda were on, for about one full second, before security removed us again, after about the sixth time. Later that day, we found ourselves on the movie set of the “Tower Heist”! We were just chatting and eating bagels, when a man asked if we were part of the movie. When we looked up, there was Ben Stiller and Alan Alda, walking directly in front of us. They didnt let us stay on the set, but we immediately got the same idea! We would be extras in the movie….

We stayed for a few takes, but grew bored and moved on to our next chance for fame. Later that night, we got asked to be in the background for a local newstation, while they talked about the lighting of the Rockefeller tree! The answer was obvious….ABSOLUTELY!!

We were only there for three days. While we did touristy things like see the 911 spot, ride the subway, see plays, and let the poor man drive us around on the bike taxi, it was obvious that we stuck out in the crowd…we had faces of stars!

While we were taking a tour of the NBC studio, it happened. Hoda Kotb was walking past us, leaving work for the day. This is what I was waiting for the whole time….my chance to WOW her. However, my legs didnt move….My enthusiasm wasn't as great…..

It wasn't that I didnt find them as cool…because I still love the show. Its just that my mom and I lived the life of a star, in the spotlight for three whole days…. It was EXHAUSTING to exert ourselves in this fashion. Now, I just look at them with a new kind of respect. Now, if I happened to run into them on the street, I would simply give them a head nod to signify……”I know what you mean good buddy….I know what you mean”!

http://xfinity.comcast.net/blogs/tv/files/2013/02/Kathie-Lee-and-Hoda.jpg

 

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friendship, funny, humor, nurses, society

PAY IT FORWARD :)

Picture a hospital cafeteria, filled with people who don't know one another. They have no real desire to comprehend one another's lives, because they each have their own stressors. A sick family member, a shift that has gone on for too long, stressors at home…..

Everyone has stressors, and its hard to pull ourselves away from our own issues for even a moment.

Picture this…A resident physician, still finding his way around the hospital. He's got a short window to eat something, and is waiting in line to pay for his meal. He looking around….he has a plan.

Behind him, is a tired nurse, who wants grab a quick bite and then put her feet up for a minute. She pays no mind to the people and noise around her…..she has a plan too. She wants to quickly pay for her meal, and utilize all the time she has on her break. Her thought process is broken, when she hears the cashier say “ma'am….ma'am…..What do you have in your container”?

She was confused, because it wasnt yet her turn. She spouts out her order, but doesn't understand.

The cashier said “That gentleman just paid for your lunch”.

This story was just told to me by one of my work colleagues this week. As she told the story, she was grinning ear to ear. That man had made her day! Despite what was happening to her in her personal life, or what work stress had occurred earlier that morning….she had no worries! It was beautiful to see. She said she knew she should pay it forward but didnt know when.

Just a couple days later, a friend of mine sent me a text of a similar story. This friend of mine is a little snootier than my colleague, so I thought that this was only occurring to her, so that she would learn a lesson in life….To be nice to people.:) She told me that while sitting in a fast food line, the man in front of her had paid three dollars toward her meal. Again, it was a nice gesture….One that made her question herself, and made her wonder how to respond. She wondered if you have to pay it back immediately, or if you can do it when you feel it's right.

That same day, I learned that this has happened ALOT recently. Sometimes 5 cars or more are paying for the persons meal behind them! What a fabulous concept. This seems like a real “Christmas” gesture in my opinion. A kind of reawakening….reminding you that there still are wonderful, giving people out there. We don't HAVE to have a reason to be nice! This has made me feel warm and fuzzy all week, and I couldnt wait to perform this deed myself, to up an unsuspecting stranger.

This morning, as I woke up for work, I was feeling tired. I was wishing for just a few more hours of rest before having to rouse. I grabbed my phone on the way down the stairs, and made my way to the kitchen to make coffee. I checked my phone out of habit, and found that I had two unread texts. I couldn't believe my eyes! The nurse that I had reported off to last night, asked if I wanted her to stay over 4 extra hours for me this morning! After clearing my eyes and rereading it….I smiled so big! Yes….I did want her to….I wanted more sleep….I was feeling very lazy!

I cozied myself back in bed and slept 3 more hours…I was going to be the envy of the unit. 🙂 Despite the fact that she probably only did this deed because she wanted more hours, to make more money, to pay for her growing list of Christmas present items, I was choosing to believe she did it to surprise me. That she wanted me to wake up happy. That she wanted me to get the rest I deserved…….She had become my hero!

After waking up rested, and feeling happy about the morning surprise, I decided I wanted to be nice to people today too. I left a little early to stop at Starbucks on my way to work. I would never be able to buy or carry enough coffees for my whole unit, but knew I could hand them out to the handful of people, in my own little area. The problem was, I didnt know if people liked coffee or tea or hot chocolate….so I had to guess.

