I started the year out with great intentions. Being organized, being healthy, living life not just watching it go by, and a few other grand goals. Of course none of those happened, at least not as I intended.
Things I managed to accomplish:
- Finished school and earned my degree for graphic design.
- Attended my oldest daughter’s graduation on the same day I graduated. Even the same ceremony. She earned her teaching degree as did her boyfriend.
- Attended and organized 12 family dinners with two of my siblings, their families and my own children and their families and my dad’s best friend, our “uncle”.
- survived the year at work with 3 different store managers.
- Watched my son change again into a new person with a new name. Still haven’t figured out if I did something wrong raising him or his inner self is just never satisfied.
- Said goodbye to my youngest daughter as she moved out and started her own adult adventures.
- Survived a month with a broken furnace. Thankfully the coldest it got outside was the low 20s.
- Fixed the furnace!!!!
- Survived the end of year extreme temperatures: -24; -14; -10
Not a bad list.
I hope that this next year is filled with more love, happiness and light than the other stuff for everyone.
Lately this is how I have felt, completely engulfed in sadness. An emotional wreck of crazy.
First there is the uproar of the lion named Cecil. Poaching is wrong. I am sad by the loss of this animal and for his community. I am also sad for the poached bull moose that was found shot and left along a road. However, my sadness does not mean I don’t care about other important issues. My sadness is because these are animals that are being tricked by deceitful humans for their personal enjoyment. To me it would be like one of my neighbors luring one of my dogs out of the yard so they could cause harm or kill them.
Next there are the animals that are in shelters. The old, the young, the ill, the healthy and the perfect animals all together waiting. I have read a lot of stories lately about these animals. Some have been saved and others have not. The senior animals seem to have a harder time finding new homes and often times don’t leave the shelters. This makes me sad. My son told me yesterday that my dog was looking pretty old with his grey muzzle. I reminded him that I have had my dog for 8 years now and I hope to get another 8 or more years with him since he is a Dachshund and then can live 15 – 20 years. I am sad for the shelter animals because they don’t have homes. They don’t get to enjoy the life my own animals do and share their own unconditional love with humans and be part of a family, their own family.
I also miss my mom. She has been gone for 4 and a half years now. There are so many things she wasn’t able share in. There are still times I forget and want to call her and many nights that I dream she is still with us. Adding to my sadness is my kids miss their Nana and wonder if she would be proud of where we have all ended up in life. I wonder often if her Heaven is everything she hoped it would be and if she “knows” all that happens in our lives.
My kids are all 18 and older now and officially are not my “responsibility”. I raised them, taught them right from wrong, and hopefully helped them improve their skills in self sufficiency. Meaning that they can continue to manage their own finances and afford to care for themselves. This also makes me sad, I miss them with their noises and chaos. Sometimes the house is way too quiet. It isn’t as easy getting together and spending time as a family now that they are all older and independent. It is something we all work on though because so far we still like each other!!
I know this sadness will pass or at least it won’t feel so overwhelming. I am aware that there are others out in this world with their own struggles they are facing. I try to stay positive and look and the bright side of things and offer smiles to all I see. I also snuggle with the dogs often and offer them lots of love and attention because everything I give to them they give right back to me :)!
I thought the future had a clear path. I knew what I was doing for the next 9 months. My youngest had a questionable plan, her sister had a plan and their brother had a sort of plan. Then in the blink of an eye, one text message and a deep breath everything changed again.
My oldest daughter sent me a text 10 days ago and said she wants to come home. I was shocked because at the beginning of June she was trying to convince her sister to change her plans and go to school there. What it comes down to is the school lost funding for a scholarship she was receiving and she didn’t receive one of the scholarships she had the year before. With the loss of funds she couldn’t afford to survive. She is already working approximately 35 to 40 hours a week and attending school full time. She will be home in 5 days.
The youngest did debate heavily on moving to go to school with her sister. She decided against it because she made some other commitments prior to entertaining the moving idea. Although others tried to persuade her to move as well, her integrity to follow through with what she said she would do was too strong. I am thankful for that as those commitments would have been difficult to fill by anyone else.
The boy, their brother, my beloved son is a story of chaos all of his own. He seldom has a concrete plan for his life. Though he has many dreams that he will some day accomplish. He loves hard, dreams hard and works harder. He is finally employed doing property management and has dived in to working long days and making his world a better place. My hope is his personal life evens out soon.
I am looking forward to these changes. More time with my children together. I am hoping for Sunday night dinners, study sessions as all of us are taking classes and just some regular hanging out. Of course there will probably be some lunch dates, dog walks and late night chats amongst the 4 of us. I have decided not to depend too much on these changes right now because I know everything can change again in a blink of an eye.
We take x-rays to see things on the inside. I wish there was a way to take an x-ray to see how people are feeling. Perhaps then we could better help those that are suffering from mental illness or those considering suicide. Another young life was lost in our community yesterday through suicide. There are no words to express the emptiness I see on my own young daughters face. Her sadness and grief are gut wrenching. I cannot even imagine what this young child’s family is going through. This child was only a Freshman in high school and my own daughter is a Senior at the same school. She knows the family as the older brother has gone to school with her since elementary school. There is no need to second guess the decision that was made as the future without this child is all that we have now. I hope the family can find peace and strength within themselves while they go through these difficult times.
Hug those you love a little tighter and smile at a stranger, you never know the impact you can make.
My best friend, Cat-A-Piller.
Montana beautiful sky. Trip to Missouri from Montana to see my son graduate boot camp. We stopped at the Denver Zoo in Denver, CO and the Rolling Hills Zoo near Salina, KS.
Girl Scouts took both of my daughters across the country. We are all hoping to someday make the trip as a family.
Sweet Penelope after she broke her toenail down to her paw.
Time as a family.
Time in the garden is quiet and relaxing.
An afternoon of painting with my kids is another one of my favorite things to do.
Seeing myself in them is not one of my favorite things. They tend to pick up my worst habits and traits. Reacting before I think, speaking before I consider my audience and procrastinating. Straight forward, strong willed, passionate, with a small tendency to be loud. They have picked up others along the way. Compassion, kindness, willingness to help others and integrity.
I am a reflection of my parents as well. More of an opposite reflection. Everything I disliked about my childhood and the way I was raised I changed. I hope that my children will also make changes when they raise their own children. I am aware of the mistakes I have made raising my children. There were many, I hope that they turn those into a positive experience in their future.
Quirky is defined as having or being full of quirks. Similar words include whimsical, erratic, curious, fanciful and odd. This defines the life of my kids growing up with me as their mother. I hope they loved it as much as I did. There are so many memories from their childhood that I hold close to my heart. All stuffed animals could talk (and still do), if you can draw it we can go there (even if it is through a story) and sometimes socks were used to get everybody up and moving in the morning. I remember some awesome fashion shows my three amazing children and their friends put on for me. There was a ton of makeup and crazy outfits and funky dancing one night. I even have pictures of this night, although I am unable to share those as I may need them later to blackmail my children. There were other times that they put on skits and filmed movies that they shared with me. One was a snow day with them sledding in our front yard and scooting right under the truck parked on the street. There were giggles and laughter and wide eyed wonderment. I don’t have that particular video any longer, it will be embedded into my memory forever. Without sound of course because the kids set up the video recorder in the house while they played outside and for some reason it didn’t pick up the sound clearly if at all most of the time.
My hope for my children is that they hold on to the quirky behavior taught to them by their mother and continue spreading that quirkiness into the world.