I stood in line letting everyone pass me who had ONE order, until I realized I was never going to order! Then I irritated all the people behind me, by ordering 5 different drinks. Then, I took up more time, writing each name of the drink on each cup. Then I irritated the lady making them, who was supposed to be leaving for the day. However, right before I ordered, the lady coming on asked to go to the bathroom before starting her shift! …..It was all for a good cause right?

I was beaming with pride, as I made my way into work, with my drink holder of coffees. I felt pleased to offer them to my colleagues. They were all smiling and pleased to except them…..except……None of them liked coffee!!!!!

I felt a little deflated for a moment, watching them all fight over the one hot chocolate I bought. I was an idiot! Why would I think this would ever work?…..Then it happened! They all came together in my area, and they brought tasting cups! Each person who didnt like coffee, tried the coffee. Some even liked it! We all frolicked together a moment. People were happy…they were smiling! It was a simple gesture…It works!

I can't wait to do something nice for someone else again.

This year, why don't we all just pay it forward?!

Happy Holidays!

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family, friendship, health, kids, parenting, society

A Lesson Given By A Child?!…….

Being able to be true to ones self, and allowing ourselves to follow our hearts, is sometimes a harder task than it seems. We want to treat others with kindness and compassion. We have the innate ability to tell right from wrong….Good from evil. Our hearts and our minds are capable of differentiating between the two.

Starting at a young age, we choose whether or not to listen to those signals. Our internal gauges give us the answers, but our environment begins to intervene.

How we look at other people is shaped by the people around us. Initially, it is our parents that we watch so closely. Do they treat people who are “different”, in a mean way? Do they point, laugh, and poke fun of others around them? Are they judgemental, biased, and prejudiced in some fashion?

As we watch the actions of our elders, we still have insight into whether its wrong or right. We know whether something that is said by our parent was mean spirited or cruel. Still, we learn from it…we are shaped by it. We either decide to take their same path, do the complete opposite, or take a small part of what they have to offer, while attempting to create our own path.

This parental part of our environment however, is not ALWAYS, and is less likely to be, the reason we stop listening to our internal selves.

PEERS are the greatest and the worst people to have in our environment. From the time we are school aged, and well into our adult lives, we are shaped by our peers. Peer pressure is a term used to describe the pressure on young kids and teenagers, to do something they don't necessarily want to do. However, peer pressure occurs throughout our entire lives. It's what makes us choose to go against our own better judgement. The consequence of it, often makes us feel small and ashamed.

Still, the reward of having people like us, is sometimes a greater reward than the gratification of knowing we listened to our heart, and did the right thing. So we tease people that are different than us, we are cruel to people that are more unfortunate, and we laugh at the ones that our peers laugh at. We often times destroy the life of another, with constant ridicule, just to make ourselves feel liked.

“If we are laughing at someone else, then they aren't laughing at me”. Its a common thought process amongst us all. We feel better about ourselves when we are able to put someone else down.

…….Or do we?

Even with the encouragement of our peers, and even though we are feeling liked, we feel that guilt…that piece of ourselves that says “This isn't right”. We look at that person, and often feel sorry for what we've done, but it still doesn't outweigh the environmental gratification…..so we repeat the pattern over and over, until we become the ones that guide our youth.

As an adult, I try to be kind to everyone. But….like everyone else, I falter. I still sometimes ignore my inner workings, and I still get gratification from laughing along with others. It's an endless battle. I often wonder what my own children see.

Recently, my 11 year old daughter sparked up a conversation with me. This is becoming more rare, as she is becoming so “grown up” and doesn't have time for her boring old mom. However, it was clear she was bothered by something.

She asked me how you know if someone is your true friend.

I was speechless, while I pondered her question……Its a hard question to answer.

She went on, before I could even come up with a decent response. She told me that she doesn't like any of her friends this year. She thinks they're mean, and that they don't care about anyone's feelings. She felt pulled in different directions, because the ones that she does like, are being pulled in, by the ones that are unkind. She noticed that the friends she has had in the past were changing, and she no longer wanted to be surrounded by them.

My mouth dropped to the floor, and I admit tears welled up in my eyes for a second.

She went on….

She told me that she sits with a disabled boy at lunch. She said that he's nice, but just different. For now, her friends sit with her, constantly teasing the boy, and asking her why “he's” sitting at their table. She feels hurt by her friends, and was now questioning if they were true friends.

Honestly, it was hard for me to respond to this child…..this daughter of mine who is an amazing soul! She was listening to her internal self, and had little time for the environment, that was attempting to shape her outwardly. This is something that I didnt teach, but something that I would like to get credit for creating.

The best advice I had to give her, was for her to ask her friends to stop making fun of the boy in front of her. If they refuse to do so, they would be disrespecting her, and they were clearly not her friend. She seemed content with my answer, but I also knew, that she was aware of the answer, before I gave it.

As she enters into the most difficult part of her preteen/teen years, I hope she holds tight to this. She has an amazing gift.

Sometimes, I truly believe that parents aren't always shaping their child. Instead, the child shapes them.

 

 

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adoption, family, gay parenting, healing, kids, parenting, society

A Thank You To My Mother

Taking on the role of a mother, in this day in age, can mean so many different things. Moms aren't always biological anymore. Sometimes moms are grandparents and sometimes they're aunts. Sometimes they are distant relatives and sometimes there is no relation at all. Sometimes moms are single, and sometimes there are two. It's a complex world, but one that we all continue to adapt to. It's become normal.

My own children are adopted, and being raised my two moms. They often inquire about their biological parents, and dream of what it may be like to reunite with them. Naturally, this is worrisome for both Renee and I, and for a variety of different reasons.

First and foremost, we worry about their hearts being broken! What if their parents never get themselves together, prior to their meeting. Will their dreams be crushed? Will they want to save their parents and fix their problems? What will happen after they meet them?….. A million questions scream through our heads.

Though we try to look at it in a selfless manner, sometimes it's hard not to know where we will fit into that picture, once that day comes. After raising them through their whole lives, will the biological factor kick in? Will our children allow those parents to reap the reward? Will we be able to maturely handle the balance between both, and will we encourage that relationship? Will we feel crushed, feeling as though we deserve the acclaim, and then will we take our frustrations out on our grown children, pushing them even further away? There are so many questions.

Of course, we invision ourselves, being mature. We promise that we will help them find their birth parents when the time is right. We believe that we are capable of handling anything that comes our way……But who can really know when that time comes?

When I was a child, my parents divorced, like many parents around the world. I then gained a second mother, my step mother Patty. We all learned to love Patty, despite our circumstances and broken home! She was a great woman, who never treated us as anything less than her own.

My brothers and I lived with my mother for most of our youth, and did the typical every other weekend/half summers with my Dad and Patty. Then later, as teenagers, we changed it up….and lived with my dad and Patty, and so on and so forth. We were always good pals with Patty throughout, but as we grew into adults, we had each formed our own relationship with her in our own ways. We enjoyed trips, and races, and cocktails….We loved her as our mother, the same as she loved us as her children.

Just last month, at the age of 50, we lost Patty to breast cancer. We were devastated to say the least. My brothers and I still have trouble believing she's gone. We have mourned together ALOT recently, and I admit to lacking time and effort when it came to chatting with my mom.

Don't get me wrong, she checked in frequently, worried about each of us and how we were feeling. You see, we have a fabulous mother!

We had no choice in growing to love our mama P, because those were the circumstances that were given to us after the divorce…Plus, she was likeable…. unlike the step mom horror stories that we hear so often. So, as we grieved the loss of our second mother, I never once felt guilty for doing so! However, my thoughts often went to my mother!

I wondered how she must be feeling on so many occasions. She was watching her children grieve over a mother figure that wasnt her. We wrote obituaries and eulogies. We talked about how wonderful this woman was, and shared with others how much she's shaped our lives. We sobbed loud and hard, and our hearts broke in a million pieces over this woman…this woman that also called herself our mom!

I put myself in my moms shoes many times in the course of the last month or so. I felt for her, and I wondered if one day I would relate to her feelings. I guessed that I probably would.

Each time I watched her react to one of our statements, each time she watched our tears, and each time she called to check on us, my heart grew even more fond of her. She listened, she cried, and she cared. I know she had to have felt jabs in the gut every now and again, knowing that the words we spoke should have been for her….that was her role….she was cheated. However, throughout the process, she was mature, she put our needs above her own, and she kept her own concerns quiet. My mother is amazing, and I love her so much!!

This past weekend was her birthday, and my family and I did it up with style……or maybe just slightly less than that!:) We enjoyed lunch, we went to wineries, and we laughed all day long…heeding to every command she had!

I like to mention how lucky I am to have the family I have as much as possible. It's a rare find. This is the kind of family that you dont make excuses to have to see. We actually have fun, enjoy being around each other, and feel sad when we are the ones who can't make it.

I mentioned to my mom how lucky we are again. She welled up with tears when I told her that Renee had thanked me for letting her be a part of this family, and I think I saw a tiny tear drop down her cheek. I know she had her own emotions bottled up, and I know she was thankful for this moment.

Today, I just want to give a shout out to my mother, who is so very important to each of us! I'm not doing it because its her birthday, or because thanksgiving is coming up…..but just because she is, and always has been, a great mother to us!

I only hope I can follow her lead, using poise and class, when it comes to dealing with the second set of parents in my own children's lives!

Thank you mom:)

 

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